2017 in films part 2

  • Creed – Nice to see a different take on the Rocky Series. Rocky reluctantly coaches Apollo’s bastard son. Finally, a film in which Rocky doesn’t box himself (don’t give him half a chance, even at this age he’s up for it. See Grudge Match) and finishes the franchise off nicely, leaving a legacy. 8/10
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes – The franchise was recommended by James Rolfe. I was not particularly impressed by the opening act, found it quite boring during the middle though. Felt a lot like Project X but not as good. I have high hopes for the sequels. Also I’ll probably end up watching the originals. 6.5/10
  • Prometheus – When this came out several years ago I heard it was shit, so I didn’t bother watching it. But as an Alien series fan, I felt like I had to. It was indeed shit. I jest, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I tried to look past the blatant scientific inaccuracies but ultimately, you’re watching a film about extra terrestrials so you can’t complain too much. However, there are degrees of plausibility, and this film effectively debunks evolution. Notwithstanding this BS, it didn’t really feel like an Alien film. At times it was quite captivating but overall left more to be desired. There was lack of motivation from the antagonist and a poor script. Visually it looked great. What really pissed me off is, this is NOT supposed to be a prequel, it’s just meant to be another film set in the Alien universe. Then why is it set in the past and has a ship crashes in a very similar way to the one from Alien? This all gets very confusing. And for this it loses appoint. The title is quite clever too. 5/10
  • Ted – I don’t know why I even bothered watching this turd, I don’t know what I was expecting. It’s essentially Peter Griffin the Movie. Basic, predictable Hollywood hogwash, the kind of thing they churn out routinely from the sausage factory. The film’s worst crime of all is, that it’s not that funny for a comedy film. I didn’t care for any of the characters. Why on earth was there a sequel? 4.5/10
  • Conan the Barbarian – I was aware of this for a long time but never watched it. Finding out it is an Schwarzenegger classic, I felt compelled to view it. At times disgusting, fantastical, overtly raunchy (surprisingly) but great action scenes and a thrilling plot. It’s got Darth Vader and Arnie. What more do you want? It’s a shame the sequels were shit. Loses a point for losing suspension of disbelief when he fucks cat woman. 8/10
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Disgusting.  Nice to see where all the vampire clichés come from. I particularly liked the opening half an hour, where the legend is set up and Keanu has to escape the castle. Reeves was an unexpected bonus, reprising his role as wooden actor, in this playing an Englishman – the boot fit.  Again unexpectedly raunchy. After the initial castle scene I did get bored and lost the plotline a little. Though it finished strongly. 7/10
  • Eddie the Eagle – Who doesn’t like an underdog. The man is a legend and I didn’t know the full story. I was entertained start to finish. Loses a point for historical inaccuracies, seriously why would you lie about the distance jumped? 9/10
  • I Am Legend – I’m not sure how they did it, but they managed to butcher a really good book.  Will Smith was not the best actor to choose as lead for this film.  The ending and the introduction of other characters was what really ruined it. He’s supposed to be the last man on earth. 5.5/10
  • My Scientology Movie – Much anticipated and lauded only to be disappointed. This doesn’t feel like a typical Louis Theroux documentary and I was wondering why. Then it struck me, he wasn’t interviewing active Scientologists (not including fleeting aggressiveness in the street). At first I thought auditioning for actors to play the head of Scientology was filler. Why not just play the tape of his original interview, instead of getting an actor to dress up like him and read the words? It transpires later,that we sat through this charade because he wanted them to act out a piece of violence that there’s no footage of, which is fair enough. It still strikes as a little superfluous. I imagined this film to be groundbreaking but Theroux failed to give some basic facts about the origins of Scientology. Like how they believe Xenu saved some idiots from a volcano. I felt more informed from a South Park episode from a decade ago. In the end, Scientology’s aggressiveness has been covered before by Panorama, albeit in less detail. So this film felt like we’ve seen it all before. 6.5/10
  • Dredd – Reboot of the franchise, a cross between the raid redemption and a dystopian future. Suspenseful entertainment but I honestly preferred the original with Sylvester Stallone even though it appears to have been rubbished by critics. Probably due to nostalgia alone and being able to quote lines from it. Last saw it over a decade ago. The reboot loses a point for excessive gore. 7/10
  • Fahrenheit 9/11- Bush stole the 2001 election and a critique of the Iraq War. It shows what it takes for the supporters of the war to go against it, probably influenced a lot of people at the time. The US has behaved despicably. 9/10
  • Mr Plinkett’s Ghostbusters 2016 review – Not a film in of itself but thought I’d include this anyway. I’m reviewing his review… INCEPTION! I was never going to watch the film, luckily with this review I don’t have to. Much of the blame of the failure of this film is leveled at the actresses through wanton mysoginy, which is wrong. The full blame should be put on the script writer/director Paul Feig. I mean this idiot can’t even say his own surname correctly, according to pronunciation norms, so what were we expecting? The script was terrible and the director made them ad lib most of it. Think of the film as 90 minutes of improv. Unfortunately the film was a commercial success, so we can look forward to seeing more of these turds in the future. Hollywood has very few original ideas left. I’m particularly annoyed at Bill Murray’s cameo in this film. He supposedly held out on doing Ghostbusters 3, for reasons unknown, script issues maybe? But when he saw this shit sandwich on his plate he greedily gobbled it down and asked for more. Mr Plinkett’s Ghostbusters 2016 review gets 9.5/10
  • Revenge of the Nerds – Pure 80s. Goofy humor throughout. 7/10
  • Death Note (2017) – Hatchet job, in the same way that Big Bang Theory is blackface for nerds, this is blackface for manga readers. Though an improvement on previous live action films, setting it in America was a mistake. This adaptation deviates from the original manga too much. The ending was especially poor and I didn’t like the ‘L’ character either.  6/10

The last two are rewatches. Both are a lot more disturbing than I remember but you know they’re excellent, when they spawn numerous clichés. The following prove you don’t need a complicated plot to make a great film.

  • Taxi Driver – You get the feeling that Bickle could have been a productive member of society if circumstances were different. Or maybe he’s just an absolute nutcase. 9.5/10
  • The Warriors – Just some guys trying to get home after a crazy night out. What could possibly go wrong?  Manlets are the worst. 10/10

Frankenstein – Reviewed

FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A true classic. I picked this up on a whim from the library, as they didn’t have the book I actually wanted. I had seen the film about a decade ago and I was a little weary, whether they’d be similar. It was nothing like the films. Now I finally know the origins of “Bride of Frankenstein”.

It opens with a brilliant hook but then starts off a little slowly. However by the middle of the first volume, once all the background is out of the way, it becomes a real page turner. Curiously much of the tropes of the monster’s animation are notably absent from the text e.g. lightning. Though it may be argued that they are mentioned in earlier editions. If you really read between the lines you may find justification for them.

Victor somewhat sidesteps the issue about the secret of life creation, which feels like a bit of a cop out. But it’s probably a wise move as it leaves an air of mystery but also is justified later on. The classical Halloween monster look of the fiend is an awful caricature. Extensive description of the beast is notably absent, the reader only has a gigantic deformed mummy to play with. So I’m not sure where this stereotype came from. Probably one of the early movies exercising poetic license.

I liked how there were stories within stories. The book was easy enough to read. I did feel a lot of empathy for the beast and drew parallels with radicalised islamists. The beast is a lot more eloquent than the movies lead you to believe. I do feel Victor could have made a few different choices and am tempted to write some fanfiction about it. The rough notes of which are outlined below, best not to read on if you haven’t read the book.

So I’m assuming Victor has blinded by rage and couldn’t think correctly. Otherwise he could have set various traps to kill him. It’d be a lot more effective than simply pursuing him.

Make a fake bride for the monster. Set up a camouflaged pit filled with a flammable liquid. Lure him to the pit to claim his mate. Once he falls in, ignite the liquid, using his weakness of heat to defeat him.

If Victor wanted to carry on pursuing him, try flaming arrows to reach him. Though not really possible with respect to the range.

Victor should have faked his own death. At least then the beast would be within striking distance.

The fiend threatened to be with Victor on his wedding night. He should have never let Elizabeth out of his sight. He should have made a fake Elizabeth and stood her up in the bedroom. With the real one taking shelter. As he waited for the monster to appear, hiding in a cupboard, he would jump out dual wielding pistols and making the monster into Swiss-cheese by sheer volume of bullets. Then whip out the shotgun to defenestrate him. At ground level, shoot it in the brain for good measure.

View all my reviews

Impractical Jokers used to be better

Like any hit show, there’ll be the inevitable decline. Jumped the shark, nuked the fridge, call it what you will. But I think season 6 of Jokers is the turning point. This is probably one of my favourite all time comedy shows. However, when you devote 40% (10 minutes) of the programme to ritual humiliation you’re running out of ideas.

Why’d they do this? I have a few theories. They’re a victim of their own success and get recognised more often. This leads to many pranks to be foiled and it’s harder to get usable footage. Previously they have resorted to using stooges, such as this incredibly hot “baddest girl“, who was later revealed to be a model. Youtube super sleuths at work here.

The other reason is, they’ve ran out of ideas. It’s harder and harder to get original footage. Maybe they’re fed up with doing the same old pranks. Of course they still need to pad it out to 25 minutes, so they elongate the punishment with “impractical insider”. Where some ardent douchebag with goofy hair noses around the set. The punishment shouldn’t be such a large component of the show. The pranks are funnier. Do . More. Of. Those. In the initial seasons, the punishment was something trivial and lasted two minutes. Now it has its own segment in of itself.

The other problem is, the quality of the pranks isn’t as good. Usually there’s only 2 different pranks on one show in season 6 (sometimes there is an additional joker vs joker). So they’re extended a prank for more footage. Back in the earlier seasons there were many more per episode.

Don’t get me started on the abomination that is the UK version either.

Regardless, I will continue watching because there’s nothing else to watch…