Tag: michael caine

MOVIE REVIEW | Children of Men (2006)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Tight and confidently made from top to bottom,

 Children 1
“I can’t really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can’t remember when anyone else did either.”

Is a bright future boring? As I started to watch Children of Men, I realised that there are very few movies where the future is a happy place. I guess if you take the McFly family’s situation out of it, the 2015 of Back to the Future Part II is pretty cool and looks like a nice enough place to live. But the majority of movies about the future end up with “wasteland”, or “dystopia” or, “post-apocalyptic” in their description. And another thing I’ve noticed about these depressing predictions is, the closer to our own reality the dystopian, post-apocalyptic wastelands are, the scarier they are. Which is why the reality of Children of Men is what makes it so compelling.

A decade or so from now, the world’s in rough shape. Women mysteriously became infertile 18 years ago and civilization has crumbled everywhere. The only country with any sort of or order left is England. But paranoia about refugees and growing unrest has turned it into a police state, shut off from the outside. While Theo (Clive Owen) used to be an activist, he’s now living the mundane life of a paper pushing bureaucrat. But he’s dragged back into his old life by estranged wife, Julian (Julianne Moore). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Interstellar (2014)


“You don’t believe we went to the Moon?”

I don’t know why, but last year, I couldn’t get excited, or even manage to give the least of shits, about Interstellar. I’m not anti Christopher Nolan, but I do think I was suffering a little from Nolan fatigue. I like The Prestige and I don’t care how many plot and logic holes people find in Inception, I really dig that too. I think it’s the constant browbeating by fans of his Batman series that made me feel like Interstellar was just going to be too much.

Nolan’s Batmans are perfectly good movies, way above average for the super hero genre, but that’s about the extent of it. I also think their perfect examples of his biggest weakness. Nolan makes over the top, spectacle movies, but he obviously thinks he’s doing something more than that, because he has a message, something he thinks is important to say. The only problem is, those messages are always the most obvious, cliched statements about life and the human condition, juts dressed up under layers and layers of bombast to seem profound and new. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** Alfie (1966)

Alfie (1966)
“My understanding of women only goes as far as the pleasure. When it comes to the pain I’m like any other bloke – I don’t want to know.”

I grew up in the 80s and 90s, when Michael Caine was to be found in movies like Jaws: The Revenge and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  He was a recognisable move star, but I could never figure out why.  When I see his well regarded movies from that time, like Hannah and Her Sisters, I still found his movie stardom and growing iconic status kind of inexplicable. Then, a few months ago I saw The Italian Job, and it all started making sense.  It turns out, to understand Michael Caine, you need to watch 60s Michael Caine.  60s Michael Caine in movies like Alfie.

Opening on a cold looking night in a depressing looking industrial street, we hear Alfie (Caine) romancing some bird in the tight confines of the front seat of his car.  When she leaves, Alfie breaks the fourth wall, addressing the audience to let us know he’s a bit of a player, specialising in romancing married women.  He likes them married, because it means they’re generally happy with the physical. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***ENGLAND WEEK*** The Italian Job (1968)

Italian Job

“It’s a very difficult job and the only way to get through it is we all work together as a team. And that means you do everything I say”.

I recently read an awesome book by British film producer extraordinaire of the 60s, 70s and 80s Michael Deely, called Blade Runners, Deer Hunters and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies. Amongst the great stories of witnessing Ridley Scott make one of the most well regarded sci fi movies if all time, and dealing with the legendary ego of Michael Cimino, the chapter that stood out most was the one devoted to the making of a low budget, low brow, car chase genre picture. While the other movies alluded to above might have more prestige these days, this little movie that could is right up there with them in notoriety and affection. That little move that could is The Italian Job.

Charlie Croker (Michale Caine) is being released from a stint in the joint, under the supervision of prison warden Mr Bridger (Noel Coward). After a quick bit of rumpy pumpy with a gaggle of dolly birds, Charlie is already planning his comeback job, a $4million gold heist in Italy. The only problem is, the last person to think about this job was taken out by the Italian mafia, who don’t take kindly to Britons muscling in on their home turf. Now, a job this big needs some serious backing, and it turns out, England’s biggest crime boss is… Wait for it… It’s only bloody Mr Bridger, the prison warden! (more…)