Young Manuel lives with his hard-working farmer parents in the remote, mountainous region of the Colombian countryside. While the adults in their lives try to avoid both the armed military and the guerrilla rebels fighting each other in the area, Manuel and his friend Julián are obsessed with playing soccer any chance they get. Shortly after his birthday, the new ball Manuel received as a gift gets kicked off to a minefield, and he, Julián and their albino friend Poca Luz will do everything in their power to recover their prized belonging – an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams.
2011 – Rating: Not Rated – Columbian Film
7.5 out of 10
So “comet of the century” ISON turned out to be more of a metaphor for life; all that potential, expectation and excitement, followed by an invisible anti-climax. However, I would like to propose a new verb for the English language. Ison: a state of disillusionment; e.g. “the band’s performance was somewhat isoning; or “I’m really isoned by this whole project of yours.” It’s good to invent words.
This is an interesting, watchable but ultimately depressing film. It’s a very simple story about three football-obsessed young boys, whose ball ends up in a minefield. As this is not something that happens very often in the English Premier League, it provides a somewhat different viewpoint of the game. Let’s not forget that the Colombian national team is ranked fourth in the world, whilst England is ranked 13th. There’s a lot to be said for sharpening you team’s reactions with a few, well-placed landmines. What this movie does really well is focus on the story from the boys’ point of view, allowing the realities of the ongoing, three-sided civil war in the area to colour what happens. The insidious effect of the latter on the local people slowly comes into focus as the story moves along. As the kids plot to recover their ball, things around them gradually fall apart and begin to directly change their lives. It’s hard not to feel upset by the situation. There isn’t anyone mowing down half the jungle with a minigun, or 100s of people being blown to pieces in huge, set-piece scenes. Instead you get an insight into the subtle ways conflict changes things. Not nice and very sad. Filmed in the mountains, the scenery looks lush; (as in very green, not sexy). Understated and documentary like, the whole movie feels very authentic and is well worth watching. However, I do wish Americans would learn to spell “colour” correctly; it’s very irritating!
There’s a lot of ‘Spanish sounding’ music in the film. It’s great.
Recommended for football fans, guerrillas, freedom fighters and Roy Hodgson.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? The teacher gets the kids to paint a big mural over the ‘war graffiti’ on the school building. This is probably not the most sensible thing to do if you’re looking for a quiet life, but it is most definitely badass.
It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival! Everyone, that is, except for Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), two valley gals who care more about meteoric fashion trends than celestial phenomena. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t either disintegrated or turned into a zombie, they… well, they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of the mauling, these two val gals flee with both killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
1984 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
6.5 out of 10
Over the past year or so, I’ve become somewhat lazy in terms of travelling to and from work. Using the excuse that “I’m really busy” to justify turning into a fat, sickly, exploitative capitalist, I’ve got into the habit of driving most days. Fortunately, realising my impending metamorphosis into a fat, middle-aged asshole, along with the fact that at work we’re even more penniless than usual at the moment (it’s a company car), I’ve resolved to do things differently. Remember kids, ‘smashing the system’ starts at home! If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. In an effort to save the planet even more than I normally do and increase the likelihood of my still being around to enjoy the fruits of my labour, I’ve started walking into work and home again. It’s 2.4 miles each way, so when I add a bit extra on for all the staggering I do that results from the exhaustion walking this far causes me, that almost 5 miles a day. After a week or so I have to report that the main effect has been to make my left knee really sore, although I’m sure the reduction in the amount of driving I’m doing has probably resulted in the reversal of Climate Change and consequentially the crappy, cold weather we’ve been having recently. I’m really sorry if I’ve spoilt anyone’s holiday. This film is also about something that has global consequences.
This is a cult movie. That means a lot of people have convinced themselves that it’s good, whereas in fact it’s pants. Two young sisters, the tall, attractive but slightly geeky Regina and the out-and-out bimbo Samantha, manage to survive a phenomenon that turns most people turn into a brown dust or a zombie. (I hate days like that.) They manage this as one of them had sex with her boyfriend in a cinema, whilst the other had an argument with her mother about something ‘teenage’ that I don’t understand and then spent the night sulking in a garden shed. Fortunately for them, they then manage to meet up with Lieutenant Commander Chakotay from “Star Trek Voyager”, although he’s a lot younger in it, nearly 400 years or so younger, given the date he was first aboard Voyager. But it’s definitely Chakotay and not some actor playing his part; the way he reacts to the zombie boy in his parents’ house is just so Star Fleet. Anyway, the sisters talk bollocks a lot, go shopping and foil a sinister plot of sorts by a group of Government scientists. With hindsight, I guess it was lucky that their absent father was in the military and taught them how to use a range of guns. Don’t mess with an armed cheerleader, good advice at any time. In its defence, this is a fun, über 80s film, which manages to lampoon many others without ever turning into a parody of them. I guess that makes it a bit of a geeks’ film too. The fact that one of its two main characters has the top ten scores on a Tempest arcade game, just goes to reinforce my point. (Tempest was crap; Asteroids was loads better.) Less impressive is the random survivor that turns up near the end. He’s driving a Mercedes sports car. He’s in Los Angeles, almost everyone else is dead and he’s probably got the pick of just about every sports car ever made within a mile of the city centre; and he’s picked a Merc. That’s so unrealistic, it totally undermines the believability of the whole film…
I like to moan about how rubbish most music is these days is, but in the 80s it was even worse. This movie features a lot of music from that time period and it’s dire. Trying to consider that it’s some sort of important cultural landmark and should be preserved, is rather like arguing we should keep a 60’s concrete tower block in place, simply because it’s an example of a certain type of architecture. No, no, no. The clothes women wore at the time were awful too.
Recommended for airheads, scientists, geeks, bimbos and Star Trek Fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? When the whole burden of civilisation has fallen upon you, it’s good to see that the Green Cross Code Man’s word still counts for something. After all, remember what he turned into. How the once mighty can fall… Even more badass is the fact that the traffic lights are still working so long after 99.9% of the world’s population has died.