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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – August 1, 2014

Brandon's Blu-ray Wishlist THUMBMel Gibson is one of the newest action heroes of 80s/90s to hop on board the Expendable train.  He’s actually the villain of the upcoming film.  And what a dynamite choice.  Gibson was pretty much unstoppable from Lethal Weapon to Signs.  Hell, for me, I’d say from ’79 in Mad Max to then, but he wasn’t a huge marquee named with a big box office draw until ’87 with Lethal Weapon.  He’s slowly been creeping back into films, but like the rest of the bunch, isn’t the draw he used to be.  So, our “Countdown To Expendables 3” continues with a very terrific, very early film in Mel Gibson’s career, as well as director Peter Weir.

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Gallipoli Wishlist

Gallipoli (1981)

Peter Weir’s Gallipoli is one of my favorite war films.  But, its more than just a war film.  War and the solidering is a backdrop and detail to the main story at hand.  It’s mainly about the loss of innocence as these young men join up in the Australian military to fight for the British during World War I.  It mainly revolves around a group of friends as they travel, get drunk, hit up brothels and come into their own through wartime.  But, I think what has always attracted me to the film, is that we’re getting an angle on World War I or maybe other war films that we don’t normally get.  Its a smaller supportive, and maybe forgotten aspect of that war (to those of us not Australian).  As an American well removed from WWI by my birth year, its something unfamiliar with events I don’t relate to (but am interested in learning), but a message theme and basis all the more familiar.  Its a smaller, but largely important story, within a big time conflict.

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The narrative of Gallipoli is an interesting one.  We start of with Archy Hamilton who we follow through and take as the lead of the film.  He then meets up with Mel Gibson’s Frank Dunne, who we got a brief introduction scene of earlier, and then join up to enlist together.  When Archy gets accepted into the Light Horse and Frank can’t but joins the infantry instead, we then switch our focus to Frank for much of the film.  Archy later rejoins and they become more of a duo again.  But, I’ve always loved how its a dual focus and passes the torch at one point of the film.  It also helps to paint this as a story of men and to feel sorrow for all of the lives lost in the conflict at the end, as opposed to just being the tragic story of one boy.

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A stranger choice, but unique aspect of the film that has always kept it interesting and held place in my mind for many years, comes in the form of the film’s score.  Rather than your traditional full orchestra, dramatic and emotion evoking score, we’re given something completely left field and different.  There are some traditional cues played, but what will stick out is the electronic/synth music that shows up throughout.  Its a song by electronic music artist Jean Michael Jarre called “Oxygene”.  The song primarily is used whenever there is running (oh yeah, this film is about two sprinters if you didn’t know).  What might go over your head on the first view is some of the reasoning behind Weir’s decision to use this.  If you listen closely there are sounds within the music that sound like lasers being shot off, or computerized gun sounds.  Weir is basically brilliantly foreshadowing the film’s finale without being over the top and in your face.  It’s not even something you may every pick up on without it being pointed out.  When I did research on this film in college, I discovered it in a film book with a piece that had Peter Weir discussing things about Gallipoli.

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Gallipoli is definitely one of Australia’s finest films of all time.  As a matter of fact, it regularly gets regarded as THE BEST Australian film ever made.  I think its truly an enjoyable film, that definitely punches you in the gut at the end.  But, that’s the success of the film as you’ve enjoyed the people you were taking the journey with enough to care so much in the gloomy end.  Oddly, this film is only rated PG.  I think even by today’s standards it should be PG-13.  There was no PG-13 back then, and if you see the film its definitely not an R-rated film by any means, but it most certainly isn’t a PG.  One that deals with shooting deaths, getting drunk and hitting up brothels doesn’t really fall under that PG banner for me.  But, hell, Top Secret! is PG and featured a nude calendar as well as a device called the “Anal Intruder”, so what do I know?

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Gallipoli is a great film and piece of history you very well might not be aware of.  Paramount is the folks who own the rights to it.  And it doesn’t seem to be one they’re not fond of.  The film has received VHS, Laserdisc and 2 DVD releases in the past.  In fact, the second DVD release came as a Special Collector’s Edition with a commentary and 6 documentaries about the film.  The bonus material is there, they just have to port it over.  To add, Amazon Prime offers an HD version for streaming.   So, there is an HD master to work with.  Just slap them all on a disc with a cheap menu, put it in normal packaging and send it off to us.  It’s that easy.  Gallipoli is a terrific film that holds up and I think every generation can easily enjoy and learn something from it.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – August 1, 2014”


  1. Brian White

    Damn! It’s one of your favorite war films and I have never seen this 🙁 This needs the Blu-ray treatment pronto!