Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Top 10

The following is personal opinion and is of course subject to debate should you feel strongly enough to do so.

There may be one or two controversial omissions, but this is entirely based on movies I have actually seen, as I am not very well placed to comment favourably or otherwise on those I am yet to.

Also, these are in no particular order. Just 10 of my favourite Christmas movies.


The Muppets before I began to find them irritating. Also the first time I had seen Michael Cane in a movie. Saw this one at the cinema when it came out and never fails to transport me to my childhood as the snowy rooftops support the opening credits.


"Ho ho ho. Now I have a machine gun." Because none of us are ever going to experience a Christmas Eve like it.


Same premise as the first one and still enjoyable. Christmas is on hold for John McClane as he battles Christmas-ignorant terrorists again.


Jim Carrey wearing another green facial prosthetic and delivering a truly bonkers performance. A poignant message that sticks with me regarding 'the true spirit of Christmas' which we could all do with being reminded of from time to time.


"Put that cookie down! NOW!", "I'm not a pervert!" and punching a reindeer. Enough said.


In my humble opinion, one of Will Ferrell's best films. Truly silly and featuring the 'World's Best Coffee'.


This is a great movie for both Christmas and Halloween and is still a true marvel in technical achievement. It is impossible to ignore the level of refinement in stop-motion animation before the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks swamped the market.


One of the first Christmas movies I ever saw. As already mentioned, any film that transports me to my childhood is an instant winner and this does just that. A timeless tale retold in a typically Bill Murray way and you cannot fail to find yourself watching and saying over and again (even if you have seen it before) "That guy (or woman) is in it?!"


Who didn't want a Gizmo for Christmas after this? Hilarious picture an an inexplicably under-protected small town that nearly missed Christmas in all the chaos.


Not an obvious Christmas movie (aside from the fact it is nearly always shown sometime in December) but one that is set around the festive season and is always an enjoyable watch, if nothing else for the terrible attempt to age Winona Ryder, and her dreadful 'old lady' voice at the end.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nude Nuns With Big Guns [2010]

When you watch a lot of movies, there are occasionally times when you become exposed to something a bit nonsensical but strangely gripping. This is one such movie. Though I should state that really it is not 'strange' as to why I was gripped. The title says it all. And leaves very little to the imagination. 'It does exactly what it says on the tin!' to coin a well known and massively over-used phrase.

'Nude Nuns With Big Guns' is as descriptive as a title could be. There are nude nuns. Though disappointingly, I have seen bigger guns. Don't get me wrong, the guns aren't petite; but I had a preconception of comically over-sized weaponry, the sort that might be used on a Navy battle cruiser to remove the threat of enemy fighter jets, or perhaps a mini-gun wielded wildly from the hip cutting everything in sight in half. The guns that do feature are lavishly decorated and are the shiniest aspect of an otherwise grimy and dirty picture.

This is (I will assume without looking further into the matter) a low-budget modern film, described in some quarters as a 'nunsploitation' piece. When considering this in hind-sight, this is not a bad description as there are many similarities between the make-up of this and films such as Foxy Brown of the 'blacksploitation' pieces. It is essentially a woman scorned, seeking revenge for her adversary's wrong doings, created with limited means and hitting as hard as it can in the circumstances. For me, a true mark of any cost cutting picture, is the detail (or lack thereof) in the violence. Throughout there are obvious tricks used to attempt a seamless transition in the action, such as cutting from one view to another when a knife is thrust into the chest of a gang member, or a split second camera cut between a gun shot and a close up of a bullet wound in the middle of the forehead. Despite the obviousness of these details, things move smoothly and you don't have long to dispute visual effects before something else is happening.

The story is kept quite simple. A house of nuns has been corrupted (as has the religious order in the area) and the women are forced to cut cocaine and package it up in small work rooms while dressed only in their head gear. They are governed by the religious leaders (all male apart from the superior) and answer to an Hispanic gang of biker-types who seem to be in charge of everything. On one drug exchange, a nun inexplicably attempts to steal one of the packages, prompting the gang leader to execute 2 of the 3 on the vehicle while the survivor is given to him as a gift and apology from the Father (priest). She is kept in a strip bar/brothel where she is kept high on drugs and forced to perform sex acts for any who are paying (including one of the former priests who decides to punish her at the same time). A witch doctor working for the gang takes pity on her and rescues her from this oppression. She comes round in his care and declares having spoken to God who has given her a mission to carry out, upon which she shoots the elderly man with the guns he has given her to help in her plight, before escaping and going on a drawn out rampage.

I may have spoilt the plot for anyone willing to watch this movie, but rest assured this is not a film to watch for its story. This is only a secondary concern. With its largely Hispanic cast, this feels a similar prospect to 'El Mariachi', 'Desperado' and 'Once Upon A Time In Mexico', though not nearly as well made. What this film has (and in abundance) is violence, boobs and lesbianism galore (though little full frontal nudity) with a sprinkling of interracial rape. I can only describe it as borderline fetish and probably not a piece to watch if you are the average female. Women, aside from being the lead character and successful vigilante assassin, are largely degraded throughout.

It feels wrong to admit to being entertained by this movie, but I was. There is so much boob I will need to try and Google the boob statistics; loads of slapstick violence, gun play and a totally ridiculous finale and happy ending for the protagonist. What's not to like?

I have intentionally attempted to keep the accompanying imagery as non exploitative as possible. If you want the harder stuff, watch the movie! (Available on Netflix)

3/5 (mainly for the amount of boob)