15 – 82mins – 2016
KING AND COUNTRY
“Who the fuck set this up?!”
Elaborating on the undocumented encounter between two eponymous titans of their respective fields previously only immortalised by a single piece of photographic evidence, this abruptly stunted historical comedy-drama from director Liza Jordan breezily chronicles superstar Elvis Presley’s (Michael Nocturnal Animals Shannon) lackadaisical-yet-earnest attempts to have a private meeting with the most powerful man in the United States on December 21st 1970.
… Keep Scuttling!
U – 111mins – 1995
IF YOU LISTEN CLOSELY
“I finally thought I was going to get a little adventure around here…”
Juggling domestic duties and revision while consumed by her passion for classic fantasy literature and lyrical translation, restless high school junior and avid bookworm Shizuku Tsukishima’s (Brittany Snow) grades are slipping as her entrance exams are nearing.
… Keep Scuttling!
PG – 94mins – 1992
THE CRIMSON PIG
“I don’t fight for honour – I fight for a pay check!”
Italian WWI ex-fighter pilot Marco Rossolini (Michael Keaton) is an anti-fascist now living as a hostage-rescuing freelance bounty hunter, spending his days chasing “air pirates” in his Savoia S.21 above the Adriatic Sea. Written and directed by Studio Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki, Porco Rosso is based on his own 3-part Manga, Hikōtei Jidai, and could easily pass as an ode to history and aviation, were it not for the fact that the lead character is cursed by “divine punishment” into the form of an anthropomorphised pig!
“God was telling you it wasn’t your time yet…”
Despite this single concession to fantasy, Porco Rosso is otherwise fairly geographically and historically accurate, with a surplus of politically-charged dialogue giving it the air of a satire. It’s a pity that a succession of “outsider” quips and tiresome “pig-headed” wordplay diminishes any deeper and more complex subtext by overstating the ‘pigs might fly’ comedy. In my opinion, that’s a single joke stretched waaaay too far.
Elsewhere there are flashes of sensitivity and sympathy (“Maybe I’ve just run out of tears,”), even if Keaton dubs Rocco with suave indifference. Irritatingly, there are also further glimpses of some outmoded sexism (“Don’t you have any males relatives?”; “We’re not baking a cake here,”) – but at least, unlike Ocean Waves, this was set in a less open-minded time period.
As is to be expected from the Japanese anime giants, the film is animated gorgeously, however some overly cartoonified injury detail does diminish the honour of Porco’s climatic dual-cum-bareknuckle-fistfight with love rival Curtis (Cary Saw Elwes). Nevertheless, Porco Rosso’s charm carries it through; this is still more swell than swill – and I’m not bacon that up! Ahem.
CR@B’s Claw Score: