Pretty much the anti-Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, this is about as impolite as British spying has ever been. Taron Egerton plays ‘Eggsy’, a young lad from Lundun taken in for training by the Secret Service. His mentor is thinking-woman’s-totty Colin Firth, doing his best to prove that he can be charming in literally anything, including apparently causing the death of a trainee and promptly recruiting said ex-trainee’s son to, like, hopefully not die. Samuel L. Jackson plays the lisping, squeamish villain and only black guy in the movie, really, which apart from bringing up all sorts of not-okay colonial memories as our presumably Tory heroes hunt him down is apparently totally cool. I’ll admit I’m the wrong audience for this as apart from Stardust (which is delightful, dammit) I have never been a fan of Matthew Vaughn’s films (and contend to this day that his crowning achievement is marrying Claudia Schiffer) but if you like your action slick, quippy and comic-book OTT then dive in here and you won’t be disappointed.
Arguably my favourite movie of last year, this is hazy, weed-fuelled psychedelia of a sort we haven’t seen in a long time. Equal part Big Lebowski, Naked Gun and Chinatown, you’d be forgiven for having close to no idea what’s going on at any stage of this one. But that’s hardly the point. I’ve heard many people say that this movie is the closest thing they’ve found to what it feels like being high (not that any of us do that sort of thing, no no, nope, not us) and that’s a fair way to think about the atmospheric, down-on-one’s-luck beach-bum noir that flows through the veins of this latest offering from Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, The Master). Anderson has cemented himself in recent years as the singular great American filmmaker of this generation and it’s wonderful to see him crafting a piece that feels epic, intimate and irreverent all at once and never seems to care much what people think. Not for everybody, this one, but essential viewing for all you screen junkies.
Ethnic people learn how awesome and wise and helpful white people are in the latest from Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). I have listed all of his films so that one can see the declining quality apparent to all. Until this film, Daldry had never directed a movie that had not been nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture. Thankfully that record has drawn to a close with Trash, the story of three Brazilian teenagers who become unwitting agents against the corruption of their city when they find a lost wallet. Well-meaning and sentimental, it’s hard to feel truly antagonistic towards this film despite my politics, and it’s an even 3-out-of-5 stars. But one can’t help but feel the filmmakers were all a little too lazy with the street-kid formula and not lazy enough with the syrupy message-sending.
My goodness, Johnny Depp, will you do literally anything for money? Don’t answer that. But please answer for Mortdecai, a film so devoid of merit I actually have trouble writing words about it. And so I will instead suggest things one might do instead of watching Mortdecai.
1. Watch paint dry. Modern art has come a long way in the last couple of decades, but why not propel high culture forward with an interactive home-installation system that foregrounds the fleeting nature of time and the controlling role of economics in the modern human condition? That is, paint your wall at home and watch it dry, because you will find more character development and learn more about yourself in the process than watching this film.
2. Hit yourself with a stick. Too often we become stuck in the morass of urban career-orientated technocracy. And so might I suggest a jaunt to the country? Find yourself some nature, explore the wide open outdoors, find yourself a blunt object (preferably stick-shaped). Then perhaps beat yourself about the head and face with said stick. If you’re lucky, you’ll do permanent damage to your cranium and will thus never have to watch Mortdecai (or, perhaps it’s the only way to happily watch Mordecai – Dixie). If not, well, you’ll have taken in some un-mustachioed fresh air (have you ever been to the country? Full of moustachios – Dixie).
3. Rob a bank. Nowadays we have become so distanced from those around us, insulated in our domestic spheres of self-absorption. Connecting with others in a meaningful way can be difficult, and so why not live a little and get some buddies together to try jack some unsuspecting bastar- I mean, bankers. The rush of holding an assault rifle, the freeing anonymity of a balaclava, the shrill cry of the silent alarm (hey, don’t wanna alienate the canine clientele that follow our blog (looking at you Rufus)), these are just some of the things more pleasant than Mortdecai. And hey, if you’re given a life sentence, there is next to no chance of this turd of a film ever being thrust upon you… (have you ever been to jail?- Dixie)
4. Come to Video City and rent ANYTHING else 🙂
posted by Dave (annoying interjections by Dixie)