Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Invisible Man (1933) directed by James Whales

This first film version of the H.G. Wells novel is true to the source material in most regards and gave audiences of the time a visual treat in terms of special effects. It is both funny and horrifying at the same time as the main character slips not just further into madness from the drugs that made him invisible but he also becomes violent and cruel.

While a film well worth watching, it does has its problems - some of them coming directly from the novel. The invisible man is in the book and movie - a total douche bag. I read the book again recently and watched the film just this past week for comparison. Wells' mad scientist is pretty much a horrible jerk and terrible person throughout while Whales' version is supposed to be more sympathetic. But he isn't. He has a fiancee in the screen version and she and her father inexplicably try to protect him throughout. We never see couple together until the death scene at the very end and the dialogue about him before he mysteriously left to work on his experiments seems to strongly suggest that while the invisibility drugs made him mad, he was a jerk long before he took them. Not to mention they are protecting a man who has killed over one hundred people over the course of the screenplay! Including a co-worker who of the father who was the a friend of the daughter! It is really impossible to fee anything but relief when he dies at the end with his fiancee by his side. We also never see him, literally, until he dies so it's hard to make any sort of connection with him.

Apart from the plot and character issues I had, the opening shot is amazing and the effects still work. There was a lot more care and skill put into the invisible effects than in the following sequels and the supporting cast is mostly humorous which makes it seem extra cruel when the invisible man kills some of them without a thought. As in pretty much all the Universal horror classics, the look of the invisible man is the one we all know and is the default representation of the character to this day.

It is easy to see how this film became a classic and it was pretty risky to make such an unlikable character as the main focus of the story. Oh, and if that theme music seem really familiar it was reused in the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon series, which sort of adds an unintended camp flavour to it here.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

My book has been released!

My book of short stories, Indifference: Short stories by No One in Particular is no for sale on Amazon! There is a Kindle and a paperback version.

These stories are based on earlier versions and notes about various things that have been lying around since the late 80s and through the mid 90s as well as some screenplays turned into short stories.

The subject matter does have an 80s punk/new wave feel to them and the humour is a little... odd, as some might say. I have spent almost two years putting this together so if you are a copy and make every person you have ever seen in the entirety of your life buy one as well. If you like it, please write stunning review and rate it so it has a chance of others finding it. If you don't like, we need never speak of it again.

I do not have any social media accounts, so feel free to tell people on Facebook, Instagram etc about it. To be honest I have no idea how to promote this thing other than what I am doing here, right now.

Amazon paperback: 9.99$ USD
Kindle: 7.55$ USd

Friday, November 1, 2019

Missing Link (2019) directed by Chris Butler

Budget 100 Million $
Box Office 24.7 Million $

Laika is one of the most innovative and high quality animation studios out there. They have not yet fallen into the sequel trap or remaking old ideas that other studios have these days. Original stories are hard to come by, animated films with original stories even harder. I have seem all their films to date and they are all beautiful, intelligent and well worth watching, buying and throwing your support behind.

Rant over. For now.

A hunter of mythical beasts, Sir Lionel Frost has not had much luck convincing the "Society of Great Men" to accept him into their club. Not because he isn't finding what is looking for, but more because he keeps messing up on the bringing back proof part. His latest subject is the Sasquatch - who has sent him a letter asking him to help him find his "cousins" the abominable snowmen in the Himalayas. This sets off the leader of the club who absolutely rejects any suggestion that evolution is a thing and makes a bet, one he is sure Frost will loose, of allowing entrance to the club on proof the creature exists. When he is told it does... he does everything in his power, including trying to kill Frost to make sure the news never gets out.

The characters, the animation and story are charming. The sasquatch is really funny, adorable and relatable. The set pieces are amazing, like in all Laika films, beautiful executed and they bring you into the world created. The romantic interest turns out to be less interested in romance than in having her own adventures and the creature brings out a side of Frost he never knew he had. The villains are pretty nasty, one is a crazy killer killer and the main one will stop at nothing to keep his worldview intact.  Well children will like parts of this, it's squarely aimed at teenagers and adults I would say.

This is not a perfect film to be sure but it's amazing, fun and wonderful and certainly worthy of your attention and support. If we want to get original films and not cookie cutter remakes, supporting this sort of movie is essential simply because it's a good movie, if for nothing else,.