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The Phantom Of The Opera – Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s 1 trick pony

Tweet The Phantom of The Opera – Director Joel Schumacher You are on the edge your seat throughout the PTO: will the stupefying banality of the screenplay and lyrics, outstrip that of the music? It’s a close call, but after 142 interminable minutes I think the words won by a brass neck. There is after […]

The Hours – Kidman 0 – prosthetic nose 1 – the nose has it

Tweet The Hours – Stephen Daldry Oh Ms Kael, where are you when we need you most? The Hours is the kind of meretricious, overblown, overacted, worthy movie for which Pauline Kael kept her sharpest wit and keenest barbs. And just the kind of art-on-its-sleeve literary pretentiousness members of the Academy love to reward with […]

Black Dahlia – noir-lite, plot-lite, charisma-lite, sort of, well, LITE.

Tweet The Black Dahlia – Brian de Palma De Palma makes heartless movies. He shows no warmth of feeling for character nor commitment to the logical demands of a convincing plot. Technique is the artifical engine that pumps life into his always skillful, sometimes suspenseful, but never for me, likeable movies. Dressed to Kill (1980) […]

The Flight Of The Red Balloon – Lamorrise it ain’t. wrong red balloon

Tweet Flight of the Red Balloon – Hsiao-Hsien Hou A Damien Hirst sheep of a movie. It looks like a movie; has all the elements of a movie: one superb acting performance; a screenplay and a narrative, of sorts; careful scene set ups; thoughtful cinematography, precise editing; even a ‘tarty’ lone piano soundtrack – blatantly, […]

The Dead Girl – she doesn’t argue, doesn’t disagree, she’s well…dead

Tweet Dead Girl – Adam Coleman Howard It is unlikely that this one will find its necrophiliac way to your neck of the woods. I picked it up on spec as part of the Raindance Film Festival at the UGC Shaftesbury Ave. Aiming I think for the seriously weird, it gets seriously stuck at slightly […]

Gangs Of New York – Scorcese’s shocking awe, a fascist American tale

Tweet The Gangs of New York – Martin Scorcese This film will delight the large number of people who disturbingly profess to ‘love’ Scorcese’s brilliant and hateful Goodfellas. GONY looks like the film of a bullied child who longed desperately not to be freed from, but to share the oppressive power that had been exercised […]

An American Gangster – sentimentalising gangsters, fetishising guns

Tweet American Gangster – Ridley Scott Sentimentalising gangsters and fetishising guns are twin cancers at the heart of American culture. Each feeds off the other to create a moral landscape that can be obscenely equivocal and cumulatively corrupting. I have been corrupted enough over the years to enjoy the tension and excitement of conflict in […]

Atonement – mangled McEwan movie makes money

Tweet Atonement – Joe Wright (BBC Prize Review) Andre Previn to Eric Morecombe, “you’re playing all the wrong notes.” Eric Morecombe, lifting the Maestro up onto his toes by his DJ lapels, “no, I’m playing all the right notes……but not necessarily in the right order.” Joe Wright has gone one better in this extraordinarily bad […]

Hancock – post-modern comic book hero – with no comic

Tweet Hancock – Peter Berg I like Will Smith; you (probably) like Will Smith; all God’s children like Will Smith; why Will Smith even likes Will Smith – though for Will it may be less of a stretch sometimes than for us. To wit – Hancock. This movie doesn’t quite make you lose the will […]

Elegy – confusing age with oldness

Tweet Elegy – Isabel Coixet Age is not oldness. Age is a fact, oldness is an attitude to life. It is the besetting vice of our culture to conflate these two concepts leading to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of both. So we invest ‘age’ with a social and moral significance it should not have: and promote […]