Bobby Sands: When you’re hung from a cross you’re gonna say anything. Jesus offers him a seat next to his daddy in a place called paradise you’re always gonna put your hand up and have a piece of that.
A deeply striking meditation on political struggle and commitment to a cause, but one which is probably too light on the context and too decompressed to have much resonance to those unversed in Irish-British history. Beautifully shot, and quietly unsettling, but the pacing and sparseness of context can make it tough to see through to the end.
While we’re at it, let’s muse a bit on the two film adaptations of Tinker, Tailor: The 1979 BBC mini-series and the 2011 theatrical release.
Since I’ll be covering a fair number of spoilers, we’ll put the rest below the cut.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is John le Carré Cold War espionage mystery, as his reoccuring protagonist George Smiley searches for a Soviet mole within the top echelons of British Intelligence.
Steve: Rob, have you ever thought of doing a sponsored silence?
Two very funny men snarking at each other with humor as dry as overcooked toast, a fair bit of reflection on the state of their lives, with a ton of food and scenery porn. The constant sniping and impersonations get a bit tiring, but it’s a good looking piece of light entertainment anyway.
The Ipcress File
Palmer: You didn’t come here to talk to me about button mushrooms and birds.
A decent enough attempt at making a Bond knock-off with more Britishisms and less wacky hijinks. Michael Caine does well, but his talents are largely wasted in the deadpan, restrained snarker he plays, and the rest of the film is a pretty by the numbers spy plot.
Robin Hood (2010)
Being brooding, gruff, and angry for 2 hours does not automatically make for a compelling film, especially when you pointedly skirt the memorable story you’re ostensibly recreating. This is a movie that plods along and never gets to where it should be going, and no big name acting or slick editing can save it from the realm of total boredom.