Cabaret

June 25, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, HISTORY, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Bob Fosse) (1972) Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 24 June 2021 Inspired by the Weimar work of Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret is perhaps the last great movie musical. A brilliant rendering of the last days of chaotic democracy in Germany, the long shadows of Nazism entering stage left, the Kit Kat Klub becomes a trope for the death of heady, insouciant decadence, about to be replaced by something far more depraved. Fosse’s direction is faultless, as are the period feel and production values. The cast is superb, led by Liza Minnelli, perfect as the brash and wide-eyed Sally Bowles, an American…

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

May 27, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by John Ford) (1962) We accept violence in the defense of life, liberty or country, on the sports field, or in delivering the brutal, hurtful truth. We get all of this, in various forms, in John Ford’s most intriguing film.  When it first came out, the critics hated it – ‘dull’ and ‘predictable’ was the general consensus. But after one gets over the shock of James Stewart playing a young law student, or John Wayne wooing young-enough-to-be-his-daughter Vera Miles, we can see that this film is really a classic, the Monolith of all westerns*, focused on the genre’s key…

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Stowaway

May 14, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Joe Penna) (2021) Commander Marina Barnett (Toni Collette), scientist David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) and medico Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) set off on a two-year mission to Mars, unaware until they are past the point of no return, that they are carrying a stowaway [Shades of Dr. Zachary Smith! Oh, the pain of it all – Ed.]. The stowaway, an engineer, Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson), somehow got himself accidentally hidden behind a panel, and just wasn’t noticed during takeoff. He has unwittingly damaged a device necessary for production of breathable air. What could be a sinister or suspenseful…

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Hot Air

May 3, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Frank Coraci) (2019) Steve Coogan revels in his image as a hard-edged playboy.  But he also want us to think that there’s a soulful, sentimental man in there somewhere. The footloose, cynical womanising Steve Coogan character in the ‘tour’ movies with Rob Brydon is leavened with wistful moments of loneliness.  Alan Partridge is a wishy washy, desperate side of the same man. Unfortunately, when Coogan steps out of one of his alter egos, his desire to make us love him turns into an absolute puddle of gel.  Witness the ghastly soppiness of his Martin Sixsmith in Stephen Frear’s…

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This is a Robbery

April 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(The World’s Biggest Art Heist) (Directed by Colin Barnicle) (Netflix, 2021) The documentary tells (at Dickensian length) an intriguing story: how in 1990 two men dressed as Boston police officers were admitted to the elegant and boutique Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in dead of night, tied up the two slipshod guards and stuck them in a basement area, and helped themselves, in a leisurely fashion, to 13 artworks, several of them priceless (to use an old cliché). SPOILER ALERT: We have to plough through 4 episodes to learn that, $10m reward notwithstanding, the works have not been recovered, nor anyone…

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