Recently Watched, Killers & Thrillers Edition

Underworld: What? They made a film on the basis of the Don DeLillo novel? No, it’s another one of those chicks-who-love-guns flicks. This genre has now been fairly big for about ten years and, as far as I can see, has yet to produce a single good film. That’s despite having a beautiful woman brandishing guns in the lead role is as much of a head start as you can hope for when making a film. Hint: An interesting plot helps! I’m not asking for Tom Wolfe meets Lara Croft. (Come to think of it, I Am Charlotte Simmons and I’m Really Pissed off sounds like a pretty promising title.) I was thinking of something like True Lies, but with Audrey Tatou in the lead role. In between shootouts she quotes Barthes and Foucault. Her trademark line is some pun on the word “smoke”. (8/10 for that film, 5/10 for Underworld)

The Constant Gardener: Speaking of plots, this film has a good one, based on the le Carré novel of the same name, but points off for the following: (a) The female lead is played by Rachel Weisz, the kind of woman educated but stupid heterosexual German women around 25 who major in some humanity find incredibly attractive. Not that I’ve asked any of them, but trust me on this one. (b) Shaky camera syndrome. Boy, that Lars von Trier bloke has a lot to answer for. (6.5/10)

The Borne Supremacy: Shaky camera run amok. No story of note. At least it doesn’t have Rachel Weisz in it. (4.5/10)

3 Days of Condor, Marathon Man: As a contrast, there are these two seventies thrillers. Now, call me picky, but here I find the aesthetics a bit meek. That’s despite the fact that if you ranked people my age according to how much MTV they’ve watched in their lifetime, I’d probably be in the bottom one percent. The dentist scenes in Marathon Man are truly impressive; I can see why everybody was always talking about them despite their making up about five minutes of the film. (6.5, 7/10)

Knight Moves: Hint to screenwriters: Giving away sex and age of the killer in the very first scene may be a bad idea. Still somewhat entertaining for reasons I can’t pinpoint. (6/10)

Misery: With the exception of the cinematography, this is solid work. (6.5/10)

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