Movies »The Square

directed by Nash Edgerton (2008)

Lofty comparisons to Coen Brothers or the noir great (and recent Brix Pick) Body Heat are given out generously but rarely to a movie that actually deserves it. Australia’s neo-noir The Square comes pretty close. Set in a suburban town among thugs and working men, the script seems interested in seeing just how very wrong plans can go when they involve taking a bag full of money.

Actor David Roberts plays Ray, a man desperate enough to go to greats lengths usually preserved for characters in just this kind of movie for a woman he loves with iron jawed realism. The rest of the cast is notable too for their believable portrayals, particularly Joel Edgerton (who also wrote the film – brother Nash directed) as a criminal for hire. After all, as film like as the plot is, with hired killers, black mail, and affairs, I’ve seen enough true crime shows in my life to know that normal people do bad things like this all the time. Though presumably without as much bad luck as Ray.

Can’t reveal too much without giving away the enjoyable suspense, but there are enough twists and surprises delivered with gritty, bleak gravitas to forgive that it doesn’t exactly live up to the comparisons its garnered. In a  drought of decent new movies to watch on DVD (Marmaduke or Tooth Fairy anyone?) this lesser known thriller is a godsend.

I look forward to following the Edgerton brothers future directing projects (Nash is also a stunt coordinator on movies like Knight and Day that are less intriguing).

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Posted on September 18, 2010

Hunks »Grant Page

When a drugged-up Dennis hopper calls a man crazy, what level of insanity must that man be existing on? Apparently the level where you're setting yourself on fire and falling backwards off a cliff into jagged, rocky waters below?and surviving.

This anecdote comes from Not Quite Hollywood, a decent doc about the overlooked exploitation movies from Australia in the seventies. The man spoken of is the great Grant Page, stuntman extraordinare who has survived more insane feats than anyone one should; it's pretty awesome.

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Posted on October 19, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Marmite

marmiteMarmite, also known as Vegemite down under, is an acquired taste that I didn't possess as a kid when my family visited Australia, where the yeast molasses-y condiment sits atop every restaurant table. I was weary then when my brother-in-law pulled a jar out recently; but tastes change and besides, he swore to know the perfect way to eat the delicacy.

What you do is take a nice, yummy crusty bread, spread a bit of butter on it followed by just a dollop of the brown stuff (a little bit will do you, it's quite strong tasting). He was right, it's a heavenly unique taste experience.

Marmite can be found at my favorite place in the world, Marlow and Daughters, and pick up some equally superb tarragon mustard while you're at it!

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Posted on May 4, 2009