Planet of the Apes (1968)

In the year 1972, four astronauts are deep in space, on a mission of discovery. They awake from suspended animation to find that one of their crew is dead and their ship has landed on an unfamiliar planet, and is rapidly sinking into a body of water. After making a quick escape with as much equipment as they can carry, the three survivors must find a way to survive, something made much more difficult by the planet’s native population.

Recently we recorded an episode of the Lambcast all about the original Planet of the Apes movies, from 1968′s Planet through to 1973′s Battle for the Planet of the Apes. I’d never seen any of the films before, so I was especially looking forward to the show, as I’ve now seen them all. They vary from the excellent (this one) to the dismal (Battle), the thought-provoking (Escape from the Planet of the Apes) to bat-shit insane (Beneath the Planet of the Apes), and you can listen to the discussion we had about them all here. As it happens, Planet of the Apes is also on the 1001 Movies list, and is widely regarded as a classic, so I’m selecting it as my Blind Spot pick for this month. Continue reading

Inside Llewyn Davis

Llewyn Davis is a folk singer, stumbling from sofa to sofa in early 1960s New York. He used to be part of a semi-successful duo, but for reasons explained in the movie the pair are no longer together, and everything Llewyn owns he carries with him and dumps at the next person willing to put him up for the night. He isn’t really going anywhere in life other than downwards, so he plans to head to Chicago in search of a record deal. Also, there’s an accidental pregnancy, and a cat.   strugglinginthesnow_insidellewyndavis
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A Separation

Nader and Simin have been married 14 years and have a daughter just weeks away from her 11th birthday and some important exams. However, they’re getting separated. They haven’t fallen out and bear no ill will towards one another, but circumstances require them to live apart. Simin (Leila Hatami) wants a better life for herself and her daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), which she believes is impossible whilst living in Iran, so she wishes to move out of the country to live with her mother. However, her husband Nader (Peyman Mooadi) needs to stay to look after his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
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Raiders of the Lost Ark

I think I may be approaching the 1001 Movies List (and the other lists I’m going through) from something of a skewed perspective, in that I may be crossing off a few too many of the “better” movies before I get to the ones I’m not looking forward to as much. Bearing in mind yesterday I reviewed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and today sees me tackling Raiders of the Lost Ark, I need to make sure I don’t eat all of my dessert before getting to the vegetables, as I also recently crossed off Back to the Future, Taxi Driver, RoboCop, To Kill A Mockingbird, Fargo and Boogie Nights as well. That being said, Bueller and Raiders made for a most enjoyable weekend of movie watching, with a little Jurassic Park: The Lost World thrown in for good measure (I’ll be writing something about that for French Toast Sunday this weekend, where we’re celebrating July with a month dedicated to Steven Spielberg, hence the Raiders viewing). Spielberg is one of my favourite directors, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering he’s the guy behind Jurassic Park, the greatest movie ever made, but now I get the chance to talk about another one of the masterpieces he brought into cinemas. Continue reading

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

This review was originally written for French Toast Sunday as part of my USA Road Trip feature.

How much of an introduction do I really need to give Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? I’m hoping none but, as much as it pains me to say, there’s probably a few unenlightened souls out there who have yet to discover the wonder that is this film. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is an unimaginably popular and enterprising teenager who, one day, decides to pretend to be ill and skip school. It’s something he’s perfected into an art form – this is far from his first game of hookey – but this time he’s roping in his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and hypochondriac best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck). Once the gang has been assembled and Ferris has “borrowed” Cameron’s father’s prized Ferrari, the trio head to Chicago for the best day they’ll ever have. Meanwhile, Ferris’ sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the school’s Dean, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) both suspect Ferris to be faking, and set about trying to bring him down.Ferris01 Continue reading

Goal of the Dead

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review. When the Parisian football team Olympique head to the small town of Capelongue for a minor match against their local team, the most eventful thing on anyone’s minds is the potential transfer of their star player, and the trepidation of the team’s oldest player, Sam Lorit, at returning to his home town, which he left seventeen years ago, abandoning the home team to mediocrity. However, when the spurned father of a Capelongue player tries out a new steroid-like injection on his son, it soon leads to an outbreak of rabid, blood-thirsty rioters terrorising the stadium. Continue reading

Top 10… Movie Cab Drivers

This week’s Lambcast is another Movie of the Month, and this month the topic of conversation was Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. As such, here’s a rundown of my Top 10 Movie Taxi Drivers:      VVa3lael6qrninjqCHYu8rP9o1_1280

Honourable mention: John McClane & Zeus Carver (Bruce Willis & Samuel L. Jackson), Die Hard With A Vengeance?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

OK, technically neither John nor Zeus (who does not look Puerto Rican to me) are taxi drivers, but at various points throughout this New York-set sequel they do drive a taxi, so technically they are taxi drivers, and therefore eligible for this list. I’ve loved Die Hard with a Vengeance since many years before I even saw Die Hard, and I think it’s the bickering relationship between the two that drew me to it. Specifically, I love the scene in which the two must make it across town in a very short amount of time, during rush hour traffic. The solution? drive straight through Central Park, ploughing through cyclists and pedestrians alike. This scene gives way to my favourite line in the film, when Zeus asks if McClane is aiming for the people, he replies “No, well, maybe that mime.” Other great taxi drivers I could have used are the pain in the ass sports fan who Cuba Gooding Jr. is lumbered with in Rat Race, Darwin (Edi Gathegi) the underused evolving mutant in X-Men: First Class, who we first meet driving a cab, Beauregarde from The Great Muppet Caper, Alan Ford in An American Werewolf in London, J B Smoove in Date Night and the terrifying, snarling, grotesgue “Ain’t much better in here, kid” guy from Home Alone 2. Continue reading