Friday, 20 September 2013

British problems in the world of film

Over here at Tank Top Movies we are big fans of Reddit: the front page of the internet. Every day you can find the weird wonderful and whimsical. One of our favourite subreddits on the site is r/britishproblems. Users submit their annoying and awkward problems inherent and particular to us British folk out there. Whether it be the classic broken biscuit in your tea or accidentally making eye contact with a stranger on the tube, r/britishproblems have them all. Check it out ol’ chap.

With Hollywood’s dominance over the movie industry, the inaccuracies and mistakes regarding our little Islands are vast and troubling. My British reserve is all but ready to be thrown to the side. I can’t take any more. I might have to write a very strongly worded letter, or blog post it would seem. Let’s put the kettle on and have a look at 5 British Problems in movies history that rile me up. Let us know what gets on your Union jack tattooed tits too in the comments.

1. First and foremost is the prevalence of the word movie itself. This has long been a nagging annoyance to us British FILM lovers out there. It’s, ‘shall we watch a film mate’, god damn it, not ‘hey dude, let’s switch a movie on’. This is a battle Tank Top Movies has accepted us Brits have already lost. Hell if you can’t beat em, join em. I mean we wouldn’t want to cause too much of a fuss.

2. Robin Hood is the bees knees, I think we would all agree. One of the coolest characters and legends in British folk history. He’s had numerous big screen adventures, but only been played by a Brit twice. Brian Bedford got the luxury of providing his voice in Disney’s animated version and Cary Elwes got to play him in Mel Brooks’ "Men in Tights". Apparently the British can only portray their own folk hero if he's replaced by a cartoon fox or running around in silly tights making jokes. No instead, we get the likes of Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe. 

Now I will forgive Mr Errol Flynn, at least he was schooled in England during his life, and just gosh darn, what a movie! Costner on the other hand could have at least attempted to put on a British accent and the less said about Ridley Scott’s mess of a Robin Hood film the better- I really don’t know why that movie wasn’t called ‘Magna Carta’. Well I do actually, Scott wanted to make a film about that period of history and some big wig Hollywood executive has had the brilliant thought that if you’re making a film about that time why not include Robin Hood - ‘lets shoehorn him in to get people’s bums on seats at the cinema’. Well done, it worked. Can I have my money back?

3. I get the impression that if Hollywood is the cultural reference point and an informative source for thousands of viewers around the world, whenever a foreigner meets a Brit they are either going to be expecting to meet a bumbling yet charming sweet Hugh Grant or a nasty London Gangster. Tourists must be totally confused approaching us Brits, they are flipping a dicey coin: they don’t know whether they are likely to get an apologetically helpful gentlemanly twit or a sawed-off shotgun shoved in their face and told if they speak to you again Vinnie Jones will pay them a visit.

4. Thanks to Reddit user Massey909 in particular for this one. I just couldn’t agree more. Why the hell is Rowan Atkinson more popular for Mr Bean than Blackadder? Sure Mr Bean has his moments and if you love the guy, more power to ya, but I’m not a 10 year old anymore, and as far as I’m aware the majority of the world population isn’t too. I guess Mr.Bean’s physical comedy and voiceless persona make him a mass appeal across the world. I can just imagine Baldrick getting a good laugh out of him but I would love to see Edmund Blackadder’s response to a Mr Bean movie. I imagine he would end up with two pencils up his nose, a pair of underpants on his head and repeating endlessly the word ‘wibble’, but this time he really would have gone mad.

5.However, the biggest problem facing us Brits in the movies is: We are always the bad guys. Just have a look at this list of some examples by imdb user waylander37. Even when the character is not British they stick him with what I guess is supposedly an evil British accent. Alan Rickman was perhaps one of the greatest movie villains ever in Die Hard as Hans Gruber, but was that supposed to be a German accent he had? He was British through and through.

Ok ok, so we have over the course of history invaded about 90% of the world at one time or another but come on, at least we don’t hold a grudge (bloody Germans, French, Americans, Aussies…). It seems Hollywood thinks if you want a movie villain the audience can really hate, get a suave smooth talking Brit in. Hey, at least it’s endless work for our British actors/actresses.

So there you have it, they’re my top 5 British problems in film. Cheers to r/britishproblems for the idea and don’t hesitate to let us know your biggest and baddest British problems at the Movies. (FILMS GOD DAMN IT).

Matthew Taylor