Monday, 21 May 2018

Natalie Portman

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.

Mildly entertaining Western comedy with an unnecessary cast of top-rate stars; most jokes are hit-or-miss and, too often, vulgar.

Eddie Bracken

Das Netz. Unabomber, LSD und das Internet (2003)

Documentary about the complex backstory of Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber, which situates him within a late 20th Century web of technology - a system that he grew to oppose. 

Dubious documentary intrigues by construing meandering connections to the Unabomber, but unnervingly seems to uncritically agree with his manifesto. 

Il conformista (1970)

Eskimo Limon - Eis am Stiel. Von Siegern und Verlierern oder Die bittersüße Geschichte einer unendlichen Filmproduktion (2018)

Documentary about the international success of the movie Eskimo Limon (Lemon Popsicle) and its actors, who still live with the image of the film.

Depressing insight into the harrowing production, surprising success and long-term personal repercussions of an - in itself depressing - movie phenomenon. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Peggy Blake

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Entertaining homage/parody of the James Bond spy spectacles is very well produced, but definitely a bit too long.

Robert De Niro

All the King's Men (2006)

In the 50's, in Louisiana, a smart populist, manipulative and wolf hick is elected governor with the support of the lower social classes and erects his own corrupt regime.

Great direction, visuals and performances add up to a good movie that still can't surpass Robert Rossen's 1949 classic adaptation of the same novel.

On rewatching: still a good movie - that could have been better, but Penn's excessive performance seems true, now that we have a similar person as US president.

Maltin**: "Penn's histrionics never ring true, and his talented costars are wasted in this disappointing production...Zaillian wrote the ineffectual screenplay."