Monday, November 02, 2015

September and October


The Shape of Things to Come (1979) - a tedious entry in the Star Wars Clone Mania of the later seventies starring Jack Palance. Supposedly based on the book by H G Wells (it isn't) the film is populated by extras from TV shows Jason of Star Command (which is funnier) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (which is more credible) and is VERY BORING. The film was made even more tedious on my DVD player by the fact that the disc I own was dubbed into French (a language I can just about struggle through a comic book in) and had no subtitles - despite it saying that it did on the case. Mind you, the box also sported a random still from TV series Space 1999, possibly because actor Barry Morse was in both, possibly (though I doubt it) because some stock footage from Space 1999 was used in it. I didn't see any but then I was asleep for a while and may have missed it.

Scream of Fear (1959) - neat little Hammer chiller.

Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! 

Louise-Michel (2008) - a very dark (French) deadpan comedy. Disturbingly non-PC but very funny. Unemployed workers pool their redundancy money to hire a hit man to kill the guy who closed their factory. The man they hire to do the job is a total blowhard and can't even shoot a dog. The 'hitman' unable to do the job himself farms it out to a series of terminally ill people on the grounds that they have nothing to lose. The moment when the wheelchair-bound cancer sufferer fails to put the brakes on his chair, fires a shotgun, and is propelled backwards by the recoil into the path of an oncoming tram is one of the funniest ("I shouldn't be laughing at this") moments I've seen in years.

Attack of the Crab Monsters 

Monkey Business - Marx Bros. Not their best but amazing how their simple clowning can still entertain (my kids are aged 13, 11, and 6).

October Second night of the Franco/Scottish film society weekly bashes: ROTOR (my choice) - a stupendously awful Robocopy which I can recommend, unreservedly, for all connoisseurs of really crap films and Le dîner de cons (her choice) based on a play and which I can recommend, unreservedly, for all connoisseurs of really well made, funny films. A delight. (It was Hollywood remangled as Dinner for Schmucks. Apparently, like most Hollywood remanglings of perfectly good films, it stinks.)

LOTR 3 The Return of the King. Bored me stupid. Mind you shouting, "get a room!" at Sam and Frodo denying their passion for each other was fun for a bit.
Night of the Eagle aka Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) - small scale film about modern day whichcraft (or delusion and coincidence) based on a Fritz Leiber story and not bad; not bad at all. Some nice acting and some great camera-work.

Thursday Nuit Movies:
Le Prénom - funny French film about the dinner party from hell - obviously based on a play but nicely opened out in an intro and coda which probably weren't in the original but worked well. Having a whispered commentary on the political allusions and literary allusions that I would have otherwise missed added greatly to my appreciation of it.
My choice: Orlando - the umpteeth time of watching for me and the first for her. One of my favourite films ever. I'm not sure my whispered commentary on some of the historical literary allusions helped her much but at least I had time to make them, by Christ, French actors can't half rattle off the dialogue fast when they get going.

Dead of Night - with Daughter Number One. Another off her bucket-list. A deliciously creepy, 1945 Ealing chiller. The final shot of Michael Redgrave in the ventriloquist story gave me the shudders. Great stuff. I was afraid she would find it talky, and slow, and dated but she loved it.

Les Maitres du Temps - dull and pointless animated piece of French SF which has put me off forever rewatching the director's La Planete Sauvage. I saw La Planete Sauvage when it first played in the cinemas back in 1973 under the English title Fantastic Planet. I remember being mesmerised by a strange, lyrical wonderful film. I was about 15 and watched anything I could go see. In the last couple of years I've seen two of the other films from the same director, Rene Laloux, and been bored stupid by both. I'm not sure I could stand the disappointment of finding that the Planete Sauvage that plays in my memory  is not as good up on screen.

Le Nom de Gens (2010)- a pretty funny look at identity in modern France that had laughing out loud and falling in instant movie lust with the leading lady Sara Forestier. (At the SAME TIME!)

OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus - slightly less funny French Bond spoof.  It had its moments.

Steamboy - Anime.  Lots of sound and fury which was much less than the sum of its explosions.

Faintheart - Geek wins back the love of his wife and the respect of his son. Amiable little film which misses being not good by a wide enough margin to be enjoyable. If the mix had been slightly different it could have been a mawkish mess. Not brilliant but it worked.

The Nightmare Before Christmas - No 1 son's choice for Pizza Night. - I fell asleep.

Buckeroo Banzai - with Merriol

Pirates: an Adventure With Scientists 

Rocky Horror Picture Show - First annual Hallowe'en showing at the Baldwin Bijou Cinema. Next year with umbrellas, rice, newspapers, rattles and more people!

Abandoned in October Diagnosis Murder    


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