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Animal Kingdom [DVD]

James Frecheville , Guy Pearce    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Price: 4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 July 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MUUK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,679 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

The title leaves no doubt about the nature contained in this Australian crime picture: the law of the jungle prevails, and it's kill or be killed out there. That's the belief within the Cody clan, anyway, the Melbourne criminal family whose exploits give Animal Kingdom its fire. The central character is something of a deliberate vacancy, a blank slate for the movie to write on: 17-year-old Joshua, known as J (James Frechville), is taken in by his grandmother after his mother dies of an overdose (a memorably chilling opening scene). Grandma (Jacki Weaver) is known as Smurf, but don't let the name fool you: she's the Ma Barker-like matriarch of a brood of sociopaths, none more lethal than oldest son Andrew, known as the Pope (a blood-curdling performance by Ben Mendelsohn). Luke Ford and Sullivan Stapleton play her other sons, and Joel Edgerton (The Square) is on hand as an outlaw associate. The way J is brought in and tested in this world of blood-spattered machismo is director David Michod's subject, and even if the film has a few heavy-handed moments along the way, the overall effect is tense and unsettling. J's journey comes up short compared to a contemporaneous study of another unformed youth learning the ropes of crime (Jacques Audiard's A Prophet), but its portrait of amorality thriving in a somewhat ordinary-looking urban landscape is effective. Bonus: Guy Pearce's role as a detective who tries to catch J on the course of his tragic trajectory, a rare glimpse of humanity in an otherwise chaotic zoo. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Following the death of his mother, 17-year–old Joshua 'J' Cody (James Frecheville) moves in with his hitherto–estranged family, under the watchful eye of his doting grandmother, Janine 'Smurf' Cody (Jacki Weaver), and her three criminal sons--the Cody boys. Eldest son and armed robber, Andrew 'Pope' Cody (Ben Mendelsohn) is in hiding from a gang of renegade detectives. Middle brother Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) is a successful but volatile drug dealer, whilst the youngest Cody, Darren (Luke Ford), naïvely follows his elder brothers' lead. Just as Pope's business partner and best friend, Barry Brown (Joel Edgerton), decides that he wants out of the game, recognising that their days of old–school banditry are all but over, tensions between the family and the police explode. J finds himself at the centre of a cold–blooded revenge plot that turns his family upside down and which throws him directly into the path of senior homicide detective, Nathan Leckie (Guy Pearce).

Writer and director David Michôd’s brutal and captivating depiction of Melbourne’s criminal underbelly heralds the arrival of an intense new voice to contemporary Australian Cinema.

Extras:
  • Interviews (David Michôd, Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Jacki Weaver, James Frecheville, Laura Wheelwright, Sullivan Stapleton, Luke Ford)
  • Audio commentaries with David Michôd and cast
  • Making Of
  • Trailer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing pains... 13 Jan 2012
Format:Blu-ray
Crime sagas often work well when they're told from the point of view of someone on the periphery of the main action. In this case, it's 17-year-old Josh who's just become an orphan and turns to his grandmother and uncles for support. Unfortunately for him, they're heavily involved with violent crime, which compels him to have to decide the direction in which he wishes to take his own life. Punctuated by several surprising twists and refreshingly devoid of cliches, Animal Kingdom strikes an admirable balance between cranking up the tension and presenting an engaging character study. James Frecheville as Josh and Jacki Weaver as the inscrutable matriarch are quite superb, as is the evocation of the Australian setting. A triumph.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm All Out Of Love 14 Mar 2011
By prisrob TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
David Michod, the Director and Screenwriter of 'Animal Kingdom' had given us a terrific film. Filmed in Melbourne, Australia it is akin to Scorsese's criminal New York or Boston.

We meet the storyteller, Josh Cody, played by James Frechevile, watching television while a woman next to him looks asleep. A few minutes later the emergency squad arrives, and we learn this is J Cody's mother who has died from a heroin overdose. J calls his grandmother who he has not seen in many years. Smurf Cody, as played by Jacki Weaver, is the grandmother, and she is one of those loving psychopaths that give you the creeps. She has come to get Josh to bring him into the bosom of her criminal, psychopathic family. His uncles, Pope, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is so unnerving that is was difficult to watch him. Darren is played by Luke Ford and Craig is Sullivan Stapleton. This is a group of people who steal, deal in drugs and murder at the drop of a hat. Josh enters the family and though he is not part of the criminal activity, he is part of the family. Pope has been on the lam, and enters the family via the back door, literally. He is to be avoided at all costs. Smurf, the Granny, kisses all of her sons on the lips and lingers a little too long for comfort. What has gone on in this home? Smurf mentions to Pope that maybe he should start taking his meds again. You think? No one is safe and after two innocent policemen are killed, the law is after the Codys. Josh in the middle is innocent, but one particular detective, played by Guy Pearce, seems to think he can save him. Nothing works, and Josh realizes he need to look out for himself, and he has a plan. At one point in the film, Air Supply is seen and heard on the television playing their song 'I'm All Out Of Love'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Business 25 Aug 2012
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
A good tight plot, plenty of very good actors and we are in business. This tale of a cadet branch of a Melbourne crime family and its run-ins with rogue (and otherwise) police is a grim one without the sentimentality that can appear in Hollywood films. There are plenty of twists, and the tongue-tied acting of the lead is right on the money. Good stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Australian Crime Drama 18 Nov 2011
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Animal Kingdom is David Michod's feature directing debut, and what a debut! Certainly one of the best Australian films I have ever seen along with, say, Lantana, The Proposition and the Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. I guess the difficulty now for Michod is following it up with something of comparable quality.

Animal Kingdom charts the experiences of 17-year old Joshua Cody, as, following the death of his mother from a drugs overdose, he finds himself being 'adopted' by his near family, who (unfortunately for him) happen to be part of the criminal underworld, led by his maternal grandmother Janine Cody and her three sons. Michod directs with surprising assurance (given this is his debut) and has produced a slow-burning, brooding thriller whose main themes are misguided family loyalty mixed with near psychotic bursts of behaviour.

The cast is outstanding with three particular standouts for me. Ben Mendelsohn as Andrew 'Pope' Cody, the psycohotic 'leader' of the family gang is disturbingly convincing in what is a remarkably underplayed, brooding role. Jacki Weaver as the grandmother Janine Code is absolutely superb as the 'kindly' matriarch who has the best interests of her family at heart, but just happens to be completely deranged at the same time - she was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for this role. Finally, James Frecheville, in only his second film, puts in a very promising performance as the innocent grandson Joshua, who is totally convincing as he attempts to make very difficult moral judgements.

Great stuff, and essential viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, nail biting affair 27 Aug 2011
Format:DVD
I almost had to seek assistance in wrenching myself away from the settee following the conclusion of this film, such was the degree to which it had me throughly gripped in anticipation and treidation for the plight of the lead character. Y'know theres cinematic apprehension that you get with films such as 'the departed' and then theres films like this that are so realistic in their portrayal of events and the subculture that they seek to represent that the suspense factor is simply jacked to the max. Some sublime performances from the cast throughout, particularly from the young lead actor. Proof in the pudding that you can be unhollywood without being arty and pretentious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film from Down Under
Every once in a while you come across a surprisingly brilliant film - so well done no wonder the cast are all becoming famous in their own rights
Published 1 month ago by Cazziek
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian gangster movie
I purchased this movie on the basis of reviews on Amazon. I thought it was a good watch, I've viewed it twice and will probably watch it again. The mother is very believable.
Published 2 months ago by GaryC
3.0 out of 5 stars Grisly goings-on in suburban Australia
Guy Pearce provides star quality in this grim tale of small-town seediness, corrupt police, drug peddling and sudden brutal violence. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, unpredictable and brilliant!
I watched this film again last night with my housemate. I had forgotten how utterly brilliant it is. When I saw it for the first time at the cinema I was blown away. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Houchen
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S OKAY TO CRY
17 year old Josh's mother dies from an OD which forces him to move back into his crime family. His grandmother (Jacki Weaver) is the Ma Barker type in that she stereotypically... Read more
Published 7 months ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Film
An incredibly powerful film. The performances are all flawless. The film is superbly directed, with the characters developing and growing in menance as the story unfolds, and a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richard Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Animal Kingdom
Brilliant film, watched it twice, lots of action would recommend it to all my friends as a film that they must watch
Published 9 months ago by Darren Cooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark and Great
You have a pretty good idea of where you are within the first minutes of Animal Kingdom.

The credits appear over images of an armed robbery and the story opens with a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by nigel p bird
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but didnt live upto trailer
The trailer looked all action packed, intrigue and family torment. It was a good film, some good acting but some a little ham. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Hetty
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow burning, pressure cooker of a film... but it lacked sparkle
Animal Kingdom wasn't even on the radar when I stumbled across it, looking for new films. Reading reviews, I thought I'd found a hidden gem, but it wasn't as good as I'd... Read more
Published 23 months ago by The Truth
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