"Movies like this make me remember I love human beings." This is about reviewing movies.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

flash-review #9 : Australia

Sorry guys (i'll never get tired of this, speaking as if I have readers. ha!), I know I promised this a while back but man, the last few weeks have been crazy, a shitload of homework, no time for myself, not much movie watching either. God. At least, this long weekend will make up for some of that. On Sunday, a friend and I are throwing a mini-film fest so we'll maybe watch two or 3 films. Probably rewatch Oldboy - which isn't on the List, so that will be good rewatching to do, that movie kicks asses -, maybe watch Memento again too- I love this movie so much, I can't even start to explain - and man, I need to see David Fincher's The Game. Anyways, this weekend is way more smooth so I'll watch movies! Surprised? I'd also like to finish Pushing Daisies First Season and start Alias Season 3 sometime soon. Wow, so much with my watchlist. Lets get to the actual reviewing.
Australia, Baz Luhrmann's 4th movie. I really didn't know this filmmaker at all, I mean, he's famous for Moulin Rouge! - which I really want to see -, but really, I just heard he had an amazing visual style. So that kept me from comparing with his other films, which I guess is a good thing.
(Man I just realised how much I overuse the word "which", its terrible, really. I'm sorry, I really am. My english vocabular falls short a bit, but I'm trying!)
So, with Australia. At first, I was kinda surprised by the tone of the movie. I didn't expect it to be comedic at all, just good ol' drama. But it really tried to be funny - succeeding sometimes, failing at others. The comedic tone really helps dealing with the cheesy stuff - because there's plenty. Although it might annoy some persons, it didn't bother me so much. All things considered, its the kind of movie you just sit back and enjoy and laugh with, not at.
This films has some flaws though. It really tries to be a lot. Its actually near 3 hours long and it's not that it's boring or anything, it really isn't, but the balance isn't quite there. It feels as if some things were cut to make the running time more convenient. Take per exemple : the movie starts off as a western. It's light, it's fun, it's epic, it's beautiful (beautiful is really the word. The cinematography is beyond words.) and all. So when you actually get to the romance, you've already forgot about its supposed to be a romance film and it just seems rushed. The pace is nice and thats the problem : it actually slows down when the romance element is introduced and I don't think it should have. Thinking about it, you can really feel that Mr. Luhrmann tried to make this his big epic magnum opus or something, but it just did not expand to its full potential. I would've like to see more romance, but I didn't, and in the end, although the movie is pretty fucking long, I felt that something was lacking something, some extra scenes. I heard somewhere there was about 6 different ending to the movie, so maybe the dvd will have extras that'll make the romance seem less rushed. I know my mom is planning on buying it, and I'm glad she does, because it really is an entertaining film with a great rewatch quality to it, but I'm just sad it has so much apparent flaws.
But then it ends with a bang. Last 40 minutes or so, it turns into a full-blast war epic. And it gets really fun and thrilling again. The ending is pretty satisfaying for that reason, and it makes you forget some of the lacking middle part.
All in all, the film isn't as bad as some critics say. Its ligh, its beautiful and its entertaining. I was hoping for more, but I was fairly entertained. The acting was great, I mean, neither Nicole Kidman or Hugh Jackman have anything to prove. So yeah. Pretty cool film, too much flaws but I have this feeling in my stomach that the director's cut will deal with a few of those.
Also, I almost forgot to mention, but this movie had to much CGI for its own good. And that really bothers me. Otherwise, a nice mother-and-son entertainment.

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