Saturday 27 May 2017

Like a Rollercoaster, Not in a Good Way

Alien: Covenant (2017)

I had actually been quite looking forward to seeing this movie, although the best things I had heard about it were that it's "better than Prometheus" (a low bar) and that its relationship to Alien was akin to the relation of The Force Awakens to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, in that it was a remix. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

It was one of the most miserable experiences I've had in a cinema for a while.

Spoilers and swears follow.

Thursday 25 May 2017

Contractual Obligation #1: King Arthur (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Damn right I had a VIP seat.

My (surprisingly still) friend KP sent me the money to see King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, because he thought I might have something to say about it. And I do. So this is my first Contractual Obligation post, where I have been gifted with the means to see a bad movie in the hopes that I will write about it. If you want to do the same, feel free, which is cheeky as hell, but I sat through this film so I get to say that.

This review contains swears and copious spoilers, but I wouldn't worry about them if I were you, because it's not like you're going to see it, right.

Friday 19 May 2017

I Blame Society #4: The Dark Crystal (1982)

I was only ever taken to see two films by my mum as a kid, both at the Drake Cinema's Summer Club, where every Wednesday morning in the school hols they'd show recent films and charge 50p for kids. And one time it was Return of the Jedi, which for me as a kid of seven was the Undisputed! Highlight! of My Summer, Possibly My Life to Date. But while I don't rate Star Wars all that highly these days, the other film was The Dark Crystal and that had a lasting effect.

Saturday 13 May 2017

We Don't Go Back #48: Sauna (AKA Evil Rising) (2008)

The cheapest film I've bought for a long time, this, for the princely sum of ten pence sterling on eBay. AJ Annila's Finnish historical horror Sauna deserved a whole lot better than being saddled with a UK title that has nothing to do with its content (Evil Rising), and a presentation so lazy that they haven't even bothered to replace the title cards, just literally cutting it off the front of the film without a replacement, so the film as it stands doesn't even have a name at all (which is why my usual practice of putting the title at the front of the post failed this time). The subtitles weren't checked by a first language English speaker.

Sauna deserves better.

Friday 12 May 2017

We Do, In Fact, Go Back (in praise of Folk Horror Revival)

Today I received early copies of Wyrd Harvest Press's two new books: North, by Phil Breach and Tim Turnbull; and This Game of Strangers, by Bob Beagrie and Jane Burn. I have only really had the chance to dip in, so this isn't a review, but both collections, the former a mixture of poetry and prose, the latter poetry, have a powerful sense of place and time.

Thursday 11 May 2017

I Blame Society #3: Excalibur (1981)

Last week, I was, for the very first time, paid to write a film review. I was sent the price of a cinema ticket to see Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and write about it.

I'm apprehensive.

Thursday 4 May 2017

We Don't Go Back – Guest Post: The Borderlands (2013)

Another guest post today, this time from friend and critical sparring partner Jon Dear. Jon is still among the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject of TV and film, and has recently started up his own blog, Views From a Hill, where he's been rewatching Twin Peaks and offering illuminating insight into a bunch of old TV shows I haven't even heard of, let alone seen. Over to Jon.

This review will spoiler the hell out of the film. So if you’ve yet to see it and you want to, and have any intention of enjoying it, please watch the film before reading this review. I’ll wait...

Wednesday 3 May 2017

I Blame Society #2: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)

(This is part of I Blame Society, a short series where I cast a critical eye over things I never stopped loving.)

Easily the most mainstream of the films I've looked at in the last six months or so, this. All the others have been in some way odd, or off kilter, which I suppose makes this an outlier, a feel-good comedy about two dumb guys who just need to get their high school diplomas.