Tag Archive | Satire

Jarv’s Birthday Series: Life of Brian (1979)

Happy fucking Birthday to me. Yup, it’s day two in the Birthday Series, and this time it’s an unquestionable four out of four film and a masterpiece by any reasonable standard. Because of this, this will be by far the most difficult review that I’ve ever written. There is literally nothing of any interest to say about this film that hasn’t always been covered at great length by much worthier scribes than me. Nevertheless, it’s my fucking birthday and so I’m going to give it a shot. Read More…

Jarv’s Favourite Books. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

It’s been a while since I delved back into my extensive library. Not sure why, really, other than that I was vacillating over which book to do next. Part of me thought that I’d review one of the more difficult Murakami books, and I did want to cover The Bonfire of the Vanities, but Droid’s just started reading it. However, in the end, Kingsley Amis’ debut novel, Lucky Jim, was looking at me on the shelf, and the choice was just obvious.  Read More…

Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Society

We’re just one big happy family – except for a little incest and psychosis

Jarv’s Rating: 3 Changs out of 4. A savage social satire masquerading as a truly disgusting monster movie. It may be a tad unsubtle but, nevertheless, the final scene simply has to be seen to be believed. Honestly, I’m a bit traumatised now.

The late 80’s were arguably the most soulless time in history. Evil over hair-gelled bastards had proclaimed themselves as the Masters of the Universe and all completely missed the point of Wall Street and secretly really wanted to be Gordon Gecko. At the same time, the true evil of the “Hit Factory” was foisting manufactured bubblegum music on the world (we’re still suffering from the legacy of that), and this period represented the absolute apex of the Randian inspired cult of the individual. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this was the most selfish and self-interested time that I’ve witnessed and not one that I feel particularly nostalgic for. At the same time, however, Brian Yuzna was also disgusted at what he saw, but luckily for the world he had both the experience and a platform to properly voice his disgust. The result? 1989’s scabrous satire Society- a film with a blazingly unsubtle message, but a hugely entertaining look at the rich as another kind of animal altogether.

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Jarv’s Favourite Books: Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre


The mid 1990’s were a funny time in Britain. On one hand, Britpop was still running strong, Trainspotting and the Full Monty showed that we did actually have a film industry, the country was in economic good health, and, really, everything seemed to be pretty rosy. However, on the other hand, things were not as great as they appeared to be. Maybe it was because I was young and naive, but it struck me that if the country was really in as great shape as it seemed to be, then why were the papers full of corruption, incompetence and loathsome behaviour from our ruling classes? Whether it was Aitken or Archer going down for perjury, or Hamilton taking cash-for-questions, it didn’t matter as the lasting impression I have of the time was that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was a country run by asset-stripping bondage fetishists who would sell their mother to the glue factory for a couple of quid. At the time this sense of je ne sais quoi that permeated through the nation really did leave an uncomfortable feeling and if I had to put my finger on the feeling it’s that we were pig fucking sick of the Tory bastards, Thatcherism and the rest of it and we felt confident enough to try to rebuild the country. We were wrong, in hindsight (fuck you New Labour), but there was a fragile optimism coupled with a belligerent sense of celebration (have a look at Tony Blair’s inauguration in 1997 if you don’t believe me- oh, and America, I hate to break this to you, but Barack Obama= Tony Blair in a different tie). Things, this time, really were going to be better.

There were a handful of writers at the time that attempted to catch this feeling, who despised the right wing of this country and wanted to set it all to rights. Christopher Brookmyre was one of them. Read More…

Jarv’s Favourite Books. Number 2: Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Decline and Fall has played a large part in my life. Not my actual decline and fall, obviously, as I don’t think I have declined in any way other than physically, intellectually, and morally since I was 18 and I certainly haven’t actually fallen yet, but the book itself. Read More…

Jarv’s Schlock Vault: The Stuff

  

We’ll make the world safe again… for Ice Cream” 

 

Jarv’s Rating: 2.5 Changs out of 4. Slick and clever.  

The 80’s was a funny time indeed. It was, arguably, personified by the “Greed is good” mantra of Gordon Gecko, and consumer spending began to spiral out of control (a chicken that finally came home to rest a few years ago). The music was frankly atrocious, a fact that no amount of revisionism or kitsch nostalgia can change, and this was the start of the evolution of the Blockbuster as we know it. However, at the same time, there was a raft of low-budget schlocky films produced that had far higher pretensions than just being another schlock release. The Stuff is a fine example of this- it’s a little film with big ideas.  Read More…

Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Poultrygeist- Night of the Chicken Dead

“You had me at shit covered mongoloid”

 Jarv’s Rating: 3 Changs out of 4- I fucking love Troma.

 God Bless Troma. It’s hard to believe, but the kings of low-budget schlock have now passed their 30 year anniversary. How the fuck did they manage this? I mean, it isn’t as if the vast majority of their output has a snowball in hell’s chance of breaking even and the Toxie money can’t last forever. Is there really a dedicated fanbase for shit like Nympho Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, or Femme Fontaine: Killer Babe for the CIA, because I don’t believe there is, and as much as casual viewers like myself may enjoy their films, I’m not going to rush out and buy all the merchandise. Read More…

Jarv’s Top 10 2000-2009. Number 9: WALL-E

I had to eat a huge amount of humble pie regarding this. All summer I’d been spouting off like I had the slightest clue what I was talking about decrying the utter mediocrity of this film- predictably, I was doing it sight unseen based entirely on the fact that it looked like being Pixar by numbers and the trailers were underwhelming. Silly me, Pixar by numbers is still significantly better than most things out there, and anyway, it isn’t as simple as that. Read More…

The Odyssey continues: Jarv’s best of the decade for America

Yes, I know this is late. It wasn’t my fault- honest. However,  I don’t feel bad in the slightest about keeping going.

Anyhow, on with this ultimately pointless attempt to define the top 10 of last decade. Read More…