20 May 2010

You East London “See you next Thursday”!

The Firm – Nick Love

A late review yes, but only just peeping it out on DVD, it deserved to be recognised. A film that breaks the mould of the hooligan film, well kinda, it doesn’t focus on it too much. It’s more about the comedy, more about capturing the era, the early nineties, the late eighties, showing the horrible fashion sense, the music and the times when it mattered. The firms of West Ham and Millwall, sure, they’ve always had bad press, talking about fans attacking other fans and police. But let’s not get too into that, it’s been done to death in the papers, especially being a Millwall fan myself, its shit how many times the media have to jump onto the bandwagon of hatred towards the club. The film does have scenes of violence but it paints the time it happens, not now. Its twenty years ago, the kind of thing happens and wasn’t in the media as much before it was blown out of the water by the exposure of it all.

The film follows a young West Ham fan who becomes a friend to the head of the firm, some admiration on his part, makes do pretty much what the head firm guy wants, changing his attire, attending anything he wants, the young kid has a strange connection with him. Mix in scenes with the family giving him stick for it, and throw in some fights and violence and that’s the film. It’s not got a lot of detail to it, but it’s good. I enjoyed it a lot more than other films about the subject. It’s better than Green Street but not as good as Football Factory. But it serves a different audience. More on a comedic level. It’s written and directed by Nick Love, who directed The Business and other such Danny Dyer films, and he pulls away from the pit that could have put him in and made something decent. Other people may disagree with my views on the film, calling it shit and predictable. Sure it has a poor ending, it’s not dramatic enough, but it’s still a good funny film. Plus it’s filed in my local areas, places I’ve walked through and know of. It’s a good reminder of my roots and where i come from. So go check it out, you might enjoy it, you might not, but what am i though? I’m just a Millwall fan who likes to watch films. MIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLWWWWWAAAAALLLLLLL!

Sorry, had to be done!


Simon Childs

Condensed Milk?

Paranormal Activity – Oren Peli

Your probably wondering what the title of the review is about. Well i believe that Paranormal Activity would be condensed into like about 5 to 10 minutes. Sounds strange yes with all the reviews and how many people believe it to be a smash hit and how amazing it is. And I’m not denying it. But if they used the ten minutes that i loved and spread it out, like used that as a template and placed the ten minutes of awesome throughout, then the film would have been an instant classic, which to some people it already has because of the low cost and high amounts of money it made. It’s going to start a trend of low budget horror films that show that a decent script, good performances and a decent new director could lead to something magical. Which i guess has always been there, but it depends on the backing of the studios. It depends if the studios can back something that on paper won’t be successful. So back to the film, yes its horrible, yes its genuinely terrifying especially the parts with her standing over her husband and the ending (depends on which one you saw!), but it’s a decent horror film, it scares. But the pace is off for me. It takes almost an hour before something scary happens. And for a horror film, that’s way too long. Far too long.

Two characters star in the film, a couple, moving into a new house, the girlfriend experiences strange goings on, tell the guy, he films them sleeping, sees some strange stuff. They both begin to believe that the house is haunted. Some twists follow and some appearances from a priest and a psychic, both believe something gravely is happening. This leads to the best ten minutes of the film, i won’t ruin it, but you’ll see what i mean. It’s fucking scary. I was watching it with my brother who is 27, and I’m 20. We are both grown men. We aren’t scared, but I’m being truthful here, we were watching it behind pillows and behind our hands that were covering our faces. It’s horrible. But in a good way, not in a human centipede way. The performances are from unknown actors, giving that even unknowns can play the roles way, the guy comes off as a bit of a dick, but that’s intentional i believe; the scene with the board and insisting on continuing to use it, you’ll want to throw your own shit or vomit at the screen to slap some sense into him.

It got great reviews, many people liked it, and it’s good. Don’t go in expecting something crazy great like the first Saw, but you’ll enjoy it. I just hope they don’t turn into Saw by having a shit version of it every year for the next ten years. Would ruin a good film. My breath is being held for Paranormal Activity 2.


Simon Childs

Man who stares at Jeff Bridges face...

The Men Who Stare At Goats – Grant Heslov

I love Jeff Bridges, i really do, the man is a living legend, and I would any film with him in it, especially his films of the last ten years. And i love Tron. It clearly stems from that film and his awesome geeky performance. Now, with the revitalising career, he’s being placed in films, left, right and centre, playing the villain in Iron Man, then getting award nods for Crazy Heart (the review coming very soon) and now with this, Men Who Stare At Goats, and he’s not even the lead man, George Clooney is. Bridges here does steal the show in every scene he’s in, but it’s with the likes of Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey, something like a legend Bridges can do. Playing a spaced out hippy who believes that mind powers exist and that people can be used to kill terrorists. It’s very funny. The reason i chose to see it, is because of the lead actors. Clooney in Up in the Air and Fantastic Mr Fox gave me hope that he is decent and not some good-looking guy just playing on it and some ER reject. Harsh words i know. McGregor is a hit and miss for me. Trainspotting is awesome, Down With Love, not so much. Star Wars Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith, big fan, episode 1 and 2, i want to kill him. So ups and downs. Spacey is great in mostly everything and his turn of being the dicky villain works.

A highly secret unit of soldiers in the war were created to combat soldiers in a different form: through the mind. Set up by Bridges character, he recruits Clooney and Spacey, a bit of rivalry occurs between the two and leads to the program being destroyed. A few years later, a writer, McGregor, wants to write a story about the war, he goes to the country and happens to bump into Clooney. They begin to talk and McGregor wants to write the story of the whole thing, get it published. They delve deeper into the program and find results that are shocking. Very funny, very political and very now. It has messages about the war happening now, almost making fun of it. And it’s good to see intelligent humour once again but does have points of slapstick, stoner comedy elements.

Overall, a decent film, something just to switch into, it won’t change your view or become an instant classic, but it’s funny. i didn’t have high hopes for it, so was pleasantly surprised, go into the film expecting nothing and you’re guaranteed to come away happy.


Simon Childs

Award for the most sickening film ever goes to...

The Human Centipede – Tom Six

Now, let’s start with the whole logic behind this next review. I’ve seen the trailers, I’ve seen the news coverage and I’ve seen other people’s reviews of it. I went into thinking it was going to be okay, kinda like a mix between Hostel and Saw films with added gore for a low budget affair. And i wasn’t expecting it to be brilliant, and it isn’t, it’s a low budget fluff film that has a concept that will blow your mind. Sure there are massive faults, like the slow pacing, the half dramatic ending, and the shoddy acting, but i guess when the only characters who can talk is a fucking mad scientist and a Chinese guy who doesn’t speak English, the script isn’t going to be strong. Onto the concept. I’ve watched a lot of horror films, some have shocked and scared me, Blair Witch when it first came out, Evil Dead, Cannibal Holocaust, Dawn of the Dead, Braindead, all of these have aspects of shock and gore and blood, but Human Centipede has something that i never expected, utter terror. Utter terror of the idea that a “normal” human being actually thought about this and even gave its “100% medical accurate” stamp of approval. Sure, horror writers have thought of some fucked up things, but this, sticking three human beings together by the anus and the mouth, its stuff you would find on the internet with two girls, one cup or scat porn.*

The story follows a mad German doctor (it always has to be them doesn’t it, the mad German doctors who just can’t be normal doctors willing to help the sick and needy), who after many years of fantasying about things being stuck together, finally moves from using animals to using humans. He captures three people, sticks them together and bang, there’s the film. Yes the plot is that thread-bare, it’s more of the shock of actually seeing three humans stuck that way, just an hour’s worth of glory shots of the “human centipede”. The process of the human centipede is where there are three people. All lined up on their knees, the first person facing forward on knees, the next person behind them, their mouth attached to the first person’s anus via taking skin and muscle from the knee cap and attaching it to the face and bum. The third person is then attached to the second’s person’s anus using skin from the knee again. And there we have it. The Human Fucking Centipede. Doesn’t it just make you sick?

And on a final note, don’t watch it whilst eating.

*Now for legal purposes and for reputation purposes, obviously, I’m going by rumour and myth here and do not watch scat porn and have never seen two girls, one cup. Yes, I’m coming forward and saying I’ve never seen it.


Simon Childs

Plan “B” for Michael Caine

Harry Brown – Daniel Barber

Over the recent decade, London filmmakers have been showing the city to be gritty, full of crime, violence, alcohol abuse, drug taking, underage sex, horrible, horrible things occurring throughout. Now growing up in London, sure i was exposed to certain things, some bad, but I’m sure everyone has. Films like Kidulthood and Adulthood were new to the audiences, giving teenagers a voice, showing them how they talked, and what happened. And with Harry Brown, it shows it too. It gives young people, who are the sort who watch these films, emulate it and such, that’s how they really act. Now I’m not saying its all teenagers, but a strong group of them. They cause violence and live life like they own it. And it’s horrible. I’m sure we’ve all been there, getting mugged by a chav or some dickhead who’s been underage drinking or something. And to have a hero like Michael Caine, appear and fuck them up, makes it ten times better. I wouldn’t have it any other way, other than the legend that is Michael fucking Caine.

It follows Michael, a pensioner, a widow, living on a shitty London estate. Local gangs run the place, causing havoc and terrorising anyone who crosses their path. Events lead Caine to get revenge and find the members who killed his best friend, the caretaker from Harry Potter. It’s gruesome, it’s shocking and most of all, the audience agree with Caine. They want him to succeed, they want him to fuck these little immature teenagers and show them that their ways have to stop. Add some cameos from that “hard” guy from Skins plus a great character played by the rapper Plan B, last seen in the okay Kidulthood. His performance is great, he plays it well, you can see he hasn’t done it because of his fame but because he actually has some talent. I just hope Dappy from N Dubz doesn’t want to be the next big British actor; otherwise, we are all fucked!

And on a final note, i apologise for the amount of swearing in this review, i just get that way talking about LAAAAANNNNDDDDOOOONNNN Town, as Amy Winehouse once said. Every time i go back, i act all cockney, and i guess with this film, it brings back memories, not always well, but i guess liveable. The film has been likened to Gran Torino, a similar tale in America starring Clint Eastwood as Michael Caine in the situation, taking the law into his own hands. I must admit before seeing Harry Brown, i wasn’t looking forward to something good, i was surprised, as I’m sure you will be too, and defiantly check out Gran Torino if you like it too.


Simon Childs