Monday, 25 April 2011


If you’ve been stuffing yourself with film junk lately, why not follow my suggestions for these healthier options? They’re every bit as tasty – but all are free from artificial sweetness, hydrogenated twats and genetically modified film stars. Best of all – they won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, and you can tuck in GUILT FREE.

Swap ‘Burlesque’ for ‘On Tour’

Sure she can sing, but Christina clearly can’t act her way out of a recycled paper bag, and even the frozen features of Queen Cher and a glimpse of Cam Gigandet’s lovely bum can’t save this mess. No siree! – for a taste of the real glitz, glamour and sleaze of modern burlesque, it has to be Mathieu Amalric’s excellent road movie ‘On Tour’. Directed by and starring Amalric, it follows a travelling troupe of burlesque performers, a real ragtag pick n’ mix, as they travel from one crappy gig to the next all along the coast of France, passing through a series of crummy hotels and smoke-filled dives. Bittersweet and imperfect, ‘On Tour’ is a movie with real heart.

Swap ‘The Social Network’ for ‘Catfish’

Yes I know David Fincher is unbelievably cool, and he’s made some excellent films in the past. And the truth is, ‘TSN’ really isn’t that bad – but for me – ‘Catfish’ is the real Facebook movie. Who gives two shits about the millionaire geeks who wrote the html – why not see how Facebook is actually corrupting people’s lives right here right now? It’s hard to give you a synopsis of this film without ruining it – just watch it!

Swap ‘Scream 4’ for ‘Amer’

Now I’m a big-time horror junkie – always have been – so don’t get me wrong: I was looking forward to ‘Scream 4’ (or ‘Scre4m’ for the pedantic) just as much as the next person. And it was ok, in a way, though it will never beat the thrill I got from sneaking in, underage, to the original ‘Scream’ all those years ago… but anyway, I digress…

The problem with horror films these days is it’s all so oversaturated – with shite. Once you’ve seen one big-titted wench running away from the masked madman/monster/ex-boyfriend (delete as appropriate) – you’ve kind of seen it all before. You really have to have your wits about you to separate the wheat from the chaff – and intelligent, button-pressing horrors are seemingly few and far between. So how refreshing to see a film like ‘Amer’. Visually it’s something else – like Argento filtered through a haze of Gothic magic mushrooms. Plus it’s virtually dialogue free – and even I, Mr Pidgin French, still managed to follow it unsubtitled. A striking, unique, trippy, confusing, spellbinding and rewarding little film of three acts, it’s really worth seeking out.

Little anecdote time: When I was at the cinema and asked for a ticket to ‘Scream 4’ the little popcorn kid thought I said ‘Screen 4’ and promptly gave me a ticket to ‘Winnie The Pooh’ – oh the irony…

Swap ‘Sucker Punch’ for ‘Uncle Boonmee’

Well ‘Sucker Punch’ has finally been released, after what seems like the biggest build-up in history. The truth is, I already feel bored by it all... So my alternative fantasy movie for your platter is the wordily-titled ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’, a Thai film. Sure it’s slower than the kick-ass pace of ‘Sucker Punch’, but it’ll be a far far more rewarding viewing experience!

The film follows the final days of the title’s Uncle Boonmee. He lives in the remote Thai jungle where ghosts, spirits and monkey-monsters with glowing red eyes all come to life and sit around his table. A fable, fairytale and gentle rumination on the meaning of life and death, ‘Uncle Boonmee’ probably won’t please everyone – but I suggest you see it for yourself and make-up your own mind… Just as long as you don’t get offended by bestial scenes of a princess receiving oral from a catfish… you have been warned!

Swap ‘The Mechanic’ for ‘Rubber’

No I haven’t watched ‘The Mechanic’. Why? Because Jason Statham is in it, that’s why. But what I have seen is the surreally brilliant and unique film ‘Rubber’. Actually directed by Mr Oizo I kid ye not – this warped, almost indescribable film is a total blast. It follows the murderous misadventures of Robert, a car tyre who rolls around the Californian desert, blowing people’s heads off via telekinesis – all while being watched by a live ‘audience’ (who of course represent you, the viewer). I’m not making it sound too good am I? But it is, I promise!

So there we have it - why not swap some of the junk for real wholesome film today, and see how healthier you feel… you know it makes sense!

Ben Barton


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