Reversal of Fortune

February 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |


(Dir. Barbet Schroeder) (1990) A contemplative, but playful account of a cause célèbre.  Millionairess Sunny von Bülow’s vegetative state persisted from 1980 to 2008 (when she died, aged 76).  The cause of this coma was alleged to be an injection of insulin by her second husband, Claus von Bülow, a classicist and former assistant to oil king J. Paul Getty. Bülow was convicted by a jury in 1982 and this film, based on the book by his appellate counsel, Alan Dershowitz,concentrates on the relationship between legal team and client during the appeal to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, seeking to…

Continue Reading →


February 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Shane Carruth) (2004) Two commercial engineers create a time machine by accident and start bumping into their other selves.  Made on a shoe-string, incomprehensible, with confusing exposition and techno-chat designed to cover gaps in plot, this film is, nevertheless, engaging and different – nice, weird playing by director Carruth and Dave Sullivan as Aaron and Abe.

Continue Reading →

Black Swan

January 24, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Darren Aronofsky) (2010) Natalie Portman is no Divine Zucchi as she samples various vices in an attempt to turn Odette into Odile.  A heroic attempt by all concerned to synthesize the struggle and sacrifice of art looks and even feels impressive but, alas, is artless, a cliché, and ludicrous.

Continue Reading →

The Imitation Game

January 20, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WW2 |

(Dir. Morten Tyldum)  (2014) There have been many books and indeed many films concerning Enigma and Ultra.  All are unsatisfactory to varying degrees.  The present effusion suffers from a common defect.  It is hard to engage us, in cinematic terms, by presenting decryption, or its value in the war effort: one is visually dull, the other incalculable.  One is left to stage moral dilemmas or descend to caricatures of hobbits in Bletchley huts, sledgehammering us with reminders that queer little folk can do great things. Turing and his colleagues in Hut 8 were crucial to the effort to break the…

Continue Reading →

The Stunt Man

January 15, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Swivel-eyed loon, Peter O'Toole

(with a Minority Report and a PS) (Director R. Rush) (1980) Tedious,  unhinged and thin.  Yes, that’s both The Stunt Man and its eyerolling star, the world’s worst actor, Peter O’Toole.  Why is Charles Manson blond?  Who COULD that old woman in the water be?  There’s something about a bridge.  O’Toole leers insanely from a helicopter.  People’s legs are shot off, or not.  Let’s all applaud for no reason.  Barbara Hershey wanders about in a Barbara Hershey shaped mist.  What the heck is going on?  Who could care? MINORITY REPORT – PETER SAYS:- Yes, this film has problems.  Yes, O’Toole invariably…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.