Tag Archives: The Crazies

A Week In Film #255: Rewinds & remakes

Firefox title screen
Firefox
I remember rows and rows of Craig Thomas novels, with their ADJECTIVE+ANIMAL NAME titles and foil-embossed covers, nestled between James Herbert and Sven Hassel and Stephen King novels, lining the shelves in our local(isn) Tesco, back in the 1980s.

I remember my dad having all his books, much as he had all James Herbert’s and Stephen King’s (but not Sven Hassel’s, though all Isaac Asimov’s and Frank Herbert’s and a thousand other genre writers’).

And I remember watching this film, with my dad, when it premiered on TV. Probably ITV, I’ve a feeling there were ad breaks. I remember gasping at the persecution-of-the-Jews sub-plot, being shocked by the sudden murder of the drug dealer, I remember the opening with CLint jogging and the sudden appearance of the helicopter. I remember scowling Warren Clarke and kindly Nigel Hawthorne. I remember the submariners and their pretend weather station waving, and I remember the really, really long flight sequence, which seemed pretty boring compared to the hard-boiled escape-from-Moscow bits.

And that’s pretty much how I felt about it watching it nearly thirty years later.

The Crazies (2010) title screen
The Crazies
So-so, bigger budget remake of Romero’s 70s lo-fi not-zombie classic. Not exactly terrible, just not exactly terrific. Bit bland. And doesn’t compare well with The Walking Dead. Timothy Olyphant as the hero sheriff is moderately engaging.

Hitman title screen
Hitman
Olyphant again, in a video game adaptation. Seen it before, didn’t impress; didn’t impress on second viewing either. Secret order of assassins, Interpol hot on the train, blah.

The Informers title screen
The Informers
I really liked Bret Easton Ellis’s contract-fulfilling collection of interconnected short stories released between American Psycho and Glamorama. First time I saw it I even quite liked this highly flawed film version by the bloke who did Buffalo Soldiers (which, again, I liked), even though Ellis himself reportedly didn’t.

Second viewing flags up the why-I-liked-it bits, and the why-it’s-not-really-very-good bits. I liked it because it held an interesting tone, its mood, there were some interesting character sketches, memorable set pieces. But, it’s just not the book, or the characters or vignettes or world of the book. And losing the vampires, and the humour? Sacrilege. A shame.

A Week In Film #043: Time on my hands

The Crazies
George Romero’s pre-Dawn zombie-style horror – where lots of the elements that later defined his Dead films can be seen being tried out, not always succesfully – about a military bioweapon accidentally dropped on a nondescript northeastern American town. Acting is generally not award-winning, but the story shifts at a lick, there’s some interesting storytelling, and it’s enjoyably downbeat.

Napoli Spara title screen

Napoli Spara
A Mario Caiano-directed poliziotteschi which Nigel put me onto. A decent, fast-paced story of brutal robbers against a Neapolitan backdrop. Leonard Mann and Henry Silva face off against each other as hard-as-nails cop and bloodthirsty gangster respectively, whilst in the background unfold numerous seemingly random, unrelated incidents, all of which connect together by the end.

Bandits title screen

Bandits
Bank robbers Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton steal their way across the States, pick up a hostage-cum-hanger-on (Cate Blanchett), and much fun is had by all. Barry Levinson directs with charm.

2019 - Dopo La Caduta Di New York title screen

2019 – Dopo La Caduta Di New York
Silly, camp Italian nonsense, ripping off *takes breath* Escape From New York, Mad Max 2, Escape From Thunderdome, Planet Of The Apes and a whole lot more.

Shinchinin No Samurai title screen

Shichinin No Samurai
Some days you just want to kick back with an old friend, so, Kurosawa and Seven Samurai here I come.

(500) Days Of Summer
The LLF fancied seeing summat at the De Luxe, and this was what she wanted to see. And it was pretty good. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the kid from Third Rock) is Tom, a slightly gawky, underachieving architect who’s ended up grinding out greetings card messages for a living. He falls for Summer (Zooey Deschanel, in less k-fuelled mode than in The Happening), and the film tells the story of the birth, death and all points in between of their relationship, in disjointed and reflective style. Marc Webb directs with some interesting, just-this-side-of-flashy stylistic effects thrown in to keep things moving along.