Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Three more films

Here are a few more films that I have seen this year which I had forgotten about.

8) Operation Condor / 飛鷹計劃

Stars Jackie Chan with as his female sidekick the Spanish actress Eva Cobo - she was actually the reason I watched it because she is one of my twins. Anne knew nothing of Jackie Chan, so was enlightened and amused by the stunts, all of course performed by Chan himself. The plot, such as it is, is basically a ripoff of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Jackie being Harrison Ford. Eva, my twin, doesn't do a lot more than make Jackie look good and scream occasionally. But it is good fun.


9) Einstein and Eddington

This stars Andy Serkis (Gollum) and David Tennant (yes) in the title roles. From my former career as a historian of science I knew some of the background - indeed, I have spent days of my life at the Observatory in Cambridge going through the papers of Eddington's predecessor in the Lowndean chair - but actually the personal and political side of the two men's lives is brought out much more successfully in the play than the scientific history - indeed the climactic scene (where Tennant, as Eddington, declares Einstein right) falls rather flat. But the use of various settings to convey Cambridge, Zurich and Berlin was rather good (especially if you are not too familiar with the real locations). I also loved Jim Broadbent as Sir Oliver Lodge, whose correspondence I also went through at various times; his physical resemblance to the original was quite uncanny.

10) Romeo + Juliet

The Baz Luhrmann version with Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes, set in contemporary L.A. The two leads are good - indeed Danes is absolutely fantastic - but pretty much nobody else is (apart from Pete Postlethwaite as Friar Lawrence), and the excellent music, direction and location settings (Venice Beach rechristened Verona Beach) have to compensate for the lousy performances. Arkangel did this better. Interesting to learn from Jonathan Bate's book that a lot of the alterations made to the script by Garrick in the mid-eighteenth century (cut the banter, downplay Rosaline, show Juliet's funeral, Romeo dies after she awakes not before) are repeated by Luhrman here; I wonder if Luhrman knew about Garrick's revisions?

A couple more to come.
Tags: films, people: my twins, writer: shakespeare
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