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Sicario: The Sequel Gender Swap

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When I saw Sicario in the cinema I thought it was a really interesting movie. What was great was that even though Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin were in it the whole film revolved around Emily Blunt. Everything that happens is from her perspective, even the dramatic border crossing sequence was from her point of view. Everyone else was a bit part to her central character going on this crazed journey.

So imagine my surprise when watching the trailer for Sicario 2 which now features macho men, Del Toro as the lead with macho guns and a really interesting uber masculine subtitle… Day of the Soldado which i assume translates to ‘we gonna kill a whole bunch of bad guys’.

What amazes me is that the point of the original’s success has been distorted and for the sequel the protagonists are all male as if that was the reason it was a hit.

Once again this is another example how the producers make the wrong assumption of the initial succerss of the film and think it was the guys that made it a big draw for the crowds

12 Strong Men, One Weak Script

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I watched this flick last night (Cinema De La Chris Hemsworth) and as expected it was a ‘based on a true story’ revisionist depiction of ‘men on a mission’ movie. The kind of thoughtful piece of Foreign Policy Americana that the US finely makes. As it was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer i wasn’t at all surprised that there was a large amount of humanitarian testosterone.

Let’s break a same run-off-the-mill cliches down:
– Soldiers see a devestating event (9/11) and immediately sign up.
– Solidarity and camaraderie among the team.
– Unlimited ammunition when in the face of battle.
– Is the Afghan a good/bad guy a bad/bad guy or a bad/good guy?
– Brothers in arms when sh*t gets hot on the battlefield.
– Rise of the warrior within when the situation turns bad.
– Win.. well, a few GIs got hurt on top of the thousand Afghan casualties!
– Homecoming and the happy wives…

I am blurred as to where hard fact is mixed with helpful fiction to greatly amp up the action. They even trotted out that emotional nugget of Americans shooting lots of the enemy but one bullet strikes them it’s a huge impact. Very recruitment heavy John Wayne.

My main problem with this is that it makes you feel that the whole thing was a success (which this particular mission was) but overall the whole issue of Afghanistan was a total failure. This is spin of the highest order to put triumph within a catastrophic campaign but nowhere in the same league as U571 which literally rewrote history and wrote out British involvment in the capture of the Enigma Machine.

British cinema isn’t any better with the very weird Churchill movie starring Gary Oldman. That piece if revisionist sh*t painted a fat drunk as if he was Rumpole of the Bailey and a cuddly fighter, nice, curmudgeonly old man. Bagpus won World War 2.

What worries me that reality is reinvented/ distorted with films like this that have a longer lasting impact. What’s next? i literally can’t wait!

 

As Kellyanne Conway said… Alternative facts.

Famalam, Comedy and the BBC

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I just watched BBC Three’s Famalam and #HoodDocumentary and what surprises me (or doesn’t depending on the cynicism) is that diversity in television has not progressed at all. The same bland easy target comic stereotypes are placed front and centre.

This is no disrespect to the incredibly talented cast of both programmes but somehow the majority of the material seems to have kept them in a cliche’d orbit without bringing any new spin to the endeavour. It feels like the ghost of Vince Powell (of Mind Your Language infamy) is well and truly alive.

Let’s break down the characters:
– The chicken eating fat kid.
– Nollywood sendup.
– Nigerian sending spam emails (just the costume design and setup is irksome).

There are others that seem dated and just playing to middle england’s perception rather than breaking stereotypes down. That said though what I did like was Midsomer Motherf*ckin Murders. This was greatly juxtaposing badass 70’s cop in a soulless diversity free town. This is where the writers can really roll up their sleeves and get stuck into the middle of the road British dramas. The superhero sketch was another note of excellence and an example of justaposing being black and a superhero in London. These are the kinds of things that should be wall to wall observations on British culture, not Nigerian easy targets.

Maybe it’s how the shows are developed in house that veer the writing towards the stereotypes? I distinctly remember The Stephen K Amos show (also on the BBC) that had a sketch with a Nigerian newsreader which was equally stereotypical.

#Hooddocumentary was just some weird Eddie Murphy impersonator being a div in front of an Obs Doc crew. The usual cliches are bandies about with no progression to modern times. Watching it i felt i had seen it all before time an again… where? oh yeah! Pretty much everything Eddie Murphy did 30 years earlier and fresher. Comedy of errors that comes across as very dated. Let the actor shine and be himself, he is brilliant but then material is playing it safe. Examples of this is why BAME talent go to America. It’s not because they have big chequebooks (which helps) but the availability of challenging meaty roles.

Time and again i keep saying the same thing over and over. Goodness Gracious poked fun at itself (quirky Indian culture) but also was clever to rise above it all and be very funny without feeling that Spike Milligan/ Peter Sellers were browning themselves up.

I think on the strength of these two shows the award is Minus 100 woke points.

Mungbeaners Ep7 Subtitled

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The Last Episode where the impeccably stupid dipsh*ts hit rock bottom.

There is technically no coming back from stupidity but the boys have decided to embark on another career.

Which career is that I hear you ask? Something that they are equally inept at

That’s what!

Mungbeaners Ep 6 Subtitled

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The end is nigh. The Mungbeaners have hit rock bottom in this penultimate episode. A morality tale on how not to be a total bell-end in life. No returned calls and no miracle… or is there? A straight version of My Beautiful Laundrette which features no laundrettes.

Mungbeaners Ep 5

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Episode 5 of Mungbeaners and the intrepid media tw@ts quite possibly may have a lead with the legendary film director Oliver Stone. The chance of finally getting the Fish Film out to the wide world. What do you reckon their chances are of screwing this up? Possibly majorly bigly.

All About The Betjemans

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When modern action movies match the poetry of Betjeman you have an impeccable combination that can only be directed by no less than 3 Michael Bays.

Biz Markie in World War 2!

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After the travesty that was the film U571 I decided to completely rewrite history and feature the heroic Biz Markie single handedly saving the Allied Forces from the evil Nazis!

Three Stages to being a Cult Movie Super Nerd 

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Stage1

Stage 2

 

Stage 3

Stage 1: The Print – This place (picture at the top) is the Hanwell Library. A small pokey joint that was pretty handy in the 80’s before the rise of the internet and still useful to old people who are technical luddites

This small borough library happens to be the place that kick started my obsession with cinema as a geek.

Back (way-way-back!) in 1988 I used to go to the library and see what was there, I saw this book called Cult Movies 3 by Danny Peary. This book was unlike anything and as I read it it, it opened a world like nothing else. Imagine being 14 (way-way-back) and you are reading about El Topo, Eraserhead, Mad Max 2 and the ultra mondo movie of all, Cafe Flesh. I became curious to discover these films and in that period (way-way-back) late night television was littered with cult movies. I managed to watch The Keep as a late movie, Zardoz and countless others. Films that are now rarely on the same channels and relegated to the niche that has to be searched. These cult movies blew my mind and I started to read more. I bought All three Cult Movies books which are now out of print and John Boorman’s book series, Projections among hundreds of others.

Stage 2: The analogue television – The second thing that blew me away was Alex Cox’s Moviedrome. Imagine a series where a presenter on a slow Sunday night spends 5 minutes talking about a curated Cult movie before the screening? Look at the second picture, look at the films that were screened during 1990 and 1991. An amazing collection. The first film I saw was Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. The rest I religiously stayed up for and was an instant film school of sorts!

Stage 3: The big screen – The Scala Cinema. A friend and I went to this run down cinema in Kings Cross to watch The Wicker Man. The place got shut down in the mid 90’s as they illegally showed Clockwork Orange. They got a print from France and screened it and when Kubrick found out he bankrupted them.

They showed super weird cult movies and all nighters like the evil dead series/ Hellraiser series amongst others. This was also the place I saw Cafe Flesh which is a one of the weirdest films made…. ever. I could say that the BFI was up there and I practically lived there during the 90’s but the Scala was a real proper grind house cinema. I still hunt out other films still but it’s not the same. Admittedly it’s easier to find a film but not as easy to “discover” something.

Nowadays there seems a super fringe place for enjoying classics like Aquirre Wrath of God and even Altman’s The Long Goodbye. When someone catches a true oddity of a film I am amazed it’s even able to be on their radar. When was the last time anyone saw on the schedules Zardoz, Aguirre or even Koyaanisqatsi?

Admittedly I am a fan of all these new platforms as I can now access more films then ever before but aside from me knowing what I want, how will someone be able to just stumble on a true oddity? Not being a Netflix member yet I was told that they are showing cult movies on their platform. Check them out and enjoy.

Motherland and the lack of Diverse Characters

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In the current climate of diversity everyone, including me, are shouting about levelling the playing field so it doesn’t feel like the same people working in the top tier. Well, soon after the terrific Boy With the Top Know hitting the BBC I watched a rather funny show, Motherland.

Aside from the comedy I noticed how diverse characters are used in this show IN 2017 NO LESS!!! I have listed them below. In fairness the show is about Middle Class Parents but….

Motherland episode 3: We have a Chinese woman applying for a job as a cleaner. We have a Black woman working behind the counter at the swimming pool. We do have a black guy as a war photographer with actual dialogue….3 throwaway lines at the end of the show

Motherland episode 4: Black woman in the opening episode interviewed for nanny job. Said woman has a white dodgy  boyfriend.  Indian guy as the restaurant server.

Episode 5: Random black man/ pub punter walking in to a toilet.

Episode 6: Two black mother’s sitting on the mother’s table with no dialogue and their only ‘motivation’ is to roll their eyes.

Well done to all!