Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Three Films Make A Post: More Startling Than Jules Verne!

The House That Would Not Die (1970): Aaron-Spelling-produced TV movie with Barbara Stanwyck as a government executive on leave because of a broken heart moving into an old dark house with her niece. The usual strange occurrences and possessions by ghosts hint at some terrible evil that was done there in the past. It's an exceedingly dependably made film by the exceedingly dependable John Llewellyn Moxey that makes for a decent 70 minutes of old-fashioned spookery, but lacks any spark of ambition or real excitement. The most interesting aspect of the movie is that Stanwyck's love interest is about twenty years younger than her in a clear demonstration that not only elderly male actors were once allowed younger romantic leads. Even though poor Stanwyck's Richard Egan here is neither pretty nor charismatic, I still approve of this exciting demonstration of equality.


Tron: Legacy (2010): Remember Tron? Well, Disney didn't, so they made this thing. The only parts of the film (and I use the word "film" loosely, given that this is mostly a check-list-like wandering through iconic elements of the original, but with a darker colour scheme - colours are evil!, as we all know - and more hippie babble than you can shake a stick at) worth mentioning are the fine music by Daft Punk, the performances of Jeff Bridges (now as the Dude in your computer) whenever he's showing his actual face and not the digital uncanny valley version of it and Olivia Wilde. Incidentally, these are also the only aspects of the film that seem to be alive and not constructed by PR people thinking about focus groups with only a vague idea of what the original film was about, and no interest at all in making an actual movie. It's not that Tron was a brilliant intellectual effort, but it was a film with a heart, its very own (and at the same time very timely) aesthetics and a sense of wonder about the world it created where its supposed sequel has nothing but the greedy eyes of a Disney executive.


Golgo 13: Queen Bee (1998): Also not very good is this OVA based on the long-running manga by Saito Productions about the super-assassin and all-around tough guy Duke Togo and his inherent awesomeness and sexual prowess. It's directed by Osamu Dezaki, pioneer and veteran of more than one type of anime, as well as one of the three directors responsible for an earlier Golgo anime, but is still lackluster, slightly incoherent and more than just a bit distracted, as if nobody involved were all that interested in making the tits and violence it contains exciting in any way or form.


1 comment:

Pauline said...

"Remember Tron? Well, Disney didn't so they made this thing."

Pretty much, 'nuff said.