Monday, December 31, 2018

Strange Days (1995)

There is a reason why you should collect movies in physical format. Some movies just disappear if you don't have physical copy of them. Strange Days is one of those movies. I have searched for HD version every now and then without success. I am able to do this review because I own movie on dvd. Movie is science fiction movie set to far future of last days of 1999. That is probably reason I haven't found HD release.

On new year's eve on 2018 you wonder why they wanted to date the movie so badly. I guess they wanted to use Y2K fears on marketing. But the story didn't need to be set on new year's eve on 1999. There aren't many mentions of going to year 2000. This could have been on any day when society is on brink of collapsing and something happens which could put it over the brink.

Science fiction concept is device which let you record what you see and feel and play that back later. You could change that to small video cameras we have today or everyone carrying mobile phone with camera and the main story wouldn't have changed that much. Technology being rare and illegal part would have changed and everything related to it but main story wouldn't have changed that much.

I don't want to get too much into story. It is film noir or cyberpunk mystery with some good twists. You want to experience it unspoiled as possible. Movie tells everything you need to know about world. It is quite close to ours. Only one technology is different and that is only part of the story.

Strange Days is good movie but it lacks something to be memorable. It is probably the ending which give closure to arcs didn't need closure. Sometimes you need to leave something open. Main problem is the last shot of protagonist. It didn't need to happen. Movie implicated it could happen in future. It didn't need to show it. If you watch the movie you know what I am talking about.

Movie is dated mostly by music but some may not find science fiction movie set to end of 1999 that interesting almost twenty years later. When you watch the movie you should for get what year is now. It is not masterpiece. Just good science fiction movie.

Back to beginning. I checked if there was blu ray release. I found there was 20 year anniversary release few years ago. So there is HD version of the movie somewhere.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Batman Returns (1992) - Christmas 2018

People have movies they watch every Christmas. It could be traditional Christmas movie or movie happening during Christmas time. Die Hard is popular example of latter. I have wanted to start similar tradition but haven't figures out the movie before this Christmas. Silent Night Deadly Night was one candidate but it is not so good I could watch it every year. Then I remembered second entry on my favorite movie list happens during Christmas. I am not sure if I will review it every Christmas. This Christmas I do.

I have already reviewed this movie once. This time I go how I felt watching it during Christmas 2018.

I have seen this movie more times than any other movie but watching it 2018 gives undertones it didn't have previous times. I wonder who Max Shreck is based on. Can't think of anyone who is constantly in news these days. With Brexit and everything else going on political angle shows in different light. It is strange how well this tells what is going on 2018 even when it was made 1992. I wonder how it feels next year.

I wondered how well movie have endured social change of last few years. I was scared if this had something similar than that one scene in Blade Runner which feel very different today. I don't think there is. Selina Kyle is treated badly and told to be silent but that was by villains. I think movie was quite progressive by 1992's standards. It is not perfect but there weren't anything which makes you feel terrible to like the movie today.

Reason why I can watch this several times back to back is romance between Batman and Catwoman. This time scene where they find out their secret identities felt bit different. Catwoman felt too insane in that scene. She is bit crazy but not that crazy in other scenes. I can relate to how two awkward introverts try to reach each other. It is shame we didn't get conclusion to their story because this was Tim Burton's last Batman movie.

People have made Batman kill counts for DCEU Batman.I don't remember anyone complaining Batman killing people in Batman Returns. It is mentioned when someone complains Batman killing in DCEU but not complained. Maybe it didn't feel like killing in gothic fairy tale setting.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Doctor Who: Series 11 (2018)

I decided to do Doctor Who: Series 11 review as video. I won't go to video reviews. I will do them every now and then. Next week's review will be written review. First female Doctor caused lot of talk when she was announced. I don't remember she being talked about as much after first episode. I decided to wait until season was over to say my opinion.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Serial Experiments Lain - Second viewing

This is second take on Serial Experiments Lain. You can find first from here. If you follow me on social media or you might have seen this video already. I though I could share it here too. There will be other video later this week discussing latest season of Doctor Who.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Geostorm (2017)

After knowing reviews I expected Geostorm to be really bad. Well it is not all bad. If you let all stupidity to pass ending is quite exiting. It is not much but it is at least something. There isn't much more good to say. Well it supports international collaboration. That is other good thing but there aren't more good things to say.

Geostorm tells about weather controlling system which is used for destruction by someone. Whole system is insanely powerful for weather controlling system. It might be realistic to have weather controlling system but not one like this movie. It is there to make this disaster movie. There were times when I wished this was hard science fiction but soon I was reminded this is stupid action movie. Detective parts are divided by unrealistic action or special effects shots. There was interesting story below this mess if they toned it down and picked other parts of the story.

Last half hour felt better than anything before because it made mess what was before make more sense. There is scene where daughter is scared that his father won't survive trip to space station. It didn't make any sense at that point. Scene was there so father could promise he will come back. This promise comes important when father is in self-destructing space station. But when father made the promise characters didn't have any indication he would end up in danger. He was going there to fix malfunctions.

Most of story arcs were written same way. They made little sense until you saw what happened later. Other problem is everyone breaking rules all the time. They might resist for a show but end up doing what is needed to move the story forward. And the story isn't important. It is there to make this by the numbers disaster movie. One you forget after seeing it.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989) / Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994)

I haven't reviewed many Finnish movies here. I don't watch that many Finnish movies and most I watch are not meant for foreign markets. Leningrad Cowboys movies are available outside Finland so it makes some sense to write about them here. I had not seen movies for ages but then someone posted something about Leningrad Cowboys to Facebook group. I told there the first movie was Finnish version of Spinal Tap. I had to check if I was correct.

I am not 100% which one was first the band or the movie. Wikipedia say band was founded 1987 and first movie was 1989. Maybe band was extension of Finnish rock band Sleepy Sleepers and band's master minds sold idea of the movie to movie's director Aki Kaurismäki. Leningrad Cowboys perform one Sleepy Sleepers song in first movie. It is the one they play in biker bar which is not Born to be Wild.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America is road movie about bad Siberian band trying to find fame in America. It is what Spinal Tap would have been if it was art movie about soviet band touring in America. Touring might be wrong term. They go there to play shows and play in different places when they go to their first real gig. Band is naive and innocent. They have cunning manager driving them forward. Movie is quite straight forward story of small band in foreign country.

There was five years between movies. In real world Leningrad Cowboys' band members changed. It started as Sleepy Sleepers extension but became more of a all star band. This is why some band members died in movie's world between movies. New members introduced in sequel were new members of real life Leningrad Cowboys.

First movie was straight forward road movie about small rock band. There wasn't too much symbolism. Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses is full of symbolism and references. You need to know the references to get what movie tries to say. At least I think so. I didn't know the references. To me parts of the movie were weird scenes happening one after another.

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses begins five years after first movie. Band had became successful in Mexico but ruined their lives with tequila. Their old manager has seen vision and started to call himself Moses. He sends surviving band members back home. On their way they meet new band members. In first movie band had unified look. In second movie there is Mexican section and new band members. Both dress differently to each others and first movie's band's look.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America is good movie which charming band. Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses loses some of the charm. Song selection plays big part. Second movie doesn't have same hopeful feeling first has. In first movie they have hope things change for better. In second they are oppressed by religious leader. Band just accepts their fate and gets back home.