After all, it's just a ride….

Film

Dunkirk (2017) Teaser Trailer

When I first heard what Nolan’s next project was going to be I was a little nonplussed, of all the untold stories of World War II I thought that the Dunkirk retreat was a little strange, Kubrick for example always wanted to make a film about this battle. Now we have a teaser, or announcement as they are calling it, and yeah I guess I’m in for this one;

If you listen carefully, you can already hear the hum of post=Brexit cultural analysis being wielded to the picture, the British bulldog spirit in retreat and defeat, a full year before deployment….


Split (2017) Trailer

So I see Shyamalan has resorted to remakes now? Well, on paper this is the kind of bait & switch, mess with the audiences expectations kinda movie that I love, but that trailer is not good, and you can see one major twist hurtling down the road from about 30 seconds into this teaser;


Japanese Spielberg Time Tunnel

Just a little placeholder while I wrap up my final entry on the Spielberg season, this has been doing the rounds as a little archive treasure – behind the scenes at Amblin, star cameos and much merriment besides;


Barry Lyndon (1975) Reprise

lyndonWe’ve been here before, way back when I was barely in my terrible two’s, so you’ll have to excuse the poor page design and amateurish writing from way back in the distant mists of 2008. This is the fourth time I’ve seen Barry Lyndon on the big screen, the first time I’d seen the film at all was when I was one of two dedicated punters at my universities Film Society back in 1993. It might seem strange that it took me so long to get around to Lyndon given my adoration of Kubrick but you have to remember that I don’t think it had ever had a sell-though VHS release in the UK, and it certainly had never been screened on terrestrial television to my knowledge. I spent many of the preceding years working in the Video Rental business and like Eraserhead at the time it was gold dust to source, and I’m still not entirely why Warner Brothers, and presumably Kubrick, suppressed it so much. It’s initial critical indifference marked it as one of Kubrick’s curio’s and the picture quickly faded from view, but like my involvement and appreciation of the film this position has evolved over the intervening two decades and now Lyndon is fully  embraced by the critical fraternity, in that oft repeated maxim of Kubrick’s films being decades ahead of their time. This BFI screening of their newly curated digital restoration was introduced by Lady Lyndon herself, Marisa Berenson, who is in town performing in Romeo & Juliet at the Garrick. My previous review was crafted was back when the world was still reverberating with the shockwaves of the financial collapse, eight years later and we still live in uncertain times, when the European project itself faces a tough and possibly terminal crossroads, and conflict and discord surround a generation of self-absorbed privileged birth politicians who will do and say almost anything to achieve power – C’est plus la change mon ami…..

Where do I start? Lavish, ravishing,  a magnificent masterpiece which continues to yield new  treasures. It’s a film on transactions and our species pathetic attempts to achieve such transient notions as prestige and influence at the venal cost of all else, through the mediation of wealth and social status inherit in our social systems, from the courtly protocols of decorum and behaviour down to the rituals of warfare and honour duels. Visually it is the strongest contender for the most beautifully photographed film ever made, and as usual the three hours danced away as I was once more sucked into the rituals and formalism of 18th century life. Two random thoughts – if the original ending of The Shining had been retained, of Wendy being visited by the Hotel Manager then this would have been the picture in a row that Kubrick ended with one of his main characters in hospital, recovering from their ordeal. Significance? Oh I don’t know, of course it also links through to the elderly Dave beckoning to the Starchild at the end of 2001, just thought I’d mention it. I’d also never quite squared the circle of the film starting with an immature, lovelorn Barry challenging his elders and superiors to a duel which begins his odyssey, while its his nemesis, the younger, blue-blood superior Lord Bullingdon who destroys him at the end of the picture, via a duel.

Normally I wouldn’t choose to see a fine masterpiece like this in a digital format but the sheen and contours on that trailer irked my interest, I’ll quite happily see anything new in that format but somehow going to see something shot on film just feels slightly sacrilegious, particularly when it comes to the absolute apotheosis of the craft – never forgot that was lensed on one of only two lenses with the required f-stop that NASA used in its satellite photography. This transfer however was superb, retaining that ethereal contours of the candlelights, and from my perfect seat on the second row you could see where the focus had been deliberately whisker blurred for the early romance scenes, suggesting Barry’s cupid . I guess this means we’ll also have a new BFI Blu-Ray in a couple of months, to add to the three versions of this film I already own.

Barry Lyndon (1975) – The Use of the Zoom Shot from Marta Ruggeri on Vimeo.

Solid reassessment in S&S here. Marisa Berenson’s all too short Q&A covered the usual ground, how Stanley was a private and demanding dude on set but was also a warm and generous man, he never gave direct, erm, direction as that was what he paid his actors for – to arrive on time, to hit their marks, to know their lines and contribute accordingly. She advised of the whole production shifting back to the UK from Ireland overnight due to some distressing phone calls, as in 1975 certain elements of Irish nationalism wouldn’t have taken kindly to some British actors in full 18th century occupation costume dress cantering through the countryside. I’d also forgotten how funny the film could be in that dark and acidic way, you really need to see the film with an audience to appreciate . Finally, a gripe – why did you have to lose the original 1970’s Warner Brothers Logo (No. 10 here) and replace it with the sixth version of logo 11 on that same list? I hate it when they fuck around with restorations like that. Speaking of beautiful artefacts this might be the collectors purchase of the year, including the full 172 minute cut in 4K restoration directly supervised by Lubbeski and Malick, the other domestic and international cuts of the film but even those modern alchemists have some way to go to equal this;

Barry Lyndon exteriors from Sean Doran on Vimeo.


Star Trek – Beyond (2016)

beyond1Star Trek’s looking pretty spritely for its 50th anniversary. Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon Train in space’ remains one of the cornerstones of genre lore, still perhaps encapsulating the widest fandom alongside the other Star branded product, and a new streaming service series from the hands of the deliciously perverted Hannibal show runner Bryan Fuller bodes well for a bright and harmonious future. So it seems apt that the studios have programmed the third instalment of their rebooted franchise to coincidence with a half century anniversary, following the modern action blockbuster refit in 2009, which in turn was followed up with the critically mauled but financially successful Into Darkness in 2013. This time around the crew of the USS Enterprise find themselves three years into their five-year mission, and a sense of space ennui has settled over Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine). His best friend Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) romance with the Communications Officer Uhuru (Zoe Saldana) seems to have withered on the vine of his emotional frigidity, while Lieutenant Commander McKoy (Karl Urban) remains his old self, as cantankerous as a cheated Cardassian crab. After a lightly comedic opening sequence involving an Ambassadorial delegation gone wrong the crew arrive at the Yorktown, a sprawling Federation starbase which appears to have been architecturally designed by the secret love child of Christopher Nolan and Ralph McQuarrie. After a few days R&R the crew are summoned to investigate a distress call from the only survivor of a vanished vessel, before being set upon by a phalanx of obliterating foreign devils in a rather spectacularly brutal attack sequence. With the Enterprise fatally wounded and its crew scattered across a hostile and convenient constellation clouded communication chasm – there’s no help coming from Starfleet – unless the survivors can reunite and muster a counterattack against their mysterious, violent foe. Generally speaking what follows is a welcome, colourful and exotic distraction to the existential numbing horrors of modern life, a Ferengi’s ransom more precious than most of this years blockbuster bores.

beyond2With franchise mastermind magpie J.J. Abrams seconded to another galaxy far, far away he’s handed the reigns to director Justin Lin of The Fast & Furious fame, a safe pair of hands who stages the film’s action sequence with a brisk, workmanlike efficiency. While the long mocked lens flares aesthetic has been abandoned Lin instead invests in an array of rather disorienting 360° camera tilts to suggest a galaxy with a warped sense of gravity, it’s quite an original effect which isn’t over-played, and it was good to see a little visual improvisation in such normally conservative product. These films tend to live or die on the banter between the iconic characters in their modern incarnations, and although some of the exchanges between Bones and Spock are risible they mostly spark off a sense of camaraderie and cheerful fun, and Simon Pegg as particular as screenwriter seems to have made his Chief Engineer Scotty character less of a Khyber tossing, tartan sporting caricature although he does still bark ‘lassie’ a few more times than necessary. Quite cleverly this cleaves into the structure of the film, as once scattered the plot pirouettes between the fortunes of three groups investigating and surviving on the alien world, a device which awards the film a propellant unified tempo until they triumphantly re-unite with a few new allies in tow. Does it feel like a successful, 3.5 star episodes of one of the TV series given a $150 million facelift? Yes it does, but given that some of the criticisms of the last film was that they keep disrupting continuity and offering poor sensor echoes of previous highlights, they seem to have given fans what they want and naturally they’re still not happy……

beyond4One particular plot development and device, concerning the inclusion of ‘classical music’ from a 24th century perspective really seems to sum up this film – if you go with it you should find Beyond an agreeable, colourful romp, if it causes you to nurse your head in your hands painfully muttering ‘but…but…why?….h-h-how?”’ then you’re probably better off teleporting away. The film also feels a little rushed, from the clearly unfinished CGI close-ups of Kirk and his motorcycle storming through some alien canyons, and on a script level with a lack of giving certain characters payoffs providing a suitable narrative closure. The new inclusions deserve a mention, firstly Sofia Boutella as the resourceful castaway scavenger Jaylah was a fun and confident character with her cool hologram special move which you just knew would be repurposed for Starfleet’s tactical instincts. The villain as usual is a bit of a rote evil dude 101, a rather bland alien interloper whose motives remain cloaked until a dramatically neutering late in the picture. Now I’m not going to tempt fate and get pilloried for my curious incomprehension at Idris Elba’s universal popularity – yes he was phenomenal as Stringer Bell in The Wire but this was over a decade ago now kiddies, so give me some ideas of what great stuff he’s been in since then I’m all vertically elongated ears*. Pacific Rim? Prometheus? RocknRolla? The Ghost Rider sequel? How about those charming Sky TV ads hmmm? On a more positive note I did like the nano-tech design of the villains offensive capabilities and tactics, and the attack on the Enterprise was as intensely brutal as blockbuster cinema gets these days, but they never seem to dwell on the hundreds of civilians and officers sucked into the indiscriminate maw of space now do they? Hundreds, maybe thousands killed, but no tears shed here. Also, a quick aside – I really liked the design of the Starfleet away team uniforms, does that make me sad for even noticing such details? Yeah, thought so…..

beyond3Leonard Nimoy’s passing is given a light yet vaguely moving nod through Zachary Quinto’s plotline and a short yet tasteful tribute.  In terms of pushing forward into the 21st century the revelation that Sulu is gay is given a discrete confirmation, or as someone mentioned on some podcast remarked about the scene in question ‘Huh? I just thought his niece and brother were coming to pick him up at the spaceport?’ which might make you chuckle if you’e seen the film – let’s just say that an evidently nervous Paramount don’t exactly trumpet their inclusive agenda. Seeing Anton Yeltsin get a few lines and moments as Chekov can’t help but throw you out of the picture somewhat given his horrific and tragic passing, I’m still not sure how they’re going to recast that role for the next inevitable instalment but he will be missed. My puny intellectual sensors couldn’t really detect any overwhelming political subtext or metaphors through the maelstrom of CGI fisticuffs, glimmering torpedo bursts or prismatic alien species. That’s fine, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, apart from the Federation antagonizing the natives as a supposedly belligerent, technologically advanced militaristic force, but then again they’ve been violating the prime directive with repeated excuses since the 1980’s. There remains a small but vocal opposition to these films from a certain sector of the community, the faithful fans who point out that they have perverted the ethos of the original series which championed the resolution of differences and conflict through logic, reason, diplomacy and intellectual rigour, rather than launching a blitzkrieg of blasters, disrupters and photon torpedoes in order to suppress any opposition. They have a point, an accurate point, but I’m not sure what star system they’re orbiting if they seriously think that a studios is gonna pony up $200 million dollars for another glacial contemplation like the 1979 original movie, and in any case since the early 1980’s this series has been all about the SFX, the action-beats, world-building and interaction of the characters. Star Trek – Beyond is a serviceable blockbuster, fleet, fast and colourful enough to paper over any cracks in its sub-tachyon generator core, and coming at this stage in the poorest blockbuster season of the century it’s Beyond mediocre, but not entirely sailing through the stars;

* I do think he’ll be good as Roland Deschain though, what with that slightly weary, dangerous and simmering charisma. If he asked me to join him on some epic, legendary dangerous odyssey across mid-world I’d probably shrug my shoulders and murmur ‘yeah….sure’……


Jason Bourne (2016)

bourne8Are you a Bourne or a Bond? I lean toward the former, and as someone who has recently undergone some security vetting I can’t seem to evade all matters espionage at the moment. Firstly, I re-watched The Parrallax View, probably my favourite of Alan J. Pakula’s influential conspiracy trilogy along with Klute and All The Presidents Men – it’s on Netflix and remains conspiratorialy outstanding. I was also overjoyed to see The Americans Season 3 recruited to my asset profile. I’ve frantically burned through thirteen episodes in a couple of days and the series goes from strength to strength, but for those other fans I have just two words – ‘suitcase body’ <shudders>. Generally underwhelmed by the recent trailer for Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon’s return to the Bourne franchise my ideology was turned after listening to a lengthy BBC interview, where both chaps outlined some of their inspirations and concepts behind the film in the post Snowden, Wikileaks and contemporary cyber crime era – some uncanny timing strikes again. It’s been almost ten years since the last film in the franchise – yes I’m aware of this but I consider that a side film rather than canon – and whilst I’m not crazy about the series as a whole I did really enjoy the last film back in 2007. Greengrass is a deeply politically driven director and has always used the Bourne films as potent metaphors for his concerns and interests, a manufactured asset killing at the whim of an unregulated and unmonitored bureaucracy, a human drone with an amnesic qualities that appear to reflect the general publics interest in the continued fallout of drone strikes or unconstitutional invasions of their privacy. Yet I remained resistant to a new film as quite simply I thought the franchise had run ts course, it tensely told it’s tale of one man’s struggle to uncover his past and regain his identity over three interlinked entries, and wrapped everything up terrifically with no reason to return to the character other than that old elemental driving force – money. So has the director and co-screenwriter with his editor Christopher Rouse’s insistence that he did have a new story to tell and a reason to muster yet another phenomenally expensive rescue mission for Matt? Not particularly, but this is still a reasonably entertaining couple of hours of entertainment.

bourne2Reykjavik, Iceland. After exploiting her affiliation with a local activist group Nicky Parsons (Julia Styles, reprising her role from all three previous entries) infiltrates the CIA deep-net and stumbles across an electronic dossier marked ‘Black Operations’ – clearly some spook was having a particularly literal day when he set this file up. After hooking up with her old comrade Jason Bourne all hell breaks loose, as a kill team descends on them against the backdrop of a Greek austerity protest which turned into a violent riot.What follows is a rinse, wash repeat of the following formula – Bourne engages in a chaos-cinema captured, pulsingly scored bewildering melee against numerous opponents. They are usually some random strike team of Slavic goons who engage our ruthless hero across a variety of international urban theatres – Berlin, London, Cyprus, Vegas. Interspersed with this collapsing delineation of space and rapid fire editing autism we leap back and forth to a CPU screen bathed nerve centre at Langley, where rising CIA cyber-crime savant Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) and grizzled director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) trade barbed witticism and bark urgent orders to their frantically typing subordinates along the lines of ‘track that facial recognition pattern  diagnostic’ and ‘deploy all localised assets to liquidate the tangos’. Also on the warpath is a gallic assassin played by Vincent Cassell who seems to harbour some specific enmity against Jason, while a side plot involving a Silicon Valley pioneer (Riz Ahmed) clandestinely working with the CIA to provide a back-door access into his new social media service will soon decipher its secrets……

bourne3Like the other entries in the series Jason Bourne is a relentless picture, barely taking a pause between breaths to provide any real character time or cultural examination as it detonates one identikit set-piece after another. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that but by the time you sense it’s hurtling toward its climax the same action sequencing model starts to malinger, as the hunger pangs of originality, of fresh and nourishing material starts to gnaw on the attention. Damon is as efficient and faceless a cypher as he always is in these pictures, even as Greengrass does feebly attempt to give him some narrative drive through the revelation of deep secrets of his fathers involvement in the Treadgold programme which first wiped his memory and transformed him into a puppet manipulated killer. There is able support from Alicia Vikander although her role does stretch credulity, I’m not being a sexist swine and referring to the fact of some attractive woman being gifted some lethal responsibility, it’s just hard to swallow such a young recruit directing a duo of wet-work specialists when it looks like she graduated a fortnight ago. The eternally gruff Tommy Lee Jones fulfils the same purpose as all the gravitas generating character actors that have been deployed in this franchise, from David Strathaim to Brian Cox, Joan Allen to Albert Finney. Your commitment to the cause will be measured against your instincts toward ‘intensified continuity‘, as this is two hours of hand-held, shivering shaky-cam and rack focuses, with nary a shot held for longer than three seconds. It’s all a little gruelling, and after Greengrass and his DP launched this technique in the middle of the noughties now it’s really starting to outlive it’s then revolutionary welcome, like The Battle Of Algiers directed by Michael Bay, especially when it reaches its Vegas strip final velocity.

bourne4The film throws all of wider interests into a churning mix which crushes any real introspection, as the emphasis doggedly remains with crossfires zeroed on carnage and catastrophe. According to Greengrass in that aforementioned interview Las Vegas’s lavish digital conventions are the new recruitment hubs of such influential global players as Goldman Sachs, Soviet intelligence and the Chinese cyber offensive apparatus, but simply setting a sequence in ‘America’s playground’ and not examining any of those queries is lost from the films manifest. For action movie fans though its more than adequate with the globetrotting narrative in full cruising mode, and there are some smirk inducing quirks, as Bourne is always two steps ahead of his pursuers and experienced enough to expect double and triple crosses to ricochet around the screen like turbo-charged Tasmanian devil. I’d love to see a brilliant fiction film focused on some of the more pressing social, political and cultural issues that arise from our swiftly evolving digital culture but that still seems to be the sole preserve of the documentary. This for example is supposed to be great and the Menagerie is eagerly awaiting the new Herzog, as opposed to the hard-drive crashes of The Fifth Estate, or by the looks of things Oliver Stones next screed, although to be fair Blackhat has slightly evened the odds*. In any case you’re busy people who need to get back into the field, so this dossier’s executive summary reads thus – Jason Bourne is superior to the Renner but it’s no Ultimatum;

* Yeah, I realise I omitted the fantastic Mr. Robot from this analysis, but that’s small screen so it doesn’t count. That’s my excuse anyway…..


Ghostbusters (2016)

gb1With the fun but infinitely overrated Stranger Things currently occupying the genre cultural discourse it’s all feeling very 1980’s at the moment, an apt time you’d think for a deeply cherished franchise to finally return to the big screen. I don’t think I need to spend much time giving you the context of Ghostbusters, the long mooted remoulding of the much 1984 original, this time taken into the 21st century with an all female lead cast and direction from the loosely acclaimed Paul Spy, Bridesmaids Feig. So, please allow me to set the tone before we proceed. Firstly, I wanted to judge this film on its own merits or lack thereof, as its own discrete entity from a purely cinematic position, regardless of the gender of its main players or the track record of its production team. Secondly I have precisely zero problem with remaking / rebooting / resurrecting or re-inseminating this franchise, sure I was raised with it as one of those key blockbusters of my youth and enjoyed it a great deal, fuck man I still remember seeing this clip on what must have been Film 1983 and being exceptionally excited at the top-notch special effects and exotic New York location. It was certainly the first film to introduce me to the legendary Bill Murray, although amusingly his character in the original now comes across as a pretty loathsome, skeezy Lothario in 2016, not the sarcastic, anti-establishment, slightly superior we all know and love. Like the Indiana Jones films I recently covered I don’t think these texts are precious and require some fan worshipping guardians to protect the beloved memories of their childhood, and if I may be so bold to observe that if the one thing that is going to you all riled up and angrily screaming through your keyboard isn’t catastrophic climate change, or grevious political divisions, or Middle Eastern civil wars atrocities or the second imminent economic holocaust then may I humbly suggest you might just want to take a second and reassess your life and intellectual choices. It’s just a fucking movie, the original still remains to be cherished and re-watched, and of course it goes without saying that the whole orbit of outright pathetic misogny and racism that has surrounded this project has risked obscuring the film itself.

gb2For the first half an hour of Ghostbusters I relaxed into the film as it was genuinely funny with a well-oiled sheen of gags and asides which had me and the audience braying like donkeys. This preamble to the main plot sees Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) reunited with her old friend Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), the former is seeking tenure at her University, the latter risking this promotion after she publishes a book they both wrote on the existence of the supernatural and paranormal back in their wilder, less professionally constrained carriers. After a period of disconnection they meet up alongside Gilbert’s new eccentric scientific partner Dr. Holtzman (Kate McKinnon), and through a contrived set of spooky materializations that are guided by a sinister force quickly inherit the mantle of the Big Apple’s premier paranormal predators. The fourth member of the team is Subway Guard Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) who quits her career after witnessing one of the visitations in the underground network, an able addition to the team due to her encyclopedic  knowledge of New York’s buried and secret histories. The set-up is reasonably efficient and engaging, so it’s a real shame that after a promising first act Ghostbusters becomes more discorporeal than the discombobulated spirits that inhabit it, as it collapses into a series of laughter free scenes which slothfully shamble to their final, inevitable Big Apple whizz- bang CGI extravaganza.

gb3For me the real failure was just the slap-dash nature of the piece. The plot structure is non existent and believe me I wasn’t expecting a big Hollywood remake to have the intricate precision of a Billy Wilder or Fritz Lang picture, but numerous scenes feel truncated and stumbled into and out of, while the editing frequently crushes any potential for a joke, a pratfall or reaction beat. Nevertheless Kristen Wiig is as amusing and adorable as ever, I’ve been a big fan of hers ever since the understated sarcasm in Knocked Up and she was the one feature that really sold Bridesmaids to meMcCarthy seems to have bumbling, slightly absence shtick toned down which is welcome, she’s a very talented comedianne so again its a shame she didn’t get anything radioactive to play with. The newcomers which I understand are SNL alumni where competent enough, praise the heavens that Leslie Jones is less the sassy urban black mamma than the trailer suggested, and she actually gets a welcome position as a self declared New York history buff, a skill which could have been utilised far more successfully if any semblance of a engineered plot materialised out of the netherworld. Similarly McKinnon as the slightly deranged boffin character that Harold Ramis possessed in the original was also a welcome change to women as wives / whores / kick-ass martial artists which seems to be the general models these days, with an impish sense of humour she’s quite a marmite character that has generated love and loathing in equal measure. The inevitable cameos are all welcome but don’t add any support to the film in terms of credible characters or more crucially laughs, it’s a bit more as if Feig was viewing the rushes and realised that two or three scenes were flagging so they’d best throw in Dan Ackroyd as a grizzled New York cabbie to rile the audience from the stupor induced by of all things a Ozzy Osbourne appearance – hey Sony, 2008 called and it wants it’s cultural references back. Somehow, through all the placid pyrotechnics the quartet do have a sense of camaradarie and kinship which is one of the films few achievements, which I’m sure will be dragged through to the already announced sequel.

gb4The film is also laughed with some fairly blatant product placement which wouldn’t go amiss in a Truman Show remake, and for a supposed horror comedy its evident that the former has been diluted to the point of abstraction, no doubt to hit all the four quadrants as powerfully as a reverse tachyon emitting lance. It’s not a terrible, insulting film – we can leave that particular task to Adam Sandler when it comes to contemporary American comedies – but it is mediocre, and you can sense the inprovisation that Feig stages on set cannot compensate for a film which doesn’t have the essential infrastructure of a polished and final script to provide the framework to operate within. Case in point, the entire interview scene for Chris Hemsworth to join the team as their incompetant secretary was almost all made up on the spot, some people have enjoyed this sequence immensely, I didn’t laugh once. I have infinitely better things rot do with time to not want to laugh, so believe me when I wanted to like this film because good knows, the way 2016 is heading we all could do with a chuckle. Comedies are always difficult to parse for critics, humour is such an subjective quality, but its not difficult to see where a film is floundering to hit any cylinders, let alone come blasting out from its midtown Fire Department haunt. Still, I hear anecdotally that kids of both genders have been impressed and latched onto a rare presentation of women as professional scientists which is welcome, maybe the film won’t only be assessed for the wider issues of on-line misogny and racism which have dragged its box-office into the grave. The biggest villain in this whole sorry tale is Sony pictures, as revealed by that email hack last year it really has driven a once proud studio into the ground with these formless, risk-averse, bland committee constructed projects, yet another nail in the coffin of the reboot entities across the entire industry – see also Robocop, Total Recall, Predators, Fantastic Four, The Lone Ranger, Conan The Barbarian, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Escape From New York and on and on and on…..


Edgar Wright’s 1000 Favourite Films

So this week everyone of a film obsessed nature has been freaking out over this, a veritable discussion typhoon as the inevitable debates over inclusions and exclusions rages through the digital canyons. I think its a great list and I love how its set out, and there’s maybe a half dozen films in there I’ve never heard of, and another half dozen I’ve heard of but never seen. There might a little more Bunuel and Bond there than I would have favoured, but anyone who includes the likes of Straight Time, every Noe film to date and Glen Or Glenda? has to be supported;

In other news some reviews are en-route, I’ve just been a little distracted this week but I need to clear the decks for another two screenings this weekend. No rest for the wicked….


I love the use of the colour blue……

I was thinking of saving this for my rematch coverage at the end of the month, but why deny ourselves such sumptuous pleasures?;


Kong: Skull Island (2017) Trailer

Some more gigantic monster fun that recently hatched in San Diego, this has a gargantuan strength cast, and enough visual references to have Francis Ford Coppola reaching for the litigation lawyer section of his rolodex;


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