8:00 PM, 24th July, 1999
Over the next fifteen weeks the ANU Film Group will present a twelve-episode movie serial from 1940, Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe. One episode will be shown before every Saturday feature during that time, except for those close to the vacation period (18/09/1999 and 2/10/1999). This is a bit of an experiment, so if you like or loathe seeing Flash every week, please let us know.
Flash Gordon was born in 1934 as a Sunday cartoon-strip and rapidly became a science fiction/action legend. Hoping to cash in on this popularity, Universal made three cliff-hanger serials about his exploits. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe has been described as "the prettiest serial ever made" and really has it all- adventure! intrigue! romance! and excessive use of exclamation marks!!!
In this, the third Flash Gordon serial, Earth is being saturated by an electrified dust that spreads the mysterious Purple Death. Once more, Flash Gordon and Dale Arden go "zooming off the Earth" in Dr Zarkov's rocket to save humanity from destruction. They must find the antidote to the purple plague and again do battle with Ming the Merciless and his minions.
8:15 PM, 24th July, 1999
Die Gwyneth die... oops wrong film... I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.
This film stars Mel Gibson as a bad guy. Well they told me he was bad (at least other reviewers did) but I thought he was quite nice as he only killed or maimed the even-more-bad guys. Do two wrongs make a right? But I digress...Payback is a remake of the 1967 film Point Blank, which was criticised for its excessive violence. As I haven't seen Point Blank I shall make no comparisons OK?
Porter (Gibson) undertakes the robbery of an Asian gang (bad guys) but is double crossed by his partner, Val (Henry) and his wife (Unger)-more bad guys-who shoot him in the back and leave him to die. But our hero manages to survive (if he died we wouldn't have a movie would we?). Now Porter wants his money back. His search for 'payback' takes him to Val, where he is now part of The Outfit (which Porter keeps calling The Syndicate by mistake) and The Outfit apparently has the money. Porter kills an awful lot of people (but they were all bad) as he works his way through the hierarchy of The Outfit, all the way up to the top dog, Bronson (Kristofferson). Some would say this makes Porter mean and nasty but they all deserved it. There's even a touch of romance when Porter hooks up with his old flame Rosie (Bello) and reveals his true feelings for this high-class prostitute. For all you 'Ally McBeal' fans out there you'll be pleased to see Lucy Liu (Ling, with a soft L) as the dominatrix, Pearl. Just thought I'd mention it. I went into the theatre with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised so don't keep your expectations too high and you shouldn't be disappointed.
Interesting trivia: all the phones in this movie, including the one in the limo, were rotary dial phones.
8:30 PM, 24th July, 1999
Die Gwyneth die... well we can live in hope can't we? No seriously, I'm not so terrible that I wish death upon anyone, not even her. Now that that's said I guess I should tell you a little about the film. Gwyneth (die Gwyneth die... oops, couldn't help myself) stars with Michael Douglas in the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder. Having not seen the original I am unable to make comparisons so let's just concentrate on this one shall we?
Steven (Douglas) and Emily (Paltrow) are a wealthy, classy couple living in New York where Steven is a Gordon Gekko-ish commodities trader while Emily is independently rich courtesy of her $100 million trust fund. When Steven discovers Emily's adultery (let's face it, he's old enough to be her father) with artist David Shaw (Mortenson) he decides that his wife has committed the ultimate act of betrayal and therefore must die (I have to admit that I like this guy's train of thought). He sees a chance to dispose of his unfaithful wife and seize her fortune by blackmailing her lover, David. After all, who better to kill her than the very man on whom she's fixated. David is given detailed instructions to follow Steven's elaborate plan where the murder would appear to be the result of an interrupted break-in. This would be the perfect murder right? Anyway, that's all I can tell you about the plot otherwise I would give it all away and you'd all get mad at me for ruining your film-going experience. Enjoy.
Can I say it one more time? Die Gwyneth die...