Friday, April 20, 2018

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 2017 6 out of 10





Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets  2017  6 out of 10


If you look up reviews of Valerian and the City of a Thousand 
Planets you will see reviews that are either 10 out of 10   or 1 -2 out of 10.  There seems to be no middle ground.  People either love it or hate it.    Ironically I found myself somewhere in the middle.  It is a strange and weird film directed by Luc Besson this film has the look and fell of his other weird Sci-fi Film the Fifth Element. 

The Good:
The film has some amazing visuals.  There are some cool and interesting creatures and planets. The world building is interesting. The floating Space Station/City Alpha is a fertal ground for the interesting. After a strange opening sequence that gives you a montage of the space station over centuries that is a showcase for some strange looking aliens.   The film goes into a beautiful section that seems like something out of Avatar.  You get a glimpse of an elegant alien race living their lives on a tropical beach.  Then suddenly tragedy strikes.  This segment of the film was gorgeous.  The visuals are where the film is at it’s best.   The world and characters designs are definitely interesting.   Luc Besson definitely has a unique and interesting visual style.  Some of the action sequences in the film were visually entertaining.

The Bad:
I can’t understand the casting.  The two main actors are just not good in this film.  I don’t know if it is their acting or the writing.  The dialogue is awkward.  I would have never picked these two actors as the stars of what could have been an epic film.  Instead the film is an epic mess.  I couldn’t find myself caring about or identifying with the main characters.  The story was just weird.   I know that it is based on some French comic book and maybe that is what was off.   Maybe this film is just some weird French thing that US audiences can't get.   The humor of the film just didn’t translate for me.   The main plot had a specific direction –but it felt like individual scenes were just dropped into the movie because they thought they might be interesting.   For example the singer Rihanna is in the film as a shape shifting gelatin like creature.   Her introduction is basically a strip tease where mid act she changes outfits magically about 6 times.  This may have been a fantasy for the director -but really is completely unnecessary to the plot at all.   It just seemed like maybe the director threw in a bunch of cool comic book images from the book that he loved and tried to weave in the main story as an after thought.



 


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quick Thoughts on the first episode of Lost in Space: The 2018 Netflix show




Until very recently I didn’t even know this show was coming out.   Maybe I read a story about it awhile back and completely forgot –but it seemed like this Lost in Space Netflix reboot came out of nowhere.   The original show back in the 1960’s was basically the Swiss Family Robinson in Space.  It was like a mix us Star Trek, Batman and Gilligan’s Island.  It was totally cheesy –but a lot of fun.    Then they did a reboot movie in the 1990’s with William Hurt and Matt Leblanc and Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith.   Of course, Oldman was excellent in the role of Dr. Smith.  I enjoyed this big budget movie version and would have liked to have seen it become a franchise—but that didn’t happen.   

So, I was interested the second I saw the trailer for this latest version of Lost in Space.  The concept works better as a TV series anyway.  I watched the first episode and I’m trying to withhold judgement since I learned my lesson with Battlestar years ago.   I spent the first half of the premiere of Battlestar upset.  I wasn’t a happy about my favorite character from the original Battlestar being a woman and many other changes.   The first couple of hours left me frustrated about how it wasn’t my Battlestar.   I stuck it out and was able to see the show as its own thing.  The show ended up being better than the original show.    

After watching the premiere episode of Lost in Space "I’m not having a great feeling about this".   I think Parker Posey could make a good Dr. Smith.  The rest of the cast however I’m just not feeling.  The dark tone the first episode sets –tells us that this isn’t going to be the old fun TV show in anyway shape or form.  The parents are divorced?  Robbie the Robot has been replaced by some sinister looking robot that is connected to the baddies that caused the Robinson’s to crash in the first place?    So instead of fun adventures with weird alien creatures it looks like we are headed for a dark sci-fi story about a broken and fractured family.    The first episode was pretty much a ship in the bottle episode.   Something you expect from a sci-fi tv series since these episodes help to cut back on costs.   Usually however you start getting ship in the bottle episodes further into the series.  Quite frankly for a premiere episode of a TV show this was a pretty dull and boring episode.   I will definitely give it a few more episodes to see if can develop into something cool.    Like I said I learned my lesson with Battlestar.   But if this first episode is any indication –I’m not feeling hopeful.









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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Top 10 Movie List : What is on you list? (This is out of over 2000 plus Movies)


I just updated my Top 10 Movie list for the first time in quite awhile.  A couple movies fell out and a couple of classics moved their way back in.   Without comments (because that could take forever)  This is my current list using just Movie Posters.  

 What is your top 10 Movie List????











The Whistler Movie Series: #2: The Power of the Whistler 1945

The 4th film in the series is Voice of the Whistler from 1945
The movie follows the story of a wealthy man named John Sinclair (Richard Dix) who is in declining health and has no family or friends.  On advice of his doctor he takes off on long vacation,  where after falling ill again he meets a beautiful blonde nurse that is already engaged to another man.    The millionaire offers the nurse a deal she can't refuse.  Marry him and take care of him until he dies and she will inherit his fortune.   After 6 months together living in a lighthouse John's health makes a unexpected recovery and he has fallen in love with her.   She however can't stand the isolation the lighthouse and just as she wants to leave her ex shows up.  

At this point of the film John's character takes an unexpected turn. Threatened by her ex he details to him how he would kill him casually over a game of chess.  The ex then tries to beat him to it in the middle of the night only to be be tricked and killed by Sinclair. 
John tries to lie his way out of the murderer --but his story doesn't add up and Sinclair ends up killed by the police.   Richard Dix does an excellent job in this episode.


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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Downsizing 2017 5 out of 10


Downsizing 2017 5 out of 10

 The film is a social satire that takes place in a world where humans can be shrunk to the size of five inches.  It follows this journey by a man named Paul (Matt Damon) who is struggling to have the life he wants and decides to undergo this process that will allow him to live a life of luxury as a downsized person.    The concept for the film is incredible,  the film itself was really disappointed.   I think Black Mirror could have done a much more interesting and compelling job with this cool concept.

I guess my main issue with the film is that it was advertised as a comedy.  From the trailers you would think that the movie was more in the spirit of a film like The Truman Show.  The trailer features Kristen Wigg who plays his wife and Jason Sudeikis as a friend who had already undergone the process.   Kristen Wigg's character decides at the last minute not to undergo the procedure and is not in the film after that decision.  Jason Sudeikis's role is literally what is in the trailer.   The concept for the film was strong and the beginning of the film was really interesting --unfortunately shortly after he makes it to the downsized world all of the comedy is quickly sucked out of the film detours in a strange direction.  
The  great potential of the film was  completed wasted.  The story veered into scenes of Matt Damon doing drugs at a party and then trying to help a maid that barely speaks English and becoming a doctor to a secret poor area of the downsized world.  The odd direction the film took pulled all of the air out of the film.  I think it was falsely advertised as a comedy when all of the possible avenues for comedy left the film at about the half way point.



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Friday, April 13, 2018

The Saint's Vacation 1941 6 out of 10 (The Saint Series #4)


The Saint's Vacation 1941 6 out of 10


The Saint’s Vacation features a new lead actor in the role of Simon Templar.  Hugh Sinclair just didn’t really have the same swagger as The Saint as George Sanders did.   In this story the Saint is on Vacation -but like Angela Landsbury in Murder She Wrote –there is no such thing as a Vacation for someone like the Saint.   Travelling with a nervous friend he is trying to hide from a bunch of newspaper reporters.  One persistent female reporter is able to track him down and gets involved in his adventure.
The story features the Saint getting mixed up in the quest for a “McGuffin” in this case a mysterious box.  Once the Saint gets involved and gets possession of the box it becomes a deadly game of switch a roos and misdirection.   It was a fast-paced film with a lot of old school crime story, but never really grabbed my attention since I was wishing Sanders was still in the role.



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Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Saint in Palm Springs 1941 7 out of 10 (The Saint Series #3)


The Saint in Palm Springs 1941 7 out of 10

George Sanders stars again as The Saint in The Saint in Palm Springs.    In this outing the Saint is transporting some super valuable Stamps to a woman whose dad was murdered in attempt to get them.   The Saint must navigate the resort as several groups are after the stamps and not shy to murder in order to get them.  The plot was pretty simple with the main attraction of the film being Sanders cool style and presence.  In the hands of a lesser actor this film wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.  It included an entertaining sidekick for the Saint played by   as an ex criminal that is now a nervous head of hotel security that is trying to keep his nose clean until his probation is over.  It is sad that this was the last of The Saint films starring Sanders who would go on to star in the  Falcon series.


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