Posts tagged “Cloning

Godsend / Magnolia Hell

Godsend  -  Front DVDCover  -  UK ReleaseStarring screen legend Robert De Niro, “Godsend” is the story of an eight year old boy named Adam Duncan.  A kind, thoughtful and well-behaved child, he’s the apple of his parent’s eye, until one day he’s knocked down by a car and tragically killed.  With both parents totally grief-stricken, the mysterious Dr Richard Wells (De Niro) offers them another chance of happiness.  He can create a clone of Adam that will be identical to the child they lost.  Nine months later they have their child back.  Identical in every way, it’s like Adam had never left them.  He has his mother’s eyes, his father’s smile, but when he crosses the age at which he died, terrifying things begin to happen.

2004  –  Certificate: 15  –  American Film
Rating Details:  Language: once strong.  Sex/nudity: infrequent moderate.  Violence: infrequent moderate.  Other: moderate horror.
8.0 out of 10

Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for Jean-Paul Sartre’s view that “Hell is other people”, he failed to take into account their surroundings.  After this last week I now know that Hell is less to do with people, or fire and brimstone for that matter; in fact Hell is a large room painted magnolia.  In the same way as the Devil has a variety of different names, such as Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, etc, so magnolia disguises it’s presence amongst us as alternatives like light brown, biscuit, white with a touch of brown, beige, mushroom, wheat, taupe, fawn and harvest.  This week we moved our office at work, (or more accurately moved everything in our office to a different building to use as a new office; we didn’t actually dig up the existing one and put it elsewhere).  Moving is a stressful and spirit-sapping experience at the best of times, but when you have to paint every single surface, including the floor (about 500 square metres in all) before you leave, in three days, mostly magnolia, then you come to realise what pain is really all about.  The only respite was repainting the ceiling, doors, door frames, skirting boards and 12 radiators, white.  And painting something white on a white background in a weakly lit area isn’t exactly my idea of a fun day at Alton Towers either.  In fact the only facet of pleasure came from deciding which shade of gray to paint the floor, slate or frigate; and after magnolia, gray is the next worst colour.  I imagine there are more advanced species in the universe that have, in a similar way to smallpox, totally eradicated magnolia and grey from existence.  Magnolia is the distilled essence of evil.  However, for some reason there are many sick-minded and weak-willed individuals who appear to gain a sort of inner peace from using this colour.  Why?  What’s wrong with them?  Appearing initially to be the colour equivalent of elevator music, any close encounter with it soon dispels any pretence it has of being ‘neutral’.  It’s a vile, boring, sick, nauseating abomination, which is as attractive as having a squashed, pregnant cockroach smeared on your mouth; and then some.  And why is it always the cheapest paint you can buy?  The artificial distortion of the paint market in this way is clearly the work of some ungodly power.  If our media had any real balls, it would be investigating this bizarre and unwarranted proliferation of magnolia; it’s destroying lives.  In a similar way, this film is about something that goes against the laws of nature and scared the crap out of me too.

At its core, this is a thriller/horror about a disturbing, eight-year-old skinhead called Adam, who develops a mental illness of some sort.  The reasons for the latter are, unusual.  The rest of its runtime is spent faffing about with his parents and Robert De Niro, as they act and react to what Adam gets up to.  If you analyse the plot too much, you’ll come to the conclusion that some of it doesn’t really make a lot of sense.  Visually it’s not a very exciting film either; it looks a lot like it was ‘made for TV’ with a colour pallet that’s far too much like magnolia for my liking.  However, the acting’s pretty good and the story interesting enough.  The decision of the parents to have a clone of their recently killed son created is worthy of further study.  This part of the film could easily have been the whole story, but because it’s not it does get treated a bit superficially, which is a shame really.  What the movie does do really well is be creepy. I’m sure I aged a few years watching it, which is a somewhat alarming thought.  It’s one of the most unsettling films I’ve watched for quite a while.

The soundtrack is unmemorable, yet works well.  Job done.

Recommended for dodgy doctors, desperate parents, teachers, photographers and eight-year-olds that want to freak their parents out.  And clones of course.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  We all know that a good teacher can change someone’s life, but in this film we also learn that it can literally save your own life too.  I sometimes provide training as part of my job and like most things I suck at it.  I’ve never managed to impart a single bit of knowledge to anyone and tying to do so has never saved my life or changed anyone else’s for the better.  So I guess being a good teacher is badass.

Godsend at IMDB (4.7 / 10)

Godsend at Wikipedia

Godsend at YouTube


Judge Dredd: 3.5 Stars

Judge Dredd  -  Front DVD CoverWhere I work there’re people called Regional Finance and System Managers.  They generally manage few staff and control few resources or budgets.  Yet despite this, they are feared!  Unbending, emotionless and utterly without compassion, they demand absolute and total compliance from the rest of us, least we complete a spreadsheet incorrectly, or enter a field of data wrongly into The Management Information System.  Generally mild-mannered and calm, (which makes them sound a bit like Clark Kent but don’t let that fool you), they are in fact imbibed with arcane, secret and awesome powers.  Up until a couple of years ago, when we had a bit of a reshuffle at work and the Regional Finance and System Manager I dealt with was physically transferred into the entity known as the IT Department, (at least that what I think happened to him, as no one’s seen him in person since), I viewed him as rather like Judge Dredd.  All that “I Am The Law” stuff and everything.  Well I don’t think he ever actually said that, but it’s the way you say things that matters, not what you actually say.  What he typically did was write an e-mail to ask if I could provide him with a few bits of information.  In my head this became a vision of him riding into my office on his massive Lawmaster bike, (after blowing the door and part of the wall away with his Lawgiver sidearm, using an appropriate high-explosive round to do so), into the chaotic fire-fight that passes for my finance management and generally non-existent record keeping. I felt ‘judged’ on many occasions.  “At the end of the day, when you’re all alone in the dark, the only thing that counts, is this, the MIS.”

1995  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA

I think this movie gets a bit of a bad deal from people.  So it doesn’t stick to the mythology of the Judge Dredd comics very well.  More Judge Stallone than Judge Dredd, it’s still a lot of fun in a brainless sort of way.  I enjoy watching Sylvester Stallone, he always seems to put so much effort into everything.  For an action film, it’s actually the slower parts that feel the best put together.  All those explosions and ‘car chases’, they just seem so mundane.   I wonder what the new version, due out later this year, will be like?  Oh, but what were they thinking of when they released the DVD I watched?  A non anamorphic transfer?  If I wanted to watch something as if I was watching it thorough a letter box, I’d go and put the TV behind a real letterbox and stand in the street outside and watch it through that.  I didn’t spend all that money on my massive TV just to have a little slice of picture shoved into the middle of it.  Twentieth Century Fox, back of the class for you.

No cats, no decapitations and no chainsaws.

Recommend for law-abiding citizens everywhere, who need a hero to look out for them.

Top badass moment?  People parking thoughtlessly is a real bugbear of mind.  Too lazy, stupid or selfish to park sensibly and walk a few yards to the shop, they ‘abandon’ their cars all over the pavements, on junctions, in disabled parking bays, or generally in the most piss-taking places they can find.  As far as I’m concerned, seeing how Judge Dredd deals with an anti-social motorist (he blows up his car, completely destroying it) is totally badass.  The sooner they arm Traffic Wardens with large calibre weaponry like that, the better.

Judge Dredd at IMDB (5.1)