Blood Red Sky (2021)

Blood Red Sky (2021)

Blood Red Sky (2021)

Been putting off watching this for a year or so now, no idea why really.

This has turned out to be one of the best vampire films I’ve seen in a long time, all wrapped up in the story of a family trapped in a hijacked plane.

Nadja is a woman with a mysterious blood condition who is trying to get to New York for a treatment for this condition, as the hijack and film unfolds we find out what has really happened to her.

Her main concern becomes saving Elias and along the way saving the plane, lots of twists and turns takes this vampire film down unusual avenues, but in the end it is a film about family and what you would do for them.

It’s also has some great adventure elements with duct crawling and everything, suitably dastardly villains, and the effects are really well done.

The biggest pain was the Scottish businessman who thought that money could save him from everything even dying, lovely Scottish stereotype there, suitable ending there though.

Not the greatest film I’ve seen but really adds to the va.mpire genre

Blood Red Sky | July 23, 2021 (United States) 6.1

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Prey (2022)

Prey

Prey

I’ve been counting down the weeks until this arrived, and watching all the other Predator films (yes, even AvP: Requiem) whilst waiting, and had such high hopes for this new addition to the franchise.

It’s always so good when a film really delivers on all the hype and promise that the build up brings, this is definitely the best in the franchise even though I still have a huge soft spot for Arnie’s testosterone-fuelled 80s original.

Dan Trachtenburg and Jeff Cutter bring a wonderful vision to the screen. With a muted palette and great vistas this has a feel of a western in the old epic style. With a lot of the brighter colours only coming out in the clashes with the predator as counterpoints to the muted countryside.

These clashes also counterpoint the considered character building which helps you to invest in them rather than throwing a pile of cardboard characters at the predator to be chewed up and dispatched in humorous and gory fashion.

Talking about characters, Amber Midthunder is convincing in this action role, swinging into the various confrontations with wildlife, trappers, fellow Comanche, and the Predator with a balletic ease that wouldn’t be out of place in a John Wick film.

I have no knowledge or experience of representation of Native American culture but it didn’t feel exploitative and felt understanding.

My only disappointment is that I didn’t get to see this in the cinema.

Prey | August 5, 2022 (United States) 7.3

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

We were both feeling a little bit tired and in need of a comfort watch this evening, and after reading The Guardian article about the RSC putting on a live version of ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ we knew it would be the perfect watch.

Based in 1958 Japan, a family move to the countryside to be nearer the wife/mother who is in hospital with an undisclosed illness and when they get there they discover that their house is haunted with soot sprites and their neighbour is a forest spirit, Totoro.

Ever since discovering this film it became one of our favourite go-to films for when we were tired and with little concentrations span.

Not because it is rubbish but because of the beautiful study of nature that is threading through the film at all times, the sound of the wind, the hollyhocks suddenly appearing alone mid-scene, all adds up to show a vivid love and understanding of nature from the animators.

The way the two main characters, Satsukei and Mei, are treated is wonderful, full of respect and understanding and was further enhanced by having Elle and Dakota Fanning do the English version voices.

A beautiful film all over, with some great touches of warmth and humour, especially love the bit where the two girls discover the soot sprites for the first time, oh and the bus stop scene is brilliant, and I could go on like this highlighting scenes but the whole film is greater than the individual scenes and leaves you feeling warm and content at the end.

Talking about the end, watch the titles.

My Neighbor Totoro | July 13, 1990 (United States) 8.1

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The Simpsons Movie (2007)

The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie

I was at a loss choosing something to watch and ran a poll on my twitter account to choose something and this came up.

I actually saw this at the cinema and I hadn’t seen it since. I can say it still holds up, so many great bits, with the classic Spider-Pig morphing into Harry Trotter, and Homer’s love for donuts being the downfall of Springfield.

I don’t think I actually realised how many film easter eggs it had in it, from Snow White to Poltergeist and all done with that wonderful knowing style that The Simpsons have. I especially loved the idyllic scene in the Alaskan cabin, and the nod to Time Machine when the family returned to Springfield.

Totally forgot that Bart started getting on with Flanders, and the interaction was perfect especially the auto-strangle response fishing on the lake. In the end though show Bart some explosives and he knows who his real father is!

Right at the end I never realised that the ambulance from the original Springfield Gorge episode was still there crashed into the tree.

Overall a fun movie, that has actually improved on the second watching due to me noticing much more than I did first time around.

The Simpsons Movie | July 27, 2007 (United States) 7.3

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