Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Scientist James Mason and his student Pat Boone find evidence that a noted scientist has entered a volcano in Iceland and traveled through to the center of the Earth. They share their data with a Swedish scientist who races to get their before them. They race after him ... and they are accompanied by a lady and a goose. After Disney found success with "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and UA had even greater success with Mike Todd's "Around the World in 80 Days", Fox ponied up the dough for a huge Cinemascope adaptation of this Verne novel. It's flawed, but very entertaining. The main characters are all supposed to be Scottish, so Boone adopts a light accent. He should not have done that. The "dinosaurs" that are encountered are just painted lizards. All in all, this is not as much fun as a Ray Harryhausen film and it's too long, but there's some good stuff.
So, I don't like this film, but when I ask myself what I would want from a new film featuring these characters, I come up with a blank. I think that's because there's really no reason for this film to exist. We've seen sequels to "Halloween", the best of which has nothing to do with these characters at all. There's a serviceable "Halloween II" that features Jamie Lee Curtis. We've already had a self-aware "Halloween" film that ignored several sequels and jammed an older Curtis at us. The reason this film exists is that it knows you liked seeing Michael fall off a balcony and then not be there when you looked back, so it's going to do that again with a slight twist. YOU LIKE SEEING THE FAMILIAR SO GIVE US MONEY. I suppose this wouldn't bother me if this was a legitimately good film, but it's barely passable. What it's most like is the host of generic, slightly self-referential slasher clones that flooded screens in the 90's after "Scream" was an unexpected hit. It's dull and vaguely nonsensical.
In the early 1900's, Dan Stevens travels to a remote island off the coast of England to infiltrate a religious cult that is holding his sister for ransom. This new flick from Gareth Edwards is excruciatingly slow to get going ... in fact I wanted to give up on it about halfway through ... but when it gets going, it really goes nasty places. Imagine "The Wicker Man" with a more Lovecraftian bent chock full of the kind of brutal violence you found in his "Raid" films.