Sunday, 30 April 2017

Third Marx

The previous two were stage plays adapted, and this was straight made for the screen. This is some Monkey Business.

The Marx Brothers are stowaways on a ship, but get discovered and run around for a while. There is a sort of a plot with a mafia dude wanting to get into business with a rich dude, and they get various Brothers to help them. Or rather "help" them. When the rich dude wants to present his daughter (think coming out party), the mafia dude kidnaps her, and the Brothers have to get her back.

The Marx movies aren't the biggest for plots, but this takes 20 minutes to even get to what plot there is. Before then there is a lot of running around the ship and some gags, but it feels longer. Just running around isn't that funny. (Not that I'm a big slapstick person.) The plot remains light and is just an excuse for getting various scenes set up for the Brothers to do their bits. Groucho and Chico have their verbal sparring match, Harpo does physical comedy, then later at the party Chico does his piano piece and Harpo his harp piece. Zeppo gets the serious part (with putting moves on the rich dude's daughter), and he gets to sing, but he is definitely not given much/any comedy to play.

In this movie is Thelma Todd, who was sent to be in a Marx Brothers movie because she wasn't following the studio line properly. And I don't know any trivia about the other players.

While I do appreciate what the Brothers can do, I would like them to be incorporated more into the actual storyline... and for there to be an actual storyline.

[END]

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Friday, 28 April 2017

Wonder Second Falls

This has an opener that shows off how great the coincidences are. A pink flamingo tells Jaye to get off her arse, and she accidentally causes the car to crash into her father who ends up in hospital (and it will turn out that a random test will reveal something dangerous that is well caught now).

The bulk of the episode is around Jaye sort of helping old school frenemy Gretchen throw an early school reunion and must help then tear her down. We get to see Jaye just give up an accept her role (in a hilarious way of course), and then, of course, it works out in a way you wouldn't expect, but it does work out. We also get Jaye's sister is hooking up with her new girlfriend although she does so at home when her sick father is there.

There are some great one liners in this, and this episode features Chelan Simmons, whom you've probably seen in something. (Later she would return as a character with the same name in Hannibal, and considering that Bryan Fuller likes making an extended universe, this is likely the same character.)

This is a good character building episode.

[END]

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Lagon

This is the best Xmen movie... according to the internet, so there's no need for anything more to be said.

In the future, Logan will be old... and that's the movie folks! Okay, there's more where he's trying to get money for him and Charles (who is also really old) to a boat, but hears about a young girl and his help is asked for. Eventually, reluctantly, he gives it, and so we go on a road trip to a safe place. Nothing happens, and no-one dies...

Okay, so it's good, but I wouldn't say it was great. There's a lot of talking, nearly a promise of an action scene... and then it's more talking. Which can work, but it often comes down to Logan monologuing, and no matter how Hugh Jackman tries to sell it, an orator Logan ain't, so it gets weary to listen to. And Hugh does get to put on some different roles as Logan, so I'm sure he enjoyed it.

So, for me, this was too long. I'm not a huge X-fan, and can give or take Hugh as Logan, so... this was a movie I saw.

[END]

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Flickering Truth

This is a film about literally digging up the past, over in Afghanistan. This is A Flickering Truth.

Ibrehim Arif is a film maker from Afghanistan, and he returned to unearth The Afghan Film archive, a collection of Afghan films. Which the Taliban and others destroyed some of, and generally let it go to pot. He gets workers to help clean it up, although criticising the way they work, and we get clips sprinkled throughout of various films. Finally, after getting some of the films sorted out, he goes on a Film Festival... to the safer parts of Afghanistan...

This is a documentary by New Zealander Pietra Brettkelly, and this is one of those documentaries where we follow the people. To be honest, the main reason I knew what was going on, ie the context of this film, was because I read the film description. Given that, it was great and I could follow along easily, although I'm not sure someone who didn't is going to be able to get what's happening. Some explanation would be useful.

So I would recommend this movie, but I would not recommend going in blind.

[END]

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Doctor Who 10.2

Ah, the tricky second album... er, second episode after the reboot.

So it's another colony world... how many have there been now? It feels like a few. Even the Doctor notes he's been involved with more than one. But this one features emoji robots, because we must reference the very latest and freshest of memes.

And then...nothing happens. A lot of nothing happens. Whole stretches of nothing happens. And after nothing happens... there's another batch of nothing happening.

Eventually we get other people, and a rushed episode ending in which the Doctor quickly patches something together, and we assume everything is fine? Sure, we wouldn't want anything to start happening now.

Peter Capaldi continues to channel Pertwee, and Pearl Mackie is still decent as Bill. But again, nothing's happening so it's hard to say anything more than they were in it.

Yep... that was an episode, I guess.


Next week: Future episode and now a past episode? Yeah, I remember this formula. Then there's a two parter, right?

[END]

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Second Marx

Already Chico and Harpo are feeling more like inserted-schtick that useful additions. With only the second movie, Animal Crackers.

The plot involves Captain Spaulding (as per Groucho) returning from a hunt overseas. At the same time, a famous painting is being unveiled. But not one but two different groups of people see this as a chance to having their own fun with the painting, and so we end up with paintings all over the place and lots of running around. As is common it seems.

Already I like this more as it has the musical moments integrated into the plot, so it really is more of a musical. Groucho even gets to have a bit of a sing and dance (in his own style), but quickly it settles down to being all about the paintings. Which it doesn't help that the movie is in black and white as there is no chance of the viewers able to tell which is which, we need the characters to announce that.

As before, we get random bits of business from the Brothers, which makes me wonder how much was in the original musical as it feels tacked on in many places. Were the scripts written for them, or did they just do it on the night (not that it was improvised, but was it worked out while filming?).

So the movie improved, but the Brothers got on my nerves.

[END]

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Friday, 21 April 2017

Wonder First Falls

Ah yes, this fantastic series. And now I have the time, I'm going to talk about all 13 episodes.

We get introduced to Jaye, a 20 something Gen Y who is incredibly disaffected, in a dead end job she doesn't care about, still living in the same town she grew up in (at Niagara Falls). At least she is living in her own trailer park, unlike her older brother and sister who lives at home with her parents.

And then the plastic smooshed face lion talks to her. About which she has a 'sode. She eventually gives in to what the animal wants. And thus is the series in which Jaye helps a random stranger per episode. She has a black friend, and sort of hits on the bartender.

Jaye is great, the maximum sass gen y'er most of us think we are. And this is written and shot as quirky as all get out that it immediately charms. This is an amazing pilot that shows off the "coincidence" that lies at the heart of all of what Jaye ends up doing.

A great opener, and one that immediately engages and makes you want to see the rest of the series.

[END]

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