“Deep End”


One of my favorite movie books is Danny Peary’s Cult Movies, an invaluable listing of a wide range of films, many of which I have yet to see. Last year, I was able to catch up on The Honeymoon Killers, and today, thanks to the joy-providers at Turner Classic Movies, I was able to catch up on Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End, which is not currently available on DVD.

Deep End starts out with a dated-as-hell intro, with some Cat Stevens song braying in the background as a closeup shot of Technicolor Red blood drips against a black and white background. The whole sequence screams, “HEY DADDY-O! CAN YOU HANDLE THE GROOVINESS OF MY HEAD TRIP?!?!”

In Deep End, John Moulder Brown is a horny teen working at the British equivalent of a YMCA. He wanders around the bath, occasionally ogling chicks. His co-worker is played by Jane Asher, who was Paul McCartney’s first wife. (this phrase is legally required to follow the name “Jane Asher” at all times.)

A few minutes into Deep End (during the scene where the pervy swimming instructor is patting his pre-teen pupils on the ass), I paused the movie to grab some lunch. Long story short, I locked myself out of the damn house. After I finally got back into the house, I started the movie back up, but I was tired and pissed and didn’t even care when the blonde lady fondled herself while moaning about Georgie Best. I turned it off a few minutes later and decided to take a nap.

And that’s my review of “Deep End.” Since I didn’t watch it, maybe you can tell me what happens:


“In The Loop” / “Extract”


Expectations are a funny thing.  Case in point:

Last night, I watched In The Loop, a British political satire produced by the BBC.  It’s sharp, funny and unsparing in its look at the absurdity of politics.  I wasn’t expecting anything, and it blew my away.  The second act is somewhat up and down (there were several moments that I simply zoned out, although I could say that phrase about my entire waking existence), but it begins and ends with a bang.  It also stars James Gandolfini as a general, and you can barely hear his nosewhistle in this one.  Highly recommended.

On the other hand, I’m currently watching Mike Judge’s Extract.  To me, Mike Judge is one of the unsung comedy geniuses of the last 20 years.  Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space & Idiocracy are all brilliant satirical takes on the suburban middle-class. Of course, the middle class will be gone here in about 15 years, so who knows if his humor will hold up?

His new film, Extract, stars Jason Bateman (former star of the greatest sitcom ever, It’s Your Move Arrested Development) as a hapless everyman that runs an extract factory, which no one seems to think should be called an “extractory.”  Ben Affleck is his laidback stoner friend, similar to Diedrich Bader’s neighbor character in Office Space.  I like all of these guys, so I had high hopes for Extract.

Thirty minutes in, I’m thinking about turning it off.  Extract is . . . perfectly fine. I would be proud to be associated with a project like this, and would beam with pride were I to write and direct such a film.  But still, Mike Judge is too good, too talented to make something that is merely average. Extract has some funny moments, I think.  I’ve honestly forgotten a lot of it already.  I remember that it stars …

Anyway, check out In The Loop.