Monday, 28 December 2009


“Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing?” - Samuel Goldwyn

Have seen quite a few movies these past couple of weeks and I will give a very brief review of each.

“The Brave One” 2007, directed by Neil Jordan, starring Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard.
This is a stock thriller drama about the victim of a violent crime and how she succumbs to the spectre of revenge in the style of “an eye for an eye”. Jodie Foster gives a very good performance, as does Terrence Howard.
I found the film very violent and raw and my stomach turned a little as the sensitive woman was changed into a vengeful harpy thirsty for blood. As a film it was well done, and raised some important questions regarding crime and punishment, the undermining of the fabric of our society by violence and the seeming inability of our policing and judicial system to cope with this. 7/10

“Eyes Wide Shut” 1999, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
A very disappointing film and a swan-song that turned into a croak. We had not seen this film when it first came out, but we were aware of its highly controversial reception. It seemed that people either loved it (the artsy crowd) or hated it (the ordinary person in the street) – and I may be generalising here.
We found it mediocre and unsatisfying as a film. Simpering performances, non-existent characterisation, shallow plot, unfortunate and anti-climactic let down at the end of the film… We were not in the least interested in the antics of these rich New Yorkers – sexual or otherwise. There was no trace of humanity in this film. Kubrick was indulging himself and was transferring onto film some of his perverse sexual fantasies. We were not interested in that, I’m afraid… 5/10

“Live and Let Die” 1973, directed by Guy Hamilton, starring Roger Moore and Jane Seymour.
A conventional James Bond action thriller, with its usual (and sometimes tiresome mixture) of sex, action, gadgetry, hot pursuits and double entendres.
Escapist nonsense that does what it does effectively enough and has not pretensions about being “high art” (as the previous film did). 6/10

“St Trinian’s” 2007, directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson (two of them?!) and starring – who cares?
What a waste of celluloid! An “updating” of the wonderful old St Trinian’s films of the 1950s. This was so bad that it was embarrassing to admit watching it through. The really sad part is that there is a 2009 sequel and a 2010 trequel! 4/10

“Belle de Jour” 1967, directed by Luis Buñuel, starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Genèvieve Page.
What a classic! This is the second time we have watched this and it has greatly improved on second viewing. Kubrick should have been embarrassed to release his “Eyes Wide Shut” if he compared it to this film. The plot is rather similar, but the characters, their motivations and their actions are so much more involving than Kubrick’s film. Buñuel is a master and this film displays his art amazingly well.
The plot is much more believable, and although it concerns itself with the French bourgeoisie, one is more drawn in and the exploration of female sexuality that unfolds is much more enlightening than that hinted at in “Eyes Wide Shut”. 8/10

“Walk, Don’t Run” 1966, directed by Charles Walters, starring Cary Grant, Samantha Eggar, Jim Hutton, John Standing.
This trivial romantic Hollywood comedy of the 1960s has the distinction of being the vehicle for Cary Grant’s final screen appearance. More of a whimper rather than a bang to finish with, but all considered, the film is innocent enough and there are a few chuckles here and there. The plot is childish and the situations hardly surprising. Nevertheless, an amusing trifle for a matinee at home… 5/10

Enjoy your week and the last few days of 2009!


  1. Nice to know what films I can take a miss on. I don't do Tom Cruise ever. And I hate violence for the pure sake of violence. Will, tolerate it when integral to the plot only.

    I went to the Theatre and saw the new Sherlock Holmes and did a review of it this week.

  2. The only one of these I've seen is Live and Let son was really into the Bond films at one point and we ended up watching the lot! ( though thankfully not all in the one day ) :D ..must admit that the Bond films turned out to be more entertaining than I'd thought they'd be.

    I've been catching up with the Lord of the Rings during the hols, got two of the three vids ages ago from my brother, and this is me only now getting round to watching them....

    Enjoyed part 1, so off to watch part 2 now, then it'll be a rake round the video shop for part 3!

  3. Hmmmm, nice to read these reviews of yours, Nicholas. Here are my ratings:

    "the Brave One" - I haven't seen this. Sounds interesting and I like Jodie Foster.

    "Eyes Wide Shut" - I found this a film insulting to my intelligence! 2/10

    "Live and Let Die" - I think I've seen this, but I am not sure. Not memorable in any case!

    "St Trinian's" - I haven't seen any of the classics you mention, but this was pure trash! 2/10

    "Belle de Jour" - Fantastic film! 9/10

    "Walk Don't Run" - I haven;t seen this, but sounds good! Thanks for the recommendation!