Friday, 26 August 2016

Lost One Room

This mini-series was originally broadcast in three 90 minute episodes, but later released as six 45 minute episodes, and so that's how I'll review it.

In the first episode, we get a mystery straight away. In a pawn shop someone brings out a key, but a bigshot with a pen enters, and then... we have our hero, a cop, Detective Miller, enter to find two people burnt, one of whom in a ceiling. He knows a street punk was in there, and tracks him down, only for him to disappear through a door. Eventually the punk returns to the cop, and hands him the key... and so really kicks off the adventure. The key can open any door (with a key lock) and goes to the motel room, and from there to anywhere. Just what this open opens up is one the cop is not ready for.

We do get a slab of exposition here, as Peter Jacobson provides some back story. There are Objects, from the Room, and they have strange powers... and I'm in. I am so completely in. This is entirely up my street, and there's no way I'm turning off now.

We end the first episode on a climax using information that has already been set up. Now that's a good way to do it. Usually a climax is 'danger!' or 'here's something new', and this one is 'you know that thing that can happen? here's is happening in a way you should have thought about, but is really terrifying', and that's a great twist.

I love this series.


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Thursday, 25 August 2016

I Loving Dick

It's another pilot with a provocative title.

A man and wife (I think? she doesn't act like she is, more like she's a sister) move to Marfa for the man's new residency, and encounter Dick. Who is played by Kevin Bacon, which is the only good part of the entire episode.

Otherwise, this is wanting to be comedy, but... I'm not getting it. At least, I think it's supposed to be a comedy, as I can't tell the humour I'm not sure. Perhaps it's just drama? If so, it's still not grabbing me.

I'm willing to give anything with Kevin Bacon the benefit of doubt, but no... I'm done. No interest in following this.


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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Shollaws

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water... every body of water has a shark in it!

Nancy has to get away and ends up at a nice beach in Mexico, and goes surfing. However, while enjoying the waves, a dark presence turns up, and then it's shark time! While only being 200 yards away, she is unable to get back to shore, and must survive the shark and being stranded.

While being a short movie, it takes a while for the shark to turn up. And then Nancy is mainly staying on a rock with a seagull (who is amazingly well trained or something to be there that long). There are some elements that need to be believed to really get into this movie, one is that Nancy could hang around as long as she does, and the other, really big one, is that the shark would act like it does. (Note: it wouldn't.)

But this is a horror/thriller. Comparisons are made with Jaws, but I can't say I'm going to. Jaws shark had a lot more personality, and it got a definite sense of presence. Here the shark is merely one of the dangers Nancy is facing, and is hidden from the camera far too much to feel that real. (And there are a few moments when we see the shark I was thinking 'sharks don't do that!')

This is an adequate movie, but plenty of other people are loving this far more than I do.


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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Every Blessed Day

A couple are trying to get pregnant, and encounter Every Blessed Day.

One is a night porter, the other is an airline counter attendant, but they are enjoying what time together they have. Other members of the family are popping out kids and asking when they'll start. They try some medical options and...

To be honest, that's when I left. This was supposed to be a light comedy, and I'm not sure if it's because it was Italian, but... it just doesn't wasn't connecting for me. With some of these Film Society movies, I don't always feel like I'm enjoying myself, but I am interested narratively and want to know what happens next. This time, not so much. I just felt like I didn't care, and have no interest in finding out if they do eventually get pregnant or not (I assume so, or it's a very down movie).

These movies sometimes look promising, but didn't work out for me.


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Monday, 22 August 2016

Cell 213321321321321321

Is this horror? Drama? Religious? Competent? Can’t say that it is.

A lawyer is caught up as a guilty party when his client kills himself after staying in Cell 213. And now the lawyer is in there. He sees weird things, but it’s hard to tell if this is real or just in his head, or both or… and another person is investigating the prison for supposed problems and she comes across the lawyer’s case and looks into perhaps he’s innocent and… then stuff happens, and it’s all gone out of my mind, because it just drags on and doesn’t go anywhere interesting.

And yet look at the cast, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Balfour and Michael Rooker. People just decide to do weird things, and hopefully for the money. There are special effects, and they are passably decent, and fortunately there’s no huge monster or anything to look ridiculous.

It’s already fading from my memory, so that’s what you need to know.


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Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Second Tick

The big thing at the moment is... another live action The Tick series.

I didn't watch the original tv series. Patrick Warburton (who's a producer here) just didn't strike me as a Tick I wanted to watch, and I can't remember who anyone else was. Now, I did see the cartoon... and I loved it! It was fantastic! And it was incredibly goofy. Chairface Chippendale? The Galactus-rip ate a bite of the moon. Great stuff! And kept continuity! (And now I want to watch it again.)

So now we have this pilot for a new series sponsored by Amazon. Peter Serafinowicz is the Tick, and Griffin Newman is Arthur and... the problem I have with this series is that it plays the Tick and the setting far too seriously. Arthur's father was killed in front of him, and now he's on medication, and is obviously troubled mentally... and he's going to be a wacky superhero! (And the bunny suit isn't white! Riot!) The goofiness is missing, and that's painfully so.

And yet Ben Edlund is involved in this, is writing it, and such, but it feels like a whiff. Perhaps he's too old now and is thinking more serious thoughts, but if so, come up with something else.

This feels like The Tick meets Reality... and the Tick is losing. And it shouldn't be that way.


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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Scars of Drakula

Hey, wait a minute? Didn't we already have this movie? Yeah, it was when Dracula was a Prince.

Dracula is brought back and suddenly is back in Some Eastern Europe Place, where there happen to be students as tourists in the area. They end up at Castle Dracula, and have to fight him if they want to get away with their lives. Well, okay, not really. One ends up there, and the other two go looking for him. But Dracula now has bats under his control, and they get the business done. From slaughtering people in a church to plucking a single necklace away, they are quite effective (and the puppets aren't terrible either).

When I saw the priest in this movie, I thought "Hey, I recognise that mole", and indeed, it's Lord Mulberry from Fawlty Towers. ... But I'm dancing around the main attraction. The butler Klove is back... and he's played by Patrick Troughton! He's playing a cringing character, but there is no end to which this movie would have been improved if he had said "But Jamie" or "Oh my giddy aunt." Of course he steals all the scenes he is in (but then I'm biased).

And let's take a moment to pick at this movie, because I did, and have been, but let's address a few things. In the movie, there is a picture of Sarah that's cracked... although the crack moves around so much, it's clearly different props every time. And aside from being in the forest, it is clear that when they enter a village they are on a set. And by night they mean "obviously day". And when the castle is set on fire, the long shot is clearly a model. The sounds aren't so much bat as seagull. And vampires aren't real...

Now, I am enjoying these, these are the first Hammer movies I've seen, but this feels like a repeat.


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