I got six new light bulbs this week. This might not seem much of a big deal, but to me, after living in a perpetual twilight for the last month or two, is nothing short of a miracle. The fact that I paid over £70 for them shouldn’t be allowed to dilute the effect of the spontaneous celebrations that have been breaking out throughout Cactus World to mark the occasion. I now have light in my kitchen that doesn’t back away in fear when threatened by a candle, and a lounge that doesn’t has a less welcoming glow than a lump of plutonium in your bed. Low energy light bulbs? For £70 I expect them to be so efficient I actually receive payments for supplying electricity to the national grid every time I use them!
2006 – Certificate: 15 – Mexico
This is a brilliant film. It’s original, interesting, childlike and innocent, yet grown-up and horrifying. I watched it on Blu-ray and it sounded great and looked wonderful. The only reason I haven’t given it a higher score is that I never quite connected with the main characters in it. Even at its most intense, it did feel like they were playing a secondary role in supporting the movie’s feel and atmosphere. In a different film I’d probably be moaning about how one dimensional they were, but in this case it doesn’t seem to matter; in fact their simplistic, goodness vs evilness helps to focus the mind on the textual elements of the film. I’ve no idea what I just wrote means, but it sounds great to me! It’s a wonderfully dark, genera-mixing and unique film. Go watch.
Recommended for people that like the concept of horror nursery rhymes.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? Mercedes dealing with Captain Vidal. He was a seriously arrogant asshole with an inferiority complex and a whole take-away of chips on his shoulder. Dealing with people like that is always badass. The Joker look suited him.
My ability to remain busy doing nothing never fails to amaze me. It’s not that I’m lazy or procrastinate a lot (well not often anyway), but time seems to just vanish at far too fast a rate for my taste. They say time appears to go more quickly as you get older, which makes me feel really ancient. Take today for example. I got up quite late (okay around 10:30) and feel as if I haven’t stopped all day. Yet a glance around the room makes me realise that I’ve spent nearly 12 hours doing absolutely nothing. It’s not that I think I’ve wasted my time, it’s just that I can’t see the results of anything I’ve done, or remember doing anything that took even remotely like 12 hours to do. All I’ve done is get up, cook lunch, take a photo, buy a few DVDs, write a posting in an online forum and answer a few online questionnaires. I’ve no idea how I’ve managed to make that last 12 hours, especially as I know I didn’t spend any longer on any of those things than I actually needed to. I think at the weekend I somehow get transferred into another dimension, where time goes more quickly. (To be fair the same thing happens during the week too, when I’m at work and never have enough time to do what I want.) Maybe I’m just slow, period. How normal people with normal lives cope with everything I’ll never know. This movie features ‘something’ from another plane of existence; but I swear it’s not me.
1981 – Certificate: 18 – USA
Rating Details: Language; Infrequent, Strong. Sex/Nudity: Occasional, Strong. Violence: Occasional, Strong. Other: Horror, Sexual Assault
This is a genuinely great horror film. It was one of the first horror DVDs I bought and is probably in my Top Ten horrors of all time. And despite it going all a bit “Ghostbusters” at one point, it remains genuinely scary and horrifying. It also has one of those classic bits of horror music, which in this case is little more than the same chord played over and over again, but the ugly violence of the sound really enhances the scenes it’s used in to up their impact. The movie is based on what’s claimed to be real incidents in someone’s life, which gives it a bit of an unpleasant edge too. Barbara Hershey is great as our hero Carla Moran. She convincingly portrays a whole range of emotions really well. She also manages to vary her appearance too, from sexy and determined through to vulnerable and beaten. Sadly, time hasn’t been so kind to the special effects, which definitely look dated now; the wobbly ice-cube thing near the end really has past its sell-by date. It’s not the sort of film I can watch and then feel comfortable going into another room after, without quickly switch on the light. However, the scariest thing of all is Doctor Phil Sneiderman, the psychiatrist who Carla goes to see. He’s stalker-like attraction to Carla is pretty weasel-like; eew! You expect poltergeists’ behavior to be kind of strange, but not your doctor’s. What a weirdo. I can’t imagine this film won’t be ‘reimagined’ at some point in the near future.
Recommended for fans of high quality, scary horror.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? Has to be Carla Moran’s “I’ve finished running” monologue. When you’ve got a supernatural being wanting to rape you, you’re trapped in a building with big containers of liquid helium suspended over your head and your bathed in stupid red lights and wailing sirens (courtesy of some dodgy scientists’ entirely superfluous “emergency mode” lighting), then calling the invisible baddie a bastard at that moment has got to be badass. I think it probably just pissed him off though.
I’m one of the lucky ones. Now of course, when I say this I do so with a degree of irony, as I’m talking of the current RBS ‘software glitch’ that’s prevented people getting money into (and therefore out again from) their bank accounts. Not only that, but I’m one of the extra-lucky 1% of its customers that banks with Ulster Bank, which still hasn’t managed to get things sorted out. I have most of my Direct Debits and credit card payments set up to happen at the beginning of each month, so I’m now looking forward to a couple of weeks of fun, as just about everyone I have any sort of financial relationship with starts hassling me for money. Anyone got Stephen Hester’s mobile number, so I can pass it onto these people? The only good thing I have to say about this is when I rang up my branch (not some stupid call-centre on another planet somewhere), I got straight through to a guy who was able to answer all my questions. RBS, great customer service, great corporate sponsorship (hey I work for a charity and it helps to pay for my wages), totally sucky IT. I’ve been consoling myself by considering that someone, somewhere, has had a seriously seismically cosmic bollocking over this; I’d have paid good money to have been a fly on the wall and seen that; oh, except of course I can’t get at my money… No one in this movie appears to have any issues with money, or banks, or IT; I guess that’s why it’s a fantasy film.
2010 – Certificate: 12 – USA
Rating Details: Moderate violence, sex references and bleeped strong language.
This is one amazing film. It’s got music, it’s got the awesome bass battle, it’s got an old computer game vibe, it’s got good-looking chicks, it proves that vegans are better than everyone else, it proves that ROCK (excuse the capitals, but it’s a word that you really have to always shout when you say it) is better than knob-twiddling keyboard-based dance music, it looks great and has fantastic sound; plus all the stuff you normally need in a film too, like a decent (and in this case quite original) plot and a ‘proper’ ending, etc. I’m starting to believe that Edgar Wright IS God. (I watched it on Blu-ray and this probably had more extras on it than any other film I’ve watched too.) So why am I not giving it 5 out of 5 I hear you ask? (Well okay, don’t ask then, but I’m telling you anyway.) Unfortunately, Scott Pilgrim annoyed me just a little bit too much at times; for a loser and a geek he was just a bit too successful for my liking; I have to work dammed hard to be even remotely adequate in life, so drifters that manage to do better than me without trying piss me off a bit. So I’m afraid the film isn’t perfect as I couldn’t totally engage with his ‘quest’. Yes, it loses a point because I’m bitter and jealous; (what, you going to make something of it)? Despite that, it’s a ‘must watch’ film because it’s brilliant and possibly my favourite film from 2010.
Recommended for everyone; no seriously, everyone, even you; and yes your granny; and yes your boss at work too; the dog yes, him as well; and yes the nice lady at the corner shop who occasionally lets you off a few pence when you don’t have quite enough to pay for something; and no, I don’t think she’s doing it just because she fancies you, she’s happily married and far too old you anyway; and what, no, I’m sure her sex life is fine and this really doesn’t have much to do with this film anymore has it? Well fine, ask her out then but don’t blame me when it all goes pear-shaped. Good, because I really don’t want to know about it.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Jeez, so much choice! However I’m vegan, so it has to be the timely arrival of the Vegan Police to strip the vegan superpowers from someone who hadn’t truly stuck to the faith. Everyone secretly knows that vegans are simply better than anyone else (not that we make a big deal about it), but nevertheless it’s good to see such a positive portrayal of veganism in a mainstream film; em, I think. Being vegan is entirely badass.
You never know what life’s going to throw at you. Today for example, I got talked into going to see a rugby match in March, the day after my birthday and the day after I’ve been to a gig; (the New Town Kings, amazing ska band). I have zero interest in rugby. In fact, I’ve less than no interest in it, I’ve actually got anti-interest in it. The idea of paying £20 and then sitting in a cold, half empty football stadium, watching a load of blokes carrying a stupidly shaped ball around for 80 minutes, fills me with the sort of dread normally reserved for exams, opening my bank statement and getting a bollocking at work for not doing something I should have done. Anyway, here’s a mental challenge for you. Please first think of the Power Rangers in a typical episode. Okay, hold that image. Now replace them with two Japanese schoolgirls in school uniforms. Still with me? (Oh for goodness sake, keep your focus on the relevant details here.) Good. Now replace the ridiculous baddies the Power Rangers were fighting in your mind with a sinister organisation called The Clown, which wants to take over control of the Earth; (unless you have a different copy of this film, where you may find that that for some reason the translation turns The Clown into The Joker, although not the Batman one). If you’ve managed that successfully (and well done if you have) then you’re part way to conceptualising this Japanese action movie. (Well I say movie, but it’s only actually 45 minutes long. It does feel very much like a pilot episode for a TV series that’s never existed.)
2008 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japan
Despite this being an entirely absurd film it’s actually quite entertaining, for both intentional and unintentional reasons. Join best friends Anne and Eunice (the names of the heroines in my translation of the film), as they do battle with The Clown. We never really find out a lot about The Clown and the motivation of the girls’ games teacher makes zero sense to me too. And I’m sorry to say this and I know it’s kind of sexist and everything, but Anne really does ‘run just like a girl’ the first time she appears in the consolidated armour. It wouldn’t inspire me if I saw her run like that and was waiting for her to come and help me fight a group of ‘henchman’ and the weird guy in the mask and leathers. (And before I forget, note for translators. We normally call it “bust size” okay? Also, you don’t have to bother to keep adding subtitles to “Mmmm”, as that’s much the same in any language). There are plenty of silly laughs to be had in this movie and it’s really quite sweet in its own way. I’ve not checked but I don’t suppose it was nominated for any Oscars.
Recommended for anyone who likes films at the “Dude, Where’s My Car?” level or below. Not good for people who think a film needs any sort of depth to it. No one’s going to drown in this movie.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Waking up chained to an under-lit table, surrounded by weirdos and finding out that you’ve had your body transformed somehow and you’re about to be brain-washed so you’ll do the bidding of an evil organisation know as The Clown, I imagine is a tough situation to accept. Then finding out soon after that you’re going to have to fight to destroy this organisation before it kills you, probably makes things worse. Still, Anne more or less takes it all in her stride. That’s got to be badass at any age.