By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Having recently celebrated a staggering two years in existence, and enjoyed a steady ratings decline over the past five months, this blog is now in the enviable position of being able to attract guest writers from Hollywood’s A-list to contribute articles. In this piece, Transformers director and all-round all-American Michael Bay shoots the shit on the films of 2012 that he loved and loathed.
Hi there, Michael Bay here. I’ve taken some time out of my busy schedule casting the right girl for my next mega blockbuster, or as some people would call it, flicking through the latest Victoria’s Secrets catalogue, to get my expert opinion down on what was great and a pile of crap out of 2012’s motion pictures. Wowsers! It’s a shame I didn’t have a film out during the last twelve months, otherwise I could have written about it and put it at the top of the pile. Now someone get me a six-pack of Mountain Dew before I die of thirst!
Snow White And The Huntsman
The world can’t get enough of this story, so it was worth telling twice. I didn’t see the Julia Roberts one but the Huntsmen was more than enough to satisfy my craving for the tale of the physically disabled and female sexual sexiness. Two hotties in the same film, right on! Kirsten Stewart puts in another compelling performance as a pale chick in distress, much like every other role she’s been in. The difference here being she has slightly wavier hair of course. Fuck yeah!
Those dwarves were fucking hilarious, all short and British. And my boy Chris Hemsworth’s arms captivated every scene he was in. That’s true acting right there. The amount of protein shakes he’s on. Apparently he sets his alarm at 3am each night to drink one. That’s what you call method acting, because a real huntsman in a fantasy forest would do the very same.
This film is obviously a masterpiece but I would have changed a couple of things. Firstly, the Queen should be trying on some new stockings in the mirror. Secondly, instead of the dwarves, I’d have the US Army come down and start kicking all kinds of ass. Fuck yeah. The dwarves are like disabled and that’s not cool. No film with a disabled character ever made a dime at the box office and never will. I’m still waiting for that Mountain Dew, people!
The Hunger Games
Having not read any of the books, nor the press stories, not the Wikipedia pages, nor seen the trailers, I couldn’t wait to see the first of a hopefully long line of motion pictures depicting romance and butchery in the woods. With no good actors, no named stars, I never knew who would be picked off next. An arrow in the eye? A knife to the throat? You never see it. It’s all suggested in order to get a PG-13 rating, to bring the bacon home at the box office, and that’s what I’m all about, apart from real bacon of course. That shit ain’t kosher!
I love the first hour, which is nothing but talking in silly costumes, before a very hot bunch of teens are dumped on an island and forced to fight to the death. The two hottest are left and luckily, they appear to be at the very cusp of falling in love with each other. It left me wanting more PG-13 suggested violence and heavy petting with clothes on. Hey is a sequel written yet? Get Orci on the phone now. I want to see if he can scribble a PG-13 action comedy about the guy and girl trying to start a family on the island with nothing but weapons and dead teen bodies to aid them. Then the US Army comes down in their helicopters at sunset, like they did in Iraq, to rebuild the city/island. And in their home would be a Mountain Dew vending machine. A guy needs some refreshment after building a new town you know.
Wrath Of The Titans
Fuck. Yeah. Gee whizz this is my kind of film. CGI all the way. Action for around ten minutes in total and absolutely not one line of interesting dialogue in the entire picture. Who cares about what people are saying with their mouths when we can be watching them fight beasts and monsters with their hands (for ten minutes)? It reminded me a bit of my own Transformers franchise.
This might be the best action film ever made that doesn’t have my name in the credits somewhere, but I would have made a small change. There is no comedy in this epic action classic at all, and if there’s one thing I know about, it’s comedy. This is set in ancient Greece (way before they had TVs) so I’d have one fat little Greek guy in the gang, and all the other characters could be mocking him about his long surname. They could keep getting it wrong, like every character, at least once each throughout the picture. That’s five or six gags right there for you. Now hand me a bottle of all-American Bud while I get some of these ideas down on paper!
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II
Finally, the best film of the year goes to this, the seventeenth film in the legendary Twilight franchise which made close to a hundred trillion US dollars at the box office.
It’s a heart-warming story. Guy meets girl. Guy turns girl into superhuman vampire bitch. Girl hunts tigers in the woods. I love how nothing of interest happens in the first half of the movie, which gives the audience a chance to admire the wonderful scenery in the background. The girl gets sexier in every scene but we never see her in her underwear bent over a motorbike unfortunately. Now that really would be swell.
The special effects in this thing are off the wall. At one point, a wolf carries a child on its back through the forest. I had no idea this was all computer graphics until Jerry Bruckheimer smacked me round the head with my megaphone and told me to put my glasses on. I was like ‘how did this wolf not tear this girl to pieces during principle photography?’ Are those computer dorks available for Transformers 4: The Immasculisation of Starscream? Get them and Orci on a Microsoft Skype conference call right now and for the love of Christ hand me a packet of Dunkin Donuts before I die of starvation!
I almost shit Orange Mountain Dew out of my ears when it came to the climactic battle in the snow between the vampires, wolves and some older vampires. Wow! This was the most action-packed seven minutes of cinema I think has ever been made. Breaking Dawn? How about Breaking Necks man, yikes! And of course because all the fighting was actually in the mind of one of the sexy vampire chicks, it never really took place. This keeps the door open for another five movies. Genius!
Yes 2012 was really a swell year for cinema. The only thing that could have made it better was a Michael Bay picture! I enjoyed everything I saw – so much suggested sexual activity, fully clothed hot chicks, PG13 violence and Sony Laptops to enjoy. However it wasn’t all awesomeness. There was one film that was complete garbage.
The worst of the year: The Raid
This starts off ok, with a nice husband and his sexy wife in bed. He does some exercise before work whilst she remains asleep, feeding their unborn child with her intestinal tract. Then, everything goes wrong and the film just descends into mindless violence for an hour in the same boring setting. We don’t want to see this kind of thing, which is why it didn’t make a dime at the box office. We’ve had action films since the 80s. It’s time to move on. And subtitles? It should have at least been dubbed with all-American actors!
What of the family story behind all this bloodshed? We never learn a thing. And the training montage at the start is only about 30 seconds long without some good old fashioned American rock music in the background. This wouldn’t happen in a Michael Bay picture.
The action scenes are far too long-winded, with very lengthy shots. Hello, this isn’t a nature programme. Get some fucking cuts in there! Did this film even have an editor at all?
The violence was sickening. Who puts this kind of thing in a Hollywood film? No one, thank God. This would never have achieved a PG-13 rating in a million years, so I don’t know why it was even made or funded or written.
And fuck this film for taking a guy from Linkin Park, the group that do all MY film music now. Director Gareth Evans just wants to be me. And who doesn’t? But there can only be one Michael Bay. Gareth, when I see you (if you even make it to Hollywood), I’ve got a megaphone with your name on it and it’s going to one place – up yer ass!
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Around this time last year, I wrote a preview of the forthcoming year’s Adam Sandler releases, which all turned out to be critical and box office successes. Now, with the birth of a new year still only a distant memory, it is time once again to explore what the next 12 months holds for the Happy Madison production machine.
Adam (February 2013)
A character-driven drama with a simple title and even simpler premise, Adam Sandler writes, directs, produces and stars in Adam, the story of an everyday Brooklynite struggling to find employment amidst the worst global recession for a hundred years.
He visits every coffee shop and mob hangout in the block, CV in hand, asking about employment opportunities. No one wants to know, except for a few managers (including a cameo by Kevin James), who agree to interview him. Herein lies the film’s major innovation – there is absolutely no exposition at all apart from that which occurs during the job interviews. Who is this man? What skills does he have? Does he represent the company values of Big Kev’s Coffee Conglomerate? These are the questions which will hopefully put bums on seats in the theatres, and Oscars in the hands of its stars, for Adam.
Meet The Embyros (April 2013)
One of the major pre-summer releases sees Adam Sandler star in this prequel to monster hit Meet The Parents, which he also co-wrote, about a young Jack (De Niro’s no nonsense father character) in the prime of his CIA years, conducting espionage on Bolivia’s stem cell capabilities in the mid 1970s. Sandler will star as his goofy, office-bound sidekick, who feeds Jack intelligence and mission prompts from a distance using his primitive Apple Mac computer.
Naturally the two characters couldn’t be more different. For example, Jack turns out immaculately suited and booted at all times whereas Sandler’s character is likely to forget to even pack a tie. This tension leads to the big questions posed by act three – will Jack be led to certain torture and death at the hands of his idiotic accomplice? And will it be on purpose or down to sheer idiocy?
Rumours of a Look Who’s Talking style interaction between newborns thrown into a dustbin by dastardly Bolivian scientists (headed by Benicio Del Toro) remain high due to reports of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill having recently exited a recording studio together.
COPZzz (July 2013)
The big summer action comedy from Happy Madison sees Adam Sandler write, direct, produce and star in a light-hearted pastiche of 2012’s indie smash End of Watch. Sandler is an experienced, successful detective, working the mean streets of Pensylvania. His new partner played by Kevin James has narcolepsy and at times struggles to fit in the squad car due to his considerable bulk. Together, they will get up to mildly amusing adventures such as investigating a suspicious lump of dogshit left on the sidewalk at night.
Mountain Jew (September 2013)
The onset of winter will see this appropriately scheduled indie release, in which Adam Sandler stars as Seth Goldenbergman, a mentally challenged Jew from Queens New York who decides to put his physical strength to good use – by climbing mount Everest using only Mountain Dew for fuel.
The gruelling principle photography demanded Sandler, who also writes, directs and produces, work out every day for an entire week in order to prepare fully for the role.
Upon returning to America, Seth is flooded with requests and samples for corporate sponsorhip from fast food giants, which sees him touring the restaurants of KFC, Mcdonalds, Burger King et al scouring the opportunities for the best deal. Audiences are expected to fill theatres this year anticipating seeing unusual products in certain establishments. Will it be a Quarter Pounder in Burger King or a Whoppa in the golden arches? Since alternative versions have been shot to prevent spoilers, it remains to be seen.
What we do know is the winning corporation will then be lobbied by Seth to only stock Mountain Dew as its sole beverage. We envisage a Mr Smith Goes To Washington style finale with orange soda instead of youth groups.
The Madison Massacres (Nov 2013)
Finally, the year ends with an unusual genre choice for the Happy Madison machine – a comedy horror, written and directed by and starring Adam Sandler. Sandler, playing himself, is pursued by a derranged Kevin James, also playing himself, exacting jealous carnage on the star and his fans. James will play a fridge-sized maniac hellbent on destroying all six people in North America that own every Happy Madison film on DVD, before tracking down Sandler himself in the final act. Expect mildly amusing deaths and a PG-13 rating.
Who will the audience side with emotionally? Sandler, a likable protagonist or James, whose actions could bring an end to any further Happy Madison films ever getting made? Early reports claim test audiences were veering mostly towards the latter.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Finally, after many many weeks, comes the podcast to end all podcasts.
Me and Moe Porne (real name @drunkonvhs) discuss 6 shit films, and then one good film (This is England) for about an hour.
CLICK HERE to listen.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Is Justin Bieber about to record his first novelty single for charity? Reports are pointing towards the idea that the Canadian megastar will soon be entering the studio once again, this time to create a tribute to the beloved gameshow involving darts and spelling.
Mr Bieber, 14, came across an old episode of the Jim Bowen hosted program whilst in a London hotel room, and was reportedly ‘hooked’ from there on in.
The upbeat theme tune was of particular interest, and will now be redone using the finest modern studio trickery. Pianos will be provided by David Guetta, with lyrics written solely by Beiber himself. Whilst still in the early stages of planning, Bieber’s label is also keen to bring animated mascot Bully to a new audience and are exploring ways to display him in 3D in the upcoming video.
There were a number of reasons why Bieber was won over by Bullseye, which ran for over 3’000 episodes during the 80s and 90s on British television.
His publicist Richard Wilkes said: ‘Where do I start? Jim Bowen, the contestants, the prizes, the hairstyles, the moustaches and of course, the high-octane rollercoaster ride that is a game of darts!’
‘Bowen would always introduce his guests as a couple of characters, then enter into the most awkward banter as the contestants would display no emotion or personality, even after having their size and weight mocked on occasions. They’d have the worst jobs and hobbies, but bless him, Jim would always try and act excited.’
‘The prizes were stunning. Who wouldn’t make good use of a new cutlery set or fur coat? For the kids, there were electric cars and for the big wins, often speedboats and new wardrobes.’
‘The losers would not go home empty handed either. Cash, counted out live by Jim Bowen as if the studio was a highstreet betting shop, stuffed into beer glasses, along with a toy Bully, would be awarded to those bowing out early. Everyone was a winner.’
And what of further speculation that a full concept album may follow, based on the final and most exciting round of Bullseye?
Mr Wilkes continues: ‘I’m afraid the idea of having a track for each one of Bully’s prizes was knocked on the head a few weeks ago. There simply wouldn’t have been enough there to fill an album of fourteen songs, which the studio demands.’
It is thought that the charity of Mr Bieber’s choice is the RSPCF – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Foreheads. In keeping with Bullseye’s tradition, a miniscule amount of money will be donated, somewhere in the region of £130.00.
Bieber’s management is now apparently in talks with Jim Bowen’s ‘people’ to get the pair to team up for the youngster’s forthcoming world tour. Perhaps we will finally see Bowen performing his blue working man’s club humour where it rightfully belongs – in a stadium full of teenage girls.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
I guested on a podcast.
It is live on the internet now. CLICK HERE to have a listen.
The topic was ‘did Alien 3 derail the franchise?’ I argue for it doing so and another chap was arguing in its favour. It’s really quite an enthralling natter despite no swear words being used.
And what better way to illustrate a discussion centered around a poor science fiction film than a generic photo of ethnically diverse business people having a chat?
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
No cinema would be complete without a few dozen Adam Sandler masterpieces to show during a year. 2012 promises to be one of the busiest in the Jewish comedian’s release schedule, and Pop Peelings is proud, no, honoured, to be bringing a sneak preview of upcoming titles.
Christ on A Bike (March 2012)
Adam Sandler writes, directs, produces and stars in a light-hearted comedy depicting Jesus of Nazareth’s final days on Earth before being brutally killed. Playing Jesus himself, Sandler’s yarn shows the son of God befriending a Roman soldier, played by Seth Rogen.
Whilst the pair bond over a shared bicycle, which helps the soldier to lose weight and win over the the girl of his dreams in a side story, the film ends on a slight downer as Jesus is tortured relentlessly before being hammered into a giant wooden cross and left to rot in the baking sun. A longer sequel is currently being written by Judd Apatow for a summer 2015 release, depicting how Rogen’s now wife deals with his idiotic Jewish friends who are not as funny to be around as they think.
Fatman (May 2012)
Adam Sandler writes, directs and stars in the one film that’s as hotly anticipated amongst dorks as The Avengers Dark Knight Returns; a superhero parody. The first of it’s kind from Sandler, Fatman sees the Waterboy star depict a dangerously overweight insurance salesman that turns to a life fighting crime after his manager refuses to pay out after a massacre at a Californian mansion damages the walls of the house.
Whilst dressed in a Wal-Mart Batman costume, he uses his considerable bulk to apprehend villains, often with mildly amusing consequences. For example, one crook, played by Rob Schneider in a cameo role, gets completely wedged between Fatman’s butt crevice rendering himself unable to escape until the police arrive, during which time the pair engage in a bout of name-calling that lasts around seventeen minutes. This apparently had test audiences holding their sides with laughter.
A McDonald’s tie in promotion will launch with the McFatburger meal, essentially a triple quarter pounder washed down with a bucket of vanilla milkshake.
James In 2015 (August 2012)
Starring Kevin James, Adam Sandler writes, directs and produces this low-key post-summer character portrait of two days in the life of the future Kevin James. With no work coming in, no girlfriend and existing in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area, James will give a moving performance as a fridge-sized man at the very brink of total despair.
Sandler promises ‘real tears’ from his star, who will spend much of the movie watching old Saturday Night Live clips of him and his friends being occasionally mildly amusing in the 90s. A leaked trailer showed him sitting, watery-eyed, gazing up at a magestic Zookeeper poster adorned on the wall, longing for the life he once knew.
Cheer Up (September 2012)
Adam Sandler writes, directs, produces and stars in this nostalgic tale that takes place in the weeks following 9/11. Sandler plays plucky but mentally disabled firefighter Kenny McGoldblum, a kilt-wearing Jew that gathers loved ones of the victims fatally crushed by 30,000 tonnes of steel and concrete in weekly ‘cheer up’ sessions, where he does silly things to evoke laughter, including a hilarious Scottish accent.
Will he be able to bring a smile to the faces of the heartbroken supporting cast by being mildly amusing on occasions? This is the tension that Dreamworks hopes will encourage movie goers to pay to see Cheer Up later this year.
Career Suicide (November 2012)
Finally, Adam Sandler writes, produces, directs and stars in a light-hearted melodramatic comedy rom-com chick flick. He and his wife, Sarah Jessica-Parker, have it all – health, wealth and an enviable house in the suburbs. When they are both made redundant from high powered jobs due to the global recession, they are forced to do something they have not done since the early days of their relationship; spend time together.
When they realise, through a series of mildly amusing skits, that they have grown apart, they look to take part in a joint suicide, rather than bring shame on their respective families by going through a messy divorce.
Jonah Hill will star as the lovable spoilt kid caught in the middle.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Twenty years after it left the nation’s television screens, Wacaday still remains in the hearts and minds of the twenty and thirty-somethings that woke up to it all those years ago.
But why did it suddenly disappear without a trace, leaving a gap in the UK’s cultural psyche in 1992?
Until the advent of the internet, no one knew the truth, nor were particularly interested. However, small communities of file sharers and collectors began springing up when episodes of Wacaday started to become hot binary code for nostalgia hunters. People began to exchange their own theories about why the show, which ran for eight years, ceased to exist.
Pop Peelings has secured an exclusive preview of a new book written by with the show’s producer, Richard Wilkes, who also wrote the lyrics to the second verse of the classic Wacaday theme song. ‘Men And Mallets: The Wacaday Legacy’ will be published in November this year and is hotly tipped to be a bestseller.
In it, Wilkes speaks of a phenomenon made possible by the insatiable drive and determination of its host, Timothy Mallet, who was hellbent on filling the sizable shoes of Roland Rat with the highest quality television of the 80s.
He worked furiously to get the first series out, even demanding his own mother make the original stuffed mallet by hand, one stitch at a time.
Mr Mallet saw the creation of the Wide Awake Club as a means to inspire under privaleged children to a better life in post-Thatcher recession hit Britain, essentially a Hitler Youth for the Ninja Turtles generation. It worked. At its peak, the Wide Awake Club boasted over 21 million members. Ex-members included Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher from Eastenders), Paul Gascoigne and prime minister David Cameron. They are interviewed extensively in Wilkes’ book, along with a host of other celebrities.
The demands of the show soon took their toll. Six series a year and each featuring Mallet’s patented brand of gonzo journalism within a different country is no easy feat to say the least. One heart-breaking chapter details his capture and brutal torture in Burma at the hands of government soldiers suspecting his anarchic spectacles and hawaiian shirts as the uniform of a spy. Defiant through and through, Mallet remained tight-lipped throughout the 48 hour ordeal, apart from screaming his well-known catchphrase ‘bleugh’ each time a finger was broken or a testicle electrocuted.
Mr Mallet always had an acute anxiety around children, revealing in a later chapter of ‘Men And Mallets’ how this paedophobia, as it’s officially termed, may have been caused by watching a pirate copy of The Exorcist at a birthday party in 1984. Perhaps this is why he wanted to degrade and humiliate children on live television, as well as cause physical damage to their craniums with his sponge mallet. When the court cases started after distraught parents caught their children acting out the wacaday quiz with real garden tools, not even colourful shirts and travel trivia could save Mr Mallet. He was finally pushed over the edge.
He turned to drugs.
‘Tim’s energy wasn’t simply the blind desperation for a paycheck and a foot on the career ladder like so many children’s entertainers perpetuate,’ writes Wilkes in chapter 185. ‘His cocaine use reached legendary proportions during the later years. He was so high once he tried to buy a bus ticket using a wad of fake prop plasters from the Wacaday quiz as currency.’
TV executives thought bringing in a co-host, Michaela Strachan, would aleviate the pressure from Mr Mallet so he could focus on dealing with his demons. The plan backfired. Mallet saw her as a threat to his ideology and territory, and went out of his way to make life unbarable for her at all times. Mrs Strachan gives a heart-breaking testimonial in chapter 359 about her time on Wacaday:
‘He was awful. He kept calling me Challenge Anneka, after Anneka Rice who he was obsessed with, and thought I closely resembled. I failed to see the likeness, and this only riled Tim further.’
‘At his lowest point, before we went live in the mornings, he’d burst into my dressing room with white powder all over his face, screaming obscenities.’
‘ “Oi, Challenge Anneka!” he’d holler, clutching his genitals through the open fly of his surf shorts. “I’ve got something you can find, right here. The clue is it’s massive and swings between Timmy Mallet’s legs. Where’s your go kart and helicopter?!” ‘
Having alienated all those close to both himself and the show, Mr Mallet soon found himself on the receiving end of several court injunctions, banning him from coming within a hundred miles of Anneka Rice and any television studio in the British Isles. He had hammered the nails into his own coffin, effectively ending Wacaday and his entire broadcasting career by 1992.
A short-lived foray into popular music happened soon after, with Mr Mallet seeking to broaden his fanbase beyond 6-8 year old school children on their summer holidays. It failed. The world simply wasn’t ready to hear about women’s novelty beach attire through song.
What is life like in 2012 for the man that gave us Wacaday?
Mr Mallet does not hold back, taking up the final 746 pages of ‘Men And Mallets’ with a damning indictment of an existence filled with student unions, old Anneka Rice photographs taken from the bushes outside her bungalow and grieving over Magic, the deceased Wacaday cockatiel.
Despite its tragic demise, one might wonder what impact Wacaday may have had on contemporary Britain if it was still broadcasting. Would we have so many teen pregnancies? Would we have so many young men being stabbed in the stomach or shot in the head at close range? Would we have had mass rioting in 2011? Would Peter Andre still be on television sets across the nation? We will never know. But what is clear and undisputable is that Wacaday may be gone but it will never be forgotten.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
This time of year is notable for two things; lengthier and more numerous episodes of soap operas, and people posting their lists of the best and shittest things of the year on the internet.
I don’t want to be negative for a change so instead I present the below official list, after much deliberation, of my top 5 films of 2011. What a treat the last 12 months has been for film buffs, despite clunkers like Warrior and Rise of The Planet of The Apes.
5. The Green Hornet
Seth Rogen cements his repuation as the greatest actor of his generation yet again with this, his finest performance to date. His conflicted hero must decide whether to use his man servant’s skills in the kitchen or on the street in a gripping neo-noir crime yarn featuring some of the best fight sequences to hit a cinema since the original Karate Kid’s climactic final sports montage in 1984.
Alongside the scathing social commentary which mocks the government’s ability to handle street thuggery, Rogen injects the action with his ‘loud Jew’ patented brand of humour.
Despite it only being seen by a handful of single men, Green Hornet remains a triumph of pure Hollywood blockbuster cinema.
4. Just Go With It
No ‘best of’ list would be complete without the cutting wit of an Adam Sandler romantic comedy – step forward, ‘Just Go with It’, and take a bow, for you have delivered two hours of belly laughs and heart, essentially a ‘Before Sunrise’ for the Jersey Shore generation.
We are thrust head first into a familiar world, that of a filthy rich plastic surgeon using lies and trickery in order to secure regular access to a much younger female’s mating holes, whilst illustrating modern society’s consumerist tendencies. Lust, deception, greed… this film has it all, along with one of Jennifer Aniston’s more remarkable post-Rachel-from-Friends performances in which she depicts a slightly older, skinnier Rachel from Friends.
3. The Dilemma
The surprise heavy drama hit of the year, this is bound to scoop an overwhelming bounty of awards come Oscar season, and yet ‘The Dilemma’ is always a film that knows what it is. The minimalist narrative is simply a springboard for the character-driven tale to take shape, in which a man with testicles for eyes must decide whether or not to tell his blubbery best friend that his girlfriend’s cervix has been used as a dumping ground for the sperm cells of another suitor.
Naturally, I was gripped whilst the film built towards its thrilling conclusion.
Stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James build exemplary screen chemistry together by looking alike and talking very fast at all times, something rarely seen in contemporary cinema.
A challenging spectacle, the tonally uneven genre stance (comedy? drama? romance?) left many of the dozens who saw this a little bewildered, but it’s really the repeat viewings that unravel the little intricacies of ‘The Dilemma’ to a satisfying end. Also worthy of note is Channing Tatum’s inclusion in which the chiselled thesp delivers another world class cameo.
2. The Smurfs
Many dismissed this action epic as a ‘crap’ kids flick, but rest assured, it is more than the sum of its parts. ‘The Smurfs’ deals with hard-hitting issues like racial tension, immigration and incest, all the while encouraging its audience to improve their diet by consuming large amounts of M&Ms.
The fictional community of the Smurfs, built on traditional Christian values, finds itself colliding head-on with the modern technologically-driven corporate governed New York City. Alpha male Papa Smurf finds his authority tested and his followers on the brink of revolution until a couple of open-minded liberal humans step in to help defeat the ringleader named Gargamel, who represents the threat of globalisation on indigenous populations and the developing world. I can’t quite remember but I believe he promises the tribe more than one female per village.
This is heavy stuff. A kids flick? I think not. ‘The Smurfs’ functions as a challenging indictment of America’s foreign policy, and is bloody hilarious in places. When Gargamel cannot function in a retail outlet, I couldn’t help but applaud the subtle irony.
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
One of the year’s low-key releases, this latest installment in the never-ending Twilight narrative is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made. From start to finish, it is a heart-stopping journey into the lives of minority groups in modern America.
The compelling relationship between a vampire and a caucasian female reaches its thrilling conclusion as the pair wed in a touching hour, which inspires hope for the future whilst riffing on liberal immigration issues, particularly that of mixed race marriages.
Most are accepting and even encouraging of this partnership, but a small band of werewolves, representing the conservative right, are not. The film takes the viewer into unknown territory when it is revealed that the female lead has been inseminated and is due to spawn a half human, half vampire abomination. Elements of horror cinema creep into the fray as director Bill Condon flips the entire movie on its head half way through. Not since the French classic ‘Martyrs’ has a film offered such an unpredictable viewing experience.
‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ may be heavy on subtext, allegory and sex, but it still delivers a climax for the ages; a seven minute fight between some vampires and werewolves which doesn’t appear to resolve anything at all. Does this function as a set-up for another sequel, or does it merely serve to underpin the futility of violence in the age of the internet? All I know is that if we are lucky enough to be gifted with another Twilight movie, I will be in the front of the queue on release day at my local multiplex, 3D glasses in hand!
By Slick Nick
I’ve done this blog for one year now.
Blogging about such diverse topics as film, music, reality TV, more films and then even more films, the sheer variety of search terms used to find this dump is understandable. I really wish I didn’t have visibility of some of them though, such is my already low opinion of humanity and the general public. The shit below just makes me despair.
This isn’t all of the search terms, but the ones I found the most amusing.
The JLS stripper could do a good one, as he can’t sing or write music either:
‘marvin humes duck impression’
Can’t really argue with this one:
‘amy childs is thick as shit’
If she did, it must have been the London South Bank – the worst Uni in the country:
‘where did amy childs go to uni’
Straight to the point. Nice:
‘amy childs tits’
I think it’s a myth:
‘amy childs education’
Yeah, don’t believe everything you read. Especially on this blog:
‘amy childs guest lecturer 2005’
Show her some respect. Honestly:
‘amy childs pussy’
Well, you’ve come to the right place for that:
‘worst albums ever recorded’
For the sake of humanities continued evolution, I hope so:
‘does olly murs masturbate’
Rough estimate is fuck all:
‘olly murs net worth’
Why would anyone want to see that?
‘olly murs erection’
Ok this was another ‘interview’ I made up but I’m sure it was factually accurate:
‘olly murs wank interview’
Doubt it, not on a prime time ITV weekend show that’s supposedly about music:
‘olly murs x factor masturbate throughout’
Really? I’d say it’s hard work listening to his music, but that’s it:
‘olly murs makes me hard’
So why not try and meet him in person to put that proposal to him instead of typing it into Google?
‘i want to wank olly murs’
I’m sure if it was recorded, it would go to at least number three in the charts:
‘olly murs having a crap’
Thank you. Another straight shooter:
‘olly murs is shit’
Good luck with that one:
‘olly murs erect’
Oh so you’ve heard his album as well?
‘olly murs fail’
That I would love to see:
‘ollie murs cock slip’
He’s a cockney, from Essex, with white skin. I wonder what the answer could possibly be:
‘olly murs ethnicity’
I’m sure he loves the Bugatti petrol money even more:
‘simon cowell loves olly murs’
Now hang on a second. this one just reaks of jealousy:
‘ron jeremy a piece of shit’
Was it the photos of him oiled up and half naked that led to that conclusion?
‘aston merrygold gay’
I think a better question may be is anyone of them straight?
‘is anyone in jls gay’
‘toilet roll wanking’
Don’t think this one works:
‘toilet roll albums’
If by ‘wanking’ you mean ‘sobbing’, then I’m sure he does it a great deal now:
‘matt cardle wanking’
Well they’re all crap, so go ahead and take your pick:
‘marilyn manson worst album’
I wouldn’t put it past them:
‘teen girls masturbate over one direction’
The front cover is the least of it’s problems. Poor Noel Gallagher:
‘dig out your soul is a shit album design’
Oh I cannot wait to join this group. I love watching twats standing around on a field for eight hours occasionally hitting balls around:
‘facebook friends cricket ground application’
Personally I think the pop charts now are the best they’ve been since around 1995:
I know this one was done on purpose, but it’s still pretty amusing:
‘slick nick america’s most wanted’
I literally cannot think of anything worse to do with my leisure time:
‘bognor regis butlins punk weekend 2012’
As opposed to softcore?
Another Marilyn Manson fan perhaps?
‘erotic self crucifiction’
Don’t worry, Olly Murs can help you with that one I think:
‘severe case of blue balls’
Every word of this one made me do a lol:
‘jewish cowboy gay sex xposition’
Yep, two of the members appear to be:
Probably the same reason people don’t like having someone shit into their ears; it’s unpleasant:
‘why do people not like mechanical animals’
Fucking hell, make your mind up:
‘pics of jocks covered in shit -women -girls -milfs -panties -girl -she -babes -boys’
Sadly, one that isn’t switched off:
‘what microphone do they use on x factor uk’
You must have missed her video for ‘Wet’ then?
‘nicole scherzinger naked’
Didn’t know she owned any:
‘nicole scherzinger showing her knickers’
Give it a few years and maybe one will get released:
‘nicole scherzinger sex video’
Bit of everything, I’d say:
‘nicole scherzinger ethnicity’
Ha! Good luck with that one. At least wait until she gets dropped from her record label in 12-18 months:
‘nicole scherzinger masturbtion video’
Calm down, there’s no hurry:
‘fuck women hardcore sex’
Hmmm… I guess the latest issue of Heat magazine has that covered:
Yes, I’m sure a song that was on daytime circulation non-stop during the summer had full frontal nudity:
‘when bruno mars pulls up his pants on lazy song does his weener pop out’
Do they even have video cameras over there? Wow, you learn something new every day.
‘turkish porn movie’
Can’t argue with that to be honest:
‘harry styles is ugly’
Pretty much all of them:
‘ugly photo of harry styles’
Ask any woman under 40 at the Colchester Whetherspoon’s pub for some details:
‘matt cardle penis’
Ask most the lads on the Chalk Farm estate for some details:
‘tulisa n dubz tits’
For the novelty, I have to say I wouldn’t mind seeing some of this:
‘turkish porn 1960’
Couldn’t bring themselves to write a rude word, even alone on the internet. How endearing:
Cher Lloyd? The walking skeleton? Whatever gave you that idea?
‘is cher lloyd anorexic’
I think the kids not looking their narrative ages is the least of the film’s problems:
‘in cheaper by the dozen how old are the kids supposed to be 2003 remake’
Um… Walt Disney? Just a hint:
‘animals saying things’
‘movie hollywood premature ejaculation’
I thought they were in good shape due to coming here and working harder than British nationals. At least that’s what I read in the Daily Mail:
‘obese polish man’
I doubt images of hardcore fucking would be considered ‘pop’:
‘every second of deep throat turned into pop art’
Steve Brookstein, is that you?
‘simon cowell cunt’
Job-hunting? Well they say it’s a full-time job in itself:
‘joe mcelderry current job’
John Goodman, Rosanne, Michael Moore, Jack Black, Kevin James… these are educated guesses:
Love the politness here. I would have just seached ‘fat fuckers’:
‘heavy set couples’
Was that a Steve Martin flick?
‘fucking the bride’
I wonder what that film is about:
‘2 for 1 anal sex . . . starring: nora davis tags’
Three stone? Maybe four stone at the end of the day:
‘cher lloyd weight estimate’
I’d say it’s a given:
‘harry styles wanking’
Do you mean like giving them a bad mark on a paper? And not letting them out of class when the bell goes?
‘teacher fucking student’
Yeeeeeah so let’s write dumb things into the Google search bar!
‘yeeeeeeah it’s friday’
Indeed. Fuck it. Fuck it in the ear:
‘fuck “aliens 3″‘
Spelling and decade fail here:
‘liam gallegher 1920 x’
By Slick Nick
Answering the question ‘what type of film fan are you?’ should be easier to achieve with this handy little guide I’ve made using years of scientific research to provide concrete facts on the filmie communities around the globe. The answer to the question also serves no real purpose whatsoever, I might add.
1. The Horror Fanatic
99% male and Halo experts, Horror Fanatics are typically identifiable by waves of uncleansed dyed-black hair and an impressive selection of Cannibal Corpse t-shirts. They have uncut versions of every big video nasty from the 1980s and know exactly when the latest extreme film from the far east or France is hitting the streets on DVD. Horror Fanatic interacts with other humans through the medium of social networking sites, largely due to a fear and loathing of sunlight.
They remember specifically the stories and fatalities from all the Freddy and Jason movies, which to a regular film fan just blurs into one epic terrible movie.
A pale complexion and lack of interest in socialising with people that don’t watch many horror films underpin the Horror Fanatic. It’s not worth memorising these rules thoroughly because anyone that doesn’t spend ten hours a day in a dark room discussing how Eli Roth is actually a pretty talented guy on internet forums will not likely encounter one of these guys.
2. Cult Film Kid
Usually male and aged between 18-35, Cult Film Kids will infuriate the general population of filmies by talking about nothing but totally fucking obscure and awful b-movies all night long. At best, these movies will have been given a VHS release, making them nearly impossible to find even if a passing interest happens outside of the Cult Film community.
Cult Film Kids often socialise in packs, and it’s wise not to approach them directly, because whatever they’re discussing will be meaningless. The first few Star Trek motion pictures are just about as mainstream as they get, and nobody wants to talk about them anymore.
They’re generally harmless creatures until someone brings up the Academy Awards in conversation. They have no clear dress code but generally t-shirts displaying fictional hand-drawn characters are the most prevalent.
Their mating season is known to the outside world as ‘Comic Con’, where they gather en mass to get junk signed by people that haven’t had an acting job in the Cult Film Kid’s actual lifetime.
3. The Book Worm
Book Worms are well read, as their title denotes, however they only read fiction books. They’re not avid filmies like most of the others on this list, but they do like to get involved with film discussions purely to declare movie versions of books as inferior. They know intricately the details of every fucking notable written work and will often be the ones delivering the bombshell that a particular film is based on a book, unless glaringly obvious.
A favourite work to shit on is I Am Legend, one of the few tolerable Will Smith flicks and, crap CGI aside, a very effective, claustrophobic, intense end-of-the-world sci-fi entertainer. Not in the eyes of the Book Worm though. They hate it, particularly the ending. Why do they hate it? No one knows who hasn’t read the book. It can’t be discussed either due to spoilers. And this is the crux of why the Book Worm is the most irritating of all filmies; they cannot enter into a coherent discussion with a non Book Worm. It’s all so criptic.
Due to modern Hollywood’s creative lake running dry, more producers have turned to the world of literature for film ideas, often buying the rights to books before they’ve even been released. Because of this, the Book Worm population has increased significantly over the past ten years and looks set to continue doing so.
It’s advisable for a meeting between a hardcore filmie and a Book Worm to be conducted under maximum supervision.
4. The Student/Hipster
Perhaps the most notable type of film fan in that this group have the most equal split between males and females, the Student/Hipster will generally be in their teens or earlier twenties, and are easily identified by their dress code, which is part Buddy Holly and part their own grandfather.
These individuals prefer to watch cheaply-made indie flicks and would cite Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater as film Gods. They fucking hate modern Hollywood blockbusters, particularly sequels and remakes, even if they’re half decent and have acquired some decent critical acclaim. You’ll also never catch this type watching a film in 3D, not even one that was shot with proper 3D technology.
Everyone knows that Kevin Smith’s only decent film is Chasing Amy, but keep this point under wraps when engaging with a Student/Hipster. They’re not dangerous, and are generally effete like the soundtracks to their favourite movies, but they are known to bare long grudges.
Predictably, all their championing of the little guys in the film industry means they rarely watch anything from before the mid 1970s unless forced to.
5. The Film Blogger
”I’ve got seven reviews to do tonight and don’t know how this press pass works!” The common grumbles of the Film Blogger, who voluntarily chooses to spend all their spare time writing about their DVD collection and Orange Wednesday outings. It’s probably the most bizarre behaviour out of all the types of film fan on this list; pretending they’re writing for an actual magazine and have tight deadlines to meet, even though the deadlines are set by themselves as they are fundamentally their own editors.
Film Bloggers are decent folk, usually frustrated that they didn’t make it as a journalist or film-maker in their day jobs. It’s been a long time since the most hardcore of Film Bloggers has watched a movie without a pen and notepad on their lap though. 98.6% of Film Bloggers take their subject matter very seriously indeed and scribble as if their next meal depended on it. All Film Bloggers are striving to achieve the same goals – free cinema tickets and DVDs.
The life expectancy of a Film Blogger is quite low, usually a maximum of eight months, after which they almost always give up and rejoin mainstream society. All Film Bloggers follow a similar life cycle; they do their best to build a following and network with other Film Bloggers until their heads are out of the water and their blog can fend for itself. At this point, the Film Blogger may also have amassed an impressive Twitter following, after which they’re only interested in interacting with others that have a similar number of followers. It’s unwise for a new Twitter user to try and converse with a veteran film blogger, simply because it’s a waste of time.
When a film blog implodes, the Film Blogger will use a number of coping strategies to come to terms with their loss, such as writing occasional guest articles for other film blogs, or visiting their Facebook walls for the first time in months to see what people they’ve actually met are up to.
6. The Clueless Chick
Scientists believe this group to be an almagamation of The Clueless and The Chick, the latter being staunch advocates of ‘chick flicks’, the worst type of film imaginable. Since they are also clueless when it comes to the wider cinematic world, there was no longer any need to segregate them.
The Clueless Chick encompasses every female office worker in the UK that has yet to spawn, after which they will imminently become experts in Pixar, Disney and High School Musical, leaving their old life of shit romantic comedies and Eastenders behind.
Many filmies, myself included, have tried to educate Clueless Chicks on cinema, for example highlighting some of the great works of film and their directors, but these efforts usually fall on deaf ears and are scorned by the Chick’s heavily made-up eyes. They only care for romantic comedies released in the past three years; everything else is ‘old’ or ‘boring’. The only film director they’ve ever heard of is Steven Spielberg. Demonstrating knowledge of a film beyond its title and male lead to a Clueless Chick will leave the filmie in question being singled out as a nerd by others in the Chick pack.
Clueless Chicks would probably rather read about the techniques used to bleach the arseholes of the Sex And The City cast than watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Thankfully, the Clueless Chick will rarely bring up film in conversation, partly because of other priorities of discussion such as shoes and X Factor, but mostly because they possess an acute self-awareness lacking in some of the above filmie types. Anyone that strives to talk film with a Clueless Chick only has themselves to blame.
7. The Wikipedia
The Wiki type knows everything about every film ever made, such as year of release, cast, director, writer, producers, key grip and the like. The last significant moment in their lives was when the IMDb app was released for the iPhone, allowing for more movie trivia to be soaked up on the move.They’re constantly re-working lists in their heads, such as top five films of any given year or decade, best films from each director, shittest films starring a certain actor etc.
Wikis are great to have around during pub quizes but are a bit clueless when it comes to anything other than cinema. They are effectively the polar opposite of the Clueless Chick.
Quite often, a Wiki will hibernate during the summer months, when good quality film releases are rare, and emerge from their chrysalis of Empire magazines as a Film Blogger, puting their immense knowledge of the silver screen to good use.
Wikis are the most staunchly opinionated of all filmies, and people would be advised to refrain from approaching them unless armed with a working knowledge of the AFI’s top one hundred movies as a minimum.
Encounters with Wikis are rare as they seldom breed, meaning their numbers never become concentrated in a specific area. Therefore, it’s unlikely that two Wikis will ever meet face to face by chance. Observers over the ages have documented occasions when this has happened though, particularly their disappointment. What was expected to be an intense fight to the death actually turned out to be quite dull conversations about favourite film makers, with the victor being the individual that could name the most obscure Korean film directors.
8. The Father
The Father just wants to bond with their offspring and the chances are, if they’ve spawned a filmie, that means watching sport together is out of the question. So the Father fits in as many films into his busy schedule as possible, which usually results in one trip to the cinema a year at best.
The Father is always a few years behind in modern cinema. ”That film Inception was really quite something,” they will declare in 2013 after it’s been shown on ITV at Christmas.
Whatever the age and occupation of the Father, they will always be massive fans of the film Zulu for some reason. Whenever they take the giant step of upgrading their home cinema gear, it’s usually the first movie they buy on the newer format.
Fathers are open to all types of film and are quite liberal with their views. They will watch anything as long as it’s lauded by their own brood.
By Slick Nick
Previously, I wrote about some of the shittest films I have seen since starting this blog. Here are some more.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
I used to love the original Power Rangers when it first came out – quality violence and skirt, and robots, all before 9am in the morning. Every episode followed the same narrative, more or less. The rangers would maim some minions without suffering so much as a scrape before getting their robots out to defeat a giant monster at the end. Alongside this, there’d be a side-plot involving school homework or something. This all worked very well in a 20-minute long TV show, but sucked as a feature film in every possible way.
The biggest issue I have with it is the mindfuckingly awful CGI at the end; even at the time of release it looked ropey. The whole movie is archetypal 90s kiddie pap and apart from one fight sequence, for which I fearlessly awarded the film a score of 1/5, I hated every second of it. Who’d ever have guessed that a film with the words ‘the movie’ in the title would turn out to be a worthless cash-generator for a toy manufacturer? Not me.
Wanted Dead or Alive (1986)
I always thought the point of an action thriller was to offer some thrilling moments and some half decent action, at least enough to get a 2/5 score. This one does its best to bore the living shit out of the viewer, serving up none of those elements. Gene Simmons from tedious rock legends KISS, looking like a hairy testicle without his stage make-up, is awful as the antagonist. He really should have stuck to licking the nether regions of women instead of trying to start an acting career. Even the most hardcore fans of crap films will find little to enjoy here, so I graced it with a score of 1/5.
Blue City (1986)
The Breakfast Club is one of my all time favourite flicks and would probably make my top 10 in fact. Apart from Emilio Estevez, I’m a fan of all the cast, particularly Judd Reynolds. He stars along with Ally Sheedy in Blue City, a crap title I came across on the Lovefilm stream player. Being an 80s film with two of the cast from one of my most cherished movies, I was expecting great things. Well, at least watchable things. My heart sank around 14 minutes in however, when I realised I was watching one of the worst films ever made.
The main issue is Reynold’s woefully unsympathetic protagonist. He makes John Bender look like fucking George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. The list of crimes he commits is endless, stopping short only of sexual assault. If a film lacks a sympathetic lead, it’s usually game over in terms of audience engagement, unless of course the director happens to be a near God behind the camera. Cases in point – Scorcese’s Raging Bull and PTA’s There Will Be Blood. Mark my words, Blue City director Michelle Manning is no Martin Scorcese. She isn’t even a Renny Harlin.
I gracefully awarded this a score of 1/5 because it was nice to see the faces of Reynolds and Sheedy outside of a school library for once.
Planet of The Apes (2001)
I’m not a fan of Tim Burton. His work is silly and doesn’t resonate with me, and some of his recent efforts have been terrible at best. He personally would probably have been even lower than me in the food chain at high school as well. So after having been blown away by the Apes prequel, I thought I’d catch this on the Sky player. What would I stand to lose? Well, two hours of my life, is the answer.
It’s pretty much the pits from the moment Mark Wahlberg touches down in ape city. There’s no magic, no mystery, nothing to think about, nothing to enjoy. The action sequences, in which Burton makes Kevin Smith look like fucking Bernardo Bertolucci, are very poorly handled as well. Burton does kooky, gothic off-beat. He does not do battles. Nor does he do science fiction particularly well. I graciously gave this a 1/5 for some of the costume design and effects, which are still pretty watchable ten years on.
Kangaroo Jack (2003)
Look at the fucking front cover and title. Those are two reasons why I heroically awarded this a score of 1/5.
By Slick Nick
There’s no way of avoiding shit films, especially when writing a blog that is largely comprised of film reviews. I’m very lucky to stumble across a 5/5 or 4/5 rated film but the majority of them fall into the 3/5 and 2/5 categories. I try to score based on my own opinion as well as what is ‘right’ in film studies terms.
A 1/5 film will be shit with almost no redeeming features. A few scenes may be entertaining or there may be an actor in it I enjoy watching. A 0/5 film will be fucking appalling from start to finish, with every scene being torture for all apart from those with the worst tastes in cinema.
The following are some of the ‘low lights’ from those films I scored 1/5 or 0/5 – thankfully there are only two in the latter category. The following awards were presented by Shane Richie to the production teams behind each of the movies, at a lavish no-expense-spared ceremony that took place in the darkest corners of my brain.
The Ron Jeremy award for the vilest sex scenes goes to:
Deep Throat (1972)
I love porn as much as the next balding twenty-something, but watching extremely ugly men and women fucking in the early seventies is something I could really have done without. I thought this was going to be an edgy, controversial tale with a bit of unsimulated sex – it’s actually just a crap porn film with disturbing amounts of bodyhair.
I gave this a 1/5 score because the scenes without sex acts do feature some hilariously bad acting, which just about manage to be fun.
The One Tree Hill award for minimal use of narrative goes to:
Joe Pesci is only threatening in Martin Scorcese films. When you remove Marty from the director’s chair and throw in girl’s shoes and a stupid haircut, all that is left is an ineffective villain. Why is he running an army without lieutenants? That is just asking for trouble, especially from a HR perspective. Why is he pursusing Michael Jackson through various pop videos? Why is there no narrative? These are the questions left unanswered with every single viewing of Moonwalker.
What little drama there is in Moonwalker makes no sense, and I honestly don’t know how drunk or high someone must be to come up with the concepts of the King of Pop turning into a sports car, then a robot, then a spaceship, in the space of eighty or so minutes. It’s like some kind of warped Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors, with leather jackets.
I gave this a 1/5 score because for all its stupidly, at least Moonwalker remains entertaining and of course the music stands the test of time well.
The Catherine Tate award for fewest laughs goes to:
Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)
This remake of a 1950 film has so much wrong with it that it would take an entire article to get through alone. Suffice to say, American kids in movies are very rarely not an annoyance or detraction from the main story. Twelve of them means game over. We don’t feel sympathy for the struggling parents either because all the trouble has arisen from their own ceaseless unprotected intercourse. It’s also not funny at all and Steve Martin is shit.
I gave this a 1/5 score due to the poignant question it asks about mass population growth in the developed world, with Martin’s struggling gent an allegory for America itself, battling against wave after wave of his own irritating spawn. Or I might have fancied the oldest daughter, I can’t quite remember.
The Pearl & Dean endurance award for longest advertisement goes to:
Sex And The City 2 (2010)
Shit jokes, graphic product placement and absolutely loathsome characters made this one of the most punishing cinematic experiences I can remember. I hate clothes shops and the entire fashion industry, more or less, and I certainly don’t want to be sold dresses and shoes for over two fucking hours without any narrative tension to keep me interested. Oh no, the horse-faced protagonist, who lives in one of three or four houses with the man of her dreams, didn’t get a wad of money spent on her quite the way she had anticipated. Excuse me whilst I unhook the house phone and shut down the computer, for I wouldn’t want any other stimuli to interupt such a complex, gripping narrative.
Anyone with even an ounce of good taste in films will not only be appalled, but offended, by this piece of shit. It is using our treasured art form for the work of evil, that be selling over-priced junk that will be obsolete even by now. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a giant, bleached arsehole unshackled from its Louis Vuitton-silked prison, shitting all over my excellent collection of DVDs, blu-rays and film books whilst a huge chunk of the population cheer on. In summary, I would not recommend Sex And The City 2.
I gave this a 1/5 because there is some nice location photography which is pleasant enough, especially on blu. This film also inspired some hilarious reviews on the web, which were significantly more entertaining than the film itself. The reviews were right though – looking for redeeming features in this epic is like trying to find a storyline in Hollyoaks that isn’t purely about two people fucking.
The Fernando Torres award for biggest disappointment goes to:
Whatever Works (2009)
It’s almost heart-breaking that a film featuring two of my favourite Jews, Larry David and Woody Allen, turned out to be so crap. I am a huge Woody Allen fan and could staunchly defend even his worst films as having some watchable quality, but not this. It’s almost self-parody.
It’s also annoying how Larry David keeps breaking the fourth wall, it’s just clumsy and out of place. I get when Allen breaks the codes of cinema in his other films, but it doesn’t work here, not least because acknowledging an audience when the film was smashed by critics and no one even went to see the fucking thing at the cinema just comes across as borderline sarcasm. Maybe Allen knew the film was worthless during principle photography and so did this on purpose to be ironic, in which case, he should go down in history as one of the cleverest directors of all time if he isn’t already considered that.
I gave this a 1/5 score because there are a few decent moments which alleviate the awfulness.
The ITV2 award for biggest waste of a production crew’s time goes to:
Dear John (2010)
My other half selected this piece of shit on the Xbox Skyplayer for us to enjoy, otherwise it’s highly unlikely I would ever have known it even existed; a mindfuckingly tedious romance starring veritable charisma vacuum Channing Tatum. Like You’ve Got Mail in reverse, a girl and guy with zero chemistry exchange letters via voiceover whilst he heads off to war to take part in an extremely poorly directed shoot-out. That’s it. No other conflict, no sadistic sports jock from the home town trying to get into the girl’s pants. No life-threatening injury for Tatum that may affect the relationship. Just nothing. And that’s the exact mark out of five I gave Dear John for its efforts. Don’t people watch romance films for the ‘will they won’t they?’ intrigue? If this conflict is resolved in the first ten minutes then what’s the point of stretching the movie out for another couple of hours?
I gave this a 0/5 score because it has no redeeming features, plus made a serious pile of money so has probably encouraged a lot of people that should know better to start making other vacuous Tatum vehicles. I would only recommend this film for the most serious cases of insomnia.
The special Peter Andre lifetime achievement award for being irredemably shit in every way goes to:
A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
This is the one I have in the back of my mind when I am watching a crap film and thinking about what score it should deserve; effectively a benchmark of awfulness. Even when I have watched a turd of a movie and think for a split second it could be a 0/5, memories of this flash before my eyes and I see sense. No, it’s never quite as bad as Elm Street 4. In fact every film above in this article is fucking Casablanca by comparrison.
Everyone from the director (it’s not wonder Renny Harlin helped bankrupt a fucking studio) to the key-grip did a number on this film like I never thought possible. Every second, let alone scene, is torture. The story makes no sense and has almost zero connection to the previous Elm Street movies. The characters are shit and the acting, performed by a group of nobodies, is worse than the efforts of the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex combined.
This is supposed to be a horror movie, yet the deaths are woefully unsatisfying, offering less-graphically violent executions than a western from the 1950s. I don’t get this. All the Freddy films were rated 18 in the UK, so why scrimp on the gore? I could understand if they were aiming for a 15 certificate to increase the commercial potential, but these are cheap films that made many times their cost due to the slasher genre’s popularity. Go for the 15-rating if you’re making a multi-million dollar fucking Julia Roberts/Tom Cruise vehicle with ILM effects shots that have taken an army of computer dorks weeks to complete even seconds of screen time.
Even satifying horror fans on the most basic of levels is unachieved by Elm Street 4. They want to see a few imaginative deaths and some neat special effects. As for the scare factor… the only thing psychologically traumatising is the thought of having to watch this a second time.
I gave this a 0/5 score because it is the worst film I have ever seen. It isn’t even watchable in a shit-80s ironic sort of way, like many of its peers. There isn’t a single moment in Elm Street 4 that isn’t earth-shatteringly, mindfuckingly, jaw-droppingly atrocious… and I don’t like it much.
By Slick Nick
It really bothers me when so many crap bands get all the attention, acclaim and interest from the general public whilst the most important visionaries often get overlooked. Nickelback, a band I rarely go a day without listening to at least once, sadly fall into the latter category. I want to change this and open minds (and ears!) to the glorious majesty of Nickelback’s recorded output and highlight some of their more significant career moments.
Debut album ‘Curb’ starts rock ‘n’ roll
Many bands had attempted to play in a musical style that we now know as rock ‘n’ roll, but Nickelback were the first group to put electric guitars, bass guitars and drums together all at the same time in a recording studio. This revelation in 1996 left the world with the album ‘Curb’, a record years ahead of its time, almost too far ahead of its time. Though largley dismissed as ‘crap’ upon release, the album quickly developed a cult following and would go on to influence the likes of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Slayer, Black Flag and Enya. Led Zeppelin in particular would highlight the album’s heavy blues-based riffing as a major inspiration.
Frontman Chad Kroeger turns out to be Jesus Christ
Whilst crafting the follow-up album to ‘Curb’, Mr Kroeger went on record in a number of magazine and television interviews to confirm that he was in fact the reincarnation of popular Christian figurehead Jesus of Nazareth. Though these claims were unsubstantiated at the time, eventually someone came forward with an artist’s impression of the original Christ in a children’s Sunday School pamphlet. Upon comparing this document with an image of Kroger in Metal Hammer magazine, the likenesses were deemed too similar for the story to not be 100% true. With such a significant figure in western civilisation at the helm, there was now no stopping Nickelback from achieving their first hit single.
‘Leader Of Men’ tops charts in all Christian nations for 2 years
With the power of a Demigod coarsing through his veins, Kroeger was able to craft the group’s first of many super smash hit singles. ‘Leader Of Men’ from legendary album ‘The State’ topped the charts in every western country for two years straight, a record that remains unbroken to this day. Manufacturers could barely keep up with the demand, forcing label Roadrunner Records to move production to a gigantic Chinese labour camp. At least seven deaths are known to have occurred there amongst staff quite literally worked until their last breath to cope with the ever increasing record sales.
Pictured below is a queue of Nickelback fanatics outside Oxford Street’s HMV store, 68 weeks after the single’s initial release. Scientists even made the discovery of a copy of ‘Leader Of Men’ (albeit in an unlistenable condition) amongst the property of an Amazonian tribe thought to be completely untouched by civilization.
The song ‘Never Again’ ends all domestic abuse and wins Nobel Peace Prize
The classic album ‘Silver Side Up’ was notable for being a music scholar’s dream, effectively a rich tapestry of musical ingenuity, creativity, originality and feeling. Opening single ‘Never Again’, though lyrically drenched in metaphor, still delivered the message that the world (apart from Scotland) could relate to; that hitting women square in the face is a pretty bad thing to do.
The song tells the story of an abused wife from her son’s point of view. Kroeger compares the living room to a ‘boxing ring’, poignantly reminding the listener that punches also get thrown in said ring. The antagonist is then berrated by the singer, underpinning a stunning middle eight. From that point onwards, no women were ever beaten to a pulp by their male fuck partners ever again.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the band in a two-hour ceremony three minutes after the single’s release, culminating in the trophy itself being passed to the eager hands of Kroeger by Frank Bruno.
Dark Horse album recorded in a single take
Finally, the most recent page of musical history written by Nickelback came with the ironically-titled 2008 album ‘Dark Horse’, a record notable not only for its stellar song-writing, but also the manner in which it was made. Broadcast on the internet for the world to see, Nickelback laid every track down in order in a single take, making no mistakes whatsoever. Absolutely no over-dubbing or other studio trickery was used. The songs went into the pressing plant the very next day. Fans were left with what was essentially a live album that sounded just as over-produced and watered down for the radio as anything else in the charts with a guitar.
So what next for the band that has apparently done it all? The plethora of unauthorized Kroeger biographies are keen to speculate, however I am content to remain patient with the music I have of theirs knowing that whatever comes next will undoubtedly be life-affirming and massively superior to anything else around.
How could it not be, considering Nickelback are without a doubt the greatest band to ever set foot in a recording studio?
By Slick Nick
When I judge a sequel, I don’t just consider its merits alone. I tend to think of sequels as remakes initially – you generally have the same characters, same setting, same story, same genre and similar writers & directors, doing the same shit as in the previous film/s.
I also think about how good the previous movie in the franchise was. To better an already great picture is a commendable feat. On the flipside, a film like Nightmare on Elm Street 4, arguably the worst film ever made, wouldn’t jump out at me as being a crap sequel because the previous film in that series isn’t worth much either.
I think a great sequel should be a decent stand alone film in its own right, but also build and improve upon the previous film’s ideas. A crap sequel will do the opposite and be an inferior film.
Aliens itself is a classic film but also one of the best sequels ever made. It betters a classic movie, brings memorable characters, technology and action to the table, and also delivers a shit ton of iconic sci-fi cinematic moments. Who could forget Bishop’s knife and hand trick which revealed him to have sperm for blood?
Alien 3 took all that away. Everything that made Aliens one of the best films of the 80s was missing. All the magic was gone.
In Aliens, Ripley is still coming to terms with the mass murder of her entire list of co-stars from the first film by an athletic man in a suit. She then gets the opportunity to bond with some awesome space marines in a quest to wipe out the aliens for good after they’ve made a mess of a Pinewood Studios set. She acquires a foster daughter in Newt and does battle with the alien queen at the end – metal against flesh, mum against mum.
Alien 3 doesn’t compare. Ripley crash lands on a planet whose only inhabitants are prisoners. An Alien is born from livestock, and goes on a killing spree. It can’t kill Ripley because she herself is carrying an alien queen, though how the alien is aware of this is anyone’s guess. Apparently for the sake of convenience it’s been given x-ray vision. So the protagonist cannot be harmed by the antagonist in any way. Now, excuse me whilst I sit on the edge of my fucking seat through all this narrative tension.
Aliens has a list of unforgettable, richly scripted characters. They all drive the narrative and drama in certain ways and elicit the appropriate emotional responses from the audience. We want Ripley to conquer her demons and save her ‘daughter’. We want Hicks to survive because he’s a generally all round good egg. We want Burke’s throat to be ripped open by a xenomorph, because he’s a greedy, slimey corporate highflying fuckhole. The deaths that happen are iconic and meaningful, and so is the chemistry between characters.
Alien 3 fails almost immediately by having only a single sympathetic character other than Ripley in the entire film, and even he becomes wormfood fairly early on. The rest of the characters are dangerous criminals, exhiled from civilization and adequate dentistry, for example murderers, rapists and the like. Having them confront the alien leaves no room for suspense or hope – we don’t give two fucks if they survive or not because they’re the worst collection of subhuman scum committed to film. Even the authority figures are annoying, one being the arsehole PE teacher from Kes for example. They’re also almost entirely British. Why are the arse-kicking marines in Aliens essentially all-American archetypes, whilst the rotten, ugly prisoners in Alien 3 are from Blighty? Does no other nationality in the galaxy commit horrible crimes? Fuck off.
Aliens had all manner of awesome life-ending gear, plus spaceships, powerloaders, motion sensors, web cams and a commendable pimped up limousine. These still look great even today. Entire films now use the CCTV/reality TV gimick to exist, whereas Aliens innovatively used it in just one gripping, story-changing sequence when the marines first encounter the Viet Cong and get their arses quite convincingly handed to them.
What does Alien 3 have, apart from a sprinkler system and doors that lock? Fuck all. Not even one gun. Brilliant.
This pretty much speaks for itself. Aliens is so packed full of action that you almost forget set-pieces. But the key thing is it’s never meaningless – it all drives the narrative and develops the characters. Each encounter makes Hudson more unhinged until he meets his legendary demise, for example, whilst Ripley only gets stronger and more determined. The final bout between Ripley and the alien queen is dramatic because the script makes it personal, like two old slappers having a scrap outside a Whetherspoon’s in Sheffield. Ripley is also confronting what could be the root cause of her nightmares in the first place.
In Alien 3 there’s only one alien, and no weaponry; all that’s on offer is a lot of running through grim corridors, opening and shutting doors, until they’re in a position to offer their guest a very inconsistent shower to end its short life.
Sequels are supposed to turn the action up to 11. There should be more deaths, bigger sequences, better effects, new enemies and characters etc. that give the audience something more for their money. They shouldn’t take everything further back than even the fucking original movie.
5. Set Design
I love a good set, and Aliens is full of them. Every scene gives the audience something neat to look at. The space station where the marines awake from a long afternoon nap, the colony rooms and corridors, the laboratory, the alien lair, I could go on.
Alien 3, on the other hand, offers nothing. In fact what it offers is worse than nothing. It could have been decent, a hi-tech super prison perhaps with some decent weaponry and futuristic ideas on keeping a population of near animals in line. But no, that would have required too much effort. Instead we get a generic, bland, boring, depressing iron works, with every room and corridor resembling the same bland shit. It’s about as easy on the eye as that little woman/eunuk creature from The Krankies. It’s also poorly lit, as are all David Fincher flicks, and whilst that style does lend itself to gritty, noir-like psychological thrillers, it does little for big concept science fiction.
6. Special Effects
The effects in Aliens were cutting edge in 1986 and still hold up very well today. Cameron knew where the limitations were and shot and edited accordingly. The result is a seamless blend of live action, make-up, costumes, puppets, models and CGI work, a veritable wank for the eyes if ever there was one. Combining this spectacle with the dynamite story and script made Aliens unbeatable. Every scene is fucking gold.
Alien 3 didn’t offer much scope for effects, and those it did depict were substandard. A really ropey, poorly animated and crap-looking alien running around hardly compares to the might of the alien queen, which required the population of Basingstoke to operate. Technically, the CGI was more advanced than in Aliens, but it doesn’t stand up even for a second in the present day.
Alien 3 isn’t necessariy a terrible film in its own right, but it is the worst sequel ever made. It removed tension, narrative, spectacle, action and design and inserted some crap computer graphics as a compensation. It was like someone puking up a slap-up three course meal from a Gordon Ramsey restaurant and offering the bile in a cereal bowl to a dinner party guest. Above all else, the film was just a bore.
I do have hope though that a half decent sequel or prequel will get made, advancing the alien mythology in a good way and giving the audience something unique and entertaining at the same time to enjoy.
Somehow we’ve managed to notch up 500 posts. Here’s a list of learnings, observations and general thoughts inspired by the last few months of bloggery.
1. In John Hughes’ world, immigration never happened.
2. According to Woody Allen, everyone has three masters degrees and seeks psychoanalysis.
3. Quentin Tarantino should have his characters shut the fuck up once in a while so he can tell a proper story.
4. A Pixar clunker is as rare as a half-decent Adam Sandler picture.
5. If Martin Scorcese was to be believed, 89% of all Italian-Americans are in some way connected to a crime family.
6. Very few horror flicks are above average. The same goes for films with Joel Schumacher at the helm.
7. In teen movies, those that exceed at sports will usually be more evil than Pol Pot and/or suffer a horrible death.
8. Star Wars is generally rubbish.
9. Annie Hall is the funniest film of all time.
10. The early 90s charts were defined by raggae, metallic pianos, bomber jackets and sadly George Michael.
11. Louis Walsh is ridiculously behind the times and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a recording ‘artist’.
12. Not wearing a tuxedo and not singing a Westlife song makes you very ‘current’ in Simon Cowell’s eyes.
13. This time next year, Cher Lloyd will be the only X Factor contestant from 2010 with any semblance of a career.
14. If you have a craving for long, deep shots, and claustrophobia, then you need to see some John Carpenter films.
15. Some job-seekers should really just give up and spend their days in bed, masturbating, rather than wasting my time by sending in terrible CVs for jobs that even in their wildest dreams they wouldn’t get an interview for. That would keep all of us happy.
16. Speaking of horror films, it seems France is the new Japan. Bring on the tamer Hollywood remakes!
17. As big a fan as I am of Ricky Gervais’ TV and stand-up work, I think I could live without another motion picture of his getting made. They just don’t work effectively.
18. There is nothing I want to happen more in the world than to see Paul Verhoeven return to Hollywood.
19. Jingle All The Way and Nightmare On Elm Street 4 are two of the worst films ever made.
20. Lightbulbs are almost always ineffective in David Fincher’s world.