It’s very rare for me to sleep through anything entertainment-wise (opera notwithstanding), which means one of two things – I’m either very tired, or very, very bored. Watching DVDs can be just as exhausting, but at least you have the benefit of being able to exercise your inalienable right to use the fast forward button. Some films I’ve fast forwarded all the way through, and have suffered no pangs of guilt whatsoever.
Here are some films I’ve seen recently that, to me, are the filmic equivalents of opera: are they just plain bad, or am I missing something? (nothing in this post contains anything that remotely resembles a spoiler, so, you know, don’t send me death threats or anything).
Outlaw, written and directed by Nick Love – I suspect the plot isn’t the reason people watch films like this, which is just as well as it’s a veritable porridge of silliness and improbability.
However, there are two notable things about it I’d like to point out: firstly, it features a stand out performance by Sean Harris, who gives the profession of security guard a thoroughly bad name. Secondly, it features some of the most bloody annoying camerawork I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. Two minutes in: the camera’s wobbling. An attempt to add a touch of a little cinema verité to proceedings? Who knows… Ten minutes in: can you stop it now, please? It’s beginning to get on my tits. Thirty minutes in: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, KEEP THAT BLOODY THING STILL! I have my suspicions that a lot of the wobbling about was added digitally in post-production in order to give things a more ‘realistic’, documentary feel. The only thing it really succeeds in doing is WINDING ME UP! ARGGHH! STOP IT NOW, BEFORE I’M FORCED TO STAPLE MY EYES SHUT!
Phew – it’s over. That’s better.
Nick Love is apparently directing The Sweeney, due to drop in 2009 – I am considering an online petition to tell him to STOP MOVING THAT FUCKING CAMERA AROUND!
Poseidon, directed by Wolfgang Petersen (yes, the dreaded remake of The Poseidon Adventure) – didn’t this one tank big time at the box office? Serves it right if it did. The plot isn’t so much improbable, more completely farcical (there’s Christian, trapped under a lighting rig! My god! That wound on his leg has gone right down to the bone! You know what this means, don’t you? Someone’s going to have to carry him all the way to the end of the movie! Huh! Screw that – he’ll be prancing round like a spring chicken in five minutes time, just you wait and see!).
The original had a coherent plot and characters you cared for – the remake features a plot constructed exclusively from CGI shots and a cast so bland (with the exception of a positively oily Kevin Dillon) you want to mow them down in a dragster.
Hostel, written and directed by Eli Roth – don’t get me wrong, I love horror. My favourite movie of all time is The Shining – but this? What the hell is this?
This is one of the few films I know where you can actually fast forward and still know what’s going on – not that you particularly want to. In fact I fast forwarded and slept through a part of it as well – beat that!
‘Torture porn’ is one big yawn as far as I’m concerned – it’s about as scary as Aled Jones presenting Songs of Praise (which could be scary if you’re a Satanist I guess). Lots of unconvincing running about and effects that look like Halloween make up. I’ll give Hostel II a miss, thanks.
Run Lola Run, written and directed by Tom Tykwer. Lola’s boyfriend loses a bunch of money that belongs to a drug dealer – Lola’s solution? Run everywhere! Right – that’ll help. It should be noted this film does exactly what it says on the tin. Lola runs – and runs – and runs – and then runs some more. By the time you’re thirty minutes in you want to throttle her, if only to stop her from bloody running everywhere. Calm down, dear – it’s only a crap Euro film! Jesus, she runs so much that, at one point, she even turns into a badly animated version of herself.
I was forced to watch this in a dubbed version, so that didn’t help, but it didn’t stop me falling asleep. When I woke up, Lola was still running, so I turned it off in protest.
L’Appartement, written and directed by Gilles Mimouni. Some plots are labyrinthine and complex for a good reason. L’Appartement is labyrinthine and complex because it thinks it’s big and important (well, it is French) – in reality, it’s silly and pointless. Worryingly enough, it appears to have been filmed in the style of an eighties porn flick, which was the only thing that kept me watching.
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS: only joking! See here for some spittle flecked debate. I had a lecturer at Brighton who was a huge fan of exploitation flicks such as SS Experiment Camp, and I Spit on Your Grave, but that’s not important right now.
One day I might actually post something about a film I enjoyed but I wouldn’t hold your breath!