Sunday, 31 August 2014


I like me some mirror based horror movies, so of course I had to see this one some time.

Kaylie and Tim had a tough childhood. Their father and mother tried to kill them, and the son killed the father. And then Tim ended up in a psychiatric ward for eleven years. But the cause of this all is an evil mirror and now that Tim's out, Kaylie wants them to deal with the mirror. And so we switch back and forth between now and then as events unfold and the family slowly goes crazy. The mirror makes things not as they seem, so what seems crazy might be perfectly fine, but the mirror doesn't want them to succeed...

And the big problem with this movie is "the mirror makes things not as they seem". It's all very well creating horror of ghosts and strange things in the mirror and such, but when the scare is supposed to be "that thing you were eating isn't what you thought you were", this doesn't work when the audience can't trust what's going on. Certainly I wasn't surprised by anything, because I wasn't taking anything I saw at face value, which meant the big shock moments didn't subvert my expectations... indeed, I picked most of the scary moments before they happened, because they were also really obvious.

This features, as notable, one Karen Gillan, with red hair and random accent. We also get Katee Sackhoff, so someone for UK and US nerds to see! Otherwise... there are other people around. The acting is decent, but they are constrained by the needs of the effects.

Not horror. Well, certainly not effective horror.


Read more!

Saturday, 30 August 2014


Well, this is what happens when we don't get a Black Widow movie. Other people make action movies featuring Scarlett Johannson.

Because this movie is short, it gets to the point quickly. We know from the trailer that Lucy gets drugs put inside her which then infects her... and yep, that's exactly what happens in the first act, and it gets done quickly. There are cuts of Professor Norman to bring in his character, and there's a lot of background exposition, but still we quickly get to the action scenes of Lucy going hard. And surreal. This is Luc Besson, so we get a lot of imagery, with some of it so obvious it's Lord Privy Seal, and other times you need to know fairly obscure cosmic theory to get what's happening.

And let's take a moment to talk about the "10%" problem. The movie makes it clear that it is talking about "cranial capacity"... but what the hell does that mean? And it certainly doesn't address the misconception. They could have had someone directly reference it if the movie is trying to distinguish itself from that myth, but nope. And then what happens when you start using more... not even Morgan Freeman can make that credible. I don't care how much brain power is chugging along, you aren't doing the things in the trailer.

What is really going on is "being in tune with the universe", which isn't much better, but they could have phrased it like that instead of going for cranial capacity.

Acting wise, we get some great performances, but Scarlett Johansson is clearly doing the heavy lifting... and not quite managing it. Not on her, that, but the script is asking us to buy some big supposed revelations, and that just isn't happening. Just because someone says something that could be philosophical and awe-inspiring doesn't mean it is.

A pretty movie that is trying to make a point that switches between being a blunt sledgehammer and so sharp it cuts itself.


Read more!

Friday, 29 August 2014

DW 8.01

I think I'm now too cynical for Doctor Who. Or maybe this just wasn't the best episode ever? Certainly there are huge chunks where not much happens and... then the episode's over. [Note that this contains spoilers, rather severe ones, so the bulk of this post, and all new DW episode posts, are hidden on the main page, click through for the full entry.]

Isn't it wonderful how in new regeneration stories the Doctor is always involved and we get great insights into the new character? Oh wait, that never happens, and it's just a big tease so we can muck about before settling down to anything concrete. Like an accent. Sometimes it's strongly Scottish, other times you can barely detect it.

Ah, but I kid. Seriously now... this was just a lot of nothing. The first half, before they get to the restaurant, was all padding. And trying to give Clara some character moments, but since it's been ages since I saw her in anything, I can't remember what her character was before to know if this reinforced anything or contradicted it... or maybe it just gave her a personality? I can't tell. And the Doctor is just running around, looking at newspapers and being mad, and marking time.

But then the restaurant happens, and we spend the next while hearing them bicker and having the Doctor leave Clara, only to make a triumphant return, and needing to be rescued by the leather lesbians and the comedy Sontaran. And why is the Sontaran having a hard time fighting these robots? He should be loving this!

Still at least we have Peter Capaldi and... his eyebrows? His hoarse madness? His ultimately getting upstaged by Matt Smith? Hopefully the next episode will develop his character and not be based on some gimmick... never mind. And yet another long term Moffat tease with Missy (whom I immediately associate with Iris Wildthyme, but fortunately Moffat won't be going there).

As I said, too cynical these days. And I do seem to be the only one who isn't overly impressed by it.

Next time: A new and innovative idea... a competant Dalek?


Read more!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Gondola to Walter Peak

A busy day had me going on the Skyline Gondola and Lugeing (and incompetently getting out of Luges...)

And then I went out to Walter Peak on the TSS Earnslaw. I highly recommend the BBQ lunch if you go out there, the food was delicious! And then we saw some farm operation in action, and so can you!


Read more!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


It's classic 80s movie time! And this one is from the start of the decade when we saw a young man who would later be from "the upper vest side". As ever, go check in with Peter and Paul for their views.

What do you do when someone asks you to kill a dragon? Get killed, of course! And then it's up to an upstart apprentice to step into his shoes and get the magician they want. And right royally screw things up. Literally royally too! While this is swords and sorcery, this doesn't go for the standard tropes too much, and people die because the dragon is just that much better, or because people are as competent (or not) as they are supposed to be. No special snowflakes with sudden surges of abilities here. And I also want to make the point here is that this movie does have strong females (within the limited scope of being a medieval fantasy movie). The victim tries to save herself, the princess isn't willing to turn a blind eye, and the main female lead isn't sitting around waiting for guys to do things.

[And I'll admit that yes, for the first time in a movie, I was taken in by her deception.]

And then the MacGuffin steps in to wrap the movie up, but it looks visually nice. Which is one of the unexpected surprises of this movie. The dragon is well realised, the puppet dragon kids are good, the make and other effects are competent... the one weakness is the composition that puts them together sucks a lot. Bad edges everywhere. Otherwise quite successful.

On the acting side, the main leads are fine. The king is a bit off (the crown didn't help), and there's a whole Christian subplot that people aren't committing to and thus hard to follow. The wizard is going full pants on head crazy, but has fun with it. Aside from Peter MacNicol, the other names I note are Ian McDiarmid and John 'Ghost from Ghostlight' Hallum.

A decent movie that holds up well even today.


Read more!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sounding out Milford

A long day to get to Milford Sound. I booked with Milford Sound Select because they had a luxury bus... which, I'm guessing, was on holiday that day?

We stopped at various places along the way, including one Mirror Lake

And here are some other views, including of being out on Milford Sound itself.


Read more!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Lord of the Queenstown

One thing I did while I was down there was go on a Paradise Safari... aka a Lord of the Rings tour. Now, this was mainly scenery, so the photos are largely "here's a piece of land that was on film 10 to 15 years ago". Probably not that exciting. But I was there, nonetheless!

And some scenes recreated.

Me overlooking the coming of the oliphants (the actual ridge!).

I am a Pillar of the Kings.

But, like all Sean Bean involvements, I end up Boromiring...


Read more!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Town for a Queen

I was on holiday last week... because why not? In particular, I was in Queenstown. And I took a fair few photos.

One aspect that got me was that I had my north/south direction completely screwed. What I thought of as south was more west (I think), so yeah, completely off line. On the other hand, it didn't really matter because I was navigating streets and the town isn't that big. I could easily walk from my motel and back again without much problems.

However... a lot of those photos are of mountains. Because Queenstown has a lot of them. And a large lake. But I did do various things while I was down there...

Some scenic views:

And around the lake:


Read more!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sharktocuda vs Pterapus

Are they just randomly sticking animals together now? This pairing features a shark plus an octopus plus a pterasaur plus a barracuda... because that happens. But at least they aren't pretending this is some natural thing, these are created things.

Sharktopus spawned a little 'pus that grew up to being a new one. And, randomly, science creates a pteracuda, because why not? And one escapes, and the other set upon to get it, and they both kill lots of people while they attack each other. Then the job of the humans is to find out a way to take them both out, and get more people killed. Success all round!

The creatures are about as plasticky as we've come to expect from these cash in movies. And the acting isn't much better. This has the benefit of not featuring any big names, so hopefully this will become minor footnotes on people's CVs.

They aren't even bothering any more, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering to watch them...


Read more!

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Startup Kids

Them young kiddies... The Startup Kids.

This is the story of some of the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and other internet companies. While there is an element of luck, this is also the story of hard work and being in the right place at the right time. That helps a lot. These are interesting stories, and kind of makes me feel depressed at how much I haven't achieved. They do tell about how they don't have much of a work / life balance, so there is that. Still, when you are talking that much money...

I am surprised a bit at some of the companies created. With the number of companies around, that some of these places find a niche and enough to be wealthy to succeed. Although we do hear that not every start up makes it, we don't really get to talk to any of them, who we see are all successful.

It's a short documentary, and if you are keeping up with how entrepreneurs are going this is worth watching, otherwise you can take it or leave it.


Read more!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Dirty Wars

There is a lot of action over in the Eastern Countries, but what do we really hear about the smaller fights? This is a matter of Dirty Wars.

Jeremy Scahill is a journalist that covers battles in the African countries, and finds out that there are villages being attacked that aren't covered by the news. And aren't even supposed to be at war. Behind it is the group of the Joint Special Operations Command. He uncovers a lot about them but when they come to the fore for killing Bin Laden, they can do no wrong, and thus are immune to any revelations he would have. And now, they are capable of killing Americans if they want to...

In many ways, because I am cynical, it's hard to see this as new news. America = doing bad things over seas is a known thing by this point. This movie puts some more human faces on the moment, but since it is allowed to come out, it's hard to see that the military considers this much of a threat to them. And I'm not sure, but while there is a lot of camera footage, either they were very lucky, or some scenes were recreated.

A rather despairing look at the actions of some of America's forces...


Read more!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dongeons and Drogons

And here we are with the first movie. I believe the trumpet sound is 'wah wah waaaah'.

When you think of D&D, what comes to mind? One person going off an having adventures of their own, leaving their party behind? Then this is the movie for you! This is all about Riley and his quest for mage booty, as he gets caught up in needing to get the doohicky to save the thingmabob before the whosits gets the blahdeblah. While there are a couple of dragons, there isn't much dungeon to speak of.

We have all the actors you've heard from. Marlon Wayans pulling a full Chris Tucker. Richard O'Brien regretting being in this. Justin Whaylin playing Indiana Jones... seriously, this movie pulls a LOT from Indiana Jones. I was facepalming at how bad it got. Lee Arenberg willing to give it a go, Kristen Wilson being far too serious for this, and Zoe McLellan losing the battle to play the tone properly. Bruce Payne doesn't match his blue lipstick, and then there's Jeremy Irons... over hamming everywhere. Not even Tom Baker can help this.

Production side, this had all the money thrown at it, and it doesn't quite pull it off. Some sets are well done, but some prosthetics wobble terribly, and some CGI is just horrendous.

I can see why this is panned, deservedly so. A rewatch doesn't make it better.

And, unlike the others, this one can't be watched on Youtube:


Read more!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book of Vole Dorkness

Well, here we are with the third movie.

A new knight of Pelor is knighted, although he's despairing because where's God? The rest of the knights are attacked, and his father is taken, and his only lead is to join a band of cod-evil people. And so begins the slow moral decay of "what do you do in the greater good?"

And aside from name checking Pelor and various items, that's about as D&D as we get. Because this is now 2012, we get a lot darker, and, of course, half-naked women. But at least there is a dragon! Such as it is.

Slightly better production values, especially with the abnormal child creature thing. Better make up too, and realistic effects. ...and I don't recognise any of the actors...

Only marginally D&D, and more like a wannabe dark take on fantasy. Still, with two and three done, there's no way I'm going to go back to the first movie.

There is, of course, no way to see this for yourselves:


Read more!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Wroth of the Drogon God

I did see the first D&D movie, and had no interest in the others (once I found out there were others). But Jimothy raved about the second movie, and so I put it in my eyeballs.

This is a more D&D style movie, in that we get a party of the fighter, the mage, the cleric, the barbarian and the rogue. So there's that. And they have to go from encounter to encounter in a rather linear fashion, dealing with items and creatures familiar to those of us of the roleplaying persuasion. There's also a dragon threatening a village in a manner that made me think of Smaug (even if it is a dragonlich and they don't use an arrow to shoot it in its vunerables). Basically, this is more D&D than the first movie was (although that's not hard).

Bruce Payne (returns? I don't remember the first that well) is Damodar, the extremely British villain, in the style of a Richard O'Brien or a Peter Woodward. And taking it about as seriously. And while there are probably others, we do have a Doctor Who connection with Lucy "Kathy Nightingale" Gaskell. And there are others in this as well. The production is rather obvious, in that the effects are very obvious.

A better movie than I would have thought... now, do I have the courage to see the third one?

And, of course, in no way would I help you see this by putting in the youtube video...


Read more!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Expandables 3

Hey, it's that new movie in the series no-one wanted once they actually saw the first one... and I can't remember the second one... but I'm sure they'll get it right this time, with it being PG-13 and all...

The plot goes: Barney gets a job. He gets some people together. They go do the job. It goes to shit and they barely get away while blowing things up... and repeat three or four times. Because that is all that happens, the same thing over and over again. Yeah, there's some back story with Mel Gibson, and they have younger actors I haven't heard of, and really old action people, but it is just the same thing repeated.

Which isn't to say this is bad. Indeed, of all the Expend movies so far, this one is the best! I rather enjoyed it. I'm not sure if its lower aim helped, or maybe I was in a good mood, but this is the best of them.

And there's a full cast here, mixing one and two together (although no Mickey Rourke), and they recycle Arnold Schwarzenegger, and get others in, and hey, it's Harrison Fo... oh dear... I have to say he does not look good at all. Take his performance in Firewall, multiply it by Crystal Skull, and then let it go worse... give that man a lifetime achievement award and ask no more of him... J J, I'm looking you... this is not going to be pretty...

Anyway, this is just silly and... doesn't need to be two hours, but there you go... Although I expect most people will just go see Guardians again.


Read more!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Jodorowsky's Dune

I haven't seen Dune, nor read the book, so I'm clearly the person who should be seeing Jodorowsky's Dune.

And we do see his movie. He tells his version of the story, and we get some scenes animated. We get the various people he worked with, such as Dan O'Bannon, Chris Foss and H R Giger, and name drop other big names he got on board, such as Salvador Dali and Orson Wells. As such, it’s not surprising they needed a lot of money. And it's a shame no American movie studio would back it. Still, we get to see the influence this has in other movies.

It doesn't matter that I don't know Dune, because we still get the grand vision of Jodorowsky, and it is grand indeed. You have to admire his passion, even as you realise he has the form of genius that can easily be mistaken as madness (or is that vice versa?). We also see the large book that contains all of his Dune as movie boards and images… I can see people wanting to get a hold of that!

So, yes, a good documentary to see, and a fun one.


Read more!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Yves Saint Laurent

One of two fashion movies on my list, this one is about Yves Saint Laurent.

This covers the majority of his working life, and jumps around a lot. There’s not a lot of focus on his dresses, more on the drama of his life with his lover Pierre and... other loves Victoria and Jacques and such. While this is dramatised, we basically have the sense of another self-destructive artist type giving over into... well... self-destruction.

As such, it feels a little too long, and has trouble making a definite point. He has wild passions? Fashion was his only passion? He only survived because of the people who cared about him? Any of the above? All of the above?

Can't say I would watch this again, but it passed the time.


Read more!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

At Berkeley

Oh dear gods. This is a four hour movie of life At Berkeley... and it feels it. The director recorded about a year of footage, and here is all of it! Or rather, here are snippets. Only it feels like random snippets with no ongoing story.

It could have been just me, because I only lasted an hour. And the director has another film, a three hour look at the National Gallery, which I'm still interested in… but no, not seeing it at a theatre, but on my own time line...

And since this is a short review… here, have this video about rabbits…


Read more!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

R I P Williams

He has given us a lot of comedy. I remember watching tons of episodes of Mork and Mindy... and might now have to go back and watch them again. But my favourite movie that he was in:

Based on a true story, this was a simple idea that was done just so powerfully. Even now I'm still remembering it, and I only saw it the once! Fine performances all round, and a fantastic one from Mr Williams.


Read more!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


It's an action movie with a little bit of comedy... oh gods, Brett Ratner directed this, that explains a lot.

Herc is a big man on the action scene, but it's actually PR plus a good back up team that gets him his fame. However, he is still a worthy warrior in his own right as he and his team help save an army from being completely destroyed then they take out the evil guy... or do they? And now will the real Herc please stand up?

Because he is just this guy, you know, this means we don't get big huge special effects, and instead get lots of guys running at each other, waving swords, and getting in a big old mess. 'Cos if there's one thing Brett knows how to do, it's shoot something with lots of CGI, which doesn't help here. (And good odds he doesn't know that anyway.) We do get shots of people being thrown about, like we've seen elsewhere, there is a big budget moment when we get to see a large head rolling along... which we've also seen elsewhere, so good work on originality there.

Dwayne Johnson is decent as Herc, and will someone please put this man into a good movie? We also have the wasted talents of Ian McShane and John Hurt. And then there's the rest of the cast. And, from memory... Bechdal test fail (there are two lead females, but they don't talk to each other).

Not as impressive as you might be thinking, but then I never saw the trailers so for all I know people's expectations are suitably dampened.


Read more!

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Hegend of Lell Louse

This one is courtesy (or blame) of Al, and when he talked about a good scary movie, I'm in for that!

There's a legendary spooky house... which isn't Borley Rectory 'cos this was originally American not British, although this movie is now set in Britain... and four investigators are told to go solve the issue of the hauntings. Which has been happening for a while, but so far the house hasn't been knocked down to make way for a highway. While they are there, the medium is in touch with the spirits of the house, but the skeptic is "this is just an energy", and continues like that even while his wife is throwing herself at the other medium. But both of their approaches fail, leaving it to Cornelius to save the day with brilliant deductions and facing down wind machines.

Of course haunted houses aren't new. Unfortunately, while watching this, I was reminded of Liam Neeson's terrible movie... no, the other one in 1999. And towards the end, I was getting an urge to go rewatch The Stone Tape.

This movie is basically a four hander, with Pamela Franklin, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicut and Roddy McDowell (who is between Ape movies at the time). There is then a lot of time to end up focussing on each character, and although at the beginning we start with Pamela and Clive from and centre, by the end of the movie Roddy and Gayle have taken control, and we get their characters better developed. And, hey, that's Michael Gough there!

We aren't talking major effects here, and the wires are obvious even if not always seen, but they are well done and this movie creates a great atmosphere and keeps the tension going.

Very good movie this, although I might now go watch another Roddy McDowell adventure...


Read more!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Rise of the Conquest of the...

Despite having reviewed them all, I'm not a huge fan of the Ape series. And yet, it's become of those things that I had to check out the latest movie.

Apes be apes be chilling. Humans be all like "yo, we want in your space", and the Apes like "we keep an eye on you dawg." Then there's a bang and a smack down, and then Koba's all up in this business, but Caeser isn't taking shit son and... I have no idea where that's going... anyway, there are apes on horses dual wielding machine guns... ARE YOU NOT AMUSED?!

A lot of this movie is played out visually, so that's good storytelling right there. With some miming, so that's kind of talking, but we are talking economical talking here. It did take me a while, but I did finally get into the movie and stopped watching wryly and started getting caught up in the ongoing narrative. It does progress well, and although I already knew some of the basics (not having avoided reviews or spoilers at all), that didn't matter and I was happy to see the moments play out.

Andy Serkis, of course, gives good CGI, and so do others. On the human side, we have Gary Oldman going largely one-dimensional, but none of the humans are really amazingly fleshed out. Jason Clarke is the closest we get to someone who can emote without computer aid, and we also have Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee also on screen...

Decenter movie than I was expecting.


Read more!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Fish & Cat

When the review talks about alterations to space and time, of course I'm paying attention. And this is Iranian. Why not delve into Fish & Cat?

Two rather dodgy men approach a camp ground where a group of young peoples are setting up for a kite festival. We follow one person then another, and get little character moments with them, and as they move around they are in position where they were at the beginning of the movie and then we follow others as they end up back in the first place, and...

There are two things about this. This is one continuous shot (I'm not sure if this is one take, but it looks like it), and as we follow people around, time seems to fold in on itself as events circle around back to the beginning. However... it doesn't matter! Why's this happening? What does it mean? It's never addressed! It's just a way for us to get different character moments and fit it into a supposed 30 minute time frame… but we could easily have just had more than one shot and just gone with someone else each time.

The character pieces aren't bad, and decidedly creepy at times, but the narrative device just gets in the way.


Read more!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Particle Fever

This is the story of the LHC. This is the story of several people at CERN. This is the story of Particle Fever.

This movie is basically the history of the LHC, as shown through several major events. We get the slow build up of the build up of the LHC. Then jump to the first time it is switched on. Then it breaks down. Then back up again… and then Higgs! It does jump around a lot. Now, time is spent on each point, but if you want to see the inner workings and day to day activity, this isn't the movie for you.

We get a lot of shots of the LHC itself, and I'm impressed by where the cameras were allowed to go (unless they used other people's footage). There are a handful of personalities we follow, and it's their talking heads to help explain what's going on. (And some rather basic graphics.) And, because this is a documentary and we know history, there's no simple nice wrap-up at the end. This is history in progress, not narrativium in practice.

Definitely an interesting movie for the LHC, although I'm not sure how well it plays to a general audience as I already have (limited) understanding of what’s going on, which is a help.


Read more!

Thursday, 7 August 2014


I liked The Host, so was definitely interested in seeing Snowpiercer. And many people had also said it was good. And now we have this cautionary tale of what happens if you take Global Warming seriously...

After the earth is frozen because scientists tried to fix the heating earth (stupid scientists), all that is left is a train. And as everyone on a train knows, you got the people in the front and the plebs in the back, and so it always is. Until the plebs decide they've had enough, and we follow the tale of Curtis as he leads his band of riff raff through the long train and takes over this unbalanced society. Although with everyone in their place, what can he really achieve?

Oh, I liked this movie. While we are talking obvious class division here, we aren't bombarded with huge action set pieces, but more thoughtful character drama. What is for the good? Can you see the big picture? What does it really mean to be human? We get the characters answer, what would yours be?

Chris Evans is fine as Curtis (although I did keep thinking this would be an alternative universe Steve Rogers story). Kang-ho Song comes back from The Host, and is playing rough and ready in this. Tilda Swinton gets to show off her range, and I’m sure John Hurt loved getting into his prosthetics every day.

The production with the full train is lavish, from the downtrodden areas through to the full on decadence that the upper class can achieve. There is some unnecessary slow mo action sequences but everything is shot well.

Ultimately, this felt like Bioshock on a Train... as led by Captain America! I can easily see this hitting mainstream cinemas.


Read more!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Reign of Winter

After resting in a room, we headed out into a mausoleum... which interested me not at all. While they walk around doing brainy things, I wait impatiently until we go through the obvious door. Which goes down a corridor to another door. The excitement keeps piling up. The others go back while the thief opens the door, and so miss the moment when we walk in and I am attacked.

And easily hit. And then crippled. Seriously, if it wasn't for that this fight wouldn't be the slog it turned into being. We all chip away at the creature until she is finally put down, but spell wads are blown and a long time is had. After that, we wander the room, find a few exits, and randomly pick one because the later door is different.

Inside, we find webs. And a large spider. Or, more accurately, a Huge spider. However, with the focussed abilities of the group, this fight is over a lot quicker with a lot less pain. Well, somewhat less pain. Me and the halfling are slashed and crippled by the spider attacks, so we retreat back to our room from before, seal ourselves in, and wait out spell renewal to heal ourselves...

[And because of leave, the next game will be a month away!]


Read more!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Another Sharkynardo

Because they couldn't keep a good thing down... nor this! (Ba dum tish!) Monday night is usually classy movie time... but not today.

What's one sharknado without another one? Time in New York City. With the husband and wife on good terms, we get a new family dynamic of the sister and her family, and the exciting times that must be had while trying to get them back together while sharks are raining down... and that's about the start and end of it.

I had to admit, I was laughing every time a shark attacked someone. The effects are just so cartoony! I can't take it seriously! (But then, neither do the movie producers.)

There are tons of cameos in this. We start with Robert Hays as the pilot (no wonder I got an Airplane vibe), and Anne and Wil Wheaton, and Judd Hirsch... and many others, lured by the siren call of being in an Asylum movie??? And it seems this movie was sponsored by Subway and the Today show...

It's a stupid movie that knows what it is... and just aims for that, and is enough.


Read more!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Gardians of the Gualaxy

According to current internet reasoning: "If I have seen this movie, then everyone has seen this movie." Well, now I have seen this movie. Although it was in 3D in a packed theatre at an advanced screening because it's not supposed to open here until Thursday, although somehow Readings had these early screenings...

There is a plot for this movie, but I can't be bothered going into it for two reasons. 1) This movie is more known for its gimmicks. There's the talking raccoon, the tree with the three word vocabulary, green Zoe Saldana, blue Karen Gillan... once you get all that, the reason for them all to be there is somewhat secondary. And 2) the plot is really thin. And doesn't really matter. It is barely justification for getting from one scene to the next, and doesn't actually progress any characters... because the characterisation is all up the wazoo...

One part is that they seemed to borrow the character name and design, but not the actual personality. Few of the characters act like they are portrayed... and what the hell did they do to Yondu? I've been reading the GotG comics, just started on the current incarnation, and spent a lot of time with the honour bound fighter who is driven by being the last of his kind and by sticking to his ethos. Who Michael Rooker plays has nothing to do with that. And Drax is way off (and does this mean no Moondragon?). And characters can turn on a time as dictated by the plot, without consequence. And of course, we have the female lead and the male lead so... yeah, they largely go there. Sigh.

The cgi of Rocket and Groot is good, Thanos... his voice doesn't fit. And the visuals in the fight scenes are just a mess of colour and motion and I couldn't tell what was happening half the time. The post-credit scene (at least half the people walked out when the credits started... one pair when they were finishing, what?) is cute, but don't feel like you need to stay and see it.

So you might be able to tell I'm not signing praises here. It's not a bad movie, but it's just too much of a mess for me to say it's a great movie.


Read more!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Dior and I

Want to hear a tale of working at a fashion house? Hear the story of Dior and I.

Raf Simons joins the house of Dior as creative director, and must make a new collection in eight opposed to the usual four or five months. We follow the quick development of dresses and suits and how it all comes together. And the final presentation midst flowers is just ostentatious. Scattered throughout is quotes from Dior's actual memoir, picked to rhyme nicely with what Raf is experiencing at the time.

This is another documentary of people at work, not talking heads... well, a few pointed questions are answered, but mostly it is just people getting on with it. The story is laid out well, although, as ever with these things, I suspect more emphasis was placed on what little clashes there were than they really deserved.

They were some nice clothes... I guess... and a nicely contained wee tale of events at a fashion house.


Read more!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Gexeraxion X

Oh, I remember watching this a long time ago... well, it was made in 1996. And boy howdy, it shows!

We start with seeing Jubilee and Skin joining the Xavier School for Mutants... which seems to comprise of only two teachers, Emma Frost and Sean Cassidy, and four other students... and none of them are big names that I recognised (and two were made up for the film anyway!) And in the other plot, Matt Frewer is incredibly over acting as mad scientist Russel Tresh, who has a machine that allows him to enter dreams. Fortunately, there's one also stashed away at Xavier's school, so the two plots can get together. After "antics" they finally all get together for a fight which is not worth the wait (and definitely not worth the effects budget they didn't spend). Huzzah, careers for everyone!

There was one word that kept coming to mind, and it is quite 90s too. "Lame". And this was so very lame. The acting, the clothes, the plot... and the camera angles. Seriously, way too many dutch angles in this, like with every single damn shot! No, stop that! It's not arty, it's just annoying.

Hardly surprising this tv pilot didn't make it to a series.

Here, watch it for yourself.


Read more!

Friday, 1 August 2014

One Night Live

The Last of Us was a big deal computer game. There was a lot of cut scenes in which actors were mocapped and animated. But how much of the actor's performance can really be captured?

Here's a chance to find out. This is a collection of scenes as played live by the actors involved. And it jumps around a LOT. And you better know the story, because it could easily get confusing (I've seen two LPs of it... it is a Playstation only game, so no chance of me playing it on my computer), and this will spoil the story.

It's an interesting peek, but it is only a peek into a couple of the scenes. And quite brief. And after each brief scene is a round of applause. Oh, this is dragged out... and it's only an hour! That said, there are a few good moments of acting in there.

And you won't believe that ending...

And skip about 30 minutes in, as it is just countdown.

(They could have had this song in there!)


Read more!