Desert Warriors and The Problem with Dune (1984).

I've seen Dune more times than I really should have.  I've gone through phases with it and in 2013 I wrote the following... "Although not perfect (what film is?) it’s a great big, weird and ballsy piece of sci-fi.  What really feels right is the savage nature of the world in which it’s set both … Continue reading Desert Warriors and The Problem with Dune (1984).


Proof of Concept

I've just worked my way through the available videos in Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studio project on YouTube and I think they're really worth your time. Like his earlier short films all the videos are full of ideas and wonderful / haunting images, and their incomplete concept feel is part of the charm. Unlike his feature … Continue reading Proof of Concept

M.C.P.T.S.D.U a.k.a. Jessica Jones

I'm not the biggest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (M.C.U.),  a couple of the movies are really good but it's essentially a (admittedly well made) culturally imperialist content generator: racking up minutes and occupying multiplex screens.  But when you combine the films with the Netfix Originals offerings, Marvel have, maybe inadvertently, created a rather … Continue reading M.C.P.T.S.D.U a.k.a. Jessica Jones

Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Once again I'm sat in a cinema wishing I was watching Kick-Ass (2010).  That was a disruptive riot of a movie that got the tone and the disrespect just right.  Kingsman falls flat for being too much in love with what it should be tearing down.  It doesn't seem to get that being as good … Continue reading Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Film: L’Argent (1928)

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." I love that line from David Mamet's Heist (2001), the idea that the thing is so important that it can only have been named after itself.  That's why L'Argent is called L'Argent. Based around a tale of stock-market manipulation and unrequited love, Marcel L'Herbier's film is a dive … Continue reading Film: L’Argent (1928)

Film: Fury (2014)

I've been thinking about Fury quite a lot since watching it back in November because it's a hard film to get a handle on.  It's a solid war film in the cynical tradition of Cross of Iron (1977) with a strong cast and an unflinching approach to the meat-grinder side of warfare.  Away from the … Continue reading Film: Fury (2014)

Film: Young Winston (1972)

So Young Winston is one of those grand British epics that just don't get made any more.  It's pretty much a political / social thing as stories of Queen and Empire get more complicated as the world gets smaller and we all know each other a bit better, but that really undermines interesting lives and … Continue reading Film: Young Winston (1972)

Film: Mad Max (1979) / Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

So obviously it's the roads.  The hot, flat, never-ending roads, the cars and the bikes and the carnage.  This is why you keep going back to the first two Mad Max movies and their low-down, widescreen, undercranked mayhem. Away from the tarmac, what you remember as soon as you start watching is just how off-kilter … Continue reading Film: Mad Max (1979) / Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Film: Dressed to Kill (1980) / Mission: Impossible (1996)

The film starts and we are looking over the shoulder of a man watching a screen.  On that screen, in grainy black and white, are two men.  A women lies dead on the bed.  Some sordid business has happened in that room and Brian De Palma is once again reworking the memory of using surveillance to … Continue reading Film: Dressed to Kill (1980) / Mission: Impossible (1996)