Hello!

Technically, this is my 500th post, but in some ways it’s also my first, as it’s the inaugural post written on my site’s new home, lifevsfilm.com. For newcomers, welcome, make yourself at home. For old friends, welcome to my new address. There’s no need for any New Home greetings cards, and don’t expect to receive any New Address notifications in the post either, I’m sure you’ll find me if you want to.

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At present, this site is nowhere near ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public, but it shall be unleashed anyway, and I’ll iron out the bugs/finish building the thing as I go, so don’t worry if anything isn’t as you think it should be just yet, it’ll get there soon enough. Anyway, enough rambling, I’m here to write about films, and that’s what I’m going to do.

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The Sand Pebbles

The year is 1926, just before one of the many Chinese revolutions. Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) is a ship’s engineer who has been transferred to a small run-down gunship named the San Pablo, or the Sand Pebble to her crew. Aboard the Pebble, Holman causes tension amongst the already tight-knit yet divided crew, which doesn’t help when the Chinese public attempt to instigate a war with the US. Continue reading

Kate Winslet: Naturist

Kate Winslet, it seems, is more than just a disembodied pair of breasts that sporadically unveil themselves at inopportune moments in movies. Apparently there is a voice associated with those mammaries (and therefore, one assumes, a mouth, tongue, trachea and who knows how many other body parts too), and it is a voice that has become familiar to the public at large. It was only natural then that the lady in question would use said voice within films, as is the case here with two semi-documentary dramas that focus heavily on nature: The Fox And The Child and Pride. After all, it’s no secret that voice acting is a great deal easier than full-body acting, as there’s no hours of make-up, preparation of scenes and lighting or extravagant costumes to put on (or take off, as the case may be). Unfortunately, the appeal of an easy job can cause a lull in judgement in choosing said work, as is the case with both of these films. Continue reading

Top 10… Movies With All-Male Casts

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I’m off on a stag do this weekend – paint-balling, followed by drinking, in case you were wondering, although personally I think those should be the other way around – and in fact this is the first stag do I’ve ever been on, so I’m a little apprehensive as to what’s going to go down amidst a group of guys I know next to nothing about, seeing as the only one I really know is the groom. This concern comes from all the bachelor parties I’ve seen in films, and how none of them have ever really worked out all that well. The obvious list I jumped to was top 10 bachelor parties in films, but alas I couldn’t think of 10 (in descending order: The Hangover 2, American Pie: The Wedding, The Hangover, Bachelor Party, Very Bad Things, Clerks 2, Sideways), so I switched it out for something similar, celebrating the films that, just like the traditional stag do, don’t allow women in them. I had to take a few liberties here – you’ll see what I mean – but I think they’re acceptable. In fact, this list contains several of my all-time favourite films, two of which I have posters of in my lounge, which may say something about my opinions of women in cinema… Oh, and before you check, no, there isn’t any gay porn on here.
Honourable Mention: Outpost
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Zombies! Nazi zombies! Ridiculous Nazi zombies! The premise for this film is, well, kinda dumb – a rich dude hires a group of mercenaries to take him to an underground bunker, where they discover the Nazis performed some tests in WW2 to create an unkillable soldier, and wouldn’t you know it, whilst they’re their they manage to resurrect them – and the film itself plays out little better. The only ‘names’ amongst the cast are Michael Smiley (Spaced, Kill List) and Ray Stevenson (Thor, Punisher: War Zone) and the director, Steve Barker, has made nothing else of note save a crap-looking sequel, but despite the unlikable characters (particularly Robert Blake’s greasy Prior) and evidently low budget, this still has its moments. Can’t help thinking Nazi zombies have a great deal more to offer than this though. I really wanted Con Air to take this position, or Armageddon, but they have fairly prominent female roles, dammit. Continue reading

All the King’s Men

In 1950s Louisiana, door-to-door brush salesman and parish treasurer Willie Stark (Sean Penn) runs for Governor, under the eye of local politician Duffy (James Gandolfini). A local reporter (Jude Law) takes a personal interest in him, and ends up working for/with Stark, much to the disapproval of his stepfather (Anthony Hopkins) and his childhood companions (Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo).
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