Jim Mcelroy

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The Cars That Ate Paris Review


Weak
Along with Paris, Texas, this is the other movie with Paris in the title that's not about Paris, France.

Rather, this Paris is in New South Wales, Australia. And the cars don't really eat it, either. The residents of the town do. Er, they eat the visitors to the town. Er, they don't eat them... ah, skip it. Let's start again.

Continue reading: The Cars That Ate Paris Review

The Year Of Living Dangerously Review


Very Good
Five bucks if you can remember where and when the heralded Year of Living Dangerously is set. No, not Vietnam or Cambodia. It's actually 1965 Indonesia, when a boring assignment turns "dangerous" for Aussie journalist Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) when the country's revolution unexpectedly begins. Soon he's involved with a diplomat (Sigourney Weaver) when not running amok with photographer pal Billy Kwan, a half-Chinese dwarf man -- memorably played by non-Chinese, non-dwarf, non-male Linda Hunt, who deservedly won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The rest of the film hasn't aged nearly as well as Hunt's fun performance, though.

The Last Wave Review


OK
What you say? Aussie lawyer Richard Chamberlain takes a strange trip into his psyche (he constantly dreams of floods and tsunamis) and into Aboriginal mysticism when he defends a young native against a murder charge. The Aborigine takes him into the sewers, where he is pelted with questions like "Are you a fish!? Are you a snake!? Are you a man!?" We're going with fish, but that's just us.

I've never really understood the fascination with this film, widely heralded as a masterpiece from Peter Weir (more widely known now for The Truman Show). It's creepy to watch Chamberlain's David Burton get sucked deeper and deeper into a freaky end-of-the-world prophecy and a secret society living underground (half of which is revealed through dreams, with David bolting awake screaming, every 10 minutes), but drawing any kind of useful conclusion from the film is difficult. (And the nonstop didgeridoo music is enough to drive you crazy.) I've seen the movie a few times and continue to wonder what the point was supposed to be.

Continue reading: The Last Wave Review

The Cars That Ate Paris Review


Weak
Along with Paris, Texas, this is the other movie with Paris in the title that's not about Paris, France.

Rather, this Paris is in New South Wales, Australia. And the cars don't really eat it, either. The residents of the town do. Er, they eat the visitors to the town. Er, they don't eat them... ah, skip it. Let's start again.

Continue reading: The Cars That Ate Paris Review

Picnic At Hanging Rock Review


Very Good
Long before The Truman Show, Peter Weir put together this sleek yet frustrating story of four prep-school girls who vanish without a trace from an Australian geological site, Hanging Rock. Set in 1900, it's a corseted tale of weird spiritualism and repressed emotions common in the era -- all scored by Zamfir and his pan flute(!) Based on a novel, not a true story, it still recalls later films like Heavenly Creatures, which actually pulled off this kind of moody, brooding tale of wierd teenage girls with more aplomb.
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