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Red Dog Review


Excellent
Shamelessly enjoyable, this raucous Aussie movie keeps us laughing - and ultimately sniffling back the tears - as it recounts an urban myth. A terrific sense of the time and place, rambunctious characters and a terrific starring dog make it well worth seeing.

Red Dog is the most famous resident of Dampier, northwest Australia. Through the 1970s, he unified the mining community as a communal pet, then he adopted a master in John (Lucas). He eventually accepts John's girlfriend Nancy (Rachael Taylor) as part of the pack, which includes the local barman (Noah Taylor) and a lively collection of miners (Angel, Batchelor, Nichol and others). He also has a rivalry with the fiendish Red Cat. And after John disappears, he roams the length and breadth of western Australia looking for him.

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Ned Kelly (2004) Review


Grim
Sometimes all you want is a good Western, and when you see something like Ned Kelly, which starts off as predictable but enjoyable nonsense, go so thoroughly off the rails, you have to wonder: Is it still even possible to make a good outlaw-on-the-run film anymore?

The historical Ned Kelly is like the Jesse James of Australia, mixed with a little John Dillinger, Robin Hood, and (if this movie has anything to say about it) Jesus Christ. Gregor Jordan's film (made previously in 1970 with Mick Jagger in the lead) starts off north of Melbourne, circa 1871, with the hardscrabble Irish Kelly family. The man of the house after his father died years before, Ned (Heath Ledger) gets sent to jail after a cop unjustly accuses him of stealing a horse and provokes him into a fight. Freed after three years, Ned tries to go the straight and narrow, doing day labor and even bare-knuckle boxing for money. But wouldn't you know it: The bloody coppers have it in for poor Neddy.

Continue reading: Ned Kelly (2004) Review

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