Monday, October 21, 2013

Comic Book Hero of the Week

Arm-Fall-Off Boy

Arm-Fall-Off Boy has the ability to detach his own limbs, which he can then use as blunt weapons. He can literally tear off his arm and beat you with the wet end. He first appears while trying-out to join the Legion of Super Heroes. Unsurprisingly, his attempt fails.
Much later, he made another attempt, now using the name Splitter. Unfortunately the pressure was too much for him and he literally fell apart.
It’s not certain how the self-amputating hero, real name Floyd Belkin, got his unique powers. It may have been because he mishandled a dangerous element, although in recent continuity it is suggested his arm first fell off shortly
after birth; a nightmare, of course, for any new parent.


Monday, October 07, 2013

October Film Highlights

There's a blog, I'm sure I've mentioned it.

Hausu (1977) Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Oba, Ai Matubara, Mieko Sato, Eriko Tanaka, Masayo Miyako, Yoko Minamida. Dir: Nobuhiko Obayashi.

Hausu 50 Word Film Review

A Japanese girl and friends go on holiday to her Aunt’s sinister isolated home. You can tell Obayashi directed commercials; this is as naturalistic – and hyper-bonkers. Sort of a live-action Scooby-Doo, but more psychedelic, schizophrenic and bloody. You won’t have seen anything like – whether it’s good or not is debatable.


The War Game (1963) Michael Aspel, Peter Graham. Dir: Peter Watkins.

The War Game 50 Word Film Review

Docudrama about Britain’s preparations for nuclear war and what would might happen in the aftermath. Banned by BBC before transmission, this pulls no punches in depicting the horror of nuclear attack and exposing the misleading and inadequate response by government. 50 years on and it’s still horrific and harrowing viewing.


Ninotchka (1939) Greta Garbo,Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart, Alexander Granach. Dir: Ernst Lubitsch.

Ninotchka 50 Word Film Review

A die-hard communist official arrives in Paris to raise funds, but a suave American tests her resolve. Surprisingly political and occasionally dark, this even allows the commies to get some decent digs in, though the west naturally does better. Frequently hilarious, despite a moping third act. And Garbo is sensational.


Dark City (1997) Rufus Sewell, Keifer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O'Brian, Ian Richardson. Dir: Alex Proyas.

Dark City 50 Word Film Review

A man wakes up in a strange place, in a strange city, with no memory and a corpse next to him. Dazzling, dense sci-fi neo noir with startling effects and a mighty pace. Beneath the flash the reasoning’s a bit wobbly and plot not water-tight, but quite a ride nevertheless.


Elysium (2013) Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner. Dir: Neill Blomkamp.

Elysium 50 Word Film Review


A dying man’s only hope is to leave the impoverished Earth and travel to elitist paradise Elysium. Delivers a great deal of action entertainment, but it’s hard to take its political themes seriously with such a frenetic don’t-question-it plot and such cartoonish villains. May have been cut for time too heavily.


Twisted Nerve (1968) Hywel Bennett, Hayley Mills, Russell Napier, Billie Whitelaw, Frank Finlay, Barry Foster, Timothy West. Dir: Roy Boulting. 

Twisted Nerve 50 Word Film Review

A maladjusted young man pretends to be mentally disabled to get close to a girl. Hardly PC – and the science is ludicrous – but as a psychological thriller it works on a number of disturbing levels, and there’s a strong streak of black humour running through, though a touch uneventful.


The Atomic Cafe (1982) Dir: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty.

Atomic Cafe 50 Word Film Review

A montage of public information films and TV programming about the atomic bomb after Hiroshima. Darkly fascinating and sometimes comic examination of government propaganda and misinformation; hard to distinguish between deliberate lies or simply ignorance, the impression you get is a society ill-prepared for the power it’s unleashed. Sobering stuff.