The average cinema-goer must be getting stupider by the day. Disbelief is no longer being suspended, it is being hunted down and scalped, rather like the unsuspecting Nazi soldiers sweeping through the back streets of occupied France in Tarantino’s latest, Inglourious Basterds. Their fate? To die at the hand of one of the least believable characters in recent cinematic memory.

The film’s main focus is the titular basterds, a crack Jewish-American army hit squad, led by Pitt’s insufferable Aldo Raine, who hunt down and massacre Nazis, working closely with British and French intelligence and German double agents. As the plot unfolds, it transpires that this elite group’s masterplan for infiltrating a Nazi gathering at a theatre consists of walking through the front door pretending to be Italian cameramen, despite none of them speaking a word of Italian. (more…)

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BandWagonesque

Why is it that, like the proverbial London buses, films seem to come in twos?

There are a whole series of films that came out within a matter of months or even weeks of each other which share oddly similar themes, for example: Dante’s Peak and Volcano [which, incidentally, is graced with the brilliant tag line “The Coast is Toast”]; Deep Impact and Armageddon; Antz and A Bug’s Life; Mission to Mars and Red Planet; The Illusionist and The Prestige; Tombstone and Wyatt Earp; and, one from the old school, Turner & Hooch and K9.

This has to be more than a co-incidence. Whether it is because there is a hot script going round all the studios which gets made by one studio and the others make a similar (but invariably worse) movie, not wanting to miss out, or because they get wind of a rival’s big project, I can’t believe that all these films with similar plots and/or premises just happen to come out in the same year.

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It’s finally happened. We had M*A*S*H*, and then M*A*S*H*; we had Stargate, and then Stargate SG-1; and, most importantly, we had Clueless, and then Clueless. But now, after the longest decade in history, we have lift-off: building on the success of 10 Things I Hate About You is the brand new… 10 Things I Hate About You.

Yes, they’ve uprooted the plot, replaced the late Heath Ledger’s character with a cross between James Dean and the plastic bag kid from American Beauty, and made the Shrew Kat hotter than her sister Bianca, but 10 Things… has finally been adapted for television. (more…)

Check out this guy’s commentary on Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film Brüno.

In fact, his preoccupation with male genitalia and anal sex is so tedious, it makes you forget the real outrage: the inequality of the class system.

What an utter tool.  He claims it were the subs wot dunnit. Bullshit. Thanks to djpatroclus for flagging that one.

Now look at this slightly more sensible offering from Hadley Freeman.  Except it gets a little silly as it goes on:

This is not a tedious example of postmodern liberal columnist twisted logic

That should be the title of her blog.

So how do you define a truly bad film? Most internet ‘bad movie lists’ are populated by low budget B-movies with comedy titles such as “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”, or my personal favourite, “Ghost and the invisible Bikini”. However, I’d like to turn my attention away from the harmless ‘so bad it’s good’ sub-genre to focus on what I believe are a few of the true stinkers of the past twenty years or so.

I’m a firm believer in judging a film based on (a) whether it accomplishes what it’s setting out to do and (b) whether it’s as good as it thinks it is. For that reason it’s a little unfair to mention films such as “Stop! Or my mum will shoot”, tagline: ‘She did the laundry, washed the windows and scrubbed the floors. Now, she’s gonna clean up the streets.’ (more…)