(Sober edit. This review of Hackers contains spoilers)

I think my theory about better quality wine glugging is correct. This one makes a nice gurgling sound and is a quality wine. It’s also GDPR compliant.

Hackers - Banished Wine Label
The chap on the front of the bottle has exercised his right to erasure.

Yes. This is a GDPR special, which is why we’re doing Hackers, where a lot of data is wrong, such as the ages of the actors seemingly wildly different from their characters, and Fisher Stevens is now Caucasian.

Fisher Stevens, Short Circuit
Seriously. Who thought this was a good idea? I mean, I get the feeling he’s a good idea, and wouldn’t be intentionally racist, but come on…

This lawyer has Dana Scully’s hair. I bet Mulder and Scully don’t give a damn about GDPR.

Kevin Mitnick was also banned from computers. Judge was causing problems by being too specific there. Banning the kid from using a computer or a “touch tone telephone”. OK, how about a linesman’s kit? Could cause some damage. And now. What about tablets? Smartphones? Hardly future-proofing his verdict.

Hacking a TV station? Here’s an example of where that happened.

At least they showed the social engineering side of things. Good music too. The hacker battle was bit Hollywood. I think plain text on a screen could be made to look exciting.

Johnny Lee-Miller looks like Eurotrash. “Yah. Mine name is Hans and I like der Techno music”.

Another top tune. I may have to link all the tracks at the bottom.

Why would he go up looking for the pool when he’s about to start class?

I recognise the kid in the leopard skin t-shirt, and the one in the cap. Johnny Lee Miller has dried out fast.

Was that Weird Al?

Heh. Wipeout. Problem with Cyberpunk genre. There’s a need to keep it largely contemporary, but at the same time, in the future. Blade Runner 2049 was brave in saying that the original Blade Runner (in our past) was part of a different timeline, so it bypassed. Can’t remember Neuromancer (the book that practically spawned Cyberpunk, and which I have read repeatedly, but not recently) having a sense of time (and being Cyberpunk, it has a sense of every place). Must read it again.

Ginsberg. Obvious choice.

I was going to say I hadn’t seen Matthew Lillard, but he was in the new Twin Peaks series.

They’re talking about being nameless. Right to Erasure. It’s GDPR time.

“Gibsons”. Name for supercomputers comes from William Gibson, author of Neuromancer. See, my ramblings make sense.

That whole “flying round a neon representation of data” thing is horrible.

It’s Tin Tin from The Crow!

That recording of a coin for phones thing apparently does work. Read about it in some Phreak manual.

It’s Bunk from The Wire. One half of the best swearing scene ever (NSFW – has swears).

It’s the psychiatrist from The Sopranos.

Hackers - Power Glove
Is that a Power Glove?

Joey had Dredd wallpaper. So he’s the best.

Britain basically owned the mid 90s electronic music scene.

Joey is an 80s John Hughes character. He’d be John Cusack’s comedy sidekick.

Is Johnny Lee Miller wearing Marty McFly’s body warmer?

What sort of restaurant would have its waiter cut up a credit card in front of a patron?

Hackers - The Sound of Her Wings
That square in New York always reminds me of The Sandman story “The Sound of Her Wings.”

Fisher Stevens skateboarding everywhere is so embarrassing.

I think the writers of the game Uplink OD’d on this film. You should play it.

This film has no real sense of threat.

This whole “shaving off cents” plan is straight out of Superman III.

I would have thought a hacker would have come up with a more creative name than the Da Vinci virus. Proving intellectual superiority seems important. As does taking the piss. Like Goatse Security. They wanted the world’s news to be talking about Goatse (DO NOT GOOGLE GOATSE. SERIOUSLY).

“Minor glitch with you turns into a major disaster.” As a QA, that’s kind of my job.

What the hell is Johnny Lee Miller’s eyepiece all about?

Russian hackers? Are they trying to fix an election. POLITICS!

Was this before or after shopping?

Was that Dave Stewart?

Wait. That was Marc Anthony? He was amazing in Waking the Dead.

It’s Private Frost! And this was after Aliens.

Wine was nice until the last mouthful.

The Nursery

(Sober Edit – There are spoilers)

I don’t have great optimism for this, or for the wine. I hope to be proven wrong on both counts though. So far, I’m right on both counts. I’m going to struggle to get through this wine. I just grabbed it off the shelf whilst juggling a child, a carrier bag, dishwasher tablets, a couple of bottles of beer and a plush BB8.

The shot selection seems good. There’s obviously been some thought put into it. That should seem like something I should be able to take for granted, but I’ve learned over the course of reviews for this site that you really can’t.

That guy looks like Max from Eastenders. Saw him hanging around a club in my hometown when the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show was on. They’re mates, apparently. Anyway, mention of Eastenders means we have to put up a picture of The Patron Saint of Corking Movies.

Ghost Storm - Dot Cotton
Ooh, I say

It seems this is going to be a film centred around one actor, one location. Brave move. See if it works. Is whether a wine glugs or flows an indicator of the quality of the wine, or of the bottle? Yesterday’s, when I watched Astro, didn’t glug and neither does this. Both are awful.

Bella Lugosi. My ex’s gran met him. They were told not to look in his eyes as he’d hyptonise them. So, grunge douchebag insists on classic horror and proper grammar. I thought they were trying to make him unlikeable.

So people who talk in movies should be shot? Normally, I agree, but when watching classic films, it becomes a social experience. A few years ago, our local(ish) cinema showed American Werewolf in London. There were projector issues, as they were only used to digital. The heckling made it.

It’s been a while since the Japanese black haired ghost was seen.

Apparently this wine goes well with pizza. If Dominos sponsored us like they should, I could have verified that. You should let them know at @Dominos_UK

I’ve been in a situation similar to Jeremy’s, only without there being ghosts.

OK, this isn’t a great film, but it’s in the top 75% of Corking Movies, I reckon. Maybe top 50%. Not Nostalghia or Blade Runner 2049, but not Crystal Skulls or Astro.

How can a one year old have unfinished business? I know all of its business would be unfinished, but it wouldn’t know that.

How long does that dude spend in the bathroom?

Her bezzie reminds me of another actor. Maybe the sheriff from Stranger Things?

My interest has wandered a little.

First death, Ghost girl tricked girl into strangling Jeremy, but actually strangled him herself. Did it need an alibi? Is there actually a danger of ending up in ghost court?

Mobile phones are a bit overdone in modern horror. There was a clever bit there with perspective, but with the prevalence of phones in films, I’d be surprised if it hadn’t been done before.

The lead reminds me of Sarah Silverman, whose scene in Way of the Gun is brilliant.

So there’s the alibi thing out of the window. Also, did the ghost make a noise like a goat?

This was the auditioning scene, wasn’t it?

I’m always scared that when I get angry for someone not replying, or being late, I’ll be cursing their name and find out later that they were in a nasty accident.

This film could benefit from a bigger budget. Replacing the actors not because of quality of acting, but because of the draw of big names. There’s a lot worse big budget horror out there that ends up in big cinemas and, in the old days, in prime spots in video stores. There was a procession of films around the Jeepers Creepers sort of time and this could happily have sat in there. Or alongside Paranormal Activities. Not massively memorable, but competent. After last night, that’ll do.

This basement is mahoosive. It’s like the one in Until Dawn.

The Nursery - Basement
You could keep a lot of wine down here

There’s a lot of exposition here.

Utah Saints, du du du, Utah Saints.

It’s Miller time. I’d forgotten about the baby.

There was a genuinely ‘hairs on the back of my arms raising’ chilling moment there. Only brief, but well played. But then ruined by a Deus Ex Machina.

This may take some explaining.

Oh, hey Ghost Mom.

Would have been a great ending with a police car of ghosts turning up.

The end credits singer reminds me of the singer from Faun Fables, who appears on Strange Form of Life by Bonnie Prince Billy

Where are all the extras?

No mention of caterers, unlike Astro, where they listed everywhere people went for lunch.

There was soil at the bottom of my wineglass. I can only assume it came from the wine bottle. Yes. Just checked the bottle. It has soil in it. Marvellous.


Astro – A Drunken Review

(Sober Introduction – Astro is released on June 5th by Sony Home Entertainment. There are some slight spoilers in this review.)

11%. Is this practice wine? Wine shandy? I could get drunk on Fosters just as easily.

Ooh. Plato. It’s highbrow stuff here.

Biggs is going into space? Where’s Wedge?

Astro - Wedge and Biggs
Der de der de der de der de. Wee diddle diddle diddle. Wee diddle diddle diddle

That news caster wouldn’t be allowed on my news show with hair like that. He looks like he woke up in Vegas one kidney short.

Hoo boy. I’ve just seen an alien. I think she’s wandered off an Ed Wood set.

Were those CGI horses?

You know, sometimes, with films like this, you can almost hear the director telling the actor every little thing/ “Now look left. Look at the photo. You’re sad.”

The film makers are sincere. I don’t detect a hint of cynicism. Makes me sad that, so far it has been so flawed. The acting is hammy and the effects are ropey.

You wouldn’t bring back an alien and not have armed guards.

Yeah, I thought it was Jack Adams too when I saw that it said Jack Adams on the screen.

Are they using bits of Gyorgi Lygeti’s Requiem there? Brave move, because if you draw comparisons between yourself and 2001 (which is now 50 years old) you don’t stand much chance of coming out well.

This wine is like Ribena. It doesn’t even sound like wine when you pour it,

Is it the American way o pull guns on visitors?

Alan’s dialogue suffers from that “scriptwriter wrote it, was really proud of it, but no-one questioned it” thing. Don’t think the actor felt comfortable saying it.

This wine doesn’t hit the back of the throat at all.

Is Charlie Donald Trump Jr or the other one?

“I don’t eat cake. Goodnight.” Best line so far. Wasn’t meant to be funny, sadly.

Bad continuity.

English chap’s accent suddenly materialised. Sure I didn’t notice it before.

Sounds like they’re up to no good with Jack. Why don’t they use a stranger? Why don’t I read l’Etranger?

OK. I’ve drunk my bottle of wine and I only feel slightly tipsy. I may have to call this a slightly tipsy review.

Oh, hello ghost mom.

The hamsters have woken.

Is that Sadie Katz? No. It’s not. She was great in Bus Party to Hell.

The bloke playing the alien looks as if he takes World of Darkness games very seriously and owns at least one black duster.

Was that meant to be the Middle East or something? Victor Kohl is like a Peter Serafinowicz character. Oh. She wasn’t an alien earlier.

“Always talking about Ancient Aliens.”

Astro - That Ancient Alien Guy
It was aliens

Oh. She IS an alien.

Shit. Looking at IMDB, the newscaster from earlier played for Motherwell. Oh. Just checked. He didn’t play professionally, just up to U18s (and yes, that is more than I, or most, will ever play).

Where on earth is this going?

The ‘alien thing’ is really on the back burner here. Actually, just checked. We’re only half way through.

I don’t understand why they tried to kill him. I only wish they succeeded.

The billionaire will evolve into Leonard Nimoy at some point in the near future.

Always amuses me when they use actors who have obviously worked out to do alpha male parts, but haven’t made it, so they put glasses on them and make them collegiate types. That’s a rough sentence, but you know what I mean. In a similar vein, you get female actors who have spent a lot on face-lifts, wanting to play sexy types, but it doesn’t work out, so become secretaries, or scientists.

Is this a true story? Feels like it should be on one of those true story channels.

Astro - Starchild
Starchild? No wonder they nicked Requiem

Not only what the hell is going on, but why?

Oh, so he’s got an alien dad. “Homo sapiens are one of the few species that can live without sunlight?” I call bollocks.

This already dire film just went mental. It’s like if you got drunk and woke up in one of those hippy shops that sell crystals and unicorn statues and stuff.

In the half hour it took him to take his sleeve off, bloke who looks like my colleague could have killed him and gone for ice cream. They are literally using the sound effects from market stall lightsaber knock offs.

Dr.Prem Ranesh is the only person who has actually shown any acting ability.

We’re near the end now. Wonder who did the catering. The film had no conclusion or anything. Was like a pilot for a series that will never happen.

This weird egg can “connect between this world, others and the next”. I don;’t know where to begin. And that was where it ended.

Craft service – Brando Bell and Mark Bell. Gutted if their company is not called Bell Ends.

Load of caterers (sober edit – my handwriting is barely legible here, so fingers crossed I get them right)- Golden Corral, Los Cerritos, Mexican Kitchen, Chio Lodzilla, Morbito Cuisine, Pepper’s Grill, Subway, Dominos Pizza (still no sponsorship), Starbucks, Applebees and Dennys.