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|Index||54 reviews in total|
This was a good movie. Not perfect but still good. It takes place in a
the casino where Modesty worked before she became a crime boss and her
background is told in many flashbacks.
I think it's a pretty good way to start the Modesty Blaise films with a prequel to the comics. For someone who's not a fan this is a great way to learn the back story.
Although there is the obvious absent of Modesty's partner Willie Garvin this does not set back the movie one bit!
The acting was pretty decent and the directing was also great! I really loved the opening credits! It kinda looked like a TV series.
The first scene is a pretty funny story. It is actually based on a true story! In 1942 Peter O'Donnell was on a scouting team in what they then called Persia. Making sure the Germans wasn't going through there to capture the oilfields in the middle east. They were sitting under their camouflage tent one day and a 6 year old little girl (probably homeless) was looking at them from a small distance. They gave her a can of McConnochie's and then she left. They never heard from her again.
In overall a good and faithful Modesty Blaise movie This is hopefully the first movie of a long (or small) series about femme fatale comic book hero, Modesty Blaise.
Unfortunately many consumers who write reviews for IMDb equate low
budget with not good. Whatever else this movie might need, more budget
really isn't part of it. Big sets and lots of special effects would
have turned it into another Lara Croft movie. What we have here is a
step or two better than that.
The nearly unknown Alexandra Staden is captivating as the enigmatic Modesty, and this is crucial for this movie to work. Her wise little smiles and knowing looks are formidable, and you find yourself wishing that the camera won't leaver her face. It makes it workable that the bad guy Nikolai, played by also little known (in the U.S. at least) Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau might take an unusually cerebral interest in her, something Modesty can exploit. She is able to divert his raping her with just a shove and spitting out "stop wasting my time!" then storming off between his heavily armed yet suddenly diffident henchmen. Making a scene like that plausible doesn't happen by accident.
Probably the biggest problem I have with the rail-thin Staden playing Modesty is it just isn't very believable for her to go hand to hand with an athletic and muscled looking guy like Coaster-Waldau and beat him. She just ain't a Peta Wilson or a pumped-up Hilary Swank type actress who can throw a convincing punch. Coaster-Waldau letting himself be overpowered by Staden looks like he's just roughhousing with his little sister.
Since this is not really an action film, this isn't a big flaw. I just hope they do better on that if and when they make sequels.
If you are already a fan of Peter O'Donnell's wonderful Modesty Blaise
from the sixties, you will really enjoy this movie. If you have ever seen
the 1966 "Modesty Blaise" film, forget it! That was camp. This is the real
Modesty Blaise. The story and character are both true to the Modesty that
fans of the books know and love. It's a long way from Joe Losey's 1966
travesty, and it takes our Modesty quite seriously. Alexandra Staden is
quite good and believable in the part, and yes, we do get to see her kick
This is likely meant to be the first movie of a series and as such it serves to introduce Modesty, her childhood and her days with Lob.
Since Peter O'Donnell was the creative consultant on the movie, everything really rings true. Even the story O'Donnell told of how he conceived the character is just as he told it. Having read all the books, I enjoyed the movie even more for that.
Now that Miramax has kept their option on the property by having Quentin Tarrentino make this film, I do hope to see more of the Modesty stories asap. Especially as the wonderful character of Willie Garvin makes Modesty's character really come alive. To that end, I really hope the film does well in Europe. I have no idea if Miramax intends to ever distribute the DVD in the USA. I suspect it might not do that well in the USA in general distribution. I wonder how Miramax decides where and how to distribute it's films.
In the story, Modesty is in her early 20's, working at Louche's casino in Tangier. The flashback sequences are artfully done and take Modesty from about 9 years old, through her teens up to her current age in the movie - about 21-22, I'd guess. I really don't think there's a "perfect actress" for Modesty. For many of us Modesty fans, she's much too powerful a presence in our imaginations already. Alexandra Staden is credible. She is very slim, graceful and poised. She has lots of closeups. She has a great face - one that sticks in your mind well after the movie is over. According to O' Donnell's illustrator, Romero, Modesty has rather a fuller figure than Staden, but I'm willing to overlook that. If Staden continues in the role, I think she will mature into it - just as Modesty grows more powerful and skilled as she gets older. Staden already conveys Modesty's humor and absolute assurance very well. Go ahead and rent this movie, it's not like anything else you've seen and even though it was directed by Scott Spiegel, it is full of Tarrentino touches, great camera moves, lighting and well-done action sequences.
Rented and watched this short (< 90 minutes) work. It's by far the best treatment Modesty has received on film -- and her creator, Peter O'Donnell, agrees, participating as a "Creative Consultant." The character, and we who love her, are handled with respect. Spiegel's direction is the best he's done to date, and the casting was very well done. Alexandra Staden is almost physically perfect as a match to the original Jim Holdaway illustrations of Modesty. A terrific find by whoever cast her! Raymond Cruz as a young Rafael Garcia was also excellent. I hope that Tarantino & co. will go on to make more in the series -- I'm especially interested to see whom they'd choose to be the incomparable Willie Garvin!
If you are a Modesty Blaise fan, you will know if you have watched this
film its miles better than the strange sixties one! but it is a rather
low budget film, well almost a no budget film in fact.
The problem that Miramax the owners of the rights to make a Modesty Blaise film had was they could not agree on a script for the big budget film version of Modesty and their rights to make a film were about to run out. In order to keep the film rights they had to make a film, and this is it.
In the past such a film would get shown for one night in the middle of nowhere to show it had been made and shown, and then they would bury it in the film company's vaults never to be see again. The only one they wanted you to see was the big budget version they hope to make soon as they had a script they could agree on. However with with DVD rentals and sales, their is alway the chance to make some money on a DVD of the low budget version however little it cost to make (and this one was shot in 18 days with a director hired one week before shooting !!).
However I like it, its not the film of Modesty Blaise I would have expected to see, but it sticks to Modesty's history reasonable well, and for fans the icing on the cake is a 40 minute interview with Peter O'Donnell in the DVDs extras, as well as an annoying one with Quentin Tarantino and his buddy the director at their most infantile. By the way, Quentin Tarantino hopes to direct the big budget version when, and if ever it gets made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the Modesty that we didn't know! It was hinted at and summarized in the comic strip for the syndicates to sell to newspapers! Lee and Janet Batchler were true Modesty Blaise fans who were given The Dream Job - tell a prequel story of Modesty that the fans never saw before. In their audio-commentary, they admitted that that they made changes in her origin to make the story run smoother. The "purists" should also note that we really don't know if everything she told Miklos was true because she was "stalling for time." I didn't rent or borrow the DVD like other "reviewers" did, I bought it! And I don't want a refund! I watched it three times and I didn't sleep through it! Great dialog and well-drawn characters that I cared about (even bad guy Miklos) just like in the novels and comic strips! I too can't wait for the next Modesty (and Willie) film,especially if this "prequel" is a sign of what's to come!
I enjoyed this film. It was a joy to see a version so close to the
vision of Peter O'Donnell.
A number of people have disliked the film, but it has to be seen in context of the origin story that it is. The film uses flashback to show the young Modesty and the events that shaped her into the woman that she became. Before the Network. Before Willie Garvin.
The pace is a trifle slow, and for my taste not enough tension is developed in the present day scenes. However this is acceptable just to get such a faithful version.
If you like Modesty Blaise, you will enjoy it even with its faults, if you just want an action flick with car chases - forget it.
It has the feeling of being the first of a franchise, but as I have never seen it promoted anywhere, I suspect there will be no more to follow. Sadly.
I have grown up reading Modesty Blaise, both the comics and the books,
and she truly is a heroine to me. Although not being a great fan of
Quentin Tarantino I anyway was interested to hear a few years back that
he was considering making a film of her: could he finally give Modesty
a nice big screen treatment she's worthy of? I heard of 'My Name Is
Modesty' a few months ago and checked the stars it had been given here,
and wasn't too surprised to find out the score was not too high, since
beloved characters often have hard time melting the fans' heart if not
done exactly right. So I decided not to read any reviews and see the
film instead, and well, I just finished watching it, and I'm stunned,
and sad, and yeah, pretty furious, too. Sad and furious of giving over
an hour of my time seeing something so fabulous as Modesty
Blaise-character being turned into a film that has nothing to give to a
viewer or a fan.
It seems that almost everything about this film is sub-par and unprofessional, although I must admit seeing some actors in other films earlier where they were fine so I can't blame them. But the screenplay and the directing... my god, why even make this kind of crap with production values slightly bigger than your average TV-film but done much worse? I don't know the background of this film and actually I really don't want to know, but I just can't help wondering that how on earth could Tarantino with a straight face tell that he loves Modesty and then put his name on this? He just lost a huge amount of respect in my eyes. The director was not the right man for this job and I can honestly thank him for ruining my night.
I give this film 3 stars and those stars go to the actors and the technical quality which could've been worse. The other seven stars missing are what this film was not good at. Oh well, hopefully at some point there will be a serious production of The Modesty Blaise Movie that has some other goals than to steal money from the Modesty fans. Although if people like Tarantino are the ones making the decisions I'm not holding my breath.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I started this DVD, I expected little. All I was hoping for was
something better than the awful 60's anti-Modesty. And I did get
something better, much better! Well, the start wasn't too good. The
opening titles are downright bad, a collection of cuts from the movie,
feels really cheap. But then it gets much better. We first meet Modesty
as a kid, meeting some soldiers in an anonymous war. I feared that this
sensitive scene would end by having some enemies showing up for some
mandatory action, but that action was fortunately skipped.
The entire movie is based on the shortest MB story of all, "The beginning", which briefly summarizes how Modesty came to be herself, and the movie is very true to the story. The main characters, Lob and Louche, are exactly what they should be. There is some action and violence, but never more than what is called for. It is rather a thriller, using threat rather than action, and it works.
Garvin does not appear, which means that a second movie could feature Modesty meeting him, and their activity in the Network. If that sequel is made, and it is made as good as this, it will be very worthwhile.
Well, is Alexandra Staden a good Modesty? I think so. Although not a perfect lookalike of Holdaway's drawings, she works well as the young Modesty. She is cool, tough and convincing, very far from the blonde bimbo of the 60's movie.
For a low-budget movie, this is quite good. It is far from a top movie, but as an MB fan, the movie is the first real MB movie. Let there be more!
Although I bought the DVD when it first came out, and have watched it
several times, I never wrote a review.
I loved it when I first saw it and I love it still.
Sadly, it seems it never made enough money to motivate anyone to do a follow-up. I have to assume QT still controls the rights, but after Kill Bill if he does a film that is as true to the comics and books as My Name is Modesty, with another tough female lead, anyone not familiar with the character will see this as a let-down.
Peter O'Donnell wrote his stories to focus more on psychological suspense rather than action thrillers.
The tug of wills between Modesty and Miklos is very true to the source material and is tense, suspenseful and fascinating to anyone who doesn't have to have gore and explosions. Alexandra did a great job in playing how O'Donnell's character would have taken control of the situation.
I find this particularly ahead of the curve following the sorely needed reboots of Batman and James Bond. After 2 dismal earlier efforts, although not nearly as well known to the public, this is really a reboot of the Modesty character, and it is really sad that probably no more films about her will be made.
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