Episode 30 : Prot Spec Pally

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Added on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 01:14:52 +0100.
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Eeuch. My Best Friend's Girl. Y'know, I'd been hoping for a foul-mouthed rip off of Hitch with a less talented cast for Christmas, but I guess I must have been extra-specially good this year as this steaming festival of ass shows up a month earlier than expected. A standard issue nauseatingly sentimental core lies at the heart of the crunchy, prickly, not funny efforts at bad taste that coat it so cynically. A waste of good Baldwin.

In Transporter 3, Jason Statham returns in his strangely damage resistant Audi for another delivery, and as you might expect from a Transporter film silly car chases, silly Kung fu and silly shootouts ensue. However nothing like enough of them ensue, and for some reason the middle third seems to be devoted to shonky character development and humanising the film, which is the exact opposite of what anyone wants from a Transporter film. It's far too late in the series to claim that this is an attempt at a real movie. Disappointingly mundane.

Clint Eastwood's latest stint behind the camera in Changeling sees Angelina Jolie in 1920's L.A. fighting the man, in this case an out-of-control, corrupt police department who return the wrong child to her after his abduction. Seemingly a simple mistake to clear up, but the cops seem quite insistent on refusing to admit their mistake to the point of having the distraught mother thrown in an asylum. The question of precisely why they'd do this is always at the forefront while watching it, and it's never close to answered. This rather gets in the way of caring about Jolie's plight and fine acting performance. Somewhat dull and altogether avoidable.

For Body of Lies, Ridley Scott breaks out a faintly dull spy flick with ancilliary sidelong glances at America's take on the War On Terror. A CIA field agent Roger Ferris (Leonardo De Caprio) attempts to track down an elusive Bin Laden-alike alternately helped and hindered by his boss Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). While this is far from an awful film, it's saddled with a faintly silly scheme to flush their target out, less motivated than is normal performances from the leads and overused, trite juxtapositions of Crowe's home life and job details. Given the pedigree, quite disappointing.

Based on another Chuck Palahniuk novel, Choke does often come across as a lower budget, lower key Fight Club, with a similar mix of deeply flawed characters and off-beat humour. It's far better at being funny than it is about making points about human nature, with a fine performance from Sam Rockwell as the sex-addicted occasional scam artist struggling to keep his mentally ill mother (Angelica Huston) in care. Nothing like as grim as it sounds, and while the subject matter might rule it out for the easily offended for most audiences this should be a minor classic.

Christmas looms large, but we'll probably be back at least once more before drowning ourselves in eggnog.