April 2012

During the 17th century in the Spanish Empire, Diego Alatriste (Viggo Mortensen) is a soldier in the service of King Felipe IV, during the Eighty Years War. In the Netherlands, where Diego Alatriste fights against the Dutch during the Dutch Revolt, his comrade in arms Lope Balboa is killed and Diego promises to take care of his son Inigo Balboa. He is then hired, along with a Sicilian assassin named Gualterio Malatesta to kill the Prince of Wales (future King Charles I of England) and his companion, the Duke of Buckingham. This is the beginning of deceit, battle, friendship, honour and love for Alatriste…

This is a well made and expensive costumedrama. I do like the timeperiod. The clothes, weaponary, the question of honour/ love and the battles. Viggo Mortensen is convincing as Alatriste sporting a cool moustache and hat. I liked “Alatriste”, but it is not a movie I will see again. (3 out of 5)

The Chain-smoking, wisecracking private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliot Gould) helps his friend Terry Lennox to cross the border to Tijuana and returns home to an apartment full of cops who question him about the murder of Lennox wife. After Marlowe’s release, following the reported suicide of Terry, the mysterious blonde Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt) hires him to locate her alcoholic and abusive husband Roger Wade (Sterling Hayden). Then Marlowe gets a visit from the hoodlum Marty Augustine who wants his $350,000 Terry apparently stole from him. Marlowe tails the hood, who goes to Rogers Wade´s house and talks to Eileen. As Marlowe pulls the threads together, he needs to figure out the truth about Terry once and for all…

Robert Altman was a director with a mixed bag of creative outcomes. Some really good ones, some less good ones. “The Long Goodbye” is something in between. A private eye stuck in the mindset of the 50s but living in the 70s trying to figure out what happend to his friend. The plot is not that strong and as in many other Altman movies, we get rich dialogue with less dynamics. At times the plot drags on and keeps floating around with sideplots creating a slight feeling of “get on with it”. I like Elliot Gould and he does a solid portrait of Marlowe. I like the stunning dane Nina Van Pallandt. I did as well like the quite abrupt ending. However, this is hardly amongst Altmans best ones in my opinion. Ok, but no more and not a must see. (3 out of 5)




London-based creative agency To the Point has created a game for both budding designers and designers. The game, called ‘shoot the serif’, requires you to shoot only the serif, and not the sans-serif, within a limited time and a limited number of mistakes.



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