American Pie Reunion tells us that the series has to end as soon as possible, no matter who is picked to write the next draft.Barring Stifler there is rarely anyone funny here anymore. The characters have all been reduced to sorry versions of their original funnier self. Even worse, American Pie - reunion, has them trying to relive their old jokes. Please No more.
There is a certain sense of menace that lurks behind every frame of Daniel Nettheim's 'The Hunter', as its protagonist Martin David goes about his top classified assignment in Tasmania.I had originally picked 'The Hunter' imagining that it could be the 2012 Australian version of the Malayalam movie 'Mrigaya'. I was mistaken.
'The Hunter' has a tiger, yes, shown in its fading last few minutes. The last exotic Tasmanian tiger this, slightly pudgier than a mongoose with browner hide and stripes who walks into his cave, only to find Martin stretched out with his long rifle and a viewfinder ready for him.
Martin isn't very excited about his assignment. The Red Eye, a military offshoot has commissioned him to cut up the tiger, get its internal organs and DNA. The tiger Martin is hunting could be the last tiger of its kind.The toxins he retrieves from it could be of immense help to the military. The family thats housing him - Lucy, a single mother and 'Saas and Bike' - kids, have started to pine for his return from the mountains every day. Martin's discomfort here is his attachment. He has started talking to Bike who won't talk;Saas has to hear a story every day. Lucy their mother has started to look prettier, naive about Martin's plan and assignment.
Fans of 'The American' should identify with 'The Hunter'. This is a lonely man stuck between a way to end his loneliness and a murder he needs to commit and we know he can't get away with both. Nitpicking his burst traps among foliage that is wet from the recent rain, battling snow and hunger without any soundtrack for company, Willaim Dafeo as Martin walks for hours with his heavy rifle and backpack across the beautiful Tasmanian landscape in search of his tiger. What we wish for Martin doesn't happen to him, nevertheless, there is some redemption waiting for him at the very end.
Kristin Scott Thomas as Patricia Maxwell, the Brit PM's personal assistant hooks on to the majority of Salmons in this British romantic comedy about a Sheikh's ludicrous fascination to fish in the desert country of Yemen. This is despite her small role that doesn't detour the story in any direction at all. Patricia just holds fort, provides those usual quibbles, quite comic, like a PM's assistant does in the YES MINISTER series , as the leads in 'SFIY', go about realizing Waked's(Yemeni Sheikh) idea of a fishing lake in the desert. One of them - the leads, is Dr. Alfred Jones who is unhappily married and is an expert in fisheries. The other is Ms Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, a consultant whose boyfriend is Missing in Action in Afghanistan.
The true intentions of our Sheikh, actual Salmon fishing etc take a back seat as 'Salmon Fishing In Yemen' starts to look increasingly like a Bollywood love story, when Alfred's wife asks him whether he is in love with his skirt wearing assistant. Alfred stays mum. His wife packs her bags and leaves. No prizes for guessing what happens next.
Perhaps 'Slumdog Millionaire', Simon Beaufoy's recent big screenplay has left him with a bit of an after taste.
Fans of 'Spoorloos' can afford to give 'Sous le sable' a miss. Ozon's 'Sous le sable' which translates roughly to 'Under the sand' is the story of Marie, a woman living in denial, after her husband goes missing in the sea while she is sunbathing.
Marie wakes up from her novel mid way to find an empty beach with her husband nowhere in sight. She runs to a nude couple far away. No. They haven't seen him either. The coast guards, police? No. Marie's husband Jean goes missing just like that from their weekend holiday without even leaving a body or a letter behind, reason enough for Marie to assume he is still around.
Marie goes home in the evenings to an empty house where she imagines Jean sitting beside her on the couch. She cooks meals for him, talks to him. When a friend of a friend lands a unsuspecting kiss, Marie feels guilty. What would her imaginary Jean think? Would he feel jealous?
'Spoorloos' released 12 years before 'Sous le sable' deals with a vanishing as well. The subject in question is a young dutch woman who goes to buy drinks while her husband and his car wait and refill in the gas station outside. She never returns and Rex, the poor hubby spends the next three years searching for her. A happy cheerful wife who goes shopping, where does a thing like that vanish? There is no note, no body and no ransom calls here too. Plain missing. And Rex isn't one of us who would be delighted that the Mrs has fled the scene. He is in love and is sure that something unspeakably macabre has happened to his wife. And he needs his answers.
Which movie would you watch. Come on. The obvious ballsy choice is 'Spoorloos'. No?
A couple in search of some fast buck, await news from a mysterious Mr. Maloney about a missing man named Mr. Shoe bridge, in a cafe up a hill with several sharp hair pin bends. But Mr. Maloney doesn't turn up. We see Mr. Maloney snuggle something under their car instead. Tired, Blanche and George, Blanche, a psychic who always has her way and George, a cab driver, hen pecked and lovable, realize that Maloney isn't coming. They drive their car down the hill disappointed, only to realize that their accelerator is jammed to maximum and the brakes aren't working. One hair pin at a time, we see the couple traverse the hill down. Blanche, terrified and holding on to George, not George exactly, but his shabby tie.
"Keep your hands off me woman!" George yells as he steers the car to the left and right at each pin. Humor, thrill and pathos all interspersed in equal measure, somewhere along the middle of Family Plot, just before the film starts to lose its steam, is this wonderful sequence that raises the bar of an otherwise tepid film from Alfred Hitchcock, the grand old master of suspense.
Family Plot was Hitchcock's finale. His 53rd and final film from a 50 year old career that gave us North by Northwest, Frenzy, Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo etc. Unlike usual Hitchcock fare, Family plot is very talky and funny and this works against his original intentions. Which is to scare us, I am assuming because Family Plot in addition to its leads, the run down of a family, has another pair roaming the city too - Kidnapping people for ransom, sometimes even trying to even bump them off. The meshing just didn't go well for Family Plot in the end.