Thursday, October 21, 2021

Halloweeen Kills (David Gordon Green, 2021)

Scare tactics

(Warning: plot points of both the 2018 Halloween and 2021 Halloween Kills discussed in explicit and gory detail)

"I come to bury Caesar not praise him," Marc Antony once said standing over Caesar's corpse, making brutal appreciation of his former friend; I know how he feels. Lay David Gordon Green's Halloween Kills across the autopsy table and you're forced to agree with most critics: this is not a pretty sight. I mean--long character expositions sutured to grotesque murders of said characters; loud thumping music stretched to cover entire missing sections of narrative and huge gaps in logic; conventions from different genres stuffed like so many makeshift organs into the film's carcass in the hope that the mess will come to life, rough thread punched in and out of festering leather in a parody of stitching. If this unholy assembly ever manages to lurch off the table and stumble across the bloodslicked floor the audience will shriek--more at the sheer gracelessness of the filmmaking, I imagine, than any violence actually depicted.   

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

No Time to Die (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2021)

Time enough for love

(Plot twists and story discussed in explicit detail)

Latest of a longrunning franchise, last to feature latest Bond Daniel Craig. Best of the lot tho I'm not a fan of of the series from Roger Moore onwards. Craig I'll admit is one of the better actors in the role, second to Connery (who didn't do his best work in this series). I trust I make myself clear as mud. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Pedro Penduko (Gerardo de Leon, 1954)

The legend begins

Legendary komiks writer-artist Francisco Coching's best-known work first saw light of day in Liwayway Magazine; its first of many incarnations on the big screen was this, Gerardo 'Gerry' de Leon's homespun folksy Pedro Penduko done the same year (if web sources can be trusted). 

De Leon is one of the few great filmmakers who dabbled in comics (others include--off the top of my head--Robert Altman, Mario Bava, Lino Brocka, Celso Ad. Castillo (who did a remake starring Ramon Zamora in 1973), Ishmael Bernal, Lamberto Avellana). The previous year de Leon had also adapted Mars Ravelo's Dyesebel, and while I generally agree with Martin Scorsese's jab at the Marvel Cinematic Universe I do think some comic-book adaptations are cinema--you just have to decide which.