Tuesday, 24 November 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 70 - New TV?

Time for another afternoon with the random delights of Lovefilm:

428 - The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser - 2 stars
The sad tale, based on a true story, of a young man raised in complete isolation for years then thrown out into a German town by his keeper.
It follows Kaspar as the town treat him as a curiosity, a burden, then a freakish amusement before he is taken in by a kind gentlemen who teaches him to become a man.
The portrayal of Kaspar by Bruno S. is sensitive yety his never slips into mawkishness that an Oscar contender would be tempted to do.
The enigma of Kaspar remains just that. While the townspeople try to answer it with science, there are no answers as to why he was treated the way he was.

476 - Santa Sangre - 2 stars
Absolutely bonkers. But what else to expect from the director of El Topo?
Once Upon A Freak In Mexico, where a family of circus entertainers is torn apart when the son witnesses the father cut his wife's arms off before commiting suicide. After spending time in a mental institution, he becomes his mother's hands in order to murder the people she holds responsible for her mutilation.
There was something oddly familiar about the style of filmmaking, then I figured out that it reminded me of the work of Robert Rodriguez in places. I have a feeling he was a major influence on the El Mariachi director.

My brand new 37" Samsung 1080p Full HD TV is supposed to being delivered today, at some point between 2.00 and 9.00. Since I am bound to the house for the day, might as well not waste it. So why not pass the time with another film?

284 - Scarface - 3 stars
The obligatory favourite film of any footballer or rapper, charting the rise and fall of gangster Tony Montana (complete with classic 80's style montage). Perhaps somewhat over the top (do all drug dealers sit in monogramed armchairs with a mountain of cocaine similar to Richard Dreyfuss's pile of mashed potato in Close Encounters?), this a glamorous and violent look at the life of a small time Cuban hoodlum turned drug baron. All delivered with a very understated performance by Al Pacino... who am I kidding?! This is a typical "HOO HAH", all guns blazing, "Say hello to my little friend" performance from our Al, the man who has great difficulty controlling the volume of HIS VOICE! Special praise should given to the makers of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for their near perfect recreation of the Scarface world in the game. I hadn't realised how good till now.

6.30, and still no sign of the TV. Was supposed to have show rehearsals this evening but looks like I will have to give that a miss this week.

150 - The French Connection - 3 stars
I wasn't blown away by this I must say. Perhaps its having programmes like The Wire on every week, that nowadays gritty cop stuff like French Connection is commonplace and not as special as it might have been back in the day.
There is still one outstanding thing about this film, and that is the car chase, or should that be train chase? Breathtaking stuff and one of the greatest chase sequences commited to film.

It has arrived!!! All set up and ready to go.

56 - Casino Royale -
Seems fitting that the first Blu Ray I watch on my brand new TV should be the first Blu Ray I got with my PS3.
Lots of people have been credited with the successful re-invention of Bond; Martin Campbell's direction, Daniel Craig's steely blue eyed Bond, but there is only one person who can single handledly be credited with the success... Jason Bourne! The Bourne movies are the template for the modern spy film, to the extent that QOS was Bourne 4.
That is not to take anything away from what is still a fantastic film which is a true action blockbuster and also tapped into the popularity for late night poker programmes at the time.
A lot of negative things were said about Daniel Craig before the film came out and they were unjustified as I thought he made an excellent Bond... in this film. In Solace he was too cold and emotionless, smile for f*ck's sake. I hope they will attempt to bring some humour to the franchise soon or the new wave of success will be short lived.
I'm might be being a bit pedantic here, but something bothered me about the scene where Bond and Vesper have sex at the hospital. He's only been there for a few days and just out of a wheelchair after getting his balls beaten black and blue by Le Chiffre. How the hell is able to get it up?

Days remaining - 295 Films remaining - 392


  1. Re. Bond's balls: you can't keep a good man down.

  2. Out of interest, what star rating did you give Mr Bond?