Posts

Showing posts from May 12, 2013

Review: Kurt & Courtney

A documentary surrounding the death of grunge icon and Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, his marriage to Courtney Love, and the possibility that the latter may have had something to do with Cobain’s death. He even manages to get a brief interview with a burly, beer-drinking former ‘musician’ named El Duce, who claims Love hired him to whack Cobain. This Nick Broomfield documentary is a hard one to get one’s head around. It’s never dull and frequently fascinating, so I can’t rightly give it a bad grade, as entertainment is a really big factor in assessing a film’s worth for me.

However, as a film, and more importantly as a documentary, it’s so intrusive, subjective, prejudiced and borderline defamatory that it’s actually a bad film in some ways. The fact that I dislike Courtney Love only slightly less than Broomfield seems to (and he quite clearly thinks she’s Satan) helped me tolerate Broomfield’s nonsense a bit more, though I firmly believe Cobain killed himself. However, for a lot of…

Review: The Darkest Hour

Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella are a couple of entrepreneurial Yank web designers in Russia hoping to sell their product internationally, but who get screwed over by a Eurotrash colleague (Joel Kinnaman) almost as soon as they land. As soon as the duo are about to drown their sorrows, however, things go to hell. A citywide blackout, followed by strange lights emanating from the sky. Oh, and people suddenly being zapped and evaporating. The Russians...er...aliens are coming! The Aliens are coming! Our heroes, their douchy Eurotrash rival, and a couple of pretty young tourists (Aussie Rachael Taylor, and American Olivia Thirlby) must stick together, evade the aliens, and find safe refuge. And formulate a plan of retaliation.

Directed by Chris Gorak (a former production designer in only his second directorial gig) from a script by Jon Spaihts (the polarising “Prometheus”- which I personally liked), this 2011 alien invasion film is neither as bad as you’ve heard, nor as good as it could’v…

Review: Big Jake

Set in the last moments of the Old West, young Jacob McCandles (played by John Ethan Wayne, The Duke’s 8 year-old kid) is kidnapped by Richard Boone’s gang, who demand a hefty $1 million for the boy’s safe return. Grandma Maureen O’Hara reluctantly enlists the help of the boy’s estranged grandfather, the title character played by The Duke himself. Along with two other estranged sons (Christopher Mitchum and Patrick Wayne, the former employs newfangled motor vehicles and an automatic pistol, whilst the latter just hangs shit on the old man whenever he can) and the ransom money, Jake sets off to meet with the captors and get the kid back. But is that really all he has planned? Bruce Cabot is solid as Wayne’s Indian scout buddy who helps out, and John Doucette is similarly fine as the sheriff who, on orders by O’Hara, travels by automobile with his separate posse to try and get to the kidnappers first. Did I mention The Duke comes armed with a vicious (but loyal) Collie? Well, there you …

Review: The Crucible

Inspired by the Salem Witch trials of 1692 Massachusetts, teenaged Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) and several other young girls are spied dancing nekkid in the woods by Rev. Parris (a rock-solid Bruce Davison). Scared of the consequences in this time and place of bible-thumping and harsh punishment for anything perceived to be ‘witchcraft’ (a crime punishable by death), one of the girls seems to have worried herself into a coma-like state, whilst the other girls (headed by Abigail) put all the blame on black Jamaican slave Tituba, who presided over the whole thing. They claim Tituba forced them into participating in the sacrificial ceremony (a ceremony, which, in all fairness was quite childish, harmless, and not really witchcraft), whilst an expert on witchcraft, Rev. Hale (Rob Campbell) is brought into town to investigate matters. It’s not long before the girls, the deceitful and vengeful Abigail in particular are throwing others to the wolves with (false) accusations of being in S…