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…]

Advertisements

84 Charing Cross Road (1987 US–UK)

charingcrossroad20“84 Charing Cross Road” is the best film I know about unbridled passion for books, for words, and the kind of intimacy that can take place when one person who loves words makes contact with another who shares, or at least appreciates, that passion. If you are the kind of observant, sensitive soul who can see someone sitting on a park bench and intuit their biography from the way they wear their scarf, hold their bodies and read their newspaper, you will *hear* all that this motion picture is saying, and it will move you to tears. [Read more…]

Black Rain (1989 USA)

black-rain-3Made for 30 million bucks back when that sum would get you a seat at the top table. A place where the big machers compare the size of their mother’s mikvahs. This urban noir, photographed by Jan De Bont (director of “Speed”) makes Osaka look like the futuristic city in Ridley Scott’s other film, “Blade Runner.”  Same traffic and congestion of heavily populated streets, steam and people. Through De Bont’s lens the city is dark even during the day. Michael Douglas even dresses like another actor did in “Blade Runner.” [Read more…]

The Love Machine (Jacqueline Susann)

eamstrashy novelslove-machineWould you think something was wrong if you kept shouting out “Mummy! Mummy!” in a German accent every time you tried to sleep or reach orgasm? Maybe a trip to a hypnotic psycho-therapist is in order and we can travel back to when you were five. This extremely tasteless best-seller from 1969 certainly shines. Like a rhinestone in a pit full of manure. The novel deals primarily with the rise and fall of Robin Stone. His psychological problems are straight out of Hitchcock. And he runs through the lives of a good half-dozen women in the course of the book, leaving all of them scarred and mutilated–a couple of them literally so. [Read more…]

The Catcher In The Rye (J D Salinger)

book cover(This post is dedicated to Holden Caulfield. Within these pages is the story he wrote. Can you dig it?) A tale about two days in the life of a recently expelled sixteen year old youth. Not wanting to face the wrath of his parents, he decides to avoid home for a few days (until he’s expected back), living on his own in the city. The premise is merely a foundation for his simplistic views and disintegrating reasoning process. He considers everyone around him to be fake and undeserving of his time, yet it is obvious that Holden is just as`phony’ as the rest of them. He goes on dates, gets trashed in bars, sneaks off to visit his sister, imposes (or does he?) on a former teacher and even has a run in with a pimp. What a boring little bastard! [Read more…]

Christmas At Tiffany’s (Karen Swan)

11352798Chick lit sounds like a vaguely obscene phrase but that is what this is. I found Karen Swan’s writing very easy to read and despite it being a fairly long book, I found it very consuming and really warmed to the cast of characters within. I think my favourite thing about this novel is that you really don’t know how its all going to end up, there are clues throughout but nothing to spoil it for the reader, and I appreciated that.
[Read more…]

The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett)

bookThis book actually is worth reading a couple of times. Read it the first time for fun, but then reread it to see what you missed seeing the first time around. A former private eye has given up on the detective work after his wife has inherited her father’s businesses, and is running her financial affairs for her. On vacation, they run into his former acquaintances and, of course, a mystery develops which he reluctantly is persuaded to investigate. [Read more…]

The Day After Tomorrow (2004 USA)

dayaftertomorrow Let’s be honest, you don’t watch an ‘end of the world’ movie for the tight plot, incredible script and Academy Award winning acting. You watch it for the special effects to run rampant and to turn your brain off. This one hits all the right spots for the viewer to enjoy some undemanding fun. You have to credit director Roland Emmerich for delivering the goods.
[Read more…]

Escape From New York (1981 USA)

escape_from_new_york_crimson_quill-2 In 1981 New York’s Times Square was filled with pawn shops, strip joints, peep shows, drug addicts and prostitutes. It seems worlds away from the Disney stages and suburban mall feel that has taken its place. Between 1965 and 1980, Americans watched the hearts of their largest cities degenerate into havens for the miserable, misbegotten, and mislead. [Read more…]

Inferno (1980 Italy)

2547Dario Argento’s follow up to Suspiria. It’s a loose sequel that epitomizes both the strengths and weaknesses of its director. It’s probably the weirdest film that Argento ever directed. One thing is certain though – if you require your movies to be plot-driven, coherent and with fully rounded characters then there is a very good chance you will hate this. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: