Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Sting

Director – Kiah Roache-Turner – 2024 – Australia – Cert. 15 – 91m

***1/2

A girl traps a venomous spider and cares for it as a pet, but as she feeds it, it grows… and grows… and gets out… – into UK cinemas on Friday, May 31st

Helga (Noni Hazlehurst) is hearing strange noises in her Brooklyn apartment. She doesn’t remember so good, however, helpfully pinned to the wall by the phone is her name and address. So when she phones Frank the pest exterminator (Jermaine Fowler), she can read those details to him. It’s probably a rat, he tells her. Soon he is at the door of the block, asking her to buzz him in. But inside the apartment, he realises this particular bug may be more than he bargained for.

Flash back to four days earlier. A hand-sized meteor plunges to Earth to crash through a window into a doll’s house in the same apartment block. It is a tiny pod not unlike the ones in Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979). It opens, hatching a small spider, which looks huge until we realise it’s in a small scale doll’s house, not outside in the apartment proper. The spider is found by Charlotte (Alyla Brown from Furiosa: A Mad Max Story, George Miller, 2024) who empties out her money jar, the one with the screw lid, to make a home for it, feeding it with the roaches that infest the apartment.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Indiana Jones
And The
Dial Of Destiny

Director – James Mangold – 2022 – US / UK – Cert. 12a – 154m

*****

In the late 1960s, the newly-retired archaeologist is dragged by his goddaughter into a globetrotting adventure involving Nazis and ancient artefacts – out in UK cinemas on Wednesday, June 28th

In 1945 in Europe, at the close of the Second World War, whilst fighting Nazis led by archaeologist Dr. Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) both in a castle and on a train, archaeologists Henry Jones (Harrison Ford) and Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) gain possession of an ancient artefact, the Archimedes Dial aka the Antekythera mechanism.

Over two decades later in 1969 in New York, on the day of his retirement from academia, Jones is approached by his late colleague’s daughter – his goddaughter – Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) who, following her research into her father’s obsession with the artefact, believes she knows the location of one half of the dial, broken into two separate pieces by its maker Archimedes to prevent it falling into unsuitable hands.

She’s wrong though: Jones has it, although possibly not for long as a cabal of Dr. Voller plus Nazis including the trigger-happy Klaber (Boyd Holbrook), the 7’2 Hauke (Olivier Richters) and a CIA agent Mason (Shaunette Renée Wilson) turn up to regain its possession.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

A Chinese Odyssey
(Sai Yau Gei,
西遊記)

A Chinese Odyssey: Part One – Pandora’s Box (Sai Yau Gei: Yut Gwong Bou Haap, 西遊記第壹佰零壹回之月光寶盒)

A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two – Cinderella (Sai Yau Gei: Sin Leui Kei Yun, 西遊記大結局之仙履奇緣)

Director – Jeffrey Lau – 1995 – Hong Kong – 87 + 98m

***

The Monkey King is banished to earth with loss of memory for a series of encounters with monsters and romantic interludes – screened as part of Focus Hong Kong 2022 Chinese New Year on Saturday January 29th

These two films are the first and second parts of the same story, so it makes sense to screen them together as a double bill. The starting point is the 16th century Chinese novel Journey To The West, which has also spawned such productions as the seminal Chinese animation The Monkey King (Wan Laiming, Cheng Tang; Part One, 1961; Part Two, 1964) and the long-running Japanese TV series Monkey (1978-80). The novel’s plot concerns a monk and his three assistants Pigsy, Sandy and Monkey who journey to the West (i.e. Central Asia and India) to obtain Buddhist texts.

Less an adaptation of the novel than a tangential story that uses the novel’s framework as its starting point, the films are bookended by two sequences, one at the start of Part One, the other at the end of Part Two, which start the tangential story rolling and wrap it up respectively.… Read the rest