Film Friday #107


It’s Napoleonic era France and the infamous Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) has been locked up in an insane asylum for general inappropriateness. Taking advantage of the relaxed attitude of the Abbe (Joaquin Phoenix) in charge, he smuggles out his lascivious writings via a plucky laundry maid called Madeleine (Kate Winslet). When his treachery is discovered, a ruthless doctor (Michael Caine) is sent in to rehabilitate him sparking off an epic battle of wills. This well-made historic drama is underpinned by a theme of repressed desire as well as how prisons are not only of the body but also of the mind and the true nature of freedom. 4/5

And here one is, in all one’s splendour…

Purple Rain

An arrogant musician’s (Prince) performance slot in a top nightclub comes under threat when management brings in a new girl group, fronted by talented Appollonia (Appollonia Kotero) and he refuses to listen to his arguably more talented band mates. If I could unsee any film, I think this would be it. The sight of Prince rubbing his stubby fingers over Appollonia Kotero’s barely covered vagina will haunt me for the rest of my life. This story is so rampant with sexism and misogyny that I wanted to punch my TV. Any film that suggests ending up with the boyfriend that beat you is a genuinely happy ending should probably be banned. Absolutely HORRENDOUS. 0/5

I pick YOU to be my new hair fluffer!

The Rum Diary

Jonny Depp plays, Paul Kemp, a washed up American journalist who takes on a job at a local Puerto Rico newspaper. It’s not long before Kemp realises that all is not right with the US interference in the running of the island but  his ability to do anything about it is hampered by his volatile editor (Richard Jenkins), the entrepreneurs who are trying to bribe him, his endless appetite for booze and narcotics and his less than subtle infatuation with the girlfriend (Amber Heard) of another man. With every scene being stolen by Kemp’s less than savoury consorts, Sala (Michael Rispoli) and Moberg (Giovanni Ribisi), there is a lot to laugh at here but to some degree the story does disappear up its own arse a bit. Definitely for fans of Fear And Loathing. 2.5/5

“I thought we were going to McDonalds!”

Brighton Rock

Minor gangster, Pinkie (Sam Reilly) takes revenge when his boss and father figure, Kite (Geoff Bell) is accidentally killed by rival gang member, Hale (Sean Harris). Discovering that the only person who might connect him to Hale’s brutal murder is a waitress called, Rose (Andrea Risborough), Pinkie sets about wooing her, while making a bid to take over the gang. But opposing gang leader, Colleoni (Andy Serkis) isn’t going to give up the opportunity for ultimate control easily and Ida (Helen Mirren), Hale’s ex and Rose’s boss, smells a rat. I haven’t seen the original but it instantly struck me that it probably didn’t need a remake. This version remains set in the 60’s but without the audience having a clear connection to the politics of that time period a lot of the plotting seems arbitrary and odd, especially the weird religious sub-plot. It might have been more engaging if it had been a modern day remake but doing a period carbon copy just seems redundant. 2/5

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