Sunday 30 October 2011

You Hectic Mother Fucker

What was this? A day with no plans? No over/under expensive cultural thing to attend? With no exercise pencilled in to stop me feeling like I am slowly dissolving? With no visit to hospitals? With no travelling to a hotel to sit and wait (masturbate) until the morning and spend the entire day in a (almost meaningless) meeting?

Well, no. For starters I went to the gym when I got up. But other than that: yes. No (brilliant) Noel Gallagher concert, No (highly entertaining play) followed by (highly enjoyable) drinks with my friends, No (very funny and cut-price) stand-up show from Stephen Merchant. Not to mention no trips to London to watch sport. Yeah: I just had a relaxing nothing day. [Apart from the hour in the gym. And then going to ASDA for a ‘big shop’, as Peter Kay refreshingly reminded us all we call a visit to the supermarket for a week’s worth of groceries.]

One Year Later…

Truly, truly not very good. This is how I would, ineloquently, describe the comedy film The Change-Up. I wouldn’t say Jason Bateman was in danger of becoming the new Vince Vaughan – I wouldn’t say it if he wasn’t in danger of becoming the new Vince Vaughan, but he is. For a year or two you could rely on his (this works for Vaughan and Bateman as I am saying they have done the same thing) R-rated (‘rude film’ in American) films to be proper LOL-out loud affairs. And now you can just count on them to be a bit shit – and Leslie Mann to play someone’s aggressive-but-emotional wife.

The film’s story if basically Fucking Friday. A body-swap comedy for adults. Best mates Dave (Bateman) and Mitch (Ryan ‘Razza’ Reynolds) get pissed and claim they would like each other’s lives. Dave is a successful lawyer with a beautiful wife and three kids while Mitch smokes pot and acts in soft-soft-porn. They piss in a fountain in a storm and wake up in each other’s bodies. It’s that kooky. Oh, the things they go through, struggling to keep each other’s lives on course while – would you believe – learning a lot about themselves (while doing sex and babies shitting in faces jokes).

There is even a ‘one month later’ thing showing you that Dave and Mitch are happy in their lives. What is it with these scenes? Especially in these films aimed at people who like swearing to be a core ingredient of comedy (me). I had no doubt in my mind that both the leads were forever changed and that they had learned to be not a porn star and have a girlfriend/highly successful lawyer who has time for his family, did I really need to see a scene where this was conveyed by showing Ryan Reynolds with someone saying “Hey we’re a great couple, I’m glad you’re growing up and realising there’s more to life than porn” while Jason Bateman fingers his wife and says he is talking a day off work next week to take the kids to a museum? No – I didn’t need to see this. To be fair to the writer/director I wasn’t shown this precise scene, but I might as well have been.

Scary Movie

Not really one for horror movies. I don’t mind a good one, but I wouldn’t seek out a horror film for the sake of it. What have I liked? Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Omen and The Haunting all spring to mind as classics. Oh and The Exorcist. Of the modern horror films I really liked Saw (just the first one, but it didn’t seem to be a horror film to me, but this is the genre everyone puts it in). I am also a fan boy of the Final Destination franchise (again, though, I don’t really see them as horror films.There are others like this – I love Joy Ride (retitled as Road Kill) but I don’t really see them as horror films like the earlier ones I said. I think they are thrillers – they don’t scare me. I suppose they might I have made me jump with a loud noise or extreme cut though.

But horror: Of course Ringu (yeah the Japanese original – did you forget I am dead cultured and that?) was also a good one. Other than that there is one stand-out film for me and that is Frank Darbont’s The Mist: I fucking loved it. For once Stephen King’s weird twist didn’t completely fuck up a good idea and I thought the film was brilliant.

I probably should have seen The Thing by now but I only got round to seeing it tonight. I am talking about the 1982 John Carpenter version, not the one that has not been released over here yet – I don’t think I probably should have seen a film that hasn’t been released at the cinema yet. What am I Nostradamus? [Ha! Nostradamus. Classic Phil.] I really liked it. As with any film that is 30 years old the special effects were a bit ropy but I thought it was really claustrophobic and I enjoyed it immensely. Watching it was my nod to Halloween, which I don’t really celebrate as I am not an 9-year-old American.

Thanks a mill’ brah.

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