Thursday, 2 May 2013

Change of address

This site has moved! Life vs Life now lives at, head on over to read my latest ramblings.

Monday, 29 April 2013


Firstly, I'd like to congratulate myself on hitting the 500 post mark, yay me. You may have noticed my review-posting turnout has been significantly diminished in the past few weeks. This has in part been due to a few busy weekends involving family and the wedding of two of my best friends, but I've also been watching a great deal of Disney films for a Lambcast that will be released soon. As such, I've been feeling pretty depleted in terms of writing about films - I haven't reviewed anything from the 1001 List in a little while - and I've barely watched anything from it recently either. Therefore, I've decided to close up shop and take a break from the blog for a while.

I'd like to thank all my regular visitors and followers, especially those of you who frequently leave me comments and/or essays (Chip, I'm looking at you), and rest assured I shall continue to read most of what you all throw out (sticking to my rule of not reading reviews of films I've not seen but intend to one day). I've thoroughly enjoyed most of my time blogging so far. I always wanted to write about films, and I hope to continue to do so until one day I'm actually halfway good at it. Rest assured that everything of yours that I read continues to inspire me.

On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to announce the birth of, where you will now find me writing on a hopefully far more regular basis, starting with an imminent review of Iron Man 3. The site is very much in its infancy, and although I'd meant to have it fully operational before launching it upon the world, it isn't even close. That's what happens when a busy/lazy person sets a self-imposed deadline (the aforementioned 500th post) and then neglects to work hard enough to actually reach it. Anyway, all the buttons should work, and I'll update various pages and links and things as I go. I'm pretty sure they all point back to here for now though. Give me a shout if there's something else that doesn't work, and I'll try and fix it.

Blogger, it's been real, but I'm taking this site on the road.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Sand Pebbles

The year is 1926, just before one of the many Chinese revolutions. Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) is a ship's engineer who has been transferred to a small run-down gunship named the San Pablo, or the Sand Pebble to her crew. Aboard the Pebble, Holman causes tension amongst the already tight-knit yet divided crew, which doesn't help when the Chinese public attempt to instigate a war with the US.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Kate Winslet: Naturist

Kate Winslet, it seems, is more than just a disembodied pair of breasts that sporadically unveil themselves at inopportune moments in movies. Apparently there is a voice associated with those mammaries (and therefore, one assumes, a mouth, tongue, trachea and who knows how many other body parts too), and it is a voice that has become familiar to the public at large. It was only natural then that the lady in question would use said voice within films, as is the case here with two semi-documentary dramas that focus heavily on nature: The Fox And The Child and Pride. After all, it's no secret that voice acting is a great deal easier than full-body acting, as there's no hours of make-up, preparation of scenes and lighting or extravagant costumes to put on (or take off, as the case may be). Unfortunately, the appeal of an easy job can cause a lull in judgement in choosing said work, as is the case with both of these films.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Top 10... Movies With All-Male Casts

I'm off on a stag do this weekend - paint-balling, followed by drinking, in case you were wondering, although personally I think those should be the other way around - and in fact this is the first stag do I've ever been on, so I'm a little apprehensive as to what's going to go down amidst a group of guys I know next to nothing about, seeing as the only one I really know is the groom. This concern comes from all the bachelor parties I've seen in films, and how none of them have ever really worked out all that well. The obvious list I jumped to was top 10 bachelor parties in films, but alas I couldn't think of 10 (in descending order: The Hangover 2, American Pie: The Wedding, The Hangover, Bachelor Party, Very Bad Things, Clerks 2, Sideways), so I switched it out for something similar, celebrating the films that, just like the traditional stag do, don't allow women in them. I had to take a few liberties here - you'll see what I mean - but I think they're acceptable. In fact, this list contains several of my all-time favourite films, two of which I have posters of in my lounge, which may say something about my opinions of women in cinema... Oh, and before you check, no, there isn't any gay porn on here.

Honourable Mention: Outpost
Zombies! Nazi zombies! Ridiculous Nazi zombies! The premise for this film is, well, kinda dumb - a rich dude hires a group of mercenaries to take him to an underground bunker, where they discover the Nazis performed some tests in WW2 to create an unkillable soldier, and wouldn't you know it, whilst they're their they manage to resurrect them - and the film itself plays out little better. The only 'names' amongst the cast are Michael Smiley (Spaced, Kill List) and Ray Stevenson (Thor, Punisher: War Zone) and the director, Steve Barker, has made nothing else of note save a crap-looking sequel, but despite the unlikable characters (particularly Robert Blake's greasy Prior) and evidently low budget, this still has its moments. Can't help thinking Nazi zombies have a great deal more to offer than this though. I really wanted Con Air to take this position, or Armageddon, but they have fairly prominent female roles, dammit.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

All the King's Men

In 1950s Louisiana, door-to-door brush salesman and parish treasurer Willie Stark (Sean Penn) runs for Governor, under the eye of local politician Duffy (James Gandolfini). A local reporter (Jude Law) takes a personal interest in him, and ends up working for/with Stark, much to the disapproval of his stepfather (Anthony Hopkins) and his childhood companions (Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo).

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Top 10... Movie Rabbits

Rabbits. Bunnies. Hares. Lepus. Conies. Floppy-eared, fluffy-tailed harbingers of chocolate eggs. Whatever you call them, their distinctive profiles, cute demeanour and oh-so-adorable little twitchy faces makes rabbits one of the many animals that crops up in films far more often than you might think. And seeing as it's Easter this is the perfect time to celebrate those bouncing bundles of fluff that are the rabbits of the movies. There's some notable omissions - I haven't seen the likes of Watership Down or Rise of the Guardians, haven't overly liked any version of Alice in Wonderland and couldn't bring myself to include The House Bunny on any list. Fatal Attraction deserves a place on a list of best scenes involving rabbits, but that is not this list, and the rabbit in question doesn't have too much of a personality, or even a name if I remember rightly, much like the dinner caught by Gollum in The Two Towers. And this has nothing to do with the quality of the films, it's just how much I like the rabbits in question. 

Honourable mention: Jack Rabbit Slim's, Pulp Fiction
Personally, I'm amazed it's taken me this long to wrangle Pulp Fiction onto a list. Technically there are no actual rabbits in this film, but then that's also the case for at least two other films on this list, but Pulp Fiction is the most tenuous link, hence why it's only the honourable mention. Also, it's a part of my least favourite storyline in the film, as I'm not much of an Uma Thurman fan, and could have done without the Mia Wallace segment. The club itself is pretty damn cool, even if the milkshakes cost $5.00, as the chance to be served by Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or Buddy Holly (Steve Buscemi) is just awesome. The only downside is the dance contests.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The 39 Steps

Richard Hannay (Robert Donat), a Canadian man visiting London, thinks nothing of assisting a strange woman (Lucie Mannheim) to escape a theatre riot, especially when, after the melee, she requests he take her home with him. She seems rather odd, with an indistinguishable European accent and clearly fake name, hiding from the windows and the reflection of the mirror, scared of a ringing telephone, and it turns out she's being pursued by a gunman over some business involving a secret being smuggled out of the country. Hannay of course is sceptical, until she winds up dead on his living room floor, a knife in her back and a map in her hand, with Scotland's Alt-na-Shellach circled. Hannay suddenly finds himself in the frame for murder, and must flee up north if he hopes to clear his name and save the secrets.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


'Scottie' Ferguson (James Stewart) is a detective in San Fransisco who suffers from crippling vertigo, exacerbated by his most recent rooftop scuffle culminating in the death of a colleague and the escape of the perpetrator being pursued. He therefore retires, only to be called upon by an old college friend Gavin (Tom Helmore) who is concerned about his wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), who may or may not be occasionally under some form of supernatural possession from an ancestor who committed suicide at the same age Madeleine is now.

Top 10... Remakes

More and more it seems there's no original ideas in mainstream Hollywood, but it turns out that this has always been the case, and it just seems more prevalent now because there's so many more films released each week, and less original stories to go around, so therefore there's more rehashed versions of films gone by available to us on a weekly basis. 2012 saw three remakes in the Box Office Top 20 (The Amazing Spider-Man, Snow White and the Huntsman, Les Miserables), and this is far from new, hell, even The Wizard of Oz was a remake back in 1939 of three silent films that came before it (and a book, but everything's a remake of a book these days). The thing is though... I don't mind. I have no problem with modern film makers updating older films to introduce them to a wider audience - there have been several instances where a remake has inspired me to go back and see the original, and I've discovered a classic that I otherwise may have never found (Scarface springs to mind).

So what inspired this list? Well, The Film Vituperatum's movie of the week is The Adventures of Robin Hood, which whilst I haven't seen it yet and therefore haven't got around to reviewing, I am more than familiar with the story, mainly due to the various adaptations of it. If I had to guess, I'd say the story of Robin Hood is probably one of the top three most adapted tales in history, after A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland, but my list of top 10 Robin Hood adaptations would see Kevin Costner taking third place behind John Cleese in Time Bandits and an animated fox, at which point the list would end because I haven't seen any others, so instead I'm going to celebrate the greatest remakes that I've ever seen, regardless of whether I've watched the originals or not. Oh, and The Wizard of Oz didn't make the list, because I'm fairly sure I've never seen it all the way through. The list also doesn't include any English-language remakes of originally foreign works, because that would be another list entirely, and one I'll save for another day - perhaps when Ringu is selected for movie of the week?

Monday, 18 March 2013

Pre-View: Man Of Steel

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've never been a fan of Superman. He just seems too uninteresting as a character, with his only inner turmoil being his fish out of water last-of-his-kind predicament, that I'm sure would become annoying and whiny if dwelt on for too long. My disinterest with him also stems from the fact that I've spent so little time with the character. I have technically seen Richard Donner's 1978 Superman, but I can't remember a single thing about it (literally nothing), and my hatred for Superman Returns is well documented. I also wasn't much of a fan of Smallville, barely making it halfway through the first season, and I doubt I've seen more than a couple of episodes of Lois and Clark, although I did like Ben Affleck's performance as George Reeves in Hollywoodland. As such, I can't say I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Man Of Steel, despite the interesting trailers and general buzz over it all.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nevada Smith

When three men, claiming to be friends of his father, ask young half Native American Max Sand (Steve McQueen) the way to his parents' depleted gold mine, Max doesn't hesitate in giving them directions. Something seems up, so he heads after them, but upon arriving discovers the three men have tortured and killed his folks, even skinning his squaw mother, once they had found out the mine had only produced one nugget in the past two years. Max burns down the house, not wanting anyone to see his family in that condition, and heads out into the world with just his horse, a rifle, $8.00 to his name and a vivid memory of the three men who killed his parents, and who he will not rest until they have been killed by his hand.