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Le tatoué (1968)
A mixed bag like many of his films
Le tatoué starts of with a lot of funny details and scenes but after about half an hour the pace drops. Lots of banter and outright crazy nonsense. Racist at times (it is hard to imagine this was considered bon ton in 1968), funny when De Funès is at his usual best. And the weird sensation at one moment when we clearly hear the soundtrack from the Pink Panther movies in the soundtrack. And the ending goes nowhere at all. It is difficult to imagine that 60s movie public was okay with this sort of plot less craziness that you expect 30 years earlier with Laurel and Hardy. A nice film for LdF fans, but when you are not: don't bother with it.
La folie des grandeurs (1971)
I like a lot of the movies made by Louis DE Funès. The Gendarmes movies and quite a lot of his 60's en 70's repertoire. But I was very disappointed with this silly farce. Not in the least after reading all those positive reviews here. A comedy of errors. But it is an error to call it a comedy. A dull affair. And very hard to keep your eyes open while watching. Luckily it was part of a 25 film set with De Funès films. And all of them are better than this one. With Yves Montand who could not be more out of place than in the Spanish court. What does not help (although you cannot blame the makers for this) is that in 1971 it was considered funny to be sent to an Arab country and have locals with swords deal with you. Hmm.
Ultimate Airport Dubai (2013)
One big, long Emirates Commercial
This really must be the most stupid show on Fox these days. And it gives us a horrifying insight in how business is done on the ground in Dubai. Whilst all the time trying to be a commercial, it annoys me 100%. Not one subject can be mentioned without adding stuff like "the biggest in the world", "the largest on the planet". Then there is the unhealthy expansion. Planes are ordered while there are no terminals to park them, everything has to go in a very unhealthy hurry, people are stressed to the extreme because everything has to be ready yesterday. Time is always running late for everyone. And all the time we are told that everything is only measured in money. Not in happy employees, satisfied customers or in trying to be a little sensible with our environment. In the end passengers will have to walk ten miles to catch their connecting flight, because they are the biggest... o whatever.
De verbouwing (2012)
De Verbouwing is a nice, not too complicated Dutch thriller. With a lot of familiar faces from television dramas like Goede Tijden, Vuurzee, Gooische Vrouwen. Having said that, the film also feels like a television drama. It is smooth, well acted, not much action, but tense at times. The music reminded me very much of the soundtrack of "Basic Instinct'. Tjitske has a lot of screen time and handles it very well. No Oscar material but very worth watching. From the book by Saskia Noort with the same title. Save it for a rainy afternoon and you will have a good time. And for foreign viewers remember: Dutch viewers very much like to trash their own movies, so the average rating and criticism seem rather typical but says more about the viewers than the movie.
Magnum, P.I.: The Kona Winds (1985)
This is one of those Magnum episodes without the usual banter between the guys and one where the somewhat darker storyline is enhanced by the exceptionally bad weather. Because usually even the most serious problems are dealt with in blue skies and sunny weather. Cynthia Sikes is wonderful and one of the few ladies that Magnum really falls for. Director Jerry Jameson brings along a huge amount of experience for this sort of stories having directed episodes of Cannon, McCloud, Six Million Dollar Man, BL Stryker and would continue to do so in several Magnum episodes, Murder She wrote and Jake and the Fatman. One of those episodes fit for repeated viewing.
Hanni & Nanni 2 (2012)
A classic case of the weak follow-up
The first Hanni & Nanni film was a bit of a surprise success in cinemas. Not a spectacular film, but old fashioned (Blyton) fun with a plot as thick as a needle and a nice cast of characters. The second installment is a much darker affair. This time around the girls seem to go from worry to worry. Money problems, divorces. And a pair of crooks you expect to see in a film for toddlers. A complete mess, salvaged only in a couple of scenes where blasts of happy music set the tone, rather than the actors. With the exception of Susanne von Borody, who gives a good performance. We should have known: this one was out of cinemas within a week. And number 3 is in the making.
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
This is much better than sour critics say it is.
A lot has been said about this film not really being part of the Ludlum legacy, not fitting in with the Damon movies and that is was actually made 'just to make money'. It's like 60s fans reactions to Rolling Stones records beyond 1969. And because of all that, and more, people did not like it even without actually watching it. But I did and I'm glad for doing so. "The Bourne Legacy" is actually a very good, tight thriller that only loses momentum towards the end. The first gripping and superbly filmed hour rushes by in great action style. Adding touches of previous films is precisely what I would have expected Tony Gilroy to do. I mean, he has never delivered a bad scenario and takes viewers seriously. Leaving the glamor locations from previous outings to instead add Alaska, Maryland and Manila is a nice touch. But it is on that last location that the plot leaves something interesting, something intelligent to be desired. As if Gilroy did not finish the script but just wanted to end with some action scenes. Or the studio did.
All in all, studios always make movies to make money and anybody who has even in this day and age not got a grip on that fact should move to unknown planets. Whether or not a sequel becomes part of a legacy is impossible to say right now. James Bond did a good job at it Jeremy Renner is excellent as our action hero and Edward Norton fits in pretty good even though he hasn't got much to go with. That the film looks much calmer (and maybe therefore somewhat more boring to audiences that can't sit still for two seconds) also has to do with the fact that this Bourne did not get the Greengrass treatment. For pace and editing it would be much more useful to compare this number 4 to the original Damon film. And even then these parts may differ as much as any director likes.
9/10 And if there comes a number 5, I'll watch that one as well.
La conquête (2011)
Specific in looks or in contents?
A president's rise to power. But I don't think it is very typical for Sarkozy. These are the motions for all political flyer's. (Obama is probably the same kind of bitch when the lights and cameras are off) Therefore it is very easy to ridicule especially Sarkozy. And besides bringing us actors who look like and act like factual persons we never know whether the dialogs is truthful or whether all actions really took place. That makes this film an easy way out for all parties: makers and viewers. But it also provides us with a film that is no drama. It is all puppet play. Having said that, the acting is good and the film is funny at times. With some nice camera-work, especially during the big election events.
As it happens, I don't agree
The raving reviews for this episode make me feel as though I didn't watch the same episode. I'll give it 6/10 for Peter Falk's sake and the brilliant scene at the posh restaurant where Columbo orders a sandwich. Other than that (& and after watching episodes of this series multiple times for over 35 years now) I think this is the worst episode ever. So much song and dance has to come from the final act that the build up to it is one long yawn. The Helen Shaver role is ridiculous in the obscene. The one and only episode that almost made me fall asleep 4 times. This material needed a much better crook. I need a strong dose of Robert Culp episodes now.
Columbo: Grand Deceptions (1989)
Going through the motions.
The second run of Columbo episodes starting in 1989 and ending in 2003 has it's ups and downs. Generally speaking, they can't beat the originals. But still a lot of enjoyment comes from the Falk character. This episode is one the weaker ones, despite me giving it a 7/10. The problem with Grand Deceptions lies with Robert Foxworth (your typical 80s male) who is totally uninteresting as a villain (where was Robert Culp when you needed him most?) and the abysmal performance of Janet Eilber as the married woman who fancies him. As to the final clue with the boxes there is one thing that bothers me: the books don't fit in the soldiers box, but Foxworth could have easily stated that he used several soldiers boxes and simply threw most of them away.