John McTiernan’s top-of-its-game hijacked building actioner. Taut, well put together, witty, imaginatively shot, two thumbs all the way through.
Die Hard With A Vengeance
Not as good as the first, but definitely better than the second. Suffers from not being confined to a small space. Samuel L Jackson is good fun as Zeus, and Sam Phillips is knee wibble-inducing as mute killer Katya, but Jeremy Irons’ English-thesp-does-Euro-terrorist is not great.
How To Lose Friends And Alienate People
Simon Pegg as the English hack in New York in amusing but by no means great adaptation of Toby Young’s book.
Ghosts Of Mars
John Carpenter’s career-stopping SF actioner with Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Pam Grier and Natasha Henstridge kicking ass on the Red Planet. I actually rather like it, for all its pace-destroying wipes and odd editing choices.
Is Paris Burning?
Different French Resistance factions prepare for liberation.
The Long Riders
Walter Hill ‘does’ the Younger-James gang with high concept use of thespy brothers (the Carradines, Quaids, Keaches and Guests) to play various sets of real-life brothers and cousins.
Insanely bad M Night Shyamalan biohorrortwistthriller watched purely for Graham Linehan’s BadMovieClub. Bees, pipes in walls, cars that appear from nowhere, a planet that fights back. Zooey Deschanel looks permanently stoned on tranquilisers, Marky Mark displays the acting chops that made him an international underwear modelling superstar. Pretty much nothing of interest happens in The Happening, BTW.
DiCaprio and Winslet, reunited at last! In a portrait of the drawn out death of a relationship in early 60s American suburbia! With added botched home-abortion ending! The Valentine’s date movie to end them all.
Classic early film noir, with pretty much the greatest femme fatale ever!
The Dead Zone
David Cronenberg tackles a Stephen King story about a New England (where else?) school teacher put into a five-year coma who comes back to consciousness with the power of foresight; Chris Walken does an early version of the Chris Walken panto turn, and Martin Sheen gives good creepy politician.
Christian Bale as a whacked-out, fucked-up military veteran failing to adjust to civvie life in South Central LA. Written and directed by David Ayer, the Training Day script dude.
Plunkett & Macleane
Class conscious highway robbery anachro-action comedy. Critics hated it, I enjoyed it. “Surrender’s for wankers!”
Batoru Rowaiaru/Battle Royale
Bit of a let down, I found. Delinquent Japanese school children are dumped on a remote island with weapons, and have to fight their way off – no quarter given, last pupil standing.
Il Boia Scarlatto/Bloody Pit Of Horror
Bizarre Italian horror, about a bunch of models on a photographic shoot for pulp paperback covers getting topped in a spooky old castle.
William Friedkin tackles The Wages Of Fear; four men running away from their pasts end up on a suicide mission driving unstable explosives in the jungle.
55 Days At Peking
Turgid, never-ending propaganda epic about the Boxer Rebellion.
David Cronenberg’s mind warrior thriller, works well in a double ill with De Palma’s The Fury.