Nightman’s Updated Favourite Films Of 2009!

Greetings, Glancers! As they say in Pointless, it’s time to come back down the line. Yes, it’s time to go back through my favourite movies by year lists and update them with additional thoughts and information to expand beyond simplified originals, starting with 2009 and working backwards towards 1950.

Lets begin briefly with those who almost made the cut. Although we’re now ten years plus removed from 2009, the year was always going to be remembered for one movie above all – the all conquering Avatar. While we continue to wait for the next blue tinted extravaganza from James Cameron, time has been kind enough to the film. It still looks glossy and the 3D technology involved is still a marvel. The story was never very interesting first time around and it quickly collapsed into Transformers Vs Jurassic Park, but it remains one of the most important spectacles in Cinema history. It’s not one I will see myself revisiting often as time goes on but you can’t go without experiencing it at least once.

Harry Brown is like Get Carter for pensioners – or Get Off My Lawn. Capitalizing on much of the fear of ‘hoodies’ and society’s post millennium breakdown and paranoia it tells the satisfying story of an ex marine, now elderly man living in a run down council estate. Having lived through many years of war and violence you’d expect him to be enjoying his twilight years in luxury, but instead he has to deal with gangs and hoodies and chavs who prevent him from seeing his wife in her dying moments. With the police unable to help and refusing to end his days in fear, he goes on the warpath. It’s all a little right wing in the vein of Michael Winner, but I’ve always had a soft spot for vigilante movies – who hasn’t wanted to flip out and beat the shit out of a gang of scumbags or bullies? The cast certainly helps elevate matters – Michael Caine hasn’t been this badass since the 70s and a host of GOT faces will be familiar. There is the usual assortment of go-to thugs who have made a career of these types of roles – Jack O’Connell, Sean Harris, Ben Drew, and Joseph Gilgun all give committed performances. There were quite a few films of this ilk at the time, from Eden Lake to Gran Torino and director Daniel Barber went on to helm the Hailee Steinfeld/Brit Marling ‘Western’ The Keeping Room which is always well worth a look.

Moon is a film I was interested in from Day One, but took a few years to actually see. It’s Sam Rockwell alone (mostly) on the Moon near the end of his three year term as the only living worker maintaining a mining facility. It would be entering spoiler territory to give away anymore of the plot, but if you’ve seen the obvious influencers – Silent Running, Solaris, 2001, then you won’t be too far off what unfolds if you were to hazard a guess. It’s an opportunity once more for some moral and philosophical wondering under the guidance of Duncan Jones and writer Nathan Parker who specializes in this sort of high concept hard genre stuff. Rockwell is terrific and it was a little misguided when he was overlooked at The Oscars.

District 13 Ultimatum is… well, if you liked the original (and you should), it’s more of the same. This series has some of the best physical action you’re likely to find, taking the visceral quality of the Bourne movies and throwing in copious amounts of parkour. Both films have me wanting to leap out the living room window and begin tearing my way through the neighbours gardens – over walls, through bushes, up drainpipes and bounding from rooftoop to rooftop. Bringing back both David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli from the original we see quickly that the French ghetto is still in bad shape, with rival gangs fighting over filling the gap left after the events of the original. Again there are plenty of obvious allusions to political situations but we cam here for the action and it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re bored of superheros and CG and building crashing to the ground this will revitalize your interest in action.

Up is yet another near perfect movie from Pixar. I don’t love it as much as most people do and its best moments are in that opening, but it’s still a lovely tale about dreams and friendship that it’s hard to criticize. My only issue with the recent Pixar and Disney animations is the ‘chubby’ nature of the art – almost every film and character follows this style and even by the time Up was released it was long past time for a change – a change which neither Company has made since.

Bruno is exactly what you would expect if you’ve already seen Borat or the Ali G Show. It’s basically a carbon copy of Borat but with a different character – an excuse to ridicule the vain, the stupid, and the generally right wing. It’s offensive, it’s hilarious and the only reason I don’t enjoy it as much as Borat is that Borat is such an endearing character, in spite of being a terrible human. My wife’s parents loved Borat – they had to switch Bruno off within ten minutes. Ok boomer comes to mind.

District 9 got a lot of positive reaction this year, critics suddenly deciding that genre movies were worth discussing as long as they had a political subtext, however on the nose it may be. Never mind the fact that horror and sci-fi have always done political subtext better than almost any other genres. I came for the gore and the swearing and the ludicrous over the top performance by Sharlto Copley. I like the low budget creative approach and the fact that the aliens aren’t what we were used to seeing, and the descent to action in the final sections feels like a fun payoff. Again, I don’t think it’s as good as the praise it received at the time, but I’d take something like this over almost every other Best Picture nominee this year. Finally, The Road possibly should have been nominated in that category – a bleak and uncompromising take on McCarthy’s book with a great lead performance by Viggo Mortensen. John Hillcoat follows the approach he showcases in The Proposition and makes it a film well worth re-watching.

Just one final late entry, which probably should have made it into my original Top Ten, but I somehow overlooked that it came out in 2009 – The House Of The Devil. It’s a great slasher throwback, and everything simply works.

Now into the top ten.

10: Dead Snow (Norway) Tommy Wirkola

2009 was peak, or end of peak zombie renaissance territory, and even then most viewers were tired of the whole shtick. Enter Tommy Wirkola who smashes fun back into the genre which had become a little too serious. Dead Snow is one big episode of Wile E Coyote And Road Runner – a natural stepson of Braindead if not Evil Dead. The pitch is great – what if a gang of Nazi soldiers who had been frozen in the mountains woke up again in an undead search for gold? Actually, that’s not great, but it is hilarious. To set up the story we throw in your standard Cabin In The Woods tropes – friends staying in the wilderness for a weekend with all of their relationship crap and then unleash the zombie Nazis. The film neatly balances the shocks and humour and goes wildly overboard with the gore and kills to satisfy any gore-hound. While the cast and characters are almost irrelevant, Vegar Hoel impresses as a modern day Euro-Ash and expands upon that role to ridiculous levels in the sequel. It’s just silly, mindless fun with particularly chunky gore effects.

9: The Princess And The Frog (US) Disney

Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer hand drawn. It largely avoids the aforementioned chubby animation and just feels more tactile and committed. I’m not discounting the work CG animators perform, but when I see hand drawn it simply pulls me in more and gives me a greater sense of the the person behind the creation and the love and care which went into the work. The Princess And The Frog is yet another lovely, simple story from Disney – it’s them going a little meta, recognizing the tropes they helped perpetuate, and having fun turning them around. The voodoo setting and the first African American Princess are all positives, the voice work is particularly strong with the likes of Keith David, Anika Noni Rose, and Jim Cummings standing out. The songs may not be the huge hitters which translate well to the charts, but Almost There joins the ranks of classics which the Company has created over the decades and there are enough sentimental and scary moments to make it memorable. It’s not top tier Disney for me, but it’s in that large and wide B Grade territory where much of their material resides.

8: Micmacs (France) Jean Pierre Jeunet

I’m not sure why this film flew under the radar so much. It’s the director of Amelie making another utterly charming and quirky comedy drama, complete with all of the visual flair he is known for. It deserves a hell of a lot more recognition and while it’s no Amelie, that’s a bit like saying Heat is no The Godfather. It has that exaggerated colour scheme not quite comic book look which you’ll be familiar with from Amelie and A Very Long Engagement, and several of his usual cast members pop up, from Dominique Pinot to Urbain Cancellier.

The film follows a man who seems to be incredibly unlucky when it comes to weaponry – first his dad is killed by a landmine, then he is shot in the head by a stray bullet at work one day. Becoming something of a freak due to the bullet remaining in his head, he joins a group of similar outcasts who happen to live in a junkyard – a contortionist, a maths genius, a human cannonball etc – he has a history in mime. Essentially they become their own circus and they plot to get revenge on the weapons manufacturers who are causing so much grief in the city and around the globe using their unique talents not unlike The A Team. It’s all very charming, fast-paced yet gentle, and is one of the more unique comedies you’re likely to catch – old fashioned yet with a dark satirical streak. Something like this is always more interesting to me than generic rom coms or alpha male comedies.

7: Jennifer’s Body (US) Karyn Kusama

Karyn Kusama doesn’t make many movies, but each one is worth watching – maybe with the exception of Aeon Flux. I kept away from Jennifer’s Body – assuming it was another generic teen horror with a cast picked for their looks rather than their talents. If you’re in the same misguided mindset as I was, consider that it was written by Diablo Cody – Juno, Tully, Young Adult – and very much follows the dialogue and smarts of those movies. The film made me a supporter of Megan Fox – she’s great in this – and also features Adam Brody, Amanda Seyfried, and JK Simmons. It’s a film which has seen some deserved re-evaluation since the mauling it received at the time – when I watched it a couple of years after release I couldn’t believe that so many critics, and myself, had been so wrong.

Seyfried is your typical awkward teenager, ironically (?) called Needy whose best friend is her polar opposite – Jennifer, the popular cheerleader. Best friends since they were young children, the film truly captures the urgency and closeness and ‘us against the world’ feeling you have with such intense friendships when you’re young. Unfortunately, Jennifer seems to pick up some sort of disease which turns her into a killing (eating) machine impervious to harm. Naturally the friendship becomes strained.

The film ticks all of the boxes for horror fans – it’s bloody, some kills are inventive, and its funny. But at its core it’s a character piece – we care about the two leads, the writing is so sharp and the performances endearing that it’s difficult not to see yourself in them. The film is largely told in flashback too, but I’m not sure if that was a conscious decision to allow the audience to reminisce – it seems more likely that teens are the core audience, but ten years later the script still works. It also works as a take down of macho tropes and of some of the seedier aspects of masculinity.

6: Antichrist (Denmark/France/Germany/Italy/Poland/Sweden) Lars Von Trier

Lars man… who never know what you’re going to get with a Lars Von Trier movie, but on the flip side you always know exactly what you’re going to get. Controversy, and a whole lot of messed up shit. And recently – lots and lots of talking. Antichrist starts off in a tame enough way – a couple are shagging while their infant child takes a stroll out of their upstairs window and topples to his death. Naturally, this is all filmed in glorious, beautiful slow mo in a disconcertingly tender way. This intro kicks off the remainder of the plot – the grieving parents cope (or don’t) in their own ways, with the husband (Willem Defoe) a therapist electing to take his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) to a good old cabin in the woods where he can treat her personally. Things… don’t go to plan.

This being Lars, the film doesn’t simply descend into the torture and mutilation the tabloids would have you believe. No, we have our usual lengthy insights into the human psyche, merging philosophical jargon, music, literature, history, and manic foxes. Reality gradually becomes skewed, dark believes and fears carve their way out from beneath the skin, and scissors come into play. If you’re familiar with the turn the last act of The House That Jack Built takes, that’s quite similar territory to the final stages of Antichrist. You probably won’t want to re-watch this one, but every movie fan owes it to themselves to see it once. You can say the same for any Von Trier film – every one is worth seeing.

5: Trick R Treat (US/Canada) Michael Dougherty

Horror fans and Halloween go hand in hand, with movie marathons on the day or in October being a staple of each passing year. The same films come up each October – Halloween being the most obvious choice, but Trick R Treat deserves to be second on that list. It’s such a fun, creepy anthology – the stories just the right length and with the right festive tone and variety. Hell, there’s even a new mascot in Sam. Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Dylan Baker all feature, but it’s director Michael Dougherty who ties it all together. With only the Godzilla sequel and Krampus to his name in terms of directing, this is his best work. Even if you don’t enjoy horror, there is something here for everything – even the most ardent anti-horror watcher still succumbs at Halloween, and this is perfect for everyone.

4: Triangle (UK/OZ) Christopher Smith

Another terrific little mind-bending, overlooked horror movie with a great premise. Firstly, Christopher Smith has been hit or miss for me – mostly hit. Creep was a disappointment, not making use of a great location, Severance was sort of fun but inconsequential, and Black Death was very good. Triangle is his most ambitious and enjoyable movie.

Having Melissa George in any movie is a plus – a modern scream queen who generally picks better material than most. She stars as Jess, a single mum who is heading out for a boat trip with friends. They hit a storm and lose their boat but stumble upon a deserted liner. Although the liner is seemingly unmanned, there is fresh blood and various signs of people having been there very recently. As the friends search, they suspect they are not alone and we fall into a slasher style one by one pick off march. Except nothing is quite what it seems and without getting too much into spoiler territory, some time-looping stuff happens.

I usually enjoy these sort of high concept horror movies – there have been quite a few which take or twist a similar premise recently – TimeCrimes and Coherence being another couple I would recommend. If the snapshot above doesn’t interest you, possibly the fact that Liam Hemsworth is in a supporting roles might? It is a twisting affair which should be of more interest to non-horror fans and it raises a lot of questions which The Babadook would later be heralded for. It’s one of the best horror movies of 2009 and one of the more challenging and unique of the decade.

3: Inglourious Basterds (US/Germany) Quentin Tarantino

After Kill Bill, Quentin began slowing things down for himself – he’s pretty much a one film every 4-5 years kind of guy now. For years he had been dropping hints about making a WWII movie, his own Dirty Dozen and in 2009 it dropped – instantly becoming everything we would have wanted. It’s vintage Tarantino in style – vignettes, time-jumps, quotable one-liners, speeches, and set-pieces. He rips up the history book and makes his own alternate version of WWII and populates it with plenty of sinister character types – yes, none of the people here feel real, they’re more like heightened stereotypes. Brad Pitt is more fun than he’s ever been and Christoph Waltz is a revelation. After this Tarantino went on a bit of a down turn for me – Django was fine, The Hateful Eight was less than that. But this remains great – not Pulp Fiction great, but almost, and just as watchable.

2: Drag Me To Hell (US) Sam Raimi

Sometimes when you’ve been out of the game for so long, you just lose it. While Sam Raimi had hit a commercial peak with his Spiderman movies, something was calling out to him from beyond, a niggling rat gnawing at his creative cortex and saying ‘blood, cats in mouths, hoofed demons, vomit geysers’. Thankfully for us he embraced that voice and gave us one of the most fun film experiences of the year – a return to his slapstick horror roots with a film which both judders, disgusts, and tears belly laughs deep from within.

The films stars Alison Lohman (who is wonderful here) as a sympathetic loan worker who, against her own morals, refuses to pay out to a gypsy woman begging for her help. She wants that promotion you see, and her selfishness and annoyance at being seen as the whipping boy forces her to be harder than she normally would. After work, the gypsy attacks and curses Lohman’s character. Over the next few days she is tormented by attacks, nightmares, and visions and realizes the curse is true – finding out that if she does not find a way to reverse the curse she will be, literally, dragged to hell within three days. Cue mouth cats and vomit.

Raimi is having a whale of a time here – sure he employs plenty of cheap shocks but they mostly work – his mojo has not been lost and the film’s shocks are an antidote to the morose and stale torture porn of the time. Lohman is backed by the ever reliable Justin Long, with Dileep Rao providing some of the lighter moments. Horror doesn’t get much more fun than this.

1: Orphan (US/Canada/Germany/France) Jaume Collet Serra

My number one is the only film from this year which made it into my favourite films of the decade list – click the link to read my more detailed thoughts on it. It’s just a dirty little horror film raised by an exceptional performance from Isabelle Fuhrman who I feel should have got an Oscar nod. Of course that would never happen, but it is easily one of the best performances of the year. The film is more than just that performance, its creepy, has a neat twist, and also features Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard. Highly recommended, as everything else here is.

Let us know your picks in the comments!

My Blog – January 2020

Welcome back! It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new… something else probably. However, it’s the same old faux-idiosyncratic writing style you keep coming back for here, as evidenced by the first three sentences. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year, whatever you believe or don’t. My family ate lots of junk, watched a lot of truly terrible Christmas movies (which may warrant upcoming reviews), and received plenty of gifts. That means my house is once again overflowing with lurid plastic and copious vials of unknown alcohols.

I did these monthly, more personal blog posts last year and they were often my most read and liked posts. Always one to please the masses, I’m going to embark on the same voyage this year, bringing another bounty of ‘insightful’ meanderings to you, my dear Glancers! As always I have no idea what I’m going to talk about in these posts, probably a mixture of upcoming blog posts and random questionnaire crap. If there’s something you want to ask me about or have been dying to know, slap it into the comments.

One thing I want to do this year is finally complete some of my long-running series – I have a lot of posts written on the Nightman Listens To Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Madonna, Roxette posts, so i’ll bash those out over the coming weeks then get around to listening to whatever albums are left over. That means I can focus on the other Nightman Listens To series – some already started, and some yet to be announced (but well underway). In addition, I want to get back to more regular lists – so if you want me to cover a particular actor, director, genre in my Top Ten Tuesdays posts – let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. I’m already fully engaged with updating my Favourite Films By Year posts and have written a few of the Least Favourite By Year lists too – those are going to cause some outrage.

Lets kick off the New Year with another ‘get to know you’ type of post. Many of you probably had to suffer through crap like this in your various Christmas Office Parties and get togethers. Maybe some of you will be going to a new School or getting a new job in the new year and you may have to deal with a ‘lets go around the room and introduce ourselves’ session. Nobody likes those. I’ve done so many of them now that I’m an expert. With the blog though, I’ve looked for something a little more offbeat and found a page called rootreport.com. It claims to have 50 questions that no-one asks. I’ll stick the first 15 here and see how we get on.

  1. Are you named after anyone?

I’ll have to ask my parents, but no that I’m aware of. The Carlos name? That’s just something I came up with in School when my mates and I went through a ‘Spanish phase’ where everything Spanish was funny. Sminky pinky bang bang, and all that.

2. When was the last time you cried?

I don’t know. With my hay fever and hatred of wind, my eyes are always tearing up outdoors. I’ve been known to shed an unconscious tear when watching people’s reaction videos of Buffy, especially in something like Passion, or The Body. 

3. Do you have kids? If no, how many do you want?

I have two daughters, who recently turned 9 and 7. And there’s a baby on the way. Honestly, if I was a billionaire playboy and not so concerned about the problems which come with over-population, I’d have as many kids as possible.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

That would depend on the type of person this other person would be. I float between periods of being extremely charismatic and having people easily get to know me, and times when I just can’t be arsed so I appear to be a closed book/maniac. Like everyone else then. But yeah, I like a lot of cool stuff, so why not?

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Yes, to the extent that it sometimes gets me into, and out of trouble. I think my humour, which if you know me face to face, veers into sarcastic territory quite frequently though I don’t use it for ill. I’m pretty self-deprecating and into non-sequiturs, yet I like to think I’ve very quick when it comes to… what would you call it – reactive humour? Like I can on the spot blurt out a crowd-pleasing punchline in any given situation based on what someone else has just said or done, yet I’m not very good at proactive humour – setting up or telling a long form story or joke. In any case, I’d say I’m known for sarcasm.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their face.

7. What is your eye color?

You tell me:

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Blue, with a ring of green?

8. Scary movie or happy endings?

Scary movie of course. There are no happy endings.

9. Favorite smells?

I don’t care too much about smells to be honest. I don’t know, petrol always smells good… chips straight out of the chippie smothered in salt and vinegar…. Christmas. That smell you get when you step off the plane in somewhere like Spain – the mixture of warmth and air and whatever the plants are.

10. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

This is the Spac Hole – I have been further than any man has ever been. Or I don’t know – which is further, Mexico or St Lucia?

11. Do you have any special talents?

I can write blog posts which no-one cares about. I can spit like a snake from a small hole underneath my tongue. Can you do that? I think most people can but don’t realize. It’s great fun. Oh yeah, I can keep going after I’m done, if you know what I mean.

12. Where were you born?

Newtownards. No, I haven’t heard of it either.

13. What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in it?

Aries. Do I believe in sheep? What are you on about?

14. What are your hobbies?

The usual – movies, music, books, games. But also writing music, lyrics, playing guitar. If I had the time and no commitments, I’d be ass deep in all sorts of nerdy shit.

15. Do you have any pets?

Just one – Cooper The Cat.

Right, that’s enough of that nonsense for now. Don’t you feel you know me better? Now, do me a solid and click through the slew of links to my other posts below. It doesn’t earn me any money, but it makes me feel better about myself or something.

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

 

The Lifeguard

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It’s fine, I’ll admit it. I only watched this because the poster was of Kristen Bell in a swimsuit. Now, before you go thinking I’m some perverted pervert – I like Kristen Bell as an actor – I’ve always liked her performances, even if she has had a knack for appearing in less than good movies. The synopsis sounded interesting enough – a twenty something woman has something of a mid-life crisis and returns to her home town to become a lifeguard in her local town – something simple for a late night watch and maybe a showcase for Bell.

The film isn’t a mess – the performances are solid and it feels like a coming of age film about someone who already came of age. But there are problems – if you’ve seen any Indie, Sundance style dramas in your time then you’ll know what you’re in for – pretentious direction without achieving anything to deserve directing in such a way and the aimless soul-searching of characters you wouldn’t want to meet down a bright alley. We never get to grips with why Bell’s Leigh makes the decision (s) she does – something about a relationship breaking down and not being taken seriously as a journalist, which all leads her to moving back in with her parents, taking a dead-end job, meeting up with her old school friends, and most controversially, beginning a sexual relationship with a minor. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me if the kid was 18, or 17, or 21 or whatever, but apparently he is underage. So, we have a love story based around statutory rape, which is rarely a good starting point for a movie which wants us to sympathize with the rapist.

But putting that aside, it feels like a Gen X slacker movie – a sub genre I have a lot of fondness for, but without any of the authenticity, emotion or humour I would expect. It drifts along from A to B, ending as it starts with resolutions made but little learned. The director has the gall to film numerous scenes like a music video, complete with the most bland indie rock drivel you could imagine, and it all serves little purpose. There are a couple of decent moments which should have been focal points – one side character kills themselves and while this acts as a catalyst for later events, the actual death feels glossed over and a necessary device to get the film over its major hurdle and over the finish line. It’s a shame because Bell is always and engaging presence and the rest of the cast is peppered with familiar faces doing the best they can. It’s a shame it all amounts to nothing.

Let us know in the comments if you have seen The Lifeguard!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies By Year

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Greetings, Glancers! As I write this on… wait, what date even is it? I never know what day it is when I’m OoO for a length of time. It’s the 28th December. I’ve only recently realised that we’re at the end of another decade, one which has seen racist assholes and incel fucks rising from the cesspool of their own impotent self-hatred to give high-fives to terrorists around the globe and shudder in mewling misguided fear when anything so much as whispers at potentially changing their fragile, pointless, little scum-filled world. But hey, it also saw the birth of my two wonderful daughters and me becoming a billionaire playboy, so it hasn’t been all bad.

As I gander through the movie blogs and groups I’m involved in, I see everyone is posting their best of year and best of decade lists. Letterbox’d seems to be what people use, but I don’t know what that is so I’m sticking with my blog. You no doubt will have seen some of my Top Ten lists going back to 1950, and in the upcoming year I’m going to repost those with added opinions. But on top of that, I’ve also decided to do the same for my least favourites.

I don’t enjoy spending time on things I don’t enjoy – I’ll give anything a chance, but if I don’t like it or if it’s not for me, then I won’t spend any more time on it. Unless it’s objectively offensive and deserving of ridicule. The world would be a better place if we all did the same – just look at all the juvenile rage about (insert x fandom here). It’s pointless. It serves absolutely zero purpose beyond stretching the devisive state we already find ourselves in. However, as a blog-writing person you’re probably half interested in the movies I either didn’t enjoy, actively disliked, or was disappointed by. So, for each year going back to, probably, 1950, I’m going to list my least favourite movies. This doesn’t mean I feel they are the worst, most incompetent movies of the year, though it might, but just that they either didn’t interest me, pissed me off, or was something I was hoping to love which didn’t live up to my expectations.

As always, join me on the journey, call me out on my choices, give me a second opinion, or agree with me. I imagine my choices won’t align with most people. In each case I’ll give my reasons. In some cases there will be films which may be highly regarded, or even films I admit are good, but that I simply couldn’t enjoy. This isn’t me slinging shit, just letting you guys know a little more about my tastes and feelings. We’re all people – – doesn’t mean we have to feel the same. We go wrong when we decide someone or some group is worthless because of a difference of opinion. You feel like that and you’re still trapped in a playground mentality. Be better. They’re just movies. Crap ones. Ha!

 

2019 In Memoriam: May – June

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Chris Reccardi (November 24, 1964 – May 2, 2019)

Growing up in the 80s was a wonderful time for Kids cartoons, something which carried over into the 90s as we marched towards teen years. Reccardi was a major contributing force towards the quality of these shows, directing, animating, writing, and scoring on a variety of classics including Ren And Stimpy, Tiny Toon Adventures, The Lego Batman Movie, The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants, and The Powerpuff Girls.

Freddie Starr ( 9 January 1943 – 9 May 2019)

Freddie Starr was for a while Britain’s most popular stand-up comedian with an energy and physical style unmatched in the early 70s. His career continued throughout the next couple of decades with highs and low, appearing on gameshows and his own TV shows. Like many performers of the period, allegations involving his personal life began to surface in his later life which seems to have resulted in a withdrawal to Spain and near bankruptcy. He will be remembered as an influence on many of Britain’s physical comedians and his virtuoso performances.

Peggy Lipton (August 30, 1946 – May 11, 2019)

Man, this one hurt. Peggy Lipton was one of the most beautiful people to ever grace our screens and lives, inside and out, and a terrific actress too. The extended Twin Peaks family has lost a few big names in the last couple of years so it seems all the more bittersweet that we got The Return at all. Her Norma Jennings was one of the most grounded characters in the show and someone who was always a pleasure to see, set against the darkness and weirdness elsewhere. Lipton also one a Golden Globe for another cult show – The Mod Squad, was married to Quincy Jones for almost twenty years, and her kids Kidada and Rashida are now popular actresses.

Machiko Kyo (March 25, 1924 – May 12, 2019)

Machiko Kyo was one of the last surviving performers from Japan’s Golden Age, most famous for her breakthrough lead in Rashomon. Elsewhere, she was nominated for a GOlden Globe working alongside Brando in The Teahouse Of The August Moon and also appeared in Floating Weeds and Bad Obsession. 

Doris Day (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019)

From the Golden Age of Japan to the Golden Age of Hollywood, Doris Day was one of the biggest draws of radio and screen in the 50s and 60s, as well as being one of the most high profile animal rights activists of the 20th Century. She was only nominated for a single Oscar, but won 5 Golden Globes and four Grammys. She will be remembered for Que Sera SeraPillow Talk, Calamity Jane, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. 

Ashley Massaro (May 26, 1979 – May 16, 2019)

Beyond being a model, DJ, and TV host, Massaro will be most remembered for her time with the WWE. She was a winner of WWE’s Diva Search around the time I was winding down from watching it again – the Company was branching out into reality TV ventures which I only watched in passing. She feuded on and off with Mickie James and Vince’s Devils and later Melina before leaving to look after her daughter.

Niki Lauda (22 February 1949 – 20 May 2019)

As a bloke from Great Britain, at some point in your life you’re going to be exposed to Formula 1 – it’s like Nascar, but with skill. I watched on and off for a very short window when I was young before admitting to myself that it was boring and that the technology in the car was more important than the skill of the driver. While I was always much more of a motorcycle fan, there was no getting away from Niki Lauda, unquestionably one of the finest drivers the sport has scene and someone who was always mentioned even though I grew up after his heyday.

Judith Kerr OBE (14 June 1923 – 22 May 2019)

Again, you don’t grow up in GB without being exposed to Judith Kerr’s books. Fleeing Nazi Germany just as their power was rising, Kerr began writing when her children were young and kept going until close to her death, giving us numerous classics including The Tiger Who Came To Tea, and the delightful Mog series.

Mou Tun Fei ((May 3, 1941 – May 25, 2019)

An infamous Chinese Director known for some ‘extreme’ movies which are generally seen as a badge of honour for horror viewers and fans of Cinema which pushes the boundaries of decency. While he dabbled with other genres while working at Shaw Brothers, he remains most known for Men Behind The Sun.

 

Jose Antonio Reyes (1 September 1983 – 1 June 2019)

For lack of a better word, it’s always strange… tragic, when someone the same age or younger than you dies. Dying under the age of forty now is still considered too young to go and while Reyes was nearing the end of a football career which saw him picking up the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Spanish League, and a record five Europa League titles, his enduring popularity in Spain and England likely meant a continuing career as a pundit, commentator, or manager.

Sylvia Miles (September 9, 1924 – June 12, 2019)

In a career spanning eight decades, Miles was a frequent figure on stage and screen often selecting challenging roles in a variety of genres and tackling material many of her peers would have sniffed at. A two time Academy Award nominee, she will be remembered for Midnight Cowboy, Funhouse, and the Wall Street series.

Franco Zeffirelli (12 February 1923 – 15 June 2019)

Say what you will about his politics – serving as a Senator for a right wing party and aligning himself with the Roman Catholic Church on a number of divisive issues, yet coming out as gay himself late in life, Zeffirelli was a producer and director on some of the most notable works of European film and opera of the 20th Century. He will  be remembered for Tea With Mussolini, Jesus Of Nazareth, and Romeo And Juliet. 

Billy Drago (November 30, 1945 – June 24, 2019)

Billy Drago was never quite as big as his performances shown he should have been. Usually cast, often brilliantly, as a villain, Drago’s trademark snarl and accent meant he had a tendency to steal scenes from much larger names. Never afraid to take on challenging roles across the world and in any genre, Drago featured in gangster epics, martial arts movies, horror series, Westerns, and more. For me, he’ll always be the dastardly hitman Frank Nitti in The Untouchables but he will also be remembered for Pale Rider, Charmed, Masters Of Horror, and the infamous China White.

Share your memories and thoughts on any of the people above in the comments.

Scream 2 and Scream 3

*Originally written in 2003. I must go back and write some real reviews on these, because everything below is shite.

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Scream 2 is not as good as the original, let’s get that out of the way. It is part of a trilogy, and sequels are for the most part inferior. Wes Craven knows this, lets get that out of the way. But when the fans want more, and when the story isn’t finished, sequels are inevitably made. It is still a good movie, still better than any of the other teen slasher movies of the period, and retains many of the elements which made the original so good.

Now that we understand that Wes Craven knew exactly what he was doing, we can discuss the good and bad points. Bad – too many unnecessary characters (though strangely many of them are not killed or even put in danger), and most of them do not do much, the twists are too unpredictable to work well, and it is maybe too short. Now the good stuff – each central performance is good, though the Killer (s) is (are) too over the top. Neve is excellent again and has grown as an actress after coping with the fame Scream brought her, ironically mirroring the fame Sydney gets from what happened in Woodsboro. The Arquettes are both very good, Randy is very funny again, and the scares are reasonably effective. The police car scene stands out.

Again the film deals with mistrust and uncertainty, like most of Craven’s films, and we sympathize with Sydney’s struggles – it seems inevitable that she will never put these events behind her, and that it will be a great struggle for her to get close to anyone – her relationship with her new boyfriend shows this (played by Jerry O’Connell). The script is sharp, and there are many in-jokes and meta fun.

Overall it is a good film, and it’s nice to have the continuation of Sydney’s story because the impact the characters of the first film had on me was so great. It cannot be as original or fresh as the first film, but that does not matter, that’s not the point.

Scream 3

aaah Neve… while it’s probably the least satisfying, well, worst of the series, I think it is the fastest paced, and knowing that it is the final part of the trilogy it tries to be a crowd-pleaser. It is meant to over the top, answering any remaining questions from the previous films, and you can tell Craven was having fun making it.

As always, for me at least, Neve gives a fine performance, doing that thing she does with her eyes and lips at every chance, and although she does seem a bit tired of the whole role, she will go out fighting. The survivors, and Randy, from the other movies, all perform well again, while most of the new additions are simply there to be slaughtered. The guesswork is still there, but it is not a primary part of the film, and there are plenty of gory, funny deaths to keep us amused. I saw an advance screening of this when it first came out, and had a row of girls behind me, screaming and booting me in the back at the slightest opportunity. No, it wasn’t as scary as they made it out to be, but it has its moments: Mother coming up the path, was one I found quite disturbing first time round, and the opening scene is pretty good too. For me, the highlights are not the in-jokes, (Carrie Fisher’s appearance etc), which are good, but the scenes which go for pity and sadness. Randy’s video tape always brings a tear, as does Neve’s discovery at the end. Strange for a horror movie, even more strange for one which is 35% spoof, to have that kind of emotion, but it’s what always set the Scream series apart from the countless other teen slashers of the time. We, or at least I, felt for the characters, especially Sydney, and in the end, I suppose it is a fitting end to the most important horror trilogy of the decade. 

Sorry about that… the quality of these old reviews isn’t great, but I’m too lazy to rewrite them for now. Don’t worry, there are plenty more old and new ones to come. Let us know in the comments what you thought about Scream 2 and 3!

Captain America – The First Avenger

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I have a habit of writing an introduction to my movie reviews long before writing anything else. For example, I’m writing this opening paragraph on 27th October 2017 – I probably won’t write the rest for a few months after and then post the thing months after that. As I write, I have really only started to embark on my Marvel Movie adventure, having never really been swept up in the whole universe. I’m pretty much the prime target audience, having grown up with these characters in their various guises. However, none of the movies I’d seen really reached out to me in the way that say, a Batman movie, or The Crow, or 1978’s Superman did. I’d seen The Avengers, the first Iron Man, some of the early Hulk movies where there was a new actor each time, but they all felt identikit and meh. Lots of ‘splosions and lots of meandering plot which really boiled down to big man saving world and/or girl from big bad man. I didn’t go in to The First Avenger with too many expectations, but I was nevertheless keen to see what the fuss (of the extended universe) was all about.

Our story begins in present day as a mysterious aircraft is discovered in The Arctic. We flip back to the 1940s and get a battle scene where Nazis are doing a bit of mystical treasure hunting – finding something called The Tesseract which can grant them massive power. Cut to the US and we meet the scrawny Steve Rogers, your typical old school white patriot who wants to sign up to the Army to help in the war but is turned down for being sickly and weak. Impressed by his resolve, he is snapped up by a US experimental intelligence team who give him some magic juice, turning him into a Super Solider – a much stronger and faster version of himself. He is now Captain America and while acting as a symbol for all that is good, holy, and American, he chases down the evil Nazi (who also took the magic juice but something went wrong with his experiment) and lots of fights and ‘splosions happen.

First the positives – good effects, good attention to detail in all aspects, especially in creating a believable 1940s world. Not being a fan of Chris Evans beforehand, he is good in the role and abandons all of the annoying ticks and quirks from his earlier movies making him a well-rounded, if a little bland, action hero. The rest of the cast do their jobs as expected, Hugo Weaving having fun as the villain and Hayley Atwell adding some spunk as Peggy Carter. That’s pretty much it – it works as a world building movie and all the expected cameos and geeky nods are there. As an origin story it ticks all of the boxes. The main negative, as I alluded to in the intro all those months ago (now writing on 20th July 2018) is that it’s all so plain. Maybe I’m not the target audience anymore – I’m not wowed by anything, the geeky nods don’t do a lot for me, and there’s an air of ‘seen it before’ about it all. The conflict never seems real, we know how the film is going to end, and try as they might to form some sort of tortured love story, it never comes off. There’s not enough here for me to sink my teeth into. In another world this would be just a very average action movie – it is a very average action movie – but in our world that’s seemingly enough to warrant making almost half a billion dollars at the box office. I can’t come off as too critical – clearly a lot of work goes into a film on such a grand scale and clearly a lot of people love it – it’s fine, I just need something more these days.

Let us know in the comments what you thought of The First Avenger!

Best Cinematography – 1977

Official Nominations: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Islands In The Stream. Julia. Looking For Mr. Goodbar. The Turning Point.

Movies about dance, or Musicals and Costume Dramas in general historically tend to do well in this category but I find them often too stage driven rather than using the camera in innovate ways or truly capturing a landscape or a scene – for that reason The Turning Point is out, even it was shot by a guy who knew his stuff, also shooting Ben Hur and The Sting. Julia fares bettershot by the great Douglas Slocombe who worked on everything from The Lavender Hill Mob to Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Looking For Mr Goodbar seems like an odd choice in this category and more of an apology to Fraker for missing out on Bullitt and Rosemary’s Baby. Islands In The Stream (that is what we are) is more in line with what I think of when discussing cinematography, what with it and its protagonist’s obsession with the sea. My winner of course has to be the legendary Vilmos Zsigmond who reunites with Spielberg for Close Encounters Of The Third Kind – that rare sci-fi movie which is both set on Earth yet features stunning visuals and iconic shots.

My Winner: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

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My Nominations: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Star Wars. A Bridge Too Far. Cross Of Iron. The Duellists. Saturday Night Fever. Sorcerer. Suspiria.

Only my winner makes it over to the list and would be a good pick for winner here too, but I think I’ll change it up and spread the love. Star Wars, beyond the scenes in space and on ships, showcases a number of planets and places portraying a varied and vibrant universe. Scenes on Tattooine and beyond have become iconic and often mimicked. A Bridge To Far is a war epic in every sense and Geoffrey Unsworth uses his vast experience of battle work and innovation here. Cross Of Iron takes a more violent approach with John Coquillon’s exterior work being particularly notable. The Duellists is often, justifiably, compared to Barry Lyndon in terms of story and filming look and tone and much of that is due to Frank Tidy’s contribution while Saturday Night Fever paints an accurate depiction of the neon sleaze and pumped up momentary glory of the late 70s Disco scene.

Sorceror relies heavily on its taught direction and tight performances but also on its depiction of overbearing cities, rain and sweat drenched forests, and a camera that never wants to rest. Finally, Dario Argento and Luciano Tovoli create a horror film like no other with his dreamlike Suspiria, a film with a visual palette of extremes which never fails to startle newcomers and continually impress critics.

My Winner: Suspiria

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

2019 – In Memoriam: March-April

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King Kong Bundy (November 7, 1955 – March 4, 2019)

We start early with Wrestlers this year as another notorious ‘big man’ of the squared circle departed. Bundy was a formidable figure but never quite achieved the stardom or acclaim that many of his peers did – he didn’t pick up a single championship in WWE but was nevertheless famous for headlining Wrestlemania 2 and being part of The Million Dollar Corporation.

Keith Flint (17 September 1969 – 4 March 2019)

A surprise blow to the musical world this year as former frontman and Firestarter of The Prodigy passed away. The Prodigy has always been one of a small number of dance based groups I could both tolerate and admire, ripping up much of the sentimental and watered down junk which passed for music in the charts. Flint’s look and voice and approach was a large part of their appeal.

Luke Perry (October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019)

Although I was never a fan of Beverly Hills 90210, there was simply no getting away from it in the early 90s. I probably watched a couple of seasons of it, but I was always a Party Of Five guy. Perry was one of the major stars of the show and used it as a launchpad to a respected voice acting career and appearances in movies including Buffy and The Fifth Element. Later in his career he appeared in the hit shows Riverdale and Jeremiah. 

Wally Yamaguchi (May 5, 1958 – March 9, 2019)

A lifelong Wrestling fan, Yamaguchi had worked in Japan and beyond by writing and recruiting talent, though it wasn’t until 1998 that he appeared briefly, but notably in WWE as the manager of Kai En Tai. His various promos and antics helped them become one of my favourite groups of the time and were peak non-PC WWE.

Larry DiTillio (February 15, 1948 – March 16, 2019)

You won’t know the name, but for people of a certain age he was likely a source of entertainment and inspiration. He become one of the lead writers on He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe as well as She-Ra, creating most of the character names and writing the Secret Of The Sword animated feature. He was also a writer on any number of shows in the 80s and 90s – Babylon 5, Beast Wars, Centurions, Real Ghostbusters, and Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. 

Scott Walker (January 9, 1943 – March 22, 2019)

While Walker at this point in my life doesn’t mean much to me in a detailed way, for a long time he has been on my list of musicians I need to get around to hearing. Beyond a few songs I’ve liked, I haven’t heard much. Starting out as a standard enough pop singer, he eventually became increasingly avant garde, leading him to be an influence on a wide range of artists who would come in his wake.

Larry Cohen (July 15, 1936 – March 23, 2019)

A name that may not be familiar to those outside of the horror world, Larry Cohen was one of the most fearless and popular men in B-movies, making some of the most successful breakout hits. A writer, director, producer, Cohen’s best work saw him in satirical mode – using B-movie tropes and scenarios to talk about something more relevant. He is known for films such as Phone Booth, The Stuff, Q, and the It’s Alive series.

Joseph Pilato (March 16, 1949 – March 24, 2019)

Definitely a name that few outside the horror community will recognise, Pilato has nevertheless appeared in some of the most revered films of all time. I’ve also maintained that his outrageous performance as Captain Rhodes deserved an Oscar nomination, which surely would have opened him up to more roles. He will be remembered for Day Of The Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, and Pulp Fiction.

Bronco McLoughlin (10 August 1938 – 26 March 2019)

An Irish stuntman and hall of famer, he was involved in some of the most impressive stunt set pieces in the last fifty years as well as outright acting, including as the famous Channard Cenobite in Hellraiser 2. His work has helped many TV shows and movies become successful, including Father Ted, Vikings, Star Wars, Superman, Temple Of Doom, Total Recall, and A View To A Kill.

Shane Rimmer (28 May 1929 – 29 March 2019)

Another name most people won’t be familiar with, Rimmer worked as a writer and actor since 1957, most famously as the voice of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds. He has also worked in multiple James Bond movies, Rollerball, The Land That Time Forgot, Star Wars, Gandhi, Superman I-III, Coronation Street, and Batman Begins. 

Bibi Andersson (11 November 1935 – 14 April 2019)

One of the most famous and successful actors to come from Sweden, Andersson is best known for her work with Ingmar Bergman as well as branching out to Hollywood and wider Europe. She will be remembered for Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Persona, and Babette’s Feast. 

Jessie Lawrence Ferguson (June 8, 1941 – April 26, 2019)

Ferguson acted for a little over 10 years, yet always managed to make an impact when given a substantial role. He will be remembered for notable appearances in Prince Of Darkness, Darkman, and Boyz In The Hood.

John Singleton (January 6, 1968 – April 28, 2019) 

Speaking of Boyz In The Hood, director John Singleton became the youngest person (24) to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar, as well as the first African American. While he never quite matched that critical acclaim again, he nevertheless worked on well received movies, shows, and music videos including Rosewood, Remember The Time, Shaft, and Empire. 

John Llewellyn Moxey (26 February 1925 – 29 April 2019)

A director known most for his work in horror, Moxey had a more extensive career in TV directing, and will be remembered for works such as City Of The Dead, Mission Impossible, Kung Fu, Magnum PI, and Murder She Wrote. 

Peter Mayhew (May 19, 1944 – April 30, 2019) 

When you’re 7ft 3 inches, chances are you’re going to get typecast – in the movies and in life. Mayhew made it work for him, becoming one of the most loved characters in the most loved movie franchise of all time – his Chewbacca appearing in every film from the first up to and including The Force Awakens. 

Feel free to share your thoughts and memories on the people above in the comments!

Nightman Listens To – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr!

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Greetings, Glancers! I know they don’t get nearly as many views as my movie or TV posts, but I’m trying to keep up to date with my musical posts too, bringing you the worst the net has to offer in terms of my opinions on Bowie, Madonna, Jovi, The Stones, The Top 1000 Albums ever, yearly chart music et cetera etc. Many years ago I posted my Amazon Beatles album reviews and recently I’ve been posting updated versions of those along with my Nightman Scoring System (c) comments. In doing all of that I realized that I was missing out on the vast array of non-Beatles work that each of the four members created. Therefore, I’m going to start listening and reacting to all of those too. It’s a massive undertaking but I always planned on listening to them at some point so I may as well write about my experiences too.

It’s obvious that Paul McCartney has done the most out of each member – he has been extremely prolific since 1970, releasing with Wings, other bands, and on his own. Lennon died in 1980 and only managed a handful of albums, while Harrison released here and there up until his death. Ringo, I’ve honestly no idea. What I can say is that I haven’t listened to any of their non-Beatles albums all the way through. Actually, I have listened to Lennon’s experimental records with Yoko, and will not be doing so again for the purposes of this blog or otherwise, thank you very much. I know I’ve heard many of the individual songs by each artist post-The Beatles, but no albums. So I’m going to go through them in some sort of chronological order, I hope I get to listen to some great music for the first time, and I hope you’ll join me on the journey. Coming soon (probably not)!

Feel free to let me know in advance which solo/non-Beatles albums by John, Paul, Ringo, and George I should look forward to in the comments.