Holy Smoke (1999 Australia)

The bad news: That filthy old lecher Harvey Keitel is naked. A lot. (I thought I was in hell enduring root canal surgery when this was happening…telling myself this can’t be happening!) Now the good news: So is Kate Winslet. So don’t get me wrong, there is much to see that might arouse a smile in this motion picture. But if you are looking for any redeeming value, enjoyment or creativity, then don’t waste two hours out of your life on this crap fest. Despite commendable acting from the film’s main actress, Harvey Keitel looks embarrassingly like an amateur in a high school drama. Quite strange considering she was only 23 and he was a whopping 60. In fact, why don’t I just shine a light on many of the problems and just plain perversity contained within this flick from the land down under? [Read more…]

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George Costanza

(Just a few of my favourite quotes…) Fireman: How do you live with yourself?  George: It’s not easy.  Jerry: House in the Hamptons?  George: Well, you know, I’ve been lying about my income for a few years; I figured I could afford a fake house in the Hamptons. [Read more…]

Pyramids Of Mars (1975 BBC)

It was really Tom Baker who epitomized the eccentricities, sharp-wit and extreme other-worldliness that one would expect from an extra-terrestrial master of  Time and Space who has inexplicably developed a keen interest (and insatiable curiosity) with regards to humanity. And in this story Tom Baker makes perhaps the most striking entrance in the show’s history, standing silently next to the Tardis’ control panel, head bowed, hands in pockets like a Western gunfighter before looking up to later utter the immortal lines: “The Earth isn’t my home, Sarah. I’m a Time Lord…I’m not a human being. I walk in eternity.” [Read more…]

Easy Listening

The Sorcerers (1967 United Kingdom)

Boris Karloff is masterful, even if he has to spend half of this film sitting helplessly on the floor. The late Michael Reeves certainly knew how to make the viewer feel uncomfortable. This is even more upsetting than his later Witchfinder General. It’s a fascinating, yet very sad, snapshot of urban British working class life in 1967. It’s amazing how things seemed more unclean then, how depressingly dirty and squalid the back streets of “swinging London” could really be like. Everything about The Sorcerers is grubby. While the dvd is playing I feel like I’m there. In The Glory Hole. (Don’t laugh – you’ll need to see this movie to know I’m not being rude. The GL is an integral part of the plot) It’s all very mentally disconcerting. [Read more…]

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969 United Kingdom)

Assignment number six for the 007 franchise was the most controversial. Mr Connery had gone AWOL and United Artists waved their cheque books at every casting studio, trying to find the right replacement.  What they got was an Aussie model who had starred in a chocolate bar commercial. But, despite the million naysayers, I think he was a rather good Bond. His voice, for instance, was deeper than Pierce Brosnan’s. He had more youth (far more!) and testosterone than that smirking dinner jacket, Roger Moore. You can believe Georgie is doing those stunts – because he is. His lack of experience makes him more real. He seems a little unsure of himself, which is the Bond of Fleming’s novels. And we even get a love story. Just to make us feel icky. Anyway, this one ends in tears, which was a first. [Read more…]

Before I Put On My Make Up…

Inspirational Vocals

Carnage (2011 France/Germany/Poland/Spain)

Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play “God of Carnage” was adapted by the playwright herself for Roman Polanski’s 2011 film version, renamed “Carnage.” Reza’s word feast is a juicy smörgåsbord for actors and a showcase for the film’s four stars. Despite the glow of bagging 6 Oscars and 17 nominations, the four actors were evidently chosen for talent and range, not luster; all are better known for their on-screen and on-stage work, than their tabloid antics. Carnage is a short 80 minutes. Its fast paced, often funny, well written, superbly acted – and that rarity in cinema – it leaves the bastards hungry for more. [Read more…]

Marc Maron: Too Real (Netflix)

He’s still the guy who prefers to sit onstage on the stool in a crouch, only with a more regular smile across his face. The change is most noticeable from one particular camera angle positioned about the third row. It’s also quite visible as Maron enjoys more physical act-outs of his material onstage. At 53, Maron is happier, nimbler, and stronger as a comedian. Not all comedians get better with age and experience. Some lose the hunger. Some lose touch with the audience. Some get sidetracked by other pursuits, personally or professionally. That’s not the case with Maron, who has delivered his best hour of stand-up to date. [Read more…]

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