Thursday, 31 March 2011

Otters Do It On Film

I didn't publish a post yesterday - not because I didn't have one ready, or at least not exactly, as I have about 3 different half-finished posts saved but I'm not sure about any of them - so please, accept my otter expressions of *apologetic ears* and *rueful grin*. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and if it doesn't feel right then I will plant my feet on the ground and refuse to budge. However, I am also aware that I have lovely loyal readers who are quite clearly the bestest, funnest people ever, and I don't wish to disappoint them. I hear that flattery can get you places, but I wouldn't know. I never employ it. Say, have you guys done something different with your hair? It looks great. Really, it does. And are those new shoes? Stunning. You don't look a day over fabulous
I thought I'd briefly mention some of my favourite films, as I'd like to branch out from mere conversations into other, more normal bloggy territory. This is quite possibly a crap and dangerous idea, but this Otternator laughs in the face of danger (then she hides under the couch, trembling, until it goes away). Some of these are films which you may never have heard of, others are box office classics which I'm sure everyone has seen at some time or another.
Firstly, Jurassic Park (1993). If you've read the previous posts you'll know I have a giant raging crush on Laura Dern. Interesting fact - did you know she was married to Billy Bob Thornton? He left her, but for Angelina Jolie, so technically that's evidence that the only woman hotter than Laura Dern is good old Ang (we're on first name terms, you see). Ang isn't looking so great these days though. I don't think saving Cambodia agrees with her. Alternatively, it might be the stress of having an army of children hanging on to her every limb. Still, people need hobbies. In any case, Jurassic Park is incredible. The special effects are a little dated now, sure, but the John Williams musical score, the sheer geniusness of the idea, and the part where a Brontosaurus sneezes on a child make this one of the best films I've ever seen. The velociraptors in the kitchen are still enough to make me jump, even though I've seen this particular film enough times to be able to stage a one-person production of it (memo to self: damn good idea). If you haven't seen Jurassic Park, well. You haven't lived.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) This is an odd choice, but it fully deserves its place in this list. John Cameron Mitchell (who not only wrote and directed the film, but also stars at the main character) is one of my cinematic inspirations. The film centres around Hansel, a young guy living in East Berlin when the wall is still up. He meets an American sergeant and falls in love. Unfortunately, to allow them to get married and leave the country, Hansel must have a sex change operation and assume his mother's name, Hedwig. Unfortunately it goes rather wrong, which is rather a large understatement, and he is left with the 'angry inch' of the title. He goes on to be a rock star, somewhat, performing in small bars and restaurants (usually next to the buffet table) but I won't spoil the rest for you. Suffice to say that this film features great musical numbers, is completely hilarious and has a wonderful take on the origin of love. Go see it. You won't be disappointed.
Switchblade Romance (2003) This is the only horror film to feature, because it's not really my preferred genre. I tend to find that most horror films scare you in the first ten minutes and then spend the next twenty minutes building up the characters, onyl to kill them off. This ruins the flow and is pretty predictable, in my opinion. Switchblade Romance, however, is completely unpredictable. It starts off gruesome and keeps racketing up the tension (in fact the original French title is Haute Tension or High Tension) until you find yourself watching through your fingers, terrified and yet fascinated. The story is simple. Two French girls are on study leave. One of them has a family who live on a farm in the country, so to get some peace and quiet they decided to visit. The night they arrive, a stranger in a van pulls up outside. When the father answers the door, the stranger kills him brutally, and then enters the house. He sees a photo of the family, and begins to hunt each of them down in turn. He doesn't realise that there is a second girl present in the house, and she in turn does her best to keep hidden from him as she sneaks about trying to save the remaining family members. Thus begins a horrifying but deeply enjoyable ride of terror. 
Batteries Not Included (1987). This is quite possibly the greatest childhood film ever. My parents used to rent it for me at the local video shop every week. They would beg and bribe and blackmail in order to get me to choose another film, but I stayed strong. They told me years later that they hadn't been able to find the video available in shops at the time, so instead of buying it they were forced to rent it every single week for about 2 years. The video shop reserved a specific copy just for me. Even now, it still amazes me. The premise is simple - two small robot aliens arrive in America, the 'female' gives birth to three baby robot aliens (none of which look remotely alike and all of which look like they were constructed from bits of alarm clock and cassette players) and then they proceed to warm the hearts of every resident of the tenement building they landed on by doing miraculous things, like mending the glass windows of the cafe after some bullying thugs break it, keeping old lady Jessica Tandy's sanity on more or less an even keel, and giving the guy who used to be a boxer some of his confidence back, amongst much else. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it highly. You will require tissues, unless you have a heart of stone.

What should I do next? Books? Food? Animals? Who goes? You decide.


  1. I love this post :-D

    Not only is 'Batteries not Included' one of the most awesome films of all time, you've also inspired me to track down 'Switchblade Romance' and watch it... Horror really IS my genre of choice.

    G. x

  2. Ooh, then you definitely need to see it. I actually watched it again last night and its still as good as I remembered. Another great one is Exam, but that's a bit more psychological. Let me know what you think when you get around to it!