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Archive - K



FEATURING:

Kentucky Fried Movie
The Kids are All Right
The Killing
The Killing of Sister George
King of the Hill
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Knowing
Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda 2
Kentucky Fried Movie
(1977)

This feels more like a Landis movie than a Zucker brothers one (bare breast-countwise at least). The Zuckers do cameo, looking like Seinfeld's brothers.

A Fistful of Yen goes on for far too long, but I liked Scot Free (political assassination board game) and That's Armageddon (George Lazenby and "Donald Sutherland as the Clumsy Waiter"). Cleopatra Schwarz is a better idea than in execution.

***

The Kids Are All Right
(2010)

Best Picture Oscar Nominee that establishes a strong premise (children of a lesbian couple contact sperm donor father) and allows the performances to do the rest. 

Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore are naturally winning, despite their characters' more pronounced flaws. Annette Bening has harder work to do as a brittle, controlling character that rarely lets her guard down while Mia Wasikowska is luminous as one of the children.

****


The Killing
(1956)

Kubrick's second film, with Sterling Hayden planning a racetrack robbery. The newsreel voiceover and tricksy jumps in time are absorbing but only add to the clinical tone of a tale populated by unsympathetic characters.

****

The Killing of Sister George
(1968)

Dated, and betraying its stage origins, but kudos to Robert Aldrich for following The Dirty Dozen with this. 

To be honest, Beryl Reid is hamming it up something rotten. Susannah York is outstanding, whilst Ronald Lacey manages to steal every scene he's in (much like the character he's playing). A bit of an endurance test as a whole, filled with unsympathetic, manipulating characters, but interesting as an artifact of the era.

***

King of the Hill
(1993)

Steven Soderbergh's third film, a Depression-era drama about a family torn asunder, and as well-made as you'd expect. But one comes away (as one often does with his choices of material) wondering why he wanted to make it. The attraction of a period piece? 

It's well-performed (the cast includes Karen Allen, Adrien Brody, a young Katherine Heigl and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Amber Benson).

***

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
(2005)

"I shot him with a small revolver. I keep it in my balls" Shane Black should be getting more screenplays made. 

This is intricately plotted, wonderfully acted and with the sharpest, wittiest dialogue you'll hear anywhere. It stands up as a decent, inventive directing debut for Black also.

*****

Knowing
(2009)

Fairly decent, despite some iffy special effects and impressive for having the balls to go to its chosen conclusion rather than cop out. Nicolas Cage's wig gives a fine performance but I'm unsure why Alex Proyas chose to base the appearance of the watchers on Spike from Buffy.
***

Kung Fu Hustle
(2004)

One that improves with repeat viewing, Stephen Chow really finds his form here. Great visualisations and use of CG to both action and comic effect. 

There are weak spots in the use of overly broad humour at times and the occasional dollop of sentiment but it’s still one of the best Hong Kong comedies this side of Mr Vampire.

****1/2

Kung Fu Panda
(2008)

Entertaining and visually more inventive than much of Dreamworks' other animation. Predictable, though.

***

Kung Fu Panda 2
(2011)

Another animated sequel without a sufficient reason to be. The colour palate is much more attractive than the same year’s Cars 2, and in its favour there's a hilarious sequence in which Panda & Co take charge of a festival dragon. 

Gary Oldman strikes just the right note of classic cartoon villainy as an unloved peacock (in the line of Shere Khan). It's James Wong who steals every scene, though, as the Panda's goose father Mr Ping.

***

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