Posts tagged “Disabled

Header / SSE


Header  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US Release

From the mind of horror author Edward Lee, comes this horrifying tale of gruelling revenge and backwoods terror!  Stewart Cummings (Jake Suffian), a government agent playing both sides of the law, finds himself in the nightmarish crossfire of a bloody family vendetta. Forced to delve deep into a series of gruesome murders, Cummings encounters the most twisted method of revenge ever conceived by man: The Header.  What’s a header?  Only redneck Travis Tuckton (Elliot V. Kotek) and his evil “grandpappy” knows for sure… and once you learn the shocking answer, you may never be the same. Get ready for the acclaimed horror film that may be the ultimate in violence and gore! “Header” is a film of unrelenting, twisted terror!

2006  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  American Film
7.0 out of 10

There’s only 360 more days until next Christmas; how exciting!  I’ve managed to get all the way through this Christmas without putting the heating on at home.  It was my present for the planet and a middle finger to SSE (Scottish and Southern Electricity).  SSE managed to really piss me off recently.  I have (well had) an early version of a smart meter for my electricity.  I’ve had it about 2.5 years.  When I got it I had to change my tariff for a more expense one, (although to be fair it’s probably helped me save more money than the extra I spent on having it).  A couple of months ago it stopped working.  I e-mailed SSE to ask if it could be fixed or replaced.  The reply I got (that took longer to arrive that it should have) said that it was an outdated model and it couldn’t be replaced, but that I’d get a new, free smart meter in a few years’ time!  There was no suggestion that perhaps I’d like to change my electric tariff for a cheaper one again or anything.  This really annoyed me.  In fact it’s annoyed me so much that I’m going to change my electivity suppler next month.  Doing this has been on my mind for a while anyway, as SSE isn’t exactly top of the league when it comes to producing electricity from sustainable sources.  It will probably cost me a bit more, but I’m looking forward to using fair-trade, organic electricity in future, that’s produced by whole African villages of people peddling really quickly on static bikes to produce the stuff for me.  Quite why we can’t harvest the same stuff locally from all the private gyms around here I don’t know.  I guess it’s a similar situation to apples, where in the autumn I can either buy English Cox’s (the world’s best apple), or some tasteless replica with a brand name variety (like Pink Lady) grown in New Zealand.  That’s just weird.  So’s this film.

Agent Stewart Cummings is having a really, really bad day.  (I know he’s an agent as he spends most of the film running around in a t-shirt with the letters ATF on it.  (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.)  His wife has a mystery illness for which the drugs she needs cost a fortune and his boss is less than supportive of him taking any sort of initiative when it comes to investigating crime.  And on top of that someone locally has started doing rather icky things with peoples’ heads.  Sadly for Stew it goes even further downhill from then on.  After the first ten minutes or so I thought I was going to be faced with an entirely crap film featuring poor production, acting and script.  Weirdly, as it progressed it improved.  It was like it was filmed in chronological order and everyone just got better as they went along.  That’s not to say it’s likely to worry the Oscars in any way, but it got good enough not to distract too much from the watching experience.  I’d love to tell you exactly what a header is, but that would spoil it for you.  Needless to say, it’s not got a great deal to do with aerial prowess in the penalty box, or plumbing.  If nothing else, it’s worth watching just to see Grandpappy, a brilliantly, over-the-top character who brings a level of enthusiasm to proceedings that I wish I could replicate myself when doing my budget forecasts at work.  I did have a lot of sympathy for Agent Cummings, a generally decent guy who just had a run of bad luck, really bad luck.  Sometimes you just have to lose it.  Whilst watching this movie, into my head popped the idea that American rednecks have a lot in common with the UK’s UKIP voters.  More weirdness.

There isn’t a lot of music used in the film, it’s mainly just over the credits, but it’s a decent bit of whatever sort of music it is.

The trailer isn’t exactly forthcoming with details.  (There is a better one on the DVD, but I couldn’t find a link to it anywhere to put here.)  I guess that’s what comes from having a ‘big secret’ that you don’t want to blow to quickly.

Movie Weather Forecast:  Warm and sunny through the course of the film.  Nice.

Recommended for police officers, cobblers, drug dealers and adulteresses.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  In a fit of anger that wouldn’t have been out of place in the final verse of Eminem’s “Guilty Conscience”, Agent Cummings finally gets pissed at his bad luck.  I’m not condoning his behaviour of course, but, well, you can understand it.  I’m sure when I eventually ‘lose it’ I’ll go on the rampage too, probably on the London Underground in the rush hour, or maybe in Reading’s Oracle Shopping Centre, on a Saturday afternoon just before Christmas.

Header at IMDB (4.7 / 10)
Header at Wikipedia
Official Site
Header trailer at YouTube


In The Company Of Men / Urgh, I’m Sick…


In the Company of Men  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US ReleaseChad (Aaron Eckhart), furious about the way women are ruining his man’s world, enlists his wishy-washy co-worker (Matt Malloy) in a callous plan to date then dump a vulnerable secretary (Stacy Edwards).  Both horrifying and hilarious, “In the Company of Men” is “a brilliant black comedy… sure to be one of the best pictures of the year.  This is a movie event.”

1997  –  Certificate: R  –  Canadian Film
8.0 out of 10

For the past few days I’ve had the worst cold ever.  The sort of cold that’s so bad it’s probably new to medical science and if anyone but me had it they’d be in hospital in intensive care; but I don’t like to make a fuss.  Somewhat ironically, the day before I got it I’d remarked to a colleague how I hadn’t had one for ages and was considering the possibility that I’d somehow become immune to all forms of illness.  Actually I’m blaming it on foreigners.  It came on when I was in Kent for an overnight stay, so it’s probably some weird pathogen that somehow got blown across the Channel from France or somewhere.  I think I’ll vote UKIP in the next election; I bet they’d keep this sort of thing out of the country.  It’s Sunday evening now and its effects are starting to recede a little.  Typically and somewhat heroically, I’ve been sick over the weekend.  I often wonder if it’s better to be sick in my own time and reduce the consequential pile-up of work that results if I’m sick during the week.  Life as a middle manager is tough, let me tell you.  This film is about middle managers too.

I watch plenty of films with unpleasant, creepy or just plain nasty people in them.  Destroying the universe, taking over the Earth, torturing innocents and blowing stuff up are commonplace.  Whatever.  Fortunately, most of these sorts of people don’t exist, or only do so in very small numbers.  However, this film features two of the most annoying guys I’ve come across for quite a while, probably because they’re just a bit too ‘normal’ to explain away as a script writer’s dirty fantasy; I suspect people like them really do exist.  One’s an exploitative, misogynist, back-stabbing middle management type with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever.  The other is one of his colleagues and a weedy, whiney loser. This is a movie about two ‘ordinary guys’ deciding to mess up a young woman’s life for no better reason than because they want to. In a lot of ways it reminded me of “Cruel Intentions”.  It’s the sign of a good film when the two principal characters are uniformly loathable, yet somehow you half want them to keep going.  The fact that the woman they pick on is disabled (and to be honest a bit boring), just makes it all worse.  I felt like I was visiting the scene of a car crash; of course not wanting anyone to be hurt, but secretly getting a bit excited by the fact that someone might have lost a limb or two anyway.)  It’s the same as watching motor racing; you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but the crashes and the risk of them do make things more exciting.  At the end I didn’t know whether to be horrified, or think, “fuck, yeah, lucky bastard.”  This is a nicely made and acted film; I enjoyed it!  The trailer makes it look much more of a comedy than it really is.

The only music used in this film is made up of the sound of a saxophone being strangled over the top of a drum solo of sorts.  I guess it’s some type of modern jazz.  I have to say it works very well though.

Recommended for assholes, secretaries, middle managers and feminists.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  That’s a tough question.  This is a film full of ambitious but somewhat inadequate middle managers, who wouldn’t know a badass moment if they sat on the toilet for a week with one.  It’s a movie without a single, redeeming act of kindness or heroics in it, so for the first time in many months I have to admit defeat and accept my failure to identify one.  Sorry.  :-(

In the Company of Men at:     IMDB (7.2 / 10)     Wikipedia     Roger Ebert (4 / 5)     YouTube


Cube: 4.0 Stars


Cube  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)Six strangers awaken from their daily lives to find themselves trapped in a surreal prison – a seemingly endless maze of interlocking cubical chambers armed with lethal booby traps.  None of these people knows why or how they were imprisoned…  But it soon emerges that each of them has a skill that could contribute to their escape.  Who created this diabolical maze, and why?  There are unanswered questions on every side, whilst personality conflicts and struggles for power emerge as the tension rises.  But one thing is crystal clear; unless they can learn to co-operate to work out the secrets of this deadly trap, none of them has very long to live…

1997  –  Certificate: 15  –  Canada
Rating Details:  Language, occasional, strong; violence, infrequent, strong, horror; other, horror, science fiction.

I tend to buy a few books for myself around Christmas.  I think I do this because I have a bit more time then and when I’ve got time I start to think how nice it would be to read a book.  So off I trotted (electronically) to Amazon.  I decided to buy a couple of Star Trek novels.  For various dull reasons, the first one I selected was called “Homecoming”.  £200.68 new!  £200.68!!  For that price I’d expect it to come with a full-sized, fully operational Star Trek spaceship, including crew.  Is there suddenly a world shortage of letters?  Are the Chinese restricting exports of full stops, thus leading to frantic trading in alternative punctuation marks on global stock markets?  Have the Americans finally realised that they can’t spell and bought up the entire world output of letter Us for the next five years, in an effort to correct all those misspelt references to colour?  So anyway, I’ve ended up buying myself a Kindle, the cheapest one, which costs £69.  I can now buy the book for £4.99.  I am suffering a bit of a guilt trip though.  I feel like I should be castigating Amazon for its over-effective use of British tax laws and in fact be refusing to buy anything from it in line with the recently announced boycott.  Then there’s also the fact that I’ve effectively allowed myself to be locked into its proprietary file format and e-book system for the rest of my life.  However, there’s a certain thrill in the idea that the first book I read on it will be a Star Trek one, a franchise that frequently depicts characters reading from a small pad that with hindsight looks suspiciously like a Kindle.  As for the other issue, if you’re going to lock yourself into a sweet factory, it may as well be in Willy Wonka’s.  This film also features people who’re locked in somewhere, but there’s not a lot of chocolate around, or books, e or otherwise.

I simultaneously love and hate this film.  It’s a great and stylish horror/sci-fi thriller, with an unusual and suitably disturbing and clever storyline.  I also like how by using only seven people and virtually just a single, small set, it manages to be such a good movie.  It creates a tense atmosphere by making great use of sound and the claustrophobic set-up; the traps are ‘nicely’ presented too.  Sadly, the characters in it lack any semblance of common sense, so they seem unbelievably stupid, despite their unique talents.  There’s not a great deal of emotional intelligence on show, or indeed any sort of togetherness.  I’ve seen more communication between passengers on the London Underground in the rush hour than this lot managed, such was their inability to interact meaningfully in a ‘mission-critical’ way.   The way they develop and change during the film also stretches their credibility to pretty ridiculous levels.  At first, they seemed like a group of people under a lot of pressure, which does tend to make individuals do some strange things, but then I found myself thinking, “what the fuck”?  What sort of morons are these people?  Why don’t they just work things out together like everyone else would?  Haven’t any of them watched “The Poseidon Adventure”?   The cliché of groups of people in films who’re trapped together and then not getting on, is getting to be as bad as the one involving groups’ of young people going to remote places for a ‘good time’ and then meeting a grizzly end.  Their over or under reaction to different situations just seemed to have been determined by the writers throwing a dice.  6?  Oh dear, you’re going to freak out.  1?  That’s cool, you’ll barely notice what’s going on, you’re so laid back about it.  It’s not that the acting is especially poor, it’s more the script that’s at fault.  One plus point is that it’s got Nicole De Boer in it, the world’s third most beautiful woman, although she’s not looking her best, but I can forgive her for that given the circumstances.  Nicole De Boer is of course, Lieutenant Ezri Dax from Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  However, despite its shortcomings, Cube still manages to be a really good film. Weird eh?

Recommended for fans of clever sci-fi, who won’t let a few hot-headed characters spoil their geeky fun.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.  However, two heads do get well and truly mangled.

Top badass moment?  Given the uniformly un-cooperative, combative and plainly stupid behaviour of most of the characters most of the time, the top badass moments have to be whenever the Cube does something that pisses one of them off, or worse.  It’s a sad day when you end up having to cheer for the mechanical baddie.  If our ancestors conducted themselves in the same way, we’d still all be living in caves and bashing one another over the head with clubs.  Get some anger management people, for goodness sake.

Cube at IMDB (7.4/10)


Quid Pro Quo: 4.5 Stars


Quid Pro Quo  -  Front DVD CoverBuying underwear is generally quite a boring task.  Maybe I just don’t have much of an imagination, but it is.  I begrudgingly buy it because I have to, not because I want to. (I guess I should add some sort of “I need it because I’m such a big guy” kind of comment here, but I can’t be arsed to right now; I’m just not in the mood).  It always seems highly overpriced for what you get, which for men is basically a crappy pair of shorts and for woman a smaller version that’s more stretchy.  (I did warn you I don’t have any imagination.).  Yet the price per square metre of underwear ‘real estate’ is way beyond that for most clothes.  If trousers were priced in the same way, you’d easily end up paying £150 a pair, minimum.  All this for something that hardly anyone will ever see or is that interested in; (and if someone does then he/she is probably more interested in what’s inside them, so getting into a discussion about underwear at that point is unlikely to be very high on his/her agenda.)  In fact, underwear is the bottled water of fashion; an item that has little intrinsic value but is overpriced and somehow seen as desirable.  And forget all that stuff about letting people see a glimpse of it; this is at best advertising (isn’t it weird how the waistbands always seems to have some sort of brand-name embellished all over them) and at worst a leading reason for the so called distortion of family values, and part of the over-sexualisation of children and the consequentially high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK, (presently 35.5 per 1000 in the under 18 age group); I expect it’s probably responsible for Global Warming too and the rubbish weather we’ve been having recently.  It’s nearly all made by children in Bangladesh anyway, for 1p a day, just so some fat bloke in a massive office somewhere can earn more money that he could ever possible hope to spend, in an effort to impress his equally greedy and selfish friends, who all, somewhat ironically, would not look at all good in the skimpy undies they force young kids to produce, because a huge role of fat hanging out over the waistband probably wouldn’t go with the ‘cool image’ they’re trying to peddle for their overpriced underwear in the first place.  Or maybe I’m just missing the romance of it all?  This movie features very little underwear, at least in the traditional sense.

2008  –  Certificate: R  –  USA
Rating Details: Some sexuality and language

This is a fascinating film.  I can’t really say that much about the story it as it would spoil it for you (should you have the good sense to go and watch it), but both the overview and the trailer don’t really do it any sort of justice.  Vera Farmiga is scarily, scarily convincing as the mad-as-a-hatter Fiona, the main female character.  (I’ve met women like this for real and they’re both strangely attractive and bad news at the same time; in fact I’m probably a bit of an expect and if there’s a word for them I’m a whatever the word it ologist.)  A film that’s ostensibly about people who want to be given a disability for no other reason than they want one, it’s really quite a different sort of thing entirely.  Look, it’s got a pair of ‘magic shoes’ in it and the main male character uses a wheelchair and spends a great deal of time not being picked up by taxis.  I’d like to write more about it here, but really it’s too good to spoil so just go and watch it.  It’s a cool film.  Lots of things to think about once it’s over too.  I’m not even sure if it had a happy or sad ending either.

Recommended for anyone who’s not going to be put off by the subject matter and who likes good quality drama with a healthy mind-fuck quota.  It’s also good if you like tulips.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  It has to be Isaac’s ‘magic shoes’.  Everyone needs a pair of those sometimes.  I hope they do a vegan version.

Quid Pro Quo at IMDB