I watched "Them!" (1954), one of the first and arguably the best of the 1950s "creature features" (also predates the first Japanes Godzilla movie, by a few months, in the "radiation and giant beasties" movie stakes)
Thanks to an intelligent script, good acting and characterisation, and nice cinematography, it stands up remarkably well. Most of us have grown up seeing spoofs and mockery of the poor imitations of this film, and laughing at bad giant puppet models of monsters etc. "Them!" does indeed have some wobbly model giant ants but it's smart enough to use them VERY sparingly.
Sure it includes all the cliches of this kind of film, but it probably CREATED most of them, and to its credit it has moments of smart humour in the dialogue. Even more to its credit is that, for a 1954 film, it's refreshing that it has an attractive young female scientist who is not made the subject of any romantic sub-plot and who never becomes a damsel in distress (indeed, her looks are commented on only once, her credentials are never questioned, and she quickly and successfully deals with someone claiming "this job is too dangerous for a lady").
Rather bleak outlook at the end too.
Great classic stuff.
100% on Rotten Tomatoes, for people who think that that has any sensible meaning at all.
The Denzel Washington one where he makes a miraculous crash landing of an airliner but is subsequently investigated for being heavily intoxicated.
It is absolutely appalling, and weirdly compelling as you wait for what the next jawdroppingly bad scene is. I am not even going to dignify it with a score out of ten!
I Walk Around Moscow 1963.
A very beautifully shot exquisite Soviet art house film capturing a snippet of lazy summer life in hazy Moscow for some Russian youths in the early 60s.Its a little gentle gem with a modern jazzy score and attractive cast that leaves you feeling good and stays in the memory.
Finally got to watch 3 Billboards
It was almost perfect up to the ending where I felt the two characters had failed to learn from their past mistakes. Surprisingly funny for such a dark theme.
Ah yes, the realistic film with the billboards way too close together and ludicrously priced, and the Sheriff with a wife who looks about 23, and no consequences for throwing a man out of a first floor window in full view of a lawman, and no consequences for firebombing a building....
I did find Woody Harrelson's narration of his own letter (careful again not to do spoilers here), to be an incredibly moving piece of cinema, though.
I think I gave it 7/10 at the time, when most people were giving it 9/10 or 10/10 because they got excited about a film with some swearing in.
I thought Margot Robbie should have got the Oscar for Best Actress, rather than Frances McDormand (but as Allison Janney was such a "shoo-in" for I, Tonya, I think this went against Robbie, in the voting).
I didn't pick all of that up. I've seen billboards that close, on small roads entering small towns (the line in the film was they became moribund after a new road) and $1000 a month for a fee didn't seem so far out of poetic licence given the rather incendiary message. The sherriff's wife did look a bit young but not 23!! The window throwing isn't maybe so unrealistic given some horrific small town police behaviour but that it happened with no apparent legal consequence (other than being sacked) was bizzare.
My comment about the window-throwing was mainly because it was witnessed by an out-of-towner, removed from the small-town "turn a blind eye" phenomenon.
I am a big fan of Abbie Cornish who was around 33-4 when the film was made, but she really did look so much younger!
.'them' still remains one of the best creature features ever made
As was my response.... it could have happened but he should have been arrested.
Anyway we can now have a UKC film fan view. I've linked one of the shots where she looks young. Like if you think she looks close to 23. Dislike if not. Add one to the dislikes as I promised never to use the nasty devisive button.
Desperate fishing for likes!
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
This film has aged surprisingly well and is quite a delight, it takes a standard premise but does something a little different with it just by virtue of the characterisation of the titular leads. Very smart funny quick fire screenplay, some pathos but zero schmaltz/manipulation, and a sweet study of pure friendship. A few daft bits especially toward the very end, and I think the "twist" that reveals that a lengthy sequence was just a dream, did not quite work as well as it could have, but those are minor niggles. It's extremely well played and it should be noted that all the main characters (not just Romy and Michele, but also the Janeane Garofalo character, and the Julia Campbell character) are women. Sure, Alan Cumming gets third billing but this is a bit inaccurate. I might even put Elaine Hendrix above him - less screen time but somehow more effective. He's fine, I am not criticising him at all, but I am just saying it's underrated in terms of being a "women" film.
The Bridges at Toko-Ri. Surprisingly strong and mature war drama from 1954 depicting doubt and resentment from the central character, a very unusual thing for a Hollywood studio film at that time.
Basically William Holden is grumpy about having been recalled to the Korean War and even grumpier when commanded to lead a potentially suicidal bombing raid. It's not exactly an anti-war film, just a very human one. It is probably one of the more downbeat films to also feature truly excellent and convincing aerial sequences - even the "obvious" model work is really bloody good. It's like a really jaded and cynical Top Gun. Even the "comic relief" character is actually mostly a very trouble man
8/10. Not overlong, doesn't wallow. Teases with high billing of Grace Kelly who is barely in it (and her role didn't warrant a distracting star name), and I am not sure why they try to claim William Holden is 30. He was only 36 but looked 50!
New on Netflix. Intriguing and very topical Polish film about social media abuse and politics. Well worth a watch.
The BMC have launched a 'No Moor BBQs' campaign, after countless devastating moorland fires. They are calling on the government to criminalise the use of disposable barbeques on open moorland, with a severe penalty for anyone caught.