Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Man with a Plan

It has come to my attention recently that certain people are crazy. People in power. And like an abandoned house, the worms are slowly coming out of the woodwork. It has long been postulated that people who are insane know something we don't, and therefore, their actions, whilst often strange and random, have a purpose and meaning. A method to their madness. However, some are just plain crazy.

Certain people in power have been revealing themselves slowly, in a movement that I feel, is the dawn of a new type of crazy government. All of these people work in separate places, some vying for power, and some already in massive positions of it, and they all meet on Christmas day in the hollowed out head of the sphinx in Las Vegas.

Two of these people come from separate news stories that have peaked my interest throughout this sleepy week. And both of them were either very alarmist or quite strange, and I'm prepared to say that I am now terrified, and am intending to use all my resources to build a crazy proof bunker in my garage. Although I don't have a garage, so it might be a bit of a feat. Also, it should be bomb proof, given the imminent nuclear tide. But I don't really have the money for that either. Zero out of two requirements, and I'm already out of pocket. Perhaps I'm the crazy one.

First up to the batting cages is crazy Nick Griffin. This is a man who has denied all of the logical parameters by being as racist as possible. I saw this man had been doing very racist things, and did a bit of digging. In 1993 a deputy was quoted as saying that the party was "100% racist". That's a bit of a bold claim, considering some of their people must have had thoughts in the lines of "I might not be racist, and then I won't be liked by our greasy glorified leader".

Apparently they have close ties to Neo-Nazi type people, which furthers the opinion that no-one should vote for them. In fact, my absolute hatred for these people has lead me to think that I might be racist. The entire problem with hating a group like this is that you're hating a minority. Any campaign against them is an act of discrimination. "We don't like your types 'round here" is racist no matter who you're directing it to.

Moving from one discrimination to another, Crazy Kim Jong Il. Even now, as I type this, my fingers are shaking from fear. Crazy Kim Jong Il seems like the sort of man who actually WOULD look himself up on google. And God forbid he is sitting at his platinum plated desks surrounded by his harem, seeing this post and tracking the co-ordinates of his next missile launch.

He is a crazy man. From hair transplants, to backcombing, to giant rabbits to nukes, everything this tiny man seems to do can be attributed to a blow to the head as a child, and subsequent madness. I really do think that this will be the man to trigger the eleventh hour, if we are not in it already, and I still am shaking my head as to why this man has not been stopped. I'm assuming that there are men eating and sleeping Kim Jong Il prevention plans, but still I am amazingly scared.

It can be said that the madman knows something we don't, and if this is true, and I really hope it is, Il knows that what he is doing is fantastically stupid.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Movie Review: The Ex

I'm a big fan of Zach Braff. Who isn't? I'm also a big fan of Jason Bateman. So when I found out that there was a film starring not one, but two of my favorite TV stars, I slammed that into my lovefilm waiting list and cranked it up to "Urgent". However, its the first point that makes this zany comedy a little thin on the ground, the two stars are TV people, and ultimately, it makes the film feel a lot like an extra long sitcom pilot. Whilst this may be true, the film hits home, albeit in a slightly roundabout way.

The premise of the movie is slightly typical, to say the least. Tom Riley (Braff) is a recently married and slightly hot-headed slacker, with his wife being played by Amanda Peet, with a slightly forgettable character considering her acting props, and Hollywood status. Although, the word slacker would be inappropriate, considering he has the drive, and the motivation, considering his heavily pregnant wife, but his problem being his temper, which sets in motion the events of the film. Having lost his job on the same day of obtaining a newly born child, he decides to uproot and leave New York for sunny Ohio, taking the offer of a job at his wife's fathers company, an advertising firm, and is forced to be the protege of the paraplegic and slightly strange go-getter Chip (Bateman).

This is essentially what makes the film unique. Usually this sort of movie would be based in another spectrum, from the woman's perspective, with the man taking a bit of a back seat, and whilst the relationship between a man and his wife's ex was explored in Judd Apatow's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Ex focuses more on the rivalry, and the panicky antics in Braff''s life as his mentor attempts to unravel his relationship between his wife. Its a story that we've all heard a billion times, but The Ex is the only movie Ive seen that conveys the frantic panicking, and paranoia involved with meeting your girlfriend, partner, or wife's ex effectively, with Braff essentially looking insane to everyone but him, which is a feeling I, and any man, can definitely empathise with.

The premise is a good one, solid, but it falters slightly in the execution of the different events that take place, with the scenes in the movie being slightly dis-jointed in places, but like many movies, the film is saved by its characters. The amiable Braff has a certain chemistry with the strange and creepy Bateman, and the background players, many of them veterans of America's Saturday Night Live (A long running late-night sketch show for you uneducated peons).

However, the film was a peculiar animal. My history with it has been slightly turbulent, and I'm not ashamed to say that I was scared at some point as the sheer weirdness of the situation. Granted, I had rented it from lovefilm, but I had also viewed it before ILLEGALLY over the magic of the interweb. I wanted to see it again in better quality, this is understanding, I like to watch my films without Japanese adverts floating across the screen almost every second. The strange thing was that when I viewed it a second time, the film was a lot longer. Many more scenes had been added, all of them making the film much funnier than it would have been without it, but they had changed the ending, and changed it for the worst. Part of it could have been to make the film flow better, and give it a concise and definitive ending, and part of it could have been lazy editing. Perhaps the production company was just drunk (and I expect the latter is much more likely) but instead of quite a touching tale about finding out what you were meant to do in life, we are given a clumsy and clunky ending that is overall, very unsatisfying.

Don't watch this film for the subtleties and don't expect anything too deep, but if you do watch it, do it for Braff and Bateman, because god knows they know how to entertain people, even if they cant do anything else.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Movie Review: Smokin Aces

Action movies, generally, are films that are genuinely entertaining to watch. Obviously, the best ones in the genre have a deep and meaningful story but that is not why one watches them in the first place. Its because of the fantastic explosions, or fight scenes, or men getting killed in increasingly creative ways. In the days of old, men could just die in a hail of gunfire, and that was enough for the bloodthirsty public. Then, when that became tired, it was gunfire hitting something explosive. Then martial arts took off, and men were subjected to having their HEAD RIPPED CLEAN FUCKING OFF! Its an escalation, and with all the billions of ways to kill someone, it seems that there will be no end.

Fortunately for the murder craving masses, Smokin' Aces, gives us enough examples of gory and creative deaths. The general premise is that there's a guy called Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven, Entourage), a Las Vegas magician turned police informant, who has close ties with "the mob". A price has been put on his head, so brings in the worlds most notorious hit men to claim the bounty. Meanwhile there's the FBI, CIA, police...something force who want to keep Aces alive in order to use his knowledge to take down one of the most prolific and infamous crime organizations in America.

The cast is where the movie really takes off, with a wide and creative bunch of unscrupulous characters. Star Treks newest star, Chris Pine, plays a neo nazi, among with two others who I don't know the names of. Ryan Reynolds plays the charismatic but troubled FBI agent assigned to Aces' protection, whilst Ben Affleck plays an ex-cop after the bounty. The characters in the movie are ranged, creative and engaging, and somehow they are able to pull off the wide range of people without it being a muddle, and some of the lesser known actors are great at helping us to invest a little emotion in the giant pool.

But its still all a bit confusing. See, like I said, there's the action movies without a plot, that aspire only to create a decent looking movie with explosions and head rippings, and there's the ones with the story, that even the most anal and pretentious people can enjoy mildly. But Smokin' Aces seems to cut from a very distinctly different cloth. That is to say, that it trues very hard to have a fantastic story, but doesn't quite pull it off, it comes very close, but doesnt quite hit the target, with the story zip-zapping all over the place like a ricocheting...bouncy ball. Tired CIA/FBI intrigue, heavy dialogue that would be boring even in a Bourne movie, and overly dramatic acting, are some of the silly choices that deviate from the brilliant acting of Piven. Also, in a strange cameo, there are some fantastic comic acting from the iracable Jason Bateman, who plays a sleazy, sex crazed and drug addicted lawyer, who does well to divert the audience from some of the aformentioned boring dialogue

Overall, its satisfying, but if youre looking for a story driven character piece, search elsewhere, because this party is all about the bullets.