It is no secret that we live in an ever-increasingly mediocre and superficial world. While this lack of originality, intelligence, open mindness and good common sense is devoid in a large portion of our society, things seemed to be even worse in the U.S. They, unlike the rest of the world, salivate and praise mediocrity to such an extent that if any alien race came and saw them the aliens wouldn’t even bothered killing them. Such stupidity isn’t even worth the sweat. I hear you though, not all Americans are like that but you have to admit that most of them are. That stupidity is the issue at the centre of God Bless America, a film that finally puts into action what us sane people think about almost every day.
Frank (Joel Murray) is a divorced middle aged father living out his life bombarded by the overly idiotic media wave. He suffers from excruciating migraines and insomnia that are enhanced by his neighbours’ crying abomination of a baby and their blatant ignorance. Just like every average American with nothing to do, he watches trash TV and hates himself for it. However, one day he is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer which changes things completely. Frank decides to teach the so called beloved scum of the media a lesson in humility and humanity, so with the help of Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) they go on a killing spree that sees them kill stars of singing competition and people involved in MTV’s My Sweet 16.
I am proud to say that I am actually part of a group of people who does not watch nor enjoys reality shows, like Jersey Shore, My Sweet 16 and whatever other bullshit trash MTV cooks up. I know of them like everyone else, but I don’t watch them as they make me depressed about humanity and I feel like a part of me dies every second that I see that shit. Fortunately, a lot of people feel the same way and this film addresses such sentiments. The really sad thing about God Bless America is that it’s portrayal of the media’s fascination with trash isn’t at all over-sensetionalized. It all feels so true and accurate that you begin to question why the hell did it take Frank so long to shoot the brains out of a girl from My Sweet 16.
It may not be a popular or appropriate thing to say out loud, but we’ve all thought of killing people like that. People who are so fucking demanding and inconsiderate, people who don’t know respect, have never heard of the word humility and are 100% self-abosberd assholes. People whose ignorance is so overpowering that it could easily destroy nations, which is pretty much the case with Americans. God Bless America doesn’t tackle all the filth but shoots at the main ones, one of them being the Tea Party. While all these is going on, the film also manages to give us a tender yet odd buddy story that feels sincere and relatable. Both main actors are effective in their respective roles, although Barr’s voice gets a bit whiny from time to time.
The only real problem with God Bless America is that it does come of a bit too preachy. It is trying really hard to shove its message down your throat, which can be somewhat overbearing. Moreover, after a while things get a bit dull as you feel the character are basically reciting the same record player over and over again. But since the message is both an admirable and important one, you’ll find yourself agreeing with it. What they say is true, the state of the media is on a downward spiral accepting more and more the notion that you don’t need talent, manners and even the slight ounce of respect to become someone praised and adored all over.
God Bless America is an effective film with an important message that speaks perfectly to how things are today. It achieves one of the purposes of films, to take all of our twisted but so very appropriate fantasies and makes them into reality. Who here hasn’t wished to fucking beat the shit out of someone speaking and disturbing people in the movie theatre? God, I hate those people. God Bless America should’ve gone a bit further with its targets but for what it is, you won’t regret watching it. It’s funny when it needs to be, disturbing when necessary and injected with enough heart to carry you the distance. Not a home-run by any means, but still quite entertaining.
AMEEEEEEEEEN on your Hick review. Poor Chloe. I expected more from her. Also I usually hate Blake Lively in pretty much everything that she's done thus far, but she just totally changed my mind. And Eddie, there are no words for Eddie's talent. The film, as a whole, definitely fell short. I guess now we know why it had such a pathetically limited release.
Thanks! I usually don’t like Lively either but ever since The Town she has changed my mind somewhat and with Hick I now fully believe that she can act. I’m hoping she also really good in the upcoming Savages but from what I’ve seen she might be the weakest link.
I wish this performance by Eddie was in a better film. I could totally see him getting a lot of recognition for it if that were the case. Guess we’ll just have to wait.
Baz Luhrmann is pretty much hit and miss with me (I love Romeo + Juliet but cannot stand Moulin Rouge). The Great Gatsby however looks absolutely amazing and brilliant. Had no real expectations for this film but after such an impressive trailer it is definitely one of my top 10 most anticipated films of 2012. And the song is fuckin’ awesome.
In her 13th birthday, Luli (Chloe Moretz) receives a few gifts ranging from a handgun to her parents profusely battling each other. All these things are part of Luli’s life, but things get sidetracked once both her parents abandon her. Tired of being bored doing nothing, Luli decides to walk all the way to Vegas, a land that promises flashy entertaining happiness. In the road, Luli stumbles upon two individuals: Eddie (Eddie Redmayne) and Glenda (Blake Lively). While Glenda shows Luli the ropes of travelling the road as beautiful single woman, Eddie falls madly in love with Luli and entraps her into an increasingly dangerous situation.
When Kick-Ass premiered a few year ago, the person who was universally admired and praised was none other than Chloe Moretz. Her performance as Hit-Girl was without a doubt the standout of the film and poised Moretz as the new Dakota Fanning. Unfortunately, at least in this writer’s opinion, everything Moretz has done consequently has been less than stellar. Hugo was a masterpiece but her performance was utterly forgettable, the less we say about Let Me In the better and in Hick she straight up falters and burns. As a matter of fact, a large portion of why Hick is such a failure comes exclusively from Moretz performance.
First of all, she seems to be the only one in the film who struggles with the southern accent. In the beginning it’s somewhat there but as things progress it disappears all together. Moreover the charisma, excitement and sincerity we’ve seen her convey so beautiful is completely missing here. Her attempt at trying something risqué, which on paper resembles somewhat what Jodie Foster did in Taxi Driver, is just excruciatingly dull to watch. Everything about her performance feels forced, unoriginal and as a character you’re suppose to feel empathetic for all you want is for her to just shut up and stop doing things. Moretz isn’t a bad actress, but she is completely out of her depth here and she unfortunately kills everything around her.
On the opposite front, Hick does have two really strong performances courtesy of Blake Lively and Eddie Redmayne. Lively is at first unrecognizable and this is by far the best performance she has given. Every trace of her star persona is gone and what we finally get is an actress really digging deep and becoming someone else. Everything from her accent to her mannerism, Lively lights up the screen constantly and is a real joy to watch. But even better is Redmayne who totally blows it out of the park. Not only is his character the juiciest one of the bunch, but also the way he milks it for all its worth is amazing. His character is in constant flux and the more time we spend with him the more unpredictable and insane he gets. But what makes his character’s psychotic mannerism empathetic and interesting is the way he conveys them with such a high level of vulnerability and sincerity. You end up really feeling for the guy event though he just keeps screwing things up.
Supposedly Hick is meant to be a dark comedy and while the film strives to be that, you won’t laugh or even giggle once. Director Derik Martini is trying a bit too hard to make Hick into some wild card pushing film, but all he achieves to do is create an ever-increasing boring film that literally has nothing to say. Overall the film fails in almost every sense from its contradictory tones to its overly forced and illogical situations. Chloe Moretz again proves that Hit-Girl was nothing but a one-off kind of deal and seriously damages the whole film. The only really tragic thing about Hick is that two powerhouse performances by Blake Lively and Eddie Redmayne are in it; such great performances deserved a much better film.
When the 1st season of Community came I did not watch it but as I’m sure is the case with many of us, I kept hearing about this small show on NBC and how it was unlike any other comedy around. Even then it was compared to Arrested Development, a comparison that I might add had no effect on since at that time I hadn’t seen Arrested Development yet. Anyway, as someone who’s always on the lookout for new shows to watch I decided to download the 1st episodes of Community. First thought after 10 episodes was okay this is a funny, clever and nice show but nothing extraordinary. Then came the Contemporary American Poultry and Modern Warfare episode and I fell in love. I became a instant fan and so far I’ve watched the first two seasons at least 5 times each. With each episode I laugh and rejoice in the fresh brilliance that is Community.
Like many fans I was also shocked by the season 2 finale. As much as I loved to hate Pierce Hawthorne, he was essential to the dynamic of the group and I really liked the show’s bold move. So when the 3rd season started I was anxiously awaiting to see how this would be resolved. It was resolved too quickly for my liking but I let it slide since everything else worked so well, especially with all the Stanley Kubrick references. But it is that type of action, of letting things slide that I’ve found myself repeating over and over again throughout season 3. I’ll say this though, the first half of the 3rd season was was extremely strong with episode after episode being both absolutely hilarious and creatively marvellous. But things changed with the hiatus.
For a while it seemed my beloved show would be cancelled, but as die-hard fans do time and time again we rallied to be heard and for NBC to stop being such dicks and give us back our baby. The hiatus felt like forever but Community returned with a second half that for me in particular felt different. Community became a “let’s parody something different each night” kind of show and that’s where my love started to decrease. It’s not that these later episodes were bad, but a lot of what made show special for me was missing from them. I used to laugh a lot with each episode but now all I do is say “oh that’s cool”. It’s not funny anymore, it’s just clever and different. Sometimes I find that I’m forcing myself to laugh, to find the funny aspect but it all just feels forced much like the show’s overwhelming desire to be different. The show was already different but not it seems like it’s being different just for the sake of being different, which to me feels both fake and lame. All Community does now is parody other stuff and while I’ll admit that it parodies things in a very clever way, it just feels like another show. But biggest offence was how they Britta’d Britta in the second half of season 3. Britta became my favorite character in season 2 and I’m disappointed by how her character has been used in this season. She is now a walking joke relegated to one-liners and all the authenticity she possessed before is gone. I don’t like this new Britta, she is not the flawed but awesome character I became so fond of.
I suppose you could say that the show is evolving and that all these meta-parody episodes are part of that continuing progression. In which case I’ll keep saying what I’ve been saying so far: oh that’s cool. But the truth is, the unnatural amount of love I had for this show is not there anymore. That love that almost brought me to tears when the hiatus was announced is long gone. Community season 3 feels like a foreign show to me, a show with the same characters but handled differently like an odd remake. It is because of this sentiment that I am not mad about Dan Harmon being taken off the show. It sucks what they did to him and he is responsible for a lot of the show’s freshness, but he took the Community on a weird tangent this 3rd season that seriously damaged things. NBC should’ve told him to tame the show a bit and go back to some of the non-parody stuff he did so well in the 1st two seasons, instead of straight-up firing him. NBC is full of assholes but I can’t say I’m surprised by their harsh decision, especially when you take in consideration the fact that if the show continued like this they would never get new fans. Like someone said, Community is a total inside joke that more and more caters solemnly to its die-hard fans. Fuck the rest.
Perhaps the new show runners for the 4th season will ground things, or perhaps they’ll fuck it up all together. All I know is that the Community I loved died during the hiatus and all I have left is 2 and half seasons of pure comedy genius. It’s a sad and difficult thing to admit for such a big fan of the show, but I can’t keep forcing myself to love something that so obviously does not love me back.
One of the biggest question marks about Prometheus for me was the score. Ridley Scott’s two science-fiction masterpieces possess and incredible, dynamic and completely immersive score. I guess I should’ve be surprised that Prometheus also has an amazing score. Just like the film, it’s different from Alien but you can still feel/hear traces of it.
After the first season of Fringe, the score was taken over by Chris Tilton. The first season was done by Michael Giacchino, and that is why it radiates amazing. :) Not that Chris isn't good; Michael is just legendary.
Actually the score for season 1 was done by Michael Giacchino, Chad Seiter and Chris Tilton. For Fringe in particular, I think Chris Tilton and Chad Seiter do a much better job. Giacchino’s tracks, which there weren’t that many to begin with, are in my opinion good but not as memorable as Tilton’s and Seiter’s. Giacchino excels more with film scores I think.
Like it is the case with so many shows, the first season of Fringe is still by far the strongest. In terms of presenting this new mysterious universe and its vastness, it excelled in such a way that subsequent seasons couldn’t. While the score has improved, I still can’t get enough of this first one.
Even though Moby got a lot of recognition with the album Play, I started to really like his work once he released Wait For Me. With this later part of his career, Moby has gone for a different mood and sound that I personally think is much more interesting and enthralling. While Destroyed is no Wait For Me, it is nevertheless a splendid album.
Film Review: Joss Whedon Delivers The Epitome of Comic-Book Films in 'The Avengers'.
When Iron Man was released four years ago, it kickstarted phase one of the back then newly formed Marvel Studios. Every consequent film they have released since has be paving the way for a dream, a dream to potentially create a film unlike anything we’ve seen before. With each new film this dream started to take shape and while the road to now has brought forth insurmountable success, joy and utter awesomeness, I think it is fair to say that no one was prepared to what The Avengers would be like. Yes, we all had our expectations and from initial footage we knew that it would be a good film. Even though many of us had some doubts and so forth, it is a great testament to everyone involved that The Avengers turned out to be a new benchmark for not just comic book films, but also cinema as a whole.
As S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and scientists experiment with the Tesseract (the blue cube from Captain America for those who do not know), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is hailed into their facility to try to make sense of the peculiar way the Tesseract is behaving. This misbehaviour opens up a portal and in enters Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who wastes no time eliminating most of the agents and declaring war upon humanity. Such an act of war drives Nick Fury to contact a collection of people with specific set of skills, which include Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the almighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evan). However as expected, so many powerful people in a room together unleashes difficult clashes that rupture the group and this leads to deaths, tragedy and an unreadiness to save the Earth from an all powerful alien enemy.
When The Avengers was officially announced the question on many people’s minds was: who would direct it? At one point John Favreau was the lead, but after the abysmal Iron Man 2 and the creative problems with the studio he was pushed aside. While this surprised no one, the announcement of the eventual director did as no one expected that fanboy favourite Joss Whedon would be given the unnaturally difficult job of assembling something not only cohesive but also create with The Avengers. I, like many other fans, saw both great potential and promise from such an unusual hiring but I never expected that Joss Whedon would do such an unbelievably amazing job. Considering that the pairing of so many superheroes could’ve lead to an uneven, illogical, forced and ultimately wasted chance of a film, it is both admirable and praise worthy that Joss Whedon was able to create a carefully crafted, significant and grandiose film.
Joss Whedon does such an amazing job with the characters here that for the most part they all completely outshine their previous appearances. Black Widow feels like a completely new character in this film. We saw her kick-ass and be all badass in Iron Man 2, but Joss Whedon turns her into a real character here and actually gives Scarlet Johansson and storyline for herself fuelled by sentiment and danger. She is not stand-in in The Avengers, she proves herself to be part of such an elite group and I for one am extremely excited to see her future standalone film. Whedon gives the character a backstory and pathos was bot welcoming and interesting. The Hulk also received a tune up in this film both as Bruce Banner and as the green beast. Mark Ruffalo nails the character in more ways than anyone expected so much so that you are constantly wanting for more. There is genuine emotion and controlled rage in Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and this is the first Hulk that actually resembles Bruce Banner. You can feel Mark Ruffalo in The Hulk as he tears up everything and becomes produces the absolute best action moments you will see this year.
As for the rest of the characters, their greatness is enhanced tenfold in this film. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is even more awesome this time around and is given the emotional arc the second film so desperately attempted and consequently failed to do. He steals practically every scene he is in and after watching him here I am finally excited for Iron Man 3. Chris Evans is also great, but his previous appearance was already so brilliant that it is hard to see Evans top himself once again. Then we have Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury who finally serves something more than just deliver exposition and is presented as a fully fleshed-out character. Plus, he gets to shoot at a bunch of people and look all badass. Finally there’s Chris Hemsworth’s Thor who become my favourite Marvel superhero since his film last year.
When The Avengers' villain was announced I had two reactions: one being utter excitement because Tom Hiddleston's Loki is in my opinion one of the best villains ever, and two being curiosity as to the effect that villain selection would have on Thor within the film. I was glad to see the latter one addressed fully. In Thor the sibling conflict was one of the main driving forces and I loved the way it was handled in The Avengers. All those moments between Thor and Loki are exceptional and add so much to their respective stories and sentiments. Both actors of course rise to the challenge and nail all of those scenes, which are among my favourites of the whole film. But special note must be made of Tom Hiddleston who truly rises to challenge of main villain and does justify the assembly of such diverse and powerful individuals. Loki has a knack for pissing the shit out every actor and it’s great to see him manipulate The Avengers and birth conflict. His scene with Scarlett Johansson is one of the most memorable in my opinion not only because it made me realized once again that Scarlet Johansson is in fact a brilliant actress, but also how Tom Hiddleston devours those moments of tenacity and rage so perfectly.
Another of the many welcoming surprises in The Avengers was its structure. None of the character introduction felt forced, instead they blended naturally and in concordance with the story at play. Moreover, I was glad to see so much character interaction in the film instead of just pure action for 2 hours straight. It’s great to see that everyone involved knew the merit and unique opportunity of really milking the conflict between these heroes and while their physical clashes are extraordinary, it is their vocals one that produce the most desirable results. They reveal things about the characters and help ground the proceedings which are already by themselves quite fantastical. From Firefly and Serenity I knew that Joss Whedon had a real handle producing an interesting and dynamic ensemble piece, but with The Avengers he takes things to another level and I was genuinely blown away by them. Another thing that blew me away was the action sequences, which to be honest bare no resemblance to any other action scene seen before. The action here is drenched in palpable danger and the characters have to really fight to win, and it all feels exquisitely epic.
Even with all its mighty successes, The Avengers is not a perfect film. For one the score by Alan Silvestri underwhelmed in the most horrible sense both because it was rarely there but when it appeared it didn’t feel unique to The Avengers. That score could be heard in any other superhero film and I think such an amazing film as this deserved a much better score. A powerful score would’ve made things even more iconic and epic, and I hope this missed opportunity is rectified in the eventual sequel. But that just a minor issue in what essentially is one of the best films I’ve seen in a very long time. The Avengers is much more than what we hoped it would be and while the actors and the effects deserve a lot of attention, the person that deserves the most praise and must never be forgotten is the man who directed the film. Joss Whedon is powerful force to be reckon with and he has proven with this film that can do anything, and that he is by far one of the best writer/directors working right now. Every superhero film since Iron Man has been driving towards The Avengers and without Joss Whedon this film would not be the genius achievement that is. I know the new Dark Knight film and Prometheus are on their way, but as of now I honestly don’t believe there will be a bigger film this year quite like The Avengers.
Thanks for the "people are dumb" comment btw! It really made me laugh--even though I was being nice to you...you called me dumb. Dumb for making a suggestion and saying I love your content. Thanks.
As valid as your suggestion is, I did take a bit of offence to it. It’s like someone said: I like you personality but you should consider purchasing new clothes, because the ones you have right now don’t suit it.
And honestly, whenever I see another theme that I like as much as the one I have right now then I’ll consider changing it. But I haven’t so I won’t.
Even though I’m still not caught up with all the episodes of season 2, I gotta say that one of the things that is impressing me the most is Robb Stark. Stark become my favourite character during the end of season 1 and it’s really amazing to see how much he has changed. Richard Madden is giving a truly brilliant performance that is worthy of everything single praise.
I have to admit that 2012 for me started off below average. None of the music coming out really interested me and it all felt too familiar. That led to weeks and weeks of not listening to any new music. However, lately I’ve been gradually listening to some new artists and some new albums that have finally made me genuinely excited for 2012. Here’s what I think are not only the most outstanding songs so far, but also the artists that display awesome potential:
10. Dub Child by Maya Jane Coles.
9. Feel So Close by Calvin Harris.
You can never go wrong with Calvin Harris when it comes to energetic tracks. Not groundbreaking by any means, but for the gym is more than fitting.
8. Off To The Races by Lana Del Rey.
While the negative press for Lana Del Rey has stopped for a bit, she is still the subject of much debate and joke. Putting all that aside and focusing on her music, I am of the opinion that she is actually really great. Her songs might not be original on the lyrics department, but her sound feels fresh and in terms of pop most of her songs scream top 10 hit. This one is particular is catchy to the max and is a great example of the notion that catchy doesn’t necessarily mean awful.
7. Homewrecker by Marina and the Diamonds.
One of the things I’m really liking about Marina and the Diamonds’ Electra Heart is how the album’s sound is much more concise and how the themes seem to be more connected than in her debut album. Homewrecker showcases those two things and as well the powerful, beautiful and haunting vocals Marina and the Diamonds has.
6. Punching In A Dream by The Naked and Famous.
Think of The Naked and Famous as a combination of The Joy Formidable, Wolf Gang with a bit of Society thrown in for good effect. If that doesn’t get you excited then I can’t help you.
5. Big Mouth by Santigold.
I have mixed feeling towards Santigold. Some songs I love while others I straight-up loathe, but much to my surprise all the songs in Master of My Make Believe belong to the former. It has taken a few listen for them to grow on me, but once they did I could not stop listening. Big Mouth is a brilliant album closer as it perfectly gathers all the greatness heard in the preceding songs to create a bombastically awesome culmination.
4. Put Up Your Hands by AlunaGeorge.
I only started listening to this song a couple of hours ago and it has been on repeat ever since. Lead vocalist of AlunaGeorge is absolutely brilliant, sweet and intoxicating. This is one of those perfect songs to put in a good mood.
3. Colour of Moonlight (Antiochus) (feat. Doldrums) by Grimes.
I found out pretty quickly that what I thought to be the best aspects of Grimes, other people viewed them as flaws. I still don’t understand how someone can listen to Grimes, especially this song and not be instantly taken away by the liveability, sweetness and mesmerizing quality of Grimes.
2. Lay My Head Down by Band of Skulls.
Band of Skulls’ Sweet & Sour was the first album of 2012 that immediately fell in love with and after multiple almost obsessive listenings I still cannot get enough of it. I love the blend of female and male vocals in this song. They elevate not only the already beautiful lyrics but add layers of sincerity and vulnerability that is as breathtaking as it is memorable.
1. Lady by The Chromatics.
Kill For Love is in my opinion the best album of 2012 so far and while I could spend pages gushing all the praise and amazingness that this compilations of songs yield, let me just say you need to yourself a favour an download the whole thing now. Lady is an outstandingly brilliant electronic track that will wedge into your psyche from the first listen, but what’s more surprising is the fact that almost all of the other songs in the album do the same. It’s a well-balanced album with traces of the sounds that were left out of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive.
And that’s it! Hopefully you haven’t heard most of these songs. Either way, here is the link to download the entire list.
In The Raven, a serial killer has based his killings on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and once Detective Fields (Luke Evans) realizes this, he calls for Poe (John Cusack) to come and aid with the investigation. As the kills increase, Poe’s fiancé gets kidnapped and the killer challenges Poe to a cat and mouse game in which her live is at risk.
While watching this film, I came to a couple of realizations and the most powerful being about the director James McTeigue. For those who do not know, McTeigue was also the director of what I believe to be one of the best comic books films ever: V for Vendetta. What has become clear though is that McTeigue is a one-off director, meaning that he only has one good film in him and he already used that in his directorial debut. With Ninja Assassin McTeigue showed a horrible handle on story and character but at least a decent eye for action. And with The Raven McTeigue should honestly quit directing films for a while.
In theory, The Raven sounds like an interesting film with some cool possibilities but it seems like no one involved thought or even cared about them. Everything about this film is lazy, generic, dull and lacklustre from the atrociously insulting dialogue to the overly stylish and lame visuals to the more than shitty acting. The film doesn’t even deliver on the gore and fright department, which would’ve at least made watching it bearable. The Raven is a perpetual bomb and its attempts at being clever and thoughtful are anything but.
John Cusack saves things somewhat, but at no point do you feel like your watching anything like Edgar Allan Poe. This is just a goatee version of John Cusack being John Cusack and it honestly does not belong in the universe the film is so desperately trying to establish. The Raven is a suckfest all around and proves yet again that all the greatness we saw in V for Vendetta was just a fluke. And as a film talking about Edgar Allan Poe, his representation here is extremely degrading. Go read his stories and poems, they are infinitely more compelling than this shit film could ever be.