Sunday, 29 July 2018

My son has just introduced me to Mark Kermode's Radio 5 film reviews with Simon Mayo... they're great!

I think the last time I watched a proper Hollywood comedy was 2009's Funny People, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan. It made me want to throw up. Repeatedly. I used it as part of a general attack on what passes for modern American comedy in the 2011 post 'Laugh? I thought I’d never start! America’s horrible stand-up “comedians”'.  I've avoided new American comedy films (and most TV shows) aimed at the teenage and young adult market - apart from animated films - ever since, because they make me feel unclean, and depressed by what a life-hating, nihilistic, self-loathing, moral cesspit Hollywood has turned into: if they aren't signalling how "woke"and morally superior they are to all those dumbass Trump-supporting flagwavers in flyover country, they're teaching young Americans that giving way to one's most depraved impulses is, like, fun and cool, right, dooood?...

...Apparently, even young audiences here in Britain are beginning to feel repelled by this parade of  moral insanity.

So it's nice to discover that Mark Kermode regularly takes these squalid, depraved paeans to depravity and barbarism round the back of the bike-sheds (i.e. BBC Radio 5) for a good old-fashioned horsewhipping. Last night, my son shared these two examples of a puritan Englishman who evidently loves movies letting rip with righteous fury - I look forward to catching up with many more of his performances on YouTube over the coming weeks. The first rant concerns Robert De Niro's Dirty Grandpa (2016):
Sounds lovely! My son hadn't seen that particular gem, but he did catch the film Kermode refers to at the end there - 2015's Entourage - and confirmed that the critic's assessment was spot on:
When I was a lad, I used to dream of becoming a film reviewer - I reckon I'd have lasted about five years before running, screaming, from a preview theatre, vowing never to return. 


  1. I wonder whether the popularity of Talking Pictures, to which you have referred in various posts, is part of a reaction to Hollywood contemporary product. Sky movie channel seems to consist of nothing but this sort of banal dross. If film is a reflection of the society which produces it, it's no wonder that those of us of err...a pensionable disposition prefer to seek out movies which reflect a set of values with which we are both familiar and comfortable. Nor is it much of a surprise that contemporary US film makers pitch their product according to the tastes of their paying customers. Dirty Grandpa earned loads of money despite its overwhelmingly bad reviews.

    Good to have you back. I hope the energy levels are quickly restored.

  2. The gross Media Elite stuffing their propaganda down the throats of us little people yet again.
    I'm surprised the director didn't shoot a scene with De Nero taking time off from his mastabatory fantasies to scream at Trump. Maybe he did. Art mimicking life wouldn't that be wonderful and so, you know, relevant.

  3. Completely agree with your opinion. I have no idea why de Niro has chosen to end his career on so many bum notes. He obviously needs the pay cheques. Sad..

    Our own lamentable contribution to modern film comedy is Sacha Baron Cohen who I basically cannot bear to watch. There is a strain of English humour which thrives on spiteful mockery and embarrassment of innocent people [Joe Public or Slebs] which Cohen has tapped into with monotonous regularity. It basically started with the Deniss Peniss character [played by Paul Kaye] back in the 90s and is currently being copied in a milder form by Philomena Clunk [I don't know the name of the "comedienne" and it is not worth looking up. Diana Morgan?]

    As a form of humour it is hugely derivative - think of the TV series"Candid Camera" with extreme malice and liberal use of expletives. Also, sad...

    I note Cohen [I always want to call him Bendit Cohen] was an alumnus of Christ's College, Cambridge. Perhaps they practised jolly japes of this sort and he never grew out of it.

  4. Thanks for the spelling lesson SDG.
    You're right of course it is de Niro.
    Apparently he's worth a staggering $200

  5. I see that Film4 has captured the spirit of the age by sticking Dirty Grandpa on at prime time.