The 2020 list: January

Here’s a sign o’ the times: I just realised, looking at the list below, that not one thing was watched on disc. Everything ‘new’ that I watched in January was either on streaming or (in the case of two movies) a trip to the cinema. I may be wrong, but this may be the first time that this has happened. As an advocate of physical media, that’s obviously rather alarming. I did buy one film on disc this month, which was Ad Astra, but as that is a film I first watched last September it doesn’t qualify for this list. As far as next month is concerned, it looks like this trend may well continue, as I think I have just one disc pre-ordered, which is Joker (which will make the Feb list as that’s one I missed last year)- its a film I’m REALLY looking forward to; I just hope it lives up to all the hype.

Its a little odd to think its the end of January already. Haven’t had the most productive of months regards watching stuff but you know how it is, distractions and all that, and even then, I haven’t reviewed all that I did manage to watch, but, well, even more distractions. Must. Try. Harder.

TV Shows

2) Dracula

3) Better Call Saul Season Four

4) The Planets (2019 Documentary series)


1) Saturday Night Fever

5) Rise of Skywalker

6) 1917

7) Bad Day for the Cut

8) Suspiria (1977)

9) Aladdin (2019)

10) Horrible Histories: The Movie

11) Darkest Hour

12) 6 Underground


6 Underground

6under1Oh my fragile senses. What horror that Netflix and Michael Bay just wreaked upon me; I rather feel like I’ve just been somehow assaulted by my television. I’m in something of a stunned daze. I don’t think my eyes or ears are still working and I’m finding it as difficult to string words together into cogent sentences as it does for most of the characters in this fraking movie (“Not the puppies!”/”She’s lost a shit ton of blood”/”Nobody is going to save the world. But we can make it a little less shitty, you know?”).

I’m such a stupid schmuck.  I watched another Michael Bay movie. Oh, I knew what I was doing, I knew the risks, but I knew nothing about this film and as its a Netflix Original, I just thought, well, its going to be a much smaller budget than he’s used to,  it’ll be slower, quieter, more intimate, maybe have a plot even. Wrong. I’m such an idiot.

6 Underground is a $150 million dollar Michael Bay blockbuster with him let absolutely totally loose without a studio bothering to rein him  in or anything, its like anything goes, the ultimate Michael Bay frakfest extravaganza, Welcome to Michael Bay Film School. Its an orgy of exploding cars, exploding people, blood spurting in slow motion, long slow lingering pans over hot women’s bodies, its gun-porn, chase-porn, explosion-porn, bullet-porn, impossible stunts-porn… really, this thing is the very definition of the worst a Mission: Impossible movie could possibly be. I hadn’t realised just how mundane and restrained those Tom Cruise/Christopher McQuarrie arthouse spy flicks were. This film begins with a fifteen/twenty minute car chase through Florence, Italy in which civilians are run over by the good guys, or gunned down by bad guys, streets are wrecked, puppies and babies endangered, cars get ripped in two and bodies are blown apart, impaled, smashed, burned, ripped….

I’ve now reached some kind of epiphany: all those years, when Michael Bay was going around making films like The Rock and those Transformers films, Pearl Harbor or the Bad Boys films, I thought he was just making silly loud blockbusters but really he was perfecting some whole new kind of movie-making, a whole new art-form hitherto undreamed of by any Film School known to man. This thing is the new 3D or the new Imax. This is The Future. Some day all films will be as loud and fast and stupid as this. Yeah, you THINK most films are loud, fast and stupid, but you ain’t seen this, you ain’t seen NOTHING.

So. Lets see if I can stretch what this film excuses for a plot into a paragraph. The 6 Underground are six ‘dead’ people, they are ‘ghosts’ who have faked their own deaths (or had them faked for them) in order to go all A-Team and beat the biggest Bad Guys from beyond the grave- unknowable, untouchable, utterly expendable; these six beautiful people (Ryan Reynolds,  Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy and Dave Franco, yeah that’s right I named seven, its a Michael Bay movie) in beautiful places turning murder and mayhem into a work of art. Ryan Reynolds is the leader, ‘Number One’, a genius tech-billionaire with a conscience (yes there is such a thing, that’s the magic of Hollywood), who has recruited a team of ex-CIA/ex-assassin/ex-underworld experts (‘Number Two’, ‘Number Three’ etc etc) in order to right the wrongs that our lousy untrustworthy Governments refuse to because obviously everyone is corrupt other than our ‘ghosts’. Hence today’s mission is sorting out the dastardly dictator of poor Turgistan (I kid you not), first by killing his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse/Generals while they are vacationing in Las Vegas at a Chemical Warfare convention (or something), and then freeing his brother who has been terrifyingly imprisoned in the Penthouse Suite of the most mindbogglingly lavish billionaire apartment in a city ‘somewhere exotic’  before crashing the dictators state-run television network and then a party on his billionaire yacht.

Naturally doing this involves killing lots and lots and lots of people and blowing up all kinds of shit. Its some kind of brilliant genius, to be sure. At this point in his career, and running utterly amok as he is thanks to those depraved bastards at Netflix, Bay has this down to some kind of relentless, terrifyingly efficient machine, a film posing as Terminator. Its horrible and beautiful and brilliant and bloody awful. Even now, I cannot quite believe it. Did I see it? Did I hear it?

I feel a little like dear old Charlton Heston on the beach: “Those crazy bastards (Netflix). They did it. They really did it. They gave Bay $150 million and Final Cut. Those crazy bastards.” Cue falling to my knees in despair, fists clenched towards my shamed OLED. The End.

Star Trek: Picard

stpicardAs far as first episodes go, I thought this was a pretty solid effort. Certainly it feels more of a genuine ‘Star Trek’ than anything in Star Trek: Discovery,  which is all good in my book. I suppose a lot of this is due to having as familiar (and iconic) a face as Jean Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) as the central protagonist.  I must confess to feeling a certain glow when I saw Picard and Data together wearing their old TNG uniforms- I rather think that Stewart and Brent Spiner must have gotten a bit of a kick filming that scene. Whats most surprising though is that this still remains a pretty clear departure from Star Trek of old, particularly from TNG. This Picard is a rather bitter, lonely and frustrated man in his twilight years questioning the institutions that once held such importance to him, and perhaps questioning his life, what he achieved, what was the point of it all.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it (this first episode hints at more than it delivers, but I expect its just teasing answers soon to come in subsequent instalments) but I rather fancied that this series could just have easily been titled Star Trek: Kirk had it been made a decade ago, and perhaps would have made a fascinating epilogue for both Kirk and William Shatner’s role in the franchise, had that been possible.

Bad timing for Shatner, great timing for Stewart then, who seems to be relishing the opportunity this series affords him.

A friend of mine from work who left a few years ago, and was an avid Trekkie who read all the books etc, dropped me a text over the weekend informing me that he’d watched the show. He seemed to enjoy it, but couldn’t help but wryly note that the show credited 18 producers. A sign of the times, I guess, but I did text him an observation that too many cooks can spoil the broth, and that the cohesive vision of, say, a Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon, the two grand old masters of the original 1960s Trek, seems to be lost to us now. Star Trek: Discovery seemed to spend too much effort trying to be all things to everyone, getting lost in a spiralling mess in the process, and I only hope that this series goes its own path and maintains the promise of this fairly solid beginning.

Back to the Stars: Ad Astra 4K UHD

ad1Returning to Ad Astra, a few months after its cinema release back in September, was a surprisingly rewarding experience. I’m always curious about returning to films like this when their disc releases come out, and more so regards this film than some. I really had mixed feelings about the film when I first saw it, and while my reservations remain, particularly towards its ending, I have to confess I enjoyed the film much more second time around. Diminished expectations and all that.

First things first though, I have to say, this film looks absolutely gorgeous on 4K UHD, indeed much, much better than it did back in the cinema. I’d possibly forgotten how beautiful the film’s cinematography was, but certainly the tired projection quality/old screens of my Cineworld (currently getting a refurb as I type this so hopefully soon rectified) can’t match sitting a few feet away from my 55″ OLED. There is a lovely filmic quality to the very detailed image, a nice amount of (but not overpowering) grain, some subtle HDR and beautiful colour range- its a great addition to the format and a reminder that sometimes its worth paying a premium. So it looks pretty. But what about the film?

Well, Brad Pitt’s subdued performance is certainly  more nuanced than I remembered, and his interior monologues via voiceover are not as distracting as I thought first time around. I do think the nods in the narrative towards Apocalypse Now are too on the nose and in practice proves an awkward fit for a science fiction film (the journey up the river in Coppola’s film isn’t a convincing analogue for a space odyssey across the solar system).  For one thing, a 79-day journey from Mars to Neptune that manages to fit in flybys of both Jupiter and Saturn seems an incredibly fortuitous piece of planetary alignment, but hey, as John Brosnan said, ‘Its only a movie’ so I should maybe cut the film a break (the less said about Space Pirates and mad Space Baboons the better).

ad2What I really like about the film, and something I wish it had focused on more, was its nihilistic approach to humanity in the universe. The void is vast and inhuman, a silent expanse that defies comprehension, and it is hinted several times during the film that the immensity of space and time can easily damage the human psyche.  Its why the characters have to submit to periodic evaluations and why one of the pilots of the Cepheus seems to suffer a breakdown during a tense emergency arriving at Mars. Its frustrating when the films logic then appears to breakdown, as that same burned-out pilot is immediately passed out for a further flight to Neptune when he really should be grounded. I found the conceit that space travel breaks people, even the smartest and fittest, if only because we really don’t ‘belong’ Out There, was a great subject and indeed a fitting enough explanation for Tommy Lee Jones going all Colonel Kurtz out at Neptune but not really developed enough.

Its frustrating because one of the things so interesting (and infuriating for some viewers) about First Man was its rather detached, cold-fish portrayal of Neil Armstrong. The voyage to the moon is all business for Armstrong in that film, and he seems to shut down emotionally throughout, but its how he seemed to deal with it. As laymen we always want to know what it felt like to stand on the surface of the moon and look back on the Earth, but sending engineers/test-pilots to the moon instead of poets means that NASA failed to really answer that question, frustrating our need to really empathise with the event, understand its magnitude. Indeed, it possibly frustrated Armstrong for the rest of his life trying to articulate it. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, what must it do to a human to look up and see the Earth, the place where anything that ever happened in all the history books, and where any man or woman who ever lived spent their lives, every place or person we ever heard of, encompassed in that small blue globe lost in the totality of the inky blackness around it?  Can the fragile psyche of a human really comprehend it without snapping or finding God (or both), or perhaps shrugging it off as an engineering achievement?

Ad Astra perhaps gets too obsessed with the intimate (cold-fish Roy McBride’s relationship with his long-lost father) instead of really sufficiently dealing with the Infinite. I liked its suggestion that we are truly alone, that there is no life Out There. His father Clifford McBride seems to break at the realisation that there is nothing for him to find, no answers, no solutions, just empty silence and dead worlds. Roy finds solace in returning to Earth and realising that what he have, through relationships with loved ones etc, should be enough: Love Conquers All I guess, but its clearly a revelation lost on Clifford, who coolly states he never once thought about the wife or child he left behind.

Well, Ad Astra is a flawed film, not as intelligent as it pretends to be or as fulfilling as it could have been. The finale of the film, when Roy finally meets his father, is the weakest part of the whole piece. As I think I mentioned with my earlier review, I actually think the film needed to be longer, that we needed more time with Clifford and Roy out at Neptune, the loneliest humans there has ever been, and how each of them deal with that in their own way. Maybe that would have been too much of an intellectual exercise for a Hollywood sci-fi movie, I don’t know, but in any case as it stands the film fails to realise both the emotional and intellectual wallop that it aims for. It seems to suggest that the answers for the human experience lie in Inner Space rather than Outer Space, that the universe is cold and lifeless and ignorant of every one of us: its not that we don’t matter, its that we need to matter to each other. Maybe that’s a stretch, or maybe its just that the film fumbles that answer.

But at least it seems to ask the question. There’s a lot of good in Ad Astra and I’m sure I’ll be returning to it again. I’ll just be filling in the blanks with what I think it means and what it could have been, while considering just what a masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey really was.

Aladdin (2019)

allyI enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Sure, the cynicism of these Disney live-action remakes/reboots (or whatever they are calling them) is pretty plain- the animated originals are perfectly fine, you would think, but Disney seem to think contemporary audiences need contemporary updates (or Disney+ needs a lot of content). I suppose I feel conflicted because while I accept that the movie business is, well, a business, I would also like to think its an artistic pursuit, an art-form. Its hard to reconcile film as a mostly creative, artistic endeavour when a studio like Disney is so plainly displaying its business-oriented mandate of making money from its own historic intellectual property.  Films like Aladdin should be pretty abhorrent.

I know, calm down, Ghost- I should get off my noble high horse and get with reality. The cold truth is that artistic worth or brilliance is almost incidental to the pursuit of studios making money. Its not as if Ridley Scott or Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg or James Cameron made films for nothing, either (although I seem to recall James Cameron claiming he made nothing out of Titanic, incredibly, but that was probably just me misreading the headline or it just being more click-bait that I wisely ignored).

Anyway, I digress. Aladdin, then. Its the one about the street-urchin/thief Aladdin and the magic lamp with a Genie, only this is the Guy Ritchie version so its all violent and foul-mouthed and edgy and.. well, of course it isn’t, this is Disney, but yeah, Guy Ritchie does seem an odd fit. An interesting one at that, but alas, such intriguing possibilities are ill-founded. This is Guy Ritchie in ‘safe’, strictly-mainstream mode, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it does seem a bit of a waste. I couldn’t really tell you where in this film anything of Ritchie himself really shines, or what distinguishes his efforts here from any other director making a Disney title. I’ve heard that Tim Burton’s Dumbo bears the mark of its director quite distinctly (and not all for the good) but as I haven’t gotten around to that yet I can’t comment. I can’t remember if Aladdin bears the credit ‘A Guy Ritchie Film’ or not, but if it does, I have to wonder how they had the nerve.

But on the whole, I have to say I quite enjoyed this regardless. Can’t say I was ever really a fan of the animated original, so that may have some bearing on my opinion. As might be expected, the film looks simply ravishing (I’d love to see it on 4K UHD disc someday) with lovely production design and the cast is really pretty fine- especially Will Smith, as the Genie. Its a tricky role for him to take on bearing in mind how well-regarded Robin William’s original was in the animated film, and how odd the first images were of Smith in the part. If anything, the film largely succeeds on his performance alone, its a winning and emotive performance that shines above all the CGI stuff going on with it.

ally2Mena Massoud makes a pretty decent Aladdin, and Naomi Scott’s lovely Jasmine is just terrific and is clearly an actress to watch out for in future. To be honest, other than some surprisingly sub-par CGI in places, the only real issues I had with the film was its ending, and perhaps most surprising (considering its director) the villain, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) who is so neutered he didn’t really seem to function as much of a villain at all. The film perhaps trying too hard to reign in the worst tendencies of its director perhaps? I don’t know, but it does seem odd- one thing you could say about all the Disney animated classics, is that the bad guys were bad ‘uns and the films weren’t afraid to give the littlest viewers a few scares alongside all the fun. Her, Jafar fails to have any real threat, an almost token villain and really quite forgettable. Odd.

Suspiria (1977)

suspStyle over content- there is, oddly enough, nothing wrong with that. Its what elevates some films to classic status – Blade Runner, for instance, was criticised back in 1982 for being all style and little substance, but that ironically defined the very thing it became most famous for, and what remains so impressive about the film to this day: sometimes style is everything.  Such is perhaps the case with Dario Argento’s horror film Suspiria, which I have been a long time getting around to watching- indeed, seeing the remake/reboot beforehand.

Suspiria is all about style: its a horror film as arthouse movie, or maybe arthouse movie as horror film, if there’s a distinction looking at it either way. There is very little plot, pretty much non-existent characterisation. As a traditional film, it functions very poorly indeed.

As such, I have to confess I found it rather disappointing. I do believe a part of that is simply because I am so late to the party, the film being over forty years old now. When it first came out, when it was so new and fresh and experimental, such an assault on the senses, it might well have seemed extraordinary, and I can understand this reputation continuing for years, into its release on VHS and DVD. Certainly it has an atmosphere all its own, from its in-your-face, assault-on-your-eardrums score by Goblin, its garish colour schemes and rather surreal, other-worldly, dreamlike imagery. Back in 1977 and likely years later, it must have been astonishing, exhilarating, but to me it just seemed a little, er, irritating.

Which is my loss, I expect. I’ve just come to the film too late. Intellectually I can appreciate what it did/does, and why it is so revered, but I’m watching the film in 2020. It just doesn’t work in the same way it did back then. Its a bit like when I talk to people who have never seen Blade Runner; before they do so I have to caution their expectations a little, or usually, discussing the film afterwards, I have to confess that to appreciate how new and fresh and special the film still seems to me today, you really had to be there in 1982. Or perhaps in understanding the impact the first Star Wars film had in 1977. You cannot really divorce films from when they were first released, they are forever of their time. They can’t hold that same magic forever.

But it certainly is a beautiful film; most of the shots of the film are exquisite and visually it remains quite extraordinary. I was just a little disappointed that this was all the film really was. The violence/horror is mostly a ghastly, over the top orgy of gore and so self-aware and artificial its clearly shocking for shocks sake (circa what people were used to in 1977). Perhaps that’s the point of it, engineered to repulse, but I can’t say I was ever involved in any of it. Instead I felt outside of it, distracted by its technique and artifice: its a dream that never feels real, and in so doing it never really involved me.

If anything, the film made me consider a reappraisal of the 2018 Suspiria: I can see now, having seen the 1977 original, what that film possibly succeeded at. It wasn’t a remake, and neither did it try to mimic very much of the 1977 films style and atmosphere. Instead it took the basic plot and made a more routine, traditional narrative: something more cohesive. Back when I saw it I felt rather frustrated by it, and I doubt that watching it again I’d enjoy the film anymore than I originally did- it strangely enough has its own problems, as I recall, and all of its own quite seperate to those of the original. But maybe the 2018 film wasn’t as terrible as I originally thought, or certainly not quite as inferior to the original as I thought it might be. Both films are quite flawed, but I suppose that, considering its age, one can give the original some credit for what it did back then that made it seem so unique and ‘new’.

Mind, I’m hardly an expert on the horror genre, but for all the hype over Suspiria’s bold and garish visuals, I think some are forgetting the colour-drenched visuals of the best of the Gothic Hammers and much of Roger Corman’s Poe horror line of the 1960s. Suspiria in 1977 may have done it to a heightened and lasting degree, but certainly it had its precedents.


Happy Birthday, Robert E Howard

bobToday I shall have a drink to the memory of one my heroes, the great Texan author Robert E Howard, who was born today in 1906, in Peaster, Texas. A master storyteller, author and poet, his words have inspired, excited and scared me for most of my life. Probably most famous today for his sword and sorcery yarns featuring Conan the Barbarian, he wrote Boxing stories, Westerns, Historical fiction, even a few Detective tales. His poetry is particularly notable, his word-craft quite extraordinary and vivid.

They say never meet your heroes- well of course I never had a chance with Bob, as he died some sixty years before I was born. I have often wondered what it would be like, though, to sit a share a cold beer with him, and wonder if we would get along in conversation. Meeting Lovecraft, say, would be pretty horrific I expect, but I have always had the suspicion that meeting Bob would be a much more positive experience. Mind, although I often had the hope that he would be a kindred spirit, that’s possibly more than wishful thinking on my part. Bob was a complex man who lived in a very different world and his mental health has often been debated by readers over the decades.

I once had an incredibly vivid dream of walking to his house in June of 1936, and dissuading him from his act of suicide. It possibly says more about me, that I can dream of Time Travel and of going back to that one day, and try to stop that one event, instead of, say, dreaming of Dinosaurs or Rome. But we are all  full of weird tales that way, and our dreams often seem to follow a whim all their own.

Anyway, here’s a beer to you, Bob.


Future becomes Past

esc1I am still beyond irritated that I never re-watched Blade Runner during November, 2019. It feels like something vaguely heretical that I never watched that film in that, of all months. Once upon a time, that film was of the future, now its not even of the past, but some alternate past, like the 1997 of Escape From New York, or the 2001 of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Alternative histories, of the future become past.

Perhaps that’s more powerful. It is, after all, the problem when predicting the future in science fiction movies. You can get judged by what you get right, what you get wrong, and maybe that’s missing the point- the films really tell us about when they were made. In the decade that gave us Taxi Driver, it wasn’t perhaps too much of a stretch to imagine New York becoming a maximum security prison to dump all the criminal filth of America into. Likewise when Kubrick and Clarke made 2001 in the 1960s, with America pumping so much money and effort into Apollo, it was no doubt easy to imagine the Superpowers with bases on the moon by 2001. In just the same way that Escape From New York shows how grim society seemed to be getting in the grim late-1970s, 2001: A Space Odyssey betrays the sense of hope and ambition of the 1960s.

In any event, its easy to re-watch 2001 imagining that Vietnam never happened and that political will championed an ambitious space program for decades to follow, or that when economic collapse threatened the America of Escape From New York,  far-right politics condemned society’s ills to the solution of a city turned into a prison. Or, in the case of Blade Runner, that perhaps the Axis won World War Two and set the world into the different path of a German Space Race, and an Off-World solution to the climate collapse of Earth.

In this way the films actually become more powerful, separated from the weight of prediction, instead benefiting from the freedom of dreaming what might have been. I think its something that film-makers etc should perhaps consider when contemplating possible futures: don’t make them ours, make them someone else’s. If the opening crawl of Blade Runner had been something along the lines of: “1946: The Axis wins WWII, 1954: The first man on the moon is a German,  2019: Now” then people would perhaps have been more open, even in 1982, to accept its future noir vision. Its an approach that Villeneuve and his team clearly seemed to relish when making BR2049 and furthering its alternate history/future, something that the film benefits from with its retro tech.

I note that perhaps the next film to join the distinguished company of Escape From New York, 2001 and Blade Runner is Soylent Green, whose grim future of 2022, of devastating climate change, pollution and overpopulation is next to become an alternate past. Mind, as predictions go they possibly weren’t terribly far off with that one.

The Night Window

One of the most visually arresting sequences of 1917 is accompanied by what may well be one of the most impressive pieces of film music we will hear all this year. Here’s a link to the music on YouTube- even away from the film, Thomas Newman’s music is quite haunting, and I don’t recall a piece of music from him quite like it before. The rest of the score is fairly routine for modern for film music these days, its just that ambient, semi-sound effects style that has been in vogue for some time now, but this piece certainly recalls the good old days when film music drew attention to itself and wasn’t afraid to be, well, music.


1917Not since The Revenant, which I first saw almost exactly four years ago to this very week (January seems a really good time to go to the cinema, must be Awards Season, go figure),  have I seen such an overpowering, visceral film. You don’t so much watch 1917 as experience it. Using a sort of single-take, you-are-there technique (essentially, the film is shot and structured to suggest the whole thing is one incredibly complex single take, which of course it can’t be). It reminded me a lot of both The Revenant and Gravity, and also sequences in Children of Men; its a technique that can be very intense, with a sense of docu-drama. My only caveat is that its an approach that can threaten to undermine a film, a danger that the technique overpowers the narrative and the film suffers for it.

There is an almost unconscious tendency -one just can’t help it- of trying to second-guess or work out where the hidden cuts are, and while many seem obvious (seconds of darkness transitioning between interiors, say), and others are likely hidden visual effects/split screen trickery that you’ll never see, while you don’t really care, you just can’t help looking for them. Its almost an instinctive thing, maybe most of the public don’t notice or care, maybe its an habitual moviegoer thing, but I just couldn’t help it. So to some extent I found myself almost wishing it had been made traditionally like a normal movie, because I couldn’t help but be pulled out of the narrative by wondering at the sleight of hand being used .

While it can therefore be distracting, it does however endow the film with a powerfully tactile feel of being in the moment, and Sam Mendes uses this extremely well as he pulls the viewer further into his vision of 20th Century Hell- because that’s what World War One and the Trenches really was, absolutely Hell on Earth, and 1917 is certainly one of the most convincing cinematic recreations of that horror that I have seen. Thanks to the great Roger Deakins, of course, one is left with the observation that its rather disconcerting that Hell looks so beautiful to look at it- the beauty in all the horror is really quite disturbing.

Indeed, at times the film really does have the sense of being a horror movie more than it does a war movie. There is a nightmarish quality to some of its imagery that is quite harrowing. The basic plot – its a quest, a journey from one place to another as Homeric as it is Apocalypse Now or say, the original Jacobs Ladder– is frankly pretty routine. Its not the destination, its the getting there, and what it does to the protagonists and us over those two hours.

Possibly one of the best films I shall see this year, I found this incredibly powerful and when I walked out, I really had a sense that I had seen a movie, you know, that I felt different walking out that I had walking in.  That’s what movies should be all about, really.