Movies

FILM REVIEW: Downsizing

Downsizing

It’s rare I recommend a slice of American art house, but Downsizing is an example of how to make a thought-provoking, medium-budget Hollywood film about big themes without being too clunky or obvious or politically correct or po-faced. First things first: It’s a pleasure to look at. It would have been so easy, in our […]

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Film Review: Fright Night

David Tennant

Despite my thinking Roddy McDowall underrated, I’ve never seen the original Fright Night; but the 2011 remake was on last week and I thought I’d give it a whirl. I didn’t regret it As you’d expect from a contemporary vampire film written by a Buffy The Vampire Slayer alumna (Marti Noxon), it was witty and sharp and led by twentysomething actors pretending to […]

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Three Four B Movies Worth Checking Out

A good B movie is great fun. The format is officially dead, but the label lives; and now people use it to refer to a genre film (usually horror or science fiction/fantasy) with a small promotional spend as much as they use it to describe one with a low budget. If a non-blockbuster non-cult non-art-house non-sequel […]

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“Darth Vader Robs Bank”

That’s how everyone is reporting this. But it’s clearly Chad Vader in the photos. I can only conclude that all the people with sufficient discrimination to know this are at Comic-Con 2010—where, incidentally, the latest trailer for the Tron Legacy, featuring a digitally thirtysomethingified Jeff Bridges has been shown.

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Oops, Odone Again

Most literate adults in the UK know that The Daily Telegraph wants the Conservative Party to win the upcoming General Election. Those who have been following the recent public unravelling of that newspaper’s opinionist Christina Odone—she is to the Telegraph what Madeleine Bunting is The Guardian—know that she particularly wants the LibDems to do badly […]

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The Mother Of All Funk Chords

Brothers and sisters, watch and listen as the universal language of music meets the multimedia multi-ethnic mega-mashup that is teh Interwebz and a groove is born [YouTube video]. Kutiman, a 26-year-old citizen of [sarcasm]the Evil Zionist Entity, isn’t too busy baking the blood of Palestinian babies into matzos[/sarcasm] to do a reggae one, with a […]

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You Wouldn’t Steal A Parrot

The (Monty) Pythons raid YouTube, displacing poor-quality rip-offs of scenes from their films on the site by adding official, high-quality rip-offs. Are they mad? Well, they’re certainly richer. Their DVD sales have increased by 23 000 percent. [via Slashdot]

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Family Resemblance

One thing I forgot to say when I posted those old photos: if you look at my father in the second one you can see why my sister and I reacted the same way to seeing Willem Dafoe in Mississippi Burning1 : “That’s dad in the 60s!” Until then, he’d been a Graham Greene character, working […]

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Directors’ Cuts

I went to see Quantum of Solace1 yesterday evening. The plot revolves around a secret global club of financiers that’s infiltrated the highest levels of governments and their intelligence agencies. Every one of the movies—The International, Valkyrie, and Angels and Demons—depicted in first three trailers shown beforehand also centres on a conspiracy. Obviously this is a clever double-bluff […]

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Skinning The Dude

Jeff Bridges really did have all of his hair shaved off to appear in Iron Man. You can see photos of the process in this album on his Website [slow-downloading images; no thumbnails]. Imagine being responsible for removing Jeff Bridges’ hair. That’s iconic hair. It’s up there with Phil Spector’s, Jennifer Anniston‘s, Ruud Gullit’s, Amy […]

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Those Beige Headlines In Full

TIGER WOODS WINS 2008 US OPEN DESPITE KNEE INJURY CAUSED BY ILLEGAL KARATE ATTACK FROM EVIL MAFIA GOLFER ROCCO MEDIATE. OBTAINS CRUCIAL PAR SCORE ON SUDDEN-DEATH HOLE USING “CRANE KICK” BEFORE COLLAPSING ON THE FINAL GREEN IN AGONY, MUTTERING “I DID IT FOR YOU, ELIN!” LEWIS HAMILTON CLINCHES WORLD F1 DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP IN HIS MCLAREN, […]

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Bruce W. Wayne

[WARNING 1: The Dark Knight has been out for long enough now that most of you interested in seeing it should have seen it. To those of you who haven’t, know now: spoilery follows.] [WARNING 2: As usual, I was late to this particular party, so I just wanted to publish this blasted blog post […]

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Do It For Money

While I’m on subject of recommendations I thought my parents had made to me but they hadn’t, this year I watched The Conversation for the first time. I thought mum and dad had been telling me for years that I should check it out, but, when I was round theirs a few weeks back and […]

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The Truth About 42 Days

42 days is 42 times 24 = 1008 hours. That is, it’s just enough days to exceed the three digit maximum that can be shown in the hour segment of the giant red LED displays that all timer-controlled terrorist bombs use to count down to detonation.

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Falling Down

There is an upside to my not being a drop-dead gorgeous superstar: whenever I’m working with a bunch of stubbly musicians and my singing’s not up to scratch, they tell me, bluntly. I got my first paid residency after helping a pianist move a piano to a restaurant. He asked me to take over from […]

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Hasta la vista, Aunty

OPRAH: I’d just like to say what a great privilege it is to have you with us on the show today, Barry. BARRY: Thank you, Oprah. I’m so grateful to God for my good fortune just to be here, but my good fortune is all the greater for my both being here and being here […]

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Amateur Video

While I’m recommending films, I notice that The Amateurs [aka The Moguls] is being advertised on the Apple trailer site as on theatrical release in the States. This is odd because I’ve already seen it cheaply in the UK via Amazon’s DVDs-by-post service. Perhaps it went straight to video here because it had stinking reviews. […]

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The Last Single Man On Earth

One of the things that came up over Christmas was, as usual, my continuing unmarried status as the big four-oh looms. Three different members of the family interrogated me about my non-existent love life. Yesterday, I was offered an opportunity to do something about this as I was invited to a singles event: a Website […]

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Metal

When I was a kid, my two favourite comic book superheroes were The Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man. That’s the subsequent interests in biology and physics/engineering right there—not to mention their alter egos being a photographer and an anti-communist industrialist respectively. (In my own case, I was transformed into The Geek on a school trip to a power station, […]

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The Irreligious Policemen

Not having a telly, I didn’t catch the latest from Richard Dawkins, but when I visited his Website to look for clips, I saw this photo of him: All I could think of was Michael Mann directing Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in an atheist actioner: [A convertible Ferrari screams through downtown in slow motion, reflections […]

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Giving Cinema-Goers The Heebie-BDs

You’re watching a movie and Bruce Dern: or Brad Dourif: appears on screen. What’s your next thought? “Oh he’s going to turn out to be a sympathetic, mentally stable, all-round mensch of a character.” “Hey, here’s Uncle B: twenty-four-hour party person and master of benign slapstick!” “If, some time before the end of this reel, […]

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Einstürzende Neubauten

In The Ipcress File, Michael Caine plays Harry Palmer, a British intelligence operative. He is deprived of sleep and exposed to loud repetitive noises by enemy agents trying to break his will, erase his memory, and make him believe that he is a traitor. His defensive mantra in the film—“My name is Harry Palmer”—was, like […]

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Chopped Liver

Yesterday evening I watched The Libertine. It’s diverting and stylish; there are some lovely, elegant, theatrical speeches; but there’s not as much sex as I’d hoped for. Johnny Depp doesn’t go over the top and John Malkovich is even more pleasingly restrained. I wouldn’t go out of your way to rent it though. I was […]

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