Iheartthemovies: FILTH (2013).
Director: Jon S. Baird
Writer: Jon S. Baird
Cast: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan
Imdb Synopsis: A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.
Filth. Noun. Defining: disgusting dirt, obscene and offensive language, corrupt behaviour and used as the plural noun of the police force — ‘the filth’, if ever a film were to encompass every definition of its title, it would be this one. Another adaptation of the highly successful Irvine Welsh books but deemed ‘un-filmable’ due to its narrative structure, decadent themes and use of a… earthworm, it took a good 15 years before anyone bold enough decided to film it for the silver screen; a worthy wait if you ask me – as it’s trepidation has been met with merit in the form of native Scot and silver screen tour-de-force, James McAvoy.
McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson – a bent and bipolar copper whose homophobic, racist, misogynistic, alcoholic, nihilistic and narcissistic characteristics (to name just a few of his fetching qualities) have lead him to a kingpin lifestyle. In line for a big promotion Bruce will screw over anyone, both in the literal and metaphorical sense; it’s not even that he is really desperate for the job, he’s just desperate not to let anyone else have it – to both sooth and inflate his ego and to help retain the strength in his white-heterosexual-male success. So potent is his distain for just about everybody else - he becomes akin to a contagious disease that just keeps spreading and infecting everyone around him. And although he is a violent, volatile and rather grotesque excuse for a human being, one who will undoubtedly repulse and disgust every single audience member in this galaxy [and the next], I still believe that it is possible to feel for him, or at least empathise as to why he does the things he does. Whilst I never once condoned or defended his actions, especially towards the end when the truth came out and presented itself in a weird little package, I did manage to retain a speck of truth in the fact that Bruce Robertson was not made of stone, just like the tin-man he does has a heart. It can only be concluded that it’s the strength of McAvoy’s acting that made this plausible, and passible – as all too easy it would have been to lead us to the conclusion that this one dimensional view of this Machiavellian archetype was all there was, but McAvoy manages to abundantly amplify the superficial and sickening behaviour of this antihero into something broader and much more complex. As he appears in practically every scene, it’s hard to escape the razor sharp lashings of Bruce – but every motion, mannerism and maniacal laugh (cue the Muppets gag) seems eloquent in its vulgarity. If only America could embrace Filth with open arms – and a concealed pack of anti-bacterial wipes, I’m sure it could kick up a stink in awards nomination accreditation – but alas, it’s footholds and foundations are too risqué for any Hollywood corporation. Whilst he is still a big shot A-lister, I’m sure James McAvoy will settle for being the latest acting King of Scotland.
There’s an equally impressive squadron of co-stars - from Jamie Bell’s right hand man Ray Lennox, cocky but with nothing to be cocky about, Jim Broadbent’s astounding turn as the Earthworm doctor giving ill-advised advice to a vulnerable and broken Bruce; he also happens to fashion the most magnificent prosthetic forehead.
For me however, it fell to Eddie Marsan to steal the greatest moments. The word ‘adorable’ came to mind when watching his performance, which isn’t necessary a word you would associate with high praise, but that’s exactly how it is meant – for he had a warmth and goodness that juxtaposed every pore of Bruce, he is the beacon of kindness in this corrupt world and even though his judgment was a little eschew his heart was always in the right place. And the ladz trip to Amsterdam provided me with the heartiest of laughs.
A clever use of the forth wall, interspersing narratives, a wildly creepy and unclean ending; along with a heap of tacky wallpaper in a heightened and eschewed Edinburgh all combine to wrap Filth up in a piss stained bow. Merry Christmas indeed. Bah humbug and all that jazz. It’s an unforgiving, unadulterated and uncompromising film that allows McAvoy to scowl, scam and sex his way to the top.
Cause it’s filthy, ooh and it’s gorgeous; 8.5 out of 10.
Date: 2013-10-05 19:43:00 GMT
Perplexedcam: I made a list to what to review. So… yeah… I just want to remember what I want to review. THE LIST: (NO PARTICULAR ORDER)Attack On TitanTop 10 Pokémon that should evolveTop 25 Favourite animated seriesLegend of KorraWander Over YonderMy Life as a Teenage RobotPokémon The OriginTop 10 Creepiest things in Animated Series.The Amazing World of Gumball.Top 10 Best Original Cartoon Network Series.AkiraWatamoteEvery Single Pokémon Movie.
Date: 2013-10-05 19:46:50 GMT
Purrmag: Last Friday I was lucky enough to see one of my all-time favourite bands, Paramore, play a sold out show at Wembley arena in London. I’ve been following the band since they featured on the Twilight soundtrack (2008/09) and until now have not had the opportunity to see them play live.
I was aware that they were all talented musicians, but I did not expect to witness such an amazing performance from the three Nashville rockers, who had to overcome the departure of two of the band’s founding members in 2009. They have bounced back with an amazing new record and all the energy and zest ready to really sell it…which they certainly did, as it turned gold in the UK a few weeks ago.
The show itself was an absolute work of art…vocalist Hayley Williams belted out hit after hit for over two hours, with the only breaks being quick little ukulele skits with guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis. They kept the crowd on their feet the entire time, and just had so much energy and passion for the music they were playing.
I really recommend you check out their music, and look out if you live in the US as the band are going to be touring this fall. You can find out more at Paramore.net.
Date: 2013-10-05 19:30:47 GMT
About Last Night: Legend of Korra "The Earth Queen" - Family and Impressment:
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Ba Sing Se, the great ringed capital of the Earth Kingdom, is still a city of high social stratification. The kind of place that it doesn’t matter what your name is or who you’re with, but if you have the coin. On the upside the city is at least connected with electric trains now instead of the gravity/earth bending train from A:TLA, getting riders back to their slum of a home just that much quicker.
In my last post I mentioned how the idea of what’s next following Harmonic Convergence would never top that in terms of scale (and misguidedly drama). With the introduction of the Earth Queen Hou-Ting, daughter to Earth King Kuei from A:TLA, I’m wondering how often we have narratives that feature a “good” ruler (nebulous as the term is). Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martins answer to what he saw as the fallacy in Tolkien literature where a good king simply ensured good things happened, is filled to the gills with terrible despots and unfit rulers. Hou-Ting’s father wasn’t great and that was in the much more clear cut Last Airbender, no matter how well he intended, he was utterly blind to the squalor his subjects lived in the outer ring and controlled by the Dai Li. Hou-Ting isn’t blind like her father, she just rules with a tight fist and high standards—for example throwing her gardener in the dungeons after being less than pleased with his topiary work.
Not willing to play ball or begin to think about handing over Earth Kingdom citizens (feinged fears I’m sure), the Queen sends Korra on a fetch quest. The expression on Korra’s face as she realized what is being asked of her makes the moment play with a meta quality. As if she realizes she’s being asked to do a lame fetch quest for no good reason beyond the power dynamic at play. Actress Jayne Taini gives the indication that Hou-Ting takes great joy in ordering the Avatar beyond just giving orders in general.
As lames as the quest for tax money is, it is at least realized in a setting out of Monument Valley. A sparse run down town beset on all sides by plateaus hundreds of feet high. Best of all the bandits who have been stealing the tax money show up intent on another raid, and they appear to be heavily influenced by Mad Max. I don’t know how much longer we’ll get Korra-Asami power hour but it’s just been fun watching to bad ass characters do what they do. Particularly Asami who was relegated to the background for the majority of Book 2, no matter how much I enjoy an exploration of war profiteering getting to see her kick butt with the shock glove is nice.
The section of A:TLA that was set within Ba Sing Se is probably among the stronger arcs of that entire series. Partially due to the novelty of actually being stuck in one place as oppsed to constantly running but mostly due to the scale physically and socially found within the walls. For a few episodes everyone was in the same place just no one actually realized it, allowing the series to explore the various levels of social strata and characters with relative ease. The cities sheer size allows for episode scribe Tim Hedrick to split everyone up but keep everyone close, sending Mako and Bolin on a hunt for Kai, having returned to pick pocketing form in the gold laden inner ring.
Mako and Bolin’s chase after Kai is short yet thrilling, highlighted by Mako bounding over a car in pursuit of the street rat. Similarities they may have, the two brothers have grown soft as they moved up the socio-economic ladder. Easily outwitted and played by the younger Kai and left stranded in the outer ring. The outer ring of Ba Sing Se is realized in several beautiful background images that are very painterly, almost melding everything together in single mass neon colored slums. After sleeping on a pile of trash things appear that they may have to thieve their way to a full belly only to discover that the would be booty is rotten fruit. Rotten fruit guarded by the bro-tastic Tu (TMNT’sGreg Cipes). On first watch the whole fruit stand scene felt like it went on a tad too long. On rewatch Tu is a well timed lampoon of bro characteristics.
As it turns out, Tu is Mako and Bolin’s cousin, discovering their fathers entire family in Ba Sing Se’s outer ring, grandma tears and all. So much of A:TLA and Korra has been about dealing with the fact you are likely from a dysfunctional family and discovering a surrogate one. Cynically, much of the family scenes are primed for maximum “feels” potential but my cynicisim is over come by the earnest quality to them. Finally after hints at their past, these two brothers discover something real and tangible, a letter and family portrait. The discovery of blood relatives serves to further complicate the fact that these are characters with lives. Now they’re just expected to leave them in this trash heap?
Kai for his part loves Ba Sing Se, having pick pocketed his way to the good life the city allows. His luck run out and he is captured by the Dai Li, who continue to be one of the scariest villains in the series. Impressing Kai into the new Earth Kingdom, airbender army, 1st regiment. The single shaft of light that closes on his face as he is thrown in the cell is a beautifully executed moment.
This idea of impressments was something I’d toyed with exploring in relation to Tenzin’s “recruitment” but it works far better here. These new airbenders aren’t Air Nomads they are Earth, Fire, or Water citizens first making them a potentially powerful tool in the balance of power between the three landed nations. The Earth Queen’s subjugation of this new minority sect of the populace will hopefully further bring up explore and question ideas of national and cultural identity.
No sign of Zaheer and the terrible trio this episode. With Korra and Asami taking out the bandits the necessary big action set piece for the episode is fulfilled. Instead we just get further proof that Zuko sucks at small talk, mentioning about the one time he sent Combustion Man to kill the Avatar…it didn’t work. Eska is no better consoling the former Fire Lord about that one time she tried to kill Korra after ruining her wedding…sometimes these things happen. There’s normally a micro series that accompanies the seasons hopefully this one is just awkward moments with Old Man Zuko. We do get the first appearance of Sparky-Sparky-Boom-Girl aka P’Li who sounds delightfully unhinged. Post on:
2014-06-29 01:26:36 GMT Legend of Korra
, Legend of Korra "Old Wounds" Festering Wounds
“Wana know how I got these scars?” was a horrific question in The Dark Knight because it was a question everyone would want answered; every scar has a story (just look at Arrow). Often used as signifiers of villainy or as a reminder for a past transgression, scars instantly add to a character on top of just looking cool. Giving one to Lin only made her more interesting. As soon as Lin Beifong appeared in Legend of Korra, a surely, job oriented, barker her was none too pleased at the Avatar’s presence, Bryke and Co. had something special. She swung around like Spider-Man with the attitude of Wolverine and had a sweet facial scar to boot. Lin Beifong had a past that was hinted at and illuminated sparingly but all that mystery made the character even more legendary.
Giving Lin her own episode, paired with a Tenzin centric episode following, is the kind of thing I would have expected from the previous series. With 22 episodes to write they had plenty of time to fill and meander about. With Book 3 Korra’s writing has hit a great synthesis of main seasonal arc and the kind of great one offs that made A:TLA great. The series has managed to introduce a wide range of side characters and is now starting to flesh them out (Bumi, Lin among the top) in more ways than great one off sequences.
Lin’s acupuncture induced flashbacks are short but give a great idea of what it was like in the Beifong house. Lin already an officer arrives to find Suyin skipping school and hanging out with some less than savory individuals. It’s their brief interactions with each other mostly Lin saying “You’re wasting your potential” and Suyin mocking her for being a cop that get to the heart of the matter. Their relationship echo’s that of Azula and Zuko. One sibling desperately trying to please their parent the other not trying to at all and always getting favorable treatment by just being “perfect”, from Lin’s perspective. Suyin isn’t perfect though as the next flash back reveals how Suyin driving the getaway car for her hoodlum friends (who were working for the Terror Tirade) and how she gave Lin those pair of facial scars.
After Lin captures her sister, Toph’s daughters place their mother in an impossible situation. Unable to afford having a daughter in prison, she banishes Suyin (putting her speech about running away last episode into new light) and covers the whole thing up. This was the breaking point for their family and made an old festering wound inside Lin.
16 years later all that festering finally bursts with sister attacking sister. Lin normally the hero is here portrayed more as the antagonist even though she is the protagonist of the piece. The Republic City chief projects all her bitterness and self loathing on to her sister and blaming her for their mother’s retirement a year later. Despite Suyin once again stating that her and Toph worked this all out years ago. It’s that inability to let go that makes Lin such a good police chife though, it’s been encoded into her ever since she became a cop. There is no trusting people anymore, once someone has dabbled in criminality they are forever tainted even your own sister. Without fighting her sister, there would be no way for Lin to square the contradictory messages being sent.
This isn’t to imply that Suyin is completely innocent. I think she has changed for the better but Zaofu feels like the new aged Ba Sing Se: Truthseers “there are no secrets in Zaofu” and protective domes that fold up during the night. The biggest red flag being Varricks occupancy, played for comedy audiences know he’s the worst kind of villain: a business man.
Parenting is hard (duh) on both sides of the equation (double duh). With an episode showing the effects of ax parenting and holding gurduges, Bolin and Opal opening up and admitting to one another their fears of failure and disappointment was a sweet thematic accompaniment. Look at them opening up and supporting each other, it’s adorable as all get out.
With “Old Wounds” healed, Korra may have told one of its best mini arcs. With the two part structure for the season, by all apprences, the fact they have fractured these arcs is annoying. At the sometime it makes me want to watch next week’s episode.Post on:
2014-07-19 06:02:00 GMT legend of korra
, Thoughts: Legend of Korra Book 3 "Enter the Void"/"Venom of the Red Lotus"
At the start of this season I wondered how Bryke and Co. would handle with coming back after ending on such a huge blockbuster finale. Would they attempt to once again top themselves with sheer scale or would they make the right call and attack the personal lives of their heroes. Change is the latter option attacking Korra on the most personal level and ending on a bitter sweet victory, in true Spider-man fashion even when you win you still lose.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. The hero is captured by their enemies and is slowly being lowered to their end. It’s a cliffhanger trope from classic serials to 60’s Batman. Send the audience away on the edge of their seat, and back to it the next. As the Red Lotus, now with their own foot soldier characters in the same garb as the White Lotus only with red trim, apply the titular venom( I guess it was Mercury) to Korra’s body I couldn’t help but actually think that our lead was in mortal danger. In the moment I felt fear and was consumed by the product on my screen which is quite the task for someone like me who has a habit of constantly thinking about the more formal aspects of what I’m viewing. And why shouldn’t I be? The second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in Empire Strikes Back fashion with Aang mostly dead and our heroes on the run with the Fire Nation standing tall and near unstoppable.
I’m working on a couple of other things and it has me to considering why more often than not we consider a sequel better than the first film. Now my thoughts aren’t totally formed on the manner but I think it comes down to having an already established cast of characters and visual language to communicate with, using past iconography to reinforce present danger. Delrious from the posion, Korra hallucinates her captors all morphing into past enemies. Zaheer’s face breaks to reveal Amon. Ghazon becomes her Uncle Unalaq. And Ming Hua transforms in the Vaatu, a character I thought for a second was actually speaking to her since that’s kind of what he does. The revelation that Unalaq was a member of the Red Lotus felt a tad awkward but using him and past villains communicated the mortal danger of the situation beautifully. It also reminded me how everyone in this series wants to kill the Avatar.It’s kind of rote to have someone want to kill the Avatar (or any hero) constantly, but in the case of Korra it’s the only thing that I think really fits. Korra so identifies herself as the Avatar that to take that away or have her be the one it all ends with is rich dramatic soil making you actually believe they’d somehow kill the lead of the show (as irrational as it is).
Even if Book 3: Change didn’t end like the previous series second season, it was a victory still achieved at great cost. Korra, still recovering two weeks after the final encounter, stuck in a wheel chair. Korra may not be mostly dead but she has taken great damage. As President Raiko foreshadows in the background, we still don’t know how many more Red Lotus are out there and the Earth Kingdom is in chaos. The good guys still won and that bitter sweet as it there is a new air bending master in town: Jinora. She will help lead the new Air Nation as the reclaim their nomadic roots and I guess become like Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu or Jedi equivalents.
Towards the end of their interview on the Nerdist Writers Panel, Ben Blacker asks them what’s next after Book 4 is finished. Perhaps more Avatar? Neither Bryan Konietzko nor Michael Di Martino say no decisively, attributing the gravitational pull of their creation as eventually bringing them back. But in their words they think they’ve taken the action adventure animation thing to the limits with the budgets and production available. After watching the Dragon Ball Z, Man of Steel, Matrix fight between Korra and Zaheer it’s very easy to believe they have gone to the limit, the fact this fight stands out after this has been a season of just fantastic action set pieces is surprisin
There is a 20 second unbroken flying shot in there that while not as sumptuous as True Detectives long take is truly beautiful. The animation on a weightless, flying Zaheer is fantastic. Flying without a prop and making it look good is such hard thing to produce animated or live action. Credit deservedly goes to executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and the animation department. Konietzko called it a “herculean undertaking, and he had some help cleaning up a few of the scenes by Owen Sullivan (on this one) and Shaun O’Neil. If you didn’t already know it, Joaquim is a force of nature when it comes to action animation!” Unless Netflix or Amazon co-produced their next Avatar project (or other action adventure project) I doubt they could top themselves, not that I would turn down more of such a consistently well produced product like Legend of Korra.
Book 2 of Legend of Korra as a whole is much stronger than the component pieces but even than I was still nervous going into this season. To say the series has rebounded is an understatement, producing what may be the best in the series run. Even with the extracircular drama about leaks and moving time slots and a sudden move to digital none of that matters because this season of Legend of Korra was amazing.
Here’s to hoping Book 4 is just as good and that it isn’t exclusive to smart watches.
Bits At The End
Seriously go listen to the Bryke interview on Nerdist Writers Panel, a conversation about the creative process the impetuses for doing Avatar how to pitch but not pitch and something about a live action movie that happened (weird I don’t remember that).
Ok calling it now Kuviar is a Red Lotus member, you don’t just name a character and reference them twice for no reason.Post on:
2014-08-24 17:59:35 GMT Tags: legend of korra
, enter the void
, venom of the red lotus
, joaquim dos santos
, Let's Talk About Legend of Korra's "The Stakeout"
"The Stakeout," Legend of Korra's first episode released directly is out on the interwebs (for you to watch legally!). What did you think? Here's my review over at Screencrush, but throw down your reactions/insight/theories in the comments or reblogs (and if you want to post on Screencrush so they know we know Korra’s still alive and kickin’ it, I won’t stop you).
We’ll be back with a new episode Sunday! Tenzin: Not dead!
2014-08-01 17:59:17 GMT