Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Of David Tennant Leaving Doctor Who

Thought this was pretty big news.

David Tennant has announced his decision to quit Doctor Who at the end of 2009.

The actor confirmed the news while collecting the award for 'Outstanding Drama Performance' at the National Television Awards.

"In January I go back to make four new specials which take Doctor Who through to the end of 2009," he said. "But when Doctor Who returns in 2010, it won't be with me. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the Doctor."

Tennant added: "If I don't take a deep breath now and move on, I never will. I think it's best I don't outstay my welcome."


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Of Lost Season 5 Promo

I know that this is supposed to be a review of Serenity. However I have decided against a review of Serenity. Instead I'm going to do a special review of Firefly, Serenity, Those Left Behind, Better Days and A Shepherd's Tale some time in the future. So please hold tight.

Alright the real reason is that to be honest I'm not in the correct mood to write another review. Some heavy stuff has gone down which is neither here nor there. So the entertainment segment of this blog may be gone for a while. I aim to still do a post a day. However it will focus on something. Probably a rant or something similar. Just something not quite as lighthearted as a review. I'm just really not in the correct mood to write about the awfulness of so many television shows in a tongue in cheek manner.

Anyway here's the promo for Lost Season 5, it is going to sweet. January/February can't come soon enough

Of Donnie Darko

Yes I love my favourite movies and its why most of my reviews have been positive up until this point and it’s a weakness that I only watch stuff that I truly enjoy, Heroes being the exception that proves the rule. Donnie Darko is a film I love and is just sheer genius. It is easily one of the most original films of all time along with “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

The film is incredibly vague and the audience truly needs to be switched on if they want to get the most from it. I’ve watched the film so many times including the Directors Cut (which is the only version I own at the moment and need to get a copy of the original again) and it’s beautiful to see how the film just comes together perfectly by the end. It's like a perfect package. Although some argue it isn't and that it tries to seem complex when all it does is just hide elements of the story but honestly you can see many clues on a second viewing that I can just tell them to shut the fuck up. Admittedly the Directors Cut is easier to understand, but really it's the original I fell in love with and thats the version I prefer. Although it does get rid of the fucking hand which is always a plus.

So the story is quite easy at first. For starters it just seems that it's about this kid named Donnie who has some sort of mental issue, however slowly it unfolds into this story of time travel and fate. There are tangent universes and people dressed up as giant bunnies. Plus the fact that the world is going to end in days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds means that you're constantly guessing what is going to happen next. If you're switched on you'll realise what is happening and at the end you'll applaud how genius the plot is, and even if you don't you'll still be able to admit that what you just viewed was incredibly intelligent. Now I'm not going to spoil the movie, all I will say is that the movie has so many great scenes that it'd be impossible to list them, although there is a brief shout out to the smurf scene, which will forever remain as one of the funniest scenes in the history of ever.

The acting is really good, with Jake Gyllenhaal proving why he is one of Hollywood's best and great supporting roles coming from people such as Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze and Mary McDonnell, which is to be expected from three very well respected actors. Luckily everyone in the film is great and turns what could be a very boring sci-fi plot into something amazing and completely unpredictable.

Overall the film is one of the most fresh and original films in a long. Looking for something that requires thought, this is for you. It's not a lazy film like Transformers, but something that demands to be watched all cylinders firing. This is the sort of film that explains why independent cinema exists. If films like this keep coming out I'll be an incredibly happy person. Unluckily we keep getting shit like Epic Movie, so the awesomeness of this film is quickly negated. Luckily it will always be awesome to me. 10/10

Of The Matrix

I do believe that it is time for me to review the greatest sci-fi movie of all time. Whilst I do prefer The Fountain, The Matrix is just a better sci-fi movie. It’s also an awesome action with some great and memorable characters as well as an awesome. If you haven’t seen the Matrix, then I’m just going to tell you that you have to watch it. This is just going to be a piece where I say why I enjoy it so much.

For starters if you don’t know what ‘the matrix’ is then you must have been living under a rock for quite some time. The Matrix is a computer system, in which live millions of humans (well sort of, they were grown by machines so that they could act as batteries). These humans live normal lives, going about a normal day. However every so often one of these people will gain sentience and realise they are trapped inside a computer and try to escape. This is with the help of previous escapees. That’s where we join our story, a computer hacker named Neo (real name Thomas Anderson), tries to escape the Matrix. He does this with the help of Morpheus and Trinity, both of whom have previously escaped the Matrix. Then there are the Agents, the ones who don’t want people getting out of the Matrix. After he escapes we are gifted with so many awesome action sequences, explosions, gun fights, kung fu and of course bullet time.

Bullet time is the effect pioneered by this movie and has been parodied so many times. Ever see movie where someone dodges a bullet or the camera freezes whilst they’re in mid-air about to kick someone? That’s the Matrix. This is just one of those pop-culture movies that are referenced all over the place. It’s also the movie that changed the face of sci-fi. The Matrix proved what special effects could do. The Matrix was the first movie to ever get the Oscar for visual effects over a Star Wars film. Considering that Industrial Light and Magic is one of the tent poles for special effects in the industry that’s quite the industry (random point: did you know Masi Oka from Heroes used to work for ILM and did the special effects for the new Star Wars films?) Yup The Matrix was that impressive. It even inspired so many people, including Darren Aronofsky to make the Fountain, that definitely bumps this film up in my books (and believe me it was pretty damn high).

There is another reason why I love the Matrix so much, and that is the fact that it was also my first ever 15. Seriously, before the Matrix I had never seen a 15. So it will always have that special place in my heart. Just for being that film that introduced me to adult cinema. Before this I’d only really seen like animated cartoon films and a couple of films aimed for a younger demographic. One day a friend told me to watch The Matrix when we recommended films to each other (I can’t even remember the film I told him about, must have been sci-fi/action or he wouldn’t have responded like he did). Luckily that week they were showing the Matrix on TV. So I managed to convince my Dad to let me stay up and watch it. And so my mind was blown. I did get tired a bit during the film but I was 11 which are to be expected at midnight. I came out of it in awe. The effects, the action, Power Rangers had never given me anything as awesome as that as a child (yup that’s right I was Power Rangers kid). Soon after this Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions came out (in fact I saw Reloaded early due to bootlegging (I would like to take the time to say that it is wrong)). Whilst neither were as good they both had some amazing action sequences (freeway chase anyone?)

Now for a bit more of a review portion. The Matrix is one of the most progressive films ever. It had some of the best characters ever put to film (who doesn’t love Morpheus?) and also a truly engrossing plot. By the end you truly care about the characters. Then there’s the kickass soundtrack. Whilst you don’t always hear the music over all the actions, it just shows that song is perfectly chosen because you don’t notice it as it just meshes (another sign of a great use of music in a film). The Matrix is just plain awesome, the story is original (although it is similar to that of Loop, a book in my favourite series of all time.) which can be given to the directors of this cinematic masterpiece; the Wachowski Brothers. These guys wrote and directed this movie and should always be remembered for it (even if the movies they’ve done after haven’t been nearly as good).

Finally I’m going to give props to two actors Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. Both these guys steal the show. They are just awesome as the two heads of their opposing factions. Neo might be the main character, but Morpheus is infinitely cooler and Smith is one of the greatest on screen villains ever. He also has one of the greatest voices ever (up there with Will Arnett and Stephen Fry).

Score time. The Matrix can only possibly get one score. It is a landmark in cinematic achievement, my first 15 and also just an all round awesome movie. 10 out of 10

Monday, 27 October 2008

Of Shoot 'em Up (and Crank)

Alright here we review number 2 of the day. A friend lent me this movie, purely because we both enjoyed Crank. Crank was just pure action. Movies like The Matrix and Lord of the Rings can have an awesome action scene backed up with a really cool plot. Crank and likewise Shoot ‘em Up (hence forth known as Shmup) have pure balls to the walls action and almost no plot. Anyone who listens to IGN’s GameScoop podcast will know that Crank has been called the greatest video game film ever, despite not being based on a video game. And really it is. It just captures that feel that so many video games have (particularly a franchise like Duke Nukem). I mean there’s a guy who injects him self with adrenaline whilst in a hospital mighty (meaning no back) who then jumps on a bike, proceeds to stand on the handlebars with a raging hard on. This is just a five minute segment from the movie. There’s also a sex scene set in public in Chinatown where our hero can’t even get it up, and when he does he proceeds to give it to his girlfriend on a post-box to the pleasure of a bus load of Japanese school girls. Hardly the stuff of Oscars, but if you just want to switch off for a while then Crank is definitely a movie I would recommend (if only because it doesn’t take itself at all).

I thought Crank would be the most over the top movie ever…and then I saw Shmup. Dear lord the movie is just action. There is some sort of story…I think? There’s something about a baby, government officials, diseases, gun running, lactating prostitutes and rabbits. To be honest I wasn’t really paying attention to the story. To busy surfing the net (I know bad habit when watching a movie but I got the entire plot and got to see all the action scenes). I did look up when there was an explosion or something (believe that was quite frequent). There’s nothing really I can say about the movie. Everything is just adequate, the acting, the direction, the story. It’s not terrible just average. If you like over the top action then sure go watch it. However because there’s not much to say here’s some scenes from the movie (pretty much all you need to see).

Umm that’s it. Shmup is alright. Not great, not shit, just alright. Crank is definitely more enjoyable. Better story and is a whole lot funnier than Shmup. Not that Shmup isn’t funny, there a few laughs, just not as many as Crank. Since this entire review has been about both films I’m going to give both a score so:
Shoot ‘em Up = 5 out of 10
Crank = 7 out of 10

If you can only go see one pure action movie go see Crank, it’s just more fun (hence why I only described two scenes from the movie instead of posting a myriad of clips). Here's the trailer for Crank anyway

Of Fight Club

Alright here we go. Fight Club. The second Brad Pitt movie I’m reviewing. Not that I like him at all, although I do like him. He’s a great actor, especially when he gets put in the right roles. Films like, Se7en and Twelve Monkeys show him off as a great actor. Just a shame he also has that heartthrob persona which he must keep up with films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Ocean’s Thirteen. Whilst neither are bad films, they don’t really let him show off his considerable talents. Brad Pitt is probably one of the best film actors at the moment. Whilst he isn’t as impressive as an actor such as Javier Bardem (seriously watch No Country for Old Men and look for the guy with the bowel cut), you can still rely on him to give a great performance.

And that’s exactly what he does here. It’s not oscar worthy but it’s still a great performance. He and Edward Norton show off some great acting. While Edward Norton is undoubtedly the main man in this, Brad Pitt once again steals the show in some ways (although not really, watch the movie to find out why). Helena Bonham Carter (who keeps cropping up all over the place nowadays) is the sole female character of the film and whilst it isn’t the best part for a female actress ever, that’s to be expected from a movie called Fight Club. It’s a movie about a lot of guys beating each other, hardly chick flick material (yeah I know sexist, but true).

The plot, well in a nutshell an unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) becomes bored with his normal life, suffers from insomnia and spends all his time remodelling his apartment with Ikea furniture. Eventually he joins a self help group for testicular cancer patients, despite not having it. Here he finds contentment and finally gets to sleep…until Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) comes along. Now unable to sleep he can’t stand it anymore, and then he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). He makes friends with Tyler and is taught about all the woes of the world such as consumerism and homogenisation. After a few nights on the town they get in a consensual fight (as in beating each up), which a forms a thing called Fight Club. Then the whole world falls apart. Love triangles are formed as are anarchistic movements. And it makes it an amazing film.

It may feel I’ve gone in depth into the film, but believe me I haven’t there are so many great things that happen in this film that I cannot and will not spoil. The movie is one of those films that you have to see. It’s one of those few required filmic experiences that you must watch. You might not enjoy all of them but they are still movies that everyone must watch at least once in their life. Movies like Shawshank Redemption and Godfather spring to mind. Fight Club is a great film, and has a twist ending that will blow your mind (although if you’re astute you may be able to figure it out before the end.

David Fincher directs with great skill and proves why he is one of the best directors currently working. With films like Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac under his belt it’s hard to discredit him as a director (unless of course you watch Alien 3). David Fincher definitely brings in a gritty style to the movie as well some cool little self referential points where the characters know that they’re in a movie. It is incredibly well done and just adds to the awesomeness of the film (also Mr. Fincher if you decided on “Where is my Mind” by the Pixies at the end I salute you).

So overall I’m going to give Fight Club 10 out of 10. Now a personal favourite movie choice of mine. I don’t give out 10s often (but if you look at my reviews you may thing otherwise, but that’s merely because I’m reviewing films I enjoy). So if you haven’t seen it yet, go out and buy the DVD….now!!!

Of Apologies

*groan* Alright, I need to apologise. I said I'd be doing a review a day, guess what? I made it three days. Yup three measly days. So I want to say sorry for people expecting a new review every day. However I will be releasing all the reviews today and tommorow (maybe today if I can type all the reviews fast enough).

So an explanation is needed. Wednesday evening I just couldn't write three reviews and I still can't so once my Darren Aronofsky Trilogy review will be pushed back, I'm aiming for a review to coincide with The Wrestler (so you may have to wait till 2009). Then Thursday I was out and about and couldn't do the review of Fight Club, Friday I was preparing for a party which I didn't get back from till late on Saturday, by which point I was just too tired to write anything resembling a coherant review of a movie. Yesturday I was out all day at Christening and once again too tired to write a movie review. So today I will try and get reviews up of Fight Club, Serenity, The Matrix, Donnie Darko and Shoot 'em Up.

Once again apologies for the lateness, I will aim to have all the reviews up very soon (hopefully before I collapse from exhaustion).

Now for a brief clear up. Tonight Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 starts. Watch it!!!! Believe me it's fucking awesome. iasg14's challenge has been accepted however it may take me a while to find the top 10 worst shows as I tend to avoid the utter tripe that parades on television and it may be hard to find some utter shite television from the last 12 months as they tend to die quite slow painful deaths. Finally this was an experiment to see if I could do a post a day, shows I can't so the next time I'm aiming to do a post a day (Christmas time) I will be writing all the posts before hand so I know I'm prepared.

I leave you with awesome opening to Season 2 of Termnator, which by the way has picked up for a full season, now we just need to pray for more Pushing Daisies because that show is in trouble. So please if you read this sign the petition to keep it on the air.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Of Garden State

Finally the long wait is over! My review of Garden State! Yup finally I’m going to review one of my favourite movies ever. I’m going to start off by saying that this movie is definitely going to receive 5 stars, no questions. I could watch this movie any day at any time; it’s just a movie that I enjoy immensely. This movie has seen me through some real rough patches and this year I must have watched at least 10 times, various times just showing it to people and others just because I love this movie too freaking much. I’m not sure what it is about it that makes me love it so much, there’s just something about the message it delivers, as well as some genuinely funny moments.

However I haven’t always loved Garden State. I first watched just because of Zach Braff, due to my love of Scrubs. So I saw that it was on Film Four and sat down to watch, and I’m not sure what it was but some of it seemed to go straight over my head, although this may have been because I was doing other stuff, I was being called out of the room every few minutes. However I came out of it very nonplussed about it. And yet I wanted so much to love it.

I wanted to love it so much in fact I watched it again. This time it was a lot better. This time there were no distractions and I could just sit and watch it. However there was still something I was missing. But this latest viewing convinced me to get the DVD. So on Christmas I got two DVDs; The Fountain and Garden State (two 5 star movies,) and sat down to watch Garden State. This time I had an epiphany and I think it was mostly because of my mental state at the time. I found out exactly what he was saying. I’m always going to refer to this point of time, Christmas Eve 2007 as a changing point in my life, for reasons that are for me and me alone to know.

So on with the review. The movie is bloody brilliant. It has all of the indie sensibilities that I love. It isn’t marred by a big budget or ‘A’ list stars although the cast is impressive: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman and Sir Ian Holm. I’d also like to point that all the performances are top notch, although it would have been nice to see Ian Holm a bit more, but looking at the deleted scenes you can tell why his scenes were cut. The movie just has something about it that really appeals to me. It’s not gut wrenchingly funny, but every so often there’ll be something funny that will bring a smirk to your face, such as the shirt scene in the bathroom which isn’t hilarious but is just a quick visual sight gag. It doesn’t have Zach Braff yelling in your face “Look I’m being funny, hawhehaw.” It’s just a quick gag that isn’t referenced afterwards at all.

Now that I’ve mentioned him more than once I will have to bring immense props to Zach Braff who not only acted but wrote AND directed this movie. This movie just shows how talented this man truly is. He’s funny in Scrubs yes but not the funniest. That could easily go John C. McGinley’s Dr. Cox or Neil Flynn’s Janitor. However Garden State put him a completely different light (and not just because this is the first time I’ve ever heard him swear). I will say now though, if you are looking for Scrubs humour you won’t find it here. There are no extended sequences to show what’s happening in Large’s brain, it’s just exactly what there is on screen, no more, no less. The fact that Braff wrote in his early 20s really shines through in all the sensibilities and his reactions to the things that happen in this movie. The movie definitely has more than enough drama but is also heart-warming, and whilst the original ending may have been more intone with what the movie promises from it’s style and substance, the ending that is there is great (if a little too Hollywood).

Now for the soundtrack. You can’t talk about Garden State without talking about the music. Braff collected a load of songs that reflected how he felt and put them as placeholders in his film, before sending them off to the artists to show them how they would be used, and they all said yes! What happens is you get a soundtrack that is entirely the right choice for the scene, not like many movies where they rely on popular music and number ones. This movie instead uses bands like Remy Zero, Cary Brothers, Colin Hay and Zero 7. The movie also introduced me to some of my favourite songs and bands such as The Shins (who received a so called ‘Zach Braff’ effect after the movie, or was it just how cute Natalie Portman looked listening to them?), Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine (and the original by the Postal Service) and Let Go – Frou Frou. The music is used in all the right spots and just enhances the mood of film. A song used in the perfect scene will make the song 10 times better than if you just listen to it on its own.

Right so overall as stated above Garden State gets unequivocal 10 out 10. No questions asked. If you’re looking for a good movie to watch choose Garden State, it’s not as difficult as some of my other favourite films, which make it that perfect rainy day film, particularly if you have similar sensibilities to me. Now if you excuse me I feel like watching it again.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Of Fargo

Yesturday I reviewd the new Coen Brothers movie, today I review one of their critically acclaimed films. This movie along with No Country for Old Men are the brothers oscar nominated duo of films. I will say that once more that No Country for Old Men is the better film however this movie is flipping great.

Right the movie follows a similar case to Burn After Reading in that not much happens but for some reason it feels like a lot did. I must commend the Coen Brothers for letting me watch three of the best movies that I've had the pleasure of watching in a while. Again all the acting in this film is top notch. It seems the Coen's can get great acting out of all of their actors no matter how small or large the role.

Fargo deals with a William H. Macy's character trying to get out of debt by hiring two thugs to kidnap his wife. Of course this proceeds to go wrong and all kinds of bad shit happens. There are murders and some very funny macarbe humour (just like in Burn After Reading.) The movie overall is great fun with some quite dark moments (paticularly the woodchipper scene). The dialogue and direction once more is a spot on. However I would make a complaint that there seemed to be a superflous scene in the middle, although I think that was just due to me being tired and not getting how it fit in.

Fargo seems to have the same idea as Burn After Reading, in that a lot seems to happen but upon reflection you realise that almost nothing did. The movie makes great use out of the setting to show how different life is when things such as kidnapping happen. What was also great about watching Fargo is learning where all those moments in films and references that you didn't realise were references came from. That Canadian accent so many films seem to use? This film. Someone going on about how they will be completely silent and just end saying it loads of times to try and get their point across? This film.

Fargo is great film and would rank high in my all time favourites. Like Garden State it require multiple viewings for me to truely appreciate it. So at this point I have to give the movie a 8 out of 10. It isn't as good as No Country for Old Men but is still a great movie, however it is unfair to compare these two movies as they are clearly going for different angles. No Country is more gritty noir whilst Fargo definately has far more comedy elements.

Yup I know shorter than normal post, but really I want to make these reviews succinct so that I don't write too much on a movie. So most of these will be short and sweet (apart from the Darren Aronofsky movies.)

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Of Burn after Reading

Right I know I promised a review of Garden State this weekend but I guess that didn’t happen. I know naughty me. Anyway trust it’ll get 5 stars, I’ve seen that movie enough times to know it’s one of my favourite movies ever and is a sort of comfort food to me which I will never turn down an opportunity to watch.

So if you can read you might have noticed that the subject is ‘Of Burn after Reading’ and if you know your cinema, you’ll know that movie is in the cinema right now!!!! Gosh I am up to date aren’t I? Yes instead of reviews of television shows that won’t be out in the UK till god knows when (apart from Heroes on BBC 2 Wednesday’s at 9 and Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles season 2 starts October 23rd), I’m reviewing a movie that you too can see for the price of a cinema ticket. Yes I know I did this as well for the Dark Knight but well I thought I’d point it out this time. Also this movie isn’t as good as Dark Knight, not by a long shot, however it is a great movie one I would heartily recommend despite the complete lack of plot. Well on with the review.

Burn after Reading is the latest movie from Joel and Ethan Coen, the two people who directed and wrote No Country for Old Men last year. You know the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture? Well if you don’t go and see it now! It is an amazing movie and again Burn after isn’t nearly as good (God it’s beginning to sound like I hated this doesn’t it?). Burn after Reading is a comedy…..sort of. It harks back to the Coen’s ability to blend film noir with comedy. This movie is defiantly more of a comedy than anything else, albeit with a couple of quite gory scenes (and I mean a couple, as in two).

The movie does take a little while to get into it but it’s necessary. We need to know all the characters and how they connect to each other, and believe me there are a lot of characters all of whom are played by a terrific ensemble cast including: John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tilda Swinton. If you none of those names you clearly need to get out from under your rock. Of all these actors the best would have to be Pitt. He brings so much energy to the role that it’s hard not to enjoy it. So much of Pitt’s humour comes from just expressions and movements that him just being on screen is enough to make you giggle. It is also clear that he had a lot of fun making the movie; especially since this is his first movie with the two brothers (the role almost makes me forgive from dropping out The Fighter). What’s even better is that none of the characters overstay their welcome, whilst it would have been nice if Pitt had had more scenes (I’m not going to say what happens, that came as shock even to me,) it was great to see that every actor played a role in the non-plot.

When I saw non-plot I really do mean that. This movie whilst having a story just doesn't have a real plot and it knows it as well. Whilst this would be a complaint for almost any other movie, the fact that some great jokes are made out of it is great. Whilst some of the action happens off screen it is used to great comic effect. I’m not going to spoil what does happens but I will say that it is one of the funniest moments I’ve seen in a while (up there with the fake trailers in Tropic Thunder and Kevin = mentally handicapped in the Office). The story is all about some stolen documents, a misunderstanding, plastic surgery, affairs and murder. However it all comes together in one of the most nonsensical ways ever. The plot is easy to follow but at the end you do come out wondering what it was you just saw.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Burn after Reading. The cast was great (again nods to Pitt), direction is of the normal Coen Brothers standard as was the writing. The movie isn’t the best thing to grace cinemas ever but it is a great movie albeit one that is not for everyone. I have a feeling I definitely enjoyed it more than my friends but whatever. I must say I do love a movie that can surprise me. There were two moments where I was genuinely surprised (although my friend did whisper the punch line to what could have been the funniest moment ever seconds before it happened). So if you like a noir comedy film with a slightly macabre sense of humour then this is for you. If you do go see it watch out for Pitt’s performance (you will love it trust me), and what George Clooney is building in his basement.

So I’m going to give Burn after Reading a 8 out of 10

I would also like to clarify my rating system now. I will only be reviewing TV shows and movies purely because it is easier to give them a score. TV will be out of 10 and then only based on an entire season (expect reviews of Veronica Season 1 and The Wire soon). Movies will also be based on scale of 10 (because 5 is just too constricting) and you expect reviews of Garden State and all of Darren Aronofsky’s films (God I’m sounding like a broken record). Everything I else will either be a recommendation (as in the case of Fables and The Neverhood) or a warning to steer clear of.

Well here is where I’m going to pledge to you what will happen in the future…I promise. I will be doing one post a day for the next week (and a bit). All of which will be movie reviews. So here goes:
Monday = Fargo
Tuesday = Garden State
Wednesday = Darren Aronofsky films
Thursday = Fight Club
Friday = Shoot ‘em Up
Saturday = The Matrix
Sunday = Donnie Darko
Monday = Serenity

After that is half term in which I will also be having a post a day. I haven’t decided what I’ll do then. I’m aiming to have my reviews of Veronica Mars Season 1 then as well as some more game recommendations. Book reviews and maybe even a rant. Also I would like to say that over half term I’m completely open to iasg14’s revenge. So until November 2nd I believe that I will have a blog post every day. If I fail feel free to send me emails telling me how much I suck.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Of People Afraid to try Things

Right I'm pissed, this is me writing a post on what is wrong with so many people at the moment. I promise this Saturday a review of Garden State, followed by review of Darren Aronofsky's movies the week after (I know I keep promising and I actually watched Garden State in preparation but I got busy and didn't do it).
Guess what? 99% of people are complete and utter fucking morons (alright thats exaggerated but whatever.) I hate, and I mean hate I simply being hyperbolic, the vast majority of people when it comes to their choices of tv, movies and games (paticualarly teenagers, when we become adults we actually become more cultured.) Whilst I know I have to respect peoples opinons but guess what when people don't respect my choices I just give up and decide to berate their choices. I could turn on Requiem for a Dream (one of the greatest movies ever) and the vast majority of teenagers would want to watch some shitty action movie or a comedy (*cough*DisasterMovie*.) But guess what? They won't even give it a shot. And it's not that won't enjoy it. I know someone whose favourite movie is Shawshank Redemption, a bonafide classic which shows they will watch and enjoy amazing films. It's just they will never make a concious decision to watch great movies. I'm of the only people in my house to have seen No Country for Old Men and you can laughed at for saying you've seen Brokeback Mountain. Fucking hell. You don't laugh at the guy for literally putting his mind in a blender when he watches 'Meet the Spartans' and yet apparantly when I watch a well acted, directed and written movie, just because its about gay cowboys means my opinion can't be respected. THE FUCKING MOVIE WAS NOMINATED (and should have won) BEST PICTURE!!!!! GET OVER YOUR FUCKING HOMOPHOBIA (alright thats a different matter entirely).
Nowhere is this divide between me and other people more clear than in video games. Yes people do like playing good games. However I've shown people pictures of Okami and LittleBigPlanet and they've been called 'gay'. Now I would like to point out that IGN (plug) gave both games a 9.5/10. That's pretty incredible in my books. And yet you would rather go out and buy the new FIFA which you just bought last year or Mario Party 56/5. It really is a depressing state of affairs when a new original and interesting game is brought into conversation and is promptly pissed all over. Whilst there are good games in every genre (yes despite my irrational hatred of them, FIFA and Madden are good games) it just hurts to hear that they are the only games that people talk about. Guitar Hero, FIFA, GTA, Gears of War, World of Warcraft. Yes all good games (infact all amazing games) but there are other games!!! Just because a game doesn't fall inside your normal comfort zone doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. Just because you love Zelda doesn't mean you shouldn't give Gears a try. The same goes if you love Oblivion, why not try Picross? GTA fan? Try LittleBigPlanet. I know you love Mario why not go play Metal Gear Solid. Good games exist everywhere but I am immensely pissed off by the people who seem to make it their personal vendetta to not try games from a certain genre. I own games from every genre conceiveable genre because I want new experiences. So please don't go with the trend try new stuff. Try a new genre (but make sure you choose a good example), if you don't enjoy it fine. But if you do you've found a new game to play. It means you won't be playing Guitar Hero or FIFA forever.
Finally I'd also like to start a plea for smaller games. Ever hear of Psychonauts? Grim Fandango? Beyond Good and Evil? Ico? Okami? All fucking brilliant games, but because you're too far up your own arse to try new and different games means you won't ever play them will you? You can play popular games like Zelda and Halo all you want. But true gaming lies in the corporate companies. The people making the true gamers games.
So my final plea is please, oh please, try something new! Whether its a movie, tv show or game (paticualarly games) just try it. If you don't enjoy it fine. You haven't hurt anyone but what if you do enjoy it? Then once you've expanded into new genres try going cult. Cult movies and games are where the real ideas come to life. Donnie Darko and Psychonauts, both completely out there but both fucking epic. Remember you don't know what you enjoy until you've done it.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Of The New Television Season

Yup it’s that time again, the beginning of the television season. So with all the shows back (except for 30 Rock which starts in about a month and those mid-season shows), here is my list of the favourite first episodes of the season in descending order i.e. 1-Heroes.

The Office: Weight Loss

The Office Season 5 premiere was superb. I haven’t laughed so much in a while. From Michael ripping up the tickets when Holly invited him out for a date to Angela going off to sleep with Dwight whenever her fiancĂ© Andy spoke to her, it was all hilarious. There was even the continuation of the one of the shows best practical jokes, Holly thinking that Kevin is mentally disabled, leading to an extremely awkward scene when she is proved. But perhaps greatest of all was Jim proposing to Pam, at first I thought he was going to break things off for a while, but he actually proposed!!! Yes The Office does work better as 20 minutes rather 40, but if the longer episodes maintain this level of quality I really don’t care.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Samson and Delilah

I started watching Sarah Connor Chronicles over the summer and it was definitely interesting. However it was season 2 that has gotten me truly hooked. In this pilot we got an answer to the question ‘what happens when a good Terminator goes bad?’ What followed was 40 minutes of Cameron chasing John and Sarah in the aftermath of the explosion that finished season 2. The season has only continued to get better since this episode, with the last 2 episodes being particularly great. Sarah Connor also proved in this episode and the season 1 finale that it is the best show for choosing songs to be put over action scenes. Finally this episode also introduced to a type of Terminator not seen since 1992 in the second Terminator film for what promises to be a truly great season.

Pushing Daisies:

Pushing Daisies is back! This episode leaps right into the shows amazingly fast paced dialogue and primary colour palette. It had everything that we could possibly want from an episode of Pushing Daisies. Interesting murders, wacky characters, plenty of twists and some of the best set design on television. The fact that this show creates brand new locales for every episode is particularly amazing. This week we’re at a honey make-up facility, next week at the circus and then god knows where. It was cool to see the aunts finally coming out of the house and great to see that everything unanswered from last season came up last episode, Chuck’s dad, Ned’s dad, Lilly being Chuck’s mother, Emerson having a lost daughter (as well as his fascination with pop-up books) and Olive being a ‘sawn-off shotgun full of secrets.’ It’s great to have the wackiest show on television back.

How I Met Your Mother: Do I Know You?

How I Met Your Mother returned to screens in its normal hilarity. A lot happened in these 20 minutes. Stella said yes to Ted. Barney is still pining for Robyn and Marshall is still unemployed. How I Met Your Mother really does have the most heart of any show on television at the moment but it’s also the funniest, yes I did rank The Office higher but How I Met Your Mother I believe is the funnier show. If only for Neil Patrick Harris and the awesome amount of awesomeness that he brings to Barney and every single thing he does and says. I’ll be back every week to sample the 20 minutes of awesome that this show brings week in week out.

Dexter: Our Father

My number 2 show of 2007 is back with a slightly weaker season opening. That is in no way a bad thing, because Dexter always takes a few weeks to show you where the show is going to take you this year. In season 1 it was Dexter versus a serial killer. In season 2 it was Dexter versus the Miami Police Department. This year I don’t know where the series is going to go but I do know that it will revolve around this years special guest star Jimmy Smits. By the time that the season gets into its story proper, I have no doubt that the tension starts to rise and the action gets incredible just like the past two seasons have shown why Dexter is one of the best shows on the television, even if Doakes is sadly no longer part of the cast.

Chuck versus the First Date

Chuck is again back. This episode is technically a second pilot for the show, to reintroduce those people who haven’t seen the show since January. It does a great job. It was great to see the ‘Chuck must die’ story come back and the ending leaves a lot of questions. What does Fulcrum really want? Will Chuck and Sarah actually get together? Will Casey ever cease to be awesome? The show is a great set up to one of the most fun shows on television. Whilst it’s not a masterpiece like The Wire nor do you have to concentrate for 40 minutes like Veronica Mars or Lost, its just great fun to watch Chuck muddle his way through work, love and spies.

My Name is Earl: The Magic Hour

My Name is Earl fell from my graces last year. I thoroughly enjoyed season 1 but seasons 2 and 3 seemed to have lost the magic. However this and the following 3 episodes are beginning to restore my faith in the show. Whilst it will never be as funny as The Office or How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl may just be able to find what made its first season so great, particularly if it keeps up the big name guest stars like Seth Green (quite possibly the highlight of the season 4 premiere).


Fringe the only new show on the list, from J. J. Abrams, the man who created Lost. Fringe could definitely turn out to be a great show. However so far it is just showing a great potential. The cast is great, the effects are good, and all the fringe science is really cool. It’s just there is something missing, which I sincerely hope that they find because this show could quickly turn to be one masterpiece of a show. However I will say that it truly is Damon Lindelof that made Lost what it is, even if J.J is the person who gets most of credit for creating the show (also we can’t talk about Damon unless we mention Carlton Cuse as well, because those two are the best writers in the television world. Period.)

Heroes: The Second Coming

Heroes, Heroes, Heroes. Goddamn it! Get your finger out. This season should be awesome!!!! It’s all fucking there!!! Heroes, Villains, Superpowers, you’ve shown you can make that awesome, just look at season 1!!!! Please I have so much faith that you’ll turn this around. So far you’ve not been bad but there’s so much you’ve wasted. Focus on one or two storylines an episode, don’t do the future thing again next year and get rid of the fucking Mopider story. You’ve got one of the best casts on television, Zachary Quinto, Kristin Bell, Masi Oka, Greg Grunberg, Hayden Panettiere and Jack Coleman, plus that’s just main characters!! Christopher Eccleston, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Tobolowsky, George Takei, Jamie Hector, Francis Capra, Andre Royo, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer!!!! Really it’s not the actors fault at all with all that awesomeness in one place it should be easy to make this incredible, but it’s the writing that brings this down. Too many stories in on episode make it feel bloated as does the repetition the show has. On paper season 3 sounds great, it’s just the execution that hasn’t impressed me so far. So please make the show as great as it used to be, a true rival to Lost’s thrown as best show on television.

That’s the current television first episode reviews (except for 30 Rock) for you. It might not be all of them, but it’s the ones that I watch. Now I’m looking forward to new Lost, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’ new show ‘Cupid’ next year. Television is only set to be getting more awesome.

However I do have plea to all American readers. Please, please, please don’t let Pushing Daisies, Chuck or Terminator get cancelled. Viewing figures for these shows are down and the networks might just cancel them. Please save the shows. Save them please. We don’t the Old Adventures of New Christine or Knight Rider to survive if it means Pushing Daisies will die. If they do die then I’ll just have another reason to hate Americans (along with your butchering of Red Dwarf, Sarah Palin and the cancelling of Veronica Mars). Don’t come to me crying when you realise that 90% of television is shit if you won’t save the shows that truly deserve to survive. Unlike horse shit that’s being going on far too long *cough*According to Jim*cough*Boston Legal*cough*Smallville*cough.

No clear up this time, it’s still exactly the same as last time just minus this post so look for movie and book reviews (this will be all the television (unless something amazing happens) until my top 10 shows of 2008.)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Of Fables

Alright I would like to start of by saying I have no problem with any sort of medium that tells a story. Books, television, film, music, theatre etc. However there was one medium I also had a problem with, which was comic books. I followed certain comic book characters (Spider-Man and X-Men mostly) and knew a lot about their story arcs. However I never felt like reading them. I had always preferred long novels than to read little snippets of dialogue with lots of pictures. That along with the fact that these comics had been running for years and had hundreds of issues to read, comics having a geeky stigma around them and the things I had seen they seemed difficult to read.

However this all changed last year. Last year I was suffering 'Lost' withdrawal. I had watched seasons 1-3 in quick succession (only a few months between seasons), however now I had to wait 9 months till season 4 was on Sky One. So I needed something to do and came across an influence the writers of Lost had credited, Watchmen. A comic book by Alan Moore, is on of the biggest influences on how Lost is written. So I bought it looking for something to read, not caring as long as it was similar to Lost. And I did read it. Then I realised I thoroughly enjoyed it. And then I read it again. Then I started recommending it to people. Currently my copy is in the position of a close friend due to the movie trailer which was released a few weeks ago so he can have a knowledge of the story before it releases.

Realising that Watchmen really was amazing (and there will be a blog post about it when the movie comes out) I tried to find more comics to read. Not Spider-Man's and X-Men. Other comics. Not necessarily the ones about superheroes but the less well known ones and critically acclaimed ones. This has led me to find such series as Sandman (Neil Gaiman, friend of Terry Pratchett, bought this one after I read Good Omens a very funny book by them both) and Y: The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan, a writer on Lost). Both of these are great reads and really interesting. I've also read such comics as The Dark Knight Returns and the Fountain, again I loved both. However there is one series I love the most out of all of these, and that is Fables, the subject of this blog.

Fables for those of you don't know is a comic book version of all your favourite fairy tales after their stories have finished. It's also not just fairy tales but books like Narnia, Oz and Alice in Wonderland. The thing is it takes really interesting spins on the classic characters, a fairly adult twist. Prince Charming is a playboy who was married to Snow White, Cinderella and Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and now fucks any girl who looks at him. The Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf for short) is the sheriff of their community. Jack of Fables is the same Jack from nearly every tale featuring a Jack, Jack Frost, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Jack Horner and so on and so on.

The reason all these Fables are together in one community? Because they have been taken from their individual Fable words by the Adversary (and the reveal of who that is is extremely cool.) This means that many of the Fables now live in a community in New York called Fabletown (catchy huh?). Here they live a life away from the Mundy's and the Adversary's troops, with their Mayor; King Cole, Deputy Mayor; Snow White and many other Fables from an extremely long list that continues to grow. Many of the Fables remain in the 'Homelands' ruled by the Adversary with strict authoritarian ruling. Which means that Fables in the Homelands and those in Fabletown have come to a head at various points (memorably in the March of the Wooden Soldiers and Boy Blues one man mission into the Homeland).

Currently I am only at issue 59 which means I'm 17 issues behind where many of the other readers are at. However so far the series has been packed with amazing moments. From the March of the Wooden Soldiers, the reveal of the Adversary and Blue's accompanying rampage across the Homelands and the many,many unexpected romances that have cropped up along the way. There are so many great characters in this series and thankfully many of them have a back story already in place and are given far more depth than in the stories in this series.

Fables is a great series that I would recommend to almost anyone looking for something cool and interesting to read. It's not particularly taxing to read but it is damn fun. Only 16 issues till major changes in the status quo (still don't know whats going to happen but I do know that the Homelands and Fabletown are going to war.) I'll be posting some more impressions when I get to issue 75 so that should be up fairly soon.


Alright I've finished the first 75 issues. All I can say is that I love this series. I would defiantly rank it up there with some of favourite books of all time. The tale that is told is just so interesting. The Fable universe is rich and at the end of this first part of the story I've been treated to so many amazing moments. I've recounted a few above but I would also like to add scenes like Genie arc as well as the issue 75 which was just incredible and just changes so many things.

I'm going to give a score to Fables now. The story is so rich and is constantly surprising. The characters are all amazing (personally favourite is Boy Blue) and the artwork is stunning. Fables definitely deserves a 10/10