Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Week In Film #294: Birthdays

Taken 2 title screen

Taken 2
Somebody really had a shitty holiday in Albania, didn’t they? The whole racist/implausibility thing aside, fairly serviceable action-thriller, with Neeson reprising his gravel-voiced ex-black ops Mr Fix-It role, this time… Oh, basically the same as last time, but even bloodier, and this time it’s his daughter (Maggie Grace) who has to come to his rescue.

A Week In Film #293: Shed

The French Connection title screen
The French Connection
Ernest Tidyman (Shaft, High Plains Drifter) adapts Robin Moore’s pulpy non-fictioner about an intercontinental drug trafficking ring with gritty aplomb; William Friedkin directs with manic energy, giving us one of the best extended chase scenes in film, a dirty, pre-gentrified NYC as a character, and turning solid character actors Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider into dependable leading men (of a certain kind).

Heat title screen
Michael Mann refines and improves upon his earlier LA Takedown. It’s glossy, it’s overblown, and Pacino is in full HOO-HAH, but still, I don’t quite understand why so many people deride it.

The Aristocats title screen
The Aristocats
Walt Disney’s last movie, about some jazz cats in pre-WWI Paris. Not particularly memorable plot, given that I don’t remember anything about it.

Threads title screen
Grim nuclear holocaust business, with Sheffield getting nuked and everyone dead or dying. Didn’t realise director Mick Jackson later did a bunch of Hollywood stuff like The Bodyguard.

A Week In Film #292: SCORCHIO

The Wee Man title screen
The Wee Man
An interesting story – that of Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris – gets a not-particularly-interesting film treatment. Primrose Hill Set’s Ray Burdis directs, pressing as many trope buttons and cliché switches as possible. Not bad, just very average. Martin Compston in the lead is above average.

The Beauty And The Beast title screen
Beauty And The Beast
Slightly less objectionable Disney princess movie than normal, just a bit, well, boring.

Sleeping Beauty title screen
Sleeping Beauty
Iffy message, but great spectacle.

A Week In Film #291: Heating up

The World's End title screen
The World’s End
Pretty decent third part of the Three Colours Cornetto trilogy from Wright & Pegg, this time with killer alien robots instead of zombies or cops vs vigilantes. Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman make a fine group of old school friends to middle-aged fuck-up Simon Pegg. The ‘golden mile’ pub crawl plot is a nice jumping off point. Wasn’t so keen on the last twenty minutes, bar the final scene.

The Sword And The Stone title screen
The Sword And The Stone
The Wee Man’s odyssey through the Disney back catalogue continues; and he rather enjoyed this take on King Arthur: The Early Years.

Robin Hood title screenRobin Hood
Ditto anthropomorphic animal Merrie Men…

A Week In Film #290: DRY

Die Hard 2 title screenDie Hard 2
“Just the fax, ma’am”, wrong man/wrong place/wrong time, blah blah blah. Way to fuck up a franchise before it’s got going!

Cinderella title screen
Disney biznizz, girls need a Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and save them, etc. Still, nicely put together fairy tale cartoon, the boy enjoyed it.

30 Minutes Or Less title screen
30 Minutes Or Less
Silly but enjoyable one about a slacker pizza delivery guy and his teacher pal (Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari) who get embroiled in a heist-under-duress plot engineered by idiot spoiled brat Danny McBride. Fun nonsense from Ruben Fleischer.

Burn After Reading title screen
Burn After Reading
Minor but not unenjoyable Coen Bros flick, with George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins, David Rasche and JK Simmons each playing either angry, bamboozled, unjustifiably confident or just plain stupid in a MacGuffin-laden plot about spies and secret documents and blackmail and betrayal.