I was driving home tonight and turning off the M3. At the junction a car had just broken down in the middle lane of three, at a set of traffic lights. (A BMW, ha-ha-ha). The driver behind it got all inpatient and started flashing and honking the broken-down driver. Then he suddenly pulled into the inside lane right in front of me, forcing me to brake hard and throw everything off the seat next to me and onto the floor, before he drove straight through the now red light. Asshole. If my car’s lights had been lasers (the sci-fi gun version, not the CD reading version), I’d have blown him to pieces, such was my annoyance. I doubt he heard it, but my language would have embarrassed more than just a nun too. People like that should be taken outside and shot. And no, I’m not going to give him a second chance on the assumption that he’d just had a bad day. My life might not amount to much, but I’m going to waste it at my discretion, not some stupid moron behind the wheel of a car’s. And talking of nuns, I thought this film was going to be about them.
2005 – Certificate: PG – USA
Rating Details: Mild language and sex references
Anyway, there I was, on Saturday evening, ready to watch what I thought was going to be a sleazy 70s, exploitation flick about nuns and kinky underwear. So you can imagine my disappointment when, on starting to view this film, instead of seeing nuns running around losing their clothing and wearing each other’s panties, I got a chick flick about four young friends and a pair of second-hand jeans. Bloody American’s, why do they have to mess about with OUR language; pants are, well, pants, not trousers or jeans. And a sisterhood really ought to have something to do with convents. With hindsight, I suppose the PG certificate and the “Perfect film for teen girls” splash on the front cover should have warned me, but I thought they were just part of the marketing; I didn’t think they, you know, really meant what they said. Anyway, to make the best of a bad job I watched it; I guess someone has to. After the first ten minutes I was already tiring of the four-teenage-girls-all-talk-and-giggle-at-once-about-nothing narrative. Still, a film has to be pretty bad for me to totally give up on it, so I persevered; and I’m glad I did. What I ended up with was a really great movie about four friends who are separated one summer for the first time and how they keep in touch with one another, grow as individuals and ensure their friendship remains intact. (Sounds a bit bluurrgg, doesn’t it?) To be honest, some of the subtleties of this were probably lost on me; I’m an old(ish) bloke, so I’ve next to no chance of understanding teenage angst or relationships; hell, I didn’t even understand them when I was a teenager, although come to think of it, that’s maybe the point of them. Okay, so it’s all a bit dumb, the ending is a bit too upbeat for my liking and the four main characters could basically be summed up as rebel, slut, wallflower and latch-key kid. But it’s all done with such sincerity that it’s hard not to get swept along with it. Most of it’s pretty lightweight stuff as you’d expect and the plot goes everywhere and nowhere, but every now and again a scene came along that enabled the whole movie to punch above its weight. It’s been done a million times before in films, but the scene in the hospital was a genuinely great bit of acting and you’d have to be made of stone not to be affected by it. I’m not sure if it’s a perfect film for teen girls, but it worked for this cynical old guy. I didn’t even miss there being no nuns in it either; (it does have some panties though). I wonder what the follow-up is like?
Recommended for teenage girls (according to the Sunday Mirror); and old blokes who are willing to step outside their comfort zones. (But if you need an excuse lads, it has some women’s football in it too.)
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? The subplot involving Tibby and Bailey is especially affecting; (or is it effecting, I can never remember)? This had lots of little scenes that are really quite special. Learning to care about someone is one thing; learning to show it is another. This is badass.
Having thought that this film was going to be about life at a builders’ merchants, or perhaps focused on a particularly fast style of dance or punk music, I was astonished to discover it was none of these things. I really should read the stuff on the sleeve before watching a DVD; I was so looking forward to finding out more about the life of a delivery driver too, as he goes through his list of jobs, dropping off bricks, cement, plaster, wood and other materials essential to the construction of the buildings and other features we’ve all come to rely on these days. Anyway, let’s see what I can remember about it. Guns? Check. Drugs? Check. Beautiful lesbians? Check. Prostitution ring? Check? Some naked people (both genders)? Check. Seedy businessmen (and businesswomen)? Check. Roman soldier’s helmet on fire? Check. Pimp that uses colour-coded Post-It Notes to organise everything? Check. A drug dealer who only speaks in astrological predictions? Check. Bizarre fantasy sequence involving the main characters doing their own version of part of the opening credits sequence from “Beverly Hills 90210”? Check. Really awful version of Abba’s “Dancing Queen”? Check. It’s all in Greek? Check. Okay, I think I can remember some of it. By the way, if anyone is interested, the Post-It Note sequence appears to go yellow-blue-orange-purple, with yellow being used for low-paying customers requiring a ‘basic’ service and purple for higher-class events.
2004 – Certificate: Not Rated
I suspect this film is a lot better than I’m going to credit it for being. The trouble is, I think I fell asleep a few times whilst I was watching it; either that or it’s got really, really bad editing. I have to admit that I’m having some difficulty working out what to say about this movie. It’s basically a ‘get our own back on society and people in general’ type of film, which follows the lives of two young women. It sort of falls into two parts. The first covers the time they spend as prostitutes and the second the period when one of them is following a successful modelling and acting career. There’s a murder trial in the middle somewhere too. It does have some black comedy in it but the overall feel is one of it being a somewhat seedy drama.
Recommended for people who like films with a grubby storyline; along with those that like Quentin Tarantino-ish movies. It probably helps if you can understand Greek too.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? I use a lot of Post-It Notes at work. In fact I probably use far too many and use them when I could just scribble stuff on a bit of scrap paper. I wouldn’t say I was addicted to them, like I don’t go home every night and stick them all over my naked body, but I would miss them if they vanished. So not surprisingly, the boss of the prostitution ring featured in this film, purely for his over-use of Post-It Notes to organise and categorise work for his ‘team’, is badass.