Film Club: Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Quantum of Solace, Twilight and JCVD
A bio-pic about Harvey Milk proves timely, teenage vampires rule the box office, another Bond movie is in theaters and Danny Boyle tells the story of a plucky quiz-show contestant from India. Oh, and
Tom Fudge : We'll talk about the following films on this edition of Film Club of the Air.
Slumdog Millionaire . We begin by talking about the movie called Slumdog Millionaire . This film is set in Mumbai, India. It tells the story of three orphaned children who are desparately poor and struggle to survive. Two of them are brothers. The brother named Jamal falls in love with the girl in their trio who is named Latika. We first meet Jamal when he is 18, and he's appearing in the India version of the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." The friends' childhoods are shown in flashback. Jamal comes under suspician when he knows the answers to all of the gameshow questions. He is suspected of fraud and he's held and interrogated by the police. In this movie we wait to find out whether Jamal will win millions on the game show, and whether his deep love for the beautiful Latika will be requited. On one level this is a story of love and destiny that's true to the Bollywood tradition. In another way, it's a hard-edged look at the desparate lives of India's poor.
Slumdog Millionaire is currently playing at Landmarks Hillcrest and La Jolla Village Theaters.
Milk. The next movie we'll talk about is called Milk, and it's the story of Harvey Milk, one of the early gay rights activists. Milk served as a county supervisor in San Francisco during the 1970s. In 1978, he and Mayor George Moscone were murdered by a mentally-unstable former county supervisor named Dan White. Tomorrow, in fact, is the thirtieth anniversary of those murders. The movie, Milk , has gotten a lot of attention, thanks to the actors who appear in the film. Sean Penn portrays Harvey Milk. Josh Brolin plays Dan White. Milk is directed by Gus Van Sant, who's made Good Will Hunting and My Own Private Idaho .
Milk opens in area theaters on Friday.
Twilight. Twiligh t is the name of a new film based on the first in a series of best-selling vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer. Meyer's books are very romantic and aimed at a teenage audience, which is certainly the target audience for this film. Whatever the target, Twilight has done extremely well at the box office. It recouped its production and marketing costs during its first weekend in theaters.
Twilight takes you to the small town of Forks, Washington where the main character, 17-year-old Bella, has moved to be with her father. While in Forks, Bella meets Edward, who's quite the teenage heartthrob, but who's reclusive and a bit pale. We learn that... yes... Edward is a vampire. But he's a vegitarian, meaning he doesn't comsume human blood, as much as he may want to. In this movie, we see Bella and Edward yearn for each other in various ways. We also see a group of bad vampires move into town to terrorize the locals. Those vamps are definately not on a vegi diet.
Twilight is currently playing everywhere.
Quantum of Solace. The next film on our Thanksgiving list is the new James Bond movie called Quantum of Solace. This is the second Bond picture starring Danial Craig, who appeared as the new James Bond in the movie Casino Royale, which came out a couple of years ago. Craig has been praised for his much more complex and uncampy portrayal of the famous spy. In Quantum of Solace , Bond is still bummed out by the death of his girlfriend. Vespa was killed at the end of Casino Royale after she betrayed 007. Bond's nemisis in Quantum of Solace is Dominic Green, a ruthless businessman who wears the sheep's clothing of an environmental do-gooder. And that's about all I can say about this one.
The new 007 picture is directed by Marc Forster. The villain, Green, is played by French actor Mathieu Amalric. You may remember him from the French movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly .
Quantum of Solace is currently playing in area theaters.
JCVD. The final film of our show today is one starring Jean Claude Van Damme. And if you think that the film club has devolved into a celebration of cheesy action movies, you're not quite right. This movie is called JCVD , after Jean Claude's initials, and it's a film in which Jean Claude plays himself. And who is he? A washed up action movie star in his late forties who is out of money, short on work, and locked in an exhausting custody battle for his young daughter.
In the movie Jean Claude visits a post office in Brussels, his home town, and becomes one of the hostages held by three armed robbers. In this story, the action hero is held at gunpoint. But now the guns are real, the bad guys are not pushovers, and the violence is not the choreographed cartoon variety. The robbers soon realize that one of their hostages is Van Damme. Then they make him communicate with the police and convince the police them that HE is the one, trying to pull of the heist. This movie is mostly in French with English subtitles.
JCVD is currently playing at Landmark's Ken Theater. It closes on Friday.