Posts Tagged Brian Blessed

Beautiful Alien Yakuza Jerks

Oops. Lost track of time. Let’s get caught up with where Teleport City stands so far in 2015…

THE GREAT BEAUTY
gb1Arts and entertainment journalist Jep Gambardella has a problem. Standing in the middle of the swanky pageantry of Roman nightlife at the age of 65, he feels more than a bit foolish and, as a result, lost. When first we meet him, it is amid the thumping techno and drunken revelry of a lavish rooftop party that seems initially that it should be the purview of 20-somethings cutting loose in Ibiza. But through it all strides Jep, resplendent in his stylish suit but feeling increasingly out-of-place amid such bacchanal…
SPACE: 1999 – ONCE MORE WITH FEELING
featOther than the long wait since the end of season one, there was little in “The Metamorph,” the first episode of Space: 1999’s second season to clue you into just how much had gone wrong with the series, and how much more wrong was waiting on the horizon. Certainly, some things had changed. For starters, there’s a new theme song and someone must have found a box of colorful orange and blue jackets in a closet somewhere, because everyone has started wearing jackets. Alphans have also started wearing ID badges with their name and photo on them because…in a confined space for years with three-hundred or people or so, I am sure it was awkward for Koenig to still not know “that one guy’s name.” So he issued the command for “Hello My Name Is” tags to save everyone discomfort at parties.
SPACE: 1999 – ALIENS ARE JERKS
feat61Space: 1999 taught me two valuable lessons. The first is that space is depressing and best represented by the color taupe. The second is that, with few exceptions, aliens are jerks. At least in the first season, Space: 1999captures malaise, chronic low-grade depression and inertia perfectly. Moon Base Alpha itself is unsteerable. It is filled with people who have survived mostly by evaluating their situation and accepting it. Charleton Heston would not last long on Alpha—he would blow up the moon when he attempted seize control of his destiny and the moon by attaching engines to it. As the moon exploded, Commander John Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell would silently turn to one another in a final affectless, unspoken admission of their love.
COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN
caq11Since you can’t really expect subtlety in the action of a peplum film, you shouldn’t expect any subtlety from the comedy or the self-referential jokes. Taken for what it is within the confines of the peplum world, this is a clever film that plays off the gender clichés already emerging in the genre. The ladies of sword and sandal films almost never do anything other than get rescued, swoon, faint, engage in erotic tribal dancing, or make strange proclamations and predictions. The important stuff, like throwing rocks at monsters, plotting dastardly schemes in the throne room, and pushing over columns, is left up to the men.
BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR & HUMANITY II: DEADLY FIGHT IN HIROSHIMA
feat17I’ve been sitting here trying to think of an adequate way to describe exactly what it is that Sonny Chiba does and wears in this second film in Kinji Fukasaku’s highly enjoyable, highly influential Battles without Honor and Humanity series of films that delve into the world of organized crime and the role it played in rebuilding post-war Japan. The closest I can come up with to summarize the acting display by Chiba is to say that you should try to imagine William Shatner and Jimmy Walker being merged into one creature, which the director then instructs to “stop being so subtle.”

Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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A Pile of New Reviews

Our trip through Space: 1999 history continues…

Space: 1999 – The Future is Taupe

This new take on the concept would feature the inhabitants of a moon base being hurtled out into space after a cataclysmic accident on Earth blows the moon out of orbit. Unfortunately, Anderson’s sleight of hand with his idea for UFO 2 didn’t fool ITC president Lew Grade, who remained unconvinced after the mediocre performance of UFO that a new Anderson science fiction series would be any more successful.

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Space: 1999 – A Galaxy of Stars

One of the other things I love about revisiting the show is seeing so many faces that are now familiar but were, in 1979 or 1980 or so, unknown to me. Space: 1999 benefitted it seemed from the collapse of the British film industry in the 1970s. This collapse left a lot of A-list actors scrambling for work, and that means that a show like Space: 1999 was suddenly able to afford to hire some of the most recognizable faces in British cinema.

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And some Swedish Ninjas…

Ninja Mission

In fact, it was his first ninja movie, Misja ninja or Ninja Mission, that gave the previously obscure and largely unknown director of “Swedish westerns” his boost into the sort of high profile superstardom that caused him to be showered with such accolades as “an embarrassment to Sweden,” “Sweden’s Roger Corman,” and “fucking Mats Helge.”

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And the first of John Gardner’s James Bond novels

License Renewed

That said, overall the book is as about as good as Casino Royale and about as flawed, though in different ways. For the most part though, I enjoyed it just enough not to mind the flaws — as was the case with Casino RoyaleLicense Renewed is not the sort of book I would go to war for — if you were bored by it or actively hated it, I would understand — but I thought it was perfectly acceptable. If you, like me, were interested to see where Bond would go after Fleming (and Amis) and now that it was the 1980s, then License Renewed isn’t going to let you down, but it’s not really going to excite you either.

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Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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