The Grey

Mr ‘Revenge’ Liam Neeson here with a plane crash/mountain/wolf disaster/survival/revenge-ish/action/drama/thriller film. Which actually starts off pretty well, goes a bit naff, but picks up again at the end. Directed by the recently replaced director of Star Wars 9 by JJ Abrams (which I think was a good move, but getting Ron Howard to take over the Han Solo movie is a bad move!)

Anyway, I am rapidly becoming a fan of Liam, he just plays the same character in all his movies. This one is a bit different as he’s in the snow. So he’s mighty cold.

Date watched: 21st August
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 47

Dr Strange

Another Marvel comic book character gets their own movie to continue the Marvel movie universe. Benedict Cumberbun is Dr Strange, an egotistical superstar surgeon who smashes his hands up in his expensive car so goes on a journey to the East to find some mystical healing power from Tilda Swinton. Inception style special effects ensue. Good fun!

Date watched: 19th August
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 46

Music

The Mars Volta: – Frances the Mute – Picked this up at the op-shop, I have a couple more of their albums, not listened to this but it’s bound to be noisy.

Underworld: Someone’s been getting rid of their Underworld CDs, I picked up a live album (Everything Everything), a best of (1992 – 2002) and an album proper (A Hundred Days Off) down at the op-shop. Score!

Ohio Players: Fire – Well, you don’t get gatefold covers like this anymore.

Steely Dan: Aja, Countdown to Ecstasy and Katy Lied – I picked these three Steely Dan vinyls on separate occasions recently, not actually listened to them but I have heard of them, one of them just died this past week. They were described as a jazz rock band. Does not sound promising. Aja is the group’s biggest selling album, the other two I know nowt about. Pretty terrible cover artwork all around.

Album Count 2017: 82

Get Out

This is a critically acclaimed horror film. I actually found it predictable and did not feel acclaimed at all, I can see why it’s acclaimed but once you realise its ‘twist’ it’s not that much of a big deal, kind of corny I think. A little underwhelming. I don’t want to ruin it so will say no more.

Date watched: 18th August
Score: 5/10
Film count 2017: 45

Whiplash

Tops film about a jazz drummer and his sadistic teacher. J.K. Simmons (that’s Jonathan Kimble) won an Oscar for his portrayal of the nasty teacher, and well deserving that was too. Some great drumming in this, the kid is a Buddy Rich fan so there is lots of Buddy Rich type drumming to be had. Buddy Rich himself was a harsh band leader. The director went onto make La La Land, which landed him a best director Oscar, the youngest director to win. Go him. He’s making a movie about Neil Armstrong now. With the Gosling playing Neil.

Date watched: 13th August
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 44

Here’s Buddy!

City of God – 10 Years Later

City of God was a fabs film (here is my short but to the point review from 2011), but this documentary which caught up with 18 of the actors was a bit disappointing.

Basically it just interviewed some of the principal cast to see what they are doing today, and ask them about what it was like to make the film. There were varying degrees of success for some of the actors after the film, and for some a life of continued poverty and crime, with one actor going missing, presumed dead.

Alice Braga is probably the most successful cast member in this film, she went on to do I Am Legend, Repo Men, Elysium, amongst others.

It was filmed well and looked pretty good, but the stories of the actors and the effect it had on the favelas was a bit dull, and even though it was only 70 minutes it dragged on for a bit. What we learned though was that the actors were paid what for them was a large amount of money at the time, but really it was not much (less than US$2000), and most of the actors spent it pretty quickly. One was offered either some money or a cut of the box office take, he took the money and of course now regrets that decision.

Watch City of God, but skip this.

Date watched: September 17th
Score: 4/10
Film count 2017: 105

The Thomas Crown Affair

Apparently this was Steve McQueen’s favourite film, and I must say it is the best film I have seen him in so far.

The story involves McQueen’s character who is a very rich businessman who orchestrates the perfect bank robbery just for kicks. On his tail is an insurance investigator played by Faye Dunaway. They fall in love of course, but she is still determined to bust his ass as she knows he was the mastermind.

It is not an overly exciting film, but the chemistry between Steve and Faye was brillo, and there were some good (but not geat) scenes here and there. Still, it is better than Bullitt which really only had that fantastic car-chase going for it, whereas this had a better story and acting, plus Steve actually smiled a few times which was charming to see.

Sean Connery was originally offered the main role in this film, but turned it down.

On the subject of missed roles, Steve was offered the lead role alongside Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but couldn’t accept it:

Wikipedia: McQueen was offered the lead male role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but was unable to accept due to his Wanted: Dead or Alive contract (the role went to George Peppard). He turned down parts in Ocean’s 11, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (his attorneys and agents could not agree with Paul Newman’s attorneys and agents on top billing), The Driver, Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, A Bridge Too Far, The French Connection (he did not want to do another cop film), and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In the film Faye Dunaway drove a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder which today is one of the most valuable Ferrari’s in the world. Steve did his own stunts of course which involved playing polo (impressive he was too), and driving a dune buggy on a beach like a nutter. He was quite a chap, so it was a real loss when he died of cancer in 1989 aged only 50. In fact, I must put him on the MBMS Page Of Fame, he deserves it.


Fezza 275

Not an essential film, but it was not bad.

Date watched: September 15th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 104