Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Oscar Night: Take Your Pick

Come the evening of February 27th, you have two clear choices who to spend Oscar night with.

Choice 1: James Franco and Anne Hathaway

Choice 2: James Franco and Anne Hathaway

Personally I like my women with a little chest hair so I know where I'll be.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Mary Ellen Trainor: Queen Of The '80s

Are you making a big, exciting Hollywood movie? Is it the 1980s? In the unlikely event that you answered "Yes" to both questions, then you know what you need? A lucky charm; a talisperson of success; that one elusive ingredient to ensure your film turns out to be a classic for the ages. You need the Queen of the Eighties. You need...
Mary's place in the movie world cannot be underestimated. She blessed so many 1980s films with her apparently incidental but inestimably important characters, either imparting crucial exposition, acting as a pivotal plot device or just being someone who gave birth to Josh Brolin. Let's take a closer look, shall we? No? Your loss.

Romancing The Stone (1984)
Mary's first movie role is as Elaine, kidnapped sister of Kathleen Turner and catalyst for the entire plot. She might be a useless fainting damsel but without her Jack Colton and Joan Wilder would never have met, and for that, the world owes her big. Of course there would also have been no The Jewel Of The Nile, but let's gloss over that for now.

The Goonies (1985)
Without Mrs Walsh there would be no Mikey and no Brand, ergo no Goonies. There would also have been no opportunity for Mouth to warn Rosalita about Mr Walsh's SEXUAL TORTURE DEVICES.

Lethal Weapon (1987)
Is Riggs as mad as a phone box full of badgers? Dr Stephanie Woods certainly thinks so. "I think he's on the edge. I think Riggs has a death wish", she tells Roger Murtaugh on his side-splittingly massive mobile phone. And zingbamboom, now we know he's A COP ON THE EDGE and we JUST DON'T KNOW HOW FAR HE'LL GO to GET RESULTS. Cheers Doc!

Die Hard (1988)
Before introducing Dr Hasseldorf, author of "Hostage Terrorist, Terrorist Hostage: A Study In Duality", newsreader Gail Wallens helpfully fills in the identity of the smooth maniac with the John Phillips suits as none other than Hans Gruber, a terrorist recently expelled from the radical West German Volksfrei movement, whatever that is. I bet she also knows where Helsinki is, unlike that idiot hole Harvey.
Fact! Mary reprised her role as Gail Wallens in Denzel Washington's unmemorable Ricochet. That's the kind of character crossover excitement Marvel can only dream of.

Scrooged (1988)
As unlikely monikered member of the IBC board 'Ted', Mary's job essentially extends to giving Bill Murray a newspaper and telling him he might be overstepping the line with his death-inducing commercials, just in case we didn't realise he was a complete bastard. Hardly vintage Trainor, it has to be said.

Ghostbusters II (1989)
It's five years later. Are the Ghostbusters still in business? Doesn't look like it, as Mell-Tray appears to be hiring them to entertain a party of ten-year-old shits. Five years explained in one scene thanks to one woman. God Mary we love you.

Back To The Future Part II (1989)
A cheeky cameo for Mary as Officer Reese, whose job is to make sure we know the McFlys (McFlies?) have buggered up their future by living in Hilldale, "nothing but a breeding ground for tranks, lobos and zipheads".
More fact! The reason Mary bookended her 1980s with two great Robert Zemeckis films may be because she was none other than Mrs Robert Zemeckis. Which is surprising because I thought she must have been having it off with Richard Donner what with being in six of his films and all. Shows what I know.

Mary also performed almost-certainly-essential roles in Monster Squad and Action Jackson, but I haven't seen either of them. I'm not a machine you know.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

This Week's Made Up Reviews

I know what a trustworthy source I am for the latest film reviews, because you've told me. Why, only recently somebody commented on my 127 Hours review to say "What a poorly written review (...) you can't tell the difference what's movie making and what's not (...) I'm not sure if you even watched the movie."

Taking this argument to its tedious but logical conclusion, it occurred to me that I may as well not bother actually watching anything before reviewing it if nobody can tell the difference. So here's a bunch of reviews for just some of the glut of films that are out this week, none of which I've seen. Let's see if you can tell.

Barney's Version stars Paul Giamatti as Barney, a man who becomes famous for singing a cover version of Toni Basil's 1982 sugary pop classic 'Mickey'. When Basil finds out, she goes apeshit. It's rubbish.

Biutiful stars Javier Bardem as a man who is very beautiful but not very good at spelling. One day he buys a dictionary but, while walking down the street reading it, falls over on his face, disfiguring him forever. It's really ironic because now he can spell but he's as ugly as sin. It's rubbish.

Hereafter stars Matt Damon as an 8 year old boy whose sister has a massive eafter. Nobody knows what an eafter is so he has to point it out to people. When they ask what he's pointing at he says "her eafter." This happens over and over again for two hours. It's rubbish.

Tangled is a Disney cartoon about a boy who is raised by jungle animals. They have a good old sing-song, then he grows his hair long and dyes it blond. One day his lustrous locks get tangled in the wheels of a train, with hilarious, heart-warming, life-affirming consequences. It's rubbish.

The Mechanic stars Jason Statham as a car mechanic. He's not a very good one because all the cars he works on explode after he's finished, so in order to become a better mechanic he kicks every other mechanic in the face until they're all dead, and he becomes the only mechanic in the world. Sadly he can't cope with the massive workload this situation presents and he commits suicide by kicking his own head off. It's absolutely brilliant.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Screw The Recession. YOU NEED THIS

Hello, I'm calling to subscribe to James Bond's DB5 magazine please, as I'm a James Bond fan who recently had his brains removed while he slept.

Yes, I'd like every weekly instalment. How many are there again? 85 you say? Why, that means I'll have completed the model as soon as July 2012, assuming you don't go bust in the meantime and run off with my money! Marvellous!

Issue 1 is just £1.99 is it? Well, to a money saver like me that seems very reasonable. What's that? All subsequent issues are £6.99? Um... well, that only seems fair. After all, it has been authorised by Aston Martin and EON Productions, who must surely be acting independently and have absolutely no financial interest in me forking out my hard-earned cash! Brilliant!
So, how much will I be paying in total? £589.15? Gosh, that seems a lot. Yes, you're right, it is nearly two feet long and weighs twenty pounds. Well in that case it's a bargain! Amazing!

And when exactly will I receive the chassis and the shell, you know, the bits that will make it look like an actual car rather than a pile of plastic crap cluttering up my desk and blocking the hoover? Around the 80 week mark you say? Hmmm... what's that? Check the Facebook page for recommendations if I'm having second thoughts? OK...
Well, if it's good enough for an over-excited ten-year-old then it's good enough for me! Awesome!

What's that? FREE BINDER?!! *faints*

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oh Good, It's Oscar Time

The 2011 Oscar nominations are being announced at about 1.30 this afternoon. As anyone who was unfortunate enough to read The Incredible Suit this time last year will know, this particular annual ritual fills me with unimaginable joy and barely containable excitement. There is nothing my heart desires more than watching normally sane people go bonkers over a bunch of overpaid, self-important but otherwise ordinary human beings slapping each other on the back with such force that their sense of humour falls off and they get all pissy when comedians make jokes about their ridiculous lives.

However, this year I am prepared to make an exception. I'm giving the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a chance. If they agree to recognise, via the medium of nomination, Buried - as we are all painfully aware The Incredible Suit's best film of last year - then I'll show some enthusiasm. I'll display a frisson of excitement. I may even crack a smile.
It's not a ridiculous notion. I don't expect Buried to walk off with every award going on February 27th, but there's no reason why it shouldn't be nominated in any number of categories: Best Actor? Ryan Rodney Reynolds spent weeks in a box acting his little socks off and kept us entertained almost by himself for 94 sweaty, groin-clenchingly tense minutes. Best Director? Rodrigo Cortés' old-school filmmaking has justifiably been compared to Hitchcock (mostly by me). Best Screenplay? Chris Sparling's script drip-fed information at exactly the right pace and gave RyRod some zingers into the bargain. Best Original Score? Cinematography? Editing? Sound Mixing and Editing? Buried can lay claim to excellence in all these categories.

So come back later today and together we'll see just how many Oscars Buried has been nominated for, in The Incredible Suit's snappily-titled Buriedoscarnominationometer:

*** 2pm UPDATE! ***
Fancy that.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Question Marks "No Longer Required," Says Film Industry

The English language was left reeling this week when it was discovered that one of its most popular punctuation marks, the question mark, has been abandoned by Hollywood.
The shocking news was confirmed as Columbia Pictures prepare for the UK release of their film How Do You Know, starring some people who don't matter and Jack Nicholson.

"I don't know what I've done to upset them," said a question mark when we tracked it down to a sleazy booze-den in London's east end, "but it's clear that my hard work on movies like Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Dude, Where's My Car? obviously wasn't good enough."

Research shows that the working title of How Do You Know did at one time include the question mark, but at some point it was clearly deemed surplus to requirements.
A spokesman for the film industry claimed that in these difficult financial times it made economic sense to lose the familiar interrogation point, despite it being employed at the end of almost every written question for nearly 800 years.

"Losing that stupid squiggle has saved $3 million on marketing alone," said the spokesman. "It's given us the freedom to redirect funds into printing the final word of the film's title in bold, which I'm sure you'll agree is a significant improvement. Also, you think Jack Nicholson comes cheap? Nuh-uh. When you've blown the whole budget on one massive star, well, you know... something's gotta give. Ha! Geddit?"

However, critics of the film industry claim the move is short-sighted and will lead to a drop in educational standards worldwide. "We've only just recovered from the Who Framed Roger Rabbit incident," said Barry Comma of the Institute of Tiresome Pedants. "Since that film was such a success, Hollywood seems to think that losing the question mark is the key to gargantuan box office. It's clear to me, though, that it's just been done to distract attention from that shot of Owen Wilson that looks like he's being anally violated."

It remains to be seen just how far-reaching the impact will be from this deeply irritating and apparently pointless decision, but one thing remains perfectly clear: that is one supremely shit film poster. No question.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Jan Švankmajer: Weird

I decided it was time for something a bit avant-garde, and if you're going down avant-garde avenue you may as well stop at Czech lunatic genius Jan Švankmajer's house for a steaming hot cup of mental.

Yeah, sorry about the ad. Don't interact with it whatever you do.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

BlogalongaBond / Dr. No:
The Greatest Introduction In Film History

Here we are then. This is the beginning: the daddy that fathered twenty-two sequels; the start of fifty years of holding up a mirror to reflect an entire genre of cinema; the reason why some of us began to take such an interest in film that we're banging on about it on the internet decades later. And in effectively ensuring the continuation of the James Bond series, I can personally thank Dr. No for my perennial unpopularity at social events.
"I only asked him who his favourite Bond is.
That was an hour ago and he's STILL TALKING"

It all begins with two shocking murders. It's hardly Kill Bill, but for 1962 - and for the series as a whole - there's a lot of claret spilled in Dr. No's first minutes. The underlying brutality of the story and its characters are neatly set up here: the violence only sporadically rears its head again but that opening ensures we know it's never far away. When it does reappear - most notably as a laconic Bond kills Professor Dent in ice-cold blood, then thumps another bullet into his dead body just to be sure - it maintains a tone that's satisfyingly faithful to Ian Fleming's books, though not one that would last beyond the next film in the series.

The remarkable efficiency and urgency of Dr. No are largely down to groundbreaking direction and editing: watching an immaculate Sean Connery strut through the first hour following a logical trail of breadcrumbs is hella fun, while the swift finale avoids the enormous armies of boiler-suited Walther-fodder that populate the conclusions of later entries. It's only when Bond starts wading through the film's soggy, boggy mid-section that things slow down; Ursula Andress may get one of cinema's greatest-ever introduction scenes, but her character brings nothing to the plot. Fortunately she brings everything to the notion of The Bond Girl - gorgeous, dangerous and convincing generations of young men that they saw a nipple when in fact they didn't. Still, no harm in repeatedly rewinding and frame-advancing just to be sure, eh?
It speaks volumes about the genius of Dr. No that Andress' iconic first scene isn't even the best character introduction in the film: that distinction belongs to the spy who shagged her. Even if, in 1962, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had known what a colossal global phenomenon Bond would become, it's unlikely they could have come up with a more timeless introduction for him than the one they did. I say "one": in fact James Bond is too much for just one intro. That's why he gets two.

Here's the first. FACT ALERT: it doesn't feature Sean Connery.

Stuntman Bob Simmons is the man over-enthusiastically leaping almost out of shot to fire that deafening thundercrack gunshot, and with Maurice Binder's visually arresting gunbarrel design and the cacophonous explosion of Monty Norman's theme (arranged by John Barry, legal fans), James Bond erupted onto cinema screens in unforgettable style.

Six minutes later, once a couple of British civil servants have been viciously offed and a man with an astonishing cardigan / spectacles / hair combo has phoned in some crucial plot exposition, we get our first proper look at one of cinema's most enduring heroes. It's a masterclass of build-up and payoff, emulated many times since (hello, Indy), but never bettered.
It's 2.48am and we're in some kind of opulent and somewhat ostentatiously decorated London club. We've no idea what goes on in there but the sign outside is in French so it must be exciting and out of our league. Ooh, it's a casino! How very cosmopolitan.
A staggeringly beautiful woman in a killer red dress is haemmorhaging money in a card game to a man who we can only see the back and hands of, but he's got an immaculately coiffured barnet, a razor sharp tux and he flings his cards around with all the insouciance of a man who either knows he's going to win or doesn't give a shit if he loses.

Eventually she has to borrow from the house, and the man - now flashing a probably insanely expensive cigarette case - patronisingly admires her courage, safe in the knowledge that he's going to take her, and take her for every penny. She introduces herself, and only in the 1960s would the name "Trench... Sylvia Trench" sound like that of an untouchable sexpot. Finally we're allowed to see the man's face as he lights his cigarette, and there's barely time to register how brutally handsome he is before he pinches Sylvia's catchphrase to introduce himself.
Except he's got something she hasn't: his own theme tune. The first mention of his surname cues the orchestra, allowing him to pause impassively and raise his magnificent eyebrows before announcing his full name over a swaggering musical motif that perfectly captures his arrogance, panache and sheer sex appeal. By this point Miss Trench Sylvia Trench is hooked, and so are we. The rest of the card game is a mere formality and we all know it. We just want to spend the rest of our lives in this man's company because there is literally nobody else like him.

James Bond has arrived.

Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman)
The original Bond villain and one of the best: OK, so he shows up 25 minutes before the end, gets just two scenes and is dead fifteen minutes later, but Dr. No's spectre hangs over the rest of the film like a foreboding, mysterious cloud. With steel hands. And his big dialogue scene is so much more than just monologuing: he genuinely sees 007 as an intellectual equal to show off to, and the script crackles with the exploration of muddy geopolitics and Bond's ballsy needling of the unhinged villain which were Fleming's trademarks. Still not sure exactly what he's a doctor of though.

Ken Adam's sets
One day I hope to have a house with a room just like this so I've got somewhere to store that one chair that doesn't go anywhere else.

That scene
Inaugural Bond girl Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) serves no purpose other than to look absolutely stunning in one of cinema's greatest bikinis, but sweet zombie Jesus she does it well. Halle who?

BlogalongaBond will return with From Russia With Love

What the hell is BlogalongaBond? I'll tell you.
Further BlogalongaBondareading here

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Film Poster In 'Accurately Reflects Tone Of Film It Advertises' Shocker

This new poster for Gregg Araki's absolutely mentile sexfest Kaboom might look like the Planet Orgasmia just exploded after every inhabitant simultaneously climaxed while having it off with a giant tube of Smarties, but having seen it at the London Film Festival I can at least confirm that this is a pretty accurate representation of the movie.

Which is more can be said for the previous one:
Sorry, I mean this one:
Sorry, I mean this one:
Sorry, I mean this one:
Silly me.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


You may recall the time last week when I fair spuffed myself silly over the announcement of a new Bond film, due to make sweet sweet love to a cinema screen near you as soon as November 2012. One lengthy, finger-tiring calculation later, I concluded that was 22 months away. There are currently 22 official Bond films. Coincidence? I DON'T THINK SO.
That's when I had my first amazing idea: Babble about one Bond movie every month between now and then, finishing with Bond 23 / Blood And Thunder / Death Is Forever When Living Is Dying To Kill or whatever it's called.

That's when I had my second amazing idea: Get the whole world involved.

Some time later I called it BlogalongaBond, and that's where the amazing ideas dried up.

So this is how it works for anyone who wants in (and who wouldn't?):
  1. If you've got a blog, podcast, vlog, "proper website" or whatever you want to call it, post something on your own site about whichever film is scheduled for that month. January 2011's film is Dr. No, duh.
  2. Go to, click 'Like' and post a link to your article on the wall.
  3. A handsome administrator reposts that link for all Facebook Fans of BlogalongaBond to see.
  4. Everyone gets shitloads of traffic.
  5. I win some kind of award for internet innovation and David Fincher makes a great but slightly overrated film about me.
The first posts are already up, and as if it isn't spectacular enough that the idea works at all, they're not rubbish! In fact they're very good!
So do the world a favour and watch Dr. No, write / say / mime something about it and post it up at BlogalongaBond HQ before the end of this month. And while you're at it follow @BlogalongaBond on Twitter.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Vote Suit

In an unlikely but undeniably arousing turn of events, the beautiful, witty, intelligent and sexually athletic people at (who I have always preferred to the hideously disfigured inbred deviants at have shortlisted The Incredible Suit for their Blog Of The Year competition, in the 'One Man Band' category. I understand it may come as a shock that such a monstrously entertaining cascade of movie magic could be the work of one solitary mortal human, but what can I say? I'm amazing.

Now comes the unseemly but inevitable part where I politely request that you pop over to this Facebook page and click 'Like' underneath where it says The Incredible Suit. There are other, perfectly acceptable blogs on the shortlist, but they've probably also been shortlisted for another, less prestigious award, so why not let them fight over that one while Johnny One-Nom over here finally gets the recognition he so richly deserves?

And if it's bribes you're after, if I win the 3D TV that's first prize, you can all come round and watch Avatar one night. When I'm not in.

Black Swan

First things first: In a world of shit film posters, these beauties reign supreme over all else. May your eyeholes breathe them in deeply and your brainjuices flow with delighted appreciation.
Second things second: the best advice I can give anyone going to see Black Swan is to wear a very sturdy helmet, because you will be battered repeatedly about the head by one of the most overblown, insanely melodramatic, staggeringly unsubtle films ever made.

Darrenaranarrenaronofsky's psychodrama about extreme pressure, ambition, jealousy and paranoia in the world of professional ballet reaches such uncontrollable levels of histrionics that even world-class king of bonkers Vincent Cassel comes off as mild-mannered amongst all the overwrought mentalism going on around him.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, although repeated uses of loud noises to hammer home cheap shocks and the tedious omnipresence of mirrors in almost every single scene to illustrate characters' fractured personalities is hardly the apex of original - or subtle - filmmaking.
It is, however, an impressive feat of CGI that you never see the cameraman reflected in any of the mirrors when they should be visible all over the shop. So well done for that.

Also well done to Natalie Portman, who transforms from pathetic doormat to crazy swan queen, stopping briefly en route to be a bit confused and horny with fellow ballerina Mila Kunis (also great), and convincingly bends her lollipop-shaped body into some impressive ballet shapes along the way.

Unfortunately, the story can't support the weight of its own emotional intensity any more than Portman's stick-thin frame should be able to support her massive noggin, and by the final act it all collapses in on itself, leaving the audience dazed and confused in equal measure.

Still, she does have a nice big ladywank at one point so it's not all bad.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Harold Lloyd: Number, Please?

Yes, it's in two parts. But look at the quality! It's like some kind of 1920s Blu-ray! Don't tell me there isn't half an hour somewhere in your Sunday that could do with this.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Saturday Playlist #17: The Songs Of Edgar Wright

This week's Saturday Playlist is another bunch of actual songs with words, which I know seems like a weird concept but it's for those poor people who don't necessarily get on with film scores, the sad, deluded freaks.

Anyway, as we all know, Edgar Wright has made some good films and whatnot, and despite spectacularly failing to appear on The Incredible Suit in interviewee form, I thought I'd air a few of the songs he's used over the years to soundtrack his ludicrously enjoyable product.
So (prepare yourself for tedious and inappropriate references), move into a flat with a stranger you're unavoidably attracted to, get red on you, watch Point Break and Bad Boys II and buy a prohibitively expensive Rickenbacker bass despite being a twentysomething slacker, as you...


Friday, 14 January 2011

First Images: An Exercise In Polar Opposites

Two upcoming sure-fire blockbusting megabastards have released their first official images this week, and one of them is a very good example of how this kind of thing should be done. And one of them is Footloose.

Craig Brewer, director of the remake nobody asked for (no, not The Thing. Or Brighton Rock. Or The Birds. etc), has released the first still from his version of inexplicably popular '80s Bacon roll Footloose, and frankly it takes the piss like an industrial vacuum cleaner attached to your cock.
Now it's one thing to release the most boring shot from your film as the first 'official' image - even the Harry Potter films aren't afraid of doing that - but it's another thing entirely to just release a photo of that image on your telly, even if it does feature the majesty of The Quaid in full glower.

Of course the real reason behind this is so that when Footloose inevitably sinks like a puppy on Boxing Day, Brewer has the ultimate get-out clause:
The man's clearly a genius.

At the other, dare I say, shitloads better, end of the scale, comes this:
Who remembers that Footloose remake that was supposed to be happening?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Green Hornet

The whole world knows by now that if you're going to make a superhero movie, make it different. Make it stand out. Make it special. So who better to direct potentially ordinary-as-cornflakes The Green Hornet than über-barmlord Michel Gondry, of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and The Science Of Sleep fame, and director of more crackers music videos than you can shake a hammer and tongs at?

Well, probably anyone. In fact The Green Hornet feels like it was made entirely by the second unit director, except for two or three visually staggering sequences that Gondry was woken up for to justify his hiring. Apart from those, all you're left with is an adequate but entirely predictable, seen-it-all-before, non-super hero film.

It's not all bad: Christoph Waltz is massively watchable despite being saddled with the one-dimensional villain role, and Jay Chou as Kato is a laconic genius, although his ass-kicking displays occasionally get lost in amongst the FX. Still, he does possess some miraculous skillz:
Now I'm not the biggest Seth Rogen fan in the world (that would probably be Seth Rogen), but it's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that he's tragically miscast in this. His grating, growly shouting thing becomes tiresome pretty quickly, and for an action-comedy with one of the world's highest-profile comedy stars, it's a bit of a LOL-vaccuum.

As for Cameron Diaz, the world's least believable temp secretary and pretty much the only woman with a speaking part in the whole film, well, she gets the most thankless role going. She gets no action (literally) and no laffs, and even McG knows she's perfectly capable of both.
Oh and unsurprisingly the 3D is utterly pointless until the animated end credits, which are amazaboggling.

Still, ain't none of it as bad as the IMDb's The Green Hornet page which, to promote the film, has been rendered completely unreadable by the design monkeys, who've gone for a clever green-writing-on-a-green-background theme:
In short: This week's second-best film with a colour in the title. Blue Valentine doesn't have super-slo-mo smackdowns but it is funnier.