Jump to content
rllmuk
kerraig UK

A movie watchers blog

Recommended Posts

Death Machine (1995)

In the near future, a defence corporation's new CEO and some terrorists are trapped in a locked-down tower block with a maniac killer robot. 90s straight-to-video SF/horror that, once it gets going, is a real treat. A magpie of a film, taking influence from most SF from the preceding 20 years including Bladerunner, Aliens and Universal Soldier, plus nods to directors and films at every turn, all smashed together with sly humour and tongue-in-cheek attitude by writer/director Stephen Norrington. It gets silly in places but by  then you're invested in the laugh-out-loud chaos. For what must have been a lower budget affair the production design, and the killer robot - all flashing talons, whirring motors and gnashing metal jaws - are superb. Performances get the job done and suit the tone. Stand-out has to be Brad Dourf's loose canon weapons engineer, all long hair and unpredictability. A must for any fans of stylish SF/horror.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Vimster said:

Death Machine (1995)

In the near future, a defence corporation's new CEO and some terrorists are trapped in a locked-down tower block with a maniac killer robot. 90s straight-to-video SF/horror that, once it gets going, is a real treat. A magpie of a film, taking influence from most SF from the preceding 20 years including Bladerunner, Aliens and Universal Soldier, plus nods to directors and films at every turn, all smashed together with sly humour and tongue-in-cheek attitude by writer/director Stephen Norrington. It gets silly in places but by  then you're invested in the laugh-out-loud chaos. For what must have been a lower budget affair the production design, and the killer robot - all flashing talons, whirring motors and gnashing metal jaws - are superb. Performances get the job done and suit the tone. Stand-out has to be Brad Dourf's loose canon weapons engineer, all long hair and unpredictability. A must for any fans of stylish SF/horror.

 

In. That's getting watched. Amazon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

 

In. That's getting watched. Amazon?

No, sorry, this was another I got off my mate at work. VHS rip by the looks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just seen the worst film I've watched this year, and a contender for the worst film I've ever seen.

 

The Festival.

 

It's absolutely detestable - for a start, it's not funny whatsoever. It's also FULL of intensely dislikeable characters (the main character is just a prick) and it's full of appalling acting. It's crude bullshit. 

 

Who the fuck decided this abomination of a film was in any fit state to be released?

 

Absolute mince from start to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Vimster said:

Death Machine (1995)

In the near future, a defence corporation's new CEO and some terrorists are trapped in a locked-down tower block with a maniac killer robot. 90s straight-to-video SF/horror that, once it gets going, is a real treat. A magpie of a film, taking influence from most SF from the preceding 20 years including Bladerunner, Aliens and Universal Soldier, plus nods to directors and films at every turn, all smashed together with sly humour and tongue-in-cheek attitude by writer/director Stephen Norrington. It gets silly in places but by  then you're invested in the laugh-out-loud chaos. For what must have been a lower budget affair the production design, and the killer robot - all flashing talons, whirring motors and gnashing metal jaws - are superb. Performances get the job done and suit the tone. Stand-out has to be Brad Dourf's loose canon weapons engineer, all long hair and unpredictability. A must for any fans of stylish SF/horror.

 

Sounds excellent. Have you seen Hardware? I remember that being pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Goose said:

 

Sounds excellent. Have you seen Hardware? I remember that being pretty good.

I have not seen Hardware but I have it  here to watch. Wouldn't be surprised if it comes from a very similar place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Boothjan said:

I've just seen the worst film I've watched this year, and a contender for the worst film I've ever seen.

 

The Festival.

 

It's absolutely detestable - for a start, it's not funny whatsoever. It's also FULL of intensely dislikeable characters (the main character is just a prick) and it's full of appalling acting. It's crude bullshit. 

 

Who the fuck decided this abomination of a film was in any fit state to be released?

 

Absolute mince from start to finish.


I took a date to see that at the cinema. Sufficed to say we didn't see each other again.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vox Lux (2019)

 

An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star.

 

This is definitely a film that’s going to split opinion, but for me it’s up there with Burning for my favourite film of 2019 so far. I really liked Wild Rose, and was largely indifferent to A Star Is Born, but this tells the rise to fame story in a much more original and exciting way.

 

Both Portman and Cassidy are really excellent in this. Even Jude Law is fantastic, and usually I can’t get past seeing the pretentious actor behind the character with him.

 

Some will definitely hate it. But I loved it.

 

5/5

 

 

0111F972-B0D4-419F-B6E8-4C3FDE7FF249.jpeg

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miracle Mile (1988)

A man takes a random call in a phone booth telling him a nuclear war is about to start. He strives to get him and his new girlfriend to safety. Never heard of this one until recently, and it's certainly a strange one. It starts off like a typical 80s rom com, we see a couple fall in love, set a date, he misses it and in a bid to get her back takes a random call. The rest of the film is basically real time and against the clock, trying to get over small crises. There were a few too  many occasions where characters would have to go back to get someone they loved, but thinking about it that was probably the whole point. There was certainly a strong romance streak through this although I found myself willing our leading man on. As the film progresses things get more and more chaotic, not least the plot which takes seemingly random turns, although it always felt the writer/director Steve De Jarnatt always had his hands on the tiller. I can imagine this baffling anyone who thought they were seeing a ticking-bomb nuclear thriller, but for anyone wanting an off-beat romantic thriller this delivers.

 

The Harder They Come (1972)

In Jamaica a young man from the country seeks to become a reggae star at any price. I know the Jimmy Cliff song well and yet hadn't got around to checking this out. It took me a short while to get into the flow of the piece, and acclimatise to the heavy Jamaican accents. Set in warts-and-all Jamaica, rickety houses, torn up roads, this is a tale of a young guy with musical ambitions who gets ripped off and caught up in a life of crime. Some strong direction keeps this gritty tale moving along towards a powerful ending. And of course the rock-solid reggae/soul soundtrack is a total joy. Grimy, authentic-feeling, powerful drama.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/05/2019 at 00:24, Vimster said:

I have not seen Hardware but I have it  here to watch. Wouldn't be surprised if it comes from a very similar place.

Hardware is brilliant and I won't have a bad word said about it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cybernator (1991)

There's only one guy who can track down and kill some rogue cyborgs. 2019 seems to be the year of the rogue 90s cyborg, and this one is definitely the worst example yet. Not totally surprising seeing as this is a Troma production. Now I don't mind poor effects, ropey acting, cliched scripts, but bloody hell this is boring. Initially this was good low-budget fun, then I saw the running time and that I was only about 20 minutes in. Bloody hell, you mean there's another hour-and-a-bit to go? The oh-so-tasteful sex scene to a General MIDI soundtrack didn't really help much. Huge twist didn't really have any impact due to it being telegraphed a little too well. Is it good Troma? I've not watched enough to know if this is a good example, but I was bored witless by about an hour in, so I can only hope there are better examples. And I have a very high tolerance for crap. Zzzzz.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three Days To A Kill (1992)

When a senator is kidnapped by a drug lord, the Navy send in a couple of guys to save him. They have three days. Produced, directed and starring a past-his-prime Fred Williamson, this was a pretty limp buddy-action affair. Williamson, together with convicted killer Bo Svenson, team up to get a senator back. Trouble is the senator was pretty disposable, there was no build-up or peril, he was a guy in a suit who we're told is very important - that's it. So almost right from the start I didn't give a shit, not exactly gripping. The initial set-up makes it sound like our brave boys are going to head for the baddie's Mexican compound and mess stuff up, instead we get a plodding non-thriller with mild comic relief and conspiracy bits thrown in. Barring a few static shoot-outs that instantly reminded me of the ones you used to get on Police Squad, most of the rest of the film involves Williamson and Svenson fail to bond. It all added up to something rather underwhelming. Not even Henry Silva's avuncular drug lord could add anything. Avoid.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swimming with Men (2018)

 

Rob Brydon is Eric, a man not so much having a midlife crisis as an almost full-on meltdown.  His wife has just been elected as a local Councillor, he has no understanding of his teenage son and he's stuck in a job he hates.  His only pleasure in life is swimming at the local pool in the evening.  One day, he notices a group of men at the pool who are practicing synchronised swimming.  They invite him to join and Eric suddenly begins to find happiness in not being so frustrated with life.  And then one day, they find out about the Unofficial Male Synchronised Swmming World Championships.

 

On the surface (ha!) this is Full Monty in trunks.  It can't possibly hope to live up to that and it doesn't.  What it is, is a funny - occasionally absolute laugh out loud - exploration of male friendships.  I'm going to expand on this a little more in spoiler tags, but the relationship between Brydon and the rest of the group is beautifully done.  The group consists of some sterling actors, Rupert Graves, Tom Turgoose, Jim Carter and the standout being Daniel Mays.  It isn't a perfect film but the whole thing is done with care and attention by a quality cast and crew so you know you are getting a very good hour and a half. Definite recommend.

 

Spoilers for what I felt was the theme, which includes some important character points.

 

Spoiler

Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way but this is definitely a film aimed at middle aged men and, for want of a better phrase, male mental health.  Cards on the table, as a middle aged man who has been affected by mental health issues, my own in a small way and close family in a much more affecting way, this film definitely resonated.  Each member of the group - "that lovable, broken bunch of twats" - has been hurt either by internal or external events and they've found a place with like-minded people.  And these events are all relatable to everyday, rather than Big Dramatic Hollywood Tragedies.  Mays' telling of his freezing on a big day is brilliantly done.

 

I loved the fact that the script never took the piss out of them.  There is no "manning up", no laddish banter, no male bravado.  In fact, the only scene where there is conflict is immediately followed by them all apologising to each other because they all need each other.  The third rule of Swim Club - "Don't ask.  Don't tell." is the setup for "Don't ask.  But tell when you feel like it. But no pressure." Graves character is living with the consequences of losing his marriage because he had an affair and trying to make amends in small ways because he's a fundamentally good person who fucked up through human weakness.  It's easy to play it as a lothario but the story of him and his unspoken attraction to the swimming instructor is a nice reversal - he has gone from not controlling his emotions to controlling them too much.

 

I've seen Brydons character described as a selfish arsehole.  He is, but because of external circumstance.  He's not just highly successful in a job that he hates and is intellectually killing him, but near the end you realise just why it is intellectually killing him.  And everyone has been in a similar situation of feeling trapped by your own success.

 

It is easy to compare it to the Full Monty - but where Gaz and co got to rage and fight back against the outside world - Swimming with Men chooses to look at the ordinariness of being a bloke.  The message is not "fight back", but "it's OK". It's OK to feel like you've failed, or that there is a big hole in your life that can never be filled.  And in a country when great strides have been made on mental health - particularly male mental heath - I think that this film has an important message in helping that.

 

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Juggernaut (1974)

A very British disaster.

I recorded this a year or two ago and finally watched it earlier in the week. A terrorist has planted seven bombs on a luxury British cruise liner, The Britannic, and demands a ransom of £500,000 (Dr Evil.jpg). It's up to Navy bomb disposal expert Richard Harris to disarm them before dawn of the next day at which point the bombs are due to explode.

 

I think I'd call this a bit of a curate's egg. It certainly has an interesting political dimension as it appears to be an allegory of the decline of Britain in the 1960s and 70s and how successive governments of the day were held hostage by the unions over wage demands. The stormy weather causes widespread seasickness among the passengers - Britain very much the sick man of Europe. I'm not sure if the allegory goes deeper, with individual characters representing key figures of the time, as my historical knowledge is a bit vague. For example, there's a bloke who does little more than just walk around the ship, coming into shot and back out again while other characters share the focus. Not sure who or what he's supposed to represent - maybe some ineffectual political leader.

 

The film itself, however, is pretty lacklustre. It has a lot of acting talent - as well as Harris, there's a bright-eyed Anthony Hopkins, a dark-haired Ian Holm (more striking than it sounds), David Hemmings, Omar Shariff and a whole load of minor British actors that will have you saying 'Oh, it's him from...' It also has the tobacco-chewing sheriff from a couple of the Roger Moore Bond films, and Roy Kinnear being Roy Kinnear. Yet despite all those names no-one does very much with the material; Harris and Holm are probably the standouts. Even though the script has some mild intrigue, everything's all low key and never given much life due to the flat, staid direction (by Richard Lester) that's typical of many British films of that time. The best bits, or at least the ones with any degree of tension, are the bomb disposal scenes - lots of close-ups of mechanisms, shaking hands, red wire vs. blue wire, etc - and it was largely shot on a ship during a storm, which lends some genuine authenticity to it.

 

Worth a watch if you have any interest in British political history or if you're a die-hard fan of terrorist/disaster films, but it's certainly not a great example of the genre.


 

 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the episodes of Macgyer is a remake of Juggernaut. It's shortened runtime really ups the feeling of pressure and I recall really enjoying it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

 

A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.

 

Stupider Ascending   is more like it , amirite?  Written and directed by The Wachowskis this is a fairly straightforward bit of guff where  a "chosen one" must save  humanity from a big bad , in this case our ancestors  spoiler * who live for millennia by turning the populations of planets into blue powerade and drinking it or taking baths in it . That shit is   50% of your average daily recommended sugar  or something equally horrific BTW.  Anyway , Channing Tatum is  a genetically spliced warrior  combination wolf/ human/marmoset/ whatever tasked with grabbing Jupiter (kunis) , said nobility, and delivering her to the intergalactic republic because she owns earth and eddie redmayne wants it. Or something, the story is a load of bollox and  I obviously wasn't interested. Redmayne is dire as the big bad, an overblown bombastic performance with little or no threat/ menace. Tatum is fine , Kunis has very little to do despite being one of the leads and yer one from orphan black and the commitments puts on  a wojus Russian accent as jupiter's mother.

 

Which all makes it sound like it's a load of shit, and it is, to an extent but what nearly saves it is the design and  a few of the set pieces. The look of the alien craft and general design of all the otherworldly stuff is  fantastic and really well done with some beautiful vibrant colours. Many of the designs are fish based and just really well imagined  so that aspect was really pleasing on the eye. Also some of the fighting and set pieces , in particular in downtown Chicago(?)  was high energy and again looked great while others were , if not up to the same standard, still decent in their own way.it's also reasonably brutal  but most "deaths" are of alien CGI characters  so nothing too gory.

 

So all in all, a bit shit  but actually worth a watch as  even if the story is pretty slight and some of the performances a bit naff there's quite a bit to like in this from a visual perspective.

 

2.5/5

 

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Goose said:

Loved Juggernaut back in the day. You could probably double-bill it with The Cassandra Crossing.

Nah. North Sea Hijack is the one to pair it with ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Goose said:

Loved Juggernaut back in the day. You could probably double-bill it with The Cassandra Crossing.

I watched The Cassandra Crossing a few weeks back. It’s awful, but I still love it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time Bomb (2006)

Terrorists have planted bombs in a Washington football stadium and are demanding $100million. Can they be stopped? TV movie that doesn't even try to avoid the usual cliches, in fact I suspect when they wrote this they brainstormed every known cliche going:

- Shot of Washington DC from above with radio news telling us about a big event.
- Law-enforcement father unable to make American football game due to terrorism.
- Family just happen to be at the same place where terrorism is going to happen.
- Football game in progress acts as heavy-handed metaphor for action going on elsewhere.
- Devil-may-care bomb squad members banter.
- Terrorists with dodgy unplaceable foreign accents.
- Ball-breaking woman boss in her 50s on comms whilst wandering around HQ.
- "We don't negotiate with terrorists"
.... and there are more besides. You won't find anything remotely original here, but to its credit it is well put together, there's just enough twistiness in the plot to keep things ticking along, and whilst David Arquette is a woefully inadequate lead he isn't completely useless, it's just they could have got anyone else in and done a better job of it. If you've watched many of these sort of films before you may just get riled up enough to switch off, but less-demanding viewers will get a suspensful if hugely unoriginal watch. I'd recommend you check out something like Black Sunday or the even more similar Two Minute Warning, the original American-football-in-peril thriller.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atomic Blonde (2017)

 

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

 

Charlize Theron and James McAvoy star in this spy "caper" based on a graphic novel it seems where Theron is the Ice cold MI6 agent sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of her lover and  to get the same mcguffin that they needed in the original  mission impossible movie. These lists must get thrown together at the same time the shopping one is done. Anyway what follows is a game of cat and mouse as Broughton(theron)  digs into the Percival (McAvoy) who seems less than snow white in his approach to the cold war divide.Eddie Marsan, John Goodman and Toby Jones  are also in it as various supporting characters and it shows the strength of the movie that such quality are happy in bit parts.

 

I mentioned in the dedicated thread a few years ago that the action looked a little unconvincing as you could see Theron not connect with her punches and while it may be true it's a silly thing to bring up as unless you're really looking for it you wouldn't notice. Fights in this are brutal , long and very well done- there's a level of apparent physicality that eclipses the Bourne movies because is shot steady and you can see every thrown punch, kick and stab. The story is pretty straightforward and just keep the characters moving on to each new action set piece. Theron  and McAvoy are both great as the deadly ice maiden and sleazy broker MI6  agents respectively with McAvoy especially  looking like he's enjoying himself.

 

All in all a fantastic action movie the with Theron proving between Mad Max Fury road and this that she is  fantastic  in action roles.

 

4.5/5

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My family went away for the weekend and I had quite a lot of work on meaning I didn't have much energy in the evenings. Film time, and with nobody else to watch with I could get through stuff I knew wouldn't likely be popular.

 

Kill List

I think this has been talked about a few times on this thread. Deliberately didn't read much about this one beforehand so apologies if I re-tread old ground. I've seen High Rise and A Field In England before so I expected something a bit offbeat. And yeah, it didn't disappoint. Opening with some of that low key British Film thing where people are having regular domestic times with an undercurrent of Something Bad. The hitman and his mate get a contract to kill three people in what seems a fairly routine task for them. And, lo, it starts to go wrong and things unravel. Wicker Man vibes increase, along with the gore.

I found myself thinking through much of the last third that events were a bit ludicrous, but then several hours later working backwards from the conclusion realising how they're all kinda plausible actually if you accept the setup. And even that, as ridiculous as it kind of appears on the face of it, when you read of that Nxivm group and things well maybe it's not even so hugely farfetched after all!

 

You Were Never Really Here

This one's a bit more of a straight story, except that it's got Joaquin mumbling and hallucinating and flashbacking his way through it and Jonny Greenwood making very loud discordant noises every now and again. Gotta love playing the volume up/down game trying desperately to hear the dialogue without being deafened immediately after (and this on a pretty good 5.1 setup). Freelance sex-trafficked-girl rescuer rescues a girl from sex trafficking but then it turns out that bigger powers were involved and she gets abducted again. I might've been a little startled by some of the lump-hammer action but I'd seen Kill List the night before so no. Phoenix does a good job of playing a damaged man in a bad situation.

 

Train to Busan

I noticed it was coming off Amazon Prime 'soon' so I thought I might as well give it a go. Koreans make heavy allegories about following authorities unquestioningly and looking out for others vs being selfish. Also a lot of people get et by zombies. This was pretty funny. I don't think it necessarily needs or stands any deeper analysis than that though. I loved the long shots of the train arriving into rail yards.

 

 

Overall my wife would probably not have liked any of these and I had quite a good time. It's a winner.

  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kill List is one that still creeps me out if I think about it too much. It really disturbed me. The only other film I can remember that gives me that same feeling is Under the Skin. Loved them both but in no hurry to watch again.

 

I was off work sick for a few days last week and having started to watch Shane Meadows The Virtues on C4, I was in the mood to see some of his earlier stuff, so stuck on Dead Man's Shoes at 8am on Monday morning (it's on All4). Wow, that was a great watch, depressing, disturbing but just a brilliant revenge story that packs a huge punch in the end that just slowly dawns on you as you watch, and let's everything drop brilliantly into place. 

Its stayed in my mind since and is surely going to be in my top 10 for pictures watched this year. Paddy Considine, Toby Kebbel as his brother and Gary Stretch were all outstanding.

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

American Animals (Amazon Prime)

I’ve waited ages to see American Animals and it doesn’t disappoint.


Part documentary, part recreation of actual events, it tells the story of four teenagers who attempt to steal one of America’s most famous books (a famous illustrated bird book I'd previously heard about while reading The Big Year).
Where American Animals stands apart is the treatment of its narrative, which not only effortlessly switches between the real personalities and their actor counterparts, but also messes with traditional storytelling convention, so characters break the fourth wall, converse with their younger actor selves and constantly mess with the heist’s structure as the film painfully tries to recreate the events from each person’s viewpoint. It’s a neat concept that works exceptionally well thanks to the sheer charisma  of Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan and their actual real-life counterparts.
It’s all tied to an incredible soundtrack that would make Quintin Tarantino jealous and some beautifully crafted shots that cement why four young friends would take such incredible risks. It also reminded me of Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger (from a narrative standpoint).

4.5/5

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High Life (2019)

 

A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

 

With this and Prospect it’s been a good year so far for moody indie Sci Fi, and I’m loving it. This is my first Claire Denis film, and I’m now curious to see more. Robert Pattinson continues to make great career choices and just seems to keep getting better.

 

4.5/5

 

This didn’t come to a cinema near me so I bought the blu ray from Amazon France, and annoyingly you can’t turn off the French subtitles. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great summation of American Animals, Strider, I also watched it via Amazon Prime recently and it's easily the best I've seen this year. Absolutely loved every minute of it.

 

And I'm really looking forward to seeing High Life at some point in the future. Soon I hope.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.