Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shadow Boxer

One day I'm going to be faced with reviewing a film so bad and so dull on all levels that writing anything even remotely interesting is going to be nigh on impossible. Luckily a well placed comedy erection means that moment has not come just yet. Shadow Boxer stars a bald guy and his mustache sporting friend who appear to be Hong Kong's answer to the Chuckle Brothers. Paul (bald) and Barry (mustache) are travelling salesmen, trying to pedal some ancient Viagra pill and generally get something for nothing.

Paul and Barry soon find themselves mistaken for great kung-fu fighters and are hired by a village to save them from the bandits milking the town for protection money. This is where Barry meets the cockacidal maniac that makes this film something special. Luckily she is one of the few characters given a name, which is good because I've run out of Chuckle Brothers to name them after. So, Deadly Tigress (oddly named i must admit) has a serious addiction to cock. So serious is her addiction it has claimed the lives of her 11 previous husbands and she has Barry in line to be number 12. Unfortunately Barry's performance is not up to the high standards of Tigress so she gives Barry a little dose of some serious pharmaceutical that helps the situation on its way. The problem comes the next morning when Barry is still as stiff as a board and more than a little worn out, all he wants to do is have a rest and maybe put a bit of ice on his swollen genitals. A nasty little bandit has other plans and engages Barry in a spot of fisticuffs, watching a man fight while hunched over to hide his erection is pure comedy gold.

So yeah the bandit gang have got the village terrified, which is a little strange considering the bandits are led by a guy who somehow resembles both Shawn Ryder and Bez. His task of being an intimidating villain is made even harder by his dubbed voice making him sound like a schizophrenic Scooby-Doo villain. Oh and he's also frightened of Deadly Tigress because he thinks her vagina has teeth, which to be fair it might i mean it would explain a lot. He also refuses to take protection money from the handicapped which while a noble gesture is hardly good for his ruthless tough guy image.

The big joke here is that they are mistaken for great fighters but are really just making it up as they go along. The problem is that they are clearly fairly good fighters pretending to be shit (a bit like Joey is Friends only he's shit pretending to be really shit). It's like Pacino and De Niro playing the Chuckle Brothers in a Hollywood remake, while it would be a fantastic spectacle you'd never believe it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Operation Delta Force

The DVD case proudly claims that Delta Force 'would make Rambo look like a dress wearing sissy!' Now that's some bold talk right there and as I'm sure you've guessed that's all it is. Directed by Sam Firstenberg (American Ninja and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo) and starring Ernie Hudson (Winston from Ghostbusters) it holds my childhood in its hands. I can't count how many times i watched American Ninja as a kid maybe even more than i watched Ghostbusters. How you can make a disappointing film when the benchmark is American Ninja is beyond me but the next 90 minutes proved it to be possible.

I don't know who to blame for this film, the men who wrote it or Firstenberg for agreeing to direct it. What starts as standard action fare soon takes a questionable turn into an area most screenwriters would, quite rightly, avoid like an M-People greatest hits CD. Terrorists break into a research facility in Mozambique (i think) and steal a vial of the Ebola virus engineered to become airborne and the only vial of the vaccine. Now this bit is good, nice simple idea that for a screenwriter just writes itself. Maybe that was the problem, bored writers trying something new and failing because what comes next can't be described as anything close to a success.

Like all good terrorists these guys have a cause to fight for, here we have a group of right wing, racist, white South Africans intent on using the recently acquired virus to do a spot of ethnic cleansing. Is it just me that finds this a topic a little inappropriate for a cheap ass TV action movie to wade into? I had a little think for ideas that i would find more inappropriate and the best i could come up with was Harold Shipman coming back from the dead to avenge the death of Princess Di by knocking off various members of the royal family.

The dodgy plot is not the only obvious indication of the lack of money involved in this production. As is pretty standard in most action movies bar 'Top Gun' all the shots of military aircraft are stock footage or Gulf War news footage. But that's to be expected, what isn't is the one explosion that is repeated whenever anything goes bang. The first time you see the exploding mine cart it makes sense because Delta Force are in a mine, when it crops up later the mine cart looks very out of place in the jungle and on a boat. The magic mine cart throws up another question, if these guys are well trained would they not think twice before using a grenade in an abandoned gold mine? Well they go for it anyway and surprise, surprise they get trapped in a cave in. Well done dickheads! Not only are you trapped but one of you has a massive rock crushing his leg but don't worry you've a medic on hand, just not a very good one. When a trained medic has to ask 'which leg is it?' you know your in trouble, could it be the one with the huge fuck off rock on top of it.

So yeah the films goes on and Delta Force save Africa all by themselves, whoop de fuckin' doo. My favourite part of the whole experience was after the film i went to look at the special features only to find that the words 'Special Features' on the menu were just that, words. You couldn't actually choose the special features so one can only assume the words 'Special Features' constitute a special feature in their own right.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Revenge of the Dragon

70's martial arts movies are the 'Fried Egg Chili Chutney' sandwich of cinema, everything about them is so, so wrong but at the right time there is nothing more satisfying. So with this in mind i settled down with an enormous bag of pretzels and a few beers ready to enjoy the disconnection of words and mouth that bad dubbing revels in.

Simple and functional is the order of the day as far as plot goes. The Police attempt to infiltrate a criminal smuggling operation by sending our mustachioed hero in undercover. The powerful combination of quality facial hair and his pearly grin soon have the ladies swooning and the criminals begging for him to join their gang (well the crims may have been more impressed by the fact he can crush a guys skull with one hand but I'm sure the 'tach played a part).

Soon our hero is introduced to the criminal kingpin who, in his dressing gown smoking with a cigarette holder, is no doubt the criminal classes Noel Coward. His resemblance to British playwrights aside he is still one fruity muddy funster. I'm sure being the head of a criminal organisation brings with it certain freedoms that are not normally available to your average criminal but getting two prostitutes to tickle you and massage your arse is still questionable behaviour.

Now in the middle of the film something happens in between fights that exposes our hero as an undercover cop and naturally this makes his criminal pals a little cross. I'd love to tell you what this was but i have to confess that i lost interest around this time and started drawing on my foot.

By the time I'd regained some interest moustache man was fighting anyone and everyone, crushing skulls with the greatest of ease. As you can imagine he gives everyone a good kicking and stops the bad guys, hurrah!!! The fight scenes are most defiantly the films strong point, while not overly showy they are very fast and well choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping of 'Crouching Tiger...' and 'Matrix' fame. According to the IMDB the film was cut in the UK to remove some scenes containing weapons and some pretty brutal whipping scenes. Not sure if i had the cut version or not but it had the almost obligatory nunchuck fight and the last half hour was pretty brutal.

The only bit that had me really puzzled was possibly the strangest editing decision I've ever witnessed. The screen wipe is a technique seemingly only favoured by George Lucas and people editing the video of the early nineties holiday where Dad had a video camera stuck to his face for 2 weeks solid. Yet despite this one crops up in the middle of this film, why just the one? But if that's the only thing that bothered me in its 90 minute run time then 'Revenge of the Dragon' did something right.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nutbag: The Story of the Vegas Ripper

'Nutbag' is a horrible name for a film. Scrot Satchel and Ball Purse are also horrible names for a film but let’s not concern ourselves with those because this one's called 'Nutbag'. The tagline on the box declares this '10 Days inside the mind of a serial killer', so what does a serial killer do in 10 days? Well this particular killer talks to his pet spider and kills prostitutes. Well you assume he kills them, the majority of them die in the edit. One second they are alive and well then a quick cut to a new angle and the whole place is covered in blood.

I could lay into this film for all sorts of reasons, the script is horrible, acting horrendous, the painfully intrusive voice over but the one i want to take a run at is the killer’s wardrobe. He begins with the bold fashion statement that is a t-shirt with a breast pocket, tucked into his jeans. I don't think i've ever worn a t-shirt and thought 'do you know what this needs? Just a little pocket here to securely store any knick-knacks that i collect during the day.'

If this wasn’t bad enough when our Killer (I’d use his name but he’s credited simply as killer) wears a button up shirt he seems to be incapable of tucking it in to his trousers with anything even bordering on success. It looks like he’s been taking fashion tips from MC Hammer but got his wires crossed and ended up inventing the parachute shirt in the process. It somehow manages to be both tucked in and hanging out at the same time. Why this bothered me so much I couldn’t tell you but if this film had been even slightly less than awful I’m sure I’d have let it spoil it for me.

Shirts aside there really is very little to day about this film, positive or otherwise, or at least that’s what I thought until I had a little gander at the discs special features. Normally £1 shop DVDs have very little in the way of extra content save for a trailer or 2 but ‘Nutbag’ has something truly special in store. In a moment of madness the films director decided it would be appropriate to write page after page of gushing praise for his own film and disguise it as ‘Directors Notes’. Apparently his latest film, Murder Set Pieces, is banned in the UK. I can only assume this is the BBFC trying to save me from myself.

If you were ever faced with the decision between ‘Nutbag’ and a 6-hour lecture from Anthea Turner on the correct way to clean a toilet seat I’d highly recommend you go for the latter on the outside chance she might put on a buffet lunch.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rusty Gateway

Needlessly wordy

Dear Milo_Myage

Thank you for your interest in the above role. We have now had the opportunity to review all the applications. Unfortunately we are unable to progress yours as others have more closely matched our requirements.

The advertisement for the role attracted many well-qualified candidates, which made initial selection all the more difficult. We have endeavoured to be fair and objective in this selection process but of course appreciate that this outcome may be disappointing for you.

May we take this opportunity to again thank you for taking the time to apply and to wish you every success for the future.

Please keep an eye on on our website where all our current vacancies are updated on a daily basis

Kind regards,

and painfully blunt

Thank you for your application. We have now reviewed your details and unfortunately we will not be progressing with your application at this stage.

I would like to thank you for your interest in the role and the company and will be in touch should anything suitable arise in the near future. In the meantime, I would like to wish you good luck in your job search.

Kind regards

Been on a Gateway to work course for the last 2 weeks. All we seem to have done is stare at a computer screen and have a fag break every 20 minutes. Hardly the most constructive way to use my time but it gets me out of bed and we're normally done by lunchtime. Though eating pasties from Greggs everyday for 2 weeks has put me off pastry for good.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Same Old Story

It's been a while but here's another rejection for the collection

Dear Milo_Myage

RE : Application for Data Processing Clerk

Unfortunately you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

However, we would like to Thank You for your interest in ******** and wish you the best of luck with future applications.

Kindest Regards

That should really say 'Thank you for your lack of interest' It's amazing how quickly the rejections just begin to wash over you. When I open a new one I don't even read it properly, just scan it for negative words then onto the next one.