Thursday, September 15, 2016

5 things to love about Shopping (1994)

What’s it about:
Jude Law plays a criminal who is released from prison and quickly returns to a life of crime stealing cars and ram-raiding with his girlfriend. However he incurs the wrath of local crime boss Sean Pertwee who feels he is encroaching on his territory.

5 things to love:
1. The cinematography is really good for such an obviously low budget film. This was Paul W S Anderson’s debut film* and although it never quite comes together there are some fantastically creative shots throughout the film.

2. Although not “top tier” the soundtrack for the film is pretty great. My favourites were Utah Saints – ‘I Have Something to Say’ (which sadly removes the Highlander dialogue sample), Orbital – ‘Halcyon+On+On’ and The Sabres of Paradise – ‘Theme’.

3. The cast is like a who’s who of British actors. Jude Law, Sean Pertwee, Jason Isaacs, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce. I can’t say they are great performances, the script is too stilted and stylised, but it’s fun to see a lot of them in early roles.

4. I liked what the film was trying to be. A sort of A Clockwork Orange for the 90s. It doesn’t succeed but I appreciate the effort. The way Anderson sets the film in ruined buildings, tower blocks and empty streets had a powerful vibe.

5. Lastly, you’ve got to love the terrible 90s clothing that everyone wears. If you didn’t live through the 90s you won’t understand.

1 it didn’t need:
There’s a lots about this film that doesn’t work – Jude Law is very, very hard to take as a working class thief – but the thing that brings the film to a grinding halt every time is Sadie Frost awful performance as Law’s girlfriend Jo.

* Full disclosure: I don’t think Paul Anderson’s a terrible director and enjoy almost all his films (bar AVP) on a turn your brain off and have fun-level

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