Saturday, December 13, 2008


Hugh Jackman or Wolverine to me and many others stars in this half way decent movie. I would not consider it an epic but they tried their best to make it so.

Nicole Kidman plays the same part as she did in Cold Mountain, which is the helpless and almost useless person, accept for one thing, caught up in the chaos and adventure of the times.

Aboriginis star in this movie. The troublesome thing is that they are not as wholesome and pleasant as politically correct Hollywood portrays them to be. I have been to Perth and the aboriginis there cussed us out without a reason with some of the most vulgar language. They can not deal with change that well and their despair is evident. They need to make a psychological change and until they do, they will be a public nuisance.

The movie occurs in Australia mostly with some opening scenes in England that shows Nicole Kidman's upper echelon staus in society. It also shows just how skinny she is. The years are 1939 and 1940, around then, just prior to when WWII came to Australia's shores.

I saw this movie in Korea and the theatre is packed. Koreans were really paying attention to the Japanese scenes at the end of this movie. The Japanese did not treat allot of people properly during this era, during World War II.

Kidman's plays Lady Sarah Ashley whose husband own's land in the Northern Territories. He is a cattleman who supplies beef to prospective buyers. Ashley's husband is killed though in the beginning by what we are suspected as an aborigini kill. Ashley travels from England to Australia and the way the map is shown while the plane flies over it is a copy of the Indiana Jones movies. Aboriginis work the land, the domestic chores in the household. The little aborigini boy which looks like a girl, is also the bright spot in the movie. The annoying thing is that they call Kidman throughout the movie, the aboriginis, boss lady. To me, this is not cute or inspiring, it just reinstates the English as the rich folks and the indiginous folks as brain dead lacky's. Why they can not say Ashley or whatever, it seems they are no brighter than a dog? The little aborigini boy must say boss lady about 80 times in this movie, is that supposed to be cute?

Jackman is Drover which is also his profession, he drives cattle from one river to the next and/or to the coastal down where they can be loaded onto a waiting ship. The word "drover" is also said about 80 times in the movie which just grows old as well. He starts out as drunk loser fighting the town but then about 20 minutes later he is a strategic cattlemen, the best in all of the land, who is a charismatic leader. Someone did not think that out or this character development. For someone who is highlighted as a brute, who gets liquored up all too much, who brawls frequently, and spends allot of time in the outback, he sure had nice teeth.

The enemies of Ashley in this movie is another cattle herder who wants to sell his cattle to the army and if he is the only seller he can make a serious profit from the army. Bryan Brown plays King Carney who hires or employs some local Australians to do everything he can think of to destroy the cattle herd. He wants to run them off a cliff and attemps this by lighting lighting fuel with gasoline which startles them. This is an exciting scene. My dad would enjoy all of this since he likes to look at horses. The movie makes a the Australian cowboy seem like the most wonderful job on the planet. The heat and dirt would be unbearable, but this movie does not really indicate the truth of this.

CVG which is computer video games is evident throughout the movie. Perhaps the director Baz Luhrmann could not receive the proper financing to shoot this film. Not one scene in Dances With Wolves, Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, or Gladiator appeared to be fake. Australia had so many computer generated scenes it is just terrible. It detracts from the movie, informs or reminds the viewer that this is a movie and fantasy. The experience is hampered and brought down in size. Which is why this movie is not near any of those movies in terms of spectacular cinematic experience and enjoyment.

The fire, airplace, cattle scenes were all fake and looked this way.

During the cattle drive, the villians poisoned the rivers or water holes so the cattle could not reach their destination. Nasty people. King Carney could have sold his cattle to the military for a fair price and the ship and cattle would have been long gone by the time Ashley's cattle reached the destination. But greed and avarice carries the day.

The Japanese scenes at the end were as vicious as they should have been. Glad the Australians let the prisoners go, well, atleast the ones who had not been conviced of anything. They had King George, which is a local veteran aborigini who was accused of the white man of killing Ashley's husband. But it was not him despite this movie making it appear he did. Which is just strange. Why is called King George is not explained. He is ugly though, I have never scene an attractive aborigini.

Another aspect of this movie is when the little aborigini boy hides from local officials since he did not want to go to this island camp. This island camp was official Australian policy until 1973, according to the movie. They called it the lost generation apparently but was the alternative? Sit around white folks home, watch one's mother wash dishes and clean the bathroom, so one can do the same in about 15 years? If they atleast learned how to read, it would be better than nothing. There were white children at this camp as well. When her mother drowns in the water tower because she can not swim is pathetic. Why can she not swim? Her son can, he was jumping and swimming in the river after a seasonal rain or wet as they call it in Australia.

The best scene to me is when the Japanese were bombing the coastal town and King George was looking upwards wondering what has become of this world. What did anyone around there do to deserve such treatment? Why was his land being attack by flying, loud, and scary machines?

The movie has many slow moments, the music was just OK, but there were not many humorous lines. Few memorable quotes and not very many riveting scenes. Kidman has had this role before, sort of also in Far and Away. There was some wonderful shots of Australia though, the large rocks and interesting landscape. No spider or snake scenes which was missing. One crocodile shot or mentioning and one kangaroo appearance. Them hopping like that alongside the car in the heat the day is probably Hollywood fantasy. And it is another scene that is computer created. This movie may be nominated for Best Picture but it is no where near the movies mentioned before and it is not even on the level of Kingdom of Heaven.

Regarding historical significance, this is minimal. No important battles were fought in this area and this movie took place in a remote region to matter only to the local people. The movie highlighted that aboriginis look strange, were servants, but very close to the land and nature. Rich white men are evil, the church is repressive, and the invading Japanese were vicious. The first two are leftist stereotypes and the third is widely known.

Ashley's and Drover's courtship is detected before the movie even begins.

I would allocate three stars for this movie. ***

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