Saturday, 5 July 2014

Blue Juice (1994)

Savaged on its release, Blue Juice now has something of a curiously nostalgic value to any viewer.

A 'Brit Pack' movie about the Cornish surfing set, the main problem with Blue Juice is its lacking a vital spark to proceedings making it all feel rather empty. One reviewer at the time claimed that, for all its strong language, drug usage and sexual references, it was essentially as tame a 'yoof' movie as any done by Cliff Richard in his heyday. That may be true, but I actually feel you could argue that every yoof movie has to conform to what is essentially a wearily familiar and dated formula - even the hugely enjoyable Empire Records, for all its wit and chutzpah, feels like a 'let's do the show right here' creaking relic in places. Then again, maybe the Americans just do these films better than us, or at least can get away with them more?

Watching now, away from the mauling it received on release, it's a relatively pleasing enough if ho hum affair with much enjoyment gained from just seeing how fresh faced the likes of Sean Pertwee, Ewan McGregor and Catherine Zeta Jones are as well as the 'oh isn't that him/her out of oh you know...? familiar faces who feature in the supporting cast, such as Peter Gunn and the gorgeous Colette Brown. There's even appearances from the divine Jenny Agutter, Keith Allen (of course) and Heathcote Williams as a sage like yokel; though I'd have preferred to have seen Nigel Terry, the first choice for the role. My main irritant however is the ridiculous attempt the film has in depicting Steven Macintosh's character as a member of the Northern Soul faithful, complete with encyclopedic vinyl knowledge and Wigan Casino membership card. This is a man who was an infant when the Casino was in its prime and was just fourteen years old when it closed down! Oh and the script gets the order given of Three before Eight records wrong. It just smacks of trying to be cool and its an awful shoehorned fit. But at least we briefly see Edwin Starr!

Still, you can't be too mean to a film that shows not only the beautiful Cornish landscape but also Catherine Zeta Jones, in her prime, dressed in black bra and pants and a pair of boots jiggling about to Jeepster and pouring trifle all over Pertwee in the bedroom.

Surfing and sploshing?! Now there's a niche movie!

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