Tag Archives: o

La Weekend August 1

 

District 9 (2009) – I was flabbergasted when I realised just how much this film was hated, I got my copy for free when I asked if anyone has seen it, people were giving it away.. so I was a bit dubious about watching it, but I was hooked within seconds.. it’s a mockumentary look at a group of alien (workers) who have go stuck in South Africa. The effects are brilliant, both the alien technology and “Prons” design look and “feel” impressive. Obviously the setting is key, the messages are deep an poignant. The film is elevated by the amazing and life changing performance from ?? who plays Vikers he goes through every emotion and reacts in non Hollywood’s way, giving a more interesting and diverse story. Personally I find it so attuned and turned on, I was really hoping for a sequel, but I guess I’ll have to sit quite tight. [REVIEW]10/10 Continue reading La Weekend August 1

La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

Continue reading La Weekend July 5

Oasis of Fear (1971)

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Director: Umberto Lenzi.
Starring:Irene Papas, Ornella Muti, Ray Lovelock. Italy. 1h 30m.

What a chance find in CEX helps me find one of the missing items from my Shameless collection, they can’t be all that bad right!?

A couple of hippies are bumming around creating an artistic mayhem until they get caught at a gas station for trying to sell porn photos, they go on the run but soon run out of petrol. Luckily for them, they are near a lush house and grounds (the Oasis) and try their luck at the house, initially all they discover is a frightened woman awaiting the arrival of her husband but what other secrets are locked away in this house!? The hippy couple are used to having the upper hand and out numbering the fragile woman they try to befriend her while also trying to rip her off. But gradually she starts showing her true colours and can play them at their own game, be it fueled with erotica or intense conversation she’s quite a vixen and a cat and mouse games unravels everyone’s plans. Continue reading Oasis of Fear (1971)

Opera (1987) AKA Terror at the Opera

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Day 12 of 31

Director: Dario Argento.

Starring: Christina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Urbano Barberini, Ian Charleson . Italy. 1h 47m

 

Slightly arthouse but very gothic, this epic giallo film from legend Dario Argento see a fusion of opera and slasher collide in this suspense filled macabre horror. Seemingly inspired by the tragic Macbeth, that is the exact plat which Betty, a stunning understudy is working on when she is stalked by a hooded sadistic killer whose main objective is to torture Betty by forcing her to watch him kill but how’s cunning managed to keep his anonymity. On the opening night of the Verdi Opera, a stage hand is killed and all of the ravens that were brought in for the tragic opera, but the curse of Macbeth lives on and Betty is soon on the run. As the film slowly progresses every new character is a potential killer and Betty soon realises she can trust no one, a bulk of the film is literally Betty randomly getting pounced on, then upon waking up in a bound/gagged situation and unable to look away as an innocent person is brutally slaughtered in an outlandish way.

There is a unique feel in this gothic art house giallo, it has the loud badly dubbed soundtrack like so many others but the killer toys with the victims in such a bizarre manner, being one of the few gialli that focuses more on the torture aspect than bizarre settings and a horrific murders.

Poor (not so ugly) Betty, grapples to find sanctuary from this nightmare, one of the more memorable scenes is when she’s getting fitted for a costume when she finds herself bound with tape placed on her face with needles poking up ensuring that she can’t avoid watching the tailor get brutalised,and then a impromptu autopsy is performed on her after she swallows the killers bracelet. Each attack is like a small drama stage play in itself, with the intense lighting and pounding music. The torture method was one conjured up by Argento himself when joking about people shying away from his murder scenes in the cinema, he threatened to tape pins under their eyes so they couldn’t look away and materialised the fascinating idea here.

Verdi’s opera is infamous for bringing bad luck but the aesthetics inspired Argento to be a little bit more experimental with the visuals, from the early scene filmed from the black reflection of a crow’s eye to the haunting dream sequences and flashbacks suffered by Betty. The varied and well executed effects and camera work pays off, everything about the film is about an voyeurism and being centre stage, and every element is arranged in such a way where it’s all very much centre stage and “look at me”, and Argento didn’t really need to force us to look at this marvel as his attempts to make it stunning have mesmerized fans for years.

After several grisly murders and lots of flashbacks there are two epic endings, one follows on nicely and the other hits you like a bat out of hell.. And shouldn’t be missed,

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Rating 8/10

 

 

R – Watch me when I kill, New York Ripper, Bird with Crystal Plumage
L – A-Z of Giallo, Italian Cinema, Crazy endings
A – My love affair with Giallo
Post Discussion

One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (1975)

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An amazing insight into the American mental health system as its being exploited by a comically sharp and hyper character, McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) who’s often at loggerheads with the head nurse Rached (Louise Fletcher).

The basic premise it that Mc Murphy is attempting to wait out his last few days of a prison sentence in a mental hospital as there is more freedom, his energetic approach to life often lands him in trouble with the nursing staff and he is often puzzled by the actions of the inmates and their “treatment” while being blind to how far into the system he had landed himself.

So much of this story revolves around authority and fucking with it, what’s not to love about that?

Bases on Ken Kesets 1962 novel Cuckoo’s Nest, the film tells a similar story about the hell raising McMurphy, and this fabulous remake of a dated story still rings a few bells today in various asylum scenes in films such a 12 Monkeys (1995), and tons of spin of scenes in TV shows such as the SImpsons etc. And there is no question why, from the opening scene with the plastic countryside to the “water fountain” ending this film is packed with brilliant cinema and especially outstanding characterization of ultimate asylum anti-hero and he clashes through the white corridors of this grim mental hospital and ends up stealing a boat as he propels the crazies out into the world and through various comic antics.

The arch nemesis is nobly performed by Louise Fletcher and strangely won her an Oscar, don’t get me wrong her performance was stunning but nowhere near as detailed as the legendary performances from the inmates such as Danny Devito, Brad Dourif (his acting debut should have been a warning to us all) and Christopher Lloyd, and not least to forget Will Sampson who played Chief and gave us some of the most impressive moments in cinema history. Nicholson was literally born to play McMurphy, he’s slick and feeds off the character in this impressive release.

As the movie picks up and the compelling byzantine backstories are plucked from the characters, the tables start to turn, the “fun” ebbs away, McMurphy finds himself “In the system” and his attempts to escape become more desperate but he’s now emotionally attached to the other inmates, this is when the movie gets darker and eventually there is a horrifyingly poignant finale.

Handsomely produced by Saul Zaentz, and expertly directed by Milos Forman nothing is really at fault with this cult movie, it’s brave and deserves the critical and commercial success, and hopefully a reminder that we should all question the rules.

 

Rating 10/10

RMadhouse (2004), Midnight Express (1978) Spider (2002)
L – Asylum Movies, Movies that deal with MADNESS!!!, Mental Health Movies,
5B – Jack Nicholson, Brad Dourif, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd,

Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)

 

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Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
Starring:Kevin Spacey, Llinda Florentino, Helen Baxendale, Peter Mullan, Stephan Dillane, David Hayman. UK/Ireland. 1h 33m.

The first time I caught this, it was on TV as myself and my partner were getting ready to go out for the night and were incredibly delayed as we wanted to watch the end of this film but also were quite desperate for last orders. It’s as ingenious as it is inviting.

Loosely based around the life of a real Dublin gangster Martin Cahill whose story was originally brought to the big screen in 1998 by John Boreman as The General. This version of Cahill played by the soft faced Kevin Spacey is way more devious and mischievous and ever calmly smiling smiling almost at the audience, because, we know.. he ain’t such a bad guy after all. Continue reading Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)

Old 37 (2015)

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Director: Alan Smithee.
Writer: Joe Landes, Paul Travers
Starring: Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, and some other people.. . USA. 1h 24m.

With a promising story line and two seasoned legendary veterans of horror Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley this film should have had a lot more clout but unfortunately to poor writing a terrible script and appalling acting it’s just doesn’t deliver the goods, I know I’m in the minority here but it seems to be one of these films which have youngen’s all hyped up about being a slasher and to be honest Jason, Freddy and Michael probably kill twice as many people while warming up. Continue reading Old 37 (2015)

Outland (1981)

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Director/Writer: Peter Hyams
Starring: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James Sikking. UK. 1h 52m.

After leaving the James Bond franchise Sean Connery was finding his footing in a range of different style of films and with his great acting abilities and physical fitness he was the perfect candidate for this futuristic “Space Western”. Continue reading Outland (1981)

The Other Man (2008)*

the other manDirector: Richard Eyre
Writer: Richard Eyre, CharlesWood +
Starring: Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas, Laura Linney USA. 1h.28m

Sometimes when you suffer from insomnia you find yourself watching some right out tripe.. but I’m not a huge fan of American romances to be fair and I could see some deadly potential, but sadly this movie takes some incredible actors and kinda washes them out in a dingy tearjerker.

Peter (Liam Neeson), the tame husband of a famous shoe designer named Lisa (Laura Linney) comes to the conclusion that his stunning was wasn’t always faithful to him, so tracks down his wife’s lover and travels to Italy to confront him. Continue reading The Other Man (2008)*

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

the other boleyn girl

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Gorgeous frocks and heaving bosoms are the main ingredients of this entertaining film disguised as historical fiction originally written by Philippa Gregory. Anne and Mary Boleyn (Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson) battle it out as sisters and rivals for the attention of a cockspangler Henry VIII (Eric Bana), one striving for love and the other for the throne.

Tudor life seems to full of running from one room to the other bed hopping and spending more time bathing than I was led to believe by my history tutor. The stakes are high though, to gain the king’s favour and to get the family’s Visa paid off, but then Anne ups the stakes and things start to spiral out of control. Continue reading The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)