SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: Week 131 - Withnail and I

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by europe1, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Tufts

    Tufts Blue Belt

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    And how about when the antenna got blown and you had to climb on the roof to adjust it coz your picture got all fuzzy... We've come a long way!
     
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  2. BeardotheWeirdo

    BeardotheWeirdo Silver Belt

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    Depp basically lived with Hunter and tailed him for months, before filming started.

    I agree with this. There's thousands of great actors or musicians out there that just don't play the game, or don't fit the image.

    School is partly about education, and partly about conforming us to a mould, forcing us to work together and follow the rules.
     
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  3. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Disarming Posting

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    I'd agree it definitely shifts in style after the opening perhaps more towards something that's a bit less universal in appeal being a bit more obviously british? you could argue Monty these days does stray somewhat into homophobia but really I think the comedy comes from McGanns uncomfortableness with it(which is probably were his performance is underrated), situations like Monty blaming him for the drunken tearoom episode "He's so mauve we don't know what he'll do next" I find just as amusing.

    Really though Depp playing the flamboyant flop goes back way before that.

    I admit I partly see myself there, not in personality but in terms of not being very good at selling myself, I mean I wouldn't claim to be a great or very original photographer but I know I'm a better one than I am a businessman, the side of which I struggle for much motivation on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  4. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    We had rabbit ears that you had to wrap aluminum foil around to try to get better reception. <45>

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Yotsuya

    Yotsuya Green Belt

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    Comedowns can be more profound than the highs, but they are rarely as entertaining. I liked the ending, but didn’t enjoy it.
     
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  6. droolingliver

    droolingliver Orange Belt

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    Seen this film loads of times to the point if I change channels and it's on, I can watch it no matter what point it is.

    Here's my favourite scene. The suddenness of it makes it special to me, with what Whitnail says being hilarious, but also sad that they're at that level of alcoholism. (Can't embed unfortunately).

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/8c9acb4a-3e41-469f-9bb4-ff4a087401f4

    And as has been said, the ending is sad and brutal but not as brutal as the ending in the novel Robinson wrote which the film is based on. There Withnail performs Shakespeare, then pours wine into Monty's shotgun and pulls the trigger while drinking from it.
     
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  7. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Disarming Posting

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    |I actually think that would be less sad and impactful an ending personally, Withnail giving himself a grand dramatic send off rather than the knowledge he's going to slowly waste away as a resentful failure.

    That does actually I think highlight to me that its not actually the Depp Hunter S Thompson films that mirror Withnail's character most closely in style/drama for me but actually Woodey Allen's Blue Jasmine. Same kind of performance from Blanchet and a similar kind of outcome with her being utterly ruined to the degree I think it would be less depressing if she just walked infront of a truck.
     
  8. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    Would it enrage you less if I said that I like them about the same?:D

    Yeah I think it was unfamiliarity with the character-types that blunted my humor. While the dialogues was witty and humorous, the quaintness and theatricality of the characters just distanced myself from them. You can't really get into the groove if you don't feel some sort of behavioral attachment to the characters, I suppose.

    Wut? Man I'm now even English and I understood everything perfectly without subtitles. It's not like they're the Scooch.

    That said, the movie @GSPSAKU nominated for the Battle Royale, King of Devil's Island, would have given my a linguistic whiplash! 50% Swedish actors and 50% Norwegian actors (of whom I understand 50% said, heavily dependent on the accents they have). Thank God that film didn't win, because if it did, I would have been reduced to lying in the mud in the fetal position -- covering my ears while shuddering in panic.

    I wonder how the cops caught him in the act? Where they familiar with the technique too?:D

    After some rudimentary google-fu, that's something the films fanclub also seem to have picked up on. "I" is studying for an audition. However, we never get to learn which play it is. Considering he's seen reading it at multiple points during the movie (even taking it to the cottage with him), the play he's auditioning for is probably based on Journey's End.

    http://www.british60scinema.net/withnail-and-i-frequently-un-asked-questions/

    Took my like half-a-minute to realize that those two words were spelled differently.

    One thing that could be speaking against Whitnail's career could be acting-discipline, though. Whitnail seems to channel his artistic talents towards whatever stimuli he encounters. Does he have the discipline to do so in a 9-to-5 theatre gig? People as capricious and fastidious as that could be masters at capturing it "in the moment", but can't churn it out on an industrial scale, which the job requires.

    Peter O'Toole's alchoholism was something else. According to Omar Sharif -- when the two of them were filming Night of the General (an alright movie) -- O'Toole would be so intoxicated that he lay slumped over on a chair. As soon as the director called *Action*, O'Toole would get up, deliver his lines with impecable performance, and then collapse straight back onto whatever furniture he was wallowing on. <45>

    Wasn't that about him not being able to fight the Heavyweight champ (the top-dog in societies eyes due to being grandest in weight), since he himself is a Middleweight? I read that more as a sign of his violent disillusionment. He compares himself to a heavyweight, something he could realistically never be, just because society worships heavyweights and considers smaller men inferior. It's more of a statement of how LaMotta buys into this insane standard of stardome -- being devoid form reality as it is.

    The whole "they named Iceland to Iceland so that no-one would come there" is just a funny myth. Iceland is named after the mighty glaciers of Iceland, which are quite majestic and eye-catching.

    I don't know why Greenland is named Greenland. But the official story doesn't make much sense. Vikings knew that the more northwards you go, the colder the environment becomes. If someone named a place Greenland as a boast about how verdant the place is -- and then described it as lying even more northwards than Scandinavia, no-one would have bought it.
     
  9. GSPSAKU

    GSPSAKU Brown Belt

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    @europe1, I just watched and read the subtitles lol. Definitely worth at least one viewing
     
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  10. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Disarming Posting

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    Greenland was named so by Erik the Red to try and convince people to move their from Iceland although the south of it was actually more hospitable during the medieval climate optimum before the settlements were wiped out by the little ice age.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  11. droolingliver

    droolingliver Orange Belt

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    I hear you man. To be pedantic, I said the book's ending was more brutal, not more sad than the film. :)

    I know what you mean though, it would be more final and leave less to the imagination as to Whitnail's future suffering. I wonder if him killing himself would give the viewer less empathy too. Everyone's lost friends or had breakups and felt low after and that's what connects you to him.

    You really see at the end how Whitnail really needed I around. Why is another question. Did he really like him? Did he want someone he could tell what to do? Does he have noone or nothing else?
     
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  12. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    For anyone who's interested, I was just going through the channels and I noticed that Richard E. Grant is going to be on James Corden's talk show on CBS next Wednesday night.

    I would've been like the little Cable Guy, just sitting right in front of the screen so that the knob was always in reach :D

    When I was a kid, I was at the very end of the TV Guide era. There was a short period growing up where I'd look forward to the TV Guide coming in the mail, and I'd lose my shit if I spotted a Bruce Lee or a Steven Seagal movie in it :cool:

    Hmm. I'd actually go the other way with it: Rather than staying in identifiable London amidst the random Brits doing their things in their flats and hanging out in the pubs, they went into the could-be-anywhere countryside locale and relied on run-of-the-mill fish out of water shit and unfunny gay jokes (to be clear, I'm not knocking the "he's gay and wants to fuck me" trope, as there are certainly hilarious examples - I just don't think Withnail and I is one of them).

    Which I think is (not identical to but) similar to Grant's impotent disillusionment.

    Which I also think is (not identical to but) similar to Grant's reality disconnect and the way that he thinks that he shouldn't have to "play the game," as @BeardotheWeirdo aptly put it, and that the world should bow down to him - which leads him, because that's not how reality as it is works, to curse the world. De Niro goes the other way, he goes in with his fury and directs it at himself in the form of his relentless self-sabotaging and self-destructiveness, but they strike me as similar at least.
     
  13. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Disarming Posting

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    The start and end of the film really could be transplanted to the US with some small changes were as the middle is much more obviously british I'd say, Monty's character, the way the country/city divide is played up, etc. Honestly that eurotrip clip for me is a great example of cheap unfunny homophobia comedy, I think Monty is far better written than that plus you could argue that more than just him forcing himself on Marwood the story is really about Withnail deserting his friend in favour of family/class and the easier life it brings.
     
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  14. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I'm literally on my computer doing everything that I possibly can except composing cover letters for job applications. I feel like I'm channeling my inner Withnail. I hate playing this fucking game, too. Why can't I just show up to a university and tell them that I'm brilliant and immediately start teaching shit?

    I need to find a rat and make the fucker rue the day...

    [​IMG]

    Fred Armisen is beast-level hilarious in that scene.

    I won't fight you on the depth of character/drama between the two. I was just focusing specifically on the funny. The shit in Withnail and I just isn't funny, whereas I've seen that scene from Eurotrip fifty thousand times and it's never not funny.
     
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  15. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Disarming Posting

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    Honestly that Euro Trip clip is the same kind of thing we've seen done so many times before isn't it, I mean he plays it fairly well I spose but its very by the numbers. Richard Griffiths on the other hand I think plays Monty brilliantly, both for comedy with the way he delivers some of those lines and I think giving the character a good deal of depth.
     
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  16. Tufts

    Tufts Blue Belt

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    [​IMG]

    I love noticing the little things that become central later on....
     
  17. Tufts

    Tufts Blue Belt

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  18. Tufts

    Tufts Blue Belt

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    Definitely did that but then my parents would yell that I was ruining my eyes by sitting too close <45>
     
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  19. Tufts

    Tufts Blue Belt

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    Job hunting sucks. Good luck :)
     
  20. jei

    jei Danger Zone Admin Staff Member Forum Administrator

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    This picture was a bear to find. I couldn't find the darn thing anywhere until now. I couldn't even rent it to watch on Amazon, and the copies I saw at the time to purchase were mostly from Britain which advertised a shipping time of weeks plus. My on-demand cable had never even heard of the film so that was not an option either. I almost resorted to ebay.

    I can't not love this film in parts. The beginning is killer, a bunch of bizarre interactions in the city. Then, they roam around the countryside and it starts to lose its fun, and then it goes downhill when focusing way too hard on Mr. Dursley or Dr. What's-his-name from the second Naked Gun movie trying to party with I. The best moments of the film were by far in the city.

    Runny eggs are so gross to me. I can't think of something worse than when that woman's egg sandwich melted out of her bread. Bleugh.

    This movie really shined strongest on the little moments. Drinking the lighter fluid that I read in the trivia turned out to not be water but was swapped out with vinegar to get his true reaction. Telling the crazy drunk guy that he has a heart condition. Calling the cat "swine" and wanting to murder it. Trying to figure out what to do with the chicken. "Don't threaten me with a dead fish!" It was those little exchanges between characters, glances or reactions that made it all worthwhile.

    The minimal soundtrack of Jimi and the Beatles was very welcomed, although "Voodoo Child" live was a strange choice for one of the tracks. It felt out of place.

    I heard the uncle's name was "Montague Winthrop" when they spoke to people in the country while trying to buy supplies. I figured it was just Monty, short for Montgomery.

    I'm going to admit something terrible: it took me a solid 35-40 minutes to realize that I was incorrectly identifying Withnail, and I have no idea how that happened. Maybe I'm playing the drinking game along with them, who can tell.

    Scotch on tap seems lovely. But bringing dead birds in your coat to sell at a pub? Not so much.

    There is something amusing of them trying to sleep in the small bed together with the gun, but I didn't read anything into it like some might have. It even gets funnier when Monty's the one that walks in when they're in the bed together. It's like an older version of the jokes from the relatively new Sherlock TV series when everyone just assumes that Sherlock and Watson are an item. Sure it starts out amusing but it wears out its welcome quick, and then gets dark.

    Chekhov's urine reared its ugly head all over the police station, I was waiting for that to happen. It felt like a throwaway scene they needed to include to tie things together, and it made me wonder how he acquired the urine in the first place from some "child" on the side of the road.

    I'm torn about the ending. It just kind of happens...boom, job offer. Boom, eviction. Boom, later gator. After all that, it felt a bit hollow to wrap it so significantly so quickly. It was almost like they had 80 minutes of script and one said "well how do we end this beast" and the other guy said "let's get super high one last time, and then everyone goes their separate ways."

    For a film to start so strong and end in a strangely amusing but seemingly rushed way, it had such a rough patch in the middle.

    7/10.
     
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