Sunday, 28 June 2009


Dir: Jason Reitman
Starring: Michael Cera, Ellen Page

I'm sure teenage girls love this film, but Narry B is not a teenage girl. Y'see, Juno talks in that 'witty' and 'clever' style of so many over-educated, over-confident young laydeez that makes you cringe when you hear it. She's trying way too hard.

That was NB's main gripe. The seoncd gripe was the 'oh-so-out there' music and pop culture references. I like manga! I like Iggy Pop! I like b-movies! Love meeee!

And my final gripe is that it seemed to stifle the comedy talents of Arrested Development's Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. I wanted to see more humour from them. Ol' J.K was really good as her father, though.

That aside, it's a well made, likable (for a certain teenage demograpic) movie. Plus, Juno and Michael Cera's relationship leaves us on a good note. And there are some funny moments, such as the dad asking what you can make with a Pilates machine.

Finally, Juno has a strong moral lesson: You can always give your baby up for adoption... Ech.

Rating: Average!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Return of the Magnificent Seven

Dir: Burt Kennedy
Starring: Yul Brynner
Year: 1966

I watched this by mistake - I thought it was the original. When NB realised his mistake he was expecting disappointment, but was actually pleasantly surprised.

In 1947 Satre gave an interesting lecture about the how a man can choose a right or wrong course from an existential viewpoint. Is there even a right or wrong? Yul Brynner's character kind of personifies that viewpoint and that choice. It's DEEP!

The film itself is a series of conversations as Brynner gives advice to his underlings and shows 'em whats what. Plus theres some horse riding and shooting. It's a gunslinging, get the bad guys, cowboy film that doesn't break any new ground, but doesn't fall flat on its face either.

Rating: Good!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Groundhog Day

Dir: Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Andy MacD

Narry B's not sure if its cool to like this film or not, but it is a modern classic.

It's funny without being stupid, interesting without being complicated, and romantic without being schmaltzy. And it has Bill Murray - a legend in the manner of John Barrymore, Geronimo or Joan of Arc.

Not having watched it for a long time, I thought it might have aged badly. Surprisingly, it hasn't (except for a few annoying yuppyish/early 90s cafe culture style references). It's a timeless film that I could watch everyday...

Final point of note goes to Andy MacDowell's hair. It's big! Man, those early 90s birds really knew how to grow a full head of hair. Narry B wishes Mrs. Narry B had that kind of hair, instead of her few remaining wiry ginger strands. A man can dream.

Rating: Genius!

Monday, 8 June 2009


Dir: Clayton Jacobson
Starring: Shayne Jacobson, Eve von Bibra
Year: 2006

I'm not a big fan of allegory, but if NB were to interpret this film then Kenny would be some kind of religious figurehead, and urine and turds would be human society; namely, you and me.

Yes, Kenny is about as pure and decent as humans can hope to be. Eternally patient (until the whole 'poo in a car' incident), optimistic, and hard-working.

The fact that Kenny works hard with human waste makes no difference to him, although it does bother people around him, including his father, brother, and even his customers. The quality of Kenny's character shines through all that, and that's what makes him a modern hero in cinema.

Kenny takes toilet humour to the next level. It's hard to say if this is even toilet humour - it's more like toilet humour laughing at us.

Narry B has watched Kenny and The Castle in one week: if other Australian films are as good then Oz is the hidden gem of cinema (or is it all Home and Away: the TV Special after this?).

Mockumentary makers should take note: This is how to do it.

Rating: Top Work!

Thursday, 4 June 2009


Dir: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen

Narry B knew the name Larry Charles was familiar when he saw the credits! It's the guy wrote Seinfeld (along with Larry D, and J Seinfeld, of course). I didn't know he was a director, though. Maybe he should stick to writing.

Actually, I thought Borat was really well directed. What let it down was trying too hard. It lost any realism. The naked hotel fight was totally unnecessary and didn't make NB smile. Borat's hometown wasn't very entertaining either. Too obvious. Same for the 'bear in a fridge'.

On the other hand, there are some moments of genius - table tennis with a midget, the rodeo scene was rather good, and the awkward dinner party. Perhaps the highlight was Borat's comedy class - it makes you cringe. I like to cringe.

The highs are high, and the lows are really low.

Rating: Good!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Castle

Dir: Rob Sitch
Starring: Michael Caton, Eric Bana
Year: 1997

This is what movies are all about. Narry B likes to feel good, he likes to laugh, and he likes to think that the little man can still take on the big boys. The Castle ticks all the right boxes.

Amazingly, this film was made on a shoestring budget - I thought the cheapness of the image was intentional (it looks like a 1980's soap opera). But it wouldn't have mattered if it had no budget, cos the strength of the story and the characters is outstanding.

The main man is my boy Michael Caton who plays Daryl, the unceasingly optimistic dad of a family of rural Australians. Their home is near pylons, an airport's runway, and is built on dangerous materials, but they love it.

The Castle has a bizarre sense of humour - Eric Bana's eloquence being the highlight for moi. Plus it has some of the intentionally worst haircuts and worst trousers in cinema history.

Rating: Top Work!