Archive for the ‘The Shit Film Club’ Category

War of the Worlds

Cruise certainly doesn’t want THIS probe up his arse!

 

We’re not talking about the original Bryan Haskin film here, which was no great shakes but delivered on the unlimited destruction, but rather the damp squib which was the Spielberg remake, which sucked so many cheesy bells in so many different and unique ways.

First of all, we’re introduced to everyman Tom Cruise, who has a job as a bloke who sits in a giant crane, looking like a dick, because foreshadowing. What the hell is this meant to indicate?! I bet David Koepp was creaming his pants when he wrote this thing, slapping himself on the back, thinking, ‘Brilliant move there, David! The film’s going to be full of huge fucking metal bastards, so let’s stick the main character in one at the start to show how BASTARDS CLEVER I AM!!’

Anyway, the next indication that this movie sucks space testicles is when Cruise drives home from work. Does he drive normally? Does he fuck! He takes every bastard corner like he’s a stunt driver, drifting across lanes, engine revving, generally being a bit of a road twat. This is to – wait for it – show us that Tom is a MAVERICK. He can’t be a MAVERICK and not drive like a total cunt, obviously. He probably parks by smashing into a bus full of orphans just to show what a bastard MAVERICK he is. Knob.

Then we get the bog-standard background detail. On no, Tom doesn’t get along with his moody son because blah blah blah. Some tedious scenes follow and then they sleep and stuff happens and the it turns out the Space Bastards have been under the earth all this time (for some reason), and have just decided they’ve had enough of Tom being a total bellend and are coming out to kick some bottom. All the electrical shit has been short circuited (apart from a camera which is somehow still operating so Spielberg can wank himself into a coma with a groovy shot where he zooms into – right, hold on, get this – another camera eyepiece! Fuck me, that’s clever! Next, he’ll be zooming into a massive turd to show how cak the film is.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway – Cruise nicks a car because he’s a MAVERICK and a total shit, and then we get ANOTHER FUCKING CLEVER SHOT. Car races away, camera spins around it like a bastard, Dakota Fanning annoys the shit out of everyone by screaming and shouting, and I die a little inside. Technically it’s a bloody good shot, being made up principally in a studio, but thematically it sucks the life out of the film, just so Spielberg can slap his todger on the table and tell everyone to have a gander at his cleverness. I wish directors with small cocks would stop doing the ‘who’s done the biggest single tracking shot’ bullshit. Aleksandr Sokurov did it with Russian Ark, so the rest of you can fuck off.

Have to just pause in my cynicism, though, the sound design for this film is bloody fantastic. Everything else sucks balls, mind, but the sound design is top quality. The noise the tripods make sounds fantastic.

So, next scene, Cruise and his moppets come across a downed airliner and a news team so they can explain just what the aliens are and where they came from. Don’t need an explanation, but every film these days has to have a reason for Things Happening, especially if Koepp’s writing the bastard, because every tiny detail has to have bastard closure. Turns out the aliens are sending themselves down to the earth to the machines which have been buried for centuries and quite frankly, I really don’t give a monkeys.

Next, they go on a barge and ruin the best scene in the book (and the Jeff Wayne musical version). What should happen is Thunderchild, a warship, should pootle along and start blasting the shit out of the triple legged metal bastards before ramming them in a fantastic effects laden scene of mayhem and disaster. Instead we get Cruise and Co tipped over into the water. Seriously, how can you fuck this up? Well, Spielberg finds a way.

So, we’ve had big giant machines destroying things. We’ve had special effects. What next? Well, if your name is David Koepp and you’re a fool, you stick some utter bollocks in there where the son, conflicted with not getting reduced to fag ash, decides he wants to fight alongside heavily armed and trained soldiers because the script needs a bit of family conflict going on. Through some tortuous plot devices the son buggers off, leaving the floppy haired Cruise and his irritating daughter to meander into mad mental crazy ape bonkers nutty Tim Robinson’s crazy house, just in time for the aliens to whack a probe down there in an annoyingly prolonged scene of them spannering about in the basement while a probe hunts for an anus to shove itself up.

We get our first glimpse of the aliens now, and they look like every other fucking alien in these sorts of films – beaky faces, lots of tentacles, bosh. No bloody imagination.

Before you know it, Dakota has fucked off out of the only secure place for miles around and been kidnapped by the aliens. Cruise, because he’s a MAVERICK, goes after her, gets captured, and almost shoved up an alien’s bumhole before ingeniously getting away by shoving a few grenades up it’s ring. Job done.

Now the dull bit. Cruise and Dakota wander about and all the aliens are dying. Then they turn up at Cruise’s ex-missus’s house and – blow me down – his son’s there, having somehow managed to fight his way single-handedly across the states under the realisation that pater was going there. I’d rather have seen his story. It might have had some kick arse action scenes rather than the tedious, meandering bollocks we’ve been forced to endure.

War of the Worlds is the perfect example of the mass-produced, unfeeling crap Hollywood can churn out. Every single step of the plot is gleaned from some bullshit Robert McKee screenwriting book. There HAS to be some family conflict, there HAS to be foreshadowing of the crises to come, there HAS to be peril every fifteen pages or so, there HAS to be an everyman hero. Unfortunately, this makes for a rather dull film, with some nice effects and good sound, but plot-wise a load of hairy great elephant’s knackers dipped in cliché. Annoying.

War of the World has about as much verve and originality as a million sad wanks, and has very much the same debilitating effect on a person.

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aussie-p-b

Aussie Park Boyz – an actual film.

A man walks into frame dressed in leather trousers.  He looks left.  He looks right.  Then he grabs his balls.  Welcome to the world of Aussie Park Boyz.

Aussie Park Boyz – the plot.  Um, well, lots of muscled men have fights.  Then they rip off The Warriors.  Then they rip off Then Wanderers.  Then they shout a lot.  Then they look left and right a bit.  Then they grab their balls (their own, not someone else’s).  There is also a lot of walking up and down stairs and in and out of doors.  We see this.

We see people – well, hands anyway – playing cards.  This goes on for 40 seconds uninterrupted.  Within two minutes the main character is grabbing his balls.  This happens quite a lot.  Then he punches a tree, because trees are shit.  Well, not even a tree – just a branch, because trees can be pretty tasty when they get angry.  Then they look left and right several more times.  We see this again.  Life is too short.

It’s essentially about gang culture in Australia and the prejudice of the Australian people to the Italian community, but really, it’s about an endless series of crotch shots of big, muscly men flexing their pecks and punching each other.  After a big fight where the main character, Bonzer O’Barbie (or something), stabs a man to death because he’s not grabbing his crotch enough, we cut to a long episode of big, muscly men working out in a gym (in a very macho way, darling).  This goes on FOR FUCKING EVER! After which they all go to a disco and rub oil on each other’s pecs – sorry, I mean, they go and have another fight.  The fight scenes end up looking like comedy brawls from a playground, which is half of the fun.

There follows an interminable scene where people eat.  Twenty minutes in and so far we don’t have a plot – just crotches and fists – and the first woman to appear in the film, although she’s just an extra having some food in the café.  Here we’re introduced to The Big Boss, a bloke with the acting capability of my pants on a bad day, who asks one of the main characters, Kangaroo McShrimpy, “You have quite a rep around town.  Why’s that?” to which the reply is “Maybe I’m just smarter than everyone else.”  Which is palpable nonsense.  Then they eat.  For ages.  We see this.

Then we get the major reason for Aussie Park Boyz existing, which is ENDLESS shots of people walking in and out of doorways.  This happens quite a few times throughout the film, and is excellent for stringing the running time out, otherwise we’d have a half hour film about crotch grabbing.  The point of this first major bit of walking in and out of doors is so The Big Boss can pour obviously cold coffee over an enemy with the most impressive mutton chops in cinema history just so he can “Prove a point.”  We never hear or know what the point is.  Maybe Mutton Chops hasn’t been grabbing his junk enough.

Our two main crotch-grabbing hero’s first assignment is to take part in a drug deal where they end up beating a man to death and are then promptly nicked for Crimes Against Acting.  Once in choky they immediately get down to some good old fighting, randomly punching people whilst being mocked by some of the finest mullets in the world.

I get the distinct feeling a lot of the dialogue in this film is improvised, as – whilst being transferred to their cell – the two main characters keep repeating “So, where’s the Penthouse suite.  You must have a Penthouse suit, eh?  Penthouse suit.”  Shakespeare – eat your knob off!

After an interminable ‘doing time’ montage, our heroes are told they could be out within four months, as long as they don’t get in a fight or grab their crotches, but oh no, by ordering someone to get them a drink of water, our heroes have pissed off the prison big boys and then everyone has a big fight, which takes on one of those ‘Water Margin’ style tussles which sees everyone not involved in directly getting biffed stand around, looking like they want to have a fight, but in an orderly manner.

But it matters not, because our boys are out if the clink and ready to spend a good deal of time walking about a bit with the rest of their gang, followed by a serious bit of standing around on railway platforms looking like rent boys.

This is the mid-point where Aussie Park Boyz starts ripping off The Warriors.  They walk into a hotel where a woman actually gets a speaking role.  The APB then walk up a flight of stairs.  All of them.  In a big line.  We see this.  They then enter a room.  All of them.  In a big line.  We see this as well.  They then leave.  All in a line.  WE FUCKING SEE THIS TOO!!  They’re like flocking birds, following some strange, avian instinct to move where the wind takes them, which is usually up and down staircases.

But staircase-related tomfoolery is not enough for our heroes and their gang end up playing pool, where the brother of the bloke who was killed in the opening scene decides a bit of punching is called for.  After a brief fracas, followed by the proclamation “Alright, boys, no more fighting” which immediately brings an end to the fight, Aussie P Boyz turns into Xenophon’s Anabasis as our heroes have to fight their way home through enemy territory.  A bit like The Warriors.  But with more crotch grabbing.

For no reason whatsoever we jump to a Maori street fighting initiation ritual, which involves a surfeit of punching.

Then it’s back to (guffaw, chortle) the plot.  Bloke whose brother got killed walks up some stairs and into a room looking for brother-killing-bloke.  Nothing happens.  The big bloke from prison who has the Water Margin fight with our main characters sends his girlfriend home, where she is kidnapped by the bloke whose brother was killed, whereupon she’s promptly attacked in an improbably grim rape scene completely out of character with rest of the film.

Anyway, our heroes are set up as the people who raped the woman and the big boss from the Water Margin scene vows revenge.  Cut to a railway platform where our heroes are standing around and looking constipated, when The Baseball Furies – excuse me – some blokes in hockey masks and big sticks turn up for a bit of a slap about.  Our heroes escape, lose one of their lot, and then run up some stairs.  Meanwhile, the brother of bloke-killed-in-first-scene is calling up all the bad actors who like grabbing their crotch in the neighbourhood and squealing that the Aussie Park Boyz are up for a ruck!  Exciting!

This is followed by more ‘up the fucking stairs’ acting where our heroes come across a flat full of women and drugs (bit like that scene in The Warriors where The Warriors come across a flat full of women/drugs).  Since we’ve had five minutes without a fight we have a bit of fisticuffs and some of the worst acting this side of an Adam Sandler pic, followed by MORE WALKING DOWN STAIRS!!  HAVE THESE FUCKERS NEVER HEARD OF EDITING!!??

Blimey, you know what this film needs after an hour and twenty minutes?  More fucking walking.  This time down the middle of the street, because the Aussie Park Boyz haven’t quite mastered the pavement.  There follows a fight and then the main character punches a hooker, because this film is all about moral messages, and then there’s another fight which stops halfway through when one of the character’s shout “Alright, that’s enough!”  That’s it.  The Aussie Park Boyz are let go, for no reason whatsoever.  Then we get more walking.

With a cry “Asians!  Asians!” (ironic, considering the opening monologue was about minorities not being accepted) our heroes are set upon by Molotov throwing bad guys.  There is much running, this time up a multi-story car park for a bit of variety, and then the APB are improbably rescued by an Asian gang member for no reason, who appears to be killed so the Aussie Park Boyz can escape, although it’s a bit vague.  We see a machete, and then we fade to The Boyz walking nonchalantly up some stairs as though nothing has happened, whereupon they meet The Turnball AC’s – sorry – some skinheads, who chase them for a bit before yet another fucking tedious playground fight where one of The Boyz is killed.  Followed by some punching.

The gang is whittled down to our two main characters, who express their outrage at the injustice of life by punching in the shittest way possible.  And shouting.  Let’s not forget the shouting.

Anyway, one exchange of fists later and our hero, having torn the throat out of the leader of the skinheads, celebrates by punching everyone in the area.  Tired and punched out, they head off home for a lovely cup of tea.  Or they would do, but The Water Margin boys turn up, as well as all the others gang that have been involved in punching over the last forty minutes.  More punching follows.

In the end the woman who was raped turns up, clears our heroes, points out the bad guys who really did it who have turned up to watch some punching, and everyone goes home to watch films about unicorns.

They made a sequel to this.  Gord ‘elp us!

APB is an example of what happens when a bunch of mates get together and decide to make a film.  It rips off all the gang films you can think off, adds nothing original outside of more crotch shots than nature intended, and inhabits the area of no-budget film making where the spirit of the enterprise counters the common sense in making the fucker in the first place.  But it’s the absolute conviction of the piece which makes it a special entry into The Shit Film Club.  There’s no doubting that the people behind and in front of the camera are totally certain they’re making a piece of important cinema, and that kind of commitment should be applauded, even if the results are unintentionally hilarious.

Still, it has its fans, and it would churlish of me to mock them, especially considering the fact that I rate Speed Racer and Rambo 3 over La La Land.  Those without sin, etc.