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Gran Torino – stereotypes, old, Asian, ethnic meet Dirty Harry

Tweet Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry got to be old. And mean. I guess we expected that. Curmudgeonly, cranky, rollie-smoking, beer-drinking – a can and by-the-neck man, nary a glass in sight – ex-Korean War vet Walt Kowalski isn’t actually cop Harry Callaghan, just a kind of alter ego ‘with-no-name’ grown old, prejudices […]

Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody’s sexual wonderland. Fantasy rules OK?

Tweet Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen Woody Allen doesn’t simply film women: he makes love to them with the camera. I don’t really know how healthy this is or even by what criterion of health one should judge it. Cinema is irreducibly voyeuristic so we are complicit. If you doubt me consider this: by […]

Slumdog Millionaire – a chicken tikka masala of a film

Tweet Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire is like a shot of bad tequila – feels great as it goes down then begins to burn at your gut and eventually makes you feel queasy. ‘Slumdog’, for it already has an abbreviated nickname; is a nice, naïve, pacy little romantic fairytale knocked up inexpensively by […]

CHE – Part 1 and Part 2 – Soderbergh’s Che: iconic, charismatic, idealistic, but opaque

Tweet Che – Steven Soderbergh The essence of art is selection: and the logic of selection defines what is left out. The collaborative nature of the art of film-making increases the need for such eliminating decisions exponentially – casting, screenplay, lighting, angle, editing, music, sound and thousands of other decisions. The result is not the […]

Changeling – touted for the wrong Oscar

Tweet Changeling – Clint Eastwood Cinema, film is a collaborative art. If the director has the integrating artistic conception of the film, he still has to assemble his realisation of that ‘vision’ through the many critical disciplines, each an art in its own right, that provide the warp and weft of the finished film. It […]

Pride and Glory – Obama, ‘5/11’, and ethnic stereotypes in movies

Tweet Pride And Glory – Gavin O’Connor Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency is likely to influence American society in profound but as yet unpredictable ways. It will be fascinating to see how Hollywood embraces the new New World. Which director in which film with whose screenplay will be the first to portray deep racial […]

Quantum of Solace – a cut-to-the-chase Bond

Tweet Quantum Of Solace – Marc Foster Daniel Craig’s is a ‘cut-to-the-chase’ Bond in every sense. Solace begins where Casino Royale left off and opens with a car chase. A bit of plot; then cut to the sea chase; a bit more plot and cut to the air chase. In between, a couple of Jason […]

Runaway Jury – 12 psycholically profiled, manipulated, fiddled, not so angry men

Tweet Runaway Jury – Gary Fielder As a novelist John Grisham flatters to deceive: he is a great page-turning writer, but a merely adequate ‘plotter’, whose characters are often buried by the burden of idealism Grisham requires them to carry. The greatest of these qualities, the simple, accessible writing style, is the first thing that […]

Lord Of The Rings III – Return of the King – 9 hour trilogy ends with a fade on a door-knob

Tweet Lord Of The Rings – Return Of The King – Peter Jackson As the Laud of the Rings industry gears up for the Oscars, let’s get real. It will be a travesty if the Return of the King, the third and last in the Tolkein trilogy to be filmed, does not win a technical […]

The Terminal – Spielberg’s tribute to Capra

Tweet The Terminal – Stephen Spielberg Consciously or not, this is Spielberg’s homage to Frank Capra, with all the mixed responses that engenders. It is deftly made, with wit, heart-warming humour and charm. It offers a 40’s soft-hearted idealism in a modern setting. The good guys are very good and the bad guys are really […]