Sunday, 9 May 2010

......Radio Free Albemuth can suck my balls.

So, I'm in the cinema in Piccadilly Circus, at the sci-fi festival, dead excited to see a preview of the new film adaptation of a Philip K Dick story. Actually, let me take you further back......

......I have a friend called Steve. He's awesome. Every Thursday, Steve and I would have a film night, sit on his dilapidated sofa, drink copious amounts of tea, and share our love of film. One week I spied a special edition Blade Runner DVD in Steve's collection and we got to talking about the genius of the movie. I explained to Steve that I was (am) a massive Philip K Dick fan.
For those of you who don't know, Philip K Dick was the author of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep on which Blade Runner was based. He is also the inspiration, directly or indirectly, for a lot of sci-fi films i.e. Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Screamers, Minority Report........ just wikipedia him okay?
I also told Steve that my favourite of his novels was Valis as it reads like a biographical account of his schizophrenia and descent into madness as well as having a highly intelligent and layered science fiction side line. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the genre. A few weeks after mentioning this Steve tells me that a film has been made of the short story that PKD wrote before, and later used, to create Valis. My excitement was palpable and audible in a pitch that only dogs could understand. To stop my squawking Steve bought us tickets to the preview, held at a sci-fi festival in London (which just so happened to be on a Thursday).
The cinema we saw it in was beautiful and the seats were far more comfortable than Steve's couch although we had beer instead of tea and would have been thrown out for smoking the amount that is customary on our Thursday nights together. The manager of the festival informed us that due to the volcanic ash the director and screenplay writer, John Allen Simon, couldn't join us and lucky for him, because I would have demanded an explanation for the piece of cinematic trash we were about to view.
I wanted to brag about being a pioneer in cinema audiences by viewing this film, but like a Vietnam veteran I can't brag about the hour and a half of torture I sat through.
The film was like a BBC made for TV movie without the wry humour. The acting was appalling. The main character Nicholas Brady, played by Jonathan Scarfe, was as fake as his tan. The character of his wife Rachel, played by Katheryn Winnick, made me want to eat my own face. And if it couldn't get any worse halfway through the film Alanis Morrisette turns up as Nicholas' co-conspirator! I mean! Christ! The 90's are over.
The only passable acting was Shea Wigham's portrayl of Phil (the author and close friend of Nicholas) but that may have only been in comparison to the rest of the cast.
The soundtrack was that particular creed of jazz that no-one, not even the 'musicians' who created it, could possibly enjoy.
The plot was like a PKD story with all the interesting bits removed and interpreted by a blind, boring idiot with that hairy gunk that you have to pull out of your bath plughole once a month for a cerebral cortex. The fact that this man, who was clearly lacking any creativity or artistic flair, directed this piece of shit too was the cock flavoured icing on top of the bullshit pie. I'm sure this moron must fall down at least twelve times a day in his velcro fastened loafers.
If you are familiar with any of PKD's writing you will know the paranoia and incredible humanity that are central to his themes. Good luck finding any of that in this movie. Good luck finding a storyline that doesn't make you want to pull your own teeth out as a distraction to the simplistic, ridiculous nonsense that you're being force fed. This film lacks subtlety, you have no empathy for the characters, no interest in whether they will succeed or fail and the most tenuous and hackneyed science fiction story I've ever seen.
I'm not even going to insult your intelligence by going into detail about the story; Nick thinks a satellite is putting ideas in his brain by a pink laser (to the writer's credit he kept the colour of the laser true to PKD's writing). Nick is told by the laser to become a record producer. So he does. The laser tells him to do other stuff, that he does, (yawn) to uncover a government conspiracy (clearly a comment on America's witch hunt for communist a few decades back). This shows the government are aware of the satellite. Oh hello Alanis Morrisette, the satellite talks to you too? Well that's great. Let's write a song to expose the government conspiracy. Oh no. The government know what we're doing. Hey Phil can you sleep with a member of their inquisition, who appears to be underage, but she's not really, so that's okay, to try and stop them locking us up? Thanks mate. Oh no. They still know what we're doing because NO-ONE IS GOOD ENOUGH IN BED TO STOP THE GOVERNMENT LOCKING YOU UP! FUCKING MORONS! Ensue government intervention (give a shit), but don't worry the satellite talked to other people who wrote a song too, the kids are listening to it on the streets ''It's up to them now''.

If anyone meets John Allen Simon, or knows where he lives, tell him Steve wants his money back.