Tuesday, September 23, 2014


  1. Starcrash (1979) - It doesn't matter how you approach it Starcrash it is a terrible film - and I love it dearly.
  2. Dark Planet (1997) - Possibly THE low point in Michael York's career. (I know!) Dark Planet is the usual tale of uneasy allies thrown together for some totally inadequately explained reason.

    (Somewhere, in one of the the tons of exposition heavy scenes that litter the film, a disembodied head does get round to explaining what is going on but not why this particular bunch of characters with 'history' has to do it. There are brief mentions of, "hand-picked team" and "selecting the best").

    So, bad guys and 'good' guys are thrown together in a ship, heading for a black hole, through which one of them has already travelled. They're doing this to discover a 'Dark Planet' - a possible new home for the population of war-ravaged Earth. Needless to say there are disposable goons with 20th century hand guns, lots of running up and down the same two corridors shooting them, and lots of second-rate, would-be Trekkie-babble about "Laying in courses" (which takes three button clicks), and "Shields to maximum!" (which takes three button clicks), and "Damage report!" (which always has to be shouted while small fireworks explode behind you). That sort of bilge. All filmed in a cardboard box with no lights other than those flashing on consoles or coming from the computer screens so powerful they manage to project their graphics onto the faces of those staring at them (sometimes).

    Incidentally we know it's second-rate, would-be Trekkie-babble and not any other sort of second-rate, would-be techno-bollocks because about a quarter of the way into the film York's character takes time to read through the files on his new shipmates:

    From which we discover that not only does our heroine have the "Order of the Maroon Beret -with Clusters" ... (apparently you can get ointment for it) but is also lists, "Trekkie Consule (sic) Referencial (ditto sic)" under 'Astro Training' in her CV.)
  3. Robin Hood Men in Tights (1993) - very unfunny and very dated; some of the 'spoof' stuff was so of its time that it meant nothing now. The kids were just plain baffled by great chunks of it though my youngest laughed when people fell off things. Or over.
  4. Iron Monkey (1993) - Watched with Number One Daughter as part of my Widening her Cinematic Experiences project. (Code words for 'introducing her to a wider variety of crap than she would otherwise encounter'.) This month Chop Socky Kung-fu action! - actualy it's quite hard to find anything in my shonky collection that isn't an 18 to show her. Iron Money is quite a classy show and a lot funnier than Robin Hood Men in Tights ever hoped to be.
  5. Batman Forever - Batman obsessed Number One Son's Friday Night Choice. Nomber One Daughter and Mrs JM hid in their rooms and Number Two Daughter was out bowling. Son and I ate snuggled up in the big comfy chairs and ate popcorn until I fell asleep. I think it's called 'Bonding'.
  6. Clonehunter (2009) - micro budget SF which had its moments but not enough of them. I am a very forgiving movie watcher. Things don't have to be seamlessly, mind-bogglingly slick to please me. Rough and ready 'Let's make a movie right here in the barn!' is far often much more interesting than soulless Hollywood factory product - if the story, the characters or that elusive 'style' thing are interesting enough. None it was interesting enough here. I wanted to like it but was all just so listless. There was just nothing much to get involved in. After a while I started counting the number of times I could spot the pole holding up the huge blackout curtain that appeared behind our heroes with alarming frequency, and wondering why no one had thought to pull it taught to get rid of the wrinkles. There was a lot of Hiding the Lack of Scenery One Big Light Lighting too - a huge light is placed facing the camera, the set is filled with smoke. A small fill light on the floor near the camera and away you go.

    Instant Film Noire

    This could be anywhere and have been filmed anywhere. The sort of shot that is so meh it needs to have something seriously interesting going on in the acting or plot to keep the audience's attention from wandering away. It wasn't. I only watched this film last night and I can't remember what this scene was about let alone what was going on in this shot. (I think that's our hero, I'm not even sure about that.)


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