How We Got Through: July 2017

Alien: Covenant

I can’t really make a fair judgement on this as I have never seen any of the others. Despite that, I did recognise a lot of scenes from this that seemed to be taken straight out of the other films in the series.

ASDF

Funny, easy to get through, and kind of quotable too. Great youtube series.

Baby Driver

The opening scene alone ranks it among one of the best films of the year. Very well done. Great films usually inspire you into film-making. I think this has the opposite, this is like “yeah we can’t match that”. Bound to inspire a lot of poorly-done imitators.

Baby-Driver-poster-cropped

Canadian Bacon

Not the best film ever but a great time-waster. The kind of film which I could see buying on VHS from a boot fair in the 90’s. Some great jokes, and very unsubtle. Odd that this is seen as a John Candy movie, I see it as more of an ensemble piece. Alan Alda, in particular, is great. Unlike a lot of satire, this has actually aged REALLY well, particularly in regards to the American invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan/Cornwall. There’s one line in particular which has aged, erm, weirdly. When they’re trying to find a new enemy to declare war on, someone suggests international terrorism, to which someone replies:

“Well, sir, we’re not going to re-open missile factories just to fight some creeps running around in exploding rental cars, are we, sir?”

Cars

Doesn’t really seem like Pixar. More like Dreamworks. Even the way they use music seems very Dreamworks. Pixar movies are supposed to be monumental events that change your life, this really isn’t one.

Cars 2

The worst Pixar film I’ve seen (and I think I’ve seen all of them). Doesn’t help that it focuses on the worst character from the previous film. I usually describe Pixar films I don’t like as being “almost like a Dreamworks movie” (see above for evidence). This was more like “Mid 90’s Disney straight to video sequel”

Cherry Blossoms – Ala.ni

A song I loved so much I used it in a script almost immediately after hearing it.

Despicable Me 3

Too much going on. Has about five separate plots going on. The story (well, stories) are only there as an excuse to tie chaotic scenes together. It’s like the scenes were written first, then the actual story was thought of later.

Dunkirk

One word to describe this: impressive. Visually, in terms of performance, in terms of the way the story is told, it’s all very impressive. The one thing that stops it being perfect (in my eyes, anyway), is that it’s missing that one standout scene. That one “even if you don’t watch the film, you have to watch this” scene.

screen-shot-2017-05-05-at-12-40-00-pm1
This guy, this guy is going places. AMAZING performance.

Ever Fallen In Love – Billy Talent

Picture what you think this song sounds like, yup, that’s exactly what it sounds like.

Gone Baby Gone

Amy Ryan is really good in this. Almost unrecognisable from her role in The Office. I wrongfully assumed she was just a comic actress, but her performance in this is sensational, almost makes me wish this was released this year so I could put her in the “best performance” category at the end of the year. Casey Affleck is, erm, he’s okay. Nowhere near as good as he was in Manchester By The Sea, but you can see the genesis of his performance in that film in this one. It also has one of the most brutal endings I’ve seen in a while.

gone_baby_gone_ver2

Honey – The Hush Sound

The sound of a drunken party in New Orleans. But a “teenage movie” drunken party where the worst thing that happens is somebody spills their drink. Nobody vomits, nobody fights, and nobody gets angry. They just drink and dance.

It Comes At Night

I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. Probably because I saw at the cinema. I know some horror works great at the cinema, but I feel this would work better on your own in a small room. You need to feel part of that world, feel isolated, like a visitor in their world, and sitting in a vast room full of other people takes you away from that.

Next Goal Wins

A documentary about the Western Samoa national football team (or “soccer” team to those of you are wrong) who suffered one of the biggest defeats in international football when they lost to Australia. Interesting moment in here where they talk about one of the players who is “third gender”. At first, I was annoyed at how they talked about it, to me that seemed like a much more interesting story than the one being told, then it hit me; the fact they’re not treating it as a big deal is fascinating, and is a big deal. It’s not about them, it’s about the team as a whole. The fact they are so nonchalant about it is wonderful, and kind of beautiful.

Next-Goal-Wins-DI-1

Saw

Some of the dialogue makes me think the writer has a rom-com in him somewhere. So natural and brilliant. Performances are a little stilted at times, very “end of year school play” air to some of the line deliveries. There’s a child in it, very briefly, who has the best delivery out of all of them. Her tortured cries are so realistic it makes me wonder whether this is actually a snuff film. This film is actually a lot better than its reputation would have you believe. Yes, the series did eventually descend into torture-porn, but the first film has one hell of a plot (also, one hell of a plot-related issue, but meh). Remarkably restrained, a lot of the horror comes from the situation, and one of the most brutal scenes is one where you don’t actually see anything, you just hear it.

Spiderman: Homecoming

I love it. So so much.

spider-man-homecoming-trailer-micheal-keaton-adrian-tombs-vultur-216823
This scene is genuinely one of the best-written scenes so far this year

Stuart Saves His Family

Dark, but could afford to be darker.

The Fuzz

The opening episode features a puppet prostitute getting shot in the head. What more do you want from a TV show? A buddy cop comedy set in a world where puppets not only exist, but deal jelly beans instead of drugs. The main character is called Herbie Smooshiloops, and at one point gets a ukelele out for a police press conference. Very funny, and a really good story. That kind of thing is usually not done in comedy, people have a tendency to think “well if the laughs are good, you don’t need a story”, wrong. Very very wrong.

Fuzz-Vuguru-Site-BackgourndWith-Text-11.jpg

The Last Word

Holy crap where did this come from? It’s like High Fidelity mixed with Christmas Carol. Really good. I really wish this film had a better marketing campaign so that more people would have seen it. Genuinely one of my cinematic highlights of the year. Seemingly just with me though, a lot of reviewers really hate. I loved it though, very dialogue and character-heavy. Genuinely sweet and heartwarming, there’s a scene near the end which is a bit “meh”, but other than that I loved it. A story about an elderly woman who hires someone to write her obituary before she dies, only a lot better than I made it sound.

full.1500.png

The Omen

Weird references to 9/11 and Katrina (i think it’s Katrina anyway). On the one hand, it places it in the world. On the other, it seems a bit, I dunno, weird to use those things where thousands of people died as a plot point in your piece of shit movie. I think that might actually be my biggest problem with it, not that it uses real life deaths in a film, but that it uses real life deaths in a shit film.  This series will definitely have to suffer through a Halloween-watching live blog at some point.

The Space Between Us

I was actually looking forward to this. But no, just no. Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, and Gary Oldman do the best with what they can, but what they’re given was not great. My main issue is the obvious lack of scientific accuracy. May seem a bit nerdy, but it’s not high-level science they fail, what they do is the equivalent of a medical TV show saying “she got pregnant because she held hands with a man”. You wouldn’t see that in a TV show as it’s obviously false and only belongs in Alabama sex education classes.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 4 (Bride Of Chucky)

Director: Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair, Chasing Dragon)

Budget: $25million

Box Office: $50.7million

  • Yay, actually looking forward to this. This was the first Chucky film I ever saw, the second one I saw was the third one, the third one I saw was the first one, then the fourth one I saw was the second one. It makes complete sense if you just pretend “this is the prequel to the one I saw earlier”. Hoping it still holds up.
  • Very cinematic opening. This is no longer a horror movie, this is a horror MOVIE. Always good, plus you have to remember this was a lot of people’s first introduction to the character, their hadn’t been a film made for almost a decade
  • Jason and Michael Myers masks (as well as Leatherface’s Chainsaw) in the police lock up. I like that as it means they share a universe, which means this film series also shares a universe with Freddy Krueger, the Evil Dead, and Hellraiser. Also in this locker room, references to Creepshow, and there’s a reference to Pinhead later on in the film. Why is that horror is really the only genre that can get away with referencing other films so openly? You don’t have characters from Goodfellas suddenly turn up in Scarface etc. I think it’s because of the way we view horror now, as I’ve said multiple times before horror is best as communal viewing, you watch it with others and you feel part of a community. As such you need things there that kind of exclude people who aren’t a part of that community, and these little in-jokes are great for that. They feel like little rewards for knowing the genre. It would be like if in the middle of Avatar they referenced the Titanic movie and if you understood the reference you got a lollypop.
  • So far both scares have been Lewton Buses. If they do it a third time that’s a bad sign.
  • Nope, someone appeared behind the cop and slit his throat. Nicely done. The two previous Lewton Buses meant you expected another one so you were surprised when it played it straight.
  • John Wayne entrance (start at the feet and move up the body) of Jennifer Tilly’s character of Tiffany. I love how the first kill in this movie isn’t done by Chucky, it sets the tone well of “anything can happen”
  • Our first sighting of Chucky, well, parts of him anyway, his face is still chopped up as a result of the last film. I like that, continuity which adds to the character and changes them. It also gives the character a new defining look which is pretty good from a marketing perspective too as more merchandise and cosplay opportunities.
  • Instead of using an original score for this they use a Rob Zombie track, works perfectly for this montage of rebuilding Chucky.
  • Oh my God I forgot John Ritter was in this.
  • Oooo so’s Katherine Heigl.
  • Gordon Michael Woolvett playing David, the sterotypically gay character here. He does it well enough to suggest he could have had a future as the sidekick in a romantic comedy.
  • Tiffany attempts to bring Chucky back to life from a book called “Voodoo for Dummies”. That’s pretty funny.
  • A random goth (played by the recently deceased Alexis Arquette) turns up and pretends to have killed someone to get into Tiffany’s good books. If a friend needs you to kill someone then they’re not really you’re friend at all.
  • “you know what the French call an orgasm? The little death” Basic rule for seduction: don’t mention the French. Oh, or death I suppose.
  • Wait, that character is called Damian Baylock? Fantastic subtle reference to The Omen there.
  • Tiffany performs a striptease, (well, takes off a glove) whilst Damian is handcuffed to a bed, whilst talking about Chucky. Very weird that she’s basically talking about an ex during foreplay, I can’t imagine that’s an effective technique.
  • Finally Chucky lives, kills Damian by ripping out his lip piercing and smothering him with a pillow, that’s the third most common cause of death in Shoreditch.
  • “You know me, I’ll kill anybody but I’ll only sleep with someone I love”, see I’m the complete opposite.
  • “you fuck” “but you won’t, not Jade anyway” damn I miss John Ritter.
  • “You keep your orchid dry now”, is that some kind of homosexual slang for something? Like a weird way of reminding you to wear a condom?
  • Tiffany decides to tickle Chucky then throw him in a playpen. She’s forgetting the basic rule of life; don’t tickle a serial killer. I got tickled last week by someone and I elbowed them in the chest, and I’m barely a killer.
  • Kidneythieves cover of Crazy, so THAT’S how I first heard this song.
  • Tiffany shoves Damien’s body in a box and gets Nick to move it. He mentions it’s heavy but doesn’t do the obvious “what you got in here, a body?” joke.
  • “a woman spends all day slaving over a hot stove for a man, the least he can do is do the dishes”, or buy her one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meal cookbooks. That way she still has time to wash, clean, and do all the other stuff women do; knitting, giving birth, putting cats in blenders.
  • Why do people in horror movies watch so many horror films? Horror is as self referential as I am.
  • “I promise to love, honour and cherish till death do us part”. Why would someone manufacture a doll that says that? That’s hugely sexist and a terrible example to set to women; “be a bride and your main duty is looking after your husband”.
  • Chucky kills Tiffany by pushing a TV in the bath, this death was supposed to be in the first movie but got changed to a hammer to the head. Probably for the best as advances in CGI mean it’s easier to do it now and it looks brilliant.
  • Chucky puts Tiffany’s soul into the other doll, because, reasons.
  • “I wouldn’t marry you if you had the body of GI Joe”, but then he wouldn’t have a penis.
  • “turn to Chapter 6, page 217”, so she turns to chapter 11. I’m starting to see why he killed her.
  • So now he needs an amulet to transfer his soul into a human body, why didn’t he need it in the previous three films?
  • Oh, this character is openly gay. That’s actually pretty progressive.
  • Where did Chucky get that knife from?
  • Funny that Tiffany idolises Martha Stewart, who later on went to jail.
  • Definitely the most imaginative death in this series so far, Tiffany and Chucky load up a bunch of nails into the car airbag and launch them into John Ritter’s face, making him resemble Pinhead. “fun” fact: Chucky’s line of “why does that look so familiar?” was ad-libbed by Brad Dourif.
  • “Rude fucking doll”, i think of all the ways to describe Chucky, “Rude” isn’t the word I’d use.
  • “at least you haven’t forgotten how to show a girl a good time”, I tried that on my last date, blew up a cop car. I’m single now so that tells you successful that tactic was.
  • Interesting duel narrative here. Not just are Chucky and Tiffany making their way across the country and killing people, but the two human characters are beginning to suspect each other of being murderers. More films should do that, place doubt in the characters heads, paranoia that eats away at the relationship.
  • “Multiple murderers, mass murders happen all at once, multiple murders are serial killings” useful information to know.
  • Okay so the lighter that Chucky used to blow up a cop car came from the guy that got his throat cut in the opening scene, nice bit of continuity there.
  • Discount Matthew Lilliard playing a swinger here, who steals the main characters wallets.
  • “Chucky, he’s a Good Guy doll, they were programmed to say all kinds of shit”, no, they only had three sentences.
  • “That thieving slut” dude, you kill people.
  • Okay I love this kill, Tiffany kills the swingers by throwing a champagne bottle at the mirrored ceiling above them. The look on her face was just terrifying, and it’s a really inventive way to do it. Visually it’s brilliant too as the characters were on a water bed so the glass shattered into the bed, causing a mix of blood and water to gush into the air.
  • Chucky spots a wedding ring on the guys disembodied finger and tries to take it off but can’t, so he turns his back to Tiffany and tries to bite it off. Weird display of manners there.
  • Maid walks into the swingers bedroom, see’s broken glass and blood on the floor and says “lol, newlyweds”. Is there something about weddings I don’t know about? Is it traditional for newlyweds to break glass and bleed? If so I don’t think I want to get married.
  • A superb jump scare there where David knocks on the van window in the middle of a heated discussion. Probably the best jump scare in the film, incredibly effective.
  • “something really stinks in here”, how is he the only person to notice that?
  • David finds John Ritter’s body and predictably freaks. He then points a gun at the main characters, confusion abounds, before Chucky and Tiffany reveal themselves, guns in hand. A truck then runs over David, most literal gay bashing i’ve ever seen.
  • Actually just realised it’s a bit weird that David called the police over, all they would have seen is him pointing a gun at two people, would have been hard to explain.
  • Wait, why are the police chasing them? They don’t know the dead body’s in the van, all they saw was a guy pointing a gun at them, then that guy got hit by a truck. Yet the police don’t seem to be interested in the truck that hit someone.
  •  “How did you end up like this?” “it’s complicated. If it was a movie it would take 3 or 4 sequels just to do it justice”. God damn that’s self-referential. I love it.
  • Why is Tiffany doing Katherine Heigl’s make up before transforming her soul into her? Surely it would be easier afterwards?
  • So the two characters are tied up, completely helpless. They get out of it by depending on Chucky’s misogyny, which leads to an argument where Tiffany says “plastic is no substitute for a good chunk of wood”, then Chucky getting kicked out of a window, and Tiffany being kicked into an oven. If Chucky was a feminist serial killer he’d have gotten away with it.
  • Chucky and Tiffany basically kill each other. Nice poetic way to end it, they’re in an obviously toxic relationship that is responsible for their own deaths. Nicely done.
  • So that’s it, it’s over. You’d never guess that Katherine Heigl would become such a massive star, or that Nick Stabile wouldn’t.