Monday, 30 July 2012

The Big Three And The Year The Pictures Changed

No-one would have believed in the early years of the 21st Century that the very same year the world ended* the three most important superhero films of all time would drop into slobber-gilded laps within three months of one another. Three films, three lessons in cinema. You could argue they're not the three best films from comics canon, and I, writer of this very blog, would be inclined to agree with you. But you can't shake a stick at my assertion that these three movies - The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises - spell a new era for funny books writ large across the silver screen or that each in their own way has raised a bar for future filmmakers to hurdle and equally incrementally made, perhaps unwillingly, past efforts seem redundant. Fuck yeah, HIT THE JUMP!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Texas 2012: Day -61

Meet 'The Boomstick'.

Quick and flippant Emmy nominations reaction.

Best Drama: Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad. With all due respect to Game of Thrones and Mad Men and Homeland, Breaking Bad was untouchable in season 4 and finally needs to win the award for best Drama. I would also like to have seen Justified nominated for once. In the end though, Mad Men will probably walk away with the prize again. I enjoyed it this year, but thought it didn't quite live up to it's impossibly high standards.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

300 pageviews in 2 days

I'm not sure who our readers are, and it's more than likely just us contributors, but I wanna say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking an interest in somebody else's ramblings. Means a lot.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

An Unexpected Journey: The Case of the Phantom 'Something For You' Card

The dreaded Royal Mail 'Something For You' card.

We've all been there. You've been waiting on the delivery of something you've spent your hard earned cash on. Something awesome, and the sooner you get your dirty little hands on it the better. Sometimes you know the exact day it's meant to arrive, but this only adds to the nervous tension you feel as that day arrives. "Will it come tomorrow? What time will it be here?? What if I'm on the toilet? What if I don't hear the door?" are a just a few thoughts that run through your mind ad nauseum. It's probably better that you don't know. It makes the pain of seeing that little red card lying at the foot of your door a bit easier to take. God knows I've spent entire days waiting on a scheduled delivery, only for it to not arrive at all, and I've cursed every God and postman imaginable. No, it's better not to know. Which leads me to my story. Follow me, if you will, beyond the break...

Four Dicks Chow Review: This Burger

If you ever should chance a trip to Coalisland and happen across the Yankee Star Grill House Restaurant instead of the usual clawing sense of intrusion, make sure and order their Ultimate Burger*. Yes. This is the only burger in Northern Ireland to be bigger than the inevitable thumbs up you will be compelled to capture within the permanence of photography. This Burger, described in-house (by yours truly) as "an architectural marvel" and "edible intimidation incarnate", is the culinary nadir of the balance between challenge and reward. This Burger demands consideration, attention and care. I can only pity the many who must have gone straight in thoughtlessly and witnessed the speedy decline from a pillar of tasty majesty into just a plate of food. This Burger, if tackled inappropriately, can make a fool of you. It demands respect but offers none. This Burger is a tactician's burger. Say goodbye to that side of fries. You won't be needing them. Hola, starter of ribs. Maybe next time. How would you go about it? You may never know. You're likely to chicken out at the last minute (please note that despite that comment there is no chicken in this burger. It, along with many other ingredients, is one of the few things This Burger doesn't contain). Much like I imagine giving birth must be, it's something you'll look back on in triumph without any immediate desire to try again.

My approach involved the cradling of the upper bap within my left hand and steady reduction of the quotient of Tobacco Onions with my right until The Burger was at a reasonable height and fit for consumption two-handedly. The Tobacco Onions, themselves slathered in Seamo's Secret Sauce, whose only secret is in the creation of its succulence and what bargain with the Gods allowed for it, offer a light, brittle batter and a lot less onion than your typical Norn Iron French-Fried, and act as a simultaneous primer and distraction. Ask for your bacon well done and you'll have a just-South-of-chewy savoury compliment to the main attraction: Cloughbane beef, steaky as burger meat comes and beyond criticism. Try their lasagne also - you can get it everywhere. Two-handed, you should be able to make a start on the burger itself though you'll find you're constantly working round the sides as a supplemental challenge to the relatively straightforward task of plowing straight through the middle of it. This Burger really keeps you on your toes. As soon as you're done, apologise to the waitress for the return of her fries and treat yourself to an honestly necessary mini-sleep (perhaps propping yourself as if in deep thought) before making plans to leave as delicately as is possible. Aftercare is essential, too, as This Burger carries a legacy all the way into the evening and any undue exertion is likely to cause immense suffering.

As described -

Slab of locally sourced meat;
Red Onion;
Pickles (to be consumed or offered to another party by whose vinegar shall not be offended);
Side of aesthetic fries.

This was shortly within me. On this inaugural occasion, I elected to add to the concoction of flavour and texture with what little remnants of from-the-ribs-themselves BBQ sauce remained. Note that the absolute best ribs in the County also originate from this establishment and had I prepared for The Burger I may not have chanced ordering them, but mistakes are to be made.

Go there. Order This Burger. If you like good food, good service (they're a great bunch of ones) and enough Betty Boop merchandise to spur serious consideration as to whether or not she'd still be as sexy if she were real because she'd run the risk of looking pre-pubescent, Yankee Star and their truly Ultimate Burger are for you.

*Yes, I am considering suing them for possibly stumbling upon my plan to put the word 'ultimate' before foodstuffs. Ask me sometime about Ultimate Chips Peas & Gravy

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The 6th Day Abandonment

I'm sure glad the film opened with the line from the bible from which the film's name was ripped or else all them morons would've been sore it isn't set on a Saturday (or a Friday for the God Nuts).

The film opens during an XFL game and is set in 2015. You wish, Vinnie Mac.

I've not got delusions about The 6th Day. I know this is from the naughties, a decade historically unkind to Arnie. Post-Last Action Hero (see last night's blog), there aren't any Arnie Films - just films that Arnie stars in. This was occasionally a good thing - End Of Days is a filthy piece of stinking shit but Arnie is GREAT in it.

Assorted ramblings:

Happy Birthday to daddy's dick and balls. Poor Arnie has to spend the whole film with his bag bluer than a sex-starved Smurf.

We've a sanity problem. The Sim Pals are as challenging to my continued wellbeing as the Johnny Cabs from Total Recowal. Here's hoping this creepy little bitch's dead in forty seconds or less.

MICHAEL RAPAPORT. I am never, ever unhappy to see that guy. See if him, Road Dogg and, fuckin', Fun Bobby could get together and star in something (like A DWELLING with me) I'd die smilin'.

I wonder if the screenplay reads: AN AMAZINGLY PRETTY MAN GREETS RAP AND ARNIE AS THEY DEBARK THE COPTER. He's like Elvis pretty.

You know, I always think the line "You are naht me, I'M ME" is from this film, but you know what film it's from? No film. No Arnie film has that line in it, not even other films with several Arnies like Last Action or Total Recall.

Arnie goes to his house and there's another him there. That's when he'd have said that line. Two mercs show up for grievance and action ensues- and little Cindy heads off to silicon heaven not long before Arnie really enjoys running someone over.

"Suppose the clones have no soul, or they're dangerous" - Arnie gets deep. 

This film was directed by Roger Spottiswoode, and I've never heard of him.

Also it has one of those awful villains you can never remember just like in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Smoking being illegal in the film isn't made a big deal of but seems kinda important.

The film is so boring that I've decided to make radical assumptions about things that happen in it. Oliver the dog is barking, so Arnie says "Stop it Oliver". This is a dig at Oliver Stone, whom the director wishes would stop making movies.

Robert Duvall is in the movie. This is because he was blackmailed. Someone threatened to reveal that he was never actually in The Godfather at all.

I have better things to do. I'm not watching the rest of this film.

2011, was a year, what had films come out during it... so it was... aye

On yet another late-night meander through the various delights of Wikipedia sometime last week... I ended up on the page of Vincent Gallo and subsequently on the page of his 2011 film Essential Killing. I had a look at the synopsis of the film and, finding myself suitably intrigued, I hit a forum I use with some friends and decided to ask if any of them had seen it.

 Until tonight the post hadn't been referenced by anybody else, until my band mate (and very own, personal nemesis) Gaz mentioned that he had just got his hands on it. He mentioned that any time he was stuck for ideas about a film to watch he’d refer to a “Top 50 films of 2011” article on Total ( to try and help him on his way. I followed the link and had a quick look. I was amazed at how many films on there I had intended to see, but for some reason or another never got round to.

 I’d go to the cinema fairly regularly but 2011 was different because of having a shitty back for large parts of it, making sitting down in a cinema a bit hit and miss. In fact, the only films on the list that I’d actually seen in a cinema were Super 8 (great… if slightly ruined by the last 10 minutes), Moneyball (favourite film of the year, along with the documentary Being Elmo), The Fighter (fantastic) and something else that escapes me right now. I had of course seen some other films theatrically also, although these were almost all comedies, decided upon at the last minute with groups of people who were almost always hungover or lazy, seeking something easy on the mind; Hangover 2, Inbetweeners, Bad Teacher and Your Highness come to mind right now, but there were others (and not all as bad as the three mentioned there). Any of the other films on the Total Film list were watched from the (dis)comfort of my own home or in the homes of others.

 Upon realising how many of these films I intended to see, or had in my possession, but had not yet watched, I realised that I was going to start doing so tonight. The list is fairly substantial so I can’t imagine it will be something I do within a couple of days… but I’ll try and chip away at the list, a few titles a week. Then I’ll blog about them… perhaps mentioning why I had looked forward to seeing these films for so long, how the film differed from the film I had built in my head over the last year or so.

I’ll list a couple of them now before I head off to watch one.

Attack The Block – I’ve been listening again to some of director Joe Cornish’s BBC 6 Music podcasts with Adam Buxton lately, so this film was already on the list.

True Grit – I remember I was supposed to see this in the cinema but when the time came my gimpy back and legs were in so much pain when trying to get ready that I gave up and stayed in. Probably watched a terrible movie, or episodes of a TV show I’ve seen countless times before, as I’m prone to do.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – I read the book earlier this year (which was fantastic. I had put it off for so long because everyone was always fucking talking about them), thanks to the Amazon Kindle gifted to me by old Santa Claus. Feel like I should really watch the Swedish version first. But also feel like before I watch the Swedish version I should probably read the other two books first. But as it turns out, my to-read list is longer than my to-watch list and much more time consuming. It could be a while before I see this one, folks.

The Lincoln Lawyer – I can’t help it. I really can’t. I’ve got a soft spot for Mr. Matthew McConaughey. I just wish he’d stop making fucking terrible Rom-Coms. I’m also partial to the odd courtroom drama, from time to time. So McConaughey, being all Mr. Smooth in a courtroom should be right up my alley and I’ve heard good things about it. I might watch this one tonight. It’s a tie between it and Attack the Block I think.

Black Swan – Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis says it all really. I don’t know how I’ve not watched this yet, because I did see them both is some of their less *ahem* critically acclaimed 2011 releases. Portman in Your Highness (which was ok… but a definite let-down) and No Strings Attached, with Kunis’ old That 70’s show buddy Ashton Kutcher. It was pretty bad…even for a Rom-Com. I only watched it because I was stuck in bed with a sore back and no laptop/hard drives which were in Scotland, and I was in Ireland with an iPad, my Dad got for Christmas, but everyone seems to commandeer. This was the one film on it and I can only assume my sister must have rented it on iTunes. I saw Kunis in Friends With Benefits, which was actually not too bad.

Submarine – I’m a huge fan of Richard Ayoade in The I.T Crowd and The Mighty Bush. His directorial debut was something I read lots about and really wanted to see, but I seem to remember being weighed down with university work which essentially paralyzed me, stopping me from doing anything – including the university work itself.

Tintin – More Joe Cornish material. This time, it’s as a writer in collaboration with Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat. Directing was left to some bigger fishies. I loved the Tintin cartoons as a kid, and was only put off going to see this because my, then, 6 year old niece wouldn’t hear of it and insisted upon something else entirely.

Thor – I wanted to see this… but fully intended to wait until it was out of the cinema because I thought it was going to be crap. Apparently it wasn’t, and now, post-Avengers I’m excited about sitting down to watch it.

There are others films from 2011 I want to see on this including 127 Hours, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Ides of March to name but a few. However, it’s just hit me that I only wanted to write this blog for 15 minutes and it’s now 2 hours later (I’m easily distracted) which means I’m going to be lucky if I even watch one of these films tonight, let alone blog about it.

Right… I’m away to watch one of these films. I shall probably return with something that might be analysis of some of the above, but could be about something entirely different. Or nothing at all.

Monday, 16 July 2012


I've decided to launch a competition as a reward to all you loyal FoDix readers* for sticking by our little site while it's finding its feet, so I will offer to anyone who shares the blog with a friend a chance to one whole FREE** tin of Carlsberg's Beer. Y'all have friends, right? Throw this shit their way on Facebook, Twitter or whatever. You get TWO entries if someone with a Bebo page jumps on board. Spread the word. FREE BOOZE.

Could this be you? It COULD be you!

*See also FoDix contributors
**The tin will be paid for by me, Paul. It will be free to YOU but not stolen or anything.

Christian Bale: From Bateman To Batman - A Career In Review

This one's pretty hefty so I'll leave it after the jump, here.

The Last Awesome Hero

I bet I've only ever seen The Last Action Hero three times at the outside max. I have it in a two-pack with The 6th Day, the artwork for which I present to you right the hell now:

You know why that annoys me? Neither 'Schwarzenegger' or 'Action Pack' are centred on that cover at all. They're not even off-centre-but-off-centre together. They're just all over the place. I asked my oul boy if he designed the DVD cover and he denied it but something like that must've happened. Somebody's da must have threw that cover thegither.

Anyway, what I'm expecting to find here is an overlooked postmodern masterpiece and a barrel of laughs, dripping wet scoopable laughs to scoop with my wooden spoon straight into my willing brainmouth.

First thing though is the absolutely necessary watchthrough of the accompanying AC/DC music video for "Big Gun" (one of my favourite AC/DC tracks and even that - the very act of liking it - wasn't enough to spare it from my absolute and final AC/DC iTunes cull just last yesterday). It has some awesome through-the-plastic-floor shots of Angus duckwalking and piles of Arnie being actually at the concert in the video, which I think happened in that Guns N Roses video as well. And then, right as the clock strikes holy fuck o'clock, Arnie turns round dressed as Angus Young, proclaims that "that's what I call action", and walks off not a lick concerned for the state he's left me in. Time for movie.

Does Columbia still make movies? I don't mind seeing that stuck up torch-holding woman in ages.The room I'm in smells a bit like Ikea. Ach there's Arnie walking across the rooves of cars, stogie at hand. This film is ticking AW FUCK ARNIE SAYS "WHEN THE GOVERNOR GETS HERE CALL ME" and my top lip is soaked from the steady trickle of melted mind. HE IS THE GOVERNOR. Anyway, the film is ticking a pile of action movie cliche, um, boxes. Clever bidness for a film that's not a Zuckers and Abrams spoof. It's always struck me as odd that this film nearly derailed Arnie's career and dropped straight through the box office floor like a big old elephant. This guy:

Has the worst face ever. I do not want to see him any more forever. I mind they had Last Action Hero toys, and sweet Beelzebub I just realised I have a Charles Cunting Dance action figure in the attic which actually belongs to our own* Four Dicker Luke's cousin but she ain't never seeing it again.

I love the minor exploration of the magic of cinema and the friendship between the little punky kid and the old fuck from Gremlins 2, and also that the films starring Arnie's character Jack Slater are just called 'Jack Slater', as in Jack Slater IV. I wish the same applied to James Bond. "JAMES BOND IN... JAMES BOND 3".

Also love that cool Arnie Moment when, in your wee lad's fantasy, he says "To be, or not to be? Not to be" and triggers a really really shit explosion in the background. This film might be too clever for Arnie. I'm wondering if he's just loving playing his usual hammy shit and John McTiernan's the one making the grand metaphysical statements about fantasy, violence and all that. Also this floppy fringed fuck ain't got shit on Fudge.

Maybe that's why he gets a knife pulled on him so soon into the movie. Seems a bit harsh.

To reiterate, I LOVE this movies-only reality where a young kid and an oul boy that works in a cinema can have a totally innocent friendship that allows them to hang out at secret midnight screenings and that. Big movies don't have a whole lot of that these days. Fuck this cynical world man, fuck it right in the ribs.

The credits for Jack Slater IV are AWESOME, and also in further mind melting it's revealed that Arnold is playing himself but the character that interacts with this young kid is Jack Slater. So Arnie's in the film but doesn't and in a way can't exist.

Then Charles Dance. He is the best one.

You know, this sort of thing has become really popular in the last few years, with the likes of Grindhouse, Black Dynamite and umpteen cartoons peddling this finely observed in-movie revelry of embracing ham and archetpyes and just play acting like big, rich kids. I'm all for it (as long as it's done right) but this film, much like the next year's Wes Craven's New Nightmare was a few years ahead in doing something that would become extremely popular and paid the price for being too smart for alllll the idiots.

Also Yuli from Die Hard's in it. I'm not sure if that's another well-observed thing (like this guy's in all the action films, cast him yo) or if it's like the honesty of Danny Trejo always being cast because he's cooler than fuck.

Minor observation 1: This film looks really nice.

Minor observation 2: I have such a crush on 90s Bridgette Wilson who, as Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat, is my all-time number one sexy utterer of the word "bullshit" (number 2 is Ashley Jensen in the Lock, Stock episode of Movie Connections)


The "John Practice" gag is my favourite ever joke of the minute. The following exhange is even better still:

"I'm the famous comedian Arnold Braunschweiger" "Schwarzenegger!" "Gesundheit"

Best thing about all these movie references is that they aren't smart alecky, it's not smarmy. It's handled relatively tastefully and it's all nice and warm.

There's a shot about halfway through where Arnie stands in the middle of the road shooting at Dance's car and it's one of those real weird shots like in Die Hard has where it's like there's a moving camera and a camera's zoom working against each other. I've just realised as well that owing to your wee man's performance and the knowing nature of things the film has a touch of Eerie, Indiana about it. I mean, he's wearing a checked hooded sweatshirt under a baseball jacket.

No. That is NOT Oddjob. He did play PLAIN ZEHROOOOO in Running Man, though.

When the kid holds up the words that Arnie can't say because the movie is PG-13 and given that 'shit' is said a pile of times, me and Dominic's suggestions were "cunt flaps", "fucked nun" and "nasal rape".

The whole scene on the roof, from the Arnie comedy (he is a true master of comedy, easy points for accent aside) to all the ones pulling the guns out to the wrecking ball wrecking balls and beyond is just pure entertainment.

Now, the reprisal of the Rickman Fall from Die Hard is a little cheap. That'd be like finding out someone ELSE was related to Luke in the Empire Strikes Back sequel...

Also I like the change in the film later, the built-in potential of having a movie character in the real world and how Slater and Benedict deal with it. Also, you have Arnie acting all reflectively and giving the real him some grief in a moment of isolated poignancy.

Rick Ducommon is always welcome, unlike your man Belushi who just needs to realise he's not Bill Murray, fuck off, and die alone. 

Easily the best scene in the film - anyone who sees this film and doesn't recall this fondly has minus worth:

When Slater quips "No sequel for you", it is said like a ghost would say it.

I lovehate it in films when people must never see each other again. It makes me want to blub my face off. It happens in The Pagemaster as well as other things that it happens in.

The blog is over now. Here is Macaulay Culkin being interviewed at the movie's premiere (!)

More of this and more of that at Rambleast, where I'll be waiting all smiles and cake.

*He's not ours, he's MINE and he always will be.

Friday, 13 July 2012

How Rad Was My Commando?

Bill Duke - The Blackest Man in The World. Whilst crediting the darkness of other humans, Duke is the benchmark against which they are measured. Fuck you asshole? Fuck YOU, ASSHORL.

David Patrick Kelley - Whilst not clinking bottles on his fingers and inviting teenagers in their thirties to come out and play or firing it up, Dee Pee Kay takes his place amongst The Commanded with a pair of unforgettable comeuppances - firstly, he is spun through the air within a telephone box, and lastly - for him, EVER - dropped from a great height as the victim of a lie.

Charles Meshack - The one no-one remembers, Chuck gets his poor ass neck snapped on a plane, somehow...I'm not sure how it happens that no fucker notices, but... Maybe... Anyway, we have to presume he's dead because Arnold - JOHN MATRIX - quips that he's "dead tired".

John Vernon - Man, there's no way the script was written with the way John Vernon sweatily fucks at his role's hole in mind - of all the things people remember about THE COMMANDO, it is Vernon's Antipodean nemesis Bennett "rocking"* his fat belly and the possibly the gotta be best outfit ever worn by humans (except Han Solo in Star Wars 1 because that's the coolest cat out) with his too-big black t-shirt, CHAINMAIL VEST and leather trousers. If I was in the form for looking into things I'd say that when he's impaled by Arnold's vengeance pipe late in the film, he fucking loves it. Not That There's Anything Wrong With That.

Bill Paxton - Bill Paxton is in this film. Bill Paxton is fucking famous as fuck and he's in this film for like a second. What the hell, Commando?

Dan Hedaya - One of those cats you see in everything - most of all things he's not in - but can never remember a) his name when you see him or b) what he looks like when his name's in the credits.

Here, has anyone ever made the joke, just, "Conan The Librarian" before. I imagine not.

Arnold - This film is a love letter to Arnold. Everything anyone - women or Not That There's Anything Wrong With That men - could want from an Arnold film is in this Arnold Film. Physical feats of strength, ON CAMERA? You got it. Carries a log, rips a phone booth from the wall, flips a car over. ARM PORNO? Yes. Lots of lingering, sweaty shots of the embodiment of the human equivalent of equine majesty that is Arnold Schwarzengger's 'ceps. I feel like a puny fuck watching this film. ONE-LINERS? Get to fuck. There's barely a line that isn't concocted for maximum cheering, in-cinema. Ones' arms must have been wrecked from all the cheering. VIOLENCE? Nigga please, he kills something like thirty men in five minutes - and that's in the CUT version. FACIAL CONTORTMENT? If only someone would upload it to Youtube, I would watch the shot where he wades out of the swamp for days and days. THE THICK BALMY SAP OF AUSTRIAN TESTOSTERONE? Empty your bags 'til this:

The soundtrack - More steel drum than Super Mario Bros. 3. Or like, most music.

Alyssa Milano - Sure, when she grew up she became a witch? Not sure why I put that question mark there. Either way, she never would have been such a bad ass magic mutha if Matrix hadn't raised her right, resisting the urge to snap her twigsforbones when she ice creams him in the face and feeding a deer with her (and possibly later, to her? I imagine Matrix would hunt deer, then cook and eat them for his dinner at night, sometimes).

A Final Fact: Apparently, the film was written for Gene Simmons, awwww, go away and FUCK yourself, the past. That film - COMMANDO starring Gene Simmons - would have been a shit film. 

*In a bid to get over with the young ones, I've made this concession to wankery. You can't expect to apply a term like this and live, though, not round my gaff son. Rockin's for concerts.

For more on films, finery and fillies head to Rambleast post-haste. Note there are no fillies at Rambleast.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Texas 2012 - Day -70

As you the reader may or may not be aware, I am currently planning a trip to the Lone Star State. In exactly ten weeks I will be leaving on an adventure to the place of my dreams - home of barbeque, cowboys and the Friday night lights - Texas. At the moment I have only a rough idea of what I'll be doing during the two weeks that I'll be there, and so over the next couple of months I wish to plan in more detail the routes and stops that I wish to take and make. To facilitate this I recently purchased a couple of big old road maps of Texas to stick on my wall:

In the following days and weeks I'll be adding various bits and pieces to it so I can see at a glance just where I'll be each day, and what I can do there. Hopefully the next time you see this map it will be brimming with colour and information. Anyway, this post is basically an introduction to what I hope will be an ongoing thing - hopefully where I can explain various destinations that I hope to visit, and give a bit of insight into Texas in general. Eventually then, the plan will be to do a daily post from the great state itself, where I can upload photos and all the usual travelogue shit that everyone does. Totally just an excuse to write SOMETHING and also to document my trip, because I definitely wouldn't bother otherwise.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for further Texas updates.