Film

The TMINE multiplex: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Tango & Cash and Road House

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

I’m really hoping this feature will take off. What do you think? Is it catchy enough?

This week, we have three screens playing The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021), Tango & Cash (1989) and Road House (1989)

Screen 1: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

The bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) continues his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson) as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia (Salma Hayek)

Nat says: ‘Oh dear. Oh wait! Oh, never mind’

This is a sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017). I’m not sure anyone really wanted a sequel, since it was quite a bad movie, the sort of film that feels like an investment opportunity put together by asset management funds in Benelux and the Bahamas to give terrorists a chance to avoid paying taxes. But here it is, reuniting the cast and the director.

The first half is dreadful. It tries hard to recreate the same scenario as the first movie, with Reynolds and Jackson now hating one another again, without really understanding the characters. There are fewer jokes, the action is poor and even the usually reliable cast struggle to give the movie life. It has Antonio Banderas playing a Greek man who’s upset with the EU’s treatment of his country so kidnaps its ‘leader’. Every so often, it cuts to a picture of ‘Athens’ that usually isn’t (but sometimes is) Athens. It’s just poor.

I also really dislike it, since most of the jokes are about Hayek being both a sexual women and one who swears a lot. Look at here run! Look at her breasts wobble! Isn’t that funny? Women running? Women with big breasts running?

Did the world just stop turning on its axis, beholding such innovation in writing? I don’t think so.

About halfway through, though, just as I was about to give up on it, the movie decides it wants to be something different: a flat-out comedy. Suddenly, it’s just Reynolds being Deadpool again. There are jokes about what sort of movie they’re homaging. Reynolds’ much-alluded-to father is revealed to be (spoiler alert) Morgan Freeman and Samuel L Jackson’s reaction to that piece of hubris is priceless. It actually all starts to work and to entertain.

But should you watch it, just so you can watch that second half? No.

The wonderful Rebecca Front appears in it a bit. She’s funny. But her scenes are all in the trailer, too.

Continue reading “The TMINE multiplex: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Tango & Cash and Road House”
BFI events

Zoë Wanamaker and John Bowe added to this Sunday’s Prime Suspect celebration

Thirty years! Really? Seems hard to believe. Yet it’s 30 years ago that Prime Suspect was first broadcast. As I (re)discovered – although I always kind of knew it – when I recently rewatched it, it really is an astonishingly good piece of work.

The BFI was already going to celebrate it this weekend with Lynda La Plante in Conversation with Matthew Sweet. But the good news is that two of the stars, Zoë Wanamaker and John Bowe, will now be joining them on stage. Get your tickets ASAP!

Streaming TV

Review: Only Murders in the Building 1×1-1×3 (US: Hulu; UK: Disney+)

In the US: Available on Hulu
In the UK: Available on Disney+. New episodes Tuesdays

Fans of TMINE will know that TMINE is not a fan of… well, lots of things, because it’s getting old and crotchety (hence the need for some new, younger blood to add some positivity to things). But also because it has taste. However, specifically, reality shows aren’t getting so much as a sideways glance from TMINE and crime is all but dead to me, because it honestly always seem to be the same old show, time after time after time, and why would you want to watch that?

As a result, the phenomenon of the true crime podcast, which being audio-only has even less appeal than one of those CBS Reality shows such as Murderers and their Mothers, has pretty much passed me by. People listening at home to usually a complete amateur investigating a crime that took place in real life in the hope of solving it, where police have supposedly failed? What could possibly go wrong?

It’s actually almost fortunate then that I stumbled across Only Murders in the Building while skimming through Disney+, looking for something new to watch. I had no idea what it was about, but it had a nice graphic and… Wait, is that… Steve Martin? (reads cast list) Martin Short! Really? He’s still alive and acting?… Selena Gomez? Who’s she? Hang on, I think I’ve heard of her. (Another reason TMINE is in urgent need of new, younger blood…).

And it was co-created by Steve Martin? Okay, sign me up.

So I had zero expectations beyond the creator and the cast of what the show was going to be. And that at half an hour an episode (it’s the new 40 minutes, doncha know?) I could watch at least one without it taking a chunk out of my oh-so-packed day.

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building

Only a murder in our building

Turns out, it’s about a bunch of people who live in an expensive New York apartment block and who like most people who live in expensive New York apartment block, never talk to one another and don’t know anything about one another. Then one day, there’s an alarm and they’re forced to evacuate the building and de camp elsewhere. There, lo and behold, our three heroes discover they’re all fans of the same true crime podcast.

They try to solve the featured crime together, as fans of true crime podcasts are apparently wont to do, but when they get back to the building, they discover there’s been a real crime committed. Together, they try to solve it and launch their own podcast in the process. The podcast’s hook? Only murders in the building will be investigated…

Continue reading “Review: Only Murders in the Building 1×1-1×3 (US: Hulu; UK: Disney+)”
Two English Girls © Pierre Zucca
News

BFI announces celebration of the work of François Truffaut launching in January 2022

I won’t be able to offer the kind of service Rob used to offer when it came to either BFI events or news (and I don’t think he can either!), but as TMINE’s new Official Movie Reviewer in Residence, I hope to offer at least some kind of news service for movies.

The BFI announced this on Friday and it looks fantastic, so I thought I’d let you all know about it.

Picture credits clockwise from top left: La Peau douce (© Les films du Carrosse-Sedif-Simar Films), François Truffaut (© BFI National Archive), Mississippi Mermaid (© Leonard de Raemy), Jules et Jim (© Les films du Carrosse-Sedif), The Man Who Loved Women (© Dominique Le Rigoleur), The 400 Blows (© André Dino-MK2)

The BFI today announces a new celebration of one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation, film critic-turned-director, François Truffaut (1932 – 1984), taking place across the UK from January – February 2022. This major retrospective will include BFI Distribution re-releases of THE 400 BLOWS (1959) and JULES ET JIM (1962), a two-month season at BFI Southbank, a collection of films available on BFI Player, partner seasons at cinemas including Edinburgh Filmhouse and Ciné Lumière, and BFI Blu-ray releases later in spring 2022. Alongside the BFI Southbank season – FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT: FOR THE LOVE OF FILMS – which is programmed thematically, there will also be screenings of a series of films that Truffaut lauded in his film criticism or which were particularly influential on his own work.

Truffaut spent a number of years working as a film critic at publications such as Cahiers du Cinéma, where he became renowned for his scathing reviews and a 1954 essay in which he criticised certain trends in French cinema. Along with peers like Jean-Luc Godard and Éric Rohmer, he became one of the most significant directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s and 1960s. This seminal movement, which revolutionised filmmaking with its preference both for a playful approach to narrative and for shooting on location, would go on to influence the ambitions and practice of many filmmakers of the 60s, 70s and beyond, while countless filmmakers, from Steven Spielberg and Bong Joon-ho to Greta Gerwig and Wes Anderson, continue to hold Truffaut’s work in high esteem.

Further programme information

The BFI will bring a raft of Truffaut films back to the big screen in cinemas around the UK and Ireland and then onto the small screen. BFI Distribution will re-release THE 400 BLOWS (1959) in a new 4K restoration on 7 January 2022, followed by the re-release of JULES ET JIM (1962) on 4 February 2022. Cinemas will also be able to screen another five Truffaut films, all via BFI Distribution; SHOOT THE PIANIST (1960), LA PEAU DOUCE (1964), THE BRIDE WORE BLACK (1968), MISSISSIPPI MERMAID (1969) and THE LAST METRO (1980).

In the spring, the BFI will release JULES ET JIM, THE 400 BLOWS, THE LAST METRO and LA PEAU DOUCE on Blu-ray, each presented with contextualising extras and an illustrated booklet in their first pressings. A collection of 10 Truffaut films will be available to subscribers of BFI Player from January, with the four BFI Blu-ray titles being made available on BFI Player later in the spring.

The two-month season at BFI Southbank, running from January – February 2022, curated by BFI Programmer at Large Geoff Andrew, will feature thematic strands, so that audiences can easily explore Truffaut’s rich and varied back catalogue. In January, the Antoine Doinel films will introduce or reacquaint audiences with the character who some have described as Truffaut’s fictional alter-ego; Antoine Doinel is depicted over a 20-year period in THE 400 BLOWS (1959), short sequel ANTOINE ET COLETTE (1962), STOLEN KISSES (1968), BED AND BOARD (1970) and LOVE ON THE RUN (1979).

Also in January will be The Renoir Truffaut, named for the French filmmaker who was a major influence on Truffaut. Screenings in this part of the programme that show Renoir’s significant influence will include THE WILD CHILD (1970), A GORGEOUS GIRL LIKE ME (1972), DAY FOR NIGHT (1973), THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN (1977) and THE LAST METRO (1980).

In February, the season will focus on The Literary Truffaut, with screenings of films that Truffaut adapted for the screen, including JULES ET JIM (1961), FAHRENHEIT 451 (1966), THE STORY OF ADELE H (1975) and THE GREEN ROOM (1978).

The final theme of the season will examine The Hitchcock Truffaut, named for the director with which Truffaut is often associated, and whose work was of great influence on him. Films screening will include the brilliant merging of American noir and the New Wave style seen in SHOOT THE PIANIST (1960); the subtle account of an extra-marital affair SILKEN SKIN (1964); and Truffaut’s most overt tribute to Hitchcock, MISSISSIPPI MERMAID (1969) starring Catherine Deneuve and legend of the French New Wave Jean-Paul Belmondo, who recently died aged 88.