Sir Billi

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The young Sean Connery - Handsome, witty, charming and irresistable to women. Everything you will never be.

Imagine, for a brief moment, gentle reader, that instead of the basement-dwelling embarrassment to your parents that you truly are, you are internationally renowned film star, Sir Sean Connery at the peak of your cinematic career.

One of the most popular, charismatic and handsome leading men in Hollywood, you are widely regarded to be the best James Bond and command six figure paycheques for each movie you star in. Everybody loves you and women pursue you wherever you go. You drink champagne and snort cocaine.

You are the winner of an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one of them being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award) and three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award). People magazine voted you 'Sexiest Man Alive'. Audrey Hepburn lets you stick it in her pooper. Things couldn't be better for you. You're the man, now, dog.

However, the mighty must fall and time is the cruelest of mistresses.

Gradually, little by little, the world begins to lose interest in you and you become less and less relevant. During an interview with Barbara Walters, you make some ill-advised statements regarding domestic violence and suffer a damaging blow to your popularity. You begin to make unwise decisions regarding the projects you sign on for.

You end up making films like this...
...And this.

Towards the end of the '90s, you are offered a part in The Matrix, but you turn it down as you do not understand it. You watch that movie go on to smash box office records, becoming the fastest-selling DVD of all time and rue your decision. Later, you are offered the part of Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings, but again, turn it down because you do not understand it. Once again, you live to regret your decision as you watch The Lord Of The Rings becomes a massive blockbuster hit and one of the biggest money-making franchises in cinema history.

Cursing your poor decisionmaking, you decide that you, too, will be a part of one of the new wave of huge, big budget action movies, signing on enthusiastically to the next script you are offered, even though, again, you don't fully understand it - The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Audiences are unimpressed, reviews are lukewarm at best and the movie bombs. You show up at the premiere in London irritable and visibly upset and generally make yourself look like an angry, senile old bastard. Embittered and frustrated, you retire from Hollywood and from acting in general, becoming something of a recluse and spurning all who might contact you with new film roles.

Until, one day, your agent, whom you haven't seen hide nor hair of for some time, calls you up with news of an exciting new script that he knows you're going to love. It's a CGI family movie set in Scotland, that is somewhat similar to Up, Shrek and Alvin and the Chipmunks, movies which have been very popular with audiences in the past few years. As an admirer of those films, yourself, you are intrigued and, for the first time in ages, ask to know more. The more you hear about the film, the more keen you are to become involved. Right then and there, you announce that you will be coming out of retirement, just to make this film. Sir Billi.

After flying to Glasgow, in your native Scotland and performing your lines in the studio, you eagerly await the trailer for the finished product...

The Trailer[edit]

"Goddamn it, I did not schign up for thisch horscheschit!"
The grandfather we all wish we had.
A screengrab from the film's controversial and extremely violent rape scene.
The movie poster actually makes a great 'implying' face.
Chris, you need to calm down.
The movie also features Scottish actor, Alan Cumming.
 
 
When tragedy strikes in the Highlands, there can be only one man for the job - Sir William Sedgewick, aka Sir Billi (Sir Sean Connery)!

This is an adventure story about an inimitable Highland hero - a grandpa. As active senior skateboarding veterinarian he goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive - Bessie Boo ...the beaver!

A roller coaster adventure, Sir Billi braves treacherous ravines and hazardous gullies with his sidekick Gordon the Goat (Alan Cumming) to save Bessie Boo and Wee Dave the rabbit as they hurtle down a perilous river.

A heart-warming & hilarious action packed family movie, where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian spurred on by encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you at the edge of your seat!

Behind the eccentric austere of this tartan plaid overall-attired widower, he reveals a compassionate spirit with his unrivalled love for his late wife. Is it too late for this endearing grandpa to find new lady friend once again? Will Lady Serena, his daughter and grandson Jake even contemplate such a development from this adored Celt? Amongst it all in this race against time, will Sir Billi get to Bessie Boo first?

Explore the powerful force of this international Highland community, with its unrivalled landscapes, breathtaking scenery and hidden secrets. Discover the power of the local people when they unite as one against evil and embark on an expedition like no other.

Sir Billi delivers the charm and panache that one would expect of a true Highlander. As thee Guardian of the Highlands, everyone will want a grandpa like Sir Billi!
 


 

—The slightly too hopeful plot synopsis of the film.

The Premiere[edit]

On the 15th of March, 2012, the producers of Sir Billi announced that the movie would premiere at the 15th annual Sonoma International Film Festival in San Francisco on April 11th, 2012.



After the red carpet premiere, the film's producers held a VIP dinner in true Scottish fashion serving all manner of disgusting tasting Scottish food, such as porridge oats, haggis, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Irn Bru, Walkers Shortbread and heroin, completed by the annoying droning of a Scottish piper to welcome scare away the American VIPs. Dame Shirley Bassey, who performed the film's main theme, wore a specially made tartan dress for this prestigious occasion and, under instruction from the film's producers, pretended to be Scottish when actually she's Welsh.

The Reviews Are In![edit]

Don't bother buying this DVD. A movie like this, you wanna wait for the Blu-ray version with all the special features.
For the US release, the film underwent a name change. However, this had absolutely nothing do to with an upcoming and much anticipated release from Marvel with a similar name. Nope. Not a fuckin' thing. The fact that the logo uses almost the exact same font is... Uh... Just a coincidence. Yeah.
   
 
Even the vocal presence of Sean Connery can't lend interest to this tedious, crudely animated, bafflingly conceived cartoon feature, liable to please neither children nor adults
 

 
 

—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

   
 
"Everything used to be 'rare'," rumbles Sean Connery at the start of Sir Billi. "Maybe we used the word so much that we wore it out?" Here's a word I was in danger of wearing out while watching Sascha and Tessa Hartmann's computer-animated story. The word is 'why'?

Why did Sean Connery sign up for this? Why is a children's film so keen on smut? Why does Billi spell his name as if educationally challenged? Why does his incontinent gay pet goat (voiced by Alan Cumming) think he's a dog? Why does this film feel much, much longer than 75 minutes?
 


 
 

—Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman

   
 
Among the many questions Sascha Hartmann's wrong-headed Sir Billi leaves unanswered is why this Highlands tale is so densely populated with Americans? Why exactly does Ruby Wax's character have to be traversing the rolling Scottish Highlands on a scooter emblazoned with the stars and stripes? Why is Ruby Wax even in this film?

The only other explanation for the presence of 'all these Yanks' seems to be as a plot device to discuss that most hard-hitting and vital of topics: Scottish-US visa agreements. Surprisingly for a film aimed at children, there are numerous explicit references to politics, such as the Scottish government, immigration policy and even the European Union.

Even more bizarrely, a Russian experimental submarine with reactor difficulties surfaces in the middle of a loch, unleashing a talking duck which in turn delivers an anti-Communist tirade.

While the sense of bafflement and confusion the film provokes is surprisingly enjoyable, it surely shouldn't be inflicted on young'uns for the fear they may leave the cinema having absorbed some incomprehensible political message, believing that the Cold War rages on and the Scottish Highlands are populated by talking ducks with US accents.
 


 
 

—Alex King, top critic

   
 
It gives me no pleasure to say that Sir Billi is awful, but although the background artwork of Sir Billi's Highland home is quite pretty, the character animation is like something doodled on a Nintendo Wii. The storytelling is even more rudimentary, strung together like beads on a necklace, beginning with a beaver on the run from the beaver-hating Scottish government and their enforcer, a villainous copper (Ford Kiernan). Then there's Sir Billi, a widower vet living in a village peopled by refugees from Sonic The Hedgehog.
 

 
 

   
 
The film would be more aptly called "Silly Billi" because it's incoherently plotted, with unremarkable dialogue, and consistently fails to amuse. It's also a little creepy and just a touch smutty in a bid, perhaps, to pander not just to its core audience of young kids, but also accompanying grown-ups.
 

 
 

—Dave Alridge, The Radio Times

   
 
Rubbish in ways that seemed hitherto unimaginable.
 

 
 

—Alister Harkness, The Scotsman

   
 
In the midst of a flashback brought on by the seemingly imminent death of his goat assistant, Sir Billi (Sean Connery) recalls himself in his rocking chair, goat by his side, reading a copy of 'Identity Crisis: What To Do When It Hits You'.

If only this fictitious book actually existed it could have given this film's creators some much-needed advice. Gordon the Goat's inexplicable slips from his Scotch patter into outbursts of "You da man!" and "Whadda guy!" reveal him as the most confused character in what is an immensely confused film.
 


 
 

   
 
Connery has found himself participating in a film that makes so little sense it almost seems avant-garde. Sadly what shines through in screenwriter Tessa Hartmann and her director husband Sascha's independently produced CG animation feature is delusional incompetence rather savant-like talent.
 

 
 


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