Monday, September 22, 2014


  1. Groundhog Day - Friday Night Film choice of the Mrs.
  2. Aguirra Wrath of God - Which is a lot shorter than I remembered but great. Mind you, I am predisposed to like anything with Klaus Kinski in it.
  3. Hard Days Night - I needed cheering up and shared one of my feelgood favourites with Number One Daughter who loved it.
  4. Stars and Bars - Daniel Day Lewis as an out of his depth Englishman in New York. Meh. Even the presence of Harry Dean Stanton didn't lift it above the ho hum for me.
  5. Lawnmowerman 2 Beyond Cyberspace (1996) - ow! That hurt! Currently number 57 in the IMDb Bottom 100. Why do I do this to myself. Not bad enough to be funny, just bad. As one reviewer on IMDb put it, "I think this film can kill puppies."
  6. Lost in Space (1998) - Well that pretty well sucked as much as I remembered.
  7. Meet Joe Black (1998) - Dear Gods! Death takes a holiday and spends some time with a media mogul and falls in love with his daughter. A stultifyingly dull, three hour film which culminates in the most Hollywood Bullshit ending imaginable. Death here is played as an innocent abroad by Brad Pitt by layering on autistic ticks and mannerisms over a wildly variable script that has his character unable (at selective 'comic' moments) to understand common idioms while at other times capable of layering on the profundity and metaphor with a trowel. At one point - after being told that another character was talking through his hat says "No, he's talking through his lips!" Ho ho ho. Claire Forlani plays the woman, with whom he falls in love, giving her a subdued gaucheness which means in every scene she spends so much time twitching her lips (in a manner henceforth known as 'Zellwegering') and looking out of the corners of her eyes, that she looks like she's about to have a fit. The innumerable 'almost' love scenes between her and the Death character are an agony, endless over-the-shoulder close ups of her twitching her eyes at everything but him, and him Aspergering his gaze at everything else in the room but her. Whole hours of this stuff go by without them looking at each other once - and then they have sex which is more of the same with fewer clothes and less dialogue. In the end (the interminable endless end) the media mogul walks off with Death, everyone wringing every phoney ounce of syrupy sentiment out of every single frame. (I nearly went into a sugar coma when the Daddy had a final dance with the daughter to that saccharine hymn to trash sentimentality "What a Wonderful World") And then (incoming bullshit overload!) Death isn't Death any more! He's the guy the daughter fell in love with in the first act brought back from some ill defined afterlife by a stroke of the writer's pen. The daughter says, "I wish you could have known my dad." and off they walk to the accompaniment of glorious fireworks. All a bit sudden (well it would be if it wasn't all done so ponderously slowly) considering she hasn't even seen that her dad is dead, or, if she just somehow 'knew' it, she bothered to grieve even for a second. The poor sod isn't even cold yet! But never mind the movie needs a final sugar lump to end with so she's forgotten him for the vague promise of another go in the sack with Brad Pitt! And I don't think I want to know what Spike Lee made of the only more-than-two-line part doled out to a black actor, a real 'Magic Nigger'. Only she, a dying old lady "from de Carribiyan" (thus even more "primitive" than her urbanised daughter) can see Death for who he is, "Obeah mon. I gonna die," she says when he sees him for the first time. "No obeah, sister." replies Pitt doing an Ali G. "No duppy, no jumbie. Evera ting gon' be irey." I don't think I've had my intelligence insulted quite so expensively for years.
  8. Creepshow 2 (1987) - another from the crap VHS pile that went straight into the bin without being rewound. Three naff Stephen King stories (in which the not-very-much-that-happens is blindingly obvious from the start) told v... e... r... y... s... l... o... w... l... y....
  9. Psycho (1960) - coincidentally on the gogglebox as I was finishing up Stephen Rebello's excellent book about its making. The first film for a very long time I have watched on a channel with advertising. I loved it and hated them. Not doing that again.
  10. Point Blank (1967) - many may years ago when I were but a callow youth I remember watching Point Blank, John Boorman's first American film, and thinking, "This is a horrible film about horrible people and I hate it!". Last night I thought "This is a GREAT film about horrible people and I love it!".
  11. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) - Another from the VHS slushpile - and another film about horrible people. And yet another of those films that portray the working classes as ignorant violent stupid arseholes. During an ill-defined strike a bunch of people are violent and stupid to each other, Jennifer Jason Leigh's character gets her baps out (as usual), and then the strike ends. (The ending of the strike has nothing to do with Ms Leigh's norks - the union guy just turns up and announces that the bosses capitulated, the ill defined strike is over, and they can all go back to work without at any point telling the audience what they were striking for, or what they achieved by striking, or how they achieved it.) Mark Knopfler did his best to make it sound like Ennio Morricone wrote the score - but failed. Jennifer Jason Leigh's norks (announced in the script as "The best tits in the western world!"*) notwithstanding it's going straight to the bin!.
    Needless to say, as is it de rigeur to have on in films portraying the working classes as ignorant violent stupid arseholes, it had a scene in which people had sex in a car.
  12. Monkey Shines () - the second George A Romero movie of the week (he scripted Creephow 2). Not great but better than I was expecting. I got double Nerd Points for spotting Patricia Smallman's name in the closing credits (Local Casting). Who she? She played Lyta Alexander in Babylon 5. (So sad... so sad...)
  13. Metropolis - the Osamu Tezuka anime. Stunning stuff. Not sure I really bought the plot or understood what the hell was going on for a lot of the time but then that is not unusual with me and anime. Number One Daughter, who is right into the stuff, loved it to bits was in tears at the end when the robot fell to its destruction.
  14. Brainsmasher... A Love Story (1993) - straight to video, one note 'comedy' action written and directed by Albert Pyun (director of the pretty dreadful Radioactive Dreams and 40+ other movies I do not feel the need to watch). Brainsmasher is not a subtle film - or even a funny one - but does have two good gags (one of which, unfortunately, comes within 45 seconds of the opening of the show which holds out rapidly unfulfilled false hope) and Terri Hatcher in hot pants and kinky boots - this I can live with.
  15. The Flying Saucer (1950) - an amazingly dull film. I must have fallen asleep at least half a dozen times trying to watch this sucker. The story: a playboy type is sent on a mission to his home town in Alaska to track down a mysterious flying saucer before a bunch of pesky Russkies find it first. Many hours of tedious travelogue and clumsy fight sequences later all the pesky Russkies are dead, the traitorous turncoat assistant is blown to atoms and the hero gets the girl. But mostly its lots and lots and lots of Alaskan scenery. Seriously avoidable.
  16. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - mostly harmless.
  17. Sucker the Vampire (1998) - amateurish micro budget ($55k) modern day vampire trash which came straight out the VHS player and into the bin. I should have turned off after spotting Lloyd Kaufman's name as a producer on the opening credits. Afterwards (according to the IMDb) I find it had a staggeringly piddling budget of $55,000. I don't know where they spent the money but it didn't show on the screen.
  18. Lady Chatterly's Lover (1981) - another from the big VHS pile.. From the director of Emmanuel, The story of O, and The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. Limp, misty version with some oddly wrong costuming and a variable score that alternates between symphonic and lushly romantic (including what sounded like quotes from Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne), and much cheaper sounding electronic. There are two composers credited. Sylvia Kristel got naked and was dubbed throughout, and she arched her back at every opportunity. The script stank and sounded like pages had been torn out of the novel and handed to the cast with their bits underlined. Bin!
  19. The Astronaut's Wife - a sort of I Married a Rosemary's Baby Midwhich Cuckoo From Outer Space which had some interesting moments.
  20. Pirates in an adventure with Scientists - Friday night pizza rewatch.
  21. Silent Night Bloody Night (1972) - Post-Psycho proto-slasher tale of death, madness, more death, rape, incest, yet more death and then a bit of death to finish off. Lots of black leather gloves were worn.
*Sorry, but I have seen better.


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