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Australia poster

Action & Adventure and Drama movie directed by Baz Luhrmann

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Mixed Review

  • Jul 5, 2009
This is the tale of two reviews, one by a film fanatic and another by his wife. One couldn't imagine how this thing could drag on for almost 3 hours (20 unforgiving minutes short of 3 hours), how in the world they can make a movie with so many continuity erros, and what was this epic drama? The other, its a gorgeous, romantic, epic, sad, movie.

The film fanatic first. The first few minutes almost got me. Voice over narration, a young boy telling a story in flashback. It is a compelling story. But then something really stupid happens, the Australia map shows up and the young narrator backs up the film to England (Eeeng laaand). Here we see Lady Ashley deciding to go to Australia. An odd misstep in the story telling. Then, the film 100% jumped the shark the minute the alcoholic accountant grabbed a full bottle of rum, twisted the cork on a 1/2 full bottle, poured a drink from a full bottle, poured himself a glass from 2/3 full, and then set down the bottle empty - all inside of 20 seconds. Nope, a film does something that awful that early on, and unless this is some fabulous incredible masterpiece; I'm no longer paying attention to the film - I'm looking for the next continuity error. There is a website, the internet movie database, that lists more goofs than I've ever seen for one movie - 46. My worst moment in the film, our hero Drover (Hugh Jackman) does one thing and only one thing - he drives cattle. We're told that many many many times in the film. But when it comes time to rescue the boys on the island, Drover learned a new skill, sailing a ship. Yes, he is also an EXPERT sailor. No that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The love this movie review. There is no denying, Nicole Kidman (Lady Ashley) and Hugh Jackman (Drover) are gorgeous film stars. The film fanatic did very much enjoy watching Nicole. His wife, loved watching Hugh. The chemistry between the two is wonderful. There is an amazing romance that blooms between these two, they are thrust together and enjoy every moment of being together. The scenery in Australia is spectacular. There are some funny moments, mostly at the expense of Lady Ashley. Their mutual love for this young boy is wonderful. The things both these characters go through is heart wrenching.

The mediocre. Nullah played by the then 12 year old Brandon Walters, is mediocre at best. He's a young boy, but even given some slack for his age, the acting is just not all that fabulous. The voice over narration gets tiresome about midway through the film. Sorry, he was a cute kid, but just didn't do much for me.

Most will love this film. The director also did Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet. I did not care for either film, although I am a huge Nicole Kidman and Claire Danes fan. However, the public has voted very differently for his two earlier films. Baz Luhrmann makes epic sweeping gigantic larger than life films. No he doesn't make films the way they used to make films. At its soul, Australia, is a western; and borrows very heavily from Out of Africa with a touch of Pearl Harbor tossed in. But there's no John Wayne or Clint Eastwood here or Robert Redford or Meryl Streep. And Baz Luhrmann is no Sydney Pollack, by a very long margin.

My guess, the people that love this film will tend to be more females than males. Its a decent date movie, there's enough romance, wide sweeping scenes. There's a few good shoot 'em up scenes. I wasn't a huge fan, I saw too many continuity and plot line errors. My wife, said I watch too many movies and it was a good sweet movie.

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More Australia (2008) reviews
review by . June 13, 2009
    Australia    Director: Baz Luhrmann  Screen writers: Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie    Brief Synopsis:   MOULIN ROUGE's Baz Luhrman and Nicole Kidman reteam for this epic that pays homage to their homeland. In AUSTRALIA, Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) is a prim and proper Englishwoman who journeys to Australia in the years before World War II reached the country's shores.  Rotten Tomatoes rating: 54% Fresh  Tania's …
review by . August 20, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Good old fashioned romantic adventure
There's a reason why classics are classics, and that's because they fulfill a basic human thirst for romance, adventure, the fellow getting the girl, and the good guys coming out on top. Nicole Kidman dares to be herself in this film, and turns in her best performance ever. As for Hugh Jackman, he couldn't be more appealing. The bad guys are bad, the good guys persevere, and Australia is the sort of movie they don't make anymore, but should. Great entertainment.
review by . April 16, 2009
"Australia" has been hyped for months as being Baz Luhrmann's big epic. The director of famous teen flicks like the Leonardo DiCaprio "Romeo + Juliet," "Australia" was said to be the film that would establish him as a great director. Even Oprah Winfrey called it the best film of the year, and one of the best she's seen in a long time. Of course, Oprah wouldn't know what the best film of the year is typically; she's too busy reading average books to care what's in the cineplexs. The movie stars Nicole …
review by . February 14, 2009
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) heads off Down Under to find out what her hubby is really doing when he says he's mustering cattle.   2. Kidman's performance is her best since Far and Away, and the cattle ranch Down Under is named Faraway Downs - coincidence or lingering sentiment?   3. Super hot Aussie all-rounder and hoofer Hugh Jackman heats up the screen as Drover, the Crocodile Dundee-type chappy who rounds …
review by . December 12, 2008
This will be short but passionate.    I saw AUSTRALIA today with my brother and his lovely girlfriend. IT WAS AMAZING! Baz Luhrmann is one of my favorite film makers anyway, but OMG this film is GORGEOUS. The land, the lighting, the costumes, the scene composition. And Hugh Jackman. There aren't enough words in any language to accurately convey his hotness.  He is my perfect man. OH GOOD GOD. My brother's lovely girlfriend and I kept whimpering when he was on scene. HOTNESS …
review by . February 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I first saw AUSTRALIA last November on my birthday. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the movie, but I absolutely loved it and it made my list of top ten films of 2008.    Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the movie begins with a written introduction explaining the "Lost Generation" of Australians, children who were half-Aborigine and half-white that were taken away from their parents and raised by the government or private organizations. This is important because even though the …
review by . December 11, 2008
 The story opens in 1939, in northern Australia, as Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) arrives from England to sell her huge cattle ranch. The neighboring cattle baron has killed her husband and scared off all of her workers except for one drover (Hugh Jackman) with whom she locks horns immediately. Sarah also meets Nullah, a half-white/half-aborigine orphan who is afraid of being captured by the police.     The movie tries hard to be an "epic" and certainly is sprawling …
review by . December 12, 2008
As a teenager, I very vividly remember going to see Moulin Rouge.  Even then, I was a budding film snob, but my adolescent heart was still fluttering with excitement, from the marketing, the music, the experience that it promised.  And boy did it deliver.  With Moulin Rouge, Baz Lurhmann put himself on my map (I know he was already on many others) and as such, I was truly looking forward to Australia, which reunited Luhrmann with Nicole Kidman and put her opposite the unfathomable …
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Dan lebryk ()
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Watching the early reels ofAustralia, there's certainly no doubt who's in charge: this could only be a film by Baz Luhrmann, that wacky purveyor of all things over-the-top. In this old-fashioned, 165-minute hymn to his native continent, Luhrmann travels back to the late 1930s/early '40s, for a scenario that would not have been out of place at MGM in that era. Straightlaced Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) journeys Down Under and is put under the protection of--crikey--a rugged cattle driver known only as the Drover (Hugh Jackman). When the two are forced to team up (along with a motley crew of misfits) to take a herd of cattle through the hostile landscape, their way is challenged by the dastardly plans of the local beef baron (Bryan Brown) and his elaborately evil lieutenant (David Wenham). At some point you realize that this film's main commodity is not cattle, but corn: Luhrmann piles on the melodrama and the old-school climaxes with his usual frantic glee. Employing "When You Wish Upon a Star" and the Japanese air force to make his case is not beyond Luhrmann, and he reaches big here. Those with a taste for un-ironic silliness might just go for this stuff, but even fans of the Baz will have their patience tested by the broad comedy and the absence of discernable chemistry between Kidman and Jackman.Australiadoes manage to skewer the culture's prejudices against the Aboriginal people, but in this context such a victory comes across as rather...
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Genre: Drama, War, Western
Release Date: 26 November 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
Runtime: 166 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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