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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James Coco

March 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Comedy Film, FILM |

Born March 21 1930 James has a fairly ho-hum ‘hagiography’ but he was sensational in A New Leaf as Henry Graham’s Uncle Harry, who regards his late brother’s appointment of him, as Henry’s guardian, to be an act of spite. Whilst TVC‘s favourite moment in the film comes when Henry (Walter Matthau) is having ‘capital’ (and ‘income’) explained to him by his attorney, Mr Beckett (William Redfield), Coco, as Uncle Harry, is priceless when Henry calls, in order to negotiate a tide-over loan till he can marry a rich heiress.  You can put the link below into your search engine…

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Swinging Safari

(Directed by Stephan Elliott) (2018) We at TVC stand up for the 1970s but this coming-of-age-weren’t-mum-and-dad-shockers film sums up the shakiness of such a gesture.  Lurching from the 1960s Eden to the next decade’s Gethsemane, this Australian comedy tries to be an amusing take on the generational poison encapsulated in Philip Larkin’s This Be The Verse.  Instead, it serves up a meaningless pastiche of Don’s Party, Puberty Blues, Porky’s and The Ice Storm. Whilst the parents (Guy Pierce, Kylie Minogue, Asher Keddie, Julian McMahon and Jeremy Sims among them) seem to be living it up, most of the comedy is so broad as…

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

January 6, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(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 Disaster Artist

December 14, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by James Franco) (2017) The story is well known now.  In 2003 a terrible, terrible movie called The Room was released.  Tommy Wiseau, the film’s financier, producer, director, writer and star, asserted that it had cost him $US6 million. In its two week run the drama took less than $US2,000. After publication of the book The Disaster Artist, about the making of The Room, the film was re-released under the banner, ‘The Citizen Kane of bad movies’ and became a cult hit. Tommy Wiseau is played by James Franco – and although Franco is much larger, younger and more attractive than his character, he does a good line in what seems to…

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