Some of the films discussed below are brilliant. A couple are awful. But we didn't expect any of them to make us feel so damn sad by the time their credits rolled. Before you read on, be warned, Wall-E is far more nihilistic that you might have noticed on first watch. And as for Wild Hogs, it'll change the way you feel about your favourite actors forever...
The Dark Knight (2008)
In-depth exploration of the moral complexity of using violence against a foe who isn’t afraid of being beaten up or killed. But, you know, for kids.
Pass the razorblades: We went in expecting a summer blockbuster, we came out shivering in the cold light of a dawning realisation that we all carry evil within our souls and all it takes is a slight nudge to bring our dark sides screaming to the surface. We imagine Adam West is spinning in his Batcave.
Light at the end of the tunnel: The boat bit cheered us up before we realised the scene was only there to make the ending feel even bleaker. Heroes die, evil endures. You should probably get used to that concept, Batfans.
Glum quote: Harvey Dent: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Thomas And The Magic Railroad (2000)
Mr Conductor, Thomas and chums are going on a magical adventure! What could be depressing about that?
Pass the razorblades: Our beloved Fat Controller has changed his name to Mr Conductor, possibly to dodge the police as he now appears to be addicted to hard drugs – roping in Thomas and his chums to track down the magic dust that gives him his energy.
Seriously, the Fat Controller is going through cold turkey in this movie. Our childhoods! Our childhoods!
Light at the end of the tunnel: It’s hard to find a light at the end of a tunnel that appears to be a metaphor for crack.
Glum quote: Mr. Conductor: “Stoke up the magic in the mountain, and the lady will smile... then watch the swirls that spin so well.”
The House Bunny (2008)
Playboy Bunny (Anna Faris) is thrown out of the Playboy Mansion for being too old, so she joins a sorority, teaching her fellow college girls that a) getting a boyfriend is the most important thing in the world and in order to achieve a) they must b) dress like sluts and c) pretend to be stupid. Hooray for Hollywood!
Pass the razorblades: See above. Anna Faris is an intelligent actress, we don’t know why she’s appearing in this extended advert for Hugh Hefner and his creepy corporate concept, but it made us feel surprisingly upset.
Light at the end of the tunnel: There probably won’t be a sequel?
Glum quote: Shelley: “The eyes are the nipples of the face.”
Cute little robot takes care of future Earth / rubbish tip.
Pass the razorblades: Nothing you do today matters. Just like yesterday and tomorrow. Whether you’re building a house, composing a song, or writing a book, it’s all meaningless, none of it’s going to last. One day, every conceivable human achievement will be reduced to garbage.
In fact, unless you’re currently working on a design for a cute little robot that has an innate sense of curiosity, you should probably lay down your tools right now, go home and climb into bed. Forever. That’s the true message of Wall-E.
Light at the end of the tunnel: Who cares if every human endeavour is ultimately pointless when there are flicks as brilliant was Wall-E in the world? Live for now! But, you know, recycle while you’re doing that.
Glum quote: WALL.E: “WALL-E.”
Watership Down (1978)
Some bunnies move house. How cute!
Pass the razorblades: Essentially a horror flick about the unremitting blankness of nature complete with gore, torture scenes and, in General Woundwort, as realistic a depiction of pure evil as we’ve ever seen on screen.
Except this was supposed to be a kids flick, starring talking bunnies, with Richard Briers in the cast. Going in, we were craving Disney. Coming out, we were craving whiskey.
Light at the end of the tunnel: Ah, Bright Eyes, that’s a nice song. Lovely melody. Hang on a sec, I’m just going to listen to the lyrics. Why am I crying? Nana, I miss you.
Glum quote: Fiver: “Hazel, look... the field... it's covered with blood!”
Wild Hogs (2007)
A bunch of middle-aged men attempt to get their mojo back by going on a road trip on their motorbikes.
Pass the razorblades: We don’t mind the fact that it’s a terrible movie; terrible movies are made every day. But not all of them star actors we once thought of as geniuses, wearing expressions on their faces as leathery as the jackets on their backs.
We stopped thinking of John Travolta as the kid from Saturday Night Fever a long time ago. And Ray Liotta’s a long way from Goodfellas. But there’s something about Wild Hogs that seems to sum up every bad career decision they’ve ever made. And why they decided to take William H Macy down with them, we’ll never know.
Wild Hogs isn’t so much a movie title as an expression, signifying the inevitable future of every actor working in Hollywood today. No matter how much respect you muster now, there’s a Wild Hog waiting around the corner for all of you.
One day, we’ll be watching Wild Hogs 14, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Steve Carell and George Clooney. And it’s gonna hurt.
Light at the end of the tunnel: For some actors, death will step in before they have to look their own Wild Hog in the eye. They should consider it a blessing.
Glum quote: Dudley Frank: “She's perfect for me. I wanted to say something funny, but all I could think of was black jokes.”
A Christmas Carol (1951)
Mean man is visited by three ghosts at Christmas, becomes kind.
Pass the razorblades: Ebenezer Scrooge has it good. He’s rich, successful and has a reputation so powerful, people dive out of his way when he’s walking down the street.
Then, in a cruel, depressing twist, three ghosts scare him into giving up everything he’s ever worked for by bogging him down with emotional responsibility. Bastards.
Light at the end of the tunnel: We’re still waiting for the sequel, A Boxing Day Carol. Maybe it’ll be the Return Of The Jedi to A Christmas Carol’s Empire Strikes Back and Scrooge will wake up the day after Christmas, kick Tiny Tim in the face and charge Bob Cratchit by the hour to watch.
Glum quote: Tiny Tim: “God bless us, every one!
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