Archive for the ‘Vitriol’ Category

“Watch This Film? You Dizzy, Blud?”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

When I heard ‘Mickey The Idiot’ (Noel Clarke) from Doctor Who wrote the screenplay for his own film, Kidulthood (great name), I wasn’t sure what to think. My main thought was ‘oh, it’s another Brit film showcasing the plight of the poor minority/druggies/idiots (delete as appropriate) ‘. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it was, but it was actually pretty good. Clarke played Sam, the tough young black kid, from the block, who knows the streets and who is also from da ghetto (how many white guy clichés were in that sentence? You decide!).

Adulthood (see what they did there?*) is the story of Sam (Clarke again, reprising his role from Kidulthood) seen from his perspective after his release from prison for a crime committed in the first film. The film would have you believe that he is a changed man and that he doesn’t want any trouble.

Unfortunately, where the film falls down is failing to convince you that he should be viewed as a sympathetic protagonist, with the film going almost out of its way to show you that he is in fact a complete douchebag. It’s hard not to be prejudiced when the guy murdered someone who was going to be a father. That crossed some sort of primal line. This same child is mostly in one scene when the mother is talking to Sam at the door of her house. The mother calls the child to the door, mostly so Sam can get a look at her and then she dismisses the daughter. Who then goes and sits in a corner where her main duty is to look sad. Seriously, she’s a kid. Are they telling us that she didn’t have anything better to do in the slightest? Kids like jumping and noise, she could’ve done either of those things!

One main gripe that I had with this film is that the ‘urban’ music (I presume it’s urban, mainly because I do not want to call it ‘black’ music) that occasionally pops up is much louder than the rest of the fucking film. I mean, the rest of the film consists of characters quietly slagging off or beating one another, and then CRANK THAT FUNKY MUSIC, YOU THE MOVIE VIEWER, HAVE UNWITTINGLY ENTERED A RAVE!

Like its predecessor, it tries to showcase the life and poverty of teens and young adults in London. The problem is, it succeeded. How is that a problem, you may ask? Because it made me want to bang my head against a brick wall due to the way they portrayed Black London.

And it is Black London, because out of a cast of about ten to twenty, I counted maybe two to three important white characters. There are a couple of Minor Whiteys, such as Nick Briggs (he who Exterminates Doctors…) and Danny Dyer, who helps contribute a “this is definitely London, ’cause I’m a Cockney, guvnor!” feel to things. Like we needed more of that. Thank you, Danny Dyer**.

My overall verdict, in case it wasn’t obvious by the tone of the review is: Do not watch this movie. It is not healthy for you by any stretch of the imagination and it makes you despise your fellow man. Kidulthood, while much the same, is at least more tolerable and is just a better movie. If you have to, read the Wikipedia synopsis that I have helpfully linked to below.

Here there be spoilers:

*Don’t worry, if you didn’t, the film’s tagline will leave you in no doubt.

** Never thought I’d say that…


I’ve Got The X-Factor. But I Shouldn’t…

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

As I listen to the latest discussions about the potential winner of this year’s X Factor or I’m A Celebrity, I think, ‘who gives a shit, honestly?’ People look back to about ten years ago and say ‘whatever happened to stuff like Beyblades or Pogs when we were kids?’ I’ll tell you what happened. Our tastes merely mutated from Kidulthood to Adulthood, so the latest sensation sweeping the nation is Jedward as opposed to Pokémon. Which, while still popular, is no longer ‘craze’ status.

The sad thing is, when you’re watching Big Brother, X-Factor and I’m A Celebrity, the participants are often less famous than you, so you are watching a bunch of nobodies go about their lives, so much so that I swear farting is probably a highlight of the day. I’m surprised that the BBC has embraced the reality show genre, as the 2007 Royal Charter says its mission was to ‘inform, educate and entertain’. Big Brother was hardly educational, wouldn’t you agree?

While the tabloid publicised antics of Jade Goody and others were a marvellous spectacle for those who really didn’t give a shit (obviously I would be one of those) I found the sudden elevation from nobody to somebody very jarring. If I ever get into show business, I want it to be because I have done something, not because I featured on some show before fucking off back into obscurity. Unfortunately, there are certain individuals who don’t seem to understand the ‘fucking off’ bit. Among them, that highly disturbing pair of twins known as Jedward.

The first I saw of them was a YouTube video of their performance of them performing that Britney Spears song. I can’t remember which one, but it had the bit about the Titanic lady in it. I didn’t like that song anyway, but they mutilated it! The whole point of that video was that it was about two lovers, not a borderline incestuous relationship. They used that sequence where the old lady from Titanic is mentioned in their choreographed routine and it just grated to see it coming from two twins.

We should stop making reality television. It isn’t funny, it’s barely entertaining (the best bits of X-Factor are the nutjobs who can’t sing) and it sure as hell isn’t thought provoking. Normally I would dismiss it as me being old-fashioned again, but looking at it I find it very hard to see any good in it. People could make the argument that it puts talented people in the public eye, but to do what? To churn out one or two efforts and then go back to obscurity. Rarely do we see anyone whose fame has lasted long because of this.

I, for one, am sick of it. Sick of all the Facebook status updates bemoaning the latest eviction or kick out and gossiping, sick of seeing the front pages of the tabloids focusing on these obscure fuckers who got up on some stage and sang and I am especially sick of seeing and hearing all the adverts for their post-competition singles EVERY SINGLE YEAR*.

Which brings me on to another thing. Invariably, the winner of X-Factor will have a Christmas single, and the cattle of the British public will go out and buy it by the truckload. And a truck is exactly where the soullessly produced singles should go – a truck that is driving towards a landfill.

In fact, because of this post,  I realised I needed a new category for my blogpage. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the new category: Vitriol.

*I am also sick of the slow loading speed of WordPress.

Indy 2: Electric Boogaloo…

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Oh God, here we go. The time has come to review the second film, and in my opinion, the worst one in the franchise. Many things about this film annoy me, and it definitely suffers from sequel syndrome. As far as I recall, due to being darker and edgier, this wasn’t well-received by fans. George Lucas has admitted that it is darker due to the fact he was going through a divorce at the time. If ever there was a time not to let your work intersect with your personal life, that was it.

Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (to give it its full name, which sounds like a tourist attraction) is the second movie in the quadrilogy, was released in 1984 and frankly, I wish it had never seen the light of day, or at least undergone significant improvements in the cutting room. This may sound like a slightly irrational hatred of this film, but it really gets on my nerves.

The three mainly annoying features of this film are the sidekick, the token woman, and the lack of Nazis. The sidekick, called Short Round after a dog that the producers knew (why anyone would call a dog Short Round is never addressed) is incredibly annoying and exactly the reason why I don’t like children sidekicks in films (or just children in films, for that matter). They always seem bratty and annoying to me. For much the same reason, I don’t like the token woman, Willie Scott (which can’t be a good name to have as a female nightclub singer). At any given time she can be found screaming, being a complete step backwards for feminism, being creeped out by some bugs, and screaming. Now, I’m not saying I like Nazis, but it doesn’t feel like an Indiana Jones movie without them. I suppose since the movie is set in 1935, this makes some degree of sense as the Nazis weren’t that powerful or well-known yet. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d take the Nazis.

I’m not saying that this is a bad movie exactly, although I’m certainly thinking it. I see this movie as having much the same flaws as the fourth, to explain why people don’t like them so much. They both had annoying sidekicks, they both lacked Nazis, and they were both even-numbered movies, although that was just the production order and nothing intentional.

I’ll be honest; I was going to watch the four Indiana Jones movies in a marathon recently and I would’ve been perfectly happy to skip this one (and I would’ve actually got to watch the fourth one). The problem is that in my eyes, it had too many flaws for me to like it, so that every time I watch it, I’m too annoyed by Short Round and The Screaming Woman to enjoy the movie. I mean, yes, it is different to the other films, it does have a good villain, and it might be good for you if you like difference and variety, but in terms of these films, the pre-existing formula works. They could’ve even stuck the Nazis in there instead of the evil Thuggee cult. And in the end, isn’t that the best you can hope for?

If you liked the other Indiana Jones films, I would recommend checking this one out. It’s just that you may regret it, and don’t come looking for my head when you do.