last nights movies

SUMMER OF 84.

Hmmm. Not remotely the horror/slasher it is pushed as. Good set up. Great characters. A tad too linear. But pretty tense and engaging while it was on. And a very downbeat copout ending. Not unlike my summer of 84. Hmmmmm.

 

IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY.

Cool but downbeat teen comedy set in a Psych Ward. Sweet, very touching and chucklesome. One of the funnier suicide movies.

 

IRON SKY 2: THE COMING RACE.

Not many movies feature Margaret Thatcher, Nazis AND dinosaurs. Which is a shame. This one dares you to keep watching, hammering the stupid button until it shatters, but is smarter, funnier and more inventive than seems possible. Fun as hell.

RED SPARROW.

Hmmmm. I I get that it’s part of the story (the central part) but it lingers too long on the rapey stuff. However it opens out into a pretty smart, complex and surprisingly engaging spy thriller.

 

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not everyone can carry the weight of the world

It was THIRTY YEARS AGO TODAY….

I love this album. I’ve played it every one of those thirty years.

For many of them it’s been my most played album.

I’ll admit to being a bit slow on the uptake. I quite liked the singles but at first few listens the album passed me by a bit. I think the mastering on the CD was a little thin and toppy as was the norm for the late 80s. The remaster, since you ask, is fucking brilliant. Thicker, harder and more in-your-face. Eye-opening and significantly better.

But oh my those songs seeped in and stayed in. Everyone one a winner and crossfaded into a perfect sequence. This, kids, is how you lift a set of songs into being an album.

Beautiful, haunted, delicate, angry, sarcastic, defiant songs.

Anthems.

At the time I never really saw the link between this and acid house that I kept reading out in NME. Mainly, I think, because there wasn’t one. As I got older and met our friend drugs, I saw that it is the perfect comedown/stoner record. It wraps you up and takes on a very beautiful arc and then ends. ….and then g’dung-g’dung-g’dung starts again. Then ends for real. Then you put it on again. Or maybe it was on repeat. Whatever. It washes over you and it sounds like summer and sunlight and youth and rebellion and it understands the importance of not giving a fuck.

It changed the country. The way people dressed and talked and thought and, yes, took drugs. It was smart and literate and it always had a pithy riposte to any complaints. So few bands or records can claim that. Attitude adjusted.

It has become quite fashionable to hate this band and, for the life of me, I cannot see why or how you could. The playing is exquisite, the production is masterful and, while Mr Brown is not a singer per se, he was one hell of a front man, and he is made to sound like a seductive and mischievous angel on this record. Shout to to John Leckie for the magic. They are obviously directly responsible for Oasis which, though very unfortunate, is not their fault.

I’ve not played it for a few months.  It’s on now. It’s making me happy. If you haven’t heard it, go  and play it loud.

Make a friend.

SOME OF LAST NIGHT’S MOVIES

AVENGERS: Endgame

*Spoiler free for now*

It is very a good film. Laughter, tears and punching in healthy and appropriate doses. No sell out.

No cop out.

Three hours whizzzzed by. Gold stars all round.

The Escapist 2008 Rupert Wyatt turns in a puzzle box here with a Nolan-esque time fracture that is *very* deftly handled. Brian Cox’s story is beautiful + keeps something back right until the last minute A brilliant ensemble cast has got more starry over time.

COP CAR #lastnightsmovie

I have owned this for well over a year. Silly me for not watching. A masterclass in contained thriller writing. This is what I am supposed ot be writing. I get that. Not that’s shot in one place. It’s all outdoors. In the midwest sunshine.

Two 10yo’s steal a cop car. The cop is absolutely the last cop you should even talk to, let alone steal from. He tries to get it back. That’s about it. There’s pretty much just the three of them in it. With one character joining later. It is crazy tense and fantastically directed. The story unfolds in pretty much real time.

The director went on to do Spiderman Homecoming after this.

SHAZAM! It was fun. A tad (20mins) flabby. A smidgeon over-cutesy. Should probably have spent more time with the two leads than it did and it could have punched a lot harder with the jeopardy/peril. Supervillians have to measure up to Thanos now.

BEAST. I know. Late to the party. I bought this a bit back but thought it might be a bit BFI gruelling. Silly me. Gorgeously shot and a palapably damp atmos, per True Detective + a fizzing, twisty story with two amazing, layered leads. FANFUCKINGTASTIC.

#lastnightsmovie GLASS:

Enjoyed it. Quite weirdly paced (per the others) but tense AF and I did not see that ending coming.

 

#lastnightsmovie  TIMECRIMES: Spanish lo-fi timetravel thang. A strong idea but it went for a puzzle plot – my fave – and tied itself up in knots. Still with me tho.

#lastnightsmovie OVERLORD

It is fucking great fun if you don’t think too hard about it. JJ must love The Keep. And what a poster.

 

A new thing I did.

Spent last week at a thing called Talent Campus. A spin-off from the London Screenwriters Festival, which I attended last year.

An advanced screenwriting and commercial (and, dare I say, personal) development thing based at Ealing Studios.

It was pretty intense stuff and it turns out pitching is sooo much easier when you are handling tarantulas. Certainly keeps the pitch short and to the point.

We me with some very inspiring, supportive and occasionally brutally honest people from the movie world. And I really learned a lot about a great many things.

I wasn’t expecting the fear-conquering tasks like walking on broken glass or hot coals but who would? It’s definitely not a cult though. Oh no.

The whole thing was a feisty, unexpected and totally immersive 5 days.  Followed now by a month refining my material with a one-on-one mentor who’s worked on Script development with the Coens and some guy named Steven Spielberg, so that’s pretty damned incredible.

And topped off in four weeks with a pitching party with the UK movie industry.

But I most enjoyed meeting this guy. He is surprisingly heavy and now I want one.