How We Get Through: June 2017

Films

Submarine Kid

A few months ago I made a slight adjustment to my “to do” list. I started adding names next to them so I would remember who to thank for suggesting them. I really wish I started that sooner, I want to find whoever suggested this film to me, and slap them very very hard round the face. Why? Why would you put me through this? Very Channel 5. Extremely bad dialogue. Can’t tell if it’s too American for me or whether it just doesn’t work as a film.

Under The Shadow

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I liked it but can understand why some wouldn’t. It doesn’t become a traditional horror film until the closing section. Until then it’s horror on a more personal level. Wonderful blending of a war-time drama and horror that doesn’t depend too highly on the usual tropes of one or both genres. Never seen anything like this before in my life, but I really wish I had. Side note, I’ve now seen two Iranian films, both of which have strong female leads, is Iranian cinema better at female representation than Western cinema? Or is it because women are treated as second class citizens there it makes them better characters so the quality of films are likely to be higher, which increases my chances of seeing them?

The Final Girls

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Genuinely emotional, a lot more than it should be. It’s basically a horror film about a group of people who get sucked into a horror film. It’s done by a team who obviously really love the genre, and love film-making in general. Lots of fun little moments in it, from the closing credits appearing in the sky above them, everything changing colour when they appear in flashbacks etc. It’s really good and I wish I made it first.

The Skeleton Twins

Turns “two characters lipsynching” into one of the most emotional, character developing scenes you’re likely to see. Funny, but very very dark.

Let’s Pollute

Bit preachy, very one note and simplistic. Talks about how people are selfish because they work somewhere different from where they live, as if getting a job in a Tesco the town over means you should move house.

The End Of The Tour

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I think part of the reason I like this is because of how great the dialogue is. It flows beautifully, as was described here;

“a funny and heartfelt road movie that meditates on fame, creativity, and loneliness, through the indepth and witty conversations of its protagonists. Whether you know David Foster Wallace’s work or not, this is an accessible and great film”

7:35 In The Morning

This was on my watch list as the writer/director also made Colossal, which I loved. You can kind of tell it’s the same guy by the story, the visuals are pretty bland though. Much like Colossal, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a short film about a guy who holds an entire restaurant hostage so he can sing to a woman about how much he likes her. Keeps on the line between silly and frightning in a way that’s very hard to do.

We Need To Talk Kevin

VERY film student-ey. Spends so long laying on symbolism that it forgets other things.

Spy

Jason Statham is amazing in this. Plays his role to perfection. Everyone else is still good, but not as good as him. I’d love to see more of him in a sequel. When I first saw it I expected this to be a one joke film “haha, a fat woman as a spy”, but was actually really really funny.

Gifted

A lot less Nicholas-Sparks than I thought it would be. Bit formulaic but it plays to the formula very well. Chris Evans is very good in it, but is overshadowed by Mckenna Grace, who is very very good, probably one of the best performances this year. Is it just me or are child actors getting better? Manages to do a performance which is funny, moving, and hits all the right spots in terms of body language and facial acting. Great performance. Jenny Slate was also REALLY good in it, but wasn’t in it as much as she should have been.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Has some continuity issues but still very good. Kind of sad to think both leads have sadly passed on. They had amazing chemistry here, you don’t really tend to get acting double acts anymore. You have “groups” that work together, but that’s normally in a certain directors films as opposed to just always together. It’s a shame as that kind of thing can really help sell a film “oh, I loved the last film I saw those two in”. It also means unscrupulous marketers can change the title of the film in foreign markets so it looks like a sequel. Which is always hilarious. “yes, the first film ended with them both being shot to death, but here’s a sequel, where they have different names and characters, but they look the same. Now give money.”

Wonder Woman

I explained my thoughts on this here. Spoilers; LOVED IT! Even the closing credits were amazing. They were like a water colour painting. Haven’t seen any this good since A Monster Calls. I like when films take the time to attempt to do something with the credits, it shows a real dedication to what they’re doing.

X+Y

The moment where where he tries to do the monty python reference is really awkward and cringey, if anything it’s worse when you know it’s coming. Only just realised how heartbreaking some of the performances were, Sally Hawkins in particular.

Books

The Stars Tennis Balls

Always takes me forever to get through the opening chapter of this for some reason. Shame as the final third is absolutely superb, it just takes a while to get there (about two thirds of the book I’d guess).

Books Of Blood

The biggest issue this book has is that it starts with Fear, which is one of the best horror short stories ever written. Anything after that would just be disappointing.

Albums

Maps

Can’t remember how I heard this band (probably the Figure 4 Leg Rock podcast), great EP, available for free, which is my second favourite price to pay for things. Trigger Happy in particular is one of my favourite songs I’ve heard this year.

Panic Prevention

The moments in songs are usually better than the songs themselves. Although “Sheila” is pretty damn fine. Listed on my itunes as “Chavvy Acoustic Punk”, because I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it.

Look For The Woman

B-sides are remixes, which is always okay. But the song itself is amazing.

Punk Rock Is Your Friend Volume 6 (Hardcore Is Your Friend Too)

I miss samplers like this. Epitaph, Burning Heart, Kung-Fu records etc all used to do really cheap albums showcasing their bands. Doesn’t really happen anymore, probably due to the rise of streaming etc. Is a shame as these were great ways to get into bands. You pick them up barely knowing any of the bands and before you know it you’ve found your new favourite band. I got this for one reason and one reason only; new Tsunami Bomb song. They were one of my favourite bands at the time and I was obsessed with them (how I felt when they split is how the rest of the world feels when celebrities die) so the chance to hear something new excited me, made me look forward to a new album by them. Sadly they split soon after, but I’ll always have that song, and no more new ones, ever *cries*.

Just The Way I’m Feeling

Relatively pedestrian, listened to it today and I still can’t remember the b-sides.

Goodbye Blue And White

It’s a Less Than Jake album with at least two Slayer covers. Weird.

Stopgap EP

Probably the most American pop-punk band that’s ever come from England. Just an EP meant to tide people over until their new album came out a few years ago. Has some good stuff on it but the best song by a mile is the cover of “Everytime You Go Away”. I do loves me some covers.

Musings On Marvel: Day 9 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Directors: Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Arrested Development pilot, Community pilot)

Budget: $170million

Box Office: $714million

  • Why does Captain America need to jog? Isn’t his strength and fitness derived from the serum so he doesn’t need to exercise at all. Unless he’s just bored, in which case, go fight bad guys or something.
  • Wait, he’s got “Thai food” on the list of things to research? Dude, just go eat Thai Food. Done.
  • And Sean Connery? Not a list of films he’s in, or anything like that. Just Sean Connery in general?
  • The Captain America plan to getting into a building:
    1. Stealthy stealthy stealthy
    2. Flippy flippy flippy
    3. Loud noise! Throw shield into room so everyone knows you’re there.
  • Isn’t Captain super strong etc? I mean, he went toe to toe with Iron Man in Avengers, now a regular bearded dude troubles him?
  • “last time I trusted someone I lost an eye”, I know, people always say “I’ll tap your head a second before” but they never do.
  • “agent Romanov is comfortable with everything”, so that’s why you make her wear that skintight costume.
  • Fury gives a detailed nostalgic history of himself, he’s going to get shot.
  • “greatest generation, you guys did some nasty stuff” “for freedom!”. Random fact: the Nazi party got their influence for their eugenics programme from a programme in California. U S A! U S A! U S A!
  • Why does his friend have his own exhibit at the museum? There’s nothing about Churchill’s bff at the war museum.
  • How did he find out where she lived?
  • “I thought I could throw myself back in, serve in the army again”. You barely served in the Army. You spent most of your time doing theatre.
  • “you saved the world”. I mean, yeah, it’s a shame that Captain America doesn’t exist in real life so Germany won the war and the world has been destroyed. That sucked when the world was destroyed. I hadn’t even finished paying off my sofa.
  • Why holograms? Why not just skype? This is literally just technological dick measuring. And just as messy.
  • This film continues the MCU tradition of hoping that merely mentioning the other Marvel characters will stop us wondering why they never turn up to help each other.
  • “he has to socialise”. You want Iron Man to socialise at a kids birthday party? He’ll probably try to fuck the mother and get the kid drunk.
  • Holograms on the car window now? That’s not just pointless, that’s also highly distracting and possibly illegal.
  • I would question how they think they could stage a police attack then remembered that Nick Fury is black so they’d just need to say he littered so they had to shoot him.
  • “to build a better world we need to destroy the old one”. Wow, I wonder if this guy’s evil.
  • This fight would be over in about 5 seconds if they used the paralysing technology from Iron Man 1.
  • F*ck off can he fall that far and be okay. Super soldier or not, he still has to obey the laws of physics.
  • “he refused to share information” so you kill him? Surely one of the people working there realises that’s unfair justice.
  • “two dozen assassinations in over 50 years” That’s really not many at all. That’s like one every two years. That’s nowhere near enough to have that big a file. I mean, if I get a few more I’ve beaten that record.
  • Oh please. As if Captain America knows about function overrides on computers.
  • “if you guys need anything. I’ve been Aaron” so who are you now?
  • He didn’t eject it properly! That flash drive is going to crash.
  • That just says which buttons are pressed. Not in which order.
  • Wait, he’s seen War Games but not Star Wars or any of the Rocky albums?
  • Wait, so THIS is the guy they decide to save his brain? He’s quite useless.
  • “if you try to take freedom, they resist”. Really?  No shit.
  • How did they get such high-quality footage on a green and black monitor? This would be like watching TV on an old Game Boy. Which you can’t do.
  • So the lesson is, don’t trust Swiss people?
  • So they blew that building up, and all that data, just to kill two people?
  • “seem pretty chipper for a guy who died for nothing”. Well, you know, except Nazi’s.
  • Oh, so we can’t get Iron Man or anything, but don’t worry, we’ve got the senator from Iron Man 2 in here.
  • So Falcon has never been seen in any of these films? He wasn’t called to save the president in Iron Man 3, or to save New York in Avengers?
  • Rolling out of a car at that speed would cut your skin up so you looked like a kebab.
  • For two super cool assassins, their aim sure is terrible.
  • Winter soldier destroys a strangers car. More like Winter So-D’ya Have To Be So Rude?
  • Superhero landing!
  • They keep shooting at his shield instead of his legs.
  • Surprise! Except it’s totally not a surprise. It’s really obvious so why did they leave it so long?
  • By the way, this scene should totally have an 80’s power ballad playing over it.
  • How did they decide to use this a hiding space? “We need to think of a hiding space, any idea where?” “damn” “perfect!”
  • “about damn time”. Yeah, you should have got shot earlier, damn you ScarJo.
  • Wait, I’m fairly certain Zola was on the same train that Bucky fell off, and was captured almost immediately after. So he could not have been there when he woke up. No, no, no, nothing about this makes sense at all, and horses can’t talk!.
  • Wait, first Aldrich loses his arm in a battle in Iron Man 3, then Loki chops off Thors arm in The Dark World, now Bucky last an arm too? Marvel hates arms.
  • Awesome, a scene to show a friendship we already knew existed. Great.
  • People think that Chris Evans transformation to Captain America was well done, but Sebastian Stans transformation from Bucky to the Winter Soldier is a lot better. He’s almost unrecognisable.
  • Hey it’s Abed. Hey Abed.
  • That actually makes sense, the directors for this were hired due to their work on the paintball episodes of Community. That’s the good thing about the MCU, they’ve taken risks with new directors from different genres. Doctor Strange is being directed by Scott Derrickson, who’s known mainly for horror. They’re not sticking with established directors, in fact, the most well known one they had was Kenneth Branagh. And even that was a risk.
  • “what if Pakistan invaded Mumbai and you knew they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium”. Football! Not soccer. That’s probably the most evil thing he’s done.
  • They never use this disguise technology again.
  • “are you sure you’re ready for the world to see you as you really are?” with how tight her clothes are, we already know.
  • They fired like 8 missiles at one person. No wonder the US military spend so much with that kind of wastage.
  • Even Michael Bay thinks these explosions are “a bit much”
  • “it’s trending”. Wait, I pretty much used that exact line the year before in a film. Bastards!
  • “unless you want a hole in your sternum”. 1) that’s not where the sternum is. 2) couldn’t you have done that earlier when she was hitting people?
  • “order only comes through pain” kinky.
  • Does Captain America really need to attempt to sacrifice himself? HYDRA has been exposed,  and the missiles aren’t aimed at cities anymore so everyone’s safe. And we’ve already seen he can jump from great heights and be completely okay for some reason.
  • Captain drops his one of a kind shield out of the flying vehicle, yet somehow you know he’ll find it again.
  • “there’s nothing more horrifying than a miracle” I dunno, genocide?
  • Are supposed to be surprised Bucky is alive? I mean, we saw him walk away, this scene literally serves no purpose.