Category Archives: Meh

Cruel Intentions (1999)

Cruel Intentions

Genre: Drama

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon

Synopsis: Two wealthy, spoilt, and morally corrupt teenagers enter into a wager in which Ryan Phillippe will seduce the headmaster’s virginal daughter. Things don’t go to plan, however, when he finds himself falling for her girl-next-door charm.

Sometimes I wonder why it is that I am such a ho bag. Seriously, I’ve lost count of all the individuals I have had trysts with…and I’m not including that homeless guy that grabbed my ass one time. I suppose it’s part of that nature vs. nurture debate and, if I were to pick a side, I would say that it was more of a nurture thing. Why do I say that? Well maybe it’s because, at the age of 10, I idolised Buffy the vampire slayer. I didn’t want to be with her; I wanted to BE her. I wanted to be Buffy so badly that I watched everything Sarah Michelle Gellar was in so I could learn her secrets. Eventually I found myself watching Cruel Intentions. With this in mind, is it really surprising that I turned out the way I did?

Let me explain, Cruel Intentions is all about Sarah Michelle Gellar getting in touch with her bad self. Up until this film, she had only played do-gooders and likeable characters. In Cruel Intentions, she lets out her inner bitch-whore from hell and has a bloody good time doing it. She makes being a slut look like fun. How slutty does she get? Well…she propositions her step brother with something no red-blooded male can refuse.

 Butt Secks

Yes, that’s right. She offers her brother anal sex. They’re not related by blood, you understand, but it’s still pretty scandalous. I don’t remember Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons offering John Malkovich entry to her back passage…although they may have had a different word for it in 18th century France. So much of enjoyment can be had watching Gellar play the villain and it is obvious she really relished the opportunity to do it. She even looks as though she had fun making out in the park with Selma Blair.

It pains me to say, however, that aside from Gellar the film really doesn’t really offer much else in the way of brilliance. Despite having an impressive cast, none of them match Gellar’s ruthless charm (except maybe Christine Baranski who is brilliant in everything she is in purely because she is Christine Baranski). This is perhaps one of Witherspoon’s weakest roles and Phillippe doesn’t get naked nearly as much as he should. Moreover, the plot plods along at a rather slow pace and not enough is done at the outset of the movie to inspire empathy for Phillippe’s character. When the climax finally happened, I was rather underwhelmed. Having said that, the film does have a banging soundtrack and features instant 90s classics such as Every You Every Me, Coffee & TV, and Bitter Sweet Symphony.

All jokes about me being a ho aside, the film does offer one useful piece of advice to teenagers and young adults: it’s alright to get your baps out in private but for the love of God don’t take photos. Tara Reid learns the hard way in this movie….which is kind of ironic if you think about it….or maybe it’s just appropriate…

Tara Reid BoobsI’ll let you be the judge

High-lights:

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar inspiring me to be a cunt and a slag. Although, I do draw the line at cocaine and incest.
  • Brilliant soundtrack.
  • IT’S SO 90s!!!!! So much nostalgia.
  • Score one for the lesbians.

Downers:

  • Boring and two-dimensional characters.
  • Wealthy teenagers piss me off.
  • Disappointing climax.

Summary:

Cruel Intentions is not the sort of film that will inspire admiration and it’s not the sort of film that will make anyone’s top 10 list. It’s clunky in places and, at times, improperly thought out and executed. However, I would advise you to watch this film purely for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Although she’s no Meryl Streep, Gellar has her own strengths and her own charm which are deployed in full force here and it’s always fun to watch a movie that has a brilliant villain.

5.5/10

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Kiss the Girls (1997)

Kiss the Girls

Genre: Thriller

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes

Synopsis: After his niece is kidnapped, maverick copper Alex Cross must find the culprit and bring him to justice.

Only one week to go before my favourite holiday arrives. Long-time subscribers will know what that means. Yes! It’s time for my official Halloween count-down posts. With one week to go before the big day I thought I would start you off with something light. Although Kiss the Girls is not technically a horror film, I feel as though it should be classed as ‘horror-light’ as the premise is fucking terrifying. For those of you who are unaware, Kiss the Girls is about a cop who forced to hunt down a psychopathic collector of women.

Flavor of love…but not this one

I like to think that I’m a hard-man when it comes to horror movies. I can watch all kinds of subgenres and be relatively unaffected. The ones that do affect me though are the twisted thrillers about serial killers. You want to know why? It’s because that shit could happen. A ghost isn’t suddenly going to pop out in front of me and I’m not going to be possessed by the devil. A randomer might bundle me into his car though and keep me prisoner in his basement though. People are sick. Because of this, you would think that Kiss the Girls would terrify the shit out of me, but it doesn’t.

The problem with Kiss the Girls is that it tries too hard to be something it’s not. Specifically, it tries to be Silence of the Lambs, which is a genuinely terrifying film and has a genuinely creepy villain. Buffalo Bill was a rube who kidnaps women and keeps them in a well in his basement before killing them and skinning them. There was something real and graceless and ruthless about him. He could have been your neighbour. The villain in Kiss the Girls is too organised. He keeps his women in a series of elaborate and stylised underground tunnels in the woods. He also carries enough tranquilisers to take down a rogue elephant. Nobody has access to either of those things in real life without appearing on an FBI database.

In addition, Silence of the Lambs had characters you cared about. You admired Clarice Starling because she was the underdog. You don’t admire Alex Cross much because he’s too perfect and Ashley Judd’s character is Little Miss Apple Fucking Pie. I mean, who has time to be a surgical intern, kickbox, and get home in time to cook a balanced and nutritious dinner? I hate people like that.

Can we also briefly talk about how much this film is a slightly more (or less) fucked up version of Flavor of Love? Think about it. The men in this film and in that TV show amass a harem of women for their own sick pleasure. The only difference is that in Kiss the Girls the villain collects talented women whereas in Flavor of Love Flavor Flav collects women with a history of violence and psychological problems…the kind of women who shit on the floor or spit on each other. Case in point, 25 seconds in:

High-lights:

  • The mask the villain wears in this is kind of scary and the kidnapping scene is scary as hell.
  • The lols when Morgan Freeman pulls out his gun on an elderly couple. If that conservative looking white lady wasn’t already a racist then she sure as hell is now.
  • It held my interest.

Downers:

  • A disappointing Silence of the Lambs knock-off.
  • I don’t think firing a gun through a milk carton would do anything to stop the room from exploding because you fired the mother-fucker in a room full of gas!

Summary:

Kiss the Girls is the sort of film that should be watched when you simply need something to watch. It’s not as well-crafted as other thrillers and it’s not going to rock your world. It definitely won’t make your top 10 list, but there will be enough to hold your attention.

5.5/10

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Passion (2012)

Passion

Genre: Erotic Thriller

Cast: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace

Synopsis: An assistant is in a love-hate relationship with her advertising executive boss, who proceeds to humiliate her and then make out with her. Throw a murder in the mix and it all gets out of hand.

To be a successful erotic thriller, a film has to do two things. The first is titillate. A thriller cannot be called erotic if it doesn’t cause a certain amount of tightness in the trouser-crotch area. The second is thrill. The plot needs to grab the audience by the balls and not let go. It needs to keep viewers entertained and keep them guessing. Sounds simple enough, right? So why is it that Brian De Palma’s film Passion fails to titillate and thrill? Well, for the titillation part, perhaps it’s because it is a German film and we all know nothing sexy ever came out of Germany.

lederhosenI rest my case

OK, that’s not true. Watching the German football team play in the World Cup has convinced me that the country is full of stud-muffins but that doesn’t change the fact that this film is not sexy. It recycles a lot of the traditional erotic thriller fair such as lesbianism and aggressive vadge-banging so good the couple clearly forgot to use protection. However, at no point did any of this get me hot under the collar. I am tempted to say that the film’s central problem in the boner-inducing department is that the eroticism feels forced: it’s De Palma telling you what should be sexy by relying on conventional and well-worn formulas. Passion takes no risks with eroticism. I think back to Drive and I remember that scene in the elevator when Gosling kisses that lucky bitch and then pummels the shit out of the guy. That was hot…probably because it shouldn’t be. Erotic thrillers are successful when they push boundaries. McAdams and Rapace making out in the back of a limo pushes no boundaries.

So, the film is not erotic. Is it thrilling? Well, not really. The film is basically about women being mean to one another at work. If I wanted to see that I would just show up to my regular job and spread some shade amongst my female colleagues e.g. “so-and-so called you a bitch,” “what’s-her-face slept with your boyfriend,” “that chick over there said you smell like bad-decisions and week-old happy meals.” I could go on. Point is, there’s nothing terribly exciting about people hating their colleagues. That’s just everyday life. By the time the murder actually happens in this movie you’ve stopped caring and you’re just shouting at Noomi Rapace to fucking quit her job. Seriously, why is she still there!?

That’s not to say that Passion is a complete waste of time. It does have hints of glory. For instance, the scene where Noomi Rapace has a panic attack in a lift was very good but then it gets a little OTT when she crashes her car. Also, the random scenes in German were very good and displayed a lot of the actors’ talents when playing roles in their native language. The best scene, however, is when the two main characters go to a private runway show and some model stacks it. If life has taught me one thing, it’s that there is nothing funnier than watching good-looking people hit the floor like a sack of shit.

Model falling downSee what I mean?

High-lights:

  • I seriously laughed for a good five minutes when the model fell over. It’s even funnier when you realise there is a camp German guys shouting abuse at her.
  • The film kind of makes you realise that your job isn’t so terrible.
  • Screaming at the screen: “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL IN THIS JOB!!??”

Downers:

  • Eurotrash houses…makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
  • Idiotic characters. “Isobel, are you alright?” OF COURSE SHE’S NOT FUCKING ALRIGHT!!!! She’s popping prescription pills like they’re pez!
  • Rachel McAdams really can’t handle the scene where she describes her twin’s death. It’s so stale.

Summary:

After a stint of watching erotic thrillers, I think it’s time to put a pin in it but it’s a shame I didn’t end my marathon on a high-note. I mean, was certainly high but that’s not the same thing. Passion is a very run-of-the-mill thriller that does not excite it audience. Instead of doing anything controversial or interesting, the film simply relies on the old “bisexuals are serial killers” theme. It’s bland and forgettable. I was hoping for more from De Palma.

4/10

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Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron_Legacy_poster

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure

Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: I have no fucking clue…something about being sucked into a computer and then Olivia Wilde shows up and she’s important to the story somehow but I couldn’t figure out why.

Weed can be both a blessing and a curse. There are times when it augments a viewing experience so much that it seems silly to watch movies without smoking a joint. Then there are times when your mind completely clouds over and you might as well watch a brick wall for all the entertainment you get out of it. I had one of those experiences last Saturday when I sat down to watch this movie with a friend. I let him choose the movie which, in retrospect, was a bad thing to do because during Tron: Legacy the phrase “What the fuck is going on?” must have been uttered about 20 times. Seriously, I was so baked. I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror and I looked like this dog:

Stoned dog

I feel like it would be unfair to review this movie in light of my state of mind while watching it. However, I don’t have any alternative movies lined up so you guys will just have to cope somehow.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that there were some very impressive things about this movie. Firstly, the visuals. This is the sort of movie 3D was made for. Part of me wishes that I had seen this in cinemas when it first came out. The neon lights, the crazy arenas and death matches, and Jeff Bridges digitally altered face would have been much spectacular had they been amplified on the big screen. When you’re watching the movie on an i-pad screen it just doesn’t have the same effect.

The second thing I liked about Tron: Legacy was the soundtrack. Make no mistake, this film is essentially “Daft Punk: The Movie.” I think the robot duo even have a cameo in the film. I think the constant robo-techno-techno would probably get on some peoples’ nerves but I enjoyed it and if you’re a fan of their music then you will definitely appreciate their contribution.

I think part of my problem with this film is that I had not seen the original Tron. The storyline probably would have made a lot more sense had I done some background research first. Plus, that way I would have been much less inclined to pick out the flaws of the actors in this movie…namely Oliva Wilde’s asymmetric fringe/bob that I just wanted to attack. Also, I have a hard time accepting Garrett Hedlund as the lead in a family friendly film after I saw him butt-fuck Steve Buscemi. There are some things that you just can’t unsee.

My eyes

High-lights:

  • Toe-tapping, shape-throwingly good soundtrack.
  • Great graphics.

Downers:

  • I have no idea what this movie was about or what happened in it. I seriously can’t even remember the characters’ names.

Summary:

This film was a bit of a write-off thanks to the fact I was baked off my tits. I feel like I should come back to this one after seeing the original though as this film clearly had its strengths. Maybe if I come back to it I’ll be able to grasp the plot the second time around.

5/10

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The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

Ghost and the darkness

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Cast: Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas, Tom Wilkinson

Synopsis: Based on a true story, this film follows two men as they try to hunt down a couple of serial killer lions that are stalling the building of a railway in colonial Africa.

The Tsavo man-eaters were two lions that killed a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway in 1898. Some say that these two lions killed as many as 135 people. If there is one thing I love, it’s a man vs. nature motif so last week I decided to take the plunge and watch this throwback from the 90s. I had my doubts, mainly because the film stars Val Kilmer and I am still recuperating from his performance in The Island of Dr Moreau. Although there were enjoyable parts in this movie, I found it to be rather mediocre and forgettable. However, this movie taught me two things: 1) Africa is fucked up; and 2) colonialism was awful but kind of brilliant at the same time.

We all know that present-day Africa is no utopia. Many countries in Africa deal with war, poverty, and corruption on a daily basis. However, we sometimes forget that Africa is really the prequel to Australia…namely, it is a land of horror where every plant, animal, and mineral makes it its personal mission to kill you and everyone you love. I’m talking snakes, sharks, spiders, scorpions, hippos, crocodiles, and even sign-language-capable gorillas. Seriously, lions are fucking thugs! This movie provides a public service by reminding us that you have to have mental problems to want to go to the African continent.

Shakira AfricaOr a million dollar record deal! Waka Waka!

Now, for the point on colonialism. I fully accept that, after Piers Morgan, colonialism is the most evil thing to come out of the Britain. Claiming land willy-nilly and subjecting locals to back-breaking labour is never a good thing. However, colonialism was also responsible for a lot of good things, predominantly epic adventure stories. Without colonialism, we wouldn’t have legends like the Tsavo man-eaters. Hell, we wouldn’t even have Jumanji. I think people are naturally fascinated by stories with man versus beast narratives and The Ghost and the Darkness certainly has one of the more interesting ones because it’s grounded in reality. Also, there are some wonderful colonial quotes in this film such as: “We’re saving Africa from the Africans,” and “God invented liquor so the Irish couldn’t rule.” See, colonialism can’t be that bad if it gives us that many lols!

I’ll certainly admit, this film does have some brilliant man versus lion action. There’s even a scene where Emily Mortimer gets her face eaten by a lion. However, these are the only memorable parts of the film. There was a lot of talking in between these scenes and, to be honest, I can’t remember much of what was said. There are three possible reasons for that: 1) the film was dull; 2) I was so baked that I forgot that I understood English; and 3) I couldn’t decipher Val Kilmer’s accent. My brother tells me that accent was Irish. I thought it was Dutch or Belgian. I’m guessing that my amnesia was probably a mix of numbers two and three.

However, I do remember the last line of the film! That the lions are now stuffed and on display in the Field Museum in Chicago and that if you look them in the eye you will be terrified…

Lion…or not

High-lights:

  • Tense scenes with lions! It’s kind of like watching the raptor scene in Jurassic Park…but with lions.
  • Terrible but awesome jokes about the Irish.
  • The film won an Oscar for sound editing…so I guess it has that going for it.

Downers:

  • Jesus Christ Val Kilmer.
  • Completely forgettable.

Summary:

I kind of wish I had been more with it when I watched this film. I love films like The Ghost and the Darkness but for some reason I just could not connect with it. I don’t think it was a bad film by any means. As such, I think I’ll have to give it another go in the future. Maybe my opinion of it will change.

5/10

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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Eyes Wide Shut

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Cast: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Synopsis: After smoking some real heavy pot, Nicole Kidman tells her husband that she had fantasies about another guy. He then goes to a sex club and a hooker winds up dead. Standard Friday night really.

This was Stanley Kubrick’s final film and, as far as things go, it’s an unusual addition to an otherwise diverse and powerful filmography. It’s not that this film is bad because it’s not. It’s well acted and the plot is interesting enough. The problem with Eyes Wide Shut is that it is fucking weird, and I don’t mean in a floating foetus 2001 kind of way. I mean in a creepy Venetian mask orgy kind of way.

Venetian Mask“I’ll suck your dick for a dollar!”

The film follows the lives of Dr Bill Harford and his wife, played by then real-life couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. They live the lives of typical rich people in New York: they have a lot of money but poor taste. Their apartment looks like Pottery Barn ejaculated all up inside it. Anyway, one night they go to a party and Nicole gets hit on by a creepy Hungarian guy and Tom helps some strung out hooker in the bedroom. A few days later, Nicole smokes a fat joint (like a really fat one…seriously, even I wouldn’t attempt it) and then starts wigging out and tells her husband women aren’t as loyal as he thinks as she had been having fantasies about some hunky naval officer she may or may not have met one day.

Confused and questioning his assumptions about his wife, Tom then meets a prozzie but they don’t do anything and then goes to a masked sex party after walking in on Leelee Sobieski getting down and dirty with a pair of Japanese businessmen. Sometimes I wonder what happened to her because she used to be everywhere. She even had a role in The Wicker Man. Clearly times are tough.

I feel that this movie was supposed to be shocking. After all, there is a lot of nudity and sex in it and it attempts to subvert the image of women as loyal lapdogs who uphold notions of fidelity and family. Do people really still assume these things though? I’ve never made these assumptions so the film’s central point felt a little obvious and dull. Maybe the film’s message was lost on me because I grew up in the age of the internet. Should the mood strike me, I can watch a video of two women eating each other’s poo or another one of a woman shoving an American football up her cooch. It comes as no surprise to me that women like sex.

The thing I found really funny about this movie, however, is that it’s blatantly a metaphor for Tom and Nicole’s marriage as it’s all about the good doctor coming to terms with his latent homosexuality. It’s not obvious about it but if you pay attention to the subtext you can figure it out. Notice, for instance, how he goes to a costume shop called “Rainbow” and how he is targeted by homophobes who say some really horrible things to him. Also, Alan Cumming makes a pretty epic cameo. In conclusion, this film is gayer than my love for JGL.

JGLGratuitous JGL shot…swoon

After watching this film I began thinking about Tom and Nicole’s marriage. Were the gay rumours before or after this film came out? I’m too young to remember but maybe Kubrick was such a brilliant filmmaker that he placed a subliminal message in our minds about Cruise’s sexuality. If so, then his final film is, in fact, one of the greatest film’s out there as it brainwashed its audience into thinking Cruise was gay which no-doubt led to the breakdown of his marriage. How many movies can say they have caused couples to divorce? OK, there was that Japanese couple who divorced because she loved Frozen and he didn’t but that couple clearly had issues.

High-lights:

  • The scene with the chanting and incense was mesmerising.
  • Is that Wayne Manor?
  • The homophobe scene was very real. This is what homophobia looks like and it’s awful.
  • Damn Nicole, you may be a skinny girl but you sure do love fat ones.

Downers:

  • Why would anyone have sex in Venetian masks…..they are creepy as hell.
  • Nobody laughs in their sleep like that. Seriously Nicole, time to give up the weed.
  • I swear Hungarians are not always that weird.
  • I do not need to see Nicole Kidman sit on the toilet.

Summary:

I’m not sure how I feel about this movie. I guess you could say that I was underwhelmed but I came into this movie expecting something in a par with 2001 or The Shining. It’s possible that I missed the point of this film entirely and maybe it’s the sort of thing you need to watch when you are at a certain point in your life. If you can tell me what point that is I would be very grateful.

5.5/10

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From Hell (2001)

From_Hell_film

Genre: Horror, Drama

Cast: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm

Synopsis: Psychic detective Frederick Abberline gets mixed up in the Jack the Ripper case and must bring the killer to justice in order to protect a cockney tart

You know how when you live in a place, you never do any of the things tourists do? I’m like that in London. Sure I’ve been to a few galleries and Borough Market is a must because everyone loves artisanal cheese and the sexy men who make said cheeses, but I haven’t done much else. I have not been to the Tower of London. I haven’t done either the Shard or the London Eye. I most definitely have not seen Buckingham Palace because I refuse to pay any attention to our inbred and impotent overlords. However, there is one touristy thing which I would love to do and one I have heard a lot of good things about: the Jack the Ripper tour.

I know it’s a gruesome chapter in London’s great history, but the whole Jack the Ripper thing does have an unusual and inordinate amount of sex appeal. I live near Whitechapel, where the murders took place, and some of the old Dickensian workhouse-like buildings remain. It’s funny walking past them: it’s like you’re walking through a living and breathing history. It’s as if the events of the past have stained the present. That’s one of the things I love most about London. It’s a city that does live and it does evolve, but the memories of the past are never far away. Plus, it gives writers and movie producers some great fodder.

Considering the sex appeal of the underlying history, you would expect a big production like From Hell to hammer the nail on the head. In some ways it does. In my mind, there is nothing more glamourous than Victorian opium den chic. I love it all: the black lacquer furniture, the Chinese lanterns and wall hangings, tin bath tubs, and those chaise lounges which are oh so great for swooning. Sometimes I wish I could visit a Victorian opium den but then I remember that opium is essentially heroin and is not, contrary to what a character in an Eileen Chang story will tell you, good for the liver. Oh well, at least weed isn’t that bad for you….and it’s GREAT for the lungs.

Unfortunately, any sex appeal in this movie is obliterated by the atrocious accents spouted by both Depp and Graham…..especially Graham. I admit, the English accent is a difficult thing to master, which is why I am so happy to have one by birth (it’s a major panty dropper in the US). Still, I’m sure that both Depp and Graham could have put more effort into it. Every sentence they utter has the cadence of someone scratching a plate with a knife and fork. However, a certain amount of humour can be derived from some of the things the characters are saying and the film does provide some great phrases to quote in real life such as: “Not with my old cunny I’ll be lucky to make four pence,” and “I can suck the Thames dry.” Great pick up line, that one.

From Hell is, in general terms, a bit of a disappointment but it feels like a diamond in the rough. It has moments of brilliance (the style and theme of London existing as a living and spiritual entity) but these are hampered by sub-par acting and the feeling that some things in this movie were rushed. I imagine that the graphic novel is a much more accomplished and detailed affair and, if anything, this film has encouraged me to take a look at it. Unfortunately, the book costs £25. I’ll have to take inspiration from the characters and start selling my cunny in Whitechapel to afford it.

High-lights:

  • Great style. If anything, the film has provided me with ideas on how to decorate my house when I win the lottery so as to buy one.
  • Interesting themes about London as a spiritual being.
  • Immensely quotable.

Downers:

  • Accents that are on a par with the ones in Dracula. Graham only gets it right once when she manages to say: “You’re going to take me into the gallery?” like a true Brit.
  • Too rushed in places.
  • Jewbello, Jewbella, Jewbellum……wut?

Summary:

From Hell is an interesting film that should appeal to fans of horror who enjoy a well-constructed plot and lavish style. Unfortunately, the film may prove unbearable for those who demand historical accuracy or stellar performances because this movie provides neither. If you want historical accuracy then go on the Jack the Ripper tour. Maybe I will see you there! I’ll be the one with red eyes asking if anyone wants a go for tuppence….like the bird lady in Mary Poppins.

5.5/10

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