A Ghost Story (directed by David Lowery)

January 16, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(2017) This is not a film. It isn’t even a good idea for a film. It’s an extended skit, a riff drawing from real ghost movies like The Sixth Sense and Truly, Madly, Deeply. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara are a happy pair uncoupled by Casey’s car smash with the next door neighbour. He returns home in a Halloween-style ghost sheet with ready-made eye holes, and stands by for the next hour, watching the widow eat a pie, her packing and leaving, the new occupants having dinner, and the place being demolished. The late neighbour is next door with a…

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All the Money in the World

January 11, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(Dir. Ridley Scott) (2017) As C. P. Snow once pointed out, the conscience of the rich is different to that of mere mortals.  This difference affords the key interest in Mr Scott’s rather lustreless thriller, based on the Getty kidnapping case, in which Christopher Plummer famously took over the role (as billionaire oil baron and professional Scrooge, J. Paul Getty) from Kevin Spacey, when Spacey’s work was already in the can.  You can see the studio’s reasoning – Spacey had become persona non grata and had to wear a ton of make-up to look like the aged Getty; Plummer simulated Getty adequately without…

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“Beady-Eyed Sneer”

January 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, Uncategorized |
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Lee Van Cleef (9 January 1925 – 16 December, 1989) In The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (1978), the authors, citing Return of Sabata (1972), quote Van Cleef as stating: “being born with a beady-eyed sneer was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.”           His was not a filmography to commend itself to posterity.  However, we respectfully suggest the following to the canon: In bit parts: High Noon (1952), Gunfight at OK Corral (1957), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962): As a spaghetti anti-hero / villain: For a Few Dollars More (1965),…

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

January 6, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(Dir. Martin McDonagh) (2017) This hefty slice of southern-fried Grand-Guignol, redolent of Flann O’Connor, one of whose novels a character is seen clutching early on, resolves into a mature, thoughtful, at times shocking and occasionally hilarious exposition upon man’s desire for avengement and intense disregard for due process. Mildred (Frances McDormand) has lost her daughter, who was, we hear more than once, not raped and killed, but raped while being killed.  It’s been seven months with no leads in the case, for which Mildred holds Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) fully accountable.  In order to stir the Ebbing police to greater efforts (whether consistent…

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The Best Drunk Films

January 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, Ulalume |
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The Lost Weekend (1945) We recall this great performance by Ray Milland on his birthday, 3 January (1907).  Amid a fairly ho-hum career, this is a genuinely authentic turn by Ray as a hopeless drunk. 2. Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Nicholas Cage decides to check in and then check out.  Drinking yourself to death may sound like fun, but…               3. Flight (2012) Denzel Washington is first-class as the kind of pilot you’d like in a crisis, but not on a normal flight, because he’s always hammered.             4.  Under the Volcano…

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