THE LAST DUEL (HBO Max). Medieval France 1386 Directed by Ridley Scott. Margarita (Jody Comer) says she was raped by Jacques (Alan Driver). He denies it. Margarita’s husband, Jean (Matt Damon), challenges Jacques to a duel, which will (according to medieval customs) be judged by God. The man who loses will be condemned as a liar, and terrible things will be done to his body. If Jean loses, his wife will be burned. The story is told in three slightly different versions, two too many. The film is too long and wordy. Damon is wrong, and Camera is too modern. The driver has the right period. The highest point is a brutal knightly battle, brilliantly staged and edited
DUEL (YouTube). A classic road movie. A huge 40-ton gas tanker, polluted by a flammable monster, is chasing a tiny red car driven by a frightened salesman (Dennis Weaver). The crazy killer remains faceless in everything. The duel between David and Goliath takes place on a deserted desert highway. Steven Spielberg’s 1971 film, made for television, is a suspenseful thriller, beautifully photographed by Jack Martha.
CAP FEAR (BBC iPlayer). Guilt and retribution. Martin Scorsese’s 1991 version. Robert De Niro, who smokes cigars, quotes the Bible, remembers repulses as an extremely dangerous man who takes revenge on a lawyer (Nick Nolte, a completely unfriendly character) who did not save him from 16 years in prison. Of particular concern is his seduction of the 15-year-old daughter of a lawyer (Juliet Lewis). The last series aboard a boat on a stormy river is so inflated that it seems like in another movie.
THIS IS A SIN (Netflix). Lewd gays continue to act irresponsibly during the devastating AIDS crisis in Britain in the 1980s and pay a heavy price. Russell T. Davis (who wrote Queer As Folk) is the author, and an exciting script full of empathy for the victims who died alone in hospital beds; but Davis is fully aware of their shortcomings. He is also furious against the government for their incompetent homophobic reaction. There’s a very good cast. Oli Oli, Amari Douglas and Calum Scott Howells are the main gays, and Lydia West is their best friend. Keeley House is a mother you will not wish on anyone.
INNOCENT TO PARIS (StudioCanal). The cast is led by Alistair Sim, Margaret Rutherford and Claire Bloom. Sounds promising; but this very petty 1953 British comedy with six stereotypes unrelated to Brits spending a weekend in the French capital turns out to be stamped, stilted and ridiculous. Their behavior is incredible and completely (mon dieu) asexual. Jimmy Edwards and Ronald Scheiner perform the music hall. The funniest show is Agnes Poirier, who throws out a lot of garbage.