A found-footage film (oh no) but improved by the sci-fi aspect. Thomasina “Tom” and Martha “Mars” are happy with their time-television, dancing to David Bowie in 1940. Military agent Sebastian locates and joins them after they start broadcasting warnings about near-future nazi bombings, and inevitably one girl (Mars) falls for him. Some cute multiverse moments: they sing “You Really Got Me” and a ragtime version becomes the theme song and slogan of the war effort. But the girls aren’t great war strategists and botch a couple important things leading to (in order of increasing horror): the USA dropping support for Britain, the nazis winning the war, and erasure of David Bowie’s career. No longer trusted by anyone, the back half of the movie is all running around spy/escape scenes. Mars shooting nazis while hanging from a noose isn’t the movie’s strong suit, the early cross-timeline TV stuff is. Finally they leave messages from their alt-present to their unspoiled past selves and manage to undo the damage.

Tom (the serious, dark-haired sister, whose large eyes get put to good use) is also in a netflix fantasy show, Mars in that horrorish movie Make Up, and Seb in that movie about the Bronte sisters.

Maybe everyone’s doing the best they can with an ill-begotten concept, but this looks especially poor and cartoonish after seeing Mission Impossible 7 this month. There’s more nazi and jesus stuff since everyone loves part 3, but as with part 4 the CG isn’t up to the task, so the movie swerves into ugliness. Ending is okay and Mads makes a fine villain, so at least it’s not a new low for the series.

CG Young Indy (who speaks with Aged Indy’s voice) and Toby Jones stop nazis from getting Archimedes’s time-travel dial, then in I think the 1970s Indy teams up with Toby’s daughter Wombat (Fleabag) to stop them again. Precocious kid joins them at some point, since everyone loves part 2. Indy gets to meet Archimedes, and gets to live happily with Marion in the end since everyone loves part 1. Mangold obviously chosen for this movie due to his time travel experience on Kate & Leopold.

A change in mood from my last French movie, the actors perfect little models through the supernatural events Рnobody cries, while L̩a Seydoux rarely stopped.

Trying to watch this again with Katy, if she’ll agree. A short and straightforward pandemic project with just a few actors – but writing a story that depends on the performance of identical eight year-olds seems risky, and damn, they pulled it off.

Courtney Duckworth’s Cinema Scope writeup is the one.

Five Devils is unfortunately just the name of a sports complex where Adele Exarchopoulos works with her disfigured ex-friend Nadine – the movie isn’t about devils, but a girl with an incredible sense of smell. Her mom Adele tends the pool, and her dad Jimmy’s a fireman, so fire and water. Dad’s sister Julia comes to stay, after spending time in jail for the fire that messed up Nadine, so everyone’s on edge.

The girl Vicky makes jars of special scents, which cause her to black out and visit past events from before she was born – invisible to all except Young Julia, who panics whenever the girl appears. After the fire ruptures the two young couples (Adele and Julia, Jimmy and Nadine), mom and dad end up together, so V wouldn’t have been born if she hadn’t (passively) prompted the fire.

Fun movie to think about, and to watch – despite its three different “Total Eclipse of the Heart” scenes. Nadine also starred in Nimic with Matt Dillon. Hugo Dillon plays a fireman here, apparently no relation.

Mike D’Angelo:

I kinda loved it, perhaps because I’d given up hope of ever again being caught off guard by what I think of as the “La Jetée”/Twelve Monkeys theory of time travel, in which visiting the past means that you were always present there. Mysius and her co-screenwriter, Paul Guilhaume, deploy their eternalism in a unique fashion (homemade perfume as proxy-Proustian time machine, with a silent, watchful Vicky visible only to her future aunt) and for singularly perverse ends—this is basically a dual tragic love story rooted in kids’ inadvertently destructive power, acknowledging that their mere existence in the world (crucially, Vicky never actually does anything during her visitations) can fuck up adults’ lives, and leaving startlingly open the question of whether or not parents’ deep, abiding love for them is worth it.

Rewatching some barely-remembered Carpenter movies this month, and this one turned out much better than The Fog. Science vs. Satan as priest Donald Pleasence unlocks an ancient chamber with a swirling green portal inside, and calls in a team of professors (who bring along their grad students) to attempt to halt the apocalypse. We know that’s at stake since they all have the same night visions (“you are receiving this broadcast as a dream”). As the church starts to attract worms, insects, and dirty weirdo humans seemingly led by Alice Cooper, the teams inside get to work analyzing and translating.

When the ancient texts of mysterious origin say that Jesus was a humanoid alien, evil is a real physical substance, and the son of satan is locked in the chamber, lifelong priest Pleasence is quick to discount all Christianity and believe this new thing. The green chamber shoots foul liquid at Meg-Ryanish Susan, who becomes evil and starts to kill people or drive them outside using plagues of beetles. Translator Lisa also gets juiced, oh no, then Kelly with a cross-shaped bruise absorbs the remaining liquid and becomes very evil indeed, looking for a mirror through which she can pull Satan into the world. Pleasence and student Catherine team up to stop this, but Cath falls through the mirror, in one of Carpenter’s most astounding scenes. Apocalypse not averted, now the dream transmissions show a possessed Cath standing menacingly in the “Saint Godard” church doorway.

Great music, of course. Our university group includes Victor Wong and Dennis Dun, both of Big Trouble in Little China. Doomed redhead Cath is Lisa Blount of Dead & Buried and Radioactive Dreams, her sad mustache boyfriend is Jameson Parker of White Dog. The first girl to get juiced is Anne Marie Howard of identical twin thriller Twinsanity, the girl who becomes very evil is Susan Blanchard of Russkies, and the Black Guy Who Does Not Die First is Jessie Lawrence Ferguson of Darkman.

John Hurt in the future year of 2031 creates an atomic weapon that disappears things into a time vortex, and as a side effect, causes time-storms. Hurt gets sucked into the past along with his silver Knight Rider-ass car (a 1988 Italdesign/Audi Aztec) ending up in 1817 Switzerland, running into Dr. Frankenstein and Mary Shelley and telling them he loves their yet-unpublished work.

Tooling around the 1810’s countryside in a futurecar:

Hurt wanders into court where Corman’s daughter is being unjustly accused of witchcraft, and tries to intervene. When writing letters doesn’t work, he grabs an axe and storm the gallows. This doesn’t work either, and the girl hangs, but it establishes Hurt as a good guy, so Mary has sex with him. Yes, Hurt is full of empathy and passion, the moral center of the movie, but wasn’t he just creating energy weapons that destabilized the universe?

Bridget Fonda and her pretty boys:

Finally the monster creates good mayhem, ripping some people apart and murdering Victor’s fiancee, looking like the DJ cenobite from Hellraiser III with the disc-shaped electrodes on sides of his head. Hurt zaps the castle, transporting them all to his own lab in a post-apocalyptic future, where he uses his hand-signal-operated lasers to burn up the monster.

I guess if you’re gonna adapt Frankenstein for the hundredth time, have some fun with it – this is the rare movie that would make a good double-feature with Gothic. The author also wrote the source book for A.I. Corman’s first credited directing gig in 20 years, and his last to date.

Myriam Cyr says “remember me from Gothic?”

Her Majesty wishes to have knowledge, so her whitehatted sorcerer summons the angel Ariel. This is awesome, and is the last awesome thing that will happen in the film, which jumps to present-day artpunk, deteriorating into campy self-satisfied in-jokes as the novelty wears off and it stretches painfully to feature length.

The Past:

Jarman’s second feature after a decade of shorts costars Adam Ant, who lip-sync-fronts a live band. One of the Bowie-wannabe youth is Nell Campbell who somehow specialized in maximalist rock films, also appearing in Rocky Horror and The Wall and Lisztomania. A spirit named Ariel and an actor named Orlando seem to productively predict future, better films.

The Present:

I came in expecting Baby Driver Wright, not Hot Fuzz Wright, so wasn’t disappointed. BDW has minor plot issues that become exasperatingly major in the last half hour, but at least three absolutely dazzling scenes per movie – instead of musical car chases, here it’s Thomasin “Leave No Trace” McKenzie dreaming Anya Taylor-Joy’s nightlife fifty years earlier, the two actresses swapping places in reflective surfaces.

At least I liked it better than rogerebert.com did:

Amid colorful, surreal kaleidoscopic reflections, a gaggle of morbid apparitions appear to attack Ellie. These ghosts elicit few frights due to their indistinguishability, and how often Wright deploys them. The ever-shrinking boundaries between Ellie and Sandy might be intriguing if the two were more connected beyond having the same address in different decades.

Just saw Anya’s charismatic pimp Matt Smith as a social worker in His House. Diana “Emma Peel” Rigg is Thomasin’s landlord, aka Anya herself all grown up and murderous. Other swingin’ 60’s actors: Rita Tushingham (The Knack) as Thomasin’s mom and Terence Stamp as a guy who hangs around whom she suspects of being the Old Pimp but is really just a doomed ex-cop. Michael Ajao (Attack the Block) is Thomasin’s over-the-top helpful love interest.

Extremely convoluted and vaguely offensive, with more ideas per minute than anything else I’ve seen this year… which is to say that my high expectations set by Bodied have been met. Set in a high school where all the kids are obsessed with the 90’s. There’s a “gotta fled” reference.

After a false start, Riley is our loser main girl (Shanley Caswell seemed up-and-coming then followed this up with a David DeCoteau movie) who decides to hang herself in the school hallway and ends up fighting off an axe murderer in a princess crown cosplaying the horror sequel all the kids want to see, Cinderhella 2. She and Josh “Hunger Games” Hutcherson try to stay alive long enough to solve the mystery. There’s body swapping and time travel and alien abduction. Dumbfounded from Bodied downloads an illegal workprint of Cinderhella 3 seeking clues from the future. Shout out to Adrian Martin for listing this as one of the century’s greatest films.


Horror was the bait that we were dangling so we could flip all the genres around … One of the conceits of the movie was to put each of the characters in their own genre: one of them is in a sexcapade, one of them is in a horror movie, one of them is in Clueless. And then over the course of the movie they sort of start to peek over into each other’s genres. The only one who can’t see outside of his genre is Sander, who is a version of those Columbine guys. He has no backstory.