Dessicated Coconut

Movies 4

David Wenham as Johnny Spitieri
Johnny Spitieri

Gettin' Square (2003). Dir. Jonathan Teplitzky. With Sam Worthington, Timothy Spall.

Plot Synopsis: Barry Wirth (Sam Worthington), fresh out of the slammer after eight years in prison, vows to put his criminal past behind him.  He resists the offer of help from his old boss Chicka Martin (Gary Sweet), as well as the advances of a girl he grew up with, who is now his younger brother's parole officer.  Having learned to cook in prison, Barry gets a job at Darren (Dabba) Barrington's Texas-themed restaurant.  Unfortunately, Dabba is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Criminal Investigation Commission (CIC) into an illegal money laundering scheme.  The one person who could implicate Dabba is Barry's friend Johnny Spitieri, who originally delivered the money.  Highly sought after by the CIC, and unable to kick his heroin habit, Spit eventually teams up with Barry to "get square".

Character: Johnny Spitieri

Notes: David won an AFI award ("Best Actor in a Leading Role") for his brilliant performance as John Francis "Spit" Spitieri, a grubby, shuffling heroin addict whose apparent cluelessness belies street-smarts and rat cunning.  He worked hard to build the character, donning a greasy mullet, cold sores, flip-flops, and a heinous pair of frosted jeans.  Johnny's mannerisms and physical persona were inspired by observations of similar street characters in and around David's neighborhood.
The courtroom scene, in which Johnny wheedles bus fare and lunch money out of the prosecuting lawyer, has been hailed as one of the funniest five minutes of Australian cinema in years.  According to Chris Nyst, who wrote the screenplay: "Johnny Spiteri had his genesis in something I actually saw happen in a courtroom once.  It's something that I saw a career junkie do and, when he left the courtroom, we were all scratching our heads, wondering is this the smartest guy I've ever seen or the dumbest guy I've ever seen?"

Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer2.jpg
Content:  shower.jpgjester2.jpgbandaid.jpgcigarette.jpggun.jpg  Swimming pool scene, funny lines, beaten up by gangsters, brief heroin shoot-up,  humungous   humoungus  humungis    large gun.

Memorable Quotes:  "I didn't mean to say shit, Your Honor, but that fuckin' bastard was getting to me."
"I'm on the bones of me arse."
"Excuse me, who's paying for my bus fare today?"
Davidity:  B
Availability:  DVD - region 4 only


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Dir. Peter Jackson. With Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen.

Plot Synopsis: Faramir's adventures continue. In Osgiliath, Orcs overwhelm his men, and they are forced to retreat to the White City. However, Faramir's father, Denethor, is a few hobbits short of a Fellowship, and not very pleased at Faramir's decision to send the Ring into Mordor. He orders his son to ride out across an open plain in broad daylight and attempt to retake the city. Following the suicide charge, Faramir, wounded but alive, is dragged back to Minas Tirith by his faithful horse. Denethor then does what any sensible father would do: he tries to burn his son alive. Thanks to Pippin, Faramir survives the ordeal and recovers in time to smile fleetingly at Eowyn at the coronation. They live happily ever after on the cutting room floor.

Oh, and the Ring does eventually make it into Mount Doom.

Character: Faramir

Notes: Faramir's quiet nobility and loyalty are brought to the forefront in the last movie of Peter Jackson's trilogy. The tension between Faramir and Denethor (John Noble) is heart-breaking, made all the more so by Pippin's song, and the appearance of Ghostly Boromir over his younger brother's soldier. David conveys Faramir's pride and pain with astonishing skill and subtlety.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer4.jpg
Content:  lips.jpggun.jpghorse.jpgsponge.jpgbandaid.jpg  Pouting, weapons, horses, dirt, moaning, wounded by arrows.  heart.jpg  in the Extended Edition.

Memorable Quotes: "You wish now that our places had been exchanged. That I had died, and Boromir had lived."

"Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will do what I can in his stead."

"If I should return, think better of me, Father."

"I do not think this darkness will endure."

"Where does my allegiance lie, if not here?"

"He would have stretched out his hand to this thing, and taking it, he would have fallen. When he returned, you would not have known your son."

"It once belonged to a young boy of the city. A very foolish one, who wasted many hours slaying dragons, instead of attending to his studies."
Davidity:  A-
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Alex Kirby
Alex Kirby

After the Deluge (2003). Dir. Brendan Maher. With Hugo Weaving, Samuel Johnson, Catherine McClements.

Plot Synopsis: Three estranged brothers (Weaving, Wenham, and Johnson) are brought together as they struggle to care for their father, Cliff, a former music teacher who is suffering from Alzheimer's and haunted by WWII experiences.  Martin (Weaving), the oldest child, is a talented rock musician who has shunned his talents to pursue fading pop stardom.  Alex (Wenham), the middle child and a gifted architect, has sacrificed his family in the name of his career; his marriage is crumbling beneath him.  Toby (Johnson), the forgotten youngest son, struggles with his family identity and his failure to conceive a child with his wife. All three brothers find themselves lost and adrift as they grapple with middle age.

Character: Alex Kirby

Notes:  This is a fabulous movie, with a gorgeous soundtrack.  See it at all costs.  Keep Kleenex handy.

Drool Factor:   greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpggreenbucket2.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer3.jpg
Content:  shirtlessness2.jpg heart.jpg shower.jpg  Shirtlessness, nookie, playful cavorting in wave tank with children.

Memorable Quotes:  "Jesus, Nikki, I'm drowning..."
(to his landlady) "Oh, alright, I'm sorry, it was me. I had a commodore full of showgirls brought up here at midnight last night and we just kinda went for it. Actually I've got a semi trailer dropping off another load tonight, you're quite welcome to join us if you feel that way inclined."
Davidity:  A-
Availability:  DVD - region 4 only

David Wenham as Faramir

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Dir. Peter Jackson. With Elijah Wood, Ian Mckellen, Viggo Mortensen.

Plot Synopsis: Faramir, second son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, has been sent into the forests of Ithilien with a band of rangers to keep the borders safe from attack by the evil Sauron. He kidnaps two strange little men and their slimy pet, has odd dreams and flashbacks about his brother, and resists the temptation to grab himself some bling. All of this is interspersed with some fluff about a Ring of Power and a huge battle.

Character: Faramir

Notes: The changes to Faramir's character stirred up a lot of controversy, but David does an excellent job bringing the Steward's less-favored son to life. His clear, gentle voice and subtlety of expression are particularly well-suited to the role. The Ranger outfit, with the leather hauberk, silver tree, and beautiful Numenorean sword, is one of the nicest costumes in the movie.

Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpg (theatrical edition), clock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpg (extended edition)
Nerdometer:  nerdometer3.jpg
Content:  gun.jpgsponge.jpglips.jpg  Weapons, dirt, pouting

Memorable Quotes:  "His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name was, where he came from, and if he was really evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home, and if he would rather not have stayed there. War will make corpses of us all. Bind their hands."

"And where is your skulking friend? That gangrel creature. He had an ill-favored look."

"Good speech. Nice and short."

"If there is need to go to Rivendell, send me in his stead."

"To enter the Forbidden Pool bears the penalty of death."

"They wait for my command. Shall I shoot?"

"So, this is the answer to all the riddles. Here in the wild I have you, two Halflings, and a host of men at my call. The Ring of Power within my grasp. A chance for Faramir, captain of Gondor, to show his quality."

"Take them to my father. Tell him Faramir sends a mighty gift. A weapon that will change our fortunes in this war."

"I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins."

"Then it is forfeit. Release them!"

"The Shire must truly be a great realm, Master Gamgee, where gardeners are held in high honor."
Davidity:  A-
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Lenny

Pure (2002). Dir. Gillies MacKinnon. With Harry Eden, Vinnie Hunter, Molly Parker, Kiera Knightley.

Plot Synopsis: Set in East End estate housing riddled with drugs and crime, Paul, a ten-year-old boy (Eden) desperately tries to care for his sick mother, Mel(Parker) and little brother after his father passes away. The enigmatic Lenny (Wenham) who has been coming around to see Paul's mother is actually a pimp/dealer who has been keeping her dependent on heroin.  Unable to find a stable, caring adult, and resolved to rescue his mother from addiction, Paul turns to a kindly waitress (Knightley) for help.

Character: Lenny

Notes:  "Pure" premiered at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival.
David adopts a straight English accent for the role of Lenny.

Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpg greenbucket2.jpg greenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpg clock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer0.jpg
Content:  bandaid.jpg shirtlessness2.jpg heart.jpg   Conked by brick, brief implied nookie aftermath

Memorable Quotes
Davidity:  C
Availability:  DVD - region 4 only.  In the US, the Sundance Channel occasionally airs "Pure".

David Wenham as Sam Flynn
Sam Flynn

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002). Dir. John Stanton. With Steve and Terrie Irwin, Magda Szubanski.

Plot Synopsis: Steve Irwin, a.k.a. The Crocodile Hunter, sets out to save a crocodile from poachers. Unbeknownst to him, the poachers are actually CIA agents trying to retrieve a satellite tracking thingy from the croc's belly.

Character: Sam Flynn

Notes:  Sam Flynn, the local wildlife officer, locks horns with Brozzie (Magda Subanski), who wants the croc off her property.  David had three reasons for wanting to work on this film. "First, the script was a very, very funny, commercial script which certainly appealed to me," he says. "Second and equally as important was the opportunity to appear in a film with the Crocodile Hunter, somebody who's achieved legendary status around the world and somebody who, I must say, is an extremely enigmatic and funny character up there on the screen. I think Steve Irwin is amazing. And third, it was the chance to work with one of Australia's greatest comedic talents, Magda Szubanski, a very, very funny lady. " (From the Production Notes at
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpg  No more than 5, maybe 10 minutes tops if you include the DVD extras.
Nerdometer:  nerdometer3.jpg
Content:  horse.jpggun.jpgjester2.jpgbandaid.jpgVicious dogs, rifle, funny lines, zapped by lightbulb.

Memorable Quotes:  "Oh, sugar!"
(exasperated) "Brozzie..."
Davidity:  D+
Availability:  DVD - all regions

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