Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Yippie-kye-ay melon farmer!

I got out of the habit of posting over my AS-levels, so this pile-up of broken thoughts is an attempt to find my flow again. Pardon the mess and irrelevancy

Gary Oldman. Brad Pitt. Quentin Tarantino. Tony Scott. Individually, these are all names which I'd leap at and watch regardless of content. So True Romance was one I just had to see.

And it's wonderful! Pretty colours, pretty music, and oh so wonderful. A pair of adorable, self indulgent and none-too-bright young people fall head over heels in love, and naively blunder their way past innumerable casualties. What we have here is 50% kooky, cute love story, 50% frequent course, infrequent-moderate and frequent-strong-bloody. They seem entirely unaware of the mess they're causing. Meanwhile, a whole host of memorable minor characters played by kinda-big names each turn up for a single scene before (usually) getting killed (this, along with JFK and A Bridge too Far is definitely a trump to remember for playing 6 Degrees with)

Special moments included seeing Chris Penn, the purple cadillac, Elvis (especially when Clarence scorns "fanatic Elvis fans" as being odd!), every time that gooey theme tune came in to remind us it was all ok, and the use of Lakme's Flower Duet (a.k.a. the British Airways music) in a scene of more than the usual nastiness:

It's a wonderful tune - and in the film, it distracted from the ickyness and just reminded what a beautiful thing Clarence's dad was actually doing.

The downside is they're all so QT it hurts...after a while, it just gets a bit old. There's some debate as to whether this would have been better/worse if he'd directed it, but I don't imagine it'd be much different. I suppose I'd be saying the same about his other films had I seen them in a different order. But peas-and-rice, look at this lot:

We have hamburgers, diners, "smurf conversations"*, Sonny Chiba movies (though I must say, that girl at the start is batty. The day a guy invites me to a martial arts triple bill...), Spiderman 1, Elvis?! Especially when Clarence scorns "fanatic Elvis fans" as being odd!) It really became apparent when Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore found the jokes they were overhearing amusing. Because they really are extentions of the same brainwave.

Does this matter? I'm not sure. Now I'm not watching it, it's really made me annoyed, but at the time I hardly noticed. It managed to cinch my personal perfect blend of blood and wuvvness, so that makes it OK by me.

*Smurf conversations: Discussing something trivial in far too much depth. Especially something a) pop culturery b) pointless and frequently a tad on the uneccesarily gross side. Everyone does it (me and my friends do at least, a lot...which is why an official description was needed), but for an example, try the Reservoir Dogs "Like a Virgin" conversation. Or the one for which it was named, in Donnie Darko:

"First of all, Papa Smurf didn't create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel's evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village. But the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have... reproductive organs under those little, white pants."
"...Dammit, Donnie, why d'ya have to get all smart on us?"

Hot Fuzz has overtaken Pulp Fiction as the early lead for the most rewatched film of the year. I never really was a film rewatcher - certainly for a lot of my favourite films, it's a record if I see it more than twice. It does spoil films if you see them too often. Perhaps the sort of films I've watched has changed? Anyway, this is an account I never got round to posting after rewatch number 3:

*beams* I just watched Hot Fuzz again. *insensible with happiness* No I'm not telling you how I watched it, because it's vile and bad and really very very naughty, and I'm now directly responsible for funding terrorism and causing the downfall of the western world. But I figured it wasn't hurting anyone, as I a) saw it twice at the cinema and b) intend to buy it if not the day then the day after it comes out on DVD. S'not my fault that doesn't happen until June 11th. So legally wrong, but not morally. To prove my good faith and Superior Moral Highground I even elected not to watch Grindhouse on a titchy, fuzzy screen. See how well behaved I am? and boy am I regretting it...last night I had my first crazy film-I-haven't-seen-yet dream for Grindhouse. I used to get those pretty frequently, and they're uniformly unpleasant. Or perhaps that's because all the films I really need to see seem to be unpleasant. Whatever. I was starting to miss them, but actually

Anyway, back to Hot Fuzz.

True to my word, I did get it the day it came out. And miraculously didn't watch it for three days to wait to see it with my sister (she's been in hospital after a bicycle accident. One of her legs has been smashed by a wall. I've suggested she get it amputated and replaced by a machine gun. I'm not sure my contribution was valued...) We had to watch it on a laptop, with the volume down, which resulted in me having to tweak the levels moments before every death, explosion, loud bang etc. And then this morning she needed to see it again, so I kinda sorta caught most of it for a fifth time. It's passed from "this is no longer funny" back into "this is hilarious" again, and I've been chuckling all morning.

It is my dream to see it on a big screen again, with a bunch of folks who know every line and who will cheer in the right places. By right places, I mean whenever someone comes out with a gung-ho line (sample: "Bring the noise!"), whenever there is mass carnage, whenever the music starts up, whenever Shaun of the Dead is referenced and especially when it gets to the fence-leaping scene. Because I cheered when I saw that in the trailer, and then felt very silly, as there's nothing worse than cheering on yer own.

By the by, my use of "peas-and-rice!" above is an extract from the dubbed TV version, where it replaces the exclamation "Jesus Christ!". Now fair's fair people could get insulted, but I disagree with films being changed for TV. Either show them or don't - and if they're too extreme for the kiddies, just show them later. There is always a reason why something is put into a film, and to take it out on the grounds of public decency is never anyone else's decision to make.

I rely on recording stuff off TV to save buying too many DVDs, so the idea I've only seen trimmed versions jarrs somewhat. A single shot missing from Trainspotting TV didn't ruin the film outright, and it wasn't something I wanted to see either, but it was put there for a reason, and the fact they cut it took away from the horror of that particular scene. Anybody likely to go running for a bucket over it would probably have switched off by that point anyway. You can't change what a film is to appeal to people who wouldn't have seen it anyway. It's like complaining that Hostel was too violent. Take away the violence, take away it's raison d'etre. I'm not saying I like films with lots of swearing - I've got no opinion either way. I like it when it's necessary. I don't when it's not. And that decision shouldn't be in the hands of the morality police.

In the case of Hot Fuzz, the substitution of "peas-and-rice" (hilarious as it is) kills a minor joke. It's clumsy in other places, and also manages to ruin my favourite scene (the Sanford police station has a swear box, you see...somewhat spoils the joke if no actual swearing takes place...)
"funk", "silt" and "barstool" are the best they could come up with to cover the other expletives. The day I hear anyone use those in proper conversation...and as for "motherhugger"...who do they think they're fooling?!

Here's a list of other people's favourite, glaring swearing dubs:
And some other people:
And here's an amusing spoof;

Just time for a linkdump before I go:
Firstly, these peeps take a screenshot at exactly 20 minutes and 7 seconds of a film:
It sounds dim, but it's actually pretty cool. What hidden mysteries can one infer from it?
Secondly, take a look at the entries for this contest. They're great!
And final word: not that I'm entitled (or even worthy) to talk about Hitchcock, but has anyone else ever identified his influence over From Russia with Love? Icy blonde Tatiana Romanova, the helcopter attack vs the crop duster attack. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this? The similarity just hit me. Not to mention I haven't seen North by Northwest...


Catherine said...

I still haven't seen Hot Fuzz. Should I see SOTD first, though?

Ninquelosse said...

Oooh, interesting. It doesn't particularly matter (all but one of the SOTD references will work both ways...), although if I had a recommendation I'd say watch Shaun first. It's a lot more subtle than Fuzz - it never falls into laugh-out-loud parody in quite the same way. SOtD might feel like a let down after the sustained silliness of the latter. I don't know though - HF might seem loud and pointless compared to Shaun...

...I do recommend you see both though, at the soonest oppertunity...

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