2019 In Film – A Preview – June

Dark Phoenix

The recent X-Men movies haven’t been as strong as the first two Bryan Singer ones – they’re still watchable, but they’re fairly forgettable and incoherent. I imagine this will be more of the same. It’ll tide them over before they decide to reboot it again or merge it all into one epic Marvel/DC/Beano nuke of crap.

The Secret Life Of Pets 2

I enjoyed the first one, my kids loved it… are animated sequels ever any good though?

Flarsky

Directed by Jonathan Levine who is very much hit and miss – often decent ideas as a writer, often generic or just plain bad in execution. This time around it sounds like a bad idea – loser chases successful woman he knew as a child. Romantic comedy stuff, with probably more ‘adult’ humour.

Men In Black International

I don’t think I ever saw the third one. Does International mean they’re looking at the different MIB agencies on each country? Does this mean Liam Neeson is going to be head of the Northern Ireland branch, headquarters in Ballymena? That would be possibly worth watching, if only to cringe at the accents.

Shaft

Seriously? Again? Why do we need this? Actually, this is sequel to the Sam Jackson one and sees all three generations of the Shaft family popping up, the story sounding like a standard murder mystery. Expect cool one-liners and the odd bit of action.

Toy Story 4

Like MIB, I don’t believe I ever saw Toy Story 3. I suppose I should. I like the other two, just not as in love with them as most people are.

Grudge

Speaking of reboots and remakes and sequels, is any franchise more confusing than The Grudge? It’s already been remade about twelve times. Shit, I still watch them, though I’m sure this is the final straw and will be rubbish.

Child’s Play

I’m not sure if we need a reboot of this especially as we have had plenty of sequels in the original series recently. I haven’t actually seen any past 3, but I always intended to. Same rules apply – kick him off a bridge and walk slowly away.

Untitled Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis Film

Oh fuck, it’s a musical, even if it is Danny Boyle. Keep it away from me. Far far away.

Ford Vs Ferrari

Remember what I said about food, horses, and dancing? The same applies for cars – don’t care.

Limited Partners

Two women from different backgrounds start a beauty company. All you need for this to be any less interesting to me would be a love for horses, food, or cars and have it be a musical. Director hasn’t made anything better than ‘just above average’ though I’ll watch Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek in any old shite. As you can guess, this is not for me.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

The first wasn’t great, but if it has sharks and people being eaten by sharks then you don’t have to tell me twice.

All You Need Is Love

Ah ha! So this is actually the Unnamed Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis musical. At least the idea is interesting, and if it is actually about Beatles music then I may give it a shot. Just when you think it might be interesting, you see Ed Sheeran in the cast and want to rip your own skin off with a skull.

Which of the above films are you interested in? Let us know in the comments!

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Best Original Song – 1971

Official Nominations: Theme From Shaft – Shaft. The Age Of Not Believing – Bedknobs And Broomsticks. All His Children – Sometimes A Great Notion. Bless The Beasts And Children – Bless The Beasts And Children. Life Is What You Make It – Kotch.

You know you’ve entered the 1970s when you hear those opening cymbols and guitars from the Shaft Theme. As iconic a song as you’re ever likely to hear, I had the pleasure of seeing Hayes play it live. It’s a rarity for a movie such as Shaft to receive any notice from The Academy, but the quality of the music is unavoidable and it is a deserving winner. Now, just compare that with The Age Of Not Believing, a cynical attempt at cashing in on the success of Mary Poppins. The lyrics are good, but the music, melody, and performance are all dreadful. It is quite clear that the world has moved on from such songs when paired with Shaft. All His Children is another weird choice, a dreary old Country Western song that sounds ridiculous alongside Shaft. Bless The Beasts And Children is a long forgotten song and film, but in both cases it feels like they should be cult hits – a coming of age outsiders tale, and a gorgeous performance by The Carpenters over a fairly average song. Life Is What You Make It is a touching song from a touching film, but let down by that old style vocal performance I despise.

My Winner: Theme From Shaft

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My Nominations: Diamonds Are Forever. Theme From Shaft. The Candy Man. Pure Imagination. I’ve Got A Golden Ticket.

Joining Theme From Shaft is one of the most famous Bond songs. Diamonds Are Forever is timeless and iconic, and features one of Shirley Bassey’s most incredible performances, though my favourite part has always been the eerie intro. My final three picks are all from Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory – film etched into the minds of every British person who grew up in the 70s or 80s. It was played every year in my school towards the end of term, and rarely a month passes where it isn’t shown on TV. The Candy Man may be the most famous track worldwide, due to various covers and popping up in The Simpsons etc. It’s a saccharine, juicy, light and joyful song. Pure Imagination is exactly as the name suggests, a wistful, beautiful song with a dreamlike quality which instantly transports you back to your childhood. I’ve Got A Golden Ticket is another fun, hook-laden track, a song of celebration and hope. The film has a number of other memorable songs, but these three are the strongest.

My Winner: Theme From Shaft.

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Q: The Winged Serpent: The Cohen Brother’s Best!

Q, or to give it it’s full title- The 8 Exciting Excapades Of Mr Q, The Big Thing, Also Known As Quaker Coat Al, King Of The Mormans, As He Chases Shaft, Kwai Chang, And Michael Moriarty- is basically just a remake of Jaws, but set in space. It has all the same scenes from that movie- a child being mauled to death as he takes his moon buggy for a brief spin; a dead man’s head floating by the spaceship’s port hole, Shaft having his legs bitten off as Q eats through the bottom of the ship. Heck, it even ‘borrows’ some of the famous lines- ‘We’re gonna need a bigger rocket’, ‘we’re gonna need a bigger ship’, ‘Monster! (instead of shark!)’, and ‘Hi’. It is suffice it to say that the famous George Lucas theme tune of the approaching evil is rogued too. While the Jaws music goes like this- Duh duh. Duh duh. Du du du du duh da du du, duh da du du’ and so on, the music in Q goes like this- ‘Duh duh. Duh duh. Du du du du duh da du du, duh da du du’. If that ain’t a slice of the old Rip Off Magee, then I don’t know what is boy!

Anyways, I’m sure if you’ve seen Jaws (or it’s other remake, King Qwong) you’ll know the basic storyboard. Humans have been living on the moon for a few weeks now, but for some reason they are all trapped in the 80s, or possibly the 60s. Drilling for precious moon oil has awoken an ancient beast known as Qod (basically God with a Q) and he ain’t happy! He ain’t happy, but he ain’t not hungry! Q is a giant dragaon type feature, roughly the size of a large squirrel, and he can fly. He can’t breath fire, but he ain’t not hungry! He feasts on space tramps and rocks and takes off towards the main city- Earth Part Two. Soon it is a race against time for the spacemen to work together and bring down this awesome foe.

I like the graphics in this film- they are some of the best I have ever scene, and I like the fact that they filmed on the moon, with Neil Armstrong’s permission. There is plenty of gore and killings, and the excitements are kept high on the scale- about 340lbs worth, give or take. What the film really needed was a big monster fight- they should have dug up another alien and had a smackdown rumble fest where they both smelled what the other had cookin’. This is a lovely piece of filming, Michael Douglas should be proud.

Best Scene: Patrick Moore’s cameo. He is discussing the possibility of life on other planets at the start of the show, then it cuts to him going to his dressing room. Later when his director goes to pick him up for his next shoot, and spins his chair round he is dead and Q has crawled out of his eye! You know which one.