Tomorrowland (2015) – 7/10
Shamelessly optimistic and wonderfully imaginative Disney film. Watch it with an open mind and a desire to be inspired.
Actors George Clooney and Britt Robertson engage with a vulnerable sincerity. Geniuses both; the older, disillusioned Frank and the youthful, determined Casey.
They save the world, literally. Corny but true: hope or despair? You choose. Feed the winner.
The Drownsman (2014) – 3/10
Low budget, small cast Canadian horror flick.
When a fear of water leads you to intravenous drinking, you’ve got a problem. No showers, no brushing teeth, no going to the toilet?
After a near death drowning experience, orphan Madison is so afraid of water she misses her best friend’s wedding because it’s raining. And the best friend comes and yells at her while she’s still in her wedding dress. Where is the groom in all this? Oh who cares.
An intervention leads to contact with the supernatural being ‘Sebastian’ who can pull intended victims through the smallest drop of water to his torture lab lair. And then kill them, drown them. Sebastian now sets his sights on Madison and her friends.
Sebastian’s origin story: spent too long in the womb listening to his mother’s heartbeat. Ahh, now it all makes sense.
A complicated twist reveals that Madison is Sebastian’s daughter spawned through a ‘dalliance’ with an intended victim. The experience, as it would, drives Madison’s mother insane. She spends her days sitting on a chair in a dark hospital room draped in thin plastic sheets. Interesting therapy.
A nod to ‘Freddie Krueger’ et al.
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.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – 5/10
This is a strange movie. It hasn’t worked out what genre it wants to be. I mean, I think it’s a thriller. But is it psycho or sci fi?
John Goodman does a pretty good job channelling his serial killer persona from ‘Barton Fink”. Mary E.W. does her best ‘MacGyver’ to escape from the unstable JG and the merciless extraterrestrials.
The first 3/4 of the movie takes place in JG’s doomsday prepper underground shelter. For the final 1/4 Mary E.W. outwits and destroys an alien mothership (with a flaming bottle of whiskey).
Mary then heads toward Houston to assist the beleaguered humans because she’s an experienced medic (she’s a fashion designer) and is combat ready (ok – she is pretty resourceful).
Lesson learned – a plastic shower curtain, a large PET bottle and lots of duct tape coupled with some clever fashion design skills just may protect you from extraterrestrial poison gas.
Tender Mercies (1982) – 8/10
Too much apple jack.
Mac Sledge. Wakes up one day on the floor surrounded by empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Broke but willing to work. Gives up the alcohol and settles down with a woman 20 years younger and her young son.
Big Texas sky. Long straight roads. Swinging country music. The kind of country music that tells a story about sorrow, forgiveness and love.
The Running Man (1987) – 6/10
Wow. Arnie was so young and so on steroids. One liners in abundance. What’s not to like about this movie? Based on a short story by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King). Directed by Paul Michael Glaser the original ‘Starsky’. 80s glam dancers’ choreography by Paula Adbul. Richard Dawson a parody of himself.
Game shows stakes are high in dystopian America. Lucky audience members choose from stalkers Dynamo, Buzzsaw, Subzero or Fireball to battle expendable citizens.
80s fashion and hairstyles – big silver geometric earrings. Love the costumes. Two memorable scenes: After his escape from prison Arnie dresses as a labourer complete with suspenders and a little yellow safety hat? Stalker Dynamo covered with fairy lights drives a vehicle not much bigger than himself up a steep hill of refuse. Tumbling down he comes. Was he thinking?
The Babadook (2014) – 1/10
Once upon a time there was a little boy and his mother. They were a sad family, a grieving family. Death of the father; birth of the son.
The little boy lived with his mother in a spare, muted dwelling. The little boy could not understand his mother’s sorrow and lived in fear that he would lose her and be alone. He couldn’t sleep. The little boy’s mother was stuck. She couldn’t see beyond her pain; she couldn’t sleep.
Isolation enclosed the two. Fertile ground for a fragile mind. The Babadook. Darkness. Waiting. Terrifying.
Mother struggles; failure threatens. The Babadook threatens. The neighbour, an island of hope and kindness. Vomit the black bile. Keep it in the basement. Content to wait for a bowl of worms.