Wednesday, 27 June 2018

So Low

Yeah, I finally got around to seeing the latest entry in the yearly event series. Now maybe if they did several a year like MCU...

So Han needs to get away from his home planet, hooks up with various peoples, and ultimately because a crook/smuggler because that's his eventual schtick. But with a Heart of Gold(tm), because that's his schtick too.

So people are rabidly against this? And by people I mean 'some Star Wars fans'. I'm not a SW fan/ enthusiast/ whatever name you want separate yourself from fanatic, and... I thought this movie was fine. My main complaint is that they tried to squeeze in too many references to later movies because all those events happened in like five minutes altogether in Han's life?

Aside from that, yeah, fine movie. Lots of big spectacle, over the top sequences like Star Wars indulges in, and we are never talking in depth characterisation but enough to get to know who the characters are. (Although my one call completely failed to happen.) And yet, actually left events open at the end for more of Han's life to happen (in movie form?).

In my opinion the main issue is that this came out not on Christmas but too close to the last film. And yet... MCU pulls this off regularly. Guess we just have lower tolerance for a lot of Star Wars at once.


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Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Let's head back to 1946 and the fabulous night life in Gilda.

A card sharp is hired by the manager to help run a casino. But then a woman comes into the picture, and because they are both males, immediately problems arise that circle around her...

Yeah... I wasn't really drawn into this movie. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could be watching Casino instead.

I don't have much to say about this, because I just couldn't get into it.


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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Heredy Terry

Oh, it's from the same studio that did The Witch. That explains a lot.

The grandmother in a family dies, and this kicks off a set of events that... put people a little on edge, but it isn't until later that the real set of events are kicked off. And other stuff happens and...

There's been hype around this movie in terms of "so scary I shit my pants". I will grant this has TONS of atmosphere. I love movies with tons of atmosphere. But you know what else I like? A coherent plot. Go on, guess what this doesn't have?

"Oh, it's just being clever and not spoon feeding the audience." No, it's being overly obscure, and frankly I was completely disconnected from the movie because I had no idea what the hell was going on, nor why. I've seen an explanation or two which can fit the movie's events, but I'm not a big fan of
"the author is dead" and would like things to actually explain themselves. Not knowing what is going to happen could be a good thing, in that you can't have expectations to be disappointed in, but on the other hand, it also means you have left your audience behind because you are so far up your own...

It has some nice scary moments, but as a whole...


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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Of Horses and Men

And Icelandic film? Sure, why not? This is Of Horses and Men.

People are terrible any way you deal with them, and when horses are in the mix, they aren't any better. This is a lot of short vignettes in a small community where horses are a common part of life, and the people use them for any means necessary. To show off, to get drink, to stay warm. It's all about the horse.

And this isn't a warm fuzzy movie about horses. When I stay "to stay warm", think wampa here. This does treat horses rather brutally, but the film makers do make sure to have an end card that says no horses were harmed. Some well trained horses then.

It is short, which helps, and while engaging, isn't one for the pony princesses out there.


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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

8cean's O

I enjoyed the other Ocean's movies, so I was really looking forwards to this.

A convict gets out of jail and immediately goes back into crime... hang on, isn't this exactly the same opening as 11? Yep, but they don't try to avoid that. The big heist this time is going for jewelry. One change is that they don't know all the people they hire and another big things is... the movie is basically over around 2/3 through the movie, but they keep doing.

And that is really painful. First off, we don't need the sudden swerve into attempted comedy as signaled by the arrival of James Cordon, and the movie gets a lot less interesting then. They are still trying to do "big surprises and twists", but it feels more like they were trying to justify... a longer running time? The movie being more important than it is?

This movie had such great potential, just look at the cast! But in an attempt to be different, they are just dull. I could tell from us never seeing any of the heist being planned before it actually happens that it will go off without a problem, and there was no real problems that raised tension. At the end, with the reveal... it was a big more interesting, but far too late by this point.

If you really like this series... maybe go on a cheap day?


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018


Psychological thriller? I guess. Certainly weird enough. This is Seconds.

Arthur Hamilton gets the chance (in that the chance is trust onto him) to become someone else, to start a new life, and so becomes Antiochus Wilson. However, even in that life he isn't happy, and wants a second go at a second go.

From the opening sequence, which is too close up shots of a face, we are offset and disturbed and the camera work continues that through the scenes. Everything is tilted until he becomes Tony Wilson (played by Rock Hudson), then it gets more stable until everything comes unhinged again.

And yet.. I'm not really sure what this movie is going for. The unhappiness of man? The inability to accept whatever life puts in front of you? The need to make your own decisions? At over 100 minutes, whatever it is, it takes too long to make a point and then takes its time just circling it.

This should have been more my speed than it was.


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Sunday, 10 June 2018

RADFF18: Tadao Ando: Samurai Architect

The last film I saw was a demand performance due to popularity and was in the Grand theatre... and barely half full.

Tadao Ando is an architect, and he has designed many buildings. And during this movie, we take a look at many of them and he gives commentary on them. Two aspects of his stand out: he like to incorporate nature into his designs and he likes concrete. A lot of concrete. While not brutalist, it does feel like A LOT of concrete. While he has done many buildings in Japan, mainly Osaka, he's also done worldwise designs, and we see his latest effort in China. We also see some rejected designs.

Even at 75 minutes, this felt a bit longer than it needed to be. Which wasn't helped by a) my bladder filling up, and b) the guy near me wanting to continue some text chat throughout the movie (me being passive aggressive doesn't help there either).

This is probably the most on-target architecture film I saw, but it was probably also one of the driest, no matter how cheeky-chappy Ando came across as.


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Monday, 4 June 2018

RADFF18: Moriyama-San

This feels more like a movie in search of a festival than something gone in. In fact the movie declares up front that the maker just happened to meet Moriyama and make a movie while staying with him.

The two of them meet because of Noise Music and the director (Ila) asks to stay with him. And so we have a slice of life of Moriyama's life. He lives in a house that is made up of various blocks with different parts of the house compartmentalized in different blocks. And some of the blocks are rented out. Besides that, we hang out with Moriyama and see he likes reading and generally has a rather chill life. The two of them just chill for a while, have a barbeque with the neighbours and then fireworks at the end.

The big issue with regards to this festival is that this movie isn't really about architecture or design. More like "hey, there's five minutes of this movie that are related to the theme, so if I write the blurb for it to highlight those parts...".

It is a weird slice of life movie and could have worked, but I felt like it didn't belong in the expectation of this festival.


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Sunday, 3 June 2018

RADFF18: Happening

No not The Happening, just the Happening.

Solar power is a thing that is happening, and this movie is largely about that happening. Okay, it's more James Redford (his sons) looking at renewable energy in total, but the bulk of it is on solar power. What it basically boils down to is that we have the technical capacity for renewable energy. But we don't have the economic/political capacity for it. Fossil fuels, y'all! No, this isn't against fossil fuels, but it does, in the latter part, track what happens in Nevada which is (for some reason) striking down the solar industry while not touching the monopoly power provider.

But while this is trying to end positively, it still feels like we are politically blocked and as much as we can go "woo, renewable energy!", we the public just don't have the power. As James said it's the "power of the mighty vs the power of the public".

So really... boo-ray?


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