Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

THE GUARD (2011)

John Michael McDonagh’s debut as writer/director is made up almost entirely of familiar (make that over-familiar) elements: foul-mouthed eccentric cop is a brilliant mess at his job, a loner who thrives in the Irish boonies, dabbling on the dark side of cases while tending to his dying ma. Right now, he’s grooming a new, disposable partner fresh from Dublin when a fancy Yank from the FBI shows up, a black intellectual sort, working on a monster drug deal going down locally. But even if you think you’ve seen this kind of set-up once too often, McDonagh (older brother of Irish playwright/filmmaker Martin McDonagh) freshens the template by streamlining his narrative to work largely as character comedy between Brendan Gleeson & Don Cheadle playing out theme & variations on the old ‘ebony & ivory’ wisecracking routine. The gag, in its post-modern form, is as old as Burt Lancaster & Ossie Davis and as recent as Christoph Waltz & Jamie Fox, yet these guys beat the both of them. (Cheadle is really a remarkably resourceful actor.) Perhaps the trick is in the cool, clean visual presentation that shows a welcome influence from our best deadpan filmmaking moralist, Aki Kaurismäki, though without his signature blissed-out endings. McDonagh instantly becomes a man to watch.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Sony Classics should have found a better title for its Stateside release.

DOUBLE-BILL: It’s not just Gleeson’s Falstaffian girth that brings Orson Welles’ TOUCH OF EVIL/’58 to mind. Hmm, does that mean Cheadle’s in the Chuck Heston spot? Cool.

No comments: