March 7, 2008, - 3:16 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Of the new movies out, this weekend, none of the three I reviewed were bad. They were all okay. Two are set in London, and one is set far off in ancient times. I did not screen, “College Road Trip.” The reason: three words – Martin Lawrence, Raven. Translation: Life is short. I liked “The Bank Job” the best, although its violence and blood toward the end ruined it for me.
* “10,000 BC“: While there was nothing objectionable in this movie, and even the minor killing was such that you could take your young teens to it, I just found this movie dull. It wasn’t interesting. It wasn’t exciting. There wasn’t any suspense. And the story was very simple and old hat. The special effects were so-so, while the costumes were good. And that’s about it. There was no spark or charm. It was kind of boring, actually. The “scary monster animals” were simply laugh-inducing giant dodo birds, more comical than scary.
This movie was like “300” lite–way, way, way lite. And the part about the captured peoples working as slaves, building pyramids in an Egyptian-like heat, and at first not wanting to rebel and leave, seemd kind of ripped off from the Biblical story of the Jews’ slavery in Egypt.
The story: It’s 10,000 BC and a small community living in a tundra climate survives by hunting Wooly Mammoths. One of them, D’Leh (pronounced “Delay”), is the son of a great hunter who left the tribe. He aspires to be a great hunter like his father and to win over both the prized white spear and the girl with the blue eyes, Evolet (whom we last saw in the remake of “When a Stranger Calls“).
But the tribe is invaded and many of the men and Evolet captured by a more advanced neighboring community of a sweltering hot climate. They are made into slaves who build pyramids for shaman-like blind pygmies with blue eyes. D’Leh leads some of the remaining tribesman into the wilderness and then into the enslavers’ community to rescue them.
* “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day“: Although this is basically a chick flick, I liked its throwback to the late 1930s/early 1940s London. Yet again, the talented Amy Adams shows her versatility as floosie gold-digger/fame-seeker Delysia Lafosse in this period piece. And although the movie was a little too cutesy for me, it reminded me of old movies, of which its basically a color replica. The costumes got the most attention in this script. Still, it was hard to take 1.5 hours of Adams’ giggly, sigh-filled interactions. But that is the style of this kind of movie and I liked the moral message. Could have done without seeing a guy’s naked butt in my face toward the beginning of the film. That was the only objectionable part.
Frances McDormand is Guinevere Pettigrew, a homeless English woman around the start of World War II, searching for a job in London. She can’t keep a job as a governess, but she steals a lead on a job with a new employer. Soon she learns that the new employer, the young Delysia Lafosse, is looking for a social secretary, not a governess, and she plays the part.
Lafosse is an American who is kept by a wealthy club owner she doesn’t love, and is also sleeping with the son of a musical producer, in whose play she wants to star. But, alas, she truly loves a third man, an ex-con piano player who can’t offer her anything but love and happiness. And she can’t see it.
Although Pettigrew is basically a homeless woman not accustomed to Lafosse’s station in life, her sound, moral advice is soon taken as gospel and respected by Lafosse and all of her high society friends. Some of them, though, start to look into her past.
Oh, and guys, don’t let the sexy movie poster for this one fool you. There is no scene in which these two women are looking up at barely clad women with those expressions. Instead, they are at a lingerie show–1930s lingerie. The poster is just a way to get you in the door with your girlfriends. This movie has nothing to do with what’s implied in the poster. Sorry.
* “The Bank Job“: Also set in London, this time in the early ’70s, this is based on the true story of a bank heist, set up by MI5, the British intelligence agency. I liked this clever, cunning caper movie, until it degraded into violence and blood towards the end. That ruined it for me, but you might like it despite that. It wasn’t that violent or bloody, but enough for me to turn me off.
A has-been model tells her petty thief, married former love interest about a London bank safe, the security of which will be temporarily turned off for technical reasons. She tells him how easy it would be to dug a tunnel into the safe and get millions in jewels, gold, and cold hard cash from the safety deposit boxes. Since he needs money to feed his family, and he still pines for her, he’s convinced and gets his gang of common criminal friends to join in.
But the model is actually working for MI5, which wants pictures in one of the safety deposit boxes because they show members of British royalty, intelligence, and government in compromising positions. And who has the photos is also interesting. A Black Muslim from the caribbean is into blackmailing to make money for his phony liberal “civil rights” group.
The intrigue in this film, with so many groups involved, at first seems confusing, but you soon figure out what is going on. It’s interesting and captures your interest until the end, when, again, it degrades into some limited violence and blood. Definitely entertaining. And mostly well done. Though I didn’t exactly like the ending.
Tags: 000 BC, 10, Amy Adams, bank, bank safe, British Columbia, British intelligence, Caribbean, College Road Trip, Egypt, Frances McDormand, governess, great hunter, has-been model, I, Lafosse's station, London, Martin Lawrence, MI5, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, musical producer, Pettigrew Lives, piano player, social secretary, The Bank Job, Trio of New Movies, wealthy club owner