A Splice of Life Down Under
Review by Ross Anthony

This is a mixed bag of entertainment. Big 1940's cinema-style swells of emotion, panoramic cheeky cattle stampedes, and awesome WWII air raids fill the screen. But the meandering scenes in between have been cut out at the seams so often, you'll be wandering what it all means.

The most notable feature of this feature, is that it doesn't feel like a feature at all. Perhaps it's a mini-series that's been cut down from eight hours to three. The first hour or so is less cut and works like a feature, but after what should have been the climax passes, editors take to the film like a machete-wielding Aussie to the bush. Big screen moments are spliced together, subtle moments that give meaning to the drama are spliced out. It's comical. Australia becomes the energizer bunny (or should I say roo), never seeming to stop, with one would-be-climax after the other.

Hugh and Nicole are both fine actors, but their chemistry ... not so sizzling. Their brief love scene fits into the tapestry like a romance cover slapped on "The Lion King." More of an adventure Disney film than a love story, the initial quirky tone hops off into the outback only to be replaced by a full hour or two of muddled or simply confused direction. This might also be the consequence of such aggressive scene cutting.

Still, there are a few powerful moments that moved me emotionally, and I could sense the potentially potent novel lurking somewhere down under this two and 3/4 hour reel of splices.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

  • Australia. Copyright © 2008.
  • Starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Screenplay by Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie, Produced by Baz Luhrmann, G. Mac Brown, Catherine Knapman at 20th Century Fox.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 27-Nov-2008 11:49:53 PST