Saturday, 30 May 2009

Naked Gun 1, 21/2 and 331/3 [* * * * *]

I've watched the whole series over the last few weeks - I love parody. The rapidfire jokes and the speed of action has probably never been repeated since.

Some of the imitations (George Bush, Thatcher, Gadafi, etc) are amazing. These are must-sees. David Zucker and his brother take political satire to new levels.

The sexual innuendo doesn't look as bad today as it did back in the 80s. I could even call it tame, compared to some of the movies I've seen since. That surprised me, since I didn't think I'd changed so much. I guess the world has changed around me and I have adapted to bawdiness more than I believed possible.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Marley and Me [* * * * * *]

A lovely movie about a guy, his family and his dog. He gets the dog for his wife to stay busy and not plan his life, but the dog's a monster and takes over their lives. Like most dogs I know, he can smash a house in seconds when he's lonely, ruins outings and embarrasses his family.

But like all dogs, he's adorable, and the family grows around him until he's old and dies. If you love animals you'll bawl your eyes out like I did in the end.

"A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, smart or dumb. If you give him your heart, he'll give you his. He makes you feel pure and special and brings out the best in you. How many people can you say that about? How many people make you feel good about yourself?"

I couldn't live without mine.:)

JVCD [* * * * * *]

Jean Claude Van Damme's incredibly difficult to write about. For me. He's a hunk, an animal activist with a passion - he goes straight to the top of my list for droolworthy.

But his life's been a mess, as is his career. His personal life is screwy, been divorced 4 times, bitterly. He's got just the kind of male attitude I hate - over the top insensitive and colouring all it touches with a rough monochrome self-centered brush. Bipolar.

Sued several times and criticized as a fake action star (falsely - he's a fighter), he's been unable to shake off his french accent which has affected his career. The media hate him and his fans, like me, try as I might, can't find anything to prove he's wonderful inside. He's handled his life as poorly as any of us.

You'd think he couldn't make a bad movie until you see the junk he's acted in. Not just junk movies, but incredibly juvenile over-acting to go with the b-grade beef-flicks. I felt martyred to even have to watch them.;/

AND THEN ... he makes JVCD!! What a treat. A wonderful view into the world of a 47 yr old man.

The movie is autobiographical with some farce to bring out the elements. You see a larger-than-life star image juxtaposed on an ordinary man. JVCD comes at the end of Van Damme's emotional, financial, career struggles. Things have spiralled out of control so far that they're irretrievable. You see his world from his eyes: his inability to break into Hollywood, his court battles, the media, the uncomprehending fans, his financial ruin; and his helplessness to change anything but his own perception of events.

In the movie he walks into a bank robbery. They force him to pretend that he's taken the bank hostage. He's as helpless as any victim against their guns, kickboxing is just useful entertainment for the real bad guys.

His parents are called by the police to appeal to him. You can see how shattered he is when he realises his parents believed him capable of such a thing, when they should know him better. How many of us have gone through this ... it's as traumatic as any other event in one's life.

He's starkly honest in an emotionally exhausted monologue that almost reduced him, and me, to tears.

The whole movie is superb, showcasing his range as an actor for the first time, in a very cynical and tired tarantino-style of movie-making. The sepia colours are perfectly middle-aged for a 47 yr old view of life. This is how we all look back at our lives. It's a one-way street of chain-reactions, as unstoppable as nuclear fission in a star.