Posts tagged “Mad Max

Freeze Frame / Pavement Wars


Freeze Frame  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseSean Veil (Lee Evans) is an ultra-paranoid murder suspect who films himself around the clock to provide an alibi, in case he’s ever accused of another crime.  When the police come calling to investigate a new murder, the one tape that can prove his innocence has mysteriously disappeared.  Past and present collide as Sean strives to prove his innocence of this and all the other crimes that have been laid at his door.  But the accusations and the tension mount and just when Sean thinks it’s all over, an unexpected twist finds him fighting for his life…

2004  –  Certificate: 15  –  UK/Irish Film
Rating Details: Strong violence and language
8.0 out of 10

A couple of months ago I started walking into work again, rather than driving.  Regularly walking the 2.4 miles each way has turned me into a hyper-fit super-being, but it’s not without its drawbacks.  Today I’d like to briefly consider the concept of Pavement Wars.  My journey includes a significant section along the Oxford Road in west Reading, where I find myself walking ‘against the tide’, as most people are going in the other direction and into town.  I’m used to the barbaric anarchy of rush-hour on the Tube, where a fallen body is considered nothing more than an annoying trip hazard; but I thought out on the open road (well pavement) of the Home Counties, things would be a little different.  I thought people would lift their hats in polite greetings as they passed one another, whilst exchanging a few words of small talk, about the weather or cricket scores perhaps?  Sadly it’s more like a pedestrianised version of Carmageddon, with the sort of manoeuvring that would lose a driver his or her license in a moment.  Seriously, it’s like a war zone out there and I’m not winning.  I’ve lost count of the number of time I’ve been forced into walls, bollards and the road, in an effort not to get mowed down by others’ irresponsible walking.  But this guy is fighting back!  Last Thursday, my path was blocked by two women coming in the other direction.  Any decent human being, when walking next to a friend, would make sure they got out of the way if someone was coming in the opposite direction and the two of them were totally occupying the path.  But not these two.  And they both saw me coming along, I’m quite sure of that.  Did they expect me to step out into the road to let them pass, even though I had my back to the traffic?  Was I the innocent victim of bitchy office politics, which meant nether of them wanted to walk behind the other, in case this more submissive stance might have some bearing on an inter-departmental power-struggle?  Perhaps my “Do You Like Waffles?” t-shirt wasn’t scary enough?  Or were they just inconsiderate, stupid, thoughtless, brain-dead bimbos?  Who knows?  Whatever, this time there was going to be no hanging about waiting between the bollards for them to pass.  I braced myself for the inevitable impact, which happened just about here.  As we passed my arm briefly collided with the tall blonde’s.  I suppose with hindsight it was probably the most exciting sexual caress she’s had for ages, but to me it meant only one thing; at last, I was a true Pavement Warrior!  No longer will I cower in shop entrances, between bollards, behind bins or pavement furniture.  Reading take note; there’s a new kid on the block, a new kid who’s no longer gonna be pushed around by people who think the sidewalk owes them a living.  I’m ready for war.  Are they?  Given all that, it’s a shame I’m not about to consider a viewing of “Mad Max”.

In a thriller with more twists than a shop full of Curly Wurly bars (or an avenue of Corkscrew Willow if you prefer), comedian Lee Evans convincingly portrays a paranoid and socially inept guy (Sean) who films his every waking (and sleeping) moment.  Fortunately, we’re spared most of the more ‘intimate’ moments of his life, but  it does make for an original and interesting, although somewhat convoluted movie.  I’m a bit stupid so I’m pretty sure I didn’t manage to follow everything, but it was still a really good watch; (despite the overuse of blue filters and a tiny, non-anamorphic 2.35:1 picture).  So this probably means it’ll be a good watch next time too, as I still won’t know what’s going on; being an idiot does have its advantages.  I did feel sorry for Sean; putting up with dodgy TV reporters, useless and greedy psychologists, a whole population that thought he was a triple murderer and cops that ‘cross the line’, is enough to send anyone a bit round the bend.  The amount of plot twists in the last ten minutes are likely to send most viewers a bit round the bend too.  His ‘underground house’ was interesting though.

The soundtrack is exactly that.  There’re no dumb pop records put into the film to enable some sort of “as featured in” soundtrack to be released.  It’s just decent music added into scenes to make them better in that way that only music can.

Recommended for police detectives, the paranoid, the tabloid press, everyone who hates CCTV and any innocents who’ve ever been accused of murder.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitation.

Top badass moment?  In a film full of twists and turns, the fact that Sean managed to keep himself together enough to do what he needed to do, qualifies as badass.

Freeze Frame at IMDB (6.3 / 10)

Freeze Frame at Wikipedia

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The Mighty / King Arthur (The First Superhero)


The Mighty  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseAward-winning actress Sharon Stone (“Sphere”, “Casino”, “Basic Instinct”) and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) star in this uplifting motion picture that’s received overwhelming critical acclaim.  With his loving and supportive mother (Stone), 13-year-old Kevin (Kierin Culkin) moves in next door to another teen, Max.  Though both have problems that label them as outcasts, Kevin and Max discover that by proudly combining their strengths and uniting as one, they can overcome their individual limitations and triumph over any adversity.  As this pair sets out on a series of courageous adventures, they find the mightiest treasure of all: friendship.  With Gena Rowlands (“Playing By Heart”) and a stellar supporting cast.

1998  –  Certificate: PG  –  American Film
Rating Details:  Threat of violence
8.0 out of 10

Had a bit of a scare this morning, when I woke up to a cloudy sky.  Was that the end of summer for another seven years?  Fortunately, things have got sorted out this afternoon and it’s now lovely and sunny again.  We seem to have temporarily lost our Level 3 Heat-Health Watch status, but it’s still managed to get to 32C in my living room this afternoon.  It was 33C in here yesterday, a new Cactus World record and a long way from last winter’s ghastly low of 14C.  This film has inspired me to reach for new heights too.

Almost everything about this film annoys me, from the entirely unrealistic plot, through to the emotionally manipulative ending.  You’ll find more realism on the front page of the Daily Mail than in this movie.  It even manages to ‘Disneyfy’ two characters from “Mad Mad: Beyond Thunderdome” and turn them into two ‘kids with issues’.  Even the ‘bad guy’ gets a Disney-like make-over and ends up about as threatening a red traffic light.  It’s also got Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson and Meat Loaf in it too, yet fails to turn in a single, sexually provocative scene, alien or overwrought rock anthem.  What a waste; that latter lot would make a great film.  Now I’ve trashed it I will say that this is actually a really nice and enjoyable movie.  You know how when someone complements you and you know they don’t really mean it, but somehow you still like the fact that they said it anyway?  Well this movie feels a lot like that.  It’s like they vivisected all the great family movies to identify what makes them ‘work’ and then injected it into this one.  You know it’s not really that good but you still secretly like it anyway.  The two youngsters at the centre of the story manage to be the heroes they’re destined to be, without being too annoying in that ‘Hollywood way’; I found myself wanting them to succeed, despite the stupid plot.  What’s worse, the film borrows from Arthurian legend and I found myself thinking, why do I watch Batman etc when I could be lusting after the original superheroes?  And they’re Brits too.  Never mind the Justice League or The Avengers, here’s King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; questing and kicking bad guy butt hundreds of years before Captain America had even been conceived.  Suitably horrified by my own lack of patriotic pride, as soon as I’d finished watching it I went and bought myself a copy of T. H. White’s “Once and Future King”, the definitive version of the story of King Arthur.  It’s a book (well sort of five really), that to my shame I’ve never read.  I’ve also burnt all my Batman and Superman DVDs too.  (Okay, so I made that last bit up.)  At work, I will no longer do funding-raising.  Instead, I will go on quests, to seek wisdom, resource further adventures and bring clarity of mind to the unbelievers.  True, it’s exactly the same thing, but it sounds a hell of a lot more exciting this way.  I will cease to fill in application forms; instead I’ll become a seeker of truth, enlightenment and the pathway to justice.  My armour with protect me from the blows of my enemies, whilst my heart will vanquish over adversity, as I rise a hero from the flames of battle.  I will walk to the office no longer; instead I will ride into combat!  A knight proves his worthiness by his deeds!  Or something like that anyway.

I have to admit I do like the soundtrack, despite Sting’s presence.  It’s a combination of the restrained and the epic, with some sub-Irish folksiness thrown in for good measure.

Recommended for King Arthur, trailer trash with a heart of gold and over and under-achieving kids.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  In a film highlighting the actions of two kids fighting adversity, badass moments abound.  But the most badass of all is Max ripping the radiator off the wall, before telling his father ‘the truth’. After a lifetime of shit, turning on ‘the beast’ is pure badass.  Well done Max!

The Mighty at IMDB (7.1 / 10)

The Mighty at Wikipedia