Daniel's Critical Corner

December 7, 2008

Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Australia”

Filed under: Film — Daniel @ 8:00 am
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AUSTRALIA-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-TOURISM by you.
Crocodile And Dundee

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Crawling Out From “Down Under” Today:
Australia

A trip to a nursing home can be either inspiring or heartbreaking.
I guess it can go both ways…  But my visit to one the other day
was sort of “in the middle”.  The residents were a coherent but 
mellow group.

There was the cute little old lady clutching her box of sour lemon
candy.  She was telling her (probably sixth) husband that it only
cost a dollar with her rewards coupon…  And then there was this
 rather elderly gentleman leaning on his cane.  He was attempting
 to impress the happy couple by bragging about his free popcorn.

Other oldies managed to trickle into the place sporadically, a few 
of them wearing Christmas sweaters, others sporting fedoras and
such…   It actually looked like church !  They all took their seats,
getting ready to see a motion picture together.  Not a cell phone 
to be found among them !  Such a nice, quiet group.  There were
some soft noises, sure.  Two, maybe three oxygen tanks hissing. 
Involuntary flatulence.  I even heard somone’s arteries harden… 
Aside from that, nada !

Whoops !!!  Did I say I was at a nursing home ?  I meant to tell you
I was at the local movie theater on “senior discount” Monday !  We
were all there to see “Australia” !!!  As a wrinkled patron later told 
me, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon !

That’s debatable.  It ate up my ENTIRE day, and (with a run time of
 almost three hours) I think a couple of mummified moviegoers expired
where they sat !  When the credits FINALLY started to roll, most of
 the group got up to the best of their ability and hobbled out…  But  
a couple of ’em did not. They just sat there, motionless.  I decided
it was best just to keep moving and not look back.

Truth be told, I’m always leery of a movie that has a continent in
the title.  Did anyone see “I Dreamed of Africa” ? That was a total
 NIGHTMARE !!!  Some chick decides to take her little son to (of all
places) Africa, and live in the middle of nowhere…  She shacks up
with some hunter dude, but it isn’t long before her poor child gets
gobbled up by a snake !  Oh well.  They should have just stayed  
“Out of Africa”.  Ha !!!  Let’s move on to Australia now, shall we ?

 

Palin[2] by you.

 Australia ?  What On Earth Is That ?  A Drink ?

 

   “Australia” starts on a rather odd note.  A young boy with messy
hair is talking absolute rubbish.  Something about his grandfather
being a king and that people who herd cattle are bad.  We soon 
learn this brat is “aboriginal”.  Speaking of “Abba Originals”, I am 
just DYING to see “Mama Mia!” again.  But that’s another story.  

The kid is called (of all things) “Creamy”.  Who the heck came
up with that silly name ?   Michael Jackson ?  Folgers Coffee ?

Our tale is set in 1939 (which, if nothing else, was a red-letter
year for cinema) ! Young Creamy and his mother are working on
 an Australian cattle station, where all is bliss until Nicole Kidman
shows up. 

Kidman plays “Lady Sarah Ashley”, a woman of privilege whose
husband owns the station.  Upon her arrival, Ashley’s spouse is
murdered…  Just as she uncovers a plot by an evil cattle baron 
looking to gain a monopoly over the beef industry !

 Speaking of beef, a burly cattle man known only as “The Drover”
(played by Hugh Jackman) comes to her aide.  Despite obvious 
dangers, they decide to take over her dead hubby’s legacy and 
drive the cattle…  INSANE.

 

url[1].jpg&usg=AFQjCNF4oBs1lg0B9dRGGsAiu4oSV8VdQw by you.
 A Huge Jack, Man !

 

 Lady Ashley moans and groans about how awful the country is.
But soon, The Drover shows her how to find true beauty in the 
 rugged terrain.  At one point, the delicate doll sees a Kangaroo 
and gets totally excited…  The next thing you know, one of her 
hired hands blows the beast away with a shotgun (followed by  
a scene where everyone eats it with fervor).

I could never eat a kangaroo.  They are just too darn cute !
  Hmmm…  Well, I suppose if I were stranded on a desert island,
with nothing but a kangaroo, I would probably start chowing
down on that juicy jumper !!!  (Slathering it up with plenty of
ketchup while wearing the little pouch as some sort of hat).

Kangaroos aside, there isn’t much going on to let us know we
are in Australia.  No boomerangs.  No cuddly koala bears.  No
giant kazoos (or whatever those things are called).  Worst of
all, no one really says “G’day mate” much…  Granted, we are  
treated to some old naked dude doing a “walkabout”.  

And THAT was enough to make me just wanna walkaout !  

 Nicole Kidman’s performance seems really forced in this flick,
and Hugh just prances around shirtless desperately trying to
get voted “Sexiest Man Alive”.  There isn’t much in the way 
 of chemistry between those two anyway, with a dry attempt
at romance failing to light up the big screen.

One evening they are watching shooting stars while kissing 
under a boab tree…  But nothing “magical” happens.  Hugh 
scores (maybe a handful) of boab and then calls it a night !

Some scenes do manage to evoke a “Gone with the Wind”  
 kind of vibe, while others emulate “The Wizard of Oz”.  To 
be fair, I will say this is because of some rather effective
directing. 

“Oz” (is indeed) a continuing theme throughout the film !!!  
Kudos to director  “Buzz Lightyear”  !  Um…   Ugh.  I mean
to director  “Fuzz Lemur”.  No ?  I think I’m getting closer. 
Oh !  I got it,  “Baz Luhrmann” !

 Regardless, “Australia” gets lost in its own decadence.  A  
beautiful epic, make no mistake.  There are so many vast, 
 sweeping vistas that this movie could be the straight man’s
“Brokeback Mountain”…  Complete with a TENT !!!  
  
But eye candy as this may be, it is way toooo long.  The  
story wraps up nicely after about two hours, only to start 
again with a half-hearted gusto…  Our final outcome is still 
the same, with no real or viable reasons to keep plodding 
forward.

Let’s just take “Australia” outback…  And leave it there.

~

Would I Recommend This ?  No
    
Daniel’s Critical Rating: “6” out of “10”

 

 

20 Comments »

  1. Folgers Coffee? LOL! Creamy is way too funny. Good review, I’m not real crazy about Kidman playing a British lady,when she has a chance to be in her homeland accent. And I’m not crazy about her bloodshot eyes, in all her latest flicks. Sure I will probably only see this for what you mention, the ‘eye candy.’ Hugh is definitely sexiest man of the year in my book. And talented too. Gotta laugh at Buzz Lightyear! Funny Review.

    Comment by Gayle — December 7, 2008 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Gayle ! At this point, I don’t think Nicole could do
    an Australian accent without it sounding too Americanized…
    LOL ! She does have that “Michelle Pfeiffer” bloodshot eyes
    thing goin’ on. She needs to stop keeping them wide shut !

    I really do like Nicole… She just radiates that classic Hollywood
    persona. Too bad most of her movies don’t. My favorite Nicole
    Kidman films: “Moulin Rouge!” (A way better Baz Luhrmann flick),
    “The Others”, “The Hours” and “The Stepford Wives”.

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 7, 2008 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  3. Baz Luhrmann makes beautiful movies but he’s like what i would imagine riding a merry go round while drunk would be like. It’s likely that i will see this when it hits Netflix but to be honest it’s mostly to just look at Hugh Jackman. Oh and fwiw, I’ve already pre-ordered Mama Mia! from Amazon! Woo!

    Comment by Lady Jaye — December 7, 2008 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  4. Ha Ha ! Great comparison Lady Jaye ! But everyone has got to
    stop objectifying Hugh Jackman. (I can relate to his dilemma).
    We are more than just sexy guys with facial hair, we are men of
    DEPTH. When will people look beyond our stunning physiques and
    rippling muscles ? Sheesh. LOL !!! 😉

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 7, 2008 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  5. Ummm well ahhh yeah, I am sorry you had to sit through all the Involuntary flatulence and the begining stages of Atherosclerosis, although be thankful a bowel movement didnt take place!!! Well Maybe it did??? HAAHAHA!! I am not a fan of Nicole Kidman to begin with nor Sarah Palin. I love your views as always!!!!!!
    Terry Haack

    Comment by Terry Brokeback Haack — December 7, 2008 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  6. The flatulence wasn’t too bad. At first I thought
    everyone was applauding the movie. LOL !!! 😮

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 8, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  7. Hey! Let’s cut the comments on old ladies farting! I’m an old lady and I can hold a fart!.. for a while… maybe a few minutes… But I’d never fart when Huge is on the screen !!! Never!!

    Comment by deslily — December 8, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  8. Oh NO ! Sorry… LOL ! 🙂 That Hugh Jackman is such a GAS !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 8, 2008 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  9. *groan* (that was pretty bad!)

    Comment by deslily — December 9, 2008 @ 5:10 am | Reply

  10. I know, I know !!! LOL !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 9, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  11. I should see this film, but I just don’t have 3 hours for one film when I could watch two in that time period. Hmm..but a 6 out of 10 means it ain’t all bad…so maybe I can give up sleeping one night or something and catch this. But, then again, I could just watch Wizard of Oz at home for free.

    Comment by oxfordfilmfreak — December 9, 2008 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  12. I hear ya ! This flick would have been better suited
    as a TV mini-series sprawled out over a few days…

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 10, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  13. LOL @ Palin.

    I love long movies and I was so excited to see this… And then when it came out, there was a ton of mix reviews; I didn’t know who to trust. I guess I’ll be waiting for it on DVD… or the dollar theater.

    HUGH JACKMAN + NICOLE KIDMAN = HOT

    Comment by Franz Patrick — December 13, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  14. Long movies can be a treat, but only if the subject matter is worthy
    of being stretched out like TAFFY ! Hugh and Nicole are a hot duo in
    a lukewarm offering…

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — December 13, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  15. Aaaw Daniel I hate to disagree with you but i liked Austrailia! It’s harmless fluff, not exactly Oscar worthy but passes the time on a wet Sunday afternoon. And the little boys name is Nullah. Creamy is what the locals call him cos of his mixed race, but I’m sure you knew that 😉
    It is long though. It kind of has a built in sequel. Maybe I’m biased cos I love Baz Luhrmann

    Comment by Katie — May 11, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  16. Baz Luhrmann is very talented. No doubt about that… This movie does have
    some great moments, but it should have quit well it was ahead !!! LOL ! 🙂

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 12, 2009 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  17. I got to thinking about it…blog post resulted. I do really love Buzz Lightyear, sorry, Baz Luhrmann. 😉

    Comment by Katie — May 24, 2009 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  18. An awesome blog post resulted. I love both Baz and Buzz. “Strictly Ballroom” and
    “Moulin Rouge!” are a couple of my favorite films… Baz is a director with vision !!!
    I can’t wait to see what he is going to do next !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — May 26, 2009 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  19. aaw thanks. I hear talk of the Great Gatsby….

    Comment by Katie — May 28, 2009 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  20. I noticed that on IMDb… I rather enjoyed the original 1974
    film. I love me some Mia Farrow !!! (For that matter, I love
    me some Karen Black) !

    Comment by Daniel — May 29, 2009 @ 9:03 am | Reply


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