RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2015

What I’m Currently Watching #3

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #3 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. With that out of the way let’s go!

Z Nation

z-nation

This is a show I literally watched because my sister told me about the ridiculous stuff that went down in the first episode, a few weeks later and I’m still watching. Z Nation is absurd, silly and crazy and yet that’s what makes it so fun. I’m sort of over zombies these days in terms of their ‘cool’ factor, but there are certain TV shows that keep me coming back (The Walking Dead and iZombie primarily) and I can add this show to the list. I’m only around 6 or 7 episodes in but so far it’s fun. I would like to actually finish the show quicker but since I’m watching it weekly on TV with my family, it’ll take ages before I finish it haha.

Blue Mountain State

Layout 1

I’m honestly not sure why I’m still watching this show. I’ve started season 2 and it’s more or less the same as before except with a few new faces and the loss of some previous ones. I’m only a few episodes in and so far the show is has moments when it feels like I’m actually enjoying it with the jokes and changes, but it is still not a very good show. I mean it’s tolerable, but all the issues that plagued the show before are still present like the raunchy humour and unlikable characters. It is the kind of show that’s made for people that enjoy a unique brand of humour, but since I’ve started this madness unless it pisses me off I’ll probably finish it haha.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

buffy-season7

So I’m FINALLY getting around the final season of Buffy. I’ve only seen six episodes and I’m having fun so far. I won’t say too much here because I’ve got a review on the back-burner, but I will say that this season is very interesting. There’s a lot of change but also nostalgia, certain aspects of previous seasons are coming to pass now and I’m finding the journey of Buffy and the rest of the main characters very dramatic, emotional and fun. I can tell that things are gonna get pretty crazy later on and I’m prepared for the worst. 😛

House of Cards

House_of_Cards_Season_1_Poster

Last time I did my blog post related to House of Cards I’d just started, well this morning I just finished it and I have to say so far so good. With it being one of the most talked about TV shows of the last two years its nice to finally get to see what the hype was about. I won’t go into too much detail primarily because I may do a review of the first season in a separate post later in the week, but I will say that it was good, but not as amazing as I’d hoped. There’s certain things I loved, some stories and characters that were really compelling and awesome, but then there were a few issues I took with specific plot points and characters as well. But that’s all I’ll say for now. I’m super curious to see how season 2 pans out.

So that’s what I’ve been watching, if you have any thoughts on anything that I’ve been watching be sure to drop a comment below and let me know, oh and do be sure to let me know what TV shows you’re watching at the moment too. Until next time, this is me signing out. Laters! 😀

Advertisements
 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Life, Media, Television

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Superhero Themes in Film – Do They Still Matter?

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another superhero-related post. This is a subject matter I’ve wanted to talk about for almost two years now, With superheroes being one of the most popular genres of film in modern times, the topic of theme songs have come up in discussions in online videos and comment sections I’ve seen across several websites. And there have been discussions about which popular themes are the best or why newer films don’t try harder with to have more memorable main themes. So with all that in mind I wanted to focus on the subject of superhero themes are whether they still have relevance today.

With superheroes, in most adaptations they have a theme song (sometimes referred to as a main theme) which you associate with the hero as much as you do their name, costume or catchphrase. These themes will either play in the opening or ending credits of a film or TV show or will appear during the film in a heroic/iconic moment.

What Are The Popular Themes?

Batman-and-Superman

Its should come as no suprise that most notable themes come from the most popular superheroes of all time, Batman and Superman. Besides the fact that they’ll be sharing a film next year (which is still strange to wrap my head around), long before their epic meeting, they had separate films with quite iconic themes that can be recognised even by general film fans. The most famous of the two is the “Theme from Superman (Main Title)” from the godly John Williams and the “Batman Theme” from the amazing Danny Elfman. Just have a listen below:

With the Superman theme I think it transcends the film it is part of, this is honestly one of the most recognisable pieces of music in film and you don’t even need a visual aid to know what it is. I think that is the beauty of John Williams; the fact that he can craft such incredibly, uplifting, beastly and memorable music that can stand the test of time. I hate to gush on about this theme, but it honestly gives me goosebumps because it’s that badass.

When it comes to Batman’s theme, it feels approach for the Dark Knight. It is dark, mysterious, its loud and bombastic, yet soft, quiet and it swells and then explodes. I think the reason why this theme is so popular is because it just feels like it belong within the realm of Batman and has the right tone and gives you something fun, atmospheric and really cool. Elfman creates something so special that feels so perfect, but I think why I appreciate this theme so much is because it was the inspiration for the intro theme for Batman: The Animated Series which is still til this day, one of my all-time favourite themes to anything ever.

But the themes don’t end there. Have look below.

Main Theme From The Dark Knight Trilogy

We also have the main theme from The Dark Knight Trilogy too. Now while this film series doesn’t have an official track that says ‘Main Theme’, the song that’s pretty much the key theme throughout this film series is “Molossus” introduced in Batman Begins. That theme is dramatic, aggressive and so intimidating, its like the badass theme to end all badass themes, and Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard did such a good job.

Main Theme From Man of Steel

And then of course there’s the main theme from Man of Steel known as “What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?” This theme is pretty famous because it was in trailers and pretty much helped sell this new incarnation of Superman. I think it may be the most epic superhero theme in existence as its so quiet and calm, and yet it builds and builds and then explodes into this beastly theme that makes you shiver and get all giddy about the epicness you’re listening to. While I didn’t love Man of Steel, I cannot deny the badassery of this theme.

Ignored Main Themes

underappreciated-superhero-themes

Main Theme Spider-Man

Now some may wonder why I’ve put one of the most popular superhero themes in the ignored segment, and it is simple. This theme isn’t talked about or recognised nearly as much as the ones mentioned above. I think it is no mistake that Danny Elfman was brought on to do another superhero theme after what he did with Batman in the late 80’s, here he crafts a theme that is eery, mysterious, heroic and badass. This theme oozes of charisma, beauty and awesomeness in an indescribable manner, and while I prefer the instrumentation of the Spider-Man 2 version, there is no denying the epicness of this song.

Main Theme From The Avengers

Much like Spider-Man’s theme, this theme is pretty awesome and yet doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should. “The Avengers” by Alan Silvestri is the definition of a good theme song. It has a classic sound to it, and it’s so uplifting, magical and heroic, but it is towards the latter half around 1:05 into the song where it turns badass and grows into orchestrated awesomeness. When this theme comes into play in Avengers and the team are seen together for the fist time on-screen it is a special and epic moment and music just elevates it to another level. This track is short but it has a sense of epicness that cannot be denied.

Main Theme From X-Men

While this particular track is pretty long, it has the main theme right at the beginning and towards the very end of the track. John Ottman was the first composer to leave an impression on the X-Men films series and it wasn’t until Henry Jackman came around that I heard another soundtrack that stood out, that being said Ottman’s theme from X-Men 2 still kicks ass. It’s intense, dramatic and awesome, and this theme must be pretty notable as they brought it back for X-Men: Days of Future Past (which made me SO happy).

Main Theme From Iron Man 3

The Iron Man films up until this point hadn’t had an official main theme, but in 2013 we got given “Iron Man 3” by Brian Tyler. Now with Tyler his soundtracks tend to be a bit hit or miss, but this was definitely a hit as he finally gave Iron Man a theme that was dramatic, hard-hitting and epic. The inclusions of the angelic backing vocals and something that sounds like a hammer hitting metal, it is just so beastly. Make no mistake, Iron Man 3 as a film has its problems for sure, but this track really is something special. I will say that I prefer Can You Dig It as it is way more sassy, jazzy and feels like it belongs in a 1960’s spy show.

Main Theme From Ant-Man

Ant-Man may not be universally loved by fans, but I liked it and one of my favourite aspects of the film was the soundtrack by Christophe Beck and “Theme from Ant-Man” is just awesome. This theme is sassy, bombastic and it just has such a nice sense of style and identity. Beck is another one of those composers that’s a bit up and down with his soundtrack compositions but this theme is kick ass.

Main Theme From Batman Forever

I think I may lose a lot of people by including this track, but screw it! Batman Forever may be the starting point for the decline in quality for the Batman films in the 90’s, but Forever, I still kind of like it and the theme song is definitely a big part of that. “Main Titles & Fan Fare” by Elliot Goldenthal has such a sense dramatic flare, charisma, style and its over-the-top but because of the nature of Forever as a film, this theme sounds just right.

So Do Themes Matter?

So now for the big question; do superhero themes matter? I would say yes for sure. It’s always nice to have music to associate with your favourite superheroes and while that’s been available in cartoons and certain live-action shows for a while now, I think it is just as important in films so you have another key aspect that makes your protagonist more memorable. Now for current superhero films they aren’t a requirement as fans and critics aren’t that fussed and will give a pass to a superhero film if the story, characters and presentation are top-notch. That being said, it was around 2012 when some people started saying that the. With big films like Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War coming out next year there will need to be theme songs or key tracks in the soundtrack to enhance the action on-screen or I think some fans and critics will feel robbed. And then in the future we’ll see the like of Wonder Woman, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Justice League and Avengers Infinity War parts 1 & 2 and those will be films that will require themes and soundtracks that are interesting, dramatic and memorable or I believe it will be a wasted opportunity.

So that’s my feelings on this subject, hopefully you’ve found this informative and like what I’ve had to say and share. But now I pass it over to you, what do you think of superhero themes in film and do you think they’re still relevant? Please be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Films, Media, Music

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Thoughts on the First Image of Michael Fassbender in Assassin’s Creed

So Assassin’s Creed, it feels like the talk of this film being adapted into live-action has been going on forever, however after various setbacks and talk, this film is finally going into production and has a pretty solid cast. But we’ve yet to see what Michael Fassbender would look like in the popular assassin attire, but today an image dropped online and feel the need to talk about it.

So here’s some information on the film and the image below from ComicBookMovie:

After being in development for many years due to minor setbacks, the Assassin’s Creed movie is finally moving forward and is all set to commence principal photography on Monday, August 31. And now Yahoo has even released our first look at the big-screen video game adaptation which features leading man Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, an original character. Instead of retelling stories from the games, the film will apparently bring all new characters to that world, per Yahoo:

Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills he’s poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.

mf-assassinscreed

So let’s talk about that image above first. Okay, looking at this objectively or as a person who is not well-versed in the Assassin’s Creed series, they may find this first image of Fassbender pretty cool. I mean the costume is pretty badass, is really detailed and looks similar to the original. But then there’s the only side of the coin, if you’re a hardcore fan your first impressions will probably be one of disgust. Fassbender doesn’t look like Altair, Ezio, Conor, Edward or Arno and the costume doesn’t match any of theirs either, and so far on a few sites I’ve seen most fans dismiss this image completely and think that the film is doomed indefinitely. As for me I’m not a hardcore AC fan but I have followed the series from what my friend has shown me and what I’ve researched over the years, so when I saw this image I had a good look stare. And my main impression is: Nice. I mean Fassbender looks a little slim in the costume when compared to the assassins in the games, but overall I like the pose, the costume and the placement of the hidden blades. This is one of those “inspired by” costumes that feels like an amalgamation of what’s come before but also like its crafted something of its own.

As for the story, considering how long the series has gone on for and the amount of mythology that now exists, this film would have plenty of material to draw from. However from the description it would seem like the filmmakers have decided to create and original story and characters, but are keeping the core elements of the game intact. I was hoping for a more direct adaptation of the games with the Italian era of Altair and/or Ezio, but I guess we’re going to Spain instead. I just hope the story is good.

In the end I’m down for this film, I’ve always been curious and costume makes me a little more interested in the film. Though I am curious to see how the fans take to it online and whether they’ll warm up to the film or if they’ll tear it apart. So people what do you think of the first image of Fassbender in Assassin’s Creed? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Films, Media, Video Games

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

SIMPLE REVIEW: Jack White – Lazaretto

Howdy ladies and gents, time for an album review I’ve been meaning to do for a while and its for Jack White’s second solo album, Lazaretto. Now I remember reviewing Blunderbuss back in 2012, I was obsessed with it and some of those songs are still very dear to my heart. That album definitely jump started my love for all music White was involved with and waiting for this album had been one of the most painful waiting periods ever. I was meant to review this in June 2014 but time just got away from me, however now is as good a time as ever to talk about this album. Oh, and before I begin, like I’ve said before, I’m not a music critic, I’m just a guy with an opinion so don’t rip me apart if I’m not using correct terminology or genres, okay? Good, let’s continue.

lazaretto-jackwhite

So Lazaretto, the best way to describe this album is that it is a similar yet different sound from what has come before. This album feels a continuation of White’s unique musical interests that he expressed in Blunderbuss. However, in addition to that this album feels like a bit of everything White’s done before and there are certainly moments where you can hear a bit of The Raconteurs and Death Weather to name a few. In terms of the album’s sound I would say its a combination of the alternative rock, folk and country genres, and there feels like there was a bigger appearance of folk and country sounds than before and it certainly makes for an interesting listen. Personally I’ve always liked White’s music when it was more rock-focused because I love his material when its loud, aggressive and full of charisma, however, the quieter moments have also stuck out. Songs like “As Ugly As I Am“, “Together“, “On and On and On” and “Hypocritical Kiss” some of my favourite jams because of their lyrical content and emotional and retrospective qualities. This album makes me feel happy, melancholy and excited, however it also allows me to think and reflect on my life too.

Three Women” has a wonderful sound and starts the album off well, while “Temporary Ground” is soft yet beautiful and has a gorgeous chorus. “Alone in My Home” and “Entitlement” are very different yet both stand out for their musical quality and lyrics. I will still say the title track “Lazaretto” stands out as my favourite just because its upbeat, stylish and very fun to listen to on repeat. Songs like “Just One Drink” and “Would You Fight For My Love?” have a great sound and are good, but just don’t connect with me on that emotional level. One song I’m not sure that I like it “High Ball Stepper” it is an interesting instrumental song which I really disliked on first listen, but a year later and four album listens on there are times where I like it and others when I don’t. The rest of the songs are good but just not on my radar.

Favourite tracks:

  • Three Women
  • Lazaretto
  • Temporary Ground
  • Alone in My Home
  • Entitlement

In conclusion Jack White’s Lazaretto album is different experience to Blunderbuss, and while there are certainly similarities to be found in the music styles, this is album has a very unique sound and it is a lovely one. The versatility, passion and beauty can be felt in all of the tracks and I would recommend it for anyone who is a fan of White’s material.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of Lazaretto? Did you like it or hate it and how do you think it fares when compared to White’s previous solo album? Whatever your thoughts be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Reevaluating My Views On The Star Wars Prequels

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for a special little blog post dedicated to the Star Wars film universe. Since The Force Awakens (Episode VII) will be out in cinemas in the coming months I’ve been recently catching up with the previous instalments in anticipation, and yes that includes the prequels. While there are a large number of fans that continue to act like those films never happened, I’m not one of them and I don’t hate those films either. Are they perfect? Heck no, but I’ve always found aspects of those films to be enjoyable. So with that in mind I wanted to give you all my thoughts on the prequels and how they’ve changed.

star-wars-prequels

My Thoughts in the Beginning

For the longest time I had very specific thoughts on the Prequel Trilogy, but in recent years I’ve had time to learn and understand the process that comes with making such epic films and learn about the production behind each of the Star Wars films. What was once awesome to me as a child doesn’t look that awesome these days and I’m not talking about the special effects only, these were films I liked watching (well at least episodes 1 and 3), but after watching so many online video reviews and other forms of analytical videos criticising the prequels I have changed my opinion somewhat. Though a lot of my feelings have been changed from watching the Original Trilogy in recent years and seeing what new filmmakers have been able to do with stories, sets and technology.

So with that in mind I’m going to give you my thoughts on each of the prequel films starting with The Phantom Menace!

Thoughts on The Phantom Menace

EPI_TPM_poster

Technically I’ve already given my thoughts on this film around 3 years ago, but for those who haven’t read that review I’ll try to sum up my thoughts the best I can. The Phantom Menace is infamous for being the film that ruined SW for a lot of fans with its focus on politics, a child Anakin Skywalker, Midichlorians and Jar Jar Binks and most consider it the lowest point in the series. When I first saw this film I thought it was awesome. I never paid attention to the story, all I saw was lightsaber fights and Podracing, and that’s all I needed. Bare in mind I was around 9 or 10 years old when first saw this film and I was very much into my action and spectacle coming off of films like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park and Aliens to name a few. TPM was a film I watched a lot until my late teens, I didn’t see the film again until it was re-released in 3D, it was at that point I really saw the film for what it was; a film with good special effects, action and music, but nothing else. The plot isn’t overly interesting as the starting point of the series and there are just a lot of odd decisions made for the characters and overall mythos. One thing that was super apparent was the lack of practical sets and real locations, there’s so much green screen and CGI, it just makes you wonder if the people behind this film were afraid to use anything but computers to craft their new worlds. As for Jar Jar, I used to thing of him as harmless, fun, but seeing TPM a dew days ago I can understand the hate. That guy is ridiculous, he’s like a frigging Looney Tunes character who has no business being in a SW film and even as the main source of comedy you don’t find him funny, he’s more infuriating than anything else. Oh and the additional scenes added to TPM don’t really add much to the film and are really noticeable when it is a scene with CGI. A lot of the acting is questionable ESPECIALLY from Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala, she’s so monotone and boring. With all that being said, everything I like about this film still stands, I love the lightsaber fights, the special effects are good, Darth Maul is cool, I like Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and the soundtrack is great especially “Duel of the Fates“.

Thoughts on Attack of the Clones

EPII_AotC_poster

Attack of the Clones, oh dear. While there is still this consensus out there that this film is better than its predecessor I respectfully disagree. While AOTC rectified some of the issues with the first prequel film, it still followed the same mistakes while creating a whole new bunch of them too. My thoughts were quite strong on this film when I first saw it when I was 12 years old and 13 years later not much has changed. This film wins points for having closer ties to the older films with interesting references, first appearances of classic characters and locations, and there was an overall sense of progression towards the Original Trilogy with the choice art design, costumes and locations. Also I appreciated some of the drama this film tried to create especially with Anakin, you can see what Lucas was trying to do and in more capable hands this could have been so much stronger, but I will give props to Lucas for the scene when Anakin and his mother are reunited briefly. That scene was pretty decent, it was a quiet, subtle moment and I thought it worked (even with Hayden Christensen’s acting skills), and what I really like is that Anakin’s found his mother and she’s alive just long enough to see him grown up, but then she dies and Anakin pretty much loses his shit on the Tusken Raiders with that beastly John Williams music swelling in the background. Other things I still like about this film was the improved CGI, cool action sequences, McGregor again as Obi-Wan and the introduction of Count Dooku played wonderfully by the late Christopher Lee. Oh and seeing Yoda actually battle in a lightsaber fight, awesome. Some people found it ridiculous and terrible but I found it hilariously badass…

HOWEVER! A lot of the good/decent aspects of this film are undone by the bad stuff, and trust me there’s a lot of it. This film’s main issue is the love story between Anakin and Padmé as it is one of the worst love stories ever put to film. The dialogue is terrible, there is no chemistry and acting is beyond bad. Their relationship just doesn’t come together well and feels forced, rather than a natural progression of a friendship into a partnership, and it doesn’t help that every line spoken between these two is really awkward or painful. That being said, I’ve memorised the dialogue to the point where I’ve quoted it with my SW friends and taken the piss so much that when I watch the film I can’t help but laugh. There are also wasted opportunities when it comes to Jango Fett, adding new mythology and the final battle between Obi-Wan, Anakin and Dooku (especially with Anakin and Dooku, that fight was half decent, half weird with spinning lightsabers). And like before the overuse of CGI and green screen when it comes to locations is very apparent, I think there were more real set locations than in the last film, but it was crazy how much of it I noticed with my film studies brain switched on.

Thoughts on Revenge of the Sith

EPIII_RotS_poster

Okay so now we arrive at the final film in this series and I still like it. Now back when I saw ROTS in the cinema 10 years ago, I thought this film was SO cool and after I got it on DVD I watched a fair amount until my early twenties. This film more so than the previous films creates a tale full of action and drama that for the most part works, sure the love story aspect is still questionable and some things happen without explanation, but overall it is the most creative and strongest of the newer films. What I appreciated about this film was the darker tone, sense of scope and of course the closer ties to A New Hope. This film does a really good job with marrying the new with the old with the appearance of classic characters, costumes, set design and spacecrafts. I also love the action sequences, whether it is the introduction with that space battle, the lightsaber fights or the battle on Kashik, it is all handled in a really cool manner with awesome CGI and cinematography. Oh and the lightsaber fights are the bets so far. I loved the fight between Obi-Wan and General Grievous or Yoda vs. Dark Sidious or the final battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin, that stuff gets me giddy every time. Some other stuff I liked was the introduction of General Grievous, Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine/Sidious, the line “Unlimited Power!” and the ‘Execute Order 66′ montage. And once again I have to say that Ewan McGregor kills it as Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s the most consistent aspect of the prequels and with each film he gets better and by this film his performance was very in line with Alex Guinness’ performance.

Of course this film is safe from scrutiny. The film still has some of that bad dialogue not just for the scenes between Padmé and Anakin, but for some of the other characters especially Dark Sidious, and speaking of Sidious… Ian McDiarmid, he was clearly having fun with the role in this one, but sometimes he was hamming it up a little too much and sometimes you can’t take the guy seriously. Again this film has some good ideas with the story, specifically with Anakin’s transfer to the dark side and his issues with Padmé, but again the execution was questionable and left a lot to be desired. The use of special effects is great but again you can see that there wasn’t much that wasn’t green screen of CGI. Oh and Darth Vader, I loved his introduction and seeing him get angry, use the force, stumble along, but that “NOOOOOOO!” line, damn, it just ruins that scene really.

Well that’s my take on these films. I can tell there’s a lot people who won’t agree with my opinion on these films and I say bring on the hate. These films haven’t always been looked at in a positive light but I’m seeing more and more these days with people voicing their favourable aspects of the prequels and I want to add to it. 😀 But anyway how about you lot? Do find anything redeemable about the prequels? Do you even like the prequels or do you despise them like everyone else? OR are you like, “Huh? What prequels?” Please be sure to comment below, laters! 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Films, Media

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

QUICK REVIEW: Paper Towns

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a new film review! After missing a good few films here and there today I bring you a review of a film I actually had no intentions of seeing; Paper Towns. I looked at the trailers for this film and saw that it was from the same people who adapted The Fault In Our Stars and was instantly turned off because I thought it was another love-focused drama. Even with the mystery element to it I wasn’t interested, but thanks to one of my best friends I ended up seeing it to today and now I’m gonna give you my thoughts on the film.

paper-towns-poster01

The plot can be summed up as the following:

“After an all night adventure, Quentin’s life-long crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.”

The plot for this film is one that delights and yet also frustrates me. What I like about the film is that it is an adventure, a quest for love and there’s an emphasis on living in the moment, staying true to yourself and keeping the bonds with your friends close. There are also some life lessons to be learnt, but more so than that there’s a lot of common sense lessons to be learnt too. However, what I wasn’t so keen on was the elements that dealt with infatuation and obsession, misdirection and a conclusion that didn’t feel as satisfying as I would have hoped. But going back to what I liked was the fact there was many parts to this film, it was comedic, it was part road trip, part coming of age and when the drama went down it was heavy and relatable to anyone who has ever had strong feelings for someone or has had a great set of friends they love. Besides the stuff I mentioned before my only other issues was the fact that the pacing dragged a little in the middle and there were just a  few aspects I would have liked to have seen cleared up before the film ended. Oh, and I have to mention that this film wins major kudos for the Pokemon references, there’s one moment in particular, that if you’re a hardcore Pokemon fan you’ll appreciate it. 🙂

paper-towns03

As for the cast I thought they were good. Nat Wolff as Quentin “Q” Jacobsen was good, Wolff did well with his material as this likeable guy who has love for a girl and will go out of is way to find her. Cara Delevingne as Margo Roth Spiegelman was also pretty good too, I was watching Delevingne closer (because she’ll be in Suicide Squad next year) and I was pleasantly surprised at how well she acted. Margo was this pretty, adventurous and mysterious girl who on the surface was seemed easy enough to figure out but you see that there’s hidden layers to her too. I will admit that both Quentin and Margo exhibit behavior that doesn’t make them very likeable (Margo more so than Quentin), and at points I questioned their intentions and where their loyalties lied too. Austin Abrams and Justice Smith were lovely as Ben Starling and Marcus “Radar” Lincoln. They were Quentin’s best friends and provided a lot of moments of fun, comedy and drama. Abrams and Smith had great chemistry as did Wolff when he was with them too. Halston Sage as Lacey Pemberton was quite good offering a character who could have easily been a throwaway person, but instead added to the main trio adventure. And finally Jaz Sinclair as Angela was quite fun too and like Lacey, Angela added another nice flavour to this mix of characters.

PAPER TOWNS

In conclusion Paper Towns is a film that I really liked. It had an interesting story, great characters and some heartwarming and fun moments, however there are a few questionable choices with the story and character moments that just kept this from being something that I truly loved.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Paper Towns and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rant 16: I Don’t Like It When People Waste Food

https://i2.wp.com/www.deelip.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/121.jpg Howdy people and welcome to another instalment in my blogging rants. It feels like ages since I’ve done of these types of posts (just over a year) so I thought it was about time I started it up again. And today’s rant will be on something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, and that is people who waste food and why it bothers me.

Now this is something that most people have done at one point or another (myself included) and usually it is not my choice, normally when food is wasted it is due to either not liking what you’re eating or the more common option is that you’re full and can’t finish the rest… HOWEVER! This blog post is directed at those who are self-aware, buy food and then chooses to waste it later, that’s the kind of shit that brings my piss to a boil yo!

So I’m going to present you with a few scenarios of where this kind of stuff happens.

Fast Food Places

144_051Chicken&ChipsBox-Takeaway

This is the main pet peeve when it comes to wasting food. Several times after nights out whether I’m just leaving the club and going home or leaving the house the morning after I always end up seeing boxes of chicken and chips or fish and chips or pizza just dashed on the floor. It could be half eaten, 3/4’s of the way done or completely untouched and that just bugs me. Why buy food if you’re not going to finish it? Now I’ve heard the popular argument, “Oh but if you’re drunk you may get full or not want to finish your food.” Well I have two things to say about that: 1) Know what your stomach is feeling before you buy your food! If you know you’re only a bit hungry buy a smaller portion of food or don’t buy anything at all! And 2) If you’re buying food that you can’t finish, bring it home and finish it in the morning! I know chips aren’t salvageable after a night out (don’t try microwaves or ovens, it don’t work), but with chicken, burgers, pizza or garlic bread, that stuff still tastes good in the morning. Trust me, I was a uni student and it worked just fine for me and plenty of the other people I knew.

Restaurants/Pubs

half-eaten

Since I’ve worked in establishments as waiter I’ve seen first-hand how certain customers come in, order food, barely touch it and then leave. What the hell man? Why even come out and pay for food if you’re not going to eat it? Seems so pointless. Other times they’ll get through half of it and give up. If you know you can’t finish it all, get it in a take away container when you go home, I know with pubs that’s not really an option, but with a good few restaurants that it is an option, so why not take advantage? I just don’t get people sometimes. I know you can underestimate the amount of food your stomach can handle or you can try food for the first time and not like it, but I would say just stick to what you know and be sure you can finish it.

At Home

food-waste-blog

This is a different kind of environment when it comes to wasting good. But it normally comes in the form of making food and not wanting to finish it because you’re full or experimented with flavours and ruined the food or ate some, left some for later but then left it too long to go off date. I know I have gotten rid of food I didn’t want to eat but it is mainly due to very quick expiry dates rather than making something I didn’t want to eat. I still get pissed at myself when I can’t finish food because I love to eat and I’d rather get the full value of my food eating experience.

Well that’s another rant over. Hopefully this has been somewhat insightful and if you’ve had any similar experiences please be sure to comment about it in comments below. Until the next time people, laters. 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Life, Rant

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

QUICK REVIEW: Gotham Season 1

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a TV review and today I’m gonna be giving you my quick thoughts on Gotham. When I did my post on comic book TV shows from last year til this year, a person mentioned in the comments that i missed a show out and it was this one. I think that should say something about how I feel about this show, but I feel like I should clarify my thoughts on the show so here we go.

Gotham-poster

What bothers me about the show is that it showed so much promise. I mean sure the concept of a Batman show that didn’t have Batman in it and instead focused on the origins of James Gordon, the main villains and a young Bruce Wayne wasn’t exactly what a lot of fans were crying out for. However the fact that it was giving us an origin to these villain-based characters and had a police drama element incorporated to it made me intrigued, and for the first few episodes I was into it. I liked the combination of James Gordon and Harvey Bullock, the little sneaky/weedy appearance of Oswald Cobblepot, the sassy yet string Fish Mooney, also the awkward yet hilarious Edward Nygma, and the list goes on. Basically the show was making a lot of right moves by having this grounded, slightly more adult and different style to what fans had come to expect. The only problem is that the show never found its footing.

Gotham-character-poster

Without going into spoilers, Gotham‘s first season seemed to be all over the place in terms of the tone. Sometimes it would emphasise humour, other times it would be super serious, sometimes the show would be fairly light-hearted and others there’s be a bit violence and sometimes that would all happen in the same episode. I thought the show was going to be cop drama focusing on James Gordon and a handful of villains, but the show gets lost in its own sea of stories and characters, and after a while situations that were once engaging and compelling start to fall flat with storylines taking bad turns and decisions that feel like they were made on the fly rather than being thought out. Also because there were so many characters not only at the start of the show but also as the show developed, there was a lack of focus on who should have screen time. Some minor characters felt like they were dropped into an episode just to remind you that they still existed or the focus would shift from one main character story to another when one was clearly more interesting than the other, and some of the name drops and visual easter eggs while interesting, sometimes felt shoehorned in and not entirely necessary. I got so uninterested in the show that I dropped it for like six weeks before I came back to another episode, then left it again for ages before I watched the final five episodes.

As for the cast, they’re a mixed bag. Some are good while others were never that interesting to begin with, I’m just going to talk about the people worth mentioning briefly.

Ben McKenzie as James Gordon was good. I liked how tenacious and headstrong he was and how he wanted to the right thing, but also had to learn about the facts of life and make comprises. Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock was great, this guy was a douche, but he was charming, aggressive and smart about the way things worked legally. These two have pretty good chemistry together and a lot of the time it is their partnership that holds this show together. Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin was one of the strongest people in the cast. At first I loved his character, he was the underdog, intelligent, crafty, yet feeble and unable truly have anything he really wanted. As time goes on Oswald goes to some interesting places, but he eventually starts to become a little cartoonish and uninteresting. David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne was a mixed bag, sometimes he was smart and resourceful, but other times he felt naive and immature and some of that was due to the script other times it was due to Mazouz’s acting skills. Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth was pretty good, while it took me some time to adjust to the accent, this version of Alfred was just as cool, active and smart and I had hoped and cared for Bruce a lot too.

Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma was another person I liked, while he wasn’t necessarily evil, he had already gotten his Riddler-like personality traits and for me that was alright because he was quite fun to watch. Morena Baccarin was good as Leslie Thompkins, she was one of the few characters I didn’t hate and I liked what Baccarin brought to the show. John Doman as Carmine Falconewas pretty good and I also liked  David Zayas as Sal Maroni too. Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney was initially one of my favourite characters. She was smart, cunning, vivacious and doesn’t take shit from anyone, however after a while as her story develops she starts to become a little random and crazy and I think Smith started to go a little too over-the-top with this role and that’s what killed it for me. Camren Bicondova as Selina “Cat” Kyle was another character I started liking from the beginning, but eventually she became frustrating with a random appearances in episodes and her schizophrenic like attitude towards Bruce and certain other characters. Erin Richards as Barbara Kean was someone I never liked from the beginning, I found her dull, annoying and troublesome and while she became a lot more interesting towards the latter half of the season I still never cared for her that much. And finally Nicholas D’Agosto was fine as Harvey Dent but didn’t leave a lasting impression.

The one thing that Gotham gets right is the presentation. Visually the show looks great, I love the style and art direction with its use of lighting, colour and overall cinematography. Gotham City looks lovely and has a much better presence than it did in the latter Chris Nolan Batman films (just saying).

Penguin_Umbrella_Gotham

In conclusion Gotham, I wouldn’t say it was a complete waste of time, it started it out well and has some interesting characters that do something interesting things, but at the end of the day I just wasn’t that bothered by this show. The tonal inconsistencies, drawn-out stories, boring characters and lack of “wow factor” culminated in a show that had ideas, but didn’t know how to execute them. Now I know there’s some people who liked this first season but for me it was just a bit meh.

Rating: 5.5/10

So have you season 1 of Gotham and if so what did you think of it? Do you feel I’m being too harsh on the show or am not being hard enough? Also if you’re a Batman fan how do feel about this approach the comic book mythos? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What I’m Currently Watching #2

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #2 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. With that out of the way let’s go!

Dragon Ball Super

dragonball-super-95Bp3M4

So this show I’ve technically been watching since the beginning, but I haven’t had the chance to put my thoughts out there yet plus I wanted to give it a few episodes before I gave an impression. So far there is an upside and downside to this show: The upside is that we have Dragon Ball on TV with new episodes for the first time since the 90’s and it is just nice to get reacquainted with these classic characters, but also to have a new DB cartoon with the fresh art and animation that’s come with the recent specials, films and video game intros. The downside is that for everyone that watched Battle of Gods last year, this show basically looks like a rehash of that except with slightly different scenarios leading up to the main key aspects of the film. I guess its nice that to have an anime just so it’ll give more time to the other DBZ cast member who aren’t Goku and Vegeta, but still, I had hoped for something a little better. Oh and is it me but did episode 4 look really off with the random thickness of the lines for characters changing continuously? That was very off-putting. And I have recognised some fans complaints about the animation in episode 5 as it was very loose, lacked detailed and look quite lazy by today’s standards of anime. That being said, I have enjoyed what I’ve seen, the show’s quite fun and I’m curious to see how the show will develop in the future.

Blue Mountain State

Layout 1

For some reason I continued to watch this show and I have to say that after finishing the first season I kind of like it. Now this comedy is nowhere near as funny as other comedies I’ve seen I wouldn’t put on the same level as Community, Parks and Rec or It’s Always Sunny, but it does have its quirks. After the initial 4 or 5 episodes which are kind of crappy, the show starts to find its rhythm and gets decent. Some of the characters start becoming less annoying and more humourous, the stories and scenarios, while still ridiculous, juvenile and vulgar, actually have some entertainment value. AND there is some character development for at least two of the main characters which makes just that bit more credible and likeable than it was in the beginning. By the time you reach the final 3 or so episodes it feels like this show is actually good enough to see what happens in the future.

The IT Crowd

The IT Crowd Series 2

Yeah, this is the good stuff. The IT Crowd is one of my all-time favourite TV shows and every once in a while I come back to it for some quick entertainment. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t re-watch many live-action TV shows often, at least when it comes to specific episodes/seasons. That mainly comes into play with cartoons. For me watching random episodes of Regular Show, Dragon Ball Z, Rugrats or Dexter’s Laboratory is normal, but for live-action TV I rarely ever do it unless it’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares or Come Dine With Me haha. But The IT Crowd is the exception, I can jump into that show at any point and have a good time and that’s what I did when I started watching the latter half of season 2 and the start of the third. The show’s still hilarious, random and so in-sync with my brand of humour. “Moss and the German” is one of my favourite episodes just because the nature of Moss and Roy’s relationship, Roy’s constant need to watch a film and the fact that there’s a German guy that wants to eat someone. It’s bloody absurd and it is brilliant.

House of Cards

House_of_Cards_Season_1_Poster

So this week I finally started season 1 of this super popular Netflix show and so far so good. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m really liking what I’m seeing so far. What I’m getting from this show is that it is about nature of politics, what happens in the public eye and what goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of choices to be made, questionable alliances being formed, two-faced characters and a lot of grey areas when it comes to moral and ethical decisions. The tone is dark, aggressive and sometimes unsettling, but that is part of what this show so interesting. The show centers on Kevin Spacey’s character Francis “Frank” Underwood, but then there’s his wife Claire Underwood, journalist Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo, a U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, a host of other people who have their own lives and issues to contend with, but what makes this show really interesting is how they all relate back to Frank. Whether he’s in competition or alliance with said people or just doesn’t like them, it all leads back to this man in a really interesting way.

So that’s what I’ve been watching, if you have any thoughts on anything that I’ve been watching be sure to drop a comment below and let me know, oh and do be sure to let me know what TV shows you’re watching at the moment too. Until next time, this is me signing out. Laters! 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Life, Media, Television

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hotel Babylon Season 3 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for another TV review and today after a long break I am returning to Hotel Babylon with my review of season 3! Now I loved season 1 and season 2 was just as good if not better, now I am returning to the third season for the first time in 7 years! And I’m curious to see if my thoughts have changed or remained the same. So how does this season fare? Well read on and find out.

hotel-babylon-series-3-poster

So what is the show about? Well, Hotel Babylon is a fabulous five-star hotel in the heart of London, it is a fairly expensive establishment, however, if you have the money to afford a visit you will find your stay very comfortable in a lavish, beautiful and well-organized hotel where you can have anything you want, for the right price. This show introduces you to the world of how a hotel works and shows you the stories from not only the perspective of the staff but of the guests as well.

The show’s premise primarily focuses on the lives of the hotel staff, however an equal amount of time is given to the guests of the hotel as well. The stories are mainly episodic, however there are arching storylines over the course of the 8-episode season and there are also some ties to the previous two seasons. Each episode features one or more storylines to do with the staff and/or guests of the hotel and sometimes they crossover too.

hotel-babylon_56745538-1280x720-1280x720

Story-wise with season 3, you get a feeling of familiarity with the characters, setting and plot format, but also because of the passing of time and new situations presented with the guests and hotel staff. Some of the strong themes of season 3 are love and relationships, change, trust and loyalty. The show doesn’t hold any punches when it comes to issues relating to fashion and child labour, deceit within the hotel staff, a guest dying of cancer, prostitution, and a man struggling with weight loss. HB is still sleek, sexy and dramatic, and not only presents the characters and audience with ethical and moral dilemmas, but it’s also incredibly fun, humourous and engaging…

That being said, one of the issues I have with storylines in season 3 is that they don’t seem as well thought out as before and some of the new scenarios feel a little haphazard just for the sake of change rather than feeling like a natural progression of the series. It’s hard to describe without giving you an example, but you can tell that there’s a dip in quality as this season goes on and while it still has its moments the show doesn’t feel as compelling and fun as it was before. There is a moment where the show peeks at episode 5 and it is at that point where you see the talent of the writers at work as they are able to create some really tension-filled, dramatic and heart-breaking material for you to watch. It is awesome and yet so sad at the same time… Unfortunately it is that point the season takes a huge loss and it never seems to recover from it and those who have seen the show will know exactly what I mean. Another aspect not as strong as before was the season finale, while the last two were brilliant, this one felt a little over-the-top, crowded and not as satisfying as it could have been, and I think it was primarily due to the impact of episode 5 which was much stronger.

hotel-babylon-season3_PDVD_1464

When it comes to the cast they are all pretty good, the returning cast do a good job while the new additions add to the show in an interesting way. So start with Max Beesley who was solid as Charlie Edwards. I wasn’t keen on the way Charlie was handled, he’s more Rebecca (the former manager) than himself and while that comes with the job title, I feel like he lost a little charm and humanity. This season focuses a lot at first on Charlie taking on the role as general manager and changing up his attitude towards his coworkers/friends as he starts making choices that aren’t ethical or moral for the sake of business over the more humane decisions he used to make. That being said when push comes to shove Charlie comes through. Dexter Fletcher is still good as Tony Casemore. As head concierge and most senior form of staff he knows his coworkers and the hotel pretty well, but also has to get with times and change things up, he had plenty of moments to standout whether it was because of personal issues or aspects that related to his coworkers/friends. Emma Pierson once again does well as Anna Thornton-Wilton, while her character traits are familiar, she has a lot more dramatic moments and time is dedicated to her relationship material as well.

Natalie Mendoza comes back and does well as Jackie Clunes. Here she’s just as sassy, fun and gorgeous as ever, but she doesn’t have as big of a presence as before. Martin Marquez is good as Gino Primirola and this season we get more dramatic moments for him which was welcome. Ray Coulthard again does well as James Schofield and has some time to shine with scenarios relating to his restaurant and wine collection, and while there’s no proper development for his character he is still fun to watch. Michael Obiora is good as Ben Trueman, but he’s not nearly as noticeable as his coworkers. New members to the main staff include Emily James played by Alexandra Moen and Jack Harrison played by Lee Williams. When it comes to Emily at first she’s quite annoying and mischievous, and doesn’t really fit into the main staff’s dynamic, however she eventually started to show loyalty and humour that made her more relatable and likeable, and Moen does well in her role. And when it comes to Jack he comes in as a bit of a know-it-all, has no sense of flexibility and totally lacks the human touch at first, but eventually he becomes a tolerable character. And finally there are some great appearances from Jon Culshaw, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Paula Abdul and John Barrowman (who was looking very much like Tom Cruise for some reason).

hotel-babylon-season-234r

When it comes to the presentation it is still very nice. Visually the show still has good cinematography and camera work used throughout the hotel and across London too. The soundtrack by Jim Williams and John Lunn is once again one of the best aspects of the show, however the music wasn’t as strong as before and had less of a jazz focus which was a real shame for me.

In conclusion by the time season 3 of Hotel Babylon is over you feel like there’s certainly been bumps in the road, but overall it is still pretty good. There is still a lot of heart and fun to this show, it is just unfortunate that it lost some key characters and had lacklustre stories. I’d like to say that things get better in season 4, but alas that’s not true.

Rating: 7/10 (Good, but a substantial step down from previous seasons)

So have you seen Hotel Babylon and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya next time for the review of season 4. 😀

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: