PEPPA PIG: MY FIRST CINEMA EXPERIENCE

DIRECTOR: I really have no idea but I would put a bet on that he spent the whole process muttering “it’s a job, it’s a job, it’s a job”!

CAST: All the usuals from the programme. And Brian Blessed. He’s in Peppa Pig sometimes, in fact he’s bloody everywhere isn’t he? Just give him an opportunity to shout uncontrollably and he’s anybodies!

PLOT: In a nutshell, The Pig family will go on a day out (presumably the cinema in this case), Peppa will act like a spoilt shit and will in particular be an arse to her younger brother (who to be fair is a whingy little twat anyway) while her stupid sap parents blindly accepts their children’s spoilt behaviour and provide a distraction rather than issue any discipline.

So they go out, shit happens, Peppa says something obnoxious or stupid (or both) and everybody will laugh and fall over. The end.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS: Peppa Pig is a twat!

INSPIRED BY: Animal Farm

INSPIRED: Children around the world to believe that they are entitled to become spoilt little dick heads.

VERDICT: She’s a spoilt twat. But I may have already expressed my opinions on that.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

fifty shades

DIRECTOR: Sam Taylor-Johnson. She also directed ‘Nowhere Boy’ which was the story of a young John Lennon. It was nice.

CAST: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson

PLOT: A student replaces her ill journalist friend and interviews the hot (in a business sense) new business magnate. He fancies her, she fancies him and so begins their relationship. A BDSM relationship no less, cos he likes that kind of thing. So Anastasia (that’s the student’s name by the way) goes along with it, signs his contract (he has a contract) and engages in some freaky deaky sex.

This all goes well until she can’t take it anymore. Basically she just wants  cuddles and Mr Grey does not do normal lovey dovey shit very well. So it all ends up going a bit wrong and she says “damn it! I can’t do this crap no mo! It’s over boyo!”

And that be it. At least until the sequel, which I’m sure I’ll review whenever I can be arsed to watch it. Bearing in mind that it’s taken me 2 years to watch this bollocks, let’s not hold our breath.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS: When Miss Steele (Anastasia the student’s last name) gets out of her mate’s car to enter Mr Grey’s building, (oh, she borrowed her flatmate’s flashy Merc as it looked a bit better than her shitty Beetle) she looks in awe at the building, gulps, and enters.

Fine right? Well, I for one didn’t see her lock the car. She waltzes out of this beautiful sports car and walks into the bloody building. THAT’S HER FRIEND’S CAR!!!  What is she going to say to her mate when she gets back? “Oh, sorry, I forgot to lock it while parked in a super busy city centre. Yes I’m aware that it’s a crime hotspot but you see, the building was like, really big!” It’s fine though, you can have my shitty Beetle. Selfish bitch!

INSPIRED BY: Those awesome late Friday night movies that Channel 5 used to play in the late 90’s. Remember those? They had daft titles like ‘Sexual Malice’, ‘Night Moves’ and ‘Midnight Passion’. The only thing missing is the soprano sax!

INSPIRED: ‘Bound’. Not the Wachowski’s cult classic, but a recent TV movie starring Charisma Carpenter. Remember her? She used to be Cordelia in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. So, if you were a teenage boy in the late 90s/early 00s, your dream of seeing Cordelia getting her norks out finally becomes a reality. Even if it years 20 years later than ideal.

VERDICT: It’s pretty rubbish. But that’s fine, did anyone go into the cinema thinking it may be anything else? My god no! You’ve read the book right?  If you came out of the theatre with any genuine anger or disappointment, you’re a fucking idiot!

SILENCE

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese

CAST: Spiderman, Kylo Ren, Rob Roy

PLOT: 2 Portuguese priests (who’s English happen to be spot bloody on) travel to Japan to find their mentor. Now their mentor has disappeared and apparently renounced his faith as this is old school Japan, and in old school Japan, Christianity is outlawed and the practicing of it is forbidden, like really forbidden, so bad that if caught you’d be wrapped in a giant sushi rolling mat and burnt to death and shit.

So the priests arrive, and in between hiding from the authorities and enquiring about Roy, they spend their time doing mass and confessions and stuff.

And so it goes, people get caught, people get killed while one dude consistently renounces and reclaims his faith throughout. In the meantime, the priests continue their journey and encounter numerous obstacles and challenges as they go. All of this is done very slowly, deliberately and serenely. So much so that I drifted off and smacked my bastard head against the back of the chair in front, which was neither slow, deliberate or bloody serene!

CRITICAL ANALYSIS: When travelling from village to village to help people practice their naughty faith, the priests have to travel by boat which naturally means that they will also have to get out while it’s still in the water. All this seems well and fine of course, but bear in mind how heavy the cotton would be in those days, having your clothes getting soaking yet and drying naturally while you’re still wearing them is going to cause some serious chafing. Particularly where the thigh joins the crotch, boy if you get damp and don’t dry properly in that area it makes walking a bloody painful experience. We’ve all been there.

INSPIRED BY: Blues Brothers. Makes a good ‘mission from God’ double bill.

WILL INSPIRE: More beards! This film has some epic beards!

VERDICT: Left me “speechless”. Some cracking word play for you there.

BALLERINA (LEAP)

CAST: Elle Fanning, There are others of course, but currently I can only think of Elle Fanning.

PLOT: A little orphan girl escapes a Britanny orphanage with her wannabe inventor mate. Arrives in Paris, sneaks into a famous dance school and ends up living with the cleaner. Said cleaner is working for an evil woman who is training her equally evil daughter to go to said special ballet school. Little orphan girl steals evil girl’s identity and joins ballet school with the quest to be in the Nutcracker.

So she starts off shit and the superstar teacher knows that she’s shit but then her cleaner guardian woman decides to teach her (because she used to be a dancer, who knew?), cue a montage or two and boom, little orphan girl is now a ballerina.

It isn’t going to plain sailing of course, and naturally little orphan girl’s plan is foiled when evil bitch and daughter find out. Fortunately, the teacher dude doesn’t expel her but puts the two girls in competition with each other. So after a couple of dramatic footfalls, little orphan fucks up the final audition, goes home, thinks ‘no, fuck this, I’m going back to Paris to live my dream blah blah blah’, does so and has a dance off with her evil rival. It all ends well bar when our heroine is being chased up the Statue of Liberty. Oh yeah, this film is set in the olden days, when the Eiffel Tower is part built, which makes a little more sense in regards to the statue.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS: When orphan girl visits her fellow stowaway, she finds that he’s an engineer’s apprentice working on the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. As he shows her through the yard, we see part of the statue in all of its green glory, and that’s the problem. The Statue of Liberty is made out of copper which, of course is brown, over time it will become weathered and yes go green. But it’s not going to go green while it’s fucking being built! It was built in 1886 and by 1920 it was fully transformed into the statue that we know today, so that’s a period of 34 years. So well done to the makers of ‘Ballerina’, some poor kid is going to laughed at and bullied to shit at school as they’re going to argue with the science teacher and state that the Statue of Liberty was green while it was being built purely because of your historical inaccuracy. Twats!

INSPIRED BY: Suspiria

MORAL: Don’t ever underestimate your cleaner/crippled hobbling local mad woman. She was probably once like a really good dancer or something.

VERDICT: Better than ‘Capture The Flag’.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-logo

DIRECTOR: Gareth ‘Godzilla’ Edwards

CAST: Stephen Hawkin’s wife, Ip Man, Idi Amin, Hannibal, the voice of Mufasa (standard).

PLOT

Little girl runs away after her mother gets killed and her dad is forced to help build the death star for the Empire, though now it’s probably merely called something like ‘our big badass weapon’. She grows up to be a rebel, not an official ‘we fight against the empire’ rebel but the type that argues a lot, fights people and the like.

By hook or by crook, she ends up with the ‘real’ rebellion, goes to see the guy who brought her up (before leaving her) where she receives a message (from a rogue pilot) that her dad is alive and well, built a death star and on top of that, made a flaw in it so it can be blown the fuck up.

So, our little rebel goes back to the official rebels and says “hey, we need to go over to that random planet that looks like the Bahamas, go to war and steal their plans” and they’re like “no way man, that’ll be like really stupid cos we’ll all die and shit”.

In the end, some go and some do not and those who fight ends up doing a bang up job, the rest of the rebellion gets wind of this ‘rogue’ group’s success and thinks “yeah, fuck it, let’s help”, and with the help of Red Leader (damn straight), they steal the Death Star plans, get them to safety which sets us up lovely for 1977.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

They say “hope” a lot.

INSPIRED BY: Something far far away

WILL INSPIRE: More prequel/spin offs. Including a stand-alone Han Solo movie.

MORAL: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. (Dufresne 19 Sixty something)

 

 

THE OSCARS 2017

It’s Oscar season. Hooray! The time of year where the best films (apparently) of the year are celebrated and the best performances and films are given awards by a bunch of people who probably haven’t seen a great deal of the movies concerned.

So, another year and another load of cracking films and performances etc to choose from, and like any other year, there are questions, disagreements and controversies (probably).

The beard of course has questions and opinions, and here goes.

Dev Patel – Best Supporting Actor.

Supporting actor? Seriously? Lion is centred around HIS character!!! It is about HIM!!! And Dev Patel leads most of the film, this would be like giving Sylvester Stallone a ‘best supporting actor’ nomination for Rocky!

Last year of course, Alicia Vikander won the ‘best supporting actress’ gong for The Danish Girl, a film in which she was as much as if not more of a lead than Eddie Redmayne (who, incidentally was nominated in the best lead actor category). Why is this? Why would what is clearly a lead role be considered as support? Essentially, her performance was so good it deserved to be rewarded, not only that, she had a great year. The only problem being that Brie Larsson was also nominated for Room and if she didn’t win there would have been hell to pay. So, what to do when we pretty much want to award both yet we’re quite worried that this year’s darling won’t win? Simple, stick one of them in the other category.

This year sees Casey Affleck as most people’s favourite for ‘best actor’, Dev Patel was fantastic and provides very reasonable competition. What to do? I know! we’ll do what we did with the women last year and bump dear little Dev into ‘supporting’ and give him the award he deserves. Even if it is in the wrong fucking category!!!

Ruth Negga – Best Actress

I know what you’re asking. Has Ruth Negga been nominated as an answer to last years ‘there are no black people nominated controversy’? Well, maybe a little but that will be taking away from what is a terrific performance which has received a most deserved nomination. No, the biggest issue with this is that while Negga receives all the plaudits, her co-star Joel Edgerton is left out in the cold. Much like last year when Charlotte Rampling received all of the nominations while her 45 Years co-star got diddly squat, the academy are pulling focus on one half of a couple, who’s performance though excellent, was merely as good as her dance partner’s.

Arrival

Great film, awesome looking, beautifully directed and great performances. Wait, what? No nomination for any acting performances? You’re kidding me right? Of course not, this is the Oscars. Any film (not always, but more often than not) that’s laden with digital effects will tend to be solely recognised for that, completely ignoring the fact that these effects and wonderful imagery are glued together by fine acting. Think Lord Of The Rings, the third instalment won pretty much every fucking thing bar the acting categories. Why’s that I here you ask? That would be because not one actor from the series received one bastard nomination. Perhaps acting with digital effects doesn’t count, I don’t know. And don’t get me started on Andy Serkis, we all believed in Gollum, Kong and Caeser but, obviously that’s because the effects team made it look so good, nothing to do with the performance that they had to work from.

Which brings me to Amy Adams, she absolutely kills it in Arrival, a beautifully layered performance that combined heartbreak with passion and determination. The whole film (which is ace) is underpinned by her performance, but yeah, bollocks, the aliens look really good, THAT’S why it’s one of the best films of the year.

Oh, and she was great in Nocturnal Animals too.

Captain Fantastic

Best picture nomination perhaps? Probably deserves to be but the academy has worked hard balancing the colour divide (a black actor in every category no less) so maybe championing the weird and wonderful is too much of a stretch at this point. But Kudos on recognising Viggo Mortensen’s performance though. Kudos.

So there’s my questions and whinges regarding this year. Apart from the fact that there is not one mention of Swiss Army Man. But I won’t get started on that as I’ll be here all day. But watch it, it’s fucking ace.

BAD SANTA 2

"Bad Santa 2" Day 23

CAST

 Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Burke, the little black dude from the first one and ‘Me, Myself and Irene’.

PLOT

 Billy Bob’s still a loser and still in touch with Thurman Murman, though now Thurman is no longer a little fat kid but now a little fat 21 year old.

After failing to kill himself, Thornton receives a visit from his former elf/partner in crime offering him the chance for a new heist opportunity with a new partner. So after some deliberation and midget gags, he accepts and their off to Chicago (at least it was Chicago to my memory, it could have been Boston, it’s cold and snowy. I’m sure it’s Chicago).

They arrive to do the old santa/elf thing again while also meeting with the organizer of the new heist. It turns out to be Billy Bob’s mother (Burke) who works at the charity to which they’re going to rob. Bad taste jokes, sex and set pieces follow, all of which leads nicely to the final heist. Same old shit really but, you know, older.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

There’s a scene where Billy Bob is in a bar drinking (obviously) and smoking. The barman tells Billy Bob that he can’t smoke at the bar to the Bob lambasts with something typically sarcastic and dismissive.

This is absolutely fine and expected of course, Thornton’s character is an arsehole so he naturally wouldn’t adhere to this rule/law. However, this is the problem. Billy Bob is flicking his fag ash into the ashtray next to him. This naturally leads to the next logical question, if you have a no smoking indoors rule, why in the holy fuck would you have ashtrays on the bar? You’re kind of asking for it there aren’t you!

And for those amongst you that may suggest that he brought it in himself, fair point but considering that he pissed on his own floor rather than using the toilet, I severely doubt it.

INSPIRED BY

Money, clearly. There is no other reason for a sequel of this ilk, unless of course you feel that Dumb and Dumber, Zoolander and the first Bad Santa were unfinished stories. If you do, fair do’s but you’re clearly an idiot.

WILL INSPIRE

I was going to say a slew of cynical anti Christmas films but there wasn’t many of them after the first one so maybe not.

VERDICT

Good. But that’ll do.

 

FLASH GORDON

DIRECTOR: Mike ‘Get Carter’ Hodges

CAST: Sam J Jones, James Bond number 4, Topol, Melody Anderson, The Exorcist, Brian Blessed, Riff Raff, Peter ‘Duncan Dares’ Duncan and Hagrid (keep an eye out for the guy shutting the aeroplane door).

PLOT:

Flash Gordon is a (gridiron) football player. He plays as a quarterback for the New York Jets. He’s also very famous as he is on the front of ‘People’ magazine. Despite this apparent fame, Flash boards a tiny shitty charter plane with a random woman called Dale, where they are going we do not know but we do see Flash tapping her up within about five minutes of them taking off, the dirty fucker! Almost instantly, the plane nosedives, the pilots disappear and Flash and Dale take over to crash land the plane.

Meanwhile, in the arse end of nowhere, Dr Hanz Zarkov (formerly of N.A.S.A) is woken up by his assistant as it’s 6am in the morning and there is no sun. After checking the angular vector of the moon, Zarkov decides that there’s going to be an attack on the Earth (twas this theory that got him kicked out of N.A.S.A) and orders his assistant (with a gun) to get in his homemade spaceship. The assistant is like ‘no, you’re ok thanks’ and runs away only to be squashed by Flash and Dales’ crashing aeroplane.

So, after getting out of the plane with not even a scratch, Dale and Flash engage in a bit of chit chat with Zarkov before he leads them into the spaceship (with a gun no less), tells Flash to leave (he only needs one other person to fly the spaceship you see), a fight ensues, somebody hits the go button and whoosh off they go into space.

After landing on weird planet (Mongo to be exact) and being grabbed by the throat by a weird remote control hand, Flash along with his new missus (I know right!!!) and his new buddy the mad scientist are taken to the palace of Ming the Merciless where there is a gala type thing happening. Being honest, I wouldn’t really know what to call it but each breed of people of Mongo are there and they’re all giving Ming gifts and shit.

After killing a black guy who looked to be wearing shiny metal curtain blinds, Ming is introduced to the earthlings and after hypnotising Dale into doing an apparently sexy dance, Flash beats the shit out of a load of guards (quarterback style) with some giant faberge eggs before getting nailed on the head by one of Zakov’s passes (poor show).

Flash is publicly executed while Zarkov is (supposedly) brainwashed and Dale is a prisoner who will be forced to marry Ming (for an hour no less). So far, so not cool. Meanwhile, to Ming’s daughter Aura resurrects Flash with the help of the doctor that she’s been banging, turns him on and takes him to her boyfriend Prince Baron of the tree people. Baron instantly hates Flash and banishes him to a swampy prison before challenging him to a ‘stick your arm down a tree stump and hope the monster inside doesn’t bite it’ competition. Flash pretends to be hurt, tricks Baron into getting his sword out, trips him, steals the sword and runs off. This all seems like a good idea until he then falls and sinks into a swamp to then get out and be almost swallowed by fucking great green creature thing. Just as he’s about to get eaten, Baron shoots the big green monster thing. He then points the laser gun towards Flash but just before he ends him, a Birdman (a dude with big wings) captures them and takes them to see their leader Vultan (Brian Blessed).

So, Flash and Baron are at Vultans floating Palace and Baron for whatever reason decides to fight Flash on a tilting spiky table. They have a good old fashioned slobberknocker until Baron falls off the edge, Flash pulls him back up and saves his life (humanity) and Baron decides that actually, Flash aint that bad and come to think of it, Ming’s a bit of a dick so let’s revolt!

Vultan is not keen on this idea and scarpers when Ming’s ship arrives. Baron, Zarkov and Dale (oh yeah, the mind control thing didn’t work which enabled Zarkov to help Dale escape) are taken away by Ming’s guards while the merciless one tries to make a deal with Flash (like give him an island or something, I can’t really remember). Flash refuses so Ming blows up Vultan’s palace whilst, unbeknown to him, Flash escapes via a flying treadmill.

Meanwhile, Dale is preparing for her marriage to Ming and Baron and Zarkov are being held in a dungeon somewhere. Flash contacts Vultan from his rocket cycle (who is now feeling bad for leaving him behind) and they concoct a plan to invade the army ship and storm the palace, which they do, all with a banging soundtrack.

Before long, the Birdmen flee the exploding ship (Flash won’t you see as he’s a miracle, king of the impossible etc) leaving the Flashmeister to crash the ship into Ming’s palace, killing him in the process (Ming, not Flash). Ming fades away (literally) and everybody in Mongo has a big celebration as they can all now live together in peace and harmony and stuff.

The Birdmen spell ‘Thanks Flash’ while in the air and Flash claps happily while looking down, and that signals the end until we see Ming’s ring, a title that says “The End?” and we hear Ming’s laugh which suggests that we may get a sequel. We do not.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

So. Flash has had his fight with Baron on the spiky tilting floating table top to which Baron, Dale and Zarkov are all captured and taken back to Ming’s palace. After finding that
Flash is alive, well and ‘flying blind on a rocket cycle’, we cut to Baron and Zarkov who are chained up in the dungeon when Aura enters the room, shoots the camera/scanner thing and says…

“Scanner malfunction. Under repair”.

At this point, general Kala looks up from her computer screen with a ‘that voice sounds strangely familiar’ kind of face, shrugs it off and goes about her business. Now let’s think about this logically, general Kala would have presumably known Princess Aura since Ming’s daughter was a little girl. She clearly has beef with her as she blatantly knows that Aura is rebel who could bring the empire down from the inside. Knowing this, are you seriously trying to tell me that Kala wouldn’t recognise Aura’s voice? She’s the only Engish/Italian hybrid on the fucking planet for christ’ sake, you can hardly accuse her voice of being generic! Not only that, Aura has just been bloody interrogated and tortured for treason, so you’d think maybe you could afford to be a bit paranoid about her and therefore keep her on a tight leash? Nah, don’t be daft!

Now bear all of this in mind, Kala hears what can only be Aura’s voice telling the security area that the scanner from the DUNGEON is broken which happens to be where they are holding the two rebel prisoners (one of which is one that Aura regularly bangs let’s not forget) and she thinks no more of it. Whether she had more important things to worry about, wasn’t really paying attention or was so damn arrogant that their security was so tight, nobody would ever get by them is unknown, but what we do know is that it was a clear security oversight which wouldn’t have happened if she was doing her job properly! Though you can’t really blame her too much, when Ming left Gordon to die in Vultan’s exploding floating palace, he clearly didn’t hang around to find out that was truly dead. If he had the patience to wait for the dust to settle, he would have clearly seen Flash pinging off into the distance on that rocket bike treadmill thingy. So, if you see the boss taking liberties, you’re naturally not going to be on it like a car bonnet yourself. Lead by example people, lead by example.

MORAL: The basic message is there for all to see. Evil tyranny combined with greed and no compassion will always eventually bring forth a rebellion and end all the years of suffering and rule.

However, the real lesson that one should learn from this movie is that of quality staffing and regular appraisals. If Ming had this in place, mistakes in attitude and routine would have spotted and managed appropriately. Instead, bad habits were allowed to develop, mistakes were made and they were punished, and considering that he was running an empire, you’d think he’d be tighter on that shit.

INSPIRED BY: ‘Star Wars’ clearly.

INSPIRED: Brian Blessed to spend the rest of his career to shout uncontrollably.

VERDICT: The best and worst film you’ll ever see. As in to say, it’s hokey, it’s camp, it’s silly and there are some terrible performances but my god it’s so fucking awesome!

GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

DIRECTOR: Paul ‘Bridesmaids’ Fieg.

CAST: Melissa Mccarthy, Kristin Wiig, Andy Garcia and the principle cast from the original film. Apart from Harold Ramis of course, and Rick Moranis who is still retired. A damn shame not only because he was so ace in ‘Ghostbusters’, but also due to the fact that we never again see him lead a ‘Honey I’ movie. Wouldn’t we all love to see ‘Honey I Shrunk the Dog’? or ‘Honey I Blew Up the Garden Ornament’? The possibilities are endless!

PLOT:

Kristin Wiig is a Maths genius (whether she is as good as Will Hunting is not disclosed) who is working towards a place in a very special college. She once wrote a book with Melissa Mccarthy about the truth of ghosts, which Mccarthy is found to be re-selling, much to Wiig’s chagrin. So, Wiig visits Mccarthy to stop her from selling the book (she’s embarrassed you see, and her college professors won’t be best impressed) and there’s beef, she also meets Mccarthy’s whacky science genius sidekick who is kind of, a bit mental.

Anyway, while having their confrontation, Mccarthy receives a call about a ghost in the local museum to which they all go to, Wiig n’ all. Upon arriving, they discover a full torso apparition (that’s what Dan Ackroyd called it right?) who proceeds to vomit slime all over Wiig. She, like the rest of them is once again a believer, and she is fired from her college by Charles Dance as she is caught on Youtube saying so. She then joins the other two in setting up a ghost catching/trapping/busting business.

The three are soon joined by a New York subway worker who is spooked by a ghost on the um subway and they get to work catching spectres while a nerdy geeky freak type hotel worker shows us that he’s going to be the villain when he unveils a big badass machine thing which is somehow holding in ghosts that are impatiently trying to get out. Oh they also hire a really dumb yet sexy male receptionists who looks like Thor, but with a haircut and glasses.

Numerous nods winks and cameos later, the busters figure who the big bad is which leads him to kill himself which in turn allows him to become a ghost who can possess people. After trying and failing with McCarthy, he gets into Thor’s head which allows him to unleash his collection of ghosts which then terrorises New York.

So the girls get together and clean up the damn town cos, you know, that’s what they do. They then confront the possessed Thor who has mind controlled the city and sort him out. They’re now loved by the city, funded by the government and ready for a sequel. If this one makes enough money of course.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

Near the end of the film, the Ghostbusters are found having a conversation in front of a Woolworths store. Now, being from Britain, the beard has no real knowledge of the state of retail stores in the United States. What is a certified fact is that Woolworths closed its British stores in the early 2000’s which, to be truly honest was a bloody damn shame! Woolworths was one of those stores which pretty much sold whatever the fuck you needed, shoelaces, stationary, books, toys, wundaweb (a sticky soylent tape thing that sticks trouser hems together) and a damn fine pic ‘n’ mix. Since the demise of Woolworths in Britain there have been numerous things that have not been easy to find, and for the record that does include quality CD wallets. But most of all, since Woolies went, has anyone anywhere found a store that sells those funky miniature cans of soft drinks? Seriously I haven’t seen them anywhere! They were spot on and so, so cute!

INSPIRED BY: No idea

INSPIRED: An insurmountable amount of hatred and negativity. Yes, Ghostbusters is an absolute classic and didn’t need a new version but hey, what does? What’s more, there was so much uproar regarding a Ghostbusters yet no-one seems to be that fussed that we are getting a re-make of Ben Hur. BEN HUR!!!

VERDICT: Not bad. Which is essentially great! It wasn’t superb but considering so many thought (and hoped) it would suck big fat arse, the fact that it doesn’t (get over it, it doesn’t) makes it a damn fine success.

 

 

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE

DIR: Richard ‘The Goonies, The Omen, Lethal Weapon’ Donner

 CAST: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, pre mental breakdown Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Terence Stamp, Coach from Cheers.

 PLOT: We begin in Planet Krypton with General Zod (Stamp) and his two cohorts being surrounded by a giant spinning hula hoop while Jarel (Brando) and the rest of the very large faced council convict them of being guilty of trying to stage an uprising or something. This leads them into becoming encased in what looks like a flying LP cover which sends them flying around looking rather squashed.

Back to Krypton, Jorel is telling the council that their planet is about to be destroyed by the sun or something and their all like “you’re wrong and if you tell everyone we’ll hold you in contempt and send you off in an LP cover too!”. Sure enough the flames come closer, Krypton begins to fall the fuck apart and everyone’s about to die, well everyone apart from Jorel’s baby who is sent off in some spiky space capsule thing in which he is wrapped in what can only be described as a Colombian flag which has been made out of sweet wrappers.

The spiky capsule thing crash lands in the town of Smallville and the little Krypton boy lifts up a broken down truck owned by an old couple called the Kents. Oh yeah, in the time it took for him to travel from Krypton to Earth, he kind of got a lot bigger, and clearly stronger. Clark (which is what they call little Krypton boy) is adopted by them and they all live happily until daddy Kent dies of a heart attack. Oh my!

On what looks like the night of the funeral, Clark randomly wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to his shed where he finds his ship and a luminous glowing green stick. Deciding that it’s not from a pop festival or a nightclub, Clark leaves town, takes the glow stick to somewhere very icy and throws it on the floor. From this, reverberations occur and an icy building (which looks like a 3D criss cross chip) grows out of the ground. Clark enters the palace, talks to an image of his dad (his real one), finds out that his name is Kalel and then goes on a space journey with his hologramic dead dad while finding out about his existence, history, how he got his powers, what his purpose is, you know, shit like that.

Fast forward to Metropolis (New York but never called New York) and Clark is working as a journalist for The Daily Planet with awesome reporter Lois Lane who clearly has the super hots for but can’t be cool as that will give away his character (and that wouldn’t be cool) so he acts all bashful and stupid. This makes him the “aw bless him” type, you know, the type that everyone thinks is really sweet but never fancy-able, not at all. Think about it, we all knew one.

Lex Luthor (the bad guy) meanwhile lives underground in a really swanky place deep within the Metropolis subway system, which incidentally would be where he presumably concocts all of his evil genius chicanery shit.

Cut to Lois who falls out of a helicopter but doesn’t die as ‘Superman’ appears (for the first time) out of nowhere to save her. Bless him. Cue a number of Superman saves the day set pieces involving a jewellery robber, a getaway (or at least a failed one) on a yacht and an aeroplane engine failure. All done may I add with classic panache and a host of awful puns. Oh and he also saves a cat out of a tree which goes to show that no crisis is too small blah blah blah.

Afterwards, Clark disguised as Superman, or should I say Kalel dispenses with his Clark character to visit Lois, give her an interview and do some serious flirting. Not before long, he whisks her away for a fly by over Metropolis and we now have a love angle.

Luthor meanwhile reads Lois’s interview with Superman (which for the record is now his official title), does a bit of further reading and devises a theory of how the Supe would be adversely affected by the fragments of particles that came off his ship and voila’, Superman’s kryptonite crutch is discovered.

So it’s super villain big plan time and with this one Luthor (or at least his bumbling sidekick Otis) changes the co-ordinates of a military rocket and warns the man of superness that he’s going to you know, like, do something really bad. Incidentally he does this by talking to Superman via supersonic airwaves that only he and dogs will hear. How he does this I don’t exactly know but he does often claim to be a genius so there you go. Anyway he entices Superman to his lair where he fires bullets and flames at him which essentially does fuck all. So Kalel busts in to Lex’s swanky pad which is where Lex tells him that the rockets (oh yeah, there’s two of them) are going to devastate California. Not cool.

Superman’s not impressed and gets heavy with Lex demanding to know where the detonator for the rockets are. Lex glances towards a chest which makes Superman think ‘aha there it is’, he opens the chest and BOOM, kryptonite on a chain! So Supe is instantly up shit creek which allows Luthor to hang the krypto necklace around his neck and drop him into his (pretty damn awesome) self-made swimming pool.

So Superman’s about to die but god bless him gets saved by Luthor’s kind of missus/mole/accomplice (I believe her name is Miss Teschmacher). She saves him because Lex decided that the other rocket is destined for her mother’s home town which, being fair seems a bit harsh and if I’m being honest rather stupid. Think about it, he could have decided anywhere else, any other town in the whole country would have no doubt been fine but he had to plump for her mothers, the evil sadistic bastard. Of course it could have merely been a coincidence and he might not have down etc but that’s giving a superb criminal genius a little too much credit don’t you think? But I digress.

Anyway, Miss Teschmacher takes the necklace of death off Superman and lets him fly through the numerous subway ceilings in order for him to save the world, well Southern California at least. After grabbing one rocket and chucking it into space, he fixes the gigantic split in the ground (caused by the first rocket, oh yeah the first rocket had an impact), saves a school bus from falling off the Golden Gate bridge, acts as a train track and fills a busted damn. Meanwhile, a further ground split happens to suck down Lois Lane’s car (she’s coincidentally in California covering a story on something completely unimportant and irrelevant) in which Superman arrives too late to only find a buried car and a dead

Lois. This seriously upsets the big S, and while listening to past voices of his (real) dad telling him not to interfere with human history etc, he thinks ‘fuck it, I’m going to fly around the Earth in a clockwise (or was it anti-clockwise? No I’m sure it was clockwise) direction shitloads in order to reverse time, because I’m sure that’s scientifically feasible.

So he does this, finds Lois by her car safe and sound (good times), flies off and gently lands in a prison (high security you’d hope) with Lex and Otis in hand. Job done and happy days.

 CRITICAL ANALYSIS

There’s a beautiful moment in ‘Superman’ where the man himself visits Lois, has a brief interview and takes her for a flying trip around the city. This is where they start to fall in love, and this is where Lois decides that she will always be safe around this guy!

And how does she come to this conclusion? Well, when she is holding Superman’s hand while flying around the skies of Metropolis, she’s beginning to get more confident with the fact that she’s God knows how many feet in the air while being kept up by nothing but someone’s bloody hand. So at the point where it couldn’t get any more romantic, Superman only goes and bloody drops her doesn’t he? So, after a cheeky grin and a little eye roll, Supe zooms down and catches her which Prompts Lois to gaze up him with relief and absolute longing. Seriously? He drops you from God knows how many feet in the air and you’re bloody grateful? Swooping down to catch you is the least he can pissing well do! Instead of a gaze which says “wowee you’re my hero” what you should be saying is “You fucking prick! What the fuck was that? Of course, I’m grateful that you caught me and all but why did you need to drop me in the first place? I mean you can lift cars and buildings and you can’t even hold me up? You sadistic prick!”

What’s more on this subject, Superman takes Lois way high up in the air, like seriously high which begs the question, wouldn’t Lois suffer from a lack of oxygen being up that high? Superman should know better, just because he’s an alien who handle it doesn’t mean that he should treat a human being’s safety with such little regard. He’s meant to be a man of the people for Christ sake! And just one more point, does anyone notice that Lois has perfect hair once Superman returns to her balcony? Now, anyone who has once stuck their head out of the window of a moving car will testify, that kind of speed and velocity will leave your hair tangled to shit, and hers is perfect, it makes no sense. Either that or she uses some super awesome tangle free shampoo and conditioner, but I think it’s a little far-fetched considering this is the late 1970s.

Just one more thing in regards to this subject, and I promise that this will be the last. While flying, Superman flies Lois over the statue of Liberty which, is clearly is based in New York. Now this got me thinking, what is Metropolis exactly? Is it an entirely fictional city based on somewhere like New York or is it just a name that DC decided to use for said city? If it’s the former, did the powers that be in Metropolis like the Statue of Liberty so much that they decided that they were going to pilfer the idea and build their own statue? If that’s the case, then they are clearly very, very odd. Now of course, this could well be explained in the comic books and all I would need to do is do some research, find the comic with the info and there you go. The only trick is, I’m not a big reader of comic books and let’s be honest, research requires effort doesn’t it?

 Now, on to Lex Luthor. The man’s a criminal genius, he says so himself. He can intercept rockets in order to blow up half the country, he can infiltrate the New York sorry, Metropolis subway to create himself a swanky pad and he has eyes everywhere, so much so that he can spot a cop following his sidekick from bloody miles away. Yet for some inexplicable reason he doesn’t seem to realise (or care) that Miss Teschmacher didn’t go with him when he chucked Superman into his pool for him to die. I mean he would have cameras everywhere and you’re telling me that he wouldn’t be keeping tabs on Superman’s slow and painful death? What the fuck id he thinking? Did he believe that she had just gone to the loo or something? “Oh she’ll be back in a minute. Why would she be doing anything different than coming to follow me? She wouldn’t possibly help Superman, even if I am going to essentially blow up her mother. Moron!

On a similar note, the climax of the film shows Lex and Otis being lowered to a prison by Mr Super himself with, may I say little resistance. Now, you would presume that Lex had realised that Kalel was going to save the day so he grabbed Otis and they went on the run. It makes sense! However, considering that we don’t see this in the film, one can only presume that Superman finished his job and promptly whooshed to Lex’s layer to pick them up. Now, what the fuck were they thinking? This is Lex Luthor, criminal mastermind, a man who can organise a hijacking of warheads (pretty much) by himself yet he can’t figure a way to get away from the man of steel?

Well of course not, Luthor is a human being and Superman is well… Superman. However, when the Supe-meister escaped Lex’s layer to save Lois and the world, he (clearly) left that bastard great kryptonite necklace (which if we remember was killing him) in Luthor’s pool. So with that in mind, when the shit was hitting the fan and his evil plan was not coming to fruition, why the bloody hell did Lex not put it around his neck? Superman would turn up afterwards and say something like ‘haha Luthor, I’ve foiled your evil deed, now you’re coming with me’. And Lex would then be like ‘don’t think so dick head, lok what I’ve got around my neck!’, and the Superman would go ‘dang it’.

INSPIRED BY: The comics perhaps?

INSPIRED: A whole host of awful superhero adaptations, and not to mention 3 sequels which in order are good, not very good and damn awful!

MORAL: Always be careful when it comes to having two identities. It can lead to a whole heap of trouble! If you don’t believe me, just watch Mrs Doubtfire, Tootsie, Big Momma’s House, it’s all there!

VERDICT: Well it’s the best Superman movie that’s ever been made, which to be fair is probably not the hardest thing to achieve. Superman II was also pretty damn good (but alas not better), Superman III was nothing short of stupid and was essentially just a platform for Richard Pryor’s stand-up routine. Superman IV was, let’s face it complete and utter shite, Superman Returns had its moments but too convoluted and confusing (Superman has a child?) and Man of Steel? Well, you don’t have to be from another planet to fight through a thunderstorm, especially when it comes to saving your dad. Just saying.

 

 

 

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