Thursday, November 24, 2022

Pink Floyd The Wall

This was really good.

I was aware of the spectacular animated sequences used in this film, so I decided to throw it in this week. What I got beyond that though really grabbed my attention. So the film is more or less a visual representation of the eponymous concept album made by Pink Floyd, which was kind of a rough period for the band. You really can't discuss the film without discussing the album or more importantly the events that shaped the album. The band was having severe money troubles and their keyboardist Richard Wright was let go, compound that with a lot of emotional baggage the lead singer Roger Waters wanted to get off his chest from feeling incredibly isolated and not in a good mindset and steadily they formed one hell of an album. The film concerns the life events and deteriorating mentality of a character named Pink, and that's really all the plot that can be given. Because the movie utilizes so much music from the album and it is to personify emotions and events, there isn't really a story but a well constructed sequence of events. And I gotta say it flows pretty dang smoothly for the most part considering it is almost a visual guide I supppse you could say to The Wall. It didn't take all that long until we be jammin' to many great tunes, but even beyond that the film has great power in visuals and storytelling! It kinda takes on an anti-war piece for a good chunk of the film, dealing with Pink losing his father in the second World War and how he never had a true father figure in his life. I mean I could go through every section of the film and explain it but that really defies the purpose. It is an experience to watch this movie and I did find it emotionally stirring. Granted there is more allegory and SYMBOLISM than you can shake a stick at, but music is pretty much that anyway. The animation parts are absurdly well done, I mean I have never witnessed such flawless transitioning and morphing of objects and imagery in my entire life. When I told my mom I was gonna review this she asked if I had some LSD and magic mushrooms for the trip, and yeah it's trippy and the movie does require thought but it isn't nonstop psychedelia. Needless to say Gerald Scarfe and all the animators were geniuses able to pull all this off as well as they did. If they ever re-release this in theaters, get your ass in there! It's directed really well, there isn't much dialogue but it holds intrigue, the journey of Pink to break the wall and rise above is something I feel more people can connect with today than in 1982 which is funny because the album came out 3 years prior, and if nothing else you just get to hear Pink Floyd. That's not a bad experience. I know I'd love to dig through all their studio albums and after this I feel I can appreciate The Wall that little bit more, I know everyone raves about Dark Side Of The Moon, rightfully so it is a very great album, but there's more to explore. Hell, my favorite Pink Floyd song isn't even on any of the big famous albums, it's from The Division Bell their second to last album with Lost For Words. Absolutely beautiful and beyond real. But before I keep rattling on, I recommemd it, I very much enjoyed it. I give it 4 stars, 8/10! And oh sweet Jesus, is it that time...again?? I'm not doing it. You get one holiday movie and then I'm going off in my own world reviewing what I want. I'll see you in the frozen depths of hell you cheery, tree massacring, joyfully singing, lap riding, present giving, Saturnalia celebrating, happiness mongers! I really don't like them, no I don't.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Strange World

Good for you Disney, doing something different.

Needless to say the trailer for this pretty much sold me, a fantastical world with many strange, strange creatures. Let's go. So what did I think? It certainly deserves better than a 5/10 on IMDB, but I do have slight issues with it. So our story takes place on the town/continent/planet(?) of Avalonia where a group of farmers are recruited to travel to the center of the earth to seek out the quite literal root of their problem as their energy sources are depleting. Not super radical in terms of story but for Disney it is new ground. I like our main leads, you do feel the family dynamic and I'll admit the relationship between Searcher and Meridian was really dang sweet. Hell props to them for giving a quite cute blooming romance between two guys, if only for a brief moment. However! I have never seen a script so embroiled in a tug of war in my life. Because the plot focuses as much on generation gaps as much as this wonderful world, and at certain points I'm like, oh wow movie you're not going for some tropey cliches of bickering family members and them totally not opening up their emotions. We get some solid open hearted conversations that I feel are good discussions.....and then they ruin it. It's like every step the characters take forward which happens fairly often, every single time is pulled right the hell away and they regress ten steps back. So why should I believe anything they say and get invested when they turn their backs almost immediately on what they just said! It's so aggravating man. Now the character designs are fine, the environments are nothing short of fascinating and amazing to see, the creatures are so imaginative, and yeah the movie throws a curveball that I never suspected even though I was calling out elements of it early on unknowingly. So the visuals once again are the strongest point of the film, which is not good because they were soooo close to getting this dialogue and characterization down but just fumble it bad. And you spend the entire film with these people and their emotional problems to fix, so it hurts the score. Visuals, excellent crossing over into art at points. Story, basic but interesting. Characters, infuriating but have their good moments. Do I recommend it? Ah, it depends on the individual. This isn't new heights for Disney but it's decent and has a good message about environments and how planets themselves are lifeforms. So....I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10, and tomorrow we really diveboard into the bizarre and you'll be surprised what it is. Keeping you guessing for almost 8 years, I'm proud of that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fantastic Planet

Well I wanted weird animation in prep for Strange World and boy did I get it.

I think this is my first review of a french film, I've seen a few bits of french cinema but never reviewed any so huzzah for adding another country to the list! This was so damn bizzare man, I barely know where to start. So okay, it is an adaptation of a novel where humans known as Oms are viewed as an inferior unintelligent race by an alien humanoid race known as Draags, and the plot is kinda Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes except with humans. A young Om named Terr is taken in by a Draag and learns their language and culture before meeting other Oms and spreads their knowledge about until it seems a war is brewing, which is unfortunate for the Oms because they are about the size of a paperclip to the Draags who are our natural human size. It's not really a film centered heavily on plot, the reason why people are aware of it is this weird ass animation style and designs. When I first saw it it heavily reminded me of the Monty Python cut out style of animation, but it is hand drawn with heavy use of shading and simple movement. The movement is fluid but the style is far from clean. The best and oddest way I can ever explain it is, you can almost feel the paper the animation was drawn on. And the designs are the greatest part! The Draags I feel were perhaps an unconcious inspiration for the Chiss race in Star Wars, blue skinned, with red eyes, but sans the small facial fins. The humans still look like humans but are dressed in rags. And okay guys, it's french're gonna see nudity. It's not portrayed in any kind of sexual way but you do see breasts, and pubic hair, and genitalia. And you actually get a good sense of this environment you are thrown in, it's assuredly alien but you can piece together what something is for the most part. The environments and other creatures you see along the way are impossible to describe but I can tell a show like Rick And Morty took severe inspiration for the batshit weird designs of alien worlds and lifeforms. The soundtrack is funky weird man, 70s if I've ever friggin' heard it, and I would say it reminds me of Pink Floyd but even though Pink Floyd was experimental as shit this is just it's own style. It's a short film too clocking in at 1 hour and 15 minutes with credits so it's a quick sit. Not sure if you should be on any major substance abuse while watching it, but it's interesting to look at. It's not that I don't recommend it but I urge people more to look at pictures of the film more than watch the film itself. It's decent, but that is the main drawing point. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, and get ready for more acid fueled animation from our friends at Disney!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Doctor Who: 2018 - 2022 Retrospective

I'm making this short and plain.

Jodie's era was fine. It was good. I harbor no hatred or disappointment at all for it. Jodie was a good Doctor, able to be eccentric and fun but never pulls her punches when she has to act serious or dramatic. Bradley Walsh is a damn king and I want you to acknowledge him! Mandip Gill I feel she needed more characterization but ultimately a decent companion. Tosin real idea why he was hired, he really can't act worth shit, I hate to be mean but honesty can be mean. John Bishop, really funny and a wonderful average bloke to be thrown in the mayhem. Sacha Dhawan, marry me, I will call you Master and [CENSORED], you are absolutely magnificent in this role and I want you back already! Now onto the series. I still feel Series 11 is actually a really good series, only one episode is a bit dull but the rest I like just fine, they did so much new stuff and I appreciate that! Doctor Who has neeeverrrr looked as good as Series 11, even with future series it doesn't have that crisp cinematic quality to it, the cameras they used need to be the standard. Series 12, best series of the Thirteenth Doctor, bring on the Master, the new Cybermen (please keep that design for a good 5 years), and the Timeless Child. Oh yeah. I still stand by that one. And to all of you naysayers that claim, "Well now we know everything about the Doctor! There's no more mystery to the character!" to which I reply, okay smartass literally tell me everything about the Doctor from before the young abandoned child standing by a portal all the way to William Hartnell. Oh wait, what's that? You can't?? Mein Gott! It's almost as if the mystery if anything has deepened even more than originally conceived. What sorcery is this?!? In other words, shut the FUCK up Donny! Very solid series, picks up the pace, gives us new and old in a well formed package. Onwards! Series 13, horribly crippled by real world events unfortunately but not too bad, great new villain introductions, gave if nothing else variety each episode, and each repeat viewing helps the understanding of the juggled plot and characters. The specials, mixed bag but ends on a high note and I'm happy about that! Chibbers, I've seen your previous Doctor Who writing, you ain't the best but you're not the worst either. I'm willing to dive into your other shows to get better acquainted with your writing style. You gave us some cool shit, some of it was very slap dash in planning and execution, but you kept the show going and gave us a fun Doctor. Every show has it's ups and downs, Doctor Who is no fucking exception, but even the more rocky eras had it's fans and was shown love whether currently or in retrospect. I love all the Seventh Doctor stories, yes even Time And The Rani. I treasure Colin Baker and watch his stories happily even if they aren't all great. Paul McGann deserved more than a TV movie and a mini-sode, despite the more cheesy elements of the movie, he's really damn good if you listen to his audio dramas! Peter Capaldi is the best Doctor Who for my money, but I sure as shit didn't worship all his stories now did I? And who knows, maybe David coming back to give another whole spin of an entirely different Doctor, both to his previous incarnation and his first run, will win me over and it'll always be lovely to see him again, but I'm thinking in broad strokes towards the future. Not one series or two years into the future, but decades down the road. Tomorrow is another day and life is just a constant sequence of 5 minutes (until it's not), but you have to look beyond at the impact of it all. I don't think people are posing the question "What will (blank) be like in 20 years?" anymore and they really really should. This isn't the end for Doctor Who, just a lower point than most other series and eras since 2005, nothing more nothing less. It's good, at times it's amazing, and people will wise up to that fact. It's just a matter of time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Doctor Who: The Whittaker Specials

Physician heal thyself.

So let's do this properly, Eve Of The Daleks the third and final New Year's special, how is it? I think it's a solid special, if I had to pick favorites I think Resolution is the best but this comes second. Set in a very budget friendly storage space the Doctor and crew have arrived in the midst of a time loop, and you think oh a Groundhog's Day style story with the Doctor constantly being assaulted by Daleks not a half bad premise, but I actually appreciate it's a slowly dwindling time loop so if someone dies it could be final. It's a fun little story with humor, plenty of exterminations, and easily the oddest Dalek story yet. I'll admit it took me forever to realize who Aisling Bea was because I've watched many a time The Big Fat Quiz show and she was a welcome treat, and Adjani Salmon I hear a lot of creep admonishing but I personally saw him as a shy well to do guy trying to get a relationship started so I took no major offence. It's a decent story and the whole Thirteen and Yasmin or Thasmin for shorthand thing, knowing that and watching allll the episodes beforehand I don't genuinely feel it was terribly tacked on. It can be seen as a more subtle under the surface romantic relationship rather than the petulant, please give me your dick, anvil drop that was series 2 Rose, and if anything it just further proves that no matter the gender Doctor Who is in for the vulva. Moving swiftly on! Now unfortunately we come to what I consider the absolute weakest episode of Jodie's tenure. I know, The Tsuranga Conundrum, Orphan 55, Praxeus, not very highly regarded episodes but Legend Of The Sea Devils is just so underwhelming and just....there. Like come on people, the Sea Devils are finally back and they look glorious, and you give this no stakes, plodding, nary a drop of interest story, I don't even think I can comprehensively recap said story. The Doctor, Yaz, and Dan meet famed pirate queen Madame Ching, who's unleashed the Sea Devils unwittingly who are really fucking with their shit, and there's sea serpents and ghost ships, and all this wild stuff, and....I...I got absolutely nothing. Very good effects, worst sword fight ever I said what I meant and meant what I said, bit more Thasmin scenes for you shippers out there, but ultimately useless and futile. Next! Ah The Power Of The Doctor, a whopping 90 minute goodbye for the Thirteenth Doctor, absolute fan wank overload and emphasis on the load (it's all over the walls boy!), fun, wild, loose, even a bit emotional for me, it seems so much closer to a 60th anniversary special. Again, not too sure I could fully recap the plot I mean so much happens and I feel if you try to break it down the whole story crumbles. All you need to know is Daleks, Cyberlords, and the Master are after the Doctor who in turn after losing Dan, which by the by what the hell I'm gonna miss him, reconnects with two past companions, Tegan and Ace as they try to thwart their plans. I haven't seen The Five Doctors but from more experienced fans it seems this is the modern series equivalent. Just a grand, fun, crazy celebration of Doctor Who and I really loved it. Seeing Jodie's regeneration was a big deal and not for the reason you might which dear God I have notes on that, so you know what? Screw it. We're gonna spoil it. Seeing previous Doctors was a monumental moment, the First, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and well technically 14th Doctors was completely unexpected and I screamed just a tiny bit. Cause I've been delving deeper into Big Finish, so seeing David one more time as the First was a treat, Peter was great, seeing Colin made me scream like a fangirl, Sylvester made me shed a single tear when he talks to Ace because they are my favorite classic Doctor and favorite companion ever, and friggin' Paul being a rebel and looking dashing as ever made me grin like a fool. It may not be the most tightly written Doctor Who story but it sure as hell didn't disappoint or bore. So let's hash out this regeneration. Goddamn beautiful. Best looking regeneration ever, with the sunset, the colors, the rich flames, I was in awe! Jodie's goodbye, not super long or speechy, no flash or heavy emotion, just a simple embrace of the moment even though she wants to see what happens next. Lovely. And then David Tennant shows up.

Fucking.....really??! No, just no, no I am not happy. You've literally made Thirteen nothing. It's an admittance that, yeah the Chibnall era was just shit, and Jodie's tenure is pretty much gonna be swept under the rug. You will soon know tomorrow how I feel about it. I'm already seeing ****s on the internet dismissing this period of history for Doctor Who, when she was The Doctor. Whether you like it or not. It's part of the history, there is no goddamn retconning, there is no fucking revisionist history, it happened! I was already feeling uneasy when Russell was announced as the next showrunner, something unprecedented in Doctor Who, but I was like well we're getting a brand new Doctor so it's nothing, don't worry about it. So you are telling me, the Doctor can reclaim a previous life, a once before seen incarnation. Well where in the high holy hell is my 6th Doctor revisit??? Are you shitting me up the asshole! Even Ncuti Gatwa seemed friggin' pissed in that brief trailer, and I'm right there with you man. It just seems like a titanic middle finger to this era, because Doctor Who is shit now guys so we're bringing back the 2006 era babaaaaaay!! Fuck's sake. Sort it or abort it! No I'm not quitting Doctor Who! I'm too damn commited to it, do you know how many classic Doctor Who boxsets I have?? Like a MILLION! But I damn well expect these specials coming next year to be a farcry from the Tennant era. I'm not playing around. That was good to vent, I feel a bit calmer, not so irate, so let's wrap this up. The specials are a bit mixed, I never do individual episode ratings but if I did Eve gets a 6.5/10, Legend gets a 3/10, and Power gets a 8/10, so overall the specials get 3 stars, 7.5/10. That's it for Doctor Who! Unless I'm gonna do Classic Who, and if I do it won't be in order, the boxsets are kinda all over the place so it would be pure chaos jumping backwards and forwards in time. So if you want it we'll do it, at least one season per Doctor whenever a Second Doctor boxset gets released and my God that might take a minute, poor Pat's lost so many episodes. And on that bombshell, it is time to end. One final retrospect to go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

In Retrospect: Doctor Who Series 13

I know, one week early. We got other stuff coming up next week.

Very unprecedented this week of reviews, the time has finally passed where Jodie and Chibby step down from the show and an era has ended. It's quite a big deal, for me anyway, cause okay yes Peter was the Doctor when I started all this but I didn't start reviewing Doctor Who until Jodie had started her tenure so it feels appropriate we look back on Flux, review the Whittaker specials, and do a retrospect on her era. So season 13, how was it on rewatch? I wouldn't say it improved but it didn't drop in quality either. The pacing got more understandable and I wasn't running at warp speed to keep up so big plus there. If you've only watched Flux once all the way through, watch it again you'll have an easier time. It's just such a tremendous shame that this only got 6 episodes and is part of that big what if category of Doctor Who. What if Colin Baker continued on for a bit more, what if Doctor Who never got cancelled and the wilderness years were no more, what if Paul McGann got proper visual adventures, and what if 2020 wasn't quite literally the worst year any living person has endured? I think series 13 would have been really good if the shooting schedule didn't get slashed and burned so much, 10 to 13 episodes instead of a meager 6 could have made a universe of difference. And I should know because I'm still salty as fuck about Gotham's last season. Bastards!! But now that the dust has settled I do still like this series. The villains are still cool, the wide range of cast isn't as difficult to keep up with, Jodie I think does very well and is waaay more serious and even angry at points so I must commemd her. Special effects are still damn impressive, it's not cinema quality but considering they are on a BBC budget, very fine work indeed! Best episode for my money is Village Of The Angels, it just works so well with that horror atmosphere and doesn't try to juggle too much. Plus that ending is like for real for real, one of the best cliffhangers I have seen in modern or classic Doctor Who. Weakest episode, though frankly I don't hate any of them, I'd say Survivors Of The Flux though it does still obviously give a lot of interesting and unique ideas, it being a comparitively Doctor-lite episode makes it a bit of a sit. But welcome additions are found in every episode from new lore concerning the Angels, to the introduction of Bel (who is so damn pretty oh my lord) and Vinder plus the reintroduction of my love Kate. Don't even get me started, Captain Jack would be proud of the thoughts in my head so let's move on. This is a brief PSA, watch the Spoilerific Reviews of VoteSaxon07, he is goddamn amazing and he's done all of Jodie's episodes so internet, do your work. Now this is incredibly unfair but yes, series 13 is the weakest season of the modern era. Can you really blame it though due to the production? It's not a full series, it wants to tell a grand scale epic story but doesn't have the time to tell it, and there are some parts I wish they didn't rush (Division) but at the same time every showrunner wraps their stuff up before the next comes. Though Chibmunk sure gifted Russell and future writers a present bomb in the face with that watch. I don't hate the concept or implications, but it will be a fascinating story detail to keep an eye on. It's a decent additional 6 episodes of adventures in time and space, and not a half bad way to kill an afternoon, but I just hope people don't judge it super harshly in the future. Television is some hard shit to make let alone a programme over 50 years old. So join me next time, for a much needed expansion on the last New Year's special and the subsequent two specials capping off with a regeneration.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Black Panther Wakanda Forever

God I wish I could say I was in higher spirits.

Not only is this a sobering film to watch, today is also the day Kevin Conroy has passed away so I'm in a severe grieving state for the Batman and the Black Panther. And this was really the last movie I wanted to have nits to pick at, not at all that it's bad far from it. As a tribute, as a goodbye to Chadwick, it's done damn near perfect. I mean....fucking chilling, impactful, could hear a pin drop in that theater effect. Oh my God! And as a continuation of the MCU and seeing Shuri step up to the mantle, it's good! I have notes but I couldn't bash this movie, I feel it almost gets a pass from critics because of the tragic real world events that capsized whatever the original Black Panther 2 was going to be and it is a stirring good piece of drama when it deals with that. I just hate that it tries to be business as usual after some grieving, yeah I'm going there again and I feel I have even more of a case this time. I know it couldn't have been this mourning, drama filled, character piece for Shuri for the whole almost 3 hour runtime. And indeed there were moments when there were lines that brought levity, a smile, a chuckle, but I just wish Marvel would have just said screw it. No jokes for jokes sake, we're gonna tell an emotional gripping story about the death of a king and a kingdom trying to pick up the pieces with more an emotional debate on if Shuri will be the next guardian of Wakanda. They just can't man, I feel it's almost compulsive unconcious behavior, if you put a gun to their head and said write a movie with next to zero humor they would end up with a slug in their grey matter. I just really wish they pushed this to uncharted territory, cause the rest of the movie isn't half bad with this....okay, James Cameron could have a very possible case for theft of intellectual property cause, it really goddamn is the water dwelling cat people from the upcoming Avatar film clashing swords with Wakanda. They have neat elements to them with a very cool Mayan background, but that's what they are! Their leader does fall into that average Marvel villain trope, there be no Thanos or Vulture fascinating personalities to be found here. However, the acting from everybody down to the extras is rock solid. Super well done and able to convey what they need and sometimes even more. And I love how our leads are all the women we got to know from the last film! Angela Basset, that woman has my heart and my allegiance forever! I was so happy to see more of her this time around and she is glorious to behold in every aspect! Letitia Wright damn near carries the film by herself, I mean I don't think she had to do all that much acting and to see her journey to when she puts that suit on is great. Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o while more secondary characters had nothing but my attention and passionate want for them to succeed. Tenoch Huerta does admirable work and I do understand his reasons for why he does what he does but I feel there was just something missing from the writing. Also, major props to everyone who learned to speak these dialects and alright movie you get points for having substantial subtitles throughout. The visuals I must say are outsanding, from the cinematography, to the environments, to the flawless costume design and color palette, it's a feast to the eyes! The score, holy shit balls both the actual score and the soundtrack, wow man! I dig it. Unfortunately the above mentioned notes I have slip into spoilers so I can't divulge much, I can tell you however this movie upset me. Like, almost rage levels upset me. Not on any aspect of production, or they bullshit about with the source material, I was just out for the villain's blood. Thank Christ they didn't try some Romeo And Juliet horseshit with Shuri and Namor, I would have been far more aggravated. It's good, I do like the first movie more and feel it juggled serious and funny better, but the emotional crux is hard to brush off because they handle it so well and I do hope it won't be the last we see of Wakanda. I give it a solid 3 stars, 8/10, and I need a long lie down after today so until next time.