Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Movie Review: This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Given my habitual watching of everything that comes my way, expectations on how a movie looks and sounds before seeing it means something different than what it used to. Before, as it probably does for a lot of you reading this, I would look at a film’s cast, premise and trailer and judge whether or not I would go and see it based on that. Now, since I watch most if not all of the movies I get trailers for, it feels more like opening a birthday present from somebody I don’t know; it could be good, bad, bizarre or any mixture of the three, but I won’t know till I open it. I’ve had movies that were good that I thought would be bad (The Fault In Our Stars), vice versa (22 Jump Street) and also had my assumptions proven right (Divergent sucked). What am I getting at with all this? Well, tl;dr I thought This Is Where I Leave You would be hilarious just because Tina Fey is in it.

The plot: Shortly after being cheated on by his wife, Judd Altman (played by Jason Bateman) has to attend his father’s funeral. His father’s last wish was for his whole family to sit for Shiva (A Jewish custom where the deceased’s family live in the same house for seven days). Hijinks ensue.

The phrase ‘hijinks ensue’ is usually applied, by me anyway, to comedies that have plots that exist solely for the purpose of getting a group of dysfunctional people together to bounce off of each other, usually for extremely trite reasons. Now, while the premise itself is perfectly serviceable, I specify ‘hijinks ensue’ because there is a lot of dysfunctional family shenanigans in this movie… too much of it, in fact. Any time there’s an argument between the characters, it’s never one argument; the main characters are made up of Judd, his mother (played by Jane Fonda), his sister (played by Tina Fey) and his two brothers, and there are usually three separate arguments going on at the same time. Chaotic family drama is fine, but not at this high a dosage and not this frequently. It’s difficult keeping track of what’s going on sometimes.

There is also a serious flaw with the dialogue specifically that really got on my nerves: ‘Complicated’. They say this word a lot, always in description of how Judd’s life is. This is a problem for two reasons: One, it shows that the writer clearly doesn’t know how to use a thesaurus; and two, it’s a large brick to the face with Judd’s character arc wrapped around it. Don’t get me wrong, the character arc itself is fine with Judd learning to cope with how his life is and making the most of it, but the overuse of that one word makes what could have been some form of nuance just feel sloppy. The golden rule of the visual medium is ‘Show, don’t tell’, and between the cluttered family drama and the repeating of the word ‘complicated’, this movie succeeds at overdoing both of them at once.

Okay, enough negativity… for now. The cast are all great actors and it shows, with each giving a good performance and helping to elevate this wobbly bowl of something they keep calling a screenplay. As I said, I wanted to see this purely on the basis of Tina Fey, whose work on 30 Rock I find to be really damn funny, and she does great here as Judd’s sister Wendy getting most of the better lines in terms of comedy… with one exception. Remember the trailer when she asked if Judd was in ‘the excessive facial hair phase of [his] depression’? Well, the movie didn’t seem to as that line isn’t in the movie. I really don’t like it when the trailer shows what isn’t in the movie, but here it sucks because I thought that was a nice bit of dialogue and wanted to see it used in context. (That might literally be the biggest nitpick I have ever made in my life. Fuck it.) Jane Fonda as the matriarch of the family Hilary does great with her role, delivering all of the embarrassing stories she keeps telling people with the right punches needed. The scenes between her and Bateman are the major highlights of the movie, with major tear-jerking throughout. Also, while I maintain that there was too much going on at once, the Altmans actually feel like a real family with how they talk to each other in the more sedate moments of the film, making me think that this could have been such a better movie with a few tweaks.

All in all, despite all my bitching above, this is a nice movie. Very chaotic with quite a few dud jokes, and yeah I found it to be a bit disappointing, but you could certainly do a lot worse. This ranks higher than Happy New Year, as while this was cluttered it was at least focused, but lower than Edge Of Tomorrow, and given how many times I’ve said that in the short time I’ve had this blog, maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on this movie’s use of ‘complicated’.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Movie Review: Fury (2014)

In the words of one of my favourite actors: War. War never changes. The same is true for movies about war; more times than not, they deal with the adverse effects going through war can have on the soldiers and how endless the fighting is. Not saying that these bad points to bring up, just that they can be extremely stale if not handled correctly because we’ve no doubt seen such points brought up before. Fury, I have to admit, handles things far better than the trailers would have you think.

Fury follows Sgt. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (played by Brad Pitt), who commands the titular war tank, and his platoon as they play their role in the attack on Nazi Germany by the Allies. The plot is more episodic than following a strict narrative; that scene where the tank breaks down that looks like it’s the focus of the entire movie? That happens during the final reel, so there’s a lot that the trailer doesn’t clue you in on… with good reason.

This film doesn’t shy away at all when it comes to violence: It’s bloody, visceral, almost primal how it shows the soldiers and the frequently gory ways that they get killed in battle. It shows a lot of the grimmer atrocities of the war as well: Mass graves, child soldiers, hanging of deserters as warnings (some of whom ARE child soldiers); this is some seriously bleak material that some audiences may not have the stomach for. Actually, it might be a little TOO full-on, and I’m not just talking for myself here: One of the film’s technical advisors Don Evans, who himself was a tank gunner in WWII, said (In an interview with the New York Times) that some of the scenes were more full-on than anything he experienced on the front line. However, as much as I would love to just condemn the film for using WWII as fodder for “America, fuck yeah!” action scenes, it’s not that simple.

If there’s one thing I wasn’t expecting out of this, it’s how we don’t necessarily get any clear-cut heroes or villains in this fight; just two different sides fighting each other. Now, I know that making Nazis sympathetic is virtually impossible, but we don’t quite get that either. Instead, we simply get the soldiers for both Germany and the Allies operating under the mantra of ‘kill-or-be-killed’; simple as that. Hell, if I’m being honest, the most sympathetic character in the entire movie isn’t even Wardaddy or any of his soldiers; it’s one of the SS soldiers who shows mercy on Norman (played by Logan Lerman) by not shooting him dead. Our main characters aren’t shown entirely as patriotic heroes doing what’s right, nor are they shown entirely as bloodthirsty monsters that have been warped by the great dehumanizer that is World War II; they are shown as human beings whom have been through a lot of shit. They crack jokes occasionally, they look out for each other, they do dumb things sometimes but they don’t threaten to shoot each other for it (Unless it’s actually detrimental to their mission); they are all well-rounded, save for Grady who spends most of the runtime as a complete asshole, and well performed. This was a definite surprise, given how one of the soldiers, Bible, is played by Shia LeBullshitartist (Yeah, I have NO patience for this guy under normal circumstances). But even he gives a good performance as the team’s devout Christian, using the old line about how they’re doing God’s work to ease his conscience about what he has to do on the front line. Both Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman give exceptional performances as Wardaddy and Norman, with the former showing the tough but scarred in more ways than one platoon leader and the latter showing the ‘baptism of fire’ character arc of a soldier’s first time in battle and the effect it has on him. One jaw-droppingly good scene between these two is when Wardaddy is trying to help Norman get over the fact that, in war, he will need to kill people. I won’t spoil it, but it’s gut-wrenching stuff.

If there’s one thing that I can nitpick about this movie so that this review isn’t complete ass-kissing, aside from how vile Grady is in some scenes, it’s the bullet effects. Whose bright idea was it to make the bullet trails look like lasers like this is one of the darker episodes of Doctor Who? Not only that, they’re colour-coded: Red for the Allies and green for the Nazis. For as gritty as this film gets, nothing will pull you out of it quicker than thinking that the projectionist fucked up and put on a sci-fi action movie by mistake. It doesn’t happen all the time, as some of the effects look fine (and the gore effects are chillingly well done), but then it’ll suddenly turn into Stormtrooper combat with better aim. It’s very disjointed, and its infrequency makes me think that this was some practical joke in the editing room, but it can be overlooked because of how good the rest of it is.

All in all, this is an exceptionally good movie. It’s bloody, it’s dark but it’s human, for better or worse. This ranks higher than Chinese Puzzle, as the characters here are more fully-formed, but I personally liked Magic In The Moonlight a bit more. It’s in the ‘excellent’ section, meaning that it gets a very hearty recommendation from me.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Movie Review: Happy New Year (2014)

As much as I like to pretend that I know what I’m talking about, I really don’t for all intents and purposes; I just like talking about movies. It is with today’s film ‘Happy New Year’ that my lack of experience shows as I go into a Bollywood movie. Not to say that I’ve never seen a Bollywood movie before, just two of them prior to this: Kick from earlier this year, which was good, and I vaguely remember watching Dhoom when I was younger. Aside from that, I know very little about the norms of Bollywood movies and I will without a doubt get thrown off by some things. However, I did start this blog partially as a learning experience for myself, so I guess I’ll just have to learn as I go.

The plot, put simply, is a high speed collision between two separate genres. It has a heist film setup: Our main character Charlie wants to get revenge on the main villain Charan Grover for getting his father arrested. He plans on stealing diamonds from his vault, which Charlie and his father helped build, and framing Grover for it. However, his plan requires that he enters the World Dance Championship in order to get to a specific room needed for the heist. So, with the help of his motley crew of friends and colleagues, he has to compete in the championship AND carry out the heist, all without getting caught.

If that plot sounds like it isn’t cohesive, that’s because it largely isn’t. The ‘heist film’ and ‘dance film’ plots keep butting heads with each other and it seriously feels like too much disparate crap is happening to get properly invested. Not to say that both sides don’t work in a vacuum: Both plots, separately, are engaging and have satisfying payoffs, and for a dance movie to have a good payoff is a difficult feat. It’s just that I really think they could have been meshed together with a bit more precision. Then again, given how we’re essentially dealing with Ocean’s Eleven meets Step Up, the end product could’ve ended up more muddled than it did.

Since it’s a Bollywood movie, I might as well discuss the music quickly. It’s… okay. I mean, it has a bit too much auto-tune in some songs for me to really get into them, but on a whole it’s alright: It’s loud, it’s festive, it’s cheesy at some points and it’s even properly uplifting at others. Some of the songs are really catchy like ‘Satakli’, which I still have stuck in my head as I write this, while others just kinda go in one ear and out the other. It’s a mixed bag with nothing quite as earwormy as ‘Yaar Naa Miley’ from Kick, which I still hum to myself months after first seeing it, but none of it is all that bad either. It’s just… okay.

The comedy is very spoof movie, in that it pokes fun at pretty much every movie trope it feels like. Now, given the plague on modern cinema that is the modern spoof movie (Thanks, Seltzerberg!), this might come across as a bad thing, but unlike most modern spoofs, this actually knows what it’s doing: Even within its framework of a heist/dance film, it has moments where it pokes fun at action movies, underdog stories, even other Bollywood movies. One of my favourite moments is when Mohini, the dance teacher for the group, gives them a motivational speech before they compete that is so generic that she accidently tells them to “go out there and play” instead of dance as if she was a football coach. How is it that an Indian film is better at making fun of Hollywood than Hollywood itself is most of the time? That’s not to say that all of the comedy worked for me, and this goes back to my inexperience with Bollywood cinema: Some of the jokes are references to specific Bollywood movies that completely flew over my head, like how one of Charlie’s colleagues was hired because he looks exactly like Grover’s son, which they lampshade by directly naming the film that that plot point was referencing. Most of the comedy, though, is decent slapstick and character interaction, which always works for me.

The ending, without giving away too many spoilers, is definitely one of the highlights: The dance movie plot resolves in true underdog fashion that gives a good message about being proud of your Indian heritage, and the heist movie plot resolves with Charlie finally confronting Grover face-to-face with one of the coldest and most bad-ass gestures I’ve seen in a movie this year. I won’t spoil it, but needless to say it’s awesome. I will admit though, going back to the dance movie plot, the whole ‘Indian pride’ thing that crops up did feel like it came out of left field, but that’s just a general problem with having these two genres intersect with each other in this way. During the credits, however, this film does something truly amazing: They do a mock dance competition called ‘Worst Dance Championship’ as a riff on the in-story competition with the director as the judge, where all the teams competing are made up of the cast and crew: The people doing stunts are one group, the producers are another, the caterers are yet another, that kind of thing and all of them get a chance in the spotlight. It’s very entertaining to see a movie have this kind of self-awareness and I wish more movies had it to this level.

All in all, this is a decent, if forgettable, film. While the whole may not be the most cohesive production, the separate parts each hold their weight in entertainment value, and despite its long running time (3 hours plus interval), it is a surprisingly breezy watch. I still say that I liked Kick better, which had similar narrative problems but overall was a more fulfilling watch, but this is worth seeing if you’re a fan of Bollywood cinema. Can’t be too certain if it’ll convert you if you don’t, though. This fares better than ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’, since it did well with every genre it tried on whereas PA couldn’t even handle its main genre. However, it’s still not as good as ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’, whose themes of war kept me far more engaged in the story than I was here.

Oh, by the way: Abs. All over the place.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

You know, despite starting my review blog in the supposed month of horror movies, I've only reviewed one so far. Well, time to rectify that: I went back into the archives of movies I missed during the year (I'll be doing this frequently, and not just for 2014) and checked out a horror flick that I didn't see first time round. Time to step into a franchise that I am quite a fan of: Paranormal Activity.

In preparation for watching Paranormal Activity 4 for my 2012 list, I also watched the previous installments: The first one was good, the second was even better and the third, while decent, wasn't as good as the other two. In all three, I loved the thick eerie atmosphere, and yeah they are pretty jump-scare heavy but I personally really liked them. Then I watched PA 4, which ended up being a crushing disappointment and one of the worst movies of 2012. After all that, I was very hesitant to check out this spin-off of the franchise, but I eventually gave it a go.

'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' follows Jesse, a recent high school graduate, who after a night of messing with the dark arts suddenly possesses strange powers. He and his friends soon discover that this part of the plot of the Midwives, the resident witch coven of the Paranormal Activity series, and set out to save Jesse before it's too late.

I'll say this first and foremost: This is far more akin to Chronicle than anything Paranormal Activity-related. That impression isn't helped by the fact that, in all honesty, this isn't that scary. Sure, it has its moments but they are few and far between. Now, don’t misunderstand me here: I'm not saying that this film isn't scary because it tries to be scary and fails; no, here it just doesn't focus so much on the horror and more just on being supernatural in general, showing Jesse’s growing powers and the change that comes over him as a result. The atmosphere isn't nearly as suspenseful here, either. What really muddles things further is the fact that, aside from the scares, everything else about this movie works: The characters are likeable and enjoyable to watch; the writing is well done and when it tries its hand at comedy, mostly with the interactions between Jesse and his best friend Hector, it’s actually pretty funny; and the actors give good performances all round.

Now, even though this isn't focused as much on horror as the main series, I still wouldn't advise you to check it out if you don't like the films in the main series for one specific reason: The rumbling. This is a motif in every PA movie, where whenever something spooky happens there is a very audible low rumble on the soundtrack, as if the mere presence of these demons fucks with the camera equipment. Some people have said this kills the suspense of some scenes because you know full well something is going to happen, and I can kind of understand that. However, since on first viewing you're not entirely sure what is going to happen most of the time, just that something will, I have no real problem with it. But I know others do, which is why I bring it up.

There are some definite goofy moments here, though. For instance, there's a point in the movie where Jesse, Hector and Hector’s cousin Marisol find a possessed Simon game. My only guess as to why this was included is because they already used Ouija boards in the series, so they needed a new way to communicate with the demons. This isn't as misguided as in PA 4 where they used the Xbox Kinect to see the demon, but this also feels like something that shouldn't be here. There's also a goofy/awesome moment near the end that involves blasting witches with shotguns like this is Left 4 Dead 2 all of a sudden. It's a bit of a tonal shift, but it gets by on Rule of Cool. The ending, without giving too much away, also goes in a bit of Bioshock Infinite direction in terms of linking it to its main franchise, which does get more than a bit head-scratchy.

All in all, this is a decent movie; just not a decent horror movie. If you want some general fun watching a movie, this is a good choice, but it doesn't work so well at its scares. It's about on par with PA 3 in terms of quality, so I can at least give it some form of recommendation, and I will give it credit for not just doing a carbon-copy of the other films and establishing its own identity. I just wish it did a bit better at maintaining the title's identity. This ranks higher than Dracula Untold, as this managed to do more than just be okay, but lower than Edge Of Tomorrow, which was more tonally consistent, putting it in the 'good-to-mediocre' section. But don't let me dictate everything around here: What did YOU think of it? Feel free to share your own thoughts on the movie in the comments below.

I reviewed this movie because I wanted more horror movies on this blog in October, then I complain that it isn't a horror movie… whoops.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Movie Review: Before I Go To Sleep (2014)

When the first whisperings of this film became known to the public, me, my mother and my grandmother all had the exact same thought as I’m sure it did for a lot of other people out there: Isn’t this the same premise as 50 First Dates? Don’t get me wrong, if they were to interpolate the idea behind any Happy Madison production, I’m glad they at least picked one that didn’t make me want to lobotomize myself with a rusty can-opener after watching it. Hell, for all intents and purposes, the idea of a woman who keeps losing her short-term memory as a thriller sounds like a really good idea. But this is all on paper; how does it look in practice? This is Before I Go To Sleep.

Firstly, the plot: Christine (played by Nicole Kidman), after suffering a terrible accident 10 years earlier, keeps losing her day’s worth of memories every time she goes to sleep, and can’t remember anything past her early 20’s. However, she soon discovers that it wasn’t a simple accident but that she had been attacked.  With the help of her husband Ben (played by Colin Firth) and her neurologist Dr. Nasch (played by Mark Strong), she sets out to find her assailant.

If I could describe this film in one word, it would be ‘beige’. The acting is unbelievably dull and only manages to make me not care about anything that happens to anyone involved with the plot; all the actors give the impression that they had to be heavily sedated to even take part in this movie. Every scene is filmed through a slightly-brighter version of the ‘Twilight/Later-Harry Potter’ filter, with very washed-out colours and almost everything tinged with grey. It almost feels like staring at a blank wall after a while. The score is without a doubt the worst part of the production side of things, because if it were tweaked even slightly, the movie would be so much better off. Music, in good movies anyway, is supposed to be used to heighten the emotions already on screen, and yet most of the score here sounds like something straight out of a children’s fantasy movie. Intense moments are largely met by plucking strings that do little but keep the film at a very low baseline. The casting, given how there are very few parts in this movie, could have worked: Mark Strong is a good actor and Colin Firth seriously impressed me with ‘Magic In The Moonlight’ earlier this year. However, the director most certainly didn’t make the most of the pedigree he had on offer. Nicole Kidman, given her track record in recent years, has essentially become a massive warning siren to stay the hell away from any movie she’s involved in; that’s not a knock against her acting (necessarily), but more the fact that she keeps picking weak projects to be part of.

This is all small potatoes, however, when compared to the disorienting beige smog cloud that is the script for this thing. It is here that I give the one and only warning that there are heavy spoliers ahead. Trust me, you aren’t missing out on anything interesting though. It turns that the man behind the attack was Ben… or, rather, the man pretending to be Ben. He is revealed to be Mike, a man whom Christine had an affair with. He wanted Christine to admit to the real Ben that they were seeing each other, she refused and he got so mad that he savagely beat her, causing her memory loss. After Christine and Ben divorced, due to Ben not being able to cope with the situation anymore, Mike got Christine out of the care center she had been sent to by Ben (using forged papers) and proceeded to construct a massive charade to convince Christine that he was her husband. This is the kind of convolution that is usually reserved for TV movie trash, not a theatrically-released film. It really seems like a lot of effort to go through for anyone, crazy love or not. Hell, insanity isn’t even a reasonable motive here, as rarely do the insane have enough mental capacity to do something this complex. The plot twist itself about Mike’s identity is foreshadowed so heavily, since everyone in the movie doesn’t shut up for even one freaking second about how Christine and Ben are divorced, so it’s one of those “Wow, I really should have seen that coming” kind of twists. Also, making Christine have a Master’s degree in History, a fact you bring up numerous times in movie? Subtle like a brick to the face.

Speaking of twists, this is one of those thrillers that sacrifices cohesion for the sake of throwing off the audience as much as possible. There’s one scene where Christine starts to get her memories back about the night she was attacked, and she remembers Dr. Nasch doing it. He then proceeds to tranquilize her then explain over the phone, after she wakes up that it was a false memory. She was tipped off because she remembered the name Mike and the doctor’s first name… is Mike. The doctor and the assailant have the same first name purely for the sake of plot subterfuge; that’s the kind of trite we’re dealing with here. In my opinion, the best twist would have been if the film ended earlier than it did, and I’m not just saying that because it sucks either. There’s a scene at the start of the third act (roughly) that is the same as the one that opened the movie, after Mike resets everything and erases everything incriminating him from Christine’s video journal. Having Christine stuck in the memory-twisting web of lies that Mike has placed her in would have been a great way to end the movie and could have made me forgive some of the film’s sins. But no, it carries on to where Mike wants to honour the anniversary of the assault by… taking her back to the scene of the crime and trying to convince her to stay with him, but as Mike and not as the fake Ben. I’ve seen evil schemes from Silver Age comic book villains that made more sense than this.

All in all, this is an incredibly boring and uninteresting sit. I accidentally spilled my drink in the cinema, and I was more invested in that than I was with anything happening on screen. It lands somewhere between The Inbetweeners 2 (which pissed me off more) and Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (which at least engaged me with how cheap it was) in the ‘bad’ section. Avoid if at all possible.

There, I made it through the entire review without saying that this film is so boring that it puts you to sleep… wait…

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Movie Review: Tusk (2014)

When I first got interested in reviewing movies back in 2010, I decided to cut my teeth on a little film called 'The Human Centipede'. I reviewed it no less than three times that year: Once as a blog, once as an assignment for Drama class in high school (yes, seriously), then again as an 'improved' blog on the same site as the original. Now, while I freely admit that giving that much effort to a movie as meme-y as 'Centipede' was a mistake, I also admit that I'm glad that I chose it to start with and after having seen today's movie, Kevin Smith's 'Tusk', I feel even better about that decision.

Why do I say this? Because, in terms of production history, both films started in the exact same place: A joke. With 'Centipede', it was a one-off joke that creator Tom Six made about how child molesters should be punished by having their mouths to the anus of an overweight truck driver. Good God, how I wish we got THAT movie instead of Dr. Heiter's One-Way Train To No Fucks Given, but I digress. With 'Tusk', it started on Kevin Smith's podcast SModcast (This episode specifically, which I definitely suggest you check out). In it, he and co-host Scott Mosier discussed a fake Gumtree ad about a man who was offering free lodgings… so long as said lodger would dress as a walrus. Both ideas mushroomed out of their respective jokes, but went in quite different directions. Whereas Six treated his film as a joke (At least, I hope he did) and it shows, Smith shows some serious conviction for what is, in essence, one of the most insane premises for any movie outside of the stables of Lloyd Kaufman.

The plot is as such: Wallace (played by Justin Long) finds a flyer for an adventurer named Howard (played by Michael Parks) who wants to share his life's stories and he wants to interview him for his podcast. Howard, however, has an ulterior motive: He wants to turn his guest into a walrus. Like I said, nuttier than an acorn tree. If this was a simple matter of a silly premise being played straight for comedic value, like in Airplane! and the like, it'd be one thing. However, what we have here is a beast of another colour: A horror comedy with elements of drama, meaning that it wants to admit to how ridiculous it is while also doing it seriously. In theory, this is an extremely dangerous idea. What do we end up getting, though?

The idea came out of a podcast and it sounds like it. The writing for Wallace in his opening scenes is the kind of humour you would get from darker comedians like Louis CK and George Carlin (not as good but similar, don't get it confused), or from podcast hosts who don't have governing bodies like the freakin' FCC to hold their tongues. You know, the kind where you're watching a guy who is annoyed that the kid he flew out to Canada to talk to killed himself, meaning that he wasted his time and money, and you can somehow relate to him in some twisted fashion. Yeah, admitting to such a thought is not good by any means, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t think it on some level when such a thing happens. Speaking of the kid he went up to see, the 'Kill Bill Kid' on his own shows a certain level of awareness about its own environment I really wish 'in-crowd' movies had more often.

Back to Wallace, as someone who frequents a community run by such a person, I found him to be… bizarrely relatable. Don't get me wrong, he's still yet another horror film 'protagonist' who runs under the impression that since horrible shit is going to happen to him, we should hate him so we don't care as much. However, it's severely lessened as opposed to other films like, say, any horror film released in the last decade or so. He's an asshole, but at least he's not cartoonishly so; just the right amount that one sees in real life, but not to the point where he reminds you of why you are watching a movie instead of talking to people like him. Justin Long, an actor whom I never really had a strong impression of one way or another prior to this, pulls an Alex DeLarge here and seriously makes you feel sorry for the shit that happens to him despite how much of a dick he is, a feat that is a lot trickier to pull off than most actors and filmmakers seem to realize.

The writing for Howard is similar to that of Gustav H. from the excellent 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' earlier this year, in that he switches frequently from high literacy to potty humour without missing a beat; one minute, he's quoting 'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', the next, he's talking about his former wife's gas problems. He also manages to juggle them both along with the hefty dramatic layers to his character, not to mention the sheer grenades-dangling-from-pubes-grade insanity of his motives, resulting in a very captivating performance. The rest of the cast does well with their roles, including a performance by Haley Joel "Where Da Fuck You Been?" Osment, although most of the characters do feel a bit flat in comparison to our two mains. The major exception to this is the much-hyped Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe, the sort of white hunter of Howard. This has to be one of the most bizarre roles I've seen in my short time as a film buff. I can't even say if it's good or not because it manages to cross into Tommy Wiseauvian territory of surreal, where it's engaging but you're not entirely sure if it should be. He is without a doubt the funniest thing about this movie, delivering some of the best lines with laser-guided precision (The explanation for Howard's nickname had the whole audience cackling).

Well, that's the comedy, what about the horror? Bear in mind, I have yet to see 'Red State' (I haven't really seen any Kevin Smith films past Clerks II), but after seeing how he handles the tension in this film, I'm definitely going to. This gave me some serious literal chills down my spine: From how the actors were directed to the camera work to the effects work, this might be one of the most unnerving films this year, and not just based on pure shock value like how some claim 'Centipede' is creepy. Here, it feels a lot more like the chills are earned. The scene where Howard is stitching Wallace up is the kind of scene that should be studied in terms of pace, delivery and efficacy.

The direction at large does a good job at mind-fragging the audience, in that it succeeds at delivering emotion, comedy and horror all at the same time in some scenes. The perfect example of this is the unveiling of the 'walrus', where I proceeded to feel proper terror at both the idea and the realization of this reverse Dr. Moreau experiment made flesh, then giddiness at just how stupid this premise ultimately is, then sadness at seeing a human being put through that kind of procedure, all without completely spinning out of control. Say what you want about the film as a whole, that's a feat.

All in all, this is a difficult film to sum up: On one hand, I absolutely love this movie, flaws and all. I always give points to films that let me experience as much as possible in a single sitting, and this movie certainly accomplished that; on the other hand, this is a very hard film to recommend to people, as it is most certainly not for everyone. The best I can offer in that regard is if you are the kind of person who would hear about a film about three people stitched together ass-to-mouth, or a film about a man who gets turned into a walrus, and your curiosity would get the better of you and you'd want to check it out, then this is your kind of movie. On my list, it is currently the 7th best film of the year, just outperforming 'These Final Hours' but falling short of 'Only Lovers Left Alive'.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Movie Review: Tammy (2014)

Okay, I swear I didn't plan for this. It just happens that this is the third review in a row where I talk about a lead actor who is best known for playing one character in most of their movies. At least I get to shake things up a bit by talking about an actress this time around: Melissa McCarthy, best known for being the loud obnoxious woman whose weight is the butt of most of the jokes. Well, here's the official notice: I am going to refrain from just constantly making light of her weight, unlike some other reviews out there, because quite frankly it's well-trodden ground and if there's one thing internet critics are well known for, it's originality… wait…

In any case, today's review is on Tammy, which is a good thing because the plot summary for this is going to be dirt simple: It’s a road trip movie, which means that overall plot takes the backseat (What was that I was saying about well-trodden ground before?) to smaller vignettes that make up most of the run-time. For sake of completion, though, here's the rundown: Tammy (played by Melissa McCarthy) has one hell of a shit day and decides to hit the road and get away from everyone. Her grandmother (played by Susan Sarandon), the only one willing to let her use her car, tags along as they make their way to Niagra Falls.

Here's where we get to the ugly business of the comedy. Not because it was bad (far from it), but because it involves me critiquing comedy. Comedy is quite possibly the most subjective thing ever conceived, and as such it is literally the only area where a person can't be objective in talking about it. But, I've found that that's only really a problem if someone isn't laughing, so there shouldn't be any issues here. In all honesty, because of how overly fair I've been to movies so far, I was hoping for proper bad with this one, if for no other reason than to have something good to rant about. But no, this movie had to spoil my fun and actually be halfway decent. While it definitely has its duds, like most comedies admittedly, it definitely got some good laughs out of me. It’s rare that a film can make me laugh at an out-of-nowhere Hitler joke (Seriously, it was like drive-by Godwin; it was weird), but this one managed it. McCarthy mostly switches between two modes here: Obnoxious and abrasive, and goofy and awkward. Honestly, I prefer her more when she’s awkward. When she got all shouty, which was for all of the first several minutes, I was starting to tune out and thought that this was just going to be another Sex Tape (5 minutes of dud comedy put to the taffy puller for 90 minutes). However, when she calms down a bit, she's legitimately quite funny. I had a similar reaction to last year's The Heat, which was a slow burner but ended up pretty good. She's quite a good physical comedian (No, I’m still not making any of those jokes), in that most of the laughs she garners are from her actions rather than her words. The robbery scene that was in the early trailers for the film is a good example of this, as well as a pretty good litmus test for whether or not this will be your cup of tea overall.

So, McCarthy checks out fine, what about the supporting cast? Well, Susan Sarandon does a good job with her material also. She reminded me a lot of the grandpa from Little Miss Sunshine, a comparison I am dead certain they were aware of while filming because of a particular scene near the end. I won't spoil it, because it is one of the better laughs in this movie, but needless to say you can see the resemblance between the two characters. Aside from that, Sarandon proves that she hasn't lost an ounce of her talent, delivering both the comedy and the more tender moments excellently. The scene where she literally dresses down the jet ski owner proves that being a smartarse knows no age. Mark Duplass, who plays the love interest Bobby, has such good chemistry with McCarthy that if I didn't know any better I would guess that he was her real-life husband. But no, it was the douchy boss from Not-McDonald’s that was played by her husband/director/co-writer. Fool me once. The other members of the cast, such as Gary Cole, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh and Dan Aykroyd, do very well with their roles. Kinda made me think that the casting department pulled out their 'Getting Too Old For This Shit' rolodex, but I won’t knock it too hard since it worked so well (Aykroyd turns his short cameo into a thesis for why he should be cast in more movies).

The tender moments are actually where this film’s writing shows some of its true colours. The essential message here is, what with the opening pulled straight out of Drop Dead Fred, that Tammy has the right to be as happy as everyone else, but that doesn't mean it’s going to come easy. In countless other movies, we've seen characters go through the gauntlet and have every single bad thing happen to them in sequence, usually with a friend telling them that everything is going to be okay. This movie, by comparison, instead says that things can be okay but it isn't going to come easy. You will have those days where you lose your money, your car and your husband all in one lunch hour (Hopefully, not too often), but everyone has the chance to be happy in the end. The scene where all this is laid out is at a mostly-lesbian Fourth of July party in a conversation between Tammy and Kathy Bates' Lenore, both showing their chops and making me curious about McCarthy's supposedly more serious role in St. Vincent's, which comes out here in December. While I’m sure that there are more than a few people out there who would take umbrage at McCarthy comparing her struggles as a fat white woman in America (I refuse to say 'white people problems' because I have a serious disdain for that term) to the plights of homosexuals in America, I can see the angle McCarthy is going for with this. It's not airtight, especially when one considers the fat joke parade that is Mike & Molly, but I can at least get it.

The soundtrack is pretty good, with plenty of nice road trip songs, but there's one part in particular where the soundtrack genuinely surprised me: The Fourth of July party. With a few rare exceptions, party music in movies ALWAYS sucks. But here, we have Salt-N-Pepa and Kool & The Gang. This isn't quite as good as the Bad Neighbors soundtrack, which managed to turn Fergie's London Bridge into a great musical cue (Making anything good from that song is nothing short of a miracle), but it’s damn good nonetheless. I will say though, I am slightly disappointed that they didn't stick with Gangsta’s Paradise for the robbery scene like in the trailer. I say 'slightly' because they instead went with Macklemore's Thrift Shop, which is like crack for the eardrums in any context.

All in all, this was surprisingly good. If you’re a fan of McCarthy from her role in The Heat (Sorry, I haven’t watched any other movies she's in yet, so I can’t really speak on them), then you'll definitely like her here. Even if you haven't seen her own brand of comedy yet, this would be a good point to try it out and see if it's your thing. This is better than Kick, as it didn't take nearly as long to start getting good, but it falls a bit under The Equalizer, which was yet even more consistent. This puts it squarely in the 'good' section'.

One final word on this: A Viking funeral for a jet ski at a lesbian Fourth of July party. This is a thing that happens.

Movie Review: A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014)

Twice in a row I find myself talking about actors whom have become known for playing the same role over and over. And to make matters worse, the actor in question played pretty much the exact same character earlier this year. Liam Neeson, despite what my mother and I’m sure countless others would like to argue, is not a bad actor. He is just good at playing to type and prefers to stick to said type. He is best in movies like the Taken series (The fact that that movie became a series is testament enough to how good he is at playing that type), Batman Begins and of course Non-Stop from earlier this year: The soft-spoken but hardened ‘specialist’ who will beat you and everyone who’s ever looked at you senseless if you cross him. Here, he is once again doing his thing in the new thriller ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’.

The plot is thus: A private (unlicensed) investigator is hired by a drug dealer to find the men whom kidnapped, and murdered, his wife. At the risk of cutting my own review short, this is not as good as Non-Stop, and bear in mind that I wasn’t all that hot on Non-Stop when it first came out. I have admittedly warmed up to it a bit more since seeing it, but it still isn’t all that high up there on the list. Now, having watched this, I like it even more in retrospect. Not to say that this film is all-out bad, far from it; it’s just that Non-Stop did better at almost everything that this film attempts.

First off, let’s start with the shared genre of the two: Thriller. How is it at delivering thrills and suspense? Honestly, not that good. The best moments come near the start and near the end of the film. The scene near the start involves the drug dealer finding his wife’s body in several bags that look like drug packages. It’s chilling, to say the least. The scene near the end is when Liam does his ‘threatening the villain over the phone’ shtick, which he does exceptionally well. Save for those two outliers, the tension stays pretty baseline for the most part. The villains here are… really bland. They both feel like failed clones of Francis Dolarhyde, but without anything that made that villain fascinating and worthy of study. By film’s end, we know extremely little about these two and while this can work in giving some air of mystery to the villains and showing them as just insane psychopaths with little motive has worked for some horror/thrillers in the past, the way they are portrayed feels like we were supposed to care in some fashion about them. Except… we don’t. Or, at the very least, I didn’t. A perfect example of this is near the end when *SPOILERS* one of them kills the other. Rather than this coming off as a twist in the story, it felt more like “Oh. Okay. That was a thing that just happened.” Aside from that, the other characters are okay, even with TJ, the street-wise acquaintance of the main hero played by Astro, whom some of you may remember from this 'wonderful' song (Semi-pop stars in supporting roles, yet another bit of Deja vu from my last review). TJ is a bit stereotypical, but not to the point where I felt like I was watching Bamboozled again.

The writing is mostly good, with most of the good dialogue given to Neeson as one would expect. One of the stand-out scenes is when he is showing TJ how to load and shoot a gun, which he ends by telling him to just shoot himself in the head and save the thugs on the street the trouble; if he carries that gun around, it’s going to happen eventually. There is also a little motif about Y2K (the film is set in 1999 and it makes no attempt to hide it) and how there are more dangerous things out there to be afraid of, a statement made out loud by one of the villains no less, that showed a certain depth that this movie needed to stay afloat. Thankfully, there are no mentions of Y2K orphans to make this all stupid. One scene that didn’t work as well was the big gunfight in the cemetery, which was intercut with excerpts from the Twelve Steps of AA. These excerpts make little to no sense in context to the scene, save for one moment involving the drug dealer and his and Neeson’s mutual friend, and only serve to detach the viewer from the action. The plot, as far as these kinds of thrillers are concerned, is pretty paint-by-numbers: No unexpected twists, no unique moments, no points of extreme tension. Just Neeson running around trying to find the killers, which he inevitably does.

All in all, this is pretty average. Well directed with Neeson doing well as the lead, but still average. If you didn’t completely get your Liam Neeson fix with Non-Stop… well, I’d just suggest renting Non-Stop and watching that again, because I guarantee you that you will get more out of it, even if you have seen it already. However, if you are a die-hard fan and must see every movie that he’s in, it’d be best to wait until this is out as a rental. It’s better than Step Up: All In, as the main character wasn’t nearly as unlikeable, but it’s not as good as A Million Ways To Die In The West, which gave me slightly more entertainment value. This puts it in the ‘mediocre-to-bad’ section.

Maybe if this movie had another scene with Neeson having a flower in his arse, it could’ve ended up better. Guess we’ll never know.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Movie Review: The Judge (2014)

Whenever people bring up how great actors like Jack Nicholson or Liam Neeson are, it always kind of confuses me since, you know, they play every role they get exactly the same. Really, the only difference between the roles they, and a few other actors, get is that they may swear more in some of them. Ultimately, another actor who is making a fortune with this practice is one Robert Downey Jr: An intelligent, cunning, anti-social prick that really has a heart of gold and wants to do good; the Sherlock Holmes movies, his cameo in Jon Favreau’s Chef, Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… actually, pretty much anything he’s been in since Iron Man in 2008 has had him in this role.

Let’s be clear about one thing, though: I am NOT saying that this is a bad thing. Most actors are best suited for a particularly type of character. John Wayne was always best playing the tough cowboy in Westerns, Eva Green is great at playing a manipulative femme fatale and Robert Pattinson is good as the idolized boyfriend who can’t act his way out of a community theatre workshop. In the case of Downey Jr, the man has that special quality where he can walk into a room, make everyone feel like a complete idiot, walk out and get away with it, making everyone laugh all the while. In this movie, The Judge, he is once again playing this type; Henry Palmer is a defense lawyer who, through a series of unfortunate events, has to defend his father, the titular Judge Joseph Palmer, in a murder case. He is smarmy to pretty everyone on Earth, especially his own family, but there is no denying that the man knows his way through court cases.

First and foremost, since we are on the subject of actors, the cast all do terrific jobs with their roles. Downey Jr does excellent with his part, as does Robert Duvall as Joseph. It is incredibly easy to see these two being father and son in real life, given how well they play off each other and reflect each other’s mannerisms. As a lawyer who regularly has to defend clients he knows full well are guilty, Hank’s sense of justice is less in terms of what is right and more of what the jury ultimately thinks is right. Conversely, Joseph has a strong moral compass that makes him want to go for what is ultimately right regardless of what the jury thinks. This kind of dynamic isn’t really anything new in the realm of legal dramas, but I give credit where it’s due in terms of delivering the dynamic well, which Downey and Duvall certainly do. The other Palmer siblings, played by Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong, play their roles well, although I REALLY feel sorry for Jeremy as the dimwitted youngest brother. Not that such a role is a bad thing in it of itself, but rather the fact that they played it for laughs a few too many times. They treat him sometimes like he needs to wear a crash helmet all day, is what I’m saying. Really, the only rough spot in the cast is Leighton Meester as Carla (You might recognize her from [this]). Then again, that character is a whole other bag of worms that, when her role in the sub-plot shows up, makes for an incredibly jarring moment. Game Of Thrones, anyone?

The story as a whole is well done, although some points are more predictable than others, with the climactic scene in the courthouse between Downey and Duvall being the highlight with some serious tear-jerking throughout. The character drama between the two leads as father and son is balanced nicely with the legal drama between them as lawyer and client, as well as the conflict between Hank and the persecution Dwight Dickham. I will admit that Billy Bob Thornton, who is a great actor in his own right, feels a bit lacking when placed next to our two leads, but he does more than enough with his role that is surprisingly not as two-dimensional as I first thought it would. Rather than just taking on the case to ruin Hank’s reputation, as would be the case in a more typical legal drama, he takes it on because he just wants to make sure that a (supposed) murderer doesn’t go free, and he is fully aware of how Hank is able to get criminals off with just a slap on the wrist.

The direction is quite impressive, especially when you consider David Dobkin’s other works which are mostly comedies like Fred Claus and The Change-Up. While he does have a serious thing for actors backlit by the sun (Seriously, there are a lot of shots like this), his handling of the camera along with the music does amazingly at drawing out the emotion from pretty much every performance given. It’s extremely difficult making a scene of a man showering his father off after he shits himself touching, but this movie somehow managed to do it. Yeah, seriously. There are quite a few moments like this, which definitely show Dobkin’s roots in bro-comedies, given the stupid younger brother, the showering scene, the first choice for Joseph’s attorney who has a weak stomach, not to mention the aforementioned sub-plot involving Carla that is initially played for laughs. Even with this in mind, I do hope that Dobkin stays the course and is involved more with films like this and less with films like R.I.P.D. in the near future, as he does a really good job here. Oh wait, he is producing the reboot/sequel of National Lampoon’s Vacation next year. *sigh* Maybe his next directorial effort will be more serious then… I hope.

All in all, this was a really good watch. I don’t often find myself getting all teary-eyed at the end of a film, but I definitely was by the end of this. Even if you’re not big on court case dramas, go see it just for Downey and Duvall’s performances; they’re worth the admission price on their own. This ranks better than The Boxtrolls, as this has a bit more substance to it, but not as good as The Lego Movie, which has tonnes more originality. The Judge sits in a very good position as one of the best films so far this year.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Movie Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods (English Dub) (2014)

My personal experience with Dragon Ball Z, admittedly, mostly comes from Team Four Star’s abridged series on YouTube. However, I did watch quite a bit of it when I was a kid, particularly during the Majin Buu/Super Buu arc (That Fantastic Voyage crap with Goku and Vegeta sticks out especially in my memory). Then again, DBZ is one of those shows like Pok√©mon and Digimon (and possibly Yu-Gi-Oh!) that are even people who don’t follow anime are aware of, so this is probably the case for most people.

That said, maybe my being more familiar with the abridged series than the official one was a good thing because… is the show always this goofy? I mean, god of destruction has temper tantrum because he didn't get any pudding at a birthday party, so he decides to destroy the world? This isn't quite Hen Semi ‘Groping by association’ levels of weirdly hilarious, but it’s damn close. I don’t remember the proper show being as ridiculous as this, but then again, it has been a while.

Here’s a quick plot synopsis, after which I’ll discuss it more in depth, which means spoilers. Then again this is Dragon Ball Z; Plot is the garnish on the steak that is the action scenes. Beerus, a god of destruction, has awoken from his slumber where he had a vision of a ‘Super Saiyan God’ that would be able to defeat him in battle. After hearing of how Goku managed to defeat Frieza during his absence, he suspects that he may be the God he dreamt of and leaves with his assistant Whis to confront him.

Without a doubt, this dips its toes more into comedy than just straight action, and it does so quite well. Whether it’s straight-up slapstick (almost literally, given how many get slapped in the face here) or good old fashioned anime-style weirdness like the aforementioned pudding debacle, the film handles its comedy well with the voice acting doing a great job delivering the jokes. This does make it feel more like a gag anime than a proper movie, which is odd given how this is the first theatrically released DBZ movie in over a decade, but I’m not going to knock it just because I wasn’t expecting it. Especially when it gave me so many damn belly laughs throughout. When you have a movie where Vegeta is dancing on stage and singing about bingo, it’s a command to laugh that must be followed. As for the action, it thankfully isn't all ‘charging up energy attack for ten straight minutes’ and focuses more on the flashy martial arts, which all looks decent. The new version of Cha-La-Head-Cha-La they use here is a bit weaksauce, though.

The character designs and overall animation is GT-style, which means that I seriously miss the original look. With that in mind, though, it actually fits in with the more goofy tone. I mean, I highly doubt that Beerus’ hairless cat-inspired design would've worked with the original DBZ style anyway. Beerus does have a nice look to him, reminding me a lot of Bast from Egyptian mythology (The goddess of warfare who had a cat’s head on a human body). Mostly fits, save for the goddess part, but then again Beerus can get a bit prissy sometimes in this movie; Whis, even more so. The Super Saiyan God, though... red hair. That's literally all that's different. LAME.

The CGI work is mixed: On one hand, it does help make this feel like more than just a straight-to-DVD affair, with some very nice-looking outer space locales; on the other hand, it definitely clashes with some of the settings and character models, especially in the final fight between Goku and Beerus where CGI rocks start floating. Sore thumbs come to mind.

The plot takes place after the Kid Buu arc, which I’m not too familiar with myself, but they explain enough of the plot lead-up that I didn't feel lost in the story (Which, given how many episodes we’re dealing with here is kind of miraculous). Although, I will admit, they did lost me a bit with the three people who were now stuck as children, but that's easily ignored (I thought so, at any rate). It mostly involves a lot of goofing around on Earth during Bulma's party, with a few sprinklings of old Saiyan legend about the God, but this IS a comedy, so that's fine by me. It follows the typical beats you would expect from DBZ: New enemy appears, fight, need new technique to defeat him, fight, fight and more fight. The resolution, however, is a bit disjointed. Goku, even with the added power of the Super Saiyan God (Yeah, it turned out to be just another power level higher than Super Saiyan 3), still isn’t a match for Beerus. He manages to save Earth from destruction, of course, but he still loses the fight one-on-one. However, because he was such a tough opponent, he decides to leave him be and spare Earth. There’s also something about how he is the god of destruction in this universe and Whis is actually his teacher and even more powerful than him, along with how there are others in other universes that are stronger than even them. All of this is brought out in the last few minutes and feels more like a drive-by setup for future movies than anything else. As for Beerus leaving our heroes on good terms, it’s definitely a bit of an anti-climax, but it’s not as if this is something new for DBZ. A lot of examples of this are shown in Bulma’s party by whom else got invited: Android 18, Majin Buu, and of course Vegeta, all of whom were previously villains on the show. Hell, maybe this could lead to a future movie where Beerus and Goku team up to fight; sounds cool to me. That, and they built up Beerus’ power so much during the running time, the only way this could end otherwise is with a fight that even the makers of Asura’s Wrath would think was over-the-top.

All in all, this is a fun watch. If you’re a fan of DBZ, this is one you’ll probably check without me having to say so, but I definitely recommend it. Possibly more so if you’re a fan of the abridged version as well, given how a lot of the jokes play out (Goku definitely acts a lot more like MasakoX’s interpretation of the character), but nevertheless it’s extremely funny and worth seeing. It’s better than The Fault In Our Stars, as it doesn't have any syrupy schmaltz to hold it back, but it’s not as good as The Maze Runner, as it doesn't have any real depth that can be read into. This puts it in the ‘good-to-very good’ section. FYI I specify 'English Dub' in the title because the original Japanese version showed over in cinemas in 2013, but the dub was screened in 2014, hence its inclusion in the 2014 list.

Movie Review: One Direction: Where We Are - The Concert Film (2014)

I don’t hate all boy bands; I myself have a certain affinity for 5ive (Everybody Get Up is a little too catchy for me to ignore) and even some songs by N*SYNC. That said, though, I have ears and a brain that would even scrutinize my baby brothers’ crayon drawings: I know emotional manipulation when I hear it and that is the crux of what every boy band does. They are tools of record companies to exploit feelings of Lisztomania in teenage girls (and some women… and some teenage boys, come to think of it) through songs with lyrics that are vague enough so that they could apply to just about any girl listening, and yet specific enough to latch on to some minor part of said girl’s psyche due to basic probability (You drop a brick out of a plane, and it will hit something eventually). It’s almost clinically fascinating to see the effect boy bands can have on people.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Why didn't I start this sooner?

Yeah, seriously, why didn't I?

Okay, here's a good place for an introduction: I'm Mahan, as far as the internet is concerned. I have a compulsion for analyzing and cataloging pretty much everything I watch/listen/play, as you'll no doubt find out if you stick with me. I have a major love for speculative fiction and have even written a bit of it myself here and there. I'm extremely opinionated, but I try to have a 'live-and-let-live' approach when it comes to what other people think... key word being TRY. Like everything else in this world, it's still a work in progress.

Speaking of work, what is this blog gonna be about? Well, it'll be a kinda-sorta continuation of my YouTube channel, which you can find here, where I do reviews of movies and TV shows... less often than I would like, but I do plan on getting back to it at some stage. I usually end up with a pretty solid opinion of any form of media once I've finished it, but making videos on every single one of them is going to take too damn long, so I'll put a lot of them here instead. I'll be covering a lot of different areas (Movies, TV shows, anime, music, games, along with any other general ramblings I conjure up) and I'll mostly update on the weekends.

And now, for the 'fun' part: The lists. I wasn't kidding when I said I catalog everything I experience, particularly when it comes to movies. Since 2012, I've been listing every movie I see that comes out each year, listing them from what I consider best to worst, along with a short blurb about my thoughts on the movie in question. I do a similar thing with anime (Only I list EVERY anime I watch), along with my favourite albums, games and movies that I've experienced so far overall. Up until now, these have mostly been for my own benefit, and just something I can bring up when I've run out of shit to talk about with friends. But now, over the next long while I suspect, I will be posting them here for a potentially wider audience.

In terms of movies, I've made it my goal to see every film that comes out at my local cinema, which means that I will be writing up movie reviews on a regular basis, so there will be plenty of content on here regardless of what's going on. I don't usually have a schedule for such things, but for this weekend at the very least, I plan on seeing the following films:

Dragonball Z: Battle Of Gods (English Dub)
One Direction: Where We Are
The Judge

Hopefully now, you'll believe me when I say that I see EVERYTHING that screens at my local.

Till then, I hope you'll hitch a wagon to my star... actually, another thing I should bring up while I have a clear example: I have a very oddball sense of humour. I won't always make sense, I won't always be PC (No one should be anyway, but that's another story), and I always go for the cheap shots. You have been warned. :)

Regardless, I hope that you will join me in my critical ventures. This is going to get... interesting.