Tagged: Agent Scully

re:View – How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (even without wearing Prada)

So, I mainly watched this one because it’s got Gillian Anderson and she gets to be a gorgeous, glamorous, total bitch. But by the time her character popped up on screen, I was already so thoroughly entertained by the UK’s answer to The Devil Wears Prada that I had nearly forgotten I was waiting for her appearance.

The story is, uhm, let’s say, charmingly predictable. Sidney, a young, talented British journo with a whole bunch of ideals and an even bigger ego, who specialises in pissing everybody off (hence the title), somehow gets himself hired by American’s most famous celebrity magazine. Roll on the cheesy, painfully over-used establishing shots of N-Y-C. The glitzy world of celebrity journalism, of course, isn’t at all what Sidney expected and he duly falls flat on his face. Multiply. His collection of Shoulda Known Betta experiences include pissing off all his superiors, pissing off his only well-meaning colleague (and true love-to-be), pissing off the city’s most powerful publicist, and pissing off all the celebrities. Oh, and making a complete fool of himself believing Megan Fox would actually let him get anywhere near her pants. However, in due course, he sells his soul for a trip all the way to the top (and a little closer to Ms Fox’s pants.) But just as he’s about to have it all, of course, he becomes disgusted with himself and turns his back on the corrupt world of glamour magazines in favour of his great ideals and (yawn!) true love.

So, the story certainly doesn’t win a prize (at least I hope it didn’t, or I’m gonna look really dumb), and you totally keep waiting for Miranda Priestly to come marching into the office and start ripping up throats any second. Sidney is pretty much a male version of The Devil Wears Prada‘s wide-eyed Andy, but while Anne Hathaway’s Nice Journalist Girl faded a little next to Meryl Streep’s all-eclipsing evilness, Simon Pegg’s underdog charm and hilarious comic timing allow his character to take absolute command of the the somewhat lame plot.

From the remaining repertoire of adorably stereotypical characters, Megan Fox stands out with an altogether fabulous parody of herself, and Gillian Anderson almost fills Meryl Streep’s Prada heels as the ‘Queen of New York’ – the über-dominating publicist who decides which of her clients the magazines will ‘want’ to put on their next cover.

Gillian Anderson in How to Lose Friends And Alienate People
BTW: Gillian Anderson with a red pen, editing copy. Cue major obsession.

So, yeah, it’s another of those Virtuous Journalist vs The Rotten Magazine Industry films, and it’s another one based on a journalist’s memoir (Toby Young’s, in this case). But this one’s fun, fun, fun from the first minute until the credits roll, and it doesn’t make you hate yourself for still wanting to be part of that infamous magazines world by the end of it.

Verdict: It’s got all you need for 110 minutes of marvellous, lighthearted entertainment. And it’s got Gillian Anderson. And she does the Scully Eyebrow™. What more could you want?

Totally Worthless Comment: If you google Scully Eyebrow, the image search turns up two pictures from my The X Files: I Want to Believe re:View. Win!

Where are Mulder & Scully when you need them?

Here’s one hell of a mystery for you:

Let’s set the scene with some atmospheric Mark Snow whistling.

Okay. If this whole thing wasn’t fucking freaking me out, I’d be in absolute bliss over having my first X File here; my very own unsolved case – mysterious, unexplainable, and bordering to the paranormal.

A little more than a week ago, I came home late (and considerably drunk) from work one night and found a parcel waiting for me on my doorstep. Expecting one of my eagerly-awaited Ebay purchases (or maybe not expecting anything in particular, given the fact that I was drunk enough to not even fully remember my journey home) I opened the parcel – and found a book tumbling onto my lap.

A big, heavy, hardcover book covered in dust and shelf marks. A book I had never seen before, or even heard of.

“Sushi for Beginners,” the cover said to me, while two maki rolled up and down in front of a crossed set of chopsticks and two headless crabs waved their tails at me from their nigri deathbeds.

(I admit that this particular occurrence might have been a product of the day’s alcohol consumption.)

As I tried to pluck the book from my lap, careful to prevent any more dust settling on my dress, a piece of paper came fluttering out from under the front cover.

“With compliments”, it said. From a school in Surrey. A school I had never been to, or even heard of.

Unsettled, I checked the envelope again. It had my name printed on it in capital letters, big and clearly, and my address. The new address of my new flat – known only by a handful of people.

Increasingly unsettled, but also incapable of forming any theory due to the low concentration of blood in my wine, I mumbled “WTF?!” at the book about twenty times and fell asleep.

The next working day I called the number printed on the compliment slip, without getting an answer. On the third working day it occurred to me that the school would be closed during half-term week.

Today I called the school again and explained the situation to the secretary. She promised to investigate. Just now, she called me back, informing me that she spoke to every member of staff in the school and that nobody knew anything about me, or the book, or where it had come from, or why it had been sent.

So how did a used, dusty copy of a book I never ordered, apparently sent by a school where nobody knows anything about me or sending the book, end up at my doorstep, in an envelope with my name and address on it?

I think some more atmospheric Mark Snow whistling is appropriate here.

And it’s still fucking freaking me out!

re:View – The X Files: I Want to Believe (that this is not the film I’ve waited for for six years!)

The story
Some FBI agent goes missing. Some psychic creep goes all psychic about it. Let’s call Agent Mulder. Much stalking through the snow sans plot ensues. Oh, and there’s some dodgy Modern-Day-Dr-Frankenstein-Thing going on. And dog tranquilizer. For the sake of this re:View, however, we’ll focus on the aspects of the film you’ll actually (possibly) be bothered about.

Act One
No-Longer-Special-Agent Dr Scully works in a Catholic hospital and has a bit of a faith crisis because The Church Folks won’t let her do some Really Totally Radical Risky Brain Surgery to save a little boy’s life. Xzibit Special Agent Mosley Drummy shows up, somewhat inappropriately, asking for Mulder.

Scully tells him to go screw himself cause, ya know, they’re no longer FBI and all. She also kind of annoyingly stresses the point, throughout the film, that she’s a DOCTOR now.

Also, The Creator tries to shock us for a sec by making Scully talk about Mulder like he’s History. But then she totally goes home to convince Mulder to get on the case. With the F-B-I. And the audience goes

“I’m happy as a clam hiding away from the world and cutting out newspaper articles all day”-Mulder says the FBI can go screw themselves. Also, he’s got a beard. Well, not any kind of beard. Maximum eeew!-level kind of beard. He tries an eyebrow wiggle that used to be sexy in pre-beard times on Scully–

and they both go all awkward and you can tell they’re WAY beyond frustrated. And just in case we still don’t get that point, there’s THE PENCILS™!

The audience goes

(The Pencils™ = Universal X Files Symbolism for Frustrated!Mulder – and consequently Frustrated!Scully – since February 8, 1998.)

But somehow The Pencils™ work their magic and Mulder agrees to be airlifted to DC.

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