Thursday, October 14, 2010

In A Transit Lounge

Just arrived in New Zealand (Auckland) en route to an exciting shoot in Australia. I'm sitting in a transit lounge staring out the window at mysterious, dIstant peaks shrouded in listless clouds. It's a fine way to spend six hours, really -- just yearning for these cathedrals of nature and the excitement they promise. As always, my heart pumped faster as the jet flew over impressive uninhabited islands of rock and deep green grass, surely a sign of the land's fertility. I did consider parachuting down there. It's not just sexual desire that's unreasonably strong.

I usually look forward to catching up on decent documentaries on long flights (especially British ones). Qantas usually has a handful of these (some quite R-rated), several of which I've reviewed on this blog. Must admit to being a bit disappointed with Air New Zealand's selection. Too bloody Christan for my liking -- not Christian in content, but Christian in terms of what was on offer (as in: no tits, ass, or offensive content) .

I did catch the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant comedy/drama Cemetery Junction, however, and enjoyed it immensely. The imdb summary says it's about "three upstart professional men working at an insurance company". I hate to differ, but it's bloody well not. The film focuses on three friends, residents of Cemetery Junction (a claustrophobic English town) , whose differences become more apparent when one of the lads decides to "better himself" by taking a job at an insurance company. The film is more drama than comedy and has a touch of the Ken Loaches. That's not a bad thing, mind you, and should give you some idea of what to expect.

A spot of the Ken Loaches

Gervais, who directed and wrote the flick with Merchant, plays the rather pathetic father of one of the lads, and Merchant does a cameo in which he speaks glowingly about his wife's tits. Ralph Fiennes is deliciously 'orrible as the head of the insurance company and Mathew Goode isn't half bad as his lieutenant. Tom Hughes plays Bruce, a wild young bloke who shovels shit on his unemployed dad at every opportunity. The way this storyline is resolved isn't terribly surprising, but its extremely well handled by Gervais and Merchant. Gervais's first directing effort, The Invention of Lying, was more of a short stretched to feature length; this, thankfully, has enough material to justify its length.

Not sure when Cemetery Junction is hitting other markets, but do catch it if you can.

I did start watching a BBC doco about a Tanzanian railway that's going to the dogs. Interesting subject, but the very on-camera narrator/host started to bug me after a while. Smarmy ass. If you're going to interview people who are much poorer than you, don't make smug, smarmy comments in pursuit of cheap laughs.

It's back to the transit lounge and some hideously overpriced cranberry juice.


  1. jervaise brooke hamsterOctober 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    This is exactly the kind of laughably pathetic, out-moded, unimaginative, play-for-today type rubbish that has made the British film industry into a bloody worldwide laughing stock for the last 121 years. Destroy the British film industry NOW with malice-a-fore-thought and extreme prejudice. By the way, Ricky gervais is a worthless piece of garbage.

  2. Sony really shafted this movie here in the States. CEMETERY JUNCTION quietly opened in one theatre in Glendale back in August, a week and a half before its scheduled DVD release; my friend Chris Price and I drove out there to see it in a big, empty auditorium. We loved it too. Yes, the story is a bit familiar, but as its said, it's the singer, not the song, and the movie finds a good way of making the material urgent and relevant.

    I was really upset at the dumping of this movie. I can understand that maybe Sony felt it would be hard to sell a movie where the bankable names (Gervais, Fiennes, Watson) are only supporting players and the leads are unknowns, but it strikes me as outright laziness to not even try. At least there's a good DVD available for people to discover here.

    Sidebar: I republished our interview from the Subversive days - did you catch it? I thought it was a great chat.

  3. marc -- wow, one cinema in Glendale? That is a serious dumping. What the hell is the deal with Sony? They dumped the HACHIKO movie, too -- the remake of the '87 original. I intend to write about both movies shortly. But two disgusting examples of totally not serving the public.

  4. jervaise brooke hamsterOctober 14, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    They shouldn`t even have had the nerve to "DUMP" it in one theatre, they should instead have "DUMPED" it straight in the "GARBAGE DUMP" where it belongs along with every other film that has been produced in britain in the last 121 years. The best way to serve the public with regards to the British film industry is to simply eradicate it completely.

  5. I had the same problem with Cemetery Junction as I do with a lot of Gervais affairs. It starts out amusingly enough but then becomes something decidedly less than comedy, in this case a fairly predictable rom-com. Competent enough, but not my cuppa, really.

  6. jervaise brooke hamsterOctober 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    d, the problem i`ve got with Gervais is that he actually exists, of course another problem i`ve got with him is that hes one of the most pathetically unfunny comedians who has ever had the nerve to pollute our screens with his loathsome and hideous presence.

  7. jbh--Thanks for sharing!

    Psycho :/

  8. Having co-written and created both The Office and Extras, it's hard to argue that Gervais is "pathetically unfunny".

    I guess the Phantom of Pulp blog has a troll.

  9. jervaise brooke hamsterOctober 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    No Phantom "The Phantom Of Pulp" blog simply has someone who consistantly tells "THE TRUTH", "THE WHOLE TRUTH" and "NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH" especially with regards to worthless scum like Ricky Gervais. By the way, "d" thanks for acknowledging my com-girl-t, i hope you will never waste your time watching any more British made garbage ever again.

  10. Gervais has on occasion made me laugh so hard, I have caused serious damage to my ribs, and woke a household of people at 3am. I guess on these ground he poses a public health risk, and should be executed soonest.

  11. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 11, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    Ricky Gervais should indeed be executed not for being funny (which he most certainly isn`t) but rather for being one of the most devious, spiteful, hateful, cunning and problematic hu-girl beings who has ever lived.