Split (2016) – 5/10
Get your mind into the M. Night Shyamalan universe. Ok there’s Kevin who has DID (dissociative identity disorder). Multiple personalities – 23 of them. ‘Split’ chronicles the events leading to the birth of the 24th personality, The Beast.
An interesting thing about Kevin’s DID is that each personality has unique physical characteristics (eg one of whom has diabetes and needs insulin, the other characters do not). These added supernatural elements increase interest and permit the creation of the ultimate beast; a being who is bigger, stronger (knives cannot penetrate) and with superhuman abilities like being able to bend steel bars and climb on walls and ceilings.
Best scene is the ending. Cafe customers discuss this new nemesis (‘the horde’) and liken the strangeness to a previous villain. What was his name? Oh that’s right, ‘Mr Glass’. Slow scan to customer David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a little older and greyer and contemplating his next movie.
Scanners (1981) – 4/10
Wooden actors, pot plants in plastic pots, facial grimacing, exertion would surely cause shitting.
50s adverts, neat idea, Michael Ironside.
The Swamp (2004) – 5/10
THE SWAMP (2004) South Korea
Directed by: Yun Cheul Kim
Starring: Ji Young Park, Jin Geun Kim, Joo Hee Ha
Life seems perfect for devoted wife, mother and successful doctor Yoon Suh, until the shocking discovery of her husband’s affair with her best friend Chae Won. When her ill father is taken to hospital, Yoon Suh maintains a vigil at his bedside, but her husband is forced to relieve her as the strain becomes too much. Sneaking away from the hospital to be with his lover, the accidental death of Yoon Suh’s father leaves her husband to blame and in turn sets off a tragic chain of events. A fast-paced, thrilling plot twist will leave you surprised as Yoon Suh calculates her wicked revenge.
Silent Running (1972) – 6/10
Young Bruce Dern is Freeman Lowell, a post apocalyptic environmental activist. What is left of earth’s flora and fauna exists in geodesic domes carried safely in space by American Airlines commercial ships.
Dressed in a hippie frock Lowell cavorts with the native rabbits and turtles (there’s even a bird of prey) and eats home grown rock melon and lettuce. His colleagues run riot in their supercharged buggies subsisting on synthetic supplements.
In a desperate act to subvert orders to destroy the domes Lowell takes the life of his three human companions.
Left to tend to the last dome with his two droids, Lowell revisits his deed descending into despair. A tragic yet expected ending. The last garden of eden adrift; follow the little droid, caretaker of hope.
The Station Agent (2003) – 6/10
A quiet film. A slow and steady connection forms between the three main characters. Through unique sadness they find the same isolation.
Perseverance, acceptance – a moment in time. Tomorrow is unknown but today shines.
Slow West (2015) – 4/10
Starring Michael Fassbender and Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Filmed primarily in New Zealand; spectacular scenery. Doesn’t look like the US though. Use your imagination. Nice, moody soundtrack by Jed Kurzel (guitarist and vocalist for Sydney indie rock band ‘The Mess Hall’).
Slow West is a movie that tried hard to be more than it is. Bizarre cut scenes.
Signs (2002) – 7/10
Cornfield homage to Hitchcock. Mel’s man of the cloth loses faith. Barking dogs; unexplained crop circles; animals sense something coming
Still, measured, serious juxtaposed intermittent humour; a family coping with unthinkable loss; gorgeous 5 year old Abigail Breslin, sagacious eyes; the younger Culkin, sickly, aware. Both so young and vulnerable.
Water everywhere; swing away. Prescience. Comfort or fear. Hope or luck. We are on our own; we are all connected.