For one of them British people like me it’s kind of insane for me to consider the idea that Battle Royale was not available in a home release form in the U.S. until 2012. It is entirely understandable though what with the alarming frequency of school shootings that have happened over the years, something that is, thankfully, very rare in the UK. We don’t have a history of violent gun crime amongst teenagers and maybe the thought of Battle Royale, a film that revolves around teenagers forced to kill each other off, struck too much of a nerve with U.S. distributors and the mess of an organisation that is the MPAA. So I understand that, as most of my views come from the U.S. there is a good chance that whoever reads this may not have seen Battle Royale. There may be some spoilers ahead, but please do read on, because Battle Royale is a film that needs to be seen as it is one of the most important works of cinema since the turn of the century. Click the link below.
Tag Archives: Reviews
Back in the year 1997 Barry Sonnenfeld got together with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones to give them kids of the 90s a little sci-fi fun in the form of Men In Black. Based on the Lowell Cunningham comic it told the story of a New York cop recruited by a secret organisation tasked with policing alien life on Earth. The film was a lot of fun, partly in thanks to slightly 80s attitude of asking the audience to just go along for the ridiculous ride. It didn’t take itself too seriously and so it managed to elevate itself above potential stupidity. A fine and enjoyable film. Its sequel was bollocks, far too concerned with showing zany and wacky aliens then telling an actual story. I was not planning on seeing Men in Black 3 partly because of how disappointing the second film was and this feeling that it existed to push Will Smith and sideline Tommy Lee Jones, cos he’s all old and stuff and Will Smith really needs a hit film. Last night there wasn’t much on TV and I was after a film to watch. Men in Black 3 was starting in a few minutes so I figured “what the hell”. Men in Black 3 is a good film. Click the jump for reasons.
Because my finger is always on the pulse of teenage literature I’m here to review the Hunger Games! That only just came out, right? No? It was over a year ago? oh…What’s Catching Fire? Maybe you should put it out then. OK, so maybe my finger isn’t entirely on the pulse of what the kids are watching these days. So I’m a little behind on getting to The Hunger Games. What did I think of it though? You don’t care? Oh… Well, it’s after the link. Would be nice if you at least read a little of the review.
I may have mentioned this before but Troll 2 is pretty much some kind of work of cinematic genius. By “some kind of” I mean somewhere between Manos Hands of Fate and Citizen Kane. I’m not sure exactly where it sits, but it is clearly between those two films. Best Worst Movie follows the cult fandom of Troll 2 that has built over the course of nearly 2 decades after it’s initial release. The film explores why Troll 2 is so adored and how that adoration has effected the lives of the cast and the film’s director Claudio Fragasso. Quite brilliantly this documentary is directed by possibly the best person for the job, star of Troll 2, Michael Stephenson. Click the link for my totally unbiased review of Best Worst Movie!
I’ve written about Kickstarter before on this here blog-thing. Most recently it was regarding the (Justifiably ill fated) Uwe Boll Kickstarter to help him make Postal 2. Thanks for not backing that by the way. This week the lovely folks at Arrow Films, who have been doing a stellar job of keeping cult cinema alive in the form of excellent DVD and Blu-ray releases here in the UK, launched a Kickstarter to restore the prints of Walerian Borowczyk’s Goto, Island of Love. This is a film based Kickstarter done right that also could open the door for something magical to happen. Click the link for magic.
Yes, I could have easily split this into two separate reviews and got me a few more ad hits, but that just ain’t how I roll. These two films come together as one complete whole and tell a story that is fully contained within these two parts and the comic it is based on. No, there isn’t a comic called The Dark knight Strikes Again. That never happened. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns is a comic that fans have wanted to see adapted for years. Apparently Warner entertained the idea in the process of reinventing Batman for cinema audiences after the travesty that was Batman & Robin. It would have been a tough one to pull off seeing as it is among the most brutal Batman stories worthy of adapting. What you’d need is a medium that can get away with a little more and a fan base willing to buy. And that’s where Bruce Timm and his pals at Warner Animation come in. Click the link for my review.
Here’s a film I’ve been wanting to cover for a long time. Watchmen is a film that had been in development for nearly 20 years by the time Zack Snyder was able to bring it to the silver screen. In the past directors such as Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass and Terry Gilliam had all made attempts to get this film made. Gilliam even termed the comic it is based on as unfilmable. If you’ve ever read the comic you’d probably agree. The story is thick with dialogue, richly layered with subtext and has some of the strongest character writing of the 20th century. I say with no intended hyperbole that Alan Moore is one of the greatest writers of modern times and Watchmen is his work at its most complex and creatively brilliant. When I first read the comic about 15 years ago I tried to envision what a film would be like. I just could not see it. I figured that Watchmen would be better suited to a 6-8 hour TV series, but then the budget would be ridiculous. I went to see this film in the cinema on release day expecting the worst, after all… there’s been a long line of terrible adaptations of Alan Moore’s work beforehand. Click the link to find out what I think of Watchmen.
Zombies are pretty much everywhere now. It seems that about 10 years ago a few zombie films turned up around the same time, some sort of critical mass was achieved, and since then it’s been impossible to escape the buggers. Partly because they run now, but also because it’s every company’s lazy idea of making a quick cheap buck. A zombie film practically writes itself. People are holed up some and zombies are coming for them. A zombie comic can give a writer like Robert Kirkman a medium to explore the nature of civility and the extremes people will go to in a long form format, and also become crazy rich of TV and merchandise deals. Zombie games allow developers to minimise A.I. scripts and provide the player with the context to shoot whatever they like. Most zombie related materials these days are pretty bottom of the barrel tripe. Those that excel, such as The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later and The Last of Us do so because they don’t just look at zombies as a chance to show some gore. They see the zombie setting as a chance to hold a mirror up to ourselves in the kind of blunt, uncomplicated way that seems to be required these days. They do this all because of one man and the groundwork he laid in three fantastic zombie films. I end this zombie week with, possibly, his masterpiece, Day of the Dead. Click the link for braaaaains.
It’s a Halloween tradition here at Film Dump towers… well, my house… to watch a Halloween film on Halloween. It’s not the most original of traditions. Since starting The Film Dump I have taken upon myself to review the entire Halloween franchise, one film at a time, one film per year. At this rate I’ll be done in 2020. That’s provided they don’t make any more. This may not have been my best idea. Tonight is the third Halloween in The Film Dump’s existence and, as such, I must now review the anomaly that is Halloween 3: Season of the Witch! Again, not my greatest idea. Click the link for my words what are about this film.
So Marvel thought it would be hilarious to release Thor The Dark World right in the middle of my Horror Week. Good going Marvel! Why not screw everything up for me as much as you can? Like that time you released The Avengers just as I was about to do my traditional joke review for The Film Dump’s 1st birthday. I’m sure they’ll find a way to screw up the Godzilla season I’m planning. Jerks. Yup, Marvel have it in for me, clearly. So, Thor The Dark World is out in the UK and I just got back from seeing it. So here’s my review… right in the middle of Horror Week. Click the link.