DVD: Catching up with films (which everyone else has already seen)

Due to various circumstances, I stopped my monthly subscription to a certain cinema chain that allowed me unlimited watching of films on actual proper film screens, with noisy people using their smartphones and coming in late and everything. This meant that I didn’t see many of the films that were in my area of interests (boo-hoo for developed-world problems). However, when my local Blockbuster (history note for children: Blockbuster was a chain of real-world shops where dinosaurs could rent physical copies of recently produced film in a legal transaction involving money, instead of pirating them) sent me a letter announcing […]

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Notes On A DVD: The Green Hornet

Not strictly a comic book adaptation – Green Hornet originated as a radio series in 1936 (the film states that it was based on the radio series): a newspaper publisher who fights crime as a masked hero by night with assistant Kato. It has had a complicated multi-media life since then: two movie serials in 1940/1941; various comic book series, also starting in 1940, and published at various companies (Harvey Comics, Dell Comics, NOW Comics in the 1990s, and recently Dynamite Entertainment, adapting Kevin Smith’s script that wasn’t used into a maxi-series); some prose fiction books; and, most famously, the […]

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Notes On A DVD – Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

I don’t get the appeal of Ghost Rider. A skeleton wearing leather with his head on fire riding a motorcycle – I think it might be an American thing, something to do with riding a ‘hog’ on the open road. The first film was not good, with the added yuck factor of an old Nicolas Cage wooing a far too young Eva Mendes, notable only for Cowboy Ghost Rider. The second film is worse, so much so that you retroactively create fond memories of the first film because of it. Neveldine and Taylor direct this (instead of just scripting Jonah […]

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Notes On A DVD: Jonah Hex

Is Jonah Hex one of the worst movies with a decent cast of actors ever? Josh Brolin as Hex, John Malkovitch as Quentin Turnbull (the villain of the piece), the awesome Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett in a straight role (although I do feel sorry for him – he’s a good actor but he’s an electric comedy actor and you always expect him to do something funny when he’s on screen), Michael Shannon, Lance Reddick (Cedric Daniels in The Wire, in a small and thankless role here to show that Hex isn’t a racist despite fighting for the south in the […]

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Talking About The Indiana Jones Trilogy

[Yes, I said ‘trilogy’: to me, the fourth film is just the inspiration for a fun but silly Lego game, so I shall ignore it.] I recently watched the first three Indiana Jones films, and it got me thinking about them, so here are some of the thoughts that occurred to me while watching them again. Raiders Of The Lost Ark deserves its status as a lean action adventure in the traditions of the old serials: it has it all, from excitement to humour to colourful characters and boo-worthy bad guys, with a taut script and a more serious feel […]

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DVD Reminiscing: Highlander

Highlander was a near-perfect film for me when it came out in 1986, when I was a teenager: it was set in New York, a city that had (and has) great allure for me; it was about an immortal man who was good with a samurai sword; it was wonderfully violent, with heads being cut off with swords throughout; and there was sex in it. If it wasn’t for the bloody Queen soundtrack … I must have watched the film quite a lot when I was younger for all of the above reasons, but also because it was one of […]

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Notes On A DVD: The Infidel

I had hoped to see this film when it came out in the cinema, but timings and cinema availability were against me, so I was glad to finally catch up with it on DVD, which is where it is more at home than the big screen. David Baddiel, a comedian and writer for whom I have a certain fondness since his time on The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Newman And Baddiel In Pieces (I think I’ve even bought one of his books, and actually read it), has written a funny British film that is about something and also based on […]

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Old Notes On Some Films I Watched

[Continuing a theme, here are some old notes on films I watched and wrote about and then promptly forgot about instead of posting them on the blog. However, these were just films I watched on television, rather than on DVD. It’s almost completely different.] Jude An adaptation of Thomas Hardy novel (Jude The Obscure), directed by Michael Winterbottom. Christopher Eccleston is Jude, a man from a poor family who wants to go to college to better himself, so reads Latin in his spare time. He is tricked into marriage to Rachel Griffiths only for her to run off to Australia. […]

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Old Notes On DVDs: Part 5

[Yes, I’m still talking about films I saw on DVD a long time ago, wrote about and then forgot to post on my blog, but I’m now doing that very thing.] The Queen This is a television movie, pure and simple, but it is well done and has a strong performance from Helen Mirren – but Oscar worthy? I’m not sure. I think that the US still has a fascination for the royal family that exceeds their understanding of it, which distorted the appreciation of this performance. The film is about the reaction of Queen Elizabeth II and family in […]

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Old Notes On DVDs: Part 4

[Because nobody demanded it: even more old notes on fairly old films I watched on DVD a while ago, wrote things about and then forgot to post them before.] The Holiday The most impressive aspect to this film is the fact that Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black appear in this very average romcom. There is nothing in it to attract the attention of this calibre of stars. Diaz is a workaholic movie trailer editor, rich but with no life. Winslet is a harassed journalist in London who loves a man who announces his engagement to another […]

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