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The Rover

“Australia, ten years after the collapse,” says an opening title, and that’s all the set-up we get in The Rover, a dystopian chase movie set in the flat, endless outback. What caused this collapse, or even how widespread it was, is not addressed and really not that important. It’s just a way to establish at the beginning that we are in lawless territory, though given the bleakness of the region it’s probably not all that worse than it was a decade earlier. (Aside from the occasional corpses crucified on telephone poles and the lady who keeps her dogs locked up so they won’t be taken for food.)


Acting tours de force are rare in motion pictures. The medium doesn’t easily accommodate virtuosic performances in the way that theatre does. A charismatic actor may be able to dominate the stage and an auditorium. This couldn’t happen in a movie, of course.

For No Good Reason

Their work is all but impossible to separate. The writings of Hunter S. Thompson, self-styled creator of gonzo journalism, will forever be linked with the unforgettable drawings of Ralph Steadman, who also featured as a character in Thompson’s berserk narration trips through the dying days of the counterculture.

Young and Beautiful

Isabelle is certainly beautiful, by the standard definitions, with her long neck, pouty lips and long flowing hair, like a computer-generated version of the young Nastassja Kinski with the quirky stuff sanded away. And she is young, celebrating her 17th birthday near the beginning of the film. Fortunately Marine Vacth, the actress playing her, was 22 when the film was made, which at least in France is enough to mollify any complaints about Francois Ozon’s new film about her sexual explorations and financial exploitation thereof.

Jersey Boys

Maybe you won’t share my reaction, but my first surprise at this week’s preview of Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys came even before the movie started: The age of many in the audience. Perhaps forty percent of them were thirty or under, a lot of them considerably under. This suggests that the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is more deeply and widely ingrained in popular consciousness than I anticipated, despite dating from an era considerably before these youngsters were born.

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Is Shep Gordon the nicest guy in the world? Nothing in this documentary will convince you to the contrary, though that probably has as much to do with the personality of another famously nice person, Mike Myers, here making his directorial debut (in association with Beth Aala).

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