Writer David Peoples is on record stating that his film Soldier is a "sidequel" and/or "spiritual sequel" to his previous film Blade Runner. That's a cheeky tactic to draw in an audience. The movie bares no resemblance aesthetically or thematically and is shot in such a way that it's a stretch to even imagine this is in the same universe. That aside, I really like the movie. Soldier was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and his distinct cinematic style is obvious (other movies of his are Event Horizon, Resident Evil, AVP and Death Race). I like his stuff and like the others, Soldier is a real popcorn flick. In a future world where the military condition soldiers from birth, a new super-soldier is developed and the now-obsolite ones are destroyed. Kurt Russell is one of them and he finds himself dumped on a waste disposal planet where he is taken in by a community of nomads who crash landed over a decade earlier. I like the movie's style and if anything it's just a great sci-fi action piece. Kurt Russell treats his character like a stroll through the park... with an expressionless demeanour and barely any lines, he shoots his way through each scene like a muted Rambo. Blade Runner this AINT... more like Mad Max: Beyond Arcadia 234.
I approached Chronicle with trepidation. I was of two minds. As a fan of John Landis I was keen to see how his son faired as a writer (he wrote Chronicle, obviously), however the film is from a hand-held video camera's point of view and such films have a knack of pissing me off. So many "lost footage" movies have been made with only a select few being good... so now I've seen it and.... Chronicle is fantastic! Despite it's gimmicky home-movie perspective it's one of the most original film's I've seen in a long time. 3 friends are exposed to a foreign element and inherit telekinetic powers. As their powers become stronger, the danger and risk factors become increasingly disturbing. There are some incredible sights in this strange and hypnotising film and giving it credibility is a strong underlying thematic arc. Themes of teenage isolation, alienation & angst give the movie an emotional edge which provides a logical and coherent narrative. It also touches on bullying and domestic abuse which will no doubt connect with a lot of teens. I wonder where the inspiration for Chronicle came from? Some of Stephen King's earlier work like Carrie, Rage and Firestarter came to mind and provide the best comparisons. I was really impressed... Chronicle delivers.
Troma presents Bacon Head, a low budget cult film in the tradition of The Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube. It's a series of sketches strung together, some of which connect. Starting with 'The land Of Chris's' (don't ask them about Kevin) it's a hit n miss experience. The shorter sketches work (proctology kitchen utensils) but dragging the movie down is it's feature sketch, The Toast Police. 4 cops walking the beat looking for toast dealers... "if you've got the bread, you've got the toast". It starts funny but lingers for too long. That aside Bacon Head is a rare and widely unknown cult flick the that most will consider so bad it's good. It's presented on dvd alongside the superior Troma sketch movie 'Viewer Discression Advised'. A few years ago I ran a 6 month Troma series at a little cinema in town... they were good times and I'm tempted to do it again... if only I had the time.
It's already been discussed here but now I'm going to review Prometheus. I've read other reviews and heard all kinds of discussions about this having no connection to Alien. One of my customers asked me to watch it and then educate him on how it actually does connect to Alien... because he was strapped to find a single correlation. Um... he's a dickhead! Prometheus is a perfect prelude to Ridley Scott's original masterpiece. Other people have complained that there are too many unanswered questions... whaa? Err, I think maybe they're actually trying to dislike it. Scott has constructed a fantastic sci-fi film that stands on it's own as well as providing some origin to the alien creatures we've come to know so well. I agree with some about the screenplay being on the light side, but I think thats irrelevant. The movie looks great and tells its story simply (just like the original did). Scott's strength is his aesthetic touch. He uses as much practical artistry as he can. The amazing special fx are balanced brilliantly with a largely physical set design and action design. The film leaves an opening for a sequel which would be very welcome but should that not prevail then it still aligns nicely with the Alien legacy. Sadly I think too many people have leapt to hasty judgement of a fine movie.