Archive for the ‘Peter Sellers’ Tag

[50/50] Movies: Apocalypic Fun

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Genre Movie #6: “Children of Men” (2006)
Genre Movie #7: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

children-of-men-2006-michael-caine-pic-4We caught Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” yesterday. It is a stunning technical achievement, and should be seen in the theater, on the biggest screen you can find, but it doesn’t quite reach the transcendence it is seeking to find. For that, you need to go back to Cuarón’s last movie, “Children of Men,” an exhausting tour de force that will leave you both enraged and exhilarated. Set a few decades in the future, when women have lost the ability to become pregnant, the film explores dissolution, loss, and the persistence of hope even in the face of despair. Showcasing Cuarón’s mastery of the single-take shot, “Children of Men” is relentless even in its quiet moments. (It also gets major points for making Michael Caine a dope-smoking editorial cartoonist, who brings levity and grace to a movie about the end of the world.)

dr.strangeloveBut for pure Apocalyptic fun, you have to go back to 1964 and “Dr. Strangelove,” Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedic masterpiece. Eminently quotable, this deadpan doomsday romp is still a cultural touchstone, long after the Cold War ended. While Peter Sellers chews the scenery — in three different roles — with his usual aplomb, it is George C. Scott and Slim Pickens who go all in, achieving a level of ridiculousness that has not been seen since.

[50/50] Comedy #19: “The Pink Panther Strikes Again”

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Comedy #19: “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976)

Inspector_ClouseauOf “all the movies we love to quote,” this one is up there as the one of the quotiest. From how to order a room in German to what to say when you smash a priceless Steinway, “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” will prepare you for any situation where misunderstanding, insanity and massive amounts of property damage are expected.

The fourth in the Pink Panther series, the comedy raises slapstick to a lethal level — literally, in this case, as a hit is put out on Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau and dozens of assassins attempt to take out the bumbling detective. Cartoonish violence ensues. It shouldn’t work but it does. Of all the movies Sellers made with director Blake Edwards, this is the funniest. Come to think of it, they probably should have stopped after “Strikes Again.” After all, it’s tough to top scenes like this one, when Clouseau’s faithful manservant Cato ambushes his master in a daily attempt to keep the Inspector’s “combat skills” razor sharp: