Friday, December 9, 2011

Sherlock Holmes 2

Sherlock Holmes: A game of shadows

Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace, (the ubiquitous) Stephen Fry

In the sequel to Sherlock Holmes, the intrepid sleuth (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to thwart the plans of the fiendish Prof. Moriarty (Jared Harris) with the aid of his old friend, Dr. Watson (Jude Law) and a mysterious Gypsy fortune teller called Sim (Noomi Rapace. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,). Bit ‘same old,’ but watchable for all that. The action is gripping and a treat to watch, thanks mainly to the work of production designer Sarah Greenwood and costume designer Jenny Beavan. Can Sherlock unlock the mystery and save Europe, well you need to see the movie to find out. Good performances though from the cast with Jared Harris particularly outstanding as the malevolent Professor Moriarty.

Puss in boots

Director: Chris Miller

Voices of: Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, Selma Hayek , Amy Sedaris, Billy Bob Thornton, Constance Marie

The spin off from Shrek, sees Puss (Antonio Banderas) a roving outlaw and thief. Criminal genius Humpty Dumpty's (Zach Galifianakis) betrayed the poor kitten and the wronged pussy is now looking for a way to clear his name. The script mixes the basic concept of Humpty Dumpty, Jack And The Beanstalk and Jack And Jill. Difficult to resist the frisky feline and Puss In Boots is a crisp 3 D move crammed with laughs for grown-ups and material for the kids. A must for all cat lovers of all ages.

The adventures of Tintin

Director: Steven Spielberg

Voices of: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kim Stengel

Tintin (Jamie Bell), the intrepid young reporter and his dog Snowy are on the trail again of another adventure. The story combines three of Hergé’s classic tales, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure. After buying a model ship at a flea market Tintin is made aware others are after the seemingly worthless replica. The villainous Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) kidnaps Tintin and holds him captive on a ship captained by the inebriated Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Tintin and Snowy manage to rescue the captain from house arrest and join him in a quest to find an ancient treasure associated with the captain’s long departed ancestor Sir Francis Haddock. Aided and abetted by the Thompson Twins and others, the plot thickens in this convincing fantasy. Loaded with exotic make believe locales and graphics that are exquisite the action is nonstop with duels, high-speed vehicle chases and pirate raids. A joy to watch and a must for all Georges Remi fans and the fabulous Hergé’s Tintin.

Friday, December 2, 2011

autoluminescent: Rowland S Howard

Directors: Richard Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn

Rowland S Howard was a composer, guitarist, and singer who was a member of the post-punk band The Birthday Party with Nick Cave. This affectionate bioflic documents his life and times and follows the independent, Melbourne band from London to West Berlin. Acknowledged as one of the most significant independent guitarists, Rowland's personal life was sadly dogged by his heroin addiction but the movie gives a refreshingly honest insight into the artist’s miseries, and triumphs (including the falling out between Cave and Rowland). Plenty newsreel footage and revealing interviews with friends, family and colleagues, including Cave, Mick Harvey, Wim Wenders and Lydia Lunch. Autoluminescent will interest both Howard devotees and the merely curious.

The women on the 6th floor

Director: Philippe Le Guay

Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Natalia Verbeke, Sandrine Kiberlain, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas

A class-conscious French comedy set in Paris in 1962. Conservative, middle aged stockbroker, Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini) lives in a spacious apartment with his fussy, nervous wife, Suzanne (Sandrine Kimberlain) and their two spoiled children. When their longtime family maid leaves, Jean-Louis hires a young Spanish replacement called Maria (Natalia Verbeke), who lives on the sixth floor with other Spanish immigrants. When by chance the fastidious financier discovers the women are living in restricted circumstances he tries to help them. Sensitized to something different in his behavior Suzanne assumes he is having an affair with a wealthy female client. Mildly amusing and something to see if you are in the mood.