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Entertainment Occupation review: Australian sci-fi fuelled by chutzpah

05:36  11 july  2018
05:36  11 july  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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Roy Billing is in the crowd, cast as the mayor, and the small town setting is so promising in a comfortably cliched sort of way that a radical mental adjustment is required when the genre abruptly switches to sci fi . His chutzpah , however, is another matter.

His chutzpah , however, is another matter. It’s never in doubt. Temuera Morrison to Star in Australian Sci - Fi Film ‘ Occupation ’ - variety.com. Netflix to Review Nicolas Lopez Deal Amid Harassment Allegations.

One of the last remaining pockets of resistance in Occupation.© Provided by Fairfax Media One of the last remaining pockets of resistance in Occupation.

OCCUPATIONDirected by Luke SparkeRated M, 118 minutes

★★½

Occupation is a small-town soap with intergalactic embellishments. Picture A Country Practice invaded by aliens.

Since it’s an Australian town, you won’t be surprised to learn that its residents are at a football match when ominous lights appear in the night sky. Roy Billing is in the crowd, cast as the mayor, and the small town setting is so promising in a comfortably cliched sort of way that a radical mental adjustment is required when the genre abruptly switches to sci-fi.

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Chutzpah on WN Network delivers the latest Videos and Editable pages for News & Events, including Entertainment, Music, Sports, Science and more, Sign up and share your playlists. Occupation review : Australian sci - fi fuelled by chutzpah .

Occupation review : Australian sci - fi fuelled by chutzpah . Panasonic GA10 — Australian Review . Progress in Aussie cricket culture review . Josh Frydenberg discusses ACCC retail electricity market review .

The town is blown up – no more Roy Billing – and all except a handful of the surviving residents are herded away to become slave labourers.

The rest escape into the bush to set about becoming what will turn out to be one of the last remaining pockets of resistance on Earth. But solidarity doesn’t come easily, largely because of an excess of alpha males among the party.

For a start, there are two swaggering football stars with a longstanding grudge against one another. Jackson (Charles Terrier) is young and cocky while Matt (Home and Away alumnus Dan Ewing) is popping painkillers and anti-depressants as the result of an old injury. And they can’t stop sniping at one another long enough for rational thought.

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Borrowing freely from “Red Dawn,” “V” and “Independence Day,” the impressively grand science - fiction thriller “ Occupation ” tells the story of small-town Australians who put differences aside Movie news, screening invitations and reviews from the world of independent film and beyond.

Early (pre-Second World War) Australian science fiction was often what today one could consider racist and xenophobic, fueled by contemporary worries about invasion and foreigners. The Best Australian Science Fiction writing - review of.

Then there’s the competition. Arnold (Charles Mesure) is an old farmer who has always believed that he has knows best about everything, while Temuera Morrison (Once Were Warriors) is also on hand as an ex-convict determined to start a new life with his family inside the law. His hair-trigger temper, however, keeps getting in the way.

In contrast, the women just get on with the job, emerging at the top of the pecking order in the end. Jacqueline McKenzie is a late arrival as an army colonel leading an official rescue force but the real authority figure is Stephany Jacobsen, another Home and Away graduate, cast as Matt’s girlfriend Amelia, whose skill with a gun is matched by the lethal eye-roll she’s perfected at the absurdities of macho vanity.

The film is written, directed, edited and executive produced by Luke Sparke, an Australian independent film-maker with a love of 1980s action movies. He came up via the costume department and worked on the impressive WWI film Beneath Hill 60 before directing his first feature, 2016's Red Billabong, a monster movie set in the Outback with Ewing in the lead.

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When someone says " Australian science fiction movie," thoughts immediately and inevitably turn to Mad Max - if not George Miller's insanely influential 1979 original Occupation review : Australian sci - fi fuelled by chutzpah .

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Dan Ewing in Occupation plays a former star footballer popping painkillers and anti-depressants.© Provided by Fairfax Media Dan Ewing in Occupation plays a former star footballer popping painkillers and anti-depressants. For this one, he had a reported budget of $6 million, raised from private investors and it’s been sold to North America, Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East.

The CGI effects are proof of the resourcefulness of Australian crews but we see much too much of the aliens. Their pressed metal body armour has them looking like an inferior regiment of Star Troopers which have been rusting away for years in some forgotten part of the galaxy.

And what’s under the armour is even less convincing. Oversize insect eyes are set into skeletal heads moulded out of something shiny, white and patently synthetic.

The first eight months of the resistance pass by in a choppy montage which has the good guys wrestling a couple of the invaders to the ground, stealing their bazooka-like weapons and gaining new hope.

More is more: Occupation.© Provided by Fairfax Media More is more: Occupation. By the time things settle down again, the macho bickering has become part of the background noise and Felix Williamson has established himself as the light relief in his role as a country DJ who was dreaming of returning to the big time when there still was a big time to return to.

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Occupation review : Australian sci - fi fuelled by chutzpah . Occupation review : Australian sci - fi fuelled by chutzpahSkip to sections and the small town setting is so promising in a comfortably cliched sort

When it comes to ramping up the suspense, Sparke is no fan of the old adage that less is more. In a clear case of confusing movement with action, he gives us as his centre-piece a childbirth scene which takes place outdoors in the middle of both a rainstorm and a firefight.

When straining for significance, slow motion is his answer every time and the lameness of his ending is infused with a risible shot of sentimentality. He could never be accused of having finesse. His chutzpah, however, is another matter. It’s never in doubt.

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