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The Savages – do not go gentle…….

Tweet The Savages – Tamara Jenkins Dylan Thomas wrote perhaps the best words ever written about age and death: Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan’s words have everything Tamara Jenkins’ over-hyped movie lacks: respect […]

The Proposition – the Cave-man cometh and the Cave-man taketh away

Tweet The Proposition – John Hillcoat A new genre – the reductionist film. Everything reduced to the essential. Intelligence, coherence, credible artistic purpose – out. Who needs ‘em? Real characters with credible motivation in purposeful action that engages? Forget it. Superfluous. Distil to the essential. Consistency in tone and authoritative direction? Too cliched. Obvious. Let’s […]

We Don’t Live Here Any More – time filler in the waiting room of old age

Tweet We Don’t Live Here Any More – John Curran Critical reaction to this bemuses me. Time Out calls it strong stuff and one of the more mature American movies of recent years. Others have agreed, as it won awards in 2004. For me it is a miscast, emotionally illiterate, poorly written, nicely filmed, well […]

Bride and Prejudice – a cultural mishmash. parodying itself

Tweet Bride and Prejudice – Gurinder Chadha For once I’m at a complete loss. I need guidance. Cinematically this film is a cross between Blue Hawaii and an execrable advert for my local Indian restaurant. I loved Bend It Like Beckham which really seemed to explore with humour and perceptiveness the boundaries of assimilated or […]

Match Point – Woody’s tin ear for English, and the English

Tweet Match Point – Director Woody Allen A new movie genre – the Les Dawson movie. In order for Les to play the piano so hilariously badly he had to be a very skilled pianist capable of playing well when he so chose. Similarly Woody Allen with Match Point. But sadly it seems not only […]

Signs – paranoid film, 9/11, dumb, war of the worlds, Manchester’s safe

Tweet Signs This is a new genre of movie – the paranoid film. It’s progenitor is Orson Welles’ controversial mock-realistic radio broadcast of War of the Worlds which notoriously provoked panic and had thousands of frightened, bewildered Americans running for cover. Signs has given its star Mel Gibson his best ever opening weekend at the […]

Click – toy duck-humping season…..ho…ho…ho

Tweet Click – Frank Coraci (BBC Prize Review – contains ‘spoilers’ if that’ possible for this one) What’s funnier than a dog humping a soft toy duck? (While two 7/8 year-olds share the ‘fun’). Easy, according to director Coraci – two dogs humping the same duck. If that cracks you up, you just gotta go […]

Flags of Our Fathers – resonant as a brick

Tweet The Flags of Our Fathers – Clint Eastwood (BBC Prize Review) This film has the resonance of a brick. There is more evocative imagery of the pathos and tragedy of war in the stills shown over the final credits than in the whole 132 minutes of film that precedes them. It is hard to […]

A Good Year – BBC prize, a charmless offensive

Tweet A Good Year – Ridley Scott (BBC Prize Review) Russell Crowe doesn’t do charm. It was perverse therefore for Ridley Scott to cast him in a film based upon Peter Mayle’s book of the same name. The book at best was a light, slight, quizzical account of the travails of a dropped out advertising […]

About Schmidt – imagined dialogue Nicholson, Producer

Tweet About Schmidt – Alexander Payne The late Pauline Kael – one of the consistently best writers on movies for over 30 years and the feistiest, had a pet hate: meretricious movies cynically calculated in conception and performance to manipulate easy emotion and worse, to plug into the worthy sentimentality characteristic of the Oscar Academy […]