Posts tagged “Affair

Hello I Must Be Going / My Visit to a Modern Day Torture Chamber


Hello I Must Be Going  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US Release“Hello I Must Be Going” features acclaimed actress Melanie Lynskey (“Up In The Air”, “Two And A Half Men”) in her breakout role as Amy, a recent divorcée who seeks refuge in the suburban Connecticut home of her parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein).  Demoralized and directionless, Amy begins an affair with 19-year-old actor Jeremy (“Girls”’ Christopher Abbott) that reignites her passion for life and jumpstarts her independence.  Coupling Danner’s riveting performance as a frustrated empty nester with Lynskey’s endearing depiction of both the comic and tragic avenues of life at a crossroads, “Hello I Must Be Going” is a modern, unconventional love story infused with sex, humour and raw, emotional honesty.

2012  –  Certificate: R  –  American Film
Rating Details:  Language and Sexual Content
7.0 out of 10

I went to see the dentist today.  Not my usual one but a “minor dental surgery” dentist.  I reported to reception and was promptly sent “downstairs”.  Isn’t that were they normally keep all the torture equipment in dungeons, along with the soundproofed rooms?  My earliest life memory is of a dentist removing one of my teeth when I was about five or six.  I just remember screaming my head off because of the pain and my mum coming into the room and pinning the dentist up against the wall, no doubt giving him quite a large piece of her mind.  Those sorts of things tend to stick in your mind.  I don’t think I’ve had a dentist remove any of my teeth since.  So anyway, downstairs I went.  The dentist I met appeared to have zero sense of humour and his comment that I’d been sent to him “as an emergency” to “have my wisdom tooth dug out” sounded  a little too near the truth for my liking.  Well I’m terribly sorry my “emergency” has taken so long to get sorted out that my body has given up waiting and decided to deal with the pain problem itself.  In future I’ll gargle with hot, melted sugar every four hours.  He had a five second look in my mouth before declaring that he could remove it there and then, but it would probably hurt.  He then ‘explained’ why this was so in such a way as to make no sense to me whatsoever; something to do with the fact that as it isn’t bothering me much now it would hurt to remove it.  (“But” I wondered to myself, “what about the injections and stuff you could give me to stop it hurting?”)  So instead he sent me away with another course of antibiotics and an instruction to go back next week.  When I tried to book the appointment I was told he was fully booked, so I now have to go back in two weeks instead.  The only other thing he told me was that the tooth was close to a nerve, so I might end up with numbness in my lip, chin or tongue, forever; although he did say that probably wouldn’t happen in my case; I guess that was his way of trying to cheer me up.  I don’t think he liked me…   When I left I was given a sheet of paper with some information on it.  This included the gem that, “ …wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems that mean the truth is best removed.”  Typo?  I don’t think so.  Maybe I’ll have a go myself with a bit of string tried to a door handle?  I think I’ll make a will.  This film is also about a life changing experience.

35 year old divorcée has affair with 19 year old guy.  Various embarrassing thing happen.  The end.  Why is it even called “an affair?”  She’s not married anymore and neither is he.  In fact neither of them is in any sort of relationship.  Calling it “an affair” just makes it seem a bit seedy.  I also hate that her family is one of those American ‘film families’ that go on about having no money, yet live in a big, flash house and even have workman in doing loads of improvement work to it.  Sorry, but that’s not my definition of poor.  My definition of poor includes taking the rubbish bags from outside the likes of Starbucks at night and going through them, looking for discarded packets of sandwiches etc that have passed their sell-by date.  Having said all that, this is actually quite a good film which is genuinely funny in places.  Melanie Lynskey makes it work.  The rest look like they were purchased from the Slightly Quirky Film Characters (American Division – Middle Class) Company.

It’s got a decent trailer, except it does big up the physical stuff a bit.  Most of the time Amy and Jeremy aren’t even onscreen together.  It’s far more of an embarrassing comedy that an erotic romance.

The movie contains a lot of well meaning but somewhat weedy, folky, guitar music.  It’s okay, it works.

Recommended for lawyers, divorcées, ‘poor people’ and teen guys that fancy ‘older women’.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  19 year old Jeremy gets off with 35 year old Amy.  Well that’s pretty badass isn’t it?

Hello I Must Be Going at IMDB (6.2 / 10)
Hello I Must Be Going at Wikipedia
Hello I Must Be Going at Roger Ebert (3.0 / 5)
Hello I Must Be Going at YouTube

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Occupation / Inapproprate Advertising


Occupation  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseThis powerful, compelling drama traces the fraught interwoven journeys of three British soldiers who take part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, return to Manchester, but are then inspired to revisit the chaos of Basra.  Danny, Mike and Hibbs, friends in the same army regiment, have their own very different reasons to return.  Danny (Stephen Graham) sees rich financial pickings in private security work, in a land awash with billions of dollars of reconstruction money.  Mike (James Nesbitt) has fallen in love with Iraqi doctor Aliyah.  Hibbs (Warren Brown) goes back because he believes in the mission to rebuild the country and help the Iraqi people.  Life in the new Iraq however is unpredictable, chaotic and dangerous.  Over the course of five years, the friendship of the three men comes under fierce pressure, as they pursue their dreams against the backdrop of growing fundamentalism, sectarian violence, and corruption in the world of privatised security.  Occupation is a darkly humorous and emotionally involving story, which slowly builds to a gripping and moving finale, as their conflicting ambitions come to define not just their own lives, but the war and the occupation of Basra itself.

2009  –  Certificate:15  –  British Film
Rating Details:  Strong language, injury detail and violence
9.5 out of 10

I went to see Bad Religion last Tuesday at Camden Koko. Whilst standing in the queue waiting to go in, (no thanks to the Tube, which thought it would be funny to have no trains in either direction running to Mornington Crescent), someone was handing out flyers for other gigs.  After having one of these shoved into my hand, I took a brief look at it.  FFS!  What do I see on the front but concerts by Barry Gibb, Rick Wakeman, Peter Gabriel and Wet Wet Wet.  I’m a baby-eating punk skinhead monster, standing in a queue waiting to see one of the best American punk bands ever and what do I get given?  A flyer for two very old prog rockers, a guy who sounds like he hasn’t got any balls and the extremely well named Wet Wet Wet.  If anyone at the Bad Religion gig decided to go to any of those concerts, he or she should be shot for treason.  If would be more appropriate to give out money-off coupons for Bernard Matthews turkey drumsticks at the Vegan Society AGM. To say I was incandescent with fury would be to rather understate the feeling.  However, I somehow managed to control my rage.  Bad Religion was great.  The support band Arcane Roots didn’t really do anything for me musically, but their sound was the nearest I ever want to get to being shot.  Koko probably has the most powerful bass system of any venue for its size in London and they had the kick drum totally maxed out.  Everything in the place just shook.  I’ve never experienced that intensity of bass before, so thumbs up to the band for such an unpleasant experience!  This film has some seriously intense stuff and people being shot in it too.

I always find it difficult to assess what I think of films when they’re based on true events, especially when the events weren’t very long ago; the drama and history remain so interconnected and the effects of the latter so raw and often still evolving, that it’s difficult to be objective.  This is one such example.  This film was originally a three-part BBC miniseries and it’s awesome.  A totally absorbing and sometimes uncomfortable watch, it manages to give a real sense of the chaos, suspicion and differing world views of and in Iraq, during and after the American-led invasion, as it chops back and forward between Iraq and Manchester.  It also manages to effectively explore the effects of this mess on some of the people caught up in it.  It has a number of genuinely powerful scenes, the sort you just think “wow” after.  It looks very authentic, the acting’s excellent and the script very nuanced.  What a shocking nightmare it all was, and still is in many ways too.  As an entertaining drama and as a reflection of what went on, it’s essential viewing.

There is very little music in this film.  It’s there and adds nicely to the scenes when it’s used, but no one’s going to watch this movie for that reason.

No cats or chainsaws.  There may or may not be a decapitation, but I don’t want to spoil what’s one of the most intense scenes in the film, so you’ll just have to watch it to find out.

Recommended for politicians and anyone who has any decision-making role relating to Syria.

Top badass moment?  In a movie full of very flawed heroes, there’re plenty of would-be badass moments.  But being a Brit and this being a drama rather than a documentary, I’ve had to pick out Mike (James Nesbitt) and his mercy dash with the young girl who got blown up by a hand-grenade.  The hospital was a frightening example of what happens when you try to pour a gallon into a pint glass.  James Nesbitt is the Undertones number one celebrity fan too!

Occupation at IMDB (7.5 / 10)

Occupation at Wikipedia


The Waiting Room / Happy Shopper Brown Sauce


The Waiting Room  -  Front DVD Cover (UK Release)“The Waiting Room” is the beautiful, feature debut of Academy-Award nominated writer/director Roger Golby.  The sterling cast give ‘top-notch performances’ in their portrayal of two strangers – Anna (Anne-Marie Duff) and Stephen (Ralf Little) – who are brought together by chance as they sit together in a deserted waiting room.  Here they make a brief but powerful connection, forgetting their individual lives for an isolated moment in time.  As Stephen and Anna’s lives move onwards, they find themselves thinking more and more of the stranger they met in the waiting room – and what would happen should they meet again.  This highly acclaimed and deeply moving film presents a fresh, edgy and totally romantic view of contemporary life and love in London.

2008  –  Certificate: 15  –  British Film
Rating Details: One strong sex scene and strong language
8.5 out of 10

On my way home from work two days ago I did a bit of food shopping.  A sudden impulse buy was a bottle of brown sauce.  I can’t remember the last time I bought any, but it must have been years ago.  If I’d had any sense I’d have bought some decent stuff, like HP.  Instead, I bought some cheap, Happy Shopper Brown Sauce.  It tasted sort of okay, but it contains about a tonne of salt per gram.  (No, I don’t know how that’s possible either; I guess it’s this sort of ‘new physics’ that makes the experiments being done with the Large Hadron Collider so exciting.)  Using it gave me a sore throat and I could feel my arteries bulging as if they were about to explode, thanks to my suddenly elevated blood pressure.  All in all it’s pretty toxic stuff.  I can only imagine that a large-scale deployment of Happy Shopper Brown Sauce would probably cross someone’s “red line” somewhere or other…  I’m glad I only have the one bottle.  I’ve not checked frame by frame, but I’m not aware that this film contains any brown  sauce, or  sauce of any colour for that matter.  If anyone spots any do let me know.

I can’t understand why this film isn’t better known.  It’s set in Wandsworth, south London and features a lot of Southern Trains suburban services in it; I mean seriously, how much more cool and fashionable could it possibly get?  It’s a story that revolves around three couples, their relationships and a chance meeting between two people in a waiting room at Wandsworth Common Station.  This is a gentle but hugely touching film about ordinary people.  Like many character-driven stories, it just sort of jumps into a period in their lives and then after a while it leaves them again, giving us a glimpse into their thoughts, feeling and actions.  It has a number of scenes that provide the sort of emotional impact that all good films should and characters, though flawed, it’s still easy to sympathise with.  Funny in places and intensely sad in others, at times it felt a bit too close to home for my linking, which is partly why it’s such a brilliant movie.

The soundtrack is generally restrained and unmemorable, but quietly gets on with business of extending the impact of the scenes it’s used in.  A job well done.

Recommended for anyone who accepts that their life is as good as it’s ever going to get.

No cat, chainsaws or decapitation.

Top badass moment?  Stephen, one of the two main characters, works in a nursing home.  When my mum was in a nursing home all the care staff there seemed too overworked to really spend much time with the residents.  Perhaps that’s the reality of it, but if any of them did ever have a bit of time on their hands, I’d have wanted them to be like Stephen.

The Waiting Room at IMDB (6.3 / 10)


Notes on a Scandel / Nightmare in Cactus World (Again)


Notes on a Scandal  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)Academy Award Winners Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett give outstanding, Oscar-nominated performances – one as a woman consumed by her colleague’s guilty secret, the other, a victim to her own dark obsessions – in this intelligent and stylish thriller.  Dench mesmerises as Barbara Covett, a teacher who rules over her classroom with an iron fist, yet leads a desperate, solitary life outside it.  That is, until she meets radiant new art teacher Sheba Hart (Blanchett).  Although at first overjoyed with her newfound kindred spirit, when Barbara discovers that Sheba is having an affair with a student, her jealously and rage spiral out of control.  Also starring Bill Nighy, “Notes on a Scandle” is “The first great British film of the year” (The Guardian).

2006  –  Certificate: 15  –  UK
Rating Details: Strong language and sex references
8.5 out of 10

Almost two years ago a nightmare descended upon Cactus World.  The entity known as The Amplifier became ill.  It suddenly ceased to have a voice; its thoughts, so important to every citizen of Cactus World, were gone.  Not a sound was to be heard from its mighty 7.2 outputs.  To locate a cure, special doctors in a land far, far away had to be tracked down.  The Amplifier then had to be prepared for the perilous odyssey it needed to undertake to visit them.  In the meantime the population were left despairing, with little to occupy their minds, as most of Cactus World’s entertainment infrastructure ground to a halt.  Some basic music services were eventually enabled through alternative means, but these bore little resemblance to the thoughts of The Amplifier, whilst TV and films remained entirely off-line.  Of course, as we all know now, The Amplifier eventually returned from its journey and with the help of Cactus World’s finest scientists, was reconnected in all the right places.  But this weekend, disaster!  The Amplifier became silent again.  Exactly the same evil curse has befallen it, as Onkyo’s entirely shit amplifier design raised its ugly head once more.  Government officials were observed frantically trying to put a call through to the doctors that helped us before; (unfortunately they seem to be closed at the weekend).  However, the citizens of Cactus World are nothing, if not resourceful.  After what happened before, a new emergency procedure was developed, known as Protocol One.  For the last 18 months this has been distributed to the entire population; schools have taught it as part of the curriculum, anyone wishing to settle in Cactus World has been required to lean about it.  It was a moment no one hoped they’d experience, but when the warning sirens unexpectedly went off on Saturday, indicating a malfunctioning Amplifier, it was hard not to be moved by the sight of the entire population quietly but determinedly going to their designated muster points, or reporting for their civic emergency duties; heroes, every one of them.  Anyway, Protocol One has two elements.  The first is focused on the safely of our citizens, (and if you’re a little bit cynical like me, is also there to prevent too much civil disobedience).  The second involves a plan to entirely reconfigure the national entertainmnet nexus, to bypass The Amplifier and provide full access to both music and films, something that has never ever been attempted before.  At the moment I’m feeling quite emotional and deeply indebted, along with the rest of the population I’m sure, to Cactus World’s best scientific minds and highly trained engineers, who have successfully carried out this complex procedure.  Pushing the boundaries of technology ever further.  Full, high-definition pictures and sound across all DVD and Blu-ray copyright region zones are now available and have been fully(ish) tested on this film.  It’s true, my living room does looks a bit like the Starship Enterprise on a bad day in Engineering, with cables and open maintenance panels all over the place, but the important thing is it works and I can watch films in the manner in which I’m accustomed.  This film pushes boundaries too, but in its case those of relationships.

When she’s not running Her Majesty’s Secret Service and telling James Bond to get his act together, Judi Dench spends her time as a psycho lesbian, teaching at a typical secondary school in north London.  Yes, it surprised me too.  Starting out with a ‘not that original’ plot about a teacher having an affair with a student, this proved to be a very tense thriller that ends in the way that all films featuring a ‘psycho something or other’ should end.  The acting’s terrific, the script’s great and it’s good to see a bit of anonymous, unglamorous London featured in a film for a change.  It’s also a movie that under the surface has a lot to say about chronic loneliness.  Both the primary characters are easy to sympathise with too, despite their behaviour.  This is a film you should see.

Recommended for psycho nutters everywhere; and school-teachers.

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  Portia, a beautiful, long-haired cat, has a small but key role, adding both depth to the plot and an air of pathos that the film was otherwise sadly lacking.  Unfortunately, as is often the case, I believe its lines, both meows and purrs, were dubbed.  When is the film industry going to end this shameless practice?

Top badass moment?  Judi Dench’s Barbara; a great, unsung movie bastard-from-hell.  So bad she’s badass.

Notes on a Scandal at IMDB (7.5 / 10)


Rain: 3.0 Stars


Rain  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)It’s the beginning of a long hot summer, and thirteen year old Janey (Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki) and her family settle into their isolated cottage for what’s set to be another perfect holiday.  But for Janey this will be no ordinary holiday, it will change her life forever.  Every day she swims, fishes and cares for her brother Jim, while her mother Kate (Sarah Pierse) embarks on an affair with photographer Cody (Martin Csokas) and her father Ed (Alistair Browning) sits in the back yard, drinking whiskey and ignoring his family.  Every night their parents throw parties to disguise their growing marriage problems and surrounded by adults drinking and flirting, she soon discovers her own sexuality with severe consequences.  Rain is the provocative and moving debut feature film from acclaimed New Zealand director Christine Jeffs (Sylvia), set in the lush backdrop of New Zealand’s beautiful coastline.

2001  –  Certificate: 15  –  New Zealand

With all the rain most people seem to have been having recently in the UK, I thought I’d show a bit of solidarity with my sodden comrades and watch this film.  Cactus World itself seems to have avoided the worst of the weather and today is presently sitting at a comfortable cloudy but dry, 24°C.  (The latter’s in my lounge; I’ve no idea what the temperature is outside, but I don’t think it’s especially cold.)  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my neighbours too, for having their heating on so I don’t need to use mine.  I haven’t had it on at all today.  You know how hard it is to buy a Christmas present for someone who has everything?  Well I like to think of this as my Christmas present to the Earth, but it’s proving to be a bugger of a thing to wrap up.  The planet also has about a billion Christmas trees, which seems just a tad ostentatious even when compare with those people who cover their homes in sleigh-shaped lights and stuff, so I’ve not sure which one to put it under anyway.  Despite its name, it doesn’t rain in this film at all.  It does however, have a somewhat overcast vibe.

It’s time for another movie about a dysfunctional family.  Yeah!  This one’s set during a summer in the 1970s.  From the use of Sherbet’s “Howzat” as part of the soundtrack, I’d say around 1976.  (They don’t make songs like that anymore; thank goodness for punk.)  A 13-year-old girl realises her parents have a dysfunctional marriage and whilst watching their drinking, depression and adultery, tries to figure out how to model her own behaviour.  She spends most of the film trying to keep her (really very cute) younger brother happy and developing a crush on her mother’s lover.  Of course, you know it’s not going to end well and my crystal ball tells me she’s going to have some pretty bad hang-ups when she’s older.  Despite being made in a nice location in nice weather, the whole film has a slightly depressing and seedy 70s feel about it.  There was something quite sad (as in sad pathetic rather than sad miserable) about the party scenes, a lot of adults pretending to have fun rather than actually having any; I’m glad I didn’t get invited, I’d rather have gone to see a dentist.  The acting is good and the girl who plays the lead character Janey does a good job of playing a really quite complex character very well.  As for the adults, they were all pretty pitiful really.  They deserved one another.  A decent film worth a watch, but not one New Zealand Tourism is likely to make heavy use of.

Recommend for people who have some sort of nostalgic connection to the mid 70s.  Perverts!  You can get treatment for that sort of thing these days; I suggest you go get some.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  This is a toughy.  In fact I’m going to give up.  Janey may have done something, but I can’t for the life of me think what. I’m afraid all the adults were far too boring, useless and flawed to have a hope in hell of being badass.  Badass needs heroes and the strong, not contemptible weaklings!  

Rain at IMDB (6.8/10)


Saw: 4.5 Stars


Saw  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)I watch a lot of horror films.  So you’d think by now that I’d be used to people being killed, mutilated, raped, dismembered, or otherwise psychologically damaged.  But this week I’ve come face to face with real horror.  My Cyclamen has been infected with Mealy Bugs!  Like a crappy, straight-to-video horror, these little bastards just appeared, with little or no back-story and just got down to the business of terrorising my pot plant and by association, me.  It’s a home invasion experience of the worst kind.  All the leaves and even the pot are covered in some sort of evil, disgusting, Mealy Bug pus, whilst the sniveling little cowards hide beneath the leaves, plotting their next nefarious move.  Like a good slasher movie icon, they pouch on the innocents, newly emerging leaves, infecting them with an unearthly virus (or whatever it is that Mealy Bugs do).  It’s like watching a house plant version of “28 Days Later” or “Doomsday”.  They’re hideously ugly and have an aura I can only describe as feeling like undiluted, pure hate.  In a similar was to the Borg, they are seemingly linked to a single hive mind, intent on destroying all houseplant life on my bedroom window sill.  I’m half expecting the US to target my flat with a Cruise Missile, in an effort to destroy them before they take over the world.  I’ve not quite worked out how to get rid of them yet.  Negotiation has so far proved futile.  Strangely, my Cyclamen seems little effected by their malevolent presence thus far and is currently presenting me with 15 beautiful, pink flowers, although its leaves drip with a rancid, putrid slime that could have come from Hell itself.  I’ve got to rid my plant of them, and in a way that doesn’t leave any opportunity for a sequel!  After facing this crisis, this movie seems a bit tame.

2004  –  Certificate: 18  –  USA
Rating Details: Strong bloody violence

I’d forgotten just how good a thriller this film is.  So, it also gets credited for popularising torture porn, which later movies in the series do feature more heavily, but this one isn’t that explicitly gory.  It is however, clever, interesting and challenging.  Although I didn’t really care for the two main characters, I still worried about what was going to happen to them.  Sure they were flawed, annoying and a bit pathetic, but I was concerned enough about them that part of me wanted them to escape; no one deserves that much shit.  The film also does a good job of making the viewer feel a bit sorry for the perpetrator, too, which makes for a great set-up if you want to experience a range of feelings as things progress.  A great modern horror classic.

Recommended for fans of genuinely great thrillers and horrors.

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.  There are a couple of hacksaws though.

Top badass moment?  It’s got to be Alison Gordon, fighting back against Zep and doing so pretty successfully.  With only the advantage of surprise, she manages to defend herself and her young daughter against a younger guy armed with a gun.  That’s got to be badass.  She’s had more balls that her pathetic husband, whose mindset was, “oh, my child and wife (whose back behind I’m having an affair) are in trouble; I know, I’ll cut my foot off.”  Yeh, good thinking Batman, give that man a cigar.

Saw at IMDB (7.7 / 10)

Cyclamen


Little Children: 4.0 Stars


Little Children  -  Front DVD CoverI’m a bit fragile today.  I got ‘dragged around’ the Ashmolean Museum (of art and archaeology) in Oxford yesterday.  After two hours of looking at random bits of broken china in glass cases, bent bits of metal in more glass cases and portraits of people I’ve never heard of in rooms hotter and drier than the Sahara, I had a desperate need to ‘refresh’ myself in one of Oxford’s fine alehouses, to recover from this ordeal.  The museum was interesting enough, if you like that sort of thing, but when someone says “painting” to me, it’s normally a spot of DIY that comes to mind; and if I see bits of broken pottery, I tend to swear a bit and get a brush to sweep up the broken mug I’ve just dropped.  Neither of these things featured very heavy at the Ashmolean, although I did see a pound note; it’s amazing how quickly you forget about these things.  My joke about giving all the old Greek coins there back to Greece as it might find them useful now, fell on somewhat stony ground too.  I don’t suppose I’ll be allowed back in there anyway, as the person I was with first got told off for carrying her bag on her back (they don’t like small rucksacks in museums, in case you turn around and trash something with it); then one of her shoes developed a really loud squeak, which in a museum of ‘quiet stuff’ probably annoyed just about everyone there.  Yes, I needed to recover afterwards; it was all way too exciting for me.  I don’t think I’ve got that drunk for a long time and I’m trying not to remember what my companion for this adventure did in the middle of the high street in Oxford on the way back to the station; thank goodness it was dark.  For the first time in my life ever, I also managed to leave my mobile phone on the seat in the train when I got back to Reading, but fortunately some community minded spirit saw it and ran after me to return it; what a nice guy!  So what’s all that got to do with this film?  Well, there’s a couple of scenes in it (including the first) where some small figurines are featured, which later get broken; if that had happened to them 3,000 years ago they might have ended up in the Ashmolean Museum.  It also features a conversation about a mobile phone too.  Yes, it’s tenuous, I know.

2006  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA
Rating Details:  Strong sex and language

This is a great and rather cleverly written and acted drama, a real train-crash of a story, (as subtlety portrayed in the trailer).  Plenty of dysfunctional families and individuals.  Kate Winslet having sex.  A dark and depressing story.  Yep, all boxes ticked.  Just as well really, as it clocks in at 131 minutes.  Discover what goes on in the dull lives of a bunch of reasonably well-off people dissatisfied with their existence and relationships.  For a fairly mainstream Hollywood film, it does manage a high WTF quota too, which is good.  The ending is a bit inexplicable, but does sort of make sense in terms of the story and provides some suitable closure to things.  Yes, it’s well worth watching, even though it doesn’t have any aliens or explosions in it.  (I realise that this is a somewhat dull paragraph, but I’m struggling a bit today with basic things, like thinking.)

Recommended for people who like intelligent, great films.  It’s as simple as that.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Larry overcoming his own problems and his hatred of pervert Ronnie.  Okay, so first Larry had to all but to kill Ronnie’s mother and then the latter castrate himself before he managed to do this, but I suppose he got there in the end.  Overcoming deeply held prejudices is badass; and generally a very good thing too.

Little Children at IMDB (7.7)


Cloud 9: 4.0 Stars


Cloud 9  -  Front DVD CoverLast week I celebrated 25 years with my employer in one form or another.  Some of the people I manage arranged for a group of us to go out for a meal, which I wasn’t expecting and was really rather nice of them, especially as I’m actually the boss-bastard-from-hell who hates everyone he manages, considers then to be little more than ‘resource units’ to be utilised and enjoys nothing better than telling them to “work smarter, not harder” in response to any problems they might be having.  They presented me with a collage of pictures from my 25 years, which just served to remind me how fat I’ve got and how much hair I don’t have anymore; thanks!  Getting old is rubbish.  What’s the point of it?  Like wasps, wind and dust, it doesn’t appear to have any useful function, or indeed any function at all; it just ‘is’.  Anyway, in 25 years I appear to have moved up the career ladder exactly one rung; still, I’ve plenty of time as I’m never going to be able to retire as I won’t be able to afford to.  By now I really should be playing golf on Sunday with people who get huge bonuses, drive even bigger cars and live in houses so large that other people would call them whole towns.  Instead, I sit at home, talk to Penny, watch endless films and go to gigs and wobble like a Weeble to music by bands that no one over the age of 25 has even heard of.  Getting old sucks.

2008  –  Certificate: 15  –  Germany

Anyway, this film.  It’s a depressing, German drama.  Very depressing.  In fact, on a scale of one to ten, where 10 is paradise and 1 is spending a whole day with me discussing how cat fur is really, really hard to vacuum up, even with a powerful cleaner like a Dyson, this film would score a negative number.  It’s about an ‘old woman’ who starts an affair with an even older man and then tells her husband about it.  In its favour it’s very well acted; it feels much more like a documentary than a movie.  In fact Ursula Werner (who plays the woman Inge) is amazing in it.  It’s worth watching just to see how good an actress she is.  Wonderful stuff.  It has some full-frontal nudity, but with most of the characters being in their 60s and 70s it’s not exactly pornographic.  Oh, did I mention it’s depressing?  Is this what the future holds for you when you get old?  Getting old sucks. 

Recommended for people who don’t have any sharp objects near them.

No cats and no decapitations.  (Actually I can’t remember.  I should write these things down.  I must be getting old…)

Top badass moment?  Ursula and her lover Karl going skinny dipping in some pond in the country.  That’s pretty cool, especially considering their age.  Doing ‘stuff’ that you’re not meant to do because you’re too old is always badass; and it freaks ‘the younger generation’ out too.

Cloud 9 at IMDB