Review Roundup - First Shot


Well, here we go again. With the mixed reaction to The Last Jedi still fresh in most people's minds it's time for the LFL machine to fire back up to deliver what should at least be a less challenging tale of spaceships and galactic outlaws. An origin story for Han Solo has never been something I'd be interested in, and the kind of fill in the blanks style storytelling required isn't an approach I consider creative or exciting. The controversy over the original directing team being fired (Lord and Miller from The Lego Movie) was well publicised, suggesting that even any risks were being squeezed out of the project to make sure it stayed on the level of committee approved fun and nothing more. So with all the reshoots done, how does everything stack up?

Review Roundup - Funny Bones

COCO (2017)

Right, time for a cartoon. It's no secret that I'm always pretty wary of new Pixar releases, after all their winning streak is not perfect. There's always a chance that their next project could be less Inside Out and more ... Brave. Of course there are blacker marks on their record that shall go unmentioned, but I always hope for the very best rather than the so-so. Mediocrity is somehow less interesting. Or perhaps it's just more aggravating when the true high notes are just within reach. The thing is this does just look like another bland coming of age story on the outside with music and spectacle and outcast characters finding themselves. There's even another dumb animal sidekick and a whole assortment of pastel shaded oddballs. But fortunately this is all done with such finesse that it's impossible not to get sucked in.

Review Roundup - Big is Back


It's been a little while since we've taken a look at the whole Kaiju genre, so I suppose it was inevitable that I'd end up talking about the latest live action Godzilla movie from Toho sooner or later. It's also been a while since the last Hollywood iteration, but it's been even longer since the last official release when the third wave of films ended with the aptly named Godzilla: Final Wars. Did the Gareth Edwards film spur them on to make a come back? Who can be sure. Of course this is a series in which starting over is nothing new. The first reboot led to a second series of films in the '80s and '90s that brought back many familiar faces while making everything bigger and louder. But the Big G always managed to become a heroic figure in some way or another despite attempts to reference 1954's original atomic allegory and several stories that used the first film as a starting point while side stepping all that Monster Zero and Space Hunter Nebula stuff. Where exactly does the newest version stand?

Weekend Retrospective - Beware of ... Scorpio


'Where have you been? Does Escobedo ring a bell? Miranda? I mean, you must have heard of the Fourth Amendment. What I'm saying is that man had rights.'

'Well, I'm all broken up over that man's rights!'

While this originally started out as a fresh look at the Dirty Harry series, along the way I was prompted to take a slight detour and a kind of post viewing epilogue, which I will get to shortly. I had seen all of these before but my memory was pretty fuzzy, so it was interesting to see how much of it (if any) had stood the test of time. As you can imagine certain elements don't quite hold up, while others are always a treat. So to get things started let's join the original loose cannon himself, Inspector Seventy-One Harry Callahan, as he reels off a few good lines and a hits a few duds in the course of the hunt for the Scorpio killer in the original Dirty Harry.

Weekend Retrospective - People that Time Forgot


Time for a change of pace as we look at a Hammer production that isn't a staple horror release, and a Ray Harryhausen effects movie that isn't really up there with the likes of Jason and Sinbad. A weird middle ground between the classics from either of these two big names, and a film better known these days for the title and the poster art. But there is still some charm and some entertainment value to it all, in a nonsensical tale of prehistoric humans living in the same period as dinosaurs. There's a kind of simplicity to the whole idea, like something dreamt up by a child playing with toys as cavemen are savaged by Pterodactyls and thrown into volcanic pits. It's probably remembered more for Raquel Welch in history's first bikini, but there are a of other amusing inclusions to discuss.

Review Roundup - Hand of Fate


So here we are. Another superhero team up, another giant purple faced CGI villain. The odds are against this one working out with too many characters, too much universe scale destruction, and a long awaited conclusion to that Avengers post-credits tease in 2012 that could never be satisfying. This isn't even a real finale but part one of two, how could it ever really feel well constructed? A dark dramatic climax to a series about eclectic character banter and weird space monsters shouldn't really work at all. But here we are again, back with two directors from a sitcom background who keep making all this stuff come together. A film where more is actually more for once.



FILM OF THE MONTH The Big Blue ☆☆☆☆
Léon ☆☆☆☆
Pit and the Pendulum ☆☆☆☆
Fall of the Roman Empire ☆☆☆☆
From Russia With Love ☆☆☆☆
Goldeneye ☆☆☆☆
The Last Jedi ☆☆☆☆