Wednesday 30 September 2009


Just so you all know I’m not a complete movie philistine only concerned with Daniel Craig’s moustache, science fiction meat and an irrational vendetta against Shia LaBeouf, I’d like to point out that The Incredible Suit will be attending an eclectic range of cinematic arty-fartery at this year’s London Film Festival.

I can’t believe anyone’s that interested, but on the offchance that you are, and that you yourself might be mooching about on London’s South Bank with a leather satchel and an unkempt beard bemoaning the lack of interest in Italian Neorealism in today’s youth, I’ll be at screenings of the following films (foreign titles included for added pretentiousnessness):

Amintiri Din Epoca De Aur (Tales From The Golden Age)
Double Take
Madeo (Mother)
Un Prophète (A Prophet)

If you’re going to see any of those puppies, why not identify yourself as a fan of The Incredible Suit by wearing an incredible suit, or better still, standing up in the auditorium just before the film starts and shouting “All hail The Incredible Suit!” at high volume? Actually don’t do that, you’ll make everyone else cross and they won’t enjoy the film because they’ll be worrying that you’ll make another unintelligible outburst at any moment.

Anyway. I’m most looking forward to Double Take, Mother and A Prophet so I’ll let you know what I thought about them because I can tell you’re desperate to know. Who knows, The Incredible Suit might even make it onto a poster with a snappy quote. “This film is alright but goes on a bit”, something like that.

Just in case you weren’t sure how pretentious the London Film Festival can be, check out the BFI’s trailer for it. It firmly sets the pompous defence readiness condition at POMDEFCON 1, which as we all know represents the expectation of actual imminent attack from ageing, ponytailed, brandy-drinking film lecturers wielding sandals and battered copies of Cahiers Du Cinéma.

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Tuesday 29 September 2009

Marathon Hitchcockathon

You've got to treat yourself every now and again. The Incredible Suit is currently in the midst of a lengthy self-treating session which entails watching about 25 of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films. I started with The Lodger about three months ago and, in all honesty, have not got very far. This is destined to be a marathon Hitchcockathon.

The other day I watched Young And Innocent, which is not, as its title suggests, something I found scouring the scuzzier recesses of YouTube, but rather an excellent Hitchcock film from 1937. It was also known in the USA as The Girl Was Young, which is a technically correct but nonsense title only likely to get you into more trouble asking for it at the library.

Hitch’s early British films are criminally overlooked in your bog-standard pub debate about the best of The Master’s work (Alfred Hitchcock I mean, not the evil renegade Time Lord), so here I am to bring you enlightenment with my unsolicited, unwanted and largely uninformed opinions.

Young And Innocent was the fifth in a run of six tremendous films from Hitchcock in the 1930s. It’s not the best – that would be a scrap between The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes – but second rate Hitchcock films are still oodles better than most films being made at that time, or indeed since. It’s the story of a man wrongly accused of murder and on the run from the police with an icy blonde for company, as 97% of Hitch’s films were, although this one is but a child’s crayon doodling compared to the da Vinci-like majesty of North By Northwest.

Anyway I’m not going to bang on about it all day, you’ve got work to do, meetings to attend, lunch to eat and so on, but I am going to share with you a short clip that’s not just the greatest shot in Young And Innocent but one of the greatest shots in Hitchcock’s work ever, which automatically qualifies it as one of the greatest things in the world full stop, like weekends, wine or white chocolate (Green & Black’s, not that Milky Bar rubbish).

I was going to set the scene but somebody else better qualified does it for me in this sniplet from Paul Merton’s reasonable (but entry-level) Hitchcock documentary “Paul Merton Looks At Alfred Hitchcock”. And don’t panic, you only have to watch the first two minutes. Goodness me, if you’re that busy why are you surfing the interwebs at all? Back to work!

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Monday 28 September 2009


Warning: A rudimentary knowledge of Twitter and its distinctive linguistic and syntactic idiosyncracies may be an advantage in understanding this post. If you’re having difficulty, why not ask a small child to translate?

7,055 Twitter users would have seen this last Friday:

Which is pretty much the second most awesome thing on the internet. Just to reiterate, that's THE BBC calling this an EXCELLENT MOVIE BLOG, which means I can now sit back and churn out a load of third rate bellyfluff, as opposed to the second rate bellyfluff I've been churning out thus far, knowing that I've finally made it. The Incredible Suit looks forward to similar tweets in the future:

I’ve honestly no idea what they’re on about.

In further Twitter news, The Incredible Suit has gone all multi-platform, or something. If I can’t be bothered to review a film at tedious length on the blog, I’ll bung a bite-sized reviewette on Twitter that’ll take about four seconds to read because I know how busy we all are these days. It’s just an experiment, probably one doomed to hideous failure like that of poor old Henry Frankenstein, except I’m hoping my tweets won’t chuck little girls in the lake or try to kill me. Still, stranger things have happened.

Click here to be Twitted, and if you’re on Twitter, why not follow me? After all why should Stephen Fry get all the attention?

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Friday 25 September 2009

Misguided Sausage

Adverts in the cinema, like income tax, fat on bacon and dark winter nights that start at 3.30pm, appear to be a necessary evil. Because I’m so insufferably anal that I turn up to the cinema about two hours before a film is due to start, I have to endure all those pretentious car ads and unfathomably incomprehensible marketing campaigns for perfume every single time I go. Most of the time I shut my eyes and try to meditate but it’s like trying to survive a shower of molten lava from a volcanic eruption by sheltering under a cocktail umbrella.

Eventually the trailers start, I get all excited about films that are a year away and destined to be nowhere near as good as I’d been led to believe, then the trailers finish and I mentally prepare myself for that glorious moment: the beginning of what could potentially be the Greatest Motion Picture Ever Made.

And what happens? An Orange commercial with Mr Dresden and his “hilarious” sidekick Elliot happens, and I die a little inside. If it’s a new one I haven’t seen before that’s not so bad, but when you’ve seen that fat bloke shout “The chatty hunter!” at Patrick Swayze as many times as I have your soul eventually shrivels up like a raisin.

I tried to think how many there have been and came up with about five, then I did some actual research and was horrified. Patrick Swayze, Sean Astin, Roy Scheider, Val Kilmer, Darth Vader, Steven Seagal, Snoop Dogg, Rob Lowe, Carrie Fisher, Juliette Lewis, John Cleese, Emilio Estevez, Dennis Hopper, Macaulay Culkin, Angelica Huston, Michael Madsen, Spike Lee, Verne Troyer, Mena Suvari, Alan Cumming, Ewan McGregor and Daryl Hannah have all done one, and I’m sure there are more. I think Orange are working their way through every actor that ever lived, although hopefully they’ll stop before they get to Shia LaBeouf.

Of course if you’re a balanced human being and you don’t go to the flicks every ten minutes you may have only seen each one a couple of times, or not at all, in which case you might think they’re quite good, you poor misguided sausage. But which is your favourite? Here are my top five*: watch them over the weekend, contemplate your position on the evolutionary ladder then vote over there on the right. If I’ve left off your favourite leave a comment and tell me. See what happens.

*Actually chosen at random. Top Five my arse.

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Nobody puts Swayze in the corner, apparently, although if the corner is where you go when you hang up your mullet for the last time, well, that’s where he is.

But he’ll be pleased to know that readers of The Incredible Suit have voted his turn as hip-swinging, stage-diving, teenage-girl-lifting cheesehunk Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing The Greatest Swizzle Performance, Like, Ever! So that’s nice.

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Thursday 24 September 2009

Undead Checkout Operators

Robert Zemeckis is parping out another of his motion-capture films this Christmas. A Christmas Carol doesn’t star Jim Carrey, it stars Jim Carrey’s performance and voice. Here’s a trailer to clarify my ramblings:

I really don’t get all this motion capture stuff. It’s too close to looking photo-real to be animation but it’s not close enough to actually look real. As a result “mo-capped” (ugh) people just look like dead-eyed dolls moving in a manner unnervingly similar to humans, in much the same way as Shia LaBeouf approaches acting.

In films like The Polar Express and Beowulf, mo-cap (eurgh) has been used to capture the movements and facial features of actors like Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone, in order to create an animated character that looks a bit like Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie or Ray Winstone and stick them in an animated world. Am I missing something here? Why not just film these guys against a green screen and make the effort to put a realistic-looking world around them? That’s what happened in the Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars prequel trilogies, and their actors didn’t look like undead checkout operators at the end of a 10-hour shift. Well, except maybe Hayden Christensen.

As it happens Peter Jackson did use mo-cap (bleurgh) to create Gollum and King Kong from the performances of the inhumanly awesome Andy Serkis, so I suppose it does have its place, and its place is creating non-human characters, not vague approximations of humans just peculiar enough to give you nightmares. Of course Jackson has now blown his winnings by teaming up with Steven Spielberg to waste years of quality movie-making time on the Tintin films, to be filmed entirely in, yes, motion capture.

So sorry, I love Robert Zemeckis for giving us the Back To The Future trilogy, but I wish he’d stop mucking about with mo-cap (hrrreeuurrrrgghh) and get back to making proper films. You know, ones that use actual film? If he’s unsure, here’s a handy cut-out and keep guide to the difference between success and failure:

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Wednesday 23 September 2009

Fountain Of Cobblers

It’s Wednesday. At a loss for something interesting to write about the fact that it’s Wednesday, I turned to the fountain of cobblers that is Wikipedia, and learned this:

“According to international standard ISO 8601, it is the third day of the week. This day is between Tuesday and Thursday.”

I genuinely had no idea that the days of the week were numbered according to international standards. I did know, however, that Wednesday is named after the god Woden (Odin to his mates), but I didn’t know he looked like Gandalf:

So as it’s the third day of the week, here are three things to look at over lunch:

1. A trailer for Michael Caine’s new film Harry Brown, released on November 13th and a new addition to The Official Register Of Films You Must See Before Christmas. Not to be confused with Gran Torino, which this seems worryingly similar to, only better.

2. A video for Adam Buxton’s tribute to Pixar’s Ratatouille, which is both funny and clever. Not something we get much of round here.

3. A clip from Charlie Chaplin’s The Rink, possibly his best short film, from 1916. The music’s rubbish on this clip but I would be happy to lend you my copy* which has a much better score.

If you can’t find something in there that tickles your pickle then I’m afraid there’s no hope for you. Perhaps you’d be better off here.

*No chance

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Tuesday 22 September 2009

Advanced Arch-Nemesisery

It seems that everyone’s favourite toilet-related rhyming slang, Brad “I’m going for a” Pitt, is taking lessons in advanced arch-nemesisery in preparation to play Professor Moriarty in the already-planned sequel to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. What also seems likely is that Pitt will pop up in the first movie, probably in the last shot, having spent the rest of the film mooching about in shadow as an underlying presence of super-villainy.

All this popping-up-at-the-end-of-a-big-movie is all very well, but one day it’ll be regarded as a deeply unfashionable thing films did in those archaic days of the late noughties / early teens when people had to open their eyes to watch a film, the poor primitive buggers. Samuel L Jackson whiffled about in the shadows in the final scene of Iron Man before revealing himself as Nick Fury, a major character in next year’s sequel, and Robert Downey Jr – as Iron Man’s alter-ego Tony Stark – lurked nonchalantly at the end of The Incredible Hulk, not to get people to go to the sequel (hopefully there won’t be one) but to show the characters in the same universe in anticipation of The Avengers, the destined-to-be-bad-but-brilliantly-ambitious project bringing together Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor.

Edward Norton is even rumoured to be turning up late to Iron Man 2 as Bruce Banner, at which point the movie world will literally turn inside out and disappear up its own projection booth. It’s getting to be like a series of parties where the most fun guest shows up just as everyone’s getting their coats from the bedroom and everyone’s forced to carry on having fun regardless of the fact that they’re all terribly drunk and there’s no chance of getting a taxi now, they’ll all have to sleep on the floor.

This kind of thing is lots of fun and is clearly designed to get folk excited about the sequel, but I can see it becoming a dated cinema trend akin to outtakes over the credits (massive in ‘70s Burt Reynolds comedies) or casting Kevin Bacon. It’s a little-known fact that Kevin Bacon was in every single film made around the world between 1989 and 1993.

So, The Incredible Suit confidently predicts that when Sean Connery reveals himself (not literally you understand, that would be horrible) at the end of the next Bond film to be Blofeld, or Bond’s evil great-grandad, or Father Christmas, the trend will officially be declared passé and destined to be spoofed in a Keenen Ivory Wayans film at some point in a post-apocalyptic hellish future where all films are made by Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Monday 21 September 2009

Tickling The Ivories And Frottling The Ebonies

“What did you do at the weekend then, The Incredible Suit?” I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you, if you’d just shut up and let me get a word in edgeways.

On Friday I watched Mamma Mia! at The Scoop. For those unfortunates unfamiliar with The Scoop, it’s an open-air amphitheatre next to London’s City Hall, and every summer they shove on a bunch of free films and the audience gets sloshed and occasionally lobs objects at City Hall in the hope of hitting any insufferable floppy-haired twits bumbling about pretending to run the city.

I was fully prepared to hate Mamma Mia!. I don’t mind Abba and I like a good musical but it looked like it could out-camp a tent full of Kenneth Williamses, and Pierce Brosnan getting his warble on was not an enticing prospect.

However, watching a film at The Scoop is like watching a film through magic goggles. Everything becomes 13.7 times better and by the time you’ve necked a bottle of wine it practically becomes a spiritual experience. And so it was that by the time the credits rolled, Mr & Mrs The Incredible Suit, along with 1500 other booze-fuelled berks, were on their feet dancing and singing (badly) having thoroughly enjoyed what was probably, in the cold light of day, a daft old stinker of a film.

My point here is not to recommend Mamma Mia! but The Scoop’s annual film screenings. If you can get to any of them, do so. They show all sorts; musicals always go down a treat, and last year I saw Buster Keaton’s The General there, which is why I now frequently subject you to clips of Keaton, Chaplin and Harold Lloyd falling over.

Which, in a bloggery segue so smooth you could give it a cheeky grin and call it George Clooney, brings me to Sunday, when I saw Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality at the Barbican, with live piano accompaniment by the legend that is Neil Brand.

Putting aside the genius of Keaton, Neil Brand is a freakishly amazing dude. He played to The General at The Scoop (awesome) and I’ve seen him on tour with Paul Merton doing their Silent Clowns show (awesome) as well as his own show, The Silent Pianist Speaks (awesome), in which he demonstrates how ace he is with the aid of a few long-dead comedy legends and a piano. Essentially he plays solidly for the entire duration of a film, without sheet music, making it up as he goes along, which has to be seen to be believed. I don’t usually go to the cinema to see a film I’ve got at home, but if Brando’s going to be there tickling the ivories and frottling the ebonies then I’m there with nobs on.

Here’s a YouTubular Busterfest with music by Pixies; I wanted to stick up a nugget of Our Hospitality or Neil Brand in action but there aren’t any good clips out there. Why? Damfino!*

*Tediously smug in-joke for Keaton fans

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Sunday 20 September 2009

I've Saved The World Again

In a rare public service announcement, The Incredible Suit would like to bring to your attention The Age Of Stupid, a quasi-documentary set in the year 2055 and starring Pete Postlethwaite. The story’s simpler than a village idiot: the world’s gone to pot and Pete’s watching archive footage from 2008 to work out why we didn’t do more to save the environment when we had the chance. It’s thought-provoking and doesn’t ram a load of guilt-inducing eco-babble down your gullet, of which The Incredible Suit heartily approves.

Although it came out in March this year, there’s a ‘global premiere’ on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd September, which means it’ll be showing in over 50 countries and on the interwebs at roughly the same time. As such it looks like it might be the biggest movie premiere of all time and that will hopefully help to spread the word about all this buggering up of the planet we’re up to.

The Incredible Suit is doing its bit for the environment by blogging on the internet instead of wasting paper writing you all letters or flying to your house to tell you how great Buster Keaton is. Hooray for me, I’ve saved the world again!

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Friday 18 September 2009

Bondesque Noisegasm

Congratulations, ladies! I think the less said about this the better, so let’s move swiftly on to something less likely to get me sued.

Preposterously overblown but quite brilliant rock mentalists Muse have said they’d say “Good grief yes of course” if they were asked to record a theme song for a James Bond film, according to this article on the BBC News website.

Now any band who wouldn’t say “Good grief yes of course” to such a request would be an olive short of a vodka martini, but what’s vaguely exciting about this, at least in the pathetically Bond-obsessed world of The Incredible Suit, is that I said yonks ago that Muse should do a Bond theme, and now it’s a step closer to becoming a reality.

Muse have exactly the right amount of outrageously pompous bombasticity in their music (i.e. way too much) to blow Shirley Bassey’s burly chassis to the moon, which is ironically roughly where Muse need to perform from in order for mere mortal ears not to explode from the sheer aural pummeling delivered by their music.

Furthermore, this means I can begin my campaign to demand who should be working on the 23rd Bond film. Between now and its release I’ll be making the case for The Incredible Suit’s choices and waiting for a call from Barbara Broccoli to ask me what my fee is for providing such a valuable service.

So far, we’ve obviously got to have Daniel Craig as Bond because he’s fricking marvellous, and as I mentioned in this post, Vincent Cassel has to be the villain because he’s ugly, foreign and hard enough to give 007 a good kicking, which is just what he needs, the arrogant tit. “I can’t seem to find the stationery” indeed. Who does he think he is?

And now we’ve got Muse doing the theme tune. I haven’t decided on a title yet, but if it were to be called “Supermassive Black Hole” that would be convenient as they’ve thoughtfully already written a Bondesque noisegasm by that name. Alternatively something like this would be equally appropriate:

Don't forget to spend your weekend having a Swizzlethon, then come back and tell The Incredible Suit: What was Patrick Swayze's Greatest Performance, Like, Ever? Not the best film he was in, because that would be Donnie Darko hands down, but in which movie did he rock a mullet and stare blankly like no other actor before or since? Eh? Eh?

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Thursday 17 September 2009

Fish Tank

Fish Tank is a new film by director Andrea Arnold, whose previous film Red Road won all sorts of trinkets for being generally gritty, British and quite good. I watched Red Road with my mother-in-law and her best friend, which turned out to be an interesting evening because none of us were expecting the uncomfortably lengthy and graphic oral sex scene in the film. That particular cinema has, apparently, had to replace the seat I was in because I squirmed so much I wore the cushion down.

And so it was with mother-in-law firmly tucked away elsewhere that I watched Fish Tank. As it turned out it wasn’t nearly as pornographic as Red Road, although there was an under age sex scene in there that made me glad I was mother-in-lawless.

The film follows Mia, a 15-year-old scallywag living in an Essex tower block with her mother, who’s only about 15 years older, and her younger sister. Perpetually confused and annoyed by everything and everyone around her, Mia squeezes a droplet of pleasure out of life by dancing in an abandoned flat by herself. When Mia’s mum brings a new man into the home, Mia finds herself bewildered by her conflicting emotions towards him.

The first thing anyone who talks about Fish Tank is required by law to mention is the performance of Katie Jarvis as Mia. Jarvis, having never acted before, was spotted having a barney with her fella at a train station and subsequently plucked from obscurity to take the demanding lead role. While she’s no Dame Judi, she’s still convincing as the troubled, aggressive teen, lashing out at the world like a cat that’s been kicked too often and sympathising with a chained up horse, a wild animal condemned to die in surroundings too restrictive for it to achieve its potential.

Although Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, as the charming, roguish, potentially life-destroying boyfriend, are excellent, there’s little else to recommend Fish Tank past the first half-hour or so. It’s a brutally honest portrayal of frustrated teen life on the crappy side of the class divide, certainly, but, like its central character, the film doesn’t know what to do with itself after a while and meanders along in potentially interesting directions before, bizarrely, deciding to go to Cardiff.

So while it’s directed with atmospheric flair and pumped full of realistic misery, confusion and depression, Fish Tank is one of those films that has enough interesting characters to fill 45 minutes of quality TV drama, but doesn’t really justify a two-hour feature.

It also had, like, NO explosions, car chases, aliens or robots, so how it expects to stand alongside the rest of the year’s quality entertainment is quite beyond me.

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Wednesday 16 September 2009

Mr Pricklepants

Two Pixar-related factlets for you today; both of which could quite reasonably be classed as “old news”. I don’t get paid for this blog you know.

Anyway, one of these near-pensionable news items is quite possibly the single greatest piece of information I will ever impart to you, and the other is of such colossal inconsequence that I feel like ringing Pixar just before I fall asleep and then staying on the line for 8 hours, occasionally snoring and possibly mumbling something about arriving at work to discover I’ve forgotten to put any clothes on and all my teeth have fallen out.

See if you can tell which is which:

1. Timothy Dalton, who as we all know is officially the Best James Bond, Like, Ever, is playing a toy hedgehog called Mr Pricklepants in next year’s Toy Story 3. Toy Story 3, for those enjoying an extended stay at the home for the terminally dim, is a sequel to Toy Story 2, Pixar’s second-best film, like, ever.

2. Pixar will release Cars 2 in the summer of 2011. Cars 2, for those undergoing treatment for the inability to comprehend the palpably obvious, is a sequel to Cars, Pixar’s most quality-deficient film, like, ever.

Any ideas? Here’s a clue: the good news is in some way related to this clipvert:

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Tuesday 15 September 2009

Patrick Swayze 1952-2009

The Incredible Suit would like to take a moment to thank the late Patrick Swayze for being quite legendary in Dirty Dancing, Road House, Ghost and especially Donnie Darko. I’m not so sure about Point Break, I think it was the bleached mullet.

Rest in peace The Swizzle.

“My way… or the highway”
(Road House, 1989)

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Les Petits Bastardes

The Incredible Suit is part of The Cineastes, a group of bloggers who review a film a month and link blogs in the hope of spreading the word of whatever it is we’re on about. September’s film is L’Enfance Nue, directed by Maurice Pialat in 1968.

The lovely folks at LoveFilm failed to send me a copy of L’Enfance Nue in time, so this article is based entirely, and rather fatuously, on the poster and trailer for the film. It might be best to watch the trailer before reading any further, otherwise this post is going to make even less sense than all my others. And that’s saying something.


If you were to base your opinion of L’Enfance Nue entirely on its poster, you may believe it to be about two boys; one who’s incredibly smug because he’s stolen his grandad’s war medals, and another who intends to wipe that silly grin off his face by lobbing a Twix bar at him. Only one Twix bar, mind – the other he’s saving to give to a girl in exchange for a glimpse of her jumper bumpers.

However, having closely studied the trailer, it’s clear that medal theft and justice by confectionery-hurling is but one small aspect of this complex work of art.

A young scallywag – let’s call him Pierre – has got himself involved with a rum crowd of tinkers who force him to drop a cat down a stairwell as part of an initiation ceremony to their gang, Les Petits Bastardes. But all Pierre wants is to act out scenes from his favourite movies. He takes a girl to the countryside to educate her about the finer points of Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and its throat-slashing fun, but she’s unimpressed. In fact she slaps Pierre before falling over for no apparent reason.

After overhearing an adult conversation about how great Forrest Gump was, Pierre attempts to run across France in an attempt to emulate the legendary simpleton. When he reaches his destination he celebrates by kicking a door down in the style of Jack Nicholson in The Shining, but he’s captured by grown-ups and plonked on the next train back to wherever he came from. Probably Paris.

On the journey he thinks about all the great movies that have featured trains, such as Strangers On A Train, North By Northwest and From Russia With Love. Pierre even attempts to recreate the famous James Bond / Red Grant fight on the Orient Express by paying a bigger boy to whack him across the chops with a pair of dirty underpants.

Back at school, Pierre is given a small child in an orange turtle neck to look after. Tragically the child reminds Pierre of Steve Buscemi’s character from Fargo, and Pierre promptly feeds the boy into a woodchipper (not shown in the trailer). The End.

The moral of the story is a universal one: Never trust LoveFilm to get a DVD to you on time.

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You can read the rest of The Cineastes’ reviews of L'Enfance Nue by clicking their links below:

Monday 14 September 2009


It would appear there’s going to be a new Pirates Of The Caribbean film, subtitled “On Stranger Tides”, walking the plank and shivering me timbers in the summer of 2011. Just so you know I’m not making this up:

Seriously, I couldn’t be less interested in this if it was a six-hour documentary about Shia LaBeouf’s first experience on a potty. Ignoring the fact that the previous Pirates Of The Caribbean films were all cackapoopants, there’s a massive clue as to why On Stranger Tides is destined for nothing more than a 2-star review in Empire and a sound ignoring from The Incredible Suit: it’s the fourth movie in the franchise.

You’d think those dimwits in Hollywood would have worked it out by now. It doesn’t matter how successful, critically or financially, your film series is, if you make a fourth picture it will not be foursome. It will be fourful. Geddit? See what I did there? Oh fourget it.

OK, I know the head honchos at Warner, Fox, Universal and what have you are regular readers of The Incredible Suit, so let me spell it out. Here’s a list of some films that were the fourth to be made in a popular series. First, some of those that were so bad they actually tainted the memory of the first three:

Die Hard 4
Terminator: Salvation
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Star Wars: Episode I
(Actually I like it but I’m in a minority. Of one)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Regular viewers will be only too aware who’s to blame for that)
Thunderball (If you think it’s actually good, go back and watch it again. It’s not)
Alien Resurrection
Superman IV
Batman And Robin
Lethal Weapon 4
Fantastic Four
(Not strictly a fourquel but bad enough to be included)

Now, those that were not only good, but actually better than the first three:

So there you have it. Point made. Case rested. QED. Now who’s looking forward to The Hobbit?

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Friday 11 September 2009

Puffed-Up Farthog

Pop quiz, hotshots! There's a blog on the internet. Once the posts go over 50, the blog is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?!

Well viewers, don’t panic, because a) I’m not a maniac bomber with a gammy hand overacting myself silly, and b) the post count is unlikely to drop below 50 unless I have a mental breakdown and remove the blog altogether, in which case there’s no chance of it blowing up. So I’ve saved the day!

All this apparently meaningless drivel is intended to point out that this is The Incredible Suit’s 50th post, and all of us here* are celebrating with a methuselah of champagne.** Why not have a glass yourself and reflect on the last half-century of Incredibility?***

So Empire Magazine have announced their regular waste-of-time-and-space poll to find the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars, Like, Ever. Personally I think celebrating the sexiness of people you don’t know seems a bit pointless. I mean, the winner of 2007’s poll was Angelina Jolie. Now she might look sexy with her unfeasibly inflated lips and that, but what if she suffers from unstoppable flatulence? What if she quacks off at the dinner table in front of your parents? Is that sexy? Is it a turn on if, upon removing her nethergarments, she reveals a whopping skidmark caused by her incessant bottom burpage?

So I’m turning this populist carnival of shallow on its head and introducing a poll to discover the ugliest movie star in existence. Now I realise my own rules can equally be applied to mingers – maybe they’re just ugly on the outside but beautiful, caring souls with hearts of gold under that repulsive surface. But if Empire can make a song and dance of being superficial, so can I.

Here, then, are The Incredible Suit’s six movie stars who were beaten the most with the ugly stick, then kicked with the ugly boot and finally pushed down the ugly stairs to land in a heap of ugly on the ugly floor. The cackling irony, of course, is that all these fuglybugs will be in Empire’s sexy list. Still, one man’s Angelina Jolie is another man’s puffed-up farthog. And yes, I realise I’m no Zooey Deschanel myself, that’s why I put my words on the interwebs and not my fizzog.

So who’s your munter of the year? Vote now! Or, vote later.

Russell Crowe
Desperate to play the lead in Justin Lee Collins: The Movie

Uma Thurman
All the features of a traditional beauty, but placed slightly too far apart

Vincent Cassel
What happens when your face hates you

Sarah Jessica Parker
She so ugly, when she born, doctor slap her momma!

Daniel Craig
Obviously Daniel’s ace, but just, y’know… an ace potato head

Paris Hilton
Actually I think she is ugly on the inside

* Just me
** A cup of tea
*** Because you’re not a raging loser, I imagine

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Thursday 10 September 2009

Quazkark Farklebrot

Back in July I banged on about District 9 like it was going to be the film that ended war, cured cancer and revoked Shia LaBeouf’s Equity card. Well, it isn’t quite all that, but it is very very good and you should see it as soon as you’ve read this, even if you’re a brain surgeon and you’re in the middle of operating on a patient. Although why you’re on the internet while fixing someone’s head jelly is a mystery. You should be struck off!

Anyway, this is how I described the plot in July and it hasn’t changed since then so I may as well just quote myself: “District 9 is a documentary-style sci-fi drama about aliens living in South Africa and being treated like slaves and third-class citizens by the people, the government and the multi-national corporation using the aliens’ technology for their own nefarious purposes, mwahaha. It’s basically an allegory about human rights and discrimination, but with massive spaceships.” There’s obviously more to it than that but I don’t want to be Johnny Spoilerfeatures so I won’t blab the rest.

Things that were great:

• There are no stars, just talent. Which means the film stands on its performances and writing, which fortunately are excellent.

• The special effects are seamless. All the aliens are CGI but they don’t scream “Look at me, I’m an expensive effect!” They’re just there, interacting with everything else in what I assume to be a realistic fashion if I knew what aliens living in a slum and wearing pink bras actually looks like.

• The central alien is called Christopher Johnson. He doesn’t look like a Christopher Johnson, he looks like a Quazkark Farklebrot, but the fact that he’s called Christopher Johnson is brilliant.

Things that were not so great:

• It starts off as a mock-documentary but then swerves into “conventional” movie story-telling mode, then keeps changing its mind and swinging back and forth between the two styles, which was a bit distracting to be honest. Must try harder. Cloverfield did it better.

• It goes on a bit and gets a bit silly. But then it’s got aliens in pink bras so I’m not sure if “a bit silly” is a valid criticism.

Anyway District 9 is better than Mesrine: Killer Instinct but not as good as Star Trek, so it slithers in at Number 3 in this year’s Top 5 Films as decreed by The Incredible Suit.

If you’ve watched the trailers a bazillion times but aren’t about to rush out of the door to see the film because you’ve got your hand inside someone’s noggin, you may want to watch director Neill Blomkamp’s short film Alive In Joburg, on which District 9 is based. It’s not as good, obviously, but what do you expect? You guys are so demanding sometimes.

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Wednesday 9 September 2009

A Poo In A Teacup

Imagine walking into your bathroom and finding a load of toenail clippings in the sink. Pretty grim, right? But imagine if the sink was the interweb, and the toenails were actually little nuggets of noteworthy movie news. Now you’ve turned a revolting imaginary scenario into one that’s almost worth blogging about. Hooray for you! Well, hooray for me actually, I wrote the thing. All you do is sit there and read it while shovelling chocolate digestives into your face.

Here are the toenails I found in my sink today which I thought share-worthy:

Nicolas Cage won’t star in Green Hornet!
While it’s hardly news to say that somebody isn’t going to be in something, unless it’s “Shia LaBeouf will not star in anything ever again,” it’s always good to know Mr Cage and his wig of the week won’t be in a movie.

I’ve been alternately interested by and apathetic about Green Hornet since it was announced. My thought process went something like this:
Michel Gondry's making a Green Hornet movie: That sounds good. Seth Rogen’s in it: Oh. Not so interested.
Stephen Chow will play Kato: Groovy. Stephen Chow was ace in Kung Fu Hustle.
Stephen Chow won’t play Kato: Oh for heaven’s sake.
Cameron Diaz will be in it: Well that’s slightly better.
Nicolas Cage might be in it: That’s it, I’ve had it with all these Green Hornet shenanigans.
Nicolas Cage won’t be in it: Right, good, but just make the film and stop announcing who isn’t in it! This is becoming tedious.

Alex Garland is writing a new Judge Dredd movie!
I thought I was excited about this but then I realised I was just mildly curious about a new Judge Dredd film. After all a poo in a teacup would be better than the 1995 Sylvester Stallone version. I mean, hello, he takes his helmet off! Wrong, just wrong.

Alex Garland has only actually written half a good movie, The Beach. The rest have been a bit rubbish, so this particular toenail goes in the ‘Wait And See’ cupboard.

The A-Team movie has found its BA Baracus!
Liam Neeson is Hannibal. Bradley Cooper is Face. And now it appears the ludicrously named (although I probably wouldn’t say it to his face) Quinton Ramone “Rampage” Jackson is BA Baracus. I’m still looking forward to the film but I can’t help feeling like the best BA would have been Blighty’s own Matt Lucas:

And the big toenail in the sink is…
The announcement of the programme for the 2009 London Film Festival, on which I am duty-bound to report now that I run an award-winning blog*. There are about 20 films I want to see so it looks like I’ll have to resign from my job for the last fortnight in October. I’m sure they’ll cope without me, all I do is use their facilities to write my blog. Ssshh!

*Blog not actually award-winning

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Monday 7 September 2009

Reconstituted Pork Content

Time and time again I’m asked the same question, and quite frankly I’ll vomit sausagemeat if I’m asked it again, so I shall attempt to answer it here in the hope that when the next person to ask has wiped regurgitated reconstituted pork “content” from their shirt I can direct them to this post.

So: Who is The Incredible Suit’s favourite Conti? Is it:

a) Actor Tom Conti, from Shirley Valentine and whatnot
b) Composer Bill Conti, creator of musical scores and that, or
c) Crazy Legs Conti, “star” of Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating?

Well, let’s take each of these legends of the silver screen in turn:

Tom Conti is best remembered (by me) as Costas the Greek in Shirley Valentine, which I had to see when I was a sulky teenager because my Mum wanted to see it and it was payback, I suspect, for me making her watch Licence To Kill, which she complained was “very loud”. Although I remember Shirley Valentine being quite good, we both suffered in the end because there was a noisy sex scene in it which you really shouldn’t be made to sit through with your Mum, or with your teenage son for that matter.

So Tom Conti wins points for being a comedy Greek lothario in the one film I remember seeing him in, but loses points for the mentally scarring sex scene.

Bill Conti is probably best known for his music for the Rocky films, and quite rightly. It’s ace. However I know him best for his score for For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore’s second-least-worst Bond film. It was 1981 and Conti wrote a bonkers score which kept all the wah-wah guitar and funky bass of the ‘70s but shoveled skipfuls of brass in as well, making it painfully unlistenable for some but somehow fresh and exciting for other, deafer types, like me.

So Bill Conti wins points for Rocky and For Your Eyes Only, but loses points for the fact that he composed something like 136 scores and I only know two of them.

Crazy Legs Conti is, according to his website, “an eccentric New York window washer, nude model and sperm donor, and huge fan of the annual July 4th hot dog eating competition.” Evidently he’s made a film about stuffing his face with food. I know little else about him but based on this evidence he appears to be a knob.

So Crazy Legs Conti wins no points for anything and loses points for everything.

Therefore I think I can safely put this matter to rest and avoid any further semi-digested meat expulsions by declaring my favourite Conti to be Bill, the fella what did that music that time. Now please stop asking.

This here videclip is not how Bill Conti scored For Your Eyes Only, but it would have been if Roger Moore had his way. I imagine.
Thanks to green14m for the video!

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