HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ciambra, The
Reflection of Fear, A
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
   
 
Newest Articles
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
   
 
  Stormy Monday What Are Ya Saying Like?Buy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Tomy Lee Jones, Sting, Sean Bean, James Cosmo, Mark Long, Brian Lewis, Andrzej Borkowski, Caroline Hutchinson, Scott Hoxby, Heathcoate Williams, Dulice Liecier, Prunella Gee, Alison Steadman, Don Weller, Al Matthews
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Newcastle Upon Tyne in the late nineteen-eighties is a lot like other British cities away from London, in that it is seeking investment from outside and if that means taking funding from the United States, then so be it. One club owner there is Finney (Sting) and he doesn't know it yet, but his business may soon be under threat from these Americans, specifically powerful businessman Cosmo (Tommy Lee Jones) who is earmarking properties and companies around the place with a view to expanding his empire. On the other side of life is lowly Brendan (Sean Bean) who spots an ad for a cleaner in the club, and on his way over literally bumps into Kate (Melanie Griffith), Cosmo's old flame…

That bunch of four stars alone was a fairly impressive cast for what was writer and director Mike Figgis's debut feature, and it just so happened they were each interested in the modern film noir he had in mind, possibly because of its unusual setting for the genre, reminiscent of the fifties movie Night and the City which transplanted Richard Widmark to London to be embroiled with a thriller plot. Of course, North American actors were no strangers to visiting Britain to appear in films there, but this one had a more important thing to say about those from across the Pond showing up to lead examples of local culture instead of securing the services of someone more, well, more local.

This was a major aspect of the film's appeal to its fans, that eccentricity in Figgis mixing his personal obsessions and elements of his life experience to craft a transatlantic story and mood in a genuine sense of the term. Oddly, this went down far better in America than it did in Britain, where it was largely felt the director was trying too hard to aim for the American market and had somehow forgotten his "roots", as it were, those audiences always quick to suss out a whiff of pretension or worse, a try at willingly selling out, not because you have no choice, but because you believe it is the best choice available. Add that to its setting as Newcastle for the plot, and it just seemed farfetched in 1988.

The trouble with that is British culture, for all its protests, was greatly enamoured of the U.S.A. (no matter what The Clash would have told you), especially in the eighties where for the most part American movies were bulldozing every other nation's pictures out of the cinemas, with a few exceptions. Therefore it made sense for Figgis to court a compromise between these two poles, and in the States at least, it was not a bad idea, though as this was a FilmFour production, another reason why Brits stayed away was likely because they could see it on television a few months later, not an issue with twenty-first century projects with TV money backing it since the way movies are consumed at home has changed. Seeing Stormy Monday from that perspective, it looked almost quaint.

That plot saw Brendan get his cleaning job at Finney's club, end up escorting a Polish jazz band around, and, as predicted by anyone who saw their meet cute, romance Kate who has a job as a waitress in the city but manages to rub Cosmo up the wrong way by ultimately rejecting him, and Cosmo and Finney are both dangerous men. It was a simple plot, lacking much in the way of twists and turns, but the impression was more that Figgis - who composed the soundtrack - wanted to create a sense of his film playing out as a jazz musician would approach it, with little improvisations, twiddly bits, going for atmosphere, that sort of thing, and with Roger Deakins on cinematography duties, well on his journey to being one of the most respected photographers in the world, this was guaranteed to look very good indeed. And yet, it also looked a little silly in its reaching for class and tone (did we need to see Sting playing the double bass?), and you never got the value of Brendan and Kate's relationship as the script intended. Nice to look at, probably more so than listen to.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 477 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: