Thursday, January 29, 2009

Australia - yuck!

As strange as it may sound coming from me, 'Australia' is a must see - for all the wrong reasons. I caught myself gloating while I watched it, as I couldn't help but think I'm going to rip a three-digit number of new assholes in it. It's literally a masterpiece as I don't think anyone can make a movie this bad accidentally - no, it takes skill, experience and probably a good measure of strong will not to allow anything good to slip in.

The credit for this abomination goes to Baz Luhrmann, the Master of the Kitsch himself, the second most overrated director (Terence Malick being the first), who is also responsible for crimes against humanity such as the neon-ridden insult to Shakespeare 'Romeo + Juliet' and the unbearable 'Moulin Rouge'. This movie should be preserved for the generations to come and shown in cinema schools as the perfect example of celluloid abuse and a showcase of what must not be done under any circumstances. No, really... this is downright the worst movie of the last decade and it deserves a place on a pedestal of fossilized dung in the darkest corners of the Hall of Fame's toilet, and it almost made me feel like apologizing to the makers of all the movies I reviewed before.

Trying to describe what's wrong with it is a painful experience. It's a huge mess of panoramic aerial shots (which explains somewhat its outrageous budget), bad CG special effects, static fugly matte painted sets that rightfully belong in the 50s, all intermixed with the corniest dialog one can imagine, and with thrown in for local color kangaroos, boomerangs, crocodiles and whatnot, sometimes interrupted by Hugh Jackman's hairy chest. The all too evident usage of blue screen doesn't help either - what's so hard about setting your lighting right? This whole pretentious drivel is syruped up with huge enough to cause diabetes measure of the cheesy 'Somewhere over the rainbow', cheesy violins, cheesy voiceover and recurring cheesy close-ups of a half-native kid, most often uttering heartbreakingly 'I sing you to me'. Add to that Nicole Kidman's permafrost face, so expressionless that she must be either overdosing on Botox or suffering from severe brain damage, several shots of native people doing no one knows what, and no, don't edit it (Baz Luhrmann obviously didn't either), just drop it on the floor, pick random scraps of film and glue them together. If it comes under two and a half hours, add more scraps, because if it's not long enough and feeling even longer, your delusion of grandeur may suffer. 

Watch it, by all means... It's a once in a lifetime achievement and in the case some miracle happens and the Hollywood executives start see him as the fraud he is, it will definitely be Luhrmann's last before he gets his tar and feather treat - so don't miss your chance.
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  1. Before calling particular films "crimes against humanity" and talking about Shakespeare as if he were your friend I guess you should learn a few things about how he staged plays 400 years ago. Learn a bit about his methods. Learn a bit about Elizabethan theater.

    In other words: Do your homework.

  2. Thank you, dear Anonymous, for your futile attempt to shine the light of wisdom over the ignorami... However, I'm not quite sure what is your point, but that's OK, as obviously neither are you. Did I hint I'm friends with Shakespeare or imply I'm an expert on Elizabethan theatre? I don't think so. I'm merely mentioning Luhrmann's work before 'Australia' (which happens to be the main subject here) and expressing my dislike for it. And you can safely assume I'm not an expert in musicals either, and I definitely can't sing, but I still hate 'Moulin Rouge'. Please, please, let me be entitled to my opinion?

    The methods used four centuries ago are completely irrelevant to 'Australia' (as opposed to the methods used only sixty years ago), but even if we were discussing 'Romeo + Juliet', using contemporary costumes was not enough to consider it Elizabethan - not with using lavish MTV-style sets and actresses.

    As to the 'crimes against humanity' - as obviously Mr. Luhrmann hasn't killed anyone with his movies (yet!) and probably never will, chances are I've been using what's been known in some circles for ages as 'figure of speech'. I'll let you figure out which one by yourself (do your homework).

    In other words: If you want a discussion, get some sense of humour, drop that condescending tone of yours, and bring arguments instead.