This plays like a trailer for the never produced fifth Blind Dead film. It gets the visual look of the 1970's right and all it's missing is the iconic music.
Monday, April 23, 2018
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Caught these folks again the other night and - as always - had a great time. They played tunes from across their career but leaned heavily on the new, very strong album. The only song I was unfamiliar with was the Lin-Manuel Miranda penned Ben Franklin's Song which was cut from Hamilton. He thought it was the perfect track for The Decemebrists - and he was right!
Many F-Bombs are dropped in Ben Franklin's Song. If you know Ben's life that won't be much of a surprise.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Adapted from a novel by Jeff VanderMeer by director Alex Garland (EX MACHINA) the film channels Tarkovsky's classics SOLARIS (1972) and STALKER (1979) but finds a new way to get to the same questions. This tale's answers are surprising as well with the main character's motivations twisting in an interesting direction by the third act. This is not a perfect film but it is thoughtful, intelligent speculative fiction that stands well beside ARRIVAL (2016) proving that cerebral science fiction filmmaking isn't dead yet, even if it only shows its head on rare occasions.
At the other end of current cinema science fiction we have a film that is built around giant robots beating the crap out of each other.
PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (2018) should not have been as enjoyable as it turned out to be. As a sequel it should be a weaker version of the original movie running the surviving characters through their paces while introducing some cardboard new faces to take the place of the hearty souls that perished in the last story. So, how did this movie manage to surprise me? It refuses to copy and paste the first film. Yes, it brings the next generation of Jeager controllers on board giving us the fresh, young faces to pilot the robots but it makes a couple of sharp turns with the new characters. The story has advanced ten years so the holdovers are the same but different. In fact, some of the changes to them are both logical and horrible turning the third act of this story in an interesting direction. I won't spoil things but I was impressed with how this continuation grows the storyline in smart ways giving the
Pacific Rim title an even more understood
importance. And they did it all without subverting the victory of the first
movie! I love it.
ANNIHILATION (2018) - 8
IT CAME FROM ANOTHER WORLD! (2007) - 6
NAKED...YOU DIE (1969) - 7 (rewatch)
CAVE WOMEN ON MARS (2008)- 5
MY FORBIDDEN PAST (1951) - 7 (
drama with Mitchum) New Orleans
DARK HARVEST (1992) - 2 (shot on video mess)
THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR (2017) - 4 (no budget fantasy tries hard)
THE SAGA OF HEMP BROWN (1958) - 6 (standard western made good by cast)
DIMENSION 5 (1966) - 3 (terrible, cheap SF spy tale)
THE MYSTERIOUS MAGICIAN (1964) - 7 (a.k.a. DER HEXER - fun krimi)
THE SCARLET CLAW (1944) - 7 (rewatch) (creepy Sherlock tale)
LIFE (2017) - 7 (good ALIEN clone)
DAUGHTER OF DRACULA (1972) -6 (Jess Franco vampire film)
NIGHT SCHOOL (1981) - 6 (not bad slasher)
CRY WOLF (1947) - 7 (Flynn & Stanwyck in mystery melodrama)
ROUGH NIGHT IN
(1967) - 7 (solid western with Peppard and Dean Martin) JERICHO
ISLAND CLAWS (1980)- 5 (well done but let down by FX)
THE NICE GUYS (2015) - 8 (rewatch)
PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (2018) - 8
Friday, April 13, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Sadly, this excellent series is not well known in the United States as it was only broadcast briefly in the early 1980's and only in a few cities. It's deadly serious tone combined with the typical British SF television low budget look made it a difficult sell here, I suppose. But it is exactly that tone and look that attracted me initially as I was already used to the feel of Doctor Who of the period. It was the smart scripts and sharp dialog that kept me coming back for more. I would eventually spend lots of time over the years digging through magazines and books trying to learn more about the show. It was years before I was able to see all the episodes and by then I could quote some scenes perfectly.
But I know I'm part of a small cult on this one. Just not enough people know of the show and I fear that far too many others would not have the ability to forgive it for the problems that it's low budget necessitated. The leap required for the willing suspension of disbelief might be impossible for those that didn't catch the show in a less CGI-filled time. Oh, well.
If you're interested enough to see what all the fuss was once about the entire series seems to be available on YouTube. Below are the first three episodes that set the story in place and introduces the first central cast. My hope is to find another fan of the series and do a 40th Anniversary podcast about Blake and his band of rebels and miscreants. Fingers crossed!