Monday, December 15, 2008

I've been trying to figure out how to write about Australia. I went to see it last night, and I loved it. Adored it. Wanted to turn around and go watch it again.

I was pretty sure I would at least like it, because it has cowboys, soldiers, horses, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jack Thompson, and David Wenham in it. Plus, it's set in Australia, home to my most favoriteset movie of all time, The Man from Snowy River (1982). And I really like Baz Luhrmann's storytelling abilities. Plus, Mom, Dad, Johnnycake, and Dimples all liked it.

My expectations were more than met. They were exceeded on every hand. The sweeping story of love and good vs. evil, the breathtaking panoramas, the sweeping shots of a cattle herd on the prod, the enjoyable acting... it was all grand.

And I know Hugh Jackman "learned to ride" for this movie, but holy horsemanship, Batman! The man looks like he was born in that saddle, and you could tell he did most of the riding himself. Yeowsa. The sight of him on a horse galloping full-tilt as he drives a herd of brumbies past the camera... it was almost like watching Snowy River for the first time again.

Actually, parts of it did remind me of The Man from Snowy River (the original, not the Disneyized sequel), and not just because they both have Jack Thompson in them. The loner hero who has a special way with horses, the pretty heroine who's tougher than she looks, the various characters out to prove themselves... mmm.

Oh, it gets one Warhead, if you hadn't guessed.

While writing this scattered, unfocused, effusive review, I've been looking for pix to add to this post. Three of them remind me so much of other movies, I can't help but think they're deliberate hat-tips.

This pairing makes me think Gone with the Wind! You too?
This shot of Hugh Jackman is pure Clint Eastwood from his Spaghetti Western days. I blogged before about their similarities....
And finally, this shot has to be homage to John Wayne in Hondo. It has to be.

10 comments:

  1. The ex and I saw this one in the theater with a couple who were from Down Under. The woman loved it and the fellow thought it was rubbish. The ex also loved it while I found it a tad on the slow and boring side. There were some nice looking sections I must admit, but as a whole it did not work for me.Not something I have on my re-watch list. But films would be a waste of time if we all had the same opinion of them. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Gord

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rewatched Australia a couple of months ago, for the first time in about a decade, and I'm still fascinated by it. But it's definitely an unusual one, and I know a lot of other people who didn't care for it.

      Delete
  2. Since you are a Jackman fan you should hit you-tube and enter, russell crowe and hugh jackman at joe's pub. It is a neat bit with the two belting out tunes at a bar in NY. Also on stage is the other members of Crowes Robin Hood band. Really, check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are 20 plus tunes from the event. Also use Indoor Garden Party at Joe's Pub for videos from the same night. There is a good one from the night with Sting joining in for the last song singing EVERY BREATHE YOU TAKE.
    Gord

    Gord

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gord, don't know how I missed these comments, but thanks! I just watched these now, and wow, so cool. I have to say that "Confrontation" has always been one of my fave songs from the musical, and it was probably my fave moment in the film as well. Love seeing them do it live -- just wow. I will watch more tomorrow! Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Glad you liked them. Neat bits if you ask me. Like Jackman doing Joe Cocker's LEAVING ON A AIRPLANE.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Opps. I mean THE LETTER sung by Jackman. I saw Joe Cocker in the early 70 at a concert doing the tune.
    Gord

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gord, just saying thanks again for pointing me to those vids! I watched a couple over again this morning for a Friday morning smile :-)

      Delete
  6. This sounds exciting. It must be a great film. I always had a soft spot for Hugh Jackman, and I know Kidman films cannot be bad. Btw, I have always thought Jackman mastered his horse riding skills in "Kate & Leopold". So, I think here he was more like a pro already, hehe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DBMoviesBlog, I watched it again this year for the first time in quite a while, and I'd forgotten how much of an emotional punch in packs.

      You're right, he did some riding in Kate & Leopold too, but only a bit. I read an interview with him when Australia came out where he talked about how, during casting, they asked if he could ride, and he said of course he could! Because that's always what you say if they ask you if you can do something, and then you go learn how to do it after you're cast, which is what he did here. And he learned well, because he looks born in that saddle in this.

      Delete

Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)