Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021
The biggest ‘new’ film I watched last month was the much-anticipated full-length version of JUSTICE LEAGUE. While not perfect it was a huge improvement over the neutered/altered cut released to theaters four years ago. Retaining the feel of the previous two movies in the series it gloriously extended the universe to even grander vistas allowing the sweep of the tale to take shape without rushing events. I could argue that certain sequences could have been truncated for time but even the most obviously unnecessary moments such as the ladies singing as Aquaman returns to the sea add to the world building in a way that makes things feel more grounded. I’m impressed that we were finally able to see this vision realized and I think it is one of the best of the last decade’s slew of superhero films. It shows a dense, dark realization of the meta-human concept can be done even as the general public is told that such movies take the wrong approach. We may never get the originally planned sequels but at least we have this film for future cinema historians to use as an example of paths not taken. I guess we’re doomed to ‘keep it light’ for the foreseeable future.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Randy Fox returns to dive back into the science fiction films of the 1970’s.
Unfortunately, THE FINAL PROGRAMME (1973) is one of the lesser-known SF movies from the 70’s. There are many reasons for that including it being savagely cut for American release and that its cast is devoid of major movie stars. But a more relevant reason it is largely unknown is the type of science fiction tale it tells. Adapted rather faithfully from the first of Michael Moorcock’s series of Jerry Cornelius novels it hews closely to the arch tone of the book in ways that might frustrate some viewers. Plot points are not spoon-fed, explanations for odd occurrences are not always made and anyone looking for a solid hero will be left wanting. The motivations for the main character are, by turns, dark or driven by melancholic grief when they aren’t just completely inscrutable. Aware that the world is crumbling around him Jerry seems content to chase his psychotic brother Frank but often affects a disinterest in nearly everything else. “Well, for a start, I'm going to sit here and get smashed out of my mind. And I also have it on very good authority that the world is coming to an end. I thought I'd go home and watch it on television.”
Randy and I spend the first thirty minutes of the show discussing the book series with a focus on the first, of course. We then (eventually) get into a deep look at the film using a faulty synopsis that causes me to complain about one of the more common errors made when summarizing this movie. We talk about the fine cast, the director’s comments about the movie and the difficulty of crafting such a large-scale tale on a small-scale budget. We touch on the locations and the music as well as author Moorcock’s choice for sonic accompaniment that was overridden by designer/writer/director Robert Fuest. And we finally wind our way to the mad ending that is the sole false note for Randy. This touches off a spirited discussion of how I would have liked the final scenes to play out to move things closer to the unfilmable ideas in the book. And then I quote star Jon Finch from an old interview about his involvement in the film. We have a pretty good time!
If you have any comments on the film or the podcast firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to reach us. Which 1970’s science fiction film should we dig into next time? Let us know. And thank you for listening!