Yes, ok, Screen150 has been very quiet of late. The films roll on while this blog has hit a puncture and all but stopped.
Sorry about that. I really am. This place has caused me more than a little bit of guilt, abandoned to the merciless pixels like a gloomy child.
So this is an official declaration of hiatus. A indefinite rest. Once I have a couple more ‘projects’ finished I may pull open the curtains again and dust off the screen. Maybe in the new year, yeah? At Oscar time? How about that?
For now, keep watching them filums and by all means review them. Stockpile those reviews and when we re-open, send them through. Because one thing is for certain: the movies never die.
Ciao for now.
From the impenetrable novel by Victor Hugo few have read since it was ﬁrst published in 1862 this is now the world’s longest running musical seen by over sixty million people.
Valjean represents the proletariat in post revolutionary France, set against his arch-nemesis, Police Inspector Javert, the bitter face of traditional values of conservatism. The revolution is writ small as seen through the lives of these two men and through the children it spawns, Cosette and Gavroche.
This is a story about social justice, equality, class, position and fairness. The treacherous Javert is seen to be capable of at least one noble act and in carrying out that act he ultimately redeems himself and natural justice is served but unfortunately the musicality of the ﬁlm detracts from the epic yet personal sweep.
The revolution may not be televised, but there’s no need to set it to show tunes either.
Les Miserables . 2012 . Tom Hooper
Reviewed by Bobby Pegg
There is a fundamental question at the heart of remakes which usually determines whether they end up being any cop, ‘why bother?’ Why choose to go through the motions with a story that everyone already knows? In the case of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, The Thing and others in that rare, ‘better than the originals’ pantheon, there’s something new to be said with the story. Then there’s Total Recall, a film so boring, so inept, so utterly pointless, that it isn’t even bad – just entirely forgettable. Colin Farrell yawns his way through a plot that has something to do with the Earth’s core, a bunch of robots and Kate Beckinsale . There’s so much that doesn’t work about the film that I left wishing I could replace this memory with something more like the original. In answer to that question poised at the start, ‘why bother?’ With this film, don’t.
Total Recall . 2012 . Len Wiseman
Reviewed by Dan Carpenter
I watched this film about two years ago, in bed, on a laptop. I think we downloaded it (maybe). I can’t remember. (It was quite a while ago.) I think we decided to watch it because we were going through a ‘sexy late 80’s/early 90’s’ phase (Fatal Attraction, 9 ½ Weeks, Disclosure, etc) and so were looking for other sexy films from the same period to watch. I can remember almost nothing about this film. (I don’t think it was very sexy.) I vaguely remember a scene where someone is forced by magic to float in the air (?), and also some sort of chaotic scene in a swimming pool. This film stars Cher and Jack Nicholson and (possibly) Meryl Streep. Whenever I attempt to think about Jack Nicholson’s performance, I just picture him doing his ‘iconic face’ in a white linen suit. I’d give this film a solid 5/10.
The Witches of Eastwick . 1987 . George Miller
Reviewed by Chris Killen
Future America is a post apocalyptic wasteland: like T S Eliot on crack. From Boston to Washington DC lies Mega City One. The only real law is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge “Slo-Mo” peddled by the psychopathically cruel and terrifyingly sexy Ma-Ma
This is law enforcent from Ground Zero. Gritty, ultra-violent, uber-cool and hard as nails with a thumping, dirty, electronic, stripped down soundtrack to rip you along.
CGI effects are stripped right back to bare minimum and instead relying on old fashioned action. Clearly influenced by Dirty Harry and Assault On Precinct 13 it takes these influences, updates them and serves them back to you in a relentlessly stylish, gloriously brutal film that you can’t take your eyes off even if sometimes you think you should.
Get it seen. Negotiation is over. You have twenty seconds to comply.
Dredd . 2012 . Pete Travis
Reviewed by Robert Pegg
In the hands of anyone else, this would edge into the ‘B movie’ category as an enjoyable but essentially daft psychological thriller. But with Boyle at the helm, with all his cantered angles, extreme close-ups, and thumping musics, it’s anything but average. The plot is Inception-level daft; as soon as someone mentions hypnotism and memory-loss you know that layers will peel away and twists will turn, and someone will have engineered the whole thing from the start. Nevertheless, it’s fun and there are plenty of surprises along the way if you ride with it. But the beauty is Boyle’s filmmaking; he works hard to, yes, entrance you, and by the end your eyes and ears are happily bleeding and your head is doing gleeful spins and all you can think is; ‘where can I get the soundtrack…?’ Brilliant, bonkers, Boyle bombardment – well worth spending a couple of hours with.
Trance . 2013 . Danny Boyle
Reviewed by Screen150
You’ve probably already seen it 10 times, but it’s worth one more go. One of the first forays a major Bollywood actor ever made in mainstream Hollywood, Amrish Puri’s portrayal of Mola Ram, a Kali-worshipping, demonic priest is objectionable, to say the least and more likely just racist. But 1984 was a simpler time to be sure. Back then, it was completely acceptable to have a shot of shirtless Harrison Ford, sweaty and sooty, handing a phallus-shaped stone to a child. A CHILD! It’s the sort of image you can’t believe you never noticed the first 10 times you watched it. And Kate Capshaw eating an apple out of Indy’s hand is one of the more unnerving scenes of food-based sexual aggression you’ve ever seen. Watch it for the adventure, for the overacting, for the casual racism… hell, watch it for the sheer nostalgia of the early 80s.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom . 1984 . Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by Nija Dalal