Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you’re deaf, chances are that the weapon of mass destruction that is High School Musical has invaded your ears at least 28 times in the last year. At one stage Disney channel took to screening it every 3 hours, including sing-along, dance-along and vomit-along versions. Read the rest of this entry »




The history of film is truly a Pandora’s Box, full of more surprises than the New Year’s honours list. Often a project destined for greatness will be a crushing dissapointment, but it’s nice when the reverse happens. Ahead of the release of the long-awaited Simpsons movie, we examine a similar historic example and evaluate the situation for the world’s favourite jaundice-stricken family.  Read the rest of this entry »

The first rule of Fight Club is: Do not dare criticise Fight Club.

Some films create such a skillful illusion of capturing the zeitgeist and/or raging against the machine that any shortcomings are easily forgiven for the sake of ‘artistic merit’. To explain this further, take the inexplicably interminable sitcom sewage that is ‘Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps’, a grossly misguided attempt to draw humour from the image of contemporary youth culture. And guess what? They got it right. Millions tuned in to ‘enjoy’ gags more predictable than Mother Teresa’s menstrual cycle, and it’s now been running for longer than Forrest Gump. Is it the sparkling intellectual dialogue? The ingeniously constructed plotlines? No, it’s because people are stupid. It’s something we’re far too PC to admit this side of the millenium, but the facts are inescapable- ‘Two Pints…’ is comedy BY the dumb, FOR the dumb. As a member of this alleged wild, fun-loving youth bracket, I for one refuse to be represented by the kind of lazy, uneducated sexist chavsters that populate this grotesque world- at least in comedy form anyway. Why not try playing ‘Insert your own drink/dole/genitalia-related punch-line before the end of the gag’ game next time you watch. I bet you’ll win. Sadly, however much I slander it, the monster will not go back to the swamp, or become any less popular with its unfathomable target audience.

 That said, we return to David Fincher’s ambitious 1999 adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s seemingly un-adaptable novel. A story hashed together from observations, conversations and themes that happened to occupy the minds of Chuck and his friends on a given day. Perhaps hindsight and 8 years of imitations and media history validates this argument more effectively than on its release, but the themes of unattainable lifestyle standards imposed by advertising and the ‘longing for fathers’ just scream pretentious, however smartly handled or visually enhanced they may be. And yes, there’s no denying that Fight Club is a masterpiece of filmmaking on aesthetic grounds- the set-pieces are works of logistical genius, the photography inspired (the Ikea pseudo-commercial and the office sequence are highlights in this respect)- but this only serves to guiltily wrap up the shameless moral force-feeding in shiny coloured paper. In the most simple terms, it takes itself far too seriously. It’s as much a work of provocative importance as Jade Goody is a celebrity. There’s no denying she is one, but no one is really able to explain why. Read the rest of this entry »