/ March film thread
a few of these were seen in February, I am a bit behind.
The Lost Boys (1987)
This 80s cult favourite (Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, cool Goth young vampires) is a film that everyone at school in the 1980s seemed to really really like and for some reason loads of people had the soundtracked taped on to a cassette with the Top Gun soundtrack on the other side. We'll get to the music later.
I saw it when I was 13 or 14 and wasn't impressed. I've probably seen it once subsequently, on in the background, also 20+ years ago. There does seem to be a real love for it though, so it when it popped up as our monthly "mystery movie" at the local independent cinema, I was kind of pleased.
Then I realised - it was NEVER any good!
It's cheaply shot, the story is rather inconsistent (basically Michael is meant to be Star's first kill, but then the gang decide they'd rather integrate him, but no reason is given for this and there is no clear advantage to them increasing their numbers) but most of all, it doesn't know what it wants to BE. With the Frog Brothers, it's a kind of spoof. With Michael/Star/David, it is a moody adolescent Twilight prototype. With the younger brother there is a sort of coming-of-age thing maybe, who knows? The comedy doesn't integrate with the surly adolescent moodiness.
The most disturbing aspect of all is that it made me feel really old, because when I've seen it before I thought "Dianne Wiest is really frumpy and mumsy" but now I think "Dianne Wiest was really hot" ha ha!
Oh the music. Well apart from Echo and the Bunnymen's cover of The Doors, it's all just bad anonymous 80s poodle rock and synth stuff.
> I am a bit behind.
On a slight side track (Sorry)
I'm off to see the Original Alien that's been digitally remastered and in ultra high definition at my local cinema tonight as part of their flashback film series.
A birthday treat . I was 3 when the original came out .
I wont leave a review , I think most people have seen it ;-)
Happy Death Day 2U
I really liked the first Happy Death Day film, I remember I gave it 7.5/10 but had really wanted to score it higher as it was so much fun. In case anyone is unaware, the first film followed a student reliving the same day repeatedly until her murder by person unknown, and she had to break the loop by finding the killer before she is killed. Groundhog Day meets Edge of Tomorrow meets 12:01.
This sequel does exactly what it says on the tin, it's simply another Happy Death Day film, with the same protagonist(s). It expands the story somewhat, taking it into sci-fi rather than "unexplained".
I can see this franchise possibly continuing and being a bit like the Final Destination franchise (although after the second Final Destination film, they threw away any continuity between entries in the series, until the twist at the end of the fifth one, whereas with Happy Death Day, they should really stick with the same main character).
These are knowing films that wink at the audience and have their characters reference how silly it all is, and they get this just right. This sequel only really loses out on a higher score because I'd have liked a bit more of a "Edge of Tomorrow" montage about (minor spoiler) Tree having to become a boffin and memorise all the formulae. Only a minute or two, but they only spend about 8 seconds on it.
I am going to see Alien tomorrow! Likewise on the big screen. People will be interested to see your review, it is not all about reviewing things that others haven't seen. I intend to post a review.
On The Basis of Sex
Biopic of the early years of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, starring Felicity Jones. Really quite a hard sell, this one - I saw the trailer several times and wondered - despite it looking solid - "what's the appeal here, who is the audience, who's going to SEE this?". I gather she is a very well known figure in the USA (she is referenced in The Lego Movie 2!).
Anyway, I went along to see it, at least I would learn a bit of history, regardless of poetic licence.
Basically Ginsburg was (and at the age of 85 today, remains) instrumental in pushing for gender equality in the American legal system.
Mimi Leder's handsomely shot film depicts how she started out on this path.
It is eminently watchable. Some expository dialogue here and there is tolerable, mostly it is very well written and well acted. Jones is superb and is in almost every scene, she totally carries the film.
However, the whole thing is edited horribly. Not the technical editing, but the way they have paced it. It feels like a bunch of slightly disjointed scenes where everyone gets to take turns Doing The Acting against Felicity Jones. Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday felt similar, where everyone got to have a one-on-one with Al Pacino.
As such, On the Basis of Sex was an unsatisfying episodic viewing experience overall, so it just gets a "watchable".
This film seems to have gone under the radar somewhat, despite a very powerful and effective trailer.
It seems to be getting mixed reviews but the negative ones I've read just seem to have a anti-Kidman agenda, mocking her for her supposed "Oscar-bait" use of "old and ugly" make-up and for this being her "Bad Lieutenant".
I have nothing to say about the make-up other than that it is appropriate and convincing enough, and it's not just "Kidman in an ugly mask" at all.
As for Bad Lieutenant - yes, but better, more well-rounded, less prurient, less hellish.
Synopsis - a film taking place in present day and in flashbacks to 16 years ago. Kidman is a haggard washed-up police detective haunted by something that went badly wrong in the past during a deep cover operation embedded in a gang of robbers that was almost a cult. What that thing WAS, is revealed slowly throughout the film in flashback.
In the present day she seems to have found an opportunity for some sort of redemption, some way to start to sort out her non-life, in investigating a new case seemingly linked to her undercover operation in the past. And here is where some of the more reasonable criticism comes in - it plays rather like the standard maverick cop procedural, not doing things by the book, roughing people up, not reporting in, etc etc. However, I disagree because it is so well done and Kidman carries whatever burden the character has, so well - and it isn't ALL cliche - there is some original stuff in here. Indeed the entire cast is very strong, notably Tatiana Maslany, we could have done with seeing a bit more of her character. Also a superb and moving long dialogue scene between Kidman and her wild-child adolescent daughter.
There is some promise in the trailer and in some of the more hyperbolic reviews, of a "Heat-style shootout". No. You don't get that. There is a strong little action scene with gunplay but it's tight and low-key, and really well done, but not epic. If you want a reference point, it's Blue Steel.
Loses points for some of the gang members being a little anonymous to the point of it getting a bit confusing, and I have to agree that, like Memento, if you played the story in chronological order then it's not that engaging - however, director Karyn Kusama and the writers and the wonderfully named editor Plummy Tucker, are USING their structure to tell a story which brings Kidman to the endpoint of the film, and it really works. The final shot is amazing.
Well worth watching.
Second consecutive new Nicole Kidman heavy drama in two nights (Destroyer was Thursday, this one was Friday)
True-story drama about a gay adolescent sent to a religious "correction camp" by his preacher father.
Curiously uninvolving. Couldn't help thinking of the smart comedy "...But I'm A Cheerleader" - this is that minus the laughs, basically. Lucas Hedges was great as the boy. Kidman phones it in. Russell Crowe was good and weirdly turning into Albert Finney. But it was just quite a boring film despite compelling subject matter. Disappointing.
A very surprising 7.5/10
I didn't expect much from this, totally "glossy TV movie period chocolate-box-cover Europudding" (and it is those things) but its trailer doesn't do it justice. It's not a great film but it's a lot better than expected. Somewhat darker than I thought. This is the Keira Knightley film about immediate post-war Hamburg, where she and her nearly-estranged husband take up residence in a German mansion while the husband is engaged in a vaguely specified post-war clean-up job. Trailers are pushing some torrid romance with the home owner, and reviews are pushing how this is a letdown and turns it into pretty soap opera. There is that aspect but not nearly as much as the critics say. Yes we could do with some more insight into how things were for the people who lost everything, but it is what it is, a glossy melodrama with a bit of history thrown in, and as such, it works well. So there
40th anniversary screening, 4K restoration.
My goodness this is a good looking film.
I was never that blown away by it but then I'd only ever seen it on VHS. The cinema presentation really changed how I look at it.
I guess everyone knows Alien. And yes it is basically a haunted-house movie just set in space (and a steal of It! The Terror From Beyond Space)
But that's a GOOD THING.
Seven characters plus a cat and a monster. Not an overload of special effects (sure, some exterior model shots of the Nostromo, but the rest of it is practical goo and rubber suits, and that's good). It's mostly dialogue, and that dialogue is surprisingly good considering that in the post-Star-Wars era, all you had to do was set something in space and people would go and see it regardless. And speaking of Star Wars and space, it's great that Alien "deglamourises" space and shows it as just another workplace. Parker and Brett do nothing but whinge about bonuses and take shortcuts in their work.
This film only loses points for a few niggling things (why is the Nostromo so huge and full of empty spaces, where is the 20,000,000 tonne cargo, why are there so many firearms, what are some of the crew's actual JOBS, why does Dallas panic so quickly) but these are mere niggles. Apart from Yaphet Kotto's terrible acting which really lets the side down.
And Lambert was right all along
This did not make me want to revisit Prometheus and Alien: Covenant btw.
Again, I for one would like to hear your thoughts about Alien especially as it turned out better than expected for me. And especially because it is now 7 March and the thread is still approximately 90% me
The nostromo is a tug - so it was pulling the cargo.
I mentioned Aftermath in the war books thread as a thought provoking read.
Just watched Leave No Trace on Sky and while it's a goodish effort its 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes surprises me.
> Again, I for one would like to hear your thoughts about Alien especially as it turned out better than expected for me. And especially because it is now 7 March and the thread is still approximately 90% me
Well having seen it many years ago now I could only remember the iconic parts of the film , which in hindsight are really not the best bits at all and strangely over quite quickly for saying they are the bits you tend to remember.
Firstly I was immediately struck by the sound effects and track for the whole film from start to finish. It was fantastic. The industrial noises of the Nostromo and of LV426 are particularly stunning and atmospheric. (I really like radio-phonics and am into making music myself).
The set design throughout the film was amazing, the actors were all brilliant . The slow pace of the first half of the film gives you time to become invested in what happens to them. Such a change from most modern films.
I always knew it was a slow paced thriller type affair but never appreciated how really really dark the whole film is. I counted two slight grin inducing moments , one when Bret replies to Parker about his responses being yeah, and also when Cain talks about getting back to some real food.
No other jokes apart from that.
Watching it on the big screen really has given me a totally different take on the film.
I now look at it much more along the lines of a piece of art with a story .
I went with close friends that are much more familiar with the film, having watched it many times and they equally agreed that this is the way to experience the film and all of them thought the sound effects and track were stunning .
I'd score the film 9/10
Sorry about lack of contributions ... watching too much TV recently and the films I've seen are OK but not what I would recommend. Saw Creed (the first one) earlier this week...an excellent boxing movie that I would recommend (but not outstandingly so, so don't be inflenced by the hype...the acting was impressive but the story derivative and the boxing sometimes plain daft).
> the acting was impressive but the story derivative and the boxing sometimes plain daft
> The nostromo is a tug - so it was pulling the cargo.
Thanks, I half-knew or suspected that, not sure why I didn't mention it alongside my comment, but I didn't want the niggles to dominate the positive review.
Thanks for taking the time to write this review - told you it would be worth doing it!
> Thanks for taking the time to write this review - told you it would be worth doing it!
Your most welcome .
His variations in skills were ridiculous (especially when he goes to his local gym as an unknown and knocks down a world class boxer and then gets easily beaten by a slightly better boxer) and the major mutual pummelling in the main bout is just daft (as in all Rocky films): if you get hit properly on the head at that weight grade you normally go down and more than a few big hits and you will be out. Raging Bull is an example of a much better film with much more realistic boxing.
I had no issue at all with the way the film dealt with the love interest.
I agree that the boxing was crap, but "that weight grade"?
Stallone is almost as bad a garden gnome as Tom Cruise.
I agree on Raging Bull being a classes better film, but there for me the action outside the ring is much more memorable.
> in the post-Star-Wars era, all you had to do was set something in space and people would go and see it regardless.
I still do!
I loved Alien, gutted I missed the 4k cinema screening.
Alien is one of the few great classics of the cinema that I'd give a straight 10/10. Ridley's greatest movie. None of the sequels came anywhere near it.
Better than Blade Runner? I thought Alien was a great film but Blade Runner is, for me at least, the greatest film Ridley Scott made.
I visited Santa Cruz a few years ago and had a ride on the merry go round on the boardwalk. We were even given bean bags to throw into the laughing clowns mouth whilst riding around. Personally I thought it was a great film and paved the way for Buffy the vampire slayer.
Yes, definitely for me. BR didn't involve me as much, the story just wasn't as good (sorry), though arguably, in terms of mood, ambience, setting etc, BR is one of the greatest movies ever made. I've tried quite hard with it, seen the different versions of it, and, while I admire it for creating such a wonderfully spooky world, it still leaves me relatively cold.
A fine critique even though you didn't enjoy it!
Particularly difficult for me because I had the great honour of working with him (and he is one of the hardest workers I've ever met ... he'd be falling asleep very late at night at the Steenbeck in Pinewood, while cutting Legend, after a full day of directing commercials in the west end.) But I have to try and keep my critical faculties.
> I loved Alien, gutted I missed the 4k cinema screening.
> Alien? 11/10!
The best thing abut Alien though is that it resulted in one of the best TV moments in history. On breakfast TV around 1986 anne diamond and nick owen were trying their best to interview Alice cooper who was wearing a T shirt depicting the moment the alien bursts from Kane's chest complete with gore and 4 inch long rubber alien head. Brilliant stuff.
> The Aftermath
> A very surprising 7.5/10
Went to see this under duress as it's not my kind of film at all - highly emotionally charged. Full of intense emotions that made me uncomfortable but I sat it out and as the film resolved I was glad I did so. I actually feel educated about some of the complexities of love and grief. It was good to step out my comfort zone and take a look at the rich inner life of some fellow human beings.
It was only on for one night at my nearest cinema, I don't think it's on at all at the next nearest. But you've given me hope, I'll look around.
Ridley Scott told me how he'd directed John Hurt in the 'chest burster' scene. He'd been very happy with the tests, but had deliberately prevented Hurt from seeing it. He literally had no idea what was going to happen, and so his reactions of appalled shock and revulsion were completely genuine.
The thing I liked about alien was the lengthy “truckers in space” introduction and then the slow reveal of the very biological spacecraft. This absolutely made the film
Yes, it's so good in so many ways, but the whole 'biological' thing was groundbreaking, wasn't it? For which Giger must take a lot of the credit too.
PS. Glad your hip replacement went OK. I'm facing the same in a few months time (don't know when, yet.)
Very much. I was “ wow! Yes! That’s it! “ and when they found the dead alien. Awesome.
Hip surgery has improved hugely in the last 10 years ( per Jon ) so wishing best of luck would be superfluous! I found doing “prefab” very useful indeed in getting the right muscles strengthened
On at my local cinema this weekend. South Yorkshire a bit of a drive for you, though.
Of course, you might be tempted by the 70 mm version instead, as I am.
> Of course, you might be tempted by the 70 mm version instead, as I am.
I know it's a blow up since the original was filmed in 35mm (I think) but as well as screening the 40 th anniversary digital remastering of Alien on Friday, Parkway Barnsley cinema is showing a 70mm version on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
The original Alien movie was just a modernised version of the film it.
In director Edward L. Cahn’s It! The Terror from Beyond Space a rescue crew is sent to Mars to investigate the fate of a previous expedition. They find one survivor, but suspect him of murdering his comrades. The survivor, Col. Carruthers, insists than an alien entity is responsible. The rescue crew take the Colonel and depart for Earth. Unfortunately, the alien has stowed aboard the ship and starts picking them off. With their weapons ineffective, the survivors retreat to the ship’s control room and, cornered, they don spacesuits and expose the creature to the vacuum of space, quickly suffocating it. The similarities to Alien should not need pointing out.
“When I saw Alien for the first time,” writer Mark Ellis told Starlog magazine in 1992, “about thirty minutes into it I turned to my soon-to-be wife Melissa and grumbled, ‘Aw, hell this is just an uncredited remake of It! [the Terror from Beyond Space.]’ I still look at Alien as just a remake, and I groaned at the end when they dispatched the monster. They couldn’t even think of a better way to get rid of this damn thing than to have to borrow from It! again. The picture just didn’t do much for me.”
Alien though is superior in many ways from the characters of what's her name and the android to the special effects and feelings of claustrophobia.
Strictly Ballroom meets The Wrestler.
Triple Frontier on Netflix was very watchable last night, I thought. Perhaps could have explored the crews' morality a little more deeply, but it did consider it somewhat and wasn't just 'The Expendables by Ben Affleck'. A good lesson in sticking to the plan
Captain Marvel anyone?
Well done Shona. Did you see the bit in my review where I referenced this without bothering everyone with a tedious copy-and-paste? It’s well known
> I Tonya.
> Strictly Ballroom meets The Wrestler.
“The Goodfellas of figure skating” apparently.
I gave it 9/10 last year and foolishly bet on Robbie for Best Actress. I want to see the making-of because the skating scenes were seamless and the editing off the ice was also amazing. Also mcKenna Grace who played young Tonya, is the best star child actress in mainstream Hollywood (woefully underused in Captain Marvel)
Difficult to review on my system . Overall i really really liked it but it does a lot of things wrong and loses points majorly. Saw it Saturday, have been really busy this week (got two other reviews to write) but even if not busy, I’d be pondering how to review it positively against a relatively low score.
Basically it has a wayward first hour and then a major turnaround half way through, and a cracking second hour. But on my system no film no film can regain lost points
Brie was great .
> Well done Shona.
Is socialist Shona back?
It is suspected. Maybe I was out of place trying to call her out as I was never that involved with her raving loony posts in the past due to her being quite tedious. So I’ll retract my allegation and just call it Pefa on here. It doesn’t change the thrust of my reply to it - insofar as my Alien review referenced It! The Terror From Beyond Space, and better
I think it worth stating more about It! The Terror From Beyond Space since Alien is practically a remake.
That's why I did and chill out I think your film stuff is very good so no need for you to fire insults at people.
I apologise about the insults, been a hard week at work. I retract them all.
as for “It! The Terror From Beyond Space”, I trusted that anybody interested could do their own research. I didn’t want to bog down my review of Alien.
Aw that's nice and I apologise to if it appeared as if i was trying to be a smart a+se I was trying to add to your thread not detract.
I hope you have a nice weekend.
Please take 8 seconds or so to type the title of the film into your posts
Cheers... Rotten Tomatoes usually includes the film title in the url but I couldn't find the film there and forgot Blue would be so fussy. I now know The Recall is the same film. Its a hoot (unintentionally of course). It reminds me of being some way in the direction of the work of Edward Wood, who's films were sometimes so bad they were almost brilliant.
For those who havent seen it the Ed Wood bio pic is fab.
..an example of his best work
> Cheers... Rotten Tomatoes usually includes the film title in the url but I couldn't find the film there and forgot Blue would be so fussy.
There is nothing inherently fussy about my courteous request to not have to click and leave the comfort zone of the thread. In what way do you think it is fussy?
It would be lovely if, on this thread, we could just talk enthusiastically and openly about movies in a laid-back, uncomplicated way (ideally getting away from this obsession with giving them a score out of ten).
Following this week's avalanche fatalities on Ben Nevis, mountain safety bodies have put out a reminder to walkers, climbers and skiers that enthusiasm should always be matched by caution.