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I got lured by the title... I was expecting an insightful and
intriguing journey into alcoholism, instead I got a rather boring and
uninspiring story about a rowdy Scot.
The leading character isn't given much psychological depth, unless you are willing to classify cheesy teen-like poetry as psychology.
It was a shame, because the core of the story could have been good, with a better effort to depict the inner feelings of a man who had to live with alcohol and violence since his youth.
Sadly, the general idea seems to be more like "I'm the way I am because that's the way I am". And the laughingly bad attempt at giving some sort of poetic edge to a lower-class man makes things even worse. Resorting to the overused cliché of the "poète maudit" reeks of a quick fix, a cheap way to make a dull movie seem smart, artsy and meaningful.
But "16 years of alcohol" isn't much smart, artsy or meaningful... The leading character doesn't evolve at all, and the feeble attempt of changing fails without a good explanation. Just like the initial attempt happened rather out of the blue.
The movie borrows heavily from classics such as A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting, but it ultimately fails to recapture their greatness, not even for a few seconds.
Jobson put too much emphasis on the artistic side of the story, and neglected the rest, giving us a movie which is pleasant to the eye but insipid to the brain.
This movie was terrible. The first half hour is much like a... well,
apologies for the lack of articulation, but it was simply a bad version
of A Clockwork Orange. The first scene is almost photocopied from one
of the first in Clockwork! Supposedly it was a tribute, as per the
appearance of the Clockwork poster on the protagonist's wall, however
"ripoff" is the more appropriate word. The movie felt as though it was
torn right from the Kubrick classic, only filmed through a new
director's eyes. A blind director. Unfortunately when it stops its
massacre of Kubrick's work, the film gets even worse. As another
commentator said, the deepness of this film is just shoved down your
throat. Arrogant, self absorbed and ultimately meaningless drivel.
Perhaps the protagonists ramblings would touch a nerve if there was any actual character development in this movie. I felt absolutely nothing for this guy. And I'm an alcoholic, so I figure that if anyone might be able to feel anything for him, it would be me. Awful character development, dialogue and plot.
The worst part about this movie is the title. For a film called "16 Years of Alcohol", the alcoholism is hardly a factor in the flick. See first paragraph - it was such a butchering of A Clockwork Orange I can't get over it. A more suited title would have been "16 Years of Violence," or, even better, "A Clockwork Banana".
Just do yourself a favor and avoid this movie. If you disregard my advice and take it out anyway, drink. Trust me.
Excellent film about the problem of alcoholism; a problem keenly felt
in the director's native Scotland.
There is an autobiographical veracity about the whole thing, plus an intimate knowledge and use of Edinburgh locations, and songs by the magnificent Glasweigan band the Blue Nile. McKidd is a revelation as the central protagonist Frankie, Laura Fraser is, as always, effortlessly sexy.
Yes, the film is rather portentous in tone and spare in cinematic style, but that tends to suit the subject. 'Creepy and sad'? 'More dull dross from a pretentious Scotsman'? Such IMDb user criticisms seem ridiculously unjustified to me, though users have a point when they criticise the film's lack of continuity at times: the characters not changing in appearance or dress across more than a decade's time-span. It might be nitpicking, but I think these people have a point; it does kind of undermine the verisimilitude that Jobson is aiming for.
Overall, though, a fine film from that hard-boiled, all-round renaissance man, Richard Jobson. It seems some of his subsequent films seem less promising; a shame, as this film suggests that he could make films up there with the better Neil Jordan fare.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All illicit drugs have a set of paraphernalia associated with them -
tools that drug users use to carry, process or administer the drugs.
These pictures can help identify various paraphernalia associated with
illicit drug use. If you suspect someone is using drugs, finding any of
these items could signal a problem. Alcohol and drug use can progress
into abuse and even addiction so insidiously that sometimes people do
not realize that it has become a problem for them and those around
them. The following self-assessment tests can help you determine
whether or not it may be time to get help.
http://www.alcoholisminformation.org - http://www.alcoholisminformation.org
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To say this movie is about only alcoholism is losing the point. It's
about growing up in a world of alcoholism. The best example is when the
young boy is sitting in the room with his parents and they are
clutching their alcoholic drinks and are covered with cobwebs. His
parents aren't there. Sure they are there physically but the are lost
in their own drunken worlds. And here is a young confused boy who needs
guidance and knowledge of the world. Meanwhile his parents are off
drinking and neglecting him in plain sight. So the rest of his years he
struggles to define what it is to be normal, what is it to be in love,
why people lie and act fake. His argument with the acting professor is
not only about acting but it's a young boy as man trying to figure out
why people are always acting and faking things.
He struggles to express himself and his emotions. And he models the behavior of his parents and turns to alcohol himself. He has no model of love from a philandering alcoholic father so he struggles with love too.
In short this is about being a child of alcohol and becoming one yourself, because the only thing you can remember from childhood is your parents covered in cobwebs clutching their own drinks.
I can see why this movie isn't rated as high as it should be. The accents are thick for your average American and you may need closed captioning to make out some of the dialog.
I have been a fan of Richard Jobson for many years, following his musical career with The Skids and The Armoury Show. So I was really hoping that this film would be a decent effort from Jobson as a debut in his new career as a film maker. I need not have worried for him as he has created a stunningly impressive first feature film. It is a film of great intelligence and thought, created with a great passion and craft and style. The acting was superb from the whole cast who were all clearly putting as much passion into the project as Jobson was. The music soundtrack quite brilliantly forms part of the story telling narrative and is not just tacked on. The cinematography is excellent simply stunning considering the shoestring budget that this film was created on. Whilst the story of the film revolves around alcohol fuelled violence with some harrowing moments , Jobson still manages to create some moments of genuine light hearted comedy so that the film makes you laugh and cry . The comedic parts are handled particularly well and do not appear out of place amongst the more violent moments in the film. This is a genuine must see film if you are a fan of real intelligent grown up cinema.
I'm not a huge film buff but I went to see a screening of this film at
the GFT in Glasgow on Monday and Richard Jobson was giving a Q & A
Thought his answers to the audience were good and definitely helped make sense of the film a bit much. He made some really good points about the types of films coming out of Scotland these days and how he was trying to get away from that drab reality style we're used to seeing.
it's worth seeing anyway, I wouldn't write it off straight away.
I found this film embarrassing to watch. I felt like it was shoving the
storyline down my throat as if I couldn't pick up the subtleties I
needed a voice over to spell them all out for me constantly.
Having a father who IS still an alcoholic, I didn't really feel it was a film about alcoholism as such. Alcoholics, true alcoholics are very lonely people inside, in my opinion of course. They find it hard to communicate, something that the main character had no problem with really, except he DID have a problem saying I love you at one point- which was a bit of a feeble effort at establishing his cold character. He was constantly surrounded with people too!?
I felt cheated that at no point were we really alone with the character to really get a sense of his inner loneliness and turmoil. I couldn't connect with the character and felt no link at all considering my father. I felt nothing at all when it had finished, just relief it was over.
Kevin McKidd is an okay actor but not a tough guy feature lead! The clockwork orange thing was as subtle as a brick. McKidd was too old for the teen, they should have got three different characters or avoided the teen stage and concentrated more on the adult McKidd.
On a good note, I felt the little boy actor was really good at the start of the film!!
You can often tell a movie didn't turn out like it should by the heavy
use of a narrator. This film features this device throughout. Richard
Jobson not entirely content to write direct and even fund some of this
film adds to his credits by reading excerpts of his own semi-
autobiographical writing which combined with some pretty editing
manages to gloss over what is a dull depressing tale which he must be
mistaking for genuine art-house. Kevin McKidd puts in a good
performance. Everyone else is okay.
Budget constraints meant that all scenes are shot in daylight though most are obviously meant to be at night, though if you know serious alcoholics they mainly operate in the day so for me it adds a touch of realism.
The funniest part of this film is a waitress who fails to age a single day in the 20 odd years that elapse between her appearances - a more extreme version of the problem McKidd has who goes from 18 to 30 without changing more than his clothes. Bless.
This film limps from self indulgent moment to self indulgent moment,
promising to develop into something worth hanging on for. But it
doesn't. It's flat, self conscious, unimaginative and tedious.
A series of set images and backdrops don't make a film, they make a calendar. This kind of pitiful socialist pseudo drama documentary ("It's TRUE it REALLY happened") not only fails to entertain, it fails to convince, so it doesn't even function as social history. Clichés co-mingled with bad acting make this a film very difficult to finish, the amusement factor wearing off fairly quickly. The characters are one dimensional, never developing to the extent that one feels for them. The director's ego is the largest character in this film.
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