The Round-Up #15 (May 23)
Hey Buffs, I've been a bit limited on time with one thing or another (head in the clouds/removal of bodily organs) over the past week or two so not getting through as much as I would like, but currently ploughing through Season Two of From, Silo on Apple+ and trying to catch up on recommendations, like the Umbrella Academy which I missed entirely at the time.
Much more stuff coming by the end of June, as I have a couple of weeks of convalescing so watch this space! Song of the month? Well, really, did you expect anything else? Kylie 's back soon with a new album, Tension, and this is the first single off that album.
William S Burroughs: A Man Within (2010) - Documentary of the life of the gay American writer, reluctant leader of the Beat Generation, his relationships with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol, amongst others. Mostly little more than a talking heads show with some edited interviews with the man himself that fans of the work will probably already know. Very few revelations of any note are offered in this slightly morose rather than celebratory ninety minutes.
Simulant (2023) - Sometimes you're just in the mood for a bit of sci-fi with a good head on it. It doesn't have to challenge but it helps if it at least entertains. This unimaginative low-rent, low-style (insert proper near future dystopia sci-fi movie title here) wannabe just doesn't tick any boxes that make us nerds twitch. It's ponderously slow and unoriginal, way beneath what we would expect from the likes of Sam Worthington to show up in.
A Good Person (2023) - Zach Braff does some decent work here, directing Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh around the life and trials of a young woman recovering from a car accident, and not too well. The performances are the best thing about this and the arcs are carefully considered, enjoying a poignant, difficult, honest and thought-provoking script that highlights the very real shortcomings and vulnerabilities of being human.
Renfield (2023) - A curious little horror oddity from irreverent director Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, Lego Batman) which takes the beloved story of Dracula and gives it something of a new twist, concentrating on the life of Renfield, Dracula's familiar. Starring Nicholas Hoult, Nick Cage and Akwafina, this is often bloodthirsty, as you might expect, but also has the odd laugh in it too. Neither the last word in horror or comedy, the bar is set pretty low overall, but it could have been so much worse.
White Men Can't Jump (2023) - You don't have to love basketball, but it certainly helps. This remake of the much loved original starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson is missing the camaraderie and script. Updating this seems like the natural thing to do, but this seems less gritty, less funny and more clinically diluted than those halcyon days. Enjoying a great soundtrack, this is less freewheel and more calculated than its predecessor, but is somehow still less for it. Rightly dedicated to the late Lance Reddick.