Monday, 31 December 2012

Flavours of the Month: December 2012...


Married With Children: Seasons 8, 9, 10 & 11 - the last four seasons were on sale, so I snatched them up. It was about time to finish this up after a decade of very slowly catching up on the box sets. Season 8 got off to a very shaky start (the first episode was damn-near laugh free, and the second episode was only marginally better), but they soon rediscovered their footing. The show got zanier throughout season 9 and 10 (even breaking the fourth wall numerous times), but the plots remained interesting, and the inclusion of a larger cast of regular side characters (such as Al's "No Ma'am" buddies) opened up some great new avenues for humour. The 11th and final season was a touch weak in certain ways - the structure of the show was changed, introducing a "cold open" and a "tag" at the end of the episode, rather than a straight-shot Act I and Act II, as had been the case for the previous ten seasons.
Click "READ MORE" below for more Looks, Sounds, Vibes & Flavours for December 2012...

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Pentuple Bill Mini Musings: Saucy Bears, 90s Raunch, Action and Stuff...

What's it about?
A lonely boy makes a wish for his teddy bear to come to life. It works. Fast forward thirty years and they're still 'Thunder Buddies for Life' as they laze about and smoke pot all day, but the man who was once a boy with a magic teddy bear needs to grow up, lest his girlfriend leaves him.
Who would I recognise in it?
Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovani Ribisi, Ralph Garman, Joel McHale, Patrick Stewart, Norah Jones, Tom Skerritt.
Would you like a movie where a foul-mouthed teddy bear simulates sexual acts, beats people up, and snorts cocaine? If the answer is yes, then you'll have a bloody good time. The second half might get a bit flabby at points (after a very solid first hour), but it's a testament to the filmmakers that they could make this rather badly behaved bear be so acceptable to the audience. Plenty of raunchy humour abound - I had a lot of fun with this flick. Great.

Click "READ MORE" below for action, erotica, Oscar-worthy performances, and Herge...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Quadruple Bill Mini Musings: Parties, Submarines, Dreams, and Venice...

Project X:
What's it about?
Three increasingly vulgar and cliched American teens look to become high school legends by throwing an epic house party in this documentary style comedy.
Who would I recognise in it?
Nobody, but you'll be familiar enough with the endless cliches, and it's produced by Todd "The Hangover" Phillips as well as co-written by Michael "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" Bacall.
Being a first person movie (think Cloverfield), it naturally suffers from all the problems and impossibilities that are ever-present in this annoyingly over-used presentation style. Please stop making 'found footage' movies! Beyond that, the central trio (with a fourth behind the camera) are all grating suburban white boys who fancy themselves as 'players', when in reality they're total losers, and their way of upping their school yard cache crosses all kinds of lines of moral comfort. We have the 'average' lead who is overly influenced by his exceptionally vulgar (and in this instance quite nasty) right-hand-man, while being accompanied by the token fat kid, and a creepy goth on camera duties. The set-up of the main trio strains to imitate the vulgar-but-harmless (not-to mention fairly realistic) teens of Superbad, but Project X fails miserably in establishing characters to root for - not least because their hijinks ultimately destroys the home of the protagonist's parents - their entire lives ruined, all for one stupid night to increase their cred in the dying days of school. Indeed, the resulting lack of real consequence proves quite disturbing - the lead has destroyed the home that his innocent parents have worked hard for, and in-the-process, lost his college tuition money (so there goes his prospects for a better future). Meanwhile, the real instigator gets off on all charges thanks to an expensive lawyer - and never mind that their trail of destruction nearly burned down a neighbourhood populated by innocent people.

Click "READ MORE" for more Project X, Das Boot, Paprika, and Don't Look Now...

Monday, 10 December 2012

Hextuple Bill Mini Musings: Killer, Bunny Boilers, Germs, and Moon Nazis...

Hatchet II:
What's it about?
Adam Green's sequel to his low budget slasher & gore splasher about a deformed maniac with a hatchet wound in his face slicing & dicing in the swamps of New Orleans.
Who would I recognise in it?
Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, R.A. Mihailoff, John Carl Buechler.
The first flick was, in many ways, almost unashamed in its pilfering of ideas from the Friday the 13th franchise. Fortunately this time it makes a modest move into its own territory (even if the foundations are based mostly on fanboy references to the 80s era of the horror genre). At a scant 82 minutes (with several minutes of credits), you'd assume that the pace would be swift, but the first half is mostly set-up for the back-half where a bunch of cannon fodder gets dispatched.

There's some inventive kills (pleasingly brought to life by practical means), and while half the script is underwhelming, the other half contains some enjoyable side characters and some cracking lines - there's promise amidst the mediocrity here, and at least it ends on a sly (and brutal) note, although one which is completely undercut by there being a third bite at the apple coming in 2013. That said, it appears that Caroline Williams, Derek Mears, and and Zach Galligan are in the cast, so the fanboys and fangirls out there will continue to be played to. Brutality wise, there's plenty of gore on offer, although I don't understand what all the fuss in America was about - it was released as an NC-17 and took a stand in doing so (for some daft reason, NC-17 is considered a filthy and disrespectful thing) and promptly did about sod-all at the box office. Here in the UK it was passed 18 uncut with no worries ... and still didn't do much business. There's some fun to be had here, but there's little else on offer than fanboy references to the genre's past, summing up a disappointing lack of ambition ... and the screaming nu-metal tosh on the credits is a total misjudgement. Alright.

Click "READ MORE" below for thoughts on bunny boilers, silent masterpieces, losers, coughs & sneezes, and moon Nazis...

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Walking Dead - what can we expect from episode 3x09 in February 2013?

Find a whole bunch of Walking Dead memes here.

The following post specifically analyses the sneak peek trailers that AMC have officially put out for episode 3x09 "The Suicide King" - if you'd prefer to go into February without knowing anything at all, stop reading, but if you wish to continue, don't worry, there are no real major plot spoilers ahead - however, one question posed by the cliffhanger IS answered.

Click "READ MORE" below to see what we can expect from The Walking Dead 3x09...

Walking Dead Debrief 3x08 "Made To Suffer"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.


Click "READ MORE" below to get the full debrief and some best moments...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #06...

Find the previous post in this series here.

The completed script.

Eyes In Your Window is complete! The first (of three) episode has been redrafted (after taking some time to show it to fresh pairs of eyes to get some feedback), but fortunately due to spending plenty of time up-front getting to know the story and the characters, I had 90% of it sorted after the first draft - of course, getting better at screenwriting with every new script helps, a great deal in fact, as you learn how to streamline your writing process and zoom in on exactly what you need to say to tell your story. Interestingly, the biggest change was turning one character from a male into a female, a simple change (although fiddly in terms of changing all the "he/him/his" into "she/her/her's"), but one which really gave that particular character a whole new edge and made them much richer. Ironically enough, the character's name was unisex (albeit one that is generally considered to be more female than male).

Click "READ MORE" below for a sneak-peek sample...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Axel's Dating Tips, Michonne on Humour, and Tyreese Steps Up: The Walking Dead 3x08 Memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Click on the images to view them full size.

Well there we have it - the first half of season three is done and it was another cracking episode. New episodes return to AMC on February 10th, so it's just a little more than two months before we can return to that cliffhanger. In the meantime, enjoy some memes for "Made To Suffer"...

Tip #1

Click "READ MORE" below to view the rest of the memes (EPISODE SPOILER AHEAD)...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x07 "When The Dead Come Knocking"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.



* Glenn took a hell of a beating in this episode, as dispensed by Merle - that glimpse of a soft side is long gone here. The bad guy you love to hate just got a lot more dangerous.

* Baby "Judith" - just like in the comics.

Click "READ MORE" below for more debriefing, the best gore moment, best twist on the comics, and the cliffhanger...