Saw Eastern Promises last week, which isn't about Turkish Delight as you might expect, but is instead a gritty drama involving Russian gangsters. If you're expecting the feature length version of that advert with the sword and the pan pipes, then you will be disappointed. Luckily, it's a great movie, not quite up there with A History of Violence in my mind (which was my movie of the year when it came out), but still fantastic stuff. And *that* scene that everyone will be talking about is gobsmacking, for two very different reasons (we’ll talk when you’ve seen it). It’s probably got more in common with Dirty Pretty Things, another fantastic movie, which is by the same writer, Steve Knight. Both movies are worth watching from a writing point of view, particularly how much information they choose to reveal in their endings – when does your story end, at what point should the script end, as opposed to the off-screen story, how much information does the audience really need? I think they both get the balance pretty much right, although one of them could have *maybe* done with an extra moment or two just to fill in a couple of details that I wanted to see on screen. But it’s nothing you can’t fill in for yourself, in your own head, and it’s nice to be treated like an adult with a brain sometimes. And hey, it’s always better to leave people wanting more, rather than glancing at their watches wondering if it’s ever going to end.
Also saw Stardust, which is a lovely, mad, silly fairy tale, and thoroughly entertaining. Gorgeous to look at, very funny, heartfelt, with plenty of thrills and excitement. Don’t be put off by some of the misleading trailers, it’s not a boring "walking across hills" quest movie, although there is a quest in it, but it’s a fun quest, and anyway it's not really about that either. If you have to compare it to something, The Princess Bride will do, although Stardust does its own thing quite happily. Is there a genre called "sarcastic-but-nice fairy tale"? There is now, probably. The only slight problem was the song over the end credits which starts blaring out the *second* the movie ends, a hideous, 80s power ballad-style monstrosity, which completely kills the mood. I mean, *completely*, it almost felt deliberate. Just had a look, and apparently it's "Rule the World", by Take That. Blimey. It's fucking shite, and had everyone scrambling to get out of the cinema, which is not the reaction you want, really. It's a real shame, because it's such a lovely ending, before the credits start. Anyway, you have been warned. See the movie, but get ready to run.
Also had a sort-of double bill of Walter Matthau movies last week - Charade (it's a Cary and Audrey film, I know, but he has a fun part), and the mighty Charley Varrick, which I've been dying to see for ages. I can't get enough of the Matthau, he was fantastic in everything, especially The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, which is probably my favourite of his. So many good movies, and that's before you even get to The Odd Couple.
Season 3 of Veronica Mars has just arrived, so I'll be diving into that immediately, to get my fix. And the new Kubrick collection that I pre-ordered ages ago has just been posted. It wasn’t officially released until yesterday, but they posted it last Friday. That means it should get here in time for Halloween - me and Jo always have a long Halloween weekend of horror movies, and The Shining is long overdue a showing. Can't wait.
And the entries have arrived for the 2 Days Later competition, so I'll be watching those with my big judgey eye. Which is the left one. The other eye is my little friendly eye, so I'll be keeping that one firmly closed. If anyone is still reading this blog post, thank you, bless your heart, and don't worry, it's over now.