Category: Film & Television

Fargo – Politest Kidnapping Ever Attempted – 1996

The brothers Coen have succeeded in putting together a thrilling kidnap mystery. Set in snowy rural Minnesota, Fargo tells the story of a botched kidnapping plot hatched by an incompetent used car salesman, Jerry Lundegaard (Macy), which is painstakingly and politely unravelled by ace trooper Marge Gunderson (Mc Dormand). Lundegaard hires two incompetent criminals (Buscemi, Stomrmare) to kidnap his wife and exact a ransom from her rich father. Minnesota is renown for being a particularly politely peopled place, and this film heaps niceties on you like spades, which is perhaps my favourite part of it. William H. Macy …...

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The Conjuring III – The Devil Made Me Do It – Exquisite New Horror

Avid readers of this blog will know that I am a devotee of the horror fiction genre in cinema. I am not entirely sure why, perhaps for the thrill of being moved (even if towards nightmares), perhaps because the acting muscles needed to succeed in horror are so vastly different from more common genres, or perhaps it is something to do with the power of God triumphing over evil. Indeed at one point in this excellent film, the target of the insidious force is “Purity, faith and love, God’s greatest triumphs”. The plot of the film explores the origin...

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The Righteous Gemstones – Ecclesiastical Comedy

  Once again I must thank my father for introducing me to this superlative comedy a few weeks ago. Written by Danny McBride (top, centre in the picture below), this 2019 series follows the story of the Gemstone family, a collection of remarkably egotistical evangelicals as they face a variety of challenges opening a mega church in a new town. The show is written by Danny McBride (Vice Principals), who also stars as Jesse Gemstone, the corrupt eldest son of a patriarchal religious dynasty led by preacher Dr Eli Gemstone (John Goodman). Standard I watched True Stories, David Byrne’s...

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Magical Cinematic Experience

Unsurprisingly this film was made by the same team as made Mary Poppins 7 years prior. Disney, to their great credit, have managed to create a film with enduring magic. What surprised me when watching again was how much of it I remembered from my childhood and the aspects which struck me then still striking me now. Why did I happen upon this film? Well, I showed Nick the avocado Matthew is growing, in a pot of water initially, and I made the remark that it was bobbing along. Nick, who had regrettably not yet seen the film, did...

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The Magnificent Ambersons – 1942 Orson Welles Triumph

Another magnificent triumph from the one and only Orson Welles. Based on the novel by Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons tells the tale of a whip smart scion from an aristocratic family who tries to ruin his mother’s happiness. One of course questions whether there was an American aristocracy, perhaps an important family would be a more accurate description. In any case, this is a really terrific film, an unfinished masterpiece. Welles’ work is missing some 43 minutes after RKO decided to publish an alternative cut. I read recently that TCM have joined the search for the lost minutes...

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