25 June 2012

We Are The Gods Now

Just so you know there's a few little spoilers in this.

The big question about Prometheus since its conception has been whether or not it's an Alien prequel. The way the two films relationship has been repeatedly confirmed and denied it was like listening to a reluctant father trying to dodge child maintenance. They would admit there might be similar strands of DNA but refused to simply confirm it as the original’s offspring. In all honesty, having seen the film, they are kind of right - if Prometheus was conceived via turkey baster then it wasn't just Alien spunk that was shot up there. It seems that somebody's also wanked a mouthfull of Blade Runner, 2001 a space odyssey and also bizarrely Sunshine.

The film starts with the creation of the human race. Now, if the Bible is to be believed, our species was created when God invented Adam and Eve and their children all went mad and fucked each other. However according to Prometheus, we began thanks to the sacrifice of an Alien who drinks some black goo, falls into a lake and explodes out our genetic make-up. The Alien in question is who we geeks have referred to as the Space Jockey since 1979 and who we now see prancing about in the buff. It turns out those elephant-man fossils found in the original were his suit and not actually his head. When out in the nip, he looks less like John Merrick and more like the ivory statue that would have slid out of Liza Minnelli's vagina had Michael Jackson been biologically able to fuck her. Like everybody in the production for Prometheus, I'm going to ignore the similarities between this set up and the theory behind the costly, new-fangled religion of Scientology. However seeing a film that confirms our existence as a result of aliens would probably give John Travolta an erection so big you'd assume he's about to spread open his arse cheeks and ask for a massage. Again. Although to be honest I'd rather do that than sit through the suicidally awful Battlefield Earth again.

Cut to some years later and suddenly evidence of our creators is found by the girl without a dragon tattoo. Noomi Rapace discovers cave paintings from them which show the location of their home planet and what she assumes is an invitation to come visit. I'm no scientist but if I was her, I'd probably learn the alien for, “Stay the fuck away” before I just popped round for a cup of tea and a chin-wag. However being a religious character, she obviously assumes a whole lot of things and so instead of doing the proper risk assessment, follows her gut instinct and sets off for a catch up.

The mission to visit our ‘engineers’ is financed by the Weyland Industries who are flying the crew there on their ship, which is stupidly named Prometheus. Whilst the crew sleeps through the journey they are watched over by David- an android butler played to perfection by Michael Fassbender. David's personality is that of a slightly pissed of David Bowie possessed by Hal 9000 and designed by the Nazis. With his Aryan good-looks and willingness to follow any orders, David is basically Hitler’s one-balled wet-dream and consequentially, the best thing about this film. Knowing Fassbender is an android definitely explains the milky white substance shooting out of him in Shame. For one horrible second I assumed it was jizz but I guess he was just malfunctioning - kind of like how Gary Glitter malfunctioned in Vietnam, when he shagged all those kids, if you remember that.

When they arrive at their destination, it doesn't take long to figure out that things aren't going to end very well. I don't know if it's the moody landscape, the gothic architecture or the aggressive snake monsters that snap peoples arms and bleed acid, but something just isn't right. Nor for now is there any sign of the steroid infected Voldemorts who supposedly invited us to the party in the first place. As the crew explores the area they start to suspect that our Gods are dead and were most likely nasty cunts in the first place. This would be a sign for me to leave right away and reflect on the trip at home by uploading my LV-223 holiday photos to Facebook and laughing about them. Commenting that Millburn deep throated a snake like a ravenous Paris Hilton, or that Holloway died of terminal pink-eye sounds like fun. However curiosity killed the cat and these inquisitive twats just won't take a hint. If I went ‘round to a mates house and all I found was his decapitated head, I'd probably assume it was a bad time and leave. Scientists however, being nerdy and socially maladjusted simply stick the head in a bag and continue rummaging around like a randy Schwarzenegger with the key to his house keeper’s knicker-draw.

Since Prometheus's release the reviews have been average to good with the usual backlash from the internet geeks, however I personally really enjoyed the film and although it might not be the classic that Alien is, it's certainly the third-best film in the franchise. Compared to Alien Resurrection’s blockbuster sensibilities and shitty looking new-born, with its Skeletor face and saggy milk tits, Prometheus drags us back into ‘classy’ territory. Like Alien, this is a slow burning horror thriller with an eye for detail and a weird (but understandable) fear of pregnancy. However like 2001, this has grander ideas which aim to look at the meaning of life and who we are as a race. The original was less interested in these themes and more interested in who’s going to have a giant dick poke out of their chest next. People think that Alien is about the male fear of rape however with John Hurt’s pink helmeted protrusion, I think it's more about involuntary erections and the trouble they can cause.

If there's one thing I don't understand, it's why the ship they travel on is called Prometheus… They're going to meet some Gods and so name themselves after a guy who did the same and ended up having his liver pecked out for eternity. It's the same issue with Icarus in Sunshine! In that film, they are flying to the sun in order to nuke it back to life and so name their ship after some tosser who died flying too close to the sun. Is that not just tempting fate? Surely that's like us naming the Titanic the “Ice Breaker” or inventing a gas powered bathroom and naming it “The Holocaust”. I wouldn't use a type of condom called “The Cum Leaker”, so why would they fly on those ships named after their own failure?

The other issue I had with this film was the appearance of an old Peter Weyland played by Guy Pearce. At no point did he appear in a younger guise so why not just have some old actor play him? According to the IMDb trivia, a sequence was filmed involving the younger Weyland but cut from the final film. I would say that you could just have Guy Pearce play the younger version separately however also according to IMDb, Max Von Sydow was considered for the part first. Now bearing in mind he hasn't changed a fucking wrinkle in the last 40 years, I'd buy him as both the older and younger versions of himself. At least more so than old man Pearce who looks like someone's sculpted a live action statue of Mr Burns out of dried up shit and stuffed it into a speckled condom. I can only assume that this is another one of Guy Pearce's films we're not meant to notice he's in like The Road and Hurt Locker. I can't be sure but by the amount of roles he's secretly played, I can only assume he's running some sort of crafty benefit scam. You might be able to take the boy out of Australia but you can never remove the reinforced criminal attitude out of a boy raised in a prison.

What I did however like was how upfront Weyland Industries were in their sinisterness. Having seen four films in which they prove themselves as trustworthy as Winona Ryder in a clothes store, I guess there was no point hiding it anymore. This ulterior motive is made open by Charlize Theron's ice-bitch Meredith Vickers who considerately flame throws one character to death like an impatient fatty on Summer’s single barbecue day. By doing this, she comes across as a heartless trout for not allowing an infected character back on board the ship, however if you ask me, a person turning black and screaming “kill me” is probably grounds to suspect their illness is more than an iffy tummy or a precursor to the shits and so should be quarantined. What's interesting is that Ripley in Alien does the exact same thing regarding John Hurts character. If only she had the balls to go as far as Vickers did then it wouldn't have been the entire crew that died too.

Speaking of Vickers’ balls, I'm not sure why the medical pod in her private room was set to male only. From the moment she turns up it seems there is more to her than she's letting on but I assumed the secret was something to do with Peter Weyland and not that big slab of cock and bollocks down her pants. Unfortunately, that meaty secret is never revealed however the medical pod is the setting for the films best scene. Noomi Rapace's whimsical abortion was a scene of sheer horror genius. The way the pod’s arm removes a squid out of her stomach like a crappy claw machine was amazing. If the grabber games were that good at our arcades, I'd consider going more often. As it stands, our arcades are depressing places filled with old men losing their saved pennies, eating oranges and dribbling. Although this scene might not quite match the terror of Aliens original, it's still brilliant and shows how our technology has evolved from soapy water and a rusty coat hanger. It's also good to see a woman who thinks pregnancy through logically and refuses to let her decision be decided by girly old emotions. If I could only sleep with girls like that, I'd feel much happier about it all. In fact if any girls would just sleep with me full-stop, I'd probably feel much happier about things in general.

As everybody seems to be pointing out; this film isn't perfect, however even if you hate everything else, it's worth the time simply for David. He's an android whose actions and likeability lie somewhere between Ash and Bishop, however I have no idea what he was doing throughout. I don't know why he was spiking drinks and then refusing abortions like the Chinese bitch in Juno as he seemed to pay no attention to Rapace removing the thing herself. I'm sure though that this is my problem and I just missed a few plot points. People have said he was acting on behalf of Weyland but even he didn't seem to give a shit about her successful visit to the medical pod. If anybody knows what was going on then let me know as £7 is quite expensive to have to see a film again. It's not that I'm tight with my money but seeing people donate money to street-tramps does make me feel sick. And want to vomit down my chest. Onto my own balls. Hate it.

In the end, Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi has, in my opinion, been successful. Sure, this isn't up there with Alien or Blade Runner but really, what is? Compare this to George Lucas's attempts at making a prequel to a 30 year old sci-fi film and suddenly things look a lot brighter. Prometheus has big ideas, impressive set pieces and takes place in a world so visually brilliant that it could only come from the mind of Scott. Sure it doesn't have the same suffocating sense of dread as the original but nor has it introduced an offensive Jamaican stereotype that's meant to provide humour whilst acting like a cunt. Based on this new film, I'm looking forward to watching what will hopefully be a separate franchise, especially because I've no idea how they will do the sequel. Judging by the fact that it could simply star Rapace and Fassbender's decapitated head, I'm hoping it will switch genres like Aliens did and become a romcom. As a couple in love, they'd certainly be more believable than Katherine Heigl was in any film she's ever been in with any man ever, so why the fuck not?

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18 June 2012

The Rape of the Natural World

I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but at our nearest zoo they advertise the time that the Sea-lions are going to get fed. Everybody visiting makes an effort to get there for it as the animals put on a characteristically smug display of jumping out the water to catch the fish that a keeper is throwing for them. In comparison to the other animals, these retarded mermaids really are attention seeking little bastards.

Based on its popularity, the zoo decided to publicise this event for some of the other animals too. At 1:00pm it was time to feed the Cheetahs and so again everybody turned up with their children to watch. However rather than fish, the zoo keeper this time arrived with a wheelbarrow full of chopped up chunks of flesh, very obviously once belonging to rabbits. Unfortunately the cute little bunnies had been cut in half, leaving both their entrails dangling out and the sad, sorrowful eyes still in their heads.

One at a time a rabbit was launched decapitated, cute head first into the cage. The blood splattered everywhere and the Cheetahs leapt into action, ripping the popular family pet into even more shredded pieces. Children began to scream and cry as Flopsy and Cottonball had their necks snapped and ears audibly ripped off. Parents began to panic knowing they'd just scarred their offspring with images of this Easter Bunny holocaust. The zoo itself received several complaints and they cowardly never promoted it again. Take it from me though- it was amazing!

Based on this incident, the thing that I can't help but wonder is: what kind of shitty fucking businessman could ever think that Jurassic Park would succeed? If the public can't cope with one minor buck-toothed genocide, then what chance have they got of enjoying Billy the goat having his arse torn open by a fucking great horny T-rex?

However I suppose these were the least of the concept’s problems, as were well documented in the 1993 film of the same name. The movie begins by introducing us to the main characters who are Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough and Brundlefly. As it turns out, Attenborough has managed to clone some dinosaurs using a method closer to magic than science and everyone is convinced that it makes sense after some words of endorsement from the ‘experts’. He explains the method to Dern and Neil as they dig up some of those fossils, obviously left by God to test us... For those who haven't heard that unpopular theory of theists, the basic conclusion is that The Almighty is a tricksy motherfucker with too much free time. Kind of like an omnipotent Johnny Knoxville.

Having brought the dinosaurs back from the dead, Attenborough decides that the most logical thing he can do is stick these monolithic miracles in a fucking zoo. It's a nice idea but- balls to it, if we're sticking anachronistic tourist attractions behind bars then we should go the whole hog and throw the Queen of England in there too. She might have German in her blood but I doubt she's quite as lethal as a raptor. She looks like she's got a strong bite, but I'll be damned if she can run as fast.

So the gang arrive at the island and are given a brief tour of the attractions before it all goes massively tits up. It seems that the worst thing you can do when running a park is hire a greedy, untrustworthy fat bastard to be in charge of the security systems and then rely on his lardy arse to stick around. In the case of Jurassic Park, a treacherous Porky-pissing-Pig decides to steal some embryos by turning off all of the electric fences and allowing the dinosaurs to escape, running wild. Within minutes a lawyer is dead, Sam Neil is escorting two children through the Cretaceous safari and Brundlefly has burrowed his way to safety under the remains of a destroyed toilet block.

For someone who saw this when it originally came out, Jurassic Park will forever hold a place in my heart. As a child, I was obsessed with dinosaurs and so this quickly became my favourite film. If I was fascinated by the terrible lizards when they were dead- seeing them eat the living fuck out of people was enough to blow my 7 year old brain. Although even as a puny young one, I knew there were several problems with the gnarly beasties depicted on screen.

According to current research which was available during the writing stages of the film, Dilophosaurus probably couldn't spit venom, Velociraptor was no-where near that tall and T-Rex's vision wasn't based on movement. Even if old Granny-Rex was engineered to have the cataracts of a blinded old dodderer, the odds are it'd be able to smell its prey when it gets up close.

It's not just the facts regarding the individual species that are slightly dubious either. For a start, I'm not sure why they're correcting the genetic gaps of the dinosaurs with frog DNA. We've already established that the closest living relative is a bird, so why not use some of that instead? Unless you wanted to make a giant army of killer fucking Kermits, I'd stay clear of anything amphibian related.

Plus it's said that they got the dino-DNA from a mosquito, however those bloodsucking bastards don't just feed off the one creature. Not only would you need to extract the bug’s prehistoric contents but you'd then need to separate everything inside of it to the individual creatures it had drank from. Although, even then the odds of them getting anything at all are pretty slim seems as they're trying to collect the samples from a male mosquito. As any anorak of insects will tell you it's only the female that can drink any blood at all... Silly scientists! I'm assuming most of them lied on their CVs to get the job- at least one of them looks like the work experience boy taking the piss.

This film is technically listed as science-fiction, however there's so little actual science present that I'm currently putting together a law suit in relation to the trades description act. There's about as much science here as there is up a Vietnamese child's sleeve when he's doing some crafty fucking card trick. Though, does anyone really give a solid shit? Even if this is all bollocks, you'd have to be some pedantic prick not to enjoy Jurassic Park simply because it makes practically no biological (and sometimes physical) sense. Even if the makers had tried to claim the creatures had been beamed into their paddocks from fucking Mars I'd have gone with it.

It's often said that Spielberg's films are like a roller-coaster, although none more so than this considering that's exactly what it is. As the ride begins we're taken from one classic scene to the next with each being more thrilling than the last. There's the raptors being fed a cow in a gimp suit, Samuel L. Jackson lending a hand and the ninja T-Rex creeping into the Museum lobby. As set pieces go, Spielberg builds them like a genius showing us the vegi-saurus to start with before having people running for their life from the Stabby-cunt-osaurus. If the first half of the movie is building the tension then the second half is just Jaws with legs and a big pair of bollocks.

Sure the acting isn't the best but Brundlefly is always good fun and it's nice to see Laura Dern in something that doesn't resemble a Lynchian fucking nightmare. The kids are annoying too but as much as gay little Tim tries, he can never outdo his irritating older sister. Despite having no personality it's obvious that by now hacker ‘Lex’ will be a nappy wearing lesbian who refuses to leave her computer until she's levelled up her class 9 Wizard. I hoped a raptor had bit her hands off -it'd probably be the best thing for her, considering.

It's obvious too that the script is hardly Casablanca. But what Casablanca has in quality dialogue, it lacks in any dinosaur related deaths. As much as I like the witty conversations of Rick Blaine, I'd much rather see a T-rex throw a Raptor through a window. Plus you can't accuse the lines here of being unmemorable. “Hold on to your butts”, “Clever Girl” and “Ah, ah, ah you didn't say the magic word” are like religious text in the land of the blockbuster.

As Spielberg movies go, this probably isn't his best. E.T has more heart, Indiana Jones has a better hero and Jaws has ultimately left me with more psychological damage. Thanks to that ocean dwelling prick I can never go back into the sea however I'm strangely not so worried about theme parks. I went to Alton Towers recently and I was more afraid of being mugged by dwarves than I was being eaten by a dinosaur. Just because their stubby little fingers can't reach your pockets doesn't mean they won't still try.

By returning to the summer blockbuster, Spielberg has created here possibly the greatest monster movie ever. Some people might argue that the original King Kong or Godzilla are better, but last time I checked neither of those had a lawyer being eaten mid-shit by a T-Rex. Two depressing decades later and the film’s effects have stood the test of time and seeing a fat man slip down a waterfall is still as exhilarating as ever. This movie is still one of my favourites and if it proves anything, it's that like communism, a theme park full of man eaters is only a good idea in theory. It's a film that justifies its own existence for the simple stupidity of it's main concept and then being so brilliant despite itself. 

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11 June 2012

Holding Out For A Hero

Aron Ralston is not, by my definition, a ‘hero’. I'm sure there are people out there who consider him one, however really- what did he do? He got stuck behind a boulder and then chopped his own arm off to escape... I mean, how exactly does that make you a hero? Of course it shows what we as a species can achieve and could be both massively motivational and inspirational but have you seen Superman Returns? I swear I saw that kryptonian motherfucker throw an island into space with just his bare hands. How can you compare what Ralston did to that? Sure, he probably gets a few extra bonus points for being ‘real’ but so what. I once saw a video on the internet of some knobhead shoving a glass jar up his arse which then cracked and shattered. He then proceeded to pluck the broken shards out of his bleeding shit hole before heading off to hospital with a limp and presumably one of the funniest excuses of all time. To me, that tit with the scarred poo-hoop and Ralston are in the same ball park. They both did something stupid for fun and then had to deal with the gorey consequences. The only difference is that Ralston's Story also makes a bloody good film.

Following his Slumdog Oscar win you would have thought that Danny Boyle would seize the chance to make a film for more than his usual £78 budget. It's therefore interesting to see that what he actually made was 127 Hours. The story couldn't be superficially smaller if it tried. Although it might deal with large issues such as spirituality and survival it is still one actor alone for 90% of the screen time with a big bolder pinning him in place. It's basically Cast Away if you replaced Tom Hanks with James Franco and Wilson with a giant cunting rock.

The film starts with a series of quick cuts pretty much setting up who Ralston is. He's one of those tits that needs to go to the extremes of the world and probably considers himself an ‘adrenaline junkie’. My average days consists of drinking too much caffeine with my adrenalin pumping only when the Rich tea biscuits run out and I have to switch to Chocolate Hobnobs. Ralston however prefers to ride around in the middle of nowhere, go rock climbing, camping and pretending to be Ethan Hunt. I have no problem with people doing all of those adventure sports but surely I'm not alone in thinking that they're complete idiots? On one of his expeditions Ranulph Fiennes got frostbite in his fingers and so chopped them off in his shed with a Black & Decker power-saw. That is literally the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard. Usually when people do shit like that it's whilst under the influence and becomes an argument for why drugs should be illegal. The obvious message is if you ever take mushrooms get yourself a few quid in sponsors. At least if you try to fly out the window you'll die as an inspiration to others. Apparently charity is the excuse that makes idiocy acceptable.

Anywho, so Ralston heads out for his latest adventure which is to take place in Blue John Canyon. Apparently this is an area in America famed for being one of the hiding places of the legendary “Hole In The Wall Gang”. I'm not sure what they're famed for actually doing but judging by their name I'm going to assume it was cottaging. What this opening 20 minutes does is allow us to judge Ralston and get to know him a little bit. He is a tit but like Richard in The Beach he's a likeable tit. Of course it does help that he's played by James Franco who was the second best thing about Spiderman after Toby Maguire's screwed up running/angry jizz-face.

Considering this is what the entire film centres around, when he falls, the incident is almost anticlimactic. Even he doesn't seem to notice what's happened allowing the horror of his imprisonment to slowly sink in. It's kind of like watching Titanic and only showing minor concerns about those pesky leaks until the boat has gone under, DiCaprio has died and worst of all Celine Dion starts singing. The other similarity it shares with that film is that everyone knows how it's going to end. 127 Hours is therefore not about what will happen but will we believe it when it does. For the next 70 minutes we're simply subjected to the trapped Ralston as we witness his emotional journey which ends with him deciding to hack off his own arm. I guess it's sort of like a cross between JackAss and Saw but real. Faced with a choice of removing my arm or watching Titanic again I think that like Ralston, I'd have to accept that my wanking days are over.

The title and promotional material for 127 Hours would have you believe that this is a race against time for survival. However it's not really like that as whilst trapped, Ralston looses track with minutes and hours blending into one. I guess it must be a little bit like playing Age of Empires on the computer in that respect. Back in about 1997 I actually experienced something a little similar to Ralston myself. I was about eight years old and needed a dump. There was however one problem... The shit I was trying to pass was significantly bigger than my child sized arse hole and it really fucking hurt. At first you panic and don't know what to do but eventually you rationalise and deal with the situation. As Ralston begins to use a knife to chip away at the rock, I started to cry and called for my Mum who talked me through it like a fecal-midwife. The irony is that some of the expressions Franco pulls in the amputation scenes are near identical to those that I pulled as my giant turd began to breach.

Before he does hack of his arm, Ralston attempts various ways of removing the boulder. One of the purposes of the film is to apparently show us what we would all do in his situation. I think I know what I'd do though and removing a limb would not be how it ends for me. At one point he throws a rope out of the chasm, ties it around the boulder and tries to hoist it off. As soon as that failed I think I'd just give up, turn the pulley into a noose and asphyxi-wank myself to death. Given a choice I'm naturally a righty but seems as that hand is the one that's trapped well I guess we all have to make sacrifices.

In order to get into his mindset we are treated to various flashbacks, hallucinations and dreams. He also at one point drinks his own piss which is I'm sure something we've all been curious about but never had a proper excuse to do. Rather than having a straight up narration Ralston starts expressing his thoughts by talking to a camera. Effectively he makes a number of video blogs like he's auditioning for some shitty Big Brother reality show. To be fair he doesn't do anything that those cuntestants wouldn't do either. I think the moment people start shoving wine bottles up their fat, clammy vaginas they'll do anything as long as it's being recorded.

By the time he decides that his arm has got to go, Boyle and Franco have done their job. Although I don't think I could do what Ralston did I believe that the depiction of him on screen could. The scene isn't quite as disturbing as the pre-release hype would have you think but it's still pretty full on. The worst part about the scene is the point where he has to cut through a nerve. The last time I hit a nerve like that was when I accidentally called my mate a beaver forgetting he was sensitive about his teeth. The jokes on him though as I think his teeth are fine, I meant he was being a cunt. Eventually Ralston frees himself, takes a photo of his arm and walks off to freedom. I'm not sure why he took a photo but I'm hoping it was for the most fucking up facebook profile picture ever. Nor do I know what happened to his arm after he left. He's famous now so I'm assuming someone will have found it and stuck it on eBay. If he signed it, he could auction it off for charity to a lonely woman or some obese gays whose fingers can't quite reach their own arse hole.

Danny Boyle is one of my favourite directors and this easily shows off his abilities. The editing matches Ralston's mentality, fast and jumpy when he's exploring, slow and disorientating when he's trapped. It's got a cool soundtrack, a knobhead main character and an optimistic ending. It's basically your typical Boyle movie which is fine by me. Like “Perfect Day” in Trainspotting, this also includes an ironic use of the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. My idea of a perfect day is finding a big bag of marijuana, opening a packet of quavers and then wanking myself to sleep. Chopping myself up does not feature in that for me.

For anyone who hasn't seen the film I can't recommend it strongly enough. Since escaping his situation the real Aron Ralston has gone on to make millions of dollars with books and public appearances. If there is a message to this movie then it's one of two things. Either that humans are a remarkable species who can adapt to survive any situation given the right amount of motivation. Or that self-harming to the extreme will make you rich and famous. I'm not recommending you start cutting on your arms to become well-known but if you died you'd probably get your name in the newspaper. If that sounds tempting then go for it- prove Darwin right, motherfucker!

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