Under the Skin, Film4, directed by Jonathan Glazier.

watch this and weep
watch this and weep

Many years ago I read a short story about a woman with gigantic tits that picked up hitchhikers on the back roads. I think it was set in the Highlands. To be fair anywhere outside Old Kilpatrick is a bit like the Highlands to me, but it might have been closer to home. And I do read lots. Stories blend together and become a kind of fudge-cake mix. So if someone says have you read? I kinda have and kinda haven’t because until I start reading the story again and pick over the plot I often can’t remember. This story about the woman with the gigantic tits stuck in my memory because gigantic tits usually do and because this woman that picked up hitchhikers was also an alien.

Hitchhikers that looked in and saw those gigantic tits and said whey hey, or something similar, and accepted an offer of a lift from those life buoys felt a little prick. The passenger seat in the car was fitted with a hidden hypodermic needle that knocked them out. Next thing the passengers were locked up in some out of the way bothy. They were fed hormones and fatted up and shipped out to some alien McDonald were they were the main dish in all-you-can eat fat guy alien buffet.

Wow, you’re probably saying, what a great story. I’ve got to make this into a critically acclaimed film. Guys that are coming back from watching the football a little disappointed and a little pissed might be channel flicking and want to watch a film set in their native Glasgow.

But how would you get funding for such a film? Producers like projects described in short bites. You’d need to say to them I’ve got this great idea for a film. And you’d explain to them about the woman with big tits, who is really an alien. You might laugh, a bit nervously. They wouldn’t.

They’d ask questions about target audience. You hadn’t thought of that. All you’d thought about was big tits and aliens obviously being a winner. You’d find yourself blurting out your target audience was Bernie Kerr.

It would be a legitimate question if they asked who the fuck was Bernie Kerr. It could take a while to explain that. So you’d just say that he was the kinda guy that could flip open the Bible and get a hard on and snigger through is nose at who was begetting who. You could probably expect them to laugh now. Everyone knows a Bernie Kerr. But they’d also be laughing at you. You expect them to commit money to film like that?

But then you’d have that ace in the pack, you’ve already signed up Scarlett Johansson. All you need is a measly ten million quid for her fees. An old scrapper of a van that cost about £400. And the script writes itself. A couple of guys running about back roads in motorbikes looking for our Scarlett. That’s about another £5000. And listen up. Scarlett for artistic reasons has agreed to show the full beaver shot, but without the beaver, and without the lips, because we’ve all went Brazilian now, but you do get to see her tits and ass and Bernie Kerr would be sitting in the front row of the cinema…Sure-fire winner. Critical success. Must see.

Avengers Assemble (2012) BBC 1, 8.30pm

avengers

Note: nobody in Hollywood has a normal sounding name, the screenplay was by Joss Whedon with help from Zak Penn. I’m not sure why dear old Joss needed any help with his screenplay but when Walt Disney Studios is paying out (a declared) $220 you can be sure they want bang, bang, bang for their buck. And boy do they get it. There’s a fight every ten seconds involving Loki, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (I can’t remember who she’s supposed to be, but she looks good even when wearing a chair) and Samuel L Jackson never plays anyone but Samuel L Jackson. And oh yeh if that’s not alien enough – alien invaders. They’re a bit like orcs only in flying suits with guns. On the good-guy side ledger, one guy dies a tragic death of cut upper lip, which the Assembled Avengers swear to avenge. On the bad-guy side ledger they get hit with everything but a nuclear bomb, apart from, of course, they do get hit with a nuclear bomb. But the bad guys did get to smash up Manhattan. That can’t be all bad. There were two mildly amusing moments in a film running to 143 minutes. One was about an hour into the film (but it seemed longer) when one of the officer on the Avenger’s Assemble flying ship gives some order and the staff behind him start tapping on computer screens. The camera pans in on one of the screens and the programmer is playing one of those old-fashioned Atari games when the ships buzz down and you shoot them from the bottom of the screen. The other amusing moment is near the end of the film. The bad guys have opened up a portal to let in alien ships and the Avenger team are up batting for planet earth, killing as many aliens as they can without their hair getting too drab. Loki challenges the Hulk to bend his knee and worship him. The Hulk picks him up and smashes him like a cartoon a couple of times. I actually laughed at that. But making money is a serious business. This film made reported returns of $1.5118 billion. Then you’ve got your add on-sale of Marvel figures. DVD sales and selling the first film to BBC so that the next film is being advertised and can make a similar profit. Superheroes are the most visible sign of sure-fire profit that Walt Disney can assemble. Until the figures start flagging they’ll be wearing the same old costumes again and again. It’s old-fashioned wrestling: Good guys versus bad guys (sshhh, spoiler, the good guys always win).

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