Category Archives: Fantasy

IT (1990): Just As I Thought…

IT (1990), Tim Curry
IT (1990), Tim Curry

You may know that horror is not exactly my favourite genre. However, you may not know that I’ve been trying to be less scared and take small steps towards not avoiding scary movies all together.

My recent change of heart was inspired in part by the fact that the trailer for the upcoming IT movie remake did not scare me at all. In light of this fact which some believe to be surprising, I opted to watch the original IT TV movie which was released back in 1990. Now, I did watch it in broad daylight instead of late at night. Nevertheless, it’s no news to me that I wasn’t at all scared.

I’m certain that my lack of fear when it comes to scary looking clowns stems from the fact that, even when they have big, sharp yellow teeth, I just see them as people that make balloon animals to put smiles on little kids faces. Maybe if IT’s costume wasn’t so bright and colourful, I might be horrified. Or maybe I find there to be greater horrors in the world. Whatever the answer, I’ve come to the way of thinking that people who are scared of clowns are those who developed a fear of clowns at a young age. Whether it be from watching the original IT movie or simply just never liking clowns to begin with. It’s likely that had I watched IT when I was a relatively young child – one who saw those sharp clown teeth close-up, perhaps I’d have a reasonable fear of clowns too.

As for what I think about the movie, to begin with, I found the kid actors to be more convincing than most – if not all of the adults. Maybe it’s a style of the time but I certainly wasn’t a fan of the ‘extreme overacting’ several of the adults appeared to be guilty of. Second, this is likely also due to that period in time, but… my goodness did all that seemingly ceaseless panning of the camera become annoying. Third, the story seemed to move at quite a slow pace but then finally, the entering of the sewer happened and I was very much awake, though I confess, still definitely not scared.

As for the things that stood out in a good way, it was so great to see a handsome, young John Ritter. He’s the only person I immediately recognised. He therefore helped put me at ease in terms of me feeling as though this movie was worth sticking with. Overall, my favourite moment in the film is when a certain someone gets sucked into the tube of light, butt first. I enjoyed that moment and found the way it was executed to be somewhat hypnotic. Lastly, I really like what Stephen King’s IT has to say about fear and how it’s you who gives it power. As such, you can choose to not let it control you.

In summary, if seemingly ceaseless panning, some serious overacting, sharp yellow clown teeth and a relatively slow pace at the beginning don’t scare you off, tune in to IT. It is a classic after all.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE MUMMY (2017): The Things I Liked…

The Mummy (2017), Sofia Boutella
The Mummy (2017), Sofia Boutella

Starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe and Annabelle Wallis, there are parts of director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, a story about an ancient Egyptian princess, awakened from her crypt and determined to wreak havoc, that I enjoyed. An example would be Russell Crowe’s ‘second character’ who proved a lot of fun to watch even though he appears but very briefly.

Another highlight is courtesy of Sofia Boutella, an actress who was introduced to many audiences as Gazelle in Matthew Vaughn’s rather good Kingsman – The Secret Service (2014). I adored Gazelle even though she was a ‘baddie’ and I therefore knew that Boutella would bring something special, especially physicality-wise to the character of The Mummy (Princess Ahmanet).

Princess Ahmanet stood out so much for me that all other performances and characters’s mostly paled in comparison. Perhaps her character was just the most interesting overall. What I know for sure is that I found myself genuinely scared of the idea that I might personally encounter the princess as I went about my day. Something to do with the costume design and special effects, as well as Boutella’s performance. There’s also the fact that a lot of the film is set in London, England my beloved city.

There are points during The Mummy when I thought, ‘this is interesting, I think I’m quite excited about the other movies coming from Universals ‘Dark Universe’. Unfortunately though, by the end of the film, I wasn’t so sure because I ended up feeling as though the movie was far more basic in terms of the story, writing and execution-wise, overall than what I’d been hoping for – especially for a Tom Cruise movie. 

On a positive note, I’m now even more curious about Egypt’s real history and I may just delve into that as a result. I may even…

Who am I kidding? I’m busy and far too in love with film to make time for more history books.

Happy Film Loving

G

GROUNDHOG DAY (1993): The Things I Liked…

Groundhog Day (1993), Bill Murray
Groundhog Day (1993), Bill Murray

As a seasoned film fanatic, one might be forgiven for thinking that I’d already watched the 90’s classic movie, Groundhog Day (1993). It’s really only recently that I can finally claim to know what people are referring to when they describe their lives as feeling very much like Groundhog Day

Starring Bill Murray, Andie McDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky, the Harold Ramis directed fantasy / comedy is about a weatherman who finds himself reliving the some day over and over again.

Murray’s character, Phil the weatherman becomes naturally frustrated with his predicament after several days – and similar to the main character in Before I Fall (2017),  a mystery I watched recently with a similar premise, he decides to make the most of the situation. Phil’s way of doing this turns him into quite the scoundrel – and so begins the entertaining mischief.

I want to say that my favourite character in this movie is the groundhog; it kind of is even though he/she only appears approximately once or twice. As entertaining and charming as Phil is, I also rather enjoyed Ned Ryerson, the enthusiastic old friend who happens to be lousy at reading social queues. Another highlight was recognising a young Michael Shannon among the cast.

Groundhog Day is a good hour and a half of light entertainment – and one I recommend if the film’s premise intrigues you. The movie definitely brought me closer to understanding why it is that Bill Murray has such a sizeable following. I can also say that I much prefer Groundhog Day rather than Before I Fall (2017) because of the humour and uncomplicated way the story is told. It also probably helps that I relate to this story more than I can to the things that happen in Before I Fall.

Happy Film Loving

G

KONG – SKULL ISLAND (2017): The Things I Liked…

Kong - Skull Island (2017), Tom Hiddleston.
Kong – Skull Island (2017), Tom Hiddleston

Telling the origin story of King Kong – the giant movie monster that looks like an ape, Kong -Skull Island follows a group of scientists who enter an uncharted island in the Pacific looking for monsters. They do not arrive with peaceful intentions and therefore end up having to fight to escape with their lives.

If you’ve seen at least one previous King Kong movie, then you know that at some point, Kong ends up in New York city against his will. None of that happens in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s fun adventure, at least not in this first instalment. What we do get to see resembles something an aggressor might expect to face when they force their way into a person’s home uninvited; a bloody good fight for survival.

I admit that a tear or two escaped my eyes a I watched the movie. Reason being, I’m a sensitive soul and Kong was peacefully minding his business before ‘the bad men came’. In the name of full disclosure, I may have also shed a few tears because of the knowledge that a certain handsome and well-voiced Mr. Tom Hiddleston may probably never, ever, personally escort me to safety through a treacherous jungle… let alone across a busy street.

Besides the good performances by Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly – to name just a few, the well choreographed human vs monster and monster vs monster showdowns, the story, special effects, musical score and cinematography all did a great job of keeping me engaged throughout.

Watch Kong – Skull Island because it’s good.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017): New Trailer From Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins, Michael Stuhlbarg…

The shape Of Water (2017), Michael Shannon
The shape Of Water (2017), Michael Shannon

Lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works in a hidden high-security government laboratory and is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Also starring Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones, The Shape Of Water is an other-worldly fairy tale set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963…

Director Guillermo del Toro is all the reason I need to watch this one, but I’ll add the cast and the intriguing ‘secret experiment’ to the list. For some reason, when I read the words ‘high-security government laboratory’ and ‘secret classified experiment,’ Captain America – The First Avenger (2011) came to mind.

The Shape Of Water Release Dates: December 8th, 2017 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018): New Trailer From Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw…

A Wrinkle In Time (2018), Oprah Winfrey
A Wrinkle In Time (2018), Oprah Winfrey

Fantasy / adventure, A Wrinkle In Time is a story about a young girl called Meg. Meg is sent into space with her brother and a friend by three peculiar beings.  Together they must venture there to find Meg’s scientist father after his sudden disappearance. Directed by Ava DuVernay; A Wrinkle In Time stars Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw…

Reasons to watch this movie include the story, which is completely new to me, the magic, the talented cast and the beautiful visuals. I’m liking Oprah Winfrey as the voice of the narrator, as well as the hint of a vibe similar to Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard Of Oz. 

Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis,  Michael Peña, Bellamy Young and André Holland also star.

A Wrinkle In Time Release Dates: March 9th, 2018 (US), 23rd March, 2018 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JUMANJI – WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (2017): New Trailer From Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan…

Jumanji - Welcome To The Jungle (2017), Jack Black
Jumanji – Welcome To The Jungle (2017), Jack Black

Four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji‘s world – pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. They must  beat the game to return to Planet Earth with their lives. Directed by Jake Kasden, the stars of Jumanji – Welcome To The Jungle are Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan…

All I remember about Robin Williams’ Jumanji (1995) is that the characters sported khaki attire and ran away from stuff in the jungle. This trailer looks very promising and I’m most excited about the humour.

Nick Jonas, Missi Pyle and Rhys Darby also star.

Jumanji – Welcome To The Jungle  Release Dates: December 22nd, 2017 (US); December 29th, 2017 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE DARK TOWER (2017): New Trailer Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey & Katheryn Winnick…

The Dark Tower (2017), Idris Elba, Tom Taylor
The Dark Tower (2017), Idris Elba, Tom Taylor

In The Dark Tower, Idris Elba plays a gunslinger named Roland Deschain, a man who roams an Old West-like landscape in pursuit of the ‘man in black’ (Matthew McConaughey). Deschain is also searching for the fabled Dark Tower in hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world…

The plot of The Dark Tower is certainly unlike any Stephen King story I’m familiar with and that’s reason enough for me to watch. There’s also the names Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba to convince me further. I really want this to be good; toes, fingers and everything crossed.

Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor, Nikolaj Arcel, Abbey Lee and Claudia Kim also star.

The Dark Tower Release Dates: August 4th, 2017 (US); August 18th, 2017 (UK); August 10th, 2017 (GER)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G