Monday, December 31, 2012

Raking up the past

Moonraker: Entertaining but derivative late-Seventies Bond film, mainly being a mashup between Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me.  The villain and the Bond Girl are both entertaining, and the contemporary mania for all things space shuttle makes for good nostalgia. On the down side, the fashion design is disastrous, and the sequence involving a  hovercraft gondola in St Mark's Square, while strangely hilarious, lacks even the slightest veneer of credibility. Movie count for 2012: 80!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Total Recall (2012): Disappointing remake, lacking the grotesque humour, believability, and contemporary social satire of the original. Even more disappointing as it did have the potential to be a good contemporary social satire-- a setup where Australia is a client state of Europe, importing cheap labour, could have provided a nice riff on the modern dependency on East Asian factory workers, but unfortunately too little is made of it. The is-it-all-an-illusion aspect was also disappointingly played down, and there were distracting visual homages to better movies which mostly just served to remind me that I was watching this one. Some very nice vis-FX work and action set-pieces though.

Movie count for 2012: 79

Monday, December 17, 2012


Inland Empire: Over three hours of strangely hypnotic David Lynch.

District 9: South African SF fable about prejudice and violence, as a spaceship full of aliens arrives in Johannesberg and the inhabitants are forced into shanty-towns, excluded from society and dehumanised in horrible, but entirely predictable ways. Told as a mock-doc about an incident where a middle manager with a defense contractor, charged with clearing an alien shanty-town, is infected with a mystery substance, the CGI is the best I've ever seen in a SF film.

Superman II:  Better than the rest of them, mainly by virtue of having some good lines and some of those Eighties visuals that are heavily Expressionist-inspired. But really, both Superman and Lois Lane are so amazingly thick you wonder how they remember to keep breathing.

Movie count for 2012: 78