Episode 55 : More Ray

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Added on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:36:01 -0800.
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As a matter of fact, we're back. Lined up for a relentless beating with a Coutts-brand Truth Revelation Pole this time around are The Edge of Darkness, Youth In Revolt, The Book of Eli, Invictus, Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll and 44 Inch Chest. Who will stagger victorious into the light? Who will be found face down in a ditch? Find out in this exciting podcast.

Edge of Darkness sees Mel Gibson as a distressed father seeing his daughter gunned down in front of him. Initially assuming that he was the target, revenge from one of the criminals he's arrested over hos years as a cop, it appears that the nuclear research firm his daughter had been working for may have had some dark secrets that they will stop at nothing to keep hidden. While I found Edge of Darkness to be perfectly reasonable entertainment, the plot twists are a little too ridiculous too describe this as anything other than a decent, but ultimately forgettable thriller.

While I have to say up front I think Invictus is a very fine and enjoyable film, I'll have trouble backing it up with cold hard facts. Short form, Matt Damon plays Francois Pienaar, head of the failing South African rugby team in the run up to the Rugby world cup. Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela's the newly elected head of South Africa. Seeing an opportunity to rally the entire country behind a unifying cause, Mandela tries to inspire Pienaar and team to win the Cup. Now, in a way this is just a standard issue underdog sporting side beating the odds to reach victory that happens to have Nelson Mandela in it, but it is a massively well crafted one, and worthy of your attention.

Much as we like Denzel Washington round these parts, he's not a miracle worker. As such, when faced with the uniquely dreadful post-apocalyptic shenanigans of The Book of Eli he can't save it. It's surprisingly lacking in action scenes for an action film, and those that are present are lifelessly handled. One of the dullest films you'll see this year, and that's without considering the appalling religious moral posturing. C'est baws.

In Youth In Revolt, the story itself is no great shakes. In order to secure the love of a girl, Michael Cena goes to great and obsessive lengths to be close to her, only to be turned away by the cruel vagaries of fate. Not one the be dissuaded, we creates a rebellious alter ego in the shape of Francois Dillinger. Chaos reigns. With a sharp script, superb delivery from the entire cast and a welcome pervading threat of left-field tomfoolery, there's pretty much nothing I can think of in Youth In Revolt that isn't an unqualified success.

Ian Dury is best known for his billing with the Blockheads, responsible for a few quirky hits like Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick and the titular Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. This is his life story, of sorts. Like most interesting characters, he's a bit of prick, but seeing as that's a large part of his appeal it's churlish to complain about that. The narrative of Dury's life, perhaps fittingly, is told in a way that's closer to a pantomime than a slice of documentary footage. Like the man himself, it takes frequent turns into the leftfield that keeps things interesting, regardless of how big a fan or otherwise you are of Dury himself. Quirky, amusing and interesting, this is another film I'd recommend wholeheartedly.

44 Inch Chest rounds of the trio of Ray Winstone appearances covered in this podcast, as Lahhdahhhn gangster Colin Diamond's wife leaves him heartbroken. Colin's solution? Kidnap the young stud who's captured his wife's heart on the pretence of killing him, then having something of a mental breakdown. Initially appearing to be an awful, cliche-ridden Ritchie-esque mess of a film, by the time the credits roll it's thrown a number of curveballs that make it a confusing and unique film, if not something I can outright call "good". Add to your oddball queue.

That is all for now. We'll be back sometime soon, so until then keep your nose clean and if you can't be good, be lucky.