Friday 27 July 2007


I took up Don Murphy's invitation (in comments here last week) and went to the 'premeere' (as they pronounce it in the USA) of his new production Shoot'em Up written and directed by Michael Davis (who introduced the film with the bubbling enthusiasm of a real 'fan'), starring Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci. I enjoyed this thing, with its brazenly unpretentious title (I'll take it any day over the Bourne Preposterousness). And the title does indeed describe the entire contents of the ride. That plus a couple of unlikely characters, a gun-juggling tough guy shooter in the usual mould, plus a lactating hooker, being stuck in the situation of saving a baby. The explanation for why an army of asassins is trying to off the infant is clever enough to take our mind off the improbability of the premise, but much less interesting than the mayhem which it justifies. The story taps into something of an archetype and I'm struggling to line it up in my noodle. I did a wee story a long time ago titled Dapper John Minds the Baby, in which I was consciously lifting Damon Runyon's Butch Minds the Baby. In the latter a safe-cracker is minding a baby to help out a poor girl who is having trouble making ends meet, but he gets called off on a heist and takes the baby along with him. I mention this to suggest that there is in fact a lttle more going on in the present movie that just the relentless shooting 'em up, though that is done with enough imagination to keep Campbell awake to midnight. There is a fantasy in which we may momentarily in our imagination set aside the fear that being responsible for a wee'un will lead to cosy slippers and resignation to a life of unremitting dullness. And who'd have thought Paul Giammtti would make such a convincing heavy?
A few stills here. Owen eats carrots all through the piece, which is a fun schtick. I enjoyed the one I was handed on the way out. Thanks, Don. munch.

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Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Wave hello to Don for me!

27 July 2007 at 11:23:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In "Butch", I'm pretty sure the baby (John Ignatius Junior) is his own, with his wife Mary.

27 July 2007 at 22:09:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trailer made me think of John Woo pre-Hollywood, especially Hard Boiled which similarly combines babies and gunfights. Actually that film is one big gunfight interrupted by occasional moments of dialogue.

Is Lone Wolf and Cub (manga and subsequent movies) the first manifestation of this in our time?

28 July 2007 at 07:05:00 GMT-5  

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