#29,983: Tank Malling
Tank Malling was made at the time when British TVís most popular Will Scarlett (with the possible exception of Paul Eddington), Ray Winstone was in the doldrums. It would be a few years before he would put a smile on everyoneís face with his wife beating antics in Nil By Mouth or grease his voluminous brown belly in Sexy Beast, and so he found himself sharing scenes with ex-top boxer John Conteh, Page 3 stunner Maria Whittaker and Jason Connery, the 1980ís favourite TV Robin Hood after Michael Praed and Jeremy Brett (who to be fair was actually playing Sherlock Holmes).
Set in the world of sleazy Soho full of prostitutes, gangsters, beatings and evil big business deals revolving around fascistic politicians, the film manages to be brutal and nasty, but fails to be of any real interest. Somewhere in this mess of cockney bit part actors there might be a good story, but I am not sure where it is.
Ray Winstone is fine as the traditional boozy, framed by the mob, Fleet Street journalist and Amanda Donohoe must have nearly finished packing her bags to LA Law by the time she said her last line (which might explain why she had to uncharacteristically keep her clothes on), but it is Peter Wyngarde, once the magnificent Jason King, who provides the real acting masterclass. Why on earth is this countryís finest TV fop so rarely seen on our screens, for heavení sake? Australian Womanís Weekly used to regularly vote this man the sexiest person on television... until he was allegedly caught cottaging in Leicester, oh the fickle cottage hating public.
Tank Malling is available from Cash Convertors in that wicker bin where they put videos that arenít worth £2.50, but beware, the packaging is often damaged when people have thrown the box across the room in unfulfilled rage.
What could be worse than overhearing 30-something men loudly berating their inertia, ham-fistedly philosophizing and then lunging to clutch the overly plump flesh of a young waitress? Oh dear, you seem to be ahead of me, yes I was going to say this film, but actually itís not quite that awful, though it comes within grasping distance. A collection of rather tedious men decide to go on one last jaunt to some Greek island where young things enter wet T-shirt competitions, drink vodka from spittle-laden ice sculptures and generally fuck and drink until genital pain. On their journey, they all discover something about themselves, the normal things, being gay, being old or being mentally unsound.
Written by the director, Martin Dunkerton, and the actor Nick Valentine, it smacks of being an autobiographical account of their adventures abroad ('God, we have a funny old time shagging, drinking and talking about deep stuff when we go on holiday, bet it would make a great film'). Of course, they might have just used their imaginations, which might explain why the dialogue is so pitifully unbelievable, as is the whole film. If you do accidentally watch this film, why not go and look at Richard Kingís review of it on IMDB and decide if he is being sarcastic or King is merely the nomme de plume of the producer.
Martin Dunkertonís next film is called More Than A Woman and is about a woman who forsakes her empty LA lifestyle to discover herself, via a load of crazy adventures, in Spain, so thatíll be good.
#29,981: Maybe Baby
A film that so callously seems to be designed to break into the American market, with its amusing long-faced British dogs, funny mopeds and shots of million pound apartments on the banks of the Thames that, like a magic eye picture, if you squint at it for long enough, you can see Ben Elton fellating Colonel Oliver North. And to think, this horrible sewer homage to Richard Curtis was inspired by the real emotional pain of Ben Elton and his wife going through IVF. (at this point perhaps there should be a joke about Ben Elton not only firing blanks from his penis but from his pen as well , but then that will lead to something about the come sodden pages of this stinking screenplay, and then it all rather drifts into the images of a stilton fuelled nightmare, anyway, he probably types it out on a Mac).
#Love, Honour and Obey
From the people who bought you Operation Good Guys (which was quite good really, especially when the fat speccy one ate all that homemade butter and used a decoy holdall as a toilet for his diarrhea), comes this smug luvvie fest.
A cast of friends that ranges from A to C list (Jude Law to Sadie Frost) all get together to make a gangster movie, they rummage through their dressing up box, lark about and sing karaoke (The Harder they Come for Ray Winstone and Avenues and Alleyways for Johnny Lee Miller). Unfortunately they then decide to release it into cinemas. At the time of viewing, this film seems truly awful, then as you think about it afterwards, you start to realise it has some good moments, such as a protracted gangster gun battle where everyone misses by a mile. So you go back to it, and discover all over again that it is terrible.
This was made during Rhys Ifans' period as a hollow cheeked pallbearer for the British film industry (Janice Beard: 45 WPM, Kevin and Perry Go Large, Rancid Aluminum).
What is most horrible about this movie is that it made more money at the UK box office than Gangster Number One, an enthralling, cruel and twisted gangster film with Paul Bettany looking so cold and satanic that you could mistake him for misanthropic auteur Luke Haines. Look, itís only £5.99, buy it and show the film industry that we are not all mush fed morons.