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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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ANACONDA

SYNOPSIS:
A film crew is hired by Dr. Steven Cale (Stoltz) to document a primitive Amazon tribe that he has discovered. Transported upstream by a local river boat captain, Mateo (Castellanos), the film crew, consisting of producer Terri Flores (Lopez), pompous narrator Warren Westridge (Hyde), cameraman Danny (Cube), sound-man Gary (Wilson), and production assistant Denise Kalberg (Wuhrer), prepare themselves for anything. After they pick up a stranded snake hunter, Paul Sarone (Voight), however, things begin to go downhill for them. Sarone is hunting for the giant anaconda, a snake that will fetch a fortune. It is also the snake at the top of the food chain in the exotic Amazon jungle, its largest and most vicious killer. Sure enough, the hunted snake soon becomes the hunter and Sarone’s greed - and abundant local knowledge - defies the crew in their attempts to escape. To survive the anaconda (and Sarone), they need the cunning of a snake….

"Anaconda is great fun. Not since Cher found snakes wriggling in her bed in The Witches of Eastwick, have we had our attention surreptitiously aimed towards this deadly reptile. But mark my words, we are talking monster snakes here, of the striking pthalo blue variety with bright orange markings that coils around a mere mortal, strangles or even swallows him whole. And the special effects are stunning, as is Jon Voight’s memorable performance as the sneering, evil adventurer, whose obsessive calling has transgressed from the priesthood to anaconda hunting. His characterisation is totally convincing: the sardonic expression on his scarred face lingers and he is wickedly menacing. This is a very well made film, with fabulous cinematography, tension building music and exceptional sound. The performances are all tops, with gorgeous Jennifer Lopez looking fetching even covered with monkey blood; Ice Cube in great form; as are the rest of the cast. The Brazilian locations are fabulous, with lush rainforests, glorious sunsets, breathtaking waterfalls and extremes of weather. There is a surreal quality to the way the forest at night is lit; where leopards prowl, monkeys swing, fireflies mate and Anacondas wait…. The incredible is balanced with the credible, and there is enough tension and mounting of fear to satisfy those munching on giant candy pythons and clinging onto someone friendly. Look out for that moment that is totally over the top - you will know it when it arrives!"
Louise Keller

"On a scale of 10, Anaconda has a million… jokes aside, this is a funny movie. Tense but funny. And hugely enjoyable. As Louise says, Voight is vonderful as the vild man of the river (his subtle accent has Germanic strains) and his fellow actors really get into the swing of things in the jungle. Even the dead monkeys put on a top act. The snake in the title role is mesmerising - both for its ferocity and its veracity. Seamless effects work here deserves credit, as does the smart pacing of the film. The scenery is gorgeous, the message is subtle and the humour light-handed. With all the scary bits, this is an ideal movie for a first date: you get dozens of opportunities to clinch each other in mock fear, and then to calm down over a smoothing drink."
Andrew L. Urban

"This is the kind of movie that critics love to hate, and strictly speaking, this critic should be vilifying what is essentially a B-grade monster flick featuring an over-sized snake lurking in the Amazon. But hey, forget one's critical faculties, and take this movie for what it is: an entertaining hoot of a movie that doesn't set about to take itself seriously. After all, you've got Jon Voight providing many of the laughs [intended or otherwise] with an over-the-top performance that has to be seen to be believed. Snarling, gritting, throwing out venomous dialogue to gleeful perfection. Jennifer Lopez looks fantastic and Ice Cube and Britain's Jonathan Hyde provide much of the movie's intended humour. Add to that, some cheesy visual effects and some spectacular cinematography (the film was shot on location in Brazil) and one can understand why Anaconda has been this unexpected hit. This is Jaws of the jungle stuff. No art here, but for sheer, exploitative commercialism, this snake flick has plenty of bite."
Paul Fischer



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JON VOIGHT INTERVIEW
MAKING OF ANACONDA

ANACONDA (M)
(US)

CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Vincent Castellanos, Danny Trejo

DIRECTOR: Luis Llosa

PRODUCER: Verna Harrah, Leonard Rabinowitz, Carole Little

SCRIPT: Hans Bauer and Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Butler

EDITOR: Michael R. Miller

MUSIC: Randy Edelman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kirk M. Petruccelli

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 3, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: September 9, 1998

AUST VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar







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