The 2017 Selection Pt.3

2017s3Here’s the latest state of the 2017 selection. There’s been a few additions since my last update. And hey, I’m still trying to curtail the spending this year.

Heat: God, another copy. Its just one of those movies. I think I have a VHS copy up in the loft somewhere, a widescreen version that came in a big box, don’t know if anybody out there remembers that edition. Studios must love idiots like me. So I buy this thinking it might be definitive and before it’s even arrived people are moaning about colour-timing and sound issues. I don’t know. At least it was strangely (suspiciously, maybe?) cheap. So I’ve got it in HD for something like a third of what I paid for it back on VHS. I won’t mention the DVD  thats lying around someplace. And no, I haven’t watched this copy yet.

The Leftovers- Season Two: I mentioned this awhile ago, as its what finally got me around to watching season one, and (hurrah!) I’ve also watched this too- review coming soon. Yeah, I’ve watched something in the 2017 selection- will this catch on? (he wonders, noting he still hasn’t watched Assault on Precinct 13 or Vampires or Garcia yet) .

Dr Strange: Actually, yes, I’ve watched this too, as my review a few weeks ago will attest. Well, I hadn’t seen it at the cinema and I’d been curious about it for months.

Logans Run/The Omega Man/Soylent Green: A triple-feature blu ray set, with each film coming in at under £4 each. Well, I’m always a sucker for deals like that. These are three 1970s dystopian science fiction films, each flawed in their own way but each having redeeming features making them worth re-watching, at least for someone like me who grew up with them on tv- I guess  viewers born post-1990 needn’t bother, they’ll likely hate them. Their loss; hell, they are worth watching if only for the soundtracks (which I have on CD for all three- yes I am that nerd in the corner).

Arrival: The best film of last year. A compulsory  blu ray purchase. I watched the disc the other night and yes, it just confirmed Oscar had it all wrong- Amy Adams deserved a nomination at the very least, and quite possibly the statuette itself too. This is a science fiction film for the ages and deserves to be ranked up there with CE3K. I should probably do another review based on the home experience. Indeed, I could watch this all over again already. There’s something strangely rewatchable about this film, the way it flows, the direction, the acting… wonderful sound design. This film has me so excited for Blade Runner 2049 (if only they could do something about that title; it still feels awkward to me). Its made me wonder though, how rare it is to watch a science fiction film these days and think it’s one for the ages.

So anyway, as we tumble towards April, this is the latest photo of my disc purchases this year. And yes, by year’s end, I vow to have watched everything in this photo.

The Sweeney (2012)

sweeny1The 1970s tv series The Sweeney is a part of my childhood (the music at the end was like a dreadful dirge that signalled bedtime and another day at school sadly looming). At the time The Sweeney seemed a very raw, gritty police drama in which, alarmingly, the criminals sometimes triumphed. I guess if I watched an episode today it might seem quite tame, but this movie version didn’t really ‘feel’ like that show I remember. It seems too slick, too polished somehow. Maybe I’m remembering it wrong, but the 1970s were pretty grim and the show reflected that, whereas this movie version feels just a little too polished and clean- no doubt reflective of how London has changed (much like comparing the 1970s New York of Taxi Driver to the city of the modern day). It also all too clearly shows the influence of tv shows like The Shield and films like Heat, particularly the latter, as it features a shootout and pursuit on the streets of London very reminiscent of the one featured in Mann’s opus. In this one bullets fly everywhere but no-one seems to get hurt other than a few civilians (the cops might as well be stormtroopers out of Star Wars for all the good they are at shooting down the three bad guys). Indeed this film feels more The Shield and Heat than it ever does The Sweeney, like its having some kind of identity crisis. Rather more ill-judged is the score, which seemed to have been transplanted directly from Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Its fine but overly familiar, as if thats the kind of Hans Zimmer-inspired muzak that is expected in films today; frequently it just feels odd and out of place and robs the film of any real identity of its own.

The film has a few other problems. Ray Winstone’s Jack Regan is an utter bastard- its hard to empathise with a ‘hero’ so terribly flawed. He’s corrupt for one thing, stealing away evidence/money from a crime scene at one moment and then shagging the wife of one of his superiors the next (the age difference and lack of chemistry between the oafish Winstone and the bombshell Hayley Atwell is also an issue the actors never surmount). At odds with authority figures Regan is portrayed as a dinosaur doomed in the modern police force, but whilst in some films, like the Dirty Harry series for instance, we might root for our hero, in this one such empathy seems impossible. WInstone is perhaps too successful at being a complete bastard; likely its not his fault, he’s perhaps just too efficient at the character. He just needs reigning in;  it needed a more delicate touch or something in the script to open up his character- an error of judgement of the director perhaps.