Tag Archives: Matt Damon

This Is Spinal Tap

Directed by Rob Reiner
Produced by Karen Murphy

Written by Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Harry Shearer
Rob Reiner

Starring Rob Reiner
Michael McKean
Christopher Guest
Harry Shearer
Fran Drescher
Bruno Kirby

Music by Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Harry Shearer
Rob Reiner

Cinematography Peter Smokler
Editing by Kent Beyda & Kim Secrist
Distributed by Embassy Pictures
Release date March 2, 1984
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Many people claim that This Is Spinal Tap is one of the funniest movies of all time and that it was the first ever mockumentary, yet in my mind it is one of the most overrated films ever made.

Even though Spinal Tap is at times a very funny movie it cannot live up to the hype that its’ fans give it. Perhaps it is a case of familiarity breeding contempt as over the years we have seen many of the best jokes over and over again and the more I hear them the less funny they are.

The thing that irks me about This Is Spinal Tap is how it is hailed as the first ‘mockumentary’ yet it was preceded by Neil Innes and Eric Idle’s The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash by five years. This would have been known to at least one of Spinal Tap’s creators, Harry Shearer, who was a cast mate on Saturday Night Live in 1979. The Rutles movie was partly financed by SNL’s producer Lorne Michaels and features cameos from SNL’s (then) cast members John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, Al Franken and Bill Murray.

Still, This Is Spinal Tap does feature Squiggy as one of the band members, whilst Nanny Fran acts as the bands publicist. This is one of those movies which I guess everyone has to watch once, but if you watch it anymore than that it quickly wears out its welcome.

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Ocean’s 11

Directed by Lewis Milestone
Produced by Lewis Milestone
Written by Harry Brown & Charles Lederer
Story by:George Clayton Johnson & Jack Golden Russell
Starring
Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Peter Lawford
Joey Bishop
Angie Dickinson
Music by Nelson Riddle
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Editing by Philip W. Anderson
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date(s) August, 10, 1960 (U.S. release)
Running time 127 minutes
Country United States

Firstly I must say that the original version of Ocean’s 11 is much cooler than the George Clooney/Brad Pitt franchise of movies from the 2000s. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, but Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. are just so much cooler than George, Brad and Matt Damon. Even Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford are sort of cool, but perhaps the only reason for that is because they hung around Frankie and Dino.

This is not to say that the original is a great movie… it’s not even a really good movie as I undoubtedly think that the remake from 2001 is a lot better, it’s just that the Rat Pack are so much cooler than anyone else. It could be because they were just mucking around during the filming of this film and spent most of their time partying, or that Sinatra was a part owner of The Sands or that he was hanging around real gangsters.

I think that this is such a cool film perhaps solely due to the mystique of the Rat Pack. This film is so cool that Quentin Taratino paid homage in Reservoir Dogs. George Clooney may be considered cool to some, but he is just play acting when compared to Sinatra. The finale of the film has also become so iconic and is an instant image of the coolness of the Rat Pack. Who else would have their characters walk past a huge sign featuring their own names? I think that if you want to see how cool a film can be, just watch Ocean’s 11.

It also features a couple of Dean and Sammy’s hit songs too.

The film is just one big party rather than a movie. And you better believe that, Charlie!


Invictus

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Clint Eastwood
Lori McCreary
Robert Lorenz
Mace Neufeld
Written by Screenplay: Anthony Peckham
Book: John Carlin
Starring Matt Damon
Morgan Freeman
Music by Kyle Eastwood & Michael Stevens
Cinematography Tom Stern
Editing by Joel Cox & Gary D. Roach
Studio Spyglass Entertainment, Revelations Entertainment & Malpaso Productions Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 11, 2009
Running time 133 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This afternoon Priscilla and I ventured to Village cinemas at Crown Casino to watch Invictus. I recently received some Gold Class ticket and decided that today would be the day that I actually use them.

I must say that I did enjoy going to the Gold Class cinema today and this may have influenced my enjoyment of the film. It was good that we got to watch the film in nice, comfy recliner armchairs and enjoyed hot wedges with sour cream and salsa and a juice for nibbles, although I would probably have preferred the traditional popcorn and Coke to be honest. The service that we received from Ken and the other staff was very good.

As for the movie I can say that I enjoyed it. I thought that it showed a very important message that sport has the ability to unite people whatever their differences. It also shows how fairytales do come true although if this were not based on actual events it would be very hard to believe. It is a movie that is very easy for a viewer to get emotional over, which is not a very bad thing.

I enjoyed the performances of Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as South African rugby captain François Pienaar very much and they made the film that much more enjoyable.

The movie did leave me with a question that really had nothing to do with the movie at all. Was John Howard inspired by seeing Nelson Mandela on the field of the World Cup Final wearing a Springbok jersey? Could this be the reason why a former Prime Minster, who was sworn into office just months after the final, decided to use our own Wallabies jersey as a fashion statement and be seen in it as many times as possible? Seriously, when I saw Mandella in the jumper all I could think was that this is where John Howard got the idea!