Thursday, 20 November 2014


Dir: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McWannabe, Man Hathaway

Maybe you all know that Narry Borman isn't Christopher Nolan's biggest fan... ever since he stole my car, I've been unable to find joy in his films. But NB goes into every film with an open mind.

When Hollywood takes on sci-fi, it's usually more 'fi' than 'sci'. The lame attempts to put in some scientific reality only serve to discredit the work as a whole. NB would be much happier if they just went travelling through the stars and forgot about reality and science (Gravity was almost there with the whole space travel experience - top film).

Interstellar also straddles that awkward ground between trying to be real, but ending up sounding like it was written by a 13-year old Arthur C. Clarke fan. "Rocket boosters", "relativity", "Warp factor 9"... I have no objection to these words per se, but please admit that you're having a bit of a laugh instead of going all pretentious on our collective asses.

For Narry Borman, Christopher Nolan is the "Coldplay" of Hollywood, churning out likable but ultimately facile hits that appease everyone. Maybe this is the price of popularity? When your potential audience surpasses thousands, millions, tens of millions... and stretches into a hundred million or more people around the world, maybe you feel the pressure of wanting to produce something entirely non-offensive.

"Save me, save me!" Man Hathaway plays the dopey,
emotional female character present in most Nolan films
For, where Interstellar could have grasped at greatness by leaving us with something to think about (specifically by leaving Cooper in the black hole with the task - obviously achievable, I add - of contacting his daughter), Nolan instead chooses to bring him out of the black hole ALIVE, reunite him with his barely living daughter, and give him the opportunity to fly over to see Man Hathaway through a wormhole. Come on! It's apple sauce cinema.

At the same time, at least Nolan does something with the copious financial rewards he gains form such blandness - Interstellar looks amazing, and it's a great cinematic experience. Being able to leave your normal life and travel across time and space is one of the great reasons for going to the movie house. Only a director that can command a budget like Nolan can even try and pull off what is clearly a 21st homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Instellar, though, will age badly. The robots are comically bad. I can only assume that it's a reference to the awful sci-fi robots of the 60s and 70s, because these clunky machines made NB physically smile. Also, as always, Nolan (and his bro) prove that they cannot write female characters. Case in point, Dr. Bland. Her major contributions to the film include the need to be rescued from an oncoming tidal wave (oh, how damsel in distressian), and travelling halfway across the universe... basically cos she's in love. Feminists the world over are removing their pretty little gloves and you're the target, Nolan (try and get my car keys back from him too while yer there).

A few rolling credits before I wrap this up: pretty bland performances from Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway (McConaughey carries this film on his shoulders - he's turned into a great actor - loads of enthusiasm and understated intensity), there a few nice references to superior sci-fi films, and the soundtrack is incredible. In fact, the OST gets 5/5, but the film gets...

Rating: Cosmic twaddle

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Caché (Hidden)

Dir: Michael Haneke-haneke-haneke and McCaully (obscure Marx bros' reference)
Starring: Daniel Twill, Juliette Brioche

"A Great Movie"... trite but true.
There's a lot of pointless pontificating about the meanings and solutions to this film (I'm looking at you Roger Ebert, if that is your real name... which it is). Forget all that. As director Haneke says, it's open to interpretation, like a work of art... Escher said the same thing to a lady who told him how one of his pieces represented a mathematical equation. "Madame", he replied, "if you see it that way, so be it."

One interpretation (mine) is that this is about France and Algeria. There are references throughout the film to the troubled history of Algerian immigrants in France (most notably the hushed up drowning of 200 immigrants in the Seine in the 60s). The hidden camera footage serves as a metaphor for a guilty conscience, or possibly the eyes of the world on France... saying, you can't just get away with it. The suicide of the father represents the life of relative slavery that 2nd generation Algerians had to live. The end shot of the befriended Algerian Walid and the French Pierrot signifying that the third generation can get on with it (this theory is helped along by the presence of a Zizu poster on Pierrot's wall).

Forget all that. Go watch Cache and see what a good film looks like, all you brain-dead spoon-fed blockbuster-watchers.

Rating: Magnifique! Super-Duper!

Place Beyond the Pines

Dir: Derek Cianfrancisco
Starring: Ryan Gooseling, Bradley "smugface" Cooper, Eva Menthols

This film brings to Narry Borman's mind the many cheesy lines in the history of American popular music culture about how "children are the future", how we should "save the children", and "children in need." For Place Beyond the Pines show in stark detail how the poor choices of two fathers conspire to ruin their children's lives further down the line.

In telling this story, Director Derek has used some nice techniques rarely seen in such a major hollywood production - the story is told in three parts, for example, and (SPOILER!) the supposed main character is killed at the end of the first part. Shocking.

As with so many Hollywood productions, PBtP suffers from introducing too many characters, and in the end some of even the main characters come off a little two-dimensional, even if you're watching it in 3d (ba-tum-tish).

Rating: Good