Saturday, 24 June 2017

Eleventh Marx

Right, another middling movie, this is The Big Store.

Tommy wants to sell his shares in a big department store, but it is in financial trouble (not that he knows). And as it happens, Flywheel comes in as a detective/body guard, and soon he and Ravelli and Wacky get caught up in store business. Eventually things come to a head and a big run around to stop the evidence of the bad guys being bad guys from being given to the bad guys.

This movie gives a set up, the department store, then gets out of the way for most of the movie while we get various set pieces with the Brothers, and then the story comes in at the end to wrap things up. It should be obvious that I liked a good story through-line, and so most of this movie feels irrelevant. And we also get some musical moments that are, again, set up but entirely incidental.

And we are really getting less and less Groucho big verbal scenes. What's up with that?

[END]

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Wonder Tenth Falls

This is it, the return of Eric's wife Heidi, hinted at all throughout the series. And she's played by Jewel Staite!

The end of the last episode revealed Jaye getting to the bar to see Eric and Heidi kissing, with this episode showing the set up that it was just Heidi kissing Eric. Heidi spends the episode trying to get Eric back, and even pretends to have amnesia at one point. However... the voices are on the side of the two of them hooking back up, and Jaye finally gets to the church to find them getting married again, because Eric wants to give this a proper go. Oh noes!

This is the episode that breaks Jaye in many ways. Not only does she have to help Eric and Heidi, she also finally confesses to Aaron what's going on, and gets his help to free her from the animals. (He points out that her trailer is full of stuffed animal toys... which talk to her via their animal faces.) That doesn't stop the voices, which need to take advantage of other animal icons as they turn up, and they are all for Eric/Heidi.

This does feel like quite the stress, but I know where this is going so agree this is a good story direction.

[END]

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Mummmy

Hey, it's tiny Jack Reacher! And he's in Africa releasing mummies!

A woman did bad things in Egypt and was mummified, and is released in the present day and causes more trouble. And Tom Cruise is her pawn, and we follow him around as he is Gormy McGormFace and stumbles from incident to incident until finally the CGI is used up.

So this is the start of the Dark Universe, with the Mummy kicking things off and hints of other monsters. And... they didn't try hard. We all know they want to jump into the multi-movie deals of other big studios, but... this just feels like they put out a movie because they felt like getting into it, as opposed to doing a project that they really wanted to do.

(Yes, there is a nod to the Brendan Fraser Mummy, and I want to go back and watch those again, because they are actually fun, unlike this.)

I do like the double iris eye effect (although I'm fairly sure there are shots where they didn't bother to adjust it). And... um... there were other things in there...

Not exactly an endorsement, but no doubt we'll get more pumped out yet.

[END]

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Edoras

I wasn't able to see the film because I had been in Christchurch. However, while I was down there I went on a tour to Edoras!

This involved going out to Mount Sunday, where Edoras was put. I stood in where the Great Hall was (note: it wasn't there any more). And to prove it:


Other photos are available.

However... basically that's all there was to the tour. We spent about four hours going out there, spent some time on the hill, then had (a lovely) lunch. With the other tours, I went to various locations. This was just the one place...

So I can't really recommend it, unless you really want to complete the tours.

[END]

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Doctor Who 10.10

There are so few female DW writers, we had to go back to one of the few female writers from the original series.

I'm going to start with: so much of this felt redundant. The opening teaser with the kids? Redundant. Bill spending time with the Romans? Some how passing two days without doing anything? Really? How about we just get to the point? But no, we need to establish time wibbley wobbley ness so that the Ninth Legion can hang around. But did we even need that? And somehow the music echoes through time, although the door wasn't even open when that happened? (Was there supposed to be a Grendal imagery thing there?)

But even then, even with all this stuff just taking up place in the story, we still have time for a Missy scene at the end that hits at being mysterious and also sets up even more material for shippers (like they needed any).

I could draw parallels to Survival, but I don't think I need to as many of them are obvious.

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood, but I wasn't impressed by this at all.


NEXT TIME: What? Is that supposed to be the Editor? Because bleached haired Simon Pegg immediately makes me think Editor. [Although possibly I can't tell the difference between Simon Pegg and John Simm?]

[END]

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Tenth Marx

Okay I was a bit distracted during this, but still found this very middling. Go West, young man, Go West.

The Brothers head west and get caught up in a land grab for the railroads. A young man is trying to get with a girl, and his fortunes come down to selling a particular land parcel. Which the Brothers get a hold of, but then so do the bad guys. It comes down to a chase of train verses wagon to get the claim home (I think, I lost track in the middle).

Again this seems like some disjointed scenes. We start with a bit with the Brothers, but then there's a noticable change as the plot suddenly starts. From there, there is a lot of a run around, and classic music pieces from Harpo and Chico, before a big finale of silliness. So in that regard, this is all quite the same as before.

Which is fine, but not amazing.

[END]

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Friday, 16 June 2017

Wonder Ninth Falls

Yep, Jaye and Eric are in a relationship... and so is everyone else!

While at a zoo, Jaye causes birds to fuss and get the zoo guide to be moved... and later fired. However, because of the voices, Jaye helps to capture the birds from the zoo in order to help them mate. And use it as a metaphor for her own relationship. Which is also the same metaphor for the zoo guide's relationships. And then there's the Mahandra/Aaron relationship, which starts here. And there's the Sharon/Beth relationship... this is a relationship heavy episode.

(In fact, the Sharon/Beth thing was supposed to pay off in the next season... which they never had. Indeed, there were a few seasons elements planned, which will now never happen...)

Most of the episode is about Jaye's inability to handle relationships properly and wants Eric to break up with her, although she doesn't want to break up with him, because otherwise she'll end up tearing his heart out (as it were... although they show it literally as well). It's rather heavy handed, to be honest.

And then this episode ends up with a cliffhanger for the next episode.

[END]

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wonderous Wo Man

It's a DC movie, so clearly this will be a dour mess. And I guess I have to hate this because I'm a man? Oh well, it's not worth bothering then.

Flash back time to young Diana on Themyscira as she sees the other women fighting (with slow motion!) and wants in. She finally gets her wish, and becomes a badass fighter. Then World War I intervenes and Diana goes out into the world with Captain Steve Trevor, a man so great he got two first names! And so the world gets introduced to...

Well, actually, she's never called Wonder Woman at any point, so I'm guess she is the one this movie is about, but I could be wrong and it could all be Lucy Davis' character?

Actually I am now wondering what accent Diana should have. She is supposedly Greek, so Gal Gadot is giving me something that isn't American english, but it does sound weird after heading a mainlined accent from other series for so long. But hey, she does a great job.

Because, yeah, this is a good movie. It avoids a few obvious movie plot points, and doesn't go down the entire super villain route, while still having a super villain. And, amazingly, it makes me want to go back to BvS:DoJ, if only for her scenes.

[END]

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

That Man From Rio

In the veins of wanna be Bond spoof, we have this French/Italian movie: That Man From Rio. (Although considering the man goes to Rio, he's hardly "from".)

Coming home to Paris for a week's leave, Dufourquet finds his girlfriend being kidnapped and taken to Rio. He follows, and is caught up as three statues are sought for and many crazy antics are had.

This is very light hearted and there are some very laugh out loud moments. It felt a little long, especially after I was sure we were an hour in and it was only 40 minutes. Still they do have various moments to pass the time, and the final battle isn't with the bad guy like you'd think it is.

Oh, and speaking of bad guys, this features the bad guy from Diabolik! Yes, I'm recognising Italian actors from low grade action movies in the 60s now...

Anyway, a romp, a veritable romp, and Jean-Paul Belmondo (who plays Dufourquet) is able to run for a long time!

[END]

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Doctor Who 10.9

It's a Victorian on Mars episode... oh, of course, it's Mark Gatiss! I should have expected that. (And I could have sworn that he was in the episode as the Sergeant Major but it seems not, unless that was a cover name.)

So we have that a troop of British men found an alien space craft and didn't get spooked/try to destory it? Even more, we have that one of them was able to FIX THE SHIP??? What the hell? Then we get the episode of them being rather calmly on Mars (did they all just happen to produce Victorian era space suits?). And then they were all willing to kowtow to an alien queen? Huh? How British are they?

That huge batch of plot holes aside, this isn't a bad episode. It's nice and straightforward, which I appreciate after the last barrage of episodes. Admittedly, the Ice Warriors sound even more Klingon than before (although I am rewatching TNG at the moment), and what is up with that new sonic blaster special effect? Especially when it looks CGI whenever they cut to the bundle afterwards. Good human characters and well acted. And they got Ysanne Churchman back??

Then there's Missy... do they have a plan for the character? But that subplot line feels like "we need to get Nardo out of the way for the episode, and have Missy turn up on board".

So a decent episode, I doubt they'll keep it up.


NEXT TIME: Another "alien happens to be in Earth's past" episode?

[END]

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Ninth Marx

This is... rather average for the Marx Brothers really. Nothing stand out, but nothing terrible either. Here we are At the Circus.

A circus owner owes $10,000, and is able to get the money... but has it taken from his. But it's all right, Chico and Harpo are on the case, and they call in their lawyer friend Groucho. While they are unable to get the money back (involving various runarounds), Groucho is able to convince Margaret Dumont to pay for the circus, although she thinks she's getting something else. Fortunately, the circus is a hit, although the bad guy has a few problems.

There are a few classic bits, with Harpo doing his music (again with an African American troupe), Chico gets a moment on the piano, and Groucho gets a song... but he doesn't get the full on speeches he used to have. The word play is minor banter and hardly any real part of the scene any more.

Average movie, but that's about it.

[END]

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Wonder Eighth Falls

This is probably my least favourite episode... and yet there are some really enjoyable moments in here!

We start with a Russian bride (not mail order) turning up and waiting for her man. Who turns out to be a boy (we find out later he has issues from his mother dying). We get relationship turns as Jaye and Eric are sort of a couple but Jaye denies it, so Eric sort of flirts with the bride and the boy falls in "love" with Jaye and there are lots of things not quite said until it finally comes to a head with Jaye and Eric kissing (and the Russian bride and the boy's dad going... a bit further).

Interestingly, there's very little import from the voices/toys. They direct Jaye out to where the woman is, but that's it, not a peep more from them. We so however get some "witticisms" from the bride who doesn't speak English well, such as "I need a bigger Peter". Ahem, yes, well.

This should be a turning point in Jaye's relationship, but we'll see if there is continuity in the scripts.

[END]

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Pirates Tell No Tales

This is a movie we wanted? Well, it's a movie some company think we wanted. Or rather, a movie they thought would earn them money, is a more realistic reason it got released.

Remember how we all cared about what happened in the third movie, especially that ending? Well we better do, because the movie is predicated on us wanting that to be resolved. And on wanting to see Jack pair up with another male/female couple who are going to be in love. Was that the first movie? That's also this movie. (And, admittedly, to some level, is every movie in this series.) We do get something different with the ship that (sort of) eats other ships, which I think they could have done more with.

However, there is one small problem. In front of one of the other movies I saw, they had a segment of this movie (the scene in the lifeboat), and... well... I didn't find it even slightly amusing. Which didn't give me a lot of hope for the rest of the movie. Which I was right not to.

This is a two hour movie. But it wasn't entertaining.

[END]

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Childhood trauma

There was a movie I saw when I was a kid that put in deep emotional scars. Because despite being an animated movie, this is in no way a movie for kids. I'm speaking of the rabbit epic: Watership Down.

I did read the book a while ago, but saw the movie when I was a kid, and whenever I heard "Bright Eyes", oh the emotions. And yet...

This is about a group of rabbits that sense that danger (of encroaching development of man) is coming, and so need to find a new place for a warren. As they cross the land, they encounter various dangers from other creatures, and also from other rabbits. While they do find an ideal spot, there is still much work to set up actual rabbit families, and the locals aren't interesting in giving up their does.

This is a lot better than I remember. Despite the dark (and it gets INCREDIBLY dark, especially the opening!), there are less rabbit deaths than I remember, and even the song is more bittersweet and happy than what I recall.

If you plan on showing this to your kids, first of all why would you? Secondly, don't let them watch it alone (which I did). And do watch it before the kids do so you can help them get through the harder moments.

Because this is a good movie to watch.

[END]

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Doctor Who 10.8

And this is the completion to the so-called trilogy. And it reminded me a lot of the Silence.

In that this is just as stupid as them. How did the Silence get defeated? Through getting people to turn on them. How are the Monks defeated? By getting people to turn on them.

But my first and main question is: where is the others? Like where are the other companions? UNIT? SJS and her adventurers? You can't claim that the Doctor didn't interact with them in the rewritten history, just that people don't remember them... so others don't remember the Doctor? I'm sure Martha might have something to say about that, let alone the others. That's just rubbish.

However, this is a Doctor and Bill story and.. oh that big confrontation scene is so mishandled. Not only do we need to buy that the Doctor has decided to join the Monks (which I didn't even for a moment), you need to get the Doctor somehow dies (did he used up a regeneration?), and then the scene needs to spin on a pin to become comedy "hey, wasn't this funny?" (which it doesn't do successfully at all).

But at least... this trilogy is over now? It feels like they wanted to get the Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords epic sense, but completely fail to pull it off. And speaking of Missy, I do like that her "good" isn't the Doctor's good, but I hope they aren't going to do a Missy cameo scene each episode until Simms turns up.

Not a great episode. I spent most of the time waiting for them to get on with it.


NEXT TIME: Ice Warriors? And ol' British Colonial Forces? Unfortunately it already feels like pants.

[END]

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Eighth Marx

Um, I'm not sure what happened here. This is an RKO picture... and it's definitely not good. Room Service.

Groucho is Gordon Miller, who is putting on a play but is having a little financial trouble. He's staying at the hotel of his brother in law, but has racked up quite the bill for him and his actors. News comes of a backer and he has to stall the hotel director enough to put it through... which he sort of does? Enough to get a play going, but then they have to stall more to get the play completed, and go to death and back.

This is a "bottle" movie, whereby the majority of this takes place in the hotel room. We get some antics, some word play, and some... huge amounts of nothing funny happening. Was this not supposed to be a comedy? We don't get any 'logues from Groucho, no big pieces from Chico, not even some harp playing from Harpo. Instead we get long scenes of earnest people trying to make do with their situation, and hardly be entertaining about it.

(The trivia says that this was not written for them, and in that respect it shows dramatically.)

This is the only RKO picture, so we should be back to the proper stuff next time.

[END]

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Friday, 2 June 2017

Wonder Seventh Falls

This series is set at Niagara Falls, so it's inevitable that we get a barrel episode.

A woman, Millie, who went over Niagara Falls as a young woman happens to come back and Jaye and Mahandra decide to try to make a bit of a come back tour. However some other woman, Vivian, turns up and claims she was the one who actually went over the falls while she just took the credit. So Jaye talks Millie into going over the Falls again, because someone should do something real with their life. Millie decides to come clean... but then dies, and so Vivian steps into her shoes and takes the credit as the Falls woman... having to maintain the charade.

And here we have Rue McClanahan and Louise Fletcher! While they are at odds character wise, it looks like the actors have a lot of fun on the set. While I could be imaging it, I like to think that shows through on shows, and it's good that actors enjoy their time.

[END]

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