Romeo + Juliet was called "ground-breaking". It wasn't. In the theatre contemporary versions of Shakespeare stories have been going around for ages. Baz was just the first one to decide to hire a couple of hot young stars (who couldn't act) and bring in a dump-truck full of cash behind the whole facade. He then got a ton of actors who clearly couldn't understand the dialogue, re-edited the script completely to take out the best bits and reconstruct scenes to change characters entirely, had shit explode for no good reason, hit you on the head with painfully obvious imagery until you bleed, and made me laugh out loud during the most retarded action climax I'd ever seen (It has since been bested by Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but again context is everything!). The worst thing is that people lapped it up, and still do despite the masses of ineptitude dripping from every frame. It makes me want to scream out "You fools! He made a good FORMULA, that's all! HE COULDN'T EVEN PIECE TOGETHER A DECENT FILM TO GO ALONG WITH IT!"
And now Baz is at it again. You may have noticed that he has recently been sitting on his hands (thank god!) for quite a few years, indeed (thank christ thank christ thank christ!) Sadly, it's not because he's dead. He has become obsessed with doing an "epic". First it was Alexander the Great. No, not the Colin Farrell one - that was the problem. Old Baz didn't check to see if anyone else was doing an Alexander the Great film at the exact same time and, waddaya know, Oliver Stone was working on one too. It's hard to guess whether Luhrmann's could actually be worse than Stone's but I doubt it could be far off.
Since then he changed his tune, and he started aiming for an Australian epic. Yes, he's proud and patriotic. Never mind the fact that none of his films have been particularly Australian at all. To add to this there's the fact that Luhrmann, renowned creative "genius" (*SPIT!*) couldn't even be arsed to come up with a decent title for his new film, instead calling it, ooh let's see, Australia. No Shit. With this and The Queen I'm starting to wonder about the eponymylogical future of art. Will we never again see the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird? Are these celluloid "artists" going to reduce us to a state of going to see films like Black Cop With Gun and Holy Shit, There's Dinosaurs!?
Anyway, Australia stars Nicole Kidman, the only woman ever to beat Cate Blanchett in both palest skin and largest forehead competitions as an English woman inheriting a cattle station in 1930s Australia. Naturally to get 2000 cattle across the Northern Territory, she needs the help of rough cattle-hand Burly Jack Bull Buggering McGee nee Cessnock Jimmy Jr, played suitable cliche-drenched central casting gusto by
But what really caught my eye in the ultra-offensive article about this total bilge was the following: The couple drive 2000 cattle across the Top End and get caught up in the Japanese bombing of Darwin. Jesus Christ. I have long said that the bombing of Darwin is something that simply begs to have a film made of it. A strong, gripping piece of personal drama. And instead it will be used as the bottle-top to a steaming load of pure Luhrmann.
Also, note that the article specifically refers to 1930s Darwin. I hope Luhrmann is paying his researchers a fortune, because that prick deserves to be suckered out of his money. As anyone who has a sketchy notion of history will tell you (although I'll admit we're hard to come by in this country) the bombing of Darwin took place along with all other events save the fall of Paris in WWII during the 1940s.
The fact that directors like Paul Goldman rely on handouts from the Australian Film Commission (or whatever it's called) while Luhrmann swims naked in his giant pile of hundred dollar bills is a crime against art. Still, I guess it's important that the LCDs can enjoy their brightly coloured and overly loud, flashing bread and circuses. I hope they choke on them.