Author Archives: jason

Yes Man

I have had a hankering to watch a Jim Carrey film film recently, so I chose this one.

The last time I watched this was back in 2011, and I had seen it at least once before that, so I remembered most of the story and jokes. Still, I found it to be quite enjoyable again.

Jim Carrey was the highlight of course, but Rhys Darby was great in his role, basically playing his character from Flight of the Conchords again. Zooey Deschanel was also tops.

The story was a bit silly, and quite standard really, but Jim made it fun to watch, although he has been funnier in other films.

He seems to have stepped away from comedic roles, and films in general. I see on Wikipedia that he will be starring in a new TV series next year called “Kidding”, which is described as a “dramedy”, he is also one of the executive producers.

Not essential, but it is harmless fun.

Date watched: February 17th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2018: 16

A Smattering of Sounds

I have not added much to the music collection recently, but here is what I have purchased recently…

Sugar Ray – 14:59
I have been a closet Sugar Ray fan for some time, not a huge fan I declare, but nonetheless I appreciate their upbeat songs and sense of humour. This album starts off with a short and amusing track called “New Direction” which is basically a death metal song with Mark McGrath (he was funny in Sharknado) attempting to do metal growls but ends up coughing. The rest of the album is a mixture of pop, rock, and ballads that will make you feel like getting into a convertible car with your mates, turn up the tunes and wave your arms about as you drive along a beach road on a hot day, stopping for an ice cream with your loved one, then having a huge water fight.

Burial – Rodent
Burial is a one man band from London who makes some of the finest ambient dubstep you will ever hear. He decided a few years ago to only release singles instead of making full albums, which I think is a good idea. I hadn’t checked up on his work for a while, so I went to Bandcamp last week and found a few new releases and bought this one. Like all of his work it is atmospheric and very chill stuff. I like a lot. Best listened to in the dark with headphones.

Emapea – Zoning Out Volume 1
I did a search on Bandcamp for “dubstep” and chanced upon this release. I had never heard of Emapea (from Poland) before, but as Bandcamp made this available as a pre-release for only one dollar I thought I may as well order it. It was released two days ago and I am now listening to it. It is a mixture of hip hop and chill, mostly instrumental. Worth much more than a dollar I must say, and is now $10 as a normal release.

And that is all for now, not much, but all good stuff.

Album count 2018: 21

The Devil’s Backbone

This is a 2001 Spanish/Mexican film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

The story is of an orphan boy taken to an orphanage where he discovers it is haunted by a boy ghost. The villain of the story is a helper who grew up in the orphanage, and who knows that the people who run the orphanage have some gold bars somewhere in the building, and he will do anything (mostly dastardly) to get it.

It is set in Spain towards the end of the civil war (1936 to 1939).

The story was reasonably original, and there were a few surprises, but it was also quite predictable at times. The acting was superb, especially from the young boys, and it was nicely shot.

I liked the way the ghost was portrayed. I won’t go into detail, but I thought it was better than the usual scary ghosts we see in most films.

A very worthy ghost tale.

Date watched: February 15th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 15

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

In my recent book review I said that “Antarktos Rising” is something The Cruiser might be interested in making into a film, but after watching this I am not so sure now.

Tommo is looking just a bit too old for this kind of rough and tumble acting, he seemed slow and tired most of the time, much like the film’s plot. We didn’t get to see the famous “Tom sprint” at all…

cruiser-run

He was trying though, and we all know Tom does not give up.

The actual film though was tedious and underwhelming, it felt more like a made-for-TV flick than a 96 million dollar blockbuster. They just pulled out the book of Hollywood action cliches, watched a few Clint Eastwood films, then started filming. There was a lot of talk and excessive mobile phone use, with little action, most of which was fisticuffs and shootin’. There were no decent car chases, motorcycle stunts, holding onto aircraft as they take off, or vehicles being exploded then flipping right over people. There were some rocket launchers, but they were not used and were just stuffed with drugs…disappointing.

So I think it is time for Tom to start making family films, or perhaps experiment with independent films…ha!

He is working on the new Mission Impossible now, and perhaps that will be a return to form, but I suspect not. Surely it will be his last action film, and he will get to work on the “Kindergarten Cop” remake.

Date watched: February 12th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2018: 14

Antarktos Rising

I had this on my Kindle for quite some time, so to take a break from the Doctor Syn books I chose this as my next read.

It is a sci-fi thriller about a sudden shift of the earth’s crust, causing whole countries to suddenly freeze as they moved towards the poles, and other countries to get all tropical. It is pure silliness, but made for some good disaster reading.

The few countries and governments that survived found out that Antarctica had become a lush paradise, so they decided the first three countries to get to the centre of the continent in a race would be allowed to have one-third each of the total land for their citizens to relocate to.

The main character of the story is an American woman who is tasked to join the U.S. team as her father is a scientist who was the sole survivor on Antarctica when the world went to heck. He knows the land well and would be able to help the U.S. to victory and beyond. He is also an expert in the bible, which would come in very handy later.

So along with a bunch of gung-ho army dudes including a bad-ass female sniper they all join the race. Also in the race are the Chinese with their best soldiers, the European contingent, and the Muslims countries (stereotypically one of them was wearing a suicide vest).

Yes, it all sounds rather silly, but it gets even better. What they soon discovered was that after Antarctica thawed out there were some long frozen dinosaurs that had survived the freezing process and came back to life, and they were the nasty type.

But, that was nothing, as the Nephilim (biblical giants who hated humans) also woke up and set about busting human-ass.

There was plenty of action and adventures, but it also lay on the theology a bit thick. It was of course very pro-America, so the Chinese, Europeans, and Muslims were all killed off pretty quickly as they are not American.

It was silly and annoying a lot of the time, but I did enjoy the basic premise and some of the action bits. If this was made into a film, it would definitely star Tom Cruise, it is right up his alley.

I am now continuing on with the next book in the Doctor Syn series.

Book count 2018: 1

Mama

I heard somewhere online that this Spanish/American film was a good one, so I got it out on DVD.

It is the story of two girls aged 3 and 1 who are for various reasons left alone in a cabin in the woods, and are brought up by a ghostly spirit. Years later are discovered and sent to live with their uncle. The ghost goes along too, but is jealous that her human kids are being taken care of my mere mortals, so goes a bit berzerb.

There are some scary scenes in the film when we don’t really get to see “Mama” directly, just fleeting glimpses of her. As the film goes on though the scariness is not cranked up to 11, and by the end it becomes more of a fantasy film that a horror. Gore fans will be disappointed as there is no blood or entrails.

The acting was good, especially the two young actresses, and it all looked good and had a slick soundtrack.

A guy by the name of Javier Botet played Mama. Because of his unique physical traits he has been in a few horror films. Read about him here.

Overall it was good, but I was expecting just a bit more.

Date watched: February 11th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2018: 13

Fast & Furious 8

As I have seen all of the other atrocious films in this series, I thought I may as well watch the latest (on Amazon Prime). Five minutes in I was regretting my decision, but as I have a policy of finishing every film I start, I carried on.

The opening scene involved a race between Vin Diesel and a repo-man who at first seemed like a really obnoxious guy, but after Vin won in the most ridiculous way possible (of course), he turned out to be a stand-up guy after Vin won him over.

It was all even more downhill from there with all of the usual over-the-top action sequences, bravado, silly one-liners and predictable jokes, and what-not. The CG in places was terrible.

But, there were two scenes which saved the whole film from instant bargain-bin DVD hell. The first was Helen Mirren. She was very funny as the hard-talking, potty-mouthed mother of Jason Statham’s character. She only had a few minutes in all, but she alone made it all worthwhile. Another scene involving Jason Statham and a baby on a plane as he fought off several bad guys was funny too. Kurt Russell was good because he is Kurt Russell. Everything else was pretty forgettable, in fact it is already disappearing from my long-term memory.

I am quite convinced the story was written by a bunch of teenagers, and all of the dialogue was ad-libbed by the actors to save money so they could spend it on sports cars and a submarine. Vin Diesel was probably told to mention how important family is, and to say it at least 100 times throughout the film.

Looking back at my Fast & Furious 7 review I see that I enjoyed it, mostly because it was just so over-the-top and silly fun. This one though was just more of the same, too much of the same.

The next installment is due out in 2020…I guess I am bound to watch it.

Date watched: February 10th
Score: 3/10
Film count 2018: 12

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