Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Death Nurse 2 (1988)

Exactly the same as the first Death Nurse movie and with the same "plot", cast, flashbacks etc but with a little communism thrown in for some reason. To be honest, I didn't pay it much attention as a Twitch stream of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was far more interesting. At a push, I'd say that it's slightly better than the first... maybe... sort of?

Death Nurse review here

Letterboxd Review

Death Nurse (1987)

Just for Helen_S, here's a brief review.

A damning indictment of US Medicaid or a fucking awful SOV slasher film with zero plot, flashbacks that are edits from the director's previous film, loads of padding including ice cream eating and cat chasing, god-awful special effects and a cast of the oldest and ugliest people available (you'll be longing for the vapid, pretty, young things from modern films)? I'll leave that for you to decide. Never has an hour felt so long!

Death Nurse 2 review here

Letterboxd Review

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead (2014)

28 Days Later, Mad Max, Bad Taste, The Paul Hogan Show, The 'A' Team and everyone's favourite book of the bible. Hilarious, bloody and ingenious.

An OckZomCom!

Letterboxd Review

Monday, 1 May 2017

Don't Breathe (2016)

Get off my lawn!

The film would have been so much better if they'd kept it morally ambiguous by getting rid of the stupid kidnapping sub-plot. Multiple endings, glaring plot-holes, far too many jump-scares, the extremely irritating "Money" character needed to suffer far more than he did, the turkey baster scene was more hilarious than horrifying and that chase scene with the night-vision cam was just stupid.


Letterboxd Review

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The corpse of the age of Aquarius is butchered and barbecued. Perfect in every way.

Ellie said "s'alright". Kids!

Letterboxd Review

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Predator (1987)

What more could you ask from a jungle-based action sci-fi movie? Schwarzenegger, guns, explosions, blood, guts, booby traps, testosterone overload, quotable dialogue and one-liners, a beautiful woman, magic mud, bombastic score, Jesse Ventura packing a minigun, an alien with a weird crabface and luminous blood. Perfect!

Minus half a star for killing Jesse way too early.

Letterboxd Review

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Boogey Man (1980)

A middling entry in the video nasty list. I don't really know why a slasher took a bizarre detour into haunted house and exorcism territory but I'm okay with that. Great soundtrack, decent gore, well shot and it's always a pleasure to see John Carradine even if the role is not his usual crusty old doomsayer. The end seemed a little rushed but overall The Bogey Man was pretty good.

Letterboxd Review

Monday, 3 April 2017

This is England '90 (2015)

This whole sequence has been like looking at my life, my friends, my music, my politics, my misdemeanours, fuckups and triumphs. In turns, hilarious and deeply moving. Ken Loach for Generation-X. Woody is a legend!

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Long Good Friday (1980)

Alongside Get Carter, this is the dog's bollocks of British gangster films and a veritable who's who of several decades worth of UK film and TV.

"The Mafia? I've shit 'em!"

Letterboxd Review

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013)

Forgot to log this one.

Totally unofficial. No Hendrix music, even his Fender guitars were clones (slightly different headstock, no logo). Funnily, at one point our Jimi plays a Gibson Flying V and I'm pretty sure this was the real thing. It's nice to see that old rivalry is still going strong. Loved the editing.

Not bad at all.

Letterboxd Review

Friday, 24 March 2017

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Steve G was right, this was really good!

Letterboxd Review

Star Wars (1977)

I was once talking to a colleague and made the mistake of saying that I didn't think that Star Wars was the greatest film ever made and that George Lucas was an overrated director. After spluttering for a good 20 seconds he responded "that's because you weren't the right age when it came out". In 1977, I was ten and queued around the block to see Star Wars when it was first released and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also read all the books, including "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" and watched the first two sequels at the cinema when they came out. I'm pretty sure that I was exactly the right age. My colleague, on the other hand wasn't even born in 1977!

Funnily, I'm pretty sure I enjoyed Battlestar Galactica even more because that was in Sensurround and it made your seats shake! I guess, that's kids for you :)

Important, influential and fun but not the greatest film ever made. George Lucas is still overrated and a cynical dick to boot.

Letterboxd Review

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Painting of Horror (1994)

An ultra-low-budget SOV short, less than 20 minutes long.

In a grotty apartment, a woman dresses in sexy undies. The same woman starts to remove sexy undies for a customer. Another woman, in a completely different location, dances on a table. The first woman takes a shower. I think I can see a theme here! A box is delivered. First woman lets her towel fall. Back to the second woman dancing on a table, this time with a fat man watching. First woman gets dressed again. There's definately a theme here! Well, that's well over half the film gone and all I've seen is a box and someone getting dressed and undressed a few times. More table dancing. Another woman enters the apartment. Now, either woman two is wearing a wig or this is woman three... I'm pretty sure this is woman two. They discuss the box, open it and pull out a painting. At last! They then move another painting to a different position, discuss which way to hang the new painting and at long last hang the fucking thing. Five minutes to go. Woman one leaves the apartment to take over the job of dancing but this time not on a table but on a very small stage. Woman two (remember, she's in the apartment) is strangely drawn towards the painting... well she stares blankly at it and gets up off the sofa. The painting bulges towards her hand in a cheap Videodrome, hand poking from the other-side sort of way. A rubber dick pops out of a gash in the painting which then grows, grabs the woman around the neck and pulls her into the painting! The painting burps. Two minutes to go. Woman one is now dancing behind a parasol while stripping. The film then just ends. I'm sure something must have been cut at the end but it was probably more dancing, dressing or undressing.

If you think that because of the multiple dressing/undressing and table dancing, that this is a sexy little short, you couldn't be more wrong. It's not. At all. Nope.

If you really want to watch it you can find it here.

Letterboxd Review

Monday, 20 March 2017

Fatal Deviation (1998)

A low-budget, Irish, martial arts movie?

If the best actor on set is Mikey from Boyzone then you really need to visit the local Drama groups and rustle up a few performers other than multiple Catweazle lookalikes and thick-eared farmer's boys.

Still, it's really not as bad as it sounds. It has structure, the shots are relatively well chosen, all the martial-arts and action tropes are present and correct, from training montages (including Van Damme's trademark splits), tournament fighting, gun-play, bar fights, car and bike chases, one-liners. It's a lot more professional and effective than Samurai Cop!

The film ends with a series of Jackie Chan style out-takes.

Good fun and nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000)

A complex story of politics, religion, mysticism, treachery, revenge, prophesy and revolution. Sci-Fi Fantasy on a grand scale.

Dune is my second favourite sci-fi book after Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" but while this miniseries sticks closer to the source than David Lynch's film, the production values don't do it any favours, with poor effects and a second-rate cast.

The performances are all over the place; P.H. Moriarty as Gurney Halleck is terrible, Baron Harkonnen, Feyd and the Beast do not instil any sort of terror. Paul is played pretty well by Alec Newman, starting off as an arrogant, petulant child before becoming the devotion inspiring Mahdi. It's been a few years since I read the book but I'm sure some of the dialogue was "modernised" and didn't seem to have the elegant and archaic language of the book.

Effects-wise: the Shai-Hulud were okay and you got a good feel for their huge scale but it's best to ignore the shoddy green-screen work. The ornithopters didn't look anything like what I thought an ornithopter should look like.

The costumes and set-dressing, although cheap-looking, had that ostentatious Machiavellian/Borgia/Renaissance/Age of Enlightenment feel that runs throughout the book. I loved the fascistic Samurai look that they gave the Harkonnen and disguised Sardaukar shock troops. However, the stillsuits were baggy and pretty poor (David Lynch made a much better go of them). The Spacing Guild members with their pointy hats seem influenced by the cover of the old paperback I read as a child.

The Petra styled desert sietches with stone furniture and hanging plants contrast well with the ostentatious Imperial and Harkonnen sets. The Islamic and Christian references from the book are present and correct and Paul has a real T.E. Lawrence feel to him.

Would I recommend it to someone new to Dune? Although this adaptation is far less confusing than Lynch's Dune I'd still say you should read the book first as the story is complex (just look at how many names and titles Paul has: Paul Atreides, Muad'Dib, Usul, Mahdi, Kwisatz Haderach) and the miniseries is very long (4:39 hours).

Note that the Australian Umbrella blu-ray has hard-coded French subtitles for the infrequent Bene Gesserit dialogue. English subs do not exist for these brief sections :(

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable, if flawed, miniseries.

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Letterboxd Review

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Accountant (2016)

Well, they shoehorned as many traits as possible and it does nothing to dispel the idea that Aspies are emotionless, would-be killers (even if in a good cause) but it was still good fun, if a little flabby in the second act.

Still, as they say, if you've met one killer with autism, you've met one killer with autism :)

Letterboxd Review

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

I'm a Lazy Bugger

I've been extremely slack about logging my reviews here and that must stop! I have had a few issues with executive functioning and the review process reducing my enjoyment of films and as a result my film watching activities were almost brought to a halt (I need to take notes and as I cannot write and watch at the same time, a 90 minute film can end up taking 3 hours to watch). I did start writing again but my reviews were shorter. I debated whether to bother posting them here as well as on Letterboxd but in the end I relented and will slowly start to copy them across.

So, most future reviews will be on the short side, although I may still splurge and write a longer piece if I feel the need.

UPDATE: All of my Letterboxd reviews are now on Tormented Imp!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Doctor Strange (2016)

Benedict is rather good as a wizardly ego-maniacal otter surgeon with a god complex.

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Demonic (2015)

Yet another horror-lite featuring annoying young shits in a haunted house told with flashbacks and found-footage. You're left counting the minutes until their inevitable and not very scary demise. The good stuff: the police parts with Detective Frank Grillo and Maria Bello as a Doctor of Stuff. The worst: Bryan the arsehole and that bloody psychic girl.

Letterboxd Review

Saturday, 25 February 2017

American Pie (1999)

A virginity losing romp in the grand tradition of Lemon Popsicle and Porkies. Unfortunately, the sequels dispense with the sweet innocence and focus on the smut.

"Say my name, bitch!"

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Loved Ben Kingsley as Trevor the drug-addled Mandarin.

Letterboxd Review

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)

Jodorowsky's Dune may not have been Frank Herbert's Dune but I would have loved to have seen it and this is as close as we'll ever get. I just wonder what Denis Villeneuve's vision will be? All I can say is, that the book is great enough to cope with any adaptation (if you haven't read it, you should) and I'm very excited! After all, it's not like the book will just disappear in a puff of smoke :)

Letterboxd Review

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Shallows (2016)

Hilariously terrible! The slo-mo surfing scenes! Starving so much after a couple of hours she eats a wee crab! Why did she risk her life for a fucking GoPro! The seagull! The drunk Mexican stealing a surfboard! The Swiss Army necklace! A shark not liking jellyfish stings! How long did that fucking tourniquet stay on? What the hell is a buoy doing that close to a beach? Explosive whale oil? Did everyone see the same film as me? My quota of exclamation and question marks has run out. Just awful.

Letterboxd Review

Thursday, 2 February 2017

iBoy (2017)

Lucy (2014)

The Fifth Element, Part 2: Packed with pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo but a fun ride, nonetheless. I liked the homage to The Time Machine and book-ending the story with Australopithecus Lucy.

Anyway, who cares as Denis Villeneuve is set to direct the new Dune adaptation. Nothing at all to do with Lucy, but yay!

Letterboxd Review

Criminal (2016)

It passed the time. I can see they really wanted a franchise out of this and it has a decent premise to work with but the execution ultimately failed. It would have worked quite nicely as a TV show.

WARNING: Piers Twatface makes a brief appearance :(

Letterboxd Review

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Equalizer (2014)

There's one thing missing, and that's the mythology; the Equaliser appearing out of the shadows like a trench-coated angel of vengeance (a bloody Michael Landon, if you will), only to disappear again afterwards. This is played more like a by-the-numbers revenge thriller with a bit of an origin story tacked on. Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Spectre (2015)

James Bond's year zero, which started in Skyfall and ends in Spectre, is a beautiful, post-Bourne restart of the franchise that removes the silliness (that bloody invisible car and that stupid inflatable jacket, which would have suited Jeremy Clarkson more than Bond), adds a large dose of grit and brings back the cool. Bond is Bond again rather than someone's smarmy Dad. I can seriously see them heading back to the books and maybe the next film will be 'Live and Let Die', apparently the first Bond story chronologically after 'Casino Royale'. Not quite up there with Skyfall, but damned close. Good stuff.

Letterboxd Review

Friday, 20 January 2017

London Has Fallen (2016)

They've only gone and bloody blown London up, ain't they!

Really, really, really stupid but just what I needed on a Friday afternoon. Oh, and Charlotte Riley's in it.

At the end, did I really hear that right? Prime Minister Clarkson? I think I'd rather be blown up!

Letterboxd Review

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Demons (1985)

Zero plot, terrible dialogue, terrific effects, impressively gory, the fastest demon apocalypse ever and the most 80s of 1980s horror films. One of the few films where 80s heavy metal doesn't seem out of place (but Go West? Really?). The scene of the demons coming up the stairs with their eyes glowing is justly iconic and thank heavens for crashed helicopters with compressed air grappling guns!

A VHS favourite of mine back in the day and still more fun than a bad, Italian Michael Dudikoff look-a-like can shake a katana at.

Letterboxd Review

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

London Spy (2015)

I don't know what I loved more; Ben Whishaw, Edward Holcroft, Jim Broadbent or Jim Broadbent's beautiful house and car. Bloody good stuff! Minus a star for Adrian Lester, who I've never been fond of and the crappy, elegiac pop music in the final and slightly corny scene.

Letterboxd Review

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Midwinter of the Spirit (2015)

Slightly spooky. Equal parts irritating, hysterical, obvious and silly with a lacklustre ending.

Letterboxd Review

Rolling Thunder (1977)

A hard Rane's gonna fall.. boom-tish!

William Devane, Tommy Lee Jones, Luke Askew, Dabney Coleman and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. What more do you want?

Letterboxd Review

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Best and Most Beautiful Things (2016)

A young, blind, aspie woman's search for her identity as an independent adult. Michelle sold the whole film and is open and extremely likeable.

A few things that stood out:
  • After Michelle explains to a teacher why she felt patronised by her: "It's not you, it's your autism speaking". What a witch!
  • The sensory-overload of the basketball game.
  • The scene when Michelle tries to chat to another woman in a bar during a Pride fest, only for the woman to turn her back to her was heartbreaking!
  • What a great mother and boyfriend!
  • Cool socks!
Letterboxd Review

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Hell on Earth: The Desecration & Resurrection of The Devils (2002)

I don't think I'll ever shift the image of Lovejoy's Tinker (Dudley Sutton) warming actresses goose-pimpled tits with a hairdryer out of my head.

For those wondering, there are short clips of the 'Rape of Christ' and 'Charred Bone' scenes on the 2-disc BFI DVD but they are not shown in their entirety thanks to the restrictions imposed on the release by Warner Brothers. As far as I know, apart from bootlegs and youtube clips taken from VHS recordings of the original Channel 4 airing of 'Hell on Earth' there is currently no way to see these excised scenes.

A bloody good documentary on an excellent film but both critic Alexander Walker and Warner Brothers are Grade-A dicks.

The world without Ken Russell and Derek Jarman is a little more dull and pedestrian :(

Letterboxd Review

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Marvel's answer to the collateral damage of DC's 'Man of Steel' and 'Batman v. Superman'.

That airport fight scene was so much fun!

Letterboxd Review

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

"But when you disarm them, you at once offend them by showing that you distrust them, either for cowardice or for want of loyalty, and either of these opinions breeds hatred against you." -- Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince [Chapter XX]

I used 'Star Trek Beyond' to test my new Sony Bravia 4K 55" TV, Denon 7.2 amp (still using 5.1 speakers) and Yamaha subwoofer. I can now consign my extremely old Pioneer 5.1 system to the dusty attic of forgotten gizmos as the film looked and sounded great!

Death by Rock? Really? Ridiculous fun!

Letterboxd Review