Talking Movies

April 14, 2019

Miscellaneous Movie Musings: Part XI

As the title suggests here are some short thoughts about the movies which aren’t quite substantial enough for each to merit an individual blog posting.

The means defeat the ends: Part III

Bob Iger has declared a hiatus because of Star Wars fatigue. People he thinks can have too much of a good thing. Well, certainly people have can too much of a good thing. But that is not the problem with Star Wars. People are clamouring for more Fast & Furious movies and Mission: Impossible at a faster rate until Tom Cruise’s body gives out. But Disney has managed the incredible feat of draining the Star Wars cash cow dry in just 4 movies. The decision to make three Star Wars movies between 2015 and 2019 was always rather suspect, because it would inevitably lead to what indeed happened – not a singular creative force like George Lucas or Christopher Nolan or Christopher McQuarrie driving decisions, but instead development and execution by committee. And it is not for nothing that they say a camel is a horse designed by a committee. I bought some Star Wars socks just before Christmas in Marks & Spencer and they amusingly summed up what went so catastrophically wrong for Disney. The packaging was festooned with images of Rey, Finn, and Poe, who we are all meant to find enthralling beyond belief. And yet the socks themselves featured stitched in renditions of R2-D2, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, a stormtrooper, and the Star Wars logo. Because they knew that nobody would buy the socks if they featured Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, and Rose. And so the socks themselves were entirely OT, and you could throw the packaging away with a maniacal laugh. Much like the end of the new Star Wars trailer.

Seraphim Falls Revisited

I recently watched Seraphim Falls for the first time since I saw it in the cinema in 2007 as it popped up on TV in an eerie coincidence. From a distance of twelve years I was surprised by how much I remembered of the physical details of the chase, even as I’d forgotten the particulars of the revenge, how the trippy ending took up less screentime than it did in my remembering, and also how it seems to inhabit a grittier version of the same fantasy Old West populated by Irishmen as Michael Fassbender’s Slow West. This is the film in which John Healy first pointed out to me what I later referred to in my review of The Revenant as “Pierce Brosnan’s grunting and moaning in pain school of physical acting”. It’s especially interesting watching Liam Neeson play a man out for revenge the year before Taken, when he was still riding high off playing two bearded mentors in 2005’s Batman Begins and Kingdom of Heaven.

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February 24, 2018

Any Other Business: Part XIV

What is one to do with thoughts that are too long for Twitter but too short for a proper blog post? Why round them up and turn them into a fourteenth portmanteau post of course!

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Hair today, gone out of style tomorrow

2016 saw me asking everybody what the name of the haircut that everybody under the age of 25 was seemingly legally obliged to have was. Nobody seemed to know. Eventually I got sick of not knowing what it was called and decided to name it myself, the Snowflake; appropriate for the generation that was sporting it. Well it turns out my name was a damn sight better than the ‘official’ name, because this week a school in England banned the style and had to name it to shame it. They called it the ‘Meet me at McDonald’s’. … I think The Snowflake is an infinitely better name. The curious thing about the Snowflake is not that it is a ridiculous hairstyle, but that it is so obviously a ridiculous hairstyle. There are certain styles that date and certain styles that do not. Bell bottoms dated, shoulder pads dated. But if you want to laugh at a Sixties suit it would be hard to do, because you’d have to pin down what defined a 60s suit, and if you have to think about it you can’t laugh at it. So with hairstyles, the more outré the style the worse it will date. The 70s perms and 80s mullets dated far worse than the 90s curtains because it was possible to do the curtain with some subtlety. It is not possible to a Snowflake with subtlety. At 00:01 1/1/2020 the generation which has taken an unprecedented number of self-portraits will shudder at how ‘last decade’ their hair looks in all of them, but it is incredibly dated right now because of its omnipresence and absurdity, and everybody who doesn’t have it can see that fact. We’re just waiting for them to.

mfh_fur_winter_cap_black_1_AMAZSeasonal Clothes for the wrong season

As we await with mingled amusement and trepidation the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’, itself almost another piece on the deliberate decline of journalistic formality, it was interesting to see the huge amount of hats and scarves being sported at Lansdowne Road today. While the poor rugby players ran about in shorts the spectators huddled together for warmth. And it’s going to get colder, much colder… Yet if you walk into Dundrum Town Centre right now and mooch through Penneys or M & S you won’t find woolly hats and rugged scarves, oh no. You will find shorts, bikinis, polo shirts, and sun-hats. Because the clothes on sale in our shops have changed seasons, as always, well in advance of the actual weather. We are about to hit the coldest stretch of the winter and the clothes offered for sale at this moment will be wearable in high summer. I need a practising economist to explain to me how this makes sense – do people really buy their wardrobes that far in advance? – doesn’t anybody suddenly need a new scarf or a heavier hat in February or March when it snows after the shops have shifted seasons? – do the shops not take a commercial beating selling clothes that won’t be needed for another five months? What’s going on, in short, and why does this happen season after season?

Emergency services are the last refuge of the scoundrel

Cinema is the last bastion of advertisements, because you can’t skip them or escape them, and boy does that lead to some punishment. I have sat too many times now thru a PSA about how emergency services won’t be able to find you, you will die, you hear, die, if you don’t use your Eircode; because an ambulance will be fruitlessly roaming rural Ireland trying to find you. I will never use my Eircode. I don’t even know what it is. And I know that this choice will not lead to my death. If people were really dying because ambulances couldn’t find them, why didn’t they lead with that when Eircodes were first being proposed? The minister couldn’t support this assertion with any facts in 2016, and yet we still are suffering thru these preposterous claims! Eircodes are an unnecessary imposition, useful for and desired by businesses for the purpose of junkmail, nothing else. We don’t need postcodes because technology advanced beyond that point before we thought about introducing them. For heaven’s sake, look at the ridiculous addresses people write that somehow, despite eschewing Eircodes, still get delivered. Remember when Phantom and other pirates were forcibly taken off air in 2003? Remember how McDowell thundered his latest killjoy antics were necessary because those stations were interfering with emergency services? Remember how not long after mobile phone companies offered next generation services not interfering with emergency services? Yeah. Emergency services are the last refuge of the scoundrel.

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