Monday, September 09, 2013

August's Flock of Filmic Fun

  1. Goemon (2009) - a solid 2 hours of near non-stop high-energy super-ninja stuff based on a Robin Hood type character from Japanese legend. Very bloody and very messy (just about everyone dies, babies get tossed into vats of boiling oil, wives of less co-operative assassins are slaughtered out of hand etc etc) and it's amazingly entertaining. I'm not sure I kept track of who had (or was about to) be betray(ed) and/or kill(ed) (and/or vice versa) by whom - at one point I was slightly convinced that someone had managed to usurp himself before working out that one of the himselfs was someone else - but I really enjoyed it. A Jacobean revenge tragedy on steroids (with ninjas).

  2. Heckler (2007) - talking head documentary about what a pain in the arse hecklers can be to stand-ups which segues into a talking head documentary about what a pain in the arse internet film reviewers can be to stand-up comics who go on to make unfunny comedies. It's a heartfelt movie, driven by the producer (stand-up turned actor) Jamie Kennedy's hurt at getting trashed by many professional and amateur reviewers. And it's a heartfelt message that is totally undermined every time he appears on screen behaving like a spoilt brat. Several times he is shown talking to critics, who have panned him, challenging them to justify their attacks. He is often unable to read out what they have written about him, stumbling over some of the longer words (which he clearly doesn't understand) and is then unwilling, or unable, to engage them in any meaningful dialogue - instead suggesting to one reviewer that if he had had a really good messy blow job recently he might have liked his film more - wha...? Another reviewer gets the Star Trek Vulcan split finger salute thing waved in his face and told he "lives at [the San Diego] Comic-Con" as if this was an amazingly funny and devastating put down. It wasn't. In both cases the reviewers looked bemused and uncomfortable. Jamie Kennedy just appeared to be mentally unwell and did himself no favours. Any sympathy he might have generated was pissed away with his displays or rudeness and crudity. There is an important message in here: we should all be careful about what we say especially in the anonymous and (relatively) unregulated interweb. People have feelings and having two years of your life's work shat on by nasty little wanabee hacks with no creative experience of their own must hurt. It's an important message but delivered badly.

  3. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010) - I loved it!

  4. Mirror Mirror (2012) - A perfect Friday Night Pizza movie. (Thanks, Daisy!).

  5. Attack of the Crab Monsters - a giant papier mache monsters eating scientists movie which had the girls and me in stitches for its entire running time.

  6. Super 8 (2011) - which was darker than I expected - though that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I quite enjoyed it though, about half-way through, I had the weird feeling that if ever I ever watched it again I would probably hate it. Not quite sure I understand why I felt that way but it might have something to do with the fact that it suddenly reminded me of The Goonies. I hated The Goonies. I am the only person in the world who does, but I thought it was horrible.

  7. The Stuff (1985) - or maybe I should just wait a couple of years. I dismissed The Stuff a tale of a killer pudding thretening to take over America as:
    Nearly as crappily crap as it sounds. For the most part it is the usual mess of muddled story, sudden narrative jumps, and never explained incidents,
    I was wrong. It's a very odd, witty very funny little film. I apologize to all concerned for my sniffy remarks.

  8. Ice Cream Man (1995) - now this was crap; I don't think I'm ever going to change my mind on this one. Ice Cream Man is a witless wander into the Kids Know Someone is a Killer But No one Takes Them Seriously So They Set Out To Prove It genre. Inept in every direction, for most of the time it plays like a slightly gory Children's Film Foundation production with David Warner and Olivier Hussey getting paid for a few days work while wondering what did happen to their careers. It's a measure of the scrappy production values that the kid consistently referred to as the 'fat kid' and who is always shown slower more plodding and out of breath than the others in the gang is, in fact, played by a kid of perfectly average weight wearing a variety of padded jackets and 'fat suit' clothes with no attempt to make his face, hands or any other viable part of his body look overweight. A production so crappy they couldn't find a fat American kid actor? Things I learnt from this film:

    • Lee Majors II looks very like his dad.
    • Staff members pushing stock trolleys around American supermarkets don't notice when people climb on and off them while they are being pushed along.
    • Fading to black at the end of Every Scene really does look as shitty and indecisive as I suspected it would.

  9. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban - Part 3 of Mrs JM's relentless family watchings of the Harry Plodder films. Second movie in a row with lots of fading to black at the ends of scenes as our hero faints at least four times (I lost count). And sometimes my initial thoughts are correct. Half way though watching this I had the thought that I had seen this film before:
    Originally Posted by my IMDb 'review' back in Aug 2005
    For all the effort that went into this film (and technically it is very impressive) I doubt if I will remember a single frame of it in a week's time.
    Well it's been more than a week but I was right. I knew I'd seen it but didn't remember a thing about it. Nothing. My memory of this film was a total blank despite the fact that several sequences were shot a couple of miles down the road from my house. It didn't even generate a sense of deja-vu. I had totally forgotten it. This time (and maybe last time too) I found myself increasingly irritated by our hero. He's such an annoying little twerp. Can't keep a secret for more than 30 seconds before he's rushing off to tell Hermione and Ron all about it (the fact that the prisoner bloke is out to kill him - see! it's going already, the Gary Oldman character. No, the name's gone - and the incredibly useful animated map thing. He's no sooner given it in the strictest confidence than he's blabbing all about it to H & R) - and I'm getting so fed up with him being forgiven for everything. Every time he breaks 'the rules' he is let off this time and warned not to do it again or there will be consequences... next time... kindly smile, twinkle in the eye. (Yawn!)

  10. Welcome to Collingwood (2002) - a film which starts with one of my favourite opening gimmicks: show characters in absurd/weird/puzzling situation followed by a title card saying: "Three Weeks Before" and playing the whole film out in flashback to the point where the absurd/weird/puzzling situation makes perfect and inevitable sense. I laughed. A lot. I now need to see the original: Big Deal on Madonna Street ( 1958 ).

  11. The Princess Bride (1987) - for the umpteenth time. One of my favourite films.

  12. The Giant Claw - more rainy afternoon bad movie fun with number One Daughter.

  13. Movie 43 (2013) - I would go and find the turd icon to slap here but I suspect the makers would find it funny. What a piece of shit!
Films I abandoned in August (I do have SOME standards!):

Phobic (2002) (I lasted 7 whole minutes!) of a very home-made looking: shot on video and badly at that. It starring someone who I remember stinking up the screen in a stonkingly bad 1998 supernatural thriller called Talisman. I have better bad movies to watch than this.

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) - A 'comedy'. After twenty minutes watching a bunch of middle-aged well-heeled hedonistic one-note cardboard cut out arseholes: character A = Failed in Long Term Relationships, Character B = Unfulfilled Dreams he Decided Not to Follow etc. I realised that, for a comedy, it was incredibly not funny. All the humour (that I could detect) seemed to consist of the characters calling each other 'gay' or ridiculing anything that didn't conform to some hard-drinking, slut-fucking, party-animalling version of emotionally stunted, alpha-male arseholeness. To hell with them.


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