Saturday, June 13, 2009


It might be a little obscure, but I have found myself answering the hypnotic call of Film4 recently. Sadly, it's gained reputation as one of those channels they can't even give away, coining the phrase "Buying Virgin/Sky+ has given us a whole new range of channels to turn off".

I now find myself having the odd look now and again. It's like driving past a Sex shop that just opened up down the busy street; you know you should be walking briskly past but you wouldn't mind just poking your head in. You know, just to see what you're missing.

Me? I like to not knock it before I've tried it: Cigarettes (couldn't inhale afterwards), 45% volume Gin (couldn't exhale afterwards), festival-induced 'natural highs' (couldn't inhale or exhale afterwards). And I can honestly say I liked Film4 a lot more than I suspected I would.

What I really wanted to say is this: Who created the likes of Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans? (Actually I know full well who came up with them: I'm trying to see if I can issue a Fatwa without changing my religion.) With these 'films', it doesn't even matter that they're slated for relying entirely on the current celebrity climate for gags and will henceforth be obsolete in 6 months, by then they'll have churned out another one.

Now I'm all game for poking fun at Paris Hilton and her ilk, but aren't these films stooping down to her level anyway? Hilton will do anything it seems to stir up a frenzy and so do they. I for one can't believe the involvement of Leslie Nielsen - he of Airplane! fame, which was a fantastic film and an example of timeless satire. I appreciate his efforts to bring satire to a new generation, but give me Airplane! or Naked Gun over the awful Superhero Movie ilk any day.

Good satire: Observational comedy, some sight gags, puns, a little light double-entendre. Think early Nielsen, Hot Shots, Mel Brooks from Silent Movie right up to The Producers. As little pop-culture gags as possible - it doesn't make for a 'timeless' movie.
Bad satire: Constant crude/sex-oriented jokes. Relies too much on pop-culture references which are obsolete in six months time. But then these movies are not timeless; nor are they meant to be - they're meant to rack up as much cash as humanly possible so the production company can churn out another one as quickly as possible.

They won't be getting any more cash from me - I'd rather spend my money on a classic DVD, or better yet the licensing fees.


Sprog said...

Being forced to watch date movie 10 times in the space of 21 days drove me to insanity. Still not sure if I ever made it back.

Brawny said...

As far as I can tell, the later ones of the "... Movie" series don't even make jokes about people, they just have bad impressionists arrive. The cinematic equivalent of hitting you round the face and saying "LAUGH!"

Anonymous said...

Sadly, HMV is the sort of job where you see how lemming-like humanity is for crappy movies like this.

Damn my inability to comment without getting fired. People who buy them didn't get a "Have a nice day!" though.

Neety said...

WHY did you have to watch Date Movie 10 times in 21 days? Was it some kind of sick initiation thing at Uni?