More Than Meets The Mogwai

Thursday, January 05, 2006

'My Name is Modesty' Capsule Review

MY NAME IS MODESTY: A MODESTY BLAISE ADVENTURE (2003, Scott Spiegel) USA
[Very Good+]

Low-key for Spiegel, who only lets his goofball side show from time to time and limits the amount of POV shots that he’s always been so fond of (cf. INTRUDER and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2). It’s wonderful to see Spiegel reference Corman’s ROCK ALL NIGHT in the supplementary interview (with ‘Presenter’ Quentin Tarantino), as the comparisons are not so far off base: it’s almost a remake of that hostage situation but set inside a lavish casino, with the running time (76 minutes) only making it seem more apt. Miramax funded this cheapie direct-to-video in order to keep their paws on the rights to Peter O’Donnell’s comic book creation with the hopes of making it a big-budget action picture in the future. The story concerns Modesty’s past, which we see in flashbacks, as she relates her memories to her immediate enemy at hand -- a gentleman with a similar tortured back-story; they idly wait until 6:00am in order for Modesty’s co-worker to open the casino’s cash storage vault.

The DVD itself is packed: commentary with Spiegel and producer Ted Nicolau; commentary with writers Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler; the aforementioned discussion between Tarantino and Spiegel; a brief montage making-of; “A Retrospective of Modesty Blaise Comics and Artwork”, which gives plot details to all 95 of creator Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty adventures; and a fifty-odd minute interview with O’Donnell himself.

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