Patrick Melrose

January 16, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

"We've taken Aqaba."

(Directed by Edward Berger) (Showtime, 2018) Patrick Melrose is a poor little rich boy with issues.  Why does he abuse substances so spectacularly?  Why such a jaundiced eye towards Mummy and Daddy? Why the failed relationships, the ferocious anger, the lurch at self-destruction? Well, we do find out. Edward St. Aubyn’s five novel-trajectory of Patrick’s story is compressed into 5 hour-long episodes, starting with a catastrophic journey to New York to collect father’s corpse and get on the junk.  Benedict Cumberbatch has a lovely time as Patrick: he’s flip, witty, manic, and sad. As we whizz, so very briskly, through…

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The Art of Stalking

January 15, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | ART, FILM, MUSIC, WRITING & LITERATURE |

The New South Wales Police Force offers this regarding the crime of Stalking: Stalking is a crime…and…includes: ‘the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of, or an approach to a person’s place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any social or leisure activity’.  Stalking involves a persistent course of conduct or actions by a person which are intended to maintain contact with or exercise power and control over another person. These actions cause distress, loss of control, fear or harassment to another person and occur…

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O Lucky Man!

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Lindsay Anderson) (1973) (Seen at the Britsh Film Festival, Palace Nova Cinema, North Adelaide, November 2019) We still can’t believe we saw this freak-show, so overlong that afterwards you need immediately to check-in to an oxygen tent.  Whilst we rather liked Lindsay Anderson’s If…, the first ‘instalment’ of the Michael Travis ‘Trilogy’ (if that doesn’t sound too grand), as to this sorry excuse for a film, one can do little more than plunder from a review of the generic Anderson approach, written by Clive James*: “If Anderson had brought nothing but his talent to the job, the show…

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The Aspern Papers

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Julien Landais) (2018) “…So Percy Shelley, his wife Mary and their friend Edward Trelawny indulged in a little Venetian ménage à trois…” No, start again. “Shelley washes up from the Golfo dei poeti, in the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, where his wife finds a portrait and a satchel of early drafts“…This won’t do. “Henry James was bedazzled by European sophistication and scared of its vestiges in formidable and incorruptible women, so one day he decided to revamp Madame Merle and Isabel Archer within a literary mystery of elegant design, where the papers of debauched dead poet Jeffrey Aspern…

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A Joke With No Laughs: “Joker” is the Worst Movie of the Year

October 26, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Todd Phillips) (2019) Joker is All Dog, from snout to tail. It displays a breathtaking conceit as to its own importance, a delusion, in fact, of grandeur, and of relevance. It shamelessly rips-off much better films such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. It is completely tired and lustreless; it is neurotic and incoherent; it is inept, pretentious and self-indulgent; it has no insights to offer, just tritely psychologised solemnity that gets so murky it’s (almost) funny. In fact there is a special kind of unredeemed awfulness throughout the entirety of what we might loosely call…

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