So to pass the time between reviews I’m going to start doing a new wee feature on my blog where I will pick a favorite scene from my favorite films and talk a wee bit about them. It will hopefully mean I’ll be updating this a bit more often as well. Some will be pretty well known scenes but others might be scenes that, while not very well known, had stood out to me personally. So lets kick it off with one of my favorite death scenes of all time, the death of Brett (played by Harry Dean Stanton) from the classic sci-fi/horror Alien.
“But what about the chestburster scene, surely that’s the best death scene in Alien?” I hear you all saying. I agree, that scene is a brilliant scene, and one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history. But I’ve always found Brett’s death scene to be much more memorable. It’s the first time we get to see the titular alien in all its glory and the build up to the scene is brilliantly done. After the chestburster scene, the crew of the Nostromo go into the depths of the ship to try and hunt down the alien. Armed with makeshift cattle prods and nets, they pick up a signal on their handheld motion tracker. The signal turns out to be Jones, the ships cat, who runs off again before they can catch it. Worried it might show up on the tracker again, Brett is sent to catch it. As he’s looking he comes across what looks like a pile of shed skin, hinting that whatever they’re chasing may not be quite what they’re expecting. Brett eventually finds the cat hidden behind some machinery and tries to coax it. As he does, a huge tail uncurls itself from the ceiling behind him and the alien slowly and silently lowers itself down. The cat hisses and backs behind the machinery again, Brett turns round to find an 8 foot tall creature staring down at him. It slowly opens its drooling jaws, exposing a smaller secondary set. The alien kills Brett and drags him back up into the ceiling as his crew mates run into the room. If you haven’t seen it and don’t mind spoilers, here is the scene in question:
Its an incredibly eerie scene and it’s a really well filmed one. There’s minimal music and no dialogue, all you hear is the dripping water and rattling chains. The engine room of the ship is dimly lit, with dark shadowy corners where anything could be hiding. There’s a quick shot in the directors cut of the film (which isn’t in the above clip, but if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean) as Brett is using the dripping water form the engines to cool himself , where you see the alien hanging in the chains, just swaying back and forth with them, not moving, not making a sound. It’s a brilliant example of hiding on plain sight, and for people who are watching it for the first time it’s a great wee easter egg when you watch the film a second time. I’d seen the film umpteen times before I noticed the shot and it even gave me a wee start when I saw it. The slow, deliberate movements of the alien help give the sense of a truly inhuman creature. It’s also effective as it puts the audience in Brett’s shoes, exploring the unknown corners, unsure of what we’re going to find in those dark corners. And when we finally see the alien, we’re as terrified and awestruck as Brett was. Back in 1979, audiences had never seen a creature like this on screen before and in my own opinion, this is one of the best reveals in cinema history and is up there with the likes of the shark in Jaws rearing out of the water and the T-Rex reveal in Jurassic Park. The chestburster scene, while obviously memorable, has been the subject of countless parodies and homages in all sorts of media since 1979 so it’s impact has diminished slightly over the years. It’s because of this that Brett’s death will always stand out to me as one of the best scenes in one of the best horror films of all time.
“Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.” These two lines from the opening crawl at the beginning of Star War: A New Hope back in 1977 form the basic plot of Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards entry to one of the biggest movie franchises in cinema history and the first of many planned spin-off films to come. This review is going to have some spoilers so stop reading if you want to avoid them. Continue reading
Okay, so I’ve kinda neglected this blog for a while. Have had some personal things to deal with over the last few months that have been pretty tough. Things are much better now though so hopefully from now on I’ll be more active on it now. So lets kick things back off with a film I just finished watching about half an hour ago, shark thriller The Shallows. Continue reading
So, I’ve kinda been neglecting this blog a bit as of late. There’s been some personal stuff happening lately which I don’t really want to go into on here. But its got better now so hopefully I’ll be updating this more often from now on. I’ve seem a few films over the last few months so instead of a big review of each one, I’m gonna do a wee review round up. So lets get this show started! There will be spoilers ahead so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Continue reading
So, Ghostbusters. I wanted to enjoy this trailer. I really did. But honestly? I was severely underwhelmed by it.I am all for a new Ghostbusters film, with an all female team. It’s great to get some diversity in films nowadays. But c’mon this just seems like its a parody of the original film. The first film was a semi serious film with a load of deadpan humor in it and by God it worked . This one just seems like its going to be full of gross out humor, aged stereotypes and just plain rip offs of the original. Library ghost, Slimer and a giant ghost/monster on the streets of New York? A black, apparently uneducated character who joins the team because she “knows New York”? Why could she not have been one of the scientist types in the film? The whole thing just reeks of pandering to the nostalgia crowd. And it is not working. I will give them credit, the cast they have chosen is pretty damn good, especially Kate Mckinnon. She may actually steal the film from everyone else. And Chris Hemsworth as the secretary? Inspired casting. I’m going to keep hoping that this film will surprise me and be good, but judging from this trailer? I’m not going to hold my breath.
Have you ever wondered what The Thing would be like if it was directed by Quentin Tarantino? Well his new film, The Hateful Eight, answers that question. And it’s a damn good answer.
After the fan favourite character Deadpool was butchered in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, comic books fans were clamoring for decent take on the character. Ryan Reynolds short role in that film as Wade Wilson, showed that he could pull off this character, especially since he was a fan himself. And when some CGI test footage of a possible Deadpool film was “leaked” (I’m still not 100% convinced its was unintentional). the overwhelmingly positive reaction gave fans of the Merc’ with a Mouth a new hope. Once the trailers started showing up and the frankly brillliant marketing started (posters marketing it as a Valentines Day film? Genius.) it finally looked like Deadpool would get a worthy representation on screen. So, did he? Yes, a thousand times yes.
Due to a slight technical cock up on my part, my blog entry on Alien has been lost to the ages. Never fear though, at some point I will put up a new one.
One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that there has been a distinct lack of good dinosaur films. With the exception of Jurassic World and Pixars animated film The Good Dinosaur, there hasn’t been a lot of films involving dinosaurs. You could argue that King Kong was a dinosaur film, but the dinosaurs weren’t the focus of the film. There was Land of The Lost back in 2009 as well, but that wasn’t a terribly good film. Back in the 60s and 70s, dinosaur themed films were all the rage with films like One Million Years B.C , When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and The Land that Time Forgot. I firmly believe that dinosaur films need to make a comeback, so here are some other dinosaur related properties that would make for some really good films.
Marvel recently released the first full trailer for season two of their brilliant series Daredevil and it looks like its gonna be a cracking series. They’re introducing one of my favourite characters, the Punisher. Jon Bernthal (of Walking Dead fame) will be playing Frank Castle. the man who wages war on criminals after his family is killed in a mob crossfire. Rumour has it that he will be getting his own spin off series after very positive reactions to Bernthals portrayal of the character. If this is the case, I cannot wait to binge watch the whole series when it is released.