Tag Archives: funny

Flowing juices. Creative ones, obviously.

Image

To quote the much maligned and dearly beloved late 90’s nu-metal band, ‘Stain’d’ – “It’s been a while”.

Several moons have passed since I last put finger to keyboard and mined literary goldust in the much loved Ross report. I could tell you that it was due to a creative funk, or I could even tell you it was because I have been far too busy hacking away at a forest of publishers, magazines and other literary guff peddlers – each clamouring for a piece of the artist formerly known as Ross. But, of course this would be false, and I would therefore be a liar. And I am not a liar, just a little bit of a dick.

The true reason for my absence has been much more mundane. Essentially, hammering out five blogs a week was a big ask and one that I could not realistically maintain without imploding like a beautiful, but dying star. So, as swiftly as I crashed head first into the literary atmosphere (forever changing how human’s percieved blog writing), I left it.

Well, nation, I have returned. For how long I cannot say. Possibly, until this ferocious black coffee I just sucked down has worn off and I collapse into a caffiene-related fug of sleepiness. But, for now I throw myself at your feet, my creative love muscle spewing forth words – pump after pump of consonants, vowels and….erm, full stops I guess.

What’s new Ross? One of you quietly whispers. Well, in fact life is bubbling over nicely in 2013. I am a week and a half from Tough Mudder. I have trained relentlessly for this brute and as it slowly slides into focus on my horizon, I no longer fear this spitting, raging slut. I embrace her and feel confident I will beat her soundly. I should stop using the word “her” as this could also be construed as a carrying a domestic-y violence vibe. Never pleasant. No. Ahem.

I have run two 12 miler’s and have dropped 8lbs since New Years Eve. Granted, five of those pounds possibly were deposited in the toilets of White Hart Lane on New Years day, as I proudly watched my beloved Tottenham Hotspur scithe through Reading with a hangover akin to being nose-fucked by deranged donkey – whom was partial to coitus with a human nostril.

Domestic violence and beastiality. Yep, the ross report is definitely back.

What else? In two weeks time, a road trip to the sleepy German vista of Stuttgart begins.  Handily scheduled to coincide with the massive beer festival. A quick glance at google maps reveals that our hotel is 100 yards from a beer tent. However, my suggestion of growing out a blonde maine and wearing blue contact lenses to “fit in” was shouted down. Primarily because I struggle with hair growth as a rule and some other ‘political’ reasons.

Also, I have been asked to be the best man for my friend Thomas Bradbury Esq. If a man be judged on his appearances as a best man (best being the operative word) then this would be my second show-stopping gig. The first one, for my big brother garnered rave reviews from two seperate pissed and distant relatives in the lavvy, to quote, “Best speech I’ve ever heard lad”. High praise. Plus, there were at least three women crying when I switched the speech from witty to earnest. Suffice to say, Thomas, I will not let you down.

Now, at the risk of spouting on and on like a fucked up oil rig, I will call a halt to this five star return blog. I cannot promise there will be more but I will try.

Things are looking up nation, of that I am certain. Peace-out, A-town.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Watch: ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’.

tumblr_mcrnr0hpIS1qbblvjo1_1280

I had a cat once. I dropped a sofa on it. It was a write-off, so I stood on its head.” – Dean Learner

You would be forgiven for not having been aware of today’s recommendation. Criminally, this excellent and ground-breaking televisual feast was given a graveyard slot on channel four, subjected to a piss-poor marketing campaign and lost in amongst the dank fug of tripe being peddled out by mid 2000’s channel four.

Thankfully, in this case, quality lasts and inevitably shines through, and no other show that I can think of glistens with the comedic sheen that ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ does. Broadcasted in 2004 ‘Darkplace’ was and remains a cult show that truly defines the term, clasped lovingly to the collective breasts of its loyal fan base and revered by many as the funniest show to grace UK screens of the last decade. High praise indeed when we consider this a time of relative success in terms of UK comedy – think ‘The Office’ and ‘Peep Show’.

There will be some reading this who know of ‘Darkplace’, and it is likely that they are already fervent fans. However, as mentioned earlier, this slipped under the radar of many. Mostly due to a minimal advertising campaign that failed to translate exactly what the show was about and also a late night slot apparently designed promote to failure.

‘Darkplace’ is the twitching brainchild of creator Matthew Holness and is presented as a lost classic: a television series produced in the 1980s, though never broadcast at the time. The presentation features commentary from many of the “original” cast, where characters such as ‘Garth Marenghi’ and ‘Dean Learner’ reflect on making the show.

The beauty of the comedy is how the entire debacle is played completely straight, the talking head interviews are note perfect and exhibit the acting brilliance of Holness as well as ‘editor’ Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade) and Todd Rivers (Matt Berry). What makes things massively hilarious is how terrible the original show was. ‘Darkplace’ parodies numerous aspects of ’80s low-budget television, including fashion, special effects, production gaffs, and music. The dubbing, jump cuts, wooden acting all create a heady mix of pure comedic genius, allowing for very little respite to collect air from guffawing so much. It’s that good folks.

In the eyes of ‘Marenghi’ and ‘Learner’ this was cutting edge, era defining television. The joke lies within how it most certainly was not.

Unfortunately, ’Darkplace’ only lasted a meager six episodes. In some ways this is probably the perfect way for the show to remain as each episode is a comedy classic with stories ranging from a mutated eye-child called ‘Skipper’ to Sanchez falling in love with a woman who turns in to a stick of broccoli. To continue would potentially have led to a drop in quality albeit unlikely with the talent involved. Channel four in an admission of their almighty balls up, re-ran the series and cobbled together a fantastic DVD package a couple of years after the show aired – definitely worth picking up for a few quid.

Since its release, Ayoade has moved on to ‘The I.T Crowd’ and directing with the brilliant ‘Submarine’ and recently starring in a Hollywood comedy with A-list big dicks Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill. Similarly, Matt Berry also starred in ‘The I.T Crowd’ taking over the enormous shoes of legend Chris Morris.

I cannot recommend this show enough, it is utterly exceptional and sits amongst greats such as ‘Alan Partidge’ and ‘Brass Eye’ in my personal, awesome opinion.

I will leave it to Garth sum up…

“Greetings traveler. I’m Garth Marenghi, horror writer. Most of you will probably know me already from my extensive canon of chillers, including Afterbirth, in which a mutated placenta attacks Bristol. Back in the 1980s, I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a television program so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy, that the so-called powers that be became too scared to show it, and gypped me. Much in the same way women have done ever since they sniffed out my money.” – Garth Marenghi

Enjoy pilgrims…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Training: Nerve inhibition and bonus BANE!

BANE_BACK_1305929510

I woke up this morning aching, pissed off and unrested. Another setback has befallen my bumpy road to full fitness and recovery. After my trip to the GP’s three weeks ago I was given the prognosis that I had some mild tendonitis in my left shoulder. That was a steaming pile of *cough* horse-shit.

At the time of the appointment I felt slightly relieved, following the prior amateur diagnosis from my big brother that I may have had a minor stroke. Tendonitis is manageable and strokes tend to be a smidge more difficult to overcome. Just a tiddy bit.

Anyway, three weeks of rest and a sedentary lifestyle came and went. As expected I became a misery and irritable. I had started to hammer the CV but swiftly recognised that even a running movement was aggravating my shoulder. My sleep pattern suffered due to not exhausting myself through the day, and anyone who has the misfortune of sharing a bed with me will know I am a massive mental when I sleep. But, I kept to the plan as per the doc’s recommendation like a good little boy with the distant hope that I would be back to full Hulk mode in a month.

So, the pain had subsided to a point where I decided it was time to dip my toe in the water and give the shoulder a little workout.

This turned out to be foolish.

My shoulder had about 40% of the strength that it ordinarily pumps out, I was wincing with every lift and unable to support even the lightest of loads. This culminated in an incline bench movement whereby my left arm gave out completely causing me to launch the bar back in to the notch to prevent a premature beheading. Consequently, I stormed out of the weights area and straight into the changing room with a major grump on. I didn’t even shower, you heard me right, not even a splash around the pits and ball-sack.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and booked a physio appointment. 45 notes lighter, I had a new prognosis – nerve inhibition. Essentially, my rhomboid muscles are freakishly over-developed and have encroached on my shoulder blades, shoving them up and forward. Consequently, the shoulder blades are applying pressure to the scapula and inhibiting the nerves in my shoulders, particularly my left, causing the nerves to wave the white flag when asked to work.

Also, I was joyful to learn that I have awful posture problems. 27 years of hunching over have taken their grizzly toll on my shoulders. I was interested to learn how much damage a poor posture can have on the body. When I say mine was bad, it wasn’t god-awful, but the physio was adamant I needed to transform how I carry myself when walking, standing, sitting and sleeping…for life.

If you can picture the scene in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ where Bane is sat hunched over in the sewer and presented with the battered Commissioner Gordon, well, that is pretty much how my posture is. (Piccy-wic included). Yes, I did just compare myself to Bane – deal with it.

Right now the pain is fairly prominent, I am certain that when I lifted two days ago I over compensated and have in turn strained my left bicep as well – Great stuff.

The outlook for the next month would therefore appear to be rest, posture improvement and several more sessions with the work physio (free) and lots of finger and bollock crossing that I repair.

One thing I have learned is that when I do get back into the iron lifting game, I will be dropping back on the weights. I have surpassed what I realistically should be lifting which is a damn good thing but also an achievement that has come with a painful cost. Plus, Tough Mudder is on the horizon and I MUST be ready for that.

I apologise if this has been a particularly self-centred entry, but I needed to vent my spleen.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Friday Filth: Kate Upton (trust me on this) and Channing Tatum.

https://i2.wp.com/faystyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Kate-Upton-GQ-Scans.jpg

It’s grot-day, otherwise known on the Ross report as Filth Friday. Due to my 12 hour working day this will be the briefest of brief blogs.

A wise pervert once said that a picture tells a thousand words. Well, that’s dandy because I’ve got a stack of snaps to share.

My choice was difficult this week after being inundated with requests from work colleagues, but I’ve stuck to my massive guns and selected a lady I think you will all dig.

Today’s eye candy hails from the States, allow me to introduce the saintly Kate Upton as this weeks object of affection. From what I can muster, Miss Upton is known chiefly for her sizeable assets and a collection of trouser tearing viral videos.

Take a look at this ‘Cat Daddy’ vid. It makes no sense, but who really cares when making no sense is this foxy.

As for the females, I’m throwing you a morsel of man. It may seem an obvious choice but I also realise that including this chap in my blog will, without fail, drive traffic and views to the site.

No apologies for that.

Therefore, bean flick yourselves to Mr Channing Totum, I mean Tatum. Tee-hee.

Plus, ‘Magic Mike’ was very decent and his comedic chops were earned in ’21, Jump Street’ alongside the human version of a deflated skin balloon, Jonah Hill.

Enjoy and I’ll be coming back-atcha like Cleopatra on Monday.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday Tune: Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt’ (2002)

Is this the best music video of all time?

In my opinion, unequivocally yes. If you have not watched the above YouTube video, please stop reading, watch it and prepare to be moved – there’s no need to be a fan of Johnny Cash, or the exemplary ‘Nine Inch Nails’ original, but merely a human with a beating heart and brain capable of feeling emotions.This is painfully emotive music.

Done? Then let’s move on.

Before I discuss this sparkling example of a music television, I want to share a personal musing.

This is about our memories, the important ones. The experiences that are seared onto the psyche, the sort of memory you can smell, taste and re-visit as if they happened mere minutes before. Particular songs possess that magical ability to trigger those memories, and drag you back to times in your existence, good or bad, happy or sad

Some of my earliest memories revolve around being driven to lower school in my Dad’s old maroon Vauxhall Cavalier and the music that provided the soundtrack to those short journeys. If Mum was driving, a mix of ‘The B-52’s’, ‘Simply Red’ and ‘Marvin Gaye’ would boom from the tinny speakers. However, if Pop Bilko was at the wheel, ‘Pink Floyd, ‘Genesis’, ‘The Rolling Stones’, ‘The Who, and of course ,‘Johnny Cash’, served as my pre-school musical breakfast – that and a sizeable bowl of Ricicles…always Ricicles.

I was blissfully unaware that this early exposure to a rich and varied smorgasbord of singer types would result in their lyrics writing themselves in to the blueprint of my brainbox. Even today, if I hear ‘Invisible Touch’, the words reverberate effortlessly from my underappreciated vocal chords, similarly if ‘Comfortably Numb’ catches me off guard in B&Q, I am powerless to its charm and find myself chirping out the lyrics like a mental.

Essentially, there are songs for everybody that serve as emotional triggers.

“No shit Sherlock!” I hear you cry, well I don’t hear ‘you’ because ‘you’ is a computer, and computers can’t talk. Actually Siri can talk, but Siri is a disobedient, useless prick that mocks my requests for “Nandos near my location”, instead searching for “Banjo’s near my probation”.

Phew, slight digression. I recognise this blog is in risk of entering in to a massive, fiery nosedive so I’ll cut straight to the chase.

Johnny Cash’s 2002 B-side ‘Hurt’ reduces me to a blubbery husk. Here is a triple threat of revered musical royalty, a heart-breaking video and an already brilliant original song. I won’t pretend I had heard Nine Inch Nails original before hearing Cash’s interpretation, but both are flat-out outstanding. Lyrically, this is dark stuff, touching on suicide, self-harm and mortality but also in a bizarre way euphoric.

NIN’s original is a slow burner incorporating those hallmark industrial crunches and writer/vocalist Trent Reznor’s fractured, frail voice that overlays the morbid proceedings. It is excellent, but today is about Mr Cash’s interpretation.

Cash’s version is similar but manages to bring its own meaning and emotion to the lyrics. Calling this a cover seems unfair, both are unique and equally epic. Reznor penned the original whilst fighting with thoughts of suicide and depression. Cash knew his demise was near and his reading of Reznor’s lyrics gain new meaning.

They dont make ’em like him anymore.

The 2002 Cash cover was recorded and released just months before his death and it’s impossible to not consider this recording to be Johnny’s epitaph of sorts. The video, set in the now defunct ‘House of Cash’ museum, was long since derelict and coated with a layer of regretful dust. The artefacts from bygone years scattered amongst the video serve to effectively taunt the ageing singer as if to say, “that was who you once were, but this is who you are now.”

Director Mark Romanek said, “It had been closed for a long time; the place was in such a state of dereliction. That’s when I got the idea that maybe we could be extremely candid about the state of Johnny’s health, as candid as Johnny has always been in his songs.”

Stark images of rotting fruit pepper the video spliced between shots of Cash’s late wife, June Carter Cash, watching over her one true love. Tragically, she passed away three months after the video was filmed. Not a second or frame is wasted by director Romanek, each vivid image supplementing the beautiful music.

To watch Cash as a frail, clearly unhealthy and elderly man is difficult. This is underpinned by accompanying shots of a youthful Cash in vibrant Technicolor, bringing forth a jarring contrast of a vital young man that once was to the old man that now exists in his place. His eyes still flicker with the adolescent fire that once burned so furiously but are lined with salty tears as Cash depresses the keys on his piano. Each word appears to punch its way out of Cash’s mouth, the weight of the lyrics weighing heavy on his failing frame.

As the song builds and reaches a near din, I challenge you to not feel tingles. For me, this heady sensation then moves deep into my throat as an inevitable lump grows – tears sometimes follow dependent on where I am or what I am doing. As a fan of Cash, the video is tough to digest. The visual climax is deathly poignant and smacks of finality and closure. As Cash delicately closes the piano lid, we are fortunate to witness the ending to a fantastic and unforgettable career and life.

Widely recognised as the one of the best music videos of all time, Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’ transports me to a particular moment in my life, one that I am loathe to reveal on this blog. Yet, my point remains, that music unlike any other medium does possess that freakish ability to trigger untapped sources of pure emotion.

R.I.P Johnny Cash – (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)

Below is a live video of the original version by the Nine Inch Nails, both are equally beautiful.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Watch: ‘Southland’.

Is there a more pillaged genre than the cop drama?

I’d wager my modest savings (half a curly-wurly and a full collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles commemorative coins), that there is not. Either side of the pond, channels and networks are swamped with carbon copy Police guff, offering up the same trite, clichéd, grizzled tales.

There was public outrage and lynching’s post cancellation of ITV bull-shit fest, ‘The Bill’ – which only emphasises how starved of decent Police drama us Brits have been. Not only was it crap telly, ‘The Bill’ and similar shows were offensive to the regular bobby. With ‘creative’ liberties taken in order to shit out an easily digestible half hour of brainless television. This was not the Police – not at all.

Rarely, are we party to true brilliance on television, even more so when tales of the daily exploits of the Police are involved. The last evidence of this was HBO’s ‘The Wire’. Not only was this unrivalled in terms of its storytelling, character development and honesty, David Simon’s creation happened to be arguably the best television show ever committed to film -that or ‘The Sopranos’.

To stand tall amongst the dross takes a great deal of ingenuity and bravery. Thankfully, in the wake of shows like ‘The Wire’, a vibrant and more urgent approach has been adopted to television, and no more so than in the fantastic ‘Southland’.

‘Southland’ follows the capers of South LA beat police. Each hour long episode intertwines several narratives leading to a climatic finale, much like any drama, but it is the style in which this is delivered to the viewer that sets ‘Southland’ apart from the baying crowd.

The show is shot in a now familiar documentary style and the broken, bloodied streets of South L.A are comprised of a vibrant palette of colours. The production is slick and impatient, forcing the viewer in to the searing heat of the conflicts that are so readily and frequently pelted in the face of the officers.

It is uncomfortable at times, incredibly gory and also tremendously moving. The relationships are believable, with due diligence paid to the monotonous nature of modern Policing and the relationships that are built over long night shifts and brutal early turns. You are in that patrol car with the characters and therefore it is difficult to not empathise and become emotionally attached to them as a result.

This is cemented by a fine array of character actors making up the cast with no outright ‘stars’ to distract, but more a collection recognisable faces from this show or that film you have seen. This works in favour of the show, building upon the everyman nature of the characters.

Michael Cudlitz is the pick of a very talented bunch as veteran senior beat officer ‘John Cooper’ – a ruthlessly by the book officer who nurses a painkiller addiction and complicated private life. It may sound cliché on paper but on screen this is electric, important television and the characters are clearly defined and expertly drawn out.

As television continues to push boundaries and bleed into film, ‘Southland’ leads the charge. It is criminally under viewed but critically lauded. This is cult television at its strongest.

Yes, that is the chap from ‘The O.C’.

‘Southland’s’ footprint can also be seen in this week’s fine cinema release, ‘End of Watch’ (to be reviewed Monday), that also utilises similar cinematography and is stooped in an immediate and frantic style. It is unsurprising that David Ayer, the director adopted this style to the film, ‘the job’ needs to be documented that way for the sheer danger and unpredictability to be translated truthfully to the screen. Take note BBC.

Four seasons in and the show has survived massive budget cuts and countless threats of cancellation, similar to the heritage of ‘The Wire’. Yet, in the face of this adversity, ‘Southland’ has improved immeasurably, continuing to shock and move on a weekly basis. This is now important television and can be mentioned in the same whiskey soaked breath as ‘Hill Street Blues’ or NYPD Blue’. If you have the smallest interest in TV drama or Police, do get involved.

‘Southland’ can be seen on More Four or picked up on DVD/Blu-ray.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Training: The tragic and cautionary tale of ‘Zyzz’.

Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian (1989 -2011)

Obsession.

Each of us, as humans, have the ability to become obsessed. It is both a brilliant and potentially dangerous facet of the human condition. Mostly, we are aware when passion morphs into obsession and we are able to curb it, identify and consequently mould it into the muse we want it to be.

A key example of unbridled obsession would be the former England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Infintitely talented on a rugby paddock and relentlessly devoted to success, a character driven by unbridled passion. As a personality, he was revered constantly, and unfairly, as a rugby droid, purely because he would not go out shagging vapid trollopes every weekend, or provide a cutting soundbite to the press.

Here was a man obsessed with two goals – to captain England and the second, you guessed it, to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and be a world champion. Everything else was subsidary.

The kick that changed history.

The reason I mention Wilko is two fold. On the surface was a consumate professional and a cast iron role model. His obsession and unflinching desire paid massive dividends. On November 22nd 2003, his world was replaced with a new alien existence. Jonny became a national hero and icon, prime press fodder.

Post World Cup final, his finely tuned body began to creak and misfire. Injury upon injury followed, form dissapeared. Wilkinson slowly slipped from the public conscious. All the seconds, minutes, days and hours spent carving his psyche and technique to becoming a world champion reared themselves in the years that preceded that glittering November evening at the Telstra stadium.In a cruel twist, the work he had done was now creeping up and tearing him apart.

Jonny entered a spiral of deep depression and suffocating anxiety. Silently, he became a recluse – angry at the sport that he once adored and the spotlight that shone so brightly on his career.

From hero to an ongoing joke of the sport, famed once for his consumate temperment, now for his broken body and failed comebacks. His obsession led to the heights he craved but similarly it also culminated in to the darkest, lonliest period of his life.

Fortunately, Jonny eventually recognised this and relaxed his obsessive regimen and learned to enjoy his rugby, moving to Toulon and rebooting his stuttering career and personal life. He identified his demons before they swallowed him entirely.

‘Zyzz’ however, did not.

Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian

I stumbled across ‘Zyzz’ a couple of months ago on youtube whilst I was searching for a couple of motivational videos prior to throwing stuff about at the gym. The picture heading this blog previewed the video and so my curiosity was tickled and I watched the four minute video that followed.

What a cock,” was my immediate thought.

A minute later, “Cripes, he is in great shape though”.

Three minutes in, “He’s rather funny is this Aussie chap”.

The video ends, “What the shit?!! He’s DEAD?”.

I have a healthy morbid curiosity, maybe it links to the job I do (I’m not a contract killer, despite my obvious resemblance to Agent 47 of the Hitman games). My research began and I started to learn more and more about this internet sensation and cult hero, who was simply known as ‘Zyzz’.

Here was a very young man, who whilst in his teens was trapped within the body of an ectomorph. He craved, like a vast bulk of us gents do, women and he believed that being shredded was the answer. Therefore he began to train….hard. Results came quickly and with his new found adonis-like physique, as did a new personality that would inspire and repulse in equal measures.

‘Zyzz’ was the phyical embodiment of an internet troll, he became a minor celebrity down under. This was reflected following his premature passing with the search term ‘Zyzz’ being more popular than that of the Australian Prime minister.

Watching his videos, ‘Zyzz’ fist pumps and flexes his enviable physique in all manner of inappropriate situations.Whether you approve or not, he coined a number of phrases, that no douby you will have heard farting out of the mouths of teenage plebs at your local gymnasium.

“You mirin’?!” – You admiring?

“Come at me bro!” – self explanatory.

“Sick C*nt” – again, self explanatory.

“FUUUUUUAAAAAARK” – see above.

All inspired, Shakespeare standard fayre I am sure you will agree.

Watching his videos, it is simple to dismiss ‘Zyzz’ as a bit of an Aussie prick – and he is, but this is also a slight disservice. Away from the camera, he openly confided in his fans that the entire ‘Zyzz’ character was just that, a fabricated figurehead for his obsession – to be the king of aesthetic bodybuilding.

His transformation from stick insect to aesthetic god has inspired many. He is also despised by those who consider him a fraud, and understandbly so, I am undecided, but once you click through a few of his videos and read his dry and sometimes hilarious quotes, it’s difficult to not feel an ounce of sadness for his untimely passing. There is certainly a presence about him, good or bad.

Aziz ‘Zyzz‘ Shavershian died in a sauna in Bangkok, aged 22. It is widely reported that he was on a very intensive steroid and fat burner cycle and this coupled with an unknown heart condition put paid to his legacy. Despite his continual protestations that he was a natural bodybuilder, the general consensus was that he indeed did abuse steroids.

I dont ask that you like or approve him, I just consider his story to be quite an intriguing one.

His obsession snuffed out his young life. Dont let obession rule yours.

RIP Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian March 24, 1989 – August 5, 2011

;

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Movie Review: ‘American Psycho’ (2000)


“I feel my mask of sanity is about to slip…” ~ Patrick Bateman

Last week I exploded the ultra-violent ‘Fight Club’, so as a gentle change of pace (NOT – 2007 Borat reference, geddit), this week I shall peer into the twisted, sadistic and also ultra-violent mind of serial killer Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron’s 2000 film, ‘American Psycho’ – I fully acknowledge there may be a theme developing here. Yet, I make no apologies for this, primarily because I am a stubborn twat and this is blog is called The Ross Report last time I bothered to check.

But before I go balls deep into my revered movie chat, I have a darkly humourous tale to relay regarding ‘American Psycho’ and my dear old Grand-papa.

It was Christmas Day 2007, as is Bilko family tradition, Grandad Billington stays over for the yearly festive shenanigans. This particular year I graduated from University. Carelessly, I had left a copy of my dissertation perched atop the coffee table in the living room. Curiosity getting the better of him, Grandad reached over and began a merciless 60 minutes reading through my life’s work. Being the dullard I am, I paid little attention – partly due to the beer induced fug I was blissfully ensconsed within but chiefly because I was sat in a brand new gaming chair lobotomising droids in ‘Halo 2’.

My dissertation was entitled, ‘Masculine identity, violence and homoeroticism in Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Fight Club’ and Bret Easton Ellis’s ‘American Psycho’. Innocuous enough right? Well, kinda…

The dissertation.

As I stared blankly at the TV, I happily mused,”Oh, Grandad, what a good sport you are, reading my dissertation.”

After 30 seconds passed, the beer delay complete, my thoughts violently evolved and transformed into, “OH FUCK, GRANDAD PLEASE STOP READING THE DISSERTATION.”

For any mortal who has delved into Bret Easton Ellis’s original novel they will clearly understand the point I am getting at here, however if you are unitiated, the novel details a sociopathic yuppie killer who revels in violence, sex and his materialistic cravings. All three are interspersed with each other leading to jaunty little passages such as this:

“I tried to make meat loaf out of the girl but it becomes too frustrating a task and instead I spend the afternoon smearing her meat all over the walls, chewing on strips of skin I ripped from her body”.

And…

“I want you to clean your vagina. Sabrina (a call girl he has employed), dont just look at it, EAT IT!”

Both of which were quoted in my dissertation, amongst other filth.

Just as quickly as the blood rushed to my cheeks it dissipated from Grandad’s, and never again will I be that innocent little scamp of grandson he once knew.

Story time over.

Mary Harron’s film does a very decent job of translating Easton Ellis’s words to celluloid. The narrative style is painfully descriptive and at times incredibly monotone in it’s delivery – yet this is not a criticism in any way, as it is clearly intended to be read that way by Easton Ellis. However to truly embrace the character of ‘Bateman’ and to buy into the story, the novel requires patience. The film however dilutes this somewhat and focuses on several gory set pieces and also, I would argue, a softening of ‘Bateman’s’ character. Understandable considering this is a Hollywood re-imagining but still it is disappointing having read the novel beforehand.

The entire film is dipped in satire and retains a jet black humour throughout. Whilst it is memorable for Christian Bale’s performance as the lead, dancing to ‘Huey Lewis and the News’ as he stisfies his nocturnal bloodlust or sprinting maniacally around his apartment complex covered in claret, the film attempts to explode themes of homoeroticism and materialism. Partly it is succesful, the styling is faithful to the era and many of the memorable ‘rant’ passages from the novel find their way into the film. I wont go into further detail with regard to the themes (I did that in my dissertation and lost a head of hair as a result) but they are clear and evident should you choose to read the novel or watch the film. I would argue that those themes are not explored deeply enough in the movie though.

As for Mr Bale, this is career defining fayre. Before he battled Bane or larked about with The Joker, Bale logged the best performance of his career as ‘Bateman’. He is equal parts frightening, unhinged and hilarious.

A brilliant performance is ordinarily measured by whether you can take your eyes off of the actor – I could not. Even after countless re-watches, it is Bale I come back for. An ongoing joke between my friends references a particuar scene in the movie where ‘Bateman’ is porking one of his many prostitutes before shooting a glance at his wall-length mirror and flexing a ripped bicep. Hilarious? Of course, but it is also one of many brave, ultra confidence scenes performed by a then fairly unknown actor.

Harron captures the mood and vapidity of the 1980’s brilliantly. The clothes, music and yuppie culture are dialed up almost to a point of lampooning but do the job of re-creating the transparent atmosphere of Easton Ellis’s narrative. Great support is found in Reese Witherspoon as ‘Bateman’s’ on/off fiance and Jared Leto (who really needs to pack in this singing lark and get back to acting) as ‘Paul Allen’, ‘Bateman’s’ quasi-nemesis.

This is not a perfect film by any means, chiefly due to it’s heavy-handedness at times and glossing over of the true themes of the novel, but it is still a great watch, and worth seeing purely for Bale’s breakthrough performance.

However, if you are hunting for the true Psycho experience, get the book, brace yourself and enter the brilliant but fubar’ed mind of Bret Easton Ellis. Just dont lend it to my grandad when you’re done.

This is a prime taster of what to expect:

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Filth w/ bonus funny: Jessica Nigri (HAWT) and Mr R. Gosling.

Click on her boobs for a gallery.

Friday morning has plopped out of Thursday night’s perky bottom and the weekend is now tantalising close. For all you ‘normies’, this means booze, rest, partying and hookers – you lucky bunch of blighters.

With my trade, weekends are strictly rationed out and snaffled up hungrily on the rarest of occasions that I have them off.

But, I won’t sit here and weep like a teased vagina.

Instead, to warm mine and your jealous and pervy cockles, Uncle Ross has conjured up a female of the foxiest form to lust over in those colder, lonelier moments over this windy, wet, winter weekend. Her name is Jessica Nigri and she dresses up as Pikachu and stuff.

Miss Nigri is a rare and bewitching creature – an unapologetically geeky specimen who spends her free time constructing outfits based on famed video game characters. Then squeezing into said outfiits and initiating cardiac arrest on swathes of chubby nerds at comic conventions. Well, it was going to be her or the industrial vat’s of Wotsits they shove down their gullets.

She also has massive…….opinions on global warming and world peace and… Oh sorry I was looking at her tits. Enjoy.

Click on the picture above to see a little more of Miss Nigri.

For the ladies then, just because I feel a prime turd if I purely hark on about stonking fun bags, as a token gesture, here is a gallery to the effortlessly suave Ryan Gosling. Even a dashing rogue like I can appreciate he is a handsome bastard.

Plus, he has been in a spate of stupendously cracking films over the last 18 months. Any human who watched ‘Drive’ and felt no rumbling in their loins, by my calculations is either a droid or rotting inside.

Click on his giant head for a gallery of Mr Gosling.

And as a final goodbye for the week I charitably mined a shining chunk of funny for you all.

On a recent trip to Barcelona, my two rampaging chums and I were holed up in our rented apartment nursing weapons grade hangovers. A good two hours was spent whoring the apartment Wi-Fi on YouTube and after much deliberation and Jaegermeister, this little gem was considered video of the night.

Butter flooring, if you haven’t heard of it yet; spend a valuable ten minutes of your working day versing yourself on this brutal pranking craze.

I shall see you mucky lot next week for my world famous movie chat. As always, follow me on twitter to recieve all this goodness and more.

Follow the ross report on twitter!

Tagged , , , , , , ,