In Bruges Poster

Shoot First. Sightsee later.

Martin McDonagh was of two minds when he visited Bruges.  I feel the same way about his movie.

There were moments when I laughed out loud and felt great pathos.  But the next moment I’d be bored out of my mind.  It felt like a mish-mash of ideas but it never really meshed together.  Colin Farrel was way over the top to the point that it clearly felt like a comedic performance.  Ralph Fiennes was good as the “cunt”, Harry Waters, but again, so over the top that it’s kind of alienating.

I think this could have been a good movie, but it really should have been more clearly thought out.

Horrible Bosses PosterKevin Stacey. Colin Farrel. Jason Bateman.  Jason Sudeikis.  Wow.  You’d think they couldn’t go wrong with this cast.  But they did.

The movie was disappointing in so many, little ways and big ways.  The basic idea is sound: three omega males driven to the breaking point by their a-hole bosses decide to kill them, but are too inept and weak willed to do it.

Wow, as Jason Sudeikis would say, that was a disappointment.  The movie had some funny moments, but mostly seemed to be lost trying to find a story or a long gag to pay off.  In the end, the ending just felt like, “Eh, let’s just get it over with.”  It really didn’t have any kind of humour or emotional pay off whatsoever.

They got one part kind of right: in the end, they’re too chicken-shit to kill anyone.  It’s hard to like a character who kills another human being, especially if that other person hasn’t actually killed anyone.  But the way a good movie would use this is they would set in motion a chain of events that lead to their bosses killing each other while they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to escape (not realising they don’t need to).  For example, when Kenny in A Fish Called Wanda has to kill the old woman but keeps killing her dogs.  That was funny because the thing that needed to happen happened (the old lady died), but the likeable character doesn’t become dislikeable by killing someone who doesn’t deserve to be killed.

Then you got Dale, the dental hygienist with the hot boss, who’s basically getting raped.  I can sort of see his point of view, but as the other characters point out: he had no reason to complain.  The way they portrayed his boss never made us, the audience, hate her.  If anything, we kind of liked her.  Which is wrong because if you think about it: in real life, her behavior would make most men hate her.

The bottom line: Could have been awesome if the script knew what it wanted to be.

 

If ever you want to show a character go “evil”, please, for goodness sake, don’t make him dance! (Spoilers below)

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Review: Korean Monster horror movie in the vein of Shaun of the Dead.

I kept hearing about how good a monster movie this was supposed to be. Best horror movie in decades, some said. Hey, it’s playing locally, I think I’ll go check it out!

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Watching the latest volume of Planetes I got from Zip.ca, I couldn’t help thinking: “This may be the hardest science fiction I’ve seen in years.” Planetes follows the lives of the Orbital Debris Collection division of the fictional transnational Technora. The series starts off slow, but gets better as we delve deeper into the flawed, but likeable characters. But that’s not what I’m writing about. It’s the science that’s gotten me excited about this series.

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“I liked Infernal Affairs more than The Departed.”

If I was drinking something I would have splurted it out. Infernal Affairs is a very good movie, but it has a fraction of the character exploration of The Departed. Infernal Affairs is nearly pure plot with a last-second character growth spurt. But I’ve heard this from several people now, and I was having a hard time understanding this.

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“Anime sucks!” Or so I’ve heard over the years. True a lot of anime is crap and frankly embarrassing, but there is a small subset of anime that I think is every bit as good as anything in live-action. Better in most cases. I’ve recommended some of the anime below to my friend, the anime hater, and he rather liked them.

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“Did you know it was based on the comic strip?”

“Really? I thought it was just coincidence.”

“I can’t recommend it.”

“Why?”

So the conversation with my friend went. Not content to leave well enough alone, I received Over the Hedge in the mail from Zip.ca. I thought maybe he was being over-critical, but man, is this movie ever mediocre

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If you’re a new anime fan, or even an old one, you’ve probably watched an anime based on a manga by Rumiko Takahashi, probably Inuyasha. She’s the grand old dame of Japanese comic books (manga to us otaku), and easily the most famous manga-ka outside of Japan.

Rumiko’s creations are so popular in so many countries that she’s one of the wealthiest women in Japan. Why, you ask? Let’s look at her works.

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So Rome finally ended. Controversy and all.

I got to admit, I did like this series. Normally I get annoyed at historical inaccuracies, but Rome‘s inaccuracies were blatant but trying to be authentic inaccuracies, if that makes sense.

The producers have openly admitted they weren’t trying to create a super-faithful history documentary. They were making Entertainment based upon history, like Shakespeare did numerous times. I still felt they mostly got the gist of the history while ignoring all the details (How many people care that Pompey was killed by two assassins instead of one?)

It was a fun ride through that tumultuous period from Julius Cesar to Octavian, later the Emperor Augustus. Using the everyman characters of Pullo and Veranus, the show did a good job of drawing us into the life of Ancient Rome (which was well documented by writers in Rome). Following their arc through to their conclusions was very satisfying, especially for Pullo.

Also, the portrayals of the really famous historical characters were pretty much in-line with their historical descriptions with the exception of the Roman women, of which precious little is recorded. And the main events were covered. That’s better than Braveheart. ;-)

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