Showing posts from January, 2019

Bird Box (2018)

At the time I saw this I have not yet seen A Quiet Place .  That is definitely on my list of movies to see, but I take it that Bird Box, at least for those who just know the premise and have not really paid too much attention to the movie itself, automatically got slagged as a copy.  We'll see on that, but when I first started hearing about it I was afraid it was going to be a remake of The Road with blindfolds. Well, that's not entirely true.  I had not idea what this was when it popped up on Netflix.  I thought it was another series of some sort, and I eventually end up taking a chance on Netflix and Hulu series whenever I run out of my normal things I watch.  Then came the memes - something else I was unaware of but, always having to know what is going on, I found out that this was actually a post-apocalyptic story.  Still thought it would be The Road with blindfolds, as I was not really expecting a lot of backstory.  Really, I became curious about invisible monsters an

The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967)

Roy Orbison was an artist that passed away too early.  He died of a heart attack in 1989.  10 years prior he had largely given up the music business after failing to revive his career with the disco album Laminar Flow , an ill-fated idea from the beginning.  Still, his unique voice and many of his older songs were still held in esteem, and his career received a needed boost when David Lynch used the song "In Dreams" in key scenes of Blue Velvet .  An album of re-recordings of his classic songs, a number of them produced by Lynch, followed quickly and sold decently.  What really revived him was his involvement with Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup that also included Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne.  Orbison contributed to vocals on almost all the tracks, and had his own solo song, "Not Alone Any More", included.  This led to Lynne producing Roy Orbison's comeback album, Mystery Girl , which itself produced his first top-10 hit since the

Annihilation (2018)

Alex Garland and Denis Villeneuve both seem bound and determined to change how science fiction movies are made.  The past has largely been big epics, like the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.  However, on the fringe has always been more subtle movies, like Gattaca or Her , that was more than mythmaking and laser battles.  Science fiction fans, despite what some grumpy old English teachers used to think, are largely drawn to the ideas presented and where the author goes with the ideas rather than grand action scenes.  That is what made Gattaca such a breath of fresh air.  I just wonder why it took another 20 years for someone to get the point. Garland's Ex Machina helped to set the tune, and it did reasonably well enough to let him adapt part of a series of books called the Southern Reach Trilogy , by Jeff VanderMeer.  I guess adaptation is the best word, because Garland stated he just used the parts he remembered.  The rest, intentional or not, plays out like a modern remak

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Watching Resident Evil: Apocalypse I found myself wondering why I had watched these movies previously.  I had some vague recollection of the series getting better after the first movie , but in vague memories are all I really have of most of them.  In this case the original was much better than I remembered. The second movie, while having some good set pieces and an awesome monster at the end, was barely a movie, occupied by just the thinnest excuses of characters.  Things happened, but nothing really that couldn't have been dealt with by adding an extra half hour at the end of the original Resident Evil .  Other than the movies being something for me to watch when they came on cable and I was bored, I couldn't really see much reason why I stuck with it if the second was so shallow. Resident Evil: Extinction is what redeems the series at this point, reminding me why I stuck with it.  Even the star of the film almost refused to come back to do a third after her disappoin

Goldfinger (1964)

After a great introduction in Dr. No and a fleshing out of the character in From Russia with Love , James Bond returned, as promised from the last movie, in Goldfinger .  There are some changes: Bond's on again/off again girlfriend Sylvia Trench is gone, as is director Terence Young.  Guy Hamilton takes over.  Also, instead of being buried within the film like most '60s movie themes, Shirley Bassey's title song roars over the opening credits as scenes from the movie are projected on a bikini-clad Shirley Eaton.  Also, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is nowhere to be seen. And thus you are introduced to the pinnacle of the Sean Connery era of James Bond films, and the one that is most fondly remembered by many fans.  We're still jumping around, with Goldfinger being the seventh of Ian Fleming's original series of novels, and, even though he got to visit the set, Fleming passed away before the premiere.  Still, it would have been something for him to be proud of: it's short,

Legend (1985)

As a kid in the 1980s I got to see a number of movies now considered classics when they first hit the theaters.  Many of the classic Spielberg films, for instance.  What I didn't get to see in the theater inevitably turned up on cable a year later and, with video stores, soon started showing up even sooner.  So, why would I have not seen Legend by now? That is a good question to try and figure out.  I've loved Tim Curry ever since first seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show , and him playing the part of Darkness in this movie is considered one of his iconic roles.  Despite his Scientology garbage I tend to like many of the movies that Tom Cruise has been in, particularly in the 1990s and 2000s.  Despite the fact I was never a big fan of Cruise until I saw Rain Man  (considered him more of a pretty-boy actor that girls were interested in), I can't even say it was the fact he was in the movie that kept me away.  In truth, at one time I could have sworn this starred Matthe