Film Babble Blog’s Year-End Blogtastic Festivus!

Now it’s time for:

FILM BABBLE BLOG’S YEAR-END BLOGTASTIC FESTIVUS!

Now I ain’t claiming to be any fancy pants seen-it-all babbler – I’m just a writer who works at a movie theater and mostly sees and blogs about what I’m intersted in so no big summation of the year’s offerings here. I mean it’s pointless to make a top ten list of the year’s best at this point – many lauded big-time studio features (like LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, CHILDREN OF MEN, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, etc.) aren’t gonna be in my area ’til January or later so I’m just gonna blab blurbs ’bout a bunch o’ flicks I have seen since my last post. Such as :

THE QUEEN (Dir. Stephen Frears) Definitely one of the year’s best and most likely the definitive ‘walking on eggshells’ movie. Helen Mirren’s dead-on portrayal of her Majesty and her reaction (or at first non-reaction) to former Princess Diana’s death and Tony Blair’s (Michael Sheen) touching and funny attempts to smooth it all over with the peeved off public all plays perfectly. Not a wasted moment – this deserves every Oscar it will get.

SHUT UP & SING (Dir. Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck) Like THE QUEEN this is very much about public relations. As I’m fairly sure my readers know The Dixie Chicks made history when Natalie Maines made a fiercely anti-Bush comment between songs at a London concert at the dawn of the Iraq war. The snowballing firestorm (I don’t care if that’s a glaring contradiction) that ensued makes up the bulk of this documentary. Less a cinematic statement on the state of free speech in America than truly a sharp music doc ’bout a band dealing with backlash from a controversial quote and how that affects their touring and recording – the bit that has Bush’s response from a Tom Brokow interview – “They shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because some people don’t want to buy their records when they speak out … Freedom is a two-way street” – then Maines reply to that – “what a dumbfuck. He’s a dumbfuck” – yep that bit alone makes this whole deal essential viewing.

BLOOD DIAMOND
(Dir. Edward Zwick) Way too long with awfully written dialogue throughout – “In America, it’s bling bling. But out here it’s bling bang”. The scenes between Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly are TV-movie bad. Still there’s some great photography and worthwhile story elements – just unfortunate that when the dust settles it is just a big noisy empty bling bang.

CASINO ROYALE (Dir. Martin Campbell) The return of Bond – in a reboot of the series going back to the original 1953 Ian Fleming novel – yeah yeah yeah we all know the details. Daniel Craig is the new beefy blond Bond with blood on his hands, face and mind at all times. And that’s fine. Really it is. I enjoyed the movie. Grittier and harsher than the last Brosnan Bonds, sure, but…where were the babes?!!? In just about every one of the 20 Bond movies the man beds 4-5 ladies but he only has one here – okay he woos and almost does another but c’mon! I knew I was in trouble in the opening title sequence – usually a reliable orgy of nude female silouettes embracing a fully clothed Bond silhouette aiming his gun at some off screen villain was this time out a bunch of silhouetted fight sequences with playing card imagery. I mean I liked it – Craig is a good focused actor and the tone is right but next time out 007 better go to Babe Island or something.

Next time out – DVD reviews and more when filmbabble enters a brand new year!

This post is dedicated to the
Godfather of Soul

James Brown

RIP JB 1933-2006

More later…

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