Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Oh hi!

Look where you are! You're at The Incredible Suit, a film blog which used to be updated so infrequently that nobody noticed when it stopped being updated altogether.

Anyway, just because there won't be anything new and sexy here for the foreseeable future, there's still a shitload of great stuff for you to browse if you're bored or mentally ill. That 'Reviews' tab up top, for example, could take you to any of a number of "razor-sharp" "critiques" of films from A-Team, The to Youth In Revolt. Although that last one is only ten words long.

Alternatively you could let any of 35 movie music playlists make sweet tender love to your earholes, providing you're wearing a Spotify prophylactic.

And if James Bond films are your thing, why, there are extensive musings on every entry in the series by The Incredible Suit (click the links over on the right) and also from a wealth of similarly-tragic bloggers in the BlogalongaBond project, which can be accessed via the tab up top.

So have a seat, make yourself at home, pop your trousers off and explore all that The Incredible Suit has to offer. And in the unlikely event that you want more, you can find me on Twitter, Letterboxd and The Shiznit.

Last but not least: want to pay me cold, hard cash for cold, hard words? I will write for you if you're nice enough. Email me.

You take care now.

Friday, 18 January 2013

The Incredible Suit 2009-2013

All good things must come to an end, they say, and it turns out the same is true for all fatuous, half-hearted things too. Yep, grab a tissue, because the world's best movie blog to be called The Incredible Suit is ceasing production of ill-informed film prattle as of today.
 
It's OK, man. Let it go.

When I decided, on June 24th 2009, that what the world needed more than anything was to know how I felt after watching Chicago the night before, I had no idea a) how wrong I was or b) how much my tiny world would change as a result. But change it did, and before you could say "Goodness me, three and a bit years have passed", I was interviewing Roger Moore and Daniel Craig in the same week. If 2009 me had known, he would have shit himself from both sides.

I'm stopping writing The Incredible Suit because lots of other writing opportunities have presented themselves lately, and balancing them with a full time job, a blog and some kind of life is too much like hard graft for a workshy fop like me. Those opportunities came, though, as a direct result of me sitting down to chat shit about Chicago, so take heart, fledgling bloggers: if you bang on about James Bond enough on your own site, maybe one day you too will get to spend an hour in Roger Moore's company on behalf of the world's greatest film magazine. You will need to sort out your dreadful spelling and grammar though.

I'm aware that a lot of The Incredible Suit's content has been unmitigated shit, but there is the odd winnet of goodness in there that I've been quite pleased with - interviewing heroes like Joe Cornish (twice), David Arnold and Danny Kleinman, for example, or that thing with the crisps. Most of all, though, I'm proud to have fathered BlogalongaBond and ushered it through some difficult times, like Thunderball for example. It was with unbridled joy that I realised I was basically MAKING PEOPLE WATCH BOND FILMS, and if I achieve nothing else in my life I know that with that one, selfless act, I made the world a better place. I'd like to extend my thanks, a big hug and the offer of sexual intercourse to everyone who took part, especially those that joined in every single month and saw it through to the bitter end.

The most unexpected fallout from writing The Incredible Suit is that, given that I only ever thought it would be read by close friends, complete strangers who read it have ended up becoming close friends. Having started a blog because nobody in the real world knew what I was wittering about, I now have an entire circle of equally annoying freaks who at least understand the true genius of Timothy Dalton.

So as I pack up my words and take them off to new and better-paying homes, I'd like to say thanks to a few people. I'd like to, but I'm not going to, because unless you're one of them you don't care, and also I'll only forget someone and make them cross. But if you've been reading this rubbish for any length of time and not immediately posted some hate about it on Twitter, then consider yourself thanked. And if you're my wife, who's been unfathomably understanding about all this cack for over three years, then consider yourself thanked even harder.

As well as whoring out badly-constructed sentences to various regretful outlets, I'll still be talking balls on Twitter, occasionally dumping foul-smelling opinions on Letterboxd and - I'm very excited to say - continuing to blogulate my own brand of cabbage on the pages of the world's new best film blog, The Shiznit. So if you ever find yourself in a dark moment, unsure of how to feel about George Lazenby, that's where I'll be, waiting to hold your hand and tell you it's OK to like On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Thanks for reading and sorry about the rubbish bits,

Neil
x

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Gangster Squad

It's been four hundred and forty-one long, dark days since a new Ryan Gosling film was released in British cinemas. After 2011's glorious fourgasm of Blue Valentine, Drive, the ridiculously-punctuated Crazy, Stupid, Love. and The Ides Of March, 2012 was a miserable, Gosling-free year. No wonder the Mayans wanted to end it all: what's the point in carrying on in a world without Gos?
No point.

2013, however, is back on track. The Gozzler has four more films slated for release in the next twelve months and the first is Gangster Squad, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer's '40s LA-set unintentional near-remake of The Untouchables, with Gosling in the Andy Garcia role of tough cop totty. The good news is that Gozboz is in it a lot, and he wears some nice suits.
The middling news is that Gangster Squad revels in a ludicrously fun comic-book aesthetic: all saturated colour palette, meaty cartoon violence and Sean Penn labouring under the misapprehension that he's in Dick Tracy. Even the relentless clich├ęs and cheddary dialogue feel like they fit because they're sitting in a bath of gloriously OTT nonsense. All of which is stupidly enjoyable for the first half hour or so, until it becomes clear that not everybody got the memo about this being some kind of pantomime. Including R-Gos.

And so the bad news is that Fleischer displays a total loss of control over the tone of his film, with over-earnest speeches and an anodyne love story rubbing up uncomfortably against Penn's comedy conk and Nick Nolte's Nick Nolteness. Too much of Gangster Squad takes itself bafflingly seriously when it should be smirking at its own stupidity, not least the titular squad, who - with their special skills - will be remarkably familiar to fans of the Red Dwarf episode Gunmen Of The Apocalypse:
Josh Brolin IS "Dangerous" Dan McGrew, bare fist fighter

Anthony Mackie IS Brett Riverboat, knife man

Robert Patrick IS The Riviera Kid *Spanish guitar sting*

 Nick Nolte IS the sozzled sheriff who can barely stand and has
no idea where he is, how he got there or what his purpose is

Not quite good enough, and not quite bad enough to be so bad it's good, Gangster Squad looks nice but has absolutely squad all to say about or add to its genre. But at least it contains a quarter of your recommended annual allowance of Gosling, the next portion of which is still an upsetting ninety-three days away.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Django Unchained

A crackly, scratched, faux-retro studio ident. A stonking title song found underneath one of the most obscure sofa cushions of cinema history. Credits which include Samuel L Jackson and an actor to whom nobody's given a second thought in the last twenty years. Could you be watching a Quentin Tarantino film?
As the purloined theme from 1966's Django fades out and you recover from the shock of seeing Don Johnson's name on a cinema screen, Christoph Waltz trundles into view atop a carriage adorned with a ridiculous giant tooth on a spring and almost immediately starts spouting Tarantino's knowingly hyper-real dialogue, and all feels right with the world. I'm not QT's biggest fan, but being around to see his films in cinemas for the first time feels like a privilege. They're proof that auteurs still exist in mainstream cinema, and listening to Waltz gleefully wrap his Austrian vowels around Tarantino's words provides as much of a buzz as watching the Hulk punch Thor in the face.

An hour later, and Django Unchained has already booked its place in every Best Of 2013 list: as the titular unshackled slave, Jamie Foxx - resplendent in a literally incredible suit - conveys years of brutal servitude in his eyes alone; geysers of spurting blood ensure that the violence remains hilariously over the top; and Samuel L Jackson is about to put in a very serious bid for a Supporting Actor Oscar with his repulsive, obsequious head butler Stephen. Think a potty-mouthed Mr Carson from Downton Abbey invested with a soul-rotting hatred for everyone in the world (including himself) and you're still only half way there.
But Jackson's entrance in the film also means we've arrived at Candieland, Leonardo DiCaprio's plantation, which is to Django Unchained what Emily Blunt's farm is to Looper. Unable to maintain the pace of the film's blistering first half, Tarantino over-indulges his ego by forcing us to spend a near-interminable stretch of time watching DiCaprio pantomime his way through a script which has gone from cutthroat-sharp to lumpy and leaden with disappointing swiftness. It's this section which could so easily have been filleted to cut down the daft 165-minute running time; it's also that which lets you know, once again, that you're watching the work of a flawed genius. When the climax finally arrives in an explosive storm of blood and bullets it's welcome relief from the preceding tedium, but not enough to make you forget it.

Had Tarantino split Django Unchained into two films, as Harvey Weinstein's wallet would have liked, we'd have been looking at a near-replica of Kill Bill in terms of pacing: a confident, ballsy Part 1 and an indulgent, rambling Part 2. As it is we get both in one extra-long compendium. So while the first half will make you want to wet yourself with joy, if you can hold it in till you get to Candieland there's ample opportunity for a bog break then.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Poster for new Nicholas Sparks adaptation marks break from tradition of Nicholas Sparks adaptation posters

Safe Haven (2013)

The Lucky One (2012)

The Last Song (2010)

Dear John (2010)

Nights In Rodanthe (2008)

The Notebook (2004)
It's got pink text.