Monday, January 23, 2006

Weekend views #1

Fillums viewed by yours truly over the weekend and which I feel it necessary to comment on:

1) Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987) - Classic early JC, and still a cracker, containing all the best elements of this period. Great cast: (Donald (un)Pleasance as neurotic, cowardly priest, Victor Wong reprising his role as a wise oriental type (he was Egg Shen in Big Trouble... )and Dennis Dun (also in Big Trubs). Farcical plot (Exorcist meets Videodrome meets Living Dead). Cheesy homemade soundtrack. But Carpenter manages to replicate a very palpable haunted house, dreamlike ambience with a palette of dingy browns and a clever video playback nightmare device. Plus, Alice Cooper murders someone with a BIKE.

2)Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993) - Weir's intense study of post-traumatic stress is still powerful stuff, though at midnight on a Saturday it can be hard going. The first half, however, is magnificent. Bridges is perfect as the survivor who mistakes luck for invincibility and then has to readjust to a world that is short on miracles. John Turturro is superbly edgy and ineffectual as a counsellor and Tom Hulce (whatever happened to... etc.) is a revelation as the creepily self-effacing lawyer who keeps apologising as he attempts to cynically screw as much cash for the victims' families. Only as the seemingly miraculous events become mired in the mundane and Jeff's sartori becomes increasingly more like selfishness does the movie slow up...I had to quit at this point. Most effectively it has the BEST scenes of a plane crash, from the victims POV, EVER. Fans of LOST will recognize this....

3) The Avengers (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1998) - I know...I's old hat, but for some reason I'd never seen it, and as I'm finishing my subscription this week I took a chance. Already warned that it beggared belief I was still not prepared for such a fiasco. What can you expect from a director of Van Halen videos? A disgrace to the memories of Emma and John.

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