Sunday 10 June 2018


Rocky II (1979)
[#131 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

this week on 100 Films

One of the greatest TV series of all time reached its end on UK TV this past week, so I brought forward 100 Films in a Year's monthly TV column to review it. That, of course, was The Americans...

As well as that, 8 brand-new film reviews were published this week...

Adventures of Zatoichi (1964)
Everyone else seems to rate Adventures of Zatoichi somewhat poorly... Conversely, I thought it was rather brilliant. It has a nice, clear, well-connected narrative (something I haven’t always found in previous instalments). There’s a great cast of supporting characters, lots of small roles who all make their mark... Tonally the film displays an effective mix of humour, action, drama, and emotion, making for an all-round entertainment.
Read more here.

Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
In some ways it feels like a kids’ movie made for adults. Sure, it’s about cute talking animals, but a lot of the jokes are squarely aimed at knowing grown-ups, as is some of the emotional stuff, such as a scene where the Jack Russell is clearly running off to Heaven, which probably (hopefully, even) goes over younger children’s heads. As that may suggest, it’s also a very dark movie. Most of the darkness is eventually undercut, subverted, or rescued, but not always immediately
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The Conversation (1974)
Harry Caul is a professional eavesdropper — people pay him to record what other people are saying in private. When Coppola conceived the film, this was just an interesting world to play around in. By the time it was produced and released, Watergate had recently happened, and the film could not have been more timely. Nonetheless, the end result is not merely an espionage mystery, but also a character study about what kind of man would perform this work.
Read more here.

It (2017)
Plenty of people will line up to tell you It isn’t actually all that scary, which is to watching horror movies as boasting who can eat the hottest curry is to dining. Obviously, everyone’s mileage will vary. I found some of it to be suitably unsettling and disturbing, and the “any time, any place” aspect keeps you alert and on edge. Its downside is that, for the first chunk of the movie, it just seems to be a series of unsettling scenes without much of a plot.
Read more here.

Men in Black 3 (2012)
MIB2 was a kind of typical first sequel: memorable-but-small characters get massively increased roles; things are referenced just for the sake of referencing them; jokes are repeated or amped up. MIB3 is more like the typical belated sequel: it stands somewhat divorced from the first two, with the minor stuff all gone, and some more significant changes necessitated by the passing of time.
Read more here.

Vehicular Review Roundup
Get in Vehicle 19 to go for a Drive with The Driver in this automobile-related review roundup.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.