Saturday, September 06, 2008

Billion Dollar Brain

The movie is not quite as silly as the title, but there are other problems. The plot is as rococo and formulaic as any Bond movie but Harry Palmer isn't supposed to be James Bond, he's supposed to be genuinely cool. So cool he grinds his own coffee. In the sixties! Ken Russel is up to his usual attractive and indulgent shenanigans but the script is a mess. No one ever presents a reason for any action beyond being espionagey. Spectacular location photography. Ed Begley turns in another fine over the top performance as an insane Texas oil billionaire who has not only GOD on his side, but a down-market version of HAL, as well. When the styrofoam box hits the boss's desk, turn the DVD off, you'll be happier than if you don't.

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