Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not Quite Hollywood: Grade C

Not Quite Hollywood (2008)
Writer-Director Mark Hartley.

This is a documentary of Australian action and horror films of the 1970’s and 1980’s, few of which are known to a wide audience. Mel Gibson’s Mad Max is probably the best known example. They featured buckets of blood, naked breasts, and above all, high speed land and sea vehicles that ultimately explode.

Dozens of films are briefly reviewed with short clips and commentaries from the actors who appeared in them, their producers and directors, film critics, and Quentin Tarantino, who presents himself as some kind of an expert on the genre and who seems to want to elevate it to the level of the Spaghetti Western.

The films are interesting, especially in the first hour, but Tarantino’s comments are inane and obnoxious, telling us over and over how great these films were and how much he loves them. That is just not informative or helpful. However, the comments of the aging actors who appeared in them are often insightful. They include a few well-known actors such as Dennis Hopper, Jamie Lee Curtis, and George Lazenby, but mostly are unknown (to me) Aussies.

There are some worthwhile insights about the development of the Australian movie industry in general. After about an hour though, the whole project becomes repetitive and boring. How many exploding cars can you watch? It becomes apparent why the genre never transcended its roots.

1 comment:

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