At the Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and killed by the Palestinian group Black September. This film is based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, and is based on claims of a man that he was a Mossad agent who worked with a group to kill those involved in the events at Munich. As with any of these ‘based on real events’ type films, I have no idea what is real and what is fiction.
What I found particularly interesting in this film was the performance by Eric Bana as Avner, the leader of the group. He has levels of complexity that make this film far more a drama that an action romp. He is challenged by the task he has been given and about how to fulfil it, and has a strong moral code. It’s certainly not an easy film to watch, but for me, it is one of Spielberg’s better films. (Then again, I don’t like the family-friendly cheesiness of many of his works).
Munich was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Steven Spielberg), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures Original Score (John Williams)
Bruce Banner (Eric Banner) is a scientist working in a lab with his girlfriend Betty (Jennifer Connelly) when an accident happens. His father, played by Nick Nolte, (who Bruce has believed died when he was young) turns up to try to warn him that things are not as they seem. Eventually, it turns out, no spoiler alert here, that Banner has some strange DNA stuff going on that causes him to turn into the Incredible Hulk when he gets mad.
It’s an origin story, and for me, it takes a bit long to get anywhere. There are lots of sad thinking shots and confusion. The split shots were a nice nod to the comic book origin of the character and the story. Looking back at The Incredible Hulk, it did a great job of knocking off the whole origin story in the title sequence. It looks like our next Hulk sighting is going to be in the next Avengers film, and it will be Mark Ruffalo again. I’m pleased about this.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Henry has a condition – some kind of genetic mutation that causes him to time travel. Not by choice – it can happen at any moment; one second he’ll be in the present day, and the next he’ll find himself nude and somewhere else, sometimes fighting for his life. Then there is Clare. Henry appears in the meadow near her house when she is six, and then keeps appearing, and the two of them are closely connected. One day, they will marry. He knows this, she trusts this.
I love this book. It’s a romance and an action book all mixed in together. What I really love about it is the way it plays with time and the linear manner of life; how each of the characters at different times know different things to each other. The characters are flawed, and thank goodness. If they were not, how could you connect to them? But it is beautiful and wonderful and I really, really like it.
Then there’s the film. It’s not bad. I mean, there was really no way that the complexities of the book could all be included in a film – or, at least, not a film of a reasonable length. What they did was good; once I got past the idea that Henry was not the Henry I had in mind (Eric Bana was probably the perfect man for the role; fit, but not too buff; intellectual, gentle and caring and genuine), I quite enjoyed the film. It’s good if you want a romance with a bit of a twist. But if you want the full story, go the book.
Mark ‘Chopper’ Read was a notorious figure from the eighties through to his recent death. What was he most known for? Killing people. Being proud of killing people. Having his ears chopped off. Oh, and his children books. Good old Uncle Chop Chop. When this film came out back in 2000, I had a friend who vowed to never see it because it was adding to his notoriety and she did not want to contribute to his earnings. I seem to recall that there was some deal with a charity that he did not earn much if anything from the film, but that doesn’t take away from the principle. I do understand the principal, but don’t agree with it myself. It’s all personal opinion, isn’t it?
At any rate, Choppper was recently replayed on SBS and I’m glad I watched it. It’s not a pretty film, not by a long shot. There is a lot of violence and quite drawn out painful scenes, and the arrogance of Chopper is quite annoying, but totally believable. I certainly, like any fictional depiction of a life or an event, do not take it as the gospel truth, but I do really like the way the director tells the story – there is a lot of technique in this film, but rather than appearing wanky or annoying, it carries the story along.
Film Review, Chopper Review, Andrew Dominik, Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, Dan Wylie, David Field,
What’s happened to Eric Bana? In my youth, he was a stand-up comedian who was huge on a sketch comedy show, then he started making films and ended up in a few fabulous Hollywood films. And now? Come back, Eric. Looking at IMDB, there are a few projects in the wings for him for 2013. Good.
But back to the film. If you know anything about your Henry VIII history, you’ll know that he wasn’t the best guy to be married to. Especially if you were Anne Boleyn. She got her head chopped off. This film follows the relationships between Anne, Henry and her sister, the other Boleyn girl, Mary.
I am always concerned to take history from films; of course, things are dramatised to make a good story and to keep the audience interested. Apparently, she was the lover of Henry VIII and had considerable influence.
Regardless of the exact truths of the film, it’s a good story. The film is not just about the relationships that the king had with these two women, but is about the politics of the time, with various fathers and relatives maneuvering the women into the favour of the king. It’s worth a watch. For sure.