12 August 2011

I Can't Be Bothered With My Brain Today

Everybody has a guilty pleasure when it comes to the films they watch.
Until recently however, and with the exception of hardcore pornography, I was without one. I suppose I have a particular passion for comic book movies, but they're generally considered to be good and well reviewed. Adam Sandler seems to be someone that certain people like, despite his films clearly being shit. I read somewhere once that Paul Thomas Anderson considers Adam Sandler films to be his guilty pleasure which is what inspired him to make the amazing Punch Drunk Love. If only all Adam Sandler movies were as good as that one then I'd be happy but unfortunately, they're not, so, I'm not.

For me, his man-child ways aren't endearing or cute, but creepy. When he smiles. he looks like a severely rapey Bob Dylan with retard issues. I hate how he always starts off angry before falling in love with someone and then mellowing out. When that happens, it seems as though the film has backtracked on its own convictions. They're pandering to an audience who couldn't live with themselves for enjoying the company of a pure, miserable bastard. It's the equivalent of having Basil Fawlty cheer up at the end of each episode of Fawlty Towers just because someone has been nice to him. Have some balls Sandler, stay angry.

So Big Daddy and Shitty Gilmore weren't quite to my taste- thankfully though, something is. I've finally found my guilty pleasure! A series of films that I know, for the most part, are kind of shit but that's not the point. The point is that they are fun, funny and in each case, knowingly ridiculous. They are the movies of action star and Earth's cockney representative Jason Statham.

The more I watch Statham in movies, the more I think he's our generations Arnie. Both of them can carry an action film by their name alone, they both essentially always play the same character, they deliver shitty puns after robbing people of their lives, and the action in their films is hardly gritty and realistic. An example of a gritty and realistic action scene might be the one at the beginning of Casino Royale in which Bond smashes the fuck out of some guy by cracking his head on a bathroom sink and then shooting him. An example of an action scene in a Jason Statham movie would be something like in The Transporter were he greases himself up and uses bicycle peddles for shoes, sliding around a garage with people unable to get a decent grip on the slippery little sod.

I suppose another similarity between Arnie and Statham would be their accents. Whereas one speaks completely with his iconic Austrian voice, the other too struggles with the spoken word when not speaking like a proper facking Landaner. But who cares as both have such great and distinctive voices that I'm happy for them to use them all of the time. Even when, for example in The Transporter, Statham starts off American and then forgets and carries on the film just speaking like himself. Lets face it- as much I love them both, neither of them are Gary Oldman. I don't go to see Crank because of the transformative acting that leaves its main star unrecognisable. I go because I hear that the Stath spends half the film running around punching doctors with his arse out and a stonking big bone on. Name me one other film where you could see that? Originality is what cinema should be constantly searching for and things like that and the image of a bald Londoner falling from the sky whilst chatting to his girlfriends answering machine sound pretty original to me.

Different films are made for different purposes. If I wanted to watch a well judged, masterfully crafted classic, I'd put The Godfather on. However if I've got some friends around and we've just been smacking the shit out of each other on Super Smash Brothers Brawl, it might lower the mood a bit if I suddenly announced that it was time for us to shut up, show some respect and put Schindler's List on. Something like Crank however, is perfect. That's not to say, by the way, that Statham has only done action films. Oh no - the man is an acting genius; not only can he play himself in things like The Transporter but he can also play himself in the cheeky, Brit gangster films of Guy Ritchie such as Lock, Stock and Snatch. I know he was also in Revolver, which is supposed to be really shit, but fuck it, I haven't seen that one - as far as my life is concerned, it doesn't exist.

John Hurt said that when picking a film to act in, he doesn't particularly have any prejudice regarding its genre. He says that as long as he believes that the film will achieve the level of success that it is attempting, then he will consider it. Statham's films aren't the best films of all time, but nor do they try to be - they just try to be 90 minutes of fun entertainment, and that is exactly what they are. Personally I think that they are funnier than most of Adam Sandlers movies with their biggest joke being that everybody making them is probably taking them seriously, with the exception of the Stath. The action is cool, the humour makes me laugh, the running time is do-able. What's not to like?

There is a film coming out soon apparently called The Killer Elite, and it stars both Jason Statham and Clive Owen. Now this is literally the making of a guilty pleasure classic; we've got our Jason facing off against the star of Sin City and the Crank-alike, subtley titled Shoot Em' Up. I don't know what the plot is, but I don't care as I already know I'm going to love it, and if those two weren't enough, by the way, it also somehow stars fucking Robert De Niro. Now, obviously by appearing in this, De Niro is once again degrading himself, but fuck it, he's been doing that for about 15 years now - at least this film might actually be fun. Imagine that, a new Jason Statham film comes out and it might even be the best De Niro movie in over a decade and a half. Bollocks to the reviews, I'm pre-ordering that shitty masterpiece straight away.

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