I'm late! By a few days too. First off I'll apologise. Sorry. Second I'll explain the situation. I'm very busy. Work is tough and long right now. I'm sitting here 14 hours after I left my house this morning. For the fifth day in a row. It's not even a film job, for which I might expect to be working those kinds of hours. Our bookshops are under staffed, coupled with a recent pseudo promotion this means lots of responsibility for me and a huge (partially self imposed) pressure to improve, fix, tinker and generally leave my own mark on the place. I shall add to that the fact that I found myself visiting over 50 blogs daily through sheer enthusiasm for reading everyone's great reviews and articles on a subject which I have such a huge passion for, which left my real life empty, devoid of any trace of me, just the detritus (and Leah) awaiting my return from self imposed exile.
I'm a pretty competitive guy, whatever I do I want to do it well, I want to do it very well, to the very best of my abilities in fact and this blog was/is no exception. I started taking it very seriously; planning weeks in advance, counting traffic, plotting advertising and marketing strategies with the vague idea that if I was going to be writing then I wanted to be huge. I wanted the entire world to be hitting my page twice daily with so much traffic that I could crash Google. It's not possible is it? Google is pretty powerful right? And anyway all of that is taking away from the fact that I quite like my real life, I really only got writing this thing to break my writers block and it's possible that I don't care enough to be constantly creating new (recycled) content for you all. I'm not going to be the greatest film blogger who ever lived so I'm going back to having some fun. It's ideally a change of mind frame for myself that shouldn't see too many changes in what I post. I've accepted one offer to write elsewhere online, which is a lovely bonus that was not something I ever thought about doing before and I'm looking at some other options with regards to writing occasional pieces online and IN PRINT! To quote a friend of mine, "I'm kind of a big deal around these parts don't you know?!" but only in my mind.
Now on to last weeks viewing history.
Attack The Block is superb, so very funny, much fun, very clever and is totally worth watching at least twice. Not for any particular twist of subtleties missed first time around but simply because it is pure enjoyment on a stick. Granted I am English and familiar with the slang that is quite prevalent throughout but I don't think it's essential to understand the actual words as the meaning is quite clear. I've heard stories of Americans having to subtitle English movies before now due to accents and dialects and slang, can anyone confirm or deny reports that this has happened with Attack The Block? I haven't read the post yet but Scotty L from The FRC has apparently just written a mumble about this slang, if you haven't read it yet my reader tells me it is kept here.
The noir-a-thon was a total letdown this week. Having seen The Glass Key this week we were reminded of our previous experience of it; we didn't actually like it too much. This was a year in the planning and purchasing of DVD's so clearly it had slipped our mind during that period. We left it off the list originally but it was added during the purchase stage of the planning as it was thrown in to a large selection of early noirs purchased in one batch on eBay for an extra $1. It's hard to pass up a bargain like that but I sort of wish I had now. As part of this weeks general abandonment of my online presence we have skipped a week in our noir-a-thon which has happily coincided with a movie that we didn't like. It's not getting a review, it's getting removed from the list. Next week This Gun For Hire and maybe Double Indemnity.
I had this overwhelming urge to watch Everything Must Go again during the week. I don't know what it was but it left me with a strange feeling that I get with these smaller movies that aren't amazing but I can't help but champion. Off the top of my head I'll add Roger Dodger and Tadpole to that list. I enjoyed it again, if you missed the review and want to know what the fuss is about please go here.
I was lucky enough to see Kevin Smith's newest film Red State last week and it got me very excited. I admit to being sceptical of him as a legitimate film maker recently after hearing anecdotes about being too fat for plane seats, being too stoned to direct actors and not working with The Weinstein Company anymore plus I don't really enjoy horror movies so my expectations were low. So low that I was ready to end my viewing after 15 minutes of quite awful chatter from three teenage boys trying to get laid. If that had been the whole movie I would have been appalled. However what actually occurs during the next 80 minutes or so was a pretty powerful piece of cinema that questions the nature of humanity. I'm not going to go in to detail as I may just write a full review now or after the advanced cinema preview next month that I've been invited to here in Perth. There are some strong performances from a great ensemble cast but I dare you not to be blown away by Michael Parks.
Now for the blahblahblahgay turnoffs in a busy week of non-viewing; Leah finally finished reading the excellent Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr Ripley so we could watch the Matt Damon starring adaptation of it. To say we were horrified by the movie would be an understatement, too many changes to the story and most importantly the excellent character of Tom Ripley combined with weak direction to say the least. Do not bother with this one. Serious Moonlight was the last script to be written by our latest fascination, Adrienne Shelley, before her murder. Directed by Cheryl Hines (a mediocre debut that should remain her only directorial effort) and starring the once beautiful now horribly disfigured Meg Ryan in a role clearly made for Shelley (nobody can play these roles better than her) opposite Timothy Hutton (a poor poor poor substitute for Martin Donovan.) I wish it were better, Shelley deserved more. Bridesmaids could be a controversial choice for a turnoff award but I got to 40 or 50 minutes of this 2 hour long 'comedy' and laughed once yet groaned many many times. That's just bad stats for a supposed laugh out loud comedy. Something I don;t understand is the cliche of the two friends from different social groups competing with each other for their mutual friends affection. The speeches I could see coming from a mile away but the tennis montage was one of the most painfully obvious attempts at physical situational comedy I've ever witnessed in something that had previously been labelled 'clever' or 'intelligent' by reviewers. I say poo to you.
Be well readers, thanks for your patience over my absence. Anyone miss me? You know where the blahs are.