Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kenneth... Less, Actually (Please)

Here in Blighty we have a satellite channel known as movies4men. I'm not being illiterate or forgetting to press the shift key, that's how it's spelt and yes, it is all in lower case.  Today being Easter Saturday the whole TV schedule is completely buggered up and nothing is on as normal. After watching the only thing worth actually watching (the premiere episode of Doctor Who with Matt Smith as an immensely likeable Doctor with a wisecracking attitude), we finally settled on the movies4men channel as our source of early evening entertainment.

Beware of the words fabulous, incredible, fantastic, spectacular and classic on the same movie sleeve.
Well, how sad. Is this the best we can do? The first, ahem, movie we were... treated?  to was Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. No, not the Brendan Fraser version. The 1976 version starring Kenneth More, obviously shot during a period in the actor's life when in the widest possible creative and stylistic sense, he needed the money. Its actual title is Viaje al Centro de la Tierra in which More gamely struggles through this badly-shot piece of donkey-do's abetted by a cast of people who seem to have done nothing else with their acting careers but star in Spanish soap operas. The special effects are so embarrassingly poor in quality, even by 1976 standards, that they make Pulgasari, the North Korean Godzilla rewrite (directed by Shin Sang Ok, the South Korean director  that crazy knucklehead Kim Jong Il kidnapped and forced to work for him in order to revitalize North Korean cinema - honestly!) look like Raiders Of The Lost Ark. There was one scene of a long raft journey where I was wishing for someone to fall in the water and drown just to spice it up a bit. When the movie ended, mercifully, the credits lasted about 30 seconds, and that wasn't because the TV channel speeded them up like they do in USA just so they can start another movie (or the same movie again - I'm talking to you, TBS! Honestly, guys, you get so proud of a movie when you get it, don't you? So proud that you have to show it 4 times back-to-back, three days in succession! There are other films, y'know), no, this was actual speed. All I gleaned from them was that the film had been shot on location in Lanzarote and Tenerife (probably the only reason Kenny More was seduced by it - somebody handed him a fat pile of cash and said "Meester More, you very fine actor, how you like to shoot film, 2 days work, we pay for holiday, si?") and at a studio in Madrid. Sheesh.
Hmm, could this be a guy in a suit?
Following this flick, the stench of abject failure had barely time to dissipate before another fine cinematic achievement graced the screen. Oy. It was Nip/Tuck's very own Dylan Walsh in a piece of action fluff from 1999, the terrible Final Voyage.  Mr. Walsh has participated in some fine work in his day, starring as he did in 1994's Nobody's Fool alongside such legends as Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy, not to mention Bruce Willis. However, let's not forget his performance in the dire Congo, proof that even Tim Curry can make a stink. Final Voyage makes you wish that it truly was final. Wearing a haircut that would make Thomas Haden Church blench, Mr. Walsh gives the most unconvincing portrayal of a bodyguard since, I dunno, Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. Aided and abetted in this venture by stalwart crap-movie veterans Erika Eleniak, Ice-T (sorry T! Ya know I love ya, but sometimes, you gotta read the script before saying yes. Word.) and Claudia Christian, the film is a lame attempt to capitalise on the success of Titanic by weaving a bodyguard-with-difficult-rich-bitch-client characterization into a dull sinking-cruise-ship plot, resulting in tragedy... for the viewer. Needless to say I watched the first 15 or so minutes before I felt the bile rising in my gullet and went and did the dishes.
Terror is right.
Here is my message to the channel movies4men and all who sail in her - just simply putting on a flick because it's supposedly full of action and thrills does not mean it is a movie for men, it might simply mean it's a movie for the trashcan. Use a bit of what you might term quality control. Actually watch the thing before deciding whether to screen it. Or is your budget so low that you spent half of it on a pizza?

Bring back MST3K!


  1. not happy then Jeff
    can always read a book

  2. Thanks for that. I could read a book, and often do, as you well know.... Mum.


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