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Old 28th Dec 2013, 17:47   #1
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Join Date: 30 Apr 2003
Location: England
Posts: 10,739
Default Film Lists 2014

TV, Cinema, DVD, Video, LoveFilm:

91. Chef - DVD
90. The Little Mermaid - DVD
89. Margaret - LF
88. Horton Hears a Who - LF ½
87. United 93 - LF
86. Rear Window - LF ½
85. Witchfinder General - LF
84. Captain Philips - LF
83. The Last Exotic Marigold Hotel - LF ½
82. A Dangerous Method - LF ½
81. World War z - LF
80. Mulan - DVD ½
79. In Time - TV
78. Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters - DVD
77. Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief - TV
76. Epic - LF
75. The Princess Bride - DVD
74. Up On Poppy Hill - DVD
73. Thor: The Dark World - DVD
72. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - LF
71. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - DVD ½
70. The New World - DVD ½
69. The Mummy Returns - TV
68. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe - DVD ½
67. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - DVD
66. Star Trek: Into Darkness - VD
65. Hamlet (1948) - video
64. Wuthering Heights (1992) - DVD
63. Love Actually - DVD ½
62. Little Women - DVD
61. Jesus of Montreal - DVD
60. The Secret Garden - DVD ½
59. It's a Wonderful Life - DVD
58. Elizabeth - DVD ½
57. King Lear (1983) - DVD
56. Coriolanus - DVD
55. E.T. - DVD ½
54. Little Miss Sunshien - DVD
53. Evita - DVD
52. My Fair Lady - DVD
51. Godspell - DVD ½
50. Jesus Christ Superstar - DVD
49. Meet Me in St Louis - DVD
48. Cabaret - DVD
47. Newsies - DVD
46. Bugsy Malone - DVD ½
45. The Impossible - DVD
44. Two Days, One Night - DVD
43. 12 Years A Slave - DVD
42. Julie & Julia - DVD ½
41. Before Sunrise - DVD
40. Maleficent - DVD ½
39. Ironclad - DVD
38. South Pacific - DVD
37. X-Men: First Class - DVD
36. Ravenous - video
35. The Jungle Book (1994) - video
34. Summer Wars - DVD
33. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part Two - DVD
32. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part One - DVD
31. Inglourious Basterds - DVD
30. eXistenZ - DVD
29. The Holiday - DVD
28. A Good Year - DVD
27. Breaking Dawn Part One - DVD ½
26. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - cinema ½
25. Divergent - cinema
24. Rush - LF
23. The Flowers of War - LF
22. igby Goes Down - DVD
21. The Lego Movie - DVD ½
20. Master & Commander - DVD
19. Frozen - DVD ½
18. Avengers Assemble - DVD
17. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies - cinema
16. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - DVD
15. A Room with a View - DVD
14. Gnomeo & Juliet - DVD ½
13. We Bought a Zoo - DVD
12. Munich - DVD ½
11. Pitch Perfect - DVD
10. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - DVD
9. Her - DVD ½
8. The Truman Show - DVD ½
7. Hot Fuzz - DVD
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel - DVD ½
5. Much Ado About Nothing (2013) - DVD
4. Made of Honor - TV
3. Forrest Gump - TV
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes - DVD ½
1. The Terminal - TV ½
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Old 28th Dec 2013, 17:49   #2
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

59 Big Hero 6

58 Interstellar

57 Blancanieves

56 Thief

55 The Councillor

54 Gone Girl ½

53 Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
A sadly unfunny movie. Another of the My Year of Flops flicks I tried out, and all it does is underline the fact that good intentions are not enough. Albert Brooks' optimistic/world-weary performance has a certain charm, and his team have their small moments, but the response of "the public" feels like (and probably is) real-life bewilderment at what this weird man is doing. The set-up of a below-par comic not understanding that culturally specific jokes won't travel well is the foundation for a comedy, but that foundation is never built upon - and being forced to watch the same stultifying routine played twice (once to a comprehending audience that doesn't laugh, and once to an uncomprehending audience that only laughs at Brooks' clownish exaggerations to get over that barrier) doesn't count. Even given how consistently it stumbles throughout, the sense of anti-climax that wraps things up still feels a little embarrassing.

52 Pandorum
This is where the paucity of a five-star rating comes a cropper. I quite enjoyed this space-sci-fi paranoia flick, but at the core it turns out to be little more than another monster-swarm movie. Paul W. S. Anderson's name in the closing credits made me roll my eyes with recognition - this has more in common with his nonsense Resident Evil franchise than his superficially similar, and better, Event Horizon - but he's not the director or the writer here, and a lot of what went on I found quite engaging. Still, at the risk of spoiling, there's not much justification for all the cannibal albino monsters when you look back on it as a whole. While I can't bring myself to give it three stars, two feels a bit stingy - if you're a genre fan, know that I've seen a whole lot worse than this.

51 Howl's Moving Castle
Rewatched as I've just finished the book. There's some great stuff in this, and it's a good adaptation in many ways, but the doubts I had about the ending in particular were brought home with real force after experiencing the original text. There's a truly dreamlike quality to much of the story, in the sense of a logic not quite that of the real world, but there's clumsiness to the resolution. The background theme of the war is not well enough established, and the "reveal" of the scarecrow is frankly rubbish - it would have been better to leave it as it was and abandon that aspect entirely, and the war with it. And of course, it looks lovely and is fantastic in many ways. But, surprise surprise, the book is better.

50 Mary Poppins
It was interesting, to me, how much my recollections of this film differed from the fact of it. For a start, it felt terribly long - the individual episodes were almost endless at times, particularly the cartoon section - and in the end we watched it over two evenings. Some of the songs felt like they dragged as well, though not all - and I've been singing a few in the shower over the last couple of days...

Even though I was primed for it by watching Saving Mr. Banks a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see just how much of the story's power hinges on the pathos surrounding the father's choices in life. Like Homer in The Simpsons, this really is all about the dad. I was prepared to spit righteous feathers about Dick Van Dyke's terrible cockerney accent, and instead was very taken with his physical comedy - his doddering turn as the ancient director of the bank caused my g/f to gasp out loud when it looked like he was about to fall from the step, and his faltering efforts to get down safely made me genuinely laugh.

In the end I was entertained, but with a bit of sore-arse squirming. It's the kind of thing I'd like to show to the kids I don't have, but at over two hours a condensed version might help the movie go down.

49 Great Balls of Fire!
Dennis Quaid plays Jerry Lee Lewis with a neck like the bobbing dog in your car's back window, and Winona Ryder sheds five years to play the girl he loved (she was a wrinkly, grey-haired eighteen at the time). Both manage to convince (or at least entertain) as gum-popping juveniles, even if one of them was technically an adult when all that was happening. Operation Yewtree would nail him to the wall now - great music though, so let's give him a pass. Nice to see a humourless Peter Cook in a minor role too.

48 The Signal
Bonkers. Literally bonkers - "everyone" (...or do they everyone?) in the city of Terminus goes crackers overnight due to a glitchy signal suddenly emitted from their TVs and radios, sparking murderous rampages and relationship problems... So much happens in the first twenty or thirty minutes, the spirit flags at the prospect of just how much more of this a sane person can handle - because the question of whether any of the people we encounter still has their brain wired up right remains wide open right to the final frames. Yet it's never less than entertaining, is frequently funny (and gory) and is rarely predictable.

47 Hanna
I'm slightly torn - this may wind up with four stars by the end of the year. Hanna is part coming-of-age drama, part espionage thriller, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Eric Bana plays an Eastern European ex-spy who raises his titular daughter in a frozen wilderness, only for her to graduate from this one-girl survival-and-combat excellence school and be aimed squarely at ice-blooded US spook Cate Blanchett. Saoirse Ronan is the child-assassin-out-of-water, wandering wide-eyed in the face of Other People (including crowds, families, "boys", etc.) and New Things (ie: not snow, trees, dead deer and weapons). The plot is exactly what you'd expect, but what makes it stand out are Hanna's first-time-in-the-world experiences, which are thankfully anything but normal themselves.

46 Godzilla (2014 edition)
How do they manage to make these things so boring? Why do they (see Independence Day, War of the Worlds, etc.) always have to have pre-identified family units escaping cataclysms intact, while tens, hundreds, thousands of less important people get casually offed? There are three examples of this trend here, which might be a record... This thing winds up hinging on some weird it's-personal-now grudge match between a building-sized monster and a human, which is a bit like picking out one particular ant when your picnic is invaded. It looks impressive enough, sure, but what doesn't? Boring boring boring loud boring predictable boring.

45 Repo Men
Extra star generosity for a quirky, cool premise: that in a future of tough credit rules, manipulative marketing, slick sales and cripplingly expensive artificial organs, failure to make your monthly payments doesn't just mean you lose your house or have your new car towed - it means Jude Law and Forest Whittaker will sneak in your back door, tazer you unconscious and dispossess you of your shiny new liver while you sleep... Our dynamic duo play it as blue-collar Working Joes, but there's never a doubt which someone is going to turn out to be more than just a morally dubious debt collector, nor which someone else will find themselves siding with the unfortunate "clients" - and things get a bit messy (in a non-gore sense, that is, though that too) from this point on. The ending is foreshadowed right at the very beginning for the eagle-eyed - not to mention about forty years ago in perhaps The greatest dystopia movie ever made. This is not on the same level, of course, but it's not bad.

44 Drug War (Du zhan)
I was quite enjoying this Chinese police procedural (pretty unconventional procedures, mind you), up to a point. The relatively restrained front three-quarters were quirky and interesting; the Hong Kong Cinema Gunfire Orgy that wrapped it up was therefore made to seem cartoonish and silly by comparison. There's something about totalitarian regimes, I don't think they make the best movies about themselves. In this case, the story degenerates into exemplar instances of Heroic Cops Who Will Sacrifice Themselves For The Good Of The Glorious State against Disgusting Selfish Criminals Who Are Always Untrustworthy And Deserve Only Death. Beforehand, everyone felt a little more complex than that.

43 The Colony
Ah, the film that I thought Snowpiercer was. And here's that missing star from the previous review... well, maybe one star is a bit harsh but this was pretty run-of-the-mill fare. Familiar, predicable, no surprises come the end, everything Snowpiercer wasn't, really.

42 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I quite enjoyed the first Cap movie, but this felt more than a little dumb by comparison. Villains too signposted, heroes all with the same body shape and moral outlook (apart from Scarlet Johannsen, which, well, that's okay). There are still character beats to the Marvel Franchise Movies that work well - I particularly liked the jogging sequence that opened this one - but, like everything else, act three has to be special effects and (perhaps inevitably) highly traditional comic book style storytelling.

41 Saving Mr. Banks
I liked it. Tom Hanks made a good Walt Disney, Emma Thompson played snippy with typical aplomb, and I was surprised to find (confirming the evidence of my eyes) that it was Colin Farrell being rather good as her likeable but sadly flawed father in the otherwise rosy past. It's the other kind of "buddy movie", in that all the roles seemed to be filled by yer casting director's dream character actors, and overall is maybe a little sugary for my taste, but it's also a pleasing bit of entertainment. Might watch the source material before the end of the year. EDIT: Have done!

40 I Could Never Be Your Woman
I heard, via the AV Club's My Year Of Flops article, that this was a "secret success". Under any other circumstance, not only would I never have watched this Michelle Pfeiffer vehicle, I'd never have heard of it either. To be fair, it provoked more than a few laughs, but it was also cheesy stuff that my girlfriend bored of long before I did - and there was me thinking this would be a "chick flick" I could tolerate while keeping her smiling. Strangely amateurish at times as well - not in the sense of mistakes as such, but there were moments that felt phoned in, one by Pfeiffer that clunked just rotten to me.

39 Snowpiercer
This might be the most Manga-like live action movie I've seen in a long time, maybe ever. It presents a world-premise of the most ridiculous sort (a dead frozen world, the only survivors living in dystopian class hell on board a never-stopping train travelling a track that loops the globe), populates it with angsty heroes and outlandish villains (Tilda Swinton's scenery-chewing has to be seen to be believed, and even then you won't) and never flinches for a split second in pursuit of its frankly mental goal--and for that reason it works like a charm. I was reminded of the cohesive madness of Delicatessen or the glimpses of the grim future in 12 Monkeys (the inclusion of a character named "Gilliam" is surely no coincidence), but this is an action movie first of all--a bitter, nihilistic comedy of an action movie, gurning with a straight face. Well done.

38 Transcendence
This... wasn't bad, actually. Not brilliant, and in fact isn't doing anything that wasn't done almost exactly the same in The Lawnmower Man (except on a smaller conceptual scale, and I imagine far smaller budget, and with comically primitive CG). But it wasn't bad, and I feel it can be considered a scifi movie that at least justifiably takes itself seriously (so in stark contrast to Noah).

37 Noah
I was enjoying this rather more than I expected to for quite a while. I found the environmental visuals striking (though the rock giants and CG beasts seemed half-arsed to me), even if conceptually the story world was a bit unconvincing. However, the more the characters spoke the less convinced I was, and from the time (spoiler...heh heh heh) the flood took place onwards I was watching it through a haze of cringing contempt. I can't imagine why America's religious right were so up in arms about this for the reasons they gave, since mythologically they bought one Noah and got an Abraham free. I'd have been complaining because it was such silly shit, and it may drop to one star by the end of the year.

36 Joe Versus the Volcano
Long, long ago, I saw this. I watched it again because my youngest brother pointed me in the direction of the now defunct website AV Club and, more specifically, the article series My Year of Flops, in which movies generally considered to be out and out losers are evaluated and rated as either a Failure, a Fiasco or a Secret Success. This was one of the latter, and I have to say that for the longest time I was really engaged. It walked a clever line of authentic-yet-absurd, and were the final twenty minutes not clownishly silly (and surprisingly mainstream in their romantic philosophy) I'd have given it four stars, not three.

35 Dallas Buyers Club
Posted out of sequence - I saw this ages ago. Very good indeed.

34 Sorcerer
A strange mix of the outstanding and the half-arsed, the one typically seguing directly into the other. There are some astonishing set-pieces here, genuinely thrilling, but it's as though someone absconded with a film reel containing the final shot of every other scene--these amazing sequences are almost invariably cut away from just before a triumphal or devastating or proper cliff-hanging moment is about to take place, and the result detracts from the whole badly. For all the high tension--and when it chooses, the tension in Sorcerer is unparalleled--there is a counter-balance of flatness when it comes to what should be character-defining moments... the finale for example, though it is far from the only one. Sorcerer is borderline excellence and borderline incompetence.

33 Three Amigos
Nostalgic nonsense.

32 Men With Beards
Such empathy I feel for these trailblazers, such admiration. A fun little niche documentary about manly men and the beards that love them.

31 Ecstasy of Order
Reviewed here.

30 Paprika
Anime about a dream-entering psychologist who must battle a psychotic brain-terrorist intent on tearing down the minds of everyone involved in creating the technology that allows both to do what they do. Two stars for its imagination, minus three stars for its execution. There are noticeable discrepancies in the animation quality, some of it very detailed and smooth when elsewhere it fails to make flick-book quality. Story is a bit thin as well, though it has its moments.

29 Mr. Brooks
Bit of a treat, this. Pure B-Movie serial thriller, with Kevin Costner as the titular psycho in plain sight and William Hurt as the personified craziness that only Kev can see or hear. Add to the mix (oh my gawd) Demi Moore as a millionaire murder detective with greedy spouse troubles and an escaped loony to recapture, and a voyeuristic fanboy who wants Killer Costner to show him a good time, turn up heat, stir. Solid performances all round--apart from Demi, who has all the facial dynamism of a Top Shop mannequin--and a measured pace that makes the splashes of visceral violence all the more impactful when they come. Fun nonsense.

28 Grand Hotel Budapest or
You watch Wes Anderson for the quirky spectacle and quirkier personalities, more than to witness depth of changing character (or, at least, I do). So the fact that there are no changing characters in GHB, and many of those who inhabit this world are absurd caricatures at best, isn't a major surprise. There is an alien logic to the stories and worlds he creates, and visiting it is the pleasure his films provide. This is one is completely unique, and therefore no different.

27 Enemy
Surpassingly strange. Hints of Lynch, and a final shot that is hints of I don't know what.

26 Homicide
David Mamet. David Mamet. He wrote a no question masterpiece in Glengarry Glen Ross--but didn't direct it, please note... I had to push myself to give Homicide three stars, because (like his House of Games) I sat through the film writhing at the delivery of every line. Oddly, this fact makes me look on that earlier film more kindly, as the bafflingly stilted performances which irritated me like a groinal itch are now revealed to be a deliberate stylistic choice--Mamet wanted them, for reasons I struggle to comprehend. This act of madness aside, both films present very interesting stories, as interesting as GgGR; take his scripts away from him, Hollywood, take his scripts away!

25 Animal Kingdom
I went looking for this after seeing the trailer for writer-director David Michôd's forthcoming possibly post-apoc downbeat thriller The Rover, and it proved a real treat in every regard. The story of the disintegration of a small, tightly-knit Australian crime family was ordinary, unpredictable and engrossing for it, with various authentically mundane performances framing some chillingly loathsome characters. In the same year this came out (2010) another Michôd script was filmed, Hesher, which has one of the most intriguing trailers I've seen in years--now high on my list of things to watch.

24 Pasqualino Settebellezze

23 The Bay
A found footage thriller from Barry "Rain Man" Levinson, somewhat unexpectedly, in which a close-knit coastal community is the epicentre of what appears to be a major outbreak of... something nasty. It provoked some difference of opinion here: "It was shit," says the girlfriend. "Ah, it was all right," says me. Though I sort of know what she's getting at.

22 The Awakening
McNulty from The Wire meets the talented one from Vicky, Christina, Barcelona in a Very British Ghost Story - "Very British" in this case meaning that it doesn't really work (that's my definition, anyway). Damaged Lady Sceptic is called by Gruff Teacher With A Post-War Limp to a remote boarding school to disprove the theory that a ghost killed one unlucky, unloved pupil, does so, then discovers that there IS a ghost alongside an unlikely, not-well-enough-set-up coincidence that turns her world upside down, but not ours. Decent performances all round, ends up feeling a bit silly.

Very British.

21 Night Moves
Strikes me as a typically introverted 70s-ish noir-ish private-eye flick. I kept flashing to Robert Altman/Elliot Gould's The Long Goodbye, which I really liked. This one I just liked, but as The Ice Harvest hovers on the edge of four stars, this straddles the border to two.

20 The Ice Harvest
The first of two movies I only chased down because Bill mentioned them on his blog. Three stars may be a bit stingy, because I'd pretty much given up waiting to enjoy a John Cusack film since Grosse Point Blank and this seems to be the one. It's basically a modern pseudo-Noir B-movie, in the way that such things are occasionally rock-solid by-the-book fun.

19 The Warrior
A straight-forward tale of regret, revenge and redemption, in this case distinguishing itself from the multitude of carbon copy examples by setting itself in feudal India. Paulo Coelho would be proud of the iconic namelessness of the characters, but Irrfan Khan is typically engrossing as the warrior reduced to the status of executioner by his callous, petty lord, and whose decision to abdicate his role sets him on a journey through great loss towards a chance at self-forgiveness. It's nice to look at, and tells a simple story well.

18 Kings of Summer
Destined to be forever regarded as Stand By Me for the post-millennial generation. Which is fair enough, as it's pretty much great, with good junior performances throughout. The grown ups are also entertainingly irritating - you can see why the two main protagonists would want to run away for the summer...

17 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Is the word "hokey"? Not sure, but it unquestionably rejuvenates one's faith in the legitimacy of American democracy, and therefore should be watched between pledging allegiance to the flag and breakfasting on apple pie by every honest citizen daily.

16 Prisoners
Outstanding. A proper review must follow.

15 Dead Ringers
Prompted by, a) Bill's step-by-step through the oeuvre of Cronenberg, and b) my g/f never having seen it. It still stands up, and I was surprised by how much a straight-forward drama it is, if also a grotesque and heightened one as things progress. The denouement is bought and paid for, with the occasional uncertainty of exactly which Jeremy Irons we might be watching at a given moment finally coming to the fore when the roles reverse and there's no way to tell, until we're told.

14 Gravity
Watched again for the g/f's benefit. As spectacle entertainment it races the pulse, but even in space we can hear things creak--like the dialogue, which rapidly succumbs to the pull of sentimentality and cliché, or the silly WALL-E jet pack sequence that really shouldn't have made it past the first draft. The fudging of the science isn't quite a deal-breaker for me, though the farewell to Clooney scene could have been done equally well without undermining the laws of force and momentum... no, it was the dialogue I found hardest to swallow.

13 Infamous
Another one I actually reviewed, both on my blog and here!

12 Six-String Samurai
Very silly, very fun...

11 Tomorrow Night
I'm a fan of Louis C. K. and this is a film that Louis C. K. wrote, produced and directed in 1998 that never got released until 2014 when he decided to make it available from his website for five dollars american, so I gave Louis C. K. my five dollars american and found out why it first became available from his website in 2014 despite being written, produced and directed by him in 1998. It did make me smile some times though, so it was five dollars american reasonably well spent.

10 Ender's Game
No mercy - not from me. I only read the novel last year (unless it was the year before) and found it a bit of a page turner, if not enough of one to cause me to dive on the sequels. The movie grabbed me considerably less. I found it dull to be honest, the action utterly failing to support the key dramatic concept (which is just as pointed as in the original, admittedly). Maybe a younger audience will find it more impactful, but to me it just felt like yet another chosen one yarn.

09 Thor: The Dark World
Nice to see the wrestling movie is alive and kicking, isn't it? Barton Fink would be proud...

08 Enough Said
The late James Gandolfini co-stars alongside comedienne-extraordinaire Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a middle-aged romantic comedy that champions charisma over looks and manages to be light while still carrying a bit of an edge from time to time. Not your standard Hollywood rom-com then, although when coincidence rears its inevitable head it does do the standard Hollywood thing and pretends that real people would keep shtum and try to fake it out, with hilarious (and/or painful) consequences. But we wouldn't, and I for one will be happy when the film comes along where the protagonist says "Your dog? But I thought it was his dog!" and shows where that leads, instead of just tossing another implausible stick for the plot to chase.

07 Moneyball
For a man not especially enamoured of American sports (there's only one kind of football, Yankees, and it's the rest of the world that plays it), I have to admit that they do make a good sports movie from time to time. In this case, as in many another, the action on the grass is almost a necessary evil, something that just has to be there in order to look at the lives that are affected by up close exposure to these polarising aspects of modern culture. Almost, I say, because in this case, entertaining as the film was overall, the central quest really was so enveloped by the sport of choice that to strip it away would not leave very much behind. But I was engaged throughout, and that's not nothing.

06 La Grande Bellezza
I think there are certain movies that can't be criticised, really, not in a minus-one-star kind of way. This is one of them, a barely-story of meandering pace, frequently over-blown and even annoying, all of it as deliberately laid in wait for us as is the beauty and pathos apparently lurking behind Rome's every corner. A lovely film, right to the final frame of the credits.

05 Riddick
Decent, solid, high-action sci-fi fare that lands pretty much square between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick in terms of quality. Not much more to say, really. It's not bad, a few good moments, but it is definitely retreading the first movie's ground and you can't say that for the "bad" second one.

04 The Wolf of Wall Street
I found this laugh-out-loud funny time and again. In the hands of anyone else, I feel like the copy-catting of Goodfellas would have been more excusable, and it is too long for my tastes, but overall I have to say I think it's a good film. As for the controversy, I find myself conflicted. I went into this knowing that some had decried it as no more than a celebration of offensive greed, but I had no problem identifying di Caprio's protagonist as an anti-hero of the highest order and had no need of hand-holding to know I was not intended to see him as heroic for all his charisma... but then I didn't know that this was a biopic. I have to admit, that moment of realisation as the credits rolled soured the taste more than a little, especially since not only will Jordon Bellend make pots of cash from the deal, the colossal arsehole even got a cameo. I'd have told him to go fuck himself.

03 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The extent to which this film, let alone the series as a whole, has been made so thuddingly boring is completely beyond words. Peter Jackson used to make cut-to-the-chase entertainment his hallmark but, despite their high points, LoTR, King Kong and now The Hobbit are all bloated floaters and it's a crime, really. The phrase is Quality Over Quantity, but you don't get to have both. Quality In Quantity is now proven to mean Just Plain Quantity Again. Congratulations.

02 The World's End
The first "half" promises a really great movie, nostalgic comedy with a bitter edge. The second "half" is, sad to say, more than a bit stupid. I'm a long-time fan of Pegg, Frost, Wright & Co.'s work and I always hoped the Shaun/Fuzz/X trilogy was going to go from strength to strength. It faded.

01 Splash
It's a two-starrer, really, but a nice bit of dated fun.

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Last edited by Noumenon; 10th Jan 2015 at 12:11.
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Old 29th Dec 2013, 5:42   #3
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

1. An Unmarried Woman (1978 ) a bit dated, still wonderful
2. La Belle et la Bête (1946)
3. Blue Jasmine -
4. Frozen

Last edited by Beth; 13th Jul 2014 at 20:16.
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Old 29th Dec 2013, 23:04   #4
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

uLast year 190. This year I will make it to 200 - and some of them will be worth watching.

Captain January (1936)

  1. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) - Starting the year as I will more than likely go on despite my best intentions. So a shitty threquel to a surprisingly creepy little movie. I'd avoided the original for years for some reason I can't quite fathom but ended uip really liking it when I did. I've not yet seen the sequel but number three is awful. Looks like an episode of the sort of drek you find on the Sci-Fi channel at 4am.
  2. Two Evil Eyes (1990) - Dario Argento and George Romero make a two-part movie based on a couple of Edgar Poe's stories. It had its moments.
  3. Hellbreeder (2004) - Amazing. Three movies in and I may have just watched the crappiest movie I will watch all year. It has to be uphill from here. Hellbreeder is a horrendous mishmash of Killer Klown slasher IT! knockoff mixed with endless arty-grainy stuff which makes very little narrative sense. The script is totally underwritten (Richard Driscoll's dialogue looks good in comparison) and leaves a strange assortment of actors flopping with nothing much to say to each other while having meetings in a hotel lobbies. (This is a sure sign that no one bothered to scout any locations. Hotels can be very accommodating to their guests if they look like they are going to pay their bill: "Hi, we're staying here and, as you know, we're shooting a film. We've had a bit of a snag with the location today - do you think we could shoot the scene here...?). In-between the pointless non-conversations, and some implied graphic violence, we get endless arty monochrome footage of motorways and dream sequences (one or two moments of which are almost interesting). Hellbreeders is a re-edit of a film called Alice made two years earlier. God knows what that was like if this is the improved version.
  4. One-Eyed Monster ( 2008 ) - Just in case anyone was in any doubt about the film's subject the film opens with a title card that reads:
    "In February 2007 ten people went into the remote mountains of Northern California to shoot an adult film...

    ...then something happened."
    Basically what does happens is a creature from outer space takes over porn legend Ron Jeremy's disembodied penis and start killing people. It's the surviving-in-a-cabin-in-a-blizzard-in-the-backwoods-while-something tries-to-get-in movie - but with a killer penis. It's played dead straight; no one hams it up and, I am really sorry to say, it's incredibly funny. The mockumentary extra on the DVD about "The Penis Wrangler" is even funnier.
  5. So Young, So Lovely, So Vicious (Peccati di gioventù 1975) - boring slice of Italian Eurosleaze in which a bored, spiteful rich bitch attempts the downfall of her potential stepmother; ultimately seducing her before discovering (too late) that the stepmom in waiting was not as bad as she thought (in or out of bed) and bonking attractive women is much more fun than bonking her sleezeball blackmail partner.
  6. Shark Attack II (2000) - Straight to vid piece of shit which plodded through the Jaws routine (including a clunking rack focus shot of our hero on the beach) set in a Cape Town totally populated by people with American accents. Sharks growl apparently, like lions, and roar when they attack. More evidence for my theory that all Nu Image films contain gratuitous helicopter shots in that it contains a gratuitous helicopter shot. And was made by Nu Image...
  7. Duel of the Dragons (aka Three Avengers 1979) - 97 minutes of Chinese people hitting each other for even less apparent reasons than usual. And fewer of them too.
  8. Strictly Ballroom (1992) - an old favourite for the first time on the big screen here at Junk Monkey Mansions and for the first time I notice what a lousy transfer the disc is. I'm sure the free-with-a-newspaper copy I have about somewhere looks better. I suspect I may have to shell out some spondoolicks and buy myself one of them new-fangled Blu Ray things.
  9. The Green Slime ( 1968 ) - stupid fun.
  10. The Brady Bunch Movie - again.
  11. Jungle Goddess ( 1948 ) - a stinkingly bad B picture in which, at one point, three separate bunches of people are supposed to be trying to find each other in the jungle and, because of incompetent editing (of a obviously limited number of shots), had all three parties simultaneously walking in front of the same tree. A good trick if you can do it. One of MST3K's funnier shows.
  12. The Circus of Horror (1960) - very dated horror film about plastic surgeon running a circus.
  13. Curse of the Crimson Altar ( 1968 ) - routine, plodding British, modern-day sub-Wheatley horror film with some seriously wonderful photography. Great lighting. And Barbara Steele painted green with giant golden ram's horns stuck on her head.

  14. Night of the Comet (1984) - a much better than expected piece of 1980's SF. A comet, which last passed the earth the time the dinosaurs became extinct, puts on a spectacular light show and vaporises the world population - apart from those who slept the night in lightproof steel boxes. After a bit of a shonky start getting a few characters into spending the night in lightproof steel boxes it settled down to be quite an interesting little film with some genuine plot twists, some decent writing, and eerie atmosphere.
  15. Women of the Prehistoric Planet - Another John Agar film ticked off the list, albeit in MST3K form. The only film I can remember seeing in which the inevitable prehistoric planet volcano at the climax of the film stops as soon as the white people leave. Just like someone had thrown a switch. The spaceship starts to take off and thegrips stop shaking the camera and wobbling bits of the set, and the stock footage just vanishes from the screen. Click, just like that. The title is a misnomer too. There is only one woman and the prehistoric, dinosaur- and caveman-ridden, volcano-filled planet upon which our hero and heroine are stranded at the end of the film turns out to be... Da! Da! Daaaah!.... the Planet Earth! (Would you Adam and Eve it?)
  16. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World - Number One Son and I are suffering from the Dreaded Lurghi this was his choice. I a really getting to loath Robert Rodreguez’s films.
  17. X-Men - better than I remembered.
  18. X-Men 2 - meh sequel that seemed flop about all over the place. (X-meh?)
  19. Top Secret! (1984) - why have I never seen this before? I put it on my mental Must Take a Look list after reading a long raving article about it in a recent copy of Empire. I'm currently cataloguing my entire DVD, VHS, Laserdisc (1), VCD, and Stored on Hard Drive collection of films and last night I discovered I had owned a copy for several years in a box set of Zucker Brothers' movies. It is quite simply one of the funniest films I have seen in years.
  20. Days of Hell (1986) - A tedious Italian 'war' movie in which American mercenaries (sent into Afghanistan to rescue someone for some reason inadequately explained at the top of the film) machine gun everything that moves for 90 minutes.

    Some of the costuming in this POS is wonderful. Two dozen stunt men dressed in vaguely middle-easty clothing with cloths wrapped round their heads to disguise the fact that it's the same four people endlessly and bloodlessly walking into our heroes' gunfire. The Islamic 'Holy Man' they rescue at one point has a shiny turban like an extra from an Arabian Nights movie.

    The only redeeming moment comes right near the end when the Voice Over Artists doing the English dub - having realised that no one is going to be watching the film by now - start to have a little fun while the director's back is turned. The 'heroes' lure a Russian helicopter down via an endless conversation by radio (in Russian with no subtitles).

    Once on the ground, and realising he has been captured, the pilot swears; like you would.

    Oh - Shit!

    Do you speak English?

    It would seem so since
    I said 'shit' perfectly.


  1. The Sword of Bushido (1990) - a better than average (for cheapo, straight to video, martial arts movies of the period) cheapo, straight to video, martial arts movie.
  2. Duck Soup (1933) - I introduce Daughter Number One (Goon Show fan that she is) to the joys of the Marx Brothers.
  3. Kill Me Tomorrow (2000) - low budget, would be arty horror which was the first feature for director and most of the cast alike. I think they thought they were paddling in Twin Peaks waters; they weren't. Most of the cast haven't appeared in anything since - for which the world should be grateful. Not bad enough to be worth keeping though. Another VHS straight out of my player and into the bin without a second glance. Next!
  4. Tremors (1990) - a fun film which played with all the killer lurking somethings terrorising a small isolated community ideas and played them all out in broad daylight and for the most part the open air. Pretty tough challenge for cast and crew alike.
  5. Nim's Island ( 2008 ) - kid's pizza night movie which (as usual) I enjoyed far more than I was expecting. But then I am just a big softy when it comes to "Daddy, oh my Daddy!" endings.
  6. The Ghost in the Shell (1995) - rewatch to see if it's suitable for my Anime obsesssed 11 year old.
  7. Voodoo Man (1944) - Bela Lugosi paying the rent doing his usual hypnotic bearded weirdo stuff as a deranged doctor determined to rescue his wife from a living death. Free from
  8. From up on Poppy Hill (2011) Studio Ghibli stepping away from the fantastical for a moment and proving they can make bloody good films based in the real world - albeit a nostalgic 1960s real world. I loved it. I'm starting, however, to feel that alongside the warnings on the back of DVDs about: 'Some Fantasy Violence', 'Drug References', 'Moderate Sex' etc. there should be a warning about "Daddy, oh my Daddy!" moments.
    Us sentimental middle-aged old farts need to be warned so we can gird our loins and be prepared for the attacks of the snivels that come when children get reunited with their long lost dads - even if only in dream form. Gets me every time. I was a snotty wreck. Daughter Number One was happy that I liked it.
  9. Cloverfield (20xx) - Friends with monsters. I hate Friends. I was just on the point of turning off when it got interesting. By the end (which conformed to Hollywood Rule 78b by including 'that bridge' in Central Park in any foot chase that takes place in New York) I didn't really care.
  10. The Frightners (1996) - very meh.
  11. Orphée (1950) - my first Jean Cocteau. I think I liked it. Didn't understand it but I liked the dreaminess of it all.
  12. My Neighbour Totoro (1988 ) - another Studio Ghibli slighter than the others I have watched from them but it's not without charm.
  13. Three Colors: Red (1994) - Only 'Blue' to go (I think).
  14. Crash (1996) - Cronenberg's adaptation of the J G Ballard novel. I'd never seen it before - though I have dim memories of reading the book many years ago. It's one of those films where you need to go for a walk afterwards. (Like most of Cronenberg's films.) To de-ick your brain.

    I'm REALLY glad I didn't see it in a cinema and have to drive home afterwards.

    I think part of the weirdly fascinated compulsion/revulsion I had for the film is that seeing people fucking in cars is usually a pretty sure way to get me to turn a film off. I have nothing against cars - and sure as hell have nothing against watching people having sex on screen - but full-on frantic gropingly grunty sex-in-cars scenes usually occur in would-be 'gritty' films about how sodding hard it is being poor/working class/immigrant. I have nothing against being poor/working class/immigrant (I'd be pretty masochistic if I did) but it's one of those lazy shorthand clichés that just tells me it's time to go watch something else. It's a rule of thumb I have been applying to films since Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987) and I last used a couple of weeks ago when Broken English ( 1988 ) joined the 'bin' pile.

    I'm not sure I'll want to watch Crash again any time soon but it's going on the shelves for when I do.
Abandoned in Feb: Get Real (1990) - after 30 minutes. Gay teen rom drama. A bit like a very long and limp episode of Grange Hill.
Broken English (1988 ) - Serbian exiles being arseholes in New Zealand.

March (of the Penguins)
  1. Gozilla (1955)- The original and best.
  2. Mothra Vs Godzilla (1964) - hilariously pants and thoroughly enjoyed by all the family - with the exception of Mrs JunkMonkey who was obviously extremely bemused/bored by the whole thing.
  3. Supervixens (1975) - another of Russ Meyer's epic adventures of weird sadism and cartoon sex. Large-breasted women and stupid men do sex and violence. A film held together with a plot that could be summed up in the single, very vague, sentence: 'some stuff happens to this guy'.
  4. Wild Wild West (1999) - meh.
  5. Inseminoid (1981) - post-Alien killer beasty in enclosed environment SF which has a very Eurosleezy look but was... Ta Da! British! (Britain is a part of Europe, you dunce! - oh yeah...) Still tripe though.
  6. Tintin (2011) I loved the books as a kid and as an adult am full of admiration of Herge's wonderful draughtsmanship and story-telling skills. The movie started off well, some nice dialogue and funny asides, but somewhere along the way it lost me. I think it was the endless camera movement. Every shot was full of swooshing and swooping and swirling about. By the time we got round to the over-excited chase sequences they had to raise the bar and pile on so much absurdity into the action that it became unbearably OTT stupid. One of the joyous thing about the books was - absurdly improbable coincidences aside - the action took place in a very real and recognisable world. A world where the laws of physics - if not exactly adhered to - were at least recognisably close by. The movie was just souped-up Hollywood bollocks. "More is not necessarily more." and "Just because you can doesn't mean you have to." are words that need to be tattooed on the inside of Steven Spielberg's eyelids.
  7. Planet on the Prowl (1966) - rewatch, with the kids,of an awful piece of Italian SF which provided much giggles.
  8. Land of the Lost (2009) - science fiction comedy nonsense which I enjoyed a lot more than I was expecting (though the bar was set pretty low seeing as it starred Will Ferrel, I'd never heard of it, and it was £2 in a bin by the checkouts in Morrison's).
  9. King Kong (the original - 1933) - a strange choice for the Friday night family ritual of Film and Pizza - but Number One daughter is a strange wee girl and it was her turn to pick. So Kong it was. For the umpteenth time I was bowled over by the technical wonderfulness of it all and noticed a continuity error I had never seen before (The 'husky' sailor with the stripy shirt's shirt mends itself between the raft sequence and the log over the chasm sequence.) When they'd all gone to bed I watched...
  10. Jeepers Creepers (2001) - which I had never seen before. I really liked it genuinely creepy - until the monster turned up appeared on screen. After that it all got a bit ho hum.
  11. Restless Natives ( ) - an attempt to make a Bill Forsyth-like whimsical comedy without whatever it is that made Bill Forsyth's films work. The most fun I had with this film was trying to work out how the characters managed to get from Glencoe to Glen Nevis via Strontian? and Glen Orchy... And then back again - and knowing that if they were getting chased up that road, in that direction they would hit a dead end and the cops would get them but... No! suddenly they're twenty miles away and pulling away fast.
  1. Superman (1978 ) - guess what my superhero obsessed 5 year old boy got for one of his birthday pressies. It stands up well.
  2. The Ghost in the Shell (1995) - rewatch with my Anime obsessed 11 year old... (see Feb.)
  3. The Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972) - a truly awful mess of a film which I have watched before but didn't quite believe.
  4. The Invisible Man (1933) - I had one of those penny drops, 'oh! I've never seen THAT before' moments while watching this tonight. I have seen The Invisible Man before but only noticed the unmistakable (very early - for Hollywood) anti-fascist elements of it till tonight. At the centre of the film Griffin, the invisible man, gives an impassioned and very bonkers rant about having the power to rule the world through fear - "even the moon is afraid!" - while gesturing like Hitler and finally thrusting out his chin and folding his arms in a unmistakable imitation of Mussolini. Recoloured the whole film for me. I liked it.
  5. Thunderbirds Are Go! (1965) - a tremendously dull film turned into a real gigglest with the kids. Daughter Number One's cry of "No! MY left!" just before a vehicular collision and cataclysmic explosion had me in hysterics. She wants to be Lady Penelope. Number One Son loves the collapsing palm trees. Mrs JM and Middle Daughter were just bemused by the whole experience. To round the night off I danced like a loonican (while no one was looking) to the Rezillo's song.
  6. Mars Needs Women (1967) another incredibly dull movie from Larry Buchanan which sits somewhere (both in story and quality) at the midway point between Teenagers from Outer Space and Earthgirls are Easy. The highlight for me of Mars Needs Women's confused and fumbling story-telling was the seemingly endless sequence early on in the film where the USAF send up jets to find the Martian space ship. (Though the strip-tease dancer's bum was a goody.) For what seems like three hours we get to watch three men in military uniforms stare at a tannoy speaker, various shots of the speaker itself from two or three different angles, and shots of a jet plane in a disjointed miscellany of stock footage. As we watch these elements rotated in turn past our eyes for minute after endless minute, various distorted voices have conversations about not being able to fly above a certain hight. Then the plane lands and another piece of stock footage of a different plane is wheeled out and it starts all over again. (Oh the excitement!) A lot of this film is like that.
  7. The Evil Beneath Loch Ness (2002) - Hooooeeey. Okay, My DVD player smells really bad. American researchers discover the Loch Ness Monster and get thrown in Jail by the 'Constable' in charge of the Loch Ness Coast Guard (sic). Obviously the 'Constable' has never seen Jaws. But then he is played by Australian actor Vernon Wells whose greatest moment was probably playing Wez in Mad Max 3. So, bunch of adequate actors struggle manfully to breath life into a really dreadful script - but there is not a lot you can do really with page after page of endless: "What's going on down there? ... talk to me! Can you hear me?" dialogue. You know those scenes in Alien where the thingie is showing up on the scanners but no one can see it and everyone is freaking out and telling each other that they don't know what is going on? This movie was that for 90 minutes but played very very slowly. Underwater. Another outbreak of 'You can't get to there from here' (see Restless Natives in March) in which our hero gets to Loch Ness from Glasgow (I hope he was coming from Glasgow) via the Ballachulish Bridge (visible from my garden - when it's not raining) and the Corran Ferry. Actually you could get to Loch Ness that way but you will have needlessly added a lot of miles to the journey. One of the highlights of the hyperactive 'Making of' featurette is the moment when the costume designer (who glories in the name of True Cross) says, with a dead straight face: "We did a lot of research on the internet, and we talked to everyone we knew who was Scottish... I rented Braveheart."
  8. Terminal Invasion (2002) - Bruce 'the Chin' Campbell and Chase 'I was in Star Trek DS9' Masterson save the world from shape changing aliens and just about rescue a TV movie that may have been intended as a pilot. Not very good but not very dreadful either. Just about worth the 33.3p I paid for it at a car boot sale.
  9. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) - visually ravishing but I had no idea what was going on for most of the time.
  10. The Princess Bride (1987) - For the umpteenth time. I love this film.
  11. Voodoo Man (1944) - a dreadfully dull piece of poverty row bilge directed by the incredibly prolific William "One-Shot" Beaudine. His directorial credits on IMDb start with a short in 1915 and ends over sixty years later with 77 episodes of the Lassie TV series.
  12. Killers From Space (1954) - the first half of a dreadful double bill shared with Daughter Number One as we avoid going out into all that horrible sunlight and outdoors stuff by drawing the curtains and watching a couple of real Sunday Afternoon Stinkers. Killers from Space was directed by Billy Wilder's less successful (and far less talented) brother, William Lee Wilder working from a script by his son Myles.
  13. Cosmos War of the Planets (1977) - Incomprehensible Italian space operatics that just gets crappier and funnier every time I see it. I really can't think why I keep rewatching it:

    Two of the cast trying to work out why
    anyone would want to watch their film.

    Don't take my word for it. See for yourselves:
  14. The Driller Killer (1979) - another of the 'Video Nasties' knocked off the list. Ho hum.
  15. Humanoids of the Deep (1996) - a leaden-paced TV remake that makes the original look like a classy piece of work - and the original starred Doug McClure! I will admit to watching the latter half of it on Fast Forward.

  1. Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1965) - another of William "One-Shot" Beaudine's massive oeuvre. I think I have seen this film I fell asleep often while trying to watch it over two nights waking up and rewinding and immediately falling asleep again. But I think I have pieced it all together.
  2. Princess Mononke - If Kurosawa had worked for studio Ghibli this is what he would have come up with. I loved it.
  3. Mirrormask - coincidentally the second film in a row scripted by Neil Gaiman. I love this film too.
  4. Nightmare Vacation 2 (aka Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers 1988 ) - shoddy serial slasher camp massacre piece of shit starring Pamela Springsteen (sister of Bruce) and Renée Estevez (daughter of Charlie Sheen). Dreadfully dull.
  5. Rawhead Rex (1986) - PreChristian elemental force is unleashed in rural Ireland. Tatty adaptation of a Clive Barker story which had some seriously bad moments buried in among all the half-hearted cheapness. I spent a lot of the time trying to work out where I had seen the actor playing one of the minor characters before. Turns out it was Barry (aka Finbar) Lynch who played the seriously yummy Puck in the 1996 A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  6. The Dark Side of the Moon (1990) - Dreadful, ploddingly paced space adventure film which mixes up elements like the Abandoned Ship With Something on Board (including vital components which means people have to keep going back on board to obtain even though... etc.), The Bermuda Triangle and Satanic possession. Our heroes' ship comes fully equipped with the standard Hollywood SF bullshit spaceship design: endless corridors, giant airducts racks for machineguns etc. etc. It also has a female computer with the memory capacity and complexity of an early Atari games console but is housed in an attractive white female body in a leather catsuit unzipped to show off her cleavage (Think Galaxina but without the personality). And there is some seriously dreadful continuity -I think the Script Girl was off the day they shot the 'Medical Room' scenes. So, ALL the elements of a good bad movie (the hero has a mullet!) but served up at such a laboriously pedestrian pace it merely becomes dull.
  7. Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982) - underachieving piece of time-travel crap in which a motorcycle rider gets zapped back to cowboy times. He gets shot at and and chased a lot. He runs away a lot. He has a quicky with the only female character with more than two lines. He is rescued by the people who accidentally zapped him into the past. As he leaves he realises (long after the audience has) that the woman he'd had the quicky with was his own great grandmother and he was own great grandfather! Three Dramatic Chords Please! (Then, just in case the audience still hadn't worked it out, there is an extended helicopter shot with the dialogue from earlier in the film setting up the fact he was his own great grandfather! played underneath.)
  8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - an odd choice for Friday Night pizza film but there we go. Number One Son now says "NI!" at every oportunity.
  9. Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave (Yin ji 1982) - an insane mix of all the usual kung fu nonsense - with added zombies, ghosts, government agents working under cover, Dracula (sic), with raunchy sex scenes and human sacrifice thrown into the mix. The villain's evil wizard magic fu is eventually defeated by a bunch of women throwing their sanitary towels and menstrual blood at him. An insane delight made all the more delirious by a terrible DVD transfer mastered from cropped (possibly ex-rental) VHS copy.
  10. Aeon Flux (2005) - after watching most of the very strange original animated TV series last night I thought I would take another look at the live action version. It made more sense to me this time but still didn't capture the WTF AM I watching? of the original. When I say it 'makes more sense', I mean I now understand why particular shots and sequences are in the film in the way they are - but not necessarily what they do within the context of the film. Some of the confusing/odd moments are in the film because they were in the series. For example, one set piece has our heroine and side-kick making a dangerous run across an auto-fortified no-go zone to gain entry into the seat of government. They do this in order to assassinate the despotic leader. This sequence is lifted straight from the show where, for different reasons, the same two characters make a dangerous run across auto-fortified no-go zone between two mutually hostile countries. The fact that, in the film version, a bunch of heavily armed 'freedom fighters' seem to be able to cross this internal border with impunity a few (running time) minutes later makes it even sillier. The film is full of moments which are supposed to evoke the strangeness of the episodic original but don't really work in the context of a live action Hollywood action film.
  11. Planet of Dinosaurs (1977) - low budget astronauts stranded on a planet story which suffers from a terrible script, some rotten acting but does have some semi-decent stop-motion dinosaurs.
  12. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) - which I was amazed to discover I have never seen before despite the fact that Caroline Munro's sweaty breasts take up a large part of the childhood memory storage space in my brain.

  13. Cry Baby (1990) - again! John Waters first 'mainstream' picture. Makes no sense at all and is a structural mess. But it makes me laugh a lot.
  14. Nightflyer (1987) - I had real hopes for this one. It is after all based on a real story by a real SF writer. (All right, George RR Martin.) My hopes lasted for all of three minutes. The opening sequence is an interminable monologue introducing the various assembled crew members of a scientific expedition as they sit in some sort of ill-defined public transport. The sequence looked like it came straight from the written story; straight off the page. I don't know if this is the case as I haven't read the story but if it is it's a classic example of the difference between prose and screenplay writing. The opening may well have worked in a book but it ground the film off to a standing stop from which it never recovered.
  15. Psycho a Go-Go (1965) - A reconstruction, from various elements (it showed), of a semi-passable bit of sixties crime movie which, over the years, transmogrified, with the addition of new footage and re-editing, into first, The Man With the Synthetic Brain, and then, The Blood of Ghastly Horror. Psycho a Go-Go is not a great film but it's better than either of its later reworkings.
  16. Xin jiang shi xian sheng (aka Mr. Vampire 5, Chinese Vampire Story 1992) - a truly bizarre mix of unfunny toilet humour (at one point our three heroes, who have eaten some dodgy sushi, fight a vampire while they take a communal dump behind an upturned table), and crude slapstick comedy (early in the film one hero has his pants yanked down by a spirit child and has his foreskin stretched out to a couple of meters before it's released to snap back and hit him in the testicles), with some seriously beautiful, dreamlike stuff drifting through it (the sequence where two women are caught between two processions of spirits? demons? is one of the loveliest things I have seen on the screen for weeks). Every now and then human vs vampire kung fu breaks out climaxing in an extended fight sequence between the assembled good guys and a pregnant woman. The subtitles, that I could make out on the lousy print I watched, didn't help me understand what was going on at all as they were so blurry and full of weird grammar, spelling errors, and typos. A wonderfully bewildering experience.
  17. 9 (2009) - meh.
  18. Thunderbird 6 ( 1968 ) - Gerry Anderson makes a film even more boring than the original (hard to believe but true) in which Lady Penelope proves herself to be a condescending arse, Geoff Tracy proves himself to be an arrogant twat and the boys of International Rescue get to kill people. In one sequence the heroes open fire with cannon and blow up several occupied buildings without any provocation.


  1. Magnolia (1999) - wow!
  2. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro - as part of Daughter Number One's endless fascination with anime we spend Friday Pizza and Bigscreen Movie Night watching Hayao Miyazaki's debut feature. If Leslie Charteris' Saint had been Japanese and drawn by Herge I imagine it would look like this. Full of improbable OTT action and great fun.
  3. This is not a Test (1962) - Very low budget cold war SF. A cop stops a varied bunch of people at a lonely roadblock as the world falls into nuclear war. They bicker and squabble and all die at the end. Pretty much as I remember it and far better than it has any right to be but someone really should have explained the concept of the Line of Action to the director. I'm really glad I wasn't the editor.
  4. The Killings at Outpost Zeta (1980) - a film so good it is most famous these days for providing the cover of Boards of Canada's 1995 album Twoism.
  5. l rey de la montaña (aka King of the Hill 2007) which was pretty damn terrific. Best quid I spent in Poundland for ages.
    But the subtitlers should have done something with the hero's name. Having your central (male) character called 'Quim' is tad distracting.
  6. How Sleep the Brave (aka Combat Zone 1982)
    For a film set in the Far East but shot in a field in Buckinghamshire with a budget in the low dozens it was a brave stab. But the dialogue was a pretty monotonous: "Get your mother****ing ass up here up here you mother****ing c**t or I'll shove this f****ing M16 up your f***ing ass..." etc. etc.
  7. The Fifth Element (H) I had forgotten how funny it was.
  8. The Head (Die Nackte und der Satan 1959 ) - an odd German entry in the decapitated head kept alive by mad scientist genre which has an eiree voluptuous sleaziness that I like. I would love to see an uncut version.
  9. Shall We Dance (1937) (M) - Mrs JM had forgotten how deathly dull this was. Not a good Family Pizza Night choice.
  10. Neath the Arizona Skies (1934) - early, out of copyright, public domain, John Wayne film shoved out on the shoddy 22nd Century label with the original music removed and a crappy synthy soundtrack laid over the interminable riding about sequences in an attempt to make them slightly less tedious than they are. (And, I guess, rendering the disc - if not the film - copyrightable again.) Pretty dull. Downloadable with original soundtrack here:
  11. Flash Gordon. Flash! aaaaaaah!

    As the end credits roll Number One turns to her sister and asks,
    "Well did you like it?"
    "Yes, it was good."
    Number One is incensed. "Good! Good!? GOOD??? - you can't say Flash Gordon is 'good', you can say it's silly and stupid and fun and trashy and cool and brilliant and loads of other stuff - but you could never call it 'good'."
    For a 12 year old she has all the makings of a decent film critic. I am more than happy with my parenting skills tonight.

Abandoned in June: Basquiat (1996) - Sorry but I am just so bored with the whole self-destructive self obsessed arsehole artist shtick, even if it is based on a real character. Great cast though.


  1. The Green Hornet (2011) - well that was a piece of shit.
  2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - with my mum.
  3. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) - a lot of people love this film. The IMDb pages for it are full of gushy gush gush love. It's a Canadian coming of age piece about a young man coming to terms with the fact that he's gay. There's some good stuff in here but it's so bloody slow. After about an hour I flipped on the DVD player's on screen display to find only 36 minutes had passed.... Three or four hours later, after some suitably soap operatic twists, father and son are united for a moment in mutual grief and acceptance. At this point and I should have been weeping buckets because that is where the director had spent ages trying to get the audience but I was thinking, "Hurrah! It's finally fucking finished!"
  4. Kiki's Delivery Service
  5. Tokyo Raiders
  6. Living in Oblivion - for the umpteenth time.
  7. Radioactive Dreams (1985) - even worse than I remember it. Two kids locked in a fall out shelter as the bombs drop have nothing to read but hard boiled detective fiction.
  8. Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983) - bland Mad Maxy stuff which really never gets going and sort of limps about for a bit not being much of anything and then just sort of stops.
  9. Epic (2013) - kids' animated adventure which, after tediously, explaining the 'We have to get the Maguffin to here by then' nature of the Quest to the audience THREE TIMES! settled down to be a bit better than it looked like it was going to. Doubt if I'll remember seeing it in a week's time.
  10. Ator the Invincible (aka Ator the Invincible 2, The Blade Master, Ator, the Blade Master, Cave Dwellers, and The Return - 1984) - another in the small but significant number of films featuring hang-gliding barbarians. An Italian sword and sorcery flick so stupendously tedious that at times I doubted I'd remember watching it before the end credits rolled. In 2012 it was listed by Total Film magazine as one of the 66 worst films of all time. (Why 66?)
  11. Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009) Back in January I watched a crappy horror flick about a killer clown called Hellbreeder and wrote: "Amazing. Three movies in and I may have just watched the crappiest movie I will watch all year." I was wrong. Hellbreeder had an excuse ie 'No Money'. but there was no excuse for this.

    Having tried to settle my brain into the target audience mindset (laddish FHM and Maxim reader - "oooh! shiny women!") I really did give it my best shot. If it wasn't for the sheer geeky hotness of lead MyAnna Buring (and the vague hope she would be naked by the end of the show - or at least getting a good dose of lipsticky lesbian snoggage - I doubt if I would have bothered past the first act.

    (MyAnna Buring is the one in the middle.)

  12. The Dive (1989) - another winner from the buy any big box VHS tape I'd never heard of (if it it's cheap enough) policy. A routine dive from a Norwegian oil industry support vessel goes wrong. Terrificly tense film which, rather unusually and interestingly, assumes the audience knows enough about the technicalities and dangers of deep sea diving to dispense with having an audience proxy to whom everything has to be explained. I know bugger all about the dangers of deep sea diving and decompression but the characters were convinced they knew what was going on and carried me with them.
  13. Naked Space (aka The Creature That Wasn't Nice 1983 ) - an amazingly unfunny space spoof comedy. The most interesting thing on screen after a while was spotting the number of times you could see the studio ceiling over the top of the set. If I was being generous I would say it was slightly more watchable than Lesie Nelson's other career low point SF 'spoof', 2001: a Space Travesty. But that is doing with faint praise. 90 minutes of earthworms drying out on a hot pavement would be more watchabl than that.
  14. Duck Soup (1933) - funnier than the last time I watched it. This time we watched it as a family and both of my younger kids laughed more than I have heard them laugh at a film for ages.
  15. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - I have come to the realisation that I really don't like the Indiana Jones films. They're over-long, and sadistic films. This was the first time I had seen this one and there was nothing in it I hadn't seen before in the other two. Coincidentally a character in it referenced the Marx Brothers and another couple reused the, "Tanks!", "You're welcome." joke from Duck Soup.
  16. Born Invincible ( 1978 ) - 90+ minutes of old school chop-socky. "You bastard! Listen! Now I am going to kill you. And you will die!" "Hahaha! No - I will kill you!" "We will see who is going to die." Whack! Ugh! Crack! "Hoo yaa! "Whack Whack whack!" "Hahahahaha!" "You have killed him!" Yes! Hahahahaha!" Now I will kill you...!" with more zoom shots per square minute than any five Jess Franco films combined.

    I think the good guys won.
  17. Beastmaster (1982) - which I had never seen before and surprisingly enjoyed. I had been lead to believe it was a pile of drek. But it's a masterpiece compared with Ator the Invincible. Oh wow! There's a sequel... no two! Apparently they ARE dreadful. Number three has Leslie-Anne Down and David Warner in it! Argh! Fight it! Fight the temptation... must... not.. go... to... eBay.... Oh! I don't have to... they're on Youtube! .


  18. Batman and Robin (1997) Which I have never seen before and was even worse than I had been lead to believe Jeso! What a stinky mess! (Alicia Silverstone's shiny, leather-clad boobs aside. Not worth the pain of the rest of it though.)
  19. Near Mrs (aka L'ambassade en folie 1992) - This should have been a cracker. A bigamist executive seizes the chance to spend time with a third woman. He gets an underling to substitute for him on his two week tour of duty in the Marine Corps Reserves. While the two wives think he's doing his duty at the American Embassy in Paris he takes the third woman off to the Caribbean. The wheels come off his plan when the substitute is kidnapped by Russian agents. He sets off to Paris to fake his own escape. Both wives head to Paris and end up in the same hotel. Meanwhile the Russian agents have discovered the substitution and try to get their captive to escape before their boss discovers the error and sends them to Siberia. But the substitute has fallen in love with one of the Russian agents and refuses to leave. What then follows is a knockabout farce as the CIA and KGB, each with agendas of their own, try to unravel the mess of misidentification and suspicions. All the makings of a good, fast paced crazy comedy are here.... But it just doesn't work. The main problem with the film is it came years too late - this sort of spy/counterspy shenanigans must have looked dated even in 1992 , three years after the Berlin Wall came down. but, even allowing for that, there is still something seriously missing from the mix. I really don't know what it is but I suspect it is an accumulation of things. Nothing is quite good enough to make the thing gel. Situations are set up but never exploited - for example both wives are on the same plane and there is a minor confusion about their meal orders and that's it. A situation which goes nowhere. A great chunk of screen time and is wasted setting up this situation but, in the end, all it does is tell us that both women are going to Paris. Lines and lines of dialogue (and, in the flight attendants, two additional speaking parts) to deliver information that could have been delivered with one shot of them getting onto the plane. There was a lot of that sort of thing here. The script wasn't ready. Weird sound too. The whole film had that Italian post-production, recording studio, sound quality which left the English speaking cast looking like they had been dubbed into English - by themselves. An American French co-production directed by a Brit who went on to direct episodes of Minder, Lovejoy, and Midsomer Murders.


  1. Groundhog Day - Friday Night Film choice of the Mrs
  2. Aguirra Wrath of God - Which is a lot shorter than I remembered but great. Mind you, I am predisposed to like anything with Klaus Kinski in it.
  3. Hard Days Night - I needed cheering up and shared one of my feelgood favourites with Number One Daughter who loved it.
  4. Stars and Bars - Daniel Day Lewis as an out of his depth Englishman in New York. Meh. Even the presence of Harry Dean Stanton didn't lift it above the ho hum for me.
  5. Lawnmowerman 2 Beyond Cyberspace (1996) - ow! That hurt! Currently number 57 in the IMDb Bottom 100. Why do I do this to myself. Not bad enough to be funny, just bad. As one reviewer on IMDb put it, "I think this film can kill puppies."
  6. Lost in Space (1998 ) - Well that pretty well sucked as much as I remembered.
  7. Meet Joe Black ( 1998 ) - Dear Gods! Death takes a holiday and spends some time with a media mogul and falls in love with his daughter. A stultifyingly dull, three hour film which culminates in the most Hollywood Bullshit ending imaginable. Death here is played as an innocent abroad by Brad Pitt by layering on autistic ticks and mannerisms over a wildly variable script that has his character unable (at selective 'comic' moments) to understand common idioms while at other times capable of layering on the profundity and metaphor with a trowel. At one point - after being told that another character was talking through his hat says "No, he's talking through his lips!" Ho ho ho. Claire Forlani plays the woman, with whom he falls in love, giving her a subdued gaucheness which means in every scene she spends so much time twitching her lips (in a manner henceforth known as 'Zellwegering') and looking out of the corners of her eyes, that she looks like she's about to have a fit. The innumerable 'almost' love scenes between her and the Death character are an agony, endless over-the-shoulder close ups of her twitching her eyes at everything but him, and him Aspergering his gaze at everything else in the room but her. Whole hours of this stuff go by without them looking at each other once - and then they have sex which is more of the same with fewer clothes and less dialogue. In the end (the interminable endless end) the media mogul walks off with Death, everyone wringing every phoney ounce of syrupy sentiment out of every single frame. (I nearly went into a sugar coma when the Daddy had a final dance with the daughter to that saccherine hymn to trash sentimentality "What a Wonderful World") And then (incoming bullshit overload!) Death isn't Death any more! He's the guy the daughter fell in love with in the first act brought back from some ill defined afterlife by a stroke of the writer's pen. The daughter says, "I wish you could have known my dad." and off they walk to the accompaniment of glorious fireworks. All a bit sudden (well it would be if it wasn't all done so ponderously slowly) considering she hasn't even seen that her dad is dead, or, if she just somehow 'knew' it, she bothered to grieve even for a second. The poor sod isn't even cold yet! But never mind the movie needs a final sugar lump to end with so she's forgotten him for the vague promise of another go in the sack with Brad Pitt! And I don't think I want to know what Spike Lee made of the only more-than-two-line part doled out to a black actor, a real 'Magic Nigger'. Only she, a dying old lady "from de Carribiyan" (thus even more "primitive" than her urbanised daughter) can see Death for who he is, "Obeah mon. I gonna die," she says when he sees him for the first time. "No obeah, sister." replies Pitt doing an Ali G. "No duppy, no jumbie. Evera ting gon' be irey." I don't think I've had my intelligence insulted quite so expensively for years.
  8. Creepshow 2 (1987) - another from the crap VHS pile that went straight into the bin without being rewound. Three naff Stephen King stories (in which the not-very-much-that-happens is blindingly obvious from the start) told v... e... r... y... s... l... o... w... l... y....
  9. Psycho (1960) - coincidentally on the gogglebox as I was finishing up Stephen Rebello's excellent book about its making. The first film for a very long time I have watched on a channel with advertising. I loved it and hated them. Not doing that again.
  10. Point Blank (1967) - many may years ago when I were but a callow youth I remember watching Point Blank, John Boorman's first American film, and thinking, "This is a horrible film about horrible people and I hate it!". Last night I thought "This is a GREAT film about horrible people and I love it!".
  11. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) - Another from the VHS slushpile - and another film about horrible people. And yet another of those films that portray the working classes as ignorant violent stupid arseholes. During an ill-defined strike a bunch of people are violent and stupid to each other, Jennifer Jason Leigh's character gets her baps out (as usual), and then the strike ends. (The ending of the strike has nothing to do with Ms Leigh's norks - the union guy just turns up and announces that the bosses capitulated, the ill defined strike is over, and they can all go back to work without at any point telling the audience what they were striking for, or what they achieved by striking, or how they achieved it.) Mark Knopfler did his best to make it sound like Ennio Morricone wrote the score - but failed. Jennifer Jason Leigh's norks (announced in the script as "The best tits in the western world!"*) notwithstanding it's going straight to the bin!.
    Needless to say, as is it de rigeur to have on in films portraying the working classes as ignorant violent stupid arseholes, it had a scene in which people had sex in a car.
  12. Monkey Shines () - the second George A Romero movie of the week (he scripted Creephow 2). Not great but better than I was expecting. I got double Nerd Points for spotting Patricia Smallman's name in the closing credits (Local Casting). Who she? She played Lyta Alexander in Babylon 5. (So sad... so sad...)
  13. Metropolis - the Osamu Tezuka anime. Stunning stuff. Not sure I really bought the plot or understood what the hell was going on for a lot of the time but then that is not unusual with me and anime. Number One Daughter, who is right into the stuff, loved it to bits was in tears at the end when the robot fell to its destruction.
  14. Brainsmasher... A Love Story (1993) - straight to video, one note 'comedy' action written and directed by Albert Pyun (director of the pretty dreadful Radioactive Dreams and 40+ other movies I do not feel the need to watch). Brainsmasher is not a subtle film - or even a funny one - but does have two good gags (one of which, unfortunately, comes within 45 seconds of the opening of the show which holds out rapidly unfulfilled false hope) and Terri Hatcher in hot pants and kinky boots - this I can live with.
  15. The Flying Saucer (1950) - an amazingly dull film. I must have fallen asleep at least half a dozen times trying to watch this sucker. The story: a playboy type is sent on a mission to his home town in Alaska to track down a mysterious flying saucer before a bunch of pesky Russkies find it first. Many hours of tedious travelogue and clumsy fight sequences later all the pesky Russkies are dead, the traitorous turncoat assistant is blown to atoms and the hero gets the girl. But mostly its lots and lots and lots of Alaskan scenery. Seriously avoidable.
  16. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - mostly harmless.
  17. Sucker the Vampire ( 1998 ) - amateurish micro budget ($55k) modern day vampire trash which came straight out the VHS player and into the bin. I should have turned off after spotting Lloyd Kaufman's name as a producer on the opening credits. Afterwards (according to the IMDb) I find it had a staggeringly piddling budget of $55,000. I don't know where they spent the money but it didn't show on the screen.
  18. Lady Chatterly's Lover (1981) - another from the big VHS pile.. From the director of Emmanuel, The story of O, and The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. Limp misty version with some oddly wrong costuming and a variable score that alternates between symphonic and lushly romantic (including what sounded like quotes from Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne) and much cheaper sounding electronic. There are two two composers credited. Sylvia Kristel got naked and was dubbed throughout, and she arched her back at every opportunity. The script stank and sounded like pages had been torn out of the novel and handed to the cast with their bits underlined. Bin!
  19. The Astronaut's Wife - a sort of I Married a Rosemary's Baby Midwhich Cuckoo From Outer Space which had some interesting moments.
  20. Pirates in an adventure with Scientists - Friday night pizza rewatch.
  21. Silent Night Bloody Night (1972) - Post-Psycho proto-slasher tale of death, madness, more death, rape, incest, yet more death and then a bit of death to finish off. Lots of black leather gloves were worn.

  1. Starcrash (1979) - It doesn't matter how you approach it Starcrash it is a terrible film - and I love it dearly.
  2. Dark Planet (1997) - Possibly THE low point in Michael York's career. (I know!) Dark Planet is the usual tale of uneasy allies thrown together for some totally inadequately explained reason.

    (Somewhere, in one of the the tons of exposition heavy scenes that litter the film, a disembodied head does get round to explaining what is going on but not why this particular bunch of characters with 'history' has to do it. There are brief mentions of, "hand-picked team" and "selecting the best").

    So, bad guys and 'good' guys are thrown together in a ship, heading for a black hole, through which one of them has already travelled. They're doing this to discover a 'Dark Planet' - a possible new home for the population of war-ravaged Earth. Needless to say there are disposable goons with 20th century hand guns, lots of running up and down the same two corridors shooting them, and lots of second-rate, would-be Trekkie-babble about "Laying in courses" (which takes three button clicks), and "Shields to maximum!" (which takes three button clicks), and "Damage report!" (which always has to be shouted while small fireworks explode behind you). That sort of bilge. All filmed in a cardboard box with no lights other than those flashing on consoles or coming from the computer screens so powerful they manage to project their graphics onto the faces of those staring at them (sometimes).

    Incidentally we know it's second-rate, would-be Trekkie-babble and not any other sort of second-rate, would-be techno-bollocks because about a quarter of the way into the film York's character takes time to read through the files on his new shipmates:

    From which we discover that not only does our heroine have the "Order of the Maroon Beret -with Clusters" ... (apparently you can get ointment for it) but is also lists, "Trekkie Consule (sic) Referencial (ditto sic)" under 'Astro Training' in her CV.)
  3. Robin Hood Men in Tights (1993) - very unfunny and very dated; some of the 'spoof' stuff was so of its time that it meant nothing now. The kids were just plain baffled by great chunks of it though my youngest laughed when people fell off things. Or over.
  4. Iron Monkey (1993) - Watched with Number One Daughter as part of my Widening her Cinematic Experiences project. (Code words for 'introducing her to a wider variety of crap than she would otherwise encounter'.) This month Chop Socky Kung-fu action! - actualy it's quite hard to find anything in my shonky collection that isn't an 18 to show her. Iron Money is quite a classy show and a lot funnier than Robin Hood Men in Tights ever hoped to be.
  5. Batman Forever - Batman obsessed Number One Son's Friday Night Choice. Nomber One Daughter and Mrs JM hid in their rooms and Number Two Daughter was out bowling. Son and I ate snuggled up in the big comfy chairs and ate popcorn until I fell asleep. I think it's called 'Bonding'.
  6. Clonehunter (2009) - micro budget SF which had its moments but not enough of them. I am a very forgiving movie watcher. Things don't have to be seamlessly, mind-bogglingly slick to please me. Rough and ready 'Let's make a movie right here in the barn!' is far often much more interesting than soulless Hollywood factory product - if the story, the characters or that elusive 'style' thing are interesting enough. None it was interesting enough here. I wanted to like it but was all just so listless. There was just nothing much to get involved in. After a while I started counting the number of times I could spot the pole holding up the huge blackout curtain that appeared behind our heroes with alarming frequency, and wondering why no one had thought to pull it taught to get rid of the wrinkles. There was a lot of Hiding the Lack of Scenery One Big Light Lighting too - a huge light is placed facing the camera, the set is filled with smoke. A small fill light on the floor near the camera and away you go.

    Instant Film Noire

    This could be anywhere and have been filmed anywhere. The sort of shot that is so meh it needs to have something seriously interesting going on in the acting or plot to keep the audience's attention from wandering away. It wasn't. I only watched this film last night and I can't remember what this scene was about let alone what was going on in this shot. (I think that's our hero, I'm not even sure about that.)
  7. Van Helsing (2004) - well that was suckier than I was expecting (which wasn't a lot). A real candidate for the definitive 'GCI has killed the movies' prize and another 49p (inc postage) wasted on eBay.

  1. A Scanner Darkly - A rewatch. Not as weird as I remember but still pretty odd stuff. Very funny too. "God-damn albino shape-shifting lizard bitches!"
  2. Destroy all Planets - A Sunday afternoon rubber monster Sumo match between Gamera (the fire breathing space turtle one) and - via some audacious plotting - just about every other monster he had appeared with as reused footage from the previous films. A deliriously weird introduction to the wonderful world of Daikaiju (giant monster) Movies for a couple of Daughter Number Two's visiting friends.
  3. Warlords of the Twenty-First Century (aka Battletruck 1982) - New Zealand Post-apoc Shane stuff.
  4. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - That was fun!
  5. Akira -
  6. Superman 2 - Friday Night Movie with the kids.
  7. The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - the much imitated original.
  8. Superman 3
  9. Star Pilot (aka 2+5 Mission Hydra 1966) - For at least the third time, this time with the kids on a wet Sunday afternoon.
  10. The Arena (1974) - Starring Pam Grier. Gratuitous nudity, violence, sadism, with a few token nods towards feminism and black liberation to excuse it all. Roger Corman's formula for the seventies. Basically: a Women in Prison Film in peplums and togas*. Parts of the film were passable; parts of Pam Grier were outstanding.

    * or should that be 'pepla and togea'? Latin never was my strong suit.
  1. Manborg 2011 - a deliberately bad film (zero budget, lo-def, lots of blue screen and retroesque stop-motion) that has its moments but wasn't bad enough to be good - or was too good to be good - or I didn't get enough of the references to understand just how good it was at being bad... or something. It was short. And I almost laughed once but shan't be running out to look up any more of the makers' work.
  2. Vixen - Russ Meyer. There were breasts.
  3. The Legend of Zorro - Friday Night Choice of Number Two Daughter - which was a lot of fun.
  4. War of the Robots - utterly dreadful piece of Italian SF watched with Number One Daughter. Much giggling gave way to snores as we both fell asleep.
  5. Daredevil - as bad as I had been lead to believe. Worse that Catwoman? Hmmmmm...
  6. Minator (2006) - low budget reworking of the Theseus myth that just about gets away with it - by derivative, low budget Sci-fi channel Movie standards- stand it next to a proper movie and it would look pretty shoddy. Minator was a little more ambitious in the atmosphere department than most modern monster by numbers films and did have some serious eye candy moments. The costume department in particular had fun trying to recreate the lavish decadence of Eiko Ishioka on a budget that stretched to about three pieces of vinyl leatherette per extra. Plotwise it was cobblers in that the Minator (and the whole of the palace above the labyrinth) is destroyed when our hero sets alight a plume from a natural gas vent. Gas which, in addition to being perfectly breathable for most of the time has the curious effect of turning innocent virgin Irish women into lipstick lesbians. Another Rutger Hauer movie off the list.
  7. Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013) - Hoooo boy! A knockbuster feeding frenzy! Of the four! (at least) films reworking (or at least using the names of) the Grimm Brothers' story made in 2013 this HAS to be the worst. I haven't seen any of the others: Hansel and Gretel, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked but I can state this as a fact. An amazingly pants film which featured an endless reuse of establishing shots of places that appear to have nothing to do with the story. (At the start they are used so ineptly that our heroes appear to be expelled from the new school they are then sent to - which is clever.) By the end, after watching the same half dozen shots of somewhere endlessly reused, I got to recognising the extras. The star extra was the girl in the pink trousers and knapsack who can be seen aimlessly wandering around in shot after shot after shot. Even those scenes which are supposedly taking place days after her initial sighting she's got the same clothes on and is diligently striding about getting nowhere. Nameless girl in pink pants, I salute you; you stole the movie. (Not that I suspect it takes much to steal a movie from Fivel and Booboo Stewart. Eric Roberts didn't even try. I suspect he was too busy laughing at the script and where the director was placing the camera to keep a straight face for most of the time.)
  8. Endgame - Bronx lotta finale (1983) - "A telepathic mutant recruits a post-World War III TV game-show warrior to lead her band of mutants to safety." Italian Post Apoc crap that starts off as a variation on the 'Tenth Victim' - segues neatly into another Escape from New York clone before becoming another Mad Max-alike and ending up in the same quarry that all other Italian Mad Max-alike movies of the 80s end up. Yawn.
  9. How to Train Your Dragon 2 - okay story but seriously dead good in the eye candy department.
  10. Itty Bitty Tittie Comittee (2007) - Girl meets girl; girl loses girl; girl blows up the Washington Monument. Fluffy bit of rad les fem which would have been a lot funnier and daring if it had been made 20 years earlier (I knew women like this back then) but still passable.
Abandoned in November:
Dragon's Rage (2012) Elfs (elves?) and dwarfs and goblins and other bollocks running around after magic Bloodsteel maggufin stuff - all handily explained in a pre-credit montage which dropped us into the middle of the story. (Dragon's Rage, it instantly becomes obvious, is a chopped down version of some much longer TV thing.) Within moments of the opening credits finishing actors are standing around in pointy-ear make up and floor length robes, barely able to summon up the energy to deliver the clichéd 'Fantasy' arsedribble script they glanced at in rehearsal that morning, are wittering on about 'alignments' and 'crucibles' and 'destiny' as if we should know what they are talking about while the director whooshes his steadicam around them. I lasted about 16 minutes. In that time I managed to spot what looked like a nice white modern house in the distance on a lake shore and a spelling mistake in the chapter headings: 'Proficy'!?

  1. Last Days on Mars (2013) - another in the almost inexhaustible (well, I can think of at least 10) films in which the First Manned Expedition to Mars goes Horribly Wrong. This time a long dormant pathogen turns the crew, one by one, into - go on guess... - that's right, unstoppable killer zombies! (Where do they get these crazy ideas?) Unusually the screenplay was based on a short story by an SF writer: Sidney J Bounds. Even in 1975 the idea must have been tired but the screenplay at least ends very bleakly. No happy ending. A British/Irish co production with Lottery Funding and a couple of Americans shipped in to make it sellable in the States. Looked good, the hardware was well done, and the usual mixed crew getting on each other nerves worked well. But like most films of this type I found the first half - the world building, everyday Joes and Jos doing their job stuff a lot more interesting than the second half's running around getting eaten by numbers stuff.
  2. The Lost World: Underground (2002) - not really a movie - not even a straight to DVD one - but just two episodes of a less than mediocre TV series glued together.
  3. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - well that was as bad as I had been lead to believe.
  4. 100 Million BC ( 2008 ) - Another Asylum POS which conformed to Rule 7 of all low budget time travel movies in that the second half was spent running round contemporary LA chasing a rubbishy CGI dinosaur. Shot late at night, and I suspect surreptitiously, the actors were often upstaged by locals walking around in shot in the background totally unaware that there was a film being made. Seriously destroys the credibility of life or death scenes with a rampaging dinosaur when there is some bloke on the other side of the street just shambling past on his way home from work.
  5. Thirst (2009) - 2.5 hour Korean film about a vampire priest and his nymphomaniac girlfriend. My first Chan-wook Park film and it's not going to be the last. I loved it. (I live in hope that the sequel will be called 'Thecond'.)
  6. Elf - our annual family watching of one of the better Hollywood Christmas Movies of the last couple of decades.
  7. TNT Jackson (1974) - limp piece of Filipino kung-fu blaxploitation in which everyone looked as bored as I was. It was short.
  8. Hudson Hawk (1991) - another of those much reviled films knocked off the list. Derided as a giant turkey, and total waste of time and money at the time Hudson Hawk turns out not to be as terrible as I was led to believe. When it was released most people were expecting Bruce Willis in another Die Hard like action film and instead got a long, not as as funny as it thinks it is, 'Road To' movie. They didn't 'get it'. I 'got it' but just thought it was all a bit meh rather than awful. Next on the list: Ishtar!

* I have seen better.

Previous Years' Lists: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

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Last edited by JunkMonkey; 27th Dec 2014 at 18:06.
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Old 3rd Jan 2014, 5:08   #5
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Join Date: 17 Sep 2010
Location: 3,963 miles from Chicago.
Posts: 426
Cool Films/Movies seen for the first time in 2014:

Books: 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Films: 2013 2012 2011 2010

½ Cars 2 (2011)
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Sightseers (2012)
- The Resident (2011)
½ Burn After Reading (2008)
- Bad Teacher (2011)
½ Jesse James (1939)
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
½ Dazed and Confused (1993)
- Sound City [Documentary] (2013)
- Brooklyn's Finest (2009)
- Warlock (1959)
- Muscle Shoals [Documentary] (2013)
- True Grit (2010)
½ The Sentinel (2006)
- Hanna (2011)
- Memento (2000)
- Winter's Bone (2010)
- 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
- The Long Arm [1956]
- The Quiller Memorandum (1966)
- Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
- Tower Heist (2011)
- RED (2010)
- Shrek Forever After (2010)
Reading: The Burgess Boys ~ Elizabeth STROUT
Books: 2018 2017 Films: 2018 2017

Last edited by elwood; 28th Dec 2014 at 2:48.
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Old 5th Jan 2014, 9:55   #6
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Join Date: 17 Apr 2003
Location: England
Posts: 1,672
Default Re: Film Lists 2014

39. Stoker
38. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
37. It's a Wonderful Life
36. In Time
35. Hugo
34. Inglourious Basterds
33. Tower Heist
32. Life of Pi
31. Quatermass and the Pit
30. He's Just Not That Into You
29. Blood Diamond
28. Winter's Bone
27. The Grand Budapest Hotel
26. While You Were Sleeping
25. Dark Shadows
24. The Hunger Games
23. The First Wives Club
22. Kick-Ass 2
21. Stripes
20. Changeling
19. The Lone Ranger
18. Limitless
17. The Plank
16. Despicable Me
15. Bridget Jones's Diary (particularly enjoyable as a rare bonding moment with my mother-in-law, who enjoyed it immensely and laughed loudly at the rude bits)
14. The Invention of Lying
13. A History of Violence
12. Man of Steel
11. Disturbia
10. Re-Animator
9. The Sweetest Thing
8. Beverly Hills Cop
7. Easy A
6. Harry Brown
5. A Serious Man
4. 12 Years a Slave
3. Legally Blonde
2. The World's End
1. Hanna
Libraries gave us power.

Last edited by Lucoid; 30th Dec 2014 at 10:34.
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 14:49   #7
ono no komachi
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

1. American Hustle
2. The Ipcress File
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Another Year (DISCLAIMER: shows more deficiency in me than in the film)
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
7. Dallas Buyers Club
8. Silver Linings Playbook

Last edited by ono no komachi; 10th Feb 2014 at 21:41.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 22:45   #8
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

12 Years a Slave
Wolf of Wall Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Words
Dallas Buyers Club
American Hustle
Cemetery Junction
The Muppets Most Wanted
Dead Poets Society
Taxi Driver
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008=post 80611

Last edited by Ang; 17th Apr 2014 at 15:28.
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Old 6th Feb 2014, 14:25   #9
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

03 The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, Leo di Caprio version) Very true rendering of the book, greatly superior to the old Robert Redford version. A little over the top, as you'd expect from Baz. I was impressed yet again by Leo's acting. My first experience of Leo was Titanic, and, frankly, it soured me, but everything I've seen him in since (other than the Aviator) I've been pleased with.
02 Never Let Me Go Slow borderline science fiction, beautifully acted and filmed.
01 Julia's Eyes Very well-done edge-of-seat thriller. In Spanish with English subtitles. Recommended.

Last edited by gil; 12th Mar 2014 at 12:29.
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Old 7th Jul 2014, 11:26   #10
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Default Re: Film Lists 2014

1. Philomena
2. The Hunt (Jagten)
3. A Hijacking (Kapringen)
4. In a Better World (Hævnen)

Last edited by David; 15th Aug 2014 at 11:24.
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