Last Night in Soho (2021) Film Review

Rating 18
Length 1h56
Release 12.4.2017
Director Edgar Wright
About An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s, where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. However, the glamour is not all it appears to be, and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: In cinemas now
Trailer:

The Good

  • This is a dark, clever, little film that cements my thoughts of Edgar Wright being a genre film-maker. One in a similar vein to Quentin Tarantino, but less… try hard?! While most of the film being anchored in the present day, there’s still many aspects that are borrowed from films in the 1960’s.
    While there are deliberate red herrings, there are some subtle ones that will have you wanting to rewatch.
  • One of the things I loved about the casting choices were the prominent leading stars of the 60s. Rita Tushingham tugged at my memory for most of the film. A face you know, but can’t quite place. Of course, a quick search reminded me she was in the film that I caused a heated debate about in my Film Studies seminar. The film in question was The Knack… and How to Get It. If you’ve seen The Knack, you’ll understand why she’s rather savvy casting and a foreshadowing of things to come.
    • Terence Stamp gave me the urge to watch Gangster No1. While I perhaps would have preferred Malcolm McDowell in the role, I must even admit myself that would have been a little on the nose. Plus, Stamp offers uncertainty and a performance that hangs doubt on the character and his intentions. I’m not certain McDowell, as amazing as he is, could have pulled it off so well.
    • Diana Rigg. Miss Emma Peel herself. While a little bittersweet knowing this was her last film, it’s a damn fine one to be going out on.
  • The Doctor Who connection does not end at the casting of Matt Smith. Time travel and faceless bodies haunting our protagonist. It is beautiful how it feels like a very dark, very twisted episode of the Time Lord’s. The effects will most likely haunt me for days and that’s the thing; Dr Who was always able to pinpoint your basic nightmares and make them something to truly fear.

The Bad

  • This is a personal thing, but I don’t like the method of Eloise getting to the past. I love her being there, no question, however having it the way it is really does stop a number of red herrings in their tracks.
    I wish there was more of a tangible cause, even if it was as simple as she’d found a dress of Sandie’s.

The Ugly

  • The ending has me so conflicted. While it has left me frustrated, it does serve a purpose. I absolutely must watch it again to find out if my feelings towards certain characters are justified.

Final Thoughts

This is no Cornetto film. It’s dark, it’s twisted and it’s a film of a director with an eye for detail. Beware though, you will want to watch it again once you’ve watched right to the end.

Fight Night (2011) Halloween Advent Review

Rating 15
Length 1h46
Release 2.9.2011
Director Craig Gillespie
About When a nice new neighbor moves in next door, Charley discovers that he is an ancient vampire who preys on the community.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Disney Plus
Trailer:

Trick

  • Ah, 2011! The height of of the 3D Hollywood cash-in. Some films, Pocahontas in Space comes to mind, used it well as part of a depth of field. Other, used it as a gimmick and set up certain parts for that ‘gotcha’ jump scare.
    That second sort have not aged well. Fright Night is one of those gimmick type movies and you can tell. From blood splatter to thrown objects; they have this gloss to them that just makes them stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Anton Yelchin’s death in 2016 makes this a hard watch. That lad was such a beautiful talent, and while I’m grateful to have the roles that we have, it still really hurts to think how much of a tragedy losing him was.
  • Not 100% sold on Colin Farrell’s vampire, Jerry. Don’t get me wrong, he’s really good as a bad guy. Hell, he’s grand as the ambiguous guy. However, there’s something off and a little ‘try-hard’ about this performance. The best example I can give is when Jerry gets the pack of Bud from Charley. It feels like he would fit right at home in Twilight rather than this film.
  • The club scene really fucking pisses me off in today’s climate. There’s a girl being fireman lifted to a dark corner and she’s asking anyone who will listen to help, yet no one listens. Its fucked up, and what’s worse is that I can’t tell if its a commentary on society, thoughtlessness or a way to desensitise us to what we now call the ‘me too’ culture.

Treat

  • Anton Yelchin is perfect as the geek that blossomed. He’s got the girl and you can see how he got the girl, but he also was once friends with the losers and you can also see how that is possible.
    There’s a balance that Yelchin is able to give in his performance; he is able to give the audience comedy, drama and horror without any one taking over.
    He also proved with this film, among others, that he is capable of leading a film. I can’t help but wonder while watching Fright Night; how cool would his Spider-Man have been?
  • David Tennant. In 2011, I wasn’t too impressed with his potty mouth. To me, it was like putting Micky Mouse in Ted. I understood that it was perhaps a way to break from his child-friendly Dr Who persona, but that was exactly what I didn’t like about it.
    Now, I fucking love the jaded, cursing bastard. I love the story arc we get and, much like his tenure as the keeper of the TARDIS keys, there’s the childlike joy along with the bitterness of someone who has seen pain. Only he can say fuck. A lot.
    The decision to make Vincent Price a much younger expert, and a Vegas act, was really quite novel. This, along with a few other choice changes, allowed this remake to stand alone from the original.
  • I’m not quite sure what it is about the films of the early 2010s, but they have this sheen to them that wasn’t present in many movies before. I’m not really researched enough to discover if it is around the time things moved from celluloid to digital, but there’s something distinctly different that really draws me in.
    Best example I can think of is the way in which the chase scene is filmed. The tracking of the camera within the car is dynamic yet strangely claustrophobic.#
  • The music is fantastic. Both the original soundtrack and the song choices. I was so convinced that it sampled the 1985 theme song that I’ve just had to pause in order to find out. While I can’t confirm, it certain does have a 1985 inspired vibe to it.

Final Thoughts

It’s a solid vampire entry, even if the big bad is so wooden I expected him to sparkle. While the CGI is passable, its let down by any attempt to pander to the 3D market.

Doctor Who Resolution Review

Doctor Who

Series 11 Episode 11

Title: Resolution

Rating: PG

Length: 45 minutes

Air date: 1.1.2019

About: As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?

The Good

As always, Bradley Walsh is incredible. His blend of sincerity and humour is perfect for the role. How his character handles the loss of his wife and the arrival of her surviving son is nothing short of emotional.

Speaking of Aaron, son of Grace and father of Ryan, that subplot was heartbreaking and well crafted. The acting brought to the forefront the ongoing grief of the characters and really is getting important messages across.

The guest characters of Lin and Mitch are a good addition and Charlotte Richie could be remembered as fondly as Carey Mulligan and her Blink character Sally Sparrow.

The setting under the roads of Sheffield was stunning, atmospheric and something I’d have liked to have seen more of.

The Bad and the Ugly

I wasn’t completely sold on the opening sequence: it didn’t gel with the rest of the story.

The UNiT sequence, which gained a little chuckle, was too political and soapboxy for my liking. I also feel that it would have been a perfect time to call in Captain Jack. While I know John Barrowman has a very busy schedule, but the show is doing a disservice to the show, the character and the fans by ignoring his existence.

The biggest mistake Chibnall made for me was this article (

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/09/11/no-daleks-cybermen-new-doctor-says-chris-chibnall/amp/), published in September 2018. The episode lost my attention when the revealed the Darlek. It didn’t matter how clever, or original the first half was; I’d been taken for a mug. I’m not sure if it was to engineer a ’twist’, but it just felt contrived and a slap in the face to fans.

It highlights a larger problem I have with tv shows and responding too much to social media opinions. It degrades the integrity of the storytelling and Dr Who is not the only one guilty of this. Check out my post on shows that jump the shark.

Final Thought

I’m worried. Chibnall had started strong with Jodie, but bringing the Darleks in makes me think he’s already run out of ideas. Having to wait until 2020 for the next series is not filling me with much hope either; it stalls the narrative and again, makes me think the BBC are not as invested as they once were.