Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Posts Tagged ‘peter bradshaw

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Like many people I have been boogled first by the existence of Werner Herzog’s re-make of Abel Ferrera’s Bad Lieutenant and then all over again by the growing consensus that it is actually quite good. I particularly liked the conclusion of Peter Bradshaw’s review for its economical summing up and simultaneous subversion of the cliches of critical shorthand:

It’s a critical commonplace to describe a movie or book as such-and-such “on crack” – superfluous in this case, because Nicolas Cage’s character and so many others are literally on crack, always hunched over the pipe and huffing it up. It is truer to say that Herzog’s movie is like Abel Ferrara off crack: dark and gruesome of course, but with something essentially more lenient than Ferrara – less self-torturing, more farcical and crucially more ironic, a quality not very apparent in the deadly serious horror of Ferrara’s film-making. The US release explicitly adds the definite article to the title. Well, for me, Ferrara and Keitel will always be the bad lieutenant, but Werner Herzog is probably the only director qualified to take this on, and his bizarre reboot has a fascination all of its own.

Written by Martin

21 May 2010 at 09:40

Posted in criticism, films

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“Alas! when passion is both meek and wild!”

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In his introduction to his review of Revolutionary Road, Peter Bradshaw refers to the rehabilitation of the source material:

It was a novel I first opened owing to the compelling evangelism of Nick Hornby, who made one of the suicidal characters in his 2005 novel A Long Way Down carry a copy of the book, so that it could be discovered on his corpse – an inspired continuation of the books romantic, self-sacrificial agony. Hornby almost single-handedly triggered a resurgence of interest in Yates, which led very materially to the emergence of this movie, a serious and intelligent response to the novel.

Now, I’m sure Hornby helped but I would suggest the 2000 Vintage edition of the novel with Richard Ford’s evangelical introduction had rather more to do with it. By the time Hornby’s novel was published it was already canonised in Time’s All-time 100 Novels list.

Otherwise it is a good review, although perhaps he gets a bit carried away whilst describing Kate Winslet’s face later on:

Her face, so powerful in its impassivity, yet with unreadable hints of fear and anger, has something massive and monumental about it up on screen, the sculpted form of a Roman empress: like the gigantic marble head of Faustina the Elder, famously unearthed with the colossal statue of Hadrian in Turkey last year.

Written by Martin

30 January 2009 at 11:50

Klaatu Barada Nikto!

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I mentioned Todd Alcott when I wrote about the diabolical Steven Spielberg version of War Of The Worlds. He has now completed his analysis: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. As I suggested, he is unfazed by implausibility and stupidity.

Elsewhere Peter Bradshaw reviews the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still:

The alien is called Klaatu, and Keanu Reeves (whose first name doesn’t sound that much different) is perhaps the only plausible casting, given that David Bowie is now too advanced in years to fall to earth again without breaking something… As ever, Keanu’s speech patterns really only suit a non-Earthling role. There’s something in that halting, quizzical delivery – which for a second promises droll comedy, and in the next second delivers only a baffling blankness – which indicates that carbon-based life forms are not entirely his thing.

Written by Martin

12 December 2008 at 11:57