Film Screening 29th October, 2005

Poster for Bewitched


8:00 PM, 29th October, 2005
No Guests

  • PG
  • 102 mins
  • 2005
  • Nora Ephron
  • Delia Ephon, Nora Ephron, Adam McKay
  • Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine

For those that don't remember the series from the 60s: once upon a time, 'Bewitched' was a TV series, concerned with the young marrieds, Darrin and Samantha Stephens - Darrin, an extraordinarily ordinary mortal, and Samantha, his wife, a witch who keeps on using her powers despite promising her husband she won't, to create the usual 60s sitcom complications. Chuck in the nosy neighbours, the condescending mother-in-law Endora, and a whole host of witchy relatives, and 254 30-minute episodes resulted.

So, how do you do a 21st century version? Simple: you change it so that it's the story of a producer doing a remake of "Bewitched", who accidentally casts a real witch in the lead role. Which means you still reference all the original material, while being completely aware of the goofy, slightly stuck-in-the-sixties nature of it. There's some goofy romance between Kidman (playing the witch) and Ferrell (playing the mortal), and a suitable dollop of condescension from McLaine (playing the mother-in-law), so the formula isn't being tampered with too dangerously.

Judging from the US rating, this is a slightly naughtier version - including 'some language, including sex and drug references, and partial nudity'. No, I don't know what parts either (ooh, maybe an elbow?) Anyway, there's hopefully a few giggles on offer, with the effects updated from the 'ooh, look, things on fishing wire' original series.

Simon Tolhurst

Poster for BMX Bandits

BMX Bandits 

10:00 PM, 29th October, 2005

  • G
  • 90 mins
  • 1983
  • Brian Trenchard-Smith
  • Patrick Edgeworth, Russel Hagg
  • David Argue, John Ley, Nicole Kidman, Angelo D'Angelo

I may be almost uniquely qualified to write this review, as BMX Bandits was one of the very small collection of pre-recorded video tapes I owned and therefore watched endlessly as a little tacker in the mid eighties. BETAMAX, I might add.
The founding, and perhaps only, film of the BMXploitation genre, it's kind of like The Fast and The Furious meets Scooby Doo. BMX Bandits features several alarming young people with slightly silly names like Goose and PJ changing their anti-authoritarian ways to end up assisting the police in catching a band of typically inept criminals after accidentally uncovering their dastardly plot. Yes, it's implausible to the point of being ludicrous, but that's almost the point of this sort of escapist silliness.
Includes such features as the landmark riding-bikes-down-the-Manly-waterslides scene, a chase through a graveyard, some very dubious fashion sense (who likes short shorts?) and the flour-bomb fight climax. Oh yeah, and a slightly awkward looking 15-year-old Nicole Kidman plays one of the three BMX-riding amateur crimefighters - so the novelty value of that alone should be worth sticking around for.

Kevin Easton