Friday, 19 August 2011

Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast/I'm Irish. Racism is part of my culture.

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) and The Guard (2011)
Chosen by me from a list of public domain movies and because I like to go to the cinema a lot.

Somehow yesterday I missed writing up an entry for the first time since I started. I still don't really understand what happened, it's been an odd week. So here's a two for one to catch up (where else are you going to get those two movies put together huh?)

The Beast of Yucca Flats is bad. Really bad. Cheaply and lethargically made (people keep running away from things supposedly scared but can never seem to manage more than a gentle jog which somewhat undermines the tension). And yet, it has a certain odd beat to it. In lieu of dialogue (I assume they couldn't afford good sound equipment) it has a strange hipster voice over (like a beatnik poet some great samples include - Flag on the moon. How did it get there? and Always on the prowl. Looking for something or somebody to kill. Quench the killer's thirst.) that lends it an occasionally eerie quality. It also begins with a pretty terrific flash forward (though where it is meant to fit in time wise i have no idea) where a woman is getting dry after a shower and an overbearingly loud tick tock is on the soundtrack.

The Guard is a complete gem. Very funny with a splendid performance from Brendan Gleeson and terrific support from a great cast including the usually reliable Don Cheadle and Mark Strong.
Assured direction and a witty script can't quite pull off a dockside shoot-out on the level, of say, the one in Usual Suspects but it mostly works and is much less important than the casual conversations, over drinks naturally (or in cars), and a storyline involving Gleeson's mother is nicely underplayed.

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