Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

August 19, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Quentin Tarantino) (2019) *** In the late 1960s, late in his career, Ezra Pound discussed his monumental work, The Cantos, calling it a ‘botch.’ When asked, “‘You mean it didn’t come off?’ the poet replied: ‘Of course it didn’t. That’s what I mean when I say I botched it.’ He then went on to describe a shop window full of various objects: ‘I picked out this and that thing that interested me, and then jumbled them into a bag. But that’s not the way’, he said, ‘to make’ – and here he paused – ‘a work of art.’”* Hollywood…

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Rocketman

July 15, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

"What do you have to do to get a drink around here?" (Elton at Rehab)

(Directed by Dexter Fletcher) (2019) *** & 1/2 This H[B]ollywood-style biopic (with a dash of Across the Universe, in its random song-and-dance numbers performed by the cast) neither persuades nor informs: instead, it scopes back from a stagey Rehab group – showing Elton John at an even lower ebb than when he released the notoriously awful record Victim of Love – and traces his life up to the 1980s, when he roared back with Too Low for Zero and staged a faux wedding to a woman. Boxes are ticked: there’s the early austere home life with two egocentric parents (very much not in love…

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Greta

March 21, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Neil Jordan) (2018) This tedious, derivative piece of trash begins when nice, naive young Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz, using every tic and twitch she can summon, and that’s a lot) finds a chic handbag in a subway carriage. Oddly enough, no-one else is interested in it. Even more oddly, all of the lost luggage offices in the entire New York subway system must have been permanently closed, if this film is to make any kind of sense at all. But there we are. Back at home in their luxurious loft apartment, Frances and her flatmate Erica (Maika Monroe,…

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At Eternity’s Gate

February 24, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Julian Schnabel) (2018) It takes some men a long time to grow up. Julian Schnabel began his career as an artist, allegedly; his notorious ‘plate paintings’ moved Robert Hughes to say of him: “Schnabel’s work is to painting what Stallone’s is to acting: a lurching display of oily pectorals.”*  Then he produced a memoir, when only aged in his mid-thirties, without having achieved anything of note – if you want a nasty laugh, read Hughes’ review of it in The New Republic.**  Then he found the medium of film, where his talents and sensibilities obviously lie: after Basquiat (1996) a…

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The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

January 3, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Olivia Colman in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

(2018) Lanthimos’s Anne (Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 8 March 1702 to 1 May 1707, and thereafter of Great Britain and Ireland to 1714) is bloated, dull and not fit for purpose.  Just like his film about two women’s rivalry for her favour. We decided to give The Favourite 2 stars, calculated as follows: +1 star because we love you, Yorgos, for The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer; +1 star for effort; +1 star for most of the performances (in particular, Olivia Colman as Queen Anne); +1/2 star for the black, white and grey costumes; -1/2 star…

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