Saturday, 31 December 2005
The acting is a little edgy: at times I wondered if the lines were being delivered too woodenly; but then they captured the awkward body language of polite social situations. Allen scouts the London sights a bit like a tourist (do New Yorkers feel the same way about how he portrays their city?). I'm also not sure he writes as well for British actors, but then the social set he's aiming at are a bit divorced from my quotidian reality, even in Oxford.
An enjoyable and beautifully shot film, nevertheless, in which Allen seems to encounter the same writing impasse he explored in Melinda and Melinda when an essentially serious plot borders on farce.
Nugget: not his best of recent movies (see Anything Else) but confident, assured Allen, even in unfamiliar surroundings. I'd like to see him shoot another film in the UK, a comedy next time.
Thursday, 29 December 2005
I was playing around with my dad's new digital camera when we were out at the Christmas market here in Munich on Christmas Eve and came up with this nighttime exposure. The Kinderpunsch and Flammbrot were yummy, by the way - especially the Flammbrot.
Wednesday, 28 December 2005
In a 2004 interview with the director on the UK version of this DVD, he reveals his intention of pursuing those moments that television networks would consider to be "dead air": when no one is talking. Davis finds in these the real impact of the war: in two Vietnamese women whose home has been destroyed, in a former US bomber pilot who suddenly realizes how he would feel if his kids had been attacked the same way, and in a patriotic couple who try to justify the sacrifice their dead son has made for them and their great country.
The blurb cites Michael Moore, who claims this is one of his favourite movies and the reason he picked up a camera, and you can see how Davis has influenced Moore, particularly in Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore pays tribute by using the same footage from a horrifically bad taste Army musical [can anyone supply the title?].
Nugget: a pretty damn powerful movie, very moving in parts, graphic in others. Not always able to answer the questions it asks of this confusing war, but then these things cannot be neatly explained, and that is the whole point of the movie.
Gotham is nowhere near as gothic as Burton's and seems oddly unpopulated. Therefore, when the baddies try to infect it with a rather implausible fear poison the tension is evaporated because we don't care about any of the people in danger. There is a token wee boy who runs about scared with the fiesty DA's assistant (Katie Holmes). It's all a bit clunky and underwhelming, particularly in the second half.
The supporting cast is quite strong on paper, with Liam Neeson as Wayne's martial arts mentor, Morgan Freeman as the Q-equivalent weapons and technology expert, and Michael Caine as the loyal family butler, Alfred.
Nugget: There was no real need for this to be made and the cardboard acting betrays a lack of faith in the project. It's neither a full-on comicbook, nor a realistic movie; falls down the gaping chasm of mediocrity in between.
This is a great set - better, I would argue, than anything I've seen by the late Richard Pryor, but nevertheless, heavily influenced by him.
Nugget: better than any of Murphy's films.
This was shown on Channel 4 a few months ago, I think in a more edited version. I enjoyed it much more the second time round, appreciated more the subtlety of his humour. I won't recount any of his jokes here - partly because I can't remember them, but also because they rely somewhat on his delivery for their effect. Subjects of derision, though, include children, women, Americans, smoking in public places (the Irish ban thereon) and rap.
Nugget: a well constructed set, delivered in Moran's own inimitable style.
Nugget: the best of the trilogy?
"Dialogue-heavy" is an observation; not a criticism; in fact, it is a joy to have so much wit and humour. Trent takes Mike to Vegas in an attempt to look "money" and get laid. Mike is still too much like a guy in a PG-13 movie: too cute and likeable to score. Eventually he retrieves his self-esteem back in LA after numerous attempts gone wrong, accompanied by his good group of friends.
Nugget: great fun, with some sharp perceptions of what it's like trying to meet girls. Biased to the guys's point of view.
Sunday, 18 December 2005
Will is precociously smart. He meets an English girl at Harvard called Skylar (Minnie Driver). But could she be The One.
That's a bit unfair. Boiled down like this is sounds like a Schmollywood schmuckbucket Oscar-cooking gumbo boat. And there is the Miramax moment wedged in there for Williams, but he delivers the speech beautifully. It's good stuff. It knows what puppet it's holding and how to pull the strings, and there's no shame in being tied to the other end of that. Quality.
Nugget: job done.
Woody is in slapstick mode, acting like a nervous spastic whenever he's near a woman. He is visited every now and again by Humphrey Bogart (impressively - if obscurely - impersonated by Jerry Lacy), who tries to tell him all about dames.
A solid effort, but not one of Woody's best-looking films, nor his knockabout funniest (try Manhattan and Mighty Aphrodite), but you'll do yourself no harm if you tick this one off your list as well.
Nugget: yes, the title is a famous misquotation: Bogey never says that. He says, "You know what I want to hear. [...] You played it for her, you can play it for me! [...] If she can stand it, I can! Play it!"
Saturday, 17 December 2005
Thursday, 15 December 2005
Nugget: features a young Sylvester Stallone (24-5 years old) as a subway thug.