My Apology to the World!

18 12 2008

Dear All,

As an Australian, and in fact,

on behalf of all Australians … everywhere …

I feel I must apologise.

“What for?” You ask

Depending on who or where you are you might think an apology could relate to a lack of posts on this blog …

Nope! I’m perfectly fine with that.

It could relate to me bastardising every rule of Grammar in the English language while writing this blog …

Nope. I’m perfectly fine with that too. It’s called poetic license people!

But I really must apologise for Baz Luhrman’s latest brilliant masterpiece “Australia”

Yep after conflicting reviews from friends, various media outlets and bloggers on the internet, I decided NOT to go and see the film.

Instead I decided to poke myself in the eye with a blunt stick, and then write about it on my blog.

Okay, I just WISH I did that! It would have been simpler, cheaper and much, much quicker.

I did turn down a couple of invitations to see the movie before I finally got curious enough to check it out for myself.

And oh the wonders to behold in this steamy pile of dog turd a.k.a. “Australia”

To anyone who loved the movie … just stop reading here … my thoughts will simply offend you

To anyone who hasn’t seen it yet … don’t! Or at least don’t read anymore here because this includes spoilers.

I should probably note that I read a particularly negative review the night before seeing the movie.

I was warned … why didn’t I listen!

So, how was it that Baz who surprised us with a new and improved Romeo and Juliet for the kiddies and even a love story inside a burlesque show in Paris, screw up so badly with a film set in his nation’s heartland?

Well it’s complicated … there seems to be sooo many factors screaming out for revision, why didn’t anyone working on this thing spot even one of them?

Before I hack into this thing, if anyone wants to get a summary of the plot, click here.

First; the title.

“Australia

What the …???

It tells you nothing about the movie except where it is set, as if that’s some kind of hint or even a draw card.

What the heck were the yanks expecting to see? A bunch of Aussies sitting around the outback drinking Fosters, throwing “shrimp” on the barbie while we race around sticking our fingers up crocodile’s butts yelling “Crikey

Ironically, that would have been a butt load more entertaining than “Australia”

Why have a title based on a story’s geographical location at all?

What if we started to name all movies based only on their geographical location?

That would be a fantastic idea!

We’ll call “Die Hard” “Los Angeles” … actually that would still probably sell because you expect a movie with gun toting terrorists under the banner Los Angeles.

We could call “Gone with the Wind” “The South” instead … Mmm not quite as appealing really.

What about if we called “The Wizard of Oz” “Kansas” or even just “Oz”

And my final plea, would any self-respecting Aussie go and see a movie called “America” or “The USA” …

Seriously … what … the …???

Second; Too many Genres.

This movie seems to be the product of a man who can’t make a single decision, so he tries to mash it all together and then he has far too many “Yes” men around him to know any better.

Really didn’t they do any screen tests on audiences before releasing this movie???

Part of this mish-mash is the genre of the film. It seems to be part historical fiction, part romantic epic, part action, part comedy.

For god’s sake Baz pick a bloody genre and stick to it!!!

Third; The Acting.

Nicole Kidman. She isn’t one of my favourite actresses but her acting in this is appalling!

Which idiot told her that if she speaks with a breathy voice that will turn her Aussie accent into a British one “Hey Presto!”???

Hugh Jackman, who I normally love, seemed to over-act through the entire movie. Of course he was acting next to Nicole the whole time and since she can’t seem to act her way out of a paper-bag he probably looked worse next to her.

Fourth; The Dialogue.

Baz’s scriptwriting was atrocious! The characters continually sprouted the same inane, obvious dialogue that made myself and others in the audience groan out loud.

Everytime he seemed stuck for dialogue he’d make Hugh Jackman’s character yell “Crikey” and oh my god how I absolutely HATE that phrase after this movie.

Fifth; Zero Character Development.

He had so much going on in this movie, so many plot points and such a mish-mash of ideas that there was no time for character development at any stage throughout the film.

Nicole Kidman’s husband dies in the movie and she simply shrugs her shoulders and moves on with life and can’t wait to get snogging Hugh’s character … what the???

Baz makes pains to let us know that it was all a hard time back in the 1940’s and people died all the time. So many characters die all the time and continually the rest of the cast just shrug their shoulders and move on … yeah fantastic story writing there, so much for suspension of disbelief!

Sixth; Doesn’t follow the “Three-act structure”

While I’m all for throwing out the typical tried and true Hollywood method of writing a screen-play, in this instance it makes the movie hard to follow.

There is a big climax far too early in the movie and when you think it should be all over, the movie continues for another hour.

Not only that, it feels that Baz ignored all the usual rules of good story-telling, like using conflict to create a good story.

In “Australia” every time the characters were given any kind of challenge, it was solved in a matter of minutes creating quite a few anti-climaxes throughout the film.

Seventh; A poor attempt to tie in Race Relations into the script

I think that in this movie the whole race relations thing is only shallowly portrayed and probably did more harm than good in trying to heal old wounds.

Ironically, a friend of mine was horrified to see that Baz had portrayed us as being so terrible to the Aboriginal people when I thought it made everything seem like a virtual “cake-walk” instead of what actually occurred in the way we treated them.

Hell we did go and kill every Aboriginal living on Tasmania when we came here!

I’m not here to get political, so I’ll move on swiftly and hopefully keep myself out of trouble.

On the plus side:

I’m secretly amused at all the people (mostly chicks) who will hear Baz Luhrmann, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and think kind thoughts of romance and love …

Only to be hit over the head with this piece of crap!

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