The Man With The Iron Fists (2012)
RZA from the Wu Tang Clan tries his hand at both writing and directing in this attempt at a martial arts epic/Western mash-up and comes up short in almost every department. The characters are paper thin, the script awful and, most surprisingly, the music is just plain annoying. With a finale that includes a scene which dares to mimic a Bruce Lee classic, the only way this film succeeds is in making the audience yearn to watch the films which inspire it.
Talking of ‘teen horror-comedy gone very wrong but in a good way’; Detention is 100 films in 1, the kind of film that can easily give you a headache if you are in the wrong frame of mind. It’s got timetravel, prom, a serial killer, love, explosions, body-swaps, body-horror, mutations, jocks and meta coming out of it’s wazoo and is almost too much until the last stretch brilliantly pulls together all the various strands and ‘what the hell?’ moments. File under ‘no f**ks were given during the making of this picture’.
12 Angry Men (1957)
There is plenty here to suggest that the accused isn’t guilty but the Lumet’s film is a classic because there is doubt. Technically, the film is perfect with every camera move, line and actor precisely aligned and it succeeds in it’s intention by refusing to resort to sentiment. A lesser film would have justice being done by arriving at the correct verdict, 12 Angry Men has the conviction to arrive at the one the law demands.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Both sequel to and spoof of the 1984 comedy horror classic, Gremlins 2 is a wildly inventive movie with a massive grin on it’s face and clawed hand behind it’s back. Okay, so it’s not the original but it stretches the mischief so far that it even breaks the film (a situation rectified only by the intervention of the Hulkster himself)… but amidst all the fun and japes I’m sure there is an essay to be written on why 100% of Gizmo’s offspring are psychopathic.
24 Lies Per Second Podcast: Episode 18 – Ho Ho Ho Bit
Here is the latest 24 Lies Per Second Podcast: Episode 18 – Ho Ho Ho Bit
In the final review podcast of the year the 24LPS team check out new cinema releases ‘The Hobbit’ (00:39) and ‘End of Watch’ (11:38), while on DVD they review ‘Magic Mike’ (21:15) and ‘The Expendables 2’ (28:42). They also caught up with Murnau’s ‘The Last Laugh’ (18:04) and the Guernsey made ‘The Diary of Alice Applebe’ (34:18).
If you are reading this then the Mayan’s had it wrong and if you’ve seen 2012 then you will know that Hollywood also screws up plenty of things. In a nutshell foreigners are dodgy or, at best, worthy of dying to save us white folk, doctors are noble unless they are plastic surgeons and if the end of the world does come it will all be okay in a couple of days… of course one could avoid taking this nonsense so seriously but the whole enterprise is just so dull that the mind is forced to wander off.
I Am Legend (2007)
How would you even start to adapt this book for the screen? George A Romero nailed the feeling with Night of the Living Dead but of all the straight adaptations this is by far the best. Will Smith takes on the role of Neville with gusto, deserted Manhattan looks great and the film even gives us a satisfying mainstream version of that ending (but make sure you watch the alternate version). Check out The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made by David Hughes for a fascinating insight into the troubled genesis of this film that ends with a rumour that Smith might be attached.
Left Behind (2001)
Parodied in The Simpsons as Left Below (‘why did I only get one of my twins baptised?!’), this is the first of a series of hugely popular yet terrible films based on the mega selling yet hateful book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. The premise is that the Biblical Rapture has arrived and those that are left behind must take on the forces of evil and the EU or something… IMDB shows a 2014 remake starring Nic Cage.
Miracle Mile (1988)
Anthony Edwards and the end of the world… what’s not to like? Miracle Mile is one of those cult movies that you stumble across at midnight then spend the next week trying to remember the name of that one where a guy in a diner answers a payphone and is told that the missiles have been launched and world ends in seventy minutes. Part John Hughes, part Strangelove this is an oddity to cherish.
The Proposition (2005)
Danny Huston is elemental in this brutal outback western from director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave. Guy Pearce is excellent as the outlaw who must kill his older brother (Huston) to save his younger brother, Ray Winstone brings all his presence to the lawman offering this devil’s bargain and the seasonal setting makes this one of the most brutal Christmas movies around.