Thursday, September 06, 2018

Film #92: Blackkklansman

Spike Lee occasionally hits the mark, and a lot of the time misses it completely. 
He's back on track with this one telling the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK. 
The ending, which I'm not sure was intentional, hits us hard.

Film #91: Upgrade

Quadraplegic mechanic gets an implant from a tech-womble that turns him into John Wick with a Knight Rider KITT internal dialogue and the walk of 80's Robocop. Black Mirror meets Loony Tunes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Film #90: Killing Gunther

A Netflix film that features a group of assassins getting together to make a documentary to capture the assassination of the best assassin, a mystery guy called Gunther. 

It's not very good.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Event: Found Footage Festival @ Soho Theatre

Another visit to the UK from the FFF guys for another hour-long show full of embarressing, dated, and just plain weird videos. This one opened with an incredible police training video entitled "Sudden Birth" that definitely woke the crowd up. Then we had sex ed videos, wrestler intros and all sorts of other nonsense.

Film #89: The Breakfast Club

A classic from the 80's sees 5 kids from different school-groups in detention together. This is a film that is still enjoyable 30 years after it was made. At some point in everyones' lives you move from liking Molly to Ally.

Film #88: The Happytime Murders

Meet the Feebles with a budget. If you've been waiting for a muppet take on 'that' scene from Basic Instinct then you're in luck. It took a little while to get over the shock of seeing muppets swear and there's a scene where silly string is used as ejaculate.

I laughed then questioned if I should have.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Film #87: Rumble in the Bronx

A perfect film to finish the marathon, sees Jackie Chan in his first US made film. This one has him moving into a Chinese community and having a run in with a local gang. The stunts are great; this is the one where he broke his ankle leaping onto a hovercraft and gets smashed in the mouth through a step ladder.

Film #86: Go!

The 4th film in the mystery marathon.

This film from the late 90's features 3 storylines all tied together by the word "go".
There's a girl who becomes a dealer for a couple of cops, a couple of kids who travel to Vegas and have a run in with a gangster, and a couple of cops hiding their gay relationship from their workplace.

I remember seeing this when it came out and enjoyed it. I did this time too. It's holding up quite nicely.

Film #85: Rollerball

Film #3 in the mystery movie marathon.

and a film I recognised from the opening shot. I love this film, it's such a classic and if you've not seen it, do so. Avoid the remake.

Film #84: The Odd Couple

2nd film in the mystery movie marathon.

This is a classic comedy from the late 60's starring Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau as two guys living together after one become suicidal following a break up. The two English women they try to partner up with a bizarre. I don't really do old movies but will admit to liking this one.

Film #83: After Hours

Film 1 in a PCC mystery movie marathon.

This is an early Scorsese film, that tells the story of a guy who meets a girl in a diner and the night with her goes all astray with enough coincidences across a small number of characters that this could be a play. Part serious, part dark, part comedy. The ending was particularly amusing.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Film #82: Equalizer 2

Everyone's favourite neighbourhood-watch vigilante Denzel is back, killing a PC-friendly ethnically-diverse group of bad guys who murder his friend. One of them, a back seat hitman is especially inept.
Almost made me want to break the ankle of the kid behind me who thought it was OK to put his feet up on the headrest of the seat next to mine. Justice should be served!


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Film #81: The Spy Who Dumped Me

Meg Griffin and her friend puke and poop their way through Europe being chased by a lonely gymnast assassin and good and bad intelligence agencies (it's confusing to work out who's who). None of the cast are stretched in their performances but they all seem to have enjoyed making it. It's more entertaining than Spy.

Film #80: Unfriended - Dark Web

The second in the skype-style scary movie. Like the one before it this one isn't scary but gives a good warning of what might happen if you procure a second hand ipad. You don't sympathise for any of the characters and the ending (of which there are two apparently; mine was the big brother ending) was nuts but made sense. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Event: Anjunadeep @ 3 Mills Island

A stage decorated with plant-covered palette boards and a music selection where I named 2 tracks all afternoon. When I booked this I thought it would be more Anjunabeats than Anjunadeep but that didn't pay off. The sets were good but there was nothing to look at. I need visuals to look at rather than a DJ or two posing between mixing tracks. 

The venue was cool though, a nice circular plot of land in Bromley.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Film #79: Hotel Artemis

This film snuck out from nowhere, I don't recall seeing any publicity for it.

Jodie Foster runs a hospital safehouse for criminals. Someone important is looking for a bed. Are the other guests there to recover or perform a hit? It felt a bit like Smoking Aces but much darker and with a more tighter plot. The performances are all good and I felt this had the making of a franchise behind it. It feels like it may have been a comic book at some point.

It disappeared from the cinema after a week, I guess Ant Man & Mission Impossible stole its potential crowd which is a shame. 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Film #78: Heathers

A film I loved when I was younger gets a re-release as part of it's 30 birthday celebrations (man, I feel so old). Winona is the girl trying to fit in with bitchy girls all called Heather. Christian Slater doesn't want to fit in and wants to kill some people.

Some people die, and we all laugh. It's very dark and still really good, although some of the homophobia references are now showing their age.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Film #77: Jumanji

A Jumanji double-bill gave me the opportunity to see the first one and I don't believe I saw it when it was initially released. (Don't ask).
The CGI has dated really really badly but the story still holds up.

I did prefer the second one though...sorry!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Film #76: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

A film I had never heard of directed by Luc Besson, who I don't believe has done a film I've not liked. So one I had to see.

It's Besson's take on The Mummy franchise featuring a rich woman seeking an Egyptian mummy who has the power to bring her dead sister back; she died in a tennis accident.

There's a pterydactyl for no reason and a quite dark ending.

I really liked it and the Besson run continues.



Film #75: American Friend

This was seen just to kill time whilst waiting for my next film. A waste of time directed by Wim Wenders starring Dennis Hopper. It was really really slow, and writing this one month after seeing it I barely recall what happened.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Film #74: Mission Impossible Fallout

Zoinks Scoobs!! The bad guy would have gotten away with destroying the planet if it wasn't for that pesky midget with the face masks and his team of nerds.

It's a good film but the plot is too obvious and everyone makes a big hoohaa for Tom doing his own stunts again. He also manages to do a rooftop run from St Pauls to Blackfriars despite there being a wide road around the Cathedral (although it looks like the window he jumps out of on the way is in Mermaid House, my old workplace). In the last one I really liked Rebecca Ferguson, and it's cool that she's in this again but with a slightly reduced role because she was pregnant during filming. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Film #73: Office Space

An old film from 1999 which I think it based on a comic strip. It's about a kid in an office who manages to do well by senior management despite being a complete slacker. A wise man once said give a hard task to the laziest person as he'll find the most efficient and optimal way to do it; that's basically this film.

There's a weird guy with a love of staplers who has a breakdown too. The comedy from him isn't as strong as the comedy from the good writing of the main character, but his scenes still made me laugh.

and for some reason Jennifer Aniston is in it and I'm not sure why. The ending is also quite abrupt, it could easily have gone another 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Gigs #60-74: Blue Dot Day 3

It was raining but I sat through Elle Mary and the Bad Men. OK, but not Lauran good.

Roberts Bakery Band were very good.


Park Hotel were OK

Lost Horizons, I couldn't get into them.

George Fitzgerald wasn't really my thing. A bit like a poor Bonobo.

Ummm, I'm not sure who this is.

Algorave is a lot of fun. Completely inclusive and random. They had a lengthy set that I kept going back to.

Warm Digits had a delayed starter and reduced set but were really good.

Levels seemed to be suffering from some syncing issues with the guy on the left being noticeably out-of-time with the rest of the band. But when they got it right they were great.

Boy Azooga weren't too shabby. I do like Girl Behind A Cigarette.

Snapped Ankles, weird.


The final headline act was the Chemical Brothers who were amazing. I'm seeing them again later in the year.

Henge are odd, just like in previous years.

Human After All was a terrible Daft Punk tribute act. They were severely impeded by the post-midnight volume lowering. Can we get the real Daft Punk please?


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Gigs #47-59: Blue Dot Day 2

Opening Day 2 was Lauran Hibberd. Probably my favourite new act of the weekend and she's set for big things. 

Radiophonic Workshop playing for the second time. These old guys are really good.

Game_Program. Lots of cables and a very electronic set.

The Long Now were quite orchestral for a festival. I wasn't sure what to make of it.

Mancunian's Pearl City were very good.

Lamb is an act some friends always see when they play live but I didn't get it. I did now, despite them having technical issues that prevented them playing their own set. Their music needs to be heard live and they have such a presence on stage. 

Finishing the night with the bonkers fun of cassetteboy. Such was it's popularity we had to ditch the chairs to let more in.

Re-Tros were really good. I missed the start of their set but really enjoyed the end of it.

I can't remember which band this was, Fehm perhaps?

I'd seen Hookworms at All Points East. Their show was much the same complete with the lead guy wearing unnecessary cycling shorts.

Gary Numan sounded more Nine Inch Nails than Nine Inch Nails.

I'm not sure who this is either!

Headline act on Day 2 was Future Islands who aren't a main event band and their lack of any sort of show proved that. There must have been another act line up that fell through.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Gigs: #34-46: Blue Dot Day 1

Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band were playing as I arrived with their little procession going through the site.

Vide0. I guess they were on early for a reason.

Rhain has quite an operatic voice. Her backing band were those Mermaid folk.

Mad Professor Dub. I didn't stick around for the whole set.

Gymnast felt like they were playing their first set. They were ok.

TallSaint, I liked them.

Ana Matronic from The Scissor Sisters playing a flat 4/4 set with quite a lot of loops. She enjoyed herself though.

Roni Size was great. He's touring with a 20-years of New Forms. It was really good to here Brown Paper Bag live. His final tracks were super heavy on the bass. A little worrying some parents thought it ok to dangle their kids over the barriers with no ear plugs.

Lemmy Ashton. I can't remember his set.

UNKLE was a little disappointing. I was wanting some of their early stuff but I know Lavelle has moved on since then. 

AK/DK were alright.

Invading from the Isle of Wight, Plastic Mermaids were a great early act featuring a couple of acts I'd see later in the day.

Headlining Day 1 was The Flaming Lips. They had lots of inflatables and put on a very good show but I don't like their music.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Film #72: Ant Man and The Wasp

I caught the second Ant Man film. this time accompanied by a wasp in Boston not realising it wouldn't be released in the UK a month later, so I had no-one to talk to about it when I got back.

The film is really good but suffers from all the best clips being used in the trailer. In this jolly adventure the ant and the wasp try to rescue the wasps mother who's stuck in the quantum dimension. 

As well as things being shrunk we get things increasing in size again like Ant Man becoming GiAnt Man. 

oh, and we get two clips during the credits. Definitely stay for the first one, it's the best of these clips yet!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Film #71: The Forbidden Kingdom

A film from 10 years that I managed to miss at the time, which is odd for a Jackie Chan film.
A stupid kid comes across a mystical staff that he has to deliver with the protection of Jackie and a female warrior. Jet Li is in it and has a good fight with Jackie.

The plot is contrived and boring, you know where it's going to end up. Kid with no martial arts wins the day, because he's American and they can't lose.


Film #70: The Prestige

My second Hugh Jackman film of the flight was one I've seen before and really enjoyed. Wolverine and Christian Bale are rival magicians trying to outdo each other. When one starts performing a trip the other can't figure out the competitiveness becomes more obsessive. David Bowie has a cameo as Nikolai Tesla; it's a weird bit of casting.

oh, and the opening scene is there for a reason...

Film #69: The Greatest Showman

I saw this on the plane to my American holiday and then heard the tracks whilst out there, over and over and over again. I shouldn't have liked this but have to confess as musical films go it's alright. Is it really the cast singing or are they miming?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Film #68: Jurassic World

I didn't see the last Jurassic World film but I did play the Lego game of it, so I was familiar with the backstory to this one. In this one those that survived the theme park accident of the other film are encouraged to go back to help get some dinos off the island before a volcano kills them all.

It's alright. It's one of those films where you have to disbelieve a little bit, not just because it's about dinosaurs but because some of the story is really dumb. It is a good romp!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Film #67: Mary and the Witch's Flower

A bunch of people left Studio Ghibli and set up their own studio, and this is their first film.
It's really good and tells the story of a clumsy friendless ginger kid who finds a magic broom and is taken to a mysterious world where an evil doctor is capturing animals and experimenting on them.

The animation is great and the story is solid. A great film for all the family!

Film #66: Ocean's 8

Ocean's 11 was very good, 12 and 13 not so much. Now the franchise gets the Ghostbusters treatment and is remade with women. In this one her from Speed, Sandra Bullock plays Clooney's younger sister who wants to steal a diamond necklace from the neck of catwoman Anne Hathaway with a crew consisting of Rhianna playing a hacker and a bunch of other women I didn't really recognise but apparently they're famous. I did recognise Cate Blanchett who has the Brad Pitt role and she does great even taking the title of best jacket in a film from Ryan Babygoose in Drive.

I enjoyed despite it starring that talent parasite James Corden. Why do people think he's entertaining?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Film #65: The 100 Faces of Dunjia

A rather strange film I found on Netflix that features an opening sequence where a man fights a fish.
It peaks early.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Event: Phobiarama

Phobiarama - Dries Verhoeven (UK trailer 2018) from Dries Verhoeven on Vimeo.

A 30-minute ghost train ride, what's not to like? This isn't your usual dark ride though. It's aim to make you uncomfortable definitely happened in my case, and whilst I didn't succumb to jump scares, some other riders definitely felt the need to do so. It's definitely art but art that makes you think about preconceptions that you may have. There is an option to meet the cast after the show, which you should consider doing too.

This is as spoiler free as I think I can get. 

The show is next in Milton Keynes in July. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Event: Space Shambles @ Royal Albert Hall

An evening of science at the Albert Hall organised by Robin Ince, one of the guys behind The Infinity Monkey Cage. 

I didn't take any photos but some good official ones can be seen here.
The highlights for me were the Festival of the Spoken Nerd who did some pi themed maths using pies, Stewart Lee who brought the astronauts down to earth with a bump and a guy who had built lunar lander with a large laser, but the whole evening was good and with Public Service Broadcasting playing a few songs as a headliner act we finished on a high.



Film #64: Hereditary

Always be wary of marketing that proclaims a horror movie is the scariest yet, or compares it to a classic; both signs that that won't be the case and the film company is trying to maximise their profits through false advertising.

Well Hereditary is this generation's The Exorcist and it's not very good. There's a lot of tension through the film with a bizarre pay off that has divided a lot of people. I got it but didn't like it.

Anyway a demon that is already using a young girl as a host decides she's not suitable and plans to move to her brother but can only do so when he's at his weakest; so the film is just him being worn down until that can happen. The only thing wrong with the girl is that she has a peanut allergy, so this is a film about a demon that can't handle peanuts. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Film #63: Piranha

You know you're getting old when films celebrate their 40th anniversary.
This 70s horror flick comes on the back of the success of Jaws and features military experimented piranha being inadvertently released into a river and killing people along the way.

Terrible effects, mostly just kids screaming and splashing, but a joy to watch, especially on the big screen. Here's hoping the sequel Flying Killers also gets a showing. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Film #62: Jailbreak

Another Raid-a-like, this time coming from Cambodia. This one features a squad of cops trapped in a rioting prison. More solid fight sequences but with a little nod of humour and again, like the Villainess, the cameraman is right in the middle of the action.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Film #61: The Villainess

This is a film tha I missed last year, I'm not sure if it actually got a cinema release or not. But finding it on Netflix was a nice surprise. If you like The Raid or its sequel then you might like this one. The action is crazy with the camera man at times seeming to be part of the action. The opening is a first-person fight fest and the finale on a bus is just incredible. The pace does lag as the film tries to do a lot in it's 2 hours, but the fighting does make up for it.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Film #60: So I Married an Axe Murderer

A 25th birthday celebration of my favourite Mike Myers film (although Waynes World is good too). I don't know what happened to the woman in this though. The best character is the dad by far. 

Film #59: Stand by Me

A bit of a classic but not a film I'd seen at the cinema as far as I could recall. Arguably the best Stephen King adaptation which tells the story of 4 boys on a quest to find a dead body, who grow up along the way.

Excellent performances from a great child cast, and a film that still holds up today.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Film #58: Mechanic: Resurrection

The second Mechanic film is just like every other Jason Statham film. Fights, stunts and him taking his top off. In this one he has to do 3 hits on bad guys or else his recently discovered girlfriend will be killed. It's a bit like Hitman, in fact the second hit looks to have been taken straight from one of the games. Jessica Alba who plays the love interest hasn't aged one bit. 

I enjoyed it but I suspected I knew what I was letting myself in for and wasn't disappointed.

Film #57: Society

A film from 1989, being shown on the big screen and a film that definitely leaves a scar to those who have seen it. It was fun seeing it tonight as you could tell who was seeing it for the first time.

Billy Warlock (great name) plays the son in the family that doesn't fit in with his parents or sister. He prefers to play ball, whilst they go off to lavish parties. The film builds to a great climax and a shunting scene that cannot be forgotten. Dark and twisted but entertaining.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Film #56: Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson's latest film is a stop-motion animation about dogs and has a Japanese vibe to it despite it being filmed not too far from the real Isle of Dogs. The rulers of a Japanese city have a dislike of dogs and come up with a plan to have them removed to an island off the coast. When one of the leaders kids decides to head over to the island to find his dog, a group of them decide to escape the island and return to the mainland.

I enjoyed this. Wes has a knack for making good films that don't do anything remarkable and this is another of those, not bad, but not great. I think there's a pun in the title too. "Isle of Dogs" or "I love dogs"? 

Film #92: Blackkklansman

Spike Lee occasionally hits the mark, and a lot of the time misses it completely.  He's back on track with this one telling the tru...