Lately the site’s been swamped with underwear spam. You have no idea how many variants there are: we get links to teen underwear, brand underwear (name a brand and we’ve seen it), boys underwear, girls underwear, sexy underwear, gay teen underwear and – quite the twist here – Britney Spears without underwear. Don’t know if this means the spammers think the Avenue is pants. Definitely not okay is the amount we’ve spent reviewing recent films. So here, provided you’ll accept our apologies, is a round-up of some of the recent films we never got round to…
CLASH OF THE TITANS
First up, a movie I never got round to seeing. I’d heard it was bad, that the 3D was awful and that the actual film didn’t resemble the director’s original idea of the film, but still Clash of the Titans was a movie I was prepared to give a chance. That is until I watched the trailer. Trailers can be misleading, but overall they do give some idea of what the film will look like. Absolute pants in this case, so I gave it a miss. Not the worst decision of the year, it seems: Lauren Laverne gave this review of the film after having endured the first hour: “So far: Part Duran Duran video, part “Flash” out-takes. The most ridiculous film since Avatar.” Her opinion hadn’t changed after the film was over, so let’s be glad we didn’t “treat” ourselves to this one. (Weirdly enough, it managed to achieve a staggering 6.0/10 on the IMDb.)
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER is a delicious indie comedy we mention here because a) it was the first film of 2010 I watched (sure, it was released in 2009, but who’s hurrying us?). Here’s a film which had an awful trailer: it made the film seem tacky Hollywood fodder, but this was nice and melancholic. The film jumps up and down the 500 days the main character (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was with a girl called Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The film opens with the lamenting phase you’re in after being dumped, so you do know from the start it won’t end good. In a rare thing for the Avenue, I’ll tell you the final scene of the film (because it doesn’t spoil anything): the guy meets a girl and her name is… Autumn. Right there and then, the film dropped a few points. 7/10 is the final verdict.
THE GHOST WRITER
Somewhere between all the stories of his sexual past, Roman Polanski managed to release a film. The Ghost Writer sees Pierce Brosnan as a thinly disguised clone of Tony Blair in this adaptation of a Robert Harris novel. Ewan McGregor is freshly appointed as ghost writer of Prime Minister Lang and, luck’ll have it, it’s just about the time a scandal concerning Lang breaks loose. Due to the scandal around Polanski, people started seeing the film in a different light, but even without these similarities, The Ghost Writer is a thriller with depth and drama. During the film, I even noticed myself thinking I wouldn’t say no to going with friends to another showing. That never happened – we are busy, busy people – but I still think this film will hold up to multiple viewings. 8/10
THE BAD LIEUTENANT – PORT OF CALL: NEW ORLEANS
Well, at least we know which movie will get the Worst Title award of 2010, come December 31. A dispute between director Werner Herzog and a producer who wanted to start a Bad Lieutenant movie franchise (oh, and Worst Idea 2010) led to the film having to carry around Herzog’s title after the producer’s title. Compromising can be shit. It also led to Herzog having to explain 7429 times that this wasn’t a remake, but a transportation. What would happen if you took the Bad Lieutenant from New York to New Orleans? This sort of idea is often more interesting on paper than on screen. Hal Hartley did it in 1995 with Flirt, which gave three couples in New York, Berlin and Tokyo the same dilemma. It’s one of Hartley’s lesser accessible films, but easily beats the Herzog film. Part of that is because I’ve seen enough of Nicolas Cage‘s schtick for the moment. Remember how Kevin Spacey was always the baddie fifteen years ago? Well, that’s how Cage’s washed-out cops feel to me. The direction is good and the iguana scenes are brilliant, but for me the film didn’t stick. Worse even, I had to endure this one in the cinema with a couple of a**holes who acted like they were watching the latest Ta****ino. Even I am not sure whether the film is a comedy or a tragedy. 5/10 because Herzog is a good director and, if you’re paying attention, you even see it in this film.