Rebellious teenager Stevie (Cameron Van Hoy) finds his mother’s gun and along with his girlfriend (Mischa Barton) impulsively decides to rob a bank, becoming a latter-day Bonnie & Clyde in the process. The pair find themselves in over their heads, as they take hostages and the FBI become involved in negotiating Stevie’s absurd demands. Head FBI agent (Burt Reynolds) struggles to control the mounting tension in the bank, as he tries to keep the violence from escalating. “Pups” is an edgy, post-modern response to the growing trend of senseless gun crime in America, featuring “two of the most natural and freed performances I have seen by actors of any age.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
1999 – Certificate: 15 – Rating Details: Strong Language and Moderate Sex References – American Film – 6.5 out of 10
This week I’m seriously hating on the Royal Mail, the Post Office, Parcel Force, or whatever it’s called these days since it was stolen from everyone and then sold back to a small proportion of us. In January I ordered a CD from Japan. Instead of getting my CD, I got one of the dreaded, silver cards, explaining that I owed a £3.85 customs charge, plus a piss-taking £8.00 “handling fee”. (And my name was spelt wrongly on the card too.) So anyway, I paid the fees online eight days before the payment deadline but nothing then got delivered. When I rang up (and it took three calls to get anywhere), I discovered that the CD had been returned to sender as it was claimed I’d not paid the fees. So I then had to complete a claim (a two page P58) form to try and get my money back, plus the additional postage I’m now having to pay to get the CD reshipped to me, after I’d also had to go and sort that out with the company I’d bought it from. The claim form itself was totally shit, as in festival toilets shit, as it asked loads of questions that I had no idea of the answer for, yet it was covered in threats telling me that if I didn’t answer them all my claim couldn’t be processed. The form totally wasn’t designed for what I need to make a claim for. The online version was even worse, as I couldn’t even get past the first page, or indeed the first paragraph. I haven’t had a reply yet. Why do they even need to know half the questions it asks anyway, as my CD clearly got as far as the UK or I’d not have been sent the silver card? I remember when it cost 3p to send a first class letter (and 2.5p for second class). Now it costs 93p (31 times as much) and the service seems worse, despite all the extra technology available these days. It better pay my own, personal £8.00 “handling fee” I’ve added to my claim too. And if this wasn’t all bad enough, two days ago I got a letter saying I needed to pay £9.14 VAT, plus an even bigger piss taking £13.50 “Clearance Fee” before they’ll redeliver it. A total of £22.64, nearly twice as much as last time! The CD only cost £20.34. What a load of bollocks it all is! Unless the company has seriously undercharged me for delivery, then there’s no way the VAT can be £9.14. The cost of the shipping would need to come to £25.36 for that VAT figure to be correct and I was only charged £8.03 for it each time. I shall be interested to see what the packaging says, should it ever actually be delivered. I don’t mind paying the VAT, but I can’t see how it’s been worked out correctly, or understand why the handing fee has now become a clearance fee and nearly doubled. Fucking Nazi Postman Pat can fucking fuck off. I’m going to write to The Queen, it is the Royal Mail after all; I’m sure she’ll go and bang a few heads together when she hears about this. Right now I can so understand the protagonist in this film. I feel like I want to go postal.
There’re three things about the US that no one else in the world understands. These’re its favourite sports, its approach to public health care and it’s obsession with the right to own guns. This film is about the latter. It was made 16 years ago, yet despite a seemingly ongoing parade of nutters with guns going into shops, schools, offices and other places during this period, nothing much seems to have changed since then. That’s kind of sad and reflects badly on the huge number of people there who do actually have some common sense. This is quite a rubbishy movie. The whole approach the police take to deal with the situation makes little sense and what Burt Reynolds is up to most of the time I have no idea; he spends most of it sitting in a car waiting for the kids in the bank to do something, pacing around smoking and scowling, or fielding calls from his wife. The police and FBI seem to have very little control over the onlookers and the press too; there’re armed police everywhere as well as the kids with guns, yet they’re all within a few metres of the bank. I’m not in law enforcement, but aren’t they supposed to keep everyone well away? Even when one of the kids comes out waving a gun about they still don’t get the hint. They seem to have about the same grasp on what to do as the Royal Mail has on postal delivery services. In fact pretty well everyone seems to have a bit of a death wish. However, it’s one saving grace is the boy with the guy. He’s so over-the-top hyper and mad most of the time that it’s worth watching just for his performance. He’s pretty unlikable, but somehow I feel a certain kindred spirit burns inside him. Overall, the film is more entertaining than the sum of its parts might suggest. At least they had a nice day for it, sunny and warm. I’d imagine if it had been wet and cold, it would have been a much more miserable experience for everyone, especially those outside.
Recommended for school children, police officers and bank staff.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Banks aren’t exactly top of most people’s lists of favourite things right now, so with hindsight I’d like to consider the spontaneous decision by the two kids to rob one on the way to school, as an unconscious choice to stick it to the Man and get our money back. That’s badass. You’d do the same thing too, if you had the guts!
For some weird reason, there doesn’t appear to be an English language copy of the trailer on YouTube!
Jackie, a hard-working assistant at a TV studio, pours herself into her work with an odd enthusiasm that her co-workers embrace with mixed feelings. An obsessed Morrissey fan, her off hours are spent talking to posters and photos that plaster her apartment. Her nights are spent scouring places Morrissey has been spotted around Los Angeles… One fateful night things take a turn for the worse when by chance her dream comes true. Meeting Morrissey in a deserted parking lot, Jackie’s world is suddenly turned upside down.
2003 – Certificate: Not Rated – American Film
8.0 out of 10
The last couple of days at work have been somewhat dispiriting. A mixture of ‘stuff’ and ‘other things’, combined with a lack of time and a recurring, nightmarish vision of the apocalypse, (complete with demons, fire, horseman and endless teleconferences), have made the first half of the week pretty heavy going. I forgot my mobile phone today too and came home to 14 missed calls. Someone had left me a voice mail which was so muffled and distant that I could only conclude it came from Satan himself, deep in the bowels of Hell. I wonder what he wants, this time? However, coming home from work each day I’ve been reminded of just how worse things could be. Whilst walking along the Oxford Road in Reading I’ve passed a guy dressed in a giant, blue, Domino’s Pizza takeaway box, loitering outside the Lidl supermarket. Whatever he had in mind as a career when he was at school, I don’t suppose hanging about dressed up like a homeless and miserable, blue version of SpongeBob SquarePants, was top of his list. Sadly for Domino’s, the overall effect of a bored looking guy in a scruffy pair of jeans and a baseball hat, inside a massive pizza box, wasn’t to make me want to eat pizza. Whatever they’re paying him, it’s not enough. Strangely, this film has a connection to SpongeBob too.
I always enjoy movies about losers that’re trying to fight back against ‘the system’, or at least exist alongside it; I suppose I can relate to them. This film starts off with us following a young woman with an over developed enthusiasm for all things Morrissey, into work, where we meet some of her rather overbearing colleagues; and it ends up with a nuclear explosion. I’m not really spoiling it for you though, as the latter doesn’t actually have any sort of connection to anything else. At some point whilst watching it, I was suddenly hit by a “wtf?” moment and realised that everything had become rather surreal, weird and odd. On one level, this is quite a disturbing film, as you watch a young woman descend into some sort of mental distress. On the other hand, it is kind of funny. Jackie Buscarino, who plays the main character who’s also called Jackie, as well as being very cute, throws herself into the role with a level of embarrassing intensity that’s really quite fun to watch. I can imagine it’s the sort of film that a lot of hardcore Morrissey fans would hate, but I really like Morrissey and think it’s very entertaining. I’m not sure if it’s a totally dumb, poorly scripted film, or one that subtly and covertly comments on modern society and its values; whatever, I’d recommend it either way.
This movie has some really good music in it, which certainly helps turn it from being a potentially slightly crappy film into a much better one. The fact that one track is by Nerf Herder (the band that bought you the theme to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), is just the icing on the cake. Needless to say, it features no music by Morrissey or The Smiths at all.
Recommend for fanboys (and fangirls).
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Who hasn’t at one time or another, secretly thought about going into work, trashing the place and abusing everyone? Okay… so just me then. Anyway, the overlong scene where Jackie goes into work and does just that, is badass.
I remember when all phone boxes were red with lots of their original rectangular glass panels replaced by plastic ones, always smelt of piss and you had to use either 2p or 10p coins in them; not that they worked most of the time anyway. Now you only seem to see them in quaint villages; or in people’s gardens being used as a weird sort of greenhouse and to give their owners the opportunity to say to anyone who needs to find where they live, “look out for the phone box in the front garden”; ha-ha very funny. Nowadays, you need a credit-card to use most of them, which is a bit ironic because nothing shouts out “failure” with a big arrow pointing at you more, than using a public phone box. With mobiles being so omnipresent, only the poorest or most stupid of people use phone boxes these days. So basically what I’m saying is that using a phone box is the same as making a public statement to the effect that, “I’m a failure in life, put me up against a wall and shoot me”. I never use them myself of course, as I’m a winner!
2002 – Certificate: 15
Language: Frequent, Strong. Sex/Nudity: Some Strong References. Violence: Some, Strong. Other: Persistent Threat.
It’s a few years since I last watched this semi-classic thriller and it felt dated this time around. I’m not sure why, it just does. Maybe it’s the clichéd presentation of New York that does it, I’m not too sure. This is a shame, as it’s otherwise a really good film, tense, original and entertaining. There aren’t a lot of films where one of the main characters is only on-screen for a minute or so. Colin Farrell (Stuart Shephard) does a really good job as ‘the victim’ too. Even cooler, he was in an episode of “Blakes 7” once.
No cats and no decapitations.
Recommended for the entire mobile telecommunications industry. This film has single-handedly done more for the likes of Vodafone, Orange and O2 etc than anything else. Walking and talking at the same time makes you a harder target to shoot at, a genuine worry than most mobile users have, I know; never mind that it makes you 100 times more likely to be hit by a car, or one of those lampposts that like to jump out in front of mobile users.
Top badass moment? Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker) for playing the ‘good cop with problems’. Give the guy a holiday someone, he looks like he needs one. Good cops are badass.