Friday, 26 July 2019

Django: Kills Softly

Next western, another random plot. In this Django Kills Softly.

Bill comes to a town where there are two groups, one group of dapper cowboy types doing gun running, and one Mexican group doing gun buying. Bill finds that neither group are particular trust worthy and sets one against the other and gets of the way and let's them take each other out.

Bill, in this case, is Django. And the only reason I know he is called Bill is because I saw the credit list on IMDB. In fact, the only way I know most of the character names is because of the cast list, they don't go around saying each others names, so that makes it a bit harder to work out who is whom. But then, being Django is pretty irrelevant to the plot, despite the name on the movie, so here we are.

One thing that has been common to these movies as well is that Django (or whomever his stand in is) is largely irrelevant to the plot. It mainly involves interactions of other groups and he just happens to be around. These movies aren't Django vs other, it's two other groups and Django just sometimes picks a side.

Anyway, this isn't feeling that exciting, but we'll continue with more movies.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

T4y St4ry

Hey, Pixar, where's my opening short? This is straight into it!

Bonnie, the kid, is about to start kindergarten and Woody is sure she needs a toy to help her along, because that's what Andy needed. She creates Forky, and so Woody is now invested in keeping Forky around for Bonnie. So, as you would expect (especially if you saw the trailer) Forky gets away and Woody has to get him back, and many wacky adventures are had along the way.

Oh, the emotions! Yeah, I cried at the end, because it's Toy Story 4!!! This is 25 years of a series, the kids who were there for Toy Story 3 aren't even really kids any more! Certainly the kid that was sitting behind me at the theatre wasn't getting that engaged with it, unlike their parent.

And let's admit it, these actors are getting on. Like Tim Allen, he sounded like a much older man now. Tom Hanks was pretty good, but even then. Fortunately some characters started with older actors so there wasn't a huge change for them, but with the leads getting on...

Still, this is Pixar, they can do this well, and it's well indeed!

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Friday, 19 July 2019

Django: A Few Dollars for

Because largely anyone could do a Django movie, getting the timeline of their release dates isn't easy. So let's just go with A Few Dollars for Django next.

Django finds a dead would-be sheriff and takes his badge, and thereby adopts his position as Sheriff in the town when he arrives. However, while he is there for some bounties, he gets caught up between the cattlemen and the farmers. One wants their animals to roam, the others want barbwire to restrict passage. As people take the law into their own hands, Django has his hands full and it is those very bounties he is after that is the key to resolving everything.

As I've been saying, anyone does Django... so much so in this case he is called Regan throughout the movie. Have the lead be a grizzled bearded man who is good with a gun, slap the Django name on the movie title, and there you go. Certainly this has some very typical story beats of 'new chap is sheriff and has to clean up the town', but it feels like there is enough mad libs in the plot outline to distinguish it from other such movies.

There is a decent gun battle or two, and I won't be surprised to find out that Sandalio Hern√°ndez is a character actor (certainly the character Smitty is a heck of a character). And I hope they were well trained horses, because they react very believably to gun fire.

Not a great story, but a typical western.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Brughtbirn

But what if Superboy... BUT EVIL!!!????!!?!???! No, like, you aren't listening! What if SUPERBOY!!! But we did a completely unoriginal and obvious Evil Take on him!!!???

Small town Kansas has an alien baby land and brought up by a small town couple. Then, come age 12, small town kid starts showing abilities and a complete lack of any kind of moral core as his evil spaceship flicks his switch to evil. And then evil kid goes around being evil.

This movie basically assumes you know the Superman mythos and so skips a lot of set up to get to the evil part. Actually... to be honest... it looks more like this movie was just an excuse to show off some gore effects. (Which were so obviously gore effects that I didn't for a moment buy them as anything other than effects.) Certainly the story isn't doing anything impressive.

And while I'm no acting critic, the kid really wasn't very good. But then no-one seemed to be particularly trying. As I said, it's more about effects.

Some one has this idea and got money for it, and that's as far as people really cared.

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Monday, 15 July 2019

The 39 Steppes

Next Hitchcockian masterpiece: The 39 Steps!

By a complete accident, random stranger man gets caught up with a lady spy, who is struck down. He then decides to complete her mission of stopping important documents being leaked and heads to Scotland, barely escaping the police as he does so. He continues to barely escape, before running straight into the bad guys, but escapes and avoids more police while getting back to London, there the last step is taken.

Two movies in, and I'm sensing a pattern: Random stranger gets caught up in spy plot. I don't remember that happening in Psycho, but clearly Norman Bates was in over his head and it was all Marion's fault. Anyway, this chap seems not quite on top of things as Roger was, and is more lucky than good. As you could probably tell from my summary, it should have been called The 39 Escapes!

Robert Donat plays well 'guy with moustache' and Madeleine Carroll is the 'lady who gets treated as an object' (apparently consent wasn't a thing back then). I can't say that I recognise any of the other names, but we'll see if any of them grow on me as these movies go on.

Odd question: are those train carriages typical English carriages? With the compartments and being able to walk down one side. I can recall them in several movies, but can't say I've ever seen any in person.

Anyway, at not even ninety minutes, this movies ducks in and out. It's not an astounding work, but another one I can check off.

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Friday, 12 July 2019

Django: Shoots First

I got a random collection of that SpaGetWestern Django, so why not watch? First up I have Shoots First.

Django encounters a bounty hunter bringing his pa in, and takes over after an exchange of bullet. (He does indeed shoot first.) It turns out his pa is part owner of a town, so Django steps into that responsibility. However, his partner isn't as interested in having a partner at all, so after having arranged pa's dismissal, he goes after Django as well. And so we get more bullets and bad guys and a couple of revelations. Fortunately there are also pretty ladies around, although they have their own plans.

Okay, so I missed some previous movies, but it's not like there's a deep and complex lore here, especially when the Django movies can be produced by whoever decided they wanted to do more. (Okay, not quite, but close enough to mean I'm probably going to encounter a variety of actors in the role.)

Pretty nice start to the series (for me). We aren't dealing with overly complex plots, but there's enough going on to keep my attention and it isn't just one strand to go on. The characters are pretty simple, but that doesn't mean they don't have their own things to do.

Sure, I'm on board for this. (Although I only have another four, so it's not a huge train ride.)

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Far From Spiderman

So ends Phase 3... and we have no concrete announcements for Phase 4. A murky future lies ahead...

Since we are ending Phase 3, we get some fall out from Endgame to deal with, but then we are off with Peter in a class trip to Europe. However, while over there, there are attacks from big monsters and Peter gets caught up in that, although not to worry, Mysterio is there to take the lead. Because what Peter really wants is to be with the girl. And fortunately there are no issues happening to cause any problems in that relationship at all...

This is very much in the Endgame space, with what happens with Tony Stark hanging over Peter's head a lot. So much so that the motivation and the character beats work well for this movie and that flows nicely. (There is also a huge coincidence/just-so-happens factor, but without that most movies wouldn't exist.)

Also nice is that this keeps the movie simple. You know what is happening, and there aren't a billion plot threads to follow. (Although no doubt by this time there are hundreds of "easter egg" videos on YouTube to point out things people either got obviously or didn't care about.) That said, there are some nice stingers to tie into wider arcs, so we'll see what, if any, of that pans out.

And the best part? Only two hours. A nice easy movie to watch compared to the last go around.

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