I watch a horror movie every day, here's everything I watched in August
2020.09.18 13:52 nextzero182I watch a horror movie every day, here's everything I watched in August
(2019) The Lighthouse 9.5/10 The visuals are jaw-dropping; almost every single frame of this film is photographic. The soundtrack is stripped down to just these haunting sounds of fog horns and piss buckets. The package everything is delivered in, from an artistic standpoint, is so memorable. The performances by Pattinson and Dafoe are both some of the best I’ve seen this entire year and really, the decade…possibly of all time. They deliver this brilliant script’s dialogue with such passion, humor and intensity. The story in this film is shrouded in mystery but the clues and tools needed to decipher it do exist and with a re-watch, finding them felt so rewarding. (2007) Zodiac 9/10 This is one of my favorite Fincher movies and for anyone familiar with his stellar catalogue, that’s a bold claim. It feels so real and lived-in. The cast is absolutely stacked but so complimentary. It’s not the most violent film, it’s much more story driven but the moments of violence feel fucking powerful. The horror in this film isn’t about the serial killer, it’s really about obsession and Gyllenhaal absolutely nails his performance to bring that aspect home. Despite this film’s high praise by critics and regular assholes like myself, it is a slow-burn. It’s long and tedious and that aspect, which I love, could easily turn someone off. (1981) Raiders of the Lost Ark 9/10 Raiders of the Lost Arc is such an important movie to me. It helped open my eyes to darker content as a child, for better or worse. It also introduced me to one of my favorite characters of all time, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford doesn’t play a superhero in this movie, he’s very flawed and mortal. Yet, somehow he always seems to prevail, despite dire circumstances. Everything that could ever be said about this film has been said, I’m just here to show my appreciation. (2014) Spring 8.5/10 This movie is wonderful, raw, natural and intriguing. It’s not over-acted or overthought in any way. It’s fucked up and complicated. This felt like an homage to Possession but the love story aspect really shines through. It feels helpless and hopeful at the same time. Benson’s script is amazing. The influences are impossible not to see but the dialogue is incredibly natural. The reactions are the same. I’ve always said that films shot in idyllic landscapes are a blank canvas for horror. There’s so much beautiful contrast. (2007) Timecrimes 8.5/10 I loved this movie when I first saw it but upon rewatching it, I can’t help but stress its influence in the time-loop horror sub-genre. Sure films like Primer definitely helped pave the way but Timecrimes really manages to focus less on the science fiction and more on the horrifying consequences that come with time travel. I really enjoyed Karra Elajalde’s performance, his character’s physical and mental degradation throughout the film is really a high point to me. Almost all of these films on paper would seem predictable in concept but Timecrimes is just another one that manages to pull you in despite that. A part of me knew exactly how this was going to play out but a bigger part of me was too engrossed to be sure. (2018) Gwen 8.5/10 This movie is an atmospheric slow burn down to the T so if that’s a sub-genre you generally don’t enjoy, this isn’t going to be something to change your mind. With that being said, it’s an incredibly heartbreaking story that, while exists in the folk-horror genre, subverts any and all expectations. The characters are real and suffering in this sort of beautiful but also incredibly bleak, barren landscape. Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Maxine Peaks carry the entire film. The story itself, while simple, yet powerful, is unwoven tediously, evoking all sorts of dread. I don’t think- scratch that, I know everyone is not going to like this movie. The plot is way too stripped down for mainstream appeal. If you find yourself empathizing with the characters and become personally involved in the period and setting, it can be an emotional watch. (2005) Constantine 8.5/10 I was pretty surprised at the semi-mixed reaction to this film before I learned it was a comic book adaptation. Listen, I’ve obviously never even heard about this comic but let me just say, as a standalone movie, it’s fucking awesome. It’s basically Keanu Reeves battling his way through hell, murking demons and basically just being badass as shit. I love the entire cast, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, etc. A true standout to me too was Tilda Swinton who plays the vague gendered Gabriel. The special effects, even 15 years later, are still fucking awesome. There’s a ton of CGI which isn’t always my favorite but it’s quality CGI that stands the test of time. I really loved this movie, I’d recommend it to anyone. (2020) Relic 8/10 Robyn Nevin is fantastic here and all the supporting roles are great but not only does this woman make the movie, she is the movie. Her dialogue, her delivery and her body language, at least to me, are a huge chunk of the entire plot. I just found this movie to be gentle until it isn’t, which makes for the most tense moments. It’s a very claustrophobic film; I think it does justice to a very serious and frightening illness. (1986) The Little Shop of Horrors 8/10 Okay to keep things real, I’ve never been a big musical dude but this movie is fun as hell. Rick Moranis is as goofy as ever and good god…the practical effects are mind-blowing. You’re watching this giant plant movie and it just melts your brain thinking about how it was accomplished. I had to look it up and after finding out it took sped-up footage, vocal matching with said footage and 60 men to operate this giant…puppet(?), I couldn’t be more impressed. (2020) Palm Springs 8/10 It doesn’t take long to catch on that, while this is a romantic comedy, it’s also a sci-fi horror film and a specific subset of sci-fi that makes me anxious. So in some regards, at least to genre placement, there’s my bias. The movie is seriously a treat though. It’s a new spin on an old formula and it’s genuinely funny, suspenseful and endearing. Even if you disagree that it shouldn’t be discussed in the horror circles, you won’t regret watching it. (1979) Nosferatu the Vampire 8/10 This film not only embodies and celebrates the original in terms of structure as well as substance, but in its restrained filmmaking methods; its ability to let shots live without intervention. It’s atmospheric, well-trimmed and just an all-around, exceptional film. Klaus Kinsi as Nosferatu is perfect; I loved the makeup design. His character is so out in the open that the shots have to be perfect in order to avoid the sillier pitfalls of films in the same vein attempting to achieve the same results. It still contains small doses of the eras beloved campiness, which I can appreciate to some degree, as it feels balanced within context. Dracula’s takeover of the town is anything but some violent, typical horror spectacle. Rather, Werner Herzog decides to portray it in a fever-dream-like fashion, elevated by the very minimal but well-used soundtrack. (2009) The House of the Devil 8/10 Modern horror is no stranger to throwback aesthetics from earlier decades but in 2009, that wasn’t the case. Not only did this movie pioneer that but it did it so successfully. My absolute favorite aspect of this film is the retro feel. It captured 70’s horror so incredibly well. Ti West is a talented filmmaker and this is one of my favorites by him. It’s a slow burn but so sinister and despite many complaining that the payoff wasn’t worth the wait, I have to disagree. Also, the suspense during the build-up was my favorite part. The violence, especially early on, while limited, is so powerful and raw. It really set an uneasy tone for the rest of the runtime. (1989) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 8/10 You know, this movie was the least memorable of the trilogy to me and I think that holds up, to a degree. I like this movie a lot though, fuck it, I love this movie. It’s the least horror focused but still has at least one intense body-horror moment. I don’t think too many people talk about how brave this movie is though; it tackles one of the most divisive topics, religion and does so in such a thrilling fashion. Indy is still Indy here, he’s fucking badass; his character and dialogue excel in this entry immensely. Not just dialogue but this film contains some of the best action choreography of the entire series, something that almost seems unfairly diminished through repetition. This movie is fucking awesome. (1984) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 8/10 This is probably the most influential horror movie of my entire childhood. The first time I watched it I had to shut it off at the heart scene and I think it took a few more tries to even make it through the whole thing. Unlike Scream, watching this decades later didn’t really totally eliminate that. I think it’s a scary movie and a really dark turn in the trilogy. There are quirky aspects of it character wise that are kind of goofy but playful. Overall though, goddamn dude, these set pieces are amazing. I love this movie and I’m totally biased but there are so many iconic moments during it. Harrison Ford is also jacked to shit and just at an all-time fuck-shit-up mode. His greedy and gritty character compliments the plot incredibly well. (1984) The Terminator 8/10 This movie, simply put, is badass as shit. Everything you could ever need to know about it is established in the very first scene. I’m aware the series kind of progresses into more action focused territory with the sequels but the original will always be a horror movie to me. The pacing, the unstoppable force that is Arnold, it’s all thrilling as shit. Sure, there’s a few instances of 80’s special effects that have aged like milk, mostly with the final scene but for the most part, the effects look dope still. Cameron hasn’t missed in his entire career in my opinion and this film is a benchmark in multi-genre spanning, epic, cinematic movies. I love it. (2009) The Loved Ones 7.5/10 This is the film that got me into Sean Byrne and it’s really something special. It reminds of almost a modern day interpretation of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if the dinner scene was the entire film. It’s a non-thinker, fun horror movie in a purest sense. Byrne seems aware of that and the story and pacing all cater to it so well. Robin McLeavy plays one of the most unlikable villains to date and that alone is a ticket for investment in this film. It would seem almost playful to a horror veteran but the sadistic and incestuous nature of her writing is something to behold. This is a popcorn movie but a great one at that. (1973) The Crazies 7/10 There’s some silly and overly-eccentric characters, per Romero’s usual style but I actually enjoyed this one a lot. I’m not even speaking directly about the remake but this film inspired a lot of modern horror films and concepts. There’s this great scene with this old lady knitting that I just adore. The innocent and violent clash in such an effective way. Obviously the horror aspects in that scene, as well as the virus itself are very fictional. The government response though, seems almost plausible, considering how they’re currently handling Covid-19. The miscommunication within government agencies in this film is both satisfying and frustratingly accurate. (2019) I Trapped the Devil 7/10 This one is a bit of a slow-burn but I felt the tension from beginning to end so none of it felt like a blind investment. It had the potential to be another, cookie-cutter, pretentious statement but what I found it to be was simply a well-crafted horror film. While this film doesn’t shoot for the moon, it executes a well-trimmed, concise story and I’d fully recommend it to anyone interested in satanic horror. (1935) The Black Room 7/10 This is another Universal horror film starring Karloff, directed by Roy Neill. It presents itself with the usual, tight-knit flair you may have come to expect but it somehow has seen much less recognition than any of the major monster movies. I really liked this movie. Despite the predictable nature, I found the short run-time to be refreshing and the performances were great. It was also a really cleanly produced. I suspect that’s due to the lack of need for special effects but nevertheless, it’s a high point. Definitely check this one out. It feels warms and slightly gothic; overall, it’s just a very well-executed movie. (2004) The Day After Tomorrow 6/10 This may be due to the unrealistic science fiction needed to drive these plots, but I can’t decide if Emmerich takes his own work seriously. These films are undoubtedly brilliant visual spectacles at times and pretty goddamn entertaining but also a breeding ground for vapid characters. However, his films also seem to have actual political and social commentary. In the case of this film, it’s the world’s most on-the-nose message about climate change. I’m not even sure how much of a criticism that is but take it for what you will. The intense scenes in this movie are legitimately intense and even watching this 16 years after it was released, the CGI is pretty great. New York city is a fun sandbox for disaster porn and I had a great time watching it. (2014) The Possession of Michael King 6/10 I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The “Possession of” movies are a mixed bag and despite this one in particular being really low-budget, they did a great job at creating scary visuals. I loved the psychological torment, specifically this idea with flies that’s legitimately creepy as fuck. They take it to a level where I think right at the end it dips off into the ridiculous but not in a way that’s awful, just not to my personal tastes. (2019) Sweetheart 6/10 Sweetheart is a fairly well-made survival horror film that starts out well but unfortunately fades into mediocrity. While the first half is actually more of a methodical portion of the film, it’s strangely the second act that feels like a chore to watch at times. There’s some talent to look out for here but it seems underdeveloped on this project. With that being said, it’s still really entertaining for the most part, just treat it more as a popcorn movie rather than something to really sink your teeth into. (2013) Boar 6/10 Yeah I don’t even really know what to say. It’s a killer boar movie. It’s fun, the gore is pretty great and it’s well-paced. I don’t really feel inspired to write a novel about it but it’s worth a watch. (2014) Digging up the Marrow 6/10 I’m not surprised to hear people complaining about this film because it’s by no means perfect. However, I am surprised to hear so many people targeting Adam Green’s ego as being the shining flaw in this movie. I have no bias towards the guy, I’m a casual fan but I do think that people mistook the meta-aspects of this story to be simply for self-service. With that being said, I like this movie. I don’t love it but the build-up was pretty intense, carried by an always somewhat unhinged Ray Wise. I’m glad they didn’t show a ton right away or really, at all, because it would have been even cheesier. This is a fun movie though that’s really not meant to be taken all that seriously. The creature design is cool and it’s just an easily digestible popcorn flick. I would have re-wrote the ending a bit to be less convoluted and abrupt (paradoxical almost, I know) but I can still recommend this one. (2015) The Vatican Tapes 6/10 I didn’t have high hopes for this one, exorcism movies are just so oversaturated. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised. The horror of it all, the culmination or whatever, is exactly what you’d expect and if that seems like a spoiler, it’s more of a statement on the sub-genre itself. It’s the build-up and basically entire first half that impressed me. I truly felt like the events that conspire could happen to anyone. This was by no means a waste of time, despite how many times this story has been done. (2014) The Last Showing 5.5/10 Robert Englund lends his talents to a b-movie of sorts here but the end product isn’t that bad. Outside of him, the acting isn’t bad either. Chris Geere from You’re the Worst is actually in it and he’s such a hilariously miserable cunt. It entertained me enough but in the end, felt really bland. I’m feeling pretty eh on this one. (2017) Lost Child 5/10 Lost Child wasn’t quite what I was expecting, which in some ways, was the only thing I enjoyed about it. They keep the mystery going for a long time and to their credit, I was never exactly sure how things were going to play out. Unfortunately, it’s just really boring and there’s no huge payoff. I liked a few of the characters and as far as production and acting goes, it was just fine. It’s kind of one of those mid-movies that doesn’t do a whole lot wrong but also doesn’t do a whole lot right. (2019) In the Tall Grass 4.5/10 People seem to be pretty divisive about this film to the point where not a lot of middle ground criticism is being offered but that’s where it lands to me. It often engaged me, I like a lot of the sci-fi aspects, felt there were a few good performances and I didn’t hate the conclusion. With that being said, not a single aspect of this movie wow’d me in any fashion. It feels like it actually could have been shortened a bit, as in like an episode of an anthology. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.
2020.09.14 02:35 d49kGhosts (Movie) MEGAPOST. Music, Videos, Links & Reviews. 1993 Is It Scary origins, Addams Family Values, false allegations, The Orchestral Score, 2 Bad, Is It Scary, Ghosts (Song), Morphine information, Commercial Release (Ad & Unboxing), 30 Remixes. Behind the scenes & concept art.
A couple of weeks ago, I read ‘Did I Scare You? How MJ altered the sensations of racism’. It’s a retrospective review of "GHOSTS" in which Michael's response to his critics is analysed. It’s a great read and very well informed, though I some of the comments it made I wasn’t so sure of. The review focused on Michael’s changing face, how he used it for art and it’s connections between Michael and racism. I don’t disagree with the article but I wanted to articulate for myself what I feel about the movie and put it out there. GHOSTS is my favourite short film. Combined with HIStory: Past, Present & Future Book I, they are a set of artistic works which has been the most autobiographical of Michael's work. I wanted to share everything I know about it with links to behind the scenes, articles, music and information in one place. I wrote this to post on MichaelJackson, I’m not a professional writer or music critic, I’m just a fan so forgive me if my style is a bit messy. To my knowledge, Ghosts isn’t available on any streaming network and there’s no high-quality versions of Ghosts available online but this is the best I can find on YouTube, The sound is off and the picture is stretched from 4:3 to 16:9. Halloween is coming up soon and naturally we think about Thriller, Ghosts and few other tracks at this time of year. I can only hope the estate will at some point scan it to 4K and release it properly. I can’t just write about Ghosts, “Is It Scary” and “2 Bad” are part of its DNA. Hell, the whole HIStory album should be included given what “Ghosts” is about, even “Morphine” could be included but this post is a biggie, so I won’t. The story of the feature film: “Michael Jackson’s Ghosts” is a far cry from the title of the movie and the track it lends its name from.
Is It Scary origins / Addams Family Values
Life Imitates Art
Repurposing “Is It Scary” for Ghosts
Ghosts Orchestral Score
Is It Scary
Ghosts (Production Including Making Of)
Music & Remixes Links
Is It Scary origins / Addams Family Values In 1992 Paramount Pictures asked Michael to participate in the movie “Addams Family Values” they (and he) wanted a short film in the style of “Thriller” or “Smooth Criminal” as an insert (or independent short film) to help promote the Addams Family Values. In 1992, Michael asked horror writer Stephen King to collaborate with him and Mick Garris (then director) to write a screenplay for the short film (with no title at this stage). The two wrote an outline of what eventually became GHOSTS and set on a title of “Is It Scary”. This was to indirectly match the Addams Family Values movie plot while also being autobiographical of Michael’s life. This is around the middle of the Dangerous tour between Tokyo in late 1992 and Bangkok in August 1993. The film was to depict local villagers attempting to exorcise a perceived villain or threat to the community, a theme which loosely runs through the Addams Family Values and prophesied what was to come in Michael’s personal life, after initial shooting began. More Info from AFI Catalog. There’s a scene in Addams Family Values where Joel screams at a poster of Michael on the wall, another example of Michael being the punchline in jokes across the film industry and it’s a shame because they were using him originally to help promote the movie. More Info. Filming for “Is It Scary” began in the first half of 1993 at the CBS/MTV studios in LA, the music scenes had not yet been filmed (The song, “Is It Scary” hadn’t been written yet) and Michael had to resume the Dangerous Tour. There are conflicting reports as to whether Michael was falsely accused during the shoot for “Is It Scary” or shortly afterwards when hr resumed the Dangerous tour, which he eventually cancelled. The most obvious change between the versions are the Mayor. Ken Jenkins (Dr Bob Kelso from Scrubs). Michael Jackson Is It Scary 1993 Unreleased Short Film (Ghosts Early Concept)
There are a few versions of this cut online, all low quality unfortunately, but for those who have never seen it, it’s interesting to see the original concept.
Another version of the video, uploaded by cast member Shana Mangatal. In both these versions, toward the end of the video Wednesday Addams uses the electric chair to ‘play’ with her brothers Pugsley and Pubert Addams. The sound of the electricity in this short scene is similar to the beginning of “Morphine” which was recorded later. I wonder if the two are connected?
(From the YT description): I filmed Michael Jackson's "Ghosts" with Michael in April 1996. In honour of the 21st Anniversary of filming, I put together this tribute which includes commentary from me about the making of the original 1993 version, "Is This Scary". "GHOSTS" was Michael's baby and he wanted it to be seen by everyone. He was very proud of it.
(Paraphrased from the linked YT video): In August 1993, I (Shana Mangatal, cast member in both “Is It Scary” and “GHOSTS”) was in the middle of filming. Just before we filmed this scene, Michael learned of allegations against him. Michael was sad, devastated and ANGRY. In a strange twist of fate, in this scene, I and a few of the other actors had to stand on the other side of the camera, and yell names at him like "weirdo" and "freak" and say, "you're scaring our children". Michael could no longer hold his emotions in and he let all of his anger out in this scene. These lines were not in the script. This is one of the last scenes he filmed before he became so sick and distraught that he couldn't continue.
Life Imitates Art In response to tabloid and press speculation about Michael’s absence from the media and America, Michael Jackson’s lawyer, Bertram Fields released a statement included in this New York Times article in November 1993 stating that Michael was under treatment for addiction to painkillers and "was barely able to function adequately on an intellectual level" but added that this was just temporary. Mr. Fields laid the blame for Michael’s addiction, in part, to "the rage, humiliation and embarrassment" over [the Jordy Chandler case]. He said it would be foolish to bring Mr. Jackson back to the United States now to help prepare a defines against the civil suit, or to be questioned by the child's lawyer, given Mr. Jackson's condition. This reddit thread from 8 months ago together with the Michael Jackson Allegations website and the Leaving Neverland Q&A episode of the MJCast go into the detail of the allegations. Clearly, we can see that Michael has been hit hard. Midway through filming “Is It Scary” and performing the Dangerous concerts he is vilified by people who already have bias against him in a bizarre “life Imitates art” freak coincidence. It was during this time that the contract between Paramount and Michael was cancelled. Michael also cancelled the remaining dates of his Dangerous tour. News reports at the time were focused on his presumed guilt, the failure to his fans and the money he lost. I have only ever seen one article written at the time in support of Michael, written for GQ magazine in October 1994 8 months before HIStory was released. A copy is available here. Michael was understandably at an all-time low, I’ve never read anywhere that he got depressed but alas, he medicated himself using painkillers. I don’t blame him, do you? Morphine A Quick note about “Morphine”: It was written and produced exclusively by MJ. Michael was more hands on for this track and played percussion, drums and guitar along with all lead and backing vocals. This is Michael Jackson without other producers or arrangers influencing the track. “Morphine” was going to be the lead single from Blood on The Dance Floor but Sony decided on the title track from the album instead. (Later for Invincible, Sony disallowed Michael’s choice of lead single favouring You Rock My World instead of Unbreakable). It’s tragic that a lot of people have not even heard of “Morphine”, not only is it another great MJ Vs Slash rock track, it’s Michael at his most vulnerable, “Morphine” is a cry for help which ultimately went unnoticed and unanswered. Repurposing “Is It Scary” for Ghosts With the project for “Is It Scary” now scrapped; Michael was free to continue his work. Deciding to rework a cancelled compilation entitled Decade 1980-1990 (it was scrapped in favour of Dangerous) and incorporating new songs, the resulting album became HIStory: Past, Present & Future Book I. (I could write pages about the HIStory album, it’s one of the most iconic concept albums ever created, a musical autobiography and a work of genius by a genius)! To focus again on “Ghosts”, we need to skip forward to late 1995 after the HIStory album was recorded was released. Michael took control over the “Is It Scary” project and decided to use “2 Bad” since the lyrics are coherent with the movies theme. It’s conceivable that Michael had this video in mind when he was writing “2 Bad” in 1994. Michael was producing this short film to promote the HIStory album, before embarking on the HIStory world tour. It’s possible the movie may have been temporarily renamed to “2 Bad” given that’s the core song of the production and the ID tags for the cast and clapper boards during production feature “2 Bad” instead of “Is It Scary” or “Ghosts”. Sony asked Michael during the production of Ghosts (Movie) for a new album. That ultimately became Blood On The Dance Floor, the best selling remix album of all time. Working with Stan Winston in early 1996, the original script changed, and Michael would play several incarnations of himself ‘demonised’, (Hello Thriller 1996)! as well as the antagonist, who happens to be the modelled on the same demographic as Tom Sneddon. This is just as coincidental as the name “Dom Stanton” is to Tom Sneddon ;) Ghosts Orchestral Score The dance routines were choreographed by Michael and LaVelle Smith and Timothy Earl Soloman to the original score of Ghosts by Nicolas Pike mixed with “2 Bad”. (Nicholas Pike at Discogs). MJVibe Interviewed Nicolas Pike in 1995 about the orchestra for Ghosts in 2015. Available here.
2 Bad The version of “2 Bad” which features on GHOSTS is reworked, funkier, groovier and it’s a hard hitting, aggressive, ‘fluff the dust off your shoulder’ dance routine is just as livid as it’s angry lyrics. “2 Bad’s” lyrics deal with themes of alienation and judgement. the song confronts his accusers, his gritty voice raises its volume and declares “You’re disgustin’ me” This is in direct response to people who have harmed him, people who have extorted money from him. Michael is angry, probably more angry than he was in “Scream” but that anger beautifully expresses confidence in his ability to recover from people who have conspired against him in the past. A few days ago, u/Starfire asked “What aspect of MJ's life are you abnormally obsessed with?” and I’d have to say how autobiographical he is in his music and his attitude, full of self-confidence with it, “2 Bad” for instance proclaims “too bad, you tried I won’t back down”. The Run-DMC sample at the beginning is interesting and extremely important. Between the Bad and Dangerous albums, Michael invited Run-DMC to collaborate with him for a track called “Crack Kills”, they rudely declined. They even use semiotics in their music video for King of Rock to denounce Michael, symbolically stamping on Michael’s sequined glove from Billie Jean. They didn’t create this anti-Michael movement but they were following what was unfortunately becoming the mainstream opinion about Michael at the time, criticizing him for his looks and eccentricities instead of enjoying the work he did. It was the end of making fun out of Michael but it was the start of him becoming demonised by the press and ridiculed by the the public. Something which didn’t end until he announced his final curtain call, “This Is It”. (Run-DMC later regret never working with him). So what did Michael do? Use the first lines of lyrics from King of Rock as the first lines in “2 Bad” an awesome ‘Fuck You song’ in its own right but in Ghosts, Michael plays himself and parodies of these demons he is falsely accused of. Of all the lyrics within “2 Bad”, of all the lyrics in the HIStory album, of all the lyrics he has ever performed... “I’m Standing Though You’re Kicking Me” ...is one of the most profoundly autobiographical, ironic and iconic statements across his music. “2 Bad” was written by Michael, Dallas Austin, Bruce Swedien, René Moore, and Shaquille O’Neal (he wrote the Rap, Michael and Shaq knew each other casually). It was produced by Michael, Bruce Swedien, René Moore, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at The Hit Factory in New York 1994. It was the third time Michael has collaborated with basketball stars (Michael Jordan on Jam and Magic Johnson on Remember The Time) proving once again that “♫ It Ain’t Too Ah-Much For Me To Jam!”. After a gruelling dance routine, set to music which was modified on set so Michael could ‘feel it’ the song gives way to “Is It Scary”. (Similar music for this dance break is linked below). Is It Scary “Is It Scary” was written and recorded by Michael, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis between 1993/4 and recorded at Flyte Tyme Studios, Minnesota and Larrabee Studios, LA. Notably after the story for what became the Ghosts film. The lyrics for “Is It Scary” are based in part on the screenplay for Ghosts, Michael’s autobiographical story, an unwelcome eccentric man. The movie and song are symbiotic, considering the movie was conceptualised before the false allegations emerged and the song was finished afterwards, Michael sings “I'm gonna be exactly what you want to see, It's you who's haunting me” and “And if you want to see eccentricities, I'll be grotesque before your eyes. Let them all materialize! Is that scary for you”? Michael is referencing himself as the victim, he is essentially saying “you will see what you want to see, you’ve already made up your mind”. It’s not the first time Michael has sung about himself as the victim. “They Don’t Care About Us” features the lines “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me. Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me” On June 15, 1995, a day before the release of HIStory, The New York Times reported that "They Don't Care About Us" contained racist and anti-Semitic content. Michael responded directly stating:
"The idea that these lyrics could be deemed objectionable is extremely hurtful to me, and misleading. The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone. I am the skinhead, I am the Jew, I am the black man, I am the white man. I am not the one who was attacking. It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them. I am angry and outraged that I could be so misinterpreted." — Michael Jackson 1995.
Michael has sung about his oppressors and the press before, “Leave Me Alone” is cry for privacy, “Why You Wanna Trip On Me” questions why him and not society, “Scream” is about… (read this instead) and “Tabloid Junkie” (well, that one condemns us all doesn’t it)? “Is It Scary” turns the tables, an anthem just as powerful as Earth Song or Man In The Mirror. Michael Jackson, the philanthropist and humanitarian the boy who the world watch grow up and young fans are STILL finding excellence in his work two decades after his final album. A man who has given up time and money to help children all over the world, a man now signing for his own justice, a man literally screaming at the top of his voice “I'm tired of being abused, you know you're scaring me too, I see the evil is you!” And what is there to fear? Absolutely nothing. In the movie, after this track we’re treated to some funky instrumentals, taken from “2 Bad” that would make even Prince gasp and yet another dance breakdown. Michael isn’t present during this one but he doesn’t need to be. It is SIGNATURE Michael Jackson. At the end of this scene, Michael as the ghoul, inhabits the body of the Mayor and uses him, his image and humiliates him In front of the towns people which is exactly what has happened to Michael. The entire theme of this movie is about Michael being persecuted, not only by Tom Sneddon but the wider public at large. The most humiliating point for Michael by this time was the strip search by LAPD two years earlier in December 1993. Michael released a public statement two days after stating that “it was the most humiliating ordeal of my life”. Michael, as an extremely artistic but also playful in nature, teases his accuser by trolling him in a dance short, then shining a mirror right back at him asking “Who’s the freak now”? Michael Jackson, a KING, takes a bow. In the last few minutes of the movie, Michael asks the crowd if he should he stay or not? He’s won them over already, they can see his point, but the mayor is insistent, the freak doesn’t belong here. Michael gives him what he wants, a self-destructive blow to the floor, turning to dust. There’s a look of shock and horror on the town’s folk, maybe even regret that they misjudged him. Guilt perhaps that they were the ones to instigate what appears to be a suicide right in front of them. In the original version from 1993, this scene has the kids attempt to put him back together again, in Ghosts, his (ashes?) are blown away. Saddened, the crowd start to leave, and the movie takes a quick twist from sadness to humour. Michael is well documented to be a practical joker and he instilled his personality yet again as Michael appears larger than life in the doorway of the exit. The mayor scared out of his wits runs for the window and jumps out, the music and shape of the break in the glass has a humorous theme. Michael asked at the start this confrontation, whoever gets scared first, must leave. Well my friends, Michael had the last laugh. As the credits roll, we’re treated to around 5 minutes of behind the scenes footage featuring the makeup changes and CGI featured in the film. The title track begins and it’s a slightly different version from the remastered version for Blood on The Dance Floor. Ghosts (song) Michael and Teddy Riley wrote “Family Thing” together in 1993 for the Addams Family / Is It Scary movies but they stopped production when the “Is It Scary” movie was shelved. No longer tied to the movie, a new song was created. “Ghosts” was written by Michael and Teddy at the Hit Factory, NY & Record Plant Studios and Ocean Way Recording between 1994-1997, it was also intended for inclusion on the HIStory album (It was replaced with “2 Bad” instead). There’s a 1996 version of Ghosts with constant bass running through the track while a remaster doesn’t include the extra bassline. (Links below). Some of the information I’ve read about Ghosts suggests that the chorus is a logical continuation to “Who Is It” but I can’t see that myself, can you? Ghosts (Production Including Making Of) Stan Winson (director) was recommended to Michael by Mick Garris, (the original director). Michael called Stan personally to ask if he might consider directing the film and Stan agreed with only one condition: that Michael would play all the lead roles. “I wanted Michael to play the haunted house guy," said Winston, "but also the mayor of the town, and an evil demon who comes in at one point. Michael wanted badly to be accepted as an actor, as something more than the King of Pop. But it was so difficult for people to get past Michael’s persona, I thought that the only way he would be accepted as a real actor was if he played all these parts, disguised in makeup, so that no one would know it was him until the end. And he was very agreeable to that idea.” GHOSTS Behind The Scenes at Stan Winston School. Artist Paul Mejias was the sculptor for the model work on Michael’s various costumes.
Concept Art for Michael pulling ‘his’ skin and smashing ‘his’ skull. From makeup artist Miles Tevas. (Apart from Michael’s music and dancing, the scenes where he’s disfiguring himself in Ghosts have got to be the best across this short film catalogue). VH1 released a 20-minute documentary The Making of Michael Jackson’s Ghosts right before Halloween in October 2002. It features the making of, with behind the scenes material and the detail of some of the cinematic illusions behind the production as well as interviews with the cast and crew including Michael.
And of course my very own:Ghosts (Durrson's Restless Soul Remix)which I’m rather fond of :) Thanks for reading if you’ve got this far. Please post any information you have on Ghosts which isn’t included here and if anything seems to be wrong, let me know so I can correct it. Bibliography
2020.08.12 08:16 VashxShanksA Guide to the Differences Between JRPGs Ports and Enhanced Versions (Part 1).
A new day, a new guide. This is the hardest one of the guides I wanted to make, because the information is never easy to get, which is weird. So please forgive me if I missed some changes, and by all means tell me if I missed any of them or if any of them are incorrect. Since this list is really long, this guide is going to come in parts, this part covers:
Valkyrie Profile (PSX) vs Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP vs iOS & Andriod).
Chrono Trigger (SNES) vs Chrono Trigger (PSX vs NDS vs iOS & Andriod vs PC).
Star Ocean 2 (PSX) vs Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) vs PS4 (JP.ver).
The Last Remnant (Xbox360) vs The Last Remnant Remastered (PC vs PS4 & Switch).
Tales of Vesperia (Xbox360) vs Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One).
Tales of Symphonia (GC) vs Tales of Symphonia (PS2 (JP.ver only) vs PS3/PC).
Skies of Arcadia (DC) vs Skies of Arcadia: Legends (GC).
Person 3 (PS2) vs Persona 3 FES (PS2 (English.ver)) vs Persona 3P (PSP).
Persona 4 (PS2) vs Persona 4 Golden (Vita vs PC).
.hack//G.U (PS2) vs .hack//G.U. Last Recode (PS4/PC).
Final Fantasy 12 (PS2) vs FF 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only) vs FF12 Zodiac Age (PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One).
Rune Factory 4 (3DS) vs Rune Factory 4 Special (Switch).
This is made for Ports and Enhanced versions, so No Remakes. So this is about differences between the different versions of Chrono Trigger, and not about the differences between FF7 ps1 and FF7 Remake.
The differences are taken from all over the internet, either from official sources, wikis, youtube, and even forums.
I cover all the changes for a game, unless there is too many, in which case I will highlight the ones worth mentioning.
Nearly identical to the Japan version but with minor fixes in the menu screen. In the Japanese version, Characters not in the party were unable to change or learn skills nor were they able change or remove equipment. The US version allowed out of party members to change and learn skills as well as change or remove equipment without being added to the party. Also in the Japanese version, Lenneth would unequip all her skills and equipment when switching between sword and bow. The US version 'remembers' the previous setting when switching weaponry and is automatically equipped with the skills and equip. Another improvement over the Japanese version is an improved item sorting option. There are a few instances of censoring such as Badrach's smoking.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth PSP:
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth lacks the improvement made in US version. Rather than re-rendering the textures of the dungeon maps, TOSE cropped and upscaled the pre-rendered images to fit the portable console's screen, resulting in severe blurring in some areas. This version also removes the anime opening movie in favor of 3D CGI, animated movie. Certain key story-sequences were animated in the same style as the opening movie and can be viewed at anytime in the Gallery option in the title screen once unlocked in the story. The animated scenes include:
Alicia witnesses Barbarossa's execution
Lenneth's encounter with the Lord of the Undead
Lenneth and the Homunculi
A chance encounter between "Meril" and Lucian
Lenneth in Weeping Lily Meadow
Lucian's departure to Valhalla
The Sovereign's Rite
Other big changes are:
An enhanced version of the original game's localization
Square Enix cleaned up the original game's English script and additional voice over dialogue for the CG movies was recorded by New Generation Pictures, rather than the original company, TAJ Productions.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth iOS & Andriod:
This is the PSP version being ported to iOS & Andriod, with the following changes:
Enhanced graphics such as character portraits. >* Enhanced Text.
Anime cut scenes created by original character designer Akira Toriyama's Bird Studio and animated by Toei Animation. A new Extra Mode Option was added that is divided into different categories of viewable extras, that are unlocked as you finish the game, and just as shown in the picture, they are:
Chrono Trigger NDS:
This version includes everything new in the PSX version, and also has big and a long list of changes and additions, which I will try to condense them as much as possible:
Ability to play using the two screens and the touch screen, or in classic mode through a single screen.
Added the Arena of Ages: A monster arena where You pick basic monsters and raise them to fight computer and wireless opponents.
Added the Lost Sanctum: A sidequest during the main game. It consists of two dungeons in two different eras.
Added the Dimensional Vortex: A extra Dungeon, available after beating the game once and appears in three different eras. Each dungeon is different.
A lot of New Items.
New Enemies in the new dungeons, in the form of palette swaps of old enemies.
One New Ending after finishing the Dimensional Vortex completely.
New Translation that changes a lot of names form the original version to something more faithful to the Japanese version.
Chrono Trigger iOS & Android:
Both versions initially were based on the NDS version, but later on got an update to make them similar to the PC version.
Chrono Trigger PC:
Everything on the NDS version is present here except there is No Arena of Ages. What they did add however is:
Unlocking the Galaxy and Universe modes now require defeating a specific number of enemies in a single playthrough rather than unlocking voices in the Voice Collection. >>>* Practically all Combat Skills have been refined, some being removed (such as Cancel, which is now automatically implemented).
The combat system has been slightly refined, now allowing all melee fighters to perform a 3-hit combo as their normal attack.
The Super Specialty "Bunny Call" no longer allows the player to "climb" on towns and some terrains. The player now will enter a town upon approaching while in Bunny Form, and can even activate private actions.
All items in the inventory screen are now depicted as 2D icons instead of the original 3D models.
Many bugs and glitches have been fixed (most notably the infamous random Cave of Trials screen freeze).
Ring of Lightspeed (called Slayer Ring in Second Story) now works on Dias Flac.
New character designs and portraits.
No magic combo mechanic.
Crafting animations are now replaced by a still 2D image.
Star Ocean: Second Evolution PS4 JP.ver:
This enhanced version was released only in Japan on the PS4, with enhanced graphics and BGM, and a DLC that helps you with the gameplay.
This version is only available to purchase in the EU SquareEnix online store as of right now: Battles:
Turbo Mode is now available, and can be toggled on or off while giving orders to unions in battle. When on, battles play out at double the speed.
Crimson Flare, a new Arcana, is now available.
New formations, such as Eremurus Rain, are now available.
Enemies hit considerably harder.
Rare Monsters can have significantly higher HP than their XBOX 360 counterparts.
Arcana require substantially more AP.
Unique Arts now require AP.
Remnant Arts can only be performed by union leader, Weapon Arts now require high union morale.
Offensive Weapon Arts now increase morale when used.
Additionally, Arcana and offensive Special Arts now raise morale by a fixed amount.
Likewise, certain Enemy Arts now lower morale by a fixed amount.
Wards now affect the entire union.
Attributes required for formation upgrades are vastly different.
Healing no longer raises morale, and morale increased by Critical Hits has been dramatically reduced.
Union morale now fluctuates based on more conditions (IE: taking an action, successfully landing a hit, receiving damage, etc.). In the X360 version, union morale stayed somewhat static, usually changing when being healed, being KO'd/terminated, executing a successful Critical Trigger. It also did not drop to 0 whenever an offensive Special Art was executed, whereas it will do so on the PC.
Linking additional enemies together does not increase your Battle Rank further than having fought them separately.
Special commands, such as the use of David's Gae Bolg, are no longer interrupted by being raidlocked by a different union or having targeted enemy union defeated by an ally.
Allies now have the option to cure a friendly union's Curse status ailment via "Cure them even if it kills them!" command. This command is in the XBOX 360 version as well, but is only available when the union is Enthralled; it will not be available when the union is cursed.
Items are color-coded in the PC version, and a new preview feature lets you see what the item looks like in battle.
You can now toggle between viewing the stats of a weapon or shield and viewing a preview of what it looks like in battle.
Components and consumables are now categorized.
Items are now color-coded based on their rarity.
Creation or customization of some items require fewer components.
New items available via Blueprint 4.
Various weapon stats have changed.
Some very rare monster-specific drops can now be split from monsters (e.g., Godwood Timber, Spiritwood Timber).
The leader limit is no longer imposed. Unions can be composed entirely of leader units if the player desires.
Likewise, soldiers can now be set as union leaders.
The stat cap has been lifted for all characters to allow a maximum of 255 for each stat.
The Seven are now recruitable after completing Union of the Golden Chalice Task #70: For Our Lord.
Rush can now be removed from the active party.
Khrynia can learn the new Unique Art Dual Snowpetal.
Arts can be disabled, filtering which skills a unit may use in combat.
Leaders' requested components are displayed when viewing their stats.
Leaders' wield style can be changed depending on their equipped weapon.
Shields now prevent style changes mid-battle.
The following classes now prevent style changes: Guardian, Scout, Hunter, Wanderer, Thief, Alchemist, all Mystic classes, Vagrant, Mercenary, Aristocrat, Djin, Fortuneteller, Sage and General.
The experience required to advance Wield Style skills has been reduced, and the experience required to advance Weapon Type skills has been increased.
Three new classes are now available: Ataraxian, Cleric, and Ninja.
The Guardian, Fencer, and Warrior classes now require non-sovani wield styles, and are thus not available to Sovani.
The Gladiator class now requires Power Grip and Wards.
Hybrid classes (Item+Combat and Mystic+Combat) can now be achieved by units who do not start in one.
Some leaders now have a different weapon upgrade path, which caused some units to learn new Weapon Arts while others lost theirs.
Leaders can request weapons that do not coincide with their weapon upgrade path as long as they match their equipped weapon type and size.
Soldiers can now request weapon drops.
Some units have had their starting Unit BR level, stats, class, equipment, arts, and hiring wage changed.
The completion of At Hatred's End is no longer required in order to activate Things Unchangeable.
Duke of Ghor now has a … icon when you speak with him between the first, third, and fifth base battles.
The component requirements in The Assistant have lowered.
The DLC content is now unlocked differently; the majority of the extra content now requires the completion of certain guild tasks.
The Leader Extraordinaire guild tasks which required three units of a single class now only require one.
The Monsterslayer guild tasks require different enemies to be defeated.
New Game Plus and Hard Mode: After the epilogue and credits, you can now save your game. When you're taken back to the main menu, you can load this save to begin a new playthrough that carries over certain elements from your previous playthrough. You will also be given the option to start the new game in Hard Mode. Miscellaneous:
The PC version will warn you if you cannot leave an area without a fight.
Auto Save is now available, which automatically saves after having changed zones or having won a battle.
Battle Rank is now viewable outside of combat, in the party menu.
Battle Rank progression has been slowed considerably; it takes more encounters/enemy unions terminated to increase in rank.
Characters with … icons are now identified with markers on the map.
Enemies can no longer be respawned by saving and reloading an adjacent area.
New saving opportunities are now available, such as before the base's boss.
A warning message is now displayed if you attempt to save your game in an area which you cannot leave until you defeat a boss.
Mr Diggs's digging animations are now much quicker.
The loading screens that explained some of the game's mechanics have been disabled.
Many areas of the game have had their spawn tables altered or repopulated.
Starting battle music now coincides with starting morale in most battles.
"Turn the Tide" and "Beat the Odds" now play during the second half instead of after entering Elysion.
Union highlighting during the selection phase has been toned down (ie: ally unions don't look quite as blue).
Leaders in reserve no longer gain skills via the Rush only skill grind trick.
Soldiers now slowly improve their stats in reserves.
Camera in battle doesn't swing around as wildly anymore.
Mitra soldiers' idle stances now come in 2 varieties: the one shared by both male and female units and the one exclusive to larger male units, rather than just the "large male mitra" stance.
The Last Remnant Remastered PS4 & Switch:
Based on the PC version, also added:
Graphics now are in Unreal Engine 4
A new function to run faster on the overworld.
Extra save slots.
Yes I am salty about this if you can't tell, since they removed the PC version from steam.
The frame rate was lowered from 60 frames per second to 30 frames per second.
The "Synopsis" option in the menu displays newer entries at the top
The Casino in the game is now actually fully playable with it's own mini-games, and chips to collecet and exchange for items.
The skits are graphically more dynamic. Portraits get larger or smaller quickly, swing from side to side, shake, and so on.
More post-battle animations.
Niflheim dungeon extended and 6 new boss characters, fought in 2 new boss battles.
New events to help raise affection.
Includes new side quests, new camera angles on some cutscenes, new animated cutscenes not featured in the GameCube version
Tales of Symphonia PS3/PC:
Improved character textures and improved some environments.
Dual-audio support: Japanese and English voiceovers, which neither the PS2 or GameCube versions had
Cutscenes support voice acting in both languages, but skits only have voice acting in Japanese. If you select English, you will just see the subtitles during skits. This is not a porting issue, as this is just how the GameCube version was.
While the original GameCube version ran at 60fps, the Japanese PS2 port which the PS3 Chronicles HD version is based off of ran at 30fps. The Steam version can run at 40FPS.
Random encounters occur less frequently and load considerably faster than the Dreamcast version, and EXP offered per battle is adjusted to compensate.
Graphically, the game sports mild improvements to character models, most noticeably adding individual fingers to the designs. The modifier volume shadows and (weirdly enough) point-mipmapping from the original release are still present.
One of the new sidequests available is Bounty Hunting. Sailor's Guilds offer information about each person on the bounty list as they are unlocked through story progression. After reading about them, they can be found in a constant location.
There are a number of new discoveries to be found.
A whole additional epilogue has been added, The Answer. This chapter is only available in one difficulty setting, which is supposed to be on par with Persona 3's Hard mode.
New Personas have been added
Secret videos of the protagonist's dorm mates have been added to flesh them out.
Koromaru can now be taken on walks.
Several of the Social Links have been modified slightly, such as Tanaka being available at a different time
Several new Quests have been added.
New costumes can be worn in battle.
A new event involving Chidori Yoshino was added.
Naganaki Shrine was completely overhauled.
A hard mode was added.
Save data from Persona 3 can be transferred into the game,
The Answer is not included in this verion.
Added a Female Main Character, so now you can choose between the Male and Female MCs.
The game lacks 3D environments and character models (outside of Tartarus), all anime cutscenes are gone, the graphics and audio quality were compressed,
The storyline of the female protagonist features many differences from that of the male protagonist, such as new social interactions as well as Social Links.
New voiced dialogue.
Players have the choice of selecting Elizabeth or a male-equivalent named Theodore to be Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room.
The ability to pick who the protagonist spends the last moments of the game with. This feature is only accessible on a New Cycle
The Desert of Doors from the Abyss of Time seen in The Answer will still appear, however, in an extra feature known as the Vision Quest. In this mode, the party can fight stronger incarnations of the Full Moon shadow bosses — save for Arcana Magician — and partake in special battles that test the party's abilities. When all of the battles have been successfully met, a second optional boss can be fought: Margaret, Igor's assistant in Persona 4 and guardian of the Desert of Doors in P3P.
There are now two overworld save points; Aside from the log book in the Iwatodai Dormitory, there is also one on the main character's desk at school.
In Paulownia Mall, the police station is now the only place where the protagonist can buy equipment and sell items. Aohige Pharmacy is now a buy-only store, and Be Blue V is just a part-time work site and hangout to improve the main character's condition
From previous versions, two difficulty modes have been added: Beginner and Maniac alongside Easy and Normal in Persona 3 and Hard in Persona 3 FES:
A new tactic, "Direct," has been added to the game, allowing control of the party members, unlike Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES.
The "Wait" command is replaced with the "Defense" command, and will decrease the damage and any knockdown effects of the next attack the user suffers.
The game grants "1 More" to a combatant who attacks multiple enemies not knocking all of them down; the original Persona 3 required all hit enemies to be knocked down for a 1 more.
Party members who have been knocked down no longer spend the turn by getting up and can act as soon as they stand.
Upon landing a critical hit or striking an enemy's weakness, party members can follow up with a co-op attack.
Fusion Spells from the original Persona 3 are now activated from items instead of equipping a persona and selecting it like other spells.
Allies can now take a fatal blow to the protagonist for them if they are able.
"Dizzy" has been added as a status effect.
Returning to the main lobby in Tartarus no longer automatically restores the party, and must now be done for a fee via the save point (this cost varies based on the date in-game and status effects currently inflicted on the party)
Floors can be directly returned to from the entrance of Tartarus instead of being restricted to the restore point like previous versions.
"Tired" status no longer is inflicted during Tartarus exploration, and is inflicted to all used party members after leaving (this will only drop to "Good" if the character used was at "Great" during exploration).
Unlike previous versions, money found by party members when split up will now be given to the protagonist.
Party members' equipment and status can now be accessed at any time from the pause menu, unlike in previous versions, which required the protagonist to speak to them while exploring Tartarus in order to change their equipment or view their status.
You can now control Party members directly.
The protagonists only have access to one weapon type (instead of having access to all weapon types like in P3 and FES); the male protagonist wields one-handed swords, and the female protagonist wields naginatas. As a result, the Skills "Fist Master," "Bow Master," "1hdSwdMaster" and similar skills have all been combined into a single skill called "Weapons Master." Its skill card is called "Phys Boost," and all Personas which had learned a "master" ability (like Cybele with Bow Master) now learn "Weapons Master."
Personas now have the ability to produce a Skill Card when raised to a specific level. Each card can be used on any Persona to teach them a skill.
The Inari Sushi in Naganaki Shrine no longer grants random bonuses for item gaining and Tartarus explorations. Instead, it offers to duplicate Skill Cards, which will take 5 days to complete
New Difficulty levels have been added: Safety/Easy/Normal/Hard/Risky.
Several new music tracks.
Additional voice-over dialogue.
Chie and Teddie have new voice actors in the English version.
New animated cutscenes.
More Personas, including new Ultimate Personas for the Investigation Team.
New areas can be visited.
The protagonist can now explore Inaba in the evening when Dojima is not home.
The protagonist and his friends now have motorized scooters to explore various areas.
Costumes are now available to buy at Croco Fur, in Okina City.
New Garden and Bug Catching features.
The ability to choose which skills can be inherited by the Persona the protagonist is fusing.
New scene skipping function
If the necessary criteria for at least the good ending are fulfilled, daily activities are expanded to February 14, 2012, giving more time for events and social links.
New epilogue has been added for the True Ending.
The list of Requests and the Fox' emas have been modified.
Rise can now assist the Investigation Team in All-Out-Attacks.
Added Tag Team attacks: two members can team up to perform a united attack.
Added Cavalry Attacks: Attacks from members of the Investigation Team that are not currently in the party.
Spell buffs and debuffs can now be used on the same character to prolong the effect
A new gallery menu has been added: "TV Listings." It displays bonus content unlocked through the main game at any time.
Floors and chests in dungeons can now reset by changing floors instead of leaving the dungeon and TV world, or visiting another dungeon.
Persona 4 Golden PC:
The game will run at up to 4K resolution with 60FPS+ as opposed to the Vita's 476p resolution and 30FPS target
Includes dual audio language and multiple text language. The anime cutscenes now also include subtitles
In the Steam version, the player may customize their difficulty setting at any time, in contrast to the Vita version only letting you do so on New Game Plus.The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters
The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters.
A brand new episode titled Vol.4//Reconnection, which takes place a year and three months after the events of Redemption
HD graphical update for the whole game.
Ability to restart the battle from the beginning if Haseo dies.
Movement speed on foot has somewhat increased.
The item stack size has increased from 50 to 99. The maximum number of item stacks in the inventory has increased from 30 to 90
Item menu shortcuts and sort features
When using an item in the field, pressing the X button repeatedly will cause the item to be used again without navigating the menu a second time.
The maximum number of Chim Spheres and Virus Cores the player can possess has increased from 99 to 999
Platforms now include the Platform Recovery feature, recovering a large portion of the party's HP and SP. It can only be used once per visit to a field.
Saku and Bo no longer switch the active player based on their level being even or odd. They can instead be selected as separate options in the Party screen.
Decreased the probability of allies selling the items the player give them.
Voice clips for returning characters and NPCs between games have been updated to use the Volume 3 clips from the beginning, except where said clips are unavailable.
Attack power has been increased and hit stops during attacks have been reduced to speed up the battle tempo.
Learning weapons proficiency increased and acquired experience points increased.
Awakening scenes can be skipped using the Option/Start button.
Some of the really tough enemies have been made a bit easier
Skeith’s general shot bullet speed has increased during Avatar Battles.
Enhanced battle balance and game pacing to provide an optimal experience.
Avatar battles now show a stun gauge over the enemy's head. Red diamonds have been added around attacks meant to be deflected using scythe slashes that are in range.
Added suspend feature during Avatar battle gameplay.
In Volume 3, the player is given 22 "Promise" greeting cards, meaning it is possible to do the "Forever in Love" / "Best Wishes" events with all party members in a single playthrough.
A new Cheat Mode allowing players who want to just enjoy the story to start the game with a large amount of items, best equipment, maximum money and chim spheres, and maximum level and affection for the respective volume.
Save files from Cheat Mode plays can be converted to the next volumes.
The videos from “The End of the World” Terminal Disc included with the limited edition PS2 release of Volume 1 are included in the collection
Final Fantasy 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only):
Addition of a "Zodiac Job System" featuring twelve jobs with individual License Boards corresponding to twelve zodiac signs
Addition of a 16:9 widescreen mode with menus and HUD at 4:3.
Addition of three new game modes: Trial Mode/New Game+ Strong Mode/New Game+ Weak Mode.
Pressing L1 will speed up gameplay. Conversations and events continue to play at normal speed.
Quickening doesn't consume MP. Now they use their own Mist gauge similarly to Limit Breaks from previous Final Fantasy titles.
Playable characters' starting LP, consumables, gil, gambits, equipment, licenses, and base stats have been modified.
You have more control over Guests now, they also gain EXP/Item/Gold.
Many magick spells and technicks have been tweaked, renamed and recategorized.
Obtaining Quickenings no longer affects max MP and Mist charges do not diminish when MP is consumed (unless the player is affected by a reversed Elixir or Megalixir). The player's MP is also unaffected by the depletion of Mist charges. However, effects that recover the player's MP will also restore Mist charges. One Mist charge is granted each time the amount recovered totals the player's maximum MP. Effects that fully restore a player's MP recover all Mist charges.
You can now fully control Espers, they also require MP to cast magicks
Almost all attacks now break the 9999 damage limit from the original by default.
New items have been added, such as Cura Mote, Bubble Mote, Domaine Calvados, Baltoro Seed, Dark Energy and various Meteorites.
Bacchus's Wine now has 100% chance of inflicting Berserk (previously it was 50%).
Several equipment pieces were added, while some available in the original release were removed or tweaked.
New Weapons added.
Most shops had their assortments changed. Many weapons are now available from shops earlier because of the job system, and were thus made weaker.
Treasures respawn by moving just one area away as opposed to two. Treasures were moved around, changed the items they can give, or were removed altogether. The "forbidden chest" concept was removed, that in the original prevented the player from obtaining the Zodiac Spear in Necrohol of Nabudis if they opened a wrong treasure.
Dark Matter can no longer be acquired from the bazaar, and selling the ingredients needed to make it in the original will result in making the Dark Energy instead. The Dark Energy is an item that does not charge up with Knot of Rust or Devour Soul and always deals 50,000 damage to each enemy in range.
Treasure chests are now in different locations and contain different items.
There are more traps throughout the map.
Final Fantasy 12: Zodiac Age PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One:
Remastered HD graphical upgrade.
English and Japanese voices (switch between them in the game configuration).
Original and newly re-recorded background music (switch between them in the game configuration).
Auto-save functionality added (game saves automatically when moving to each new screen, excepting boss arenas)
Improved high-speed mode and improved play time operability during high-speed mode
Ability to invert both the X and Y camera axes
The game balance has been overhauled to make it easier.
Each playable character can have two jobs at once.
Job Reset function added; talk to Montblanc in the Clan Hall to use.
The Effect Capacity system that limited spell-casting in the PlayStation 2 versions has been removed.
Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, and Cure only affect a single target again.
Espers' HP values have been doubled, but other stats kept the same as in Zodiac Job System.
The animation for summoning Espers is removed.
A glitch concerning Dyce's character model has been fixed.
New Game Plus and New Game Minus are now accessible from the beginning of the game.
Title meta: So this is the episode where we see how Five's return to 2019 affected the timeline; the events of "The Day That Wasn't" have ceased to exist. Some things remain the same, but many things have changed.
Pogo returns to voice over the sequence explaining Harold/Leonard's childhood, just like he narrated RH gathering his adopted children. However, although I can see Pogo knowing of the events of the children's birth and procurement, there's no real reason for Pogo to know about Harold Jenkins's past. Maybe he did some research of his own after Five brought back that Commission directive? Or maybe RH ordered Pogo to have a sticky beak in response to Harold speaking to RH outside the Academy? Or is this part of the weird, long-running implication that RH knows way more about the future and the events of the Apocalypse than anyone else?
Lol, all of that machine beeping when Harold's mum codes must have been added in post. The nurses and doctors should have reacted far quicker to the beeping.
The Jenkins family home is Leonard's house in the present. Explains why a dude with a woodworking shop that hardly seems open or particularly successful has a pretty big house not too far from the city. It's kinda horrific he can even bear to live here, with the abuse his father inflicted on him, and this being where his dad met his end. Anyway, this goes some way to explain why he's apparently comfortable with stashing Helen's body in his own attic (S01E05) - after all, he bumped dearest daddy off just downstairs!
I assume Dr. Terminal wasn't just a baddie from the comics little Harold was reading, but an actual nemesis for the Umbrella Academy gang in their heyday? Either way, in little Harold's fantasies, he's saving the Umbrella Academy kids from him, knocking them out (pretty violently, with "Bang!" vocal side-effects!) with the figure that represents himself. A microcosm of what he eventually does for Vanya.
Can I just say, the casting for the kid versions of the characters is fantastic? They totally look like they de-aged the adult actors to play them.
Aha, the Hargreeves figurine that he'd always wanted as a kid, advertised on the back of this comic. Look at the figurine bases in the picture - it's a white disc with an umbrella on it. When adult Harold/Leonard pinches RH's figurine from the Academy, it's got an umbrella base. But Harold's figures don't have this disc, as you can clearly see when they're piled on the kitchen table, and later on, when they're displayed on the little purple paper mat up in the attic. I think he might have made his own figurines like he made one of Vanya.
Harold's dad seemed loving and well-adjusted in his first scene - it seems that he crawled into a bottle to cope with the death of his wife and his son being a reminder of what he'd lost.
Little dude's cosplay is pretty amazing for his age and for accuracy. He's even taken a dark jumper and sewn coloured diamonds onto it to mimic the diamond pattern on the UA kids' woollen jumpers. And he wears the cardboard mask to cover his blackening eye where his dad backhanded him.
Hermes the Rolls-Royce makes another appearance.
Luther riding shotgun next to RH, as Number One. Didn't think RH drove himself anywhere; I always thought he'd have a chauffeur.
Can four kids buckle up in the back seat of a Rolls? (Five isn't in this scene, seems he's already gone at this point.) Sounds a bit implausible. We saw the Rolls before in S01E05, when Klaus flipped Hazel the bird from the back seat as they drove off; seemed like only three adults would fit in the back. Doubt RH cares if the kids buckle up anyway.
It seems Luther was very popular, with a lot of fans having crushes on him, judging by all the posters and the hearts on them. There's a magazine in S01E01 showing Luther with a space helmet, so I assume one of their earlier missions involved Luther going to space and that's why he's called Spaceboy. Also explains why RH sent him to the moon as an adult - he may have wanted to evoke the times when Luther was young and wildly successful. However, adult Luther's realisation that the four-year space mission was a bust in S01E06/7 probably undermined these earlier missions in Luther's perception as well.
Aww, little Harold has a suitcase! He thought RH would take him in. Too bad he didn't know RH is an unrelenting dickhead.
Of course the UA member of whom Harold is their "biggest fan" is Allison. I'm sure he's wished a billion times for the ability to rumour his dad into not drinking or abusing him. edit: must have taken him everything he had to act casual around Allison as an adult.
And of course Luther's the one who steps in when little Harold grabs Allison's wrist.
The actors for the UA kids look older and bigger than little Harold's actor, despite them all being the same age in-universe - possible that this is on purpose, to make Harold look smaller at the same age. (Possible implication that little Harold was not being fed as well as he should have been? On the other hand, adult Harold is kinda short himself, only a little taller than Vanya, whereas Luther and Allison are both taller as adults.)
"You have no power. You never will have power. Now, go home... A little word of advice, my boy. Not everyone in this world can have power. Chasing something unattainable is a recipe for a lifetime of disappointment and resentment." - RH's words to little Harold. Fuck, what terrible things to say to anyone, let alone a kid being horribly abused by the one person who should be his biggest support. And Harold/Leonard, as well as Vanya, do go on to experience a shit-ton of disappointment and resentment. Enough to kick-start the apocalypse. I also want to point out the difference in words between little Vanya and little Harold - in S01E01, he tells Vanya, "I'm afraid there's nothing special about you," when she asks why she can't play with the others, but doesn't outright say that she doesn't have any power, like he tells Harold. edit: The other thing is, Harold did end up having power, although he didn't go about it in a nice way at all. (Did he have a choice as a kid, though? As an adult, however, he is entirely responsible.) He never really grew up from that kid who managed to stop his own abuse by killing his dad. When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. Bang!
Ew, RH only puts his hand on Harold's shoulder to later grab him and bodily eject him from his property. Now there's at least two adults in this kid's life who were physically abusive.
Funny, the hammer's already on the kitchen table. Weird place for a hammer.
So as you hear the blows and Harold's dad's legs jerk, look behind the head of the chair he's lying in. There's noone behind it. Kinda darkly funny imagining the actor casually acting out some death throes on his own.
Harold's uniform with gore on it reminds me a little of Ben in the bank robbery mission (S01E01). The two kids have entirely opposite reactions to it though.
So Harold got twelve years. Assuming he's slightly older than Five at this point, maybe closer to 14? He'd get out of prison at about 25-26 years of age. Also, isn't twelve years a long sentence for a little kid who killed his abuser?
Harold's still obsessed with the Umbrella Academy - he still reads the comics and has his cardboard mask. (Surely not the same one he was wearing when he killed his dad.)
Despite the immediate cut to a copy of the March 24th newspaper, identical to the one Five looks at when he lands in 2019 (S01E01), three or four years have passed since he got out of prison. Harold seems to have also made the pilgrimage to the Academy block, like the siblings did, either in response to what he's read in the paper, or because he has a habit of lurking around near the Academy.
Let's read this new page from RH's book:
#00.04 Conjuring Incident 06/16/01 (note: Klaus would have been eleven years old.) I found that number four was simply not progressing in his abilities to conjure the non-living. He seems to not want to embrace this power. I sped up that ability tonight by locking him in the mausoleum overnight. Hypothetically he is seeing gore and death, but to be effective he must become desensitised to this. Notes from [unreadable]
More fearful than I've ever seen him
Trying to squeeze himself through gated bars. Appears to be seeing if he has another super power he doesn't know about. (note: a very dark lol)
00:36 Appears to have made first contact with dead spirits
[unreadable] into exercise, #00.04 seems [unreadable] with dead spirits [unreadable]
This page seems to be describing Klaus' mausoleum flashback we saw in S01E04, but from RH's perspective. The adjacent page seems to be ranking Number Four's (I assume) tendencies and qualities.
And here's our title card, the inside cover page with an old-timey candle and an old-fashioned umbrella logo, with the words "Ex Libris Reginald Hargreeves" underneath. (Means "From the library of (or "property of") Reginald Hargreeves". Harold/Leonard must have felt like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once.)
And back to the present day, Wednesday 29th March, just past 8:15am.
It's only because Five makes the meeting and they start gabbing about "Harold Jenkins" that Leonard gets spooked and whisks himself and Vanya far away to his granny's cabin. She never even gets the chance to change her clothes from the morning - she is wearing the same shirt, coat and scarf when Leonard's beating triggers her powers later this episode.
We see Vanya's little street-side temper tantrum again. Five landing doesn't change that because he doesn't arrive at the Academy until after she leaves.
I'm gonna assume Five caught the shrapnel wound from the grenade that blew up the suitcase storage room. He was behind a brick wall for the one that blew up the Handler in the pneumatic tube room.
How the shit does Five know Allison's kid's name? I wonder if he checked out some of those celebrity magazines sometime over the last few days. Either way, his little speech is the turning point for the new timeline. Instead of going their seperate ways, he gets Diego and Allison on board by giving each of them what they want. Luther was on board already, although he's focused on RH and the Moon mission, Diego wants to hunt down Hazel and Cha-Cha and Five's just explained that the Harold Jenkins directive was originally supposed to be sent to Hazel and Cha-Cha and that they're trying to maintain the apocalypse in the timeline - best way to find them then is to find Jenkins, and kick them in the teeth by stopping the apocalypse from happening. Five's also offered Allison the chance to save her daughter as well as billions of others from the apocalypse.
"Klaus, you're with me." Aww. Since Klaus saved his bacon in S01E05, Diego's surprisingly okay with Klaus being his point man. Start of the season, he was rolling his eyes and sighing when Klaus tags along.
Piano music from the cubby house flashback scene last episode comes back as Allison looks back at Luther.
I find it very annoying that the suitcase Five brings back with him is never seen or discussed again. He could have brought this with him to the final showdown in S01E10 and not have to risk de-aging his brothers and sisters during time-travel.
It kind of frustrates me that Hazel's and Cha-Cha's story is no different despite the time skip, unlike everyone else's story. And strange, because whereas the siblings' actions are changed by the events that Five went through, Hazel and Cha-Cha's timelines do not change significantly despite Five being the one to send them their contracts and meddle with their timeline. (Before you say that it's because he programmed the pneumatic system to send it forward in time to them, there's still a timeline, before they get those orders, where Hazel and Cha-Cha have not been ordered to take each other out yet and they're still working against Five.) To me it feels like there was a missed opportunity here, perhaps to explore in a bit more detail what exactly Cha-Cha's deal is re: Hazel (Was she holding a torch for him? If so, it comes a little out of nowhere to me...)
We know that Five has sent the messages back in time using the pneumatic system to Hazel and Cha-Cha respectively - we see Cha-Cha receive her orders in the motel room in S01E06 and Hazel gets his at the same time from the vending machine in S01E07. Cha-Cha thinks Hazel has no idea, and Hazel thinks Cha-Cha has no idea. Is this what Five was planning? Did he know they would receive it at the same time when the other was not in ear-shot? (Maybe the system recognises whose name you send it under, makes sure no-one else is around when you get the message?)
Check out Five wincing in the car. An extra reason to quickly blink in and out with Jenkins' file.
When he says he "literally just did this yesterday", I think he means the grenades from the Handler's office? Or has Five tried this day before, royally fucked up, and used the briefcase to try again? Perhaps he's literally been in the precinct before. Would explain how he knows Claire's name. Getting lots of Edge of Tomorrow vibes here. Fantastic movie by the way, highly recommend. Don't google it, you'll ruin it for yourself, just watch it and thank me later.
Just noticed Diego isn't in his vigilante get-up. That thing needs to be taken outside and burnt. It has clung to existence for far longer than any normal set of clothes should. End its suffering, I beg you.
Seriously, cool blue jacket, Diego. Matches your sling.
Here's Allison leaving the message Vanya will only hear in S01E09, another new thing that didn't happen in S01E06's timeline. Five leaning against the wall in the background, crossing his arms and surreptitiously supporting his gut wound.
Luther back at the Academy, finding out RH never looked at any of his moon reports. This scene is slightly different to that in S01E06, in that he pulls out a pack that says "Day 575 - Day 599". Pogo is still present but Allison is no longer there to pull him out of his funk, and he starts drinking instead.
edit: When Luther finds the Moon mission material, still sealed, it rocks his whole world. For so long, he's been hanging on to the idea that RH saved his life for a reason, that as deformed as he is, he has a future purpose. Finding those reports blows that out of the water. If RH didn't want to see him anymore, why didn't he just let Luther die instead of saving him so he could never look at him again? That's the conclusion Luther reaches in this timeline, without Allison to balance him out a bit and help him look forwards instead of backwards.
Klaus ends up asking Luther, the only other siblings in the house, to tie him up, since Diego is out.
Lol, Klaus talking of RH in the present tense, saying he'll be so pissed Luther's broken into his liquor cabinet. Death doesn't mean much to Klaus.
Klaus trying to motivate Luther, what a reversal. Bet Klaus has never seen Luther so fucked up.
Klaus has probably looked up to him his whole life, seen him as a leader, been bossed about by Luther countless times, wished he had Luther's powers instead of the terrifying ones he has. Klaus would choose to be Luther, massive ape body or not, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And this dude is now crying like a little child on his shoulder.
Klaus is so fucking empathetic though. This dude has just tried to choke him. And as soon as Luther reveals how broken he is, how much he detests himself, how much he thinks his dad detests him - Klaus is suddenly angry on his behalf at RH.
Very much here for actively-withdrawing Klaus encouraging Luther to put away the drink, and refusing to procure drugs for him. Not that that stops Luther going out to try and get them anyway.
We return to Hazel and Cha-Cha's scene in the forest, but from Hazel's perspective. The earlier dialogue in the S01E06 scene is repeated as a voiceover. Turns out Hazel was not trying his shoe, but surreptitiously loading his gun. He was thinking about taking her out as well, doing what the Commission told him, but really, he doesn't want to be extracted, he wants to stay here in this time with Agnes. Cha-Cha thinks he's talking about running away with her, but he's actually talking himself out of killing Cha-Cha and running away from the Commission with Agnes.
Cha-Cha thinks his pileated woodpecker analogy "the male will bring his partner food to show he can provide" is about her, which is why she lets him go get dinner and probably why she goes to get something for him as well!
Diego, Allison and Five at Leonard's place. Fuck, he's still wearing his vigilante pants. Wear something else, buddy! Give those poor pants a chance in the washing machine with a whole lot of washing liquid and probably some antiseptic. And check out Five's right sided limp! Gallagher's such a good actor...
Five subtly pulls himself up the front stairs using the railing, not putting too much weight on that right side.
I can't believe Diego just busts in the front door like that. Vigilante brain fart. Allison did a better job in S01E04.
Vanya and Leonard have left for the cabin by now, they're not in the house.
Diego finds a flyer for Vanya's concert on the fridge.
The ICARUS THEATRE presents ST. PLUVIUM CHAMBER ORCHESTRA A wildly anticipated Chamber Music Performance featuring the City's most acclaimed musicians Introducing Principal Violin VANYA HARGREEVES All concerts will be held at the Icarus Theatre, Borough 4 For more information, please call the Icarus Theatre Box Office on 555-0192, or visit us in person 10am to 4pm daily. General Admission: $25 per Attendee
A picture of Vanya in her orchestra tails, holding her violin completes the flyer. She looks happier than the picture of her on the back of her memoir. And it's probably, what, the third picture of her possibly ever taken?
Looks like the concert on the 1st April was to be the first in a run of performances in the Icarus Theatre. Still, dumb that the flyer doesn't mention a range of dates.
St. Pluvium. Funny name, huh? Well, I had a theory about this that I posted to theumbrellaacademy. The motto for the Umbrella Academy is Ut Malum Pluvia (which is supposed to mean "When Evil Rains", the implication being that the Umbrella Academy have you covered). Pluvium and pluvia are just forms of the same Latin root for 'rain'. Wouldn't put it past filthy rich, dear old Papa to sponsor the local orchestra to take Vanya on, ensure she wouldn't move too far away and he could keep an eye on her, make sure she's filling those scripts... I also wonder if RH noticed that rain often accompanies Vanya's use of her powers? And possibly even more far-fetchedly, did RH consider her at least part of the 'evil' (malum) that the Academy motto refers to, that the Academy is supposed to protect others against?
Diego, Allison and Five conclude that Harold Jenkins is after the members of the Umbrella Academy, and that it was never about Vanya at all. Hoooo boy. You're right and you're bloody wrong in the same breath. Unfortunately, he took RH's book with him to the cabin, so they don't find it at his place.
Leonard and Vanya at the cabin. Looks like Harold's dad kept his abuse under wraps at Grammy's place. That is such an uncomfortable photo though.
"You spend your life trying to forget about the crap you went through as a kid, and then the second you step back in, you feel just as insignificant." This is Leonard playing Vanya like she plays her violin. Vanya relates entirely to this. Her family have just excluded her, again, just as she tries to include them in her life. She thinks Leonard is dredging up bad memories by walking back into this cabin. But Leonard, right now, he's aware, based on what the Umbrella Academy guys were saying while he swiped that RH figure, that Harold fucking Jenkins has something to do with the apocalypse, but they don't know who he is. They said his real name. Him. The Umbrella Academy are worried about him. He's feeling mighty important right now, and probably even more committed to turning Vanya into an unstable angry bomb that he can lob at the Umbrella Academy. If he can't be a hero with them, he'll become their nemesis and goddamn destroy them.
"I can't even say it. I can't even wrap my head around it. There's-" I wonder if Vanya's next words were "it's like there's a block in my head" or words to that effect. Wonder if that's Allison's rumour working away.
And the pan out reveal that they're in the middle of bloody nowhere, some kind of forest near a lake. Note the sounds as they zoom out, the trees, the birds, the windchimes. Is this Vanya's absurdly sharp hearing/sense of soundwaves manifesting? We see later in S01E08 that she can somehow hear the cabin's windchimes from deep in the forest.
Here's Hazel laying it all out for Agnes. And amazingly she takes him at face-value. What a wonderful person.
The thing that sent Hazel rogue was the Commission ordering him to kill his partner. Even if he may not like Cha-Cha the same way he does Agnes, he still cares for her.
Aww, Hazel and Agnes are so cute together! Unfortunately, Cha-Cha is watching from around the corner.
Klaus has ditched his coat because he's overheated and sweaty from the withdrawal. Note everyone else outside walking past being in coats and the like. It's not an obviously warm night. Klaus is also scratching at his arms.
Ben's appeared for some moral support!
So judging by Klaus' apologies immediately after he says it, apparently Ben's death was caused by not being prepared for "the real world". I dunno, maybe I'm taking it too literally, but we know basically jack shit about Ben's death... I'm taking this as a tiny clue, okay?
Allison and Diego hauling Five home between them. And Grace appears once more. I like the reversal of Grace now walking through the atrium and Diego seeing her in the living room, as opposed to how it was in S01E06.
There's a nice revolving shot around Klaus here as he enters the rave - Ben can't be seen from the back as he walks in, but as the camera rotates to Klaus' front, you see Ben next to him.
Man, after Vietnam, a rave with its thumping, reverberating beats and bright flashes of light must be the last place Klaus wants to be, and even more so because he's withdrawing hard.
Lol, the simultaneous 'holy shit' from Klaus and Ben on seeing shirtless Luther dancing his butt off. Remember Klaus (and Ben by extension) hasn't yet seen what he looks like under all the layers; he was high and then kidnapped away by Hazel in S01E03.
Wow, high Luther. He's a happy carefree guy. Also, "Brother!!" That's a meme, right?
Lo and behold, Klaus' battle PTSD kicks in. And he commando crawls after the E he just flung away (because he didn't want Luther to take it!) to try and get it to stop.
Can I just say, if they really truly want to recast Jack Sparrow, I think the only one who could maybe pull it off might be Robert Sheehan. I could probably come to terms with that at some point.
Perfect timing for Klaus' (and Dave's?) dog tags to fall out of his singlet. So sad that the only way Klaus sees Dave in this timeline is in a hallucination. I think he's got the E in his hand, but he thinks it's Dave. In a roundabout way, his desire to see Dave is stopping him from taking the pill.
Allison must have checked Vanya's apartment and got no response. Also, her music school says she bunked off her lessons today. I have no idea how Leonard convinced Vanya to do that, although she was very angry after seeing her siblings, maybe her redirected that into leaving everything behind for a few days and getting away from it all. Maybe offered his cabin as a practice area for the concert? Wish she brought it up later on, the fact that he made her miss her classes.
Lol, Diego and Luther both said the other was right about leaving/not leaving the Academy (their argument in Five's room, continued in the library in S01E04) in the space of a single episode.
"Vanya needs you." Wow. That's the first time Diego admits Vanya is in some serious fucking shit. Aaaaand it's the last time anyone other than Allison expresses concern about Vanya being with a murderer with a grudge against the Umbrella Academy, before she returns to the Academy in S01E09.
So Beeman's first name is Chuck, huh? Charles Beeman.
Some weird ass light blue cop cars there.
Vanya and Leonard at the lake. "Vanya, you've seen what people with power can do. They can stand up for those who can't defend themselves." Makes me think of RH's words to young Harold about power. It also reminds me that Leonard's planning for some guys to beat him up later on, setting up for Vanya to save him with her power.
"What am I supposed to do, like, stare really hard? Am I supposed to point my fingers-" Oh my god, she's taking the mickey, look at that fucking smirk. I swear Magurro nearly cracks a smile too, look at him purse his lips and look down.
I'm getting some "Luke at Dagobah trying to lift his x-wing" vibes from this scene - at least until Vanya starts fucking giggling. First time we actually see her laugh properly.
Leonard knows that the Umbrella Academy are looking for him and Vanya and that he doesn't have much time to enact his revenge. This explains why he's suddenly so frustrated by Vanya not being very motivated to find her power, and why he kicks the plan up a gear by organising for him to be bashed up.
Lol, Hazel's trying to write an explanatory letter to Cha-Cha as to why he's gonna run away that night. It might run something like "Dear Cha-Cha, I love Agnes. It's not you, it's me. I wish you all the best in life. Yours, Hazel."
Another nice revolving shot, with Hazel disappearing behind the motel window curtain as Cha-Cha strides in, silenced pistol in hand. And I like how the rave thumping restarts with Hazel knocking Cha-Cha out with the butt of his pistol.
Don't worry, Klaus only kissed the E tablet when he picked it up, he never ate it. He noticed that dude coming for Luther with a bat... is that his new tactical awareness coming to the fore? Old Klaus missed the Academy getting raided right in front of him in S01E03.
And Klaus hits the concrete head first. Apparently mediums don't become ghosts, they just go straight to meet god. Why is his shirt of all things the only thing that's not black and white here?
"I need you so I can pick and choose." What the fuck does this mean, god?? Either way, all the conversations in this afterlife sequence have a vague, dreamlike quality to them. It feels like an actual dream, where you only think about how ridiculous something is afterwards.
Lol, Klaus has some ideas for creation. God doesn't want to know.
"Nite Owl" is a weird name for a barbershop.
There are six pictures on the wall behind Klaus as he sits in the chair. At first, the assumption is that these are the six members of the Umbrella Academy. At first we get a closer look at the first three: and it's Luther, Diego and then RH. Okay, so it's the other five UA members and RH. Then you see the fourth picture - it's Dave. I can make out a tie on the fifth picture, I believe it's Five, and I'm going to guess that the sixth one is Ben. I think that since this is a barbershop, only the males' pictures are on the walls.
Klaus sitting in the chair reminds me of the umbrella gang getting their tattoos.
The whole barbershop thing seems to me like a reflection of how RH sees his role with the kids - he was grooming them, shaping them, polishing them. He sees this as caring for them. However, the kids slowly came to the realisation that he wasn't really a dad to them, more a clinical presence who moulded them as he saw fit. He had the straight razor, he could help you and hurt you in the same breath, and you were at his mercy. He roughly shoves Klaus around as he shaves him. RH is like a barber who makes you look good, but your relationship with him is only as deep as your hair, it's certainly not emotional. And you're a wreck underneath the superficial perfection he's forced on you.
RH's suggestion that there's more to his power gets to Klaus. From the page that we see when Leonard is holding RH's book in the dumpster, earlier this episode, we see that he has wished and apparently attempted to manifest other powers. And now RH tells him he's only scratched the surface?
Klaus says that RH locked him in the mausoleum at thirteen. But RH's book says that Klaus was eleven at the time of the exercise. Problem is, little Klaus in the mausoleum and Klaus in, say, the bank robbery in S01E01, are played by two different child actors, with mausoleum!Klaus looking younger than bank robbery!Klaus. My theory is that Klaus has had to suffer this multiple times at different ages, and the first instance of RH doing so may have been younger than even eleven. We know Klaus has been on drugs of one kind or another since he was at least thirteen (if not younger), it's possible Klaus' recall of events is a little hazy.
Klaus manages to castigate RH for his treatment of Luther. Fuck, I think Klaus would have punched him if he knew what RH had done to Vanya.
"Is he okay?" RH sounds genuinely vulnerable as he asks this. Fucking idiot. I hate these kinds of fuckers, well-intentioned extremists. Fuck RH.
RH subtly draws his razor across his neck as Klaus comes to the realisation that he killed himself to reunite the Umbrella Academy.
Finally, first-hand evidence that RH knew that the apocalypse was coming. Certain implications throughout the season, though, suggest that he knew more than just the date of the apocalypse, but how it was going to happen...
Arrrgh, why can't dead people get to the point?? Was RH gonna tell Klaus about Vanya??
Lol, the bouncers kicked Luther out. And the lady from S01E01 and S01E04 is back! She doesn't have her glasses here.
Right, this scene and the scene where Vanya recalls the bashing and grimly admits to herself that she's got powers... probably some of my favourite scenes in the whole season. They pulled out the CGI stops here. (I mean, still a bit hinky but leaps and bounds better than normal TV CGI.)
Leonard and Vanya walk out of the restaurant, arms around each other. She's much happier now Leonard's not forcing her to investigate her powers. Note her scarf draped loosely around her neck.
When the guy says "we'll trade you the car for the girl", Vanya speaks up. "Get off the car and leave us alone." She would never have done this a couple of days ago. Remember her talking to Helen?
Note the rain starts almost immediately after that one guy slaps her ass, and just before Leonard gets hit. Jesus Christ, the rain has to be fucking linked to her powers.
Increasing thunder coincides with Vanya's screams of "Leonard!" and "Stop it!!" as the guys beat him up, and the rain is suddenly furiously pelting down. (Fuck, it must have been fucking freezing out there filming this. Page and Magurro and those actors playing the thugs must have been sopping wet, bone-cold and pissed off when this scene wrapped. Thanks, guys.)
Vanya changes tack and starts screaming for help. And instantly we hear that high-pitched tuning fork noise. The guy who was restraining her before is now helping the others kick the living shit out of Leonard.
The way she steps forward... she doesn't rush forward and directly attack the guys. It's like everything's faded away and she was running forward to check on Leonard (the thugs have stopped whaling on him for a second) when she almost as an afterthought releases this burst of energy that sends two guys into nearby cars and the other straight into a brick wall. Also, her scarf is flung from her neck and flies towards the right of the screen. From S01E08, we know this lands high up on the restaurant sign and Allison ends up finding it. As soon as the energy burst has left her, she resumes her movement towards Leonard.
It was kinda nice of Leonard to ask those dudes to bash him up instead of Vanya, to get her powers to come out. Maybe his initial plan was to get her to attack the Academy when the umbrella gang hurt/killed Leonard? Perhaps the restaurant stunt was a pale copy of that, for Leonard to see if this would work? Perhaps this is how the apocalypse came about in Five's bleak future experience, with Luther dead with Harold/Leonard's gory eye in his fist. If this theory is correct, the restaurant attack was a success, because not only is Vanya now aware she is powerful enough to kill others, she'll be serious about discovering more about her powers. And Leonard has also established that she's not so uncontrolled that she'll attack him - as unintended as the energy burst in the carpark might have been, she managed to not touch Leonard at all despite killing two guys and putting the last in the hospital. (Unfortunately he didn't bank on Vanya finding RH's book in his things.)
Also, Page plays "absol-fucking-utely terrified" very well. Good job.
I must say, the whole season was pretty engrossing, but I think after Hazel knocked out Cha-Cha, I was just glued to my screen. The last bit of this episode and the remaining ones are just fantastic.
Cha-Cha is handcuffed to the radiator, glaring daggers at Hazel as he pleads his case. She's still convinced, even though she's seen him with Agnes and he says he's done with the job (and she already knows he's kinda sick of the job anyway) and he loves Agnes, that she can convince him to go back to how it was before, travelling the world and killing people, by finding the briefcase. The only issue is that she still has no reason to believe that the Commission will let both of them back. Even if Hazel goes back to how it was before, one of them will still have to kill the other according to the directives they received. So either she's lying to get him to free her, or she's got some serious cognitive dissonance going on.
She's also very, very personal about Hazel being with Agnes. She's never been this emotional or sweary before. She seems as close to tears as she could ever be. All I can think of is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." To me, all of this suggests she's got at least a decent squish, if not an outright crush, on Hazel.
Hazel still can't shoot her, even though she's threatened to make him watch his girlfriend die slow before she kills him. Cha-Cha has got to know his heart isn't in the right place for this line of work any more.
Hazel takes her gun before he leaves the motel - he gives both his and her guns to Five in S01E08, to prove to Diego that Cha-Cha killed Patch and nothim.
"Exit Music (for a Film)" by Radiohead. This has gotta be a trope by now, I think a few other shows have used it as well. I think it's pretty effective here, since the peak is Vanya's understanding that she has powers and used them to hurt others really badly (it wasn't entirely unconscious, she was aware of it), and Leonard revealing that his right eye is gone, and that he's the owner of the prosthetic Five has been carrying for more than forty years (in fact, we see a quick shot of said eye on Five's bedside table during this very montage... he's still carrying it, even though he knows it can't help him reach its owner.).
Luther kisses the furryphile girl who's also been kicked out. We know they end up hooking up overnight, from the beginning of S01E08. (Hope sex ed was part of the curriculum at the Umbrella Academy!)
Allison drives unknowingly through the rain (possibly the same storm Vanya caused?) towards her sister, once again trying to save her from Leonard.
Why the fuck does Ben have a shadow? Ghosts in this universe are so fucking confusing. Either way, Ben is present and Klaus is still scratching at his arms, a good indication he is still stone-cold sober. That's a massive achievement.
Diego stuck in the precinct holding cell, sitting on the seat there, gives me a bunch of The Dark Knight feels. It feels like a tiny shoutout, but it's also showing Diego's frustration at being caged up when he has just about two days to find Hazel and Cha-Cha and make them pay for Patch. Oh, and stop the apocalypse. And find his other sister, who is apparently dating the guy who Five says will cause the apocalypse.
Got any comments/theories/discussion/suggestions? I'd love it if you could leave em below! Breakdown for S01E08 will be up on the 15th July, around noon GMT. Thanks for taking part! S01E08 - I Heard A Rumour breakdown
2020.07.01 21:03 StatusLoquat8What are peoples opinions of Love & Monsters?
Im doing a rewatch of Doctor Who and just finished Love and Monsters. I know its an episode that gets a lot of hate and generally comes in the very bottom lot of rankings I personally kinda like the episode, i think its an interesting topic looking at the lives of people touched by the doctor even briefly. I also like the Jackie plot even if a bit cringey at times as i think it shows how lonely she feels, it feels sad when she finds out Elton was lying to her. The episode also has a number of funny scenes and lined that make me laugh. My personal main issues with the story are basically the execution. Some of this is due to the dated 2006 cgi which doesnt hold up amazingly but thats also a thing with other episodes (lazarus experiment as an example). The design of the abzorbalof is weird and gross but was chosen by a blue petee contest and drawn by a kid so you know its not gonna be the next dalek. The script and dialogue are the biggest problem with weird character decisions and dialogue. My biggest complaint is the very last scene with concrete Ursula and the "love life" line like ewww and why? Overall i think its a middling episode with a kinda interesting premise and good laughs but with pretty lousy execution. I dont think it deserves all the hate it gets, definitely some but theres worse episodes in my opinon. Let me know your thoughts and your least favourite episode if it isnt Love and Monsters.
2020.06.21 21:07 August_SmolMightAfter my first viewing of that movie with Artemis's name on it
Let me get this straight before I go into more detail-- I do not like this as an Artemis Fowl movie. They completely rewrote things and if you look at the first trailer when the movie was set to release in 2019 you can see a clip of when Artemis was visiting that fairy to get their sacred text. Obviously, if you have seen the movie, that was not in the movie. It is clear to me that the push back of the release date was probably due to them rewriting the movie and reshooting scenes to what my sister refers to it as "Disney'fying" it. Now I can see why they would overhaul many of the major plot points and try to make Artemis a more morally just character because ya know . . . Disney . . . And as much as I hate how they changed what we love about Artemis, he is without a doubt the bad guy of the first book. He lowkey poisons a fairy to acquire information and obtain her secret book then kidnaps an officer that looks like a child then holds her ransom for money. Of course, we know he was trying to save his family from going into debt with his missing father and his mother's health deteriorating. Not to mention money to fund his search for his father but that isn't really how he justifies his motives and takes on this villainous role. Question morales that we know will be redeemed in the future and as heartless as he seems in the first book, the last bit of his bargain to take less money as part of the deal he wants Holly to use her magic to heal his mother . . . By the way, WHERE IS HIS MOTHER??? That was the big glimmer that maybe this character isn't so heartless and helped show that he was still a kid who just wanted his parents back. So yes that aside I can see why they decided to change him, but I still don't understand why they had him surfing . . . My sister didn't read the books but she also felt that was so random and pointless, it's clear they wanted him to appear to children. Personally, I felt robbed of his character because one of the on-going jokes in the book is how physically inept he is. He wouldn't dare try to do any of that shit because he has no physical skill and is constantly teased over how he is all brains with no brawn (who needs muscles when you have Butler, right?). I can kind of understand why they give him some physical abilities since people can't admire the genius of his mind and must have him in the action scenes apparently. At least they kept Holly punching him in the face but the whole thing of getting them to end as friends is so uncomfortable. Like don't get me wrong, this movie was terrible but the actor for Artemis Fowl wasn't that bad and in the first scene that was almost word for word on his conversation with the therapist was actually really well done. It's not his fault that this movie is a disgrace to the Fowl name, he had to work with the script given so don't bother digging in on him so much about how the movie turned out. That aside, because he wasn't actually a terrible casting choice it made all of his sentimental moments with Holly feel so off-putting, almost like seeing Artemis Fowl being controlled by Mickey Mouse to keep things child friendly. They even tried to end things on a hopeful note with maybe some ending message?? Yeah no, this is Artemis Fowl, stop it, Disney. As bad as it is for an Artemis Fowl title, I wouldn't say it's complete garbage. If I viewed it as a standalone or pretended it was a parody of Artemis Fowl it actually had some promise--- super rushed and skipping over important details but it had promise. I also like how they acknowledged how they had a big dwarf cause I imagine that'd be way too much CGI. Also how that became the reason why he was the obvious choice but that's only because they skipped over fairy lore on how they would lose their magic and he already forfeited his magic so he could rob humans. I still loved Mulch Diggums and Folly in the movie, they got that well at least . . . The movie as a standalone title had promise but it was rushed which is a shame because if it wasn't for that (or the Fowl name on it) it actually would have been decent. The effects were great, how they had their own take on the plot even if it was to Diseny'fy it wasn't too bad, just very rushed. I think this was a last-second decision to try to make it more appealing to children and they ended up rewriting the script and rushed reshoots which is why things are so janky. They shouldn't have done it but again . . . Disney-- I knew this was coming and the only thing that got me excited about it originally was the original 2019 trailer with the effects of the fairy transformation that WASN'T EVEN IN THE MOVIE. Pro with Disney - Great effects Con - Disney, Nuff said. Would I want an Artemis Fowl two? FUCK NO, but was this movie that bad? Eh, it had promise and probably got ruined by some moneybags who wanted to appeal to snot bogglers, so I don't blame the actors or even the writers because I am 100% sure they were forced to shit out a new script last second. My sister who didn't even watch the movie felt the rushed part and the forced relationships but there were moments she seemed to enjoy it so it could have been an okay movie without the Artemis Fowl name on it . . . still was complete shit but at least it was The Avatar movie and he wasn't called AAAAArtemAAAsss Fuwl
Wassup, folks? I'm back, though not with the review I wanted to make. To make a drunk story sober, basically my roommate broke his leg on his birthday, so for the past few days I've been helping him get around and kept fed and stuff. I don't mind it at all, my roommate and I have been friends for almost a decade now, but it did prevent me from watching the films I had originally planned to see in my living room. Yesterday morning I was a bit tired and wanted a lil privacy from the Minecraft music and my roommate's unspayed, currently-in-heat cat, so I was browsing through social media and I saw a headline for a review of the new Disney+ drop, the adaptation of Irish author Eoin Colfer's take on fantasy mixed with YA tropes, Artemis Fowl. Now, I was a huge fan of the books as a kid, and I started following news about the film's development almost immediately after I realized my passion for film. I've been anticipating this film for years, all the way back when I thought I would forever be straight-edge. Now that I'm all grown up and the film is out, I decided to give it a watch. Here are my thoughts: Nothing works in this film. I could go through a long explanation of what the first book in the series was about, the characters involved, their descriptions, motives, etc., but I don't feel like investing any more energy into recreating the magic of the books than the movie does. It's not that long of a book honestly, maybe a little bit more meaty than some expect, but I always believed that the Artemis Fowl novels would make for excellent films. I don't want to say too much about the novels just yet, I want folks that read this to realize that the film is a garish amalgamation of elements from across the series that's almost unilaterally unrecognizable. I want to focus on what makes this film fail and why it's not just a disservice to fans of the book series, like myself, but just straight-up disrespectful to the YA fantasy adaptation genre. This will probably be one of my longest reviews, but that just means I'm very passionate about the subject matter. First off, the film tries so goddamn hard to be relatable that it makes my head hurt. If I was a kid and I watched this, I would not find Artemis Fowl to be relatable at all. Just because you give a kid in a film some athletic skills and casual attire doesn't make him relatable, especially when he's filthy fucking rich and uber-smart. Trying to make Artemis Fowl into a "relatable character" is about as good of an idea as... well shit, I can't come up with anything, it's just an incredibly poorly-thought idea. And therein lies the problem with this film as a whole. The filmmakers are so desperate to convince the audience that this world and these characters are cool and hip that they don't bother to realize that they are destroying the plot as they're doing so, and veering the direction of the film into a road that stops at a dead end. Yes, there are elements from the novels that allow the readers to better understand the characters, but the books also understand who their characters are and how they would act given their history and motivations. In the film, the characters are bound by chains to a script that doesn't seem to know what happens next. At times it attempts to be a modern-day rendition of Spy Kids, complete with high-tech gadgets and mysterious artifacts, other times it tries to tell a vague metaphor about classism and racial/ethnic superiority, and the rest of the time it's a shallow-water pool filled with tropes like "dead parents" and "forever friendship". And in all of those instances, it doesn't do a good job. Nope, not much of a good job at all. See, what made the books so interesting to me is that they immediately started off casting Artemis Fowl Jr. in the coldest light possible. Instead of spouting a ham-fisted and factually incorrect like "I'm a criminal mastermind" at the end of his tale, the first book immediately lets the audience know that Artemis is a criminal, just like his father, and his father before him, and so on. Artemis doesn't get involved with the fairies in some convoluted plot to save his father from a fiendish pixie, he gains an interest in them when he realizes that he can exploit them for their riches, then use that money to restore good fortune to his family's name and help heal his slowly dying mother. Artemis isn't just some uber-genius, anti-social tween that likes to surf on the Irish coast by himself, he's a pale and nonathletic individual who doesn't just value his private time, he shapes his world so that all he has is private time, so he can be alone with his thoughts and his research. He's basically a 12-y/o Bond villain, and that's what immediately got me hooked. But the filmmakers either didn't read the source material closely enough, or just straight up didn't care about it, because pretty much every single character that appears in the books is vastly changed for the film. I can only assume the drastic changes were made in an attempt to seem more appealing to the target audience, but instead it robs the film of any personality and individualism it could've had. Tell me if you've seen these character descriptions in other films before: ~pale white kid who's smarter than everyone around him but also just like everyone around him ~black guy that serves a rich white family for decades and is completely fine and ok with that ~young female police officer who lost a parent and wants to be seen as competent and good at her job ~elderly police commander who spouts one liners and sounds like they quit smoking the second before the cameras started rolling ~master thief that only exists in the film to serve a purpose but is also supposed to be the comic relief character every time they show up on screen ~secretive villain that doesn't show their face at all throughout the runtime of the film and also has their plan foiled at the end of the movie but is also apparently the biggest danger in the world right now and must be stopped ~mostly absent father who tries to be the best dad ever and also secretly save the world but can't tell his son about the truth for "reasons" See what I mean? This film isn't original in the slightest, whereas the books were delightfully unique and clever in a myriad of ways. The film doesn't even attempt to reflect the world of the fairies accurately, barely even showing anyone but the police officers Holly Short (played by Lara McDonnell) works with. To be clear, I understand that a film has less time to flesh out its world and backstory in the same way a book does, and the movie has to achieve some sort of goal by the end of the runtime. But my biggest complaint with YA films nowadays is that they feverishly try to build a complex world while also trying to create and continue a plot the filmmakers would never willingly call "generic." I’ve barely even touched on the technical aspects and the actual plot of the film thus far, so let’s do that. The plot is needlessly convoluted, and forces the audience to simply accept that some things just happened, I guess, in order for anything to move forward. Nearly every single piece of new information in the movie can be described as “simply convenient” once it’s revealed, and even then most of it just doesn’t make sense if you try to think about it for too long. Seriously, I’ve re-written this paragraph at least a half-dozen times by now, trying to come up with a way to describe the plot and it’s numerous failings, but I literally can’t even describe how some things happen in the film without sounding like I’m drunk as shit. Going back to what I said previously, there would be virtually no problems with the plot of the film had they simply kept the same characterizations from the novels. But because Disney is repetitive as hell and always wants their live-action teeny-boppeYA films to have a lead character that can’t be seen as villainous in any credible way, everyone’s personality and ideals get shifted around, thus forcing the plot to become this garbled monstrosity. The movie also does not look good at all. It feels like this film was shot before I could even take a shot, it’s so dated and bland-looking that it could easily be a TV movie just based on the camerawork and cinematography alone. There are a few moments where I could tell the filmmakers thought they were doing something cool and unique, but it mostly comes off as laughable at best. There’s not one action scene that occurs in this film that’s a) original and b) not done better in another film. The CGI is not very well-polished either, which really shouldn’t be something I can say about a film with a $125mil budget. I’ve seen videos on DailyMotion that look like they have better production quality than this movie. I can’t decide whether certain CGI-heavy scenes are rip-offs of similar scenes in better Disney-financed films (read: Marvel movies because this film takes a decent bit of inspiration from the MCU) or if the filmmakers simply had too much money on their hands by the end of shooting and didn’t feel like actually improving the film with it. I would rather have the script make at least an iota of sense over inserting a shot of fairy armies rising from the sea with their unsurprisingly superior technology. There’s rarely any purpose to the CGI-heavy scenes either, besides just trying to impress the audience. Artemis Fowl (2020) is a lot of bad ideas rolled up into one really bad movie, and if it receives a sequel then that will be definitive proof that logic has been thrown out the window. It’s an incredibly shitty children’s film, an incredibly shitty book-to-film adaptation, and an incredibly shitty excuse to make money based off a pre-existing IP. I really don’t know what’s got me riled up so much about this unimportant corporate product, there was just absolutely no reason whatsoever for any of the changes made to exist, the story was already absolutely fucking perfect for a film adaptation. Seriously, I’ve been keeping up with news about this film since like 2014, I knew just how awesome a film adaptation of the Artemis Fowl series could be if handled properly. This could’ve been a pediatric-LOTR for Pete’s sake. This movie is just bad in the most depressing way imaginable, I don’t think I’ve been this disappointed in watching a movie since Justice League came out two and a half years ago. I’m just kinda pissed at the whole thing honestly, and if I talk about this movie anymore I’m gonna need to break something to relieve some frustration. 2/10, the only saving grace in this entire wretched affair is the overabundance of Colin Farrell glamour shots. Alright, I'm done writing that review, Christ on a stick that was tough to write. I've been working on this for at least six hours at this point. I started writing this last night around 11 p.m., didn't get into my bed until well past three in the morning. Been trying to finish up since I woke around eight, but I've written and deleted and re-written this review so many times at this point that I'm almost certainly damaging my finger muscles. I hope this made some sort of sense, I can't really tell right now, I'm in a stupor at this point and the glare from looking at my laptop for so long is making my eyes hurt. If you've seen this film and want to share your thoughts, you're more than welcome to do so in the comments section, but I don't think I personally can talk about this movie in the near future without going on long tangents that won't make sense until I'm done speaking three years from now. I'm going to go eat some breakfast and watch that film trilogy I had planned to see, now that my roommate is spending a few days at his parents place I have the apartment to myself. I hope everyone is having a better day than I am right now, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these troubling times, I hope everyone reading this knows that Black Lives Matter, and I wish you all the best of luck with your quests!
2020.06.14 16:40 gracegilliganI watched Season 6, Episode 1 “Loser Like Me” for the first time in years, and I’m still angry about Klaine. (My commentary)
Btw, a lot of ‘fucks’ and other curses are said, as well as too many LOL’s, and like half of this commentary is about Klaine. Enjoy my descent into madness. -HOLY SHIT THIS DUDE LOOKS LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO DRIVE OFF A CLIFF IT’S SO QUIET RACHEL’S PRODUCER ABOUT TO GO OFF THE DEEP END -Damn I really can’t imagine a show being so bad that literally no one likes it. -Rachel has some of, if not, the best hair on this show change my mind. -hER PRODUCER’S NAME IS MR. PAULBLATT NOW I’M THINKING ABOUT PAUL BLART -“that’s so rachel” LOL -wow the star fell off her trailer door the symbolism is flavorful look at how the mighty have fallen. -awww she’s so sad WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY ON BROADWAY YOU ARE BOO BOO THE FOOL RACHEL -why did I think she was singing a cover of “Creep” by Radiohead??? Now I want hear her sing that shit dude. -HOLY SHIT THE VOCALS ON THIS OPENING SONG HER VOICE IS SO GRITTY -while she sulks in silence I’m gonna say this: I think I just hate S6 so much because it’s just like “how the fuck did we end up here? why were these characters screwed over like this? why didn’t they make it harder for Rachel to be on Broadway and her getting Funny Girl would be the S6 finale end goal?” -OH NO DID RACHEL’S DADS DIVORCE OH NO OH NO I DONT REMEMBER THIS BUT RACHEL JUST SAID “WHERE’S DAD?” AND HER OTHER DAD JUST SAID SIT DOWN OH NO OH NO -I JUST GASPED THEY GOT A DIVORCE MY FUCKING HEART ARE YOU JOKING I DONT REMEMBER THIS WHAT THE FUCK I ALREADY KNOW KLAINE IS COMING UP AND THE WRITERS HAD TO BREAK UP TWO ICONIC GAY COUPLES ON THIS SHOW FUCK YOU -aww “it’s been bad for a long time” that’s reasonable then to get a divorce but irl jeff goldbloom was probably doing other projects tbh and just couldn’t be on the show anymore. -I’m gonna fucking cry this dad (I think his name is Leroy?) is precious. -AHHH ITS FIGGINS AND HE’S A BARISTA??? LOOOOOOOOOL THIS POOR MAN GOT FUCKED BY SUE SYLVESTER ABSOLUTELY FUCKED -Blaine do be looking fine tho🚫🧢 -Holy shit she’s been gone for months and in that little span of time literally everything and everyone around her has fallen apart, except Will, like how did this dude come out on top? lmao -FUCK BLAINE SAID KLAINE BROKE UP IM GONNA KMS -good god why did they fuck up klaine so badly??? Literally why? I get they have to put them through the ringer just as much as any other straight couple on this show but literally Klaine has just been getting fucked since S4 tbh -LOL Blaine is saying “I guess this is what they say happens to high school relationships after college” UM NO LOL your relationship got fucked by writers literally trying to demolish any semblance of stability in your connection to one another FOR NO REASON like I cannot stress enough how much klaine has been torn apart -aww Blaine got depressed poor baby -ARE YOU JOKING HE GOT CUT FROM NYADA DUDE WHY ARE THE WRITERS FUCKING OVER EVERYONE????? I GET THEY’RE TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING SUCKY SO THAT THE ONLY WAY THINGS CAN GO FROM HERE ARE UP BUT CMON DUDE -warbler coach blaineeeeeeeee -now the dynamic duo of Blaine and Rachel will truly overtake the show and become it’s legacy -lol I did not remember “Suddenly Seymour” being here this early but tbh it’s actually a sweet song for the circumstances -oh god they’re singing but I’m just not ready to see the flashback of klaine breaking up -I’m sorry but why are Blaine and Rachel’s high note belting faces the EXACT SAME all scrunched up- -aww he reached up and patted her head -HOLY SHIT SUE IS REIGNING LIKE THE TYRANT SHE IS but getting results? well I guess that’s likely due to fear. -why do I remember S6 as McKinley just being completely empty??? Like when I think back to S6, all the hallways are empty and there’s just a vague sense of nothing? -what is it like for actors to be casted for roles where they get shamed for being overweight and in their scripts are told to go stand in the “pigpen” Sue has set up for overweight students and have to wear pig noses? -what a sentence I just wrote -that honestly sucks that the newbies from S4 were basically just kicked out off the show and the excuse is that they were transferred by Sue to different schools. -I’m sorry but why is Rachel just ghosting around the school LOL GET OUT -KURT MY BABY BOY -DAMN I SAW THAT BOY EYEING KURT NEXT TO THE BULLETIN BOARD -HE GOT ON TINDER AHHHHH -UM EXCUSE ME “RICH” IS HOT C’MON KURT HE’S A PSYCHIC -oh god Kurt you’re rambling -awww he’s not over Blaine, Rich the psychic could tell -WHY DOES THE FRONT GUY SINGING IN THE WARBLERS LOOK LIKE BLAINE IM SHOOKETH -oh I’m just now remembering that they’re taking steroids or something right? Or was that a S4 plot point. Nvmd I’m pretty sure that was S4. -OOOO IM LOVING THIS SONG THAT THEYRE SINGING ESPECIALLY THE CHORUS -some of these warblers are flashing crazy eyes dear god -OMG BLAINE’S FALSETTO FUCKING SLAY ME TO BITS -I’m sorry but I can’t help but laugh a little when I watch them sing because it’s cool but at the same time it’s cringe to me I can’t help it -damn do you guys ever think about how Blaine must feel to walk by the dalton staircase everyday and remember how he met Kurt and how he proposed to the love of his life there and then think about all the memories they shared in Dalton together wow -RACHEL ROASTED BLAINE FOR BEING TOO OLD TO BE SINGING WITH THEM BUT SHE STILL LURKING AROUND HER OLD HIGH SCHOOL OK RACH -COACH MOTHERFUCKING BIESTE SLAY ME -I don’t really care about Sam at this point? LOOOOOL IS THAT BAD TO SAY? I JUST DONT -a “whiny Hummel” what kind of insult- -SAM JUST GOT PELTED IN THE HEAD BY SPENCER’S WATER CUP AND SAM JUST SMILED AND SAID HE’S A SWEETHEART LOL now that’s comedy. -I kind of don’t like Spencer from the start I get he’s supposed to be an intentional jerk but tbh I’m so tired of new characters. -we stan Sue giving previously incarcerated inmates the chance to find a job after getting out of prison. -Rachel what do you expect from Sue?? You reamed her out for being in your apartment in NYC (as you should have) but now you’re on her turf honey she ain’t gonna have compassion for you no more. -NO FUCK NO THE KLAINE FLASHBACK IS HERE MY FACE IS SCRUNCHING UP LIKE IM GONNA CRY I DONT WANNA SEE IT I HAVENT WATCHED IT IN YEARS -FUCK MY LIFE -wait is this not the flashback? -OH FUCK IVE BEEN HOODWINKED IT WAS A CLEVER WAY TO TRANSITION INTO THE FLASHBACK BECAUSE HES SITTING INSIDE THE RESTAURANT BUT HE LOOKS OVER TO SEE THE SEAT HE WAS SITTING IN OUTSIDE WHEN THEY BROKE UP FUCK ME -OH NO BLAINE LOVES HIM SO MUCH -fuck me, you know what? I hate that they broke up but you can tell that they needed to. That’s not to say that I’m not furious with the writers for making their relationship go down this path, but as it was written, Kurt clearly just wasn’t as in it as Blaine was. Kurt obviously just seems so fed up with Blaine while Blaine is brimming with excitement about their wedding -fuck man -AHH I DONT WANT THEM TO FIGHT BUT THEY DID AN EXCELLENT JOB OF SETTING UP THE TENSION I CAN FEEL IT -GOD BLAINE IS SO PUT OUT FUCK -I remember being 13 and watching this and being so devastated -KURT YOU UNGRATEFUL PIECE A SHIT -OH GOD WHEN BLAINE ASKS “What’s the matter” my HEART IS CRACKING -CMON DUDE THESE FIGHTS ARE SO CONVOLUTED FUCK YOU WRITERS A 3 HOUR FIGHT ABOUT TOOTHPASTE??? -OH MY GOD I FEEL SO UNCOMFORTABLE JUST WATCHING THEM FIGHT I HAVE TO PAUSE EVERY SECOND -fucckkkkkkkk Kurt said “maybe I don’t” (wanna marry Blaine) yikeesssssss -I’m sorry but Darren Kurt’s eyes are WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WRITE LOOOOOOL DARREN KURT???? IM SCREAMING I MEANT DARREN CRISS’ EYES ARE GORGEOUS FUCK -Aw Blaine is devastated -my face watching Blaine break down :o -IM TEARING UP -HES CRYING -WHAT THE FUCK KURT “We had a great run” THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE JOKE WHAT THE FUCK HAVE THE PAST SEASONS EVEN BEEN FUCK THIS AND FUCK THE WRITERS AND FUCK EVERYONE THIS AIN’T SOME TRIAL RUN NETFLIX ACCOUNT THIS IS LOVE BITCH -OMG I DONT THINK WE’VE EVER SEEN BLAINE SO EMOTIONAL SINCE TEENAGE DREAM ACOUSTIC -oh shit but I remember what’s coming up he’s gonna look so mad and be like “I will never forgive you” fuckkkkkkkk -LOL BLAINE HAS SUCH A GOOD BITCH FACE LIKE WITHIN A MOMENT’S NOTICE -LOOOL IM SORRY BUT KURT’S TEAR LOOKS SO CGI AND THEN THE GUY MEETING HIM IS LIKE “ummm you good?” -EW I DONT LIKE THE FEW SECONDS WHERE WE ARE EXPERIENCING THE POV OF WILL AND EMMA’S CHILD DON’T TALK TO ME MR SCHUE IM CALLING THE POLICE -I FEEL LIKE IM TRAPPED HELP -is this how the kids in IT felt when pennywise was looking at them and smiling, before they get murdered? -are you JOKING that CHILD IS FUCKING ADORABLE I’M GONNA SCREAM -honestly? Will seems like he would be a great coach for vocal adrenaline. Sue was right tbh, with an actual budget he could do wonders. -ew stop trying to relate to them Will, be emotionally detached it’s the only way vocal adrenaline knows -For the show’s purposes, Will and Rachel talking doesn’t seem too weird (kind of is) but imagine irl if a student and teacher still kept up with each other like this I’m sorry that’s just a lil inappropriate imo LOL -I DONT LIKE THIS SHOT OF JUST THEIR FACES LOOKING AT ONE ANOTHER AND SMILING IT’S TOO INTIMATE LIKE A ROMANTIC SHOT -fuck yes “come what may” is in this season fuck you writers, WAIT NO IT’S NOT I’M THINKING OF SUE AND BECKY BREAKING THE 4TH WALL AND WATCHING KURT’S MOULIN ROGUE FANTASY LOL -Sam looks kind of good with dark hair???? -EW IM WITH RACHEL I DONT WANT TO WATCH THATS SO RACHEL STOPPPPPP -I’m gonna throw up fuck this show is bad -I can really imagine how this would be the worst television show in history now -LOL THE BRITTANY GIRL, NITTANY, IS UNCANNY -I feel like I should know this but is that Carrotop?? Or just a man with a carrotop-like appearance? -“this isn’t the beginning you imagined” UM BLAINE SHE HAD A BEGINNING ON BROADWAY AND NYADA THAT SHE THREW AWAY DONT FEEL BAD FOR HER -LOL SEEING WILL SURROUNDED BY ALL THESE PEOPLE MAKES ME REALIZE THAT BEFORE WHEN HE NEVER HAD ANY ADULT FRIENDS, HE WAS JUST WAITING FOR HIS STUDENTS TO BECOME ADULTS TO BE HIS FRIENDS LOOOOOL -KURT IS FUCKING BACKKKKKKKKK BBYYYYYY -um can Rachel start acting like a friend for Kurt she’s kind of acting distant -OH GOD RACHEL AND KURT ARE GONNA RUN THE GLEE CLUB -OMG HE SHOWED UP OUTSIDE THE LOFT FOR THE PROMISE OF FRIENDSHIP AND NO ONE ELSE DID HOLY SHIT THATS DEPRESSING -HE REALIZES HE BLEW THE BEST THING THATS EVER HAPPENED TO HIM HE SAID -HE STILL LOVES BLAINE -FUCK ME BLAINE WAS FIGHTING FOR KURT IN SEASONS 4-5 AND NOW KURT HAS TO FIGHT FOR HIM IN SEASON 6 IM TIRED OF THIS -oh god sue is gonna kill them -AT LEAST KURT DIDNT DROP OUT OF NYADA -“you smell like a nursing home” well actually Sue he’s gonna be dating someone who smells like a nursing home soon- -FUCK ME IS THE KAROFSKY REVEAL REALLY IN THIS EPISODE???! -I FUCKING HATE THIS SO MUCH. I don’t care if Dave changed as a person, that’s great for him. But imagine dating the love of your life who suffered a tremendous amount of bullying from one person, who forcibly kissed him without consent and physically harmed him multiple times. Even if that person changed, you’re still gonna date them even though the love of your life, even if you’re no longer together, suffered because of them??? FUCK YOU -oh honey Kurt you’re gonna wish it was Sebastian -awww Blaine’s “hi I hope you weren’t waiting long” was so cute fuck me -WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT BLAINE LOOKED LIKE HE WAS GONNA KISS KURT WHEN HE WENT IN TO HUG HIM -PROLONGED HAND ON KURT’S SHOULDER -wow Kurt just really came out with it and said he’s here to get Blaine back a little too pushy Kurt ease up bby -OMG HOW DOES BLAINE FEEL HE LOOKS SO SHOCKED -AWWW KURTS TELLING HIMSELF NOT TO CRY -okay as much as I hate that they had Blaine and Karofsky date, I fucking love that we get to see more of Dave. He’s so fucking adorable. -IM SCREAMING JUST SEEING DAVE COME INTO THE SCREEN -DO YALL REMEMBER WATCHING THIS ON TV WHEN IT FIRST AIRED AND FEELING SHOCKED OUT OF YOUR MIND HOLY SHIT THE NOSTALGIA?? -IM SCREAMING INTO MY PILLOW THIS IS A NIGHTMARE SITUATION -MY BODY FEELS HOT -BLAINE YOU KNOW THIS IS CROSSING A FUCKING LINE MAN CMON -AW DAVE’S A COUNTRY BEAR HE’S ADORABLE -MY FACE FEELS HOT -YIKES “YOGI AND BOOBOO” WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT IM GONNA THROW UP FUCK -BLAINE YOU KNOW THIS IS WRONG -HOLY SHIT IS KURT HAVING A PANIC ATTCK -OMG THIS IS MAKING ME CRY HES CRYING IN THE BATHROOM -WILL WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS LURKING -Kind of a weird song to end the episode with “Let It Go”? Ok lol go off -damn they really dressing Rachel up for every episode -Aw new directions sign up sheet -ew that was an awkward thing for Rachel to say right into the camera’s soul “the cold never bothered me anyway” shut the fuck up lol -UM QUINN IS COMING BACK FOR THE NEXT EPISODE???? I SAW IT IN THE PREVIEW WHY DID I NOT REMEMBER HER COMING BACK AFTER THE “100” EPISODE??? Okay so that was a journey, I’d say overall the episode was a 6/10 for me. They really just fucked up a lot of plotlines and relationships and there’s really only so many times a relationship can be broken up before it can’t feel the same as it did before. They really should’ve, imo, had Rachel getting on a Broadway be the S6 finale or one of the final episodes instead of this BULLSHIT.
Critics consensus: A would-be franchise-starter that will anger fans of the source material and leave newcomers befuddled, Artemis Fowl is frustratingly flightless.
Metacritic: 32/100 (26 critics) The scores will change as time passes. Meanwhile, I’ll post some short reviews.
This long-in-development adaptation, directed with misplaced bravado by Kenneth Branagh, has enough plot for four or five movies, none of which you will want to see. The idea of bringing a popular YA franchise — more than 25 million copies sold worldwide — to the screen is to expand the fan base, not shrink it.
In a film built on a bestselling eight-book series, filled with all manner of magical beings (including Colin Farrell), and rich in fairy tale history, the best scene is one in which its grating narrator farts on a passerby. You didn’t see that in the “Harry Potter” films, and for good reason.
What a waste. Screenwriters Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl have taken a not-very-good book and turned it into a downright awful movie. How could Branagh — whose projects remain so firmly grounded in character, no matter their scale — have lost sight of the fact that a movie named “Artemis Fowl” should have focused on making the character someone audiences wanted to be around? Then the idea of spending more time with him in future adventures might actually appeal. Instead, we get a movie with a loosely defined hero, an even vaguer villain and a whole lot of things flying at the screen, in service of one of those endings that suggests we’ve just watched the origin story for a character we’ll never hear from again.
I can’t imagine this movie pleasing anyone. It’s drastically different than the book it’s based upon, and watching Gad or co-star Judi Dench, who plays a commander of the fairy forces, growl all their lines isn’t amusing enough to stick with this misfire. Kids deserve good, PG-rated adventure movies, but Artemis Fowl struggles to cohere let alone tell an interesting tale. Sure, you can watch it on Disney+, but you could also find countless other ways to better spend 95 minutes of your time.
When I was an intern at Tribeca Productions almost 20 years ago, there was a screenplay for an Artemis Fowl movie in the company’s script library. I don’t remember any of its specifics, but I do remember thinking it wasn’t very good — and sure enough, that version of the movie got stuck in development hell for many years, until Disney picked up the property and began work on the film we finally got. I can’t say for certain that any of the previous iterations of the material, including one that would have been directed by Jim Sheridan, would have been any better than this one. All I know for sure is it was not worth the wait.
The Disney version of Artemis Fowl covers everything in a blanket of bland that suggests the dull juvenilia in the film versions of Percy Jackson and The Golden Compass rather than the vigorous battle between good and evil that marked the novels. Instead, worlds collide at an Italian wedding where an escaped goblin goes on a rampage. “Most humans are afraid of gluten,” says Mulch, noting that there’s no way they can handle a goblin. The best way to handle this relentlessly nice movie that deserved a touch of nasty, is to enjoy the few flashes of what have been before the sheer heaviness of the production stomps out all the fun.
Artemis Fowl, the first Disney movie to have its theatrical release completely scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is bland and incoherent, with paper-thin character development, unimaginative world building, and a lot of daddy issues.
And though it would have been lovely to take in the lavish set pieces and the cool CGI creations and the whiz-bang action sequences on the big screen, “Artemis Fowl” still plays well as a warm and funny and entertaining at-home family viewing experience.
Rather than being a massive foul-up, “Artemis Fowl” is a sufficient spycraft fantasy that could benefit from the inevitable sequel, and Gad proves once again to be the Mouse House’s Dwayne Johnson, a rock-solid personality who makes everything around him better.
“Artemis Fowl” is trying to be something very different – bigger, beefier, flashier and not as magical. You can’t really blame it for aiming lower, but there’s enough tantalizing promise here to wish that it didn’t.
Artemis Fowl concocts an adventure that requires its privileged hero to go virtually nowhere, physically or emotionally. As if he ordered it on Instacart, conflict is simply dropped off on his front stoop, and all he has to do is throw on some shoes and sunglasses to pick it up.
I tried desperately to keep my expectations for an Artemis Fowl movie low. Just because a movie isn’t a shot-for-shot adaptation of its source material doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad, I kept telling myself, as my hopes sank lower and lower through the film. But Artemis Fowl is not just a disappointing adaptation, it’s a badly made movie. Its Frankensteined plot and its shockingly poor CGI — which could have passed in an early 2000s movie, but not in 2020 — leave it no redeeming qualities. It gives me no joy to say that yet another movie adaptation of a beloved childhood property has wasted Colin Farrell.
It’s not clear who the film is even for. Anyone who grew up reading Colfer’s novels over a decade ago will have moved on. And unlike later Potter films, there’s none of the darkness or depth to appeal beyond the youngest viewers. Barely serviceable as a lockdown time-filler, this is a major (Arte)misfire. Without the darkness or depth of the Harry Potter movies, Artemis Fowl fails to find an audience over 10 years old
-Jordan Farley, Total Film: 2/5 DIRECTOR Kenneth Branagh WRITER Conor McPherson & Hamish McColl MUSIC Patrick Doyle CINEMATOGRAPHY Haris Zambarloukos EDITOR Matthew Tucker Release date: June 12, 2020 on Disney+ Budget: $125 million STARRING
2020.06.05 07:57 the_nin_collectorHellraiser 1 through 10. Mini review.
I just saw someone say they saw Hellraiser for the first time. Such a good movie I just finished binging all of them. I started the four and half hour, yes, 4.5 hour long documentary on Hellraiser 1-3 but it fucking horrible and I couldn't get past 30 minutes of it.
1 Hellraiser (1987) Solid 10/10. This remains a classic horror movie. Some of the best creature and gore effects put on the screen. I am a huge fan of Andrew Robinson (who played Garek, one of the best Star Trek characters of all time). Ashley Laurence is also fantastic in this movie. The sountrack and ambiance is chilling and jarring. A few good jump scares. Fantastic gore. A story that isn't boring and even 30 years later doesn't feel tired. And Frank's resurrection scenes ranks up there with some of the best special effects scenes from a horror movie, up there with the spider creature scene from Thing.
2 Hellbound: Hellrasier 2 (8/10) Still a very solid horror movie that doesn't fall into the a lot the paint by number horror tropes. Its a direct sequel taking place mere hours after the first movie. Still has a great chilling soundtrack. Gore. Its a really macabre story and setting. The first half is a little too much a retelling of the first storyline. Almost just repeated. The 2nd half is better and the new Cenobite is the highlight of Hellraiser 2. This movie is better than most horror sequels, but a little too similar to the first one. Ashley Laurence is great in this one again, its a shame she never really rose to further heights. She has been working ever since, but nothing of merit.
3 Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. I have come to the conclusion that the most horrific thing in the first 3 movies are all the haircuts. This is still a decent horror flick I could recommend. (7/10) There were a lot of little odd things that I didn't like. So much smoking, there was even a smoking Cenobite! It was ridiculous. Like a forced add for Marlboro. I think the movie had 75 minutes of smoking in its 90 run time. Also J.P. is supposed to be a scum bag, but good lord he was so unlikable. I didn't realize another Deep Space Nine actor was in a Hellraiser movie. Terry Ferral is one of the main characters. Its biggest flaws are that I think this movie tried to be more than it was, it was too ambitious. The first two movies had tight settings and plot. The cheese factor crept in a little in this one and the Cenobites were a bit silly (but still a little cool too to see what they came up with). Pinhead was at his best in this movie and had a ton a screen time.
4 Hellrasier: Bloodline. (6.5/10) There is a decent horror film here begging to get out. But too much doesn't work here. This was not just a cheap sequel trying to cash in on the name, it genuinely wanted to flesh out and add to the Hellraiser mythos and was written by the same guy who did #2 and #3 and was friends with Clive Barker. It tried giving a story "the box" and explaining a little more how demons and hell work. But if feels like as the ambition got bigger, it looks like budget and production seemingly went down. This story takes place in the 1800, 1990s, and 2130s. The future/space third is pretty bad like so much of the mediocre sci-fi of the 90s (think Lawnmower Man dated effects and Leprechaun in Space). The movie was so bad initially and had so many problems the director, his second movie ever, took his name off the movie and never directed another film (but he still works in special effect to this day). After a new director and re-shoots and many cuts of the film, we have what we have today. The good stuff here is that it does add a lot to the Hellraiser lore. It stars Parks and Rec Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt). The gore effects and Cinobites are still good and fun and this movie gives us one of the best sound bites of the entire series, When Pinhead asks "do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" in a big booming voice. The hairstyles in the movie are still somehow terrible and, 1990s plot line is never explained, it just ends, and why does "the most productive space station in orbit" look like a Fraggle Rock trash heap with all the lights turned off? The few bursts of cgi are so bad I almost feel bad mentioning it.
5 Hellraiser: Inferno (7/10) Half the budget of the last film but a much better produced movie. This one was a direct to video movie so the bar and expectations are already set low. It not a half bad horror movie. BUT as a Hellraiser film... well, Dimension films owned a generic horror script with a film noir detective touch, lets call it, Inferno, and they simply shoehorned Pinhead and the Cenobites into to make it a Hellraiser film. The two main actors are nothing exciting like the last 4 films. Craig Shaffer who has a 100 bit parts in movies and random TV shows over the last 3 decades. And Nicholoas Tutturro who you probably don't know unless you were a fan of NYPD Blue (such a good cop show!) or Blue Bloods. Very bit parts from Carmen Argenziano (Star Gate SG-1) and James Remar (maybe best known as Dexter's father in Dexter). Its not a half bad horror movie. I liked it better than the last one, but its not that great as far as Hellraiser films go. BUT the box is finally given a name. The Lament Configuration.
6 Hellraiser: Hellseeker The good: main actor is Dean Winters (Brooklyn Nine Nine, 30 Rock, John Wick 1, Law and Order SVU, Rescue Me, and his claim to fame, HBO's OZ). Ashley Lawrence comes back to the series. Bad news is this is yet another direct to video release and yet another generic horror script owned by Dimension Films in which they shoehorned the Hellrasier bits into the story. (5/10) This movie was just boring. This is the first one I thought was a total waste of time. I slightly enjoyed the mediocre reveal at the end of the movie, but it wasn't worth the journey to get there. It was a total waste of Dean Winters and Ashley Lawrence. We get an okay one liner "welcome to the worst nightmare of all...reality." Sure, but then it is revealed they are in hell, so the line makes zero sense.
7 Hellraiser: Deader (5/10) Pretty much on par with the last movie. Not worth your time. This was filmed back to back with #8, Hellworld, in Romania. This was yet another generic script owned by Dimension Films and they just shoehorned the Hellraiser bits in there. With this movie it really shows. No good one liners. Cinebites are boring. Why is Pinhead even here? There is one decent Hellraisehorror scene, but its the same scene we have seen 4 or 5 times before. Chains fly out of the walls and rip some dude apart. SFX legend Stan Winston's name was attached to this project. Didn't help. Directed by Rick Bota,who directed all 4 of the 10 worst Hellraiser films. It stars Kari Wuher who was decent in this movie. She has been in a ton of tiny roles in the last 3 decades, Sliders might have been her longest role, two of the Command and Conquer games, and a quite a few Friday night teen horror movies (8 Legged Freaks, Anaconda, etc.)
8 Hellraiser: Hellworld. (6/10) I can recommend this entry in the series, but for all the wrong reasons. We get to an entry that crossed over from bad to so bad its good, complete with a Verhizon "can you hear me now?" cellphone joke. The cast is a half decent reason to watch. Pre-Superman and Witcher, Henry Cavil, co-stars. Lance Henrikson also costars. His list of movies, TV, and video game work is pages long (Alien, Millennium, and Mass Effect are his biggest in each category) and is still working at age 80 having just appeared in Detroit: Become Human and the New Looney toons. And Kathrying Winnick, best known for her 7 years on Vikiings, which she landed 18 years after this movie! So, this Hellraiser has totally cashed in. It is text-book cheesy. It takes place in a world where Cenobites, Pinhead, and Hellraiser are well known in pop culture. Its the late 90s so of course it about time we throw in a horrible, very fake, video game/internet story element, and cellphones as a major story element because people in the 90s didn't know anything about computers yet and cellphones where still rare unknown gadgets, so you could still pull off whatever computer story element you wanted (you know? like the X-files: First Person Shooter or the ultra realistic Hackers) /s. Every tune that plays in this movie begins like this, "wow, did they really get this song for this movie. Oh never mind, its just the first 3 notes." This movie was filmed back to back with Hellraiser: Deader and helmed by series terrible, Rick Bota. BUT believe it or not, this was actually an original Hellraiser script, unlike the last 3 Hellraiser movies which were generic scripts that later had Hellraiser bits shoved in. Still, it could have easily fit into to the other because the Hellraiser bits felt shoved in.
9 Hellraiser: Revelations. (4/10) I have such mixed feelings about this one. I love that its a back to basics story for the most part, something they needed to do after #3. The gore and SFX are really good. Some of the best we have seen in the entire series. But this movie is part found footage, which is horrid. The other sections are filmed like a poorly made TV show. It feels like a college film at times. The acting and dialogue are really uneven. Sometimes not bad at all, then at other times they are just putrid. The two teenage actors in this are terrible pretty much the entire time, and I think are the ultimate nail in the coffin that brings this entry over the line to a "not recommended." In order for Dimensions Films to hold onto the rights of Hellraiser they had to hurry and make a film. This film was literally made in 3 weeks with a $300,0000 budget and it shows. I think more time to polish this movie, we could have actually had a decent Hellraiser movie. The movie poster for this one is easily the best thing to come out of it. I think its one of the best posters in the whole series. Pinhead looking so freaking sinister.
10 Hellraiser: Judgment. Wow! What a pleasant surprise. (8/10) This is easily the 3rd best movie in the series. Supposedly made on an incredible $350,000 budget. But this movie hits every checkbox. See what you can do if you put a little effort into it. Its a bit strange that it 90% police procedural movie, but it works. The serial killer plot line is a little tired, but it also works. Everything from start to finish is tied together. A few things seemed superfluous (like the first 10 minutes of the movie felt like they just threw it in there so you can get some horror action at the start), but 100% ended up tying into the story later. I was impressed. They really try to flesh out the Hellraiser mythos and give a little insight how hell is run behind closed doors. We are introduced into a new sector of hell, the Stygian Inquisition (but I am still not clear how they fit in with Pinhead's group, theOrder of the Gash). The new Pinhead was good too. I don't know if it was on purpose but 2 of the 3 main leads were basically a Michel Fassbender and Rose Byrne lookalikes. the cast, assumingly paid pennies for the roles, did a really good job and did not feel like they were yanked out of a local community theater. They introduced a new character, who I really hope makes a return. The Auditor. He was my favorite part about the movie. The movie was written and directed by the guy who did the makeup and many of sfx on Hellraiser 3 through 9. He also wrote #9, which was probably the only decent thing about #9. Surprise! He also plays the Auditor. I really hope this guy is involved in the next movie or the newly announced HBO show (but its looking like no, the new show will be a reboot). (BTW, there is a post credit scene). I am glad we got this movie, but Gary Tunnicliffe, the guy who made this film, had to fight tooth and nail to get made. Supposedly Dimension turned his vision down a few times then when it was greenlit, they were preoccupied with the Harvey Weinstein bomb. Tunnicliffe had a lot of ideas for this film the just could not be done on this pitiful budget. Its a shame. Its worth reading more about this. It was made at the same time and (produced by the same person) as a new Children of the Corn movie. One of the actors in Hellraiser was the director of the Children of the Corn. 10 to 15 minutes of the film were cut and deemed TOO EXTREME for Dimension's Extreme Film group of horror films. Pinhead was originally going to be a little redesigned, with his grid cuts looking more haphazard and diagonal. Like the last film, this one was shot in just 3 weeks times, albeit with a lot of pre-production and help from the Oklahoma locals where it was shot. It was edited and finished post production in another 3 weeks and then sat on the shelf for 2 years. Many think the only reason it saw the light of day because of the Harvey Wienstien scandal hurt Dimensions films so badly, they needed the money.
2020.06.01 00:55 jackramzUpdate of where All MCU Production stands as of now V5
Monthly Update Black Widow- Was originally May 1st 2020 now Delayed till November 2020. Final cut of the Movie should be completed by now. I expect we will be seeing it then with theaters opening up and most of them open by July. Only doubt about is when Flu season comes back, coronavirus will also spike up. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier- has maybe like 2-3 weeks left of shooting key major scenes and scenes that happen in the first 2 episodes. They were supposed to shoot in Prague but got sent home. They are still supposed to have as of right now an August 2020 debut. It was announced about a month ago that Prague is back open and Marvel can go back there to shoot what's left. I don't expect them to make that effort and instead shoot in Atlanta after all these Rightful Protests and terrible Raids die down. My guess is they will have shot everything by July. However there's no word on anything on when production will restart WandaVison As of now, scheduled for December 2020. There was a report from Charles Murphy and Lizzie Hill who are very accurate with their scoops saying that WandaVision has indeed finished filming before the lock down. Depending on CGI and VFX work left I'd say that out of the Two Disney Plus series coming this year this one is the most likely to come out barring one thing. This was supposed to be a lead into Dr. Strange 2 which got delayed originally for 6 months and then 10 months. Wether or not Fiege cares when it comes out or not is the deciding factor wether we get it this year or not for a while. This goes for both The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, wether or not Fiege decides to stick to their original release dates of August and December for these shows or keep them in their release order with Black Widow a supposed lead in to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that can have F&TWS go to December and WV early 2021. No idea as of now Eternals Originally Slated for November 2020. Now Slated for Feb 2021. Should make it's intended release with relative ease. Reshoots could pop up as an issue. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Originally Slated for Feb 2021. Now Slated for May 2021. Had been shooting for about a month and half or so down in Australia. The director tested negative for COVID-19. Production was put on pause and no time table yet of when things will start back up again. Some things have been starting to go into production in Australia but Shang Chi is a much bigger Production. They probably have around 1/3 of the movie shot so they'll need to shoot a little faster than normal to finish in time. Loki Has been shooting for a bit now in Atlanta. They probably have 1/3 of the series shot atm. The series is supposed to air in early 2021 probably March or April. I would be shocked if that stayed that Way. I would guess that it would be delayed until Summer 2021 Like July- August. No time tab;e of when shooting will resume What If..? Will Stay on for Summer 2021 release. Not really any changes. here Spider Man 3 Originally Slated for July 2021. Now Slated for Nov 2021. Holland said a while ago that they would be shooting in Atlanta, LA, New York and Iceland. Maybe Nov fits the movie better if its in Iceland??? No time table of when it will begin to shoot, hopefully this summer. Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel These shows were supposed to start shooting in Atlanta in July/August after F&TWS, LOKI, and WV all finished. No news as of yet. I think it's 40/60 that they won't be 2021 releases. Thor Love and Thunder Was Originally Slated for November 2021. Now Slated for February 2022. Was supposed to shoot in August down in Australia and will also have some filming in Vancouver. No News as of when shooting will take place now. Vin Diesel confirmed that the Guardians will be in Thor 4. Taika said on a live stream that there will be space sharks in the movie and maybe more hulk. He released Concept art with Miek wearing a Pantsuit. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Originally Slated for May 2021. Then Delayed to Nov 2021 and because of Spider Man 3 it was delayed till March 2022. Originally supposed to shoot in London in May/June. Not time table of when Raimi will start production. Likely sometime late this year or early next year, She Hulk and Moon Knight They Were likely start shooting late 2020 when both Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye wrap up production. No time table as of now when production will start. She Hulk Script is reportedly done. I can guarantee these will not be 2021 releases. Black Panther 2 Martin Freeman said in an interview that Black Panther 2 will film in Early 2021, some reports said Australia. I would say it's safe to say it will shoot around then Captain Marvel 2 Slated for July 2022. Should shoot sometime next year. The original directors will not return but may keep at Marvel on a Disney Plus property. No Director as of yet. Blade. Rumored Release date October 2022. No Director as of yet. Mahershla Ali is excited to play Blade Ant Man 3 Originally rumored release date of Feb 2022. Thor 4 now has that and the only other possible dates are Oct 2022 and Feb 2023. I would guess Feb 2023 so they delayed it a year or so. Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 Likely Slated for May 2023. Gunn will finish and release Suicide Squad in August of next year and then go into pre production and then shoot early 2022. Those early 2021 rumors are BS. Fantastic 4. Likely 2023 release. Either July or November Nova Was announced the day of writing this that a Nova project is in development "Project" meaning not necessarily a movie but could be a Disney Plus series. Apparently casting Grids are out so it will be likely 2023. Deadpool 3 Unclear wether it will be set in the MCU and included in the Slate but In all likelihood will come out in 2022 or 2023. Rob Liefeld is a Clown tho Spider Man 4 All depends wether Disney and Sony resign their Deal. My guess is they will etch out a long term extension for a second trilogy and many team up appearances and also appear in the Sony verse or whatever they decided to call it now. If Sony continues their pattern of Every other July Spidey 4 should be July 2023 however because Sony delayed it to November 2021 it could hopefully allude to them not having to rush Spidey 4 and have it be July 2024. I'd personally want that but there's a lot of things that has to happen from now till then. Avengers 5 I wish it was 2023 but It ain't. But def 2024. 5 years since Endgame is a good amount of time. Not even really confirmed at this point. Secret Invasion/Secret Warriors Disney Plus Series Rumored to be a Prequel to Captain Marvel 2. Should be 2022 Ghost Rider, Iron Heart, Thunderbolts, Miss America, Young Avengers All Rumored to be Disney Plus Series some time in all likelihood 2023 or 2024 Loki and What If..? Season 2 These shows have been rumored to spawn multiple seasons
2020.05.29 18:09 LegendInMyMindRoboCop 2 Retrospective - Casual Fan
Tl;dr - I think the most surprising thing is just how much I enjoyed it. The film really goes for it in many aspects, that it's apparent this is a sequel in a bad time for sequels that's trying to be much more than a cash-in sequel. Irvin Kershner is not the guy to hire for a cheap cash-in, anyway. Does he make something everyone will enjoy? No. Does it whiff on some stuff it tries to do? Yeah, but no one could call this a complacent film. I'd say it's actually a deserving sequel, not as good as its predecessor, but not as far off as some would have me believe. I found the plot pretty simple and easy to follow (a common criticism seems to be that it loses the viewer, but I don't know where I was supposed to get lost). Sure, we take a little hike through 'Friendly RoboCop'-land, but how many minutes of screentime elapse between RoboCop getting taken apart by Cain/Nuke Cult and his 'hard reboot' at a transmission station? 5-10'ish? Didn't seem like long at all. It certainly wasn't long enough to make me forget about how we got there or where we were going. 70/100 So I recently re-watched RoboCop 2. While I've periodically revisited RoboCop over the years, I couldn't tell you the last time I'd seen RoboCop 2 (probably when I was a kid, sometime in the mid-to-late '90s). My memory of the film consisted of 0% of the plot, MAYBE 1 or 2 of the action scenes, and the recollection of a general consensus that it's an unworthy sequel to the original RoboCop film. So it was pretty much like going in cold, seeing it (again) for the very first time. The police are on strike due to OCP's paycuts and removal of their pension, which has precipitated a rise in crime, largely thanks to the drug 'Nuke' flooding the streets of Detroit with the supply and sales controlled entirely by cult leader Cain and his gang of thugs/junkies/pseudo-religious zealots. The level of crime has made it impossible for the city to make their loan payments to OCP (intentional maneuvering by this greedy, corrupt corporation), and OCP is foreclosing on Detroit to tear down neighborhoods and replace Old Detroit with Delta City. It's of interest to the Nuke gang that the Delta City project fail, lest they lose their grip on the drug trade, and so we have 3 primary agendas - Cain and the Nuke cult selling their crap and increasing their power, OCP manipulating and maneuvering their way into tearing down Old Detroit and building up their own corporately owned/operated utopia on top of it, and the Mayor's office desperately trying to hold on to the Detroit as it exists and simply make it a better place to live. In the middle of that, RoboCop. Simple enough. The Good Peter Weller - Even with a somewhat limited arc in this one (they touch on the inner humanity and his search for it, but never really dive into that in the movie), Peter Weller still brings it. The unique vocal delivery elevates the one-liners, but it also has the effect of adding pain to the dramatic moments. His performance is a consistent highlight in the film, he's just so into the character and so completely owned it. It's difficult to ever really get excited for someone else playing the part, even though the actor's face is almost entirely covered for most of the film, because even when he's in the full costume he's still adding to it - body language which is selling the intensity of a scene or even the comedic timing of other scenes, and nuanced enough to translate through 'robotic' movements. Weller really brings the character to life, and he's as good at that in the 2nd movie as he was in the first, in my opinion. Action Scenes & SFX/VFX - Normally with 30 year old films, there's a ton of grace that must be afforded with all but the greatest of sci fi films in the realm of effects. And we're talking films like Terminator and T2, the Star Wars OT, Blade Runner, etc., regarding movies with effects that really hold up and were obvious touchstones along the way in bringing cinematic special effects to where we are today. I'd add RoboCop and RoboCop 2 to that list for their usage of animatronics (the RoboCop puppet is pretty much as close to 1:1 lifelike as these things get) and stop motion. The old school SFX are all in place with the gunfights (squibs and explosives), but the stop motion and mechatronic puppets in RoboCop 2 were surprisingly convincing. The stop motion, especially, was a tremendous improvement on the stop motion of the first film (ED-209 sequences). But RoboCop 2 also made some waves in the field of CGI with Cain's digitized head on the display screen housed in RoboCop 2. Add to that the action sequence layout where new challenges are continually added in without seeming too over-the-top for that world (electromagnetic trap, usage of ricochets with a gunfight, etc.), and the result is that the action never gets stale. Action scenes are stylish, but they never stick around too long, showing off the capabilities of RoboCop, but also Alex Murphy's ingenuity and that of the criminals he faces. And all of that stuff amounts to action sequences which really hold up well. Is there some dated stuff? Yes, but far less than one would assume going in, imo. Everything is made with precision and care. Nothing feels phoned-in or cheap. The effects team(s) and Director Irvin Kershner deserve a ton of credit for elevating the action and effects of the franchise, because, in my opinion, RoboCop 2 has better action scenes than the original film. Aesthetic - The near-future design of Detroit and an updated RoboCop finish are highlights for me, really showing that this is no phoned-in sequel (which is what everyone was expecting and something that this movie has enough self-awareness of to subvert). The dystopian elements are there in both as plot drivers and entertainment value - the satirical commercials and news reports were a genuine treat. As previously mentioned, the new RoboCop suit was, I thought, even better looking than the first suit. Same mold, but the materials looked richer, and it take on an almost gunmetal blue in certain lighting while still being primarily grey in neutral settings. The increased depth of color through blue saturation added a more 'tech' feel to it, in my opinion. It also was apparent that the props were quality made across the board (especially Cain's central nervous system). Although each of the RoboCop 2 mk.'s were a bit cookie cutter, but there was enough variation on the central design of it that it didn't seem like less thought was put into those models than RoboCop, himself, like giving RoboCain a display screen. Cyberpunk Themes - While it's not really fully explored here, the introspection into RoboCop's vestigial humanity is a classic Cyberpunk theme, having been introduced in the first film. The second continues it while alluding to a resolve ("We're only human"). It's sub-surface, mostly a function of Weller's inspired performance as something of a Frankenstein's monster, but even with the exchanges with his (well, Murphy's) widow, there's an undercurrent of pain and hesitation to his driving her away that just makes his lines of "They built this to honor him. I don't know you." nothing but tragic. Adding to that material is the RoboCop 2 prototypes' catastrophic failure to rectify what and who they are, serving as a good backdrop for what RoboCop 1 is struggling with in rectifying what he is with the parts of Alex Murphy which still exist. It's not explicitly done, but it's able to be followed... EDIT: Meta-Commentary - As introduced by and discussed in the comments below with u/ItsWilliamDude, there's insightful sequel commentary regarding the RoboCop 2 prototypes where the same approach with what worked the first time around (that being RoboCop) yields failure after failure to live up to the original until they completely flip the script and begin screening psychotics, settling on the recently grievously wounded, psychotic, drug-dependent Cain who Dr. Faxx convinces OCP is just the personality type that can be leveraged. And she, of course, ruins RoboCop by making him 'family-friendly', which is a hilarious foreshadowing of the franchise to come... The Bad Uncharismatic Villains - In my opinion, this is what lets the film down the most. Hob - the kid with a bullpup machine pistol that folds into a blue 'lunchbox' - is an interesting archetype for a villain (although arguably tasteless, but tell that to Hit Girl), but there's very little personality in the villains of this film. The first film had Clarence Boddicker (all-time great shit-talker) and even Dick Jones to add some color to it. In RoboCop 2, there's primarily the perpetually-looking-bored Nuke cult leader Cain and the "what's up with this chick" OCP psychologist Dr. Faxx. Cain is this false prophet type, and that's okay, but he has so little actual dialogue and not many memorable sequences that he never really comes into focus in the movie - and the approach to him just isn't that entertaining, which makes it kind of lateral move, in terms of personality, when they cut him out of his body and make a wordless cyborg with a polygonal face out of him. With the way the plot breaks down, Dr. Faxx is really the role where you need a strong personality. But there's not one. She's a little bit of a 'whatever the plot requires' villain, screwing up RoboCop's programming to make him more 'market tested' in one scene, sending Cain to kill everyone at a meeting between the Nuke gang and the mayor in another, using her feminine wiles on 'The Old Man' to just get whatever she wants at any given time with no real agency. Core themes are implicit to a fault - While many ideas are presented (bureaucracy, corporate greed), it's often unclear what the main takeaway is meant to be. The closest thing to a central theme is the theme of vestigial humanity as mentioned in the above 'Good' section. And while it's a strong, resonant theme within the genre, it's probably more buried in the movie than it should be. And it's pretty evident with the one part that's meant to be Murphy's key confidant, Officer Lewis, where you'd hope for him to at some point open up and advance that aspect of his story. But she's just not really used in that capacity, so RoboCop winds up without a sounding board in the rediscovery of his humanity, and the theme floats a little thin as a result. And another example is that the above-mentioned scene where RoboCop shocks himself into a system reboot, deleting the convoluted programming, it actually deletes ALL directives, including the core 3 which made him, supposedly, "RoboCop". So the idea is that everything which happens afterwards is not coming from RoboCop, it's coming from Alex Murphy. Alex Murphy took down Cain (twice) and his gang. He rallied the police and went to bat for the city, it comes from his sense of duty and honor, which we know to be the foundational aspects of why he was successfully automated where other prototypes failed, as they didn't have his strength of character or will. This little detail could use more emphasis in getting the point across, it should be underlined and restated, because it's just matter-of-fact-ly put in there to the point where you can basically overlook it. It does a disservice to the character arc to overlook it, but that's a weakness of the film, not the viewer. Overall This is a highly entertaining, well-produced film with unfortunate flaws in some key performances (Cain, Dr. Faxx) and characterizations (Officer Lewis) that keep it from capitalizing on its potential as another genre classic. I'd still give it a 70/100 for the sheer Cyberpunk entertainment value of it, and I'd argue that, if it's a bad movie, it's a good bad movie because it goes down swinging for the fences. Unlike RoboCop 3... Frank Miller's RoboCop - So out of curiosity, I've been reading Frank Miller's RoboCop to see how it stacks up to the film and, so far, I'm seeing that the film is a much better product than Miller's "pure vision" for RoboCop. Granted, Frank didn't actually write the comic, it's based on his screenplay, but wow is it rough. Some of that is panel layout and dialogue, as well as the presentation of the characters (although, arguably, Dr. Faxx could have used a little more somethin' in the film that Dr. Love has in the comic, but I don't know if it's exactly the low cut, body-hugging 2-piece skirt suit that's missing). There are some thematic elements which work better because they're given more focus, but overall, I think it's just a bad comic with the story far more scattered than what Kershner assembled on the screen. More The Dark Knight Strikes Again than The Dark Knight Returns (or even The Dark Knight III: The Master Race). So with what the film wound up doing, the elements of Frank's ideas that it used, I don't personally feel cheated...
2020.05.27 16:32 TheFettI Want You to Play More Adventure Games (Part II: 1994-2000)
PREVIOUS POST -- PART ONE I wanted to continue my discussion of adventure games considered the greatest of all time. As before, this is not an exhaustive list but I have carefully aggregated reviews from a variety of sources to make my decision. Many wondered why certain titles weren't included on the previous list. This is because the list only went up to 1993! Let us go beyond and discover the later years of the Golden Age of Adventure Games and find out where it all went wrong. First, I want to give props to sites like Adventure Gamers and YouTubers like PushingUpRoses who produce excellent reviews of these games, far better than anything I'm likely to write here. Second, if you don't like adventure games, and don't think you ever will, this list may not be for you. The title of this post is not an imperative, just a hope that you'll find entertainment as I have, and that I can share some of that with you. 1994-1997: The Rise of Pre-Rendered 3D, FMV, and 16 bit graphics By the mid-90’s, we were saying fond farewell to DOS, as Windows and other 16- and 32-bit operating systems took its place. It was a transitional period, some games released had installation options for both DOS and Windows on the same disk. With the rise of improved graphics and commonality of CD-ROM drives, we see larger games with more intensive assets. Pixel graphics gave way to a more cartoony style which would last until the rise of 3D rendered models a few years later.
8 Full Throttle (LucasArts, 1995) Tim Schafer takes the lead on this game along with co-writer Dave Grossman. A romp through a post-apocalyptic future featuring chromed-out motorcycles, hovercars, gangs of technology-worshipping cave dwellers, and demolition derbies. You play as the leader of a bike gang caught up in a world of murder and corporate intrigue. Having said that, the tone of this game is pretty light (I mean, come on, it’s Tim Schafer), emphasis on kicking butt and being a badass over violence and adult themes. There are some action fight scenes which are a bit of a pain but you can skip them with a cheat code. Aside from that, it’s a great game. Only other downsides are how short it is and some complaints about a relatively abrupt ending. I recommend buying the Remastered version from 2017.
7 The Pandora Directive (Access, 1996). High point in the Tex Murphy series, and FMV game with first-person elements. Interface is a little clunky, but basically you’re going around in first person mode looking for clues. When you interact with a character, it turns into FMV. Plenty of puzzles to solve, also tons of moments on unexpected humor. The Tex Murphy universe seems to be some run-down future version of San Francisco with mutants and homeless everywhere (wait, did I say future?). The atmosphere plays like a wacky version of old noir detective films. Your ending depends on how morally forthwright you behave during the game (repaying old debts, not being an asshole to people) and there are several paths and dead ends. Available on GOG.
6 The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (Sierra, 1995). Maybe the best FMV game ever created, along with the Tex Murphy series and maybe that X-Files game from 1998. Again, you play as Gabriel Knight, now living in Germany, as he investigates a new threat-- werewolf attacks! I had no hopes for this game, but was pleasantly surprised by its execution. The acting is solid, notably Dean Erickson. Like any good mystery game, the focus is on going around and gathering evidence, though there are a few puzzles thrown in. Available on GOG.
5 Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (Sierra, 1993/1994). QFG is back! After a mediocre romp with Quest for Glory III: Wages of War, the series sees a return to form. Again, you play as the same hero from the previous titles, going around doing side quests and slowly progressing the main plot. And what a plot! The setting is based on Eastern European and the slavic folktales found there, with some Lovecraft elements thrown in. It’s a much darker game than its predecessors, with more mature themes and darker villains and monsters. Expect friendly villagers hiding dark secrets. Voice acting is clutch here-- John Rhys-Davies hams it up as the narrator and Jennifer Hale (Metal Gear Solid, Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect) makes her earliest video game voice over appearance here. Love the dark atmosphere, but there are plenty of silly moments in true QFG fashion. Available on GOG.
4 The Last Express (Brøderbund, 1997). Hey, what happens when you, Jordan Mechner, ambitious game developer responsible for the graphic marvel that is Prince of Persia, spend $5 million making a game for a company that’s about to go bankrupt in a year, and just lost its sales and marketing department? You get a complete and total commercial failure that buries your game for years. And what a shame, because it’s actually extraordinarily good! Compare this to Phantasmagoria which costs $4.5 but grossed $12 million and you’ll see that we don’t live in a fair or just universe. Anyway, this game puts you on the famous Orient Express, immaculately reproduced in pre-rendered 3D, on the eve of World War I. Your character has escaped police aboard the train and is looking for his friend, but finds him unavailable due to a violent death (and now you've got to clean it up, blech). Your job is to solve the mystery of the enigmatic Firebird, uncover a web of conspiracies, and make it to Constantinople. There are over a dozen passengers on the train, each with their own detailed personality and backstory, each with their own time schedule. Timing is important, as certain events only happen at certain times. But don’t worry, you can go back in time as often as you want so that you don’t miss anything. The art style bears mentioning-- everything is rotoscoped. Characters are sometimes fully animated, but usually they are hand-drawn over still photos, giving the game a choppy animation at times. This game is complicated, but really a must-play. The final act loses some steam, but I found the ending satisfactory and often revisit this game. You can find the original version on GOG, or there’s the slightly improved version, The Last Express Gold, available on Steam, with hints and achievements and an improved interface.
3 The Neverhood (The Neverhood Inc, 1996). This game is insane. I have never seen such a labor of love, such intense artistic devotion, to make a game like this. This game is entirely claymation. You move your claymation character around a claymation world and engage in claymation puzzles. The art style reminds me of the TV show “Bump in the Night,” released the same year, as opposed to the cleaner style of Wallace & Gromit or Pingu. There’s not too much plot here, except for a huge amount of expository reading scattered throughout the game. I don't even want to tell you any more-- you're better off going in blind like I did and discovering this gem for yourself! I’m not sure the best way to legally obtain this game (yo ho), but I can tell you it’s playable through SCUMMVM.
2 Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars aka Circle of Blood (Revolution, 1996). A favorite of mine, high water mark for Revolution Software, which created such titles as “Beneath a Steel Sky” and “Lure of the Temptress.” Amazing Disney-quality animation as you guide your character through the streets of Paris and beyond, trying to solve a mystery that spans the globe. Seriously, the plot here is great. There were moments that I found emotionally touching, and moments that made me giggle. The characters were often larger-than-life but I really felt connected to them. Dialogue is quippy and… well, there’s a lot of it. You can ask every single person about every single inventory item you have and there’s a unique dialogue thread for each. I recommend playing the original version of this game. I'm told if you buy the Director's Cut (which abridged much of the dialogue and animation in order to fit it on handheld devices), you'll get the original version as well.
1 The Curse of Monkey Island (LucasArts, 1997). The last of the truly great Monkey Island games (IMO), this game saw a handing of the reins to a younger team of developers at LucasArts, who I feel managed to exceed expectations. This game is extremely quotable. There’s a minor location where your character becomes obsessed with the 1991 movie JFK and starts peppering his dialogue with references (“You can’t be sure of that. That shot may have come from the grassy knoll!”). Murray the talking skull became something of a fan favorite for his combination of evil intent and lack of ability to act on it. The ending is a bit rushed, but I enjoy revisiting this game. Available on GOG and Steam.
Riven: The Sequel to Myst (Cyan, 1997). To start out, this game is dated. It and its predecessor use prerendered 3D environments that you walk around in a sort of PowerPoint slide system. When you perform an action, like pulling a lever, a Quicktime animation plays. It’s actually quite well done and the environment, while dated in presentation, is still lovely to explore to this day. There’s very little here to worry about, no one’s shooting at you, in fact most people you find run away from you, leaving you to explore on your own. The framing device is that you’re trying to rescue Atrus’s wife Catherine from her home world where she is held captive by Atrus’s father Gehn. Essentially, you need to find a way to transport yourself to Gehn’s world via these magic books the three of them can write to teleport to, and alter, worlds. Gehn’s not very good at it, apparently, and so he’s been isolated from his home planet for years so it’s up to you to go in and save Catherine. It is truly amazing to me how the puzzles all fit together, you’re solving little puzzles but really you’re learning how everything on the planet fits together-- the numbering system, the animals and their noises, where the books are located and their designated color so you can solve the infamous marble puzzle. Since this game is not in realtime 3D, it may turn off players, and every time I play it I tell myself it’ll be the last time, but I keep going back. A real work of art.
Under a Killing Moon (Access, 1994) Predecessor to “Pandora Directive,” I actually recommend playing this AND its above sequel, though PD is definitely the better game. Clunky interface as always but a great story, characters, and dialogue. Minimal puzzle solving.
The Dig (LucasArts, 1995). Critics were lukewarm about this game when it came out, and fans to this day say it doesn't compare to other LucasArts outings. I, however, strongly enjoy it. You play as an astronaut stranded on an alien world. Spoiler! You do not zoom around in a space suit all game. You must reactivate alien technology, which can be difficult since your monkey brain is primitive and doesn't comprehend foreign tech. The music is phenomenal. Yes, the puzzles are often obtuse. After all, you're exploring an alien world. But it's no Rama, I can tell you that! If I were you, I'd play this game without hesitation (but with a guide) to enjoy the amazing visuals. I was reading critic reviews of this game, and they were already starting to grumble about the low-res quality that 2D games still had. No wonder studios seemed desperate to move to 3D graphics. Dialogue is by Orson Scott Card, and People. Are. Talking. All. The Time. Quip quippy quip quip. Less is more, Orson.
Soft recommends: (ie, if I don't include these, people will talk)
1998-2000: Hardware-rendered 3D and the death of the classic adventure game Some blame Myst. Some blame Quake, Doom, and Unreal. Whoever is to blame, but the late 80's, everyone knew 3D gaming was the future. They knew it! I mean, why have lush 2D backgrounds and characters when you could have clunky, boxy models in a pre-rendered space? This spelled the end of the classic adventure, as sales during this time period were lackluster and the cost of making these games increased due to the new 3D mandate. Isn't it weird how obsessed with 3D models we became? Pixar comes out with a few movies, a few years later, Disney decides all animated movies have to be computer generated from then on. Maybe it was cheaper, I'm just impressed by how quickly they went from The Lion King to "Home on the Range sucked, only CGI from now on." And don't try to tell me that the models looked good; "Chicken Little" looks dreadful compared to "Lilo & Stitch." Anyway, around this time, we also started getting more story-heavy games in previously shallow genres: RPGs, long noted for their storyline, were gaining mainstream appeal thanks to Final Fantasy VII and its ilk. Action/shooter games like Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid and Deus Ex showed that games can have good storytelling and narrative. Even when adventure games stopped being produced by major studios, it's not like I suddenly stopped playing games. Post-2000, I could still get my story fix in games like Silent Hill 1 & 2, Halo, Kingdom Hearts, Baldur's Gate, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, not to mention all the Zeldas, Fallouts, and Resident Evils of that time. Let's look at some of the games that helped usher out the era:
6 Zork: Grand Inquisitor (Activision, 1997). The last in a long line of Zork games. This game has a marvelous art style, the bizarro humor the series is known for, plus well-acted characters, fun gameplay, and plenty of puzzles. You progress first-person style ala Myst, but with 360 field of vision. I don’t want to say too much about this game, as I’d rather you discover it for yourself. Available on Steam and GOG.
5 Journeyman Project 3 (Presto Studios, 1998). The best of the Journeyman series, this sci-fi game reminds me of 1990’s shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Babylon Five, and Stargate SG-1, only you can interact with it! The game stands on its own so you don’t need to play the other two. I’d recommend this for anyone who has an appreciation of the 90’s sci fi shows. Available on GOG.
4 Sanitarium (Dreamforge, 1998). A dark and manic title with good intentions, you play as an amnesiac inmate in an insane asylum who must discover his identity by plumbing the dark depths of his mind. The art style kind of reminds me of Grant Morrison/Dave McKean’s “Arkham Asylum” graphic novel which also takes place in an insane asylum and features dark, disturbing imagery. You travel to several different fantasy worlds but the first two are probably the best, along with the scenes in the asylum itself. Not a perfect game, but well worth playing for its depiction of psychosis and psychedelia. Available on GOG and Steam.
3 Blade Runner (Westwood, 1997). Ah, Westwood. We hardly knew ye. A cult classic game based on the cult classic movie, you control one of the titular replicant hunters as he uncracks a series of murders. A technically impressive game with beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds, all 3D modeling is based on voxels so you didn’t need a 3D accelerator. [Edit]: I recently had a chance to replay this game in its ScummVM form. I used to think this was a flawed masterpiece, marred by bugs and poor compatibility. Now I think it's absolutely brilliant. The backgrounds are still stunning after all these years, maybe some of the best pre-rendered visuals outside of a Myst game, and the attention to detail is amazing as is the pure "cyberpunk"-ness of it all. Very accurate to both the movie with some notes taken from the original Phillip K Dick book and some original world-building. The story is not the same as the movie, but has many parallels and similar beats. You're a Blade Runner chasing a group of renegade replicants-- who is and is not a replicant is changed randomly at the start of each game (some will always be replicants, some never). You interview witnesses and suspects and get to use the Voight-Kampff test at some points, but it's mostly there for decoration. Like in the movie, you can use the ESPER system to analyze photographs, which I love. Gather clues, follow up on leads. The ending changes depending on whether you want to sympathize with the replicants, kill them off (it's your job!) or just get the hell out of town. It's not terribly difficult now that most of the bugs are sorted. A MUST PLAY.
2 The Longest Journey (1999/2000, Funcom). I’m off again/on again with this one. I shouldn’t like this game, the 3D models are blocky, the main character is a painfully ordinary self-doubting art student who keeps a diary and finds out she has strange powers (Life is Strange, is it not?), the ending is bittersweet, and yet the setpieces and dialogue and quirky moments keep drawing me back. You are responsible for the fate of two worlds that hang in the balance, a world of science, and one of magic. Great lore here and rich characters. The puzzles are very solvable without a guide (thankfully). Dialogue can be a little off, which I blame on the localization from Norweigian, but it’s still very entertaining. You can buy this game on GOG, but I recommend adding an HD texture and movie pack to greatly improve the graphics. I played it recently and it really added a lot.
1 Grim Fandango (LucasArts, 1998). Everyone’s clamoring for it already, you’ve all heard of it, it’s the Dia de los Muertos / Neo Noir / Grim Reaper fan favorite, Grim Fandango! This game, a commercial failure at the time, became such a classic in later years and is often considered one of the finest examples of the genre. You play as Manny Calavera, a down-on-his-luck travel agent (aka “The Grim Reaper, baby!”) who uncovers a conspiracy in the Land of the Dead (based on Mexican folklore and some Aztec influences). You’ll encounter monsters, beatniks, demons, communists, lawyers (the usual cast of hell), but everything is in this 1940’s and 50’s style of sets and costuming that lovingly rips off many of the classic movies of that era (Casablanca, Passage to Marseille, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, The Third Man, Rififi). Made long before Coco, it lacks the latter’s vibrancy and colors but you’ll see a lot of the same character styles-- every human character looks like a skeletal calaca. And it’s funny, this is Tim Schafer’s finest work, the script is so quotable, the puzzles are fun but no too difficult (except maybe the puzzle with the betting stub), it’s a total blast to play. I recommend the remastered version from 2015.
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (Sierra, 1999). Lambasted on Old Man Murray for its cat/syrup/mustache puzzle, I actually enjoyed this game. Like the other two, you learn a lot about the history of whatever paranormal thing you’re investigating (in this case, the Holy Grail). The ending is extremely rushed so I can’t fully recommend it, but while some of the puzzles are flipping insane, you have some incredible ones (Le Serpent Rouge!) as well.
Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (Sierra, 1998). Last of the QFG series, and we’re lucky to have it at all, even if it’s suddenly in 3D and more of an action RPG than adventure game. I’ve included it here for sake of completion. Mediocre graphics and action aside, if you’ve played the other games, definitely play this one to get closure on the story and for pure fanservice. Available on GOG.
TO BE CONTINUED So that's it, the end of the Golden Age. What came next? I will be back, talking about Syberia, some releases for Nintendo DS, and maybe pointing out a few visual novels that cross the line into adventure game territory (yes, that means Phoenix Wright), before getting into the modern era of the last 8 years. Edit: Altered the list to move Quest for Glory V out of top spot. How'd it get there? Edit 2: Added links to all titles I could find for sale online.
2020.05.24 23:09 finnagainsUnexpected Movie Masterpieces to Watch in Quarantine - by David Sims (The Atlantic) 10 April 2020
Some were blasted by critics, some flopped at the box office, and all are ripe to attain cult-classic status. With new cinema releases grinding to a halt in response to the spread of the coronavirus, I’ve used these weeks of self-quarantine to cast an eye backward over the cinematic canon, to rewatch old favorites, and to fill in viewing gaps. Now I’ve begun evaluating films that, for whatever reason, didn’t get a fair shake when they were released. Some were blasted by critics, and others simply made no impression at the box office; all of them are available to watch online, just waiting to become cult classics. The 30 films I’ve chosen as the most underrated are all from the past 25 years, and many belong to genres (rom-com, sci-fi, thriller) that are overlooked in serious critical circles. Some of my selections might seem obvious and others ludicrous, but all were made in the spirit of enjoyable debate and discovery. the Box-Office Flops Kino Lorber Archipelago (2010, directed by Joanna Hogg) Joanna Hogg broke out in American art houses last year with her wonderful autobiographical work The Souvenir, but she’s been making terrific indie films for years. Archipelago might be her best. A quiet drama, it sees Edward (played by Tom Hiddleston, a year before Thor catapulted him to fame) gathering with his family on the remote British island of Tresco after quitting his job to travel the world. Many long-simmering tensions boil to the surface; Hiddleston (who is in most of Hogg’s movies) gives one of his best screen performances, and Hogg depicts subtle, polite infighting with humor and insight. No filmmaker has a better handle on the ridiculous foibles of the English upper-middle class. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Babe: Pig in the City (1998, directed by George Miller) George Miller is the master of sequels. Each of his installments in the Mad Max series is innovative; his Happy Feet Two is quietly underrated. But he’s never made a follow-up as strange and beguiling as Babe: Pig in the City. Miller wrote and produced the first Babe, a charming, Oscar-winning success. In the director’s chair for part two, though, he turned the sweet fable of a pig who wanted to herd sheep into a grim fairy tale about life in the big city. The movie was a commercial disaster, but it’s a rewarding, beautifully designed work set in a fantasy city that mashes up landmarks from every modern metropolis. The plot, such as it is, follows Babe as he goes on a trip and mixes it up with more streetwise animal brethren (the director Noah Baumbach once said that the film’s closest thematic companion is Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut). Watch it on: Hulu, HBO Beyond the Lights (2014, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood) A gorgeous romantic drama about the pain and pleasure of pop stardom, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s remarkable Beyond the Lights made little impression at the box office on release, despite a star-making turn from Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The actor plays a Rihanna-esque figure named Noni Jean who falls for a police officer (Nate Parker) and tries to escape the limelight. Prince-Bythewood, who also wrote and directed the incredible Love & Basketball, is one of only a few people in Hollywood still trying to film genuine love stories, and she deserves many more chances to do so on the big screen. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Cadillac Records (2008, directed by Darnell Martin) The smartest music biopic from a decade full of them (including 2004’s Ray and 2005’s Walk the Line, to name a couple), Darnell Martin’s portrayal of the rise and fall of Chess Records was woefully underseen in 2008. The film digs into the exploitative dynamics at work in so many early rock-and-roll labels, examining the troubled relationships between Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) and his biggest stars: Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), and Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker). The film has a harder edge than its contemporaries, and the musical performances are particularly sensational. Watch it on: Crackle Cloud Atlas (2012, directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer) This is the most dizzyingly ambitious project in the Wachowski sisters’ expansive filmography. Adapting David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas encompasses six distinct stories, beginning with an 1849 naval adventure and zipping through the 1930s, the ’70s, and the present day before blasting to the clone-filled future of 2144 and ending in a postapocalyptic 2321. Members of the ensemble, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Doona Bae, play different characters in each story line, and the film jumps backward and forward through time to reveal surprising thematic links. As with many a Wachowski project, you have to make a few logical leaps to get on board, but if you can, there’s no movie experience like it. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime 20th Century Fox Film Corp. Down With Love (2003, directed by Peyton Reed) This knowing throwback to the “no-sex sex comedies” of the late ’50s and ’60s (like the Doris Day–starring Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back) was too clever for its own good on release. But it’s a fabulous, entertaining, and singular creation, both celebrating and subverting the innuendo-filled rom-coms of yesteryear. An impeccably styled Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor star as lifestyle writers who form a friendly rivalry in 1960s New York. Sarah Paulson and David Hyde Pierce round out the cast, and Peyton Reed (who had just directed Bring It On in 2000) plays off the visual language of his source material in stylish, innovative, and cheeky ways. When you watch, be sure to stick around for the fantastic musical number over the closing credits. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Dredd (2012, directed by Pete Travis) Perhaps the best comic-book movie of the past decade was Dredd, a gritty adaptation of the Judge Dredd series that was a financial flop on release. Set in a dictatorial future in which armored policemen are empowered to dispense lethal justice for almost any crime, the film takes place entirely within a colossal tower block, following Dredd (Karl Urban) and a new trainee as they do battle with a sadistic mob boss (Lena Headey). It’s a gruesome but smart movie, at once lionizing and satirizing the ruthless efficiency of its hero. The film was written and produced by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation), who has since become one of the most exciting sci-fi directors working today. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Killing Them Softly (2012, directed by Andrew Dominik) Killing Them Softly is Andrew Dominik’s brutal follow-up to his painterly revisionist Western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Also starring Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly takes George V. Higgins’s hard-boiled ’70s crime novel Cogan’s Trade and updates it to the present day, following a mob robbery that goes wrong and the assassin (Pitt) hired to clean everything up. Dominik turns the web of competing criminal interests into a broad metaphor for the quagmire of the Iraq War. Killing Them Softly may have been too weird and slow for general audiences (it’s one of the few movies ever to earn an F on CinemaScore). But it’s bleakly funny and impressively acted by a cast that includes James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and Ben Mendelsohn. Watch it on: Netflix Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005, directed by Shane Black) The film that put Robert Downey Jr. back on the map was critically praised but ignored at the box office in 2005. An extremely metatextual crime comedy, it follows a thief (Downey Jr.) pretending to be an actor who gets mixed up in a murder and goes on the lam with his acting coach, a private investigator (Val Kilmer). The story line is as complicated as it sounds, but the thrill of Shane Black’s film lies in his hilariously punchy dialogue and his skill at making the most convoluted plotting flow with ease. The movie reintroduced Downey Jr. as a leading man after he’d spent years struggling with addiction: He was hired to play Iron Man mostly on the strength of this performance. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Premium Rush (2012, directed by David Koepp) David Koepp’s bike-messenger thriller is far more robust than that description might suggest. Set on New York’s crowded streets, it follows Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a deliveryman who picks up a package that’s tied to a criminal conspiracy; soon enough, he’s being chased around town by a crooked cop, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), who’s intent on taking him down. The story is told with unrelenting silliness, and Koepp translates Wilee’s brash confidence about weaving in and out of traffic into a visual roller-coaster ride. The highlight, though, is Shannon’s performance—he turns Monday into a living Looney Toon, gnashing his teeth and bulging out his eyes in fury with abandon. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Solaris (2002, directed by Steven Soderbergh) Steven Soderbergh’s sci-fi opus was decried on release for daring to re-adapt a novel (by Stanisław Lem) that had already been turned into a film masterpiece (Andrei Tarkovsky’s sprawling 1972 work of the same name). But Soderbergh’s movie is a very different beast from Tarkovsky’s, stripping the story down to 99 minutes and focusing on the haunting romance at the center of the book. George Clooney plays Chris Kelvin, a psychologist haunted by the suicide of his wife, Rheya (Natascha McElhone). After hearing the mysterious distress signals sent out by a distant space station, he travels there—and finds Rheya, somehow re-created by the planet that the station is orbiting. The film includes stellar supporting performances by Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies, a beautifully understated score from Cliff Martinez, and some of the most compelling world-building in Soderbergh’s career. Watch it on: Hulu Sunshine (2007, directed by Danny Boyle) This stunning space-mission drama from Danny Boyle and the screenwriter Alex Garland might be the Oscar-winning director’s best film. A wildly intense thriller about a last-gasp effort to restart the dying sun, Sunshine pits an outstanding cast (Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, and more) against a monolithic enemy: the star at the center of our solar system, which Boyle depicts as an immovable, godlike force. As the voyagers’ ship gets closer to the sun, everything on board goes more and more haywire, and Boyle—who can depict the onset of madness better than almost anyone working—dials up the chaos. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Talk to Me (2007, directed By Kasi Lemmons) Kasi Lemmons, whose most recent work is 2019’s Harriet, has long been one of Hollywood’s most criminally unheralded directors, and Talk to Me never got the wide audience it deserved in 2007. It’s a biopic of the controversial Washington, D.C., radio host Petey Greene (Don Cheadle) that’s unafraid to be messy, reflecting its subject’s surprising rise to fame as someone who fearlessly speaks his mind on the social and political issues of the 1970s. The film is grounded by excellent performances from Cheadle, Taraji P. Henson, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Greene’s put-upon manager, Dewey Hughes. Watch it on: Hulu, Sling What If (2013, directed by Michael Dowse) Also known as The F Word (its title was changed in America for obvious reasons), this extremely charming slow-burn rom-com was unfairly overlooked on release. It follows two people (Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan) who become friends but spend the entire time wondering if they’d be better off as lovers. Many relationship hijinks ensue, but the movie works because of the performances at its center, along with energetic supporting turns from Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis, who were both on their way to bigger, franchise fame. Watch it on: Prime The Yards (2000, directed by James Gray) Back in 2000, James Gray’s operatic crime thriller was dumped unceremoniously into theaters by Harvey Weinstein and ignored by audiences. Like all the director’s films, though, it’s well worth viewing, combining hard-boiled storytelling with graceful visuals. Mark Wahlberg gives one of his best performances as Leo, an ex-con who returns to the fold of his shady New York family and gets tangled up in city corruption surrounding the subway system. A shifty Joaquin Phoenix plays Leo’s ne’er-do-well friend who is embroiled in a dramatic relationship with a young woman (Charlize Theron), while James Caan is suitably menacing as Leo’s morally dubious benefactor. The Yards also showed the first signs of Gray’s considerable talent; he’d go on to make We Own the Night, Two Lovers, The Lost City of Z, and Ad Astra. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime the critical bombs Warner Bros. Addicted to Love (1997, directed by Griffin DUnne) All of Griffin Dunne’s films (including the delightfully bizarre Practical Magic) deserve more appreciation, but Addicted to Love is a personal favorite of mine, a largely forgotten romantic comedy that satirizes gooey Hollywood storytelling tropes. It casts Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick, two stalwarts of the rom-com genre, as a bitter pair united by a hatred of their respective exes, who are now dating each other. Ryan and Broderick spy on their former partners and, of course, eventually fall for each other, but the film never sacrifices its acidic tone, even as their relationship turns tender. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Armageddon (1998, directed by Michael Bay) If nothing else, Armageddon is a crucial cultural artifact: a portent of American culture’s jingoism in the 2000s, when blockbuster action sequences had the tone and tenor of Budweiser commercials. Where Michael Bay’s prior film, The Rock (which is much better regarded), had tapped into the U.S. military’s dysfunction and despondency post-Vietnam, Armageddon sees the country uniting to obliterate an evil asteroid by turning to … the oil industry. (It also spends a good chunk of time mocking post-Soviet Russia.) Despite the ridiculous plotting and Bay’s frenetic editing of every set piece, Armageddon is the clearest distillation of his macho brand of propaganda, designed to have audiences cheering by the end (against their better judgment). Listen to Ben Affleck’s gleeful commentary to triple the entertainment factor. Watch it on: Hulu, HBO Blackhat (2015, directed by Michael Mann) Five years ago, one of the great contemporary directors still working made a globe-trotting cyber thriller starring Thor himself and was completely ignored. Booed by critics and dumped by its studio into the doldrums of January, Blackhat made only a shocking $8 million at the domestic box office. Yet it’s a terrific entry in Michael Mann’s esteemed body of work (which includes other movies, such as Heat, Miami Vice, and Manhunter, that were underrated in their day). Chris Hemsworth plays a hard-bodied hacker who’s released from prison to battle a shadowy online terrorist; like many of Mann’s later films, Blackhat is a story of the analog world’s struggle to confront its digital future, wrapped up in a very masculine action saga. If you can, try to catch the director’s cut, which cleans up some of the film’s dense plotting and airs regularly on FX. Watch it on: FX The Box (2009, directed by Richard Kelly) This is the third film directed by Richard Kelly, a onetime wunderkind who burst onto the scene with the 2001 cult hit Donnie Darko. The Box is also his best, though few have recognized it as such. It was a bomb on release, getting poor reviews and the rare dishonor of an F from CinemaScore. But its wild ambition is second to none, spinning Richard Matheson’s mordant short story “Button, Button” into a paranoid 1970s epic—part domestic drama, part psychological horror, part sci-fi fantasy revolving around a NASA expedition to Mars and magic portals. This movie has short, simple scares that I’ve never forgotten, and a plot convoluted enough to obsess over forever. I live in hope of a fourth film from Kelly. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Constantine (2005, directed by Francis Lawrence) Fifteen years after its release, this remains one of the best and cleverest comic-book adaptations ever made, and probably the most underrated entry in Keanu Reeves’s cinematic career. This is a horror thriller that dives into biblical fantasy, casting a varied ensemble (Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, and Shia LaBeouf) as various angels and demons doing battle in modern-day Los Angeles. Based on Alan Moore’s Vertigo comic Hellblazer, Constantine junks a lot of the established hallmarks of the character John Constantine (he’s supposed to be a witty Brit who looks like Sting), but that doesn’t matter. Reeves’s laconic style is a perfect fit for the cynical antihero, and Rachel Weisz thrives in twin roles as sisters on either side of an infernal crime that Constantine is called to investigate. Watch it on: DC Universe The Counselor (2013, directed by Ridley Scott) Of the seven films made by Ridley Scott in the past decade, none is more critically reviled than The Counselor, a knotty crime drama written by Cormac McCarthy and featuring an all-star ensemble that includes Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz. Summarizing its noir-ish plot, which revolves around the Juárez, Mexico, drug trade, is impossible, but the film is worth watching simply because there’s nothing like it. McCarthy’s florid dialogue and Scott’s hazy visuals are bewitching, and every actor gives an energetic performance pushed to ridiculous heights (one scene in particular, involving Diaz and a Ferrari, is hypnotically baffling). The Counselor is a dark acquired taste, but a deeply satisfying one. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Universal pictures The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006, directed by Justin Lin) After the success of the first Fast and the Furious movie, in 2001, Vin Diesel’s car-racing franchise struggled to stand out until 2009, when its original cast returned under Justin Lin’s direction for the surprise smash Fast & Furious. But the groundwork for that revitalization had been laid three years earlier with Tokyo Drift, Lin’s debut film in the series. Though Tokyo Drift introduces Sung Kang as the fan-favorite character Han, none of the series’s other beloved characters appears. Yet Lin’s skill with crisp action and quick-paced banter—built up in his fantastic breakthrough, Better Luck Tomorrow, which also starred Kang—makes this one of the best in the franchise. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Hulk (2003, directed by Ang Lee) Coming off the resounding success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee could’ve made any film he wanted. He picked an adaptation of Marvel Comics’ most tortured star, the Hulk (Eric Bana). At the time, the movie was seen as odd, mocked for its wobbly CGI, and suffered one of the largest box-office drops in history for a blockbuster after its opening weekend. Viewed now, given the cookie-cutter format of contemporary superhero movies, it’s a startling experience. Lee turns his film into a living comic book, zooming in and out of boxy frames and inventing a visual language that could’ve become an exciting norm for the medium. The story, which sees the Hulk doing Freudian battle with his demonic father (Nick Nolte) and unearthing dark family secrets, is bizarre, and thrillingly so. Watch it on: Starz In the Cut (2003, directed by Jane Campion) Every film Jane Campion has directed since her Oscar-winning The Piano (1993) is underrated and underseen, but In the Cut was perhaps her biggest flop on release. That was partly because it subverted Meg Ryan’s usual bubbly onscreen persona, casting her as Frannie Avery, an introverted English teacher who starts dating the detective (Mark Ruffalo) investigating a murder case in her apartment building. It’s a sweaty, grisly, and sexually charged thriller that swerves from strange comedy to gory horror from scene to scene. But that tonal whiplash is one of Campion’s smartest storytelling tools, properly rattling viewers and plunging them into Frannie’s mixed-up headspace. Watch it on: Crackle Jennifer’s Body (2009, directed by Karyn Kusama) This is the movie that landed Karyn Kusama in “movie jail” for almost a decade: a gleefully bloody teen-horror comedy that was undone by the high expectations for its script. The writer, Diablo Cody, had won an Oscar the previous year for her Juno screenplay, and though this follow-up had that film’s humor, its intense gore and flippant humor were too much for critics at the time. Fortunately, Jennifer’s Body is already being reevaluated as a trashy classic, a nastier update of movies like Heathers that turns the social competition of high school into a literal bloodbath. Kusama has also reemerged as a filmmaker, with the excellent indie horror The Invitation. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Universal pictures Josie and the Pussycats (2001, directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan) This knowing revival of the Archie Comics series was a failure on release, but has deservedly attracted a cult following in the years since. It’s a pitch-perfect parody of the manufactured pop pipeline in the early 2000s, watching as the chipper rock band comprising Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Melody (Tara Reid), and Valerie (Rosario Dawson) is run through the major-label mill. Parker Posey and Alan Cumming play perfect corporate villains, and almost every scene is suffused with ostentatious subliminal advertising, with au courant brand names crowding the frame. It’s a bitingly clever work, with a great power-pop soundtrack that includes contributions from the late Adam Schlesinger. Watch it on: Hulu with Cinemax, Xfinity Jupiter Ascending (2015, directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski) In the 2010s, blockbuster studio filmmaking made a hard pivot to existing intellectual property for its biggest movies: Star Wars, comic books, anything audiences might have nostalgia for. The Wachowskis, as they often do, went their own route. After giving cinema one of its greatest franchises in 1999 with The Matrix, the duo took a different direction in 2015 with a loopily operatic sci-fi epic rooted in nothing but their own imaginations. They were pilloried by critics. Jupiter Ascending is a wonderfully absurd space fairy tale starring Channing Tatum as a dog-man, Eddie Redmayne as an immortal arch-capitalist villain, and Mila Kunis as a secret princess who unwittingly owns the property deeds to our solar system. If you can get on this movie’s wavelength, you’ll find much to enjoy in its many flights of fancy. Watch it on: Netflix Non-Stop (2014, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra) Since the surprise success of Taken in 2008, Liam Neeson has played a broken-down man forced to take the law into his own hands in countless mid-budget action dramas: Unknown, Cold Pursuit, The Commuter, Run All Night, and many more. Non-Stop is easily the best of them, partly thanks to Jaume Collet-Serra, a Spanish director who is one of the finest purveyors of modern pulp cinema (along with many Neeson movies, his other credits include The Shallows and Orphan). Set entirely on an airplane flying from New York to London, Non-Stop follows an alcoholic air marshal who gets caught in a deadly battle when a terrorist starts texting him. Perfectly befitting its setting, this thriller has the plot of the best kind of airplane paperback, with just the right number of twists and turns. Watch it on: Sling Ocean’s Twelve (2004, directed by Steven Soderbergh) Despite coasting to box-office success, Ocean’s Twelve was disliked on release for swerving in the opposite direction from the über-cool Ocean’s Eleven. Critics dismissed it as overindulgent, pretentious, and ultimately pointless: The heist plot is nigh-impossible to understand, most of the crucial exposition is entirely absent, and there’s a subplot in which the character played by Julia Roberts pretends to be the real Julia Roberts. In hindsight, though, the film is a perfect deconstruction of sequel logic, showing the difficulty of finding new directions for a beloved cast of characters. Where Ocean’s Eleven was all smooth style, Ocean’s Twelve is a knowing subversion that lays bare the ridiculous fallacy of movie-star charm. It also happens to be very, very funny. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Pain & Gain (2013, directed by Michael Bay) Practically every Bay film has been dismissed by reviewers on release, and often for good reason. His high-octane storytelling style makes the simplest scenes of dialogue utterly hyperactive, and most of his recent efforts are about talking robot toys. But Pain & Gain was a sly departure for this director, a low-budget (by his standards) crime comedy that feels like a Coen Brothers movie on growth hormones. Based on a true story, Pain & Gain is about three bodybuilders (played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie) who embark on a harebrained kidnapping scheme for easy money; naturally, things quickly go awry. Bay doesn’t abandon his trademark energy, but instead deploys it as satire—these characters might think they’re in a flashy action movie, but their circumstances are far more mundane and depressing. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/04/30-underrated-films-watch-quarantine/609784/
2020.05.11 23:54 RadProX[SPOILERS] Ad Astra (2019): Differences between screenplay and film
SPOILERS for those who haven’t seen the film, obviously. I find it interesting at how polarized the audience reactions were to AD ASTRA last year in the weeks after its release. Personally, being familiar with James Gray’s work, I loved it. I thought it was an intimate story told grandly – and even though Pitt’s character was portrayed as emotionally withdrawn, the film was filled with moments that explored his psyche and mapped out his capacity to think outwardly. The voiceovers even, being one of the more controversial aspects of the film, didn’t bother me. I thought it added to the novel-like quality of the film that Gray’s films do so well in emulating. The movie was one of my favorites from last year and I’m rather torn that it only broke even at the box office because of how much I enjoyed it. For a while, there has been a ton of discussion surrounding the reshoots that apparently changed a lot of things from AD ASTRA. While a few things from these reshoots were confirmed, such as Pitt and Gray being uninvolved, there remains no definitive scope on what the reshoots added or outright changed from the original edit. An early draft of the screenplay, dated from August 2016, tells a whole different story entirely. The beats from the film and the screenplay are remarkably similar, but several character interactions/motivations or certain scenes have been altered from what was eventually shown on screen. Whether later drafts of the screenplay would bring the two mediums more in alignment, or if the reshoots were that extensive, remains to be seen. As such, I’m going to try to lay out the main differences between the two to indicate how different these two films would be, had the original screenplay been filmed. AD ASTRA Opening:
The opening text in the screenplay states that the events take place “ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW” rather than “The near future.” McBride (Pitt’s character) is not introduced here via psych-eval, but as part of a group interview on the television.
In addition to the Gravitational Interferometer Space Antenna we see in the opening, the screenplay also depicts MACHINES called “self-replicators” working alongside humans on the antenna’s scaffolding. These machines are described “like spiders on a web. Or HYDRAS, with CYCLOPS-LIKE BRIGHT LIGHTS in their centers.”
There are no voiceovers in the script at all. Whether this was reshoot-mandated or made its way into another draft is unknown. But McBride never goes into interior monologuing at all in the screenplay.
The power surge hitting the antenna plays out like it does in the film. No major differences here.
McBride’s checkup after the antenna incident goes into more detail in the screenplay. It is at this point that we see that McBride is or has been diagnosed for “MILD AUTISM.” This facet is never shown in the film version.
McBride has a FaceTime conversation with his mother while healing, who is looking to make sure he’s all right. The mother never appears in the movie – her presence was apparently replaced by McBride’s wife, played by Liv Tyler (who never had any lines), presumably to give weight to the voiceover narration.
At the military briefing, McBride’s autism is referenced again by a Lt. General, though this time the autism is referenced as a candidate quality for “people who won’t let emotions or fears get in the way of a task.”
The military shows McBride scans of the electromagnetic wave that caused the source of the power disturbance. However, instead of it being simply a high-frequency wave presumably caused by McBride’s father’s project, the screenplay clearly states that the phenomenon was caused by one of Neptune’s moons EXPLODING. The screenplay is relatively vague at how the military came to the conclusion that McBride’s father was responsible, only that their conclusions state that he is “conducting some extremely dangerous experiments” with antimatter.
McBride is then told in the script that the military has intercepted communications from Mars to the Lima Project’s location in Neptune. His mission then is not to go to Mars to contact the Lima Project directly, like in the film, but to go to the moon to find the person communicating with the Lima Project and not the project itself.
The moon is selected as McBride’s ultimate destination, not Mars, for “a quantum connection that can’t be hacked.”
The screenplay does not seem to give a reason why McBride has to travel commercial/incognito over to the moon. This might be related to reshoots in the final cut of the film.
Once McBride makes it to the moon, he is quickly rushed over to the communications center. This is one of the pivotal scenes in the film that was pushed back to take place on Mars.
McBride only broadcasts one transmission in the script, not two. The words in the screenplay are an odd mix of formal and emotional that appear to “unlock something in Roy” after he reads them. The film handles this better by giving McBride more agency when he goes off-script in his second transmission.
After the transmission, Roy is sent coordinates to Mars by an unknown sender, along with the words “ARE YOU COMING?” This is all the motivation that gets McBride to make the trip to Mars.
McBride is then told that he will by psychologically monitored during his trip to Mars, as “this is necessary due to [his] relationship with the target.” The psych-evals are not a recurring theme throughout the script as we see in the film – they do not carry the same weight in this early draft.
The encounter with mining pirates in the lunar rovers is present in the script (they are referred to as “LUNOKHODS”). The firefight between the military and the pirates is remarkably similar to what goes on in the film, although less allied soldiers are killed in the encounter.
The weapons, interestingly, are given detail in the script. While they appear to be laser guns in the film, the screenplay calls them STILETTOs: “an electromagnetic-propelled jet of liquid metal resembling a solid bar of light).
Once on board the Cepheus, about to head to Mars, McBride is informed of the fate of Donald Sutherland’s character, who was explicitly shot in the script during the rover attack rather than it being vague in the film. He ends up dying.
The drive that Donald Sutherland gives McBride contains a video clip. The screenplay shows that the contents of the clip – a video of Clifford McBride – are more personal in nature as he addresses Roy directly, whereas in the film his dialogue is more close to that of rambling and reveals that the military intends to terminate his father. This is the first indication that McBride’s father is actively thinking about him with regret during his time on the project. McBride has to stop watching the clip as the computer will soon redflag his rising biorhythms.
The Cepheus comes across the biomedical research vessel. The captain of the Cepheus does not challenge McBride to reveal his objectives in order to bypass the mayday signal in the screenplay, thereby robbing McBride of the potential conflict in disclosing sensitive information to an oblivious crew.
The captain also states in the screenplay that, as McBride is the “only non-essential member of this craft” that protocol is for him to make an EVA over to the stricken vessel… for some unknown reason. This is another moment of McBride being robbed of agency as, in the film, he automatically makes it clear that he will make the EVA himself without being forced.
Video logs in the science vessel imply that the crew willingly committed suicide after their supply generator failed and they became adrift. This is not present in the film.
The baboon encounter is present in the screenplay as well. However, instead of there only being two hungry monkeys, McBride soon has a swarm of them charge right at him. The monkeys are left on the ship to starve—there is no depressurization scene.
The screenplay has no scene of the first officer breaking down and being unable to land the craft on the planet. Unlike the film, the ship casually docks with a space elevator above the surface.
Upon arrival, McBride receives another transmission that also says “ARE YOU COMING?” only with a timestamp to follow.
Mars is depicted as being a bit more of a wild location in the script. A parlor is described as having several holograms of lifelike strippers—everyone is smoking pot and partaking in other illicit drugs.
NOTE: NEARLY ALL OF WHAT GOES ON WITHIN MARS DOES NOT PLAY OUT THE WAY IT DOES IN THE FILM.
McBride meets the superintendent in the script (not a character in the film). He is depicted as smoking a bong and an astrophysicist residing in a log cabin projection. His hand is a prosthesis—we never find out how the circumstances of such an injury came to be.
McBride, the superintendent, McBride’s military contact, and the superintendent’s right-hand, a woman named Kathryn Collins, journey to the coordinates that McBride had been previously sent back on the moon. The coordinates lead to a complex of fission reactors, one of which had a prior meltdown, causing part of the area to be sealed off. McBride is then tasked to find a woman conducting a study of the disaster, a University fellow named Francesca DeSanctis.
DeSanctis is found almost immediately and what she has to report is troubling: a person has been inside one of the cores to the fission reactors. McBride thinks that this person could be his father. For what purpose someone would have to be in there, we aren’t told just yet.
McBride and DeSanctis journey to the reactor to investigate – the script points out that between them, already, “there’s even a level of sexual attraction, maybe. Maybe.” They travel underground, through flooded tunnels (flooded in order to contain radiation) and finally reach a dark tunnel. Then, DeSanctis abruptly receives a text warning them not to proceed further, or they will be destroyed.
A self-replicating machine (like the ones from the beginning of the story) jumps out at them. It is larger than the others, and has tendrils with welding torches on it! McBride and DeSanctis disable the machine and escape, proceeding once more to the core.
For some reason, once they reach the core, DeSanctis removes her helmet and reveals to McBride that she is his half-sister. They had apparently met once before on Earth, when they were both very young. McBride’s father apparently got lonely during his travels and started another family on Mars. DeSanctis was the one who had been sending McBride the messages, after seeing him on the news regarding his antenna accident, hoping that McBride could help the both of them reunite with their father. DeSanctis also reveals that her father’s crew went insane after being so far from Earth—he apparently “did what he had to do to continue on.”
DeSanctis is then arrested for “non-compliance.” McBride is also taken away by the Cepheus crew, having been detained for failing his biorhythm checks (as he was in quite some distress from the above revelation). The military intends to send him back to Earth but McBride insists that his mission is of the utmost importance.
In the Cepheus, McBride is then shown the results of the military’s interrogation of DeSanctis. She was accidentally killed during questioning—the result of a health disorder unbeknownst to the interrogators. McBride finally snaps and strikes out against his captors once it’s clear that they intend to kill him. The scene is complete chaos as the craft begins to revolve, disorienting everyone. McBride takes out one enemy after another, even stabbing a pilot in the neck with a pen! He eventually commandeers the ship and sets a course for Neptune.
McBride reaches Neptune but the Cepheus is unable to make it through the asteroid belt. In order to reach his father’s ship, McBride ventures outside and slingshots himself towards the craft using the artificial gravity wheel’s centrifugal force. This, of course, is an action that takes place in the opposite order in the film, when McBride uses the exact same method to return to the Cepheus.
Inside the ship, McBride ventures past “EVERY SPECIES OF ROBOT” (unseen in the film), not finding any signs of human life in the beginning, but soon comes across some floating bodies.
A video message from Clifford McBride then activates! In it, he proclaims that the Lima Project has completely filed in finding any intelligent life in the universe, as opposed to not having yet succeeded in the film. Clifford then reveals that the Program’s crew had, after coming to this terrible conclusion, decided to create a new universe with the antimatter they had discovered. They were trying to recreate the big bang in a backwards effort to ensure humanity’s survival.
The recording of Clifford then reveals that the Lima Project’s computer system was blocking the crew’s efforts to transmit their extensive data back to Earth, “as it is charged only with the contained pursuit of intelligent life, it has been unable to adapt to [the] changed objectives.” [Quite a big flaw in the programming, eh?]. Efforts by the Lima crew to escape were discovered by the computer system and it intentionally destroyed all nuclear fuel in retaliation for this betrayal (which we don’t even see happen). The destruction of the fuel was responsible for the obliteration of Neptune’s moon. It also resulted in the crew suffering from radiation poisoning.
McBride finds his father’s body in the residential quarters, hooked up to life support systems, in a vegetative state. He removes the body and releases it into space, whereupon it is obliterated as it collides with debris from the asteroid belt.
As soon as Clifford’s body is destroyed, an emergency craft docked on the Project’s vessel turns on. McBride reaches it and uses it to set a course for Earth. Before he ignites, he sends a message to his mother and tells her about DeSanctis and his relationship to her.
The rocket ignites, McBride is sent home, and the screenplay ends with the following line: “Finally, Roy’s ROCKET disappears from our view, hurtling back toward the EARTH.”
Honestly, after reading this screenplay draft, I’m more of a fan of how the film played out. McBride, while not the most likeable of characters ever put to the screen, is better realized in the movie as, ironically, the voiceovers give him moments to mull over his motivations and mental distractions with the audience. He feels better realized as a character, as a result. Also, the biggest deviations from script to screen, the Mars and Neptune sections, don’t mesh together all that well as a cohesive whole. The revelation that DeSanctis is McBride’s half-sister holds no weight, as it never really has a big payoff moment by the end. Clifford’s efforts to start a new big bang are awkwardly handled and are flippantly mentioned all in a line of exposition! In contrast to the film, where McBride actually gets to confront his father, who is in a half-crazed state about not having yet achieved his life’s goal, it feels hollow and anti-climactic. The film’s actual ending falls in line with its reoccurring theme of never succumbing to your despair and it ends on a melancholy but hopeful note, providing a nice bookend to all the events. In the end, AD ASTRA is not a perfect film, and while I’m not certain that the changes made to its script over time could be considered as a perversion of its original intent, I found a lot of enjoyment in the final product. It’s a subtle film, a dark adventure that dares to be more than a CGI-glutfest. It shot for the moon and, although you could make a case to say that it missed it entirely, it certainly found its place among the stars. Thoughts? tl;dr - Ad Astra apologist beats dead horse.
2020.05.09 00:22 jackramzUpdate of where All MCU Production stands as of now V4
Black Widow- Was originally May 1st 2020 now Delayed till November 2020. Final cut of the Movie should be completed by now. I expect we will be seeing it then but we live in crazy times so I won't flat out say it. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier- has maybe like 2-3 weeks left of shooting key major scenes and scenes that happen in the first 2 episodes. They were supposed to shoot in Prague but got sent home. They were Originally supposed to have an August 2020 debut. It was announced recently that Prague is back open and Marvel can go back there to shoot what's left. I don't expect them to make that effort and instead wait until Atlanta is back open to shoot what's left with as much precautions and safety as possible. My guess is they will have shot everything by July. Depending on how much CG is done I think it's 50/50 that it will be out this year. WandaVision Originally scheduled for December 2020. There was a report from Charles Murphy and Lizzie Hill who are very accurate with their scoops saying that WandaVision has indeed finished filming before the lock down. Depending on CGI and VFX work left I'd say that out of the Two Disney Plus series coming this year this one is the most likely to come out barring one thing. This was supposed to be a lead into Dr. Strange 2 which got delayed originally for 6 months and then 10 months. Wether or not Fiege cares when it comes out or not is the deciding factor wether we get it this year or not for a while. I'd give it a 70/30 chance it comes out this year. Eternals Originally Slated for November 2020. Now Slated for Feb 2021. Should make it's intended release with relative ease. Also Reshoots could pop up as an issue. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Originally Slated for Feb 2021. Now Slated for May 2021. Had been shooting for about a month and half or so down in Australia. The director tested negative for COVID-19. Production was put on pause and no time table yet of when things will start back up again. They probably have around 1/3 of the movie shot so they'll need to shoot a little faster than normal to finish in time. Loki Has been shooting for a bit now in Atlanta. They probably have 1/3 of the series shot atm. The series is supposed to air in early 2021 probably March or April. I would be shocked if that stayed that Way. I would guess that it would be delayed until Summer 2021 Like July- August. What If..? Will Stay on for Summer 2021 release. Not really any changes. here Spider Man 3 Originally Slated for July 2021. Now Slated for Nov 2021. Holland said a while ago that they would be shooting in Atlanta, LA, New York and Iceland. Maybe Nov fits the movie better if its in Iceland??? Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel These shows were supposed to start shooting in Atlanta in July/August after F&TWS, LOKI, and WV all finished. No news as of yet. I think it's 40/60 that they won't be 2021 releases. Thor Love and Thunder Was Originally Slated for November 2021. Now Slated for February 2022. Was supposed to shoot in August down in Australia and will also have some filming in Vancouver. No News as of when shooting will take place now. Vin Diesel confirmed that the Guardians will be in Thor 4. Taika said on a live stream that there will be space sharks in the movie and maybe more hulk. He released Concept art with Miek wearing a Pantsuit. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Originally Slated for May 2021. Then Delayed to Nov 2021 and because of Spider Man 3 it was delayed till March 2022. Originally supposed to shoot in London in May/June. Not time table of when Raimi will start production. Likely sometime late this year or early next year, She Hulk and Moon Knight They Were likely start shooting late 2020 when both Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye wrap up production. No time table as of now when production will start. She Hulk Script is reportedly done. I can guarantee these will not be 2021 releases. Black Panther 2 Martin Freeman said in an interview that Black Panther 2 will film in Early 2021, some reports said Australia. I would say it's safe to say it will shoot around then Captain Marvel 2 Slated for July 2022. Should shoot sometime next year. The original directors will not return but may keep at Marvel on a Disney Plus property. No Director as of yet. Blade. Rumored Release date October 2022. No Director as of yet. Ant Man 3 Originally rumored release date of Feb 2022. Thor 4 now has that and the only other possible dates are Oct 2022 and Feb 2023. I would guess Feb 2023 so they delayed it a year or so. Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 Likely Slated for May 2023. Gunn will finish and release Suicide Squad in August of next year and then go into pre production and then shoot early 2022 Fantastic 4. Likely 2023 release. Either July or November Nova Was announced the day of writing this that a Nova project is in development "Project" meaning not necessarily a movie but could be a Disney Plus series. Apparently casting Grids are out so it will be likely 2023. Deadpool 3 Unclear wether it will be set in the MCU and included in the Slate but In all likelihood will come out in 2022 or 2023 Spider Man 4 All depends wether Disney and Sony resign their Deal. My guess is they will etch out a long term extension for a second trilogy and many team up appearances and also appear in the Sony verse or whatever they decided to call it now. If Sony continues their pattern of Every other July Spidey 4 should be July 2023 however because Sony delayed it to November 2021 it could hopefully allude to them not having to rush Spidey 4 and have it be July 2024. I'd personally want that but there's a lot of things that has to happen from now till then. Avengers 5 I wish it was 2023 but It ain't. But def 2024. 5 years since Endgame is a good amount of time. Not even really confirmed at this point. Secret Invasion. Disney Plus Series Rumored to be a Prequel to Captain Marvel 2. Should be 2022 Ghost Rider, Iron Heart, Thunderbolts, Miss America, Young Avengers All Rumored to be Disney Plus Series some time in all likelihood 2023 or 2024 Loki and What If..? Season 2 These shows have been rumored to spawn multiple seasons
2020.05.06 22:19 TsuteruChiho[Anime] Kemono Friends and the Fall of the Underdog: Yakuza, Trolling, and Sexual Harrassment
Why Kemono Friends? The rabbit hole surrounding this drama runs deep. From the start, Japanese fans have tirelessly worked to collect and present as much information as possible on all of the controversies surrounding it. Unfortunately, since most of this information is spread out over many sources and in Japanese, there are no primary English accounts for many of these incidents. Thus, many of the sources will be in Japanese. English sources will be linked when available. Please enjoy this long write up of seedy anime industry drama.
0. Key Players and Key Terms
Kemono Friends: The break-out hit anime franchise this write up revolves around.Kaban: The protagonist of season one.Serval: The secondary protagonist of season one, also appearing as a main character in Kemono Friends 2.Kyururu: The protagonist of Kemono Friends 2. TV Tokyo: The TV station Kemono Friends aired on.Kadokawa: Multimedia corporate giant that owns the rights to Kemono Friends, along with many other popular franchises such as Gundam.Yaoyorozu: The studio commissioned to produce season one.Tatsuki: Co-founder of Yaoyorozu and director of season one. Kimura: Director of season two.Hosoya: (Now former) anime producer at TV Tokyo.
I. Origins and Success
Kemono Friends (hereby referred to as KemoFure) began life, as many anime do, as a mobile game, released mid-March 2015 for iOS and Android. Players played as a human, dropped on the mysterious island of Japari Park, and were tasked with restoring the island to safety by destroying enemies called Ceruleans. Assisting the player were anthropomorphized animals called Friends that conveniently took the form of adorable anime girls. This was also a gacha game, so players were encouraged to spend money on premium currency to have a chance at pulling rarer and cuter girls to fight alongside. KemoFure was meant to be a multimedia franchise, so, along with the game, an anime and manga adaptation were also planned. Unfortunately, the Kemono Friends mobile game would shut down its servers and officially close in December 2016, not even two years after release. Even worse, the anime adaptation was already set to air the next month. The KemoFure franchise was rapidly written off as a failure. The anime had been given a bare bones budget to begin with, and with the mobile game it was made to promote already shuttered, it was essentially put out to pasture. Regardless, on January 10th, 2017, the first episode of Kemono Friends would air on TV Tokyo. The anime… looks bad. The CGI is clunky, the voice actresses are inexperienced (the cast being composed of relative nobodies), and it was clear the series was held together by popsicle sticks and glue. And yet, there was something else there. A spark of genuine passion beneath the cheap visuals that intrigued enough viewers to keep watching. And keep watching they did. By episode four, the series had massively exploded in popularity. The passion from episode one pervaded the entire show, with intriguing lore, endearing characters, and a genuinely engaging mystery. By the power of plain good writing, Kemono Friends rocketed the charts and quickly dominated Blu Ray rankings. Merchandise at special KemoFure events would fly off the shelves. Collaborations with Kemono Friends literally saved many zoos in danger of going out of business. The smash hit of a series that had been set to die a painful death shocked not only Kadokawa but the staff at Yaoyorozu. Kemono Friends had become the little anime that could. In an industry where sales and corporate meddling triumph, KemoFure stood out as a mark of genuine creative passion. And at the head of this phenomenon was Tatsuki. Tatsuki is credited as “director” on Kemono Friends, but it quickly became clear that the series was his passion project. He wrote the story, most of the script, did modeling, animated scenes, and whatever odd jobs were necessary to get it working. The conditions were so dire for Kemono Friends that it took 500 days to complete the anime, with a staff of only 10 people. It was a miracle the series was broadcasted at all. What cannot be emphasized enough is that it was not just KemoFure that was beloved, but Tatsuki as well. Tatsuki himself became a hero among fans--a truly passionate person, succeeding when everything was stacked against him. Coming personally from the authors, without Tatsuki, there would be no Kemono Friends. Obviously, with the smash success of the anime, season two was only a matter of time. The official season two announcement would come that July. Fans were overjoyed there would be an official sequel, and awaited any news with baited breath.
II. The Disastrous Kemono Friends 2
On September 25th, 2017, Tatsuki announced on Twitter that he had been officially asked to leave the Kemono Friends 2 project and would no longer be working on the franchise. Here is Tatsuki’s official tweet (translated):
Suddenly I will [separate from] KF 's animation, this is the command of KADOKAWA. I'm sorry, I am very sorry.
This set off a nuclear bomb across the internet. Fans were shocked beyond belief that Kadokawa would fire the man that was the heart and soul of KemoFure. The backlash was immediate: fans demanded an answer from Kadokawa, petitions were started to restore him as director, and the hashtag #NoTatsukiNoTanoshii (tanoshii meaning fun) spread like wildfire on Twitter. Yoshitada Fukuhara (the other co-founder of Yaoyorozu) would later tweet they were dropped from the project without warning. Kadokawa responded like any corporate giant would: with a message that was as uncaring, suspicious, and blame-deflecting as possible. They posted a statement claiming that Yaoyorozu had violated contract when Tatsuki created and posted episode 12.1 months earlier, a 3 minute post-series special available for free on YouTube. Despite evidence that Kadokawa had approved of this minisode when it was released, they continued to claim that this was the reason for the separation. Furthermore, they claimed that Yaoyorozu and Tatsuki had voluntarily left the project back in August, directly contradicting Tatsuki’s tweet. Obviously, fans didn’t buy or accept this. Kadokawa, barraged with questions and ever growing fan uproar, quickly decided to save face. Instead of, say, releasing another notice or holding an official press conference, Kadokawa decided on the big brain move of having the voice actresses of the beloved KemoFure characters respond to angry questions about the situation on livestream. The move was obvious. By having the voice actresses represent Kadokawa, they had officially shielded themselves from angry fan criticism. How could you send angry messages to the innocent voice actresses that play your favorite characters? Effectively, Kadokawa had used them as a shield, and the livestream rapidly became known as the Shield Incident. Following this unprecedented backlash, Kadokawa announced they had begun talks to reinstate Yaoyorozu on the project. Unfortunately, Fukuhara would announce before the year end that talks with Kadokawa had failed, and this was the final decision in regards to Yaoyorozu and Tatsuki. Fans gave up hope that Tatsuki would ever be reinstated as director. Kadokawa had lost support from many of its fans, but despite whatever may be going on behind the scenes, production on Kemono Friends 2 continued. One year later, in October 2018, Kadokawa would finally announce the staff behind KemoFure 2. You may be wondering, since Tatsuki was fired, who replaced him as director? The man in the hot seat was Kimura Ryuichi, announced to the fanfare of no one. Looking at Kimura’s industry credits, it becomes apparent this man is a nobody. Aside from a few episode director roles, his only chief directorial experience is on the Aikatsu movie, a franchise focusing on magical girl fashion idols. While Kimura’s lack of experience isn’t out of left field (Tatsuki was of course also a nobody), something smelled fishy. Kadokawa has a huge range of talented staff spread out over many beloved franchises at their disposal, and with Tatsuki removed they had the ability to choose any director to handle the KemoFure sequel. And despite that, they hand the reins to their biggest cash cow to someone with nearly zero directorial experience. Hmm. KemoFure 2 is set to air the following January. By either corporate meddling, the grace of God, or the unrelenting wheels of fate, Kemono Friends 2 would air at the exact same date and time as Tatsuki’s new original anime, Kemurikusa. Tatsuki and Yaoyorozu had of course been snatched up by another studio as soon as possible, and, on the coattails of the controversy and love of the original KemoFure, Kemurikusa had itself garnered modest fanfare before its release. The stage was set. January arrived, and the battle began. Kemono Friends 2 is interesting. Not the actual story of course, but the metanarrative behind the anime is something to behold. We’ll tell you straight up, KemoFure 2 is bad. Not just due to the bitter taste added by the previous controversy, but as a story itself, it isn’t very good. The characters are shallow (Kaban being replaced by less endearing Kyururu), the lore became boring, and the sense of mystery present in the first series was completely absent. And this isn’t just personal opinion. Kemono Friends 2 has the unenviable position of holding not one, but three of the positions in the worst ranked videos on NicoNicoDouga, an anime/video game based streaming site. Episodes 9 and 11 have terrible ratings, but Episode 12 takes the cake as the worst rated video on the site at a measily 2.6% “Good” rating. You can actually see the episode rankings of both seasons one and two here. Can you tell where the divide is between the two? OK, but how bad is it really? We’ve all seen bad anime, how bad could a relatively inoffensive anime like KemoFure really be, disregarding blowback from the controversy? This is where we get into the meta portion of this write up. KemoFure 2 replaces season one’s Kaban with Kyururu, with no explanation in the first episode. Oddly enough, Serval, Kaban’s companion (whose relationship with formed the emotional core of the first season) is also there, apparently having forgotten her adventures with Kaban. If the series was meant to be a complete reboot (as was originally implied), then Kaban’s absence would just be a necessary evil to end Tatsuki’s unofficial legacy. The problem was, she wasn’t. Kaban, now older, makes an appearance in episode 6, and ends up playing a somewhat integral role in the show. She clearly remembers Serval, but through some accident, Serval has forgotten Kaban and their friendship. This comes to a climax in the final episode of the show, when Kaban and Serval finally have a moment to themselves. One thing must be emphasized. The characterization falls very flat in KemoFure 2 (that aforementioned bad writing at work), so when Kaban tearfully asks Serval if “They made a good team” (back in season 1), Serval gives her a blank look before going “yeah!”. Serval then runs off to join Kyururu, as Kaban remarks that she “doesn’t compare” to Serval’s relationship with Kyururu. This is all while the first season’s opening cheerfully plays in the background (echoing the emotional moment from season one where the opening is played over a climactic battle). The show hammers in that Serval’s relationship with Kyururu is better, deeper, and more fulfilling, and any relationship she had with Kaban was, in comparison, shallow. The show takes an overt potshot at Tatsuki and the original fans by having the main character of season one herself announce that her friendship was meaningless compared to this new, better girl. This is made especially bitter in light of the terrible writing, plot holes, and plot threads left dangling at KemoFure 2’s conclusion. This bizarre entanglement of meta narrative and narrative combined to make KemoFure 2 episode 12 the worst ranked video in NicoNico Douga history. Kadokawa and TV Tokyo stocks would fall drastically after this episode aired. The series had set out to push the franchise further and fallen flat on its face. KemoFure 2 would go down as Kadokawa’s biggest failure, beloved by almost no one. Would you believe us if it didn’t end there?
III. Trolling and the Hosoya Saga
Trouble would start as soon as KemoFure 2 began airing. A few things would occur simultaneously during the airing of the series. First, Kimura would reveal his tendency to get into Twitter fights with any innocent user that had the mistake of expressing even mild dissatisfaction with the series. After a few of these fights and vague incendiary tweets (Kimura also had the habit of making insulting vague tweets whenever Tatsuki would post a new tweet on his account), a fan expressed their opinion that the KemoFure2 project members (including Kimura) lack professionalism and should take fan reaction into consideration when they make anime. Judging by how much the anime flopped, this wasn’t an unpopular opinion, but Kimura proceeded to call the user out and go onto an entire Twitter rant, eventually blocking them. His arguments about professionalism fall flat when you realize how much time he truly spent fighting and blocking critics. But in the grand scheme of things, Kimura is merely a mid level boss. The true villain of the story would begin much more spectacularly. This user would begin their trolling spree as Warpman, posting dozens of fake, spammy comments on 2chan and Kemono Friends Channel (2chan for KemoFure) in support of KemoFure 2 and insulting Tatsuki. However, they would become more infamously known by their Twitter account name, Faneru. Faneru was vicious. Dozens of tweets and memes would be sent insulting Tatsuki, the KemoFure 1 production, and the fans, all while singing the praises of KemoFure 2. Suspiciously, Faneru also interacted very familiarly with Kimura. Here is a compilation of all of Faneru’s tweets, as the account is now deleted. Tatsuki would not be the only target of Faneru’s ire. A man named Sakaki Masamune (the creator of Voiceroid Touhoku Zunko) would eventually take legal action after receiving emails threatening him to stop criticizing KemoFure 2. Ever since, he’s been getting dozens of Twitter messages attacking his personal account from multiple people. Many of these accounts used fake IP addresses, making him believe this was directed by professional(s). Masamune would also eventually file criminal charges for harassment and emotional damage, and make a disclosure request for Faneru to reveal themselves as the man Masamune filed the lawsuit against. Masamune would eventually leave social media for a period and be hospitalized due to the stress of the situation. But who was this mysterious person Masamune claimed Faneru to be? Who would spend so much time organizing troll attacks, sending threatening emails, all while continuing to tweet inflammatory things about Tatsuki and sing the praises of KemoFure 2? Did you guess producer Hosoya Nobuyuki? Like, a middle aged business man with a corporate job that spends all his time trolling industry fellows? Thankfully, we don’t have to speculate, because TV Tokyo almost straight up admits it in their official apology here. Unfortunately, this would be too little too late for Sakaki Masamune, and far after the height of Faneru/Warpman’s trolling campaign. Around this time, Hosoya would separate from TV Tokyo and Kadokawa, though he still works in the industry. This is the main saga of KemoFure 2, covering the narrative of Tatsuki and the failure of the anime project. But there are some assorted controversies and “speculative” theories that we’d also like to highlight.
IV. Extras (It Never Ends)
Hosoya and Sexual Harassment Allegations
This remains in the “speculative” section, as technically neither TV Tokyo nor Kadokawa have come forward to confirm these claims. But the culture of power and sexual harassment in the anime industry is something of an open secret, and Hosoya being a predator would surprise no one. Hosoya’s harassment would begin as early as season one. Yoshitada Fukuhara has implied he protected many of the female VAs from Hosoya’s advances by calling them taxis immediately after recording sessions. Hosoya was known to request female VA’s to go to dinner with him, then pressure them for sex, and as the cast of KemoFure 1 were almost entirely newbies, they were prime targets for a seedy higher up like Hosoya. Unfortunately, if what Fukuhara implies is true, the VAs in KemoFure 2 would have had no such protection... In addition, it was revealed that voice actresses had to include their height/weight/bust/waist/hip size in order to apply for voice acting positions. Because of this, and the fact the two are supposedly good friends on Twitter, it is no surprise that Miku Abeno (Adult Video Actress) landed a minor role in KemoFure 2. Abeno had played the role of Kaban-chan in the Kemono Friends porn parody “Kemomimi Cosplayers” (Hosoya, as Warpman, would even say he was waiting for a sequel). Yes, Hosoya has been very open about how horny he is for Kemono Friends and how much he loves the porn parody.
Yes, KemoFure 2 is so bad even the Yakuza are here. Oh, sorry, the Yakuza “may” be here, as it’s still speculative. The story begins when voice acting consultant Akari-sensei expresses her regrets on Twitter that her sample scripts had been plagiarized for the official KemoFure 2 auditions. These scripts were free for non-commercial projects, but were not to be used for commercial ones. Months later, Akari-sensei would receive an email apologizing for plagiarizing her work from one Kato Eiji. Kato even suggested they meet up in person so he could apologize, although Akari-sensei declined. Since then, she has been suspiciously absent from all forms of social media, including her personal website. Where’s the yakuza you say? Well, lets look at Kato Eiji. Kato used to work at Dream Stage Entertainment, which was a company that was rumored to be a front for a Yakuza group. It sponsored a mixed martial arts team (Edit: it was actually an MMA League/promotion known as Pride FC, later sold to Zuffa. Thank you to u/FMecha for the correction) and Kato was one of their fighters. Dream Stage Entertainment was disbanded in 2007, when it was found out that they were a part of an illegal gang group, and a year afterwards Age Global Networks was founded. Kato is also a member of Age Global Networks. Coincidence… maybe. But there’s one extra thing. In a different sphere of the internet, the Kemono Friends Channel admin revealed that they also received an email from Kato asking if they could meet in person to talk about the “truth behind Kemono Friends”. Of course the admin declined, and, suspiciously, the next day his server received a DDoS attack. Sounds similar to that “coordinated attack” Masamune believes is behind the Twitter messages, doesn’t it? Back to Akari-sensei. After 7 months of silence, she would post an apology and update on her blog, but the way it was written was suspiciously similar to the way Hosoya writes. Even stranger, a few days later the post would be deleted. Did she really write this? Or was her website hacked? Or could someone more sinister have been threatening her? Enough on the speculative theories. Here’s a rapid fire list of the assorted controversies KemoFure 2 has under its belt that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.
TV Tokyo’s disastrous stockholder meeting was secretly recorded by a stockholder and released online. TV Tokyo staff outright refused to answer many questions about KemoFure and it’s related controversies, and abruptly ended the meeting after giving a few ambiguous answers.
Some of the KemoFure 2 Blu-Rays had a promo that said if you buy it you get a “binge-watch” disc as a free present, but in fine print (inside the Blu-Ray box) it says you must pay 1000 yen for shipping in order to receive the “binge-watch” disc. In Japan, this is illegal, as nowhere in the promo or anywhere else did it say that buyers must pay an extra fee for a free gift. They did this with both the 1st and 3rd Blu-Ray discs.
A design the Kemono Friends character designer claimed was his original design was revealed to be plagiarized from a fan design. The plagiarized character played an important role in KemoFure 2.
Illustrator Nekota Susumu was requested by Kadokawa to make a Kemono Friends illustration, but was made to wait over 2 ½ years for payment (barely totalling $1,000.00) for the rough draft he sent in. He was then told to redraw it before Kadokawa finally cancelled on him. Kadokawa requested Nekota not to spread his experience online, which obviously didn’t work.
The rabbit hole surrounding Kemono Friends is DEEP. There are plenty of offshoot controversies that couldn’t be included here, and the drama is still developing. What’s really incredible about this drama is how connected it is to all sorts of shady dealings. It’s as though Tatsuki’s removal from KemoFure ripped off the skin to reveal the sleazy underbelly of the anime industry. Unfortunately, many of its players have come out unscathed. Hosoya and Kimura are still working in the anime industry, and Kato Eiji appears to have experienced no setbacks either. But there is perhaps one silver lining to this whole situation. Do you remember Kemurikusa? Tatsuki’s new original project, set to air at the exact same time and day as Kemono Friends 2? KemoFure 2 would go on to become one of the worst anime series of all time. Kemurikusa would become the top selling series of that season, and one of the top selling series of 2019 (outselling even Avengers). On the bitter backdrop of an industry as corrupt as this, such a victory is a small thing, but no less sweet.
2020.05.06 22:07 pathetic_gooseI've been watching movies every night (almost) since the shutdown. Here they are ranked from best to worst, with a little review for each. The total count is 39 so far!
First off, I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe at home. If you’re like me (that is, currently unemployed and demotivated to hell), you’re probably watching a lot of movies. My sister and I watch one every night (aside from Sunday, reserved for Westworld), so I started to keep track. Here’s a list of each one so far; I’ve scored each using the four star method, with the lowest score being half a star, and based my ranking on how much I enjoyed the film, irrespective of how “good” the movie actually is. For example, Tremors is a cult hit that some of my favorite reviewers recommend, but I found it quite dry and poorly paced. So, with that in mind, here are the movies, ranked from worst (in my opinion) to best. Spoiler alert for literally everything. The worst movies we saw: King Kong(2005) – 0.5 out of 4 stars Anyone who remembers loving this film fifteen years ago (I mean, I did) seriously needs to watch it today. I’ve never witnessed a film so overstuffed with content, yet so shallow and vapid. The editing is an unparalleled nightmare, with cuts so fast they started to cross my eyes. An utterly exhausting experience and true premonition of what was to come of Peter Jackson’s downfall with the Hobbit franchise. This is where it all started to crumble. 2.The Bee Movie(2007) – 0.5 out of 4 stars Jerry Seinfeld’s wealth and influence is the only explanation for what is surely one of the worst high-budget, Hollywood animated films of the twenty-first century. Tons of dry, adult humor that would soar over parents’ heads, let alone their kids, and a plot that blends a metaphor for the monotony of regular life with nonsensical kid-logic where a Bee can flirt with a human. It wasn’t even so-bad-it’s-good; the memes do this movie way too much justice. 3.Guns Akimbo(2019) – 0.5 out of 4 stars An edgelord director makes a cheap VOD rip-off of John Wick and drags Daniel Radcliff down with him. There are almost no positives here, what with a metric ton of lame “gamer” jokes, terrible editing, inconsistent sound design, and bad acting all around. If this were a college student’s project, I would be so impressed, but it feels more like a goth teenager from 2010 made it in their back yard. This premise is wasted on a few decent jokes related to putting on pants with guns bolted to someone’s hands. Overall, I shame-walked my way out of this movie with a bad taste in my mouth. 4.Into the Grizzly Maze(2015) - 0.5 out of 4 stars Jaws with a bear. James Marsden. Thomas Jane. Billybob Thorton. Direct to streaming. Base Adobe After Effects plugins. A greenscreen bear. Watch literally anything else. Yes, I paid to rent it. No, I’m not proud. 5.Dangerous Lies(2020) - 0.5 out of 4 stars Another one to fill up the Netflix servers. A dull mystery, like if Knives Out was pumped full of Quaaludes and half the cast disappeared. The most famous actress they got is from the show Riverdale, and they name drop her in the title of the trailer on YouTube, if that tells you anything. The screenwriter is a sheltered fool with no understanding of how laws work and the story feels like the dramatization of a college student’s short story in their Composition 1 class, where there are some ideas at play but they still have to, you know, learn how to write. Generally embarrassing for all parties involved, especially anyone who watched it. The still-bad-but-not-horrendous reviews: The Golden Compass(2007) – 1 out of 4 stars Tons of money, Daniel Craig, and Nicole Kidman couldn’t save this poor man’s version of The Chronicles of Narnia if it tried, and boy did it try. This is a case of the movie seemingly getting the source material right, and that being the wrong decision, considering it’s really, really stupid. Sure, the anti-organized religion themes are pretty cool for a kid’s movie, but the talking animals make zero sense in the story and have fuck all to do with anything that matters. The rules are unclear, the stakes are low, and ultimately, it all feels like a waste of time. 2.Underwater(2020) – 1 out of 4 stars Ah, another Alien clone. Just kidding, this movie isn’t even as good as most clones (looking at you, Life). The movie offers about three seconds to the viewer before the plot literally explodes and pushes the “story” along. Remember meeting the crew in Alien, and how it takes forever for someone to die, but when they do, it sucks because you liked them? This movie was asleep during that part. It just goes and goes, meaningless, nameless characters die and die, and the monsters are cheap looking until the Cthulhu reveal, who’s the villain just because (this is how I assume the movie was pitched). 3.Event Horizon(1997) – 1 out of 4 stars People love this movie, and this was my second viewing. How it’s a cult classic is beyond me. There are a few nice practical and CGI shots (also a ton of bad CGI, but it was the nineties), and some cool, weird set design, but otherwise, the plot is boring and predictable. My sister called it “It in space” which I think is apt, considering the evil force on the ship acts like Pennywise for some reason. Also, the famous the blood orgy? The Hell world? It makes up about twenty seconds of the hour and forty-minute runtime and is as tame as Sunday afternoon brunch. Honestly, this is another King Kong where people have faded memories and don’t remember the real movie, which, may I remind you, was directed by the genius behind the Resident Evil film franchise. 4.The Trust(2015) – 1 out of 4 stars Talented directors with real skill behind the camera, great lighting, and beautiful cinematography; all of it for nothing, because the script is absolutely terrible. Poor Elijah Wood: he gets to work with Nic Cage, who, for the first time I’ve ever seen, is completely phoning it in. This could have been a wonderful black comedy, and it tries to be, except it’s shot like a spinoff of the Jason Bourne series. Everything is so miserable and serious, so flat and joyless; after thirty minutes, I realized that no one has any idea what their character motivation is. Random things happen and we’re supposed to believe it. What a waste. 5.Tremors(1990) – 1.5 out of 4 stars God, I wanted to love this. I love practical, low-budget effects and a big goofy monster. I love the premise, the small-town townsfolk, the wooden acting. But honestly, this movie was too boring and joyless during any scene not involving one of the worm monsters. There were some awesome and creative sequences, but ultimately, I realized I couldn’t care less about any of the characters due to the weak script and dialogue. As a result, the movie felt four hours long. I was genuinely disappointed with this one. 6.The Simpsons Movie(2007) – 1.5 out of 4 stars Again, when was the last time you actually sat down and watched this movie? The Simpsons is my favorite animated television show and featured some of the best comedy writing for the small screen in history, period. I quote lines almost every day. But the movie was edited hyper-fast, and while filled with a lot of good jokes, most of them felt like they were written in a vacuum. The story and comedy don’t gel at all, instead opting for two separate trains of thought. There are twenty-minute episodes from 1999 of the show that tell a better, more meaningful tale than the feature film, and that’s a tragedy. 7.Killer Workout(1987) – 2 out of 4 stars This is a terrible film, made by a pervert who wanted to get hot young women into workout clothes, and have a killer who murders people with a giant safety pin (is that some kind of pun?). For all intents and purposes, it’s disgusting; but watching this D-level, horny director make this movie just for an excuse to jerk it in the editing bay is a spectacle to behold. Many belly laughs were had during our screening, but it’s hard to really recommend this unless you adore awful, awful filmmaking. 8.Samurai Cop(1991) – 2 out of 4 stars Move over The Room. See you in hell, Troll 2. This movie makes those look Oscar-worthy. The only reason it has a lower score is because, despite being made by a bunch of incompetent jokers with mismatched cameras, barely any sound equipment, and the worst actors ever assembled, it can drag its feet quite a bit. This was my second viewing, and I have to say, I did become a bit bored. But if you’ve never watched it, it’s free with Amazon Prime, so what are you waiting for? Also, if anyone knows the names of literally any character, please let me know; that’s still a mystery to me. 9.Onward(2020) – 2 out 4 stars Another safe installment from the immense talents over at Pixar. I was pretty let down by this movie, which had an interesting premise (also a very good ending) and good actors involved. But ultimately, the story is just Finding Nemo again, which, at the time, was told better, had more at stake, and left a long-lasting impact on cinema as a whole. All Onward is going to do is fade into Disney+ obscurity, despite the breathtaking animation, which is some of the best in the studio’s history. Seriously, watch the scene where the older brother drifts his van in front of the school, it looks incredible. 10.Stuber(2019) – 2 out of 4 stars Movies like this usually get crap critic scores and great user ones. Was is a masterclass in storytelling? No. Did it have the best jokes I’ve ever heard? No. Was it a well-meaning, decently acted, and funny little adventure? Damn right. Sometimes you just want a good time, and this movie can give it to you. It’s nothing amazing, and it’s not horrible, but if you like Kumail Nanjiani, then hey, you’ll probably like this too. Also, Dave Bautista was pretty fun throughout as well. 11.Vivarium(2020) – 2 out of 4 stars If this had been a half-hour long shot film, it would have been perfect. Good casting, a brilliant premise, and interesting visual style art marred by a director who has zero ideas on how to expound upon it all to create a feature film. Instead, he tries to distract his audience with a few new mysteries to solve, which end up as solution-less time-filler in order to get to the original short film’s obvious ending, which is spoiled by some nonsense arthouse symbolism about birds. Its deceptive how bad this movie actually is once the credits role; the only reason it scores so high is because of how good the first act is. Now for the pretty good reviews Wish Upon(2017) – 2.5 out of 4 stars I can see your jaws dropping right about now, so rest assured, this movie sucks. But it was written by what seems like a two hundred-year old man trying to understand millennials, and it’s so accidentally hilarious I have to tell you all to give it a try. It’s the least scary teen-scream flick in a long time and the ending had me jumping out my seat, roaring with laughter. It’s shot like an anti-smoking advertisement, will dull, flat light and no colors to speak of. The actors are as equally bad as the script; I don’t know what directors see in Joey King that I don’t, but she makes one of the least likable protagonists in a horror film to date. 2.47 Meters Down: Uncaged(2019) – 2.5 out of 4 stars I know, I know, your jaws are still on the ground. This VOD sequel to the totally underwhelming and dull original features several plain teenagers scuba diving in an underwater cave system, with a blind great white shark on their tail (yay, more puns). The acting is atrocious, there’s a scene where a fish literally screams at them underwater, and they have an imaginary comms system that somehow lets them all yammer on throughout the movie while also diving. But I watched this as a double feature with Underwater, and this was so much more fun in comparison. Lots of schlocky deaths, stupid scares, and every law of physics broken, which makes this a good popcorn flick to watch with friends (especially during a pandemic). 3.Color Out of Space(2019) – 2.5 out of 4 stars I love The Thing, like I’m sure you all do. And this was a pretty good homage to the John Carpenter-era of eighties horror films. It even gets the cosmic horror elements (mostly) right. But this is one of the only times where I’d recommend not casting batshit insane Nic Cage for your movie. He actually detracts from the otherwise shocked and terrified family members who help ground the emotional core of the script. He seems to be off in his own world on this one, which ends up making the family dynamic disjointed rather than relatable. There are some true horror moments (mom and baby fused together, ew) that I’ll remember for a long time, but it does fall a bit short to the classics with hindsight. 4.The Rocketeer(1991) – 3 out of 4 stars I’m twenty-five and have never seen this movie. This is a criticism of my parents, of course, who probably didn’t see it either since it was a flop at the time. But what a wonderful action adventure for any age, with great practical effects, and a fun story featuring our hapless, aloof hero fighting a secret Nazi spy who’s also a movie star. He screws up his relationship with Jennifer Connelly and has goes through daring feats to win back her affection. It’s funny, charming, and warm; I mean, what makes you get all soft and fuzzy like mobsters teaming up with the FBI to kill Nazis? I miss this Disney! 5.Sky High(2005) – 3 out of 4 stars My sister begged to watch this one night. “When’s the last time you saw it?” she said. Over and over. I heard the premise; I thought it was stupid. I was sort of right, but the purposely cheesy performances from everyone, and seeing Kurt Russel and Bruce Campbell as lame superheroes, was actually really entertaining and charming. The plot was obvious but well-paced, and the director seemed to be doing a Sam Raimi thing (seriously, every shot is a pushed-in Dutch angle, like an Evil Dead for kids) which was a lot of fun. Honestly, I was shocked I enjoyed it as much as I did. 6.American Animals(2018) – 3 out of 4 stars This was a really interesting take on the true-story genre, by having the real people interviewed and spliced together with the actors. It felt like a long episode of a docuseries, and that isn’t a complaint. Really well acted, great story, and good direction come together to make a fascinating true crime movie about four losers who try to steal millions of dollars’ worth of rare books. Evan Peters was perfect in his role and should be in more feature films. The only issue, for me and my sister, was that it ends up a little dry towards the end. It lacks that energy and excitement that would otherwise award it a higher score in my book. Really good reviews: Robocop(1987) – 3.5 out of 4 stars Does it get any more eighties than this? Blood and gore, a stop-motion robot that makes tiger sounds and falls down a flight of stairs, crime fighting one-liners, a toxic goo man exploding; it’s just the best. This was, of course, not my first viewing, but my sister was giggling through the whole screening like a child. And its hard not to; this is the quintessential action movie of that era. The plot is simple and easy to understand, the bad guys are literal cartoon characters, and everything feels like it had a bump of cocaine before hitting the set. If I have any real complaints, I do think the tone wavers between having fun and being super dark, and that can alienate some viewers, so I can’t quite give it a perfect four. Sorry everyone. 2.Deep Blue Sea(1999) – 3.5 out of 4 stars I love bad shark movies, and every time I watch this one, I make up the same story: a studio went to the director and said, “Hey, here’s a bunch of money, makes something like Jaws for the summer, it’ll make a shitload of money. Here’s a treatment script and all the budget you need. Do whatever you want.” And boy howdy did they do whatever the fuck they wanted. So many bait and switch moments to subvert our expectations, like Sam Jackson getting eaten mid-speech, or the lead heroine attempting to save they day and being eaten alive pointlessly in the last five minutes. If you’ve never watched it, you just have to. Don’t you want to see LL Cool J kill a giant shark in a flooded kitchen with a zippo lighter? Of course you do. 3.Prisoners(2013) – 3.5 out of 4 stars Although it doesn’t fully explore the depths of each mystery, this is a brilliantly acted, tense thriller from the incredible Denis Villeneuve, who since joining Hollywood simply hasn’t directed a bad movie. Move the hell over JJ Abrams, we got a real storyteller here, one who doesn’t fancy himself a great writer, instead taking good scripts and elevating them into even better movies. This is a great, dark story that tackles the unending grief of having a child abducted, and the lengths you’d go in order to get them back. 4.The Invitation(2015) – 3.5 out of 4 stars A claustrophobic, anxiety-inducing thriller starring a relatively unknown cast of actors (aside from the two male leads). The director utilizes one location with such skill, and gives really strong motivation for the protagonist to move this horror story that uses social anxiety, grief, and coping with loss to inspire scares. This was another not-first time for me, and I loved it just as much if not more. If I had to pick at it, I’ll say that some of the side characters (the friend group) could have used a little more fleshing out before everything starts to get weird. 5.La La Land(2016) – 3.5 out of 4 stars There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about this one, but I loved it just the same. I remember seeing it in theaters, my musical-loving girlfriend dragging me along, and me dreading it. I even snuck a beer into the theater to try and deal. Four years later, everything that was wonderful about it still is: the music is brilliant; the chemistry between the leads is exceptional. It’s a typical Hollywood-jerking-itself-off story, sure, but I enjoyed the themes of following your dreams becoming something you weren’t prepared for and having to sacrifice one kind of happiness for another. The ending is solid too. Quick question though – is this a musical, in the true sense of the word? My girlfriend says no. And after watch Hairspray (which I hated), that seems to be the case. Please let me know. 6.Bad Education(2020) – 3.5 out of 4 stars The best Hugh Jackman performance since Prisoners. A gripping, dark, and hilarious true story written by a guy who watched it unfold in person, this movie details the absurdity of embezzlement through a wealthy Long Island education system. The dialogue was slick, the acting perfect, and the direction actually very empathetic to all of the characters. It was a rare case of the film not really taking any side; almost bipartisan, like a documentary. This is rare for me in that I wish it was a little bit longer; I was hoping for more scenes of the aftermath, maybe the future, but what we got works just as well. 7.Looper(2012) – 3.5 out of 4 stars A great interpretation of the future blended with the fun of 20th century organized crime. Rian Johnson has proven with Knives Out that The Last Jedi was some kind of fluke, because he really is a good storyteller. And, since people only rip his writing abilities, he’s a great director as well. This movie could have fallen into a million cliché traps, but it doesn’t; it has its own vision and voice, and in a world with endless science fiction trash, it’s very refreshing. I can’t call it perfect; Bruce Willis has a scene that basically tells the audience to ignore the time travel stuff because it doesn’t make sense; I respect this, but wouldn’t it be great if the emotional core of the script could make more sense? But bonus points for good humor, Rian’s got that down (aside from in Star Wars). Perfect Scores There Will Be Blood(2007) – 4 out of 4 stars One of the most modern and compelling westerns I’ve ever seen (although no gunslingers here). Of course, Daniel Day Lewis is to thank for bringing the character Daniel Plainview to life; watching a hardworking, blue-collar miner become a twisted, wealthy, and ultimately soulless oil tycoon is breathtaking. The first half hour of the movie has almost no dialogue at all, and as time begins to pass and the characters develop, the dialogue that emerges is nearly unrivaled in today’s cinema (except maybe with The Lighthouse). The ending is worth the price of admission (which is free, if you have Netflix), and once you’re done with you’re screening, you too will be hollering “I am a false profit, and God is a superstition!” 2.Fargo(1996) – 4 out of 4 stars Sarcastic and witty, this is the definitive Cohen Brothers screenplay. The performances (and accents) are now as iconic as Steve Buscemi being jammed into a woodchipper. The setup of the film, and lack of any kind of explanation for why William H. Macy is such a scumbag, only makes the story feel more manic, more off-the-wall. Everything is fine-tuned to make you laugh, while also intrigued as to what will become of all these pedantic, silly people. If by some miracle you haven’t already, give it a watch. 3.Rango(2011) – 4 out of 4 stars It is absolutely, positively, fucking criminal that no one ever talks about this film. Much like everyone here, I’d never seen it before (free on Amazon Prime), and after three minutes I was hooked. The visual style, the cinematography, the bizarre photorealistic characters; it’s perfect. It’s oozing with style, with an amazing script jammed with jokes and a smooth-talking Johnny Depp as the lead, along with a great ensemble class. I’d wager to say that this is one of the best, if not the best, 3D animated film of the last decade. Hell, of the twenty-first century. This movie is what would happen if Disney or Pixar grew some balls and did something different for a change (whoops, controversial!) 4.Whiplash(2014) – 4 out of 4 stars Damian Chazelle is a master of his craft; this much is clear from his debut fucking feature. Seriously, this movie has an intensity to it, and it achieves that by hijacking the spirit of jazz and injecting it with liquid stress. I normally hate Miles Teller (this is completely a personal judgement), but he was perfect for the role. I totally bought him as this young, doughy-faced college sophomore desperate for approval in a world that could give a shit about him. J.K. Simmons rides that line of being hammy and terrifying, and the direction is sublime. Chazelle is one to watch in the next few decades for sure. 5.The Witch(2015) – 4 out of 4 stars So, I’ve seen this like five times now. It’s still amazing. What a first feature; I’m sure Robert Eggers thought, “Yeah, let’s make it a period piece with era-correct speech and fill it with themes of abandoning belief and existential dread, people will love it.” Spoilers though, only weirdos like you and me do. Our spouses and significant others look over at us, shake their heads, and say, “What the fuck is this?” That won’t stop me from singing its praises though; this is the ideally structured horror movie, with a captivating cast, script, and vision of survival in the seventeenth century. Really makes you think that being quarantined isn’t so bad after all (unless you're trapped with Black Phillip). 6.The Killing of a Sacred Deer(2017) – 4 out of 4 stars This is probably one of the most uncomfortable horror movies I’ve seen in a long time; it’s so bizarre, in fact, I’m pretty sure no one liked it or even bothered to see it. It made some pathetic number, way below its budget, during a short theatrical run, and then faded away into A24’s catalog. But I beg you, if you like psychological horror, slow burns, great writing, and being unsettled, please see this film. The dialogue is delivered by each actor robotically, in this unnatural tone that at first seems like a mistake; it could be easy to dismiss this as “weird” by non-horror fans. The film only becomes more nightmarish as the story builds towards its climax. Also, points for such an utterly strange plot that, for once in a horror movie, doesn’t feel like a retread of other, better films. 7.Thoroughbreds(2017) – 4 out of 4 stars Talk about some of the best dialogue in the last decade. This movie is so simple, and both lead actresses are stunning in their portrayals of two complete sociopaths. Anton Yelchin gives his final performance and he steals every scene he’s in (as usual), and I was really impressed with just how sad his character made me feel. This loser selling drugs to teens while he’s in his mid-twenties, desperately working for something better doing the only thing he knows how. It’s really fun to see his tough guy persona melt in front of our leads, who despite looking like innocent high school girls, are planning a literal murder. If you want a thriller with great characters and gut-punching twists, this is the movie for you. 8.Booksmart(2019) – 4 out of 4 stars Oh, happy day, a comedy that (almost) doesn’t star washed up SNL alumni (Jason Sudeikis gets a pass for being married to the director). Look, I’m not saying that every poorly directed, badly lit, bland film featuring endless improve from people that used to be funny can’t be good, but they usually aren’t. Instead, this movie takes the plain and simple coming of age story and tells it again, this time with millennials and stellar writing. And the best part? You don’t know any of the main character’s actors. They aren’t Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler. You don’t have to pretend they're real people and not movie stars. The leads are hysterical, their adventure is unique and filled with heart, and all the supporting cast are incredible. This isn’t just funny; it’s earnest, and it actually means something. 9.Vampire’s Kiss(1989) – 4 out of 4 stars Okay, okay, here me out: you know that meme with Nic Cage, where his eyes are bugging out? How about that clip where he recites the alphabet in full while shouting at his therapist? Yeah, that’s this fucking movie. Never in my life, not since The Evil Dead 2, have I fallen in love with something so funny, so ahead of its time, that rides the line between utter garbage and secret masterpiece. And just like The Evil Dead 2, this is as masterpiece. You got Nic Cage doing what sounds like a Donald Trump impression, mechanical bats, Nic Cage eating a live cockroach, Nic Cage covered in blood with fake vampire fangs and a wooden stake begging New Yorkers to kill him. This movie was a failure when it was made, but I swear to god, it was made thirty years too early. Or maybe I’m just crazy. 10.Cop Car(2015) – 4 out of 4 stars Add this to the list of great movies no one has ever seen but is actually streaming on Netflix. I clicked on this on a total whim, knowing nothing about it, and was beyond surprised. Every shot looks like it could have been principle photography for No Country for Old Men, except the two lead actors are literally children under the age of twelve. Now, normally, kids are terrible in films, between a lack of acting ability, and writers that don’t understand them. This movie nails how kids actually think. It’s not that they’re stupid, they’re learning; and on the way, they develop their own kid logic that, during this film, is enough to get them to steal a cop car in an empty field. Kevin Bacon is a wonderful villain, and the story was so twisty that I couldn’t even guess ahead. Please give this more love, it deserves it. Jeez, that was a lot. Thanks for reading everyone! I apologize if I ragged on a movie you like, remember that this is just my opinion and you're allowed yours as well. Stay safe!
Avengers Infinity War: This in my personal opinion is the BEST MCU movie of them all, for each Storyline not only feels balanced and prevents the film from feeling overcrowded, but also they all feel fulfilling. You Tony & co. going after Thanos directly (with some of the Guardians joining them much later), You have Steve Rogers & his team headed to Wakanda to not only wait & face Thanos there, but also to destroy the Mind Stone to prevent him from collecting all the stones, You have Thor along with Rocket & Groot heading to the same place his Hammer was created to get Stormbreaker, the Thanos killing weapon, & finally you have Thanos, on his mission to get all of the Infinity Stones, no matter what the cost. This leads to one of the great things about this movie is that it’s a Villains movie. Yeah, the film you didn’t think would be a villain led movie is a villain led movie, & a fantastic one at that. Having Thanos function more as the main character in this movie while still being the main villain (with our heroes functioning more as the obstacle that Thanos must get around) is Ingenious, & probably the only way you could tell a story as big as this, & his new motivation to wipe out half the universe for environmental reasons rather then pleasing Lady Death, in my opinion makes his character even more compelling. Plus in this movie, the villain wins & the heroes lose, similar to Civil War but whereas I feel Civil War didn’t fully commit to the idea, by still having that spark of hope with the letter from Cap, here they fully commit to it. With the shock of half of life actually being wiped out, & the scene completely silent as we take in the shock, & the horror of what’s happening, & don’t even get me started with seeing Spidey vanished. Yes we all knew they’d come back, but seeing actually happen was still shocking and devastating as hell, especially since we thought they’d pussy out & have Thanos be defeated in this movie & not complete his plan. Over all, this movie is fantasy & in my personal opinion, the definition of a perfect movie. If there only one problem I had, it’s that I feel the Hulk could’ve been handled better, though this is only with the context of Endgame.
Captain America: Civil War: Unpopular Opinion: I think Civil War is a much better movie then Winter Soldier, mainly because this one I feel has political intrigue, & conflict, & in my opinion Baron Zemo is one of the most underrated MCU villains, tearing down the heroes not physically but emotionally & mentally, by pushing them into fighting one another. & the conflict is not one sided, as you can agree with both side, at one point you side with Cap but at another you side with Tony. It’s all really great, & the airport fight sequence is really well done too. There are still some problems, like some of the action is still pretty shaky cam-ish, & they don’t really follow through on the tone of the villains winning, & the heroes losing, but overall still a fantastic movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: I originally thought Guardians 1 was better, but rewatching the films recently, I think I take that back, I think I like Vol. 2 more then Vol.1, the visuals are more colourful, bright, & vibrant, it has more songs this time around which is always a Plus, also there is much more emotion here, with peter meeting his father, realizing he is kindof an evil bastard, & realizing his true father (I.E, the person whom actually cares for him, though not his biological father obviously) was Yondu, & that he already had a family, basically the film has themes of Family once more, & here they are enhanced. Not to much mention the film has a much better villain in the form of Ego. Also the joke like the first one land extremely well, I even didn’t mind the stuff with Ego, Groot, & Rocket. Especially when Yondu confronts him about hiding his fear. Also Yondu’s sacrifice is probably the highlight of the film, just by how sad & Tragic, yet somehow bittersweet it is. Yes there are some problems, for example Taserface & the Golden people aren’t the best villains, & not all the jokes land, but I think the rest of the film makes up for this.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Now I know this movie should be number 3 or 1. And it would be higher if it wasn’t for some of the action sequence’s having shaky cam, & the type of Shaky Cam that hurts your head, & the second half dragging on a little until the final confrontation, but overall I think the saving grace is the story & themes. I think a story about Cap’s allegiances and believes being put into question I think is an excellent route to take his character after the first Avengers movie, as well as his first solo outing. Even with the knowledge from the comics the reveal that Bucky is the Winter Soldier is still a surprised. & the villain is actually pretty underrated, as Mr. Secretary is a villain that could ACTUALLY exist, not to mention the Shield being Hydra twist is something that changed the MCU forever, & this movie is one of the many that changed how comicbook movies are seen, so just for that is has to be in my Top 5.
Thor Ragnarok: This was a tough one because it was either this, or the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, & while I appreciate Guardians 1 for getting me through rough times in my Teenager years, & still very much love the film, in the end of the day, when push comes to…well…you know, it ultimately came down to Thor Ragnarok. Not only does it reinvent the character of Thor for me, & bringing in a more colourful Jack Kirby inspired look, & just being an absolute crazy and hilarious as hell blast from beginning to end. But also it returns to the themes & Narrative of the first movie, which is not only a fish out of water story (which I think works very well for the character of Thor), but also family & knowing what it means to be a leader & a good king, Not to mention the villains (Grandmaster & Hela) are some of the best the MCU has had, it brings a nice conclusive end to Loki & Thor’s rivalry & finally has them being allies (which they tried doing in Dark World, but I felt while there scenes where funny in that film, it was still handled poorly), Korg, Miek, Valkyrie are great new additions & much more memorable then the Warriors three ever where, & the Hulk is actually really great here, yes it’s funny he does act like a spoiled toddler, but they still make sure to acknowledge the tragedy of the character, with the scene in the Quinjet & him & Banner both literally & Metaphorically fighting for control. Plus the soundtrack is the best the MCU has had, & the visuals, my god. Some of these look like the cover of a heavy album cover & it looks glorious. Plus the comedy is really great, & I don’t actually think it ruins, undermines, or undercuts the dramatic moments, I actually think it elevates them. Either way, this movie is awesome, & has me more excited for Thor Love & Thunder.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The only problem with this film is that the villain is kindof weak & Lame (even though I think that was done intentionally for satire reasons), but outside of that this movie is fantastic, & holds a special place in my heart, As like I said, it helped me get through some of the more rough parts of my teenaged years. Plus it’s a great story about a bunch of misfits getting together to do great things. Plus the comedy & soundtrack are awesome & funny as hell.
MARVEL’s The Avengers: This was the first of the big crossover films in this universe, & the very film that would change cinema forever. This film has some of the best action, Loki is such a great villain as always, & the character interactions are still shocking and impressive to this day. Seeing these character interact with each other even after all these years is still a sight to hold, & while I love what the Russos did (& I think they are the better directors) Whedon proves why he was chosen for the job. Only reason it is not higher is because there are six other movies I like slightly more.
Iron Man: Yep, the one that started it all. Yes I don’t think it perfect, as it does have it’s problems. For one Obidiah needed one more scene (mainly with Tony) to properly set up his madness & downfall, & I still to this day can’t buy Terrence Howard as Rhodes (Especially after Don Cheadle). Outside of that though everything else about this film is perfect, Robert Downey Jr. is great as Tony Stark, & this does what most origin stories fail to do well, tell the origins of this character while still giving us a great story & a fantastic character arc. With Tony going from a selfish man whom only cares about money, to a more selfless man whom realizes the error of his ways the hard way, & life isn’t just about money, everyone else does a great job as well, & the fact that most of this movie was improvised still shocks me to this day.
Avengers: Endgame: How the Russos were able to pull this off without making it feel a mess is beyond me, And whereas Infinity War was a movie about Thanos & his quest to get the Infinity Stones, I’d argue this movie is the closest thing we’ll ever get to both a Iron Man 4, AND a Captain America 4 rolled into one, as I feel Tony & Steve both function as the main characters this time around, with this film being there story, with the other Avengers functioning more as secondary characters, still very much important, but secondary characters none the less. How most of the OG characters arcs are wrapped up in this movie is beautiful & satisfying as hell, & the final battle, by god that final battle was amazing. & I think that Captain Marvel here is handled better then her actual solo movie (to the point I’d argue like the Hulk, she works better in team up movies then her own solo movies, but we’ll wait & see when Captain Marvel 2 comes around). However it does have some problems, for one I think they needed a better transition into Professor Hulk, not saying I think it’s bad, but narratively it comes out of nowhere, like seriously SHOW DON’T TELL. Also the time travel does have a few plot holes & inconsistencies (though what movie with time travel doesn’t), & It’s a little weird how they made Thanos less compelling in this movie (though one could argue it makes him more compelling, as it confirms he is a Narcissist with a Messiah complex), Also was so hard to get Live to Rise by Soundgarden to play in the end credits like it did for the end credits of the first movie? But anyways it’s not a perfect movie, but it’s still great movie & a great ending point for the Infinity Saga.
Spider-Man: Far From Home: Now this is the Spider-man movie I was looking for, Not only does Peter Parker ACTUALLY feel like Spider-man here & less like Iron Man Jr. but also the stakes are much more higher, Mysterio is one of the best villains in the MCU, & playing his illusions into the marketing for the movie was extremely smart in my opinion, I actually like the romance between Peter & MJ more then Peter & Liz, The action is really great as always, & that illusion sequence with Peter & Quentin in the construction site was top notch. If there was a few problems I had is that some of the jokes didn’t land for me, & also that they still do have some of that “Iron Man Jr. Dilemma” from the last Spidey movie, though thankfully not as much. And now I am officially excited for Spider-man 3. Not to mention yet another film where the villain wins.
Doctor Strange: You know how I said Iron Man 3 was the most underrated MCU movie, well, I take that back, this is the most underrated MCU movie, Benedict Chumberbatch is great in the role, The visuals are completely & utterly insane, the pacing is actually really good (has me even more excited for Into the Multiverse of Madness now), & I think the message about being a good man & not being some selfish person, but also that time is really precious & live your life to the fullest as much as you can is a great message to have, the problem is that the villain kindof sucks.
Black Panther: If it wasn’t for the final action sequence & the CGI, then Black Panther would be much, much higher, I love how this film capture the feel and essence of Africa & it’s culture, it’s message about not closing yourself off from the rest of the world & helping others is a great message, & Killmonger is definitely one of, if not the second best MCU villain. I also respect this film for being the first superhero movie to have a majority of it’s cast be African American.
Iron Man 3: Another Underrated MCU movie though for this one I can kindof understand due to the Mandarin twist, while the twist itself doesn’t bother me, what does bother me is that they set him up as being different to his comic counterpart only to make him a fake anyways. Also Tony not letting Pepper leave the house when TERRORIST are attacking is kindof a douche move. But anyways Iron Man 3 is truly underrated, not only are the action sequences unique as it shows Tony ingenuity & that even without the suits, his intellect & Ingenuity can still help him out very much. Also This film not only has some pretty funny moments but it also humanizes Tony more with his PTSD & I love that. Either way, despite it’s problems this I believe is a perfect end to the Iron Man trilogy, & has gotten much better thanks to the context of the later films.
Thor: Probably yet another underrated MCU film, Thor is not only the second best Thor movie, but also it is a great fish out of water story, with Thor have to learn to be a better man & a better leader in order to become worthy again, the characters I actually really like (outside of Darcy & the Warriors Three), & Loki is just simply a fantastic villain. Yes there are problems such as the scenes in Asgard dragging the film for me, but overall it is still a great & underrated movie.
Avengers: Age of Ultron: This movie is just one I have a lot of great memories with, & a lot of great moments such as the Hulkbuster battle, Tony’s nightmare-ish vision, Scarlet Witch messy with everybody, the birth of Vision, Vision & Ultron in the forest alone, etc. Ultron is also one of the most underrated MCU villains, & it’s just a lot of fun. Yes there are still some problems such as the Bruce/Natasha romance coming out of nowhere, & Quicksilver dies for no reason.
Spider-man: Homecoming: Yeah, I’m not the biggest fan of this, I just think it’s okay. I do like the John Hughes feel of the movie, Vulture is a great villain, Tom Holland is fantastic as both Peter Parker & Spider-man, & I think the film’s message is pretty good too, plus that moment with Peter lifting himself out of the rubble was both brutal and epic at the same time. My problem is though, is that the stakes feel too low, I don’t like the angle there taking with Spidey just being Iron Man Jr. & it follows to many of the high school movie Cliché’s, it’s definitely better then Amazing Spider-man 2, but not as good as Sam Raimi’s Spider-man 2.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: I just think it’s an okay & fun movie, but outside of that nothing else really that special.
Ant-Man: Same thing, I just think it’s okay, but nothing really that special, it’s a good movie, but not a great movie.
Captain America: The First Avenger: I’m sorry, but I can’t get into this one, while I like the tone & feel of the movie, as well as Steve Rogers as Captain America & his romance with Peggy, Red Skull is just not that great of a villain, & they literally have all the action sequences in a montage. Though I do like the ending, so that’s something. Though it does get the essence of the golden age version of the character right, and the setting works, so there's that. But this film is just average, and not on the same level as the later Captaon America films.
The Incredible Hulk: I’m sorry, it’s not as bad as I remembered, but it’s still not that great of a movie either. I like the fights scenes and Nortons more dark and tragic portrayal of the character (tho I still prefer rufflo) but I'm not a fan of everything else.
Iron Man 2: the one think I’ll give this film is that it does have some great ideas going for it, the problem is that they could make for a lot more Iron Man movies, & also they are not executed here well at all, not to mention it’s freaking boring.
Captain Marvel: I’m sorry, I know some will think this is too low, I can’t for the life of me get into this. The film is not only very unoriginal, formulaic, & uninspired. But also it turns Carol Danvers from one of the coolest characters in the Marvel universe, to a two dimensional blank slight, & it’s not because she is female (as I feel there are better written female characters in the MCU) and it’s not because of Brie Larson, taking what she has said out of the equation, I think she is a really good actress, & I think she could’ve been perfect for the role if given the right script to work with, but she didn’t, which sucks because she does actually have some great moments in this film, & Buddy Cop dynamic with Nick Fury is superb. The film is also pretty boring, with one of the weakest MCU villains to date. Iron Man 2 was boring too but it at least had some interesting ideas, this one doesn’t. It also ruins the mystery of how Nick Fury lost his eye, but also it butchers the Skrulls, & yes I am aware Kevin Fiege said there are good Skrulls & Bad Skrulls, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were butchered in this movie, or at least ALMOST butchered if Fiege didn’t clarify this. Let’s just hope Captain Marvel 2 acts as the Winter SoldieRagnarok of Captain Marvel, so that way she can redeem herself. And at least the visuals and effects are not that bad, and it does have a good message. Just not well executed.
Thor: The Dark World: Where do I even begin with this, what do I even say?! No really?! What is there to say?! Thor: The Dark World is the only MCU film that I genuinely think sucks, at least the other ones that are lower can still be somewhat enjoyable (in parts anyways) but not this movie, not one bit. The only thing I say comes closest to being enjoyable is any scene that has Thor & Loki interacting with one another, Outside of that though, this movie is nonsense! Why they didn’t make the Dark Elf conflict an actual Avengers movie (with the second Thor movie being something else) is beyond me. And why they felt it necessary to continue taking this seriously is also beyond me. The earth scenes that I thought were great in the first movie, are dumbed/watered down so much that they are unrecognizable, The dark tone does not fit Thor at all, even the more grounded take from the first movie ironically enough, Malekith is the worst MCU villain ever, & this film is a tonal mess that does not know what it wants to be.
2020.04.14 12:51 Programming-HelpPython vs Perl What are the differences?
In the Digital world, students worry about Python vs Perl. We are trying to find the difference between Python vs Perl. Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language uses for text processing, similar to Perl. There are some of the essential differences between Python vs Perl. Perl is a high-level interpreter, a general-purpose tool for changing the text file into a distinct form. our experts share views and opinions on the technologies we use in conducting our work by comparing them to each other. Below in this blog, we discuss the Python vs. Perl What are the differences both programming languages:
It is a programming language of general purpose-designs and developed by Guido Van Rossum. The term Python comes from the favorite television series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” by Guido Van Rossum. Whether you are new to programming in other languages doesn’t matter. Python is both easy to understand and easy to write. Python programmers referred to as Pythonists. So, aspiring Pythonists, let’s dive into a sea of learning and learn the core features of Python language programming.
Perl is a language that generally operates in the same spaces as Python, Ruby, and PHP. By Larry Wall, it was developed in 1987. It was first designed for text processing, like obtaining the necessary data from a designated text file and for changing the text file into a distinct form. In short, for any other programming language that you can do with Perl, you can do just about everything. Perl is a lot alike to C syntactically and is simple for the users who know C, C++programming languages.
Features of Programming Language Python vs Perl
Readability: Python has a syntax that is simple and elegant. Readability helps avoid a large number of lines of code, and you write fewer code than other programming languages like C, Java, or C++.
Free and open-source: Python is available free of charge on almost all common Operating Systems. By default, whether you use Mac OS, Windows or another Unix-based operating system such as Linux or Ubuntu, you have a Python interpreter in your Operating System.
Interpreter: Python is a language interpreter in which the interpreter reads the code line by line. Programming languages such as C, C++, where the compiler compiles the code first and only executes the code.
General Purpose: One can use Python for something. Python used for Web Development, Game Production, Data Analysis, Web Scraping Data, GUI application design, System Administration tasks, and many more.
Single and Double Quotes: We may use single or double quotations, either. In most cases, both single and double quotes function the same way. The main difference is that material view literally inside single quotes, which is not the case with double-quotes.
Using Semicolons: It is necessary to terminate a Perl statement with a semicolon unless it is the final statement in a row. The Semicolon is optional in this situation.
Scalar Variables: Scalar variables are the regular, ordinary variables that all programming languages support. A variable that is scalar can hold one value at a time. The value can be a number or a series.
Array Variables: Arrays described as commanded value collections. A zero-based index used to view individual values. The names of arrays in Perl followed by the character ‘@.’
Uses Of both programming Language Python and Perl
A wide range of applications built with Python. These are the following:
Web Applications: If you want the next big thing in social networking or e-commerce portal to be created and developed, you can use Python. Python used to create the biggest web applications and websites.
Game Development: Gambling will no longer be a fantasy. Games such as BattleField 2 and BattleField Heroes use Python for controls on logic and servers.
Data Analysis: Python is there to help you if you want to make a Movie recommendation engine or visualize the data.
Education: Python is good for people who don’t know anything about programming and getting start with programming. Python’s syntax is simple and straightforward, just like you’d write in Standard English.
System Administration: Python used to simplify system administrator operations such as installing servers, retrieving copies, renaming all files in a folder, etc.
Perl used in various functions and applications. These are the following:
CGI scripts associated with words.
Writing large projects in Perl. Some examples include Slash, Bugzilla, etc. • Perl used as a web development feature.
Perl is used as a language for documentation and for a functional extension.
One of Perl language’s core features and applications is text processing and string analysis.
Which is better, Perl or Python?
I used both Perl and Python. Perl from 2004-2007 and Python from the beginning of 2009. All languages are nice and malleable to work with. I would abstain from making any comments on the OOP model of PERL since my understanding is most likely out-of-date now. Library-wise Python vs Perl also has a great number of libraries added by users. PERL certainly had an advantage in this regard in the early days of Python-you could find almost everything in their library repository CPAN, but I’m not sure if this advantage remains any more; I don’t think so. Python is fairly constraining – in the sense that in implementing anything, it does not offer the same amount of freedom as PERL (note I said ‘same amount’ – there is still some freedom to do things). Yet I also see this as the strength of Python-by clamping down the parts of the language which could lead to anarchy without which we can exist, I think it allows for a smooth and clean language.
Key Differences Between Perl vs Python
These are the following key difference Python vs Perl:
Perl, we can say “Practical Extraction and Report Language,” but on the other hand, Python is not officially name after the famous artist of his time, “Monty Python.”
In 1987 Larry Wall invented Perl, and in 1989 Guido van Rossum created Python.
First, there’s only one way to do it, so if there’s another way, it’s going to replace the current one.
Perl considered for text processing, which helps to report while Python is now a common-purpose language and uses in many fields.
Do I need to go deeper with Python, or learn Perl?
Mostly, this is a matter of opinion, but I would personally stick to Python. Currently, it is much more in demand, and there are a lot of exciting things being done with it. At any given company, you are generally more likely to run into python, especially amongst startups. Besides, becoming an expert in a specific language is a good thing. What can’t Perl do, Python? Most certainly none. If you want to learn a new language, it’s more advantageous for you to learn one that is significantly different from your comfort zone. Any pure functional language, lower-level language or another area of expertise is more worth investing your time in.
As you have seen above we have given some of the significant differences between Python vs Perl. Both Python and Perl are good on their regard as per the applications they target, Python is a bit better over Perl as a first option for a beginner due to its easy and clean to understand code, on the other hand, Perl exceeds Python when it comes to string manipulation operations. I hope the given pieces of information are enough for you to decide which one is better for you to learn first. We have also given some of the features and where both programming languages can be implemented. If you are looking for the Python programming assignment help or Python Homework help. our experts are available to provide you with the best Python Programming help which will increase your academic records.
Hey guys, I'm back? Who saw this coming? Me, just me? Ok, that's cool, it's fine, I'm fine, everything's fine. Anywho, I've got another triple feature to review, this time stock-full of disaster movies. One was good, one was bland, and the other was serviceable, at least. I'm not the biggest fan of disaster films, and these movies (or at least two of them) reminded me why I felt that way. Oh boy, this is gonna be a slog to type out, but since I have taken up the torch of this challenge, it is my (not really) sacred duty to give my opinions. cracks fingers Here goes nothing! 1) Twister (1996) (Watched on April 13) I could've sworn I'd seen Twister before. If you asked me before today whether or not I'd seen Twister, I would've said yes. But like the situation I ran into with the Evil Dead sequel films (Dead by Dawn, Army of Darkness), I couldn't remember any of the major plot points or scenes from the film once they showed up on screen. I guess Twister is one of those films I've seen and heard so much about but have never actually seen. But onto the review! Twister is a surprisingly good film, I did not have the highest hopes for this movie. The disaster movies I was used to seeing were fare like The Day After Tomorrow, so I just expected a whole bunch of random people to be thrown in, each with baggage that I didn't really care about. Thankfully Twister makes the human drama front and center, addressing it before they even get to the natural disasters they're about to run after. The acting is a bit wooden and stilted at times, and while I didn't see much chemistry between anyone besides Phillip Seymour Hoffman and anyone he was talking to at the time (PSH is truly a treasure, Rest In Peace), the script was strong and jovial enough for that not to be a major problem. Something that I appreciated about this movie that I wish I had gotten more of from the other films was the knowledge most of the characters had about the severe danger they were facing. I'm really glad that practically everyone in the movie has scientific knowledge of tornadoes and meteorology. It made for some surprisingly engaging exposition scenes. While I normally loathe obvious exposition in films, the way it was presented in Twister was really helpful in determining my engagement throughout the film and my overall enjoyment of it. I really enjoyed the on-screen action, and while all the other CGI was definitely dated and of its time, the CGI for the tornadoes was surprisingly strong, and I would say it still holds up today. I was actually worried for the characters, and I'm glad they had a whole scene dedicated to the destruction a particularly strong one caused through a neighborhood. The flying cow scene is most definitely one I had seen in clips online before, and when I saw the scene with the oil tanker, I had a flashback to when I watched clips of this movie in grade school during a lesson on tornadoes. I liked all the actors in this film, even if they don't have a ton of speaking lines. The stars are definitely Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, with props given to Jami Gertz and one of my personal favorite actors, Cary Elwes. The rumbling tension between Paxton's Bill (hehe) and Hunt's Jo was pretty enjoyable to watch, and the way they wove it into the action of stormchasing was really well-done too. Like I said, the script was strong, being able to weave in exposition with drama and humor and greed pretty well. Not always seamless, but still fun to watch. This is definitely the movie I paid the most attention to in this triple feature. I would definitely watch Twister again. Dare I say it, I think it would make for a pretty decent date night film, so for everyone reading that's in a loving and committed relationship, maybe give Twister a watch. For everyone else that hasn't seen it, I'd still say give it a watch, it's a really entertaining film, and it broke my personal disaster movie curse. A 7/10 from yours truly. 2) Poseidon (2006) (Watched on April 13) While Twister broke my disaster movie curse, Poseidon kicked it right back into gear. Ugh. The problem I have with Poseidon is the problem I have with most disaster movies, and why I have trouble engaging with them most of the time. The characters have no intimate or scientific knowledge of the disaster they're facing, so instead they have paper-thin backstories that turn them more into stereotypes than compelling characters. I know I checked my phone a few times during this film, but I still don't feel like I missed anything important or necessary to the plot. One of the very few positive things I can say about this movie is that more people died than I expected for a PG-13 film, and some of the deaths were surprisingly gruesome. Like, one dude gets killed from falling onto exposed shrapnel just before an elevator crashes onto him. Felt like that would make more sense in a Final Destination or Saw movie than a Kurt Russell vehicle. Speaking of, let's talk about the actors for a moment. I hated them. Ok, that's harsh. I like the actors I recognized in other projects they've done, and Emily Rossum was even in a slightly superior disaster movie just two years earlier, 2004's The Day After Tomorrow. But I couldn't get behind anyone aside from Kurt Russell, Rossum, or Richard Dreyfus, and even Dreyfus is unnecessarily taxing in this film. I don't even wanna talk about their characters or the actors that portrayed them because it would be a bigger waste of time than watching the movie was. Most of the acting is wooden and door-slammingly obvious, especially from that stupid kid that I honestly can't imagine why he was included in the film. Like, how did this child help anything? Really? Alex from The Mummy Returns would deliver the fattest of Ls to Conor. The CGI in this movie feels pretty basic. It was very easy to differentiate what was there from what was computer generated. I guess that's just the consequence of having CGI be cheaper and more widely accessible than it was in the '90s. I never felt like the characters faced legitimate threats unless there was just no logical way for them to get safe, like the case with the final fate of Kurt Russell's character. This was one of those movies where you could predict the ending with near-perfect accuracy as long as you had a decent knowledge of films and Hollywood big-budget movies. Seriously, why spend $160mil on a movie that was going to have to be extremely lucky to recoup the losses at the box office. Surprise: it made $181.7mil, so while it might've made its production back, it probably didn't win back its marketing budget, that's for fucking sure. I mean, the studio lost a very nice amount of $69mil dollars from the poor box office performance. Ok, numbers aren't everything, and I do feel kind of bad for shitting on a movie just based off money and numbers. Like I said, more people died in this film than I expected, which made me somewhat interested to see why made it to the end. And while I gave no shits whatsoever about the vast majority of the unnecessary interpersonal drama and backstories between the characters, I will say that the relationship between Russell, Rossum, and Mike Vogel's characters was at least partially engaging, maybe just because they were the first characters audiences were introduced to. I'm upset they killed off Fergie though, fuck that, this movie cannot be described as Fergalicious. Poseidon is a great example of the worst the disaster film genre has to offer. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not usually a fan of movies where the plot/concept can be explained in just one sentence. I like substance in my movies, subplots and underlying tension that helps to keep you engaged at all times. I didn't get any of that from Poseidon, and while there are a couple of admirable qualities to this film, it's nowhere near enough to make up for the snorefest I experienced. 3/10 from me, next! 3) The Perfect Storm (2000) (Watched on April 13) Now, when I saw this movie was based on a true story, I tried to give it more credit than I gave Poseidon or Twister going into them. Probably my favorite type of movies are adaptational ones, where they use existing, often non-film source material to create an engaging silver screen experience. And for the most part, The Perfect Storm achieved that. Just like Twister, it's the human drama that helps elevate this film beyond standard disaster movie fare, though it's not as compelling or enjoyable in this movie. I guess I care about the plight of sword-fishermen being led by a desperate and unlucky skipper just as a major hurricane is threatening to send them all to the watery depths below. But like Poseidon, the characters don't really seem to know much intimate/scientific knowledge of the hurricane. In fact, they get a little too involved in their human drama for my taste, leading them to make mistakes that I can't imagine would happen in modern times. I know this movie is set about thirty years before the time this post is gonna be uploaded, but some of the mistakes the characters made didn't always seem like a result of the hurricane they were trying to outrun, but rather their own ego and machismo that they were only able to give up in the face of absolute and certain death. Also, the film constantly cuts away from the crew of the Andrea Gail, to people tracking the storm and trying to rescue those caught in it. I didin't mind when the movie cut back to the family the crew left back on shore, I didn't really care to see how anyone else ended up. Heartless of me? Maybe. The CGI in this movie isn't as bad as Poseidon, but it's not at Twister levels either. There's more practical stunts than I expected, but they still use CGI somewhat liberally. The worst examples just come from the planes and non-Andrea Gail ships that go through this hurricane. It's not really anything to rage about, but like all bad CGI, it takes you out of the viewing experience and reminds you you're watching a film and nothing really is real. Honestly, I'm getting a headache thinking about all these disaster movies, so I'll try and wrap this up quickly. The script was ok, but it wasn't anything super special. The characters are stronger than those in Poseidon, but weaker than those in Twister. I feel kind of bad comparing this movie to the others in the triple feature, but it's hard not to. The ending was unexpected to me, but the movie didn't get me to care too much about the characters, so I wasn't as emotional as I'm sure the film tried to make me. The Perfect Storm is a serviceable movie for sure, and I can definitely see how someone could enjoy this movie. I just wasn't a part of the film's intended audience. A 5.5/10 for me, and I think that's pretty generous considering how I usually feel about disaster movies. I want to apologize if I came off as elitist any way in my reviews, I don't mean to. The one thing I can say about most disaster films is that they have some extremely well-done sound editing and mixing. Even Poseidon, for all its faults, sounded like how it was supposed to, and made good use of dramatic music with diegetic sounds and character dialogue. It's just not a genre I have an easy time relating to or becoming engaged with, so I know my reviews of these movies are peppered with personal bias. I'm not trying to be mean or rude at all, just trying to give my honest opinion. I will say though, I've never watched a "triple feature" before. I always see them at stores but I've never bought one to my recollection, these films were a part of the free shit my roommate got that I mentioned in my last post on this sub. Now I understand why they're made. Twister would definitely sell on its own, The Perfect Storm could maybe have its own little dedicated fan base, but I can't imagine anyone going to a store that sells DVDs nowadays with the specific intent of purchasing ONLY Poseidon. Like, you gotta be a massive Kurt Russell/Fergie fan to do that. But anyways, those are my thoughts on Twister, Poseidon, and The Perfect Storm! If you liked what I have to say, or you have disagreements, I totally welcome your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. (Oh, and before I forget, if you didn't catch my subreddit idea that I explained in my previous post on this sub, you should check out my review of The Mummy Trilogy and tell me what you think!) That'll do for today, tomorrow I've got alternate cuts of movies I've never seen before to watch, so be on the lookout for my reviews of Troy: Director's Cut and Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut sometime tomorrow! They're also in a triple feature, but I've seen 300 before, so I can't write a review on that. But maybe the sequel... Sorry, I'm getting off track. Hope everyone is going well, hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable quarantine, and I wish everyone the best of luck with their quest!
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