Posts tagged “Family

School of Rock: 3.5 Stars


School of Rock  -  Front DVD CoverI went to two really great gigs this weekend, the New Town Kings at the London Camden Barfly and Random Hand at the London Hackney Trashbar.  Each had really good support bands too.  The Barfly is in an upstairs room over a pub and the Trashbar in three adjoined cellars below an organic food store.  The Barfly is a well established venue, whilst the Trashbar only opened in March.  It took me six trains to get to and from home to the Barfly and four trains and two busses to get to the Trashbar and back; only London can manage to have a traffic jam for busses to get caught up in at midnight!  The Barfly sort of has some sort of air conditioning so it was only hot, the Trashbar has zero anything and a really low ceiling, so it was about 1000 degrees in it; in fact the ceiling is so low that two of the bands’ singers had to stand on the floor in front of the little stage, as they were too tall to stand upright on it.  Well anyway, both gigs were great and I was suitably knackered at the end of  them.  I felt sick on the way back from the NTK one on the Tube (too dehydrated) and (a first for me) felt sick on the way to the Random Hand one, (before realising I’d hardly eaten or drunk anything all day so was again dehydrated and probably suffering some sort of energy crisis as well).  Talking of gigs and music (and it makes a change to actually be able to draw a sensible link between the crap I’ve written in this paragraph and that in the next)….

2003  –  Certificate: PG  –  USA
Rating Details: Mild language and sex references

I can’t decide if I want to really really like this movie or really really  (which makes it a lot more realistic), the kids in it are generally pretty cool and okay it’s quite funny in places too.  Against it are the facts that the music featured in it is shit, (well, mostly anyway, except the Clash and Ramones songs, and I guess Immigrant Song is okay too if you really have to like that sort of thing), the school is also shit and has zero child protection in place, the end is way too “Hollywood” and Jack Black’s character is at times just a little bit too creepy.  I really want to like Jack Black, simply because he doesn’t look like George Clooney or Johnny Depp, but he makes it so, so difficult in his films at times.  (It’s the eyebrows I think, he moves then about way too much for me; they certainly take me outside my comfort zone.) In the end I’ve decided it’s an okay movie.

Recommended for people who like the sort of rock music that punk should really have finished off when it had the chance; you will either like hearing it, or get annoyed at hearing your favourite songs mangled by a load of kids and associated grown-ups; a good thing too if you take it that seriously.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  It has to be Jack Black’s “touch the kids” line.  It’s so way out of the park compared with the rest of the very safe script that you end up thinking, “wtf, did he really just say that”?  The delayed reaction of all the parents present in the scene (who are obviously busy thinking over what he’d just said too) makes it the best badass line in the film.

School of Rock at IMDB (7.1)

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Toto the Hero: 3.5 Stars


Toto the Hero  -  DVD Front CoverEver had the feeling you’ve been cheated?  Last night I was at Paddington Station, coming home from seeing the New Town Kings (a great, 9-piece ska band) at the Camden Purple Turtle.  30p to use the toilets at Paddington Station.  30p!  What especially pisses me off is the fact that I only had to do this as my train was delayed and the display boards didn’t say how long this was going to be for, (it was 20 minutes in the end).  Was it really so hard for them to work that out?  Didn’t they know where the train was and how fast it was going?  Of course they did.  Bastards; they waited until I’d paid my 30p before announcing that useful bit of information.  Put together with my 65 minute delay coming into London that afternoon, (on a journey that’s only supposed to take 30 minutes), it’s a fucking disgrace that you’re then charged 30p for something you can do on the train for free, (well for no more charge anyway as you’ve already paid for it in your massively overpriced ticket), if it actually turned up on time.  In fact, no one should have to pay to use a toilet ever, it’s not like it’s a luxury you can do without.  And what’s more, I had to go and buy a cup of coffee for £2.00, to get some change to use the ‘little boys’ room’. So basically I paid £2.30 and waited around for 85 minutes on cold stations, just for the privilege of going to the toilet.  What next? You’ll need a ticket for breathing in the air at a station?  Well guess what?  Last time I travelled on the same service I sat in First Class, even though I only had a Standard Class ticket.  The train was totally bunged and some people couldn’t even get on it, so my travelling companion convinced me to make this futile gesture to The Man.  (Not that we were alone, although we were the first of the proles to burst out of Standard Class; by the time the train left people were even sitting on the tables in First Class and in the luggage areas, it was so crowded.)  So up yours Great First Western (or whatever it is you’re calling yourself this week).  Next time I’m going to urinate all over the station concourse.  And also, some random, young guy came up to me whilst I was waiting, shook my hand, asked if I knew him (I didn’t) and asked me if I liked people called Mohammed.  What sort of idiotic question is that?  What did he think I was going to say?  That I hate all Muslims, especially ones called Mohammed?  I just said that it depends on the person.  Anyway, this seemed to suitably impress him and he went on his way.  This film is about feeling someone else is having a better time in life than you are.

1991  –  Certificate:15  –  Belgum

This is a really interesting thriller, despite the fact that it comes from Belgium, which as everyone knows isn’t famous for anything, except weird chocolate and being boring.  It’s about a guy, Thomas, who’s convinced himself that he was swapped for another baby (Alfred) when the hospital they were in after being born, caught fire and everyone was evacuated.  As a consequence, he’s spent his whole life being jealous of Alfred’s apparently more successful one and feeling it should have been his.  It’s like four films in one, covering him as a wide-eyed young boy, unfulfilled and underachieving middle-aged guy and bitter old man, as well as a fantasy version of his life with him playing the part of a private investigator / secret agent kind of person.  The movie cuts between these and goes back and forward in time a lot, so you’ll probably need to write some notes if you want to keep things straight.  Thinking about it today, I’ve realised that I entirely missed the point of whole parts of it, but that’s okay as it means it’ll be worth watching again.  Despite it being quite a bleak sounding film, it’s actually quite fun in places and Thomas’s ‘solution’ to his ‘issue’ is quite unexpected.  It also has a nice and positive cameo for his brother, who has Down’s Syndrome, who’s shown as the one person in it who’s content and happy with his life.  Everyone else spends their time regretting what they did or didn’t do, lost and wasted opportunities.  No wonder I liked it, it’s a film I can relate to.   Yes, it’s a really worthwhile movie, so go watch it please.

Recommended for people who like high quality films that are a bit different.

1 cat and no decapitations.  But poor cat; it’s all squashed at the side of the road!  :-(

Top badass moment?  Alice (Thomas’s sister) trashing the Virgin Mary in the church, after their father isn’t found quickly enough after an air crash.  I’m not condoning such behaviour, but busting up a religious icon in a church is pretty badass.

Toto the Hero at IMDB