Saturday, 30 May 2009

the incredible hulk

this is considered an 'independent movie' by someone somewhere, mainly because it hasn't been made by a studio. i say "long live the big budget independent movie!"

what we seem to be getting now, thankfully, is the kind of money supplied by the big studios; without the horrible corporate intervention. movies made by the people that love the characters, are committed to the history and will not piss product placement everywhere to increase their personal restaurant budget. politics aside, marvel have released another compelling, entertaining and just-plain-fun superhero action film. complete with hints of what might be round the corner; they are creating the marvel comic-book world in film form. there will be crossovers, there will be collaboration films, there will be a long string of brilliance. what with this, iron man, the oncoming captain america... not to mention the latest batman franchise:... superhero movies are awesome.


Friday, 29 May 2009

iron man

i don't think it's unreasonable to state that if you put robert downey jnr. in a film, it will be lit up like my arse at christmas. this is absolutely true of Iron Man, and downey carries this film for two hours of utterly brilliant, easy watching genius. he is ably assisted by jeff bridges who performs the classic villain, and even gwyneth paltrow warms the screen.
more than warms it, actually... she's very pleasant as a slightly neurotic, cutesy PA with calves you would eat your dinner off, given half the chance.

this film is pure fun, with more than enough "AWESOMMMMEEEE!!!!!" moments. the suit design is fantastic, the humour is wonderful and.... and... robert downey! stick around for the post-credit secret scene. if you liked the film, it will make you smile inanely for a little while.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

south park: bigger, longer and uncut

steven sondheim said this was the best musical released that year.
he was no further from the truth than i am from laughing my guts off while watching this film.



there was no need to remake this completely brilliant spanish fright-fest, which is so well executed from start to finish. the film works like a roller-coaster with climbs and falls and turns all over the place. i loved the way it would build and build and build the tension only to upset the whole momentum and throw you totally off-balance, totally ignoring all the tired old conventions of the many many american-style horror movies that get trawled out every other day. in fact the whole thing was enhanced by a spanish script.

much comparison has been made between this and The Blair Witch Project, but i think this is a far more accomplished production. i also thought the main character (played by Manuela Velasco) was as convincing as is possible with a documentary style, a traditionally hard thing to pull off.

turn the lights off, turn this on. make sure you have a poo first.


Wednesday, 27 May 2009


b-movie perfection, retaining the best aspects of that most treasured of genres: the questionable acting, the budget monster, tinned tomato gore... love it.


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

chain reaction

it's easy to sometimes forget that a vast majority of movies are made to entertain the simple idiot masses and make money, with only mindless action and feeble production to show for the effort.

this will remind you.


Monday, 25 May 2009

avp: alien vs. predator

this might be the worst film of all time, but i haven't yet seen "requiem".

... urgh

not only is this like taking a shit on the original alien film, on every script ever written, and in the mouth of every director in history... but, and this is unforgivable at this level of production, was the guy who dubbed it blind and/or deaf? i want to kill everyone involved. actual murder. seriously.


Sunday, 24 May 2009

robin hood: prince of thieves

some movies defy the abilities of anyone to make good judgements based on fully objective observations. this is one. the reason is this film is part of my growing up, a gigantic player in the history of summer blockbusters and thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

yes: robin hood is played by an american
yes: the signature theme tune is as cheesey as aging dairylea
yes: many other things... but... bugger me it's brilliant. not least alan rickman who plays the one of the best villains of all time. it's unbridled fun and escapism, and can't be anything but loved.


Saturday, 23 May 2009

napolean dynamite

brilliant character-led movie with seemingly no point, no direction, no reason; other than poking a little fun at slightly odd people.
do we watch it and question our own idiosyncrasies, those of our family and friends?
do we learn to embrace the social outcasts we see around us?
do we see it as a lesson and reach out to someone new?
no, we have a right ol' laugh at the ultimate geek and his weirdo brother. this isn't about lessons, this is about comedy.
very funny indeed, i love jon heder's performance where everything he does, every movement and delivery is irritating and idiotic. i'm even laughing at the opening shot, before he's even done anything. excellent.


Friday, 22 May 2009

ice age

yeah.. it's gonna look like this:

the colour is negotiable. it's the original colour of the frame and not what i would've first chosen.
i'll be repainting it anyway as it's looking a bit tired (two tyred) after 40 years; so if you have a fair argument for another colour choice put it on a postcard. i was going to go for white, but i quite like the pale blue/turquoise thing.


borat: cultural learnings of america for make benefit glorious nation of kazakhstan

is sacha baron cohen the new peter sellers?
probably not, but that should by no means discredit this film which a riot of offensive, inappropriate and perfectly executed observations. almost consistent laughter all the way through, brilliantly written and performed. and no clue as to which parts were staged and not. if you are offended rather than reduced to a mound of joy over this film, we probably wouldn't get along. they never explain who the camera man is though.... i bet he was a rapist or a jew or something. or both.



So the fixed gear bike project has begun in earnest. I'm definitely past the point of no return in terms of the components I've bought. And I am totally aware of the fact that it's certainly based on the heart getting in the way of the head; obsessive behaviour instead of rationalism.

"i'm building a bike"

"but you have a bike"


I'll plot you a more detailed course and a bit of a catch up at a later time (one when I'm not doing it from my phone in a secluded room in Bank Towers). I'll be able to put pictures up as well.

For now, though, I'll tell you I've got to a point where I can pretty much tell what the finished product will look like, and I have a bunch of stuff that will help make it happen:
- a 40 year old british-made steel frame with good looking lugs and unusual but interesting stays.
- classic drop handlebars.
- a brand new set of deep-v wheels including a flip-flop rear hub.
- a shiny new 5 point crank set

.. which is a good start.

However what is not a good start is:
- the beautiful titanium stem which was not the size the ebay said it was. So is now an unusable beautiful titanium stem.
- the bottom bracket that came with the frame, which is jammed in to incurable tightness... but a completely weird size that doesn't quite fit the cranks on neatly. Yet.
- the frame is 40 years old, so it has some weird dimensions.

So I have a load of components, and I have to somehow link them all together in a way that prevents my face hitting a road the first time I reach 30mph. It's a complete blind-leading-the-blind situation. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm bloody enjoying it.

I've made a picture of what it'll approximately look like when its done. I'll put that up just as soon as I get near a laptop. In the time being... adieu and happy pedalling.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

true romance

there's not many films with any kind of tarantino involvement that i get on with. i don't know why.
true romance however is not only one that i can tolerate, i actually love it. it's mainly due to patricia arquette's alabamba who is alluring, sexy and engaging; and has some of the best lines any sexy, alluring, engaging southern belle has had.... "okey dokey doggy daddy" yum.
arquette is surrounded by a brilliant set of actors, all in small but perfectly formed roles (walken, potter, pitt, oldman, jackson etc. etc.) and christian slater is pretty good too. the scene between chris walken and dennis potter is a masterclass.
it's a cool, gorgeous love story in the same way as natural born killers... but with a style i just can't help but love. (pink cadillac anyone?)

"Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool."



Wednesday, 20 May 2009

run ronnie run!

completely overlooked, certainly in this country, but one of the most utterly hilarious films i've seen. in the same ilk as matt stone/trey parker or the farrelly brothers, this is unapologetically crude and innappropriate humour. and all the better for it. how was it missed, with a cameo list that includes jack black, ben stiller, stone & parker, jeff goldblum... and so many others. i love it.
i love jack black's absolutely obscene song.
i love the little chinese kid.

terrible, and brilliant.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

small time crooks

so it turns out all politicians are dishonest and spend their time working out how to get the tax-payer to buy them dog food instead of preventing job losses and war.

there's a surprise.

of course we could follow david cameron's advice (if we get the chance) and vote for a new government. and what a choice we would have: we could elect a racist, a thief, a dimwit or a misguided eco-terrorist.
or we could avoid the tory party and try out one of the other bands of merry men. the list is shamefully exhaustable, very quickly. and unfortunately is dissipated before you arrive at anyone with any obvious value.

literally, i cannot think of one british politician (in the history of me taking any notice) that didn't strike me as a bit shifty or conniving. diane abbot seems quite nice, but surface impressions can't be relied on anymore...

for example, i mean, hazel blears looked like a lady who lived in a forest cooking gingerbread biscuits for the villagers and it turned out she was the biker ringleader of a property fraud gang.

it's a shame twisted-but-straight-talking tony benn has gone to the big pipesmoke cloud in the attic. i disagree with a some of the things he says, but at least he has substance in his words and hasn't boiled his politics down to wet cardboard sound-bites. a bloody rare thing nowadays; in a world where televised house of commons sessions tend to resemble those PC vs. Mac adverts.

'hi, i'm a tory.'
'and i'm a member of the labour party. what's wrong with your face, tory?'
'oh this? i tripped over a power cable.'
'ouch. that was pretty stupid of you.'
'what are you doing about the financial crisis? ugly.'
'i'm saving the world... um.. that is i've cut some budget stuff which will make more jobs and there are 100 more nurses in hamstead.'
'well it would seem - my honourable friend - that you have (INSERT PUN HERE) and blah blah blah your face smells.'
'what my honourable friend doesn't,.. (MURMURS CONTINUE) what he doesn't under... (MURMURS LOUDER)...'
speaker of the house interjects; 'udder UDDER'

'what my immoral.. [cough].. honourable friend doesn't seem to understand is that i've made loads of nurses jobs happen all on my own. and my power cable pops right out on a magnet. and the nurses jobs. and also i've seen the report on my learned friend's handwriting skills and it really is awful.'
'well you don't see the wood for the trees. or the fish for the chips. or the smut for the internet connection.'
'good popular culture reference.'
'thanks, ron weasely.'
'new nurses jobs.'
'the apprentice.'
'the economy.'


and that's modern politics, i'm afraid. that's how it works. well, that and stuff like The Thick Of It.

my honourable friend... my cunt.

indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

oh god. why does george lucas insist on sequentially destroying all my childhood icons? do you really want a list?... i'll try and keep it short.
- where is the storyline? it's just a line of various action constructs, only a few of which actually feature indiana jones.
- harrison ford - despite all the reviews - DOES actually look and move like a 60 year old man.
- whats with all the pointless CGI? i know it's lucasfilm's aim now, to replace everything they possibly can with a drawing.. but seriously. it was done brilliantly 20 years ago so why can't it be done now?
- shia leboef's outfit was not a 'nod of homage to james dean' it was just a copy.
- cate blanchett's accent was regularly distressing.
- what the hell was up with the monkey sequence?
- what the hell is up with naming a character 'mutt'?
- how many times have we seen the 'you are not my father' thing? enough!
- how did mutt instantly learn how to swing like spiderman. i know it's a fantasy... but that was a long way out of the realms of this universe.
- what was the point in the nuclear explosion scene?
- ALIENS?!?!?!?!
- ANTS?!?!?!?
- SPACESHIPS?!?!?! ...only the spaceships don't go to space. they go to the "space between space"..... which is still 'space' as far as i can work out.

lucas, spielburg and jones. once a collaboration of genius and a faithful, pure, exciting memory.... should have stayed that way. they are all far too old to make movies.
this movie:
formulaic rather than craft, money over substance, tearful instead of exhilarating. horrible and upsetting. what are they going to ruin next: the a-team? back to the future? if they go near the goonies i'm going to wipe my shit on every copy in blockbusters. gah!

- ALIENS?!?!?!?!


Monday, 18 May 2009

road trip

two years ago today, i was setting off to moscow for my big fat trip across eurasia. i have fond memories of the trip and very fond memories of the van we crossed mongolia in. i still get pangs of lusting after those vans, wondering if i could get one shipped over. y'know, for the weekends or something.

so i was looking for youtube videos of them, preferably driving through lots of mud, and i came upon this video:

the first half of which is basically identical to matt's and my mongolia experience. even down to the music, which i swear is a track that was on our driver's very limited music collection. don't worry about watching the second half, that was nothing like my trip.

ah, mongolia. how i was spellbound by you. how i would love to return, one day...

taxi (2004, american shit version)

yet another embarrassing american remake of a perfectly decent film. why do they do it? why do they continue?



Sunday, 17 May 2009

cabin fever

not quite as pointless as house of 1000 corpses or wolf creek, but still a hefty waste of my time... it features some of the worst acting, the worst editing and the worst scores i've ever encountered in 26 years of watching films. yikes.


Saturday, 16 May 2009


much more contrived, cheap, dumb and misplaced that it thinks it is. this spacey show is 'good will hunting' without the intelligence, 'ocean's 11' without the charm. ... or 'superbad' with the humour taken out and replaced by maths.

very disappointing, quite lazy, and poorly casted - especially kate bosworth (oh dear). everyone was a slightly inadequate version of a different actor that would've been much better. very misjudged and never quite settled on what genre it was trying to be... was it college-crime or casino-glamour or mentor-betrayal... who knows? and it was SO VERY LONG. there's nothing quite like a movie outstaying it's welcome. all I enjoyed was the excellent opening shot as the main character (what's his name?) rides his bike over a bridge. that bit was good. technically.


Thursday, 14 May 2009

before the devil knows you're dead

what is it that compels us to watch such miserable, heart-wrenching and horrifying tales? why do we subject ourselves to so much pain and distress? it must be for the absolutely perfect performances from a brilliant cast, who carry this morbid story from beginning to end. everyone in this is pitch perfect.
- the relationship between tomei and hoffman completely engaging, convincing and true.
- hawke is the better than he's ever been.
- finney hits the mark as can never be doubted.
it is horrible, uncomfortable, but spectacular. i hated watching it, but was driven by every moment.


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

the proposition

gruesome, painful and stunning. the proposition has everything you need to be appalled and enamoured. utterly brilliant film making at every level with enough action to keep you entertained and enough tension to turn your buttocks into granite. guy pearce is a frightening hero, john hurt is his usual high quality, this film is superb.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

natural born killers

partly horrible, partly beautiful. here we have a bunch of punk-shock cinema moments testifying the tarantino influence... but thankfully they are interspersed with some well observed comedy, unique cinematic choices and a pretty thought-provoking commentary on the state of acceptable TV violence.

and robert downey jnr. is as brilliant as usual.


Monday, 11 May 2009

20,000 leagues under the sea

who remembers when i blogged about redundant product advertising? hands up. no-one?
okay whatever.

i was trying to piece together some sort of sustenance earlier. it was going pretty well; i'd found some vegetables in the plastic veg-bucket under the sink and there was some stuff that was almost certainly meat in a drawer under the TV. i wanted some tuna, though. i had a tin of it, which i managed to get open using a specialist tool, but that was the point when i hit trouble. you see the tin was open, but it was full of some sort of liquid, literally surrounding the tuna. i tried to remove it by shaking the tin vigorously. i tried slamming the tin against the kitchen top. then against my head.

it just wouldn't work.

i licked it, i stabbed it, i filled it with more liquid to disperse the old liquid. i got out my calculator at one point, thinking it might help. scooping it with a prawn voulavant didn't work. flicking it with a kebab skewer didn't.

or shouting at it.

it was just so difficult. frankly i got to a point where i thought it was completely impossible to remove the liquid from a tin of tuna. all hope was lost.
until the national tuna-brine-removal helpline told me about this:

if only i'd known before, it would've saved the tears. thank christ they've invented it though. who knows the 'drama' they've saved?


great skill and thought and foresight went into making this film. most of its success is due solely to the concept, but nonetheless brilliantly pulled off, convincing performances and a clever sense of disorientation for the viewer. this is superbly edited, and i'm not just talking about the dis-chronology. it's constantly noticeably good editing.

guy pearce is excellent, as is carrie anne moss. the only thing i didn't get was the intricacy of some of leonard's self-done tattoos.


Sunday, 10 May 2009

working nine to five

the economy is in turmoil, people are losing their jobs left, right and centre. have you lost your job? why not write to me and tell me about it?

alternatively, you could go here and get some ideas for cover letters. they'll certainly get you remembered. to be honest i'd rather you did that, i'm not in the slightest bit interested in your story.

the other boleyn girl

not often do i enjoy a period drama, but then not often to they have two of the most wonderful ladies in the world in them. mmmm.

but seriously,.. well written, visually sumptuous, superb performances especially from my future wife, natalie portman... a bit like a medieval version of jerry springer, but well worth a ganders.

of course i might be completely clouded by my portman/johannson obsession.


Saturday, 9 May 2009

dark water

a little bit bored i am.. of "water water everywhere, that's scary when it's got dirt in it"


Friday, 8 May 2009

the transporter

jason statham is utter balls. i mean, seriously terrible. this film wasn't quite as bad as hitman, but only because it had a weird inappropriate soundtrack that intrigued me.


american psycho

so that guy pushed in front of you in the benefit queue? feeling pissed off? at least you aren't this fucko:

"it doesn't fit in a rolodex, because it doesn't belong in a rolodex."
it belongs up your arse, you deluded fistulum.


Thursday, 7 May 2009

what it is about men

next, they'll be allowing jews into the country.

for your consideration

not a bad film as films go, but i expect more from this crowd. very strange bit with nina conti making an appearance... well done her, she's brilliant - but we couldn't quite see the connection.


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

the science of sleep

there is a world where two people can fall into eachother's company, immediately connect on every possible physical and mental level. that world celebrates the way children play and adults find solace in the company of a perfect match.

but this isn't that world.

luckily, there are films that can take you to that world, and they are beautifully crafted and wonderful and very often directed by michel gondry. this is a fairy tale for adults, but instead of a big bad wolf, there is a scary line between love and obsession.

"if an idea is good, it is on the verge of being stupid"


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

the island

any of my film-watching friends with probably stop talking to me after this, but i really like this film. i am now consciously hanging my head in shame, and rightly so. michael bay leaves his fingerprint all over this movie - slightly bland, mediocre soundtrack, contrived ideas a-plenty, ewan mcgregor's sub-standard accent, so much that doesn't make any sense on any level... it's basically a better film than bay's direction implies.

and who can argue that scarlett johansson doesn't look superb in a white body suit? no-one, that's who.


Monday, 4 May 2009

be kind rewind

this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. but it was mine.

reminded me of the sense of humour and suspension of disbelief we had with ghostbusters, it hit me on the same level.

i thought mos def was good, jack black better than i've seen him in a while. a little bit too touchy-feely at the end but thankfully it didn't labour the point. felt very honest and indie all the way through.

great, different, easy.


Sunday, 3 May 2009

sleepless in seattle

not all tom hanks films are good.


Saturday, 2 May 2009

my blueberry nights

clunky script, dodgy acting... dull dull long lingering shots and far too much slow frame-rate effects. a career low for rachel. weisz. who. does. not. seem. to. be. able. to. speak. at. a. normal. speed. jude law obviously wasn't into it, nor was the script-writer. yawwwwwn. not even the immaculate natalie portman could haul this up to a level where i didn't want it to end. soon.


Friday, 1 May 2009

the amazing spiderman

there is a fixie/hipster thing where riders seem to think that if you ride a fixed gear enough, it begins to feel like part of you. that's bollocks. this guy doesn't ride a fixed gear and no-one could have more connection with their bike than what you see in this video:

this is such incredible riding i nearly cried. of course, the tears might've just been because i trapped a nipple in my boss's flies earlier.

indiana jones and the last crusade

classic popcorn cinema that will forever remain high up in the list of my favourite films that i watched when i was growing up. connery and ford are excellant together with many great moments. and watch out for mr. bronson playing hitler. brilliant.