Monthly Archives: October 2012

The people who surround us

So I’ve turned 30. I’ve changed decades.

It’s remarkable really, how little difference it actually makes.

We’ve all done it, we’ve all freaked out at the prospective of getting old. Hell, I did. In June this year, it was made clear that I was freaking out. I’d found a grey hair, I was feeling archaic.

Approaching the big day, I was worried that this was it. This was the end. This was the last time I could enjoy life, feel young (ha!), feel alive.

Looking back, how farcical this really was. It all feels a bit silly. For one thing, nothing ever really changes. Waking up at 30, you don’t age excessively, you don’t lose your hearing or sight, you don’t go a little loopy. Not much changes.

Something amazing DID happen on my birthday though.

When you look at life, it’s so easy to analyse your life based on the following:

  • Love Life
  • Career
  • Money
  • Legacy

This is all very well & good, but what being 30 showed me was that whilst 2 & 3 aren’t that important, the 4th doesn’t need to be a physical item.

It’s weird, I’d always thought “Let’s create that book, let’s write that novel”. I still want to do that, but I know it isn’t the be all and end all anymore.

In the end of the day, the most amazing thing is the realisation that you’ve had an effect on someone’s life.

On Friday October 12th, 15 people appeared. From all walks of life, it’s amazing that so many arrived. It was brilliant.

In the end of the day, you might write the worlds greatest novel, you might build a building, when you’re gone, it’s not you they remember but a misrepresentation. Family & friends keep you alive in ways a novel never can.

That’s kind of comforting when you think about it.

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski (1998) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

Imagine your the dude. Imagine all you really want is for your carpet to be clean. Isn’t life wonderful.

This film gives us an impression of what life could be life if we really didn’t care.

Personally, I’m a bloody Philosophy student, & yet compared with “The Dude” I’m ridiculously stressed. The idea of spending your entire life with absolutely nothing to worry about sounds like heaven. Perhaps leaving something for your kid (a book or something) and then just lazing around sounds like heaven. The Dude has an almost perfect life though.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, to enjoy this film, you’ve gotta be half cut, like myself & you’ve gotta be slightly relaxed. However, the point is that this film might not be perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, however it’s an entertaining piece of work, worth watching & which no-one would be disappointed in watching.

WATCH THIS AND ENJOY! A PIECE OF ART IN IT’S UTMOST FORM!

You’re Dead

You’re Dead (1999) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BIG BIG BIG SPOILERS

Ok, straight away I admit this film starts slowly, but by the end, who cares? This film is amazing. John Hurt has always been one of the most underrated actors of his generation & he adds to this belief with this film. You’re Dead is a hilarious film about a bank job which has gone wrong & not only features a quality soundtrack (can anyone think of a better film soundtrack than “The Hustle” by Van McCoy?!?!) but also leaves you at the end feeling warm inside. You’re Dead breathes a breath of fresh air & contains a twist which no-one could expect. Worth mentioning also is that every film always seems to mention the title at some point or another. Most James Bond films finish with the final line being the title of the film (the ammount of Sean Connery films which finish with the title as the end is enourmous), but not many have as excellent a comeback as “what do you do now you’re dead?” “live!” (that isn’t accurate, but I know people sometimes read these despite spoilers & I don’t want to give the entire twist away).

This film is wonderful & definately worth a watch. Badger is a bad guy who you love to hate & that’s another rarity. Too many films show a bad guy with a reasoning, it’s nice to just have someone who you are disgusted by. This film is most definately worth a watch. I recommend it more than most other modern classics.

“do the hustle. dum dum de dum de dum dum dum, etc etc”. LOVE THAT SONG!

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

Why is it that this film takes a ridiculously long to get into, and yet by the end, you find yourself swearing your head off at those b***ard scientists and wishing that they’d all go and jump off a cliff? This film is depressingly good. E.T. is almost exactly the same age as me & looking at it now, Drew Barrymore might look a bit young (obviously by Charlies Angels 1 & 2 she’s gorgeous), but the film is scarily entertaining. Compared with some films, ET might not be as good as some slightly less dated films, yet when either drunk or stoned, this film is entertaining. Surely this is the point. Watch ET (as if you haven’t already!) & enjoy it, just remember that compared with a few modern films, there are better. This film is an original, but that doesn’t make it good.

The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter (1978) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS INSIDE

This film is amazing. I mean, yeah ok I admit that some peoples points about it dragging are true. Also, it does seem very one sided and doesn’t take account of the fact that the Americans did some awful things in Vietnam too. However, the film surely shows just what a war film should. It shows a group of friends (all brilliantly acted by De Niro, Walken & Savage) who go to war & find themselves in a game of russian roulette. A lot of war films always seem to have groups going to war, but the vast majority returning relatively unharmed. It’s good to see a film where out of the three friends, one is dead & one is quite literally only half of his former self. I don’t mean this in a morbid way, but that is the way war often ends up for a lot of people. Yes theres the occasional hero, but for every hero, many thousands suffer. This film takes account of this and shows how the friends all suffer mentally and physically. Combine this with a naive group of people back home and you’re left with one hell of a war film.

Someone compared this film to Apocalypse Now in a previous summary, and claimed that AN was better, I’m sorry, but how can they possibly say that? Both films do present Vietnam as a hell hole full of death and naive troops with no idea what they’re due to encounter, but whilst the Deer Hunter talks of these troops returns, Apocalypse Now just seems to go off on one at the end and looses a lot of it’s credibility (in my view anyway). In a way it’s ironic how many films about war end badly when the topic itself tends to have quite a blatant full stop at the end. The Deer Hunter makes a worthy candidate for best Vietnam film of all time though & was a worthy winner of the years Oscar for Best Picture.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (1989) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I forgot how wonderful this film is. Meg Ryan provides the beauty & “ditzyness” whilst Billy Crystal provides the genius in comedy. Even the two best friends are brilliantly cast. It’s hard to write too much on this film as it really speaks for itself. It’s a wonderful wonderful film which reminds all us single people, that there’s always someone out there for us, even if it is our best female friend. Is it true that it’s impossible to be friends without feeling attracted to her? No it’s not impossible, but there’s always a chance of it advancing to more. Anyway, going off on one again. No real way of summing up this film than to say that it’s the best romantic comedy of all time by some considerable distance & it’s wonderful. Watch this film and feel good about life.

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs (1992) – Originally written July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

JUST FOR SAFETY SAKE, ASSUME THERE COULD BE SPOILERS

It’s films like this that make life really worth living.

I watched Reservoir Dogs for the first time a few years ago & to this day, it is still one of the most stylish & amazing films of all time. This film has it all. This film has immense style, it has cleverly planned violence by about six bucket-loads & it has a wonderful script. I don’t know what it is about Quentin Tarantino that makes him such a genius, but with a history which includes this & Pulp Fiction, it’s no wonder that Kill Bill (both parts!) looks like being one of the best films of the last few years.

Only Tarantino could get some of the best actors of the time (Keitel, Roth & my all time favourite Buscemi to name just three) to dress in suits, have names like Mr. Pink & walk around shooting, kicking & swearing at each other.

Ironically for a film boasting such stars, the best scene in my view is the opener in the café in which one of the most vocal people is Tarantino himself. Talking firstly about Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” & then tipping, this scene seems random, but it introduces the characters personalities so well and so early that it’s blatant from the very start just how they all act. Some films spend practically the entire film trying to explain someones character, this film sums most up in the first five minutes. Brilliant.

Finally, there’s something else which makes this film truly magical. The soundtrack!

Any film which features not only “Little Green Bag”, but then Steelers Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You” deserves credit.

Actually, I know I’d previously said “Finally”, but one thing worth mentioning is just how great it is to be able to watch a film which is only 95 minutes long. Over the last few days I’ve been going through a sort of film masterclass of sorts watching Fight Club, Apocalypse Now (now there’s a long film!) & others, but it’s so wonderful to watch a film that doesn’t take up an entire night.

So to summarise, a perfect length, perfect style, perfect soundtrack, perfect acting, perfect characterisation, perfect script, perfection in general.

Apocalypse Now


Apocalypse Now Redux (1979) – Originally written July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING SPOILERS INSIDE

What the hell was that?!?!? I’ve just spent the vast majority of a night watching the Redux version of this film & I’m a bit confused. I mean, technically I can appreciate why people rave about this film & there is certainly something special about it. However, I just don’t get what the fuss in general is about. The plot is good up until a point & then he meets Brando. I mean, even with the Redux added French bit which people seem to condemn, the film was still entertaining. I just don’t understand why the film switches from a movie about the horrors of war (of which it shows brilliantly, not least in Fishburne’s death) to some sort of art house film featuring natives & dancing. I just don’t understand what happened. Coppola is amazing as director & I don’t think anyone’s acting can be questioned (Duvall & Sheen being especially worthy of mention), but I just feel that if they’d done a decent ending, the film would have been so much more satisfying. I feel like I’ve watched a movie on video & the video broke halfway through the movie & switched to a different one alltogether. I guess it could be just me, but I do feel that with a bit more thought into the ending & this film could have been in the imdb top 10 movies rather than at 32 (last time I checked anyway).

Having said all that, despite a weak ending, for the first 3/4 of the film, I was entertained (and this coming from a Brit who isn’t too keen on american Vietnam films). So the film had some qualities at least.

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