Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Hey, Cobb, why not just get Miles to take your kids to France?"

Hurrah and indeed, huzzah.  Many of you have answered the clarion call and we now have enough followers to either do a half-decent mexican wave or topple a third world dictatorship, if need be*.  A few of you joined a fair while ago so should now have noticed slight changes in your life.  Perhaps you've been offered that promotion you always wanted, or perhaps you found a rogue five pound note in some old trouser pockets.  Perhaps you ducked to stroke a stray cat causing a snipers shot to miss its intended target of your noggin.  Maybe you've recently solved a really difficult crossword clue, or the courgettes in your allotment have a slightly healthier tinge.  I of course am not claiming responsibility for any of these possibilities, but it makes you think doesn't it?  If since joining your life has improved in any way, why not let me know in the comments?  I promise they won't be used as testimonials in any kind of promotional leaflet.  You have my word.  And if your life hasn't improved, just be patient.

NOW THEN.  At Chez FoldsFive, as it has never been called, there has been a bit of a recent film-fest with a bumper crop at the cinema.  Allow me to give you my opinions on three films I've recently watched.  Warning: There may be spoilers ahead.  But while there's moonlight, and love, and romance just be aware that in the case of The A Team, this might not be a bad thing.


In my mind, Christopher Nolan can do no wrong.  Other than when he pokes around my bins singing way too loudly to himself whilst I'm trying to sleep.  Since Joel Schumacher (hiss, booooo) effectively did in cinematic terms what the Joker, Riddler, Pisspants Man, Bane and the Penguin never managed to do - that is to kill off Batman, and Nolan not only rescued the franchise but managed to make two of the best films of the last decade, I'll admit to being excited about his latest project. 

For those of you who have been asleep for the past month or so (which would be appropriate, given the subject matter), Inception is a confusingly-plotted tight-paced science-fiction-light thriller.  It's effectively a heist movie but the thefts take place not in a bank, but in the human mind.  He of the sprout shaped head, Leonardo Di Caprio (who, I'll be honest, I've never seen in anything except for Titanic and scary nightmares) plays Cobb, an expert in this dream-thievery.

Inception is a difficult one.  It's an unusual mix of Heist movie and Bond film (Nolan has made no secret of the fact that he was heavily inspired by the Bond franchise - MGM could do a lot worse than let him loose on one.  He couldn't do any worse than the cack that was Quantum of Horace) and is one of those films that if you miss a single sentence of dialogue, you'll be completely lost - be warned, there is very little exposition.

Some of the tabloids have coined the phrase "Ineption" because readers of said tabloids are having to watch it twice or three times at the cinema to work out what is happening.  This is because these people are stupid.  It's a film that's not afraid to be intelligent, which in comparison to The A Team (see review below) is a good thing in this day and age.  It looks beautiful, has bottled lightning in a jar in the form of its excellent cast and is one of my favourite films of the year.  85.93 FoldsFives out of 95.2.

Toy Story 3

As a grown man of 39 years of age, I can't see why people are getting so upset about certain moments of this film.  And the reason I can't see it?  Because my eyes were so tear swollen by Toy Story 3 that my vision was impaired to the point of blindness.  Tara remarked upon leaving the cinema, "I think I need counselling" and I can see her point.  Or rather I could have seen it had I not been dabbing my blinded eyes.  But I digress.

A fitting end to a trilogy that's simply gotten better with every film, Toy Story 3 is everything you've come to expect from Pixar.  They're a company so much at the top of their game that it's unfair to compare it against the films of any other studio - the only thing you can do is compare it against other Pixar films - (in a nutshell, best yet except for Monsters Inc.)

Andy (still voiced by the same actor as portrayed him in the other two in the series) has all "growed up" and is about to leave for college and the time has come to replace childish things such as Toy Cowboys, Plastic Spacemen and Thalidomide dinosaurs with drink, drugs and unprotected sex in College dormitories. 

Through a series of hilarious misunderstandings and comic japes, Woody and the gang end up in a creche at the merciless hands of ADHD infants under the tyrannical rule of the bastard offspring of Chucky from Childs Play and a Care Bear. 

The ending is simply one of most traumatic ones I've ever seen.  It has more humanity (odd for a film populated by walking adverts for Mattel) that anything I've seen in a long, long time.  There's a particular harrowing moment that, if the film had ended there - which for one horrible moment I thought it might, would have left adults and children alike grief-stricken for years.

There's a missed opportunity in this, the last of the Trilogy though.  There could be a whole spin-off based around the adventures of the toys that Andys mother keeps in her bedside cabinet.  I've sent this suggestion to Pixar and will keep you updated.

Watch it.  Funny and touching in equal measures, I'll have to admit I'll miss Woody and Buzz.  Although try to avoid the 3D one - It added nothing, and if anything the muted colours of 3D detracted from the Pixar experience (typically an incredibly bright one of bold colours) and lessened the visual impact.  3 FoldsFives out of 3.4.

The A Team

In 1972, 2010 a crap commando unit with the unique ability of being able to defy both logic AND the laws of physics were sent to prison by a military court for a crime they clearly didn't commit with next to no evidence against them. These men promptly escaped (within minutes) from a minimum security stockade (honestly, if this is maximum security, someone really needs to sort their act out) to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, and Inception and Toy Story 3 have sold out seats, maybe you can hire the A-Team. 

Utter, utter balls.  A promising first half hour origin sequence collapses into an absolute twisted mess of a film.  The cast are great and their interaction works well, but the film they're in doesn't do them justice.  The big problem I have with it is that it's one of those action films that thinks it's cleverer than it actually is.  Hollywood - Throwing in an obvious signposted twist three quarters of the way in doesn't make your film "The Usual Suspects".  Unless you're one of those people who has to watch Inception more than once to figure out what it's all about - then this film will be right up your alley.  Seriously.  Follow it up with "The Expendables" and you'll have the time of your life.

Did the bit in Goldeneye annoy you when James Bond leaps after a plane falling off the edge of a cliff, catches up with it and flies it to safety?  The A Team do that kind of physics defying japery before breakfast.  In fact, if they reach mid-day and haven't broken at least two laws of physics, they're grumpy for the rest of the day.  And Mr. T pities an extra nine fools as some kind of punishment on himself.  And Hannibal isn't allowed to say "I love it when a plan comes together" and chomp on a cigar for a whole week.

It's coming to something when a character can utter the lines, "I think they're trying to fly the tank" and it's one of the most sensible bits of dialogue in the entire script.  Even the TV series was more realistic than the film, for Murdocks sake.  And was about 40 minutes shorter, which is a Brucey Bonus.

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing about action films whereby you check your brain in at a slot in the door.  There just becomes a point where it's just too damn stupid.

The daft plot all builds up to a whimper of a climax, and then that's it.  End of the film.  I recommend you watch the first half hour, leave the cinema and get a beer and take solace in the fact you've seen the best bits.  Hollywood - you know that brilliant action sequence you've spent a fortune on?  Why not have it at the end of the film and not twenty five minutes in, and while you're at it, try not to show most of said action sequence in the trailers.  There, cinema goer, I've saved you nearly eight quid.  I deserve a pint for that at least.  186,000 FoldsFives out of 434,750.

THERE.  All filmed out. 

On a less film and more refrigerated device related note, I've just got a new fridge.  It looks like the monolith from 2001, albeit with greater food cooling properties, and is fucking great.  Look at the photograph.  Look at it.  It's 240% better than The A Team.  There, I said it.  I love it when an, erm, Fridge comes together.

* The chances of me calling upon you all to topple a third world dictatorship are remote.  It's not even slightly likely, no sirree.  No chance of that happening.  Possibly.


  1. * The chances of me calling upon you all to topple a third world dictatorship are remote. It's not even slightly likely, no sirree. No chance of that happening. Possibly.

    This quote almost made me un-subscribe. I think you are being sarcastic, though, so I await your instructions patiently.

    You have also asked for examples of surreal positivity since joining ( and I account for also both David's and Jennie via no small use of force)
    The very morning I Followed you - I got an annoying piece of white lint out of my eye - resting on my contact lens, which, we all know is near impossible. The lint being basically see through and the contact lens acting as a sticky tape. it changed my whole day and saved my masc era.

  2. The spin off of Toy Story with Andy's mum could still have toys called Woody and Buzz...

  3. Brilliant, Tara. That made me laugh out loud, I'll definitely include that in the memo to Pixar. Half their way is already done.

    And Nicole, I'm not promising or denying anything, just keep your diary free between February and April of next year is all. Toppling third world dictatorships takes time, and as an American your increased access to semi-automatic weaponry makes you a positive boon.


I love comments. Love 'em. However, abusive or spam or Anonymous ones may well be sent straight to the bin. Thems the rules.