Monday, 11 January 2010

Where The Wild Things Are + The Road

Faced with a day off work and a house so cold you could stick the Rebel Alliance in it and call it Hoth, I decided to spend the day in the warmth of ye olde picture house, catching up on last year’s Where The Wild Things Are, which I thought might have a chance of sneaking into my Top 10 of 2009, and The Road, the new bleakfest of miserosity starring Viggo Mortensen, an actor so brilliant he must have been the result of a genetic experiment to create the perfect thespborg.

Before I babble on about that though, spare a thought for the poor lady in front of me in the ticket queue. “Can I have two tickets for Aviator 3D”, she asked the cinedroid at the counter. I can only imagine her distress when she got into the auditorium to see a bunch of blue-skinned aliens wazzing about instead of an overlong Scorsese-directed biopic of Howard Hughes.

If Where The Wild Things Are was a fish, it would be an odd fish. But it’s not, it’s a film. An odd film. Odd because, despite having some very believable Wild Things and an excellent child actor, as well as encompassing everything that is staggeringly complex yet entirely simple about being a) a kid and b) a grown-up, it just didn’t connect with me. I think it was because the characters Bob and Terry seemed so different to how I remember them from '70s sitcom ‘Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?’

The Road is worth seeing to watch a true legend at the peak of his mighty powers. Viggo Mortensen is so convincing in all his roles that I genuinely believe he has, during his life, actually been chief weapons officer on a submarine, an American hitman, a Russian hitman, a German literature professor, a mythological warrior king and a post-apocalyptic survivor with a soft spot for shopping trolleys and an aversion to razors.

However the rest of The Road is mostly two hours of unswervingly bleak grimness and desperation, which isn’t what I was after on my day off. If I’d wanted unswervingly bleak grimness and desperation I’d have gone into work. Boom boom!

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  1. Mr Suit,
    If you wanted to see something a little cheerier (although it still has some dark bits) you should go and see Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Ace! Andy Serkis was made for the role. There's even a sheep shagging joke in it to follow on your anti-Taffy theme.

    Ms So So Jeans

  2. Mr Suit. Am totally with you on where the wild things are. Haven't seen the road yet. I did however recently see what became a belated top ten of 2009 for me.... Is anybody there. Michael Caine is total perfection in this sad but brilliant film. Have you seen it?

  3. SSJ, I don't know what I have to do to convince you I'm not anti-Welsh. Stick a leek up my bottom while watching Pobol Y Cwm, singing The Green Green Grass Of Home and thinking dirty thoughts about Charlotte Church?

    D-Fens, I haven't seen Is Anybody There. Don't spoil the ending, but was anybody there?

  4. I have yet to see The Road, although I'm still not sure I will be seeing it on the big screen (even if I can find one around Central Europe that's still running it) -- reason being I positively hate seeing movies that are even a tad horror-ish bigger than life-sized. Should I be concerned?
    (I mean, I read the book in one go since I knew if I'd put it down I would probably never pick it up again. I don't think I'm all that squeamish but still -- I actually almost had nightmares after reading a novel! Which is to say McCarthy is a great writer of course. I think he's done for us what Orwell had done for my parents' generation -- written a book that literally freaks you out because you know it just might be all to close to the ugly truth...)
    So yeah, anyway, anything I should be afraid of seeing in larger than life detail on screen?

    PS Viggo is ofc *the actor* of our times -- and as far as best Viggo like ever my vote goes to David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises: "Do you have hairdryer?"

  5. The nude wrestling scene was very memorable....but Viggo would be memorable in anything, so we are all in agreement.

  6. Mr Suit,

    The only reason I suggest there is a tendency to anti-taffyness in your posts is that whenever you mention Welsh actors (who are appearing in pretty classy films on a world stage) you aren't exactly singing their praises. More a throw away comment. We should be proud of any Brits who make it to Hollywood, and retain some integrity, and don't manage to get typecast as villains.

    Bring on the Brits!

    And I'm still Avatar-free, and long may it continue. The best review I've read/heard so far is that it was stunning to look at. Big bloody whoop.

    And as for Where the Wild thngs are, the first I heard of it was early last year where a magazine mentioned adult sized suits that were on sale in US following the success of the film. So, Yahoo away and find your own suit of furryness!

    Ms So So Jeans.

  7. David, I can't think of any actual horror in The Road, apart from someone getting shot and someone else coughing up blood, but if the book gave you nightmares maybe wait for the DVD!

    SSJ, you say bring on The Brits but it hasn't been any good since the great Jarvis Cocker / Michael Jackson incident of '95. And Wales will be represented by Stereophonics. No good can come of this.

  8. @ Mr Suit -- thanks for the advice, I was afraid all the cannibalistic scenes and so forth -- described in eloquent detail throughout the novel -- would make it onscreen in all manner of horrific guises, etc; however: have you actually read the book? I highly recommend it. A Brave New World indeed...
    (Obviously, such a film should have been directed by the likes of Tarkovsky or perhaps Bergman's darker ego, but that's all wishful thinking now.. RIP)

  9. woman in a queue13 January 2010 at 12:42

    *thinking of the lady in the queue saying “Can I have two tickets for Aviator 3D”*

  10. Once I was in a cinema queue in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), behind some middle-aged dudes in denim and very large belt buckles. The guy at the front asked for, "Three for 'Under the Tucson Sun".

    Somehow I don't think they ended up seeing the movie that they thought they were going to be seeing.....