Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...

The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...

PREDATOR

Look….it’s like this….

I could bang on at great length as to how Predator is Arnie’s finest hour,possibly even greater than Terminator..it’s certainly his best “action hero” film.

But it all boils down to one line,uttered by the Governator himself,because no-one else could do it justice…..

“If it bleeds…..we can kill it.”

Those are words to live by,dear reader….words to live by.

20070525_star_wars_con2_74318146_21STAR WARS

Needs no explanation.

Neither does this photo…it’s a fan thing.

Next…

Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues

Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues

BLACK NARCISSUS

Made by Powell & Pressburger in 1947,Black Narcissus is a psychological drama about the emotional tensions of a group of nuns in a remote Himalayan convent.

The eternally wonderful Deborah Kerr plays Sister Clodagh,who is trying to forget a failed romance in her native Ireland,and is the top nun at the convent.Her heart is set a-flutter by the charms of the local British agent,Mr.Dean,who is the only person who can communicate with the locals and trots up to the convent everyday on the smallest donkey you will ever see.

Unfortunately,Sister Ruth,played with an eye-popping intensity by Kathleen Byron,is also attracted by the hunky Mr.Dean,and becomes pathologically jealous of our Debs.

And Sister Ruth is as mad as a lorry.

There’s only one way to sort this out….FIGHT!

Which the two ladies do,conveniently on the edge of a cliff…I won’t spoil it for you by saying who lives to “nun” another day,but will just urge you to check the film out when it’s on telly next…you will not be disappointed.I’ve only touched the surface of this masterpiece here,it’s worth a blog of it’s very own.

(As an interesting aside,Deborah Kerr was director Michael Powell’s ex-OH…and Kathleen Byron was his current one.Can’t be bad for the ego,to have two women fighting to the death over you,even if it is in a film.)

2001_a_space_odyssey_hello_dave2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY

Computers….more trouble than they’re worth.

But I’d wager your PC,prone to failure and freezing as it no doubt is,has never actually tried to kill you because it has been given conflicting orders.

2001 is not only about HAL chucking a wobbly in deep space….it’s about aboutness.

It’s about the journey of mankind from the Dawn of Man through to his death and rebirth as pure thought in the form of the Star Child.

I think.

It has so many classic moments that have become part of cinema history,and the greatest ever jump-cut as an ape throws a bone into the air,only for it to fall down and change into a space-weapon–millions of years of evolution and history in a few seconds.That’s the genius of director Stanley Kubrick—no need for superfluous scenes of exposition.

The long sequence as the astronaut Dave Bowman travels through the stargate (possibly) is perhaps a tad too long,and how he gets to his final destination,a kind of alien hotel where his every need is catered for until he dies and is reborn,is never explained…but perhaps it doesn’t need to be.

indiana_jonesRAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Da da da-daaah,da da daaaaaaaah.

May I be controversial for a moment,and say that there shouldn’t have been any sequels to Raiders of the Lost Ark…it’s just too perfect and wonderful.

They shouldn’t have even made The Last Crusade,and you can forget about The Temple of Doom and the latest one.

Stick with the original and the best.

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!!

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!! Claire Bloom & Julie Harris in The Haunting

THE HAUNTING

If you’ve seen the recent version of this story with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta Jones,you should give the original a spin.

Four people move into the mega-haunted Hill House to investigate the ghostly goings-on,being driven mad in the process.

Mysterious writing appears on walls,and a wooden door breathes.

What sets this film apart is is the way a ghostly atmosphere is built-up without the use of gore or violence,and it features the line-

“Don’t make me give a name to something that…..hasn’t got a name.”

"Fancy a shag?"

"Fancy a shag?"

BRIEF ENCOUNTER

I am a bit of a soppy bugger at heart.

I really love a good old-fashioned weepy,and they don’t come more old-fashioned than the extremely nice and well-mannnered tale of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard meeting in a train station waiting room and falling in love.

Everyone is very English and polite…men wear hats,women are called Dolly.There are no naughty bits on show and no swearing….Celia helps her husband with the Times crossword,which thankfully isn’t a pseudonym for rampant rumpy-pumpy.

Here’s a sample of the dialogue-

“You know what’s happened don’t you?”

“Yes…yes I do.”

“I’ve fallen in love with you.”

“Yes I know.”

*sniff*

Adultery has never been so polite.

close_encounters_large_09CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

Richard Dreyfuss’ finest hour,it’s not only about aliens…it’s about a normal man trying to cope with something he can’t understand,while trying to hold on to his family in the process (and his marbles)

The final part of the film,with the aliens landing,is more classic than classic,and has probably actually happened in some remote part of the USA…but that’s for another blog. 😉 There are a couple of funny moments too…

When the mothership opens up,a bloke runs for the toilet.

A bank of cameras continually takes photographs,and a scientist type stands up behind it and takes a snap with a tiny instamatic camera….to show the wife and kids,presumably.

Interestingly,before the film came out,when people reported seeing aliens landing in their back garden,they always described them as 7ft men in shiny spacesuits….after Close Encounters,the descriptions changed to short,grey aliens in the nude.

Exactly like the aliens in the film.

I reckon Spielberg knows something.

the thingTHE THING

How’s this for a classic line-

“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”

Not for the faint-hearted,The Thing is a gut-wrenching remake of the original film The Thing From Another World.

With added guts.

And slime.

And awful,gungy,stretchy wobbly bits.

And the daftest cowboy hat in the history of cinema,as worn by the star,Sir Kurt Russell.

Not to mention a shape-changing,body-ripping,brain-sucking alien.

(Best bit-the doctor tries to revive one of the other scientists with those electro-shock pads things they have on Casualty (I don’t know the proper name…don’t judge me)…but the alien has already taken the poor bloke over.The Doc’s hands fall through his chest..the sides of which then slice off his hands.In the long shot of this scene,where you see the Doctor sitting on top,loudly bemoaning the loss of his appendages,it’s actually an amputee dwarf,not the original actor,as it was found to be cheaper to hire the dwarf rather than using prosthetics.)

the-wizard-of-oz-the-wizard-of-oz-925344_420_326THE WIZARD OF OZ

No explanation necessary.

Possibly a cautionary tale about the dangers of eating cheese before bedtime,possibly the biggest mind**** in cinema history…..whatever,poor Dorothy obviously needs to lay off the blue Smarties.

Also recommended is the sequel,Return To Oz,in which Dorothy,having nightmares about Oz,is given electro-shock therapy to help “cure” her of her delusions.Travelling back to Oz,she finds the place totally changed and a bit “wrong.”

Interestingly enough,in the original book,Oz is a real place….random fact for ya.

And if you’re wondering why such a virile,handsome,thrusting young buck like myself likes such a film,and not something like Die Hard,then take a look at my next bestest film–

greaseGREASE

Yes.

I like Grease….get over it.

Too awesome for words,surely the greatest thing about it,apart from Olivia Newton-John being sooo thin,is the fact that all the actors were pushing 30 when they made the film.

If it was remade today,they would have young actors in the roles,and that would not be good.It would star Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers…and the only thing the Jonas Brothers should be in is a grave.

Only joking,Jonas fans. 😉

(By the way,on no account watch Grease 2….I’ve seen it TWICE (don’t ask)…it’s not a pretty sight,even with Michelle Pfeiffer in it.)

Tatty-bye!!

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"You are part of a Rebel Alliance and a traitor."

"You are part of a Rebel Alliance and a traitor....and you've got a silly hairdo." "Shut up,Dad."

Star Wars is the greatest film EVER.

The End.

Oh…you want more?

Fair enough.

By Star Wars,I mean of course Episode IV-A New Hope,but only the hardcore fans or those too young to remember it the first time around call it by that title.

The original trilogy will always be Star Wars,The Empire Strikes Back,and Return Of The Jedi (originally called Revenge Of The Jedi,and if you ever find any merchandise with that title stick it on eBay sharpish,you’ll make a packet.),although ROTJ is widely considered to be the minger of the three films.

"Quote me endlessly,you will..."

"Read Tropical Moments daily,you will..."

I would have been about 6 or 7 when I first saw Star Wars at the rather dodgy flea-pit of a local cinema…the film broke down half-way through,but I knew I’d been witness to a world-changing event.

And Han still shot first.

I was hooked….I started collecting every single action figure and toy spaceship I could beg my mum to buy.Most of all,I coveted the Millennium Falcon model…it was hugely awesome and awesomely huge.It cost £20,a small fortune in the early 80s.

But I got it,of course.And I had the AT-AT model….that was about 3 feet high.

Not to mention the comics,lunchbox,transfer sets and a million other things.

Years later,after I had grown out of them,I gave all my Star Wars stuff to the miner’s children for Christmas…due to them being out of work during the strike…(ask your dad).The miners,that is…not the kids.

I still feel a pang of regret at losing my toys…after all,it wasn’t my fault their fathers went on strike.

I had Boba Fett,too…and he was rarer than rocking horse doo-doo.Talking of which,in 1980 the impossible happened….Star Wars 2!!!

ignorance-star-wars-motivationalThe Empire Strikes Back is a member of that exclusive club—The Good Sequel Society.

It’s got the lot–snow,ghosts,incest,a white C-3PO,torture,snogging,the coolest muppet since Kermit and the biggest bombshell in cinema history…although my mother had somehow already worked out the paternity issues before the film was released…she’s clever like that.It’s probably more of a “proper” film than Star Wars…more grown-up and there is none of the shameless merchandise-plugging that would plague the next film and the prequel trilogy.

And we’re introduced to Boba Fett….he has about two lines in the entire film,but women the world over fantasize about him to this day.Why?

Who knows…maybe because he’s cooler than Han Solo,who’s pretty cool to begin with.Perhaps it’s the suit….or the jetpack.

So…Darth Vader is Luke’s dad.Who knew? (apart from my mum) It’s the one of the greatest ever moments in the history of ever,sadly dulled by familiarity and the prequels…..can you imagine seeing that for the first time…you’d have wanted your mummy.I certainly did.celebrity-pictures-vader-luke-skywalkers-dysfunctional

But it is not the greatest ever Star Wars moment ever…as Yoda says….”there is another”…but I’m not going to tell you what it is.If you are a proper fan then you’ll already know what it is…clue-it’s not from the original trilogy!!! Shock horror etc…but I suppose the prequels had to have at least one good bit…it’s the law of averages.

The film ends on a bit of a downer…Han Solo deep frozen!! Luke Skywalker-Vader armless!!!

All this deep and meaningful angst is totally undone by Return Of The Jedi…though it does have some good bits…the speeder-bike chase,the climactic lightsaber battle,and of course everyone’s favourite ginormous gangster slug thing,Jabba The Hut.And no,I haven’t forgotten Princess Leia in a steel bikini…apparently this is supposed to be the sexiest thing ever,but I’ve never thought she looks that good.

And there are also Ewoks….small teddy bear-type things that manage to overcome an entire forest full of Imperial stormtroopers with a few sticks.George Lucas claims he introduced the Ewoks to show that even primitive beings can triumph over great evil…but the truth is he had one eye on the merchandising.They’re not as bad as Jar Jar Binks,but they’re close.

It all ends happily ever after…the Death Star 2.0 blows up,Han cops off with Leia and Darth Vader sacrifices himself by killing the Emperor.They have a wild party and everybody’s happy.

In retrospect,maybe old George should have left it there.