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After a faintly ludicrous delay caused by my tardiness in editing the damned thing together. Still, it's a film-based discussion worth waiting for, even if I do say so myself, which I just did. There. We line up the fact-cannon and unleash bolts of pure truth upon Land of the Lost, The Taking of Pelham 123, Mesrine Part 1: Death Instinct and Harry Potter again. Just to make sure it's been sufficiently fact-bolted.
Land of the Lost sees Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Anna Friel gimping around in a land of dinosaurs, ruins and chintzy aliens in a B-movie pastiche that never really gets going. Ferrell's trademarked rantings occur all too often and all too often aren't funny, Friel might as well be replaced with a cardboard cut-out of herself for all of the acting demanded of her strictly eye-candy role and McBride just about manages to again be the best thing in a film that he's in, although he has little competition this time round. Not funny. Avoid.
For The Taking of Pelham 123Tony Scott manages, unbelievably, to rein his usual hyperkinetic style in for this highly enjoyable, highly competent remake of the highly competent, highly enjoyable original thriller. John Travolta and his gang of thugs take a Noo Yawk subway train hostage, with the dispatcher on the other end of the subway phone, Denzel Washington, becoming drawn further into the plot than he'd like. With uniformly strong performances throughout and pacing as taut as a... as a... an archer's bow? A tautology? At any rate, it's an absorbing and enjoyable potboiler that comes well recommended.
Mesrine Part 1: Death Instinct tells us of Jacques Mesrine, notorious criminal and all-round unpleasant bastard. Vinny Cassel takes us through his return from Army service into a life of petty crime, then increasingly less petty crimes until he's a bonafide murdering, bank-robbing, kidnapping, maximum security prison escaping son of a jackass. Making no attempt to show Mesrine as anything other than scum makes for a compelling, if not exactly entertaining watch, but the man's sheer arseholeishness makes for a far more interesting film than Mr. Mann's recent Public Enemies was.
Time for further reflection on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. While we talk about the adaptation mechanics, the craft and the quality at some length our basic premise from the last podcast remains unchanged - It's a decent enough vehicle, although not particularly penetrable one for the uninitiated.
That is all for now. We'll be back sometime soon, so until then keep your nose clean and if you can't be good, be lucky.