Posts from 17th June 2005

Jun 05

Where is the car chase?

Do You SeePost a comment • 366 views

Do you know what I hate? Apart from injustice, horribleness and all of that stuff that FT does not have a blog on which we can rant about it. I hate movies which are solely designed to do one thing not actually doing them. Possibly the nadir of this ill-begotten genre is the car chase movie with no decent car chases in it. And at the very very bottom of this nadir is Shopping: Paul WS Anderson’s first movie. A British film starring Jude Law & Sadie Frost predicated on the, at the time, hot topic of ram-raiding and joyriding. But where was the actual riding. One petty sequence, no real adrenaline fueled chases. It was a dispiriting, and later seen to be asbsoultely typical effort by its director.

I was reminded this by accidentally stumbling across Taxi the other night. Not the French one which has very few redeeming features, but its car stunts are one. Instead this is the remake where Queen Latifah plays the daredevil cabbie speeding around New York. Making it from Manhattan to JFK in an “impossible by helicopter” nine minutes. A film which is designed to revolve around its stunts. And its stunts and driving are so incompetently filmed that you might as well be mocked up with matchbox cars.

It does not help that it is set in New York, predominantly Manhattan. Are there any good car chases set in Manhattan I wonder? It certainly does not hold a candle to Marseilles hills and alleyways as exploited in the French version. You often wonder what San Francisco did to star in so many films? Great for car chases.

Please feel free to suggest other car predicated movies with rubbish chases. As well as Taxi and Shopping can I also add Ronin. Po-faced Bob De Niro rubbish with really flat chases. Bah. Almost as bad as injustice.

he probably thinks that if he makes sneery jokes about dido then the kids who read the nme will think lenin is “cool”

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 153 views

and thus, inevitably, a column in which mark steel gamely ploughs his way through a crit of THIS KIND OF THING (viz: Live8 in particular, charity protest in general). Fraid you have to subscribe for the complete “764 words approx” but here as a taster is the BIG JOKE COMPLETE WITH SET-UP: “Bob Geldof is at his most potent when he speaks with fury at the inertia of world leaders on such issues. But the message is weakened when the corporate bodies are involved, as their participation depends on diluting the demands made on them. Similarly, it’s harder to take the campaign seriously when one of the performers will be Mariah Cary. She probably wonders why Africa doesn’t simply sack its manager, and get one who demands better caterers and a champagne well in the dressing room.”

Obviously it’s easier to “win” arguments if you get to i. make up your opponents’ answers yourself, and ii. make these answers very silly. I wish I imagined that Steel wd do as well in real-time cut-and-thrust political argument w.Mariah C.: sadly I’ve actually seen him as a commentator in grown-up news-studios up against unfolding events and brassy announcer-bimbos. the day ken livingstone beat frank dobson, steel was on the couch to shill for the (since binned) socialist alliance – asked for his reactions he sidestepped the invitation to say anything pointed and/or funny (MAYBE EVEN BOTH EH??!!) about the victor – in other words, about the political situation as it actually existed – in favour of his pre-prepared dobson gag. in his good-natured dim-carthorse way, he insisted on ploughing wordily through this. the shiny-haired newslady waited till he finished, “well, that was a big load of nothing,” the gist of her assessment. PWNED!!

Even on his own time – with writing, unlike improv, you have every chance to hone your words to best effect – he blunders his way uneasily through the paragraphs. When it comes to political substance and stance you feel he spent he spent the last few days desperately reading up what he should know and needs say – handy talk-point anecdotes; shorthand big-sweep outrage-punctuation graf-closers; all nervously cobbled into something that he hopes doesn’t contradict itself – only (as per his contract-w.-the-big-media-devil) to tumble it all away for the sake of the kind of knee-jerk alt.cult scorn which will at least ensure he can hold his head up on never mind the buzzcocks. “similarly, it’s hard to take the column seriously when… ” he “probably thinks” that mark lamarr is the new trotsky arf sigh

whether the weather is hot…

Blog 7Post a comment • 484 views

…or whether it’s p!ssing down, at least glasto weather watch give us something more to read as the excitement increases :)


Blog 7Post a comment • 406 views

i dreamt i wz at glasto!!

we all (inc. me tom and al ewing) wandered disconsolately round this vast huge darkened building, looking for some idea of who might be playing where – it was dank, the floor was ordinary outside-style earth, in hummocks and mounds, and no one had a programme or anything; there was very little light

groups of ppl sat in chairs waiting, but there was no sound or sign of music anywhere – i wandered away down some concrete paths with wire-netting fences and discovered that what music there was was goin on underground, in bunkers – it wz all acoustic, and the actual only “stage” i discovered wz doin a BILLY BRAGG AMATEUR TRIBUTE NIGHT

so i wandered away from this also (!) and realised i wz bein followed by a sinister fellow in a hat – he came up threateningly and asked for my mobile – i showed him how ancient and uncool it was, but he still grabbed at it – i clutched it and ran away – some distance off i stopped and turned to see if he was following – he wz right behind me and took a vicious swing at me… at which point i woke up

when i went back to sleep again i dreamt i was being beaten up by STEVE M

EH: 1. this is quite an accurate portrayal of the Glasto experience in many ways
TE: This sounds like a Dissensus dream festival! (maybe excepting the Billy Bragg)
ND: This is the kind of dream I have. Mark, have you ever been to the non-dream-world Glastonbury?

ps i have never been to glasto and never shall

Next Stop Utopia

Blog 7Post a comment • 303 views

Music “helps cut crime” sez a Baroness. The reason why there is not much crime at Glasto is surely nothing to do with the enormous fence that keeps the crims out. I am suspicious of the soothing powers of music – trudging across the vast expanse of the Other Stage during a mid-afternoon Elbow performance I experience a numbing effect perhaps but not a peaceful and friendly one. There’s also the little matter of the ENORMOUS number of real actual crimes that take place in Glastonbury, mostly to do with drugs and breaching of the peace: I am quite certain that the Baroness would have considered raucous Sunday night singalongs of Big And Rich absolutely criminal if they’d taken place outside her house. (Quite right too.)

The Wind Whistling Thru My Cavities

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 276 views

Okay, okay – we will get on to proper science somewhere along the line, not just stuff I read on the side of a bus. But really. Colgate “Oxygen”! I think pseudo-science in cosmetic adverts have reached such a point that Colgate need not claim anything for this product that relates the life giving gas to its efficacy. I am certainly not aware of the tooth saving properties of Oxygen, or indeed how upping its content in a tube of toothpaste does anything but give us less toothpaste (and possibly make it go hard).

The ads have a tagline which is actively unscientific though. “Need some fresh air? Catch the tube”. Whilst this is playing on the often dark and dismal state of the atmosphere in London’s underground, it seems to miss a key point that Oxygen is not fresh air. Where is my 70% Nitrogen please? What this actually suggests is that rather that being good at cleaning teeth, a squirt of Colgate will start even the dullest of campfires.

Here are the actual “scientific” claims from the Colgate Oxygen website:

Colgate Oxygen toothpaste releases fine bubbles of pure oxygen. Plaque and impurities are gently lifted away. For a clean, fresh mouth, like a breath of fresh air.

Bring back Tartar Control Formula. At least that stopped rampages of barbarian hordes on my teeth.

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP – “Somebody Help Me”

Popular7 comments • 2,319 views

#212, 16th April 1966

In grand pop tradition, the Spencer Davis Group’s follow-up to “Keep On Running” simply throws a few switches on that song. The lean R’n’B backbeat remains, and Steve Winwood’s vocal is just as assured and commited. The main difference is in tone – “Keep On Running” was a chase song, its blood was up, its urgency infectious. Whereas in “Somebody Help Me” Winwood is vulnerable, a loser in love. The music responds to this – the pensive guitar lines fuzz and meander more, the beat seems nude and more tentative without its triumphant handclaps. The effect, unfortunately, is to make “Somebody Help Me” feel like a follow-up, like a band casting insecurely around for something else to do.