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Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:52 am
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:20 am
aka Panic on the Trans-Siberian Express
Since Sir Christopher Lee died a few days ago, I've been trying to get around to watching some of his lesser known films. At the same time, I've also been going through a bit of a John Carpenter phase, re-watching The Thing for the umpteenth time a few nights ago. So, what better way to kill two birds with one stone than by watching Horror Express? A Christopher Lee film based on the John W Campbell short story, Who Goes There? The source material for The Thing From Another World upon which Carpenter based his 1982 remake.
Lee plays Professor Sir Alexander Saxton, a thoroughly unlikeable, uppity anthropologist on his way back from an expedition in deepest Manchuria (North East China/Inner Mongolia to you and me). With him is the recently discovered body of what is thought to be the missing link, encased in ice and kept inside a completely secure wooden crate held by a completely safe padlock and chain. After the frozen ice-man/monkey is placed on board a train heading to Moscow, it escapes the confines of the completely safe wooden box to viciously stare at people, killing them with bright red X-Ray glowy-eye-o-vision.
It turns out, as you would know if you've watched The Thing, that the creature is just the host for an alien organism which landed on earth millions of years ago. It absorbs its victims intelligence, leaving them with milky white eyes and in a serious state of deadness.
Peter Cushing (a far more likeable scientist, not too unlike his Dr Who movie incarnation) joins forces with Lee to stop the creature before it kills everybody on the train. Meanwhile, Telly (Kojak) Savalas turns up as a loud, obnoxious Russian Cossack captain and chews the scenery ferociously, slipping between a Russian and American accent whenever he gets too excited. Which is a lot. There's also a dubious police inspector, a lovely lady who keeps her clothes on all the way through (you can tell this wasn't a Hammer or Amicus production from that alone), and a Rasputin type mad monk all thrown into the mix.
There's a great music score, some wobbly scenery, an even wobblier model train, and some brilliantly stupid dialogue. When Cushing looks at a sample of vitreous humour taken from the monster's eyeball, sees the last image it saw before it died and exclaims, "A Brontosaurus! And a Pterodactyl", it makes the film worth watching for that moment alone. And after that, there really is no turning back, I'm afraid. Savalas goes full Cage, the creature comes back inside another host, kills loads more people, and then proceeds to raise an army of milky-eyed zombies before the model train falls off the edge of a papier mache cliff.
"The two of you together. That's fine. But what if one of you is the monster?"
"Monster? We're British, you know!"
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:57 pm
Decent concepts plagued by a ridiculous amount of blue balling tension and jump scares that are non-scary after half a second, yet remain on screen for about 1 minute.
One of my favourite scenes involved the main character walking through the house having absolutely nothing scary happening to him. Just a bunch of "LOOK AUDIENCE BE SPOOKED".
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:15 pm
I stand by Lucy being the best bad movie of last year.
I watched it because usually any movie that talks about "HUMANS ONLY USE 10% OF THEIR BRAIN" is hilariously terrible, but Lucy took it further than I could've possibly hoped.
It's like, within using 20% of her brain she's fucking levitating. It can only get worse from there
Limitless isn't that bad and follows a similar premise (although I think it's 10% at any one time rather than 10% at all), and the side effects from the drug are relatively realistic too.
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:42 pm
The expendables 3 is a stupid movie. That's all.
Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:30 pm
A revenge movie where the revenge greatly outweighs the reason for it.
Two girls got sent to prison, only for 2 years, because they accidentally overdosed a guy on roofies after being dared to make him dress up as a girl or something. They then proceed to murder all the sorority from the time because they pretended to not know about it.
It's like, you fucking did the crime. And got a super lenient sentence. This is not a reasonable response.
Some good gore, but a stupid premise and some real dodgy acting holds it back.
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:28 am
A couple of twats go to a lodge in the country managed by a creepy guy who looks like a serial killer. He turns out to be a serial killer. He tries to kill them but they kill him.
There, saved you having to watch this shitty film.
Birthday present from the missus, I wish she'd stop getting my DVDs from the £1 bin in Asda....
Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:39 pm
Each and every last one of you. You are terrible characters played by terrible, terrible actors and I want absolutely none of you to survive. No, no even the hot ones.
Here, look. I'll even help you die quicker by fast-forwarding through the endless 12A certificate make-out scenes and slow motion partying.
There. You're in the jungle now, and you're surrounded by shit monsters. Hear that noise? No? Okay, then I'll skip the film on again until you get killed.
Right, there's only three of you little bastards left now and your only chance of escape comes from a mobile phone and the internet.
But you're in the middle of the Panamanian jungle. There's no way that can work.
Saved by Youtube.
No. Seriously. Fuck off.
Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:11 am
The Purge: Anarchy. Was better than the first one. The first one was "Bad things happening to people because of increasingly poor decisions", this is "Bad things happening to people because the world sucks now". Still not great. Such a great concept shouldn't make such disappointing movies, though I did love the ridiculously hamhanded "GOVERNMENT BAD RICH HATE POOR"
Creep (2014): Mark Duplass has turned into one of my favourite actors. Knew him mainly for The League, but now I've caught him in a bunch of great small budget but fantastic movies. Safety Not Guaranteed being one of the first, and now this. Guy hires a camera man to go to his house and document a day of his life for his new child before he dies of cancer. Don't want to spoil more than that, but it plays on a lot of the "found footage" cliches and gets real heavy.
Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:27 pm
I really enjoyed this film. It wears its influences on its sleeves, but I don't really care because it's a really fancy metaphorical jacket. It all builds up to the ending, so there will be a good 20 minutes of "where the fuck is this going" but it's all worth it in the end. Some good schadenfreude gags, as well as some moments that will make you sad. Go see the movie, it's going to be better than that shit Terminator film.
Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:57 pm
Shaun the Sheep - haven't laughed at a film so much in ages. Joyous.
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:20 pm
I really wasn't expecting much from this latest instalment of the time travelling Austrian cyborg saga. I'd seen all the warnings and lowered my expectations accordingly, but actually ended up having a good time with it.
The first forty minutes in particular are great, starting in the future before going back in time to 1984 and virtually re-shooting the entire first act of the original, adding in its own little extras along the way. When the story moves forward in time, things settle down into familiar territory and the film sets about doing what it does best. Big explosions, lots of shooting, nonsensical plot twists, nods, winks and references to the other films (some subtle, some not so subtle), some mad fucking science, and lots of one-liners.
Yes, Arnie's old now, but the story deals with that little problem the best it can and things just fall into place around him, even if most of what he says is either exposition or amusing quips based mostly around his age.
It's not all rosy in the garden though. Whoever decided to show one of the movie's biggest plot twists in the trailer needs shooting, a couple of the action sequences fall a little flat, some of the acting is a bit rubbish (Emilia Clarke's first two lines are awful, but she acquits herself well after that), and for the love of God don't start pulling at that timeline thread...
Special criticism, however, must be directed at Jai Courtney whose Kyle Reese is, at best, bland and vanilla, and at worst, completely bloody awful. Michael Biehn's Reese in the original Terminator was driven almost to the point of mania, every bit as single-minded and ruthless as Arnie's indestructible robotic killing machine. Yes, he had a soft side, but the priority was always the mission. Courtney's Reese is a wishy washy, confused and featureless lump with sad puppy dog eyes whose priority seems to be fall in gooey fluffy bunny love with Sarah Connor as soon as he claps eyes on her.
Sitting nicely behind the first two Terminator movies, Genisys is better than Rise of the Machines (which it chooses to completely ignore anyway), and MILES better than Salvation. No, it's not the best sci-fi film you'll ever see, but it contains enough laughs, story, and action to easily avoid falling into that oh so popular "Worst Film Ever" internet category.
"Nice night for a walk"
And now a review of my cinema experience...
For five wonderful minutes into the trailers, I honestly thought I would be the only person in the cinema. Nobody to cough, sneeze, fart, rustle sweet wrappers, slurp drinks, or munch crispy things at an annoying volume.
However, 30 seconds into the trailer for (what looks to be the worst film of the year) The Man From UNCLE, in he lumbered. My arch-nemesis for the afternoon.
Or more accurately, Morbidly Obese Fat Bloke.
I was sat on the first seat in, about halfway down. He decided to sit in the row directly in front of me about five seats over.
Almost instantly, my reverie was interrupted by every single thing I had dreaded, all wrapped up in one horrifyingly irritating human being.
Sweets with rustly wrappers? He'd bought the fucking lot.
Crisps? The loudest crunchy crispies possible.
Slurpy drink? A half litre of coke and a straw.
Then, after about an hour of crunching, rustling and slurping, he suddenly exclaimed, "Oh no!" and three times unsuccessfully attempted to extricate himself from the woefully inadequately sized chair. On the fourth time, he finally managed to stand up, and grabbing the front of his trousers, he said, "oh no!" again and waddled slowly past, gripping the chairs in front of me, almost shaking them loose with his grip, and obscuring half the screen while doing so. After about twenty seconds, he was free of his bonds and was able to shamble heavily past me towards the exit and, presumably, to the toilet.
For about ten glorious minutes, there was just me, Arnie, Emilia, Bad Reese, and some explosions.
Then he came back.
Throwing open the door so fiercely that it made me jump even above the noise of gunfire and dodgy one-liners, he clumped back down towards his seat, now with an added bonus treat for my enjoyment - a bad chest.
Obviously, the exertion of getting up and walking to the toilet had all been too much for him, and he wheezed and spluttered his way back past me, his chest noisily heaving for the next few minutes so loudly that it sounded like he was enjoying himself a little too much whenever Emilia Clarke appeared on the screen. When he finally settled down again, he must have needed an energy burst, so out came the fucking sweets again.
Making more noise than The Terminator.
And people wonder why folks stay away from the cinema.
Computers. The internet. Mobile phones. Handheld digital cameras. Social media. All relatively new ways of using technology to scare movie audiences. Well, apps are scary now.
Signing up to a "Life App" called I-Lived, Josh, a nerdy Youtube reviewer enters life goals and targets he wants to achieve, and the app gives him tasks to carry out in order to fulfil them. As is usual with these kind of films, the tasks start out amusingly enough but then take a turn for the sinister. After carrying out instructions given to him by the app, Josh finds his life has taken a massive turn for the better. Confidence, good luck, a gorgeous girlfriend, a health boost for his cancer-ridden mother, and big career opportunities at every turn. With everything coming up roses, he decides he doesn't need the app any more, so he unsubscribes from it. But then the bad luck begins.
His girlfriend leaves him, his mother suffers a relapse, he loses a huge job opportunity, and an eviction notice appears on his front door. Then the dreams begin. A man in a suit who seems to be present during every task filmed for the cameras, visions of his mother killing herself, and lots of other creepy images push nerdy Josh over the edge and he re-subscribes to I-Lived. Everything seems fine at first, problems sorting themselves out followed by the return of his girlfriend, but then the app starts instructing him to do some pretty messed up things.
Directed by Franck Khalfoun (the surprisingly good remake of Maniac), I-Lived is basically a modern re-telling of a very old story and a cautionary tale of how contracts should always be checked properly before blindly signing them. I won't give away any more, but suffice to say you can see the direction it begins to take relatively early on, so you won't be too surprised with the final act.
Leaning heavily on a certain Al Pacino film during its dream sequences and finale, it does tend to come off as a bit of a cheap rip-off, but the acting is enthusiastic, it's quite creepy in places and its nicely paced so it can be forgiven for certain things.
Apparently, its been picking up bad reviews but I can't see why. It's just a good old fashioned horror story presented in a modern technophobic wrapping.
I enjoyed it more than It Follows anyway.
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:05 pm
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:11 pm
Making more noise than The Terminator.
And people wonder why folks stay away from the cinema.
Also I-Lived sounds pretty entertaining. I'll give that a go on the weekend.
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:49 am
Before you watch Ted 2, you have to ask yourself one simple question.
"Do I like Seth MacFarlane?" (No. Not me. You.)
If the answer to that question is yes, then go ahead. It's funnier and cruder than the first one, and only a couple of the gags fall flat. Just great fun.
If the answer to that question is, "No. I think he, and everything else he's ever done, is shit", then do NOT watch Ted 2. Step away from the TV/Cinema and watch something else. Do not even think for one single, solitary moment that somehow he's made a film that you could maybe, possibly laugh at even though you haven't liked a single thing he's done since that one episode of Family Guy you thought was a bit funny about twelve years ago.
Do not waste 2hrs of your life watching something that you know you won't like only so you can moan about it on the internet later. Do yourself, and everyone else a favour, and watch something else.
You will not like this.