Tag: ridley scott

MOVIE REVIEW | ***TOM WEEK*** Legend (1985)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Nostalgia must be the only reason that anyone over the age of about 10 would ever think that Legend is a great movie.”

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“What care I for human hearts? Soft and spiritless as porridge!”

There are a lot of movies from my childhood that I love to this day and swear they still hold up.  I also know that a lot of that is pure nostalgia and that if I was to see them for the first time today, as an adult, I might not find them to be quite so amazing.  Movies like The Goonies, or most of the Police Academy sequels (which I stand by, each and every one. Except Mission to Moscow.  That one is undeniably terrible).  Every now and again, I get to discover one of these movies for the first time, as an adult.  The kinds of movies that a lot of my generation saw over and over and over again as kids.  And those multiple viewings brainwashed them into thinking they were great.  Movies like Legend.

The Spirit of Darkness (Tim Curry) has decided he’s sick of being shunned by the light during daytime hours, so he decides to eliminate the bright bastard.  He does this by dispatching one of his goblin minions Blix (Alice Playten), to kill two unicorns in a magical forest.  Apparently, these horny headed equines are the keepers of the light. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | The Martian (2015)

Martian 1

“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab beaches, I’ll just kind of implode. If none of those things happen. I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

Looking at Ridley Scott’s filmography, he’s made over 20 features films since the late 70s. Of those, I have seen 11. Of those 11, I love Matchstick Men and Black Hawk Down, I kind of like American Gangster and Alien, and I really dislike Blade Runner, The Counselor and Gladiator. The rest are just kind of blurs. Not good enough to remember, not bad enough to hate. All of that is to say, I had zero interest in seeing his latest, The Martian.


Big budget, spectacle movies need a pedigree of actors, writers or director behind them before I get excited. I like Matt Damon, but I already saw him do stranded in space with last year’s Interstellar, so his involvement didn’t really get make jazzed. But, the good reviews for The Martian just on kept coming. And in a year that has so far been pretty thin with really good movies, I was starved enough for good, new release movies, that I took a chance on a director I don’t really like, working in a genre I don’t really like, and I saw The Martian. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Martian (2015)

Martian 1

“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab beaches, I’ll just kind of implode. If none of those things happen. I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

Looking at Ridley Scott’s filmography, he’s made over 20 features films since the late 70s. Of those, I have seen 11. Of those 11, I love Matchstick Men and Black Hawk Down, I kind of like American Gangster and Alien, and I really dislike Blade Runner, The Counselor and Gladiator. The rest are just kind of blurs. Not good enough to remember, not bad enough to hate. All of that is to say, I had zero interest in seeing his latest, The Martian.


Big budget, spectacle movies need a pedigree of actors, writers or director behind them before I get excited. I like Matt Damon, but I already saw him do stranded in space with last year’s Interstellar, so his involvement didn’t really get make jazzed. But, the good reviews for The Martian just on kept coming. And in a year that has so far been pretty thin with really good movies, I was starved enough for good, new release movies, that I took a chance on a director I don’t really like, working in a genre I don’t really like, and I saw The Martian. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #97. Blade Runner (1982)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.

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“The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping. “

There’s a bit of a checklist for a movie to become classed as classic sci fi. Not so successful on release… A dark, dystopian future… Ambiguous ending… A genre director who takes genre seriously… That’s everything nerds got with Alien. They got it again form the same director just three years later when Ridley Scott made Blade Runner.


It’s 2019 in an over populated, overly polluted, perpetually rainy Los Angeles. Harrison Ford is Rick Deckard, a former Blade Runner brought back into active service. A Blade Runner is a kind of cop who specialises in exposing and neutralising replicants, cyborgs so convincingly human, they’re almost impossible to detect. Years earlier, the dangers of these robots were realised, and it’s now illegal to have one on earth. But when four escape the off world colonies and are thought to be in LA, Deckard is brought out of retirement to take care of them. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Counsellor (2013)

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From the writer of some of the greatest American novels of the last half century…  From the director of several genre redefining blockbusters that only get more acclaimed as the years past…  A cast including Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz…  Al Gore should make a documentary about the horrific squandering of resources that went into making one of The Counsellor.


Michael Fassbender is the titular Counsellor, a lawyer mixed up with some bad dudes.  Bad dudes like Javier Bardem as Reiner, and his wife Malkina (Cameron Diaz).  They’re on the verge of a massive drug deal and the Counsellor is getting more and more mixed up in their world.  While Reiner is all big hair, outlandish, flashy clothes, pet Leopards and extravagance, Westray (Brad Pitt) is his opposite.  The quiet, calculating professional who calls it like it is, and has made all the sensible choices that he hopes will lead to a quiet retirement from the drug game.

When a sewage truck full of coke goes missing, the Counsellor is the prime suspect, and the world of drug cartels starts to close in around him and everyone he knows, including his fiancé, Penelope Cruz as Laura.  There are a lot of characters and really, their only defining characteristics are where they fall on the prick-o-metre.  I barely kept track of what was going on, and even then, only by remembering how much I hated each character in relation to each other.

Like a lot Cormack McCarthy stories, The Counsellor takes place in a weird limbo between the United States and Mexico.  The borderlands populated by the worst people from both countries, with the legal protections of neither.  When your world is populated by these corrupt, bottom feeding, narcissistic sociopaths, you’re never gonna have a character to relate to or cheer for.  I guess Penelope Cruz’s Laura is kind of an innocent we can sympathise with.  But on the other hand, the movie never gives us a chance to really know her, sho why care about what happens to her, innocent or not.

Also like a lot Cormack McCarthy stories, he comes up with new ways to kill people, new ways to degrade people and new ways to make you question why we should even bother if this is the kind of world we live in.  Sure, McCarthy has never shied away from darkness, brutality and horror in his novels, like The Road, No Country for Old Men and especially Blood Meridian, but somehow, it felt like it had a point in those stories.  When The Counsellor indulges in some new decapitation methods, or has Diaz mount the windscreen of a sports car, it seems more like some hack trying to write like McCarthy, with all the shock and none of the substance.

Did The Counsellor suffer from too much pressure and expectations based on the pedigree of everyone behind and in front of the camera?  Maybe.  Would it still have been derided as being pretty terrible even if it was made by anonymous nobodies, Ha, you bet.  At best, it’s worth watching as a bizarre curiosity.  It’s almost like a riddle, how did so many talented people all collectively shit the bed so bad?

The Counsellor
Directed By – Ridley Scott
Written By – Cormac McCarthy