December 25, 2006 | Category: Uncategorized

Film Fight: November 2006

Another massively late film fight, yes, but a good one.

November kicked off with the controversial Borat (yes, I can’t be arsed looking up the full and correct name). Enough has been said about this film: Sasha Baron Cohen travels around America as one of his alter-egos baiting people into saying some pretty awful things. It’s an amusing and tragic look at both the attitudes in some parts of our society and the way we choose to deal with them. I would say this is worth seeing regardless of whether or not you find the man’s work particularly amusing, as his subject’s are suitably horrifying.

Christopher Nolan keeps up his near unsullied record with The Prestige. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play magicians locked in a vicious feud, pressing forth the boundaries of magic, showmanship and dedication to their cause with the most poisonous venom. With the director’s usual sleight of hand present, excellent performances all round (including a cameo by David Bowie), and some fairly interesting set pieces, this is a masterful work, beautifully presented. A definite must-see.

After years of Bond heading towards mindless Hollywood action, full of cheap special effects and ludicrous adversaries, it is a pleasure to watch such a solid piece of cinema in the form of Casino Royale. With Brosnan ousted, Daniel Craig plays Bond like never before: as the determined government killer, torn by morality, that Ian Fleming always intended in his earliest works. Gone are the outlandish gadgets (for the most part), in are some fast cars and some of the best action sequences the series has yet to produce. Though the free-running inspired building site hunt is in stark contrast with the plodding pace throughout much of the casino material, the latter is bolstered by a few interesting twists. It’s not much of a compliment to say this is the best Bond movie since GoldenEye (which shared the same director) since the rest of the films were garbage, but perhaps it is worth saying it is likely to be in my top 5 bond films.

Finally, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny has much of what you expect from a Jack Black comedy: a silly premise, executed warmly but lacking the really big laughs of his peers (such as Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller). The early scenes present few laughs, mostly rehashing material the band has previously used, but starts getting funnier towards the end. This is not much more than an extended music video for the band, so if you like them, go get the album and you’ll have a large chunk of the strongest material here.

In other months, Casino Royale would have won, but The Prestige is just such a great film that it was never going to get beaten, hard as Bond is.