Friday, April 03, 2009

Plumbing The Depths

After another week watching and writing about more movies, this time advancing a decade to some pretty damn grim slasher movies from the early 1980s, I figured I could do with some chuckles. Also I could do with getting out and stretching my legs in the sunshine after the days wedged in front of the computer.

Usually it’s easy to combine the two. Last week, getting the bus over to see H, one of a trio of pimply urban Harrow youths in their baggy sweatpants sprawled in the seats behind me piped up about the time “the Feds” had been round banging on his girlfriend’s front door looking for him. The Feds? Really? The rozzers, the Old Bill, the pigs, the scum, the fuzz, or just plain old plod, perhaps, but the Feds?!

Having been a little cut off these past few days, I wondered whether the G20 protests were still going on. If it was all still kicking off I could have ambled down to The City with a packed lunch and watched “the Feds” in action. In a photograph printed in the paper that showed a demonstration around Bishopsgate, one of the protesters seemed to have a baseball cap, worn backwards, under his sweatshirt’s hood, which is just plain wrong. He seemed the ideal candidate for the peelers to bludgeon some sense into.

Alas everyone had already packed up and gone home, leaving the glaziers to move in. Aren’t these summits supposed to last longer than a Bank Holiday end-of-line sofa sale? I thought the whole point of these little get togethers was for everyone to take ages disagreeing over what to agree on while outside rioters violently disagreed with their decisions. Then again, with the little shindig expected to cost over four times the original estimate of £19 million, what with police overtime, hotel rooms, minibar tabs and pay-per-view movies, the sooner the damned thing is over the better.

Maybe having Super Barack on the team brought everyone to order quicker than usual. Really, all he had to do was make his flock see that, whatever the outcome, the French are still a bunch of cunts and Berlusconi is a useless, mouthy, overstuffed sock puppet and best ignored. I suppose once that has sunk in, fixing the really difficult stuff comes more easily, but I got the impression that all this could have been swung for less with a video conference call, even with free beer and pizza thrown in.

Too late to see any skulls being cracked I figured I could get my own brain damaged by going to see a movie. If it was laughs I was after, according to the TV spots that repeatedly failed to show anything remotely amusing, The Boat That Rocked was my only port of call. Even though Anthony Quinn, writing in The Independent, ended his one-star review by calling it “The Film That Sucked”, the movie had to be the laugh riot I was looking for because there were characters in it called Twatt and Miss Clitt. Who needs well constructed comedy when there are rude names to snigger over?

More importantly the film was made by Richard Curtis, currently King Gonorrhea amongst Britain’s comedy STDs, who has stopped writing about hapless Oxbridge toffs to concentrate on charitable deeds to atone for inflicting the execrable The Vicar of Dibley upon the public at large. Whatever the broadsheets said The Boat That Rocked had to be a winner. With that in mind I turned off the computer, strode out of the flat, stopped in the first store along the High Street, bought a bag of Dorritos and a bottle of pop, and came right back home to watch Alexander Mackendrick’s The Ladykillers.

However ace and skill these new films think they are, nothing beats a good Ealing Comedy. Given the brouhaha surrounding the break in Royal protocol, after Michelle Obama appeared to put her arm around Her Maj, it’s a shame the Greek didn’t do his best impersonation of Danny Green’s One-Round and bark out, “Nobody touches the old lady!” before she got anywhere near Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith.

After that I happened across Anne Billson’s article in The Guardian entitled ‘Can British films get any worse?’ in which she lays into the “plodding scenes, endless dialogue [and] pointless Hollywood mimicry” that inflict UK cinema. Even without a mouthy Italian imbecile in the room it was something I could agree with.


Post a Comment

<< Home