Showing posts with label 1992. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1992. Show all posts

Sunday, 21 April 2013


I was hoping to catch Society at a recent Grimm Up North screening but I unfortunately missed it because of work. Luckily, a guy at work is a huge horror fan and lent me a DVD copy. What intrigued me about the film was that it has been described as ‘a minor classic in the body horror sub-genre’. Regular readers might know that I’m not a huge horror fan but I do enjoy a bit of crazy, no holds barred body horror from time to time. Give me a film in which a man punches through another man’s stomach until his fist comes out of his mouth before turning him inside out and I’m there!

For much of its runtime Society plays as a kind of 1980s soap opera crossed with a soft-core erotic thriller and the first hour provides nothing beyond a bit of intrigue and laughter at the 80s hair and poor dialogue. The final half hour though is some of the weirdest stuff I’ve seen on screen and makes up for the poor opening. Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) is a rich kid who attends Beverly Hills Academy and lives at home with his parents and Sister Jenny (Patrice Jennings). For some reason Bill feels like he doesn’t fit in and starts to wonder if he’s even related to the family who are showing signs of unusual behaviour.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Reservoir Dogs

A couple of nights ago I saw an interview with Quentin Tarantino on Film 2013 ahead of the release of his latest picture Django Unchained. The interview touched upon a lot of his films and with each film mentioned I turned to my girlfriend and said “Ooh! I really want to watch that again soon” while turning to my DVD shelf. When Reservoir Dogs was mentioned I looked for my DVD copy and suggested we watched it that night but my girlfriend told me that it was playing for one night only at our local multiplex the next evening. Five minutes later the tickets were booked and my excitement grew as I was getting the chance to see such an iconic film on the big screen, twenty-one years after its release. Reservoir Dogs burst on to the scene in late 1992 and unusually went on to make more money at the UK box office than in the US but following the release of Pulp Fiction two years later became more widely known and is today recognised as one of the greatest independent films of all time as well as one of the greatest debuts by any film maker.

Featuring a lot of the themes which define Tarantino’s filmography such as a non-linear story, extreme violence, pop culture references, rock and pop soundtrack, rich and deeply woven dialogue and a plot based around an accident, Reservoir Dogs takes place before and after an armed robbery orchestrated by Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) and his son ‘Nice Guy’ Eddie (Chris Penn). We see various meetings and discussions which take place before the heist as the crew is slowly formed but the most famous and memorable scenes take place following the robbery when the various members of the group make their way back to their safe house. The audience never sees the robbery itself but with some of the gang dead and others badly wounded it is soon obvious that something went wrong and that they have a rat in their midst, but who?

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The first film to be produced following the death of The Muppets creator Jim Henson, The Muppet Christmas Carol was well received upon its release in time for Christmas 1992 and has grown in stature ever since. The film is a fairly faithful retelling of Charles Dickens’ famous novel albeit with Muppets in most of the roles. The central character of Scrooge though is played incredibly straight by Michael Caine. I have a vague recollection of seeing certain scenes but don’t think I ever saw the film as a child. I had been warned that it is impossible to hate the film but if anyone was going to then it would be me. Around this time of year every year my girlfriend will inevitably yell the words “You’re running Christmas for me!” as I moan about decorations, cards, crap TV or buying presents. I am the archetypal Grinch like character, a man who cares nothing for Christmas and even less for Christmas movies. (See my Die Hard rant). It was always unlikely then that The Muppet Christmas Carol would strike a chord with me and as it turns out I didn’t really enjoy it. It is not without its positives though.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Alien 3

"Don't be afraid. I'm part of the family"

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back in stasis aboard the Sulaco when a fire causes the escape pod to separate from the ship and she crash lands on Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161, a penal colony inhabited only by men. Ripley’s fellow Aliens survivors all die in the crash, leaving her alone and stranded in the prison. Unfortunately for Ripley and the prisoners, an alien face hugger was on board the pod and has also survived the crash.

While I’ve been watching the Alien franchise for the first time over the last few weeks I’ve been told by numerous people that Alien 3 was by far the weakest of the series. So far, I’d have to agree. The film entered production without a completed script and the messiness of the film is some testament to that. It feels as though the film doesn’t know what it wants to be. It is less scary than even Aliens but has a bit more of a dramatic quality than Alien. The film also appears to introduce a comic element to the series but this fails miserably. The story feels incoherent and the characters are barely written. In both previous instalments the large cast always felt well written and as though they were rounded characters. In Alien 3 the majority of them appear to be just cannon fodder. The only new character that I cared a little about was killed off within the first half.  

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Clint Eastwood directs, produces and stars in this 1992 Western which won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. While I personally don’t think it is a great film it is certainly a good film. Eastwood plays William Munny, an ex gunslinger who has put his past behind him to raise his two young children singlehandedly after the death of his wife. Meanwhile in a small town in Wyoming, a young prostitute is attacked by a drunken customer. Her fellow prostitutes raise $1,000 as a reward for the person who can kill her attacker. Eastwood is approached by the ‘Schofield Kid’, played by Jaimz Woolvett, who asks Munny to join him on one last ride out. Munny also persuades his old partner Ned Logan, played by Morgan Freeman, to accompany him.

When I think Cowboy, I think Clint Eastwood

The strength of the film lies in Eastwood’s directing and in the superb acting. Eastwood creates a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere despite the film being set in mostly large open spaces. Eastwood plays Munny with great precision. His looks could kill and his rough voice and tired appearance create a feeling that he is too old for killing but he is capable of turning these perceptions on their head in a matter of seconds with his ability to quick-draw and shoot down anyone who stands in his way. Gene Hackman is also excellent as the Sherriff whose job it is to run Munny and his gang out of town. He is arrogant and sure of himself despite flaws which become apparent as the film unfolds. Frances Fisher is strong as the Madame prostitute behind the $1,000 bounty whereas Morgan Freeman just appears to be along for the ride.

Beautiful title shot

Where I feel the film is let down is its length. At 131 minutes long, it feels much longer. I also felt that the character of ‘English Bob’ played by the late Richard Harris was unnecessary and detracted from the main story of the film.

While Unforgiven is now considered to be a classic of the Western genre and although I liked it, I didn’t like it as much as most other people seem to.