Skip to main content
Tag

man on wire

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.

Read More

Review: Puss in Boots, Jig, Red Dog and Tomboy

By Cinema and Reviews

Puss in Boots posterEvery so often a film comes along that fits so squarely and neatly inside one’s own per­son­al set of interests and enthu­si­asms that it is impossible to be object­ive about it. I try and keep my work here dis­in­ter­ested and arms’ length – clin­ic­al, if you will – but, y’know, I’m only human. Just so you know. With that dis­claim­er out of the way, then, here’s my review of Puss in Boots.

So. Much. Fun. Soooo. Much. Fun. As one of the smart Embassy staff poin­ted out to me after­wards, Puss (Antonio Banderas) has been basic­ally single-pawedly keep­ing the Shrek fran­chise alive for a while so a spin-off was not only likely but neces­sary. And welcome.

Read More

Review: Gran Torino, Beauty in Trouble, Revolutionary Road, Bride Wars, Hotel for Dogs, Bustin’ Down the Door, Female Agents and Man on Wire

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

Gran Torino posterClint Eastwood has been on our screens for over 50 years and at 78 years old he has decided to call it a day and his vale­dict­ory per­form­ance in Gran Torino is com­pletely worthy of the man. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a work­ing class wid­ower liv­ing on a sub­urb­an Detroit street, one of the few ori­gin­al res­id­ents still around as the neigh­bour­hood fills up with Hmong immig­rants. In a gang ini­ti­ation his teen­age neigh­bour Thao tries to steal Walt’s beloved 1972 Gran Torino (a car he helped build on the Ford assembly line) and, as pen­ance, the kid is forced to work for Walt over the sum­mer. They get to know each oth­er – and the threat from the Hmong gang-bangers who now have an axe to grind with Walt as well as Thao and his family.

Read More