Archive for May, 2015

24
May
15

Guardians of the Galaxy Took a Shit on the Universe

The latest mega-blockbuster fromĀ unstoppable Marvel Studios was Guardians of the Galaxy. People hailed it as the greatest cinematic achievement since the introduction of the talkie. It was heralded as the best movie of the year. It had everything: action, adventure, comedy, and wonder. It also had a giant sentient tree and a talking raccoon. Let’s face facts here, people. Guardians of the Galaxy was passable summer fare. It wasn’t revolutionary, it didn’t do anything that hasn’t already been done before. It was an average, braindead, popcorn movie that doesn’t have a lot of rewatch value.

I say Guardians is braindead because it requires no active thought on the part of the viewer. All the audience is required to do is sit back, relax, and DURR WATCH DEM EXPLOSIONS BLOW STUFF UP REAL GOOD DURR! As you start to curl your hands into angry fists, take a second to think about that last statement. Try hard to think of a single scene in Guardians that challenges your brain, has a plot twist, leaves something ambiguous, or posits a viewpoint that might challenge your deeply set beliefs about morality or cultures or relationships. Guardians doesn’t do anything close to any of that. All it does is blow shit up.

Continue reading ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Took a Shit on the Universe’

17
May
15

I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK, Chef

I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK

This is a really weird movie from South Korea, from the same director as Oldboy. Now, I really loved Oldboy for how dark and twisted and funny and interesting it was. Cyborg, on the other hand, is completely different in style and tone. You wouldn’t even know it was filmed by the same director. Cyborg tells the story of a young girl who goes crazy and gets put in a mental institution. She is fully deluded into thinking she’s a cyborg. So much so, that instead of eating, she licks batteries for nourishment. She navigates the eclectic group of patients, all while having visions of herself doing wild things like sprouting machine guns and mowing down everyone in the asylum. The movie is really light, and mostly a fun romp not meant to be much more than that. While it was fun, it was kind of forgettable. I wouldn’t disparage anyone for liking it, but there is little substance here. Once the shock value and its weirdness wears off, there is little else going for it.

Verdict: Average

Chef

Writer, director, and star Jon Favreau plays a disaffected chef trying to make his way in the culinary world. He is head chef of a fancy restaurant, and likes to try new things. He unfortunately butts heads with the restaurant’s owner who only wants to stick to the hits. This leads to him serving an uninspired meal to a nasty food critic, which ultimately leads Favreau to quit his job. What follows is essentially a roadtrip movie. Favreau buys a food truck, and drives it from Florida to California with his son and best friend in tow. Along the way they make Cubano sandwiches, and Favreau reignites his passion for cooking. On top of that, Favreau also, more importantly, energizes the flagging relationship between himself and his son. He was on-track to win Neglectful Father of the Year before the cross-country journey. Maybe it’s kind of a cliche that they can fix all their relationship issues in a van serving food, but it worked in the film. The movie was very well written, well acting, well directed, surprisingly funny, and tackled a very interesting and unusual subject matter. Favreau himself is no dummy, and sets himself opposite some beautiful women. It’s a little hard to believe they’d swoon over him, but you can’t blame the guy.

Verdict: Good

03
May
15

Madoka Magica Mega Review

The Series
Madoka Magica is a magical girl series in the loosest sense of the term. Rather, it’s a deconstruction of the magical girl genre. It is a dark, adult-themed drama with despair, loss, and consequences. While most magical girl series are about goodness and purity which allow the girl to save the world, Madoka Magica eschews all of the usual trappings. It still has girls with powers and cute costumes, but nearly everything else is different.
Madoka Magica is Faustian in a sense. The girls must make a deal with Kyubey, essentially selling their souls, in order to gain their powers and make their wish come true. Unfortunately, Kyubey doesn’t give them all the necessary information: like their bodies are now robotic husks with their souls trapped inside gems, or the fact that they will all inevitably turn into witches at some point. Kyubey, despite being an emotionless, almost neutral third party, turns into a great villain for the series. The deeper the show goes, the more you realize he is holding back. And it’s not that he’s holding back for secondary gain, no, he just doesn’t give out the information if it isn’t asked directly. It’s kind of like dealing with an Autistic person or something.
Plenty of girls jump aboard the magical girl train like Sayaka, Mami, and Kyoko. They fight witches in thoroughly exciting action sequences. Fortunately, there is plenty of action in the series. Almost every single episode has something going on. And as the series progresses, the stakes of the action increases. A sense of doom, which was subtle in the beginning, grows ever larger as the series progresses. They manage to raise the stakes time and time again, and do it in a way that feels completely natural given the ground-rules the series has set.

Continue reading ‘Madoka Magica Mega Review’




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