Tag Archives: The Underneath

A Week In Film #322: Charlie bye-bye & butterfingers

The Underneath title screen
The Underneath
Steven Soderbergh remakes noir classic Criss Cross with Peter Gallagher as the returning prodigal son with a gambling problem, Alison Elliott the ex-girlfriend he left sorting out his shit when he skipped town, and William Fichtner as the local hoodlum she’s now with.

Revolver title screen
Terrible, dull, terribly dull Kabbalah-influenced crime drama, the plot of which I can remember nothing. Wastes, among others, The Stath, Ray Liotta, Vincent Pastore, Mark Strong and Francesca Annis.

RocknRolla title screen
A slightly better effort from Ritchie, returning to more straight forward gangsters-and-geezers crime comedy/drama, with the fates of gang boss Tom Wilkinson and his lieutenants Mark Strong and Jimi Mistry intertwined with those of mid-level crooks (Gerard Butler, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy) and some entertainment industry tits (Toby Kebbell, Chris Bridges and Jeremy Piven). Thandie Newton flits about as a shady accountant, Karel Roden as a billionaire Russian businessman with all that implies.

The Day After title screen
The Day After
‘The American Threads’, so kind of interesting, but a whole lot soapier. With Jason Robards, Steve Gutenberg, John Lithgow, Amy Madigan, Stephen Furst, Arliss Howard and a cast of thousands, sort of a more radioactive, ground-based version of Airport. Directed by Nicholas Meyer, who did revisionist Holmes flick The Seven Per Cent Solution and HG Wells/Jack the Ripper mashup Time After Time, as well as establishing the ‘even numbers good, odd numbers bad’ law of Trek movies with his writing and/or helming of parts 2,4 and 6.

The Bunker (1981) title screen
The Bunker (1981)
Plodding, stodgy take on Hitler’s last days in the Führerbunker, with Anthony Hopkins bringing a previously underplayed Welshness to the part. Bonus points for having Mr Bronson (Michael Sheard) as Himmler.

Sword Of Gideon title screen
Sword Of Gideon
Pretty solid TV movie version of the same story that Spielberg later brought to the screen as Munich, with Steven Bauer – always willing to make an effort, even if he is not the greatest actor in the world – in the lead, plus Michael York (MY-KUHL! YAWWK!), Lino Ventura, Rod Steiger etc. Directed by reliable journeyman Michael Anderson (The Dam Busters, Logan’s Run, the first big screen version of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four).