The Last Ten Minutes vol. 25

I watched the endings of some movies, during the brief period of time when amazon prime was working fine on my laptop.

The Tomorrow War (2021, Chris McKay)

The sci-fi thing that opens with Chris Pratt falling out of the sky. Two hours later, someone’s gonna have to blow this ship manually. Gunner JK Simmons is saved from dreadful-looking CG wolfoctopus beasties by a soldier with a chainsaw. Post-splosion, it’s up to Pratt, his dad Simmons and Chainsaw Guy to track and kill the mother alien. Comes down to melee weapons, a hard-won triumph, and Chainsaw Guy missed the whole battle. Lot of self-sacrifice talk, a very lame home reunion scene, Pratt having been fighting aliens from the future to protect his perfect suburban family. Wonder if Pratt’s “dad” is actually Pratt from the future? Chainsaw Guy is Sam Richardson from Werewolves Within, which I rented this SHOCKtober but didn’t get around to watching. The director’s background is Robot Chicken, and the writer did that Ethan Hawke movie in volume 23.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021, Will Sharpe)

Another true story of an eccentric artist, but we’ve run out of artists to biopic, so this is a guy who painted psychedelic cats? 1925, it’s in 4:3 in Dr. Cook’s asylum, where inspector Adeel Akhtar (Four Lions) recognizes a washed-up Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch with Mark Twain hair). “I have failed,” cries Wain, then narrator Olivia Colman leads us to a much nicer asylum where Wain can see cats again, and HG Wells (NICK CAVE) gives him a shout out on the airwaves. Reportedly only the Claire Foy sections were good, and she’s gone by ’25, but we get a brief flashback to her dying. The director also made a Colman miniseries with David Thewlis this year, cowriter Simon Stephenson worked on Luca.

The World Is Not Enough (1999, Michael Apted)

Picking up where I left off in volume 007. These things are complicated, so checking the wikis to see what they’re about before jumping into their last ten… Pierce Brosnan is supposed to protect rich girl Sophie Marceau from nuclear-armed villain Robert Carlyle, ok. Bond and the baddie and Denise Richards are on a sinking submarine! The action and acting look not so hot – did Carlyle and Brosnan have in their contract that they’re not allowed any realistic fight scenes? Exciting music plays as Bond has to hold his breath for a really long time. Bond plugs a hose into a socket which shoots a rod through a cavity, I think it’s a metaphor. Cleese and Dench, a high-tech sex joke and a Y2K reference, nice.

Die Another Day (2002, Lee Tamahori)

Another billionaire is involved, and it’s one of those twisty triple-cross mole movies so I won’t expect to know what’s going on. Something extremely explodey is happening while Rosamund Pike is threatening Halle Berry at swordpoint on a plane and Pierce fights large-mouthed villain Toby Stephens. Halle and Pierce both make good kills with nice 90’s kissoff dialogue, but the action’s a hash and the slow-mo photography and CG flair are laughable. Why’d they cast Michael Madsen as a good guy? The smarmy dialogue seems forced as they fall from the plane in an escape helicopter. High-tech and low-tech sex jokes.

Casino Royale (2006, Martin Campbell)

Prequel time, new Bond Daniel Craig, whose job is to bankrupt yet another rich guy so he can’t finance evil stuff, ok. Movie long as hell, so I’ll give it eleven minutes. A more grounded movie, no crashing vehicles, Bond is a guy with a pistol using ingenuity to save Eva Green from eyepatched baddies. I spoke too soon – the Venice building itself is collapsing/sinking as a stand-in for World’s submarine. Since it’s a 60’s throwback, women can’t fight – all Eva can do is commit suicide-by-elevator. Wait a second, Bond’s using a Vaio laptop and Ericsson phone in the postscript, so it’s a prequel set in the present, and sponsored by Sony? I think all the major actors were already dead, so I missed Isaach de Bankolé and Jeffrey Wright and Mads Mikkelsen. This looked much more decent than the last couple, but still not approaching Mission: Impossible quality.

Quantum of Solace (2008, Marc Forster)

In which Bond stumbles upon another rich terrorist whilst avenging the death of Eva Green. The action’s a hash again, but that’s because Bond is fighting an axe-wielding Mathieu Amalric, and you gotta shake the camera a lot to make that look convincing. These things always feature guys outrunning explosions, and a gun dropping down some metal stairs out of reach. Bond and Olga Kurylenko escape a lot of fire and abandon Amalric in the desert, then he chases down a Quantum agent and has closing dialogue with Judi Dench in the snow, Bond not having much film-end luck with the ladies ever since the movies killed his best girl.

The Aeronauts (2019, Tom Harper)

Out of Bond movies I can watch for free, this is the Eddie Redmayne ballooning movie. Their hot air balloon is falling from above the clouds, so they toss lots of heavy objects from a great height, probly not killing anyone below since populations were sparse in 1862, then Eddie cuts loose the basket so the balloon will act as a parachute, which drags poor Felicity Jones through a field. They are two cheesy handsome youths, and both survive for narrator Felicity to run around giggling while Eddie presents his scientific findings to an all-bearded-men conference. From the director of Wild Rose.

Vivarium (2019, Lorcan Finnegan)

Watched the opening scene on a wiki tip that it featured baby birds, then plunge into the sci-fi dystopia. Poots attacks her neighbor with a pickaxe, but he’s a skittering insectoid from a subterranean hellhouse, and she keeps quicksanding through the floor into color-coded Charlie Kaufman realms. The alien baby-man buries Poots, I guess Eisenberg is the other bodybag in the hole. Cool looking set, anyway.