50 Words for Film

Films old and new reviewed in fifty words

The Hills Have Eyes

Hills have eyes

Wes Craven

1977

Great title. Simple premise: inbred cannibals terrorise a family lost in the desert, but the fear is vague. There’s little blood, and what there is looks like watery paint. The most disturbing aspect of this classic video nasty it how remarkably non-nasty it is by today’s standards. Great faces though.

Spirit Of The Beehive

Spirit of the beehive

Victor Erice

1973

Rural Spain in the 1940s and a little girl watches Frankenstein and slowly becomes obsessed with the gentle monster. Beautifully photographed, sad but strangely calming, this film gets close to showing the inner workings of a child’s mind. 7-year-old Ana Torrent is especially good, giving a natural and perfect performance.

Alien: Covenant

Alien-Covenant pic

Ridley Scott

2017

Sequel to the actually okay Prometheus, only this time they remembered the Aliens. Too much CGI weakens the tension but the Frankensteinal take on the plot is intriguing. The Xenomorph is 98 out of 100 sci-fi fans favourite monster (the other two are lying) so please stop messing with him.

Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever

Guy Hamilton

1971

By the 7th Bond film you could smell the piss the filmmakers were taking. With each passing decade, the sexism, homophobia and the ludicrousness became so much harder to ignore. One of the laziest films of the series, exciting it places but our hero is a little “hands-on” for comfort.

 

 

Mindhorn

Mindhorn

Sean Foley

2017

A once successful but extremely unemployed/unemployable actor has to revive his most famous role to catch a killer, with hilarious results. This is a funny film but it was clearly made for television. The bouquet of Alan Partridge is powerful (Steve Coogan cameos) but Julian Barratt smells like now.

SORCERER

SorcererWilliam Friedkin

1977

Why is this film not so well known? It’s by William ‘The Exorcist’ Friedkin and stars Roy ‘Jaws’ Scheider. A possible reason is it’s a cold, bleak and bloody existential thriller that’s possibly an allergy for purgatory. Also, it came out the same time as Star Wars (I know).

Kong: Skull Island

Kong- Skull Island

Jordan Vogt-Roberts

2017

How can a film with massive monsters and Samuel L. Jackson be boring? I mean, come on, Samuel L Jackson and monsters? Well, there’s no real plot, tedious and clichéd characters, no sense of suspense and a somehow dull fight between King Kong and a monster lizard. Nice trailer though.

The Big Lebowski

Big Lebowski

Joel and Ethan Coen

1998

The plot of this film is almost irrelevant; it’s crime-ish but who cares? What it’s about is Jeff Bridges’ “Dude,” doing Dude stuff. It’s about the best character actors in America bouncing off each other. It’s one of the best screenplays of the decade. But that’s just my opinion man.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One picGareth Edwards

2016

Appealing to the whole family has always been a problem for Star Wars, (Jar bastard Jar fucking Binks) but here is a much darker galaxy; try not to get too attached to any of the characters. Set immediately before the events of the first film this is an exciting distraction.

Raw

Raw jpgJulia Ducournau

2017

This superb French-Belgium film about a vegetarian student vet coming to terms with the fact that she’s a bloodthirsty cannibal is a further example of northern Europe’s love of intelligent horror. Garance Mariller is fantastic and sympathetic as our teenager who just wants to fit in and eat almost nobody.

 

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