Articles on this Page
- 08/24/15--15:31: _"Time Lapse" Is A C...
- 08/26/15--10:54: _"The Entity" Is A N...
- 08/28/15--04:11: _"The Wolf Of Wall S...
- 08/29/15--05:20: _"A Girl Walks Home ...
- 08/30/15--17:21: _Movie Guide 2015 - ...
- 09/02/15--08:37: _"Dorian Gray" Is A ...
- 09/03/15--17:03: _"Wild" Has A Great ...
- 09/08/15--15:01: _"A Most Violent Yea...
- 09/09/15--13:46: _"Mommy" Was A Stran...
- 09/11/15--13:35: _"Ninjas Vs Monsters...
- 09/11/15--15:13: _Meanwhile on tumblr...
- 09/12/15--04:31: _"Wild Tales" Is A B...
- 09/13/15--05:42: _"Digging Up The Mar...
- 09/15/15--17:09: _"REC 4: Apocalypse"...
- 09/16/15--07:46: _Okay, So Your Horro...
- 09/25/15--13:29: _An Interesting Foll...
- 09/26/15--09:49: _"Dracula Untold" Is...
- 09/27/15--06:43: _"Mea Culpa" Is A Di...
- 09/30/15--07:06: _Miyazaki's Final Mo...
- 10/01/15--14:42: _"Cobra" Is Such A R...
- 08/30/15--17:21: Movie Guide 2015 - September-December
- 09/02/15--08:37: "Dorian Gray" Is A Very Satisfying Adaptation
- 09/11/15--15:13: Meanwhile on tumblr....
The debut film of Bradley King does not appear to have received any kind of release in the UK at all, nor is one imminent. However it has appeared online. I first heard about Time Lapse when
Bradley King appeared as a guest on the Slashfilmcast and I couldn't help but feel intrigued to check it out.
Time Lapse has a surprising similarity with "Shallow Grave". It's about a group of three flat mates (one woman and two men) whose friendships become tainted when they discover something left behind by a dead resident.
What makes the film different is its use of time travel. Though actually 'time travel' is a misleading term since the device doesn't actually allow you to travel through time, unless you count the typical way we travel through time on a daily basis.
The characters aren't especially developed, but they have clear motivations. However, there's a very cool twist which brings the content of the film together nicely at the end, revealing some neat hidden depths to the characters.
I love a good sci-fi movie and Time Lapse was very satisfying. A cool low-profile debut from director Bradley King.
Trigger warning for r*pe
Like a combination of The Exorcist and Demon Seed. The Entity is about a woman who finds herself sexually assaulted in her bedroom. When her children clearly cannot see any evidence of the culprit making his escape, the best explanation seems to be some kind of 'entity'.
It's actually a pretty compelling idea. Albeit utterly horrible. Sexual assault is particularly horrifying because of the sense of powerlessness of the victim. But at least you can see your assailant coming. But here, the assailant can appear at any time and can never actually be seen.
The film also establishes early on that this entity is not confined to the house. This is important because, moreso than ever, it would be bizarre if the victim didn't want to leave. The extent of the trauma to the victim is so great that sticking around for the sake of intellectual curiosity would be utterly absurd.
The question is raised though: If the entity isn't connected to the house, is he (the ghost appears to be a 'he') connected to the victim? As such the next stage is seeing a psychiatrist. This film is based on a true story and it seems that the family weren't happy with natural psychological interpretations, so the psychiatrists get pretty unfairly represented. Still the film still explores some interesting interpretations and takes them seriously enough that at times I could have believed the film wouldn't end with the inevitable supernatural conclusion.
For example, I remember thinking that the mother was a little overly touchy-feely with her son. Nothing twisted mind you; a lot of parents are more touchy-feely in general - with pretty much anyone in fact. But when it's later suggested that the assaults are nightmarish fits where the protagonist harms herself, the theory that those fits represent repressed feelings towards her son we are not as sceptical towards this diagnosis as we might have been.
The Entity has a powerful atmosphere, akin to that of The Exorcist. But it's also faster paced without sacrificing any tension and I'd say it was a smarter movie too.
While the caricatures of psychiatrists are annoying at times, the big issue is the third act climax. Liquid helium is involved and the boast that this film is 'based on a true story' becomes laughable. That being said, the effects are pretty cool in this sequence.
The Entity is an awesome ghost story. And I say that as someone who normally hates ghost stories. The central actress is excellent, the tension is high and the creepy premise is handled in a way that is smart and compelling. Some annoying caricatures and an over the top climax are the biggest issues for me here.
Leonardo Di Caprio is great, but this is Casino all over again. A guy gets involved in a dodgy line of work and then suffers for it.
That being said, an update of Casino is not a bad idea. Stockbrokers are like the new gangsters. In "The Wolf Of Wall Street" stockbrokers are villains who set up an organised system to rip people off left and right, breaking all the rules and yet avoiding prosecution by the authorities.
I'd heard strong recommendations for this film and I can see why. The performances are fantastic all round and there are some incredible scenes.
However, I have some issues:
1. Every single character is horrible. DiCaprio's lead role is utterly despicable and it's very hard to even empathise with him when the film wants us to.
2. The pacing is screwed up by long scenes of debauchery which are done so often and take so long that they become boring rather than shocking.
3. While starting a film part way through can be effective, we are told that the lead character will become super rich, will remarry with a young model and will give up on all moral principles right in the opening of the film. I guess the point is that he is always a douche bag, not that power corrupts, but that's just one more reason why I have trouble caring.
4. There are over-the-top scenes which go on way too long which are essentially gross-out comedy scenes. I'm afraid people losing their minds on drugs isn't funny to me. People having sex isn't funny either. And people shouting at each other also isn't funny. So while I watched these scenes I was sitting and tapping my foot wondering why, in a movie with so many great scenes, they felt they had to waste my time with this.
5. The movie is three hours and that is just WAY too long!
There's an excellent scene where Leonardo DiCaprio talks with the FBI. Matthew McConnaughey's brief appearance, while having a dodgy masturbation joke, is nevertheless one of the best scenes in the movie.
If they wanted a serious drama, then Jonah Hill is completely miscast. But I think what they were going for here was basically a raunchy sex and drugs comedy. Jonah Hill fits right into that style of film, but it's not a style of film I'd ever have elected to watch.
The Wolf Of Wall Street could have been a great drama, but instead it keeps trying to be a gross out comedy and whenever it does, I get bored.
The vampire is kind of awesome. It's an excellent performance. The vampire is wearing a headscarf and her modest muslim clothing is not drastically different from a traditional vampire's cloak.
Unfortunately the rest of the film is annoying and dull. There are a few good songs on the soundtrack, but much of the movie feels too quiet and lacking in character. None of the people we meet are very interesting and there is pretty much no plot.
This film had potential, but I need characters, story and interesting themes. “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” has none of these
MOVIE GUIDE 2015
SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER
My movie guide for the whole of 2015 'at a glance' is still available here.
Most Anticipated Movie
UK release date: 30/09/15
Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, this is a sci-fi film adapted from a book and, apparently, aiming to be as realistic as possible. The protagonist is an astronaut who finds himself left behind on a mission to mars. He must survive there until another mission can be sent to rescue him - in about four years.
UK release date: 04/09/15
The promotional interviews have reminded me of the awesome comedy we saw from Jesse Eisenberg in "The Double". The man has great comic timing. Apparently Kristen Stewart isn't terrible in this either. In this movie it seems that the two of them are sleeper agents programmed by the US military as part of the drug-based MK Ultra initiative. There's a cool clip I saw online of Jesse Eisenberg running through a supermarket dodging men with guns and taking them down with well timed attacks with household items. Looks like something Edgar Wright would make. It could be a lot of fun. The one name involved that makes me interested is writer Max Landis (of "Chronicle" fame).
The Transporter Refueled
UK release date: 04/09/15
Okay, admittedly it's hard to get excited about this series without Jason Statham, but the director of the third film (which I really enjoyed) is back again for this one, so at one point or another I'm almost certainly going to see this.
Most Anticipated Movies:
UK release date:09/10/15
Alejandro Amenabar (The Sea Within, Open Your Eyes, The Others) has a new movie coming out. Starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, this seems to involve some bizarre cult. I have as yet to see a movie from Alejandro Amenabar I didn't like and he has five films already. He's a man with a great track record.
The Final Girls
UK release date: 12/10/15 (DVD)
Despite already having great buzz surrounding it and a VERY impressive trailer, this movie about a group of friends who find themselves trapped in a slasher movie is apparently going straight to DVD. The really interesting hook with this one is that the protagonist's dead mother was a 'scream queen' in the horror film, so by being sucked into the movie she gets a chance to see her mother again. There are some other cool little ideas like the movie the character recognising that the action is going in slow motion or their surroundings turning black and white when they are entering a 'flashback'. This is very exciting.
UK release date:16/10/15
Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska in a ghost/love story directed by Guillermo Del Toro. What more do you need to know?
UK release date: 26/10/15
With so many other films to look forward to in October, can you believe I almost forgot about this one. With Sam Mendes still on board as director and Bond's classic villains being brought into Craig's semi-rebooted version of the Bond universe, this could well be the best Bond movie yet.
UK release date: 02/10/15
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotilliard in an adaptation one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays. A play with such intense contents that there's a whole superstition about not naming the play in the theatrical world. I'm excited to see what this brand new adaptation has to offer.
UK release date: 09/10/15
Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro in a film about attempts to handle drug crime from the cartels in Mexico. I pretty much have no idea what to expect from this, but what I've seen looks like an exciting thriller.
Hotel Transylvania 2
UK release date: 16/10/15
Yes, I know it's Adam Sandler and yes, I know it wasn't really on par with the best 3D animated movies last time. But it's still Genndy Tartatovsky and since his other projects like Power Of The Dark Crystal and Popeye keep being shut down (even though his Popeye was clearly going to be the frikkin' Citizen Kane of animated comedy movies), this is the only Genndy Tartatovsky movie coming out and you've got to take what you can get... So the deal is that Dracula now has a grandchild from his daughter's relationship with a human and he's desperate that it follow in its mother's monster footsteps rather than its father's human ones. The trailer definitely had at least one gag which made me laugh out loud, so that bodes pretty well.
Most anticipated movies:
UK release date: 13/11/15
Johnny Depp plays gangster/informant Whitey Bulger. The trailers make this look absolutely amazing and with other great actors in the cast including Benedict Cumberbatch and Juno Temple, this looks likely to be something really special.
The Good Dinosaur
UK release date: 27/11/15
Another big original Pixar production about an alternate world where the dinosaurs weren't wiped out and, from the looks of things, one of them aquires a human as a pet. I'm intrigued to see this. Pixar rarely let us down.
Bridge of Spies
UK release date: 27/11/15
Frankly the last Spielberg movie I really enjoyed was "Minority Report" and that was a looong time ago now. But nevertheless, with Tom Hanks starring and with a cool true-life cold war story to tell, this could be brilliant.
Most anticipated movies:
UK release date: 04/12/15
It's been a long time since "Trick 'r Treat" became a cult hit with horror fans, but finally Michael Doherty is back. This time he's giving us a horror film surrounding Christmas.
In the Heart of the Sea
UK release date:25/12/15
After Ron Howard's last film "Rush" utterly blew me away, I'm intrigued to hear he's adapting a story about a whaling ship persued by a whale. As with "Rush", this is once again starring Chris Hemsworth.
UK release date: 04/12/15
Written by Max Landis (writer of Chronicle) and starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, this looks pretty exciting albeit utterly barmy.
Most Anticipated Movies That Might Be Released In 2015
The 9th Life of Louis Drax
The next film from director Alexandre Aja.
The Wave (original title "Bølgen")
Roar Uthaug, director of "Cold Prey" and "Escape" is now working on a disaster movie about a Scandinavian tsunami. Nice.
A horror comedy with Elijah Wood about zombie children. Oh yeah!
With an awesome cast including Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Christina Hendricks and with Gilles Paquet-Brenner who made "Sarah's Key" in the directing chair, this could be really worth checking out.
The Devil's Candy
After such a long time, this is from Sean Byrne, director The Loved Ones. I was too unnerved to finish "The Loved Ones" the first time I watched it. Then I watched all the Friday 13th movies, Nightmare On Elm Street movies and (most importantly) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and then found it rather easier to handle. It was a horror comedy with some very intense (and wacky) nightmarish violence.
(click on image for full size version - the writing on the phone is quite important)
The Green Inferno
Okay so admittedly I was a lot more excited about this when I'd only seen "Hostel" and hadn't seen "Cabin Fever". Nevertheless, I still cannot help but feel intrigued by the trailers. A group of activists fly over to try to stop deforestation in South America and end up captured by the locals who, as it turns out, are rather more interested in their diet of human flesh than activism issues to stop deforestation.
Nothing Bad Can Happen (original title: "Tore tanzt")
I've heard some very positive reports on this film about religion and violence, but it has as yet to be released in the UK. Perhaps this will finally get a DVD release this year? Please?
Richard Bates Jr., the director of Excision, has another horror comedy. I'm expecting similar craziness to his debut movie.
Tales of Halloween
An anthology horror movie. This features a couple of my favourite directors working on segments. Neil Marshall of "The Descent" and "Doomsday" (and more recently some major Game of Thrones episodes) fame and Lucky McKee who directed "The Woman" and "May".
War on Everyone
This is the next film from John Michael McDonagh, director of "The Guard" and "Calvary". I know nothing about it, but the title sounds badass.
I was previously looking forward to an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's "Truckers". It turns out that Dreamworks have decided that they'd rather make a movie based around the 'troll' dolls that were big in the 90s. Ugh!
Essentially a kind of vampire movie. This adaptation of the Oscar Wilde story sees Ben Barnes (perhaps best known for his performance as Prince Caspian) as the titular figure.
Beginning as a mild-mannered and somewhat naive figure, Dorian is introduced to a more sordid lifestyle and is encouraged to put his own pleasure above all else by Colin Firth's character.
I think Ben Barnes' performance is remarkably subtle. I've seen one reviewer claim that Ben Barnes' expression is flat, but on the contrary, I think he expertly portrays the innocent-seeming exterior of a worldly character who nevertheless appears unmarred by experience. There are constant subtle reaction shots from Barnes indicating a rich inner life to the character, but Barnes also manages to convey the duality of the character. First innocent yet corrupt, then later also young yet old.
The change of era makes it hard to recognise some of Dorian's worst crimes. I found it too easy to forgive Dorian for his pregnant fiancée's suicide because we do not have the same harsh level of stigma on pregnant unmarried women these days. In modern day, some man dumps you and, while still horrible, it's not really so big a deal as it was back then. I also feel like our society is no longer so prone to shock when we hear about wild orgies.
There's a somewhat televisual feel to this film and the ending isn't quite as hard-hitting as it could be. But nevertheless this is a wonderful adaptation.
Reece Witherspoon gives a great performance in this true story. It's perhaps a little unfortunate then how closely this follows in the footsteps of the film “Tracks” starring Mia Wasikowska.
To get the points of comparison between the two out of the way. Tracks doesn't constantly flashback and try to make those flashbacks relevant to the trip. Tracks also doesn't involve the main character trying to forcibly insert life lessons in voiceover narration over the journey.
Both movies are about women who go on long life changing journeys. But Wild is not so much about the journey as the reason for the journey. We are gradually shown the elements which led up to the journey and the things our protagonist is running away from / coming to terms with.
The pre journey story is pretty interesting and so are the parts with the mother (played wonderfully by Laura Dern), but combining the two didn't seem to work so well. The attempt to make the death of a horse in flashback relevant to simply seeing a horse on the journey felt particularly forced.
I wonder whether Wild might not have benefited from more linear storytelling. As it is, wild felt like a laudable mess. A very pretty unfinished jigsaw puzzle with the unfilled sections filled in with crayon. Very well acted but not nearly so mind-blowingly philosophical as it seems to believe.
Oscar Isaac has played an arrogant out of work musician (Inside Llewyn Davis) and an ex-convict (Drive). Now he plays a struggling businessman transporting oil.
The film is very dry and really my biggest issue is the ending which seems to cut the drama short just when it is getting interesting.
Still the film is clever and subtle in its exploration of a well-meaning businessman fighting a losing battle to stay legitimate and avoid corruption in the face of mounting pressures.
Jessica Chastain is interesting as his wife with gangster family connections and Elyes Gabel is also great as one of Oscar Isaac’s vulnerable drivers in fear of roadside attacks from people trying to steal the oil.
The big problem is that, for all the cool subtlety, very little actually happens. Having loved J.C. Chandor’s first film "Margin Call" which managed to push a lot of atmosphere into a mostly inactive film, I was bored to tears by "All Is Lost" about one man's struggle for survival at sea. "A Most Violent Year" is half way between the two. It has exciting moments, but it's still missing the atmosphere of J.C. Chandor’s debut. I was interested by much of what happened, but I wish the story had a more interesting payoff.
It turns out that it doesn't matter if you are abusive towards your mother, start fights in bars, act completely selfishly and set another boy on fire. If your dad died years ago, you come from a poor family and you were diagnosed with ADHD as a child, then BAM! - You are now a sympathetic character.
Initially this appeared to be a film where everybody is utterly horrible. Which is strange, since the 'mommy' figure (played by Anne Dorval) actually seems to change character entirely after the initial scene where she seems utterly unphased by her son Steve's horrifying behaviour. It's not long into the movie before she starts actually caring how her son acts and finally spends less time making excuses for his behaviour and more time actually trying to insist he correct it. Still, Steve remains the central focus of the film (on top of being a character who wants to MAKE everything about himself) and no matter what he does wrong, the filmmakers seem to want me to feel sorry for Steve.
While the mother is a properly rounded character and there are points where I felt genuinely sorry for her or appreciated her character, there are scenes where neither her nor Steve are easy to like. There's a scene where they are going to ask a neighbour for financial and legal help. They need this because Steve set another boy on fire and they are being sued. In this scene the mother is going on about how they need to 'protect themselves' and Steve is grumping because he knows that the neighbour wants his mother to have sex with him. No one is ever in the least bit sorry for the poor boy suffering from horrific burns due to the son's wreckless behaviour. And that's the biggest problem with the character of Steve. He never takes any responsibility for his actions and seems to think he can do whatever he wants. To make matters worse, the movie wants us to praise him for this.
The film is weirdly limited to a square. There's a big black border on either side of the screen for the majority of the movie. This gimmick is solely so that on certain more 'positive' moments the screen can be pushed open to full size. One of this more 'positive' moments involves Steve cycling in the middle of the road and throwing the fruit and vegetables his mother can barely afford at the cars behind him while shouting "I'm free!" So this supposed 'high point' in the movie still involves Steve being selfish and inconsiderate and being praised for it.
The one point in the entire film where Steve is seriously berated for his obnoxious behaviour, he breaks down into tears and shouts some curses and then it seems like we are expected to feel sorry for him. Though none of the arguments or confrontations in the movie ever feel properly resolved, presumably because of Steve's ADHD. (One commentator questions whether Steve's behaviour isn't more indicative of bipolar disorder. ADHD may imply a lack of self-control, but surely not these kind of free-wheeling mood swings?)
At the beginning of the film we are told that this film is set in a fictional Canada where there is some kind of new law allowing adults to put their children into care without any legal barriers. It should come as no surprise that Chekov's fictional law comes into place during the storyline. Unfortunately it serves little point other than to allow the script to separate characters more quickly and conveniently.
I'd be keen to see Anne Dorval again, hopefully in a film where her character is more consistently written. Unfortunately I thought her performance was wasted in this love letter to irresponsible scumbags. Okay, so Steve is a pretty realistically portrayed irresponsible scumbag and some people might not mind the way the film mostly leaves his behaviour unchallenged. I am absolutely willing to admit that the film was well-acted and a conversation starter. However, I was very annoyed by the lack of a storyline or any kind of genuine message.
Ninjas Vs Monsters (2012)
When picking DVDs on Lovefilm I often get offered trashy horror movies, many of which have titles sneakily close to more mainstream films but also many which have intriguingly outrageous titles.
Occasionally a title will convince me to look up its rating on the typical score aggregate websites. One such film was "Ninjas Vs Vampires". There were two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. One didn't like it, but the other praised it as a really fun low budget movie.
When it arrived, the film turned out to be essentially a Buffy the Vampire Slayer rip-off. And that's fine; these films are very clear about their influences and makes many pop culture references towards Buffy and other movies and shows. The acting wasn't always brilliant, but there were some pretty neat low budget action sequences. Also a central performance from Daniel Ross is a particular stand out (in all three films actually). As promised, it was fun.
When the previous film in the series was released on Lovefilm (yes, releasing those back to front was confusing), someone had made the bizarre decision to rename the film "Zombie Contagion". This was particularly dodgy since the zombies are magical zombies who follow one master zombie's commands, not a viral outbreak. The first film in the series had less impressive fight choreography, but better jokes so I actually preferred it.
So, after an extremely long wait, we finally have the final part in the trilogy. Though the film leaps straight into the action I was surprised by how confused I was about the details of the earlier movies, since it turned out that continuity matters. The action is pretty cool though some characters seem very quick to become friends after trying to kill each other. Some melodrama in the first half of the movie is a little poorly judged and poorly paced.
Yet strangely when the movie turns into a kind of Mortal Kombat style tournament half way through, it gets a second wind. A busty axe-wielding warrior who appears at this stage and looked a bit out of place in the trailer turned out to be my favourite character in the film. The actress (Alexia Poe) brings a great comic performance.
Ninjas vs Monsters still has the same budget limitations, pacing problems and inconsistent humour of prior films in the series, but it still has the same wonderful sense of fun. What can I say? If you liked the first two films I'd be surprised if you were disappointed by this finale. Not a step up in quality or a step down. Just the same old loveable silliness.
Soooo, I've been on tumblr for over a month now. Here's what you all missed....
Well I got a surprising number of notes initially for just posting an image of Sadness from Pixar's "Inside Out" and saying I liked that character best. Posting images and making statements people agree with seems to be popular there....
I've been posting and reblogging geeky artwork, mostly related to Samus Aran from the Metroid games.
I've been posting a 'trailer of the month'. August's choice was "Fant4stic Four" (which seems like a big mistake now, but that's trailers for you...). September's trailer of the month, however, is a seriously cool-looking horror comedy called "The Final Girls". (I have some honourable mentions on that post coz there were so many great trailers that came out in a row, including a rather cool trailer for an "Ash Vs The Evil Dead" tv series.)
I announced that I'd finished and loved season three of the online series "Video Game High School" (or "VGHS"). It's really good!
Someone on tumblr announced that they'd just finished this absolutely wonderful and beautiful animation short that looks like something Studio Ghibli would make. You've got to see it.
Quite early on tumblr I also discovered someone's blog post about this amazing little indie game called "500 Years". You play a kind of golem who, being a sentient rock, is able to conquer obstacles by just waiting. (You press the space bar to speed up time, so you're not literally sitting there for years.) It's really clever.
I've been posting songs on tumblr fairly regularly. It's mostly 'new retro' stuff and what's more it's mostly music I've already posted on livejournal in the past. Still I'd like to point people in particular to this post about the new Taking Back Sunday album. Seems like a pretty cool album, but not quite as good as some of their older stuff. I also include my favourite track from each album on that post, so check it out.
I posted a really cool comedy music video from Trevor Moore (from "Whitest Kids U Know") about the pope. It's pretty damn funny. (Lots of swearing though btw.)
Funny comedian Andrew Bowser appears at comic-con.... and as one of the main interviewees at the unveiling of that big 'satanist' statue. Two very funny videos.
Pretty amusing article I found. A man's arranged marriage was cancelled when he couldn't answer a simple maths problem on the day of the wedding.
She-Thor Vs Zombie Hulk animation - so cool!
Of course, I'm sure everyone's been wondering where all my ranting has gone. No? Well yeah, I'm not doing it all THAT much, but I would have probably posted something a couple of times on livejournal the past couple of months if I hadn't posted it on tumblr instead. What have I got lined up? Well there's...
A rant about bullying and bully apologism. Hate bullying...
Expressed my sadness about the critical reception of the movie I'd been hoping to see in the cinema that weekend.
In praise of She-Ra
Turns out Sylvester McCoy's incarnation of Doctor Who did the whole "sadness is important" thing before Pixar.
1- Responded to a radfem who thinks there's no place for transwomen in radical feminism because (according to her) they are still men. Asked whether there wasn't actually still a role for men in radical feminism anyway as people who listen and take on board feminist ideas. The reaction is negative, but I am completely baffled as to why.
2- Finally get a satisfying explanation of men's responsibilities within radical feminism - along with an assertion that there are none. Bit contradictory.
3- Was then told that as a man I should listen, which was kind of my point from the start. But I couldn't reblog that comment coz I was blocked by then. (Meaning that I can't follow that blog on tumblr any more. Blocking on tumblr prevents you their blog entries from appearing on your dashboard.)
1 - Posted an article where Amnesty International explained their recently drafted policy to protect sex workers. There'd been negative responses which seemed to ignore Amnesty international's own explanations of the issue.
2- When thoroughly dismissed for supporting Amnesty I questioned why I shouldn't trust their organisation and pointed out that they'd already addressed a lot of the concerns raised.
3- Eventually found someone who also doesn't think Amnesty International would just leap into a pro-sex trafficking endeavour.
I make three comments in relation to a crazy post endorsing bribary for better grades in school. Altogether it's basically a rant about education. One, Two, Three.
A post about being confident about your appearance is dismissed as fat shaming. I explain why I disagree.
A joke complaining about stripper cops is racist?
Someone responded. I still don't get it...
Also loads of people had been passing around this fake tweet from Donald Trump and treating it like it was from the man himself. (Though admittedly he has said enough dumb stuff that it COULD have been said by him.)
I agree with someone defending the choice of using Eddie Redmayne to play a transgender woman's transition in the upcoming "The Danish Girl".
I respond to an article claiming that Wes Craven was a feminist filmmaker.
And we're back to bullying again. I explain why I think there is no excuse for fat shaming.
Corrected some people about their gothic artwork
Approved of 'goofy girls' (in response to comments by the 'minions' creator).
Becoming fed up with a lot of the 'london riots' apologetics on tumblr, I decided to remind everyone that the london riots were actually really bad.
Linked to an article about ignorant internet rage gone nuts.
Questioned Stephen Moffat's reasons for not making a Doctor Who movie.
Corrected some comments about Al Capone.
Quoted someone's interesting comment about "Fant4stic Four" which notes that the haters seem to be emphasising the wrong message (i.e. don't ever change anything from the comics and the films will be great - oh and give all the rights to Marvel!)
Questioned whether men should call themselves 'feminists' just because they agree with feminism's goals.
Reblogged post about female representation in shows.
Backed up a dissenting voice on a thread that was supposed to be highlighting the problem with "cultural appropriation".
Someone agreed and shed some light on the source material.
Gave a big thumbs up to the "girls are geeks too" comment thread. With a little additional 'evidence for the defence'.
Questioned interpretation of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" as sexist.
Reblogged awesome comic strip with a horror-themed interpretation of the song "Eleanor Rigby".
Reblogged images highlighting a subtle detail I'd missed in "The World's End".
Reblogged funny interview with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart which reverses gender stereotypes.
I express disbelief that the "drop the debt" campaign is still struggling to be heard.
I am pedantic.
"What We Do In The Shadows" gifs!
Hilarious exchange of comments, Phoenix Wright style.
Wild Tales (2015)
This foreign (Argentinian/Spanish) anthology film had a fair bit of critical praise, yet it seemed like a pretty low profile release. It turns out that the film is violent and hilarious and achieves that rare feat in anthology movies of making every single segment a gem.
After a fairly relaxed opening discussion between strangers on a plane the film quickly ramps up the adrenaline levels. There's a consistent dark sense of humour, but without the misery that often accompanies black humour. There are no passive protagonists like you'll find in movies like "The Double", "A Serious Man" or "Calvary". Characters are unwilling to let events unfold out of their control.
I've heard some suggest comparisons to Tarantino. But, while certainly stylish, Wild Tales is not as stylised as Tarantino's work. It also doesn't fit in pop culture references or give characters time for long eccentric rants. But like a Tarantino film it is not shy about letting events escalate into violence and presenting such scenes in a way that gleefully encourages laughter. That's not really a uniquely Tarantino-esque style though.
Wild Tales is unique and delightful from start to finish. If you enjoy films with a darker comedic edge, this is a must-see.
Digging Up The Marrow (2014)
Adam Green is a director with a clear passion for horror comedy. So far I had only seen his Hatchet movies (he only made the first two) and, while I disliked the second, they both featured some very creative low budget gore effects and a great sense of fun. However, Digging Up The Marrow is a suspense-based story and doesn't involve so much gore at all. I must admit that for some of the film I wasn't convinced that the director was suited to this style. Nevertheless, Digging Up The Marrow is very tongue in cheek and whenever I felt the movie was losing its way it was always quick to win me back over.
I probably should mention that Digging Up The Marrow is a found footage film (well, faux documentary, but it comes to the same thing really). In the film the director plays himself, starting out apparently pursuing a documentary about monsters, only to settle on unpacking one guy's crazy notions about 'the marrow', an underground community of monstrous misfits. Ray Wise is excellent as the enigmatic man who proposes these crazy ideas.
Since Adam Green is playing himself, as a director of horror movies who regularly attends conventions, there are some cool cameos from real people in the industry. There’s a very neat little scene with Kane Hodder (stuntman most well known for his work as Jason Vorhees in the Friday the 13th movies) playing himself.
While there are slow parts in this film, the payoff in the third act is well worth the wait. If you liked either of Adam Green's Hatchet movies, you should definitely give this a shot.
REC 4: Apocalyse (2014)
On the one hand, we're back where we left off with the Angela storyline at the end of REC 2. On the other hand this is probably the worst movie in the REC series.
I didn't think the third movie was the disaster some made it out to be. But I think coming the pros and cons of both 3 and 4 shows us just why the combined talents of the two directors gave us better results.
REC 3 is funnier. That isn't to say that REC 4 isn't trying to be funny too. It's just not successful. In REC 3 we had characters like the man in the costume that isn't Spongebob because they don't have the rights. In REC 4 we have a man who mans the security cameras, perving on wome while eating lots of sweets. He's quirky but he's not funny. The final line of REC 4 is definitely a joke which fell flat for me.
REC 4 is creepier than REC 3. Once again that's not to say that REC 3 wasn't creepy, but it didn't commit to it like this one did. I'm a big fan of the monkeys in REC 4.
REC 3 was more character based, while this is more story based. Unfortunately for all the creepy build-up there's not really much story to work with.
Basically, even more so than REC 3, this is a film to watch for completion's sake. It's not a disaster but it's a serious missed opportunity. When disappointed by REC 3 many were convinced that the real master on the first REC film must have been Jaume Balaguero. But REC 4 seems to indicate that what made REC 1 and 2 so special was the crazy chemistry between Balaguero and his co-director Paco Plaza. With only half the team missing, this sequel suffers and I think while Balaguero is the grittier director, Plaza provided that vital ingredient in horror (particularly in a film about zombies): a sense of fun.
At The Devil's Door (originally titled "Home") (2014)
Wow, this was kind of ridiculous. Perhaps the most annoying thing was that there were plenty of awesome sequences, but the plot was completely inconsistent.
We begin by following one girl, then we are following another girl too. Then we are following neither of those and instead we follow the second girl's sister.
The film makes clear early on that it is centred on a mystical pregnancy. But in the end, the actual pregnancy takes place while the mother is in a coma. Little of the film really addresses the issues inherent in a mystical pregancy even while that remains the central focus of the film.
There are short snippets of important emotional character moments, yet the characters are mostly flat and impersonal. This is a film which mostly about mood and atmosphere. I'm prepared to imagine that with a better script the characters would have more depth, but it's just as possible that the character development in the script was butchered to make way for more moody set-pieces.
While it began promisingly the aimless progression of the story became tiresome. When the creepy story elements were tied up, it all felt a bit dumb.
The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
Not about an actual duke! The Duke of Burgundy is a type of butterfly. This film is about a dominance and submission relationship between two women, one of whom is an expert on insects.
Of course you shouldn't expect things to be too straightforward. This is from the director of Berberian Sound Studio, a kind of horror film about Toby Jones as a sound designer working on an Italian horror film.
Here there are two refreshing elements which give this a definite edge over, say, "Secretary". Firstly, no attempt is made to explain why the submissive girl is submissive. It is not relevant. Secondly, a major interesting element in the relationship is that the more dominant woman is actually less confident in her role. Unlike in Secretary or even the recent 50 Shades of Grey, this is not a submissive who needs to be led into the submissive lifestyle. She knows what she wants and actually becomes impatient at times with her dominant lover. There are plenty of instances of 'topping from the bottom' by the submissive, which the dominant just doesn't know how to handle.
It's all very interesting but it's not a story. It has similar issues to Berberian Sound Studio in that it tries to go all cryptic and atmospheric in the third act to compensate for the lack of a definite ending. Except unlike BBS, TDOB is not a horror film. It's more of a love story or a romantic drama. Which is actually one advantage it has over BBS where Toby Jones is very isolated. Here we actually see two characters develop together rather than just one character who faces his situation alone.
That being said, there's a fatalistic sense in both films. The protagonists aren't able to make a real change. Perhaps that's why I find myself frustrated by both of these films despite being fascinated by the style and the subject matter.
Dracula Untold (2014)
While in some camps people were kind of appalled by this cheesy so-called origin story for Dracula, others moderately praised it as trashy fun. They're both right.
Personally I think they shouldn't release any sequels to this. Believing that this well-mannered morally-upstanding ruler is a terrifying embodiment of evil is just ridiculous. Admittedly the contrast between these two personas might be the point, but there's my immediate problem with Dracula Untold: What contrast?
The opening to Dracula Untold gives us an unconvincing history lesson about how Vlad was only doing his impaling because the turks forced him to. Wow. What a way to undermine the legend of Dracula and the film hasn't started yet!
Dracula isn't the villain. Not at the beginning, not in the middle, not at the end. In this film Dracula is a superhero, gaining incredible superpowers from a creepy monstrous figure in a cave (played by Charles Dance). While it makes for a good spectacle setting one vampire against an army, it still feels strange being expected to feel sorry for Dracula.
The special effects are great, the acting is good, the story is tosh and the historical setting is contrived. And if this is supposed to be the Dracula origin why do local monks know all about vampires? Because it's in the script...
I quite liked the idea that Universal were going to do a Marvel-style series of horror movies leading to a big monster mash cross-over film, but that’s not what we are presented with here. This isn't a horror movie about Dracula; it’s a superhero movie about Dracula. We all know of Dracula as the most powerful vampire. Confident, seductive and a force of evil. The guy in this movie just isn't the same character. There's no way.
Trashy, silly and not very good. However you probably won't regret checking to see what you're missing.
Mea Culpa (2014)
Fred Cavayé's first two films both dealt with ordinary people in desperate situations. His first film "Pour Elle" (or Anything For Her) was about a man who decides to break his innocent wife out of prison. (Unlike in the remake with Russell Crowe, the audience is shown that the wife is innocent early on.) "A Bout Portant" (or Point Blank) a man is forced to follow the demands of people who have kidnapped his child.
But in Cavayé's third film "Mea Culpa" the protagonists aren't 'ordinary people'. They are one police officer and one ex-police officer. I felt that not only should they know better, but that they had legitimate access to resources which could help solve their issues.
At one point the protagonists walk straight into a gangster-owned nightclub with guns asking to see the relevant gangsters. Your average episode of Burn Notice already lets me know that this is ridiculously stupid, so I am utterly frustrated by these idiotic police officers. They have a background in law enforcement that previous Cavayé protagonists did not have, and yet they are utterly reckless.
The twist is unsatisfying and the story is poor, but there's no doubt that Cavayé brings a special something to the material. This is Cavayé's worst film by far, but it's still quite watchable.
The Wind Rises (2013)
Miyazaki's last movie (so far) is as much of an emotional rollercoaster as you'd expect from his work.
Even though the subject matter here is not enchanting supernatural spectacle, Miyazaki includes regular dream sequences where our protagonist's visions for the planes he wants to design are fully realised. In his dreams he's even able to walk along the wings and muse over their design while the plane is in flight.
But the animation is still pretty incredible when the film deals with real life too. Still while limited by real life the ending isn't able to be a magical curse being lifted or a character returning to their home world. The film never seems quite sure where to end and, while hinted at, there's something disturbing
about the damage the protagonist's dream planes would eventually inflict in the upcoming war.
This story is about the dreams of a plane designer being realised and his compassion for the people around him. That he doesn't think about the military purposes for his planes in too much detail is just a quirky detail really. Nevertheless with a firmer ending this film could have been one of Studio Ghibli's very best.
If this were a spoof it would probably get top marks. This film is illogical and ridiculously stylised in a way that just screams 80s.
The protagonist is constantly undermined by detectives as he proposes blatant truths about the case that they are too dumb to consider. Please note, the protagonist is not a detective.
He's assigned to look after a key witness after she identifies one member of a gang involved in a series of murders. What's ridiculous is that while she doesn't know she'd seen a killer when she first sights him on the side of the road, she does when he tries and fails to murder her too. By the end of the film the entire gang are trying to kill her, all unmasked and in full daylight, clearly visible to the public.
Finally we get the main villain armed with a knife claiming that, as a cop, Stallone isn't allowed to kill him. Excuse me? The villain then insists that he'll be able to get off with an insanity plea. (Erm, you want to be stuck in a maximum security asylum?)
Sadly Stallone's ridiculous fashion of wearing sunglasses indoors seems confined to the opening action scene. Particularly since, besides being entertainingly daft in clichéd ways, the film itself is actually pretty terrible.
You need to go into this film expecting it to be terrible. If you do, you're in for a great time.