Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween 2017 DVD & BluRay List

So I've got more blu rays and dvds since the last update and am going to save a lot of time and just note down the new ones.

DVD
  • Drive [18] (2011)
  • A Single Man [12] (2009)
Blu Ray
  • Anomalisa [15] (2015)
  • Arrival [12] (2016)
  • Audition [18] (2001)
  • Battle Royale [18] (2000)
  • The Departed [18] (2006)
  • The Hurt Locker [15] (2009)
  • Nocturnal Animals [15] (2016)
  • Oldboy [18] (2004)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [18] (1974)
  • Theater of Blood (Much Ado About Murder) [15] (1973)

Why can't David Fincher suck?

I've mentioned David Fincher a few times before, but have never outright talked about him and his films as a whole.
Put simply, the man's a genius behind the camera, and easily my favourite director.

He's made films better than entire careers of lesser directors, he's made thousands and thousands of people demand better crafted films because of his control over a project, and most importantly: he's never won an Oscar.

Calling Fincher "One of the greatest living directors right now" is a huge cliche for sure, but that doesn't make it untrue in the slightest.
To talk about Fincher and his work is to talk about the very best cinema has to offer: he can manipulate the camera to show as much visual information as he likes, directing and misdirecting a viewer's attention to key threads in a web full of deceivers and meticulously planning and plotting a scene even down to the subtlest movements and expressions of a character.
These elements (just to name a few) make up Fincher's body of work, spanning a relatively short time, considering other director's and how long it can take for them to find their own flavour of film (Spielberg, Nolan, Villeneuve).

This speedy understanding of the medium, that is quite specific, can only be found in only a few other filmmakers, such as Stanley Kubrick or even Edgar Wright, I've found.
There are some names that come to my mind that may reach this point at some time in their future, but these last few are the ones universally recognised as being the forefathers of their respected genres and themes today (Wright- Visual Comedy, Fincher- Tense Thriller and Kubrick- Dueling Forces) which prove how well they know (and knew) the medium.

But back to just Fincher, I think it's important to expand on what I said in my micro review of Alien^3.
David wasn't instantly a genius director with a full know-how on film with his first film, far from it, but we can see even from his first feature- length film that we had something special, and from then on we saw a change and a growth; culminating in important and convention- destroying films using social commentary and dark humour to get across a new view point to a shaken audience.
All this from an overly long movie about an acid- bleeding, four legged alien killing off boring characters.

I believe it's very noticeable how much better Fincher becomes with each new project he works on. He can adapt to so many styles, themes and genres while keeping that potential of information fully tapped, and can keep expanding on or evolving his own themes and conventions. By making each new production different and familiar, the audience can be wowed and comforted, and this is the best state for being shocked in.

David now has the scene of 'two people in a room talking' down to as clever and subtle as you possibly could by this point.
Mindhunter's four Fincher flourishes are excellent examples of how perfectly he can convey invisible exposition on any character by simply letting the camera follow their movements, mimicking how they move and ultimately telling us how this person acts in this specific setting through body language.

The slow panning camera as someone walks, the veering of focus as we learn some new info and the tightly choreographed pace are all hallmarks of this refined style, coordinating an experience uniquely belonging to Fincher.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Logan (2017) Review

Yeah, so I've only now just watched Logan, what a piss poor superhero fan I am, huh?
Well it was pretty great, and I hope we don't see Logan on the big screen again for a long time, and definitely not in the body of Hugh Jackman.
Logan could be what fans may call "the quintessential superhero movie" in the near future, I think. So many things point to it, the overwhelmingly positive reception, the final chapter in the book of a beloved character (and characters) and the dark, gritty, unforgiving nature of its tone that seems to work well with superhero movies if done well (see The Dark Knight and/or The Winter Soldier).
I'd like this to be the case for sure, because this film gets it.

The subtle theming of this film really accentuates that bottomless feeling of 'this is the end, isn't it?' through hints at a larger part of the story many years ago that lead to the downfall of many characters, literally and metaphorically.
The constant references to western movies (a genre that died because of over-saturation.. sound familiar?) adds to this feeling too. And by using settings that once were cowboy shoot out zones, that are now shopping malls and gas stations is another clever hint at what the director is trying to say about this genre ("Out with the old and in with the new, but is old still better?").

While I really admire the fresher themes in this film, I do miss the idea of Mutants being used as walking metaphors for oppression and rights, but seeing as there's hardly any "Mutes" left, I guess that wouldn't fit the film.

I had a few problems with the child performances, it seems hollywood still cannot get their own child actors to behave like real actors. But every other performance was pretty great and meaningful, Hugh and Sir Patrick the most, of course.

But really, this is one of the best superhero movies ever, and I'm very glad to see such a violent one too, with really seamless special effects to cement that into place.
Hopefully we get more movies like this and less like Deadpool.

Logan gets a gritty 8/10

Micro Review- Letting The World Know Why They Should Leave Alien3 Alone.

The most underrated movie (ever?) in a franchise.
I love the intro to this film mainly because it gets rid of the annoying characters from the equally annoying 'Aliens'.
There, I said it.
Not only that, it creates some instant conflict for Ripley, who's been completely heartbroken and this amplifies the drama tenfold.
We empathise with her immediately, and this is GOOD SCREENWRITING.
The intro, to me, is the best part of the entire film, as the rest is very slow and plodding and full of darkly lit rooms with not much going on inside them other than talking.
It's obvious this was early Fincher (the earliest in fact), as we get quite a few amateurish problems in the production and development of characters.
That being said, the themes and ideas expressed throughout the film are reason enough to keep watching, there's no overly- silly action and "comedy" scenes in this film, unlike a certain other movie in this franchise that may or may not have come before this one.
This feels like a franchise going back to its roots, ditching the silliness of Aliens and going back to what made Alien so great to begin with; tension, characters and horror.
And since this IS David Fincher, we definitely get some great building tension and creeping horror, along with some of the most haunting visuals from any of the six (so far) Alien movies.
It really is a shame that the whining fanboys can't recognise how great the first scene really is, and of course, how good the rest of the film is compared to what they think it is.
This is a well made thriller/drama and a mediocre horror movie at best, but signs of the growing Fincher's talents are there for everyone to see.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

DVD & Blu-Ray List 2017 [Birthday update]

DVD & Blu-Ray List 2017 (updated whenever I want, get off my back, jeez..)
DVD:


  • It’s Magic, Charlie Brown [U] (1981)
  • Toy Story 3 [U] (2010)
  • The Incredibles [U] (2004)
  • Tron [PG] (1982)
  • Tron Legacy [PG] (2010)
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie [U] (2004)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [PG] (1988)
  • Bolt [PG] (2008)
  • A Town Called Panic [PG] (2009)
  • Transformers The Movie [U] (1986)
  • The Transformers [PG] (1984)
  • Wall-E [U] (2008)
  • Wallace & Gromit The Complete Collection [PG] (1989, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2008)
  • Bugs Bunny Collection [U] (1950)
  • Trap Door Complete Collection [U] (1984)
  • Ultimate Children’s Favourites [U] (2005)
  • Danger Mouse The Complete Collection [U] (1981)
  • Dougal and the Blue Cat [U] (1970)
  • Hector's House [U] (1965)
  • The Simpsons Movie [PG] (2007)
  • The Simpsons Against the World (1991, 1993, 1995)
  • The Simpsons 3 DVD Disc Gift Set [12] (1992, 1994, 1995,1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
  • Futurama Season One [12] (1999)
  • Futurama Season Two [12] (2000)
  • Futurama Season Three [12] (2001)
  • Futurama Season Four [12] (2003)
  • Futurama: Bender’s Big Score [12] (2007)
  • Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder [12] (2008)
  • Futurama: Bender’s Game [12] (2008)
  • Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs [12] (2008)
  • Batman: The Animated Series Volume One [PG] (1992)
  • Batman: The Animated Series Volume Two [PG] (1994)
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm [PG] (1993)
  • The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones [PG] (1981, 1984, 1989)
  • Ghost Detectives Complete Collection [E- Exempt from classification] (2001)
  • Red Dwarf [12/15]
  • Red Dwarf Series I [12] (1988)
  • Red Dwarf Series II [12] (1988)
  • Red Dwarf Series III [12] (1989)
  • Red Dwarf Series IV [12] (1991)
  • Red Dwarf Series V [12] (1992)
  • Red Dwarf Series VI [12] (1993)
  • Red Dwarf Series VII [12] (1997)
  • Red Dwarf Series VIII [12] (1999)
  • Red Dwarf Series X [12] (2012)
  • Doctor Who [PG/U]:
  • Planet of Giants (1964)
  • The Web Planet (1965)
  • The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)
  • The Web of Fear (1968)
  • The Mind Robber (1968)
  • The Invasion (1968)
  • The Silurians (1970)
  • The Sea Devils (1972)
  • The Time Warrior (1973/1974)
  • Destiny of the Daleks (1979)
  • Warriors of the Deep (1984)
  • Attack of the Cybermen (1985)
  • Revelation of the Daleks (1985)
  • Paradise Towers (1987)
  • Dragonfire (1987)
  • The Happiness Patrol (1988)
  • The Curse of Fenric (1989)
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures The complete Second Series [PG] (2008)
  • Doctor Who ends here:
  • Bill Bailey The Classic Collection [15] (1997, 2001, 2004)
  • Bill Bailey Tinselworm [12] (2008)
  • Bill Bailey Dandelion Mind [12] (2010)
  • Bill Bailey Qualmpeddler [12] (2013)
  • The IT Crowd Version 5.0 The Internet is Coming [12] (2013)
  • The Ricky Gervais Show The complete First Series [15] (2010)
  • The Ricky Gervais Show The complete Second Series [15] (2011)
  • Ricky Gervais Live: Animals [18] (2003)
  • Dylan Moran Live: Like, Totally… [15] (2006)

  • DANGERVISION [15] (1986)
  • South Park The Complete Fifth Season [15] (2001)
  • The Wrong Mans Complete Series [15] (2013)
  • Toast of London Series One [15] (2012/2013)
  • Toast of London Series Two [15] (2014)
  • Toast of London Series Three [15] (2015)
  • Hannibal Season The Complete Season Three [18] (2015)
  • Breaking Bad The Complete First Season [18] (2008)
  • Breaking Bad The Complete Second Season [15] (2009)
  • Breaking Bad The Complete Third Season [15] (2010)
  • Breaking Bad The Complete Fourth Season [18] (2012)
  • House of Cards The Complete First Season [18] (2013)
  • Twin Peaks The Second Season [15] (1990/1991)
  • Dynamo Magician Impossible Series One [12] (2011)
  • Extras Complete Series One and Two [15] (2005/2006)
  • Tropic Thunder [15] (2008)
  • Step Brothers [15] (2008)
  • Kick-Ass 2 [15] (2013)]
  • Se7en [18] (1995)
  • Liar Liar [12] (1997)
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin [15] (2005)
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut [15] (1999)
  • In the Loop [15] (2009)
  • Team America: World Police [15] (2005)
  • Zombieland [15] (2009)
  • Super 8 [12] (2011)
  • Jaws 2, 3 & The Revenge [12] (1978, 1983, 1987)
  • The Dalek Collection [U] (1965, 1966)
  • Burn After Reading [15] (2008)
  • THE WOLF OF WALL STREET [18] (2014)
  • American Hustle [15] (2013)
  • Inglourious Basterds [18] (2009)
  • Children of Men [15] (2007)
  • The Mothman Prophecies [15] (2001)
  • Being John Malkovich [15] (1999)
  • No Country for Old Men [15] (2007)
  • Secretary [18] (2002)
  • Armageddon [15] (1998)
  • DRAG ME TO HELL [15] (2009)
  • The VVITCH [15] (2016)
  • There Will Be Blood [15] (2007)
  • American History X [18] (1999)
  • Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva [U] (2009)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle [U] (2004)
  • Princess Mononoke [PG] (1997)
  • My Neighbour Totoro [PG] (1988)
  • Spirited Away [PG] (2001)
  • Origin: Spirits of the Past [12] (2007)
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Complete Series [15] (2012)
  • The World God Only Knows Complete Series One [12] (2010)
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Vol.1 [15] (2008)
  • PANTY & STOCKING with Garterblet [18] (2010)
  • The ANIMATRIX [15] (2003)
  • Dragon Ball GT [PG] (1996)
  • Bleach Complete Series 4 [12] (2006)
  • Bleach Series 05 Part 01 [12] (2007)
  • Bleach Series 06 Part 01 [12] (2009)
  • Bleach Series 06 Part 02 [12] (2009)
  • Bleach Series 07 Part 01 [12] (2011)


Blu-Rays:

  • The Lego Movie [U] (2014)
  • Wreck-It-Ralph [PG] (2013)
  • Adventure Time The Complete First Season [PG] (2010)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [12] (2010)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox [PG] (2009)
  • Hannibal The Complete First and Second Seasons [18] (2013, 2014)
  • Fargo The Complete First Season [15] (2014)
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [15] (2014)
  • The Revenant [15] (2015)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel [15] (2014)
  • The Nice Guys [12] (2016)
  • Batman: Gotham Knight [15] (2008)
  • Kick-Ass [15] (2010)
  • Green Room [18] (2015)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [18] (2011)
  • Gone Girl [15] (2014)
  • The Raid/The Raid 2 [18] (2011, 2014)
  • The Social Network [12] (2010)
  • Interstellar [12] (2014)
  • Whiplash [15] (2014)
  • Logan [15] (2016)
  • Solaris [12] (1972)
  • Seven Samurai [PG] (1954)
  • Alice [PG] (1988)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [15] (2011)
  • Zodiac [15] (2007)
  • What Have You Done To Solange? [18] (1972)
  • The Handmaiden Special Edition [18] (2016)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron [12] (2012)
  • Ant-Man [12] (2015)
  • Doctor Strange [12] (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [12] (2017)
  • The Martian [12] (2015)
  • The Dark Knight [12] (2007)
  • The Dark Knight Rises [12] (2012)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past [12] (2014)
  • Terminator Salvation [12] (2009)
  • Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space [PG] (1970)

Friday, 28 July 2017

Breaking Bad (mini review) | controlling your inner Heisenberg

So I recently finished the last s (eason) eries of Breaking Bad and thought I'd just quickly share my thoughts before I forget all about my blog and stop making reviews again....

Basically everything everybody has ever said about the show is true. No, really.
It is a masterpiece, it is genre- pushing, it is excellently written and acted, etc..

Honestly, I wasn't too fussed about finishing the series as series four (the last I have on dvd) was probably the weakest one, and I wasn't terribly excited to conclude the show.

So I left it for about a year.

Then we got Netflix and I saw it on there one day and thought why not, and I couldn't stop watching once I'd started.
Series five must be the best since the first and really racks up the intensity of each episode and whatever insanity is going on in each.
By this point our not- so- beloved main character Walter White has completely given in to his monstrous alter ego 'Heisenberg' and is just plain evil now; he kills without remorse, he acts only to save himself, and doesn't really care about anything any more.
The difference in attitudes between series one and series five Walt is as stark as my own when I went in and back out of the cinema when I watched Suicide Squad.

But enough of that dead horse..

We may have in Walter White and Jessie Pinkman, two of the best characterisations in television history (maybe even Skylar, for that matter). Seriously, the level of depth with which we go into both character's psyches and how frequently we see how relatable both are is perhaps my favourite part of the show.
Witnessing Walter trying to hold back his inner Heisenberg from busting out of him and eventually giving in, is an amazingly profound journey full of terribly necessary and horribly unnecessary decisions, that none of us could ever know the right answer for.

[Yeah ok, this went on a little too long for a 'mini review', but it's smaller than most of mine so I guess it still fits the margin.
Basically, go watch Breaking Bad if you haven't, or maybe give it a re- watch to catch some additional foreshadowing or a line of snappy dialogue you didn't remember before.]

Overall Breaking Bad gets a monstrous 10/10.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Baby Driver | refining a style

So many people kept going on about how Edgar Wright's latest film is his most refined in terms of style and substance.
My dad and I weren't entirely won over by this praise as we'd seen the somewhat uninteresting trailers and thought it may not be the return to form everyone expected after the lacklustre offering of The World's End (only my opinion, apparently).

We were hoping, and maybe even expecting to be proven wrong.
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                        We were.

Baby Driver shows that being original, witty, clever, colourful and funny can pay off in a big way in modern cinema.

Not only has Edgar refined his already excellent style, but he has added new additions to it that I just know he will implement in future projects. The level of detail in the back and foreground really is something to be admired, as Mr. Wright's ability to reward those who pay attention has been pushed to breaking point in this one.
The use of showing the audience important information is something Edgar has always excelled at, and he has definitely served us up something tastier than before with the use of framing and veering in and out of focus explains more to us than any dialogue could.

The direction is as fast as Baby's driving, if not more so, and the timing of gunshots, walking, clapping, talking, tapping, eating, drinking, alarms, cocking, quipping and movements to the stellar soundtrack is just clever icing on the adrenaline cake.
We've seen E.W. use this in his direction quite a few times before, but never has it been implemented in this exhilarating and calculatingly perfect way before.
Never once did I see the sound design miss a beat and it flowed incredibly well with the crazy pacing and insane visuals.

So yeah, this is one to check out if you like action and/or cars.

I had problems with trying to think up a rating for this film, to be honest.
I had barely any issues with it, but I wouldn't exactly call it flawless.
I think for now I'm gonna give it a 9/10 but this could change on my second watch.

So yeah, Baby Driver gets a stylish 9/10.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Green Room | making good decisions

Finally got around to watching the two most interestingly weird films of 2016: The Neon Demon and Green Room. Both on Netflix.

I must say, the latter is far superior.

Green Room is pretty much a perfect film in my eyes. Talk about a functional film that also stays in your head for quite a while after you've seen it for all the right reasons...

Not only is Green Room suitably intense, well acted, gory, well scripted, tense, well paced and even quite fun, but it is also the most effective thriller I have ever seen (mainly because of these reasons).

In many ways this film reminded me of Hot Fuzz in that the majority of dialogue comes back round by the end to get closure. And man is that dialogue ever brilliant; there's no exposition here, every line feels authentic and natural (something films lately have been lacking, I've noticed) which only adds to the realism factor that is very prominent throughout the run time.

Something that also adds to the realism is the decisions made by the characters at certain points in the film.
You need to have a truly clever film to make a dumb decision pay off as character building. So many times do bland, unoriginal leads decide to touch that gooey alien- seed- pod looking object
 for no reason other than to advance the story.
Not here.
Instead characters make choices in the film that make sense for their character and the overall themes, sometimes for the best, most of the time for the worst.

But I was never left wondering why a character would do that, or go there, or kill that character, but instead their motivations are crystal clear from the get- go and empathetic, leading to me understanding each motive and decision with ease.

And as brutal and gory and angry as the film may be, it does have moments of humanity and humour.
At certain moments the scenario becomes so ridiculous that you just can't help but laugh at how absurd everything is. (In a lesser film, I'd question if this was intentional.)

All in all this really is a fantastic film, and I really can't wait to watch it again.
Green Room gets a tense 9/10.






(Ps, this film gets bonus points for having Patrick Stewart swear often and say the N word.)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Neon Demon | eh

Never before have I been so torn on a single film.

The Neon Demon is in essence very split in terms of overall narrative.
The story and characters are very simple and in no need of much interpretation, while the visuals and nuances of the cinematography are left up entirely to the audience 90% of the time.
This, to me, is the film's biggest "yay" and "eh".

Once I've seen a film I think to myself on how functional the film is (did it evoke any emotions that are in- keeping with the genre and actual intention of the film?). And usually I come to a conclusion relatively quickly.
Take Fargo:
I'd finished watching Fargo about half an hour before deciding to watch TND, and I came to the conclusion that Fargo is a very functional and important film for the genre.
But with TND I couldn't make up my mind.
Not only is it incredibly subversive of its genre, but it's also very difficult to understand what the director wanted, thematically, to come across in certain segments of the film.

Because of this I find it difficult to come to any proper conclusion for the film.
The characters and the story itself are pretty bland, as I said, but can be attributed to the themes at play; people and the outside would are boring but the world of fashion is spellbinding and classy. But even though the idea of having these essential cogs in the machine behave how they do makes sense on a thematic level, it's simply not enough to keep the same machine running.

But as everyone else says, the visuals really are exceptional.
Even Netflix not being able to run at full HD because of our shitty Virgin broadband couldn't detract completely from how dazzling the film looks.
But really, that's the biggest thing I can praise it for.

Ultimately I feel disappointed with TND, I feel as though the film had major issues balancing its priorities in too many ways for it to come out a successful film.
And this damaged the entire experience for me.

The Neon Demon gets a freaky 6/10.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Four Reviews From Letterboxd

Well thanks to a favourite YouTuber of mine, I stumbled upon a review site which has quickly become one of the few pages I visit daily.
Letterboxd is the name, and reviewing films is the game.
I've written four so far, and I thought instead of simply linking the reviews, I'd do something that takes just a smidgen more of effort: Copy 'n' paste them.
So, I might make this a weekly/monthly thing, I'm not sure yet, but there they are...

Birdman (2014)

5 out of 5 stars.
This film is a masterpiece.
There's certain films that you start watching and you almost instantly recognise them as a masterpiece (i.e. The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, The Deer Hunter, Heat, etc..) and this is DEFINITELY one of them.
What can I say about this film that hasn't been said by every damn critic ever?
...

It's flawless. It's bloody flawless. I don't even want to go into specifics, really.
Just watch it, that's all. 

Just watch it.

Aliens (1986)

3½ out of 5 stars.

I still don't get the massive amount of love this movie gets.
I mean, it's fine on its own, but really..when compared to Alien.. it just pails in comparison.
The writing is nowhere near as sharp, the characters nowhere near as memorable or likeable, the acting is nowhere near as impressive, the pacing is either too slow or too fast in places and the entire concept of Alien (a haunted house in space) is thrown out the window, resulting in almost no subtlety and jumpscares galore.
Now, the movie definitely has its redeeming qualities: the action, when paced correctly, can be VERY entertaining, Sigourney Weaver, the effects still hold up amazingly well, and.....that's about it.
It's fine, really, but Alien 3 needs much more attention, in my opinion.


The Raid (2011)

4½ out of 5 stars.

Jesus christ, this film just doesn't stop moving.
And I mean that in a good way.
Seriously, its pacing is amazing and damn brutal.
This has some of the best action I have EVER SEEN IN FILM, full stop.
The choreography in this film is just ridiculous, beating Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which I couldn't see happening at the time) by miles.
The story is.. well, it's ok. Its story really is the downfall of this one.
And to be perfectly honest, it doesn't bother me that it is; I'm only mentioning it for the sake of the review.
But really, you get what you get, and in this case, you get a masterpiece of action choreography and brutal violence.


(Sigh) Dougal and the Blue Cat (1970)

4 out of 5 stars.

I wasn't sure if to rate this film as the critic within me would, or as the two year old seeing this for the first time would.
In the end I settled for the two year old.
This film has made a massive impact on my life, and I can't even specify how.
This film is pure emotion, happy, sad, scary, relieved, funny, bizarre.
It covers all of these emotions, and it does so with its funny, witty and hugely memorable characters.
This really is an experience, be it weird and disturbing, or light and charming, you'll definitely get an experience with this film.
(May I just add that the scary things in this film still scare me to no end, even today? The blue voice, the soldiers made from whips, the scary faces room and the treacle factory in general, the weird knife throwing machine thing, all still haunt me. 

And I don't mind one jot.)