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No surprises with this one, although it was a toss up with Terminator 2 and Mad Max 2. All three were successful first films, improved by a higher budget for their sequel and let down by each next film as a revolving door of directors tried in vain to capture what made them great.
I love the original Alien (1979) with all its low-budget suspense and scares. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is a strong heroine in a world of men although it was the 70s so director Ridley Scott had to have her menaced whilst wearing skimpy underwear. With Aliens, James Cameron allowed her to unapologetically take charge and, although it was as the ferocious mother trope, it was (and still is) exhilarating for this twenty-something year old to watch.
Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.
Coming Next: Day 7: Your favourite black and white film
Nicolas Cage, you seem to have made your way out the other side of the Hollywood leading man stereotype and into something rather delightful. Continue reading
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Upgrade is a slick and serviceable sci-fi that retreads the oft-used Frankenstein trope in a near future, with Melbourne convincingly masquerading as a futuristic USA. Continue reading
The Endless fulfilled the promise of its name and felt never-ending. Listed as a horror, it is more a muddled sci-fi, low on suspense and high on exposition. Continue reading
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Directed by Alex Garland, he makes up for his terrible characterisation of women in Ex Machina (2014) with this epic female-led sci-fi. One of the first of many films, I suspect, sold directly to Netflix to avoid the cost of distribution outside the US, Annihilation is worth a look. Continue reading
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Amelie meets Dark City in this darkly whimsical fairy tale by Guillermo del Toro. Fairy tales are often equal parts sentimentality and tragedy and The Shape of Water weaves a long dance around these two elements. Continue reading
I could hear the fanboys (and some girls) wailing from across the globe as I left the cinema. Absolute garbage! The worst Star Wars movie ever! Such a joke! I quite liked it and perhaps for all the reasons they didn’t. Continue reading
The way to make a sequel, and big budget movie, is to give the directing job to a non-American it seems. French-Canadian, Denis Villeneuve, who directed the superb Arrival and Incendies, takes a fair stab at this one and manages to equal the original in mood, visual impact, leisurely pace and partially clothed women. Continue reading
Passengers is a neat example of how female characters are stereotyped in Hollywood films. With only four named characters of substance, it’s not surprisingly that only one is female, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). Her role is to meet the romantic and sexual needs of the hero, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), and to provide a framework for the essential goodness and heroism of his masculinity by personifying the worst of archetypal femininity. If you plan on seeing this film, and I wouldn’t rush out to do so, perhaps read no further. I won’t give away any plot points that aren’t obvious from the outset but I will probably say enough about the characters that you have a pretty good idea of the entire film. So, spoilers. Continue reading
What a ride! Dark City is like a glorious pastiche of sci-fi; the production design is Blade Runner if it was set in Adelaide, the villains are Nosferatu goth boy band wannabees and the hero is a 90s Humphrey Bogart if he wandered into The Matrix. Continue reading