Archive for October, 2015

Films I’ve seen this long weekend

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

I’ve decided to use the long weekend to watch a bunch of films I’ve been meaning to watch for some time now and post a brief review of them here.

Donnie Darko (Directors Cut):The mind-bending story of an emotionally unstable teen put in charge of saving the world with the aide of equally unstable people. I’ve seen the original cut countless times and loved it, despite not fully understanding certain elements, but I feel as though this version is superior in many ways:it cuts out my of the fluff surrounding the side characters and gives a clear image of the events occurring, which both works both for and against this version. I can’t say I like it more than the Theatrical Version before further viewings, but this variant also contains many of the things I loved about it and highlights certain characters, such as Jim Cunningham, better. The pacing is also faster in this variant, which again alters the film significantly while still allowing the waves of mystery to build up; a cinematic masterwork in all forms; 8/10.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Highly gripping story of a brainwashed military officer starring the legendary Frank Sinatra. Though the highly dated pacing and acting style can detract from the intensity of certain scenes, the writing and cinematography is top notch with multiple twists through-out the plot you will likely never have seen coming. Though I previously commented on the highly dated acting: Angela Lansbury’s villainous monologue as Mrs. Iselin is incredible and Khigh Dheigh’s performance as Dr Yen Lo is masterful despite his limited screen-time. A classic thriller with enough good to outweigh the bad; 7/10.

Solaris (1972): Russian classic of Science Fiction, a psychologist is deployed onto the space-station orbiting an alien planet to discover what causes every visitor to go insane. The first half is masterfully paced and serves to establish the future world inhabited by the characters without becoming overly expository or slowing the plots development. The characters are instantly memorable and, though having to read the subtitles notably reduces the impact, are portrayed very realistically and the entire set-up before Dr. Kris Kelvin, our protagonist, even arrives on the titular station.

The second half is noticeably worse however; with many of the likeable characters left on Earth, with their story arcs unconcluded, the initial suspense continues for a scene of two, as Kelvin explores the station and meets the mentally disturbed crew, but that plot arc goes dormant for much of the films remaining run-time to focus on the before unmentioned romantic sub-plot that, while eventually leading into the conclusion of the other plots, takes up far to much of the run-time and was in serious need of a shortening. I highly enjoyed the ending scenes however, they were very suspenseful and I was legitimately surprised by the ending.

The cinematography is generally good, if somewhat aping the style of Stanley Kubrick, but there are some minor errors in filming that can hurt the suspension of disbelief, the camera having a delayed panning effect in multiple cases. The special effects are very ahead of their time however and greatly boasted the films rewatch value. 7/10

Stalker (1979): Psychological Horror/Science Fiction about three men travelling to a dimension that makes wishes come true. Weird direction, though the transitions between colour and sepiotone are well done, and clearly made for very cheap but good writing and acting make up for it.

The plot is hard to follow and can seem pretentious in areas but it suits the atmosphere provided by the visuals well. Reading the book it’s loosely based off of ‘Roadside Picnic’ makes understanding the premise far easier. An odd but excellent experience. 8/10

The Stepford Wives: This film is highly influential and had an amazing concept, but I don’t think the influence really excuses the supremely dull pace the concept is introduced to the film. We open up with the same early scenes of mundanity the majority of Horror/Low Science Fiction use as a formula, it is not normal for these scene to last for the entire first half of the movie.

The final third of the film, after the main plot finally starts, is extremely good however and almost makes up for the extreme dullness of everything before hand. The scenes advance at a perfect pace and the rapid unravelling of the towns true nature will have you on the edge of your sheet. The slow pace returns for the final scene; but this time for good effect to lead into the fridge-horror of the final shot. 5/10


Three things I’d put in room 101: Three reasons why the modern world is booty’

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

In the book 1984; Winston Smith is thrown into a room called room 101 which contains everything he truly hates, also there’s some TV show I’ve never seen based off famous people listing everythinh they hate.

The Three things I’d throw in room 101:

1: Government mandated anything: People like to talk about slavery and oppression like it’s a thing of the past, but if you really think about it: We have to pay taxes, we have to abstain from most forms of narcotics and we have to be in education prior to a certain age under penalty of imprisonment.

Now I’m not saying paying taxes, avoiding drugs and being educated are bad things, they clearly aren’t, but passing laws governing peoples ability to do/not do things that only effect themselves is ridiculous and in many cases honestly hurts more than it helps. Because what’s really worse: someone using cannabis or spending the rest of their life with a prison sentence on their work records for something that wasn’t anybody elses business in the first place.

This is a good video that touches on this subject:

2: Massive dismissal of entire genres of fiction: Even in the digital era of entertainment; a time that makes exploring entertainment outside of the mainstream mind-numbingly easy and frankly might as well be the plot of a Phillip K. Dick novel, I still see entire genres and mediums dismissed as bad. To use the most common example: Science Fiction and Fantasy are seen as fairly tales of no emotional or cerebal depth despite the huge amount of works in the genre that are extremely well written and display hugely complex themes that really couldn’t be captured in more ‘traditional’ literature

This is a good video discussing that point:

3: Scapegoating the media: In a point semi-related to the above; I see people attribute violence and criminal behaviour to things like rap-music, violent video games, horror movies etc effecting children, which is just objectively wrong. Practically every study claiming anything close to this has been debunked yet, just like the ‘link’ between vaccines and autism, keeps being parroted by insane ‘parenting groups’ like this concept isn’t debunked by basic logic. Children and adults have been violent long before ‘violent’ or ‘adult’ media even existed, which combined with the fact most children still understand the difference between fiction and reality, leads to a wholly illogical point.

This is a good article about

Leaflet for Porchlight

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Leaflet for Porchlight Image

My class have been assigned to help out a charity and made the decision to help, the homeless-sheltering charity, Porchlight; which we will do by collecting donations to supply Christmas presents for the inhabitants of their Canterbury shelter. To help promote our cause; every student in the class created a leaflet to promote the charity.

After everyone has completed there’s; the leaflets will be taken to Jan, another staff member, for judging. She will chose what she considers the best one and it shall be displayed around the building as promotion for our donation program. Anyway here’s my one; I think it’s alright.

New York; a place I would like to visit

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

ILL Bill once called New York ‘The worlds capital’, in a song whose title I’m probably not allowed to write here, I’d say that is an accurate statement.

Not only is New York the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in the world, according to many studies, but it is also the birthplace of countless cultural and historical landmarks. The cities impact on the civil and LGBT rights movement is unparraled due to the Nation Of Islam, Stonewall, Malcolm X and futher events that require no introduction, and from a purely cultural standpoint, so genre’s have been created and perfected entirely with in cities borders.

Just referring to music scene alone, the city is singlehandedly responsible for the creation of my three favourite genres: Hip-Hop, Jazz and Post-Punk, in addition to many others, including: Disco, Showtunes, Doo-Wop, Ska-Punk and House. The amount of impact this city has had on the western animation industry during the pre-1950’s era is almost unmatched with the legendary Fleischer Studios, and it’s successor Famous Studios, having created Popeye, Betty Boop, Colour Classics and popularised Superman, along with the radio series.

On a related note; this city was the home of DC Comics up until earlier this year, and still houses Marvel Comics and  plenty of smaller indie comic book/graphic novel companies such as Alterna Comics; with many of the most iconic moments in the medium, including the very creation of the mediums most popular genre. Pulp Magazines where also largely created within this area; most notably Analog Science Fiction which, for his many other faults, John W. Campbell used to vastly improve the genre’s standard of quality and launch the careers of many Speculative fictions writers, including: Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury and Lester Del Rey.

Overrall the massice impact the state of New York has had on so many things I care about, combined with the ridiculous amounts of tourism attractions, hotels and restaurants, you could literally eat at a different place every day for seven years straight before you have to go to the same place twice, makes New York the place I would love to visit some time in the future.

The end

Short piece of creative writing/poetry

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

So I was trying to write another song, this one talking about an interpersonal relationship of mine, but after I got to writing; I perfectly summerised everything in nine lines. So I’m posting it here and a few other places for your reading pleasure:

The rift between us is not profound
If you were smart as you think you are
You’d see how stupid you sound
It’s not that I’m actually ungrateful
But I can’t justify the silence
Expanding over the dinner table
You’re bastardy is not magnificent
Leave your god complex at the door
For you shall not be my rosebud equivalent

The Blurb of this

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Legally mandated ramblings of a confused, obsessive man.

I do stuff with noises:
I do stuff with words in 140 character limit:

What kind of biscuit would I be? A logical answer to a bizarre question

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

If I was somehow transformed into a biscuit and got the choice which biscuit I’d become, I would have to chose; An an ugly, broccoli flavoured biscuit covered in glass and animal feces, because I don’t want to be eaten.

If I was a biscuit, I’m assuming I’d retain my full sentience, then logically I would not want to be consumed by someone so being of a foul taste would greatly benefit me. Now you could argue that being covered in glass and animal feces would result in me decomposing and as-such dying in a much worse way; but frankly I think a natural decomposition would be a far more peaceful and dignified death; because honestly would you rather die of an illness in old age or being eaten alive? Besides; would anyone actually want to live as a biscuit for an extended period of time? Think about it: you can’t move, talk or speak at all and your entire purpose in life is to be eaten, or if you’re (un)lucky dipped in coffee and then eaten, sounds like hell to me.

I hope that paragraph gave you insight into Libertarian Socalism or whatever I was just writing about.