Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Week In Film #172: Done & dusted

Ocean’s Thirteen
It’s back to Vegas for Danny and his crew, where they take on unscrupulous casino boss Al Pacino in revenge for his stiffing their chum Elliott Gould. Perhaps the silliest of all the Ocean’s films, but the various subplots, character tics and playful narrative cul-de-sacs make it a pleasurable ride, if inconsequential. Needless to say it is impeccably produced.

A Week In Film #171: Move twice

Ocean’s Twelve
Sodastream, Swooney and Twitcher Pitt all return in a sequel that whilst unessential is certainly enjoyable. This time Danny Ocean and the boys take on a Eurotrash playboy burglar (Vincent Cassel) on his turf, whilst determined detective Catherine Zeta Jones tries to foil them at every step.

Fine gags, some decent twists on the standard con and heist tropes, and plenty of fine banter.

A Week In Film #170: Chips, ganache and a fruity cream

Ocean’s Eleven
Steven Sodafountain and Gorgeous Clooney drag in their chums for a Rat Pack retread that at least has a little bit of esprit de corps about it, even if the whole Vegas heist thing is a touch overdone.

The Elizabeth Smart Story
Dylan Baker (you know, the paedo dad from Happiness) leads the cast in this torn-from-the-headlines TV movie about a Mormon teenager kidnapped by a nutty hobo with a god complex. Nothing stupendous, competently put together, glosses over the worst bits.

A Week In Film #169: SHUT IT

British based-on-TV-shows films from the seventies have a bit of a bad rep, but this spin-off is a solid little thriller.

Okay, so it’s basically a Jack Regan solo album – Carter doesn’t really get a look-see – and there’s a lot of faces recycled from the series but in different roles (Lynda Bellingham, Colin Welland, Ian Bannen etc), but it is pretty damn taut (if you can excuse the almost comically British chase sequences – “Quick! Run down the fire escape of this anonymous concrete office block! Head for the bus!”), and streaked with darkness.

Having said that, the LLF did cry with laughter at the pay-off line at the end.

A silly film – all po-faced ‘true story’ stuff – that is overdone and in need of a fat trimming. But some nice performances, a few decent set pieces. Saw it in the cinema when it came out; I remember thinking at the time that the De Niro bit part had been properly stretched out. Plus it was a long film, and my arse went numb (at the pictures, I mean).

The Time-Traveler’s Wife

Didn’t expect to like it, but was hooked. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams made for effervescent chemistry. Robert Schwentke directed all the complicated jumping around very professionally, and made it feel effortlessly disorientating, but not messy.