Using my Odeon membership, I got to see Plane early. It’s the new Gerard Butler film, and let me tell you it’s surely a Gerard Butler film. The runtime is 1.47hrs, it moves lightning quick, you get character development on the run and they cut to the case very quickly regarding plot beats.
I really enjoyed it. It’s loud, dumb, and yet kinetically violent at points. We’re dealing with simple material here, simple material executed well. If you like his brand of B-Movies, go see it.
And while you’re here, check out the link below on how to purchase my films online.
This is one of those GIGANTIC update posts that pop up every now and then where I actually have a lot to write and will proceed to write a lot. Usually I don’t have a lot to write but today I do so please stand back, get chilled, and prepare for a lot of text to ensue.
First of all…
I’ve decided to update where you can find the various Barbatachtian films. Me and some amigos were trying to track down a copy of Bad Ben: Pandemic the other night, and couldn’t find it anywhere. While my brain always recommends people buy the films from the store (because money), the truth is that sometimes it isn’t the easiest thing. Like if you have a Firestick or are using a video game console, you can’t be doing with that. The same applies for New Village Video, Projektor, Indie Nation Network etc – eventually they’ll be available freely on any app you use, but on a TV? You gotta get creative, and speaking as someone creative half the time I just buy films on Apple TV because I can’t be bothered to put the DVD in the PS5.
So that said, the films are now all on Youtube.
Now onto Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
It’s really, really, really good.
Barbatachtian got a pretty cool review. Which is awesome.
The review was by Holly Soriano, one of the architects behind the upcoming My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving (https://t.co/sEyXbCiyLH) which is due out on an incredible amount of VOD formats later on this month. I really dug the trailer, so I’ll be checking it out for sure (and reviewing it),
It’s technically a film about a train and it tries for terror, but neither the terror part nor the train part amount to much separately. And the title suggests an ominous Event Horizon sort of aesthetic that the film never really utilises. I mean it does have David Copperfield as ‘THE MAGICIAN’, but somehow I don’t think we’re meant to view that as ominous.
The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and seems to have been made just shy of Halloween, which suggests a cash grab. Sadly, it’s not a particularly enjoyable cash grab. Sometimes with these films there’ll be a sense of joy, or subversion, yet none of that is present here. Laughs are hard, none of them intentional, so while it is fun to watch this isn’t down to anything that the film does particularly.
I am on annual leave from work, which is a nice change of pace. It turns out working in the NHS taxes you physically and mentally, so a week or so to recoup the old batteries is a necessity. Granted in my case its a mix of video games and shooting stuff for the Barbatachtian film rather than travel (that’s in January I guess), but sometimes the win you get isn’t the win that you planned. Of course, I hate planning stuff so yay… I guess.
I saw The Banshess of Inisherin yesterday. It’s the spiritual successor to In Bruge, which is an absolute banger of a film, a witty and poetic travel film, with some of the most quotable dialogue you’ll ever see and a sufficient amount of pathos in amongst the trappings of a ‘gangster’ film (for lack of a better term.)
Well, this film is nothing like that.
I mean it stars Colin and Brendan, but tonally it’s a far sadder piece. I don’t mean sad as in lacking quality, it’s more a reflection of the tragic nature of the material, the breakdown of a friendship used as an analogy for how pointless and stupid the concept of war is, where after a while the reason for the conflict fades into insignificance and its just people fighting for the sake of fighting.
The performances are fantastic and heartbreaking, as is the script.
I won’t say its an easy film to watch, and it does require a fair bit of life experience to get the most out of. When you hit a certain point in your life, you find a lot of friendships that you held dear fall apart, sometimes for legitimate reasons and sometimes just because people change, and sometimes for no reason at all. The march of time holds for no one, and this film showcases that for all to see.
In a just world, Colin would get an Oscar for this. They take away the charm and the swagger inherent in his performances and portray him as a man many call ‘nice’ but has a dark undercurrent that comes more and more to play as the story goes on, but not in the way you’d expect. Its a career best performance from him, yet sadly it isn’t showy enough for the Oscar team, lacking any sexy ‘I AM AN ACTOR’ moments, rather being subtle and tear-jerking in its portrayal of a man who can see his life ebbing away and nothing he does so stop it works, indeed it just makes it worse.
Highly recommended, if you’re in the mood for a genuinely brilliant film.
Ian Austin here, writer and director of those Barbatachtian films and, going by recent trends in my life, resident at an Odeon cinema for most of the week seeing whatever films that they deem fit to put up.
I’ll be doing mini-reviews of some of those below, as well as discussing the current state of the (to some) Barbatachtian Films catalogue.
So without further ado:
This particular entry of the Odeon Scream Unseen line-up was called Hatchling, and is a very weird and nightmarish Finnish horror film. I’d recommend going in knowing nothing about it for full value of watch, but would also suggest you avoid it if you don’t care for ‘foreign language’ films. Personally, I’d have enjoyed it even more without subtitles – as the film is quite heavy on allegory as it is.
I’ve never seen Jaws in a cinema, and after seeing it in 3D I’d argue I still haven’t. Films post-converted to 3D always struggle for me, as they don’t take into account the – for lack of a better word – chilled visual aesthetic the 3D glasses provide. Jaws was lit very intentionally, and adding a colder glaze to the images doesn’t really work at all. And while the film is undeniably great, it is not a great 3D film. Which is a shame – the last act in particular really drags when you don’t have the proper visual colour palette in play.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
An excellent horror film, surprisingly so – although is it surprising? A24 is becoming one of the better avenues for horror films, seemingly letting the creatives do whatever they want and, at the very least, the films are interesting. This film rises above merely being interesting, improving exponentially on the appallingly bad trailers and revealing a clever, subversive streak, a modern day murder mystery of sorts that builds to a genuinely clever ending.
I have one flaw with the film, but it resolves around one moment of pay-off. And it’s not even the pay-off per se… more a way it could have been better executed. But that’s a minor quibble, this is highly recommended.
And now onto the upcoming catalogue of my own stuff…
Barbatachtian: 1985 has stalled because I lost my notebook I was writing the script in, wrote another script, and then found it again but haven’t the ideas to continue it currently. But I’ll get to it soon enough I reckon.
The other script though… I really want to direct that film.
Only snag is the cost of it. I’m racking my brain with how I can shoot it, and have one very crazy idea which could theoretically work. I’ll keep ya’ll posted.
Until then, you can buy the already released films on the store.
I should preface this by saying that I watched and enjoyed both Get Out and Us, and in point of fact increasingly enjoy both on repeat viewings. They’re films which really play even better when you start delving deeper into what they’re really about, rewarding repeat viewings in ways that most films don’t seem to nowadays.
Does Nope work the same?
It’s an interesting question. I think, for my money, Nope is the one out of the three which elicited the real ‘holy shit’ vibe from me. It is, as Jordan Peele has eloquently stated, a spectacle film, in every sense of the word, and along with Top Gun: Maverick and West Side Story really showcases a return to form from American cinema in creating films which NEED to be seen in a cinema.
But what did I actually think of Nope?
Well, I think it’s Jordan Peele’s masterpiece.
I really do.
It’s just an incredible film, a nail-biting hybrid of Western, science-fiction and horror that had me at the edge of my seat from the mid-point on, after an intentionally methodical opening that put all the pieces in play. It’s less a mystery than Get Out or Us, where you’re trying to piece together what’s going on, being reasonably straight forward (although that isn’t to say it lacks shocking moments because, holy shit, it’s staggeringly tense and some of the revelations hit very hard.)
It’s also a film, much like Censor, that sends a chill down my spine thinking about it.
And is also a film which makes me sigh and go back to the drawing board.
Anyway, you can buy my films on the store now. The more you buy the quicker I can make Kung Fu Island…
There’ll be no spoilers because this is definitely a show where you need to know nothing going in, because it’s so weird and abstract that even when you watch and stuff is happening your brain is trying to adjust to it, and that’s a feeling that really only occurs when you’re as dazed and confused as the core characters we’re following.
In some stories it’s good to know more than the characters do, as it can create tension. In Severance they occupy the opposite end of the spectrum, making us – the audience – feel lost, allowing us to share the tension and slightly off nature of the aesthetic at play.
It’s a masterpiece, in other words.
A dizzying, brutal, acerbic takedown of the concept of working in an office doing a job which doesn’t make any damn sense and is the same shit everyday; a soul-sucking nightmare that you have to detach yourself from as much as possible in order to go in every day and do.
And it is well-worth getting Apple TV for.
For my money, the only mainstream subscription services worth getting are Apple TV and Disney Plus. Disney Plus is more for nostalgia, popcorn fair. Apple TV is just fucking weird as fuck, dudes; and I love it. They’re aiming for gourmet shit, and though they don’t hit it every time it’s clear that if the idea is weird enough, they’ll leave people alone to make it. Severance is a show that, despite an amazing cast, literally would be cancelled by Netflix before people had even got to episode 3, but has genuine worth and will, I believe, break out into a fucking cult classic, if not pierce the mainstream.
So yeah, go watch it. THIS is some good-ass TV.
Also, while you’re here, my films are on sale on the official store:
I think my experience is going to be different to a lots of peoples, because I have seen every Halloween sequel, and indeed every Halloween film, reboot, remake, whatever, and so by this point it’s a blur of nonsensical storytelling and increasingly risen stakes that don’t mKe any sense whatsoever, down to multiple timelines and universes and Michael may or may not be human and Laurie has one kid and then another kid and then another kid who has a kid and she’s related to Michael but she’s not and she kills him but she doesn’t and he’s part of a Nazi death cult but he’s not…
I mean by this point, the franchise can’t make me angry because I’m just so confused already.
So a sequel like Halloween Kills, which is by no means a good film, works for me as a Halloween sequel. It’s loud, it’s violent, it’s kinda mean spirited, and it tries to build a mythology on ground that’s ready to collapse at any moment.
And I dug it.
Those who know me know I like schlocky horror franchises. Friday The 13th, Hellraiser, Halloween, they all increasingly fall in on themselves with plots which sound great in description but are ludicrous bollocks in execution. Shit, just look at my own horror franchise as proof, Barbatachtian is from that mould, right down to the villains motivations being non existent.
So I liked Halloween Kills. And I also find the backlash hilarious given the entire film and the “evil dies tonight” thing is literally telling you that angry mobs are idiotic and they get riled up over things which don’t make any sense.
Well, there you have it. The first review. From January, and only just picked up. It was sneakily linked via my IMDB page, proving once again that you can criticise a film AND use the films IMDB page to promote yourself at the same time. Very clever.
I kid. Sort of. I mean it’s a really bad review by any metric, but am I going to take it seriously? Only to the extent of replying to say thanks for the review, in so many words.
The truth is that someone watches your stuff, then that’s cool. They may hate it, and may resort to some needless barbs about your appearance and questioning whether your friends would enjoy said film (they did), but by gum that’s their God given right as long as they watched the film in its entirety.
Which this reviewer clearly did, as they remember more of the plot than I do AND have pulled quotes from my Film Freeway page. This is a really, really well researched review.
I think I’m reading as if I’m annoyed, but I’m really not. It’s flattering to be reviewed. And I’ve openly said I don’t take good or bad reviews particularly seriously. The film is the film, it’s the film I wanted to make, it’s the film I enjoy watching, and so I’m never going to buy into the hype or criticisms to an absurd extent. Life’s too short.
I do recommend reading it through. It’s cool, I get to make like I’m notorious.