Director: Alex Garland.
Based on: Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
Starring. Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac. USA. 1h 57m.
This newest visionary delight from Alex Garland, doesn’t fit into the typical science fiction category, with other Netflix releases like Bright (2017) and Cloverfield Paradox (2018), where the effects and story are both weak in the later and jarring this side step into the cerebral is exactly what a lot of dedicated science fiction fans have been craving for so very long now. Taking on a model similar to the legendary Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) or Solaris (1971), Annihilation plunges it’s audience into a lavish and dangerous new world to explore along with a scattering of emotive flashbacks added purely for good measure. Continue reading Annihilation (2018)
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Frances O’Connor, Morgana Davies, Calian Mulvey, Finn Woodlock . Australia . 1h 42m
Based on : The Hunter by Julia Leigh
It’s not often a wild storyline produces such a masterpiece of a movie but there’s a lot to be amazed about in this redemption thriller surrounding the extinct Tasmanian tiger a biotech company and a hippy conservationist family living in the Australian sticks.
Heavily based on a book of the same title by Julia Leigh, the film managed to capture the essence of the original novel and sets it perfectly in the lush wilderness of Tasmania, it doesn’t look like the typical Australian film and is quite refined, with it’s far out story, which is empowered enough that at times it’s easy to find it plausible.
A weathered and extremely diligent mercenary, Martin David (Dafoe) is hired by a military biotech company called Red Leaf to go to Tasmania, gathers samples of the Tasmania Tiger, with a further instruction to kill all the reaming tigers so their rivals won’t be able to get ahead of them in the game. Now I’m pretty sure that the Tasmanian tiger has been extinct since the olden days, the last remaining tiger looked as if it were photographed in the late 1800’s to my untrained eye. But here we have a race to a fabled last remaining tiger and to harvest it for a lab. Continue reading The Hunter (2011)
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya. USA. 1h 50m
The lack of originality in this horror sci fi is quite disturbing, not only the story pretty basic, but it could have lead to some riveting situations, but the set up is like a b movie horror, if there was a trail of blood leading to a room of screams the cast would trip over each other running into sudden death. But there is a blinding moment at the “oh fuck” ending which really hit a personal nerve with me otherwise the film would be a total disaster.
An unnamed interstellar mission uncovers a basic life form in some soil samples from Mars. The probe is recovered by the International Space Station and their 6 member crew manage to revive a cell sample, which quickly evolves into a multi celled organism which American school children name Calvin. I can only imagine it started out as a piece of space Slime Mold (Check out the docu film Creeping Garden for a ton of info) An accident in the lab causes Calvin to become dormant, so Hugh Derry (Bakare) tries to shock Calvin back to life, this obviously pisses off Calvin who crushes his hands an in his hostile frame of alien mind then roughs up the doctor and starts smashing up the lab. At one point he breaks into a small cage and eat one of the lab rats, and starts to grow larger. Despite initiating safety protocol, which means isolating the doctor and Calvin, the team still decide to enter the room in order to save the doctor, (DOH!), Calvin then see this is a free lunch. This is probably one of their more imaginative attacks, as he enters the scientist body and eats him from the inside out, but upon reappearing he is larger, which is a pretty big indication to the fact that Calvin just consumes and grows. So after eating Ryan Reynolds our boy Calvin then decides to go on a murderous rampage in and around the ship. Continue reading Life (2017)
Director: Lin Oeding
Starring: Jason Momoa,Stephen Lang, Zahn McClarnon,Jill Wagner, Brendan Fletcher, Sasha Rossof, Garret Dillahunt. USA/Canada. 1h 39m
After the massive successes of his many roles as a hero, marvel super or otherwise, it’s not strange to see Jason Momoa being brave in a range of other roles, his name will attract an audience no matter what he does now and despite being typecast this movie had the right name but it’s a bit of a dumb flop of a film but we get to see Momoa running around in the snow chucking axe’s at people, so it’s not a total loss. Continue reading Braven (2018)
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Batista,Ralph Fiennes,Christoph Waltz, some invincible chick .USA. 2h 28m
I never describe myself a as a fan of anything but after the new wave of bond movies I am certainly happy to describe myself as a fan of early bond movies. For me the 60/70s charm of bond came in the guise of Roger Moore and Sean Connery, the 90’s and early 00’s n bonds passed me by and I can’t say I bothered to watch any of them, and I was highly disappointed with the Craig movies but I have attempted to watch them, despite not really getting what makes them so amazing.. This particular installment was okay though.. yep just OK… Continue reading Spectre (2015)
Starring Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh. Taiwan.
An amazing twitter buddy reminded me of this movie, if you’ve got any interest in B-Movies then check out @cjzisi <-twitter and/or the blog for a treasure trove of amazing reviews of rare and obscure films. I had seen this many years ago but I have to admit that somehow it was somewhat mostly forgotten, so I dug out the old VHS and re watched it.. Damn how the hell did I manage to forget any of this!? Continue reading Gong fen you xia / Pink Force Commando (1982)
Director: Brad Silberling
Starring: WIll Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma, Taccone. USA 1h 32m
This turned out to be a slightly psychotronic and fairly deranged movie. Having an air about it similar to the legendary Buckaroo Banzai while tossed into the Twilight Zone with the Flintstones.
A space-time vortex sucks scientist Rick Marshall (Ferrell), his assistant Holly (Friel) and a survivam nut Will (McBride) into a world populated by dinosaurs and painfully slow creatures called Sleestaks. With few resources at their disposal, Rick, Holly and Will must rely on their only ally, a primate named Chaka (Taccone), to try to survive long enough to figure out a way back home. Continue reading Land of the Lost (2009)
D: David Ayer
S: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton. Noomi Rapace USA. 1h 57m
Described as the worst movie of 2017, I had to check this out, maybe it was a PR stunt but it worked, it got me looking and I was pleasantly surprised, while constantly looking for the loopholes, terrible acting and a story that I couldn’t understand I found the opposite and was a bit more confused about why this is was coined as being so bad when I was tempted to watch it again….
Not quite realising how long the film was going to be, as a lot of current films are getting shorter for the attention span of the masses, this is a bit of an marathon, being just shy of 2 hours, but it does use all that time quite wisely while being a sort of fantasy rip off of Alien Nation (1988). Instead of aliens descending upon us, this is an alternative reality where Orc’s, Elves and other mythical beings exist. Daryl Ward (Smith) is a know it all police officer who’s been teamed up with a pariah Nick Jakoby (Edgerton) who’s an “unblooded” Orc, we learn that this makes him a bit of a hipster, who’s from a long line of other hipsters who basically don’t kill, this gives him a bum status with all the other Orcs but the humans refuse to accept him as Orcs are famed for having accepting the “darker” more evil path as part of their nature so they can’t be trusted, in the locker rooms men boast about being Orc slayers.
Continue reading Bright (2017)
Director: Louie Gibson and Joe Dietsch.
Starring. Martin Dingle Wall, Ken Lally, Kenny Wormald, Connor Williams, Gary Strum,CJ Baker. USA. 1h 31m.
Gibson and Dietsch have produced a gory little survival horror filled with little surprises and a strange story of redemption, reform and recovery. Continue reading Happy Hunting (2017)
Day 6 – It Stains the Sands Red
Director: Colin Minihan
Starring: Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir Canada. 1h 32m.
On days when I’m laid up with the flu I usually end up watching a terrible b movie while hallucinating on extreme flu remedies, it tends to make the film more enjoyable, that time I did this I watched Chemical Peel, this year I watched It Stains the Sands Red and I really enjoyed this offbeat zombie drama.
Molly, a powder sniffing pole dancer with a few daddy issues gets stranded in the desert while being hunted down by one lone unrelenting zombie. At first she enjoying keeping a few paces ahead of the foul smelling ghoul but soon she realises that the zombie doesn’t need to rest but strangely she forms a bond with it and the ordeal turns out to be therapy for the demons that have been chasing Molly all of her life. Continue reading It stains the sands red (2016)