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Showing posts from April 29, 2018

Review: The Anniversary

Bette Davis plays an eye-patch wearing, manipulative, dominating, and venomous matriarch whose rotten children come to celebrate the anniversary of their mother’s wedding to deceased daddy (Davis didn’t even like him). James Cossins is the eldest, a socially-awkward, cross-dressing panty-snatcher whom Davis seems to approve of, which is only significant when you consider the things she does not tolerate. Jack Hedley is the middle child, married to a woman (Sheila Hancock) so outspoken that he never has to stand up to his mother himself, which suits him fine and dandy (they also have a couple of snotty kids and plan on telling Mummy about their plans to move to Canada to get away from her stranglehold). Lastly we have Christian Roberts, the youngest, who has invited his pregnant fiancĂ© Elaine Taylor along, obviously so he can annoy his likely disapproving mother. Needless to say, it’s going to be a bumpy night. Yeah, I went there.


Frankly disappointing, 1968 Black Comedy (really, really…

Review: Hard Candy

Some people’s idea of a great night at the movies. 14 year-old Ellen Page (with one of those annoying haircuts that makes her look like a 9 year-old boy) meets a 30ish photographer (Patrick Wilson) online, and they start chatting away, until she actually suggests coming over to his place. But this is no ordinary 14 year-old, and Wilson is not your average 30ish photographer. He’s a possible paedophile (his photos are mostly that of youngsters), and she’s a semi-precocious Kathy Bates in “Misery”, with some very sick games on her mind.


This truly disturbing 2006 David Slade (yet another music video guy making his film debut, he went on to helm the much better “30 Days of Night” the following year) film gets high praise in many corners, but I had some major problems with it. Firstly, this is a repugnant idea for a film right off the bat, turning the very serious subject of paedophilia into cheapjack revenge movie fodder is something that I find truly deplorable. I’m no moral crusader, b…

Review: Flight of the Navigator

Joey Cramer plays a 12 year-old in 1978 who finds an alien spaceship and is taken away, returning home after what he thinks was just a few hours, but is in fact, eight years later. His parents (Veronica Cartwright and Cliff De Young) are suitably alarmed to find their son hasn’t aged at all, ditto Cramer’s annoying kid brother who is now several years older than him! And then NASA doctor Howard Hesseman gets wind of the situation and takes Cramer (and the spaceship) in for study, with some frustration and resistance by his parents. They find that Cramer has a whole lot of intergalactic data stored inside his head! Sarah Jessica Parker plays a Twisted Sister-loving teen who works as an orderly, and attempts to help Cramer escape to his worried family.


If you see only one “E.T.” rip-off/variant in your lifetime, make it this highly enjoyable 1986 Randal Kleiser (“Grease”, “The Blue Lagoon”) film, one of the first films I ever saw in cinemas. Like a lot of childhood favourites, 38 year-o…

Review: Race

The story of athlete Jesse Owens (Stephan James) and his rise up the ranks as the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany edge closer. Whilst Owens is facing racial prejudice at home (especially in the Southern states) whilst trying to qualify, American sporting figureheads like Avery Brundage (Jeremy Irons) and Jeremiah Mahoney (William Hurt) are at odds over whether America should even send a team over there at all, with Hitler’s rise in Germany. Jason Sudeikis plays Owens’ no-nonsense, glib coach. Carice van Houten plays devout propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, assigned the task by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to cover the Games and pissed off when Goebbels keeps getting in the way of her vision.


The story of Jesse Owens’ performance at the 1936 Olympic Games is not only one of the greatest in sporting history, but in history full-stop. We know it got worse before it got better, but for a brief moment in 1936, am African-American athlete made Hitler look like a boob and pro…

Review: Kong: Skull Island

After a brief prologue set in 1944 with two crash-landed pilots on Skull Island, the bulk of the action takes place in the 1970s where John Goodman’s not terribly well-respected government employee (specialising in cryptozoology and conspiracy theories) organises a Government-funded expedition to Skull Island, a mysterious place out in the Pacific difficult to reach due to extremely hazardous weather conditions. For military back-up, he and his team (including Jing Tian and Corey Hawkins) given the services of Colonel Samuel L. Jackson and his men (including Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell), just back from Vietnam. Also involved in the expedition are ex-SAS man and tracker Tom Hiddleston, and war photographer Brie Larson. When they arrive at the island, the great beast Kong is waiting for them and takes a swipe at their chopper. On the island and prey to all manner of dangerous giant creatures, including the gargantuan Kong himself, who very clearly rules Skull Island. John C. Reilly po…