Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Welcome to the Jumanji!

Okay, this is the third movie really, but I don't know how many people acknowledge/are aware of/have seen the space one.

After a long time, four high school peoples get into detention and find a computer console and decide to play a game. Cut to them as characters doing things that are completely against their normal selves, and they undergo various character development while going through different game levels involving animals and comedic dying.

Jumanji has two things, one - a person being trapped in the game before, and two - the environment around them collapsing. This got one right.

The comedy is decent, and certainly got laughs from the audience I was with (but at least they weren't pulling out cell phones!). I enjoyed it, but felt it took too much time to get to the actual Jumanji part, with plenty of the same old school antics everyone else's does to sit through first. The actors get to send themselves up a bit, and Karen Gillan... does a not quite right American accent. And, hey, Rhys Darby!

So, yeah, decent enough to be enjoyable, while not needing a lot of deep thinking to get.


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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Universal 1944B

Another colour production, with another opera based story with a crazed opera lover... there's no Phantom, this is The Climax.

Dr. Hohner loves an opera singer so much he kills her. Ten years later, he hears someone with the same voice and falls instantly into psychotic control. The fiance is concerned when the singer can no longer sing, and it's only because of the dead singer's maid that the doctor is vanquished and the singer can sing!

I could recite the plot in a manner that is reminiscent of Phantom, but while there are elements in common, they are basically because it involves opera singing. Aside from that, this is a different take on the crazed madman in control. This time he manages to stop the singer singing instead of making it that only she can sing. And Boris Karloff is the villain, so he's always charming.

Looking at the trivia, they are basically reusing the Phantom sets... but with enough of a different take on the idea that it works.


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Friday, 5 January 2018

Universal 1944A

Even more cross over than before! With a minor adventure to start with! It's House of Frankenstein.

Frankenstein's... assistant's... brother is the main villain of this movie, and he even has his own Igor. They get out of a prison, and take over a travelling Caravan of Horrors that has Dracula's skeleton! After unleashing Dracula (who is killed off before a third of the movie is over), they end up at Castle Frankenstein and revive the Wolf Monster and Frankenstein's Monster. And from there it's largely a retread of what has happened before with Wolfy whining for death, and the Monster lying on the table, and... then things end.

The whole Dracula plot (as played by John Carradine!) is just the first part of the movie and can completely be removed without impacting anything, other than having a Dracula cameo. As it is, we get Wolf and Mons back, but nothing new is done with that.

I'm sure there's some deep trivia about how this came to be made, but it feels like "let's just toss this out while we can". It's more watchable than the last one, but not really anything that exciting.


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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Universal 1943C

This is one of the more misnamed movies. While there is a Dracula, there isn't really a Son of Dracula.

Man and woman in love, so woman marries vampire to get immortality so that she can immortalise the man and they can spend unlife together. Unfortunately the family friend spots that Alucard is Dracula backwards, and the man doesn't quite want the same life together, so it doesn't turn out all sweetness and light.

This movie just... dragged. A lot of scenes were just watching people go from point A to point B with no music underlying the scene, and then other long shots of people contemplating, and so on and so on. It's not until the last twenty minutes that anything really interesting happens. Now, the overall idea could be interesting, using the vampire as a tool to an end, but the movie hangs on Dracula too long.

And speaking of Dracula, there's no mention that this Dracula is supposed to be his son. Indeed, he's just listed as Count Dracula, and there is no sons mentioned (there could have been a son from the marriage, but no).

To be honest, Frank Craven gets the best acting moments, but he couldn't save this.


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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Doctor Who 10.X

So this is the last hurrah of Moffat and Gatiss? Beware fangasms... and not that great a story really.

We get the first and latest Doctors, because both are regenerating. And from that one coincidence (which isn't really explained, but we can blame the TARDIS) this story spins out. The Captain's time shenanigans are disrupted and while trying to fix it, the Testimony get involved with the Doctor. What evil plans are afoot?

And it turns out that the Testimony are a non-evil version of what Missy was doing a few seasons ago. There are so many stories these days that are about resurrecting people done by people at the end of the universe, it should be its own Trope page (although I can't find it).

Which means that there isn't a big bad to fight this episode, instead we are getting character pieces. The only problem with that is that the characters are one note. The Captain is Honourable. The First Doctor is Chauvinistic. The Twelfth Doctor is Denying. And Bill Potts is Generic. We should have better from Moffat on this last outing, but nothing really stands out.

David Bradley is decent as William Hartnell, and there is a line to explain why he looks different (although that doesn't stand up when they recast Ben and Polly as well without explanation). I don't recall the first Doctor being so racist/sexist, but clearly Moffat knows better. Mark Gatiss is in standard Officer role, not a great stretch for him. Pearl Mackie is good to see back, but again doesn't get to do anything that amazing. And for Peter Capaldi's final performance... he gets a better out than David Tennant did, but I spent most of the time thinking he needed a hair cut.

As a finale it feels like this is more for Moffat than it is for the audience.

Next time: Jodie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Talking 'bout last Jedi-ration

Yes, I took the time to catch up with the latest thing everyone is talking about. But I did wait a week to see it, 'cos I don't care that much.

I'm not going to talk plot, because so many people bitch about spoilers that I can't be bothered. And, frankly, most of you are probably decided on either seeing it or not (if you haven't seen it already), I never pretend my opinion will sway someone for or against going.

Basically, I did enjoy it. It did go on far too long and easily could have ended many scenes before the final end, but now that I know what to expect, I could probably relax into a second viewing more easily and be able to take the pacing.

That said, apparently people hate this movie because... I'm not sure? It's not Star Wars-y enough? Because doing their own thing which isn't an entire copy of Empire is a bad thing? I don't get it. Yes, I will say there were some moments I didn't think were SWy, but there were plenty of other times that were.

Acting is fine. Production is fine. Story is... I have no idea where they are going with any of this other than "good will fight bad", but I assume there will be another planet killer in the next movie?

Yeah, decent movie, and the Porgs aren't as irritating as you might expect.


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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Dis Artist A Ster

Since I have seen the Room, I am ready for this... but I am not ready for this.

Greg Sestero met this wacky guy by the name of Tommy Wiseau and falls under his charisma. Tommy drags them out to LA, but neither of them hit it big, so they decide to make a movie together. This is that story of making that movie.

I haven't read the book this is based on, although I do have it. And now that I've seen this movie, I think I'm more ready to get into it. Because one thing you can't do in the movie is waste a lot of time getting to the Room, and I get the sense there is a lot more that happens before hand.

What this movie basically is is an overview, where one scene stands in for a whole series of moments. Even when they get to 'the movie' itself, there are a lot of moments that are skipped over lightly, and we only get one or two scenes of Tommy being an ass when there was a lot more, and they skip to the reaction quicker that real and...

That's the nature of this movie, to get the basic story down. It's a weird story, and you definitely have no better idea who Tommy is after seeing this, but you do get the sense that Greg had no idea what was going on. The Francos do a good job portraying them, although it is weird seeing Greg and Tommy having facial similarities...


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