Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Last Nights Movies 01.07.2017

Barbarella (1968) – Oh how I have always adored this adventure. so much of it stuck in my mind when I first watched it as a child and it was one of the first shirts I brought from Rabbit In Red, based on a psychedelic comic series and made in an era where boundaries were still being pushed, he essence of Barbarella was captured in a vibrant way but each character remains amazingly district. The sexy situations and innuendos are full on but not overpowering and it’s just so much fun to watch.

It’s certainly had a big influence on the fashion and music industry, the band Duran Duran got it’s name from one of the characters, and many designers have said it was an influence for other movie costumes. It’s certainly influenced me, anyone who’s met me will get bored of me imitating the Great Tyrant, not only from the “pretty pretty” talk but forging my own city of sin and pleasure..

The lose gist of the film is that Barbarella is on the hunt for Dr Duran Duran  who has a weapon that could destroy the universe and she needs to stop him, after befriending an Angelic creature and demonstrating her amazing bedside manner she travels throughout space looking mighty fine until she meets her arch rival The Great Tyrant 9/10

Lighthouse (1999) – This was one of my purchase discs from Choices! man I’m showing my age. It’s a low budget UK production but it tells a pretty awesome story of a prison ship on it’s way to an remote island  but it runs aground and the mix of prisoners and guards have to stick together to avoid a potential serial killer. There are some crazy tense scenes, bad decisions and a crazy stalker with a mystical quality about him. One of the earliest films I ever saw James Purefoy in and a strange appearance from Don Warrington.

It has Simon Hunter’s signature style to it, if you think you’re unfamiliar with his work, then I’ll give you a clue, he did Mutant Chronicles! so expect a strong lead male, with a achilles heel, a misty landscape and strange shots from odd angles, hopefully this will carry on with his new film that’s been announced Last Blood, based on a webcomic with the same name, where the last few human survivors are protected by vampires from the hoards of a zombie apocalypse! 5/10

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)

Last Nights Movies 05.07.2017

*The Belko Experiment (2016)

D: Greg McLean S: John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn, 1h 29m Thriller/Action (USA)

I remember when the trailer popped up on my Youtube feed, it (obviously) made the film look amazing, but I was highly intrigued, who wouldn’t be, the premise is en point, an office on shutdown and suddenly respectable people are thrown into an animalist situation, it has so many classic elements that could be played on, from JG Ballard’s Highrise, Cabin in the woods, Operation Endgame, Lord of the Flies, Wedlock, Running Man and a thousand more books and films that deal with tense social nightmares. It’s not BRILLIANT and it could have been so much more. The broad outline is an office block is locked down, unknown forces have taken over control and surveillance, the staff are tasked to kill X amount of people of X people will be killed, they think it’s hoax until a couple of heads explode, they soon realise that the chips inserted into the necks are bombs, eventually a hierarchy is formed and the place becomes bedlam until a fairly disappointing ending..

There are a lot of errors and some blindingly obviously facts are totally ignored and I guess the creators just assumed we would all turn a blind eye, after all it’s only a movie. The character development was a bit shoddy, relying on some really dated stereotypes to keep the film flowing, the pothead being the most noticeable. The numbers of people seemed terribly wrong, they mentioned only a few hundred at most, my office is a third of the size of theirs and we have over a 1000 staff!?!? The blood and gore look brilliant but there just isn’t enough of it.It was enjoyable enough to try and get through only to find out the mystery but I don’t think I need to go back again..

RATING 4/10

After the excitement of Belko I went back to a golden oldie…

Incubo Sulla Città contaminata/Nightmare City (1980)

D:Umberto Lenzi S: Hugo Stiglitz Laura Trotter, 1h30m Scifi/Horror (ITALY)

I feel this movie is often underrated,the beginning of the 80’s was a period when horror and sci fi was changing, and a lot films were obviously made in the 70’s and released early on in the 80’s but with a thick layer of hippy antics about them, this is one of those films. but if you looked at it as a 70’s film then suddenly it’s not so bad.. Hugo Stiglitz plays a TV news anchor who witnessed the collapse of civilization as the city becomes overrun with mindless hungry assholes. The movie feels different from the Zombie films of it’s time, the message is much more political, and the director has clearly requested that this isn’t categorised as a Zombie film, and if you follow his advice and think about it in terms of a “Radiation Sickness Movie” then it makes more sense and the message of anti-nuclear anti-war is pretty clear.

It is a pretty blood thirsty survivor film, it’s quick pace and unlimited amounts of ammo make it quite “fun” but there is a constant danger and reminder that humanity is on it’s way into hell.. I really like the how much ground this news guy covers, sadly while trying to save the people (mostly women) that he chances upon, he just can’t seem to manage, but his arsenal (left over army weapons mostly) is vast!!! it really does play out like a survivor game.

RATING 6/10

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)

Choose (2010)

Director:Marcus Graves.
Starring. Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Pollak, Nicholas Tucci. USA. 1h 23m.

The preview and adverts for this made it look like a cross between Se7en (1995) and WAz, dark and broody, crazy serial killer, but this dabbles with the atmosphere it’s really there’s more daddy daughter bonding going on and detracts from the “fun”.

The young and wonderful Fiona Wagner (Winnick) is studying for her masters degree in Journalism and is struggling to deal with her mother’s suicide, bonding with her father Tom Wagner (Pollak) )is hard as he’s busy busting crooks but a new serial killer starts to bring them together, chuck in the expertise of her therapist and they morph into a crime hunting trio. Sadly Fiona does a lot of the leg work. The killer is deranged and places people in tricky situations, one is a layer who’s killed by his teenage daughter, she has the choice of killing him or being killed along with her family. Another case is when a pianist is forced to choose between losing his fingers or hearing. Continue reading Choose (2010)

LA Apocalypse / Doomed Planet (2014)

Director:Michael J Suma.
Starring.David Cade, Gine Holden, Christopher Judge USA. 1h 20m.

Somehow this film was advertised as having a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score is 36% and that’s fucking generous. This tea time thriller is less thrill and more yawn. Continue reading LA Apocalypse / Doomed Planet (2014)

Garden Of Love (2003)

Director: Olaf Ittenbach.
Starring.Natacza Boon, James Matthews-Pyecka, Daryl Jackson. Germany. 1h 26m.

It’s quite easy to slate a film just because of it’s shoddy acting and low budget but then there are a few golden films where we actually really adore them just for those reasons, I want to name the Room (2003) but really I don’t know why it’s’ the best of the worst.. but it is. Garden of Love has some pretty bad qualities, poor production being the more noticeable but there is a damn fine slasher movie somewhere in the mess. Continue reading Garden Of Love (2003)

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)