Daily archives: December 15, 2006

My Name is Modesty

For all my comic geek credentials, I know precious little about Modesty Blaise beyond the fact that she was a character in a newspaper adventure strip. I had to refer to wikipedia for more details of Modesty’s life before this film.

My Name is Modesty is quite true to the character’s previous appearances, even if creator Peter O’Donnell isn’t entirely happy with it. It isn’t, however, the film the box art promises. Rather than a caper-ish story of espionage and spy-jinks we get something that looks like the feature length first episode of an abandoned Alias rip off television series. It’s “presented” by Quentin Tarantino, but more because he wants to use the character himself than for any artistic merits of the film.

Her casino and gang controlling boss killed in an ambush, Modesty must protect her employees from a man intent on stealing the funds of an upcoming drug deal. Bartering hostages against questions she challenges him to roulette- the holder of the most chips after every three spins getting to ask something or see someone go free. Losing a lot more than she ought to, Modesty gives up the story of her early life- how she was a child in the Balkans who escaped a camp with mentor and father figure Lob and finally came into the employment of gang leader Henri Louche.

The film’s pacing is stilted and there’s no real tension. The roulette game, which could have been an interesting moment in amongst action scenes, is dragged out for far too long. Only at the very end do we get to see the Modesty we’ve been promised, and then it’s not as well choreographed as you’d hope.

The actors were all a bit wooden, and they weren’t helped by a basic script. Leading lady Alexandra Staden is attractive in a refreshingly non-Hollywood way, if a little frail and pale for someone who spent her adolescence and early adulthood trekking around the Mediterannean. I’d like to see more of her as an action heroine, but in a role that suggested more English rose with extra thorns than feral kid from the Balkans made good.

More Modesty Blaise stories.

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It's back… and this time it's personal.

Futurama, the spin off from The Simpsons got unfairly cancelled. The good news is that the creators are making a new series.

The new series will carry on two years after season 5 and they will be addressing the Fry/Leela relationship pretty much straight away.


Futurama Series 1
Futurama Series 2
Futurama Series 3
Futurama Series 4
The Simpsons

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With enough soap you can blow up just about anything….

This week’s review is not so much at the cinema, more on DVD. The film is of course Fight Club.

Fight Club tells the story of an office worker (Edward Norton – “Red Dragon“, “American History X“) bored with his life and suffering from insomnia. He starts attending groups of terminally people, just to feel a release. Marla (Helena Bonham Carter – “Planet of the Apes“) then appears on the scene and while she is there, he feels nothing and drifts back in to the insomnia.

His life then changes when he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pit – “Troy“, “Ocean’s Eleven“, “Snatch“) a soap maker and part time terrorist. They start a Fight Club to feel the release again, and progress from there.

The film tells you about little things that you have seen in the cinema but choose to ignore (like the cigarette burns) and what they mean. I don’t watch this movie over and over, because I feel that would ruin it, but when watched occassionally, you notice the little jokes you don’t get the first time around. “Flashback humour” being one of them.

The story is based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk and is a very good adaptation. Not easy, as you will find out if you watch the film.

It is nice to now, in a world of growing terrorism treats, that this movie exists, especially with it describing the ways how to make bombs.

Remember: The first rule of fight club is… You do not talk about fight club.

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Peak blogging

Analysts believe that blogging will peak next year, when the phenomenal sign up rate flattens out because everyone who was ever likely to start a blog finally has. At present growth rates, that will mean around 100 million blogs, though nearly half of them will be effectively dead, having not been updated in over three months.

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