Okay, so I saw this mainly because it had a gimmick. This is Victoria.
The set up is a group of guys meet a young woman at a bar. At least, that's what I take from the listing, because I got the start time wrong and turned up 15 minutes late. However, I knew from that listing that it had a slow start so I didn't mind (grrr). We get to see the guys pal around, and one of them make a connection with Victoria, and when the guys need to go to a "thing", one of them is sick, and Victoria is pulled in to fill in. Only, guess what, it's rather shady, and... actually, Victoria turns to the criminal side rather quickly. But then events unravel because these guys are idiots and we see things fall apart.
The main gimmick of the movie is that we are following Victoria for the entire length of the film, which is over two hours. And we start around 4.30am... and continue in real time... and in one shot. Which when you consider they need to roam over various locations in Berlin (which fortunately aren't that far apart), is quite impressive. And they managed to keep the streets clear aside from their actors (being early morning probably helped). And even managed gun fire. (Which were probably soundless shots with effects added afterwards.) In a sense this was like a play in which the actors had to be on form for the entire time (although much of the dialogue was improve), but still.
The plot... was largely mediocre. Some editing would have helped pace, but then the gimmick would have failed. And aside from that gimmick, there isn't much else to really recommend this movie.
Friday, 31 July 2015
Okay, so I saw this mainly because it had a gimmick. This is Victoria.
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Ah, Takashi Miike, you know you're going to get weird with him. Case in point, Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld.
The boss of a yakuza gang is doing pretty well, and is nigh on unkillable. But when members of the Syndicate (we don't find out who they are) turn up and want him back, he says no. So they kill him. But his head infects his loyal underling, and how he's a yakuza vampire. Because of course he is. Cue the underling spawning a whole group of vampires, who aren't interested in paying attention to the current yakuza, but doing their own yakuza things. And the Syndicate aren't being quiet either, with their kappa demon and Kaeru-kun... it gets weird, okay? Really weird.
But then, that's Miike for you! The man loves his strange horror and this is a helping dose. And when someone actually says 'yakuza vampire', you know you aren't going to be taking this seriously (and Kaeru-kun certainly puts paid to any idea of credulity).
However, at two hours, it does feel a little long. The romance scenes slow everything right down, and there are a few plots I have no idea what's going with them, and... yeah, it could be easier to follow.
But it's weird, and that's good.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
This is a documentary that didn't intend to be the one it ended up being, but happened to be in the place when bad things happened. Sherpa is a look at the unsung heroes of mountain climing.
In 2014 there was an unfortunate accident that happened. Before that day, this group of film makers were focusing on following what the Sherpa people (they are a people, not a job) do during Everest mountain expeditions. While corporate companies organise mountain expeditions, the Sherpas are the ones who do all the heavy lifting, and take all the equipment up to the various camping points for the others can have an easier time of it.
And then, while crossing a dangerous ice flow (which they need to do around 30 times a year to get all the gear up, the rest of the expeditions only cross once or twice), there's an accident killing 16 of them. The documentary crew happen to capture that as well, and the aftermath is not pretty. The previous year, fighting had broken out as the Sherpas didn't feel like they were respected, and now this, with their own government giving only a token gesture (when the government officials turn up to speak to the restless crowd, you can already predict how badly that's going to happen). This year is cancelled (with expedition owners throwing blame around to they don't have to take any), and eventually for 2015 (we find out) the government gave into their demands.
This isn't a pretty movie, in that it shows the underbelly of what's going on. Just makes me want to scream "it's just a mountain!". It's a good look at the group that don't get the credit they deserve... and it is a pretty movie in that there are some lovely shots of the mountain.
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
This is an introduction to Seymour Bernstein called, strangely enough, Seymour: An Introduction. Directed (and has a small appearance on screen) by Ethan Hawke (who isn't sure if his acting is meaning anything).
Seymour seems to be a likeable enough fellow. He was a pianist growing up, and now teaches piano playing... and has a boatload of cred. A lot of people praise his skills and teachings, and we see some of the teaching in action. We also get some piano playing from his, and he does seem to have lost none of his skills (and he even composes).
This is largely a go-over of his life, and he has some amusing stories to tell. He lived his life as he wanted to, and can't ask for fairer than that.
However, watching this made me want to watch Pianomania yet again.
Monday, 27 July 2015
It's that Scientology movie that's been making the rounds recently, and while it was a free documentary on HBO, you can pay to watch it as part of the film festival! Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
This is a series of interviews with people who have escapes from Scientology. We also go through the history, starting with L. Ron Hubbard, and going through Dianetics through to Scientology, and new leader David Miscavige. Of course you hear the stories and wonder why people stay there, but they also talk a little about being in a cult like this, with it being the only thing you know. The movie also touches on John Travolta and Tom Cruise as members, and somehow they still are.
I don't get angry about Scientology any more, just get weary. This is crazy, but so many people are into it, that it's just not worth my time any more. And one could easily make comparisons to other cults and other religions. Hey, let's just remove all tax exemption religion status and then they wont fight the IRD! But that's never going to happen, so no wonder L. Ron said 'there's money in religion'.
If you know about Scientology, this isn't going to reveal anything new, but this is a good in depth discussion of it.
Sunday, 26 July 2015
The New Zealand International Film Festival is here, and I'm taking time out to see some movies. The first being City of Gold.
Jonathan Gold is the food critic for the LA Times, which tells you this is a movie about food, and a movie set in Los Angeles. In particular, he tends to find out of the way places, ethnic places, that you wouldn't think to try to find, let alone think to eat at. Because of him, many small places become quite popular, So this movie also talks about Jonathan himself, and about food criticising, and especially about Los Angeles and what that city is about.
It seems a decent movie, but I felt like there was a message there for the people of Los Angeles, and not really for me. I've been trying to write why not, and it's nothing Jonathan does in the movie, he seems a nice guy, and yet... it just fell flat for me.
Good movie, but can't say I'd give it a second look.
Saturday, 25 July 2015
Yep, it's the next movie they pumped out of another horror movie franchise, because why not?
We are in prequel territory, and a young girl/women (she's around 16?) is trying to contact her recently dead mother. However, something else is in the dark and has taken an interest in her, and things aren't turning out well. Elise Rainier (the only good character from the previous movies) is reluctant to get involved (because of the heavily thunked in references to the earlier/later movies), but eventually gets back in the game to help her.
Actually... this is a lot better than the previous two movies. If they were up to this quality, I might like them. Perhaps because we get a fresh story, away from that annoying family I had no interest in? Not that I'm caring all that much about this new family, but we aren't supposed to go 'oh, what a terrible thing happened to that kid' like in the other movies, and it just gets on with building atmosphere. The effects are kept simple, which is good, made all the more interesting when we get the previous monsters cameo'ing in to compare them to. (And I have no interest in watching those earlier movies again.)
There's no sign of a 4 yet... and I want to say good, but we do finally see some talent on display I'd like to see more from.
Friday, 24 July 2015
When the series started Sydney was working for a supposed clandestine branch of the CIA, under Arvin Sloane... time to completely innovate that!
Now she's working for a clandestine branch of the CIA, under Arvin Sloane... see, totally different! Yes, this season restarts the series for a third time, and goes back to the beginning. Only this time it's a legitimate branch of the CIA. Oh, and her half-sister is now working with her.
Having gone into Sydney's history in the previous seasons, they can't mine that too much, so let's start picking on her bf Vaughn and unveiling that not everything in his past is a bed a roses. This will continue into season 5, but is set up here.
The big villain of this season is a duplicate Arvin Clone, who is also after Rimbaldi, and gets normal Arvin back into it. And Arvin eventually teams up with...
Now, the big surprise they didn't reveal at the end of the last season is that Jack (Sydney's father) killed Irina (Sydney's mother), because Irnia ordered a hit on Syndey. Quick, hands up all those who believe Irina is actually dead? In this series, of course not, and that's who Arvin teams up with.
All this leads up to a final two parter that deals with Rimbaldi and bad CGI effects, and whatever. Finally over, Syndey and Vaughn go off on holiday, and Vaughn is about unveil all, when... car crash!
Oh, the things they will end up having to wrap up in the last season, I'm sure there won't be any threads left.
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Some people would claim this is a great and very clever parody... I think those people aren't judging it quite right.
A horror movie writer rents out a house, and very slowly (so very slowly) strange things happen. In the attic is an old woman who never comes out and has a dark secret. And the writer meets the neighbour with her own secret, but he slowly falls for her.
And there is absolutely nothing surprising about what happens. Make a prediction, this movie fills it. And I think that's where the point of it being amazing comes in? It's a collection of tropes that is exactly that, a collection of tropes and you know what's coming. But here's the point they are missing... the writer/director does nothing with it. It's a collection of tropes, but that all it is. As Jim Stirling as pointed out, if you are going to parody something, you have to do more than just ape what it is you are supposedly parodying, otherwise it's just another thing that you want to parody. And nothing comes of this, nothing original is done with this, and the movie itself... this director has done other movies, so why is this so bad? It feels like the actors weren't given any directions as to how to play their characters and the first shot was good enough.
This isn't parody, this is just a bad movie.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Just because you give a movie sci-fi trappings doesn't make it any more original.
An out of the way research station goes quiet, and when people investigate they come back diseased. One man of that group escapes to the research station before they all die. Another group is sent in, they meet up, they get infected, and then slowly go crazy and die.
Except it's a sci-fi deep space research station near a black hole which is accessed by teleportation which sometimes has errors... and while I admit I wasn't playing complete attention for reasons below, I don't think any of that mattered. It wasn't like the virus was because of the problems in the teleportation, and I don't think they said the virus creature came from the black hole...
However, a lot of this movie is filmed in rush cut-o-vision, in which if we haven't cut to another angle or similar in the last five seconds, then it isn't an action scene. On top of that, the actors are either in suits so their voices are muffled, or they are diseased so all putting on growly diseased voices, so you can't make out what they are saying anyway.
I'm sure this would have been a better movie (as the concept of the virus eventually promised), but this is not the best realisation of it.
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Oh Harold Pinter... I knew I wasn't going to fall in love, although this better than the previous one. This is Accident.
At a college, a young woman attends, and draws the attention of three different men of different ages... and is largely considered a prize to be won. It could be that she is playing them off against each other, but the scene that happens after the accident, I'm not on their side in this at all.
The film's settings are nice, and well shot generally. It's just the story itself that puts me off.
Although there is a third Pinter/Losey pairing, the Film Society couldn't get the rights sorted out, so I won't have to worry about that any time soon.
Monday, 20 July 2015
Sigh, another horror movie... what's the point of this one?
A couple moves into a house the guy built, and get married because she's pregnant. However, the guy build the house with a connection to hell in the attic for some reason, and so the kid gets corrupted. And really insists on using her comb to comb her hair (a plot point which goes absolutely nowhere). Eight years later, a demon turns up to claim the child, and enjoys time with her and the guy is converted and then...
What's the point of this? Other than 'the demon (he's credited as 'the demon' not 'the devil') wants the kid', there's no motivation for why this happens. Is there some reason he wants the kid? What happens to the kid? Who knows, the movie seems to think the journey of the demon getting the kid is enough. There does seem to be a trend of journey being more than the ending, but that means we aren't getting a sense of closure, and the journey just isn't that interesting.
Yeah, this is a rubbish movie. That's about all I have to say.
Sunday, 19 July 2015
Another foreign horror film, because they are the only ones who are doing horror properly. (Or perhaps they are piling out the tons of dross, and we just find out about the good ones.) Anyway, this involves spooky children.
A young girl, Laura, gets away from the orphanage, but many years later she returns there with her husband and son. Only her son is adopted, and when he's got other problems. He's got imaginary friends, which in this sort of film is perfectly innocent... and when he gets his final friend, just before other children are coming to join the couple, everything starts falling apart as he goes missing. What lengths will Laura go to to find him, and is she ready for there being other presences in the house with their own agendas?
Yeah, this is spooky, with it being a slow build. There are no jump scares (because horror doesn't need them!), instead we get unsettled and very definite on the side of there being supernatural presences. And the ending... I'm not going to give it away, but it gets dark. There is no way any American movie would dare to go that far.
Decent performances, and the children actors aren't too annoying. Yeah, I'm going with more foreign horror movies when I can.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
I've seen all of his other movies, was just missing this one... no wait, not missing, that's the wrong word entirely.
A character from another world turns up... and everyone instantly believes that's what she is. And a random off hand comment leads the janitor to exactly the person who happens to know that exact story (and is able to dole it out in specific amounts). Everything then lines up to nearly work, but doesn't, leaving the last gasp to work out instead.
M. Night is trying to get meta with this movie, and just ends up trying to hang too many lanterns. But worse than that, he made this movie slow and tedious to get through. There's hardly any action sequence to bring the pace up, and otherwise it's all just sitting and standing around talking, getting the wrong information then the right information.
This, basically, deservedly gets panned.
Friday, 17 July 2015
Yeah, I went to the latest Marvel movie, because they are always going to take my money.
Scott Lang is an ex-con trying to do right now he's out of jail, so of course he ends up embroiled in crime. Hank Pym is a genius who invented Pym Particles, that enables him to have a suit to make him really small. How small? I'm not quite sure, but I'm fairly sure the movie has slightly different sizes depending on the scene. Anyway, the pair of them team up and then I remember Iron Man, and you can predict what's going to happen, and yeah...
Not a great movie. And I'm not even saying it's a 'not great Marvel movie', it's just a not great movie. The movie tries for fun at times, but doesn't quite get there. And the heistness of it doesn't get interesting either. Which leaves the characters... and I don't find any of them that engaging either.
This won't be a flop by any measure, but it doesn't rate well for me.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
So, now let's compare Inside Out with Herman's Head. Only, they are completely different takes on the same old homunculus argument, which applies just as well here.
In both cases, we have a head quarters of representations. For IO, it's Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. For HH, it's Genius, Angel, Wimp and Animal. And yet they have distinct takes on how to get from the inside to the outside. For IO, the emotions use a control panel, and it seems that Riley is a separate person with her own mind that is guided/programmed by the emotions? It's not clear, and some emotions seem to refer to Riley's Mom and Dad, and others to Our Mom and Dad. For HH, although they talk to each other, one of them is always in charge and being Herman at any given point, and they all consider themselves to be Herman.
Memories are more similar. In HH, they are reactments with the characters displayed like they are on a stage. In IO, they are memory balls, which start as short term then move to long term. In both cases, memories are seen in third person, and in both cases memory is shown as a fixed image that can be played over and over again (unlike the slippery altering beasts they are). Also, both movies address having annoying tunes in your head.
IO goes further with showing how mental imagery is handled with workers in her head? How does that work? We're beyond homunculus at that point, what do these guys represent? Do they have people inside their heads? And then there's the end credit sequence which doesn't help anything (although I like the cat).
While they are different, it's nice to see people are still remembering Herman's Head.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Oh Pixar... you bastards... and of course this movie reminded me of Herman's Head, but let's talk about that later.
We start with the short Lava, in which lava spouting mountains fall in love... and yet the local marine life is completely unaffected and there are no major problematic earthquakes? Pffft, hardly realistic guys!
And then we get the realism of what's happening inside a girl's head, namely Riley. A growing up movie, where Riley is forced to move with her family, and her life turns to sadness (quite literally in places). As Joy tries to reestablish the happiness in Riley's life, she and Sadness go on a journey together through Riley's mind, and... okay Pixar, you got me at the end. Yeah, I didn't have to wipe away any tears... nope, not at all...
I found Richard Kind rather distracting, as whenever his character was speaking, I kept picturing him speaking instead of his character, his voice is too distinctive! And I guess Kyle MacLachlan is playing dad roles now. And Lewis Black was just challenging his Lewis Black persona, which is good, but hardly a different character.
Yeah, so another good Pixar movie, and no doubt there are many easter eggs to find.
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
It's a documentary about a man. Who deals with moos. He's The Moo Man.
Stephen Hook runs Hook and Sons, a diary farm. He has a herd of cattle of around 70 head, and produces organic raw milk for sale. We see him as he goes about his days, and deals with a few issues that running a dairy farm entails.
This is mainly a 'slice of life' style film, with mostly just watching him go about his business. There is some talking to camera, but there's no real narrative being told, just what happens while being filmed. And so, although there is some little discussion about the cost effectiveness of dairy farms, for the most part we aren't being dictated to that this is a better way to be, we're just presented with it and let to think for ourselves. (And even these 'better conditions' look a little dodgy in some lights...)
A decent documentary that doesn't really have a point to press home, and that's uncommon.
Monday, 13 July 2015
It's never good when a movie comes out under different titles, and this one has three of them!
An old abandoned asylum is brought up by the church and is to be renovated, but while it is somewhat of a ruin, PARTY TIME! And the remaining party members decide it's a good thing to try a trick that ends up with a demon possessing a kid... yeah, it's 0 to 60 with this movie. Then they murder a priest, but no-one can go to the cops, and slowly they stupidly die.
Yeah, not a great movie, however... it feels like this was very close to being satire, in the style of Evil Dead. However, the movie takes itself far too seriously, so it's like half of the crew was for the satire, and the other half for full on horror, and they just mix the result into a mess.
As a result, this movie is nothing special.
Sunday, 12 July 2015
Another game, this one quick and cheap, Hook.
Think of a game of pick up sticks, you need to pull the top piece off first before trying to move any of the others. This game is a lot like that, you push the button and the pieces connected to them try to retract, and if any are blocked, you reset. (Fortunately, in the later levels, you get three 'lives' before it resets.)
There are 50 levels, and there are some basic variant mechanics in what items are connected, and it's fairly easy to get through. The hardest part is trying to work out which piece should be next and how to trigger it without setting anything else off.
And a bonus is that it is cheap. Only a US$1. Given it is just 50 levels, that's more than fair, and I'm happy to pay that. That does mean it is sort of short and I could do with some more to try out (bonus extensions in the future maybe?). On the other hand, it's a game that can be completed without drawing it out over many sessions.
I like it, give it a go.
Saturday, 11 July 2015
Okay, sure, why not, let's watch this... because people are and it's making money anyway, and there are already two sequels given the go ahead.
This movie starts well, we are in the future with the rebels under John Conner and they are defeating SkyNet, and then there is the time machine and sending Kyle Reece back... and sudden Doctor appearance by Matt Smith! Back in 1984, we remember how good the first movie is as it recreates the machines, and then they hurriedly have some action sequences and then rush through a short version of T2, and then the second half of the movie... and if you've seen the second trailer, you know what's coming because they completely ruined everything.
This is a good question about spoilers, would the second half have been more interesting had we not known? Maybe... but then I would be questioning (as I was doing anyway) the whole time travel component of it all (which gets really messy), and I'm still not invested in any of the characters, so it didn't matter to me too much.
Decent performances but nothing really stands out. And the set pieces are there for the action sequences... and there they are.
This might be considered by some to be a popcorn flick, but definitely not a worthy Terminator flick.
Friday, 10 July 2015
Here we are, back with Season three. When we last left our heroine, two years had suddenly passed, because that's how we can skip over large chunks of story progression without all that boring stuff about what happens in between.
And one thing that happened in between was that Vaughn, the love of Sydney's life, got married to a women from the Defence Department. Completely unrelated, given the history of this series, I knew that someone would turn out to be a spy for the bad guys, and that it wouldn't be any of the previously established cast. I mention this now as mere happenstance and not because it is extremely bleeding obvious who it's going to turn out to be.
For the Bad Guys, we had the Alliance previously, and we now have The Covenant. (We would also get The Trust later in the season, but they are only in a few episodes.) And Arvin Sloane, the baddest guy of them all, is running the WHO... yep, that World Health Organisation, because he cut a deal. (Don't worry, this gets stupider next season.) They are all still after Rimbaldi, and it turns out the secret is about Sydney (of course) in that she has a half-sister, who holds the genetic information all about Rimbaldi, because of course that's how that works.
Revelation after stupid revelation. Ye gods, this season is rife with it. It's bad in all seasons, but they kick it up a notch here. And to finish off the season, we end on a super revelation about Sydney and her father and... that's the end of the season! We won't find out what's going on until next season (in which they've had a whole season break to work out what they want to do next).
Thursday, 9 July 2015
If you have Portal 2, there's a free mod/game for it called Portal Stories: Mel.
We are Mel, an Olympian that goes into Aperture Science for some testing in the early 1950s. The first test is a sleep chamber, and wouldn't you guess it, when we wake up, something bad has happened. We need to work our way up to the surface, with the help of clearly not Cave Johnson and... well, I don't actually know what happens at the end because I gave up halfway through.
Because this isn't Valve, this isn't finely polished to within an inch of its life. It looks nice, but that's the Source Engine for you. The problem I found was that for half the puzzles, I couldn't work out what to do and usually had to sleep on it. Fine, my problem, I'm dumb. However,the other problem I found was that with the other half of the puzzles, it wasn't at all clear what anyone had to do, and even where to go. One thing Valve was very clear about was where to go, and here I often wondered around trying to find anywhere I could do anything. (It didn't help that some sound clips were triggered when I wasn't in the right spot, so got confused that way.)
And the recent patch caused some corruption. For me, it caused the game to crash when I loaded the save up. Fortunately, I was right at the start of Chapter 3 so could jump there from the main menu. Others were not so fortunate.
I'll leave it on my computer for now, but I'm not keen on jumping back in... but I do want to play normal Portal 2 again though...
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
Is it Striker? Is it Spriggan? Companies couldn't make up their minds, and other companies got caught out.
Based on some of the manga, Noah's Ark has been found, and the Arcam corporation must make sure it doesn't fall into bad hands. Because this is actually ancient tech, and the Americans are coming for it.
I saw this before I read the Viz Striker volumes, and this has a great style to it. It's well done anime, and then when they hit the sections with the dinosaurs, it got weird in a good way. However, this definitely deserves to be seen on a big screen. (The comics were only some of the stories, and I would like to read the whole set.)
This did make me think that a transdimensional Noah's Ark style ship would make for a good Call of Cthulhu mod or similar. Although that idea needs a lot of work.
Anyway, definitely anime worth seeing.
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
I have a feeling I'm not a fan of Harold Pinter, and this example isn't drawing me in.
An upper class type gets himself a manservant, and then hooks up with a potential fiancée. The fiancée and the servant do not see eye to eye... and that basically seems to be the reason the servant goes about destroying the upper class man and eventually leading him to psychological ruin.
Is this comedy? Or even satire? I'm not going with it, indeed found it painfully dull to get through. Decent performances, but the script did not engage me at all.
Bit of a fizzer really. And there's more Pinter to come.
Monday, 6 July 2015
The first movie was a fictional movie in the second movie, and now the second movie is a fictional movie in the third one as is the first one.
We are at a prison and the man in charge is basically insane. But his accountant has this amazing idea based on seeing the previous two movies. And they get the director of the first two movies to give them a hand (in a scene which is basically Tom Six gushing at himself, and then being sick at how far it gets taken). Given this set up, you can probably tell where they are going, and... yeah.
This movie seems to want to go to extremes with how crazy the warden (played by Dieter Laser, who plays the doctor in the first movie) goes, and the language and acts that he does.... but he, and the movie, comes across as simply childish, "look, I know the rude words, ain't I a stinker?" and so there's no shock value. At this point, we (at least me) are jaded, so this isn't getting anywhere.
Dieter Laser does, within the script, give a good performance. I quite liked Lawrence Harvey as Butler (who was the bad guy in the second movie). And adult star Bree Olson gets top billing on IMDB... and hey, Eric Roberts is in this, and I wouldn't be surprised to find they filmed all his scenes in one afternoon.
And so the trilogy ends... yep, there it goes.
Sunday, 5 July 2015
I liked the first Hidden Object game, so let's check out the second!
This one takes place at an evil themed park, in which the evil of the place is making people think this is a nice place, then they get brought in and killed. Because that's the state of American local entertainment. Our job is to find out what's going on around here, and save the peoples we can because no-one in the present day is as competent as us.
The first problem is that there are far fewer Hidden Object games in this than in the previous game. There are some sections where you are picking up items, but they aren't quite the same. And then there are the puzzles, which fortunately aren't too impossible. So the game side was a bit of a let down. And there are collectibles, and I was one short of one set, and two of the other, and the only way to get them would be to play through again but that won't be happening.
The other problem is that we are helping a prisoner... and it is immediately obvious who the prisoner is. And releasing him is a bad idea, but of course we have to to progress. But that our character never suspects (despite reminding herself of him more than once) is just stupid.
Overall, a bit of a let down over the first.
The set up at the end is for there to be a 3... but there's no sign of it yet.
Saturday, 4 July 2015
I've already talked about What We Do In The Shadows, but this is a follow up of sorts. I gots the BluRay disc from the UK, and this is a review of what's on that.
The main movie is still good, and is now making the rounds in the US (with the help of the Kickstarter I was a part of). Since this is the BluRay of course the picture quality is good.
So let's get into the extras. I saw a super bonus edition of the disc before... but not now. I'm sure that had commentary on it, but that's not on the disc I have. There are a fair few pieces of deleted scenes and extra scenes. And to be honest, they were deleted/trimmed for a reason. The jokes were largely... weak. They may have worked in the full film with pacing and everything, but by themselves they didn't quite make it.
There's also a behind the scenes bit, in which we see a few of the more special effects scenes and how they were done. There is no interview with the crew (just the cast in character), that would have been nice. There is also the Original Short 30 minute version of this documentary... which largely gets incorporated into the film, and done better in there when fleshed out. This feels... raw.
So... yeah, would still like some more features, to be honest. I doubt the DVD version from the Kickstarter will have more, but I'll be back then!
Friday, 3 July 2015
This came out in the recent NZ Doc Fest, but I didn't see it there. In fact... I can see it whenever I want to, because I helped Kickstarter this!
This has some of the usual Yes Men antics, and there is a large slab of background for them. We get to see into their past lives, their real selves, and their current living situations... and also get to see them almost give up. This could easily be the last Yes Men movie, and they have moved on to the Action Switchboard and stuff anyway, so that would work.
With the more personal focus... this movie doesn't feel as fun as the previous two. We do get some usual action of them getting into press statements they shouldn't, and they get a whole room singing along wearing white native headbands... but there's also a lot of frustration. The two men are getting their own lives now, and seem to be drifting apart, so there is a loss of the full sense of camaraderie that was there before.
Nice to have them back for a third movie, but it's not as good as the previous ones.
Thursday, 2 July 2015
This is a good example of a movie that gets it wrong on many levels.
The setup is fairly common: the most powerful starship in the fleet is taken over by someone, and then used against the fleet and forces that is in charge. So far, yeah, that set up can work well, and even done badly can be entertaining.
But then this movie takes that and messes it up. No scene seems to connect to another, and it's not a case of 'show don't tell', it's a case of 'we can't think of a way to show that so we might tell it, but more likely we'll just skip that scene', making it rather confusing. And the writer seems a bit too fond of rape... too much Game of Thrones?
The acting itself isn't much better, and everything seems to be shot against green screen with bad generic backgrounds added in afterwards. As was the sound, which can completely swamp whatever actual dialogue we're supposed to hear. And it doesn't help that the main bad guy speaks in a low gravely voice that gets annihilated by any other sound.
And after all that... there's a sequel planned for this. I can't even bring myself to look to see if it actually got made. Just don't worry about this. I won't.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
And that was Top Gear. Okay, technically the show might go on, but let's face it, do we really care about the new presenters? Fine, Jeremy Clarkson was on warning, and he broke that, and the BBC had to deal with him... but they can kiss their ratings goodbye.
The last episode was hosted by Captain Slow and the Hamster, and all they did was introduce two segments that had previously been filmed. These two bits are classic Top Gear and the reason why I watch the show: three men farting around like idiots, and cars happen to be involved. There's a reason the Challenges DVD sell well as opposed to the more generic 'here are some cars' DVDs. We don't care about the cars, we just want to see them screw up!
And all this could be put to the test. Why do people tune in? The BBC will have their show with new presenters, and apparently Netflix will have these three back on the air with something else (likely car related). The audience will decide! And then we'll see that personality is the keeper.