Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Dir: Grant Heslov
Starring: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney

Staring at a goat is a hazardous occupation. It is said that in Estonia, they employ people not to stare at goats in order to assuage their anger. Narry Borman is not convinced that system can work, as even an accidental glance at goats can result in the pulling of hair, a kick to the gonads, or a bitten earlobe.

This film strays a strange line between farce, satire, and fact. As a result, it doesn't quite work. It's enjoyably brief. And Jeff Bridges and George C are always worth watching. But it seems like the film doesn't really know what it wants to be, and I'm certainly not going to waste my time telling it what it is.

Rating: Average

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Rutles: All You Need is Cash / Can't Buy Me Lunch

Dir: Eric Idle
Starring: Neil Innes, Eric Idle, Ricky Fatar, etc.

Eric Idle... a man after my own milk. But The Rutles would be nothing without Neil Innes. It's the music that makes this ridiculous film or two credible, after all. In fact, Bazza N would go so far to say that once you've heard how closely The Beatles can be mimicked, you start to prefer The Rutles.

The first Rutles film is a work of staggering beauty - it's stupid, clever, and fun. Cameos from Bill Murray and John Belushi, among others, keep the viewer hooked.

The second film is a simple rehash of the first, but with interviews of celebrities "inspired" by The Rutles  - which vary massively in quality - interspersed with footage from the first film.

Once you've heard Cheese and Onions, you can never go back.

Rating: Top Work / Good

Sunday, 27 January 2013

35 Shots of Rhum

Dir: Claire Denis
Starring: Alex Descas, Mati Diop

Ah, Paris. Narry Borman spent a few years there in belle epoque, mixing with such characters as Hemingway, Vian, and a young Johnny Depp.

This modern tale of life in the beautiful city is a work of staggering beauty. There's depth, beauty, romance, and even rum.

The story centres around four characters who inhabit the same apartment building. Twisted histories, potential futures, pet cats... it's such a good film.

Oh, and it has Mati Diop... (*wipes drool from chin*)

Rating: Top Work

The Hustler / Colour of Money

Dir: Robert Rossen / Martin Scorsese
Starring: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Tom Cruise

I tell ya a storey, see... Narry B once hustled the legendary hustler 'Flageolet O'Hanson'. Yerp... I stole the green beans from his plate when he went to the toilet.

Another great hustler was Paul Newman, who was a one of the great 9-ball players of all time. 'The Hustler' is a fairly slow tale, but if you like pool, then you'll probably enjoy the nuances of this here flick.

20 years later, Paul Newman discovers hotshot 'Tom Cruise' who can also shoot a mean ball. And the story kinds of repeats itself - except that Newman is older and wiser, and gets the better of every one he meets. What a dude.

Forrest Whittaker makes a genius cameo. Newman's lover in The Hustler is a good romantic interest. The difference between the two films is Scorses's direction. The Hustler is very low key - The Color of Money has some imaginative scenes that Lewbowski took inspiration from.

As with many films from books, there are obvious omissions and the viewer is required to use their heads to figure it out.

One day, the story of me and Flageolet O'Hanson will be told. But until then you can enjoy a good hustle with Paul Newman and co.

Rating: Good

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Blue in the Face

Dir: Wayne Wang
Starring: Harvey Kite-hell, Loo Read

Is Brooklyn really like this? A place where people live based on gut reactions, and not much else? If so, NB wants to go there.

Blue in the Face uses a lot of the same cast as Smoke, a rather dull film, and was, in fact, filmed around the same time. In a kind of proto-Curb stylee, the cast were asked to improvised a lot of their lines. No fear. Lou Reed is there to make sense of it all.

Top cameos from Roseanne, Michael J. Fox, Jim Jarmusch and Madonna. The ineffable John Lurie provides the music. But it's Lou Reed who steals the show with his perm and glasses.

Rating: Top Work


Dir: Rodrigo Cortes
Starring: Ryan Goosling

Roger Smaltz was once buried alive. In fact, he's still down there. We gave him a laptop so he could submit reviews. But he's down there until he apologises for eating my last ginger biscuit.

Ryan Goosling was also Buried by Rodrigo Cortes for this international collab. It's an interesting film. I don't want to give too much away. It's tense, slightly stupid, and downright enjoyable. It's good to see a film that uses unusual production methods, and manages to pull them off.

Now... time to check on Smaltz.

Rating: Good

Get Low

Dir: Aaron Schneider
Starring: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray

All those mid-west films in the late noughties... What was that about? Narry B remembers well his time spent in the Mid-West of America planting and reaping corn. Even now, people remember him as the corniest man in the tri-county area.

Get Low is a personal and warming drama. The tension builds up nicely as Robert Duvall plans his own funeral. In fact, it's Duvall's performance, and Murray's charisma, that drives this film.

A nice setting, great acting, and a good script. The final payoff was surprisingly weak, and the constant gnawing sounds of background music was grating. But Get Low was a fine film... "mighty fine".

Rating: Good