Posted in Ramblings

Avengers: Infinity War (12a) With Major Spoilers

Release Date: 26.4.2018
Summary: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Time: 2hr 36


The Good

The first good I really need to talk about is Thanos. He’s the first decent villain in the Marvel Universe (Loki is an  anti-hero, not a villain in my eyes) and he does up the stakes a little more.
The crew count was handled well. Certainly much better than Civil War, which felt very bloated and overwhelming in terms of characters. This film upped that count, but was as strategic as a game of chess in its placement of characters and relied heavily on perfect smaller team ups than aiming for everyone on the screen at the same time.
The humour was on point! Those beautiful one liners and the films play on language; from Peter Parker’s pop culture references to Thor and Steve’s misunderstandings, it’s the perfect lift to a film that has very heavy emotions throughout.
Spoiler (This is the ONE I wouldn’t want spoiling so highlight the section at your own peril)
DINKLEDGE!!! If you didn’t know, I have major love for the Dink! He’s just amazing in everything he does and he’s the kind of bloke I’d love to sit and have a drink with and put the world to rights, you know? So having Dink play a giant who towers over Thor was just a stroke of genius. 
Spoiler
For once, we where light on the romance, save for already established pairings. It was great to not have that trope in play, meaning any romantic gestures in play had deep rooted meaning and purpose.

The Bad

While the handling of the cast was good, it didn’t escape without casualties. Black Widow is reduced to mere window dressing and it doesn’t do one our long standing heroes justice. It was almost to the point where I wish they’d benched her until the second outing.
Some of the CGI was ropey. If you’re truly into a film, you possibly don’t notice until watching at home. However, I’m a little concerned that there were bits I picked up on (namely the Hulkbuster Iron suit) on my first viewing. Not because I wasn’t engaged, but simply because they stuck out like sore thumbs.

The Ugly

The ‘deaths’. So there’s two separate deaths in play here. Firstly, we have the one that the Russo brothers had declared of one main cast member ‘there’s no take backs this time’. I believe this is the opening sequence death of Loki. It lacks the punch that it could, mainly because that dude has played dead so much it feels like a bit. It didn’t have any emotional resonance for me.
Nor did the final rug pull of the Infinity gauntlet dusting genocide. I’ll admit, I did gasp at the first character’s disappearance and I was close to tearing up. That was until we lost pretty much everyone who has been confirmed for a solo outing film in the next however many years. To me (and I know its not everyone’s thoughts. A student was unimpressed that I did not warn her about the ending), it takes away any jeopardy for the characters. It’s a shame, because this was the first film in a long time that made me feel there was something at stake.

Side bar- this isn’t the fault of Infinity War. The biggest problem was Avengers Assemble and the choice to resurrect Agent Phil Coulson. Damn, that death meant something. That death gave the assembled heroes something to avenge. Most of all, that death had me crying like a bitch. I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t prepared. I was begging the screen for it not to be true. I mourned the character who had been given a place in my geek heart.
Then in a ‘it was all dream’-esque twist of fate, my tears had been wasted and I vowed never to cry over a Marvel death again.

Except Yandu! Damn, that was a harsh blow and was more about his words preceding his death than anything else. I sobbed like a baby with that one too.

Posted in Movie reviews, Ramblings

Truth or Dare – 15

About 
Release date  13.4.18
Summary A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
Time 1hr 40


Trailer


truthordare

The Good
If you like your horrors with a body count and a supernatural tone, this is the one for you. It’s reminiscent of the early Final Destination films; the deaths are scary because some of them can be easily passed off as an accident. It’ll chill you to the core.
The Bad
The premise is a little far fetched. I can’t get past the initial decision of Markie (The Flash’s Violett Beane) to withdraw Olivia (Lucy Hale) from her planned work experience holiday, never mind the fact that the whole group join Olivia and Carter on the big trek up the mountain. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’m tired and done on a night out, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me going home.

The Ugly
While it’s not exactly torture porn territory, but it’s almost there and is almost tasteless because of it. The dares are quite horrific and morally corrupt. I found the ‘lust’ triangle nauseating and the treatment of the gay character bordering on offensive.
The plot is so familiar and predictable that you can’t help but feel a little cheated.


Cinema offences
A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.
Viewing date/time: 13.4.2018/ 4pm showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: About 20 people.
Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 8 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): One of the girls that arrived late Boomeranged the screen for Instagram and then spent the next 5 minutes uploading it, with emoticons and everything! 
Talking: Same late girl was talking 3 -4 times throughout.

Posted in Ramblings

Social Creature by @NotoriousTIB

Release date: 14.6.18
About: A friendship to die for.
A Ripley story for the Instagram age set in contemporary New York; a world at once sophisticated and sordid, irresistible and irresponsible, unforgettable yet unattainable
Louise is struggling to survive in New York; juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being cat-called by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment.
Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to the best parties, bars, the opera, shares her clothes, her coke, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but just how far is she prepared to go to have this life? Or rather, to have Lavinia’s life?
Pre order at Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Social-Creature-Tara-Isabella-Burton/dp/1408896117/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523567025&sr=1-1&keywords=social+creature


Characters

Louise at first is a likeable character who is in over her head. Who wouldn’t embrace the new life she is offered? However, as the narrative unfolds I find myself fearing her and scared of the lengths she will go to keep her place in the social circle that she has become so comfortable.
Lavinia is the embodiment of people I really do not like; privileged, spoiled and, worst of all, lacking any sort of independence. I found her incredibly realistic to the point of hatred for her.
Rex, Hall and Mimi are bystanders of the whole unravelling and its interesting to see how they fit and how Louise’s thoughts about them change over time.

Plot

It’s hard to say anything about the plot without giving away some of the books best parts. What I will say is that when you think you have it all set in your head how it will end, you will have the rug pulled violently from under you. You will, from that point, settle again. You’ll be on edge, heart in mouth and unable to do anything but consume the story.

Writing

The writing was something I’ve never come across before. It threw me off at first, the almost conversational tone that was present in the moment, but also had an insight into what was to come. Won’t lie, it also brought a sinister tone to the book; I was scared for quite a lot of it.

Posted in Movie reviews, Ramblings

Rampage – 12A

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About 

Release date  11.4.18
Summary
Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Time 1hr 47


Trailer


The Good
This is a Dwayn ‘the Rock’ Johnson movie and I’ll hold my hands up here and now; there’s no wrong this man can do (sidebar: My dad calls him The Fairy because of The Toothfairy. When an actor or film gets a Dad Hunter pseudonym, that means they’re on the win list). With Johnson, so come some film expectations. There’s going to be fast paced action, quips and smouldering. There’s also an understanding that the plot will stretch reality to provide a fun plot and indeed it does provide. Bucket loads of it to the point that I’m not so sure we can really call it Science Fiction.
Johnson’s character works well with George, the CGI Gorilla saved from poachers during infancy and taught to sign (Yup, We verge into Congo territory. I’ll reassure you though; I think this one will be considered a little better). Some of the best scenes involved the two of them interacting. There’s heart and humour in their banter and it allows you to feel for them and root for their survival when the shit hits the atmosphere about 2 minutes later.
In addition we have Naomie Harris and Jeffery Dean Morgan helping Johnson ‘save’ his friend and Malin Akerman and Joe Manganeillo playing for the company that caused the mutations in the animals.

The Bad
It really is a shame that most of the film sees George and Johnson’s Davis separated. Not only that, but essentially on opposite sides. They truly do have amazing chemistry that no one else can come close to and it removes some of the natural humour. If the film could keep them together by tweaking the plot it would keep the comedic tone and not seem to be bookended by a separate movie.
The two outside sections have a lighter a tone and sees everyone in on the joke and having fun, however the bulk of the film takes itself a little too seriously.

The Ugly
The CGI is rather ropy and it’s worrying that I picked up on it the first viewing. Normally because it’s all new, I miss the little flaws and only catch them during a repeat viewing, usually at home. It means I wasn’t as engaged in the story as I normally would have been and that could be because of many factors; one being the lack of feeling for the characters.


Cinema offences

A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.

Viewing date/time: 12.4.2018/ 11.40 showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: Quite a busy showing for early in the morning. That said, there couldn’t have been more than 40 people.

Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 4 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): 0
Talking: 3 separate groups, all persistent.
Oh this was a big one today. Fresh off the back of my annoyance from The Quiet Place I think my patience had already warn thin. However, it was people in the row right behind me and it was persistent; like a running commentary on a DVD. Imagine my horror, when I turn around to bollocks the tween triplets I’d mentally given three chance to are not in fact three kids, but a mum and her two sons. Instead of telling her kids to stop, she was engaging them in conversation. I was rather reserved, for me; I politely asked them to stop talking. Well, my dear readers, I might as well have taken a dump right there on her lap based on the look she gave me. All I heard was ‘don’t listen to her’ from the mother and I’d had enough. Premiere seats be damned, I got up and moved to one of the nice seats; I figured Odeon owed me this for allowing this sort of behaviour to become the norm (Disclaimer: It’s not an Odeon problem, the is a all-franchise epidemic. Seriously, this woman will have spent at least £25 on tickets. Alone. I’m sure she’d jacked her kids up on sugar too and when a ‘kids pack’ starts at £4.50, surly just setting fire to your money would be better?! Or at least buy a dvd, rent one from Sky and then let them chatter away to their hearts content at home.

lonely child

Posted in 2018, ARC, Book reviews, Ramblings, Reads of ...

The Curious Heart of Alisa Rae by @ubder_blue_sky

Characters

Alisa is the focus of the book and she is a wonderful protagonist to take you through her turbulent life. She’s kind, considerate and rather patient when it comes to her over bearing mother. She’s a realistic, emotional adult who has not experienced life and it’s hard not to love her.

While there are plenty of other, well rounded, characters in Alisa’s life it is Lennox who is the most interesting of all. You do wonder how trustworthy Alisa’s views are of him owing to the fact that everything is from the perspective post his death. He’s a character I would have loved to have gotten to know more, but it adds depth to the narrative, so its certain not something I dwell on for long.

Plot

The plot is a tangle of pre and post new heart for Alisa. It almost feels a little like a rubiks cube; the faces are ever changing as you try to put what you know into place. It’s wonderful and keeps you focused.

Alisa’s blog wins a reward that sees her in the presence of someone known to society, but not to her; a handsome actor whose life hasn’t gone exactly how her thought it would. He draws Alisa into his world and shows her that there is a life outside letting other people make her choices for her. It’s this romance that is at the heart of the story; it is its own thread, but it has impact upon Alisa’s other relationships both past and present. That said, it’s a beautifully sweet part of the story and will have you rooting for them, long after the book has finished.

Writing

The writing is a mix of emails, blog posts and narrative chapters. It’s a wonderful way of showing the emotional aspect of the story and gives it a beautiful non-linear approach that’s quite real of our own thoughts and feelings.

It’s rather refreshing and uplifting for a book that deals with organ donation, death and family tension. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down and even when it was finished, I wasn’t ready to let go of the characters.

Posted in Movie reviews, Ramblings

Into the Night – 15 #Jeffwatch

into-the-night01

Thanks to a wonderful Jeff Goldblum meme conversation, my love for Jeff has reignited. This was a man that was ever-present in my childhood. I’d mistakenly begged to watch the Fly and to this day I’ve not seen it all the way through.

So Friday night viewing had to be the recently Netflix added Into the Night; a 1985 thriller staring a young Jeff alongside the wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer and notable cameos from Jim Henson and David Bowie.

It’s not a great watch for those who like their thrillers fast paced. It’s almost halfway through before there is any sembilence of momentum. However, it is a brilliant nostalgia trip and an intriguing look at what life is like when you can’t be contacted through a phone.

If you asked me to describe Jeff in three words, they would be eccentric, charming and electric. The Jeff in this film is devoid of all of these (which is a testament to his ability as an actor) and is beige. His character is beige, the film is beige hell, even Bowie’s cameo is beige. Which is all good, except it means there is no character development; he’s a caterpillar and I’m disappointed that I don’t get the butterfly I know Jeff can provide.

Alas, this won’t be joining Jurassic Park as one of the #Jeffwatch repeated viewings.

Posted in Ramblings, tags

Ready Player One Tag

As with Grey’s Anatomy tag, I did a bit of a search to find one ready made. Alas, there wasn’t one to be found so I made one myself. It’s on the short side, but I find less is indeed more and people put more effort in to individual questions this way.

Describe your avatar from the Oasis
After many hours of going through handles that have already been taken I would probably go for something like H@nSolo My avatar would essentially have Faith from Buffy’s body, an elfin face and Ariel’s hair. She’d be dressed in clothes similar to Han Solo with Lando’s cape because you always need a cape.
Would you be a Gunter or would you be tempted to join the Sixers? Would you clan up?
I think I’d be a half arsed gunter. I’m really rubbish at puzzles and problems. I noticed as part of the promotion for the film there was an easter egg inside the trailer. I sent it to a friend after about 5 minutes because I just couldn’t do it.
I’m also not very good at computer games. I got a GameBoy when I was 12. I was told I had to complete the two games it came with before I got any more. I never got more games for it.
In my defence, one of those games was Super Mario Land and if you turned the thing off, you had to start all over again; there was no way to save. I got pretty far one Sunday afternoon while having the device plugged in; but 8 hours later I had a nasty headache and a nagging mum telling me to be more productive.
The other game was its sequel and while it did have a save option, it took me up until 2012 to get to the final of the game. That death match has still yet to be completed by me.
Last year, while dating a tech-imp he got me into Tomb Raider and I really got into that. Unfortunately, along with everything else, me playing the game lost its appeal to him and I didn’t get past the 25% mark after playing for about 14 hours off and on over 3 months. Plus, him shouting at me for being shit kind of spoilt the fun I was having.

Based upon all of the above, I doubt I’d ever be on IOI’s radar to be wooed into Sixer living. However, I wouldn’t do it even if they asked. I’d belong to a clan of people who knew me and liked be around for the company.
What sort of world would you most like to visit?
I feel like saying Pop Culture is too obvious as the book itself is a love letter to everything Pop Culture. However, a 90s pop culture ‘scape would be perfect. Get a coffee and hang out at Central Perk, Club Nights at the Bronze and have a book recommended to you by Rupert Giles.
There’d be an almost ‘Theme Hospital’ immersive game to play where you work alongside doctors from ER and Casualty.
If you want a change of pace, you can enrol in Starfleet before joining one of the three Captains that dominated the 90s: Picard, Sisco and Jayneway.
In the book, you have to become a character in a film. You have to be as word perfect as possible and gain bonus points for inflection. What film and character would you be most successful as?
I’m fairly certain I could be successful with any character in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, but for the inflections it would have to be Alan Rickman’s Metatron. That said, Alan Rickman in any of his roles would be quite fun to do. “because it would hurt more.”
The other film would be Jurassic Park and I’d happily take dealer’s choice as I’ve watched it so many times I subconsciously recite the lines now. “shoooowt her, shoooowt her.”
What five songs would you have ready to play while in the Oasis?
Aerosmith- Jaded
David Bowie- The Man Who Sold the World
Pink- Just Like Fire
Panic at the Disco- Victorious
Elle King- Good Girls