School assignments.

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Gotta write and practice a three minute speech somewhere between now and the time I present it tomorrow after 8:30am.

that’s during sleep.


Categories: Uncategorized

REVIEW: The Reichenbach Fall (Sherlock)

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

IOU one review of the final episode of Season Two of Sherlock, to be written tomorrow afternoon if I’m not napping.

cos right now, I gotta go to bed for that 8am class, ya dig?

Categories: Uncategorized


January 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Michael Fassbender in Shame

Michael Fassbender's penis, the movie.

Shame was the other movie I saw yesterday at the most empty and dreary multiplex I’ve ever visited. Let me tell you, I drove a half hour into the depths of industrial nowhere to see these two movies because that was the only place they were being exhibited and if they’d been playing closer to home, I would’ve seen them already. Probably in a theater as full as the one out in Oakville. It’s the end of cinema, delivered to you by a Canadian theater monopoly and the disappearance of the local movie critic. But that isn’t what we’re here to talk about today, we’re here to talk about Shame, the new movie from director Steve McQueen that I’ve been told is one of the best movies I’ll see this year. Certainly the furthest pushing and most transgressive and entirely deserving of its NC-17 rating.

I’ve been told a lot about this movie, and it certainly lived up to its reputation as awkward, brilliant, minimalist, overlong, improvised and awkward. Very awkward. I was also told that I would see Michael Fassbender’s penis. Let it be known, if you have any reservations whatsoever about seeing Michael Fassbender’s penis, you should not see this movie. And I probably should have warned my girlfriend about the fact that she would be seeing Michael Fassbender’s penis. Michael Fassbender, you see, plays Brandon: a young Irish man who has carefully set up his life to support his crippling sex addiction without ever having to feel personally accountable for it. Without having to feel the shame. Read more…

REVIEW: Carnage

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet in Carnage (2011)

This seems to be the agreed-upon snapshot.

Carnage was the first of two movies I saw at the most unwelcoming theater I’ve ever encountered yesterday. (Today, for the date that this is assigned.) I’ve been dying to see Carnage ever since I found out the cast, concept and the fact that it opened on a grand total of five screens last December to qualify for Oscars. It’s a four-hand screenplay based on the play The God of Carnage, as performed by Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly; directed by controversial figure (to say the least) Roman Polanski. It’s also my first feature-length outing with Roman Polanski (aside from one ill-advised encounter with Macbeth in high school), and I can safely say that this is, without a doubt, a movie.

It’s there. It’s a movie. It’s a good movie, to be sure, but around this time of year, all the same movies start coming out. They’re the movies that all look and feel like they were made to win awards, and in most cases, they were. I’m not saying Carnage is a bad movie or a dishonest movie or any less worthy as a movie for being made as “an important movie that deserves awards”. The end result is actually quite good. It’s just that it rings a little hollow. Like a play being performed on screen for an audience of critics. But, I owe you the rest of my impressions with this movie, and that starts off with two boys, a park, and a stick. Read more…

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast 3D

January 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast

That ballroom looked better in '91.

It was around the 3D re-release of The Lion King‘s stellar box office run that someone said it was a sad, sad day at the movies. If Disney didn’t even have to bother putting work into making a new property, but could instead just put an old one out with a new coat of three dimensionality on it and reap cash, actual new movies that are good won’t get numbers at the box office. Disney will stop making good features. Actual movies will get squeezed out of the box office in favour of some old four-star movies trotted out again for all to see. And for some reason that I can’t fathom in hindsight (maybe I’m judging by the wrong movie, who knows), people thought ticket sales for The Lion King were cutting into Drive‘s first week. And yeah, new movies like Drive or Contagion being bumped off the top spot by Lion King is almost certainly a pisser, but were those tickets really being sold to the same audience?

In any case, I just got home from the 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast and that’s what I’ve been thinking about this entire time. Is it really a sad day at the movies when good family films are back in theaters with a new coat of paint? Sure, it’s a lot less work than making a new feature film of equal quality from the ground up. Sure, it’s pretty much every criticism you could throw at it. But in a modern world less and less concerned with preserving our history, more and more caught up in blindly imitating it to make money, shouldn’t it be a welcome vacation to get a Best Picture nominee back on the big screen, no matter how it’s being released there? These are the days when the true family film, entertaining for all members, is disappearing entirely. To get a movie this beautiful, timeless and magnificent re-released is wholly welcome in my books. And especially when the end product looks as luscious and gorgeous as it does. Read more…

REVIEW: Beastly

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in Beastly

There was also this part where he nearly became a masked vigilante who hunted in the night, yet alas...

That title should really say REVIEW, SORTA: Beastly, but we’ll leave that be for the moment. It’s apparently Friday the 13th, and I don’t know if it’s the first Frirf the Thirith I’ve written on, but a new year is a great excuse for new traditions. New tradition: every Friday the 13th, I see a movie I wouldn’t watch otherwise. For instance, 2010’s live action Disneyfied update of the Beauty and the Beast tale, Beastly, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer as the title roles, respectively. But reversed. She’s the beauty. He’s the–you get what I’m saying. So we all know the gist–superficial golden boy is cursed by a hag of a witch until he convinces someone else that there is value in him beside his looks. But how is Beastly, the determinedly inoffensive reimagining, any different? How is it unique? What does it do that’s special?

Well, very little. There is pretty much … very, very little to recommend this movie. It’s sappy, it’s overwrought and underperformed, the makeup effects are treated in dialogue like they’re from John Carpenter’s The Thing but look more like something from one of the tamer Die Antwoord videos. So not “Evil Boy”, is what I’m saying. Like, from–from “Wat Pomp”. It looks like the mask from “Wat Pomp”. It’s about as scary as a wood mask on a normal person, but everybody keeps treating it as a reason to be banished. In the final scene where Kyle (Pettyfer) has triumphantly re-entered the school to declare his love for Lindy (Hudgens), girls are shocked and near puking. And all I could think was “please–half of those girls are so turned on by the well-defined bone structure of a dude with neck tattoos and face-metal all over the place”. Read more…

The highlight of my day today.

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

And I know it was the highlight because it happened right off the top of my day and no experience has topped it since.

My morning routine is to get up at the sound of my braying, obnoxious alarm clock, roll out of bed and head downstairs to shower. And today was really no different. I woke up an hour late, but I was getting a ride to college, so that evened out. I got in the shower, turned on the hot water and started thinking. Thinking the way we only do in the shower. We take the sensory deprivation of the shower for granted in North America, just like the clean, drinkable water we use for it.

Just yesterday, I had started my Saints Row 2 campaign. And by started, I mean only that. I’m not even out of the hospital yet. I don’t even know if my game will pick up where I left it cos I don’t think you can save in that mission. In any case, I was/am playing as an ageing yet attractive Asian woman with blue hair and smeared purple lipstick. I told Dave this yesterday, and he said I should play as Gaben. Huh? “Gaben.” Huh? “Gaben!” Two seconds. “HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT A GABEN IS–”

At which point the computer had shut off. So, I googled it when I got back home. It’s a legitimately hilarious meme in which somebody cut the beginning of the Team Fortress 2 commentary, provided by Gabe Newell, into a stupid statement dance mix. “To stop the Gaben, press the Gaben” and so forth. His email is (not his real email, I forget what it is). And I thought of all of this in the shower, then thought to myself, “I should email Gabe Newell to tell him that Portal 2 is one of the best games I’ve ever encountered, let alone current generation, let alone console or developer–it’s just one of the best, period. Read more…