The Award for the most grating Comedy Routine goes to : Robin Williams - Robots
I have to say, I quite like serious Williams, when he gets all spooky and freaky, like in One Hour Photo/Insomnia/Flubber ( what do you mean that wasn’t serious? I didn’t laugh once). He easily walks the fine line between vein-in-the-forehead-popping mania and weird downtrodden mental man. Some would say that’s because he’s a great actor. I would say it’s more likely to be because he’s a borderline nutbar. But anyway, that’s beside the by, it’s not his actys we’re discussing, it’s his talky’s, his character voices. Batty Koda in Ferngully, Genie in Aladdin, both were more of the same over-the-top, seemingly-ad-libbed-but-probably-really-tightly-scripted insanity that we’re used to,while still managing to be warm and cuddly characters. But when Williams starts to turn up the annoyance dial so hard that he breaks the knob off, it’s probably best just to bring in someone calmer who doesn’t always go off on one. Fender in Robots made me want to chew my ears off to stop the incessant flow of hyperactive nonsensities streaming out of his stupid metal face. It’s making me angry again. Give him his award so we can move on.The Award for best bleeped out swearing goes to : Beverly Hills Cop
TV is obviously governed by rules, and in the eighties, there were loads more of them. No violence, no boobies or front bottom (unless it was artistic, like the blatant front bum in Walkabout), and certainly no swearing. It’s hard to fathom now since we’ve mostly turned into sweary swear pants who use the f word as an adjective a noun and a verb, but there was once an age of innocence all those years ago. So instead of just not showing the film the censors came in and edited over all the swears. Strangely, on British TV, the overdubs were voiced by a bloke with a really posh english accent. Very funny on Robocop when the american badboy calls someone a ‘Mother Crusher’ in an extremely upper class voice. But the absolute best, the supreme over-dub of all time is of Eddie Murphy’s character Axle Foley in Beverly Hills Cop with the phrase ‘Flip You Melon Farmer!’The M.Night Shyamalan Award for most predictable plot twist goes to : The Illusionist
Edward Norton seems recently to not only have jumped the shark, but to be riding on it’s back through the waves while flipping us all the bird. He’s a great actor, look at Fight Club, American History X and er…but the Illusionist is definitely not his finest hour. It’s a story of love between a scruffy farm boy with a talent for sleight of hand and an aristocrat’s daughter, which obviously is a big social no-no. She gets taken away as a result of their teenage tryst, and next time we see her, she’s Jessica Biel and she’s betrothed to old dodgy-eye, Rufus Sewell. Anyway, our hero has become a celebrated illusionist, their love is re-kindled, loads of magic happens, yada yada, then comes the plot twist, which only if you briefly left the cinema for a hot dog break, or had no eyes, would you not see coming. Spoiler alert…she’s not dead, it’s an illusion. But sadly not to us in the audience. It’s the most clunky, obvious, and to be honest, slightly embarrassing illusion I’ve ever seen. We watch CSI you know, you’ll have to try harder than that. Come back Blaine, all is forgiven. The award for the film most easy to watch on a Sunday after you’ve been out on the lash goes to : Clash of the Titans
Ray Harryhausen will always be a bit of a god to me. For the uninitiated he is the man behind the monsters in films like Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad, and Earth vs the Flying Saucers. He can do magic with plasticine, and created scenes that took hundreds of hours of fiddling and faffing, that now a computer can do in minutes. Although they didn’t always look real, his monsters were completely groundbreaking, and he is still a complete legend. He’s even got his own myspace (well, his museum has anyway www.myspace.com/rayharryhausenmuseum
). Anyway, I could have chosen any of his films, but to me Clash of the
Titans is the best. Made in the eighties, all the characters seem to still have big bouffed eighties hair, even though it’s set in ancient Greece. It’s the story of Perseus and Andromeda, and how he wins her over with his constant scraps against nasties of all descriptions, including Medusa, who just looks constantly surprised, or like there’s a bad smell hanging around, mind you she is in the underworld so there probably is a bit of an odor.
There’s a bit of comedy relief from a little gold owl called Ball-bag (or bilbo, or boobats. Bobbins? No, that’s not it). You also see the original Krakken, a kind of weird lizard/fish hybrid that regular toon watchers will have seen in Magical Trevor. Overall, great chewing gum for the eyes, and a fine example of Harryhausen at his best.That’s all for now I think, although if you want to ad some of your own, feel free. Just get in contact with me, send your articles, and if you’re lucky, your scribblings could be sitting here for all to see. Please, please no Weebl and Bob plots though. Please.