Robot and Frank: an aging jewel thief with dementia strikes up an unlikely relationship with his disability “death machine” robot helper – and re-ignites his criminal career. Frank is a great character; grumpy, witty, cheeky… a hard bunch to juggle and still keep the audience sympathetic. It would have also been too easy for Langella to over-cook his performance, but his chops are superb – it’s best thing I’ve seen him in, and great to see older actors / aging issues at the heart of a movie. Other than the slightly downbeat ending it’s a film that manages to stay charming, enjoyable and amusing for the duration. It’s also rrrrather quirky, but not in a ridiculous way. Surprisingly well-judged for such a pure-bred indie movie.
Arrested Development – Season 3: Poorly received comedy series that’s all about the family, and family values. Sounds like the ultimate cliché but this has to be one of the funniest, wittiest and smartest TV show’s I’ve seen. It’s absolutely bursting with comedy, one-liners, slapstick & adult jokes, and gags that run through an episode, season, or even the entire show: mixed between in your face, subtle or even just hinted at. The downside of this is that it’s a little too clever/fast for some, and a lot of the ‘contemporary’ quips aren’t as relevant as they were several years ago. There’s no dumb laugh-track, so you can pick up everything. The cast has too much talent – both young and old – to list: David Cross, Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Tony Hale… not to mention the stunning Portia De Rossi. As a show, it’s also smart in that it’s very aware of itself and similar shows, episode 9 in particular is screaming with self-reference and irony. The characters, who drive the plot, are all great, consistent and well-acted; in particular the promiscuous Tobias, whose every line is innuendo-tastic. Gob is also a treat to watch. It looks great, is well-written (with an amazing attention to detail*), very neat, and the show does well to handle constant incest references – which would put many people off. As great as it is this season starts to wear a little thin by the end – so it’s probably for the best that they’ve stopped it there. Like the show says “Tell your friends” as all three season are 100% worth watching.
*so much of which would be lost between aired episodes a week apart, which is probably the main reason it wasn’t a successful broadcast show. Definitely one for DVD sessions.