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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[7.75/10] Animal Kingdom (2010)

Animal Kingdom (2010)

After the fantastic horror flick "The Loved Ones", "Animal Kingdom" is yet another proof how good the Aussie filmmakers are at making great movies. It tells the story of J, who after the death of his mother, finds himself living with his estranged family, under the watchful eye of his doting grandmother, Smurf, mother to the Cody boys. J quickly comes to believe that he is a player in this world. But, as he soon discovers, this world is far larger and more menacing than he could ever imagine, J finds himself at the center of a cold-blooded revenge plot that turns the family upside down. Although the pacing is a little off, "Animal Kingdom" is a harsh and tense, yet always realistic crime drama, that glances the life of crime and the consequences of living a life like this. It's truly hard-hitting at times, and due to the tough subject it deals with, the film is often difficult to watch, yet engrossing and strangely captivating. Film's conclusion is unexpected and almost shocking, although I'm not sure if it's completely satisfying. The two things this movie suffers the most are slow pacing and an unengaging protagonist. "Animal Kingdom" features a superb Australian cast who give outstanding performances. Ben Mendlesohn may not be the lead, but his performance is the most memorable and brilliant of all. He is menacing, truly disturbing and downright terrifying as the nasty criminal, Uncle Pope. He definitely steals the show as he delivers one of the most ominous 'villains' in recent memory. James Frecheville as J does a good job, but his character doesn't require much, as he plays an emotionally retarded young man with morose personality. Jacki Weaver is simply flawless as the 'master puppeteer' and leader of her vicious gang of sons. She's kind,sweet and over-bearing, yet cold as ice and even creepy. Guy Pearce as Leckie, does a competent job as usual. Kudos to Luke Ford, Sullivan Stapleton and Joel Edgerton, who turn in great performances as well. Intense, affecting and amazingly-acted, "Animal Kingdom" is Australian film-making at its finest.


Jaccstev said...

Finally get The Loved Ones and will watch it tonight :) This one is already added in my watch list as well.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Really? I reckoned you already forgot about it :) I hope you're going to like it, buddy. I'm looking forward to read your review. I doubt you'll give as higher rating as I did though :) ..but who knows :) Enjoy it for what it is. Pay attention on Robin McLeavy - she's freaking phenomenal in this.

"Animal Kingdom" is also worth-seeing!

Jaccstev said...

Yep Robin McLeavy is the clear queen of the show though everyone else does a great job as well.
Have you watch Indonesian slasher called Macabre? (here's the IMDB links: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1447791/). I'm really curious with your thought on that film. The main villain in it is probably one of the scariest and fascinating ones that I’ve seen in a long time. She carries darkness and dread like some will carry a purse. Well you have to see it to believe it :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

You already watched it, Jaccsy? :) What about "The Loved Ones"? Can't wait for your thoughts on it.

Buddy, I've never ever heard of this Indonesian slasher, but after all the creepy stuff you've said about it, I'm now officially intrigued:) I'm downloading it at the moment...;) Just look at this poster - it's creepy as hell!


I really need to see a film that is genuinely scary, cause I'm so sick and tired of lame horror flicks already! ..so, thank you very much for this one, pal ;)

P.S. "Catfish" has also leaked onto the bit torrent websites yesterday, so expect my review very soon ;)

Jaccstev said...

And here's my old coverage on the film (http://movie-cafe.blogspot.com/2009/04/macabre-of-asian-horror-and-saw.html) featured other bloody creepy images for the film. Hope you enjoy the tease mate :)

Jaccstev said...

The loved ones will be in my special Halloween post. so stay tune :))

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Jaccs, I must have missed that coverage of yours. I'm gonna check it right now ;) I hope that as well :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

That's a great idea, buddy. The Loved Ones truly deserves to get a special Halloween review ;) Can't wait!