Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dead or Alive

The Dead Zone: Early Cronenberg about a man who develops the gift of prophecy following a car accident. Filmed around rural Ontario, apparently entirely on location, which makes the whole thing feel at once ultra-realistic (the houses look like real houses, not like something designed) and fantastical (everything has a curious sense of isolation and decay). Guest starring Martin Sheen, who doesn't realise he's really auditioning for The West Wing, and Anthony Zerbe, who for once doesn't actually kill anyone (at least, not directly).

Ancient Grease

The Warriors: Low-budget classic interpreting a myth about Greek warriors returning home from battle into a tale of rival gangs in 1970s New York. Ludicrous in places (gangs themed around baseball and mime makeup? Really?) but does capture the weird atmosphere that pervades the subways of big cities after midnight.

Cleopatra: High-budget classic (modern viewers might have to keep reminding themselves that those are real people in the crowd scenes), which ultimately boils down to a story of a woman who finds her soulmate, loses him, then tries to recreate what she had with a younger man who ultimately proves inadequate.