philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
I didn't exactly have high hopes for either of these, but I wasn't expecting either of them to be quite so unbearable.



Maleficent (2014)

Okay admittedly I was told that Angelina Jolie would be the only good thing about this and it's true, she really is the only good thing about this. Actually, I tell a lie, the special effects work is gorgeous and often kind of cool. But could we have the story unfold for itself for a bit without constantly having the gaps filled by voiceover narration? I found the whole thing felt like a bad adaptation of a book. It's like they had so many plot points to introduce and not enough time to fit them in, so the film would rush from one point to the next. It's like a story written by a child, rushing to all the important points in the story without spending the time to build any of them up.


Read more... )


Cuban Fury (2014)

Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, The World's End, Hyperdrive (TV)) and Chris O'Dowd (Calvary, FAQ About Time Travel, The IT Crowd (TV)) in a movie together! Just the idea of it sounded brilliant. Whatever the premise of the movie might be, those two would surely be awesome. How could they not be?



Well, pretty easily as it turns out. Chris O'Dowd is giving a highly animated comedic performance, but unfortunately nothing he is saying is funny. His lines simply don't make him anything other than an obnoxious bastard. It seems the writer worked on a few series of "Misfits" and that involved a lot of people being obnoxious to each other, but that's the difference really. Those characters were horrible to each other, whereas here it is very one-sided. Chris O'Dowd is mean, and Nick Frost's character just takes the abuse.
Read more... )

Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 2 "Into The Dalek"

On the plus side, this week's Doctor Who episode was a return to form. It reminded me of the episode "Dalek" from the first NuWho series. Also Capaldi has been allowed to calm down a bit this time and he's got a sort of Tom Baker element to him. I've not actually been that keen on Tom Baker's style, but what's good about this shift is that it is drastically different from the style of the last three Doctors and, in this episode at least, it seems to be working.
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Hellbenders (2012)

A comedy where the concept is rather funnier than the film as a whole. The opening of the film admittedly had me laughing out loud.

The concept is of a sect of 'hellbound saints', a group of exorcists who specifically aim to use the method from the movie "The Exorcist" to defeat the most powerful demons. (You'll remember that in the Exorcist the priest defeats the demon by committing suicide while possessed.) In order to be possessed you need to be impure and the intention is to send the demons to hell, so the Hellbenders are priests who intentionally live in a state of debauchery to be ready to use this technique against demons.



Naturally Clancy Brown (the Kurgan from "Highlander") is on his A-game as the leader of the Hellbenders. But a surprisingly fun addition to the cast is 'Bubbles' from the wire (actor Andre Royo). He plays the bureaucrat of the group, recording all their sins to check they are all 'damnation-ready'. However, it's clear that breaking the rules is against his nature (so he's a far cry from the junkie he plays in The Wire').


Click here to read the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Amreeka (2009)

I'd been meaning to see this for quite a while based on the trailer. It seemed almost akin to "Amelie" in its level of sweetness.

Amreeka is about a woman and her son who travel from Palestine to the US for a better life. In particular, the son hopes for a better education and greater opportunities than he could receive in Palestine.



The central actress playing the boy's mother is an incredible actress and really helps to carry the film. But the character she is playing is so naive that it's rather hard to suspend disbelief.


Click here to read the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)


Philomena (2013)

I have mixed feelings about Stephen Frears as a director. He does these strange combinations of 'sweet and cheerful' and 'fraut with emotion'. It's a crowd pleasing combination because it means that you never go so dark as to alienate potential viewers, but you are still engaging the audience with the issue at hand.



Still, it's probably notable that the film of his which I enjoyed the most is probably his darkest: "Dirty Pretty Things" (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Okonedo, Audrey Tautou and even Sergi Lopez, all in the same movie!). It was a film about illegal immigration, prostitution, sexual harassment and the illegal trade in organs, but even that had its sweeter side.



In "Philomena" I was actually surprised at how minimal the tragedy is (at least initially). The protagonist is wronged because her child is adopted by a rich family. Now, this is a child which she could not actually afford to raise herself and which, in that social setting, would have been considered a shame on her. (She was an unmarried mother. Not a big deal now, but back then was enough to get you committed to an asylum.) Living with the nuns was not much fun, but there are now stories emerging of far worse treatment in Church-owned establishments. But thankfully(?) things do get worse. More has happened in those decades since her son was taken away from her. So by the end, we really do have a story worthy of our outrage.


Click here for the full review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

The Act of Killing (2012 Documentary)

This is quite an incredible piece of work. It's quite hard to.fathom what or how the filmmaker must be feeling behind the camera since it's harrowing enough just watching the finished product.



The documentary-maker has travelled to Indonesia to visit the figures responsible for a military coup in which they killed thousands of people accusing them of being communists.

He has then asked these figures whether they want to make a creative artistic film about these killings they are so very proud of.


Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Okay, so I didn't pre-select this group of sci-fi movies for reviews. It was more that I had a lot of movies still to review and many of them happened to be sci-fi. And since sci-fi is my first love as far as genres go, unsurprisingly I've kept checking out new sci-fi movies since then. So here's the latest one I've come across...



+1 (2013)

Oddly titled "Shadow Walkers" in the UK. A title which has absolutely no relevance to the film's content whatsoever. "+1" is a science-fiction film about a group of older teenagers/young adults most of whom are home for the summer after their first year at uni. The party seems to be set up by an absurdly wealthy friend and while this is rather taken for granted, it does at least explain the size of the house in which the events unfold.



A strange comet causes a doppelganger of everyone at the party to appear. Initially no one at the party notices because the partygoers are led to an event outside while the doppelgangers repeat their actions inside.



Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Kidnapped For Christ (2014)

It's actually a misleading title since many of these 'kidnappings' are performed by organisations without a religious affiliation. Nevertheless, this American organisation is fundamentalist evangelical Christian (are we surprised? It's either that or Roman Catholic amirite?) and the filmmaker was (prior to uncovering this hypocrisy at least) a strong believer in that faith.

What's a little more irregular however, is that they are taking those kidnapped children to the Dominican Republic. Many of these organisations are quite happy to run within the US itself.



The odd thing about these kidnappings is that they are actually arranged by the children's parents. While that might sound like sending your child to a holiday camp, in those instances the child is normally informed about the trip in advance. Also these 'camps' don't just run over the holidays. The parents pay huge amounts for their care and tuition so they can stay for months or often years.



So perhaps it is like being forced to go to boarding school? And having the decision forced on you? Sometimes in the middle of the night by complete strangers?

Well yet another aspect of this camp which makes it strange (apart from the way it is located in the Dominican Republic and is importing children from the US) is its bizarre discipline procedures. There is a complicated points system for behaviour. Avoiding picking up naughty points basically involves doing whatever you are told to do without question. That includes regular demands that children do sets of press ups, star jumps and the like. It also involves passing spot checks with bizarre requirements (such as that shirts hanging in the closet must have all buttons done up and must be 'evenly spaced'. Any complaint about conditions will lead to being disciplined. Any calls home are monitored. Any attempt to tell parents about the bad conditions results in a punishment for being manipulative.



If someone is on the highest tier of punishment then there will be a period of time (weeks perhaps?) during which they will not be allowed to talk to other children. The worst punishment of all is the sinister sounding 'quiet room'.

Click here to read more... )

The Cracked article to which I refer can be found here
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

The Hunter (2011)

Willem Dafoe is a great actor. However, I rarely see him in a leading role.

There is no doubt that Dafoe carries this leisurely-paced indie drama. Even playing such a reclusive character his performance is crammed full of emotion.



Right from the start we discover that he is being employed to find and kill the last remaining tazmanian tiger, yet Dafoe is always wholly relateable. We always sympathise with his character in spite of his questionable motives.
Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Remember how in the mid-credits sequence at the end of Thor 2, Benicio Del Toro explains that the Ether was just one of six planet-destroying magic stones? Well it turns out he wasn't kidding. Here in "Guardians of the Galaxy" they really do just find another sparkly magic rock with very little to distinguish it from the one we found in 'Avengers' and the one we found in 'Thor 2'. And speaking of indistinguishable, we also get a villain who is basically a stand-in for Loki, only with none of the charisma.



All that being said, "Guardians of the Galaxy" looks gorgeous. The design of the world in which the characters live is fantastic. I feel like I'm damning with faint praise here (just like when I said that "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was better than "Battle for the Planet of the Apes"), but it has to be said that "Guardians of the Galaxy" comes across rather like a Star Wars movie and, to my mind, it wipes the floor with the Star Wars prequels. We see a variety of awesomely designed environments building a full world in which the characters can exist with flying vehicles and technology for them to use.



Sadly the characters themselves seem incomplete. It seems to me that the more important the characters were, the less interesting they were. The big surprise actually was Groot the humanoid tree-person. Actually one reason why he wasn't as goofy as I'd been expecting is because he's basically Swamp Thing. Sure, he's more like Swamp Thing before John Constantine comes along to tell him he's essentially a nature god, but there's still time for Groot to develop that way. Marvel actually have their own more clear-cut Swamp Thing clone, but that's Man Thing (a name I cannot imagine catching on) and he's already had one of their least impressive movie outings. Anyway, the variety of plant-based powers exhibited by Groot is by far the most creative element of the film. And he's not really the most central of the characters.
Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

I'm not so fond as most with the first HTTYD movie. I think it's great, but not up there with the best Pixar films. Still these films are actually based on a book series, so there's presumably a fairly wide scope to expand the HTTYD universe.



That being said, while this sequel kept promising to expand the universe in interesting directions, it doesn't really go very far.

It's quite bizarre how HTTYD2 both starts and finishes by saying that their town is special because they have dragons, despite having encountered a whole bunch of other people who have dragons over the course of the story.


Click here to read the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)


Ronny Yu is a Hong Kong director who I know first and foremost for his highly entertaining contributions to two 80s horror franchises. On the one hand, there's my absolute favourite entry in the Child's Play franchise "Bride of Chucky", which managed to successfully combine both the horror and comedy elements as well as introducing the awesome character of Tiffany to reinvigorate the series. On the other hand there's "Freddy Vs Jason", a film which combined the Friday The 13th series and the A Nightmare On Elm Street series and acted as an homage to both, establishing itself as one of the better entries in both franchises.



However, Ronny Yu also has some background in martial arts films and perhaps his most revered is "Fearless". I've also now checked out a low budget flick starring Bruce Lee's son Brandon (who so famously died making the early comicbook flick "The Crow") called "Legacy of Rage" and Ronny Yu's latest contribution "Saving General Yang".



Fearless (2006)

An interesting tale about a fighter who stands against western imperialism. I don't know to what extent it could be called a 'true' story, but it's an interesting one all the same.


Click here for the rest of the review... )



Long zai jiang hu (1986) (Legacy of Rage)

I wouldn't say that I exactly hated this action flick with Brandon Lee, but the acting is bad, the storytelling is somewhat confused and our protagonist has the most unlikely friend ever who, early and obviously, betrays him.


Click here for the rest of the review... )



Saving General Yang (2013)

It should be noted right off the bat that this is not a beautiful artsy action film like "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" or "Hero". There's still parts that look good, but it's not going for that same colourful fantasy vision. Things are kept relatively plausible in this film.



While it could be partially a result of the translations used for the subtitles, the dialogue feels a little stilted. Everyone is very uptight and it's rather difficult to identify with the characters. But oddly the character which irritated me the most was the wise Buddhist monk they approach.

There's some political wranglings at the beginning regarding an accidental death during a tournament and some fighting taking place against rival armies. (Our protagonists are serving the Emperor of the Song Dynasty and their enemies are Khitans serving the Empress of the Liao Dynasty.) General Yang is cornered fairly early on in the film during his skirmish with the Khitans and his wife asks a wise monk in the mountains for advice.


Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)


Under The Skin (2013)

I've heard a lot of mixed impressions of this film, with some lauding it as one of the best films of the year. So, as a sci-fi fan, I realised there was a possibility that I could love this. I heard it was a bit artsy and possibly rather dull, but I mistakenly believed I knew the story it was based on, which meant that I was convinced that the climax would definitely be exciting regardless of what came before.



After some hard searching I've found the story I believed this was going to be adapting and I do admittedly feel a little silly. My mind was immediately drawn to a short story called "Hitch-Hiker" from a collection of short stories entitled "Break of Dark" by Robert Westall. Westall is perhaps best known for "The Machine Gunners" and is a children's writer. But "Hitch-Hiker" was a story about a man travelling around near Glasgow who is surprised to find a beautiful naked woman stranded outside his tent. It becomes clear as the story progresses that she is an alien.



Now looking at wikipedia plot summary for the book "Under The Skin" it appears that the film isn't a particularly faithful adaptation. But the themes are a little different. This isn't quite as simple as an 'evil alien' plotline.



Click here for the rest of the review... )

(Robert Westall's book of short stories "Break of Dark" containing the story "The Hitch-Hiker" is on Google Books here, but unfortunately it is missing a huge central chunk of the story. Still it's enough to get a good taster for it and to see why I associated it with the basic synopsis of "Under The Skin".)
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
When "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" started getting some positive buzz I made a point of working through the previous movies in the series. Having now seen the latest entry, it's time to rank the series:



8. Planet of the Apes (2001)



I didn't think this was all that bad when I first watched it, but then again I was less critical of movies in general back then anyway. This has not aged well. The first thing I noticed was the very obvious actors-on-springboards effect being used. I know that apes can jump higher than humans and clearly Burton thinks this effect is very dramatic, but it was so over-used that it quickly started feeling comical.



Even Paul Giamatti's orangutan character, who I remembered quite fondly from seeing this when it came out in the cinema, seems way too cheesy here. The purpose that Mark Wahlberg's protagonist serves is also hard to understand, not just because of his ridiculously uncharismatic and boring performance, but also because all the humans can speak and all the humans think being enslaved by apes is a bad thing. It's not at all obvious why he would be able to shake up the social status quo.



Burton clearly wanted to use this movie as an opportunity to shove together a bunch of quirky visuals, but I have to say it now looks particularly obviously like a set. And to be frank, I wasn't keen on his little touches. The ape with the music box getting his human with dwarfism to dance? It might have been a nice touch if the rest of the film was well-handled, but in this film it's just one more groan-worthy element among many.



The big thing to complain about here is the ending, but there's a very simple change which could save the ending. Take General Thade's name off the monument! General Thade is the big villain in the film and at the end of the story the apes are nowhere near mastering advanced human technology like computers and Thade is pretty much traumatised by his misuse of a ray gun. The idea that Thade could have flown a spacecraft in his lifetime (never mind all the other stuff that we are expected to believe he could have done to make the ending possible) is ridiculous. But the idea that apes could eventually master these things is perfectly reasonable. And you've got to give Tim Burton some credit in that, regardless of how little sense it makes, the ending IS a powerful visual. I immediately wanted to see the original movies to understand what it all meant.



Talk about unnecessary remakes... I mean, frankly ALL remakes and reboots are unnecessary until the point where they turn out to be good. And it turns out that Tim Burton's remake is frikkin' appalling.

E-

7. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)



It's confusing how so many of the Planet of the Apes movies have low age ratings. Admittedly the UK rating wasn't quite so confusing. Planet of the Apes was given an "A" for 'adult' (which meant children might need adult supervision). But in the US the movie had a 'G' rating. This low age rating wasn't consistent though. Somehow 'Beneath', in spite of moments of pure nightmare fuel, still kept the G rating and it wasn't until, Conquest, the movie preceeding Battle, that the rating finally went up to PG. But with Battle the rating went right back down again.



The reasoning was that the series had always been aimed at children and Battle was supposed to mark the end of the movies and the beginning of the tv series. So as a result, Battle, a film which really ought to feature a big violent conflict, is far tamer than Conquest before it. The budget also seems to reflect the tv quality that would come later.



All this being said, there's a reason why I prefer this to Tim Burton's remake. Burton's movie might be prettier, but Battle still has Roddy McDowall playing the character of Caesar and the characters still feel endearing. Battle retains the heart of the series, even if it lacks the excitement and the brains. I would argue that "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" owes a lot to the basic set-up provided here.



With all that being said, let me just make clear that "Battle" is a load of rubbish. But endearing rubbish. It's a terrible way to end the initial 5 movie series, but as a low point in a series now spanning 8 movies, it's not all that shameful.

D+

Click here to read the rest of my rankings for the "Planet of the Apes" series... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Ten years have passed since Caesar led an ape exodus out of San Francisco into the sanctuary of a redwood forest. The group of apes he united from an ape sanctuary and a medical testing facility are now living in peace within a forest. The society has been mostly isolated from human beings, since they've been far too busy dying off after ill-effects from the same virally-transmitted treatment which made the apes so smart in the first place.



The apes now all communicate through sign language, but Caesar occasionally emphasises points by saying key phrases out loud. Speaking out loud seems to take special effort, but clearly this ability is part of what marks Caesar out as the leader, albeit along with a reputation for wisdom.



However, his closest friend no longer appears to be Maurice, the circus orangutan (whose sign language ability was remarkably strong even before receiving the brain-enhancing treatment). Now Caesar appears to be very close friends with Koba, who we'll all remember from the previous movie as the ape covered in scars from medical testing.



A new character to appear here is Blue Eyes, Caesar's son, who finds himself receiving somewhat conflicting advice over the course of the movie from Caesar and Koba, particularly when the ape settlement is visited by a group of humans who are armed with guns...


Click here to read the full review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)


Leviathan (1989)

I hadn't heard many strong recommendations for Leviathan and many seemed to dismiss it as an Alien rip-off. But a few seemed to speak of it fondly.



The big selling point here is Peter Weller. He was awesome as Robocop. Even in the flawed post-apocalyptic killer robot film "Screamers" Weller's central performance kept me remarkably engaged.



Meg Foster also appears here doing her Evil Lyn thing as the company boss. She has.this delicious coldness to her performance which made "Masters of the Universe" such a favourite growing up.



And let's not forget the appearance of Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson.



This is a very engaging cast. Even though we are following a large deep sea drilling group, we can recognise and keep up with every member of that team.
Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Frances Ha (2012)

Anyone familiar with the tv series "Girls" will find a lot of similarities in the scatty lead character and the sweet yet embarrassing socially-awkward humour. (Also anyone uncomfortable with the nudity in "Girls" will probably find themselves a lot more at ease with this movie.)



"Frances Ha" is an excellent comedy about young professionals living in New York. Our protagonist is a dancer who is, unsurprisingly for someone living in New York, finding it hard to make ends meet.


Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Stand by Me (1986)

This adaptation of a story by Stephen King is centred around a remarkably effective performance by Wil Wheaton. So it confuses me that I only know Wil Wheaton as that dull character in "Star Trek: TNG" who never seemed to appear in any of the movies and a few cameos in the tv series "The Big Bang Theory".



As is the case more often than not prior to the arrival of the "24" series, Kiefer Sutherland isn't that great here. Then again, he is playing a cartoonishly evil figure which was probably always going to be a hard sell in what is otherwise a pretty down to earth believable story.



Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

For those who missed the first two instalments...

Part one is here!

Part two here!


It's been a long time coming and oddly enough because I needed to rewatch "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" before finishing. Now that is a little strange seeing as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was the one film I was sure I loved when I started this, but after seeing John Hughes other films and hating so many of them, it felt tainted somehow. Still, I gave it another watch. I cannot say I was enormously into it this time around, but "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is still good.

John Hughes' debut movie "Sixteen Candles" on the other hand....


Sixteen Candles (1984)

Ugh, I did not want to write this review.

Basically I was given the impression that John Hughes career was better in the beginning and then became cheesier and more about people being hit in the end in slapstick towards the end. So I worked backwards through his films so I could finish on a high note.



Well that backfired spectacularly. The previous film I checked out was the legedary John Hughes film "The Breakfast Club". I was surprised to find myself hating practically everyone else, particularly the 'hero' of the film, who decides early on to propose a gang-rape.



So imagine my surprise when I discovered that "Sixteen Candles" is even worse.



Anthony Michael Hall who was absolutely great in "Weird Science" and probably the most sympathetic character in "Breakfast Club", this time plays an obnoxious pick-up artist. Now that's sort of okay, because clearly we're supposed to think he's obnoxious and pathetic. Except that he is later given a passed-out girl to molest, is pressured to drive her home while drunk and takes her to his friends house so they can provide photographic proof that he had sex with her. After all that, it seems that the film expects us to find him a sympathetic character because, just like the girl, he cannot remember their evening in the morning.


BTW Caroline (above) is played by Haviland Morris who was Marla in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch". Watch that instead.

Meanwhile there's another guy who actually encourages Anthony Michael Hall to have sex with the passed-out drunk girl in the first place. He boasts that he could easily have his way with passed-out drunk girls, but the only girl who he wants is the protagonist. So he suggests that Anthony Michael Hall take his ex-girlfriend away and have his way with her. This is passed off as romantic.
Click here for the rest of the review... )



Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

When the John Hughes' retrospective was going down hill, I purposefully left Ferris Bueller's Day Off til the end. Unlike "Weird Science" I'd rewatched it relatively recently and I had still felt very positive towards it.



Sadly, the context of a John Hughes' retrospective rather dampened my excitement this time around. Hughes' filmography features a category of unpleasant protagonists:
John Hughes' horrible protagonists under the cut... )
So, this is a review of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", so we better discuss the protagonist here: Ferris Bueller. It should be noted that Ferris Bueller is not a nice guy. He starts off manipulating his parents into letting him stay home and then immediately goes on to manipulate his friend (who may possibly be a hyperchondriac) to help him. Now, I'm not saying that this isn't effective comedy. It is. Ferris Bueller, in spite of being a bit of a prick, is admittedly funny. A great deal is owed to Matthew Broderick for milking as much comedy about of the role as is humanly possible. Similar praise must go to Alan Ruck who plays Ferris's friend Cameron.



What is rather less funny is ANY of the scenes involving the 'evil teacher'. (Thankfully this time the teacher isn't threatening to punch anyone, like in "The Breakfast Club". He's more just an uber-bureaucrat.) He's just not funny. It's like the Ferris Bueller scenes weren't slapsticky enough, so Hughes felt the need to throw it all into the scenes with this guy. The final scene with the teacher getting onto a schoolbus has always fallen flat for me, but it never occurred to me before that this is a point where finally all the humour has to come from this teacher character, the plot surrounding Ferris Bueller having completely come to an end.


Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Killer Joe (2011)

I actually first watched this several months ago, but I could not really work out what I thought of it first time around. The acting is great, with Matthew McConaughey dominating in the role of the eponymous Joe. This was released around a similar sort of time as "Magic Mike" forming the beginning of what the actor himself refers to as a McConnaisance (leading to his Oscar earlier this year).



Emile Hirsh, who irritated the hell out of me in his holier-than-thou role as the protagonist of "Into The Wild", is pretty great here as the desperate figure who proposes hiring Joe in the first place. Thomas Haden Church provides a comical edge to the film, making very clear how out of depth the lead characters are, even while he tries to act as the voice of reason.



The premise is that a poor family with a relative who is likely to be killed for his enormous debts decide to solve their problems through murdering a relative for the insurance money. To ensure the murder does not lead to them being sent to prison, they hire "Killer Joe", a police officer who commits murder professionally as a sideline. This persona seems fairly implausible, but that's part of the mystery that accompanies the character. How could a police officer be making money off professional hits? Our protagonists don't know, but they just have to accept it. They are out of their depth and there's a Greek tragic inevitability that comes along with that.

Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

I felt a strong desire to rewatch this crazy film about alien homicidal clowns. It's a bit Looney Tunes, but in a really creepy way. There's one scene where on the one hand an alien killer clown is holding an enormous hammer behind his back and yet on the other hand he's encouraging a small child to come to him so he can kill her.


Rather than going into detail about the varied homicidal methods the clowns use, I should instead probably just mention a few of the more repeated aspects and leave the variety of clever effects a surprise. But believe me, there are some very varied ideas here.
Click here for the full review... )

Killer Klowns is a film I'd seen already, so I'm just going to tag this other film on the end. It's a bit of an awkward one to try to label as sci-fi, but I think it's justified. Let's see...


Society (1989)

Sci-fi isn't entirely about whether the events are happening in the future. It's also about using speculative ideas to say something about the world in which we live. It's all about "what if".


"Society" certainly isn't obviously a sci-fi film. A boy feels alienated from his family and has a strong sense that he doesn't fit in. His parents have lofty ideals for him to live up to, but seem disappointed with his choices. They are also disappointed with his best friend.
On the other hand, his sister seems to be far more accepted, though he feels alienated from her too. The love-hate relationship between them seems to come out as more of an repulsion-attraction relationship. He seems to be dealing with the idea that his sister is a beautiful girl, but also with odd hints that she may be some kind of monster.
Click here for the full review (nsfw image?)... )

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