Connect with us


Attack Of The Hollywood Cliches!

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! Charlie Brooker and Rob Lowe churn out a shoddy tropefest

have long made peace with the fact that I will never figure Netflix out. Maybe that is the point: Netflix, like the shining face of God, is not ever meant to be fully understood, just watched in awe from afar. But where once Netflix made sense – the first series of Orange is the New Black! The first three series of House of Cards! The mega-success of the Queer Eye reboot! – now some of the commissioning decisions seem to be made by a pulsing cluster of AI servers. This is why we have Nailed It!, for instance. Why He’s All That with Addison Rae exists. Season 5 of Arrested Development and that nine-movie Adam Sandler deal. These were designed by a robot in a lab to make me wistful for an era when the company sent out DVDs in little square envelopes in the post.

Anyway, Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! is up this week, and I do not know who it is for, why it got made (by Charlie Brooker no less), and who – beyond everyone who picked up a day-rate in its production – is benefiting. In short: it’s one of those talking-head hours Channel 4 always seemed to do so well, only with that added layer (and layer … and yet another layer) of Netflix/Hollywood gloss. Rob Lowe hosts, doing an absolutely incredible performance of Rob Lowe, spraying out high-sheen writer’s-room-polished comic lines with all the élan of a man giving his third best man’s speech of the weekend. There is a sparkling cast of talking heads – Florence Pugh is there! Andrew Garfield! Richard E Grant! – plus a stacked bench of imposingly intellectual film critics who have actually seen more than one Hitchcock film and have a lot to say about tropes. Whoever did the casting on this special did their job. Whoever did the interviews nailed it. Whoever cut this thing together ruined everything.

Here’s the problem with Attack of the Hollywood Clichés: it doesn’t say anything, at all. Here’s a trope, notice it next time you watch a film, right: on to the next one. Did you know about romcom “meet-cutes”? Of course you did, obviously, but … OK well what about the “one-man army” trope? Oh, you knew about that too. Let’s see: here’s one. Have you ever noticed that thing in films – in the biz we call this the “white saviour complex”, where – ah.

I really don’t see who, in the year 2021, is being newly introduced to the concept of the Wilhelm Scream, but … Hollywood Clichés seems to think that millions of them exist. This feels like a real opportunity missed: an interview with critic Nathan Rabin, credited with coining the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl in 2007, consists of him broadly outlining the concept intercut with clips from Elizabethtown. The entire bit lasts fewer than 30 seconds. Is that it?

It feels like there are hours of more interesting tape lying on the cutting room floor: I am convinced Rabin said something more interesting about the MPDG (and her persistence in Hollywood over the last 14 years!) than, “It’s a very very potent fantasy, for men, that there is one woman out there – one magical woman! – who will save you.” Cut to Lowe for a quick gag he doesn’t care about, eyes perceptibly flicking to the clock behind the camera to make sure he can get all these interstitials filmed in one day.

In fact – bar one or two moments that actually delve into the history of film; there is a section on Hollywood’s attitude to showing sex on screen that almost threatens to be interesting – practically every trope exposed here is left completely uninterrogated. Why is a baguette poking out of a brown paper bag shorthand for someone having been grocery shopping, for instance: is it because it’s such a universal aesthetic indicator that it can play across multiple territories? We’ll never know. The maverick cop has been a mainstay of storytelling since Hollywood began: how might current perceptions of the real-life police force affect that story? Great question, but let’s not answer it. This hour had the potential to make fascinating enquiries about how and why films get made that will change the way you watch them for the rest of your life. Instead there’s an extended bit where Rob Lowe pretends he’s too Hollywood health-conscious to actually eat an apple. Oh well. Hey: while you’ve got the app open, fancy watching The Kissing Booth 3?


EFCC arraigns forex broker for alleged N2b investment scam in Uyo

The Enugu Zonal Directorate of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Friday, July 19, 2024 arraigned one Rufus John Isip, a self-acclaimed forex broker before Justice C. S. Onah of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Isip was arraigned alongside his company, ITM-IT Resources Limited on an eight-count charge bordering on fraudulent conversion, money laundering and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N2, 022, 081, 172 (Two Billion, Twenty-two Million, Eighty-one Thousand, One Hundred and Seventy-two Naira).

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Rufus John Isip while being the Director of ITM-IT Resources Limited and ITM-IT Resources Limited sometime in December 2020 and May 2021 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of (431, 331, 172. 00) Four Hundred and Thirty-one Million, Three Hundred and Thirty-one Thousand, One Hundred and Seventy-two kobo from one Michael Okon, the Director of N-Rex Resources Limited under the false pretence that it is an investment in Vandera, an online investment platform, on his behalf, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

Count eight of the charge reads: “That you, Rufus John Isip while being the Director of ITM-IT Resources Limited and ITM-IT Resources Limited sometime between December 2020 and May 2021 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, converted the total sum of (N730, 870, 000. 00) Seven Hundred and Thirty Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira to crypto currency (Bitcoin) and transferred same into your Binance Wallet knowing that the said money formed part of your unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 15 (3) (4) of the same Act”.

He pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

In view of his plea, Khamis Mahmud, counsel to the EFCC prayed the court to remand him in EFCC custody on the grounds that “we are still investigating him on other cases”.

The defence counsel, Samson Ewuje however, did not pose any objection.
Justice Onah adjourned the matter to October 14, 2024 for trial and the defendant was remanded at the Uyo Zonal Directorate of the EFCC.

Isip was arrested based on a petition from one Michael George, alleging that he lured him to invest in his online trading platform called According to the petitioner, the defendant told him that it was more profitable to trade on his platform with a minimum trading capital of $100, 000. 00 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) and that he would earn more profit if he involved more investors.

The petitioner thereafter invested, reached out to other investors and companies who also invested in the defendant’s phony online trading platform and after 60 days (as agreed) for the investors to start earning their profits, the defendant disappeared into thin air.

Continue Reading


EFCC presents more witness against Fayose in alleged N6.9bn fraud trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, July 19, 2024, presented its 14th prosecution witness, PW14, Sahibu Salisu, a former Director of Administration and Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, in the trial of alleged N6.9bn fraud involving a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and his company, Spotless Investment Limited, before Justice Chukujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC had, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, re-arraigned Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering and stealing to the tune of N6.9bn ( Six Billion Nine Hundred Naira).

The defendants had first been arraigned on October 22, 2018 before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

At the resumed sitting on Friday, Salisu told the court how he paid the sum of N200m and another N2billion to a firm, Sylvan MacNamara, for security purposes on the instruction of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, the PW14 , who disclosed that he served as the Director of Administration and Finance between 2011 and 2015, explained the process of payment, saying, “ Once the NSA gave approval for payment, we processed it accordingly. The payments we made were mainly for operational activities.”

When asked to state the roles of the NSA Office , he said: “The roles of the NSA Office are purely about the security of the entire country. And any money expended on security was expected to be retired.”

When shown a document tagged Exhibit S, which was the payment voucher raised for the fund, he said: “It is the payment mandate raised by me as the Director of Administration and Finance on the NSA’s instruction. The first figure was N200 million in favour of Sylvan McNamara and it was paid to the company’s Diamond Bank account. It was the NSA who gave me the account details.”

He said though the NSA did not tell him the purpose for which it was meant, the memo raised and the mandate payment showed it was for physical security infrastructure. “All the payments made from the Office of NSA were supposed to be for security activities and security structures,” he said.

When asked who signed the payment mandate, he said: “I will sign my own part as signatory B. “Thereafter, I would take it to the NSA for final signature, which was approval. Then, I would take the mandate to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payment.”

Giving further testimony on the exhibit S, he said the former NSA and him appended their signatures on it. According to him, the payment was made and there should be retirement, after the purpose for which money was paid for had been completed. He, however, stated that “ Up till I left the office, I could not say whether or not the money was retired.”

When asked about the exhibit S1, which was payment to Sylvan McNamara to the tune of N2 billion dated June 13, 2014, he said: “We paid the amount of N2 billion to Sylvan McNamara on the instruction of the NSA. I was not a signatory to this account, so I am not in a position to know whether it was retired after payment. The NSA and former Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ibrahim Mahe, would be able to know whether it was retired or not”.

Salisu, under cross-examination by the counsel to the first defendant, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, testified that all payments made by the NSA office were made through the bank and they had to raise the mandate before it was done.

When asked if the former NSA told him that the N200m and N2bn were for security purposes, he said: “No. The NSA never informed me that the money was for security purposes and the NSA never complained about this payment.”

During cross-examination by the counsel to the second defendant, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, Salisu testified that he was familiar with financial regulations, adding that “In relation to retirement, once money is given to a recipient, you are supposed to bring the receipt of what you have been asked to supply with a memo attached to it. That is the retirement of such a fund-the financial regulations only apply to public servants.”
According to him, the schedules of his duties did not extend to security matters.

When asked if he knew what made the former NSA to first approve the payment of N200million and subsequently N2 billion for Sylvan McNamara, he said: “As I said earlier, all payments in the office of the NSA are for security purposes”. Also, when asked if he made a statement to the EFCC when he was invited during investigation, he said, “Yes”.

Thereafter, Ojo tendered the statement of the witness and was admitted by the court as exhibit A19. The witness also confirmed to the court that no one ever queried the instructions of the NSA.

Counsel to the first defendant, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, made an application before the court, seeking the permission of the court to allow his client travel abroad on health grounds. There was no objection from the prosecution counsel.

In his ruling, Justice Aneke granted Olanipekun’s request to enable his client travel abroad for medical check.

The case was adjourned to October 18, 2024 for continuation of trial.

Continue Reading


NSUK 300-Level student killed in foiled robbery attempt in Akwanga

A 300-level student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Mustapha Osama, was reportedly killed in a foiled robbery attempt in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The incident occurred on Friday night around 8 PM along the Gudi-Akwanga road, according to sources.

Osama, who has been buried in Doma on Saturday morning according to Islamic rites, was said to have been hit by a bullet fired by the gunmen.

A family source confirmed that the deceased was driving when he was struck by the bullet.

The robbery attempt was thwarted by operatives of the Nigeria Police who responded immediately to a distress call, according to the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ramhan Nansel.

Continue Reading