Thursday, 13 December 2007


The Fleapit won't be updated for a while. I have serious problems in the family. Can't access my e-mail this morning but will contact personal friends as soon as possible. Hope to be back soon.


Monday, 10 December 2007


How accurate should a biopic be ? To be honest, I don't really care one way or the other. I tend to go along with John Ford's dictum "When the legend becomes fact - print the legend." Once you invent dialogue the film becomes fiction anyway and when you get to the nitty gritty no film is going to present more than a thumbnail sketch of its subject. I really know very little about Bettie Page's life but this film seems to me to do justice to her reputation as "Pinup Queen of the Universe" and the film seems to capture the appeal of her work much in the same way that Tim Burton's ED WOOD captured the work of its chosen subject. Everybody seems to agree that Bettie was pretty naive about the nature of her bondage photos (which were only a part of her work) and the film suggests that if she later had doubts about the influence such photos had she certainly did not have such qualms about her more mainstream pinup pictures - even the nude ones after her Born Again Christian experience. It is refreshing to see that Bettie's faith is accepted by the film rather than used to ridicule her. The simplicity of her life long religious belief is shown as an element in her make-up. Bettie is, I think, remembered today for the "fun" element in her photos, even the bondage stuff has a camp naivity (certainly compared to some of the sicko stuff of today). The film is very well directed by Mary Harron (who also co-wrote) and has a genuinely 50's feel to it with gritty b/w New York scenes and imaginatively used colour sequences (Harron is a Sam Fuller fan and it shows) and there is not a bad performance in the movie with Gretchen Mol absolutely outstanding as Bettie. Also I have to mention the wonderful soundtrack of records by such luminaries as Peggy Lee, Artie Shaw, Art Pepper, Patsy Cline and Julie London. Rating ****

Monday, 3 December 2007

300 (2006)

Well, did I enjoy it ? Yes, I did. Do I think it is a great movie ? No, I don't. It was enjoyable in the same way that SIN CITY was enjoyable. The problem for me, maybe, is that I'm just not a big comic book/graphic novel fan and however technically brilliant these films may be I really see nothing beneath the surface. It may well be that Frank Miller and Zack Snyder have no intention of giving any depth to the story (and I really am a sucker for last stand stories like ZULU or THE ALAMO) but even if they did the computer enhanced images mitigate against it - whatever is they do it will always be a comic book movie - but as such it is good fun. Years back I predicted that we would one day be seeing new movies starring people like Humphrey Bogart or computerised realistic facsimiles of them and this film and others like SIN CITY or BEOWULF certainly point in that direction. If they can do it with live actors it won't belong before they do it with the dead. They can be fun entertainment (and there is always room for that) but behind the almost robotic acting there is no soul. Rating ***

Mister Monster writes :

Yes , I always LOVED to see men in skirts running around and lopping arms off.....even if computer generated !!I agree , not much of a film ...and I would have RATHER seen 300 SPARTANS again anyway on the BIG screen , but sometimes just pure entertainment is worth the $9.00

Weaverman says :

Just knew you'd love watching this one, Mister Monster! I agree that 300 SPARTANS is a better film although I have to admit that it took 300 to make me realise it! But I don't want to distract from the new film's entertainment value. I hear that Iran got upset at the way their ancestors were depicted - they should try being English and watching Mel Gibson films!