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The Kitschies present... London Falling

The Trembling Footloose Skies Fall Modestly at First

I saw five movies last week, and, for lack of a planned post, here's my definitive ranking of them:

1) "Tremors" (1990): Pure unadulterated awesome. Brilliant, charismatic lead characters (which include the female 'love interest' who is a) brilliant and b) never needs rescuing). Plus gooey monsters, a poop joke and extraordinary guns. It manages to combine tension with comedy in a way that few monster movies succeed in doing. Plus, monsters!

2) "Footloose" (1984): More Kevin Bacon. I think we're proving some sort of theory here. Footloose is appreciated, but also, I think, underrated. Everyone turns in a great performance - with the exception of a dire Lori Singer and John Lithgow's inconsistent accent (although he's otherwise amazing). Kevin Bacon's Ren is actually a real kid, who expresses himself like a... real person. The weak spot is, as mentioned, Lori Singer. Ariel's a proper lunatic - providing fodder for a thousand "daddy issues" jokes. Lori Singer lacks the presence to make her crazy/hot - Ariel's just crazy. (Preacher Dad worries about dancing; I think he should be more concerned about his daughter's obvious eating disorder.)

3) "Skyfall" (2012): I genuinely like the two movies above; I'm merely ok with this one. No spoilers. But it was... fine. I liked the first half more than the last half. The message: OLD PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE TOO AND YER FANCY SHMANCY TECHNOLOGY CAN'T REPLACE A HUMAN BEING AND WHY ARE YOU YELLING I CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE GET OFF MY LAWN. There was a bit with a car that was so meta that it blew my mind. Everyone else needs to see the movie so they can explain it to me.

4) "Modesty Blaise" (1966): We're now past ok and into bad. This movie was as awful as everyone warned me it would be. However, in its defense, I think "Modestly Blaise" is ambitiously, hilariously bad. About 87.3% of it is inexplicable and stupid. But that leaves 12.7% that is inexplicable and kind of wonderful.

In the latter category: the bajillion costume changes that just magically happen (it becomes kind of a self-referential in-joke by the end), Monica Vitti's incomprehensible accent - I have no idea what the title character said at any point in this film, the musical number (Monica Vitti and Terrance Stamp sing a DUET!), the crazy sets (like "The 5,000 Fingers of Doctor T") and Dirk Bogarde, who is genuinely amazing. Dirk Bogarde can villainise a film for me whenever he likes. He's great.

5) "X-Men: First Class" (2011): Past bad into horrible. I'm really upset about this, too. I remember when the first two X-Men movies came out - they were proper Event Cinema - I must've watched them a half-dozen times (each). (They have not aged particularly well.) "First Class" seemed exciting - a reboot (with a good cast) after the abominations that were "X-Men 3" and the "Wolverine" thing. Alas, no. A random collection of hackneyed tropes, a ridiculously inauthentic look at the 1960s, plot-holes, perplexing mutant powers and some of the worst race and genderfail ever. (The Women of X-Men: The evil prostitute, the evil stripper and the looks-obsessed teenager that (surprise!) turns evil. Also, Magneto's dead mom.)

The two leads get a lot of praise for this, but they're... kind of ok. I think they're the best thing in a bad film, which, like Modesty Blaise's costume changes, is only praise-worthy in context. Well, the ubiquitous Kevin Bacon actually looks like he's enjoying himself, so he's probably the best part - if no scene stealer. Probably my fault for expecting, nay, wanting this movie to be ok. I'll lower my expectations accordingly for the upcoming "Days of Future Past"...