I cracked

I bought these two little wonders at the weekend.

Both seem absolutely perfect to me.

Admittedly I haven’t seen WW1984 but I am sure this is on point and it makes me want to see it so it is doing just fine.

 

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NEW SCREENPLAY

LUCKY DIP*

Schoolkids selling a legendary lucky antique to raise money for their school discover its strange power and fight to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Working on the first draft now.

*working title

more and more and more

HELLBOY.

Well, boy! Sorry, but it’s a catastrophe for me. Mainly the acting, HB aside. And the story. And the dialogue. And the CG. Wow, guess the studio agrees. Probably any two of those nailing it, could make a virtue of the others. ADR/Dubbing’s suboptimal too. I couldn’t finish watching.

POSTER It is a Hellboy poster.

STAND OFF AT SPARROW CREEK

Brilliant tense AF contained thriller. Gritty, tough and surprisingly restrained. Bunch of American militia guys in a warehouse. Twisty like a hurricane. Extra smart plot. Exemplary work from Henry Durham.

POSTER. Cool. Tad generic but effective.

SHAFT

The new one. Hmmmmm. Could have been worse. Should have been better. The tone of this movie was all over the place.

POSTER: sigh.

THE KINGS OF SUMMER.

Stand By Me vibes. Kids run off and hide in the woods lit by perfect summer filter. Firmly in the drama box but it was very very funny.

POSTER: Hmmm. Well it’s cool but it would not make me want to see this movie. This movie could have been bigger if it had suggested it was funny.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Saw it at the time. Thought meh. Second view made me truly appreciate what Fincher/ Sorkin pulled off here. Plot = Zuck kinda ripped some guys off + is an asshole. ALL talking-in-rooms but, it’s v compelling. Fincher uses disorientation as a hook.

POSTER: The Michael Clayton route. Works well.

BOOKSMART.

Dang, this is a funny film, full of all kinds of brilliantly drawn characters. Really tho, funny as fuck. And touching. And clever. And weird. My whole family laughed its collective ass off. The best movie of 2019.

POSTER: It’s OK. As far as it goes. Undersells the concept.

 

DOMINO.

A while since I saw a dePalma movie. Lumbered with a mismatched cast, this was a wiggly but thin (and typically offensive) 90 minute cop thriller, that went to weird places and back again. Not unenjoyable but hard to remember even the next day.

POSTER: Too ugly to include.

CHERNOBYL.

Gripping, human, terrifying. Superb, gongworthy acting from the whole cast: accents reeking of 1970s British Trade Union grimness. Bleak’n’unique look. Perfect. And I think I might have spotted a giant metaphor about the USSR lurking in the background. I know it’s not a movie.

POSTER: Perfect. Literally.

ANNIHILATION.

My 5th time. 1st on Blu. It looks extra magnificent. Esp Act 3. A modern classic. Deep, weird + endlessly fascinating. A beautiful corruption of form indeed Apocalypse Now fused with 2001. YOU should definitely watch it, y’know. It’s very *you*.

POSTER: the original one is very good but falls just a little short for me. This one by Zi Xu takes a less mysterious approach but oh my, 10/10 for impact, eh?

US.

Hmmmm Get Out knocked me off my perch. But this really doesn’t have any more ideas than are in the (excellent) trailer. I felt cheated out of a Big Reveal. Bar some token jiggery-fuckery in the last 5 mins, this slasher has many many nice touches but a great big hole in the middle.

POSTER: the official ones we all quite cool

CAPTIVE STATE.

A great idea but its knotty men-on-a-mission but-not-the-protagonist plot felt unnecessarily impenetrable at times. Kinda post-alien-invasion Third Man / Collaborateur noir vibes with a rubbish-piled-up Children Of Men feel. Good ending. bad start.

POSTER: Truly beautiful. Top marks.

 

JOHN WICK 3.

Into it. A great many kicks in the balls. Probably a tad overlong and very much  more of the same but a pig lot of fun. Please don’t try to copy these movies, you will get them wrong.

POSTER: it really needed to spell out a 3 with the shadows, right?

 

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.

 

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.