Thursday, 24 April 2014

Muppet Wanted The Most

I'm not sure if this counts as a delightful sequel or cynical cash grab extension of the series.

The set up is pretty basic, Kermit is replaced by the evil Constantine and... that's about it. Hilarity ensues as Constantine does evil deeds under the cover of a Muppet world tour. And events proceed as you'd largely expect...

Which makes this a rather generic movie that doesn't really have the heart of the previous. There's no real earnestness here, just the Muppets doing their thing, and lots of celebrity cameos. The previous one was about bringing the Muppets back, this one is about... not a lot really. There are some songs, there are some gags, there is an attempt at a message about family, but... it's not that this is bad, just that it doesn't have anything to make it stand out. Not even a song as good as "Man or Muppet".

Or maybe I'm just being harsh on it. As I say, it isn't bad. The interaction between Jean Pierre Napoleon and Sam the Eagle is easily the best part of the film. And Constantine as Kermit is amusing... but then Ricky Gervais is terrible, and Tina Fey is trying too hard....

It's enjoyable in and of itself, but not more.


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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Brick Movie

Hey, look what finally came out over here! It's that movie that the internet couldn't shut up about two months ago... and yet, who's still talking about it? Do people who saw it back then even still remember that it was a thing?

So Emmet is a nobody that finds a special thing and the prophecy says he is the Special. Except that isn't what's really going on. There's a big battle against the bad guy who wants everything to never change... except that isn't what's really going on either. What's really going on... I'm not going to say. Except to say that it is amazingly well done and actually makes you care about it.

Which is usually a hard sell for me. It might be that it was Will Farrell, and that helped. But this is your standard 'guy becomes the one' story, and it isn't. What didn't work, for me, was the humour. A lot of it got a "I see what you did there" reaction, but didn't actually make me laugh (okay, two or three moments did). Other people laughed, but I'm too cynical for that.

To be honest, it's one idea, and it's a great idea, but once it's over... I can't say I'm surprised people have moved it. Everything might be awesome, but it's also momentary.


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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Talkin' Tasmanian Devils

I finally got around to getting around to the zoo when the talk was on.

So, did something else happen? Find out!

And the obligatory Spot the Red Panda video.


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Monday, 21 April 2014


So the papers are again making a meal of the idea of Easter closing. Just because it's the establishment of religion doesn't mean people shouldn't be forced to abscond from commercialism...

But let's go there. Let's give holidays to... people running hotels and motels. What the hey, just tourists, right, no-one important...

Ooh, zoos! Yeah, and pounds and such. Just animals, let them alone for a day or two, it'll be fine.

And electricians. And plumbers. And dentists. Got an emergency? It can wait, people need a holiday.

Or the hospital! Yeah, all the doctors and nurses should definitely have time off. And if people die... surely they'll rise again just like Jesus (although apparently he didn't and people are just remembering him).

Okay, I'm being silly and extremist here... but where exactly should the cut off be? 'Essential services' is already getting broad, and with food establishments allowed and other things, the difference between a holiday and any other day of the week is getting moot.

Having time off for family is fine (although if you want to go out somewhere, odds are you are going somewhere where people are not spending time with their family), but let's have better reasons and responses than ideas from 2000 years ago...

And any excuse for this

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Sunday, 20 April 2014


There was nothing on the other night, so I ended up watching the movie known for the line "that's a lot of fish".

Because the French are evil, a small lizard becomes a giant lizard, which then decides that Manhattan is an excellent island on which to build a nest... yeah, I can't see that happening. At any rate, one lone guy has enough of a clue to help track it, lure it out, and figure out what its motives are.. and is respected enough to be called "the worm guy". Meanwhile "humour" (note: not actual humour, not even a reasonable facsimile thereof) is found in the worm guy's antics, and his love interest who hangs around with people better known from the Simpsons. Fortunately, we get smaller lizards so we can have a runaround in Madison Square Garden, before a final scene when everyone cheers as the movie makes us feel bad for the death of a creature that was just trying to survive...

As stupid as this movie is, and let's not deny that this movie is stupid, it is also rather fun. I had no problems with the pacing of the movie, there were plenty of action beats and the forced romance plot (and, hoy boy, it's is a bad romance plot) didn't drag scenes out too long. I was prepared for this to be a painful disaster to watch... and yet, I enjoyed it. Oh, I know that many moments don't work (okay, we are hiding a giant lizard in a city and no-one can find it...), but when you just let it wash over you and sit back and relax... it works!

Everyone is giving simple performances here, including the CGI lizards, and Emmerich is about as subtle as a sledgehammer accidentally dropped on a glass chandelier. There's lots of mocking and no-one is really taking anything seriously.

As a chance flick, it wasn't that bad... and now I don't feel the need to see another Godzilla movie any time soon... well, maybe one more...


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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Lucky * Star

In my sort-of ongoing watching of slice of life / school / comedy anime, we have the entry of Lucky Star. And while I did watch one disc in dubbed, the rest I watched in subbed format. Dubbed just doesn't cut it.

And it fits the bill of what I am after in that we follow four school girls through their daily activities and mild craziness (the cast expands somewhat in the second half). There's no real point going into the plot, as it is slice of life, and so a lot of short vignettes of different moments of their lives. And it is fun!

However... I still want to go back and watch Azumanga Diaoh again... nothing else is challenging that as my number one anime and manga...

Oh, and I find it hard to believe it took me this long to get this connection (not an actual connection):


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Friday, 18 April 2014

The Bourne Profusion

I'm currently reading (well, listening to) the Bourne stories... and they are very different to the movies. The first book (Identity) is about Bourne's fight with a chap named Carlos and minorly about the organisation Treadstone. It's like Carlos Carlos Treadstone Carlos Carlos Treadstone Carlos Carlos Treadstone. The movie is just Treadstone Treadstone Treadstone. As are the next movies. Spoiler: Treadstone stops existing at the end of the first book!

And the Bourne Legacy is about Bourne and his son, not some other chap stepping into the role! Although Legacy onwards is when Eric Van Lustbader takes over writing duties, and it shows. The first three books are about Jason Bourne identity conflicting with David Webb's real personality, and a lot is made of his wife Marie, and the third ends quite well, especially with David going on about how he's 50 now and getting too old for this sh*t.

But when Eric takes over, Marie quicks gets thrust into the background, along with other main characters, and the books become a lot more action oriented spy political thrillers... not that they weren't but a lot of characterisation is dumped in favour of getting on with it.

I might go back and review the movies again... although I'm tempted to just finish the books and move onto something else...


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