Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More movies seen recently

Touch of Evil (1958)

Pulp grandeur. Orson Welles wrote and directed, as well as playing the villain. The wonderfully dark and oppressive black & white cinematography is by Russell Metty, but it is of a piece with Welles's filmography and is unlike anything else Metty achieved (Welles was known to be heavily involved with lighting his own movies). This was at the Embassy in the version restored by Walter Murch; if you haven't seen Touch of Evil your movie knowledge is woefully incomplete. And watching this, damned if it wasn't clearly a huge influence on Hitchcock's Psycho.

Orson Welles does his thing

Kick-Ass (2010)

Terrific fun, this is both a satire on comic book conventions and a splendid action movie in its own right. Unlike most other modern action movies I've seen, it was both clever and coherent. The controversy is unsurprising, but misses the point.

Hitgirl does her thing

The Leopard (1963)

Luchino Visconti's masterpiece about the reunification of Italy from the point of view of a Sicilian prince is, well, a masterpiece. I'll admit that it made me sleepy at first, but as it went on I was more and more captured by it, until I finally reached the climactic 45-minute ball sequence - one of the greatest setpieces I've ever seen. Just the part where Prince Don Fabrizio Salina (Burt Lancaster) dances with Angelica Bertiana (Claudia Cardinale) would be the mark of a master filmmaker on its own. Again, seen at The Embassy.

Burt Lancaster fucking rules, and if you disagree you can fuck off

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Jean-Pierre Melville's existentialist heist movie is long, slow, and immensely cool. The news that Orlando Bloom is starring in a remake is just appalling. Someone please convince that guy to join a monastary or something.

Any Wellingtonians who haven't been seeing these classic films at the Embassy on Sundays are really missing out. There are only two left, and I've already got tickets to both.

Alain Delon doing his thing

And just to prove that it's not a complete love-in here at He's Got a Knife Headquarters:

Gladiator (2001)

Ridley Scott's multiple Oscar-winner, starring Russell Crowe as a Roman general turned gladiator, is the worst movie I've seen for a while.

Russell Crowe as Maximus

It was a great shame that it turned out to be Oliver Reed's last movie, but at least he got to drink himself to death.

Oliver Reed as slave trader and ex-gladiator Proximo

This movie was so dull, it was sort of depressing. The high-point was Joaquin Phoenix's performance as the insane, incest-obsessed Roman Emperor, Commodus. He was terrible, but at least he was flamboyantly terrible.

Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus

Also appearing was Connie Nielsen as Commudus's sister Lucilla, who is also Maximus's former lover.
Connie Nielsen as Lucilla

What else can I say? This movie sucks. I think it may mark the end of my Ridley Scott marathon.

I think I may have seen some other bad movies lately and forgotten them.


  1. Burt Lancaster has the shit-eating grin to end all shit-eating grins.

  2. your a fucking faggot buddy! The Gladiator is a fucking masterpiece, if you don't fucking agree you shouldn't even be allowed to have the rights to own a television. Go fuck yourself, BITCH!

  3. Thanks, Anonymous Person! Your (you're?) opinion is always welcome here, no matter how stupid and wrong it may be. Gladiator is a turd, but you're (your?) allowed to have no taste if you want to!