Movies, Reviews, scraping the barrel

Scraping the barrel – Sabotage

I saw some terrible movies in 2014 but few were as hypnotically fascinating as Sabotage a film in which the wobbling wheels of Arnhold’s faltering post Governator career flew off so violently that I suspected they had been attached with defective explosive bolts. Connoisseurs of shitty movies should be excitedly camping outside Poundland outlets across the UK in anticipation of this film’s arrival following the briefest of periods at £25.99 in HMV (I predict in time for Christmas). Continue reading

exploitation, Reviews

Hidden treasures – The Exterminator

In Jan Harlan’s excellent documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), the science fiction author Brian Aldiss discusses working with the great director. They came into conflict while working on what would become A.I. Artificial Intelligence over their approach to narrative, Kubrick was dismissive of narrative and told Aldiss that all one needed for a good movie was eight unsubmersible sections. If a filmmaker can find these and put them in order, Kubrick explained, it barely matters if they had little connecting them, the audience will do the work. This is probably best exemplified by 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a film made up of a succession of stunning sequences that don’t seem to fit together in a conventional way.

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London Film Festival, Movies, new releases, Reviews

LFF review – ’71


Directed by Yann Demange

Written by Gregory Burke

Starring Jack O’Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris

The Belfast depicted in this exciting new British thriller is a city spiralling out of control so fast that none of the factions involved have a handle on the situation.

’71 opens in deceptively generic fashion with a standard basic training sequence of the kind seen in film’s that seek to mythologise the experience of the soldier (see Lone Survivor from earlier this year). While the training looks uncomfortable in the extreme it is also the stuff of recruitment adverts. The sequence introduces nominal ‘hero’ Private Gary Hook (O’Connell). We learn a few key things about the character, he is from the North and grew up in care with a younger brother who sees him as a surrogate father. He is earthy, working class, enjoys a game of footie, but that is about as much depth as we are given. Continue reading