Australia Day: 3 Aussie movies being released in 2014 worth buying popcorn for

Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc
Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

 

Happy Australia Day everyone!

While I appreciate not everyone will be rushing out to grab a slab of beers (or in my case a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or two), some lammos (lamingtons or small sponge cakes) and some snags (sausages) to throw on the barbie for a bonzer celebration with their favourite blokes and sheilas – especially if you’re not Australian which makes perfect sense – I thought it’d be fun to mark Australia Day with some Aussie films I am particularly excited about seeing in 2014.

And thanks to the amazing Luke Buckmaster at Crikey, who’s movie reviews are so thoughtful and well-written that I aspire to be as good as him one day, it’s going to be a bumper year for Aussie films with some very fine movies coming our way.

While he noted 10 in particular, I have chosen three that have me especially excited (but by all means check out the full list via the link in the paragraph above) on our national day.

 

THESE FINAL HOURS

Rose (Angourie Rice) and her unexpected protector James (Nathan Phillips) end up at the party to end all parties as the end of the world nears (image via screendaily.com)
Rose (Angourie Rice) and her unexpected protector James (Nathan Phillips) end up at the party to end all parties as the end of the world nears (image via screendaily.com)

For a bright, optimistic, life-loving guy like myself, my obsession with the apocalypse is kind of odd.

But for some reason, I find myself gravitating along with just about everyone else to movies (and yes TV series as my obsession with The Walking Dead amply testifies) that look at the way in which humanity would react to the impending end of everything we hold dear.

And usually, a few glowing embers of humanity aside, it’s not a pretty picture.

These Final Hours, from director Zac Hilditch, stacked full of sex and violence and bacchanalian intent falls fairly and squarely into that camp.

Save, of course, for the very protective relationship that develops when the protagonist James (Nathan Phillips), unable to deal with the fact that his mistress Zoe (Jessica de Gouw) is pregnant decides to attend an end of the world party in Perth – a meteor strike on the other side of the world has doomed the planet – and encounters Rose (Angourie Rice) in peril at the hands of two less than desirable men.

Scooping her under wing, both of them go to the party, thrown to usher in the apocalypse, and discover both the best and worst of humanity as they deal with the inevitable end of their lives and the obliteration of life everywhere.

It will be challenging and confronting viewing for sure, but could be well worth it, and hopefully not a predictor of things to come.

These Final Hours premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2013 with a tentative release date of 20 June 2014 in Australia.

 

 

THE ROVER

 

Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson play two men in a "dangerous and damaged near future" who must find a car and an important object it contains (image via therover.com)
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson play two men in a “dangerous and damaged near future” who must find a car and an important object it contains (image via therover.com)

 

SNAPSHOT
Animal Kingdom screenwriter David Michod writes and directs this post-apocalyptic western about a lone wolf drifter who joins forces with a wounded man to pursue a sadistic band of thieves. A decade after the collapse of the western world, Australia has become a lawless wasteland. As desperate outsiders pillage the country’s precious mineral resources, taciturn Eric (Guy Pearce) travels from town to town searching for signs of life. Then, one day, Eric falls prey to vicious thieves who steal his car. In the process of making their getaway, the thieves abandon Rey (Robert Pattinson), their wounded partner-in-crime. Meanwhile Eric vows to reclaim his most treasures possession by whatever means necessary, and forces Rey to help him track down the men who left him for dead. (synopsis via therover.com)

Again with a semi-apocaylptic movie!

But damn this looks good.

And it should, coming from David Michod, the man who gave us 2010’s Animal Kingdom, a raw and visceral look at a crime family imploding that garnered Jacki Weaver an Oscar nomination and a slew of high profile Hollywood roles, who together with Joel Edgerton has crafted a movie billed as a “post-apocalytic Western”.

With more than a hint of Mad Max to it, The Rover looks set to convincingly portray the life and death struggle for survival in a world that looks inimically opposed to humanity.

With actors of the calibre of Guy Pearce and yes Robert Pattinson, who showed far more promise as an impressive in 2011’s Water For Elephants than the entire Twilight saga gave him a chance to evince, involved, and a script that is bound to be gritty, dark and wonderfully nuanced, The Rover looks set to be one of the films to watch out for this year.

Just make sure you lock your car before you go in to see it.

The Rover has a tentative release date of 31 July 2014.

 

 

UPDATE – full trailer has just released (30 January 2014) …

 

 

PREDESTINATION

 

(image via aceshowbiz.com)
(image via aceshowbiz.com)

 

SNAPSHOT
The film chronicles the life of a temporal agent (played by Ethan Hawke) who, on his final assignment, must recruit his younger self while pursuing the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. It is based on a short story by revered sci-fi author Robert A Heinlein. (synopsis via if.com.au)

This ticks so many boxes for me as a must see movie that it’s a wonder I am not sitting in a camp chair at my local cinema waiting for them to start selling tickets.

Predestination is the latest film from the imaginatively fertile of the Spierig brothers Michael and Peter, who following the success of their debut effort Undead (yes a zombie comedy that proves the apocalypse is not entirely devoid of humour) and Daybreakers (yes there are vampires Jim but not as we know them) are back with another innovative take on a well worn genre.

In this case sci-fi time travel.

I have been immensely impressed with the efforts of Australia’s very own version of the Coen brothers or the Wachowskis and given the most excellent source material they have drawn from, they’re ability to twist time-honoured tropes into new and pleasing narrative forms, and the fact that they’ve reunited with Ethan Hawke (who appeared in Daybreakers), it would be near impossible for Predestination to be anything other than a stellar film.

Yes my expectations are high but I have every confidence it will be amply rewarded.

Predestination release dates have not been released at this time.

 

 

*Also worthy of note are Felony and Tracks, both of which have been the subject of much favourable buzz.

 

 

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