Saturday, 4 July 2015

What They Did on the Disc

I've already talked about What We Do In The Shadows, but this is a follow up of sorts. I gots the BluRay disc from the UK, and this is a review of what's on that.

The main movie is still good, and is now making the rounds in the US (with the help of the Kickstarter I was a part of). Since this is the BluRay of course the picture quality is good.

So let's get into the extras. I saw a super bonus edition of the disc before... but not now. I'm sure that had commentary on it, but that's not on the disc I have. There are a fair few pieces of deleted scenes and extra scenes. And to be honest, they were deleted/trimmed for a reason. The jokes were largely... weak. They may have worked in the full film with pacing and everything, but by themselves they didn't quite make it.

There's also a behind the scenes bit, in which we see a few of the more special effects scenes and how they were done. There is no interview with the crew (just the cast in character), that would have been nice. There is also the Original Short 30 minute version of this documentary... which largely gets incorporated into the film, and done better in there when fleshed out. This feels... raw.

So... yeah, would still like some more features, to be honest. I doubt the DVD version from the Kickstarter will have more, but I'll be back then!


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Friday, 3 July 2015

Yes Men Are Revolting

This came out in the recent NZ Doc Fest, but I didn't see it there. In fact... I can see it whenever I want to, because I helped Kickstarter this!

This has some of the usual Yes Men antics, and there is a large slab of background for them. We get to see into their past lives, their real selves, and their current living situations... and also get to see them almost give up. This could easily be the last Yes Men movie, and they have moved on to the Action Switchboard and stuff anyway, so that would work.

With the more personal focus... this movie doesn't feel as fun as the previous two. We do get some usual action of them getting into press statements they shouldn't, and they get a whole room singing along wearing white native headbands... but there's also a lot of frustration. The two men are getting their own lives now, and seem to be drifting apart, so there is a loss of the full sense of camaraderie that was there before.

Nice to have them back for a third movie, but it's not as good as the previous ones.


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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Starship: Rinsing

This is a good example of a movie that gets it wrong on many levels.

The setup is fairly common: the most powerful starship in the fleet is taken over by someone, and then used against the fleet and forces that is in charge. So far, yeah, that set up can work well, and even done badly can be entertaining.

But then this movie takes that and messes it up. No scene seems to connect to another, and it's not a case of 'show don't tell', it's a case of 'we can't think of a way to show that so we might tell it, but more likely we'll just skip that scene', making it rather confusing. And the writer seems a bit too fond of rape... too much Game of Thrones?

The acting itself isn't much better, and everything seems to be shot against green screen with bad generic backgrounds added in afterwards. As was the sound, which can completely swamp whatever actual dialogue we're supposed to hear. And it doesn't help that the main bad guy speaks in a low gravely voice that gets annihilated by any other sound.

And after all that... there's a sequel planned for this. I can't even bring myself to look to see if it actually got made. Just don't worry about this. I won't.


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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Topped Gear

And that was Top Gear. Okay, technically the show might go on, but let's face it, do we really care about the new presenters? Fine, Jeremy Clarkson was on warning, and he broke that, and the BBC had to deal with him... but they can kiss their ratings goodbye.

The last episode was hosted by Captain Slow and the Hamster, and all they did was introduce two segments that had previously been filmed. These two bits are classic Top Gear and the reason why I watch the show: three men farting around like idiots, and cars happen to be involved. There's a reason the Challenges DVD sell well as opposed to the more generic 'here are some cars' DVDs. We don't care about the cars, we just want to see them screw up!

And all this could be put to the test. Why do people tune in? The BBC will have their show with new presenters, and apparently Netflix will have these three back on the air with something else (likely car related). The audience will decide! And then we'll see that personality is the keeper.


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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Investigation of the Citizen Above Suspicion

Ah, now there's a snappy title. This sounded interesting so I was looking forwards to this.

We start with the Homicide Chief committing murder. And he also turns up at the initial investigation. However, he's on his way to being the Political Division Chief, so he only looks on from the outside while committing acts on subversives. As events progress, he has to make sure the wrong person isn't put up for his crime, and leads others towards him... but clearly he is above suspicion, so no-one would dare think it's him...

This did make me think of another movie which would probably be considered far campier than this serious piece (that does get ridiculous in places). I'd repeat the opening of the officer committing the crime, but break the fourth wall and include the audience in with activities. It will bring in a sense of complicity that could give a more engaging experience. (Is there already a movie like that?)

Anyway, this movie is mostly well done. There are some moments where the camera man seems to be not quite able to get a good picture, so the image might be slightly out of focus, or have a weird moire pattern on the screen. And the music takes a while to get somewhere, but it did grow on me.

There is definitely a point to this movie, and one that still deserves to be made.


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Monday, 29 June 2015


Yeah, let's knock another Hidden Object game off, this one Enigmatis. The first thing I want to say is "yay for decent screen handling!"

In this we are a (female) detective, investigating the disappearance of a young woman. We wake up with something approaching amnesia, and need to piece together what we did here as well as what is going on. And there's been a lot more disappearances and something shady going on with the preacher for a long time now. As we try to save the girl, we uncover the truth and find spooky supernatural elements.

The HO part of the game is largely straight forward, but that's what I wanted. I was on regular mode, which meant I didn't get punished for not knowing what the developer thought and object was, and missing it amidst the general art on screen. The images had a rather stylised version, not photo quality, so that didn't help.

The puzzles were largely straight forward, nothing too obtuse. And the map was vital in working out where to go next, there is a lot of back and forth across locations in this game.

In all, a decent game, and now for the sequel.


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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Patrick Howling

Sigh, another actor has exited, stage left. One Mr Patrick Macnee, he of The Avengers fame. And pretty much that's his thing, but he seemed happy with that. Even was willing to turn up in that piece of rubbish movie version... but anyway, I really want to see the series again, and I will some time... but until that, let's check out a movie of his I haven't seen.

A news reporter is on the trail of a serial killer, and agrees to meet him, but has something of a mental breakdown. So she and her husband are recommended to go to a retreat under a renown doctor (played by Macneee). However, there are still monsters even there, and the original killer comes back, and everyone gets to be a werewolf! (This is the first movie in which there are many now, and the fact that it's about werewolfs is given away pretty heavily.)

Considering this is 1981 the effects are... varied. Some parts are quite good (the hand, I like). The full monster costume isn't terrible, but it looks more bat than wolf. But the transformation sequences... I laughed. Nope, can't take that seriously.

Macnee is fine, but doesn't really get that much to do. The word 'avuncular' comes to mind when I think of him. Sad to see him go, and this is one of those movies that don't really need to be seen to complete his oeuvre.


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