Thursday, 21 May 2009

FILM REVIEW: Inglourious Basterds

UK release date: 21 August 2009
but it's already
premiered at Cannes so there's plenty of time to rubbish it completely before it ever sees the light of day here
Bradley Pitts and some less famous, less good-lookin' folks

Tarantino's fetish for all things Irish has finally come full circle. At long last, he's produced the film he's been threatening to make since he first exploded onto the cinematic screen with Riverdance Dogs, Jackie O'Brown, Kilkenny Bill and Kilkenny Bill 2 - to say nothing of his original Irish classic, Pulp Fecktion.

Now, he turns his attention to the little filmed, often debated, Irish-only sport of Hurling - a sort of cross between Rollerball, croquet, lacrosse and crochet. [Ed's note: We've never actually seen hurling being played. Or even pictures of it being played. To be honest, we might have made up this sport during one of our heavier drinking sessions. Independent verification would be appreciated.]

The film follows the ups and downs of the Inglourious Basterds, Ireland's worst ever hurling team (the title refers to the tiny Irish village of Inglourious and the hilarious fact that the Irish can't spell) - these guys just can't hurl.

As Tarantino might write in one of his trademark, self-indulgent, overly wordy, full-fat, static piece of "laugh at my own jokes" movie referencing monologues: 'These guys are the Liz Hurley of Hurling. Sure, you'd fuck 'em but you wouldn't put them in a remake of Bedazzled, because the 1969 Pete and Dud original was like fucking awesome and then, they stick fucking Liz Hurley as the Devil and, like Brendan 'Lantern jaw....' and so on.

Professional cinematic dreamboat, Lothario and international child gatherer Bradley Pitts plays a former Hurling grand master who was also once a member of the IRA (Sports Violence Division). He wants a shot at redemption and realises that coaching the Inglourious Basterds may be his final shot.

Along the way, he'll have to defeat his demons, spout a lot of meaningless movie in-jokes and train this team of lacklustre losers to beat rivals such as the Waterford Wankers, the Drogheads Dickwads, the Cork Suckers (funny, funny Quentin) and the Tipperary Twats.

This being a Tarantino "sports violence" movie, we see the Basterds' victory right at the beginning and Pitts is only introduced halfway through but is constantly referenced in the way Sergio Leone used to do in his films and that.

There's also a ridiculously hip and ironic soundtrack featuring La Roux, Senor Coconut, Black Flag and Sinitta. And of course, the meaning of "So Macho" is discussed at length, a la the "Like a Virgin" bit in Riverdance Dogs, as Tarantino shifts from referential to self-referential and comes very close to disappearing up his own meta-arsehole.

And won't that be funny when it's quoted ver-fucking- batim back at you in the pub? Yes, all the Tarantino trademarks are here and no Blarney stone of cinematic cliche is left unturned.

The writer/director says that this will be the first in a trilogy of "Micksploitation" cinema, in the grand tradition of Leprechaun, Leprechaun 2 : One Wedding and Lots of Funerals and The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (for which Colm Meaney was forced to apologise to all of Ireland under threat of losing his nationality).

Tarantino will be following Inglourious Basterds with Da Lidl People, about midget supermarket workers who start a motorcycle gang and then Limerick Licking Lesbians, his first (and pray to your own god, last) excursion into porn.

At least, that's what we think it's about. Based on the posters and stuff. Remember, we haven't actually seen it or anything.

Must-see? To be sure, to be sure (because that's what Irish people say, don't they?)
Shatner Scale:
Kirk (and nothing ever gets that)

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Some terms and conditions apply, but we can't figure them out.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


In accordance with The No Show rules, we don't usually buy DVDs or spend any money on seeing any of the films we review or support the industry in any way, shape or form. But the last time we bought a DVD, we've discovered something. And what we discovered shocked and horrified us.

Apparently, people are making counterfeit DVDs and then selling them on to unsuspecting punters.

But the shocking horror doesn't end there.

If the authorities are to be believed - and we always believe whatever the goverment or any highly-paid organisation in the pocket of big business tell us - some of the money being spent on these fake DVDs is being used to fund terrorism.

We're not sure what kind of terrorism that might be. Perhaps it pays for the terrorist's clothes, maybe their backpacks, or even the cell phones on which they record their terrifying messages to be broadcast on terror websites for other terrorists and media outlets.

For all we know, maybe the DVDs themselves are a kind of terrorism, scaring us with their poor quality and stopping us from enjoying the freedoms that some of our grandparents might have fought for if they were in one of the bigger, more important wars, the ones that were actually about freedom and not about oil or sand or religion or which kind of headgear is appropriate for women.

Once we discovered that the DVD we held in our hands might in fact be both funding terror fashion AND frightening innocent entertainment consumers with its terrifyingly poor quality, we knew we had to act.

On closer inspection, we found some telltale indicators that may in fact indicate the DVD in question was a questionable conterfeit, by all indications.

With this in mind, we present:
The No Show Guide To Spotting Counterfeit DVDs.

For the purposes of this Guide, we'll be using a copy of Gilmore Girls Season 4 DVD, which we bought with joy in our hearts from a well known online auction site, whose name rhymes with peeBay.

Keep in mind that we are trained professionals and that the counterfeiting pirates are cunning cons, with their eye patches and rolling DVD copying centres roaming the high seas.

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed if you miss some of the things we are about to point out.

As you can see from the cover, there was no reason to suspect anything was wrong when we opened the DVD. It looked just like any other DVD we might buy, with the title written in words and a photographs of the two delightful stars of the show. But then we began to notice things that made us think this DVD might not have been sanctioned by the honest and sensible people in Hollywood who took the time to make this show and broadcast it for all to enjoy.

First, we noticed something funny about which season the DVD was from. Season 2? Season 4? It confused us, and set our No Show senses tingling, though at this point we were happy to accept it was human error.

Something else caught our eye. We couldn't quite place it, but something wasn't right. Then we had it: the chunky non-English language bit under the title, possibly Chinese, maybe Japanese, we didn't know but it looked damned odd on this all-American TV series.

However, we knew that one of the characters (Lane) was Korean; we figured it was just possible that this was some sort of homage to her, since she features prominently in Season 4. If it was Season 4. We weren't sure because of that mix up at the top of the box.

It wasn't until we turned the box over that we began to really suspect there might be something piratey about this DVD.

Spelling mistakes. Horrible grammar. Poor kerning. Haphazard gaps and slapdash sub-editing. Easily missed by Joe or Jane Layperson but all clear indicators of the pirate to the trained eye. Plus a huge paragraph in Chinese or possibly Japanese or maybe even Korean taking up about a third of the back cover. It was at this point that we were overtaken by a horrible feeling that we were being terrorised.

But it didn't end there.

(And at this point, I should specify that I noticed everything that followed. My No Show co-star was overcome with grief that he might have funded terrorism. He immediately closed his eyes to avoid seeing anything else that might support terrorism and hasn't opened them since. It's making things difficult for him, but I admire his commitment.)

Beyond the horribleness of the typos, I noticed some clearly factually incorrect information. The kind of incorrect information that the pirates knew was incorrect and felt so guilty about that they couldn't even spell "information" correctly on the box (see typos above).

These blatant errors are as follows:

1. "Star5s Falls": Not only a typo, but everyone knows the Gilmore Girls live in Star's Hollow. Stupid pirates.

2. "the two share... a taste for literature": No they do not. They share a taste for bad films, bad food and bad men. Rory is the one who likes to read. Her mother may in fact be illiterate.

3. Kirk: The pirate text suggests that the emotional life of the Kirk character is important enough to highlight on the box. It is not. He is the court jester of the piece, a delightful loser. The pirates obviously sympathise with him. Because they are also losers. Terrifying losers.

4 and 5b. Subtitles: Make up your minds pirates! Is it "English, Francais and Espanol" or "English, French, Arabic, Hebrew"? You're not fooling me in ANY language.

6. Region 1: Lies, lies and more lies. Like the pirates on the high seas, this DVD has no country. Or region.

At this point, our suspicions were heightened: had we bought a fake, pirate, counterfeit DVD from online pirate terrorists? There was only one thing left the check: the moral integrity of the cover image.

Rory's dead, evil eyes are a clear giveaway. Clearly, this otherwise unimpeachable DVD has been in the hands of pirates.

That, plus the fact that every episode on the DVD featured the logo of the WB network, having been recorded badly off the TV. Probably a stolen TV. And a guy stood up halfway through one episode and went to the loo. Stupid pirates.

Having finished our inspection and delivered out verdict, we felt dirty, but glad to have revealed these pirating types for what they are, with their garish colours and questionable morals. And even though we have funded terrorism via online shopping, we feel vindicated, having provided this much needed public service.

And ultimately, we hope that the next time you're buying DVDs from one of the many authorised vendors selling DVDs out of a duffel bag in the local pub, you'll take a moment to ask yourself: was this hand-drawn cover drawn by terrorist pirates? And if it was, we hope you'll have the strength to leave that copy of "The Darks Night" or "Start Wrek" behind.

Eat that, pirates.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

FILM REVIEW: Wolverine

UK Release Date: 1 May 2009
Starring: Huge Aackman. "Huge" to his friends.

I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I was when I found out that Wolverine was not going to be a musical.

This is a colossal mistake. After all, it has all the ingredients of a classic Hollywood musical: Mutants. Wolves. Conflict. And a gigantic hairy Huge Aackman.

I was convinced this was going to a West Side Story for the next generation, a brutal metaphor for our existance, with "animals" battling for survival, as gangs of "Wolves" fought it out with "Sharks" in a bizarre and inexplicable land-sea crossover, with Huge Aackman spinning, diving and ducking at the heart of it all like some delightful and not at all gay Puck in a wolf suit.

My vision of a madcap tap-dancing pelt-wearing Huge Aackman flashing adamantium-clawed jazz hands has been shattered forever.

How could the ridiculous megalomaniacs at Marvel let this happen? Aackman clearly - clearly - wants to do nothing but musicals forever and ever. Preferably with sassy female backing singers and buff male back-up dancers with well-oiled nipples.

His many fans have made it clear that they would rather he did musicals than action hero flicks targeting 12 year old boys. Just listen to the fans applaud as he takes the stage at the Tony Awards in 2004, reinterpreting his role as The Boy from Oz, wearing nothing but gold lame trousers and a leopardprint top, flirting shamelessly with P Diddy who squirms with delight at the attention.

Or at the Oscars, as Huge Aackman flails about in a tight fitting Man Tux and tails. Read their sweaty little comments on Youtube as he grinds his firm buttocks into Barbara Walter's skeletal thighs to the point where, for the briefest of moments, she is reminded what it means to be a woman. The fans want the inner Hugh to sing and dance and generally camp it up until he Aackmans all over them.

And, obviously, the comic book nerds have been begging for a musical adaptation of X-Men for years.

But does Marvel appreciate this groundswell of nervous excitement? Do they answer the giggling masturbatory call of Aackman's surprisingly mostly female fanbase? No. Instead the first superhero musical adaptation we get is Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark featuring music by U2's Boner and The Edger. A musical about a boy wearing pyjamas who climbs walls and fights crime. (Let's just call it what it is, shall we? Peter Parker Pan.)

So Wolverine will not feature Huge Aackman wearing a sad little loincloth, singing about discovering the wolf inside the man. 

We will never get to see an insane whirlwind of well-choreographed dance violence as Aackman clicks his adamantium claws while facing a violent, albeit tongue in cheek enemy, played to perfection at various points in the show's run by David Hasselhoff, Richard Gere and/or Tilda Swinton.

We will never enjoy the pleasure of a surprise duet with Barry Mannilow, singing "Looks Like We Made It" and drowning the audience in their hairy innuendo.

Without the dancing wolves, the scantly clad, bullet-nippled, backing cast and Tony Award winning musical score, what are we left with? 

Huge Aackman in sideburns, that's what.

The fact that this is a filmed version of some kind of comic book prequel to the X-men, which was itself a pretty cool idea that was eventually stretched thinner than Bea Arthur's skin and ended up inspiring things like Heroes, The Incredibles and David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals, doesn't change anything.

Basically, Wolverine without dancing and classic show tunes is just another teenage werewolf film. Which is entirely pointless since everyone knows there is only one believable teen wolf and that is Michael J Fox in the film about a teenager who turns into a wolf, called Teen Wolf.

And that's just tragic.

Shatner Scale: Miss Congeniality 
Worth seeing: Not unless you enjoy disappointment. Or Huge Aackman not dancing and singing. 

Photography: Wikimedia Commons. Wolf image by Cm0rris0n, some terms apply. Image of The Boy from Oz by zesmerelda. Some terms apply.

Friday, 1 May 2009


Title: Shatnerquake
Author: God (using the pseudonym Jeff Burk)

UK release date: Who cares? Buy it as soon as you KHAAAAAN! (See what I did there?)

Hey, what's that sound? That's you cracking the spine on the greatest work of literature ever. And that smell? That is the fresh scent of authorly genius. And that taste? That's you licking the pages in ecstasy as you realise reading (and I use the term loosely, as this is a book you don't just read) can actually be a truly sexual act.

But what is Shatnerquake exactly? No idea. This is The No Show, so we haven't read it. But how can so many Shatners be wrong? Quite simply: they can't.

You have to read Shatnerquake. You need to read Shatnerquake. You will Shatnerquake.

1. Why is Shatnerquake (makes my hands tremble and my genitals swell just to write the word) better than Moby Dick?
More Shatner. Less Whale.

2. Why is Shatnerquake (sorry, I came a little there - pure orgasm, not ejaculate, mind) better than A Tale of Two Cities?
Fewer Cities. More Shatners.

3. Why Shatnerquake (all done now - wait, not quite.... there we go) better than the Bible?
No metaphors, no parables, just 12 Shatners fighting one Shatner. The Bible features not one single Shatner (though many in the Catholic Church still believe the Gospel according to St. Bill was removed by a vengeful priest who couldn't match Shatner's oracular brilliance and staggering thick chested magnificience).

4. Why is Shatnerquake better than One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?
No mentals. Twelve Shatners. Nuff said.

5. Why is Shatnerquake better than you?
Unless you feature 12 Shatners in your everyday life, then Shatnerquake truly eviscerates you.

If the world ends tomorrow (and it might, depending on when you are reading this - remember the internet lasts forever), anyone who has read Shatnerquake could die smiling, with extra wood (if male) or a lovely wide-on (if lady). It's that good.

As the dust jacket says:

William Shatner?
William Shatner.
William Shatner!


Shatner Scale: A Godzilla-sized Kirk
Must read:
For the love of God, man, Yes.