The Naughty Room
The feature debut of the ‘Gay Pirates’ guy, Devonian renaissance man Cosmo Jarvis. At first it seemed like he wouldn’t be able to stretch things out to a full film, despite his short smarts, with too much invested in dumb stoner humour…But I stuck it out and I got payback on my investment.
Sure it’s no classic, not wholly original or anything; but there’s a story there I wanted to see through to the end, characters I got glued to, and things didn’t play out exactly in the fashion the cliche might dictate. A big part of the success was down to David Egan as Subaru, a self-centred pothead doing stupid, annoying shit that despite everything you still root for.
I look forward to the next Jarvis & Co flick.
The First Great Train Robbery
A spirit-lifter – enthusiastic period crime capery from Michael Crichton, adapting his own book about a Victorian bullion heist, with a wonderful score by Jerry Goldsmith.
Okay, so Crichton self-censors out some of the less pleasant details from the novel, and there’s an awkward process shot as Clean Willie escapes Newgate over the rooftops of London, but it’s FUN. For enjoyment it’s probably in my top ten, because it delivers every time.
The first time I’d seen this since it was projected onto a bed sheet hanging above me at a notably grimy squat party in Hackney in the mid 00s. TBH it was better viewed upside down whilst spangled – a rather nondescript CGI toon about a bunch of prehistoric beasties looking after a human baby, learning valuable lessons about friendship, etc. The prologue with Scrat the sabre-toothed squirrel was probably the best thing. John Leguizamo as an annoying sloth was bearable.