Happy New Year everyone! It’s now 2009 and doesn’t feel any different from 2008, but there’s still time. Anyway I was thinking of starting this year with a preview of 2009, but I don’t think there’s any room on that particular bandwagon. I was also going to introduce a project that I will be working on in the early part of this year, but I have something much more interesting for you today.
Last night my parent and I went to see the film ‘Australia’, mostly because my mum had read that it had some nice scenery and Hugh Jackman, and I wanted something to review. Anyway I have to say that it is without a doubt, the best film I’ve seen all year… it actually took my dad about a minute and a half to get that joke.
Joking aside (just for a minute) it was a really good film and well worth watching. The story was absolutely fantastic and the characters actually changed during the course of the film, something that is lacking from most films you see around! Character development and plot are things that seem to have been sacrificed at the altar of modern technology and replaced by impressive CGI and high tempo action sequences in recent time. As I said in my James Bond review, CGI and high tempo action sequences are a poor replacement for a good story. Australia proves me right. This film will retain its class long after modern technology becomes obsolete because it doesn’t rely upon it. The story and the themes are timeless.
However, it was not perfect. I know I complain about films being too short and I have said that there is nothing wrong with long films, but Australia was a little too long. While the storyline remained very compelling and my interest was retained right to the end, it still felt like it was dragging on. This was probably not helped by the ‘false ending’ half way through, when everyone seemed to be living happily ever after, but then a plot twist sparked off a whole other storyline. It almost felt like two film in one. The false ending meant that you were expecting the credits to role and when you’re then subjected to a sequel it feels like the film is shamefully delaying. It takes a while to realise that you’re only half way through the film and need to get comfortable again. It might have been better to split the film in two and made each section a little longer, although then the temptation to make a trilogy out of it would probably be too strong and that has been the downfall of far too many films.
Moving seamlessly onto my next complaint: one of the apparent plus points of the film was the sunning scenery and, to be fair, it was truly amazing. You have to watch it in the cinema to fully experience the sheer beauty of it. It was actually a little bizarre; occasionally the film would sort of stop at an appropriate place and panoramic views of random parts of Australia would be shown over soothing music with very little relevance to the actual film. It just felt like they were showing off, or maybe just trying to distract you from the film with the scenery. I suppose, were the film a bit shit, it would be a clever tactic to make the visit to the cinema worthwhile, but since the film was so good in its own right, it just felt unnecessary.
Now onto the acting in a transition as seamless as the last one. Actually there’s not much to say, it was a really good, especially the little Aboriginal boy. He played the part really well and managed to pull off the little bits of narration, which I would normally denounce as poor storytelling. Generally narration only really works in Film Noir and I suppose Australia had some elements of that in it, especially in the beginning, so the narration worked extremely well.
Overall, very good, worth watching in the cinema if only to make the panoramic scenery seem like it serves a purpose.
Before plans to go to the cinema decided what this blog was about, I was going to introduce something that I’ll be working on over the next few week/months. It is something that I’ve inventively named ‘the Youtube Project’. I’ll introduce it next week as well as talking about the new laptop that will be being delivered in the next few day, I hope.