8:00 PM, 20th February, 2004
I have not laughed at a movie as much as I did at Gettin' Square for ages. David Wenham, who recently won the IF and AFI awards for Best Actor for his role as junkie Johnny Spiteri, is widely acknowledged to have completely "stolen the show". He did, but this is not to say the other actors in the film did not do a great job in this film about how difficult it can be to "get square". Stand-out characters for me included the restaurant owner's gorgeous Gold Coast wife, the jailbird who has "learnt his lesson", and the hired muscle who doesn't have "anything personal" against his victims.
The laughs come thick and fast, especially at the antics of the seemingly hopeless Johnny Spiteri. Apart from the hilarious courtroom scene, my other favourite Johnny Spiteri moment is where he is "considering his situation" at the CIC, and an insect enters the room - Wenham's expression is priceless. I liked this movie so much I saw it again, and have recommended it to others. At the risk of sounding like all the award recipients at the recent AFI awards, come and see a great new Aussie movie before it's too late!
9:00 PM, 20th February, 2004
Two undercover detectives (Molloy and Bob "Born to Be the Straight Man" Franklin) find themselves front-page news after they fire a dozen rounds into a magistrate who'd peacefully committed suicide ten minutes earlier. Given the freak circumstances, it was a mistake anyone could have made, but our two luckless heroes are suspended from work, and while they twiddle their thumbs and try not to look foolish, they uncover (you won't believe this) a web of corruption. Subtract all the jokes ((mdash)) or watch the film with no sense of humour whatsoever ((mdash)) and you're still left with a tightly plotted, cleverly written, at worst serviceable police thriller. You can take the breaking-into-the-office scene as a smarter (if less glamorous) version of Mission Impossible even if you don't find it amusing. I only mention the possibility of not finding the film amusing because some critics apparently didn't. I don't know how they managed.