Friday, September 21, 2007

Movie Review BUMPER-PACK!!!

Well, since I've had far too much free time on my hands of late, two things have been occupying my time; firstly, putting together my fantastic Halloween outfit (I know it's only September but it's quite complex and has been in the works for months now), and secondly catching up with films I've had stacking up for a while. So, yes, inspired by the mighty Jive Bunny, I present Ian's Useless Movie Reviews MEGAMIX!!!


Or Magicians as the posters have been incorrectly calling it. Written by the Peep Show team and starring its two main actors, this enjoyable little Brit-com is less than the sum of its excellent parts. Great cast, very funny moments and characters, a sharp script and decent story (although one virtually identical to Chris Nolan's The Prestige), somehow all align to make a decidedly average finished product.

Not quite sure why, as I really enjoyed it while watching it, but was left with a slightly empty feeling once it had finished. It's the film equivalent of a Pot Noodle; nothing wrong with it and very satisfying at the time, but two hours later you sort of forget that you've eaten it. I think I'm being overly harsh actually, as the film clearly sets out to be entertaining nonsense, and it achieves that in spades, plus it's worth a hundred Notting Hills (the film, not the place. The place is quite nice). It also gets extra points for Jessica Stevenson's Gay Bar dance, and the line "You made them want my face!".

3.8 crabs out of 5


Absolute dross of the highest, blandest rom-com order, saved in parts by a couple of things; the premise and the cast. The main problem here is that, for a rom-com, it doesn't actually hit any of its targets. The romance part is voided instantly by the distinctly non-romantic main idea (what would happen if your loony ex-girlfriend was a superhero and started getting revenge on you). And for a comedy, it simply isn't very funny, with a lame script and convoluted ideas (the Eddie Izzard subplot is just awful).

However, despite the problems, the premise is a decent one and interesting enough to make you soldier through the crap. And the cast absolutely saves the day, getting the only laughs this film has to offer from their performances rather than the script. Luke Wilson, comedienne extraordinaire Anna Faris and especially Uma Thurman (why isn't this woman doing more comedy?) are literally the only thing holding your attention, and they do so admirably with such stunted material to work with.

3 crabs out of 5 (though without the cast it'd be a solitary 1 crab).


Let's get 2 things out of the way here: 1) This film is shit! Absolute shit! There are no redeeming features to this dog turd. 2) I'm a huge Batman fan, and even I didn't want to own this DVD, not even for the 'completing my collection' reason. Buy it I did, though, as it was dirt cheap from eBay (I refused to pay over £2 for it, including postage!), and it features a director's commentary from Joel Schumacher, recorded fairly recently so he'd be aware it's regarded as one of the worst films of all time. Sheer morbid curiosity made me shell out my £1.79, just to hear what the man had to say about this monstrosity.

Only watchable thing in the film: Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy because she's hot. Right, that's the review out of the way, now on to the commentary. Annoyingly, it wasn't what I expected (namely, him apologising for 90 minutes flat) and he even tries to make a case for defending parts of the film, but you can practically hear that his heart's not in these defences and he sort of gives up halfway through.

Couple of interesting tidbits to explain it's shitness though: Schumacher was basically told by the studio that his main priority with this film was to sell toys, to the point where toy companies were snatching designs off the table before the script was finished (there was a script for this?!), and to make it more kid-friendly. If he'd had his way, he'd have gone darker, citing Batman: Year One as his ideal template.

The bottom line is if this hadn't have been made, we'd never have got Chris Nolan's Batman Begins. For that reason alone, and maybe Uma, I'm awarding this film...

0.8 crabs out of 5.


I'm keeping this one short, as you need to watch this film, and the less you know going in the better. Basically a twisted, stylised drama (tone-wise, along the lines of Brick, but more black comedy) dealing with repression and erotic themes, this is a unique and engrossing look into the psyche of characters both endearing and disturbing.

The film is top-notch anyway, but it doesn't hurt that it's acted to the nines by James Spader (who, like Val Kilmer, should still be a massive star, but I'm glad he's not as he's doing much better work now) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (the most gifted young actress to come along since Jennifer Jason Leigh). Maggie in particular, is astonishing in this, truly a performer who completely inhabits a character, rather than just playing one.

Apparently, Chris Nolan replaced wonky-mouthed Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal in his Batman franchise because Katie had "scheduling issues". Bollocks! Watch this film (and Sherrybaby) and it's clear why.

5 crabs out of 5.

(on a side-note I'm awarding myself 4 crabs for mentioning either Christopher Nolan or Batman in 3 out of these 4 reviews)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hooray! Great Bad News for everyone!


"If Kanye West outsells my album on September 11th, I'll retire."

50 Cent said that a few weeks back after Kanye moved the release of his new album to coincide with Fiddy's. Maybe he shouldn't have spoken so soon...

HOORAY! Not only has Kanye outsold Fiddy, but by a landslide, almost 200,000 copies in the states and 10,000 here in Blighty.

So was Fiddy just talking the talk for promotional purposes, or did he mean it? It seems as though he meant it, as the day after the album charts were announced he cancelled EVERY live appearance he had scheduled (and I mean all of them, one so last minute as to be less than 20 hours from broadcast).

So thank you, Kanye!!! You've done us all a great service by ridding us of this talentless hack.

And thank you, Fiddy, for being so supremely arrogant for betting your career and thinking you could hold a candle against Kanye West (who, by the way, is a genius).

I'm not being ironic in that last sentence, I've got Kanye's new album and it's incredible. The man is a master!


"I don't know anyone who'd do anything that tacky."

Vanessa Hudgens said that about Paris Hilton a couple months back, and it seems like she was referring to the infamous sex tape. Though, to be fair, that quote could be applied to anything Paris Hilton does; she just has that tacky face...

How Vanessa Hudgens must be be regretting passing judgement nowadays.

Vanessa Hudgens, if you don't know, is a star from Disney's 'High School Musical' series, which has made zillions around the globe. In a sweet teen-dream story, she's rumoured to be dating Zach Efron, the male lead from High School Musical. Which is all lovely.

Except nude photos of her taken from a camera phone started flooding the Internet a couple weeks back, which most people put aside as fakes.

They're not fake though, and she has publicly apologised for the photos to her pre-teen fans. Speculation has alleged boyfriend and equal Disney star Zach Efron as the photographer... but this sways me from the good news...

Hooray! Despite Disney's initial calm she's been sacked!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Everything Zen

In a perfect world, or even a half-sensible one, the 6th anniversary of the September 11th attacks would be a time for respectful contemplation, sorrow and mourning. The atrocities of that day deserve that.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where George W. Bush is still president. And while Tony Blair may be gone now, his early merits are now clearly tainted by his naive puppy-dog following of Bush into this generation's Vietnam War.

Bush is responsible for sending more Americans to their death than ever died in the 9/11 attacks. Blair is responsible for allowing us to be part of this, which makes us as blood-stained as him.

6 years on, I'd hoped to have found some clarity about this whole situation by this point. And I just have. The following is an interview George W. Bush gave to an Irish journalist a couple of years ago just before he was due to meet with the Irish Prime Minister. The 1st half will make you happy to see the monkey squirm... the 2nd should make your blood boil.

This interview was filmed by an American film crew covering his trip...

It was then banned by US networks and has NEVER been aired in the US.