Should you ever be unfortunate enough to get stuck baby-sitting a bunch of fourteen year olds girls, and are at a loss on how to entertain them, I have the answer. Nip down to your local video shop, get a copy of 'The Lovely Bones' and a copy of this, and stick them on as a DVD double bill. Meanwhile, you take yourself off for a long, hot bubble bath, a glass of wine, a good book or another room to watch a proper film.
Watched this one over my partners shoulder from the comfort of the sofa on the other side of the room while reading the paper. It's a kind of test. From this position, I'll listen, and watch a bit. If a film is good, eventually I'll put down the paper, and be sucked across the room to get a closer look. This time, I was kind of wishing I was in the next room.
Gena Rowlands is breathtaking in the role of Mabel, a suburban housewife who is obviously slightly unhinged. She starts out kind of odd, but in her own way charming, and descends into something much darker and more dangerous. I was mesmerised by Rowland's face. Every passing emotion is captured, and boy, there were a lot of them. Kind of reminded me of Jack Nicholson in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. A day later and I'm still thinking about what this was all about. Go ye forth and watch it!
Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth are a comedy duo whose dazzling careers come to an end when the body of a dead girl is found in their hotel bedroom. Many years later their story is investigated by a journalist who suspects there is More To This Than Meets The Eye. It's a bit of an odd one. It starts out as a sort of flashy Cabaret-type thing, and ends up as your fairly run-of-the-mill whodunnit. Having recently seen 'A Single Man' I see Colin Firth has made a career out of playing rich gay guys.
I wouldn't normally pick this, but it was towards the end of a very hard week, and all I wanted was some mindless entertainment. Gave it my best shot, but could only make it as far as minute 26. What has happened to Tom Cruise's face? Has he had some kind of reconstructive surgery? And he's getting to an age where he really shouldn't be taking his shirt off in public. Likewise - Diaz's face seems curiously inflexible. Even as mindless entertainment, don't bother. Watch paint dry instead.
Interesting for Lisabeth, the female protagonist who is a cross between James Bond and The Bride (that's Kill Bill, not Frankenstein). Apart from that, TGwtDT is just another average whodunnit that requires the usual willing suspension of disbelief to get over the plot holes and predictable false trails. And it's about twenty minutes too long.
I'm not going to tell y'all what it's about because if you haven't seen it anytime in the past 25 years, you should be ashamed of yourself. I watched it again, probably for only the second time since I first time I saw it in 1985, and my word, does it stand the test of time. It's as fresh and relevant today as it was when it was made. Even the haircuts aren't too bad. Fantastic acting, and a lesson in what you can do with a basically one-room set. Great stuff.
A sort-of French equivalent of 'The Breakfast Club', in that it's about a bunch of high-school teenage dropouts, and it dates from the 1980s. But while TBC is a drama, Les sous-doués (The Under-Gifted) is very much slapstick comedy. It was a huge hit in France at the time, and there's a whole generation that can still quote the gags. It's aged well, and even for me, as an Anglophone, watching it for the first time nearly thirty years on, it made me chuckle all the way through.
Albert Dupontel is le vilain, a successful bank robber who happens to ends up on the run in the street where his mother lives. Mother hasn't seen her darling son for years, but little by little, the details of his unusual career are revealed. For his part, le vilain slowly realises that villanous genes might run in the family. It's vaguely similar to 'Throw Mama from the Train' (but Catherine Frot is no match for Anne Ramsey). It's well done, there's quite a few good laughs - worth a watch.
It's taken me a long time to get round to seeing this. Mistake. It's a Brit-flick. As a Brit, I usually have a soft spot for the films of my fellow countrymen. Did anyone else see the equally fab 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day'? The performance of Carey Mulligan as Jenny is great, and well deserving of the Oscar nomination. On top of that, every member of the supporting cast has their own strong personality. It held my full attention from end to end. I just wish I'd been in it.
This is one of the rare films I'd read about prior to seeing. Before the opening credits had rolled, I'd decided I didn't like it. I'm bored with George Clooney. Isn't it time he backed off from leading actor roles and let someone else have a chance? I'm bored with slick American blockbusters. When do the little guys get their opportunity? I had to change my mind. Yes, it's a slick American blockbuster, and yes it's GC doing his GC thing, but it's sharp, intelligent and really, really funny.
Don't pay to watch this. I saw it for free on a plane, and still felt like I'd been cheated out of 136 minutes of time I could have spent watching something good. Susie has been murdered and now hangs out in some place that's not quite heaven while she watches over her family. It's worth watching for Susan Sarandon who is hilarious as Grandma Lynn. Otherwise, it might appeal to fourteen year old girls, but everyone else could give it a miss. Peter Jackson, what were you thinking of?
Tales from the Script is a collection of interviews from 40 or so screenwriters. Some are just starting out, others are old hands. They all have a fairly depressing tale to tell. The good news is that success in screenwriting is partly a result of sheer bloody damned hard work. The bad news is that it has to be combined with almost magical good luck. And that applies no matter who you are, or what your back catalogue is. A must see for anyone interested in the business.
Oh Renée, Renée, what were you thinking of? This just wasn't for you. Next time, just say no. No. No. Poor Renée plays Emily Jenkins in this drama-turns-horror re-hash of just about every child horror drama you've ever seen. Don't be fooled by the good start, it gradually slides all the way down to bottom of the hill. I've been a big admirer of RZ since she showed Nicole Kidman what acting was all about in Cold Mountain. Now I'm reconsidering my fan club membership. Next!
I kinda liked this one. It's a bit of mad idea. The US army training soldiers in psychic warfare. But mad is good. The all star cast delivers predictably solid performances, and the end result is entertaining enough. However, it's a great premise, with a lot of mileage. I would have liked to see the whole idea pushed a lot harder and further, and the writing much closer to the bone. It might have upset more people, but the end result would have been so much funnier.
Have to 'fess up, I only saw the last third of this. But that didn't pose too much of a problem. As it turned out, a third was just about right. A predictable collection of stereotypes locked into a room in implausible circumstances. Which all ends in a heap of moralistic, patronising hocus pocus. Exam has the slick look, exceptionally well dressed characters and limited locations that you typically see in modern TV dramas. But somehow this small story has made it to the big screen.