There are some films that I just know I’m going to love the second I get a whiff of them. I saw the teaser-trailer for this ages ago and have been dying to see it since. And I wasn’t disappointed. Loved it. The opening credits alone did more for me than the running length of a lot of films I’ve sat through. Felt like I’d just witnessed a real film.
Shane Meadows is a master craftsman. I’d love to introduce him to Iain Banks and get them to film The Wasp Factory together. So what’s good about This is England? It just feels so authentic. The clothes, the hair, the nicknames, the dialog, even the mum’s very bad eighty’s hair. And there are some amazing performances in it too. Stephen Graham completely nails it as the nutjob, Combo. Move over Winstone, Graham is the facking daddy now, oi oi oi.
There are a lot of parallels with American History X but so much more to relate to from living this side of the planet. Look, if you love eighty’s youth culture, and authentic movies dripping with naturalism, run out to see this now. Or just buy it. I’ll definitely be watching this one more than a few times.
While I”m at it, I watched Harsh Times last weekend. Did this go straight to DVD? Didn’t hear anything about it. Really good movie for staying in at the weekend and having a few beers. Christian Bale is in top form, as ever, playing a fucked up ex-soldier with a soft spot for Mexicans. You can see how it’s going to end up from the very start but it doesn’t try to hide that and it’s all part of the intended build up of tension.
On the other hand, I tried to watch Terry Gilliam’s Tideland recently and couldn’t get into it at all. Fell asleep half way through and never bothered finishing it. Hard trying to find a decent DVD to watch on a tired Friday night that’s going to keep you awake!