PLOT: Modesty Blaise plays for time as she is held hostage at a casino in this prequel to the Modesty Blaise stories (that
explores the origin of Modesty).
ANALYSIS: I was very impressed with this movie. MY NAME IS MODESTY is something I could watch again and again. Alexandra
Staden comes across very well as Modesty. Her performance is one of the things that make this movie so fun to watch. Most
of the actors come across well except the kid actor playing Young Modesty.
Some very competent direction and lots of close ups adds some flair to this movie. It is a very well pace 78 minute prequel
filmed in 2002 because Miramax still wanted to hold on to the rights of the character and still make a movie based on one
of the novels. Not bad for a movie shot in 18 days in Romania.
VIDEO/AUDIO: MY NAME IS MODESTY is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The details can be seen clearly. Colors and
blacks are good, but the picture does have a bit of fuzziness to it in the background (most noticeable when you see blue skies).
Audio is English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround with the option of English or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue can be heard clearly
except for a few lines. The music and sound mix is way too loud.
SPECIAL FEATURES: MY NAME IS MODESTY has plenty of excellent extras. The movie has two audio commentaries: the first is
with Writers Lee Batchler and Janet Scottt Batchler, and the second is with Director Scott Spiegel and Producer Ted Nicolaou.
The writer's commentary track isn't very exciting. It is mostly them talking about what is happening in the scene they're
watching. The second commentary track is far more interesting as you get loads of info about the production of the movie including
some scenes they had to shoot on the last weekend on the Coast of the Black Sea (after weather delayed it for the two previous
weekends), they had to re-voice one of the actors because his English was hard to understand, the advantage of longer takes
for low budget movies, and the problems with kid actors they had to film around. Ted Nicolaou does sound a little too quiet
almost like he is mumbling.
CREATING THE ULTIMATE HEROINE: THE MAKING OF MODESTY BLAISE is a 13 minute featurette that shows some behind-the-scenes
footage of the production (including some of the martial arts being rehearsed) and has interviews with various people (but
mostly Alexandra Staden).
A CONVERSATION WITH PETER O'DONNELL (52 minutes) is letterboxed. Peter talks about his career as a writer, how he came
to create Modesty Blaise, his experiences in World War II that made it into the Modesty Blaise stories, the last Modesty Blaise
story, and what novel he would liek to see adapted into the next movie (even tells an alternate choice too).
Next is A CONVERSATION WITH QUENTIN TARATINO & SCOTT SPIEGEL (42 minutes). QT tells how he discovered Modesty Blaise
20 years ago, his love for the character, and why it has taken so long for a MODESTY BLAISE movie to get made. Scott reveals
he was brought on as the director a week before MY NAME IS MODESTY was to begin shooting (all the prep work was done), how
he loved the script, and all of it was filmed in 18 days. QT adds that Miramax will be quick to reshoot and even spend as
much as they spent to the original shoot. Luckily they didn't have to reshoot anything for MY NAME IS MODESTY and Peter O'Donnell
liked the movie. Rounding out the extras are a worthless Miramax trailer for their movies and A RETROSPECTIVE OF MODESTY BLAISE
COMICS & ARTWORK (which gives plot for all of the MODESTY BLAISE stories).
FINAL ANALYSIS: MY NAME IS MODESTY is a step above most directe-to-video movies. It is a very entertaining movie despite
it's 78 minute running time. So go rent it now! If you're a MODESTY BLAISE fan, buy the DVD because you won't be disappointed.
this review is (c)10-8-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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