Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Klaatu, barada, nikto

Far from the CGI-heavy, plot-light 2008 version, this 1951 Sci Fi classic is a character-driven critique of cold war paranoia and burgeoning environmentalism.  Unfortunately due to its age it also slightly suffers from the shoot first ask questions later mentality that plagues movies of this era; though certainly not a deal-breaker in such a fine film.

Following Klaatu (Michael Rennie) as he learns about the human race, our insecurities, our aggression and our reckless treatment of our planet is really a window into 50s American society.  It’s quite striking how on the one hand the inhabitants of the B & B in which Klaatu stays accept him unquestioningly and let him look after the young lad, but at the same time everyone is mistrustful of strangers who might be a “Red”.  To be fair, the film doesn’t shy away from these issues; the Secretary of State admits to Klaatu that the “world is full of tensions and suspicions”; and indeed like all good Sci-Fi, the movie highlights our politics and society.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Kingsman (2014)

How did I not know that this was a Matthew Vaughn film?  If I'd have known, I might have made a sooner effort to see this.  As it happens I managed to find the smallest screen at the Odeon in Leicester Square that happened to still be showing it.  And by God I'm glad I found it.  I enjoyed the hell out of this.

Following in the great tradition of Matthew Vaughn films, Kingsman is different to any of his previous films, at least in terms of genre.  Perhaps there should be a new Matthew Vaughn genre, a Vaughnre if you will!