Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Crocodiles

Although a love of Sean Pertwee is a wonderful thing, sometimes it can lead me to watch films that are not good. I don't mean films that are so bad they're good, or films that are just about okay if you like that kind of thing. Nope, sometimes I end up watching films that are just bad. This is what happened when I settled down for a viewing of U.F.O.

Here's what's good about U.F.O.:

  • It has Sean Pertwee in it playing a religious nutter who has realised the truth about the aliens and is trying to communicate this to others by shouting bible passages in a confusing manner. Pertwee does crazy so well.
  • It has Jean-Claude Van Damme in. What happens to his character in the end was the most entertaining moment of the whole film.
  • It has Julian Glover in for about two minutes. He gets to be old and wise.
  • It represents the efforts of a group of people getting together and trying to do something creative.

Here are some of the problems (other than the plot):

  • The presence of Van Damme is so incongruous and badly written it gives a surreal tint to the film that it really doesn't need.
  • The attempt to show how humanity would crumble in the face of an alien invasion is badly handled and just ends up being unpleasant, especially at the end.
  • THERE AREN'T ANY UFO'S IN IT. Sorry for exploding into capitals there, but it's a pet peeve. There are no unidentified flying objects in this film, there are just a shit load of instantly recognised alien spaceships. Interestingly, the poster on IMDB has the title as Alien Uprising; they should've gone with that.
  • There's not enough Pertwee.
So, that was a bit of a low, but has it damaged my Pertwee love? No, not one bit. Pertwee will always redeem himself. The other evening I randomly put on a documentary called Diving With Crocodiles about crazy scientist types following enormous crocodiles into dark and unexplored caves formed by papyrus on the Nile. At one point they were lost in this cave, with at least two huge crocs and only ten minutes of air left in their tanks. I honestly thought they were going to die, and had to remind myself I wasn't watching a found-footage horror flick. It was pretty exciting and made all the better for being narrated by the fabulous Mr Pertwee.

All is forgiven.

Monday, 14 July 2014

I Made This (with some help from the Lego Movie)

First, the horror...

Okay, not quite so horrific, because I'd already sorted into colours by this point, but you know what I mean.
Then the glory...

Words can't express how much I love that ice-cream van, which made it a bit distressing when I tore it apart to make this...
but it's super-awesome! Here's the whole thing in action...

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Five Things To Do On A Lazy Morning

Five Things To Do On A Lazy Morning

  1. Listen to In Our Time on Radio 4. This will be a bit hard over the summer, because the series have just ended, but it's all there on iplayer. Anyway, every show is the exploration of an idea, theory, person or work of art. They're always interesting and make you feel as if you're improving yourself, when actually you're just sitting at the breakfast table eating your coco-pops*.
  2. Have a nice long bath. It needs to be hot enough to make your muscles all feel like they're melting, but not so hot that this feeling becomes literally true. Also, make sure to add plenty of bubble-bath. Then you can just soak until you're all pruney.
  3. Have a little nap. It doesn't have to be long, and you don't have to get back into bed. Just find a comfortable spot, close your eyes and drift away for a minute or two.
  4. Arrange to go somewhere for lunch. It shouldn't be anywhere too far away, just within pottering distance. This way you're not challenging the relaxed mood you've got into, but will get out of the house, be a bit sociable and blow away the cobwebs before partaking in a nice and lazy afternoon/evening.
  5. Write a blog post in which you share the wisdom you have gained from having such a delightfully lazy start to your day.

*Top tip: Sainsbury's own brand choco rice pops are more chocolatey and better than the more expensive Kellogs variety.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Last Passenger and Why You Should Watch It

Let's all think back to 2013, a mere year ago. Do you remember this film poster?
Maybe vaguely? Maybe not at all? That's pretty much how I felt when I saw that Last Passenger was on television. I had a vague recollection of maybe seeing a trailer once, but it hadn't made much of an impression. Still, the synopsis looked pretty good, so I thought I'd give it a go.

This turned out to be a wise decision.

Last Passenger is about a group of passengers (unsurprisingly) on a commuter train from London to Hastings. The train is emptying out at each station, and when a widowed doctor (Dougray Scott), travelling with his young son, sees someone injured on the track, they soon realise that something terrible is happening. What follows is a finely crafted and incredibly tense thriller. It's old school, Hitchcockian stuff. From the beginning I was suspicious of nearly every character, spinning crazy theories about what was going on, all of which were wrong. At the end I had my hands clasped over my face and was literally on the edge of my seat.

So I thought I'd write this post about it, because it's a film that deserves to be seen. It's a real shame it didn't get more of a push at the box office. It's not necessarily jam-packed with huge movie stars, Kara Tointon is the female lead, but everyone in it is really good. Special mention to Joshua Kaynama as Scott's son, and to David Schofield, because he's amazing in everything. There are some really good British films out there and I wish they were given a bit more attention.

If you like good acting, a well told story and a whole heap of tension, then this is the film for you. If just one more person watches Last Passenger because of this post, I'll consider my day a success.