Alison Myers takes a look at Baz Luhrmann’s new one, and the latest James Bond Flick.
For God’s sakes, just go and see it. PLEASE! I don’t care if you hate Baz, Nicole and Hugh – for the sake of the Australian film industry, go, and go soon. Major advertising dollars have actually been spent marketing an Australian film and this behaviour must be encouraged. Anyway, ‘Australia’s actually bloody good.
It’s probably the best thing Hugh Jackman’s ever done – he dominates the film not only with his physical presence and but also his emotional range. David Wenham’s villain is not subtle – think big black moustache – but he’s entertaining. Nicole is, well, Nicole, but Brandon Walters is a real find. ‘Australia’s depiction of the Stolen Generations is probably too low-key for many people, but there’s arguably more value in engaging with nonbelievers than preaching to the converted.
Australia doesn’t have the exhilaration or exuberance of Baz Luhrmann’s earlier works – but it’s beautifully shot and composed. 4 stars.
Quantum of Solace
Explosions – tick, gunbattles, – tick, car chases, boat chases, plane chases and foot chases – tick. Sinister baddie who poses a real threat to mankind – tick. Sexy but taciturn leading man trying to deal with emotional turmoil by blowing stuff up – tick. Sexy but independent leading woman who can hold her own in a gunfight and a boardroom, well… To be fair to Olga Kurylenko, her Bond girl is at least a step up from her eye candy victims in ‘Max Payne’ and ‘Hitman’. And Judi Dench’s formidable M more than balances the books. Throw in some impressive editing – love the intercutting at the opera and the horse race – and, well, I can’t ask much more from a Bond film. As it’s considerably shorter than ‘Casino Royale’, I’m looking forward to the DVD release so I can watch them back-to-back. That will be one hell of a film. 4 stars