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.
This film features a Britain that’s been entirely depopulated by an infection; just about everyone who wasn’t evacuated is now dead. (And to think it all happened because of some cruel and pointless experiments on animals in the prequel “28 Days Later”). Most of it’s filmed in London. It’s set around six months after the first movie and focuses on the repopulation of the country, which has started in and around Canary Wharf. NATO (mainly the US Army) is in charge of this. While watching this movie I was struck by just how inexplicably uncomfortable the later felt. There’s no suggestion in the film that they’re doing this for any other reason than the obvious one, but it made me realise just how undesirable the armed forces from another country might feel if they were in your country and in control of things. I suppose it’s a feeling of powerlessness and not totally trusting people who aren’t ‘your own’. Needed perhaps, helpful possibly, but not really wanted. I think I now understand a little more about the relationship between the West and elsewhere and why countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya (and even Russia) react they way they do to Western involvement in their affairs. All politicians and soldiers should watch this part of this film.
2007 – Certificate: 18 – United Kingdom
Rating Details: Strong bloody violence and gore
This is a sequel that’s actually better than the original. It’s an action-horror and possibly one of my ten favourite horror films of all time. It’s weird seeing so many shots of London entirely empty of people and traffic. With some great special effects, it works well as both a horror and an action film. It’s only its MTV-esque fast editing (which gives anyone over the age of 16 a headache) during some of the action scenes that I don’t like. It has a few classic “oh that’s so stupid” plot moments, but by and large it’s edge of the seat stuff; good music too. And did I get the very slight feeling that it might just have ended with a set up for another film? I think I did. This is a film you should watch.
Recommended for anyone who thinks zombies would be much better if they didn’t tend to stagger around very slowly; and for anyone who doesn’t like banks.
No cats and at least six decapitations. (You’d need to watch parts of it frame by frame to get the correct number; a helicopter blade can do a lot of damage!)
Top badass moment? Seeing the City fire-bombed to bits by the US Air Force. That’ll give us a banking crisis to really whine about. Bye-bye Canary Wharf Tower; a building that normally contains thousands of people who’re employed to press buttons all day; how constructive. Far more useful I’m sure, than a plumber, a carpenter, a scientist, an engineer, a teacher, a farmer, a nurse, a care worker…