‘I’m not a man! But neither am I a wolf’ – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, 2018

Happy Monday everyone! How are well all this week? I hope so! Has anyone started their Christmas shopping? I have only just. I am feeling very behind already this year. So much to do and such little time. With all this stuff I have to do, I like to have things on in the background. So today’s review is just that. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle came out this weekend, so I thought I’d give it a watch. Without further ado, here we go!

Mowgli with his wolf brothers and sisters – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Netflix, 2018

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a 2018 fantasy adventure film directed by Andy Serkis with a screenplay by Callie Kloves, based on stories collected in All the Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling. 
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a fantasy adventure, both live action and CGI animation. It’s got an all star cast; directed by and staring Andy Serkis, featuring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris. When I said all star, I bet you weren’t expecting Batman and Sherlock alongside Gollum. 

The shooting of this film is pretty darned magical – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Netflix, 2018

It has received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the cast, visual effects, and Serkis’ passion for the project, but compared it unfavourably to the Disney film. But I don’t think this can compare to the other Jungle Book that came out this year. Also with an all star cast. That was cuddly and cute. This isn’t. I won’t go much into the plot, but this is not the story that Disney lovers will be used to. This is a dark retelling of the story we know and love. There’s no singing and no cuddly animals. They all look ragged and, dare I say it, evil. But it’s more like the original book.
For instance, there’s a really upsetting scene where Mowgli is forced to look at his killed-and-stuffed best friend when he’s in the man village. The camera pans between the two more than once, adding to the sadness of the scene.
There’s a lot of gore too, blood and bits are shown a lot. We see Mowgli and his wolf-brothers and sisters eating raw flesh on more than one occasion.

I think I enjoyed it better than the soft and cuddly version of the story. I am a sucker for films close to the book. And this is just that. It is an actual retelling, rather an a Disney-ifying. 

Have you seen Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle? Are you going to? Did you love it or hate it? Leave a comment down below telling me what you think!

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No Review 30/07/18

Hey all! This week has been super busy (writing for my dissertation and revising for an exam) that I’ve not had the time to do any reviewing this week! Fear not, there will be a review next week, I promise! I’ve been watching a lot of iZombie as I’ve been working, so I’ll probably have all that watched by next week!

Tell me what you’d like to have me review, it can be anything – books, movie, comics, tv! You name it, I’ll try get it done!

What do you want to see me review? I’m up for anything! Leave a comment down below!

No Review 16/07/2018

Hi guys! No review this week because it’s @sebonthesilvermountain‘s birthday today and so we’ve been having a really nice long weekend together! We’ve been watching a lot of movies though, so maybe a movie review for next week? Who knows! All I know is that we’ve been having a great time together, and will be for the whole week!

Speak to you guys soon!

Loving what I’m doing at the moment? Is there anything you’d like to see me review? Perhaps you’d even like to wish Seb a happy birthday? Leave a comment down below

‘Only best buddies execute pedophiles together.’ – Deadpool 2

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed your extra day of weekend! I sure did, which is why this review is out on a Tuesday and not a Monday! I have done a lot of walking, enjoying myself at my local county show, and then going to the cinema. My review of that movie next week. This week is my review of the movie I saw last weekend – Deadpool 2.
Without further ado, review incoming!

 

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Deadpool loves you. – Deadpool 2, 20th Century Fox, 2018

Deadpool 2 is the 11th (yes 11th!) installment to the X Men franchise. The storyline for this movie is hilarious, and is as follows, I can’t describe it better than this:

 

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

I don’t know what I can say without giving spoilers so SPOILER WARNING FROM HERE ON OUT! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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The Creation of Deadpool – Deadpool 2, 20th Century Fox, 2018

I loved this movie. Every second. Whilst some of the scenes felt a tad rushed (the Xforce bit especially). And sure some of the skits were played for laughs, but it works for a Deadpool movie – it’s meant to be stupid and funny. I actually think it was better than the original movie. This one felt better planned, the jokes were just as funny if not funnier, and there were more characters having to deal with Deadpool’s crap. I would be annoyed to have to deal with him all day too. Domino is a babe, and I love her a lot. She was amazing. Go Domino! Also go Cable, Negasonic, Yukio (Hi Wade! Hi Yukio!) and Firefist! Go team!
Much of the dialogue in Deadpool is ad libbed, which makes the movie funnier in my opinion. Ryan Reynolds has been seen saying that he had many different lines for each joke, and wasn’t burning any film so felt like he could just say lines until one stuck or felt right.
The death of Wade’s girlfriend, Vanessa, was very sad. But hey it’s been all retconned so never mind! (The end credits scenes were probably the best part of the film. Very funny)

The writing out of the X-men from being in the movie was hilarious. They just shut the door on helping him out. Purely ignoring his existence. Very funny. Also means they don’t have to pay lots of money for all of the X-Men for the whole of the film. His X-Men clothing was very funny, the yellow shirt over his uniform, and his call back to his X-Force clothing (white and black) was also very good.

I would really recommend people watch Deadpool 2. Especially if they’ve seen the first. Go watch it. It’s a good 2ish hours of your life.

[Header Image: Deadpool 2, 20th Century Fox, 2018]

‘ My name is Gene. I’m a MEH emoji.’ – The Emoji Movie, 2017

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? As you guys know, I’m bogged down with a lot of work and assignments, so I will be giving you a short review today. I am someone that works with noise in the background, which means I watch a lot of movies that come out of Sky, Netflix, Amazon or any other streaming site I have a subscription to. I tend to come across a lot of awful movies, and trust me this one is *awful*. Without further ado, here we have The Emoji Movie.

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This was a thing! – The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017

The Emoji Movie is a pile of gar- no wait… I should at least try give you guys a non bias review… at least give this thing a chance…
Let me start over… *clears throat*
The Emoji Movie is an animation, much like any other we see in this day and age, based on the trend of emojis. It is about Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, who decides he needs to set out to become a normal emoji. Gene is an emoji that lives in Textopolis (very hard thinking on this name guys…), a city inside the phone of his user Alex. He is the son of two ‘meh’ emojis (😒) named Mel and Mary, and is able to make multiple expressions despite his parents being singular face emojis. He goes on a mission to make himself a normal emoji, and makes some friends along the way.
Okay, there’s the brief synopsis – I can stop being unbiased now…

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This is so true for this movie… – The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017

I went into this movie with an open mind, I had seen it hadn’t done too well on any of the scoring systems for movies. I tried to get on with this movie. I really did. But…this movie is 2 hours of my life I will never get back. You may say that’s an exaggeration, but I do not. It was awful. It was just painful to watch. I can honestly say it just seemed like an advert for the mobile apps Candy Crush, the match three game, Dropbox, the safe file app and Spotify, the well known music app. It didn’t seem to have a story other than “here’s some huge apps we’re going to show you, because we were paid a lot of money to show them off to you.” I am struggling to find anything good to say. I feel like the actors in this movie were wasted on it. Such big names for something so awful… honestly, it’s a tad depressing. Maybe I only feel this way because I was watching it whilst half asleep, stressed out and missing nearly a pint of blood (I had given blood that morning, and just needed to chill out with a movie.

I’m sorry this review has been so awful! Better thing next week… I promise!

Have you seen The Emoji Movie? What did you think? Hate it or love it? Leave a comment down below! 

 

 

 

 

[Header Image: The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017]

‘I wish somebody spoke his language’ – Isle of Dogs, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? I am drowning in deadlines, but my library door is always open, so I can’t forget about you all! I’ve been with Seb (@sebonthesilvermountain) this week, and we decided to have a date night. Both of us wanted to see this movie, so after a very filling Wetherspoons we toddled down to his local cinema and cuddled up to watch. Wes Anderson is one of our favourite directors; we both loved The Grand Budapest Hotel and I really liked Fantastic Mr Fox. So, without further ado, here’s our thoughts on Isle of Dogs!

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Cover art for the Dvd box – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Isle of Dogs is a stop motion animation, with an all star cast. Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the film follows a young boy who goes in search of his dog after the whole species is banished to an island due to an illness outbreak… and the fact that everyone likes cats more. The prologue explains the downfall of dogs and the uprising of cats – dogs were only saved by the daring deeds of a young samurai.
The film is split into acts, four if I remember exactly. Most of the film takes place on an island of trash, just off of the coast of Megasaki City, Kobayashi. The humans speak in their native tongue, and are translated by interpreter, machine or subtitles. The dogs have been pre-translated – it highlights the struggle between man and beast when trying to get them to play fetch. As I said before, it’s got an all star cast. The main dogs are played by names like Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton and Scarlett Johansson, whilst there are human characters played by the likes of Frances McDormand.

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Wes Anderson and his figures – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Overall, I really really enjoyed this film. Like every second of it. I felt like I learned something about the culture of Japan, I found it to be a respectful depiction of such – it wasn’t being forced upon me that this was correct. It also brought up the idea about being environmentally friendly – Trash Island isn’t exactly a sustainable solution. I think it shows Anderson’s worry for the future, a dystopian world who’s leaders get rid of the things that they hate through mass cullings. It shows that if people band together, they can make things better for everyone – and the epilogue shows that. I won’t spoil it for you, you need to go see it for yourself.
The only qualm I had with it was that the man in front was so tall (or I was so short, either way) I struggled to see over his head. It made me remember why I disliked going to the cinema on a regular basis.

Have you seen Isle of Dogs? Do you want to? What’s you views on it’s portrayal of our future? Do you believe we’re heading for a dystopia? What about it’s portrayal of Japan?Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Isle of Dogs, Searchlight Studios, 2018]

‘Relax… this pot is making you aggressive…’ – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Good morning/afternoon readers! How are we all today? Recovered from the loss of sleep from the clocks going forward? I know I haven’t!
Todays review will be slightly different – I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently, but none of them have been ‘comic book appropriate,’ so I thought screw it, let’s just talk about something I’ve been watching! I mean… at least it’s an adaptation… right? Without further ado, let’s talk about Eyes Wide Shut.

Warning – this review is not for minors, 18+ please! 

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The Movie Poster – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic drama (quote wikipedia on that one, not me) based on Traumnovelle (Dream Story); written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick (fun Kubrick fact – he lived in a manor house incredibly close by to where I am). It was the last movie he ever worked on, making it a pivotal movie for me – I’ve watched a few Kubrick films now, and his style has changed throughout. Like other Kubrick adaptations, this film verges so far from the book it’s barely the same anymore, but significant plot points are not omitted. I find it very interesting that Kubrick hired Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to be his main characters, these two were a married couple at the time of this film – and definitely adds to the sexual tension of the piece. Throughout, we have callbacks to it’s original setting, with the use of old Victorian buildings etc.
The narrative follows the sexually charged adventures of Bill, a medical doctor , who is shocked when Alice his wife, says she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier – which is shown in the first few moments of the movie. Bill is called away during a party, leaving his wife to the hands of another man who gets her slightly too drunk. Extremely upset Bill embarks on a crazy night, in which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an underground secret society.

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The weird mask things – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

One issue I always have with Kubrick’s work is how long his films are. When he was writing them it was shocking to have a movie over 2 hours long, and (according to my select button) this movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. There’s got to be a lot of this movie that’s pretty superfluous, it goes on a little bit too long. I’d have struggled to sit through it in a movie theatre/cinema that’s for sure.
I also have a real issue with Bill’s first port of call to be “cheat on wife with prostitute.” Learn to talk things out with your wife dude! You’re married with a kid! Whilst I admit that what she did was wrong, she didn’t kiss the naval officer, whereas he instigated an affair with a prostitute. At least it didn’t go further than a kiss. It makes me laugh that the way that Bill gets into one of these crazy parties is by wearing a tux with a hood and a mask, talk about weird!
The Master of Ceremonies bit is weird, the constant imagining of Alice having sex with another guy is weird – the whole movie is weird. And I think that’s it’s appeal. It’s weird, because it’s Kubrick, but at the same time it’s weirdness is alluring. I want to find out what happens in these underground sex cults, whether it’s true or not (I presume not), and it makes me want to keep watching.  I will watch any of Kubrick’s work any day, which I will finally get around to doing soon!

Eyes Wide Shut is classic Kubrick weirdness, but honestly I loved it for that. His distinct directoral stance can be seen throughout; the sex scenes reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange (which I also loved and thought was crazy).

Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Are you a fan of Kubrick? I’d love to chat about him with you all! Leave a comment down below! 

Seb’s Top 10 of 2017/2018

Hi guys, the Man on the Silver Mountain here once again, this time I’m throwing something your way that’s a little different from when I usually turn up to help out the Librarian. As I’m sure she’s told you she’s been busy and more than a little sick.
I offered to help and she suggested I do something a little different with you; a top ten. Apparently you guys like me showing up occasionally enough that she thought maybe you’d like to know what I’ve been watching and enjoying over the end of last year and beginning of this one.

To preface the list, I was originally thinking of kicking off with best five and worst five but whilst I had loads of things I’ve enjoyed the only negatives I could really produce were Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Trek: Discovery, two of my favourite franchises historically that have been let down by lack lustre recent additions in my opinion, as a result though this turned into a much more positive top ten, listed below in no particular order.

Black Mirror

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Black Mirror, Channel 4/Netflix, 2011 – Present

I’m sure a load of you have already been watching Black Mirror. It’s an anthology show in the same vein as the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits from ages ago and that’s already a big plus in my book as I do love me some varied storytelling. More to the point though I like shows that have depth to them, either in terms of the subject matter they’re examining, subtext and secrets for fans to theorise on, or otherwise just a really solid plot to invest in; Black Mirror covers all three better than probably any other entry on this list purely thanks to its anthology format. Definitely worth a watch in my book if you haven’t already.

The Good Place

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The Good Place, NBC/Netflix, 2016 – Present

I love philosophy! I even considered heading to university as a mature student to study it. So when you’ve got a show like The Good Place, that pulls all of the philosophy I’ve enjoyed reading plus some more that I was only tangentially aware of, together as part of a hilarious and concrete plot it’s an instant win for me. Worth watching if you want to be entertained into learning something.

Librarian’s side note – Seb wouldn’t know about this one if I didn’t suggest one day we watch it. I’m so glad we did because we both love it to bits! Sometimes (!) I have good TV suggestions! 

Lucifer

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Lucifer, Fox/Amazon, 2016 – Present

I’m not at all religious but I find the various myths, legends and stories of religions fascinating, especially when re-worked intelligently into stories that use the resonant core of what made those religions so influential in their times, even up to the present in some cases, but can use that core to tell a different but no less engaging story. This is where Lucifer pops up on my radar, it’s smart, funny and balances the supernatural of the main character literally being the biblical Devil and the mundanity of the individuals he’s surrounded by. I especially enjoy this show for the thought that’s gone into considering angelic and demonic impressions of the universe; they know that there’s more beyond the mortal coil but they still have no real idea about what’s going on as God remains aloof and hidden even from them for the most part. Worth taking a look in my opinion if you want something light-hearted that may give you some stuff to think about afterwards.

My Hero Academia

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My Hero Academia, Funimation, 2016 – Present 

Now, I’m not really a huge anime fan. I can’t really say whether it’s the art style, the differences between the culture I’ve grown up in and the culture of the creators of most anime, or if it’s just something completely nebulous that will remain forever undefined, but I’ve just found that most anime just doesn’t hold my attention all that well even if more traditionally Western cartoons and animations aren’t a problem for me to sit and binge through. My Hero Academia though kept me hooked from beginning of season one through to the end of season two easily. The characters have depth, the plot examines some really interesting questions like “What does it mean to be a real hero?” or “How would society cope if 80% of the population were superhuman?”, and the pacing of the show seemed really good (unlike old school Dragon Balls Z one fight doesn’t take half a season to conclude). If you’re into anime and haven’t gotten around to watching this yet, or if like me you aren’t an anime fan, I’d suggest checking out My Hero Academia as I feel it has something for almost anyone whilst not forgetting what it is.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, BBC America/Netflix, 2016 – Present

Ah, Douglas Adams, the man who famously wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and who unfortunately passed away in May 2001, left us with more than just that one piece of well-known work. One particular piece was Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a tale about individuals granted with particular gifts by the universe for reasons no one can really understand. Enter Dirk Gently, one of these special individuals whose gift is to stumble through life solving problems whether he likes it or not. With a great cast including Elijah Wood and a very well-written and consistent script in spite it being written about the innately chaotic nature of the universe, my biggest complaint about this show was that there wasn’t more of it straight away. If you like Douglas Adams or otherwise just want something fun and quirky to watch this is what you’ve been waiting for.

The Expanse

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The Expanse, Syfy/Netflix, 2015 – Present

Who likes their really hard sci-fi? I do, and The Expanse is a great way to indulge my want for it. Set in our solar system a bit of a way into the future after humanity has colonised out as far as the asteroid belt, we follow three individuals as they traverse the difficult landscape of a solar system on the brink of collapse and chaos. I particularly how season one sees the characters we follow slowly find one another and how then the second season has a lot of fun with these well developed and fleshed out characters that we’ve been watching in isolation up until then. It tackles issues around class, political control, corporate interests vs those of the people and many others but does it in a way that’s neither particularly heavy handed nor so easy as to treat the viewer like a moron. If you like your more realistic zero-G scenes and like your solar system-spanning conspiracies this one’s for you.

Altered Carbon

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Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

I love the cyberpunk end of sci-fi. Blade Runner is in my top five movies alongside movies like Cloud Atlas as well that has its cyberpunk moments in it too. I’m excited for more news on Cyberpunk 2077 and apparently so are a lot of others too. I haven’t seen the new Blade Runner sequel yet something I NEED to do but just haven’t had the time to get around to it just yet. So whilst I wait for an opportune moment to find my way back to Blade Runner how best to fill my time that with another sci-fi/cyberpunk show that gives us a grim but potentially possible vision of the future where human bodies are interchangeable, death is no longer an issue and rich corporations and their owners basically run the galaxy? There isn’t one; that question was purely rhetorical. With a great cast, a great looking world, an AI run, Edgar Allan Poe themed hotel, lots of nudity, violence and dystopian future vibes this is one that anyone can find something to enjoy in whilst the engaging murder-mystery-with-a-twist unravels before you at a good pace whilst establishing the universe and setting up for season two easily.

 

Rick and Morty

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Rick and Morty, Adult Swim/Netflix/Comedy Central, 2013 – Present

I have no doubt that most of you have watched this, I know the Librarian has talked to you guys about Rick and Morty before too, but I couldn’t escape adding this one on here. Considering this started out as a weird, satirical rip-off of Back to the Future, kicking off with a lot of cheap and shocking gags that were perfectly delivered, this show’s grown after season three into a much more cohesive story but without losing much of what it gained from season one and two. I know some people didn’t like the lack of certainty in the show from season one and season two where things seemed a little disjointed due to the universe-hopping nature of the show but especially after some of the big reveals and events in season three, I’d recommend going back and sticking with season one and two to get to season three as it all starts to fit together a bit more interestingly now. Otherwise, if you’re already into the show I’m preaching to the choir.

Sense8

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Sense8, Netflix, 2015 – 2018

The show from the Wachowskis that Netflix cancelled due to costs and lack of engagement on its second season despite it being so good and wrapping up so many things from the first season. Set in the modern day with a very limited sci-fi element in terms of the sensates themselves (individuals who are psychically linked as a cluster, able to communicate and share experiences over any distance) this is a show that contains a collection of stories from many perspectives all elegantly intertwined around a main, conspiracy plot. Considering that after the backlash from the fans over the shows cancellation we’re going to be getting a feature-length episode to tie off the remaining story arcs from season two, now’s a great time to go and watch the first two seasons.

Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2017

The only movie on this list because I don’t usually find myself watching movies, I don’t tend to have time to dedicate up to three hours or so compared to an hour for an episode of a TV show. I had to include the most recent Thor on this list though because the Thor sub-franchise within the MCU has had a rough time. Thor was an origin story, it did its job but wasn’t anything particularly special. Thor: The Dark World was mostly connective tissue for both the Avengers movies and as something to play with on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show for an episode or so. So with that said Thor needed some care and attention and he got it in spades from director Taika Waititi. Humourous throughout but still allowing for a plot built more around the vulnerabilities and humanity of the characters involved rather than the purely godly, super powerful nature of the characters AND still including all the connective tissue required for Avengers: Infinity War and beyond this movie was very well crafted. If you’re a fan of the MCU and haven’t seen this yet, aren’t really a fan of the MCU but want a superhero themed laugh, or if you’re somewhere in between I would recommend Thor: Ragnarok as a movie to have a fun couple of hours watching.

And that’s my list, I could go into honourable mentions but I think this list is long enough already. What are your opinions on the things I’ve been watching? Part of the fun of watching stuff like this is having a chat afterwards and I know your Librarian would love to know your thoughts.

In the meantime though if you’ve enjoyed going through the list, and maybe even watching some of my suggestions, I’d love to hear and if you’d like more from me find me on YouTube. Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from the Librarian if you guys enjoyed any of my suggestions.

What have you loved watching recently? Hated any of Seb’s picks? Loved each and every one? Leave a comment down below! 

What I’ve watched so far in 2018

Hello, readers! Good weekend? I spent mine doing nothing and enjoying it! It’s nice to have a weekend of doing nothing every now and again. Whilst doing nothing I watched a few movies, and then thought about the ones I’ve watched since the beginning of 2018. I’ve already sat down and watched a lot of movies. Here’s a brief opinion of the ones I can remember!

Now You See Me 1 (2013) and 2 (2016)
I found these two on Netflix, and I’ve wanted to watch them for a while. I’m only half way through the 2nd one, but I can tell you they feel very similar. The plot line made little sense, but I don’t think I was watching it for more than the magic tricks – which, by the way, are hella amazing. Bit sad that Amy Adams didn’t return for No.2 (probably scheduling conflicts) but I didn’t hate them! 6/10 and 6/10

The Big Sick (2017)
I watched this just yesterday, and loved every minute. I’m glad I didn’t see it at the movies because there were quite a few times I cried. I honestly really liked it, and would watch it again! 8/10

The Disaster Artist (2017)
I loved The Room when I saw it, and loved the making of it just as much! It was pretty nepotistic, but I loved that the “frat” of Hollywood made this movie. It made it extra funny in all the right places! 9/10

The Jungle Book (2016)
This movie will never live up to the 90s animation. It tried it’s hardest, but like all the live action movies it falls pretty flat. Good graphics though! 7/10

The Circle (2017)
What an awful movie. No pace, no story, boring. Honestly boring. I was really sad to hate something with such potential to be a good movie… 3/10

Table 19 (2017)
I love cheesy rom-coms, and this fits the bill! I actually loved most of this movie, and only gave it a slightly higher than mediocre score because of some stilted acting. But hey – it’s got Anna Kendrick in so how can I hate it?! 7/10

The Book of Henry (2017)
Honestly it’s not as bad as people have said. I don’t get why certain people slated it so much. Sure it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, and it approached too many topics at once, but it wasn’t awful. 6/10

I am surprised how many movies I’ve watched to be honest. Maybe I’m just a huge procrastinator. I want to watch more and more. Look out for more of these reviews later in 2018!

Have you seen any of these movies? What were your opinions? Leave your comments down below! 

“It’s Like a Nuclear Weapon that Grants Wishes.” – Bright, 2017

I’m giving you over to our Man on the Silver Mountain this week! We did watch and discuss this one together though – so without further ado; we bring you Bright, 2017. As per usual, you’re in for a long one! (If I have any comments to add they will be in italics!)

Hi guys, it’s me again, The Man on the Silver Mountain. During the holidays I sat down with your Librarian and we watched Bright. There were two reasons for this; firstly, we wanted to watch it, and secondly because people we had been talking to that had already seen the film were either singing its praises or ripping it to shreds and we wanted to understand why.
The Librarian said that she’d probably add her own comments on this for you guys too but I volunteered to write this as the genre space that Bright fits into (which I’ve most frequently heard dubbed “modern arcana”) is something I’ve read more of, seen more and played more of than your Librarian has. As with some of the other films I’ve talked about before I feel like Bright doesn’t deserve the backlash it’s receiving from critics or people that have missed the point of the movie.
Before I get into this though; I’ve been asked to try and dodge spoilers again but might not manage it perfectly, so if you’re not wanting to be spoiled at all for this movie, then I suggest going away, watching the film and then coming back to talk to us about it.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

For those of you that haven’t seen the trailers or are a little fuzzy on the story it kinda goes like this; in a modern setting where all of conventional history has been permeated with races and magical abilities from something akin to D&D or Tolkien-esque fantasy, a cop called Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is returning to work with his orc partner Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) after time off recovering after being injured in the line of duty. Returning to work he finds himself mixed up in office politics surrounding his partner who happens to be the first and only orc police officer in the LAPD. Soon afterwards at a hectic and disturbing crime scene they find a magic wand said to be like “a nuclear weapon that grants wishes” and madness ensues as Ward, Jakoby and their only witness to the events that transpired, an elf called Tikka (Lucy Fry) are hunted throughout the city by gangs, corrupt cops, elven cultists and anyone else who seems to feel like it.

So, where to begin?
Let’s start with the setting as that seems to be what a lot of non-critics are getting caught up on. The setting and thus the story being told within it are not for purists. If you’re a hardcore fantasy fan then this might not be for you, if you’re an action/thriller kind of person then this may not be for you, if you’re a buddy cop movie kind of person then this may not be for you. If the combination of all of those things being mashed together sounds like fun to you, then you’ll probably enjoy Bright. (Even if they aren’t for you, I would say at least give it a go – don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that.)

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Jakoby, Tikka and Ward hiding out –  Bright, Netflix, 2017

This film’s setting is not about race. In the film the fact that lines have been drawn between races; with elves being rich and beautiful, humans being… well human, and orcs being the poor, the criminals, etc. is not to draw parallels between those fantasy races and real-world racial demographics. What is does is use the fantasy races, that are all obviously visually distinct, to give the audience away of at a glance distinguish between the privileged and the downtrodden. The races focused on in the film (in spite their being nine major races mentioned in the film and seen a couple of times as in the case of a couple of centaur cops) are threefold and line up with the class system observed in America today. We can also see through the situations of the characters we meet throughout the film that the divide between middle and lower class is shrinking with more and more humans ending up in poor neighbourhoods or joining in with gang violence and somewhat illegal or less reputable activity. Even our main human character Ward is at risk of losing his home and can’t afford to maintain a good environment for his child. This film is about class divisions and not about race. Is there an element of racism on display to generate tension? Yeah, but it’s made clear by Ward telling his daughter “Everybody’s just trying to get along and have a good life. All of the races are different. Just cause they’re different doesn’t mean anybody is better or worse than anybody,” towards the beginning of the film when she asks about whether orcs are just plainly less intelligent than humans, that this isn’t as big a concern as status. Jakoby being hired seems more akin to the police hiring an ex-gang affiliate and feeling negatively towards such a decision but in the way the setting is laid out this is depicted as fantasy racism, a thing that is visual and easy for people to understand in passing.

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Leilah looking for her wand. She was a good villain – Bright, Netflix, 2017

The next couple of things I want to touch on I’ve heard from critics, or people who worship critics, more than anyone else. First off, the film was too dark and badly shot. I think we were watching different movies. It was dark, I would agree but I could always see what was going on and some of the choreographed shots during fight scenes that jumped between multiple angles were fine and allowed both the Librarian and myself to keep up with what was going on and see everything. Were there moments where the film got more hectic and jumbled? Yes, for instance there’s a scene where they enter a packed club. Ward and Jakoby end up trying to fight their way through a dancefloor occupied by a well-populated mosh pit. The camera zooms in, moves jarringly and all we can really see are the characters trying their best to keep moving in the chaos. Why shoot it like this? Simple; we’re now as confused as the characters are and it’s only when the characters regain their composure that we get a wider-angle shot to allow us to see Tikka beckoning to them as she’s found a way to escape. The way the film was shot was related to how the characters experienced it whilst not being too jarring or confusing to the casual viewer. (I agree that there was times of darkness. I couldn’t tell if it was the adaptive lighting of my tablet screen or the darkness of the cinematography.)
I’ve heard that the film had a poor story and that the characters lacked growth. Let’s tackle these two things separately as the first is easier to get through than the second. So, poor story? I wouldn’t say so, more a simple story as it’s a pretty straightforward Hero’s Journey kind of set up with the Call to Action, Reaching the Threshold, Death & Rebirth, Atonement and Return to the Norm in a big cycle.
To discuss growth of the characters we first have to talk about the characters. Let’s start off with Ward; he’s an older cop, jaded by his time on the force, focused on results and not seemingly bothered by much else. He’s a man of some principle as he resents the office politics hitting him due to his orcish partner and stands up to corruption among his colleagues. He’s flawed, sure; dismissive, unkind, sarcastic but he’s still one of the good guys when all is said and done. Now we see him blaming his partner for the injury he received that took him off duty and resenting the fact that he still has to share duties with him after returning to work. It draws him into a pretty miserable situation as the movie continues but skipping ahead a bit towards the end of the film it’s Ward and Jakoby against the world, they’re honest with each other, watching each other’s backs and the troubles from the beginning of the film are resolved at various points throughout the film, with Ward going out of his way to ensure Jakoby survives and encounter with the awesome villain that is Leilah played by Noomi Rapace, leaving himself seemingly without any way of protecting himself after the fact.

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Magic police, Kandomere (an elf) and Hildebrandt Ulysses Montehugh (a human), interrogating Ward and Jakoby – Bright, Netflix, 2017

Jakoby on the other hand is an outcast at the beginning of the film, an orc without proper tusks, raised by humans and not accepted by any of the orcs they encounter throughout the majority of the movie as he’s not “blooded” a rite of passage and ritual acceptance of young orcs as being proper orcs. He’s naïve, hopeful and trusting in spite of being harshly aware of how out of place and unwanted he is. By later in the film though given every opportunity to break or give up he finds companionship in both his fellow police officer Ward and in the elf they’re protecting Tikka, finds purpose in keeping those friends and the communities they’re dealing with as safe as he can from the violence and mayhem that’s chasing them and comes out the other end by ignoring everything including his own safety to save Ward from a burning building, an act that earns him the respect of the orcs that have labelled him an outcast for his whole life.
So there’s growth, certainly. Does it matter though? No. On reaching the point in the Hero’s Journey where our heroes return to the normal world accepting their new version of normal after what they’ve experienced the events of their night of chaos and gun fights is covered up by federal agents. As a result the only people that their growth matters to is them, Daryl Ward and Nick Jakoby. If that enough? I’d say so but we’ll have to see if it does or not in the next film considering Bright 2 has already been greenlit.

After singing this movie’s praises though do I have my criticisms? Absolutely, the movie was good but not perfect. Seeing more of the villains was one thing I’d have liked; learning more about them and their plans, or at least learning more about them as people. I’d have liked to see some of the other nine races that are mentioned several times, dwarves are mentioned but not a single stocky beard owner is highlighted in the film as far as I noticed. The main criticism that I have though is one that’s been echoed by other people too; there wasn’t enough of it. I got to the end of the film and wanted more; I wanted to know more about the universe, about the way the rest of the world had developed outside of Los Angeles with magic and magical races being real in this universe. I kinda wish it had been a TV series instead of a movie, but if that had been the case we probably wouldn’t have gotten named like Will Smith, Joel Edgerton or Noomi Rapace in the movie and the chemistry between Smith and Edgerton definitely made it better for me than not. What I can hope is that Bright 2 will be just as good if not better and then maybe we’ll see a spin-off TV show to expand the universe more at a later date.

Overall I’d give this movie a 8-9/10 with those missed points purely being down to it not giving me all I would have liked from the universe.
I hope you found this a fun read and I know your Librarian and I would love to hear your thoughts down below and if you’re interested in more stuff I’ve done I’m sure the Librarian will stick my links in here somewhere too.

Do you agree with MotSM’s comments? We’ve spent a lot of time chatting about it, with lots of people, but would love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment down below! 

[Header Image: Bright, Netflix, 2017]