Posts tagged “Shooting

The Last of the Crazy People: 3.0 Stars


The Last of the Crazy People  -  Front DVD CoverI went to the dentist yesterday.  The good news was that I didn’t need any treatment.  The bad news was that I need to have a wisdom tooth removed.  Having spoken to three people about this since, all of whom it turned out have had more than one of these teeth removed, I now realise that having my head amputated would be somewhat less painful and traumatic.  When a dentist has a look and goes “oooooh”, then you know her next line isn’t going to be good news.  My dentist’s helpful suggestion was that I should see one of her colleagues, as he’s better at extractions; and stronger.  I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not hurting me or bothering me in the least.  Who named them wisdom teeth anyway?  They’re clearly very stupid teeth!  Probably my earliest childhood memory is of having a tooth taken out at the dentist, screaming my head off in pain and my mum coming in and giving the dentist a piece of her mind; I recall she had him pinned up against the wall, which was very out of character for her!  To say having the opportunity to revisit this experience now I’m a grown-up is not top of my plans this summer, would be an understatement of galactic proportions.  I’m seriously considering giving up food entirely and just living on tepid, filtered, distilled water.  I’m sure I can probably do it myself anyway, with a pair of pliers or something.  I’m struggling to identify what the connection might be between this film and my impending operation, but I felt I needed to share the latter.

2006  –  Certificate: 15  –  France
Rating Details:  Moderate Violence, Suicide Scene, Brief Nudity and Strong Language

The Last of the Crazy People is a French film, in French.  After quite a long run of other sorts of films, it was good to get back to one of my favourite sub-genera, the dysfunctional family.  In this case it lives on a farm in France, not that there’re actually any scenes of farming going on in it.  I’m not sure what to make of it really.  It’s very slow, it has no music in it whatsoever and there are quite long periods when not a lot seems to be happening.  The main character in it is a ten-year-old boy called Martin, who’s basically neglected and ignored by most of the other people in the film who are too busy with their own problems; most of what’s going on is seen from his prospective.  I feel watching it probably ought to have had more of an effect on me than it did, but somehow I didn’t really feel very sorry for any of the characters and the more shocking scenes felt a bit flat. (I probably watch too many Hollywood blockbusters with lots of noise and explosions in them to help me to understand what’s going on.)  The boy who plays the part of Martin, does manage to look suitably miserable for virtually the entire film and is really very convincing, which helps the quality of the movie greatly.  He also walks exactly like Bod.  (If you don’t know who Bod is I suggest you type “Bod” in to YouTube.)  A few years ago I went through a phase of trying to write film reviews on the Amazon web site, which included writing one about this movie.  I eventually realised that my irrelevant and childish ramblings didn’t fit well with the average, serious Amazon DVD buying person; my review for this one is presently being found “helpful” by 7 out of 14 people; or to put it another way, it’s being found unhelpful by 7 out of 14 people.

Recommended for pissed off ten-year-olds everywhere.  Not so good for people interested in studying modern developments in agricultural land management in France.

1 cat and no decapitations.  The cat, a big ginger and white one, had a speaking part and appeared in five scenes!  Sadly it’s last one involved it being run over and then put into a freezer.  It did look suspiciously like it had been drugged for this last one too, which didn’t impress me one bit.

Top badass moment? Any ten-year-old who singlehandedly takes on responsibility for sorting out his family’s problems, is badass personified.  So okay, his solution was a little unorthodox, but it probably worked.

The Last of the Crazy People on IMDB

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Bang Bang You’re Dead: 3.5 Stars


Bang Bang You're Dead  -  Front DVD CoverI feel a bit disconnected from the world at present, even more than usual.  Nothing I do at the moment seems to satisfy me and I’m not sure anything I’m doing is making the slightest difference to anything or anyone.  In the last three days I’ve done loads of stuff at work, yet somehow it all feels a bit pointless.  “Is That All There Is?” by Cristina pretty well sums everything up at the moment.  (I think it was first recorded by Peggy Lee; PJ Harvey has done a version of it too, but the Cristina Monet version from 1980 is the definitive one.)  I realised today, that with so many of my colleagues at work having recently been  ‘restructured out of existence’ I’m suffering from a form of ‘survivor’s guilt’.

2002  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  United States

By a strange co-incidence, this move has an equally uplifting plot.  This is a drama about a play of the same name, being performed by a character in a similar position as the character in the play. (Oh oh, I think I’m going to need a painkiller soon, that sounds way too complicated now I’ve written it down.)  It’s a film about bullying in schools and the effect it has on some individuals who’re the victims of it.  This is a very American movie.  In the UK, victims of school bullying generally hide in their rooms and self-harm or commit suicide; in American it seems they build bombs or get guns and go to school and kill people.  Okay, I’m hugely trivialising and oversimplifying something that’s really tragic in reality, but it did feel a little over dramatic at times; then again, this sort of thing really has happened.  This film was made in 2002 and is based on a play written in 1999, so there’re no mobile phones to be seen anywhere in it, which makes it feel a bit dated now, especially as the mobile has become the modern-day school bully’s weapon of choice; all those embarrassing and humiliating videos, it’s what YouTube was invented for after all.  If most American schools really are like this, then it mystifies me as to why the country manages to turn out so many clever, imaginative and decent people; (I like Americans in general, even though I love to snigger behind their backs at their lack of culture and understanding of irony; and get frustrated by their politics.). The original play has apparently been performed thousands of times in schools and similar places and from reading the comments on IMDB and Amazon (USA) it’s clearly had a massive impact on lots of people, yet I didn’t fully connect with it myself; I guess I’m too old and too much of a Brit to fully appreciate it.  However, even taken as a stand-alone film it’s well worth a watch; but when you then take into account its background it takes on a while extra dimension.  It does feel a bit weak in places, but the power of its general narrative and all-around American goodness drags it through these parts with sufficient force to make you, you know, ‘a believer’.  Good quality drama with a social conscience.

Recommended for bullies.  If it makes a difference to any of them (and considering how many people have seen the play or film, I’m sure it must have had a positive effect on some of them), then it’s all been worth it.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  In that very American ‘we fucked up but then overcame our failure thus proving we were right to do what we did all along’ kind of way, it’s the big ‘penny drops’ scene when everyone watches Trevor’s videos taken by the police from his house; giving people a serious guilt trip they deserve is definitely badass.

Bang Bang You’re Dead at IMDB (7.9)