Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Film Review of the Decade

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing a 'review of the decade in Cinema'. I'm going to try and be quick about it though - I'm only taking about films that have influenced me in some way, not every film I've seen, and I'm going to try and do each film with one sentence or less. Also, it's in Chronological Order. So, here goes - I hope you enjoy;

Pitch Black - A brilliant little sci-fi thriller, expertly crafted and brilliantly engaging. Shame about the sequel.
High Fidelity - The Best Romantic Comedy of the Decade, and one of the best films overall. Not bad to hold that title in my head from the second month of the decade!
Gladiator - Not flawless, but certainly one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of the decade. Many historical epics followed - none matched this one.
Shanghai Noon - Jackie Chan's last good movie.
X-Men - The 'Doom' of Comic Book Movies - not the first, but certainly the most influential.
Almost Famous - Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a cameo that makes me actively hunt down his films from now on.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Chow Yun Fat displaying why he, not Liam Neeson, should have been Qui-gon Jinn
O Brother, Where Art Thou - Great movie, better soundtrack.

Super Troopers - a nearly flawless, unapologetic comedy. The lack of a decent follow up points to this being a fluke.
Enemy at the Gates - War is hell, unless you're Jude Law and Rachel Weisz is your girlfriend.
A Knights Tale - Heath Ledger proving he isn't a talentless himbo.
Shrek - If you haven't seen this, you've been in a coma.
Moulin Rouge - Not a good film, but I was watching it when the Twin Towers got hit. The fact that this did as well as it did was slightly less tragic than the Towers.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back - Endlessly quotable (which, given the amount of swearing, often gets me thrown out of restaurants).
The Royal Tenenbaums - Gene Hackman in one of the most complex, funny and moving performances of the decade.
The Fellowship of the Rings - Changed the shape of Cinema...

Attack of the Clones - Better than TPM, in hindsight, it's not that good, but I've never wanted to be anything as much as I want to be a Jedi in this movie.
The Bourne Identity - The Best action film of the year, the best action franchise of the decade. Probably.
Minority Report - Spielberg's release in a Star Wars Year is better than AOTC, but not a patch on Blade Runner.
The Four Feathers - Haven't seen it, but walked past the set in Greenwich every day on my way to Drama school for about four months.
The 51st State - The First film I ever watched in the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square. Good film, great venue. Also, Stephen seemed to like it.
The Ring - Shit myself.
The Two Towers - Didn't change the shape of cinema, but still an amazing Second Chapter. Extremists in America wanted the name changed to lessen offense to victims of the World Trade Centre. As a huge Elvis fan, I wanted the same done to Return of the King... Neither happened.

The Matrix Reloaded - This should have been so good...
The Hulk - The Best Hulk film of the decade.
28 Days Later - Third Best Zombie film of the Decade, best horror film of the decade.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - A New Wonderful franchise... unfortunately not. The rest of the series couldn't live up to the brilliance of this film. A Raiders for the Noughties (high praise indeed).
Lost in Translation - Sofia Coppola can kiss my rust bullethole. Pretentious, overlong, boring shit. You can mock Cameron Diaz all you like, at least she has good films on her C.V.
School of Rock - More of a role-model to me as a teacher than any real life teacher I ever had.
Kill Bill (1&2) - Just an epic cinema experience.
The Matrix Revolutions - So much good film, so little good script.
Love Actually - Proof that a director has enough influence over a film to be credited with it's success. All Richard Curtis' films which he didn't direct were quite good.
Bad Santa - Good Film.
Big Fish - The First film that made me cry since Forrest Gump. Bravo, Billy Crudup.
The Return of the King - The Second Film to make me Cry since Forrest Gump ("My Friends, you kneel for no-one..." if that doesn't bring a lump to your throat then you have no soul.)

The Passion - The Most Religious Snuff Film ever.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Charlie Kauffman can have my babies. So can Kate Winslet.
Hellboy - Hell yeah!
Van Helsing - Batman and Robin... you are forgiven.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban - The Film that made me read the books.
Napoleon Dynamite - Not as good as I thought it was going to be, but I still like the ending.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Endlessly quotable, the best thing that Judd Apatapatapatapow has ever done. I love lamp.
Hero - Wonderfully directed fight scenes (bit of a ropy story though)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - A classic case of the idea being better than the product. The short film that preceded it is flawless. The final film, less so.
Shaun of the Dead - The Best Zombie Film of the Decade, and certainly one of the best comedies. This is the Best antidote for a world where there will never be a Spaced movie!
Team America: World Police - Not as good as South Park: B,L & U (1999) which is the best comedy of all time, this is still pretty awesome. Best puppet movie ever, certainly.
The Incredibles - Best Watchmen adaptation of the decade.
The Phantom of the Opera - Batman and Robin may be forgiven, but the shitstain Schumacher certainly isn't. Since when in the Phantom supposed to be sexy?

Constantine - Surprisingly good. I'd quite like to have his job.
Sin City - Coolest film of the decade. Welcome back, Mickey Rourke!
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Second Biggest disappointment of the decade. I wish they'd let me script this...
Crash - A brilliant film. Still haven't seen Brokeback Malcolm, but I think this definitely deserved an oscar or two.
Kingdom of Heaven - Not a patch on Gladiator, but still the second best Historical Epic of the Decade.
Revenge of the Sith - In hindsight, not a great movie. But, sat in the Odeon Leicester Square, booked a day of work, took Stephen with me, the lights went dim, a blue title card "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away..." Closest thing to seeing God.
Batman Begins - Best Comic book movie of the Decade (possibly)
Serenity - Liked this film so much, I watched Firefly, Buffy and Angel, series' I had hitherto avoided like the plague.
Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-rabbit - They couldn't take that genius and expand it into a feature could they? They certainly could!
King Kong - Best. Remake. Ever.
The Matador - Surprisingly good indie about a hitman in an existential quandry. Pierce Brosnan can act!

V for Vendetta - Not a patch on the book, but the best Alan Moore adaptation. Also, a good film in its own right.
The Da Vinci Code - Hated the book. Was told to watch the film. Hated the film.
X-Men: The Last Stand - Why couldn't they wait for Bryan Singer to be available!?
Superman Returns - Ah, actually, maybe hiring Brett Ratner wasn't such a bad idea.
Clerks II - How can a film involving a-2-m, Donkey Sex and piss-cola be so heartwarming? Brilliant Film.
World Trade Centre - Slightly less tragic than Moulin Rouge being a box office success.
Snakes on a Plane - haven't seen it, but I love that the Hollywood suits piled money into it after the Internet Meme's and then it tanked at the box office. Lolz.
The Black Dahlia - Possibly the worst movie ever, but can it be classified as a movie? I'd rather sit for two hours and look at photo's of the real crime.
The Prestige - Is there nothing Chris Nolan can't do? Batman vs. Wolverine!!!
Happy Feet - I Love Penguins Now!!
The Pick of Destiny - SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER!!!
Rocky Balboa - Welcome Back Sly!

300 - Best Trailer of the Decade... Film was still good though.
Live Free or Die Hard - Best title of the decade... but we got Die Hard 4.0 - Why? We knew what a Philosophers stone was, we could have bloody worked out what Live Free or Die Hard meant!
Ratatouille - Pixar have yet to make a duff film. (Even Cars was okay)
Sunshine - The First of the Decade's really good Sci-fi films.
The Simpsons Movie - They were going to make this ten years ago... when all the good writers still worked on the Simpsons... you can see where I'm going with this...
Shoot-em-up - This film is fucking nuts. He kills a guy with a Carrot, shags Monica Bellucci while having a gunfight, and sticks his hand in a fire to shoot bullet when his fingers are broken.
The Darjeeling Limited - I don't know whether I just got wrapped up in this, or whether it really did affect me, but I left this film feeling like I wanted to be enlightened, existentially.
The Mist - Shit myself. Welcome Back, Frank Darabont!
I Am Legend - Daytime: Excellent movie. Night time: Shitty zombie pish.
There Will Be Blood - It. Drank. My. MILKSHAKE!!!

Cloverfield - Shit myself. Glad my trip to New York didn't turn out like this.
Rambo - Welcome Back Sly's sense of Mayhem and Destruction!
Be Kind Rewind - Okay film, wonderful concept. I love watching Sweded movies.
Run Fatboy Run - Great British Comedy.
Iron Man - Welcome Back RDJ
The Fall - Beautifully shot, endlessly moving, imaginative and emotional, clever and exciting. This film is what Film-making is all about.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Harrison Ford brings back the old charm to stop this being the most disappointing movie of the decade. Oi, Lucas, Spielberg, Labouf... NOOOOO!!!
Kung Fu Panda - There is no charge for Awesomeness... Best opening ever? Maybe.
Wall-E - The First Half of this film is flawless, the second half still pretty damned good.
The Incredible Hulk - The Second best Hulk film of the Decade.
The Dark Knight - Possibly the best comic book movie of the decade.
Slumdog Millionnaire - Wonderful Brit-flick and touching fable.
Quantum of Solace - How could I have missed Casino Royale?
Valkyrie - A Scientologist Nazi as a hero... you couldn't make it up.

Coraline - 3D might just have something to it afterall...
Watchmen - The Official Most Disappointing Film of the Decade (and second of all time behind TPM)
Star Trek - The Least Disappointing Film of the Decade.
Terminator Salvation - Not bad... in fact, quite good. I really enjoyed this film, it's strengths far outweighing it's flaws.
Up - Another home run for Pixar.
Moon - Along with Sunshine and District 9, one of the best sci-fi films of the Decade.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Would be the worst film of the Decade, but not sure if it can be classified as a film.
District 9 - see entry for "Moon".
Inglourious Basterds - Not the best film, not even the best Tarantino film of the Decade, but still a really fun way to spend a coupl'a hours.
Zombieland - Second best Zombie film of the decade, second best Zombie Comedy of all time.
Where the Wild Things Are - Wouldn't want to see it again, but it was really touching the first time.
Avatar - Welcome Back Big Jim. Someone said this was made by James "Titanic" Cameron, not James "Aliens" Cameron, but I disagree. I think this was made by James "The Abyss" Cameron. Visually stunning (the most visually stunning film ever made, possibly), well acted (Sam Worthington could be the new Harrison Ford) and masterfully directed. Script is a little clich├ęd, but still good and Sigourney Weaver is still beautiful. See it in 3D if you can - I don't think 3D is the future, but in the hands of a good director it can be a very engaging tool.

Anyway, there it is. My review of the Decade in Film.
The Ben.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Loving technology

Okay, so this comes from my new iphone, while I sit on the toilet!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What a gorgeous day...

...and I'm stuck inside, working.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Adventures of Findo Gask

Enjoy Part 1.
Part 2 - Coming 2010

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Windows © Vista ® (A Sunday Rant)

I run a risk of ranting about adverts and nothing else, but I can't let this one go. I've just watched a Windows© advert about a young boy photographing the 'land of robots' (Which, by the way, I would love to visit!) but, says the boy, the land of robots is too big, so he takes a bunch of close up pictures and uses Vista to 'stitch' them together. Good idea. Great idea, in fact the possibilities with panoramic photography are staggering! Hot stuff! So this irritating little kid proceeds to stitch his land of robots pictures together into... A picture that he could have taken by taking three steps backwards. So, two things which PISS ME OFF and i'm sure you'll agree.
1) why spend thousands of dollars on such a shitty advert, when there are so many better ways to make this wonderful software seem appealing - fuck it, give me thirty quid and i'll make a better fucking advert.
2) are they trying to sell up software that STOPS US MOVING ALTOGETHER? Actually, that doesn't sound so bad. I'm just going to give Bill Gates a ring...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Volvic Challenge (A Sunday Rant)

I've just watched an advert for volvic, which introduces something called 'the volvic 14 day challenge'. It goes something like this; drink voltic for 14 days and you'll feel marvellous. It then goes on to show some photos of a man doing some regular guy stuff. It ends with him playing baseball and telling all of us slovenly wastrels how great he feels. Now, I know this is just an advert, but even so, WHAT A BUNCH OF PATRONIZING BASTARDS! Now, this guy says he feels great - but he's seen playing baseball with a fairly worn in glove and with people who the connotation suggests are also 'sports guys'. He's clearly a fairly fit fellow! Who are they trying to convince?! Now, if they'd got that 50 Stone guy from Arkansas to drink Volvic for a fortnight, and he ended up representing America at the Olympics - then, I'd drink nothing else!! But the message as it is... Drink water... Try selling me something else, buddy.

B-boys and Gaga Girls (A Sunday Rant)

The world is an interesting place - there are probably a thousand people in each British county who can do what Lady Gaga does - hell, i could probably do it with enough surgery and hair dye, and yet she's rich, successful and is talking about her next ten albums. I've just watched a documentary about 'B-boys', the new 'hip' name for breakdancers - they're virtually illiterate, aggressive, and i'm pretty sure I've seen some of them on America's most wanted list, but they can throw themselves around with the grace and skill of a Soviet gymnast. They can do things that I'd NEVER be able to do, even with surgery, training and a ball-hugging leotard. And yet all they get is a shitty documentary on T4! Sometimes I think there's so much stupidity in the world, I just can't take it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome to the Gospel According to Ben

Hello all,

If you're here then you're either interested, bored or lost. I hope it's one or both of the first two - then maybe you might read on.

Here I will post (via the twin wonder of the Inter-web and also The Mobile Phone) musings, pictures, ranting, ramblings and anything else which I wish to get off my chest to the ether - and if it brings a smile or a nod of understanding, then it will all be worth while.

Please, comment.