Tagged: Brendan Cowell

Ruben Guthrie

Summary: 

On the outside it looks like Ruben Guthrie (Patrick Brammall) has it all made. After just picking up another major Advertising Award he returns home to Sydney to have a house party to celebrate. But when his swimsuit model girlfriend Zoya (Abbey Lee) watches him once again take the regular trek of getting drunk before injuring himself while jumping off the roof of his mansion into a pool his life comes crashing down.

Horrified at the near miss Zoya sets him an ultimatum. She heads back overseas and tells him not to come and find her until he has gone twelve months sober. Ruben thinks it will be easy and while he is at first reluctant to join an Alcoholic Anonymous group he soon finds one that has him opening up as he gets closer to the very hippy-like Virginia (Harriet Dyer).

But while Ruben starts feeling really good he soon finds those around him disagree. Soon his parents Peter (Jack Thompson), Susan (Robyn Nevin) and his best friend Damian (Alex Dimitriades) are always trying to get him to drink, as is his boss (Jeremy Sims) who feels that his sobriety has taken away his edge.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th July 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Brendan Cowell

Screenwriter: Brendan Cowell

Cast: Natasha Beaumont (Sheridan), Blazey Best (Janelle), Patrick Brammall (Ruben Guthrie), Yvonne Cowell (Vonny), Alex Dimitriades (Damian), Harriet Dyer (Virginia), Leon Ford (Dimitri), Katie Gavin (Laura), Michael Lahoud (Jeremy), Abby Lee (Zoya), Francis Mossman (Lorenzo Oil), Robyn Neven (Susan), Elly Oh (Sun Ye), Jeremy Sims (Ray), Billy Thompson (Harry), Jack Thompson (Peter), Brenton Thwaites (Chet)

Runtime: 90 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR RUBEN GUTHRIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

There is nothing quite as disappointing as a film that has so much potential but then fails at the last few hurdles – sadly that also the best way to describe new Australian film Ruben Guthrie. The film comes from a brilliant stable, based on a well received theatre play from one of Australia’s top writers and actors Brendan Cowell so therefore it is completely head scratching at why the film leaves itself open to so much criticism.

Having said that though Ruben Guthrie is not the complete mess that many critics would have you believe, misguided perhaps, but a mess… no way. To its credit Ruben Guthrie is nowhere near as bad as what its trailer makes it look and there are more than enough times throughout the film that it manages to win you over. There are some deeply touching scenes as the audience watches a man try to overcome his inner demons while his family and friends don’t seem to want to allow him to heal. Then there is also the fantastic soundtrack put together by Sarah Blasko that is so haunting it brings back flashes off the fantastic Somersault soundtrack from all those years ago.

But for every good thing about Ruben Guthrie something ugly raises its head. Stupid little questions like why does a raging alcoholic keep a well stocked bar going while he is trying to give up alcohol? They may seem small but they are the kinds of things that can really make a film like this seem less believable. Then there are the walking clichés. As if Jeremy Sims’ portrayal of an advertising executive isn’t cringe worthy enough then there is the over-the-top portrayal of a gay character, a shame when Alex Dimitriades has played such a realistic gay character in the amazing film Head On a few years ago. Sadly for Dimitriades here it is sad to take his character seriously because of the bad directing and screenwriting, it may have been supposed to make him look like a bully boy that the audience hated but the result is such a clichéd mincy character that most of the times the audience finds themselves laughing at him instead of hating him.

It seems such a shame that the film has problems like that when Cowell (who also directs here) manages to overcome the biggest problem of all – and that is to get the audience on side with Ruben Guthrie. At the start of this film he is a despicable character. He is a complete prick and you wonder how on Earth there will ever be a time when you find yourself barracking for him. But somehow Cowell manages to overcome that problem, and even when Ruben is starting a relationship with Virginia despite his promise to Zoya you can’t help but once again want to see him succeed. Yes this is a very schizophrenic script with its massive amount of ups and downs.

If nothing else Ruben Guthrie does set the path for young actor Patrick Brammall to really make a name for himself. The youngster has really crafted a way for himself with some great performances on television in shows like Glitch and Upper Middle Bogan etc, but here he manages to find just the right mix of dramatic and comedic acting to suggest that he may become the next Australian export overseas. Star-on-the-rise Brenton Thwaites is massively under-used however a newly found talent is discovered with Harriet Dyer who manages to steal the scene on a number of occasions. Aussie acting legends Jack Thompson and Robyn Nevin also just breeze through the roles providing a couple of laughs along the way.

Sadly Ruben Guthrie isn’t nearly as strong as it should have been. The screenplay raises too many questions for the audience to talk about once they leave the cinema and you really feel that the film doesn’t explore the notion of Australian culture and alcoholism to the full extent it should have been. Not a complete waste of time but could have been a lot better.

 

 

Stars(2.5)

 

 

Greg King:

You can read Greg’s full Ruben Guthrie review on www.filmreviews.net.au

 

Stars(1)

 

 

 

Nick Gardener:

You can hear Nick’s full Ruben Guthrie review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #138

 

Stars(2)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Ruben Guthrie (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Ruben Guthrie reviews: You can listen to our Ruben Guthrie review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #138. You can also read our Ruben Guthrie review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt

Trailer:

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Logo

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at  new release films ‘Women He Has Undressed,’ ‘Insidious Chapter 3,’ ‘Paper Towns,‘ ‘Gett: The Trial Of Vivian Amsalem,’ ‘Ruben Guthrie’ and ‘Ant-Man.’ This episode also contains interviews with Stefanie Scott, Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Brendan Cowell and Patrick Brammall.

To listen to the show or can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.

Last Cab To Darwin

Icon Film Distribution is proud to announce that the official world premiere of the new Australian feature, LAST CAB TO DARWIN will be held at Sydney’s State Theatre on Saturday June 6, 2015.

The Sydney Film Festival today announced the inclusion of LAST CAB TO DARWIN in its 2015 programme and the first festival screening of the film will also be the premiere event ahead of its release in cinemas across Australia on August 6.

Cast and crew from the film will be in attendance to walk the red carpet and witness the audience falling in love with the film first hand.

Jeremy Sims (Beneath Hill 60 and Last Train to Freo) skilfully directs Australian acting legends, Michael Caton and Jacki Weaver against the backdrop of the stunning Australian outback.  Sims began working on the project with co-writer, Reg Cribb over 10 years ago and commented about this labour of love.

“I’m so proud of this film. After 3000 kms, 18 flat tyres, three bogged vans on the Oodnadatta Track and 4 billion flies; with the help of entire communities at Oodnadatta and Daly waters, an indomitable crew, brave and supportive investors and our brilliant cast, we have made what I hope is a truly ‘Australian’ film, with a big heart and a bigger story to tell. Caton is of course the centre of it all, and I hope people give themselves the chance to watch a true legend of Australian screen give the performance of his career…”

With so many iconic characters already to his name (Uncle Harry in TV’s The Sullivans, Ted Taylor in TV’s Packed To The Rafters, and of course, Daryl Kerrigan in The Castle) Michael Caton gives the performance of a lifetime in LAST CAB TO DARWIN.  Caton is Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver who, when told he doesn’t have long to live, sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.   Along the way he is forced to expand his once limited horizons and open himself up to new people and new experiences; teaching us all that it’s never too late to start living.

In her first Australian feature film performance since the meteoric international rise that has included two Academy Award® nominations and back to back Hollywood projects; Jacki Weaver appears as audiences have never seen her before.  As the controversial Dr Farmer, she provides a multi-layered portrayal of a doctor struggling between her ability to help one patient or the many more to follow.

In fact, Michael Caton’s tour de force portrayal is in great company with so many standout turns from the cast, including up and coming actor, Mark Coles Smith (Beneath Hill 60 and TV’s The Gods of Wheat Street) who plays incorrigible larrikin, Tilly.  Coles Smith’s enigmatic Tilly wheedles his way into Rex’s cab and inevitably into his life, guiding him along his journey through the heart of the country and providing his unique perspective on life as an Indigenous Australian living in outback communities.  This breakout performance will see Coles Smith feature on many one-to-watch lists.

Australian-born actress, Emma Hamilton who plays British backpacker Julie has built a career in the UK including TV’s The Tudors.  Another standout, she not only nails the accent, but gives Julie both the no-nonsense attitude of a seasoned nurse and the tender understanding of a natural healer.

As Rex heads off on his Darwin-bound adventure, he leaves behind his neighbour and sometime lover, Polly.  In yet another dynamic portrayal, Ningali Lawford-Wolf brings Polly’s strength and vulnerability to life in a combination of comic timing and chutzpah.  In addition to her work on screen in Rabbit Proof Fence and Bran Nue Dae, Ningali was also recognised for her services to Indigenous performing arts with the Australian Centenary Medal in 2001.

Also waiting back at the pub in Broken Hill are Rex’s mates played by Australian acting stalwarts, John Howard, Alan Dukes and David Field.  Other highly familiar faces rounding out the support cast include Brendan Cowell, Leah Purcell and Jeremy Cumpston.

Director Sims and Cinematographer Steve Arnold have captured the incredible Australian landscape in all its glory and to the point that it serves much like its own character in the film.  From the desert landscapes to the lush tropical locales, Rex’s journey along the Oodnadatta Track and up through central Australia serves as a love letter to the outback.

As quintessentially Australian as the red earth itself, the sport of AFL and its deep connection with Indigenous communities also features as a key theme in the film.   AFL legend, Brian Taylor also stars in the film, playing the Darwin coach who gives Tilly his big break.

2015 is shaping up as a great year for Australian film and LAST CAB TO DARWIN will continue the trend with a touching and life-affirming story that is sure to resonate with everyone from coast to country town.  An extensive talent tour across Australia is planned for the months between the world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and film’s actual release.

Icon Film Distribution CEO, Greg Hughes commented, “We are greatly excited by the opportunity to showcase this extraordinary film as part of the Sydney Film Festival and to be able to align the world premiere event inside of the festival’s timelines.  Icon has enjoyed working closely with the LAST CAB TO DARWIN team throughout the film’s journey from script to screen and we are very proud to be associated with the final product and to be able to share this moving story with Australian audiences.”

Filled with hope, humour and heart, LAST CAB TO DARWIN takes us on a journey in cinemas from August 6.

Wastelander Panda Poster

Commissioned especially for ABC iview, WASTELANDER PANDA, a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi western, will premiere tomorrow, with all 6x10min episodes available for viewers to binge from 10am on iview.

WASTELANDER PANDA, the first drama program to be commissioned by ABC iview, is a co-production between Madman Productions and Epic Films. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale about humanoid panda Isaac, who is banished to the Wasteland after the violent death of a young girl, and sets out to find a replacement to reinstate his family into the Tribe of Legion.

Rebecca Heap, Head of ABC TV Strategy and Digital Products said; “We’re extremely excited to see our first drama commission for iview, WASTELANDER PANDA, come to screens in partnership with Epic Films, Madman, Screen Australia and the SAFC. This will be another ABC binge event for fans of local drama. Though our continued investment in emerging Australia content makers and our strategy to develop new content formats for online, iview audiences have the opportunity to discover and engage with unique entertainment not available anywhere else”.

This series of WASTELANDER PANDA follows an earlier series of webisodes created by Epic Films that have reached cult status with both festivals (SXSW, Vancouver Webfest, LA Webfest, Adelaide Film Festival, Burning Man Australia) and fans.

Fans of fantasy and pop culture will also get a chance to catch the series when it features internationally at Fantastic Fest (Sept 18-25) – the largest genre film festival in the U.S.

Producer Kirsty Stark, said; “Having developed WASTELANDER PANDA as an independent online project over the past few years, it was an amazing opportunity to team up with Madman Production Company and create this new series for ABC iview. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved and are excited to be showcasing WASTELANDER PANDA on ABC iview tomorrow, followed by our first audience screening at Fantastic Fest in Austin on Sunday morning“.

I am really proud of WASTELANDER PANDA. It’s been a fantastic collaboration with Epic Films and it was a pleasure to have an adventure in the Wasteland with our partners across development and production, namely the ABC, SAFC and Screen Australia. To be commissioned by ABC iview as a Web/TV Series and then to be selected for a film festival is very rewarding for all concerned”, producer, Nick Batzias said.

WASTELANDER PANDA stars Aaron Schuppan (Isaac), Brendan Cowell (voice of Isaac) and Lily Pearl (Rose). It is directed by Victoria Cocks (Epic Films) and Produced by Kirsty Stark (Epic Films) and Nick Batzias (Madman), written by Victoria Cocks, Matt Vesely and Mike Jones. ABC Executive Producer, Christopher Gist.

WASTELANDER PANDA is co-production between an Epic Films and Madman Production Company with the support of Australian Broadcasting Commission, Screen Australia and the SAF.

Wastelander Panda

Madman is proud to announce WASTELANDER PANDA: EXILE, a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi western commissioned especially for ABC iview, will have its Australian premiere on Saturday September 20 on iview and international premiere at Fantastic Fest, Austin TX, September 18-25. This will be followed by a digital download to own and DVD release in November and December, respectively.

WASTELANDER PANDA: EXILE is the first drama program to be commissioned by ABC iview and is a co-production between Madman Productions and Epic Films. It is the post-apocalyptic tale of the humanoid panda Isaac, who is banished to the Wasteland after the violent death of a young girl, and sets out to find a replacement to reinstate his family into the Tribe of Legion.

Rebecca Heap, Head of ABC TV Strategy and Digital Products said; “We’re extremely excited to see our first drama commission for iview, WASTELANDER PANDA, come to screens in partnership with Epic Films, Madman, Screen Australia and the SAFC. This will be another ABC binge event for fans of local drama. Though our continued investment in emerging Australia content makers and our strategy to develop new content formats for online, iview audiences have the opportunity to discover and engage with unique entertainment not available anywhere else”.

This series of WASTELANDER PANDA follows an earlier series of webisodes created by Epic Films that have reached cult status with both festivals (SXSW, Vancouver Webfest, LA Webfest, Adelaide Film Festival, Burning Man Australia) and fans.

 Fans of fantasy and pop culture will also get a chance to catch a sneak peak at the new series when it features at Sydney’s Oz Comic-Con (Sept 13-14). A graphic novel tie-in from Gestalt Publishing will also be available in the near future.

 Producer Kirsty Stark, said; “Having developed WASTELANDER PANDA as an independent online project over the past few years, it was an amazing opportunity to team up with Madman Production Company and create this new series for ABC iview. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved and are excited to be showcasing WASTELANDER PANDA on ABC iview, at Fantastic Fest and online internationally all in the same week”.

 “I am really proud of WASTELANDER PANDA. It’s been a fantastic collaboration with Epic Films and it was a pleasure to have an adventure in the Wasteland with our partners across development and production, namely the ABC, SAFC and Screen Australia. To be commissioned by ABC iview as a Web/TV Series and then to be selected for a film festival is very rewarding for all concerned”, producer, Nick Batzias said.

 Richard Harris, CEO of the SAFC said: “The SAFC is hugely proud of the WASTELANDER PANDA team and Fantastic Fest is the perfect place for the Series to have its international premiere. We can’t wait for it to hit the screen.”

 WASTELANDER PANDA stars Aaron Schuppan (Isaac), Brendan Cowell (voice of Isaac) and Lily Pearl (Rose). It is directed by Victoria Cocks (Epic Films) and Produced by Kirsty Stark (Epic Films) and Nick Batzias (Madman), written by Victoria Cocks, Matt Vesely and Mike Jones. ABC Executive Producer, Christopher Gist.

 WASTELANDER PANDA is co-production between an Epic Films and Madman Production Company with the support of Australian Broadcasting Commission, Screen Australia and the SAFC.

Save Your Legs

Summary: Save Your Legs! is an inspirational journey from the heart of Australia to the soul of India. It’s the story of one man who refuses to lose his park cricket team to the realities of growing up. An uplifting adventure filled with comedy, cricket and Bollywood music, Save Your Legs! is an odyssey from the suburbs to the sub-continent in pursuit of a lifelong dream.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Boyd Hicklin

Screenwriter: Brendan Cowell

Cast: Mahindar Baba (Ghats), Eddie Baroo (Shadow), Markos Batzias (Hangarz), Brendan Cowell (Rick), Stephen Curry (Theodore ‘Teddy’ Brown), Shibani Dandekar (herself), Micca Delaney (Brett), Bharat Kumar Dingra (Naresh Buddah), Damon Gameau (Stavros), Darren Gilshenan (Colin), Sir Richard Hadlee (Umpire), Darshan Jariwala (Sanjeet Thambuswamy), Pradeep Kabra (Asif), David Lyons (The Prince), Sanjay Mahety (Babu), Sid Makkar (Rai – Tusshar), Ryan O’Kane (Gobba), Paras (Kolkata Barber), Grant Piro (Punter), Ashok Seth (Chai Wallah), Pallavi Sharda (Anjali), Srikanth (Sachin Tendulkar), Brenton Thwaites (Mark), Madeleine West (Janine), Gerard Whateley (Commentator), Prithvi Zutshi (Shri Subhash)

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Save Your Legs!’ Review: 

It’s a shame that when Australia’s two biggest pastimes are cricket and Australian Rules that we can’t seem to produce a decent film about either sport, unfortunately that continues with ‘Save Your Legs!’ a cricket film that does its best to lift itself out of a rut but at the end of the day still sits in the ‘disappointment’ camp.

Based on a true story ‘Save Your Legs’ follows the Abbotsford Anglers, a team captained by Theodore ‘Teddy’ Brown (Stephen Curry – ‘The Cup’ TV’S ‘Redfern Now’) who lives and breathes for cricket and also idolizes Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar.

However Teddy is very much a man child and while his best friends Stavros (Damon Gameau – TV’S Raw, TV’S ‘Puberty Blues’) and Rick (Brendan Cowell – TV’S ‘The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting’, TV’S ‘Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War’) have grown up (in a sense as some of their behaviour would suggest otherwise) and become involved in serious relationships or started families Teddy still lives in Stavros’ garage and seems to only live for cricket.

As Teddy begins to realize that things need to change he decides that the Abbotsford Anglers should be the team that represents Australia in an exclusive limited over tournament. But when they arrive in India they discover that the other teams are all professional and the inclusion of young gun Mark (Brenton Thwaites – ‘Blue Lagoon: The Awakening’, TV’S ‘Home And Away) is causing ripples in the team… well that and the fact that most of the team, including one of their best players The Prince (David Lyons – ‘Safe Haven’, TV’S ‘Revolution’ see it is a free holiday.

Director Boyd Hicklin (‘Peak 08: The Road To Beijing’, ‘Save Your Legs’ (docco)) does do a wonderful job making this film look good. Like recent film ‘The Waiting City’ he captures the hustle and bustle and the landscape of India wonderfully well for the screen but he is let down badly by screenwriter Brendan Cowell (TV’S ‘The Slap’, TV’S ‘My Place’) and a casting choice that sees one of Australia’s finest comedic actors, Stephen Curry, in perhaps the only role in the film that doesn’t have any comedy to deliver.

But really the biggest fault with this film lays with the script. Too many of the so called funny moments just aren’t funny and it seems that the movie has missed out on a golden opportunity to throw some important men’s issues (such as male depression) out into the public spotlight. An even bigger crime however is the fact that most of the characters are just walking clichés so as a result the audience never finds themselves warming to them in the way they should.

Sadly the acting is also well and truly below par with the only highlight being Brenton Thwaites who announces himself as a star of the future. Unfortunately though the likes of Stephen Curry, David Lyons and Brendon Cowell who normally put in a great performances are sub-standard, largely because of the one dimensional characters that they have been given to play.

‘Save Your Legs’ is sadly another Australian film that ends up on the pile titled ‘Should Have Been A Lot Better Than It Actually Was’.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Save Your Legs′: Check Episode #22 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Save Your Legs’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘Save Your Legs’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 2.5/5

IMDB Rating: Save Your Legs! (2012) on IMDb