Head

Mickey, Peter, Mike and Davy

Head is many things. The Monkees’ declaration of independence, a psychedelic beanfeast, a wackadoo retread of Help by the Prefab Four, director Bob Rafelson’s big screen debut and one of Jack Nicholson’s rare writerly contributions to the movies to list just a few. What it isn’t is a good film. Tiresome in the extreme, it wears out its welcome very quickly. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Monkees are an extremely likeable foursome, it would be barely watchable at all. But there is something to be squeezed from it, and it’s not just the chance to see cameos by Frank Zappa, Sonny Liston, Victore Mature, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson himself … Read more

The Departed

Jack Nicholson in The Departed

    Martin Scorsese’s remake of the brilliant 2002 Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs adds 50 minutes of flab to what was a lean, taut thriller. The plot is the same – cop bosses Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg send in undercover man Leo DiCaprio to bust a gang. Unbeknown to the boys at the precinct, gang boss Jack Nicholson is one step ahead of them and has been grooming a placeman of his own (Matt Damon) for years, and he’s now deep deep inside their gangbusting team. The drama springs from the “Who is going to get whacked first?” premise as each side works out after a while that there’s a mole … Read more

Chinatown

Jack Nicholson bears the scars of combat in Chinatown

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     24 June   The Aqua Traiana inaugurated, 109 On this day in 109, the aqueduct the Aqua Traiana was put into service. Built on the orders of the emperor Trajan, it supplied Rome with fresh water. Rome’s appetite for water was huge and among the things the Aqua Traiana did was: help deliver drinking water for Rome’s one millions citizens; water for countless public baths including the massive Baths of Trajan overlooking the Colosseum; spectacular fountains; and other leisure uses including the Naumachia of Trajan, a huge basin used for staging naval displays; not forgetting the importance of water … Read more

Batman: The Dark Knight

dark knight 2jpg

  Not having enjoyed the first Nolan/Bale Batman film (yes, he was traumatised by bats. I get it!) I wasn’t looking forward to the second. But, having been told how great it was, how awesome Heath Ledger was, how dark it all was, I was prepared to put prejudice to one side and settle back to watch it with an open mind. And I hated it. But no one else seems to feel this way. Why? My own lack of soul to one side, it’s possibly something to do with the death of Ledger, a good actor who generally did more than was necessary in whatever role he took on, was happy to … Read more