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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.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
OK, now I need to see (9)!
Dec. 28th, 2008 08:43 am (UTC)
It was a made-for-TV film, shown a few weekends back; no doubt it will be out on DVD soon, and there are always, er, other means of getting hold of it!
Dec. 28th, 2008 11:04 am (UTC)
I rather liked Mercutio in R&J.
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
So did I. I thought he and the police chief were the best performances in the movie.
Dec. 28th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, Harold Perrineau was outstanding in the role. I've seen so many productions of that play (filmic and theatrical), and his remains the best I've seen.
Dec. 28th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Harold Perrineau was amazing.

Then again, Harold Perrineau is always amazing. <3
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Jackie Chan is the fun kind of awesome most of the time.

Re: R+J - we had to watch it in Year 9 because Romeo and Juleit was out SATs play, and we came to almost the entirely opposite conclusion, that it was a spectacular support cast let down by the leads. The scene with Mercutio and Benvolio on the beach is still one of my favourite bits of Shakespeare because they get the rhythm so gloriously right.
Dec. 28th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
I've seen numerous productions of Romeo and Juliet, and I think that Luhrmann's film is by far the best. I felt that all of the actors were extremely good, but particularly DiCaprio, Danes, and Perrineau. And although it wasn't a strict adaptation of the original Shakespearean text, I felt that any revisions made by Luhrmann really did work, particularly the death scene...it's so much more tragic for Juliet to awake just as Romeo has consumed the poison. The updating of various aspects, too, was inspired - particularly the fact that the Montagues and Capulets used guns which were known as 'Swords'. Loved it :D
Dec. 30th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
On Einstein and Eddington, see Gareth's take.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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