Will Ferrell and James Caan in Elf

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 17 December Saturnalia first celebrated, 497BC On this day in 497BC, the Romans consecrated the new Temple of Saturn and celebrated the feast of Saturnalia for the first time. Saturn was believed to be the god who had ruled in the golden age, when labour could be carried out without back-breaking work, when human beings were not plagued by iniquitous social division. The festival was celebrated with a sacrifice, feasting, partying and gift-giving and continued from 17 to the 23 December. It was a time of free speech and role reversal, of dressing up and hats, of masks and other disguises. … Read more

The Way of the Gun

Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro in The Way of the Gun

Having written The Usual Suspects, Christopher McQuarrie’s directorial debut was always going to generate a lot of interest. It also, when it finally did arrive five years later, generated a lot of disappointment, not least for McQuarrie, who wouldn’t direct another film until Jack Reacher in 2012. Which, looking back from more than a decade later, seems a bit unfair. In Usual Suspects fashion The Way of the Gun delivers blood and twists with a noirish inflection, and takes a pair of good-looking, tooled-up desperadoes (Benicio Del Toro, Ryan Phillipe), dresses them up in Tarantino attitude and pitches them into a plot constructed like a maze. Thing starts fairly easy, as the two … Read more