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Showing posts from July, 2016

I'm real when it's useful.

Movies on My Mind Week Ending 30 July 2016
The Last Days of Night
I’m marginally intrigued by this one, because it will be interesting to see how it treats that most marginalised of pioneers of scientific advance (except by conspiracists), Nikola Tesla. He features in Graham Moore’s novel, on which this is based (which I haven’t read), which charts the rivalry between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison over the future of electricity. Morten Tyldum directs, whose Headhunters was an effective and gripping little thriller and Hollywood calling card. However, his aim for respectability with The Imitation Game suggested a rather shallow approach to subject matter demanding greater insight. He has science fiction original (from Jon Spaihts) Passengers incoming at the end of the year (with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt), which needs to do very well to justify its cost, so he at least seems to be attracting interesting material, whether or not he makes the most of it.
As for the legacy of…

We could be mauled to death by an interstellar monster!

Star Trek Beyond (2016)
(SPOILERS) The odd/even Star Trek failure/success rule seemed to have been cancelled out with the first reboot movie, and then trodden into ground with Into Darkness (which, yes, I quite enjoyed, for all its scandalous deficiencies). Star Trek Beyond gets us back onto more familiar ground, as it’s very identifiably a “lesser” Trek, irrespective of the big bucks and directorial nous thrown at it. This is a Star Trek movie that can happily stand shoulder to shoulder with The Search for Spock and Insurrection, content in the knowledge they make it look good.

Never compare me to the mayor in Jaws! Never!

Ghostbusters (2016)
(SPOILERS) Paul Feig is a better director than Ivan Reitman, or at very least he’s savvy enough to gather technicians around him who make his films look good, but that hasn’t helped make his Ghostbusters remake (or reboot) a better movie than the original, and that’s even with the original not even being that great a movie in the first place.

Along which lines, I’d lay no claims to the 1984 movie being some kind of auteurist gem, but it does make some capital from the polarising forces of Aykroyd’s ultra-geekiness on the subject of spooks and Murray’s “I’m just here for the asides” irreverence. In contrast, Feig’s picture is all about treating the subject as he does any other genre, be it cop, or spy, or romcom. There’s no great affection, merely a reliably professional approach, one minded to ensure that a generous quota of gags (on-topic not required) can be pumped out via abundant improv sessions.

So there’s nothing terribly wrong with Ghostbusters, but aside from …