The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
I'm writing this review from London, where the papers for the last few days have been filled with the scandal of the Conservative member of Parliament who had to resign his constituency after being convicted of spanking two male prostitutes who were younger than 21, which is the age of consent for homosexual spankings in Britain. (Female prostitutes can legally be spanked once they are 16. There'll always be an England.)
This morning on the radio, they interviewed Cynthia Payne, who said she was shocked that this fine public servant had to have his reputation ruined: "What's wrong with wanting to slap somebody's bottom once in a while, so long as no harm is done? We all have our peculiarities, we just cover them up, that's all." She sounded just like all other housewives on the call-in show.
This was the same Cynthia Payne who has become something of a folk legend over here for operating what the tabloids called "the House of Cyn," a brothel catering to middle-age and elderly gentlemen with rather specialized tastes. Nicknamed the "Luncheon Voucher Madame" because she sometimes charged as little as you'd pay for a nice plate of sausages-and-mashed, Payne was acquitted on her latest round of charges last January and greeted outside the law court by a street full of her cheering supporters.
Payne has always insisted she did not engage in sex herself and did not supply sex to her clients. Instead, there were naughty fashion shows featuring lace undies, see-through nighties and leather corsets. Also available were such specialties as charging men for the privilege of doing the housework and weeding her garden. Military men and successful businessmen were especially keen for the humiliation; it took their minds off their responsibilities.