Log in

No account? Create an account

January 23rd, 2015

Movie Review - Mortdecai


Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jonny Pasvolsky, Michael Culkin, Ulrich Thomsen, Alec Utgoff, Rob de Groot, Guy Burnet, Jeff Goldblum, and more.

Directed by: David Koepp Screenplay by: Eric Aronson Based on the Novel by: Kyril Bonfiglioli Cinematography by: Florian Hoffmeister Music by: Mark Ronson and Geoff Zanelli

Premise: Charlie Mortdecai is an art aficionado, a semi-rogue, and owes eight million pounds in back taxes. Desperately trying to find a way to pay, he decides to help an old rival when he's asked for his assistance after the murder of an art restorer in Oxford. But his marriage becomes strained when his wife finds out he's grown a mustache. A situation that leaves his old rival, an MI-5 agent, thinking he might finally get his chance to steal away the woman he's been in love with since college. (Rated R)


1)  Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The story is told from Mortdecai's perspective, which gave Johnny Depp even more room to play than normal. And play he does...to good effect. Gwyneth Paltrow was a lot of fun as Mortdecai's mustache disapproving wife. Paul Bettany almost steals the show with his portrayal of Jock, Mortdecai's suffering but stalwart manservant. Ewan McGregor was definitely adorable as Mortdecai's rival and MI-5 operative.

2)  Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of nice little special effect touches are woven throughout the film. The most noticeable ones are the giant block letters merged with the spanning views of the cities the action takes place in. They even find ways to have a little fun with it as things move along.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The film is based on a book called "Don't Point That Thing at Me". I've not read it, so can't say if it is also a tongue-in-cheek story, but from the title, it might very well be. (Also found out Jock's full name is Jock Strapp. So, I'm thinking definitely yes.)

Much like the film "Austin Powers", there are a lot of jokes which British audiences will appreciate more than American audiences. (This excludes Americans in the US who love British TV, however!) There is definitely humor and fun poked at both the British aristocracy and the concept of the perfect manservant. It even brings up modern day British nobility problems of debt and the need to find new means of income to maintain their households, despite their noble lineages.

One unexpected story thread is that of "a man and his mustache." The odd thread gets play throughout the film. The bit with the elevator at the American hotel was priceless. Amusingly, the mustache itself was lovely, but the expressions created by Johnny and the attention it drew to his bad teeth, totally ruined how it looked on his face. Gwyneth Paltrow's reaction to the thing were definitely entertaining. The odd dynamics of their marriage were rather amusing as well.

Lots of innuendos, some vulgarity, and definitely some slapstick. The plot is also reminiscent of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther films, full of misunderstandings, backstabbings, bumbling, and bandying about. Add in the rumors of a lost painting not seen since WWII and the possibility it could lead to a lost Nazi fortune, and hijinks ensue.

Though the story is set in modern times, there's a very James Bond 60's feel to the film, the music even conforms to this and support the illusion.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The stunt department deserves some well earns kudos on this one. There are several fights, with guns and without, an unusual sword fight, and one of the most bizarre car fights with musical chairs ever.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The story bounces around to several countries and cities, sometimes in quick succession. Some lovely and inventive camera work is used as the audience travels from place to place. This served to break up all the travel nicely, so it wasn't the same old thing every time. The two groups were freshly inventive on these sequences. They looked great!

6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Great work with the costuming and makeup. They somehow managed to make Mortdecai look respectable and worthy of his title one moment, and not so desirable or good the next. Some of the color schemes definitely looked to have come from the Austin Power's collection, which worked very well. Though of course these came with matching ascots and a lovely cane - Mortdecai is of the nobility after all.

Some truly nice makeup work on the ever suffering Jock. The scar over his eye and the twisted eye ball looked great. Made some of Jock's expressions even more poignant.

7) Music - Total Thumbs Up: The soundtrack by Mark Ronson and Geoff Zanelli does a lot to set the international intrigue vibe to the film. Has a very 60's spy/James Bond feel to it. Great for setting the mood.

Conclusion: Mortdecai's humor will not be to everyone's tastes. Some knowledge of England is needed to get some of the subtle pokes at British nobility and the serving class. Very tongue-in-cheek.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

Latest Month

July 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com