I couldn't resist, really. The latest Harry Partridge animation isn't a good as his previous work, but it fit very well into introducing the review of Michael Keaton's first film as a director, The Merry Gentleman.
A recent video by animation virtuoso Harry Partridge was a broadside slap to the face of Tim Burton, taking potshots at his repetitive kookiness and stale flights of tiresome fancy. Halfway through the short, a mystified Johnny Depp, lost in the director's purple imagination, vows to escape, only to be told 'those who try are never heard from again...', only for the shot to pan to a statue-in-silhouette, a memorial of Michael Keaton.
It was certainly a bizarre landscape for those scant years when Keaton was close to being an A-list actor, but apart from appearing as the same character in two Elmore Leonard adaptations (Jackie Brown and Out Of Sight), he has vanished off the radar somewhat. The Merry Gentleman is his directorial debut, and is the kind of unassuming, low-budget, performance-led piece that suits a first-timer.
Kelly Macdonald leads as Kate Frazier, a Scot in Chicago. Working in an office by day, she leaves one evening to see Frank Logan (Michael Keaton) standing on the edge of the facing building's roof, seemingly ready to jump. Her scream convinces him otherwise, but this act might have been a little hasty, as Frank, despite the suicidal streak, is a fierce hitman.
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