This is the penultimate review for the Birthday Series Redux, as I’m waiting for the atrocity released on 23rd August 2012 to make it to Lovefilm. However, when I had originally planned this run, the early Michael Crichton scripted medical thriller Coma was going to be the last review. However, sheer laziness won out, and I’ve got to look at something from 2012 as well. Anyway, this is the Birthday Series, and the rules are simple: Review one film released as near to your birthday as possible. Today, it’s Michael Crichton directed Coma, a taut, plausible and downright scary medical thriller that was released on 24th August 1978 in, er, Mexico. Look, it’s bloody difficult finding any release dates for a film back then. Be thankful that I got anything.
Contains Hospital sanctioned organ heists and spoilers below.
Winding down the Birthday Series for this year, and this will be the last time, as I’m not going into the third choice films (that way madness lies) and we come to the third last review: 1979’s Rich Kids (release date 17th August in the USA). This would not, outside of the Birthday Series, ever be a film that I would have gone out of my way to watch because it’s a drama about divorce and I find it a matter of mild curiosity how many of these type of films were released in the late 70’s. It seems as if Divorce was some kind of taboo subject that Hollywood had finally worked up the balls to take on, and so they did what Hollywood always does and splurge a load out. Some, as in Kramer v Kramer are considered classic now, but others, such as the subject of today’s review, have justifiably sunk into the abyss and are forgotten. Occasionally those films have some kind of value, and are unjustly overshadowed by their more famous counterpart, but most of the time the reason they’ve been forgotten is simple: they weren’t that worthwhile or memorable in the first place, striving for mediocrity at best.
Contains vicious shrews, a suspicious lack of pictures and spoilers below Read More…
We’re running out of patients!
I’m going to break out the world’s smallest violin here.
I was due to spend this Christmas with my family in Scotland. This, at the best of times, is a horrifying prospect, involving arguments, enough Scotch to kill a small island, more arguments, shite food and I have to take the train for the privilege. However, due to a contact lens related disaster, I had to disembark the train at Newcastle and go to casualty. The lens had gone bad, and had sealed itself to my eye. As such, it had gouged the surface of my cornea, and I couldn’t get the bastard out. Anyhow, the Doctor removed it (made a sound like velcro when he took it out), gave me a telling off, and made me come back in the next day (Christmas Eve).
So, what has this got to do with a shady little B-Movie? Simple, he prescribed me three sets of eye drops and ordered me to stay up 24 hours putting them in every hour on the hour. This would, I felt, be a challenge as I was bound to be half cut and ready for bed. There was but one solution: watch any old bollocks on TV and hope for the best. So, at 2AM on 24th December, your humble narrator was sitting in a severely uncomfortable chair, shivering in a room with no heating watching Candy Stripers on The Horror Channel. This is by far the most stringent test that I’ve ever put a schlock vault entry through. The goal was simple: Candy Stripers had to be entertaining enough to stop my dozing off. Read More…
Last time around I chronicled the stinkers I looked at in the last 12 months, and I wasn’t short of options. However, this time around, I’m looking at the best films that I saw in 2012 and turning out a top 10.
I did see some absolutely brilliant movies, and they were pleasingly spread out throughout the year- there wasn’t a massive congestion of them in one month, so it allowed me respite from the seemingly endless parade of dreck that I usually sit through. As the year went on, actually, my focus shifted and I started doing the censorship essays. As a result of this, the quality of film actually rose as I picked incredibly famous examples of movies to fit in as the example of the essay, and it’s no surprise to see several of them make my final shortlist.
Having gone through my 2012, it appears that not only have I watched an awful lot of films, but I’ve also reviewed an awful lot. Unfortunately, given the content of the average film that I review, the vast majority of them have been middling to downright awful.
Just to explain quickly: I have a number of open-ended series running: the Schlock Vault, The Underrated, and Made in Britain. However, I do also intersperse these with other closed series such as the inevitable Birthday Series (note to self, finish this), and various horror franchises. The long running categories, particularly the Vault, provide the vast majority of my 2012 reviews, and these also provide the vast majority of the absolute dogs that I’ve seen. Which isn’t a shock given the nature of the beast and the focus on B-movies.
Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the “bottom 10″ pieces of shit that I watched in 2012, with a wee capsule review of them. Read More…
Christ, I’ve been a useless bugger recently. Anyhow, it’s time to sweep away the cinematic remains of 2012 and look forward to what we’ve got coming out in 2013. I managed to surpass myself in sheer uselessness, so I’m just doing a vague summary of last year’s film antics and thus this isn’t a usual top 10 list. Or even anything remotely accurate as it’s based (in part) on my hazy recollections of a lot of films.
In all honesty, my recollection of 2012 in terms of cinema is that it has been a touch disappointing, if not shit. Again, this is because I had epic failure in the second half of the year and saw almost nothing, but almost all the universally praised big releases (honourable exception below) that I saw I thought were mediocre to downright awful. There were some gems in there, but really, the stench that the major studios produced will take some time to wash away. Read More…
See, it promised me. It said that it was because of the Overman. However, intensive therapy had made it realise that the Overman made it crazy, and as such it would never touch the Overman again.
I’d heard these promises from E4′s Misfits before, but somehow I just knew that this time would be different. It was free of the Overman, after all, and furthermore the love story was finished so we could just move on with a clean slate. It asked me to remember the good times, the laughs we had shared, the fun we had had, and as such, I really owed it that one more chance.
Unfortunately, the leopard doesn’t change his spots and it is still hooked on the Overman. Howard Overman, to be precise. Which means that what we have here is a super powered chav story, where our main characters don’t use their powers for the most part. Read More…
I am sure I’ve ranted about this before, but if there’s one genre that we really are atrocious at in the 21st Century, then that’s comedy. We’re turning out classy horror after classy horror, have a nice line in gritty action and are all over misery porn, but since Shaun of the Dead, I can’t honestly think of a worthwhile comedy. Not one. This is astonishing, because we have a strong legacy with comedy (if you ignore most of the Carry on Films) dating all the way back to Ealing in the 30′s. Yet, something in the 21st Century seems to have gone pear shaped, and every comedy I’ve seen is about as funny as an Aussie DJ’s prank phone call. So, when Kill Keith landed on my doorstep, despite me knowing next to nothing about it, I wasn’t particularly hopeful, in fact, all I wanted was that someone was actually going to kill Keith Chegwin. Preferably messily.
Even by my blisteringly low standards, I’m miles late on this one, and to be honest, I have absolutely no excuse whatsoever for my blazing incompetence. I could blame technology (in that my new office won’t let me on to the dashboard, and I’ve broken the PC at home) but realistically that won’t wash when I’ve actually managed to plug the laptop in. All I can do is apologise, and get ready to launch the people’s choice for this Year’s Golden Changs (sponsored by anyone that wants to throw cash or free booze at us). The votes are in, the contest is closed, and as such I can now announce the winners.
The tension’s probably killing you all. It’s certainly getting to me, and I’m only making it through this via massive doses of booze. Read More…