Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Inside Man/ FCUK

Went to see Inside Man this lunchtime. It's okay, but when I saw that it ran to just over two hours I was sceptical as to whether it would sustain itself and, sure enough, as we got twenty minutes from the end I started to get restless. Cracking performances from Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster, two actors I've never particularly cared for, while Clive Owen has a ball as the man with a plan. Incidently, I must add that Jodie Foster should play amoral/borderline evil characters more often, she was a lot more interesting here, with her relatively short screen time, compared to Panic Room where she lead and I just couldn't bring myself to care what happened to her.

Inside Man is a bank robbery movie, with Clive Owen as the leader of a small band of robbers and Denzel Washington the police officer who has to deal with it. It's certainly clever, I don't think many people will be able to work out how it's done until the end, but the problem is that the thieves are inside the bank and the cops are outside. There's no real sense of a battle of wits between the two sides, the crims seem to have a solution for every contingency and the police don't have many options. Where the film reaches a high point is when Washington and Owen's characters meet. Unfortunately from that peak the only way is down. The film is never stupid, just lacklustre.

And before the film we had the French Connection Fashion Versus Style advert in which two women do Fight Club before going all Thelma and Louise at the end. It's no fun sitting through the ads at cinemas at the moment, in between the product hawking you've got adverts in which kids get hit by cars, people push other people through the windscreen because they weren't wearing seatbelts, people suddenly fly across pubs to signify the danger of drunk driving and gangs of women push someone into the hands of a rapist to warn you about unlicensed minicabs. Then there's this. At least in Fight Club we get an idea of the physical damage a fight will do to you, as this is just borrowing it's tropes in order to sell you shit there's no bruising, no bones breaking or blood staining that fashion or that style. It's like Xena, although that at least had wit. It's directed by David Bowie's son and it's claimed to be a rip-off/copy of a video for a band called Groovecutter. Then, at the end, the two girls kiss, before continuing the fight. I don't quite know why this irritates me, I can tune out most adverts and liked both Buffy and Xena, which always had it's heroines spotless for the next scene. I suppose it's the appropriation of those things for the dirty, dirty business of trying to sell me stuff. It's not like it's suggesting to guys to take their girls to FCUK in the hopes that they'll fight and shag another woman in front of them.

Possibly it's that it's using the things that tend to be used to attract men (Pretty women catfighting! Pretty women kissing!) in something that should be used to attract women to their line of clothes. It's similar to how all the Tampax ads used to be made by men. I'd be interested to know how many women were involved in the brainstorming and creative process for either the video or the advert.


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