Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Two guys, a girl and an iPod advert

Director: David S Goyer
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Purcell, iPod

Tagline: The final hunt begins

The world premiere of footage from this threequel took place at an MTV Awards Red-Carpet Special. As you’d expect then, this is a film that proudly wears a WWVDD? wristband. Like 2 Fast 2 Furious however, Vin Diesel isn’t in it and it’s very, very bad. David S Goyer wrote the script and directed, so he’s first.
Most of his failings are down to the thinness (qualitative and quantitative) of his script. Abandoned plotlines about the vampires’ holocaust of the entire human race and the FBI catching on to Blade’s thousands of kills are left in the film as ‘undeleted’ scenes in an effort to fill out the hour and a half. Other tricks to this effect include hundred-kill action scenes which are about as much fun as watching older boys play beat-em-up games all day, hugely dated stylistic direction, slow motion mood montages that invariably look like adverts rejected by Hugo Boss and the most unnecessarily gratuitous swearing this side of Spawn: The Director’s Cut (gems include Ryan Reynolds’ admittedly well-delivered “You cock-juggling thundercunt!”). Women are used only for product placement, partial nudity, mink-wearing penis envy and most of all, unfunnily savage victimization. Moral points are lazily thrown in like fair trade pamphlets at a Starbucks, in the form of crude, throwaway sentences that make no sense. Worst of all though, Goyer treats the viewer like only he has seen The Matrix, borrowing scene after scene, almost in chronological order, utterly without consideration or elaboration. The office fight, skyscraper chase, car stomp and crater finale are all present (among many, many others) and the trailer even uses Rob D’s ‘Clubbed to Death’.
However, buried beneath the market-tested poochiness, the surreally poor storytelling and the four separate and very direct adverts for Macintosh products, lies a sarcophagus full of guilty pleasures. Most of this inadvertent success comes from the bad acting. Dominic Purcell and Parker Posey are atrocious, respectively setting new standards for charisma-free Draculas and annoying vampiresses. They might as well have cast Andre Agassi and Pink. Wrestler Hunter Hurst Helmsley, a.k.a. ‘HHH’ is actually made to emote on numerous occasions (“fuck!”) and the scene where he angrily runs after a car had even the moodiest City Hall-dwellers laughing popcorn out of their noses. It is simply impossible to predict the how the next line will be delivered. Great blurts to look out for include:

“Because it’s the cradle of civilization!”
“An asshole!”
“And when the hell did you see my dick, fuckface?”
“I am Caulder!”
and the immortal
“Motherfucker! I like that!”

Once the clichés have settled, you will realize that it’s as good as any film starring Ryan Reynolds’ pubes can be. Close your intellectual gag-reflex and repeat the mantra “It’s a very clever satire” over and over again and you’ll be just fine. Worked for xXx.


My Eyes!!!

Director: Stephen Hillenburg
Cast: Tom Kenny, Alec Baldwin, Scarlet Johansson, David Hasselhoff

Tagline: A hero will rise. Thanksgiving 2004

I have had little in the way of amusement from Nickelodeon since the days of the wobbly, hairy, sinister and puerile glee-heap that was Ren and Stimpy. Nickelodeon has never made a great movie and this seems likely to be no exception. I try to keep an open mind and eat lots of candy, but before the movie even starts something happens which utterly kills any hope of a sugary high. The most pitiful pre-show entertainment one could ever imagine is thrust upon us without warning in the shape of the closing ceremony for the Cinemagic festival:

7.00pm- The host comes to the front and welcomes us, tells a few jokes and builds up the children’s hopes that Spongebob will be on soon. He is a lying creep.

7.10pm- The Cinemagic under-twelve jury are forced to the front and individually humiliated in front of a crowd of children, parents and festival organizers, by being asked bland, go-nowhere questions with answers that invariably inspire chuckles and tedious comebacks from our host, an ugly, spooky jerk who owes a huge debt to Barrymore and Cosby.

7.20pm- The winners of the short and long films for kids are announced. The projectionist fails to roll the clips for a while then rolls the same clip twice. Running commentary by the talentless bollock.

7.30pm- There is another jury and the whole thing repeats again. Most of the audience are still content, despite a host who makes Patrick Keilty look like Bill Hicks. We are starting to lose it, twitching and swearing to ourselves uncontrollably, much to the anger of the festival organisers seated directly in front of us.

7.45pm- A film about the ‘Spirit of Cinemagic’. To be fair, this footage does capture the spirit of the festival perfectly. It does so however by being offensively bland, indifferent to talented filmmakers and shittily cobbled together at the last minute. In these five minutes we are treated to a loud montage of irrelevant, dated pop (‘Rockefeller Skank’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ and ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ back-to-back), while ugly people leer and ‘wahey!’ at the cameras as Brian Cox and Danny Boyle practically have to interview themselves on glitchy, shaky equipment which appears to be held by dwarfs with Parkinson’s disease.

7.50pm- As the film ends, the mortal enemy of entertainment returns. A cry of ‘I want Spongebob!!!’ erupts beside me. As I chew the seat in front, the monotonous cunt asks the audience what football teams they support for a bit, then brings up an audience member to the front and tells us to give him a round of applause as if jokes had happened.

8.00pm- A short film about local baxin’ clubs in communidies. Local bax’rs come across as really boring, even when compared with most boxers. Baxin’, we are told, is the world’s most potent cure for sectarianism, delinquency, drug abuse and even violence. Everyone lies about their past; the most candid confession we get is that one of them ‘smoked dope’. I wish someone had the guts to ask either ‘Are steroids not drugs?’ or ‘When was the last time you beat up someone you love?’.

8.10pm- Ding-dong, the bastard’s gone, Spongebob time!

(NB- Following this encounter with John Daly, he has been bumped up to number three on my ‘Media Personalities Who Are Too Evil to Be Permitted to Live’ list. He would if made number one if my top two, Anne Geddes and Celine Dion, hadn’t recently joined forces.)


As pirates sing, dance and chant the name Spongebob in the opening musical number, entire families are left in a state of hypnosis; adults from confusion, children from wonderment. What follows is a truly glorious stoner road movie for kids and stoners. In the course of trying to save the town of Bikini Bottom from the dastardly plots of a plankton, heroes Squarepants and Patrick get drunk on ice-cream, high on soap bubbles and dependent on moustaches. The whole thing has Ren and Stimpy’s potty-speak and bipolarity, but with a broader range of both plot and humour as well as the occasional foray into live-action (leading to what is easily the most satisfyingly climactic final act of the year). Gags are plentiful with a very high hit rate, Patrick parachuting with a flag between his buttocks, Spongebob being dehydrated by a camp diver and an unfortunate creature having his eyes burnt out by the horrific sight of the King’s bald spot. There is little in the way of a moral message; in fact, its greatest success is in parodying the sentimental puke that children are expecting to be bombarded with by interrupting at every turn with something fun. That this film could possibly be made better by weed is the drug’s new greatest selling point. BUBBLE PARTY!