Thursday, February 15, 2007

Smokin' on the radio

For those readers in the Sydney area I'll be making my regular appearance on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. This Friday at 17:30 I'll be reviewing Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces. With an amazing cast, the director of Narc manages to channel the spirit of Guy Ritchie into an entertaining, if derivative, thriller that desperately wants to emulate Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels but doesn't quite make it. Tune in to hear my thoughts.

Kenny DVD review

When you think of that tried and tested comedy genre the mockumentary, most will think of Ricky Gervais’ and Stephen Merchant’s The Office or the cinematic work of Christopher Guest like Best in Show and The Mighty Wind. Well now there is a new pretender to the throne so to speak. The low budget, toilet obsessed box office smash has hit the DVD market running and Madman Entertainment’s excellent DVD is the perfect way to pay Kenny and his friends a visit. Telling the story of Kenny, a toilet operative, the film is a non stop barrage of filthy, yet well executed, toilet humour and beautifully judged characters. An uplifting story of the Aussie battler making a better life for himself; Kenny breaks the shackles of his family and his work colleagues when he travels to a toilet convention in the States.

A family affair, the film is written, directed and performed by the Jacobson brothers, Clayton and Shane with added input by their father Ronald. Shane takes the title role of Kenny and gives an amazing winning performance. His dialogue is beautifully judged despite the lowbrow subject matter. Ronald almost steals the picture as Kenny’s grumpy old dad. In fact the crews inexperience only comes to the fore during the films final third when Kenny leaves Australia. The fish out of water aspects are funny and you desperately want Kenny to get together with his newfound friend but the whole section suffers from pacing problems that are only rectified when he returns to Australia to deal with the toilets at the Melbourne Cup. That’s probably slighty harsh as Kenny is a fabulous little comedy and an outstanding artistic and commercial success for the first time filmmakers. It’s a very Australian comedy and all the better for it. Highly recommended.

Madman have out together a wonderful DVD package including a fantastic selection of extras. You get 11 deleted scenes, an audio commentary by director Clayton Jacobson and Kenny and the original theatrical trailer. They also throw in the Kenny Toilet Quote Companion to sweeten the deal. It’s a 16 page booklet full of all your favourite quotes from the film, Kenny's toilet tips and philosophies from the 'Dalai-Lama of Waste Management'

Available from

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Billy Crystal

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending the Australian national press conference of 700 Sundays, the new one man show by Billy Crystal. The When Harry Met Sally star was in fine form as he fielded questions from the press joking about his age, “the damn internet has got it wrong'!" His long lasting relationship with his wife, “we see other people. Let's just say Hugh Jackman and I are pretty close,'' and Jewish culture “700 Saturdays? You fly for 15 hours and you find the one Jew who says `Hey, why not 700 Saturdays?' Why not 700 Thursdays, you know, come on, Thursdays I close the store early to get ready for Fridays. Unbelievable.'' He brought a smile to even the most cynical of journalist's face.