Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

We got a glowing review of Michael Caine's return to revenge cinema: HARRY BROWN!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a review from talkbacker The Lonely Dachshund who got to see the Michael Caine old-man-kicking-ass revenge flick HARRY BROWN. No hyperbole here, but Harry Brown is one of my most anticipated flicks in the can. When I sat down with Michael Caine earlier this year he described it as what would have happened if Jack Carter had lived to a ripe old age and was called back into action. This film promises to be everything I wanted out of GRAN TORINO and didn't get... Here's Mr. Dachshund's thoughts on the film!

Hello Harry, I don’t know if you’ve run a full review on “Harry Brown” yet but if not, please consider the following. I know Quint did an interview with Michael Caine a little while back where he discussed it. But I got into a screening of the film this past week and had to share my thoughts. In short, it is a badass film that you have to see if you get a chance. It is brutal and violent without being exploitive and well worth seeing. Here’s the long way round: Basically, the film is a grittier, violent, British version of “Gran Torino.” Michael Caine’s Harry Brown and Clint Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski have much in common. Both are retirees and recent widowers living alone in neighborhoods that used to be nice places to raise a family but are now ghettos run by petty gangsters and thugs who push around, rob and intimidate the locals. Both are ex-military men who have seen combat and are haunted by the acts they committed and witnessed during that time in their lives. And both feel they need to teach these young punks a lesson since the police are doing nothing to stop them from dealing drugs and killing people in the streets. But the films have one MAJOR difference. Whereas Eastwood’s Kowalski ultimately decides that killing is not the answer and deals with his situation in a more sacrificial way, Caine’s Brown takes the opposite approach. He decides to start putting bullets in people’s heads. Keep in mind: this is not some throwaway action flick. Caine gives a strong performance here that some may not be used to seeing him in. Maybe I’m too used to seeing him as Alfred, but here he is at turns vulnerable and intimidating. You feel his anger and frustration as he sees what’s happening around him. You want him to take care of business. And you’re scared of him when he does. I think his accent helps with this. When he kindly explains to a druggie who’s been hit in the gut by one of his bullets how he’s going to slowly bleed out since it hit his liver, the posh English enunciation makes the whole thing a bit more haunting. And though Caine’s performance makes the film what it is, credit has to be given to director Daniel Barber. Barber puts a lot of genuine tension here and that’s not easy. I think we’re so used to seeing things turn out cleanly and in a preditable way that it’s a bit jarring when it doesn’t. The best example here is a surprisingly long scene where Brown goes out to buy a gun from a drug dealer. (It’s England. You can’t buy handguns as easily as in the States.) It reminded me of that scene in “Boogie Nights” when Alfred Molina is jamming out to Night Ranger while Mark Wahlberg and his friends are nervously waiting on the couch. Every minute a new element is introduced which sets you and everyone in the scene on edge. You know at any moment, some one is going to snap and the shit is going to hit the fan. I won’t spoil it, but the scene is like that. And it pays off. But the best scene in the movie doesn’t even have Caine in it. The film’s opening is a video of a gang member during an initiation. It is shot on a little home video camera giving it a more immediate feel. I know, I know; I think the whole “No really! It’s shot on video! That makes it more real!” convention is tired. For every “Paranormal Activity” there are dozens of failing poseurs. But this scene…I can’t wait to see it again. Even from a filmmaking standpoint, one has to be impressed. Again, I won’t divulge the details but once you see it, you’ll know what I mean. Barber is definitely a director to watch. The film isn’t perfect and a revelation towards the end is unnecessary though not harmful but he makes a strong debut here. And by no means am I trying to imply that “Harry Brown” is trying to copy “Gran Torino.” More than likely neither had anything to do with the other. But the two do show fundamental differences in how American and European films approach the same subject. Can you imagine “Gran Torino” getting a greenlight by Warner Bros. and making $148 million dollars if it included a scene of Eastwood torturing a man less than half his age to get information out of him? I don’t think so. But we watch Caine do it and mercilessly so. I liked “Gran Torino” but I wasn’t blown away by it. I wanted Eastwood in the end to take the gang members out. I wanted that cathartic ending. “Harry Brown” delivers it and doesn’t wait until the end to give it to you. And though I admire and respect Eastwood’s work, Caine here makes him look a bit like a pansy. If you print this, please use my talkback signature The Lonely Dachshund.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    FIRST!!!

    by SLY_STALLONES_COCK_VEIN

    SUCK IT BITCHES!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    SECOND!!

    by SLY_STALLONES_COCK_VEIN

    OH YES! I KNEW STAYING OFF WORK TODAY WOULD BE WORTH IT

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    THIRD!!!!

    by SLY_STALLONES_COCK_VEIN

    NOW IM ON A ROLL. WHERES JETTL93 TO TELL US THAT HE WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR THIS?

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    ON TOPIC

    by SLY_STALLONES_COCK_VEIN

    This has had excellent reviews in the UK. and Caine can do no wrong at present. Might check it out.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Michael Caine with a 'posh' English accent?!

    by The Grug

    I'll believe that when I hear it!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Sir Michael Caine...

    by The Edges Hat

    ...we salute you sir!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    But was it a failure on an epic scale?

    by ricarleite2

    This usually indicates a good film. Seriously though, sounds bad ass. I'll see it.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Sounds groovy

    by Daytripper69

    About time Michael Caine got his dues. Let's appreciate the man while he's around. Looking forward to hearing more about this film.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    The asian actors in Gran Torino were horrible...

    by GrandMuffTarkin

    I know they were not pros, but their performance really soured me on Torino, as did the disjointed storytelling. If GT committed itself the way Harry Brown sounds like it does, it would have been a much better film.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Does it end with Caine crooning over the credits?

    by seppukudkurosawa

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    And "posh, English pronunciation"?

    by seppukudkurosawa

    We are talking about the same Michael "You were only s'posed to blow the bloody doors off" Caine here?

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    more like Death Wish than Gran Torino

    by Gungan Slayer

    honestly, I would say the film is more comparable to the Death Wish films, and other revenge action shoot'em ups from the 1980s than it is with Gran Torino. Really looking forward to this and hoping it gets a US release.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Caine's accent is posh in Zulu

    by thinboyslim.

    but I very much doubt he'll waiver from his cockney growl in this

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I also anticipate Harry Brown in the can.

    by The Dark Shite

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a good movie!

    by The Dark Shite

    Gotta say though, I found this part of the review a bit odd..<p> "Can you imagine “Gran Torino” getting a greenlight by Warner Bros. and making $148 million dollars if it included a scene of Eastwood torturing a man less than half his age to get information out of him?"<p> Absolutely! That's the film Gran Torino should have been, except Eastwood wanted to be a smartarse & play with our expectations. <p>

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I can't wait for the sequel "Harry Reems"

    by The_Crimson_King

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Same Exact Plot As Death Wish 3

    by Acquanetta

    Which only proves, once again, that Golan/Globus were shunned by the Academy.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Caine had a posh accent in ZULU, his first big movie

    by Tacom

    He played an aristocratic officer and was very convincing. I think he can still pull it off.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Hope this movie has a theme as cool as GET CARTER

    by Tacom

    too.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Michael Caine's performance is stronger because...

    by sheenakrull

    ..he doesn't blink

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Michael Caine's posh accent?!

    by Cat_Corporation

    I don't think I've ever heard that description of a proper London dialect! I've often been told I sound like Michael Caine (even though I'm female...), maybe I can pass myself off as royalty next time I go abroad!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    can't wait to see this

    by baaba_pappa

    Hope plenty of cinemas have it on

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    I saw this last week...

    by WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR

    ...(I'm in the U.K) and have to agree it's pretty good. SPOILERS TO FOLLOW I initially didn't like the ending which is pretty much 'fuck up the little shits and all will be well' and as much as enjoyed it it came across as a bit of a facist's fantasy, but a week on and I'm still thinking about the film constantly. I think this is because I'm still grappling with the morality of the whole thing. Good stuff. I would definitely recommend it to any like-minded U.K filmgoers - even when it threatens to get a bit silly or far-fetched, it still bristles with this great unpredictable energy, and it definitely packs a punch of realism that vaguely similar efforts like Bullet Boy and Kidulthood don't really manage.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I think the version of gran torina we got

    by slappy jones

    would have been harder to get green lit then one full of vengeance and bloodshed!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    I thinkk GT did what it needed to....

    by Taragor

    I look forward to seeing Harry Brown for sure, I just don't think the hate towards GT is warranted. What is wrong with a story that shows a man, who is fed up and sad with the state of his city, going out and trying to fix it? Yet instead of going all "snapcase" and killing everybody, he attempts to fix it in a different manner. He misses his wife, hes drunk all the time, life is not giving him the satisfaction he wants. He is horrified by his past deeds and doesn't want to go back to that place in life by repeating these mistakes. I am sure many veterans of war deal with the horrors in their own way. Here we see someone dealing with it in his. He can not forget but doesnt want to repeat. He just wants to see this generation in the manner of his own generation with a bit of respect and dignity. I think Clint's character was his own, and Michael Cains will be different. Nothing wrong with that. Both sound like great stories. I enjoyed Grand Torino (ok the singing at the end was cheesy) but the story itself was very well done. Just dont see the reason to bash it so much.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Here's hoping it has more balls to it than...

    by Guy Grand

    2007's "Outlaw" with Sean Bean and Bob Hoskins. Same kind of premise, but what a letdown of an ending!

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    FIRST...one to say it aint over until I say it's over

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Way to miss the point of Gran Torino Quint

    by savagedave

  • It was Clint making a refutation on his history of violent cinema and praising the glories of non-violence (while still being a total badass)

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    HARRY BROWN is an uncompromising movie

    by spud mcspud

    Saw it today at a preview here in the UK. Very, very good movie - the opening mobile-phone filmed scene is a sucker-punch to the gut, and sets the tone for this extremely bleak, at times almost nihilistic movie, which every time it threatens to throw you a ray of hope, then rips it off of you and punches you in the face. The criminal justice system over here is represented as realistically as it actually is - which is to say, fucking broken and absolutely unfit for purpose - and when Harry finally does snap (and it's not DEATH WISH, some of his murders are more accidental than planned) we're with him all the way. Emily Mortimer is fantastic, all angst and shades-of-grey confusion, as the police officer assigned to his case, and Iain Glen does well with an underwritten role. But this movie belongs to two people - Sir Michael Caine, who is exceptional here as an unexceptional man, and David Bradley, who works hard in his short time on screen to give us enough of a sense of the last friend Harry has in his life - and our vital sympathy with his Leonard gives us the in we need. It's very bleak, and has a kind of ray of hope at the end, but that ultimately shows that the gain is too little for the price Harry (and the hoodies, and Leonard, and his wife Kath) has to pay. Bleak, uncompromising, relevant, riveting - HARRY BROWN is all these things and more. Definitely one of Sir Michael Caine's best roles, and one I hope he is remembered for alongside Carter.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Feels a lot like DEATH SENTENCE

    by spud mcspud

    Although more realistic and a fair bit less emotionally manipulative. Though, in fairness, DEATH SENTENCE is a powerhouse performance by Kevin Bacon, who is just fantastic in that movie. I'd say HARRY BROWN is more DEATH SENTENCE or DEATH WISH than GRAN TORINO.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    GranTorino was great and ...

    by HessianHorseman

    if i remember correctly ... Eastwoods Walt Kowalski "took" out all of the gang members in a different and intelligent way, plus he found a solution for himself avoiding to die in hospital. Grow up, little Dachsdog.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    And for those lily-livered liberals who say it's fascist...

    by spud mcspud

    I'm a liberal myself, but I'm a realistic one - I know that a criminal justice system needs to ACTUALLY deliver justice, not indifference, as it does in the UK. Most police officers I know personally are in despair at how little they are allowed to do to effectively defend the law abiding in society against the lawless, and tying their hands just increases public hostility against them for what is NOT their fault. The top brass with the police are all rich, untouchable loony Lefties who live in the kind of areas that count not clearing dog mess up as a major crime, and the kind of neighbourhoods that don't remember what century the last mugging was carried out in.<P> Movies like HARRY BROWN illustrate a very, very important point about the UK today - THE CRIMINALS ARE WINNING. Recently we had a woman torch her car with herself, and her mentally disabled daughter, inside. Why? She'd phoned the police about harassment by a bunch of thug kids (much like those in HARRY BROWN) over 30 times. The file the police had on the case was over four inches thick. And nothing effective was done - the bullying increased against the family, and the reprisals got worse. Life-threateningly worse. So this woman ended her life, as death felt more welocming to her than life. And the thugs got away with it.<P> Prison, and the other means of punishment we have at our disposal in the UK, are a pleasure compared to how these kids live, to begin with. Say you share a two-bedroomed house (our housing is way smaller than yours in the UK - hey, smaller island!) with four siblings and two parents. The parents are always drunk or stoned. The kids are always fighting or crying. There's never enough food, and there's never enough money. Repossessions happen frequently, but not as frequently as burglaries. Theft and muggings are a way of life.<P> To avoid all this, you join a gang. One day, you mug someone, and get caught. If you are young enough (and even adults are getting treated as kids - today, a 20 year old ended up in a Young Offenders Institution. WHY? He's a fucking ADULT!), you get time in a YOI (as previously mentioned), where - on taxpayers' money - you get to go to the movies, the theatre, on holidays, various adventure excursions - abseiling, quad biking, rock climbing, snorkelling - because the UK Government thinks that the best way to rehabilitate young offenders is to give them what they couldn't previously afford. So to get a holiday you can't afford, you're better off mugging someone and getting done for it, than to work for the holiday. And this has been how British society has worked for decades now.<P> Hey, if you go to prison - even better. Your own cell, shared with one other inmate. Free TV, food, exercise, pool table, Sky movies etc, paid work, access to education - basically stuff in the real world you'd have to pay for (in the case of education, a LOT for). Those who think I'm a twat will now cry - "But Spud! What about the violence? What about the criminal record? The aggression?". Well, the violence was already there - you're inside because you mugged someone, remember? - and the criminal record is a badge of honour these days. The agression is also there - from birth, as you fight to break free of the shitstorm you were born into. The Welfare Trap. The breadline.<P> But being born poor is NOT an excuse to allow anti-social behaviour. So instead of REWARDING bad behaviour - Hey! Want an expensive holiday? Save for several years, or mug an old lady and Gordon Broon will pay for it for you! - the punishment needs to be more SEVERE. WORSE than the shitstorm they're trying - by criminal means - to escape. Make prison so fucking horrifying that they'd literally do ANYTHING not to go back. Much like San Quentin, which we've seen on various documentaries in the UK. Prisons over here are just like the lives the criminals lead outside - with less freedom. But then the creature comforts make up for that. Did you know the NHS has worse meals - nutritionally, and also cost-wise - than the prison service? Our prisoners eat more healthily and expensively than our SICK AND DYING!<P> So, to all those who see this as a sick fascist fantasy - GROW THE FUCK UP. Criminals need to FEAR punishment, not see it as a short-cut to what they all want, while the fucking mugs in society (ie the law abiding) keep working for things that will take ten years to accrue lawfully, but only a few months to attain in the laughably-named "criminal justice system".

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    HARRY BROWN is the film I wanted GANDHI to be!

    by savagedave

    "Like I wanted GANDHI to go all Paul Kersey and shit on the British!" -Quint

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 7:10 p.m. CST

    CGI Martin Balsom.

    by Sal_Bando

    You know yer gonna watch it just for THAT. Git Webley.

  • Nov. 9, 2009, 10:59 p.m. CST

    FingerBang Part 2????

    by U_Banned_Me_Down_The_Stairs

    GT2: FingerBang Returns!!!!!!!!

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Blame It On Rio 2: Withered Winky Paradise

    by Rocco Curioso

    Costarring Scarlett Johansson and Rumer Willis.<P>I don't actually wanna WATCH it. I'd just like to see Caine man up and return to his Alfie roots.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I'd watch it if Scarlett Johansson got naked...

    by The_Crimson_King

    as matter of fact; I'd buy 100 tickets!

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Michael Caine doesn't have a posh english accent

    by AsimovLives

    He was known to be one of the first english actors who became a star to consistently use a blue-collar accent, the so-called cockney accent. One of the reasons that he worked so well as the gangster Jack Carter in Get Carter.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Geriatric ass kicker!!

    by AsimovLives

    For some reason, i love to wathc movies hwere an older guy who used to be some super-duper ass kicker in his youth returns to what he used to do best, kicking ass and teaching the young punks not to mess with grand-daddy.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:38 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna like this film

    by tomimt

    Some times you can tell it straight from the trailer and when I saw the trailer for Harry Brown, I knew, that it would be a movie I'd like.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 3:39 a.m. CST

    spud mcspud

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    thank you for saying what ive been thinking but could`nt articulate properly ..from Wales

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 4:41 a.m. CST

    I'll see this.

    by Dingbatty

    Hopefully this will encourage them to make "The Equalizer" movie.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Saw this a week ago

    by Uridium

    Girlfriend hated it, due to violence. I thought it was a great film and it fully confirmed the fact that Michael Caine is a legend. <P> And the opening scene will kick you in the head....

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Spud McSpud

    by Yer_Maw

    Well done on cobbling together a load of Daily Mail, fact-lite bollocks there. Harry Brown, on the other hand looks entirely the tits. Can't wait.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Saw it yesterday

    by OGoncho

    If you like Michael Caine and hate chavs (I can't think of an American equivalent - maybe the Amish?) then you are bound to enjoy this film.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Want to see this one!

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Gran Torino was one of the dullest movies I have ever seen, and usually I love movies where nothing really happens but that was just bad. <P> Harry Brown looks like a proper revenge flick, but unlike Death Wish 3 (?) and Gran Torino, it looks like a damned decent flick.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    After all the shows/movies us yanks have stolen

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    from the Brits it's about time they returned the favor with this Death Wish/Gran Torino mix. When will people learn that Caine is badass and you don't screw with him?

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Uridium, get a new girlfriend.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    OGoncho, what's a chav?

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    The Man Who Would be King is a must see

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Caine and Connery together in their prime! Directed by John Huston! Connnery gets Caine's wife. Really! You will not be disappointed.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    The Man Who Would be King is a must see

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Caine and Connery together in their prime! Directed by John Huston! Connnery gets Caine's wife. Really! You will not be disappointed.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Grammaton Cleric Binks

    by Drsambeckett1984

    A Chav, hmmmmm, hard to describe. In Uk its what we call really common people who tend to wear nothing but sports clothes, hoodies, stand on street corners and swear at old women and then nick their bankbooks! They have a multitude of age ranges from young children to the elderly. <P> hope that clears that up.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Yer_Maw

    by spud mcspud

    Yeah, way to rebuke me there - toss an insult and back it up with NOTHING WHATSOEVER.<P> In your words, "Well done on cobbling together a load of Daily Mail, fact-lite bollocks there."<P> If that's what you think I did, then - in the words of Giovanni Ribisi in GONE IN 60 SECONDS - "Go on then. Straighten it out."

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Drsambeckett1984

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    So I guess the only way they're like the Amish is they all wear the same clothes regardless of their ages? Morality wise I guess they'd be the anti-Amish.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Yer_Maw... And as for "fact-lite bollocks"...

    by spud mcspud

    I live in a working class neighbourhood in a two-up two-down terraced house that is 102 years old. There's crime EVERYWHERE. And while my neighbourhood is nowhere near as bad as the one featured in HARRY BROWN, only a month ago I called the police to have them capture a drunk guy who smashed his way through a front window to burgle the house directly opposite mine. There are fights in our street all the time. Unfortunately, I know a lot of the police and PCSOs on our patch fairly well, and keep up on what most of the dodgy families that cause the crime round here are up to - mainly through neighbourhood watch, keeping an eye on each others properties, etc etc. So - I know what I've said is true, because I fucking live in and among most of it, and I know - and have worked with - some of those on the right side of the law, most of whom are sick of having their hands tied by this spineless government.<P> And while I'm an erstwhile NON-Daily Mail reader (I read everything else from Yahoo News to BBC on the net to The Sun to The Times and most things in between), you should be aware that over here in the UK we have what we call libel laws. So if the Mail is lying about everything I mentioned before, they'd get prosecuted for libel, slander, and half a dozen other oft-used laws against lying about people in public through the media. But then, if you got off your arse and did some fucking research before mindlessly flaming someone, maybe you wouldn't be in the embarrassing position of being shown up as the middle-class over-liberal pie-in-the-sky flake you so obviously are.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Spud....

    by Y282

    you're bang on mate, ignore this arsehole. if the best insult he can come up with is accusing you of reading the mail because he heard some mediocre comedian use it on a panel show then i wouldn't lose any sleep.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Y282 - Cheers mate

    by spud mcspud

    He's probably some Russell Howard / MOCK THE WEEK fan who follows the liberal middle ground because all his favourite middle-class comedians do. Problem is, here in the REAL world, where most of us live, being too liberal does not work - it' all well lookig after human rights, fighting against discriminiation and ensuring decent healthcare and education for all - as long as it's across the board, and fair, and that where there is punishment, it's REALLY punishment, not some soft option to make the bleeding heart liberals sleep easier at night in their non-chav-blighted, mostly white upper-middle-class tax havens, far from the rest of us here in the real world...<P> Sorry. Rant over. Cheers for the support.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Damn typos!

    by spud mcspud

    Need new keyboard!!

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    People like these movies for a reason

    by liljuniorbrown

    If you live long enough on this planet,in any country, you will end up being the victim of some kind of crime. The idea of the punishment fitting the crime or in some cases going above and beyond makes alot of people feel a little better deep down. I don't know if thats a bad thing or not. I've been to out door jewelry markets in the middle east and I can tell you for fact those merchants ain't worried about shoplifters.If more criminals faced harsh punishment crime might go down a bit.

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    spud mcspud - the endless fucking reply

    by Yer_Maw

    Apologies to other Talkbackers. Seriously, just scroll down. This just goes on and on. I'll call someone a cuntbubble in my next post by way of apology. ***** Okay, I can't get paragraphs going on here so: annoying asterisks alert. ***** Well, Spud, me old, that single sentence rebuke, as you (correctly) termed it really seems to have set you off on one. So, at your request I'll back it up with research. Nearly ten back-breaking minutes on Google, in fact. I do, incidentally, believe we need tougher sentencing in the UK, just to be clear. ***** First up - your Daily Mail/libel/slander argument ... I'll take it you were tired or rushed when you typed that up and that you actually do know what 'erstwhile' means. So you're not a former non-Daily Mail reader, right? Regardless, even if you don't get the common cultural reference (Daily Mail is a by-word for reactionary half-baked conservatism) and you really believe I was accusing you of getting all those 'facts' from the Mail (unless of course you're saying you did) ... no, the laws of defamation across the UK wouldn't apply unless they were libeling - not slandering, which applies to the spoken word - an individual or organization. Pretty sure the latter doesn't apply to government. The Daily Mail isn't (in)famous for its lies, but for its right-wing reactionary editorial politicizing of often rather threadbare facts, much as Fox News is in the USA. The reason I jumped on you about your original post is: that's pretty much what you were doing, at least that's how it came across. For instance: the bit about prison food being better than NHS food is actually a fact - but only because the prison food is better prepared, is more nutritionally balanced, the prisoners actually get to eat it (not always the case with hospital patients) . More importantly given your point that prisoners are being pampered/spoiled, is the fact that prison meals are actually cheaper than NHS meals. It's an indictment of the NHS, not the prison system. Unless you bypass the bulk of the facts. ***** Your prison conditions comments. I'm not going to go point-by-point here but there are a fair few inaccuracies - remember, Google is your friend. The main thing is: you're implying (alright, stating explicitly) that education for prisoners is a bad thing. Rehabilitation is at the core of most justice systems throughout the western world, education being the main aspect of that. Do you really want someone to spend, say, 3 years inside and come out with nothing but the advice and influence of fellow prisoners, when instead they could be released with a degree, a diploma, even a trade? No of course you don't, because that would make you pant-wettingly stupid. ***** Prison conditions in general in the UK are notoriously bad - massive overcrowding, unhygienic, suicides common. Re-offending rates have increased directly as a result of overcrowding - this is because the rehabilitation and education elements of prison inevitably have to take a back seat with prisoners stuck in their cells all day etc. Meaning that when the time and facilities are available for education/rehabilitation, re-offending rates are lower. ***** Young Offenders Institutions don't fund holidays, cinema trips or whatever. They are prisons. Incidentally, they're for 15-21 year-olds (in England/Wales), which answers your question about the 20 year old offender. It is possible to be both an adult and young. If these holidays you're describing do happen, it would presumably be part of an alternative to a custodial sentence - but I can't find any mention of it on Google or BBC news. The story it sounds like you're referencing is a very old one which was a major scandal where a young offender was given a proper holiday as part of his rehabilitation - it was defended by the government at the time. Tory government. Mid-90s. As it is, sentencing in the UK (both England/Wales and Scotland - two separate systems, remember - with N.I's system being close to that of England/Wales) is either fiscal (fines), community or custodial. No 'holiday' options exist. ***** Okay, this is going on forever, but you get the basic idea. Everything I've typed up here, I've just checked via quick Google searches (results I checked over were mostly from government websites, public advice sites, and The Independent, The Telegraph and .. The Daily Mail!) and BBC news searches. ***** So, you asked me to 'Straighten it out' (Gone In 60 Seconds? Really?!?) - that's as far as I'm going. I checked my facts mate, it didn't take long. Just one more thing. We post here anonymously, you could be anybody typing away there, but I'll believe what you said about where you live because if you were going to try and sound 'authentic' or whatever I'm sure you'd have gone a damn site further than claiming to have witnessed a burglary from your terraced house, so fair play to you. So, here's where I live - in a one-bedroom rented tenement flat in Maryhill, Glasgow. Usually shows up in the bottom two of the lists of the most deprived areas in the UK (Maryhill, that is, not my flat ...). I've only called the police once this year, due to a 20-body running battle in the street below my front room, teeth and glass everywhere (the street, not my room ...). Oh, and the police did a door-to-door here a few weeks ago looking for witnesses to an incident that left a guy dazed on our doorstep trying to hold his face together after being severely chibbed. Couple of years ago I felt like I was training for a new Olympic sport of chucking junkies and drunks out of a close. I'd have been a shoe-in for the podium. I'm self-employed, just getting by. So. You still want to tell this "middle-class over-liberal pie-in-the-sky flake" about "the REAL world"?

  • Nov. 10, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Y282

    by Yer_Maw

    Eh? As mentioned above, 'Daily Mail Reader' (and variations on the theme) has long been used as a sarcastic term in the UK for people expressing generally right-wing, usually uninformed and reactionary opinions. I'd be surprised if it hadn't been used on a panel show ... but if that's your only point of cultural reference well, that says more about you than me. And, of course, if I'm an arsehole - and I undoubtedly am - then you're a cuntbubble, as your mother will no doubt confirm. Etcetera.

  • Nov. 11, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Cheers, Yer_Maw

    by spud mcspud

    You're a damn sight more polite in your reply than I was. Sincerest apologies for that - you've refuted my reply clearly and concisely. I'll try to keep my reply brief, and - more importantly - as civil as yours is.<P> I get the Daily Mail reader reference, but unfortunately I've been a liberal (more middle than Leftie) most of my life. I do believe that deprivation and a lack of self-worth contributes most heavuly to the criminalisation of youth, at least in the UK. I'm in the East Midlands, somewhere between Nottingham and Derby, both of which have been in the news for gun crime recently (St Ann's in Notts, Sunnyhill in Derby). It's not the worst area I've ever lived in, nor is it the best - it's just getting progressively rougher as the years go by, and getting out of the poverty trap once you're in it isn't as easy as Mr Broon seems to think it is. I have heard of Maryhill, so I'd agree you're probably in a fairly rough are too - rougher than mine. And yeah, I'm being genuine about my circumstances - the only other dramatic thing that happened to me is that I was once mugged at knifepoint by three young thugs way back in 1993, but it's not relevant to the discussion, and doesn't make me look any tougher, so. And I just mentioned it for no reason. Damn.<P> But yeah, I told you the truth there. The cops picked the guy up in about 6 minutes (very good response time there!) and got him bang to rights in the middle of the offence. So actually catching crooks does seem to work - especially if the coppers on the night shift are a few short of the eight-arrest-a-week quota they have to work to, but let's hope not - but it's what happens next that pisses me off most.<P> You're right about the prison service not offering holidays - obviously, since custodial precludes the idea of a holiday. I'm referring mainly to the problem of child & young adult crime - most of which is dealt with through the Young Offenders Service as you say. It's on the rise due to the fact that, thanks to Labour's constant spinelessness regarding punishment, and the fact that they constantly assume that youngsters are too stupid to know their rights, that young crime is rising - because they know they can't be effectively punished. Example: community service. Why exactly is that a punishment? I've worked with the local council's Environmental Services dept, and know that a lot of spent offenders are then hired by the council to do the shit jobs such as street cleaning. Fair enough. But then someone convicted of violent crime (such as stamping an old man to unconsciousness) but too young to be tried as an adult can end up with as little as a couple of hundred hours Community Service - which ends up being the same work the ex-offender is PAID to do. Hardly punishment - more like training for the immediate future. Let's go further... The holidays I refer to are usually given to young adults who habitually reoffend in smaller crimes such as shoplifting, and end up in care or YOIs. Giving such kids a holiday is psychologically negative reinforcement - nick enough stuff, you get arrested, put into care, and given a holiday (and per diems) to places you'd never have been able to afford had your working-class, on-the-breadline parents worked for a living. This DOES happen - again, mostly to young adults. But HOW will this deter them from re-offending? A kid on the breadline with skaghead parents knows that this might be the only way he'll ever GET a holiday, short of mugging and robbing people. Congrats Labour - you've ENCOURAGED a criminal, not deterred him.<P> I'm a roll here - bear with me...<P> About the NHS-vs-prison food thing. Yes, you're right in that it's largely about prepping and serving the food. My fiancee has a 95-yr old granddad in hospital and predictably, at that age, he's having trouble chewing his food - at home he eats only soft food. The hospital initially didn't even ask about eating habits - not him or his family - and after a few days he managed to get them to know this. They igored him, and carried on with the solid food. The not-so-happy ending is that he got C-Diff, and ended up in an isolation ward, but since he now has one dedicated nurse dealing with him, at least he can get decent soft food. So, I agree with the "why" the prisoners are getting great food - but in the places they come from, ie the working class families on Welfare, they're eating nothing but Iceland and junk food shit. It's cheaper than good food. So, these guys will actually eat BETTER in prison - yet another reason to not care if they end up in there again! Hey, at least the food's great.<P> Education. Now there you HAVE got me wrong - I believe in re-education and rehabilitation for prisoners that genuinely want it and will use it. But that ain't the vast majority - most prisoners in prisoners are, or will become, habitual reoffenders. This means they'll not benefit from all this help we're all paying for - they'll ignore it. And the education most prisoners REALLY get is how to reoffend next time WITHOUT getting caught - tips of the trade, so to speak. I'd wager there's more prisoners coming out determined to just be more careful than there are reformed characters - and that's because prison isn't scary enough for them. Not when they come from gang-blighted areas where you might get shot for walking your child in the park one cold day. This happens... and it's happeneing more and more often.<P> I DO see why you think I'm a reactionary Mail-reading right-winger BNP supporting lunatic. You couldn't be more wrong, but I see why you think this. Actually, I'm from the minority that DOESN'T agree with the BNP, but can see why they're doing so well - they're talking about the issues that the working class of the UK are worrying about, but the Government isn't - mainly because in the kinds of areas they live in, they'll NEVER see the shit you and I see daily. They don't NEED to. They'll stay in their expensive homes (mostly paid for on expenses - don't get me started)in their expensive areas, and movies like HARRY BROWN will be to them what BOYZ N THE HOOD was to me - something I was moved by, but didn't fully understand, or even believe.<P> So back to punishment. We've had the carrot-and-the-carrot approach by Labour - and it has failed. Spectacularly. I think there needs to be the carrot-and-the-stick to be fair. Stop making the Welfare state an attractive lifestyle option. Make punishment REALLY hurt. You'll hear about Mail readers going on about the birch - well, why not? It hurts A LOT, and then you're punished. Simple. Effective. And humiliating, as it's done in public. As for human rights - well, if you committ a crime against someone else, aren't you curtailing THEIR human rights? So WHY shouldn't the right to not be humiliated be repudiated for the duration of that one punishment? I'm speaking as someone who was GLAD to see the Human Rights Act be enshrined in law in the UK - only to then see it used to belittle and disempower the law-abiding of this country, and to enable criminals (and their increasingly well-paid lawyers) to finagle and weasel their way out of more fitting punishments because "we don't want to infringe upon their human rights".<P> Well, punishment is meant to make the offender suffer. Then they'll learn not to do it again. Basic animal psychology. So suspend certain human rights (NOT all of them - I'm NOT a right-winger, I'm liberal, remember?) when an offender is convicted, until their punishment is fulfilled and they have paid their debt to society.<P> And I think the mid-90s, Tory thing was when the killers of Jamie Bulger were given a paid excursion out of their detention centre to see- of all the fucking things to see! - MACBETH. And then it came out they'd had many other paid jollies out too. Now to see MACBETH as a step to rehabilitating two intelligent young boys who knew EXACTLY what they were doing as they tortured a toddler to his death... What kind of fucking psycho thinks THAT was a good idea? A Government-paid psychologist, apparently.<P> The law-abiding of this country want the criminals to fear the criminal justice system again. If it means being more "barbaric" (a classic Mail word, that), then why not, if it makes everything more bearable for those of us living on the breadline and trying to keep our noses clean, and it makes a greater proportion of the criminal class stop and think "is it worth doing this"?? Why CAN'T the police be scary again? Why CAN'T prison be somewhere a prisoner sees as their worst nightmare, rather than a youth club and college that they can't walk away from all rolled into one?<P> I DO care about people, which is why I'm basically a liberal. It's just that obviously Labour care WAY more about the criminals than the victims these days - and the law abiding citizens are there to pump for ridiculously high fixed penalty fines for everything from using the wrong bins to parking the wrong way on your street. It's not about a decent society any more - it's about a Government whose sole reason for existence is to get as much money as they can out of the system before they retire, and fuck the populace - they don't matter. Is it any wonder I think we need some backbone in this country again??<P> Oh, and to leave it on a good note --<P> HOW TO MAKE PARAGRAPHS.<P> Write your line, then add < P > at the end, but with no spaces between the < and the P and the >. Then hit ENTER, and write your next line, The line should appear.<P> You can also just double hit ENTER each time, but the line is thinner. Cheers Yer_Mam!!<P> Oh, and is "chibbing" what we Midlanders call "glassing" someone? Think Begbie in the bar fight in TRAINSPOTTING...

  • Nov. 11, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Yer_Mam

    by spud mcspud

    I reserve the right to still call you a flake if you agree with Russell Howard's view of the world, though. Especially regarding stuff like the BNP...

  • Nov. 11, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Yer_maw....

    by Y282

    Hilaroius. Just hilarious. You should do standup.