Put the kettle on…

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We apologize for the gap in content, we’ve been a bit busy celebrating.

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Twelve: The Space Between Us, Daddy Issues, and Appreciating the Wonders in Our Own Backyard

Oh boy. I plead very guilty to initially hoping that The Space Between Us might be a decent enough YA-targeted film. It has a number of vaguely interesting elements that might have been strung together to make a vaguely interesting movie, or, say, one that was better than the last Nicolas Sparks movie I had the misfortune to see. Space features Mars colonization, a baby born on a space shuttle, daddy issues, a young romance, a few homages/direct references to the classic Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, commentary on the American foster system, and, obviously, Gary Oldman. Also worth noting is this film has NO ties to any YA literature– this is not an adaptation of the latest sci fi dystopian love triangle best seller, it’s 100% original material. This must be remarked upon because almost nothing in this quagmire of nonsense feels original or true or even passably sweet.

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Sorry for all the negative space, Gary.
  • The Space Between Us’s ranking on the Oldometer: 2/10
  • Gary Oldman character quality: Gary is Nathaniel Shepard, CEO of some kind of corporation that is responsible for putting together the very first team of Mars colonizers. He has some kind of brain benign tumor thing which does not interfere with his life on earth but may cause his brain to explode if he were to venture into outer space. This is much to his chagrin, because he looooves space sooooo much. He’s got the hots for space! He wants to marry it. Anyway. Gary’s fine here, he does his best to blend into this bizarrely bland story. The screentime spent on Nathaniel is the most interesting by far, but his appearance in this hogwash is another mystery I’m out to unravel.
  • Does Gary die in this one? No, but I wish for his sake that he had.

Continue reading “Twelve: The Space Between Us, Daddy Issues, and Appreciating the Wonders in Our Own Backyard”

Three: Track 29, The Love Ladder, and the Unexpected Value of Ugliness

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  • Track 29’s ranking on the Oldometer: 6/10
  • Gary Oldman character quality: If Martin were written to be real flesh and blood, this character would not make a whit of sense, however as we are not sure how much of him is real, Oldman has the chance to get weird, and boy does he. Martin is the best aspect of the film.
  • Does Gary die in this one? No. Yes? Was he ever alive? This is up for debate.

Track 29 (1988), its title a reference to the old tune “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” opens with an almost painfully young and wiry Gary Oldman as the very unhinged, very British Martin, who seemingly materializes on a backroad in North Carolina. He wears a pair of sunglasses in the fashion of John Lennon’s famous coke-bottle spectacles, and as he holds his thumb out for a ride, the soundtrack kicks in with Lennon himself wailing his signature song “Mother.” Suddenly, Martin throws his head back and screams “MUMMEEEEEEEEEE!” to the heavens for no apparent reason. Batten down the hatches, director Nicolas Roeg warns us. You’re about to see some weird stuff.

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Amy Schumer ain’t got nothin’ on this guy.

Unless you’re really into movies, you probably haven’t heard much about Track 29. Its appeal was probably limited from the get-go, and since its release it has, I imagine, faded into near-obscurity. After watching it, I can see why it’s not exactly celebrated, despite the fact that it boasts an early, totally go-for-broke lead performance from Baby Gary Oldman and a queasy supporting turn by Christopher Lloyd (forever Doc Brown to most of us).  Nicolas Roeg, who is also responsible for The Man Who Fell To Earth (Bowie!), Don’t Look Now (Donald Sutherland! Dwarves!), and The Witches (Anjelica Houston forever!), clearly a respectable director, seems to go out of his way to make this story unpleasant. Still, there’s something outlandishly appealing to it, in a chintzy kinda way.

Continue reading “Three: Track 29, The Love Ladder, and the Unexpected Value of Ugliness”