Star – Guy Pearce
Genre – Thriller
Run Time – 103 minutes
Certificate – 18R
Country – Australia
Awards – 3 Wins & 19 nominations
Amazon – £2.90 DVD £6.09 Blue Ray
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So where has Guy Pearce been of late? Well the Anzac star of Memento and LA Confidential is back in Australia where he grew up (he is actually British born, leaving when he was 3) for his last three movies and maybe a sign his big Hollywood career maybe running down. He is not conventionally handsome and never quite the leading man the way Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson were from Down Under but still a class act and has real presence on screen. Maybe he thinks the Australian filmmaking scene is back on a high and looking for awards and maybe they can afford him now.
The Rover is directed by David Michod who has been around a while but delivered the rather visceral and brutally tense Melbourne gangster flick Animal Kingdom to make his mark. If you haven’t seen that movie you should guys. You always get interesting and quirky films from Australia and I am always on the look out for them. This is certainly that. Its not one I can recommend to all but one for those film fans who like something different and atmospheric.
Guy Pearce ... Eric
Tawanda Manyimo ... Caleb
Scoot McNairy ... Henry
David Field ... Archie
Robert Pattinson ... Rey
Ben Armer ... Benny
Gillian Jones ... Grandma
Jamie Fallon ... Colin
Frank C. Su …Midget
10 years on from a global economic collapse that caused worldwide turmoil, the Australian Outback is once again a lawless wasteland, crime and poverty running amok and barely governed by small army patrols, attempting to maintain what little law and order are left. After an armed robbery goes wrong, criminals Archie (David Field), Caleb (Tawanda Manyimo) and Henry (Scoot McNairy) flee, leaving behind Henry's injured and retarded brother Rey (Robert Pattinson) in the dirt. While driving away, the idiots crash the truck they hotwired. Archie decides to steal a random car outside of a bar belonging to mysterious loner Eric (Guy Pearce). Bad idea. He is not happy, jumping in the crashed truck and closing them down to a slow stop. When Eric confronts them he is sparked out and awakes with his car gone again.
He drives the truck into the nearest town and asks if anyone has seen the men. He buys a gun off a dwarf from a travelling Chinese circus (as you do) and then discovers Rey slumped and bleeding on the truck. Taking sympathy on the kid he takes him to a backstreet doc (Susan Prior) to get him fixed up. The traveling circus members are seeking revenge for not paying for the gun and on their door. After a shootout Eric and Rey hit the road in search of his car as the two begin to bond as opposites attract somehow. A showdown is coming and there is going to be some killing, the army also hot on their heels as both Eric and Rey now have a bounty on their heads as the sun beats down hard. But why is he so keen to find a rusting old Holden?
Eric: ‘You should never stop thinking about a life you've taken. That's the price you pay for taking’.
It’s OK and something different. I got enough out of it. There is no real narrative going on other than watching a lugubrious Guy Pearce wander around the dusty outback with a gun and stubble looking all mysterious but moments to enjoy. Blowing the midgets brains out was one of them. There is no ryhme or reason for the killing and the ending doesn’t seem to provide any obvious answers to why he is angry. The destination doesn't feel worth the journey is the best way to describe this. Would you kill a man over a rusty car? But that’s the premise and off we go. It’s kinda like Mad Max without the souped up cars, chase scenes, stunning Red Center panoramas and Mel Gibson. The Australian countryside is always atmospheric in movies but strangely not here. It could easily have been the rather dull Texas scrub desert if the truth be told. One of the most appealing things about Aussie movies is always that enigmatic countryside and its stunning and dangerous wildlife.
Pearce is good and Robert Pattinson (yes, that Robert Pattinson) unrecognizable doing an admirable retard. Because his character is a little slow it enables the ruthless killing to be more palatable and relevant through that disconnect. Its bleakness also allows the film to wander aimlessly in the way ‘The Road’ did as we wait for the next confrontation and head scratching violence. You hope some story would weave its way in or a twist or two on the long straight sun bleached roads but no such luck as the film concentrates on the relationship between the two men. Clearly something terrible has happened to Eric and his family a decade or so ago and he is a hollow man who care little for anything anymore because of but that vacancy feeds through to the equally opaque film.
It bombed in the Aussie and US cinema for its $8.5million budget pulling just $3.2m back. It’s co-written with Joel Edgerton (Warrior and The Gift) and the director wrote the part especially for Guy Pearce. You get the feeling this film was made by the three of them as a vanity project as clearly strange a film with Twighlight superstar in it should not have lost money and so the film must have been poorly marketed due to budget issues. You can envisage Pearce and Pattinson saying they will do it because of the director and the directors and writer saying we will only do it with we can get Pearce and Pattinson. Trouble is, that is all it is.
Imdb.com – /10.0 (votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 66% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 64% critic’s approval
-Something Elemental: The Making Of.
Behind the scenes look at this rather vacant little movie.
Quite a few
Cast & crew talking heads. It appears they are mostly mates and doing each other a favor.
Entertainment Weekly –‘Bleak, brutal, and ultimately pointless, the film stars Guy Pearce as a man whose car is stolen and who won't rest until he not only gets it back but also punishes, with extreme prejudice, the dirtbags who took it.’
Film4 –‘A cautionary tale with deceptive genre trappings, The Rover is an unconventional, challenging but rewarding watch with riveting performances and assured direction’.
Financial Times –‘Brutal as it is, The Rover evolves into a strange kind of buddy movie. Squint and you might be watching a nihilistic Rain Man’.
Toronto Sun –‘Of Mice and Men at the end of the world -- that's the general turf of The Rover’.
The Film Stage –‘Michôd has created a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic western that's entirely his own’.
Bangkok Post –‘While Michôd may not achieve that transcendental awakening in the vagabonds of this god-forsaken country, they've braved through enough hellfire for us to have mercy, and to care about them.
Filmfire.com –‘A scabrous, tightly drawn chase drama—even if, ultimately, the narrative doesn't lead anywhere particularly new’.
My local Apollo cinema is located at Hollywood Park in Barrow-in-Furness, after having had a friend who worked there over the summer i became pretty well aquainted with the cinema.
Overall the cost of the tickets isn't too bad, £5.90 for an adult and £4.70 for concessions. I am a student in Liverpool and comparing that with the price f the cinemas in Liverpool it is pretty good as they usually come in over £6! However I wouldn't advise buying any food or drink there as most people already know, cinema food is grossly over priced.
Picture and Sound:
In the past i have been to cinemas where the whole experience has been ruined by the fact that the sound quality has been very poor and muffled, however the same cannot be said of the Apollo in Barrow.
Noone wants to sit through a three hour movie in a rediculously uncomfortable seat, you knees digging into the seat of the person in front. I am of an average height (aprox 5ft8) yet i find that sitting in some of the smaller screen rooms it can be quite uncomfortable, yet it has never been that bad that i have not enjoyed the movie (if it is worth enjoying that is). Be warned, if you are over 6ft be prepared for an uncomfortable couple of hours.
Summary: Overall the Apollo makes for a good night out, however one thing that lets it down is its tendancy to shy away from foreign movies, or movies with subtitles.
I absolutely love going out at night in the summer when you don't need a coat and the nights are warm enough for me to avoid getting hypothermia queuing to get into clubs... unfortunately it's not the same case in the winter when the cold, rain and wind are enough to put me off going out! There's a relatively new entertainment complex housing a cinema in Altrincham which has luckily saved me from spending too many nights in with the TV this winter.
The Metroplex Cinema Complex is located off Denmark Street in central Altrincham. The complex itself is a large grey and white building which is quite visually obtrusive to the landscape and certainly stands out. It's easily accessible from the M56 and the M60 and there's a train and tram station just a five minute walk away. There's parking both opposite and behind the complex although I tend to park at the nearby Tesco store where parking is free. There are also several restaurants within the complex including a Chiquitos and a Frankie and Bennys.
The Altrincham cinema is part of the Apollo chain of cinemas. I'd never actually heard of Apollo before visiting this cinema but have since learnt it's quite a small chain and there are only actually thirteen Apollo cinemas in the UK. With regards to how they compare to other cinemas I'd say there's not a lot of difference; the decor and facilities are relatively similar with very little to distinguish Apollo as a different brand.
The first thing that struck me about the cinema was the size of the entrance lobby, it's incredibly small compared to what I'm used to! As you walk in there's a small licensed bar and seating area on the left but this only has two tables each with three seats. To the right is the ticket desk which has room for two cashiers to serve at. Straight ahead is the main refreshments desk which has three cashier spots and sells your usual (overpriced) refreshments including drinks, hotdogs, pick n mix and popcorn.
What struck me most about the lobby (after the size) was that it was incredibly bare; normally in cinemas I'm used to poster boards and every available wall space being used to advertise new films but here the walls are remarkably bare giving quite a cold and sparce feel to the overall cinema. The lobby area tends to be very clean and tidy with the two tables by the bar area being frequently cleaned.
The actual cinema screens are located through an entrance way to the left of the lobby where you have to hand in your tickets to gain access. This is also where the toilets are located which is slightly annoying if you arrive too early at the cinema and want to use the toilet. The toilets are fairly large with the girls toilet having around twelve cubicles and I've never had to queue there to use the toilet. The waiting area before you go into the screens is quite dimly lit and very narrow with leather couches against the walls. Here you will find advertising of future films on the walls which I quite like to look at if I'm honest!
There are only six screens in this cinema which does make it the smallest cinema I've ever visited I think. All the screens are fully air conditioned and they all have tiered seating with digital sound. As it's quite new the screens are all still in tip top condition. As far as I know all the screens are the same size with around 180 seats in each. Some of these seats are on the ground and quite close to the screen while the majority are tiered. The two rows at the back are the luxury seats which you can upgrade to and feature a leather chair, a wider seat and more leg room. However the normal seats themselves are really comfy with large arm rests and plenty of leg room as well.
The prices for this cinema seem quite standard in comparison to other local cinemas with it being cheaper to see a film Monday to Thursday before 4pm where prices are: Adult £5.50, Child £4.50 and Senior / Student £5.00, for Premier Seating you need to add £1 to any of those prices. To see a film Monday to Thursday after 4pm and Friday to Sunday all day the prices are: Adult £6.50, Child £4.50 and Senior / Student £5.00. For premier seating you need to add £1.50 to any of those prices. My next choice for a cinema would be the Odeon at The Trafford Centre and tickets here are slightly more expensive.
I'd definetly recommend this cinema, the seats are comfortable and large and I've always had a pleasant experience when I've visited it. The staff are always really friendly and I've never had any cause to complain. The only downside is that due to it only having six screens they are somewhat limited on how many films they can show but they do tend to show the newest releases when they first come out. If you're looking to see a film that's already been out for two to three weeks you might find that it's already stopped showing at this cinema which isn't always ideal.
Thanks for reading!