Monday, 31 October 2016

Killer Klowns Krom Kuter Kpace

For some reason scary clowns are in the news at the moment, so that and it's Spook time, it's time for an absolute Klassic!

It's Crescent Cove, and a strange light comes down from the sky. It turns out it's a large circus tent, and inside are Klowns! They go on to terrorise the town, killing a lot of people before Debbie, her boyfriend Mike and her other boyfriend Dave can deal with it all. (Come to think of it, a lot of people die to the Klowns, but then there's a bunch of people there when they come out at the end... town genocide, no big thing.)

This is pure comedy gold. And doesn't go into sleezy comedy either, which it could easily have done so. Instead we get funny moments of people having their heads punched off, and other people being cocooned into candy floss and their blood drunk! Hilarious!

This also features a great performance from John Vernon, who isn't interested in putting up with anyone's shit. And there are a bunch of other people who... I'm not sure went on to do anything else of note? But the other stars of the show are the Klowns, with clearly great prosthetic faces. And very well done teeth.

And then there's that great theme song:


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Sunday, 30 October 2016


This was the movie that used the doll that was featured in the Conjuring... and I haven't seen it before! I've seen other movies reference this, but somehow missed the actual thing.

A mother to be is decorating her baby's room and the father decides that what she really needs is a creepy old doll. Mere moments later, the neighbours go crazy and attack them, but fortunately the baby is fine. After the baby is born, they move into an apartment block where other creepy kids are around, and the doll makes a come back. Weird things continue to happen, and finally we get a long sequence of the mother screaming in panic and running about, and this somehow is a climax.

Okay, this might be a spoiler, but it's really annoying... the doll doesn't actually do anything! Fine, lots of supernatural evilness happens, but we don't get the doll's head turning, or eyes darting about, or even it scampering about the place. Nothing! What a rip!

Anyway, we do at least have Tony Amendola, so there is a good performance in this, and Alfre Woodard also captures the camera, but they aren't the leads, who are largely bland. Even while screaming. The effects are... on screen, but fortunately the camera doesn't dwell on the creatures so they remain creepy.

Not really up to the Conjuring movies, this feels like a disappointing spin off.


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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Chef: Threee Starsss

In this documentary, we talk to chefs who own Michelin three star restaurants.

That's pretty much the basics, and what we get. There is a range of chefs, and we see the work they do to maintain their restaurants. It's not a simple life, but these foods are...well, "pretentious" often comes to mind, but I'm no culinary expert. We do have one of the culinary experts from Michelin with the occasional bit of interview, but it's mainly about the various chefs.

I would have liked a bit more look into what makes the restaurant three star worthy. As one person points out, most people even in the know would be hard pressed to distinguish a three star restaurant from a two star one. But then Michelin are hardly going to give away secrets, although they do say it's not that complex. We also don't see any restaurants being assessed, which could have made for a nice narrative through line.

These restaurants are way above me, but it looks like someone enjoys them.


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Friday, 28 October 2016

Red Dwarf 11.1,11.2

The latest series of Red Dwarf is out and... so far it's been largely blah but not terrible (quick reminder: the last series started well, but ended poorly).

Twentica: It's an episode where the crew end up time travelling into the past, which is slightly different, in which they need to make some device of the era and... hang on, didn't see I see this episode? Lemons. The whole schtick with the booze room floozies being about science goes on too long. But at least we got Kevin Eldon.

Samsara: It's a ship with a strange drive that changes the laws of reality that changes the way people have to behave... hang on, this is Justice isn't it? We pair up Cat with Lister and Kryten with Rimmer... a pairing that will recur later. This is a thin story where they need to have flashbacks with the real story while the others get some comedy and exposition scenes only.

Let's be honest... these chaps are getting older and Doug isn't the same without Rob... as I said, this is blah but not terrible.


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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Don Spake

We had that you can't breathe, and now we have that you can't speak.

A group of young adults are partying on a boat when one gets his foot cut, so they go to the nearby deserted village. Only it isn't entirely deserted, and everyone needs to be quiet or they'll be captured... and immediately they are entirely incompetent and barge around making all kids of noise. And so they slowly get taken. There is also a lot of bickering between the friends and one is pregnant and sees little girls... they try to escape the big bad, and it goes about as well as you'd expect.

The best part of this movie is the location. It's nice and creepy, and should be used in a better movie. The movie tries to be different with giving us backstory exposition in animation over real footage, but that just makes it hard to make out exactly what's supposed to be happening.

This movie does try some different narrative techniques, so there's that... but to be honest, I just kept thinking of this:


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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Weeja Summononing

No, this has nothing to do with the current Ouija movies, just another movie using the gimmick.

We have a daughter coming home (to a house in the middle of nowhere) and finds her crazy mother has used a ouija board, and the mother then kills her. Cut to... another daughter, who goes off with her boyfriend, and his friend, and finds the house. Of course they give the ouija board a go, and immediately she's haunted by the old lady. And so, people start dying. She's cracking up, but it's really the old woman of course, but she is responsible. Thus, she finds a way of dealing with it...

There's nothing new here. What this does have that's special is editing, in that it's quite bad. Scenes just cut from one to another without any real sense of transition. And cutting to and from dream sequences doesn't help either. And the special effects aren't really much, outside of the make up effects on the old woman.

Nothing to see, move along, just another group trying to make a movie and not catching anything spectacular.


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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Brutherhood of the Wulf

It's a beast of the wolf attacking people, a real supernatural beast... or is it?

France in the 18th century, a Knight and his servant travel the land to track down a vicious beast. Along the way, he finds a young woman and immediately falls in love with her, but her family are rather crazed. And that's the set up for most of the movie, dealing with them wanting to be in love, with occasional breaks for action beats involving fighting and/or wolves.

Not to totally give away spoilers, but I was thinking of the Hound of the Baskervilles by the end. And the person who is evil is the obvious choice as the person who is behind everything, so we aren't making huge leaps of plot here.

It's pretty good, with Mark Dacascos and Vincent Cassel being actors I recognised amidst the other French actors. It's also pretty good production values... except for the CGI beast which looks like and obviously added in CGI beast.

This movie definitely feels long and could do with more than a little trim...


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Monday, 24 October 2016

Sororoty Slooghterhoose

This is one of those "let's try to be titillating" movies that just is softy than soft core. Oh, and it involves a really crappy clown doll.

A sorority is closing down for the holidays with only a few women left. A clown doll is possessed by a scummy dean who decides that the best thing to do is to kill them all. And he proceeds to do so as the girls pretend to get into sexy situations in front of the camera... The ending scenes are nearly decent, but they don't make up for the rest of the film.

The true horror of this movie is not the story, but the effects. The clown doll is absolutely horrendous and how it's "animated" is just... aarrgh! So often the actress has to hold the toy doll and murder tool in place. Oh, and the person who inhabits this scummy doll is Eric Roberts. I mean Eric Roberts is a creep. I mean Eric Roberts is playing a clown doll creep.

It wants to be a "bad" movie, but it's just a bad movie. Just... don't worry about it.


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Sunday, 23 October 2016

They Loook Liike Peoplee

It's the spooky month, so let's watch some horror movies. First up is an indie film that seems to be the Capgras Delusion made into a film.

Two friends meet up as one visits from out of town, and that friend from out of town is on a mission. He's seen his girlfriend transform, so is now aware of monsters that inhabit people, infecting them. He wants his friend to help, but there are other people in his friend's life that might not be all that they seem. Fortunately, he's getting phone calls to give him pointers. There's a battle coming, they are invading, and he is ready for the call.

This is a simple film, only a few actors, with MacLeod Andrews carrying the weight as the man with the knowledge. For a long time, ans as this is a horror/thriller movie, we aren't sure if what he sees is real or not. Any moment the walls of reality as we know could come down, or maybe Wyatt is the threat.

But, for all that, it feels too simple. We could do with more of the horror than just the occasional tease. A character piece is all very well, but for this, give us a good shot with the full effects running. Oh well.


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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Chef: A Matter of Tasty

I've commented before I have a lot of chef movies to watch... so let's watch them! This one is about Paul Liebrandt.

We follow Paul for nearly ten years. He starts (in the movie) is a bistro, and it's clear that he's a chef far above working there. So, not surprisingly, he eventually quits. Later we catch up with him in Grit when the restaurant gets a low score, so he's not longer there either. Then we get him starting a new restaurant Corton, and will this be better?

We get the usual chef moments of him creating and getting annoyed by staff. But he is unusual that he does the lower end restaurants, whereas usually we are with the chef while they are in their high end place. So that's interesting to follow. I was surprised we jumped around time so much, and yet it wasn't that much longer than a hour, but it is a contained enough story.

There are some extras of extended interviews, and two bits of creations. Which are presented with music, and without commentary, so I have no idea what I'm looking at, so this feels like "we came up with this, but didn't finish it, so here's an extra!".

Not a bad start to this series, with more of a rise of a chef than we usually see.


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Friday, 21 October 2016

Three Bojack Horseman

And that, as they don't say, is that. In that I have no idea if there is a fourth season planned (and there certainly could be one), but after this season...

Bojack is on the press trail, giving speeches and promoting his new movie Secretariat. Amidst this there are other plot lines happening but... and here's my problem. It just didn't feel as grabbing as season two. Todd is just as annoying, and Princess Carolyn gets an arc I don't care about, and there's more past events revealed, and Bojack is still dealing with some events from season two, but...

I thought this season was going to be a total waste, but then the last two episodes... wow, easily the best of the entire series. I definitely won't say what happens, but there were great character moments as well as actual plot happening. If the rest of the season was like this...

But it's not. So it nearly ends with a whimper, but manages to pull out a bang.


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Thursday, 20 October 2016


Never mind what MC would do later, there's a sequel to be had right now!

Delos is back with a new world to visit, including a future world! In which people pretend that skiing down a hill under red light is like skiing on Mars. Big surprise, there's something shady going on. Bigger surprise, it's obvious what's going on after ten minutes but there's over 90 minutes of movie!!!

One strange take in this movie, which shows that the writers of this didn't get the point of the previous one, is that the robots are largely aware they are robots. Well, good to know there's no sense of immersion then. But then, we spend a large part of the time behind the scenes anyway with two reporters who manage to get into special areas by ducking down some stairs, and putting a fake face on a helmet.

Yes, we have Peter Fonda, who I don't think I've actually seen in many things, and Blythe Danner, who I kept thinking was Katherine Crawford. Oh, and Yul Brynner is back in the same role, for, I'm sure, the same reason he was in the first one.

And while I correctly predicted the final gesture of the hero, I kinda wish the ending was left more ambiguous, but this is Hollywood and you can't have spinning tops.


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Wednesday, 19 October 2016


With the new TV series, let's go back to the original.

Guests go to a new fantastic holiday park where science has brought to life exciting attractions for people to interact with. Only it goes a bit wrong and lots of people end up dying...

Hey, wait a minute... which Michael Crichton movie did I just describe? While not saying the Jurassic books rip this off, it is a basic repeat of the exact same formula. Good to know MC gets really creative as an author.

Richard Benjamin gives a good performance as about the only good person in the entire movie. We also get a top billing Yul Brynner, whom I'm sure only got top billing to get the crowd in, it's not like his character gets a lot to do. And there are a bunch of other people but I can't remember the character names, let along recognise the actors.

As the formula told in 90 minutes, it's decent. Later we'll get it stretched out over several books and movies. And now a many episode padded out tv series. Joy.


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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Evening's Empire

I got Doctor Who Magazine back in the day, when it wasn't on screen, and it was filled with Seventh Doctor stories. Evening's Empire was Part One in one issue and then... the other parts never showed up. Other stories were published instead, and eventually everyone moved on as one of those stories that was abandoned... until now. It was released as part of Doctor Who Classics, and now is released as part of the latest Graphic Novel range, which of course I picked up. (As I have all the GNs from DWM.)

In this story, some women around Middlesbrough are going missing, with the Doctor and Ace investigating, along with some members of UNIT. Ace also goes missing, and finds herself in an Empire, courtesy of one Alex Evening. The Doctor manages to enter, but he can't save everyone.

One thing I remember in particular is some of the imagery. Cutting from pouring from a jug to pouring into a cup, and the black of coffee to the black of night, there are some great transitions. The story itself is written by Andrew Cartmel, so expect a Dark Doctor, and the art is by Richard Pears Rayner, who redrew some of the pages for this collection, so this is a Director's Cut.

That all said... I feel like the story is a bit of a let down. From the revelation to defeat is rather quick and easy, so it's all build up without the right level of pay off. At last we have a conclusion, but Andrew Cartmel has done better work.


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Monday, 17 October 2016


The latest DB movie is, of course, going to do well. But how well is it?

Robert wakes up in a hospital and immediately goes on the run, trying to solve puzzles. And by solve puzzles, I mean "go here, immediately find the next 'clue' and immediately deduce the next location to go to". Of course there's a woman to run around with Robert, and a bunch of people chasing him... and which story is this again? Indeed, while watching, I couldn't remember which bits were to be in this movie and which was in the Last Word. Who is on the side of the good guys? Who's on the side of the bad? Who is played off as one and then is revealed as the other, despite it making no sense?

Yes, we are in Dan territory, and Ron Howard is taking whatever cue he can to do huge imagery that may or may not be related to the actual movie. And he also has to have parts of the book, but that's perfunctory. Really, although I can't remember much of the puzzles in the book, it feels like Ron wasn't that interested in telling that story and just wanted to get to the next action piece. Which are also not that great. Frankly, the word that comes to mind is "luke warm", which describes everything about this movie.

This movie feels phoned in, but that's all right, after Da Vinci Code, so did Dan with the next books.

To be honest, after watching this, I do want to do a parody of this featuring Cthulhu and Lovecraftian mythos...


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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Deeepwateer Horizoon

I'll put this upfront: this isn't a BP whitewash film.

We get introduced to the men of DH, and they are running tests on the drill. They are concerned, but the people in charge (the BPers) are pushing them until finally the drill is set off... and off it goes. As with big true disaster movies, it takes a while before the disaster really kicks off. Then it's flame and horrendousness everywhere. (And the implication of a fair few deaths, although only 11 people actually died.)

Marky Mark is one man on the platform, and as he's our hero we can guess he's gonna save some people before making it home to his family. Kurt Russell, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a family, so can you guess who is going to sacrifice himself? (Note: this is a guess before the end of the movie, so don't consider this spoilers... unless this does actually happen, but you won't know until you spoil yourself. I'm not going to say.)

I don't know what they used as a set (presumably some filming was done on a real rig?), but it looked impressive. If it was CGI enhanced, it was well done. There were a few problems with that the drill was loud but the dialogue wasn't, so that was fun to interpret.

A movie more about how heroic people can be than the spill itself.


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Saturday, 15 October 2016

Speciesist 0

There's an MGM film which features an alien/human hybrid woman that wants to have sex with lots of men, who is chased by a small team of people. No, it's a movie that's ten years before that one, this is Lifeforce.

A space craft investigating Halley's Comet finds another ship in the comet's cone. Inside are dead large bats and three nude figures. Of course they free the figures, and the lead female wipes out the ship. The three figures end up on earth, and immediately the female overpowers any nearby males and escapes into London. The one surviving spaceman joins with a Colonel from the Special Air Service to slowly track her across the country, where those attacked come back to life and drain the life force from others. So, as one person points out, Vampires and Zombies! It's not so much that people win, more that they survive the encounter and see the vampires off.

This features Peter Firth, playing a character not a million miles away from the one he would play in Spooks. There is also basically a cameo from Patrick Stewart, who doesn't exactly get to show off his acting chops, more his ability to lie down. The lady is Mathilda May, and she is full frontal naked more often than not. The male lead is Steve Railsback, who... I don't remember ever seeing in anything else.

There are some great puppet effects here, which deserves to be seen. Aside from that, we aren't talking about a great entry into cinema history here, but one that definitely precursors the series I've been talking about.


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Friday, 14 October 2016

Two Bojack Horseman

The second season is rated a lot higher, so let's see how it goes.

One thing this season does better is mixed up the stories. While there is still an overall story arc about Bojack trying to feel happy, we aren't just with him as he does the Secretariat movie, but also there's the Diana and Mr. Peanutbutter story, there's the Princess Carolyn story, there's the Todd story (but fortunately not too much of a Todd story because he is the weakest character of the show).

I am surprised by the sense of continuity there is in the series. One or two elements crop up every now and then but are just there subtly until they finally land, and because they've been subtle, they land well and not beaten over your head. The characters are well developed too, and actually maintain believable cohesiveness despite that they do need to get up to zany things at time.

So I'm saying that this season did work a lot better for me. It wasn't all about Bojack but spread out over the cast, which makes it better. Bring on season three!


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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Luke Uncaged 1.10-1.13

How quickly can a show backpedal? Let's find out!

Lots of things happen where nothing happens for the last few episodes. We get positions stabilised, and an action scene or two, but it doesn't really mean anything. Then we get to the final episode, the climatic battle... and you'll be amazed how quickly the show smacks that reset button. Aside from bringing in characters from the early comics, was there a point to this series?

The later episodes bring in a lot of continuity points that even I recognise. Luke Cage is referred to as a powerful bulletproof black man that doesn't need to fear, the basic design of him. And he gets referred to in song as a Hero for Hire (his comic series). And I'm fairly sure we see Diamondback and Misty in costumes from the series too (but I can't be certain about that).

We also get Clare Temple (as played by Rosario Dawson) showing up, because she must be in every series? And she gets a reference as "Night Nurse" finally too. And I might be reading too much into it, but I think she gives the nod to the Iron Fist next series...

Decent acting is the main highlight of this series, because the story isn't quite there. Oh, and the music too. That's really good.


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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Luke Uncaged 1.6-1.9

It's the mid season twist, in which everything changes.

Well, sort of. Certainly there are changes, and I can't say I saw any of them coming. However, I don't really feel like it mixed things up in an innovative way and raised the stakes. Villains move around, as they do in the middle of these series, but I can't say they got bigger/more impressive, just that they changed. The series also changes up how it deals with Luke, but even from a non-meta viewpoint, it doesn't feel like it's really going to stop him that much anyway. More like a minor pause while people reposition themselves.

As such, the middle of this series just isn't that impressive compared with that the first part of the series did. I can't really say that it's paddling in place, but it doesn't feel like it's going anywhere. I'm no more feeling there's a huge arc to defeat than there was before, just some names have changed.

No doubt there'll be big events happening in the last batch of episodes, but let's hope it actually scales up to a proper challenge to overcome.


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Tuesday, 11 October 2016


I'm not sure if it is obviously inspired by Romeo and Juliet or if it's just me, but this is Geronimo. (No, not the Indian, although if that was a reference, that's another one I'm not getting.)

Imagine if Romeo had eloped with Juliet and their families basically went on the war path for each other. Only they are just a family on each side, in particular Juliet's brother, who are looking for them. Inbetween them all is Geronimo, who just wants everyone to chill out and not get so hung up. It's young love, they're just crazy kids, get over it. But the brother just won't let it go.

Yeah, I'm fairly sure this is supposed to be R&J after all that, which is amazing that I managed to pick that up. Anyway, Céline Sallette is Geronimo, the social educator trying to keep the peace, and while she is often out of her depth, she's willing to get stuck in and actually try to calm things down. Compared to her, the crazy kids on both sides come across as that on any level you want to compare them.

A bit over long, but it keeps the story going well.


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Monday, 10 October 2016

Luke Uncaged 1.1-1.5

The latest Netflix Marvel series is out, and it's about a man that would risk his neck for his brother man.

Mike Colter owns this role, and his portrayal of Luke is fantastic. Just getting that out there to start with. Luke is in Harlem trying to lead a quiet life (after JJ!) working in a barber shop and a nightclub. Events start to unravel when an exchange of money from the bad guys gets interrupted by some punks who figure they can get some themselves. Luke is pulled in to find one of them, the son of Pop, who owns the barber shop, and from there comes up against Cottonmouth. Who isn't interested in dealing with Luke in any sense, and is quick to scale up reaction...

We get the set up, but also a fair bit of plot. A lot of the cast changes in just the first five episodes, so this isn't a series that will have the same players again and again (unlike some other Netflix Marvel series that could be mentioned). Episode four is the obligatory flash back episode, and we even get a nod to the original Luke Cage outfit... not that I know anything about the comics. Which is also why I don't recognise all the names when we see them. Apparently Misty Knight is an important person?

Given all this, I really don't know what they are going to do with Iron Fist when it's his turn.


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Sunday, 9 October 2016

The New Seven Magnificence

Now it's time for the latest remake of this Japanese movie.

It doesn't get especially complicated with its story. We get the introduction of the bad guy, then the slow introduction of the good guys, then a lot of action scenes.

Which is where some of the problems reside. This is a very slow start. In the earlier version, we know they are good because they take non-white folk to be buried with the white folk despite what others think, but here it's just them going about their jobs. He's a bounty hunter and he collects his bounty, and that's all there is to it. Then once we've collected everyone, we get to town and have some action pieces. The first one is pretty good, but it's just the precursor to the main fight. And the main fight goes on for a long time. A very long time. So much so that I was getting fatigued by it and wanted something to break it up. Just shots of people shooting each other doesn't really make for great film-making, and there wasn't character progression either to keep narrative going.

Denzel Washington was largely playing the same character he usually plays, and does his usual acting with his tongue and mouth (ever watched that? it's moving like all the time). Chris Pratt doesn't feel like he's stretching either, and neither do the other characters. At least Vincent D'Onofrio put on an unusual voice. Haley Bennent actually puts on a performance, and as such does the best in the film.

Ultimately, it's just another remake, nothing spectacular for me here.


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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Speciesist IV

This is... The Awakening! Which I'm not even sure is really in the same universe as the other movies.

A scientist and another guy made the scientist a daughter that partially used alien DNA, although she didn't seem to have the growth spurts of the others? Anyway, she gets into an accident and her alien side comes to the fore, so of course they go to Mexico... where the other guy is. And he's been making himself more of these creatures, only they look far worse. It turns out Miranda is dying of old age, and so to help her they kill another woman... and now she's even more alien!

This movie does have Dominic Keating in it, but other than that, I can't say I recognise anyone. I also can't recognise any action, because there is bugger all of it. There is ponderous amounts of faux moralising about creating alien creatures and about what they have to do, and then there's a lot of wandering around in Mexico, and lots of unsexy sex.

And eventually the movie, and this series, dribbles to a close. A pathetic half-breed of a film, incapable of interesting anyone.


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Friday, 7 October 2016

One Bojack Horseman

This is one of those cartoon series that everyone must see. Like a lot of other cartoon series that people must see that I haven't. But now I have watched season one.

The premise is an actor who had a hit show in the 90s is now washed up and trying to regain glory by writing his autobiography. But that's not working, so he gets a ghost writer, and so falls in love with her, but she is marrying his best friend, and... lots of other standard domestic comedies that you have seen in tonnes of other places.

But here's the twist! The lead is actually a horse! A horse that is talking and walking on hind legs like any other person! And there are other animals doing the same! As well as normal humans, so some are human and some are animal... Woo! Innovative! (I don't recall any normal animals so don't know how that works.)

If I sound unimpressed that's because I am. Aside from the animal aspect, this is just typical comedy fodder that I usually avoid these days. This series is supposed to be amazing so... I'll continue to watch, but I'm not getting it.


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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Bonus Video: Christchurch City to Airport


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Snowpiercer V.5

I got the movie on BluRay, because it deserves the great resolution, and this was apparently one of the few imprints which have language subtitles for the Korean and such. Odd that this is such a rarity.

Anyway, aside from the movie, also on the disc is some behind the scene featurettes. Quite small talking head features that you'd expect to get from the director and main cast members. There is also an Q&A from one of the screenings, and we also get an animated feature that is easily a prologue that should have been released. (For all I know, it was.)

The better feature on the disc is about the original comic. It follows the pairing who worked on the second volume as they come into contact with Bong Joon Ho, and then as they go through the development of the movie and its screenings. They talk about the comic itself, about how it was obscure until this film made it popular, and about where they are now. It's a long piece, but it's a better behind the scenes look than the other pieces.

Also on the disc is a commentary from film critic Scott Weinberg, who brings in some of his friends as well so it's not just him. They talk about themes and characters, and get into the movie's meaning. It's clear they really enjoy the movie, so if that's what it takes to do a commentary, why not me?

Anyway, good comic, good movie, and good features.


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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Bonus Video: Re:Start Mall


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Snowpiercer V.4

I've already talked about the movie, but now I can talk about the movie in the presence of the graphic novels. When this movie came out, vol 3 (as recently discussed) wasn't written, so it's mainly vols 1 and 2 that inspire the story.

Oh, by the way, spoilers for the movie and the comics.

Neither of the comics are set in the tail section, and at best we get a glimpse in vol 1. But the movie starts, and most of it is, in the tail section. It takes a while to break out into the rest of the train, whereas we start in basically the guard section in the comic. Then is the prison section, and yes, people are put in lockers. There is no Yaketami Bridge, but then there isn't a huge fight sequence either. In the first part of the train, there isn't a school in the comics, but there is a song (not this one, as Wilford was entirely invented for the movie).

So, yeah, a big plot point is that they are out of bullets, never a problem in the comic. And because we aren't in the tail section, we don't get protein bars either. The flash back we get of the tail section seems a lot more crowded than what we see in the film.

Anyway, yes there is an agriculture section, a fish section, rather decadent sections (with sex more on the menu than we don't see in the movie). The front of the train is just one engineer, but he isn't a dick like Wilford. However, he does want Proloff (the character Chris Evan is 'based on') to take over the train, and it feels like the train is a living thing. In the comic, Proloff agrees.

As for the explorers of volume two, the closest you get is the Revolt of the Seven, and at the end as the kids escape. And the discussion of a bear (polar in the film, not typed in the comic) is given as a great moment of being outside. And that's about one of the happier endings of the Snowpiercer adventures too.


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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Bonus Video: Landing at Christchurch


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Snowpiercer V.3

With a different team again, we have volume 3: Terminus.

This follows on from the end of the last book. There's power here, so where is it? Investigation leads to an underground city which welcomes them all with open arms... surely that can never be bad, can it? Of course, not everything is as it seems, and the ones at the top have some very strange ideas. And there are those on the train who are more than happy to side with them. Is this the end, or can what remains of humanity as represented by the train people survive without them?

This doesn't give any answers for the wider narrative, but at least explains its own presence. And, unlike the previous books, doesn't end in complete bleakness (not *complete* bleakness).

As we get away from the train, can this be a proper Snowpiercer story? It does feel like a story in the same universe, but separate from what we've had before, even with having the same characters. The team definitely wanted to continue (it was in the end notes that I found out this was a different writer), but I can't help but feel there was another way to continue this.

It's still a decent story, and there isn't any reason for a fourth volume, so I guess we are left with that one last image of possible hopefulness.


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Monday, 3 October 2016

Bonus Video: Taking off from Wellington


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Snowpiercer V.2

Volume 2 takes a turn I wasn't expecting. This is The Explorers.

We are with the Icebreaker, which is the second Snowpiercer train. Yep, this is the second. Every now and then they have "break tests", which is actually when people, Explorers, go out into the frozen wasteland to pick up items from civilisation. One Explorer gets ideas above his station, so again we end up taking a trip through the train, until finally he forces their hand to take him on. Then they get a signal from somewhere out there, and the train has to break off from where it's going to find out what's at the source.

This is building off the world, and finding out that there's another train is definitely a step up. The characters are, however, similar to those in the first volume, and again there's going through the train and such, until we get to the second story which is moving on a beat. But again we are having a bleak ending, because this is not a happy world.

So now I'm really looking forward to the next volume.


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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Snowpiercer V.1

While I liked the movie, I found out there was a set of graphic novels! So yeah, I'm in there. The first one is Escape.

The train is going endlessly through the snow, and someone turns up from the tail section. A second class passenger claims he should be let free, but guards taken them both and lead them to the front of the train to explain themselves. And so we get a mini form of travelogue as we see various cars of the train. By the end, we get some backstory, where "something" happened and the train took off with people barely able to get on board. And it was an accident... wasn't it?

The ending is rather bleak, with no real winners. The only real escape is the chap from the end of the train, but otherwise no-one else is escaping usefully. This feels like a world-setting up story, so I can only assume we expand on the work from there...


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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Speciesist III

The third one immediately shows off that it was direct to video with terrible CGI effects and no big names to see. (There are some known actors, but no-one top tier.)

At the end of the last movie, Eve gave birth in a truck, so we start this movie with Eve taken away and then giving birth. The driver happens to be a mad scientist who raises this girl, and is also dealing with half-breeds that are dying. He gets a student involved to help him understand the girl, named Sara, and there's something about her eggs, then a half-breed turns up and kills him? And then another alien female turns up from somewhere (I missed if they explained it), and gets the student's roommate to help her make more aliens, but the government comes into the frame as well, and then they are all on a chase that ends in a fusion reactor...

To be honest, the ending is a lot of a mess, and I lost track far before then. And I don't feel like going in and rewatching anything. This isn't a great movie, and the amount of time spent in a basement and such doesn't fill me with any excitement that I'm watching an action series about an alien human experiment that goes around trying to mate. Because none of that happens. This screams "let's make a buck on the series" that I'm surprised Natasha came back to reprise her role as Eve (before immediately getting killed).

Oy, and then there's one more to go...


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