Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Goldfinger: The Radiogram (Part 2)

Further to a previous spleen-vent, don’t forget to tune in to Radio 4 at 2.30 this Saturday afternoon to listen to the picture-free version of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, especially if you like listening to well-known actors exaggerating all their lines as if the lack of visuals means they have to act twice as hard and twice as loud using only their vocal chords.

In case you find it difficult to cope without some kind of visual stimulus you could always goggle at this picture of the cast while listening, although you may be distracted by Rosamund Pike’s visible discomfort at having Tim Pigott-Smith’s hand on her shoulder. It’s either that or Tom Hollander’s hand on her beautocks.

To get you in the mood, here’s a one-minute clip:

Alternatively, you could always watch the film

Or read the book

Or listen to the soundtrack

Or read the comic strip

Or wear the watch

Or play with the car

Or eat off the plate

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Monday, 29 March 2010

Futurama Returns; 2010 Looking Less Awful

Tiptopulous news for creatures of all species throughout the known universe reached The Incredible Suit the other day; Best Animated Comedy TV Series, Like, Ever, Even Better Than The Simpsons, Yes, I Really Said That, Futurama is returning to tellyboxes! And here's the low-quality proof!

Having run for four cosmically brilliant series / seasons (depending on how you pronounce 'tomato'), then being axed, then returning for four slightly disappointing feature-length DVDs, then floating in limbo like an abandoned pea in a pan of boiling water, Futurama is bringing back the geeky LOLs from June 24th on Comedy Central. Which is fine if you can get Comedy Central, but massively annoying if your only TV signal comes from a coathanger precariously dangling from your chimney, like mine.

Still, I can wait for the DVD box set because I know that before too long I'll once again be bathing in red hot lobstertainment like this:

and this:

and, for that matter, this:


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Friday, 26 March 2010

Speed: The Forgotten Legend

Nobody mentions Speed these days. It's fantastic, it should get a mention every day on the news as a reminder of how good action films can be. I can hear Huw Edwards now: "And finally, don't forget the clocks go forward this weekend, or that Speed remains a classic example of the action genre 16 years on. And now, the weather."

There are several people who should be remembered for their contribution to Speed, and The Incredible Suit is pleased to give them a 'shout out' or a 'big up' or whatever the kids call it these days.

Graham Yost, Writer
Speed's story structure is flawless. Mildly exciting lift sequence, pause for coffee, heart-attack-inducingly thrilling and clinically constructed second act, pause to collect ransom, silly but gripping final act on train, kiss, the end. And there are just the right amount of quiet, emotional beats at just the right times so you don't get worn out.

Also, "Yeah... well I'm taller": genius.

Graham Yost has written nothing as good, before or since.

Jan de Bont, Director
De Bont sensibly doesn't worry too much about his actors - there's only so much you can get Keanu Reeves to do - and instead keeps his story constantly moving, like a shark. On a bus. There are almost no static shots in 116 minutes and - along with the zippy editing - it's what keeps the film from going below 50 and exploding.

De Bont also brought along some of the lens flares he had left over from when he was cinematographer on Die Hard. Sadly lens flares are now an endangered species since JJ Abrams depleted the global supply with Star Trek, but it was worth it.

Jan de Bont has directed nothing as good, before or since.

Mark Mancina, Score Composer
Speed's score is classic action film music. Its stabbing motif and rolling percussion are perfect accompaniments to the on-screen mayhem, and its softer moments accurately judged for the soppy bits. Sometimes it strays too far into '80s electronica, and Billy Idol over the end credits is unforgivable, but I'm assuming Mancina wasn't responsible for that.

Mark Mancina has composed nothing as good, before or since.

A man's gotta know his limitations, and Keanu does. The Incredible Suit respects him for that. He's also an amazing advert for white t-shirts, although if you put one on YOU WILL NOT LOOK LIKE HIM. I know from bitter experience. You'd think I'd have learned after the Bruce Willis / dirty vest episode.

As for Sandra, my heart goes out to her every time she hits that pram. I just want to give her a hug and tell her it'll be alright. She's perfect as Annie Porter. Yes, Porter. One who transports things to their destination.

Neither Reeves nor Bullock have been as good in anything before or since. Although Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is close.

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs The World Trailer

Now I hate to use foul language or anything, but crumbs, crikey and blimey o'reilly this looks quite astonishing.

Lens flares! Flaming swords! On-screen onomatopoeia! Even Michael Cera might not ruin this.

2010: Best year for movies, like, ever.

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2010's Greatest Film?

Here's the Internet Movie Database's current list of forthcoming films:

Of all of these, tt0000000 is by far the one I'm looking forward to the most.

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Dreamscape: Worst DVD Special Feature, Like, Ever

I watched Dreamscape recently, the forgotten 1984 low fat sci-fi / horror (contains 98% less horror than the leading brand) starring The Quaid as a cocky young punk with the ability to enter people's dreams. I thought I'd better watch it because I talked about it being quite good in this post, despite not actually having seen it for about 20 years. I'm happy to report that it wasn't entirely awful, although The Quaid's hair is the real stuff of nightmares.

What struck me more than anything, however, was what I think might be the least special feature ever committed to a DVD. Clearly embarrassed by the dearth of anything interesting on the disc, somebody has cobbled together a 13-second compilation of clips and bunged it on the Special Features menu with the title "THINGS THAT MAKE YOU JUMP!"

No doubt you have already soiled yourself with fear just thinking about the terrors that lie within. Well just for you I braved this frightsplosion of scaregasms, and barely came through it with my sanity. Here, if you think you can take it, are some of the most blood-curdling, bone-chilling horrors to which my eyeballs bore witness:

An unconvincing rubber snake monster

A zombie wearing a cap, sitting down

Some dogs with funny eyes, barking

It's OK, you can look now.

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Batman With A Lightsabre is the new Robocop On A Unicorn

Please note: I am NOT responsible for the creation of any of these... things.

This world is too weird for me.

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The Incredible Suit's 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge #10: The Empire Strikes Back

The 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge is a futile, inane experiment which judges a film's merits entirely on how good it looks at 30-minute intervals according to arbitrary and indistinct criteria applied by The Incredible Suit. For previous challenges, click the links on the right.

Thanks to The Incredible Suit viewer Anthony for suggesting we test the midichlorian count of The Empire Strikes Back, marking the fourth of the only 15 completely perfect films ever made to appear in the 30MFFC. I'd say "may the fourth be with you", but that would be neither funny nor relevant, so I won't.

The Empire Strikes Back is so full of iconic moments and images it makes me weep every time I see it that something so beautiful could, by a sheer fluke of timing, be made in my lifetime. However, as we have seen, even the majesty of The Godfather and the terrifying glory of Aliens weren't enough to make it through the 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge in one piece. Will Empire escape from the jaws of a giant space worm or will it be frozen in carbonite and hung on the wall of a massive talking turd's palace?

Note: These shots and timings are from the 1997 Special Edition, the only one of the trilogy not to be rendered laughable by Mr Lucas' nonsensical tinkerings. I tried it with the original version too. It failed.

0:30:00 You can't park there sir, can't you see this is a giant metal camel crossing?

1:00:00 Luke is so confident in the force that he wanders round Dagobah with his eyes shut. In the next shot he walks into a tree. (I did something clever there, did you get it?)

1:30:00 I think that's Darth Vader in the middle there, but to be honest it could be Batman. Or Severus Snape. Or the chick from the Scottish Widows advert.


OK, I'm bored of the 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge now, as I'm sure most of you were nine weeks ago. Let's call this the end of season one, and I'll bring it back some time in the future if the fanbase demands it. Keep sending in your suggestions though so I don't have to do too much thinking, and please tell all those people who've been avoiding The Incredible Suit every Wednesday for the last two months that it's safe to come back now.

May the fourth be with you.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Monday, 22 March 2010

Happy Birthday Michael Crichton!

Michael Crichton would have been 67 years, 4 months and 27 days old today if he hadn't gone and died. The Incredible Suit is celebrating by remembering two films he directed in the 1980s. In all honesty they weren't very good but one of them did have terrifying mechanical spiders, so, erm... here they are.

Oh yeah, and Looker had a killer theme song:

Sorry about all this. It's not my fault, it's 2010, worst year for movies and all that.

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Friday, 19 March 2010

Predators Trailer

A trailer has been squeezed out for the forthcoming Predators, the (yawn) reboot of the overrated Predator franchise which itself was only really memorable for some mind-boggling brilliantly awful dialogue delivery by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm thinking in particular of his suggestion to a young lady that she should make her way towards the helicopter without haste.

Anyway the Twitterverse has shot its collective load over the trailer this morning, with such considered observations as "bad-ass" (Empire), "amazing" (Sky Movies), "really freaking cool" (Total Film), "f***ing great" (F*** Off Film, obviously), and "awesome... I think I have to change my pants" (Screen Rant). Well, incontinence can be a terrible thing.

Here it is:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. 2010: Worst Year For Movies, Like, Ever (© The Incredible Suit).

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Not Dead Yet: Ray Harryhausen

I watched Jason And The Argonauts for the babillionth time the other day, the film that starred box office dynamite Todd "Who?" Armstrong and Nancy "Why?" Kovack. Remember them? Of course you don't. That's because they were completely surplus to requirements in a movie which is all about The RayMan.

Ray Harryhausen is obviously a genius beyond description but rather than babbling incoherently about him for yonks, I thought a brief appraisal of his contribution to Jason And The Argonauts might be in order, complete with obligatory novelty scoring system for each creation. So here goes:

From the moment he turns his creepy, creaky head towards Hercules and Hylas after they've stolen his sewing kit, Talos owns this film. Harryhausen's genius lies in the way Talos moves exactly like a rusty old statue would, and in the way that, during his pursuit of the Argonauts, his expression never changes but you can tell what he's thinking by his posture. You even get a sense of his fear and panic when Jason exsanguinates him by pulling the plug out of his heel and spilling his ichor all over the beach. Astonishing.

On the Krakenometer, Talos scores:

The Harpies
The Harpies are a pair of super-annoying winged bitches who pester an old blind man, steal his food and clothes and generally drive him potty. While The RayMan does a reasonable job with them, they succeed more because of the sound effects - their unbearable screeching and their claws on the stone columns make them convincing enough to politely overlook the fact that they're clearly suspended on cables.

On the Krakenometer, The Harpies score:

The Hydra
The 7-Headed Hydra is a magnificent beastie, and although it doesn't do a right lot before Jason pokes it to death with his sword, it's a mind-boggling feat of stop-motion animation while it's alive. Harryhausen said he wished he'd built it with fewer heads because it took so long to animate each frame, and you can see why. Like Talos, the Hydra is at its best in its death throes, wildly flailing about in agony before collapsing with a final death rattle of its tail.

On the Krakenometer, the Hydra scores:

The Skeleton Army

These bony buggers are another unfathomably amazing creation. The way they pop out of the ground and just stand there looking like seven Victoria Beckhams is terrifying enough, but when they attack they properly give the Argonauts the willies. Every subtle movement they make is so convincingly lifelike you can't help but see them as fearless, undeadly warriors. They're funny fellas, too; in the uncut version one of them, having recently been relieved of his skull, blindly gropes around for it on the floor.

On the Krakenometer, The Skeleton Army scores:

So that was Jason And The Argonauts. Sadly the version of Clash Of The Titans that Harryhausen worked on was woeful, but with a remake on the horizon, will pixels beat puppets? Doubt it.

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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Winner(s) Of Largely Ignored Competition Announced!

Well it may have passed you by in a blur of octane-fuelled excitement, but The Incredible Suit held a small and insignificant competition last week. The question was posed in the email I parp out every Friday to those poor souls foolish enough to have signed up for it, so if you didn't know anything about it you've only got yourself and your common sense to blame.

Anyway, the task was to come up with a witty but embarrassingly peurile tagline for the new Toy Story 3 poster, which appears to show Buzz Lightyear making a grab for Jessie in her general upper lady area, at least if you squint a bit and have an ethically and morally bankrupt mind.

The number of entries just peeped into double figures, which was better than expected if I'm being honest, and I can EXCLUSIVELY announce that the joint winners, who independently came up with the same genius tagline, were:

Tom Butler

Congratulations you two for dragging what is essentially wholesome family entertainment into a sewer of smut with:

You win absolutely nowt but the respect of your peers and a place in internet history as the inaugural winners of the rubbishest competition ever dreamt up over a glass of cheap wine.

There's a slim chance I might come up with even worse ideas than this for a competition in future, so to make sure you don't miss out, sign up here with the subject "Yes!" for The Incredible Suit's weekly e-mither, full of rambling bum chutney and possibly the occasional competition.

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Goldfinger: The Radiogram

Great news! If, that is, your definition of "great" is "rubbish, and largely unwelcome". BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting an adaptation of Ian Fleming's 'Goldfinger' in April, starring former Bond film actor Toby Stephens as 007, former Bond film actress Rosamund Pike as Pussy Galore and former Bond film actor Tim Pigott-Smith as DuPont. In fact there are so many Bond film alumni in it that I wouldn't be surprised if Desmond Llewellyn himself rose from the grave to urge 007 to grow up.

"But The Incredible Suit", I hear you cry, "you're a manically deranged, borderline psychotic Bond fan who owns one of Sean Connery's toupees and a pair of Daniel Craig's trunks, surely you lap this kind of thing up?" Well, yes and no. Yes, in that when Radio 4 did the same thing with 'Dr No' a couple of years ago, I downloaded it and spent a tedious bus journey through a remote and ugly part of China listening to it. No, in that it was abominably bad.

Toby Stephens, one of the movie series' worst ever villains, was hammier than a herd of pigs in a vat of salt brine, and David Suchet, as the eponymous bad guy, employed such a ludicrous vocal interpretation that it was as much as I could do to resist winding down the bus window and hurling my mp3 player into the nearest paddy field. Imagine a parrot emulating William Shatner's syntax while delivering lines like "No... BODY who... comestothis ISLAND has EEE-ver left it. DOYOUUNDERSTAND?!?! NOBODY!!!!!!"

So it is with no small amount of fear and anguish that I approach the 'Goldfinger' adaptation, which will feature Ian "Surrian" McKellen - no stranger to a bit of over-the-top luvvitude himself - as the titular precious metal-hoarding lardbucket. It's a useful bit of pub quiz trivia that the first actor to play 007 on the radio was Bob "Can I have a P please" Holness, in a version of 'Moonraker' in 1956. So I suppose we should be grateful that today's quiz show hosts aren't getting in on the act, or we'd have Vernon Kay or the AntDecBorg wrapping their cheeky chappie tonsils around Fleming's words.

All of which leads to the inevitable graph of greatness of various formats of James Bond storytelling:

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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

This Week's Joke

I note with interest an article on page 25 of this month's Empire magazine, about "The Don of UK PR", Dennis Davidson:

Despite referring to him as "Davidson" throughout the article, Empire have - for reasons best known only to themselves - decided to remove the first letter from his surname in the photo.

Hollywood stars thinking very carefully before giving another interview to Empire in case the same fate befalls them include George Clooney, Michael Fassbender and Hilary Swank.


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The Incredible Suit's 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge #9: Aliens

The 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge is a futile, inane experiment which judges a film's merits entirely on how good it looks at 30-minute intervals according to arbitrary and indistinct criteria applied by The Incredible Suit. For previous challenges, click the links on the right.

This week's 30MFFC was suggested by The Incredible Suit viewers J Mac and Edward G Murrow, who mentioned it so long ago that they've probably long since stopped reading the blog and have grown old and hairy and maybe even died of old age. So in their memory, this is for them. It's Aliens, directed in 1986 by James Cameron when he knew how to mix a clever story with tension, terror, awe and various other emotions entirely absent from the smurf movie.

To be clear, these shots are taken from the 154-minute Special Edition, which is really the only version worth watching unless you've only got 137 minutes to live, in which case watch the original cut. But don't pause it because you'll die before the end.

0:30:00 This shot, as you should damn well know, is from the scene where Bishop does 'the thing with the knife'. I don't know if it's good enough to pass the Challenge, because despite being from an iconic scene, in and of itself it's not all that, is it?

1:00:00 I could stare at this picture for hours.

1:30:00 This one, not so much. I do like the lighting though. It's Ripley in literal and metaphorical Hell, innit.

2:00:00 I don't know about this one either. Again, in the context of the movie it's a great scene, but the image is a bit gloomy and I can't see Ripley's perfectly sculpted face clearly enough. What's an Incredible Suit to do?


I'm just not sure. The pressure's too much. I'm leaving it to you lot to decide if Aliens passes or fails the 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge. The frustratingly vague rules are buried somewhere in this post if you need them, or you could just make it up based on your own guts. That's what I do.

Aliens: Pass or Fail? Vote here!