Sean Connery

November 14, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM |

(25 August 1930 to 31 October 2020) He wasn’t quite what Ian Fleming had in mind, but on the big screen, he was the first and best James Bond: moving like a panther, coiled like a spring, throwing away his throw-away lines with an amused accent that seemed to cross Eton with Edinburgh. The Bond films were a sociological event in the 1960s and 1970s, before they descended to a worn-out party joke of a franchise. Connery starred in Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and…

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Brian Pern: A Life in Rock

November 12, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Documentary, FILM, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

BBC TV (2014 – 2016) These 3 series, following, in semi-documentary style, the musical wanderings of Stowe-educated prog rock mystic and pain-in-the-neck Brian Pern, is one of the most hilarious things on TV, a worthy descendant of This is Spinal Tap, only better because it is not so loosely based on Peter Gabriel. The [Genesis/Thotch] pastoral schoolboy silliness of the early seventies gives way to the Great schism of 1977, allowing Brian Pern to pursue both solo career and role of secular saint and activist, where his insane lack of sense of linear time drives record producers, his former band,…

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Happy Birthday, Burt

November 2, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Burt Lancaster 2 Nov. 1913 “Sweet Smell of Success” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/sweet-smell-of-success/) “Gunfight at OK Corral (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/ok-corral/) “Elmer Gantry” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/elmer-gantry/) “The Leopard” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/?s=The+Leopard) “Atlantic City” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/atlantic-city/)

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The Trial of the Chicago 7

October 27, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

We thought a citation for contempt had to be preceded by a warning?

(Directed by Aaron Sorkin) (2020) (Netflix) Ah, Hollywood. They’ve been dreaming-up stories of white hats vs black hats since the days of Tom Mix.  In this rather ho-hum court room film, there are plenty of black hats to go around: John Mitchell, vindictive Nixon Attorney-General, who wants a Show Trial of the Yippies: His sundry henchmen from the Justice Department; Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and his police goons; Chicago undercover cops who infiltrate the activist groups and in some cases shamelessly tempt them; Judge Julius Hoffman (played by that all-purpose villain of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government,…

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How to Lose Interest in 15 minutes

September 18, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

He's just not that into her

“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (Directed by Donald Petrie) (2003) At a cottage in the Barossa Valley, The Varnished Culture found 4 Rom-Coms to watch, and chose this one, largely based on the likeability of the two leads (and Kate was in a decent film about magazine writers once). We liked them less after 15 minutes: they’re too old for these shenanigans, and too old to, seriously, strike job-on-the-line wagers to win, woo / spurn a partner in record time. She has to start a romance and dump him; he has to win her.  She conducts herself…

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