Monday, April 15, 2013

Comic Book Villain of the Week

Paranex The Fighting Fetus
Some are born bad, others are bad before they’re even born. Paranex has yet to earn his birth certificate, but that hasn’t prevented him from growing into an armour-clad, gigantic killing machine with telekinetic abilities.
Despite his homicidal tendencies, and deadly powers strong enough to wreck a space station, Captain Victory is reluctant to harm Paranex because it’s not fair to kill something that has not yet been born.  
Could this be some kind of strange political allegory for the debate over abortion? Does it make any sense? Does it make any more sense when it’s revealed that Captain Victory’s concern for the unborn killer is just a ruse to lure out his ultimate enemy, the mysterious Voice?  After which it’s perfectly fine to do away with the unborn psychopath.
It’s definitely made me reassess my views on the abortion issue…

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March Film Highlights

Go ahead and visit the blog if you have time...

Robot & Frank (2012) Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, James Marsden, Liv Tyler. Dir: Jake Schreier.
Robot & Frank 50 Word Film Review

A forgetful retired burglar is forced to accept a robot carer, but finds different ways to use him…Superbly written bittersweet drama, a story that perfectly balances comedy and melancholy, unexpectedly moving from one to the other without ever over-doing it. Langella never better as the ageing rogue approaching senility.


Psycho (1960) Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock.
Psycho 50 Word Film Review

A woman on the run arrives at an isolated motel run by a shy man and his domineering mother. Probably the greatest murder in cinema history, and a censorship watershed. Time’s reduced its ability to surprise or shock, but suspense and dark humour still resonate, as does Perkins singular performance.


Mama (2013) Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash. Dir: Andrés Muschietti.

Mama 50 Word Film Review

Feral children are found in woodland and returned to relatives, but something comes with them. It’s good Hollywood’s investing in horror, but Mama’s the same old cheap tricks recycled. There are stylish flourishes, lush cinematography and strong cast, but it’s wasted on a padded, undercooked script with a ridiculous conclusion.


The Cooler (2003) William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello, Shawn Hatosy, Ron Livingston, Arthur J. Nascarella. Dir: Wayne Kramer.

The Cooler 50 Word Film Review

A man so unlucky a casino employs him to ruin player’s luck has a sudden change of fortune. Witty shaggy-dog story that occasionally loses its way amongst sub-plots but retains focus on three damaged characters who, better or worse, only have each other. Terrific leads and refreshingly glamour-less look at Vegas.


Lincoln (2012) Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Walton Goggins. Dir: Steven Spielberg.
Lincoln 50 Word Film Review

If Lincoln’s to pass is to end slavery, he must pass the bill before civil war ends. Spielberg manages for the most part to not over-egg what’s obviously a momentous story (shame about the score) creating a riveting political drama, with top supporting cast, and plenty of revealing character moments.


Bonnie Scotland (1935) Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, June Lang, William Janney, Anne Grey, Vernon Steele, Jimmy Finlayson. Dir: James W. Horne.
Bonnie Scotland 50 Word Film Review

The boys travel to Scotland to claim Stan’s inheritance, but end up accidentally joining the army. Another L&H film that oddly has them tangentally follow other characters’ plot, but fortunately this times they keep main focus. First half is undeniably better, though second does build to an unusually ambitious finale.