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Broken Hill

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Born and raised on an Australian sheep ranch, Tommy (Luke Arnold) dreams of becoming a great musician. Everything changes, though, when his antics to impress his beautiful classmate Kat (Alexa Vega) backfire and land them both in trouble. But after auditioning for an elite music academy, Tommy is given the second chance he needs to win Kat’s affection, his father’s approval and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Bonus Feature:
Audio commentary with Writer / Director Dagen Merrill, Producer Chris Wyatt and Alexa Vega.

Amazon.com

A handsome high-school senior aspires to become a classical composer in this tuneful drama. Tommy (Luke Arnold, who recalls Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel) lives on an Australian sheep ranch with his widowed father, George (Timothy Hutton), a stern soccer coach, and nurses a crush on exchange student Kat (Alexa Vega, Spy Kids), who barely knows he exists. One night, Tommy and George come across escaped convict Kalae (Che Timmons) on their drive home. They turn the unconscious man over to the police, and get on with their lives. Later, when Kat finds out that Tommy has access to a truck, she convinces him to chauffeur her around during a night of vandalism, which lands him in jail, where he reconnects with Kalae, who tells him about a prison choir. Upon Tommy's release, he convinces Kat to help him form a convict band in order to fulfill their community service requirement and to facilitate his entrance into Sydney's prestigious Music Conservatorium. At first, the inexperienced duo attract only two participants, but other inmates eventually materialize, and as their repertoire takes shape, Kat's hard shell softens. Unfortunately, Tommy has to cancel their performance at Broken Hill when a prisoner goes missing, but Kat and the other players convince him to try again. The conclusion feels more like wish fulfillment than a realistic outcome, but director Dagen Merrill does depict Tommy's daydreams at times, so it seems rather fitting. Extra features include commentary from Merrill, producer Chris Wyatt, and a sleepy Vega. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alexa Vega, Timothy Hutton, Rhys Wakefield, Andy McPhee, Luke Arnold
  • Directors: Dagen Merrill
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ODLUIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Academy award winner Timothy Hutton headed down under and portrayed a very convincing grumpy passionate Aussie sheep farmer at odds with his musically gifted son. The way father and son came back together, separated and then reunited through music is heartwarming and realistic. The music is brilliant. The outback scenes are stunning. The drama that turns to romance between Luke Arnold (Tommy) and Spy Kids star Alexa Vega (Kat) is a treat. The plot moves steadily to a wonderful climax with plenty of subplots and subtle themes to keep you thinking and enjoying at the same time. Thumbs up to the writer, director, producer and cast. (What's with the horse on the DVD cover???? Tommy rides a motor bike not a horse. Whatever!?!?)
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Born and raised on an Australian sheep ranch, Tommy (Luke Arnold) dreams of becoming a great musician. Everything changes, though, when his antics to impress his beautiful classmate Kat (Alexa Vega) backfire and land them both in trouble. But after auditioning for an elite music academy, Tommy is given the second chance he needs to win Kat’s affection, his father’s approval and the opportunity of a lifetime. Cards on the table? I made it for 38 minutes and then I couldn't take anymore, the description above is on the DVD cover. I do love Luke Arnold (now seen in
Black Sails as John Silver) This whole boy will get sucked into anything even if he knows better and it is illegal by the bad girl he is trying to impress and get to like him....wore very thin on me. She is nasty from the start and why anyone would pursue her is beyond me. so having said that sometimes I go back and try again....not this time. Bored with the male of the species portrayed as a dumb dog after only one thing.
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LOVED!!! OUR MALE LEAD HAS MUSIC ON HIS HEAD AND ONE TOUGH DAD WHO WONT GIVE HIM A BREAK BUT HE IS DETERMINED. WITH THE HELP OF A TROUBLE MAKER GIRL HE IUS ATTRACTED TO, THEY CREATE A MUSICAL DREAM WITH THE LEAST EXPECTED OF PEOPLE. IT WAS WELL WORTH WATCHING!!
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Well, at first sight (looking at the poster or DVD cover etc) this might not have been a movie I would have gone out of my way to see, or buy the DVD of, but it's funny how destiny works. I was on a Jetstar flight from Tokyo to Australia and on the entertainment unit there was a choice of different genres for movies, one genre being "home movies" or some title like that, meaning movies made in Australia with Australian stories, so I clicked on that, and there were the usual ones, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert", "The Castle", "The Dish", "Australia", "Muriel's Wedding" etc, all of which I have seen many times and love, but there was this "Broken Hill" too, which I had never heard of, so I gave it a try, and straight away it blew my mind because of the music aspect of it (and it starts straight away with the music). Because this is the kind of music I was planning to write almost 30 years ago, and never quite got around to, my life taking me in other artistic directions, so I'm glad someone else has had the same ideas and put them down to paper and has had the opportunity to have orchestras and other players perform it. It is truly beautiful.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the plot is a bit lame, and the highschool setting too (as all highschool set movies are), but if you love music, and the composing aspect of it, and the possibilities that everyday sounds can offer to your ears and to your imagination, plus if you also love the Australian outback, this is a great movie. The actors are doing a good job too.
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Love the setting of the movie, also the workings of the sheep station. The characters were very engaging, and the music and story were very heartwarming. Definitely a movie I would watch again and possibly purchase.
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Format: DVD
This film was utterly entertaining and a feel good movie as well. You will be rooting for the likeable and adorable main character Tommy who has big dreams that seem impossible to achieve given his circumstances. I promise that the ending will leave you smiling and feeling insprired.
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We really enjoy this very unique film. The Aussie line of the story, the compassion of the characters, the invention of musici from unauthentic instruments. It's just a joy to see and listen to, especially the ending concert.
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I really enjoyed this movie, because of the awesome music for one, but also because the main star held onto his dream despite difficult circumstances, including his father not believing in him. It shows what can be done if you keep your focus and don't give up on yourself or your dream. It reminds me in some ways of the movie "August Rush" because the star heard music in everything from tools to nature.
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