Archive for October, 2006

Live At The Top Of The Tower Redux (Matchstick Eiffel Edition)

In, farce, out. Bish, bash, bosh, done. Or as the French might say, piff, paff, pouf, c’est fini.* Or something. And what a rib-tickling, thigh-slapping 80 minutes it was, like a Frasier Christmas special set in France without Jane Leeves. You can’t ask for more than that. And now, controversially, it ties with Rushmore for top place. A great day for beret wearers everywhere.
It seems that the character of Francois Pignon, the well-meaning oaf is like France’s answer to Bond. If Bond was a borderline retarded Frenchman. And to think, people are moaning about Daniel Craig. Played by six different actors (seven if you include Martin Short in The Three Fugitives, a remake of Veber’s Les Fugitifs) makes him quite the Gallic icon. In fact Veber has quite the track record for Hollywood remakes, and this gem, it seems, is no exception.

*That may also be Geoffrey Durham. Forgive me.

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Meeker Inherits The Dearth

Seminal film noir, endlessly copied, blah blah blah. It may be influential and frankly baffling, but one man singlehandedly made this movie, and when he got offed by some iffy kwikfitticide this film went downhill quicker than a gross of lead Maltesers. Nick the Greek (aka Nick Dennis), we hardly knew ye. Looking through his CV, it appears he might have been a tad typecast, variously playing 6 different Nicks, which kinda makes him the Charlie Sheen of his day. And when he’s not playing Nick, he’s playing people who sound mighty Greek indeed. Greco, Kanavaras, Kostas, Alexandros, Zuppas, Vitas, and finally Uncle Constantine in uber-Greek under-haired, Jennifer Aniston godfatherin’ Telly Savalas’ lollipop-botherin’ Kojak. Phew. The twist? Nick Dennis actually was Greek, not that you’d know from his shouted haikus concerning both his and his father’s facial hair.