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Showing posts from December, 2011

Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy

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By Moira Sullivan

I don’t pretend to have enjoyed Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy based on a spy thriller by octogenarian John le CarrĂ©, who co-produced the film featured at the 68th Venice Film Festival. The cast features dozens of men and few women – but thank the goddess for Kathy Burke from the cult TV series French and Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous as Connie Sach. Colin Firth seems lost and veteran actors John Hurt and Gary Oldman spend most of the time delivering their lines in ultra slow motion cued by the director. Action? No, there is no action in this spy thriller. Director Tomas Alfredson was behind the Swedish vampire box office smash Let the Right One In. The success initiated an American remake - Let Me In by Mat Reeves. The Swedish director is out of his element in adapting this novel to screen in that the large project consumes him, like a predator. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema from Let the Right One In is on board and there is nothing flawed in his work. But 20 m…

Outrage

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By Moira Sullivan Takeshi Kitano, Japanese actor turned director, otherwise known as Beat Takeshi, brings us what he is best at – yakuza or Japanese organized crime films with all their blood and gore. Outrage was part of last year’s Cannes Film Festival’s official selection. In what can be seen as a Japanese Reservoir Dogs, rival bosses with hidden body tattoos take turns at offing each other to impress the head family.  It seems like every second someone has their face bashed in, or their mouth worked on in the dentist office without Novocain. Takeshi Kitano is a deadpan actor that barely needs to move but instills fear with his cunning style. His motley face is enough to conjure up impending doom, along with the coiled snake energy of some of the other bosses in this film.  Outrage is predictable but with enough gore to make any yakuza enthusiast satisfied. This is the kind of film that is screened late at night or dead in the middle of winter at film festivals when vicious violence…