Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film (not just setting the historical context, it actually announces it at the beginning of the film) continues his love for the Western. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, in a similar way to The Good, The Bad and the Ugly; but rather than depicting the dynamic between three main characters, The Hateful Eight tries it with, well, eight. Not as successfully IMO.
A further link with Sergio Leone’s masterpiece is the Ennio Morricone score, which incidentally also links it with The Thing (1982). That’s not all; let’s face it OB’s character is essentially MacReady (Kurt Russell’s character in The Thing) complete with corks hanging from his hat and snow glare sunglasses. Morricone score is generally excellent, but occasionally strays into odd Hammer Horror territory, particularly in the very first shot.
In all honesty, The Force Awakens is probably a better film than A New Hope, I just can’t bring myself to admit it. Hitting all the same notes as A New Hope, what it has is style, humour and entertainment in spades. What is doesn’t have is George Lucas dicking about with it, sticking in pointless GG creatures going “Bwaaak” or redundant Hutts, or Rodians that can’t shoot a smuggler from across a bar table!
Beautifully shot in the Highlands and featuring a solid cast including Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham and David Morrissey; this story of the abortive attempt of the Roman Empire to conquer Scotland promises so much but ultimately falls a few denarii short of an aqueduct. Continue reading
These were my thoughts when I first saw Iron Man 2:
While watching the beginning of the second film, actually I might say up to about 45 min or something, I thought it was a bit flat. I thought that this could be because for a lot of these hero-style films, the first film is usually more interesting as the main character discovers their super-powers. Mmmm. I was about to back up that statement with examples, but could only come up with Spider-man really. X-2 better than X-men, Superman 2, Hellboy II!
Anyway, I thought the first 45 min were a bit aimless, until Sam L Jackson showed up and told Tony to stop arse-ing about. At that point the film developed some plot and became a whole lot more enjoyable, though I was confused with why they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Jon Favreau has done a great job with these two films, including a massive cameo for himself (actually I think it goes beyond a cameo).
Though it is undoubtedly the weakest Iron Man film, seeing it again over four years later with far more MCU movie experience under my utility belt, I found more to interest me. Perhaps, initially I had been a little bit dismissive of it.
Very reminiscent of The Running Man or Battle Royale, the Hunger Games pits 24 children between the ages of 12 and 18 against each other in a last man standing competition. The film is set in a dystopian near future world where people live in one of 12 districts each concerned with a distinct contribution to society, e.g food production or mining. Once a year 2 children are selected at random from each district to compete in the Hunger Games, a competition to remind the population how lucky they are to live in this society.
So, I haven’t seen movies 2 and 3 of the franchise, but I figured I probably wasn’t missing huge plot points given the nature of the films. I could always say that I just want to see all the Paul W. S. Anderson iterations.
Afterlife starts off with lots of Paul Anderson’s visual flair, which I happen to quite like (Three Musketeers notwithstanding). It’s all quite silly, but looks quite cool. The problem is this only lasts for about five minutes, the film soon degenerates into a derivative action zombie thriller with some fancy tech.