Film study… week 50

Four Lions

Implausibly this is a comedy about four hapless jihadists in Britain intent on becoming suicide bombers. Even more implausibly it has moments that are laugh out loud funny but I just couldn’t get past the fact that they just hadn’t bothered to explain what had driven these seemingly ordinary guys to this level of extremism. I get that it’s a satire but it didn’t quite work for me.

Mr and Mrs Johnson were starting to regret going for the alternative clown package for their daughter's 4th birthday party

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

Shortly after separating from her husband, successful fashion designer, Petra Von Kant (Margit Carstensen), falls in love with a beautiful but vapid young woman called Karin (Hanna Schygulla). When Karin predictably loses interest, Petra falls apart in a spectacular manner… all of this observed by Petra’s, silent and rather creepy assistant, Marlene (Irm Hermann). Not much happens in this film. It’s mostly just Petra rabbiting on about life and love. I think there was a lesson to be learned somewhere in all of it.  For me the lesson was to stay away from 70’s German existentialist cinema.

The gin and hair spray diet was clearly doing a lot for Petra's mental health

Bad Lieutenant

After hurting his back in the line of duty, New Orleans detective, Terence Donagh (Nicolas Cage) becomes a little bit too attached to his prescribed painkillers, swiftly descending into drug addiction. Six months after his accident, his careful web of deception is falling apart as he attempts to solve a brutal murder. Cage is of course at his best playing deranged and he clearly relishes playing Donagh in this reprise of Harvey Keitel’s original role but he can’t hide the fact that he’s past his prime. This film is all kinds of trippy and weird but it’s a bit light on plot and the ending ties things up a little too well.  

Who's been a naughty boy then?

Death Becomes Her

Goldie Hawn (Helen) and Meryl Streep (Madeline) star as a couple of lifelong friends in constant competition with one another. When Madeline steals Helen’s fiancé (Bruce Willis), Helen falls apart, only to return years later looking better than and hell bent on revenge. But Helen has a dark secret, one that is going to ruin both their lives… forever. This is very 90’s and hasn’t aged nearly as well as its stars.

Jane really had her head screwed on right... NOT!

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