Never Let Me Go

Book written by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) Film directed by Mark Romanek (2010) Ishiguro, Romanek, please let us go, you heartless bastards.  Not since Chris Lilley killed Pat Mullins (We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year of the Year, ABC TV, 2005)  have we at TVC been rendered sleepless by an afflicted fictional character. And we could laugh at Pat. Laugh at any of the characters in Ishiguro’s book or Romanek’s film of the book and you will go straight to hell. It is best perhaps to watch Romanek’s realisation before reading Ishiguro’s pitiless novel. The film transforms…

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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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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

February 13, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Marielle Heller) (2019) The Varnished Culture settled down with a choice wine to watch this, fully expecting to enjoy the contents of the bottle more than the film. Spared the viewing of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968-2001) due to the tyranny of distance, we guessed this would be an uplifting panegyric of the famous kiddy presenter.  Hence we feared a saccharine overdose as with The Sound of Music, more so when we perceived that the story, based on an article in Esquire, would centre around the the cynical, angry, world-weary, troubled, investigative journalist ‘Lloyd Vogel’ (Matthew Rhys), sent (querulously)…

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Unhinged

December 7, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Derrick Borte) (2020) (Netflix) The portentous opening credits, and indeed the horrendous opening sequence, suggest that Unhinged is going to have something profound to say about contemporary wrath, taking its Road Rage homily as a linchpin: sort of a cross between Duel, Falling Down and Romper Stomper. Alas, instead we get a trashy, c-grade, repulsively violent serving of haute psychomania. Russell Crowe (an un-named man in a pickup truck) is at the end of his tether.  Understandably distracted, he dawdles at an intersection with the lights on green.  This causes annoying and scatty single mum Rachel (Caren Pistorius),…

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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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