Barbican: Britain on the move

I went to this on Sunday as I was invited by a friend. I probably would have overlooked this event if it wasn’t for that. But it was good. Quite unique in fact.

I have always had a love of trains, or perhaps, to be more accurate, a love of being on long train journeys. So this appealed to me simply for that fact.

The films shown were of mixed quality. All of them showed different aspects of train travel in different parts of the UK. From busy cities, to the countryside and seaside. The one I liked the best was the first commuter inter city train. The film of that was very focused on the comfort and luxury of the journey. It was very business centric, but, as a piece of social history, very interesting. As was the music, which was live and performed by an ensemble of musicians from the guild hall. They had composed the score themselves, and whilst some of it was electronic and appealed to me a bit more, a lot of it was more generally contemporary.

Overall it was a very good experience. Well put together. Enjoyable. I would certainly go to something like that again.

Please let there be more Planet of the Apes

Over Christmas I watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies again. To be clear it was the new movies and not the originals.

They are amazing films, and, as you progress through the trilogy, they just get better and better. With ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ being a true masterpiece.

I’m just hopeful that it doesn’t end there. There’s so much potential to take the series further and explore what happens next. Of course the original films start at a different point and move over a very long period of time.

In effect any new series could pick up where the original series started. That is of course just one possibility. The big question is what will happen with the astronauts who left the earth in the first of the new trilogy. That question was left open throughout the series.

However you look at it, there are countless ways the series could continue. I just hope that it does.

Carry on …

A couple of weeks before Christmas I picked up the entire Carry On movies collection for just £5. That’s 30 movies on DVD. Not a bad deal I thought. I bought it at a bric-a-brac stall at a local Christmas Tree Festival, so I felt I’d done a little for the community and got a bargain into the bag.

I’ve always like a few of the Carry On movies, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them all. However, I decided that now was the time to watch the entire collection in order.

It’s been fun and difficult at the same time. The early movies are much more like Ealing comedies, and it took a while for signature Carry On style to emerge. Some of those early movies are my favourites, especially “Carry On Cabby”, which has to be my all time favourite. It wasn’t originally supposed to be called “Carry On Cabby”, in fact its original title was “Call me a cab”, which you can clearly hear in the title music. For me it is by far the best.

As you progress through the movies chronologically the style develops and, sadly, the quality drops off. I knew this when I started, but, for £5 it seemed like an interesting experiment.

But there are a few greats in my opinion. “Carry on up the Khyber” for instance. That is still one of my favourites. There are others too, but that one, along with Cabby really stand out for me.

The box set doesn’t include the reboot “Carry on Columbus”, which was pretty poor in my opinion. There was a plan to restart around 10 years ago, but this never came to anything, and I think that’s probably a blessing too.

The Black Hole

Disney’s film “The Black Hole” was their response to “Star Wars”. I can remember going to the cinema to see it, and the memory of it has always stayed with me. So much so that I found a copy of the film on eBay a few years ago and watched it again.

More recently I thought I’d get hold of a copy of the book, or rather, the novelisation of the film and try that. I finished reading it just the other day, and, on the whole, it is a fairly true reflection of the film itself. However, just as in the film, the ending, leaves quite a lot to be desired.

But the most confusing thing was the ending. The end sequence of the film seems to suggest that there is somewhere inside the black hole, and that’s where Dr Reinhardt and his evil robot Maximilian appear to be merged. It pretty much looks like hell though. The ending also seems to suggest that the crew of the Palomino make it through the black hole (can you go through a black hole?) and come out the other side.

One of the things that was a bit odd about the story were several references to how much things cost. This was in the film and the book. On a series of occasions characters referred to how much the Cygnus (the huge spaceship in the picture above) cost the tax payer. I felt that this was a bit strange and kind of out of place.

Although the book suggests that they have some kind of merged consciousness by the time they come through it.

All parts of this ending are pretty much unsatisfactory though. Even as a kid I wasn’t happy with this, and I’m still not happy with it. I felt like it required something more in terms of an outcome that could be comprehended. Of course, there will never be a remake now, or at least that’s very unlikely I would think. Depending on which source you check the remake was being considered in 2006 or 2009, but by 2016 was ruled out.

It’s a shame, it’s a missed opportunity I think, but never mind. The music was awesome.

Robots and not-so robots of The Black Hole

Seeing Star Trek Beyond

I only say this movie last night but I have to say that I enjoyed it so much. Don’t worry, there wont’ be any spoilers here!

It was a great story, really good. I was very impressed by the whole thing. It was excellent. I have to say that I’ll probably go and see it again I expect. If you’re a Star Trek fan then you’re in for a real treat. I think that this one might be the best of the three so far.

Goodbye Admiral Ackbar

Well it really is sad to hear that Erik Bauersfeld has passed away at the great age of 93. That’s impressive. He’s responsible for delivering my favourite line in Star Wars “It’s a trap!”. I always thought that Admiral Ackbar was a great character, not just for that line of course.

So goodbye Admiral, and goodbye Erik. You will be missed.

I haven’t brought myself to watch this as yet, but I will

Downtime
Downtime

I didn’t know anything about this film until it got suggested on Amazon. It’s a spin off obviously, but I’d never heard of it before. I don’t have high hopes that it’s some kind of forgotten classic, but I will watch it at some point and see what it’s like. Although I am a bit nervous about watching it.

Watching Predestination

I’ve been meaning to see this film for quite some time, but just never got around to it. Also, a few people have said that they didn’t like it or didn’t rate it, or had similar views. So I kind of put it off as my expectations of it dropped over time. I remember seeing the trailer for it and thinking it would be very good, but didn’t get to the cinema to see it.

Anyway, finally I’ve watched it, and I really enjoyed it actually. I didn’t expect to for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, but I thought that the story was good. I got me thinking a bit anyway.