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
Rating Rating
Keywords
Action
Australia
Romance
Theatrical Release
World War II
Editors Note
Note MOULIN ROUGE's Baz Luhrman and Nicole Kidman reteam for this epic that pays homage to their homeland. In AUSTRALIA, Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) is a prim and proper Englishwoman who journeys to Australia in the years before World War II reached the country's shores. She is determined to have her estranged husband sell his cattle ranch to a monopoly-craving businessman named King Carney (Bryan Brown), but when she arrives, Lord Ashley is dead, and her plan to sell the ranch changes when she sees an employee named Fletcher (David Wenham) cheating her husband's business and mistreating a young boy named Nullah (Brandon Walters) because he is of mixed race. Urged on by both pride and a sense of justice, Lady Ashley wants to drive her herd of cattle to Darwin so she can sell them to the troops, but she'll require the help of an independent cowboy (fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman) to get them there. ^AUSTRALIA changes genres almost as much as Kidman's character changes from fantastic costume to fantastic costume (courtesy of Luhrman's wife and collaborator, Catherine Martin). The film begins as a fish-out-of-water comedy, then changes into a Western, then morphs into a romance, and it finishes as a World War II drama. But in this genre-bending epic, there's something for everyone, especially for fans of Jackman. The actor has rarely looked better, and there's plenty of opportunity for him to show that he can be an action star as well as a romantic lead in the mold of the Golden Age stars. The film itself harks back to classic Hollywood, at times resembling essentials such as GONE WITH THE WIND and THE AFRICAN QUEEN. And fans of THE WIZARD OF OZ will enjoy seeing how the beloved film works its way into AUSTRALIA's plot and score.
Reviews
Los Angeles Times "AUSTRALIA is a postmodern blockbuster filtered through the very particular sensibility of Luhrmann....Luhrmann brings an unapologetically over-the-top and operatic aesthetic to the table." 11/26/2008
New York Times "[T]his creation story about modern Australia is a testament to movie love at its most devout, cinematic spectacle at its most extreme..." 11/26/2008
Chicago Sun-Times "[W]hat a gorgeous film, what strong performances, what exhilarating images and -- yes, what sweeping romantic melodrama. The kind of movie that is a movie, with all that word promises and implies." 12/05/2008
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]hings slow down...allowing Luhrmann to show off his talent for stunning visuals, to flex new action muscles with a thrilling cattle stampede, and to set in motion the beguiling AFRICAN QUEEN-inspired romance..." 02/01/2009
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Kidman's] finest moments are a reminder that no major actress has done more consistent work in the past decade." 02/01/2009
Hollywood Reporter "The most expensive Australian film ever made is rousing and passionate....Kidman gives one of her most engaging performances..." 11/20/2008
Directors
Baz Luhrmann
Actors
Nicole Kidman
Hugh Jackman
Cast & Crew
Nicole Kidman - Star
Brandon Walters - Star
Hugh Jackman - Star
Bryan Brown - Star
Jack Thompson - Star
David Wenham - Star
Catherine Martin - Costume Designer
Mandy Walker - Director of Photography
Dody Dorn - Editor
Anton Monsted - Executive Music Supervisor
Michael McCusker - Editor
Catherine Martin - Co-Producer
G. Mac Brown - Producer
Catherine Martin - Production Designer
Baz Luhrmann - Producer
Baz Luhrmann - Story
Stuart Beattie - Screenwriter
Baz Luhrmann - Screenwriter
Catherine Knapman - Producer
Baz Luhrmann - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2008
Catalog ID 2256385
UPC 00024543563853
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 165 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
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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