Saturday, November 25, 2006

Screen Queen-Some of what I'm Watching This Month

The Island

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson
Michael Bay

What a load of tosh. I am amazed Scarlett Johanssen and Ewan Macgregor let themselves get anywhere near this appalling bit of sci fi nonsense. Once you got past the almost, clever twist and premise for the story, which was obvious long before the director gave the audience credit for. The whole thing just turned into a rather bad re-make of Logan’s Run. Although Organs Run might be more appropriate as the plot entailed Ewan and Scarlett as clones bred as organ donors for their rich doppelgangers only to escape from a lab and go in search of their “originals”. What is it with Hollywood films set in the future and this assumption that we will all be wearing white jump suits? I’m sorry white is not a good colour to pull off and is totally impractical whatever century you happen to have landed in!

Formulaic nonsense for boys, with chase scenes and lots of explosions….yawn!

Mistress Of Spices

Starring: Aishwarya Rai
Director: Gurinder Chadha

Why can’t someone give Ishwarya Rai a decent English Language part? The Queen of Hollywood’s follow up to the dreary Bride and Prejudice is an equally dull adaptation of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novel of the same name. The story about a San Franciscan shopkeeper who sells spices and uses their power to influence the lives of her customers with a somewhat predictable love story as its subplot.

Aishwaya is badly shot and totally wasted in the central role opposite a hopelessly mis-cast Dylan McDermott and whilst the book created an exotic world of mystery and dreams the film is a formulaic clunky love story.

For goodness sake when will Hollywood wake up to Rai’s potential apart from being one of the most beautiful women in the world she’ also an excellent actresses and is not likely to ever make it in Hollywood if continually cast in this kind of dirge. If she has any chance shell get back to Bollywood as soon as possible at least there, they know how to capitalise oh her talents and give her the kind of starring roles that she deserves.

That Man: Peter Berlin

Starring: Peter Berlin, Robert Boulanger
Director: Jim Tushinski

Fascinating documentary about iconic 70’s porn star photographer and model Peter Berlin who despite only having made 2/3 films managed to create a persona and image so strong that he remains a gay icon and symbol of the 70’s to this day. You may not know his name but the image he created is almost as recognisable as that of Warhol screen prints or studio 54 in defining the 1970’s and it’s influence can be seen in the work of people as diverse as Tom of Finland, John Paul Gaultier, Pierre et Gilles and The Village People. As well as interviews with contemporaries the documentary is built around extensive interviews with the man himself who despite his now advanced years is still striking and even more interesting than the personae he created.

Highly recommended for anyone who remembers this iconic man and the indelible image he created.

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