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Last Year In Film: Disaster Movie by Jamie

Oh fucking Jesus fucking Christ. What the fuck is wrong with the world? Why are things like this allowed to exist? Yes, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer unleashed two pieces of cinematic garbage upon the world in 2008 and whilst Meet The Spartans was a bad film it’s actually kinda watchable when compared with this entry in the _____ Movie franchise, Disaster Movie.

This film has absolutely no redeeming qualities. The jokes are shit, the performances laughable (though not in the way intended) and my world is a far, far more painful place having sat through it. And I have to live with that. I have to spend every waking hour of the rest of my life knowing that I spent an hour and a half watching this. No wait. It’s more than that because it took me three tries before I actually managed to sit through the entire thing. Each time I got about fifteen minutes through before I had to stop. So in essence I’ve spent two hours and fifteen minutes watching this piece of shit. I am a broken man.

And now I’m reliving it all again just so I can write this. Fine. Let’s get this the fuck over with. Remember all those trailers that came out in 2007/2008 for films like Hancock, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull? Friedberg and Seltzer clearly did because they inserted parodies of all of those films in this fucking film. They actually parodied films that they hadn’t seen yet. It’s ridiculous. As a result all the parodies of these films are just the character showing up and doing nothing or, in Hancock’s case, parodying one specific piece from the trailer itself. Well done movie. Well done. I applaud your creativity. Sorry, did I say creativity? I meant go fuck yourself movie. Go fuck yourself right to hell.

The rest of the parodies are pretty much the same fare that we saw in Meet The Spartans except somehow they’ve managed to take this time-tested method of spoofing pop culture and make it shitter. This film has even less respect for it’s audience. Where Meet The Spartans held your hand so that you could get each and every joke, this film grabs you by the fucking neck and rubs your face in the joke, whilst shouting at you “LOOK! LOOK WHAT WE’RE MAKING FUN OF! ISN’T IT FUNNY?!?! HAHAHA!” The whole thing is really rather tedious. “LOOK! LOOK! IT’S HANNAH MONTANA! SHE’S SHILLING THINGS EVEN AS SHE DIES UNDER A METEOR! ARE WE NOT EXCELLENT SATIRISTS?” I think you get the picture.

This film, for technically that’s what it is, almost makes me want to somehow stop all things from happening. Because as long as events occur, there will be things for these movies creators to ‘parody.’ Billions of years of evolution and thousands of years of civilisation led to the creation of these movies and for that reason alone I’m starting to think that this whole ‘Human Race’ thing was really a bad idea from the get go and we’d be doing the universe as a whole a favour by simply going extinct right now. And even if we don’t, something else may do it for us. After all, there’s the chance that these films are being beamed into space right now and that, some time in the future they will be intercepted by an otherwise peaceful alien civilisation who, as a result of watching them, come to the conclusion that existence would be a far better thing without these meddlesome hairless apes running around making shitty parody films. Well done Friedberg and Seltzer. You’ve doomed our species.

And what’s the worse thing about this damn movie? (If indeed anything can be considered worse than the impending annihilation of your species by pissed off extra-terrestrials?) The fact that they took something genuinely funny, in this case Sarah Silverman’s song ‘I’m Fucking Matt Damon’ and totally ruin it. Why movie? Why must you ruin good things with your dogged determination to suck so bad? I believe I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. Fuck you movie.

So that’s that then. Disaster movie is done and dusted and I’ll never have to watch it again but there will always be a part of me that is gone thanks to this movie, destroyed by it’s utter awfulness. I’m fairly sure that if you look into my eyes you’ll notice something is off, like a part of me has died in some way. So what kind of a rating can I give this film? I don’t think it really fits into our pint of beer scheme so there is only one way I can rate this. With the grand score of Unicum. If you’ve never experienced Unicum, one of Hungary’s national drinks, then you are exceedingly lucky. It is foul and so is this movie.



Last Year In Film: Meet The Spartans by Jamie

Remember when parody film was a phrase that didn’t send people with half a brain cell recoiling in horror? A time when films like Airplane!, Spaceballs and Monty Python and the Holy Grail strode the comedy plains and delighted audiences far and wide. Do you know why those films were so awesome? Because the filmmakers had a modicum of respect for their audiences. Yes, the humour was sometimes wacky and out of left field but they didn’t have to take you by the hand and explain the jokes to you. The joke played out and you either got it or you didn’t. Meet The Spartans, on the other hand, treats it’s audience as if they had their brain removed and won’t be able to understand a joke unless it’s made very clear exactly what is being made fun of.

Now, I decided to keep a list during this film of the times that I laughed. That list numbers five which I have to admit is more than I thought I would. Of these five times, fthree were light chuckles and two were what I would consider proper laughs. So well done movie for managing to get two full laughs out of me. I commend your efforts. These two times were when Leonadis holds the hand of the Persian Emissary and starts swinging it like a little girl as they walk and when the Spartans joined hands and skipped into battle singing ‘I Will Survive.’ Who knew I was such a sucker for men hand holding humour. That’s the problem with this film though. The only bits that I found funny were when they were in the context of parodying 300 without any real riffing on ‘popular’ culture and that’s really few and far between in this film.

For the most part this film is all about taking the piss out of pop-culture and this could probably be quite funny if one, they cut the fuck back on it a bit, and two, if they took shots at things that weren’t already self-parody in there own rights. Oh, what’s that Meet The Spartans? You’ve got a joke where Britney Spears is shaving her head, being a bad mother and flashing her vagina? Oh, what a witty commentary on modern society. What’s this now? A joke about Lindsay Lohan coming out of rehab and flashing her vagina? Truly movie, you are a jester worthy of the highest of praises.

Perhaps the oddest thing about this film is the credits sequence. The film came to an end whilst there were still twenty minutes left. I was confused. The film itself had only lasted about an hour, which was a small mercy but how could it have had so many people working on it that it would warrant a twenty minute credit sequence? Then, about halfway through the credits some more scenes started. Oh good, I thought, perhaps there are some outtakes. Even a shit film can have some pretty decent outtakes. But no. These weren’t outtakes at all. They were actually just extra scenes that looked like they’d been plucked from the film itself and just placed randomly in the credits. Why? What the fuck were the filmmakers thinking? Oh, wait. I guess they weren’t. They made Meet The Spartans after all.

So what of the acting? Well, it’s kinda hard to judge as I don’t think you can call what the people in this film were required to do acting. I will say this though, Sean Maguire as Leonidas and Kevin Sorbo as Captain do look as though they’re just trying to have fun with the stupid roles they seem to have found themselves in and as such I find it really hard to hate them both. As for Travis Van Winkle, who plays Sonio, well I can’t help but despise him since he was in that piece of shit Friday the 13th remake which so offended me.

Well, what more is there that I can say about this cinematic abortion? I suppose I have to give it a half a pint out of five just for making me laugh a couple of times. That’s a couple more than I predict for Disaster Movie. Still, I have to say stay away from this piece of shit. It’s pretty much repugnant and offensive to anyone descended from anyone who lived during the time of the Ancient Greeks.



Last Year In Film: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. by Jamie

Today sees the beginning of a new recurring segment on Cinepub, Last Year In Film. The concept is fairly simple, watching and reviewing all the Oscar and Razzie nominated films of 2008. And I do mean all of them. It’s going to be a massive undertaking and I hope that I can manage to pull it off before the end of the year. With that in mind let’s begin with the backwards-aging, Gumpesque saga known as The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.

Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, Benjamin Button tells the strange tell of the titular character who is born with what appear to be the signs of old age. His father, horrified by the baby’s appearance and the fact that it caused him to lose his wife during childbirth, abandons the baby on the steps of a New Orleans old folks home.

It soon becomes clear that Benjamin isn’t just one of those children with that extreme aging illness. Rather it seems as though he is actually aging backwards. Throughout his backwards life he has encounters with many interesting character’s and experiences the odd important historical event. He also experiences loss from a slightly different perspective and seems to gain a unique outlook on death, told as he was how he would die when he was a very young child.

The first thing you notice about this film is just how much it’s like Forrest Gump because that’s pretty much what it is but instead of being a little slow, the protagonist ages backwards. The similarities are striking. There’s a love interest who’s a free spirit who just wants to enjoy youth and not be tied down by their stodgier male counterpart until the good times have to come to an end (In Jenny’s case a son and terminal illness, in Daisy’s a severe leg breakage that ends her dancing career.), There’s the kindly mother figure who will try and do anything for their son and there’s the gruff alcoholic who he goes to war with whilst also being a boat captain and who seems to truly treasure his friendship. Fuck, there’s even a scene where Benjamin declares how he managed to get paid doing something he’d gladly do for free.

Despite all that, however, I really, really enjoyed this film and I think most of it is down to Brad Pitt and the character of Benjamin himself. In Forrest Gump, the character seems to stay exactly the same, almost oblivious to the changing world around him. Benjamin, on the other hand, seems to change quite a bit over the course of the film and, probably due to his odd condition, seems to adapt better to the changing world around him than anyone else. As Benjamin gets younger, he retains the knowledge that he has accumulated over the years and so, when he finally ends up looking like he’s in his twenties, there’s a wisdom in him that his appearance belies. Just like Benjamin himself says when he replies to Daisy’s comment about how young he is: “Only on the outside,”

There is, however, one major problem with this film that I cannot let go of. If you knew a dude who aged backwards is that the kind of thing you’d keep to yourself until you were on your deathbed? Hell no! You’d tell everyone you goddamn knew or at least I would. It’s like surviving the Titanic and never telling anyone about it until some treasure hunters decided to look for some precious stone that nobody knew you owned. Seriously.

Anyway, the special effects are great, the story’s pretty good if somewhat recycled and the acting is pretty much awesome all round and you’ve always gotta love a film that lets you hear the Louisiana accent for prolonged periods of time. I had a little trouble following it at first, unaccustomed as my ears are to it and the fact that my laptop speakers are shit, over the course of the film I got to grips with it. So there you have it. I’m sure some people will find the film a bit slow, maybe even tedious but it kept me pretty much hooked all the way through and the ending where Benjamin is finally going through childhood is truly, truly bittersweet. I’ll give it four pints out of five.

Laterz.




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