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QUICK REVIEW: Krampus

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Krampus. I remember seeing the trailer for this around a month or so ago and thought it looked ridiculous and so silly especially because of the cheesy horror-like Christmas music, but I decided to give the film a try to see what the deal was.

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So the story can be described as the following:

“When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose for the fractured family’s home and these horrifying events force them to fight for survival.”

The concept of the Krampus creature and what he represents was something that intrigued me and in turn helped keep my interest in this film alive. I thought this film had some interesting and creative ideas and had some great moments of tension, atmospheric fear, in-your-face horror elements, and in addition to that some of the humour was decent too, but the overall execution wasn’t solid. The film had problems balancing the humour against the horror, the genres didn’t work together as much as they did apart, and the horror aspects were definitely more successful than the humour. Apart from that I liked the history of the Krampus and the theme of hope and faith during Christmas, but some parts were predictable and the ending almost failed were it not for one key moment that changed thing for the better. Part of me wished that the film was scarier, creepier in tone and was pure horror rather than mixed with comedy, but it would have needed someone like Guillermo del Toro to pull it off yo.

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The cast was good and did well considering the source material they were working with. Adam Scott and Toni Collette were memorable as Max’s parents, Tom and Sarah. David Koechner was pretty funny and had a lot of memorable scenes as Howard and Conchata Ferrell as Aunt Dorothy had some of the best comic relief in the whole film. Emjay Anthony (who I remembered from Chef) did a good job as Max considering that he was a child actor in a horror film, also Allison Tolman as Linda, Stefania LaVie Owen as Beth and Krista Stadler as Omi did well too. I also liked the designs of some of these crazy underlings of Krampus, the use of practical effects and make-up was interesting and the lighting and use of colour was quite good also, though I wish the Krampus looked a little scarier.

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In the end I’m in two minds about this film, on one hand the film had some decent scares, good tension, cool creature designs and moments of horror, but the humour, the reveal of Krampus and a few other elements didn’t come together in the way that I wanted. That being said it I definitely enjoyed a fair amount of the film and would recommend it.

Rating: 6.5/10

So have you seen Krampus and if so what did you think of it? Leave you thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Joys of Watching Parks and Recreation

Howdy people of the internet, time for a semi-review of sorts. Today I wish to talk about one of my favourite TV shows in recent history, Parks and Recreation, one of the best comedy TV shows I have seen for a long time. If you have read this blog before then you will know a little while ago I did a blog post about my history with TV shows and some of my favourites of all-time, but the one show I was probably missing and I would add now is Parks and Rec. It is THAT good. Now that the show is in its final season with the final two episodes set to air tomorrow, I thought it would be nice to talk about this show and why it kicks so much ass.

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Before talking about the show, I wanted explain why I started watching it. basically I had heard some talk about Parks and Rec back in 2012 and 2013 on various websites and fair amount on AMC Movie Talk. But it wasn’t until Chris Pratt was cast as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy that I decided to give the show a watch (that and the fact that John Campea of AMC Movie Talk spoke so highly of him on the show). And that’s where it all started.

So why do I love this show? Allow me to explain…

In a nutshell the story of Parks and Rec follows the absurd antics of the town’s public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place. The show is set Pawnee, Indiana and follows the adventures of Leslie Knope as she attempts to improve the town through government with her crew from the parks department.

The reason the show works is because of the following three main reasons: 1) It is funny, 2) The cast is brilliant and 3) It never stays the same.

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I have to admit that the first season did take some time to get into, it was fine, but the show didn’t find a focus and it’s funny factor until season two. From there all of the stories have more focus and energy, the jokes are much better and the characters really start to show their more unique and hilarious personalities. Each season afterward presents new, exciting and absurd stories for us as viewers to see, nothing ever stays the same for too long and thankfully things change for the better rather than ruining the formula of the show. The are surprises to be found and plot twists that happen in the most surprising of ways, the show’s almost like a comedy mixed in with a soap opera. There is good humour but also a lot of drama to be found (but I’ll get to that later in this post.

One of the main things that make this show work so well is the humour. People who read this blog know that I’m not the biggest fan of comedy-based stuff, though when I find a TV show that I find really funny, then I’m a happy place. For a time I thought Community was the funniest US TV show I’d watched, but then Parks and Rec, came along and blew the former out of the water. Parks and Rec is funny, it is really funny. The show has some of the snappiest humour I have seen in any show in a long time. Whether it be verbal or physical humour, it works so well and as the seasons go on the show’s funny factor stays consistent and provides many laugh-out-loud moments. Plus since the show is done in a documentary style with characters able to the break the fourth wall and talk to the audience, it just adds a level of intimacy and humour that other shows lack.

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The best thing about the show is its characters. The characters of Pawnee happen to be some of the most absurd fictional human beings ever conceived, they’re like all of the people that go to Community‘s Greendale Community College, except on a much crazier level. Whether it is the primary, recurring or guest cast members, everyone gets their chance to shine in this show. What is neat about the citizens of Pawnee is that most of them are all given plenty of screen time for you understand who they are and why they are funny, so when they make future appearances you remember and appreciate them more.

Firstly we have Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope who is delightful to watch. Leslie is a woman crazy obsessed with government and a lot of strange habits, however she is also very kind and is a brilliant friend to all of her coworkers. Poehler is just perfect for this kind of role and I love how much her character’s progressed. The gorgeous Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins is also great, she start’s out as an outsider and a nurse but eventually become integrated into the government through her friendship with Leslie. Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford is one of the most funny people in the show, the man is classy, but also selfish, arrogant and sarcastic, but all of those traits make him so likeable. Then there’s Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson who is arguably my favourite character. He is a man of few words, hates government, loves meat and normally likes to distance himself from his coworkers, and that’s just a few elements that makes him amazing. I LOVE Offerman’s performance and he just makes me smile whenever he has key scenes in the show.

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Another great person is Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate. Here we have a live-action version of Daria, except much more creepy, cynical and lazy. April is SO much fun because she is cute and yet so awkward and strange. And then there’s Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer who is the character I think it arguably the best person in the show. The guy is incredibly stupid and child-like, but he’s also very sweet and his singing and physical humour makes the show SO much fun to watch. Pratt’s energy and charisma really elevate the show and provide some of the most memorable scenes in the series. Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt is probably my least favourite character in this group, that being said he has his moments where he is pretty funny (and that mainly comes from being around Leslie). Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger is just one of the best people ever. He is inhumanly heathy, absurdly positive and has such a great relationship with everyone. Jim O’Heir and Retta also bring me much joy as Jerry Gergich and Donna Meagle. Donna is a surprisingly funny and sophisticated woman who has great moments with Tom while Jerry is a man who just suffers, whether he is getting into accidents, being ignored or just being pranked by his colleagues, there is never a dull moment when he is around.

I also love small recurring characters like the brilliant Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz), the sassy/crazy Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins), the absurd/sexy Tammy II (Megan Mullally), the humourous Brandi Maxxxx (Mara Marini), the absurd Bill Dexhart (Kevin Symons), the always entertaining  Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) and quiet and creepy Orin (Eric Isenhower) just to name a few.

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Watching this show feels like more than just 30 minutes for fun TV, it feels more like checking on good friends and seeing what they’ve been getting up to from episode to episode. What the writers and actors do so well with this show, more so than a lot of others, is make you feel connected to these characters and their situations with very real, emotional and relatable stories. For all of the humour that takes place in this show, there is a A LOT of heart, so much so that there are episodes that make you want to cry tears (sometimes of joy and sadness). I love the show so much that I re-watched the whole thing again (before season seven had aired) and now we’re on the final season and I’m not quite ready for another one of my favourite shows to end, but I guess this rollercoaster ride has to end at some point.

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In conclusion Parks and Recreation is pretty much one of the best TV shows I ever decided to watch. Few shows have the power to engage me on such a level where I am addicted and need more like a crack-head junkie. The cast is brilliant, the humour is great and each season beyond the first brings something new, strange and fun to the table in ways that most shows can’t. If you haven’t experienced the awesomeness that is Parks and Rec then I implore you to do so, you’re missing out on some good stuff yo. 😀

So have you seen the awesomeness that is Parks and Recreation and if so what do you think or it? Whatever your thoughts be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review

Now it is time for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty review, my first film review of 2014. This was a film I hoped to review before 2013 ended, but time just escaped me, plus I got a bit lazy haha. I’ve been looking forward to this film since just after the summer and had fairly high expectations because it was being talked about so much prior to its release. So does the film deliver or not? Read on and find out.

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The story for this film can be summarised below:

“A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.”

The main consensus I took away from this story was that it had a lot of potential but it didn’t live up to the expectations. I feel like there was a great deal of scope and ambition, but the film fell underneath it all and couldn’t capitalize on the big adventure. This film is all about Walter and the fact that he goes from a boring daydreamer to an adventurous man on a journey of discovery. At first you connect with him and enjoy his daydream sequences, but sometimes they become a little too frequent and at point its a bit too long and over-the-top. One issue I have is that even after Walter actually goes on his adventure things still feel unrealistic and daydream-like, at times I was just waiting for something crazy to happen only to find out that it was real. And at the end of the day after all that Walter’s gone through you can’t help but feel like a lot of it is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

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When it comes to the cast everyone is fine but the main person keep this film alive is Ben Stiller. So let’s talk about him first as Walter Mitty. Walter is a man who is very simple, boring, kind of insignificant and reclusive socially and while he has skills in other areas it’s not really emphasizes. Stiller is enthusiastic, out-going and interesting and while his character does get a bit annoying I like his commitment to his role. Kristen Wiig as Cheryl Melhoff is a lovely down-to-earth kind of girl who is smart and caring and you can see why Walter likes her. Adam Scott as Ted Hendricks is really good, he plays Walter’s new boss who is pretty much a douchebag and very cruel to Walter and some of the other staff and Scott plays up his role very well. Shirley MacLaine and Kathryn Hahn do well as Edna and Odessa Mitty, Sean Penn is pretty decent as Sean O’Connell and Patton Oswalt is hilarious as Todd Maher.

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The visual presentation for the film is pretty decent with some elaborate action scenes and sequences which are creative, crazy and fun. The problem is that some of these scenes go on a bit too long and the CGI is a bit overused and not as polished as some other films I’ve seen of recent. The scenery of Greenland and Iceland was incredible and those scenes were shot pretty well, oh and I also liked the skateboarding scene too, that looked nice.

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In conclusion The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a decent film, however I can’t help but feel disappointed because I expected a lot more than I was given. Ben Stiller does his best as the lead character and the action-based daydreams make this film a lot more interesting than other thanks to the creativity and large scope. This film is decent and there is some fun to be had with it, however I know this film could have been so much more.

Rating: 6/10 (a decent film that just falls under the weight of its ambition)

So what did you think of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Did you like it or not? Whatever your thoughts leave them below and I’ll see ya on then next film review yo.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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