Sunday 30 June 2013

Flavours of the Month: June 2013...


Django Unchained (Blu-Ray) - I finally got to see it, at long last, and I absolutely loved it. It's a shame that QT's flicks never come accompanied with much in the way of extra features, though.

Argo (Blu-Ray) - three-for-three for Affleck.

Jay & Silent Bob Get Old: Teabagging in Ireland (DVD) - as an avid listener of the SModcast Network, I have to admit I'm getting a bit tired by the formulaic Hollywood Babble-On (it could use freshening up - new jokes, new impressions, more varied targets for seething parody) as well as Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, but only in regards to the repetitive portions of the shows (e.g. the same questions getting the same answers from different audiences in different editions of the podcast during the recent 'Groovy Movie' tour, or Smith going on yet another long-winded rant about filmmaking ... yes, it's inspiring the first couple of times you hear it, but when you've heard it literally more than a dozen times, you get a bit fed up and skip to the best bits of the show). Anyway, point being, I find there's a lot more humour to Jason Mewes' stories when you can see him perform them on-stage ... the added dimension really helps bring back the funny (as well as the shows on the DVDs cutting out the 'chuffa', as Bruce Willis might say).

Click "READ MORE" below for what else has been flavouring my June 2013...

Saturday 15 June 2013

Double Bill Mini Musings: Theories and Deliveries...

Room 237:
What's it about?
Documentary considering some of the deeper meanings behind Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"; a mixture of the downright bizarre and improbable, to the decidedly convincing, that can be just as intriguing as it can be frustrating.
Who would I recognise in it?
Nobody beyond the film clips - not even the interviewees are shown on-camera.
Like conspiracy theories, Room 237 is polarising. Made of up firmly held ideas by those who 'discovered'/'created' them, it can go from providing convincing arguments about the background portrayal of the slaughter of Native Americans, the 'number 7 theory', and the Holocaust (including the number 42), to proffering absolutely far-reaching bullshit theories based on phantom shreds of nothing. The idea that "Room No. 237" equals "Moon Room" and that (without offering any evidence whatsoever) "237" was the stage number where Kubrick 'faked the moon landings' induce grandiose eye-rolls. Other readings are less grand, but lack conviction (the Minotaur theory, for one) - even with Kubrick's microscopic attention to detail, you doubt that there is any actual deeper meaning behind a couple of posters on a wall in one single room. That feels too small-scale to be believable - but on the other hand there are theories based on large-scale, up-front ideas (such as the aforementioned issue of the Holocaust, or even more specifically the Native Americans).

Click "READ MORE" below for more out-there theories, and a movie about bicycling...

Friday 14 June 2013

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Iffy Evil, Iffy Cars, and Iffy Vampires...

Resident Evil Retribution:
What's it about?
Unbelievably, the fifth instalment in Paul WS Anderson's mind-numbing series of videogame adaptations based on the increasingly incomprehensible Resident Evil franchise. 90 minutes of disconnected stuff happening.
Who would I recognise in it?
Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Boris Kodjoe, Kevin Durand.
Rocking some rather shonky CGI, a non-sensical script - not even the customary chunk of up-front exposition (as is now common for every bloody entry in this series) can make this rambling, unfocused mess of gibberish make any sense. It's 'cool stuff' happening in 'cool ways' for 90 minutes ... if you're 12. There's no meaning to anything; it's all glossy visuals (aside from the aforementioned ropey CGI) and slapped-together 'events' organised in a very 'videogamey' way - a series of 'arenas', 'boss battles', doorways, elevators, ticking clocks, and other dated concepts that don't fit into the world of movie-making. Don't get me wrong, I'm a keen videogamer, but this dreck devalues the art forms of film and videogames. All surface, no brains, and with ill-considered scatter gun direction from a half-assed script, Resident Evil Retribution is unfortunately not the last in the series - that'll have to wait for the next instalment (apparently). It makes about as much sense as an arctic coat in the middle of a desert, and is as much fun as a painful bowel movement. Shite (appropriately enough).

Click "READ MORE" below for dodgy motors, and presidental action...

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Double Bill Mini Musings: Awards Bait Edition...

Django Unchained:
What's it about?
Quentin Tarantino's 'southern' adventure set in 1858 in which a German bounty hunter frees the titular slave, and takes him under his wing as they go in search of Django's wife Broomhilda, encounter gunfights and flamboyant slave owners along the way.
Who would I recognise in it?
Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, James Remar, Michael Parks, and Don Johnson, Jonah Hill.
Surprisingly, for a film that's the best part of 3 hours long, Django Unchained rarely seems to drag. As good as Inglourious Basterds was, there were several scenes where I knew what was coming and I was just waiting for it to happen (e.g. the tense encounter at the bar) - Django Unchained, on the other hand, felt more unpredictable, and featured a more balanced sense of pace (helped too, by following the same main characters for the entire movie, not just parts of it like in Inglourious Basterds). The traditional Tarantino dialogue is there - especially for Christoph Waltz, who once again gives a (rightfully) Award-winning performance - but there's enough nerve-shredding encounters and all-out gunfights (with gleefully gloopy geysers of gore) to keep things fresh and exciting.

Click "READ MORE" below for more Django, and a dose of Argo...

Saturday 1 June 2013

The Lords of Salem (Rob Zombie, 2012) DVD Review...

Horror-rocker Rob Zombie's supposed last dip into the horror genre, The Lords of Salem, has garnered mixed reviews: established dividing lines on the subject of RZ's cinematic outings will probably not be crossed by the respective parties, but his latest offering is a breath of fresh air after the controversy of his Halloween remake (2007) and it's unruly sequel Halloween 2 (2009). Zombie is back to an original script of his own for this low budget devil worshipper, and it illustrates the continued cinematic maturation of the Writer/Director.

“I spit upon the book of lies!” - What if witches were real? This is the main conceit of RZ's film – a stripped-back, majestic-yet-gritty, mood piece that seeks to chill rather than scare. Kicking off in 1696, the Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne sets the stage as he prepares to end the blasphemous activities of head witch Margaret Morgan (Meg Foster) and her coven of six – all of them in the woods, stripped-nude and invoking the return of Satan.

Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots...