Jiro (Keisuke Koide) meets a mystery girl (Haruka Ayase) on his birthday! One year later, they meet again. It is a shock to Jiro as she confesses and turns out to be a cyborg from the future that Jiro has sent to him as a present! Getting along with this mischievous cyborg girl friend, Jiro falls in love but she has no feelings at all. All of a sudden a disastrous earthquake his Tokyo, the cyborg saves Jiro’s life by sacrificing herself and the ultimate mystery of cyborg is going to be revealed.
2008 – Certificate IIA – Japanese Film
8.5 out of 10
Because I’m a fairly stupid person I sometimes buy DVDs or BDs (Blu-ray discs) that I’ve already got a copy of. I also occasionally upgrade from a DVD copy of a film or TV series to a BD one, or buy an alternative version because it’s longer or uncut. This means I gradually accumulate a supply of discs I no longer want. I used to sell these on eBay, but mostly I can’t be bothered to anymore so just get rid of them via MusicMagpie instead. The latter doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s quick and easy to dispose of them this way. Sadly, its home collection service is, (from my first attempt to use the latter), entirely shit. I waited about at home from 8:00am to 8:00pm on the relevant day for someone to come and collect my parcel, but no one came. It’s not like I live in an invisible castle floating in the sky, stuck in a parallel reality and out of phase with the regular universe, protected by a high (electrified) fence, a pack of hungry attack dogs and a set of visitor traps that even Indiana Jones would think twice about tackling; I live in a flat with a clearly marked buzzer on the outside wall by the door. And in a rare bit of good, British urban design, there’s always space outside to park too, without fear of getting a ticket or being clamped. I e-mailed the company a couple of days ago to find out what the problem was, but I’ve yet to get a reply.
Despite it’s time-travelling, disaster, sci-fi, slapstick, action-movie clothing, this is really a romantic comedy, the sort where nothing else really has any real world consequences outside of the two main characters. Get caught in the middle of a restaurant shooting? Big Deal. Doing your Terminator ‘thing’ in the middle of a busy road junction? So what? Your capital city gets destroyed? Whatever. It’s another one of those movies that only Japan seems to be able to produce, where this eclectic mixture of genres not only works together but feels entirely normal. In a damming indictment of our screwed up, star gossip culture, our hero, the nice but exceedingly dull and boring student Jiro, has become a bit of a celebrity in the future. This is enough for someone to want to travel back in time and meet him. Or something like that anyway. The special effects are decent enough and the story is fun in its own way, but it’s a film that gets its kicks from frequently and suddenly changing its mood. The scene where they travel to Jiro’s home village is really rather touching. It also has a dance-off scene that’s pretty cool too. The ending is a bit of muddle, as if the writers were suddenly struggling with how to sort out all the loose ends, but it’s a fab and fun mash-up of a movie, full of little Terminator references and well worth watching. Haruka Ayase is very cute too; not at all like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The soundtrack varies from forgettable to okay, with the use of some pop songs filling in the gaps. J-pop is an interesting beast…
The trailer isn’t bad, although it does underplay the ever-changing mood of the film. The use of some questionable music over the action probably doesn’t help; then again, maybe it’s very appropriate given the ‘atmospheric turbulence’ of the movie. For some reason, YouTube has cut the second line off the subtitles; it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference though.
Recommended for dull students, both geeks and nerds, cyborgs (and other artificial life forms) and teachers who like to throw bits of chalk about. (Does that still happen these days or is chalk now classed as an offensive weapon?)
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A body does get severed in two though.
Top badass moment? I’m not sure someone/something that’s programmed to be what’s basically badass can actually then do anything that should count here, which leaves us with wusey Jiro. Sadly the latter fails to do anything remotely badass for the entire movie, which leaves me with a bit of a constitutional crisis. I’ll need to consult a solicitor before I’m prepared to comment further. Raoul, Jiro’s pet cat (not the lizard), puts in a couple of excellent performances; his eating from the dish was especially nuanced and controlled.
Dealing with guilt over the suicide of her sister Ai, karate student Megumi accompanies a group of older friends on a trip into the woods. Things start to go badly when Maki finds a parasitical worm inside a fish and wolfs it down alive, in the hope that’ll help keep her skinny! Attacked by a crowd of undead who emerge from an outhouse toilet, the group seek refuge at the home of Dr. Tanaka and his daughter Sachi. Unbeknownst to them, Tanaka has been conducting experiments on the parasites and the zombies!
2011 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japanese Film
7.0 out of 10
In the distant future, a scientist creates a shock-wave of anti-time, which then travels backwards through history. Four fragments of a time crystal lost in four different timezones are needed to create a second shock-wave, which will eliminate the first one. This has nothing to do with this film, but in the last century (1997 to be exact) a game for the PC called Timeshock was released and that was the basic plot. This was (and still is) an excellent simulation of a pinball machine. (A lot of the music used in it was written by half of Stiff Little Fingers too.) I must have played it 1000s of times. But like many things, as my life moved on (or stagnated to be more accurate) I stopped doing so. Earlier this year I found out that a new version was being released via a Kickstarter campaign. So I paid some money and now patiently await the arrival of this update. However, whilst waiting I thought it would be fun to play the original again. Despite playing it so often, I’d never quite managed to get all the way through it; occasionally I’d get close, but ultimately mess things up with the result that the Universe was destroyed, which was never very good for my self-esteem. A few weeks ago I went to see The Wedding Present. (The fourth best band on the planet.) I was still a bit ‘buzzy’ when I got home, so I thought I’d play a few games of Timeshock before going to bed. Despite the darkened room, the early morning hour, my sweat soaked t-shirt and being knackered from my earlier attempts to ‘dance’, I somehow got through to the ‘last bit’, where my meddling always ends up with the destruction of the Universe. As usual I got off to my usual, panicky, crappy start. But with the time ticking down I entered one of those oh too rare moments of mental clarity and physical coordination. Being told I’d saved the Universe and consequently was now a Master of Time, has had a profound effect on my inner being. I think I now realise what all my life has been preparing me for. However, it wasn’t this film.
This movie is everything it sounds like it’ll be and a whole lot more. Consider this though for a moment: there’s a futility in trying to explain the point of certain things. Wind, fog, dust, wasps, mangos, pizza delivery leaflets, bottled water, slip-covers on DVDs. This film is another. It has little in common with either “The Matrix” or “2001: A Space Odyssey”. But on a very primitive level it is quite entertaining. In many ways this is the perfect movie and manages to pull together aspects of just about every dodgy Japanese film ever made. It does have a fair bit of action in it and some (but not all) of the effects are pretty good. It’s well made for what it is and provides a most entertaining encounter of the most juvenile kind. From the horrible, 60s style opening credits to the flying battle scene near the end, it manages to cram in enough clichés to make anyone feel a bit queasy. And I guess it’s simply not possible to fill a whole film with nothing but jokes based on flatulence, (although it does try). Not surprisingly it maxes out on the official toilet humour scale, but given its title I can’t really imagine anyone watching it would be expecting to get a “Citizen Kane” experience. However, I was struck by the though that just a couple of Rennies could have solved the whole zombie, parasite, bonkers doctor and daughter problem very easily.
Musically the film actually has a decent horror soundtrack. Maybe the composer wasn’t told all the details? However the trailer is clearly in on the joke. Why does the voice over become more and more German as it goes along?
Recommended for would-be models, karate experts, mad scientists and anyone with a digestive illness.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. However, a number heads explode or get totally squashed; I’d say around a dozen.
Top badass moment? Megumi fighting the Nekurogedoro queen (or whatever it is) is pretty badass. Using only the power of her, em, ‘indigestion’, to fly through the air, it’s difficult to imagine anything, ever, could be literally quite as badass as that.
In an Oscar winning performance, Robin Williams (“The Birdcage”, “Dead Poets Society”) alongside Matt Damon (“The Bourne Trilogy”, “The Departed”) in the motion picture triumph that received an Oscar nomination for best picture of the year. The most brilliant mind at America’s top university isn’t a professor… he’s the guy who cleans its floors, Will Hunting (Damon in an Oscar nominated role). But Will is also a headstrong, penniless guy failing the lessons of life and love with his wealthy girlfriend (Oscar nominee Minnie Driver). Facing a jail sentence after one too many run-ins with the law, Will’s fate lies in the hands of his therapist (Williams), who might be the only man able to help him see his true potential. Also starring Ben Affleck (“The Town”, “Armageddon”), who co-wrote this Oscar winning original screenplay with Damon, “Good Will Hunting” is the inspiring, emotionally charged film that has everyone talking.
1997 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Strong language and violence
7.5 out of 10
My sleep pattern is all messed up at the moment. Yesterday evening I was doing something on the computer and then suddenly felt really sleepy, so had to immediately go and lie down on the sofa in the middle of what I was doing. I fell asleep for about an hour. Then at about 2:00 am I woke up and was wide awake, so got out of bed, had something to eat and read a book for a while. Something is obviously bringing out the ‘inner baby’ in me. I blame the change in the weather and the longer evenings; I hate the winter. I’ve also got an on-off toothache at the moment. It’s not the physical pain I dread, it’s paying a dentist to sort it out that’s the real horror. I’m sure something’s going terribly wrong under a crown; it feels very expensive. I might just go for a head transplant, as it’ll probably work out cheaper. I wonder if I can have Will’s from this film.
This is an entertaining, if somewhat bland movie. There’s nothing especially wrong with it but there’s nothing that amazing about it either, which considering it won two Oscars is a bit of a letdown. I just found it hard to emotionally engage with what was going on. Matt Damon’s character (Will) was just a bit too unlikable for me to really care about what happened to him. So he had a tough upbringing. Big deal. I’ve got toothache and you don’t hear me going on about it… much. His ‘genius’ was just a bit too over-the-top too. Even the film’s title is trying to be far too clever for its own good. The fact that it’s currently meant to be the 143rd best ever movie (according to IMDB) just makes me worry a bit about people. Robin Williams plays Will’s shrink nicely enough, but I’ve never forgiven him for being in “Mork & Mindy”, one of the most awful, awful TV programme ever to be conjured into existence. When I get my hands on a time machine that’s definitely on my list of things to tamper with. I’ll certainly have no qualms about polluting the timeline by removing “Mork & Mindy” from it. On the plus side, this film’s got Stellan Skarsgård in it, who’s always great. He manages to make being a professor of mathematics seem almost cool, in a non geeky way. I do feel like I’m starting to stalk him though, as this is the third film I’ve watched with him in recently. Minnie Driver is very cute too. Reading that back to myself just now, I’ve realised that I’ve probably been a bit bitchy about this film; sorry, it’s the sleep deprivation and toothache talking.
The soundtrack is a bit “whatever”. A lightweight Batman one.
Recommended for geniuses, mathematicians, swotty students and psychiatrists.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Until I was 16 I was really good at maths. By the time I was 18 I was crap at it. In revenge, I degrade it these days by referring to it as sums, just to get my own back on arithmetic. And I call rectangles, oblongs and deliberately fail to remember the difference between diameter, radius and circumference. No one’s more of a rebel than me! Secretly though, I’m deeply impressed by anyone who can make sense of maths, especially if they can then make it mean something. And pissing on students by being effortlessly better than them is good too. Like it or not, that makes Will badass.
In the hit sci-fi thriller “The Philadelphia Experiment” the sole survivor of a wartime experiment is catapulted 41 years into the future and must race to save the world as we know it. It’s now 10 years later, 1993. David Herdeg (Brad Johnson), the surviving hero, has built a life for himself and his young son that’s unravelling fast. The U.S. military is conducting another Experiment, one that not only alters Herdeg’s DNA makeup, but also threatens the fabric of the entire universe. The Experiment’s goal is to transport a Stealth Fighter back to 1943 to use as the ultimate war machine, but its effect hurls Herdeg into another time warp, still 1993, but a 1993 where Germany has won the war. Can Herdeg win the race against time and save his son and the world from a terrible future? Or will the future be a twisted reality distorted by the Philadelphia Experiment?
1993 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
Rating Details: Military violence
6.0 out of 10
Who actually shops in Marks and Spencer, unless they want a new bra or a pair of socks? It’s like a John Lewis, except with all the interesting stuff removed. For a start, it only sells a limited range of household things, none of which anyone would need; unless you feel owning a big, weirdly shaped glass jar full of ‘interestingly’ coloured marbles is essential. Or a pastel coloured cushion with tassels on it rates as highly for you as food, shelter and safety. Then there’s the Food Hall. These huge caverns are full of food nobody really buys. True, it’s all very nice and tasty looking, but it’s also all eye-wateringly expensive, pre-pealed, pre-prepared, over-packaged and marketed as over-valued ‘superfood’. I don’t know why M&S doesn’t just take that find step and pre-digest it for you too and sell that instead. In fact, just send it your money and save yourself from even having to bothering to do the shopping in the first place. The branch I went to, near Southampton, has its entrance 5m from a huge Sainsbury; why does an M&S Food Hall even exist there? A small, plastic bowl-like container full of cherry tomatoes on the vine, asparagus tips and rocket, costs about a million pounds. (Whatever happened to lumps of cucumber, lettuce and grated carrot?) At the sort of prices it charges, I’d expect the rocket to be a fully functioning space shuttle, complete with crew. Just before Christmas I won £500 of Marks and Spencer vouchers in a competition. Unable to use them online, (and what’s the point of vouchers these days you can’t use online), I finally plucked up courage last week to go into an M&S store and use them. It was a scary experience. I had no idea how to behave. I was convinced I’d get arrested for breaking some sort of social code of conduct, only known to people who have large jars of marbles in their bathrooms. I was served by four people all at the same time, who insisted on wrapping everything up in millions of layers of paper to ‘protect’ it. Do I look that clumsy? What did they think I was going to do with it all? I’m now the proud owner of the most expense set of pans it sells, two kitchen knives that actually cut, some glasses that match one another and a set of chopping boards that aren’t home to most of the world’s infectious diseases. (And being the system-smashing rebel I am, I’m presently using the blue one that’s got the fish symbol on it, even though I don’t ever eat fish.) I’ve also spent the last week or so living on strawberries, cherries, nectarines and ‘speciality’ apples. My body thinks it’s been irrigated with bleach, such is the purity of my insides now. I did manage to find some packets of pasta hiding away in the corner of the store, but the rice defied my best efforts to locate it anywhere. This film is about someone who finds himself somewhere he’s not used to being.
The Philadelphia Experiment was an interesting, if horrendously dated-looking film that came out in 1984. Nine years later we got the sequel. In many ways this is a better film, although it still manages to look terrible dated. It’s portrayal of an America 50 years after the Nazis won World War Two is really quite nicely presented. Very Orwellian. I was interested to see that the concrete HQ ‘bunker’ that features in the film looks a lot like many of the new stations on the Jubilee Line in London. The sight of a Nighthawk ‘stealth fighter’ decked out in swastikas makes a suitably big impression on the senses. A few elements in the film reminded me of The Terminator too. All the father-son-baseball nonsense at the beginning was a bit nauseating, but once we got past this it was a decent enough movie. Gerrit Graham puts in a good show as the slightly mad Dr. William Mailer. Sadly, the sum of its parts is not up to its individual elements; it feels like a film that ought to be better than it actually is.
The soundtrack is a decent effort, with a mixture of what you’d expect, along with a bit of cowboy music and some suitably overwrought Richard Wagner.
Recommended for Nazis, slightly mad scientists, pilots and baseball fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? David kills Mailer’s father, which results in some time-based shenanigans and Mailer disappearing, thus solving a number of tricky challenges. I often do something quite similar myself, which makes it badass. I can never understand why people have to complicate life so much. If you don’t like something, just go back in time and try again. It’s not rocket science.
Jennifer Garner (“Daredevil”, TV’s “Alias”) and Mark Ruffalo (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) star in this hilarious flash-forward romance about a pre-teen girl who goes from geek to glamorous. With the help of some magic wishing dust, 13 year-old Jenna Rink (Garner) becomes 30 and gorgeous overnight, with everything she ever wanted, except for her best friend Matt (Ruffalo). Now, this grown woman must create some magic of her own to help the little girl inside find the true love she left behind.
2004 – Certificate: 12 – American Film
Rating Details: Moderate sex and drug references
8.0 out of 10
Went to see the New Town Kings last night at the Camden Underworld in London. It’s probably the best ska band in the country. (Quite why people listen to stuff like Coldplay when they could be listening to bands like the NTK entirely escapes me, but I think it’s probably just another symptom of the fall of humanity; the signs are all around us after all, this is just another scream of terror from the depths of hell into which we’re falling.) The gig was great, had a little bit too much to drink but managed not to be too uncoordinated or tread on too many feet. I really like going to gigs in the summer, as when you leave at the end in a sweat-soaked t-shirt, you don’t walk out into a dark night that has a wind chill that wouldn’t feel out of place in an Antarctic winter. I hate that and hanging about at Paddington Station afterwards, waiting for a train that’s either packed and you can’t get a seat, or freeing cold. (I know it’s partly my fault as I wear the same things all year, but cloakrooms are a pain so if I can’t wear it under ‘combat conditions’ or tie it around my waist, then it’s too much hassle. I’m sure regularly undergoing a freeze-thaw cycle is good for something; it’s good for some seeds anyway.) Have to say I’m feeling pretty fit at the moment. I remember seeing NTK a couple of years ago and I was knackered at the end. This time it didn’t feel that big a deal. I truly have the body of top sportsman! (Darts probably).
I can’t believe it, but this is the fifth comedy I’ve watch in a row. What’s come over me? Then again, I do choose the films I watch entirely at random, although there are a lot of complicated rules that govern this process, but at the end of the day it’s still pretty random. Anyway, let’s not consider how clichéd or stupid this film is. Let’s just consider it and its (I think for me) unique, pink DVD case. To deflect the fact and consequent embarrassment that comes from my sitting and watching a chick-flick on my own, I like to consider this as a movie with a hard science fiction storyline, that just happens to have some sort of romance built into it somewhere. We first meet our hero Jenna around the time of her 13th birthday, just before she travels about 27 years into the future, into an alternative time-line. So okay, the ‘time-machine’ consists of some sort of ‘fairy dust’ that we never get an explanation for, but that’s the nature of these things, apparently. Then in the future she does stuff and it all works out okay. Right? It is actually an excellent film, even though it’s rubbish too; I did feel myself getting emotional once or twice, (just a tiny bit of course). It also has one of those brilliant, so-crap-it’s-good dance routine scenes in it; Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” being the victim in this case. (You should check out all the people at IMDB seriously discussing how realistic this scene is and how poor the choreography is; and I thought I had trouble living in the real world sometimes.) Technically I like how this film looks and sounds on DVD.
This movie uses it’s soundtrack to strongly emphasise its 80s vibe. In this, thanks in part to the way the sound blasts out every time a song is played, it succeeds well. Even I have to begrudgingly admit that it’s not that bad.
Recommended for magazine editors, freelance photographers, 13 year-old girls and anyone who thinks 80s pop music is of any value; (yes, you there at the back, I can see you).
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Biach Tom-Tom getting her comeuppance. So she gets a drink spilt on her, a few harsh words and some work ripped up in front of her face; but when you’re 13 and have a social position to maintain in front of your friends, that’s probably not dissimilar to having your head blown off with a big gun by the unsung hero in the climatic final scene in a bloody action film.
Jonathan Silverman (“Weekend at Bernie’s”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”) is Barry Thomas, and Barry is having a bad day… over and over and over again. That’s because Barry is caught in a “time bounce” – an atmospheric phenomenon – that occurs when his employer, the high-tech company Utrel, has an experiment that goes haywire. Spared from the effect of memory loss by an electric shock at the moment of the time bounce, Barry is the only one at Utrel who has the power to change the course of fate. And to Barry that means saving the life of the woman he loves, research scientist Lisa Fredericks (Helen Slater, “City Slickers”, “Ruthless People”). Tautly directed by Jack Sholder (“A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge”, “The Hidden”) and co-starring Academy Award winner Martin Landau (“Crimes and Misdemeanors”), “12:01” is a spirited sci-fi thriller you’ll enjoy again and again and again! “It’s Back to the Future” meets “Groundhog Day”!
1993 – Certificate PG-13 – American Film
Rating Details: Violence
6.0 out of 10
I really like tea, but I also drink a lot of not very nice instant coffee too. I drink the latter almost exclusively at work, as the caffeine helps me to do my shit. Without this stimulant, I’d not be able to deliver my corporate payload from a sufficiently high altitude to target my in-box effectively and render its population non-belligerent. Really. Like Bane in Batman (the version that hung about with Poison Ivy in the 1997 “Batman and Robin” film), each cup has the same effect on me as turning the ‘power dial’ on his head did on him. I shake a lot, growl a bit and look angry, my fingers a blur of motion on the keyboard, as I up the misspelling count to such a shocking level that even Bill Gates can’t work out what the hell I’m trying to write. Someone once sneaked a jar of decaffeinated coffee into the office and the whole organisation nearly went bankrupt. Conversely, at home I almost never drink coffee. About 15 years ago I bought a filter coffee-making machine when I had someone staying with me who liked coffee. Despite my ongoing battle with technology, it’s still fully functional. (I guess I don’t use it very often and it’s not a very ‘mission critical’ part of my lifestyle.) However, tonight I made myself some real coffee in it. It was very nice! Funny enough, it’s even nicer if you tip a load of Tia Maria in it. I wonder what happens if you try to get drunk on coffee?
The 80s and 90s were the golden age for ‘Made for TV’ films. This is one of them. It’s basically “Groundhog Day” with some sci-fi bolted onto it. It’s got Martin Landau in it, but I guess all those years of running Moonbase Alpha in “Space 1999” must have taken their toll on him, because he’s rubbish! Never mind phoning in his role, he didn’t even make contact. I think they just carried a cardboard cut out about from scene to scene. In fact the whole movie is pretty rubbish. However, despite its limitations it’s a fun, easy watch, ideal for when you can’t be bothered to concentrate on stuff. Our hero is Barry, who basically has to save the world, or universe, or something, from remaining stuck in the same 24 hour time loop. He’s a workshy loser in the personnel department of a company that’s doing research into faster than light travel; (don’t worry if you don’t understand, it’s really not that important). Now I’ve seen a lot of action heroes in my time with unlikely ‘day jobs’, but this is the first time I’ve come across one from an HR department. I now have a new-found respect for personnel staff, they kick ass. (Where I work we call them People Services, which I’m not sure quite conjures up the correct mental image to some.) Despite its many faults, this is a decent enough thriller/romance/comedy to waste 94 minutes of your life on.
The soundtrack does its job, collects its pay check and leaves.
Recommended for anyone working in human resources, or as a scientist carrying out cutting edge research into particle physics.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Our hero finds himself breaking into his own employer’s offices. The security guards, already alerted to the fact, are polite but inept, as Bazza somehow manages to grab one of their guns out of its holster. Pretty impressive for an HR administrator. However, what’s really badass is the threat he uses to distract them as he’s doing so. “Stop giving me a hard time, because I’m going to have to come back here in the morning and make sure that you’re fired before we get here; and don’t think I can’t do it either, I’m in personnel.” A terrifying threat in these economically tough times.
What’s the point of daylight in winter? Even on the odd occasion that it’s sunny, it’s so cold that no one really wants to spent time outside. But most of the time it’s grey, miserable and wet, like today. By 4pm it’s virtually night. It’s so cold, the days are so short and it’s so dark all the time, that nothing grows. Trees and plants have been around a lot longer than humans, so if they think the winter is a waste of time and just go to sleep, I really don’t see that we should be questioning their good judgement. We should hibernate in the winter and enjoy the summer, when we can actually have fun being outside and it’s light for more than 20 minutes a day. If I ever get my hands on a time machine, I’m going to grab myself a good pair of scissors and go back to wherever it was in our evolution that we decided that hibernating was a bad thing and snip off that particular evolutionary branch before it goes anywhere. Trust me, you’d thank me for it. This film is all about time travel and snipping off our evolutionary branch right here, right now; (well 1997 actually, but who’s counting)?
1995 – Certificate: 15 – USA
Good, another film about animal rights weirdos. Seven years before trying to turn everyone into zombies in “28 Days Later”, here they are apparently trying to “erase humanity from the planet”. They never want to do anything nice, do they? (The irony being, we seem to be doing a good job of this ourselves, anyway, without any ‘help’). Bloody hippies; I bet they all enjoy a McDonald’s double flesh-burger with calf-stomach rennet cheese when they think no one’s looking. So throw in a bit of time-travel and a moody Bruce Wills and what do you get? A decent, if sometimes confusing, slightly too clever for its own good, sci-fi film, with a couple of horrendous one-line plot contrivances that appear to have been added in a desperate attempt to stop the story smashing into a dead-end, from which there would be no escape. Image someone marooned on the Moon, air running out and with no chance of rescue, then suddenly coming across the remains of one of the lunar models from the 70s in which there’s not only a supply of air, but also an engine capable of allowing it to be piloted back to Earth safely, including a manual, in a language the guy understands of course, to teach him how to do this; with none of this being explained other than by something like the guy thinking, “wow, aliens must have done all this, lucky for me.” I didn’t really like either of the main characters either. Bruce Willis had a bit of an excuse, his character being a bit distressed and having a somewhat difficult lifestyle and everything, but I really wanted to strangle Madeleine Stowe’s Dr Kathryn Railly. For someone who was meant to be an experienced and well thought of psychiatrist, she managed to turn into a rambling idiot bimbo at the drop of a hat. And what on Earth did she like about Bruce’s character; god, there’s hope for me yet. However, it is a decent film, despite all that, with the secret, special ingredient that Terry Gilliam adds to all the films he makes; I’m not sure if it’s good for you but I could definitely taste it. A bit like what Colonel Sanders puts into Kentucky Fried Chicken to try to disguise what it is and make it edible, probably.
Recommended for animal right activists. Not recommended for monkey enthusiasts, as there aren’t 12 in it; in fact I’m not sure they’re any in it. Sounds like an e-mail to Trading Standards might be in order.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? I’m struggling a bit here, but I’m going for Bruce bashing the hell out of a pissed-off pimp with an old-fashioned telephone. I’d like to see someone do that much damage with a modern, hands-free set or mobile. It’s good to talk, but clearly even better to bash someone’s brains out with a phone. That’ll stop the silent calls and salesman ringing. Finding a way to combat the latter is most certainly badass.
I’m pissed off with both Argos and IKEA. IKEA is a perennial dislike of mine, with its unsubtle attempt to make every home reflect the state of many of our high streets, with each one looking exactly like the next one. In comparison, I’m generally quite forgiving of Argos. Sadly, both have now enraged me by showing their true, bloated, evil, stupid, corporate selves. I need some more shelves to store DVDs on. I can’t imagine I’m the only person ever to have had this interior design requirement, but after dealing with the aforementioned companies I think I must be, as they’re both so shockingly crap at selling what I would have thought was a very standard, simple, basic bit of furniture. Bloody hell, I only want to store some DVDs, not the Ebola virus. After having considered and then rejected some of my more bizarre, expensive or inconvenient solutions, such as moving to a bigger home, converting all my DVDs to digital files and storing them on a huge hard drive somewhere, or distorting the local space-time continuum (it’s the “space” bit there that’s most appealing), I decided to try and buy some new storage units for them, to match the ones I already have. In the past I’ve bought these from Argos; except last time when it appeared to have discontinued the style I’ve always bought, so I had to get a different type, which kind of pissed me off, because they don’t look the same. Anyway, this time the old style had miraculously reappeared, but the new style I bought last time had vanished entirely. This also pissed me off, as I’d decided what I wanted based on the latter. No matter I though, I’ll just waste a bit more of my life re-measuring everything to see how to fit the old style in the available space instead. A common theme with these storage units over the years is that every Argos on the planet only ever has a maximum of two in stock at any one time, so if you want more than that you have to keep going back to the shop, over and over again, until you’ve got the number you want. No matter I thought, again, I’ll buy them online instead and pay the very reasonable £3.95 delivery charge, (which includes the ability to pick the delivery day too). I got all the way through this process and ordered five, only to be told after I’ve paid that only one was actually in stock for home delivery, so my order had been changed and the others cancelled. What sort of large, modern company doesn’t link its website sales to its stock? This really pissed me off, a lot. Half an hour later, after finally getting the purchase confirmation e-mail and then spending ten minutes on hold, I got through to Betty, (who because she sounded like ‘everyone’s favourite granny’ I didn’t have the heart to get annoyed with about all this), who cancelled my order; (because guess what, you can’t cancel your order online either). All this messing about had sufficiently annoyed me that I decided to go and buy the same things from IKEA instead. It sells what’s basically an identical unit for £1.99 less. So I get through all of its ordering system only to be told it costs £35 for delivery. Seriously, IKEA is taking the piss here. If I was IKEA, I’d use the same delivery firm as Argos and charge its customers a 10th of what they’re presently charged and offer a choice of delivery days too. So after wasting well over an hour of my time, I’m still no closer to solving my original problem. Bollocks to them both. This film also features an ‘issue’ with space and time.
1984 – Certificate PG – USA Rating Details:
Mild Language, violence and horror
“Star Wars” was made in 1977, seven years before this film. It looked amazing at the time and still looks really good now. This movie looks and feels like it was made in 1960. Most of the special effects belong in the 50s; in fact the whole feel of it does too. Despite this, I do rather like this film in a strange sort of way. Maybe it’s the inherent decentness of the hero, David Herdeg. (Although he doesn’t seem that bothered when a car of fellow military personnel that’s chasing him crashes and blows up, certainly killing everyone inside it; it’s not like they were even trying to do anything bad to him either). And come to think of it, that’s far from his only sociopathic reaction to what’s going on around him. In fact, he’s not really very nice at all. So perhaps it’s the natural sexiness of fellow escapee (née kidnap-victim) Allison (Nancy Allen) that does it for me then? She was great in “Robocop”. However, her 80s hairstyle and somewhat pathetic-useless-woman persona do start to grind you down after a while; she even falls over at one post during a chase. Sadly, there’s nothing very attractive about an idiot. Of course, I appreciate that both of them had a lot of shit going on in their lives; he having to deal with the consequences of suddenly being transported 41 years into the future and her having not got a job she’d applied for. But really… Actually I’ve now realised I’ve no idea why I like this film. Enigmatic eh?
Recommended for people who long for the return of rubbish 50s sci-fi. Yes, these people really do exist.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. However, one unfortunate guy does sort of get trapped in the deck of the ship with his head half embedded in the metal. That’s going to take at least two paracetamol to sort out.
Top badass moment? Move along, there’s nothing to see here; certainly no one heroic enough to do anything worthy of the accolade of “Top Baddass Moment”.