jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Recent Viewing

by which I mean this weekend (as murasaki_1966 was visiting her mum.)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

With a major caveat (under a spoiler tag) I think the recent two X-Men films are the best of the recent superhero films as they actually embrace what is possible with the superhero genre (being a kin to science fiction) than the Marvel/Disney films do. I would be happy just to see a film with James Macavoy and Michael Fassbinder discussing particle physics in a restaurant - they make their ostensibly two-dimensional characters pop off the screen, giving them an inner life which makes Professor X and Magneto more interesting than the comic book originals.

That being said: [Spoiler (click to open)]it's disturbing that a multi-ethnic X-Men team is representative of a future gone wrong - it would have been nice to see Bishop/Warpath/Blink at the end of the film but, no, the proper timeline in the X-Men films appears to be all white.

The In-Laws

Hilarious Arthur Hiller comedy from 1979 starring Peter Falk and Adam Arkin (not to mention Richard Libertini as a crazy dictator.) Seeing Falk and Arkin play off each other is a pure delight and no-one reacts better to lunacy than Arkin. Elicited more laughs from me (a hardened embittered comedy snob) than any film in recent history. Although I'm an Albert Brooks fan, I have no desire to see the remake.

Tropic Thunder

So to make up for it I watched Tropic Thunder. What a long sit that was. Tom Cruise's one joke character was funny enough the first time but did we have to keep returning (and returning, and returning) to him as the film wore on. The only reason to watch is Robert Downey Jr's turn as a Russell Crowe-like deep method actor but you're probably better off checking Youtube for highlights. His Australian accent (when you eventually hear it) is not bad either. Otherwise a waste of extremely limited talents.

The Bird People of China

Completely uncharacteristic film from Takashi Miike - especially if you're only familiar with Audition or Ichi the Killer. Miike is a cinematic chameleon and the best description I read of this was from a review on Letterboxd - "It's like Werner Herzog directing a Miyazaki film". There is sporadic scenes of violence (Miike just can't help himself) but otherwise it's a fairly lyrical and gentle exploration of the collision between the future of China (and Japan) and its rural past. Highly recommended but very slow moving, especially for a Miike film.

Black House

And now a jet-black psychological thriller from Korea (based on a Japanese novel.) An insurance investigator pays too much attention to a purported suicide and in turn attracts the attention of a psychopath. Like a lot of Korean genre films this starts off fairly stately and then goes off the rails halfway through. Entertaining enough and brutal in places, it does suffer from false ending syndrome. At least it seemed more influenced by giallo than j-horror.

Cold in July

And finally an adaptation of a Joe Lansdale film, from the director of Stakeland. It has a great cast (Michael C Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson) but doesn't quite capture the peculiarly Texan eccentricity of Lansdale's writing. Certainly well made and holds the interest - Mickle is shaping up to be a good horror/thriller director - but ultimately a fairly conventional crime film with tinges of noir that undersells the dark irony of the ending.

For the record: X-men and Cold in July were seen in a cinema, Tropic Thunder was streamed from a server and The In-Laws was played locally, The Bird People of China was a DVD, and Black House was recorded from SBS on a PVR. So... six films on four (or five) different formats. This is the future.
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Good point on the Xmen spoiler. I think the speedster was depicted as too powerful. I can't see how he can work either as antagonist or ally.

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