Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newcastle thrills
Newcastle is a very offbeat movie. It really picks up very down to earth Aussie humour and this makes it earthy. It has a strange premise and is full of surprises - the fate of the older brother caught me by surprise. I did not like some of the protaginists - but this makes it even more quirky. I think its a very off the beaten track movie and filmed in the industrial...
Published on 29 July 2010 by Gavin Slater

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surfing the mainstream wave?
Jesse, in his late-teens, is the middle brother of three. His dream is to escape from his small-town, working-class fate, by becoming a pro surfer. His older step-brother, Victor, was himself a former surf champion whose career was mysteriously cut short and who manages his bitterness with alcohol and aggression. The younger brother, Fergus, who dresses emo-style and has...
Published on 2 April 2010 by Son of Nietzsche


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surfing the mainstream wave?, 2 April 2010
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
Jesse, in his late-teens, is the middle brother of three. His dream is to escape from his small-town, working-class fate, by becoming a pro surfer. His older step-brother, Victor, was himself a former surf champion whose career was mysteriously cut short and who manages his bitterness with alcohol and aggression. The younger brother, Fergus, who dresses emo-style and has never been part of surfing life, is the brunt of both brothers' bullying.

On one occasion, Jesse lets Fergus tag along when he heads off for a weekend on the beach with some friends - but is disturbed by the obvious sparks that fly between one of his surfer buddies and Fergus. In addition to this confusion, tragedy falls - and Jesse must decide whether surfing is really what he wants, or whether he is just trying to follow in his older brother's footsteps and live up to their father's ambitions.

NEWCASTLE is a visual treat: the surf sequences, above and below water, are beautifully shot, and the play between camera, water and light is quite stunning. (Also on the visuals front, the copious display of tanned, blond surfers' bodies is sure to have its own appeal.) The attractive cast put in some commendably strong performances, and the unexpected moments of tenderness and humour - together with a sympathetic soundscape - add a great deal of poignancy to the background surf-story frame.

So why only three stars (or three and a half, if such were an option)? Being familiar with director/writer Dan Castle's previous works (particularly his little-known, superb short film 'The Visitor'), and therefore of what he is *capable*, NEWCASTLE was somewhat disappointing: partly for its sanitization of homoeroticism (not even a kiss) and more significantly in the dumbing-down of Castle's usual character complexity - no doubt to appeal to mainstream sensibilities. It's hard not to feel that this film was aimed at a broader commercial market, and this is also apparent in its homage to conventional story arcs and the borderline over-sentimentality. In any event, this film certainly screams 'unrealized potential'.

Overall, NEWCASTLE is certainly a strong film, visually impressive, and even worth multiple viewings - just don't expect anything particularly sensual or edgy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newcastle thrills, 29 July 2010
By 
Gavin Slater - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
Newcastle is a very offbeat movie. It really picks up very down to earth Aussie humour and this makes it earthy. It has a strange premise and is full of surprises - the fate of the older brother caught me by surprise. I did not like some of the protaginists - but this makes it even more quirky. I think its a very off the beaten track movie and filmed in the industrial environs of Newcastle makes it more so. Lots of camera time is spent on shots of the water and surfing! I think its worth the effort of watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sexier home and away, 30 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
This is rather like a sexier home and away , with great camera shots of surfing and aussie beaches . It starts a little slow but then actually becomes an entertaining afternoon type of story . Its not really a gay film , more just about a group of surfing teenagers . Enjoyable if not life changing .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sun, sea, surf and a bit of sex!, 6 May 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
This a film by gay director Dan Castle and has been advertised as a gay movie, and is being promoted by Peccadillo in the U.K. Up front this is not a gay film, it has one real gay character but a lot of cutsie, eye candy shots of buff boys in board shorts.

What it is about is the relationship between a family of three brothers and the pains of growing up and the endless surfing. This is quite testosterone fuelled but most of it is aimed towards competitive surfing, or arguing or making a lot of unnecessary noise and aggression. There is scant character development which I found disappointing.

Of the three brothers the middle one Jessie is trying to emulate his older brother's surf achievements. His elder brother was a success but has now faded into obscurity as not enough time in the classroom has led him to be a bit of a failure in the `real world'. He still lives at home as his relationship with his ex has broken down. The younger brother Fergus or 'Fagus' as they some times call him,(Xavier Samuel) is gay and a goth and has no friends.

He gets invited to join Jessie and his friends for a weekend surf party up the coast, and that is where it gets interesting. Please note this is not a sex fest, it does have some mild nudity but as a 15 cert you can guess that this is fairly tame.

As I said not enough character development, but some very nice shots and if you are into surfing, then this is a must, I actually preferred `Tan Lines', but this is still an above average film and did not drag in the least, so for some light entertainment with eye candy a plenty this should `float your boat' or at least your boogie board.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 22 Oct 2010
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
For those that like to have a lot of eye candy to look at his is the movie for you. Will not say that it is a deep story line but it was a little more than expected. Fun and very good underwater camera work does make this worth the watch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surfing the mainstream wave?, 20 Oct 2009
Jesse, in his late-teens, is the middle brother of three. His dream is to escape from his small-town, working-class fate, by becoming a pro surfer. His older step-brother, Victor, was himself a former surf champion whose career was mysteriously cut short and who manages his bitterness with alcohol and aggression. The younger brother, Fergus, who dresses emo-style and has never been part of surfing life, is the brunt of both brothers' bullying.

On one occasion, Jesse lets Fergus tag along when he heads off for a weekend on the beach with some friends - but is disturbed by the obvious sparks that fly between one of his surfer buddies and Fergus. In addition to this confusion, tragedy falls - and Jesse must decide whether surfing is really what he wants, or whether he is just trying to follow in his older brother's footsteps and live up to their father's ambitions.

NEWCASTLE is a visual treat: the surf sequences, above and below water, are beautifully shot, and the play between camera, water and light is quite stunning. (Also on the visuals front, the copious display of tanned, blond surfers' bodies is sure to have its own appeal.) The attractive cast put in some commendably strong performances, and the unexpected moments of tenderness and humour - together with a sympathetic soundscape - add a great deal of poignancy to the background surf-story frame.

So why only three stars (or three and a half, if such were an option)? Being familiar with director/writer Dan Castle's previous works (particularly his little-known, superb short film 'The Visitor'), and therefore of what he is *capable*, NEWCASTLE was somewhat disappointing: partly for its sanitization of homoeroticism (not even a kiss) and more significantly in the dumbing-down of Castle's usual character complexity - no doubt to appeal to mainstream sensibilities. It's hard not to feel that this film was aimed at a broader commercial market, and this is also apparent in its homage to conventional story arcs and the borderline over-sentimentality. In any event, this film certainly screams 'unrealized potential'.

Overall, NEWCASTLE is certainly a strong film, visually impressive, and even worth multiple viewings - just don't expect anything particularly sensual or edgy.

DVD extras include an extended 'Making Of' feature, a full director's commentary and trailers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sun, Surf, Skin, 28 May 2010
By 
Bob Drake "BobDrake" (Bronx, NY United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This film was shot on Super 16 (mainly because it is a common format for underwater surfing shots) so there is only so much improvement that you can expect in the blu-ray version of the film. That said, the film looks great.

In the U.S. and the U.K. Newcastle is marketed as a gay film. It is and it isn't. The teen surfer boys spend a lot of time in board shorts or less and make nice, blue-eyed, eye candy. The opening shot of Jesse, on a top bunk, opening his blue eyes to look out at the surf, is captivating. Then there is his darker fraternal twin. Fergus (Xavier Samuel), who is a goth, gay kid with a streak of color in his hair. The cover of the actual Peccadillo blu-ray disc is not as pictured currently. It looks more like the Newcastle - Australia [DVD] [2009] cover with Fergus/Xavier front and center, with a note that he is to appear in Twilight: Eclipse. Despite having his picture on the front cover, Fergus/Xavier is not the highlight of the film.

There is a lot of surf in the film, a lot of family dynamics involving Jesse's older brother who was a better surfer but did not handle the transition to adulthood well, and a lot of teen angst. When the boys and a couple of girls take off for a weekend in the dunes we see some naked boy butts and watch Jesse lose his virginity up close. It is clear that Fergus has a crush on Jesse's friend Andy. When they pair up that evening, Fergus and Andy progress from stargazing to views on homosexuality to talk of masturbation. Eventually the older brother shows up and ruins the beach party. And the water changes in color from turquoise to steely blue - on purpose as we learn in the extras.

A lot has been made of the Fergus-Andy relationship. The gay director, Dan Castle, reportedly did not specifically see them as a gay couple, but had the two guys room together to bond, and told "Andy" to take the gay notion as far as he was comfortable. Australian men are not as chronically homophobic as are U.S. men, hence Puppetry Of The Penis [DVD] [2001]. Andy is one of the few who do not make jokes ("Fagus') about Fergus. True, after the accepting Andy gives Fergus permission to "look" the two become close. And both are shown buckling up as if they had been up to something. But why not, since Fergus has no other friends and Andy is not freaked out by Fergus. At one point towards the end of the film Andy is referred to as Fergus's "boyfriend," but it is clear that this is said in a friendly, loving way among friends. So I guess if you must consider Fergus and Andy to be a couple, by all means do. I doubt director Castle, will argue with you, since there is a market for fresh gay films.

The film ends with the two brothers, Jesse and Fergus, swimming naked together on a beach that is not clothing optional. It is clear that they are completely comfortable with each other's nudity as they swim like dolphins around an underwater camera in sun-dappled water, and as they run naked through the neighborhood back to their granddad's place. (A deft hand on the controls show they really are naked if that is your thing.) Of course Xavier Samuel is not gay. Fergus is.

The Extras are worthwhile since they discuss the filming and the music. The film is not perfect, but accomplishes what it set out to do.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Where do I begin??, 17 May 2014
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
Having been born, raised and lived near an Aussie beach for 44 years, I was very interested in this movie. I bought the Blu-Ray version for a nice 5, and I'm very happy with the quality; the picture is superb.

The good points -

The cinematography, especially the underwater shots, is incredible. This is a beautifully shot film. The script is quite good, the dialogue is very true to life, just what you'd overhear on any Aussie beach. The performances from the young actors is also very good and very believable. Finally, the constant sweeping shots of the tanned surf-god's shirtless bodies makes the whole film a 100 minute perv-fest.

The bad points -

The marketing of this film. In their desperation to get a return on their investment, the producers have tried everything to market this movie. The name change for the UK market (adding 'Australia' to the actual title 'Newcastle' to save any confusion the Poms might have), the big head shot and rave review of Xavier Samuel to get the Twihards to buy it are just annoying. The biggest complaint I have is marketing of this as a gay film, in a desparate aim at the Pink Pound, as if its something similar to 'Shelter'. (It's even sold by a gay film store through Amazon!!!) This is NOT a gay film .... just because the film features a very, very tame pseudo-gay side plot for a few minutes does NOT make it a gay film!!! Maybe the acres of hot, young male flesh on display makes it a gay film, but I felt a little ripped off in this department. I was made to think it was a gay surf story ala 'Shelter', but made and shot in my home state. This reeks of desperation.

The ending. What were they thinking? What was that ending all about? I'm not going to spoil it for anyone reading this, but seriously??!! Watching a film for 1 hour 40 mins to have an ending like that? I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this in other reviews. Oh well, maybe I'm just a really strange person who expects a film to actually have an ending.

In conclusion, this film could have been so, so good. In fact, it probably could have had the potential to be a classic Aussie film. But by pandering to a straight, male surfing audience (once again to make as much money as possible), the makers wasted what should have been a beautiful, touching gay sub-plot. They obviously didnt want to offend any surfie boys watching this. And then they could have had a proper ending, that brought it all to a satisfying conclusion. It may sound trivial, but having a nothing ending like that destroyed the entire film for me.

Such a pity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars NEWCASTLE, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
Mmmmm ohh wow! Now this full of hot , no wait steaming hot surfers, god girls do not watch this with your man ... Strictly ladies only film, Each acter performs his surfing tricks with such ease, Young Xavier Samuel certainly has shown his acting talent & body ;)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Gay story-line under developed., 21 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Newcastle - Australia [DVD] (DVD)
Superb cinematography makes this "surfing movie" very enjoyable to watch. The young cast are excellent, but although this movie comes up with "Gay themed" searches it is not what I would call a gay movie. There are gay characters, but the films target audience is definitely the straight surfing male, and the produces played it safe, by not pushing the boundaries of the gay guy story-line, maybe he should have, there is not even a gay kiss here! But for many other reasons weather you are straight or gay you will probably enjoy this movie!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Newcastle - Australia [Blu-ray]
Newcastle - Australia [Blu-ray] by Dan Castle (Blu-ray - 2010)
5.89
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews