Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So many films, so little time

Over the long weekend -- specifically, between 8pm Friday and 6pm Monday -- I watched five movies. That's quite a lot, I think. Needless to say, I'm not going to do a mammoth fucking über-long review for all of them, cos that would be very silly. Instead, here are my brief thoughts on each. You can no doubt find synopses by following the links.

It's hard to go wrong with Spielberg, fair play. Yes, he makes a lot of mainstream Hollywood fare, but at the end of the day he knows what he's doing. Munich contains great performances from everyone except that ugly cunt who's playing the new James Bond, and Eric Bana is just as compelling as ever. This is a fascinating story given the big-screen treatment for people who don't watch documentaries. Certainly not as anti-Israel as the Hollywood Jews would have had you believe on its release, but generally condemning of Meir's decisions of the time. Worth watching at least once. I give this 69 out of 100.

One Deadly Summer
This is a French movie from about 20 years ago, starring Isabelle Adjani (pictured). Unfortunately, like many movies of its age, it has dated a bit, but the story of "boy meets girl, girl wants revenge on men who raped her mother" is of course timeless. A few plot holes and some dodgy hairdos notwithstanding, I give this 48.

I didn't expect much from this one, but we rented it purely to see Venice and cast our minds back to March and our time in that wonderful, unique city. But what an enjoyable romp it was -- huge fun from beginning to end. This really is Hollywood at its kitschest, silliest, laugh-out-loud best. The cast are all good, with Oliver Platt putting in a fucking genius performance. This is right up there: 75 points.

Romance & Cigarettes
Can't say much about this, to be fair. I didn't realize when grabbing it from the shelf, but it's a musical. I don't really do musicals; just not my bag, maaaan. Wife said she'd watch the first 20 minutes with me. She did, then decided to read instead. I couldn't really be arsed either, so I flicked through the chapters to see if anything grabbed me. Of course, Christopher Walken shone in the scene or two I saw with him. Funny how films with an amazing cast list often disappoint. My guess is that this will develop a huge cult following; it's a real love-it-or-hate-it movie. It runs 100 minutes; I watched about 30. On that basis, it seems unfair to judge. I therefore introduce the rating NS -- not scored. That's not a good thing, though...

Minority Report
So I ended the weekend as it began, with Spielberg. I'd not seen this before, so I took the opportunity while Wife (heroically) tackled the bathroom. She's a love, in't she? Good solid stuff from Spielberg, Cruise, and all, but dare I say just a smidgen too long? Two and a quarter hours is a bit much for something based on a short story, no? I reckon he could've cut at least 20 minutes with no difficulty. Still, good story, as you'd expect from the guy behind Blade Runner and Total Recall. I award it 60 points.

Next up: Factotum and Pusher


Blogger Red said...

John Turturro is as good as dead to me. He was great as the Jesus in The Big Lebowski, but everything else he touches stinks. He even ruined Miller's Crossing for me (although, in fairness, that was what the role demanded).

And the best thing about Romance and Cigarettes (apart from the end credits, he he) is actually Bobby Cannavale. Me love me some Bobby.

29 August, 2006 18:54  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Ah yes, Bobby Cannavale, old "funky spunk" himself. How could anyone not love him?

29 August, 2006 18:59  
Blogger Chris Allen Gaubatz said...

Minority Report...loved every minute of it! Definately a top 10 sci-fi movie of all time. As far as 5 movies from Friday to Monday, well, you obviously have much more of a life than I do because that's standard operating procedure with OJO and I. I once watched the first three seasons of the "Sopranos" in three days. Truly pathetic!

29 August, 2006 19:32  
Blogger Shep said...

I can't believe L'ete Meurtrier was reviewed without mention that...Isabelle wanders through almost the entire film naked.

I give it a 99.

29 August, 2006 23:17  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I liked Munich until near the end, when Spielbergo tacked on at least three too many endings .. overall, however, I think he did a great job delivering a movie that entertained as it drove home the message that there are no winners in this deadly madness

30 August, 2006 00:14  
Blogger Adam said...

Have you ever seen 2003's The Station Agent? It's got Bobby Cannavale in it and is absolutelu delightful - it's in the vein of Garden State and Thumbsucker, a little independent drama with a big heart and quite a bit of clever comedy. You guys should see it immediately!

As for Minority Report, one of Cruise's better performances - a good story too, but i agree, just a tad too long. I like Munich as well, it's very compelling and the acting is great. I agree w/ Reel Fanatic, it also seemed to drag on at the end.

30 August, 2006 01:01  
Blogger Radmila said...

I liked Munich.
The only thing that bothered me was the scene where the little girl goes back and forth, and the men attempt to abort.
I found that unbelievable.
When terrorists, and that's what they were in my opinion set out, I don't think that a whole elaborate plan is aborted because the daughter of their target runs back in.
I'm sorry. I just think that Israeli terrorists are more ethically inclined than other nationalities of terrorists are.

30 August, 2006 03:24  
Blogger Radmila said...

I meant to say that I DON'T think that Israeli terrorist are any more ethically superior than other terrorists are.

30 August, 2006 03:25  
Anonymous the cappuccino kid. said...

i really am in the wrong line of work! all these films!
just to remind you though (cos it popped up from my diary as i clicked here) the new series of the sopranos starts tomorrow night (thursday) on E4. 10pm. by all accounts the first episode is really slow but has a BIG bit of a twist at the end.

p.s. guess which dumbwit forgot to tape that there french film again! doh! it'll be on again, it's film four!

30 August, 2006 07:17  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Chris: Wow, you sure know how to entertain yourself! Good for you.

Shep: Yes, Isabelle does shed clothes rather a lot, but no more than is deemed necessary for a French film, methinks. Is your 99 just for the nudity? ;-)

Reel Fanatic: I felt the number of endings was fine (I only counted one, oddly enough)! But it was quite even-handed, yes.

Adam: We bought the Region 1 disc of The Station Agent as soon as it came out, knowing it wouldn't be out on Region 2 for at least another six months, probably. Very good. Unlike the awful disappointment that was Garden State. IMHO, and Wife's. I maintain that Munich didn't drag, but Minority Report did. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I guess.

Radmila: I have been wracking my brain trying to remember if that scene was true, as per the documentary I watched last year, but I can't remember. Even if it was true, I feel Spielberg handled it badly and could have made it more believable.

Cappy: I'll be watching The Sopranos, don't worry... While you're on the subject of Film 4, look out for Head-On, too, reviewed here somewhere. I'm going to watch Gangster No.1 tonight, too.

30 August, 2006 09:30  
Blogger Shep said...

just for nudity?

What's the matter with you, man...?

(Incidentally, a better early film of Isabelle's is Deadly Run, which is a thriller. Mind you, her clothes fall off a lot in that too...)

30 August, 2006 14:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, I loved Munich. Satisfied the blood lust in me.

Minority report was forgetable. Cruise is a wee cunt and the film is far too long. 3 minutes would have been better.

30 August, 2006 15:50  
Blogger Suze said...

You just made me want to watch Munich.

We viewed V For Vendetta last night, we seem to be fitting too much TV in of late! It interferes with the sex you know. LOL

30 August, 2006 19:01  
Anonymous the cappuccino kid. said...

saw a bit of gangser no1 at work. topping film. have you ever reviewed chopper? would love to hear your opinion on that.

31 August, 2006 08:06  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Shep: Well, y'know, the missus reads this too ;-) I might look out for Deadly Run, tho'.

RD: I liked Munich very much. I feel that's not reflected in hte score I gave it. Maybe I've been trapped by my own scoring system...? But Cruise is a cunt these days. Still a good actor. But he needs to forget all that Mission: Impossible bollocks.

Suze: It's worth watching. How was V For Vendetta? I know the writer (Alan Moore?) has disowned it, just as he has all the movies based on his work, so that doesn't sound good. Films will do that...

Cappy: I watched the first 30 mins of Gangster No.1. Will have to watch the rest over the next couple of days. Saw Chopper a couple of years ago, I guess. Very good. I'll need to see it again to give a better opinion than that.

31 August, 2006 08:29  

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