Saturday, November 25, 2006

Astral bodies collide

Torchwood is a telly programme.
A Doctor Who spin-off aimed at the more 'adult' audience, it has swears, sexy and killings in it.
It is a strange creation, something of a Frankenstein's monster, part cringeworthy cliche and low-budget British naivete, part interesting little show with a bunch of slightly-less-than stereotypical characters.
Including the Lumpen Maws of Torchwood.

I don't mean any slight to the no doubt wonderful people that portray Gwen and Owen, but they do seem made for each other (as is the suggestion of the current storyline, did I forget to say spoiler? Pah) - literally when taking into consideration the matching, almost prehensile catfish-like oral cavities that they both sport.
Maybe it's some CGI thing.

It really is an odd show. I do have affection for it and enjoy watching it, but some of the ideas are fifth-hand sci-fi narratives or obvious horror staples such as last Fridays "crazy backwoods cannibals" which went so far as to use the 30-year old "heavy-breathing murderer POV". It did manage to cultivate a bit of tension out of it, but it was bit tragic to have a Scooby Doo reveal showing us that the Welsh Father Jack was behind it all, licking his lips in that way they must teach you during the part of the acting course entitled "How to play a deranged psychopath". Welcome to quotation country.


I have suddenly been distracted by the part of buffalo 66 I never got to before - lots of topless ladies in a strip club before a Taxi-Driveresque moment made remarkable only by the 'moving still' shots. I think I've (almost) watched the film at least three times, so it seems odd that I never made it this far. It's probably because Vincent Gallo near repulses me with his uncanny and incessant portrayal of the same twitchy, arrogant prick character.
buffalo 66 does feature a lot of nice shots, staging and direction doing a lot with the bland, small town America blah, but Vincent's Billy character is nothing but irritating, coming across like a neurotic Tarantino who never got his shot at the big time, and no amount of winky cameos (Mickey Rourke, Jan-Michel Vincent etc.) can redeem it. I can see where the critical acclaim has come from, but for me the film is empty and the character seems all too real.
That is Vincent Gallo.


And it was on Film Four that I came across buffalo 66 again. Now Film Four is 'free' I can watch it whenever I like. But whenever I can watch it, there's something I've already seen, or is arse. I remember back when it was first rolled out, it was a tantalising opportunity for world cinema and indy features, but now it's just Pulp Fiction over and over. Not really, but it's very disappointing. Maybe I can't complain because it's free. Oh but I can.
Dumbing down.
War Games? Happy Gilmore? Volcano? Trading Places? Regardless of the quality, the channel is packed with the kind of thing that wouldn't look out of place on an ITV Saturday line-up, yet they have the gall to have that guy doing the voice-over with his slightly 'edgy' voice, like John Simm used to do so often. Edgy like the Hallmark channel.

Wow, it's all grumbles tonight!



  1. Buffalo 66 is a great film, and I've been meaning to rewatch it for ages. Your post may just prompt me to actually do so.
    That "Vincent Gallo" character is just that. A character, a creation. Almost on a Sacha Baron-Cohen level. He interviewed himself for Grand Royal a few years ago :

    You should read it. It makes me laugh.

    Almost as good as Buffalo 66 is its trailer :

    You should watch it. It almost redeems Yes.

    I haven't seen The Brown Bunny yet, though I've been meaning to buy it for ages too. All the movies I mean to buy/watch/rewatch...

  2. I was keen on the film and also need to rewatch it. I do really like that taxi driveresque bit.

    Film Four - I'm with you, and I think the transition to tediousness happened a long long time ago. You've got it exactly right about the pretentions to edginess -what's so edgy about playing financially successful films that are chock-a-block with violence?