Category Archives: Drama

Ostatnia Rodzina / The Last Family (2016)

Director: Jan P. Matuszynski
Starring: Andrzej Seweryn, Dawid Ogrodnik, Aleksandra Konieczna. Poland. 2h 3m

I was quite desperate to see this movie as Zdzisław Beksinski is one of my all time favourite painters and his biography is quite bleak, so in the right hands this film should have been glorious and it’s absolutely captivating. Continue reading Ostatnia Rodzina / The Last Family (2016)

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Dr Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (1973)

AKA The Mansion of Madness

Director:Juan López Moctezuma .
Starring.Claudio Brook, Arthur Hansel, Ellen Sherman. Marin LaSalle. Susana Kamini. Mexico. 1h 39m.

The concept of this darkly macabre path into insanity is simple, the inmates have taken over the asylum. This  vision of madness come from the king of the unusual, the film is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The System of Dr Tarr and the Professor Feather.  A reporter (Brook) and his entourage have been invited to 19th century asylum hidden deep in the woods, their guide promises easy access but they are confronted by two armed guards, eventually they are let in and split up, the reporter takes one route while his beloved is chased through the woods and abused. After meeting various groups of people acting out wildly in the forest he meets the megalomaniac who’s running the whole affair and soon realises that the inmates have taken over and the prisoners are the redundant staff. In the absence of medical care they are left to their own crazy devices and act out their basest fantasies and have incredibly surreal urges. Continue reading Dr Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (1973)

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins. USA. 1h48m.

When I first heard about this film I was shaking my head crying about Another remake, but I still headed out to see it, just because I wanted to have a sofa to myself at the new local Empire Cinema,so I booked those two seats baby!

So it’s not a remake but it is a remake, yet again we’re discovering Kong but he’s not King anymore, in the same was that Spider man is not just a spider man he’s the AMAZING Spiderman, so now that King Kong had been downgraded and a slightly different persona and his tastes for blondes has been abandoned.
Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Quadrophenia (1979)

Director: Franc Roddam.

Starring: Sting, Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Wilcox, Mark Wingett, Phil Davies, Ray Winstone UK. 2h 0m.

Based heavily on one of the musicals written The Who, this landmark film really captures a slice of British History, albeit a little glamorized and hyped up, it’s a great glance back in time for us youngins. One of the merits of this  “not a musical/musical” is that there is no singing or dancing.. , it’s heavily structured by the Who’s powerful soundtrack but it’s only a part of the film and isn’t too overbearing.

Starting with some ambiguity, the film slowly and passionately details the working man’s life, the working man is Johnny, day to day he’s the mail boy, dealing with post by day and dealing with drugs and parties by night. He makes the schoolboy error of falling in love with a popular girl Lesley Ash (without her trout pout) but she hardly notices him and in turn he totally ignores a chemist who’s besotted with him and keeps him pilled up played by the lovely round faced Toyah Wilcox. Generally the drugs comes from Milky a black two-stone dealer who can be hard to find but the mods like to party and they party a lot, the only thing on their mind (apart from girls) is partying until the big event in Brighton and fighting the Rockers!

On first viewing the film is just another English drama, all about Johnny, getting by in life and living for the big beaches of Brighton where he and his crew are heading for long bank holiday weekend but as the movie progresses, through the bath houses, and greasy spoon cafes of the london street sceen, Johnny is experiencing something a little deeper than his’ peers and family really understand. Johnny is a pure mod, he lives and breathes the movement, and is a pillar of the small community, but his dreams are to be noticed with the big guys in Brighton, especially; Face (Sting) his ultimate hero and he can’t wait to meet him and bask in his company.

The copious amounts of pills and hormones aren’t helping, his head is all over the show, often missing work to spend time working on his bike, his future employment is at risk but he doesn’t care, he doesn’t want the 9-5, he has no aspirations to fit in with society he just wants the mod life, the young hopeful is building himself up to something so great it might not be achievable. His family barely notice that he’s alive, and have no clue what he’s really about, his family are his chosen friends..

The second half of the film things do start to spiral out of control, the group make their way to Brighton, they meet the legends and icons, go dancing and do some fighting, everything they dreamt of, Johnny even gets a bizarre encounter with his beloved up a dodgy alleyway during the fight, this spot is still a mod mecca point which is testament to the everlasting cult behind this film. Sting makes a small appearance at Face, the mod of all mods with the moddest bike on the planet, his character is also the breaking point for little Johnny when the a reality check hits him at a crucial moment and as his life is spiralling out of control, but with his eureka moment it dawns on the viewer that there might be an underlying mental problem here, Johnny is made up of all the characters from the Who, his schizophrenic personality changes in tune with the music… The end of the film is the beginning of the film, leading some to believe that this is a cycle of life that our hero Is trapped in, or it could just be artistic licence…

It’s pretty unmissable and you don’t need to be an acolyte of the scene to appreciate the heart of our lonely hero. It’s easy to identify with Johnny he’s the inner teenager within most of us stumbling over the problems that arise from not wanting to adult.  We all crave some excitement but most of us regain some kind of balance and end up conforming, what happens to Johnny as he walks back from the White Cliffs of Dover might have made a powerful sequel.

 

 

Rating 9/10

RNorthern Soul (2014), One Man Black Metal (2012)

L – Musicals

Chronic (2015)

Director :Michel Franco Starring :Tim Roth (Mexico/France) 1h 47m

It’s not often that films like to detail the withering away of a person, it’s usually a story that doesn’t attract a large crowd, it can be depressing, sad, often conjuring up lots of emotions that an audience doesn’t want to feel, sensitive issues and awkward situations that an audience doesn’t want to feel. Chronic deals with a lot of these, in their rawness and forces us all to watch all the details. Continue reading Chronic (2015)

The autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

 

Director: André Ovredal
Starring: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch,  USA. 1h 39m

I was pretty psyched about this film, thinking it was going to be some cop drama about a dead chick and while ripping her body apart they get hurled into an investigation that was going to change their lives, but this is what I get for not checking out more about the movie..it’s something totally different, fortunately it turned out to be much better than I ever imagined.

Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch play a father and son duo who work in the mortuary lab, and are tasked with performing an autopsy on a Jane Doe discovered in an unusual spot, under the home of a family that have been brutally murdered, Cox is still training his son in the fine art of dissecting and inspecting bodies, the old school champion still abides by lots of historic methods including the tying of bell to the toe of a corpse, which his son and his girlfriend find quite amusing until the old man scares them with his old wit.

The two fearless men, decide to pull an allnighter to work out why this woman died, as she doesn’t appear to have any wounds, her body is in pristine condition. So how did she die? From the moment the make the first cut and start taking her apart, things start happening, strangely her blood flows, which is not normal for a dead body, blood coagulates after death right? They discover more questionable items within her and about her body. Her tongue has been removed, her heart is scarred, there is cloth placed inside of her, what happened to this girl and why? As the night draws on they notice strange noises coming from the corridors and in the morgue shelves, that’s when things really start getting strange.

The atmosphere and tense situations are really magnified in the later scenes of this film, it doesn’t spend a lot of time introducing the plot and story which is great as it has so much more to offer during the actual autopsy which is the bulk of the film. It’s gripping and imaginative, slowly a story eeks out that dates back to the 1800’s, it’s elegantly crafted to keep you gripped, I lost my breath a few times. The men have to use their wits and knowledge to combat the strange happenings in the once familiar setting which becomes very dangerous and alien to them.

Every body has a secret.

Brian Cox is always a gem, and gives a brilliant performance here, as a protector and investigator; he’s backed up by Hirsch who reminds me of a more serious Jack Black, but as the momentum builds, he slowly steps up to the mark and really develops an interesting character as the student/son, he becomes more believable  it’s an usual change of pase from Norwegian Director André Øvredal who gave a thrill on an epic scheme with Trollhunter (2010) and successfully creates a film as equally ambitious and creative, but with totally different creepy origins and it continues to deliver a brilliant unfolding mystery until it’s tinkling end.

 

 

Rating – 8/10

R – The Witch (2015), The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
L – Corpses…

Post Discussion

 

The Institute (2017)


Directors:
Pamela Romanowsky, James Franco
Starring: James Franco, Allie Gallerani,Tim Blake Nelson,Joe Pease, Lori Singer, Eric Roberts. USA. 1h 30m.

A grief stricken Isabelle (Gallerani) checks herself into the Rosewood asylum to find a cure for her melancholy, her dedicated brother Robert (Pease) is deeply concerned about how the death of their parents have affected her and checks in on her and the history of the asylum despite being urged by the trusted Dr Torrington (Roberts) that it’s the best hospital in the country. Isobelle becomes a patient under the highly talented and slightly eccentric Dr. Carin (Franco) and his creepy surgeon sidekick Dr. Lemelle (Nelson). As Isobelle starts to become aware that there are other women at the asylum who seem second class, injured and shabby the crawl the halls, but she’s promised that she won’t have to be around them and her care is seperate but she strikes up a friendship with them. Continue reading The Institute (2017)

Bundy: An American Icon (2008)

Director:Michael Feifer .
Starring.Corin Nemec, Kane Hodder, Jen Nikolaisen. USA. 1h 27m.

There will never be a serial killer movie which really gets at all the nitty gritty, ugly details of a serial killer and/or their killings. I’m pretty certain of that, but now and again something will try and trip that line and at least give us a decent movie. While I really enjoy this film and watch it regularly; i have to admit that it’s not actually a brilliant film. At times it’s a bit bland. It certainly doesn’t give me the insight I crave for but I’m in a minority here, not everyone is interested in serial killers and most people just want to know enough to say they are aware of but they don’t want to see the real face of a killer looking back at them from a TV movie. Continue reading Bundy: An American Icon (2008)

Bokeh (2016)

Directors: Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan.
Starring. Maika Monroe, Matt O’Leary, Arnar Jonsson. USA/Iceland. 1h 44m.

Every now and again there is new renaissance of post apocalyptic films, most of them are pretty horrific, some rely heavily on sci fi and others are intense dramas, and then there is Bokeh which is just a bit dull..

Starting with a young couple, deeply in love and on a romantic trip to Iceland, the atmosphere is really warm and inviting, they seem amazingly bright and brilliant showing all the love and warmth that you’d expect when young love is on the cards. The couple make the most of their first day, going on tours and meeting a local priest, learning about the thriving history and culture. Continue reading Bokeh (2016)

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Director: Abel Ferrara.
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frankie Acciarito, Peggy Gormley, Victor Argo, . USA. 1h 36m.

The 90’s were the golden revival era of disturbing films, and while this isn’t your average cop film, it is a brilliant cop drama but the main character is so massively flawed that you often forget that he’s supposed to be the good guy.

Harvey Keitel plays the ultimate asshole of a cop LT, who shambles about the city, taking drugs, pulling over and intimidating young girls, he’s a mess, stealing drugs from crime scenes and on the odd occasion babysitting his kids and racking up huge gambling debts. Continue reading Bad Lieutenant (1992)