Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
Okay, let me say right off that bat that it's not my fault. It's Anna Sue's fault, completely and totally. It wasn't me who was driving back from an out of town event; it wasn't me who stopped at a truck stop along the way, and it certainly wasn't me who went digging through the "bargain DVD" bin there. I mean, I already know what kinds of movies are in those bins. If they were any good at all, they'd be in a plastic box instead of a cardboard sleeve and sell for $15 or more, not the $4.95 or whatever she paid for it. But no, she was there, she stopped, she perused, and then, alas, she purchased. And brought it home. And tried to explain to me that, by golly, if I'd reviewed Deathstalker (she didn't specify which one, I, II, III or IV, and she left out both Barbarian Queens, but that's neither here nor there), then I had to, "had to," review this one as well. It was hard to argue with that kind of logic, but that didn't stop me from trying anyway. But, as might be expected, I lost out, though I did try to put reviewing it off for as long as I could. (There is one other movie that's been in the "to be reviewed" pile for longer than this one. I'm sure that someday I'll eventually get around to reviewing The Excalibur Kid for you, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to enjoy it.) Anyway, the day finally arrived when I didn't feel I could delay it any longer, so I pulled it out of its cheap cardboard sleeve, slipped it into the DVD player, and sat back to watch it. And thus it is that this month, Da'ud Bob reviews for you Francesco.
Starring Mickey Rourke as the title character, Helena Bonham Carter as Chiara, Fabio Bussotti as Leone, Alexander Dubin as Angelo, Edward Farrelly as Egidio, Paco Reconti as Rufino, Peter Berling as Bishop Guido, Nikolaus Dutsch as Cardinal Colonna, Marlo Adorf as Cardinal Ugolino, and Hanns Zischler as Pope Innocent III, this movie is yet another retelling of the life of St. Francis of Assisi ("this gripping tale tells the story of St. Francis of Assisi"), this time in flashback form through the eyes of Chiara (Claire, founder of The Poor Claires) and his other early followers, without all of the "feel good" stuff about animals that appears in some of the other versions, and with a lot of dirt. All in all, it's okay, I guess - I don't think the history gets screwed up too badly. I mean, basically it's the story of a young man from a reasonably wealthy family who renounces that wealth and his patrimony to embrace poverty. Yet, whenever the writer of the story, the writer of the screenplay, and the director of the film are the same person (Liliana Cavani), you do tend to think that maybe, just maybe, you're getting a very one-sided view of the characters. The music is by Vangelis, which may or may not be a good thing. I don't think that it either added to or detracted from the movie very much.
Good points: The quality of the cinematography is actually pretty decent.
Bad points: It's not really all that "gripping" a tale. There are some scenes that would have been just as effective, and maybe more so, if they'd been shortened some more: the scene of the notary giving everything he owns to the poor (and causing a riot in the process), and the audience of Francesco and his followers with the Pope, for example, are definitely over-long. You get the feeling that Francesco is really just suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Zero breasts. 3/4 gallon of blood. 34 dead bodies. Stick fu. Tablecloth fu. Stone fu. Waves roll. Francesco - in the nude - and in the snow - rolls. Gratuitous alms-giving. Gratuitous dunking. Gratuitous lepers. Gratuitous lamb. Gratuitous rainstorms. An 87 on the Vomit Meter. 1½ stars. Da'ud Bob says, "It's a lot grittier (sometimes too much so) and more realistic than the sometimes sappy, hippy love-fest Brother Sun, Sister Moon, but I'm not sure it really gives us any more insight into the life of St. Francis. Check it out!"
Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!
|In limited release June 21, 2013.||Much Ado About Nothing. The play by Shakespeare, filmed by Joss Whedon
(The Avengers, Serenity, among others). Clark Gregg, Alexis Denisof, Ashley
Johnson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Amy Acker, and Fran Kranz. Filmed in
just twelve days in Santa Monica. With the combination of William
Shakespeare and Joss Whedon, I have very high hopes for this one.|
|June 2012 in Britain; perhaps in 2013 here in the U.S.A.? Please? Pretty please?||Richard II; Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part II; Henry V (promoted as
"The Hollow Crown"). BBC Two's new productions of four of Shakespeare's
historical plays, with a tremendous cast of actors, including Rory Kinnear,
Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, James Purefoy, Jeremy Irons, Tom
Hiddleston, John Hurt, Julie Walters, and Owen Teale, among others. More
information can be found at
For a special treat, watch Loki from Thor and The Avengers "perform the sh*t out of a Henry V monologue" at http://www.bestweekever.tv/2012-05-03/watch-loki-from-the-avengers-perform-the-sht-out-of-a-henry-v-monologue/
|Still "in development."||Henry5. A prince seeks redemption by taking on a rebellion that's out to
destroy his father's kingdom. A "sci-fi thriller" version of Shakespeare's
Henry IV and Henry V. Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Derek Jacobi, Gerard
No official website yet.
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