The Dry

Aaron and local cop Greg investigate

A very familiar whodunit with an unfamiliar setting, The Dry sees Eric Bana on home Australian turf as a cop investigating the case of a man who killed his wife and kid before turning the gun on himself. How familiar? How about: cop returns to old stomping ground, drawn back by a case which also re-awakens some slumbering trauma from years before. Yes, that one. Ringing the changes is the parched, dust-dry Outback where years-long drought is squeezing the life out of Kiawarra, a one-horse town dominated by farming, as well as the sweat-stain masculinity that’s an Aussie specialty. Drinking, brawling, swearing and scowling, plenty of all those too. Specifically, Eric Bana plays … Read more

Troy

Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     24 April   The fall of Troy, 1184BC On this day in 1184BC, the city of Troy fell after the most famous battle of antiquity. The Trojan War had started after a Trojan, Paris, absconded with Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Helen was reputed to be the most beautiful woman in history and her love had been gifted to Paris by the goddess Aphrodite, as a reward for choosing her (Aphrodite) as the fairest of all the female gods – the so-called Judgement of Paris. Aphrodite had not mentioned to Paris that Helen was already married. … Read more

Chopper

Eric Bana as Chopper Read in Chopper

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     17 November     Chopper Read born, 1954 On this day in 1954, Mark Brandon Read was born, in Melbourne, Australia. The son of an army father and a Seventh-day Adventist mother, he spent the first five years of his life in children’s homes before returning home, where he was often beaten by his father. A street fighter already as a teenager, he began his criminal career by robbing drug dealers, then went on to kidnap and torture members of the criminal underworld, in order to extort money out of them. He gained a reputation for brutality – … Read more

Deadfall

Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde in Deadfall

    Remember Eric Bana in Chopper, frightening everyone to death as Australia’s most gruesomely violent criminal, Mark “Chopper” Read? There are echoes of Bana the Bad in Deadfall, in which he plays one half of a psycho sibling pair who are heading, unwittingly as far as they and everyone else concerned can tell, for a showdown rendezvous at a Thanksgiving dinner. Deadfall isn’t half as good as Chopper, though it does give Bana a chance to show us he can still do ugly. If only writer Zach Dean and director Stefan Ruzowitzky had worked out some way of telling the other four stories they’re trying to tell with economy, leaving Bana with … Read more