Sunday, March 25, 2007

Not Brutal Enough!

Trying to sort out the logo for Shiny Discs has made me realise how much I haven't been living up to my tagline of 'Sometimes Brutal, Always Honest'. No problems with the 'honest' bit, but it's been hard to find a film or TV show on DVD that's been so poor I've wanted to be 'brutal' about it. I've been wondering whether I just need to get rid of that 'Brutal but honest' tagline.

Of course, in just considering that, I've found that I've tempted fate. Admittedly I might be more sensitive to the value of viewing time given that this weekend has been shorter than normal. This is partly because of my attending the flat-warming party of someone at work last night (and Lord! Aren't the last trains from Richmond on a Saturday night the very definition of 'hell', with endless drunken, noisy chavs everywhere!), and also because of the clocks going forwards.

Nevertheless I've been able to catch up on a few of the sellophane-wrapped releases waiting to be reviewed. The Prestige lived up to the expectations I have of Christopher Nolan after his superb Memento and excellent Batman Begins. 1956's The Court Jester was a laugh and a half that showed my childhood memories of Danny Kaye being a performer to avoid appear to be somewhat at fault.

But today's 'official' blog entry/film review is a review of the documentary 'Who Killed the Electric Car?', and is the first film I've seen in a while where I've thought 'That's 90 minutes of my life I'm never going to get back'. Not that it's a bad viewing experience (as you'll see if you follow the link and read the full review), just that the quality of recent viewing means that I've come to expect so much more from my DVD documentaries these days.

Unfortunately I followed that disk with The Page Turner, officially released on DVD tomorrow. A full review will follow at some stage, but suffice to say for now that not only did I NOT get the Hitchcock-ian tale of revenge I'd been promised, but that if this were a book it would be the diametric opposite of what its title suggests. I've a feeling the daily reviews are going to get a lot more 'brutal' if films like this start becoming the norm.

One closing thought: I've read some really nasty reviews of 300 this last week. Time Out and Metro both gave the film a pitiful one star, and that tired, hoary old cliché 'homo-erotic' has been trotted out time-and-time again. Heh, I'm a gay man, and I found nothing sexually arousing in this film at all. The men all look like ridiculous Atlas body builders who've gone way too far, and have beards that make them look like religious zealouts, so can we stop this lazy labelling right now?!

As for those 'one star' reviews... The film may not have a deep and meaningful plot, and may be lacking in racy, witty dialogue. It features ridiculously camp villains and fails to explain the meaning of life, never mind the history of the Greek vs Persian war. But then it was never meant to. It's a comic book adaptation for goodness sake! The point is that the film is a visual and sonic treat, and one that's rather unique and very individual - a veritable feast for the eyes and ears. In short, it has class and it's a hell of a fun popcorn ride. Critics who trash it because it's not historically correct, or because it lacks real character depth are completely missing the point. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you don't like 300 then you just don't like cinema. Go and see it on the big screen if you possibly can!

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