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The Hunter [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 33.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tasmanian Tiger Hunt set in a beautiful film. March 19 2013
By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is from the novel by Julia Leigh and tells the story of Martin Davis played by the brilliantly talented Willem ‘I use Just for Men’ Dafoe who has been in more great films than you can shake two sticks at. Martin is an assassin who sort of always gets his man, like The Mounties but on the wrong side of the law. He is hired by an unscrupulous bio tech firm called Red leaf. They have bought into sightings of the assumed extinct Tasmanian Tiger and want samples of its DNA to synthesise for their own money grubbing ends.

Martin arrives in the remote area of Tasmania posing as a researcher from a University, where he is supposed to lodge with Lucy (Francis O’Connor – ‘Bedazzled’ and ‘A-I’). She is high on medication and her two young children, Sass and Bike are almost fending for themselves, with the ambiguous ‘help’ of local ranger, Jack played by the always brilliant Sam Neill. Martin soon realises that Lucy’s husband has been missing on the mountain for some time yet they are still holding out a forlorn hope that he will return, and little Bike seems to have lost the will to speak, and expresses himself through drawings. Pretty soon Martin realises that he may not have been told the whole picture and the locals are positively hostile to all ‘foreigners’ causing inevitable ructions.

The closer Martin gets to his elusive quarry the closer he gets to nature and to the family he is increasingly caring for. The problem is Red Leaf want delivery at any price and so things are going to come to a head.

This is an excellent film, both moving and gritty where it needs to be, there are scenes of animal butchery which I know can be upsetting for some.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  352 reviews
107 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Drama Deserving of a Wider Release April 15 2012
By Publius - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Hunter piqued my interest when perusing upcoming films on my smart phone's Flixster app. What little bit of story revealed in the trailer provided just enough motivation for me to make a point of seeing this film, but unfortunately its limited theatrical release on 6 April 2012 did not include Chicago.

Nevertheless, I was happy to see this film listed on Amazon's Instant Video, and the $7 rental was well worth it.

Willem Dafoe provides an excellent performance as Martin David, an introverted loner whose cultured tastes in music and finer accommodations seem to contrast with his ability to survive in the violent Tasmanian wilderness. But his technical proficiency and skill as a hunter made him a prime candidate for a dubious and impossible job - hunting down and killing an extinct species of tiger in the mountains of Tasmania.

As he sets out on this futile and illegal task he ends up in the middle of two feuding parties - a sadistic clan of testosterone-laden lumberjacks and the pot-smoking "Greens" trying to shut them down. When David is not hiking the mountains hunting for his prey, he holds up at the home of Lucy Armstrong and her two children. Lucy's husband - a Green himself - went missing several months earlier, and during his stay with the Armstrong family, Martin inadvertently takes on a subtle role as husband and father. As his interest in Lucy and the children grow, his faraway employer becomes concerned with Martin's loyalty.

This moving film dealt with several large themes ranging from people's impact on the environment to the environment's impact on people, but its most powerful and important aspect was its presentation of a standoffish and isolated man grizzled by time, work, and isolation, who is slowly transformed into a self-reflective and affectionate figure for a widowed wife and her two children. When tragedy strikes, the film fleshes out ever more complexity and humanity from David, as demonstrated by his ecologically profound decisions and his tenderness toward those in need.

This was a film - unlike so many others - worthy of the silver screen and I wish its theatrical distribution would have been far wider. Nonetheless, it is available through Amazon, and what better medium to proliferate great stories than the internet?

A powerful and emotional film I recommend highly.
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow-building, solid thriller with very satisfying ending March 3 2012
By Gary B - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A highly-realistic, slow-paced but solid thriller with remarkable scenery, it's somewhat reminiscent of "Winter's Bone" in tone and pacing, and "Drive" in regards to the main character. All three leads are fantastic, there's a mild feeling of adventure, the story has no flaws and the drama is natural and never melodramatic. Warning for animal lovers though, animals are trapped and skinned in the film as necessary for the plot. If you liked "Winter's Bone" you will definitely appreciate this fine film.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and beautiful film! March 17 2012
By MayLi Apontti - Published on Amazon.com
Love this movie! Cinematography is breathtaking and lends to the poignancy of the story. I truly enjoyed Willem Dafoe's performance as well as seeing some of Tasmania's beautiful landscapes and wildlife.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underestitmated it. . . Sept. 11 2012
By Sony Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Well what a surprise of a film. In the first 7 mins I was intrigued then the movie froze for a few mins and began again. . .what a treat. Willem Dafoe was amazing. I don't know how others saw him, but I saw him as a true man. The way he took care of things, they way he defended, respected, cared for. . he was the ultimate man in this movie and it was great to see a film not just about the initial plot but about more than that. It has depth, character and much more. I thought this was an action but its more of drama (Maybe I misread the style of the movie) either way it's great and the ending, it brought a little tear to my eye with how beautiful that shot is when he meets his goal. It was great. . .I plan to purchase this film for a night of movies with the girls.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Disturbing Rebirth March 11 2012
By MadMacs - Published on Amazon.com
*Warning: Not A Film For Animal Lovers*

In this atmospheric film, the always enjoyable Willem Dafoe plays Martin David - the current pseudonym for a private contractor who accepts any work as long as the job pays well. An acutely fussy person, his choice of employment is a odd contradiction given his desire for neat precision and harmonious balance. And his next job entails entering into a very imprecise and messy world.

Assignment: Locate and harvest the Tasmanian Tiger, a dog-like creature that was hunted into extinction by ignorant immigrants early in the twentieth-century. Secret reports have reached a global biotech firm that it still exists; a confirmed sighting, likely the very last of its kind, somewhere in the cold mountains of the island nation. He's been ordered to hunt the animal down and kill it, taking samples of its blood, flesh and organs for purposes unknown.

The difficulty of the mission is made clear from his arrival, under his cover as a university researcher, he is persona non grata. The local populace needs employment and that means strip logging the rainforest - so "greenies" like him aren't welcome. In fact, the locals are openly hostile to any perceived neo-hippie because they see them as job killers. Conversely, the huddled eco-warriors also don't trust newcomers - they've been battling to save the pristine woods and hunters have slipped past their ranks before.

He has to secretly complete his contract while shunted in between these two actively opposing forces.

Complicating matters - the broken family that houses his base of operations. Broken because the family's father and husband is missing, the near-catatonic wife obviously under the improper influence of a local guide, and their children left to fend for themselves. Questions surrounding the father's disappearance somehow being connected to his assignment only adds to the difficulty of accomplishing his job.

And as he shuttles in between hunting excursions, he discovers something strange - an echo to his mission. A personal extinction and rebirth of his own, as he finds himself connecting with the family. Despite the clear danger to his mission, it's becoming more than just a distraction; Martin begins to rediscover his own humanity. But it's a discovery that may compromise more than just his payday.

Again, a caution for animal lovers: The act of killing and butchering a small kangaroo-like animal - the wallaby - is accurately depicted in the film. Additionally, the hunter utilizes classic means of animal capture using various traps, including steel springs, the type with sharpened blades which clamp onto an animal's leg.
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