Monthly Archives: February 2013

Movie Review – Django Unchained

I think Tarantino’s like Marmite; you love him or hate him, there’s no in between. I really loved Django Unchained. It’s a sort of spaghetti-western, or rather spaghetti-western-southern.  The gallows humour appealed to me. And I thought the acting of bounty hunter Christoph Waltz was first class. Of course everything is OTT especially the superb performance by Samuel L Jackson who’s ten times more reactionary than Downton Abbey’s butler. A lot of people may have problems with the violence but for me it was so exaggerated, much like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, that it didn’t really shock. Four and a half stars.

Movie Review Lincoln

Although the film starts with a short but gruesome battle scene most of the action takes place in the debating chambers of Washington in January 1865. President Lincoln is faced with a dilemma: should he end the Civil War with a compromise with the Confederates or should he try to persuade the House of Representatives to enact the 13th Amendment to the constitution (the abolition of slavery)? The deals and legal obstacles are probably too obscure for a non-American audience, but there are some nice touches as bribery and blackmail is used to secure votes. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an excellent performance, though a character summed up my feelings when he complained of yet another Lincoln anecdote. These were usually folksy but did include references to Shakespeare and Euclid. 4 stars.

Movie Review – Les Miserables

I haven’t seen the stage version or read the book before seeing the film.  I’m not a great fan of musicals and this film hasn’t made me a convert. I felt the music just got in the way of a great story. Almost all the lines are sung and only two or three songs were really memorable: I Dreamed a Dream and the rousing chorus Do you hear the people sing?  The second half looked as if it was a film of a stage set, and this lessened the impact of the barricade scenes in particular.  I thought the movie was at least a half hour too long.  I did like the story and maybe I’ll read the book sometime, but only three stars for the film.