Actually a lot of people do. I don’t understand that either.
Convoy has some excellent scenes other good directors never will manage to create in their best films.
Actually a lot of people do. I don’t understand that either.
Convoy has some excellent scenes other good directors never will manage to create in their best films.
Having seen it for the first time now, I would speculate that it had to inspire a lot George Miller. And not only for Road Warrior, but also Fury Road.
And it’s problably one of his most political films
An In-Valid dreams of becoming an astronaut, a possibility only open to Valids. Find out what Valids and In-Valids are in the Furure society of Gattica
Halloween (2018) - Pleasantly surprised, but I shook my head at all the pointless tributes it made to the original film.
Over the last week:
Lovely Molly (Sánchez, 2012)
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Øvredal, 2016)
The Wailing (Na, 2016)
V/H/S/2 (Barrett/Wingard/Sánchez/Hale/Tjahjanto/Evans/Eisener, 2013)
Blair Witch (Wingard, 2016)
Grave Encounters (Minihan/Ortiz, 2011)
Get Out (Peele, 2017)
Don’t Breathe (Álvarez, 2016)
Lights Out (Sandberg, 2016)
It (Muschietti, 2017)
It Follows (Mitchell, 2014)
It Comes at Night (Shults, 2017)
The Babadook (Kent, 2014)
Sinister (Derrickson, 2012)
The Lords of Salem (Zombie, 2012)
The Conjuring (Wan, 2013)
The Conjuring 2 (Wan, 2016)
Annabelle: Creation (Sandberg, 2017)
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (aka February) (Perkins, 2017)
Hereditary (Aster, 2018)
The Witch (Eggers, 2015)
Three horrors a day for a week. That was brutal, and I can’t see myself doing that again. I mean those movies are among my favourite horrors of the decade so I assumed it would be a relative breeze but because of the serious, doom-and-gloom horror I’m generally into, these triple-bills were sucking the air out of the room. A couple of years ago I went with a proper horror and a “fun” horror like a Scooby Doo movie or a Goosebumps or somesuch (and even the “proper” horror choices included more fun entries such as Tales of Halloween or Trick r Treat), and it was great. Resting all of the more traditional pics - I didn’t watch a single Halloween-centric movie - was also a mistake. I feel as though I’ve been so busy watching horror movies, I’ve missed Halloween altogether.
Oh well. Live and learn.
Note to Self:
Stop picking up Blu Ray movies just because they’re at a bargain price…
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Shores - what a long drawn out, unexciting bore! Didn’t get to the end, but don’t think that matters much.
PS: Had no idea what a rotten actress Penelope Cruz is … and no big deal in the looks department either, but as Tom Cruise’s former “partner”, I’m sure her career is guaranteed.
This cost $250,000,000 and I am generously giving it a 3 out of 10
A few horrors I watched in October:
Ringu - (Nakata, 1998) - 4/5
REC - (Balagueró/Plaza, 2007) - 4.5/5
REC 2 - (Balagueró/Plaza, 2009) - 4.5/5
What Have You Done to Solange? - (Dallamano, 1972) - 4/5
Short Night of Glass Dolls - (Lado, 1971) - 4/5
The Bloodstained Shadow - (Bido, 1978) - 4/5
Island of Death - (Mastorakis, 1977) - 3.5/5
Driller Killer - (Ferrara, 1979) - 4/5
Blood Rage - (Grissmer, 1987) - 3.5/5
Rabid - (Cronenberg 1977) - 3.5/5
Two Evil Eyes - (Romero/Argento, 1990) - 4/5
Deathdream - (Clark, 1974) - 4/5
Inferno - (Argento, 1980) - 4/5
Candyman - (Rose, 1992) - 4/5
The Babadook - (Kent, 2014) - 3/5
Oculus - (Flanagan, 2013) - 4/5
The Witch - (Eggers, 2015) - 4/5
Don’t Breathe - (Alvarez, 2016) - 4/5
V/H/S - (Wingard/Bruckner/West/McQuaid/Swanberg, 2012) - 3/5
Carrie - (De Palma, 1976) - 4/5
The Lords of Salem - (Zombie, 2012) - 3/5
Paranormal Activity 2 - (Williams, 2010) - 3/5
Paranormal Activity 3 - (Joost, 2011) - 2/5/5
Paranormal Activity 4 - (Joost/Schulman, 2012) - 2.5/5
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - (Landon, 2014) - 3.5/5
Halloween - (Zombie, 2007) - 2/5
Halloween H20 - (Miner, 1998) - 3/5
Halloween - (Green, 2018) - 4/5
He killed the goat because it was a willing slut, I guess? I can’t help but find that film ridiculously hilarious at times but the blow torch scene still bothers me.
A daft but fun little film. As for the score, I don’t even know what to say. I love the plane murder scene!
Disappointed sequel this was, nowhere near as good as the first one. It’s too bad though, because i do like Denzel, but man…this was so painful to watch for the simple fact that the main story was pretty poor and there wasn’t much kicking arse. 5/10
Mandy (2018) - Director: Panos Cosmatos - 3/10 - I’ve spoken to some people on the internet who hold the film in high regard and they seem genuinely infatuated with the motion picture in question, so I don’t think it’s not solely shills and disingenuous film critics creating all the hype. It got a 5-minute standing ovation at Cannes which doesn’t surprise me much, as most people attending there are usually a bunch of pretentious douchebags. Either way, I really don’t like the flick all that much. Everything, ranging from its monotonous palette of colors, abused color correction as well as filters, crassly choreographed action scenes, a dearth of a palpable storyline of any sort to some excessively thespian or completely nonsensical acting, is downright wretchedly paltry and stylistically kitschy to the point of being ludicrous and unintentionally laughable. Various cartoon interpolations thrown in there make little sense in the context of the skeletal plot and the narrative never substantiates the surreal atmosphere which is supposed to permeate the work at large. It is basically Beyond the Black Rainbow 2.0 with some new stuff thrown in there. It is superior to that film in quite a few respects which doesn’t really say much because that flick was downright fuckawful. I am always jubilant whenever there is a new surreal film coming out, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of Cosmatos’s style of filmmaking and that is not even to say that his body of works isn’t up my alley: a lot of it is incredibly vapid, vacuous filmmaking and I can’t say I appreciate much about Cosmatos’s singular touch. There were a handful of memorable moments in the movie, but the motion picture on the whole doesn’t work all that well IMHO.
Class Action (1991) - Director: Michael Apted - 7/10 - Despite falling into some legal drama bromides and certain patterns associated with the genre itself, the film has incredibly likable characters at its core and the central friction between the father and his daughter battling in a legal case is immaculately explored and depicted through a series of clashes. The pic concurrently details the legal proceedings as well as the evolving relationship between the father and his infant. By virtue of some compelling drama and splendid performances, the flick acquires a new dimension, which sets it apart from other smaller courtroom dramas like that.
JFK (1991) - Director: Oliver Stone - 9/10 - Stone’s best feature film IMHO and a stunning achievement within the conspiracy thriller subgenre. While Stone’s stylistic whimsicalities sometimes rub me the wrong way, JFK is a superior political thriller with a breathtakingly dexterous narration that faultlessly outlines a multitude of subplots and thematic motifs without being diegetically disarrayed or perplexing in its delivery of the central story. There is a phenomenal heft to the way in which Stone manages to pull off such an imposing task minus turning the story into an incomprehensible, insipid slog. The incredible thing about JFK is that it feels remarkably taut despite its considerable running time: Stone creates something exceedingly rich, complex, yet simultaneously gripping and intrinsically cohesive.
Sneakers (1992) - Director: Phil Alden Robinson - 6/10 - It is a passable little crime comedy: there isn’t exactly much depth to the story that is presented to us, but I guess it delivers enough laughs and thrills or whatever, suffice to say, its storytelling keeps things relatively engrossing, plus several synths make an appearance, most notably a rack version of SCI Prophet 2000.
Blind Fury (1989) - Director: Phillip Noyce - 5/10 - A decent little comedy with Rutger Hauer in the lead. It is a ridiculous take on Zatoichi tale which simultaneously lampoons the concept of a blind swordman as well as tries to endow its plot with some depth by delineating its juvenile character’s struggle to cope with the loss of his mother. Make no mistake and don’t read into it too much, for it is a vanilla asinine comedy vehicle with not so much character development or drama going on. Just take delectation in carefree sword swashing and some extra kabooms and you should find it diverting enough.
The Others (2001) - Director: Alejandro Amenabar - 5/10 - I’m not sure what to say about it other than that it is a very straightforward mainstream horror crowd pleaser: not audacious enough to transcend its basic limitations and nowhere nearly brazen enough to radicalize or innovate its core formula; the movie basically abstains from breaking any new ground and remains content with treading the path of mediocrity. Technically, it is a pretty impressive movie, but scares are scarce and the whole package is stylistically just too nondescript and tepid to stir my blood.
Signs (2002) - Director: M. Night Shyamalan - 7/10 - It’s the first time that I’ve seen it and I’m pretty impressed. Sure, its social commentary with regard to the nature of faith and stuff like that may feel a little bit perfunctory and meretricious here, but I really appreciate the sense of alienation and hopelessness Shyamalan infuses his tale with. The film almost functions as a postapo flick and I really cherish the way the whole alien invasion was portrayed here. The CGI has aged rather badly, but other than that, the technical side of the film is on the strong side and Signs is easily one of the best mainstream alien movies. A bit infantile and naive perhaps, but it’s still pretty good.
Single White Female (1992) - Director: Barbet Schroeder - 5/10 - An okay piece of psychological thriller. The first half constitutes a rather uneventful introduction, there is little action going on and the net of manipulation isn’t really all that engaging in its presentation. I usually enjoy psychological dramas of this kind, but something is missing here, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is precisely. The latter half interposes some interesting turnabouts and an overall satisfactory ending to a moderately diverting neo-noir.
Impulse (1990) - Director: Sondra Locke - 6/10 - A very unusual neo-noir. There are lots of reviews calling the movie boring or even unintentionally laughable, but the thing is I found all of it pretty enjoyable and not that ridiculous. The film’s strengths do not lie with the central mystery or even action scenes and it is important to note that it’s the human element of the plot that renders the whole effort much more engaging than it would normally be. Just like Positive I.D. (1986), the film largely pivots on the detailed depiction of its heroine who desperately strives to maintain her dignity and achieve her goals in the teeth of her hostile environment. In this regard, Impulse is an incredibly feminine motion picture that firmly distinguishes itself within the context of a rather phallocentric subgenre. Again, that is not to say that there are no faults at hand here, for there are many. The whodunit element of the story is rather tenuous and constitutes more of a pretext to embark on a meditation with respect to the ambiguous nature of undercover cop work as well as the dicey situation of some women stuck in police force. The action component of the venture isn’t much stronger either, however, as I’ve mentioned above, the human element and its feminine outlook are so potent here that they elevate the opus to a somewhat higher stature.
Buried Alive (1990) - Director: Frank Darabont - 7/10 - A hilarious black comedy/horror. Naturally the premise doesn’t make much sense, but the thing is it is a film to enjoy and man, what a fun and nasty little flick it is. A female and her lover decide to poison her husband. Little do they know that their poison of choice is, in fact, a substance that can paralyze victims instead of being fatal when used improperly or administered inadequately. Upon being buried, her spouse revives, leaves his coffin and sets out for his revenge. Lots of black humor gags and elaborate traps make for a monopolizing viewing.
Defenseless (1991) - Director: Martin Campbell - 3/10 - Defenseless is a chaotic and structurally jumbled effort that is marred by some painfully paltry acting and its ludicrously incoherent pacing whose erraticism derives from its odd writing decisions. The first part of the film uses the usual whodunit framework which is precipitately and haphazardly recounted in about an hour, then the script interjects ‘the final turnabout’ that doesn’t make much sense structurally and this outlandish narrative choice, which functions more like a superfluous appendage, makes the film drag like hell, lasting for the next 30 minutes. The climax is horribly misplaced and to add insult to injury, the resolution isn’t that powerful either. All in all, everything is all over the place and the motion picture is exceedingly disorderly both in terms of structural cohesion as well as from the narrational standpoint.
The Ambulance (1990) - Director: Larry Cohen - 5/10 - The good premise isn’t developed in any creative way, but it is a sufficiently entertaining film with some fairly memorable scenes and a quirky sense of humor.
Midnight Ride (1990) - Director: Bob Bralver - 7/10 - Pure, unadulterated entertainment: a thoroughly trashy, unbridledly crazy thriller flick that expeditiously dashes forward in the way a well functioning piece of machinery does. Mark Hamill is fantastic as the psychotic serial killer on the loose, he phenomenally enacts his part of the deranged psychopath as well as appears to be enjoying himself whilst performing the role, which additionally boosts the fun factor. It is hard to believe it is a Cannon flick, as the production value as well as the cinematography and the direction all look incredibly good for such a modest project. That is not to say it is impossible to discern the underlying cheapness, for the film still seems to have been executed with a limited budget all right, but the movie has a distinct, rough look and the navy blue cinematography does endue the flick with a very distinctive, beauteous look. The direction is very straight-forward, but simultaneously extremely efficacious and the pacing is both bang-on and remarkably speedy and progresses like a powerful piece of machinery running on high-octane fuel. It is trashy, it is filthy, it is fun. For a freakin’ Cannon film, it is truly a fucking luxury.
Siesta (1987) - Director: Mary Lambert - 6/10 - A very unusual neo-noir with a very distinctive sense of style and a slightly perplexing, yet highly immersive and evocative montage. The narrative nimbly intersperses the present and the past, evading the linearity and thereby, conveying the sense of confusion and dread experienced by the main heroine, who gradually recollects the events in which she’s partaken recently. The motion picture is inhabited by a number of intriguing individuals and that in conjunction with a highly sensuous atmosphere conjured up by its Spanish locations, its unusual montage as well as some fairly redolent direction makes for a interesting viewing. While the pic is not something insanely resplendent, it does have a singularly sultry atmosphere and a rich, multilayered narrative that does make a difference.
Samsara (2011) - Director: Ron Fricke - 8/10
The Stick (1988) - Director: Darrell Roodt - 2/10 - A South African war drama that constitutes one of the more mind-numbing film experiences in recent memory. It is basically a war drama filmed and set in South Africa, but disguised as a Vietnam flick, so expect a number of cliches presented and framed in the most nondescript manner. A large chunk of the film consists of those prosaic, bland medium close-ups; all characters are walking-talking cliches and most parts appearing here are basically shoddy reformulations of personae from much superior works. It is hard for me to pinpoint one specific aspect which makes it all so incredibly exhausting, suffice to say that sitting through this crap was an excruciatingly dull experience.
Under Siege (1986) - Director: Roger Young - 7/10 - Despite some technical faults, budgetary constraints and its firmly established made-for-TV appearance, it is an oddly prophetic look at the potential US response to the threat of terrorism. It accurately prognosticates the US war on terror, predicts the ascent of neo-conservatism, which would subsequently define US foreign policy particularly in the 1990s and 2000s, and even goes on to detail the neocon talking points and justifications with regard to the use of force in overseas military interventions. Even if the film doesn’t exactly live up to its lofty ambitions as far as its artistic execution goes, it still is quite an impressive feat.
Following (1998) - Director: Christopher Nolan - 8/10 - So this is the kind of cinema Nolan used to make prior to treading down the path of mainstream filmmaking. My second favorite Nolan flick, the soundtrack is pure 90s UK electronica too, a bliss.
Thief of Hearts (1984) - Director: Douglas Day Stewart - 4/10 - A cheesy soap opera. Expected a neo-noir, got a piece of shit, that’s life for you I guess. At least it’s got a nice soundtrack and a glitzy look to it.
Streets of Gold (1986) - Director: Joe Roth - 7/10 - Despite being somewhat formulaic in its form and style, its central characters are well-written and remarkably sympathetic and the cultural milieu of the action endows the effort with enough uniqueness to distinguish it from a multitude of similar Rocky rip-offs. Klaus Maria Brandauer is absolutely amazing, his acting here truly takes things to the next level and even if other actors do a pretty good job as well, his performance here is truly laudable and makes the movie a pleasure to watch.
On The Silver Globe (1988) - Director: Andrzej Zulawski - 8/10 - Man, this is pure insanity and I love it. I have to say it is visually one of the most sumptuous and extravagant looking films of all time and it is likewise one of the weirder ones as well. The deranged structure and the quasi-hysterical acting all render the effort at hand quite unlike anything else out there, some parts are so good it’s ridiculous. It’s too bad it isn’t a completed film. Had it been fully completed, it could’ve been a true masterpiece.
The Mosquito Coast (1986) - Director: Peter Weir - 7/10 - Very nice.
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - Director: Kathryn Bigelow - 8/10 - Despite not being faithful to the real events, the movie constitutes one of Bigelow’s better efforts and one of my favorite submarine flicks. It is technically excellent and as opposed to Crimson Tide (1995), the film doesn’t merely rely on big Hollywoodian kabooms and develops a highly satisfactory tale about the nature of heroism, command dilemmas and the ambiguities of service to one’s country.
Fearless (1993) - Director: Peter Weir - 9/10 - Possibly Weir’s best film, it is probably also his most subtle achievement.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972) - Director: Sydney Pollack - A re-watch - 9/10 -> 10/10
The Fear Inside (1992) - Director: Leon Ichaso - 6/10 - Pretty cool, but something’s missing to make it truly great. With that being said, it’s a nice little neo-noir.
The Gauntlet (1977) - Director: Clint Eastwood - 6/10 - A nice trashy little Eastwood vehicle.
Heist (2001) - Director: David Mamet - 6/10 - Dialogues are witty in a classically Mamet style, but the story is your usual heist flick affair. It is diverting enough I guess, but it’s nothing special to be honest.
Perfect Witness (1989) - Director: Robert Mandel - 6/10 - It is an ambitious little project. The problem is that it doesn’t sufficiently explore the sense of alienation experienced by the eye witness haunted by mafia, nor does it really depict moral dilemmas of the D.A. all that well, it is entertaining enough though.
No Place to Hide (1992) - Director: Richard Danus - 3/10 - Kristofferson is great as the embittered cop, however, the entirety of the film is a dogshit and the mystery plot is so tenuous you can pretty much guess the ending. The soundtrack is ridiculously bad.
Outstanding work as ever, Mickey.
I loved this film, for more-or-less the exact same reasons you hated it. Look here:
^^^^Those were all the bits I liked!
Well, I expected it to be enjoyable in the more traditional sense to be honest.
A favorite. This Italian dubbed version of the train scene made it feel a lot like a Eurocrime:
Yeah, it is a lot of fun.
Not when you’re 13 and the only other Eastwood movies you’ve seen are the ‘Dollars trilogy’ … I was shocked, dismayed … and still haven’t recovered from the disappointment Saw this at a double feature with ‘The Enforcer’ when I was a kid, my first Clint experience on the big screen, and I was so underwhelmed.
Poor aldo, don’t cry…
I’m with aldo on this one. Among Clint’s weakest efforts, only thise two Any Which Whatever things were worse