alexsarll: (default)
Just tried watching Alex Cox's Repo Chick. Now, bearing in mind that I consider an evening watching the Blu-ray extras of Repo Man to be a good evening (especially the Harry Dean Stanton interview)...just no. The idea of using Matchbox cars and model railway sets (plus green screen) in order to do your film on the cheap is quite heroic, but the feeble satire of the Paris Hilton/Kardashian/whoever lead just leaves a void at the heart of it all, and not in a good way.

I've not written anything about films I've seen on here in ages, have I? Some of them don't really need it - it should be easy enough to guess that I've seen Guardians of the Galaxy and loved it, because demographics. Ditto The Lego Movie (genuinely an incredibly smart film as well as a thoroughly fun one - layers within layers, and a desire to interrogate itself of which most 'serious' films can only dream). Then you get stuff like Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, or X-Men: Days of Future Past, where it's worth going to the big screen for the spectacle, even if the film doesn't quite hold together. Or, in the latter case, is about 80% nonsense. As against the first Hunger Games which I saw pretty much by accident, but made a very coherent job of surfing the zeitgeist, at least until the last ten minutes. Oh, and finally got around to Frozen which is...OK? Better songs than Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, but I'd otherwise rank them pretty similarly - passable, but no Pixar. Some cults I can parse; other ones perplex me.

A little less obviously:
Chronicle, Max Landis' found-footage superhero film. Very compelling, if slightly derailed the second you realise one of the newly-empowered teens is clearly a men's rights activist avant la lettre. Also on a skewed superhero tip: The Specials. Rob Lowe, James Gunn, next to no budget, fake documentary style. Flawed, but fascinating. I hope the superhero cinema boom will enable more of these odd little subgenre pieces, rather than swallowing them.
Becket: only the second best film in which Peter O'Toole plays Henry II, but given the other one is The Lion in Winter, that's still no small accolade.
Sightseers: my least favourite Ben Wheatley film. But again, when you consider the competition...
The Philadelphia Story - I saw this on stage years back, with Kevin Spacey and some other people of note, none of whom I can now remember. They were fine, but they weren't Katharine Hepburn, or Jimmy Stewart, let alone Cary Grant. What a cast. What a film.
This Is Tomorrow - Saint Etienne's documentary about the Royal Festival Hall. The most profoundly restful film I've ever seen.
'His Heavy Heart' - the concluding segment, for now, of Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins' short film cycle. Essentially, David Lynch directing Vic & Bob. I hope a DVD release will get the whole project the wider audience it deserves.
Charlie Chaplin's The Circus went round at least twice as a backdrop in a restaurant. I don't really get most of the silent clowns at all, but Chaplin always makes me smile if not laugh, even in such a chopped-about setting.
Tarkovsky's Stalker - so this is the shared source Jeff Vandermeer, M John Harrison and the rest have all been 'homaging' lately. On the other hand, I tend not to struggle to stay awake in their versions, so they certainly bring something to the party.
alexsarll: (bernard)
Gmail's spam filter has been getting increasingly overzealous lately. I can forgive it the mailing lists and ads from online shops, but mails from people it knows I have mailed? Individual replies in conversations where I am clearly taking part? And now, in a real masterstroke - the notifications from my Google Alert. Calm down, soldier!

Fun though [ profile] darkmarcpi's birthday (observed) was last night, mostly the weather this weekend has been encouraging me to catch up on my sleep, and my viewing. Bionic Woman, for instance, which wasn't quite as bad as I'd come to expect, but would still do much better to focus on Katee Sackhoff as the hotter, less whiny bionic woman. The whole "what have you done to me?" bit would work if she'd ended up like Robotman, a human brain trapped in cold, unfeeling metal - but she hasn't, has she? She seems to have no loss of sensation, no downsides to her posthumanity. This being the case, I have much more sympathy for Sarah Corvus' ongoing upgrades, "cutting away everything that's weak".
Final Worlds of Fantasy was pretty good, although as well as the New Weird stuff I would have appreciated a note on how totally genre boundaries are breaking down now, and thank heavens for that - a nod to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, for instance. Oh, and speaking of the New Weird - free Jeff Vandermeer book for download, plus interview. Oh yes, and based on those clips I no longer have any interest in seeing the Hogfather adaptation. How unconvincing was Death?
And Torchwood's 'From Out Of The Rain' was, unsurprisingly, very good. PJ Hammond's previous episode was the one which stopped me abandoning the series, and on this one he'd been given even more leeway to cut loose with his Sapphire & Steel preoccupations. I also like his deft touch here as in 'Small Worlds' with the possibilities of Jack's having been around, and not just in the sexual sense the other writers riff on. Although, something - the lighting, the direction? - left me feeling the episode wasn't quite as eerie as it could have been.

Though I knew Cuba was a vile regime, and that the Manics' support for it was one of their more questionable decisions even during their long, sad decline, I had no idea that until Fidel's brother relaxed the rules just now, DVD players, microwaves and computers were illegal. Of course, that's another breach of faith with communism, given computers were officially denounced as "deviationist bourgeois pseudoscience" by the Soviet Party. Don't start thinking they've joined the civilised world just yet, though - "it is thought air conditioners will not be available until 2009 and toasters until the year after".
A country without toast; the very definition of dystopia.

January 2016



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