Thursday, February 28, 2019
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The biggest problem is obvious by about an hour into the movie. The film's major flaw is that it is never engaging on an emotional level. At no point did I care at all about the characters, their fates or the various events that the plot put in front of them. There are some good performances from a few good actors but the various CGI creations are more interesting and serve the film's true purpose much better. The real reason the film exists is not to tell a story but to supply spectacle and on that count it succeeds. ALITA is awash in science fictional imagery that fairly bursts with vitality and (artificial) life. It never seems busy or overly flashy giving us a Blade Runner inspired future that feels lived in and logical, for the most part. As a setting it's fantastic but it is terminally flawed. It simply feels like a place created to tell a story instead of a place in which a story takes place. It's hollow. Pretty, but hollow. I was satisfied by the intensely detailed visuals but it never seemed like more than a backdrop built to keep us interested during the slower moments of the needlessly complex tale.
I've seen this compared to two other recent big budget science fiction films - JUPITER ASCENDING (2015) and VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (2017). All three were expensive gambles on properties that producers hoped would generate the kind of returns the well known science fiction franchises routinely garner. Indeed, I suspect that they were all attempts to create one of those huge franchises. None of them seem to have succeeded on that financial level and they gained their main notoriety from the scathing reviews directed at them. I, of course, liked both JUPITER ASCENDING and VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS and rooted for them to pull in large audiences. They were engaging, imaginative adventure fiction not afraid to be bold in story choices and visual style. They connected with me in a way that ALITA just did not. I liked watching their characters who felt like people that existed before the film began instead of being artificial constructs running through an attractively designed maze. This new film was an interesting thing to watch but it exits the mind seconds after it enters, leaving nothing useful behind. And that sequel set-up is quite sad.
Monday, February 25, 2019
Friday, February 22, 2019
We begin our chronological trek through this set by tackling the first two of these oaters in this episode. First up is a female-centric tale from 1943 called KLONDIKE KATE. Based on the life of a real life
the film tells a sanitized version of early 20th century Canadian frontier
shenanigans. It boasts a strong cast lead by Ann Savage and the incomparable
Glenda Farrell as ladies that have to find creative paths to make their way in
a man's rough world. Savage's later DETOUR (1945) co-star Tom Neal plays her
rival and possible lover in this short, entertaining barroom tale. Yukon
The second film we cover is 1953's CONQUEST OF COCHISE which is a colorful fictionalization of events around
Arizona right after the 1853 Gadsden
Purchase. Robert Stack stars as the Army Major in charge of troops
sent in to oversee the transition of the area from Mexican control. He runs
into trouble from both Apache and Comanche tribes while also making an attempt
to romance the lovely Mexican lady Consuelo de Cordova (Joy Page). Add to this
the desire of Apache chief Cochise (John Hodiak) to end the fighting and the military
complications escalate. And does Consuelo have feelings for the Army major or
is she more interested in the honorable Cochise?
Derek and I have a great deal of fun digging into these movies. We actually spend the first twenty minutes of the show talking a bit about our favorite westerns as a place setting exercise. This allows listeners a chance to understand what kind of films in the genre we enjoy most and, of course, it lets us babble about even more movies we love! We hope you enjoy our conversation and we plan to cover the next two films in this fine DVD set in a couple of months. If you have any thoughts or comments on these movies or westerns in general the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or the FaceBook page for The Bloody Pit is available as well. Thanks for downloading and listening!
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Friday, February 15, 2019
We pick apart the plot, question the need for certain evil elements and gush about the intelligence of the script. Some time is spent on co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière's amazing career with me delighting in talking about his late 1950's Frankenstein sequel novels. The adult nature of the story is discussed as we make note of possible censored spots in the narrative. The amusing onscreen roles played by Franco and his longtime musical collaborator Daniel White are pointed out so that we can praise their acting talent. And we can't resist taking note of Franco's kitty co-star in one scene and his rather direct directorial touch with this wandering performer. Meow!
Any comments or questions can be sent to email@example.com or dropped on the Naschycast Facebook page. We read out a couple of missives in the final few minutes of this episode and they stir some unexpected conversation, as always. Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. We'll be back next month with more Spanish Horror!