Posts from 23rd January 2009

23
Jan 09

My 10 Worst Films Of 2008: 1: The Good Night

FT3 comments • 401 views

I didn’t walk out of the The Good Night because I fell asleep. HA HA – what an irony when the film itself is about sleeping! I did not fall asleep for very long, but I wish I had. You have probably already detected a theme in this list of the kind of films I particularly dislike. Yes rubbish action movies that turn out to be boring. But also middle-class indie smugfests where unlikeable people moan about their not very bad lives and do lots of stupid things. Well The Good Night, which should have been good, turns out to be the worst of these films. EVER.

It stars Martin Freeman in, what is hopefully, a movie career ending film. He plays an ex-minor indie star who is now “wasting his talents” writing jingles. He is miserably married to Gwenyth Paltrow who acts extremely well as a dissatisfied wife annoyed her mopy husband. Which considering Freeman’s main problem appears to be being stuck writing jingles makes her the most sympathetic person in the film because he is an absolute twat.

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SOFT CELL – “Tainted Love”

FT + Popular71 comments • 6,216 views

#485, 5th September 1981

Soft Cell’s reinvention of “Tainted Love” is based on a simple shift in emphasis. In the Gloria Jones recording, the point of the record is the love – it’s troubled, besmirched, but Gloria is strong enough to fight her way past that – or carry through her intention to quit. Either way the decision’s hers. For Marc Almond, the point is the taint. Without the taint, there is no love. “Once I ran to you, now I’ll run from you” – but he’s not running yet.

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Thrill-Power Revisited

FT6 comments • 272 views

Comics Should Be Good links to my old Pitchfork essay on THRILL-POWER, a term I use a lot without ever having managed to give a good summary of what I mean by it. (“Earthlet, if you have to ask, you’ll never know”)

This awesome comment however perfectly indicates why there’s still some way to go before the Dictators of Zrag are fully purged from the US market: “Call me crazy but I’ll take a “story” over a “thrill” any day.”

In terms of current comics discourse, here’s where I think thrill-power fits in:

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My 10 Worst Films Of 2008: 1.5 (Doesn’t count cos I saw it on DVD)

FT5 comments • 266 views

Cassandra’s Dream

If I had seen Cassandra’s Dream in the cinema I would have walked out. As it was I got half an hour in on the DVD and then flung across the room in disgust. (And then cleaned it and hoped no-one at LoveFilm would notice).

I like Woody Allen. No-one is a bigger Woody Allen apologist than me. But Cassandra’s Dream was like pulling teeth. No-one comes out of the mess of Cassandra’s Dream with any credit. Ewan MacGregor and Colin Farrell do not convince as siblings, or as Londoners. Tom Wilkinson can do menacing, but decides not to here instead swopping acting for a set of harsh vowels and fake tan. The conceit of ambitious brothers wanting more from life could have been ripped from a five year old morality play. Again show me a man who is winning on the dogs in the first ten minutes of a film, and I’ll show you a man in hock to gangsters for 50 grand at twenty. Show me a man with a dream of running a big hotel in California (said like El Dorado) at the start of a film, and I’ll show you a man in tears at the end of it. Throw in some glamorous dolly birds and a stupid murder plot you have a film which was too painful to watch.

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