Saturday, July 31, 2010

Too Grumpy Critics Movie Club: "Get Carter" (1971)

Yeah, yeah. I know. It's a pretty lame name, but - as the old commercial used to say - it does exactly what it says on the tin. We pick a movie or a TV show (or you suggest one) and, in a following show, we all review and discuss it. Just that simple.

This week, inspired by the much-talked-about, oft-delayed and unpopular-with-anyone-who-doesn't-have-to-look-at-the-bloody-thing-every-day destruction of the Brutalist multi-story car park that inspired the look of the whole film, (and, in turn, an era of British film-making) we put 1971's "Get Carter" under the microscope. We'll do our best to warn you about the movie picks in plenty of time, so get your reviews in for Get Carter by 6pm on Tuesday 10th of August for inclusion.

"Some hard nuts operate up there, Jack. They won't take kindly to someone from London poking his bugle in."

It's the film that made a star of Michael Caine, as the eponymous ice cold gangster who travels to the north west of England to avenge the suspicious death of his brother. In the midst of the "it's grim up north" underworld of Newcastle, he stumbles onto a network of twists, turns, pornography and deception, all of it helmed by an organisation that doesn't want him back in town to ask too many questions about his dead brother.

It's importance to British cinema can't be understated, at a time when her majesty's picture houses were home to technicolour caper flicks with bongo soundtracks, Carry On movies and "Jamesh" Bond at his campest, Get Carter's unforgiving portrayal of a down on its luck industrial town's underworld filled with deeply unpleasant characters (including the main character) was a shock to the system, paving the way for the cynical anti-heroes of the future and, at last, showing a Britain outside of London's swinging bloody Carnaby Street.

Following other classics such as "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane", the initial reaction to Get Carter was lukewarm at best, although it was championed at the time by infamously hard-to-please film critic Pauline Kael for its "calculated soullessness". And, like "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane", it has risen to the top of many film lists over the years, including being named the greatest British movie of all time by readers of Total Film magazine.

But do you agree? We'll give you two weeks to rent, buy or acquire through perfectly legal means a copy of the movie. Let us know your thoughts - whether you liked it, hated it, didn't understand it, or just mocked thoroughly it in the MST3k stylee, let us know at The Usual Address and we'll put you in the mix. If you felt particularly strongly about it and you want to join us via Skype or phone, drop us an email and we'll be glad to schedule your thoughts.

Posted via email from The Paul And Spike Show

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sermon On The Mount On My Plate

Imagine this. There you are, you've just slaved over a hot fryer for the better part of an hour to make your world-famous-in-my-house fish and chips and hushpuppies. You sit down to enjoy the artery-clogging dinner with a huge blob of salad cream (not mayonnaise, thank YOU very much). You get three quarters of the way through, and all of a sudden, what should appear...? How about Jesus himself? That's right, dinner gets two thumbs up from the big man (or, at least, son of the big man).

Honest to god (no pun, etc) this is 100% genuine. I have no artistic abilities whatsoever, this image presented itself entirely through chance via careless dabbing and smearing. Blessed are the meek. And my chips, apparently.

Unfortunately, I don't have the original plate to sell on ebay for a fat bag of cash. I gave into temptation and ate the rest of it, and poor salad cream JC is now just a yummy memory. I will, however, sell you a print for a tenner, if you want. For an extra $5, I'll even throw in a home-made waffle on the off chance that John the baptist's fizzog shows up on it. Hey - it could happen.

Posted via email from The Paul And Spike Show

Monday, July 26, 2010

#Paul&SpikeShow - Wanted: Your Summer In Stuff

That's right, we're back.  Starting this Friday, we'll be back with our new(ish) show "Paul&Spike: Too Grumpy Critics" in which, quite honestly, practically bugger all changes from TPASS's format.  We'll be concentrating less on news and current affairs and more on media review/discussion, which is what you wanted.  You never got off your lazy arses when we asked you about the world around you, but whenever we wanted your opinion on who was the best Dr Who, whether the B-52s theme for "Rocko's Modern Life" was worse than the original or what Cheers character you'd most like to play 'Pass The Pigs' with, we couldn't move for correspondence.  So be it.  Media you want, media you get.  Never let it be said that we don't listen to what you say.  Or, at the very least, know how to take a hint.

Hanging around is the ever-popular "This Week In Stuff" segment where we discuss our media intake; what movies or tv shows we've watched, games we've played, books we've read.  Paul and I have been busy over the summer, how about you?  What have you been watching?  Send your reviews to The Usual Address, or reply below.  If you're reading this on paulandspike.com (or paulandspike.posterous.com) you can log in with your existing Twitter or Facebook account to comment.

Don't forget you can also find us on Twitter: @jockopablo and @spikester

Posted via email from The Paul And Spike Show