Wednesday, 7 April 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 203

215 - Jackie Brown - 4 stars
Tarantino's most mature and underappreciated work, not just because of his ageing cast, but due to the fact that this is the only time that he is adapting someone else's work, therefore it is less self-indulgent.
Based on the novel Rum Punch by crime supremo Elmore Leonard, it is still very Tarantino in the tone of the dialogue and in terms of his visual style (this film more than others is a huge influence on Edgar Wright, with lots of jump cuts and action cuts).
Tarantino's encyclopedic movie brain once again pays dividends in the casting department, given career restarts to Pam Grier and Robert Forster (star of 80's cult classic Alligator).

347 - All About Eve - 5 stars
I was absolutely shocked when I got halfway through the film and suddenly realised what this reminded me of... All About Eve is Showgirls but without the tits!
Anne Baxter stars as Eve Harrington; a seemingly shy young girl who latches onto a huge Broadway star (Bette Davis), and will stop at nothing and not let anyone get in her way as she schemes and charms her way to the top.
It has the record for most female acting nominations for a film, 4 in total, but lost out on all of them due to the fact that they were competing against each other and split the votes.
The entire cast is excellent, in particular George Sanders as the vitriolic drama critic, and make the most of a excellent script by Joseph Mankiewicz that full of barbed little zingers.
"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night". Bumpy yes, but an absolute delight as well.

118 - Withnail & I - 4 stars
One of Britain's best loved comedies but on this viewing I started to empathise with the sense of pathos in the film, as struggling writer and actor "I" comes to realise that his life is bing wasted hanging around with friend Withnail.
It is still very funny and much of the humour comes from "I trying to fend off the amorous advances of Uncle Monty (the fabulous Richard Griffiths).
So cult and popular that Mike Myers even went as far to cast Ralph Brown as a stoned roadie in Wayne's World 2 and he basically repeated his role as Danny, the soft spoken inventor of the Camberwell Carrot.
The main reason for being such a beloved cult film is due to the mythical Withnail & I drinking game. I say mythical because I have never actually seen anyone play it, possibly due to the fact that it involves matching Withnail drink for drink during the course of the film which would require the player to consume in 107 minutes (estimated): 9.5 glasses of red wine, 1 pint of cider, 2.5 shots of gin, 6 glasses of sherry, 13 whiskies, and a half pint of ale... lighter fluid optional.

Days remaining - 162 Films remaining - 210

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