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post #1 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=134838&d=1235676356
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

94






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 165 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Music by: David Hirschfelder
Written by: Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood, Richard Flanagan
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 3, 2009







"A film of epic proportions"



Film Synopsis:

Set in Australia on the brink of World War II, Lady Sarah Ashley, an English Aristocrat (Kidman), travels to the faraway continent where she has inherited a cattle ranch, owned by her late husband. When Australian cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn local known as The Drover (Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country’s most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor. When tragedy strikes and Lady Sarah becomes unofficial guardian to a “half-caste” boy, the unlikely couple must come to terms with a prejudiced society, dishonorable business associates and the impending arrival of the Japanese.




My Take:

There is no mistaking this film’s epic aspirations. To a large degree it succeeds in feeling like an epic with its majestic visuals, beautifully composed music, and carefully drawn (and long) story. I respect Baz Luhrmann as a director and loved what he did with Moulin Rouge which is one of my favorite films. He has a penchant for heart felt filmmaking that truly seems to portray his dedication and connection to his work. I enjoyed this film’s beautiful cinematography, illustrious music, and ostentatious storytelling. The script didn’t build in much development/connection to the main characters and the premise had a formulaic feel that covered way too much familiar territory. I can live with that if the onscreen chemistry between the principles works. I think for me that is where things came up a bit short. Jackman and Kidman gave excellent performances separately but when together they lacked authenticity as a couple. David Wenham is much better in secondary roles in my opinion. His portrayal of the villainous Neil Fletcher just felt disingenuous and hollow. I would like to have seen Bryan Brown in that role because I think he would have given the character better depth. Young Brandon Walter as Nullah gave a charismatic and touching performance that contributed greatly to my of this movie. There is much to like about Australia though. It has an adventurous spirit that makes you root for the good guys even though you know that all will probably work out in the end. What would an epic be without romance? Lastly, it interweaves the treatment experienced by the indigenous people and mixed race children of Australia into the story in such a way that it never feels didactic. I liked Australia and although it may not attain the totality of its epic scope it succeeds in telling its story in Grandiose style which in my opinion makes it worthwhile.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 94



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Australia comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.

This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and vista views of the Australian landscapes offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which slightly overdrives whites while adding punch to colors and dynamic quality to sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent depth of field and noticeable gradational highlights. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. The video has a filmic and grainy texture that rarely calls attention to itself during scenes with plenty of light. In dark scenes it occasionally took on more prominence but wasn’t what I would describe as obtrusive. I also noticed in several instances that resolution dropped off slightly. From what I could tell that was innate to the photography and appeared to be related to the integration of CGI and green screen backgrounds.

The DTS-HD multi-channel surround mix is equally impressive and is of reference quality. This soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialogue and soft music to thunderous, dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. Dialogue rendering is sublime. Detail is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Dynamics are demonstrative as the aggressive nature and strength of stampeding herds, exploding shells and clapping thunder pulsate with superior authority and powerful deep bass transients. The lavish music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and sounds wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving. From the gentle sounds of falling rain or blowing wind to the familiar snarl of a flock of single engine Japanese WWII airplanes swirling overhead, sounds were seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. This is an impressive audio/video presentation that took this home theater experience to a higher level.

** CIH users should note that the subtitles appear in the picture area.**



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) 2 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Australia: The people, the history, the location - 7 minute documentary

  • (HD) Behind the scenes: 9 featurettes

    1. Photography
    2. Production design
    3. Costume design
    4. Locations
    5. Cinematography
    6. Sound
    7. Editing
    8. Music
    9. Visual effects

  • (HD) Theatrical trailers - A, B, C

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer: Slumdog millionaire




Final Thoughts:

Australia is an epic style film that strives for greatness and comes in a bit below the mark. Regardless, it has plenty to offer with its beautiful cinematography, wonderfully crafted music and adventurous story. Its Blu-ray presentation from Fox only serves to make it more enticing as it looks and sounds magnificent. The bonus features are middle of the road but do offer some interesting tidbits on the production and shooting locations used in the film. This is certainly worth the cost of a rental and is a must have for fans.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 11:19 AM
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Ralph,

Thanks for doing these reviews - am always looking forward to your critiques.

Watched this last night (on your old Sammy 1400); I couldn't agree more with your opinion.

Looking to buy this one as a keeper. The scenery alone is with the price of admission!

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post #3 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Ralph,

Thanks for doing these reviews - am always looking forward to your critiques.

Watched this last night (on your old Sammy 1400); I couldn't agree more with your opinion.

Looking to buy this one as a keeper. The scenery alone is with the price of admission!

I agree, I loved this movie in the theater. [IMG]http://z09a0222gshv273.imageshacknow.info/img/3044************************[/IMG]
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post #4 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 11:59 AM
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me and my wife loved this movie, we didn't think it was an epic winner of all times but it was still a great movie in our opinion
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post #5 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Ralph,

Thanks for doing these reviews - am always looking forward to your critiques.

Watched this last night (on your old Sammy 1400); I couldn't agree more with your opinion.

Looking to buy this one as a keeper. The scenery alone is with the price of admission!

Boy do I agree with this!!!

"Australia" is a real treat for old-fashioned moviegoers who like old-fashioned films!!
Thought no one liked it (even though there were a substantial number of explosions in the last reel). There must be a few of us at least. "Australia," considered a "bomb" by US-"E"-pseudo-journalists, happens to be (as of March 9th) the Number Three best-selling Blu-Ray disc on US Amazon. And it certainly pulled in larger audiences internationally than in the US.

Excellent review as usual, Ralph. However, I found the chemistry between Kidman and Jackman most workable.

Great Blu-Ray release for a truly teriffic (if imperfect) epic motion picture-- the kind we see too seldom today!
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post #6 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 03:59 PM
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Ralph, your take on this film pretty much nailed how I felt about this film when I saw it on its opening weekend. It seemed to be trying too hard to achieve epic film status and the lack of chemistry between the stars was an obstacle the film couldn't overcome. When you are trying to film the Australian equivalent of Gone With the Wind your Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara have got to make you believe their feelings are genuine. So although I could put off seeing this film for another year or two I know my wife will want to watch it again ASAP. It's not a bad movie - just not a great one.

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post #7 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 04:12 PM
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Nice review Ralph. The rental store was dry on it's "entire" stock of two Blu-rays of Australia so we settled for the SD version and let the Panny player upconvert it to 1080p/24. It looked great and I can imagine how incredible the BR version must look. We really enjoyed the film. It's funny to hear Hugh Jackman speak with probably a heavier Aussie accent than he really has and for Nicole Kidman to use the British accent. It's always good to see Bryan Brown and the great Jack Thompson in any film. And the boy who played Nullah has one of the most beautiful, angelic faces that we've seen. He was very, very good. Despite it's 2'45" running time we felt that the film was well paced with few drag spots (although I could see someone getting restless in a theater as opposed to the comfort of a home with a good HD set and sound system). We'll probably rent the BR version at some point to get the full benefit of the enhanced video and audio.
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post #8 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts. This one will remain in my collection because I will probably want to re-visit it at some point.


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post #9 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 05:06 PM
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watched it this weekend although I thought some scenes looked way too soft.
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post #10 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 08:18 PM
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watched it this weekend although I thought some scenes looked way too soft.

Yes,some scenes looked sharp and deep in black level,but some looked soft.I enjoyed this BD and I thought about Pearl Habor and Out of Africa,except for the happy ending.
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post #11 of 41 Old 03-09-2009, 11:01 PM
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Multiple Gratuitous Back-Lit Hugh Jackman Chest Hair Scenes.

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post #12 of 41 Old 03-10-2009, 06:29 AM
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Multiple Gratuitous Back-Lit Hugh Jackman Chest Hair Scenes.

Nice review,Raph and this review made me laugh out loudly.
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post #13 of 41 Old 03-10-2009, 10:52 AM
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Ralph,
Thanks for the review. I will get my blu-ray dvd today. I am so glad you added the subtiltle info for cih set up. Keep up the great job.
Once again thank you.
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post #14 of 41 Old 03-10-2009, 07:54 PM
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Ralph,
Thanks for the review. I will get my blu-ray dvd today. I am so glad you added the subtiltle info for cih set up. Keep up the great job.
Once again thank you.

Fox never let those who use CIH down,the subtitles always in the image area as Universal,Paramount in 2.4:1 aspect ratio.
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post #15 of 41 Old 03-11-2009, 10:21 AM
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This movie is awsome!!

Saw it in the theatre and have my Blu Ray copy that i haven't even opened yet. lol
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post #16 of 41 Old 03-11-2009, 07:07 PM
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This movie made me watching PH BD ,also Out of Africa again.The ending's song from Elton John and from PH,also the cgi in the end was much alike,just my opinion.
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post #17 of 41 Old 03-15-2009, 06:36 AM
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I rented this yesterday.

It is one of the most beautiful Blu-ray releases I have seen. Excellent sharpness, and color depth.

That's where the good ends for me. The acting seemed childish. Kind of like a poor man's imitation of Indiana Jones, without Harrison Ford.

I kept watching due to the excellent visuals, but things didn't seem to be getting any better, so I switched it off. I'll try again today, but this film may again prove my belief that strong visuals can only hold a viewer's attention for about 15 minutes.

I was looking forward to this film after seeing Hugh Jackman on the Oscars. He seemed to be a genuine guy, who was not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. I thought his personality might make up for the lack of such that Nicole Kidman usually puts forth on film. Chemistry certainly didn't work here.
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post #18 of 41 Old 03-15-2009, 10:25 AM
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Yes, awesome movie. It's long, but worth it. It took the wife and I a couple of nights to watch it, but we loved it. Great locations, story and actors. I thought Jackman especially stood out as completely believable in his role. It's fun to see a nice long, good epic once in a while and remember what film making is about. While this might not be the pinacle example, it was well worth viewing.

I thought the chemistry between Kidman and Jackman was just fine, and didn't notice it lacking as others have suggested.

I thought the overly contrasted scenes added to the feel of heat and desolation. Well done.

PQ 4.5 out of 5, Sound 4 out of 5, Film 4.5 out of 5.

Dan
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post #19 of 41 Old 03-25-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 View Post

me and my wife loved this movie, we didn't think it was an epic winner of all times but it was still a great movie in our opinion[IMG]http://www.***************/img/io/iy.gif[/IMG]

Hell yeah, really good movie, no wonder why its rated 94/100 here. Everybody should watch this movie.
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post #20 of 41 Old 03-28-2009, 01:45 AM
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Wow, I'm usually in agreement with Ralph's reviews, but I found this movie to be pretty bad. Within 10 minutes, I was hoping the kid would be captured so I didn't have to listen to his fake, broken english accent anymore. I had no idea going in that I had 3 hours of it to look forward to. The movie did pull itself together at the end, but I was so bored I nearly didn't make it that far.
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post #21 of 41 Old 03-28-2009, 07:37 AM
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This must be love/hat movie. It seems people either love it or hate it. I'm one that loved it, as mentioned above. I was in the mood for an epic though.

Dan
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post #22 of 41 Old 03-30-2009, 04:23 AM
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Love the old-fashioned movie-making style, MOST os the video had the 'window" effect, very realistic and natural. Surrounds and bass were used appropriately and sounded excellent.

I do love these types of movies. I'll buy one soon. Very happy the Netflix copy worked well.

Great review Ralph.

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post #23 of 41 Old 03-30-2009, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bladerunner1959 View Post

Love the old-fashioned movie-making style, MOST os the video had the 'window" effect, very realistic and natural. Surrounds and bass were used appropriately and sounded excellent.

I do love these types of movies. I'll buy one soon. Very happy the Netflix copy worked well.

Great review Ralph.

Greetings,



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post #24 of 41 Old 03-30-2009, 06:40 AM
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Watched this a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it. The movie felt like I was reading a good book. This is most certainly a keeper and the Blu Ray is just spectacular. The audio and video were excellent.

Thanks for an excellent review as always. I for one thought the chemistry between Jackman and Kidman worked very well. Two people from very different backgrounds, probably had nothing in common before they met. The slight tension when they are together in my opinion only enhances the movies.

This was one of my favorite movies. In fact last week I saw Changeling, Australia and QoS - back to back to back. Of the three I enjoyed Australia the most, followed by QoS and then Changeling which was very depressing to sit through. Also watched Crank in there somewhere (but it wasn't on Blu Ray)
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post #25 of 41 Old 03-30-2009, 09:55 PM
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Ralph,

I usually agree with your ratings but must disagree here. I thought the film was 2:45 min of pure torture!

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post #26 of 41 Old 03-31-2009, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Swanny1 View Post

Ralph,

I usually agree with your ratings but must disagree here. I thought the film was 2:45 min of pure torture!

Greetings,

No worries mate..


Sorry this one didn't work for you Swanny1.


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post #27 of 41 Old 03-31-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,



Cheers,

Thanks Ralph. Actually all of your reviews are excellent , I just dont have the energy to reply much after sitting at the comp all day. Keep up the much appreciated effort and by the way...your gear rocks!

Love for all things Hi-def...Losing count; 200 plus bluray, 500 plus dvd, 30 plus HDdvd and a rapidly growing 50 plus in the cloud.

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post #28 of 41 Old 04-01-2009, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bladerunner1959 View Post

Thanks Ralph. Actually all of your reviews are excellent , I just dont have the energy to reply much after sitting at the comp all day. Keep up the much appreciated effort and by the way...your gear rocks!


Greetings,

Thanks...


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post #29 of 41 Old 04-04-2009, 08:59 PM
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Looked great (beautiful scenery) and sounded great. The movie itself was not great but certainly enjoyable. Reminded me very much of some old US westerns circa 50's & 60's.

Definitely worth a rent and possibly a purchase.

Mike T

My BDP-05FD, still going strong and still my favorite player!

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post #30 of 41 Old 04-12-2009, 09:06 PM
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I thought the film was good but not great. Is it just me or did the ships in the harbor CGI look bad to anyone else? I noticed this several times during the movie.

"If you know everything, you must be misinformed"
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