Time for some more rubbish film reviews (‘rubbish’ here refers to the quality of the review, not necessarily the film’s merits). As regular readers will know, a good portion of my film watching is done courtesy of various airlines, on a TFT screen measuring approximately 6 by 4 inches, with sound quality similar to the mid-1970s mono tape player I had when I was seven years old. Bear that in mind.
I’m always slightly put off a film when reviewers go on about great special effects. Hollywood blockbusters are often completely crap, but some people come away awed by the big explosions and simulated peril as if this were enough to justify making a film. Capote is an interesting film, but my worry is that you come away thinking ‘great acting’, rather than ‘great film’. If you can get past Capote’s hideously annoying accent, this is a thoughtful effort, worth a watch, if only to marvel at the guy's staggering narcissism. This was a man who truly loved... himself.
Good night, and good luck is another film that just about scrapes it into the ‘interesting’ category. It’s tidy, predictable and worthy, with what I suppose is an important message for our times. I guess they needed to keep it nice and simple to make it accessible to the legions of film goers whose minds are rotten and decayed by too much blockbuster viewing.
What can I say about the adaptation of Le Carre’s The Constant gardener? It’s got a great title, certainly. And visually it is spectacular. Lush, colourful, pacey. But it’s not really a film, is it? More like an extended trailer. When I was a kid my folks used to watch TV adaptations of Le Carre’s books, which were usually about spies and the eastern bloc. They were very complicated. They also occupied about 15 one-hour episodes. A 90-minute film doesn’t give you a lot of space to play with, and the complex plot of The constant gardner is shoe-horned into the format of a film like a size 10 into a dainty glass slipper. The result is that you never really connect with any of the characters; there’s just not enough time to let the plot develop; you feel rushed from scene to scene. Consequently, it’s unsatisfying. It should have been so much better.