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Showing posts from 2013

Life’s a dream. In a dream you can make mistakes. In a dream you can be whatever you want.

To the Wonder (2012)
(MILD SPOILERS) Terrence Malick’s latest rumination falls considerably short of post-career comeback triumphs The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life. Accordingly, it has more in common with his 2005 Pocahontas tale The New World; a visually resplendent piece of work (as are all his films) but one that fails to resonate.

Maybe it’s all in the casting, despite the evidence that his actors are somewhat superfluous to his goals. The number that have ended up on his cutting room floor is legendary, although it says as much about their unabated desire to work with a legend as his capacity for pruning and reshaping his projects in the edit (with scant regards for his thespians). The Thin Red Line bears the evidence of this most heavily (star turns from the likes of Travolta and Clooney stick out like a sore thumb as they only appear for a scene or two), and more recently Sean Penn passed comment about how little of his performance remained in The Tree of Life. This time nu…

By my manner, you assumed I was a guardian. By your manner, I knew you were a prisoner.

The Prisoner 9. Checkmate

We want information.
Six takes the role of the Queen’s pawn in a game of chess with human pieces. He is intrigued when a rogue Rook, who moves across the board without orders, is taken away for rehabilitation treatment. The Man with the Stick, controller of the chess game, furnishes Six with the means to tell the Village’s prisoners from its guardians. Six uses this method to win the support of the Rook. Together they assemble a team of fellow prisoners with the intention of mounting an escape bid. Meanwhile, the Queen has been hypnotised and believes that she is in love with Six. With the aid an electronic component taken from a monitoring device worn by the unsuspecting Queen, Six and his band send a distress signal to a nearby ship. The captured Two is held under guard while Six rows out to the vessel. However, on boarding Six is greeted by Two via a monitor screen. The ship belongs to the Village, and the Rook has released Two. Due to his demeanour, he thou…

Why is it terrorists never appreciate Burgundy?

Red 2 (2013)
(SPOILERS) If in doubt, sign on for an unnecessary sequel. Red 2 isn’t bad, but it adds nothing whatsoever to its predecessor. More than that, director Dean Parisot may have a feel for the comedy but his action beats seem to be taking place somewhere else (calling second unit). In the end, it’s the continually impressive cast, old and new, that save this one from being completely redundant.

Parisot gave us the splendid Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest, but that was nearly 15 years ago. Since then he’s mostly made a nest for himself on TV (as have a platoon of directors who have had enough of labouring away out in the cold, trying and failing to get movie projects off the ground). Along the way there was the stillborn Fun with Dick and Jane remake on the big screen, but most notable was some solid genre work on Justified. One assumes it was his collaboration with Neal McDonough there that secured him the nominal villain role of Horton here. McDonough’s actually great fun, takin…