There are ways of dying that shouldn’t exist anymore; like being shot with an arrow, or run over by a medieval siege tower. Being eaten by wild animals is right near the top of that list. I can never quite imagine how you break the news, when “Chet” (hypothetical web designer and Apple enthusiast) gets gobbled up mid-Tweet: Lotta growling round here LOL… And the next thing: Chet’s lunch. Death should keep pace with the times. You shouldn’t be able to buy an iPad in the same era when you can be eaten by wolves. Unfortunately, the majority of scary beasts don’t own a calendar. Whether it’s 2012 or the Bronze Age; to a wolf, we’re still man chow. We always have been. It’s only iPhones the wild animals can’t stomach.
Gina Carano could kick your ass. I don’t care who you are. This girl makes the boys from 300 look like a chorus line. She chokes Michael Fassbender with her thighs. She leaves Ewan McGregor to die under a rock. She even makes a Steven Soderbergh movie worth watching. You don’t need to suspend your disbelief when she launches into action. Unlike that string bean Angelina Jolie; Gina does all her own stunts. She’s a Mixed Martial Arts champion, from Dallas County, Texas. Her demeanour is soldierly, through and through. In Haywire, her mission is to beat the crap out of male movie stars. She does so with aplomb. As the tagline says, “They left her no choice.” This girl was born to get into fights.
As Steven Spielberg’s old pal George Lucas once said: “Emotionally involving the audience is easy. Anybody can do it blindfolded. Get a little kitten and have some guy wring its neck.” By my count, someone threatens the life of the horse (in War Horse) roughly every half an hour. That’s a lot of mortal jeopardy. Cynics will argue that Spielberg endangers the animal for the sake of the box office. But I don’t think cynics should be allowed to see this film. For while it may well be corn-fed sentimental hokum, every bit as contrived as Lassie Come Home, there’s something undeniably moving about War Horse. Spielberg is fascinated by our capacity for good. He might be a sap, but my God he knows how to make a movie.
It’s hard to be dapper in the age of rappers. The whole idea of wealthy chic went out with the top hat, and the art of deference. Perhaps we had to see the rich like jewels – something rare and precious – in order for them to shine. In Michel Hazanavicius’ movie, The Artist, we’re tastefully transported back to a time when film stars were treated like aristocrats. The movie is an air kiss to silent cinema. In execution, it’s as impeccable as a Cartier watch. I’m not sure it’s about anything, other than giving pleasure, but I felt about a thousand times more suave for having seen it. Perhaps it’s enough, to be like a movie-lover of the 1920s: to swoon over trompe l’oeil, and to feel the romance of life in lustrous black and white.