Tuesday 31 May 2016

Blind Spot Series: Forbidden Planet

 The most I knew about Forbidden Planet was that it featured in the song 'Science Fiction' from Rocky Horror Story and that it starred a young-ish Leslie Nielsen. I wasn't quite sure what I was letting myself in for.

The poster for the film is just brilliant. Like many film posters, this doesn't really capture what the film is about just where it is set and that it is most obviously a science fiction picture. The shapely woman in the robot's arms is just to get people's attention, as I'm pretty sure this is not in the film. Filmed in 1956 and directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox, who also happen to direct a couple of Lassie films too. The film is considered to be one of the great sci-fi films of the 50s and also hints to what was to come of science fiction films in the future. Apart from the film being nominated for an Oscar for the special effects, it was also featured the first all electronic music score. 

 The story is a bit of a confusing one. In the 23rd Century, humans have built spaceships that are able to travel at faster than light speed and are able to go on expeditions to colonise other planets. The starship  C-57D with a crew of Earthmen have been travelling for a year to the distant planet, Altair IV, after receiving a distress call. Upon arriving, they are warned to leave by the planet’s resident, Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), a scientist. The crew lands and are greeted by Robby the Robot. The three officers, including Commander John Adams (Leslie Nielsen) travel back to Morbius’ home where they also meet his daughter, Altaira (Anne Francis). Morbius informs them that all the other men and women from the expedition died mysteriously, presumed to be a virus that he and his daughter are immune from. 

At night, after the crew start to prep the ship to leave it is sabotaged. Adams and the other officers return to Morbius who reveals to them that he has been studying the Krell, an ancient, highly intelligent native race of the planet that mysteriously died out 200,000 years previously. He had used their technology to advance his own mind at a great cost to his health.  Adams demands he had this over to Earth but Morbius refuses. A few members of the crew are mysteriously killed, Morbius fears history is repeating itself. By now, Adams agrees to leave and offers to take Altaira with them, as the two have formed a bond, much to Morbius’ disappointment. 

An invisible monster/force attacks the ship and crew again. Adams and the ship’s doctor try to find the source of the monster by using the Krell knowledge enhancer. The doctor gets the answer but dies soon after.  The monster is fabrication of the mind from Morbius and he doesn’t even know it. Described as ‘the monster from the id’ they tell the doctor that he has to control himself in order to save everyone. Morbius eventually manages to keep the monster at bay long enough for the crew and Altaira escape the planet. Morbius blows up the planet, keeping the Krell technology from anyone else.

 I’ll admit I was very confused by the plot. I expected a 50s sci-fi romp but it was more like a serious drama set in an alternative location. The film was in fact the first sci-fi film to be set entirely on another planet. From where I was sitting, the film was definitely a precursor to other science fiction films, especially where Robby was concerned and from the costume design, production design and themes of the story. One theory I read about (after I saw it mentioned on wiki) was that the film bares similarities to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. At first I though it was stretch but I am not that familiar with the play. A little more reading (and watching The Tempest) it is painfully obvious that the two stories bare a striking resemblance, its creatively brilliant to reimagine Shakespeare in space, especially the story of a shipwreck and a mysterious island with a wizard and his daughter. Several of the characters fit the profile of The Tempest characters as well some plotlines. To see the play performed in the Forbidden Planet environment would be fascinating. 

Forbidden Planet wouldn’t be anything without Robby the Robot. He has emotions and a conscious and was seen as a supporting character rather than an appliance that talks. But, the actor wearing Robby and the actor who gave him a voice were not credited. In the credits he is billed as Robby the Robot. Robby also went to on to feature in other films and TV shows and without him, I’m sure we wouldn’t have had the likes of C3P0 and the gang. 

The film is an odd duck that I can’t really see myself watching again so instead of enjoying the story and the characters, as they felt like things I had seen before, I could study the film and do in depth about how it was made and what predictions it made for the future of sci-fi. I can agree that it is a classic and for any science fiction ‘nerd’ out there, this is a goldmine of ideas.

To see where it all started and for an excellent insight to film, have a look at The Matinee and have a look HERE for more Blind Spot posts from other bloggers.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: The Internet

I expected quite a few documentaries surrounding the theme of the 'internet' and a few fictions but I haven't seen that many about this theme, or at least I can't recall that many. Films like 'Hard Candy' has the theme running through the film as this is how the characters meet and is eventually the downfall of one. But I thought I'd go with...

I'm not if I'm ashamed to say or happy to say Catfish and Man On Wire got me back into documentaries. I used to watch the odd doc here and there but never really focused and sought out docs until after Uni. Catfish was definitely something that I feel sprang from my generation and now 'catfishing' is a 'thing' now. The film follows Nev as he starts a relationship with someone he meets online. How he 'meets' her is odd, in fact, the entire film is odd and along the way truths come out and things aren't quite as they seem. The film has been criticized for not being authentic and looking back, I can see it but some part of me believes the story is true.

The Fifth Estate
A dramatization of how Wiki leaks happened. The film charts how WikiLeaks started and the relationship between Julian Assange and co-creator Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Unfortunately due to the subject matter, I would have preferred a documentary instead. Sometimes dramatization of these stories don't have the pull or the punch to deliver a good story, especially if its a true one. Julian Assange has called the film a 'massive propaganda attack' and was in email contact with Benedict Cumberbatch during filming. The film obviously doesn't put Assange in a good light seeing the film is based on Domscheit-Berg's book. There's an interesting story but maybe not something for fiction.m

The Social Network
A story about Social Media and a the rise and downward spiral of friendship. This pick combines elements of the first two in a small way. Although this was based on a true story and real people, there was something something overwhelmingly brilliant about the film that I didn't leave saying I wish there was a documentary. Unlike the other two picks, I believe more of the story here. The film follow arrogant Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. Together with Eduardo Saverin who CFO and business manager, the two build Facebook from the ground up. But eventually they're friendship and working relationship is tested and ultimately ruined. Such a good film, not without its controversies though. Several people portrayed in the film claimed inaccuracies, including Zuckerberg. But it doesn't matter when the film is brilliant.

Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

Monday 23 May 2016

May Watch List

Again, another quiet month, this time it was TV distracting me but more like I was too tired to go the cinema or it was just bad timing with the films. I've managed to watch 4 films in one weekend (3 here and Cape Fear) which seems low as I normally can get through a heck of a lot more.

The Walk
I have never screamed so much out loud at a film. Ok, that's a lie. But I was very uncomfortable during this film, especially through the eponymous walk. I don't cope well with heights in person or on a screen apparently. The film is narrated by Philippe Petit, who stands on a model of the Statue of Liberty. He addresses the audience and is intercut with the story he relates, about the famous high wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. Following on from the brilliant documentary, Man on Wire, the film doesn't quite live up to the amazing story its retelling. Joseph Gorden-Levit seemed like a great choice for Petit but it felt odd once on screen. The film felt like it should have a 'big deal' but I didn't feel it. This might have been due to the fact I saw it on DVD but it is mostly due to the documentary that proceeded it. 3/5

Mr Holmes
The world famous detective Sherlock Holmes is retired and has been living in the countryside for 35 years. Or has he really been hiding? Cut between Holmes, now very old and frail in his home and his bees, his last to Japan to seek out a plant to help restore his memory and his last case 35 years ago. I felt like I was misled with this film. I thought I was going to see a film about Holmes in his twilight years retell a story about his mysterious last case. But what I watched was a very anticlimactic story, that had flow thanks to the continuous jumps. There was no mystery to solve, the trip to Japan was brief and dull. Holmes' life with his bees, housekeeper and her young son was a bit more interesting but it was difficult care when being distracted by Laura Linney's shaky accent. Ian McKellen as Holmes was excellent casting but its a shame we never got to see him in action. 2/5

The words 'this film is important' get thrown around quite frequently but I feel I can say this about Mustang. It's been called a feminist film, which I agree with and it has created buzz as it was the only film directed by a woman to be nominated he Oscars this year. Five sisters who live in a remote Turkish village celebrate the end of the school year by playing the sea with classmates who happen to be boys. When they return home their lives are ruined changed forever. Their strict uncle and naive Grandmother put up bars on the windows, force the girls to wear long brown dresses and practically imprison them at home. They are given 'wife lessons' and are soon set up with arranged marriages one by one. The story is mainly told through the youngest and boldest of the sisters who desperately tries to help them all escape. Each of the sister's fate is different, with only one of them having a happy ending. Although the ending itself is not an end but there is hope. It's an amazing film, most of which I wanted to punch everyone who mistreated the sisters who were superb. I look forward to what directer Deniz Gamze Erguven does next. 5/5

X-Men: Apocalypse
I've read in some places that X-Men never got given the big fanfare that all the Marvel and DC movies had. I've also read that people think the story is outdated and seen before. There have been comments complaining that Apocalypse's costume was dated and that the story and time lines were askew. I would disagree. If we go back in time to 2000 this is sort of the starting point of the superhero film phenomenon. With this in mind, X-Men will always have a fanfare. Even if its yet another Wolverine stand alone adventure. So, its the 80s and Mystique is a hero to mutants everywhere but she doesn't like that title or the responsibility so she works in the shadows saving mutants. Magneto is trying a quiet life with his new family in Poland. Charles and Hank have the school and all seem well until the ancient mutant En Sabah Nur returns from centuries of sleep. Technically you could blame Agent Mac Taggert for causing all this, watch the film and you'll know what I mean. The X-Men band together to save the world from this crazed mutant who believes himself to be a god, but don't expect everyone to make it to the end. The great thing about X-Men is that are so many amazing and interesting mutants as well as the core group. We see the beginnings of some and there is a hope that there will be more films like this, you know, with Bryan Singer doing what he did back in 2000, but there is nothing but a Wolverine film on the horizon. I'd like to point out that Evan Peters' Quicksilver again, steals with the show and is given more to do, its the dream.

As for the things said about the film being outdated and the time line weirdness, the film is set in the 80s right? So it goes as follows as the costume design and story would work in the 80s. Everything fits together. As for the timeline, Days of Future Past thankfully erased The Last Stand nonsense, but X-Men and X2 should be intact as proved by Logan's cameo. There will always be slight changes to things with prequels but when they are this fun, who cares?  4/5

This was said to be something for the cinephiles and oh my it was/is. Having not read the famous book that director regard as a film bible, I thought this was the best approach. The film served as a taster and setting for the book. With a marvelous mixture of interviews with directors who were influenced by the book and by Hitchcock and Truffaut themselves, and with footage from films and snippets from the interview and archive footage, this was a glorious scrapbook of the eyes. I wasn't sure what the fuss was about at first, it was interesting yes but about halfway through it clicked that this meeting sparked something and the book was powerful enough that filmmakers still refer to it. An even better fact was these two, especially Hitchcock had a greatness about them. The only qualm I had was that no female directors or any other creatives were interviewed, this seemed one gender sided to me as I'm sure there are female directors influenced by Hitchcock, I certainly am. 4/5

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I was dying to see this film at the cinema but now that I finally got to see it, I'm so glad I waited. Based on the very popular novel inspired by Jane Austen's classic and with some added zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Even though the film has the airs of an American film, even with the added zombies there was something very British about it all. But despite this, the film felt rushed, even after the amazing intro to the story with use of a paper peep show (not the dirty kind, the child friendly kind). I didn't feel the romance between Jane and Bingley, there wasn't even enough time to like then dislike Wickham. The only story, apart from the zombie plot lines and the warrior Bennett sister, was the weird uncomfortable story between Elizabeth and Darcy. Both characters and actors were brilliant alone but their scenes together felt a bit uncomfortable. Sam Riley who was Darcy, gave the impression that he didn't want to be there. In fact when all the characters were delivering lines directly from Austen's book, it felt odd and out of place. The only the element where I had no issue was Matt Smith as Mr Collins, who was simply amazing. Hilarious in fact. It was as if he knew that the whole film was one zombie away from being a bit of a disaster. But I still rather enjoyed it, mostly for Matt Smith. 3/5

Sunday 22 May 2016

Cape Fear vs Cape Fear

Whenever I start out planning an Original vs Remake post, I tend to pick films where I have already seen one or the other and then seek out whichever I haven't seen yet. Ages ago, I wrote a list of films with remakes and set out to watch them. Unfortunately I haven’t to suck to the list, apart from Cape Fear. I managed to find a copy of Martin Scorsese’s 1991 version online and watched that one night months ago. I have only just got round to watching the 1962 version directed by J. Lee Thompson.

Cape Fear follows convict, Max Cady, as he released from prison after an 8 year sentence. He arrives in town and immediately begins to follow lawyer, Sam Bowden and his family. Following turns to stalking and intimidation but Max maneuvers are not illegal but enough to out Sam on edge. After a few arrests, Max hires a lawyer to discredit the police department oh his arrests whilst shining a spotlight in Sam's methods. It turns out at the Sam remembers Max as he was his defense lawyer 8 years previous. But Sam, so disgusted by Max's crimes, made it so that he lost the case, now Max is out for revenge. Things escalate when Max attacks and brutally rapes a young woman (Sam colleague in the 1991 version) but the woman refuses to testify due to embarrassment and not wanting to see Max again. 

Without the police to help Sam, he hires a private detective to follow Max and also hires 3 men to beat Max up. But Max over powers them and finds out it was Sam. Max’s lawyer then threatens Sam with disbarment, but as Max has openly threatened his daughter and wife, he decides to rid the world of Max once and for all. He takes his family to their house-boat in Cape Fear and pretends to leave them, fooling Max, who has followed that they are alone. Max appears and at first threatens to rape Sam’s wife but instead goes after the teenage daughter. Sam arrives just in time and fights Max. 

In the 1962 version, Sam captures Max and it is presumed that Max goes back to prison. But, in the 1991 version, Sam manages to kill Max in a dramatic way. 

Starting backwards, the 1991 version of the film, which I saw first, was dramatic but felt dated. It felt like the film wanted to imitate the 60s, which the previous film was made in, but also was updated for the time. Danielle Bowden, the teenager is not doing well as school and is forced to take summer classes. She meets Cady as he pretends to be her drama teacher and he manages to convince her to suck his finger in a seductive manner. Leigh Bowden, Sam’s wife, works from home, she is a ‘modern woman’. The two lead male roles felt strange to me. Nick Nolte played Sam Bowden, who I found extremely uncharismatic. I really didn’t care about his opinions and what he had to say. This made it difficult to stay focused. Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis did well to keep my attention when they were on screen though. Robert De Niro as Max Cady was quite terrifying and it wasn’t the tattoos or the greasy hair or his the way he spoke. It was his ability to flip from seemingly charming guy to raging maniac. He was also quite repulsive, which is what the character is meant to be. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but think that he was miscast like Nolte.

The 1962 version, which I wish I had seen first, felt like a worn out record that went on for too long. Gregory Peck as Sam Bowden was as uncharismatic as Nolte was which was disappointing, as I had hoped that the original film would have had more of a punch. But, Robert Mitchum was well cast as Max Cady. He was disgusting and sly and played the part so well. Although he never really became overly violent, he gave the impression, along with the music, that he had, was and could do terrible things. 

Cape Fear, to be honest, wasn't an obvious choice at first, even though both films boast an impressive cast and director.  It’s quite difficult to compare the two films as they are almost identical in how the story pans out. The differences are obviously the ending and the change of character of Lori Davis and Diane Taylor. The former was a colleague, who has a crush on Bowden and after being rejected by him, meets Cady in a bar and has sex with him. She is then violently raped and beaten and left too afraid to testify. The change from the 1962 film, where Diane is just a women Cady picks up and rapes and beats her, is that Bowden knows the victim. Cady is threatening him, showing this is what he’ll do to his wife and daughter. Both women are used as plot device to show what Cady is capable of and shaming these women for having sex with someone they hardly know. It’s a terrible device.

I expected the Scorsese film to be violent, which it was in a few scenes, but the violence that was implied and spoke of in the 1962 version was intense and had more of an effect. The endings, in both films, are when Cady hunts down the Bowdens and verbally threatens the wife and daughter before fighting it out with Sam. Neither film has the ‘Hollywood ending’ as it would not work in this story. The 1991 version has a strange conclusion with Cady dead and the family on the riverbank. The 1962 version stops abruptly, Sam gives a speech and it cuts to the family, all in blankets, in a boat being driven down the river. But it all happens in a minute, which felt rushed.

I didn’t enjoy either film to be honest and so my conclusion will be short. If I had to pick the better of the two, I would pick the 1962 Cape Fear. Robert Mitchum is a difficult act to follow and the film was cleverly constructed to make things seem far worse than what the audience were allowed to see, this had a bigger impact. I hope I haven’t stopped any one from seeing either film but this wasn’t my cup of tea.

Friday 20 May 2016

Liebster Award 2016

I am so excited to say that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the awesome Katy Rochelle of OH SO GEEKY. I am really pleased to be nominated by Katy as I have been following her blog(s) since Girl Meets Cinema. Thank you so much for the nomination!

For those not in the know, this is an award bestowed upon bloggers by their fellow bloggers. When you are nominated, there are a few simple rules to follow in order to accept your award: 

1. Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them. 
2. Nominate up to 11 other bloggers. 
3. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you. 
4. Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.


1. Fictional location you'd love to visit or live in?

This one is a given, it's Middle Earth aka New Zealand. I wouldn't live there but I have wanted to visit NZ for years. Probably since some of my family moved there in the early 90s. I have wanted to see Middle Earth for so long it feels like a never ending dream. One day I will go there. 

2. A character you'd love to have on speed dial/text to get advice when you need encouragement or help?

I am very tempted to say Liz Lemon just because I love Liz Lemon. She's probably not the best person to give advice for certain things but she's great and her hidden advice is always the best.

3. If you could save any character (movie/book/TV) from dying, would save someone? If so, who?

I think Jack could have survived at the end of Titanic so I would save him. Just think about the life he and Rose could have had together.

4. If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?

I've thought about this and depending on different franchises I could be involved with the power would change. Mind control would be great but recently, in the wake of the Inhumans, I would choose reanimation combined with being able to cure anything with the touch of a hand as well cause pain to others. I have a character all set u in my mind already.

5. Is 42 the answer to life, the universe and everything?

It would be easier to say yes but I think there is no answer which is terrifying.

6. Describe yourself in 3 words.

Strange, unusual human

7. An actor/actresses films you always see/watch?

This is difficult as there are quite a few. Let's go with Tina Fey as I am pretty much obsessed with her. Which reminds me, I need to see Whisky Tango Foxtrot.

8. What famous person would you like to see get a biopic?

As biopics can be hit and miss, I'm not sure if I want another biopic out there. There are some people who just do not need one. I think I'd like to see a biopic of Clara Bow or Lillian Gish or Louise Brooks but instead of one person playing them, I'd like to see it like I'm Not There style, several actors portraying the same person. And it to be in black and white and tun into colour as the film ends. That's what I'd like to see, something different.

9. Favourite film to watch on a rainy day?

I don't actually have one! I have films to watch when I'm under the weather and films I watch when I'm down and films I watch to get pumped up, but rainy day its usually anything. But for this, I'll go with old faithfully, Rear Window, Hitchcock classic.

10. An actor/actress you'd love to see win an Oscar some day?

Joaquin Phoenix comes to mind but he should have won it for Walk the Link. Does it count that I'd back in time and hand him an extra Oscar that year?

11. A goal you want to achieve this year?

I made a few goals this year, luckily, I have achieved 2 so far. I would like to make a film and finish a story I have been working on. I know that's two, but even if I do one, I'll be happy.

    Don't worry if you are unable to do a post, its more important that you know your blogs are amazing!

    Questions for my nominees

    1. From the sea of cancelled TV shows before their time, is there one you would bring back?
    2. What would your autobiography be called?
    3. Do you have/own any unusual collections of things?
    4. Which director's films do you avoid like the plague?
    5. If you owned a cinema, what type would it be and what would be the name? Eg. Drive-In, Outdoor etc
    6. If money was no object, where would you live and why?
    7. If you had a choice, which period in time would you want to live in? Think Midnight in Paris on this one.
    8. Name an actor or actress you used to dislike but now admire.
    9. What is your most prized film/TV/comic piece of memorabilia? 
    10. If you were a Private Investigator in a murder mystery novel, what would be your name and the title of first case be? Be as outrageous as you wish.
    11. Desert island DVDs, what are the 5 films that you would take with you?

    Thursday 19 May 2016

    Back in 2012

    Back in 2012 I was stuck. I had quit a terrible job in Whittards in January. Mostly due to the manager and their craziness AND they still owed me a large sum of money which they paid half of 2 years later. After this decision, which made sense at the time, I was employed for 3 months. Apart from a couple of freelance runner jobs, I didn't have much going on. It was painful. But anyone who has been in this position will understand.

    I then worked at Blockbuster for 5 months. Remember that shop? It was a video then DVD and game rental shop. Half of the stores were closed when the company went through trouble, then they closed them all and tried to survive online. This didn't work. I was made redundant for the first time (there would be another) and my reward was a small sum and access to a truck load of discounted DVDs, which I fully took advantage of.

    From Blockbuster to the uncomfortable and mental torture in the attic. I worked for a editor for 2 months but the less said about that the better. I freelanced at a company I really liked for 6 weeks but then came the cold Winter and plenty of free time at Christmas. 2013 arrived and to be honest, that wasn't a great year either, at least for the first 6 months.

    Looking back, 2012 was probably the worst year I've ever had. It may have been the year of the London Olympics but I was not triumphant. It was the Year of the Snake and I was born in a Snake year. But I read, some time later that if it the year of your animal, you will have bad luck. You can choose to believe this or not, but reading this after it happened, I was sucked into it.

    I was looking through my blog posts from the year and there were a few things that stood out. The Hobbit was one of the very few highlights that year. There was Seal of the Day posts. I seemed to write much shorter posts (might go back to that) and I talked about things other than film. The latter has stopped almost (apart from this post and Helsinki) as I'm hoping to concentrate more on film here but the odd post about something random can't hurt right?

    This post was meant to be about something else.

    Thursday Movie Picks: Alien Movies

    There are just too many weird and wonderful films about aliens and I'm sure Alien and ET will show up on lists this week. I chose some obvious films and not so obvious ones to mix it up a bit and to stop me choosing the same films again. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks

    'Game over man!' Ah Bill Paxton, that line will live on in film history. I preferred the action science fiction sequel to slower scary intense first film in the Alien franchise. I found it less scary and I could sit comfortably and enjoy it. Ripley returns, reluctantly to stop the shady Weyland-Yutani Corporation from trying again to bring an alien. Along with a group of marines, they find an almost destroyed colony, but where are the colonists? The aliens are present.

    Flight of the Navigator
    It might seem that MAX is a robot but he is actually an alien. He flies a spaceship AND he collects other aliens, including David from Earth. I'm sure everyone who was a child in the 80s/90s saw this wonder. After David falls down a ravine, he discovers that he has been missing for 12 years. At the same time a spaceship crashes to Earth and is picked up by NASA. Soon its discovered David and the spaceship are connected. David escapes in the ship and befriend Max, the pilot/ship itself. David wants to go back to his time but first they have to outsmart  NASA. I always remember the opening credits for this film. A dog show, lots of dogs catching Frisbees.

    Little Shop of Horrors
    I know this is a musical BUT its a musical about an alien in the form of a plant that lands in the one of the most unlikeliest places, a flower shop in New York city. Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene head up a great cast, about an evil man-eating plant. The original ending was similar to the Broadway musical and the old original film but Frank Oz changed it in favour of a 'happier' ending. A highlight is seeing Steve Martin play the violent sadistic dentist, the song is so catchy.

    Wednesday 18 May 2016

    Thank the Cosmos!


    I'm sure all the fans of the show will have been either sick to death of the lead up to the finale or have been on the edge since 'Spacetime' episode. I have been both. I felt that the 'threat' of a dead agent was teased too soon and rather took away some of the excitement of what was happening in each episode. To be honest, when 'Fallen Agent' was first teased, I thought it was about Daisy betraying the team going a high Hive trip to the dark side. Especially as she was at the centre of the marketing. But Daisy/Skye has always been at the centre. Now that the 'fallen agent' has been revealed and that Hive is gone forever - oh please say he is because that shiz was getting old as frak - or as Coulson put it, a 'Ward reboot nightmare hell beast' was getting old, we can move on. We can all move on.

    Of course, poor old moody Lincoln, was the agent to fall, but many predicted this. I remember him in season 2 being quite a good character but suddenly in season 3 he short circuit - ed and became love sick for Daisy and had an electric tantrum every few hours. But, like all Inhumans, he had a purpose, to save everyone else. Despite him being the obvious choice, I felt quite edge for most of the last episode. Fitz was wearing that jacket with the cross for far too long, but this was obviously a massive red herring, AS IF the writers would get rid of fan favourite. Fitz and Simmons (are now cannon) and are very much needed part of the team and a perfect little unit by themselves.

    Let us take a moment to enjoy that fact that FitzSimmons survived and didn't have any horrible disastrous thing hurled at them. Let's face it, this is really why I wanted to write a AOS post. It's all about FitzSimmons, and Mack's arms. Lest we not forget those.

    The progression of FitzSimmons has been absolutely amazing. The FitzSimmons fandom out there have been great. I've actually really embraced it all over the course of season 3, getting my fangirl on and loving it all. It felt like the writers of AOS were starting to make it a tradition with the lovable scientists, when it gets to a finale, they are torn apart, left for dead, swept away, left with an uncertain future. Fitz put it best, the cosmos was against them. But, the fates, or rather, the writers saw sense. Or more likely heard the fans cries and didn't rip them apart but in fact kept them together and even though they didn't appear in the '6 months later' segment, they were mentioned in a positive way.

    FitzSimmons have come along way, over coming personal obstacles, brain injuries, being left on another planet and of course finally sharing their true feelings and having the courage to be together and not just in a science lab partner way. Writing this, I really think this post is for the Tumblr gang out there.

    Thoughts on season 4 are that it look amazing as usual and I'm liking/dreading the fact that FitzSimmons has been working with Radcliffe. There are quite a few theories out there about what will happen, but I have a hunch, a science hunch, that FitzSimmons will be at the forefront of it, at least for the first half of the season. because this means they are at the forefront of the next storyline and that means danger. Danger Will Robinson! I'm also very excited and can rest until the show returns. I was reading last year's post just before the finale and by gad was I tortured for months after seeing Simmons disappear. I went round the house saying 'I can't cope!' for ages. But this time round I'm more grown up. Actually I just hide it well.

    Until next season! Just can't wait for the DVD release now.

    On a side note, I was enjoying the various artwork that surrounded the finale.

    Wednesday 11 May 2016

    Thursday Movie Picks: Spanish Films

    Looking back over my picks since 2015, I have used Metropolis 3 times!! My apologies for this, I had no idea.

    This weeks' picks were Suggested by Wendell! I thought this week I would be bowled over for choice but all I had trouble with was which Pedro Almodóvar film to pick.  I thought I should have varied choices so it’s just the one from Pedro and a couple of others that stood out for me. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks

    Spanish Affair
    I loved this film, even if it was, dare I say, more relevant to the Spanish. I saw this at the BFI Film Festival in 2014 (if you fancy it, you can read my post here) and it was then never released in the UK. Luckily it had been the second biggest box office hit in Spain so of course I found it on Amazon, complete with English subtitles. A comedy about an Andalusian (Southern Spain) guy who falls for and follows a Basque country girl home. After a few mishaps, he has to pretend he is also Basque in order not to enrage her father who happens to hate Andalusians. Its very Spanish but I loved it. It was so popular in Spain that there is even a sequel which I have put on my wish list on Amazon.

    Bad Education
    This is my Pedro pick. How could I resist Gael Garcia Bernal? It's actually a brilliant, complicated and tragic plot. Two school friends and lovers are reunited after years apart and decide to work together on a film, written by one, director by the other. But there are other mysteries left hanging in the air. With a story that involves a murder mystery, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, drag shows, drug abuse and wonderfully played out metafiction, this film, I'd say is one of Pedro's best. But it always seems to be over looked.

    Jamon Jamon
    Ham. Ham and a metaphor Spain, apparently, that's what this film is about. For me, its about lust, desire, infidelity, lies and ham, of course. Wealthy Jose is in love with factory worker Silvia, who is pregnant with his child. Conchita, Jose's mum, isn't happy about this union so she hires model, Raul to break the couple up. But after failing to get Silvia's attention, he genuinely falls in love with her. By this point Conchita, lusts after Raul and persuades him to have an affair with her. Jose is taking too long to decide whether he really does want to marry Silvia so she responds to Raul's advances, finally. This doesn't please Conchita. So you can see its a big mess resulting a duel with legs of lamb.

    Tuesday 10 May 2016

    Blind Spot Series: It's a Wonderful Life

    I should have written this post at the beginning of the year and to be honest I saw it then too. But I thought I'd save it until the end of the year BUT as I completely missed April, It's a Wonderful Life is part of the double Blind Spot post this month.

    I had never seen It's a Wonderful Life before and every year at Christmas, people are surprised. The truth is, is that I've never really had the urge to see it. I've seen some of Frank Capra's other films and I'm especially a big fan of 'It Happened One Night', I could watch that all day. The push that got me to see it, wasn't just this list but the fact that my friend and I wanted to see a Christmassy film and it was the only film that was on at the time we arrived.

    George Bailey lives in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York and has dreamed of leaving and seeing the world since he was a child. Through a succession of events, both tragic and fortunate he is forced to remain in his home town. It is obvious that George has effected the lives of many people in a positive way. But when the bank that he has run for years and his father before him looks set to close, among other stressful occurrences, George, desperately tries to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge.

    Instead he jumps in to save an old man from drowning. This old man turns out to be his guardian angel named Clarence and tells him how important he is by showing him an alternate reality where he didn't exist. George's brother would have died, the pharmacist George worked for as kid would have gone to jail for accidentally poisoning someone, the bank and the rest of the town would have been taken over the evil Mr Potter and George's beloved wife Mary would have been (shock! gasp!) an unmarried old maid. Clarence's words. This makes George rethink his suicidal plan and he returns home. He has a whole new outlook now. To make things even better, the whole town, all the people who George has helped donates money to save the bank. Oh and it's snowing too so it couldn't be more perfect.

    Before seeing the film the only things I knew about was the story and that annoying quote 'every time a bell rings an angel gets it's wings'. I'm sure those who have seen the film would have imitated the child's voice too. The spirit of everything that is good in the world and its Christmas really does scream at you, in a positive way, throughout the film. I suppose it has a message too, do good things and they will come back to you. Unfortunately I couldn't help but think and see an alternative way.

    I agree its a magical film and it is everything that I've read about. I can see why everyone loves it BUT I saw the story of George Bailey as tragic. A man who does what he can to help everyone and anyone but never really does anything he wants to do. All he's dreamed about since he was young was travelling, seeing the world, he doesn't even get to go to college. He's held back continuously and when he tries to leave he's burdened with emotional blackmail. Even with the conclusion of the film, I'm still saddened by the fact that George Bailey will never get to fulfill his own dreams. During the 'what if' scenes, its clear George's purpose in life is to exist for everyone else.

    Lost dreams aside, the fantasy and supernatural elements break up from what would have been a tragic drama. With the main character wanting to commit suicide, its quite dark for a family film but the appearance of Clarence, the angel who wants his wings, provides a lighter way to look at life, even if the alternative past, present and future are far bleaker than the present. A funny little old man standing around in a nightshirt telling you he's an angel and he wants to help, may be like the last straw but by now, George is beyond that point and is ready to believe anything. He accepts this vision in anyway a normal person would. But he is only in denial and realises the horror of what his absence would mean. My favourite bit is George being told Mary is 'oh no don't look' an old maid, unmarried. It was over the top but reflected the times.

    Apart from the ending with George running down the streets of Bedford Falls, full of joy and sweating in the heat wave that the production filmed in, there are two scenes that are literally wonderful. The scene at Mary's high school graduation dance where George and Mary are having so much fun they don't notice the gym floor open up to reveal a swimming pool. By the way, that's real, that was not built for the film. The other scene is what follows. George and Mary, now both soaking wet after falling into the pool, walk home. Mary, who has always had a crush on George, teases him about her dream house and yes its also the scene where George offers to lasso the moon for Mary. These scenes are just the beginning but they reflect, to what I consider part of George's genuine happiness. Of all the things that happen, marrying Mary was something he wanted, it wasn't an accident that delayed his plans.

    Despite my negativity, the film is very good. Going beyond the feel good factor of the film, its perfect for Christmas and wonderfully acted by James Stewart. I probably won't include this in my yearly Christmas watch but if someone asks if I want to see it again, I own't say no.

    To see where it all started and for an excellent insight to film, have a look at The Matinee and have a look HERE for more Blind Spot posts from other bloggers.

    Monday 9 May 2016

    The Leaky Rumour Mill

    You know that film that came out last year and broke the box office? You know the one, it was set in space and there was fight between the light and dark sides? Even if you don't like Star Wars, you would have heard of it, seen the posters, seen those enthusiasts wearing the costumes so you would know.

    But this post is aimed more at those who do love Star Wars, most likely more than me. I do indeed love Star Wars, the originals, not the prequels, and I was obsessed with The Force Awakens, seeing the film 3 different ways when it was released and of course pre-ordering the Blu-ray (I went all out this time). I quite that before the film was released there were speculations about the story, along with the multitude of articles, set photos, promo photos, art work and of course rumours. I am happy to say that I didn't look for spoilers and rumoured story lines. I wanted a surprise and I was not disappointed. But with 2 years to wait for the next release, there isn't much to fill the void of new Star Wars related stories out there. Of course, filming has begun on the second installment in the new trilogy and news about the film filters through the rumour mill. That is, until someone on Reddit decided to 'leak' the story lines for the next film.

    I'm not a patient person, especially when it comes to films, mostly because it is not within my power to make release dates come sooner. With two years to wait for the release date, the folks at Disney have given up something to look forward to, a Star Wars Story, the first in a separate trilogy of Star Wars stories in the universe but do not focus on the Skywalkers of this world. First up is Rogue One directed by Gareth 'Monsters and Godzilla' Edwards which will be an account of the plans for the Death Star from the original films were stolen by the rebels. I am very excited for this film, having watched the trailer several time and it will serve as a distraction from waiting for the next Star Wars films.

    Back to rumours and solid fact, a cast list has been revealed with speculation of who is playing who. A title has also been teased around the internet-sphere as Star Wars: Echoes of the Dark Side, which actually sounds quite good, but everything that follows makes my stomach hurt. Lots of online articles sprang up last week with the discovery of said rumours and script leaks, including The Guardian. You can read the full article HERE, but there are potential SPOILERS.

    I clicked on the 'leak' link as I thought it would be just a bit of fun and possibly ridiculous. After reading it, I was surprised at how some of the plot lines sounded legitimate. Others were far fetched and could possibly be true. I read afterwards that scripts for The Force Awakens were also 'leaked' and and most of the plot was accurate to what was published. This got me worried. The leaked script, in my opinion is terrible. It doesn't seem like a worthy sequel and is not satisfactory in answering questions posed in TFA. My friend, a massive Star Wars fan said that he had started to read the leaks but said he'd rather be surprised, even if he doesn't like how the story goes. I also stopped digging at this point. I can't say I'll just pretend I never read them, they are etched in my mind now, but I will forget about them and continue to be excited for more films.

    I have not included anything about the leaks as I don't think its right and I am really hoping that its all made up or just speculations. But just in case you are interested, you can find the 'leaked script' HERE.

    I know by writing this post it seems like I am trying to 'spread the word' but what I am trying to do is gage what people's thoughts are. None that 'oh its only a film' response, just Star Wars fans talking about films they love. I also wanted to share my own thoughts (of course) on 'leaks' and how I thought it would amusing but actually ruins stories.

    I have faith in Rian Johnson and I hope to Yoda that these leaks are inaccurate. Let's see if anything else surfaces between now and next year, when I'm guessing the first teaser trailer is out. Until 2017, please enjoy Rogue One trailer again HERE.