Mickey’s stylish comeback
The latest DVDs
I’ve never been a fan of Mickey Rourke. And I’ve certainly maintained studious avoidance of Smackdown, Raw, and all things wrestling. So, in truth, I managed to ignore much of the Oscar hype around The Wrestler – a tale of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a pro wrestler 20 years past his prime looking for one last shot at glory.
But despite myself, I found this gripping, with Rourke magnificent in the lead — bringing an emotion I didn’t think possible to the whole sweaty business. Dare you not to shed a tear when Mickey turns to the crowd and shouts “It’s not over until you tell me it’s over.” Marvellous.
After the success of Sin City, Frank Miller directs another graphic novel adaptation in The Spirit. Gabriel Macht is the Spirit, a man who resurrects from the dead to battle crime in Central City. Among his foes is the Octopus (Samuel L Jackson ), who wants to live forever and is willing to destroy the Spirit’s beloved town. Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson co-star in this visual feast that does occasionally become a little disjointed.
Finally, in case you’ve missed it, don’t forget to catch Australia, a sweeping, romantic, epic adventure with Nicole Kidman joining forces with Hugh Jackman to save the land she inherited. The sprawling Australian terrain provides the canvas for Luhrmann to paint a masterpiece.
Sexy Jackman brings it home
A film as big as Australia itself, made by Australians, about Australians, but not just for Australians, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia is a tale of war-torn romance, villainous cattle barons, Japanese invasion, and the shameful mistreatment of the Aboriginal population. For Hugh Jackman — recently voted the sexiest man alive and you’ll get no arguments from me — this was not just another movie shoot.
“As an Australian myself, it was even more special and meaningful to be in an Australian film of this scale.” Shot, for the most part, in the rugged, wide-open outback, making the film, says Jackman, was “…a massive undertaking. The extreme desert heat can be brutal and physically challenging,” he explains. “We were filming in locations where it was nearly 50C some days. We were in ridiculous hot costumes and riding for hours every day. But Nicole and I had to pinch ourselves on several occasions because we just couldn’t believe that we were in a film like this, in our own beautiful country. It was a chance to show our landscape, our stories, our history, and our character.”
Jackman plays a rough-and-ready drover, an Australian cowboy conditioned to live and work in one of the most inhospitable parts of the world. “It was a challenging experience,” he readily admits. “Real drovers, the men who do this daily for a living, are as tough as you can get. Plus they’re magic on a horse. Every actor you’ve ever met says he knows how to ride a horse so when they asked me if I could, I said, ‘Yeah, I can ride,’ but really I had only done a little bit before.”
Jackman found the strain a little much to take on occasion, “Yes, I was the first to faint on set,” reveals the star. “It was unfortunately on the first day of filming on location, which was not the most macho way to start, particularly as we were in the outback and there were many of the real deal out there on set as well.”
Though for the majority of Australia, Hugh wears his cowboy clobber, there’s a scene where he cleans up rather well in a dead-fancy tux. As for which outfit he was more comfortable in, “I can tell you which one worked for my wife more,” he volunteers. “The day I wore that double-breasted white jacket she said, ‘Wear your costume home tonight!” She didn’t say that about my other horse and cow-smelling costumes.” As for what a man gets for being named the sexiest example of his sex on the planet, Jackman signs off with a laugh. “A whole lot of hell from your mates!”