Newcastle

"Very Good"

Newcastle Review


Australian teen hardbodies have group sex in a tent. Need I continue? Actually, that memorable moment is just one of many eye-catching scenes in Newcastle, a fast-paced drama that dives into the tumultuous lives of competitive teen surfers who live up the coast from Sydney. There's lots going on, but ultimately it's the gorgeously shot surfing that you'll remember most.

Seventeen-year-old surfing prodigy Jesse (Lachlan Buchanan) has much on his mind as the local surfing championships loom. His mildly dysfunctional family includes a brooding older brother, Victor (Reshad Strik), who is deeply bitter about losing out on his own surfing glory after serious injuries, as well as a twin brother, Fergus (Xavier Samuels), who is fairly self-confident in his effeminate way (nail polish, purple hair streaks) yet still eager to hang out with the surf dudes on the beach, homophobic though they may be. Even his own brother sometimes calls him "Fag-us."

To get away from all the pre-competition pressure, Jesse's friends Scotty (Israel Cannan) and Nathan (Ben Milliken) suggest a weekend getaway to a deserted beach beyond the dunes. Two lovely young girls, surf buddy Andy (Kirk Jenkins), and Fergus also pile into the SUV, and away the group goes for fun, sun, and surfing. And did I mention the group sex in the tent?

Here the film takes its own refreshing break, with some amazingly photographed surfing. It really does feel like a day at the beach as you try to guess which cast members are actor-surfers and which are surfer-actors. As night falls, Jesse and Nathan each pair off with a girl (the tent!), Fergus and Andy wander off to discuss the meaning of life (is there more to golden boy Andy than meets the eye?), and Scotty becomes the extra man, an embarrassment that he tries to correct with alcohol and mischief.

The idyll is interrupted by the unwelcome arrival of angry brother Victor and that huge chip on his shoulder. Jealousy and testosterone rage, and a surfing battle ensues. That means there are more great surfing shots to watch.

If all this sounds a bit like Endless Summer meets The Karate Kid, perhaps it is, but writer/director Dan Castle has a subtle touch, and his characters have room to develop, especially Fergus, the "deviant" of the group who turns out to have his act far more together than the rest of these supposedly happy-go-lucky teens. Newcastle is like a staycation, a much needed beach break that you can enjoy without leaving home.

I thought you packed the sunscreen.



Newcastle

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st May 2009

Distributed by: Jour de Fete

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Dan Castle

Producer: Naomi Wenck

Starring: as Leah, as Fergus

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Advertisement
Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.