Cinepub


What was supposed to be a review of What The Bleep Do We Know: Rabbit Hole Edition… by Jamie

WTBDWK is a film that claims that the old ways of doing science are dead. It claims that the old religions and mythologies are dead. It proposes a new paradigm for understanding who we are, by shedding of the rigid, law ridden scientific way and imbuing our scientific endeavours with a healthy dose of spiritualism. Which is great… if you’re a moron with absolutely no interest in progressing in any way or if you have no basic understanding of science. I’m writing this as I watch it in an effort to try and catch all the crazy without missing anything important and I’ll try and clean it up a bit when I finish but I warn you now, this may seem a little disjointed. Which is fine. Why should I waste my time writing a coherent review about a film that endorses divorcing yourself from reality. Flunurgle.

The film opens with a ridiculous Monty Pythonesque news reel animation. The difference between this and Monty Python is that Monty Python is funny. All this does is annoy. So after that there’s a few introductory things which make no sense and then we get to the first real thing that pisses me off. A lady begins talking about how science is bad because it makes us feel separate from all things on a lonely planet in a lonely universe and it‘s responsible for everything that‘s wrong with the world. Really? Is that what it says? Well, I don’t know what science books you’ve been reading, lady, but it seems to me as though the theory of evolution makes it very clear that we are connected to all living things and in a way that’s far more meaningful then anything spiritual. We and every living thing on this planet are the descendants of survivors, those who passed on their genes successfully to the next generation. That’s a pretty empowering thing, if you ask me.

And what’s this about scientists claiming that we are alone in a lonely universe? Scientists would love it if we found life in the stars, even if it where nothing more than single cell organisms. It’d just be something more for them to study and explore. Just because someone doesn’t believe aliens are coming to earth and raiding your ovaries doesn’t mean they don’t believe in extra-terrestrial life. Silly, silly woman. Now get off of the camera which science invented for you to use in order to spread your inanity. Silly, silly lady.

It’s not long after this that someone mentions the pseudo-science lovers favourite friends, Quantam Physics. Then the silly woman comes back and talks about how we know nothing about reality because it’s filtered through our sense organs… Gah! If I have to tell you why this is stupid then I’d like you to stop reading this now and go away. Go far away and jump off of something like a cliff. After all, you’ll only be perceiving through your senses that you’re falling to your death and that’s just a silly way to look at the world.

Damnit, I’m ten minutes into this film and it’s just annoying me too much. I’m stopping here. I might come back to it at another time but I seriously doubt it. Oh, and movie, if you’re going to act like you’re swearing in your title just have the balls to fucking swear, would you? After all, offence is just something we perceive with our minds, filtered through our sight or hearing depending on the media so what the fuck do you care?

Laterz.

Advertisements


Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs by Jamie
29/04/2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Review

What if I told you there was an awesome film that had both Bruce Campbell and Mr. T in it? You’d be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of awesome buddy cop film filled with action, demonic hellspawn, van customisation, witty one liners and songs about respecting your mother. And you’d be quite right to expect some kind of film along those lines but you’d also be wrong. For you see such a film does exist and it’s actually a CGI animated, family-friendly film. And it is equally as awesome as that other made-up film would have been.

That film is Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. It follows the story of Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) a wanna-be inventor who just wants to help his small island community since the towns main source of income, sardine fishing, dries up. This leaves the town forced to eat nothing but the terrible sardines that they can’t sell anywhere else. Unfortunately he’s a little bit of a shit inventor. For example, it’s kind of hard to understand just what the benefit was when he decided to genetically engineer Ratbirds. Anyway, he decides that he’s going to help the island by inventing a machine that will improve the towns somewhat limited palate.

It’s fairly simple. It takes in water at the top and produces food at the bottom. Unfortunately Flint accidentally launches the device into the sky whilst also ruining the towns big launch of their new tourist trap, Sardine Land, managing to piss of everyone including the Mayor (Bruce Campbell), the local police chief Earl Devereaux (Mr. T), his father (James Caan), local celebrity ‘Baby’ Brent (Andy Samberg) and out of town weather intern and secret nerd Samantha Sparks (Anna Faris). In fact the only ’person’ who seems to still be on his side is his pet monkey equipped with a monkey thought translator, Steve (Neil Patrick Harris). And yes, I did write that like that so I could conveniently list off the major players of the cast.

The device, however, is still working high in the sky above the island and it’s soon begins to rain cheeseburgers. Flint is hailed as a hero and he’s soon taking orders from the town folk for food they’d like to have rained down upon them. The mayor comes up with a new plan to bring tourists to the town, inviting people from around the world to come and partake in their miraculous food weather. But is there a chance something could go terribly wrong? If I have to answer that question for you then you’ve never seen a film before in your life.

It’s really hard to explain how awesome this film is. Let’s take Mr. T’s character, Chief Devereaux for example. He moves with the same energy and frantic nature that Mr. T’s voice sounds like when he’s in proper rant mode. That might be hard to imagine so just watch the film. Also when he first takes his hat off it is revealed that he has a full head of hair except for one strip down the middle, exactly where Mr. T’s Mohawk would be in real life. Finally later one he jumps through a giant nacho whilst carrying a giant piece of toast leaving behind him a giant T in the nacho. That’s just a sample of the type of humour you can expect to see in this film.

This film is also really, really frentic. It’s fast paced, bright, colourful and it looks like it could easily keep a child distracted for it’s hour and a half running time. Despite this high-paced madness it had me laughing all the way through. There’s an intelligence lying behind it’s humour, little character quirks which exist all the way through the film such as Samantha’s habit of saying something intelligent before quickly following up with something ditzy so as not to give away the fact that she’s secretly a nerd. There’s also an awesome scene where Flint, having never had a snowball fight, gets a little over excited after an ice-cream storm and bursting into peoples houses and pelting them as hard as he can with ice-cream snow balls. Ok, maybe that’s not that intelligent but it’s fucking funny.

It also features some of those pop cultural references you’ve come to expect in these kinds of films ever since Shrek came along. There are those Mr. T jokes I mentioned earlier and the later part of the film has some heavy allusions to a certain trilogy that takes place in a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but they’re not as over the top and intrusive as they can be in those Shrek films.

Most importantly, the film has a rather touching story that’s all about just being yourself and a son who just wants his father to be proud of him and the man that he has become even if it means not necessarily pursuing the path his father would prefer for him, a sentiment that men in particular can relate to. In fact, I’d say that this film would be perfect for a father and a young son to sit down and watch together.

Overall it’s a fun, funny and at times touching movie that strikes all the right chords with me. There are times when it does kinda drag along a little towards the end, the action sometimes going along without much of the humour that it had earlier on during the film but it’s a pretty small issue in an otherwise pretty damn good film. Four pints out of five. Laterz.



Documental: Nerdcore Rising by Jamie

The internet has done many great and wonderful things. It has made instant, worldwide communication possible, it has become a repository for all human knowledge and it has allowed for the easy dissemination of massive amounts of the filthiest pornography known to mankind. Seriously, there’s shit on there that would make Pinhead baulk.

But that’s not all it has done. It has provided a safe haven for geeks. Millions of people who used to sit alone in darkened rooms playing on their computer were suddenly connected to millions of other people who were also sat alone in darkened rooms playing on their computer. Before anyone knew what had happened, geek had gone mainstream. Sure there had always been gatherings at conventions and geek culture has always been around but this was different. Geeks not only utilised the internet but they were it’s pioneers, boldly going where no man had gone before, finding new lands and building websites upon it… or something like that.

Now it’s almost impossible to find any aspect of life which has been touched by the hand of Geek. It’s kind of easy to influence the world if you’re the ones who know how to utilise it’s greatest technological development. Now we’ve got all kinds of things tailored specifically to geeks. Movie companies, for example, will specifically keep track of what the geeks are talking about with regard to their latest film, especially that rash of comic book movies we’ve had lately. God forbid you piss of the geeks. Bad word of mouth, in an instant over the internet, can really fuck up that big movie you had such high hopes for.

TV has caught on as well. Think of all the TV shows which are tailored specifically to geeks and geek humour hoping to get that all important internet demographic. Shows like Robot Chicken, Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, Myth Busters and a whole host of others. We are Geekdom. All your culture are belong to us.

The reason, I think, that geek culture has permeated so fully is that everyone has a little bit of geek in them (And you can have a bit more in you if you play your cards right. Smooth.) Everyone has that movie that they can quote without even thinking about, everyone has a video game that they love and everyone that little piece of pop-culture that they are obsessed with. It just that you’re full on geeks that to the next level.

It turns out that geek culture has even gotten itself into that most unlikely of places, that would seem to be almost it’s exact opposite, the world of Hip Hop. The sub-genre, nerdcore as it’s known, has been growing in popularity over the past few years and I myself have become exposed to it through mc chris frequent contributor to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. To give the uninitiated an idea of what nerdcore kind of is, I shall post here ‘Fett’s Vette’ probably one of mc chris’ most popular songs.

So there you go. That’s a small sample of nerdcore and it’s essentially exactly what it seems to be, rapping about subjects which one would typically associate with Geekdom, things like Star Wars, computing, role playing and the like. It also happens to be the subject of the documentary we’re going to look at today ‘Nerdcore Rising’. Wow, that’s probably the longest preamble to a review I’ve ever written.

Anyway, Nerdcore Rising follows the story of the grandfather of nerdcore, MC Frontalot as he embarks on his first national tour and the ups and downs that he and his band, The Minibosses, encounter along the way. It also interviews some of his fans who show up to watch him play and they are arguably the most interesting parts of the film.

The parts that follow the band are interesting, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that they seem just like every other documentary I’ve seen that’s followed a small band embarking on their first tour, just with a slightly geekier edge. And it is that geekier edge which does provide some amusing moments. For example there’s a scene where they are discussing their first ‘groupie’ who has followed them for three shows. They start to make fun of her a little bit until they come to the realisation that the reason that they’re being a little mean is that girls make them nervous.

There’s also a scene in which one of the band members tries to explain the rules of Magic: The Gathering, a game which requires level of geekiness far beyond what I can muster in order to play it. This explanation takes about two hours and forty five minutes. Still it’s that passion for their obsessions that you really have to admire in the hardcore geeks and I do because I know I have a similar level of passion for my own particular obsessions.

Still, as I said, the most interesting aspects of the film are the interviews with MC Frontalot’s fans. It’s through these that you really get a sense of what his music means to them as geeks and you get a wider view of geek culture as a whole. The sense that you get throughout most of it is that they’re just appreciative that someone is out there making music about the things they care about. They have no interest in rhymes about popping caps in asses and pimpin’. They want music about the things I mentioned earlier, Star Wars, computing, role-playing and the like and they are just really glad that someone has finally created a genre of music they can relate to.

Also of interest are the interviews with other musicians. They’ve got rappers from the more mainstream areas of hip hop, other nerdcore rappers (including mc chris) and permanent geek favourite, Weird Al Yankovic. What’s most impressive is that the mainstream rappers are really quite supportive of the whole nerdcore movement. They respect the fact that they are making music that is important and culturally important to themselves. Most importantly they respect the fact that they are keeping it real. It was really quite touching. Oh, and Weird Al was just his awesome, awesome self.

The tour culminates with a performance in front of 7000 people at the KPAX gaming expo, set up by the guys from Penny Arcade. I gotta say that it’s a beautiful thing to see geeks gathered together, waving glowing lightsabers around and just having a good time. As for MC Frontalot, well, whilst I fully support the whole nerdcore movement and respect him and his efforts, I can’t say I’m a fan. Something about the way he raps just kinda irritates me. I think I’ll just stick with mc chris for now… Though there was a group called Optimus Rhyme and, even though they are now defunct, that name alone demands at least a listen. It’s also good because my own idea for a nerdcore rap name, Hip Hoptimus Prime is still available. In terms of other ‘geek‘ musicians outside of the nerdcore subgenre well, I don‘t think you can ever go wrong with Jonathan Coulton.

Well, that’s that. Overall it was a fairly enjoyable documentary even if it didn’t get me fully on the nerdcore wagon. I’ll give it 3.5 pints out of 5. Laterz



Five Terrifying Monsters From My Childhood by Jamie

Childhood is generally a magical time filled with wonder and amazement but it is also a horrific nightmare filled with monsters. Many of these evil creatures come from watching film and they leave a lasting impression that lingers with us for the rest of our lives, lurking at all times in the back of our mind. This then is a list of some of those things which still haunt my brain to this very day. Warning: Here Be Spoilers

5. Greys (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The X-Files, countless other things)

Whether you believe that they actually exist or not, and personally I don’t, there is something undeniably creepy about the alien species generally referred to as the Greys. There’s something about their huge black eyes and largely feature-less face that causes some kind of primal fear. I think it’s something to do with the fact that they seem completely emotionless and you can’t tell what they are thinking. There’s also the way that they are often depicted as moving in films.

Take the way that the ‘leader’ from Close Encounters moves. It‘s got a disturbing weirdness to it‘s movement, probably something to do with the limitations of the special effects but still. In other media they aren’t portrayed as anything less than terrifying, generally performing some kind of medical procedure, never saying a word just carrying out their tasks in an almost deliberate, robotic fashion.

Then there’s a film called Alien Abduction: The McPherson Tape. It’s a hand-held, Blair Witch style film that tells the tale of a family practically held hostage within their own home by some Greys that they‘ve managed to piss off. It’s cheesy as fuck but when I was younger it used to terrify me, particularly the last scene which was just creepy as fuck. Oh, and there’s also an interview with a British musician who is an alleged abductee (Actually just an actor portraying the role to try and keep up the premise that the video is real found footage) who uses the phrase ‘Big Headed Wankers’ which used to amuse me and my brothers to no end. It’s actually on YouTube, part one can be found here.

4. The Wheelers (Return To Oz)

The Wheelers are like a monstrous amalgamation of people, bicycles and hyenas. They hunt their prey on the wheels that they have in place of hands and feet, laughing like maniacs as they do so. Of course the question which is immediately raised in your mind is ‘But Jamie, if they don’t have hands, how can they possibly catch that which they are chasing?’ And whilst it’s not actually raised in the film, I have my theory.

Surely, since their hands are fucking wheels, they only have one possible method for catching their quarry and that must be their mouths. Yes, I put it to you that the Wheeler’s capture and then eat their prey. That is fucking horrible. And guess what else they do. They wear helmets which, when their head is turned down towards the ground, has a second, creepier face on it!

I will say this though, they be some stylin’ motherfuckers. They got these long sleeved, clown-esque jackets which they often accessorise with multi-coloured pipes. Above that they wear those things which I can’t remember the name of. Not sure If I ever knew the name of them actually. They often appear in cartoons involving conductors or opera singers and a character will generally grab it and roll it up like a window blind. You know the thing I’m talking about. They also wear colourful bowties. Nice.

3. The Skeksis (The Dark Crystal)

Who doesn’t love The Dark Crystal? It’s a classic in the puppet/fantasy genre and it features the innocent Gelflings, the wise urRu and the… Holy Fucking Shit! What is that hideous vulture dinosaur thing?!?! Oh dear God, keep it away! Keep it away!

Yes, the Skeksis, the evil side of the once benevolent UrSkeks race which, as we all know, was splintered into two separate races, along with the urRu, when the Dark Crystal was fractured. The Skeksis have ruled their world for over a thousand years going so far as to commit genocide against the Gelfling due to a prophecy that a Gelfling would bring an end to their rule. Not only are they evil monsters but they are evil monsters who take superstition and myth seriously. Sure the prophecy turned out to be true but it was probably quite self-fulfilling.

So terrified was I by the Skeksis when I was younger that even to this day, whenever The Dark Crystal is brought up in conversation my mother helpfully informs everyone of just how much they used to frighten me. Seriously though who could blame me? I mean just look at them, they are the very embodiment of a child’s third worst nightmare. Thankyou Jim Henson for improving my life by inventing The Muppets, Sesame Street, The Fraggles and Dinosaurs and for scarring me for life by creating The Dark Crystal and making me want to stab/shit myself in terror whenever I see a vulture. I’ve had some pretty awkward moments being ejected from zoos, I can tell you.

2. The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

The country of Vulgaria seems like quite a nice place to visit despite the awful name it suffers from. With it’s Bavarian architecture and cobbled streets it seems like the kind of place that would make really good chocolate and beer. But after staying there for a while you’d notice a disturbing lack of children and disturbing number of depressed toy-makers played by Benny Hill. You see the problem is that the Baron of Vulgaria is a child-hating, toy-loving lunatic (which I admit makes it sound like he and I would get on quite well) who has hired one of the most terrifying characters ever capture on celluloid to hunt down and capture children.

This horrible, mincing freak with his top hat and elongated nose has haunted the dreams of many a child. There’s just something so… paedophiley about him. He’d stalk the streaks of Vulgaria with his cage disguised as a free treats cart offering sweets and ice-cream to any child who happened to cross his path making us all afraid to trust those perfectly nice strangers who would offer us sweets in the park. Bastard.

To top it all off he could actually smell children! How the fuck do you escape a villain with that kind of power? You can’t hide from him because his powerful nostrils would flare and he’d soon find you. One offer of a free sweet later and BAM! You’re locked up in some dungeon type place, never to see your parents again. There is one question I do have though: When the children grow up, were they freed from their subterranean prison? I can’t imagine that the population of Vulgaria would grow if they didn’t and I’m sure it would affect morale within the country if you citizens had spent the formative years of their lives locked in a fucking dungeon by their leader.

1. The Father (Mac and Me)

This is it. The big one and I’m sure I’ll be mostly alone on it. Mac and Me was a film which tried to capitalise on the success of E.T. by being released six years later and having a shittier but similar story. I’ve kind of reviewed it before and so I shan’t go into all the plot details again. I’ll just say that there are a few things that this film is famous for a number of things. One is the scene involving the main kid in the wheelchair flying over a cliff which used to played on Conan O’Brien when Paul Rudd would come on to promote a film. The second is that the film was really nothing more than a shameless plug for McDonalds, Skittles and Coca-Cola. There is an impromptu dance number in the middle of a McDonalds, Ronald and everything. It’s pretty fucked up.

Anyway the reason that this film sticks in my mind is because of Mac’s father, an unnamed alien who used to scare the shit out of me as a kid. There was something about his gaunt expressionless face that terrified me. It never changed no matter whether he was lying dying in a cave or whether he was wielding a gun in a supermarket. Yes. That actually happened and I’m sure it did nothing to reassure me that the creature wasn’t the most horrific thing a human had ever thought up.

This was literally the best picture I could find of Mac’s dad. When the internet refuses to have a picture of something, you know it’s horrific.

The way he moved scared me as well. His awkward, drunken gait as he stumbled around, his lanky arms occasionally flailing around to randomly smack at something. Oh god, just the thought of him now terrifies me. Seriously, the image of that bastard has been so seared into my mind as the worst thing imaginable that I literally have trouble seeing that film today. Every time he appears on screen a small shiver of fear judders up my mind and hits something deep and primal within my brain.

Well, that’s that. I’m sure I’ve forgotten more than one thing that also scared me when I was a kid or perhaps I’ve just blocked it from my mind as some kind of safety mechanism to keep myself sane. Until I can regress myself and remember what those things were, we’ll just leave it here. Laterz.



Review: The Road by Jamie

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love post-apocalyptic films. Hell, I even made a list of my own personal top ten of the genre (Part one and part two). So I was understandably looking forward to finally getting around to seeing ‘The Road’ based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. Now I haven’t read the novel so this review is going to be completely from the point of view of someone who only knows the material from the film. Those who’ve read the book may have differing opinions.

The film basically tells the story of a world completely broken by some kind of unspecified disaster. I’m going to guess massive nuclear war although the effects seen in the film could have equally been caused by a massive comet impact. Sure, many would say it’s not important, the disaster isn’t the point of the film. I just like to know what kind of post-apocalyptic hellscape we’re dealing with here. The nuclear scenario has problems that are unique to it such as radiation poisoning that the comet scenario probably wouldn’t have. Alright, I suppose it’s not important.

Anyway from the ashes of this devastated Earth comes a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee). They are travelling to an unspecified location… There’s a lot in this film that’s unspecified even the characters names. That’s fine I suppose although I’m sure it works better in a book, It can be a trifle hard to relate to a character that is unnamed in a film. It makes the characters seem detached from any reality you can recognise, which I suppose is fair enough for a film like this. It kinda becomes a non-issue as the film progresses.

That’s pretty much the plot summed up actually, just the tale of a man and his son on a journey. It’s what happens along that journey that’s important as the two of them try and eke out a survival in this desolate wasteland whilst trying to preserve what is left of their humanity. This isn’t an easy thing to do in a world where it seems as though most other people have resorted to cannibalism, humans being one of the last viable food sources left.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this film is the way it looks. There are a few flash back scenes to a time before the apocalypse event and these are appropriately bright, colourful and somewhat cheerful but it’s the post-apocalypse world that really steals the show. It’s truly a bleakly beautiful vision of a land completely ravaged by disaster. Everything is muted, each colour having an appropriate tinge of grey. There’s one scene in particular that stood out where the characters are walking down a road lined with broken, leaning telegraph poles, each one a mess of tangled, hanging wires, black against a constantly grey sky. It’s grim, yet strangely there is beauty in it and it’s one of the most convincing portrayals of a post-apocalyptic world that I’ve seen since Threads… Oh god, why must I be reminded of Threads…

What really sells this film, besides it’s look, are the performances. Mortensen and Smit-McPhee both play their roles well though the film isn’t particularly dialogue heavy. Still you get a sense that the man loves his son very much, believing his survival to be important above all other things including his own. You also get the sense that his love for his son is the very thing which is starting to lead him astray from his humanity, becoming more vicious and paranoid as the film goes on. It’s also clear that it’s the innocence of a child that his son brings to his life that keeps him from going all the way into barbarism. Smit-McPhee plays the part of a child born after the apocalyptic event very well, seeming fascinated with anything that his father finds from the former world including such things as a can of coke and a tin of peaches. Having said that his performance does seem to get a little cheesy and mildly annoying towards the end of the film, particularly in the scenes of him and his father at the beach but it’s still not bad enough to detract from the enjoyment of the film. I mean he’s certainly no Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace.

Gah!

I refuse to accept you grew up to be Darth Vader…

Charlize Theron also shows up a few times, appearing in flash backs as the boy’s mother. She does well as a woman who simply isn’t content with surviving as her husband is. Unfortunately saying anymore would be entering spoiler territory.

Overall there’s not much more I can really say about the film without giving away much of what happens. I’ll just say there are more than a few stand out scenes, a particular favourite of mine involving a basement which seems to be used as a kind of farm. It’s awesome. I’ll also say that the ending did make my eyes water a little though not really cry as such. Then again I tend to get far more emotionally involved with films than I do real life so maybe that’s just me. All that’s left to say is that it’s a bloody good watch and more than deserving of your time. 4.5 Pints out of 5.



Generation X: Part 2 – Deep Throat by Jamie

Generation X: Deep Throat (Production No. 1×01)

Written By Chris Carter, Directed By Robert Mandel.
BBC Air Date: 19/09/1994

In this episode Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance of an Air Force Colonel and a possible cover-up involving crashed UFO’s, hybrid experimental aircraft and a pseudo-Area 51. Mulder is warned to stay away from this case by a mysterious man in a bar bathroom, the titular Deep Throat, but decides to investigate anyway. He comes closer to the truth than he ever has before but also comes to experience first hand the kind of power that those behind the conspiracy wield.

There, I think I’ve got that little problem with my synopses going on forever sorted at last. Anyway, on with the review. This is the first full on episode of the X-Files complete with theme tune, opening credits sequence and is the introduction of Mark Snow as the series composer. I have to say that I really do love that theme. It just sums up the feel of the series, evoking the feeling of creepiness and mysteriousness that comes with dealing with the paranormal.

Now, this whole episode draws heavily from the myths surrounding the top secret US Air force base, Area 51 or Groom Lake even going so far as to have a parallel to the Little Ale’Inn, which is just down the road from Area 51, in the form of the Flying Saucer Restaurant. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just go ahead and use the name Area 51? I mean, they use the real name in later episodes, including some brilliant ones that have Michael McKean making a special guest appearance. Anyway the point is that if you’re blatantly just going to use Area 51, just call it fucking Area 51.

This episode also has some great examples of some early 90s CGI in the form of a hovering triangle that has a few bright lights. Of course it’s easy to look at it now and comment about how shitty and cheesy it looks by today’s standard. We think we’re so fucking great with our ‘Avatars’ and our ‘Iron Mans’. We sicken me. Anyway, I’m sure that little nine year old me was suitably impressed watching it in the darkened living room of our house. I bet I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The most worrying thing is that it actually looks about as good as some of the CGI effects I’ve seen in the incredibly recent series ‘Spartacus: Blood And Sand’. Damn that show’s cheap looking.

As for what goes on in the episode, well, there are a few key scenes. The introduction of Deep Throat is a pretty big one and I’ll delve into that a little bit later. What you really get is an idea of the clashes between the personalities of the two agents but also how dedicated they are to ensuring each others safety. You also get an idea of just how dedicated Mulder is to trying to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy, going so far as to break into a top secret military facility and strolling onto the runway to get a better look. Honestly it’s pretty fucking stupid for someone who’s apparently a Cambridge educated FBI agent but what’re you gonna do? This is a series that kinda hinges on suspension of disbelief.

As far as being a ‘Mythology’ episode this one isn’t as bad as later ones would become. It doesn’t have the huge, convoluted history behind it so it’s still a bit light and generally an easy watch. Since it also has a separate mystery going on beside the mythology stuff, it manages to keep you interested whereas I think that some of the later ones that had Mulder and Scully investigating the conspiracy for the sake of investigating it lacked that aspect.

Finally I’ll just go back to the fact that this episode introduces us to the character of Deep Throat, obviously based on, and possibly intended to be, the Deep Throat who leaked information during the Watergate scandal. Deep Throat was the first of many informants that would approach Mulder and do what seemed as little as possible in order to aid him in the quest for the truth. His first scene is a little odd. He approaches Mulder in the bathroom of the bar and advises him not to investigate the case as the military won’t look to kindly on an FBI investigation. I don’t know about you but if an older gentleman ever approaches me in a bar bathroom and his name is Deep Throat then I’m getting the fuck out of there. Still, he’s an important character and does help in providing some information on the conspiracy without which we’d probably be as lost as Mulder. He also finishes the episode with a fantastic line. When Mulder ask him if ‘they‘ have really are here on Earth, he responds with “Mr. Mulder, they have been here for a long, long time.” Awesome.

Overall it’s a decent enough episode if not just a bit average. I’ll give it three pints out of five. Laterz.



Review: The Princess Bride aka Jamie Learns An Important Lesson About Not Judging A Film By It’s Title by Jamie

Generally with a film you can get a pretty good idea about what kind of film you’re going to get from the title. ‘Jurassic Park’ for example. That title may not tell you the intricacies of the plot but you can get a pretty good idea that dinosaurs are going to be in it. That’s awesome. Everyone knows dinosaurs are the greatest thing that ever happened ever. Ever. Or take the ‘Terminator’. That title may not exactly tell you that it’s a sci-fi film about a robot but it does tell you that there’s something that terminates things. On a side note robots are the second greatest thing. Combine robots and dinosaurs and you have something so pants-shittingly awesome that it can cause your eyes to bleed.

Please consult a doctor regarding the blood leaking from your eye sockets.

There exist, however, films that have what you might consider deceptive titles. Today we’re going to look at one of those films, ‘The Princess Bride’. You see what that title implies? It implies the girliest film that mankind has ever created. It has the word ‘Bride’ and the word ‘Princess’. Neither of these words suggest a film that a young boy or a manly, masculine man such as myself would want to watch. So I spent years avoiding this film. Throughout those years I’ve had people come and tell me that it’s a great film and yet I resisted, probably because most of the people who told me that were women of the female variety. You know, the ones with the breasts and things. This did nothing to persuade me that this was a film that a tough, testosterone-filled male like me would want to watch. My God, I’m Manly.

Then one day, I just relented. I bought the bullet and just decided to watch the damn thing. After all it was only an hour and a half long so what did I really have to lose?

So how did I get on with it? Well, I will admit I fucking loved this movie. It was so ridiculously awesome that I barely know where to begin. I don’t really want to give any of the plot away because I’m sure that there are other powerful, virile chaps like me out there who also haven’t seen this film based simply on the title. What I will say to you my manly brethren is just ignore the title or, as a friend suggested, imagine a new title for it. I found his suggestion of ‘Quipping Gents With Swords Go Adventuring’ most apt.

So what can I say about this film without revealing nothing about the plot? Well, I can tell you about the fucking incredible cast. We’ve got Cary Elwes as Wesley, the main gent with a sword, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, the quipping Spanish gent with one of the most quotable lines in movie history, Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck, a right royal prick, The 5th Baron of Saling Christopher Guest as the sadistic Count Rugen who has one of my favourite lines ever uttered in a movie (“Have you been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard… How marvellous), Wallace Shawn as the too clever for his own good Sicilian Vizzini, Fred Savage as The Grandson, Peter ‘Fucking Columbo’ Falk as The Grandfather (The character names for these two make much more sense when you watch the film), Peter Cook as The Impressive Glergyman, Mel Smith as Rugen’s torture assitant The Albino, Robin Wright as the titular Princess Bride, Billy Crystal as the fucking hilarious Miracle Max and Andre The Fucking Giant as Fezzik. Yes, Andre The Giant. Can’t understand a fucking word he says but it’s just awesome to see him in this film.

The film is directed by Rob Reiner, yes the same Rob Reiner who brought us possibly the single greatest comedy film of all time, Spinal Tap and this film has a slightly similar feel to that hallowed work. The humour that pervades it does parody the entire fantasy genre somewhat but the comedy works in parallel with the story much in the same way that the comedy in Spinal Tap parodied 80s metal bands whilst still having a coherent plot. Well done Rob Reiner, I applaud you… or at least I would if I weren’t typing.

Go back up and look at that cast. Every single performance in this film is golden and it’s hard not to when you have a cast like that. Even Cary Elwes who have issues with (I really don’t like the first Saw film) is incredible and some of the physical comedy he pulls off towards the end of the film is truly a joy to watch. As I said before the only bad part of the film is Andre The Giant’s incomprehensibility but you kind of let it slide because you’re watching a fantasy film with Andre The Goddamned Giant in it! It’s brilliant.

There’s really not much else I can say about this film. It’s so good that I actually hate myself a little bit for not having watched it earlier. What a fool I was! So if you haven’t watched it for fear of having your masculinity compromised then get over yourself you prick! And if you have seen it but haven’t watched it for a while then dig it up and give it another watch. You know you want to. Five pints out of five. Laterz.




%d bloggers like this: