Ready Player One (dir. Steven Spielberg)

May 3, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

"Somebody stop me!"

For our review of Ernest Cline’s book (and an outline of the story), and our comments on Steven Spielberg’s infantalising influence, please click here. Spielberg started this movie, then left it while he popped out to make Transformers: The Last Knight, The Post and possibly a few others. And it shows. Spielberg’s story-telling is almost always childish, repetitive, and thin*.  It’s even poorer than usual here, as is the over-used, tediously monumental CGI (perhaps Ready Player One is meant to be seen on a 3D or iMax screen?  It looked wobbly round the edges and blurry at our viewing). The film (co-scripted by Ernest Cline,…

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Paramount

April 24, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, TRAVEL |

"Open up, Jonesey!"

Paramount Studios, Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, April 2018 – TVC decided on something ‘touristy’ – a Hollywood studio tour. Spurning the hordes of kiddies likely to be at Universal, looking at the mangy old “Jaws” shark or the “Psycho” house, we went to venerable, staid old Paramount (producer of the first ‘Best’ Picture under the Academy system, “Wings”), which now incorporates the adjacent old RKO / Desilu studios. Unlike Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, you leave, rather than enter by the lucky Bronson Gate (not named after Charles Bronson – Bronson, aka Buchinsky, is named after the gate). Built on lemon and orange…

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The Party

April 23, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Sally Potter) (2017) Contrivance is self-evident in this short, slight, by-the-numbers retro film, a kind of cross between Albee, O’Neil and The Strange Death of Liberal England, looking almost as if staged during the Thatcher years. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is Labor’s new Shadow Minister for Health, and pads about her inner London kitchen, preparing party snacks and smugly taking celebratory calls. Why this poisoned chalice without power is a cause for celebration is not clear. Certainly Janet’s cynical pal, April (Patricia Clarkson) doesn’t get it, but she keeps busy spraying about witless witticisms that prompt the odd nasty snicker…

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery

April 23, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, TRAVEL |

For whom the bells toll

Corner of Santa Monica Blvd & Van Ness Ave, Hollywood, April 2018 – The map seems almost impenetrable but still sounder than the map to live stars’ homes – …and Lohengrin predominates – Plus there are turtles… Take it away, Johnny and Dee Dee: The swans, cats, peacocks, squirrels, and human mourners can find, among the “Garden of Eternal Love”, the “Garden of Jerusalem”, the “Plains of Abraham”, “the Pantheon”, the Garden of Beginners” and the “Garden of Legends”, such luminaries as Don Adams, William (“One-Shot”) Beaudine, Harry Cohn (of whom Red Skelton observed, noting the large crowds at his…

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Milos Forman Flies the Coop

April 13, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, LIFE |

(18 February 1932 to 13 April 2018) An exemplar of Eastern European new wave, he got out of his native Czechoslovakia just before the Soviets brought Winter into the Prague Spring. He’ll be remembered in particular for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Hair (1979), Amadeus (1984) (filmed in Prague, under the wary eyes of Comintern flunkies), The People vs Larry Flint (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999). A number of his projects never got off the ground (as if that’s the way to treat one of the more intelligent film directors). Vale, Milos.

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