Monday 30 April 2018

12 - Tati, Jabberwocky, Canadian cinema, In-Laws, Def-Con 4, Red Tent, Seven, Blackout, Blob, Marty Feldman

Jabberwocky (1977) - A good cast including Palin as lead and a great monster - but it's too shambolic, too silly, too Pythonesque. If played a little more straight - it might have been great. Deborah Fallender is a bit Connie Booth-esque. Gilliam I have a love-hate relationship. Harry H Corbett's bit is fun, but it's very bitty.

Playtime (1967) - I don't get Tati. It's all very mannered, and though I appreciate the effort, the city sets look identical to the airport.

Ticket To Heaven (1981) - Canadian drama, the cult is annoying (feels more like a bland Christian summer camp than anything), the opening is nicely shot, but Nick Mancuso is an unappealing lead. It's a little preachy, ironic as that is what stands against.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) - An outstretched idea that would have played better as a sketch. It does have a gleeful charm that the slicker 80s sequels do not. The Stuff does it better.

Def-Con 4 (1985) - Quite dull post-apocalyptic adventure. Not even Maury Chaykin saves it. The savages all have perms and taches that make them look like Scousers.

Threshold (1981) - Bland Canadian thriller with Donald Sutherland.Like a lot of films from that era made in Canada, e.g. Ticket to Heaven, bleached in a soft-focus glare.

The In-Laws (1978) - It doesn't know what it is - if it's an adventure comedy or a New York comedy of manners with a diversion to Mexico. Plus Arkin doing his "crazy man" grates. It doesn't feel like a thriller with jokes. The theme suggests a Pink Panther knockoff, but it's not frenetic enough.

The Red Tent (1969) - A visually impressive but rather staid and overlong Soviet epic about Amundsen and the crash of the Italia airship that has the peculiar novelty of being the first coproduction with the West, thus Peter Finch, Sean Connery in bad age makeup and the likes of Claudia Cardinale, Hardy Kruger and Mario Adorf are thrusted into this otherwise Mosfilm epic. It feels very strange - halfway betweena Soviet epic and an Italian adventure like Fraulein Doktor. A clash of two filmic styles that doesn't work. Unmemorable Morricone score. But the alternate Soviet soundtrack is better, even though it itself apes Morricone.

Seven (1979) - Andy Sidaris "action comedy", not much action, not much comedy, a lot of stuff that tries to be either. It just feels sleazy.

Blackout (1978) - Padded out Canadian-French nonsense. A few minutes of NYC footage, then some badly staged action and a dog picking out cards from a bucket. Ray Milland plays a grumpy old tyrant. Jim Mitchum tries to be a hero, while Robert Carradine overacts. It's full of dull melodrama. It's also badly shot. The music sounds a bit like the theme to Wogan.

Every Home Should Have One (1970) - Starring Marty Feldman and written by some of those people (Feldman, plus Barry Took and Denis Norden) - the animation by Richard Williams is lovely. It's very odd - basically a series of fake ads with a storyline. It's almost a proto-Kentucky Fried Movie. And devolves into sex jokes. Not especially funny. But the ending is very odd - as it seems to echo the ending that John Sullivan wanted for the last Only Fools And Horses, i.e. the family turn into cartoons as they walk off into the sunset. Has a Nazi Penelope Keith.

Beware! The Blob (1972) - Larry Hagman-directed comedy sequel. Features a jaunty electronic title sequence accompanied by a bat while screaming plays. With the likes of Godfrey Cambridge and Dick Van Patten hamming it up as a henpecked husband and a scoutmaster respectively, it feels like a bad ensemble comedy with added nonsense like Gerrit Graham in an ape suit, plus a Christian hippie folk singer and a streaker. It's almost sub-Disney comedy. Though the speechification at the end may not be a parody.  Like the above, features Shelley Berman.

Not a fan of disco movies - the music's good, but there's often too much garish tack, not enough ideas or humour, or soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment