Rating 18 Length 1h29 Release 12.4.2017 Director Tom Hollad About When Billy runs over an old gypsy woman, he is cursed by her husband to lose weight rapidly and uncontrollably. Soon, the experience turns deadly for him and everyone around him. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Now TV Trailer:
Body horror isn’t for everyone and some scenes were even tough for me to handle.
The tone isn’t quite figured out. There’s an element of satire there, but it is so hard to tell if it’s self aware. The fat suit does not help matters. It isn’t easy based on the subject content and there just isn’t the time in the industry for someone to do a Christian Bale 360 during production.
There’s no one to root for. Not a single likeable character. Yeah, sure, you want to like Joe Mantegna but he’s a fucking mob boss. Even telling yourself its just Fat Tony doesn’t quite do it. You have the Romanian Gypsy community. Okay, dude should have been watching the road and not having his dick sucked. However, I’m not sure cursing three people is justice when your entire family are into a second century of living.
Call me woke, too PC or a snowflake, I don’t give a fuck. The representation of the Gypsy community in this film is appalling and outdated. Yes, I enjoyed the movie but I still have the point it out given the problems the community faces both here in the UK and around the world. For every attempt to throw a positive light, there’s bullshit like this that boils them down to a horror archetype (See Drag Me to Hell for an other example)
Much in the same way the anthology film Cat’s Eye (1985) takes rather mundane concepts and unspools the thread into an outlandish nightmare, Thinner gets under your skin. Hell, I’m currently trying to loose weight and I’m a little more aware of my body right now. There’s also the idea that Billy keeps on eating. Fuck me, does he eat. I think that turned my stomach more than anything else.
Intentional of not, I found it incredibly funny. The very fact that the whole film is catapulted forward on the grounds that Billy’s wife decides to give him a blowie in the car is so nonsensical that you have to laugh.
Stephen King makes a cameo! Bloody brilliant!
Blow jobs in a car were ruled out of the bucket list when Gillian Taylforth was arrested on the A1 before I even knew what one was but I’m sure they’re every man’s fantasy. However this film is probably enough to put all men off requesting them again for life. It’s a bat-shit crazy film, economic with its run time and will have you questioning the drugs King was on at the time of writing this story.
Rating 18 Length 2h Release 27.8.2021 Director Renny Harlin About Samantha Caine suffers from amnesia. Her mysterious past begins to haunt her, which sets her off on a search to discover her true identity. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Now TV Trailer:
I used to have a 9pm bedtime. Which really sucked because back in the day, most films on tv started at 8pm. It meant that I’d get to see around 35-45 minutes of any film my parent’s chose to watch. This was one of these films. Die Hard with a Vengeance and Rambo: First Blood are two others that stick in my memory as films that I’d only seen the first act of. I don’t know why I never got around to watching the rest of this film, but I’d only ever gotten to the knife skills before being sent to slumber.
Another 80/90s box office powerhouse in the shape of Geena Davis. She not only handles the action sequences well, but also the duel personality and the shift from one to the other as the film progresses. I couldn’t imagine anyone better in the role.
Samuel L Jackson proves in this film that he’s leading man material. While it’s true to say he was billed rather highly in the third Die Hard outing, it being a franchise means the requirement to pull in viewers is not really on him. With this, however, it is. Mitch Henessey perhaps is no different than some of his other performances, but I would argue that without this film, we might not have gotten some of the others. It’s a solid performance and, most importantly, we get to hear him utter his favourite swear.
The tone is off. I think perhaps that’s owing to a barley there plot and some really weird dialogue, but I’m torn as to whether this is a serious spy thriller or a dark comedy. This is not something I should be undecided on and it would have been quite easy for the director to have picked a tone!
It’s really messy and I found it hard to keep my interest in the plot. Part of the problem, for me, was that it wasn’t made clear who the main bad guy was, instead choosing to introduce another to replace the one that just died.
Unfortunately, other films have done this plot a little better. However, it is worth the watch for Geena Davis and Sam L Jackson alone.
Rating 18 Length 2h19 Release 7.2.1997 Director Ron Howard About When a millionaire’s son is kidnapped, he adopts a novel technique for tracking down the kidnappers and recovering his son. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Netflix, ITV4 @ 23:20 on 8th November 2021 Trailer:
In an opening akin to Speed (1994), you’re given a lot of information in a short space of time. It’s not pulling any punches and you know who the target is and you sense it could happen at any moment. There’s little things that will set a viewer on edge; from the party happening in the millionaire’s penthouse apartment, to a reporter gaining access and approaching Mel Gibson’s character.
The story itself is brilliantly developed. Without spoiling anything, this film makes daring choices that, as a bystander, you can actually see logic in. Not only that, you are in a position where you know the moves of both the protagonist and antagonist. Something that is not often pulled off as well as this film managed. Being in a position of knowing something Tom doesn’t could have had that ‘they’re behind you’ panto tone but with Ron Howard’s direction, it holds much more gravitas to it.
Ron Howard is a competent film maker. He’s not someone who has a style that could enable me to pick out his filmography, but there’s that seal of quality on them.
Sitting here in 2021, it’s hard to remember that Mel Gibson was consistently in the annual Quigley List of top ten most bankable stars. While he seems to be able to avoid ‘cancel culture’, he certainly hasn’t been a leading man for at least a decade. However, thirty seconds of screen time in something like Ransom and any viewer who was alive before Y2K will remember why this man was so in demand. This isn’t to say I excuse anything he’s accused of or absolve him of any of the antisemetic views, misogyny or domestic violence. What I am saying however, is that there is a detachment of the actor and the roles he plays. Something I don’t think can be said of others. Gibson commands your attention as Tom, he wins you over before there’s even a need for you to be on his side. Then there are those moments of vulnerability, of determination and Gibson is the only one who could have ever given us this Tom Mullen. As I was watching, all I could think of was that we don’t have a contemporary actor that could bring to a role what Gibson does and, toxicity of him as a person aside, it really is a shame.
The rest of the cast is incredible. From the stroke of genius of having Rene Russo reteam with Gibson, to up and coming Liev Schreiber doing sketchy the best way he knows how. All of this quality casting ensures that there’s a quality to match the action. Had this been made today, or even then with a lesser director, the focus may have only been on the action and it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good.
One thing I do love about the dialogue is that Tom questions how much the kidnappers ask for in ransom. Had he not done this, I may have thought £2 million was the going rate to demand from millionaires. That one line allows those viewing from the future to understand that something’s not quite right.
The Bad (spoilers within)
It is not a perfect plot. There are some bits that, because of how good this film is, stick out like sore thumbs. Quite a lot of it occurs in the final act. Firstly, I’m not so sure police are allowed to accept reward money? For me, that’s a big red flag and I’m wondering why Tom is so accepting of handing over the money. Secondly, the FBI now know the detective is with Tom, so lay person me works out pretty quickly that the jackass is going to have his radio on him. So why the fuck would you let him know you’re on to him?!
I don’t buy the motivate of Jimmy Shaker. I needed more of a connection to Tom to buy it fully. The idea of Tom buying his ‘way out of things’ came across as such a trigger that it was personal to Jimmy. There was also the repeated line that the money was deserved, that it was *his* money. There’s still a question mark over it all.
Poor Donnie Walberg. First you have to deal with the fact that Donnie is Marky Marky if you’d ordered him from Wish. Then his character goes and wins the viewer over with his remedial charm and all round good heart. I, personally, was rooting for him to be the one that saved the day, before the proverbial rug was pulled and he exited stage left before the audience hits the halfway mark.
It’s not a popcorn watch in the slightest. It’s gritty and will leave any viewer on the edge of their seat and perhaps even hugging their little ones a little closer. A wickedly smart story that will keep your attention, long after the credits roll.
Rating 12 Length 1h47 Release 19.10.1990 Director Andrew Davis About When a high profile scientist at the University of Chicago is murdered, Eddie, an undergraduate, and physicist Lily are framed and accused of stealing an innovative alternative fuel formula. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Disney Plus Trailer:
This is how I like my Keanu; floppy haired and quipping. He’s a joy to watch in this because his character actually has a personality. This is much closer to his performance in Speed than Matrix. (Also, whoever put the ‘trivia’ about Reeves gaining weight, fuck you. I did not notice any difference aside from what looked like a lot of layers to protect from the cold)
I loved seeing the double act of Fred Ward and Kevin Dunn. Love both of them in everything they’ve been in so to have them play off each other is a treat.
It has all the makings of a good thriller and enough action set pieces to keep most entertained. With elements akin to The Fugitive and Enemy of the State, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve seen this all before. Especially given the overlap of characters.
The cherry on the top is the addition of both Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox in fairly predictable roles.
Joanna Cassidy is completely wasted in her role as a safe haven McGuffin that isn’t really embedded enough to feel like anything other than superficial. Ever the chameleon, she takes on a role that could have been fleshed out and add depth to the middle third of the plot.
Rachel Weisz. Sorry, but she was appalling. Once the shit hit the fan, she was nothing more than a prop. Weisz’s portrayal is nothing more than nails on a chalk board. Worse of all, there is zero chemistry between herself and Reeves. Knowing that someone saw this and thought putting them together again almost ten years later is mind blowing. She’s meant to be a Brainiac, one that Reeves’ Eddie intones ‘woah’ upon seeing her wall of certificates. Yet she is a limp and voiceless block of Kristen Stewart when they arrive at the house all cold. Come on, develop the fucking character. Have her telling him what they both need to do. Don’t have him mothering her. Fuck sake, she’s a rarity in her field, never been ‘drunk’ before the events of this movie; I don’t buy her as a damsel. Give me badass, you cowards. Or yeet her out the god damn script.
Bit too heavy on the science and tech for me to just switch off and enjoy the ride. I had questions, my geek brain was piqued but the film did not provide the answers.
Rating: U Length: 1h 47 Release: 7.2.1997 Dir: Carroll Ballard About: Amy moves to Ontario to live with her father after the death of her mother. Her father, an aviation expert, helps Amy lead a flock of orphaned geese south for the winters.
This was one of those rare films I got to see in the cinema growing up. A cinema outing was primarily just for my birthday until this point. However, 1996 marked a change. Labour came into power here in the UK and both my parents became almost immediately employed. This meant there was a little more disposable income and my mum added in this spring half-term trip to the cinema. This also became the first film I ever bought myself on VHS, having been bought Jurassic Park by a family friend and a number of Disney VHS from my Gran for Christmas. It was a hard decision; Fly Away Home or The Santa Clause (the Tim Allen one). I’d loved both films so much I’d even read the books. I think it was the all-year-round appeal that saw Fly Away Home win out. However, that was perhaps mum’s logic than my own; I was the girl who would watch Santa Claus: The Movie all year round. Perhaps mum didn’t want a repeat. It’s also thanks to this film (and Jurassic Park) that I really wanted to see the Piano. Anna Paquin was someone I felt was ‘like me’. So I wanted to see everything she was in. The VHS was set up to record. I was very disappointed when I came down the next day to be informed that mum had stopped it and that it was not a film I should watch. Safe to say, I’ve still not watched it to this day and from that point, I was a little more reserved in watching her films.
It’s a story about adorable animals and their relationship with a kid that ‘could be you’. What is not to love about that? Oh and they go on this great adventure with a parent, when you (as kid) totally know your parents would NEVER be that cool.
While it opens on a sad note, this film actually is uplifting and what I would call a ‘cathartic’ tearjerker. The viewer gets to see Amy express and embrace her grief.
While there’s no attempt to give each and every one of the geese a distinct personality, you don’t have a heart if you don’t immediately love Igor. His narrative gives you all the feels and there are some giggles to be had when he tries to keep up with his siblings.
As always, Jeff Daniels gives a brilliant performance. These are the sort of roles he’s made to do and can balance the eccentric and paternal really well.
Anna Paquin screams way too much in this movie. That high pitch just really starts to grate after the millionth time. As a kid I don’t remember this being something that bothered me, but this time it was a massive irritation.
It does feel a little slow in parts with it trying to introduce us to all of the characters without being overwhelmed.
It is based upon a true story and as I said before there is a book out there. However, the book is a novelisation of the film so I think my point going forward is fair. The wildlife guy who comes to the house to clip the wings and proceeds to play the antagonist just doesn’t sit quite right. It feels as if he’s given this persona just to have something to fight against and make the film more dramatic.
THAT SONG! If the song that opens the film doesn’t make you ugly cry, either at the start or at it’s reprisal, you need to warm up that cold cold heart of yours.
It’s such a heartwarming film and I really am surprised I’ve not watched it more.
Rating: U Length: 1hr 43 Release: 13.12.1996 Dir: Stephen Herek About: Anita, a fashion designer, and Roger, a computer game writer, have to rescue the puppies of their dalmatians from Cruella De Vil, an insane woman, who wants to use their fur to make a coat.
In a world where Disney are churning out ‘live action remakes’ in much the same fashion the 90s gave us direct-to-VHS sequels, its hard to recall this as the Mouse House’s first attempt. Given the public’s outcry if casting is deemed ‘wrong’, we must talk about how perfect Jeff, Joey and Glenn are as the live action counterparts to a classic animation. To a fault almost, they do at times keep the outdated views too. However, for the most part, they are perfect. I certainly couldn’t think of anyone better now, or then.
I love the direction they went with the animals of the film and how they communicate. Babe had paved the way for talking animals in a live action, but thankfully Disney didn’t see the benefit of this frightening approach. Instead the film uses barks and other audible cues from other animals to imply a conversation. It’s best seen at the stable and the result is rather charming. It’s something that people of all ages can gain a level of understanding from and I love it.
While I do like the change of careers for our leads, I do wish they had committed a little more to Roger’s computer game designer. It’s implied that he’s freelance and works from home. Yet nothing is really seen of him working outside showing less than 30 seconds of game play.
While I find the pairing of Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams delightful, the trouble they find themselves in does stray a little visually into Home Alone territory; it’s a little too big and the response feels a little trademarked to the Wet Bandits.
Some of the CGI puppies are showing their age. It’s a shame because it’s only used in odd scenes, but it shows way too much.
As an adult, the last 10 minutes or so bug the fuck out of me. At the value of up to £2,000 per pup, there is no way on earth that you’re getting that fairytale ending where: 1. No one else has reported stolen dogs. 2. Even if the officer believes they *know* that no other reports have come in, they would not be able to just hand over what is essentially ‘evidence’. 3. It’s 101 growing DALMATIANS, not handbag sized chihuahuas. There is no way you have the room to humanely keep the pups for even a day. 4. All the puppies, and subsequent litters, are kept. 5. I’d say that they couldn’t afford the property they end up in, however that’s moot given the property they *magically* own anyway. Seriously, was one of them a secret billionaire?! Essentially, my ageing ass has lived in London and now has an understanding of money. I’m calling bullshit on this ending.
Rating: 15 Length: 1h 41 Release: 20.9.1996 Dir: John Carpenter About: A terrorist brainwashes Utopia, daughter of the U.S. President into stealing a detonation device. Snake, a mercenary, is assigned the task to find the device and the girl.
While there are a lot of plot similarities to Snake’s mission in New York, the ending is the edge that L.A needed to allow it to stand out. The last few minutes in change the landscape of this filmic world has completely changed. It really sparks my imagination about what Snake’s actions mean for the franchise.
The basketball scene is brilliant. I prefer it to the boxing match from EFNY. It’s so simple in set up, but the result is a scene in which the biggest enemy is himself.
Steve Buscemi’s quadruple-crossing Map to the Stars Eddie is an interesting addition to the film, although there where one too many crossing of sides for my personal liking.
The reuse of the ticking-clock by way of a deadly infection (Okay, it was a bomb inside a pill last time) was a little eye-rolling. The two time fake-out was unnecessary though. Plot-wise, I find this one of the weaker aspects.
The CGI is dog shit, even in isolation. Then consider that it’s three years after the bar-setting Jurassic Park and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a 16 year-old’s media project.
Not sure how I feel about Pam Grier. Not so much that she plays a trans character. Given the time and it’s place in the plot I can understand the casting. It’s snake feeling Hershe up that makes me a little uncomfortable.
Its the Desperado to Snake’s El Mariachi. While the beats are the same, it still offers something different. It might not work for everyone, but for me I really enjoyed this outing a little bit more.
Rating: PG Length: 1hr 35 Release: 2.8.1996 Dir: Alan Shapiro About: Sandy is distraught when, having saved Flipper by pulling out a spear, his father insists the dolphin be released. A grateful Flipper, however, returns the favour when Sandy is threatened by sharks.
The strength is most definitely in the characters and the relationships. Both Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood are brilliant in their roles and bounce off each other and the supporting cast.
I love Marvin and I adore how Paul Hogan’s Porter describes him when Sandy asks what is wrong with the young boy. “He’s just shy.” Porter informs him before making sure Sandy knows Marvin’s strengths. I just love it. While it may seem as if Marvin is on the spectrum, I really like the way it’s handled.
I really laughed at the cigar sequence between Sandy and Porter. Mainly because my dad once told me that both him and my uncle had to do something similar.
The plot is a little ropy. Well, not ropy as such. It’s shit. The reason for Sandy being there for the summer is shit. The toxic waste B-plot is shit. The using of the dolphin to locate said waste after him being brought back from the brink of death? shit.
“A man should never hurl in front of his woman!” Hogan says to Wood regarding his habit of getting sea sick and his crush on the teen love interest. 1. what the fuck, toxic masculinity much? 2. She’s not even where Hogan is nodding at seeing as she arrives in the next scene.
Did we need to see Hammerhead-Jaws eat the bird?! Like, it was a real bird and a real shark and totally the kind of shit that would make me turn off a nature programme.
While the location is a dream, and the leads are charming, the plot is very much a dud and as lifeless as the animatronic dolphins used.
Rating: PG Length: 1hr 54 Release: 26.12.1996 Dir: Rob Cohen About: When a car hits a truck full of explosives, it causes an explosion in an underground tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey. Kit attempts to save the people stuck in there before the air runs out.
I don’t actually remember the first time I watched this, but I do remember it being a film we recorded on VHS yet still watched whenever it was on TV. The most prominent memory of this film is actually of a time when it was pulled from the schedule. It was due to be the BBC Saturday Night movie, but due to a tunnel collapse occurring that day it obviously got removed. Movie Night was a big thing for our family back then. On a Saturday, me and dad would go around to the shops, pop the lotto on and pick up a quarter of cinder toffee that we’d have with whatever film we’d watch that night.
Please be aware there may be small spoilers within.
This is peak Stallone for me. There’s a reason why he said this was going to be his last action movie. I also really love how he’s introduced with everyone else in that opening sequence and not really given any sort of special treatment. In fact, out of the people who end up stranded, it is Amy “Casper’s Mum” Brenneman’s Madelyne who is given the most detailed introduction.
Speaking of Brenneman, she is brilliant as the lead female. It appears almost as if the makers of this film were trying to recreate the chemistry of Bullock and Reeves in Speed. It by no means can be compared to the cop and the Wildcat, however I think what Stallone and Brenneman achieve is something much more realistic for a pressurised situation.
The scene that I truly love is the escape from the prison van. It’s not a long scene, but it tells us so much about the characters immediately involved, its high intensity heart-in-your-mouth action and it has the added benefit of bringing the 12 or so survivors together.
I do love that while there are some moments of mob mentality, angry and shouting where even the dog seems pissed at Kit, there is no moment in this film when anyone singles someone out for not being worthy of survival. In a scenario like this it could have been easy to have someone say that those in orange didn’t deserve help, however the film pulled down those barriers for the benefit of the bigger picture.
It’s a little niggle, but with Kit (Stallone) being so close to the tunnel when it blew, I really am not fond of how the film gets him in with the rest. It feels really cheap when the reason is to fit him with a tool belt of C4. It also feels a bit like Galaxy Quest when Madison and Nesbeth are in search of the Omega drive. “Well fuck that.” As Tawny says.
I’m not sure how I feel about Viggo Mortensen’s character. He gets to the bottom of the shaft, almost poses while looking above him before the metal comes crashing down. I get a sense that its meant to look like he’s accepting his fate, however it hasn’t aged well and looks a bit like an attempt for humour.
There are comparisons to the original The Poseidon Adventure (1972). I don’t think that could be avoided, however even the characters who expire do so in very similar manners to the original. In fact, the only thing it didn’t do was kill the lead like they did in 1972. It is just slightly too similar to a near perfect original to not have this film loose point for copying.
The opening scene with the men at the compound, while interesting, really doesn’t have any value when it’s not followed up on. The cause of the collapse is never questioned and so it feels a little forced. I wonder if there was a better plan than having the Shakespearean conversation to get the movie going?
For its flaws, it’s still an excellent movie that I will watch any time its on. Post-Movie head cannon; sweet Mikey is adopted by old man Trilling. However, for those who have seen this, but haven’t given a chance on a film made before 1980, give The Poseidon Adventure a go.
About Wes Craven re-invented and revitalised the slasher-horror genre with this modern horror classic, which manages to be funny, clever and scary, as a fright-masked knife maniac stalks high-school students in middle-class suburbia. Craven is happy to provide both tension and self-parody as the body count mounts – but the victims aren’t always the ones you’d expect.
I saw the sequel before I saw this one. Watching it while playing Cluedo. So when I came to watching the film that started the franchise, I thought perhaps the suspense would be ruined.
It’s a meta horror feast complete with Easter egg visuals and references, but it does also work as a movie in its own right. By that, I mean that I watched it back in 1998 which minimal knowledge of the genre and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. There’s the obvious (Halloween) and there’s the subtle (Billy’s surname being Loomis).
There’s a clear victim that becomes the focus, but this is very much an ensemble movie which allows this film to be more than your typical slasher. After all, everyone’s a suspect.
Skeet Urlrich must have been cast for his resemblance of Depp in Nightmare. It’s scary how much he looks like Johnny Depp and it certainly helps the audience believe that he’s innocent. Until of course he goes all psycho on us in the final act.
The opening scene and its Psycho connection is a multi layered reference. The film opens up to child star Drew Barrymore, a relatively known name at the time. She appears on the promotional material, making you think that she’s a lead in Scream. However, taking her last scream in the first 12 minutes is not dissimilar to Janet Leigh’s role in Psycho. A well used tactic like this would undoubtedly put the audience on edge from the start.
Neve Campbell’s Sidney is a Scream Queen hybrid; she’s the wholesome youngster with that innocent vibe, however, she’s traumatised and holds her own to almost stand apart from the Queens of Halloween and Elm Street. Having her call Ghostface’s bluff upon receiving her first phone call is something an audience would like to think they would do when faced with a situation like this and it’s Sidney’s seemingly unrelated back story that allows the audience to believe that she is just that tired of this kind of shit.
The music and score are on point. From Red Right Hand, School’s Out and Drop Dead Gorgeous to the incorporation of Halloween’s score and it’s own original score, the film uses music to foreshadow and further support the subversion of the genre.
Dewey ruins a lot of the scenes he’s in. There’s a comedic element to the film and there’s no doubt about that. However, Arquette really does make me wonder how Dewey graduated from high school, let alone gained his police badge.
The film’s success gave birth to a resurgence of the spoof movie, starting with Scary Movie. The problem with these types of films is that they take it a million steps too far and root the narrative in current culture that ensures the references lose all impact by the time they reach dvd sales. They are the Primark or movies: disposable fashion that falls apart not too long after you bought it. Yeah, thanks Scream for Epic/ Date/ Disaster Movie, we really needed those in our lives.
While Courtney Cox gives a surprise, and solid, performance as bitch reporter Gail Weathers, it’s a character that suffers in hindsight by the sequels. Much like her face, Cox’s performances because ridged and tiresome. The woman Cox portrays here is a character, whereas when we meet her in Scream 3, she’s a caricature that has melded into Cox’s shouty Monica performance. It makes this encore viewing a little bitter.
A film that can be watched on many levels and is ageing much better than its sequels.
About: Once an architect, Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) now passes himself off as an exorcist of evil spirits. To bolster his facade, he claims his “special” gift is the result of a car accident that killed his wife. But what he does not count on is more people dying in the small town where he lives. As he tries to piece together the supernatural mystery of these killings, he falls in love with the wife (Trini Alvarado) of one of the victims and deals with a crazy FBI agent (Jeffrey Combs).
Michael J Fox and Jeffery Combs are perfectly cast. Fox’s role is a little bittersweet knowing that it’s his last as a Hollywood leading man and a career cut way too short. It’s a character that allows Fox to show give a much more layered performance.
Combs looks like he’s having the best time playing the messed up FBI agent. There’s nothing I’ve seen where he doesn’t bring his a-game and this is no exception.
The feel of this film not only recalls Back to the Future, but Goonies, Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters as well. I went into the film knowing it was directed by Peter Jackson however it really does have the tone of a Zemeckis film.
I quite like the romantic sub plot of Frank and Lucy. Perhaps a little in bad taste, what with him still being at the table and all, but their chemistry works and her dead husband was a dick.
The cameo of R Lee Ermey as a loud and shouty sergeant Is a subtle stroke of genius. I haven’t seen Full Metal Jacket, but I’ve seen enough clips to get the reference. If it had been someone else doing it, it would have been a lovely nod. To get the original actor on board is awesome.
Not the fault of the film. It was an amazing task at the time, but there is slightly too much CGI for me. I love the construction of the etherial ghosts, but the form coming out of the wall and the apparition cloaked as Death seem to lack the same quality.
I did not like the ghost fucking the mummy! Just weird. I am also aware, however, I could watch this another time and the exact same scene could have me pissing myself laughing.
It’s about 20-30 minutes too long for me. Perhaps it’s because recently all the films I’ve watched have rarely passed the 1 hr 30 mark, but I don’t think anything is gained with the added half an hour.
A film that is better than its box office suggests and a perfect watch for Halloween. It’s also a must see for fans of Jackson’s follow up films that relied heavily on the technical achievements from this movie.
About: After transferring to a Los Angeles high school, Sarah (Robin Tunney) finds that her telekinetic gift appeals to a group of three wannabe witches, who happen to be seeking a fourth member for their rituals. Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Rochelle (Rachel True) and Nancy (Fairuza Balk), like Sarah herself,all have troubled backgrounds, which combined with their nascent powers lead to dangerous consequences. When a minor spell causes a fellow student to lose her hair, the girls grow power-mad.
As with many films of the 90s, this has an amazing soundtrack. From Our Lady Peace to Letters to Cleo, this is the embodiment of teen movies of the time.
Fairuza Baulk is incredibly, freakily good in this film. Especially when it comes to her going completely bat shit crazy. I’ve seen a few articles calling her out as the hero of the film and there’s certainly something to that, if she wasn’t a murdering psychopath.
The cast on the whole is solid and it took me forever to recognise Riverdale’s FP Jones (Skeet Utlrich) as the ‘heart throb’ Chris.
The film deals with some heavy shit and doesn’t sugar coat life in high school the way some others do; self harm, sexual assault and feminism are all dealt with fully and tastefully. However, it is the film’s exploration of racism that really has power. I’d not seen a film like it and it’s fair to say none have since.
The theme of witchcraft is something I’d not seen in this way before; dispelling the stereotypes allowing for the film to explore everything from sisterhood to wish fulfilment. It’s something we later see in Charmed, Buffy and Hex.
The effects are incredible, even now. I think that’s largely to do with using practical effects where possible. Obviously there’s the snakes and various bugs towards the end, there’s the levitation and there’s the ‘glamour’. However my favourite is when Bonnie’s skin peels away.
For a film that builds up a strong friendship, I struggle that there isn’t a balance by the end. I’ve never really liked that Sarah begins being isolated and alone and ends the same way.
As much as I love Rochelle’s storyline with her racist bully and Bonnie’s about her self image, both are sidelined and lack fully development. So often, after the invocation, the two girls seem very out of character and more extensions of Nancy. Perhaps that’s the point, but I’m not sure I like it as it leaves Sarah little room to forgive them.
There are two sexual assault scenes. Two! Just repeating that because it’s very important that we acknowledge both. There’s the initial Chris and Sarah scene which is bad enough. Read; he is a dick for what he does. However, there is another involving Chris as the victim. Nancy rapes Chris and it’s something that needs to be acknowledged, on and off the screen, but is lost in his death and Nancy’s unraveling. While media is getting better on screen in dealing with sexual assault, I feel as if this was glossed over a little too easily and could have been a perfect time to explore and deconstruct another misconception about gender and sexual assault.
Why the fuck does Nancy say ‘where are you going?’ In some really shit Jamaican accent?! I’ve always pissed myself at that choice of delivery and can ruin the tension built up in the scene.
A film I enjoy watching more than I do critiquing it. You find flaws when you’re looking for them, and this is one film where I preferred ignorance.