Interview With The Vampire
My first exposure to the Twilight of the 90s, with Brad Pitt the sensitive bloodsucker keen to tell a 20th century journalist (Christian Slater) all about his centuries-long torment as a vampire, having been turned by Tom Cruise.
Far less bad than I feared, with touching elements, like the relationship with Claudia (Kirsten Dunst), a young girl turned before she hit puberty and so condemned never to become a woman. Bit long and samey, though. Directed by Neil Jordan – not my favourite.
The Final Destination AKA Final Destination 4
More silly shocks, not the best of the series, not the worst, some impressive set pieces from stuntman-turned-director David R Ellis, who also did the second one (my favourite) and Cellular, which was a tasty little action-thriller.
Best Christmas film ever?
Alan Parker revisits the musical film again, this time with Roddy Doyle’s tale of a working class Dublin soul band. Simultaneously raucous and exciting, but also anti-climactic.
44 Inch Chest
Talky Brit gangster stuff, which feels like David Mamet trying to do Cockney. A bit of a chore, really – despite reteaming Ian McShane and Ray Winstone from Sexy Beast, and throwing in John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson and, erm, Stephen Dillane. Not as bad as some of the reviews led me to believe, but really no masterpiece.
Loyalty & Betrayal: The Story Of The American Mob
Fascinating little mid-nineties documentary about organised crime in America, principally as seen through the eyes of three former gangsters, each of whom turned rat on their organisations – the Philly Mob, the Gambino crime family, and the Westies. Co-written and produced by Nicholas Pileggi, so riding on the publicity around Goodfellas.
Second viewing for this, and this time round seemed a lot better, with a bit more depth. Still very slight, and Keanu Reeves is seriously miscast as a psychopathic bent cop trying to right his wrongs in LA, but passes the time (slowly). David Ayer directs from James Ellroy’s story.
Killing Them Softly
Pretty decent noir crime stuff, in the vein of 70s flicks like Charley Varrick or …Eddie Coyle, with low level, stupid hood stuff leading to serious consequences. Brad Pitt is a professional brought in to clean up the mess, only even tidying up can be messy. Andrew Chopper Dominik directs creatively and with a strong eye for composition.
Sewers Of Gold AKA The Great Riviera Bank Robbery
Great little heist picture which puts you in the awkward position of cheering on a merrie band of French fascists staging a caper in order to fund their armed struggle. Ian McShane is compelling as the brains behind it all, whilst Warren Clarke is his right-hand man. Based on a real robbery, and directed effectively by Francis Megahy, who worked with McShane on the earlier Freelance and would again on the Lovejoy TV show.