Friday, 20 November 2015

80s Reviews: The Princess Bride

Following a girl and her beloved farm-boy, then a trio of bandits, then the girl as a princess with her love dead and marriage pending, then the trio capturing her- then the trio being chased by a mysterious man, who bests them and reveals the farm-boy isn’t actually dead- then… I’m not even sure anymore. I guess its time to soil another universally cherished Rob Reiner film, isn’t it?

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Noughties Reviews: Gangs Of New York

Martin Scorsese’s second labor of love took near three decades to finally get made- and follows, quite literally, the Gangs of New York during the American Civil War. After a leader of the ‘Dead Rabbits’ is killed in a battle over who will dominate the Five Points of NYC, his son returns sixteen years later for revenge. At close to 180 minutes long, with an hour of previous footage cut, Scorsese and Di Cap forfeiting their salaries to keep the budget and finally thirty years of stunted production: was it worth it?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

80s Reviews: Stand By Me

Following four young boys’ journey through the wilderness to recover a dead body one of them heard about, Stand By Me stands as essential viewing for kids everywhere and a solid adaptation of King’s classic novella. That being said- there is a very clear target audience in mind here. It’s a coming of age tale, a kids film directed by Rob Reiner (of whom my only previous run in with had been in Spinal Tap… oh dear) that specifically serves a younger audience. Now in recent years, Disney & Pixar animation has been able to transcend the age gap and deliver a delightful and in many cases thoughtful experience to both parents and children (a-la the astounding Wall-e, Up and Inside Out), but does Reiner’s vehicle do the same?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Rambling For A Reason: The Reverse Narrative

Memento and Irréversible are two of the finest films of the 2000s- as well as the greatest works of their respective directors. The latter was in fact spawned of the former, after the upcoming ‘Love’ was diverted in favor of a “less intimate” [yikes.] picture. Noe had just seen Nolan’s ingenious little gem and decided to cut in Craven style with a rape-revenge film turned upside-down. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, are two works of peerless art. I am no fan of Nolan- but I also have no qualms with calling Memento an A and one of the 25 best films of its decade; and Irréversible rises, in my mind, far higher than even that zenith.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

80s Reviews: A Nightmare On Elm Street

Wes Craven’s second big hit (?) after spawning a less than stellar sub-genre with I Spit On Your Grave follows several teenagers who’se nightmares are plagued by Freddy Krueger, a monstrous man who can kill you in your dreams- and in real life. I have heard countless tales of this film from my mother, whom was from what I gather irreparably traumatised by the experience. Did I suffer the same fate?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

80s Reviews: The Thing

John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic follows an American team of Artic researchers who come into contact with a murderous shape-shifting alien. Chaos ensues. Now don’t assume just because I use the term “classic” that I am fond of this film. Far from it. This is near universally hailed as a masterpiece of the horror and sci-fi genres- and a seminal work for anyone studying 80s cinema. Is it any good, though?