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Archive for August 25th, 2010

Overdue Reviews

Gainsbourg

I went into the movie not knowing much about Serge Gainsbourg. A huge star in France, I don’t think I could name any of his songs other than “Je t’aime… moi non plus”. I know far more about his daughter, actress Charlotte Gainsbourg who was originally going to play her farther in the movie, something that would surely make for an even more surreal experience. Interestingly one thing I do know about him is omitted from the movie, if you don’t know what I am talking about Google “Serge Gainsbourg and Whitney Houston”

Written and directed by French comic book artist Joann Sfar the movie is a visual treat but somewhat of a mess in its structure. Going from Nazi-occupied Paris through to the birth of his youngest child in 1986, the movie encompasses a lot of his life but really suffers from a poor sense of time. You will either love or hate the use of a caricatured idol of Gainsbourg that appears throughout the movie, for me it really works as a sort of alter ego representing his insecurities. The acting is great, particularly Eric Elmosnino as Gainsbourg. Lucy Gordon (who sadly died whilst the movie was still in post production) as Jane Birkin and Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot are also really good but the hugely talented Mylène Jampanoï is wasted in a tiny part as Gainsbourg’s final wife Bambou.

An interesting movie rather than a good one, like its subject there is lots like about it but just as much to dislike.

Three stars out of five

 

Knight and Day

An impossibly attractive couple are on the run all because of a silly MacGuffin, the results are spectacular and make for one of the finest movies ever made. Of course I am talking about Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece North by Northwest and not Night and Day. So what’s Knight and Day all about? Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) and June Havens (Cameron Diaz) bump into each other at an airport, this sets in action a series of events where the pairs futures are entangled. What unfolds is a mix of mayhem including fights, car chases, shoot-outs, that walks a fine line between James Bond style movie and a spoof of James Bond.

The result is somewhat mixed. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz make a likeable couple with some real chemistry. There isn’t enough ambiguity to the story leaving no surprises as the plot is supposedly twisting and turning. Disposable rubbish that is not as good as Mr & Mrs Smith but it is fun disposable rubbish.

Three stars out of five

 

 

 

The A Team

For anyone of a certain age (me) The A Team was staple viewing as a kid, it was by far the best TV show ever made. Except looking back now it wasn’t, it was poorly made tongue firmly in cheek cheesy crap. That is why making an up to date version is so tough, do you go down the tongue in cheek route or do you go for a more “serious” action movie. The filmmakers have tried to take the latter option and have mainly succeeded. The movie is good fun with some good action that is just as OTT as the show and probably the most fun when it is at its most ridicules. The casting is pretty good, Liam Neeson shows his star credentials as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper is perfectly cast as ‘Faceman’ and Sharlto Copley is brilliant as Murdock. Jessica Biel is somewhat wasted and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is out of his depth as B.A. but who realistically could live up to Mr T!

The movie easily splits in two, the protracted opening showing an origin of the team and the on the run clearing their name main body. I was a little sceptical of the origin part of the movie but it actually turned out to be the best part of the movie. Taken at face value the movie is better than the show it was based on but put into context of when the show was made, it actually fails to live up to the original.

A film that your enjoyment of will depend mainly on the frame of mind and point of view of the viewer.

Three stars out of five

 

 

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