26 March 2013


Since suffering the abyssmal "21 and Over", I have visited my local Major Cineplex Cinema twice. The environment is super clean, the staff plentiful and efficient in their smart uniforms, the seat tickets are much cheaper than in England. The quality of sound is top notch. You sit there in the chill, munching cheap popcorn, remembering to stand for "The King's Song" which always precedes the main feature.

The two films I saw recently were "Django Unchained" and "Olympus Has Fallen". Thankfully, I enjoyed them both but regarding the former movie, I wonder if I am alone in thinking that Leonardo DiCaprio lacks the gravitas, the charisma and the simple stage presence to convincingly pull off domineering alpha male roles. He was fine as young fortune seeker Jack Dawson in "Titanic" - the role seemed perfect for him but in "Gangs of New York" he seemed unable to fill the boots of tough gangleader Amsterdam Vallon. It was cringeworthy and so it was in Tarantino's new film - DiCaprio seemed too boyish, too lightweight for the role of the powerful and slightly psychotic plantation owner Calvin J. Candie.
It was a very clever film - lots of humour, lots of spurting blood, lots of back references for ardent film buffs and lots of simple playfulness - deliberately toying with the spaghetti western genre. Tarantino, the director, and his team must have had a ball.

"Olympus Has Fallen" paints North Korea as some kind of predatory nation from outer space. Their well-trained agents attack The White House, hold The President hostage (thankfully not the truly heroic Barack Obama) and threaten to detonate all of America's nuclear arsenal so that the country itself will become a post-nuclear desert. But hey - surprise, surprise - those pesky North Koreans hadn't counted on the guts and sheer bravery of never-say-die US secret agent Mike Banning played by the Scottish film actor Gerard Butler. Single-handedly, like a latter day Superman, he takes on the might of the dastardly North Koreans and beats them, releasing President Asher and saving the free world. It was unbelievable but well done - a ripping good yarn with as many splattered gallons of blood as in "Django Unchaiuned".


  1. I do believe you are closer to civilization there in Thailand than I am here in rural California. I'm 20 miles from a movie theatre and don't often go because it's dirty and expensive.

  2. I'm so glad you have become a movie reviewer. Now I don't have to sit through them myself.

  3. Hmmm. I might see them if I have nothing else to do. Probably not my type of film.

    But I agree with your comments about DiCaprio. I liked him best in 'Catch Me if You Can'. He will probably always look innocent.

    PS do you say 'filim' or 'film'?

  4. JAN BLAWAT Probably another reason you don't go is that the rednecks would form a posse to drive you out of town..."Let's get that dame Hank she's a goddam trouble causer!"
    RHYMES WITH PLAGUE Maybe one day they'll make a film about you and your spying mission to Sweden on behalf of the CIA!
    KATHERINE As I am not a mental retard, I say "film" unless I am very drunk and then I say "BAAARRRF!"

  5. I believe that the North Koreans were originally going to be Chinese but the producers changed it for diplomatic reasons!

    I may need to pick you brains soon - my daughter has been offered a teaching post in Thailand and your experience would be helpful.


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