Film Reviews by DJ

Welcome to DJ's film reviews page. DJ has written 4 reviews and rated 6 films.

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Prometheus

Could have been such a better prequel!

(Edit) 09/06/2018

I read somewhere that originally this script was written with a much stronger linked ending in the movie Alien but Ridley Scott didn't want to go over old ground again ("it's what the viewers would want!") but personally this should have been linked more to Alien and then Aliens. This movie is at it's weakest in the direction it went in after being rewritten that it's the prequel to us as humans. The origin of our species, not the alien species. Where did we come from? Is there a God? This movie is simply not intelligent enough for the deep philosophizing it does. It's at it's weakest in those parts and also the narrative and some of the acting related to this. There are even plot holes due to editing with crew members coming alive again, due to moving around the movie.

The movie is beautiful though with great special effects. Some of the main characters are fabulously portrayed, Elizabeth Shaw portrayed by Noomi Rapace is a really interesting lead protagonist. Just falls apart with the faith stuff (which they have to make really obvious) and the relationship with her boyfriend fails because he is cute but they just don't sell the relationship well enough. Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba are excellent characters. Idris keeps his accent up the whole film! The rest of the actors are so so and you end up not really caring if they live or die which is a problem in this movie.

If you watch the movie several times, it becomes more endearing somehow. The first watch is just confusing as you try to follow the narrative. Without spoiling it, the movie does end with big hints or links to the Alien series. I liked this movie in the end but it could have been a lot better! I did like the character of Elizabeth Shaw and she could have been a new Ripley but was disappointed to read they don't continue with her very long in the next movie of the series. In fact I have read that Alien Covenant a lot worse than this one but that I still have to watch :) Worth a watch, does contain some horror and scenes that make you jump but not as good as Alien / Aliens ultimately.

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The Quatermass Experiment

An Interesting TV SciFi Experiment

(Edit) 13/04/2018

I missed the original showing of this live on BBC Four in 2005 and so was catching up with the DVD. There were many technical restrictions with this film because it was broadcast almost completely live and the different sets all had to be near each other, so it was kept fairly simple and it has a live quality with racing adrenaline for the viewer whilst watching, will they pull it off? They really do pull it off with hardly any mistakes (they go over the mistakes in the audio commentary). It has great actors involved and some were not so well known then but now big names, for example David Tennant who got the role of Doctor Who during this, in the broadcast one actor changes his lines to refer to say "Good to have you back, Doctor" as a reference to this. Quatermass as a character feels a bit miscast but all the other characters are very good.

It tells the story of the original Quatermass Experiment well with some changes and updates it to modern times, the sets and feel of this is a funny mix of both the 50's and 2000's but I quite like it and it needed to be updated if they were remaking it. The first 3/4 of the tv film is great. it rushes along with a narrative plot and great acting but the end is disappointing for me. It does feel like a crescendo of energy from the live element of it in the last quarter and it feels less structured and rehearsed somehow with a more just going with what happens feel, where as the rest is very structured and must have been rehearsed over and over. They move the ending scene from Westminster Abbey in the original to the Tate Modern to update it and the huge hanger at the end does really seem like the turbine hall in the Tate but it has a disappointing ending with pleading to the humanity of the monster (which isn't actually shown at the end and it's left to your imagination). It was right to update it to modern times and not have a person dressed in a green rubber suit with sponges glued on but somehow the ending didn't reflect the energy of the live build up, it wasn't a crescendo of a conclusion but leaves you flat. It's worth a watch though and I wish they made more live broadcasts of drama, think of it like theatre rather than expensive cgi sci fi because it really isn't that. An interesting experiment, they made Andromeda live after this but wish they did so many more! Great actors, good attempt, doesn't entirely work out (but not the live aspect of it) and probably not as good as older versions of this. The DVD also has a good audio commentary and making of feature about how it was made and what went wrong and right!

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Kong: Skull Island

At least it's knows it's fun!

(Edit) 13/04/2018

I watched this film with trepidation because I had read about it and seen reviews and actually it was better than I expected, but I had low expectations! It's watchable and fun! The characters are awful and almost everyone is horrendously miscast, especially Tom and Brie as the lead characters! I think only Samuel L Jackson pulls off his bad guy character, by putting everything into it and the plot and script are just not important to this film. But the special effects and beautiful scenery are great! It you want a fun and action filled romp, this is it!

I much preferred this actually to Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong remake which was way too long and takes itself very very seriously! This knows what it is and is fun. It was better than expected because I enjoyed watching it and a sequel is in the works!

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The Milky Way

Surrealist satire on religious dogma

(Edit) 13/04/2018

My parents loved all of Buñuel's movies in the 60's and they are always avant-garde surreal. This is one of his best and wanted to watch it for myself as it's a classic. This is his atheist take on Christian dogma and specifically the Catholic Church but it's also worth remembering always that it's meant to be surreal, so it's not supposed to make sense as random weird things happen.

The story is about two impoverished people set off on a pilgrimage from France to Santiago-de-Compostella, it's their spiritual journey but it's also a road movie. The journey has strange thing happen to them, which is random and odd, but it's supposed to be absurd and surreal. The film questions the Catholic church and major beliefs it holds and ridicules them, I don't think it's offensive but it shows them as absurd as ideas themselves. The hypocrisy of dogma and it's actual practical implications to the guys on their journey. When the film goes in directions which are very heavy in it's religious criticism, it will turn it around into a funny light relief, for example should Jesus shave? things like that. All the events that happen with a religious context, are real historical events taken into this film.

It's a film of it's time but I greatly enjoyed it and it's a funny surreal film. I enjoyed their road trip!

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