Author Topic: Animal Kingdom (2010)  (Read 4182 times)

Critter

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Animal Kingdom (2010)
« on: June 08, 2010, 01:44:29 AM »
Animal Kingdom



Director: David Michôd
Writer: David Michôd

Plot: Tells the story of seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

Cast:
Guy Pearce – Leckie
Ben Mendelsohn – Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody
Joel Edgerton - Barry Brown
James Frecheville - Joshua 'J' Cody
Luke Ford - Darren Cody
Jacki Weaver - Janine Cody
Laura Wheelwright - Nicky Henry

My Thoughts
I really had no desire to see this film when I first heard of it as it is essentially a crime drama, something which I would not consider a genre I am overly interested in. I do like hearing when Australian films do well overseas however, as not many do, I and I heard that this film won the Jury Award at the Sundance film festival. After hearing this I thought I would give it a go and was certainly not disappointed. In fact, Animal Kingdom is simply the most powerful film I have seen in the cinema this year.

For someone who is usually not taken with this type of genre, I found myself hooked, literally from the genius opening seconds of the film. I had chills several times throughout this film, usually from just how superbly well crafted it was. Every single shot had meaning, and the editing and use of sound and music was basically enough to give me chills alone. The music especially reminded me of how Tarantino uses music in a lot of his films, either bold, loud and in your face so you can’t escape it, or just not there at all.

The story was outright the most compelling (if entirely fictional) that I have seen come out of Melbourne’s drug and crime scene, and over here we have TV shows made about it. The characters were crafted perfectly. In particular Jacki Weaver who portrayed the crime families somewhat clan leader was absolutely chilling as Janine Cody. Sometimes she seemed like a kind-hearted and caring older woman, and the next scene she could have you on the edge of your seat in almost fear. Because of this I found her to be the most disturbing character of the film.

This is a film that could have been boring, even with the finely crafted use of music, the perfect editing and camera use, basically if the story didn’t work it would have been just another straight gang tale from the Melbourne underground. This story however was something else, to say I was on the edge of my seat a couple of times is an understatement, as an audience we never knew what any of these characters were going to do next. Not even our lead protagonist ‘J’ who we come to almost trust to do the right thing throughout the film, even he can suddenly shock us and just go in the complete opposite direction. There is a strong feeling that no one can escape this world, no matter what you do, there is no possible way out. While the film does come to some form of conclusion it leaves many questions floating around, and a few ends untied which leaves us questioning the fate of these characters.

I’m not sure how many Australian films are shown overseas but if you do happen to see that this is showing anywhere near you I recommend to go and see it, as fast as you can. I believe that most of you here at least will not be disappointed; some of you may even be surprised, just as I was.

 Rating: 5/5

Animal Kingdom Trailer

« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 01:48:58 AM by Critter »

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 02:53:30 AM »
I've never heard of this one but it sounds really interesting.

Offline Antares

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 03:01:21 AM »
Wow, that trailer looked really interesting until.........................Air Supply?????????? :stars: :stars: :stars:

Critter

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 07:47:37 AM »
Haha, trust me, it actually fits works believe it or not when you see it in the film. I actually watched the trailer before I saw the film and still had no interest in seeing it, but then I did see it and well...  :thumbup:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 07:55:24 AM »
Wow, that trailer looked really interesting until.........................Air Supply?????????? :stars: :stars: :stars:
This is what is actually playing on my computer jukebox :laugh:
I know it's sugary music, but I like it :whistle:

Najemikon

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 07:29:57 PM »
I like the look of that. Aussie films either seem to be bloody weird or bloody good! ;)

Critter, have you ever seen Stander? It's South African, but there's something about the independent style I'm reminded of here.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 07:54:28 PM »
One of the few australian I've watch is Wolf Creek and it's sure a bad memory... But Fantasm from Richard Franklin was a much pleasant viewing :whistle:

Critter

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 01:29:08 AM »
I like the look of that. Aussie films either seem to be bloody weird or bloody good! ;)

Critter, have you ever seen Stander? It's South African, but there's something about the independent style I'm reminded of here.

Never seen Stander. But I really think you should check out Animal Kingdom when you can Jon, I can see you liking it.

One of the few australian I've watch is Wolf Creek and it's sure a bad memory... But Fantasm from Richard Franklin was a much pleasant viewing :whistle:

I have not seen either of these. Although I suppose it's not surprising to hear that I haven't seen Wolf Creek.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 09:06:52 AM »
It isn't scary at all Sophie. It's just three kids doing their best at being annoying for 1h30 or so.

My old review of this awfull movie

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 09:27:23 AM »
Isn't Wolf Creek considered one of those torture type movies?  Like Saw or Hostel?

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2010, 09:49:13 AM »
It wants to make you think it is. But it's just a bad wannabe slasher flick :whistle:

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2010, 09:54:40 AM »
Ahh..ok.

Offline Achim

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 11:08:58 AM »
I found a few scenes of Wolf Creek acceptable, providing a decent level of entertainment. Unfortunately not often enough to last the entire movie :shrug:

Critter

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 01:21:11 PM »
There seems to be a lot of stories of people, usually backpackers disappearing in the outback here. Some true, some false, either way it's enough to turn you off travelling some parts of this country. I think if I see Wolf Creek I may never get around to visiting some of the places I would like to :-[.

Najemikon

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Re: Animal Kingdom (2010)
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2010, 09:38:19 PM »
I know I often disagree with Jimmy, but while Wolf Creek isn't great, it's quite ambitious. Slasher is a really dismissive phrase, "wannabe" suggests completely the wrong idea.

It's loosely based on truth, or at least the perceived truth of several similar cases like Sophie mentioned. That's used as a base for a twist on Texas Chainsaw. It has a very low-key independent feel (immediately separating it from slashers), some truly horrible murders and one of the best villains for years. The "...on a stick!" scene is a cracker, as is the ruthless sniper rifle moment.

It's problem is the first half, which is unbearably slow. I think they were trying a false sense of security set-up, but it's mostly annoying.