Skip to main content

Now These Are Some Good Friends!

Movie Title: 44-inch Chest (2009/2010, U.S. release)
Spoilers: No


Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) has some very good friends. When his wife, Liz (Joanne Whalley), confesses that she’s done with the marriage and wants out, his loyal friends kidnap the “other” guy to help their friend feel better and have the opportunity for a most excruciating, skin-pealing revenge.

It has been said that if you have five good friends in your lifetime, then you should count yourself lucky because you are doing well. Colin has at least four good friends, but I still say he’s gosh-darn ahead of the most of us. Archie (Tom Wilkinson) is an honest man who seems normal enough. He cooks dinner and he spends a great deal of time with mom, or “Mum.” (Edna DorĂ©).

Meredith (Ian McShane) is a man who can gamble, and he has tremendous class. He loves his men that way, too. And, he looks good going anywhere. Hal (Stephen Dillane), well, he’s a little harder to describe. He’s just a friend helping out another friend. You get the impression that he can be an annoying gnat of a human being some of the time, but he’s still a friend.

Old Man Peanut (John Hurt) is the most brazen character among them. You don’t want to get him riled up. He may wear dentures, but he can verbally bite. And with the exception of Liz, everyone in this misogynistic make of a movie can curse up a storm—with a cult-like love for that word that women just love to hear used to describe their feminine region, the “c” word.

The English are just as big on hard drinks and cigarettes as any, especially in grief. Colin and the gang are drinking down bottles of hooch. The main man does so with an apparent-but-not-actual disregard for the strength of the substance that is supposed to kill his pain. In the end, only one thing will kill his pain. He has his mind set on that.

Loverboy (Melvil Poupaud) has been kidnapped and taken to a somewhat run-down building, to some place you’d expect to see in a 70s presentation of an old-style, once-fancy pad in New York City. It’s a bad day for Colin, but an especially bad day awaits one good-looking kid who foolishly crossed into the city limits of Payback-opolis.

Today’s a big day for Loverboy. Today he will learn more than he cared to know about intimacy. It takes much less than love to “get you off,” but love itself is what can get you killed (or make you wish you were deader than dead). One of the most memorable lines in the film begins with Colin’s one-on-one interrogation: “I bet she’s never farted in front of you, has she? Has she? No. That’s not romantic.”

44 Inch Chest is a broadside description for this chesty and well-acted English drama with its carefully constructed conclaves of comedy that are just strong enough to lighten the mood without damaging the suspense. The brief moments with the disorienting quality of a late-1980s cologne commercial are not as much flaws as they are bonus additions in the name of comic relief.

The coming and going drop-offs of eerie music and the riveting moments of tension that give way to lighthearted humor give this 90+ minute film of anger, imagery, and dry English comedy an unexpected – if profane – appeal.



Grade: B+ (3 ½ stars) Recommended!
Rated: R (for violence and language)
Director: Malcomb Venville
Summary: A jealous husband and his friends kidnap his wife's lover and plot to extract revenge.
Starring: Ray Winstone “Colin Diamond,” John Hurt “Old Man Peanut,” Ian McShane “Meredith,” Tom Wilkinson “Archie,” Joanne Whalley “Liz,” Dave Legeno “Brighton Billy”
Genre: Drama


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…