Films and TV of the month: June

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951).jpg
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) (Charles Crichton)
Very entertaining UK classic with unpredictable developments. Not really a comedy as advertised but very good storytelling in the vein of a thriller which kept me glued to the screen until the end. It’s not a spoiler to say I kind of wanted the criminals to succeed.

The Ladykillers (1955).jpg
The Ladykillers (1955) (Alexander Mackendrick)
My second Ealing Studios film this month. A British farce comedy which is funnier than The Lavender Hill Mob. The story is pretty silly and cartoonish, especially the ending. The aspect of wanting to kill an old lady reminded me of 1988’s A Fish Called Wanda

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) (Nicholas Meyer)

Considered the best of the 80s Star Trek movies and the closest in spirit to the 1966-69 TV series. In the key moments, there’s a threat of danger for the crew. Controlling minds with the ear worms makes no sense though. The Genesis project and the aspect of playing God is an interesting idea, and Khan is a memorable villain. The ending involving Spock in a radiation chamber is iconic.

Star Trek III The Search for Spock (1984).jpg
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) (Leonard Nimoy)
A sequel to Wrath of Khan (1982), with a weaker story. You know the crew will reach Spock eventually so the destination feels inevitable. I found it quite distracting that Christopher Lloyd is in full Klingon makeup, his character is evil yet without depth. The best action scene involves a rival spacecraft getting tricked which is a bit similar to the previous film. Bones in the restaurant reminded me of the cantina scene in Star Wars. I wasn’t sold on the logic of the ending, wouldn’t he keep aging rapidly because of his condition? Anyway, a movie which was okay but I doubt I’d watch again.

Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986).jpg
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) (Leonard Nimoy)

Rewatch. The film with the most humor in the trilogy. Just as entertaining as Wrath of Khan. A tad overlong and could have been trimmed in the weaker opening 30 minutes. Refreshingly, the supporting cast are given a bit more to do, and not just the usual operations on the space ship. I like the humpback whale story and it’s interestingly not a human but an alien object that is the main villain. Though it is a far-fetched story and there isn’t an explanation as to the intentions of the probe. The story, which involves time travel, satirizes 20th Century behavior ”Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word” ”To hunt a species to extinction is not logical”.

Parents 2016.jpg
Parents (2016) (Christian Tafdrup)
By the director of A Horrible Woman(arguably the best Danish film of 2017). Taftrup’s debut feature from 2016 is a weirder and less assured drama, as there is a massive tonal shift in the second half that could prove divisive to audiences. As the title suggests, about parents, and in this case how they deal with a son moving away from home. It causes them to reevaluate their own life. An interesting, original concept. The parents want to recapture their youth, but I felt the filmmakers didn’t have enough material for a film so added the fantasy elements to spice it up. If you are middle aged parents and have grown-up kids (or vice versa) you’ll likely identify. Worth a rent.

Hereditary (2018).jpg
Hereditary (2018) (Ari Aster)

I saw a sneak preview. Gripping horror that held my attention throughout. The weakness is it feels a bit derivative, sort of a patchwork of other films from the genre. I heard audience members say on their way out that it wasn’t scary enough and they kind of had a point. The music score by Colin Stetson is the best thing about Hereditary and adds to the sense of unease. You don’t want to read anything beforehand as plot points can be easily spoiled. Based on the zoom-in during the opening scene, I’m wondering what was real. Toni Collette is a contender for awards recognition for her impressive lead performance.

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The Guilty (2018) (Gustav Möller)
A new Danish thriller that won the Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Takes place in a single location, at a police call center. Manages to build suspense, and captures the stress the alarm dispatch duty can involve. My only gripe is would a police officer under suspicion of misconduct still be on duty? I guess assigning him a different job (not on the streets) was deemed an appropriate move, but I don’t buy him still at work given the nature of his wrongdoing. A good movie despite this issue I had.

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome

21 thoughts on “Films and TV of the month: June

  1. I really liked that trilogy of films in the Star Trek series as I always enjoyed the camaraderie between that crew. The Ladykillers is so funny which makes the remake kind of disappointing in some ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fair bit of Star Trek watching there! I don’t much enjoy anything beyond Wrath of Khan. Been a while since I watched them, right enough. So maybe my opinion on them would change, but you’ve highlighted the issues that let them down.

    The Ladykillers is a classic. Kinda flick that always used to be shown on a Sunday afternoon here. I remember watching that a few times with my old man when it was on TV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @J: I like Wrath of Khan, especially because there’s a threat of danger for the crew (which is not always the case)
      Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is worth another look, it’s refreshingly different to the other films with some comedy/satire, and entertaining story set in our time.

      The Ladykillers would indeed be good to put on as a movie for the family

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the Ealing Studios era – Glad you revisited them. With all the special effects, colour and HD nowadays, it is easy to dismiss these old black and white gems but the acting and the storyline was magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know what I now really want to see The Lavender Hill Mob again. Saw it years ago along with Ladykillers but TBH I can’t remember LHM as much.
    I still think the first Star Trek is my favourite. I know! controversial. I saw it in the cinema and it still brings back memories. The story is incredible, especially how close it was to actual events of two special probes being released into space. Not sure if you have seen it recently but it looks stunning in blu ray. It’s very mellow and beautiful to look at.
    Number 4 is such a good light hearted romp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Wolfman: You really should give it another watch,The Lavender Hill Mob was definitely better than I expected

      I saw the 1979 Star Trek movie when I was a teenager and was a tad bored. Maybe now I’m older I’ll “get it”. I like films that are beautiful to look at 🙂
      Number 4 is my most rewatched Star Trek. Think I’ve seen it 3 times now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews! “The Guilty” looks pretty interesting. I really like all the Danish films I’ve seen (“The Hunt” being my favorite), so I wouldn’t be surprised if I liked this one too, especially since it’s gotten a lot of praise by both you and the critics. Is it already out on DVD, or do you have any idea where I might be able to watch it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hereditary needed a bit more polishing, especially in that ending but it’s still one of the better movies of the year. Collette was great but I liked Dowd the most in the cast

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Sati: Agree it’s one of the better films of 2018, I was entertained the whole way. Dowd is great. Still, I prefer older horror films which tend to be more original.


  7. Love The Wrath of Khan. It’s not perfect, but it’s sooooo much fun. I’m going to go through the whole series fairly soon…I hope. Glad to see Hereditary get some more love. I really enjoyed it. For me, it didn’t work because it was “scary.” It worked for much the same reason as The Witch. It’s just unsettling as hell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Wendell: Have fun with your Star Trek marathon!

      I can go along with Hereditary is unsettling. I just wish I wasn’t reminded of other movies when I watch it but that’s the “curse”, if you will, of decades of movies paving the way for today’s cinema,.


  8. A friend lowered my expectations of Hereditary by telling me it wasn’t the movie that had been promoted. I think that helped me appreciate it more. I thought they’d blown it in the last 10 minutes and were just throwing any ridiculous nonsense at the screen to scare us, then the final scene tied it all together perfectly. I normally don’t like films that switch tone and genre in the way this one did, but I loved it.

    The Voyage Home was always my favourite Star Trek movie: glad you like it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Rol: I saw Hereditary with a friend, avoiding spoilers as I type here, we both found it quite derivative of other horror, but I was a little more captivated by the story than he was. Think his expectations were too high

      Nice to hear you appreciated The Voyage Home as well. I see it as a comedy almost.


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