Archives for posts with tag: classic

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“I’ll shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle.”

Often considered a classic of cult film, Walter Hill’s The Warriors, based on the novel of the same name by Sol Yurick is the simple tale of street gangs in future New York. Hill creates a very dystopian and daunting image of the Big Apple with violence and betrayal around every corner. The film begins with The Warriors assembling at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for an unarmed meeting with all the other gangs in New York. Cyrus (Roger Hill), the leader of the most powerful gang, the Gramercy Riffs proposes a citywide truce but is then assassinated by Luther (David Patrick Kelly), the sadistic leader of the Rogues. Luther then proceeds to blame the Warriors for the murder of Cyrus and they’re left with no choice but to run through enemy territories to get back to their own, Coney Island.

The film is interesting and to some extent entertaining. I felt it emphasised the importance of loyalty and identity within a gang but as a whole I personally felt it was weak overall. I’ll start off with the positive points, the editing by David Holden is without a doubt superb, it’s fast paced and gives life to the well-choreographed action scenes. The music by Barry De Vorizon is also excellent and features prominent use of synthesisers and reminded me of Wendy Carlo’s sinister score using the Moog in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Vorizon’s score overall helped reflected the dystopian setting and really captured each gang’s perspective on what to do with the Warriors. The film is overtly macho and features a male dominated cast with unrealistic perks of gang culture such as the Warriors in a long  shot somehow able to outrun a rival gang’s vehicle. Then again, Yurick’s novel was partly inspired the Greek epic Anabasis by Xenophon which probably reinforces why there’s limited female casting along with very epic fights (a modern interpretation of 300 perhaps?). The film is clever I admit in terms reinforcing the courage of the Warriors in their survival and the transition from one scene to another features comic book style graphics which was just cool, plain and simple. 

Now for the negatives: The acting I felt was very weak and unrealistic, there was only a few characters who I felt where brutal, real and violent such as Michael Beck portraying Swan, the leader of the Warriors who seems to be a man of wits as well as reason. Then there’s Ajax (James Remar) who strives for dominance, lust and pride (very Spartan-ish) and was definitely the true Warrior of the group who’s willing to stand his ground and fight! My favourite performance had to be by the great David Patrick Kelly. Luther is just an evil, scheming and harsh liar; 10 minutes into the film and you know you won’t be able to take your eyes off him! I loved how when he’s first shown on screen, you know he’s going to do something against the gangs, it’s the distinctive smile, it’s the close up of hands, it’s the gun being passed to him and then there’s the snitching, “That’s him! That’s…The Warrior!!”. Kelly really steals the show with a cunning performance and of course there’s the iconic example of improv involving three empty bottles! Overall, The Warriors is a film which I would recommend for someone who hasn’t discovered cult cinema but for me, it was a disappointment due to expecting much much more. For me, it’s good on the tiniest of levels, some actors are brilliant, some of the dialogue is brilliant, music is stunning but it was limited in terms of narrative, other actors and overall purpose. An ok film that’s worth giving a go, I may be wrong, maybe there’s a lot more to ‘The Warriors’ than meets the eye but sadly I don’t really understand the hype with this film.

2/5

 

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“Hi doggy!”

Where shall I begin with The Room? Maybe the fact it’s dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” by Entertainment Weekly? Maybe the fact that 10 years on it still sells out theatres across the globe? Maybe the fact it is one of the worst films I have ever seen in my life? No kidding, considering the poor acting, TERRIBLE editing, meme generating script and such. But wait, The Room is also one of my all-time favourite films, I’d go as far as to put it in my top 50 films list! The film department’s probably in tears hearing this, but they have to understand that The Room is just something else: Once you enter The Room, you can’t quit The Room! Tommy Wiseau as the director, star, writer and producer predicted over 10 years ago that this film would conquer the world and look at how right this mystery man is. Basically, this film is terrible beyond belief.

Wiseau stars as Johnny, a successful banker in San Francisco whose life begins to crumble as his friends betray him one by one. A very simple plot, but the main narrative isn’t the major problem with this film, I won’t go into massive detail but I’ll ever so slightly hint. Firstly, the editing doesn’t make sense as a whole and the acting is beyond poor, Wiseau’s performance as an example is just so odd for various reasons. He has a very unusual accent which is so humorous and hard to understand at times but you really can’t help but love his ever so dramatic (sarcasm intended) portrayal of a sweet guy. Because of his mysterious persona, he refuses to reveal where he’s from. Many believe France, some Eastern Europe and some even go as far to state he is in fact…an alien! Because of the poor acting, a lot of the dialogue had to be dubbed but it is so out of sync with the film itself due to editing. That’s it! I will say no more, just watch The Room and forget everything you know about film!

In December 2013, I did my usual routine of searching through what the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square was screening and discovered that TOMMY WISEAU AND co-star Greg Sestero would be there in person for a Q&A screening in February 2014. I immediately booked my ticket and learned that they sold over 1000 across one single weekend.

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So there I was, first in line queuing an hour and half early before the Q&A begins, when suddenly, half an hour before…there they were, Greg in all his glory bearing a Drive Scorpion jacket who walks straight into the cinema after giving me a quick smile. Tommy runs along the line of the queue wearing nighttime glasses and two belts whilst people cheer his name. He then comes up to me with a simple “Hi. How you doin’?” offering his hand which I gladly accept. The PCC lay down the ground rules: No metal spoons, no American footballs, no booze. Simple. I entered, dropped my coat off at the front and ran to get a signed DVD and a pic. I was to a certain degree starstruck, just at the fact these guys are involved in a cult phenomenon…and of the fact Tommy is one of the weirdest people I’ve ever met. Greg passes the DVD to Tommy who insists on shaking my hand again two more times. Then after the picture (see below) I walk away offering my thanks when suddenly Tommy grabs onto my shoulder and once again, insists on shaking my hand for the forth time!

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Still can’t get over that’s actually me with Greg Sestero (left) and the man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Wiseau (right).

The Q&A experience was fantastic and downright hilarious! Questions ranged from “Favourite film?” to which Tommy would answer what everyone expected: “Citizen KAAAANE!!!!”. Tommy also offered blessings and dog-tags on stage to whoever bought Tommy Wiseau brand pants, and of course the blessing was beautiful “*name* In the name of the Father, the Son and the Goly Dhost hope you have a happy 2014 MOVE ON!!”. The film was screened and without a doubt it was one of the best cinema experiences of my life. The crowd was so enthusiastic about the whole thing, just constant cheers and screams of the film’s flaws along with devout participation; such as the repetitive tracking shots of San Francisco, to which the audience is meant to scream: “MEANWHILE IN SAN FRANCISCO!”. There was also the throwing of plastic spoons, but I’ll let you as the reader find out the purpose of it (however, if you do know, then in that case: SPOONS!!). The whole thing was an hour and a half of me just laughing away at a screen which I’ll never forget. Seriously though, please watch The Room.

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Tommy was kind enough to write “Love is blind” along with his signature!

5/5 (I’m serious!)