Monday, 5 July 2010

FILMAGE.


There seems to be nothing worth watching at the cinny of late, and in an attempt to convalesce after a recent health scare Friday last, (I'd been told to rest up for a period and where possible get a lot of sleep after a 'head trauma') I aimed to try and distract my half frazzled mind with some new DVDs and other's I'd still not yet got round to, so picked up a rather mixed bag of stuff to viddy over the coming week or so. Taking advantage of a decent Play.com sale and even picking up stuff I normally wouldn't bother with thanks to some supermarket bargains, stuff such as Adventureland - fodder for the eyes really, nowt to write home about, though it was only a couple of quid, and a 'steel book edition' of American Gangster for just three quid. I will have to re-watch this as I wasn't really all that impressed originally, might be better without all the hype this time round, maybe? Watchmen - a I'm more of a 'real', raw, slice of life film watcher than all the sci-fi kind of stuff, but I'm open minded, and occasionally get the urge for a foray into these Comic Book type films, if they merit it then they deserve a viewing. This wasn't too bad, very interesting tale and a surprisingly good soundtrack too. Also picked up the acclaimed Clint Eastwood Pacific war epics Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima for a fiver, another one that passed me by for whatever reasons, Flags was a good watch, far from outstanding but three-star good. The companion piece from the Japanese viewpoint is next up.
I'm kind of a little late with Mad Men but wanted to see what the fuss was about, so far it's as slick as they say but hadn't (up to now) got me gripped as much as other US telly had, but it's a grower, it's very good bedtime TV without being superb in my humblest of opinions. Once I'm done with that I've got more retro telly in the shape of Robbie Coltrane's Tutti Frutti a mid-late 80s series following the fortunes of the 60's beat boom band the Majestics as they reform, despite the death of the lead singer Jazza - Coltrane's Danny is his younger brother and recruited to replace him. It was dirt cheap and the cover art was great, plus I remember it when growing up alongside The Comic Strip Presents...and the other rarer one I can't remember as well Happy Families.
Some World Cinema in the shape of Bombón El Perro an Argentinian mans best friend caper, Next up the Alec Guinness espionage Smiley's People and it's predecessor Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy... I bought these some months back for a fiver and need to find the time to watch them! Then there's scary nuclear warmongering Threads the 80's drama which 'shocked a generation' as Sheffield is pummelled by two hundred megatons of nuclear explosives following an East versus West large scale tit for tat, this is as grim as telly could possibly get, especially in the 80's, and although fairly dated, it's still packs it's intended punch, I'd have personally found all this pretty hard to stomach if I was older then, when it was televised, I was more concerned with playing with toys than paying attention to those God awful adverts telling us about how to survive deadly nuclear attacks by painting ourselves white and hiding under a mattress or bridge. Yet more war with the recent Iraq BBC telly drama Occupation with Stephen Graham, I caught this when it was televised but not properly, it looked alright and worth a proper go.
I've also got two films I admittedly hadn't heard of until recently, the new-released old film - Ken Loach's Black Jack which I've just watched, based on the novel by Leon Garfield, I thought this was great, it was typical Loach, thick Yorkshire accents, an unknown cast, two leads picked from Barnsley where he re-visited ten years after his success with Kes, but taken back to 1700's Northern England, despite the book being based down South, a charming tale. And The Offence - a gritty cop drama with Sean Connery which I saw recommended in the Guardian a couple of weeks back. Directed by Sidney Lumet just a year before his famous New York cop drama Serpico, this is ever so slightly similar in look and style, albeit with a cop on a downward spiral and with the glamorous backdrop of Bracknell. Interesting fact : Part of his deal to do another 'bond' film was for United Artists to fund two of his features, this being one but due to it being a commercial failure they pulled out on the deal for the next. This film was only released in France for the first time in 2007 and only available on US dvd for the first time this year.
I've also watched the American film remake of the ace UK series Edge of Darkness, whilst it was more than passable the pure cheese ending did it no favours and it wasn't nearly as good as the original series starring Bob Peck.
For reasons I can't explain I've only just watched There Will Be Blood. I'm a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson - his first three features all being excellent in particular Boogie Nights which is up there in my 'Top 5' faves of all time. As expected this was very good, another excellent turn from Daniel Day Lewis and it's always good to see the incredibly annoying Paul Dano get his comeuppance!
Another belated purchase that of The Wire Boxset at an incredible price has just arrrived too, as I await my outpatient's appointment to come through so I can get to the bottom (or rather top) of my head mystery!! One upside is I seem to have inadvertently stopped smoking since the incident occurred. Every cloud..... YHN

1 comment:

  1. Good choice with Threads. A cracking film, I was about 10 when the BBC showed it first time around. It was the height of the cold war and it scared the shit out of me. I couldn't sleep that night.

    I watched it again a couple of years ago and it's still pretty powerful, even if it's less relevant today.

    I haven't heard of The Offence, but I'm gonna check it out.

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