Thingy Won a Gong! Oscars 2018


shiny coin
Look at the shiny coin, Oscar voters!


The main problem with this year’s Oscars is, I haven’t seen half of the ruddy films. Some of them because I didn’t want to (I’ve heard nothing but praise for Dunkirk and Darkest Hour, but I was never in the mood for trawling through WW2 nostalgia when they were at the flicks – more fool me), and some of them because I couldn’t get to the ruddy cinema to see them (Shape of Water and Bladerunner:2049, which I would have loved to have seen, but was too busy being interesting somewhere else (well, down the pub)). The only one I’ve seen is Get Out, and that was ruddy great.

The problem with the Oscars is, they only tend to value the films which came out recently, or which were critically lauded. Well, apart from Kong: Skull Island in the Visual Effects category. The thing is, the live action Ghost in the Shell was a massive pile of cak, but the visual effects blew my freakin’ mind. It should have AT LEAST got a nomination, even if the film sucked the big balls of destiny. But it didn’t. Critically slated (for obvious reasons), it was cast into the pit of Rubbish Film Hell, never to be seen again, despite the merits of its visual effects.

Here’s another thing. Coco won the best animated film award, but it’s re-tread of The Book of Life. Now, I haven’t seen Coco, and it could blow The Book of Life out of the water, but The Book of Life was an incredibly well put together film which wasn’t even nominated when it came out. Was it the Pixar sheen which gave Coco it’s respectability?

If you look at the list of nominees, it’s the same old films in the same old categories. There’s very little variation; very little kudos to the lower budget end of the spectrum (Get Out, aside), and even though there’s more diversity in the make-up of the nominees it still feels pretty un-diverse as regards the breadth of films released in the 2017/18 window.

I remember reading an article about how the people who vote for the Oscars are a pretty craggy old pile of rattling bones, and since their memory spans maybe limited to what log they laid in the toilet the previous night, it stands to reason that the only films which would stick in their memory were what they’d just seen the other day. Which is why it could be that Get Out had so little kudos in the final tally. It came out in January of last year. That’s far too long ago for your average Oscar-voting member to remember.

Where were the truly independent films? Moonlight may have won it last year, but now it was the time for the Big Budget Knobs to come out of the trousers of cinema and start waggling in the faces of voters, so the indies got shucked to the side and forgotten.

These things tend to go in loops. One year – nothing but Brit actors nominated. Next year – hey, it’s low budget time! In the end, the Oscars are a big clusterfuck of smarm. Everyone knows (well, me) that Oldman should have got the Oscar for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, even if he literally skinned Churchill (who was eugenicist, let’s not forget) and wore the fucking like a Halloween suit. Copycatting is not Oscar worthy.

Not that it amounts to a pile of piss at the end of the day, as all of these films will end up on a 2 for 1 offer at HMV in a few months’ time. Ah, the fleeing nature of awards…


Un Chien Andalou or Toxic Avenger – Both Classics


Troma’s Citizen Kane


Films are great, aren’t they? And even when they’re shit they’re great. Fanboys were spunking buckets of love-jizz all over The Force Awakens, whereas I thought it was a basic re-tread of Star Wars, but even I enjoyed the Millennium Falcon bit, and it pootled along in a n enjoyable rompy fashion. Speed Racer was roundly castigated as being an epileptic fit of colours and confusing edits, but I thought it was a top notch barrel of monkey nuns. On the other hand, Forrest Gump wanked its load over the upturned faces of the world, who seemed to love it’s homely charm, whereas I thought it was a cocking big arse biscuit of jingoistic toss rabbits.

At the end of the day, the individual should be the arbiter of their own taste. One man’s Napoleon (Abel Gance) is another man’s over-long pile of donkey dicks (and that man is me – liked the first three hours, second two hours were balls). Classics can be raved about and soundly thrashed to within an inch of their lives at the same time, and rightly bloody so! Without the discrepancies in taste a lot of conversations involving films would be nodding heads and narcolepsy.

On the other hand, a fawning fans bum-love for a series can drive a sane person mad, much the same as a fawning conviction to a political ideology riven from lies can cause madness in the sane, as it brooks no argument.

Case in point:
Many of your earth years ago there was conflict in Sortitaht Towers as one hu-man decided to castigate The Thin Red Line because it was too artsy for this person’s tastes. This was soundly taken as evidence of the dislikers lack of good taste, as the person in question also raved about The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, claiming it a piece of work beyond reproach. A strident difference of opinions was vexed.

Later, in the hospital, it caused both to reflect that taste and art can take many forms, and a true artist can appreciate the fact that the outcome of a creative endeavour is open to interpretation. The John Dewey hypothesis of Life as Art can mean a myriad of construals to the evidence laid before them. To truly see and understand the art in question one must open the mind and strip bare the critical faculties which constrict their own comprehension of what other’s perceive and which may be outside their own discrimination areas. The wall of critique is restrictive, and hinders openness when confronted with something new, original, or incomprehensible to the individual. One must truly grasp the strands of all the arts outside of their comfort zones and embrace or study or wallow-in or pick-apart or absorb before one can analyse, assess, evaluate and comment on what they would previously only have appraised through hearsay, having no direct contact with the source material.

Which is basically another way of saying: if you think Transformer: The Last Knight is a big piece of shit, at least watch the cunt first before saying it’s shit. Personally, I’ve never seen the big bag of bollocks, so I shall withhold my critique until – ah, wait, I’ve just called it shit without seeing it. There goes my bastard argument!

Look at the Size of my Film, Missus!


This is a very long film


Last weekend I sat down to watch five and a half hours of Napoleon by Abel Gance. This is almost a full working day. It came in four disks with a ‘nuts tickled’ version brought out by the BFI, and the first two parts were fantastic, displaying all the virtuoso verve the critics have been banging on about for decades but I had yet to see. The second two disks, on the other hand, were mainly full of knobs in wigs shouting at each other, plus the odd bit of Napoleon dicking about and looking a bit serious.

Next up for me is the full director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate, which a lot of the critics mentioned that it gently fondles the beard of greatness. However, this facker’s over three hours long, and I’m not sure my stamina is sturdy enough to park my arse through another cheek-numb-er like that.

This got me wondering – is the length of a film much like the length of a steadycam shot? If a director can unzip the trousers of cinema and whop out a big, meaty girth of elongated visual genius, does this mean he enters The Serious Filmmakers Club, and does it still matter now a lot of the best drama is coming from t’telly?

The hugeness of a film has been an endemic part of cinema ever since the first film-maker decided they needed to impress the girlies by knocking out more than a 2 reeler. It’s a statement which says, ‘yeah, top birds, I too can churn out this giant piece of cinematic hugeness because I have a large pair of pants to contain my tackle’. And that’s just the women (chuckle, guffaw!). But it also has the stain of seriousness about it. Big subjects like Napoleon or the civil war or Spartacus and his top chums going on a busman’s holiday seem to require the gravity of a running time well into the stages where most people have fucked off to watch Evil Dead.

Saying that, the Lord of the Rings trilogy decided it was relating a chest-poundingly enormous tale of mythic proportions, and you’d hardly call them serious. Well, some people would, but they’re all nerdy virgins. (Note to self: Stop watching The Young Ones and letting it influence future blogs, you big bogey bum!)

It could be that film-makers just can’t let a story go. That the urge to stun with the sweep of a story’s scope means a sense of proportion is left in the toilet, and where a sensible mind might have said “fuck off with all that bollocks elf shite, Jackson, you beardy cockend”, the artistic mind remains deaf.

What these people need is a good dose of Roger Corman. He’d have been in there with a pair of scissors to knock some sense into the bloated epics. “Sorry, Sergey Bondarchuk, director of the seven-hour version of War and Peace – you can keep the Battle of Borodino, the torching of Moscow, and the bit with the bear, but the rest can FUCK OFF!”

Saying that, I bluddy love Bondarchuk’s film, so in the end – as with anything of an artistic nature – the beauty (and stamina) is in the eye, and arse, of the beholder.

Bastard Christmas!


Santa will eat your face


Sortitaht will be foraging for presents in a damp cave for Christmas, but will return on a more regular basis (due to Mr. Sortitaht being a lazy scrote for the last few months) in the New Year, with MORE contributions to the Shit Film Club, MORE rants about Donald Trump being a tiny handed twat, MORE V’s flicked at the tabloids, and MORE uses of the words ‘scrotey old ballbags’.


In Praise of Bad Films


rambo 3
The Citizen Kane of bad films.


I used to be part of a Shit Film Club collective back in my Pompey days. There was myself, The Jackster, Johnny Bang Bang, Marshial Law, and Keef the Teef who use to gather as a collective once a month and watch the most godawful films known to humanity. They were awful. From Cynthia Rothrock’s walnut buttocks, to Coolio trying to take out Pterodactyls with a rocket launcher, they added that extra something to life which other films just could not get.

But there’s a subtle difference between a good shit film, and a bad shit film. The Swarm, the multi-million extravaganza about bees from Irwin Allen was a good shit film, because it took everything so bloody seriously. Not only that, it’s got half of the Hollywood Glitterati swanning about like spanners. War of the Worlds is a bad shit film, BECAUSE IT’S SO FACKING DULL! Everyone takes it seriously, yes, but in a very dull, and very predictable way.

We have a lot of bad films being made these days. The Hobbit. There’s a bad film. All bluddy three of them. The book’s a SHORT, light-hearted romp, whilst the films are a 9-hr epic of flowing beards and portentous shite. On the other hand, FOUR (count ‘em) Toxic Avenger films, and they’re all so facking awful, but at the same time, all so facking brilliant!

Rambo 3. In this film, Rambo gets shrapnel stuck up his innards, burns it out with some gunpowder, and then climbs up a mountain the next day, BECAUSE HE’S FACKING RAMBO! It’s the utter and total commitment to the role which makes Ramby so bloody watchable. Is it any good? Of course it bloody is! Peter McDonald spent his entire life filming action scenes for blammo films which make half of the top quality blockbusters top notch entertainment (he directed 2nd unit for Batman, Tango & Cash, etc), and since Ramblin’ 3 is one big action scene he’s the perfect director. There’s no plot. He turns up, blows everything to smithereens, and then facks off! Bosh! Job done!

Bad films and good fun because they don’t know they’re bad, and treat everything with utter commitment. War of the Worlds was just painfully dull, despite the groovy special effects, because it bleeds earnestness. Class of Nuke ‘Em High revels in its cheese. Bad films should be celebrated, outside of The Asylum’s bullshit mockbusters (bar the original Sharknado, which is bad-film-gold, due to the fact that it’s all played straight as a die).

Saying that, one person’s bad film is another person’s slice of fried gold. Most people hate Speed Racer, and I think it’s genius – the only film I’ve ever seen that’s managed to encapsulate the comic-book mentality.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and utterly bollocks films at the same.


Shared Universe, My Arse!


This Dracula is a twat


I can believe Marvel and DC have a shared universe. They’ve got a long history of people in Spandex biffing the living crap out of each other. I can even believe the Universal Monsters have a shared universe, even when they’re not biffing the crap out of each other. Back in the yesteryear they were teamed up in films like House of Dracula and Frankenstein Vs The Wolf Man. But the subtle difference between then and now is they didn’t try and make the fluffing monsters the good guys.

Yes, I know The Mummy remake with that pipsqueak of action, Tom Cruise, had the Mummy as the evil-doer, but if you check out Dracula Untold or I, Frankenstein the bastard monsters are the ones getting up to all kinds of super-hero shenanigans, and I say ‘NO!’ This will not stand! If I want to see a film with Dracula in it I don’t want him poncing about slapping people around in the name of good, or Frankenstein using his bellend-powers to take on the evil mastermind. I want them kicking ten shades of shit out of each other before a castle burns down for some reason!

I understand Universal want to get their greasy fingers into the superhero pie. After all, the Marvel and DC films are raking in more zlotys than your average corrupt politician. But the one thing you should have – the one reason people go to see horror films – is to have the pants scared off of them, not root for the fucking bloke with the fangs! It’s a horror film, dammit! Horrify! And by horrify I don’t mean stick a tiny Tom Cruise in it and have him bastard well running about like he does in EVERY BLOODY FILM HE’S IN!!

Leave the super-heroing up to the people who don’t mind wearing skin tight suits, and let’s get back to the sort of Universal films where Dracula pops up and bites the virgin’s face off, or The Wolf Man leaps out of the dark and flicks the V’s at some old people, or The Phantom of the Opera writes the word ‘knobend’ on the hero’s car just to show how evil he is.

The Conjuring people have the right idea. The film’s might be ropy, but at least the buggers are trying to scare the balls out of your pants. They split off with Annabel, made a few of them, and sooner or later Annabel and Bathsheba from The Conjuring will have a big slap fight like the bluddy horror tropes they are. If Universal got their mitts on the series we’d have Annabel don a big leather suit and Bathsheba suddenly find she can do kung-fu, and then they’d team up and fight Big Pharma.

On the plus side, all of the recent superhero versions of well-loved horror legends have gone down like a big pile of poo down the U-bend. No matter how much they try and link all their non-copywritten characters up, no fucker’s buying it, mainly because these bloody films are generic toss, and there’s enough of the cak out there to be getting on with as it is.

Why Film Magazines Can Sod Off


Ernest goes to jail poster
Five Stars!! – Empire


Many of your earth years ago I was flicking through a copy of Empire magazine and came across a review of Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway. A good film, but not exactly a classic. However, since the film was by Peckinpah and a certain musty age, Empire magazine gave it five out of five stars, just for being old. What a pile of cak.

This is one of the many reasons why film magazines get right up my nose. I’ll buy them, I’ll read them, but only rarely will I come away with a sense of fulfilment, or even having learned anything. Mainly it’s a puff piece for whatever piece of corporate crowd-pleasing bullshit the film companies wish to foist upon the glazed, drooling faces of the average punter, which is fair enough as I love a bit of cak. These puff pieces will take the form of all the actors talking about how working with the director was ‘a challenging experience’, which is shorthand for the megalomaniac in charge was a total cunt and they’d quite happily kick the bastard in the jewels for eternity if they could get away with it. It’s then followed by said actors talking about how everyone they worked with was great, despite actively loathing every second of time with each other. Maybe some insight from the director talking codsbollocks about some wank the studio wishes him to bleat, followed by half a ton of stills to pad out the bullshit.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but after decades of reading this cak I wish they’d try something a little different. Sight and Sound at least go for the foreign market, but Empire and Total Film plough straight for the furrow that says ‘middle-of-the-road’. They’ve got enough space in their bastard mags to try and stick in the odd piece about something which isn’t the same old regurgitated bollocks. Yes, I understand they need to flog copies, but TRY and stick an article about The Brothers Quay or Jodorowsky amongst all the bastard glitz!

And their attitude to films goes beyond fandom and into the territory of craven toady. Everyone’s got a different perspective on their likes and dislikes. I fucking love some films which other people wouldn’t piss on (Rambo 3, Speed Racer, Scooby Doo – all great in their own, unique way, and all hated by just about everyone I know) so I understand if Johnny Reviewer gives a five-star review to whatever knob cheese has hit the Criterion re-release rota, but more often than not any film which is over 10 years old gets the red-carpet treatment, and everything else is ignored. Empire don’t even do DVD reviews anymore, and do puff-pieces on major films or underground hits, such is their contempt for film. It’s only through a quick review in Sight and Sound that I discovered the genius of Hausu!

Like in life, diversity is an expander of knowledge, and it would be nice if the mainstream film mags could take that into consideration. I could just stop buying the mags of course, but then what would I read on the bog?