Saturday, 2 June 2018

Doctor Who Season 5 Serial 5: The Web of Fear [review]

Ok so I'm not adding anything of worth to my blog lately, sorry.
The last good thing I did was that small David Fincher retrospective, I know..

So basically I'm gonna start doing reviews of an episode of Doctor Who I watch once I'm done with it.
I watch the damn show enough to have these be coming out twice weekly, in theory, but obviously I won't be doing that (although maybe later in summer, who knows).

(Also these are never gonna be in chronological order, sorry)

So, The Web of Fear is a relatively new story to me, only being released on DVD in early 2014 (another thing to add to the list of good that year), but regardless it has become one of my all-time favourites of the era. Not to mention one of Troughton's best out of a line of great serials.

Even though we only have tele-snaps of the missing third episode (no introduction for poor Nicholas Courtney) to go by when judging it, it;s still apparent the whole serial is an incredible achievement.

Among these special things is how surprisingly mature and clever the writing is in this serial; we get lots of memorable banter from the Doctor and his companions, but also from the strong female supporting character and many of the soldiers. There are so many twists and turns in the story that are just as impressive and completely caught me off guard on first viewing.

The atmosphere is another aspect I think of as ahead of its time considering the amount of attention this would get back in the 60's normally.
All of the location filming never wastes an opportunity to flaunt that THEY'RE ACTUALLY REALLY FILMING IN THE REAL LONDON UNDERGROUND EVERYBODY LIKE THEY GOT PERMISSION TO DO THIS, which is quite nice as none of that is wasted (something which did happen a lot back then). Every scene set in the labyrinthine tunnels, be it genuine or just a set, is clouded in a tangible mood that had never come before it.

So as to not spoil the ending, we basically get an anti- climax that feels somehow satisfying in its subversion and general tone. Again, this isn't something that happened regularly, and it feels so much more special than another typical 'turn the enemy's plan against themselves and then everything's completely fine afterwards' ending; instead this feels different, bittersweet and even a bit nuanced.
Which could also be said for the whole story, really.

Here's just some things that I want to call out for just being great: the classic, Hammer- esque intro scene, the whole who- dunnit mystery in the last three episodes, Anne and Professor Travers and their character development and interactions, Jimmy Court and Alan Jonas nailing the cinematography, the fantastic use of public domain music and:
Victoria: Well, where are we?
The Doctor: I really don't know, Victoria. Shall we go out and have a look?
Victoria: Now?! Is it safe?
The Doctor: Oh, I shouldn't think so for a moment..

What kept me going through this review: Tyler, The Creator - (Scum Fuck) Flower Boy (2017), What So Not - Not All The Beautiful Things (2018), Joker - Marching Orders / Polka Dot (2018)

Thursday, 17 May 2018

DVD & Blu-Ray List 2018 [May]

As of 17/05/2018

  • The Lobster [15] (2015)
  • Under The Skin [15] (2013)
  • Magnolia [18] (2000)
  • A Serious Man [15] (2009)
  • Phenomena [18] (1986)
  • Her [15] (2013)
  • Lord of War [15] (2005)
  • Prisoners [15] (2013)
  • A Single Man [12] (2009)

  • Star Trek Beyond [12] (2016)
  • Get Out [15] (2017)
  • Brawl in Cell Block 99 [18] (2017)
  • Mother! [18] (2017)
  • Samsara [12] (2011)
  • Bride of Re-Animator [18] (1989)
  • Boardwalk Empire The Complete First Season [18] (2011)

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Black Panther | Anticipation = Boredom

So my dad and I watched Black Panther like maybe a week ago, and it kinda sucked.

For some perspective:

I was looking forward to this movie ever since 'Age of Avengers Assemble: Captain America's War for Civil Rights 3' (or was it called something else??), because him and Spider-Man were easily some of my favourite parts of it.
While 'Civil War and Peace' wasn't particularly amazing, or even that great really, it certainly made me excited for a new Spider-Man movie (especially after whatever happened with 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2') and very interested in a movie centred around this fairly interesting new character (to me).

The further away we got from 'Iron Man and the Civil War-Vengers' and the closer to 'Black Panther', the more interesting developments began to spring up; namely the idea that a black director was making an almost entirely black cast film about black struggles in a white man's world, the soundtrack being curated and half made by Kendrick Lamar and the fact that the director is the bloke who made Creed, a person with a strong vision (something, at the time, was pretty much unheard of in the MCU).
So basically a lot was going for it and it was hyping me up more than I probably should have been, and a certainly larger amount than I was, and still am, about 'Infinity Gauntlet Wars: Captain America and Iron-Man Make Up or Break Up with Several 'Vengers in the Background Fighting or Something'.

-The first red flag that alerted me to 'Black Panther' not going the way I wanted it to was the Kendrick album (and OST) being pretty boring and just too superficial and less personal or soulful when compared to 'Damn', Kendrick's album from 2017 that everyone ever agrees on as being pretty damn great.

So ok, one down, but since this is just "Inspired by" and not the OST, I guess it's gonna be fine.

-The second red flag was all the bad and mixed reviews I saw for it.
Now I didn't read or watch any reviews other than probably Empire or something I dunno; who cares; but basically the main consensus was the critics weren't too happy with it, but the fans were (besides a few outliers, like said Empire).
Now I've never let a bad review of a movie put me off watching it, but man was seeing all those reviews suddenly appear out of the blue damning the poor movie.

Well, that's not very great, but a lot of people said Thor: Ragnarok was terrible and I loved it to death, so...

-The third red flag was about half way through the movie when I realised I wasn't enjoying what I was seeing, let alone invested in it.

I found most of the world building, characters and even the fight scenes largely boring. Usually Marvel has pretty good fight scenes, even in the lesser movies like The Iron Giant Man 2 or Thor: The Dark Eccleston, but this time the action was very poorly shot and lit to the point where I wasn't too sure who was who even in otherwise well lit places.
This being said, the action isn't at the forefront of this movie, oh no, it's instead dialogue.. and the dialogue is fairly underwritten and generic and the flat direction doesn't really contribute much to help with this problem.

I sought of figured that the director of Creed would make an action movie at least fun to watch, but I was proven wrong when faced with the bland acting and overabundance of CGI.. everything. And by everything, I mean it. Most things that didn't even need to be CGI is for some reason in this movie, and it makes everything feel fake and hard to take seriously, especially the Lord of the Rings battle at the end (complete with plastic Rhinos, buy now!), which just felt silly and only a device to distract the supporting characters while Black Panther and The Human Torch fought each other.

For the most part the costume design was very inventive and reflected the (CGI) world it was based in well. Seeing the different tribes all having their own unique style was fun and felt very much like something that would happen if Wakanda existed. And although I loved The Gods of Ragnarok and Guardians of Groot 1 and 2, I don't think the brightly lit and overly indulgent colours worked in BP's favour as it only adds to the plastic-y feel to it all.

Talking about plastic-y feelings, Killmonger was pretty dull wasn't he?
Everyone went on about how great Michael B. Jordan is as "Marvel's best villain to date", yet all I saw was another boring, explaining their plans, no- depth, over the top villain. If anyone should get praise for their performance it's Chadwick Boseman for making a boring script feel much more authentic and natural than it really is.

They even had snippets of Kendrick in the movie and even that felt lazily thrown in...

So in the end, this isn't Marvel's best movie, nor their worst, but man does it not impress.
I initially gave it a 6/10 on my Twitter, but now I think I'm gonna have to give it a boring 5/10 because of how generic and not special it was.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

DVD & Blu-Ray List 2017 [Feb 2018 update]

As of 11/02/2018

  • American Gangster/ Gladiator/ Black Hawk Down steelcase [18] (2007, 2000, 2001)
  • The Color Purple [15] (1985)
  • Kids [18] (1995)
  • Panic Room [15] (2002)
  • Punch Drunk Love [15] (2003)
  • Return To Oz [PG] (1985)
  • Let The Right One In [15] (2008)
  • The Prestige [12] 2006
  • Adventure Time Season 2 [U] (2011)
  • Pipkins Volume 2 [U] (1973 - 1985)


  • Antichrist [18] (2009)
  • Evil Dead [18] (2013)
  • Ghost in the Shell [15] (1995)
  • Hellraiser [18] (1987)
  • La Planete Sauvage [PG] (1973)
  • Ratatouille [PG] (2007)
  • Saw 7-Film Colection [18] (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • John Wick Chapters 1 & 2 [15] (2014, 2017)
  • Batman [15] (1989)

Saturday, 3 February 2018

2013 Mammoth movie meme because the other one I did was god awful

1. A movie you’ve seen most times in cinema.

I have never seen a film twice in a cinema, mainly because of the cost, and the fact cinemas rarely show films twice nowadays.

2. Your most rewatched movie.

Either Jaws or Hot Fuzz. Both are pretty endlessly re-watchable films; with just enough added detail to make you appreciate something new on each watch.

3. A movie you quote on a daily basis.

Either Dougal and the Blue Cat or Birdman. Both surprisingly have incredibly quotable lines, ones I find myself using often, even if nobody gets them (which actually is way better than if they did).

4. Favourite movie soundtrack.

In terms of soundtrack I'd have to say Green Room. 
This soundtrack matches almost every theme, idea and character in the film. The emotions it can elicit in me is staggering, coming from a bunch of foreboding instrumental and abstract scores as well as hardcore punk tracks included.
A proper good one with just enough fun and fear mixed together.

5. Top 5 films of your favourite actor and actress.

[In no order of favourite for film or actor]

  • Robert De Niro: Heat, The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, The Godfather Part 2 and Midnight Run.
  • Diane Keaton: The Godfather, The Godfather Part 2, Annie Hall and Manhattan.

6. Top 5 performances of your favourite actor and actress.

[In no order of favourite for film or actor]

  • Robert De Niro: Heat, The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, The Godfather Part 2 and Midnight Run.
  • Diane Keaton: The Godfather, The Godfather Part 2, Annie Hall and Manhattan.
 7. A movie storyline you wish you had actually lived.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Always wanted to live underground in my own little space where I could just pop up anywhere I want and have all the things I need in life there, ready to be taken down into my little living space.

eh, I tried..

8. A movie that reminds you of your mum.

Although it's a rather nasty and depressing movie, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will always remind me of my mum mainly for its cast and the songs. My mum loves just about everyone in the cast and even if a lot of people are mixed on the movie, we can still appreciate it.

9. A movie that reminds you of your dad.

Jaws. The mimicking scene between Brody and his son. 

Why? Dunno.

10. Favourite movies from your childhood.

  1. Dougal and the Blue Cat
  2. Jaws
  3. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  4. The Incredibles
  5. The Transformers: The Movie
  6. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  7. Return To Oz
  8. Spirited Away
  9. Doctor Who (1996)
  10. Toy Story
11. Favourite quote(s).

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Riggan: Just find me an actor. A good actor. Give me Woody Harrelson.
Jake: He's doing the next Hunger Games.
Riggan: Michael Fassbender?
Jake: He's doing the prequel to the X-Men prequel.
Riggan: How about Jeremy Renner?
Jake: Who?
Riggan: Jeremy Renner. He was nominated. He was the Hurt Locker guy.
Jake: Oh, okay. He's an Avenger.
Riggan: Fuck, they put him in a cape too?

Synecdoche, New York
Adult Olive: I need to forgive you before I die... but I can't forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness.
Caden Cotard: I just want...
Adult Olive: I have no time. I need you to ask for forgiveness.
Caden Cotard: Can you ever forgive me?
Adult Olive: For what?
Caden Cotard: For abandoning you.
Adult Olive: For abandoning you to have anal sex with my homosexual lover, Eric.
Caden Cotard: I will, I'll say it... For abandoning you... to have anal sex with my homosexual lover, Eric.
Adult Olive: No...
[Starts crying]
Adult Olive: No, I'm sorry. I cannot-
Maria: I hope you are happy, faggot.

Dougal and the Blue Cat
Dougal: Stay as long as you like, the train leaves at three.

12. Top 5 favourite female performances.
  1. Amy Adams in Arrival
  2. Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
  3. Kim Tae-ri in The Handmaiden
  4. Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  5. Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary ((Or The Dark Knight, I can't decide))
13. Top 5 favourite male performances.

  1. Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York
  3. Marlon Brando in The Godfather
  4. Kevin Spacey in L.A. Confidential
  5. Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049
14.  Favourite year for movies. 

2014. Not only did this year see the release of the best film about a Birdman ever made, but we also saw the likes of Whiplash, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, John Wick, The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Raid 2 and Leviathan.

So yeah, one of the most impressive years for film in recent times, even if last year was pretty excellent too.

15. Your favourite movies from [insert year].

The random year is 2009 (AKA: the BEST year for Terminator sequels.)
  • Star Trek
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Zombieland
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Coraline
  • A Serious Man
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Drag Me To Hell
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Saw VI
16. Favourite [insert actor/actress/director] movies?

Favourite director is David Fincher but I've talked about him enough on this website, so here's my favourite Satoshi Kon movies ranked.

  1. Perfect Blue
  2. Paprika
  3. Tokyo Godfathers
  4. Millennium Actress
  5. Memories
17. List all you’ve seen from [insert actor/actress/director].

Ever feel like you're going around in circles?

David Fincher.
  • Se7en
  • Fight Club
  • The Social Network
  • Gone Girl
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Zodiac
  • Alien^3
  • Panic Room
 18. An underrated actor.

Even though I've seen him in only one TV show (and yes, I'm gonna put a TV show on my list because the question didn't say otherwise), Hugh Dancy as Will Graham in Hannibal (2013 - '15) was one of the most astonishing performances I've ever seen on either of the screens, and it still continues to impress me to this day.

Even though the show is critically acclaimed and renowned in NBC's line- up, I still feel as though Hugh's exceptional performance, that never wavered for a nano- second during the three series, still doesn't get the attention it deserves by a long shot; a character and actor that'll stick in my mind for quite some time, I'm sure.

19. An underrated actress.

Whether or not "underrated" is the right word here, I don't really know, but  Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts (yes more TV: screw you, it's MY list) was exceptional in Series 10 of Doctor Who last year.

She was perfect in the roll, and completely subverted mine and dad's VERY low expectations for the character after the short companion teaser thingy the BBC showed a few months before the first trailer dropped for the series.

A very textured, aware and fun performance left me stunned and thinking of Bill as a companion we've had for years due to the level of depth Pearl added in her own subtle ways to an already good character.

Underrated? Underappreciated?
Who cares. Pearl needs more recognition for this role, yes.

20. An underrated director.

Never been a fan of the concepts of "under and overrated", especially within the context of film analysis. I try to never included these terms in reviews or simply thoughts I have in my head of something I'm watching.
They're pretty vapid and poorly used ways to start an argument where there shouldn't be one at all.

But apart from that, Kevin Smith sucks so hard it genuinely hurts me to see people enjoying his "movies". Especially his latest departure into horror.

21. An overrated actor.

Same thing applies here but I'll play along again.

Eddie Redmayne.

Watch Jupiter Ascending. Watch it.

This man won a fucking Academy AwardScreen Actors Guild AwardBafta AND a Golden Globe.

Enough said.

22. An overrated actress.

Natalie Portman.

She's been excused quite a few times now it seems. 
She was utteraly awful in Thors 1 and 2 and every Star Wars prequel.
People don't seem to get that Ryan Gosling's style of acting is a stone- faced, collected, worn- away person, and that he injects so much character and depth into each role; yet when Natalie does it, she's a godess and completely perfect in every way.

23. An overrated director.

Del Toro.
Moving on.

24. A film you wish you had seen on the big screen.

  • The Godfather
  • Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Synecdoche, New York
  • Green Room
  • Dougal and the Blue Cat
  • Star wars
  • The Handmaiden
  • The Dark Knight
  • Arrival
  • The Raid
  • Fight Club
  • Gone Girl
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm
  • The Transformers: The Movie
25. A movie you’ve seen that you think no one else here will have heard of?

Tickled. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen, up there with Tower (2016) and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

A film that's both parts funny and angering, I still can't believe just how well made and interesting the documentary is, and how the further the film runs the more crazy and unbelievable it becomes.

A proper emotional ride that floored me when I first saw it for sure.

26. Favourite movie characters.

  • Dale Cooper from Twink Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
  • Caden Cotard from Synecdoche, New York
  • Riggan Thomson from Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • The Doctor from Doctor Who (1996)
  • Tyler Durden from Fight Club
  • Michael Corleone from The Godfather Part II
  • Vito Corleone from The Godfather
27. A film that was better than the book.

As much as dad will disagree with me, Gone Girl, I found exceeded the book 100% and transcended something very good to a masterpiece.

Yes, some characters don't get as much attention as they do in the book, but Fincher compensates by focusing on events and small details that eventually become much larger than the characters of some expository backstory to an abandoned mall or something.

At the end of the day, would I call Gone Girl (2012) a favourite? No.
Would I call Gone Girl (2014) a favourite? Yes.

28. Best remake.

29. Your first favourite actor.

Literally no idea, and if I did know I wouldn't say as it would probably be very embarrassing or just plain wrong.

30. Your first favourite actress.

Literally no idea, and if I did know I wouldn't say as it would probably be very embarrassing or just plain wrong.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Boring movie meme 2018

1. How often would you say you spend on your blog?

On average maybe two or three hours for writing reviews, my longest review is probably Gone Girl (which I will probably never finish and will never see the light of day) and I never reread my reviews, so no time reading my blog.

2. What has blogging taught you?

Honestly not much, don't see film or tv in any different ways.
I guess maybe I've learnt that I never stick to one thing and just hone all my effort into said thing.

3. Amy Adams or Natalie Portman?

I've only seen Natalie Portman in Thor, Thor 2 and The Phantom Menace.
So yeah, Amy Adams any day of the week please.

4. Walks along the beach or romantic meal inside?

Neither, next question.

5. Have you ever written in the nude?

What kind of question is this?

6. What film had the biggest emotional impact on you?

Either Dougal and the Blue Cat or Transformers 2.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen taught me to hate shit movies and not accept them as the standard cinema- going experience.
Dougl and the Blue Cat is just wonderfully made, with most emotional beats hitting each time I watch.

7. What is your fondest memory from childhood?

Probably the two times I went to Spain with my Mum, Dad and Sister.
The last time I ever felt genuine emotion before faking it all to see how far I could get before people would figure out what I'd been doing.

8. Is there any scene you would love to recreate from a movie?

Is this question asking me what I'd like to recreate and take the credit for, or what scene I'd like to recreate by being in and living the events?
Anyway, any scene from The Darjeeling Limited.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

What a trite question for a movie meme.
Doing what I do now but probably attending either a University or some kind of boring job.

10. What film have you been meaning to watch for a long time, but just haven’t got the chance to?

Most likely The Holy Mountain. It's tough to get hold of a legal copy, especially on Blu- ray. I have been meaning to watch some Alejandro Jodorowsky films for some time and hope I can eventually watch at least one before I inevitably die in 2020.

11. What’s the worst movie you saw in 2016?

"This is Katana. She's got my back. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims."

12. What movie do you quote the most?

Hot Fuzz. The best written comedy I’ve ever seen, and nothing has come close yet.

Well that was even more boring than I thought it was going to be.
Guess I'll tag the only person I know on this site: My dad.
Hope you enjoy, Glass Walking Stick!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Last Jedi | Dumb + Entertaining = ?

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Taken from my IMDB) review.

So this one was dumb, silly, goofy, contrived and in some cases pretty flawed... and yet that's what a Star Wars movie is.

Star Wars is not a perfect franchise by any means at all; I haven't  given any of the movies above a 7 in my head so far.
They're dumb, silly fun in space.
This one's better than the last two (Rogue One and The Force Awakens), but it's not quite as good as Empire Strikes Back.
So what?

It was fun, shot very well, had tonnes of character, lovely callbacks and memorable moments. That's all I want from a Star Wars movie, and also what I was expecting.

Pretty much all of the backlash is made up of nostalgia- blinded 20+ year old fans who hold the original trilogy up on the highest pedestal they can possibly erect.
Sure, the original three were groundbreaking at the time and shaped Hollywood for the better and worst, but none of them are masterpieces, or even come close; they're just dumb fun with an added dash of mysticism and classic Hollywood romanticism.
Nothing more, nothing less.

The Last Jedi was just as fun, but also as dumb, AND THATS OK.