Friday, December 19, 2008

After a lot of fannying about - far too much - I have finally finished another Cheesybeat blog entry. Between sneakily sneaking secret things into the house past the kids because of the soonishness of Christmas and doing the washing up I don't seem to have done anything worth reporting at all. So, to fill up the space, here's all the movies I didn't watch this year. All the ones I abandoned, for a variety of reasons - mostly 'cos they're the wrong kind of bad. (I know Phoebe, I know.)

Elektra -
Comic book based flick about 'Back from the dead' female assassin with issues. I gived up after 15 minutes when I realised it wasn't going to stop looking like a car commercial. Terrence Stamp appeared in flashback as the aged martial arts master and looked bored out of his skull, if he couldn't be bothered why should I? Presumably he was getting paid to be there; I wasn't.

I can do no better than quote one of the IMDb reviews of this piece of shit: "a woefully unfunny film, with none of the 'so-bad-it's-entertaining' elements which similar films sometimes provide." Yep, that just about sums it up.

Hamlet -
Ethan Hawke in the title role and a cast worthies totally at sea in a total fuck-up of a movie in which the director spends most of his time trying to point the camera at the BACK of whoever is speaking's head in order to make the lousily-recorded, mumbling and whispering that they are doing totally incomprehensible. Only Liev Schrieber (as Laertes) looked like he had a clue what his character was meant to be saying and then said it with a clarity and conviction that just made everyone else look even more lost. I lasted 30 minutes before hitting the off button.

I love the original. This watered-down, fat, slick incredibly bland, mush made me want to puke. Dreadful. Which is a pity 'cos Mrs. JM bought it for me as a pressy and I wanted to like it so much. (In retaliation I bought her Love Actually which she had long wanted to see but had never got round to watching. She hated it; so we're even.)

The Last Days of Frankie the Fly
another £1 wasted in Tesco. When will I learn? Nu-Image's movies are crap. No matter how many good names they get to act in the damn things (or how wonderful their assistant editors are).

Menace from Outer Space.
I think if you fall asleep three times while trying to watch a movie it's time to give in. Especially as this piece of dross was cobbled together from episodes of a 1956 kids' TV show called Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.

Women in the Night -

Hooo Boy! This piece of cheapo, postwar Nazi & 'Nip' bashing shite must hold some sort of record for the most on screen verbiage before the first spoken line of dialogue in motion picture history. First we have a scrolling prologue (four screens full) - Followed by an establishing shot of the 'Bureau of Records', followed by a stock footage interior, and a zoom in on a drawer labelled "Case Histories Crimes Against Women", a tilt down to another drawer: "Confdential". A hand pulls open the drawer and starts to flip through the files giving us a chance to read their titles and some of the contents: (three shots showing eleven separate bits of paper to read). The last piece of paper is turned over to reveal a still photo of some women and a German soldier. Lap dissolve to stock footage of somewhere labelled: "Shanghai". Dissolve to yet another on-screen, full screen message: "In the Final Days of the war...blah blah blah". Cut to another filing drawer, a hand pulls out yet another typewritten card to read: "Crimes against Hospital Nurses Location: Shanghai". Lap dissolve to a sign "University Hospital" Dear god! I'm loosing the will to live here... Another dissolve to a sign saying "Nurses Quarters", another dissolve to a crucifix. The entire audience spells out 'I N R I' to themselves they are, by now, so used to reading anything that's on the screen. In all it's four and a half minutes! before anyone says anything meaningful - and then it's to read out a list of the character's names as they step forward one by one. Heaven help us! Not more establishing! There are seven writers credited with the script on this movie; I guess none of them had an eraser.
Luckily my copy died about ten minutes later. I will not be looking for a replacement.

Cyber Tracker -
Starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson (that should have been enough) I gave up after our bodyguard hero's wife delivered, with all the emotional depth and earnestness of a high school performance of Strindberg, the immortal line:

"I can't live my life waiting for you to walk through that door dead or alive."
A line I am determined to work into a play or story some time..

Bettie Page
April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008

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