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Archive - I



Featuring:

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Ill Met by Moonlight
I Love You Phillip Morris
Inkheart
The Internecine Project
Intolerable Cruelty
Into the Wild
The Invasion
The Ipcress File
Iron Man


Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
(2009)

As with the previous installments, this is inspired whenever Scrat is onscreen. The rest is mostly desperate and laboured, and lacking in zest. The best moments have a touch of the Scrat anarchy (an extended helium inhalation sequence, a baby dinosaur regurgitating meals, and a flightless bird sight gag). Still, it's superior to the unmemorable second outing and Scrat's distracted romance is sublime.

**

Ill Met by Moonlight
(1957)

P&P's tale of the kidnap of a German officer in Crete is a much more satisfying wartime escapade than their The Battle of the River Plate

Dirk Bogarde is on charismatic form as the British major leading the operation. Marius Goring is also great as the captured German officer, reluctant dragged across mountains in an attempt to elude the Germans and get him to Cairo. Also appearing briefly are Christopher Lee and David McCallum.

***


I Love You Phillip Morris
(2009)

Very funny, and outrageous, true life tale of a gay cop-turned con man. Jim Carrey hurls himself into the role of Steven Russell with gleeful abandon. Ewan McGregor is likeable as his (titular) lover. Deftly written by the Bad Santa scribes, who also direct. The titled coda at the end is the only actually shocking part of the film, though.

****

Inkheart
(2008)

Okay, but Brendan Fraser is a sure sign of an average film. He manages to grab hold of any aspirations of greatness and drag them down to his own mediocre level. 

The idea is a good one, which makes it more the pity that it does nothing with its budget other than quote Wizard of Oz and the c-list fiction of its title. Paul Bettany's the best thing here by some distance.

***


The Internecine Project
(1974)

The magnificently watchable James Coburn puts in motion a plan whereby four people who could thwart his political career have to kill each other. The story comes from Jonathan Lynn and Barry Levinson; it's nothing special, but economically told.

***

Intolerable Cruelty
(2003)

Somewhat maligned Coen brothers screwball comedy, with Clooney's lawyer falling for Catherine Zeta-Jones' gold digger. The highlight is the courtroom appearance of Heinz the Baron Krauss von Espy.
****


 Into the Wild
(2006)

Probably as "cheerful" a film as Sean Penn will ever make, boasting a fine performance from Emile Hirsch and cameos from the likes of Catherine Keener, Hal Holbrook and William Hurt. 

It's both fascinating and frustrating viewing, partly because the central character is sympathetic and generous and at the same time selfish and unreachable.  An easy film to admire, but difficult to love.

****


The Invasion
(2007)

The fourth version of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and the reshoots stick out like a sore thumb. The first 40 minutes are pretty good (although there's an irony in Nicole Kidman playing an emotional character pretending to be cold and emotionless) but it degenerates steadily into extended car chases and a stupid finale giving us a basically upbeat ending. Daniel Craig is wasted.

**1/2


The Ipcress File
(1965)

Caine at his best, with a masterful John Barry score and wonderful, pull-out-all-the-stops direction from Sidney J Furie that somehow manages to draw attention to itself but not detract from the story.
*****


Iron Man
(2008)

Highly enjoyable for the most part, particularly in the seamless CGI stakes. The realisation of the suit is stunning. 

However, the film is overlong, as is the problem with most superhero flicks these days, and the SHIELD thing kind of diminishes its standalone qualities (the post-credits teaser is very "So what?" - particularly since Sam Jackson is always tiresomely being Sam Jackson these days). I'm not really sure that any Avengers movie could be anything but a limp biscuit.

****


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