Australia (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

A romantic action-adventure epic set in Australia prior to World War II that centers on an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a large ranch. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch. Together they experience four life-altering years, a love affair and the bombing of Darwin during World War II.

Specifications

Studio Foxvideo
SKU 210662860
UPC 024543563853
UPC 14 00024543563853
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 1/6/2015
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
Actors
Name Jackman,Hugh
Link Search Link
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Australia is big and bold and brash - although one wouldn't expect less from director Baz Luhrmann, whose vocabulary doesn't include words like "restrained" and "low-key." A would-be epic on a grand, David Lean-inspired scale, Australia falls far short of intentions and expectations. (One wonders whether rumored studio meddling has anything to do with this.) The problems are numerous - a meandering screenplay, a too-long running time, an uneven tone, and a lack of real emotional punch. It looks great, but the same comment can be made about Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, which shares more than a passing resemblance. Both are fictional melodramas that play out against an historical backdrop where the invented characters and circumstances are dwarfed into insignificance by the real events that establish the setting...Visual flourishes are Luhrmann's trademarks, and he has employed them in his three previous international successes: Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge. There's no arguing that Australia looks good. The Japanese attack provides a few moments of shock and awe, and there's never a time when you don't believe the world you're seeing, even if the characters are on the insubstantial side. Such a gorgeous playground deserves to be the setting for a story of greater power and emotional resonance than the one occupying it. Lurhmann has proven with Moulin Rouge that he's an unapologetic romantic who can pluck the heartstrings, but the magic doesn't translate here. The big romantic climax is so obligatory that it loses most of its effectiveness. We should want to leap to our feet and cheer at this moment. Instead, it's hard to generate enough enthusiasm to do more than shrug.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review At 155 minutes, Australia is ambitious to a fault. You can actually point to two movies jockeying for position on screen (well, one full story and the seeds of another). And while I quite liked the primary story, the third-act coda struck me as fodder for a potential sequel I wasn't prepared to sit through at the time...Luhrmann and three credited screenwriters begin Australia on Far Away Downs, a cattle ranch owned by Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) and operated, up until now, by her late husband. Ashley makes the long journey from London to shut down and sell off the property. But criminal plotting by rival cattle baron King Carney (Bryan Brown) and his chief thug, Fletcher (David Wenham), cause a change of heart. She recruits a raffish guide known only as The Drover (Hugh Jackman) for a harsh cross-country trek to deliver her cattle to the port town of Darwin so Carney can't sell his beef and purchase Ashley's land...But Luhrmann just doesn't know when enough's enough. Long after the drive has reached a satisfying conclusion, Australia continues to slog through a drawn-out rescue mission (comeuppance for a villain who's already been served), a near-death experience for Ashley, and a Japanese aerial invasion that marks Australia's entrance into World War II...Working up the energy for Baz's back-to-back adventures is exhausting, and the length of Australia takes its toll over the last 50 minutes. Apparently Luhrmann wasn't prepared to part ways with his characters once his bovine story line had subsided, so he cobbled together half-hearted assignments meant to prolong their stay. There's enough material in Australia to warrant a mini-series, which is how the feature film plays out. In one sitting, it's a tough sit.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Sean O'Connell
ReviewRating 7
Features
Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled, Dubbed
Product Attributes
Actor Jackman,Hugh
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format Blu-ray DVD
Video Format Blu-Ray
Quotes
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post A wildly ambitious, luridly indulgent spectacle of romance, action, melodrama and historic revisionism...
David Ansen, Newsweek ...Luhrmann, a true believer in movie-movie magic, stamps it all with the force of his own extravagant, generous personality.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times ...deliver[s] the classic dramatic and romantic satisfactions its ambitious advertising campaign promises.
Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter Defies all but the most cynical not to get carried away by the force of its grandiose imagery and storytelling.
Richard Schickel, Time ...handsome landscapes...epic romance...Australia delivers with real panache.

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