Mainly faf–trans-Pacific movie reviews

Yep…on the ‘road’ again…I thought that Air New Zealand as a Star Alliance member would have a better entertainment menu but certainly this month’s was rather bland and I am hoping that heading home after the first of June will see a broader range available down the goats and chickens end of the plane…

This weekend’s viewing included…


Faf for people too dumb, lazy or ignorant to read subtitles

I have been meaning to write about the remade Girl With The Dragon Tattoo since Empire released its cover story issue on it a few months ago – I held off because I hadn’t seen the new version and because I was just really busy – my gut feeling from the start though was that any remake would have to be pretty good to improve on the Swedish original and I was right. Unfortunately the Daniel Craig version isn’t the one: if you haven’t seen the original movie then this one is OK but only a shadow of the grittier and far more thrilling and gripping original….

A brief break for a Coke Zero and then…


Nothing stellar but fun…

I must admit that I quite like movies that Mark Wahlberg is in, even if the movie overall in a bit of a stinker…Contraband is a fun movie but nothing stellar – a rather implausible but fast-paced cruise to Panama while Mum, Kate Beckinsale, looks after the the kids and rues the day she didn’t push her younger brother off the fire escape…

I had a bit of a snooze but was really that sleepy so took a punt on Shutter Island.


Psychiatric Shaggy Dog story

Titanic aside, Leonardo has the opposite effect on my desire to watch a movie than Mark Wahlberg: as soon as I see his name in the credits, I’m automatically wondering if there aren’t any drains that need clearing or gutters than need cleaning. Shutter Island did nothing to persuade me that Leonardo offers anything meaningful to movie art…it doesn’t so much drag as charge towards one of only two possible endings and once the killer is revealed its all a bit hohum….

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Air Canada hop from San Francisco had an excellent range of movie entertainment but only a two hour flight to watch anything…


Oh, God! Make it stop…!

The Underworld ‘saga’ never really grabbed me like some other franchise series Resident Evil which is just good clean hyper-violent gory messy fun….Underworld Awakening screams for a a stake through its inner essence (if it had any). It is a sad example of what happens when money is short and greedy production companies want to flog a license to death, or un-death in this case. Production values are rock-bottom with poorly integrated low-resolution video game graphics mixed with blurry flash-back sequences and only occasional live-acting scenes. It’s unlikely that you will see this one in the bargain bin at Warewhare because the other bargains movies will keep hefting it out on to the floor…

I had angsted over a choice between Underworld Awakening because I suspected how bad it might be and the 1951 original of The Thing, another victim of remake-itis, although John Carpenter’s 1982 version remains a classic in its own right…and after watching this version again, I wonder how much Ridley Scott’s Aliens franchise owes to it as well…?


A true classic in all its monochromatic glory…

Wooden acting aside, this Arctic tale of terror is still enough to put any seven year old to cowering behind the couch of dark and stormy nights…

2 thoughts on “Mainly faf–trans-Pacific movie reviews

  1. I’d highly recommend reading “Who goes there?”, the Sci-fi novella which “The Thing” is based on. Written by John F Campbell (as Don A Stuart), it is an excellent and chilling read. Better than any of the movies!


    • Thanks, Andrew…I hadn’t seen the original version of The Thing for decades (probably literally!!) and only noticed the reference to the John Campbell story when watching it on the plane the other night. I’m just finishing an anthology of Roy Cummings Golden Age SF stories and then I am going to hunt for a John Campbell anthology that includes ‘Who Goes There?‘…I really enjoy all the pre-WW2 SF that doesn’t even bother to nod to modern physics and science and which instead just concentrates on telling ripping good SF yarns. I have an especially soft spot for John Campbell as he not only wrote some great stories himself but is cited by so many othger writers as the catalyst that got them into successful SF writing…


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