Lost in space?

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Corporeal flesh courtesy of an ever-growing alien looking for its next meal and corporate shenanigans which is sneakily inserted into the story, in this out of their depth space movie set on a commercial cargo ship — the crew which find themselves in uncharted terrain is played by Tom Skerrit, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto.

The ship is heading back to earth, unbeknown to them what will lie ahead as they make an unexpected stop off, awaiting is an alien lifeform.

Life has its unexpected twists and turns, and decisions are made for whatever reason, some have agendas to pull others in, others just tag along thinking it is business as usual. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has the instincts to know better than respond to the SOS message that will inevitably lead them to the alien (they do not know this, but the audience probably does) but no one on the crew will listen especially the creepy little scientist (Ian Holm) who Ripley is suspicious of.

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Class, or lack of it

Tom Hulce as Mozart in full flight makes Mozart come alive and there were many other moments the actor enlivened.

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According to my Wikipedia research, Mozart – who we are told is one of the greatest of all composers by those who should know their classical music (unanimously agreed upon it seems) – had a good relationship with royal composer Antonio Salieri his musical inferior we are told.

In Amadeus (1984) there were signs that they had a good relationship. But to Salieri, his relationship with Mozart was about etiquette rather than substance and heart-felt admiration, historically inaccurate apparently.

But the movie follows the conniving and scheming of Salieri and consequently Mozart descends into poverty and sickness. It was all an attempt for Salieri to come out on top and rid the world of the best. Underneath, Salieri seethed away jealously which is the sinful heart of this film although may contradict the historic character of Salieri. According to Wikipedia, accusations made against Salieri to that effect in real life made him have a mental breakdown. Which leaves me asking about this film Amadeus, does it have a mean-spirited streak by making someone who was probably good into a bad man?

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Clash?

Harry Hamlin as Perseus, before L.A. Law.

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Greek thinking is not on my wavelength (but some would say that Westerners have been brainwashed by the Greek philosophical invasion), but the 1981 original of Clash of the Titans, itself a Greek myth and action story, is a small-medium sized blockbuster (the 2010 remake was bigger but not better) so I was reasonably happy.

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More

One of the themes at the movies asks if there is more to this life. It is there in horrors — something other worldly and usually rotten invades the real world — it is there in drama — as in At Eternity’s Gate (2018) where Van Gogh needs something more to paint on his canvas, perhaps a glimpse of the after world in its goodness is seen in nature. Is it there in spiritual fantasy — Field of Dreams (1989) where a voice guides a farmer to build baseball stadium, and in biblical epics — King of Kings (1961) where the Son of God ‘arrives’ on earth as a man. In my experience, there is more to this life, and in the experience of others. From a Christian perspective, the language of the Christian’s book, the Bible, is spiritual and informs us of a God beyond this world and involved with this world and in Jesus Christ who can give spiritual life to spiritually dead people. Yes, there is more to this life.

Promising

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At Eternity’s Gate had one of the more interesting titles and trailers of 2018, if not the most interesting. The trailer gives us a glimpse of what to expect. I would sum this up as, the post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) comes to a point in his artistic life where the limits are not enough. He then seeks the ‘limitless’, as if the eternal dimension is something to be grasped. I found this fascinating and not beyond belief either. It goes that the mild mannered Van Gogh goes to Arles, in the South of France (a lovely place!), on the suggestion of fellow artist Gaugin (Oscar Isaac), to explore on his canvas the beauty of life there and touch on something more transcendent behind it all.  

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