Category Archives: V

Review: The Valley of Gwangi

The time is…sometime in the past, the place is Mexico, and the thing, that is … Gwangi! He is a terrifying t-rex like beast! You’ll find him, along with a bunch of other made up extinct things secreted in a ‘forbidden valley’ that is either one, or many many perilous days ride from the new town – it is not really made clear where the forbidden valley is, but it takes either very little time to get there, or ages.

Its kind of a tale of two halves, the part before Gwangi shows up, where all sorts of silly stuff goes on with a tiny horse, some questionable sexy scenes and lots of fannying around on horses. Then there is the second, possibly more enjoyable part where Gwangi is doing his thing, roaring and battling other dinosaur type things and generally being badass.

We don’t actually get to the eponymous valley until well into the movie. Mouth chomp! The effects are exactly what you’d expect from a sixties monster pic, sort of plasticine looking and not particularly good. Dino Bite! What is done well though is the interaction between the humans and the creatures, something which is difficult to get right even now with all this cgi, they pull off with aplomb. Foot crush!

Anyway, write off the awful racial stereotypes and get into this classic load of rubbish, you’ll probably not regret it, and even if you do its going to be fun to tell everyone how good the plastic dinosaurs are.

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The Valtari Film Experiment

So what happens when a band gives some film makers some cash to make them some music videos and calls it an experiment? Well you get a really mixed bag of music videos thats what. I could just put the word on the end of anything I felt like working on, then when it was really crap I could blame it on that eponymous “experiment”. Sigur Ros dont chiken out though. Thankfully, the issue here is that some of those films are genuinely beautiful, and others are genuinely moving, but once we get beyond this, some are just crap. If we take out the music, which is both beautiful and moving in its own right, then we are left with some films which really make you feel glad that there was the money here to make them, and others that made me feel that it was really wasted. I guess it is in some way a testament to the whole thing that I am not going to list them all with a ‘watch’ ‘dont watch’ tag. I suppose I am not going to do that because it is not my place, and I have to respect the people who put up the cash for this for doing the same. Even if it does argue myself into a corner. Its a nice corner to be in though, I would far rather someone was funding film, and taking the good with the bad, than no one was funding it at all.

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Vanishing Point

This film entirely informed my taste in cars. I love big square noisy cars. Why would you even want to buy a car which was small and economical, let alone electric, dont the people who make electric cars realise that electric motors make no noise! This film for me is as much about how it looks than anything else, that huge American landscape is a character. To be honest not a great deal happens in Vanishing Point, and I cannot pin down exactly what it is trying to say. I think its something about being free, following your heart and living whilst you are still alive, but it might be deeper than that, it could also be about the kindness of strangers in the face of adversity or escape from repressive society. What ever it is about its a good (if slightly plot anemic) story which will take you on a journey with it, and not since have I seen a car on screen that has looked or sounded quite so good.

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