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|Index||38 reviews in total|
This one features a very young Jude Law, and a fairly unknown, Sadie Frost.. an independent film i caught on IFC the other night,, very dark,, lot's of good tracking shots,, especially the opening one.. a group of disenchanted youths crash cars into storefront windows for kicks, and then go shopping,, after 3 months in prison our main guy get's out , and is warned by the Inspector,, so now Billy back out and looking to make a score,, seems to get on the bad side of the new gang leader,, and takes down his store,, so the gang leader decides that he isn't just going to take that lying down,, good chase scenes in a tunnel.. at first i thought that maybe it was the Chunnel,, but i'm not sure.. love the battles that the gangs have with police,, evading them and destroying their cars in the process. overall though it's not for everyone,, it has a niche,, i think you have to look "outside the box" to like this one,, and i'm happy to say i did,, so i liked it very much.
I think this movie has been underrated. Certainly it is not a movie for
ages, but I was surprised how much ambiguity and pathos the (very young
immature) lead actors managed. It certainly is not a showcase of the very
best of Jude Law, but I think one can definitely see his potential in the
Certainly, the movie had its weak points, but overall, the acting was at minimum decent, the plot, well, the plot was almost non-existent, but movies centered around plot are the lowest form of film-making. The soundtrack was very good, and the sight of Jude Law in the tight shirt at the club was superlative.
Ah yes, Shopping, after watching it for a seventh time tonight, I truly realize it's a horrible movie. A prime example of why you shouldn't just buy a movie because someone you like is in it, or else you end up with this one...and "White Squall" So why is this movie so...bad? Well, I'll admit, I'm a female who lives in Alaska, so naturally, I won't understand the English sub-culture. Plus, car chases and bad accents just don't do it for me...any more. It seemed like the writers of Shopping really really really wanted a catch phrase to be associated with the film, so instead of focusing on one really catchy one, they throw out a bunch of mediocre ones, hoping they'll do, and they just don't. My personal favorite is when one of the dumber of the thugs joyously decrees "Let's Do Crime!!!" While happily raising his bat in the air, sadly he is told to shut up. What's up with that? All in all, it's a boring movie, and there is no plot of point to it. Plus there's no character development. This movie is trite, and don't buy it unless you've seen it. Boy, I learned that the hard way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I simply love this movie. I read every single review here and I feel
there's a fundamental problem with the critiques here. Not to be mean
or disagree I think every positive and negative point here was
legitimate. That is one reason why this movie is so good, its
misunderstood, on a scale from one to ten stars that buys 5 for me. The
other 5 stars that makes it a ten in my book? I actually LIVED like
this for about 5 years when i was a teenager.
It's my guess that none of the reviewers here? Ever have lived the extreme adrenaline junkie, sometimes criminal life of wanton chaos and destruction. A teen aged life of insanity; of skateboards, music, destroying things just to destroy them, carjacking, showing up a rival gang, drugs, jail, graffiti, ram raiding, running with a gang, the attitude. So therefore they cannot truly relate, and pan the movie, which is unfair. I mean, perhaps some of them have, who knows? But I noticed an underlying lack of actual identification with Billy from the people here speaking and that, I feel, is a discredit to the director. To speak ill of something when you cannot identify and relate to the protagonist is a bit underhanded. But its okay.
The movie is obviously supposed to evoke an either positive fascination or a negative judgment from the viewer; I would posit that makes it a classic.
I lived in the Midwest and when I was a teenager I did EVERYTHING Billy does in this movie. Got away with almost all of it like Billy but caught finally one day running from the cops super high at 4 am, they out ran me... Billy would be one of my best friends if he was real, and so would Jo. I NEVER see people in movies I identify with! It's usually the films about renegades that I identify with the characters and those tend to be very rare? So brownie points to Andersen for hitting the niche so well.
Whoever picked the soundtrack actually knows what they're doing and that is very, very, very, rare. Most cheesy action movies just play what everyone wants to hear, this movie actually had identity when it came to the music, akin to Clockwork Orange. This would be one of the 5 soundtracks from the 90's id actually buy. Not a single song in this movie would've been on the radio, and i LOVED that. It wasn't fake poppy alternative and metal like most action movies, there was actual electronic music which is so rare. There's a scene towards the end when Billy and Jo jack a red BMW and the song could've been straight off a progressive trance internet station. Kudos for that.
Speaking of Jo i saw someone ragging on this movie because Billy turns Jo down? Yes, it's a loser thing to do, but I was in love with my best friend for 10 years and we never did sleep with each other. Ever slept with your best friend? I have. It's a terrible idea unless you want to make her your wife. Billy had too much work to do to alienate her, which is generally what happens when you sleep with your best friend. I found the single kiss adorable and very reserved which is actually subtly dry and awesome, they always just kiss kiss bang bang in movies its refreshing to see some actual focus. Jude Law pulls it off, you can tell Billy is written to be way more into living his life than worrying about romance and some young men actually do live that way. (I don't , but some do :) The punk scene growing up around here was a lot like that.
This was simply not a love story guys its way more akin to something like Akira. Jo's female presence is DIRELY needed; in the respect that their are some kick tail WOMEN out there as well. And not all of those renegade women are just the protagonist's lover. Brownie points as well for making an action movie female in a strong role. I respected her a lot more for accepting his brushoff, getting angry and leaving. Most women would pursue it and make a mess of things, romance can really screw up the dynamic, I used to run with some of the most crazy women in my city and I can speak firsthand. Men and women CAN just be best friends and partners, without the romance, it's a common misconception. This movie illustrates it beautifully.
In closing, I'd like to list the 4 movies i watched today to give you an idea of how this movie fits with it's genre of action, I haven't watched any movies in a couple of weeks and got in a specific mood.... First was SFW, second was Over the Edge, third was Shopping, fourth was A Clockwork Orange. I like them all equally and give them all ten stars for fitting a very very tight niche of underground appreciators. Teenage rebellion movies for the win!!!!!!! Shopping fits in JUST FINE. I obviously can't live a life of chaos like this anymore? The costs were too high, so it's great to watch a sentimental movie every once in awhile, and be like, those were the days, be like, YUP i did that, AHAHAHAHA! Instead of going and actually doing it. :) A trip down memory lane, as it were.
PS The anti conformity, anti authority, anarchistic nature of this movie is to be commended, you just don't see open rebellion movies anymore. The sad ending fits in right with the pathos and the message, crime doesn't pay. Death happens, and so does karma.
Jude Law and Sadie Frost pretend (I don't like to use the word act for such dreadful performances) to be a naughty boy and girl. Frost throws in a faux Irish accent, because being Irish surely makes you sound harder. However, the accent is bad throughout: she ranges from Belfast to Limerick to Essex. By stealing cars and using lots of bad language, the pair go on an adventure to tease the police and raid some shops. At one point Sadie licks the face of a mannequin and hints at something more genuine; however the next police pursuing a car scene leading the police into an urban ambush is back to unintended satire. It is almost a mockumentary on the famous four comic strip style by trying to look so over the top to go beyond the ridiculous. Sean Pertwee is a laughable oik from his first presence, sat on the banisters watching the low lifes play in his criminal arcade emporium (seriously, he was playing a rogue who ran a games shop for teenagers but being in a disused run down place was supposed to make it a bit gritty). Slapping a car roof to show his annoyance at the naughty children (Frost and Law) getting into bother with the busies is about the level of such a misguided film; although he gets into even more of a bad temper when he hits a pipe against other pipes half way through the 'movie'. Some reviewers says this has dated too early. I would suggest it hasn't dated at all; awful on release, awful almost 20 years later.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Billy and Jo get their kicks from their special type of window
These professional criminals are not in it for the money, but for the fun of it. When Billy gets released from prison, his rival Tommy has taken over the street.
A fight for power commences as Billy starts his own gang and hits a shop the day before Tommy had planned to. Tommy makes a move on Billy's girlfriend Jo, who wants Billy to change his lifestyle and move away, instead of fighting Tommy, a fight which will hurt them both.
He agrees, but he wants to hit the shopping mall on a final hit. That has never been done before, so it will make him a hero among the others.....
It's Andersons first movie, Laws first big screen lead, and to be fair it's really good, even though it's full of flaws and awful dialogue.
It can be viewed in two,different ways. On one hand its a very dated 90s urban drama. On the other hand, you can see it as a futuristic urban punk style movie, thanks to the soundtrack and the opening.
Pryce gives the film a little gravitas, but he looks mightily bored, and Pertwee hams it up as the main villain. Law is good, as is Frost, but it's clear she wasn't employed for her acting skills.
Round the film off with cameos from Bean and Jason Issacs (hello), shopping is one of those rare hard to find Movies that has garnered a cult following.
Which means that most hate the film, but the view whole me it, can't explain why.
I don't often find a moment to pass comment on films, but in the case of Shopping, I have to make an exception. This sort of film making is doing its best to keep Britain well and truly in the minor league of cinema. Shopping is so far wide of the mark in terms of any youth culture ever to have existed, the acting is average and the plot dull. Having first seen and hated the film during its original cinema release, I recently watched it again on a UK digital film channel to see if my opinion was still the same. It hasn't changed. Jude Law is a fine actor but seems to enjoy picking a few bad films from time to time. Sean Pertwee's choice of role is consistently poor - he and Shopping go hand in hand. That's not to say I think Mr.Pertwee is a poor actor, but I cannot think of many films I've seen him in that has been worth watching: I.D., Event Horizon, Blue Juice - I rest my case. The film does have one singular redeeming quality, the title track by Sabres of Paradise is superb. I suggest you buy the soundtrack and skip the film.
Shopping takes a look at a subculture unknown outside of the UK. It was
banned in the UK, presumably because it might encourage the practice of
ram-raiding. It is a very insightful film about a young man's search for
his identity; whether he will continue on a potentially self destructive
path and prove himself by ram-raiding, or whether he will brave a different
life in a different city with his girlfriend.
The acting and cast are first-rate, and if you enjoy movies with depth and real character development, make sure you check it out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's amazing that Paul WS Anderson, out of all those big budget Hollywood sci-fi action junk, his best film could be this much smaller scale, rather fascinating tale of London suffering from youth crime gone amok, with Brit street punks, aimless and violence-prone, many either hooked on, or selling, drugs, destroying cop cars(and the police themselves), driving stolen vehicles through store windows, pelting the police with whatever they can get their hands on. It's absolute anarchy, and we see that the 90's punk culture has served not the most model citizens of society, as they seem to have no career goals, no future, living a life of crime either for kicks or underground business. Billy(Jude Law)has just been released from yet another stint in prison, rejoining his gal pal, Jo(Sadie Frost), as they steal cars and cause general mischief. Billy's "nemesis" is Tommy(Sean Pertwee), someone who has made a little street "enterprize" for himself using footsoldiers to rob stores for merchandise to sell on his "black market". Tommy doesn't like Billy's gung-ho, "adrenaline junkie" ways and warns Jo she should abandon him before he leads her into trouble. Billy likes to live recklessly, on the wild side, and has gained quite a reputation for doing so, a sort of hero to the punks on the streets. Tommy, however, considers himself quite a businessman, peddling his goods at much cheaper prices for those with the money to pay him(his customers normally wish to pay less than he demands, but they know his goods is of a legitimate quality), and sees Billy as a threat to everything he holds dear. There's an inevitable confrontation, but Billy underestimates his rival, with severe consequences. A mall is both men's desired target, and there's an ace up Tommy's sleeve which might just cost Billy dearly. Jo is in love with Billy and has went out of her way to reveal this to him, pleading with him to leave London and run away with her..but, Billy is a stubborn young man who has a problem with Tommy's "takeover" of "his city". I think Anderson effectively shows a London in ruin, with tired, exhausted police(under the command of Jonathan Pryce's saddened, weary Conway)unable to control the youth revolt. We see streets as if war had broken out, with filth and poverty very alive, along with graffiti walls, damaged cars, and trash in abundance. The overwhelming populace of self-destructive, unruly, and unyielding young criminals, with seemingly nothing else to live for but raising hell, are presented in a surprisingly non judgmental way, although, I never felt Anderson was condoning their behavior..I think he was merely showing us a lifestyle outside the norm, following a lost generation fallen under the cracks(..and, we can see that there were a lot of them, too). We can see that Billy's need for kicks and thrills are bound to lead down a path of destruction, and the ultimate crime is that he'll take Jo with him since she's just too in love to get away while the going was good.
The trouble with most films like these is the predictability of them.
While studies have been made on the noir genre and the American
gangster genre featuring the rise of the anti-hero and the eventual
demise of said role, they really just open up the reader's mind to the
possible predictability of any film that falls into these genres. Way
back in the classical Hollywood age, it was impossible to show any
anti-hero or murderer actually get away with killing someone because it
would glorify their actions in the sense they became successful because
of it. Shopping falls into the crime genre but is a contemporary
British effort although it revolves around criminal activity and that
specific activity is carjacking and ram-raiding. It treads close to
glorifying it before delivering an ending few would predict
So if after the first thirty minutes we cannot see which way this film is heading then it's quite clear we're not familiar with the genre. It takes a brave director to pull off an effective crime film and have the lead anti-hero get away with it all in the end but Paul W. S. Anderson is not that individual. In Shopping, recently released convict Billy (Law) defies his superegos and goes out on a binge of crime and law breaking with girlfriend Jo (Frost); they steal cars, avoid the police and smash shop windows with the film generally avoiding a clear cut plot until much later when it suddenly realises it needs one to see it through to its conclusion.
Principally, Anderson is cutting his teeth with this film and there is no way he is going to ignore the law that dictates what should happen to criminal anti-heroes. The only thing with this is, if you're going to go down that familiar route at least make it a fun ride along the way. Shopping does not make it an enjoyable ride but rather refrains from story telling until absolutely necessary. Billy, the film's lead, does not have a specific goal and whenever this is the case the film will not have a clear cut narrative. I'm all for films to expand from the monotony of formula and typical stories but for a film to open with two kids racing through a tunnel yelling at the top of their voice as the police chase them and then not really go on from there, is just disappointing.
Along with the lack of a goal, Billy does not have anything at stake bar a re-arrest from policeman Conway (Pryce) but that's never going to happen because if it did, Billy would be locked up for another month or so and the film would end (or become a prison drama, something equally unlikely). The film takes place in an odd place; a dystopian England that could be mistaken for the then near future; a world in which people of a specific culture meet in packs showing off their latest 'steal' much like cavemen huddling around displaying their latest kill. But these people are more like Hell's Angels, only with automobiles instead of motorcycles. The grim buildings and bizarre white lighting during the night scenes complete an odd setting, feeling like something straight out of Blade Runner.
More on the foils for Billy; initially, Conway stands between Billy and his 'goal'; his goal being to go out, commit crime, drive really fast and..........acquire a kettle. I find the antagonism with Conway quite sad because he is really just trying to help this young individual stick to the straight and narrow. Billy can only refuse the aid. Then the film realises it needs a plot to track through to the final third and changes its principal antagonism to a character named Tommy (Pertwee). Tommy is the closest thing you get in the film resembling a gangster, a sort of hard-nut caricature with a jacket and a shaved head. He answers to Venning (Bean), a man who he is indebted to and whose debt will become more complicated when Billy interferes.
So the film all boils down to one massive heist at a retail shop named 'Alaska'. Before we get there, we get some blatant product placement as characters state all the benefits of owning a BMW; the fact that Budweiser is the 'king of beers' and Billy goes out of his way to emphasise Ellesse kettles. There are some daft scenes early on when a police chopper makes itself known alerting everyone to run away before the police arrive and other pursuing police cars seems to disappear when an ambush scene at some garages arrives. But you cannot fault the film for effort and a rather impressive opening scene sees Jo cast away the young woman clichés she should embody when she chucks cassette tapes of current pop music out the back of a stolen car she will not be a part of that culture, as we will learn; she's 'in' with the car obsessed Hell's Angels-type crowd.
While Shopping never falls below that level that makes it a genuinely bad film, it isn't anything spectacular. Whilst deeply flawed, it is interesting to see a low budget; low-key British film trying to shoot car chases and attempting to make some sort of crime saga. But the story is left wanting and the film revolves around absolutely nothing for most of the time. While this isn't a bad thing, it takes a skilled director to deliver that approach and while the intentions were there, director Anderson falls just short.
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