From Reel Film Reviews:
The Mosquito Coast, based on the novel by Paul Theroux, manages to do the impossible: It makes Harrison Ford come off as a jerk. But despite this (or maybe because of this), The Mosquito Coast is a compelling little movie.
Ford stars as Allie, a brilliant inventor who’s never really put his talents to good use. He spends much of his time lamenting the current state of America, which is chock full of fast food joints and welfare leeches. Along with his wife and three kids, he lives a fairly comfortable life – taking odd jobs repairing things. In his spare time, he just happens to invent things like a machine that can instantly make ice using fire as fuel. But one day, he gets sick of the American way of life and convinces his family to move to a place called the Mosquito Coast somewhere in South America. He’s actually purchased a small area of land in that vicinity, which basically makes him mayor with a constituency of around 20 people. Allie and family proceed to turn the villagers lives upside down, initially for the better (they build quite an impressive little town, complete with a gigantic ice-making machine), but eventually, Allie begins to relish the power a bit too much and it’s all downhill from there. Continue reading
Desire as persistent and intense as the sunshine on a bright summer day is what teases out madness in Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock. The objects, or goals, of these desires are disparate, though they all spiral out following the 1900 disappearance of three young women and a teacher from the Appleyard School during a trip to the small titular ridge on St. Valentine’s Day. The vanishing of these women is central to the plot, but Weir’s film is never as fascinated with the reasons for this absence as it is with the characters left in its inexplicable wake. Cliff Green’s script, adapted from Joan Lindsay’s novel of the same name, never goes about teasing what could have happened to these women at Hanging Rock, instead focusing on the wild cupidity that erupts in the surrounding community in reaction to the mystery. Continue reading
Peter Weir Short Film Collection is a wonderful collection of some early works of this great Australian director, at a time when the local film industry was beginning to take great strides forward. These films may not appeal to the average mainstream film viewer, but if you’re keen to view the rarely seen beginnings of Peter Weir’s career, or you are a fan of early Australian cinema, then this will be an asset to your collection.
Reading through the current filmography of Weir’s impressive body of work, it’s safe to say that not many filmmakers could match the level of consistent quality in their work. From these humble beginnings, Peter Weir has firmly established himself as one of world’s finest film directors. Continue reading
Weir made this plumber-from-hell telemovie directly after Picnic at Hanging Rock. Although feeling somewhat like an extended short film that pushes the limits of credibility when stretched into a longer narrative format (would anyone really put up with a plumber this bad, assuming that a plumber could be this bad) it is for the most part diverting thanks to the performances of Judy Morris as the stay-at-home wife and particularly Ivor Kants as the plumber and Weir’s skill (he also penned the script) in keeping us guessing as to where the story is going or even in a Hitchcock-like way, what kind of film we are watching, thriller, horror or comedy. Less convincing are the scenes with Robert Coleby as the over-preoccupied husband and university dork but at least stylistically they have a naïve charm. As a side interest the film also manifests Weir’s preoccupation with the primitive/civilized opposition and of course, water. – BH Continue reading