10-Second Film and Book Reviews #3


  1. (of language or style) Concise and forcefully expressive.
  2. (of a fruit or plant) Containing much pith.
  3. (often) I take the pith for your entertainment.


Carnage (dir Roman Polanski; J Foster, K Winslet, JC Reilly, C Waltz)
Great 4-hander via Yasmina Resa; loyalties ricochet; behaviour degenerates; vomiting presides; don’t watch if you are claustrophobic; I’d be murderous too if I was shut in all day with the ramrod-like Foster.

Reversible Errors (Selleck, Macy)

Elaborate plot with more twists than a gross of Cheezels; watch out for Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) with hair before he got his teeth fixed.

 Anamorph (Dafoe)

Copycat killer communicates with camera obscura and anamorphsis; unusual and creepy – just how we like it.

 Breach (Phillippe)

True CIA story; Chris ‘Le Creepo’ Cooper slimier than whale nostrils, undone by assistant that looks 14.

All Good Things (Gosling, Dunst)

Unhinged, rich transvestite; serial killer hints but this is never concluded; Gosling poses for a time as organic shopkeeper to satisfy new wifey which is really stretching it.

The Well-Digger’s Daughter (French)

Trez drippy young leads in this story where nothing happens that the frogs do so well; the fathers are a scream; the baby gorgeous.

Butterfly on a Wheel (P Brosnan, G Butler)

Shades of  T**  G*** but with a much better ending; Brosnan really suits evil characters (no lingering Bondese at all).

The Ninth Gate (dir Roman Polanski)

Depp in 40s private dick mode chasing up very old bits of paper; keep eyes peeled for floating Girl Friday.

The Other Man (Banderas, Neeson)

Riveting; Banderas janitor/gigolo; Neeson, the cuckold, gets on his trail after wife conks out; bizarre ending.

Rendition (Gyllenhaal, Streep)

Streep hard as; suicide bombers in North Africa and torture of Egyptian-American (“we don’t do that”).

The Pledge (Nicholson, Wright-Penn, Mirren)

Lots of cameos in this serial killer catcher plot with a frustrating finale; Jack even buys a gas station to bide his time and gets lucky with Wright-Penn who has been uglied-down dramatically.

The Family Stone (Keaton, Danes, Parker)

Typical US rom-com rot including Christmas, cancer and a gay/deaf son with a black boyfriend who have a baby.


Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Mid-90s book full of moderately amusing anecdotes to inspire new writers; harmless fluff.

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