Monday, July 03, 2006

How to avoid the sun when it’s 32°C (90°F) outside and you really don’t want to risk burning again

Yep, it was something of a scorcher over the weekend down here in the southeast of England. But those of you who know that my superhero super power is to turn into Lobster Man (thanks, 4D!) as soon as the sun takes his hat off will understand why I needed to keep a low profile.

So what to do when the sun prevents you from venturing outdoors. No, this isn't that sort of site, you know (not yet anyway, but who knows what might happen if and when desperate measures are needed).

Wife (ever obliging when I must remain indoors) and I turned to the gift of television to entertain ourselves. That is, once we'd got bored of working and had done about as much blogging as one can reasonably do before the realization that it's taken over you life and turned your brain to mush. (Actually that last bit is a tad unfair, since "studies" apparently show that blogging increases your IQ. I imagine that's probably true, but the fact that I read it on Blogger leads me to at least be uncertain until I've done my own investigating.)

Apart from the copious amounts of Big Brother and footie that had to be consumed, we also had a couple of movies from LoveFilm sitting on the side costing us money. So I'll put some notes here about what they were and how they were.

First up was an Italian movie, The Consequences of Love. I'd heard quite good things about this. Unfortunately I was disappointed. The concept was good, and the ending was good, and there were even some good bits in it. I chuckled a couple of times (although it's not a comedy; I just laugh at everything). Wife has a theory that Italian films are all head and no heart. That's often the case. Shame. To be fair, though, there is a lot of good stuff that has come out of Italy in recent years, but often these films star young actors in the lead roles - people like Luigi Lo Cascio and Giovanna Mezzogiorno (pictured here for no good reason) are good names to look out for.

Next up, it was Candy Minx country and - about 17 years too late, I know - Jesus of Montreal. Having recently (ish) watched both The Barbarian Invasions and The Decline of the American Empire by the same director, it seemed the right time to give this old movie a go. I loved The Barbarian Invasions; I found it really quite stunning, and I'm glad I watched it before The Decline of the American Empire, even though it is the sequel and should have been watched after. Why glad? Because Decline suffers the same problem as Jesus of Montreal: looking old before its time. And of course, movies of that period (mid- to late 1980s) often also suffer from what I call Michael Mann syndrome, with terrible terrible incidental music à la Miami Vice. Indeed, I had to reach for my air guitar on more than one occasion.

That said, Jesus of Montreal was quite fascinating; at least for the first 90 minutes. It started to drag a little then. I was still going with the flow, but out of the corner of my eye I noticed Wife reaching for Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide to check the running time; I knew right then that we'd lost her. Still, as I say, good till then. The ending not so great. And a couple of scenes just weren't that well directed. In one in particular, the two actors seemed as though they were playing in totally different films, so incompatible with one another were their performances.

So one duff film with a good ending, and one good film with a duff ending. To paraphrase Maurice "Bosco" Boscorelli (right) in Third Watch, "together they make one good film".

Then, at last, the Survivor tape came out of its box and restored our faith in videokind...



Blogger Captain Nice said...

My dear fwiend Asterwisk,

The ability to change into "lobster man" is laudable and vewy possibly nice, but as I have found out, it is one of the less useful superhewo powers.

How about becoming "Sunscween man". Your wole is to go on the beaches and spot young ladies who are about to suffer sewoius scorching of the torso and related bits.

In your new quise, you thwow yourself upon them, thus pwotecting them fwom the howwors of the midday sun?

Just a kind suggestion,
your fwiend,
Captain Nice

03 July, 2006 14:23  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Some quintessential Canadian movies that deliver...

The Dead Zone
The Rowdyman
The History of Violence
Waynes World

but what makes a movie belong to a country...for example it's likely that all JIm Carrey movies be classified as Canadian because he is the Canadian everyman. Ebert once said there are two movies...Hollywood movies and then all other movies. They are defined by independant versus Hollywood funding...?

Too bad about most 80's movies huh? Although I recently watched The Breakfast Club and She's having a Baby, by Mr 90's himself(Chicago guy too) John Hughes and they both tested well over time. Despite the "tights" and collarless shirts.

03 July, 2006 15:24  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I meant to say...I spent last two days laying around in crazyass humidity. Typing...watching movies I own. fun to dig into boxes after being away from my shit for six months...talking rest of movie collection to Chicago when I go back. Watched Tank Girl, Thomas Crown Affair. Tried not to move...went to public pool filled with insane children YUCK! KIDS!

(I'm a parent I get to say that so don't fucking hassle me because kids are on my nerves heh)

The heat is so sick I dread today. Will go to friends back deck and drink vast quantites of beer today. Canadian birthday holiday. It'searly here and I already feel like wilted lettuce.

03 July, 2006 15:40  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Captain Nice: How nice to see you here! Being Lobster Man is not very useful, it must be said. I'll see about adapting my skills to become that Sunscreen Man of whom you speak!

Candy: The Dead Zone rocks, doesn't it? Walken and Sheen. Great! I've got History of Violence "queued" so hope to see it soon. Wayne's World: classic in a different way, perhaps. Schwing! I alluded to Jesus... as a Canadian film in the review purely because of its setting. But in fact it's Canadian/French in terms of funding, which I think is the standard means of ascertaining a film's nationality. The notion of Hollywood and non-Hollywood being the only two types sounds beneath Ebert, since while Hollywood fare is all very similar, non-Hollywood covers a huge amount more ground. (I love both, though.) The Breakfast Club: another great movie.

03 July, 2006 15:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Mmmm... beer...

03 July, 2006 15:46  
Blogger Soupdragon said...

Replying to your comment at my place:
The Bare-Footed Kid???
You are a man after me own heart!! I've seen this on really crappy VCD about 5 times, each time wi sound so shite it's hard to hear what they're saying, and each time the cover says there are Chinese subtitles (no English) ~ but they lied!
So I've never really understood what goes on... Been lookin fer a proper copy fer fuckin YEARS, man!!

Now Better Tomorrow 2 were alright, but Hard Boiled ~ now there's a biscuit fer dippin'!

Crikey blimey Charlie, someone else who's seen Bare-Footed Kid....!!

*will grin fer a week*

p.s. it's been 28 - 30 degrees C and 85 - 95% humidity too, but hey, we have air-con...
and you should watch "Divergence", came out last year, Aaron won the Taiwanese Golden Horse award fer Best Actor for it. *swoon*

03 July, 2006 16:50  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

SD: Great movie, really liked it. And Ti Lung is great in it too. I've always shied away from VCDs, and I definitely won't buy this one now. But when is the DVD coming out?

Love Hard-Boiled obviously, but ABT2 will always have a special place in my heart.

I'll check out Divergence.

04 July, 2006 07:21  
Blogger a.c.t said...

It's a shame about Italian cinema, it's just not very good anymore. The last great Italian film I saw was 'Io non ho Paura' - it's amazing but very sad.

05 July, 2006 17:16  

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