Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take that, you Nazi rotter!

Not a battleship.

When I was ten or so, I saw the 1960 English film Sink the Bismarck – possibly as part of the “cheap films for slow Sunday afternoons” series Channel Nine used to run out many, many years ago.

I remember being powerfully impressed, to the point that I walked around for days after saying things like “hard a-port skipper” and “Nazi rotters”*.

It was therefore with mixed feelings that I watched it again last night and I have to say it holds up quite well. True, there’s not much brooding introspection but like The Dam Busters made five years earlier it’s a ripping yarn of decent chaps whose stern exterior hides a breaking heart, just itching to give Johnny Nazi a bloody nose.

Also, hot chicks in naval uniforms**.

Well worth checking out, if you have access to a movie store specialising in obscure British films.***

* Possibly to the annoyance of my long-suffering parents.

** Did I mention it had hot chicks in naval uniforms? ‘Cause it did.

*** As I do.


Lewd Bob said...

Of course, those hot chicks are now in their 60s.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

True, Bob, true.

But they were pretty hot back then.

squib said...

When I was a kid I went to someone's house and their kid had electronic Battleship. I remember being powerfully impressed and a few months ago I bought it

I explained my unusual purchase thus, 'It will help LittleSquib's graphing skills'. At the end, when it says, 'Enemy fleet destroyed, congratulations Admiral,' I get my little thrill for the year

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

*Makes mental note to self

Buy electronic Battleship game now*.

Fad MD said...

There's some great old British movies on the TCM channel here, plus one of the dodgy DVD sellers has quite a selection. I have also purchased a shitload of History, Nat Geo and Discovery channel documentary DVDs to insulate me from freeto air programming when we get back to Australia.

Anonymous said...

So I wonder how classics of that genre will hold up against Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good question Boogey.

The war films we get are a reflection of the type of society that produces it.

Dam Busters and Sink the Bismark were made for an auidence that would have remembered the sufferings of 1939-45 and so you don't get the brooding introspection of something like Downfall.

Add to the mix the fact that Tarantino's a talentless putz and it's anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Jurgen Prochnow could do a cameo and sink das boot into Tarantino's flabby bismark und bust his dam arse.

Perseus said...

I like Tarantino movies. They're exciting.

There. I said it.

Insert lambast.

Melba said...

I liked his movies too. He was the trailblazer for that meaningless dialogue stylised small talk thing, for blending ultra violence with the mundane, everyday and ordinary, and humour.

You can see his influence in so many movies after Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Everybody started doing a Tarantino. The way Friends often did a Seinfeld.

His work itself is derivative, but not in those ways. That was all Tarantino. And how can his work not be derivative? His film knowledge is awesome, he's one of those dweebs, a nerd, with an encyclopaedic brain of movie references.

He has his place in movie history.

Holding your hand Perseus on this one. And wearing a yellow jump suit.
What are you wearing?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My personal opinion but "He was the trailblazer for that meaningless dialogue stylised small talk thing, for blending ultra violence with the mundane, everyday and ordinary, and humour" is not necessarily a good thing.

Perseus said...

Holding your hand Perseus on this one. And wearing a yellow jump suit. What are you wearing?

Nothing. The Stooges are on.

Melba said...

Yeah, but it was different Ramon.

And Perseus. What?

Perseus said...

Melba - read the other thread.

Ramon and I are going to start up a strip-duo business for hens' nights with discerning ladies.

"Ageing Trotskyite-Strippergrams".
-- Guaranteed not to make your fiancee feel threatened in any way --

Fad MD said...

I liked his earlier stuff like Reservior Dogs, True Romance and Pulp Fiction. Kill Bill was a bit "meh" as was Jackie Brown, which is his least "Tarantino" film.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Wait, Reservior Dogs, True Romance and Pulp Fiction were all separate films?

Pers - the only strip show to have half-hour break between acts for beers and ciggies.

Lewd Bob said...

He only wrote True Romance, he didn't direct it. He also wrote Natural Born Killers and apparently hated the end result directed by Oliver Stone.

I love Tarantino. I thought Jackie Brown was good. So was the Kurt Russell one.

Melba said...

I LOVED True Romance.
What was the Kurt Russell one?

Ramon. They were all very separate. Your following comment is evidence of your skewed perspective.

Tell me. Do you have to break during sex for a sandwich or a cup of tea?

Anonymous said...

Melba, I think Deathproof is the Kurt Russel one that Bob is referring to. It was also an enormous pile of shite in my opinion.

As far as I'm aware, the only movies that Tarantino has actually directed are Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Deathproof. Of those, I only really enjoyed the first two.

I would also like to note that every DVD I have seen with the words "Quentin Tarantino Presents" on the front cover, has been bloody awful.

Anonymous said...

Tell me. Do you have to break during sex for a sandwich or a cup of tea?

Any one of us in particular, Melba, or just in general?

In my opinion, no, you don't have to break for most anything, but I'd hope you at least took a break to comment on blog sites, for your keyboard's sake if nothing else.

Melba said...

I was directing that at Ramon. He's showing his Old Man tendencies. Not everything has to be Das Boot or River bloody Kwai stuff.

Tarantino may be schlocky, but I argue that he has his place.

Thanks Alex I haven't even heard of that one. Luckily it seems.

Anonymous said...

Melba, Deathproof was part of a double feature that Tarantino did with, um, whatsisname, Rodriguez something (the bloke who did Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado). The other film was called Planet Terror and they were collectively known as Grindhouse - so you may have heard it refered to as that.

Anyway, I think Grindhouse was meant to be a kind of tribute/spoof of 70s exploitation films in the same way that Kill Bill was a tribute/spoof of Asian action. I didn't think Planet Terror was anything wonderful, but it was kinda fun. Deathproof on the other hand, I found excruciating. The meaningless dialogue stylised small talk stuff is there in abundance, but nobody seems to be saying anything witty or even remotely interesting, and the movie just drags on and on.

Also, Tarantino has a small acting role in Planet Terror that must be one of the worst performances I have ever seen in a proper movie.

Lewd Bob said...

Oh contraire Melba. Deathproof is an hilarious pisstake romp.

Das Boot is also great. I love a good submarine movie.

Unfortunately Wolfgang Petersen went on to direct the WORST movie of all time: The Perfect Storm. Jesus Christ that sucked. Arse. Hard.

Perseus said...

I love a good submarine film too, and Das Boot is the pick of them. They all have the same scene... when the sub goes a little bit deeper than is recommended, and they think they're all gonna die, but 'she' holds.

Perfect Storm was alright. Big waves! Clooney! What else do you fucken want? Alright, maybe a plot, but you know, they were pretty good fucking waves.

I'll tell you what's fucking shithouse - Alexander, by Oliver Stone. Alright, I get it, Alexander is gay! I watched that for four hours and still had no idea what Alexander actually achieved, but I sure knew about his feelings. Actually, every Oliver Stone film is shit. The emperor's wearing no clothes*

*(He could join me and Ramon's strip team).

Lewd Bob said...

I too love Clooney. I also love big waves. But that film was so fucking terrible I'd rather eat your red wine-laced vomit after a hen's night than watch that schlock again.

Melba said...

Ok I suspected Ramon was secretly my brother-in-law but now I think you all are.

He very vigorously recommends Das Boot. I guess I'll watch it. Sometime.

I saw Tarantino in a small part in a movie, it wasn't the one to which you refer, Alex. It was quite a few years ago, and it was a scene in the kitchen and it was hilarious. Not sure intentionally so, though.

Lewd Bob said...

We may disagree on Deathproof Alex, but I wholeheartedly endorse your implication that Tarantino should stay on the dark side of the camera.

Perseus said...

Bob, the other day my mate Snuffey asked me to go and see Terminator: Salvation. I said no at first, on the grounds that it was Hollywood blockbuster rubbish, and he said, "Are you insane?". "What do you mean?" I asked. "There's giant robots!" he yelled. That was enough. I went with him, and the plot, acting and script was fucking terrible, but by jingo by crikeys, the giant robots were AWESOME! Worth every cent of the entry fee.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what's fucking shithouse - Alexander

For a moment there I thought you were having a go at Alex... then I realised you were insulting his director.

It was quite a few years ago, and it was a scene in the kitchen and it was hilarious.

Melba, that was in Pulp Fiction.

Anonymous said...

Actually, every Oliver Stone film is shit. 

If it was trying to make some sort of point, I completely missed it; but I still enjoyed Natural Born Killers. I'm probably more easily amused than most, though.

I too was dragged along to see the new Terminator movie. I left feeling like I'd just sat through a 3 hour long chase sequence that ended with a fight scene. I couldn't even remember any of the characters having names.

Bob, I think Planet Terror was exceptional, even for Tarantino. The only other place I've seen acting like that is in those old horror films where the lighting/background/ambient noise changes with every shot.

Boogeyman, I thought exactly the same thing. Then I immediately thought "Well, he does have a point".

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm an Old School Marxist, Melba.

What? So sue me!

patchouligirl said...

I loved Jackie Brown as a movie and I loved that Tarantino tried something different in casting middle aged Pam Grier in the lead role and she was so believable and so cool.

'Sink the Bismark' was on Prime 2 at lunchtime a few weeks ago. The problem I have with it is every time I see Kenneth Moore I think of 'the admirable crichton'. My Dad is hugely into WW2 battleships - he is a walking encyclopedia on the subject and we were brought up hearing about how many planes and ships it took to finally sink the Bismark. I can't remember how many now but it was pretty impressive.

Melba said...

Boogeyman, no it wasn't. It wasn't Pulp Fiction, it was something like Swingers? or a similar movie. I am going to IMDB now and will report back soon. Because I know you all care.

Anonymous said...

Melba, you're not thinking about that bit in Four Rooms where they're trying to talk the room service guy into cutting off that bloke's finger are you?

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe he likes kitchens then, because his scene in Pulp Fiction was also in a kitchen, just after Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta drive there to clean up their car after accidentally blowing some kid's head off while driving.

Melba said...

No, took a little while but it's called Sleep With Me, 1994. It was pretty crappy and not successful, but there's a scene with Tarantino at a party (in the kitchen, I thought) and he's going on about the homoerotic undertones or overtones of Top Gun. So basically doing something similar to the opening of Reservoir Dogs where they're chatting about Madonna. I liked it, is all.

Melba said...

That scene Boogeyman, I wouldn't have described as "hilarious," in Pulp Fiction. But you're right. Something about kitchens?

patchouligirl said...

Okay I've gone to school. The Hood sank a few minutes after the first German fire.

The Bismark was still afloat after a 2 hour barrage from the British in which 2,876 shells were fired at close range (it is estimated that somewhere between 300 to 800 hit target). The British participation in the operation included 8 battleships, 2 carriers, 4 heavy cruisers, 10 light cruisers, 33 destroyers, 8 subs and also a few hundred planes as I recall. The damage sustained on the Bismark was enormous but it wouldn't sink. They had to torpedo it to finish it off.