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Andy Bluff the Film Buff

He tells it like it is.

by Andrew Smith

Film was the medium of the 20th century. As we enter a new millennium will to continue to be so? No, because it's not the 20th century any more. So will it be the medium of the 21st century? I don't fucking know, but Andy Bluff might. He's a straight-talking, bush-beating Yorkshire man from Yorkshire who calls a spade a spade and suffers no fools, gladly or otherwise. In other words he's a cunt. So here he is with comprehensive reviews of the movies that defined a century.


Films. They're all shite. I haven't seen a good one yet. Except for Superman. These are my reviews of some films it has been my grave misfortune to watch.

Notting Hill.

Okay, I haven't seen this, but I don't need to. The next time I see Hugh Grant getting paid 5 million for doing his "Hugh Grant, stammering Englishman" thing I'm going to stab someone - preferably Hugh Grant, failing that any one of the cunts who profess to like this trembling turd of a film stands in my way.

The Blair Witch Project.

Okay, I haven't seen this film either, but I don't need to what with that endless self-promotion. Put me right off...The website isn't up to much either - full of clearly fictional stories pretending to be fact. Don't know about you but I grew out of crap ghost stories years ago. All the clips I've seen show Americans standing in a wood arguing with each other in a superfluously verbose manner. Two hours of that is truly a prospect too scary to contemplate. What is it with films these days? Every character has turned into a garrulous wisecracking irritant. Bring back silent movies. No, wait a minute - don't. They were rubbish too.

The Sixth Sense.

Bruce Willis, the smirking rightwing lard-arse, tends to ruin most things he's in, and so it is with this film. Though I haven't actually seen it.

Shakespeare In Love.

Now this film I have seen and my God, what a load of unutterable bollocks it is. You walk out of the cinema fantasising about Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, a concrete wall and a firing squad. Paltrow is so wet you could squeeze her and wash your car. Fiennes' Shakespeare sports pathetic facial hair and prances around in a manner that makes you want to punch him in his smarmy face for as long as it takes to turn it into a pulp of blood and cartilage. The whole boring lard di dah tweeness of it all is so utterly depressing that I would rather sit naked in a nest of scorpions for three days than watch just one minute of this ever again.

Full Metal Jacket.

Stanley Kubrick's dull war film is split roughly into two halves, the first concerning a bad-ass Sergeant whose sadism drives a porky fellow to suicide, the second following the fortunes of the remaining soldiers as they do battle with the Vietnamese. The Vietnam war has proven valuable to film-makers lacking inspiration, and any movie treating it with a degree of perceived objectivity is likely to be rewarded with accolades and Oscars, such is the liberal establishment's desire to assuage a collective guilt for starting the conflict. Plus they're good for action scenes. This particular film lacks the gusto of Platoon or the tripped-out scale of Apocalypse Now. Indeed it was filmed for the most part in Beckton, East London, a place best known for a dry-ski slope and its proximity to Canning Town. Fucking cheap-skates.

2001: A Space Oddessy.

More Kubrick bollocks, this pretentious bullshit bored the tits off me. I can grudgingly concede that the recently deceased 'eccentric', i.e madman, had talent, but being a master of form means nothing without content. Mind you, the theme tune is alright.

Blue Peter.

I went to see this at my local cinema last summer and came away feeling short-changed. There was very little in the way of plot or action, just three presenters of doubtful calibre who when they weren't making ornaments out of snails or patronising us with recipes for frigging shortbread seemed intent on exhorting money from the audience for this worthy cause or that. A bleeding cheek considering it cost me 8 to get in. What's more, it lasted less than 30 minutes! A scandal.

Food and Drink.

I took a lady with me to see this expecting a sensuous, visual feast, and ended up watching a couple of fat fuckers stuff themselves silly. Like Blue Peter, this was ludicrously short (about half an hour) and had similarly feeble narrative drive. Heading the cast was a chubby grey-haired fellow who just hovered around the food waiting for the chef to offer him a morsel or two. The actor playing the chef was even chubbier, with a silly ginger beard, a voice like a cement mixer and an altogether objectionable air about him. Halfway through, in a lame attempt at wackiness, we cut to Jilly the demented wine taster and her insane companion Oz, before resuming the pork-out with the aforementioned lard-boys. Next week, they promised, Anthony will be making a bread and butter pudding. Next week? What is this, a TV series? I may be having words with the manager of my local cinema.

On Golden Pond.

Henry Fonda and his daughter Jane and some other people fart around on a lake for what seems like 5 years. Total toss.

Citizen Kane.

This one stars that bloke who used to do the voice-overs for the Carlsberg adverts and is often cited as one of the best films ever made. But it's in black and bleeding white, for Christ's sake. You'd have thought the best film ever made would have at least a splash of colour here and there. And don't give me any of that deep-focus pioneering techniques film-geek spiel either. For those of you who haven't seen it, Rosebud is his sled.

Last Tango In Paris.

This film is notorious for the scene where Marlon Brando buggers a French lass using butter as a lubricant but every time it is shown on Channel 4 (which seems to be at least once a month) I have fallen asleep long before then. There's not much truth in the title - most Parisians prefer a strong cup of coffee to soft drinks and the likelihood of there being a shortage of Tango in Paris is slim.

Bambi.

I was looking forward to watching the true story of Ritchie Valens, the rock star who was tragically killed in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and someone else, but instead it was some shit about deer. Don't believe the hype.

Schindler's List.

Again, a black and white film heralded as a masterpiece. Disappointingly there are no special effects to speak of and it's a bit dour compared to the director's previous films. A few aliens wouldn't have gone amiss, for example. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that a little girl's dress appears as red halfway through the film - a shocking mistake in a monochrome movie. Shoddy production values from a former perfectionist.

Taxi Driver.

One of the best American movies ever, proclaim the critics, though I can't see it myself. It's a bleak old film, full of bad language and gratuitous violence. What happened to the smart humour and witty one-liners of the TV series? And where's Christopher Lloyd, Danny Devito and co.? A totally unrecognisable adaptation, unjustly praised.

So there you go. Total toss, one and all. Fortunately there's a saving grace that alone makes the medium worthwhile. And here it is:

Superman!

The best film ever made? Undoubtedly. Based on a true story, it traces the birth and development of Clark Kent aka Superman aka The Son Of Duracell. Born on the planet Krypton to Marlon Brando and some familiar looking bird whose name escapes me, young Superman is sent off through space in a moon-buggy-type-thing to escape his planet's impending destruction from a massive, expanding sun that engulfs all in its way. After a beautiful, ethereal journey through galaxies and nebulae, he lands on Earth - in Middle America as it happens - and is adopted by a kindly old couple who dismiss the massive crater and wreaked spaceship that accompanies him as a hallucination brought on by a few too many sherries and their advancing years. They call him Clark after the shoe manufactures and Kent after their surnames. They are soon convinced of their child's supernatural powers when he starts lifting cars and running at the speed of sound and stuff like that. Anyway, the old man dies of a heart attack when Clark is approaching adulthood. Distressed as he is by this, it's also his cue to become a man himself - or rather a superman - so naturally he goes to the North Pole and builds himself an ice-castle in the manner of planet Krypton. The spirit of Marlon Brando reappears and talks to him about destiny etc. His familiar looking mum crops up too and has a natter. Then he discovers he can fly.

Cut seamlessly to New York where an older Clark Kent (Reeve) is establishing himself as journalist, working in tandem with feisty sex-kitten Lois Lane and spending his spare time as Superman fighting crime and saving lives. Nobody but himself (and his adoptive mother) knows that Clark Kent is Superman, since he disguises his identity brilliantly by wearing spectacles in Clark mode and taking them off in Superman mode. All is going swimmingly until self-styled Criminal of the Twentieth century Lex Luthor makes an entrance with his dastardly plans to destroy the world and kill off Superman.

If you haven't seen the film, I won't give the game away - except to say that Luthor tries to kill Superman with Kryptonite and fails, but succeeds in his nuclear bombing of California which precipitates a massive earthquake killing millions of people, among them Lois Lane, prompting Superman to let out a mighty despairing yell before encircling the world backwards millions of times, forcing time itself to go backwards and reversing events to the point where Superman can constructively intervene and save everyone's lives, including his beloved Lois', and take Lex Luthor to jail. Wicked.

Everything about this film radiates quality. The special effects are superb, especially the bit where Superman spins round so fast he burns a hole in the ground. The performances are all excellent. Marlon Brando gives a career-best turn as Duracell and was worth every one of those many million pennies he was paid. Gene Hackman creates a memorable villain in Lex Luthor, while Margot Kidder deserves lavish praise for contributing to the almost unbearable sexual tension present in her scenes with Superman. But it's Christopher Reeve in the title role who impresses most. As the bumbling Clark Kent - surely the funniest cinematic creation ever - he is simply hilarious, and as Superman he is so convincing you almost forget that off-screen he's paralysed from the waist down. In real life, Superman was actually an energetic swan with thuggish tendencies, but you can forgive the odd artistic licence when the results are this good. Fucking magic.








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