The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Stranglehold


Nothing on telly, so film reviews.

Frost/Nixon. Great stuff. Excellent performance as David Frost, played by our former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Though the other guy playing Richard Nixon was perhaps even better; partly because he’s not playing the guy who, to a generation, is probably best known for presenting Tharougha Tha Keyhool. That said, on the DVD bonus bollocks you get to see the actual interview footage from the actual interview, where the real David Frost is much more insouciant, and the real Richard Nixon is much more impassive, measured, likeable, and much less sweaty. That’s the movies for you.

Main criticism would have to be of the only female character, Caroline Cushing. She contributes nothing to the story and her inclusion as ‘love interest’ seems miserably tokenistic (in a film which otherwise avoids too much Hollywoodisation of history). Rebecca Hall does an excellent job – but with the most thankless of thankless parts.

Rope! One of Alfred Hitchcock’s lesser-known thrillers, where the gimmick is that’s all in one flat, shot all in (nearly) one continuous shot. It’s not quite there – despite the presence of Jimmy Stewart, the greatest movie star ever. The ending feels flat, and the acting is mannered – a bit too stagey and drawing-room, with any homosexual subtext excised but with nothing put in its place. It feels mechanical, contrived and unemotional. That said, it’s only one small rewrite away from making a great episode of Frasier.

Minority Report. Running out of words now but this was brilliant. I loved it. There’s a particularly impressive bit about one and a half hours in which so elegantly solves the plot exposition problem. It looks great, it’s intelligent, and apart from a couple of CGI chase sequences included for the sake of having CGI chase sequences, excellently-plotted.

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