In the last week (and in addition to the horror flicks and creature-features I’m watching in October):
The Beguiled (Coppola, 2017) - competently made picture up and down, but didn’t say anything any differently than the original leaving me wondering just how much we needed this remake.
Hamburger Hill (Irvin, 1987) - Left behind a little by its more illustrious eighties Vietnam War movie counterparts Platoon (Stone, 1986), Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick, 1987) and perhaps even Good Morning Vietnam (Levinson, 1987), Hamburger Hill is nonetheless often cited by veterans of the conflict as the movie which most accurately nails what it was like out there. It appears to have drawn charges of being a pro-war movie but I don’t think I saw that; I saw a pro-soldier movie, certainly. I just think a few scenes intended to illustrate how popular opinion was turning against the war back home maybe look as though they’ve merely painted objectors to the war as know-nothing hippie students. Anyway, the battle sequences were as chaotic and horrifying as I would imagine it was out there and, in the end, it all seemed to be a bit fruitless; which, again, doubtless contributes to the movie’s overall authenticity.
Fermat’s Room (Piedrahita/Sopeña, 2007) - a quartet of brilliant mathematicians blithely accept invitations by a mystery host to a mystery location (with a request that they don’t bring mobile phones with them) in order to assist with an as-yet-unsolved mathematical equation. Hang on, aren’t they supposed to be brilliantly intelligent? Oh well, no matter; off they go and, of course, it’s a trap. D’oh! They find themselves trapped in the room, being sent the sort of vaguely entertaining mathmagical puzzles you find these days on YouTube and such over an old PDA (you know: Two guards guard two doors. One door leads to your freedom, one to your death, but you don’t know which is which. One guard will always tell the truth, the other will always lie, but again, you don’t know which is which. You can only ask ONE question in order to identify which door you need to take, but what question will you ask and to which guard will you pose the question?). Anyway, failure to solve these puzzles within the allotted time causes the walls of the room to push inward. Will our brainiacs survive long enough to work out who brought them here, and why?
Pfft. I didn’t like any of the protagonists, I thought their very participation reeked of a boneheadedness these people weren’t supposed to possess, the puzzles supposedly designed to tax these numbers geniuses were little more than parlour conundrums and, once we reached the big reveal as to what in shitting bumwrong was happening, it was possibly the lamest excuse for having set up a murderous Saw trap ever. I bought Fermat’s Room on DVD years ago blind off the back of some strong reviews but, for whatever reason, I hadn’t ever gotten around to watching it (I’ve got at least sixty movies in my collection I’ve never seen, I reckon, and I’m finally grasping that nettle and attempting to get them all watched). Well, it’s watched now, and all I really want to calculate is how to get those ninety minutes of my life back.