Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Over

Across the year I've managed to endure 181 films and now as 2010 rolls to a close it's time to indulge in a spot of obsessive list making under the flimsy veil of stepping back to assess the year.

Most end of year film lists concern themselves with cinema releases, so I've blindly followed suit and compiled 10 favourites, but the big screen isn't the whole story here at The Ape. It's also about hunting for gems outside of the regular film watching avenues and tolerating an abnormal amount of complete crap in the process and to honour these facets of the blog there's also 5 little screen gems alongside the 10 worst abhorrencies that flopped across my retinas, irrespective of screen size.

Enough waffle, to the lists:

10 Favourite New Big Screen Films:

1: Bad Lieutenant
A never less than gleeful pairing of Herzog and Cage that pushes drug addled lunacy to a remarkable level of graceful genius, the soul-dancing scene alone is enough to make this number one.
Fucking Iguanas.

2: Inception
Superb style amalgam that saw extravagant action set pieces pinned into place by an immensely enjoyable unravelling puzzle. Similar, I imagine, to watching Professor Layton giving James Bond a good dose of the buggery.

3: Four Lions
Rubber Dinghy Rapids. Pretty much sums it up.

4: The Social Network
Given how senselessly boring and fucking tedious it is in everyday life I never thought that such and engrossing movie could be wrangled out of people talking to each other.

5: Toy Story 3
Incredibly affecting litany of primary colours which contains both a funny bit with a cucumber and an exploration of the emotional turmoil that comes with the vampiric curse of agelessness.

6: Shutter Island
Mesmerising dream imagery punctuates a brilliant detective tale which is the cinematic equivalent of that duck/rabbit visual illusion, the twist being a simple shift in perception.

7: Monsters
Succeeds by eschewing the standard monster movie razzle dazzle and instead opts for an all pervading gentleness.

8: Rare Exports
Menace, dread and Christmas steadily combine in perfect ratio resulting in the breathtaking sight of scores of naked old men running through a snowy mountainous backdrop chasing a helicopter full of kidnapped children.

9: Predators
A lesson in how to successfully hark back to big, dumb eighties action fun when plot was acceptably secondary to crazed baddies, breathless gunfights and witty one liners.

10: The Hole In 3D
More eighties throwback fun, but this time it's a kids movie remade through the sombre lense of modern japanese horror cinema.

5 Favourite Little Screen Films:

1: A Serbian Film [Srpski film]
Expert decent into bleakness laced with apalling imagery. It probably isn't the deep allegorical parable talked about as the excuse for such nastiness, but it is like Cronenberg's Videodrome with Hardcore Porn replacing Television and that's good enough for me.

2: Valhalla Rising
The point at which primitive brutal violence, vibrantly coloured graphic novels and Andrei Tarkovsky meet.

3: A Town Called Panic [Panique au village]
Many things accused of being zany and inventive blatantly aren't. This blatantly is. I feel almost privileged to be able to partake in such a unique sense of humour.

4: Rec 2
Makes the statement "When we run out of new ideas, let us take the most disparate of the old ones and force them together into well honed genius" and sticks to it.

5: White Ribbon [Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte]
Has just enough of the story filled in to create an astonishingly vivid portrayal of turn of the century German village life and enough blanks left out to make the sense of cloying threat that preempts the country's future history genuinely insidious.

10 Shittest Films:

1: The Last Airbender
A film whose high point was somebody pointing at a child and shouting 'he's a bender' which in enjoyment levels puts it on a par with standing in the dinner queue at primary school. Given Shyamalan is now blatantly refusing to listen to anybody, the next step is to tattoo 'Complete Shit' on the inside of his arsehole and see if he gets the hint the next time he jams his head up there.

2: American Psycho 2
Fucking awful cash in that is such an insult to the original, whilst being an embarassment to itself, that I'm amazed that Brett Easton Ellis hasn't attempted some kind of suicide bombing on Hollywood.

3: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore/Furry Vengeance
I couldn't decide which was more asinine, talking animals or Brendan Fraser. However the argument is eclipsed by a far bigger question which is why do people keep putting either of them in new films?

4: A Nightmare On Elm Street [2010 Remake]
As Hollywood's remake obsession becomes more and more desperate we got this before original Elm St had time to get cold in the memory. I can only assume this was done to ensure clarity in the viewer that the new version was unmitigated bollocks both by comparison and on its own terms.

5: Prince Of Persia
Jake Gyllenhall made me wish I was watching Donnie Darko, Ben Kingsley made me wish I was watching Sexy Beast and Gemma Arterton made me wish I was watching anything but this moronic shit.

6: Haunting In Connecticut
Massively distasteful, badly played out nonsense with the added insult of purporting to be true because there had actually been a haunting reported in Connecticut some time in the eighties which was nothing to do with anything in this film.

7: Acacia
Redefined tedium and did so with a glaring absence of style usually associated with Asian horror cinema.

8: Ghost In The Shell: Innocence
Would frequently get so lost in bad philosophical codshit that it appeared to forget altogether that it was meant to be a sequel to Ghost In The Shell. In fact it forgot altogether that it was meant to be enjoyable, exciting or watchable.

9: Wolfman
Fumbled disaster with Anthony Hopkins scoring the incredible feat of sneering contemptuously at a film he was starring in whilst he was acting in it. There's foresight.

10: The Last Exorcism
Promises and then thinks it's being clever by refusing to deliver before melting down in a train wreck of ugly stupidity.

I raise my glass to 2011 and another year filled to the brim like Baulty's teas with both the absurd and the complete turds. Bring them on.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Teenage Hooker Became A Killing Machine [Daehakno-yeseo maechoon-hadaka tomaksalhae danghan yeogosaeng ajik Daehakno-ye Issda]

Made by somebody whose brain is so full of massive pretension that there's no room left for the word 'cut', an important tool if you want to make a film as opposed to an effluent stream of incoherent bollocks. The high point was discovering the Second Assistant Director was somebody called 'In-Bum Woo'.

The Bloody Exorcism Of Coffin Joe [Exorcismo Negro]

Family Christmas/demonic possesion story that really hits its stride when Coffin Joe appears sparking a shitstorm of human staircases, satanic weddings and rampant cannibalism that culminates in a postmodern exorcism showdown with the film's director.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Brood

Totally brilliant Cronenberg effort that begins as a vehicle for Oliver Reed to furiously power act at everything and ends with the truly spectacular notion of viscious emotion controlled mutant children produced via some seriously errant psychotherapy.

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Love Bug

I'm sure there's something good to be said for being inoffensive and pleasantly kitsch, i'm just not the person to be saying it.

The Baby's Room [La habitación del niño]

There's obvious brilliance in this spanish, made for TV, haunted house via quantum physics yarn but it ultimately feels like a rough sketch of something better.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Cannibal Ferox [Make Them Die Slowly]

Gloriously stupid.

Christmas Evil [You Better Watch Out]

Plenty of Christmas, very little evil.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Tourist

Limp euroromp bollocks with a plot constructed out of numerous failed attempts to hark back to a golden era of Hollywood.
Jolie floats through the whole thing like a bored goddess, Depp constantly looks like a dog that's just been told off and the writers see fit to employ twists that undermine everything the film is trying so desperately hard to be.

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

When people talk of Pixar as being peerless they've forgotten about Nick Park.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Argento wins again by abandoning all coherence and hastily inventing a mythology to contain a series of vignettes where everything is hopelessly over stylised and somebody always dies horribly.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

A jet black interpretation of the Santa Claus myth, which leans heavily on pagan roots, is the seedbed for the best Christmas movie I've seen by a country mile and one of the finest movies to be produced in 2010.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


I was hesitant about posting something that basically amounts to hardore pornography from the tailend of a late seventies movement attempting a push into the mainstream via an over saturation of arthouse surrealism.
However two standout scenes earn it a place in my quest to have my face pushed into cinema's underbelly. The first, in which a man dressed as a giant cereal box is graphically fellated whilst another chap dressed as a piece of toast dementedly leaps about playing a saxaphone, being far superseded by the second whereby a lady grasps a sturdy erection only to discover in drawn out horror that she is actually holding a stillborn foetus.
And this was meant to turn people on?

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Foolish soap opera formed out of a myriad of moments that are obviously intended to elicit a 'WTF?' but only ever really managed to get the occasional 'fuck off'.