The feature debut of Lindy Heymann is a clever comment on modern celebrity culture. Nicole (Kerrie Hayes) a Liverpudlian teenager, spends her time hanging around the gates of Anfield and the Liverpool training ground, desperate for a glimpse of her idol, the star footballer Lee Cassidy (Jamie Doyle). There she meets aspirant WAG Jasmine (played by Nichola Burley from “StreetDance 3D”), instantly. They trawl the city and its nightspots, fantasising about a time when they might have Lee for themselves, yet when the news breaks that the footballer is a transfer target for Real Madrid, they take drastic action to prevent him leaving… Stand-out performances from the two lead actresses make this energetic, funny and tense film one of the best UK debuts of recent years.
2009 – Certificate: 15 – British Film
Rating Details: Strong language, sex and injury detail
8.5 out of 10
I’ve just drunk two big mugs of really strong coffee with Kahlúa poured into it. I’ve not had anything to eat for nearly 24 hours, (yes I’m still on my stupid ‘eat every other day’ diet), so I expect it’s about to have some sort of weird physical, emotional and mental effect on me. I’m about to experience the outer limits of human perceptions and experiences… There’s something weird about this film too.
It’s a really bizarre feeling when you see someone who really reminds you of someone else. You know it’s not the same person, yet you have a natural tendency to react to them as if it is. You can’t help it, it just happens. It’s futile to resist, as you’re trying to logically reason your way out of a whole lifetime of experience and memories, many of which you’ve subconsciously distorted over time to better fit your needs. (I’ve no doubt this is what’s behind the many incidences of random people coming up to me in the street and calling me names; or maybe that’s just how I am?) Kerrie Hayes (the blonde woman in the trailer) really, really, really reminds me of someone I knew years ago when she was a similar age; in fact we’re still close. (By “close” I mean we see each other three or four times a year, which for someone with a social circle as meagre as mine, makes us virtually Siamese twins.) They share the same mannerisms, the same look, the same intensity. It made watching this film probably a more unique experience for me than normal. This is a great movie. It takes a while to get going and the ending is a bit (and I’m using that word again, it must be the coffee) weird. You probably need to get drunk in ‘real time’ along with the characters, to get the most out of the latter part and to make their behaviour make sense. The two lead actresses in it are excellent and I love the whole look and feel of the film, depressing though it is. It’s basically a movie about a friendship between two young women, celebrity culture and living with this ‘illness’. Definitely recommended. I imagine if it isn’t already, obsessing over celebrities probably does has a medical name. The clinical test to determine if you suffer from it being that you can watch a new series of “Celebrity Big Brother” or “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and recognise over 25% of the ‘celebrities’ in it. I’m pleased to say I’d struggle to recognise more than a couple. So basically what I’m saying is that the media has created a new disease for everyone to suffer from and deliberately spreads the ‘virus’ around in the form of gossip mags, Internet rubbish and fake newspaper stories, in the hope of infecting more people. What sort of sick bastards are they? Well it’s certainly crossed one of my red lines, so it’s just as well for them that I’m not World President Obama, or they’d be some serious consideration going on, relating to the arming of freedom fighters like myself with big pairs of scissors, so we can go into shops selling this rubbish and cut it all up into small pieces. Watch out News UK, we know who you are… even if you have just changed your name out of shame.
The soundtrack is all, slightly atmosphere indie rock. The individual tunes weren’t that exciting, but they surprisingly all hang together pretty well and nicely enhance the impact of the scenes they’re used in. They’re a really good fit into the overall feel of the film.
Recommended for bored teenagers, journalists who write about Kim Kardashian’s baby and professional footballers.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? There’s frequently a dearth of badass in movies like this. It’s all people with no real hope, no belief and no future. This one is no exception. So I guess the best I can come up with is the friendship that develops between the two main characters, Nicole and Jasmine. In a film about the shallowness of celebrity, it’s the one really meaningful thing in it.
I’m pissed off with both Argos and IKEA. IKEA is a perennial dislike of mine, with its unsubtle attempt to make every home reflect the state of many of our high streets, with each one looking exactly like the next one. In comparison, I’m generally quite forgiving of Argos. Sadly, both have now enraged me by showing their true, bloated, evil, stupid, corporate selves. I need some more shelves to store DVDs on. I can’t imagine I’m the only person ever to have had this interior design requirement, but after dealing with the aforementioned companies I think I must be, as they’re both so shockingly crap at selling what I would have thought was a very standard, simple, basic bit of furniture. Bloody hell, I only want to store some DVDs, not the Ebola virus. After having considered and then rejected some of my more bizarre, expensive or inconvenient solutions, such as moving to a bigger home, converting all my DVDs to digital files and storing them on a huge hard drive somewhere, or distorting the local space-time continuum (it’s the “space” bit there that’s most appealing), I decided to try and buy some new storage units for them, to match the ones I already have. In the past I’ve bought these from Argos; except last time when it appeared to have discontinued the style I’ve always bought, so I had to get a different type, which kind of pissed me off, because they don’t look the same. Anyway, this time the old style had miraculously reappeared, but the new style I bought last time had vanished entirely. This also pissed me off, as I’d decided what I wanted based on the latter. No matter I though, I’ll just waste a bit more of my life re-measuring everything to see how to fit the old style in the available space instead. A common theme with these storage units over the years is that every Argos on the planet only ever has a maximum of two in stock at any one time, so if you want more than that you have to keep going back to the shop, over and over again, until you’ve got the number you want. No matter I thought, again, I’ll buy them online instead and pay the very reasonable £3.95 delivery charge, (which includes the ability to pick the delivery day too). I got all the way through this process and ordered five, only to be told after I’ve paid that only one was actually in stock for home delivery, so my order had been changed and the others cancelled. What sort of large, modern company doesn’t link its website sales to its stock? This really pissed me off, a lot. Half an hour later, after finally getting the purchase confirmation e-mail and then spending ten minutes on hold, I got through to Betty, (who because she sounded like ‘everyone’s favourite granny’ I didn’t have the heart to get annoyed with about all this), who cancelled my order; (because guess what, you can’t cancel your order online either). All this messing about had sufficiently annoyed me that I decided to go and buy the same things from IKEA instead. It sells what’s basically an identical unit for £1.99 less. So I get through all of its ordering system only to be told it costs £35 for delivery. Seriously, IKEA is taking the piss here. If I was IKEA, I’d use the same delivery firm as Argos and charge its customers a 10th of what they’re presently charged and offer a choice of delivery days too. So after wasting well over an hour of my time, I’m still no closer to solving my original problem. Bollocks to them both. This film also features an ‘issue’ with space and time.
1984 – Certificate PG – USA Rating Details:
Mild Language, violence and horror
“Star Wars” was made in 1977, seven years before this film. It looked amazing at the time and still looks really good now. This movie looks and feels like it was made in 1960. Most of the special effects belong in the 50s; in fact the whole feel of it does too. Despite this, I do rather like this film in a strange sort of way. Maybe it’s the inherent decentness of the hero, David Herdeg. (Although he doesn’t seem that bothered when a car of fellow military personnel that’s chasing him crashes and blows up, certainly killing everyone inside it; it’s not like they were even trying to do anything bad to him either). And come to think of it, that’s far from his only sociopathic reaction to what’s going on around him. In fact, he’s not really very nice at all. So perhaps it’s the natural sexiness of fellow escapee (née kidnap-victim) Allison (Nancy Allen) that does it for me then? She was great in “Robocop”. However, her 80s hairstyle and somewhat pathetic-useless-woman persona do start to grind you down after a while; she even falls over at one post during a chase. Sadly, there’s nothing very attractive about an idiot. Of course, I appreciate that both of them had a lot of shit going on in their lives; he having to deal with the consequences of suddenly being transported 41 years into the future and her having not got a job she’d applied for. But really… Actually I’ve now realised I’ve no idea why I like this film. Enigmatic eh?
Recommended for people who long for the return of rubbish 50s sci-fi. Yes, these people really do exist.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. However, one unfortunate guy does sort of get trapped in the deck of the ship with his head half embedded in the metal. That’s going to take at least two paracetamol to sort out.
Top badass moment? Move along, there’s nothing to see here; certainly no one heroic enough to do anything worthy of the accolade of “Top Baddass Moment”.
We’ve had a lot of staff changes at work recently; many of my colleagues have left or had their jobs changed. Today the team I’m part of all went out for lunch. This was the last time we’ll all be in one place together, as maternity leave and restructures have taken their toll on our numbers and as such we’ll cease to exist at the end of this month. Of course, I’m sure everything in future will be great for those of us that remain and the new team we work in, but there’s something very ‘final and not in a good way’ about these sorts of things. I guess I’m just not very good at saying good-bye. I’m sure Captain Picard would have had something inspirational, positive and life-affirming to say if he’d been in the same position as I was, but then again he’s captain of the Federation’s flagship and I’m an ineffective middle-manager, hiding deep-down in a staff structure somewhere. I did enjoy my lunch though; we went to a local Indian restaurant and the food was yummy. This film is about revenge. I hope none of the people who’ve been restructured out of existence recently will follow John Creasy‘s example from this movie. However, I will personally be taking inspiration from his ‘can do’ approach and trying to reverse some of the changes that have taken place. I will probably fail (as I’m rubbish at my job and live in a fantasy world of movies and computer games), but I can at least try.
2004 – Certificate: 18 – USA
Rating Details: Strong violence
So right then, let’s just forget about realism first, it will make everything a lot less stressful from here onwards, trust me. Do you ever watch films that are ‘nearly great’? This is one of them. It’s 140 minutes long, but there’re over 30 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD too, which include some that relate to a plot line that was entirely removed from the final version of the film. Despite its length, it doesn’t feel especially long when you’re watching it and it’s nice to see a movie that takes a bit of time to give the main characters’ some history and personalities, before things start to blow up or go bang. Denzel Washington is great as the burnt-out ex-CIA operative John Creasy. I didn’t like his character’s name though, as every time I heard it I was reminded of how bad I am at ironing things. I’ve never learnt to iron properly. As is also the case for drawing and leaning languages, (neither of which I have any attribute for whatsoever), I think there’s a part of the brain that’s exclusively dedicated to ironing that I don’t have. Mexico City, the setting for the film, comes across as a place that wouldn’t make it onto any sane person’s list of possible holiday destinations, as most of its population appear to be criminals, idiots, cowards or corrupt officials. Oh wait, it sounds a little bit like the House of Commons, so that’s okay then. But back to my original thought. Despite this being a good film, it never quite became a great one; I struggled to build up a real empathy for either of the two main characters. They were just a bit too good in that ‘Hollywood’ way to engage or deserve my full sympathy and support.
Recommended for anyone dealing with evil kidnappers, or looking for an alternative way to deal with organisational restructures.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? When you’ve lost faith in humanity and set yourself on a path of self-destruction (so it says on the DVD’s sleeve), finding redemption has to be considered badass. So it involves torturing, killing and generally doing some pretty unpleasant things to people, but they were ’the bad guys’ so they probably deserved it, right? If only real life was that simple.
It’s good to explore the cultures of places far away. Doing this can help make us a lot more understanding of the views of others, better able to celebrate what we have in common and appreciate what makes us different, rather than simply go around labelling everyone else as foreigners and you know, ‘not like us’. Looking to fully play my part in this global exploration and to help reduce my own prejudices and ignorance, I’ve been spending the past few weeks finding out all about Japan and the Japanese, through the medium of film. First I watched “Kamikaze Girls” and discovered what it’s like to be a teenage Japanese girl in modern Japan. After that I watched “The Masked Girl” and found out what’s it’s like to be a Japanese superhero. Then finally I watched this film and came to understand the difficulties of being a young man in Japan, coping with a father who lacks parenting skills, (well two fathers actually). So my conclusion? Japan is, ‘interesting’. (Insightful stuff I know.) Actually Japanese films are great, because they have a whole, different set of characteristics to just about any other. I just wish I could relate to them more, but sadly my Western brain is just too limited to comprehend most of them; I must continue my studies further…
1979 – Certificate: Unrated – Japan
On some levels, this is a great, erotic thriller, with a wide range of suitably nasty, unpleasant and disturbing scenes. On the other hand, it’s pretty distasteful for exactly the same reasons. I didn’t really enjoy it that much, but I can appreciate it for what it is. It did feel a little like the writer had a tick-list of ‘shocking things you can include in films’ and was going to get through the whole lot, regardless of the results. Murder, kidnapping, rape, character assassination, incest, torture, Nazi worship, it’s all here; and I’ve no idea what the scene with the butter and the Alsatian was all about. At times it was a bit slow, but it does have a proper plot, is nicely filmed and in a technical sense looked excellent (considering its age and small budget). Tatsuya (the film’s main protagonist) really isn’t a very nice person! He’s a psycho playboy basically. Even before he turned nasty I hated him, he was far too intelligent, talented, attractive and rich for my liking; (not that I’m jealous or anything). With all his advantages and messed up childhood, he could easily have become Batman.
Recommended for people who like to watch challenging movies and twisted movies in general; or who’re used to exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilisations. It’s probably not worth watching if you think “Brokeback Mountain” represents the worst extremes of depraved modern cinema.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Jun Yashioji (the pop singer) whacking Tatsuya over the head with a stool, in an effort to escape; (and it looked really solid on the screen too). Her singing was pretty terrible, but at least she made an attempt to get away. Somewhat tragic timing in the end, talk about being unlucky; even though she was a bit of a bitch I did feel sorry for her.