25.4.03

Having seen only two of his movies, you could hardly call me his most dedicated fan. The first Woody Allen movie I saw was sometime last year: Broadway Danny Rose. The appearance of Antz on the Easter TV schedule - which, like Toy Story did not fit in with my schedule, and so again, I was "forced" to watch my brother's VHS copy - prompted me to go back and watch it again, and here I am now, babbling on about him for the first time on my recently established (well, it's hardly geriatric) blogging ground.

As I said, I'm hardly the most faithful fan, two out of, well, a hell of a lot of movies, isn't much to boast about - and so, I guess I haven't really got much to say. On first impressions (well, if I'm talking about Broadway Danny Rose, I guess it's second), I do like the guy - but I just don't feel at liberty to say much about him. A funny guy, definitely, and, in case you didn't know, quite obviously in love with New York, New York. But, I guess I should do my homework (both on Woody Allen, and my actual homework). I guess this blog is a little... well, worthless. But... watch this space. This time next century, you could have an avid-fan of, and resident-expert of all things Allen! Or, you might just have what you do now: a rather, crappy excuse of a movie viewer and subsequent blogger. Well, I try. See you around, kids. Oh, and make sure as hell you bloody well do those things that I don't - if that makes sense. "It's for the good of your health".

22.4.03

Toys will be toys...sorry, bad joke
There's no time like Easter (except Christmas maybe) to catch up on some good old family viewing. In the world of doss that is my life, yesterday afternoon, before being battered senseless by Bulletproof Monk, I took the time to re-submerge myself in the world of Buzz and Woody. On my copy of the DVD of course! Yes, it was on terrestrial television, but it didn't fit in with my schedule -damn broadcasters- so there was no other alternative. Well, I could have not watched it, but only left doing coursework, and well, I'd rather stick my head in a working chip pan fryer.

So, other than giving me my very own personality disorder - I've now taken to calling myself Mr. Potato Head - what it is that Toy Story, kids movie extraordinaire, has given to us all that has won the hearts of children and adults alike? Those of us old enough to remember, will, er, remember that Toy Story was the first fully computer animated feature in film history brought to us by the dreamhouse that is Pixar. But technical wonder aside, what we have here is a finely crafted tale of teamwork and friendship transposed to the world of toys, filled with action, adventure, and a big dollop of good humour, written by an Oscar-nominated team of writer including Joss Whedon (he of Buffy fame), John Lasseter and Pete Docter. Who can forget the birthday party with the bucket o'soldiers performing their very own little mission to find out just what Andy has got for his birthday, complete with giant baby monitor acting as walkie talkie; the drama when one of the plastic band of brothers is injured; the respect when his superior refuses to leave him - they even come back for an encore in the film's closing, staking out in the Christmas tree. How about the equilibrium-breaking entrance of Buzz Lightyear - the crescendo as Woody (who we can see through the legs of Buzz) registers the seeming enormity of the newcome? "Laser envy", indeed. The best scenes, however, have to be the ones that establish how far movie-making has come: the psuedo-action sequence as Woody tries to knock Buzz down the back of the chest of drawers; and the escape from Syd's house, they toys' revenge and the return to Andy.

Then there's the heroes of the piece themselves, Buzz and Woody (not to mention, the extensive supporting cast of toys). As well as providing parents with a kind of merchandising hell, the movie hit gold with its lead protagonists and back-up characters. Unabashedly, at the age of seventeen (nearly eighteen - July 17 by the way!), I can openly say that my favourite would be Mr. Potato Head, and I'm sure that most of you out there have your own too.

Could I, should I write more? To be totally honest, it's taken me almost three days to get this far [constant interruptions!]. It might be best to move on. However, over this period of time I have managed to fit in viewings of The American President and Antz. I'm off to watch Broadway Danny Rose now, and hopefully I should have something of a Woody Allen piece in the near future. Then for afters, it's Jackie Brown. We'll see about all that though. See you around. This is Mr. Potato Head, signing off.

20.4.03

"It's so funny you'll laugh so hard your lashes will curl all by themselves."
Now, of late, for numerous reasons, I've not been one to watch the television much, but I feel as if last night's showing of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert may put a stop to that. Firstly, despite possible public opinion, I'm not really all that familiar with much gay cinema. I know some titles, but my extreme lack of proficiency in the world of film means that like my lack of viewage elsewhere, gay cinema has pretty much fallen by the wayside. A couple of years back I do remember watching To Wong Foo, but I don't remember very much about it. Probably because it was a major pile of "budgie turd", but that's not the point. The point is that despite some scepticism regarding Priscilla's subject matter, I must say I was very much surprised. Impressed actually.

I guess this has something to do with the film's brilliantly bitchy humour. Perhaps years of bitching competitions with equally mental family members plays some part in my appreciation of such tomfoolery, but I find it a little hard to believe that the majority of viewers wouldn't laugh, no, guffaw to their hearts content at lines like "Why don't you light your tampon and blow your box apart, because it's likely the only bang you'll ever get, sweetheart!" and "Stop flexing your muscles, you big pile of budgie turd. I'm sure your mates will be much more impressed if you just go back to the pub and fuck a couple of pigs on the bar." Fucking hilarious? You betcha!

Even more amusing perhaps, is the presence of deliverers of such platinum lines. The above are courtesy of the Terence Stamp, but equally worthy are Weaving and Pearce. Especially Weaving. In my rather, weak filmic experience, I've only ever seen Weaving in The Matrix and the first two instalments of LOTR. At least, I've only noticed him in those movies. Anyways, again, that's not the point. The point is that, at least in my opinion, the only roles that I had previously seen him play were extremely mechanistic one. Or at least, machoistic [Is that a word? Well, it is now.] So, it was nice to see him play a role a little less mechanistic. Or machoistic. :) What am I saying? They were all great!

Dazzling. I think that's the word. That's what it is. Dazzling. Taking obligatory road movie sweeps of the surrounding landscape and tarting them up appropriately, with Felicia's stunning bus-top displays and the remnants of their wild lifestyle. Cue empty spirits bottles, a flying blow-up shag partner and abandoned feather boas [there was something caught up in that dead bush, and while I'm sure it's not a boa, it did look a little feathery]. Okay, it's hardly genius. But it's something. Besides, Felicia's giant stiletto and the multi-coloured smoke machine is enough anyhow.

Perhaps the greatest achievement, however, is costume design, which won not only the won the film an Academy Award, but also an award from BAFTA and the AFI. Splendidly overtop, the costume highlight is, of course, when the drag triumvirate finally make it to Alice Springs. Almost equal to the wonderful wardrobe of Jennifer Garner's in Alias. And is that really the ABBA girls at the film's closing?

But perhaps I'm missing the point. Even if I have tried to correct myself several times already, I'm sure I'm not totally on the ball. Never have been, never will be. My original surprise was based on the presumed homosexual content of the piece. The masculine, homophobic side of me left me a little resistant of the book's front cover, so to speak. To my surprise, I not only felt understanding of the characters, but learnt to sympathise with them for their sexual angst. Not that I have ever been unaccepting of homosexuality, and I realise that may sound very anxious to hide a past fascist lifestyle of me, but I admit it. Well, not being a fascist, but merely, being not very understanding. Many a time, I posed the question of why. Now, I merely ask why not. It's none of my business, anyhow. Though the fact that I've been invited so kindly to stick my nose into Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette's is a pleasure. Which is much better than the usual bemusement I've felt watching Maury Povich and Ricki Lake.

19.4.03

Talk about mud-flaps...
I would like to say that This Is Spinal Tap is one of the funniest films that I've ever seen, but I'm afraid to - I mean, what if, I have seen something funnier but forgot about - well, I guess I can safely say, that if isn't the funniest film I've ever seen, then it's most definitely the funniest film I can remember seeing. There, is that right?

If you haven't guessed then, I've just re-watched Spinal Tap [I say just, but mean last night. Due to some extreme geriatric interference I was not able to write sooner, but I'm here now. So, I guess that's all that matters.] But why, oh lord, why, is it so funny? I think it might have something to do with its astuteness [thankyou Henry VII for laying down such a grand work ethic] - in its portrayal of the heavy metal world - even more funny considering some of my family history: the Island-band Legend. What was that song again? The Legend Of The Werewolf? Magic.]; in its bloody, hilarious musical parodies - especially of the Beatles ("Give me some money!" and the Yoko Ono-inspired girlfriend); the catastropic concert performances - the dwarfs dancing around the 18" Stone Henge is visual treat. Ah. Dear lord, I love this movie.

"Well, enough of my yapping. What d'ya say? Let's boogie!"

15.4.03

I'm back. Well, I guess I should try and start where I left off, for some evidence of continuity. Well, firstly, despite taking all those books with me, I only read two: Sword of Honour and About A Boy. I preferred the latter much more, which will probably tell you a lot about my level of intellect, but then perhaps a war novel is not the most suitable piece of literature for a relaxing holiday. About A Boy - funny, sad, lovely, but mostly funny - must make an effort to see the movie. Sword of Honour - probably won't touch it again until I've grown up a little ;)

Where next? OH, The Hours. Started reading that. Not sure I like it that much. 'Nuff said, for the time being, methinks.

Lastly, I'm not sure there was too much of a camel shortage, but they did seem to be outdone by horses and donkeys. Which is a shame, being all desert and all. Anyhow, I best go. I'm off to see the wizard, or else just watch Heavenly Creatures. I hope to make something of an update tomorrow. If I don't, then somebody should really just punch me in the face. Not too hard though. :) Night all.

1.4.03

Shocking!
So, here I am again... back from my rendezvous with Mr Mendik. Was it good? Was it worth a car, ferry and bus journey to get to? By jeez yes it was! It was enthralling! Absolutely mind-blowingly interesting! I was feverishly taking notes down, and I have written the entire thing up, so that Russell and whoever else is interested can read about it. CLICK HERE to read the report. It should be finished by now so click away.
There isn't much I can say here to do it justice... it was just really really good. Sorry Russell, I'm sure you're having a good time - but you did miss something great.
If anyone is unaware of the pleasures of small independent cinemas.... then try them out.. they are very very good.. even sexy. Harbour Lights is very very sexy indeed. Hey Russell? Is this true? I heard there is a camel shortage? Must have hit the economy hard after last years sand shortage. Lets hope the Pharoahs don't go on strike. I've even got you photocopies of the sheets that were handed out today! I should talk about films shouldn't I...... but I've done that all day.... check out the link - im too lazy to write anything new. and im pissed off now too. fuckin women.