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Entertainment

Quantum of Solace, Liverpool, Step Brothers, Burn After Reading.

James Bond, on a mission to avenge the death of his love at the culmination of Casino Royale gets mixed up in the geo politics of Bolivia, and ends up pitting his wits against a megalomaniac intent on holding a whole country’s water supply to ransom.

 

The reinvention of the Bond genre began in 2006 with Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale, a film that set the bar ridiculously high. But despite this pressure and the added spanner in the works of the writers strike, the team led by writer in chief Neil Purvis have produced an excellent, if quite different picture.

 

The film is 20 minutes shorter, there is much less dialogue and character development and the action comes thick and fast making a different feel to the movie which I considered to be a positive thing.

 

The action starts immediately, time wise, after the end of the last film, and it has become apparent to the British Secret Service that there is a new, faceless and malevolent group out there threatening the security of the World.

 

I liked the way this aspect of the story was developed, and the not so subtle digs by Purvis at big business and corporate efforts to control vital resources, which is a real blight on developing nations in South America.

 

There are countless examples where conglomerates have taken control of basic utilities such as water, and started charging the locals for access to wells etc, so good on the writers for bringing this to a wider audience. Why not make it a simple goody v baddies situation? That’s what it is when you break it down.

 

The action sequences were first class and Daniel Craig is a top rate Bond in a much cooler way than Pierce Brosnan’s smarmy incarnation.

 

LIVERPOOL. (2008) Dir Lisandro Alonso NFT London Film Festival.

 

A sailor returns home to Tierra Del Fuego after a lifetime at sea.

 

This is one of those films, which gets better in your mind the more you reflect on it.

 

The director before the showing, spoke to us about what he was trying to create, that is a simple piece about a guy’s search for meaning.

 

I thought he succeeded really well. The cinematics were bold, but worked to make an emotional impact. For example we see a whole four-minute single shot of our man packing his bag to leave the ship. No dialogue but the superb and understated acting by Nieves Cabrera leaves us in no doubt that this is a man in turmoil and on the cusp of facing his demons.

 

In fact the single shot, no dialogue gambit is deployed a great deal in this film, but it works due to Cabrera and  no little contribution from the stunning and unforgiving sub Antarctic scenery.

 

This is a personal journey, brilliantly done by the director and his lead. Thought provoking and real sums Liverpool up for me.

 

STEP BROTHERS. (2008) Dir Adam McKay. Vue Cinema Hull.

 

No greater contrast with Liverpool could you get.

 

This is a good, old fashioned gross out, screwball US comedy.

 

Immature, obnoxious, crass and offensive. Just how I like it as Dumb and Dumber is one of my favourite films. Yes really.

 

Leave your brain at the door and prepare to laugh out loud for 90 minutes as two middle age, geek losers must adapt to their parents getting hitched and making them live in the real world.

 

Priceless.

 

BURN AFTER READING (2008) Dir Joel and Ethan Coen, Vue Hull

 

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it….

 

The Brothers return to comedy in the wake of No Country for Old Men, and what a return this is, easily as weird and as good as The Big Lebowski and Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

 

George Clooney gets all the best lines as a hapless lothario getting mixed up in matters no one really seems to understand.

 

 

 But who cares about that? There is just some magical formula the brothers have for comedy, which is dark, odd and madly offbeat.

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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