Friday, October 07, 2011

Three rather disappointing films

The Fog: The undead leper/pirate zombies attacking the Californian small town were well realised and the soundtrack was good, but to be honest it was all a bit John-Carpenter-by-numbers: voiceless, vaguely supernatural killer(s) stalking a group led by a pretty but slightly masculine woman. In fact, arguably the leper/pirates being explicitly supernatural beings (as opposed to only possibly or implicitly, as in Assault on Precinct 13 or Hallowe'en) unbalances the film and makes it less disturbing.

Skokie: Another based-on-a-true-story telemovie, this one about a neo-Nazi group trying to do a march through a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago; the story focuses partly on the efforts of the local Jewish community to prevent this, and the problems faced by the (also Jewish) ACLU lawyers defending the Nazis on the principle that freedom of speech must apply to all. Some interesting ideas and debate-worthy points, but the presentation is often unintentionally funny due to a lot of flat acting and humourless dialogue. Worth watching also to see Danny Kaye in a rare non-comedy role (he's the Holocaust survivor who spearheads the local anti-Nazi effort).

Frost/Nixon: Dramatisation of the events surrounding David Frost's interviewing Richard Nixon in the late 1970s. Unfortunately I found its main dramatic line less than credible-- it seemed to revolve on the idea that David Frost was a lightweight talk-show-host who, at the eleventh hour, suddenly found his interviewer mojo and won the day, which contradicts what I know about the man's role as a controversial interviewer in the 1960s and 70s (and the impression I get from reading about it was that Nixon's people saw Frost as a lightweight because they weren't aware of this side of his career, but rapidly discovered they'd underestimated him). Watch the last two hours of the actual interview instead, they're more exciting.

Movie count for 2011: 109