I’d Like To Ignore the Academy

I don’t care about the Oscars. Rarely, very rarely, a movie I enjoyed or I thought was deserving of an award is nominated.  To me it is fatuous back patting to the extreme and I’d rather watch a South Park marathon, or listen to music or sleep.

Now. Some person of colour and their supporters are unhappy that they have been unfairly represented in Oscar wins if not nominations. Well,  I understand their unhappiness.  Racism,  real or perceived is not a good thing. But looking back I don’t see very many black actors in lead or supporting roles in the movies I thought should have been nominated

The problem is my friends, casting. Get in those lead roles in the kinds of movies that win and if nominations do not  come about,  raise hell. Until then, quota awarding or creating new awards to support black acting is almost worse than how it stands now.

And while I am at it, Blackpool 2016!

That is all.

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A Review of Fury

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I was defending this movie before I had even seen it.  A CTV reviewer had entered the theatre with a huge, Gorilla Glue™ed in  place chip on his weasely shoulders.  He called it an anti-anti-war movie which I gather in leftist boomer parlance means a pro-war movie.  I, having read a fair bit about it before I gleefully decided to go see it, retorted online that he was a crazy hippie and that sometimes movies are made without “meaning” or “message” and people sometimes need to stop seeking such.

I have now seen Fury and can see why the semi-professional wonk reviewer may have been confused.  It is not a pro-war movie, and anti-war movie, an anti-anti-war movie or a well funded conspiratorial attempt to embolden Americans and cause a mass sign-up to the US Army.  It’s frankly, just a war movie.  Frankly, again, it’s not bad.

Well acted, well written, nice to watch (as a movie), horrific to behold (as a fairly true depiction of WWII) and I am sure quite surprising to a lot of people who have the false belief that the allies were all Geneva Convention upholding peaceful folks.  Brad Pitt’s character is typical of a lot of men who signed up back then, full of Fury (aha!) at the demons from Deutschlan, ready to kill Krauts.. The propaganda of the day painted Germans as godless beasts intent on murdering everyone in sight and ready to take over the world (and somehow garrison it with the relatively miniscule army they possessed). He murders a prisoner on his way to interrogation.  He has no compassion apart for a pair of women in a liberated town that offer him a bit of domestic respite, but soon it was back to killing.  It ends badly for many people, as, frankly, war does. If I was a die hard, undying supporter of the military, I’d find this movie a bit uncomfortable and in fact, a tad anti-war.  If I was a German (I am a bit) I’d be put off that the movie depicts all men in German uniforms to have been Borg™ like combat drones (apart from one young man at the end of the film). If I was a peace-loving hippie boomer (and worked for CTV) I’d be put off that there is no overt anti-war speech or message apart from the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS DEPICTION OF WAR AS FILTHY, BLOODY AND HORRIFIC. If I was none of the above, I would simply enjoy it for what it is, a pretty good war film.

I enjoyed Fury, but was mildly iffy over the fact that it wasn’t a fun jaunty adventure.  I didn’t go in wanting a message, I wanted excitement, fun, 1950s vintage war movie fun.  I walked out a mix of emotion.  Angry at Wardaddy for being a complete dick to the replacement co-driver who murdered not one but two surrendered men for no reason at all apart from misplaced vengeance.  Happy that they found respite in a liberated German town.  Sad that it was ruined all too quickly by internal and external forces.  Annoyed that the advertising sold me on a false depiction of the film.  Content that it was worth the money I paid. Resigned that I don’t plan to ever watch it again.

Three out of five stars

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Neighbors – A Review

Well that was refreshing. After three decent, well made, well acted, well written movies in a row, it is so, so pleasant to a curmudgeon like me to waste a few bucks on a rental.  I like Seth Rogan. I have no issues with Zac Efron and I would be pleased to see Rose Byrne naked giving the weather on TV.  All that said, Neighbors is terrible. TERRIBLE. Capital T.  Capital ALL LETTERS. Bad.

The more I look back upon it, the less I liked it. It was like an ex girlfriend you dumped because she slept with your best friend and the more you begin to enjoy life without her, the longer you are away from the situation, the more things you realize you hated about it while you suffered her endless banter about horses and fashion and god damned romance novels and her friends, all her stupid, mindless, easily offended friends.

Pardon me, I digressed (but I note that the previous sentence was likely more entertaining than NEIGHBORS.

Rogan: the lines were delivered with his usual wit.  The lines sucked donkey. Unbelievable.  He was playing a parody of all of his other characters ever played.

Efron: oddly, the best of the bunch, though the writing again was terribly sophomoric.  SophoMORONIC. Not even silly “Animal House” funny.

Byrne: never naked enough, always rambling along (with her terribly un-sexy, flaccidness-inducing accent)  like your buddy’s annoying girlfriend who always shows up when the guys go out for a beer, always wanting to be one of the guys, making stupid jokes, trying to be guy-cool, irritating as all duck. (I didn’t type duck. Stupid Autocorrect).

Story: contrived, dumb, idiotic, bland, boring, long, tedious, I slept through 15 minutes of the “best” part of the movie because being unconscious was preferable to suffering the visual and aural injustices of this travesty.

A Seething Hateful 2 out of five

 

Neighbors new poster

A Quick Movie Review – God Help The Girl

I have been a Belle and Sebastian fan for many years now, so when I heard that Stuart Murdoch was putting together his own film, I was both interested and a bit afraid. The CD of music from the movie came out, some new songs, some old, played by the band but sung by both cast and hired hands, and I liked it. The film was released at a very select number of venues in England etc. and reviews ranged from meh to iffy to okay. I was disheartened.

Skip forward in time till a month ago and I was to be in Toronto for two days for MY REAL JOB and I was as usual wondering what to do. The last few times I had been there, I had merely taken terrible take-away to my hotel and ate as I watched television I wouldn’t normally watch. I scoured the comedy club listings. Nada worth seeing. I looked at theatres and again, nothing I wanted to see. Then I happened up in the TIFF Lightbox listings. The movies for the week swung by on the screen and there it was. God Help the Girl:

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I was pleased. I purchased a ticket. I went. I enjoyed.

 

Had I seen this when I was in my teens, my father’s most meagre insistence that I go into a technical field would have been shunted away. I would have moved on and wrote more than I did. I would have focused myself into the arts instead of math and chemistry. I would have not been 47 writing a script, but 17 doing the same.

A glorious eye and ear pleasing cacophony of youthful angst, glee and promise. I enjoyed every sheer moment of it. The actors though young and (apart from one) not that experienced played their parts flawlessly. The music was perfect. The film was amateurish but intentionally so and it suited the youthful feel of the film. Had this been done in Hollywood, it would have been ruined. This is not Palo Alto (another film I recently saw and enjoyed thoroughly) this is Stuart Murdoch giving you a look into the world of the artistic young, breaking free from childhood and moving on into who knows where, but moving as they choose, in the direction that feels right. It is a glorious film.

Five out of five

The Worlds End – a very quick review

I can honestly say I enjoy every piece of work that Simon Pegg has been involved in. He is intelligent, witty and comes across as completely genuine at all times. Nick Frost, the same. When I received a surprise email this past year letting me know that a sort of, kind of, sequel to Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead was due for release this year, I was ecstatic. I was I can honetly say completely happy with the resulting film. It is true comedic genius. The cast, many of whom have been in so, so many of previous Edgar Wright’s films and tv shows, were perfect in their delivery and zing. It was an absolutely enjoyable romp. And yes, when it was all over, I took my wife Karen and my two eldest to a pubbish restaurant for dinner and had a pint in honour of the film.

A perfect comedy movie.

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Movie Review – The Conjuring

I like scary movies. I like ghost stories, supernatural stories, monster stories. I do not care for slasher flicks as to me, they are not horror, they are thrillers. The Conjuring is from the above list of preferred movies and stands strong among many others as an example of a well written, acted and directed movies.

It scared the hell out of me, which is a good thing. What was NOT a good thing wad when my wife, coerced into seeing said movie with me ( she does NOT like horror ) insisted she needed me to find ice cube trays in the basement when we got home from seeing it in Ultra AVX glory. Excuse me, I digress.

The movie like numerous others is “based on a “true” story” which as a skeptic always irks me. I won’t summarize it in detail or the “true” story as I am sure you can look it up on THE GOOGLER but provide the following brief synopsis.

Family move into old rural house. House is haunted by numerous ghost one of whom is violent toward the occupants, a man, his wife and an innumerable number of daughters. I think maybe it was four. Ghost hunters are called in. The ghost hunter duo are married and the haunting bleeds over I to their own family life.

There is a creepy doll. Isn’t there always. Just for me, guy who already finds dolls creepy.

It takes place in the early 1970s and folks in costume and sets were 100% accurate in their depictions. It was a glory to behold.

Highly recommended to fans of the fright. Also recommended as a date movie if you want her to insist she come to the bathroom with you all night.

Four and a half ghostly human shaped figures at the end of the hall put of five

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