Fringe

Being super-speedy at watching TV I have somehow recently managed to catch up with Fringe and am now in the unfortunate situation of having to wait till September rolls around for the fourth season and another little Science Fiction fix.

Instead of politely waiting and watching game shows like the rest of the world I have joined Fringe fan-fiction websites, addictively googled Anna Torv, and immersed myself in the chasm of Fringipedia an un-healthy amount of times. It is not good, but alas this is the effect Fringe has come to have on my life, that’s the same Fringe that took me about a month to watch the first series of. The subsequent series’ were completed in under two weeks.

For those who suffer from a lack of culture allow me to introduce you to JJ Abram’s latest television phenomenon about a team of FBI investigators and civilian contractors who investigate strange goings on in the United States, though shockingly all the events are within close range of Massachusetts.   These strange goings on I refer to are all elements of what you might know as fringe science, hence the title Fringe, and the team headed up by Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) has their own drug addicted mental scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble); also in the cast are a whole host of familiar faces from Joshua Jackson to regulars from network television shows such as The Wire, Sons Of Anarchy, and Deadwood.

Despite being the niece of evil incarnate Rupert Murdoch Torv manages to be brilliant at portraying the overworked and probably overpaid, judging by all that Whisky she knocks back, Olivia. Always looking tired, dishevelled, and happy to help solve your insane unwanted cases Torv manages to grow into her character so that you come to love her more as you know her better and believe me you will love her and her awkward relationships with just about every member of the cast. Joshua Jackson is, obviously, the love interest, but he has come much further than this since his days on Dawsons Creek and is perfect as the whip-smart with an air of arrogance Peter Bishop.

I could go on about these characters all night and I probably will one of these days, but as with any show or film for that matter by Abrams you only realise how brilliant it is when it’s all over. I’m a bit of a fan-girl for JJ, but he must be one of the most formidable minds of a generation and he’s working in TV, somebody give this man a political position. The sheer intricacy here is staggering, the fact that if you so desire you can spot an Observer in every single episode is insane, a bald man was employed to just walk in the background of a single scene for over 60 episodes of a prime time television show, there isn’t really anything you can say against that. Fringe is a programme with it’s own wiki site, it has comics, and codes of Glyphs, which don’t even really matter that much.

The writing is brilliant, the concept is inspired, the characters are charming, and yes it’s a little bit like The X-Files. So what? Just watch it.

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Prepare for things to go a ‘bit’ tits up

Piranha 3D

This is not to be confused with a horror film. It’s not even quite a comedy. It fits best into the category of exploitation movie, or ‘sexploitation’, if you will allow me to coin a phrase. You understand this the second the first ‘crunk’ song smacks you in the face like an oversized breast and you come to realise this is going to last for at least an hour so you may as well enjoy it.

Piranha is a surprisingly slow film to get going, instead of having plot about deadly flesh-stripping fish, the director, Alexander Aja, decided to give us Kelly Brook and a who’s who of American teen drama; Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries etc…Brook seemed to have the opinion that being a stripper helps in all situations. After she swam naked under-water, drank champagne and tequila and tirelessly flirted with an innocent young boy, she died. She died because she was promiscuous and that’s bad in the films. No, she died because of her long strippers hair, the uber piranha’s we see here just eat that shit up.

Nobody really screamed. It was all very unrealistic. One boy, who is the worst human ever, just ploughed through the water on his tiny boat while adequately limbed teenagers tried to scramble aboard. They all died. Obviously. Everyone appeared quite nonchalant about the whole situation just shooting fish out of the water and looking for some more explosives.

The whole 3D element, which I hope is the only reason this film was made, was fucking terrible too. A highlight of mine was a piranha belching a penis out into the audience and a girl being sick, that’s always nice. It added absolutely nothing to the film though, other than one cheap thrill at the end.

I look forward to the sequel Piranha 3DD, but please don’t see this. I’d feel terrible. No more words can convey my feelings, frankly I’m not even sure I have feelings any more, they have been numbed.

 

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Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go-Dir: Mark Romanek

As a fan of the novel I have been slightly apprehensive as to what to expect from a film adaptation of the moving semi sci-fi tale. Luckily it was true to form and left me with the same empty feeling as the book.

Saying a film leaves you empty doesn’t scream ‘I loved that’ at you, but the overwhelming sense of melancholy and sheer coldness you get from this film is exactly as it should be. Everything reflects this mood; from the acting, to the colour palette of the grim British countryside, and the stunning cinematography. The look of the film is nothing short of spectacular and transports you wholeheartedly into this unflinching dystopia.

Now you may have heard this is science fiction and it is, but don’t let that put you off, it’s not quite Star Trek. The sci-fi here is inter-fused in the plot itself and only comes to the surface on occasion; such as when bracelets are swiped. This is science fiction just as much as Blade Runner is, these characters are clones bred for the sole purpose of donating their organs. It’s heart wrenching stuff.

This is a film though that rely’s on its lead performances just as much as its scenery and script. Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley work together beautifully and create a realistic bond based on love, friendship, and most importantly jealousy. As the film charts their lives at Hailsham they each have younger selves; the children were fabulous. Low-key acting like this may go a miss and certainly wont make them child-stars, but they deserve recognition for challenging roles and Keira’s double gave me chills. Carey Mulligan though is the star as Kathy H who narrates from the sidelines of a life she knows nothing about. Mulligan is a performer unlike any other who can captivate an audience* and yet always leave you wanting more. She is a true artist and adapts to this dull world like she never sparkled at all, falling in line as a good clone should.

Garfield is equally enchanting as the ever-distraught Tommy. Slowly building a great career for himself on some strong performances, this is just the next in his long list of ‘how to take over Hollywood British style.’ Always charming and believable Garfield has some of the most emotional scenes in the film and will show you just how big his heart is. When he does you should hold on for dear life because it will shortly be getting ripped out for the ‘good’ of the human race.

Spanning over 20 years from the 70’s to the 90’s costume plays a huge part in the look of the film and it helped ‘age’ the film substantially. If the film had not been royally snubbed by Bafta then costume would be been a deserving nomination, if not win for the film. The clothes and hair are all quite ugly to be honest, but they work, and when you see Knightley and Garfield as donors in the 90’s with clothes hanging off them, you will wish you were back in the idyllic grounds of Hailsham where ignorance was bliss.

This is a coming of age tale that will resonate with anyone who gives it a chance and I would urge you to see it. I only want to make you sad too.

*or maybe it’s just me. I am a bit obsessed with her wonderous annunciation.

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The Brits….more like the shits…

I’m watching Vernon Kay right now so life is a bit exciting. I’m from Bolton. Yes we like the Kay’s apparently. Not quite the Krays’, but funnier.

If I hear one more advert with Katy Perry on I swear!

Right things that happened/we leant at the Brit Awards:

We learnt that Tinie Tempah doesn’t really need glasses and he is just a big twat who is nominated and wins everything ever because apparently he is quite good.

That Rihanna can sing without a microphone or the movement of her mouth. SHE SOUNDS AMAZING NO MATTER WHAT.

Somebody called Rumer exists. We will never hear of them again.

Cee-Lo Green is better at American awards ceremony’s such as The Grammy’s. Nevermind Paloma you aren’t very good anyway.

Take That are the police.

That Mastercard is shit when being advertised by celebs/shoes.

We learnt that Peter Andrea/ Daver Berry are the same person and more perverted than previously thought.

Take That sings scathing songs about eastern European countries.

Mumford and Sons attempt the make themselves interesting by wearing shit yellow hats and shaking on-stage.

James Cordon is still fat.

Plan B is still a chav. Fire helps nobody.

Lady Gaga didn’t turn up.

Vivienne Westwood designed the new awards and they look like SJP’s face/foot.

Justin Bieber is almost 17, but still sounds four.

Basically lots of exciting things happened, but for the most part it was a bit shit, but then it’s the biggest British music awards ceremony so we all expected that a bit didn’t we? Just pretend you are watching an amazing sci-fi show set in the future of 2030 when the only clothing item left is glitter and you have to be pretentious in order to do ANYTHING.

I think I’m drunk now (vodka was the only way to survive this evening) so I’m going to stop and attempt to persuade my house-mate into letting me watch the Vampire Diaries. The Brits just isn’t enough for one night.

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Failure

Alas I have failed. My new years resolution comes to a stand still on this the second week of February. I have failed you, my readers, but most of all I have failed myself and will never be able to look in a mirror again without crying and berating myself with film references of which I will never be able to speak of or review.

Even now as I write this I’m watching Basic Instinct in all its sexiness. You will never know my thoughts on this film now.

Anyway my eyes are a bit traumatized from Michael Douglas basically raping some poor woman until she decided it wasn’t that bad. Fair enough. Instead of feeling the pressure to do that three times a week, not the rape, but the reviewing of films (some of which would involve rape), I have time to write some more biting cultural  criticism and you can all bask in the glory of how clever and funny I am. OR I’ll just write about Skins for the rest of my days.

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I am woman hear me roar.

Sex and the City 2

Yes I am one of those people. So sue me. 

Apart from the fact that I love the series, and therefore have to love the films, I do actually sort of a little bit enjoy this. Please don’t hurt me now. It has Liza Minelli singing a Beyonce song and the pun:real dialogue ratio is just phenomenal, two things that all films should include.

Despite slight racism and the fact that it undercuts the whole ‘strong women’ thing they had going on Sex and the City 2 is just worth it. You will hear lines such as ‘Lawrence of my labia’ and that’s that really.

It’s disappointing in many ways, most notably that there is a distinct lack of sex nowadays, they all clearly hate each other, they are all super thin, and SJP still looks like a horse/foot. On the plus side they change in between every scene and therefore the fashion is as key a component as it always was and did I mention that Liza Minelli sings at the start?

All you have to remember when you watch this film is that you want to love it and your mind will be opened to a world of new experiences.

 

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Slugger

The Fighter

A gritty crack addled version of Rocky starring Marky Mark and Batman.

This film does for boxing what Seabiscuit did for horse racing; which isn’t much, but how they accomplish not very much is exciting, emotional and pretty darn tense. Out of the six people in the cinema at half ten on a Sunday morning I’m positive all of them were cheering for Micky Ward to get a K.O on that final fight. It was a bit like watching a pair of rockin sockin robots (are they called that?) Except that the action was interspersed with some shots of the roughest family in the world. They didn’t really elicit any sympathy since the five hundred sisters were all free-loaders and his mother joins the ranks of control freak parents I seem to be slowly compiling.

Christian Bale was on scrawny form as ‘the pride of Lowell’ Dicky Eklund. An adaptable guy he is for sure, but it’s tough competition for the Oscar this year and quite frankly he just doesn’t cut it. Actually Mark Wahlberg wasn’t bad. Shocker. One of the best films anyone has seen him in in ages. Donnie would be proud. The real heavy hitters here though were the women; Amy Adams and Melissa Leo both of whom are nominated for best supporting actress. Both deserve to win, but my money is on Leo. If Adams can carry on picking her roles carefully she will have plenty of chances to get back here, but Leo at 51 is ready to be thrust out of Hollywood with a bit of dignity and recognition. I wish her luck in her future career playing haggard parents/grand-parents in any HBO show.

Everyone loves a rags to sort of riches story, especially those that involve drug addiction, family problems, prison, and boxing.

 

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