Thursday, March 25, 2010

Green Zone VS America

On Monday night I saw Green Zone. It is an absolutely brilliant film that I think anyone with a strong stomach should see.

Oh, the strong stomach thing isn't because it's gory, but because Paul "Digicam ft. Parkinson's Disease" Greengrass of The Bourne Supremacy fame is the director. Apparently a lot of people stumble of the cinema covered in their own vomit from trying to follow the action in his films, but luckily I don't have this affliction. Plus he's at least stopped wobbling the camera during close-ups in dialogue scenes...

Anyway, I don't know how well this film was been publicised seeing as I don't get commercial TV. It is a VERY tense thriller set a month after the invasion of Iraq in Baghdad following Agent Jason Bourne, er, I mean Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller as he searches for Weapons of Mass Destruction. [SPOILERS] He doesn't find them.

When he takes his superiors to task for the poor intelligence, he brings himself to the attention of a sinister CIA agent codenamed Mad Eye Moody who chats with Miller - he reveals he already knows the next target his team is 'hitting' in Al Mansour is bogus, and gives Miller his card. As in all good thrillers, this sets off a chain of events that ends with about 200 guys dead. I don't really want to reveal much more, other than the thriller storyline is unusually plausible thanks to the fact that half the characters in the film are modelled on real people in the Iraqi conflict and it ties in neatly with actual events.

What has been fascinating to me has been my innocent frequenting of the IMDb, the internet's own bubbling cauldron of hate. Guess what - it turns out that the Iraqi war is something of a contentious issue over there!

Also, it looks like a lot of people have kept this all repressed for years, as the release of this film has attracted a lot of vitriol - it is 'unAmerican', it is 'treacherous slander', it is 'propaganda', people who see this film 'should be ashamed of themselves'. The IMDb has actually collapsed into itself on this film to the point where it's a rare occurrence to see the film proper being discussed... let's have a look at the subject headings..

Did US use DU radiation weapons on afghanistan? Afghan censors say yes
The most right wing people on this board are not American
Judith Miller of her WMD sources was John Bolton
a british soldier speaks out on 'why are we in afghanistan'
George W Bush = hero of the 21st century
OT-Ryan Phillippe's brother...kidnapped?
Islam is the Light

And my personal favourite : 'Neocon' is a liberal code word for Jew so just come out and say it!

Okay, neocon = Jew, happy?

If I can highlight two particular threads, from opposite ends of the spectrum (and I CAN, alright, because this is my blog!) they would be one orbiting Jupiter courtesy of a 'fair and balanced' individual calling himself OriginalBigWhite - a name that is possibly slander to we of the Caucasian genus - and another that is sensible and, to me, strangely touching.

First unto madness!

This Post will Ruin Any Beliefs in 'Lying about WMDs' and Conspiracies..

This is very simple and yet it will crumple all ideas about 'lying governments' and in reality as well as making the plot of Green Zone now suddenly seem ridiculous.

IF the US and/or UK governments were creating 'lies' about WMD's (and so many believe they did) and were creating a big 'cover-story' all to get oil then ask yourself this:

The EASIEST part of this entire scam would be to simply plant a handful of nuclear parts, a few jars of chemical weapons and a few long-range missiles in a bunker.
Within 20 minutes a White House Spokesman announces they absolutely found WMDs and as here are the pictures and even a couple of papers showing some plans.

Hell, a few photos of triumphant Generals holding up the seized WMDs would look amazing!
The easiest damn part of this for any liars, schemers and conspiring governments would be planting a couple WMDs in an Iraq bunker and even the French would be apologizing!
The US population would be touting Bush Jr as a genius who saved the world and Republicans would run the USA to this day.

Do you realize how stupid it sounds to believe that years of planning and some of the most complex 'lies' were hatched,
the same people did NOT pull off the easiest little lie and scheme to wrap this all up in their favour?
Very dumb.
in fact - now that you think of this - the entire plot of Green Zone and real-life accusations of 'lying' become so ridiculous you won't be able to take it seriously again.

Oh and yes.. you're welcome.

What on Earth could I have to say in response to this awe-inspiring theory from left field that looks so wrong, but feels so right? Well, I did point out the obvious flaws concerning slight difficulties in moving truckloads of biochemical weaponry and hiding them in currently-occupied sites of the enemy in the middle of a highly-volatile warzone WITHOUT the world's media or your own vast surveillance network noticing and then further complications with the fact that any inspectors would be able to determine the weaponry was actually manufactured in your own country, the destroyer captain who may remember the cargo of two hundred nerve-gas warheads he was carrying before rubbing his chin thoughtfully, and the sheer NUMBER of people you'd need to be involved into this conspiracy. The response was as wonderfully balanced as you would expect..

If you believe a whole series of agents, Bush, Blair and what would require at least dozens of top-level official created a plan to 'lie about WMDS' and this included all kinds of 'evidence',
Why in the world would you suddenly become incredulous about a couple of top-level CIA guys planting WMD's in Iraq?
That would be the LEAST difficult thing to do compared to all these other complex international lies.

Heck.. just ONE single CIA agent could carry some fake 'Nuclear plans' and a handful of nuclear bomb parts and leave those in a desk to be found and in 20 minutes US media would be blasting the news "SADDAM NUKES STOPPED!!!"

The idea of Saddam making his own miniature nuclear device at his desk like a boy with model aeroplanes really does appeal, and earns him my coveted-but-actually-non-existent NUTJOB OF THE WEEK TROPHY.

And the other thread...

Most realistic war movie I have seen

OP: Now I am not saying I believe the story and this isn't a post for that crap. All I am saying is that the wartime scenes themselves and the way everyone talked to each other was flawless. They really did their research. That is exactly how it was in Iraq in 2003. They got it perfectly. The briefings, the raids, the way the sodliers talked, that was as real as it gets. This was maybe the most realistic war movie I have seen.

ANOTHER GUY: I know words are inadequate, but I want to thank you for your post, OP, and much more importantly for your service. I hope that you came back well and whole and wish you all the best.

It might interest you to know that all the guys in Matt Damon's team except one were soldiers back from either Iraq or Afghanistan. Several were expecting to be redeployed. He said he leaned on them constantly for accuracy. He said it would have taken weeks to train and rehearse actors how to 'hit the house' in that scene. With the professional soldiers there, they just talked it through and did it.

COMPLETE PRICK: service? in Iraq? How did that serve anynone other than ther neocons and israel?

OP: You are a moron. It is not about political views or religious views, it is about doing something in life. I chose to serve my country. We may not live in a perfect world, but it is our world none-the-less. Many of my fellow troops don't agree with the war, agree with the war, hate Bush, Love Bush, Hate Obama, Love Obama, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we chose to fight for our country. I was in before 09/11. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to do something and not just sit at home and complain about things. I do what is asked of me in service to the people of the greatest country on Earth. I do what I do so some douchebag like yourself can sit behind his computer and rant on and on about nothing. Laugh and take some made up higher ground. It doesn't matter to me. I am proud of the services I have done. My wife and children look up to me and that is all that matters. To them I am a hero and that is all I ever wanted to be to my family was a man that they can be proud of.

I do love an eloquent smackdown, and it hihglighted for me the aspect that gets lost - the soliders are people who suffer from disasters like this, and can become pariahs thanks to dirty politics thanks to the way they are used as tools for dirty work. The army may function like a machine, but that doesn't make a soldier any less human, and it is something those of us in the we-hate-everything corner of the left which I fairly often occupy really should not forget.

Monday, March 22, 2010

DDD Karibbean Kibosh Kraziness! (OR Jared Rants about Pirates)

NineMSN has published a fairly bizarre story about the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, specifically that actresses who have artificially augmented mammaries will not be allowed to apply for parts. The reason for this is they have plenty already. No, sorry, I just couldn't help myself...

The explanation isn't actually forthcoming. At least not a coherent one...

A former casting agent was quoted as saying: "In the last movie there were enhanced breasts to give that 18th-century whoreish look and men were pretty well padded to and no one worried."

I'm trying to remember the 18th-century whores in the previous movie, and really failing. I remember a few whores in Tortuga, but when that island was featured in the last film it was in some retarded scene where Lord Cutler Beckett was executing everybody until they started singing, which made me heckle the screen with a cry of "Get a frigging iPod!". Apparently the idea was that once the chant started then the 'call' would go out to convene the Pirate meeting.

Ignoring the fact that

a) They had already decided to gather the Pirate Lords
b) If the Pirate Lords had not gathered then Beckett wouldn't have been defeated - what a frigging retard.

Meanwhile I'm also trying to remember obviously-padded up shots of Wil Turner and Jack Sparrow's tights. I am again failing.

The 'former casting agent' I'm presuming NineMSN found in the gutter and are just play-acting knows anything about this project at all goes on to say...

"But times are changing and the audience can spot false breasts."

Oh, yes. Remember those heady, naive days of 2007...

"My word, grandfather!" we would gasp breathlessly "Look at the teets on Madame Knightley! If my baby sister, Bernadette-Louise, is to miraculously survive her shingles and polio, and eats all her porridge and bread crusts and earns enough silver pennies from work I shall give her on the icebox coach shall she grow up with such a chest of wonder?"

"No, no, young Jimbuck!" thundered grandfather in response "Not for our Ben-Lass is such ways of the decky-dance o' yon flibbertigibbet! Young Kiera, when I had watched her, o'er t'wireless, when ye was jes' a sprog in bow-legged britches what your great unlce had took off of that German in t'Great War, in her one woman play Bend it Like Beckham, why she were flatter than FDR at the bottom of a stairwell. Thought she'd only make it as a T-square, so I did."

"No! That's not possible!" I cried, mimicking my favourite moment from the family novel, Star Wars Episode V: Ye Empire Striketh Back which all seventeed of us shared around the humble lice-pit we called home.

"Hehe, Skywalker," Grandfather said "But true enough it be, ya snivellous poltroon! Doctors - like Mister Waldicott our Phrenologist/Barber/Surgeon/Veterinerean what who lives on the hulks - injected her breasts with silicone and other magical properties and they bloomed like the most wondrous flowers ever to be seen!"

Naturally I thought it was impossible, but I have read things since to persuade me that perhaps this strange fairy story... was TRUE!

All bizarre segues tangets aside, seriously, has the fake breast spotting ability grown on average? If anything, I would assume it has deteriorated given the omnipresence of artificial.. well, not even tits but EVERYTHING! I know I can't pick fake breasts. Then, that could be because I'm like Fox Mulder. I want to believe.

Now, since NineMSN brought this up I want to take the oppurtunity to rant about how much PotC 3 sucked as anything other than a gigantic auto-falltiotic whirlpool of special effects. Every character was basically derailed:

Keira became a double-talking bitch and fascinatingly seems to be pissed off for the entirety of the film going by the fact there's basically no scene where she isn't frowning, Jack is given more than enough rope to hang himself as he is now gone insane and spends most of the film talking to himself, Governor Swan takes FUCKING FOREVER to be killed off and it happens on screen, Davy Jones becomes the pathetic bitch of a pasty WASP loser, pasty WASP loser is now meant to be the big bad that we're supposed to be afraid of, comically insensitive racial stereotypes chew up precious screentime for no fucking reason, that dude from the Rolling Stones who ironically needs no makeup to look like a pirate is given SO MUCH make up he's completely unrecognisable, and Will Turner still sucks.

Ironically meant to be a minor bad guy but the favourite character of a lot of people Commodore Norrington is treated like the writers have been waiting years to write him out which beggars the question of why the fuck they brought him back in the second film. He continues his weird habit of changing character utterly at some point after the credits have rolled for each film End of film one and he has a newfound respect for pirates and Jack, and seems secure as chief of the navy. BUT, apparently he was sacked by Swann, has a burning hatred for Jack and, even though it would be entirely out of character, moved to Tortuga of all places and became a self-loathing drunk and get a chance of killing Jack. I see. After the second film ends with him selling out Jack and apparently killing him and allying himself to Beckett to wipe out pirates as a privateer. (which means he isn't under Beckett's orders) the next film shows him as an Admiral, second in command to Beckett, and with suck hatred of the plan he seems to be looking for the first oppurtunity to defect. WHAT????

It is also the worst final part of a trilogy ever. See, a trilogy roughly works like this

Part 1: Orientation

Part 2: Complication

Part 3: Resolution

Pirates of the Caribbean works like this

Part 1: Orientation-Complication-Resolution

Part 2: More Complication

Part 3: Unrelated Complications

When I watched Part 2 with it's excruciating detailing of the deals Jack made to get the Pearl back from Davy Jones I assumed I had to have forgotten a couple of lines from the first film. Then complete astonishment when I re-watched the first one - there was clearly no thought of a sequel so the beginner's precaution of a setup wasn't taken care of. Even Bootstrap Bill, who became a reeeeally fucking tiresome character integral to the next two parts and a cornerstone of the trilogy, is explicitly and emphatically stated as being fucking dead. Not missing. Not taken. Dead. I'm too tired to copy and paste the Monty Python quotes right now but you get the idea.

But, fair enough, Part 2 set up a lot. Davy Jones as the big bad, Kraken as the big menace, Beckett and Norrington are peripherary threats guarding the heart, the annoying Voodoo Chick a character who hopefully won't be in it much more. It was all waiting for a big finale...

Hang on, next film starts - we're in fucking China? Who is the guy? Pirate Lords? What the fuck? Barbossa's a pirate lord? Huh? The Kraken's dead? The Flying Dutchman's been taken over? Why aren't we rescuing Jack yet? The fucking Goddess of the Sea? So on and so on. The third film doesn't resolve the second - it introduces a heap of stuff that adds NOTHING to ANYTHING. The Goddess Calypso subplot is terribly boring and the pay off? Random voodoo lady turns into a gigantic wave of crabs. And possibly creates a whirlpool. And, wow, thank God we had all the Pirate Lords and their ships so they could sit back and watch two ships fight for half an hour.

Who the FUCK wrote that shit? Oh, wait, I have IMDB open...

Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. Well. You guys suck and apparently do not have the power of logic in any quantity.

I bring this up because the article goes on to say...

Scenes in the new film, which is reportedly being planned as the first in another trilogy, will be shot in Hawaii.

ANOTHER trilogy? Hope you've read some books on the subjects, lads, and so know how a fucking trilogy is meant to work.

The one good thing is the dropping of Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush to just focus on Jack Sparrow. Pity it's three films too late. Heh, I'm talking like I'm actually going to see this flat-chested festival of a film...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Summer of Malcontents, or Cricket in a Warm Climate

Though I speak for myself, I thought this cricket season was quite entertaining.

Perhaps I should explain that cricket is my favourite sport, not just for the drama but also because it is the only sport you can actually watch and enjoy whilst asleep, so long as you have the radio on. In between near-asphyxiated guffaws from Kerry O'Keefe and the insane senile ramblings of Justin Langer about his fishing trips and what they told him about the meaning of mateship, the narrative is clear to follow courtesy of the golden-tonsilled past leviathans of the game.

Unless you have Gerard Whately commentating. I listened to him for around 15 minutes and marvelled that unless he has facts to present to the audience he has nothing at all to say. No conjecture whatsoever. Glenn Mitchell might say, for instance "Michael Clarke's looking like a deer in the headlights", or "Mitchell Johnson's got steam coming out of his ears!" or "That one turned like a bent ballerina on the sauce!". Whereas Mr Whately will hit you with pears such as "He's moving back in his crease.... waiting for the next delivery... Rana starts his run up... over the wicket... defended back to the bowler. No run. He looks to the site screen." It's the perfect coverage if you wanted to roleplay watching sport with fucking Rainman.

If there was one thing worth complaining about this Summer it was the debut of that big-nosed AFL-obsessed prat of the bright purple shirts who makes Offsiders one of the worst shows on television, no matter what the marvellously named Gideon Haigh might try to do in response. Luckily, for Mr G he got off because there was a lot of what was considered bullshit this Summer.

This culminated to the point where I discovered Zoo Magazine, in their one article sandwiched between the saddest not-even-soft porn I have ever entertained of ex Big Brother contestants and models they get to pretend to be 'real girls' stripping on the street, offered all the solutions to the 'problems' of cricket. Oddly, they listed "BRING BACK ROY!!!" twice, and the rest were all about more chicks with bikinis, both on field and off. Fair enough, they've already established that that is where their key interest on a purely social level lies but, fair go, if the dental floss bikini meat market is open-air at the SCG aren't they undermining their own market? Why pick up a zoo when I can get it for free?

They also insisted that the cricketers need to get themselves hotter Wives And Girlfriends, something I thought wouldn't really be possible, specifically stating that they were sick of looking at Lara Bingle (because, in this country at least, it IS compulsory after all...) Funnily enough Michael Clarke seems to have acted directly upon this complaint..

Anyway... sorry that was a tangent. Back to what was seen as bullshit...

1) The competition

The West Indies and Pakistan are well down on the figures of cricketing sides in the world and retrospectively, now that Australia has played just it's second loss-less home season since real seasons began, people are saying that there really WAS no competition and the test matches were dead boring, a further argument for the superiority of the limited overs game.

The irony being that, oddly enough, the Test Matches were the only games we looked like losing, and it was the very limited overs matches they have been championing that were bloody boring. I actually didn't watch one! (GASP) One of the Windies ones. God they were shit. The thing that made this even more amazing was that those countries had BETTER ODI/T20 rankings.

In fact, I'm going to flat out say it - we should have lost two test matches. By freak circumstances, both Windies and Pakistan let us win at crucial times? Why? I don't know, but they didn't get much out of it. It would be like if at the end of Zulu when the armies give Michael Caine and Stanley Baker the massive victory salute and show them mercy, the redcoats ran out and massacred them all. That kind of shit don't fly in sport, fools!

Because of this, I'll go so far as to say my now-laughable prediction that "Australia will get rolled by Pakistan" would have come true if Mohammad Yousuf had not fucked around and actually bowled Hussey and Siddle out.

2) Nothing happening in the matches

Again, this is retrospective bullshit. Chris Gayle hit one of the fastest centuries ever. Brendan Nash nearly became the first Aussie to hit a ton on his home ground for another country. Nash also had some hot groupies in "TEAM NASH" singlets providing some eye-candy - we need more sporting harems. Ryan Harris and Nathan Hauritz got two 5-fers a piece. Watson made his debut ton. North proved he's a useless prick. Eventful? What more do you need to be eventful? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon getting an amphibious landing craft flavoured blowjob from HENRY KISSINGER???!?

I was so emotional I had a stalk on. Sorry, now I'm just quoting funnier people.

3) Nathan Hauritz

Oy! Leave Nathan Hauritz alone, okay? He has established he's god like. When I die, I want to be re-incarnated as him and then punch out Wayne Gretzky and tell that uppity Canute that he has met his match, and if he has a problem with that he go meet me at Reichenbach Falls for a showdown. Or, Niagara Falls for a hoedown. I'm not fussy.

How about, what was actually bullshit...

1) Channel Nine

This one's quite a constant, but I think special mention needs to be made of their Winter Olympics coverage. What do the Winter Olympics have to do with cricket, Jared, you ask me curiously? Like a writing desk and a raven, absolutely nothing at all. But.. try telling that to Channel Nine.

It came as no surprise to read many, many complains about the contemptuous treatment of the Winter Olympics throughout Nine's telecast, as they had made this clear through their very first promotion. Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry in snow gear commentating. Tony Grieg with an ice hammer 'checking the pitch' in disgustingly pisspoor green screen. Mark Taylor bowling a snowball to Michael Slater, who smashes it into nothing with his bat. The revelation that this was some of the commentary team for Vancouver was entirely absurd, but not entirely surprising.

2) Channel Seven

Right, so you're the CEO of a network and you're going to boast to an interviewer that "Yeah, fuck you I can make Matty Jones' show work, rapist or not! Check out Cougar Town, rape me with a bar stool isn't that the shittest show you ever seen? But you bastards watch it by the bucketload. Why? Because I throw money at some pricks in suits and say 'market that bullshit'. Now, Matty's show is shit. But you'll watch it anyway!" Slightly paraphrased, in fact I'll wager quite a bit less paraphrased than you think.

What does THIS have to do with the cricket? Absolutely nothing. At all. I just felt I had to point out seven are also pricks after bagging out Nine. Stick with Ten and ABC, and maybe Channel Zero if you want porn or cartoons with swearing.

3) John Howard

In four years John Howard will be President of the International Cricket Council. His only qualification is that he is a 'lifelong supporter of the game', a qualification also held by around eight million people in the country who AREN'T jackasses. He was chosen over a New Zealander who had two decades of administrative experience for Cricket New Zealand.

I don't think anymore needs to be said, except that the tiniest silver lining ever is the glorious repeats of Howard's attempts to take on some Indian soldiers at the game.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Up yours, Sudoku 1494!

This morning I finished a Sudoku.

I know, this really should not be a big deal. But for me, this is a Crowning Moment of Awesome. That may well reflect just how pitifully low the bar has sunk, but so be it.

When the Sudoku was introduced, around the same time that I was doing my HSC, I was briefly Tha Man in a highly specialised field that barely anybody would even bother to acknowledge and those who did wouldn't care about: finding out which number went in which box via thorough process of elimination. This was especially impressive since my parents were quite baffled by the Sudoku and more so by my affinity for them. It lead them to briefly consider me some sort of household Adric, even though I was repeatedly explaining that the exercise didn't involve Maths in any way. At all.

It made me brighten up a bit in the morning - because the Target is always a real challenge even for my vocabulary and the crossword is not only either too hard or too easy, but is the traditional territorial issue in my household. And Christ did my mornings need brightening up, because HSC year was a bad, baaaad year for me. The year I sunk into depression and my mind wandered off to the point where I was on the streets laughing hysterically for 15 minutes unable to stop myself, which I am sure was a breakdown. What made me laugh for 15 minutes? The hairdressers was shut.

Actually, that happened on Graduation Day as well... for a longer time.

It's at this point I pause to wonder about cause and effect - was it my breakdowns and long-running depression that caused me to lose my Sudomojo, or was my ability to complete a 'Diabolical' offering courtesy of the Syndey Morning Herald in around 10 minutes actually a sympton of my brain cracking under the pressure like an egg? And thus, am I back on the mudslide to The Pit without even realising?

It's interesting, because around that stage I was fairly prolific with my prose writing. I remember I wrote the prologue to a PDA I had proposed entirely in my mind called "Monsters of Europa" on the 'working out paper' after I finished my HSC English paper. When I showed it to a friend immediately afterwards he stared at it in bewilderment before asking "Have you ever thought of making money from this shit?"

Indeed I had, my friend. And got that warm glow you get when somebody confirms "I couldn't do this", ie. you do actually have a talent and simply haven't been fooling yourself for years. Moments like that, scattered months apart, I feel are the reason my soul survives.

I also wrote a fair bit of a GOD AWFUL novel entitled Robots of Love, because the favoured title Zombie Love was already taken. In a half-hearted defense, it could make a decent film or maybe comic book at a stretch, because those media seem more sensible homes for the odd shopping list of elements I was working with:

a) A love story
b) Robots who try to take over the world (at least, I think that was the idea..)
c) Two dudes who are clearly me homaging Jay and Silent Bob, swearing like sailors, who bury robots in graveyards for some reason
d) A Holmesian double-act of FBI agents named Abbott and Costello
e) An incredibly hostile and short tempered psychiatrist
f) An apparently immortal Nazi scientist who is training super-intelligent mice

Trust me, it sounds better than it was. Even if you think it sounds crap. I probably should have finished it, though, because it was just a pitch for some dude selling eBooks off a website from first-time authors. The alternative was Time Paradox with Extra Salt, an idea I worked on a little at the time which was been in my head for waaaay too long and wasn't that great in the first place.

It would be good if there was some link between Sudoku-mastery and the ability to build up a word count, because I haven't written a single word for that Big Finish entry and I do want to enter. Could sure do with some of profligactic literary prolificacy of old, as Colin would have to say when the Bakers gave him a script.

My concept of 'Peri and the Doctor are trapped on a weird-arse alien train' is becoming less convincing, and while I've been typing this my mind has wandered to 'Peri and the Doctor are trapped on weird-arse alien Fox News', showing my incredible scope once more.

Watch this space. Watch it until your eyes bleed. Trying to magic-eye it.

There's no reason, I was just wondering if you'd try it.

Now, can I conquer MORE sudoku? And, more to the point, can I achieve something this year? Results may come via this blogspace. So I guess there IS a reason to watch this space... kind of. Not really. I mean, only if you're interested in me. And blogger actually has an app so you can look at which blogs have updated from your profile. So... yeah, I was right there's no reason to do it.

Man, I go downhill so quick they should call me the Slalom.

Anyway, Peri and the Doctor on an alien train. If BF don't like it, it might be on this blog!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Must... post... on blog

So... what's on my mind? Indira Varman, the woman who played Susie Costello in Torchwood, managing to only appear in the crap episodes. Susie got kind of mentioned on Facebook and it took me a long time to remember who it was. I also remembered that Indira Varman was on the cast of Broken News, which in spite of most reviews I thought was significantly better than most UK sketch shows now of keeping one joke going for an interminable amount of episodes. I believe she played Melanie Bellamy, who presenting the 'standing' news in which she endlessly walked up and down a ramp containing two small sets of stairs at one end of the studio, reciting odd headlines.

No, it wasn't terribly funny.

But what's the competition? Armstrong and Miller? I found it incredible that reviewers focused on the WWII pilots who talked like fifteen year old boys as the joke wearing thin. Really? THAT was the clever one! What about the coach and owner of a never-named football league that's clearly meant to be Chelsea, where the coach is trying endlessly to bring to the owners attention issues with the players but the sinister Russian is continually disposing of bodies in a rather blatant manner? Or the bit where it's a country dance from a Jane Austen story where they end up saying something like "I would dearly like to roger your buttocks" after a minute of dancing? That may have nearly been funny the first time, if that...

I was quite sickened by the defense I read online, that the 'expectation is on comedians to write', so they can't come up with 6 episodes of material. WHY THE FUCK NOT? Is it rocket science to type 'mad woman vomits on Kerr Avon'? Or 'Simon Pegg plays a smug man who is unable to open doors'? Okay, I guess rehearsals and other commitments may occupy them, but come on, is it asking the moon? Dudley Moore and Peter Cook wrote their own material. How many hundreds of Goon Shows did Spike Milligan write AND perform?

I do seem to have to look back that far, unfortunately. I was trying to think of modern examples, such as The Chaser, but there's at least one writer who has just about never been on the show (Dominic Knight, incidentally the member of the Chaser most likely to punch me out when we met - but then the others were Julian and Chas) and Smith & Jones doubtless had additional writers, so too have Flight of the Conchords and Rick Dee, the Lead Balloon guy. How irritating. Even The Comic Strip Presents had the cameo-only writer Pete Richens.

Damn it, I have a sinking feeling that prick on the forums had a point, even though I think comedians may be lazy. If nothing else I can take solace from the fact that one Martin Lock lost his job in this field. (AIR PUNCH!)

What the FUCK? Just read Angelina Jolie opted out of Wanted 2. Maybe because her character is dead, perhaps? Also... that movie did well enough to warrant a sequel? I mean, I loved it as I think I espoused here but... well, nobody else seemed to and more than one person speculated it could 'ruin Morgan Freeman's career'. Which, I have to say, felt slightly outlandish.

...and John Cleese, his daughter Camilla, and Bill Bailley are writing a musical version of A Fish Called Wanda? Man, all my obscure movie news is coming at once for some reason...

In other not-quite-news, a while back I've taken to listening to the podcast of cult director Kevin Smith, known best as Silent Bob, and his producer best friend Scott Mosier - it's SMODcast. They are very, very funny but also often disgustingly dirty. I only recommend them to a couple of people, and generally just listen to them on my own. They aren't all solid-platinum releases or anything, though - all are quite funny but there are entire episodes where they talk about Wayne Gretzky or how beef is processed for an hour. Kev Smith does them stoned, that could be a factor.

Anyway, comin in late as I have has been a bit awkward, because I listened to the new ones then went backwards downloading past releases - this means travelling backwards, chronologically, through the life of Kev Smith, which is a little weird in general but becomes terrible when it comes to details of Zak and Miri Make a Porno his latest film which was a box office disaster. Actually.. not quite. It was actually his highest-grossing film, nobody lost any money from it and DVD sales will doubtless turn it into a profit. BUT it was predicted as having a massive opening and brining in over 60 million.

Faced with the massive disparity between what everybody had told Smith would happen and what actually occured, he suffered a Heroic Blue Screen of Death, and retreated into what he called a 'weed coccoon'. Interestingly, this is actually what made me interested in SMODcast in the first place, as I looked up Kevin Smith on Wikipedia and it detailed his ZMMAP-related breakdown... but nothing about him recovering. So I wanted to find out if he actually still had a career.

He did, and it transpired was working on a film named A Couple of Dicks, since cunningly retitled Cop-Out when it became clear the censors like their entendres singular or not-at-all, and exceedingly happy with it over the course of several SMODcasts...

Then I see, on the day I started writing this post... that Cop-Out has done just as badly as Zak and Miri Make a Porno. Damn.

You know what they say, always end on a down note.