Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Je suis revenu!

Yay! Hello world, I'm back! My ten-day soujourn in France was spent mostly quoting things my family hadn't seen, more's the pity.

Spy Game - 3.5 stars

Spy Game was entirely excellent. It felt like it was based on a book, with a talky sensible plot - our hero attempts a rescue on the other side of the world without even leaving his office. A lot of films would have flown Nathan out to China and let him spend an hour-or-so fighting off goons, being threatened by masterminds, and this isn't a dig at James Bond no really it isn't honest would I lie to you?

The plot is gently thrilling, and kinda misleading as well. Spies, explosions - whatever, this film's more about nostalga, guilt and thinking about things rationally. A lot of people will see this thinking it's going to be something else. It felt more like a political thriller really, all the desk stuff, with a bit of excitement thrown in for good measure.

Nathan is a great character - in the present, he's a retiring old man who reminisces about his uncle's farm; at the same time he's still the professional agent with his mind as sharp as ever, and in the past he's an uber-efficient chap with no qualms about doing nasty nasty things. Indeed, he has a Godfather complex - because when you think about it, he is a pretty bad guy even though he in no way seems it. And by nasty, I don't just mean the obvious incidents - how about his great isolation technique? Interestingly, they actually removed a plot strand to make his character a little less morally pitch black.

Now I'm not going to criticise RR's acting - in fact, yes I am. He is to be fair a note...wry and charming heroes, right? True, he's not always a goodie but he's never entirely a baddie either. Perhaps it's all stunning play acting on his character's part, but I never got the feeling he really could do all those dreadful things. In the present sections, dashing around head office and causing trouble, he really convinces; in the flashbacks less so. Perhaps it's just my rather hard set perceptions of the actor?

Brad Pitt is, to be entirely honest, one of the few people I would endorse for the role of Dorian if the Picture of Dorian Gray was ever adapted. He's blonde, he can act (see Twelve Monkeys!) and he has this wonderfully edgy beauty. His acting was nothing really special in this, but he was very nice to look at.

This film had a touch of Lucasitis - the feeling that the editor sat down at is desk and went "WOW! Look at all these cool things I can do! I can turn the image into a 3D bell and make it swing around the scene, and cover it with a stained glass effect and zoom in and out! Lets put them ALL in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" OK, so the Starwarses aren't exactly like that, they just have fun with the fades. Now I didn't really mind it, but my mother would have found it annoying and claimed it was making her unwell. It actually shows a lack of confidence in the actors. The scene behind the Fujifilm advert on the roof should have been a really strong one, if the camera had just held still enough to watch them actually act. There are some films which deserve, or need whizzy cinematography - this was not one of them, and it gave the feeling the plot was trying to be something it wasn't.

As always, I took especial notice of the colours, which were lovely - someone had spent time touching up the Vietnam sequences to give them a certain feel, and ditto with Berlin, and Beruit and everywhere.

Favourite scenes? Well the training montage was great - learning the significance of the stick of gum, "I want to see you one one of those balconeys in five minutes", seeing the pair of them on screen together mmmmmm - sorry about that, what I meant was it created an intellectually dynamic polarity between the two idealistically-opposed characters which challenged the pseudo-liberal preconceptions of our post-modernist world. Oh and Bishop didn't need to tell Muir he was hideous, even in jest. That kinda thing hurts...and "age before beauty" was another unecessary comment. But surely my fave bit was *spoilervison*===>the veeery end - Nathan leaving the complex in a kinda echo of the ambulance leaving the prison at the start, but this time everything turning out shiny and the last lines: "There seems to have been an...incident in China...", and the reaction of the board when they realise they were being played all along. Oh I just love sucess! <=====*spoilervision*

Heavens! I almost forgot the music! It seemed reeeally familiar, perhaps it's been in an advert or documentary. It's really nice though, really really nice.

I was watching the special features and I really recognised the voice of the director. At that moment, I remembered the name and immediately got hit with a thunderbolt of no-duhness. It's Tony Scott! Ridley Scott's younger brother, who's not quite as famous but probably just as talented. It must suck. I've got a younger sister, and she's always beating me at everything. But at least it's just things like year 6 IQ tests and design-an-ad competitions, not being the Eighth Best Director In The World EVER. I hope he doesn't hold a grudge...

Finally, I found this site. It's a common...commen...ah, hell I can't spell it. It's all about That Mind Bending Genre, using that mental tag for it which I thought I'd invented. Only being a nice, polite person with irritable parents I'm hardly going to use it in public. Anyway, it's entirely fascinating but TOTALLY SPOILER RIDDEN! So flick through to the ones you've seen, or indeed don't risk it. But there is an interesting Donnie Darko theory:


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