Wednesday 30 March 2022

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) - Movie Review


So there’s the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre that came out in 1974, then there was the sequel, then there was Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, then The Next Generation, then the 2003 remake of the original, then the prequel to that remake, then Texas Chainsaw 3D, then the 2017 movie also called Leatherface that was a prequel to the original (or possibly another prequel to the remake of the original), and now we have a new film that came out on Netflix last month that’s just called Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Everybody got that?

Monday 21 March 2022

Book Of Love (2022) - Movie Review

I’m not sure what I was hoping to get out of this. I mean, it’s a cheesetastic rom-com with a very specific audience that I am in no way a part of; even with my usual willingness to watch just about anything, I went into this mainly as just a means to get out of the house for a bit. But as I sat in that cinema, completely alone, I came face to face with a film that managed an admittedly impressive gambit of being both unfathomably boring and infuriating to sit through.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

The Batman (2022) - Movie Review

There’s an easy joke to be made about there being yet another Batman movie in cinemas right now. And while it’s certainly true that the Dark Knight can be quite oversaturated, both on the screen and in the comics, that’s largely the result of just how versatile he is as a character aesthetic. Some put emphasis on the psychological edges of his choice to be a Bat-man who regularly fights insane asylum escapees, like in Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. Others focus more on the tragedy of that existence, where he’s fighting an endless war for a city he knows far less about than he realises, like in Scott Snyder’s New 52 run. Others still frame him as the father of a family of crimefighters (something that has taken on a literal dimension in recent years thanks to Damian Wayne), finding a substitute for the family he lost when he was a child, like in Marv Wolfman’s A Lonely Place Of Dying.

It’s stuff like this that can keep a pop culture figure fresh even after eighty years, and it’s part of the reason why I have and likely always will look forward to seeing a new take on Gotham’s protector. I had next to no apprehensions about this thing from day one of hearing about it, as Robert Pattinson has gone from strength to strength in his post-Twilight script picks, and Matt Reeves has some exceptional work under his belt with War For The Planet Of The Apes, as well as Cloverfield and Let Me In. And thankfully, all of that talent pools into something that… well, there will always be a debate to be had over where this sits alongside past efforts, but it most assuredly stands out from the pack in a number of ways.

Monday 7 March 2022

Studio 666 (2022) - Movie Review

Medicine At Midnight is a weird-ass album. I love the hell out of the Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is one of my favourite albums from any band), but hearing them go into full-on DFA-style dance-rock was quite jarring. It’s like a midway point between a standard late-period Foos album and a Bee Gees cover album, which the Foos also released just a few months later under the name ‘Dee Gees’ (it’s called Hail Satin, and it’s surprisingly good; Dave can hit those high notes). For a former post-grunge band rubbing up against disco, it’s certainly not as embarrassing as Nickleback’s She Keeps Me Up, and even in the larger spectrum of aging post-grunge, it’s a hell of a lot better than whatever the fuck Aaron Lewis is doing nowadays, but it’s still very odd. To paraphrase a YouTube comment under their cover of You Should Be Dancing, it shows the Foos entering the “because we fucking can” phase of their career.

I bring all this up because, even with all that in my head beforehand, the most interesting aspect of Medicine At Midnight isn’t on the album itself. Rather, it’s to do with where Grohl and company recorded the thing. They shacked up in a 1940s mansion in Encino, Los Angeles, where, according to Grohl, weird shit kept happened. Like, ‘this house might be possessed’ kind of weird shit. They had to sign an NDA with the house’s owner, so they’re unable to get into their own supposed filmed evidence of this stuff, but basically, the Foos’ softest record to date was recorded under some pretty metal circumstances.

And from that background, the spores for this film came forth, with a script based on Dave Grohl’s experiences and the band itself starring as fictionalised versions of themselves. Hell, the main shooting location is the Encino property this all originally took place in. I had next to no expectations going into this, but out of respect for both the Spheres and Dave Grohl himself as the nicest guy in rock, I was definitely curious to see what kind of production could spring out of such an idea. The end result of it all, however, is confusingly muddled.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2022) - Movie Review

Might want to have a stiff drink on hand for this one, because this is going to be a difficult film to write about, much less read about. This is a Bosnian film (another first for this blog’s coverage of international cinema) set during the Srebrenica massacre, which involved the slaughter of over 8000 Bosniak Muslims at the hands of the Army of Republika Srpska. And unlike more recent films like Beanpole or Hive (which also looked at Serbia’s history of war crimes), the story isn’t being told in retrospect. Instead, it is told from the point-of-view of the titular Aida (Jasna Ðuričić), a teacher who also works as an interpreter for the United Nations, who finds herself in the middle of the events that would lead to genocide.