Movie Advent Calendar #05 – The Untouchables

“I think I’ll have a drink.”

In 2011 I did a musical advent calendar that I posted to Google+ (remember that) and a final summary on this blog. In 2012 I did a cinematic advent calendar of twenty four films. These were films that I really liked and have enjoyed at the cinema. In 2019 I did a televisual advent calendar of twenty four television programmes. These were television programmes that I really liked and have enjoyed watching. This year on a similar theme I will be posting a movie advent calendar of twenty four movies.

I think I would have probably included The Untouchables in my (first) cinematic advent calendar. The story follows Eliot Ness as he forms the untouchables team to bring Al Capone to justice during Prohibition. 

The film was released in 1987 and I think this was a film I didn’t get to see at the cinema. I actually don’t remember the first time I saw it, it might have been on the television, or could have been an VHS rental from Blockbuster (remember them).

The story of the formation of the team, known as the untouchables, the challenges they faced, in attempting to bring the Chicago gangster, Al Capone, to justice. This was during the age of prohibition, when the US government brought in a law that strictly prohibited the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. Of course the reality was that there was still a huge demand for alcoholic beverages, so the criminal gangs filled that vacuum with bootlegging and speakeasy illegal bars.

I really enjoyed the strong performances from Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Sean Connery as Jim Malone and Robert De Niro as Al Capone.

Of course reading Wikipedia in later years you realise how young Al Capone was when he took control of the crime organisation. He was just 26. De Niro was 44 when he made the film.

Similarly Eliot Ness was just 27 when he was asked to lead his squad. Costner was younger than De Niro, but was 32 when the film was shot.

Aside from these minor inconsistencies, I feel the film really captured the essence of 1920’s Chicago and the story of Eliot Ness and Al Capone.

Get The Untouchables from Amazon.

Cinematic Advent Calendar #22 – Brazil

I initially had this down as 1984, even thought about V for Vendetta, but when I thought about it, from a cinematic perspective I like Brazil best out of those three films. 1984 is a great film, but is an incredible book, especially when you consider it was written in 1948. A powerful vision of a dystopian future where Big Brother knows all and there is not just no freedom, but no freedom of thought. However though I think the book is superb, I am less enamoured by the film.

Brazil, which has a similar dystopian future to 1984, is much more surreal, but also contains more humour. In many ways it is just as bleak as 1984.


Brazil certainly has an interesting cast, and I certainly would not have made the casting choices. Having said that I do think it works. Robert De Niro does an excellent job as the air conditioning engineer, Tuttle.

The fantasy scenes are intriguing, but for me do work well and contrast with the greyness and drabness of the “real” world. I also love the ending, which is really clever and I remember been genuinely surprised.

If you enjoyed V for Vendetta, or have seen 1984, then do check out Brazil.

Get Brazil at Amazon.

Download Brazil at iTunes.