Author Topic: Jon's Random Reviews  (Read 66222 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #240 on: October 23, 2011, 09:01:13 PM »
Well, I suppose that's something, but I'd rather see it be advertised on its own merits. But, hey, this must be the first time two of us have posted reviews for the same film so close together!  :laugh:

Offline dfmorgan

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #241 on: October 23, 2011, 09:48:13 PM »
Well, I suppose that's something, but I'd rather see it be advertised on its own merits.

Too true so would I.

Quote
But, hey, this must be the first time two of us have posted reviews for the same film so close together!  :laugh:

Yes it would seem so  ;D
Dave

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Najemikon

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #242 on: November 07, 2011, 11:50:08 PM »
I just realised. I forgot one in my big catch-up, mainly because I couldn't keep this one. It's simple and predictable, but really satisfying and worth a look...

Najemikon

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Tracker ****
« Reply #243 on: November 07, 2011, 11:50:28 PM »
Tracker ****

Year: 2010
Director: Ian Sharp
Rating: 12
Length: 98 Min.
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English

Set in 1903, Tracker is a tense action thriller in which Arjan (RAY WINSTONE), a guerilla survivor of the South African Boer War, lands in colonial New Zealand and is promised a huge bounty to capture Kereama (TEMUERA MORRISON) a Maori seafarer accused of killing a British soldier. What should be a simple job for Arjan, a master tracker, turns into a gripping dangerous game of cat and mouse as Kereama repeatedly escapes and is recaptured - all the while insisting on his innocence. As each man gains and loses the upper hand, they gradually get to know and respect one another. Culminating in an emotional and high risk showdown, they find they have more in common than a mutual hatred of the British.

Ray Winstone plays a Boer farmer (Arjan van Diemen) who has lost his home and family in South Africa during the Boer War, and has now arrived in New Zealand 1903, out of morbid curiosity to see what was being fought for. He is arrested on his arrival by British soldiers, veterans of the war, but is quickly released by Major Carlysle (Gareth Reeves) who is aware of this legendary figure, but has no animosity towards him. Both men are bitter in their own way, but the war is over. Meanwhile, Kereama (Temuera Morrison), a Maori, is falsely accused of murder and goes on the run. The Major will lead a hunt into the New Zealand landscape and gives van Diemen the opportunity to join them. Due to a professional disagreement with the army tracker Bryce (Andy Anderson), van Diemen catches up with Kereama first.

Tracker has a great story anyway and looks wonderful, but when Winstone and Morrison meet, it’s fantastic. It is clearly a low budget production, but it hides it well between the gorgeous landscape and the performances of these two actors in particular. I suppose you can look on it as a morality play, with an incredible stage! The middle section is little more than tit-for-tat, as Winstone catches Morrison, tables are turned, he catches him again, etc. But throughout, the wonderful dialogue is funny and moving in equal measure as the two men banter with one another and eventually open up. Winstone is at his best as the stubborn van Diemen. This might be the closest he gets to playing a True Grit type character and it bears comparison. He brings a weight of honour and grief to the role, balanced with quiet humour. He handles the Afrikaan dialect pretty well too, though I’m no expert! Morrison is an able foil. He toys with Winstone, to form an escape, but starts to reveal his own humility and they form an uneasy bond. They make an odd couple, but it works brilliantly well. The rest of the cast vary, but I really liked Reeves portrayal of the Major and he works well with Winstone too in several scenes.

Director Ian Sharp must be pinching himself. The less budget you have to work with, the more luck you need, but he made his own luck by taking actors like Winstone and Morrison to such a fantastic location. And giving them Nicolas van Pallandt’s screenplay was the final flourish. His plot is a basic manhunt Western, with a handful of set-pieces, but it has the great dialogue, a clear sense of time and place, and perhaps above all, a conscience. It has a melancholic air, tinged with grief, offset by humour and underlying optimism. The ending could have been predictable, and maybe it is, but it’s incredibly satisfying. The weakest scenes by comparison are at the start, but Sharp works them to their potential and Winstone’s arrival at the port is beautifully filmed to say it’s CGI! David Burns rounds out the production with a well-placed score. It’s genuinely memorable, which is a surprise, evoking Last Of The Mohicans. This is an area that normally suffers when the budget is being stretched. A great film that is acutely aware of both its limitations and benefits enough to present a classic story born of solid entertainment and supported by deep rooted emotion.

For a full technical review, see DVD Compare