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francois cluzet Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: Argo, The Intouchables, Fresh Meat, It’s a Girl, Shadow Dancer and Mental

By Cinema and Reviews

Argo poster Near the end of 1979, the new hardline rulers of Iran — incensed by the US government’s support for the previous despot — stormed the embassy in Teheran and held the occupants hostage for over a year, long enough to wreck President Jimmy Carter’s attempt at re-election and to define American relations with the Persian Gulf for another thirty years. That side of the story is relatively well-known. The secret story of the six embassy staff who escaped, hid in the Canadian ambassador’s house, and were then spirited out of the country disguised as a Hollywood film crew? Not so much.

Thanks to the recent declassification of the CIA and State Department files, the weird and wonderful story of Argo can be told, and — this being a Hollywood story about a Hollywood story — it gets a bit of a punch-up to make sure none of the entertainment potential is wasted. So now, Argo is “inspired by a true story” rather than “based on a true story” and it is also the smartest and most entertaining Hollywood picture for grown-ups this year.

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Review: The Devil’s Rock, The Lion King (3D) and Little White Lies

By Cinema and Reviews

The Devil's Rock posterWith The Devil’s Rock, Wellingtonian Paul Campion has created an effective slice of pulp cinema, perfectly pitched to fly off video store shelves around the world. A fiendishly simple idea — Nazi Devil-worshippers — is executed with a panache that belies the tiny (virtually) self-funded shooting budget. Despite being some distance from everyone’s cup of tea, The Devil’s Rock knows its intended audience and shouldn’t disappoint them.

Just before D‑Day in 1944 a pair of NZ commandos (Craig Hall and Karlos Drinkwater) silently beach themselves on a remote Channel Island. Their mission is to disable the German guns, and fool the enemy into thinking the Allied attack will be more than 150 km further west than the real plans to land at Normandy. As they make their way inside the spooky fortifications an unholy scream from the depths below raises the hair on the back of their necks and introduces them to a terror more … terrifying than anything in their original mission.

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