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Sydney crim Barry (Bryan Brown) operates a healthy racket, milking illegal poker machines around some of the unregulated clubs in the late 60s. He has Detective Ray (Sam Neill) on the payroll, and a mistress, Margaret (Kestie Morassi) on the side. But his smarter-than-she-looks wife (Toni Collette) has his number. When his innocent nephew Darcy (Sam Worthington) returns from a tour of duty in Vietnam, it happily coincides with the arrival of a couple of Chicago mobsters (John Goodman, Felix Williamson) who want in on Barry's action. Young Darcy is sent to greet them in the first move of a welcome routine that shows the Yanks what an unfair go looks like. Meanwhile, Darcy and Margaret get together behind Barry's back - as do some of his so called loyal followers.

Review by Louise Keller:
There are never-before seen deleted and extended scenes on this new release of David Caesar's wickedly entertaining black thriller, together with interviews with cast and crew, launch party and blooper reel. It's a satisfying and complete work that is both gritty and funny.

Darkly comic with an array of wonderfully colourful characters that buzz with life, we are immediately drawn into the time and place, when flower power was erupting, the musical Hair was playing, and eyeliner, oversize sunglasses and bouffant hairstyles were the rage. Everyone's crooked, and we love them all - these distinctive characters that have been so splendidly conceived on the page.

The film looks and sounds great with a ripper of an upbeat soundtrack, plus some tunes that will take Baby Boomers back. Simply revelling in the role of Barry, a two-bit hood with a cowboy-like approach to crime, Bryan Brown plays mean and nasty with plenty of bite. With the downward curl of the lip and his piercing steely blue eyes that don't miss a thing, Brown is a knockout; his Barry is even better than his impressive Pando from Two Hands. I love every moment of John Goodman's screen time - his traditional Mafioso hood is at a loss when confronted by Barry's laid-back Aussie-style thuggery.

There are some magical moments indeed, none more than those offered by Toni Collette, whose seemingly innocent housewife keeps her husband well and truly in line. Yes, indeedy, there's real wile and finesse in the way she manages his infidelity! Sam Neill's unabashed crooked cop brings corruption to new ludicrous lows, while Sam Worthington and Kestie Morassi are appealing as the young lovers. The contrast of the backstreets of Kings Cross with the vast, red dusty outback makes a great juxtaposition, and things really hot up when Barry decides to teach the mafia 'big boys' a lesson or two. It's a juicy black thriller with a twist and a cast full of aces. Dig it!

Published October 4, 2006

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(Aus, 2002)

CAST: Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman, Sam Neill, Sam Worthington, Kestie Morassi, Felix Williamson, Andrew S. Gilbert, William McInnes

PRODUCER: Deborah Balderstone, Bryan Brown

DIRECTOR: David Caesar

SCRIPT: David Caesar


EDITOR: Mark Perry

MUSIC: Paul Healy


RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Never-before-seen deleted scenes Interviews with the cast and crew Bloopers Launch Party

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: October 3, 2007

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