Posts Tagged ‘ Films ’

Close Encounters of the Turd Kind: Super 8 Film Review

The Velvet Underground and Nico.

Is it bad reviewing to borrow from a bad review?

I hope not, because a line from Ian Nathan’s review of Super 8 (Directed by J.J.Abrams) in Empire Magazine will set up mine quite neatly. In his final summation, Nathan writes that Super 8 is a ‘homage to better times, and better movies.’ That solitary statement sounds reasonable enough so far (though ‘homage’ is a word to be distrusted – it too easily doubles up for ‘rip off’), but then…something incredible happens. A Gibbon, recently escaped from a chemical experimentation centre, picks up a rock and throws it at a pigeon, which loses all sense of direction and flies through a window into Empire’s offices. The Pigeon wreaks havoc, and smashes into Ian Nathan’s head – knocking him onto his key board and somehow, somehow, this awards Super 8 Four Stars. Four stars. I’m sure that’s the only way it could have happened, because in my incredibly balanced and level-headed review, I’m going to show that the movie is cheesier than a tramp’s cock, and maybe 3/4s as appealing.

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The Emperor’s New World? Terrence Malick on Trial

It might seem to the casual observer like this blog is basically a big love-in, a sort of forum for the various writers to sit about high-fiving, giving each other back-rubs, and discussing our work using the phrase ‘really great’ a lot. Not only the content but also the blog’s name may contribute to this impression, and so it may surprise you to learn that occasionally we disagree (and not just about Mad Men, ages ago). Sure, maybe it’s only on a few things, and yeah, maybe afterwards we just go back to talking about how much we all hate The Golden Compass, and then high-five and maybe rub the odd back or two, but the fact remains that we are not the Five-Headed Sex Beast of Self-Congratulation we look at first glance. To prove it, and maybe get a little stimulating discussion going, we’re going to air some of our disagreements on this here blog.

First in the dock is the famously reclusive and slow-working auteur Terrence Malick, who recently released the fifth film in his 38-year career, The Tree of Life. I haven’t yet seen it, mainly because I did see his previous film, The New World. If it seems a bit redundant to discuss that film when he’s just brought out a new one, maybe the following will go some way towards explain why I haven’t yet been able to drag myself into the cinema to sit through his stuff a second time. After my rather bitter rant, like I’ve taken the film as a personal affront to me for some reason, Danny will argue in favour of that pretentious hack’s snore-a-thon, sorry, visionary auteur’s masterpiece. But that’s for later – first it’s me, quietly and modestly, for the prosecution.

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What’s in the Box Office?

It’s been ages since I went to see a film. During Oscar season I was all up in cinema’s grill and kept up with everything, so when the results came out I had a surfeit of opinions which everyone had to tolerate me spewing into their faces whenever I had the opportunity – but recently I’ve haven’t even been reading the taglines on bus stop posters, let alone going out and watching the movies they’re advertising. I’ve made no effort to keep up with discussions in the media – I haven’t listened to Kermode’s podcast in months, and Claudia Winkleman could have been flogged by tramps and I wouldn’t have the foggiest. As a result, the films in the cinema at the moment are a mystery to me even in the vaguest outlines of their plots. For all I know, the top spot at the box office is occupied by a Mexican thriller about an old florist, with a romantic comedy set deep in the Earth’s upper mantle hot on its heels.

As far as I’m concerned, however, The Jerk Circle has a cultural obligation to advise its readers, even instruct them, on how best to spend their free time. If you’re bored of an evening, and you’re thinking about stepping out to your local filmerie to see what’s on, you shouldn’t even put your pants on until you’ve read the carefully considered views of one of our writers. And I see no reason why complete ignorance should be a barrier to any of us forming some extremely strong opinions. Therefore I’ve examined the listings, seen what’s bringing the punters in at the moment, and I offer my thoughts, based on the title and what I like to call my ‘mantuition’. I’ll offer a brief plot synopsis (warning: there may be spoilers!), followed by my verdict.*

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