Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Three Duds and a Diamond

The bad film quotient round Chipster Towers has skyrocketed since my wife’s nephew moved in, bringing with him an armful of garishly covered DVDs (or ‘boy’s films’ as my wife likes to call them). On the odd occasion, he’ll drag me to the cinema (I haven’t yet forgiven him yet for the dross that was Hannibal Rising) for more of the same – although, that said, we caught a real gem of a movie last night in the shape of:

Shoot ‘Em Up – I don’t tend to disagree with Peter Bradshaw very often, but when he described Kill Bill as ‘deliriously exciting’, all I could think of to say was ‘Uh?’ If you want to see a film that is pointlessly, stupidly exciting, go see Shoot ‘Em Up. Character development? Pah! Narrative coherency? Get a grip! Intriguing sub-plots? Don’t me make me laugh! Unremittingly daft from the get-go, Clive Owen blasts away at twelve shades of bad guys whilst Paul Giametti chews up the scenery and spits it out in great big chunks. The thing is so delirious and daft, it’s hard not to grin. That, and Motorhead on the soundtrack as well. This may well be boy’s film territory, but what the hell.

By the way, Peter Bradshaw describes it as being wearyingly crude and calculating. You be the judge.

Unfortunately, after the ludicrous high point of Shoot ‘Em Up, it’s business as usual:

The Butterfly Effect 2: not having summoned up the energy to watch the first Butterfly Effect (is Ashton Kutcher really an actor? I always figured he was some sort of spokesman for Action Man or Colgate or something), I settle down for a bowl of warmed up leftover sequel.

Forty minutes in – can someone explain to me how people have sex through their clothes?

Fifty minutes in – uh, what the flaming arse is going on here?

Fifty five minutes in – the screenwriter has the good grace to answer my question above via a clunking great wedge of exposition – thank Christ for that. The lead character gets richer and progressively unhappier – I suspect there’s a message here but it’s so trite and simplistic I just can’t be bothered.

Eighty five minutes in, and we’re done. It’s passable, but it’s just too drab for me. Instantly forgettable.

Perhaps my nephew will stop bringing this type of film home if I give him money? (that said, The Science of Sleep was my choice).

1408: is all right, but probably more pointless than Wolf Creek. I mean, why bother? As it’s an adaptation of a Stephen King short story, alarm bells should start ringing before you even set foot in the cinema for this one.

The Science of Sleep: ten minutes in, and my wife’s bored already.

‘Fucking art students!’ she laughs, and flounces off to watch John Nettles in Midsomer Holby Witness or whatever the shag it’s called. That said, she’s got a point – the whole thing does look like it was made on some foundation art course on a budget of twelve quid and a mountain of the insides of toilet rolls.

However, lurking underneath the ‘wacky’ (how I hate that word) and deliberately low budget effects is a very conventional, none-too-impressive three act script – you know the sort of thing: boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, they ride off into the sunset on a life-size cloth horse.

I gather that The Science of Sleep is meant to make your soul ache/flutter/keel over and shrivel up with romantic yearning or some such old toss. All it made me do was say, ‘Meh’. For something that may as well be an extended pop video, it’s all right. That said, the two leads are both as annoying as only art students can be (this, coming from a former art student – go figure).

I still can’t bring myself to watch Shooter. Maybe next time.


Oli said...

Shooter is the worst film I've seen in the cinema since Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Avoid.

Chip Smith said...

Problem is, I don't think I'm going to get the opportunity to say no. Even the cover of Shooter sends me into a mild depression - perhaps I should just watch it and get it over with.

Saw the trailer for Death proof last night, and it just confirms what your review of it said - if those are the best bits from the film, then it looks truly terrible!