:fresh: A beautifully tragic film that depicts the extreme experience of Australian soldiers during World War I, culminating in the misguided battle of Gallipoli.
Gallipoli was a well done film, Mel's acting was superb. I thought the ending was pretty poignant as well. Bravo
"Gallipoli" is an accurate portrayal of the pointless tragedy experienced by millions during the first world war. I wasn't moved by it as much as I felt I should have been - perhaps it was I wasn't very attached to the characters. The film is well made, but the ending is anything but satisfying and slightly angering. The comical video game-ish sounding music in the beginning and end made me laugh, and no performance was really of note.
powerful and entertaining to watch
Best in Show: Mel Gibson
One for the future: Mark Lee
Stand-out scene: Going over the top
Brainer or no-brainer: Brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a

The first of Australian director Peter Weir's back to back projects with Mel Gibson (The Year of Living Dangerously followed this). A big-hearted moving tale it's the story of two gifted Australian sprinters who took part in the calamitous WW1 ANZAC invasion of Gallipoli. Archy (Mark Lee who has since gone on to a career in TV movie ignimony) and Frank (Gibson) meet as competitors at a race and forge an unlikely friendship. Archie is an eagar volunteer while Frank is a wheeler-dealer only interested in bringing in the filthy lucre. Their naivety is soon exposed as the realities of warfare hit home. Weir's anti-war stance is all too apparent as the waste of young lives committed in the suicidal assault on the Turks is portrayed. The pre-war scenes of the burgeoning friendship betweej Archy and Frank are sensitively treated and cinematographer Russell Boyd did a great job giving the battle scenes a gritty realism. The vibrant optimism of this first half is contrasted in the second by how quickly lives can be extinguished. Mel Gibson's well-worn cheeky chappie persona began its life in this film and he's built a highly successful career off the back of this highly enjoyable and affecting movie.
The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002)
Strange film. Hope Davis and Campbell Scott are two dentists who are married and also share a practice. And they have three young and very demanding daughters. At the start of the film, the wife, Dana, has been singing in the chorus of a community opera group. But rehearsals aren't the only thing creating a distance between her and the rest of the family. Her husband Dave sees her sharing an intimate moment with another man. Dave loves his wife and is a devoted father, and the one parent who the kids can depend on to take care of them. Although he loves Dana, he won't talk to her. The one time she tries to talk to him, he pretends to be asleep. He is too afraid of what she might say. There is an episode when the family's gone to spend a weekend at their cabin in the woods. Dave spends his time running one noisy gardening tool after another because he's afraid Dana plans to confess her affair and he doesn't want to give her a chance to talk. We know what Dave is thinking and fantaszing about because he has the personification of his subconscious to talk to. This figure is present in the form of a recent patient (Dennis Leary) who turned out to be the patient from hell. As long as Dave is going through this crisis, this guy is present. It's a bizarre bit of unreality that gets old after a while. The performances from Campbell Scott, Hope Davis and Dennis Leary are pretty good, but the children are really annoying. Watching it I became frustrated with both the husband and wife, and ultimately found the movie to be rather tedious, a little depressing and overall disappointing.

The Statement (2003)
I can't blame the actors for this film not being more successful. The strong cast, headed by Michael Caine, does what it can with a script that seems to lack focus. Caine is an aging former Nazi collaborator who is still being hunted nearly fifty years after the war. The most interesting aspect to his flight for his life is the way he repeatedly turns to supporters in the Catholic church to help save his life while he can't seem to find the spiritual means to ablsolve the guilt that plagues him. This internal struggle is pushed to the background while the script moves back and forth between the police investigation of those pursuing Caine's character, his movements as he flees from one monastery to another, and a murky present-day government plot that also aims to do him in, though why and who benefits is never clear.

One of the earlier Mel Gibson movies (made in australia) this is probably a close tie with Mad Max for my favorite film of Mel Gibson. I love every scene of this film from beginning to end and the final scene will just leave you in shock. The extreme bonds and feelings you get for these characters is also a huge irony since deep down you know they are about to fight in one of WWI's most tragic battle (for the allies at least). Mel Gibson give a very rememerable performance and a regular guy working from job to job just to keep a living and joins the military along with a 17 year old boy too young to join (Mark Lee, more the actual star of the movie). This film truely depicts the problems faced by soldiers of that time period, from joining the forces to training to actual battles. Some lines in this film are just so perfectly placed that it will move your heart and make you just feel sorrow for its characters. I highly recommend this film to both drama lovers, history lovers, and war film lovers alike.
Quest For Fire
Directed by: Jean Jacques Annaud

I don't care how great of a movie 'Taxi Driver' is, it cannot take away the fact that this is a great film in it's own right.

Most films of this sort get caught up on the 'what' instead of the 'why'. Sure, they pretend to be about characters and spiritual growth, but they really aren't.

This film is great, because while it is exciting to watch Rocky's physical and real-world struggles and triumphs, it lets us know that what is really happening is the reshaping and reawakinging of Rocky's soul. It's much more about a spiritual journey then it is about getting glory, or even respect from others.

Which is why Rocky must 'lose' to Apollo, and why the sequels almost negate themselves. It drives home much more strongly that what happens inside him is much more important then any money or respect he gets from the world.

It's mind-boggling how the Australians sacrificed their lives to fight in a British offensive, yet, when the Japanese were closing in on Australia in World War II, England did not lend a hand.
Yesterday was ANZAC Day, the day on which we Aussies and our neighbors in New Zealand commemorate the sacrifice of those of our countrymen who died in war. For those of you not fortunate enough to be Australians I will explain that April 25th marks the date in 1915 when troops from Australian and New Zealand ("ANZACs") landed in Turkey as part of a disastrous plan to open a second front in the First World War. What the campaign's planners, led by Winston Churchill, had promised would be a bold stroke quickly knocking Turkey out of the war instead became a stalemate. The battle dragged on for eight months, with more than 8,000 members of the ANZAC force were killed before the Allies gave up and retreated back to Europe.

This brilliant film is a fictionalized retelling of the ANZAC's experience at Gallipoli. Some say it is overly fictionalized -- for example, the story's climactic event, popularly known as "Mel's run" apparently never happened and, furthermore, couldn't have occurred as shown. But the movie builds a dramatic tale within the broad context of the true facts of the battle. The performances are consistently excellent and the comraderie of soldiers has seldom been as well presented as it is in this film. This is the best of several movies based on the Gallipoli fiasco, including the most recent, a Turkish production, released last year.
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