Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ned Kelly

Director - Tony Richardson (The Phantom of Opera)
Starring - Mick Jagger (The Bank Job), Clarissa Kaye-Mason (Salem's Lot), and Mark McManus (Night Heat)
Release Date - 1970
Genre - Western
Tagline - "The saga of the Stringybark Creek Massacre!"
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     You learn a lot in school.  School is the essential foundation for every youth to learn the building blocks of life along with the skills and knowledge to make them successful in most day to day activities. Some strive at all subjects in school while others struggle in some.  Most, however, find a certain subject and excel at it.   When I was in school I found that history really interested me.  I loved history in high school and all the way through college where I had dreams of becoming a high school history teacher until I learned that teachers get paid shit.  While I was in college I read a book on the Australian folk hero Ned Kelly.  He was one hell of a guy according to that book I read.  I did a little looking and found out that there was several movies made about Kelly like the 70s film starring Mick Jagger.  I'm not a fan of Jagger or The Rolling Stones but when Olive Films announced they were releasing the film on blu I had to see it.  I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows Ned Kelly (Mick Jagger) who was just released from jail and returns home to his friends and family.  He finds that his family and friends are being persecuted by the constables in the area.  Several run ins with the constables forces Kelly and several others out into the Australian outback where they become bushrangers.  They then rob several banks and give the money to those in need before donning a suit of metal armor and having one last stand off with the police.
     The story of Ned Kelly was very fascinating to me.  When I read his story I assumed it was all a tale.  The thought of a man living in the Australian bush raiding banks and giving it to the surrounding people before making protective armor of metal was so absurd to me.  I knew the 1970 film starring Jagger would be no where as awesome as the actual story was.  The film itself was strange.  Though the film was set in Australia about bushrangers it had an outlaw country soundtrack featuring the talented Waylon Jennings.  One would assume that a film starring Mick Jagger would have Jagger himself contribute to the soundtrack.  The acting in this one is is surprisingly well done.  Like I said before, I am not a fan of Jagger and the Stones but he did a great job in this film.  I was shocked when he walked on screen and nailed his performance.  The remainder of the cast did a great job supporting Jagger but he was clearly the center of attention and for good reason.  The story for this one is somewhat accurate as to what happened to Kelly according to everything I read.  With that being said, the story drags on at times and really tries the viewer's patience.  Some of the scenes had nothing to do with the story at all and could have been removed from the film to make it flow better.  Also, Kelly is famously known for his shootout while wearing the metal armor.  The film made this a small portion of the film and is over as soon as it begins.  This should have been a bigger point in the story.  Finally, the film has some gun fights and a few deaths but they are nothing memorable and very lackluster.  The effects are decent for what we do get but once again, that isn't much.  Overall, Ned Kelly is a film that has one hell of a story that unfolds poorly on screen.  If the film would have followed the highlights of the Kelly story it would have been a phenomenal film but it doesn't.  Instead, it tries a different approach and fails.  The film does deserve at least one watch but has no replay value.

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