The Nostradamus Kid (1992)
The Nostradamus Kid is an Aussie coming-of-age
film about a kid raised as a Seventh Day Adventist who struggles to
adapt to a secular world when he enters the university in Sydney, and
must find his place among atheists and Presbyterians. Given his
intellectual curiosity and his natural state of randiness, he is more
than willing to move into a more mainstream belief system, but like
the rest of us he is never able to shake his childhood faith
completely. The entire "end of the world" concept is so deeply
embedded in his subconscious that the Cuban Missile Crisis sends him
into a tizzy, whereupon he drags his girlfriend into the interior, in
search of a fallout-free zone.
Writer/director Bob Ellis is the author of
more than a dozen books, a syndicated columnist, and a regular
raconteur on Aussie TV chat shows. He has acknowledged that this film
is essentially an autobiography, and has offered the very specific
estimate that 93% of it consists of his own life experiences. (What,
no decimal points? Such imprecision.) "I had several adventures
with the possibility of the end of the world. The first was during the
Suez Crisis of 1956, when I thought the Bible proved that...et cetera.
The second was the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, where I took the
daughter of David McNicoll to the mountains in her own father's stolen
car, and found to my amazement the world hadn't ended. There wasn't a
mushroom cloud over Sydney, and I had to bring her back and face down
David. And I had this plan that we would marry in Broken Hill and
slowly cough ourselves to death with the radiation, after long hours
of making love."
The film has the usual lessons and epiphanies
of the genre, and some laughs along the way. I found myself interested
in Bob's unusual youth, but I'm afraid that I'm just not as interested
in his life as he seems to be. That's understandable, of course, but I
still had to endure the two hours of running time along with him, and
I'd have been much happier with about a 90 minute overview. Or even
the Cliff's Notes. It's actually a fairly enjoyable movie, but could
really have benefited from more economical storytelling. As it stands
now, one must endure the author's self-centered ruminations and mental
masturbation in order to experience the worthwhile insights, and he is
very much in love with the sound of his own voice. (He narrates the
film looking back from the present, and recites the voice-over in the
sing-song tone of an undergraduate reciting poetry.)
One element that eases the passage of the two
hours is some modest nudity from a young Miranda Otto, the Aussie
actress who would become Peter Jackson's Eowyn in Lord of the Rings.
Miranda was 25 when she made The Nostradamus Kid, but looked younger
and played a younger character.
The DVD is an all-region PAL disc from Australia.
(The box says it is Region 4, but I played it on my Region 1 drive
with no problems.) It is available from an American importer.
Click on the pic below for info.
Hollow Man 2: (2006 STV)
Haven't seen it yet. Comes to DVD tomorrow (Tuesday), and I'll
look at it then. In the meantime, you can enjoy the nudity in
these two zipped .avis from third parties.
Conversations with Other Women (2005)
I haven't seen this one either, but it was quite a hit at
Telluride. The important thing for now is that this film clip (zipped
.avi) shows Helena Bonham Carter and Nora Zehetner minus some
essential elements of clothing.
The 25 worst movie
French voted rudest, most
boring people on earth
- Whoa - there's an
- Actually, my
experience with the French has been mixed.
Outside of Paris, I have generally found
them fairly nice, and even in Paris, the
French have always been pleasant to me when
I traveled with children. But if you're
alone in Paris and don't speak French,
expect to get a rasher of shit.
Cannes Report: Kelly's
follow-up to Donnie Darko
- "Southland Tales
imagines a Los Angeles on the brink of
apocalypse in 2008, when the Internet is
under government control, gasoline is
replaced by something called 'fluid karma'
and the Democratic Party has splintered into
- "There's even a
musical number where Justin Timberlake, who
plays an Iraq War veteran, lip-synchs to a
leg-kicking chorus line of Marilyn Monroe
A new international
trailer for Superman Returns
Holly Woody reviews The
Over the Hedge, as
reviewed by The Filthy Critic
Demolition video: the
Grand Casino's beachfront hotel in Biloxi, MS,
goes down to make room for a new Grand
development in the wake of Katrina
Pujols: 22 home runs in
St. Louis's 44 games
(Including homers in the last three games.)
Weekend Box Office
Results, May 19-21
- The weekend was
down about 3% from last year, but that is
actually a positive sign, not a negative,
because last year's comparable week included
the incredible debut of the final Star Wars
movie. It was a major achievement that this
week's two major releases managed to offset
the second best opening weekend of all time!
- DaVinci Code opened
about where analysts originally thought it
would - $77 million. (They started revising
their estimates downward after the Cannes
debacle and the bad reviews.)
- Over the Hedge also
fell within the expected range.
- That was only the
surface of the good news. Last year's Star
Wars film set the all time record for
foreign box office receipts in one
weekend, and The DaVinci Code managed to
break that record!!
Historical Box Office >
DaVinci has 12th best opening day of all time.
- It beat such
blockbusters as The Phantom Menace, The Two
Towers, and The Passion of the Christ, all
of which finished in the all-time top twelve
- Every film which
has opened with a $25 million day or better
has gone on to at least $200 million. 60% of
them have gone on to exceed $300 million.
Elton John says "fucking,
fuckwit" photographers "should all be shot"
A clip from Babel
- "Armed with a
Winchester rifle, two Morrocan boys set out
to look after their family's herd of goats.
In the silent echoes of the desert, they
decide to test the rifle... but the bullet
goes farther than they thought it would. In
an instant, the lives of four separate
groups of strangers on three different
continents collide. Caught up in the rising
tide of an accident that escalates beyond
anyone's control are a vacationing American
couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), a
rebellious deaf Japanese teenager and her
father, and a Mexican nanny who, without
permission, takes two American children
across the border. None of these strangers
will ever meet; in spite of the sudden,
unlikely connection between them, they will
all remain isolated due to their own
inability to communicate meaningfully with
anyone around them. From Alejandro González
Iñárritu comes a film that is at once
intimate and epic, shot in four countries,
cast with actors and non-actors, and
concludes his trilogy that started with
Amores Perros and 21 Grams."
The Daily Show looks at
the new White House press secretary, Tony Snow
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Don't Tell My Partner (1997)
"Tau ching nam nui" is sort of a soft-core romantic comedy, Hong Kong
category 3 style. Wing Lim Cho plays a successful ad executive who is devoted
to his photographer girlfriend, with whom he has been living forever. His best
friend, hairdresser Piu Kwan Gan, is a confirmed bachelor and ladies man who
tries to convince Lim Cho that he needs a little strange. Cho is pushed
somewhat farther in that direction when he proposes to his girlfriend, Tak Wai
Tong, who refuses because she wants to concentrate on her career until
she makes a go of it.
Enter sex kitten Madoka Osawa, a junior ad exec in Cho's company. She goes
after him with a vengeance, and he yields. Meanwhile, his best friend seems to
be making time with both Piu Kwan Gan and Madoka Osawa, in addition to his
girlfriend, who is the sister to a Triad boss. In the end, the men get what is
coming to them. The majority of these Hong Kong category three films do not
Some scenes had me laughing out loud, such as the first time Gan and Cho
went at it in her van, in a no parking zone. The meter maid is about to ticket
them when one of them kicks the windshield wipers on, causing the meter maid
to suspect ghosts. Wing Lim Cho is naturally funny, and Madoka Osawa is a very
convincing sexpot, so there is some good fun, except during the overlong and
largely uneventful nude scenes.
This is a C-. Those who, like me, enjoy Hong Kong cinema will probably not
regret watching it. IMDb doesn't have enough votes for a rating as yet.
Dann reports on Munich:
Based on true
events, this thoroughly unpleasant 2005 drama tells of the aftermath of
the 1972 terrorist killing of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Israeli Prime Minster Golda Meir
authorizes the tracking down and killing of everyone involved in the
Munich operation. The idea was to prove to the world that Israel could not
be intimated, and to stop the terrorism by killing the leaders. The movie
focuses on the men sent to do this.
Predictably, as the terrorists were
eliminated, retribution followed, resulting in hundreds more innocent
people being killed in terrorists attacks, followed by assaults on Arab
refugee camps by Israelis looking for terrorists, followed by more
terrorist attacks. As Israeli agents continue to hunt and kill the men
responsible, new leaders rise up to lead new attacks.
Director Steven Spielberg does a
good job of showing the never-ending cycle of violence that continues even
today, thirty-some years later. By examining the situation from both
points of view, Spielberg shows that there are really no good guys
here, since each side is convinced they are right and the other wrong, and
each killing, instead of slowing the terror, fuels it to even greater
heights. A real downer of a movie, but with a powerful message.