I went into Dayman v Nightman: Dawn of the Troll Toll (see video below) with exceedingly low expectations, which is a strategy that has been working well for me lately. I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst (are they gonna drop the bomb on us) and secretly wanted this movie to blow my god damn socks off. It did not, but it was a lot of fun to watch. I invite you now on my journey through BvS:DoJ, let’s start with a trailer that is superior to the real actual trailer in every respect to get everyone in the mood….
Things kick off with this movie chronologically right after Man of Steel (2013) which gave us an excellent take on the origin story of Superman. If you haven’t seen it basically Superman destroys half of Metropolis while facing off against General Zod (a fellow Kyptonian who is a real piece of work). And by “destroys half of Metropolis” I mean they really mess that city up, like, how did Metropolis even recover? And Bruce Wayne happened to be in town to witness all of it.
That was Wayne tower being completely obliterated by the way. So, Superman has just rolled into town unannounced and unknown and been involved in an insane amount of violence and death. Naturally Batman is not into this and the citizens of the country are also concerned which is where BvS begins, things have started off okay!
Enter Lex Luthor CEO of LexCorp. Words cannot express how much I hate Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor, it was frustrating to watch him neurotically mumble his way through this character who is supposed to be utterly terrifying. He sucks. Lex is trying to be the architect of the greatest battle of all time, Batman v Superman and although his plan starts with a lot of good ideas it deteriorates so quickly. Much like the film. As far as evil geniuses go he had a plan and it was a decent plan but it wasn’t diabolical or that clever.
What started as a deep and thoughtful exploration into the resentment Batman and Superman hold for each other quickly spirals into a nonsensical farce with plot developments so weak it hurts. Maybe if Lex wasn’t so terrible it could have been saved? No that’s not it because anyone who has seen this film with their own eyes and witnessed the “Martha” fiasco knows this script was not exactly great material to work with.
I genuinely feel bad for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill who both do a very good job in this film. Especially after seeing how sad Ben Affleck has been lately (see video below) because the fact the movie misses the mark has nothing to do with them!
Between the completely unnecessary flashbacks to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents every five seconds and the overload of set ups for the upcoming Justice League films there really isn’t any substance to this script. It jumps from idea to idea as frantically as a small child trying to explain an exciting action sequence in a movie. “And then superman did this and batman did this and oh by the way all this happened ages ago which is important then omg lex luthor was doing something and then OH MY GOD THEN WONDER WOMAN CAME oh and there are all these other heroes but I don’t have time to explain..”
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, now I had set the bar about as low as it could go, I had buried the bar of hope in the back garden of my mind palace because I love Wonder Woman. Her arrival on the scene was hands down the best part of the movie for me and she pulls out some serious bad-assery in her brief time on screen. I’ll admit I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Wonder Woman! She’s absolutely nothing like the Diana Prince I grew up watching in the glorious Wonder Woman show but she kicks a lot of ass and gets shit done. She shows up just when you’re about to give up on the whole thing and somewhat redeems the movie, but it’s not enough.
All in all this movie was essentially a powerpoint presentation. There wasn’t any real story but a whole lot of flashy and admittedly amazing visual stimuli with a ripping score by Hans Zimmer (I am biased here because Zimmer is king in my books). That being said a lot of superhero movies do follow this format. I see people comparing this to The Avengers which I honestly hated a whole lot more. I think a lot of people will read that and get straight to their hate stations but honestly guys the Avengers sucked, Age of Ultron sucked and Batman v Superman was sucky but not entirely shit. Both movies are great examples of more style than substance but at least BvS has likeable characters.
It was awesome to see Batman and Superman beating the living shit out of each other and it was even more awesome to see Wonder Woman lasso the fuck out of Doomsday. If you go into this movie with the same attitude as any action movie you’re going to have a good time. Comparing this to the Dark Knight trilogy is a waste of time and energy, those movies were fantastic and brilliantly written and it is sad that it doesn’t live up to that but it’s not necessary to slam hyperbole everywhere saying THIS WAS THE WORST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN EVEN DAREDEVIL WAS BETTER THAN THIS (I’m looking at you Rotten Tomatoes).
I just think fans of Superhero stories in general (myself included I love this genre in every format) act like spoiled brats when things don’t go their way. Fans of the DC franchise have been building up hype for this movie in a shark like feeding frenzy for months on end and when they finally saw the film and it wasn’t as perfect as they imagined it to be they took up their pitchforks and called for the heads of everyone involved. Except Affleck, everyone seems to love Affleck.
So everyone just needs to calm down. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it belongs to you exclusively, just because you’ve read all the comics or own a batman costume or think you know more than the average Joe when it comes to these characters, it doesn’t mean you could make a better movie or get to decide “oh it’s terrible it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen and I feel personally attacked by Warner Brothers for RUINING MY ENTIRE LIFE.”
I will be watching this movie again, probably a few times and I will be complaining about certain things when I talk about it but I don’t feel like I need to burn down Warner Brothers because they didn’t perfectly create what I wanted.
In summary this was disappointing, but if you’re a fan of the genre go see it with your own eyes before you jump on the hate train. It’s a good enough movie, a solid 2.5 hours of fun superhero antics that isn’t completely terrible. Will it be held in high regard among Batman fans? not compared to the Nolan movies. Superman fans? Maybe but they are upset that Supes didn’t get as much character development as Batman. Justice League fans? it sets things up for the upcoming Justice League films yes but it’s a pretty rushed example of team work at the end.
We hear a lot of people talking about the golden age of Hollywood, where actors and actresses were glamorous, mysterious and seemingly perfect. On the surface it appears to be superior to modern Hollywood in every way; performers were dignified, we never saw them in their pajamas at the supermarket but instead dressed in lavish outfits on a red carpet or sipping cocktails in an exclusive bar. But the truth is that Old Hollywood was a dark, abusive, narcissistic machine that took advantage of everyone and anyone who entered into its world. And so we are going to write a series of pieces on this sinister beast and the people whose lives were made and then destroyed by its insatiable appetite, and we begin with one of the most tragic tales of them all; Judy Garland.
“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.” – Judy Garland
Garland was born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids Minnesota in 1922 where her parents ran a small theatre. Due to some accusations made against her father by ushers in their business the family was forced to relocate to California; where they purchased and ran another theatre. In 1928 Judy and her two sisters formed a dance troupe known as “The Gumm Sisters.” Over the following years these three sisters would have their first film debut and tour the Vaudeville circuit together performing songs and dancing across the country. During their success the troupe changed their name from Gumm to Garland and little Frances became Judy.
In September 1935 thirteen year old Judy was brought into MGM studios for an audition by her father and she was immediately signed into a contract with the studio. Compared to the beautiful women in Hollywood at the time (think Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner) Judy was described as “the ugly duckling” and “the little hunchback” by the then studio chief Louis B Mayer.
Over the following years Judy was teamed up with Mickey Rooney in a series of buddy style films. To keep up with production schedules teenage Judy was prescribed amphetamines to stay awake for the long shoots and also barbiturates to be able to sleep at night. MGM also demanded that their ugly duckling be kept on a strict diet, which consisted of only a bowl of soup and a plate of lettuce on most filming days. In an interview later in Judy’s life she was asked what she thought she missed out on most as a teenager, and her response was simply “eating.”
In 1938 at the age of 16 Garland was cast in undoubtedly her most famous role; Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. This film was met with critical acclaim and earned her the Oscar in 1940 for the Juvenile Award Category and is still remembered now as one of the greatest films to come out of this era. Judy’s performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was named the greatest movie song of all time by the American Film Institute and in 1981 her performance of the song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Today when people think of Judy Garland, they no doubt think of this beautiful performance.
1940 was a huge year for Judy, she won her Juvenile Oscar Award for Oz and also acted in three new films for MGM, this was also the year she got engaged to her first husband at 18 years old. Her marriage to David Rose was short, they were wed in July 1941, Separated in January 1942 and sadly divorced by January 1943.
By 1944 Judy had earned herself top billing in films made by MGM, she was even billed before Gene Kelly in their film “For me and My Girl.” This year also produced another huge hit for Garland in the musical “Meet Me in St Louis.” The musical soundtrack performed by Garland for this film was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2005 and four songs from the soundtrack were also included on the American Film Institute’s Greatest Movie Song of all time list. An affair with Orson Welles also occurred in 1944 who was married at the time to fellow superstar Rita Hayworth.
In 1945 Judy married Vincente Minnelli and the following year gave birth to her first child Liza at the age of twenty four. Liza herself would go on to become an infamous performer in her own right.
In 1947 things started to become difficult for Garland. While shooting “The Pirate” she had a nervous breakdown and was committed to a private sanitarium away from her daughter. The same year also included Garland’s first suicide attempt, rumoured to have taken place on the actual set of The Pirate; Judy slit her wrists with shards of broken glass. She was one again committed to a psychiatric hospital and “The Pirate” became Garland’s first film with MGM to actually lose money.
Judy soon returned to work with MGM for “Easter Parade” with Fred Astaire which was released in 1948 and became her top grossing film of all time. Because of the huge success of the film MGM paired these two up numerous times over the following years and Garland’s schedule became busier than it had ever been. During the filming of “Barkleys of Broadway” Garland was still being prescribed sleeping pills and was also using illegally purchased morphine, she also began to develop a dependence on alcohol. In 1948 a doctor declared that Garland should not be working as much as she currently was with MGM and they immediately suspended her contract completely, replacing her in all films with Ginger Rogers.
Yes the studio that introduced Garland to amphetamines and barbiturates was now suspending her career because she had developed an addiction to those very same drugs. Later in 1948 she returned to MGM and her daughter Liza made her film debut at the age of two and half.
Shortly after her return to MGM Garland was set to star in “Annie Get Your Gun” directed by Busby Berkeley. Busby and Garland clashed dramatically and she was once again suspended by MGM. During production of this film Garland was also undergoing electric shock therapy for her depression and drug addiction. This led to an extended stay a Boston hospital to try and get clean, eat and sleep normally (as she was still barely eating due to her strict diets) and gain some weight.
In 1949 Garland would star in her final released film for MGM; “Summer Stock” with Gene Kelly. To lose weight for the role Judy tragically went back to taking pills and dieting, undoing all her progress from her recent hospital stay. It is rumoured that she would turn up late or not at all for filming throughout the entire production.
“Royal Wedding” was another MGM film to be made in 1950 which signed Garland but from which she was again suspended. It was shortly after her suspension that Judy once again attempted to end her life, she was only in her late twenties. Upon reflection of this time Garland was quoted as feeling “I wanted to black out the future as well as the past.”
With her contract at MGM now over Judy had to find other ways to keep an income coming in, and other ways to keep performing. At the time Bing Crosby was host of the television variety show; “Kraft Music Hall.” Crosby had heard that Garland was struggling financially as well as battling depression once again and wanted to help his friend. Between 1950 and 1951 Garland made eight appearances on his show.
In 1951 Judy put on a show at The Palace Theatre in New York City which was described as “one of the greatest personal triumphs in show business history.” It broke all previous ticket sales records for the theatre and earned Judy a Special Tony Award for her contributions to Vaudeville. But unfortunately at this same time her relationship with Minnelli was deteriorating, and by the end of 1951 the pair had divorced. However it wasn’t long before Garland married for a third time in 1952 to the manager of her tours; Sid Luft.
The musical remake of “A Star is Born” was released in 1954 to “tremendous” critical acclaim and launched Judy Garland back into cinemas around the world. Garland was nominated for and won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a comedy or musical. She was tipped to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film and everyone felt confident she had the award in the bag. On the night of the Oscars Judy could not attend as she had just given birth to her second child with Luft, the awards had sent a camera crew to her hospital room so that she could accept her award, but to everyone’s surprise, she did not win.
In the mid 1950s Judy did a string of TV specials and performances on the Vegas strip until unfortunately in 1959 she was hospitalised with acute hepatitis. She stayed in the hospital until 1960 and when she was released she was told that she had only five years to live, she was 38 years old.
Garland’s performance at Carnegie hall in 1961 was once of the most triumphant and successful events of her career. A two record album of the performance was released and quickly earned certified gold status, it spent thirteen weeks at number one and also won four Grammys including Album of the Year and Best Solo Female Vocal Performance. The following year she would also be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Golden Globes.
Despite the success of “Judy at Carnegie Hall” the performer was still hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by the 1960s. Garland was desperately in need of a steady income so she agreed to do “The Judy Garland” show in 1962 which would involve a new show taped and aired each week. Despite the fact she was now a mother of three and suffering an incurable disease that would kill her within a matter of years, Judy in her true fighting spirit said on with the show.
It was on this show that Judy gave (in my opinion) the single most soul crushing and heartbreaking performance of all time. It was later reveled by Garland that her husband (Luft) had been abusive. She had lived through addiction, hospitalisations, abuse, electric shock therapy and the news of her impending death when she gave this performance and you can see every painful moment of her life on her face.
In 1963 she divorced Luft and in 1964 despite receiving three Emmy nominations The Judy Garland show was cancelled, an emotionally and financially crushing blow to Garland. Throughout the 1960s Judy performed in a number of shows, including one with her then 18 year old daughter Liza Minnelli and an Australian tour. During this time Garland was recording notes to herself in hopes of writing an autobiography and in these tapes she said; ‘When you have lived the life I’ve lived, when you’ve loved and suffered, and been madly happy and desperately sad, well, that’s when you realize you’ll never be able to set it all down. Maybe you’d rather die first.’
Judy Garland’s final performance was at the New York City Palace theatre in 1967. Two years later she married her fifth and final husband Mickey Deans, with whom we hope she found some happiness. In June of 1969 Garland was found dead at the age of 47 from an overdose of barbiturates, the coroner stated it was accidental and not a suicide. At her memorial in New York City over twenty thousand people lined up and filled the streets to pay respects to her body.
Since her death Judy has had six separate records inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and every year her hometown of Grand Rapids Minnesota holds a Judy Garland festival in the month of June to commemorate and celebrate her life.
Judy was a talent and beauty that the world was lucky to know, but unfortunately her life was riddled with tragedy and heartbreak. She hated Hollywood and made it known in numerous interviews, she believed that MGM was responsible for her addiction and turning her down the dark path of depression an dependency. Judy was more than just a performer, she was a human being who was used and abused by people and an industry that didn’t give a shit about her but only her profits.
So I will end this short summation of her beautiful yet tragic life with a quote of her own words…
‘There is something besides ‘The Man That Got Away’ or ‘Over the Rainbow’ or ‘The Trolley Songs’. There’s a woman. There are three children. There’s me! There’s a lot of life going on here.’
‘I wanted to believe and I tried my damnedest to believe in the rainbow that I tried to get over and I couldn’t. SO WHAT!’
If you think the title of this post is long you should consider it relative to the length of the Academy Awards Ceremony, it’s no joke. Also strap yourselves in because this is going to be a big read in general.
Firstly we would like to officially lay the “Leo needs an Oscar” meme / joke to rest with a haiku eulogy in italics for emphasis;
Rest well Leo meme,
Greatness has been achieved,
Sixth time is the charm.
What a beautiful sentiment.
Now onto all the other glorious outcomes and reveals of the ceremony. We would like to format this post in the same nonsensical way the Academy Awards themselves tried to pass off their order of events; The order in which a film is made. This was of course a lie, unless now films are edited before they are directed and acted in by some kind of movie making wizardry. Let’s be honest Oscars your real order is “save the best for last” but you just don’t want to say that because everyone would complain about you valuing Best Actor above everything except Best Picture. So we have decided to throw your bullshit format out the window and reveal the winners our way. #OscarsSoBadAtFormatting
We didn’t watch the red carpet because the hosts make us blind with rage every year so the entirety of our coverage will be this one photograph.
Firstly our host; Chris Rock. Admittedly when we heard Chris Rock was going to host we both let out a long frustrated sigh, but he brought the goods and actually had us laughing, a rare thing to achieve at the Academy Awards. There was a lot of attention brought to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy (I really hate having to reference a hash tag it feels about as bleak as putting your drug dealer down as a character reference on your resume, it’s unreliable and you are bound to get some batshit crazy rants if you follow through and look it up). In fact most, if not all of the jokes surrounded the controversy of a lack of diversity in the nominees and this caused even more controversy as the only minority mentioned by Chris Rock was African Americans with no references to other minorities until they actual won (Thank you Alejandro). So look, if you found that confusing here’s a quick summary.
- 88th Academy Awards had ZERO African American Nominees
- Everyone starts talking about a lack of diversity in the Oscars
- #OscarsSoWhite becomes a thing
- Chris Rock makes a million (funny) jokes about African Americans being excluded from the Academy Awards.
- The Academy throws literally every single African American they have in their phone book into a presenting role on stage to overcompensate.
- The internet who started #OscarsSoWhite gets mad because other minorities are still being ignored.
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu wins Best Director and makes a fantastic speech about the issue but the only coverage of this topic you will get is Chris Rock being controversial.
- Nothing gets achieved because as usual, “spreading awareness” was the goal of an internet campaign with no real solutions on how to bring about change.
Now the last part of the flow chart is a future prediction because we here at CablaGoobla are extremely cynical of any and all “slacktivism” and “clicktivism” movements. We genuinely hope to see more diversity next awards season and believe it is an important topic, but knowing the world we live in this will be forgotten by April when a new shiny thing to tweet about appears.
So we got a bit carried away there so let’s get to some God damn awards already!!
Best Picture went to Spotlight, which was an unexpected win. Even the presenter Morgan Freeman looked genuinely confused and surprised at the result. Because of his long pause after opening the envelope we came up with a conspiracy theory that Mad Max Fury Road actually won but Freeman liked Spotlight best so he just said that instead. By the time the backstage crew realised the mistake they were in too deep, the cast of Spotlight was on stage and the confetti was flying so they just gave them a free kick instead of trying to do damage control.
Best Actor went to the one the only Leonardo Dicaprio for his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape no sorry The Aviator, nope not that one.. Blood Diamond? no… it definitely wasn’t Wolf of Wall Street, oh yeah of course THE REVENANT. Kate Winslet cried and he got a standing ovation, sweet Leo. We’re starting a rumour that at the after party Winslet drank champagne straight from the bottle and forced Leo to re-enact the spinning dance from Titanic.
Best Actress was awarded to Brie Larson for Room. To be completely honest we are yet to see this movie… so.. we’re just going to awkwardly move on after congratulating Brie and adding that it does look like a really good movie.
Best Supporting Actor went to Mark Rylance for his fifteen minutes of screen time in Bridge of Spies. The internet was pissed that Sly Stallone didn’t win for Creed and we are bitter because we are committed to supporting Batman, I mean Christian Bale.
Best Supporting Actress went to Alicia Vikander AND RIGHTLY BLOODY SO. She was, after all, literally the only good thing about The Danish Girl. I’m not saying that because I’m transphobic or hate the issue, I am a very liberal, very supportive and very transfriendly person but THE MOVIE WAS PAINFULLY DULL AND AWFUL. Vikander SHOULD have been nominated for Best Actress considering the film mostly follows her character’s story rather than Eddie god damn Redmayne’s but oh no Eddie needed that Best Actor nomination. Vikander was absolutely amazing in this movie so we were delighted she got the recognition she deserved, even if it was the wrong award.
Best Director went to Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for The Revenant, which is his second year running winning this award! While watching this film with it’s long tracking shots and intensely choreographed scenes you can tell Alejandro knows his shit (to put it bluntly) and is one of the best directors of our time.
Best Original Screenplay went to Tom McCarthy an Josh Singer for Spotlight an Best Adapted Screenplay went to Adam McKay and Charles Randolph for The Big Short. Two very different styles of screen writing and both deserving of the award, although we had our fingers crossed for Alex Garland and Ex Machina to take out Best Screenplay.
CUE MAD MAX FURY ROAD CREW RAMPAGING THROUGH THE DOLBY THEATRE TO CLAIM WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY THEIRS!!
Yes Mad Max Fury Road took away the most awards for the night and also brought us the best acceptance speeches. The speeches included swear words, good old Aussie drongos shouting their faces off with excitement and an all around good time. here are the winners for Mad Max;
Mark A. Mangini and David White for Sound Editing
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudolph and Ben Osmo for Sound Mixing
Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson for Production Design
Lesley Vanderwalt, Erika Wardega and Damian Martin for Makeup and Hair Styling
Jenny Beavan for Costume Design
Margaret Sixel for Editing
As this post gets on I’d like you offer you a brief video reprieve. This was hands down the funniest skit of the evening.In a segment made to address diversity, African American actors were added into all the nominated films, I give to you Tracy Morgan in The Danish Girl…
Onto the Best Original Song category, not much can be said as they were essentially all terrible. That being said Lady Gaga’s performance was full of passion and feels so we were hoping she would take the award but alas Sam Smith won for his Bond theme “writing’s on the wall” my comments at the time were something along the lines of”just because your boring song has violins does not mean it’s Oscar worthy.” Other nominees include the dishwashing sponge attached to The Weeknd’s head and a weird song about Manta Rays.
Best Cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki for the third consecutive year! His work on The Revenant was some of the most beautiful and immersive cinematography I have ever seen so this was an absolutely correct choice!
Best Original Score was another upset of the night going to Ennio Morricone for his work on The Hateful Eight. I think most people were expecting John Williams to have this one in the bag for Star Wars The Force Awakens and Ennio did specifically give honours to Williams in his acceptance speech because, well, the guy is a legend. We wrote down the nominees wrong and were hoping the Revenant would take this one out because the score for that film was amazing, so it was a disappointing reveal when it wasn’t even actually nominated and we felt like pretty significant bozos.
So now as we wrap up our wrap up we would like to give out our awards for the evening!
Best Presenter – Hands down Louis CK for presenting Best Documentary Short, we love Louis and him stressing how much more important this award would be to the winners considering how their films would have made them zero dollars was hilarious. Honorary mention to Tina Fey and Steve Carell.
Best Winner – Leo. He finally won an Oscar and yet he spent most of his time talking about Climate Change the plight of the world’s indigenous peoples. Respect the Leo.
Best Dressed – HANDS DOWN JENNY BEAVAN. She won for Best Costume Design for Mad Max and was wearing a dope leather jacket and seemed to give approximately zero fucks about the dress code.
Drunkest – The Australian guy who screamed “FUCKING MAD MAXXXEERSSS” when accepting his award, we aren’t sure exactly who you were but you sir are a national treasure.
Best Audience Reactions – The kid from The Room when the Star Wars robots came on stage was adorable and Kate Winslet watching Leo accept his award.
So that’s it, if you’ve made it this far in the post I would like to thank you sincerely for reading this entire spiral! We would also like to hear if you have any of your own awards from the ceremony like our list above or if you would like to start a campaign against us for criticising the use of twitter for activism please use the hashtag #CablaGooblaSoAccurateItHurts and direct all tweets to @BruceyWillis
SPOILER WARNING – None really but if you are still watching the original series and are yet to complete the first nine seasons save yourself the risk.
Like most Xfiles fans we have been hoping, praying (if religious) and speculating on whether our favourite show would ever come back.
Tonight, it did.
And not to be hyperbolic but it was absolutely incredible from start to finish and I currently feel like I’m riding a crazy Xfiles high.
We’ve been fans of this show since it was originally on in the 90s, the ominous theme song marked our bed time but most nights we would beg to stay up and watch, and often denied under the guise of “it’s the chicken one, it’s too scary.” But when we were slightly older we watched it religiously. And again, and again, and again.
And finally, our years of patience and our tenacity and wanting to believe have paid off.
The feel is the same as the original show, with some added tension between our favourite team Mulder and Scully, which we are hoping will be explained soon. The old mannerisms of both characters return, from the classic Mulder phone call to the unforgettable Scully sceptic face. The whole deal and I was internally screaming while texting my CablaGoobla co-writer all in caps with hundreds of emotional emojis.
They hold no punches, covering everything from 9/11, National Security, world events, big oil and of course GLOBAL ALIEN CONSPIRACIES.
We are introduced to a new character played by Joel McHale who blends in perfectly with the atmosphere of the show, and who (like all new characters) we are very suspicious of from the get go, Xfiles 101 here; Trust no-one.
Despite the episode of normal length, our hysteria and excitement made it feel like it went for approximately two minutes and both of us wanted to watch the whole episode again immediately.
I can not stress to you how fantastic this was, just wall to wall glory from the original Xfiles team, crushing every minute and bringing the goods from the very first frame to the very last second. The final scene particularly had me in awe, shouting at the screen as the credits began to roll, but thank you Fox because we get to watch part two tomorrow. Because we need answers, 2012 has come and gone and now that you’re back we are allowed to be irrationally impatient! BECAUSE WE ARE SO EXCITED.
If you’re not an Xfiles fan… Do yourself a favour and start from the pilot, you will never look back. If you are an Xfiles fan… well all I can say is.. you will not be disappointed, it’s everything you wanted the revival to be!!
I don’t even care if this review reads like the ravings of a complete lunatic. Because my favourite all time show is back and it’s just as fucking good as it ever was.
Oh how glorious it feels to actually write a positive review!!
Jessica Jones is a fresh new series made by Netflix based on the Marvel superhero tale of the same name (or Alias Investigations if you want to get into the semantics). I am seven episodes deep right now and was going to wait until I finished the whole series to review it, but I also figure everyone will have probably binge watched it by then as is the rule with Netflix.
Jessica Jones (Kristyn Ritter) is a woman with “gifts” (superpowers) who gave the whole hero thing a try but it just “didn’t work out” as we learn in the first few episodes. Now Jessica is jaded, hates everyone (and is not afraid to tell them) and runs a Private Investigator business to make ends meet (and keep her powers on the down low).
This series doesn’t just bumble along following a person with super strength as they solve a series of P.I chores (I’m looking at you “Angel”) but delves into a deep back story of how Jessica became the way she is, not in terms of how she got her powers but how and why she abandoned the life of a hero.
Enter David Tennant, oh dear lord Tennant has really outdone himself here. He plays Killgrave, the sociopathic, 100% bastard, cruel and unusual villain and it is absolutely delicious. Everytime I hear his sinister voice my mind makes “nom nom nom” sounds as I feast upon the no remorse, calculated and sinister character!
If you haven’t been a fan of the other superhero themed shows about lately (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Gotham and Netflix’s Daredevil) I recommend you still give this one a try. It’s not all flashy CGI and zingers, in fact the powers of Jessica are really understated to make way for the far more powerful and extremely proficient Killgrave (who has some awesome mind control powers). Not to mention Jessica is very rough around the edges and provides a delightful commentary on how shit people are in general, which I know appealed to me more than Supergirls hopeful and optimistic view of the world.
Another thing I loved about this show is the sountrack! No overwhelming, inspirational superhero themes but instead understated jazz that matches the very film noir techniques used in the cinematography and editing. I would just like to add that I put A LOT of stock in the opening titles of a show, I have very picky taste when it comes to the opening credits and Jessica Jones NAILED IT. Out of all seven episodes I am yet to fast forward the titles which is an honour that I have usually reserve for Xfiles and Doctor Who (I’m sorry Game of Thrones but you guys kind of went into overkill).
I can not wait to get back to this series and see what new awful things Tennant will make people do, they aren’t “blow up this building” or other over the top antics but small and brutal tasks like “see how long it takes you to smash your head through that wall” or forcing children to stand in a cupboard for hours on end, yeah we quickly learn that Killgrave has no time for children. I am also on the edge of my seat to see where he takes his violent mind games in his quest to torture and reap revenge on Jessica Jones. The bad guy can really make or break a show like this and Tennant is slam dunking right in everyone’s face with every line he delivers, glory.
All in all I would recommend you give Jessica Jones a peek even if you aren’t a fan of the genre, at least give one episode a try and see if it leads you into the Netflix binge spiral that we all know so well!
Check out the trailer and try to resist the delightful allure of evil Tennant…
In the past month we have witnessed the release of two of the years big blockbusters; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Spectre (007). But, which movie is better? If (unlike me) your time is precious (I have nothing but time) and don’t want to waste it on the terrible spy movie instead of the good spy movie this is the review for you.
Unfortunately, I did not expect both of these movies to be as bleak as they were… Yeah if I were you I honestly would not bother with either and here’s why…
We begin on the ground floor, our heroes. Let’s be straight here Bond IS the epitome of a spy, he’s a suave bastard who never misses a shot, always has a quality innuendo riddled zinger, has charm and at all times a part of you really hates him. All qualities we admire. Ethan Hunt on the other hand (played by Tom Cruise) is played by Tom Cruise and has absolutely nothing going for him. Bond wins this round.
The Plots. So for some reason the writers of Spectre have ignored the fact that (as mentioned above) Bond is the epitome of spy and will ALWAYS hold that title. They have decided to try extremely hard to make Bond “more relevant” as a character in the modern age, more on that later. The story follows Bond hunt down an organisation named “Spectre” without the permission of M or MI6. He has only the help of a mysterious woman, Miss Moneypenny (future agent) and Q (the tech nerd).
MI: Rogue Nation, as the title suggests also follows our hero going rogue with his small team consisting of… wait.. a mysterious woman, ex-agent Luther (who you may remember from the first one) and his tech nerd as they hunt down the global organisation of terrorists; The Syndicate.
So I think because the plots in essence are exactly the same, we will call this round a draw.
The baddies. Ah the bad guys, a key element in a good spy thriller! As I mentioned eariler both films have an evil conglomerate of terror running down to clock to total global domination, but who is at the helm?
Spectre offers up Blofeld played by Christoph Waltz, Waltz is a bad guy BONANZA. I would go so far as to say he has almost reached Alan Rickman level bad guy status. BUT, there is a huge but here, he is in the film for approximate fifteen minutes in total. When you’ve got an actor with the ability to create an aura of absolute nightmares (see Inglorious Basterds) you really should use him to the best of his ability instead of throwing him in only when it’s time to drop some “big reveals.” Not to mention the writing for Waltz was absolutely bleak, there was no finesse or charm amongst his banter with Bond, instead of draping him with the sleek silk dressing gown of evil language the just threw a heshen bag on and said “meh who needs good material when you got Waltz!”
MI Rogue Nation went with Soloman Lane played by Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People and AN IMPRESSIVE resume of English Crime shows). Now this was a bad guy I could get behind, total sociopath with schemes so elaborate and evil you just can’t help but respect the guy, plus he is always one step ahead of our (infuriating) hero. The writing again is pretty awful but at least he is actually in the movie a decent amount.
I have to call this a tie, it goes against my fundamental nature to rule against Waltz despite the shitshow and the writing for Harris was just as awful he simply got more screen time.
The action, there were many times during Spectre I just decided to go and have a cigarette or scroll through Reddit, it was DULL. The action was good but so so so below the absurd glory the Bond films usually bring. Rogue Nation had some quality face punching but won the day for the me with an extensive knife fight. A knife fight is always going to be thrilling, much more unpredictable than a shoot out, more intimate, tenser and especially glorious when those involved fight dirty. I am giving this one to Mission Impossible.
Back to the subject of relevance. The people involved with Bond need to understand that people love the character because he is exactly the way he is. Spectre explores the theme that maybe the 007 program isn’t particularly relevant in the modern world and this feels as if they are testing the waters to see if people in real life feel this way about Bond the character. I think they have greatly underestimated cinema goers here! At a time where (in real life) terror seems to be at the front of the news and there is an actual real life organisation undertaking the exact type of plots Bond used to fight, you don’t really need to be questioning the relevance of a secret agent who is capable of bringing down the most evil of organisations single handedly. Bond thrived during the cold war yes, when the threat of complete and total global destruction was fresh in the mind of the “everyman” and just because the world isn’t on the brink of total nuclear was does not mean people don’t need a hero who can drink a martini then punch the crap out of out someone before speeding off in a silver astin martin. If we went with “relevance” our spy hero would be some schmuck sitting at a tracksuit going through the emails or flying a drone from a garden shed, nobody wants that shit. You don’t go watch a Bond film to see real life, you go watch a Bond film to see a larger than life caricature of what we all imagine to be a spy, a person who can protect the world, win a card game and be in bed with a beautiful woman before dinner because the reality sucks and the reality is spies are actually boring and probably not the heroes we need or want them to be. end rant.
So it was disappointment all round and I refuse to declare a winner. Go see what you want I really don’t think I hold that much influence over your decisions, I’ll leave that to the professionals. *disappears into the shadows*