Saturday, February 11, 2017
In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.
Intelligent remake of a classic, a joy to watch.
On renewed viewing: Nice-looking remake of a classic political satire updates the message and otherwise has its credentials in all departments, but the good work doesn't have the original's edge.
Maltin**1/2: "Remake of a genuinely great film puts an intriguing, modern spin on the depiction of backroom power brokers but lacks the chilling edge - and starkness - that marked the original."
In the midst of a prolific career, Miles Davis disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s till a wily music reporter forces his way into Davis' house and, over the next couple of days, the two men unwittingly embark on an adventure to recover a stolen tape recording of the musician's most recent compositions.
Don Cheadle delivers a spectacularly convincing performance as Miles Davis, but his attempt to explore the man and and artist is marred by a hopscotch plot with multiple flashbacks which entertains but is vaguely insightful.
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"If Daft Punk were commissioned to score a cyberpunk horror film of the likes of Hardware, the resulting work may sound something like what Paris musician James “Perturbator” Kent has come up with on 2014’s Dangerous Days, the latest of his four albums. Utilizing vintage synthesizer sound straight out of the Miami Vice era, Perturbator lets loose with aggressive arpeggios and wispy melodies, creating music that, similar to a group like Zombi, seems to have been influenced by the vintage soundtrack work by the likes of John Carpenter and Goblin. Though the melodies and individual tones heard here are straight out of the 1980s however, Perturbator’s music is clearly made within the framework of obstreperous modern electro, with crushing beats propelling Dangerous Days through dark and ominous soundscapes that harken back to the menacing futuristic atmosphere of Blade Runner.
Dangerous Days plays out as a concept album set in the “urban nightmare” of 2088 and detailing (mostly through instrumental music) a war in which computers and robots attempt to wipe out all traces of humanity" (Scene Point Blank)
Friday, February 10, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
In a totalitarian future society, a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.
Accurately gloomy and defeatist adaptation of Orwell's classic dystopian novel has some good post-war settings and a good cast; the pessimistic vision, unfortunately, is as valid as ever nowadays.
Halliwell*: "Pointless, perhaps, to make a prophetic film in the year it was supposed to be prophesying, but this version adds a few twists to Orwell's nightmarish original and is well if sometimes confusingly made."
Maltin***: "Appropriately grim, well-cast version...Superior to the 1956 version, though the oppressive gloominess of the second half does wear you down. Seedily impressive production design."
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
In West Berlin during the Cold War, a Coca-Cola executive is given the task of taking care of his boss' socialite daughter.
Wild and keen Cold War spoof is fast-paced, and its humor is keen, cynical and - accurate; the cast seems to be enjoying the madness.
Halliwell**: "Back to Ninotchka territory, but this time the tone is that of a wild farce which achieves fine momentum in stretches but also flags a lot in between, teetering the while on the edge of taste."
Maltin****: "Hilarious Wilder comedy...Cagney is a marvel to watch in this machine-gun-paced comedy..."