Following the unrelated deaths of four old school friends Danny, William, Kevin and Steve, they find themselves meeting in the afterlife waiting room, a state of limbo between heaven and hell – Purgatory. The four friend’s topic of conversation turns to their strict catholic upbringing and the possible wrongs that each has done through their lives that have earned them a seat in Death’s anteroom. Now will their actions as children forgo their future and determine the final resting place of their eternal souls? A thought provoking film that explores the youthful coming of age and the views held by the catholic church of these adolescent years.
1986 – Certificate: 12
Rating Details: Moderate sex references
6.0 out of 10
I’ve been having some pretty disgusting, impure thoughts myself recently. However, mine concern iTunes’s so called customer service. Not for the first time, my iTunes account got hacked a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t able to reset it so I was forced to contact iTunes to sort it out. Tying to find out how to get hold of the right person in the right part of the world, was akin to discovering how to levitate through the power of thought, whilst learning to write traditional Chinese, inside a crater full of molten magma in a volcano on Titan, with a bad hangover. I did eventually find an e-mail address to use and got a reply from Umair, who sounded like he’d find helping me with my problem as much fun as a three-in-a-bed session with Mila Kunis and Rihanna. (I’m not a reader myself, but they topped the FHM Sexiest Women in the World poll for 2013.) Seriously, I really thought my little issue was going to change his whole life for the better, provide him with eternal inner peace and a place in heaven, such was his enthusiasm for wanting to assist me. Sadly, the latter only went as far as telling me to e-mail someone else and providing a link to another page of Apple-crap®. What’s wrong with these people? Haven’t they learnt how to forward an e-mail to the right person yet? After trawling through more pages of advertising masquerading as ‘customer support’, I finally found out how to arrange for a call-back at a time convenient to me; (as long as it wasn’t for a day or two, as they seemed to be too busy to manage anything any earlier). So I waited in at the appointed time, my hand poised over my phone, ready for action. Of course, it never rang. This evening I e-mailed Umair back and told him that if my account being compromised caused any problems they could argue it out with my credit card company. I signed the e-mail an ex-iTunes customer. Bollocks to iTunes. Bastards. I hope they all end up in Purgatory, which strangely is where the main characters in this film spend most of their time.
This is a pretty lifeless little movie that only occasionally brightens up. Not only that, but it’s in mono and the print that was used to master the DVD I watched was dirty and dull too. I couldn’t even find a trailer for it either, so I’ve just picked a bit of it to show here, although this does seem to have all the best parts in it. If I’d gone to a convent school, had a Catholic upbringing or a ‘thing’ for nuns, I might have found it a bit more interesting, but I didn’t. (How such a weird system manages to turn out reasonable well-rounded people most of the time, I’ve no idea.) I did however, learn the difference between venial and mortal sins. There is in fact only one real reason to watch this film and that’s to see the world’s most beautiful woman, Alyson Hannigan, in her first ever role. I guess she was about 11 when she made it. And despite her age, she’s already playing the sort of quirky, sexually ‘interesting’ type of character that she later made famous in “Buffy” and “American Pie”. That probably makes me sound terribly Stuart Hallish, but honestly, she’s such a tease!
The film’s soundtrack is about on par with the rest of it. However, it does have “The O-men” as the band at the school dance, which does show it’s got a bit of a humorous, dark heart.
Recommended for Catholics, nuns and Hanniganites. (I just made that last word up, but I’m sure they probably exist.) I still can’t get into “How I Met Your Mother” though. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and it didn’t look very good; too much like old-fashioned American sitcom humour, which anyone with a sense of humour will tell you isn’t actually very funny.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It’s a toss-up between the lads stealing/drinking the communion wine and Alyson Hannigan’s first film role. Then again, she’s busy stuffing her bra whilst they’re not even getting pissed. So really, in the end there’s not a lot of competition. Given her age, I guess it’s not appropriate to shout, “get ‘em out for the lads”?
Distraught over breaking up with his girlfriend, Zia (Patrick Fugit) decides to end it all. Unfortunately, he discovers that there is no real ending, only a run-down afterlife that is strikingly similar to his old one, just a bit worse. Discovering that his ex-girlfriend has also “offed” herself, he sets out on a road trip, with his Russian rocker friend, to find her. Their journey takes them through an absurd purgatory where they discover that being dead doesn’t mean you have to stop livin’!
2006 – Certificate: R – American Film
Rating Details: Language and disturbing content involving suicide
8 out of 10
Let’s start with a history lesson. In January 2010 I bought myself a new amplifier, an Onkyo TX-NR807. (It’s totally overpowered for someone who lives in a flat like me and is surrounded by others they don’t hate, but hey, I’m a bloke and I need to make up for my perceived sexual inadequacies; I’d probably be tempted to buy a Porsche if I could afford it, just to drive up to the corner shop and back.) In January 2012 it broke down. Fear swept across Cactus World, as the population was plunged into a miserable silence. Fortunately it got fixed pretty quickly. In January 2013 it broke down again, with exactly the same fault. This time it wasn’t fixed quickly. Last Monday I rang up the crappy repair company, (Genserve, Onkyo’s official repair company in the UK). Not my first call to it. Fed up with it abysmal service, I used my ‘really, really, really pissed off customer who knows where you live and will kidnap your babies and torture and kill them if you don’t bloody get it fixed soon persona’, to get some information out of them. Apparently the replacement part was ordered from Germany but if it’s not in stock there it has to come from Japan. The guy I spoke to offered to send an e-mail to see where things had got to; wow, I bet that would’ve scared the shit out of them. I also phoned up Onkyo and gave it a load a grief about its shoddy amplifier design. What a lot of bollocks that all turned out to be, as strangely I got a phone call less than 48 hours later to tell me it had been fixed. I got it back on Friday and two days later it’s actually still working. Why do I have to pretend to be a murderous psycho to get anything sorted these days? And the moral of this story? Never, ever by anything made by Onkyo, because it’s unreliable, fucking shite; yep, I think that just about sums things up. A shame, because when it’s working it’s a great amp. It’s enough to drive someone to despair, get a gun and randomly go out and shoot people and then blow their own head off. All of which bring me to this film…
I’m swearing a lot here, sorry. Anyway, this is a mind-fuck movie, but a good one. The idea of an afterlife that’s just a bit more crappy than the living version, appeals to my pragmatic world view. It’s not a bad metaphor for life. In fact I’m starting to wonder if in fact I’m already there, given my recent experiences with my amplifier. Sometime between January 2012 and January 2013 I must have committed suicide, although I can’t for the life of me remember doing so. (By the way, my saying “Can’t for the life of me” there is a bit of a joke; I don’t want anyone to miss it so I thought I’d mention it.) I guess it just wasn’t very memorable. It would also explain a great many other things. One of the characters spends her time looking for the People In Charge, because she’s convinced there’s been a mistake and she shouldn’t be there; I could relate to the too. This is a really interesting film which, despite its theme, is fun; if there’s such a thing as a black, rom-com road-movie, this is probably it. Its story is really quite unique. Well worth watching.
This film has some interesting music in it and extends its theme by using some songs from bands whose singers sadly did commit suicide. A lot of the rest is from Gogol Bordello, a band who’s sizable appeal I’ve never really quite understood, although it sounds fine here. Tom Waits, who’s in the film quite a bit, also contributes a suitably jolly track.
Recommended for undiscovered rockers, pizza shop workers and cult leaders.
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. It’s only onscreen for a few moments, but it’s a cute ginger one!
Top badass moment? I watched this film about two weeks ago, so I have to admit I can’t remember enough to identify it now. I’m sure there was one though; probably several actually. I really should take notes.