Thursday, September 25, 2008


Dir: John Frankenheimer, 1998 (9.1*)
A woman, perhaps an IRA terrorist, Natascha McElhone (the blonde ex-wife on cable tv's Californication), hires Robert de Niro and a team of professionals, which includes the terrific French actor Jean Reno, to retrieve a briefcase, without telling them what's in it. This vague information and other secrecy bothers the team, but that's just the beginning of their troubles. This is a heady, intellectual film that also packs some terrific chases and superb editing, a rare combination, a one of the few that begs for a sequel. Excellent all-around, one of the best of the genre.

This is Frankenheimer's high water mark for action films, perhaps his best film, which includes Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, Reindeer Games, and another of my favorites, The Train.

Natascha McElhone is one of the most beautiful women ever captured on film. She deserved much better than Californication, a lame comedy


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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