Saturday, November 1, 2008

Frog Dreaming (1986)

Here we go. This is more like it. I'm finally getting back to the films that inspired this blog in the first place. You have to understand, it can be difficult and overwhelming to watch a host of new and potentially awful movies. You have to be prepared for the best and worst and preferably you'll be riding under some sort of intoxicated haze. On the other hand, after a hard and/or soul-sucking day in reality, it's often nice to fall back on a feature with guaranteed mindless visual effects and a warm fuzzy feeling. Hence, the batches of 1993+ action movies. Here, however, I have a grand exception to the often dreary discernment of solid sci-fi. With almost no helpful information found on any of the usual silicon sites, I have been barely able to piece together enough vital statistics about this movie to understand and revel in its complete and utter awesomeness (I even had to take my own picture of the cover!). An Australian release, Frog Dreaming found its way onto the American scene by the way of The Quest, publicized almost primarily on the fame of recently regarded little boy: Henry Thomas (of Elliot [E.T.] and Cloak and Dagger fame). Quite unfortunately, that was not enough to convince people to see the movie, let alone push for its transfer into the timeless annals of the internet. The plot is basically about a really intelligent child who finds out about this Loch Ness-esque monster character named Donkegin. He gets all his insider info from the Blacks (it's all "the Blacks do this; the Blacks believe this." I was a little confused until I realized that the movie is filmed and set in Australia, and their Blacks are our Native Americans [hence the "unconventional" naming terminology and the bizarre shamanistic rituals.]! Yay for Natives!) and then sets out to test his technically savvy theory about what the hell-beast risen from the foul depths of the mystery pond truly is. Besides an awesome story-line that includes crazy apparating shamans, crab-fishing, modified bicycles, National Geographic, and coming of age dream-visions, the movie is totally radd because: a) It was filmed entirely on location in a beautiful part of suburban Melborne b) there are enough animal shots (especially frogs) to make you think you've stumbled onto Attenborough's private collection c) the film encourages appreciating the intelligence of children who've got it and the nifty contraptions they can engineer as a result of it. And D), quite possibly the most essentially epic of them all, the movie makes you think that there's some real and scientifically backed explanation for everything that you've seen in the last 90 minutes, and then they throw in this "wait a second...has this all been a frog dream?" moment at the very end which I think is not only curious but crucial. And, frog dreaming is like totally a real thing (see corresponding pictures)! To encounter the epic ending, watch this clip!

I deem it: "A classic children's combo of bravery and bravado, mysticism and machismo, scaries and smarts!"

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