Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson, “2012”) doesn’t need super powers or fancy toys to fight crime. Armed only with a childlike sense of wonder and his quirky arsenal of cheap, home-made gadgets, he becomes “Defendor”! He finds an unexpected partner when he rescues and falls for a local prostitute (Kat Dennings, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”). Can the two of them take down the city’s most fearsome crime boss without getting killed in the process?
2009 – Certificate 15 – Canadian Film
Strong language, sex references and drug use
8.5 out of 10
I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow. At the moment it feels I’d have more chance of launching a 20 tonne satellite into space with an elastic band, than being able to work productively when I get into the office. But I’m sure once I arrive, inspired by the latest tales about the England Cricket Team’s fighting spirit, I’ll soon be protecting the Earth once again from all manner of ‘bad guys and stuff’. (That really is my job.) I can sometimes feel a little ill-equipped for my mission though. I guess in many respects that makes me a lot more like Defendor than Superman; just a few toys, homemade gadgets and no superpowers. I have a quote on the wall in my office that says, “Do you ever find yourself striving for perfection with a virtually worthless attempt at it?” I like to think it’s inspirational. Indeed the whole song it’s taken from (“Lemon Water” by Guttermouth) is inspirational and can be applied to very many situations in life.
Billed as a comedy, this movie has quite a dark heart, whilst it highlights the value of friendship and sticking to what you believe in. I was a bit worried that having a lead character with a mental illness might make it a bit uncomfortable to watch, but actually it more or less gets away with it; it quickly ceases to be anything more than a facet of Arthur’s make up and is rarely mentioned explicitly, other than on a couple of occasions where it fits appropriately into the scenes. This is one of those films that after the first 15 minutes or so I thought I was watching a bit of an Edsel; but then it started to get good. The final scene is pretty powerful and for a superhero film about a guy with no superpowers who takes on a ‘crime boss’, quite realistic. This isn’t exactly a kid’s film, as it’s full of drug references and swearing, as well as quite a bit of violence too. It’s not as good as the amazingly brilliant “Super”, but it’s most definitely worth watching. If it has a weakness then it’s probably that it takes time for Arthur’s/Defendor’s character to settle down into someone understandable, but once it does you’ll be right behind him. In many ways he’s as much a tortured soul as Batman, only he doesn’t realise it. I love films like this. I can relate to them.
I really like this movie’s soundtrack. There’s not a lot to it really and it could so easily have ended up as a parody of what superhero films should sound like, but in fact it’s really good. It makes a big difference when it matters. I even went out and bought the track that plays over the first half of the end credits too.
This trailer is a decent enough, although it probably plays down the darker elements of the film and instead highlights the comedy.
Recommended for superheroes (obviously), prostitutes, corrupt police, drug barons and ‘nice guys’.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Nearly all superheroes are badass and Defendor’s no exception. Going after the city’s crime boss armed with only a few marbles and wasps is pretty ballsy; it’s also one of the most stupid things you can probably do too. Monumental stupidity is always badass.
After a long night tending bar for a bunch of annoying drunks, Laura isn’t really feeling up to a long bus-ride home. She hails a cab and settles into the back seat, relieved that her terrible night is over. She doesn’t know it yet but her evening is about to get worse. A lot worse. Once Laura figures out what her driver has in mind, it’s too late and she must accompany him on a terrifying journey that she may not survive! “Bleed With Me” is a horrific journey into the mind of a cold-blooded killer.
2009 – Certificate: Not Rated – Danish Film
3.0 out of 10
Today was the hottest day in England for seven years, 92.3F. (I remember the hottest day ever in 2003, when it reached 101.3F. I stood in the roof garden of where I was living at the time and thought it was great.) It’s also really humid and sticky too. I feel like I’m experiencing all the fun of an evening of lovemaking, but without the lovemaking bit. On a related topic, I briefly saw on the Internet tonight that the Duchess of Cambridge has joined the Labour Party and this has made her have a baby. I’m not sure of the details but I expect I’m going to be sickened by the sheer weight of sycophantic and nauseating media coverage of the event over the next few weeks. Please God, if the Earth is going to be invaded by aliens in the next few years, make it now so that we aren’t force-fed Royal baby news 24/7. Not that I’m a killjoy; I’m celebrating by drinking a pint of the organic Dutchy beer Prince Charles brews for Waitrose. As long as mum and baby are fine I don’t need or want to know anymore. I really don’t care what sort of nappies they use or how much the baby’s nose resembles his grandfathers, etc, etc, etc, etc. Like press coverage of the Royal baby, this horror is overwhelmingly sickening too, but for all the wrong reasons.
This is the worst movie I’ve watched for several years. Before you even get to the DVD, you have to deal with the crappy cover and its dreadful photo-editing. I don’t think the building or the woman shown on it are even in the film. And the overview on it (and reproduced above) isn’t even factually correct. The only accurate thing in it is the reference to Laura’s evening getting worse, which is clearly what happened when she first had to sit through a viewing of this rubbish. And don’t even get me started on the fact that it’s an American DVD release of a Danish film, but doesn’t have any subtitles. What’s the point of that? Then again, given its overall quality and the fact that it’s got so little dialogue, not understanding it is probably a mercy; I don’t think they spent much time discussing anything to worry the Nobel Prize or Oscar people. Oh, and the review on IMDB that was blatantly posted by someone to do with the movie, doesn’t exactly earn it any brownie points or sympathy. But what of the film itself? Well, we’re led to believe that Laura’s had a crap evening at work, although we only ever see one customer; (but to be fair the guy was a total asshole). Then she gets a cab home with the most inept killer to grace the small screen for many a year. (Hint to all would-be serial killers out there; don’t leave your tools and weapons where the victim can reach them. It’s stupid, okay?) For much of the film we’re treated to endless minutes of them driving along in his taxi not speaking, at night. He does stop a couple of times, including to kill two prostitutes who he gets the address of his ex-partner from. I’ve no idea why they knew. Why he decided to (presumably) purchase their time to treat him to an erotic dance (whilst he sat with a bag on his head) before killing them, I’m not sure. But whatever, each to their own. At one point the taxi gets randomly stopped by the police but then… nothing happens and we’re back in the taxi driving along again. It was like they were shooting the scene and suddenly realised how awful everything was and just gave up filming it. I can’t finish without mentioning one more thing. Near the end Laura is running away and you’ll never guess what happens? Go on, try. Give up? Okay then, she falls over, enabling the killer to catch up with her. Dreadful. 74 minutes of purgatory. The only emotional response it elicited out of me was boredom.
Other than that under the credits there isn’t a lot more music in this movie, other than a few ‘horror noises’. The exception being when our friendly driver visits the prostitutes, when we’re forced to listen to several minutes of horrible euro-techno-pop as they dance. But at least that’s in English.
Recommended for taxi drivers, bar workers and trainee killers. (Actually I don’t recommend for anyone.)
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. With its brief on-screen appearance and a speaking role that eclipses any of the human actors for its naturalistic delivery and emotional impact, Jonesy (who was apparently named after the cat in “Alien”), is the highlight of the film.
Top badass moment? Never mind the film, anyone careless enough to watch this garbage all the way through deserves to consider themselves badass. I salute your bravery, tenacity and heart. You’re a true movie-warrior who’s faced and overcome great adversity!