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Monthly Archives: July 2014

 This is as straightforward as it gets: aging hit man gets “a final job” because he will only get his “experimental” cancer medicine if he does. He dresses poorly and through superhuman skills and excessive good luck, he survives, gets it done and… it really makes you sleepy just trying to write this.

There is nothing wrong with this film other than the complete absence of originality. Oh and the character of the lady giving the job to Kevin Costner, of course, which is so poorly written, acted and just anger-inducingly stupid that I started hoping JarJar could come and replace her to introduce some sense. And the recurring motif of the guy’s daughter’s bike. And the effort to shoehorn some parental conflict story into a thriller.

Now that I think about it, maybe there’s plenty wrong with that film, and all has to do with doing more than necessary, trying to be original and funny while completely lacking talent for either. Luc Besson has confirmed himself to be among the worst producers and authors ever, and McGeeeee has confirmed himself to do anything thrown at him for money. Kevin Costner is maybe the only person coming out of this unscathed, as he does not really seem to care that much what this film is all about. He is just carrying around a bicycle for no reason and occasionally torturing and killing somebody. That is not really necessary in terms of his career, but it certainly will pay some bills.

It took me a while to discover this, but the A.V. Club’s New Cult Canon is a treasure trove!  Working my way through these gems got me across a Bill Murray vehicle that I had certainly seen decades ago, but could not remember apart from the make-up of Murray’s bank robbing clown.

That film is quite funny, I have to say! A trio of partly sly, partly sexy and partly inept crooks do the traditional bank robbery getaway thing the way you would want to do it. It gets interesting when they are trying to get out of town, the town that they claim to loathe, but which in all its depravity faces them with so many moments of warm-hearted recognition that you could imagine them cruising New York’s less glitzy neighbourhoods for all eternity and considering this utterly normal.

Bill Murray very much does his Bill Murray routine, and this film being from 1990, this means Murray is at the height of his Bill Murray-ishness (a bit beyond peak, maybe, but enough to work with). Geena Davies and Randy Quaid should not be neglected though, Quaid’s big lunk clumsiness and Davies’ sexy lips at the height of her sexy-lipped-ness makes this an eminently watchable trio infernal, with Jason Robards on their tails.

Not a masterpiece, not an Oscar contender, but the kind of film that you will never regret watching again when it crosses your screen.

Just a quick note on this: if you loved “The Trip“, you will of course love “The Trip to Italy”. It still does not make any sense as a restaurant testing tour, because Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon still know nothing about food other tan that it can be eaten if somebody else pays for it. It still looks as if sponsored by the local “Association of Considerably Expensive Gastronomy”, but as this time it takes place in Italy rather than in Northern England, the weather is better and the girls are more pretty and less dressed.

It still features a subtle competition between loud-mouthed career doubt and silent content about the course of life and the stability of family, as represented by the two almost-real-actor-characters, and it of course does again circle around the competition of who is doing the more impressive Michael Caine impersonation. Featuring Mo Farah, Stephen Hawking, as well as Brydon and Coogan in a plane crash up the Andes. An interesting story to listen to. My personal favourite could be Tom Hardy trying to talk to his agent, who does not understand him, and Batman trying to talk to Alfred, who does not understand him…

These two guys are absolutely hilarious, Michael Winterbottom is one of the few geniuses working in film and TV today, and hence: nothing can go wrong. Splendid entertainment! If you watch it twice you will not be able to start annoying your peers quoting it, careful…

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