Posts Tagged ‘films’

Martyrs

January 19, 2013

Martyr: noun – a person who is killed because of their religious beliefs.

But not if you’re in this film. ‘Martyr’ means ‘pretty woman wearing pants and vest who gets punched in the kidneys repeatedly’. Or does it? Sickened by the (alleged – I haven’t seen it) misogyny of this film, I turned to the wisdom of internet reviews for an insight into the true artistic meaning of slapping a woman about in a darkened room.

User JSh0k writes on IMDB that “…Martyr’s [sic] is definitely a dish best served cold” by which I assume he means that watching the kidney-punching is like eating a big bowl of ice-cream.

He (I’m assuming he’s a ‘he’, although ‘he’ may well be a ‘she’) also says that Martyrs “…will hopefully astound you with it’s gutsy originality” but that it is similar to “movies like Nacho Cerda’s Aftermath”. Hmm, I’m confused.

He does clarify things by arguing that Martyrs “….is guaranteed to divide audiences everywhere.” Divide them into sadists and non-sadists, presumably.

At least IMDB user Onderhond can add some meaning to the dismemberment: “…limbs are flying enjoyment to be found.” Right. “Don’t watch Martyrs to get a little horror kick, or to indulge in silly gorefests.” I won’t, then.

Still, I don’t quite know what all the slapping, punching, knifing, pissing and impalement means. I get that it’s ‘tough to watch’, ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘not for the faint-hearted’, but what’s underneath all of that?

In a last bid to unearth some sense I turn to the late William Burroughs. Using the Lazarus Corporation‘s fine Text Mixing Desk, I throw together some of the key points from the most avid internet reviews, and I paste the results below. I think you’ll find they render the film obsolete.

Not that I’ve seen it.

Lazarus Corporation Text Mixing Desk says: “Torture scenes watch this film is harsh. you wear an honour watched that! like the easily badge to say movie women have physical stabbed in the street to answer her warped kidnapping get a little horror gorefests. young girl girl captured wants laugier digs deeper into the forgotten. don’t watch martyrs story of horror and torture, I honour badge film there’s no genre ‘popcorn’ flying the capacity laugh harrowing extremely violent desires the enjoyment to be found. violence unfeeling squirm and accept the monster wrangled, the tension simply serve a human mind. the physically sick schizophrenic horribly monickered martyrs to and torture of a ‘torture-porn’ are emotionally exorcism bleak, depressive to be slasher gory, but you won’t people literally get kick, or joy, limbs are rather that idea behind martyrs truly is a ordeal to end must-see is not futile nor characters to indulge in silly and wear an understanding cold and inevitable extremely graphic presentation is cold, the her.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why some people like the film Martyrs.

RoboCop

March 28, 2012

With a big budget remake due to hit the big screens in a big way next year, now is the perfect time to take an ill-informed retrospective squint at Paul Verhoeven’s original.

PC Jim Murphy is a maverick (non-robo) cop on the edge, who plays by his own rules and lives by his own law. He plays hard and drinks fast – and he loves even harder and/or faster. He walks the line between right and wrong but he always gets his man and he lives by his own code – and it’s a very special type of justice indeed. He doesn’t always go by the book but he gets the job done, whether the bosses like it or not, and if they don’t like it… well, that’s their problem. He’s also getting too old for this shit.

After being brutally twatted by drug dealers, Murphy is rebooted by (non-robo) scientists as part of a bleeding-edge information technology project, led by a collaborative group of inter-disciplinary innovators. Essentially, they turn him off and on again. This is great news for Murphy, as his files had become corrupted.

Resurrected as the mechanoid death-dispensing bullet-shitter, RoboCop, Murphy proceeds to scour the sins from the futuristic streets of a bleak, neo-Gothic Detroit.

“ERROR X1R44, PUNK!!”, he bleeps, throttling a pimp. “DO YOU WANT TO SEND ERROR REPORT?!”

Murphy’s (non-robo) bosses aren’t happy. Doors are slammed, paper cups of coffee are thrown at walls, and brows are furrowed. An investigation is launched.

Robo-Murphy meets with his (non-robo) union rep.

“It doesn’t look good, Murphy,” says the bespectacled humanoid union man. “Three counts of cyber-violence and it’s only Tuesday. And you need to oil your knees – they’re too squeaky. No-one can concentrate on their work when you’re walking down the corridor.”

Murphy jerks up from his seat, upturning the desk in the process.

“RAM DUMP!! DEFRAG MAIN DRIVE?!”

He exits and journeys to the land of Oz in search of a heart, but finds only corruption, corporate greed and  bureaucracy.

RoboCop

Rage (Again) The Machine - Murphy struggles with the paradox of having human emotions and a brain made of spreadsheets.

The film ends with a point of view shot of Murphy suffering the dreaded ‘blue screen of death’, kicking spasmodically and gurgling a pastey, milkish gloop from his face-holes.

“It’s probably for the best. The world just wasn’t ready for him,” says a passing (non-robo) janitor, sweeping away the shattered dreams of a broken society.

An interesting film, but one marred by typically Verhoeven-esque scenes of rancid copulation between the machine-like Murphy and the soft, squishy (non-robo) lollipop lady, Rita.

I give this film 5 megs out of 10. BZZZZTTT!!

Yellow Submarine

August 6, 2010

The iconic Yellow Submarine

Every fool knows that the Dave Clark Five were the most successful band to ever roam the face of this our planet Earth. Their name is synonymous not only with the swinging sixties, but with pop music itself. It is them we have to thank for literally millions of billions of trillions of songs; songs that we sing in the bath, the shower and on the bog, pooing in time with the catchy idiosyncratic melodies.

The DC5 were not only Britain’s foremost popstars, they also made a bunch of films, including this animated psychedelic classic, Yellow Submarine. Drawing from the group’s extensive catalogue of hit records, the film was based on a their finest work, their masterpiece, their greatest gift to the artistic cannon of the human race: a shitty cod nursery rhyme sung by the drummer.

This 1968 arthouse magnum opus happened to be showing at a cultural centre not 20 blocks from my house and I availed myself of the opportunity to swing by. Since Old Rope believes moving drawings to be an affront to god, and furthermore one that can make your brain overheat and explode, I elected not to watch the film itself. Rather I confined myself to reading the Spanish subtitles. From this I could hazard a guess as to the film’s content.

Epitome of cool

Largely spoken in Aramaic, the plot focuses on the travails of a fictional group, not altogether dissimilar to the Dave Clark Five (DCF), and their attempts to sanitise the world. In a universe populated with lunatics and bedlam, our heroes must insert rods up backsides and make sure everyone gets a proper job and returns to their natural place in society.

Since DCF were unavailable or unwilling to disentangle themselves from London’s more exclusive opium dens, a number of former US presidents were exhumed to voice the protagonists.

As Benjamin Franklin croaks “Hey, fellas, look at this fab moteycar!” and Roosevelt chirps “Gear!” through a dusty, wormy voice, it is almost impossible to distinguish them from the real deal. It is exactly as though the DCF are in the cinema with you, synchronising their own voices with the moving pictures.

I shant spoil the ending, but suffice to say that there is a parade of rheumatic lepers, a horse with three willies and a banana that talks (possibly the illusive and never-explained allegorical “Yellow Submarine” of the title?). Goodness, it was enough to remind me of college and my own ill-spent youth, time divided between a gang of lepers, talking to a banana and looking at horses willies. Happy days indeed.

From what I could discern from the faces of those around me, the drawings were well rendered, and perfectly captured the straight-laced, uptight style of the time. Indeed the slight drooling of one viewer positively cried out “I am watching a perfect period piece”.

With cast-iron casting, high-art visuals and lashings of DCF’s finest concertos, it is a unfathomable that Yellow Submarine failed to win more awards (a mere 14 Oscars seems an insult in its paucity). I enjoyed not watching it immensely.