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The Earth Dies Screaming

The Earth Dies Screaming?
I have to say that I have watched this film twice. The 2nd time was to see whether I might have got it a bit wrong in my judgement on the 1st pass. And I didn't.

Reading comments made by others gives the impression that this is an outstanding film. Well it certainly wasn't for me. I think the film could have been renamed as 'The Audience Dies Screaming' and it would have accurately described what I thought about it.

The major problem I had with the film wasn't the lacklustre acting, nor the missing storyline, but what the plot was all about! So some aliens had taken over the asylum which we call planet earth. But what exactly was their mission? They gave no indication of being hostile - the worst they did was walk towards you, and if you were unlucky they grabbed your shoulder and fell down. Not long after you woke up and had some strange eyes planted on your face, and then spent your time wandering around in a robotic state chasing after other non-affected humans.

I lost the plot completely with regard to how some humans survived the original state change from being human to being dead. I sort-of picked up second time round that this was something to do with a noxious gas, and the "survivors" were in an environmentally controlled room when it happened. Great. So our eco-friendly warriors from some distant planet were here to assassinate the human race. But I really don't know what their objective was! Very poor in my opinion.


The writeup for this film caught my eye on the Film4 web site here in the UK, and being marked 4.5 out of 5 I thought what the heck, I can watch the first 10 minutes and then switch to something else if it doesn't look up to much.

Well I didn't switch over, I watched it the whole way thru. I was actually amazed at the end to find that I was still captivated by the plot.

There was some seriously good acting by Spacey IMHO.

Throughout the film and beyond they managed to keep a question at the forefront of your mind, and never answered it - was Prot really from a distant planet or was this a jumbled-up individual? I thought that would be revealed at the end, but it wasn't - the producers actually managed to create new questions instead of answering obvious ones.

Top marks from me. This is a film which I am going to watch again, because I feel that 2nd time around I will be picking up new details which I managed to miss first time around.

Good work to the producers and everyone involved in this film. It gets a very rare 10 out of 10 from me here at IMDb.

Time Lock

Missing Character
Just about everyone imaginable plays a part in this film - bank manager, accountant, doctor, anaesthetist, police inspector, police (x several), ambulance crew, bank vault specialist, welders, big guys wielding hammers, jack hammer operatives, even a helicopter pilot gets 15 seconds of fame! I guess the one 'professional' I expected to see but who didn't make an appearance was a safe-cracker. For some reason I was expecting that as the film drew to a close a guy would roll up wearing a black band eye patch and horizontally hooped shirt, carrying a bag marked 'swag', and he'd save the kids life by breaking into the uncrackable safe. But, I was slightly disappointed that this character didn't appear to save the day. A bit of a pity in that respect.

I enjoyed the film nonetheless. This is a low budget movie, but these can often be better than the multi-gazillion dollar blockbuster because everything about the film is created by professionals doing their job, rather than some whizz-bang computer program producing special effects. Most of the role players in this film didn't go on to become household names, so good for them that they got their chance for 15 seconds to put their mark on a piece of cinema history.

On a Clear Day

A very clear day!
I have just watched this film, not quite knowing what to expect. I have to say, I was very impressed. Clearly this was a low budget film, but in my view that simply adds to its charm. Film directors have to start with small productions and move up the food chain from there.

The latter comment might appear to be a swipe at the quality of the film, however it really shouldn't be inferred that way. I think the production crew did a great job of telling a potential real life situation.

In watching this I was reminded of the film 'The Full Monty' which had a broadly similar background - little guys get made redundant, no hope of rebuilding careers, life without hope, yet they pull themselves out of a traumatic situation thru sheer determination. In this case it is one guy rather than several.

I enjoyed this film a lot and won't have a problem watching it again in due course.

On Location: Where Eagles Dare

Though I have seen Where Eagles Dare numerous times I saw this program for the very first time last night. It was an excellent insight into the making of the film on location near Saltzburg(?).

I could probably quote the main film word for word, but it was really nice to get the perspective from the actors actually on location.

Plus it is all too easy with films to believe that the set is mocked up from a few bits of timber and plywood. Whilst those elements did play a small part in the main film (as they had to), it was great seeing the real town pretty much as it was portrayed in the film. Some useful long shots of the castle showing that it had features which weren't actually in the film.

With respect to the castle I believe it has been up there for a long time. Seeing as they didn't have helicopters in those days they must have dragged a lot of the building material up the cliff face. Now if I could live in a house like that I might just be able to keep clear of those pesky door-to-door salesmen.....

Fantastic Four

The next in the Fantastic 4 series is just being launched in the UK as I write this, and I came across this first in the series quite by accident when surfing the Sky channels earlier this evening.

When I was a child 40 odd years ago I used to read the marvel comics, and the Fantastic 4 were up there amongst my boyhood superheroes. The transition from Marvel comic to widescreen film for Superman, Batman and other contenders really hasn't worked for me, they failed to make that transition. So although my expectations for the Fantastic 4 were hovering at basement level I thought what the heck - I'm gonna watch this first episode to see what I can remember from those long gone years.

As a result of my very positive experience I'm happy to share the humblest of my opinions. I thought this film was brilliant. It may sound really odd to say it, but I found this film very true to life! The 4 characters were exactly as my memory remembers them. Stretchy, Torchy, Ms Invisible, and not least the grouchy Thing with a very reliable built-in attitude problem.

I am definitely gonna queue up for tickets to watch the next instalment.

Oh yeah - well done to the folks who brought this to the wide screen!

Brassed Off

Rather good!
With nothing else to watch on the TV my wife and I decided to give this film a go. And we were very glad we did.

Though the film might be based upon the same core principle as The Full Monty in that closure of local employment casts a difficult period for the ex-employees, it's storyline is a little different.

The brass band music was pretty good throughout. The Grimley brass band seemed a bit over-endowed with Tuba's for my liking (there are usually only 2 or 3 Tuba's in a typical brass band - there seemed to be at least half a dozen in this case!), however my guess is that it was easier to hide an actor behind a Tuba where they wouldn't have to finger the valves than it would have been to have the actors sitting behind a lesser instrument like a trumpet or cornet.

Just a small point. Real musicians wouldn't ever carry their instruments through the streets on full display as they make their way to the practise session. Far too easy to damage them. All serious musicians carry their instruments in hard cases which can take the slight knocks. In many scenes the Grimley band members were walking through the streets with just the instrument under their arm. However this doesn't affect the storyline at all.

Well worth watching IMHO, and I would certainly watch it again in the future.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Not exactly sure whether I'd like it, there was nothing else on TV which took my interest so I decided to give this film a few minutes of my time.

It's one of those curious films where there is no easily identifiable "plot". But it is a series of events which came across as being well stitched together. Congratulations to the film makers for doing a great job of that.

It's a comedy, and a good one at that. It does take a little while to get into (assuming it is a film that you can personally get into, it might not suit everyone!), but once you've got the theme sorted out you really start to chuckle at the events that take place.

I was glad I sat down to watch this one, and I can see me watching it again in due course.

Rio Bravo

I just have to watch the repeats!
This film is regularly aired on TCM, and I find myself watching it again and again even though I could almost quote the dialog word for word.

It is quite an interesting contrast of characters in this film. Wayne plays the usual leading cowboy. Martin does a good job of playing the drunken bum who has fallen off the wagon. And Nelson sort-of fits in with the young good guy.

Walter Brennan makes it for me though. Very cleverly done on his part with the grumbling and one-liners.

I see that Carlos passed away early in 2006. RIP mate.

The Citadel

Fantastic film even though it is old
I've seen this film at least 3 times during the last 12 months in the early hours of the morning, when TCM (Turner Classic Movies) have chosen to air it during the wee hours when most sane people are still producing the Z's. And despite seeing it before and knowing the storyline more or less by heart, I have to watch it again and again.

I've become something of a Robert Donat fan thanks entirely to TCM. This and other splendid films he made during his all-too-brief lifetime are a trademark of outstanding capability. He died only a couple of years after my own life began so I never knew him in respect of current performances.

In this film one can easily imagine the obstacles that a young doctor faced in dealing with "the establishment" during the early 20th century. Sadly, even in the early years of the 21st century "the establishment" still feels it knows best in some quarters.

Mark Williams on the Rails

Agree with previous comments
I saw the Industrial Revelations programs first, THEN saw Mark Williams in the Harry Potter films.

After seeing Mark in Industrial Revelations I sent an email to the program producers giving very positive feedback about how the presenter of those programs knew his stuff - he came across as being a learned expert, so good was the presentation.

When I eventually got to see him in Harry Potter I thought back on my earlier comments and felt slightly embarrassed. I had no idea he was actually a professional actor and not a humble program presenter. However I wouldn't want to withdraw my early comments, Mark presents these programs in a wholly engaging way and whilst he might not be as sharp suited and clean cut as some other presenters his style is a welcome change.

Good on you Mark, keep up the good work.

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