Monday, July 25, 2016

Splinter

I watched this Australian horror film this week. It was an interesting film in some ways. The heroes were the humans with their own weaknesses, sort of anti-heroes if you like. The villain was a type of fungus that attacks human flesh but in such a way that appears to be alive. I found some parts of the movie comical in an unintended way, not awful but my sense of humour was tickled. The sttings are sparse, most of the action takes place in a gas station. Effective camerawork and a good script help things along. All in all, I thought this wasn't a bad film.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

New Prime Minister

Things have moved fast haven't they? Since my last posting about the leadership of the tory party the race has certainly been cut short to the point at which it was no longer a race but a win by default without even having to run. I think the official campaign ended on its first day. Andrea Leadsom faced a barrage of bad publicity and while rough water I thought she should have stuck it out and made a proper contest of it. However, she decided it wasn't worth it. Perhaps her she personally wasn't ready for it but I don't know who is ever really ready for a job like that one. So now Cameron had to leave number 10 viciously early and Theresa May is installed in his place. All very rushed and unsatisfactory.
We have a new cabinet as well. The changes have been quite far reaching, I was surprised that George Osbourne is no longer the Chancellor. I was pleased to see a good number of female appointments and infact it is good that we have female leader. I see Boris Johnson has got a job in the cabinet but Michael Gove hasn't and I'm glad about that because I felt like many others that he stabbed Boris in the back. However, I am not sure that Boris will make the best Foreign Secretary.
One thing I have noticed about Theresa may is that she isn't afraid of wearing angular shaped dresses made of dark material, I hope this trend I've noticed continues. It might be the only thing of interest about this new government.


France's pain

I really feel for the French people. The terror attacks in Paris last year and now the lorry attack in Nice have shown how ordinary everyday activities can be forever marred by acts of brutality and savagery. I don't know how the families of the dead cope with horrible events like these but I wish them the will to carry on and not let the bastard terrorists win. Driving a lorry into crowds of people and especially children is such a cowardly kind of attack. I hope we never see the like of it ever again. How can we protect ourselves from this kind of attack without constraining ourselves or living in a police controlled state? Man's inhumanity to man continues to disappoint and depress me.


F

The other film I watched was called F. It is billed as a suspense chiller and it is very successful as a suspense film. It is set inside a school college and the main character is an unlikeable teacher there. He has been in trouble for his behaviour with students, he was headbutted at the beginning of the film by one, and is separated from his wife. Things are going downhill for the guy.
For reasons unexplained one evening the school is attacked by a group of guys in hoodies, a face is not shown for any of them. It is dark outside and they seemingly attack the remaining staff who are there at night at random. The main character's daughter is also at the school and he has to try and prevent her from being killed.
It is a strange little film, the ending is odd. The characters and setting are normal enough but it has a nightmarish, unreal quality to it, which I suppose is the intention of horror films. It's probably a little too strange to recommend widely but if you like suspense, it keeps a good sense of this throughout.


eXistenZ

I watched this film by David Cronenberg this week. I have seen the film before, I even remember it was at the cinema actually. The first time I saw the film it blew me away but it was something like 17 years ago now. That is a long time not to have seen a film a second time.
The story is a very interesting one to me. A famous games designer played by Jennifer Jason Leigh is making a special appearance to promote her new game. There is something slightly wrong and unsettling from the first moment though. The place they are unveiling the new game looks like a classroom in a school or some location that is very small considering it is a new game. The other unsettling thing is that the player is biologically linked to the game via a bio-port in their back. An umbilical cable then plugs into a console that is a moulded shape in flesh coloured latex. It is semi-erotic in that sense and the quiet, strange way that JJL portrays the character. The main male character is played by Jude Law who does a good job of playing a na├»ve young man who has to turn from being a marketing junior into a bodyguard. One neat idea in the film is a gun made out of bone that fires teeth. It was designed to prevent detection by metal scanners.
The film plays with blending reality with the world inside the game called eXistenZ and it does this very effectively in my opinion. To the point where the characters are not sure whether they are in the real world or not. I can recommend this film but I can also see that a lot of people might be confused and turned off by the subject matter of virtual reality games.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Witches

I watched the 1966 film The Witches this week. What a surprisingly good film I thought it was. OK there felt like the Horror Channel were showing a cut version for some reason but still I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. It is a higher class of film than a few other more modern films I've seen recently. I think for the time, it would have been more shocking than it is today. There were some sequences that if it were made today would be much more graphic and terrifying, however I think the ideas are still frightening. I liked this film, it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea though. Joan Fontaine plays a wonderful part in this film, a Stirling performance in her last major theatrical role in film.


Saturday, July 09, 2016

Thunderbirds

The new CGI version of Thunderbirds is being shown on Saturday morning kids television. I have watched a couple of episodes now. I have to say that unfortunately, I am not impressed. This is disappointing to me because I have been a fan of Thunderbirds for a long time. I just don't think the new series is very well scripted.
This is in stark contrast to the CGI version of Captain Scarlet, which I thought was excellent and a shame that only two series were made.


Conservative party leader vote

After David Cameron chucked the towel in after losing the EU referendum he thought he'd win comfortably, Britain was in danger of Boris Johnson or Michael Gove becoming the Prime Minister. This would have been bad beyond imagination.
Well, now the conservative party members can choose the next Prime Minister, some 150,000 members. I don't know the demographics of this membership. I don't know what to think about the candidates. I don't know enough about Andrea Leadsom (below, right) and although I have heard of Theresa May because she is the current Home Secretary, I have a gut feeling that Leadsom would make a better Prime Minister. There are some dirty tricks being played by the papers though, it is clear that The Times and Murdoch owned papers are trying to discredit Leadsom.
Time will tell.


Deadpool

I finally got around to watching this film tonight. I thought it was a good film, the humour was the best part of it. Lots of little jokes littered throughout it. I enjoyed the dialogue of Deadpool and the breaking of the 4th wall technique, used to good effect. It covers the origin of Deadpool, so I expect there will be a sequel. The special effects were very good.


The Facility

I also saw this film this week. It was made in 2012 and is set in the single location of an isolated hospital that is home for two weeks for some volunteer pharmaceutical test subjects. The subjects come from different walks of life and are given a small dose of a medicine. Within hours things start to go wrong and the end result is not at all what the pharmaceutical trial intended. After several deaths the effects of the drug wear off and the remaining characters are left to pick up the pieces. I found this to be an entertaining film but not one with any great surprises.


Prey

I watched a film this week that was made in 1978, a film called Prey. An alien lands in England and takes on human form after attacking a young couple directly after landing. He is then found and taken in by two young women living in a large, isolated country house. The two women have a strange relationship, they are lovers but one of them is quite overpowering. The more normal of the two suspects that the other has murdered her boyfriend. It's a very strange film, not scary at all. The make up effects are quite crude. The best part of the film are the relationships between the characters, there isn't a lot of action otherwise so its probably a good thing. The ending, which I won't spoil here, is a bit of a disappointment.


Saturday, July 02, 2016

Black Death

I watched this film this week and have to say that I was impressed with it. The pacing was good and the story concerning a young monk torn between love and a holy life, set amongst the devastating Black Death era was interesting. The cast was pretty good also, including Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne and Carice Van Houten. It felt at times like I was watching the Game of Thrones. I think I recorded it off the Horror Channel, whilst there were some supernatural ideas such as witchcraft involved I didn't think it went far enough into that territory to warrant being called a horror film. However, whatever you categorise it as, it is a good film in my opinion.



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Glastonbury 2016

I've watched a few bands on TV who were performing at the Glastonbury festival this year. I enjoy watching the festival, it reminds me of the festivals I've attended in the past. Generally I'm very happy that I'm not there myself, what with the queues and the rain and the mud. I imagine it is rather an other-wordly bubble that feels weird and wonderful while you are there and one that you miss when you can't attend. It is certainly more of a commercial venture now than it has been in the past and security has tightened a lot. My favourite TV clips have been from Band of Skulls and Wolf Alice. I watched some of Muse's set and most of Adele's. Adele was on fine form.


Night of the Demons

I watched this film hoping it would improve all the way through and as the end credits appeared on my screen I turned it off disappointed. There isn't really anything to say about this film that really redeems it. It is just about some stupid drunks who are having a house party that get shut down by the police. All the guests leave except for the small group of 7 who become the targets of some demons in the house to possess them. I really can't be bothered to explain any more because the film is lazy and gore infested without any good reason. The costumes reveal quite a lot of cleavage for the ladies involved but it's still a crap film.


The Children

This wasn't on the horror channel but is supposed to be a horror film. It involves children so won't be for everyone. The children are supposed to be the scary ones in it. It is set in contemporary England and two families are renting a large house in the country for what I think us a Christmas getaway. It wouldn't be too bad a horror film for Christmas time. But at the present time, I can hardly think of Christmas.
The children turn out to be possessed or something. Again the plot of this film leaves a lot to be desired. It isn't as incoherent as the Cradle of Fear film but it doesn't do very much to explain what is happening and the children in the film are very young. The character called Casey is played by Hannah Tointon who played Simon's girlfriend Tara in season 3 of The Inbetweeners, one of my favourite series. Hannah is the best thing about the film in my opinion, she plays her part well.



Cradle Of Fear

I have been recording a few films on the DVD Recorder recently, since clearing a lot of room on the hard drive. The films have been mostly B movie quality. One of them was a film called Cradle Of Fear that had a starring role for Dani Filth from the black metal band Cradle Of Filth. He didn't say very much throughout the film, he just had a role in looking downright filthy and scary.
The film supposedly follows a number of short stories all connected by the last story. This is a similar format to some 1970s films from hammer and Amicus, I believe the style is called Portmanteau but I might be wrong about that!
The film is not one I would recommend. It is barely coherent and the acting is generally terrible. It relies far too heavily on gore and it is gory throughout so there is no sense of climax at the end. In short, it's a crap film with no likeable qualities.


Friday, June 24, 2016

EU Referendum

Well our votes were cast yesterday and the decision has been made. The UK is going to leave the European Union but the timetable is not absolutely clear. David Cameron has decided to leave his job as Prime Minister by the Conservative conference in October.
I am sorry that this was the decision. It was very close, 52% v 48%. And Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the UK, so the ramifications are important. Remarkably the turnout was 72%, which is high for an election however that's still a significant number of people who didn't vote, sadly.
I disliked the way that both the Leave and Remain campaigns were run. There was scare mongering and incitement of hatred against immigrants. I also think that there is a feeling that the difference between the young and older voters was significant in that younger voters were in favour of remaining in the EU and older voters were against BUT I'm not sure that this was really the case.
It's possible that Scotland will have another independence referendum, they certainly seem to be seeking one. The UKIP leadership were jubilant this morning, while it was noticeable that Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were sombre and paid tribute to David Cameron. Looks like there is a question mark over Jeremy Corbyn as leader as well.
I hate politics!
I am sad about the decision, I was very proud that the UK was part of Europe and I think the economic arguments for remaining in the EU were convincing.