Archive for June, 2010

Lord of The Rings – The Return of The King

June 28, 2010

Tevez..................................Orc

Old Rope has not seen this, the third instalment of Jackson Pollock’s adaptation of the Ted Hughes fantasy classic. But I am wearing a pair of Spanish Señor De Los Anillos pyjamas, which imbue me with a magical power to accurately predict the storyline.

The film picks up where the last one left off and the viewer, muttering a terse “oh, fuck…”, is reminded that this nonsense still has a long way to go before trudging over the finishing line. How many more hours must we sit through, crying of boredom till our sodden eyes rot in their sockets?

Back on screen, we are treated to a cautionary tale of how one little shit, way back in some sun-kissed fantasia past, really wanted some bling so bad he done kill his bezzie on a fishing trip. His crime of continually referring to himself in the third person like Rio Ferdinand, was so heinous that he was cursed to wither and corrode, till he looked like a strange mixture between the dirty old man with a comb-over and soiled trousers who used to hang around and offer you sweets at the school gate, a teenager, and an aging member of Status Quo. Serves the grotbag right. Does he want to grow up to be a professional footballer or something?

Fast forward to the present, but without mobiles, MTV or the internet and a fuckload more chainmail, i.e. some unspecified Ancient Times. Half the leprechaun’s have been busy getting tanked on ale and honking on their crack pipes, while the other half are up a mountain somewhere being followed by a walking bogey who talks to himself. The viewer should take heart for small mercies, since this introduction provides brief respite from what is to come.

The third and final part of this cinematic triptych takes the form of one prolonged interminable battle, presumably a stylistic homage by Pollock to the Fast Show’s famous epic fight scene, but with more swords and less purpose. It’s one endless déjà vu as a handful of orcs, played by football’s Carlos Tevez (for which he won an Oscar) are slain and slewed over and over again until everyone watching has forgotten why, where and what for.

A little known fact is that Tevez was only filmed in five different poses, then cutting-edge BBC Micro computers used by cutting-edge computer geeks in non-cutting-edge glasses were used to digitally photocopy and gaffer tape him onto the celluloid seven million billion times. As a result, the orcs all look like they are doing some sort of synchronised dance. But forever. And ever.

Whilst researching this review, Old Rope must have made some sort of egregious error and stumbled upon a director’s cut or deluxe edition. For it was only after aging by several years and growing a beard longer than that of Santa (now apparently some sort of bad-ass swordsman?) did the horrific realisation that this flick was over four hours long sink-in to a mind numbed by tedium.

There are human men everywhere. It’s as if audiences at the previous two films had been so turned off by the over-abundance of poetry spewing pixies, that the producers felt their plot should refocus on some Humanoids, to give Johnny Popcorn something to empathise with. Remembering that the prole scum stumping up to see this drivel like nothing more than some forelock-tugging  monarchist propaganda they crammed in more kings and regents-turned-bad than you can shake a spear at.

Whilst the gnome, the pixie, Santa and the Humanoids are slashing and hacking in their endless dance of death, the other two leprechauns finally make it to the Argos Extra in Mordor and attempt to return the defective jewellery. After waiting in line with a load of goblins for two hours (shown in real time), our homoerotic heroes get to the front of the queue only to discover that they left the receipt at home. “You fucking thick bastard Sam!” spits Friedrick Bargains at his rotund chum, “What did I tell you? Argos has a strict returns policy!” There was nothing for it but to walk all the way home and do the whole cunting thing again.

I give this film a cumulative 8 wasted hours.

See also
:: Lord of The Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring
:: Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers

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The World Cup

June 27, 2010

A new television programme has started on TV, I have been informed. It is called ‘The World Cup’ and it follows the adventures of a team of sportsmen who long to triumph in an international tournament. As with ‘Lost’, there has been intense speculation regarding the way in which this TV show will end. Will the team win? Will they lose? Will it transpire that they are in fact in purgatory, and can only hope to escape by beating the devil in a high-stakes game of soccer? Will the tournament go on for 18 seasons? Don’t look at me, chum. I’m just a pundit. Here is my review of one of the episodes of ‘The World Cup’, entitled ‘Phantoms’…

Dennis Hopper as 'The Coach'

Kickoff! Each of the teams assumes the top-secret formation that they discussed secretly before the game commenced, in a secret room. The good team are arranged in the shape of a fleet sparrow. The bad team lounge and lope in unseemly fashion, as one might expect of a group of foreigners. The ball is coveted deeply by each of the participants. Shall I be the one to guide the ball into the snug silken weave between the goalposts, each of the players scarcely dares to ask him or herself. Touch! Pass! Dribble! Shoot! But, alas, no goal. Good effort, young man. Try not to be dispirited. There will be other opportunities to demonstrate your skill-set.

It is half-time. Yes! The hearty, barrel-chested sportsmen punch the air. A well-deserved break. They bound away on round pork-joint calves to the changing rooms, where a heavenly bowl of the finest porcelain awaits, replete with the juicy quarters of a thousand curvaceous oranges. “Scrummo” shouts the team captain and plunges his hand into the sensuous citrus well. He pulls out a wet specimen and bites into it. The orange sap runs down his chin and becomes enmeshed in the sweaty pubic mat that adorns his well-honed teats. It is a religious experience. The others are shyer. They glance furtively at the oranges and twiddle their whiskers. “Come on boys, tuck in!” shouts the coach. Now they have the all clear from Coachy, it is a free for all. They gorge themselves bloodily on the meat and viscera of a panting, perspiring orange grove. Scrummo indeed, Captain. Scrummo indeed.

The second half rolls around. They put on a good show, and every man pulls his weight. The victors have the edge over the opposition. As the whistle blows, there are tears. But don’t be sad: the tears will dry before bedtime, and each of those brave, hearty boys will dream happily of the bright oranges of Ceylon.

This pivotal episode features standout performances by Michael Cera as the maverick and yet moralistic ‘Left-Winger’ and the late Dennis Hopper as ‘The Coach’. Hopper obviously knew he was going to die when the final scenes were shot, and so he played them like a crazy kamikaze spatula, flipping out pungent lines as if they were hunks of dramatic mackerel. He did not go gentle into the good night, readers will be relieved to hear.

There is an extremely suspenseful moment during the second half, in which Cera discovers a shoe full of genetic evidence behind the football stadium. He runs an analysis on it in his portable laboratory, which he sets up in the changing rooms, and discovers that the referee was the rapist. After the game is finished, Cera informs the authorities, and the rapist referee gets put in rapist prison where he belongs. Shortly after, a FIFA representative tells Cera he is sticking his nose into dangerous waters. Cera says “this shit goes deep, doesn’t it?” The FIFA representative says “Take this as a friendly warning, Left-Winger” and walks off with a studied insouciance.

In short this is pretty exciting stuff. I can’t wait for the box set!

Bird

June 27, 2010

Whitaker and bereted colleague as Bird and Diz.

‘Bird’ is a Clint Eastwood film about the jazzy genius Charlie Parker, starring Forest Whitaker as the titular hornsman. Naturally, I haven’t seen it. Here is a poem about it:

1.

Bebop bustard,

With your experimental eggs

And your beak wet with worm-blood

And heroin,

2.

How can I scat with you?

Squeep ber squeep?

How can I keep

Up to the steep beep

Of your deep

Horn? I lie in a heap

Below the birdsong of morn.

My poems are also somewhat childish.

3.

The Man tried to clip your wings

But you blew a hotheaded hoot

Into his ridiculous beakless face

And then, as is the wont of your species,

Did a flying shit on his head.

4.

And now Forest Whitaker

Is playing you.

Some say Forest only got

The job because he is named

After a place where birds live.

But if that were true,

Why didn’t they give the role

To Aviary Brooks (who played

Captain Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,

The beakiest of all the Trek franchises.

My favourite episode was when the shape-shifter,

Odo, turned himself into a massive puffin

And killed a huge Romulan kingfisher)?

5.

I give this film

(though I didn’t watch it)

7 quavers

And half a crotchet.

The Little Mermaid

June 24, 2010

Salty sex

Old Rope is allergic to fish and therefore unable to watch this motion picture. I have a doctor’s note. On the back in barely intelligible scrawl is written the following.

The Little Mermaid is a film about grooming. It focuses on Captain Birdseye, an all American antihero and fisherman on a large dirty trawler, christened the Furtive Tug. Onboard are a crew of foul-mouthed degenerates, each an amorphous fleshy collection of tatty beards, beardy tats and toothless grins. Daily these brigands cast their nets into the murky dark seas, the salty brine lashing their faces and the cold chilling their bones. It is on one such stormy day, with the wind howling about the prow and the deck awash with water and fish flapping about in the final throes of death, that Captain Birdseye (self-styled, he is not the ship’s real captain) makes the catch of a lifetime.

Entangled in his net is a creature of rare aquarian beauty: part haddock, part beatific feminine perfection. Her soft skin and damp hair, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment and fear, her pert breasts barely concealed by two woefully small clam shells – it is enough to make Birdseye’s beard bristle with a coruscating masculine electricity. “Fresh fish is on the menu tonight boys” he murmurs breathlessly to no one in particular.

I said this was a film about grooming and indeed afore long the barnacled Birdseye is grooming this mermaid’s fishy scales and curling her red hair twixt his calloused fisherman’s fingers. The girl is scared but cannot take her eyes from his. Oily, rainbow-streaked scales flake off as old Birdseye strokes her tail harder. Naturally, she cannot speak English but rather attempts to communicate with a series of dolphin-like clicks and hisses. Such aquatic nonsense is beyond the comprehension of Cap’n B, who vows in his head to make this salty strumpet his wife.

After a time the mermaid stops trembling and begins to stroke the molluscs on her captor’s pockmarked face. He smiles revealing a mouth of yellow teeth littered with bits of half-chewed bread-crumbed cod. Apropos of nothing and totally at odds with the film’s tone, the mermaid breaks into song: “I used to be a carp, but I’m all woman now!” she opines like a diva in her dolphine dialect.

About the edges of the boat, riding the crests of each frothy wave and looking on forlornly are a sorry-looking racially stereotyped crab and an exotic looking fish. They are sad, for no more will they spy on the mermaid as she urinates behind rocks and washes her frilly gills when she thinks no one is looking. No more will this maritime Lolita see her family, nevermore shall she swim with the seals or jamboree with the jellyfish at dances on the ocean bed. And it is upon these two jealous friends that the sorry task of relating this sickening Stockholm syndrome style love story between man and fish shall fall. It is they who shall face her father’s wroth, heartbreak and tears.

Back on the boat, Birdseye is deciding whether to sear, sauté or poach.

I give this film 3 fish fingers.

Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers

June 24, 2010

Argos, Mordor branch

Though I have not seen Samuel L. Jackson’s second film to be adapted from Enid Blyton’s bestseller, I did once hear a radio play of the same name, starring Richard Briars as the Ring. From this I can accurately surmise the contents of the 2003 motion picture.

We open on a sorry note, with the protagonist leprechauns split up and scattered like semen after a particularly careless wank. Furthermore Santa is dead, his magic charms unable to save him from falling down a really big hole. Oh, and one of the humanoids gone done all dead an’ all, all arrowed to bits he was. Still, at least he had an honourable death – or as honourable as death can be when you are shuffled off this mortal coil by a man dressed as an ork.

It is with heavy heart, therefore, that Freddy Ballbags must carry on with his quest to return some substandard jewellery to the Argos Extra store several towns over.

Saddled by totally unfounded accusations of having produced a lumpen work of protracted tedium with the predecessor to this film, Jackson has taken the necessary steps to jazz up The Two Towers. In order to up the pace and jolly along the action the director has inserted a cast of slow-talking, slow-moving trees. It is a move that would baffle even the smallest, thickest child. Meanwhile, as the trees are lumbering about achieving fuck all – as is a tree’s wont – the pixie, the gnome and the non-dead humanoid make a detour into a lacklustre faux Shakespearean play. It’s all betrayals, poisoned minds and birds wanting to fight alongside the menfolk.

Needless to say, before long they are all bored to tears of the incoherent dawdling melodrama transpiring in this medieval castle and so some of the faces about the place fix up a good old fashioned ruck with a firm from the next town over.

It’s a day out for the lads and everyone gets to feel the rush once more, just like the glory days. What’s more, Santa shows up alive and well. It seems he’s not dead after all and he makes out like he always meant to fall down that big hole. He is eyed with all the suspicion due to a man telling fibs and wearing a white a dress. “Fuck off granddad, or I’ll tell the king you touched me” cusses the gnome, unreasonably.

“It’s not my fault!” wails Father Chrimbo, aka Merlin, “It’s the other bad santa. I think he’s on a register or something…”

The people of Middle Earth are a principled folk and though they will allow crude fiery metaphors for Satan to pervade the place and trees to be granted lengthy soliloquies, they wont stand idle whilst an old man in the neighbourhood faces tenuous accusations of paedophilia. A lynch mob is gathered, a minibus hired and we’re all off to Isengard for a good old fashioned tar and feathering.

But when our intrepid band of heroes arrive they discover a burst water pipe has flooded the gaff putting the kibosh on their plans. Over in the larder, two of the tousle-haired leprechauns are getting stuck into the ale and honking on their ‘special’ pipe-leaves. It is a scene so familiar it makes this critic homesick for his native Liverpool and thus unable to complete the review.

To wit, I give this film two towers.


See also
:: Lord of The Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring
:: Lord of The Rings – The Return of The King

Teen Wolf – The TV Series

June 24, 2010

Cling ons were a source of much discomfort to the Teen Wolf during his adolescence

Hot Pedigree Chum! Have you heard that MTV are making a television version of Teen Wolf, in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer vein? Well, they are. These are exciting times, friends. All of the old gods are returning from their respective twilights to inaugurate a new age of Saturnian delights. I refer of course to the A-Team, Judge Dredd and the no-doubt soon-to-be-commissioned remake of Labyrinth, featuring Sam Worthington as the rough roustabout Goblin King.

Anyway, should the producers find themselves short of ideas, here are some suggestions to make the new Teen Wolf show a real success:

1) Everyone loves that bit in the original film in which the Teen Wolf poses and preens on the roof of a moving truck. But this is very dangerous, and MTV obviously don’t want their main star to be injured in a road accident, only to be mounted and frotted by the kind of perverts one finds in J. G. Ballard’s novel, Crash. From my own experiments, I have found that a whippet sellotaped to the roof of a fast-moving vehicle is virtually indistinguishable from a hairy Michael J. Fox.

2) Teen Wolf has to be very very sexy when he is the wolf. From my own experiments, I have found that women find Antonio Banderas highly sexually attractive, especially when he wears high-waisted slacks and whispers mysteriously into their ears. MTV should seriously consider casting Antonio Banderas in the lead role. Granted, he is not a teen. But James Van Der Beek was 46 when he starred in the first season of Dawson’s Creek, and no-one gave a hoot (except the predominantly underage actresses who had to kiss him). MTV have to ask themselves: do they want sexiness, or do they want verisimilitudinousness? They’re not making a Ken Loach film. They are making a spicy saga full of lupine larfs. Go sexy, MTV, go Banderas.

3) In Teen Wolf 1, the Teen Wolf was a basketball player. In Teen Wolf 2, the Teen Wolf was a boxer. In the TV show, he needs to be associated with a different, more contemporary sport. May I recommend, MTV, that the Teen Wolf be a champion show-jumper? From my own experiments, I have found that the sight of a hirsute, fanged gentleman wearing jodphurs on top of a lithe and well-groomed horse is a great way to grab young viewers’ attention. “Wow. Wicked! Check out the way Teen Wolf is clutching that Martingale”, they will say. “Teen Wolf’s dressage-style is sick” they will exclaim, somewhat ambiguously. “Oh man”, they will protest, “T.W. clocked up a rail down with front hooves. That bums me out.” Show-jumping. Yes!

Well then, MTV, whaddya say?

The Reaping

June 21, 2010

Some say that ‘The Reaping’ is a substandard horror film starring Hilary Swank. I say they are liars who have not even seen the film. I have definitely seen the film, I think, and I am pretty sure it is about a man who has to reap a big field of corn, and who falls in love with his delicious employer, played by Julie Christie. Here is my review:

The Shearing

Gabriel Oak wiped his greasy wrinkled brow with the hem of an ale-stained smock. “Oi ’ad been reapen at these ’ere corrn earrs since Whitsuntide last. Oi ahm toirred of this bahk-breaken laberrrr”. “Here,” said Bathsheba, the comely shepherdess who had lately inherited the Winslow-Porkwind estate, “have a sausage”. Gabriel furtively fingered the bulging wurst. “Whoi thahnkyou Ma’am” said Gabriel, and flicked the cylindrical pig nugget into his own hairy mouth. Wow! Gazoinks! It was a magic sausage. Gabriel’s old, beaten, West Country swede-sack of a body hummed with new vigour. Whoosk! Brrriinnngg! Gabriel felt like a spicy young stag in the heat of the pumping season. Like a crazy egg-whisk, Gabriel reaped up and down the field at a stupendous rate. His scythe was a maelstrom of metal magic. His smock was a hempen whirligig. Within half an hour the whole field was reaped, and Gabriel’s work was done. “Now moi Bahhthsheba,” he said “Oi’ve got a mahgic sausage forrr you”.

This is a sensual and passionate film that tickles the seat of Eros like a wiggling and intrusive ear of corn. It exposes the beating red heart of the English countryside, like some kind of gigantic cardiovascular surgeon who has inexplicably mistaken a huge landmass for a human patient. It takes us out of the entropic conurbations and Brutalist urban hives where we all, alas, live, and lets us stroll about in a windy rural Eden of melancholy swains and melting maids. It is a weekend vacation of a film that lasts an hour and a half. It is a two-dimensional eye holiday. It is less of a feast for the eyes and more of a film for the mouth. Whenever you look up, thar shall it be. And whenever it looks up, thar shall you be. What more do you want out of a film?

Gosford Park

June 18, 2010

The imposing grounds of Gosford Park, as painted by Canaletto in the 17th century

Gosford Park is a murder mystery featuring an ensemble cast. This means that there are a lot of people in it. Here is a list of the main characters. Can you guess whodunnit?

Flatty Zuster, Red Moo, Grahamz, Hot Whiskers, The Geoff, Monkey O’ Brian, Bloodcock, Rough Barbara, Mr Cuddles, Theresa Plop, Jesus Crabtree, Rice Pudding, Joan the Juggernaut, Wesley Wellington, Zoink Pweep, Goddy Froo, Pete the Meat, Pete the Teat, Pete the Peat, Robert Mugabe, Muff, Old Jenkinson, Missy Mugwump, Dr Bread, Fanny McCluskey, Big Brute, Round Marvin, Suppurated Prudence, Ross Bill, Rubber Johnny, Robert Johnny, Hunk Peterson, Snorgrart the Quest-Master.

Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring

June 17, 2010

One bling to rule them all

Having read all 600,000 pages of the Lord of the Rings Role Play instruction book (Spanish Edition) I consider myself reasonably well equipped to review the first instalment of Michael Jackson’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic novel.

The Fellowship of the Ring is a film about four little Irish Leprechauns and their quest to return a piece of defective jewellery to an Argos Extra store several towns over.

Along the way they are helped by Father Christmas, who’s jolly laugh, beard and spells enliven the trip no end. Since Santa is on his jollies the leprechauns call him by his old school nickname of Merlin and he does not wear his distinctive red pyjamas outfit, preferring instead a rather more shabby grey shawl. This does nowt to refute Santa’s rep round the estate as a dirty old paedo.

The first film of this expansive and in no way tedious triptych focuses on the plights of the wee bairns as they walk through a list of fictitious names and geographical locations, encountering all manner of pixies and gnomes who insist on reciting poetry in made-up languages. A little known fact is that Roald Dahl did not accurately and painstakingly create a new language especially for the books, he just made up some words as he went along and pretended it was authentic pixie-speak. I know a pixie and he says that what you see in the films is just a crude pastiche of Sprite-ish mixed with some stereotypical Nymph-like idioms. He also said the film was the most racially offensive thing he’d seen since the Smurfs. But I thought he was being too harsh. Some of my best friends are Smurfs and they don’t mind when I call them Blue Bastards. Don’t get that humourless pixie prick started on Slavic fairies or you’ll never hear the end of it.

Anyway, Frodo Ballbags and his pals are being chased through what is essentially the Lake District by some Goths who really like cheap catalogue store jewellery and don’t want to see the ring go to waste. After a detour to visit the Peak Cavern (also known as the Devil’s Arse) in Derbyshire where they saw some rocking stalactites and bought nattie hats in the gift shop, our diminutive friends decide to get lost in the woods. It is here that they meet the wife of a drab ‘rock-star’ who has swallowed all her husband’s studio effects processors after a particularly heavy party, causing her to talk with lots of echo and behave all funny like. Cate Blanchett turns in an admirable performance as Gwyneth Paltrow.

Actual size

Since Santa fell down a hole in the Peak Cavern (which boasts the deepest pitch in Britain) this rocker bird takes pity on the little lads. “Christmas shalt cometh early to our shortarse ring-bearing heroes, for fate and some mystical magical things devoid of coherence and substance decree ‘t! ” she drones, eerily before breaking into more poetry in a made-up language. She proceeds to give each of the Fellowship (named such because all of this sexist boy’s club are ‘fellows’) crappy chrimbo presents. “Does she not understand that a shitty fake gold gift was the very reason for thine quest in the first place?” cusses one of the Humanoids, anachronistically.

Still a couple of the lads get flick-knives, which might come in handy when they have to head back to the estates of County Armagh, the pixie gets a plastic bow and arrow kit and the gnome gets a pair of Paltrow’s soiled panties which he is understandably chuffed with. “These fair undercrackers shall sell for a pretty fortune on ebay methinks!” he chuckles whilst wanking into his own beard. Poor old Sam (played here by footballing dwarf Sammy Lee) gets nought but a rope to hang himself with, but fails to get the hint even when his so-called bezzie mate Frodo tries to do a runner on him. “Fuck off Sam,” spits Frodo, “This gang is only for cool people with Fila trainees and whose mam isn’t poor”.

As the credits roll the joke is on Frodo cos everyone knows Fila trainers are shit.

I give this film one ring to rule them all.

Coming soon: parts 2 and 3

See also: Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers

:: Lord of The Rings – The Return of The King
:: Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers

Judge Dredd

June 16, 2010

Apparently they are making another Judge Dredd film. Why not? The last Judge Dredd film was such an unmitigated success it would be churlish not to pump another version out. This poem might be about the last version, or the new one, or maybe the comic. I wouldn’t know; I haven’t seen/read any of them (thanks to boingboing.net for the image).

Sylvester Stallone in Judge Dredd

1.

The Grark fragged off a grafted lawgiver

Right in Dredd’s judicial fizzog.

Dredd got real mad.

Dredd growled “I am the law, by Grud”

But the Grark shot off on a gimpfloat.

“Drokk” squeaked the Grark,

Receding into the orange twilight

Of Mega-City One.

Dredd got real madder.

Not so real madder that he showed his face

Mind,

Not so real madder that he actually

Took the unprecedented step

Of taking off his helmet

And actually showing his face.

2.

But had he showed his face

It wouldn’t have looked anything

Like Stallone’s meatfragging mutie’s mug,

You understand?

3.

Dredd’s face is all chin.

If you remove his hard-ass helmet,

Like a trembly sex-change surgeon

In a jacked-out meatwagon

Lopping off the tip of

A superfluous fragstick,

You will see two stubbled chins

Where his eyes should be.

Instead of nostrils,

You will see two perforated chins,

Just south of his chin-eyes,

Snorting up the pungent bouquets of

The post-apocalyptic evening breeze.

4.

Instead of a mouth,

Dredd has a concave chin

(Judges don’t need to eat.

They subsist on justice

And perpmeat).

5.

Who would win in a chin-off

Between Dredd

And Bruce Campbell?

Drokk, buddy.

Y’got me.