Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Wire (Yes that's right, I'm back for a 3rd go.)

Look at these 'stunted minds'. They're probably trying to
destroy that chess board because they're so stupid.
And they're probably swearing while they do it too...
Way back on 31st August 2010 I wrote my first post for this fine blog. My chosen topic was the critically acclaimed cult HBO series The Wire. Since then, my love for this series has only grown and I wholeheartedly agree with those that hold David Simon's creation to be the greatest work of television to ever hit our screens. Now, I'm back again to have a further go at anyone who slags it off for stupid reasons. For those who don't yet know, The Wire follows various characters and their interactions with the many problems of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. These characters centre on those in the police force, and the drug pushers on the corners in the early seasons before expanding to the schools, politicians and the media as it progressed.

Now we're all caught up, let's get cracking on the first review:
I have watched the whole of Season 1 which was very hard going (although I was told this beforehand so it was expected) (You found it all hard going? The first few episodes are I definitely agree. But after that I started to get a feel for the characters and the storyline and it all became much easier to follow.) but was told Season 2 really picks up and is amazing, probably best thing you will ever see (Yeah, season 2 is possibly my favourite. It's between 2 and 4 for me.). 6 episodes into Season 2 I am about to give up, just don't get what the fuss is all about, very disappointing (What? How can you not yet have fallen in love with it? Although at least you've given it a fair crack, so you are already head and shoulders ahead of most people who feature here. Congratulations!). Can think of at least 5 series I have watched (24, Lost, Prison Break, Soprano's, Breaking Bad) that blow The Wire away in terms of storyline/plots, characters, tension, excitement, basically what should keep you interested in a show such as this. (You have slightly ruined it there though. 24 is a borderline fascist, insane programme that became a parody of itself pretty quickly. Lost, I feel, is incredibly overrated and maybe if the writers had spent less time patting themselves on the back and smiling smugly about all the philosophers they'd referenced they could have made the last 5 seasons as good as the first one. Prison Break was possibly more insane than 24. The last two though are excellent that more than deserve the plaudits they have received.)

The Wire is quite frankly overrated and boring in my opinion (At least you recognise it's only your opinion. Again putting you ahead of most.). All the shows I have mentioned, when you watch an episode you want to watch another straight after (Oh. Like what I do with The Wire.). Not the case with The Wire, takes a big effort to sit through a whole episode in one sitting (For you. I don't believe I've ever stopped an episode of The Wire part way through unless I've suddenly had to go somewhere. Or that one time I came down with a bad case of death... Although the latter might have been a dream...). Unless someone can convince me that its worth the effort I cannot see myself watching another minute. (If you don't watch the rest you'll have a Wire-shaped hole in your life. Will that do?)
Well that was a surprisingly soft, profanity-free opener. Let's see if I can keep that up with a second:
This was bought on the strength of all the rave reviews (There were a lot of rave reviews it's true. Still, it's nice that you think you are cleverer than pretty much all critics...). Had we not had the subtitles, we would not have understood a single word (Really? Not a single word? I mean I could understand not understanding some words but all of them? I think that you're a liar.). The biggest turn off was the constant VERY BORING use of the F word (Oh fuck off.), totally unnecessary and showing a complete lack of imagination for good dialogue (It was necessary because, and I want you to listen carefully now, that is how people speak. Corner boys haven't had elocution lessons you know. People swear. Get over it. It was entirely in keeping with the scenarios and characters depicted, to have drug dealers and the cops who try to stop them not swear would have made the whole series laughably inaccurate. Diminishing the power of the show. Also, I find your use of block capitals totally unnecessary and showing a complete lack of imagination for good writing/reviewing skills.). Anybody want the DVD, as having sat through one episode, we will definitely not watch any more of it (For fuck's sake. How many times will people do this? You can't write a proper review for something if you have watched less than a tenth of the product. Look, you bastard, if you want to write a review for something you cannot stop part way through. If you do then your review is little help to anyone.). What a total waste of money. (What a total waste of anyone who reads this' time.)
Well, it was never going to last was it? Those previous reviews were both reviews for season 1 from amazon.co.uk, these next two are for The Complete HBO Seasons 1-5, also from amazon. He's the first, short, review:
Absolutely awful!! (I see. Presumably the rest of the review will detail exactly all the things that are wrong with the programme to deserve that opening gambit.) Every other word began with 'F' (That's a damn lie and you know it. I'm tempted to get the scripts and work out the ratio of words beginning with 'f' to words that don't. I'm willing to gamble the life of my flatmate that the ratio is lower than 1:1)  - no need for such terrible language (You know, unless it was because it was necessary.). Total rubbish - no story line (What? I mean honestly. What? I realise that almost all of what I spout are my own angry opinions passed off as fact, but the idea that The Wire has no story is just downright wrong. It's a novel you can watch. The whole series is all plot.) - gutted I bought the whole series - will have to re-sell it (At least it'll go to someone who isn't too stupid to understand it.). I just cannot understand how people can give this a good rating! (Because they are much, much smarter than you.)
Well maybe the final review will be well argued and not stupid? I wouldn't hold my breath though...:
I have managed to sit through the first 3 episodes of series one and find myself bewildered as to why this is so highly rated (Because the story is strong, the acting is superb, the series has important points to make... that sort of thing). One of the reasons for watching films or reading books is to to meet interesting people (Surely then, The Wire is right up your street. There are as many interesting characters as there are, well, characters.). In this example we are presented with a collection of characters none of whom can construct a coherent sentence (Yes they can, the sentences are merely quite sweary too...). In fact there seems to be a relentless pursuit, almost a celebration of illiteracy in the interests of authenticity (Yeah, 'cause depicting things as they are definitely makes problems worse... Maybe you should be attacking the Baltimore education system for not teaching the the Queen's English.). Contact with stunted, undeveloped, unambitious, unoriginal minds is not going to create interest but simply a sense of waste (Well, like it or not, these people exist. And your plan of pretending they don't will only make the problem worse. Making these people feel further detached from society as a whole would only make conflict between the cultures worse. On the plus side, you are precisely the kind of mindless jerk who'll be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.) Watching for example the drug addicts constantly passing pills between themselves (Yeah that's not the sort of thing drug addicts do...), made me think this may be an inspired parody but I soon realised it took itself seriously (Why would it be a parody? Do you find poverty and drug addiction funny or something? What kind of monstrous cunt are you? Are you in Cameron's cabinet or something?). Everything is sacrificed to the god of authenticity (Not everything. Certainly not story or characters or anything important) - there can be no romance just sex (Well if you'd watched more than 3 episodes you'd know that romance breaks through), there can be nothing uplifting or generous just corruption (Well that's because it's corruption. It's a series with a message. It is not chewing gum for the eyes.). I am afraid I find this bleak view of life unconvincing and cheap. (Well it's real so you'd better get used to it.)
That's all folks!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Anthology of Idiocy VII

Kicking off our return to the anthologies that have thus far failed to make my name, we have The Long Goodbye. Robert Altman's 1973 update of Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel starred Elliott Gould (as in Ross and Monica's dad) as never-without-a-cigarette private eye Philip Marlowe. The plot revolves around Marlowe investigating the murder of his friend's wife, with all the evidence pointing to the husband as the culprit. This is no whodunnit though, this is an LA where no-one can be trusted (I know that's a pretty corny line, but I couldn't help it. I can only offer my humblest apologies for writing it and I hope you can forgive me). Here's what one reviewer for amazon.co.uk thought:
The opening joke takes about one tenth of the total film (It really doesn't. It takes less than ten minutes and the film is nearly two hours long.) time to set up and fails to deliver a laugh (for the simple reason that the punchline is entirely predictable and the delivery contains little else that is worth the trouble of watching (It raised a smile. And it is important in developing Altman and Gould's take on the Marlowe character.). After this, there seems no reason to continue viewing. (The fact that the story hasn't even really begun? That is surely enough? If not that how about a young, huge-armed, half-naked Arnie?) Already bored senseless, I couldn't take the insipid interrogation scene that follows. (Insipid? Where you watching a whole different film or something? A Stephanie Meyer-ish take on Raymond Chandler? Also, now please tell me I'm wrong here, but that little bit suggested that - haha you'll laugh at this - that you stopped watching at that point. But of course that would be impossible since you're writing this review of the whole thing. Ha ha. You and you're little jokes - of course you watched the whole thing. Didn't you?)

Reader, I buried this deadly dull dvd in the depths of my time capsule, only to be opened when life has lost flavour and time drags eternal (as it did for twenty minutes in front of this uncelebrated cure for insomnia). (You weren't joking were you? You really did stop watching didn't you? And now you're sitting there. Writing this twaddle. Probably beaming at how you're oh-so-clever. Well you're not clever. Though what you are does, indeed, begin with a "c". It's "cunt" by the way, if you found thinking of words beginning with "c" too tricky for you. When I'm in charge people like you who review a film without having seen it all will be sent to gulags. Gulags full of hungry crocodiles that have a particular fondness for testicles. Also, the film is not dull, it merely takes its time. Why do people so need fast-paced films all the time? Sometimes it's nice to just relax and let a slow movie just wash over you like the sea. In this moron's case I hope it is a sea full of jellyfish and sharks, but hey ho.)

I didn't come to this film for a Marlowe-in-the-flesh type experience (Then what, pray tell, were you looking for. It is a film about Marlowe directed by Robert Altman. What did you really think was going to happen? He'd have made a Michael Bay film?), but I was hoping for some sort of experience (Clearly you weren't looking for "some sort" of experience. You were looking for a particular experience. An experience that, with these people involved, was never going to happen. Because you are narrow-minded and this film was not what you wanted you never even gave it a chance.) I didn't come with an aversion for Altman, but I left feeling tired and full of no coffee (You watched twenty minutes. How is it possible to feel that after such a short time?). Advice for Chandler enthusiasts: even the hokey bemitchummed 'Farewell My Lovely' holds more charm and interest (There's nothing wrong with Robert Mitchum either.); even the enbogarted 'The Big Sleep' is not infested with ennui (There is certainly nothing wrong with Humphrey Bogart. He is absolutely one of Hollywood's greatest ever stars. And his The Big Sleep is a truly cracking film.). Advice for noir and film lovers: for dark and lovely detection in intelligent celluloid, go see Truffaut or Polanski (There are any number of directors you could have picked. Is there a reason why you picked two from the 60s/70s? The 40s/50s are by far the best years for film noir with Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, John Huston and Jacques Tourneur the directors that really put the genre on the map. The only reason I can think of is that you don't like or have never heard of these people. In either case you are certainly less knowledgeable than you would have us all believe. Also, actually using the term ennui makes you sound like the sort of pretentious prick who has no friends.) The cry goes round the terraces: anything but Altman! (Except it doesn't does it? Nobody says that. On the terraces or anywhere else. I'm willing to bet that you didn't shout it on the terraces either. You're a fucking liar that's what you are.)
Toshirō Mifune's bandit is slightly mad...
Next up we have an amazon.co.uk review of Akira Kurosawa's 1950 samurai masterpiece (one of many) Rashōmon. The movie, based on stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, tells the story of a court in Edo-era Japan and the different versions of the same story told by the different witnesses of a rape and murder. A study on truth and its subjectivity, the film won an honourary Academy Award in 1952 (the foreign film category was not introduced to the Oscars until 1957). Lord only knows what kind of moron could give it just one star...:
I was so disappointed (Well I was disappointed that there is a one star review, but these are our burdens to carry.), this was supposed to be a masterpiece (It isn't "supposed" to be anything. It is a masterpiece. Directors voted it the 9th best film of all time in 2002.), his other works were so amazing, like Seven Samurai and Ran (This, at least, is true. Except that this one is also amazing.)I guess every great director/writer is allowed one howler (I think most great directors have more than one howler. Francis Ford Coppola has made a load. Doesn't stop him being great. This, however, is not one of Akira Kurosawa's howlers.). Buy this if you have trouble sleeping (Yes. You may as well watch something quality whilst you can't sleep. Though this film will not cure your sleep problems I'm afraid.), the only good bit was the ending (The ending was a good bit...). It was just so lame (What does that mean? How was it "lame"?), I didn't care about the characters at all (Well you're not supposed to trust any of them, I suppose...), it was kind of predictable (Really? I found it was less predictable than many other films. But at least this is a proper point rather than just calling it "lame" so I shouldn't complain too much.) and really, really, really slow (It was slow, yes, but that is no bad thing. And since you profess to liking Seven Samurai, I really wonder how you felt that this was any more slow than that particular movie. Of the two, I find that one far slower than this. Half the three hour runtime is spent setting the scene.). One rubish sword fight (I'm beginning to suspect you like Kurosawa's other films more for their sword-fighting scenes, than the fantastic way they are put together or interesting storylines...). This one is going to gather dust on my shelf for about a decade, unlike his other movies. (Then more fool you. I hope one day you watch it again and realise what a fool you were to write this review. Well, I call it a review, but that's really rather stretching the definition of "review" as there is no insight to be found here at all.)
The visual image of the dvd and the container itself are good quality. (This much is true. The Optimum release does come in a rather splendid box and contain a rather nice booklet that includes the original Japanese story.)
Let's move on once more, this time to Philip K. Dick's novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Like pretty much all Dick stories this novel centres around the loss of identity and set in a nightmarish alternate world. The plot follows Jason Taverner, a famous singer and entertainer who wakes up to find that he has no identity and none of his old friends know who he is. In a police state where to have no identity is a fairly major problem... This is widely regarded as one of Dick's finest novels with numerous film adaptations mooted, but never begun. Here's what one amazon.co.uk reviewer thinks of the book:
I read Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" and absolutely enjoyed it (Good. I, too, hope to read it someday. Maybe if Penguin books remember why they were set up they'll reduce it's ridiculous £10 price tag...). Then I searched for other things by the same author and read them: "Now wait for last year", "The three stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" and finally "Flow my tears, the policeman said" with increasing disappointment and impatience (I haven't heard of the first one, but I understand The Three Stigmata... is considered to be one of his better novels. From what I know of the several Dick books I have read is that they are not for the impatient. They take their time creating the worlds the characters inhabit. So maybe the problem is not with the books, but rather with you?) All three of them display some brilliant situations (Flow.. does certainly contain good situations, to go with the equally good links between the situations.), particularly at the starting point, but then in all of them the author reveals his absolute lack of command of the plot, of or its goals and rhythm(To be honest, I don't think you could write a better novel. And also, his novels work best like that. That is his style of writing leave him alone.). As you go on reading, you get more and more entangled in a confusion of facts and characters coming out of nowhere (They come out of nowhere in the sense that the character meets them. What exactly did you expect? Notices at the start of a chapter with a biography of all the characters introduced in that chapter? What a stupid thing to say.). Reality becomes a kind of nightmare, yes, but not in any enjoyable way (at least for me) (Surely you recognise that going into any world that is described as a "nightmare" is not necessarily going to be "enjoyable" in the classic sense. Like a good horror movie this has a cathartic effect.). These novels appear to me as the genuine products of an intoxicated mind (Well it's Philip K. Dick. A man who used lots of drugs and was generally pretty mad. Would you also disregard Hunter S. Thompson's work as that of an "intoxicated mind"? To do this sort of thing would be to close yourself off from some wonderfully rich works.). Art is about control, and there's nothing of it in them. (What? Are you mad? Art is so much more than control. Art is whatever people make of it. Dick is a master of his art. A personal art. A paranoid art, perhaps, but art nonetheless. Your idea of "art" is so conservative as to be ridiculous. Let's be honest here. You liked The Man in the High Castle because it is widely held to be a classic piece of fiction. You dislike his other work because it is "mere" SF.)
That's enough for now I feel. Till next time faithful readers!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Easy A

Wish I'd gone to a fictional American school...
One of the flaws in my DVD collection has always been that I don't have that many films that aren't horribly depressing. One such non-suicide-inducing film is Will Gluck's 2010 teen comedy Easy A. The film follows Olive Penderghast (the excellent Emma Stone) as one little lie snowballs to take over her entire school life. The film was released to widespread acclaim and, obviously far more importantly, I loved it. I felt it was funny and charming throughout, with strong performances from everyone. Along with the aforementioned Ms Stone, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci require extra praise for their roles as Olive's laid-back parents. Well, that's enough of my thoughts, let's see what the users of amazon.com made of it:
Easy A tries to be another Clueless (If you complain about this 'trying to be another clueless' then pretty much any teen comedy made since 1995 is doing the same.) but turns into a pile of garbage (Excuse me? A pile of garbage? Really? If you didn't find it funny, that's one thing, but to actually call it garbage?). The script is both bad and offensive (The script is not bad. It's funny and heartfelt. And as for offensive? This is not some raunchy sex or gross-out comedy. What's offensive about it?). The acting is absolutely dreadful from top to bottom (That'll be why the acting was praised and nominated for many awards then?). I deeply regret renting this movie (Then you're a fuckwit.) and more deeply regret letting two 14-year-old girls watch it unattended during a dinner party. (Why? Are you worried that they'll learn that they shouldn't lie? As far as I could see there was only positive things in the film for a teenager to see. There's not even much swearing, some "shitty"s and a couple of "twat"s but thats it. You really worry too much. You're probably the same type of person that calls for films rated R to be banned because "children can see it". And I hate those people.)
Let's see what else we can find shall we?:
This movie was one of the worst I have seen in a long time (Really? Though I suppose Pimp wasn't seen by many people...). A true piece of trash (It really isn't you know.). It glorifies sluts and promiscuity (Excuse me? Did you actually watch the fucking film? It shows what can happen if you just lie about promiscuity. It hardly comes down in favour of sleeping around. It is pro-choice on the matter, however. And, really, who's business is it but the people who are involved? Don't judge people for it.) while degrading those who believe in God or wish to save a certain part of themselves until after marriage (I think 'degrading' is a bit strong. In fact calling it that is ridiculous. The filmmakers didn't go all Sálo on them or anything. They were portrayed as fucking annoying. Which is fair enough, because people like that are fucking annoying. Especially those like the ones in the film, who delighted in thinking other people were going to hell. How Christian is that?). The plot was horrible and deserved an R rating (Really? So anything that deals with sex in any way should immediately be an R should it? Good God, America is sexually repressed. And I thought Britain could be bad...). It is because of films like this that I've started to give up on Hollywood (Things like this? Original, witty, well-made films are what started that? Personally I'm getting bored of Hollywood's incessant remakes, reboots and rehashed ideas. Each to their own though.). I got the impression that the profanity (Two words used probably less than a dozen times!) and sexual content was created first, and then the writers tried to build a plot around that. (You're an idiot. I hope you don't have children, because there is no way they are going to come out well rounded, free adults. They'll either be terrified of their sexuality like you and lead horrible repressed lives, or rebel against it and become massive sluts/man-whores. And I know what would be worse. You can always grow out of being slutty.)
Here's a little quickie:
One of the most boring movies. I guess most of the reviews are written by 19yrs old females lounging in their pajamas. (Holy sexism Batman! With a bit of ageism thrown in too, brilliant. It's always nice to see sweeping generalizations made by fucktards on the internet is a tradition that is still going strong after all these years...)
Let's go further down the rabbit-hole and see what we can find:
Another Sleezy Attack On Christians (That's not how you spell 'sleazy'. This is a less than auspicious start...)
Another childish attempt at shallow humor...The (There should be a space between the ellipsis and 'The'. And the plot is far from childish, it's actually very grown-up about the whole thing. The humour is far from shallow, too.) story of a teenager doing 'anything' to be popular is so trite (But so's everything these days. There are only so many situations. This film makes an old idea fresh. And that's a pretty difficult thing to do.) but what is really disgusting is the portrayal of the Christian students who are presented as dimwits...Anyone (There's that spacing problem again... Also, they aren't 'dimwits'. They're cunts.) who has any exerience in public schools will tell you that for the most part the kids who are influenced by the Christian, Jewish and Buddhist teachings are usually the school leaders (They are shown to be at the top of the class. They are also shown to be self-righteous, blow-hard [that's one Americanism I quite like] cunts.), great students and filled with common (Wait for it...) sense...but (There it is! Strike three! Many who come from these backgrounds are as you describe them. But many are not. Many at the top of classes are atheist [especially in areas such as science, since they can grasp the idea of evidence and burden of proof], it really doesn't matter. You're rampant prejudice against those without religion is stupid and your belief that you are under 'attack' borders on paranoia. People will disagree with your world-view. Doing so, and being hacked off by people acting like the Christians in this film, is a fact of life. How often do you see atheists on street corners with megaphones shouting about how we're all just going to die and this is all there is? How often do atheists or agnostics cut someone off because they disagree with a belief or lifestyle choice? Certainly not as often as religious people.) this character smirking must go on (If anyone can tell me what he/she means here, please let me know.) so as to diminish the influence of people who have found POSITIVE ways to live compared to these down graders of our civilization (Downgraders of civilization? This coming from a believer in Christianity? Don't make me laugh. Who was it who tried Galileo Galilei and banned his works because he dared to discover something and further the human race? Who burned people at the stake for believing a slightly different form of claptrap or for being a 'witch'? Who was it that propagated AIDs in Africa by lying about the effectiveness of condoms to prevent the spread of the disease? Who is holding back stem cell research that could potentially save millions of lives worldwide because it offends a mythical being? I'm pretty sure it wasn't atheists. And that's without getting onto the religious wars and crusades, or the effect on individuals' knowledge of the world around us because they believe books written nearly 2000 years ago. Yeah, who are the 'downgraders' now bitch?)
Yes, before anyone comments, I realise that I was preaching my beliefs in the manner I so despise in Christians. That was kind of the point. Also, he insulted my beliefs so I defended them. Somewhat robustly...
Here's one last review, this time from amazon.co.uk:
I am 17 years old and personally found this movie dull and boring.. (Another brilliant, in depth review that really tackles what the reviewer objected to. Certainly not a shit review at all.) well the start at least as i only managed to watch this first 30mins before turning it off. (For the last fucking time, don't review something that you've only seen 1/3rd of! It's ridiculous! You cannot extrapolate those 30 minutes to know exactly how good or otherwise a film may be. Some films take longer to get going than others, I felt this film kicked off pretty nicely, though many of the funnier moments are in the second half... Hang on... I think I know what happened. You read the blurb, saw the certificate and thought there were going to be breasts and dick jokes like in American Pie didn't you? After half an hour you realised you were watching the wrong film and, in your flaccid anger, posted that review didn't you? You make me sick.)
Well, that's an image you probably didn't want me to close on, but too late. You've read it. You can't unread it.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Blazing Saddles

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little in a classic scene
Yes that's right, I'm back baby! After 3 months of inactivity your number one compendium of silly reviews is back in action! At least for this post. We'll have to see if I can keep it going this time...

In 1974 Mel Brooks released two fantastic comedies that were both stunning successes. Young Frankenstein was a spoof of old Universal monster films and, the one we're interested in today, Blazing Saddles. Blazing Saddles is a biting satire of the Wild West and America's attitudes towards it. Particularly in regards to race. However, it must be said, the film is seemingly open to misinterpretation as these reviews from Amazon.com show:
Racism, sexism. Every ism thrown together so as to almost induce vomiting (I don't recall any dry heaving or anything, but if you say so). I heard before watching that this movie was "politically incorrect" (Why do I suspect that you watched this film with the intention of being offended, just so you could complain about it? I hate people who do that.). That is not the half of it! (Yeah! There's all the jokes and the plot and everything too.) This is clearly only meant for the enjoyment of white men (That'll be why it was directed and co-written by a Jewish man with another co-writer being that infamously white racist comedian Richard Pryor then?)  who have no sense of social equality or for the brainless of any race or sex, i.e. the kind of people who enjoy watching Family Guy. (To be honest, Family Guy makes fun of everyone and everything, so it is social equality in action. If it gave other 'races' [there's no such thing by the way, the Human Genome Project found there was as much genetic variation between individuals of a 'race' as between the 'races'. See? I'm informing as well as being fatuous and silly.] an easier ride because they are a different colour, then they'd be racist. Also, what you have done is generalize lots of people by what they watch, which makes you better than your common-or-garden racist how?)
This one's actually from amazon.co.uk, but they've still misinterpreted it:
If you like racist jokes you must definitely see this (The jokes aren't racist. The whole point of the film is to point out the racism that was prevalent in the West, but was completely ignored by the Western films of the time. Every single joke you claim to be racist is actually making fun of the racists. Why do you think the hero of the film is black? Surely if the film were truly racist then all the black people would be stupid, lazy and spend much of their time eating fried chicken. Clearly you missed all those bits where the hero beats the white men by being cleverer than them.) I don't so I rated this with 2 stars. It has nothing to do with the quality of the DVD or with the service rendered by the vending company. This latter was impeccable.
There are other reviews which make the same mistakes, but they're a little repetitive so I'll change tack and just go with someone who thought it was generally crap:
This Movie is so Not Funny! (That is a matter of opinion. Looking at this film's position on all-time funny lists I'd say that the vast majority disagree with you) I sat down and watched this flick with some friends who loved it and i have to say what a waiste waste of my time it was (You really should finish sentences you know... Also, dear reader, bear in mind that his friends 'loved it', I'll refer back to this later on.). This movie tried so hard to be funny but was not funny at all (Again, this is rather subjective, but this is comedy and everyone is different so I'll let it go. Could you at least say why it wasn't funny to you? Y'know, like in a review?). I know a lot of rebiews reviews were good about for this movie, so the film maybe may be good to the older crowd who are in there 40's and 50's (I suppose I should praise you for at least accepting that some people may find it funny...) but for the hip young generation (I know I'm fairly uncool, but who the fuck says 'hip' these days apart from middle-aged parents?) and sophisticated one like mine (Learn to properly spell/type and format a sentence before you go around calling yourself 'sophisticated' eh? For those interested, the correct grammar would have been 'but for a hip, young, sophisticated generation like mine'in the teens and twenties this movie is pure crap (But you yourself stated that your friends loved it. Assuming your friends are of a similar age you have successfully destroyed your own argument. You're an idiot. An actual idiot. You can't spell, you fail to grasp even slightly the concept of correct grammar and you consistently fail to recognise that your beliefs are not representative of all members of your generation). Nothing good about it at all (Except much of it...). I just can not believe people find Blazing Saddles such a great comedy (Because they have better senses of humour than you?). Oh well I hated the movie. (And I hate you.)
I think that'll do for this time. I'll try to get the next one out within the week!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Of Gods And Men

Bloody selfish monks...
Of Gods and Men was released at the Cannes Film Festival last year to ecstatic reviews, going on to win the Grand Prix. The film is based on the true story of a cistercian monastery outside Algiers, Algeria, during the Civil War. Now, as it is a French film, it is in French. I wonder how many Amazon and Lovefilm-based stupidheads will complain about this? Only one way to find out. First up, the only one star amazon review I could find:
Long (It's two hours. That's not long. That's a pretty standard length for a drama film, to be honest.),slow (Well, it doesn't hurry itself. But this story required a slow pace. It isn't a Bay movie, you know. This film has a plot, unlike his entire oeuvre...) ,uninspiring (Uninspiring? These people risked their lives for the community that they served. What isn't inspiring about that? Fuckwit.) and tedious (It is certainly not tedious. The film quietly builds the tension and sense of foreboding throughout the final act. That last meal is right up there with the opening scene of Inglourious Basterds for best sequence of the last few years.) film about a bunch of ageing (It's aging, and what the fuck has that to do with anything? Ageist.) cistercian monks caught in the islamist uprising in Algeria in the 1990s. (Well, yes it is. At least that's one thing you'll get right in this review...)
I find it impossible to have any sympathy for any of the characters (Really? What kind of psychopath are you? Their entire life was dedicated to peace and helping those who asked for it. Those bastards, eh?). These 8 christians (There were 9. And I'm the biggest atheist you're likely to meet, and I looked beyond that.),boring (They were interesting enough.), irresponsible (I wouldn't say that at all. They stayed out of a sense of duty to the community that needed them.) and selfish (Yeah. Putting what's best for the community ahead of what was best for their own personal safety. What a selfish bunch of cunts and tossers eh? Actually, no. How did you come up with all this?) out of touch freaks (SPOILER!! Seven men are dead. Please do not call them 'freaks' you ignorant prick) but with a clear conscience ,lucky them, are in my eyes as fanatically dangerous and reprehensible as their muslim extremist'brothers': willing martyrs to religous fanaticism (Yeah. If you're an atheist then please stop being one. It's people like you who give us all a bad name. Become a Scientologist. They're full of, often offensive, nutters like you.) Whether they end up basking in heaven or rotting in hell should not be any concern of mine (SPOILERS AGAIN!! These were real people you're talking about here. Real people who are dead. Show some respect you cunt.) and will leave many unmoved and exasperated. (Actually, the vast majority of the human race have something called 'compassion' and will be very moved by the monks' tale. That's probably why it won all those awards that it won...)
Well, at least he didn't mention the subtitles I suppose... Still, here's another, let's see if we can keep that up with this two-star review:
Based on real like events in Algeria (I'll let you off with that typo. Though I'm a small, petty man, so I'll still point out that you meant 'life'...). Caught the film at our local Film club. (Did you use a butterfly net?)
Michael Lonsdale was as ever, a treat to watch (He was indeed. As were the whole cast.) but he couldn't save the film for me (Well, surely he didn't need to did he? The film was very well made with an engaging, powerful story.) Overall we found the film dreadfully slow (Look. Some films take their time. A faster pace would have ruined the story. With the pace as it is, the film draws you into the lives of these monks and allows the personalities to become evident. Without that there would have been no significance to the end of the film.). From early on, the ending was evident (There are times where knowing the end does not kill the whole film. This is one of those times.). It was all terribly virtuous (It wasn't that virtuous. Certainly not as much as a film about monks could have been.) but there were far too many scenes of the monks simply involved in worship. Yes I know, that's what monks do (So wouldn't it be somewhat ridiculous to expect there to be no worship scenes? Besides, I quite liked the peek into a world I know very little about, and they were very nicely shot too.). I thought that the "Last supper" scene was particuarly mawkish & heavy handed (I don't agree with that either. I, as stated earlier, thought it was a wonderful scene.). Despite the fact that I'm an Atheist, I was hoping for some kind of spiritual enlightenment (From a film? If you want spiritual enlightenment, don't bother with celluloid mate.). I left the film feeling even more convinced of the futility & stupidity of religious belief & the fantacism that all too often accompanies it. (I, again, am a staunch atheist. But I can enjoy a film, regardless of the beliefs of the central characters. I might suggest that you attempt to do something similar in future.)
Oh my God. Will a foreign film pass by without any mention of its foreignicity? Let's have a look at Lovefilm:
I have seen some films that are slow (Oh not this again...). I have seen some films that are very slow but this film.... is....s...l....o...w (Oh how witty. Stick to Bay in future, peasant.). Over two hours of reading French subtitles (Well, it's mentioned but not as negatively as I was expecting...) when no one is saying anything makes for a long night in (Actually they say quite a lot of things...). A true story well told and beautifully acted (Yes it is. Well done on that, I suppose.) but s....l....o....zzzzz (Oh go away. It moves at exactly the right pace. Any quicker and the tension of the story would have been completely destroyed.)
Will that reference be the closest thing we get to a subtitle complaint?:
The most boring film I have ever watched in my entire life (Then you obviously haven't seen that many films then...). Seriously - unless your thing is watching French monks pray and give each other meaningful glances then avoid this like the plague (It's called subtlety, ignoramus. Maybe there should have been a few explosions and racist robots to lighten the mood...). It's an interesting story but my word this is an indulgent piece of nonsense (It is neither of those things. It is millions of miles away from being 'nonsense'. It is a properly beautiful film.). My wife and I ended up watching most of the singing/praying scenes on fast forward and it was still too slow paced (Then you haven't really seen it properly have you? I mean for fuck's sake there aren't that many worship scenes and they don't last that long. The pair of you need to find some patience before you attempt to review anything ever again.). Soul crushingly tedious. (And you're soul crushingly thick.)
Knock me down with a feather. We've got to the end without anyone complaining of subtitles.
I rate this so low as I didn't get to watch it as it was with sub titles. I didn't realise and I can't watch anything with subtitles
 Oh shit.

Friday, 29 July 2011

The Descent

Even the poster creates suspense...    TheCinemaSource
The Descent, released in July 2005, is a British horror film directed by Neil Marshall that follows six women who go spelunking in an unexplored cave in North Carolina. I suspect I'm giving nothing away when I reveal that things don't go entirely to plan... The film was a critical success, scoring 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, and being placed 7th in Sight & Sound's end-of-year top ten list. Amazon.co.uk is, however, once again a haven for those with no taste whatsoever, nor any kind of reviewing ability.
So. Here. We. Go:
First off everyones entitled to their opinion so I find it bizarre as to why their are so many people obviously like the film trawling negative reviews simply to slate anyone who dislikes it (Maybe it's why they don't like it that people dislike? Or the quality of the review. Or the fact that many, who will be featured later, treat their opinions as fact?). These people are WRONG the one star reviewers are RIGHT (Yeah. What you've certainly not done there is exactly what you just complained about...). This film is ridiculous (No more than most other films. You know that Dumbo? I don't think an elephant could use his ears to fly...). I felt rather embarrassed for the person who decided to comment smarmly by saying to the reviewer: 'My advice is to concentrate when you watch an intelligent adult film or even better stick to films more suited to your age group.' (I suspect he's right. This is an intelligent film for adults.). They've got themselves a wee bit mixed up here and its backfired massively...Its a borderline B-movie, it not supposed to be 'an intelligent adult film' neither was Dog Soilders, thats what made it so good (Dog Soldiers was absolutely not to be taken seriously. But just because they share a director does not mean that this film is equally frivolous. This is a straight-up horror and works as such. [slight SPOILER coming up here] I take it you missed the end bit where the women become as bad as, or worse than, the crawlers? Butchering them horribly, killing their young and sticking thumbs in eye-sockets is pretty nasty. Not many horror films have the guts to turn the heroines against each other and into murderous monsters themselves.). An intelligent adult decision would be to use the DVD as a coaster matt for your pint. (No, that would be a silly thing to do. Surely a specifically designed coaster would do the job far better...)
Jokes aside (Don't become a stand-up.). This is a poor effort (Except it just isn't, though, is it? It does exactly what it intends to do. Scare.). In fairness, the claustrophobic atmosphere created is not bad (Not bad? That goes beyond understatement, and into the realms of stupidity.) and the films grittyness is appealing. Why one star then? (Because you're a fool who wouldn't know a good film if he walked in on one fucking a version himself from a different universe?)
1. The premise has been done to death (What? The only one similar I can think of is the pretty shite Sanctum which came out this year...) so any new attempt has to be very unique and different (Different from what you utter arse? It's not like there's a cave-based horror released every day!). There's just nothing new here (All-female cast? Cave-based terror? Strong acting? Believable monsters?). I was pretty much spot on with the order of who would die before they'd even entered the cave. (You could guess who'd die, but you can do that with any horror.)
2. If you've seen "The Cave" you don't need to watch this. They were more adventurous in their filmaking and did it better, and that's saying something. (Excuse me? First of all, The Cave came out a month after this. And second of all, it was utter bilge. At 13% it is amongst the worst films of 2005. If you think that is better than The Descent, then you are clearly one ball short of an over.) 
3. The plot's ludicrous (It's not that ludicrous. It's a horror film. There is such a thing as 'willing suspension of disbelief'. I'd suggest you'd give it a go.). Without giving too much away, who on earth goes down an uncharted cave system without any map (I believe you rather answered your own question there. The word 'uncharted' means that there is no map for them to take. Fucktard.), back up, safety failsafe and the excuse as to why is crazy (Not really. It was certainly a silly thing to do, but it fitted in well with the character.). Why would you then split up and continue to go deeper after being attacked? (They ran and panicked. One of them fell down a hole. They didn't split up on purpose. Did you even watch the bloody thing?) The ending, a totally unnecessary twist which, which makes zero sense and has no right to be there. (It made sense. [SPOILER] She'd been hallucinating a fair bit, so having cracked her head against the rock floor, it wasn't a surprise she did it again.)
4. Its blatantly obvious its filmed in Scotland not the US. (Actually, it wasn't filmed in Scotland either, so clearly wasn't that obvious... It was filmed in Pinewood Studios, near London with exteriors filmed in a park in Buckinghamshire. So quite far from Scotland really...)
5. Its only really about two people, the other characters are simply their for gore value, which is pretty cheap as you have no empathy for them (This is pretty standard for horror films though. It's very hard to flesh out all the characters without the film becoming bloated and overly long. Besides, this film does somewhat more for its supporting cast than most modern Hollywood horror fare, with the slashers and torture-porn genres particularly badly affected.). The main two main characters relationship is daft and very confusing, I might have caught Juno looking at Sarah's husband at the start for all of about 2 seconds and I think this has something to do with their fractured relationship (It's explained you ignorant prick. You really didn't listen did you? And their relationship seemed realistic and understandable considering the events that shape it.). The problem is for a film like this to work it has to be really character driven and the script's so weak, there's nothing for the actors to flesh out. (The script as as good as it needed to be. There was no exposition-heavy dialogue as far as I can remember, with pretty natural conversations between the characters both prior to the adventure and during.)  
Neil Marshall did so well with Dog Soilders and its a great idea to be different (as mentioned) (This film is original) and have an all women cast, who do the best with the little they've got (They all did very well with the good material they received.). Its a shame its badly let down by a daft script and story and shallow characters. (What was it you said earlier? Ah yes, '[you've] got yourself a wee bit mixed up here and it's backfired massively'. Oh, the glorious irony.)
Here's a somewhat shorter review now:
This film starts off ok for about the first 5 minutes (If the next words aren't 'then gets even better' or somesuch, I'm going to hurt you.), then by the end of the film the starting has practically no relavence at all (Actually, it is massively important. How did you miss that? And now I'm going to have to hurt you. I'm sorry, but I warned you...). Amazingly bad acting (Except the acting was uniformly strong, creating believable characters who could exist in the real world.) and for people that have already seen the film (trying not to give too much away) (You pretty much fail. so major SPOILERS up ahead.) i have to ask you, why does she take her freinds leg out at the end?? it was an accident wasnt it? hmmm... (Several things. Firstly, she didn't see the incident, so she knew only what Beth had told her. Beth believed that it was not an accident, therefore neither did Sarah. Secondly, Beth told Sarah that Juno had been having an affair with Sarah's late husband, so she was pretty mad about that as well. And then there is that it was Juno that led them down the cave in the first place, so there was probably a bit of blame thrown in there too.) but i really wouldnt reccomend this film to any one (Really? I would. I already have in fact.)
 Here, have another!:
Get grip people! This is terrible (I'll get a grip on your neck if you're not careful. If you think this is terrible then you aren't intelligent enough to deserve life...). Dull locations (The cave looked pretty spectacular in places. Especially at the start looking up through the hole.), 50 mins of tedium (The first 50 minutes were superb. The build-up of tension was excellent with some standard cave-based scares, like rock collapses ratcheting up the tension very well.) before the laughable monsters appear (In what way are they laughable? They look realistic and could feasibly exist.) and NO suspense at all! (If by 'suspense' you mean 'clowns', then yes. There weren't any clowns in the first 50 minutes. Or indeed any of the minutes. There was suspense though...) The creatures are feeble and not at all scary (Well the creatures on their own aren't scary, but then neither would pretty much anything else. Alien's Xenomorph wouldn't be scary if it was on its own in the middle of a brightly lit ice-rink. But in combination with the dark location of the cave, the crawlers are pretty scary.) and the location is dull beyond belief (Yeah you said that already, and I already said you were wrong.). This is a really awful film (That'll be why Sight & Sound felt it was the seventh best film of the year then... God, that must have been a shit year eh?). Dog Soldiers was great fun but this is pretentious drivel (It is neither pretentious, nor drivel. This review is drivel. The film really isn't.). I have NEVER been so bored in a film (You clearly have no idea what makes a good horror film then. I suggest you stick to films that give horror cinema a bad name, like Saw and Hostel.). BAD, BAD and bad again (And yet the only thing you can complain about is the 'dull' location and the 'feeble' creatures. Twice. Talking about two things twice, doesn't make a review I'm afraid...). The cast were average (Well, if comparing them against Daniel Day-Lewis I suppose...) and the plot motivation was just completely unbelievable from every angle (What? She wanted to discover a new cave. People actually do that you know. That's how caves are discovered...). Lazy script, lazy film. (And you're a stupid man.)
That's enough for now, I think. Till next time children!

Sunday, 24 July 2011


"Okay you cunts... Let's see what you can
do now!"
The Matthew Vaughn comic-book film Kick-Ass was a surprise hit when it was released last year. With a strong box-office performance and meeting with a positive reaction from the critics too. The film is about the a high-school kid who copies his favourite comic books into a life of super-heroism and vigilanteism. Then he meets a foul-mouthed child and her crusading father who have a very different way of dealing with the organized crime in the city. Usually involving cutting blades and big guns... Some people, somewhat predictably, took against the film though. Including these weirdos from amazon.co.uk:
From the trailer and the various reviews, I was expecting a super hero satire that doesn't take itself too seriously and is simply good fun (with a few laughs thrown in) Boy was I wrong :( (No. Now you're wrong. Your expectations were correct. It is a satire of the superhero genre, the characters of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl are specifically a satire of Batman and Robin. And what isn't funny about a mini gun jetpack? Or attempting to get information from a man in a giant microwave?)

This film is completely devoid of humour (and there is nothing wrong with my sense of humour (Well clearly there is, because everyone I know found plenty of humour in the film. There is plenty of comedy from the interplay between Dave and his school friends alone.)). There is some quality action sequences (but then it does have the old rocket pack with mini guns attached nonsense Grrrr (Yeah. Rocket packs with mini guns are sooo overused...)). The odd moments of extreme violence are right out of left field and frankly odd. (Not really. They're necessary for the film to work. The violence is supposed to be jarring. Unfortunately, the mafia isn't very nice in real life...)

Overall the film is totally undercooked (I like the way you've just stuck this in here with no explanation. In what is, ostensibly, the conclusion. Surely you know that ideas shouldn't be introduced in the conclusion? This area is for tying up the ideas you've already discussed. Fool. Also, the film is not undercooked. It's very well polished. With the editing a particular highlight.) and mediocre (If it's so bad, why can't you say why it is 'mediocre'?), and whilst I don't think its terrible ir really is not deserving of the hype or indeed the "best film of 2010" title. (It is very deserving of the hype it received. It is a very well made film that is different to most of the other films around. Though the best of film of 2010 is Inception.)
Let's have a look at another review shall we?:

Started off very well (And then continued on that way.). The first 20 minutes were great (As were the next 100.). Then the so-called failed superhero became cool. (Well he wasn't a 'so-called' failure at the start. He was. That's why he had the shit beaten out of him. And he became cool because he lost feeling in most of his body so couldn't feel pain when he was hit as a direct result of having the shit beaten out of him. It's not like he became cool overnight for no reason.)
In my opinion this film wasnt funny (Well at least you realise that it's only your opinion. It's still wrong though...). What started off as a comedy, ended up more like a serious superhero film. Either that or it was neither, and somehow just didnt work for me. (One of the best things about the film is how well it keeps its feet in both camps, without feeling confused.)

You want a funny superhero spoof? Then watch "Mystery Men" (1999) starring ben Stiller. Now that is funny! (Mystery Men is average at best, slightly annoying at worst. It is certainly nowhere near Kick-Ass in any way.)
Here's another, fairly brief, review:
I want 2 hours of my life back after watching this rubbish (You know that's just plain impossible, right? That isn't how time works. Amazon don't sell time.). This movie has a great cast (It does indeed.) and the potential for a great story (Remove the word "potential" and you'd be right.), but instead we get a confused (In what way is it confused? The film works, the transition between comedic and more serious scenes is smooth, with none of the lurches in tone that could have occurred.), poorly acted farce (Poorly acted? Were you watching the right film? The young cast are more than solid, whilst Chloe Moretz is superb. It even has that most rare of things these days: a good Nicolas Cage performance... And you clearly have no idea what a 'farce' comedy would be if you think this is one.) and a 10 year old girl who says the ''c'' word (Cooking? Chorizo? Or do you mean cunt?) without breaking stride (Yeah. And? It's a film. She's an actress. Who felt uncomfortable saying the title of the film in interviews, preferring to call it "Kick-Butt" instead. It clearly didn't affect her at all. Probably because she's far more sensible and intelligent than you.). The violence in this film is utterly gratuitous and quiet frankly, alarming. (Except it isn't gratuitous at all. In any way. I'd also like to add that without the violence the whole concept of showing what a bad idea becoming a superhero would be, would be absolutely destroyed. Making the whole project pointless.)
This is a horrible,horrible,horrible film on every single level. (You're supposed to have spaces after a comma. Also, you're wrong. Very wrong. The only film I can think of that is horrible, horrible, horrible on every single level is Cannibal Holocaust. It's not only shit but also racist, sexist, sadistic and with rape scenes that, unlike Salò or Straw Dogs, eroticise the horrific act. And then, just to cap it all off, they murdered a number of animals to make it. You may have guessed that I disliked the experience of watching that particular film...)
Anyway, after that last little diversion, it's back to Kick-Ass with one final review:
Ok..started well..amusing blah blah (Blah blah? If you can't be bothered to write the review properly then don't bother at all. No-one's forcing you to be here.), then rapidly descends, with (That first comma probably could have been a full stop and the second was completely unnecessary. And the quality of the film does not descend) the arrival of a horribly foul mouthed 12 year old female psycho killer (She's not 12, she's 11 and she's not a psycho. She's been conditioned by her father to believe that what she's doing is right and acceptable. And Hit-Girl is an awesome character.), supposedly the heroine (Well, she's not supposed to be a role-model. The film hardly comes out in favour of what her father has done.), into a piece of fascist nonsense (Fascist? In what way is it fascist? Vigilanteism is not exactly supported by the film.), which I can't believe a British director would have produced...Oh sorry, yes I can..look at Guy Ritchie's latest Sherlock fiasco... (Excuse me? First of all Sherlock Holmes is pretty good. Have you read any Holmes? Because that is what they are like quite often. And secondly, are you suggesting the film is fascist as well? Because if you are then you clearly have no idea what fascism actually is.)
What is it with you folks and super violence? (The fucking violence is fucking important to many movies. Especially this one.) Leave it in the comics for goodness sakes so I don't have to watch it (How about you just don't watch films that are violent? Why should the rest of us suffer because you are a squeamish moron?). And no I'm not against swearing, I'm for innocence at a certain age please (This review jumps around more than Jessica Ennis. And, even worse, it's very wrong.). And no it's not ok for violence to occur only against the bad guys (But it didn't occur only against the bad guys. Did you actually watch the fucking thing? Not only does Kick-Ass get beaten up several times in the movie, but [SPOILER] one of the 'good guys' gets killed...)..this is the excuse the US have been using for torture and mass murder for years. (Excuse me? What's that got to do with anything? Are you mad? You're reviewing a fucking DVD not reviewing US policy.)
Avoid at all cost. (I urge any readers who have not seen it, who are not offended by violence or language, to watch this. To annoy this clown as much as anything else...)
That'll do for now I think. See you next time!
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