Tag Archives: The Omen

A Week In Film #462: Genre

Red Eye title screen
Red Eye
Joyously silly genre thriller (shades of Nick Of Time) with hotel manager Rachel MacAdams tying to escape the clutches of a dangerous blackmailer whilst on a plane home at Christmas. Fun stuff from Wes Craven.

Murder At 1600
DC cop Wesley Snipes teams up with Secret Service agent Diane Lane to investigate a murder with political implications at the White House. Throwaway fluff of the sort I will lap up.

Spectre title screen
Spectre
Dense but enjoyable neo Bond, with a satisfying plot that ties together the whole Craig era with previous canon. Strong work from Sam Mendes, with some excellent set pieces (continuous take Mexican day of the dead cold open, the Dennis Wheatley-eqsue meeting infiltrated by Bond, Bond’s capture and torture, the climactic chase) and energetic performances by Christolph Waltz Ben Whishaw and Andrew Scott.

The Incredibles title screen
The Incredibles
Top animated superhero shenanigans from Pixar, directed by Brad Bird.

Aladdin
Breezily fun Disney Renaissance take on the hoary old tale, with directors Ron Clements and John Musker letting Robin Williams run riot as the genie.

The Omen (1976) title screen
The Omen
Silly but very decent genre shocker, with peerless physical effects and expert timing from Richard Donner.

A Week In Film #157: Quiet bidets

Finding Nemo
Pixar film. Motherless fish gets separated from dad. Tries to get back home. Quite good.

Jaws
Spielberg’s breakthrough picture – a crap-looking fake killer shark, judicious fast editing, that music, just the right number of fake climaxes, a fine Hitchcock zoom, a perfect trio of leads… That’s some bad hat, Harry!

Hannibal
Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t have the overfamiliarity of Silence Of The Lambs, but I think I may prefer this Starling/Lector murder porn over its predecessor.

Julianne Moore is, dare I say it, more enjoyable than Jodie Foster, and better suits the whole absurd grand guignol goings on – Verger, Pazzi, Krendler and all those pigs… Talking of pork, Hopko stinks the place up with fetid ham aromas as usual, but it’s more forgivable with this sort of nonsense.

The Trouble With Harry
One of my favourite Hitchcocks – a sweet story of some small-town folks and a corpse. Simply delightful.

The Omen
The original! The best! Antichrist, jackal-mother, crazed priest, nosey pap, angry apes, tricycle-and-goldfish-bowl gag, falling spire, flying glass…

What’s not to like? Pulp filmmaking at its best. Take a bow, Richard Donner.

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

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

Zoolander title screen

Zoolander
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

Cruising
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 #021: G20 riot vans & un décès

The Take title screen (2008)

The Take (2007)

Rather well executed (if ponderous) story of a security guard (John Leguizamo) robbed, shot and suspected of being an inside man.

Shooting Fish title screen

Shooting Fish

This was what the British film industry looked like in 1997. I see that the (American) lead, Dan Futterman, later wrote the Capote screenplay.

Wanted title screen

Wanted

Bloody awful comic book adaptation with Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman paying the rent, and James McEvoy trying to break into Hollywood. It’s about weavers, and assassins, and, erm, stuff. Seems to have completely lost sight of what Mark Millar’s original was trying to say. The bullet bending stuff is nowhere as good as Equilibrium‘s Gun Kata.

Let's Go To Prison title screen

Let’s Go To Prison

Satisfyingly dark comedy about the American prison system, with Dax Shepard as John Lyshitski, a recidivist with attitude, and Will Arnett as Nelson Biederman IV, the son of his recently deceased arch-nemesis Judge Nelosn Biederman III.

The Omen title screen (1976)

The Omen

Gregory Peck, Billie Whitelaw, Lee Remick, Patrick Troughton and David Warner all taking their hocks up to eleven in the cause of a great schlocky horror about the antichrist. Three of the most memorable deaths in my film watching life, as well as a genuinely scary safari park moment, an unsurpassed stunt fall – with the lead actress’s face in shot!, the Waldorf salad chap from Fawlty Towers, and an unsettling ending.