Posts tagged “1999

Pups / Shite Royal Mail


Pups  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK Release

Rebellious teenager Stevie (Cameron Van Hoy) finds his mother’s gun and along with his girlfriend (Mischa Barton) impulsively decides to rob a bank, becoming a latter-day Bonnie & Clyde in the process.  The pair find themselves in over their heads, as they take hostages and the FBI become involved in negotiating Stevie’s absurd demands.  Head FBI agent (Burt Reynolds) struggles to control the mounting tension in the bank, as he tries to keep the violence from escalating.  “Pups” is an edgy, post-modern response to the growing trend of senseless gun crime in America, featuring “two of the most natural and freed performances I have seen by actors of any age.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

1999  –  Certificate: 15  –  Rating Details: Strong Language and Moderate Sex References  –  American Film  –  6.5 out of 10

This week I’m seriously hating on the Royal Mail, the Post Office, Parcel Force, or whatever it’s called these days since it was stolen from everyone and then sold back to a small proportion of us.  In January I ordered a CD from Japan.   Instead of getting my CD, I got one of the dreaded, silver cards, explaining that I owed a £3.85 customs charge, plus a piss-taking £8.00 “handling fee”.  (And my name was spelt wrongly on the card too.)  So anyway, I paid the fees online eight days before the payment deadline but nothing then got delivered.  When I rang up (and it took three calls to get anywhere), I discovered that the CD had been returned to sender as it was claimed I’d not paid the fees.  So I then had to complete a claim (a two page P58) form to try and get my money back, plus the additional postage I’m now having to pay to get the CD reshipped to me, after I’d also had to go and sort that out with the company I’d bought it from.  The claim form itself was totally shit, as in festival toilets shit, as it asked loads of questions that I had no idea of the answer for, yet it was covered in threats telling me that if I didn’t answer them all my claim couldn’t be processed.  The form totally wasn’t designed for what I need to make a claim for.  The online version was even worse, as I couldn’t even get past the first page, or indeed the first paragraph.  I haven’t had a reply yet.  Why do they even need to know half the questions it asks anyway, as my CD clearly got as far as the UK or I’d not have been sent the silver card?  I remember when it cost 3p to send a first class letter (and 2.5p for second class).  Now it costs 93p (31 times as much) and the service seems worse, despite all the extra technology available these days.  It better pay my own, personal £8.00 “handling fee” I’ve added to my claim too.  And if this wasn’t all bad enough, two days ago I got a letter saying I needed to pay £9.14 VAT, plus an even bigger piss taking £13.50 “Clearance Fee” before they’ll redeliver it.  A total of £22.64, nearly twice as much as last time!  The CD only cost £20.34. What a load of bollocks it all is!  Unless the company has seriously undercharged me for delivery, then there’s no way the VAT can be £9.14.  The cost of the shipping would need to come to £25.36 for that VAT figure to be correct and I was only charged £8.03 for it each time.  I shall be interested to see what the packaging says, should it ever actually be delivered.  I don’t mind paying the VAT, but I can’t see how it’s been worked out correctly, or understand why the handing fee has now become a clearance fee and nearly doubled.  Fucking Nazi Postman Pat can fucking fuck off.  I’m going to write to The Queen, it is the Royal Mail after all; I’m sure she’ll go and bang a few heads together when she hears about this.  Right now I can so understand the protagonist in this film.  I feel like I want to go postal.

There’re three things about the US that no one else in the world understands.  These’re its favourite sports, its approach to public health care and it’s obsession with the right to own guns.  This film is about the latter.  It was made 16 years ago, yet despite a seemingly ongoing parade of nutters with guns going into shops, schools, offices and other places during this period, nothing much seems to have changed since then.  That’s kind of sad and reflects badly on the huge number of people there who do actually have some common sense.  This is quite a rubbishy movie.  The whole approach the police take to deal with the situation makes little sense and what Burt Reynolds is up to most of the time I have no idea; he spends most of it sitting in a car waiting for the kids in the bank to do something, pacing around smoking and scowling, or fielding calls from his wife.  The police and FBI seem to have very little control over the onlookers and the press too; there’re armed police everywhere as well as the kids with guns, yet they’re all within a few metres of the bank.  I’m not in law enforcement, but aren’t they supposed to keep everyone well away?  Even when one of the kids comes out waving a gun about they still don’t get the hint.  They seem to have about the same grasp on what to do as the Royal Mail has on postal delivery services.  In fact pretty well everyone seems to have a bit of a death wish.  However, it’s one saving grace is the boy with the guy.  He’s so over-the-top hyper and mad most of the time that it’s worth watching just for his performance.  He’s pretty unlikable, but somehow I feel a certain kindred spirit burns inside him.  Overall, the film is more entertaining than the sum of its parts might suggest.  At least they had a nice day for it, sunny and warm.  I’d imagine if it had been wet and cold, it would have been a much more miserable experience for everyone, especially those outside.

Recommended for school children, police officers and bank staff.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Banks aren’t exactly top of most people’s lists of favourite things right now, so with hindsight I’d like to consider the spontaneous decision by the two kids to rob one on the way to school, as an unconscious choice to stick it to the Man and get our money back.  That’s badass.  You’d do the same thing too, if you had the guts! 

Pups at IMDB (6/1 / 10)
Pups at Wikipedia
Pups at Roger Ebert (4.0 / 5)
Pups trailer at Video Detective

For some weird reason, there doesn’t appear to be an English language copy of the trailer on YouTube!

 

 


Go / Boomtown Fair 2014


Go  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK Release

From the director of “Swingers” comes a black comedy tracing the outrageous misadventures of a group of young American delinquents.  18-year-old check-out girl Ronna (Sarah Polley – “The Sweet Hereafter”) is trying to score some rent money before she is evicted on Christmas Eve.  Accompanied by reluctant partner in crime Claire (Katie Holmes – “TV’s Dawson’s Creek”), she embarks on her first drug deal…  Meanwhile, impulsive Brit Simon (Desmond Askew – TV’s “Grange Hill”) is driving a stolen car with buddy Marcus (Taye Diggs – “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) during a no-holds-barred night of partying in Vegas, as TV stars Adam (Scott Wolf – TV’s “Party of Five”) and Zack (Jay Mohr – “Jerry Maguire”) find themselves in the middle of a real-life drug sting – and a very creepy Christmas dinner…

1999  –  Certificate: 18  –  American Film
Rating Details: Strong sex, coarse language and drug use
8.0 out of 10

I don’t do music festivals.  Never have.  I’ve been to hundreds of gigs over the years but only a few festivals, which have mostly been indoors and only lasted a day; in fact I’ve only been to four outdoor music events ever.  In 1983 I did hitchhike from London to Stranraer in Scotland, got the ferry across to Larne in Northern Ireland, before hitching down through Belfast and then Dublin, to go to the Punchestown Racecourse.  That was to see The Undertones last ever gig (until the band reformed in 1999).  Dire Straits was the headliner, but I left before it came on.  This was still a one-day event, but I slept in a random field in the open by a haystack the night before.  (Until that is, I was woken up in the middle of the night by a lot of very drunk Irish guys, who ‘insisted’ I slept in their tent, which just happened to be elsewhere in the same field.  Being woken up by being dragged along the ground in your sleeping bag in the middle of the night by a load of incoherent drunks is a strange experience).  But that’s the nearest I’ve got to the real ‘festival experience’… until this year.  For some reason I rashly agreed to buy a £167 ticket to go to the Boomtown Fair near Winchester in Hampshire last month; four days of dance, reggae, ska and punk, all mixed up in a ‘pop-up’ town with 38,000 other people. Four days of drinking cider at 10:00am; eating nothing but bread and falafels; getting virtually no sleep courtesy of camping right next to the Hidden Woods and it’s seemingly non-stop diet of what I think young people might consider dubstep; and wandering around in what tuned into a quagmire of mud. I was lying in my tent one morning, holding onto the inner part of it in the hope that the tail end of what used to be Hurricane Bertha wasn’t going to blow it away; I’d never seen tent poles bend like that before.  (Typical Yanks, sending us their worn out, second-hand weather.)  I ‘lost’ my wallet at NOFX, (who were pretty crappy actually); lost my red/black hat (a huge tragedy) as I got too drunk; had something weird happen to my eyes so it looked like I’d not slept for 50 years; got so sunburnt that my nose fell off (well nearly); and spent a lot of time wondering about and occasionally dancing even more stupidly than normal to bands such as New Town Kings, Dirty Revolution, The Skints, Imperial Leisure, Culture Shock and Sonic Boom Six.  For most of the Skints’s set it poured down; not normal rain, but the sort of rain that Noah had to deal with.  I couldn’t have been wetter if I’d sat in a bath in my clothes.  There’s something very surreal about dancing in the pouring rain on a surface that’s rapidly turning into a mud slide.  The best ‘new’ bands were Smiley & the Underclass and (by coincidence) Smiling Ivy.  Other than the music, the other sound I heard most often was people filling balloons full of nitrous oxide to inhale.  In places the ground was covered in the little metal canisters it normally comes it.  We were also asked at least a dozen times if we were ‘selling’ anything.  I never realised I looked so much like a drug dealer.  Then again, about 99% of the people there were younger than me, so I guess to deal drugs is the only reason ‘old people’ go to festivals.  And then there were the toilets…  Would I go again?  Fuck, yeah!  And for those of you interested in the rather random set of photos I took, they can be viewed hereThis is a film about musical culture too, in this case the rave scene at the end of the 90’s.  (Nice segue me.)

So, this isn’t a film about the ancient, Chinese game of Go.  A sort of cross between “Pulp Fiction” and “Trainspotting”, we follow the exploits of a group of young friends over a weekend, seeing the story unfold three times as it focuses on different people.  It feels a bit OTT and kind of dated (pre mobile phones), but is actually very funny and well put together.  I’m not sure what I was doing when all this rave stuff was going on originally.  I seem to remember it was towards the end of the 80s and early 90s.  I own some 12” singles from that period, which would suggest I had some knowledge of it, but that’s all.  Maybe I was totally out of it on E, X, J or W, or whatever letter of the alphabet people took in them days.  Or perhaps I fell asleep in front of the TV for a few years or something.  Yeah, reach for the lasers…

For a film about rave culture, it has surprisingly little music in it and what there is sounds a bit bland.  It’s okay but a bit of a wasted opportunity; a little like this sentence really.  It does have Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” in it, which seems to turn up in a lot of films.  But it was used in “Star Trek; First Contact”, so that’s a good enough recommendation for me.  

The trailer’s not bad.  Actually it works quite well as an introduction to the film without giving much away.

Recommended for people who work in supermarkets, drug dealers, dodgy cops and losers in general.

2 cats, no chainsaws or decapitations.  Cute cats, awwww.  One has some top dialogue; it’s dubbed into English too, which is great for anyone that doesn’t understand cat language.

Top badass moment?  To raise money to pay her rent, Ronna starts selling aspirin and antihistamines and telling people that they’re drugs.  (That’s drugs as in drugs, not drugs as in, em, drugs).  People buy them and then think they’re having the sort of effect they expect.  It reminded me of how bottled water is sold to the masses.  Marketing pointless crap to stupid people successfully is, begrudgingly, badass. 

Go at IMDB (7.3 / 10)
Go at Wikipedia
Go at Roger Ebert (3.0/4)
Go trailer at YouTube


Dogma / Surgery!


Dogma  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK Release

Searching for a way back from everlasting exile, renegade fallen angels Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) attempt to turn the cosmological system on its head – unless an unlikely horde of humans can stop them. Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), the heroine of “Dogma” is a woman convinced her prayers have not been answered when, out of nowhere, a heralding angel appears in her bedroom and declares her the potential saviour of humanity. Setting off on an extraordinary journey, Bethany meets a host of heavenly and hellish characters, including the celestial messenger Metatron (Alan Rickman), an apostle with a 2,000 year old grudge (Chris Rock), hot-headed demon Azrael (Jason Lee) and heavenly muse Serendipity (Salma Hayek). In Kevin Smith’s comic fantasia, angels, demons, apostles and prophets (of a sort) walk among the cynics and innocents of the Earth and battle it out for the fate of humankind.

1999 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Language: Frequent Strong, Some Coarse. Sex/Nudity: Some Moderate References. Violence: Some, Strong, Fantasy. Other: Comic Fantasy, Religion
8.0 out of 10

Yesterday I underwent a major, surgical procedure; I had my bottom left wisdom tooth removed. Although initially thankful to discover that I’d survived the experience, I was horrified to find out that I got neither a week’s stay in a hospital bed to recover, nor six months’ worth of appointments with a councillor to enable me to cope with the ordeal; I’m pretty sure I’ve got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the operation, which took nearly ten, whole minutes! The initial injections, which got shoved into three places, including where my tooth was sorest, are already out of the running for my list of top ten fun things of 2014. Feeling the end of a needle against the side of my tooth somewhere deep inside my gum, was a bit disconcerting. A few minutes later he gave me two more injections. These all left me somewhat numb, along with hundreds of other people who got caught in the anaesthetic blast zone; not that I was complaining, I was just glad to have lost all tactile contact with the outside world. The executioner dentist then started pulling at my tooth. There was a very disconcerting cracking noise at one point, which I remember thinking would have been even more worrying had I been an astronaut in a space capsule. The dentist did make a comment to the effect that I shouldn’t worry about the noise, (although considering he was doing his best to flatten my head at the time with his arm, I don’t suppose there was much I could do anyway). I had visions of my tooth disintegrating, along with most of my jaw and skull. I started imagining that my head would end up resembling a Halloween pumpkin, that sort with a hideously cut out smile, which had gone a bit rotten and started to collapse in on itself. However, the tooth came out in one piece and I was then rewarded with four stitches that were done with such a flourish that I got the distinct feeling the dentist was looking to be scored well on artistic merit by someone. He also rather cruelly said the third was one the last, before adding a fourth. Then I just got booted out of the surgery and left to somehow stagger on my own to the chemist shop for more antibiotics. I also got given the huge, pink pain killers I’d had before too, although as far as I was concerned, there was no pain-killer big enough for what I felt I’d soon need. I thought I’d been pumped full of enough anaesthetic to numb my whole body for months, but it did start to wear off shortly after I got home. It was a bit sore for a few hours, but now it seems to have settled down and it’s not too bad. I imagine most people would describe the sort of discomfort I’m in as “agony”, but I’m not the sort of person to build mountains out of mole hills. I did have a look at my tooth once it had been pulled out, (I made the nurse get it out of the bin), but as the Tooth Fairy does everything online these days, I didn’t feel the need to bring it home to put under my pillow. I guess I could have drilled a hole in it and worn it as a sort of necklace I suppose. The wonderful National Health Service, despite all its ‘issues’, did everything for free, so once the Tooth Fairy has paid up, I should be well in the money. I’m seriously considering selling a few spare organs now. This film highlights two people who want to do something that will end all of existence, but after my traumatic tooth experience, the end of existence seems small beer to me.

I went to a Church School. (Hard to believe I know.) Ever Thursday we had our assembly in the local church, St. Mary’s. This I did all through my primary school education. Despite this, most of the ecumenical stuff mentioned in this film meant nothing to me. Then again, I went to a Protestant church rather than a Catholic one. The biggest difference between the two is if you go to the former and piss about, nothing much happens. If you do the same as the latter, you’ll end up committing a mortal sin and being dammed to spend all of eternity in Purgatory, or worse. I guess that makes you remember things more clearly. This is a great, original and clever comedy that stars a whole range of famous people and characters, from the talented and funny (Alan Rickman) and now mega successful (Matt Damon), to the hugely overrated (Jay and Silent Bob). Alanis Morissette is God, which probably came as a big shock to Morgan Freeman when he turned up to be God some years later in “Bruce Almighty”. Alanis is sexier though and unlike Morgan, got a song into the charts that references oral sex in public. A great film, well worth watching.

There’s quite an array of music used in this movie but weirdly I can’t remember much about it. I guess that means it did it’s job well, or it’s just rubbish.

I rather like the trailer for this film.  It makes it look ‘exciting’ and gives an idea of the plot, without really giving anything away. Sounds simple, but many trailers fail this simply test.

Recommended for rebranding consultants, out of work apostles, pole dancers, angels and abortion clinic doctors.

1 decapitation, no cats or chainsaws. Well it’s an exploding head really, but let’s not quarrel about semantics.

Top badass moment? Bethany saves all of existence. Not quite as impressive as my dealing with the trauma of having a wisdom tooth removed yesterday, but it’s still pretty badass.

Dogma at IMDB (7.4 / 10)
Dogma at Wikipedia
Dogma at Roger Ebert (3.5 / 4.0)
Dogma trailer at YouTube


Deterrence / Fun With Laptops and Phone Lines


Deterrence  -  Front DVD Cover  -  Dutch ReleaseIn the year 2008, U.S. President Walter Emerson (Kevin Pollak), who recently took office after the death of the former chief executive, is campaigning for re-election.  After winning the Colorado state primary, Emerson finds himself stranded in a roadside diner after a freak snowstorm.  While the president exchanges pleasantries with the diner’s staff and customers, a new bulletin appears on TV: Udei Hussein, son of the late Saddam Hussein, has invaded Kuwait and butchered several hundred U.S. peace-keeping troops.  Outraged, the president announces that if Hussein and his forces do not withdraw and officially surrender, he will begin dropping nuclear weapons on Baghdad.  However, Iraq responds that if they are attacked, 23 cities in the United States and allied nations will be immediately destroyed in a counterattack.  Emerson, his advisors, and the others trapped in the diner with them debate long and loud about what to do, and what the potential consequences could be.

1999  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  French / American Film
8.5 out of 10

A few weeks ago I wrote about my work laptop having a few ‘issues’.  Work-related stress, cruel and heartless management and a failure to ‘work smarter and not harder’, had reduced it to an untidy pile of nearly useless components unable to do the simplest things, other than make up excuses for not having done them. (Oh wait, that’s just me.)  Over the past week or so, to coincide with moving our office, trying to sort out the old one and get the new one in a state to be used as anything more than a second-hand furniture shop, I’ve had ‘The Man From Dell’ visit no less than four times, in an attempt to fix my laptop’s problems.  However, I’m now the proud owner of what looks like a new computer; although it’s been totally pulled to bits so many times and so many parts have been replaced, that I’m not sure it even recognises itself now.  More importantly, it actually works.  I really enjoyed downloaded the four million or so e-mails that have piled up for me over the past couple of weeks, many of which are increasingly angry ones from people demanding that I do this, that and the other by yesterday.  I doubt they’ll care that moving office takes a bit of effort, my laptop’s gone mental, my mobile phone went into hiding and the new office looks like Engineering on the Enterprise after a particularly bad day dealing with Klingons.  They’ll just think I’m a lazy, work-shy imbecile, who can’t be arsed to make an effort; trouble is, they’re probably right.  In related news, ‘The Man From BT’ was also in today, to put in two basic phone lines.  Quite why this took him (and a colleague) most of the day, I’m not sure.  We’re in the centre of the town, there’re landlines and junction boxes everywhere.  Unlike BT and myself, the President in this film manages to ‘get things done’, even though he’s stranded in a cafe with just a few phone lines and a TV, as he organises universal Armageddon faster than BT can get a telephone to work.

Despite all its plot holes and general dumbness, this is actually a really clever and tense political thriller.  A number of its assumptions have since proved to be quite prophetic too.  Its clever use of stock footage of American Presidents playing at “Team America: World Police” and TV coverage of the developing crisis, works very well.  I wasn’t entirely sure if it was making a point about war being bad or necessary; or that American presidents have too much power or a responsibility to use that power.  However, there is something very chilling about seeing someone ordering a nuclear attack on another country.  It was also rather depressing to see how little value was placed by the Americans on the lives of its enemies and allies alike.  (If it wasn’t for us, they’d still be riding around firing bows and arrows at one another.)  I can’t really say much more as knowing about the plot would spoil things, but I’d certainly recommend watching it.  It’ll give you lots to talk about afterwards too.

The soundtrack is good example of understated music making a big difference to the feel of the film.  Good job.

Recommended for Special Agents, dictators and anyone caught in a snowstorm or who works in a cafe.  Definitely not recommend for American Presidents.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  The American President ordering a nuclear attack is about as badass as you can get.  Shame it’s not a good type of badass.  I wouldn’t like to piss him off though.

Deterrence at IMDB (6.4 / 10)

Deterrence at Wikipedia

Deterrence at YouTube


Being John Malkovich: 4.0 Stars


Being John Malkovich  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is a struggling street puppeteer.  In order to make some money, Craig takes a job as a filing clerk.  One day he accidentally discovers a door… a portal into the brain of John Malkovich (played by John Malkovich)!  For 15 minutes, he experiences the ultimate head trip – he is being John Malkovich!  Then he’s dumped onto the New Jersey turnpike!  With his beautiful office mate Maxine (Catherine Keener) and his pet-obsessed wife (Cameron Diaz), they hatch a plan to let others into John’s brain for just $200 a trip.  See what all the critics are talking about.

1999  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA

I’ve got far too fat this year.  Too much to do at work, along with a very slowing recovering ankle injury (sustained whilst trying to walk the South Downs Way, that well-known hiking equivalent of climbing K2), have somewhat curtailed my more extreme sporting aspirations over the past 18 months.  It totally sucks, I must be the only fat vegan on the planet.  Although some kinds of exercise do have an attraction (by which I mean ‘dancing’ at punk and ska gigs), eating less has very little to recommend it using just about every system devised for measuring human fun levels.  Several years ago I didn’t eat anything for 35 days, which lead to my losing 23kg, but this didn’t exactly leave me with a lot of energy or get up and go; even less than normal, attributes which are often in short supply anyway.  (Please insert joke here about my get up and go having got up and went years ago.)  So this time I need a slightly different approach.  Having considered the wide range of fad diets and other crap that’s published about how to lose weight, I’ve realised that what I actually need is a more industry-standard, heavy-duty model; less like a pair of scissors and more like a chainsaw.  So for the last four days I’ve been following what I’ve dubbed the Husqvarna Diet; (other chainsaw-themed weight-loss programmes are available, probably).  And yes, I’m afraid it was a Christmas present to myself.  I need to lose 35kg, which will leave me weighing about the same as when I was born, I think.  I’m not sure what that is in ‘old money’ but I suspect it’s quite a lot.  At this point I’d like to reveal the details of the Husqvarna Diet, but I’m afraid I can’t; if it works I’ll be looking for a publishing deal to sell my brilliant idea to all the other obese, lazy, losers ‘out there’.  If I’m looking forward to one thing, it’s being able to wear a lot of totally out of date clothing, which like many people I’ve kept in the wardrobe for years and years in the stupidly misguided hope that somehow it will fit me again one day.  In fact, I’d go as far as to suggest that they’ll be so old-fashioned as to actually be cool and retro.  Like my diet plan, this film is also truly unique and rather ridiculous.

I really like this movie.  With what’s probably a one of a kind plot, it’s clever, amusing and watchable.  Unfortunately, it’s also just a little bit too clever for its own good.  Then again, the story doesn’t really make any sense, yet somehow is perfectly coherent and believable.  It could come across as a bit freaky and gruesome, but it doesn’t.  The characters could all easily seem quite unpleasant, but they aren’t.  A bit like in Star Trek when they use a bit of techno-babble to get around problems, this film creates a whole mythology around its characters and living forever, but doesn’t bother to explain where most of it came from.  You just need to accept things as is, but for all that it doesn’t really matter and it’s highly entertaining stuff.  Cameron Diaz is almost unrecognisable as the pet fixated wife, whilst Catherine Keener just looks sexy.

Recommended for people who enjoy weird films; but weird in a good way.

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  In a film featuring a lot of animals, it’s sad that the cat only has a brief cameo, but even so does introduce a classic continuity glitch.  You can’t keep a good animal actor out of the limelight!

Top badass moment?  This has to be John Malkovich playing (what I assume is a rather subtlety shallow version of) himself.  That’s just weird and weird is badass.

Being John Malkovich at IMDB (7.8/10)


Blast From The Past: 3.5 Stars


Blast from the Past  -  Front DVD CoverI’ve bought myself a new camera. It’s a Samsung ST200F.  It’s a hideous purple colour, (because they were out of stock of the black ones.) It’s got a 16 megapixel resolution, which is a lot because one mega of anything is a lot, so 16 must be an awful lot.  It’s got a memory card in it that allows me to store 3,403 pictures on it, if I take them all at the camera’s maximum resolution, or 97,346 if I take them at its minimum.  I doubt if I’ve taken more than 5,000 photos in my entire life, which means if I continue to take photos at the same rate in future, I could use the same memory card to store all the photos I take between now and when I’m 954 years old.  I can’t help thinking that even if I live that long, both the camera and the memory card will have stopped functioning by then.  Or to put it another way, I’d have to take 16-17 photos an hour for a whole year (assuming I had eight hours sleep a night) to fill the memory card in that time. I’m not sure even my lounge is worthy of that much study.  Anyway, this is the first ‘bit of technology’ I’ve bought for a couple of years, so it’s all very exciting; and when I work out why I might want to take advantage of one of its functions and upload my photos into a cloud, I’ll let you know.  It also has a setting called Beauty Shot, which apparently improves the appearance of someone by automatically removing blemishes from them.  I don’t know why it doesn’t just go the whole way and simply provide you with a picture of a professional model, superimposed on a background of your choice.  Still, I can’t wait to test this function’s capabilities on myself, that’ll give it a real workout; I hope it doesn’t break it.  It sounds a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle than conventional plastic surgery.  I ought to point out that I’ve only bought this camera as I broke my old one when I dropped it on the ground and a tiny bit of plastic snapped off it.  I did this the same day I was walking backwards in front of a load of people and fell over a huge boulder that had been pulled out of a river and left there.  It’s quite hard to appear nonchalant and casual when you’ve just been dumped on your ass like that in front of 30 people, but I think I got away with it….   Like my life, this film features a plot with a technological edge to it too.

1999  –  Certificate: 12  –  USA

So, at long last, here’s a romantic comedy that ‘real men’ can watch, because it’s really a tough, no-nonsense science fiction movie.  Well, sort of.  It hasn’t got any aliens in it, or spaceships, but it does have a couple of big explosions and a dodgy CGI aeroplane.  I’ve always like Alicia Silverstone too, because she’s a great actress, honestly.  It has nothing to do with what she looked like in her Batgirl costume two years before.  No, really it doesn’t.  I do have to admit that I did kind of enjoy this film.  To be sure, it’s entirely unrealistic, stupid and unbelievable, but it is quite funny in places and the background to the entirely predictable plot is really quite fun and certainly different. The supporting cast does a great job as well.  They could have done a lot more with the interesting ‘trapped underground for 35 years’ scenario, but I guess that’s what happens when you let romance get in the way of a perfectly good sci-fi story.  However, it’s all very watchable, easy on the brain and well made too.  An effortless way to spend 99 minutes.

Recommended for fans of extreme cinema who want to push the boundaries of romantic comedy to its limits.  Or maybe not.

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.

Top badass moment?  As a bit of a dance-floor diva myself, (honestly, please don’t assume I’m lying), Adam’s dancing in the nightclub deserves some respect.  Being able to do that after living your whole life in a hole in the ground with just your parents for company, has to be badass.  In fact being able to do almost anything after growing up in those circumstances is probably badass.

Blast From The Past at IMDB (6.4)


Cruel Intentions: 4.5 Stars


Cruel Intentions  -  Front DVD CoverI went to see The Skints last night, at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston; (that’s Kingston-Upon-Thames, London, not Kingston, Jamaica).  The Skints are a great, punk-edged reggae band from east London.  Now, I have three irrational fears in life; getting my hair cut in a hairdressers/barbers, public toilets and seeing bands in venues I haven’t been to before.  Given that selection, you’ll be please to know that my experiences last night only concerned the latter.  Kingston is a bit of a pain to get to from Reading by public transport; well it’s okay to get to but really difficult to get back from afterwards, mainly because the last train times aren’t very bohemian.  So on the odd occasion I go there I have to drive, which means I both add a little more towards the destruction of the planet (and suffer weeks of guilt-ridden nightmares as a consequence) and also of more immediate concern, I can’t really drink anything.  Why new venues freak me out I’m not sure.  I think it’s a fear of not knowing how to find where the stage is, while everyone else there knows the most intimate details of the place and will basically notice my confusion and inability to navigate myself around, leading to my being laughed at by them all (complete with pointing fingers) and as a consequence having to run away after suffering this public humiliation and never ever being able to go to a gig again, in case anyone recognises me and tells everyone and the nightmare starts again.  Now I totally realise that this probably inflates my worldly importance and significance somewhat and that in reality no one would even notice or give a dam, or would just tell me where to go if I asked, but I did say it was an irrational fear.  The venue in the Fighting Cocks is basically a shed (it looks like a garage from the outside) next to the pub.  So after arriving and sitting in my car for ten minutes to build up the courage to go, I walked up the road to meet my nemesis.  When I arrived the bloke on the door was giving some guy trying to get in a hard time, suggesting that the photo on the Driving Licence he’d provided as proof of his age had been tampered with; something to do with his eyes looking in different directions.  Anyway he was got in in the end and I just walked past the bouncer; no one asks me to prove I’m over 18 these days; not sure why…  Anyway, I walk into the place and what do I see?  Giant writing on the wall saying “Toilets and venue this way”, with a big arrow to reinforce the message.  (Well I think that’s what it said, I was just so happy that I could have thrown myself on the floor and prayed to God for thanks).  There was also a bit of a queue too, which helped reinforce the suggestion; (well it could have been a queue for the toilets I guess).  Inside the place wasn’t much bigger than a double garage, with a small bar in one corner, a stage in the other and paint peeling off the walls everywhere.  I managed to end up trying to dance more or less under the speakers, as I slowly went deaf and the sweat of 150 people dripped down the walls.  Yes, it was a pretty cool place!  Great gig too; a benefit for the band (so it got to keep all the money from the sale of the tickets), as it had a van with most of its gear and merchandise in it stolen a couple of weeks ago.  I only managed to stand on one person’s feet, which wasn’t too bad for me, but he was very forgiving.  In a complete contrast to all this, Cruel Intentions features nothing materially seedy but lots of very questionable characters.

1999 – Certificate: 15 – USA

I love this film.  I shouldn’t, but I do.  Offering some terrible role-models and dodgy morals, we get to see so-rich-its-obscene kids taking pleasure in fucking up other people’s lives just for the fun of it.  They aren’t even politicians or bankers either!  In “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” I was always more of a Willow than a Buffy fan, but Sarah Michelle Gellar manages to turn her character in this film into a total sex diva.  Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to slobber all over her as she tells you to be like Captain Picard and “boldly go where no man has gone before”.   (I’ll just add that one to my Bucket List, shall I?)  A smart script makes the most of a less the original story and the characters are sufficiently well written and acted to make this a genuinely awesome, must-watch movie.

Recommended for fans of excellent films and those that like to say things like, “what a bitch” or “what a bastard” while watching them, especially when the primary emotion when saying them is jealously.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Sarah Michelle Gellar gets to be the sexy-bad-bitch-from-hell that Buffy could have become if she’d not have been a prime-time TV character; except without all the fighting.  Her every word in this film is badass and not ‘good’ baddass either.  However, I’m almost sorry she got her comeuppance in the end.  What a bad person!

Cruel Intentions at IMDB (6.7)