Put your thumbs away

Fuck, you look PhotoshoppedI’ve been a firm believer in the Wittertainment Code of Conduct and because of this spent many a movie under Angharad’s cold stares for yelling at talkers, seat kickers, and loud chewers at our local World of Cine (don’t blame us, their monthly card is the only way of fighting off a charge that’s close to £10 each a movie). So it was a delight to witness two security guards make their way around a recent screening of Crazy, Stupid, Love in Cambridge telling the teenaged audience to shut off the arc lamps that backlight their mobile phones. I would have reached for my own device to Tweet my delight at this turn of events had it not been in contravention of the rule on mobile phone usage (and the security guards were quite large).

They may not be properly projected, the sound might be off, and the seating only slightly less cramped than the 7.15 train to King’s Cross, but at least they’re one step closer to having a performance that is properly ushed.

Incidentally, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a charming piece of work that’s setting Steve Carell firmly on the same career trajectory as Robin Williams – I’m hoping we’ll get to see him play a serial killer way before he remakes Patch Adams.

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No Drinking, No Smoking, No Cursing, and Always Wash Behind your Ears

Don't be naughty

I loved the original short movies. I got very excited when the trailer came out. I even braved the Christmas shoppers on a lunchtime hike from Waterloo to Carnaby Street to see their attempt at viral marketing. I’m happy to say that the movie itself didn’t disappoint.

On paper, it sounds like a complete farce.  A Finnish comedy-horror about miners unearthing the real Father Christmas, who isn’t as jolly as the Coca-Cola corporation would have us believe.  Instead of sneaking into people’s homes and exchange presents for gingerbread, Santa delivers spanked bottoms and boiled children.  It’s then up to a bunch of reindeer herders and the only nice (if rather odd-looking) child to save the day and rescue the naughty kids.

It might just be the foreign language making it feel less of a spoof, but the movie itself has turned out to be one of the best Christmas films in years.  A great mixture of creeping suspense, some genuinely scary moments, and a great heart that Disney hasn’t had since the Fifties.

I’d be interested to hear what a Finnish person thought of it; the audience at the Cambridge Picturehouse seemed to be in tears of laughter at random scenes, so much so that I was seconds away from standing up and brandishing my laminated copy of Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct. Either they were high or Finnish, in which case I’m missing out on some subtleties of their culture.

Don’t let the threat of sniggering Scandewigians put you off, however.  Go and see this movie before Santa puts you on the naughty list.

You definitely don’t want to be on the naughty list.

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Douchebags vs. Aliens

skyline movie promo
Image by Sappymoosetree via Flickr

I should have known better. I didn’t listen to Dr. Kermode. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 10%. But I knew better.

Skyline is the worst movie to come out this year. It’s a confused mess of a movie that makes Sharktopus look like Citizen Kane and manages to make root canal surgery feel like a viable alternative to a night out in the cinema.

Just like 2008’s big monster movie, Cloverfield, it starts off with a party designed to help the audience get to knows and care for the main characters, but all that seemed to do was make sure we wanted the aliens to get the job over with sooner. Really, we’re supposed to care that a motley collection of self-obsessed hipsters are about to have their brains sucked out by a betentacled vagina?

The acting was more wooden than the Billy aisle of an Ikea store, the sound effects so loud and overwrought that even Michael Bay would think twice, and it was a relief to see the credits. How something so bad ever got a cinema release is a mystery fit for Mulder and Scully.

It’s Douchebags vs. Aliens and I’m on the side of the betentacled vaginas.

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