Thursday, 28 August 2008


Some years, I guess there aren't enough good movies around to fill all the Oscar categories. Why else would this rake up five nominations?

I, like Earl (and please, that comma is essential), have only been watching good movies of late. And some average. But no shite.

Until Sunday, when I watched Munich. Okay, it's not possible to dismiss a movie with such high production values as being out and out shite, but it is, for the bulk of its audience, a failure, I would say.

Munich follows the story – not a factual one, as such, but that's too complicated for a simple man like me to get into – of what happened after the Israeli athletes were butchered at the Olympics in 1972. Israel's famous secret service (that's not the oxymoron it seems…), Mossad, decides to do something about it and pursue those it apparently knows were responsible. Fighting fire with fire, you might say.

Eric Bana, he of the single expression (with the exception of Chopper, of course, in which he was wonderful and articulate), plays the lead, and there's a good supporting cast which includes Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush.

It's a lovely looking film (except, as with all period movies, all the cars are absolutely immaculate, which is kind of annoying), the acting – Bana aside – is pretty good, and the story follows an event that's always fascinated me.

So what's the problem? Well, it's not thrilling enough to be a thriller. It's not engaging enough to be an effective drama. So what the hell is it? The simple answer is, about 40 minutes too long. With a more brutal editor, you could comfortably hack at least 40 minutes from this movie which adds nothing to it; in fact, I would suggest that those 40 minutes are there to make this a 'worthy' movie, with 'depth' and 'characterisation'.

But I don't buy that. Not one bit. It's flabby; some great performances in there, sure, but flabby and there's at least one character too many involved. It's indulgent – of Spielberg.

I think it's about time someone admitted this... Spielberg's lost it. Whatever he had, it's gone. Indy 4? Munich? I rank them about the same, though Munich is 'worthy' and Indy is popcorn entertainment – they both failed equally to do the basics, and so they're both Grenades. War of the Worlds, The Terminal… It's not a great list, is it?

Which reminds me, I haven't done Indy 4 on here yet... And when is Eric Bana going to add the 'l' to his surname? No, smartarse, not Eric Blana. You know what I'm saying.


B.E. Earl said...

Eric Balna? ;)

I wish he showed some of what he gave us in Chopper or even Black Hawk Down. I just don't understand it.

ajooja said...

I agree. I'd give it a 2-1/2 on a standard four-star scale. Decent enough to see but not very good or great.

Slyde said...

ive gotta disagree with you on this one.

I cant stand Bana either, for all the reasons you described, but i actually surprised myself and thought this was a pretty good film.

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

i write the hits

sybil law said...

Haven't seen it, but I thought it looked decent from the ads.
Banal. That made me laugh (as well as the essential comma remark!)!