Work…

My job basically consists of reading twenty year old minutes from committee meetings. Every now and then one of the people expresses “satisfaction with last week’s event which was well received by all in attendance”. I think we all know these people are hosting orgies. In one of my notes it says that they rewarded a member who had provided catering services with a “vote of thanks”. What the hell is that? A vote of thanks? I bet it wasn’t even unanimous. I’ve already started a soap opera in my head using these characters. Sometimes Linda Lawson will raise a point about raising funds from charitable donations and I think “Andrew Hamilton won’t like that! Not with John Wilson watching!”. Whenever a character resigns from office they’ve actually committed suicide and/or moved to the country. Or, if they’re replaced immediately, regenerated! It’s often complicated trying to give one of them amnesia though, especially with recaps of previous meetings at the start.

The office opposite me was collecting chairs for a conference today. They came in and asked about my chair but I pointed out that it was in use. At lunch time I was very concerned that they may steal my chair and so I wrote a small note and placed it on the chair.

To whom it may concern,

Please do not take my chair. I will return shortly and will need it for sitting.

Thank you, (smiley face)

Went to lunch, ate, everything was going according to plan. Then I get back and find the chair is missing and a new note has replaced it. It reads:

Dear mr gets-bored,

We’ve taken your chair. We don’t even really need it. We have loads of chairs. There is no conference. But we like your chair. It’s very soft. Very sturdy, if you know what we mean. And I think your chair likes us to.

Chair guys.

Tomorrow as I leave for lunch I feel a more appropriate note is required:

To whom it may concern,

I have your son and/or daughter.  If you do not wish me to fill their mouths with spray cheese and then insert a starving gerbil into their arse(s), then I recommend you leave this chair the fuck alone.

Thanks (smiley face)

There’s a guy in my building on the top floor. His office is alone on the floor opposite the only toilet in the building. He must have worked years to get there and now the whole office shits ten feet away from his desk. You have to walk past the office to get to the toilet, so he always sees the people going past. I always try to make eye contact and whilst in there I make sure he knows I’m enjoying it! Fuck that guy. Office having mo fucker!

Two peculiar anomalies in my office. One is a framed picture of David Bowie from Labyrinth. The other is a trophy cabinet. The Bowie picture I can only justify as proof of God(Allah/Jehovah/etc)’s divine sense of Irony, but the cabinet I can fully justify as my reward for 21 years of being me. I can fully explain what each trophy is for. That’s for the stone I lost last summer. That’s for remembering to brush my teeth everyday since I was three. That’s for the black chick (the biggest trophy). That’s for never smoking. And that’s for your successful integration back into society.

Sometimes I treat my building as if it was a stealth game. I see if I can get to the employee lounge and back again without anyone seeing me. I’m always very surprised when they do see me. Especially when they scream (think it’s the Sam Fisher costume). But although my costume is fake, my HK USP 9MM is not. So I do usually make it to the lounge.

Most of this is true, I  think.

P for psycho.

Advertisements

This Doctor goes up to Eleven


I have a confession to make. When Tennant left Doctor Who I cried. I watched in sadness and remorse as he stated ‘I don’t want to go’ and the whole nation replied ‘we don’t want you to go!’ I sulked as I watched Matt Smith fly what I considered to be Tennant’s Tardis [I just added Tardis to my Word’s dictionary, seriously surprised it wasn’t already] and yell ‘Geronimo!’ And I didn’t like it, so I ate some cake, and sulked some more. But that’s not the confession. My announcement here is that I like the Eleventh Doctor. I like his hair. I like his bow tie and his braces and his green sonic screwdriver. I like the new Tardis and the new credits; I even like the new Daleks (though I’m sure many will disagree on this point.) And if I’m honest, I think a lot of people are making a lot of fuss over nothing. Yes, he’s not Tennant, but that’s what happens with the Doctor: he regenerates. Cast your mind back to many moons ago when Eccelston was Doctor number nine and Tennant took over, it was the same reaction; we got so used to Tennant that when Smith took over everyone felt deflated. It’s okay my fellow sci-fi watching, British public, you’re allowed to like Matt smith. It’s not like you’re cheating on Tennant.

Yet another great aspect of the shiny new Doctor? A shiny new assistant. Karen Gillian is the perfect combination of sassy, clever, sexy and helpless (when she needs to be.) What makes this season so watch able is the Doctor-Assistant dynamic. A quick look back… Doctor-Rose, lovely at first, which turned into love, and although sweet to watch detracted slightly from what Doctor Who is primarily about: running away from scary, cheesy looking aliens. Doctor-Martha annoyed me, though a gallant effort to follow Billie Piper, I don’t think the public were ready to accept another assistant yet. Doctor-Donna worked slightly better, being a friendship rather than a romance, however the Doctor-Assistant partnership works best with something of an attraction, even if he is a little old for her. As Amy Pond says, it doesn’t have to be long term. Doctor-Amy is definitely the best since Rose Tyler, especially as a brand new Doctor and a brand new assistant can form a relationship with no old assistants lurking, ready to show up again. As for the controversy surrounding the new series, especially how Karen Gillian is dressed and the ‘raunchy’ kissing scene. Go away. You’re just annoyed it’s not Tennant.

This season’s two part finale looks to be one of the most exciting yet, with so many theories as to what will happen when the Pandorica opens, who knows what will surface. My guess is the first part will be an all action-packed, alien-fighting, assistant-saving mega-episode and next week will be the first ever episode where the Doctor has a day off.

Or perhaps not.

-K for Kick ass

The only problem is…

I’m watching TV and the adverts are on. This is one of those rare occasions when I don’t have the ad breaks muted, because usually I like to feel like I’m stealing my TV shows from their sponsors. Feels wrong, but SO good. Anyway, this advert for a romantic comedy comes on, which I later discover is called Our family wedding. The advert didn’t create all that much tension. After I saw that one of the couple was black and the other is some kind of Spanish, what I initially thought may develop into a taught thriller regarding the issues of ethnically diverse intermarriage were soon dashed by the ball-to-brain missile that is “zany antics”. The narration starts “This Lucia” we meet Lucia, “this is Marcus” we meet Marcus, so far so bland. “They’re meant to be together”, sweet. “The only problem is…” uh oh, and it is at this point that a train roars past my window (I don’t live near tracks, it was on fire), so I miss what the problem was. The advert then runs with various antics as cast members variously and randomly flail their arms around and make stupid noises. It’s at this point that I realise that the problem could have been literally anything and the trailer and inevitably the movie would have played out the same. “This is Mark, This is Lucy, they’re a hoot! The only problem is, he’s a Christian and she’s Osama Bin Laden!” And it does seem that eventually we will run out of problems that an honest couple can have! How many variations of family members having problems with each other can we really explore? “This is Mort Steinstein and this is Olga Uberfrau…”. Where does this eventually lead us? “This is Joseph and this is Elizabeth. They’re inseparable. The only problem is, so are the chains in his basement! The Fritzle story. RATED R!” It just seems sad to me that so many of these movies get made. And constantly with big name actors who seem to have nothing better to do. I’m looking at you, Hoffman. These movies are clearly meant to serve a purpose, the purpose being to pull in the largely disenfranchised female audience in a time of Iron men and “Persian” princes, and indeed maybe I should be no more upset by this than by the most recent Bruce Willis buddy cop wankery. But it does bother me. Hollywood should stop underestimating all of us. Isn’t there a healthy medium between comedy mismatched couples and comedy mismatched cops? How about “This is Harry, and this is Hayley. They’re perfectly compatible in everyway. The only problem is: the world ended six months ago. Now all they have is each other and the pie machine in the basement as they live one day at a time, coming to terms with a relationship based around pies made of dead squirrels and the world around them which now kind of looks like Utah, except all over. The Final Honeymoon. Also, he has aids.”

-P for Pervert

Top ten movies where the protagonist dies

 

In 1950 a very dead Joe Gillis welcomed us onto Sunset Boulevard and the strange story that caused his death. Exactly ten years later Marion Crane booked into the Bates motel, bringing her story to a sudden and violent conclusion. Writers and directors love to experiment with audience expectations for greater effect. One of the essential first rules of cinema is to establish a protagonist and then stick with him or her through the story. We then associate with the character and become emotionally invested in the story. Storytellers therefore love to subvert this expectation by killing off your link to the story, creating a sense of sadness, alienation and loss. Sometimes this is done to great effect on the audience and internet nerds. Warning: Spoilers!

 

10. 300 (2007)

It’s pretty undeniable that 300 is a visual orgasm. Based on the comic by Frank Miller, our number 10 is probably the most ‘gallant’ death on the list. Gerard Butler plays King Leonidas, probably the manliest man ever to exist. Apart from being a quality-nice battle film, 300 is a genuine laugh and cry movie (and not just about how bad Gerard Butler’s accent is at times.) I’m sure this movie will appear a lot more on our crazy little site, but the reason why it makes it in here is because of the visualisation and style of the death, and in fact the whole movie. Slow motion will never be the same again.

 

 

 

9. The prestige (2006)

This movie has to get a mention on this list. If you take Christian Bale to be the main character then he died once and lived once, if you take Hugh Jackman to be the main, then he didn’t live at all, but he did die over a hundred times. This film features one of the most interesting, bizarre and uniquely devised plots put to film and is definitely worth discovering for yourself. The deaths of the protagonists are particularly strange, moving and very thought provoking. It leaves you wondering about stepping into that device David Bowie made and not knowing if you’re going to the stage at the back or the tank underneath?

 

8. Funny Games U.S (2007)

Psychotic pair Paul and Peter (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) make a bet with a family of three (Naomi Watts as the protagonist): would they be alive in the morning? Michael Haneke’s remake of his own Austrian film includes all the classic horror-thriller moments, clichés, but also a few out-of-the-box ideas; such as rewinding and breaking the fourth wall. Funny Games U.S is primarily on this list because it is unexpected and unnecessary, and that’s why it’s brilliant. In classic ‘the bad guy wins’ horror movies often you root for them, they become the object of the watchers affection, but in this case they don’t. And that is the brilliance of it; Naomi Watts’ death is almost completely out of the blue and turns around all the rules of a classic horror-thriller movie. Why should real psychotics obey the rules of the movie they’re in?

7. Arlington Road (1999)

Throughout the whole movie Kevin Bridges has been suspecting his neighbour of being a terrorist. As the evidence grows, girlfriends go missing and Joan Cusack slowly gets creepier Bridges tries to confront his neighbour and get his androgynous unbreakable son back. As he beats Tim Robbins for making Howard the Duck, he discovers that the target is the FBI headquarters where his good (and apparently only) friend works. He races over, gets past security (thanks to his friendly relations with the staff) and discovers no bomb. Then to his true horror, he suddenly realises that the bomb was placed in his car and that he has been made the terrorist. The film concludes with various news reports and interviews all concluding that Bridges strange behaviour in response to his suspicions is perfectly consistent with the placing of him as the chief suspect. Meanwhile, Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack stow away into the night, ready to move to YOUR neighborhood! So the moral is, if you suspect your neighbours of being terrorists, don’t be a psycho about it. It would certainly be easier on me if my neighbor’s were a little more cool about the whole business!

6. Sin City (2005)

Written by Frank Miller as a piece of Neo-Noir fiction and directed boldly by Robert Rodriguez in a style which has clearly influenced endless action movies since, Sin city is the story of a dark and cold urban hell with tough over the top characters and impressive visuals. Two of our three central heroes die in this film. Firstly the muscled, loveable Marv. Presented as the amalgamation of all classical rebels and street thugs through film history, Mickey Rourke plays the ugly and ruthless killer with a genuine sweet and protective side. It is therefore unfortunate when Marv is given the electric chair for killing the perverted cardinal, Rutger Haur. He is however able to pull off one last act of defiance in the electric chair. Secondly there is the grizzled and hard-boiled cop Hartigan, Bruce Willis’ second appearance on our list. Hartigan’s story is possibly the most tragic in the film. He is imprisoned for eight years during which his only company is letters from the girl he saved, Nancy. Suddenly, her letters stop and he surrenders his dignity so that he might find out what happened to her. However he realises, too late, that this is a trap and that he has led the paedophilic killer right to her. Having now killed the yellow Bastard, he realises that as long as he is alive, Nancy will be harmed. He therefore decides to kill himself, denying his enemy the satisfaction of revenge, greatly angering him! ….let’s hope he doesn’t decide to take it out on Nancy! But at least she’s still quiet friendly with Marv….oh.

 

5. Life of Brian (1979)

If only Jesus had been a worse carpenter. The cross would have failed!

Arguably the funniest film of the list, Life of Brian is classic Python, classic British comedy and a classic protagonist death. At the ending of the movie (parodying Spartacus), Brian is almost saved, but unfortunately all the characters on crucifixion and their wives claim to be Brian. Add to this some ineffective terrorists, a confused love interest and a mother who just gives up and you’re left with Brian, still on the cross.  Truly hilarious, Life of Brian is probably one of the only films in which the protagonist’s death makes you look on the bright side of life.

4. 12 Monkeys (1995)

The movie opens with a man being shot in an airport. It’s our hero’s earliest memory and it haunts him. Then Bruce Willis is then sent back in time to save the world! But this isn’t Terminator, its Terry Gilliam’s masterful sci-fi drama about the psychology of time travel and a dystopian vision of the futility of human endeavor, with maybe a twist of optimism thrown in at the end (possibly forced by the studio). In the final moments, just as Bruce decides to break his own rules and actually try to prevent the tragedy he knows is about to befall the world, Bruce is shot down in an airport, his childhood self looking on, forming his earliest memory. And it will haunt him as it does us.

 

 

3. 14. No Country for Old Men (2007)

The Coen Brothers are two of the best directors currently working and although they seem to have moved away from writing for a while, they are still making amazing films of other people’s work. Possibly their best film is this adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, No Country for Old Men. The Coen brothers have a tremendous ability to underplay very important things. Accordingly, when Llewellyn Moss attempts to flee the psychotic killer Anton Chigurh having stolen a considerable amount of his money, ultimately he is not killed by Chigurh, nor even onscreen. Instead, after Carla Jean finally decides to allow Sheriff Bell to try and help her man, Bell races to the Motel at which Moss is staying only to find that some Mexican henchmen have caught up with him and have managed to kill him. Much of the end of the movie is left ambiguous, leaving the audience very confused and lost. The emotional impact of the movie is tremendous and the loss of our hero in such unclear circumstances is shocking and moving.

3. Milk (2008)

The film opens with newsreel footage portraying the aftermath of the shooting of district county supervisor Harvey Milk. We then spend the film learning about the dreams and aspirations of Harvey Milk, with the troubled experience of Homosexuals in American society at its heart. As Harvey takes on greater and greater risks to himself and loved ones he rises through political ranks and becomes the first gay district supervisor in America. We see him try to maintain relationships, fight anti-gay legislation and just survive in his role as a gay activist. Tragically, just as in real life, Harvey is killed. And it’s not a religious or homophobic rightwing nut or a political opponent or any of the death threat writers that Harvey has been dealing with throughout the film, it’s Dan White. Throughout the whole movie White and Milk have been clashing, with White’s possible latent homosexuality and definite political failings at the heart of the issue. The greatest tragedy of the death, after the immediate sense of loss that such a powerful and charismatic character has died, is the greater loss of seeing the effect of his death on his friends and the community of which he was so closely a part.

2. Donnie Darko (2001)

Often flagged as one of the most popular cult sci-fi movies of all time, Donnie Darko also takes time travel to a whole new level. Donnie’s death is almost expected. Think about it, a time-travelling, troubled teenager with the knowledge of when the world will end and the exact time and place he needs to be to die: inevitable protagonist death. However, what’s really fantastic about Darko is the sci-fi aspect of it. There are multiple on-going debates about the time-travel surrounding the Darko universe. If you’re a Darko fan (and haven’t already) visit: www.donniedarkofilm.com, preferably with the lights on.

 

 

1. American Beauty (1999)

Some, including myself, probably consider American Beauty as the natural number one on this list. Firstly, it’s not exactly a spoiler that the protagonist dies at the end of this movie; this fact is revealed right at the beginning, so it’s not what happens but the why and the ‘who’. Sam Mendes gives the picture a real yet surreal feel, following the protagonist, Lester (Kevin Spacey) his wife, daughter and secondary characters through the year before Lester’s death. This movie, narrated by Spacey, is almost a perfect portrayal of a man whose life had become something he didn’t enjoy, want or love. In that way, Lester’s death is tragic because he realises, too late, that he appreciates his new simple life. However, not unlike Donnie Darko, Lester’s death is inevitable, needed so the other characters can live again and realise what Lester did a year previously.

All images used are copywright of the studios and directors of the the featured films.

P and K