5 reasons Watchmen is my favourite (and the best) superhero film

The year was 2009, the R-rated mega hit Deadpool was but a twinkle in Ryan Reynolds’ eye, and Zach Snyder released his best film to date, the screen adaption of the unfilmable deadpoolgraphic novel, Watchmen. And it was a bit mixed. People either loved it for its gritty, stylish, thought provoking take on the superhero genre, while others hated it for all those things. But you can guess which side of that I fall upon. Hell, I still think it’s the best superhero film ever made, yes, I like it more than any Dark Knight or Marvel film, and here’s why…

1) It’s a dark realistic take on superheroes that really tackles complex themes and ideas, while still being a straight-up superhero flick. Not a crime thriller with Batman, or a comedy with a guy in a suit, at its core it’s a superhero film and is about things only a superhero film could be about, ‘what if superheroes where real’, did change our worldrorschach_quote_2_wallpaper_by_tehgreyfawkz-d383cow, what would that world be like and who would those heroes be?
Of course this is all more thanks to Alan Moore’s seminal original text, but you can’t understate how hard Zach Snyder worked to bring the book to the screen as it’s whole self (it’s whole 215 minute run-time), and managing to make such a dense piece of literature so stylish and well-paced without losing a lot of meaning and depth.

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2) Snyder’s style is stunning (what the fucks happened); easily Snyder’s most confidently 345os5hdirected film, his key hyper-reality style that mixes CGI better than almost any film, works masterfully to bring the pages of the book to life, without losing the texture and grit. With the talent he showed here he could have easily gone on to be a blockbuster director like a quirkier James Camron, but instead he made Sucker Punch.

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3) The cast; the acting is top notch, with almost every actor born to play their character. Patrick Wilson bringing the likable dorkyness to Night Owl, Billy Crudup selling the tumblr_mkhjcoQy7V1rnqwsco1_250detached humanity of Dr Manhattan, Jackie Earle Haley embodying Rorschach’s grizzled insanity, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan embracing the assholeness of The Comedian, costume changes aside they walk right off the page.
Outside Heath Ledger’s Joker it’s one of the few superhero films with Oscar worthy performances…. all except Matthew Goode who was just too smarmy as Ozymandias, you could tell from the go he was evil so the reveal lost a lot of weight compared to the comic; he’s not bad just too evil. Now a young pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth would have been closer to the book, his more natural charisma and warmth making his dark motives a real shock.

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4) The music; Snyder’s use of iconic 80s tunes to invoke the era and themes of revolution 18m508t0woblxjpgis carefully implemented, from the iconic Bob Dylan opening credit sequence, the cheesy Leonard Cohen sex scene, and the sad Simon and Garfunkel funeral, Watchmen took seminal well known songs, and instead of being distracting fit them skilfully into the story as if they’ve always been there. Oh and the My Chemical Romance cover is badass, they really embrace the 80s punk vibe.

5) The ending. I am not to my surprise part of a small community that like the films tumblr_lg1pkquIZ31qej9fmo1_500ending better than the comic, even amongst people who have read the comic. The comic’s ending may work better from a plot stand point (some say), but the film’s use of Dr Manhattan in it’s climax comes from much more of a character and thematic place, and ties into Dr Manhattan’s dehumanizing arc so much tighter, and the ideas of nuclear war. It’s not just that I think the endings better than the book; it’s what that represents about the power of adaption through someone else’s vision, that making changes to original text doesn’t have to come from a hollow, money grubbing place, but from the texts itself…also the giant squid would of looked silly on screen.  But more so because it wasn’t Hollywoodised, it was complex and morally gray and left us with a message not many blockbusters have the balls to tell, that as people we will expect an easy lie over a hard truth.  We are compromised.watchmen11f-620x951

For a deeper look at the film and the comic, check out the Superhero Rewind on it which dives deep into analyzing the work.

Well not our most thorough post, but good enough for now, join us later this week and next week were we’ll…probably be talking about the Oscars.

5 Reasons People Love Zombies

Last week I saw Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (as detailed here) and it got me thinking; if Catholics really do drink the blood of the Christ, aren’t they technically vampires? I then thought about zombies, not in a sexual way, more in a “how do these zombie films keep getting made?”. I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but they have been consistent throughout horror films over the last few decades. Vampires have waned and come back, yet zombies refuse to die. Everytime we think they’re dead they rise back up and stumble the earth, like, hmmm, what’s the word I’m looking for here?

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“70’s rock band?” nope, that’s not it

But why is that? Why is there a zombie film made almost every month yet there hasn’t been a flesh eating mermaid film made in forever?

the lure
Besides this one

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that many times. Don’t you wish you could find a well researched and brilliantly written article about the subject? Well until that happens, enjoy this inarticulate blog.

1. Scary

Well this seems obvious but in this modern “every horror film needs to have comedic elements” age it’s easy to forget. Zombies can be very very scary.

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Okay maybe not this guy

We can mock zombies and claim that Shaun Of The Dead and their ilk made them not scary any more. But then we can put on a good zombie film and still be terrified. Part of that is down to the “other” nature of them. Film critic Robin Wood describes horror as:

“relationship between normality and the monster”

And it’s this that provides my next point.

2.They’re almost human.

We have two animals to blame for people originally being scared of zombies: not film zombies, actual zombies: ants and dogs. Picture humanity tens of thousands of years ago. When we decided to start towns and permanent dwellings whilst farming animals and the land for food. It cannot be understated what a significant change to humanity this was. We no longer had to spend our entire time in the search for food. We started thinking more, our language and thoughts exploded at a previously unknown rate, we were soon discussing concepts we had no idea how to express. We were coming up with new ideas and discovering new concepts, yet this wasn’t the start of science, this was the start of  superstition. The obvious things we needed to ask questions about was death and the dead. People would have realised there was a correlation between people spending time around decaying bodies and people suffering from sickness. So we started getting rid of the bodies, we burnt them, we buried them etc once we realised this stopped it. But one time a dog wanders upon a shallow grave, it can’t see food but it can sense food so it digs and finds a human hand. It starts to pull the hand up but is then spooked so drops the hand and runs away. Now a person comes across this, he goes to the site where he buried his friend and see’s his hand seemingly rising up from the grave. So he settles on the logical conclusion: this person is back from the dead.

But to understand why this scares us so we need to look at the the ant. Humans like to think of themselves as better than the other species we share the planet with: has any other species come up with ideas as diverse as communism, Harry Potter, and cricket? No, they haven’t!

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Yeah that’s right, f*ck you elephants! You’ll never know how to defeat voldemort. 

 

We used to think there was something special about us, we are obviously Top Species (capital T, capital S if you’re taking notes, which I assume you are). We used this rationale to justify animal cruelty for centuries, I mean, we’re obviously better. But then people started asking complex philosophical questions. Questions like: “but what if we’re not”. I mean, there’s no reason why we are Top Species, the cheetah is faster, the rabbit can reproduce quicker, and kittens are cuter. So we used our brains and figured out why we’re better: and our brains decided on the totally not egotistical and self serving: it’s our brains. Our brains allow us to build skyscrapers and cities; huge complex structures that noone else can, because our brains are better. But then we looked at ants, ants don’t make art, they don’t tell jokes or play music. Yet they built huge chambers with ventilation that regulates air quality and temperature. The kind of stuff people need years of formal training to manage and yet the ants manage it perfectly. So what does it say when our building achievements can be matched by the humble ant? Our greatest achievements can be achieved without the need for the part of our brain that makes us human.

And THATS why we fear the zombie. It’s human without the humanity. It represents our biggest fear, that under all our fancy suits and immaculate hair that we are just shambling meat sacks, walking around just fulfilling our basic needs. We’re not scared the bite would turn us into the walking dead, we’re scared we already are.

3. Guilt free deaths.

Related to the above point: when people talk about a zombie apocalypse or play video games what do they focus on? Is it the loss of their friends, hiding out somewhere not sure whether they’ll life or die. Nope, it’s “I would kill them like this”. Killing zombies is like guilt free murder of another human. That says something about the nature of humanity, but I’m too scared of people to ask what that is.

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Do this to a zombie: Hero. Do it to Laura in accounts: psychopath

4. Adaptable

Now I don’t mean that zombies are multi-use within the film itself, I mean for for the film-maker and audience. There’s no established backstory for zombies so the writer is free to do whatever they want and play up any real-life fears and prejudices. You want it to be a parasite and talk about the doomed nature of humanity? Sure. You want it to be from nuclear radiation and blame the Soviets? Well, a bit dated but sure! You want it be to about microrobots that go out of control to talk about the dangers of relying on technology? Sure! You want it to be about people being driven to kill and bite because they’re hypnotised by the music of Miley Cyrus? You’re an idiot! But sure, go ahead!

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5. Beatable

This is the most important thing. Zombies are slow, plodding creatures who aren’t that strong. With careful planning and organisation we can defeat them, that’s how most zombie stories end; with humanity winning. Sure, a lot of people die but humanity prevails. So there’s a lot of deaths but we still win, so ultimately they’re gory stories of hope. And that’s beautiful.

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But none of that is important. Do you know why? Because there’s only one thing that matters in my life now: there’s a movie about flesh eating mermaids called The Lure, and it’s a musical! I have to see that!

5 Reasons Deadpool Has Been A Success

Well let’s get it out of the way first: it has been a success, the biggest R-Rated opening, so far earning £228 million (or almost 40 billion Jamaican Dollars). So there’s no denying it has been a success, and a big one, with a sequel already being written. Last year’s superhero films can only be described as a disappointment, with Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and of course, Fant4stic which we will never mention again because it was so awful it actually started a war in Mexico. The last film the character of Deadpool was in was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which everybody hated. So expectations of this film were low, with some people saying it could be the first flop of the year. There were people practically salivating at the thought of this film crashing and burning, and these people were all ready to piss on the corpse of this film, and the entire super-hero genre. So why has this film done so well? How did this:

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Become this:

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1: It’s Really Good

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, the film is really really good. It’s funny and brilliant (as our monday article stated). People love this. In my social media life I’ve seen the reactions to the release of The Hobbit, Avengers, and a little known film called Star Wars, all eagerly anticipated franchises. Yet none of them received as much universal praise as Deadpool. Everybody seems to love it, from the hardcore geeks through to the casual film goers. I mean, even Betty White likes it, and she’s god.

2: Ryan Reynolds.

I could talk about the whole cast, T.J Miller is funny in it, Brianna Hildebrand and Gina Carano are pretty damn fantastic too, both bringing a unique feeling to their differing roles, and the only complaint about Leslie Uggams is that she’s not in it enough. But let’s be honest, this is all about Ryan Reynolds. He’s just brilliant in this. When you watch it you don’t think: that’s Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool. You think: that’s Deadpool. You can tell he really likes this character and has put everything into it.

3: The Marketing.

This film has had some of the best marketing I’ve ever seen. Not just the trailer, but the social media stuff as well. Ryan Reynolds has been on form with the marketing, launching himself fully into it. I actually thought the non-trailer marketing did a better job than the actual trailers. There were loads of odd videos featuring Deadpool celebrating Australia day, telling you to check your testicles for lumps etc. Very weird, very funny, very Deadpool.

4: The Timing

As previously mentioned, last year was disappointing for comic book films. The genre kind of needed this. Comic book films come in two flavours: Dark Knight, and Kick Ass. Dark Knight is super serious, everything’s grey and there’s a lot of rain. Kick Ass, there’s a lot of colour and it’s super violent. Last year saw too many films attempting to be Dark Knight, they just weren’t fun, they needed to be taken down a peg; and this is perfect for it. This film mocks superhero films, and does it in a brilliant way.

5: The Hype

Let’s take you back to a dark time: July 2014. ISIS were causing a major kerfuffle in Iraq, Lucy made film watchers brains explode (at least; viewers with the scientific knowledge of at least a toddler), and S Club 7 reformed. A time before Deadpool. The chances of a film made featuring the character were astronomically low, then test footage was leaked. The reaction to this is solely responsible for the film being completed. This film wasn’t made to cash in on something popular, it was made because people were excited and really wanted to see it. The leaking of the video turned the film from “it would be nice but will never happen” to “release date announced”. This characterised the entire film really, it was really made for the fans. You can tell this even down to the rating, this film really earns it’s rating, it’s violent and brilliant. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So that’s that. If you’re still here I assume it’s because you’re waiting in the queue for Deadpool to start. Subscribe, comment and like for more sarcastic film-goodness from us

 

5 reasons Deadpool could be the best superhero film of 2016 (already)

In a year which also gives us (takes deep breath), Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, and Doctor Strange, some truly seminal looking films;  the special little cousins of X-Men may have already topped them all, and changed comic book movies forever.

 

1 – It’s 15/R rating isn’t just a gimmick. Outside of Watchmen, this is the first adult MTM1MzA2OTE2NDA2NDY3MDM4mainstream superhero movie, and it could have just been a selling point to get asses in seats with it being like a lot of action films just barely worth the rating and there being a clear 12A cut ready to go. But nope Mr Reynolds was not lying when he said if they made another cut there would hardly be a movie, the film revels in its vulgarness, its dirty and its violent, and it loves itself for it. But never becomes exploitative with it. I especially like the running gag of cutting away before he finishes saying “motherfucker” (which you see a lot in films) only for him to finish it in the next scene.

2 – I3b94d7dd7603e9ae54a3f957c652e086t got the
character completely right.
Living in this superhero film renaissance we have seen a lot of characters done well; Iron Man, Batman, Captain America, but they’re never perfect iterations. Iron Man never goes as dark as he should, Batman’s never the detective, and Captain America…well I just don’t know much about him. But Deadpool’s character is 10/10, he’s crazy, funny, violent, Ryan Reynolds is perfect, and knows he’s a fictional character, but not without a lil regrowable heart.

3 – It remembers to just be plain entertaining. My favorite superhero film is Watchmen, so I’m all for dark serious superhero films, but that tone seems to be too much of a trend right now, with DC being DC, X-Men being X-men, and even Marvel seeming 1454333009819to be ramping up the drama with Civil War. Okay we had Ant-Man, and that was fun but not great, and Guardians of the Galaxy which was great, but is about as much of a superhero film as Star Wars. Deadpool is a straight up superhero film and is the funnest and funniest the formula has ever been.

4 – The romance is way better than the trailer made it look. That’s actually true for the whole film, but the romance especially. Name one really good romance in a big superhero film? Then give up because you can’t. Almost all romances in superhero landscape-1452594620-deadpool-romcom-bannerfilms are either tacked on as hell or never go beyond “oh and here’s the love interest”, and that’s what the trailer made Vanessa look like, just a woman there to push the plot forward. But the marketing team wasn’t just being funny when it sold the film as a romance. Vanessa’s a real character in her own right, is just if not more lovably vulgar than Deadpool himself, and has crazy chemistry with the man she loves, she’s easily worth advancing the plot over.

5 – It ties into X-men without dragging itself down. Superhero movie continuity is the pooldeadin-thing right now, as after the success of Marvel every other studio with a slice of the moist superhero pie is scrambling to catch up, and while DC is looking ambitious but over crowded with its DCCU, FOX made the surprisingly wise choice of toning down the continuity and playing it fast and loose with itself. So yes the X-men are in it, to hilarious effect, and I doubt we’re going to see Deadpool pop up in X-Men: Apocalypse or any of those films really, but the acceptance that they exist together just adds that little dollop of cinematic depth.

6 – BONUS! The opening credits and post credit scene. And I won’t ruin them for you; all I’ll say is it starts with its right stump forward, and then has the best post credit scene this side of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
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Post blog scene
And 1 thing that didn’t work about it.

1 – It’s the Deadpool character, but it’s not a Deadpool story. It sticks a bit too close to 2288944-1526888_deadpool_cool_story_bro_superthe Superhero origin film formula and with it subverting so much else; I hoped it would pull another fast-one on us at the end. But it far from ruins the picture and leaves it wide open for the sequel to go anywhere.

Re-Recording The Black Parade (Take 2)

You know the drill, and you know why. So in the words of the Virgin Mary “let’s get on with it”

The End – The Mars Volta

When I read the previous one this one annoyed me because of how great the choice was; mainly because it would work similarly to Eulogy off England Keep My Bones. As such I had to try to take it in a different direction:

Instead of it being acoustic-ey and building up. I decided to go with a choice that would just be balls to the wall insane, and would probably end up being about 5 minutes long. Just a Spanish Jam sequence of insanity. If you haven’t heard of The Mars Volta and you’re too lazy to watch the video above I’ll try to describe them for you: the sound of an acid trip whilst driving through the dessert.

Dead – Horrorpops

For this I focused mainly on the slight twang underlying the song. So I went with these guys:

They have the twang, they have the right drummer for it, and admit it; it would be pretty cool to hear female vocals do this song wouldn’t it?

This Is How I Disappear – Peeping Tom

I should probably start with explaining who Peeping Tom are. It’s basically Mike Patton from Faith No More, being very cool. This is one of my favourite albums I own and has some truly amazing songs on it. I can see his version of this song being a bit slower, a bit darker, and a bit more (I shan’t mince my words here): f*ckable.

The Sharpest Lives – Less Than Jake

My first choice for this was Survival Guide (mainly because I’m still in mourning for Tsunami Bomb) but couldn’t find the song that would showcase it well enough. I then realised that that would mean WAAAAAY too much slow synth based stuff this early on. So changed my mind. Other ones that went through my head were Jimmy Eat World and Biffy Clyro. Then I just thought: TRUMPETS!

 

Welcome To The Black Parade – Cobra Starship

Now this is just mean. This song is so MCR that it would be almost blasphemy. So this can only really be covered two ways: 1) a slowed down cover like Ben Folds would too. 2) Someone just going all out and bombastic as possible. Now contrary to popular believe I prefer the second. You need someone to just attack this like a circus ring leader mixed with a serial killer. So who better than Cobra Starship? Now I know, i’ve put a lot of synth stuff in this, but this is different: it’s dance-synth

I Don’t Love You – Ben Folds

Mainly because I imagined it in my head and it made my brain cry

House Of Wolves – The Used

Ok, so file this under the “never going to happen” section. But admit it, it would be pretty cool wouldn’t it?

Cancer – Ke$ha

I know! I know! Calm down! Stop throwing things! Hey! Hey now! Which one of you threw a sink? That could have really hurt! Yes, I know this is controversial, probably the most so on this list. But believe me, she can f*cking do it. I have a Bob Dylan tribute album containing songs by Bad Religion, My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem etc. All very respectful bands. But my favourite song on it? F*cking Ke$ha. Makes me tear up every time.

Mama – Paul McCartney

Now I was tempted to go for Gogol Bordello for this. They would have matched the crazyness, and then some. I admit, I was also tempted to go with Dead Kennedys because it would have been intense as hell. So I just went awesome.

Sleep – Coheed And Cambria

Oh man I have to do this? But this song sucks. I don’t like sleep (which makes sense as I’m an insomniac). So yeah, erm, Coheed and Cambria I guess? At least then the guitars will come crashing down and wash upon you like a tsunami bomb.

Teenagers – Billy Talent

Intense guitars, a chorus made for shouting by a crowd of thousands, and a bitter sarcasm running through the entire thing. Who else could it be?

Disenchanted – Bright Eyes

Because it’s the only thing that could make this sound more emotional and brilliant

Famous Last Words – Fall Out Boy

Don’t know why, I just feel this would seem kind of cool and brilliant.

Blood – Helen Arney

Because ukuleles make everything better.

BONUS SONG

Because I really really really want My Chemical Romance to cover this.

Re-recording The Black Parade (take 1)

Similar to our Recasting blogs, in this new category we take a look at popular albums and dream up insane but also sometimes sensible choices for which acts we’d have cover each track…if for some reason the album was ever re-recorded or something. This week emo-poster child My Chemical Romance’s seminal album, the rock record that made people take them seriously and completely miss the point,  The Black Parade.

 

The End.Frank Turner

It’s already starts acoustic, so let’s get this record kicked off with Mr Acoustic punk himself, to toss some tables and add a true sense of honesty to it. Now this could go either way, one) it’s a slow moving purely acoustic track like Journey of the magi, that really feeds the heart. Or two) it’s a builder like Do you believe that starts acoustic then builds to a true foot-stomping, jaunty rocker.

Dead! Streetlight Manifesto

This is one of the safer choices on this list. The grandfathers of ska punk taking this fast fun rock tune and jigging it up with trumpets and rough vocals; simple but effective.

 

This Is How I DisappearBrandon Flowers

This isn’t The Killers I’m talking about. I’m talking about the right now Brandon Flowers’ solo career of glorious 80’s pop jams, and that’s what I want him to do to this. Slow it down, throw in the sexy synth and pulsating drum machines, swoon over it, and make it an 80s crooner you can dance to! Why? I don’t know. This is just the song I can see fitting that style better than any other, and because at its heart it’s still a love song.

 

The Sharpest LivesRed Hot Chili Peppers

Being one of MCR’s quickest lyrical songs, Anthony Kiedis’s rap style of singing would suit it to a tee, adding a wiry wit to the sharp lyrics of partying and drinking problems. Then throw in Flea funking up the bass, and suddenly this downer song will shine like a fun sunny day while still meditating on the dark issues of drinking ya self into an early grave. Sounds like a Chili’s song to me.

 

Welcome to the Black Parade – Andrew Jackson Jihad

The oddest choice I’d say on this list; but when it comes to a classic anthem like Welcome to the Black Parade, a song that’s such a staple of the band, there’s no point going for an act to try and match it. All you can do is give it to people who would completely change it; and that’s what this emotional and endearingly nasal, folk ska-ish band would do. Strip the grandness down to its black bones and give you the raw emotion behind the song, in an honest, cutting, but joyous fashion.

(give them a chance, they’re a grower)

I Don’t Love YouCounting Crows

One of MCR’s most swooning songs, about the realization that the love you once felt so strong has withered up and gone. So who better but the rambling beat poet-esque Adam Duritz and his roots rock group, to strip away the melodrama and bring it down to its meaning and words as he heart-wrenchingly rambles through them. It would be poetry to my ears….if only mine.

 

House of WolvesTouché Amore

This is a personal favorite of a lot of people who don’t even like My Chemical Romance. It’s a swaggering punk-rock jam; so let’s turn that up to eleven and let post-hardcore giants Touché Amore, shout it out at double volume and double the speed. It would be louder, it would be rawer, and it would pack twice the punch.

 

CancerRegina Spektor

It’s a sad song, but give it to the endlessly cheery Regina Spektor and…it would still be a sad song, but her natural quirkiness would add a new humor to contrast and emphasis the misery, and overall add new depth to this death lament.

 

MamaPoets of the fall

Poets of the fall have a lot of kinship with My Chemical Romance. They’re both theatrical rock bands with a flair for the overdramatic, though Fall’s style falls more in tune with a light operatic Rammstein. And if you’re wondering if you’ve heard them before, they did most of the soundtrack of Alan Wake. But yes, Mama; a bold, melancholy and jaunty tune that you could either strip down or build up, so let’s build this fucker up to the operatic hard rock epic this band would turn it into, till it wouldn’t sound out of place in Repo: the genetic opera.

 

SleepWhite Lies

After their seminal third album Big TV, these 80’s loving new wave rockers have become one of my most listened to on my iPod. So this song was less of a case of what band could play this song, and what song would suit White Lies synth laden ethereal style, and of cause Sleep fits perfectly. The slower, sombre tone is begging to be synth-ified and crooned out by Harry McVeigh’s baritone, which would add a dramatic, dark, danciness.

 

Teenagers Green Day

Because of course; some bands I picked because of how different they’d make the song, Green Day I picked because they could arguably do it better and punkier than MCR already did. It wouldn’t be very different but it would make it even funner, and add some needed levity to this pretty silly anthem.

 

Disenchanted Bruce Springsteen

I’m not talking about the Born to run, Born in the USA, Springsteen, I’m talking about the Youngstown, Devils and Dust, Springsteen, the stripped back folk Springsteen. That style combined with Springsteen’s world weary voice, would really bring a nuance and heartbreak to these lyrics, and turn it into an old country ballad in all the right ways.

 

Famous Last WordsRammstein

My Chemical Romance have had forays into metal once or twice, and the ender to this epic album is definitely on the side of hard rock, so who better to take it over the edge while maintaining the glory and finesse that comes with it, than the German metal gods that is Rammstein. Their fast heavy style combined with Till Lindemann’s grizzled bellow would just make this an orgastic and epic affair; the perfect way to end this bizarre genre hopping cover album.

So what do you think of this new Black Parade? Agree? Disagree? Couldn’t care less? Who would you want covering these songs? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page here.

OH SNAP! Bonus track!
BloodBob Dylan

Because it would be funny, because Dylan’s ramshackle voice and sweet melancholy could actually turn this silly little diddy into a genuine song of loss and lament. And that would be the best joke of all.

 

Come again Friday, when our other producer recounts his cast for his Black Parade!

Room

THIS FILM IS AMAZING!

What? What the hell are you doing? You don’t start a blog about a film like that, you do an introduction, you lure the reader in, seduce them with a finely written introduction before inserting the penis of opinion. You don’t just go in dry. What the f*ck? You done goofed. I know, I’m a terrible person (oh like you’re surprised), but that’s my first thought when I think of this, I think of how amazing it was and how much I enjoyed it.

th18T4U9AN
Much like cake. Mmmmm cake

Yes, there is a difference between the two. I know Mad Max was a finely made film, but I didn’t enjoy it that much. Whereas I know Chappie isn’t technically a good film, but I love it. So far this year I’ve seen The Revenant, Creed and The Big Short. Now whilst I know they are all objectively superb films which are incredibly well made and a brilliant cast, I haven’t loved any of those films. I was beginning to worry that this year could end up with more films I appreciate than love. Films where I feel compelled to be like “yes, well done there” than where I rush out, grab a stranger by the lapels and tell them they NEED to watch this film.

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Quite why I’m wearing a nuns costume I don’t quite want to say

And then I saw Room. If you, dear reader, were in the room with me I wouldn’t grab you by the lapels. I would grab you by the ankles and drag you to the cinema and force you to watch this film, even if I had to pay your ticket. This is definitely a “buy the DVD on release day” kind of film. The kind which remind you of just how fantastic films are. It’s definitely a cinema film too. Certain films just work better at the cinema, horrors for example because they rely on audience feedback, comedy too as it means that (if the film is good) it will create its own laugh track. The other type of good cinema films are ones that just look stunning, films that need you to just sit there and go “wow”. This film was good in the cinema for a different reason, you could hear people cry around you.

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This was pretty much what it felt like, only in a cinema, so much more filthy

So what makes this film so good? Well first off there’s the story, whilst the first half is stuff you’ve seen before, the second half is like the epilogue, the kind of things which you discuss with your friends about what would happen. Like “yeah, it seems happy, but think about what’s going to happen afterwards, it’s going to be hell for them” as if you’re the first person to ever think those thoughts.

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Secondly, the performances. Brie Larson fully deserves her nomination for best actress. She deserves all the awards, yes, even “best documentary short” or “best science fiction monster” etc. That’s how good she is, just park a bus outside her house and deliver all the awards to her there, it’s no less than she deserves. Also, the kid manages to not annoy the hell out of me, which is amazing as I find most kids completely annoying and want to throw them off the nearest roundabout. Although it wasn’t until I saw the film I figured out that the kid was actually male not a female. Ah well, my bad.

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But that’s enough faffing about from me right now. Mainly because I think it’s about time I shut up so you can all go watch this film. I’m not joking, you’re not getting any pudding until you’ve finished this film.

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Do I need to show you the cake again?

 

Why we love the Scott Pilgrim Comics (and who we’d have cast)

 

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Like most I saw the 2010 Edgar Wright adaption of the Scott Pilgrim comics, named after the Second volume, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, before I knew anything of the comic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it for the quirky video gamey action comedy it was. And with what little I knew about the comics I was led to believe that the film was a fairly accurate version of the Scott Pilgrim story. Having now read the series (and loved it), it is not it turns out…well not completely.

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Writt413DrfEHYBL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_en by Bryan Lee O’Malley, I have been a fan of his work since I read his latest graphic novel, the funny and poignant Seconds, and his first graphic novel the very poignant and funny Lost at Sea; both of which are excellent. But Scott Pilgrim is his greatest achievement so far; combining fun and funny geekerific humor with an interesting story and a host of relatable characters.

tumblr_le4ojxn9qH1qao2elNow as I said the film is an action comedy, with the romance there to thread together all the epic fight scenes and video game gags, and when it comes to fights and gags the film has it fucking spot on! The look, style and tone of each fight is very true to the style of the comics, and even the tweaks and changes they made to the fights (in the comic the twins are robotic engineers not techno musicians) are very in keeping with it. There is even a lot of dialogue and scenes recreated verbatim from the comic….but (and I think you could all feel that coming) despite all these aspects (which are basically the movie) it gets right, I have come to dislike the film. This isn’t just because of all the fascinating side-character backstory and development they left out, that’s just adaption for you, or that the lead characters Scott and Ramona are fairly off (though I will get to that). It’s because it got the tone and heart of the story wrong.

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Nega Scott is also more than a last second joke

The action and comedy is right, but Scott Pilgrim isn’t an action comedy, it’s a surprisingly nuanced romantic dramedy about the trials and tribulations of mature love, and learning to accept that change is inevitable and the more you run from it the worse of a person you become (the fact all the Ex’s turn into coins (change) isn’t just because video games); with the awesome video gamey world and fights being the sprinkles on top of the cake, not the cake itself. It’s like if the 60’s Batman was the definitive adaptation of Batman; okay it got some things right but there’s more to it than that.

tumblr_n04c5zpItu1t72jf6o3_r1_1280I know and accept that when adapting a six volume series into a two hour film a lot of details are going to have to be changed and left out, but I can’t forgive that the core of the book (the maturing and the romance) was one of them! And I KNOW it’s there in the film…But Scott and Ramona’s romance is there just for motivation and plot so that the fights scenes can happen…but it’s not what the film is about. I would have been fine for them to cut one or two of the ex’s out (the twin’s being the easiest) in favor of more time to develop the romance, but nope, perish the thought of missing one minute of the nerdgasm fight scenes.

And by the end it claims that Scott has gotten better as a person, but that just feels mostly tacked on because it needed to be there not because it earned it, and don’t even get me started on Ramona’s character…actually do, because that leads me into…

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aww what a sweet moment, wasn’t this so good in the….oh wait…

Who we would of cast….and I talk about characters n’ stuff.

This isn’t going to be a full cast list, as apart from the leads, I think the casting, from Scott’s friends to the Evil Ex’s, was pretty spot on all around.yrb6l4dl

The Problem with Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim: Honestly he’s okay, not terrible just michael-ceraokay. He captured the geekiness and immaturity of Scott well enough, and was funny and likable to a point…because he was just playing Michael Cera. What he really lacked was the charm and boundless charisma Scott has, that despite his looser ways draws people to him, and makes sense how he has so many friends and ex’s. Cera is just too meek and awkward to pull that off, Scotts the loveable slacker (like Fry from Futurama really), not just an awkward dweeb. He also couldn’t connect with the emotional side of Scott, which to those who have read the series know is vital to his character, Cera always opting for a gag or funny line over a real moment (and I know that’s on Edgar Write just as much).

Rudderless-Movie-Featured-ImageAnton Yelchin as Scott Pilgrim: not a perfect fit, but the damn closest I could think of. His most famous turn as Chekov in the Star Trek reboot (that isn’t his real accent by the way) proves he can be funny, dorky, and energetic. His lead role in the enjoyable Fright Night remake shows he can lead a film with charisma and be plenty charming. And his role in the underrated romantic drama Like Crazy, more than proves he has the dramatic chops to add the depth and lonely nuance Cera sorely lacked.

 

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Same lines but a much more adorable vibe than the film

The problem with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers: She’s just too calm lo1tk3b3faced and cool to me Ramona. The Romona Flowers’ of the comics is an emotional tornado of spunk and bad decisions, yes there is a cool hipness to her, but most of all she is an adorable, free spirited, mess, who has just as much growing up to do as Scott; that’s why you bought them together. Mary Elizabeth Winstead just looked and acted too good for Scott in the film, gone is the hyperness and vulnerability, in its place smugness and an air of sweet superiority. It always felt like she was just playing with Scott and not actually interested in him deeply.
Her character as a whole is fucking terrible when compared to the books really, but the biggest unforgivable flaw (and I know this is a problem with Edgar Wright’s adaption) is that she is never a damsel in distress in the comic! She can always take care of herself, be it fighting or running away, and that’s clearly seen most of all in that, SHE DOSEN’T GO BACK TO GIDEON! Though it’s made clear he still has an emotional hold on her, she never returns to her clearly abusive Ex like some weak willed doormat, instead leaving on her own journey of self-discovery to work out how she feels about Scott before returning to help kick Gideon’s ass together. Now I know the film came out before the comic had finished, and they did a pretty good job in predicting where the story goes and the points it needed to touch upon, but I think we all can agree Edgar Wright could of delivered something better than the old save the princess scenario. And I don’t agree “But video game!” is a valid reason.

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THAT’S MORE LIKE IT!

emma-stone-short-bob-haircutAnyway…
Emma Stone as Ramona Flowers: I don’t think I even need to go much into why this would work, we all know how good Emma Stone is, from Crazy, Stupid, Love, to Birdman; and with every way I’ve described Ramona from the comics, who else could do it better?

 

 

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The comic has quite a few quiet moments of self reflection

 

 

It wasn’t till I wrote this that I realized how quickly and how much I’ve come to dislike the movie of Scott Pilgrim, so I’ll wrap this up. If you like or even love the film, more power to you, it’s a great action comedy with more heart than I think I gave it credit for, but for those looking for something more I can’t recommend the comic book series enough. All the side characters you love get buckets more of development, especially Scott’s band mates, and his own ex’s Knives and Envy. It’s sweet, funny, and just damn fine literature; a comedy that knows the heart is something to cherish and care for, and not just pull badass katanas from.