August 21, 2015


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

An outlaw on the run with bounty hunters after him, makes his stand in a small town and ends up befriending the townsfolk, who rally around him when the bad guys come to collect.

Except this outlaw (adorable Paul Gross) has crossed the border between the US and Canada, so ends up in a town without firearms…

Mr. Otter and I were going through a Paul Gross phase; he had watched H20 and Trojan Horse and Passchendale, and we were (still are) watching all of Due South. Then I was surfing for something and saw this on Amazon. Six bucks? I said, Worth a try! and got it.

And it was really fun, well written and enjoyable. Gross is a US outlaw who ends up in a Canadian town, just over the border; he picks a fight with a local that leads to him challenging said local to a gunfight, but there are no guns, so he has to wait around while the town’s only (ancient) pistol is repaired. Meanwhile, shenanigans.

His love interest is played by Sienna Guillory, who was the Portuguese housekeeper in Love Actually, and is just as charming when she is allowed to speak English. The story is funny and charming, the plot twists are great, the Canadianness (contrasted with the US, where Gross’ character is from) is fun to watch, and we were very pleased with it.

Buy or stream this, it’s worth your time. Trust the Otter!

Mr. Turner

August 21, 2015


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

Mr. Otter and I were very excited when we saw previews of this biopic about JMW Turner, the British painter,  in our local movie house.  Not only did it look like an intelligent and interesting exploration of Turner’s life and works, but the time period (late 18th/early 19th century) is one that I am particularly fond of, and one of our favorite actors, Timothy Spall, plays Turner.

Wow, we said, that looks great, we have to go!

And soon enough, the movie came to town and we did.

And we were partially right.

This movie is indeed about Turner. It does take place in that period. It does star Timothy Spall, and he is indeed very very good in the role. It even takes place in the aforementioned time period.

The part we were mistaken about was how good we thought it would be.

Now, don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t BAD. This is a slice-of-life movie, taking place during about the last twenty years of Turner’s life. The settings, costumes, filming, details…everything was amazingly good. The period details were excellent; I didn’t see a single mistake, and while I’m not an expert, I have seen movies (including one or two versions of Austen novels) that made me scream and throw things at the screen. This was really meticulously detailed.

And, because Turner was a landscape painter, the filmmakers went out of their way to actually film the landscapes to reflect Turner’s impressionist painting style. It really was beautifully made.

What it was not…was great. This was a series of connected occurences, some of which had to do with each other, some of which did not. It was simply the last 20 or so years of Turner’s life, and like most lives, there was no denoument. He lived and died, as did people around him, and he painted and had various relationships with others…and that was pretty much it.

Granted, that’s about what you’d say about anyone’s life (barring the painting) but they don’t make movies about most of us.

It was pretty, well made, well acted, interesting…but not something I recommended to anyone who is not interested in the period or the painter.