Ok … that’s on my to do list - Thanks guys
The Grey (2011) - Director: Joe Carnahan - 7/10 - I like the modern sheen the movie has and the way it portrays the story and its characters to the audience. It’s not a film solely centered on the question of survival, it also revolves around the concept of human cooperation in dire circumstances.
Thelma and Louise (1991) - Director: Ridley Scott - 7/10 - Its tongue-and-cheek humor is the element that firmly distinguishes it from the rest of similar efforts. The characters are pretty good too, but it all feels fairly simple and not that special despite its popularity and critical acclaim. i liked it and that’s about it.
The Grifters (1990) - Director: Stephen Frears - 6/10 - It’s a weird one. It feels very noir-ish for a neo-noir in the sense that it lacks the distinctive modern look these 1990s movies have. Motif-wise, this has a lot more in common with classic noir ventures rather than modern takes on the genre, other than all the explicit screwing around perhaps. I thought it was okay, but I failed to see the grandeur it supposedly had.
Romeo is Bleeding (1993) - Director: Peter Medak - 5/10 - What a mess of a movie. The motion picture is so over-the-top in so many departments that it literally makes your head spin. The obvious issue here is the voice-over which varies from mildly bothersome to pretty irritating at several points. Its virtually unremitting presence in conjunction with somewhat caricatural characters render this one quite odd to view. There were some things I liked and a lot that I did not.
The Crush (1993) - Director: Alan Shapiro - 4/10 - At least it’s entertaining most of the time. I think the movie falls under the so-bad-it’s-good category, since it excels at all kinds of stupid shit and the main female villain is hilarious in her role. Some chuckles guaranteed. The finale takes the cake though.
The Caller (1987) - Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman - 6/10 - Now this is really something. There are some movies that are considered curios, so to speak, and these films have got an assortment of narrative elements that differentiate them from other efforts of their kind. Then there are some complete oddities which are intrinsically outlandish by virtue of their unusual plot or their exceptional overall execution. They’re easily recognizable and unforgettable in their own ways. The Caller, however, is probably the only movie which is so opaque that I had to wait till the climax to find out what the hell was going on. Most of the time, it’s pretty talky which might bother some people, but the trick is that you never quite know where it will all lead or even where it’s all coming from for that matter. There are no clues as to what kind of genre it is, no indications of how the plot will evolve. And the final twist must be one of the most mind-melting turnabouts ever eternalized on film. Even if I don’t love the flick, I’ve got to say that it is truly something special and quite original. Don’t read anything about the film, just see it for yourself if you find the premise intriguing enough. A must see for lovers of weird cinema.
Bright Lights, Big City (1988) - Director: James Bridges - 4/10 - While viewing the motion picture, I’ve never noticed the metropolitan luster that is supposed to be there which readily attests to the dearth of stylistic talent at work here. Apart from Michael J. Fox being a complete miscast, the film doesn’t have much to offer in terms of dramatic energy or stylistic neon lushness. For a movie about this dynamic urban lifestyle revolving around booze, coke, hanky-panky and whatnot, it feels remarkably inert and shallow. The script feels muddled as well and other than some occasional display of decent acting, there is very little of interest to see here.
Write to Kill (1991) - Director: Ruben Preuss - 6/10 - It kicks off in a pretty impressive way, however, after 30 minutes or so, it loses most of that initial impetus, there is hardly any sort of a narrative focus and ultimately, the venture gets too convoluted for its own good. The cast is outstanding though and makes this one worth a look.
Hero (1992) - Director: Stephen Frears - 6/10 - It’s a more lighthearted take on the issue of media hysteria that is also the primary topic of Lumet’s Network. It’s pretty funny, not sure what else to write about this, so I’m just gonna move on. I’m a lazy ass.
Survivor (1987) - Director: Michael Shackleton - 4/10 - Pretty odd. It’s a very slow-paced post apocalyptic drama that despite being recounted in a fairly straightforward fashion, gets muddled and out-of-focus on several occasions. The thing that makes this one well-worth a watch is its incredibly sinister tone and the final monologue by its antagonist played by RIchard Moll I believe. I would love to give this one a 5/10, but there are some conspicuous problems with the storytelling, most notably an excessive use of voice-over, which attempts to clarify everything for us (we can hear thoughts of both protagonists, a male and a female respectively, which is a bit of a stylistic and narrative pain in the ass if you ask me). Regardless of my low rating, it’s still pretty good. all things considered. If you crave for a somber piece of post-apocalyptic drama and some doom gloom, it might be right up your alley. The pop rock song at the end is absolutely abysmal though, it has to be heard to be believed, almost puked on my screen.
China Moon (1994) - Director: John Bailey - 5/10 - It’s all too familiar to be of any interest to me. It’s fairly well acted and the ending is ironic in a classically noir fashion, however, the middle section of the film lacks any sort of verve. Again, not sure what else to say, I’m a lazy ass. It’s one of lesser 1990s neo-noir efforts.
Backfire (1988) - Director: Gilbert Cates - 5/10 - It’s hilarious when you can tell 20 minutes in where it’s all going to go. The premise itself isn’t that much of a problem, it’s just that the way the story is presented to the viewer that gives the game away way too early on account of the rendition being solely passable and not adequately dexterous to underpin the central mystery with a more sophisticated narrative subterfuge of some sort, so to speak. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it, but it could really come to life with some proper direction. Still, it’s fairly entertaining, even if it feels a little too predictable.
Lost Angels (1989) - Director: Hugh Hudson - 6/10 - It works perfectly well for me. It might not be the most pellucid motion picture of this sort, but it depicts its central story fairly well and the characters at the core of the drama, for one, are a lot more likable than the ones from Less Than Zero for instance. I had no issues with Horowitz’s acting here, I even think he does a good job. It’s mostly Sutherland’s movie to be honest and his performance as a charismatic psychiatrist grappling with his professional and private life is very moving. Again, not the most taut movie there is out there, but it does the trick.
Spellbinder (1988) - Director: Janet Greek - 5/10 - The sound design on this thing is really good and the atmosphere is a very immersive one… up to a point. It all degenerates into this pop culture horror turd in the second half and the denouement is about as shocking as watching raindrops patter against the window: it’s just so obvious where it’s all going I wish they would… I don’t know… who gives a crap. The movie clearly tried to tap into the the satanic panic of the 1980s. While initially intriguing and appropriately creepy, the moment the satanic karate lady starts flying around throwing punches and shit, it irreversibly takes a cheesy direction. It’s basically a Hollywood regurgitation of The Wicker Man with a duly trashy mise-en-scene and an occult twist to it. I liked the first part a lot though. The witch casting spells in Latin with her quasi-Valleyspeak accent was highly amusing.
Tropical Snow (1988) - Director: Ciro Durán - 4/10 - It all looks fairly well on paper, but it is an awful snooze of a thriller. It’s basically about Colombian coke smugglers trying to make ends meet while staying true to their principles which ain’t easy. On account of their poor financial situation, a boy and a gurl try to smuggle some cocaine in their stomachs, earn some money while in the US of fuckin’ A and send some moolah to their families back in Colombia. Sounds exciting, but it ain’t for some reason. The director does absolutely nothing of note to enliven the piece with some interesting narrative maneuver. The film feels extremely languid in the sense that the plot advances in a dead-on straightforward way and unless you haven’t seen a story like that before (I assure you that you have), then there is hardly anything of interest here other than Stowe’s appealing physicality. At some points, it almost feels as if the motion picture entirely pivoted on the well-endowed body of Stowe which was quite hilarious.
Cat Chaser (1989) - Director: Abel Ferrara - 6/10 - Despite having been butchered in the editing room at the time of its release, it’s still fairly watchable and entertaining. It reportedly bears little resemblance to the novel it’s based on, but if you approach it with an open mind, you should find this sufficiently diverting. Ferrara has a flair for endowing his efforts and the depravity found therein with a satisfactory amount of style that makes his flicks a pleasure to view, this one not being an exception.
Just watched Hornet’s Nest with Rock Hudson. It’s like Force 10 from Navarone but with kids…
That’s one of my favorite postapo movies and it was a big surprise when I came across it years ago. Definitely in my Top 20 of PA movies alongside with Hardware (ehm, ehm). Didn’t mind the voice-over, on the contrary, a big plus for me, especially in underground scenes. I probably like this more than some well established classics like Blade Runner. And whats wrong with the song in the end? I think it is great.
… and weird Morricone music too
The things I disliked about it:
At the very onset, not only do we get a series of flashbacks (the protagonist recounts how he ended up on the ship where he is at the time of the recollection), but we also get some flashforwards which introduces all kinds of narrative issues. When you’re watching it for the first time, you may have trouble wrapping your head around what the hell is going on. It’s pretty messy at the very least. It wasn’t the thing that bothered me all that much, but it’s definitely a flaw that is there all right.
The voice-over in and of itself isn’t this much of a problem, but let’s face it, any usage of voice-over should be seen as the last recourse for a filmmaker to implement: directors really should rely on the means of the medium they’re working with instead of resorting to the literary prosthesis that voice-over ultimately is. And the thing is it isn’t used in any imaginative way, but even that isn’t the issue here. Problems arise when the protagonist encounters the female lead and this is where things begin to deteriorate in a conspicuous way. As much as I really enjoyed most of the previous stuff, the story starts to congest and drag in a very salient manner. In order to make amends for this narrative impasse, the director uses the voice-over which isn’t a way you want to go about it. And what makes things worse is that the female’s voice acting is just awful and there is way too much of voice-over thrown in there. The voice-over monologues are awful, the dialogues are mediocre at best. It might not have bothered you, but I found it to be incredibly insipid and kind of vexing.
The direction itself is solely tolerable at best. There are some nicely executed scenes, but there are lots of sequences which are filmed in an inadequate fashion. Shackleton oftentimes tries deploying slo-mo with a view to breathing life into the motion picture, but these moments are handled sloppily and the slo-mo is incompatible with these parts. While there are some segments that are quite good, a large chunk of the movie feels somewhat slapdash in my book. The rendition of the final showdown leaves a lot to be desired.
The film is very erratic and uneven in terms of quality. While the pacing is quite steady, it gets a little bit too slow in the middle section and the lady that appears in the movie has no charisma nor any considerable acting skills to successfully pull off what she is supposed to do in front of the camera. Thankfully, she disappears later on.
Richard Moll is bloody fantastic as the nefarious bad guy rambling about the creation of a new human species largely predicated upon his genetic heritage. The atmosphere is very sinister, unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s very evocative and replete with a miasmic sense of doom, but these elements alone do not ensure a superior quality of the filmmaking at hand.
And the final song, while perhaps not as awful as I might’ve described above, is pretty bad in my estimation. Very cheesy and detracts from the lugubrious ambiance quite a lot. It should not be there at all, it affects the atmosphere in a deleterious way and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I guess if I were to pick my favorite obscure postapo, it would be something like The Quiet Earth (1985), but that movie is way, way better. It’s so good that I can easily see it as one of my all time favorites. Survivor (1987) isn’t just all that good IMHO and is too flawed to be viewed by me as something more than a curio with some interesting ideas here and there. But I can totally understand why you like it, it’s evocative and has a lot to offer with regard to pure cinematic atmosphere and with its pervasive doom gloom.
Today’s triple feature was
Escobar: Paradise Lost
The Magnificent Seven (remake)
How it Ends
Oh My God. Ok, let’s do this.
I have only slight understanding what you’re talking about since I’ve seen the movie some four years ago last time, but don’t remember having any issues with it in this manner. Hm, I really don’t know.
Not in my book. I like usage of voiceovers in some movies, and dislike in others. I don’t need it in Blade Runner, but I like it in Sin City or Survivor.
I would disagree. Can’t say every inner monologue of the hero is amazing piece of screenwriting, but as it somehow helped me relate to the hero more than if there was just silence. If I remember correctly there was a scene in underground, when he was fighting some henchmen and use of voiceover dramatically elevated the scene and whole experience.
I might agree on this, I remember some scenes could have been directed better, but you know, I think the same about lot of my favorite movies: Fistful Of Dollars, Companeros, For a few dollars more, Django, Great Silence… ehm, ehm
I disagree, it is one of the best postapo movies I’ve seen.
On this I absolutely agree.
And on this I absolutely disagree. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth? Didn’t happen in my case. I liked also usage of rock pop songs (or whatever it was) in several others postapo flicks: Hardware, Radioactive Dreams …
Well, I rewatched Quiet Earth lately, and I must say to my astonishment, since it has also been one of my favorites, that this time it fell rather flat. I mean, it was kinda boring, with some good stuff at the beginning and unfortunately very short fascinating scene in the end. I was just telling myself after the watching, what the bloody hell I liked that much about it, because, truthfully, there was not much stuff to relate, and when it comes to “Last man on Earth” kind of movies, I’d say, if there is not that final mindfuck scene, it is actually pretty mediocre. I’ve just seen better.
ROUND THREE… FIGHT!
Not trying to change your mind or even to bust your balls, just clarifying my position with regard to the film. I might’ve been somewhat vague in my brief assessment of the movie, therefore, I decided to elaborate on that a little bit, just so that you may rise to my criticism and comprehend my stance here.
I especially had gripes with the middle section of the movie which drags on for far too long and the way it misuses voice-over is most apparent and particularly painful in that instant. The female lead is just awful, the voice-over of the main hero isn’t that much of an issue though and the rest of the movie doesn’t suffer from it to this extent.
My problem was not the usage of pop rock per se, it was that particular song (or whatever that was) that annoyed me to some degree. Whatever I might think about Hardware, its soundtrack was stellar and uses one of my favorite songs (Public Image Ltd. - The Order Of Death), which greatly amplifies its specific atmosphere. In case of Survivor, the final song is just too gleeful and doesn’t harmonize with the remainder of the piece very well. IMHO, of course.
ehm, ehm… I agree to some extent, yes. It’s just that I found it to be somewhat more flawed than those aforementioned films… ehm, ehm… anyway…
I loved all of it last time, but it might be… ehm… not as good the next time around… ehm, ehm…I need to take some throat lozenges, these coughing fits are contagious apparently.
BTW, would you be so kind and share your Top 20 list of postapo movies?
I guess it’s no win scenario for both of us anyway.
That female lead won’t let you sleep at night. Horrible, horrible female lead.
Yes, that’s one of my fav songs too, whatever I think about Hardware.
Here it is in all its glory, shiny and chrome.
- Mad Max Fury Road
- The Road Warrior
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
- Escape From NY
- Sunshine (Danny Boyle)
- Blade Runner 2049
- Spirits Of The Air Gremlins Of The Dust (Alex Proyas)
- Twelve Monkeys
- Hardware MARK 13
- The Road
- Waterworld - Ulysses Cut
- Blame! (anime)
- Survivor (Shackleton)
- Salute Of The Jugger
- The Rover (Guy Pearce)
- Quintet (Robert Altman)
- Cyborg (Albert Pyun)
If you had compiled yours TOP, I would like to see that too.
Honorable mentions: Le Dernier Combat (Luc Besson), A Boy And His Dog, Quiet Earth, Battletruck, Threads, Radioactive Dreams (Pyun), Knights (Pyun), Wall-E, Logan’s Run, Silent Running, Book Of Eli, Hunger Games Mockingjay, Damnation Alley, Exterminators Of The Year 3000, Spacehunter Adventures In Forbidden Zone, Oblivion (Tom Cruise), Idaho Transfer, Human Highway (Neil Young), Gunhed and first 15 minutes of Zardoz
Goofy fun: Six String Samurai, Interzone (I have this in TOP, it’s just so bad, it’s actually great), Tank Girl, Cherry 2000, Barb Wire, Rising Storm, Warrior Of The Lost World (quintessential supertrash, very funny)
As you probably noticed there are no zombie PA in the list. One would strongly suggest what the hell is wrong with me to not include any Romero’s flick, but I’m probably not that enthusiastic about zombies, and its recent mass infestation of every fucking medium (comics, movies, shows, mobile games), didn’t help either. Fuck zombies.
Oooh, but Tomas, where are some italian postapo movies? Did yoy forget include some of them on purpose, right? No, I didn’t! Contrary to spaghetti westerns, italian postapo flicks suck big time. Okay, maybe Exterminators is not that bad, so I put it in Honorable mentions, Bronx Warriors has some good bits in it, and Final Executioner could have been so great, if someone competent made it, but that’s about it.
Also, there are multiple Cirio Santiago’s Madmax ripp offs, which are mostly quite entertaining, but in my book have zero value to the PA genre.
I also didn’t include Terminator movies, which are for me just cyborg time travel movies with some flashbacks of the PA future, which is nothing. At least first three Terminator movies. I would heartily include fourth one - Terminator Salvation, which is finally set in that goddamn PA future, only if it didn’t suck!
There are no Planet Of The Apes movies on the list either, because I don’t remember much of them, and I hate apes almost that much as zombies. Yuck, apes. I have to rewatch at least the original. I’ve seen the new one recently, which was surprisingly pretty good, but that wasn’t really a postapo, but those other two parts are, so I’m looking forward to it.
First time watched this, and what a gem this is, for me at least. Brando was great and loved the score.
Seen it a few years ago, and liked it ok - Since then I picked up the MGM DVD which I’ve yet to watch.
Maybe I will watch the DVD, and if I get hooked, then think about upgrading to this BD
I feel I’m not well-versed enough, but I sure love a lot of the films you’ve already listed: Sunshine is a good 'un, The Road, Twelve Monkeys, Salute Of The Jugger, all Mad Max movies, Surv… wait, no, ehm, ehm. I loved the new Blade Runner, but I thought Interstellar was merely decent, a little too Hollywoodian to my taste.
I like both Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead a lot, not much love for the first installment in the series though, no idea why. Just feels kinda… well… boring. And it’s right you haven’t included Zombie flicks, as these feel different altogether. And I don’t care about the genre as a whole, most of it is stylistically preoccupied with cheesy shit and is not all that interesting to my mind. Oh, and I loved 28 Days Later… too BTW.
Poor apes, what have they done to you?
It’s good, but it can’t hold a candle to The Battle of Algiers which is an absolute masterpiece. It’s got some remarkably abrupt narrative transitions and is not as engrossing. Queimada has the best soundtrack in the whole effing world though, one of my favorite soundtracks of all time, it’s sublime music.
Morricone must like it too - as it’s performed in his live repertoire, which is one of the highlights for sure.
Yeah, I’ve attended one of his concerts and man, the way all these drums reverberated across the concert hall was veritably mindblowing. A truly unforgettable experience. As much as I am content with listening to vanilla digital copies of my favorite music, hearing Queimada played live by a complete orchestra conducted by the maestro himself was something genuinely special.
I’ve never seen it, so thanks for the tip.
You’re welcome, Lone Gringo. It’s both dexterously filmed and snappily edited which makes it one of the best and more importantly, one of the most enjoyable films of its kind. It has also proved to a tremendously influential movie over the years.
Last ten days:
5 Centimetres per Second (Shinkai, 2007)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, 2001)
Blockers (Cannon, 2018)
Holy Motors (Carax, 2012)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Jackson, 2002)
The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King (Jackson, 2003)
Open Water (Kentis, 2003)
The Foot Fist Way (Hill, 2006)
Rat Pfink a Boo-Boo (Steckler, 1966)
Metropolis (Rintaro, 2001)
The Bourne Ultimatum (Greengrass, 2007)
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (Hillenburg, 2004)
Cars (Lasseter, 2006)
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, 2006)
Paprika (Kon, 2006)
Black Hawk Down (Scott, 2001)
Monster’s Ball (Forster, 2001)
District 9 (Blomkamp, 2009)
21 Grams (Iñárritu, 2003)
Mission: Impossible (De Palma, 1996)
Mission: Impossible 2 (Woo, 2000)
Star Trek (Abrams, 2009)
Dead Man’s Shoes (Meadows, 2004)
Mission: Impossible 3 (Abrams, 2006)
30 Days of Night (Slade, 2007)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Bird, 2011)
The Devil’s Rejects (Zombie, 2005)
More-or-less halfway through my “Favourites From the 2000s” challenge.
Valerian and the City of a thousand of a thousand Planets (Luc Besson, 2017)
Besson’s latest, a sf-fantasy-adventure movie; comparisons to the director’s The Fifth Element are mandatory and the film holds its own quite well, even if British model Cara Delevigne lacks Milla Jovovich’s star power. Based on a popular French cartoon the script is - obviously - paper thin, but visually Valerian (etc.) is absolutely stunning, overwhelming, a sort of The Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars meets Avatar, only bigger (but not necessarily better). It’s of course style over content, but it’s a hell of a ride through space and time and those images of the peaceful planet of Mül will give you the idea you really are watching paradise.
Open Range (Kevin Costner, 2003)
A rewatch. Actually another example of style over content. It tells a classic story about a local tyrant of a rancher and a couple of cowboys who still believe in free-grazing. There are no real surprises and the script is a bit over-explicative, with too many scenes of characters explaining their motivations to do this or that, or to help (or thwart) this or that person. They should’ve trimmed it by at least a quarter of an hour, but the whole thing is filmed in the style of the great westerns and Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall are a great couple of cowboys. And that protracted, violent shootout is one of the best in recent history
Beast (2018, Michael Pearce)
Watched in cinema. A British … well, what is it? A drama? A thriller? An arthouse romantic thriller drama? A character study maybe? It’s set within a small island community (Jersey, one of the Channel Islands), and tells the story of 27 year old woman who still lives with her dominant mother, who wants her to look after her father, who’s suffering from Alzheimer and losing touch with reality. She feels attracted to an enigmatic stranger, an outsider who offers her a way out of the deadlock, but who also might be the man who’s responsible for a series of killings on the island. Beast is Pearce’s first feature-length movie, and there’s no doubt that he’s a promising young director, but his movie is far from perfect. Yes, it is promising, it is intriguing, but it’s also uneven. Works best as a drama, in fact the thriller aspects become more artificial (and confusing) as the film progresses. Jessie Buckley is sensational as the emotionally cramped young woman.
Rampage (2018, Brad Peyton)
The film opens with a scene set in space station orbiting the earth. It is used as a laboratory by a company specialized in gene manipulation and the crew of the station is nearly completely annihilated by a mutated rat that has grown bigger and become terribly aggressive. This opening scene is pure horror, and it’s also quite good, but unfortunately it’s also the best (and virtually the only good) scene of the entire movie. This cross between King Kong, Godzilla and The Rock is a real stinker. Don’t ask me why I watched this mess