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Sibling rivalry stands in the way of a young man's dreams in this coming of age drama from Australia. Jesse (Lachlan Buchanan) is seventeen years old and he's not interested in much besides surfing. Jesse's constant desire to hit the beach is fueled in part by an unhappy home life; his older half-brother Victor (Reshad Strik) used to be a local surfing champ until an injury forced him to put away his board, and now he's spends his days wallowing in cynicism and alcohol, while Jesse's younger brother Fergus (Xavier Samuel) is a punk rocker who has recently embraced his homosexuality, something Jesse hasn't become comfortable with. Jesse dreams of joining the local surfing team, and when a group of his friends and fellow surfers make plans for an all-night party on the beach, Jesse is determined to attend, even if it means lying to his parents. After a day on the surf, Jesse and his pals kick back with plenty of booze and marijuana while urging some local beach bunnies to join them for the evening, but things take an uncomfortable turn when Victor shows up and senses that his younger brother is poised to take his place as one of the stars of the local surfing scene. Newcastle was the first feature film from writer and director Dan Castle. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
The boys, fresh from a day at the beach, wanted to watch a surfing film, and I happened to remember that I had 'Newcastle' in my Netflix streaming queue, so we watched it. I thought it was going to be an Aussie jock version of 'Blue Crush', which wouldn't have been so bad, but it was a far better film than that. If you just want eye candy, there's PLENTY of that in this film. If you want a deep meaningful relationship with a film, this one might not quite be it, but it's no teeny-bopper bubblegum flick, either. What it is is a very nicely done coming-of-age-on-an-Australian-beach-in-a-surfer-family pic. Pedestrian, yeah? Right. It has a gay subplot, a love triangle wannabe, and an angst-filled older brother who wasn't QUITE good enough to avoid working the coal docks. As seems to be the wont of good surf movies, the older brother gets angry, tries to be a bully, and ends up killing himself. But in this particular case, you just say to yourself, "Yep". Then you have a sip of your pop and move on. I don't know why I liked it as well as I do other than maybe it IS pretty dead on the money. Sometimes, you just don't really give a flying fuck if the bastard dies - especially if he was a bully. I thought the cast did a great job all around and in that Australian down-to-earth way too, which really appeals to me. And unless you're blind or have recently been castrated, you're going to LOVE the cast of surfers, especially Xavier Samuel. Yes, please, and make mine a double!
OK, I did rent this for selfish reason, I will admit that. Saying that..those of you wanting a gay movie or those of you who looked over this thinking it is gay, it is not. There is one gay character and much to be said of how treating others unfairly because of their lifestyle. Enough about that....this was really a suprise for me. Yes, we have seen similar movies dealing with relationships and "breaking out" from current circumstances. This was well made, the acting did seem natural. I guess I was in the mood for a movie such as this....I did cry. And I do have to say, even though he was not the lead character...Hooooray for Fergus!!!