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Cactus

Year: 2008
Production Co: Open Space Films
Director: Jasmine Yuan Carrucan
Writer: Jasmine Yuan Carrucan
Cast: Bryan Brown, Shane Jacobson
Another million dollars is dug up from the deep holes of corporate Australia thanks to businesspeople who fancy themselves movie producers and will pay for anything on the slightest recommendation with no idea of whether it's a compelling movie or not.

In this case the recommendation is from Bryan Brown, who offered to help the first time writer/director get the film off the ground, and while its easy to see what he liked about it - with the single interesting part of the movie - the rest is pretty limp.

The idea was good on paper. The mood of a huge drama going on in a tiny pinprick (a single car) on the enormity of the Australian outback is a worthy hook but needed more flesh on its bones.

There's some accomplishment in the script giving away a little detail here and there, revealing what's going on as time passes in a very Hitchcockian way, but even aside from the long periods of quiet and stillness, not enough happens to engage you and you find yourself counting the minutes.

A guy with a muscle car kidnaps another guy and starts to drive him across the desert to an apparently unpleasant meeting with some (presumably unhappy) shady creditors and predictably, the two men get under each others skin in ways they wouldn't have imagined when they learn more about each other.

It's strange, because even a few good images, a few good scenes, a few good performances and a good premise couldn't make the movie interesting.

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