Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Week In Film #163: Un Joyeux Noël…

The Arbor
Documentary about Rita, Sue And Bob Too scripter Andrea Dunbar, weaving together original fly-on-the-wall footage of the working class playwright with later talking heads interviews of family members and scenes from her play about her neighbourhood, Bradford’s Buttershaw estate, acted out there. Moving, depressing.

The Murder Of Fred Hampton
Powerful 1971 documentary about the charismatic Black Panther Party for Self Defense leader, who was executed by the FBI.

Get Him To The Greek
Stupid spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with Russell Brand revisiting his pharmaceutically-charged British rock star character. Enjoyed it, mind.

A Week In Film #162: Hey Joe

Per Un Pugno Di Dollari AKA A Fistful Of Dollars
Italian director Sergio Leone remakes Japanese samurai version of American pulp detective novel as a Western filmed in Spain with a mostly European cast dubbed into English. And still it’s worth watching.

Got a rather decent Dollars ‘trilogy’ boxset for four quid at a market in Wiltshire… Can’t grumble at that.

A Week In Film #161: Chilly beans

David Cronenberg, ESP warriors, corporate spies, double- and triple-cross, private sector venality… A classic and still very much watchable.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Silly fratpack sports comedy which knows it is silly and not really about sport. Never a contender for a right-on award, but warmer than most of its ilk.

Smart People
Slight, indie-ish comedy-drama about an unlikeable college prof (Dennis Quaid) and his family. Sort of alright, but feels too much like the production team were consciously tweaking the As Good As It Gets and Little Miss Sunshine dials.

A Week In Film #160: Never crossed a picket line

The Last Of The Mohicans
Michael Kenneth Mann takes on James Fenimore Cooper with assistance from Daniel Day Lewis.

It seems to be more a remake of the earlier, 1936 adaptation rather than a faithful rendition of the novel (I’m currently reading it to the wee man, and there’s shitloads in there missing from the movie). Certainly it’s a shame to change our hero’s name from Natty Bumpoo – reckon that would’ve played brilliantly in the UK market.

Damien: Omen II
Not as good as the original, but still strong stuff – this time the antichrist is a teenager at military academy, cue lots of grisly deaths. Bit long-winded towards the end though.

A Prayer For The Dying
Slightly crap IRA-man-loses-faith-in-armed-struggle film, with Mike Hodges directing adaptation of a Jack Higgins potboiler; apparently there was a bit of studio butchery in post, which explains a lot.

Mickey Rourke quite good as the gunman-gone-AWOL; Bob Hoskins quite good as the (ahem) ex-SAS trooper-turned-priest; Camille Coduri quite good (her from Nuns On The Run) as – get this – the priest’s blind niece; Alan Bates bloody annoying as London gangster.

Also early appearances from Liam Neeson, Alison Doody (Last Crusade) and Christopher Fulford. Nice period locations around London.