Some Kind Of Beautiful (2014 USA)

A breezily sentimental romantic comedy in which everybody is hateful to one another. Look past its colourful, smooth surfaces and something corrosive emerges. And it’s not like the film isn’t aware of this. But it doesn’t really know what to do with it. The movie’s well cast, though. Pierce Brosnan plays Richard, a Cambridge English professor who when we first meet him is carrying on his father’s legacy of lecturing to adoring co-eds about the Romantic Age while humping them after class. One of those co-eds, Kate (Jessica Alba), has snared him. [Read more…]

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Ask The Dust (2006 USA)

1939. John Fante writes “Ask the Dust” about a young man embarking on a literary career. Years later a young Robert Towne voraciously devours Fante’s novels, most of which attempt to paint a portrait of early 20th century Los Angeles. Decades pass. Towne embarks on his own literary career. He scores big with his script for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown”, a LA noir influenced and flavoured by Fante. Towne and Fante personally meet in the 1970s. Fante dies in 1983. Two decades later Towne adapts “Ask the Dust” for the screen… [Read more…]

Earthquake (1974 USA)

Earthquake-hestonphoneCo-written by Mario Puzo, the man who re-defined the gangster genre, `Earthquake’ is the quintessential disaster movie. The elements are all there: the large, all-star cast, the pathos, the massive devastation, the many intertwined subplots, the Wagnerian heroes and the ultimate banality. For those who find nothing to enjoy in soap operas, trashy romance novels, or depictions of mass destruction there is nothing here. But for the rest of us this is art. [Read more…]

I Madman (1989 USA)

i-madman-scream-factoryA young woman, Virginia, is obsessed with reading bloody horror novels. She recently discovered the oeuvre of a bizarre but stylish writer named Malcolm Brand. His book “I, Madman” fascinates her, describing the acts of a horribly deformed doctor who kills people in order to make an actress fall in love with him. But fiction turns into reality when Virginia finds herself chased by the book’s eerie doctor. [Read more…]

Drive (2011 USA)

drive 4They cheered at Cannes, apparently. Surely that had to be a good sign?! Driver (Ryan Gosling) has a day job, he’s a Hollywood stunt man, but by night he makes the serious $$$ as a getaway driver for the criminal fraternity. Into his life comes married next door neighbour, Irene, and her little boy, Benicio, pitching him right into the middle of two wars. One is for his emotional worth, the other is with the criminal underworld.

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CHINATOWN (1974 United States)

faye“You’ve seen it all years ago”, my ex-wife liked to say. “Why would you wanna see it again?” Like many of you, I feel like I have seen too much, but what the hell. If this blog is my second wife then I have to heed her call to “fill me up!” You, the voters, need something new to read, right? Never mind the spoilers, here’s the review… [Read more…]

BLADE RUNNER (1982 USA)

BLADE_RUNNER_ANIM_G_BURLEYHow much has the world changed since 1982? Life seemed to make more sense. But our minds were unconsciously drifting away from reality, whilst reality slowly made its way towards the visions of this powerful film. ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’, written by Phillip K Dick, was adapted to the screen by English director Ridley Scott into ‘Blade Runner’. [Read more…]

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