The detritus of a Button Monkey

20 Apr

They Live

I never watched They Live when it came out. It has taken me over thirty years to get round to watching it. I can understand the impact it made at the time. Considering the plot of the film, it feels probably more apt today as it did then.

Watching it now, you see the difference in film budgets between then and now. I do feel John Carpenter did a great job with the limited amount of money he had. Seems the entire film only cost £3 million. Compare that to the £20 million that Cocktail had and you certainly don’t have a film one seventh as good.

I don’t think this will replace Big Trouble in Little China as my favourite John Carpenter film but I’m I finally got round to watching it.

19 Apr

The colour of money

Growing up, this was one of my favourite films ever. I suspect it caught me at a sweet spot in my life as I realise not very many people share the same feeling about this film. I think I have been scared to re-watch this film as it might not live up to my expectations. Having watched it again for the first in maybe twenty years, I still love it!

I think this would have been the first time I have watched the film on a big screen with a decent quality of film. I think the version I kept watching growing up was a VHS. Oddly, I never noticed that Vincent had an earring!

I think every actor in this film delivers on their role, from Tom Cruise being the annoying Vincent all the way through to Paul Newman re-discovering his love of the game. I love the subtly of the performance of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, starting the film as a cocky girl friend before quickly realising she is out of her depth, then quickly learning the ropes of the con.

After watching the film, I read up a little about it on IMDB, seems critics didn’t love it as much as me. Still on my all time top ten list!.

18 Apr


Cocktail was one of the first films I managed to watch by myself. Catching the bus to the local cinema and managed to pass for 15. Perfect fodder for a child. How well does it hold up watching it 30 years later? For a start, thirty years? Blimey. I think it is fair to say that Tom Cruise has had a long career and has constantly pulled in box office. I think Eyes Wide Shut and maybe Vanilla Sky are about the only misses I can think of. I personally didn’t think Vanilla Sky was a bad film.

Cocktail does feel like the exact same film as when I watched it all those years ago. Don’t remember seeing anything too jarring. When I watched Lethal Weapon a while ago, I did slightly cringe at the size of the mobile phone. I suppose these technological changes will trip up most films from the 80’s and 90’s. As Cocktail is just a simple love story, it would still work if it was filmed now.

It is one of the few Bryan Brown films I can remember seeing. The others being F/X and the sequel. I liked his performance then and now.

About the only odd thing re-watching this film was seeing the crowded bar sequences. Feels so alien being so close to so many people. I wonder how long it will take for being near people will seem normal again?

08 Apr


Host is not to be confused with The Host or any other film with a similar name. Host is all about an online seance done via Zoom. The entire film is done like a Zoom call with the appropriate borders around the edge of the screen. Seems the entire film was actually shot via Zoom during lockdown. At less than 1 hour long, this film flies by and manages to pack in more scares in its short run time compared to longer horror films.

As it involves a seance, there is an element of predictably about what happens. It isn’t a great surprise when things go wrong. Camping trip goes wrong also seems a predictable story but has produced a wide variety of enjoyable films. Host certainly does a great job of delivering on the scares. As well as delivering on the scares, it also does a great job on delivering a realistic Zoom experience. Not sure this would translate well to a big screen. Certainly worked on a TV.

07 Apr


Hadn’t heard of Run before I watched it on Netflix. Not sure why but we we gave it a go. Another creepy Sarah Paulson performance along the lines of Ratched or American Horror Story. She is so good at subtle menace. Wouldn’t mean seeing her cast as an apparent evil teacher who is actually a nice person after all. Something that plays on your expectations of a Sarah Paulson character and then subverts them.

The film is about a mother-daughter relationship. Initially everything seems fine. The daughter is about to go to University. Then things start to unfold. Good, tense thriller. Seems this is one of the few films where a person in a wheelchair is actually played by someone in a wheelchair. Looking forward to seeing the next Kiera Allen film as she was great in this.

Definitely worth a watch!

06 Apr

Hotel Artemis

For some reason, I had confused Hotel Artemis with Bad Times at the El Royale. Both films I haven’t seen but at least I had seen the El Royale trailer. So when I started watching Hotel Artemis, I had a feeling I know what I was going to get. Film turned out to be fairly decent.

Cast isn’t quite stellar but there are certainly a fair few recognisable faces. Jodie Foster turning in another decent performance. Is her accent in Elysium the only bad thing she has ever done? Good to see Sofia Boutella in a better role than the part she played in Kingsman. She was certainly memorable in that role but I don’t remember too much in the way of lines. I must re-watch Atomic Blonde again as I can’t quite remember her in the film, difficult to be noticed against Charlize Theron.

So Hotel Artemis. It’s a hotel that provides services for criminals. From a room to spend the night or getting patched up without the consequences of a hospital stay. I’m not surprised it didn’t set the box office on fire but I didn’t regret watching it. Not sure if I would go out of my way to watch it again but I would certainly watch it to the end if I found it channel hopping.

30 Mar


Had my knee checked out today. Got a diagnosis and I can start running again! Will still need treatment for a few weeks but I have an explanation for what is going on and a route back to a normal knee.

A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Strange how such a small thing can make a huge change in my outlook.

29 Mar

Changing expectations

I recently re-watched Easy-A. I enjoyed the performance by Emma Stone just as much as first time round. The problem was Penn Badgley. I don’t think his performance is worse second time round. My problem is that I have watched You. Every time I saw sweet Woodchuck Todd, I kept seeing Joe Goldberg. I fully accept that this is my problem and not a problem with the film. I didn’t see Phoebe whenever I saw Lisa Kudrow. Maybe that is because I had seen her in The opposite of sex, a very un-Phoebe like character.

I’m not sure what it is about the performance of an actor in one show carries over into another. It doesn’t what Tilda Swinton film I’m watching, I always she her as a new person. It might be that almost every Tilda film role is markedly different to all the others, whereas Woodchuck Todd had the nice guy character that Joe Goldberg would sometimes display. But Al Pacino seems to play the same intense character in almost all of his films but I don’t feel get the same reaction as I did re-watching Penn. So what is the reason?

The only thing I can think of is expectations. With Al Pacino, I know I’m going to get Al Pacino in almost every film so I just go with it. When I first watched Easy A, I didn’t know who Penn Badgley was. By the time I watched You, I had forgotten he was in Easy A. So when I watched Easy for the second time, I brought two seasons of You preconceptions about Penn with me.

28 Mar

Old dog learning new tricks

When I left my left job, I bought myself a basic electric guitar. With everything going on, or not going on, I’m picking it up and spending some time playing it. I think previously, I tried to go for the big things. This time, I am trying to learn some basic things so I can get the satisfaction that I can play *something* rather than beat myself up that I can’t build anything. I can now play a very flaky Happy Birthday. Baby steps!

25 Mar

Poor little knee

I am currently not running. Boo hoo. I believe I have patellar tendonitis. My symptoms seem to match. I am taking it very easy and trying hard to take it easy. Hopefully it is the kind of thing that with a sustained bit of rest, it will be okay. thankfully with everything else going on, I don’t have anything to aim for so I won’t be tempted to try training too quickly.

© 2022 The detritus of a Button Monkey | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Design by Your Index - Powered By Wordpress