Saturday, February 05, 2005

Movie Rentals, Week of 1/31/2005

FREAKY FRIDAY (1976) This is the original Disney tale of mother/daughter body switching starring a young Jodie Foster and a hilarious Barbara Harris. The story has been told so many times (was this movie the first? I don’t know.), and while it is dated, I think this 1976 flick is the best version. I watched this movie while in bed recovering from a wicked case of food poisoning. The film is perfect for the sick-day blues—it’s comforting retro fun.

I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD (2003) This British film stars recent Academy Award nominee Clive Owen as a retired criminal who returns to London to exact vengeance on those responsible for his brother’s brutal demise. The film is an exercise in dark and moody noir aesthetics—although the storyline of male rape is an unexplored topic within the genre. The pacing was a little slow for my tastes, but it is an interesting-enough film—if only to see the ascendant Owen at work. The film contains a stellar supporting cast, including Charlotte Rampling, Malcolm McDowell, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

THE OFFICE SPECIAL (2003) Continuing with the British theme, this is the two-part series finale of the brilliant BBC comedy set in a bleak paper company. How will David Brent cope without his job? What happens to Tim and Dawn? How is Gareth adjusting to the role of boss? All of these questions are explored with the show’s trademark cringe-inducing and often poignant humor. A lot of times, wrap-up shows like this feel a bit forced and slapped together. Thankfully, this finale is pitch-perfect and a fitting end to one to the greatest comedy series ever made.

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