films

Star Trek

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Some time ago I picked up the idea to watch the “Terminator” films in chronological order. This was quite enjoyable and the next idea became “Alien” which “quadrology” I enjoyed watching as well.

My girlfriend has all “Star Wars” film and we have seen them all a few times. The same goes for “James Bond”. Being in a sci-fi flow I thought of “Star Trek”.

I remember long, calm and not too interesting films about people in a ship flying through space. As a matter of fact, the way I remember “Star Trek” is the reason that for a long time I was no fan of science fiction. I still decided to give it a try.

My first mistake was thinking that “Star Trek” is, like my earlier ‘projects’, a series of films. “Star Trek” proves to be way more!

From 1965 to 1969 “Star Trek” were TV series. New seasons were created between 1969 until as late as 1991. As many as three more series would follow, from 1991 until 2005, 2005 until 2016 and 2017 and still running. Now I wonder if my memories of “Star Trek” are movies or series. Perhaps the latter.

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R.I.P. Yaphet Kotto

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I do not follow the world of movie stars, but when an actor big enough passes away, even I may hear of it. So it came to me that Yaphet Kotto (1939-2021) passed away on 15 March.

Kotto is best known (to me at least) for being the ‘bad guy’ in the Bond classic “Live And Let Die”.

Kananga or Mr. Big is a drug dealer with a massive empire and (of course) wealth beyond belief). He also dabbles in Voodoo and Tarot which result in some of the most memorable Bond scenes.

It goes without saying that Kananga is defeated by Bond in the end, but since it has been a while since I saw “Live And Let Die”, Kotto’s passing was a good reminder to watch it again.

The Oa

Another Netflix series that I do not agree with the IMDb rating (7.9). As a matter of fact, I am not planning on watching further than the two episodes that I saw so far.

Brit Marling has a part quite like that in “The Sound Of My Voice” and “Another Earth“. She is the mysterious and pretty woman, but also the melodramatic and (to me) unconvincing woman.

In “The Oa” is Marling is a Russian girl who turned blind after an accident after which is she is adopted by an American family. She suddenly receives back her sight which will undoubtedly lead to all kinds of mysterious adventures, but the teen-approach and the vastly uninteresting first two episodes made me conclude that I rather spend my time in another way.

Bad film period

There seem to be some problems at my usual film dealer. They remain silent and they do not send films as often as they should. A little reorganization I think and I hope this ‘thin period’ will prove to be short. In the meantime I have to find another way to find films. There is this second hand shop downtown that also has DVDs. Like in the old days of video rental shops, I go through the racks not seeing any title from my wishlist, so I have to pick films from the meager supply based on what is printed on the boxes. That does not turn out too well and there you have explained the corny films that I review recently.

Hopefully the period will remain short!

2018 Movie praise

In 2018 I saw one film from the same year: Mortal Engines. It was alright, I rated it three out of five.

For the rest, I saw eight films in 2018 that I rated four out of five, none that I rated higher. Of some I have better memories than of others!
Here is the list:

Harry Potter

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Usually, when something is popular, it drops on my list of preference (should it have made it’s way there in the first place). Harry Potter is one such thing. The fact that they are kids films does not help either.

Twice, at uncommon times when I was ‘zapping around’ on TV, I ran into a Harry Potter scene in which the kids were repotting Mandragoras. When you know that a Mandragora is an alchemical symbol for a plant that is also a little man (homunculus), that scene is pretty funny. For many years I was mildly curious if more such elements have found their way into the films, scenes in with ‘inside jokes’.

Many of the films that I see come from a rental company. I have a subscription for four films per month. Usually this is enough, but I try to have some ‘extra’ films just in case I run out of rentals. This can be anything from the buying of films that I already know but never bought, to the buying of cheap, second hand films that I do away with after watching. Harry Potter falls in the latter category.

By now, I have seen four Potter films. “The Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) was alright. “The Chamber of Secrets” (2002) is the film with the Mandragora scene and it is alright too. I am less enthusiastic about “The Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) and “The Goblet of Fire” (2005). So little even, that I wonder if I feel like watching the other four ‘episodes’.

It is not like the films are terribly boring, but they are not very interesting either. The kids fall into some forced adventure which are mostly a step-up for spectacle and a little humor. I see little ‘inside jokes’ or good atmosphere. All too popular for my liking I guess.

Film 2017

I seldom watch a film as soon as it comes out. In 2017 I saw five films of the same year: Baby Driver, The Last Jedi, Ghost In The Shell, The Beguiled and Trainspotting 2. It would be a bit odd to make a top-list of these few titles. When I add series, I can mention Twin Peaks 3 and American Gods 1. These are both better than all of the mentioned films.

I actually rated the films fairly highly. Baby Driver, Ghost and T2 all got four out of five stars, but I remember liking the first part of T2, but that it was going down after. I hardly remember Ghost In The Shell and Baby Driver I saw so recently that that is not really fair.

So what about films that I saw in 2017? The film I have best recollections of is Midnight Special (2016, 4 stars), but I do wonder why I gave The Jacket only three stars.

Again somewhere

It does not happen to me often that I pick a film that I forgot I saw. “Somewhere” did not make a whole lot of impression, apparently it neither did the first time I saw it. A film without a story. We just see a few days of the life of a famous actor screwing around and spending time with his daughter. Not boring, but somewhat unimpressionable.