I’ve been to three markedly varied films recently, and felt compelled to review them.
Stone of Destiny – Charlie Cox plays Iain Hamilton QC in a light-hearted portrayal of Iain’s legendary escapade from the 1950s. It’s been unfairly derided by critics variously accusing it of being substandard or akin to Hamish McBeth.
All these reviews do is to fully represent how much self-loathing Scottish Journalism has. This is a point I’ll return to when I comment on Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex.
Historically, it’s reasonably accurate (i.e. pretty much in keeping with
So, a good film. Or it would have been had the pigs of
Take the recent by-election in Glenrothes. Who is Alex Salmond? He’s a stand-up, good political leader not afraid to send himself up in a good cause: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7730724.stm Mind you, that doesn’t disguise the glee that accompanied the Glenrothes by-election win for Labour. Just as an aside on the Glenrothes By-election. What was it, in my opinion? The unilateral capitulation of a Scottish Working Class doped up on Big Brother, Corrie and X Factor desperate not to think for themselves. You were lied to, and you voted for the liars.
An issue which came up on several reviews was the fact that the team behind Stone of Destiny was partly Canadian. The motto here is that when you’ve run out of ways to make up a shit review, indulge typical British tacit racism. It’s as British as Sausages, Curry and politicians being handcuffed to chairs by prostitutes.
One gripe, though. In the first third of the movie a brief quick-capsule review is done of Scottish Nationalism in the 1950s. It’s a bit simplistic for me, and does detract somewhat. It seems to lack gravitas as a historical context. It’s a bit like the first read of the film the director had said: “Okay… blah blah blah Scottish Covenant, fails… blah blah… and cue Iain’s first scene!”
Still, from artistic point of view, Stone of Destiny is the kind of film we’ve been lacking. No, not pro-nationalist (it wasn’t, in my opinion), but a step away from imperial dogma and vainglorious costume dramas. It’s Scottish people, in a genuinely positive way. Iain Hamilton is portrayed as being a positive person; and not the usual Self-hating alcoholics or heroin addicts we normally get. Charlie Cox portrayed a genuine human being. Braveheart presented a stereotype. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Braveheart, I’m just not proud of liking it.
In this case, if I’m the only reviewer you’ve read (other than Joe Middleton on his http://politicalnewsfromscotland.blogspot.com blog) who has been positive about this film, then frankly I’m glad I think differently. I raised more than a few glasses to Iain Hamilton, Kay Matheson et al after watching this.
Quantum of Solace: Yep. The current Jimmy Bond rebranding. The premise in Casino Royale (the previous, and far superior film) was that the previous Bond films had never happened and they were going to start again. It worked. Casino Royale was a superb rebranding, taking its cue from the current crop of Spy thrillers: Bourne, 24, etc.
If you’re looking for a summary of Quantum of Solace: piece of shit.
Here’s why. Firstly, the previous director clearly had imagination the current one doesn’t. The acting was beneath dreadful, Daniel Craig and Mathieu Amalric aside. It’s fortunate for the director that this was the case, because they are the only two things in the damn film that are watchable.
Let’s start with the incomprehensible fight scenes. Clearly we’re all supposed to leave the cinema thinking that Bond has become as edgy as Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne or Keifer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer (notice the initials…) They don’t pull it off. It is less “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and more “That Weird TV advert that no-one could understand but had Velvet Underground music in it… you know the one… dunno what it was advertising…”
The film trailer and TV spots would lead you to believe that this was a rampage of revenge for a pissed-off James Bond. No it’s not, lots of weird, badly choreographed fight scenes happen, for no reason, until Bond releases the baddie in the desert and fucks off home again.
And then there’s the McGuffin this film uses. What is the baddie after? Water. Woo hoo. Come to
This piece of shit made Braveheart look like an Ingmar Bergman quality movie. That disappointed me so much, because I really – re-he-ally – liked Casino Royale. And for the record, Daniel Craig (in the unlikely event you read this) you are SO much better than this. I saw you in
Der Baader-Meinhoff Komplex: This was a movie I stumbled upon while checking out Cineworld’s website to see when Yes Man (featuring Jim Carrey) is going to be released (December). Some internet checking later, and I’d already book my ticket.
It is, at its most basic, the foundation story of the Red Army Faction, a German Ultra-left wing Urban Guerilla group which exploded in the 1970s and rivals the Provisional IRA as the coolest terrorist group in
I noticed a few historical parallels between what was presented as 1970s
There were a few parallels in the backstory. There’s a sequence which depicts a bomb attack on a Newspaper building, and prior to that a riot outside the same newspaper company because this firm, the protagonists argued, were responsible for the shooting of a comrade. The implication I am making here, is that the journalists in question, in the film, are Vichy-journalists. They present only the acceptable face of the state and are as much a tool of oppression as ID Cards, retaining trident and biometric databases are. Clearly, our press, are no different. MediaWatch as well as a Comrade of mine are given to giving the Hootsmon and the Herald far more plaudits than I ever will. Media barons are part of a ruling elite dedicated to keep the Scottish Working Class fully oppressed. You might as well buy the London Times or the Manchester Guardian and get your oppression first hand. THAT was why the media denigrated a good movie like Stone of Destiny got slated, not because its story wasn’t true, but precisely because it was.
Stone of Destiny, from what I can tell, had more promotion behind it in
Quantum of Solace and Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex are both still in cinemas. Stone of Destiny, you’ll probably have to await the DVD of that. If I know you, and find a pirate DVD in your collection of any of these, don’t expect to speak to me again. Not because of capitalism, but because of QUALITY. Anyway… my geekness aside…