“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
So, if these minor WordPress blog awards were Oscar Awards, I would have three nominations. That would put me on par with Kirk Douglas, Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Clark Gable, Joan Fontaine, Faye Dunaway, Russell Crowe, Joan Crawford, Humphrey Bogart and Julie Andrews, among others. I would also have more nominations than Vivien Leigh and Hilary Swank.
What you should take away from this is that I’m more talented than Vivien Leigh and Hilary Swank.
Anyway, as you might have guessed, I’ve been nominated for another award, specifically, the One Lovely Blog Award. This time though, I was nominated by Aneta, whose site is really great. You should go ahead and check it out right away. I mean it. Come right back right after though, I need those sweet, sweet likes to boost my sense of self-worth.
Anywho, this award functions almost the same as my last two awards, except whoever’s nominated gets to choose the stuff about themselves that they want to reveal, which is awesome, because that means that I get to cover up the fact that I’m not good at asking people who are essentially strangers questions about themselves.
I still gotta nominate some people though,so here are my nominees:
They’re all amazing sites, and you should check them out, right after you read my random word vomit.
And now, seven random facts about myself! Do you dare to gaze into the mind of a guy who is so insecure that he felt the need to insult Vivian Leigh a few paragraphs ago for no discernible reason? Great! Let’s go!
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
“You have to remember something about the will of the people… It wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena”
I am writing the first draft of this review in the cafeteria of my new school, MacEwan University, in between my Human Interaction class and my Introductory Japanese class. I have no idea how my unscholarly self got into one of my better universities in Western Canada, but at this point, I’m just enjoying the experience until they (Whoever they may be) inevitably figure out that I’m a hack and kick my dumb ass out.
Speaking of hacks…
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, hours and hours of both horrifying and hilarious entertainment)
Produced by: Marc Bienstock, Jason Blum, M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Comedy, horror
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn
Music by: Paul Cantelon
Plot: 15-year old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her brother, 13-year old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are sent off to some hick town in Pennsylvania by their mom (Kathryn Hahn), a single mother who’s taking this time taking this time to go on a well-deserved vacation. Becca is a wannabe documentary filmmaker, thus giving an excuse for this movie to fall into the tired “found footage” genre (Although now that I think of it, how many 15-year olds do you know that give a shit about documentaries?), and Tyler is a rapper who is not shy at all about sharing his…Um…. “Talents”
While in rural Pennsylvania, the kids visit their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) who, at first, seem like regular, kind old folks. However, when the sun goes down, a different side of them emerges… And it’s discovered that Nana and Pop-Pop are completely bananas, even for most people.
I’ll be here all day, folks…
The rise and fall of M. Night Shyamalan has been so well-documented that I probably don’t need to mention it. I will though, because I’m a sadist.
After skyrocketing out of obscurity with the classic thriller The Sixth Sense and following hat up with the great deconstruction of superheroes that is Unbreakable, and fooling everybody into liking the critical and commercial successful crap-fest that is Signs, Shyamalan found himself on shaky ground with the massive cock-tease that is The Village before vomiting out absolute dogshit like Lady in the Water and The Happening. Lessening his tiresome shtick of twists that got less intelligent with each movie, M.Night tried his hand at two mainstream blockbusters: The Last Airbender (Based on one of my favourite TV shows of all time) and the Jaden/Will Smith nepotistic fever dream known as After Earth. Both of them failed miserably critically and commercially, with the former frequently featured on lists of the worst movies of all time. Shyamalan’s propensity for boring, exposition-ridden dialogue, wide-angle shots, pointless, insipid twists, and tendency to to somehow suck the talent and charisma out of supremely talented actors like Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith made him the butt of many jokes told by critics and internet commenters the world over. It didn’t help that Shyami has (Or had) quite the ego, inserting himself into Lady in the Water as a monumentally important writer, and writing a character for the very same movie that is little more than a caricature of a snarky, miserable critic who gets devoured by wolves.
I admit to getting in on the act of hating relentlessly on M.Night for quite a while. For further proof of his, see my angry, incoherent review of After Earth from two-ish years ago (Actually, please don’t). But, now that I’ve blossomed from a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 17-year old into a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 18 3/4-year old, I’ve gained a new perspective on this supremely important issue. While I still think that pretty much every movie that he’s done after Unbreakable is pretty much irredeemable shit, I appreciate that he comes across as someone who really loves his craft and wants to entertain. And with The Visit, Shyamalan seems to be returning to his roots, making a small-budget, semi-satire of horror movies set back in his home state of Pennsylvania.
And it’s not a classic, or anything, but hey, even a merely good movie is a monumental improvement over Airbender and After Earth, so rejoice remaining Shyamalan fans! Your king has taken baby steps towards reclaiming the glory and respectability he enjoyed at the turn of the century!
I found that it greatly increased my enjoyment of the movie when I didn’t think of it so much as a horror movie, but as kind of a dark comedy. Odd that Shyamalan would delve into comedy when his attempts at comic relief in his recent movies are the only parts that DIDN’T leave me laughing hysterically, but there you go.
From what I’ve heard, Shyamalan directed two cuts of The Visit. One of the two is pure horror (Yuck) and the other is pure comedy. Apparently, the finished product is a blend of those two cuts, and in the comedic aspect, it works very well. Not only is the humour very well-written (!!!), Shyamalan also willingly parodies himself, showing that he’s maybe realized some of his mistakes from his past projects…
… And his self-critique proves surprisingly effective. The problem with that is that the strength of the comedy actually exposes the weakness of the horror.
Granted, I really fucking hate 99.99% of all horror movies, so maybe I’m not the one whose opinion you should be seeking out out on this aspect of the movie, but for all the elements of shitty mainstream horror movies that The Visit does a good job of poking fun at, there are plenty of cliched horror elements that do sneak in that kind of take me out of it. There are plenty of stupid jumpscares to go around, to my chagrin and, to be honest, the horror element was extremely tedious compared to the story progression and the humour. I felt like I had to suffer through the horror (And to be fair, there was a fair bit of good humour injected into the horror) until I could get to the humour.
The combination of black comedy works well enough… Until the climax, when things kind of fall apart, tone-wise. At that point, the horror and comedy go to such opposite extremes that it really is extremely jarring.
And while the writing is good, one must always remember that this is still a post-Unbreakable M.Night Shyamalan script, and while it’s not as off-putting as, say, the script for The Last Airbender, of which I have been known to buy multiple copies of to burn in a bonfire while laughing maniacally and mainling pure ethanol, this one, while solid and frequently clever, does suffer from some noticeable plot holes. Nothing that serious, but definitely a detriment.
That said, there are some legitimately touching moments to be found, and the characters are well-written enough that they don’t need massive amounts of exposition. Not only that, but Shyamalan, who hasn’t exactly built up a reputation for being an actor’s director…
… Gets some pretty great performances out of his actors this time around. The older folks are terrific and suitably creepy, but the chi;d actors are really good. Like, Haley Joel Osment good. Granted, this and The Sixth Sense are very different movies, but… Well, you get the idea.
Olivia DeJonge is awesome as a character who I suspect is supposed to be sort of a parody of Shyamalan, but even better is Ed Oxenbould as the younger brother. I know that I lost most of you when I said that his character is a rapper, an believe me, I get it. It is fairly annoying and cringe-worthy at first, but I figure it’s kind of supposed to be that way. Nobody puts a 13-year old rapper in their movie and expects you to take them seriously. That’d be like the inverse of putting a Holocaust scene in a movie and screaming “LAUGH DAMMIT! WHY WON’T YOU LAUGH!!!” when they won’t stop sobbing.
Overall: The consensus seems to be that this is Shyamalan’s best movie since Signs or The Village. These people are under the mistaken impression that Signs and The Village are actually good. While not a great movie, The Visit is Shyamalan’s best movie since Unbreakable and is an extremely welcome return to form for the much-maligned director, One can only hope that he keeps his second shot at respectability going.
The last few days have mostly been spent getting acclimated to university, with no time to do any real creative work. Thankfully, I was nominated for another award by the Bookidote, making them single-handedly responsible for the swelling of my ego that will inevitably lead to my desire for conquest and intolerance for any form of disagreement or dissent.
Unlike the Sunshine Blogger Award, though, the Liebster Award is intended for blogs with less than 500 followers. Each nominee needs to nominate other bloggers for the award and create eleven questions for their nominees to answer, whilst answering eleven questions posed by whoever asked
Here are my nominees. They are all awesome, and you should check them out:
And now, here are my questions (Yes, they ,might be kinda lame, but keep in mind that taking an interest in other people is one of the hardest things for me to do):
Thank god that’s over. Having to think of interesting questions to ask instead of answering questions about me absolutely drains me. Now, on to Bookidote’s questions!
Who’s your favourite actor?
Leonardo DiCaprio is my favourite actor, and it’s not even particularly close. My favorite performance of his is in Django Unchained. The fact that the Academy will even consider nominating Boyhood for Best Picture and will balk at the chance to nominate him for Best Supporting Actor in Django is a goddamned travesty.
If time froze for 15 minutes and you could move around, what would you do?
Probably cry. And then arrange anybody in my immediate vicinity into funny and/or anatomically impossible positions.
If you could fight with anyone (even deceased people), who would you fight?
Christopher Columbus. Oh, the things I’d do to try to put that genocidal little shit in the ground.
Would you rather kill an innocent person or have a killer as a son?
… Goddamit, I was hoping not to have to think too deeply for this post.
Uh… Shit I have no idea. Probably the second one, if only because the definition of “killer” could be debated…. Maybe?
What got you to start a blog?
I really got into movies and entertaining movie reviews when I was sixteen years old, but I didn’t want to do YouTube reviews like the people I was watching, because I didn’t (And still don’t, really) want to broadcast my actual face on the internet. I figured it would be easier on my limited technological skills to start a website (Well, not really, but I’m slowly starting to despise the word “blog”). It didn’t hurt that I was doing really well in English class at that point, so that filled me with unwarranted self-confidence too.
If you were to lose one of your five senses, which one would it be? Why?
I heard somewhere that the sense of taste is just an offshoot of the sense of smell, so if that is in fact the case, I would have to choose the sense of touch, which would be really unfortunate. If not, then sense of smell, for sure, and it’s not even that close.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in five years?
Well, in five years exactly, I’ll be going on twenty-four, so I wouldn’t say I’m that ambitious, but I hope that, if I haven’t found a way to make money off of PKtM yet (Though that is the plan, at some point) I’ll be working, preferably in a field that puts the journalism degree that I will have earned by then to use, although I’d take working at the local library in a goddamned second.
If all books were to be burned, what one book would you memorize to immortalize it?
I would not do this. Instead, I would opt to tell whoever is coming to take my books to eat a bag of dicks.
… Although if I have to answer this, and I can’t count the Chaos Walking trilogy as one book, then I would probably say A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
If you could be in the middle of a movie, what movie would it be?
Assuming I get to be a wizard at Hogwarts, one of the early Harry Potter movies, i.e. one of the episodes where it’s just Harry who gets put in perilous situations and not the entire student body, like in the last four movies.
What’s your definition of success?
It’s directly proportionate to how much of an altered state you’re in at the moment.
Just kidding. The question of someone being successful can be answered using the following questionnaire that I’ve made up just now.
Question 1: Are you happy with your life right now? If no, then you are not successful.
Question 2: Are you, though? If no, then you are not successful.
Question 3: Have you gained happiness through the exploitation and mistreatment of others? If no, you are successful. If yes, you are merely an asshole.
What would you add to your everyday life to make yourself a better person?
Probably a sense of humility and the slightest modicum of empathy for human life. If you give me a choice between those things and a ticket to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere though…. It’s not a tough decision for me to make.
You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
– Malcolm X
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
– Henry David Thoreau
Aaaaaaaand summer’s over. Fuck.
Soon, bugs will die by the truckload. Leaves will bail from their trees at the first sign of chilly weather like the unfaithful bastards they are. Children and most teenagers will be back in school (Hah, losers!), and the other teenagers and young adults, if they’re not working full-time, will be back in university (Aw, nuts).
Since September is looking of be a real dumpster fire of a month when it comes to movies (Which suits me well, since I’m trying to focus more on other stuff, anyways), let’s take a quick, extremely half-assed look at some of the movies from earlier in the year that I got around to seeing last month instead of going to the cinema, because aside from Straight Outta Compton, August 2015 can go fuck itself.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden
Plot: Plain (You know, for Hollywood) college student Anastasia Ste- Wait. ANASTASIA STEELE?!?! BAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
Okay, okay. As a writer myself, I get it. Names can be tough. You want a name that fits and/or says something about your character, but you don’t want it to be too obvious, and yeah, a name like “Jane Smith” would be boring, but “ANASTASIA STEELE!?!?!?!”
Fuck off, E.L. James. Just for that, I’m skipping the plot summary and short blurb. You gave up all hope of that semblance of dignity when the thought of naming your protagonist/Avatar ANASTASIA FUCKING STEELE, and I’m not going to encourage you.
Besides, it’s not like anybody doesn’t doesn’t know the premise of the book. It’s a Twilight fanfic minus vampires and werewolves and plus bondage. I don’t know what part of that is screaming “make me a fucking movie”, but silly me thinking that Hollywood cares about the quality of the source material it adapts.
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Directed by: Richard Starzak and Mark Burton
Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparks, Omid Djaili
Plot: Growing tired of the same old routine at their farm on the countryside, a flock of sheep, led by the one apparently known as Shaun (Although you wouldn’t know without the title. This movie has little to no dialogue whatsoever) decide to take a day off from the daily grind. Unfortunately, through various hijinks, their actions result in the Farmer getting lost in a nearby city. Accompanied by the loyal sheepdog, Shaun and the flock must venture into the city to bring him back home, all while evading the local Evil Animal Control Guy.
Shaun the Sheep is the latest movie from Aardman Animations, the British stop-motion animation studio who brought us Wallace & Gromit and Flushed Away, among other stuff. This latest movie is based off of a TV show (Also made by Aardman), and as far as kids’ show adaptations go, it’s probably one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while. That last sentence should most definitely not be seen as high praise, by the way.
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Mike Birbiglia, Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller, LeBron James
Plot: Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is not the most responsible person you will ever meet. Devoted to a lifestyle of drinking, partying, smoking pot and sex with multiple partners, she had it drilled into her head by her father (Colin Quinn) that monogamy is not a realistic ideal. However, this lifestyle of her is challenged when she meets funny, charming sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), and hijinks ensue.
Aside from the gender/role reversal and a few wrinkles here and there (Amy can be straight-up cruel and unlikable a lot of the time), Trainwreck plays out more or less like your average rom-com, except much cruder. Which is awesome, because the romcom genre and its many cliches are getting fucking unwatchable at this point, and if we can’t expect an original storyline, the least we can hope for is really good comedy, and Trainwreck delivers on that front.
Directed by: Ken Scott
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Nick Frost
Plot: No. You can’t make me.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
Directed by: Tom Harper
Starring: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory Adrian Rawlins, Oaklee Pendergast
I have said before before that I hate horror movies, and while my sentiment on them still hasn’t changed (Give me Wet Hot American Summer over even the most highly-touted horror movie any day), even I realize that there are plenty of good scary movies out there, like The Babadook, The Exorcist and pretty much any foreign horror flick.Hell, I may not enjoy Nightmare on Elm Street, but I can still recognize that it’s a well-made horror movie, technically speaking.
So, why do I still profess to hate the genre? Well, it’s precisely because of dogshit like this movie. If I wasn’t already ambivalent enough towards the genre, I would be insulted that this movie was even considered a horror movie. What this movie is is part of a near-universally despised subgenre of horror that I hereby dub “StartleCore”.
What is StartleCore, you ask? Well, without going into detail (Maybe some other day), it’s any movie that tries to sell itself as a horror movie, but then spends the entire runtime trying to startle the audience with shitty jumpscares instead of focusing on creating an actually scary atmosphere and leaving an impact on the audience.
To summarize, this is one of those movies. There, I just saved you 98 minutes. You’re fucking welcome.
Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Jens Hulten, Simon McBurney, Alec Baldwin
Look, just watch it. It’s a really good time, and if this movie is any indication, Tom Cruise isn’t going to be alive or not horribly crippled for much longer. You know, unless Scientologists are hiding some kind of cure-all/anti-aging formulas in their churches or whatev- that’s totally it, isn’t it?
“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
– Paulo Coelho