Tuesday, 30 December 2014

This is why I don't do poetry

On the last episode of Top Chef they had to make dishes based on famous New-England writers. One contestant chose Poe - the Raven and described it as a sad and mournful love story about a man who’d lost his beloved, and I seriously went “the Raven is a love story? Since when? I’ve got to reread the Raven”. 

I see the mentions of Lenore when rereading it, but it’s not what I would have focused on in an analysis. 
For me the Raven has always been about a lonely, old man’s decent into depression and paranoia/madness, being haunted by the very thing providing him a semblance of the companionship he seeks. 
The Raven both driving him further into paranoia and madness, while at the same time jolting him out of it by providing a constant presence, and taunting him with the idea that he’ll never have companionship again. (while the Raven in itself is a sign that he’s lost his grasp of reality) 

After all, Lenore is gone, it’s a love lost, it’s more a tragedy than a love story, and I’ve always thought the loneliness he’s experiencing is the focus, not the lost love in itself. 
Also, I seem to be reading the poem a bit more severely than other people. 

It’s just realizing again that I’ve been missing a huge, obvious part of the poem, which is part of the “standard” analysis of it, and would’ve caused me to score badly if I ever were to write about it on a test. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Elf who didn't Believe

Wow, "the elf who didn't believe".. Shoe string budget, director, writer and most actors from soft core films and the most annoying score I've ever heard. 
There was a semblance of a good story in there, but it wasn't developed, and the actors that did a good job seemed to just be acting in their own little world. 

Still amusing enough because of the over the top evil "Mr. Slick" and the incredibly sarcastic butler "Whitlock". 
Also, the slapstick elements at the end were surprisingly good.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Bit-size impressions: Make Mine Music

Rewatching for the nth time for Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet with the Andrew Sisters and The Whale who wanted to sing at the Met with the amazing Nelson Eddy. 
I'll never get tired of these gems.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Bit-size impressions: The Hunters

Some glimts of good acting in this B youth movie. Keenan Tracey does a great job! 

Sort of a teenage Warehouse 13/Spy kids movie.

Care Bears: Oopsy Does it!

I expected a very simple, 2-dimensional story and characters for little children, and it was, but with one of the best realized villains I've seen in a long time (in animation). Yes, he was cliché, but he did it so well! 

Didn't expect anything from the movie, so an awesome villain was way better than I thought, and was what made me keep watching.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Bit-size impressions: A Monster in Paris

The script is very easy, and the object design is really poor, but the songs are great and the world design is amazing. It's worth watching just for the overview designs. 

I just wish I could see it with the original voices, the dubbing ruins so many of the characters.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Bit-size impressions: Space Chimps

Argh, bad animation, stereotypical characters, horrible, horrible script. 
Might end up making my 'worst animation movies' list unless this story picks up.

(In a rather damning indictment, I can't remember if it did)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bit-size impressions: Flood

David Suchet, sneaky, murderous waves, intricate family connections and really stupid Americans (horrible accent!)
Aah, British version of these catastrophy B mini-series.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Mutant Chronicles - Why? Just... why.

Argh, this movie had such potential! The animation and digital effects/backgrounds are great (For their budget), the main actors are all capable, and still it ended up as this horrible train wreck. 
And poor Perlman's talent was wasted up until the last 10 mins, where his mask play was the best thing in the whole movie! 

The plot, the effects, over the top violence and the script all seemed to lend itself to an over the top, spark-in-the-eye sort of film, but instead we got a very serious, trying to be epic, slow-shot, philosophical discussions mixed with splatter action scenes type film. 

It's not even a good, funny train wreck, it's just sad, because you keep seeing what it could have been.  


Bit-size impressions: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Del Toro always has some plot issues, but his art direction and creature designs are second to none.
And I love Perlman's Hellboy and Jones' Abe.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bit-size impressions: Cat. 7: The End of the World

Well, this went from a catastrophy movie grounded in science with too many characters and weak script (cat 6) to a pure sci-fi mess with Horror shooting. 
Stop with the fancy editing!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bit-size impressions: Inkheart

This genre is one of my guilty pleasures. I will always watch children's fantasy movies. 
It has some balancing issues, and Brendan Fraser is weak, but the overall story is good.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bit-size impressions: Jack the Giant Slayer

Cliché script, extremely referential and horrible main actors, but the supplemental cast makes it worth watching.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Catching up on animation since 2011 (poor blog, I'm so sorry. I really do love this subject matter too):


The trailers didn't grab me at all, it just seemed uninteresting, but wow, this has got to be one of the best Disney films ever. Also ironic was that while Brave was good, it felt like a Disney release, but Wreck it Ralph totally feels like a Pixar release.
The animation is awesome, the 2D retro effects are really well done, but more than anything else the movie has soul, touching moments and cry out loud moments, giving it the special Disney magic.
The brother - sister relationship between Ralph and Vanellope is unique and rather realistic, and Ralph's "growing up" story is one of the best in this genre I've seen in a long time (and I don't even usually like growing up stories).
I challenge anyone to watch Ralph "saving" Vanellope without tearing up, or even bawling their eyes out.

Aardman really goes back to their roots with this movie. Proper stop-motion animation (though heavily enhanced with digital effects), pure British humour, and some of the best, laugh-out-loud moments I've experienced. It has some issues, but the humour is sound, and there's just so many surprising moments that's it's a thrill-ride the whole way through.

Also: Surprisingly curvaceous pirate. Come on, you should watch the movie just for "him".

Sigh, I don't know why this movie didn't do well at the Box office. I think so many expect an animated movie to be for everyone now, and darker moments and story lines are just not accepted.
Guardians has so much uniqueness; it builds it's own, realized fantasy world, it has good 3-dimensional characters for all the guardians, and its story is original and well-told.
Jude Law does an amazing job as Pitch Black, though his character is extremely dark. His nightmares and his demeanor might put him up there with the scariest villains of all time (Scar?).

The other voice actors also really have fun with their roles. Hugh Jackman goes all out on the australianisms, and while I wish North was played by an actual Russian actor, I have to say Alec Baldwin really makes that character.
The movie has some flaws, most notable the completely white cast (this is especially sad because the concept art indicate that the Tooth fairy was inspired by Thai architecture and culture), few female roles, and the whole story and all the characters are there just for Frost.

Having said that the movie is worth seeing just for its world building, and the unique take on the legends' homes. Maybe the movie is just too grown-up for its audience. Like Disney's Treasure Planet I think you might need to be around adulthood to really appreciate the uniqueness of what you're watching.

Notable Character: Phil the Yeti

Now, this might be a bit of a stretch, since I prefer the anime series over the movies (the anime has been re-cut with a few extra scenes into 2 full length movies; Beginnings and Eternal), but I have to say Madoka Magica came out of nowhere (for me, I'm behind on my anime) and knocked me repeatedly in the gut.
The story is a new, darker take on the traditional "magical girl" genre - asking some really difficult questions and surprises again and again with just how dark it is willing to go.
The main characters are very well done, and Homura might be the best character I've seen, ever. She's definitely one of my absolute favourites of all time.
Be warned that it's almost impossible to not watch the whole thing in one sitting - the 2 movies clock in at around 4 hours - the series is 20minX12episodes.
I won't say too much as to not spoil the plot, but I will say that Kyubey is an example to follow for movie makers trying to write such a character. Finally, finally a personality like that done correctly.

Do we really know what we're wishing for? Do we really want our wishes to come true? And what price are we really willing to pay for a miracle?

I'll try to follow up with a post about some more movies - those that I didn't love, but still were memorable enough or distinguished themselves in another way - and a few that either failed to deliver, or could have been so much more. I can only really comment on movies I've seen recently (as in own), so there will be quite a few gaps.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Bit-size impressions: Cat. 6: Day of Destruction

Don't know what to think of this mini-series. The script is horrible and the direction is wooden, but there's so many good actors in it! ‪Thomas Gibson‬ does a great job, even though his scripted conversations make his character an egocentric asshole (doesn't seem to be on purpose). 

So many characters, and sort of, but not really intertwining story-line, and totally evil boyfriend, and..