Thursday, August 26, 2010

tomorrow when the war began movie - my review

Last night I joined a throng of teenagers to enjoy a free preview screening of the tomorrow when the war began movie (thanks to myspace and black curtain screening).  Having imagined this book turned into a film for many many years, I had high hopes.  I grew up on this series and am a very big John Marsden fan.  I seriously doubted that the movie could ever be as good as the book but I was excited to see it come to life none the less.

The good bits

  • It was fast-paced - lots of action and it flowed really well
  • There some great snippets of humour courtesy of Homer and stoner Chris - very much geared at the teenage set and judging by the cinema I was sitting in, it certainly hit the mark!
  • I was very pleasantly suprised by the soundtrack - some great Aussie songs were thrown in that reminded me of being a teenager too 
  • I think the casting was pretty good (if not perfect).  Ashleigh Cummings (aka Robyn) was brilliant and sat really well with the way I imagined that character.  
  • The scenery was great.  Hell looked as I imagined it.  It was shot near where I grew up so it felt really familiar to me, the way the books do.
  • The inclusion of mobile phones and laptops were a nice way to make it applicable to teens today
The not so good bits
  • I am still not 100% convinced that Cailtin Stasey was the best choice to play Ellie.  She had a real tendency to overact in Neighbours, and she did a little in this movie too.  Having said that, I'm not sure if I could ever be happy with the casting of a character that is so vividly alive in my imagination.  She certainly had big shoes to fill, and I didn't hate her performance.    
  • As is always the case when books become movies, some really good bits were left out and some strange bits were put in
  • What was with the guns?  They started toting guns before the war even started in this movie!  And they they then suddenly have machine guns, and a rocket launcher even makes a sneaky appearance at the end.  What?!
  • I really don't like the way they changed the Herron Bridge scene, although I understand for the most part why they did it.  What I really took objection to was the change it made to Robyn's character.  Not sure how they're going to deal with that in the next movies.
  • What was with that last cliff-gazing scene?  I believe we could've done without that.
So, there you have it.  I was actually pleasantly suprised by this movie and I throughly enjoyed watching it, even though it is very much a teen movie.  I really hope this brings a new generation to John Marsden and this brilliant series of books.  It deserves a million times the adoration of the Twilight series, that's for sure!

So go and see it!  Just take your teenage goggles with you :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your review - I have to admit the trailer didn't have me hooked even though I too loved these books as a teenager but I may go and see it now after your review - afterall, movies from books are never going to be exactly as we picture them :)

  2. I am really looking forward to seeing this film, and I am expecting it will be quite teenagey. I have such a love for the books, and I'm just so glad that someone finally took the plunge to make the first one into a movie. It's been a long time coming!

  3. Amanda and Wendy, I'd love to hear what you both think of the movie if you do go and see it. I'm also quite keen to hear what my teenage sisters think of it too. :)

  4. Oh wow I'd only heard that the movie was being made a few weeks ago. I didnt realise they'd already made and are now screening it! I had the priveledge of meeting John Marsden whilst visiting his school. We are thinking of enrolling our girls there. Looking forward to seeing the movie.

  5. @SewSofie - John Marsden's school looks fantastic! I want to go there! haha

  6. I really love John Marsden - when I was a teenager I did writing workshops with him. I think I need to reread it, and then go and see it, though I am suspecting I will be disappointed. But I am looking forward to it at the same time!


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