Framing Rembrandt Van Rijn
Sony, Rs 399
If you're the sort who loved Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code, especially Tom Hanks' wigstyle in the movie, we'd say don't bother with Peter Greenaway's Nightwatching, you'll be fidgeting with your microwaved popcorn.
For Greenaway's 2007 film on 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn and his famous 1642 painting The Night Watch depicting civilian militiamen posing in a group portrait. Martin Freedman (from the British sitcom The Office and the 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) plays the Dutch master with aplomb.
Greenaway, a period film conossieur with a portrait artist's feel for cinema, makes the film into much more than a biopic. In his story, Rembrant becomes central to a plot to murder two captains within the group that is immortalised in his portrait.
In hidden visual signs in The Night Watch, Rembrant records the conspiracy and becomes an accessory to the murder plot itself.
Greenaway echoes Rembrandt's use of colour and light in the film and in a way the artist is not only the subject of the movie but his aesthetics becomes the film's visual style. In all the play of shadow and light, characters are suspects or those suspecting in this historical espionage thriller.
Freedman's nuanced performance is perfect for a film that is about an artist and his work and the troubling times he lived in. Something which that movie that busted box offices worldwide was laughably not.
Fangs, but no fangs
Excel/20th Century Fox, Rs 499
If you hate the gooey syrup that is not cholestrol-ridden blood but the Twilight movies, are you likely to lap up a spoof movie of the girl-loves-vampire romance franchise? Not if you've settled for Vampire's Suck. This amazing dull and cardboard-like film that so desperately tries to take the mickey out of the ‘pink gothic' love story of Becca and Edward runs its gags as if it was a school skit. Some early promises — Becca moves in with her hapless sheriff father after her mother starts an affair with Tiger Woods — are hacked to death by boring tags like amputated limbs gushing blood, jokes about Edward being so pale and coiffured that he may be gay...
Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had a gifthorse and pretty much looked it in the proverbial ass. Instead of a Scary Movie kind of spoof, what Vampires Suck is a film that should be buried six feet under with a garland of garlic round its decapitated neck and a stake driven through its heart. Frankly, it makes the Twilight films seem as they don't deserve to be made fun of.