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taipan-1

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15 reviews in total 
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Complex and complicated, 8 November 2006
4/10

A complex film about follows the lives of people in a small village in northern England just after the First World War. The main character, a young boy afflicted with epilepsy, has to cope with a father gassed in the war and a mother keen to protect him from too much reality. His hero is an educated single man in the town, played by Liam Nesson, whose claim to fame is a vast collection of books. The boy forms a friendship with a slightly-older teenager girl called Win but the entire movie revolves around his discovery that the Neeson character is carrying on an affair with a married woman in the village. What plot there is very hard to follow and the abrupt end of the movie suggests the director had no real idea of how to resolve the relationship between the boy and the girl while resolving the relationship of the Neeson character and his lover, played by Natasha Richardson, in a way that assumes the mores of the late 20th century applied in England in the 1920s.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Engrossing sequel, 2 November 2003

The engrossing sequel to Bird of Prey sees bank clerk Henry Jay running for his life as the villains from the first series close in on him. The twists and turns in the plot are a tribute to the writers and the last five minutes of the final episode are as gripping a piece of television as you will see. And the final exchange of dialogue between Henry(Richard Griffiths) and his wife Anne(Carole Nimmons)is the final twist in the story. Enjoy.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
As bad as it comes, 23 July 2003

Arguably the worst series ever made for Australian TV. Supposedly set on a tropical island most of it was filmed in Melbourne in winter, if you look closely you can see the actor's breath in several takes and no-one ever goes swimming! A total ratings bomb with characters being written out of the series at the average rate of two an episode towards its end.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Gets better every series, 29 May 2003

With the third series now complete one can only congratulate Geoff Atherden for some truly outstanding scripts. Great plotting and some excellent characters, including the addition of Mary Coustas as local newspaper editor Ava Strick, really made the third series sing. And Jody Dry, as the new Biddy Marchant, was very good following in the big footsteps of Sophie Heathcote. The final episode tied together many threads, Col and Karin getting together, Biddy becoming mayor and Greg getting sacked, but it also opened several new threads for what will almost certainly be a fourth series with, I suspect, Col running for State Parliament and Biddy trying to run the council, have a baby and save her marriage. Can't wait!

Kin (2000)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Preposterous rubbish, 24 March 2003

My suspicion is that this was an undergraduate film script project to write a fairy tale. But even fairy tales need some basis in fact. The lead, Anna, played by Australian actor Miranda Otto, appears to be a longtime local game warden who, incredibly, is unable to speak the language of the area's tribe and ignores basic survival steps ie. you never walk away from a broken-down vehicle in the desert. Her brother, the local priest, is a cardboard cutout racist and disappears from the movie altogether in the last 20 minutes. The plot holes are extraordinary. How Anna suddenly discoveres a cache of poached ivory in her friend's house is simply never explained, the same goes for the significance of the ceremony in the closing minutes of the film when the local tribe pour sand over her and just why an African-American lawyer is living in a small village in Namibia is utterly ignored, apart from a one scene while suggests he is looking for minerals. And the ignorance of the black/white divide in southern Africa makes the entire effort laughable.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Castaway silliness, 24 January 2003

Shot on location in Queensland, this is as implausible a piece of film making as you are likely to see anywhere. Jack Thompson is at his oafish best and Ms Welch still looks pretty good, considering she was in her late 40s when this was shot. The storyline is non-existent and poor Nicholas Hammond looks embarrassed throughout the movie.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Pathetically bad soap, 13 January 2003

An awful soap set on Australia's Gold Coast, featuring scantily dressed men and women, expensive boats and wafer-thin storylines. Like most Australian soaps it featured silly villains, vacuous vamps, treacherous businessmen and even a lesbian businesswoman. It quickly sank without trace after a couple of seasons.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Confronting racism, 13 January 2003

Based on the novel by Hesba Brinsmead, this was the first Australian TV series to address racism in any meaningful way. Ryhll Merewether, played by Jeannie Drynan, finds herself dumped on a northern NSW banana plantation after her father dies. She hates it and and hates the people, including a half-caste labourer (Harold Hopkins)who wants to go to university and his crippled old Melanesian grandfather, on the plantation even more.

Her journey of discovery, including her realisation only after the death of the old man, that he was her grandfather and she is the sister of the plantation labourer, was handled remarkably well for a time when Australia was still pursuing a white-only immigration program and discrimination against black Australians was endemic.

Jeannie Drynan's best line in the series "Now I know what it's like to be coloured and it doesn't feel any different" was a big step for Australian TV and signalled a move away from comfortable drama in prime time.

2 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Sad and embarrassingly disappointing, 12 January 2003

Embarassingly bad retelling of the Janine Shepherd story. Any connection with the travails Janine went through to learn to fly, marry and ultimately have three children is notional. The depictions of the some of the characters eg. Noel and Virginia, are so wide of the mark in respect of the real people involved as to be obscene.

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Black as black can be, 12 January 2003

Michael Caton and Daniel Wyllie as the two corrupt cops Red and Lou are a complete joy. They see their role not so much as policemen but as crime managers, making sure they get their cut, keeping crime away from most of their fellow citizens and finding ways to keep their boss Pud (Roy Billing) constantly off balance.


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