I believe I've briefly mentioned in passing the chat group over on Facebook known as Team Flicky. It consists of six members - Chris (Chip), Dave (Grumpy McUnt), Mark (Pinbot), Geoff (Neptune King of the Sea), Ben (Hipster Ben), and Me (Randar) - and amongst our many mutual interests are movies. It was therefore recently decided that we would form our own film club known as Flicky Flicks for which we would all choose one film based on a particular theme, then each watch all six films and name our favourite. Whoever nominated the most popular film would get to choose the next theme. I can't remember how Michael Douglas was chosen as our first theme but anyway, here are the six films we chose and mini-reviews from us all for each film. The winner will be revealed at the end!
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Director: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda
Nominated By: Pinbot Running Time: 106 Minutes
Joan Wilder (Turner) is a very successful but lonely romance novelist moping around New York feeling sorry for herself when her she receives a phone call from her sister who's gone and gotten herself kidnapped by some dastardly antiquities dealers who are now blackmailing her (Joan) into travelling to Colombia to trade a map she had surreptitiously been sent in the mail for her squawking sibling. Of course, it’s not long before she ends up in trouble. Until, that is, the splendidly-named Jack T. Colton (Douglas) arrives just in time to save her. And so begins their epic adventure through the Amazon in pursuit of the lush green gem of the title.
Pinbot (viewing beverage: mug o’ tea): I definitely remember seeing this at some children’s party I attended back in the 80s and that’s about all I could recall about it. I could have sworn Sharon Stone was in it (and not just because of the title), but that turned out to be the cringingly poor 'King Solomon’s Mines'. I was surprised to see it was directed by a pre-'Future' Robert Zemeckis and as such it felt like a quality production. As an old-fashioned adventure movie with dangerous foreign locales this bore some resemblance to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and whilst it didn’t match its charm and fine polish, it stood up a lot better than I imagined and I had great fun with it. Turner and Douglas made a great leading couple with some nice chemistry and witty, snappy dialogue with Danny DeVito providing good value as the comedic turn. It was utterly preposterous of course, but it never took itself too seriously. Action-packed, fun and all done and dusted in just over a hundred minutes, marvellous... El Corazón out of Ten
Chip (viewing Beverage: coffee): A film I'm comfortably familiar with, a light-hearted adventure movie with Douglas demonstrating how he was Harrison Ford in a past life. It's a favourite 'Bank Holiday' movie from my childhood, up there with any of the (pre-Goldeneye) James Bond’s for afternoon viewing with the family. It’s probably only a few years since I last watched this, but it still holds up for me... I give it 7 ancient artefacts out of 10
Randar: The first of the six Team Flicky selections I watched was this one which I remembered enjoying in my younger years but, as is often the case after so many intervening years, I no longer remembered anything about it. Except for the 'stone' of the title being green. That’s literally it. I was therefore a little surprised at how it began, introducing first Kathleen Turner and her romantic daydreams before the action finally hits the Colombian Amazon, and the vistas are unsurprisingly gorgeous. There is plenty of action, too, as other interested parties pursue the precious stone themselves, and amidst the showers of curiously off-target bullets, there are a couple of unexpectedly violent scenes as well. Like the rest of the film, it’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek and clearly inspired by the likes of Indiana Jones and, while Colton doesn’t have Indy’s charisma, Douglas does inject enough dashing rogueishness into the role to make it his own. I forgot that Kathleen Turner was this hot too. The rest of the cast is largely forgettable – even Danny DeVito is somewhat wasted – but it remains a slightly silly but entertaining action caper... 7/10
Grumpy McUnt: Not quite as action packed as I remember from 1000 years ago. Kathleen Turner is about as annoying as the woman in Jurassic World, but she was supposed to be. Danny DeVito wasn’t in it enough. Harmless fun, I guess 🙂 6/10
Neptune King of the Sea: After Wall Street the most surprising turn around in my opinion of a film. Turner is charming and vivacious, Douglas is likeable and funny in this rip-roaring action adventure. The film in places looks dated but the main relationship between the main characters keeps this film intriguing and fizzing. A surprisingly fun and competent action/rom-com
Hipster Ben: I’m only scoring it so highly as there were few moments that made me smile. Juan, the Joan wilder fan drug lord, and when Danny DeVito fell off the police counter whilst on the phone. Other than that, Pretty average 80s Family/rom com/action adventure/comedy. Elements of all. Douglas wasn’t particularly good in this, hardly Harrison ford, and Kathleen turner drove me insane from opening scene to end. I was screwing my face up nearly every time she opened her mouth. Who cast this annoying twat? She did get mildly more attractive as the film went on but that’s a real shallow point to make... A mild 5/10
Wall Street (1987)
Director: Oliver Stone Starring: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook, Terence Stamp
Nominated By: Chip Running Time: 126 Minutes
It's 1985, New York, and yuppies are everywhere. One enthusiastic young ragamuffin aspiring to join their ranks is Bud Fox (Sheen) who works as a junior stockbroker with limited success. Enjoying much greater success is Bud's idol, Gordon Gekko (Douglas), already a legend on Wall Street, and someone Bud is desperate to work with. After making himself difficult to ignore, he finally gets a meeting with Gekko and his foot in the door, but keeping in Gekko's favour may breach some of Bud's ethical boundaries, not to mention infringe upon the odd law or two here and there...
Pinbot (viewing beverage: Pepsi Max): When Michael Douglas’s name is mentioned, this is the first film I think of. The slicked back hair, the power broker suit, the braces, the shit-eating grin: Gordon Gekko is an absolutely despicable and completely believable character. A truly brilliant performance. However, I think this is actually Charlie Sheen’s show. Much like Mel Gibson, when you forget about all of the real life fuckwittery, he can be a fine actor and has played some really great roles. The scenes between him and his real life father Martin Sheen were amazing, natural and powerful. Of course, being such an iconic 80s film, it has dated somewhat. The shoulder pads and CRT green-screen computers may rise a few chuckles but sadly the film’s attitude to women made me squirm rather a lot. Maybe it was intentional even then, to show what louses these men were? I don’t know… I despised this film when I was younger – I thought it was boring and stupid. There were probably not enough tits and exploding helicopters for my tastes back then. However watching it today near 30 years later with allegedly more maturity and wisdom under my belt, I really enjoyed it and it all seemed horribly familiar. It was certainly a product of its time – big, loud and glossy, and yet it had a quiet subtlety and intelligence. It was a warning about the dangers of selfish power-lust and pursuit of money through reckless schemes built on fragile foundations, that has clearly fallen on deaf ears...800,000 in Hong Kong gold out of Ten
Chip (viewing beverage: A lovely young Italian red): Another old favourite, and after Romancing the Stone, probably the one I’ve watched the most. A masterclass in 80s aesthetic, it’s comfortable like a pair of old socks. Also like those old socks, it’s starting to get a bit crusty and I’m beginning to see holes in it. Notably that although I still love the film, I don’t enjoy our man Douglas so much. Young (pre-breakdown) Sheen plays a blinder though, and if it was Sheen season I can see this being a contender for top performance. I think I’ll always love the film, but will try not to watch it critically in the future... 6 economic downturns out of 10
Randar: It was a good old friend of mine who insisted I watch this many years ago. He was very keen on seeing it due to his interest in the subject matter while I was less excited but happy to give it a try. I remember finding it reasonably enjoyable (though not as much so as my friend, unsurprisingly) but how does it stand up after these long years? Apart from the tech involved, it's actually aged pretty well really. The issues it raises - corporate greed, the exploitation of the working class, etc - are as relevant today as ever before, and the casting was spot on too. Well, for the most part. Sheen is perfectly believable as the energetic go-getter wrestling with his conscience but the real star of the show is of course Douglas as the ruthless Gekko. It's hard to imagine anyone else being as effective in the role and it remains among his most recognised roles today. Most of the best scenes feature him too, with only Bud's interactions with his father (played by his real father) coming close elsewhere. It's only Daryl Hannah who grates really, as Bud's trophy girlfriend (and she was as unpopular on the set as she was with viewers). I enjoyed watching the film again too. There aren't too many likeable characters and the middle section drags a bit but it's well made and carries a persuasive message... 7/10
Grumpy McUnt: Yikes. I bombed out after just over an hour. Circumstances weren’t in its favour, but I was never likely enjoy the subject matter – hence never bothering to see it back in the day... 2 cents out of 10
Neptune King of the Sea: I'll say from the outset that this film is a true great, it's one of those rare influential films which transcended the celluloid and became part of everyday culture, whether it’s the view of corporate America, the genesis of a swathe of management speak, or is the abiding memory of how you believe the 80s was, the film has left big footprints on society. I was surprised how little Michael Douglas is actually in this film, its definitely Sheen’s story but the impact the Gekko character has on the film is stark. Oliver Stone hints at the darkness GG inhabits early and masterfully in the use of shadow when associated with Douglas’s character, his performance offers something unique and an insight into a beast we have never seen before, a malevolence and psychopathy counterbalanced against a totally charming and driven individual. A very complicated and nuanced performance. Sheen portrays a very driven but naive character and offers us an insight into this alien world, as he learns so do we. His most powerful scenes come with his father and they are show-stoppers, very emotional, real, and in stark contrast to the exchanges between Gekko and Bud. For a film I hated on release my love of this film now is surprising and made me reflect upon myself and how I have changed. Greed is good
Hipster Ben: From the opening scene I was gripped with this film. I was annoyed at needing to pause it once to go the bathroom. Strong performances from both sheen and Douglas and it was only ever going to end badly for Buddy. A few points stop this being a 9/10 for me but that’s just the age of the film, and I wasn’t a fan of the blonde much. I'm picky... A very strong 8/10 and the best film so far for me
Black Rain (1989)
Director: Ridley Scott Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy García, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw, Yusaku Matsuda
Nominated By: Grumpy McUnt Running Time: 125 Minutes
We're in New York once again, where Nick Conklin (Douglas) works as an NYPD detective. He's good at his job even if he doesn't always follow the rules to the letter. Just as he's facing an Internal Affairs investigation, he and his partner Charlie Vincent (Garcia) manage to arrest a high-ranking Yakuza gangster, Sato (Matsuda), who must be extradited to Japan. Believing it will keep Nick out of trouble until his IA hearing, Nick’s captain sends him as escort along with Charlie. Naturally, though, the hand-off doesn't quite go according to plan and Sato escapes into the depths of Osaka...
Pinbot (viewing beverage: Cabernet Merlot): Michael Douglas is Nick Conklin. A chain smoking bad cop that doesn’t go by the book. He has a mullet, a leather jacket and rides a black motorcycle – I think we may be in the 80s… The film had some good set pieces and Douglas played the lead well with some some nice supporting roles for Garcia and Capshaw. It was a shame that the bad guys were cut-and-paste stock characters and just not that interesting. Of course being a Ridley Scott film, it looked amazing. Osaka sunsets, skyscraper city vistas and rain soaked streets and shiny black cars reflecting neon signs have never looked better. An absolute visual gem. There was plenty to enjoy in Black Rain but it seemed to be very long and I felt every one of its 125 minutes tick by, especially towards the end. Plus having UB40 on the soundtrack was very close to an act of war... A pair of Aviator shades out of Ten
Chip (viewing beverage: bitter wine of regret): Had the highest hopes for this one going in, which is probably why it gave me the biggest disappointment. For me, it just didn’t work. My other half hated it, so much so that I had to turn it off half way through to finish watching later on my own. Then really had to force myself to go back and finish it. It was a typical “Everything is going wrong for the inept foriegn police force, but it’s okay, the maverick American is here” movie, but Douglas was unconvincing. Music was good though... I give it 3 massive action movie cliches out of the hundreds on offer. Sorry Mr. B
Randar: I have long considered myself something of a Ridley Scott fan so I find it slightly alarming that not only have I not seen this film before but I'm not even sure I've previously heard of it. It's very strange actually, I was very well aware of all the other cop thrillers around in those days, but this? Hmmm, anyway, watching it now for the first time should be interesting. Based on first impressions, though, I wasn't sure I was going to like it - the 80's cliches and cheesiness were strong and it was very predictable. Nick's rudeness and constant butting of heads with the Japanese police grew tiresome quickly too. Happily, things improved a lot once they inevitably started working together. The action is ramped up considerably and I enjoyed the burgeoning friendship between Nick and Matsumoto, his Japanese counterpart. It's a great looking and sounding film too, as you would expect from Scott. It takes a while to get going then, it has a weak bad guy (although we don't see much of him anyway), and it's not nearly as much of a 'Douglas film' as something like Wall Street (I could see another actor playing his role just as well here) but it does turn into a cracking, albeit very 80's cop thriller which I'm glad I've now seen. Still not sure how I missed it back in the day, though... 7/10
Grumpy McUnt: Perfect... 10/10
Neptune King of the Sea: Quite simply a cracking action film, Douglas is as badass as it gets and that’s all you need to know. Well that’s not exactly right, Douglas plays a very complex anti-hero who is not exactly likeable at the beginning of the film but by the end is redeemed. The film is as beautiful as it is long, with a good hour of scene setting, the film gets far more interesting and meaty in the second half... An underrated gem
Hipster Ben: First viewing of this film and I did really enjoy it. Some lovely scenery shots coupled with the music made it feel 80s cool. A Strong performance from Douglas but no other notable performances in my opinion. The Bad guy wasn’t that bad. More a mildly psychotic teen on an underpowered hairdryer of a motorcycle. The ending was a little flat for me, in particular the very slow feeling bike chase and pathetic fight. It didn’t feel like the pain he went through of seeing his partner get murdered (which I was genuinely surprised at, I’m not sure why, it was set up exactly to happen that way), was revenged... Anyway, I think it’s teetering just under an 8/10 for me
Director: Barry Levinson Starring: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland, Caroline Goodall, Dennis Miller
Nominated By: Neptune King of the Sea Running Time: 128 Minutes
Tom Sanders (Douglas) has devoted a lot of time to IT firm, Digicom, over the years and as its boss and founder (Sutherland) nears retirement, he is confident he will be getting a promotion, so imagine his dismay when not only does he not get the job but it instead goes to his ex-girlfriend Meredith Johnson (Moore). Even worse, apparently she wants rid of the now-happily-married (with kids) Tom, so she hatches a plot that starts with an attempt at seducing him and then accusing him of harassing her. What could go wrong?
Pinbot (viewing beverage: Tea, Earl Grey, hot): I'd not seen this film since it was fresh and new. I watched it whilst at University as there were only two things to do in Stafford in the 90s when you were poor: drink and go to to the pictures. Combine both into one afternoon and you were onto a winner. It is entertaining nonsense, trashy and yet far more classy than the average straight-to-video erotic thriller. I was expecting it to be a dated bore and whilst the technology is delightfully archaic now, I enjoyed it. It moves along at a nice pace, is well directed and looks great. Demi is ice-cold evil and 90s hot, Michael is crumpled, sneaky yet sympathetic and I’ve decided I want Donald Sutherland to be in every movie please. Their office is amazing and if virtual reality looks as cool as that, put me down for it... A double-speed CD-ROM drive out of Ten
Chip (viewing beverage: Greene King Gold IPA): Obnoxious Rich White Guy, the movie. Impossible to feel sympathetic for the lead, but massively enjoyed the technology. I've also never really been into Demi Moore, which I think would have made a difference. I quite liked a couple of the supporting cast, but the whole “Who is A. Friend” twist was tedious... 4 out of 10 (one of those points was for the email system, I’m looking for that as a plugin for gmail as I type)
Randar: I saw this film back when it was originally released but I really can't recall much about it other than Demi Moore’s boobs. I guess that’s not a great sign (unless you're Ms. Moore’s cosmetic surgeon), but I DO remember the fuss that surrounded its release. That would be almost solely down to its basic premise - man sues woman for sexual harassment in the workplace. Yes, apparently it can happen that way round too – who knew?! Bah, those crafty women and their ways. Demi Moore is superb as the femme fatale too – she certainly would be hard to resist, and her subsequent antics make you very keen to see her get her comeuppance. Douglas is pretty good too, striking a good balance between devoted family man and sleazy arse-slapper. The film's heavy use of at-the-time cutting-edge computery stuff now makes it seem terribly dated though, and it’s not always easy to care too much about what happens to its two stars either. It is still fairly entertaining and definitely has its moments – including a satisfying ending – but it would really struggle to make an impact today... 6/10
Grumpy McUnt: Demi is lovely. Proper feisty-hot. Something very alluring, to me, about that girl "requesting" and the weak male wanting to resist but failing. It isn’t a "repeated-watch" movie, few "thrillers" are .. but I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times now, and it is still fantastic. As a movie of this genre, it couldn’t do much better – it has so much to keep you guessing, so much to enjoy; it’s not just full of people you hate... 7½/10
Neptune King of the Sea: I have been a fan of Disclosure for years and after watching this film again after a long layoff I’m honestly surprised that it holds up so well. Sure the film looks very 90s in style and the film has some clichés in terms of structure (a successful business man with 2.5 children, a nice guy in a cutthroat industry) but the film has enough twists once it gets going to be a riveting and satisfying watch. The film was heavily promoted at release with seemingly the sexual harassment reversal storyline being central to the storyline but to think of this film solely on that aspect is to miss the larger and more successful elements to the film. The film deals with larger issues such as corporate morality, emerging technology e.g. VR – I wonder if that will catch on, and cybercrime. It also has thriller aspects to it towards the end, an interesting melting pot of ideas. Douglas plays the role perfectly, just the right about of hinted darkness in the past, as well as portraying a fallible family man who was a victim of a bigger conspiracy, in fact the scene where he is abused on second listening is still genuinely shocking. This story however is about his journey and at the end of the week in which this story takes place he has changed, become more of a maverick, but still he also remains this moral nice guy. A complex performance from Douglas. Moore is an amazing foil, cold calculating, and also a monster seeming to be a female relic of corporate America from the 80s, totally ruthless. In short a really satisfying and engaging movie. the sexual harassment reversal storyline being central to the storyline but to think of this film solely on that aspect is to miss the larger and more successful elements to the film. The film deals with larger issues such as corporate morality, emerging technology e.g. VR – I wonder if that will catch on, and cybercrime. It also has thriller aspects to it towards the end, an interesting melting pot of ideas. Douglas plays the role perfectly, just the right about of hinted darkness in the past, as well as portraying a fallible family man who was a victim of a bigger conspiracy, in fact the scene where he is abused on second listening is still genuinely shocking. This story however is about his journey and at the end of the week in which this story takes place he has changed, become more of a maverick, but still he also remains this moral nice guy. A complex performance from Douglas. Moore is an amazing foil, cold calculating, and also a monster seeming to be a female relic of corporate America from the 80s, totally ruthless... In short a really satisfying and engaging movie
Hipster Ben: The second time I've seen this in my lifetime and I will try to make it my last. This film is very "Michael Douglas" as I know of him. It wasn't a bad film, but it’s certainly dated now, I even paused it half way through to go do something else as it wasn’t really keeping me gripped. The whole VR file hacking scenes irritated me. Some good performances overall. Highlights other than Demi Moore’s fantastic body, were when he finally took the power back and she was lost for words. Satisfying... A mild 7/10
The Game (1997)
Director: David Fincher Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Peter Donat
Nominated By: Randar Running Time: 128 Minutes
My selection for Round 1 of Flicky Flicks was this, one of David Fincher's early films. It stars Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton, an investment banker who is focused solely on his work. He has no friends or social life and is estranged from his ex-wife and younger brother, Conrad (Penn). From the latter he receives for his 48th birthday (the same age their father was when he committed suicide) a voucher for a 'game' offered by a company called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). Conrad promises that it will change his brother's life, but it soon starts to look like it will change it for the worse...
Pinbot: Another film with Douglas playing a suited banker type, however, Nicholas Van Orton was not even close to the horror of Gordon Gekko. This was a great thriller, full of dread and paranoia that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would occur next. It was completely implausible of course, and could have done with at least 20 minutes taken out of it, but still a great ride. The only real problem I had with it is that whatever happened, no matter how intense or ridiculous, it was obviously not be be trusted or believed. The film’s name was a constant spoiler. Absolutely everything was all part of ‘The Game’. We knew it, Nicholas knew it – everybody knew it. Not that I’m telling Hollywood screenwriters how to do their job (I am), but keeping the fact that it was all staged hidden from the audience and Van Orton himself would have added greatly to the nerve-shedding story and made a brilliant twist ending. The conclusion itself was a bit of a jolt, ‘Right lads, he’s had enough now. Let’s finish it’. Maybe that was on purpose, but the ‘happy ending’ felt a bit like an old episode of ‘Beadle’s About’. In which after seemingly hours of torture and stress, the prank is revealed to the victim who is then all smiles and laughter. If it was me, when I found out I would punch everybody involved in the face: be they friend, family or stranger. Flawed but very entertaining... A horrifying clown doll out of Ten
Chip (viewing beverage: Carlsberg, beer of choice for hotter weather): Really enjoyed watching this again, and it had been so long since I last saw it that I had forgotten almost all the plot. The performance from Michael Douglas is convincing, albeit ‘usual old Douglas’ performing a familiar role. Sean Penn managed to be pretty annoying though, thankfully this isn’t Sean Penn season... I give it 7 plot twists out of 10
Randar: Unlike the other Team Flicky selections, this is a film I'm very familiar with. A friend recommended it back when it came out and I was very grateful, for it is mighty fine! Douglas always plays the uptight businessman well and does so again here. In fact, it's odd that it's sometimes talked about as one of Fincher's finest films but never seems to come up in conversations about Mr. Douglas, despite the fact that he's fantastic in it. I love the scenes shortly after The Game starts - like 'Nicky' we're wondering just what in the blinking hell is going on! Just what is The Game? We find out everything as he does and yes, much of it does seem very coincidental or even implausible, but how do we know what sort of resources or support CRS has, or how many contingencies they may have accounted for? I think the suspension of belief that is required here to some extent is what some have a problem with but I just enjoy the ride, even now after multiple viewings and knowing all about the big plot twist. It's still one of my favourite Fincher films and possibly my favourite Douglas film too. He has good support, particularly from Unger, but it's his film through and through, and it's a fantastic one... 9/10
Grumpy McUnt: Too long. Good. Nice blonde. Would have preferred it to end before it got all happy... 7.5/10
Neptune King of the Sea: It always surprises me how much I enjoy this tense thriller, you can see the ending coming a mile off, but the film is executed in such a slick way. As usual with a Fincher film it looks amazing and a strong performance from Douglas. Strangely one of the weaker performances is from Sean Penn who is a bit unconvincing and goofy, a bad day at the office... An interesting and enjoyable film about a man learning to enjoy and appreciate his life again
Hipster Ben: Not really sure what to say about this film. It was intriguing enough to keep me wanting to know if it was a dream, a bad trip, or reality, but at times I lost interest in the randomness. It made its point. I don’t really have much more to say on the film. Not bad but not great... 7/10
King of California (2007)
Director: Mike Cahill Starring: Michael Douglas, Evan Rachel Wood, Willis Burks II
Nominated By: Hipster Ben Running Time: 93 Minutes
By far the most recent release of our selections was this one which stars Douglas as Charlie, just released from a mental institution to live with his 16-year old daughter, Miranda (Wood). She has been living alone and supporting herself since her father's committal but his sudden reappearance throws her peaceful existence into disarray, particularly when he becomes obsessed with finding some lost Spanish treasure he believes is buried somewhere near their Californian home. Though initially skeptical, Miranda soon finds herself joining in Charlie's questionable antics...
Pinbot: I was both looking forward to, and at the same time, dreading watching this. It looked interesting, but I have been stung so many times with ‘kooky’ indie films with ‘wacky’ characters. I warned it: If Zooey Deschanel turned up playing The Smiths I would scream. I needn’t have worried. I soon shed all resistance and quickly got behind Charlie and Miranda’s seemingly doomed treasure hunt. The two leads worked really well with Douglas once again taking command of the screen and refusing to let it go. It was quite odd following ‘Romancing the Stone’ with this as they had a similar quest theme and I amused myself by imagining Douglas’ character was “Romancing’s” Jack Colton, burnt out after too many years of chasing treasures but with one last item to find. It was funny, poignant and very enjoyable, just the right about of ‘quirk’ without being annoying. Plus at 90 minutes, it was just the right length for me. I will be definitely using Charlie as my template as I quickly descend into becoming a crazy old man... A backhoe out of Ten
Chip (viewing beverage: some Hardy’s white wine, with a toffee cornetto side dish): Pleasant enough quirky comedy(ish). It was always in danger of, but fortunately never quite disappeared up its own arse. I did mostly enjoy it, but also spent the entire movie wishing Charlie was Robin Williams rather than the Good Man Douglas... I'll give it 6 naked Chinese men out of 10
Randar: I may have at least vague memories of most of the other choices here but this film was a total unknown to me. After reading a brief synopsis of it, however, I was looking forward to it very much. I frequently love these quirky indie-type films and was hoping it would be another welcome addition to my list of 'films I love that hardly anyone has heard of'. The story seems rather silly to start with but Charlie's unwavering belief in it is contagious, not just for Miranda but for us viewers as well, and the final act is great. It's a pretty ridiculous scenario really, but it's nicely filmed and acted. Especially amusing is Willis Burk II as Charlie's old friend Pepper, who is running interference while our two 'heroes' engage in their highly questionable tomfoolery. Even knowing the basic story, I wasn't sure what to expect with this film but I'm happy to say I enjoyed it a lot. Douglas makes a great crazy old man and it was nice to see Wood again who I haven't seen since her turn as a horrifying schoolgirl in Pretty Persuasion. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone but I'm pretty sure I know plenty of people who would love this... 7/10
Grumpy McUnt: What the fuck is wrong with me? Clearly I have no soul, or something. I found it hard fucking going from the start. By halfway through I thought I’d never make it to the end. I’m kinda glad I did there was, possibly, ten minutes of fun for me to find. I found the whole thing all rather cringe worthy. I didn’t like, or even believe, any of the characters, or the story, as a whole... I'm sorry 😦 3/10
Neptune King of the Sea: If I had to sum this film up in two words I'd say “surprisingly good”, from beginning to end this film is fascinating. Great central performances from Douglas and Wood, they've definitely got great chemistry. Douglas's performance as some kind of manic depressive child is great as is Wood's as a child that is effectively the parent. Firstly it's rip roaring adventure, secondly it's an exploration of a father and daughter's struggle to understand and rediscover each other, because the relationship portrayed by both characters seems so warm they the powerful central core to this film. The film is tons of fun but my main criticism is that the darkness in their relationship is kind of under explored, the film finishes and you feel like you want to know more... Great little indie-feeling film, which is full of fun, adventure, and is very enjoyable experience
Hipster Ben: What a lovely film. I have a big thing for Indie films like this, it's not only why it intrigued me to nominate it, but it lived up to the small blurb that swung me to pick it. Douglas played the character fantastically with a very strong performance. The look in his eyes convinced me of everything he was saying the whole way. His daughter was stunning, and another strong performance. Their relationship backstory could’ve maybe been covered a little deeper, but there was a genuine feeling of love and loss and eventually, an understanding and respect for each other. It was just, good. Could've been fantastic, but I give it a solid... 8/10
Winner: There we have it - all six films watched and reviewed by all six of us. None of them proved to be universally adored or despised but the ultimate victor, narrowing beating The Game (my nomination) was... Wall Street! (tootle, tootle) Congratulations to Chip for his winning nomination. The next theme, as chosen by the victor, will be the films of Stanley Kubrick. See you again once they have all been watched and reviewed too!