June 26th, 2016


Movie Reviews: Independence Day: Resurgence + The Hallow + The Fifth Estate + 4 others

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
This was less moronic than it could have been. It is 20 years later and toxic kitsch flies as Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and others face the return of the aggrieved extraterrestrials. The social circumstances of Earth had been improved thanks to the use of alien technology but the sneering and craven aliens are returning. There is no arthouse noir here. There is some narrative momentum but this new effort spares no cliché from the aliens malevolent presence.

This is not a searing depection of war with incendiary levels of tension. It is simple and banal but does entertain. There are no real memorable set-pieces. Various characters fight the inequitable foe by scowling at them. There is a sequel hook. Nobody has any psychological damage from the attrional nature of the attack. While enjoyable this does hold empathy at bay and is not affecting or beguiling. The attacking aliens have no real underlying motives.

Earth is systematically demolished. But there is no dignified individuality or sad silences. There is defiant optimism, a lot of it. There is social theorising about the aliens, cold-fusion bombs and no Will Smith or Adam Baldwin. Humanity (or rather the US) is indefatigable. Nobody has a total psychological shutdown and they seemingly shrug off as inconsequential all the death and damage the Earth suffers, again.

Best Lines:
“Probably should have kept running.”

“There will be no peace.”

“Fallen worlds.”

“Harvester Queen.”

The Hallow (2015)
A man, his wife and their baby come to Ireland as part of an EU initiative. Their new house has iron bars over the windows which the wife removes. A scary menace lurks in the woods. Yokels make impassioned pleas. This was a dour affair and the husband won’t listen to warnings and is not insightful. The husband, Adam, annoys and the wife, Claire, is there. They’re informed of the chilling details of local superstition. People stumble around in the dark. This was a scathing portrayal of rural horror. Their dog is doomed.

Dramatic momentum stalls. The couple have no social horror. Unpleasant looking and really gross things drag Adam out of manchildland. There is no innocent explanation as to what is going on. The core intellectual provocation tries to explain what fairies are. Any potential is shameful wasted. This was unsettling in places but preposterous in others. Their operational plan to survive is bad. The baby ends up in peril. Adam waves a flaming scythe. Where did he get it? The characters are moving props to be tormented. There is more yelling and no help and then it ends.

Best Lines:
“The Free Our Trees rally.”

“He’s trespassing.”
“It’s his job.”

“Buy him a pint and hear him out.”

“500 years of ancient Irish sludge are dripping all over Finn‘s bed.”

“Don’t creepy-eye me, Ant-Man.”

“We’ve not been well-received here.”

“I’m not the one that’s going to hurt you.”

The Fifth Estate (2013)
Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl star in this tale of wikileaks as does Peter Capaldi. There are bad wigs and bad fake moustaches, silly accents, yelling, yapping and this was all fallacious nonsense.

Best Line:
“Wake up our lawyers in California and in New York and in London.”

The Darkest Hour (2011)
I rewatched this film about declared cool ass kids running around Moscow after invisible aliens attack and while it looks good it is really dreadful. Untalented actors gripe and moan so an interesting proposition is ruined by people who get to emote badly. A lot. This was not convincing or sincere or complicated existentially. Despite an alien invasion, their clothes seem sprayed with wrinkle release. This was a negative narrative full of obstinacy and stupidity and complacency.

Best Lines:
“It’s the wind! Stop freaking out!”

“And go where?”

“Aggressive assault strategy.”

Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head (1966)
Funny if not highly impressive.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)
Boring French film.

Dick (1999)
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Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

Now You See Me 2’ trailer

‘Gods Of Egypt’ trailer

‘Triple 9’ trailer

Best Line:
“Crash and bash.”

‘Finding Dory’ promo

Best Line:
“Snappy thing.”

‘Holloway: Women Behind Bars’ promo

‘Nerve’ trailer

‘Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder’ (1987) promo
This miniseries is based on a true story and stars Lee Remick. Looks good.

Belgian milk chocolate coated peanuts - yum.
Gluten free sourdough loaf - okay.
Raspberry yogurt- okay.

I will review ‘The Girls’.

I won’t read ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ issue 10x28.

The new ‘Star Trek’ show interests me.

There will be a 3rd ‘Marchlands’?

Versailles’ has been renewed?

Herzkino - heartcinema.

There is Rosemary ice-cream?

Teenagers order fast food to their school gates?

‘Casualty’ is up to a 1000 eps?

I love my domesticated companion animals.

‘LA Times’ Quotes:
“It’s not a very good moral lesson, is it?”

“An eccentric of almost superhuman work ethic and flinty frugality.”

“Wearied of his youngest daughter’s harping from New York for more and more money, and demanded that she get a job.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Threatened her with a bread knife,”

“Honest god-fearing woman.”

“Lack of enterprise or ambition.”

“Some modern thinkers get poo emojis emailed to them.”

“Social dumping.”

“Depraved heart.”

“I’m a champion in Belgium.”

“We were the reasons those things were on TV.”

“Holland wanker.”

“A guy threw his drink over me.”

“Beard vandalism is becoming Dunkan’s thing.”

“Rugby wanker.”

“Is in effect insular.”

“Glorified piss.”

“This is trying to get attention.”

“Felt the Democrat-voting public would prefer Biden, rather than Clinton, values.”

“He fears he isn’t a good person, because, well, he isn’t a good person.”

‘Teen Titans’ Quotes:
“Where’s the gem?”
“Not here.”

“You’re not needed at all.”

“The promise of your birth was absolute.”

“Even knowing what you become and what that would bring.”

“You might not fear me but look who’s afraid of you.”

“I’m not just a person, I’m a portal.”

“Bad things are going to happen soon. Really bad things.”

“The portal has accepted her fate.”

“Continue to please me.”

‘Sky News’ Quotes:
“It’s still crap.”

“Less of the personal attacks please.”

“Far too much Hampstead and not enough Hull.”

‘Glee’ Quotes:
“There will be weeping.”

“Horrible wife.”

‘War & Peace’ (1966-1967) Quotes:
“It’s very ugly work.”

“I will die of shame.”

‘FTWeekend’ Quotes:
“Devon’s not happening for me.”

“His only hope of being reunited with his family is to cross 500 miles of broken ravaged country, by foot.”

“A tendency, now and then, to go into a kind of psychological shutdown that has never properly been diagnosed or treated, never mind discussed.”

“Extended autobiographical reflections.”

“Emotionally intense.”

“Manic brilliance.”

“The foulness of any present pain.”

“Sob it (with menace).”

On ‘Neighbours’: why is Brennan suddenly curious? John Doe is really Father Jack, a priest. It is ‘The Thornbirds’. The opening credits change. The explosion was all an insurance scam. There is no overt suspense. Terese helped bring this completely toxic situation about. So much for her self-moralising narrative and brutal indifference to Paul’s innocence. She still refuses to accept Paul’s innocence. Until Brennan the only cop in Australia tells her that he is innocent. Terese revelled in her status as a wronged woman and is now left screaming in a distressed state.

Paige sees Father Jack as another whimsical hijink. Nobody apologises to Paul. Gary nearly got Paul murdered in jail and has sneering contempt for Aaron. Paul’s released. Lauren and Brad have self-interest. This John Doe/explosion plotline has come to an appropriately ludicrous conclusion. Brad and Lauren slobber over each other with not even a dim apprehension of his awfulness and her heartlessly cynical behaviour.

This is bland fare. Tom Quill is a laughably tacky baddie. Piper slaps Julie Quill and screams and offers incessant provocation. Piper weeps white girl tears of purge fluid. It’s a drop dead certainty that Paul will not forgive. Brennan won’t apologise for his false sense of complacency. Steph plans a welcome home barbie. Father Jack sticks his tongue out, Paul’s recovered from nearly being killed and Gary, Shelia and Terese are all on the street when Paul arrives back. Nobody apologises. Toadfish refuses to help Walter’s daughter.

Nobody apologises to Paul. Toadfish wears a loud shirt. There is no critical thinking here. Paul sets up a journo. Paul wants money. Shelia and Gary are in fear of Paul. Toadfish doesn’t care if Zoë dies. Brad and Terese and Shelia won’t apologise. Then Terese declares her love to Paul and sort of apologises while justifying herself. Paul walks away from her. A new cadet journo, Madison, who can’t act shows up. Nobody conducts themselves with dignity. Toadfish screeches and accuses Walter of dark acts of evil. There are no sweet moments of humanity.

Best Lines:
“Unlawful and reckless.”

“31 counts of reckless conduct.”

“He’ll never forgive me!”

“Being his prison wife.”

“They’re even more stupid than their headlines.”

“A homicidal con artist terrorising the community.”

“Doesn’t that paper hate you?”

“I’m done with being dodgy.”
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The Musketeers 3x04 Reviewed

The Queen’s Diamonds
Louis’ sister, the Queen of England, visits and is robbed. Feron’s ship does not come in. Cromwell is rampaging around England. The Queen of England wears a bad wig and ugly clothes. While not historically rigorous this was okay in places. Nobody has noble intentions. Feron resents his dubious status. A thief has negative glamour. Louis thinks he is held in lofty respect - he isn’t.

Aramis meets some woman from his past. The thief annoys with unfailing skill. The plot is not surprisingly dynamic. The Dutch lurk. Louis’ sister and Feron look crack ravaged. The refugee/proto-revolutionary plot drags on and on. This show has some dubious identity politics. Why is Constance wearing a musketee uniform? She dick punches the thief. Aramis and the random he grew up with have a useless sub-plot. They grew up in a brothel and she used to be a ho. Constance is an irksome interrupting thing. Feron pulls an Affair of the Necklace con 3 reigns too early.

The musketeers are a pack of dicks. Refuge woman whines. The nobles are part of a decaying rotting society and do not care. A blackmailer blackmails and gets murdered. An obvious twist unfolds and the royals put up with criminals. This had promise but once again threw it all away. Feron plots in a way that can never be forgiven.

Best Lines:
“We’re not your friends.”

“Trying not to get infested with lice.”

“Has a serious problem. Namely me.”

“I never ask three times. Not of anyone.”

“A horse wears diamonds.”

“Wives are expensive.”

“Oh please, intrude. Intrude.”

“What would they tell of you?”
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Book Reviews: Rebel + And Nobody Lived Happily Ever After, part 1

Vicky Peterwald: Rebel by Mike Shepherd
Economic dislocation and familial strife has led to a great rebellion. This is the final part of the Vicky trilogy. It sees her take on her reliably cynical, psychotically appalling stepmother. An unrecognisably ordinary Empire has been cast into darkness by an ambitious slut. Vicky wants the defeat the ambitious slut/evil Empress and restore the dictatorship utopia she is used to. Cue paranoid nativist plottings, ships flying around manically, gross evil caricatures with eccentric diction doing evil things, knowing gags and no real resolution.

I guess I’ll have to start reading the ‘Kris Longknife’ saga again to see if Vicky will triumph and rule the Peterwald Empire of macho-Leninism. This was good and Vicky starts wondering about the death of her brother of grateful remembrance. Also everybody talks about how wonderful Kris Longknife is. The ice armour and propulsion system in the spaceships still makes no sense.

Best Lines:
“Who wins a battle?”
“The winner?”

“State Security should machine gun them down. That would teach the likes of such people to accept what they got from their betters.”

“You were chummy, with General Zin before he got tossed out the window of State Security Headquarters.”

“The empress went back to her raving.”

And Nobody Lived Happily Ever After by Kate Farrell, part 1

Mea Culpa
An okay tale of a relationship in glossy decay. The slow realisation of this misalliance is unsparing and the ending ‘twist’ is a narrative quirk.

Helping Mummy
I’ve read a longer version of this in ‘The Screaming Book of Horror’. A little girl ‘helps’ mummy with her frustrating baby brother. This is a good creepy tale of familial relations.

A Murder of Crows
This is an inconsequential tale of a sad defeated village and the dark edged legend that it holds.

No Junkmail
An old woman’s dismissive response and objections to flyers sets on her on a dark trajectory. This was incoherent mulch and illogical nonsense.

All In A Row
This is another tale of rural horror. It features an argument, an angry and moody man, unendearingly theatrical weirdoes and a darker turn in the plot. This fails miserably and is not deftly plotted or compellingly multi-layered.

Best Line:
“Damp that stays like an unwelcome houseguest.”

Dad Dancing
Twin boys are mortified by their working class father. Their fragile sentiments lead to an ominous ending. Okay.

Best Lines:
“Due gratitude must be shown for the Lexus.”

“He often spoke like a character from a second-rate television drama.”

The Way And The Truth And The Life
An amoral man gets an unexpected visit. This is a tale of undeniable reality.

My Name Is Mary Sutherland
In this sit-trag, a sad troubled wildly unpopular girl’s happiness has long been stymied by her vile stepmother who lacks inner decency. Inherent anxieties lead to tragedy and the saddest pang. This was excellent, if cut down from a longer novella.

Best Line:
“Chattering women wearing too much make up,”

The Efficient Use of Reason
The shifting dynamics of childhood friendship lead to a sin of unexpected magnitude. This is a good tale of a troubling tragedy.

How I Got Here
A good morality tale about modern day dating.

His Family
A hospital horror story about a deranged porter and his hubristic delusions. Good.

The Sands Are Magic
A 1970s seaside holiday is rapturous until it unexpectedly goes hideously wrong leading to significant tragedy, desolation, sadness and resignation. Very good.
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