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Les chevaliers du ciel (2005)
Forget abut Citizen Kane, this is the greatest movie ever made. Forget also the lame and almost incomprehensible plot, but revel in the insane flying sequences (mostly featuring the Mirage 2000) and the french hotties in high heels.
I could probably watch this movie every day of my life. Is it as good as "Top Gun"? For balls-out flying it probably is better, although Top Gun is ahead in stitching together a narrative in the flying sequences. However SF completely trumps TG in the babe stakes. No actual nudity, but plenty of scantily dressed women.
My GF didn't like it much, it's not a date movie.
Trivia: early in the movie, one of the pilots does a barrel roll over the other, in what I imagine is a tribute to Chuck Yeager doing the same manoeuver in the John Wayne vehicle "Jet Pilot".
Clever and entertaining
I'd never heard of this movie until it was recommended by my brother. I guess I was initially interested by the promise of the much-vaunted female nudity, but found that there was a lot more to admire in the film.
It was oddly labeled "drama" in my local Blockbuster, but in fact it's a romantic comedy. I won't go over the plot, as it's been well covered by other users. I watched it a second time with my girlfriend, who was not at all perturbed by the nudity (probably because it's not gratuitous). She enjoyed it and I think I could safely recommend it as a "date movie".
It's not perfect. While the director has done a great job of (seamlessly) expanding the original short film into a feature there are a couple of scenes that feel like "filler" especially the second time around.
The performances are generally very good, especially Emilia Fox.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is that the music is particularly good.
This is pretty bad, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to watch it (incredibly I saw it at the cinema in about 1978).
It's quite good for about the first five minutes, after which the plot is abandoned and we see a lot of the cast and crew in some sort of communal house discussing how things should develop. Apparently they eventually decide to spend the rest of the budget on LSD, and the final scene features the cast on crew lying around on a hillside tripping - "man this acid is really weird". Trust me, there are few things more boring than watching hippies tripping.
Max Gillies and John Duigan went on to have impressive careers, but I imagine they'd prefer to forget "Dalmas".
This film is terrible. I was really looking forward to it, as I thought "Lantana" was great.
The following review may contain *spoilers*
First, the good things: it looks great, some of the performances are OK. The bad things are everything else about it.
The story, as you possibly know, is about some blokes who go fishing and discover a body, with the twist that they find it on Friday but continue fishing and finally report it on Sunday when they get back into mobile (cell phone) range. However the film takes it's time (boy does it take its time) getting to this central event.
Of the ensemble of characters (about a dozen), not one seems to like another one (which is, I suppose, consistent, because they are all unlikable). I was extremely frustrated by the failure to adequately explain how the characters are related, and it was not until near the end of the movie that I could vaguely construct the family tree.
It's hard to think of a film us unrelentingly grim, which is a failure in the structure of the story, as the character's lives seem just as bad before the fishing trip as after. Once you've set the bar so high, it's hard to up-it short of everyone committing suicide.
There are silly lapses in logic. The killer dumps the body in the lake, and then it somehow drifts miles upstream into the mountains. The fishermen walk out Sunday morning, but for some reason Byrne gets home late at night after his wife has gone to bed. Then first thing the next morning the cops bang on the door to get him to come down to the station. Um, they haven't heard of the telephone? Down at the station, the media know the whole story, less than 24 hours after they reported the body?
Totally missing from the story is the debate the blokes surely had after they find the body. This is a mystery - everyone asks them "how could you do that?" and the audience is asking the same question. (The debate about what to do with the body is the key scene in "Deliverance"). I know exactly what I'd do in their situation. Someone needs to walk out to the car, drive to mobile range, call the cops, wait, and them guide them back to the location. If the others wait at camp and fish, who cares?
A lot of all this just seems false. The only thing that rung true was that, as the girl was black, the local aboriginals seized on the fishermen's actions as racist - "wouldn't have done it if it was a white girl."
Throughout there is a curious indifference to who might have killed the girl (I think the subject is mentioned once), and there is no mystery, as the audience sees the killer in the opening scene.
So I'm sitting there simultaneously bored and confused, when there's a twist - not in the plot, but the theme. Suddenly it becomes about the quiet dignity of the bereaved aboriginals leading to a ludicrous ending with some incoherent stuff about black-white reconciliation. Huh?
This is Australian film "at its finest", according to The Age.
Bad Timing (1980)
Last night on the ABC I saw movie I've wanted to see for a long time Nic Roeg's "Bad Timing". It's basically a doomed romance/sexual obsession flick, think "Betty Blue" for genre.
The good news is that it's quite entertaining, and it looks great, in spite of the fact that the broadcast version was a pitiful pan & scan presentation, whereas the original is apparently widescreen, which must be stunning. As in all Roeg's films, the editing is brilliant.
On the negative side, I'm sure that mine wouldn't be the first review entitled "Bad Casting". Art Garfunkle is hopeless in this role. It's not so much his acting, but his appearance and thin whiny voice makes it difficult to believe that a hottie like Theresa Russell would fall for him. Russell's performance, however, is sensational.
The third lead, Harvey Keitel, is good as the detective, although the principals' complete disregard for appropriate accents meant that I didn't realise for quite a while that the film is actually set in Vienna.
Similarly, I was very surprised to find that the film was made in 1980 I would have pegged it at about the same time as "Performance" and "Walkabout" (i.e. circa 1970). In part this might be due to the fact that the film might hold the world record for the number of cigarettes smoked on film. When Theresa Russell receives a tracheotomy, I half-expected the doctors to stick a smoke in her tube!