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AICN Downunder: Latauro Vs. Baz Luhrmann's AUSTRALIA!

Greetings. I thought I'd take a break from my temporary AICN sabbatical ("Who are you supposed to be?" asks most of the readership) to drop in a review. I've been sitting on a half-finished FROST/NIXON review for about a month -- for reasons I'll go into when I finally submit my review -- but as AICN's Australian correspondent, it's fitting that I should return to review the largeness that is... AUSTRALIA.

Opinion calibration time: I like Baz Luhrmann, but don't love him. I like STRICTLY BALLROOM, ROMEO + JULIET and MOULIN ROUGE!, but I've never once connected to his work or felt compelled to revisit it. His style is too obviously on display; the bangs and the whiz-pow is put there on the screen, and manages to obfuscate any genuine emotion that may come through. At most, I've enjoyed his films whilst feeling completely disconnected from them.

There is a very skeptical sense about this film permeating the country. Just how Australian can a US$100+million film funded by 20th Century Fox and starring two Hollywood-acceptable matinee idols be? Depends; how African can a song by Toto be? Despite this, and despite my feelings about Baz's film, and despite what is frequently referred to as Australia's tall poppy syndrome, I still had hopes for this film. It felt as if Baz might actually tone down the elements that have bothered me about his earlier work, and go somewhere new as a filmmaker. It felt like AUSTRALIA might just be a truly great, truly epic film that they were pitching it as.

It's not.

It's a complete and utter mess.

Baz Luhrmann has not toned down his in-your-face excessiveness. Somehow, even in the middle of the Northern Territory, he's ramped them up. The majority of this film is played like a pantomime, with actors clearly directed to give the most outlandish performances possible. And none of them work.

Actually, I'll make an exception: Brandon Walters, the kid who plays Nullah in the film, or the "half-caste". I have no desire to be politically correct, or magnanimous towards an unknown child actor, so I'll be completely frank: Walters is the best thing about the film. The kid was discovered for this part, and gives easily the best performance in the entire thing. He's pretty much the only actor that comes out of this thing with any dignity intact, which is no mean feat given (a) how good many of the actors are, and (b) how badly they seem to have been directed.

Yes, this film is a who's who of Australian actors. Not only is every speaking part given to a notable local actor, but when somebody on the production clearly realised that Bill Hunter wasn't in it, they gave him a part that lasts for a total of one shot. Yes, the excessiveness seeps into every pore, here.

The film simply doesn't work. It's too eagre to be EPIC and LEGENDARY, and because of this careful parsing of a story that -- despite what we've been told about how groundbreaking it is -- feels completely and utterly familiar, there is absolutely nothing new or surprising or interesting throughout.

Yes, this is a very Hollywood production, no matter what the credits list reads. It feels like the homogenised version of Australia, where a romantic, adventurous feeling has been grafted onto whatever they found in the outback. And if you don't believe me, take a look at the opening credits crawl. "...a land of adventure and romance..." or something like that. They go right out there and say it, as if you couldn't figure it out yourself.

I'll say this for it: it's a perfect film to see if you want to feel great about being white. The script seems very focused on alleviating colonial guilt; Hugh Jackman's Drover -- no, he never gets a real name... how epic is that? -- is an outcast in Darwin because he associates with Aboriginals. This, in itself, isn't unbelievable, even for the 1940s, but what could have been an interesting character trait is presented in a far-too-glossy manner. Jackman beats up people who talk ill about his friends, and not once do you see an Aboriginal character stand up for themselves. They're not unrepresented, either. But every fight on behalf of Being Treated Equally is fought by Jackman as the Aboriginals stand passively to the side, waiting for permission from Jackman to react. Likewise, Jackman's character was once married to an Aboriginal girl, but that was in past -- within the film's narrative, he falls for a character so white, they actually had to fly her in from England. It's very self-congratulatory stuff, and should help the white middle class feel better about itself when it exits the cinema. (And if you think I'm being unfair about it, watch how the film turns Aboriginal culture into supernatural magic. The condescension in this film is unavoidable.)

This is Baz Luhrmann's worst film, and should play very well internationally. Some posit that Australian films so often fail because of the government funding mandate that says they should focus on some aspect of Australian culture. AUSTRALIA sands down Australian culture to something that closely resembles the Hollywood epics that we're already familiar with. But hey, if it's a fantasy adventure you're after, then I'll review it from that perspective as well: it still sucks.

The film is over two and a half hours long, and boy do you feel it. It's not just that it's poorly paced, you could take ninety minutes out of it and not miss anything. And not ninety minutes of scenes throughout the film, I mean the last ninety minutes. There is a definite end point that occurs in the dead centre of the film, and for the next forty-five minutes you're left wondering why it's still going.

This is a comically terrible movie that can only be redeemed by one thing: if it causes Brandon Walters to go off and get an acting career, then this disaster may almost have been worth it.

Peace out,


Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST

    don't sugar coat it, latauro

    by welbrick

    what'd you really think?

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by Lashlarue

    And Baz is such a great talent. Romeo and Juliet. Moulin Rouge. He's like Hitchcock or Lean minus the intelligence and ability.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:08 a.m. CST

    didnt want to see it anyway

    by Westonian


  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:12 a.m. CST

    I'm still watching it.....

    by TheWaqman

    the cinematography looks great. But I'm guessing I'll find the movie merely decent. Lawrence of Arabia come out on BluRay already!!!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:22 a.m. CST


    by Speed Fricassee

    Fuck Baz. Baz b overrated an' all dat. I'd rather see his budget go to charity.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Doesn't suprise me.

    by Spacker Dave

    I thought this might suck. I just can't stand to see anymore Australian films that perpetuate the stereotype that we all live in the outback. Most of our cities are coastal.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:29 a.m. CST

    M-O-O-N. That spells "Pearl Harbor: Australian Style"

    by Tom Cullen

    I was dragged to this, and though it has rarely happened before, I must agree with Latauro, this film is an utter mess. Bloated, Overdrawn, over-acted, and so massively cliche ridden that mere words can't do justice to just how bad it is. This is very similar to Bay's Pearl Harbor, lavish, but hollow, ernest, but rediculous, epic in scale, but not in impact. Visual flair does not replace emotional resonance, and this has too much of the former at expense of the latter. Oh, and Kidman is just awful, floating about as f she's finally swallowed one bite too much of her own press. I thought Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet were unexpectedly great, Australia on the flip side is unexpectedly awful. As such I'm sure it'll make a lot of money, and be hailed as a hit no matter what...

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:36 a.m. CST

    How epic is that?

    by Shan

    Well, Fight Club's lead character didn't have a name and that was a fairly epic (and cheaper) film. OK, you could argue the Narrator's real name was Tyler Durden but then, was Tyler Durden's real name Tyler Durden anyway? <p> OK then, how about Blindness and Versus then? No-one in those films even had names at all! Or if they did, they weren't sharing ..

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST


    by red_weed

    ... just.... uhhhhhh.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST

    CRIKEY!!! Fair good stuff?

    by deanbarry

    Stone the crows, I know Baz can get a bit "in your bloody face" with his sterotypical representation of us Aussies, but good in this being piece of cinema? At all? has WOLVERINE! The sexiest man alive (people magazine said so). Awww, i know i will prob see it, just to be patriotic. BY CRIKEY!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Didn't Nicole Kidman retire?

    by Ribbons

    Or did I just dream that up?

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Spacker Dave

    by deanbarry

    I live in Cronulla man. Wonder when a flick on those damned riots will be made? I hope it's like The Warriors. :)

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Luhrman is Michael Bay with better tasdte inmaterial.

    by MaxTheSilent

    Everything he has ever made is as empty,over-directed and useless and anything Bay has ever directed. I don't care how much Oprah floods her control-tops over it.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST

    standing ovation for Latauro

    by X.Cel

    Well done you fucking muppet, lets just bag the shit out of something before it's even released. You know this review is filled with so much resent and unlike for Baz Lurhmann that surprise surprise you hated it. I often wonder when a review comes out, who is this guy to be qualified to write something like this? What have you achieved that makes you such an authority on films? and considering that you have been taking months on one review of Frost/Nixon i think your credentials speak for themselves. So here it is AICN downunder's correspondant who hates the one man who did the impossible and made a Hollywood film in Australia, and before we even have a chance to make our own opinion about it, you tell us what a steaming pile of shit it is, you know if this film loses one ticket sale because of you, then well done. I mean yeah "Fuck Baz Luhrmann!" how dare he make an epic film in Australia? You know what? we should stick to "b" grade movies about drug dealers and crime bosses. and the epic Aussie struggle because that's what people wanna see. In closing you know I havent seen this film yet but even if it is shit, i as a Wannabe film maker and an australian, am very proud of what Baz has tried to achieve for the Aussie Film industry, whether he has or not.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 1:42 a.m. CST


    by macheesmo3

    Aussie jus mad , cause movie makes him feel bad about being white!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2 a.m. CST

    Hugh Jackman's Australian accent is SO phony!

    by thebearovingian

    You've seen the trailer, right? "I learned a long time ago not to fight other people's wwwaaars." Wow, that's bad. Seriously, guys. Seriously.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    "lets just bag the shit out of something before it's even released"<p>hold up...are you upset because Latauro, who is a movie reviewer, reviewed a movie before it was released?<p>because that's, you know, what movie reviewers do. they REVIEW MOVIES.<p>and they often catch flack from people that tell them they're giving too much love for a movie. but when they hate a movie and say so, there's always at least one misguided simpleton who is somehow upset about that. would you prefer he lied and pretended he liked it? or would you prefer he doesn't do his job, and doesn't review it at all?<p>Latauro didn't like it at all, he explained why, and thats his job. so unless you get paid to be a whiny bitch, perhaps you ought to go do YOUR job and calm the hell down. <p>honestly, why can't people ever stop for 2 seconds to actually think before writing misguided idiotic rants in the talkbacks?

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2:03 a.m. CST

    oh, and this line:

    by BadMrWonka

    "i as a Wannabe film maker and an australian, am very proud of what Baz has tried to achieve for the Aussie Film industry, whether he has or not."<p>that is just so stupid I wish I could send you a slap via e-mail.<p>so a filmmaker doesn't have to achieve anything to get a good review? just for TRYING and FAILING they should get universally great reviews?<p>jesus that's idiotic. I know I shouldn't get worked up about talkback trolls, but man. that's pure, unadulterated idiocy.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2:10 a.m. CST

    I smell Oscars

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a Mexican being mad about TacoBell

    by George Newman

    hehehe, tasteless. . . <p> But seriously, this sounds unfortunate. The previews suggest a huge stylistic change for Lurhmann but if what Lat says about the film is true, then this could be very epically uneven. <p> I love Moulin Rouge and like Romeo and Juliet but AUSTRALIA better not have any fast-forward zaniness or display any hyper-activity

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:01 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka... as an aussie, thanks for that.

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    You summed up my exact thoughts on that prick X.Cel.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay


    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:08 a.m. CST

    I too was keen to see this, yet I feared this would happen

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    I have enjoyed his others films and felt patriotic pride in his obvious talent, however this time I felt he may have bitten off more than he could chew.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Just to chime in on X.Cel

    by raw_bean

    BadMrWonka already said ti so well regarding most of his post, but as for the aspersionsabout Lat's ability as a reviewer and what he's achieved:<p>Latauro has reviewed here for years, endlessly championing Aussie film-making - of *quality*, not just arbitrarily supporting everything an Australian does whether it's good and good for the industry or not - and giving cogent, helpful and usually spot-on reviews of all the major Hollywood films as well. Personally I'd say he's second only to Moriarty on this site for review and writing quality, and second only to Vern for humour.<p>And as for what he's achieved, though I'm ashamed to say I've never watched it he and some friends have a film news and reviews television show they make called the Bazura Project. So he's more than just a 'wanna-be' in film criticism. What have YOU achieved that we should all listen to YOUR opinion on a film you haven't seen yet?

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Damn typos.

    by raw_bean

    I blame my cold hands.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:47 a.m. CST


    by Droid

    In case you don't realise it, Hugh Jackman is actually Australian. I've seen the trailers, and while its admittedly a shock to hear him without his Hollywood "international" accent, that's how we Australians in general (especially country aussies) speak. I will see this bloated epic, because it would be un-australian not to!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:54 a.m. CST

    I had my suspicions all along

    by The Mothman

    Perhaps the only salvagable thing from X-Cel's rant is this - Luhrmann has indeed tried to reinvigorate the Aussie industry. But he's done it the wrong way. Instead of showing that a large budget movie made in Australia can be just as interesting as a large budget movie made, well, anywhere, he's written a movie called 'Australia'. He claims that he hasn't tried to make the film as something definitive, but come put Jackman and Kidman in the cast, you set it in the outback and you call it Australia...seems like it's aiming pretty close to definitive. The first Mission Impossible is set in Prague isn't it? And yet, the movie isn't intended as a travelogue. It's an action movie set that just happens to be set in Prague. Why can't a decent action movie, or drama, or friggin' ANYTHING, be set here without having the spotlight directly on the accents, or the environment. Those are things that surround a plot; they shouldn't be the plot. As a side note...Nicole Kidman seems like an incredibly nice lady, but has she ever been in anything worth seeing twice except Dead Calm? I guess Batman Forever wasn't so bad.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST

    as for "Our Nic"

    by Droid

    I can't stand her. If ever a film should have had Cate Blanchett in it, it is this one.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Further confirmation that Luhrman is pure shit

    by zapano

    None of his films portay any semblance of genuine emotion. All his films are awfully paced and contrived and conceited. The editing is dreadful and scenes are far too loud. It's like the guy didn't receive enough love or attention from his parents and doesn't have the confidence to play a film, or even a scene straight, for fear that he will lose the audience's attention, so he has to resort to all these bells and whistles. And the plot, white couple saving aboriginal kid? Treating aboriginal people as the "other". Grow up and wake up Luhrman, we're in the 21st century. Actually Luhrman is worse than Bay cause at least Bay has no pretentions to being an artist, and even if he did, he's still superior than "Baz" on that level. Tosser

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:08 a.m. CST

    The Mothman

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Yeah Dead Calm is about it. Bangkok Hilton kicks ass as well. Though I do remember enjoying To Die For, but it's been a while.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:21 a.m. CST


    by Droid

    that's why the films set in the WWII and not the 21st century. The government actually did remove aboriginal children from their families, "in their best interests". Aborigines were (and still are in some respects) seen as second class citizens. I have no issue with you're opinion of Baz's films. But he has used factual events as the basis for a plot line. Did this exact story actually happen? No. But neither did 2 guys dogfighting and shooting down the japanese over Pearl Harbour. The main problem is that Australians are way to cynical for this type of dramatization of our history. It's supposed to be a "romantic epic" not historical fact. Put a fork in me. I'm done.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Mothman & weareYanks

    by Droid

    Don't forget a little ditty called.. DAYS OF THUNDER! You know, the one where she realistically plays a 23 year old brain surgeon?<p>"Control is an illusion, you infantile egomaniac. Nobody knows what's gonna happen next: not on a freeway, not in an airplane, not inside our own bodies and certainly not on a racetrack with 40 other infantile egomaniacs."

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Ah, come on! Why is no one tearing thebearovingian...

    by irishraidersfan

    ... a new arse hole?? "Hugh Jackman's Australian accent is SO phony!" HE ACTUALLY IS FUCKING AUSTRALIAN, YOU UTTER, UTTER MORON!!! HE LIVED THERE FOR THIRTY YEARS!!!!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Mixed reviews

    by u.k. star

    I've read a few mixed reviews for this, but this is the 1st out and out dislike review. It also happens to be the 1st one by an Austrailian (which I assume this reviewer is). It may be that you'll like it more if you're not an Aussie, but it's a shame that this movie isn't looking as good as it should have been. I'm a big fan of Baz's style though, and my wife is too, so the odds are I'll be seeing this regardless. Here's hoping it's not as painfull as this review says. Especially the the condescending stuff. Not enough is said about the way Austrailia treated or rather mistreated the aboriginal people, but making up for it i the way described here seems like a poor way to get the message out..

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:11 a.m. CST

    by The Mothman

    Days of Thunder? *cough* In all honesty I haven't seen it, I don't find race driving the moxt exciting thing to watch, especially not when filtered through Tony 'we need this to look grainier' Scott's lens. Nomoredirtyjokes' mention of To Die For, (which I haven't seen, but it looked OK), got me thinking about Joaquin Phoenix and Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers). At least Aussie directors are on the up, what with that Hillcoat guy getting The Road gig. In fact, in any area of the industry, Australians have done extremely well. The problem is, if you have a story set in Australia that needs money to make it, you're not going to get it...unless it's something as easily marketable as Luhrmann's movie is. The only two types of film that get made here are overseas monsters that save some money by shooting here, and locals shot on a shoestring and seen by no-one. That's why it would be nice to have more of a local industry, you'd see more adventurous stories with reasonable financial backing. It may never happen. Oh well. At least our TV shows are getting better.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Jackman's accent

    by u.k. star

    it's strong for sure, but he is Austrailian you know?

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:32 a.m. CST


    by Monkey Butler

    Yes, the movie's full of Australians, but the reviews from the premier have all noted how Americanised the accents are. Australians really don't drawl as much as Americans think, and it sounds like Baz, in an attempt to make the new Titanic, has changed our accent to be more palatable to foreign markets.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:43 a.m. CST

    BIG FUCKING SURPRISE...and Moulin Rouge?

    by quantize

    Oh for fucks sake! Who outside of planet Oprah would give a rats arse about this patronising moronic drivel..But dude you BLOW IT (in every sense) when you say you 'liked' Moulin Rouge..that is singularly to most offensive dickheaded piece of tinsel to every shit on celluloid..and anyone who says they're cool with it is on a seriously worrying scale that makes liking that pretentious shit Dogville (yes i know thats Von Trier) seem almost rational. Australians are not like these two plastic walking cliches Kidman and Jackman, are capable of much more interesting and richer films that the shit that Murdoch propped up twat Baz pumps out. Fuck tall poppy's shit is shit and let's hope we live in a time when people can call it out, wherever it comes from and whatever countries name has to bare it.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:48 a.m. CST

    And another thing...AS AN AUSSIE

    by quantize

    please may lightning strike down the next fucking aussie twat who whines like a bitch about 'knocking' aussie movies and the great Baz like its some fucking patriotic obligation to swallow dumb shit. fuck you... and yeh we can fucking HATE our Taco bell equivalent if we want to

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST

    that mean you X.Cell

    by quantize


  • What laturo suggests is that aboriginal people are being portayed as "the other", mysterious, magical thereby rendering them less human. Thus compounding the centuries old tradition of western culture of only superficially engaging with different cultures rather than exploring cultures in a profound way. Laturo also suggests that the kid is portrayed as passive and that they are at the hands of white australians for his survival - thus in many ways suggesting that western culture knows best (a concept that has caused a lot of suffering and deaths in the real world). These are all traditions in western culture of creating distances with different cultures. Acknowledging differences is good, but lazy stereotyping is not really my cup of tea. Apologies for not maybe not conveying this in the clearest possible way but i think it's important to draw attention to this

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:22 a.m. CST

    "what Baz has tried to achieve for the Aussie Film industry"

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Blowing a 150 million dollars on intelligence insulting shit? He's attempted to make a giant pile of cliche ridden shit that simultaneously pisses on his home nation with its historical grave pissing. Baz Lurhman should forfeit his films title to John Hillcoats last film. He also brought it in with a reasonable budget.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:26 a.m. CST


    by Droid

    Fair call. Well played, sir.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:30 a.m. CST


    by Droid

    One quick question. Have you seen the film? Because if you haven't it sounds like you're upset because Baz didn't call you after you let him fuck you in the ass.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    braindead droid

    by quantize

    yes i have ..if you stop fingering yourself long enough you might dream of a world where other people are not so fucking pig ignorant as you

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST

    eloquent quantize

    by Droid

    Ok, I've stopped fingering myself and I'm ready to listen. Tell me, in a constructive manor, why the film was so awful. So far you've stated it's "patronising moronic drivel". Interestingly enough, that phrase also states your posts thus far. But I am interested in the opinion of someone who's seen it, so if you can construct a complete sentence that doesn't involve shit fuck and shit in the space of 6 words, I'd like to hear it.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 7:03 a.m. CST

    I_am_not_the_droid_you_are_looki ng_for

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Never been raped with a knife. Don't care to. I did however catch the last half of the Oprah special, and I've seen all the trailers. If you still WANT to see the movie after that for anything but goulish curiosity, you deserve to have your money taken. Unless your a retard, work in the Australian film industry, or just stepped off a space ship, there isn't much excuse for wanting to see a picture as self evidently awful as this. It doesn't matter, because Twilights second week will flatten this shit and we can go back to being a confused, guideless, hopeless film industry again, relying on perfume commercial directors and guys whose brothers have popped up on a few soap operas to be our leading cinematic lights.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 7:11 a.m. CST

    A Constructive Manner

    by quantize

    I've seen the film in various's bloated, long, silly and the performances are wooden at best. I do concur with pretty much everything Laturo says short of liking Moulin Rouge..I believe my short review of *that* absolutely required the use of shit and fuck. Mostly however my loathing of this latest work as the rest of this mans 'films' is that silly cabaret style phoniness he seems to turn everything in to. Pantomime as Laturo calls it,and yes its incredible that even in the most arid and spectacular settings he is able to engender this kind of dimwitted melodrama. Fucking shitty fucking dogshitty moronic melodrama. That bit is just for you.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST


    by Droid

    Fair enough. It was always going to be dubious if Luhrmann could make this film or not. If he could get away from the 'panto' style of previous films. What I've read has echoed your sentiments in that its long and bloated, so I'll go in expecting it. But i go into every flick these days expecting long and bloated. Look at the Pirates films as one example. But Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom are panto. They're meant to be panto. I'm not sure how you could've expected anything different.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Moulin Rouge

    by Stormshadow4life

    is one of my favorite movies ever...I'll see this movie just for the reteaming of nicole and baz

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Yes Moulin Rouge is panto...BAD panto

    by quantize

    driven by muddled cocaine fuelled insanity..but instead of that leading to genius its a completely incoherent (not to be mistaken with poetic or any other excuse) babbling, dithering mess of spectacularly ditzy 'should never be done' song pairings matched with psychotic editing. We're outside the fun, left to marvel at the set dressing. Anyhow, look if you like shit like that, then lap it up..anyone who says that's one of their favourite movies ever in my view is intellectually crippled in a way I'm not interested in challenging. You like your Gritty Kitty and who am I to argue with you while you swallow it with such a stupid look on your face?!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Wow. Well.

    by quentintarantado

    So this is the Australian Heaven's Gate? Waterworld Down Under? Speed Racer with aborigines? Could it be so bad it's actually good? Poor Baz. I wonder if his Alexander would have been great.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    It'll be interesting reading Harry & Moriarty's analysis of this

    by BDuncan

    It'll be fairly interesting reading Harry and Moriarty's separate analysis of this film, although I suspect Harry will overrate it.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST


    by X.Cel

    Ouch i got smashed and i'm not saying i didnt deserve it, but Jesus! You know if i'm being honest the truth is I wanted "Australia" to be amazing, and by the sounds of things it just isn't, so shit!!! still think latauro was a bit bias in his hatred towards Baz from the beginning but other than that i'm willing to back down and admit I was wrong. Peace out ppls sorry i was a wank.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    ouch! bet it's still pretty to look at, Lautaro

    by pipergates

    should be worth seeing even if only for the scenery and shooting, i believe lautaro went overkill this time

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST

    The Trailor sez it all: Its a Crapfest.

    by uberman

    Nothing in that trailor remotely could entice me to see this. Ugh.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    How Africa can a Song By Toto be?

    by hallmitchell

    Great line.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with Latauro

    by Lang The Cat

    First, I am not an Aussie. Never been there even. I saw the film, and totally agree even down to the young man playing the half-caste lad. I would have enjoyed the film more if this had followed the boy's story and dealt with Jackman and Kidman in the background. Instead the story wanders and bores. I remember a film with Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow called Hawaii. Boring as hell and just as patronising as Australia!

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Lookin for a thumbs up or thumbs down here!

    by ebolamonkey

    Which is it? Be honest.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 10:03 p.m. CST

    seriously, like the guy said, WHO GIVES A SHIT??

    by Maniaq

    A film by the director that brought us Moulin Rouge sucked? Gee, what a frickin SURPRISE? And he even displayed sufficiently pure unadulterated PRETENTIOUSNESS to go and call it "Australia" (btw is it just "Australia" or "Australia: the musical" ?) - whodathunkit? <p> Nicole Kidman sucked? REALLY?? Does she break out into song at any point, for no apparent reason? Is there ANYTHING that could POSSIBLY come as even MILDLY surprising about this trainwreck? <p> Maybe all it needed was a little more cowbell...

  • Nov. 22, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    No one is teasing me b/c they realise I wasn't serious.

    by thebearovingian

    Well, there were, however, THREE vibrant Aussie TBers who cannot read/detect sarcasm. You were saying?<p>I'm a frequent poster in AICN Downunder talkbacks. Latauro knows as much. I just KNEW somebody was going to post and label me a "moron" in the spirit of the holidays. That's why I love AICN and that's why I left off the original last sentence for my post: "I can do better and I'm not even Australian." Don't be pissed at me b/c the movie sucks.

  • Nov. 22, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST


    by thebearovingian

    That's not an intro to a joke, either. All remain "vibrant".

  • Nov. 22, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    "The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith" is...

    by workshed

    the only Australian film i've seen that tackles the issue brilliantly. Great book for it's source material though. Why the hell isn't it available on DVD except for shitty VHS transfers on eb*y..? It's a stone-cold classic.

  • Nov. 22, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    And all the profits should go to all those Aborigines...

    by workshed

    who had their kids force ably taken away from them. A real black mark on the history of White Australia.

  • Nov. 25, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    I want this to be good

    by Happyfat73

    ... I really do. Despite the dubiosity (?) of this film's Australian pedigree, the Australian Industry could really use a big hit. We're not just in the doldrums - we're at the bottom of the fucking ocean, encrusted with barnacles.</p> So... I really want this to be good. I'll reserve my own judgment until I see it, but it's not looking promising.</p> What Lat mentioned about this being some kind of alleviation of white guilt kind of confirms my worst fears.