Friday, December 01, 2006

Movie Roundup (17th - 20th Nov)

Working Girl (1988)
Charming but mostly forgettable romantic comedy. Melanie Griffith plays Tess, a lowly secretary with grand plans above her station. Sigourney Weaver plays her manipulative bitch of a boss, and Harrison Ford is the man caught in between them. When her boss breaks a leg while skiing, Tess seizes the opportunity to further her career. It's lighthearted and entertaining, and occasionally a little maudlin, but it's good fun with a game cast. Sigourney Weaver is the standout, and this being the late 80s, Harrison Ford still had some charm.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
Clint Eastwood is the epitome of cool in Sergio Leone's much lauded classic western. Laconic, steely eyed, and unflappable even at the brink of death. Eli Wallach's rambunctious Tuco (the Ugly) is the perfect foil to Eastwood's Blondie (the Good). The third protagonist, Lee Van Cleef's Angel Eyes (the Bad), sits somewhere between the two in terms of personality, with one difference - he's bad to the bone (and now that song's stuck in my head). The story is, in many ways, a western road trip as the three characters travel through various places while attempting to find a loot of hidden gold.

There's precious little dialogue in the film given its runtime; it doesn't need it, as Leone tells the story so well with just visuals alone. There is tremendous imagery on display here - a true feast for the eyes. I enjoy westerns though I'm not an avid fan, but good film-making is good film-making regardless of genre. It may be slow paced for todays audiences, but I like a film that takes its time and builds up to key moments. It's all capped off with Ennio Morricone's iconic, unforgettable music (trust me, you've heard it before).

Life of Brian (1979)
While not quite as inspired as Monty Python's Holy Grail, Life of Brian is still hilarious. Lampooning organized religion, politics and political parties, and human stupidity in general, Life of Brian is, as you can imagine, about a chap called Brian. He was born in a stable next door to that famous guy who was born in a stable. Brian ends up involved with a revolutionary group that wants to send the Romans packing - the Romans who've done nothing for them except build sewers, educate them, provide security, improve health care, etc... And at some point he gets mistaken for a Messiah. Naturally. If you know and love Monty Python's brand of humour (and you should), you'll love this. But then again, if you're a fan, you've already seen it.

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