Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quiet dear, get back to your simpering.

Village of the Damned (1960)

Starring: Stuffy English people, Hysteria, Tea Cosies, Those creepy blonde children with the glowing eyes you see getting spoofed in The Simpsons

The Gist: It’s three years after The Midwich Cuckoos came out and they’ve made the film version. And you thought turnarounds were quick nowadays? Anyway they make a really good stab at it and only take 77 minutes to do so. I know that a short running time isn’t the best praise to heap on something, but it’s a total compliment when you think of Transformers taking almost three hours to do nothing at all very loudly. I like my nonsense short, sharp and to the point thank-you-very-much.

And then what happens?: It’s something that’s been said an awful lot on this blog (and apologies for the repetition) but there’s some kind of process that female characters go through between the book and the film adaptation. Like how in the book they actually make valid points and have personality and seem like, how-you-say, real humans? Then the film just gets them to simper around the place hysterically until a strong man can come along and slap them upside the head. Then they say thank you.

See it for: The creepy children. Though they’re not as creepy as I thought they’d be cause they get dubbed over with adults putting on a weird voice. Not scary, just distracting.

Level of Crazy: 7. Don’t glow your eyes at me, you pervy albino.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Freaky Baby

The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

by John Wyndham

Stuffy English people, Hysteria, Tea Cosies, Those creepy blonde children with the glowing eyes you see getting spoofed all the time in The Simpsons

The Gist: One day a small town in England somewhere goes whump and all falls asleep and stuff. Anyone who walks within a five-mile radius of the place hits the ground. Which is frightfully inconvenient you see. Then they all wake up and they’re fine. Except when they find out later that all the women in the town of childbearing age are pregnant. Even the ones who’ve never made whoopy before. Yes I know I’m mixing the lingo of fifties Britain and fifties America but hush your mouth.

And then what happens?: Wyndham makes it about everything except the story itself. He whips up these great plotlines but then just uses them to poke a stick at lots of other things. “Civilisation is total decadence”. Discuss. “Women are inherently arrogant as they know they shall always be required in nature”. Rebuttal? “Would you love a thing what you don’t know where it came from?”. And he scatters it all about like confetti and it’s these questions that stay with you a lot longer than the image of a blonde-headed freak-child. Though they are effing weird.

Read it for: You've seen a thousand things that are derived from the storyline, but the likelihood is none of them have been done better than this.

But really don’t read it: If you’re pregnant.

Level of Crazy: 9. No go refer to a pregnant woman as “the host”.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I’m Educating You, Rita.

Educating Rita (1983)

Starring: Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Trinity College

The Gist: Michael Caine, Julie Walters and the other people involved in this basically created the prototype for the quaint little British film that goes on to get nominated for Oscars and all that. It’s predictable, simplistic and every movement of it is either signalled to you well in advance, or is explained to you as it happens just-case-you-didn’t-get-it. Or both. But you’ll still be charmed and/or entertained. Why? That’s why.

And then what happens?: It’s strange, the story is basically done after about 45 minutes, right after her husband leaves her (and that’s only a spoiler if you’ve never ever seen a film before) and she gives an intense speech to Caine about how she’s strong enough to take criticism of her essays. But then it keeps going for another hour, because people have to learn more lessons, Caine has to get a good weeping clip for the Oscars and Walters has to try out some more nifty stylings from the early 80s.

See it for: Trinity College in Dublin. I know I’m biased by misty-eyed nostalgia but it looks only gorgeous.

Level of Crazy: 2. I’ll be damned if Rita doesn’t get good and educated!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I see. No wait, I don't...

In this time of economic hardship that we now find ourselves, it's good to know that people are getting their priorities straight:

Casual female student to teach contact lens use

Job description:
Looking for a Uni Student (female) to tutor how to "put in' and "take out" contact lenses (hourly basis on a Saturday or Sunday).

I have been putting-off using contact lenses and whilst having received instruction at the Optometrist, I have not tried to wear contact lenses and am pretty hopeless with them. Also, because I wear glasses, if I dropped a lens I probably would have trouble finding it again. Hence the need for a personal tutor to demonstrate contact lens handling and application.

Ideally looking for a student, who obviously wears contact lenses, to provide me with weekend lessons and I envisage a month to six weeks for me to become confident with them.

Hourly $ rate negotiable.

Around $150 in totoal [sic]

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trapeze Striptease.

Sent to me by a friend researching the circus. Loving the guys on the left. Way to underplay.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Original Bro-mance

Cruising (1980)

Starring: Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen

The Gist: If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Cause today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic. That is, if by the woods you mean San Francisco, and by surprise you mean gayness. And replace teddy bears with Al Pacino, and picnic with more gayness. Then you add some ambiguity about everything that’s going on, not so much to help the film but mainly cause it was produced at the tail-end of the 70s and people were coo-coo-bananas for that back then. That’s Cruising, though I think the original title was probably something like Homo Killer on the Prowl.

And then what happens?: Think of it like a buddy movie where one of the guy’s is Al Pacino and the other one is the gay S&M scene of San Francisco in 1980. At the start they don’t really see eye to eye but after a while they earn a mutual respect and share some common ground. In this case what I’ve assumed to be a poppers hanky. The hanky was dark blue, and I’ll be testing you on what that means at the end.

See it for: The ‘Getting Gay With Al’ montages. Paul Sorvino’s inexplicable limp. The parts that make no sense. The ‘Sniffing the Hanky’ montage. The big black guy in underpants and a cowboy hat who appears from nowhere and slaps Al around a little. All those other parts that make no sense.

Level of Crazy: 10. Did you get it? It means he may have something for you in the back. I say matron!