Tag Archives: L

The Lawnmower Man 3/5

The Lawnmower Man

Cliff Notes: oh wow, haaahahaha

This is dumb fun. I haven’t watched it since it first came out…yes, I paid money and saw this at the cinema…

Jeff Fahey’s character has been hitting with the same dumbstick as Harry from Dumb and Dumber (they share brainpower, dress sense and hairstyle) and we get a sadistic priest who likes whipping shirtless grown men, a nympho widow next door, and a wife/child beater on the other side. We get Pierce Brosnan looking skinny with a gold earring, spouting absolute pseudoscientific gibberish… for example, at one point he announces that Fahey learned Latin in 2 hours, whilst he himself took a whole year to master the Latin Alphabet…. yeah, the Latin Alphabet is the English alphabet without a distinct J or W…

We get some really creaky looking CGI that has a retro charm, and I admit I found the dopey moment when Fahey equated himself to a cyberchrist was kind of cool.

I appreciated the energy of it, but it was a right mess. And absolutely nothing to do with Stephen King’s short story of the same name.

Oh and Goeffrey Lewis was in it – this adds half a point to any movie.

The Little Mermaid 3.5/5

The Little Mermaid

A decent Disney entry, with some pretty good songs, a memorable villainess, and some good comedy sequences. I laughed out loud in the bit where Sebastian is confronted with the horror that is the kitchen of a French chef.

However, not perfect. The whole ‘Ursula as the other woman’ plot was cursory and rushed, but I was kind of thankful it was. Any longer would have dragged the film down. 80 minutes is the right length for this sort of thing.

Lion King 4/5

Lion King

First watch!

Rather finely paced story, with simple but smooth and pleasing animation, fine comedy characters, and a story that stays simple and effective. They really cast fine vocal talents too.

I can see why this is considered a modern Disney masterpiece.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels + Snatch – 132

Snatch

Sam and Mark talk about a few movies and games watched/played since last time, and about Guy Ritchie’s first two commercial movies, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch

Land of the Lost 2.5/5

Land of the Lost

Very mildly amusing, and feels like you’re rushing through a much bigger story. Or seeing the edited highlights of a 6 hour miniseries. I guess they wanted to hit the main story points of the original TV series, but that’s just a guess.

However, it was kind of fun, if you have a high tolerance to a plot that snakes about wildly and doesn’t really settle. Also, the beginning and end segments, with Will Ferrell being interviewed as his character in a talk show, seemed more Ron Burgundy than this movie.

Lesbian Vampire Killers 2.5/5

Lesbian Vampire Killers

Passably entertaining and benefitting from some good cinematography and sound design, and some quite great-looking ladies, giving it an old Hammer vibe, it could definitely have been funnier, but James Corden and Paul McGann as a potty-mouthed vicar and a not-too-long running time make it a reasonable, lightweight diversion.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 4.5/5

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Amazing debut from Guy Ritchie, who combines colourful characters and some dazzling camerawork with funny, highly-stylized dialogue. Even non-actors shine reasonably well in this (Lennie McLean and Vinnie Jones), and it’s cool to see some guys who I still enjoy seeing – specifically Jason Statham and Jason Flemyng – and whilst it does have rough spots and some sections that clearly have non actors in speaking roles, it trundles along nicely, guiding the viewer through the convoluted plot with a confident hand, and borrowing part from Tarantino’s snappy dialogue, part from an old British tradition of loveable rogues that stretch back to The Italian Job and on to old black and white comedy caper movies with Peter Sellers, Alistair Sim and Alec Guinness.

Marvellous.

Life Story 4/5

Life Story

The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick…

I haven’t seen this since the first (and only?) time it was aired on the BBC, and there were whole scenes I remember quite distinctly. It takes the great tack of presenting the race to work out the structure of DNA as a dynamic detective story, which clever people trying to work out the puzzle from the patchy evidence.

What really makes it so watchable is Jeff Goldblum in his prime, acting like a hyperkinetic, goggle-eyed predatory bird, marvelling over evidence, harassing people at the oddest times, and drilling towards the truth as James Watson.

This is marvellous, and I give it 1/2 a star extra just because it’s so little seen, and should be seen by more people.

National Lampoon’s Vacation 4/5

National Lampoon's Vacation

Very funny movie that started the Vacation series, which clearly peaked at Christmas Vacation.

The Griswalds are fully-developed characters from the off (well, Clark and Ellen anyway, the kids were always changing actors/ages), and it’s also fun to see Cousin Eddie also fully formed.

There are many laughs throughout, as mishap piles on mishap, and Chase starts acting crazy.

Great comedy writing from John Hughes, and great comedy direction from Harold Ramis.

The Lego Movie 4/5

The Lego Movie

Very fun movie with one insanely catchy tune that will lodge in your head like a brainspider. It’s goofy and surreal, with plenty of jokes, some of which are at oldschool Lego expense, which is fine. Without spoiling however, I think this movie is not just working on a meta-level (big deal, a lot of kids movies do that, to keep the adults interested), but actually transcends this in the last act and becomes meta-meta-level (meta about meta-levelling).

Combine this is various butt-reference jokes, Batman, robo-pirate and similar, and you have something that the kids will enjoy, but so will the adults. In the screening I was in, you could hear the kids really laughing in places, but you could also hear the adults laughing just as hard in the same places.

Definitely recommended.

Logan’s Run 3/5

Logan's Run

There was a slew of interesting, thought-provoking scifi made in the lull between 2001:A Space Odyssey and the juggernaut of movie scifi that was Star Wars, that for many years made movie sci-fi==movie sci-fantasy. Stuff like THX 1138, Omega Man, Soylent Green, The Last Warrior, Silent Running, Dark Star. Logan’s Run comes near the bottom of the pile. It’s got a wonky script and the actors are not directed well, but even coming near the bottom, it’s still worth a watch. The beautiful Jennifer Agutter disrobes a lot (and is easy on the eye when clothed too), and Peter Ustinov’s turn as a cranky old guy spouting T.S.Eliot is fun, as is a mad robot obsessed with freezing people.

The world-building is also quite interesting (if a little star trekky), and I think this one would be a good candidate for a remake.

Book Review: The Light Fantastic – Fun 2nd book in Discworld series, definitely a pleasing read 8/10

The Light Fantastic

This is a direct sequel to Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld book, continuing the adventures of Rincewind the semi-failed magician, Twoflower the tourist,  and the walking luggage.

There’s many funny moments and scenes in this book, but it benefits a lot by the presence of a few other characters, particularly Death, and Cohen the Barbarian (a geriatric warrior who is more canny than caveman).

Recommended as a fine diversion from reality