jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
jack_ryder

Recent viewing - Movies

Masters of Time



French animated film from the director of Fantastic Planet. I quite enjoy European SF and the different design approach taken from American and UK SF, but this was tedious for the first forty five minutes or so. The titular Masters of Time don't show up until the very end of the film. The Moebius designs are interesting but it's hard going for the most part.




The Split



Jim Brown is Parker! Well, his character's called McLane but this late 60s crime drama is based on a Richard Stark novel, putting Jim Brown in the same role as Mel Gibson, Lee Marvin, Peter Coyote and, most recently, Jason Statham. Parker, sorry, McLane is planning to rob a football game and so "auditions" some of Hollywood's greatest character actors to help out - Ernest Borgnine (as the muscle), Jack Klugman (as the driver), Warren Oates (as the cracker - in more senses than one) and Donald Sutherland as the hit man. With Gene Hackman as the bad cop. Needless to say, things go wrong - the title may be a clue. Great cast in an okay film - though it holds up pretty well today.



Blues In the Night



This is a strange one. A standard-ish musical about a struggling blues band (as this is 1940, they're all white - though a scene in jail does have black Americans sing the title song) that morphs into a proto film noir when the band leader falls for the wrong kind of woman. The dialogue is fast and furious and the film is studded with amazing montage sequences (directed by Don Siegel) - with a truly surreal one near the end of the film. A truly astonishing melange of genres and well worth seeking out.




Blue Sunshine



This was a film I'd always wanted to see, as it showed up a lot in books about horror films and 70s cinema. Sadly, it's not very good. Ex-hippies (from Stanford) start becoming homicidal bald people due to the acid they took 10 years ago. Zalman King (of 9 and Half Weeks and Red Shoe Diaries "fame") is the hero - and appears to be exactly as sleazy as his reputation suggests. There are some interesting ideas that lie fallow - which would make a re-make intriguing with the right director, but otherwise this is a fairly forgettable footnote in 70s horror cinema.



Eagle Vs Shark



Geekromcom from New Zealand. Heavy on the geek, not so heavy on the rom or the com for me. Some nice poignant moments and I'm pretty sure the director/writer/actor succeeded in making the film they wanted to make, it's just a lot of it left me cold. I still think Jermaine Clement is a very good comic actor. It's certainly not a bad film, just one that's not to my taste.



Re-Cycle



Thai/Hong Kong horror/fantasy from the Pang Brothers (who bought us the Eye films.) Starts as an almost generic j-horror then veers off into something more interesting as the haunted main character stumbles into a fantasy world made up of the rejected and discarded. Fantastic visuals if ultimately pedestrian in direction and the ending leaves a sour after-taste (though it is clearly sign-posted.) Though another twist at the end nearly redeems it. Nearly. Worth seeking out if you're a fan of Asian fantasy cinema.



Idiocracy



Surprisingly funny satire from Mike Judge. Luke Wilson (Owen's brother) goes into cryogenic storage as an army experiment and wakes up 500 years later to find he's the smartest man in America. Walks a very, very fine line between being funny stupid and funny smart - I was shocked at how much I laughed out loud. Produced by Fox Studios, it's not surprising that the film was essentially abandoned.



Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer



And speaking of satire - a 1970s comedy with Peter Cook as the mysterious Michael Rimmer, who shows up one day at an advertising agency and somehow manages to manipulate his way up the political chain. Written by Cook, Graham Chapman and John Cleese this is a trenchant satire of the role of image and polling in politics that is still frighteningly relevant. Stars almost everyone active in the new wave of English comedy at the time (with the notable exception of Dudley Moore - who is referenced and Ronnie Barker - who isn't). Though it was a cult film when I was in Years 11 and 12 it had pretty much disappeared before a DVD release a few years ago. Well worth seeking out.

(There doesn't seem to be a trailer for it, so here's part of the scene with Graham Chapman.)



Better Off Dead



And speaking of cult films from the past - John Cusack's first film, directed and written by the self-styled Savage Steve Holland. Better Off Dead has all the basic tropes of teen comedies at the time, but keeps veering off on surreal tangents and subversions - a style Savage Steve Holland made his own during his brief output in the late 80s. Imagine a cross between John Hughes and Joe Dante. It has dated badly but there's still a fair amount of charm and wit under the mullet haircuts.



Tags:

?

Log in

No account? Create an account