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two quick ones

Posted by martinteller on November 22, 2014

Murder on the Home Front is a British made-for-TV noir of sorts, involving a forensic scientist (Patrick Kennedy) and his gung-ho new assistant (Tazmin Merchant) trying to find a serial killer in the middle of the London blitz.  It starts out promising, but gradually reveals itself to be a pile of well-worn clichés.  The thin characters are not helped by the uninteresting actors, and the plot follows such familiar tropes that it feels wholly unoriginal.  The climax was so predictable that I actually cried out “Come on!” at the television.  The film does achieve a certain level of noir-ness, but also at times I felt it was trying too hard to be dark and cynical.  Rating: Poor (53)

Showing M. Hulot’s Holiday to my lady — her first brush with Jacques Tati — was a mixed experience.  Aspects of it still delight me: the gentle charm, the serene mood, the catchy musical theme, and Tati’s sense of egalitarianism with the comedy.  He makes sure it isn’t all about him and his character… Keaton and Chaplin were never so generous.  However, the movie never felt so slow to me before, which is perhaps one of the pitfalls of watching with someone else.  It’s not that the pacing is so sluggish (although sometimes it is), it’s that a lot of the gags just aren’t that great.  They’re not terrible (I won’t say there’s a dumb gag in the whole movie) but there are too many which elicit little more than “eh”.  Nonetheless, some portions of it still manage to put a huge smile on my face.  Rating: Good (78)


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