End Of Year Film Awards

NOTE: Everything written regularly is written by Producer Mark. While everything in italics is written by Producer Lee.

Best Actor

I’m sure this gets said every year, but every year there are a whole host of great performances, that choosing one is just too hard, but it must be done…Unless you’re a shoddy internet film blog like this one. So I picked two.jason-segel-the-end-of-the-tour-trailer

Jason Segel – End of the Tour. Known primarily for his comedic roles in…well everything else he has done, Jason Segal is revolutionary as David Foster Wallace; bringing a subtle but clearly perpetually uncomfortable nuance to his manner. Even as he runs the gambit of emotions from, funny, angry, confidant, overjoyed, and sad, he never appears at home in his own skin or mind, and is a truly authentic take on the troubled genius. And for such an orgastic turn to come from Jason Segel is the cherry on the cake.

steve-jobs-trailerMichael Fassbinder – Steve Jobs. It’s easy to make a bad guy unlikable but loveable, to play the asshole that treats everyone like shit and make the audience love him. It is an entirely different and much harder task to play a guy you’re meant to like and have complex emotions for, like a complete asshole. But that’s exactly what Michael Fassbinder pulls off in his embodiment of Steve Jobs. He then takes it further as we peel back the layers that make and has made him the way he is; jumping back and forwards in time to see the building blocks of his character all the way to the complete man he becomes; and it’s all perfectly portrayed to us with barely any of his actual life shownmaxresdefault

Al Pacino: Danny Collins. I know, Al Pacino gave a good performance, what are the odds of that? But this is a different Pacino performance than the normal good performance. The usual good Pacino performance makes you want to stand up and applaud, but this is different. You completely buy into his performance in a role which could have been derailed by a lesser actor. The downside is that writing this has made me have the song from the film stuck in my head.

Best Actress

bluntEmily Blunt – Sicario. She’s a badass who’s always in control, but feels constantly out of her depth. She’s tough as nails and takes no shit, but her growing fear of the morality of her job she just can’t quell. Always ready to dive in and fight for what’s right even when faced with an endless darkness, but never shallow enough to not think about and feel the repercussions of what she does. And with all that, she’s never a blank, genderless slate who could be played by anyone, she’s still a woman. Though this may read more like a look at her character than her performance, the fact is you can’t distinguish the two from the other.

Runner-up: Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina2015ExMachina_Press_20_140115.hero

 

 

 

 

 

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Amy Schumer: Trainwreck. Not the best performance by a long shot, but the film rests so heavily upon her performance that the fact she’s actually really good in it really helps it.

 

Honorable mention: Phyllis Smith in Inside Out as sadness. sadness-phyllis-smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Script

Steve Jobs: It’s an Arron Sorkin film script, so it’s expected that it will be one of the best of the year, stevebut this isn’t just fanfare. Like most Sorkin scripts this is a dialogue driven spectacular that runs the gambit of funny, to thrilling, to heart wrenchingly dramatic, but it is also a complete reinvention for the Biopic genre. Set in three real time acts between the 70s and 90s from behind the scenes at product launches, Steve has to argue his way through his friends, enemies and family to make each launch. What should have been the equivalent of telling a life’s story with both arms tied behind its back is turned into a fascinating character piece that tells us more about Steve Jobs the man than any old cradle to the grave film ever could.

Inside out: It’s the story and ideas that this film tells and so thoughtfully inside outexecutes that made it too amazing for me not to put it here too. Yes I think the plot isn’t as original as it could have been or thinks it is, and the writing while very funny wasn’t too special; but its imagery behind how the mind is put together and how we as people function is just too genius to not step back and applaud. And on top of that I was floored by its very mature message of the importance and the need for the emotion of sadness, and how it helps bring us together and grow-up.

ladyinvanLady In The Van. A film like this rests entirely on script and performance. And luckily both shine through. The script is full of hilarious moments (and a rather odd use for madeira cake). The fact it is a (mostly) true story doesn’t diminish the brilliance. In fact it makes it more impressive as it’s framed in a good way and says a lot about the power of the writer. 

Worst Film

The Big Game. Because it’s the only film I’VE seen this year that had me turnBig-Game-International-Trailer to my fellow Troubled Production’s producer and say, “We should fucking leave.” For more details look further down. I talk more about it in another section. 🙂

 

7133aU1riAL._SY550_The Gallows. There was a lot of bad films this year but this tops the list for absolutely NOTHING about it working. It was badly shot, the actors were shit, the characters were annoying, the “twist” didn’t make sense in terms of plot and seemed to be an asspull, the jump scare ruined what would have actually been an okay ending (seriously, if you have a moment in your film where a character gives a monologue on stage and then the lights go out and the curtain goes down: END THE FILM THERE!), the characters were the most annoying people I’ve seen outside of Twitter.  

 

Best Film Moment (scene, piece of dialogue or shot etc)

3052092-slide-s-3-fictions-in-the-steve-jobs-biopicIt’s an abstract – Steve Jobs. The moment in which, in the middle of a heated argument with his ex-wife, Steve Jobs turns over the Mac and shows her what their daughter had been doing on it, to prove to her (and in many ways the audience) why the computer is important and what people will use it for; and it turns out his daughter has been drawing an abstract painting in Paint. It’s a little moment, but in a film (and year) of great moments this one struck me just right. The combination of my own nostalgia for Paint, combined with the sweet little exchange between them, leads to the first time the character of Steve Jobs is humanised. It may not be the biggest moment, the most dramatic, or even the most important, but it was the moment for me that Steve Jobs went from an awesome film, to a great one.

Runner-up: and the conversation is the best one I ever had – ending scene to End of The Tour. It was a perfectly touching and an up beat way to close this melancholy true life tale.

inside-out-fear-disgust-anger-fightingInside Out control room locks up. The best way to describe depression to idiots who think it’s just “being a bit sad”. A truly iconic moment in a fantastic film. 

 

 

Worst Film Moment (scene, piece of dialogue or shot etc)

Picture1Focus- Woo woo. Focus as a whole is fine, it’s an okay caper with a fun return from Will Smith. But it has this one scene that involves conning an over acting Chinese Businessmen at a football game, that is legitimately one of the funnest and most thrilling scenes of the year. It’s so good that the immediate retarded explanation behind the con is such a painful whiplash, it landed itself as the worst moment of the year for me. The process to pulling off the con is sooooo over the top, ridiculous, and silly, it just destroys what was such a bad ass moment and just makes it laughable.

This is very easy for me. It’s a moment that’s so bad it stands out, even in a film film2-1_3-26-15made almost entirely of awful: Get Hard. Against my better judgement I watched this film, and I wish I hadn’t. It was unfunny, badly plotted and just not needed at all. I’d like to think Will Ferrell is at the stage of his career where he has his pick of films to be in, and he chose this. That says a lot either about his judgment or his cocaine addiction which I’ve just made up. So the moment: there’s a scene which is like 5 minutes of making jokes about prison rape. Rape jokes are odd as they’re the only thing that become less offensive if  you put the word “Prison” before it. But this scene was just ugly, and it wasn’t needed. It was just the same joke repeated over and over again “you’re going to get raped”, and the joke wasn’t funny enough to be the focus of a whole scene. 

Honorable mention: a scene in Child 44 where the camera panned to the side to showcase: a wall. 

Best Film

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Also the best poster of the year

End of the Tour. I have a lot of time for films about writers, that dive into their work, their creative process, and the damage of that; hence why another of my favourite films is Wonder Boys. I also have a lot of time for Linklater-esque stories based around the conversations between characters and their evolving dynamic, instead of heavy plot. So combine those in this true life story of the five day interview of acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky, played by a typically great Jesse Eisenberg and a revolutionary Jason Segel as Wallace; which cuts deep as it examines the development of their uneasy friendship, the nature of writing and interviewing, and the plights but want of fame, you have my personal favourite film of the 2015.

Runner-up(s): Steve Jobs & Inside Out. Both are great films. Steve Jobs delivering an emotionally charged intellectual punch, while Inside Out delivers an intellectually charged emotional one; and End of the Tour only tops it for me because it does both.

8345_poster_iphoneThe Voices. And I am soooo glad about that as if it was bad it would have destroyed me. Ryan Reynolds actually seems to be redeeming himself for Green Lantern with this, Woman In Gold and next year’s Deadpool. This is the only film I’ve seen at the cinema this year which I now own on DVD. I didn’t want to wait, I knew I had to buy it. The script is hilarious, Reynolds just seems to be having hella fun, and there’s an absolutely BEAUTIFUL shot in the woods after he kills someone. A very good live action directorial debut from Marjane Satrapi. 

 

 

Best Film To Look At (a.k.a: the “Serena”)

Steve Jobs. For a film that predominantly takes place inside behind the scenes jobs.jpg.pngin theatres this may seem like an odd choice. But its Danny Boyal’s dynamite directing, that transforms rows of seats into complex tapestries, wide shots of walls into film screens, and characters staring at computer screens into complex moments of inner turmoil, that make this a clear winner for me. Really it’s here because this film didn’t need and shouldn’t have been such a visual feast, it just needed to let the words and actors stretch, but it still found beautiful ways to elevate those aspects, and keep you as visually enthralled as you are verbally.

Runner-up: Youth. Shot on location in the Swiss Alps and married with plenty of abstract imagery; never has a testament to youth and age ever looked so beautiful and devastating.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR

The Good Dinosaur. Yes the film itself was bland and 90’s Disney-esque and the characters looked, well, wrong, just wrong. But the scenery? Oh my god it was gorgeous. A planet that looked lived in and liveable. The way they animated water in particular made it actually look like water as opposed to just “standard with a blue tinge”. 

Most Disappointing Film

Legend. Far from a terrible film, but with the talent behind and in front of this camera this should have been one of the best films of 20mqdefault15 and a major awards contender. But outside a pretty fun dual performance from one of the best actors today, Tom Hardy, it turned out to be nothing but a decently entertaining, if mostly dull and plotless thing that never found its footing.

ganeThe Big Game. The worst part of this film is it’s easy to fix. You make the kid actually an effective hunter so it’s about the president of the United States being out of his element but helped by somebody who knows how to use the environment. So basically Rambo turned into an escort mission. Instead they made the kid useless, so it was a president being helped by someone who’s shit. 

Honorable mention: The Gallows. Had high hopes for this but in the end was the worst horror film I’ve seen all year. In a year that included Poltergeist remake, Insidious 3 and The Visit. 

Most Surprising Film

The Martian. Surprising doesn’t mean you expected it to be bad and it wasn’t. 17vZ0fzIt mean’s surprising. I went in expecting an existential Sci-fi about survival and the human will. And I got all that, but it also happened to be one of the best comedies of the year, that used the blend of dramatic thrills and comedy to make both more effective. From Matt Damon’s optimistic Martian and his crew, to Jeff Daniels smarmy NASA CEO and his quirky team of scientists. It is not an insult to this film to call it a comedy; it is a complement to comedy that this film is one.

Runner-up: Ant-Man. Who would of thought Ant-Man would have been the best Superhero film of 2015.

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John Wick. I admit I expected a typical action film and didn’t have high hopes for it. But this film was a revelation. The universe and characters were so well defined it seemed like a comic book adaptation. News there’s a sequel excites me as I want to see more of this world.

 

 

 

 

The “well I liked it” award

Tomorrowland_posterTomorrowland. What’s with the hate on this film? Was it a perfect feat of science fiction? No, but it’s a fun Sci-fi adventure, with an interesting world, fun likable characters, a combo of goofy and deadpan humour, and is a real harken back to classic Sci-Fi adventures. When the future was something to wonder for not fear, and technology looked like technology. Ray guns are big and bright and silly, and jetpacks are sleek and still make no sense but are too awesome. Is the plotting all over the place, yes, is the first act a bit too much like molasses on sandpaper? Also not a complete over-exaggeration, but it’s got way too much heart to let little things like that get in the way of a good time.

Tomorrowland. I really don’t get the hate for this film. It’s odd as EVERYBODY I know who saw it liked it, but outside of my social circle everybody seems to hate it. But why? It’s nice. It’s the kind of film where if I saw it as a child it would have been my favourite film. 

The “I’m obviously not seeing what the reviewers are seeing” award

cWkwQf.jpgThe Big Game. “As spectacular as it is funny” “Samuel L Jackson has his tongue firmly in his cheek”. I wish either of these statements were true about this still born mess, failing to be dumb fun. The concept is great; a wimpy President played by Samuel L Jackson is chased through the mountains by terrorists and is helped by a badass child warrior. This should be as fun and or as campy as Olympus has fallen, or White House down…but instead, the kid isn’t a badass at all and spends most the film trying to find himself and failing; and though all his lines are wimpy, Jackson still plays it like a badass, so it’s just awkward. For a film apparently just going for fun, it takes its story and characters’ much too seriously, and its biggest failure is trying to distil genuine arcs and development on these blocks of wood.hqdefault

Unfriended. Seriously, fuck this film.

 

 

 

 

The “Yeah it’s bad but” award

index.jpgChappie: a perfect example of a hot fucking mess. The plot is all over the place, it’s supporting characters are unlikeable and stupid to the point of being endearing, it’s like a child’s film with hardcore violence…How can you not dig this film. Held up by the sheer adorableness and likability of Chappie himself, and some dark, dark humour, Chappie is one giant mess you don’t want to clear up.

Chappie. Always always Chappie. I know this film is bad, the plot is all over the place, the characters are unlikeable and it’s just bad all over. And yet I love it. No idea why. I just think the film works. It’s funny and kind of brilliant despite itself. 

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2015 In TV

2015 was a weird time for television. Channels were still attempting to figure out how to adapt to a new digital commercial model. But despite people proclaiming that television is (or will soon be) dead, it seems like a new dawn of television is coming. Thanks to netflix (specifically Breaking Bad and its ilk) people are taking episodic dramas more seriously.

But going to start with political comedy. Two major shifts happened in the American political comedy landscape this year. After The Colbert Report ended last year, Comedy Central needed a new show to fill the gap and partner The Daily Show, and it happened with The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore. Something very different from both Colbert and Daily Show . It had an odd start but soon defined itself as something truly funny. It was oddly helped by something truly awful: Bill Cosby.

cosby

Later on in the year something bigger happened: Jon Stewart left The Daily Show after 16 and a half years. The new host of this had a hell of a job forced upon them, so the fact it went to an almost unknown Trevor Noah says a lot about how highly Stewart held Noah. And Noah’s doing well, despite needing an almost all-new news team. Since he started he’s had to do stories about terrorism, mass shootings, and Donald Trump. And he’s done well. His interview techniques aren’t quite Stewart yet, but he shows great potential.

white isis

Empire turned out to be the first major drama of the year, with the highest rated debut on Fox in three years with ratings steadily climbing since, culminating in the highest ratings for a debut seasons season finale since Grey’s Anatomy in 2005.

Netflix brought the style this year: Better Call Saul, Scream, Sense8, Daredevil and Jessica Jones were well received dramas whilst Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was one of the finest new comedies of the year, featuring adorable Erin (which is now her official name) from The Office.

In other comedy news, a remake of The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry launched this year. Anybody know that? That should tell you how well it was received.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend debuted late in the year on The CW. This should be awful based on the title alone but it’s actually quite good. It’s a musical sitcom, which should get your attention if nothing else does. The songs are actually really good too. They range from the annoyingly catchy (I Have Friends), the very inappropriate (Sex With A Stranger) to the annoyingly catchy and inappropriate (Feeling Kinda Naughty). Luckily it’s not just me, critics agree. Which is a relief as it decreases the chances of it being cancelled. Also showed the weirdness of TV censorship. “Anal doesn’t hurt at all” is a big no no, but “butt stuff doesn’t hurt at all” is fine, despite being exactly the same.

Community took a risk this year, forgoing the usual network television root, and having it’s new series take place on Yahoo! A risk which early indicators seem to indicate paid off.

Glee ended this year, to the angry cries of about 80% less people who would have cried if it ended 5 years ago. No, that’s not me being needlessly bitchy, that’s the actual difference in viewing figures. If it was anything less than 60% less viewers I would’ve gone with “”Glee ended this year, provoking cries of “wait, that’s still on?””. But 2.3 million viewers, down from 12.45 isn’t something that can go without being mentioned. Especially since it’s actually lower than its debut season. It’s a warning tale not to let series go on too long. Glee really fell, and fell hard, and not all of it can be down to viewers changing how they watch. It fell comparatively to other shows as well. It was the 15th most watched show when it debuted, this year it ranked 148th.

With those figures, you’d think Glee mainstay Lea Michele would be worried that her career could be tainted by it. Luckily for her she was cast in Scream Queens. Which is, well, kind of amazing. A well-crafted murder based comedy. It’s dark, it’s twisted and it’s genuinely laugh out loud funny in parts. I feel this show should be commended for it’s use of music which has been amazing. From Beware Of Young Girls through to Forever Young the music on this show has been top class.

Gotham seems to be finding its feet this season by having one series-long arc to focus on which has an actual end point. And by having more Penguin, who’s been an amazing character. On the downside: Bruce Wayne himself is still a really boring character. Part of it is because the story is based around a plot on his life, yet we know he won’t die so it doesn’t really work. The death of the guy we assumed to be the Joker was marvellous though, we didn’t think they’d dare to kill off a guy who was that damn good.

It wasn’t just Glee that ended this year, Hannibal ended this year. To the utter dismay of the entire internet. This was a show which both audiences and critics loved but for some reason never scored high viewer numbers which sadly means the end of it.

As usual American HandEgg ruled the televisions in America this year with viewing figures of don’t care and an audience share of who gives a fuck?

The most watched show in Britain this year? Would it be a christmas special? The Queen concert at new years? A major sporting event? Nope, the most watched television episode of 2015 in Britain:

bake off.jpeg

Could it get more British than that? More people watched this show than voted in the last elections. And the right person won, and everybody agrees with that except the Daily Mail, who are being cunts about the fact she’s not white.

Thunderbirds was rebooted this year, but on ITV so nobody cared.

 

And that’s the year in TV.

 

Why we love…Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

ironman33Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favourite films (I know, another one!). It’s also, technically, a Christmas film (like EVERY Shane Black film), so by that logic it must also be my favourite Christmas film….Okay no its not, as it’s not a film I associate strongly with Christmas, like Home Alone or Die Hard. But it is an underrated classic, it is Christmassy enough, and it’s a film I can ramble on about its awesomeness for a post. So here I go.

Kiss-Kiss-Bang-Bang-Movie-Direct-DownloadNow the film itself is a pulpy Neo-noir mystery, which follows a petty crook played by a pre Iron Man Robert Downy Jr, and a badass gay Private-eye played by post Batman and relevance Val Kilmer, who are forced to work together to solve a classic and very compelling murder mystery in LA.

Now based on that description the film could really be anything, from hard edged thriller, to straight to DVD action flick. But like most Shane Black pictures it’s one of my favourite genres, outrageously dark comedy, with some of that best pitch black humor this side of In Bruges (which would actually make a dapmnbk5i5mn fine double feature) and it is also gleefully Meta. It turns the classic hard boiled narration into a rambling fourth wall demolishing spiel delivered by whom else but Downy, who spends much of the film deconstructing film narrative and murder mystery tropes, in an enjoyably if sometimes too smugly, nit-picky and self-referential way.

kiss-kiss-bang-bang-movie-quoteBut the heart of the film, what really makes it tick, is the razor sharp, character driven, machine gun dialogue. In a world, of Tarantino and Brother’s Coen, this is one of the sharpest scripts in cinema. There is not a minute that goes by, where a clever bit of word play or a visual gag or a marriage of both isn’t being pulled off. And it’s not just a series of funny but generic one-liners that could be said by anyone in anything, the comedy is pulled from its characters, from their plight and problems, and walks of life. To laugh with them and at them, is to get to know them.

tumblr_ma0nd0s3bx1ractwko1_r1_500And there are characters beyond Downy and Kilmer…well character. With most of the cast ranging from two note Hench-men and campy as hell villains, the only other big character is Michelle Monaghan (one of the most drop dead gorgeous women ever). The fem fatale of the film, who really isn’t in anyway, but is actually the ditsy heart of the flick, adding the much needed warmth and tonal levity to this dark and funny tale of murder and sexual abuse….yup. Whose dynamite chemistry with Downy not only helps ground both characters and gets the plot moving, but will make you wish she’d pop up in a Marvel film just so you can see them bounce off each other again.

Now this may be hard to hear, but as great as Downtumblr_mw8h9tn6bN1r60h6bo1_250y and Monaghan are…this is Kilmer’s film. He is pitch perfect as the aforementioned badass gay Private-eye, known as, what else, Gay Perry. Now this is a 2005 film, so the handling of his gay character isn’t perfect, my biggest issue being how other characters overreact a bit too much to his gayness (though in funny ways). But his kisskissbangbang3-copycharacter itself is one of the best in fiction; because despite the name, it doesn’t define him. He’s a tough, foul mouthed, no nonsense talking, gun toting, sassily witted, motherfucking pimp, who also happens to be gay. And it’s not just shoved to the side either; it’s just one part of a whole character, who steals scenes like Robert Downy Jr steals hearts.

Oh and the films like set at Christmas and stuff, and there’s like fairy lights everywhere and Christmas parties and tings. It’s a Shane Black film. He even made Iron Man  a Christmas film!

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Shane Black’s apology for Iron Man 3

 

Picture1But It’s movies like this along with other Downy classics like, Wonder Boys, A Scanner Darkly, Zodiac, and the very good A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, that still have me convinced that Robert Downy Jr did his best work pre Iron Man (not to knock it), when he was exiled from Hollywood (you know because of drugs), and was trying to crawl his way back in. And I wish he would go back to doing smaller more interesting films, than just the Marvel flicks; hell just films more interesting than The Judge. But I doubt he ever will, with everything Marvel still happening, the piles of money just his goatee is worth, and his recent comments about his hatred towards indie films. So I won’t hold my breath.

 

Top 10 Super Nintendo Games: Part 2 (The Final Countdown)

5 Super Bomberman

I played this game A LOT growing up. But here’s something strange: I’ve never played single player. This game is MADE for multiplayer. Of course, you need a multiplayer adapter but still….very few things are as satisfying in video games as blowing someone up.

bomberman
Albeit in a cartooney fashion. 

It’s kind of odd to me that this franchise isn’t still going strong. It’s almost tailor-made for online play. Plus the level designs are simple so could also involve custom levels etc. It is being made like that but for some reason hasn’t caught on, possibly due to lack of marketing, possibly due to a realistic depiction of the character for a 360 game.

Boxart_jap_bomberman-act-zero
This is so wrong. It’s like seeing Mario with a shotgun

4. Donkey Kong Country

A late bloomer, and a game that seemed to launch an entire company. This game put Rare on the map. They had developed games before which were well received, but not like this. This revived a flagging franchise and turned Donkey Kong into a bonafide videogame legend. It came late in the life of the console but seemed to define it. The levels are well defined, the sound is majestic, and the visuals. Oh my god the visuals! This still stands as one of the few games I remember watching almost wide-eyed in amazement at how it looked.

donkeykongcountry
Those pixels….

3. Super Mario Kart.

There’s not much I can say about this game that hasn’t already been said. The multiplayer is superb, the Mode-7 graphics technique revolutionised 16bit racing games, and meant that kids discovered a new range of swear words when they hit their older brother with a red shell. And if he hadn’t turned the console off because dinner was ready I maintain I would have ensured my brother was no longer undefeated on the first Bowser’s Castle.

bowser.jpeg
Not that I’m still bitter or anything

2. Zombies Ate My Neighbours

This is the odd one out in this list. Even in the last blog the most obscure game was probably Earthworm Jim. This game is a true cult classic. Which I guess makes sense as it pays homage to classic cult horror films and characters like werewolves, zombies, and giant weeds. The gameplay is relatively simple, you walk around and save neighbours by touching them (which set me up for a lifetime of disappointment and sexual harassment cases) before they’re attacked by the enemies. The enemies range from zombies,

Zombies_Ate_My_Neighbors_-_1993_-_Konami
Relatively simple. And yes, you can jump on those trampolines

toy dolls (which turn into little fireballs of fuckitude if you attack them)

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Fuck these guys

Lumberjacks.

lumberjack
My reaction to these is pretty much to run away (or punch in the face)

Giant ants (which I only just discovered aren’t spiders)

ants
Probably because my reaction to these is still just *turn the console off and pray for forgiveness*

Giant babies

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Because, obviously

And what weapons are you tasked with saving the world with? Water pistols, soda cans, tomatoes, popsicles and bazookas. One of those things is not like the others. Side note: take a quick look at the victims you can save:

victim

Now, ignore the cheerleader, the guy who still insists on BBQ’ing, and the guy lounging in his pool (damn this guy was odd), and pay attention to the guy on the bottom left. Yup, that’s a soldier, who you, a teenager, has to save. Two complaints against this game: no save system, and the graphics could be improved. Both of which would be solved in a HD rerelease on xbox live or PSNetwork (hint hint).

1. Super Mario World

Well, they can’t all be obscure cult classics. Yes, sometimes it’s cool to be all hipster and like “oh, actually this game you don’t know about is the best game and was only available for a week in Japan”, sometimes the most well known games are the best. And that’s definitely the case for this. This game is still spoken about today, and for good reason. It’s soooooo damn good. The looks, the level design is one of the best in 2d platform history. You know how when playing Tony Hawk’s games and it’s laid out to perform perfect lines, that’s what this game is like. Everything’s laid out so you can get through it with the right rhythm etc. There’s also the sense of adventure. You can just go through the game as it looks and complete it. But you can also explore the levels, take different routes, and you’re rewarded for that with other levels, items and game-changing mechanics.

chocolate
Disappointingly this game isn’t edible

When playing games there are few things that stick in the mind more than an “Oh My God” moment. Those moments where you’re playing a game and something happens which just sticks with you, not in a “i’m horrified” way, but in a “oh this is amazing”. This game has many of them. From the first time you have a Yoshi, to the first time you find a cape, to the first time you find a secret level, through to finding the blue Yoshi (that guy was awesome).

blue yoshi

The brilliance of this game is when you beat it you don’t want to move through to another game, you want to play it again. It really kicked off the “100% completist” attitude to console gaming (for better or worse). I have to stop here now, for many reasons. Because I’ve ran out of things to say, because I’ve reached the end of the list, and because I really want to play video games now.

Top 5 Video Games of 2015

Necronomi-Conor

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Merry fucking Christmas you filthy animals! Twenty-fifteen is coming to an end and with that marks the swath of obligatory and admittedly arbitrary reflections of the year in list form.

merry yo

I’m not usually one to put numbers next to things I like, but in the spirit of the season I decided to concede and reduce my favourite games of the year down to a saccharine sequence of bite-sized summaries with all the journalistic integrity of a Daily Mail column.

Disclaimer: I’ve chosen five games for my list because I’ve missed out on a lot of releases this year and most of what I’ve played has been a catch-up on games from previous years, so yeah. Also, I didn’t get the chance to play The Witcher 3, so take heed before crucifying me for my blasphemes.

Kicking it off at number five:

Take a fucking bow, son: it’s Rocket League

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Top 10 favorite anime part 2: 5-1

5- Kino’s journey: the Beautiful World

transition-screen2A largely episodic, slow paced and thought-provoking road series, we follow the titular Kino on a journey around a strange other world with her talking motorcycle (not as goofy as it sounds). As they come across many strange lands and characters with startlingly different cultures and beliefs, as Kino waxes tumblr_m0l9im9XYH1qmpg90o1_500philosophy about the many meanings behind human nature. Though not to say she isn’t a fun and interesting character in her own right, delivering a lot of deadpan humour, and the episode that deals with her back story is just as interesting as any other. Every episode is like a parable, seeing Kino in bizarre places and meeting bizarre people, that aren’t what they seem; like a country only run by robots, warring countries with a genocidal secret, or simply railroad workers who think

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It’s a flying talking tank…what?

they’re only doing their job. The way the stories pan out and how Kino reacts to them is never what you expect. But unlike a lot of other episodic journey based shows, Kino is not a hero going round liberating cities and saving the day, she is only ever an observer, there to see the world not change it.

Not a particularly action packed or thrilling series, Kino’s journey is beautifully vivid, kinoand has the vibe of a cold snowy night in, and is for when you’re in the mood for something more cerebral and thought-provoking. At only 13 episodes Kino’s journey is a must for those who watch anime for more than tits and Kamehame Waves.

 

4- Baccano

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If Quentin Tarantino made an anime, it would be something like this. A

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This is Firo…he’s a bad-ass

sprawling, insane mulch-character driven gangster epic that weaves three interlinked but out of order stories, of the same characters from different points of 1930’s New York. Bringing together smooth talking gangsters, thuggish mobsters, goofy yet lovable thieves, good-hearted mercenaries, a variety of psychotic serial killers, and sinister immortal cultists. It sounds a lot, and it is, but it’s a hella good time and a fun ride.

Dramatic, action packed, scary, thoughtful, really really funny,

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Come on…watch it!

and just damn good entertainment; its Pulp Fiction-esque turned up to 11 plotting is a feat of storytelling, but if you can get your head around it you’ll discover one of the most bizarre gems anime has to offer. And it’s only 16 episodes long!

 

It also has one the coolest openings this side of Cowboy Bebop!

 

3- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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Actual development!!

In many ways and overall better than the original series in my opinion, as Brotherhood follows the manga’s story much closer, so the overall plot is better paced and planned out and there is actual character development.
Set in a fantastical world where the science of alchemy exists, we follow the young Elric brother’s as they travel the land, having many misadventures, trying to discover a way to fix their mistakes, and for the older brother Edward to find redemption for the sins of his youth. Almost as funny as it is dramatic and action packed, the story spans years as we see these characters grow, change and come to terms with the kind of world they d485627469945e22a38aa6ff49e9e5c33688105b_hqlive in; diving heavy into themes of brotherhood, redemption, religion, politics, and the meaning of life itself.

 

Really I can’t say much more without ruining it, so just watch it for yourself. Go get lost in this world that can be sweet and charming one moment, then dark and twisted the next. The characters are classic, and the story is huge. It’s everything you want anime to be and more.

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If you’ve seen the original series and think you don’t need to see this because of that, DO! Only around the first 15 episodes of the 64 cover what the original series did, and from then on it goes in a startlingly different direction. And that goes double for if you haven’t seen either.

2- Yu Yu Hakusho

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yu_yu_hakusho_-_032_-_knife_edge_death-matchThe series follows the adventures of a genuine jackass of a high school punk Yusuke, who after he is brought back from the dead becomes the after life’s Spirit Detective, tasked with protecting the world from demonic threats.
Though in many ways your typical battle Shonen fare (and doesn’t it sound it), what sets it apart from its kin is just how well it does it’s fare and builds around the tropes; as well as it’s generally darker tone. It’s a Shonen where people actually die, and the hero kills. But what makes it so great is its wide well developed cast of eclectic ch1931240-n30characters that constantly  blur the lines between good and evil (shades rarely touched upon by Shonen anime). Interesting worlds with different laws and cultures that are well explored, and though nearer the end its action gets a bit too DBZ-y, for the most part the fights are diverse and amazing, focusing more on martial-arts with super-powered twists, than just yelling till the other guy explodes. Though a bit slow and goofy at the beginning, when the main plot of the series begins developing from the second season it gets vastly more interesting. The villains become jusyuyu_full_192t as important and developed as the good guys, and the pace picks up perfectly, never falling into the DBZ trap of overly long fights and slow plot progression, instead keeping fights to two-ish episodes a piece at most and every episode actually pushes the plot forward.

It also has a fantastic dub that plays it fast and loose with language and indexhumor, and the manga writer himself as said he thinks the Dub captured the spirit of his story better than the original.

It’s a real gem from the 90’s anime flux, and one of the all-time greats. Watch it…if you have time for a 100+ episode series…

And it too has one of the bes…okay not best, but just odd opening themes, that doesn’t suit the show, but is perfect for it non the less.

 

1- BECK: Mongolian chop squad

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I’ve already done a full look at this series. So to see why it’s my number one go read that here.

Honorable mentions (or shows that should really be on the list)

Ping-Pong: the animation

tumblr_inline_n9jq40RZu31ridabgAn odd ball of a sport’s anime, that is much more about the characters and growing up than the sport, and does so brilliantly by telling this tale of reaching for the top from multiple players’ perspectives. But that doesn’t stop the sport being mesmerizing and intense as hell to watch. Relatively new so I’ve only watched it once, but give it time I could see this finding its way high on the list.

Trigun

OEqahC3The classic sci-fi western series, that starts as a goofy action comedy, and becomes a dark science fiction thriller, all with one of the most charismatically likable yet tragic leads ever put to anime. It is full of great characters that defy expectations, an expansive world like you’ve never seen before, and a rich and original mythology. Really it should be on the list, and I’m not sure why it isn’t!

Hellsing: Ultimate

tumblr_mh1llo4xP61rbrys3o1_500There’s anti-heroes, and then there’s Alucard the ‘hero’ of this dark, gothic action, horror show, who is basically just a villain, but just isn’t as evil as the other villains because well, even vampires aren’t Nazis. Gruesomely fun, with strong characters, action, and plot; just make sure you don’t confuse it with the other Hellsing series which pales in comparison, and is another case of the series that sticks closer to the manga being the better.

Death Note

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It’s fucking Death Note, does anyone need to say anything more about it!

 

 

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy_Bebop_9Another show considered an absolute classic, I kind of had the opposite experience with this than with Evangelion, as I went in with far too much hype, expecting the show to change my beliefs in the world and all that…and it really didn’t. But after having watched the show a few times with my expectations lower, I can’t deny how damn good it is. Great characters, great subtle storytelling, and it just oozes style from every pour, when it’s not just being funny. Don’t think I’ll ever 2500430-8244495395_dc9e0f48b7_zlove it as much as most people, but it DOES have one of the best ending lines in all of anime. So what else can I say but….bang

 

 

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed my list of my personal favorite anime shows. Agree, disagree, what are some of your favorite anime shows? Let us know in the comments below.

Top 10 Super Nintendo Games (Part 1)

Welcome, welcome, welcome. It’s getting to the end of the year so it’s time for lists. But it’s not close enough to end where we can’t do a “best of the year” list, so decided on this. The title pretty much says everything I need to, if you’re still uncertain what this list is, you’re not my target audience. Only 3 rules:

  1. They have to be on the SNES (obvious, but if I didn’t mention it….)
  2. One from each series if direct sequels.
  3. I have to have played them. Now this is the most restrictive one, and means I’m missing out on Zelda, Castlevania, Metroid and Final Fantasy. I know, I’m a terrible person but I wasn’t into those kind of games when I was that age and now they’re not easy to find.

10 Lemmings

lemmings_us_box_artThis was the last one I put on the list. Originally I put NBA Jam to take this spot. Mainly because I forgot this game existed for a while. Even once I remembered I had this I didn’t add it to the list because I mainly associated it with PC gaming. And then I remembered exactly why I brought Lemmings 2 on PC back in the day; it was because I hired out the original for SNES from a video game shop back in the day. So it gets on the list based solely on the fact it introduced me to a whole new area of gaming. It taught me gaming isn’t about speed or reactions, it was about thinking, about looking at a complex situation and figuring out exactly what tools you needed to solve it. This path has led me to games like Portal etc so is personally a very important game for me.

9 Aladdin

I know, movie licensed game before Goldeneye made them acceptable, but hear me out. This game is actually good. Odd fact for this; this game was available on the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive, but both games were different. Virgin Games (makers of Earthworm Jim and other fine games) had the disney license for video games, but Capcom had the license for Disney video games on Nintendo consoles. Very weird situation that would be unthinkable today but it led to two different, both very good games.

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And it looks BEAUTIFUL

8 Earthworm Jim

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See, I told you this was a fine game. Now, this game is weird, very very weird. It’s a tale as old as time itself, an earthworm finds a super suit and tries to save Princess Whats-Her-Name who is sadly crushed by a flying cow. Yeah, it’s a strange one, but it’s also fun, and actually funny.

7 Mario Is Missing

A lot of people dislike this game. And I can see why. It’s a mario game whemario is missingre you can’t kill mushrooms by jumping on them, and it’s educational. But for some reason I like it, I have warm memories of playing this as a child. Particularly the fact that the villains plan involves melting the polar ice caps with hundreds of hair dryers. And you controlled Luigi. And I liked Luigi. For some reason I preferred sidekicks to main characters. Not just Luigi, I preferred Tails to Sonic, always found Sonic and arrogant prick, and always felt Luigi was underappreciated. Even in Super Mario World when you beat a castle with Luigi the in-game text thanked Mario. Luigi gets no respect.

6 Street Fighter 2 Turbo

street fighterI imagine most of you know this game, so I don’t need to say much about it. This is one game where multiplayer is key. Beating the computer is fun and all, but not quite as fun as slapping your friend in the face as E.Honda. And it taught
us an important lesson, whether you’re Japanese or not, all good people are white.

 

So, that’s that, and part 2 will be next week. In the meantime, keep watching the skies! Oh wait, that’s not my sign off. Buy me cake! That’s better.

Top 10 favorite anime part 1: 10-6

Couldn’t think about what to write this week, so here’s a list!

10- Please Teacher

please teacher 01I’ll admit this is probably a bit more of a guilty pleasure at this point. It wasn’t always, but I haven’t seen it in a while, so it’s here based mainly on my fond memories of it. So up front, the set-up is typical silly as hell anime. A very shy fifteen year old high schooler who’s really eighteen because he was in a coma for three years, has to marry his secret alien homeroom teacher to stop her from getting fired…You got that. Good. Because after that really overdone set-up, the imagesshow turns into one of the most charming romances I’ve ever seen.   The developing romance between the high schooler and his teacher (just go with it, it’s Japan) is the beating heart of the series. And fantastical funny alien shenanigans aside; it’s a surprisingly earnest and sweet, if a tad melodramatic romance, and is one of the rare anime about the hurdles of a couple being together, instead of just getting together. The development of their characters through their relationship is well paced and full of 94715genuine moments of tender love and charm, and if you can get past the initial silliness of it all, you’ll find a show of fun diverse characters and more heart than it knows what to do with.

 

 

 

9- Digimon Tamers

Digimon_TamersThis is here, half for nostalgic affection for the series left over from my youth, and half as a legitimately awesome science fiction revamp of the adventure series. Digimon Tamers is an odd ball even in the Digimon shows, being outside the continuity of the others; it is instead set in a world where those shows exist as shows, and the Digitalworld in this series is a dangerous man made universe, vastly out of its creator’s control. It still follows the tried and true formula of kids get monster friends and fighting to save the world, but unlike the other shows, one, it deals with a smaller more nuanced cast of characters who feel like real kids, far outside the stereotypes of other seasons. And two, it is honestly way darker than a kids show should be. From the mind of the man who would bring us Serial Experiments Lain, and Ghost Hound (if you don’t know those shows just trust me, they are some freaky shit), his is a Digimon far removed from the happy go lucky world of its predecessors.

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Digimon aren’t all cute and cuddles anymore

This is a Digiworld where people die, children’s lives are in danger, and they do not all make it out okay. Now it’s not really all as gruesome as I just made it sound, it’s still a kid’s show. There is still plenty of humor, good natured adventure, and silly Digimon antics throughout the show…..okay in the first half before the shit hits the digifan, and I understand how that would put off any new older watchers who find it too childish. But I find the contrast of how light it starts (though even when it’s light the undercurrent of darkness is still very present) and how far down it goes into the depth of our heroes hearts, as they experience pain, loss,

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You know, for kids!
 and having to shoulder saving the world, worth sitting through childish stuff for. I’ve always liked stories that start sweet and childlike but are then brought in to dark realizations, like Grimm fairy-tales. Which when I put it like that, I just realized how similar it is to the next show on this list.

 

 

8- Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon_genesis_evangelionNow this is a big one. One of the bench marks of modern anime…that a lot of people really don’t like anymore. At least that’s the vibe I’ve gotten. Having only watched the show many years after getting into anime, I first heard it was the end all be all of anime… then I heard it was actually hugely overrated, way way up itself and pretentious, and the lead character was a whiny sack of shit. So going in with that much anti-hype tumblr_mo5l2017tO1r60ay5o1_500surrounding it and my expectations low, I really ended up loving the shit out of the show. Though I can see the faults, they are nowhere near the extreme the internet seems to think they are. Shinji isn’t as annoying as people say, he’s just a teenager.
So for those who don’t know, the show is a bit of a deconstruction of mecha anime, so it’s about teenagers piloting giant robots to save the world. You know like Power Rangers. But what set it apart from the literal hundreds of other mecha anime, was how fighting life or death battles with giant monsters on almost a daily bases actually had tumblr_nxezueV1I91uz28izo1_500ramifications on the pilots state of being. Rich with psychologically warped characters, philosophical undertones, themes of lost innocents and human existence, gorges but violent as hell fight scenes, and a butt load of abstract imagery; this is a far cry from “teenagers with attitude” who stay good natured social butterflies between bouts. Being so near death, under the stress of world saving, and on top of just being a teenager, takes its toll on everyone; mentally tearing them down fight after fight, till you completely sympathise when they have break downs, question the point of existence, and want to just run away.  neon-genesis-evangelion-the-end-of-evangelion-225x318

One thing I do have against the show is its plotting near the end, where everything just seems to happen way to quick; really important new characters are introduced and given almost no time to develop before the plot uses them, and ending itself does get a bit too abstract even for me. So I recommend watching the show then watching the movie The End of Evangelion. It redoes the ending, so that not only do the character’s arcs finish (though it does take them in different directions), but the plot actually ends too. Still not a straight forward ending, but there’s at least a bit more to it.    

And it has one of the best openings ever!

 

7- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

anohanacd8162ccf28c4ea30b20c6d98695567cI’ve always liked stories based around old friends getting together years later, and seeing how they’ve changed. And I’ve also always liked mature looks at how people deal with hard emotions, like grief and loss. Both those things are at the core of this series. Five teenagers who grew apart after the death of their friend when they were children, slowly come back together after the washed-up leader of the group starts being haunted by her ghost, who only he can see. So as they start to work together to find a way to help the ghost pass on, they tumblr_n5hin1OKhd1r922azo1_500begin to gradually reconnect and have to finally face their feelings of loss and grief they have for her death and each other. If that description didn’t give it away, this is a very emotional series. It may be too overly sentimental for some, but with its likeable well developed cast, and its balls not shy away from the darker, psychological ramifications of losing a loved one, it’s a tearjerker that earns every tear. On top of that it taps into that childlike wonder only animation can, and will make you ache for those nostalgic days of playing tumblr_n1tki1hlB91sq9yswo1_500with friends you don’t see anymore. Beautifully animated and paced, and with enough laughs and charm to keep you engaged all the way through; I’ve always had a soft spot for animation that can make me cry, and AnoHana hits that spot and is razor sharp.

 

 

6- Time of Eve

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Though only a 6 episode web mini-series, Time of Eve is one of the best pieces of science fiction I’ve ever seen. In a future where robots are near perfect human replicants and everyone has one as a servant like the latest Time of Eve 01iPad; the show is predominantly set in the titular café that does not and will not distinguish between humans and machine. Following two teenagers who start frequenting the café because of their own deep seeded issues with robots, each episode explores the boys getting to know the other patrons of the café, be them robots or humans, and in small ways they slowly discover how little that matters. Though the idea of robots with humanity and what tumblr_ml7ybr1Qb21rkdga9o1_500_zpsrlrhlzyvmakes us human are not a new idea, this show finds much smaller, nuanced ways to discuss it than I’ve seen before. There’s no big revolution, no robots fighting for their rights to party (though that is kinda background plot), it’s a character driven tale, where we’re introduced and learn about these people before discovering which they are, the answer usually being as heart-breaking as it is fascinating. At its heart the show is about humanity and prejudice; how we can only be human if you choose fdsvzdxzxzxto be, and the lead characters learning to move past their fear of self-aware machines.

Though all the episodes have been edited into a feature length film, I still recommend watching it as a series, as the pacing works much better that way.

Come again next week for my 5-1 and some Honourable mentions.

Why We Love…The Wanderers

This is an odd choice of film for me to write about; it’s not a famous one, it’s not even one that’s talked about by a lot of pretentious media studies types. In fact, I’ve yet to meet anybody outside of my family who knows about this film, I’ve met people who think they know it, but they actually mean The Warrior’s, which I still haven’t actually seen.

This is probably the first film I remember watching at home. My family owned it on video, I say “my family” because I’m not entirely sure to whom it belonged, but I suspect it belonged to my brother, who went through a phrase of watching american gang films such as this, Boyz N The Hood etc.

So why do I love this? It’s odd, as unlike a lot of films from that era there’s not many “hey it’s that guy” moments. In fact the biggest name in this is probably Karen Allen, who most of you will know from Indiana Jones but I know from the infinitely superior Scrooged. That doesn’t mean the performances aren’t good though, John Friedrich as Joey in particular has a certain something which makes his character likeable despite being a bit of a dick.

I do worry that a small part of my love this is based around the music though. This has one of the most perfect soundtracks I’ve ever seen/heard. A good collection of classic 60’s tunes guaranteed to raise a smile (including a song you may recognise from the new Fallout advert). Which brings me onto the next point: this film portrays a definitive change in culture, from the somewhat innocent nature of the 60’s, through to the violence of the 70’s. One of the plot points shows this perfectly: what starts as a bunch of racial slurs in the class room means they organise a gang fight for later in the month, with them agreeing “no guns or knives”, which then gets turned into a football game. It then becomes a lot darker as this game breaks out into the most violent gang fight of the film. The fight at the end is almost the film equivalent of the Rolling Stones at Altamont. Optimism and peace are replaced by violence and despair. At first this sudden darkness seems to have come out of nowhere, and then you realise the undercurrents have been there all along: one of the main character’s has died, JFK has been assassinated, one of the other characters is clearly being beaten by his dad, you just haven’t noticed because of the bright colours and wonderful music. Although it does end with a nice sing song, although it’s taking place at the engagement party of a shotgun wedding so…..

Recasting….The Saga Of Darren Shan (a.k.a: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant)

Vampires_assistantWelcome, welcome, welcome. We’ve been doing this for a while now and thought we’d try a new series: Recasting. In this we’ll both be looking at established franchises and casting our ideal movie versions. Throughout the series we’ll be looking at franchises such as Batman, Justice League, Artemis Fowl etc. But we’ll start with The Saga Of Darren Shan, a literary franchise which isn’t well known, but is well regarded. Now, this has already had a film adaptation (to stretch the definition): Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. But our casting for this will probably be different. In fact, I’ll be surprised if we had any cast members at all from the film. So, let’s begin.

NOTE: We will be using pictures from the Darren Shan manga (yes there is one, and it’s awesome) for comparisons, as its a WAY better adaption of the books.

Darren Shan

Played in the film by: Chris Massoglia

Asa Butterfield as Darren Shan

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Darren

Though at this point 18, with his timid and youthful look he could easily pass for around 13-15 (as young as he’s played before). That is still older than the 11 year old Darren at the start of the series, but this is Hollywood so having him start a bit older I think is fine, as long as they don’t make him seventeen or something (¬_¬ looking at you thoa who shall not be named). Having already led films like Hugo (amazing), Enders Game (decent), and X+Y (pretty good), he’s already proved himself as a capable leading man with a talent for heart and action. And his natural timid deminer I think would suit Darren, who’s always been shyer and would give him room to grow into the badass he becomes later in the series.

c977213066ca47b4191dd9c41aee4108This was actually the hardest one for me. I had to find a young enough actor who would age well with the series. One who could have both the youthful naivety of the first few books, with the fight of the last few. So in the end I decided to go with: Nicholas Hoult. When you watch About A Boy you just see the look of innocence on his face. Someone who still has hope and joy, then you watch Mad Max: Fury Road years later and you realise he will cut a bitch

 

Larten Crepsley

Played in the film by: John C Reilly

Peter Capaldi as Larten Crepsley

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Because who fucking else. If his run as the Doctor has proven anything, it’s that he can be dark and brooding when he needs, but also light, funny, and heartfelt. He has the look, he has the presents, he is Larten Crepsley. And no one else could possibly do better.

Going to keep this short, and keep it simple. As this is the one where I feel we may have chosen the same actor. Peter Capaldi, from The Thick Of It, Neverwhere, and a small indie low budget show called Doctor Who. It’s got to the point now where I don’t even have to think a bout it, if I read Crepsley, I read it in Capaldi’s voice. It just works so well, not only in dialogue but in the clothes and actions too.

 

Steve Leonard

Played in the film by: Josh Hutcherson

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Logan Lerman as Steve Leonard

Though typically known for his more timid troubled characters, like in Perks of being a wallflower (best film of 2012) and Fury (damn good flick), it’s that same bitter darkness I believe could lend well to Steve’s chasteveracter, as he is so messed up and troubled. He also has a much broader physical presents than Asa Butterfield, and his ability to come across sweet and caring as well as intense as fuck (again Perks of being a wallflower) I can definitely see him in a strong opposition to Butterfield.

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Ok, this was hard, I needed someone who could appear friendly but also have an undercurrent of psychopathic killer. As such I settled on Iwan Rheon, better known from Misfits. He played a nice character in that, but I feel he could pull off angry psychopath quite well. 

 

 

Mr. Tiny

Played in the film by: Michael Cerveris

Jim Broadbent as Mr. Tiny

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Again I have to agree with my writing colleague; Jim Broadbent has that perfect mix of charmingly harmless but with this clear dark undercurrent to him that would lend perfectly to Mr Tiny. Because Mr Tiny needs to have an off charm and humour to him, he can entertain you while also being able to make you shit yourself. And that’s Jim Broadbent in a nut-shell.

6bbd588d2b6338484eab45604d594f641382363851_fullThis was actually quite difficult as well. As he has to be someone who has all the capabilities of being charming and lovely, but also just pure evil at the same time. As such, in the end I went with Jim Broadbent, Horace Slughorn from Harry Potter, and Slater from Only Fools And Horses. This is an actor who looks like everybody’s favourite uncle, albeit an uncle you’re fairly certain keeps dead bodies in his basement. Actually, now I think of it, he’d pretty much just be bringing back his performance from Hot Fuzz.

Others

Gary Oldman as Mr. Tall

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An odd choice, but a good one. Mr Tall has 78422always been an ambiguous character, the leader of Cirque du freak and possibly so much more, he needs to loom confidantes with a tinge of menace, but also be a kind soul who can sympathies with his many freak comrades. So of cause Mr Oldman not only has the acting range to pull off all of the above, but he has the stoic look and presents to match.

Some of the others I felt would work:

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Kurda Smahlt: Chris Addison. Also from The Thick Of It. I feel he could pull off the huhnervous and manipulative nature nature of the character quite well.

 

 

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Vancha March: Ryan Reynolds. Specifically: Bearded Ryan Reynolds. A slightly sarcastic loudmouth vampire fighter. I feel he’d do well.hu