The Flintstones

by Brian Levant
Specifics
USA [1994] - 91m
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
The Flintstones poster

This must be one of the crummiest blockbusters I've ever seen. It's amazing to think they released Jurassic Park just one year before. There's a little charm in that if I'm completely honest, the incredibly fake and cheap look is where the film draws some entertainment, though it's hardly enough to fully redeem itself.

Fred Flintstone wants to make it big, but he's simply too dim. After helping out his pal Barney with some financial business, Barney returns the favour by switching a promotion test with Fred. Fred gets the job, but doesn't realize he's being prepped to become the fall guy for some evil scheme.

Terrible puns, cheap decors and a silly plot. I've never been a Flintstones (and by extension, Hanna-Barbera) fan, no doubt this film is way more fun if you actually have some affinity with the source material. That still doesn't take away this is some of the cheapest film making I've ever seen from Hollywood. It's slightly entertaining, but it's mostly just very, very bad.

Jam

Specifics
Japan [2018] - 102m
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Jam poster

An oldskool Tanaka. Different stories intersect to tell a bigger plot, some scenes have a tendency to venture off into a direction of their own and there's an underlying layer of dark comedy that keeps things interesting. It's not Tanaka's best film, but he's so skilled that he can make a film like this extremely entertaining without having to make a real effort. Good fun.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

by Frank Capra
Specifics
USA [1936] - 115m
Genre
Drama, Romance
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rating
1.0*/5.0*
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town poster

Early Capra. While I think sound is one of the most undervalued and disregarded areas of cinema, I'm really not a fan of the early talkies. It seems they did their very best to catch up with years of silence, dumping as much dialogue into 90-120 minutes as they could muster. Not my kind of cinema.

Mr. Deeds is a simple man who enjoys the smaller things in life. When he inherits a big sum of money, he is urged to go to the city with the lawyers to complete all the paper work. Once there, he is overwhelmed by all the people wanting to take a piece of his fortune, becoming increasingly disappointed with people's greed.

At almost two hours, the film drags on for way too long. Characters can't stop chatting, almost everyone is a caricature and Capra's tendency to makes thing overly cheesy and sentimental don't improve the film either. It's quite a chore to sit through, I haven't really found the big appeal of Capra's work yet.

Dune Drifter

by Marc Price
Specifics
UK [2020] - 98m
Genre
Sci-fi
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Dune Drifter poster

A tricky film. Dune Drifter clearly didn't have much money to burn. Director Price seemed capable to work around that, but is a bit too ambitious and ends up littering his film with some less than stellar scenes. Less surely would've been more here, but no doubt Price has the chops if he ever manages to land the proper budget.

After a violent and unexpected battle in space, a fighter craft manages to escape to a barren planet. The pilot's craft is badly damaged due to the rough landing and there's not much time to fix it, but luckily she isn't alone. To get the necessary gear to repair her craft, she'll have to put up a fierce fight.

The entire intro in space is a joke. The CG is horrendous and these sequences should've just been cut in full. The alien designs aren't great either, but the rest looks pretty cool. The alien planet feels quite hostile, the space suits have a nice, industrial look and the build-up of tension is pretty cool. This could've been a nice slow burner, but as it is the film feels a bit too conflicted.