Wednesday December 11th 2013
The ape is a bit bigger on the new one.
The ape is a bit bigger on the new one.
Fawning, puff-piece pop star documentaries like Justin Bieber’s Believe (by the way Justin, ‘believe’ called, it wants its status as a verb back) rarely touch on the more troubled aspects of their subjects’ life stories, unless they can be easily milked for pathos like Katy Perry’s divorce from Russell Brand was in Part of Me. So I was surprised to see Bieber’s infamous ‘I’ll fucking beat the fuck out of you’ outburst from March of this year (see above) pop up in the trailer for Believe.
The relevant portion is at 1:08 if you can’t stomach the whole thing…
Personally, finding out how on Earth the producers of Believe are going to cast the footage (in which Justin limply threatens to beat the fuck out of a huge burly man from behind two large bodyguards) in a positive light, is reason enough for me to buy a ticket for the film when it bops its way into UK cinemas next year. Presumably they’ll bleep out the expletives (‘fuck off back to America’ has already become ‘[mumble] back to America’) but what are they going to do about the general embarrassment and awkwardness of the whole spectacle?
So many questions remain unanswered. What painfully glib life lesson will be tacked onto the end of the sequence? What will Justin learn from it?
And perhaps more importantly, where will Justin learn from it?
Oh right, in his head. Thanks for clearing that up, Justin.
Much to my detriment, I’ve never seen a single film in Universal’s (The) Fast (and / the) Furious franchise, but over the last twelve months I have seen most of the other films listed on the resume of Paul Walker, who died in a car accident this weekend at the age of 40. Since January I’ve been working on a documentary about teen movies, specifically those released during the 1990s and early 2000s, and where that particular subset of movies is concerned, few stars left as indelible a mark as Paul Walker did.
I’ve watched the incredible opening scene from Varsity Blues — in which Walker’s superstar quarterback Lance Harbor emerges triumphant from his rickety Texan home — nearly 100 times, almost as often as I’ve seen Walker lead Freddie Prinze, Jr. through the jungle of high school singledom in the first act of She’s All That. As long as I live, his character’s immortal description of mean girl Taylor Vaughn in that film — ‘an institution in this place’ — will remind me of Walker, and sum up his contribution to the genre I love so dearly.
While he also clocked up star-making turns in The Skulls and Pleasantville, Walker’s greatest performance came in the film whose title most obituary writers have been awkwardly skirting around since Saturday. Joy Ride (known in the UK by the even more unfortunate moniker Roadkill) was an early big-screen offering from J. J. Abrams, which saw Walker on a cross-country road trip with Steve Zahn, pursued by a sinister, death-dealing trucker known only as Rusty Nail. Shot like a Jonathan Demme movie and paced like an episode of Lost, the film was a commercial failure but an unexpected critical favourite. Throw £8.75 at the Blu-ray — you won’t regret it.
As regular readers will already know, I am extremely excited about the forthcoming Bible-bashing yuletide epic The Christmas Candle. For nearly three months now, I’ve been keeping abreast of developments on the film’s Facebook page, where a regular stream of evangelical image macros are wheeled out to the delight of The Christmas Candles‘s 132,000 baying fans. Each displays a carefully chosen still from the film, overlaid with an inspirational message from the screenplay, its source novel by revered Christian author Max Lucado, or the Bible. Recently, my flatmate Paul has taken to waking me up by shouting a new one through the wall each morning.
Here are ten of my favourites:
Don’t you hate it when God is all, “I know what I’m doing!” Jeez God, proud much?
An inspirational thought from co-star Susan Boyle there.
Yeah, thanks Susan, we get it.
Okay, okay! Fucking hell… no need to shout.
Miracles have never been so terrifying.
There’s an absolutely beautiful synergy of photograph and text in this one.
Cracker joke 101.
As it turns out, the entirety of the bible is one huge acrostic.
The culturally challenged among you may be unaware that the Duggar family have their own reality show in the States, called 19 Kids and Counting. It has been running for seven seasons. Each of their 19 children has a name beginning with J.
So, so true. With God, all things are possible — even the impossible dream of a man in a top hat laboriously pulling a small boy along on a sledge.