30 September 2013

The Trouble With Torture

After the release of Zero Dark Thirty, a huge controversy reared its ugly head in regards to the films graphic depiction of torture. Well, if anybody is qualified to deal with this subject then it'll probably be a politically uninformed movie blogger who spends more time writing about his dick than anything else. So let me begin...

Usually when a film claims to feature a woman hunting for the world’s most wanted man it's about a love starved Kathrine Heigl desperately searching for some buff bloke known only as “The One”. Well that's not exactly what Zero Dark Thirty is about unless I missed something and woman now go gushy over trampy old terrorists. Released in 2012, the film details the long and difficult search for the scabby, global mega-cunt, Bin Laden. In particular we follow Maya, a tough young CIA agent who spends over a decade obsessing over his whereabouts before eventually discovering the exact location of his fortified twat-hovel. The film also goes to great lengths to accurately depict the way in which Bin Laden's complex was raided by American forces in an assault that may or may not result in his death. Spoiler alert- Obviously it fucking did- End of Spoilers.

I'm sure she'll be in a bikini soon...
The film itself was helmed by Kathryn Bigelow who is a director with more balls than a back-alley sex change surgeon’s emergency bucket of bollocks. In the past she's made incredibly entertaining high octane movies such as Near Dark, Hurt Locker and the ridiculously gay, man-love action classic Point Break. Bigelow is also the first ever female to win an Oscar for Best Director which is a great demonstration of just how intelligent she must be. Not because she must have made a great film but because she somehow tricked the misogynistic women hating industry of old sexist bastards into voting for her. That win was for the amazing The Hurt Locker and so it's nice to see her follow up her victory for all the none-men out there with this epic that examines one woman’s success in changing the world. Not only did this film then go on to also win a load of awards but it also took a shit load of cash at the box office too. You'd think that would be enough of a wake-up call for Hollywood to realise that the world is ready for maybe a few more films about women that don't necessarily focus on their gender. Although, a few months afterwards we were treated to a pointless glance at Alive Eve's lovely but dirty pillows in Star Trek: Into Darkness so perhaps not.

I suppose one of the things that would have helped to get the people in to see Zero Dark Thirty would have been the publicity it received from all of the torture controversy that erupted. I guess nothing gets the punters in like some sad twat in an anorak moaning about the glorification of violence. However, this time the sad sack in particular was the American President as it was reported that The West Wings Martin Sheen was appalled by the films moral leanings in depicting the benefits of torture.

To summarise what we see, the film basically shows the CIA torturing the fuck out of some sinister cunt resulting in the acquisition of information that became useful in their search. The methods on display involve stringing the suspects up, stripping them naked and occasionally walking them about with a lead like a dog. So not exactly something entirely pleasurable but nothing that you wouldn't get at your local sex dungeon either I suppose. I think if I was a terrorist being tortured like this by the Americans, I'd just do my best to get an erection and confuse the hell out of them. The two main issues that some people had with the film were that firstly it glorified the use of torture and secondly that torture in reality allegedly never aided the capture of Bin Laden. Well I suppose the easiest way to defend both points is to highlight the simple fact that in Zero Dark Thirty torture doesn't actually do either of this at all.

The film does show a suspect revealing a useful name after being tortured but it turns out to be a name that they'd had all along and just neglected to fully investigate. However there's also a scene in which the same suspect refuses to talk despite the abuse which results in the CIA failing to stop a bomb explosion. So presumably this shows that torture doesn't actually work at all and that the ingenious detective work that the film then goes on to depict is actually the more effective method of acquiring reliable information. In many ways I think the film presents these scenes in an unflinching, unbiased way so that it's kind of allowing you to take from it whatever preconceived opinions you may already have. I suppose I should also clarify that Martin Sheen actually later denied his opposition to this film claiming that he'd actually signed something denouncing it by complete accident. This might sound like a stupid thing for him to have done but considering he's also the man that raised Charlie Sheen I'm guessing it probably won't go down as his life's biggest fucking mistake.

Since then the film has been criticised for several factual inaccuracies but in all honesty anyone getting into a fanny-flap about that can go fuck themselves. Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary but a movie and as such needs to condense over ten years worth of history down into a three hour running time. Obviously they've not just made shit up but things will have been composited or skimmed over or perhaps even cut for the purposes of the narrative. What the film does is give a feel as to what's happened since 2001 and then encourages the audience to have a conversation about it. If you can imagine that the last decade is just some fat bloke chasing after an ice-cream van then this film would be like a cocktail of his sweat in a mug. Drinking the buttery salt-water down would give a flavour as to what's gone on but for the full story you'd really have to do some extra research as well.

You know shit's going down
when the soldiers have four eyes.
So take it for granted that the film was absolutely brilliant in pretty much every single respect. Direction, writing and acting were all so perfect that if this was a meal there'd be no waste for the body to shit out afterwards. One of the great things about the film too was in how it did educate me as to how certain things actually happened. I know I just said that the film doesn't need to be completely accurate but that's not to say it isn't a fuck load of facts in it anyway. For example I didn't know that Bin Laden's complex was known for months by the CIA before they actually attacked it. Nor did I know that when they did attack the first thing that the professionals did was accidentally crash their secretly designed helicopter into his fucking roof. I don't know if that was them attempting to up the threat level by warning the occupants of their presence or simply a small scale revenge attack for 9/11. Either way though it was fascinating to see how Operation Twat-Killer played out in a completely ‘un-Hollywoodised’ way. If you were hoping the final showdown would end with the macho looking grunts walking towards the camera as the building explodes behind them then this probably isn't the film for you... Also I hate you.

I think that in the end though, what I really loved about Zero Dark Thirty was in how it completely avoided descending into triumphalism. There's a bit that I can't stand near the end of Superman 2 in which the Kryptonian do-gooder flies towards The White House whilst carrying the American flag. Now I've nothing against America particularly, but patriotic bullshit like that kind of causes me to violently puke cynicism down my tits. In any other hands, a film about the execution of the world’s most wanted many could easily have become a “three cheers for America” film. However under the direction of Kathryn Bigelow it instead becomes a movie about how shite and grim the world actually is. Yes the big bearded bastard might have eventually had his evil fucking brains blown out but everything is still fucked and a lot of people have died during his life. The controversy surrounding the depiction of torture here is probably unfair but if a film can get us chatting about issues like that then I guess that's no bad thing. Personally I'm against the use of torture because I don't think it exactly gives us the morale high-ground and is probably a pretty effective recruitment tool for more brainless human bombs to be used against us. Also sometimes when I'm really lonely I Google instructions for homemade explosives so that the Government starts watching everything I do and I get a little free company.
 

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23 September 2013

I Don't Like Human Beings

I recently went to the zoo for a friend’s birthday and without a shadow of a doubt my favourite bit was seeing the chimps. Surrounded by children, we all watched as one of the apes balanced on a rope in front of us and then very slowly began to jettison a dollop of shit from its inflated, pink, arsehole. However before his semi-liquid turd hit the deck, he reached around, scooped it out of his slackened hoop and then popped it into his mouth. He then turned around and cheekily showed us his cute monkey smile which was only slightly ruined by the very eye-catching dribble of shite running down his lips. Isn't nature beautiful! On a similar turd-chewing theme, I recently watched The Human Centipede which was hyped a few years ago for its supposedly 'controversial' plot. Now as my monkey story hopefully hinted towards, I enjoy a good poop incident as much as the next person. However that film has got to be one of the worst things that I've seen in a long time and I don't mean because it's gross, I mean because it was just fucking rubbish.

The story in itself is fairly simple to explain... There's a misanthropic, mad scientist living in the woods who decides to stitch three people together by attaching lips to bum holes. You know how sometimes a film can be so bad that it becomes funny? Well, this isn't like that. Even with that plot and factoring in the inevitable shitting scene, the biggest problem with the movie is that it's just so fucking boring. For a start, it hasn't even attempted to be frightening, or if it has then it's failed miserably. Perhaps the problem is that to feel fear you're kind of required to empathise with those being terrorised and yet the main characters here are the most irritating mongtards to have ever walked the Earth. From the moment the two idiot lead girls show up, their voices begin to grate so badly that I was practically giddy when it was time to sew up their fucking mouths. It's therefore down to the mad scientist to hold our attention, but in the way that he torments his victims and despite the bum related operation, he is ironically just an unwatchable pain in the arse. We don't know his motivation and once he's stitched them together he doesn't even do anything interesting with them. In the end, the only thing that's remotely terrifying about him is his obviously freaky face although even that was undermined when I figured out that he looked like a botox-free Cliff Richard.

"We're all going on a Summer holiday!"
So if we take it as a fact that this scary film isn't scary then perhaps the reason for its existence is actually as a kind of gross-out challenge. Humans in general are pretty stupid and I know that there are people out there who like to do things such as 'The Cinnamon Challenge' because they think that puking in front of their friends is funny. I'm not even being snobby about it as I've done it myself, although in my defence, it was a girl’s idea and I was putting a lot of effort into trying to shag her at the time. I figure if dribbling vomit down yourself for a lady isn't enough to get your hump on then I don't know what is. As it turns out, I don't know what is. However, if being gross is the films intention and it’s disgusting plot is just meant to be funny then it fails again by not even showing the damned shit-eating scene in any real detail. I mean, I'm kind of grateful that it didn't because seeing women demeaned and forced to swallow a nutty, chocolate log is a level of sexism that I'm thankfully not quite at yet. However surely that means that the film is now completely pointless? If you want to watch a horror film then there are plenty of others out there that are actually frightening. Or if you want something to gross you out then I'm pretty sure Two Girls One Cup is still floating about on the internet somewhere. Not only is that demented scat-film significantly shorter but it also provides some insight into how little humanity has really come since venturing out of the cave 200,000 years ago.

Here the director expertly expresses fuck all about anything.
Several film reviewers have included The Human Centipede in the sub-genre of 'body horror' which I suppose is justified as the whole face-to-arse thing is done fairly realistically. Sadly though the phrase, 'body horror' and the name David Cronenberg go almost hand in hand and there's not much that can compete with his back catalogue of genius. Cronenberg's films work as excellently as they do because in each case the gore is used as a metaphor for the story’s subtext. For example, on the surface, the crusty Jeff Goldblum of The Fly not only acts as a metaphor for disease but also explores the idea of what it is that makes us who we are. That film proved that it's not only possible to be intelligent but that it can also have a scene in which we see the characters mangy cock has dropped off. In a depressing contrast though, The Human Centipede has fuck all going on below the surface. If you're being really generous then it could be considered that the centipede represents society with the mouth of the Government at the front and the lower class at the back taking all the crap. However that's the thinnest metaphor ever and really isn't explored any further than that basic description. Films like The Fly work by tapping into society’s collective psyche and exploring our darkest fears. If that's the case here then the idea that The Human Centipede is working with is, “Urgh wouldn't it be horrible to get some poo in your mouth!”

So to conclude, it seems that the film isn't gross, funny, scary or intelligent. It pretty much fails on every possible level. There was this one time that I went for a piss in a McDonald's restaurant when somebody noticed that one of the toilets was literally full of diarrhoea. I'm not kidding when I say it was actually up to the very rim. It was then that the dopey sod who'd found the mess decided it'd be a good idea to flush the fucking thing. As water poured in, the obviously blocked toilet overfilled and the shit flooded out. The knob-head who flushed it ended up coated in crap and I stood there helpless and pissing as the lava-like puddle of turd crept rapidly closer. I can only assume that the staff on duty would have earned their exploitatively-low minimum wage that night. However that one moment contained everything that this movie should have had but didn't. It was graphically disgusting, traumatically suspenseful and fucking terrifying. I guess to get across just how bad the film was we could use its own set-up as a little analogy. Imagine three really bad films that are stitched together from mouth to arse. Now feed the first one a lump of crap and then watch as it digests through each of them becoming bigger and more stagnant until eventually being shat out at the back. That final, massive uber-turd floating in an odorous puddle like a tasty clagnut soup is literally about as much shit as The Human Centipede was to watch. Also the title is kind of crap because there's not enough people with enough legs to make up a centipede. If the film did have a sense of humour then they should definitely have called it Kiss My Arse!
 

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16 September 2013

Documenting Unreality


Although The Blair Witch Project made it famous in the mid-nineties, the ‘found footage’ genre can actually be traced even further back to films like the grim, animal chop-em-up Cannibal Holocaust. Presumably it was originally conceived to hide the bugger-all budget and, to be fair, in those early movies it did a pretty good job. The problem with it though is that these days you can't get away from the fucking concept with it having now successfully evolved from an ingenious novelty into an annoying gimmick. I'm presuming that the intent of utilising this form is to add to the sense of realism but having now seen it so many times, I think there are two constant problems which keep ballsing the believability up. The first problem is the obvious- why doesn't the cameraman stop fucking filming? And the second is.. who edited that fucking footage?

Take Cloverfield for example, which is a film I do love but suffers from these problems immensely. There's a scene in that movie in which they are running through a subway whilst being chased by some little monsters that have fallen off a bigger beastie's underside and even then the camera continues to film. I'm sorry, but if I was in a small corridor being chased by Godzilla's angry pubic-lice, I'd be ripping off my own fucking arms just so that I could lose a little weight and run a tiny bit faster. As for the second problem, well... by the end of the film all of the main characters are- spoiler alert- dead. This is the same for so many films in the genre from The Blair Witch Project to Paranormal Activity. With this in mind, I always wonder which sick turd-monger found an extended snuff film and decided to edit a fucking narrative out of it? I mean, it really bothers me. Take the footage of Gaddafi being killed for example which is five minutes long and features nothing but his execution. Now imagine if he'd recorded a video diary whilst on the run which was found, edited into a film and released in cinemas! Not only would you have to question the sanity of whoever thought that would be a good idea but you'd also probably be left with the most morally reprehensible and cynical film since 2003's Love Actually.

Another movie that has recently fallen into this genre is 2012's Chronicle which right from the start managed to do something a little different. Most releases that claim to feature homemade footage tend to either be horror films or stolen porn, however this rather differently opted to be about superheroes instead. Actually, to give the film credit, it's not even about superheroes really, with it spending more time investigating what normal high schoolers would do if given amazing super-human gifts. Personally, I think if any of us developed powers then it wouldn't take long for us to use them for either thieving or perving. However, although Chronicle doesn't quite go down this route, it does spend a good while showing the main characters enjoying a fair bit of mischief before things go wrong and the shit hits the fan.

"Who's got a touch of the mad-cunt about them?"
Just to quickly summarise the set-up for anybody who’s not yet seen it, there are three friends who get blasted by radiation from some big blue rock thing that they find underground. From then on they become telekinetic, meaning that they can move inanimate objects using just their mind. One of the lads however is suffering a slightly turbulent home life with his father being an abusive alcoholic and his mother dying from a disease that leaves her bed ridden and mumbling. Not to ruin what happens but this guy also has a touch of the mad-cunt about him and so probably isn't the best creepy critter to be given magical abilities that allow him to kill. It's also this slightly odd chap who has decided to film every single thing that he does and so by default I guess is the main character. I suppose this movie is a bit like Carrie but for the YouTube generation in which any old twat with a pulse feels the urge to dramatise their own life and share it with the world for likes and hits. If Kick-Ass is a film about heroes without powers then on the flipside, Chronicle is a film about powers without heroes.

So I guess at first we should discuss the films good points of which there are more than plenty. The acting for a start is really very good with each actor managing to convey the various complexities required of them in a completely naturalistic way. As mentioned at the start, the handheld style is often used to make up for a shitty budget and so in past films there's also been a slightly shitty cast to go with it. That's not the case here though, with lead actor Dane Dehaan managing to retain the audiences sympathy (or at least our understanding) even when he starts to slip into the unhinged land of the psychotic vengeful prick. According to the ever reliable IMDb, Chronicle's budget was allegedly around $12,000,000 which is next to nothing in terms of funding a film of this scale. Obviously the average human could lead a happy life of cocaine and whores with that amount of cash but for a superhero film it does seem fairly ambitious. Although some of the flying scenes in the film kind of look a little green-screened, it's not really that obvious and so the film should be proud that it accomplished something of such scale with so little resources. To put things in perspective, you could fund around sixteen films at this cost for the same budget as the diabolically fuck-awful Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. On top of that there'd probably still be enough change left over to have that life of drug filled orgies as well.

As with every found-footage film though, Chronicle once again falls victim to those two issues of ‘why film It?’ And, ‘who edited it?’ In regards to the first point, I can understand why you might want to film yourself if you've just learnt how to fly. There's millions of people uploading footage of themselves shaking their fat arses to music online right now and so I have no issue with some gifted fucker wanting evidence of his ability to defy gravity. However there's a female character walking about without any powers and she never puts her bloody camera down. There's one scene at a rave in fact where she's filming one of the main characters whilst he films her and they have a conversation with each other. In terms of character development, the conversation is completely relevant but in terms of reality, it's just kind of boring. I guess within the context of the story, this chat is important but the characters can't see the bigger picture and so as a small conversation, you'd turn the fucking camera off and save its battery. Also, as somebody who tits about with cameras from time to time I'd really love to know how they got such clear sound from their conversation amongst all of the much louder background music. I think that for those school kids to have such a phenomenal microphone at an affordable price is the moment that this film really makes its roots in sci-fi particularly obvious. Oh and yes I can hear the 'Pedantic Arsehole Alarm', going off here too...

"So who do you think will be fucked to edit our film?"
As for the second question of who edited the footage- well, in this case I really haven't got a fucking clue. Near the end of the film there is a huge fight across the city which, although visually brilliant, in reality would be a massive bitch of a sequence to put together. This is a task made harder by the fact that at this point the main characters camera has buggered off and so all the footage we see is seamlessly pieced together from images captured on CCTV, news reports and the public’s various mobile phones. So if we're to watch this film under the belief that it is found footage then we're also to believe that some randomer did a region wide collection of video material. In fact there's a shot at the very end in a random place, in a random country that proves that their collection was not only very thorough but that their obsession and interest was probably kind of unhealthy. The kind of person with the patience to collect all that footage would probably also be the kind to have newspaper cuttings of a celebrity on his damp walls that have their eyes scratched out and are coated in semen.

The thing is though that the film really doesn't need the found-footage stuff at all. Like I said, in that final battle the images are coming from so many various cameras that the purpose for it being handheld becomes seriously unclear. Instead of just being able to appreciate the nice looking shots, you end up wondering how they got it and where it was from. Early on too, the film gets around the issue of never having the cameraman on screen by having the camera follow the main character via his telekinesis. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the inventiveness of that but it still makes the concept of them filming it themselves seem fairly redundant. Two films that get around this problem are both District 9 and Monsters and perhaps Chronicle should have looked to them for inspiration. District 9 claimed to be found footage until the action started at which point it just fucked off that idea and filmed everything as normal. Monsters was a low budget film that had a handheld feel but still managed to look beautiful and avoided the problems of each shot demanding the scrutiny of its logistics. Look, I know I'm coming across like a proper nitpicking bastard but these things bother me. I dunno... maybe I have low-level autism or something. It's just that for me, the found footage style makes the claim of increasing the realism that with film you take for granted anyway and in doing so ironically raises more questions about its believability.

That aside though, I did love the film- a lot.. not only does it feature interesting characters but it slightly subverts the superhero genre by having it follow someone who really isn't a hero at all. The film itself was directed by Josh Trank whose next movie will be the re-booted Fantastic Four which, based on this, I'm genuinely excited to see. It's also interesting to note that every director who has made a successful deconstruction of the superhero genre has gone on to do something official for Marvel as their very next project. So that's Trank, Matthew Vaughn, James Gunn and Jeff Wadlow I guess. I have nowhere to go with that point, it's just something that I'd noticed and I'm at a point where I could do with any readers letting me know if it is in fact autism or perhaps OCD that I'm suffering from. Max Landis is also worthy of praise in regards to Chronicle considering he wrote the script that it's based on. If his surname sounds familiar then that's because he is the son of legendary film director John Landis. Hollywood is a hard place to break into and so I can't help but wonder who young Landis had to suck off to get in…

Anyway so the film is very good- it's just such a shame that in my humble opinion, the gimmick of found footage is a fundamentally flawed one. Having said that, Chronicle is a well written, well directed, well acted mixture of Carrie, Grizzly Man and Akira. Even if the found-footage thing is a distracting pain in the arse, you're still left with a pretty good ninety minutes of inventive, cult shit to enjoy so really, I shouldn't complain.

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9 September 2013

Space Is No Place For Women Or Gays!


If I were you, I would seriously see the film Riddick as soon as you can. Not because I thought it was very good but because the special effects will be dated to shit by the end of next week. This is the third film in the franchise with each instalment following the on-going adventures of a supposedly psychotic potato that can see in the dark. However after the previous film in which the title character was wrapped up in some big, shitty, fantasy bollocks, this new release has scaled things back to the simplicity of the original Pitch Black. Vin Diesel's big bald vegetable of the night is stranded on a desert-planet and wants to get off before too much sunlight leaves him either dead or nicely baked. That's pretty much the whole plot really with the rest of the running time being padded out by some bad effects, a voice-over that states the obvious and a refreshingly blatant theme of sexism. 

Riddick wasn't a bad film particularly, it's just that it seemed a bit lacking in the brain department. As I mentioned, the first third is pretty much just him alone in the desert and titting about with some crappy looking dog that he's found. The problem with this bit though is that as an actor, Vin Diesel is about as charismatic as a lightly-cooked turd on a stick and I say that as a huge fan of Fast 5 and Furious 6. I loved those films because of how fucking ridiculous they were and how obliviously serious he seems to take them. Here however, there's no stunt too dumb to laugh at and if we're to compare the two franchises then Riddick seriously suffers from its lack of The Rock... although so do most films to be fair. Watching Vin pissing about on a lonely planet for a while is made worse by how contrived the appearance of the mongo-looking dog actually is. Not only does the creature look like it was created by a blind animator with stumps for hands but it's blatantly only there to provide Riddick with some motivation later on. Not only that but the dog also obviously exists so that he has something to react to during these scenes when surely the logical thing to do is to just fucking eat the thing. I know that everything in a film tends to be there to progress the story of the main character but usually it's done organically and in a way that feels at least a little more subtle than a bite to the cock. 

"This ain't nothing knew".
To its credit, the second two thirds of Riddick do deliver on Diesel’s promise of returning to the franchises stripped-back roots however it kind of cheats by just remaking Pitch-fucking-Black. So basically what you get is him running about trying to convince people to trust him whilst fighting a bunch of demonic, space-cunts in the dark. It might seem that the obvious issue is that retelling that story is kind of lazy however the real problem is actually the few things that they've decided to add to it. This time Riddick is fighting against the monsters with a gang of bounty hunters who, with the exception of one woman, are all male. None of the guys here have an inch of depth to them with each actor playing a character that has about as much memorability as a background shadow in a shit level of Gears of War. Pretty much every line of dialogue that's spoken is clearly just copy and pasted from the 'Twats Guide to Speaking Grunt' and that's when it's at its best. Diesel spends most of his time silent which is probably a good decision if his voice-over is anything to go by which is itself about as insightful as listening to a teenaged simpleton play 'no shit Sherlock' on his own.

When Diesel does open his mouth however he randomly turns out to be a little bit rapey by aggressively threatening to shag a lesbian in a fairly graphic way. This next bit probably counts as a spoiler alert but really, that's only because it kind of spoils the film. As mentioned there is only one main female here and interestingly she claims not to be into guys. Usually this would be an opportunity to add depth to a character or at least explore issues of sexuality and independence in a dystopian future. Instead however the makers decide to go down a more homophobic path of simply making her a prize to show how amazing Riddick actually is. By the end of the film not only has his manliness managed to bag him a girl that would be unobtainable to the rest of us but it's also implied that he's about to succeed in fucking the gay out of her as well. What a guy! Personally I'm not a lesbian but it does seem pretty offensive to treat homosexuality as a condition that can be cured with just the smallest of pricks.

There is of course an alternative possibility that the character is not really a lesbian and has just claimed it to help stall any advances from her fellow horny crew members. Although to be honest this would be crediting the franchise with more intelligence than it has so far displayed in all of the three films. If this ruse is true then it might go towards excusing the film from being homophobic but it's still a sexist bag of wank. I think there are five female characters in total with one being the probable lesbian who falls for the rapey Riddick and at least three more being naked orgy members near the beginning. Obviously I'm not against sex scenes in films but these three women literally only seem to show up to be objectified by treating us to a cheeky bit of nipple and flashing their neatly combed lady vadge's. The final woman is a prisoner of the bad guys who is raped and killed within the space of about two minutes and again simply to provide Riddick with some anger related motivation. This is made worse by the fact that she and his dog exist for the same reason but with the shitty looking pixel-pooch getting a significantly more memorable character arc. So according to this film the ranking of importance is men at the top with space-dogs next and then finally women at the bottom. If you see this film at the cinema and there's a loud buzzing sound then please don't worry. It doesn't mean that the speakers have broken it's just that the corpse of Emily Davison is somewhere spinning in its grave at about four thousand rpm.

It's a shame about all this too because before it crossed into this bizarre world of misogyny I was kind of enjoying it. I mean yes, it's just a retread of Pitch Black and dragged out for about thirty minutes longer, but it was okay I guess. There's some fun action in it and enjoyably gloopy gore so I certainly wasn't too bored anyway. If I were to guess, I would say that the main problem is that the whole thing just feels like it's been made by a teenage boy whose in-between playing Xbox and tossing off for the fourteenth time that hour. I think the design of Riddick himself is kind of evidence of this as he's basically just some boring as fuck, bald cunt with a green vest and some snazzy, swimming goggles. You can imagine a kid in school drawing something as dumb as that and being as proud as tits with his moronic creation. This apparently infantile outlook might also explain the complete lack of understanding on gender equality and the very clich├ęd characters and action. You know those annoying moments that pop up in all shit action films from time to time? Well, expect them all here but only as a bit of light relief from all the lady-bashing.

Nice tits...
Shame about the existence of equal rights! 
So yeah, to kind of conclude, this was a half decent-ish movie that was completely killed by being at best sexist and at worst homophobic. Riddick tried to be First Blood meets Aliens but ended up being Commando crossed with Alien: Resurrection and only if it was written by Jim Davidson. I suppose you've got to admire Vin Diesel’s love of the character but at the same time I haven't got a fucking clue as to what he sees in him. If we're being generous then Riddick is just a shaven Snake Plissken if he over-dosed on steroids and suffered from a bad case of brain damage. However if you like the idea of a genuinely scary R-Rated movie then I suppose I can't recommend Riddick strongly enough. It's just such a shame that all of the horror comes from its completely chauvinistic depiction of women in a 2013 film that has no excuse not to know better. I guess Diesel is just lucky that the only people who would think this movie is an acceptable thing to make are those who are clearly so stupid that they really can't be held responsible for their own confused thoughts. Plus his next film will be the inevitably amazing Fast and Furious 7 so even if he has just insulted half of the human race, I won't be able to stay too mad for too long… which is lucky because with something as truly offensive as this movie, there really aren't enough horses for Diesel to throw himself under in apology anyway. The shitty special effects might be out of date by the end of next week but I'm pretty sure that its gender politics have been stale since at least 1928.

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2 September 2013

Hobocop


Do you ever have one of those bruises that hurts to touch and yet you can't help but poke it anyway? Well, because I'm asking, I obviously do however I also kind of extend that destructive mentality into other aspects of my life. For example; I hate Piers Morgan with an absolute passion and yet I follow him on twitter. It's not that I want to contact him but instead, I get a small amount of pleasure from being pissed off with whatever shit the puffy, faced, gooch-wart has just tweeted. It's the same again for this fat cunt I know at my work who thinks he's my boss but really isn't. I won't say his name for fear of him getting me fired again so let’s just say that he's a work-shy hypocrite, with zero people skills and a weird vendetta against me. Oh, and his names Mike. Anyway anytime me and him have gotten into a dispute, the first thing I do afterwards is tell my friends about it when I get home. Whenever I'm reciting the twattish ways in which the thick, man-boobed bastard has spoken to me, I start to get genuinely wound up to the point where I know I'm going to start bleeding from my ears soon. Despite being filled with a seriously murderous rage though I still enjoy telling it. Maybe being able to recite the stories by passionately overusing the word  ‘fucktard’ is therapeutic or maybe I'm just a sucker for psychological self-harm.

Primary Objective: Get 10p for a cup of tea.
Either way, I only mention all of this because Elysium is the cinematic equivalent of the enjoyable bruise-poke. The film is set in the year 2154 when, surprise surprise- we've fucked the planet. Earth has become a shit pot of disease and pollution with the whole world now being almost as ugly and rat infested as the Welsh town of Rhyl. Still, if further proof was needed for the idea that shit floats, the grossly rich people are all fine and dandy having buggered off to a giant silver arse-hole in the sky. Orbiting Earth is a huge sphincter-shaped satellite called Elysium where all of the upper-classes with more money than backbone live luxuriously in a protected paradise. Whereas the working classes exist in squalor and degradation, the wealthy sky twats don't need to worry about a single thing. Matt Damon plays a poor, mistreated man with severe radiation poisoning and a massive bald head. Because he's only got a few days left to live, he decides to try and break into Elysium so that he can use their miracle, medical pods that cure humans of pretty much any illness. To do this he is strapped with a giant robot frame that allows him to punch the shit out of anything in his way and which also kind of makes him look like a tramp’s attempt at remaking Robocop... So I guess we could call him Hobocop? Blog title found! To complicate things even more, Elysium is currently experiencing a coup and because of some spoilerific shiz, Matt Damon is at the centre of it. With Damon battling against shadowy organisations, humans living in space and robots in charge of a fucked up Earth, Elysium is kind of a cross between The Bourne Ultimatum and Wall-E.

The reason I say that the film is like an enjoyable bruise-poke is because it's clearly designed to annoy the viewer. The rich are depicted as being either greedy and sociopathic or simply oblivious and shallow. If you wanted to draw a picture that would best demonstrate the main metaphor of the film then I guess you could draw Donald Trump and Paris Hilton as giants, just shitting all over the public. On Earth, Damon is simply trying to get by and yet anybody with any authority over him treats him like crap for no reason other than that they can. Maybe it was just me but seeing him get so badly mistreated was really about as annoying as getting a spicy thorn jammed into the end of your cock. However, like the arguments with my non-boss, the pleasure of seeing Damon abused is in the knowledge that soon he'll have the release of venting his anger. Whereas all I can do is wish cancer on the hateful fucktard at work, Damon simply goes apeshit, starts ripping off robots heads and exploding people’s faces. There's no denying that after seeing him get his arm broken by the police, watching Damon later going mental with a fuck off laser gun was quite satisfying.

As an action film, this is definitely light years ahead of some of the turgid dross that is shat into cinemas on a regular basis, however as a sci-fi it has one interesting issue. Generally films are criticised because they have very little to say other than, “give us your fucking money”. Despite the backlash, I remain a fan of Star Trek: Into Darkness but I'll still admit that the only original message that it really had was, “aren't Alice Eve's tits nice”. However the problem with Elysium is that perhaps it has too much going on to the point where nothing gets explored quite enough. As well as commenting on the huge divide in wealth it also touches on immigration, the recession, healthcare and totalitarianism. Any one of these things could have provided the focus of the film but instead they're all just background details to help build up the feeling of crappiness for life in the future. I mean, I would rather have a film with too many ideas than one with too few but I guess, ‘too much’ of anything is kind of a problem. Don't forget that on top of this there's also all the cool sci-fi shit to get into as well! The point is that a lot of ideas are great but it's a shame when their quantity is at the expense of really investigating any one of them completely. Imagine it like a locked-up brothel in Amsterdam in which several unobtainable but proper gorgeous whores are standing in the window trying to entice you in. It's not that you don't appreciate them being there but what you really want is the door unlocked so you can get wrist deep into just one of them. If anybody has a less offensively misogynistic metaphor than that then please feel free to send it in on a postcard.

Elysium is the second feature film to be directed by Neill Blomkamp with District 9 being the first. Although the odds are that I didn't need to tell you that, considering the two films share so much with each other. Elysium could really just be District 9's clone having had a shot of steroids stabbed straight into its nut-sack. Both movies can be seen as a metaphor for the apartheid however in the first film it was about sticking the “fooken prowns” in camps whereas this time it's about holding the povvy-poor on shitty Earth. Either way though, it's the same basic idea. The other link that the two films have is that they both feature an amazing performance from the apparently chameleonic Sharlto Copley. Fans of District 9 will remember Copley as the Ned Flanders looking Wikkus whose life goes tits-up when he carelessly shoots himself in the face with a shitty black can of alien jism. Here however he is literally unrecognisable as a psychotic, trampy mercenary with a huge sword and a massive pubey beard. I'm not exaggerating either when I say he was unrecognisable as two of my friends apparently didn't realise it was him at all. This is despite us having watched District 9 the night before and him having a voice more recognisable than the sound of a following-through shart on the bus.

Ah cud do weith sum fook'n 'elp with me brain pleeeese.
Although Copley does steal the film, in my opinion, that's not to say the rest of the cast aren't also equally brilliant. Jodie Foster does her icy bitch thing incredibly well again and this time even manages to treat us to a fun game of 'guess her accent'. Damon is also impressive and remains likeable even when his character turns out to be a full-on fucking creepy freak. Minor spoiler alert coming up now... So as a kid he falls in love with some girl and writes her a love note on himself. Several decades later after the two have well and truly lost contact they reconnect and it turns out he has that childhood message tattooed onto his fucking body. Not only that, but this is played off like a meaningful romantic moment! Err- what?! Let’s just imagine that for one second. So you find someone that you've not spoken to in tens of years and then discover that they've got fucking love notes to you etched permanently into their flesh. That's really not a sign of somebody in love is it? That's the sign of a fucking serial killer. The kind of person who cries himself to sleep whilst wearing his dead mum’s knickers and who’s probably given his favourite butchers knife a lovely ladies name. Still like I said, Damon's acting skill allows you to brush over this development and continue to treat the character as though he isn't an unhinged, murderous pervert. I know that he's wearing that robot suit for practical reasons but based on this revelation I'm surprised he didn't at least enquire about adding a couple of titty clamps too. End of minor spoiler!

So to conclude... Elysium is a great action movie and it's nice to see a film with so many ideas. It's just a small shame that those great ideas are so frequent and fast that it's like listening to an over-excited autistic kid recite an encyclopedia whilst on crack. This might not have been as amazing as District 9 but it was still very good and a great little distraction until Blomkamp's next presumably-brainy movie comes out. Also, who'd have thought that Matt Damon would make such a good Lex Luthor? If the constant rumours of Mark Strong and Bryan Cranston playing the part are anything to go by, the only criteria is apparently to have a massive bald head and Damon does that expertly here. Elysium might not quite be as good as District 9 but that's only because it ambitiously tries to do more and has significantly less scenes of Copley shrieking out “Fook yooo”… however, if you like the idea of mixing various politics themes with guns that turn people into a bastard-puddle of blood and shit then this is certainly the film for you. 

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