It’s strange to revisit some of the Oscar bait from 2017 now. You see, there’s so many films that had passed me by during January and February, including La La Land, sorry, Moonlight (ha ha, joke which will already be dated!) and Fences. But this one was so special that I had to come back to remark on it. Toni Erdmann which was one of the “Best Foreign Language” nominees. It lost out to “The Salesman”, the Iranian entry of which got shown in London instead of Asghar Farhadi, the writer and director going to the US to attend the Oscars. You know, because of Trump’s first attempt at a not-a-Muslim-ban-honest-guv.
As it’s a European film, it’s going to be an acquired taste as some jokes are good and some situations you could only ever see in an European film. So basically strap in, and hope that you come out the other side intact.
We begin the film with Peter Simonischek as Winfried Conradi. He lives in a leafy part of Germany and has an old lady as a neighbour with a dog.
He was a music teacher with a warped sense of humour as you will see for yourself. There’s a birthday party for his daughter, Ines (Sandra Hüller) and things are rather awkward. You see, Winfried’s long suffering, unhappy / sexually weird daughter is busy trying to work her way up in a large company and pretty much as you imagine (or indeed experience every day in real life), she doesn’t really have a life. Continue reading →
A gold doubloon to the man who first spots the big monkey!
In many ways, you can’t keep a good skyscraper sized monkey down. Apparently it’s been ages since the last King Kong reboot which had Jack Black in the 1930s with a CGI King Kong as opposed to a puppet made of bits that fell of a black toupee. 2005 in fact. Doesn’t time fly when you can’t really remember what happens in a film from the mid 2000s?
Well, it seems that Warner Bros, Legendary Pictures and Tencent Pictures, a Chinese film company (so probably like XXX earlier this year, that’s really where the money comes from) decided to p*ss away the GDP of a small country on what seems to be yet another reboot of the giant ape bloke who likes pretty ladies and has a knack for climbing tall buildings and swatting down planes shooting at him. The film was released generally 10th March in the UK and I had the opportunity to go see it on Tuesday ahead of the release to see what the fuss (if there was any) was about.
This time however, we’re in the 1970s for our epic tale of monster fighting, which along with it, brings one of the best parts of the film, the soundtrack to bear with real guitar riffing goodness and classics to at least keep your feet tapping away while your brain falls asleep. You probably can already tell how the rest of the mini meh is going to go already. Set your brain to B-Movie mode now!
John Goodman along with Corey Hawkins (who took time out from shooting terrorists in the latest series of 24 from what I understand) go and annoy a senator to go on a lovely field trip to Skull Island which is surrounded by dodgy weather all year round and no one knows what’s there. So let’s go there then!
Along the way, they recruit a burned out ex SAS dude played by Tom Hiddleson. He’s annoyed and looking for something of a challenge or money, I don’t know it really doesn’t matter. Brie Larson clearly wanted to pay off her mortgage as she turns up as the woman who will connect with Kong at some point and be fearless etc. She’s the photographer looking for a real story because the Vietnam war just ended and that’s buggered her fun up. Continue reading →
I’ve taken time today to write about something dear to me. No, it’s not about that. You naughty scamps! As you all know I have a slight addiction to the card game, Hearthstone, which I’ve insisted on livestreaming for some time over the past year or so, and I planned to return to that towards the end of March.
I’ve also spent an insane amount of money on the game over the years. So forget about Trumpcare, in which millions of people will lose health coverage or the meh around the raise in National Insurance in the UK for self employed people, because now we have to pay more for digital cards we will never hold in our hands. THIS IS THE ACTUAL OUTRAGE OF 2017! AND I’M ON THE INTERNET WHICH MEANS AT NO POINT SHOULD I HAVE A FUNCTIONING SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE!
Bllzzard Entertainment made the annoucement on their forums today over at https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/hearthstone/topic/17615113897 and people overall are not happy. Various theories have gone out there as to why this has happened, including financial turmoil as a result of Brexit along with various other weakened markets.
It’s been over a week since the Oscars for 2017, and typically this is the time that we then forget about all the films which came out during the January and February period to focus on stuff we actually would like to watch with our hard earned cash and free time. But hold on gentle readers. I wish to tell you about a film which I really enjoyed and one I feel was a little hard done by in the shiny shiny chasing; Hidden Figures.
In a year where even Suicide Squad managed to get some shiny for hair and makeup (presumably the judges felt a bit horny on seeing Harley Quinn…), Hidden Figures got passed over. Why would that be? Well, let’s examine the story and background to the film first.
Hidden Figures revolves around a group of three black women in the 1960s in the US around the time of the space race with Russia. They happen to be three very intelligent women who work at NASA, but things are shall we say, not equal. Far from it in fact, the hidden figures reference clearly is to the separation and racial prejudices of the time, meaning that they were not really being recognised.
The three main characters are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), a mathematician, Dorothy Vaughan as Octavia Spencer and finally Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). I only know Janelle was a singer before but now she’s a sassy chick from the 60s! You go girl! It nicely sets the tone of the time and friendship between the three women in the opening scene where their car is broken down and a police bloke happens to come along and think they’re up to no good. It’s at this point, you are made fully aware that this is the time where black people are pretty much looked down on by us whities, so it’s not going to be too much fun. Continue reading →
It is the eve of the 2017 Oscars. The event already looks to be overshadowed with various political speeches by every award winner over “he who must always be Orange”, who recently just started to exclude various media outlets from White House fun with Sean Spicer aka Melissa Mccarthy. But sadly folks, I fell behind with writing up about the various award chasers due to various other real life interests.
But there’s a few that despite not writing about right after viewing, I will get to here over the next week or so. We start off with a surprising return by Mel Gibson, who fresh from going slightly meh some time ago with all that “I hate Jews” talk and other interesting past times, seems to have gotten his head together to give us the story of Hacksaw Ridge. The premise of the whole film revolves around Spider Man who wanted to help in World War 2, but didn’t want to kill anyone because he almost killed his brother with a rock when little. I think.
This of course either angered or sexually frustrated the army dudes (who knows at this point?) and of course despite suffering through all sorts of abuse, he gets to go have fun on the front lines, pulling people to safety and being a hero without ever firing a weapon. It’s a true American hero tale folks, and that is always the type of thing that goes down well with the awards committee at this time.
But even if it wasn’t just realised for shiny shiny, is it any good?
In another stab at wandering around aimlessly while pretending to know what I was going to say only for it to all fall apart, I present for your consideration a recording from the PC Gamer Weekender which took place February 18-19 2017 at the Kensington Olympia venu in sunny London. There were many things to enjoy and lament at times and well, the highlights can be seen in this unedited version of the video below. A full edited version will be coming soon.
This is a rather interesting film to look at, given that it was released last year and panned by critics it seems. But more so, it’s up for two Oscars; Best Original Score and Best Production Design. Not exactly a massive endorsement for it’s acting, story or anything else is it? So is it as bad as the people who do this type of thing for a living say?
The main complaints seem to be about for the most part, the film is dull and the story has more holes in it than my underpants. But is it really that bad? After all, I had some real bile build up for Gold at the beginning of February.
Our story begins aboard the starship twirly-thing, which is transporting over 5,000 colonists to the planet Homestead II. This journey apparently will take everyone 120 years, so the entire human population is in cryogenic stasis. Perhaps this is the Ryanair version of space travel and Emirates has Warp Drive or something?
But brown stuff hits the oscillating device as the ship passes through a large asteroid field, the ship’s shield breaks down enough to wake up one passenger. That passenger is mechanical engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), and at first he’s wondering where everyone is aboard the twirly-thing. Then it becomes clear that he’s up 90 years too soon and basically his life is over. He will die aboard that ship.
Hello there campers, and for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been busy of late and not actually doing anything of worth, save making shaky videos using a smartphone. It’s been a while since I did “Not My Front Room” and it shows with the fact that these were entirely unplanned and made up as I went along. So no change there then.
First of all, from Tuesday 7th while at Westfield Stratford, just after watching Hidden Figures:
And then finally as a special one-off, from outside the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. A brief message about the legend that is The Room. I met Tommy Wiseau as well, hah. It was an awesome night, hah? Oh hey Mark!
Goldstinker, he’s the man, the man with the midas stench.
Given the sheer volume of films that I’ve sat through which have been Oscar chasers, I’m not going to sugar coat this one. In fact I’d rather just make a list of things with Gold in the title. Gold by Spandau Ballet, GoldFinger, “Cash My Gold Dale” from those adverts on British TV ages ago… OK, may as well get on with it.
Gold, starring Matthew Mcconaughey, is a crap film with a crap story about someone you will not like in the least. In many ways, it’s a showcase of what the American Dream has become for many; a load of bulls*it designed to screw people as and when possible. Just in this case, when it happens to the main protagonist you’re not that upset.
Perhaps that was just me, who knows?
Matthew Mcconaughey plays Kenny Wells, a balding gold prospector with a girlfriend played by Bryce Dallas Howard. For the record, She’s way too attractive to stay with him and yet she’s there all the time. Some stuff happens with Kenny’s company and then it’s run from a bar. Kenny thinks there’s gold in the Philippines. But they’ve got f*ck all money to get there. What should he do? Continue reading →
Everyone wants to be Batman, even the Lego version.
Well in the middle of Oscar Bait season, it’s actually nice to be writing about a film which isn’t out for shiny shiny. Well, I say that, it’s really a giant marketing tool for both Lego and Batman. It’s been more than a little slutty in terms of putting itself out there with large tie-ins with advertising Sky Broadband. Generally when you see a lot of something, you expect failure.
After all, when the Lego Movie first arrived on the scene, you wouldn’t expect it to work. In fact you’d be just cynical about it being about it even being remotely entertaining, rather than just brain washing everyone to buy Lego. But you know what? It did. It did it brilliantly. The Lego Movie had a great story with a wonderful twist, fantastic characters with excellent voice acting and just looked so much like the actual products. I’d happily sit down and watch it over and over again. Even if it’s just to sing the insidious “Everything is Awesome.” Don’t judge me….
One of the highlights of the Lego Movie was Batman. Yes, you read that right, Batman. Voiced by Will Arnett, Batman stole the show at times by showing everyone how awesome he is, and that everything in his life is black, or dark grey.
But again, it’s a risk to bring just that chracter to his own film. After all, the Minions went solo away fro Gru (Despicable Me) to their own Minions movie, and the film ended up being so poor, so much of a drop in quality, that we’ll pretty much forget now that it ever existed. Warner Bros, whose own DC Universe project is not exactly having a wonderful time of it so far, need a hit. The best Batman film last year was in fact the animated “Return of the Caped Crusader” with Adam West and Burt Ward. It pretty much destroyed Batman Vs Superman in terms of entertainment with a far smaller budget.