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Does anyone have another can of Fosters, mate?

Movie
Can humour really shield anyone from experiences in life? The Odd Angry Shot and its great cast of characters do just that. Set during the Vietnam War, The Odd Angry Shot depicts life in Australia as it was before, during and following the war. Times and lifestyles were much simpler and societal roles were more defined.

Graham Kennedy plays Harry, a hard-core SAS Corporal who is serving his second tour in Vietnam. This role must have been written specifically for him because within a few minutes of The Odd Angry Shot, the viewer no longer sees Graham Kennedy the actor, but as Harry. In my opinion, an actor who performs his craft like Graham Kennedy is nothing less than brilliant. I am a big fan of Graham Kennedy and to see him in this role for the first time is a delight. As Harry, he can be the lovable larrikin we have all known Graham Kennedy to be through his various roles, but  when called into action (literally) he serves as a role model, a mentor, and a bloody good mate!

Odd Angry Shot, The

Under his command are wet behind the ears Bill, played by John Jarratt, John Graves as the easy-going Bung, Bryan Brown as the straight and to the point Rogers, the down-to-earth, practical Dawson played by Graeme Blundell, and rounded out by the innocent, young Scott, played by Ian Gilmour. The roles were expertly cast and I cannot say enough about Graham Kennedy’s performance. It was almost as if he was living each moment of The Odd Angry Shot and it appeared when he was part of certain scenes, one could not help but feel that his emotions ran further than what the script even called for.

Special mention goes to Bryan Brown in his role as Rogers. Despite his true blue Aussie bloke persona, there were times when the camera caught an almost soft sentiment from Bryan Brown the man and not Bryan Brown the actor. It was very refreshing to see that come through in his performance and made the film all the more enjoyable to watch.

At the same time, there is subtle and more than subtle humour that as previously mentioned, acts as a shield against reality. We all have our coping skills in various forms. In Harry’s company, whether through playing footy in the rain and mud or the vast consumption of Fosters, The Odd Angry Shot was more than worth the viewing.

Video
The Odd Angry Shot is presented in its original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced. The transfer quality overall is good, taking into account that The Odd Angry Shot was made more than twenty plus years ago. The colouring and skin-tones are pretty good and once again, while viewing The Odd Angry Shot, one would not be looking for the flaws, but will be almost totally consumed by the reality of war and the effects it has not only on those who served there but those at home.

There were some spectacular shots throughout The Odd Angry Shot and one that comes to mind most is the helicopter scenes. It was quite amazing how the director Tom Jeffrey was able to successfully master these scenes and with only limited choppers. These come up quite well on the disc, though not quite up to the best standard of some of the newer releases.

Odd Angry Shot, The

Audio
The Odd Angry Shot was presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 which I think was more than fine for this DVD. Dialogue was clear throughout and one might have presumed while in the scrub or during the more difficult war scenes there would be some problems hearing what was said, but this is not the case.

I thought the music, composed by Michael Carlos, tied into the theme and feeling of the various scenes throughout. They say that Silence is Golden and The Odd Angry Shot is a great example of how sometimes more is said without words than with them. Might I suggest you view The Odd Angry Shot for yourself and you will see (and hear) what I mean.

Extras
Included in the supplements is an audio commentary which I thoroughly enjoyed. In this case it was interesting to hear from Sue Milliken and Tom Jeffrey who served as writer, producer, and director. I was almost expecting that we were going to see him cast as an extra in the film as well. Graeme Blundell added his insights to the track as well, which revealed the limited budget of $600,000, how The Odd Angry Shot was made, and how it was all completed without having to do any re-shoots.

In addition, there is a Script to Screen feature which allows the viewer to compare the original script with the final edited version of two scenes. With the Dossier: From Book to Film extra, the viewer can select from various options which include numerous stills, memos, call sheets etc. I always enjoy seeing the old original advertising posters. They don’t make them like that anymore.

The disc is rounded out with the theatrical trailer, presented in 1.33:1 and with a Dolby 2.0 track, as well as a biographies section for the cast & crew.

Odd Angry Shot, The

Overall
Mateship is the core of the Australian way of life. It cannot be described, and no amount of words can express the true deep understanding and meaning of what it really is. The Odd Angry Shot was brilliant in its portrayal of the Vietnam War and sentiments of people about the war. Men such as those in Harry’s company lost their lives for their country and it was only thorough viewing The Odd Angry Shot that one becomes more aware, not only of history and the events that took places, but the cast all put faces to names of those who were left behind.


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