Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Audrey Tautou

Sushi Girl (2012)

Upon his release from prison, a criminal is brought to an abandoned restaurant by his old associate to celebrate his newfound freedom, but there's unfinished business to be resolved.

Although this is an all around well-made (but gory) closed-room thriller, it is from front to back a Tarantino clone that (as so often with these attempts) misses out completely on the original's humour.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Modesty Blaise (1966)

(ph: Norman Hargood)

Amour (2012)

An octogenarian couple are cultivated, retired music teachers, but one day, the wife has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Intensely realistic, detailed  and gripping study of a relationship confronted with aging and physical deterioration; the lead performances are meticulous and for them alone worth the watch; arguably, one of the director's best achievements.

Maltin***1/2: "With that simple storyline, writer-director Haneke crafts a double portrait with depth, restraint, and deep emotion, not to mention superb acting. Unsentimental, as one would expect from the filmmaker, and difficult to watch for anyone who has lived through this experience."

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Hi, Mom! (1970)

Apollo 13 (1995)

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Top-notch production (and special effects) and cast guarantee for an entertaining, but not quite original or surprising space adventure.

Halliwell**: "A gripping documentary-style recreation of an averted tragedy, excellently done but one that is an uncritical celebration of the American way and which makes no attempt to put the mission into a wider historical context; it settles for simple patriotism."

Maltin***1/2: "Exhilarating story...A rare instance where special effects actually serve the story and help make it completely credible; perfect 1970s period detail is another asset."

Lee Remick

Texas - Doc Snyder hält die Welt in Atem (1993)

Infamous bandit Doc Snyder returns to his hometown Texas after 30 years to get his other to wash his dirty laundry.

The comedian and musician Helge Schneider has his cult following in Germany, and his absurd and anarchaic humour has a limited appeal; but in his first movie, a Western of some kind, it rarely translates to the screen, and the overabundance of scatological jokes doesn't help (tellingly, the movie's tagline translates to "For a fistful of shit") nor does Schneider's babytalk performance.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Viva Maria! (1965)

The Family (2013)

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.

Mildly entertaining, but lacklustre Mafia gangster movie spoof; it's not the casts' fault, which is accurate for the occasion; however, the movie only works in bits and not as a whole.

Maltin**1/2: "Farcical situation is well played..., but the lazy and leaves a lot to be desired. Watchable enough because of that cast but gets awfully "cute" when it makes winking references to a famous American mob movie."