Calvary

December 11, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. J M McDonagh) (2014) This is Craggy Island without the laughs, a richly human ‘who-will-do-it’ as Brendan Gleeson, the village catholic priest, struggles with his faith in the wake of a confessional death threat. Paul Byrnes in the Sydney Morning Herald well described Gleeson’s role as “the one good man in a town of jackals” – the relentless vitriol and mockery spat at him by various village types is matched by their own astonishing, preternatural candour – no feelings are spared in this story. The whole tone reflects an Irish ambivalence vis-à-vis organized religion, its utility and its scars….

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The Judge

December 9, 2014 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. David Dobkin) To make a film as bad as this, more ingredients are required than Hollywood plot #7, additional clichés and dollops of sentimentality. To the mix must be added really good actors – (Roberts Downey and Duvall; Billy Bob Thornton and Vincent d’Onofrio, who is starting to look like a confusing cross between Charles Durning and Brian Dennehy) – so that the hapless viewer is all the more disappointed when it turns out that there really is no more to this than appears. Avoid.

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The Hustler

December 1, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Robert Rossen) (1961) A tough, raw, hard-hearted story of Eddie Felsen (Paul Newman) who wants to move up from two bit hustling at pool to beat the best, Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). Great pool scenes: Fats’ seven- ball in the corner is a shot Eddie Charlton would be proud of. Newman is also highly competent, although he joked of shooting some pool decades later when a youth approached, declaring he’d seen The Hustler dozens of times and that watching Newman play pool was one of the great disappointments of his life. Perhaps Eddie does shoot good but also lucky….

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Donnie Darko

November 25, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, METAPHYSICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Richard Kelly) (2001) A lush, Gothic, teen exploitation film of superior calibre. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a typical, upper middle class, cringing dork with anger issues and a friend called Frank, who appears to be a cross between a pooka and Satan Bunny.  Frank informs Donnie that the world only has till the eve of Halloween to live. Jam-packed with ideas, some of which should lie on the cutting floor: we have surreal visual homages to the paintings of William Blake and John Martin, a soundtrack oddly reminiscent of Badlands, a rock video sequence with (of all things) Tears…

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The Phoney Chinese Box in Film

November 24, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, FOOD, LIFE, Ulalume |

L found one in New York!

Walk into any Chinatown in the world and you will struggle to find these. You can buy them online but they are not cheap.  Yet they seem to show up, unbilled, in every other film and television show.  Our list is below, suggested additions are welcome: Affliction AGL gas advertisement Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy The Bank Bewitched Big Bang Theory Bobby Borgen (Danish TV) Bugsy The Caretaker Catch Me if you Can Columbo Curb Your Enthusiasm Decoding Annie Parker Deconstructing Harry Dexter Election End of Days Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Family Guy A Few Good Men…

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