Tag Archives: Marvel

A Week In Film #030: B movies, D-Days & K holes

The Verdict (1946) title screen

The Verdict (1946)
Don Siegel’s first full directing credit, IIRC. A dark hearted and dark humoured affair, this – Sidney Greenstreet is a Scotland Yard detective eased out by an ambitious younger rival, who proves that a man he sent to the gallows was in fact an innocent. Assisted by amiable lush and friend Peter Lorre, Greenstreet vows to exact his revenge…

Meet The Parents title screen

Meet The Parents
Ben Stiller tries to impress Robert De Niro, the uptight father of the girlfriend he wants to marry, but mostly he fucks up. Things pan out pretty much as you would expect.

Meet The Fockers title screen

Meet The Fockers
Sequel to the above in which OMG his name is Gaylord Focker LULZ! Hollywood liberals Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand play Florida liberals, and everyone is happy by picture’s end.

Recount title screen

HBO TVM about the Florida voting scandal of the 2000 Presidential elections which led to the administration of Bush The Lesser; well liberal. Familiar faces include: Kevin Spacey, Denis Leary, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt and Laura Dern being very funny as Katherine Harris.

Men At Work title screen

Men At Work
Emilio Estevez writes and directs himself and his brother Charlie Sheen as a pair of under-achieving garbagemen who get caught up in a toxic dumping/murder plot. It’s not great but it’s watchable. John Getz (the hapless boyfriend from Blood Simple) makes for a fun bad guy, and Keith David is superb as a Nam vet still suffering flashbacks.

Outpost title screen

A motley crew of mercenaries escort a mysterious businessman to an old, abandoned bunker complex in the middle of an Eastern European civil war.

Again, supernatural war horror (cf Below, The Bunker, Deathwatch, The Keep), again, some good bits diluted by generally being sub-par in various departments (script needs tightening; better direction of the actors; more thoughtful lighting; more rhythmical editing; and much better visual effects, if you really insis on having them in the first place; etc).

Bit odd seeing Michael ‘Tyres from Spaced‘ Smiley in there as an Irish dog of war…

The Bridge At Remagen title screen

The Bridge At Remagen
A frankly rather unexciting war film, with Robert Vaughn as a German officer charged with blowing up a bridge over the Rhine in the dying weeks of WW2, as an American unit led by George Segal is given the order to preserve the bridge at all costs. Ben Gazzara as a lootin’, shootin’, but never high-falutin’ GI is one of the few pieces of interest here.

The Punisher (2004) title screen

The Punisher (2004)
Thomas Jane (from Stander) as Marvel Comics vigilante Frank Castle, taking on a mob run by John Travolta. The bits with the hired assassins were quite good, and the massacre of Castle’s family early on, but it’s just a little too draggy. I’m going to watch the 1989 version and then the 2008 reboot War Journal to compare.

Shaun Of The Dead title screen

Shaun Of The Dead
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, bit parts and cameos for Jessica Stevenson, Peter Serafinowicz and Julia Deakin – it’s a veritable Spaced reunion! And the funniest zombie film ever.

“Get fucked four-eyes!”, Pegg teaming up with Kate Ashfield and Bill Nighy from Guest House Paradiso, ‘Hog Lumps’, “it’s on random”, children’s slides, “‘Allo, Fulci’s…”, death-by-jukebox – loads of good stuff. Oooh, and Noel the gum-chewing teen worker at Foree Electric.

A Week In Film #022: Backed up on G20 investigations

The Omen (2006) title screen

The Omen (2006)
Pointless and rubbish remake. Julia Stiles is even more ineffectual than in the Bourne flicks. Pete Postlethwaite and David Thewlis do their best to impersonate Patrick Troughton and David Warner. The sequences are mostly inferior carbon copies of the originals, though the reporter’s demise in Jerusalem is riffed upon in a moderately interesting way. Note: Prague does not look like London.

Blood Simple title screen

Blood Simple
The Coen Brothers’ first feature, a natty little neo noir. Some great touches – the slimy private dick (M Emmet Walsh) and his Beetle, John Getz’s rubbish Ray, Dan Hedaya as pathetic cuckold Marty, and of course Frances McDormand as Abby, a femme fatale of sorts. The ending is wonderful. Works well with the likes of Red Rock West, The Hot Spot and The Last Seduction.

The Front Page title screen

The Front Page
Rather lacklustre adaptation of the Hecht/MacArthur commemoration of the bawdy world of newspapermen in Roaring Twenties Chicago. Given that it revolves around Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and is directed by Billy Wilder, that’s a shame. There’s some really unpleasant moments of misogyny and racism in there too, which the far superior His Girl Friday (the 1940 Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell one) managed to avoid despite being much closer to the source in time.

Daredevil title screen

Ben Affleck as a blind Marvel universe superhero; Jennifer Garner is Elektra, Colin Farrell Bullseye. Not great, but okay.

Zoolander title screen

Ben Stiller as a vacuous model recruited Manchurian Candidate-style to assassinate the Malaysian prime minister. Fairly entertaining Frat Pack stuff, with Owen Wilson as his rival-turned-ally.

Bad Influence title screen

Bad Influence
One of the more interesting films from that yuppie terror cycle (cf Pacific Heights), with weedy Michael (James Spader) coming under the influence of self-assured and dangerously confident Alex (Rob Lowe). So far so bland; but midway there’s something of a twist, and the tone and pace changes rather effectively. Lisa Zane is most alluring as Claire, a woman Michael falls for, and Christian Clemenson is convincingly flakey as Michael’s stoner brother. An early effort from director Curtis LA Confidential Hanson.

Cruising title screen

William Friedkin directs Al Pacino in a story about a cop undercover in the pre-Aids BDSM scene in New York’s Meatpacking district. Frankly that sounds awesome on the page. Sadly it’s a balled-up-sock-down-the-trousers of a movie. Pacino pretty much does Serpico in a leather jacket. It’s interesting, just not very exciting. I’m sure I remembered it as being better.

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three title screen

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three
More New York, this time underground on the subway, with menacing mercenary Robert Shaw commanding a group of colour-coded hijackers holding a trainful of passengers to ransom. Walter Matthau as a transit cop, Martin Balsam a renegade train driver, Hector Elizondo a psychopathic ex-mafioso, Earl Hindman a making-up-the-numbers fourth man.

A Week In Film #019: Getting warmer

Bad Boys (1983) title screen

Bad Boys
Sean Penn in an American Scum.

16 Blocks title screen

16 Blocks
Bruce Willis is *not* John McClane in this mostly taut (but sometimes slack) thriller about a past-it New York cop escorting a chatterbox witness (Mos Def) to a grand jury, with a whole lot of dirty blues in between. Could have been great, but it’s not.

Take (2007) title screen

Take (2007)
The paths of two strangers (Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner) cross; the lives of each are forever changed. Some interesting ideas, very competently handled, but not really satisfying. I’m really not keen on the whole bleached out look, either.

Air Force One title screen

Air Force One
What was I thinking, watching this? It’s Die Hard on a plane, with Harrison Ford as a Presidential John McClane type.

Iron Man title screen

Iron Man
Rather spiffy Jon Favreau-helmed adaptation of the Marvel comic about ├╝ber-capitalist arms dealer and all-round playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), who takes on a crime-fighting alter ego with the help of a battle suit he builds himself. Good fun.

Gacy title screen

Psychological portrait of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, the dude who killed loads of boys and buried them in his basement as well as dressing up as a clown for block parties. Not fun. Still, I learned what a crawl space is.

Old School title screen

Old School
Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as heading towards middle age so try to reclaim the vitality of their youth by setting up a fraternity house.

Shakes The Clown title screen

Shakes The Clown
Bobcat Goldthwait as a booze-sodden clown. Nuff said. Also features a fresh-faced Adam Sandler.

Office Space title screen

Office Space
Really enjoyable mellow satire on white collar drudgery by Mike Judge, with Ron Livingston (the alkie S2 from Band Of Brothers) as a software engineer in Texas who hates his job. Good to hear Geto Boys on the soundtrack too.