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50 Movies in 100 Days: Tomorrow When the War Began

January 21, 2013

My goal is to watch 50 new films that I haven’t seen before in 100 days.  I’ve done 100 movies in 100 days before, this time it is something slightly different, finding 50 new films is going to be slightly different, less movies, but none that I’ve ever seen before.

Tomorrow When the War Began

This Australian Film I would compared favorably to Red Dawn.   The story is of Australia being invaded by either Korea or China, don’t remember, for the lack of land in the country.  The higher population and room in Australia is the reason given for the attack.  It is actually pretty well shot, and the acting is something that you’d expect to see on the CW, in fact it felt like it was the first two episodes of a television show.

The plot surrounds a group of teenagers who went camping out in “Hell” a little place by a river away from everyone.  They just happen to be gone while the country was invaded and they happened to be in one of the cities that was taken originally.  They come back to find everyone in the town either dead, hiding, or in a camp in the middle of the town.  After several scares they decide to take the battle to the invading forces by destroying the supply bridge from the coast to the main town.  They succeed of course and that’s when the story cuts out, and we are left with what really feels like the first two episodes of what would be a pretty entertaining television show.

The acting is what you would expect, it is a group of teenagers in the movie, and while it is probably twenty somethings in real life and the performances aren’t all that great.  It wasn’t so much that they were bad actors, just that it wasn’t that high quality quality acting, no one bombed their performances, there are definitely cheesy points, it just felt like it was CW acting performances.  Very attractive talent, but not all that talented, or maybe it was so much not all that amazing a script.

Visually is what kept me entertained.  It was beautiful locations throughout the whole shoot.  And it was well shot, tense action scenes, even though a number of them had hokey moments.  The colors were spot on throughout the whole film and while the people did look like they had been in a war or lived off the land for a while, but neither did Red Dawn or Red Dawn (2012).  The music itself seems over powering at times, there were scenes where the music just took over everything.  But in terms of a film the size that it was good, and the director Stuart Beattie is making a second one, which is good, cause like I said, it felt like the first two episodes of a well done CW show.  And it is very different from Beattie’s previous work, such as writing for the Pirates movies.

Overall this is a pretty fun movie.  It is very similar to Red Dawn, and if you grew up watching the first one, and possibly the new one which I haven’t seen yet.  It is campy fun, nothing so strong or special that it deserves critical praise, but something entertaining enough to warrant watching once.  And it is currently on Netflix.

Critical Grade: C

Entertainment Grade: B

Overall Grade: C+

(EDIT) For what it’s worth Phoebe Tonkin is on a CW show, The Vampire Diaries.

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