Now You See Me (2013)
The closer you look, the less you see.
This caper film centres on four magicians (among them Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher) called the Four Horsemen who steal money via illusions. An FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent chase them, ineptly.
This has magic, hypnotism, cross dressing jokes, holograms, smug jerks, Mardi Gras, people wondering if magic is real and a brawl with flash paper and playing cards. This was very good, fun and enjoyable.
“First rule of magic - always be the smartest guy in the room.”
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Wally (Richard Pryor of ‘Superman III’ and ‘Moving’) is blind and angry. David (Gene Wilder) is deaf and angry. They become friends and swear a lot. A bookie is killed by the evil totty Eve (Joan Severance). Wally and David are wrongly accused of the crime and go on the run to prove their innocence.
Eve and her fellow idiot scum criminal Kirgo (Kevin Spacey who has greasy hair, a pimp moustache and a bizarre fake English accent) run around failing at being criminals. There is dated technology, dated fashion, comedy fight scenes, more swearing, a prison break, a ’Free Iran’ protest, bad back screen projection, a car chase and copious use of the male gaze.
This had some funny parts but it is also tiresome and soporific at times. Add in silly voices and a damsel in distress and this is not really a highlight of 80s cinema.
“What do you mean I’m not white? Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Lord help me.”
“You’re a very sick woman.”
“Cows! Cows! Cows!”
“You swear an awful lot.”
“We’re being a little bitter aren’t we?”
Death On The Nile (1978)
Linnet Ridgeway (Lois Chiles) is a spoilt cold heiress with a demeanour of pure marble. She steals her best friend Jacquie’s fiancé Simon (the late Simon MacCorkindale), marries him and heads off on the honeymoon that Jacquie planned for herself. An angry Jacquie (Mia Farrow) stalks them, Linnet never wonders how the broke Jacquie knows where they are all the time or how she funds her stalking.
This has some spectacular Egyptian scenery and nice views of Linnet’s art deco English mansion. Linnet and her penniless prince charming and his porridge themed wardrobe end up on a Nile paddle steamer with Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) and his useless pal Colonel Race (David Niven being as wooden as ever).
The paddle steamer has ‘comedy’ staff, a klepto old lady (Bette Davis), her nurse (Maggie Smith), a drunk who writes vulgar drivel (Angela Lansbury of ‘Murder She Wrote’), the drunk’s boring daughter (Olivia Hussey of ‘Black Christmas’), a communist, a dubious doctor, a teary eyed maid (Jane Birkin) and a greasy lawyer (George Kennedy of ‘Dallas’ and ‘Wacko’) Everyone has a gun and everyone hates Linnet as she has the social graces of Oliver Reed.
The Nile cruise sees women ride camels and donkeys side saddle, Jacquie shows up to glower and screech, Simon shows off his huge mouth and one night Simon gets shot in the leg and Linnet is shot in the head. Nobody is that upset as Linnet was as unpleasant as Myleene Klass’ ex.
Sadly at this point the film becomes dull as it is packed full of endless flashbacks and imagine spots. It is full of logic holes: why is Race running the investigation? Where are the Egyptian police? Why does the cruise go on? Why isn’t the rancorous Jacquie arrested? Why are guns and cabins left unattended? Nobody has any concept of finger print evidence and you don’t care which of the empty unpleasant twonks killed the toxic Linnet.
Still it is better than the inept David Suchet 2004 version. The stuffy Poirot exists to be a humorist and provocatrice and he solves the case. But you don’t care, Linnet was a psychotically unkind coarse narcissist without a scintilla of wit or grace and after stealing Simon she treated Jacquie with indifference boarding on hostility. In short, she brought it on herself. More people die and things get a bit ‘Macbeth’. I was so, so bored at the ‘climax’. This film was banal and intellectually sterile and had classicism and racism and was in short: fatuous.
“In this world comrade, nothing’s free.”
“Do not allow evil in your heart, it will make a home there.”
“I grovel in mortification, I grovel.”
“I don’t consider being likened to a nymphomaniacal baboon flattering.”
“My fiancée has sent his woman back to her people.”
“How she makes enemies of them all.”
“This town is filled with rich old widows willing to pay for a little grovelling and a body massage.”
“They’re not afraid of good strong sex unlike I might say our leading lending libraries.”
“You damn froggy eavesdropper!”
“Belgian! Belgian eavesdropper!”
“Madame Doyle was not killed by a fish.”