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Code 46 (2003)
I really like it (but...)
Pre-rambling, let me just that that I loved this film and it will probably be in my top 5 for the year (along with Fahrenheit, Eternal Sunshine, perhaps Control Room).
A few things did annoy me though.
Firstly, it should have been 30 or 45 minutes longer, but it actually felt like it was too long for the current script. There were too many awkward moments, both in terms of dialogue and editing. The majority of the ideas were fantastic, but a few scenes and characters needed more exploration. I know that the movie was essentially set over 2 or 3 days, but it still felt like everyone was in too much of a rush. It's not that the movie was confusing, just that too many events were left to the viewer to explain (or excuse). This is all just a roundabout way of saying that the script needed to be fleshed out some more.
And, while it was nice to see a few British film & television actors grab cameo roles (ie Benedict Wong from State of Play, Dirty Pretty Things; Nina Sosanya from Teachers [!]), it also woke me up to the fact that it was only a film in a way that seeing for instance Tim Robbins had not. It was weird, and I can't exactly explain it, but seeing them was simultaneously cool (hey good for them) and disappointing (you mean this isn't real?) at the same time. (And don't get my started on Benedict's accent...). Obviously, for people who aren't overly familiar with British TV this is all a moot point but it still freaked me out enough to mention it.
Anyway, nearly everything about the movie is great. The music, cinematography, directing, acting (overall), etc.. are all fantastic, and the movie has as much style as Solaris (moreso the remake) or Blade Runner. They even manage to make Coldplay sound non-cheesy towards the end of the film. It just needed a bit more substance.
Good Guys Bad Guys (1997)
I love(d) this show so much and find it really sad that it only ran for such a short period. Everything about the show was just... cool... but without feeling forced. (i.e., not a Charlie's Angels "cool").
One of the only good Australian TV shows, ever.
Just really bad
I only heard about Baise Moi because some Australian bureaucrats got together and decided to ban it. Another movie they banned recently, Ken Park, turned out to be pretty good - it was as if Ron Jeremy and David Fincher had collaborated on American Beauty 2. On the one hand I was mystified as to why they would ban it, but on the other hand I was glad they did because otherwise I probably would never have heard of it.
This film, however, is just terrible. Everything about it is just.. cheap? From the script to the music to the lighting to the 'acting', essentially every element of the movie was just really tacky. I wish they hadn't banned it, if only because left out of the media spotlight this movie would have just flushed away and I wouldn't have wasted 70 minutes seeing what all the fuss was about.
Doesn't even deserve 3/10, let alone it's current rating of 5.2.
Fresh Air (1999)
One of the few Australian movies I would recommend
Just caught this on TV, wasn't sure if it would be any good but for some reason Nadine Garner caught my attention so I sat through the rest of the film. Turned out to be very good, aside from the shaky ending, but that may just be because I missed some vital piece of information from the start of the film that would have made it all fit together better.
Anyway, Australian films have a tendency to be pretty horrible, so this was a very welcome surprise.
Ken Park (2002)
The Australian government had this film banned. So, that obviously meant that this obscure film that I had never heard of was worth seeing. Thanks to them and the acclaim of Australian film critics (notably Margaret Pomeranz), I - and I assume many others - sought out this film so we could watch it for ourselves.
Whilst the film is certainly not perfect, and is in many ways superficial in it's treatment of the numerous relationships presented (at 90min, they could have easily added another half hour to expand on these), I am glad that films like this exist, if only because they offer an escape from the increasingly similar plots and content of the majority of modern cinema.
King Lear (1971)
Peter Brook's film is a very bleak and barbaric interpretation of King Lear. He does a great job directing and whilst some of his experimentation doesn't pay off (such as very strange zooming with Kent at the beginning), when it does pay off it is fantastic (such as Lear's monologues)
The Last Cigarette (1999)
This extraordinary documentary combines scenes that are hilarious, shocking, erotic (!) and morbid to create what is overall a very disturbing portrayal of the tobacco industry over the last century. Even though it's only 80 minutes long, some of the scenes are so horrific (such as testing nicotine on baby mice) that they seem to go on for an eternity , which may explain some of the "it's too long!" complaints.
I am vaguely appalled that this movie has such a low IMDB score. I have resolved that it is either down to the movie being targeted at the wrong market (who, after seeing it, quickly logged on to IMDB to whinge about how it wasn't the romantic comedy they paid for), or that too many so called "intellectuals" from the likes of MIT, etc decided they would pan the film simply because they are pricks with nothing better to do.
Either way, this is a vastly underrated film and I am glad I made the effort to see it.
Welcher & Welcher (2003)
Manages to be both fantastic and horrible
The quality of this show seems to go up and down like a yoyo but when it's up it's REALLY up. Someone really should have edited out all the lame jokes before filming began. Hopefully the quality will become more consistent over time, assuming ABC don't cancel it first.
Grass Roots (2000)
Really innovative (esp. with the already mentioned simultaneous plots) and genuinely funny series without any of the bloody canned laughter that is so prevalent in American comedies. Successful enough for us to get a second season on ABC soon, thank god.