For his directing debut, Russell Crowe tells a story so compelling that it almost obscures the rather clunky filmmaking. Based on the hint of a true story, the events are fascinating, moving and often thrilling, with some strikingly well-staged sequences along the way. But the earnest tone is sometimes distracting, as is an unnecessary romantic subplot that makes the whole movie feel like pure fiction.
It opens in 1919 Australia, where Connor (Crowe) is grieving the loss of his three sons in the 1915 battle of Gallipoli. Having vowed to bring them home before his wife dies, and with nothing else to do now, Connor heads to Turkey to find them. But the local British officer (Jai Courtney) doesn't want him anywhere near the battlefield, where experts are still identifying the remains of fallen soldiers. So with the help of local officer Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), Connor makes his own way to the site and, using his skills at discovering underwater wells, finds the bodies of two of his sons. Then he learns that the third (Ryan Corr) might have survived.
Alongside this story, Connor has a series of tentative romantic interludes with Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), the hot clerk at his Constantinople hotel, where she lives with her precocious 10-year-old son (Dylan Georgiades) while waiting for her husband to be declared one of the war dead. But if this happens, she will have to become her leery brother-in-law's third wife. This sideroad is so soapy that it constantly derails the rest of the movie, stealing focus from the more intriguing political tensions and Connor's own emotional journey. At least Crowe and Kurylenko are solid in their roles, even generating some chemistry in their tentative, unnecessary scenes. And Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz (as a rival Turkish officer) ground things nicely, connecting the rest of the film with the grisly well-recreated battle scenes.
Continue reading: The Water Diviner Review
Russell Crowe talks in depth about his brand new war drama 'The Water Diviner' in a featurette which also features interviews with other cast members such as Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney and Yilmaz Erdogan. The movie is about a man who travels from Australia to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to find the graves of his three sons, but along the way makes a heartwarming discovery. It is Crowe's directorial debut and it has been written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios.
Continue: The Water Diviner - Featurette
Here's your review of "The Matrix Reloaded" in a nutshell: One incredibly cool, gravity-defying, CGI-aided, swirling-camera kung-fu melee; one jaw-dropping, 100-mph, against-traffic freeway chase; and way, way too much long-winded, expository, circular, self-important, pseudo-philosophical yappity-yappity-yap.
Writing-directing brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski saddle their cast with endless equivocal prattle while toiling to buttress the complex plot and metaphysical undertone of this picture's uber-stylish 1999 predecessor, which saw what we think is the real world exposed as an elaborate virtual reality prison for the minds of all humanity. Mankind's suspended bodies provide a power source for a race of machines, which a small band of escapees are hoping to destroy in the post-apocalyptic world outside the Matrix.
"We can never see past the choices we don't understand," sage but elusive cyber-prophet The Oracle (Gloria Foster) preaches cryptically to Neo (Keanu Reeves), the cyber-Messianic hero whose realization that physical laws don't apply in the Matrix led to the first film's groundbreaking wire-work martial arts fights and bullet-dodging slow-mo stunts.
Continue reading: The Matrix Reloaded Review
For his directing debut, Russell Crowe tells a story so compelling that it almost obscures...
Russell Crowe talks in depth about his brand new war drama 'The Water Diviner' in...