Archive | Film

An archive of blog entries about films and film production.


August 22, 2016

What have you been watching? Including My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Mr Robot, The Last Ship and Outcast

Posted on August 22, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. 

Well, look at that. I'm back blogging in August. Okay, the Daily News won't be back until September and I'm not going daily until then for anything else, either, but there's a good chance I'll be peppering August with further posts, including a look at the latest Amazon pilots, such as The Tick, Jean-Claude Van Johnson and I Love Dick, I hope.

Elsewhere, I reviewed the first season of Baron Noir (France: Canal+; UK: Amazon Prime), which was my holiday project, and I left you with my thoughts on Stranger Things (Netflix) and Star Trek Beyond (2016) before I went. But surprisingly, since then, there hasn't actually been much new TV and as I did quite a purge before the holidays, the only regulars I'll be covering after the jump are The Last Ship and Mr Robot, as well as everything up to the season finale of Outcast. I also haven't been to the movies, being away and all, not even to see Jason Bourne

But we did watch one movie rather a lot:

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) (iTunes)
The sequel to the worldwide success that was wedding culture-clash comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 brings back virtually the entire cast to just about manage to do something different, with Nia Vardalos and John Corbett's daughter Elena Kampouris (American Odyssey) having to choose whether to go away to college or not, while facing the constant pressure to get married to a good Greek boy; meanwhile, Vardalos' parents discover the priest at their wedding didn't sign the certificate, meaning they're going to have to have - you guessed it - a big fat Greek wedding.

Vardalos' script is mostly a mother-daughter story, but is also partly a rejoinder to the original movie's stereotypical portrayal of Greek culture, emphasising its potential for acceptance and diversity as well as the cloying conservatism shown in the original movie. Wisely, it also gives Andrea Martin far more to do. However, there are few of the original's insights, various plot lines (eg Corbett's relationship with his parents) go virtually nowhere, the Greek (what little there is of it, even between people who are from Greece) is atrocious, and the general message of hope and pushing boundaries of the original is destroyed, with Vardalos' travel agency having closed between movies, forcing her to work for the family restaurant again, and her brother's artistic talents going precisely nowhere either.

Nice to see everyone back together again, but a shame that Vardalos doesn't have much left to say, it seems (did she use it all up on the TV series?).

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August 18, 2016

Alex Cox's recent appearance on Kermode Uncut is like a missing episode of Moviedrome

Posted on August 18, 2016 | comments | Bookmark and Share

As if I wasn't getting pangs of 80s nostalgia bad enough already thanks to Stranger Things, I've just watched the latest episode of Kermode Uncut with Alex Cox and I've got them even stronger.

Cox is the director of Repo Man, among other things…

…but is probably best known in the UK from his time presenting BBC Two's Moviedrome in the late 80s and early 90s. That was a time when the BBC took film reasonably seriously on its main channels. Barry Norman was the ever knowledgeable host of BBC One's Film 8x/9x, reviewing films each week with the seriousness each deserved (or maybe didn't).

Meanwhile, Howard Schuman's Moving Pictures on BBC Two was discussing movies and interviewing directors with a competency that means it was subsequently used to teach film studies and even managed to save Mike Figgis' career following Mr Jones

But slightly more accessible was Moviedrome, hosted by Cox between 1988 and 1994. Each curated season consisted of a number of movies picked by Cox, some good, some bad, all interesting, which he would discuss before their showing, highlighting both their positives and negatives. There are numerous movies I would never have seen without him, including my beloved Manhunter and The Andromeda Strain, which are the ones I usually cite. But simply looking through the list of movies he introduced, I can see that I'd forgotten he also gave me my first tastes of The Wicker Man, The Parallax View, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Fly, The Thing From Another World, THX 1138, Sunset Boulevard, Get Carter and Solaris, to name just a few.

For sure, Film 8x's roving reporter Tom Brook is still doing marvellous work on BBC World News' Talking Movies, but that's about it and the idea of curation seems to be something that only Film4 and a few more obscure channels do and then occasionally. Which is shame. If only there were a modern-day Moviedrome, maybe even hosted by Cox.

Well, Cox has just made his second appearance on Kermode Uncut, this time to discuss Moviedrome, and Mark Kermode asks him what movie he'd like to feature in a new Moviedrome. As you might expect, the answer is superb and will just make you wish Cox was back on our screens again.

That time Kyle MacLachlan explained the plot of Dune on Twitter

Posted on August 18, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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