So here we are in the midst of the summer and the pickings are lean for your average common or garden cinephile. Bafflingly, Hollywood has seen fit to take, The A Team, one of the most puerile, pathetic piss poor TV series ever produced to the big screen. Starring Liam Neeson (who must surely have gone barking mad to do this) as Hannibal Smith and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson (anyone who calls himself Rampage must be a total twat) as B.A. Barracus, it is the biggest bag of incomprehensible nonsense I have encountered in a long, long time.
Of course, Hollywood, as is their wont, has topped this, even their most dismal effort, by remaking, The Karate Kid, the original of which was absolute garbage while this would make a baby gag. In truth I just do not get it. I met with Paul McGuigan director of the excellent, Gangster Number One, and Lucky Number Slevan last night who is having problems financing a story based on the life of photographer, Robert Capa. He was the man who with, Robert Cartier Bresson, started Magnum photo agency -so named because they opened a Magnum of Champagne whenever they got a nice job.
He was the man who first shot The Spanish Civil War, was first off the boat during The Normandy Landing, ditched Ingrid Bergman because he didn’t like the Hollywood lifestyle and then was killed after stepping on a land mine as in the first Indo China War in Vietnam in 1954. Now that is one great story and, even though McGuigan has a fine list of internationally revered actors on board, he still cannot get it made.
It’s also pretty quiet on the home entertainment front as well. Thus, as I am at present deciding what DVD ‘s to take on holiday I thought I would share the results with you. First off I’m going for Rod Serling’s seminal anthology The Twilight Zone series 3 (1961-62), which focused on ordinary folks who suddenly found themselves in extraordinary, usually supernatural, situations. Featuring a plethora of great US character actors such as Peter Falk, Burgess Meredith, Lee Marvin and Buster Keaton, the stories would typically end with an ironic twist that would see the guilty punished and are perfect the 30 minute fix.
Another series I am packing is Deadwood that, starring Ian Mc Shane as the profane saloon keeper of said Wild West town, Timothy Oliphant as the sheriff, Robin Weigert as the profoundly Sapphic, Calamity Jane, is one of the great TV shows of recent times.
As for film on DVD. I’m going Gallic with, The Prophet (2009), directed by Jacques Audiard. A shockingly pragmatic tale of a young French Arab, Malik (superbly rendered by newcomer Tahar Rahim) who ends up in a double heavy French prison and is dragged into the gaol’s nether world of deceit and murder, it is incredible.
Another French cracker The Army of Crime (2009), helmed by Robert Guediguian is set in Paris in 1941 and is the story of 23 young resistance fighters, led by exiled Armenian poet Missak Manouchian (Simon Abkarian) and aided by his wife, Melinee (Virginie Ledoyen) fighting against the German occupying forces. A superb film with a great plot and a better message, it’ll make fine holiday viewing.
Twilight Zone – Series 3 (Black & White) 6 disc DVD- £59.79
Deadwood: Complete HBO Seasons 1-3 (12 Disc Box Set) [DVD]  – £44.99 (Amazon £28.47)
A Prophet [DVD]  RRP £19.99 (Amazon £9.99
Army Of Crime [DVD]  RRP £15.99 – £5.99 Amazon