Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Man Bites Dog

This is not a nice man...  image via Spectrum Culture
At the 1992 Cannes Film Festival those who attended were faced with two tough films. One, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, was accepted into the mainstream. The other, a Belgian film named C'est arrivé prè de chez vous (known as Man Bites Dog in the English speaking world), was not. This was probably due to the almost constant violent acts committed by Benoît, including a brutal rape and the smothering of a child. The film is a mockumentary with a young film crew trailing Benoît, a serial killer, who become ever more involved in the acts they're filming. The film was met with strong reviews and won the SACD Award and Special Award for the Youth at Cannes. Funnily enough, these reviewers weren't on the Cannes panel... Let's start off with this one from amazon.co.uk:
While one can intellectualise and justify the presentation of gratuitous (But the violence in this film is not gratuitous. Without it, the whole thing wouldn't work. It is intended to make you question why you watch violent films and documentaries.) and extremes of violence in the name of art you should tread carefully before watching this film if you think you are going to be treated to some thought provoking 'black comedy' that will make you look at life in a subtly different way. (I wouldn't use the word 'treated' about the film, but it is humourous in places. And it is most certainly thought provoking.)

I thought twice about writing a review as I turned this film off about 20 minutes in, believing I had no right to write about something I had not watched in its entirety, and there in lies my point. (Right, let me get this straight. You know that you should not review something you have seen less than a third of, yet you did it anyway? How can you possibly 'know' that the film would not 'make you look at life in a subtly different way' when you haven't seen the end, or indeed the middle? You missed the ridicule heaped on Benoît for most of the second and third acts.)
If you want to spend your time watching a film of cold calculated disturbing violence I suggest you get out more. (Well, that's ironic. That is pretty much the message of the movie. See, if you miss most of the film you also miss the whole point of the bloody thing. Fuckwit.)
In the comments section the reviewer is chastised, rightfully, for reviewing something he'd seen almost nothing of. Then this guy tries to defend him:

The reviewer is perfectly justified in giving an opinion after viewing only a part of the film (No he isn't. It's stupid. He may as well review something based entirely on rumour and hearsay.) - no need to watch to the end (I did) to assess that it's just a collection of violent and complacent (I don't think you mean complacent to be honest.) acts under the iffy pretence (It isn't a pretence or iffy.) of "criticism of media and society" (But that's what it is. It's quite clear if you watch it.) and "dark humour" (It is dark, and it is humourous. Ergo, it is dark humour.), bla bla. Excuse me but I don't need to watch that trash to know there's something wrong with the world (I see. So in your world art is not allowed to criticise society? Should only vacuous tripe like Transformers be produced then?). I just need to look at Abu Ghraib pics or videos of humiliated Palestinians to know we live in a hell on Earth (I think you may be taking a cynical worldview slightly too far now...) where most people behave and think psychopathically (No they don't. A psychopath is someone who has no emotions or empathy and can feel no remorse. Most people could not behave this way even if they wanted to.), to the point of finding the depiction of a woman brutally raped on screen "disturbingly interesting", or "thought provoking". (The rape itself is certainly disturbing, but in and of itself is not 'interesting' or 'thought provoking' it is only when it is included as part of the whole film, with its associate ending, it becomes thought provoking.)

Thankfully, there's the "elite" who will explain to me that it is "art" and I'm too stupid to get it (Yeah, what do all those professional critics know, eh? You clearly know more about film than they do...). Sheesh. What a good job the pathocrats have done. (You realise that the world isn't actually controlled by sociopaths and psychopaths right? Are you really that paranoid?)
 Now, let's move over to see what we can find on amazon.com shall we?:
This review is for the Criterion collection DVD edition of the film. 

Man Bites Dog, released in Belgium as "C'est arrivé près de chez vous" which translates to "It happened in your town" (Neighbourhood, not town) is the worst film yet released through the Criterion Collection on DVD (I'll admit to not knowing all other films that have been released by Criterion, but I doubt this...). It recieved an NC-17 rating in the US and damn well deserves it (Yes. It does. But that is not a bad thing. Some films are intended to be watched by adults. Films that are aimed at adults should not be prejudiced against just because you're all so terrified of children seeing it. Children shouldn't see it, any parent that does allow their child to see it is an awful parent.). Too bad there is not a more strict rating (Yeah, stopping legal adults watching this film would be as ridiculous as preventing adults from drinking alcohol for three years. Oh, wait...). This film contains extremly graphic depictions of rape, murder, and even torture (It does. All of these acts are necessary to the trajectory of the film.). It has been banned in several countries including 2 in Europe (As far as I can see it was passed cut in Australia, and banned in Sweden. But Evil Dead was banned in the UK so I wouldn't hold any stock in that...). I could not help but turn my face away from many scenes (I think that's kind of the point...)

This film, shot in documentary style presents an "interview" with a serial killer 
(It's not so much an interview as a shadowing of him. That's why they follow him around so much...) and he demonstrates how he kills his victims. In a shockingly cold manner, he notices while in the home of an elderly woman, that she takes a medication for a heart condition. Instead of shooting her, he pulls out the gun and yells in a threatening manner, she has a heart attack as a result (Of course it was shockingly cold. The character is incredibly cold to his victims. That's why he murders people. And the film needs to shock to get its point across). He notes that bullets cost money and not worth wasting when they aren't necessary (Clearly an economically sound man...). There are also scenes where he smothers a child to death with his pillow and murders his parents. (And your point is? Yes, we get that you found the actions of the lead character [a serial killer let's not forget] deplorable. You are not supposed to admire him in any way. Your point is stupid!)
This film was an attempt to satirize media violence but all it does is glorify it. (No it doesn't. Movies that glorify violence are the ones that portray it as repurcussionless or glamuorous. Films such as this and Natural Born Killers go nowhere near glamorising or glorifying anything to do with killing or killers.)

[NOTE: paragraph deleted as it was just a list of the extras on the disc] 
Avoid this movie unless you like similar films. (I suppose that is a legitimate point, but I don't like you so I'm going to call you a wanker anyway... Wanker.)

From now on, I will get more info about Criterion DVD's before watching them, I will still note and rate the special features of each one though. (I would suggest that as a general rule for all films. That way you don't inflict a stupid review on the rest of us for a film you would never appreciate.)
And here's another, also from across the pond:
This movie is sick. (No it isn't. The character in it is undoubtedly an unwell man. But the film does not glamorise him in any way, so it raises itself above such accusations) Really! I am not a prude (You sound suspiciously like one...). But, there are some very distateful scenes that are unnecessary with the sheer objective of making the viewer sick (Two things, first the 'distasteful scenes' are necessary because of the reasons I have outlined above. Secondly, the main objective is not to make the viewer sick, it was to comment on reality documentaries and the audiences' obsession with violent film and TV). I'm not sure if the director was under a great delusion the he is so ironic or bold or shocking (But the film is ironic, bold and shocking in places. You've already said some of the scenes were distasteful, surely, then, you must have been shocked by them.). But this movie is total trash (That explains those critic awards at Cannes...). I remember walking out of the theatre when I saw it (So you didn't even see the whole thing? Why won't you bastards stop doing that? It's a really fucking thick thing to do.). I suggest you walk out of your home if it is playing on your tv (You could just switch it off if you didn't like it...)..... and then move to another town, take an hour long shower and burn your clothes. (What. The. Fuck? I mean I overreact but seriously man. We get that you didn't like the film, but Christ almighty get a grip.)
 Well, I think that'll do for today. See you next time!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Get it away from me!
Image via pirates wiki
To, ah, 'celebrate' the recent release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides I thought I'd look over a few reviews for Captain Jack Sparrow's previous adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (don't exactly go for pithy titles do they?). Now when this film was released I refused to see it on account of how shit the previous one was, however I was eventually forced to watch the bloody thing. It was at this point that I realised that I had been wrong! It was far worse than even I had imagined. Sparrow is even more annoying than ever, with Depp's accent still sounding like a yank doing a bad impression of David Bowie. Whilst Knightley and Bloom were, and I had thought this impossible, even more wooden than in the previous two. And the plot? God only knows. Still, PotC:AWE proved to be popular with the general populace, netting nearly a billion dollars. Thus proving once and for all that people are idiots and that I need to be put in charge. Oh, and it was popular on amazon too as these reviews attest:
I found Pirates 3 to be a far more satisfying viewing experience than the previous two films in the trilogy (Really? I mean the first one was alright, the second was garbage but this one is a still steaming dog turd of a movie.). The mood is much darker and grittier than One or Two (But it's ostensibly a family film. Why should being 'darker' be lauded?), apparent from the opening scenes which feature graphic (for a Disney/12 Cert film) mass executions as large numbers of pirates and their associates - including women and children - queue up for the gallows. (Ah, nothing quite like the brutal hanging of children to complete a family night out. Honestly, which brainiac thought that was even remotely appropriate?)
This is followed by an almost surreal voyage beyond "World's End", lots of mysticism and rather less in the way of pirate yo ho ho and silliness that made the first two movies rather cliched (At least the first was fun in places, the second started the move away from that, but this is just grim.). All the characters have their own agendas, everyone is double crossing everyone else (To such an extent that you just stop giving a fuck about them.) and the producers have no qualms about killing off several characters as the movie progresses. (Just a shame I didn't care what happened to any of them. I honestly think I could care more about the fate of a louse in my nether regions than a character in this heap.)

The battle scenes are quite graphic - not particularly bloody or gory, but certainly more violent than before and, again, people die on both sides. (Again, who did Gore Verbinski think he was making this for?)

The Blu-Ray transfer is superb (Well you'd hope so for how much the film cost to make...), crystal clear picture on the Sony PS3 (Don't sully the poor machine with this festering pile of manure. I should phone the RSPCPS3...) to a Hitachi plasma screen. The movie would really have benefited from a DTS soundtrack but the Dolby Digital 5:1 does a fair job. The music score from Hans Zimmer really immerses you in the action and at times is quite moving. 

This is a long film at around 1619 mins (It just never ends! 2001: A Space Odyssey is shorter than this, and that takes you from the birth of mankind through to the creation of a whole new species!) and could probably have benefited from a bit of pruning (Yes. In the same way that Justin Bieber could do with 'a bit' of shooting, or Nixon could have done with 'a bit' of jailing...). However it is a credit to the story (Story? What story? I've read children's novels with a better, tighter plot than this.) and production that things never really flag (They fucking well do! The whole bloody thing is just flag.) and you are not looking at the clock as with some longer movies. (The clock would be far more entertaining though...) 
Buy, Buy, Buy! (If you fancy nearly three hours of grim badly acted, badly directed shite then by all means do as he suggests.)
I hope that this is not a serious review, I really do:
 This is another spectacular film (It isn't. It is staggeringly far from spectacular. I suppose it could be acceptably described as 'spectacularly bad', but that is really the only time that word and this film should be used in the same sentence.), stunning conceptualisation (Using big words doesn't escape the fact you've given an abysmal film 5 stars. It just makes you sound like a prick. A stupid prick.), and great conclusion (Yes, I too felt that the closing credits was the best bit of the film...). Firstly, the incredible conceptual realisation (You're being a prick again.) of Jack Sparrow wandering the Realms of Madness in the Domain of Davey Jones' Locker. This alone is worthy of 4 of the 5 gold stars (That should have been shortened slightly to one sentence. It's more stilted than Orlando Bloom the way you've done it.). The deeper reality (Good God you're a pretentious prick. A pretentious prick that doesn't even have the common decency to be pretentious about good films.) of how lost souls are bound to the corrupted Flying Dutchman is amazingly well done (No it isn't. I don't recall anything 'well done' about the film. At all.). The way the loose ends from the earlier films are sorted out and tied off is masterful (If by 'masterful', you mean stupid and convoluted, then yes!). Bringing in the Calypso Mythos was novel (It was fecking stupid.), and very well done (It was fecking stupid.). And the final twist, involving THE Pirate's Life for one of the lead characters, is really compelling (It was not compelling. Turner had never been more than an annoying plank of wood throughout, so why should I care what happened to him?). This is another worthy example of a "fantasy film for youngsters" for adults (Well it certainly ain't for children. Or adults whose brain cells outnumber their limbs, for that matter). If anyone makes the mistake of thinking the plot is erratic (It is.), then they are obviously a) not paying attention (I was.), and b) expecting modern films to be made for people whose lips move when they read - which this is not (Now look here you little shit, I understood Inception first time around. I class intelligent films such as The Godfather, 2001, Moon, Memento and, hell, Tarkovsky's Solaris among my favourite films. I am much, much smarter than you. This film is shit. The writers made it up as they went along without bothering to check over what they'd already written. Twists don't make a film clever. This is barely above Bay, if that.). Nevertheless it doesn't try to be anything more than outrageously larger-than-life entertainment (Then why does it fail so miserably at even that low target?). There are many levels of humour (None of which are funny), twists (That you stop giving two shits about after the nth one.), and stings (Against characters that it would be kind to describe as two-dimensional.), and, in the main, the sharp witty script (Ha!) which we have come to expect (I already said it was worse than even I thought it would be.). Worth watching again and again. (If you're a masochist.)
And another:
Everyone is saying how bad this film is... (Because it is bad. To show it at Guantanamo Bay would contravene the Geneva Convention it's so bad. Not that the US would care mind you...) but I disagree (Are you a moron, or just deliberately contrary?). I thought it was fantastic (Why? Why would you do this to me?). The special effects are amazing and I didn't find the plot hard to follow at all (It isn't really, it's just stupid. Putting in so many twists merely serves to diminish the impact of the twists. You end up knowing there will be twists, which defies the whole point of the fucking twist! You might as well have not fucking bothered!). I thought it was very easy to follow!
Johnny Depp was superb as always (He can be superb. But not in this. Why Johnny? Why do you agree to shit like this and The Tourist? You can't need the money and surely you get enough offers to keep you occupied doing things that aren't shit? Why can't you go back to being in good films? You were good in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, why can't you be in more things like that? Why Johnny? Why?), and supported by an incredible cast- Jack Davenport, Tom Hollander, Mackenzie Crook, Bill Nighy etc. Even Keira Knightley seeed to have come into her own in this film (Yes it's definitely  this film she became good in. Not her Oscar nominated roles in Pride & Prejudice or Atonement, but his.). The weak link was Orlando Bloom, who did nothing for me except make me cringe every time he opened his mouth (Well we agree there). the real star for me though was Naomie Harris. I just loved her portrayal of Tia Dalma and she stole every scene that she was in. (Was she the one that was borderline-racist? No, not the the Chinese guy who was like Fu Manchu, the woman...)
I thought the ending was very successful (I'd certainly take Knightley's fate, only having to see Bloom every 10 years...). They could have gone for a soppy, 'happily ever after' ending... but they didn't and that really impressed me. It would have ruined the whole thing if they had. (Trust me, the whole thing was already ruined beyond all hope of redemption by then.)
OK... this film is not an intellectual film (I'll say)... but it doesn't pretend to be (That's no excuse.). It's a film you go to see for some lighthearted, swashbuckling fun (Then why, pray tell, is it neither of those things?). That's it. If you go in expecting anything more... you will be disappointed. (I expected less and I was still disappointed...)
Ah what the hell, here's one more:
What can I say? I mean, 3 hours is a BIT long...! (About 3 hours too long if you ask me...) And the storyline falls apart like porridge if you think about it too hard (Or, indeed, if you thin about it quite softly...), but you've got to admit that Johnny Depp's done himself proud (No he hasn't. He's sold his integrity for a bit of dough.) - I don't think I've ever laughed so much! (Children being hanged are hilarious...)

Ok, so POTC 3 is the least funny of the lot (Jack Sparrow only says savvy once!!! (The horror! The horror!)), but it's definately the most epic (Well it certainly meets the length requirement for that tag...). I mean, there's a blooming great whirlpool! (Who needs plot, acting, direction, editing, characterisation or plot when you have a whirlpool? Someone needs to phone the Academy quick!) And there's a sea battle thats acted out with entirely graphic sea! I mean, clever or what?!? (No. The aforementioned Solaris is clever. Inception is clever. Even The Hangover is clever in places. This doesn't get anywhere near.)

I defy you to find a funnier trilogy then Pirates of the Caribbean (Back to the Future.). It's basically impossible! (No it isn't, it took me a few seconds.) OK, there are bits that you get a bit lost in, but WHO CARES!?!? (Me. Because it doesn't know what's happening or why either.) Becuase, quite frankly, it's a laugh, and that's the only thing you want from POTC apart from the WOW-factor of the animations. (But why can't it be more? I like fun films. If they are good. This meets neither of those criteria.)

So get it (No. You can't tell mw what to do.). It's one of my family's favourite and most-watched films! (Your family is stupid then...) I mean, there are a few people who are disappointed (A few? There are loads of us) (so if you're worried you'll be one of them, rent it) BUT YOU'VE GOT TO SEE IT!!! (No you don't. Think what better things you could do with that three hours. Like attaching your scrotum to the back of a drag racer.)
I think that'll do to be honest, but don't worry, I haven't even looked at reviews from amazon.com yet...

Black Books

The three main characters of Black Books. Left...                          Image via WikipediaI like Black Books. These people don't. I may have gotten just a little, tiny bit angry at them towards the end, but you probably won't notice...

Only gets 1 star because that's how many times I laughed through all 3 series (Once. Yea, if you considered that sentence to be a witty piece of wordplay, then I think I know why you didn't enjoy the series). "One of the few genuine british comedies" they said (Who? Are there voices in your head? Advertising nuns at your door?). After watching this rubbish, that statement is funnier than anything in this (That's not really a very good sentence. I'm being petty, I know, but there we are.). Can't even begin to describe how bad this is (Yea. That's because it isn't bad, you dick. Also, if you find the task so unimaginably difficult, why write this fucking review? I'll eat your sofa). Was totally sucked in by all the good reviews (Well, finally. You've said something sensible.). I must be on a completely different comedy level to the people who gave these reviews (Almost everyone else, anywhere. You're one half of all the negative reviews of Black Books on any Amazon site, did you know that?). I want my money back NOW!! (I'm not actually in charge of dealing with refunds, and neither is anyone else who would read this review, I imagine. You'd probably have to contact Amazon directly for a refund. And I doubt they'd give it to you, because you're stupid. And stupid people don't get refunds.)


Had heard that this was good so got hold of first series on DVD (Yes, I gathered from the review you've written. But thanks for the backstory. It really fleshes out your character). Watched the first episode and had to remind myself to be patient as the first episode of Father Ted had also seemed awkward and strained (Maybe a tad. But let us see what other pearls of wisdom you have to offer.). Unfortunately, whereas Father Ted became a classic, which I have watched countless times (Good for you. You're really developing your character, aren't you? I can just picture you now, watching your Father Ted and hearing good reviews of Black Books, sitting in front of a roaring fire.), Black Books fails badly (Well, no. It doesn't.). Realised halfway through the second episode that this was no classic (Well, it isn't Citizen fucking Kane, is it?But then again, what is?) - which was evident from the fact that the canned laughter was louder than the dialogue. (I don't remember it being that loud. But maybe I'm some kind of special moth-man. Maybe I have special powers, granted to me by a radioactive moth. Who knows?)


Mistakenly (Obviously) thought this was a film (Great title. Clearly demonstrates you're not an idiot.)
Turned off after 15 mins as hadn't laughed once, and hated the canned laughter. (Ok, when will people start listening to me? You've reviewed the whole series here. But you watched half of the first episode. So you've seen 1/12 of the product you're reviewing. That's 0.083 of the product. 8%! Why do you think that your analyses of less than 10% of the product will help anyone decide whether to purchase it? Did you watch 15 minutes and turn it off because a man ate a baby then vomited on his mother? No. When you see that, come back to me, and I'll accept your 8% of a review.
I didn't like Father Ted series, although I could see how fans of that may like this too. (Yea. Actually, the second half of that sentence makes some sense, well done. Did you make the baby-eating vomit film yet?

Really expected to like this (Yes, we all have hopes and dreams. Makes us human.) - I love Bill Bailey and Tamsin Grieg, love Father Ted and Spaced (Then why don't you marry them? He he...) - everything said I should enjoy this, but I just didn't. (Yes, it's a trend amongst these reviewers. I assure you, it's merely chance I gathered all these negative reviews for scorn.) 
Dylan Moran's character is just annoying (No. He's not JUST annoying. There's far more to it than that. You fucking moron., Bill Bailey's (after a promising first episode) surprisingly bland as the straightman to Moran's curmudgeon (Fuck... You've put me in a bit of a pickle - I admire your use of the word 'curmudgeon', but also want to point out you're really pretty wrong.) - why employ someone so funny to play it straight? (It's not exactly straight, to be honest. I mean, did you actually watch it? It's more of a father-son relationship, for one thing. I mean, a hideously malformed one... but still) The slapstick bits were overdone (Maybe YOU were overdone.), the dialogue just not sharp enough (Really? It's pretty sharp, and better than most of the lines you hear in sitcoms these days - witty exchanges, amusing one-liners, that bit where Manny sits on himself and uses a high-pitched voice? You tosser), and the hysterical canned laughter only served to emphasise that it simply isn't as funny as it should be. (I get the subtle feeling the canned laughter wasn't everyone's cup of tea. Well, maybe in future you should go to more live recordings and laugh yourself.) 
Perhaps I should have stuck with it for longer but after two episodes I had laughed once (Well, you're an improvement from the first guy I suppose. And you watched a whole 3rd of the product you're reviewing! I'm a broken man now. I actually feel you've accomplished something. I want them to give you the Croix de guerre for this.), and wanted my hour back... (Seriously? You'd have just waisted it combing your leg-hair or something) 

First 3 episodes were hysterical thanks to Dylan Moran (Good start. I like you), the second 3 died a death thanks to Bill Bailey (Ah, well now you've gone and broken my heart, haven't you? So, this being a review and all, why not offer some description of the product. How, for instance, did Bill Bailey ruin it for you? Did he strange your grandmother, thus distracting you from the viewing experience? Fellate a cat in front of the TV? Nope, you're just going to stay quiet, aren't you? I assume you didn't like him, then. So you didn't find it funny when he ate those Bees, or when he got stuck in that phonebox and a bee bothered him, or any of his other bee-related antics? You fucking nonce.). Not being funny (forgive the pun (No. I will forgive this sir. You've gone too far.)), but the series died out (What, like a dinosaur or the Polka? Really it didn't. Then they made those other two series. Those were good as well. You aren't good though. You're evil, like Stalin's mustache).
bored! (Ugh... Use some grammar) was totally uninterresterd i can not state how boring  this series is nearly as bad as the mighty boosh! (Well, I didn't want to put a comment in the middle of your eloquent speech. At first I thought you were an idiot who didn't have a basic grasp of grammar, but then I realized you were a bold young other experimenting with free-flowing narrative, obviously representant of the thought-process of an idiot writing a fucking shit review. I mean, you wrote a few words, would it have been hard to use a comma or two for your ol' pal Paul? Honest to fucking God. And the Mighty Boosh was pretty good. The Crack Fox scares the shit out of me though, but that isn't the point. I forget the point. Oh yea, here's your review, rewritten with the years of experience bestowed upon me of writing a series of bad first chapters of books:
I am bored! Instead of being out, engaging in wanton acts of terror, I am forced to stay in due to the confines of the British penal system. I am in jail, you understand, because I have robbed many elderly ladies of their pensions. I do not need the money, nor do I have any reasons to be coerced into acting this way, except that I am a cretinous oaf. One evening, during our recreational period, we watched a television show entitled "Black Books". I at first thought it would be a humorous documentary detailing the attempts of missionaries to teach the coloured peoples of Britain how to read - believing as I do that such people lack the intelligence to read, because I am a racist. However, I was disappointed to discover it was a television situation comedy set inside a fictional book store. I found the show to be incredibly boring, as I usually enjoy a higher class of television; one which features acts of wanton cruelty towards animals and laughs drawn from the act of slipping on banana skins. Also, I think Hitler was right.
Yea. That's what that guy meant to write. What an absolute wanker.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 27 May 2011


He's not having a good day... image via The Guardian
2010's Buried stars Ryan Reynolds (and except for a few people the other end of a phone, only Ryan Reynolds) as an American truck driver in Iraq who is kidnapped by terrorists and buried alive. The entire film stays in the coffin for the full running time, with Reynolds becoming more and more stressed by the situation as time goes own. The film was very well received by critics, but obviously it took no time at all to find some contrary opinions on amazon.co.uk:
A man makes phone calls in a coffin for an hour and a half (Yes I suppose that is true, but every film would be simple if you whittle it down to a single sentence. The Godfather saga would be pretty simple if you described it as 'A man becomes a crime boss and things don't go well for 9 hours.')
I'm surprised there are customers on here giving this film 5 stars (Really? I'm not surprised that there are 1 star reviews. Peoples opinions differ.), i.e the highest rating possible suggesting this is some sort of amazing film (Yes, and? They obviously felt that it deserved those 5 stars. Personally I'd say four stars would be more appropriate but I can see where they are coming from.). Even if you liked the film could you really say it was that good and mean it? (What? Obviously they did because otherwise they wouldn't've given the film 5 stars would they? People didn't give the bloody film 5 stars just to hurt you.) You would want to sit through it more than once? (Yes I would. Indeed I almost certainly will.)

Anyway, the title of my review pretty much sums up the film (Again, you shouldn't just describe a film in a sentence. Citizen Kane could become 'A dick dies.' But that would be stupid.), which creates unrealistic (Unrealistic? How so?) suspense and for the most part is Ryan Reynolds making increasingly frantic phone calls (Yes. The phone calls are excellent at introducing fresh tension through his not entirely successful phone calls.). All the while the background music is ramping up and the camera spins about a bit trying to convince you this is a thrilling film (It's not trying to 'convince' you of anything. It is a thrilling film.). I found it actually quite tedious (Well you are very much in the minority there I'm afraid), especially as most viewers know the camera never leaves the coffin (Many will know that for sure, but you can't possibly claim that 'most' will know that. Not if you expect to be taken seriously anyway.), nothing else is going to happen, so in the end all you want to know is if he gets out or not (I knew that the camera never left and it didn't ruin the film for me at all, there was still plenty of tension.). The only drama that unfolds for the protaganist is dealing with annoyingly stupid/heartless people on the phone (The annoyance of being put on hold/coming across unhelpful phone operators is very much at the heart of the film, at least as much as being buried alive.) and a ridiculous scene where a snake comes out of nowhere, providing something for our hero to do (I believe it had come into the coffin through a small hole whilst he was sleeping)
I really wouldn't bother with this film, it was brave attempt but turned out to be an empty film with little point. (Well it has as much a point as any other film. Is to entertain and to thrill no longer good enough? Besides this film does have messages. That innocent people are often made to suffer during times of war, and that being put on hold is really fucking annoying...)
Here's another one for your delectation:
This is a film that is far too in love with its own cynicism (I don't think its 'too in love' with anything. I mean I could get it if you complained that it was trying to be too clever with its stripped back story, but too in love with its cynicism? Give me a break.). That causes two major problems (I bet that they aren't that major...), but first, the good things, which others have touched on ('Others' being intelligent people probably...);

The script is, by and large, pretty good. (The script was very good. No 'by and large' about it.)
There is a VERY tense atmosphere. (There is. Congrats.)
The lead and solo [visible] actor is excellent. (He is indeed. Not many would have thought that Ryan Reynolds could have pulled this off, but he did. Expertly. Also, I would throw in the direction by Rodrigo Cortés as being superb. He got that camera into every conceivable spot.)

BUT...the film doesn't want to you to feel good about anything (It doesn't beat people up for being happy. I mean it isn't by any means a happy little number, but I've seen far more depressing films.). Anything at all (It's probably okay with you being glad that you aren't buried alive...). Our hero, Paul, phones several people. He's constantly put on hold. Whilst this adds to the tension, it soon becomes clear that rather than using a jaded worldview to create dramatic effect, the writer is more interested in making his character suffer because he can't think of something else to do (Look, films rely on interesting events. Sometimes, those events are not happy events. The film would be pretty dull if Reynolds just went around doing a bit of shopping and driving his truck around. If you want to watch something that makes you feel good inside stick with Disney. Not a film entitled Buried about a man who is buried alive. I'm forced to ask, how fucking dimwitted are you?).

So enter the plot holes: we are presented with some incongruities that never amount to anything (I'm curious to see how bad these are... Oh, and SPOILERS ahoy);

-A woman mad at Paul...though we never find out why, making his angry outburst totally unsympathetic (Pretty sure it is explained actually... And he's buried alive. I think he was pretty upset about that so his outburst is really quite understandable...).
-A woman knowing Paul's name then pausing dramatically before telling him HOW she knew it, making you suspect something is wrong (I think that is what is known as a red herring.).
-The counter-hostage guy man acting very suspiciously on the phone, again leading you to think that something larger and more devious is happening (That is a continuation of the previous red herring. It is perfectly acceptable for a film to lead you to question another characters motives, when they are in fact clean.).
-A video of a fellow hostage (NOT buried, by the way (Well they didn't bury her so that they could force him to do as they asked by threatening her.)) who is killed. Yet the story she gives and the story given by the people on the phone don't add up. This too goes nowhere (I don't remember anything like that, personally. And besides, not one of those is a plot hole. A plot hole is something that disrupts the flow of the plot. Things such as the omission of relevant information, direct contradiction between two parts of the film, events which are impossible or otherwise do not sit with the established world, or such things as characters performing actions that contradict past actions etc. could all be plot holes. What you have listed here do not fall into any of these categories.).

And then Dramatic DevelopmentsTM ('DevelopmentsTM'? What the fuck?) that DO lead to something, namely two F-16's levelling part of the city where Paul is buried. Why are they flattening part of a city? Because the scriptwriter wants the character to suffer, logic be damned. (Because there are lots of insurgents there? That might be a reason...) 

And so we come to the ending (SPOILERS aplenty here too, funnily enough...). I could have forgiven the flaws above- even the silly use of a Zippo lighter in an enclosed space that doesn't eat up the air at all- (But it does use up the air. He says repeatedly that he can't breathe properly when he has it on. And then someone else tells him to use it sparingly because it uses up oxygen. There is plenty of air in a coffin though, he would last a little while.) if the ending hadn't been so bad, so WRONG (An ending cannot be 'wrong'. You may dislike it, but it is not wrong. Besides, the ending sits perfectly with the rest of the film. If the rest of the picture had been a rabbit doing a merry jig in a field, then perhaps you could have a point. But it wasn't, so you don't.). Rather than amount to anything, even in a tragic or dramatic way that moves the story or your understanding forward, all we learn is that the [END] happens, then the film finishes. (Because the story has been told. Paul is dead so there's nothing else to say.)

No aftermath, no consequences (I think the aftermath is pretty obvious. Why does it need to be shown?); just pure, hateful cynicism for it's own unlovely sake (Why can't a film be cynical? And as I said up there ☝, there is plenty of purpose for this film). The sake of cheap shock (It's not cheap. In many ways this is far more terrifying than Saw or anything like that. Gore is cheap shock, tension and suspense are the true kings of horror). And that is why I despise this film. 
It goes nowhere then stops. (I wish your review had stopped about 8 paragraphs ago...)
Those were both pretty long, so we'll close today's edition with this shorter one:
I was'nt (Wasn't, the apostrophe denotes where letters have been removed, not where two words have been joined.) expecting much before watching this film (Always good to go in with an open mind...) - but the fact it had Ryan Reynolds in was the factor that made me watch this / very disappointing (That is so very not how forward slashes should be used...) - we never left the coffin (Not necessary. Indeed, I would say the fact we never leave the coffin brings us closer to Conroy's plight.), we never saw the introduction of him getting into the coffin (Because that would have been completely extraneous and unnecessary. He's in there, so we can safely presume he was put in there, why would we need to see it?), lots of completely black screen moments where you're mind just drifted away (Your small mind might have drifted away, but I felt the black screen bits with only the sound of his ragged breathing pretty damn effective.), his air supply seemed to last an awful long time unless he was getting air in (It was a fairly big box. It would have taken a while for the air to run out.) - because somehow a snake got in ?? (It came in a hole, yes, but underground, so little air would come in through there) He fell asleep at least twice (So? What point are you trying to make here?), he was tied and gagged in the coffin - the abductor took a big risk, that he would wake in time before suffocating and could then release himself (He was bound and gagged, one suspects, so that he couldn't shout for help or anything should he wake up before they had got him into the coffin.) and get to the items they left for him at his FEET ? (They probably just chucked them into the coffin) He had the poorst (Good God man, learn to type...) quality battery in the phone, it only took one or two calls before losing charging bars (It was an old model, that had only half battery when he found it.). He was told to use the phone sparingly - but the guy who told him to do this ended up telling him a long story (I think he weighed up the options and decided that making him feel better was more important. Especially since he had already realised they probably wouldn't find him in time)
Theres lots more i could add (Bet you've run out of things to say...)- but this film was nonsense from start to finish (It wasn't really... It made perfect sense.), made on the lowest budget of any film i could imagine (It was made for less than $2 million. I've seen films with smaller budgets. Paranormal Activity, for example. But just because it has a small budget doesn't make it bad. In many ways it can be a plus since there is less pressure to be hugely successful to recoup the funds there is more artistic freedom. I'd rather see this than the multi-million dollar train wrecks that are the Pirates of the Caribbean or Transformers movies again...).  
If you want a good film about a guy buried alive - try "Buried Alive" & "Buried Alive II" starring Tim Matheson. (Films so good they don't even have wikipedia pages... Even IMDB, the world's worst site for sensible ratings, can only muster around 6 and 4 out of 10 respectively for them.)
I think that'll do for today, though there are plenty more reviews for this film, so we may be returning some day in the future! 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Richard Littlejohn's House of Fun Pt. II

RL mourns the passing of 'Great' Britain - when a man could
be homophobic and racist and be celebrated for it...
I was glancing through my old posts when I saw my old post on Richard Littlejohn's fine book House of Fun: Thirteen Years of (Labour) Madness and noticed that I'd left the door open for a sequel. Well here is that said sequel! Obviously it'll be worse than the original (unless it's a Godfather Part II, or Toy Story 2, but I don't hold out much hope) but I'm lazy, so I'm going for the usual easy target. Anyhoo, here's a couple of 5-star review from amazon:
I have to say that this is a genuine five star review. You'll notice there are many but some are oh-so cleverly masking negative reviews that are not only cringeworthy and unoriginal but patronising (Some of them are pretty funny though... And the people who do that are at least people with views that aren't horrible...). These people should do stand up. (The 'do' isn't needed in that sentence.)

As A. Birchall said, "there's clearly a campaign to slate this book. No doubt by Labour loyalists or Con-Dem haters" (Sensible people who are left-wing then...) Another said "my friends got brain damage so he loved it!". Which says alot (That should be two separate words. And yeah, because RL has never mocked disabled people...). If you hate the Mail and RJ (RJ? His name isn't Richard John. His fans are so thick they even don't know the rat-bag's name...) fair enough, say it. Even if you haven't read the book - which some admit to. You're opinion of him can still help someone to dicide to purchase or not (That is true, except I would say almost everyone who buys this book has also read his columns, so it really doesn't matter). But it's a different realm altogether when a number of people are scrambling for the 'no' button after every positive review (Perhaps that is a little far). Some positive reviews are very descriptive, intriguing and to the point and make me want to know more, yet for example only "0 out of 10 people find this review helpful" ...why? (Maybe other people felt differently?) Who can these people be I wonder? (You have no possible way of knowing, but I suspect that won't stop you jumping to conclusions) Sometimes a negative review is placed and followed by positive one, these are then mysteriously blanked out through the mass of people who "don't think this adds to the discussion" - when it clearly does - in a poor attempt to hide what's great about this book (That's not how Amazon reviews work. I think you mean Amazon comments. And maybe, just maybe, the comment was insulting or otherwise wasn't adding constructively to the discussion). These actions, frankly speak volumes and indicates that his work clearly hits a nerve somewhere (Yes it does. Because his views are offensive and hateful.). 
Both the positive AND negative reviews made me want to buy the book because of how much he clearly annoys the followers of the self-serving crooks who were massively part of the mess this country is in (or all because they simply don't like a certain newspaper) (That's a bit petty isn't it? And the mess the country is in is a result of a global economic crash. Not the Labour government. Indeed, Gordon Brown is considered one of the favourites for the vacant position as head of the International Monetary Fund [IMF], except Mr. Cameron has said he won't support him. He is also currently an advisor for the World Economic Forum. He didn't do this by being incompetent. He got it by being so highly respected by the economic community as a result of his safe leadership and economic recovery packages that were copied by most of the rest of the world. Unlike Mr. Osborne, who isn't highly regarded by anyone.)

As a hard-working Brit taxpayer who's never relied on benefits (People who rely on benefits can still be hard working you know. They may have been laid-off and can't find a job as a result of the swingeing cuts made by the current government. Not everyone on benefit is a work-dodger. Though you and RL will probably never accept that...), who's fathers' pension was stolen (I don't think Gordon Brown nicked your dad's pension somehow...), who was fined for using fog lights in dense fog (That would have been the police, moron. As much as Brown doesn't steal pensions, he also doesn't go around fining people for using fog lights either...), I could go on. Reading it was so enjoyable to the point it reminded me there was someone with a voice on my side, someone who, ok, knows he can't make a difference but can simply, like me, sigh, roll my eyes and chuckle at the madness we've witnessed from a government of a once great country. (Out of these many lines, only four of them are an actual review. And a really shit review at that. It's entirely subjective and about as in-depth as a character from a Dan Brown novel...)

Thoroughly recommend it! (And yet you never say why I should buy it...)
And here's another one, somewhat shorter than the last:
Judging by the number of faux reviews from guardian munching (I don't know about the Daily Mail, but people usually read the Guardian rather than eat it...) leaders of the proletariat (How dare people be middle-class, but champion the cause of those less well-off and influential than themselves?) who are obviously uspet enough by LittleJohns (He doesn't have a capital J. It's not like McRae or anything...) musings to take precious time out of their busy schedules to mock him (Actually it's just really, really fun. It's certainly worth taking time out of my empty schedule to do.), this is a read I will thoroughly enjoy (So you have not only not read it, but not even purchased? I really don't think you should be 'reviewing' anything. Really this is as much a 'faux review' as anything by any 'guardian munching leaders of the proletariat'.). Thanks again to the above mentioned persons, what would I do without you. (nb - thats not a question) (And what would this website do without Littlejohn and his followers? Pick on other people obviously, but there would be no go-to idiot for when I'm feeling particularly lazy...)
That's really it for good reviews that aren't fake or two lines long, so we shall have to end it there. But there are other Littlejohn books to mock!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Monty Python's Life of Brian

Those poor innocents... This isn't a subject fit for
entertainment! someone should stop them!
1979 not only saw the release of The Clash's London Calling, but also Monty Python's Life of Brian. Life of Brian is a satire of organised religion and excessive religiosity in which the titular Brian is mistaken for the messiah as a result of a few unfortunate coincidences. Since a lot of Christian inspired hoo-ha upon its release, the film has become recognised as one of the finest comedies ever made as well as one of British cinema's best works. However, some people writing amazon reviews don't agree. I'm sure you're all deeply shocked by that revelation, so take a moment to compose yourself. Ready to continue? Good. Then let's start with this chump from amazon.co.uk:
With the majority of reviews I've read concerning this movie being almost uncannily positive (You have decided to admit that, whilst you dislike the film, you can still appreciate that it is well made with good gags that just don't float your boat?), to the point of being overblown, I'd say it falls into an undeniably popular camp (Maybe that's because its good? Just throwing that out there...), making it appear to me to be far from 'controversial' (I see. Because if something is popular it can't be controversial... Abortion is popular among many, but is still seen as controversial in some quarters. So's Family Guy come to think of it). Unless the lovers of Jesus are being surprisingly mum over this one! (They really weren't. They actually made a lot of noise back when it came out. There were protests outside cinemas and debates on TV with some of the Python team. Of course all the pickets did was make more people go to see it out of curiosity...)
Now lets move over to amazon.com, shall we?:

After finding many Monty Python skits-and British comedy in general-hilariously funny (Let's be honest though, many Python skits are just awful.), I bought this movie, expecting 90 minutes of uninterrupted laughs (Don't you think you were expecting a little much? I think it would be pretty much impossible to do that...). To my great disappointment, I did not so much as smile throughout the entire movie (Really? Not once? Not even a little? What about the "Bigus Dickus" bit?). In my opinion, the movie was completely devoid of anything clever (The whole damn thing is pretty clever really...), original (I'm pretty sure no-one has a had a catchy song being sung by people being crucified before...), or witty ("He's not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy"?). It's very incongruous that Monty Python can make so many brilliantly funny skits, but could put together such complete rubbish into a full-length movie (Did you really mean incongruous? It sounds like your trying to use big words in an attempt to seem cleverer. And if you liked the sketch-show, I fail to see how you didn't find any of this funny. It's very obvious the two came from the same minds). This DVD went into the trash after I saw it once (Why didn't you sell it eBay or give it to a charity shop? Wasteful prick...)-definitely one of the two or three worst movies I've ever seen (Clearly you've only seen three or four movies then...). It's utterly beyond me how anyone could be entertained by the idea of innocent people being crucified (Only some of them will have been innocent. And humans have always seen the funny side of horrible things. It's how we deal with them.), to say nothing of the numerous other completely failed attempts at humor that fill this movie. (Name one. I've cited several examples of funny lines/ideas in the film. You name one that 'failed'.)

Be advised that, if you're of the Christian faith, you will find this movie very offensive (Not necessarily. It mocks the Church, not the beliefs that underpin it.). I'm not religious and so the satire of Christianity didn't bother me (Nor I)-my animus (Animus? Animus? This isn't Assassin's Creed you know. I believe you were trying for animosity. Stick to 2 syllable words in future, eh?) towards this movie has nothing to do with that (No it doesn't. It does have everything to do with you being an idiot though...). Religious or not, I suggest you pass on this movie and save your money, your time, and above all, your dignity. (Dignity? This film doesn't strip you and force to walk down the high street of the nearest  city.)
Let's have another!:

I have liked other Python films (There's only one other good one: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And Now For Something Completely Different was just sketches from the TV series re-shot. And The Meaning of Life is pretty bad.), but this? BLECH! (That's not a word...) The whole family was bored to tears. (Not finding it funny I can accept, if not understand, but bored?) (and yes, we DO have a sense of humor! (Maybe people wouldn't question your humour senses if you laughed at funny things...)) The funniest thing was the space ship because it was so unexpected (Yes it was funny. And unexpected. But so was the gladiator having a cardiac arrest in the middle of a fight, Pontius Pilate's lisp or Brian's Latin being corrected in his anti-Roman slogans by a Roman guard.). We wanted to turn it off after 10-15 minutes, but I rarely give up watching a film, so I saw it through to the end (That's something I suppose...). Now I wish I hadn't! Can I please have my 90 minutes back??? (No. Can I please have the time I've had to spend mocking you back then?)
Let's finish with this eerily familiar one shall we?:
With by far the majority raving over this trite and predictably British schoolyard humour (Well they are British, so I would have predicted them to have a sort of Azerbaijani humour...) since its release, I would hardly ever have called it 'controversial' (Look you're the same guy as the first one, so I shall tell you again: It was and is controversial!).
Seems the vocal Christians were surprisingly mum over this one (But they weren't! As I said there were pickets outside cinemas in New York). Could have sent this 5 star rating down a few pegs if they'd spoken up against what they would have called mockery and blasphemy. (It isn't blasphemy. Terry Jones [the Welsh Python, not the nutjob American pastor] has pointed out that blasphemy would be the mocking of God or Jesus. This is something the film does not do. It is, however, heretical as it mocks the Church.)
Well I think that'll do for this excursion into internet-based idiocy. Till next time loyal readers! 
Related Posts with Thumbnails