Monday, 26 March 2012

Pontypool: Now, that’s what I CALL a movie … !


(Before you go on to the main part of this post — at the end, I give away the film’s central plot device — let me point out I’ve given Pontypool ★★★★, the most I tend to hand out. I’m a touch less conservative about these things than fellow Movie maven, Kevin D, but still STILL believe Pontypool is worth my highest rating, despite wanting to initially give it ★★★½☆. Either way, I wrote this little intro to tell you what I thought, just in case you DIDN’T want to spoil things for yourself.)
You know, I’m thinking, right now, that my day had something of an awkward start to it, it really did.

After all, it’s not THAT often that your bed collapses on you.

Or, at least, collapses with you on it, I should say.

Which is what happen to me, this morning.

Hopefully, if all goes well, I’ll be able to find a replacement, somewhere, though.

I’ll let you know.

Suffice to say that, for the moment … ? I’ve had to dismantle the old one: as a couple of metal crossbars that held it together had well and truly bent.

And aren’t going to be repaired with the help of a blacksmith: not easy to find, even with the big wide Essex countryside being only a few steps away.


At ANY rate … ?

One thing I DO know is that I had just enough iTunes credit left — and enough of an inclination to hook Bruce up to my TV — to rent myself a film from the iTunes store.

The film in question … ?

And I think I can definitely say I’m impressed … !


Based on the Tony Burgess novel, Pontypool Changes Everything, Pontypool sees Stephen McHattie‡ as Grant Mazzy, a former shock-jock now working as a radio announcer in the small Ontario town of Pontypool.

As the film starts, we see Mazzy’s car stuck in a blizzard, when, from out of no-where, a woman knocks on the window: and when Grant tries talking to her, wondering off into the night babbling insanely.

Once at work, Grant and his studio crew — Sydney, played by Lisa Houle and Laura-Anne, played by Georgina Reilly — slowly start receiving disturbing news.

That Ken, the station’s Eye In the Sky, seems to be seeing a series of disturbances …

Local police have had to stop a riot, outside the surgery of a Dr Mendez.

And that parts of town are getting cordoned off: by French-speaking elements of the Canadian army and police forces.

Things are slowly getting strange … !


Now … ?

Good … ?

Oh, LORDY, yes … !

Like I say, I was VERY impressed by Pontypool: certainly impressed enough to want to tell as many people as possible about it.

I’m thinking Pontypool is a nicely crafted, written and acted film: and one with a central idea — that the English language, itself, can be a virus carrier — that is breathtaking both in its originality* and simplicity.

Which is why I’ll leave you with what I’m thinking, stars-wise: and yes, I am SERIOUSLY not kidding about that rating, either … !


* Actually, as I write, I can imagine Grubª pointing out that “someone’s probably already done it, years ago.” In my defence, let me clarify me calling it original by pointing out that I’ve not seen anything like Pontypool.

ª Along with Mark Kermode and Kim Newman in full on Critique mode.

I’ve GOT to confess, I think every member of the cast worked their respective butts off, putting in very strong performances: but Stephen McHattie — who I last remember seeing as Night Owl 1, in Watchmen — really did impress me, especially in the use of his voice. I found myself genuinely thinking he’d be a very capable radio presenter and DJ.

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