Monday, 25 April 2011


Image via wikipedia
Joseph Heller's first novel, released in 1961, was Catch-22. A biting satire of war, the military and bureaucracy, the book quickly became regarded as a classic as well as one of the most highly acclaimed works of the 20th century. It tells the tale of Captain Yossarian, a bombardier in the US Air Force stationed in Italy during the Second World War, a man who desperately wants to go home and get away from the madness of the war. It is however, I shall concede, a slightly tough read as it is told from quite a few perspectives and non-chronologically. But is well worth putting the effort in. These people from clearly disagree though:
Just because a book is a classic doesn't mean it is good (It kinda does actually... That's why it becomes a classic. Because it is both critically hailed, and popular). Maybe at some point it was good and maybe in the future it may well be good again, but presently it just seems a bit over rated. (I'm sorry, but books don't just stop being good. They can stop being relevant, but the anti-war, anti-bureaucratic message is as important today as it ever was. Maybe you're just too thick to 'get it'?)
Here's another with clear anger management issues:

I wasted three weeks of my life reading this book (I bet you didn't though. It's not like you read for every minute of every hour of every day. You have lost some number of hours. That is all. And you'd have only wasted them anyway.). The main reason I persevered is that everyone (even the people giving it five stars) seems to say the beginning is difficult and it take a while to get going (Actually, I've never found that, to be honest. It does take a while to get used to the seemingly haphazard chronology, but if you're intelligent it shouldn't take that long to grasp what's happening). In my opinion, if it's a good book you shouldn't have to trudge through the first third of it (I certainly never felt I was 'trudging through'.)(otherwise maybe only give it 3 stars?). (Maybe they felt that the start didn't drag as much as you imply, or that the second two thirds more than made up for any slow start?)
Well, I read it. I lost count of the times I threw the thing at the wall in frustration. (Really? You threw it at the wall that often that you literally lost count? Why didn't you mark notches on the bed post?)

I finished it. I wish I'd never picked the damn thing up in the first place. (If it's been thrown at the wall as often as you suggest, the book probably wishes you'd never picked it up too...)
And another who seems to be unsure of the age of the book:
Catch-22 is an anti-war book for the easily led and the ignorant (I think you'll find the ignorant usually read Dan Brown...). It's for people who just say "War is bad" without really thinking about why it's bad. (I think most people know why war is bad. It probably has something to do with all the death and whatnot. Just spitballing here...)
The book is basically Dilbert in World War II (It is a bit actually. Of course, since Catch-22 beat Dilbert into existence by some 28 years, you're argument is somewhat weak.). As in the comic strip, all the people in charge are unbelievably stupid, don't care about the people they command, and are extremely selfish (Since Heller based his novel on his own personal experiences in WWII, I think its fair to say these people do somewhat exist, though obviously the novel versions will be highly exaggerated.). The common soldiers are of course much smarter than the commanding officers and try their hardest to get out of work (Well, that is where much of the humour comes from). Their unwillingness to fight is justified (by the book, anyway) because their commanders are just so evil and stupid (Well they are. If Yossarian was a member of any other squadron he would have been sent home for a rest some time ago). Everyone's behavior is cartoonish and annoying (Cartoonish was intentional. It is, after all, a blackly comic book. I found none of the characters annoying).
This edition of the book includes a preface by the author in which he, instead of saying anything useful, writes mostly about how everyone thinks his book is wonderful. Well, it's not. (There are so many people who seem to think that they are the ultimate deciders of what is good or bad. Maybe we should have a big Royal Rumble to see who wins that right...)
Finally, we have this guy who, I suspect, may be a somewhat right-wing American...:
 There are many myths that persist in modern life. One myth is that war is "meaningless", "useless" or "insane." (Okay then, what is the meaning or use of the deaths of millions in war?) Another myth is that Catch-22 is a good book (Oh I see. All those critics and authors haven't actually read the book, it's just a myth they subscribe to. Well, thanks for telling me that. Jackass). The reality of this second myth was brought home to me when I attempted to read this book (Hmm... I don't like that 'attempted' in there...). I gave up in disgust after 80 pages (Then what the holy fuck are you doing on here reviewing it then? I gave up on Moby Dick at a similar point - I didn't have the patience - but as a result I refrain from commenting upon it. You can't possibly give a fair and balanced review from such a small extract). I felt as though I was reading a children's fairy tale rather than a serious piece of literature (Really? It's not exactly a child-friendly book...). This is a horrible and insulting book (In what way is it insulting?). The "plot" (if one can call it a plot (Yes you can. Because that's precisely what it is)) is pointless (Well you would think that. Having read just 80 shitting pages! How the fuck do you know where the plot goes, you didn't give it any chance to develop. Prick) and the writing is sarcastic and juvenile (It is sarcastic. It's called satire, look it up. I think you'll find that it is a widely recognised technique of 'serious literature'. It is juvenile in places, but so is the military, so what are you complaining about?). We are told by fans of the book that the author intended it to be read this way, as a clever statement about "the insanity of war." (Well we say that because its true. That was kind of the whole point of the novel, really)
What a load of rubbish. War is ugly and brutal, but it is not "insane." (Except the very concept of war is insane. Killing ordinary people doing a job to free people is, at the very least, stupid. Those who die on the front have played no part in the politics that began the war. Why should they be the ones to suffer?) Many American wars were fought because people believed passionately in a noble cause and were willing to fight to defend that cause against those who would vanquish it (Yeah. Just look at Vietnam. Or Cambodia. Or the Gulf. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Libya...). Among these were the Revolutionary War (democratic government (They didn't like some laws.)), the Civil War (individuals' rights vs. states' rights (That's an incredibly simplistic view. There were economic causes that were just as important as rights.)) and World War II (the defeat of fascism (That'll be why they joined in 1939, and not two years later when they were attacked then...)). Catch-22 is an adolescent little book which is applauded by people who believe that nothing is worth fighting for. (Curse us pacifists! How dare us hold a contrary view to yours?!)
I think that'll probably do, eh? Till next time!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Source: bad actor. Image via Wikipedia
Pimp is perhaps the worst film I've ever seen. As simple as that. Now, most of you out there probably haven't seen Pimp, because I fed all the copies of it to dogs. Or perhaps because it only grossed £205 in cinemas and had some decent DVD sales when twats bought it. Anyway, go look it up at Wikipedia or something, then put on your mocking pants as we go on an adventure through the mindset of fans of this Dyer (Because Danny Dyer's in it. Twas a pun) piece of sheep faeces.

Slow to start (If by that, you mean you wished you were dead rather than watching it, yes) but once it got going reminiscent of Lock Stock (Except that was a good film. And pretty dissimilar to this piece of... art...) (Hello, Ben here. It really isn't like Lock Stock you know. Lock Stock featured lovable rogues being forced into doing bad things to avoid being brutally murdered by Hatchet Harry. Pimp, on the other hand, featured cunts doing cunty things for money.), for me a good gritty British film full of unfunny one liners. Dyer played a typical Dyer role (No he didn't. He played an atypical Dyer role because he was cast as some sort of porn Godfather. Like Don Corleone, except he isn't one of the greatest actors of all time.) (I'm pretty sure Dyer didn't change acting forever, like a certain Mr. Brando...)but for me was the star of the show, Wil Johnson showing he has talent in more than one area (You know you've got a good film where you call a minor role "the star") (Why is Johnson even in this? He's in Waking The Dead for God's sake, surely that pays the bills?). Thoroughly enjoyed - well worth a watch (What, if you want to be reminded there's no worth to human life? Yea, ok.).
Definitely one to whack on once the kids have gone to bed (No! People like you shouldn't be allowed kids. When I'm in charge...). Pimp is dark, seedy, edgy and thrilling (Well, gloomy, seedy, attempting to be edgy and thrill-less. See what I did there?). Quality acting (Oh, I'm sorry. This must be the first film you've ever seen. I didn't realise you were new to the concept) particularly by the man Dyer (What's a man Dyer? Like a manray? Aww, now I'm imagining how much better the film would have been if it starred an actual manray). You need to be open minded to appreciate this film though (No, you need a closed mind. You need a mind that is closed to any kind of thought about culture, art, acting, women's rights, morality, race-relations and gorillas) - its very controversial and pretty sick in places (Yes, those places being the plot and message). As a bloke I thought it was great but I don't think the Mrs was so keen (Maybe she doesn't get "blokes", and doesn’t see casual misogyny for what it is - a great big laugh! Who cares about these prostitutes and porn actresses, let's focus on the moral dilemmas that face Pimps! They're the real victims here!). I'd say give it a go it and make up your own mind. I did and I have. I've been encouraged to make my own film, 2 hours of a man defecating on a baby. The only moral dilemma faced will deal with the problems of a low-fibre diet. And you know what? That sounds like a better film than Pimp.

Next, a man who lies to me.
PIMP encompasses everything you could want from a film (No. No it does not, sir). It's gritty and real, sexy and exciting, terrifying and action-packed. (Oh, I see what happened here, you've watched the wrong film. Or, perhaps, you are a moron. Who should be eaten by bears) The film sees Danny Dyer running the show in the criminal underworld of Soho (And yet you claimed it was "real" only a sentence ago), which by the way should definitely be used more as the setting of films(Really? If anything, this film convinced me Soho should be consumed with fire so nothing like this is ever made again. But yea, lets remake Sleepless in Seattle, in Soho.), a wonderful backdrop for a film (wonderful might be pushing things a bit far champ). It is an incredibly intimate environment and gives the viewer a greater sense of immediacy and realism (Does it? Oh, I missed that. I was probably too busy not being stupid). Danny Dyer is his usual self (So he wrote another column where he recommended slashing a woman's face then?) (It's funny because he's a horrible human being. Beware though, he may come and 'smack [us] round the fucking cannister', whatever the fuck that means, like what he threatened Kermode with...) and that is not a bad thing at all (Yes it is.), he suits this exciting film perfectly and his performance reflects that (Yes, his performance did suit the film. Because both are shite). Robert Cavanah is however the star of the show (In a technical sense). Written, directed and Starring Cavanah (I prefered him when he was in the Royal. Yes, I like Heartbeat spin-offs set in 1960s hospitals), the film highlights this man's versatility and ability in all three departments (Yea. Definitely didn't watch the same film).

Gritty, sexy and real, PIMP is well worth checking out. I'm going to eat your face. I'm actually going to take it, and cook it on my George Foreman grill. Well not really, because that would be mad. But you get the point.

You used to be cool. When you
were Adam Carnegie in The Royal.
Next, a review comparable to Stalin's purges
By virtue of its subject matter alone, any movie like this is going to divide opinion (Yes, between raging cunts and normal people). And as it seems to currently be Open Season on Danny Dyer it's easy to let these sentiments taint anything associated with him (I’d like an actual open season on Danny Dyer. We could lure him out of the woods with beer horns then shoot him when he tries to drink from a lake) (A man can dream though... a man can dream...). I think some of the Press reviews are blatantly falling into that trap. (What, of recognising he’s a barely competent actor, whose small talent is squandered by him being miscast in a terrible, badly-written stupid film? That was a trap?) First of all, Pimp is not for the faint-hearted (Arrgh! My angina!), and if you are easily offended then please look elsewhere because you won't like it (Incidentally, if you’re like me and not easily offended by films, you should still look elsewhere) (I second that motion. This film has no redeeming features whatsoever.)and you certainly won't be buying it for Auntie Gladys' Birthday (You’re right. Mainly because I don’t have an Auntie Gladys. And I don’t hate the aunts I do have enough to make them watch Pimp). It has loads of swearing, unsettling violence, sexual references, scenes of the nude female form, and otherwise material that one might safely describe as being of an adult nature (Yea, those can all be used in a way that is acceptable, artistic, thought-provoking or at least entertaining. Not in this film though. How could they make saying cunt and looking at boobies depressing?). This is one 18 Certificate richly deserved. (You know, I like our system of age ratings. But just sometimes, I come to support a total censorship programme, where films like Pimp are thrown into a big hole. Or the Sarlacc. I want Pimp to be thrown into the Sarlacc, and in his belly, it will find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years)

On the plus side it has plenty of swearing, violence, sex... OK, just kidding (You prankster! You had me going for a minute!You wiley trickster, you. I should run you down with a van for being so funny). 
I think to merely describe the movie in these terms is actually to unfairly misrepresent a great first feature from this British team (Usually, I would agree. But that’s because films often use these things to illustrate a point, and have some substance bellow the violence, swearing and sexy sex. But Pimp didn’t. It just had the moral message that Pimps are people too, with problems and hardships. Which might be ok, if the problems didn’t usually concern women not being good prostitutes. And, to take a moderate, liberal moral stance, Pimps aren’t people, they’re parasites. Prostitutes are people, not that that really came across here when we watched an assortment of men leering at naked women, where we were supportive of beating women into compliance, or when gorilla-costumed rape and murder was advocated as an appropriate solution to the continued existence of Danny Dyer). What we have are some stellar performances from the likes of Wil Johnson, Billy Boyd (You were a hobbit! Why would you do this?) and Robert Cavanah, and even Danny Dyer (not altogether my cup of tea, either, usually (finally, you say something sensible. Unfortunately, it is the recognition that Danny Dyer isn’t a beverage. But still...) is gifted with some great one-liners and some of the best use of the four-letter-word yet committed to celluloid (What 4-letter word? Cunt? Fuck? Oats? Because I’m certain there are much better uses of all these words out there.)... And he is perfect for the role. (For someone who enjoyed this misogynistic, laddish piece of trash, you seem to have quite the erection for Danny Dyer.) 
I wanted to take issue with the remark about the film's opening box office as I am surprised by the figures quoted here. I do know that it was top ten in the week of release in many UK outlets (e.g. the local ones I went to (then I guess that was the one cinema everyone who saw it went to then. On a slow week. When the cinema caught dysentery), which was virtually simultaneous with the cinema release, so I checked up on the practice of a "multi-platform release" which apparently is what this is called (Yes. Because it is released on multiple platforms). Once again, the (one might innocently imagine) well-informed professional critics are guilty of painting a grossly misleading picture here. The truth is that this release model offers a better return for low-budget independents (Yet people usually turn up to see them). The film's brief cinema run unsupported by advertising satisfies the requirements of distribution, but I'm pretty sure the lack of posters, marketing, advance word, primetime slots and other promotion might have more to do with poor takings at the till than any lack of quality on offer. The movie was released on DVD, Blu-Ray, Filmflex, iTunes, Lovefilm etc and notched up 30,000 sales in 3 weeks. Not too shabby, if you ask me. (The point, I think they’re making, is that it was advertised in advance, but still no-one went to see it. Well, 24 people...  And sales do not make it praiseworthy as a piece of work.) (Also, 30,000 sales in 3 weeks is fucking awful. That's less than half a stadium. Hell, that's less than my town)
While this movie might not have the heavy gloss and slick styling of Hollywood (No. Nor the dazzling veneer of the 1980s), what it does have is an unflinching honesty (despite the fact, of course, that it is a work of fiction. So actually, it’s a lie) and b*lls to put it bluntly (I think it has to be uncensored to be blunt. For all I know, you could think the film has bills. I imagine it has a lot of bills. I'd sent it a bill. For being crap). It's like the difference between a sexy girl you pass in the street that sets your pulse racing versus the heavily retouched and apparently unblemished supermodel pouting at you from the cover of Cosmo (What? What does that mean? That’s a stupid comparison. You’re stupid.). Which is more real? (Neither, you made up both these things. You're a fucking liar! How do you expect me to trust your review if you keep lying. Have you ever even SEEN a woman?) So many of the reviews I have come across are simply gutless, lazy, misinformed, or often all three (And yet, people pay them for their opinion. No-one pays you, because you’re an idiot. Although this review is literally stuffed with guts, energy and information...). And a valiant undertaking from British talent deserves better (Yes. Yes it does. So when you find a valiant undertaking from British talent, let me know). If you are offended by Anglo-Saxon oaths, naked breasts and misogynistic attitudes, what on Earth would possess you to watch a movie called Pimp (Wait... Did you just argue in favour of misogyny then? Because it wasn’t being presented ironically, or as a subject of ridicule, or even just as the opinions of characters within the film. This film itself was misogynistic. It never suggested there was a deep down problem with the porn industry, or with pimping women. The hero is rewarded, at the end of the film, by being made a big pimp. El Head Pimpo. Yes, these things  exist, but this film suggests all we should do is leer at titties and torture the Chinese.)? And expect to like it? The fact is that it is the very truthfulness that underpins the film which so upsets people (How was it true? Do you think Danny Dyer is in charge of organised crime? I doubt he could organise a woman's face-cutting competition in a women's refuge. Because he approves of cutting women's faces, you see. Because he's a bad little man.). And to lambast the production for correctly portraying these facets of Soho's sex industry is frankly disingenuous (but it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of anything that has ever existed anywhere).

Really I think we might just be witnessing the emergence of a British Tarantino (I don't think so. Because Tarantino is good, you see. That's the difference here.), or the new Ritchie (Again, generally good. Except Swept Away. In fact, let's remake Swept Away starring Robert Cavanah. Then kill ourselves), and I believe Robert Cavanah is going to be someone you'll want to watch in the future. (Yup. I certainly want to know where he is at all times. Don't want him near my family)He's also a face you'll know from British TV even if you don't recognise the name immediately, having featured in the likes of Cracker, EastEnders, The Bill and Casualty amongst others, not to mention a clutch of big screen roles (And The Royal. Why does everyone forget The Royal?). I feel we should champion and celebrate our homegrown talent because that is something we are very bad at in this country (You raise a valid point. Do go on), and it's in all of our interests to support the creative industries if we want grown-up quality entertainment instead of the mindless mental bubblegum we are typically subjected to (usually by way of US imports). (Ah yes, I agree. So in favour of promoting home-grown talent, I’m taking a stance against home-grown pieces of shit. And I’m sure that’s something even Auntie Gladys can enjoy, from her rocking chair in your imagination) (Britain is in possession of a very fine movie industry. Just look at the success of The King's Speech. And our actors have been taking over America since the beginning, with the current crop including Christian Bale, Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill and Mark Strong all at the forefront of major franchises. So why praise mediocrity like this?)

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Daily Mail, Charles Manson and the Environment

The world's second most popular online news site reported the other day on an interview with Charles Manson by Vanity Fair Spain. Manson is, of course, the man responsible for the murder of 8 people (including Roman Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate) in 1969. You would expect, then, that it would just be an article discussing what a horrible man he is or somesuch non-story. Instead we are treated to the following headline:
Global warming must be true, Charles Manson believes in it. Killer breaks 20-year silence on 40th anniversary of gruesome Sharon Tate murders
Yes that's right. The Mail are actually using the fact that a nutjob believes in global warming as proof of its fallacy. I would also like to point out that it is in fact the 40th anniversary for his conviction, not the crime themselves. They occurred in July and August 1969 as you actually point out in the article. And that he didn't kill anyone, he ordered the murders. Pretty much the rest of the article is concerned with discussing his crimes, or quoting some of the mad things he says about the environment. Such things as:
'If we don’t change that as rapidly as I’m speaking to you now, if we don’t put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we’ve butchered, if we don’t go to war against the problem...'
'You have to accept yourself as God. You have to realise you’re just the Devil just as much as you’re God, that you’re everything and you’re nothing at all. Europe is the United States just as much as the United States is America and America is Europe.'
Of course you will all be shocked to learn that the DM resolutely refuses to mention the fact that almost all scientists agree that humans are having an effect on the environmental climate.  There is some debate as to the level of human influence, but the idea that there is warming of the Earth is an irrefutable fact borne out by every major study into the area. I am studying Environmental Geography at university and have seen the global temperatures for the last few thousand years. They've gone up quite a bit. Look at this composite graph from the New Scientist (via climateaudit, click the image for a larger version):

As you can see, all of the graphs collated here are higher at the right-hand side, than the left-hand side. The downward trend in the middle is what is known as the Little Ice Age. Since then, the climate of the Earth has risen incredibly quickly, reaching higher temperatures than at any other point in the last 1000 years. This is not normal. Also, despite the claims of some people, and indeed the Daily Mail itself, there is no great debate  amongst scientists. There is no recognised body that denies climate change.  The odd scientist that does deny climate change is generally one that does not publish reports in peer reviewed journals such as The New Scientist or any of the others I read every week for my degree, but newspapers and websites where their findings are not subjected to the same scrutiny from fellow scientists. These scientists are not ones taken seriously by their fellows. They are generally shunned by the greater scientific community as an embarrassment. But that's probably enough science-y stuff for now. Let's instead get back to mocking the Mail.

Alongside the quotes that clearly come from a troubled mind, we have pictures that show a man that couldn't pass as normal under any circumstances. The swastika tattoo on his forehead, for example, doesn't exactly scream environmental scientist, but that's all to make sure that the reader picks up on the idea that global warming is a sham and a lie only believed by madmen. There are also two images of a very attractive Sharon Tate, just to make sure you know that Manson is a monster who's opinions are not to be trusted.

Before I finish for today I shall cast my eye over the commenters on this story. There were I think 4 posts that were sensible among the many I read. All of those received highly negative ratings... These, however, were generally well-received by other site users:
If a maniac like this criminal believes in global warming,then I know I'm being right in being sceptical. That is stupid. As you can see above, global warming is a fact. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluding themselves that everything will be alright if they shut their eyes and pretend nothing is happening.
And here's another:
Manson and Al Gore... perfect pair! Both whackos with their beliefs. Yeah, one man ordered his followers to kill people, another tried to be President. Both believe in global warming. They're practically the same...
And another:

makes about as much sense as anything Al Gore has ever said. Actually, Al Gore says very sensible things. Indeed, he is campaigning for measures and ideas that the EU came up with upwards of a decade ago. It's just that the US' environmental record is as awful as their humanitarian record.
More? Here you go:
That has got be a really good endorsement of the insanity of anthropogenic global warming. Because an insane man agrees with a concept, doesn't mean that it is automatically insane you ignorant pissant. Hitler believed in gravity, doesn't make it any less true.
And here's one more. I have my limits after all:

What a degenerate. It pains me this guys gets to take a breath every day. At least lonely Algore has a new ally in the "global Warming" farce. Pretty sure his name is Al Gore, not Algore. And he's not alone. As I've said, every scientist agrees with him that climate change is a real and worrying fact. In fact, he has far more intelligent allies than you. He probably doesn't read and agree with the Daily Mail either, which is always a good place to start...
How can people just ignore all the evidence?


Why's it in Korean?... Image via wikipedia
South Korean cinema has been enjoying a pretty good run of late, what with films like The Host, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and The Good, The Bad, The Weird getting good reviews and enjoying something of a cult status here in the West. The film considered by many to be perhaps the best of this pack, however, is Park Chan-wook's Oldboy. Based on the Japanese Manga of the same name, it was collected the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and championed by the President of the Jury that year, a certain Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Choi Min-sik as Oh Dae-su, a man held captive for 15 years in a hotel room before being released and attempting to track down his captors. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't exactly tricky to find some morons on
Cant believe the positive reviews on this awful film (Really? Not even a little? Are you that clueless?). Ham acting, highly unlikely but easily predictable plot (The acting was not hammy. It was stylised. As was the whole film. And yes the plot was highly unlikely, but it never pretended to be a true story. And if you predicted every single aspect of the story from the first 10 minutes you deserve a medal. I very much doubt you do.). Poor poor attempts to 'suprise' the audience, at least for the more diserning amoungst us (Are you suggesting that the Jury at Cannes are less discerning than yourself? Because that's pretty fucking egotistical.). The usual ridiculous fight scenes where the main character has developed super hero powers by punching a wall in jail (Again - stylised and not real.). I am so sick of purile films like this (It isn't puerile. Roger Ebert described it as a 'powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare'.) and so saddened by an easily impressed bunch of reviewers ('Easily impressed bunch of reviewers'? Are you including the likes of Mr. Ebert and Mr. Tarantino in that sweeping generalisation, or just Amazon reviewers?). Compare this nonesense to films like 'the seven samurai' (Not all films should be compared to The Seven Samurai though. That would be beyond ridiculous.) or even good vengence type movies like 'death wish' (original only) (I'm not even going to point out the stupidity displayed here), or 'unexpected twist' style movies like 'the usual suspects' (I really liked The Usual Suspects. But I wouldn't say it was miles better than Oldboy. They are two very different, very good films). Old boy is rubbish compared to even these relatively average films (Death Wish is below average and The Usual Suspects is above average. It is rubbish compared to neither. I'm just hoping you weren't including The Seven Samurai in the average films...). What happened to movies of the quality of '12 angry men', 'the grapes of wrath','to kill a mocking bird','inherit the wind','ben hur','khartoum','el cid', etc, etc. (Films of that quality are still being made you fool. Just because movie-making has moved on in the last half century, doesn't mean they're crap now. If you had your way I'm sure we'd still be using Edison's Kinetoscope.) Okay I loved 'the matrix', 'the lord of the rings' etc but there are so few nowadays that the reviewers such as the ones for this film are so accepting of utter tosh! (No. You're just looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses. There were plenty of shit films in the 50s. And there are plenty of great films in the 00s and 10s[?]. Just look at Gomorrah, There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, The Hurt Locker, The King's Speech...)
Let's just go straight into the next one:
To mention this contrived, ridiculous, absurd and laughable RUBBISH in the same breath as "Sympathy For Mr Vengeance" is a CRIME!!! (If this is contrived, how is Mr Vengeance not?) To group these two films together as part of a so-called 'Trilogy' is an ATROCITY!!! (Once more I'm forced to point out what is and isn't an atrocity. That is not. The murder of around 20 million people by Stalin was an atrocity. Some perspective please people!) And the fact that so many people adore this tripe while dismissing the one of the most brutally realistic, beautiful, powerful and disturbing movies ever made almost literally makes me want to WEEP!!! (I'd rather you did that then expound your ill-conceived arguments here. I personally enjoyed both. Though I felt that Oldboy was the more engaging, powerful and visceral of the two)

The two films might have been directed by the same person and they are both based around the concept of 'Vengeance.' But beyond that, the similarity ends (There are actually quite a few stylistic similarities as well. Along with the not-quite-reality-but-not-fantasy feel). Indeed, "Old Boy" is the kind of unbelievably clichéd and 'Hollywood-esque' rubbish that made me turn my back on Western cinema in the first place! (There is absolutely nothing 'Hollywood-esque' about Oldboy. See the attempted US remake for proof of this. And you really shouldn't turn your back on Western cinema, excellent films are still produced here. Why can't you watch both?) Having studied psychology myself, I have no doubt that any professional hypnotist or psychologist will confirm that the final denouement is a JOKE!!! (Well, again, it's not supposed to be realistic. Park Chan-wook's films are always somewhat fantastical - not to mention fantastic) So as much as I struggle to find something positive to say about this movie, the final scene was quite touching, and that's it! (Well, I suppose that's something we kind of agree on)

Watching this film, I felt almost nothing but disappointment and disgust at having wasted two hours of my life (Oh, you'd only have wasted them anyway.), except of course when the protagonist found the secret prison where he'd been held for the last fifteen years. 

Other people were being held there for no just reason, and yet the protagonist made absolutely NO attempt to release them! (Well, he used them in his plan, so he couldn't very well kill all the captors) Being held like that for one and a half decades would have made me MORE sympathetic to the prisoners' plight, not less! (I think it was more to do with him being incredibly driven to find the man who did that to him. He did go a bit peculiar in that 15 years...) But of course, this was just one of the completely contrived, meaningless, laughable and absurd plot devices which are supposed to carry this film forward (I'm sorry, but this is a film. They are almost always full of contrivances and plot devices. If you can't suspend your disbelief I suggest that you stop watching films altogether.). And as soon as the local 'DVD Exchange & Mart' opens tomorrow, I'm getting rid of it once and for all. (Well, your loss, someone else's gain I suppose)

If you love this film, then I pity you (Don't you condescending little shit. I seek no pity for any of my feelings from the likes of you. Now piss off before I seek you out and hold you captive for 15 years. Wanker.). But of course, the real nightmare is still to come. Because having bought the third movie on DVD as well, I've been told that "Lady Vengeance" is even WORSE!!! (Well, I heard it wasn't as good as the other two, but is still a perfectly acceptable film. But then, I imagine that the people who told me that weren't fucking twats.)
Sorry. May have lost my rag a little there... Still, let's move on to America, shall we?:
this is a sick and disgusting movie that just took great ideas from other movies and mashed it up and added the "shock" factor (I see. Of course you will be discussing why the film is 'sick and disgusting' and will be looking at what films and where Chan-wook stole ideas. Won't you?). Really? I mean is this what movies are coming to? don't waste your time on this.... (An ellipsis should be 3 dots, not 4. And watching this film would not be a waste of time.)

its really sickening that a movie like this is even being made... really it is. (No it isn't. It wasn't like it was supporting incest or anything...)

I kept waiting for a redeeming moment like waking up from a bad dream-- only reason I kept watching (Not the interesting and engaging story then?). I wasn't waiting for a "good" ending because that's not always what makes a movie, or even a fairy tale ending (Wow. Clearly you're not a complete moron. Just an almost complete moron.). But when the end hit I was actually mad, strangely enough. I never get irritated from movies? (I don't know if you normally get mad at movies. Surely you're the person best qualified to answer that... Frankly I don't give damn. The fact that the ending of this made you mad is bad enough.) but to have however many hours sucked out of my life only to be suckered in by good cinematography was really irritating. (2 hours. And really, what would you have done in them? Probably watched some shit you believed to be good. I doubt you'd have cured cancer or anything)

a 5 year old with a camera and some glue could have made a better movie... (Okay. I'll bet you any amount of money that the said five year-old's film couldn't win the Grand Prix at Cannes...) I agree that anyone can just copy paste great angles and colors and orchestrate complete trash--exactly what this was (Except it really wasn't. It was an original story, with original direction done excellently). Good composition + Stabbing people - any sort of good plot = good movie?... nope. (Good composition + emotional heart + good plot = good movie?... Yup.)
And lastly we have this idiot:
a wanna be action film (It's more an action-thriller actually... And there's certainly nothing 'wannabe' about it), with subtitles (Subtitles aren't a criticism you half-wit!) 5 stars i think not ill give it one star for few good fights , while looking very fake they did take few chances here and for that ill give them a star (I really hate you. The fight scenes were supposed to be video game-like and look slightly fake. It's called interesting cinematography.) , as far the rest these reviews , they seem paided off cause i saw nothen to warent 5 stars (Do you mean paid off? I highly doubt a South Korean company has the funds to pay off over 400 Amazon reviewers. Maybe you're just really shit at reviewing films?). wanna see a good movie on revenge try payback (Really? Choosing an action film remake with Mr. Racist himself Mel Gibson, over the Lee Marvin original Point Blank? You do surprise me...). want to see sick movie about stored hate check out american history x , the bite the curb part at start of that film (But they're two entirely different films! With entirely different aims! You're an idiot! An actual idiot!).this movie could have been 5 stars with a real budget cast and no subtitles (Well actually it did have a big budget cast. Choi Min-sik is one of Korea's biggest actors at home and abroad. And if you disparage the subtitles again I'm going to make you bite the fucking kerb.). dont be fooled by reviews here u can tell which reviews paided for , and which people bought the dvd with there own money and didnt get what they paided for (You are a paranoid, crazy little man.), and often movies that get poor reviews from critics the ones to see, fight club for one (Sometimes, but not always. Sex and the City 2 got awful reviews and deserved every single one. And more. And anyway, Fight Club didn't get poor reviews. It got polarised reviews, with some unable to see past the 'excessive violence', whilst feeling the film itself was well made and told etc. And it currently holds an 82% score on Rotten Tomatoes. So err... Shut up.). this about 10th time i have been fooled by these good reviews that someone paided their writers to hype up movie on this site. (Oh fuck off and learn correct grammar, how to spell and how to use punctuation. 'Paided'? Seriously? You've got to be fucking kidding me? I mean really, 'paided'?)
I think that last one has to take the biscuit for worst attempt at writing I've ever seen. 

Who thinks fucking 'paided' is a fucking word?

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Cover of "Unforgiven [Blu-ray]"I can't forgive these stupid reviews...Cover of Unforgiven [Blu-ray]

Holding a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and nominates as the 4th best Western of all time by the American Film institute, Unforgiven is a good film. Obviously. Of course, as usual, we’ve got some charming chappies who disagree with the high esteem this Clint Eastwood-starring masterpiece is held, and who do so in a most foolish manner. As usual, contains SPOILERS

Oh dear (Hello). Not a sniff of plausibility at any stage (Really? At NO stage? You didn’t find the idea of these characters breathing at all plausible?). How can dangerous driving be exciting when it is so predictable (I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t understand the question. Perhaps you could be less stupid?)? Good guy always survives (Well, I assume you mean East Clintwood. Good guy seems an overstatement...). What about those sides of beef(Erm. Yes, what about them?)? I thought theyhad a weaving shed(Ok. Are you mad, sir?). Where were the police(I’d point out the law was present in the film, as the antagonists in fact, but I think we’ve moved beyond reason and logic)? Grievous bodily harm was rampant (Well, yea), and driving without due care and attention was the default scenario(Did you splice two films together to make an evil film-baby?).Who cared who killed who? What a waste of Morgan Freeman (What a waste of precious words. Seriously, what was that about? You sound like one of those e-mails designed to avoid spam filters by quoting Harry Potter at random)

Lovefilm (Under the title I cannot forgive):
This was probably one of the strangest Clint Eastwood films I have seen (Really? How was it strange? Were there Llama people?), the repetitive narrative was quite annoying (I didn’t find the story repetitive. But you disagree. I’m right though). David Webb Peoples - the scriptwriter - must have been on something and I will not forgive him for what he has done, he must bring me 4 ponies (Ah, a reference to the film. Which you hated so much, apparently. Seriously, this is a review. You have to explain why the film created such bile within you. Because all you said was one lie. Liar!). Thankyou

I expected great things - having loved Clint in all the Spaghetti Westerns (All of them? Even the films he wasn’t in? Wow, you’re a big fan then), but was disappointed (Aww, baby got a boo boo). The film moves along at a very slow pace, with him as an aged reformed gunslinger slowly being drawn back into his bad old ways by a masterful Gene Hackman (Yea, well done, that’s what it does). Should be good, but it isn't (Except, it is.).
For what seems like hours we watch Clint unable to get on his horse properly (that lasted about 30 seconds, I think. And then another 10 seconds later), unable to shoot a gun straight(another 30 seconds, a minute for the whole scene perhaps), unable to hold his own in a punch-up etc (Lets say 3 minutes for that. So doing the maths, what you describe as “hours” was about 5 minutes of the film). It's only in the last 15 minutes (Or 10,000 years, who knows? I don’t trust your maths any more) that he finally becomes able to kick ass again, although how he is suddenly able to shoot five men before they can get him when he couldn't hit a barn door the day before is never explained (He was drinking again. It was symbolic of him abandoning the redemption he’d found with his wife. ). Watch 'The Good the Bad and the Ugly' again if you want a decent Western. (Yea, good advice. You could watch Unforgiven as well. Jackass)

Even though this movie won lots of awards, I think it is Clint Eastwoods worst. I threw it away after just watching one third of it (Really? You literally threw it away? Into a bin, or a trash-chute or something? You didn’t just stop watching it and sell it or something? You actually threw it away? As if it was an expensive, badly made frisby? And then, having not watched most of the film, you think you can write about it? You should be thrown away). It is rude, crude and nasty. (Rude? You found it rude? It isn’t a frat boy documentary. What does rude mean? As for the other points, well, you can’t really pontificate on them, because you didn’t watch the film, did you? So the necessity of the these factors in the tale of morality, redemption and sin is kinda lost on you. Because you DIDN’T WATCH THE FUCKING FILM. I’ve warned you people about this...) Don't waste your money and your time. (I will if I want to)
UNFORGIVEN portrays a hopeless, depressing, existential world, where man is at the mercy of hostile forces which force him to commit heinous crimes to survive (Kinda. Yes). Though this portrait of the Old West demeans (demean: to reduce somebody to a much lower status in a humiliating way. Now, as a history student, I’ve got to remind everyone that history is horrible. The history of the old west is particularly so, dominated as it was by pointless, brutal violence, lawlessness and prejudice. So tell me, please, how Unforgiven demeans this particular area of history?) history, it does capture the despair of those modern humanists who are truly without hope (Yea, why not?). Ultimately, UNFORGIVEN fails as entertainment for want of a satisfying climax (I was pretty satisfied, had to put on clean pants and everything. That was crude... So, explain – how was the climax unsatisfying? Except you don’t, you just state. And I don’t trust you enough to simply take your word on every given thing). Eastwood fans who are expecting a cathartic (You think people expected the film to speed up defication? What do you look for in your movies, you sick fucks?) experience will only find despair. (Ahh! Despair! Run!)
Lastly, a man who epitomises one of those great clichés – the American who is so patriotic about his history that everyone hates him and his stupid fucking Amazon reviews.
This is nothing but another Western (Well, in a purely technical sense, yes. It is another western. It isn’t anything else, like a science-fiction film or a lawnmower). Anyone expecting some brilliance or originality to be in sync with its Oscar win as Best Picture of 1992 will be sorely disappointed (I wasn’t). Starts out with a gratuitously violent slashing of a prostitute and goes downhill in unpleasantness from there (It wasn’t gratuitous violence. You didn’t see it too much, and it served a purpose in the film). I think I can guess why the Hollywood left-libs loved this enough to make it best pic (Because it was good? Nah, too simple. It’s a CONSPIRACY!): it portrays the West (read "America") as unheroic and simply violent and evil (You know, it just portrayed the West as those things. Which it was. You made it into a metaphor that hurts you like a stab in the guts. Which might not be a bad thing). That's the sort of garbage that the creeps in Hollywood lap up like cats to a saucer of milk (Are you a lunatic?). Hey, celebrities!! If America sucks, kindly return all of that money you get from us for working a few weeks a year, will ya (You know you’re not obliged to actually give celebrities money, don’t you? It isn’t a tax)? My feelings won't be hurt. (They seem really hurt though. You’ve written an angry Amazon review about an imagined slight on your personal view of everything. You’re probably crying about it now)
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Friday, 15 April 2011

Movieguide and Source Code

Jake Gylenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. I'll let you guess
 who's who... But that set is so hokey...
If you have not seen Source Code yet and don't want the end of it ruined for you, then I'd suggest skipping this particular post. Its pretty spoilerific from the start. Sorry, but don't blame me, it's all movieguide's fault.

Still here? Then you have been warned and proceed at your own risk... The film is directed by Moon's Duncan Jones and stars Jake Gylenhaal as Captain Colter Stephens who is trying to stop a terrorist in Chicago, with Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright also appearing. Here is our favourite movie website's review for the aforementioned film. Also, notice the lack of spoiler warnings from them:
SOURCE CODE is an entertaining science fiction thriller (It is entertaining, yes. Well done!), where the viewer is taken into alternate universes (Already you're going into details about the end. You're only in the first fucking sentence for God's sake! And besides, it might not take you into alternate universes. It all rather depends on the individuals particular reading of the end). However, the terrorist villain turns out to be a white Southerner, so the movie is too politically correct. (What? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the only possible reason he could be white? Because its politically correct? I suppose you're right. White guys never do anything bad...)
Then it just goes off describing the story, let's cut back as they turn their attention to assessing the craft involved in the film itself:
As a typical mind bender, this science fiction thriller SOURCE CODE is both entertaining, and stimulating, especially, perhaps for sci-fi aficionados (That sentence had way too many commas...). As lovers of this genre would probably attest, one can go in a couple of directions to have fun with this genre. The choice for viewers here is to: 1) not look too deeply behind the curtain and enjoy the ride; or, 2) try to analyze every scientific premise and become bothered by the inevitable, obvious discrepancies that crop up. (To be honest though, the same choice appears with almost every film. They're never exactly like real life are they. Even documentaries are often 'sexed up' so to speak.)

The cast in SOURCE CODE does a good job. Michelle Monaghan as the innocent Christina is endearing and full of life. Vera Farmiga, who gave a very credible performance against George Clooney in the recent movie UP IN THE AIR, does a good job here as well portraying the mission driven, yet compassionate mission specialist, Goodwin. (See? You can make sensible points sometimes. Why do you have to ruin everything sensible you say by following it up with something stupid? Something stupid is, after all, almost certainly going to follow...)

The direction itself is not quite able to create the tension this type of script potentially could have provided
(And there we are. I told you. For the record, every other critic I've seen review this film has said that Duncan Jones has done an excellent job and has real talent. A view with which I would concur). Also, the set design is hokey, at times resembling the set in a stage play rather than a design that seems realistic. (What? Which sets, precisely, are 'hokey'? There are only 3 major sets in the whole film. And one of them is a very train-looking train. Another just looks like an office, it being an office after all. The room where Gylenhaal is kept was perfectly acceptable, especially considering where he actually was.)

Most welcome, however, is that the filmmakers keep the obscene language down to almost negligible levels
(You see, people don't write in swearing just to hurt you. Its generally because the characters in the movie need to swear to be believable. Here, it is not necessary, so it just doesn't appear. It wasn't a conscious effort I suspect.). In addition, although SOURCE CODE has a humanist worldview (Oh no! See us bloody humanists, eh? We are so craftily evil.), it clearly defines good from evil (Well, there's a bad guy and a good guy. But, then, there is the grey on the ethics of what is being/going to be done to Stephens which has seemingly slipped past you). On the other hand, it may be hard for viewers to avoid suspecting the movie tries to capitalize on a host of other recent productions, such as AVATAR and INCEPTION, not to mention GROUNDHOG DAY. So, writer Ben Ripley does not quite get an A for innovation here. (It takes absolutely fuck all from Avatar. For a start Source Code is good. And comparisons to Inception and Groundhog Day, whilst inevitable, are unfair and very lazy.)

Worse than that, however, the movie has a strong politically correct element
(Not that politically correct. I, for example, didn't notice). [SPOILER ALERT] (Oh! Now you put up a spoiler warning! After you've already spoilt the ending. Well done. Fucktard), The terrorist villains turns out to be an All American white Southerner (Yes. You've said that. And then I got very angry. And am barely containing myself once more.). Also, some subtle political correctness infects the movie in some areas (Like what? Where?). Besides being obnoxious (So obnoxious I didn't notice it...), this also has the unintended effect of reducing SOURCE CODE’s credibility (Yeah. Because terrorists are always Muslims. I thought everyone knew that. Still, its nice to know that racism is still alive and well... Wait, no. It's horribly depressing.), while creating the perception that the story’s implausible moments may have been even greater than its questionable humanist science. (Questionable humanist science? Humanism and science are the future my friend. Not your outdated, unnecessary and just plain wrong Christianity.)

Finally, the movie’s underlying theme is the swapping from universe to universe. In the end, it gives the perception that, through science, humans can defeat death. (... In a way... ish... I suppose... maybe... But I really think you're reading too much into it now. And the characters will eventually die. So they haven't so much 'defeated' death as delay it. Which is something science allows humans to do everyday, through medicine. That's more than religion has ever done.)

All in all, therefore, despite some heroic moments where the protagonist is defending innocent people, MOVIEGUIDE® cannot recommend SOURCE CODE.
(And I wouldn't recommend you to anybody.)
Well there we are. If a bunch of racists can't raise a smile, I don't know what can...
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