Search Results for: 101

***21016 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | The Nice Guys (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s not quite as wacky as the trailer had me hoping it would be, but I still loved it and laughed constantly as I watched it.”

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“You’re the world’s worst detectives.”

In 1987, screenwriter Shane Black defined the mismatched buddy copy action movie as we know it, with Lethal Weapon.  He accomplished the rare feat of delivering a sequel that more than live up to its predecessor with Lethal Weapon 2, and let his darker tendencies show on the The Last Boy Scout.  A movie that starts with quarterback shooting opposition players in front of a capacity crowd before killing himself, and only gets more and more bleak from there, while still finding room for plenty of jokes, smart ass comebacks and zingers.

Those movies, plus an uncredited punch up on action classic Predator, put Black on the kind of streak that made people wonder if he could do any wrong.  Turns out, he could.  1993 saw a million dollar pay cheque for a re-write on the floptacular Last Action Hero, before he scored a record breaking $4million for writing the monumental shit bomb that was The Long Kiss Goodnight.  The kind of movie that is only remembered and talked about today because of just how spectacularly it flopped. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | 101 Dalmatians (1961)

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I’ve seen very few Disney animated classics.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is the only one made before I was born that I know for a fact I’ve seen all the way through.  I might have seen all of Pinocchio, but I can’t be positive.  So today I started my classic Disney education with the randomly chosen 101 Dalmatians.


Pongo (Rod Taylor) is a London Dalmatian.  His owner, or as Pongo refers to him, his pet, is Roger (Ben Wright), a struggling musician and songwriter who is single and lonely.  When Pongo spots Perdita (Cate Bauer), a female Dalmatioan he thinks is a bit of alright, being walked by Anita (Lisa Davis), he decides the four of them make two great couples.  Soon enough, Roger and Anita are married, and Pongo and Perdita pop out a litter of 15 puppies.

Cue Cruella De Vil, Anita’s former school friend and current neighbourhood bitch.  She has an uncomfortably intense interest in the puppies and is determined to acquire them.  When Roger suspects the worse and refuses to sell them, De Vil shows the full extent of her obsession and the lengths she’s willing to go to.

The first thing that struck me about 101 Dalmatians was its look.  I wouldn’t say it looks cheap or rough, but compared to other Disney movies, it definitely looks very raw.  This rawness distracted me enough that I had to check the IMDB while watching, and stumbled across this little nugget…

“Due to the commercial failure of Sleeping Beauty, production costs needed to be cut. As a result, this was the first Disney feature film to use photocopying technology, which made an animated film with this much visual complexity possible”.

But even then, when cutting costs, Disney animators still manage to turn it into a certain kind of charm, instead of cheap and nasty.

The second thing that struck me was the introduction of Cruella De Vil.  As she bursts through Roger and Anita’s front door, smoke is pouring out of the end of her cigarette.  But not normal smoke.  It’s green and toxic.  Even worse, it spews from her mouth, directly into the face of whoever’s unlucky enough to be the target of her conversation.  That seems like a totally expected shorthand for evil in 2014, but according to this documentary I saw once, called Mad Men, the only things more popular than smocking back then were suits, scotch and misogyny.

The third thing that struck me was the almost complete lack of songs.  It’s a Disney movie, the main human heroes’ occupation is a musician and songwriter.  You’d think 101 Dalmatians would be wall to wall songs.  But all we get are two half assed numbers.  One tossed off ditty with only two or three lines of lyrics about Cruella.  And a second tossed of piece of fluff at the very end about a Dalmatian foundation.  That’s it.

The fourth thing that struck me…  And this is the big one…  There’s a moment where this movie deals with the idea of one of the puppies being still born.  That is some dark shit, right there.  People are always banging on about Bambi’s mother copping it as a shocking Disney moment, why have I never heard about the temporarily dead puppy in this thing?

I can’t imagine anyone saw the success of 101 Dalmatians as a surprise.  It’s a shit load of adorable cartoon puppies, voiced by adorable real life little kid voices.  It’s a simple, uplifting story of good conquering evil.  And it’s a breezy, kid friendly 80 minutes that hits all the right emotional beats at all the right times.  As someone who has seen way too few animated Disney classics, I really liked it, but I also have a feeling it’s pretty minor compared to some of the other titles in the catalogue I plan on watching in the near future.

101 Dalmatians
Directed By – Clyde Geronimi , Hamilton Luske , Wolfgang Reitherman
Written By – Bill Peet 

MOVIE REVIEW | ***SATURDAY FLASHBACK*** Spring Breakers (2013)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There’s a fine line between commenting on something and indulging in it.”

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“Just pretend it’s a video game. Like you’re in a fucking movie.”

Harmony Korine might not be the creepiest old perve in Hollywood, but he did get his start in the industry as an apprentice to the creepiest old perve in Hollywood, Larry Clark.  Way back in the mid-90s, Korine, then in is early twenties, wrote the screenplay for Kids, Clark’s feature film debut telling the story of sex, drugs and aids in New York, as perpetrated by teenagers.  Takeaway the aids, move it to Florida and ad a whole heap of fluro, body glitter and Skrillex, you get Spring Breakers.

Korine moved into the director’s chair pretty soon after Kids and has stayed in the ultra low and micro budget world, building an ultra micro cult following.  But with Spring Breakers, he was given the budget and cast to go for the mainstream.  And that’s exactly what’s he’s done…  Or at least, attempted. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Pretenders – Pretenders (1979)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Undeniable charisma and cool.”

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The Pretenders is a band I pretty much knew for a fact I’d like.  Their single Brass in Pocket is an undeniable classic that is probably being played on a commercial radio station in your town right now.  It’s held up to countless listens over the years and never sounds old.  Here’s the thing though, in my experience, hit singles that remain radio standards for decades are rarely representative of a band at their best.  More often than not, a song has to be simple, predictable and easy in a lot of ways to be a radio hit that never dies.  It’s the deep cuts where you usually find the real gold.  And since I recently found the Pretender’s self titled debut on vinyl for $5, I knew it was time to dig into those probably awesome deeper cuts.

Starting strong, Precious sounds perfectly like 1979, and totally modern all at once.  To call it punk rock would create too narrow a picture in someone’s imagination.  This is one of those songs that goes beyond rock, pop, punk and all those sorts of labels.  If the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote this song today, they would be heralded as pioneers.  It’s not often that 35 year old song holds up as a classic of its time, and also something that still sounds fresh today. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)

In a nutshell Bored & Dangerous says: “One of those bands who make sure no matter how fast or assertive they get, there’s still room for melody.”

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I knew nothing about The Damned when Spotify suggested I listen to them.  When I hit google to find their official website, the one-line description in the results for www.officialdamned.com was, “Official web site of legendary psychedelic punk group.”  Psychedelic punks?!?!?  How do I not listen to that band?

I have never heard Love Song before in my life.  But I have heard its main riff dozens, if not hundreds of times.  I’ve heard it so many times, because Me First and the Gimmes Gimmes stole it for the intro to their cover of Jerry Reed’s East Bound and Down.  Now I know why they stole it, Love Song is a brilliant full throttle pop/punk song.  Not so much on the psychedelic side though. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | ***CSNY WEEK*** Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Rust Never Sleeps (1979)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I personally may not love the acoustic half, or that side of Young’s music in general, but I can appreciate it.”

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Neil Young was name I have known for most of my life.  But I didn’t pay any attention until I was a teenager and Pearl Jam embraced Young as their mentor and he became the ‘Godfather of Grunge’.  Back then, Pearl Jam finished most live shows with a cover of Young’s Keep on Rocking in the Free World.  I loved their version of the song and assumed I would love Neil Young.  Then, I did nothing about confirming that for about 15 years.  A year, or two ago I finally listened to a Neil Young album in its entirety and was pretty underwhelmed by Harvest.  But that was solo Young, and I’ve always heard he rocked harder when backed by Crazy Horse.  Time to find out, with Rust Never Sleeps.

While My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) starts in a similar vein to what I didn’t like about Harvest, the folkie guitar and nasal voice of Young at his most reflective has a whole new energy to it here.  Recorded live, then sweetened and overdubbed in the studio, that live spark is still evident. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Basketball Diaries (1995)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: The Basketball Diaries takes what could be an over the top, scared straight style after school special, and makes it scarily tragic, heartbreaking and real.”

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“I was just gonna sniff a bag but one guy says if you’re gonna sniff you might as well pop it and another guys says if you gonna pop it you might as well mainline.”

Looking back on the last few years of Leonardo DiCaprio’s career, it just looks like an Oscar waiting to happen.  In the last decade, he’s been nominated for Best Actor twice, for The Aviator and Blood Diamond, before finally winning last month for The Revenant.  And even in less prestigiously highbrow roles, like Django Unchained and Shutter Island, he is never less than 100% committed.  I was thinking that this was something he grew into, once he got the heartthrob years of shit like Titanic out of his system.  But then I remember his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, a movie he made as teenager, with a performance that’s nothing short of amazing.  And now I’ve seen him back it up just a few years later with The Basketball Diaries.


In New York at no specific point in time, Jim (DiCarprio) is a high school basketball star, wannabe poet and borderline delinquent.   Jim and his teammates, including Mark Wahlberg as Mickey, are the kinds of dudes who steal from their oppositions lockers after a game in a better neighbourhood than their own.  While it’s played off as ultimately harmless, it’s clear that on some level, Jim’s actions are fueled by the frustration of having his best friend (Michael Imperioli as Bobby) in hospital, dying of leukemia. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***CLOSING DOWN WEEK*** The Ten (2007)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There’s something so intricately planned and meticulously honed underneath that joke delivery surface, that those gags actually have something to say.”

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“Gretchen… Hey, I was in the neighborhood. I thought I’d come by and take a shit.”

Recently, in my neighbourhood, I saw something that’s all too common these days.  A video shop that was closing down.  They had a big sign out the front, “4 movies for $10”.  I looked in my wallet, saw $30 and decided I wasn’t leaving that shop until I found 12 movies I thought were worth having on my DVD shelf.  Some were movies I’d seen before.  Some were movies I had a vague idea about and thought would be worth the $2.50 gamble.  Some were oddities I’d never even heard of, but they looked interesting enough.  So, thank you, Network Video Brunswick West.  I never rented anything from you or even had a membership, but I did find some cool, interesting and mysterious things on your almost empty shelves.


Making smart, dumb comedies is an underappreciated art form.  For every awesomely clever, but silly movie, like Airplane or Blazing Saddles, you get dozens of just plain dumb, dumb comedies, like anything with “Movie” in its title.  On TV, Tina Fey is a master of smart dumbness.  And in movies, I think the best director out there right now might be David Wain.  He had a surprise hit with Role Models, then an unfair flop with Wanderlust.  And in 2014, he made one of the best spoof movies since the afore mentioned Airplane, with They Came Together.  But before all that, he was still figuring out how to best present his version of smart, dumbness, with The Ten. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FLOP WEEK 2*** Dune (1984)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There’s nothing interesting about his movie. Not even in a WTF, train wreck kind of way.”

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“Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion, you will be able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs.”

Some movies are so notoriously bad, or flopped so bad on release, they don’t simply endure despite that notoriety, they thrive because of it. Edward D Wood Jr was too bad to be forgotten as a film maker, his legacy as the worst film maker of all time means his movies are just as infamous now, half a century later, as when they were first released. I don’t often seek these shit bombs out. I’d much rather spend my time genuinely enjoying a movie than ironically enjoying it. But I recently joined my local library, where, it turns out, you can borrow movies for free. And the first one I saw on the shelf was Dune. A notorious 80s shit bomb that I can’t ever imagine seeking out. But it was there, it was free, and I couldn’t be assed looking for anything better.


Thanks to an opening monologue delivered by some mole straight to camera, we learn all about this futuristic space world. Where alien races are all hopped up on some drug called the Spice. It can make people live forever, and even bend space, for instant, intergalactic travel. Cut to a voice over who explains the various planets, the races who inhabit them and their relationship with each other. Cut to a castle, with more voiceover (possibly from the initial camera addressing mole) telling us about the origins of main character and hero, Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan). This movie is 10 minutes and three scenes in, and it’s been nothing but clunky, convoluted exposition. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Deadpool (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There is actual death in Deadpool, which means it has actual stakes.”

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“Crime’s the disease, meet the cure. Okay, not the cure, but more like a topical ointment to reduce the swelling and itch.”

I should be suffering from super hero, comic book movie overload by now. And to some degree, I am. I never bothered with the Zack Snyder Superman movie, and I can’t imagine I’ll find time for its Batman aided sequel. But I’ll be buggered if I’m not totally in the bag for the Marvel movies. Captain America: Winter Soldier was somehow one of the best political thrillers in recent memory. Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man were great fun, The Avengers movies are pure spectacle, but spectacle done well. And Fox studios has do a great job with their Marvel property, The X-Men. Which is why despite imminent superhero fatigue, I still knew I would inevitably see Deadpool.


Kicking off with the beginnings of a major action sequence, the red suited, titular hero (Ryan Reynolds) kicks the asses of a dozen bad guys on a busy freeway before the fight is broken up by X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). While they try to convince him to use his powers for good, Deadpool is out for revenge. Cue the flashback to show us why. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***SNL WEEK*** It’s Pat (1994)

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“I find everything about you… endlessly fascinating.”

Saturday Night Live is a TV institution like no other. For over 40 years, it’s churned out 90 minutes of live sketch comedy week after week after week. It’s launched the careers of literally dozens of the funniest actors to have worked in movies since the 70s. Yet, for all of that success, I’d say its movie output is more miss than hit.   Sure, movies like Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers still hold up today as classics. But then, you get cash in, straw clutchers, like It’s Pat.


The titular Pat (Julia Sweeney) is the androgynous cypher whose gender confuses everyone he or she meets. Opening with Pat being fired from the US Postal Service for reading other people’s mail, the first act is basically a montage of sketches as Pat tries other professions. From sushi chef to gas inspector, it’s all just an excuse for obvious word play and bad visual gags as Pat’s sex is kept a mystery. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Tom Petty – Damn the Torpedoes (1979)

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Tom Petty has been around for decades. Tom Petty is a rock legend. I know this and I would never dispute it. But I think Free Falling might be the only Tom Petty song I could name off the top of my head. And even then, I only know that one because of Jerry McGuire. Oh, and wasn’t he a Travelling Wilbury? Because he’s been around for decades and is a rock legend, I know he’s probably got plenty of other songs I know, but I just don’t know they’re his. Which is what I’m hoping to discover with Damn the Torpedoes.


Boom! Immediate vindication with Refugee, a song I’ve know my whole life, I just never knew it was Tom Petty song. I might be way off, but in my head, Petty is catagorised with a group of guitar playing singer, song writer, rockers from the late 70s and early 80s. People like Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar and Brian Adams. And Refugee is the kind of guitar based, singer, song writer, rocker stuff that would support that categorisation. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Big Short (2015)

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Saints don’t live on Park Avenue.

I only remember a few things about Adam McKay’s 2010 buddy cop comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.  Its opening death scene was hilarious, I don’t think I laughed a single other time after that, and the end credits involved a PowerPoint presentation describing the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.  I guess one underwhelming comedy with that it its core wasn’t enough to get his disgust about the GFC out of his system.  Because now McKay is back, with a much more grown up and direct take on the issue, with The Big Short.


Michael Burry (Christian Bale) isn’t your typical Wall Street trader.  He wears old shorts and t-shirts with no shoes around the office, he listens to classic, thrash metal years Metallica, and he notices things that other traders don’t.  Like the fact that the American property market is on the verge of collapse.  With property being one of the few sure things in the history of US finance, he finds it hard to convince anyone else of his findings.  But one other trader sees the value in Burry’s theory, and soon Jared Vennet (Ryan Gosling) is pursuing the same idea. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Cream – Wheels of Fire (1968)

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Cream was the band Eric Clapton was in before he became to guitarist of choice for middle aged fans of boring rock and roll all over the world. Cream was the band notoriously cranky drummer Ginger Baker is famous for being in. To paraphrase Bubba from Forrest Gump, that’s about all I know about Cream. I’ve never given enough of a crap about the brand or Clapton to know which songs were made with the band and which from his solo years. But their legacy is undeniable, so I should listen to at least one Cream album in my lifetime. Which I am doing, with Wheels on Fire.


Opening with a song maybe even more famous than the band itself, White Room is an undisputable rock classic. The rocking melody, the unhinged guitar work, the epic and slightly pretentious lyrics. This is everything the late 60s and early 70s were about if your band wanted to rock out hard. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***HALLOWEEN WEEK*** You’re Next (2011)

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“Whoa wait, don’t do that! You don’t want your DNA in here man!”

When I wrote about The Guest, I said it was, “the kind of movie that may get criticised for being all style, no substance. But I think it’s the kind of movie where the style is the substance. It keeps so much concealed and close to the vest for so long, that when all hell breaks loose in the third act, it’s the kind of ludicrously, over the top absurdity, that it transcends that to become so much more.” As more time has passed since watching it I think all of that is an understatement. Because The Guest is a movie I find myself thinking about a lot. Enough that I had to see what else director Adam Wingard had made. Which lead me to You’re Next.


In classic horror movie tradition, the movie opens with a sex scene before the copulators are brutally murdered. Cut to sometime later when Erin (Sharni Vincon) and Crispian (AJ Bowen) are on their way to Crispian’s parents’ holiday house where Erin will meet his super rich family for the first time. Before they arrive, Crispian’s mother (Barbara Crampton) is freaked out by some strange sounds in the house. But an inspection by her husband (Rob Moran) proves that the noises were simply the kinds of dummies and fake outs used in the early scenes of most horror movies. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Zoolander (2001)

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“I’m sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself.”

Not too long ago, it was announced that Zoolander 2 would be making its way to cinemas in 2016.  I’m of the exact age where I should be excited about that.  I was about 20 when the original Zoolander came out and invaded the pop culture nodes of everyone’s brain my age.  It was constantly quoted and its catchphrases were quickly adopted by the world at large.  Except me.  Much like Anchorman, I watched it once, thought it was kind of lame and waited for it to fade away.  Only, also much like Anchorman, it never did.   People still insist it’s a comedy classic.  Since that still seems to be the case after almost 15 years, I figured I owed Zoolander a second chance.  Maybe this time, I’ll get it, then I can be excited about Zoolander 2 as well.


After winning the prize for Male Model of the Year for the last three in a row, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) is cockily expecting to win his fourth.  But cockiness is just the tip of Derek Zoolander’s foible iceberg.  He’s also amazingly vain, incredibly un-self aware and monumentally stupid.  In the lead up to the awards ceremony, Derek is being followed by Time Magazine reporter Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor), who is following the story of Derek, and his latest rival in the modelling game, the free spirited Hansel (Owen Wilson). (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)

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When Oasis broke big, I was 14 or 15 years old.  And when I was 14 or 15 years old, I thought it was pretty much impossible for a band to have mainstream, commercial radio success, and actually be any good.  If the wider community liked a band, then the musical chip on my shoulder meant they had to be sell outs or manufactured puff.  So when Triple J, Australia’s national alternative/youth radio network, started to play Morning Glory, it’s loud guitars and alt radio station airplay made me think Oasis might be a band to watch.


But a few months later, when Wonderwall became the inescapable, mainstream hit of the year, I was done with Oasis.  No band could be that popular with clueless, middle of the road regular people, and still be good.  But in the years since, I’ve softened on at that suspicion of success in general.  And even softened in my hatred of Oasis. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
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“Why, there’s seven little chairs. Must be seven little children. And from the look of this table, seven untidy little children.”

There are plenty of classic movies that remain famous, but don’t necessarily get watched by non-movie nerds.  Sure, Battleship Potemkin invented the concept of the montage and pioneered editing techniques that are still used today, almost a century later, but I’m sure there are way more people reading this who’ve never seen it than those who have.


For some reason though, kids’ movies seem to stick around longer and be nenjoyed by more generations.  Maybe parents force them on their own kids, maybe there’s something about animation that makes them seem more visually timeless.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first ever feature length animated movie.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is now almost 80 years old.  But I think you’d be hard pressed to find people of any generation since then, who didn’t see this movie at least once as a kid. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #50. The Lord of the Rings: They Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
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“It all began with the forging of the Great Rings.”

In the last few years, Peter Jackson has become the guy who decided a 285 page kids’ book needed to be an eight or nine hour epic, spread out over three movies with, The Hobbit.  That sounds nothing short of ridiculous.  Why would anyone insist on stretching a story to its breaking point, adding new aspects to a beloved classic and potentially giving fans more things to hate?  Well, the answer to that goes back to the turn of the century, when a then shclockmatser director from New Zealand was given the keys to an even more beloved book.  Peter Jackson redefined his career and what was possible with digital effects, with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.


The hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) is getting ready to celebrate his 111th birthday with a massive party, then leave his quiet home town forever. Leaving everything to his nephew Frodo (Elija Wood), he is about sneak off into the night when his old friend, the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) confronts him about one item he is yet to surrender to his nephew, a magic ring found years earlier that gives Bilbo the power of invisibility.  It turns out, that power is nothing compared to what it could do if in the wrong hands.  Bilbo reluctantly leaves the ring and leaves the Shire. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Final Member (2012)

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“You’ve got a stars and stripes on there.”

Documentaries about weirdos, outliers and obsessives can be pretty great.  Something like The King of Kong, with 21st century grown-ass men competing to beat the record on the decades old Donkey Kong.  Or Project Grizzly, following the attempts of an everyday guy to build a grizzly bear proof suit, before putting it to the test against an actual grizzly bear in the wild.  But the key to this style of documentary is to never treat your subject like a weirdo, an outlier or an obsessive.  The key to this style of documentary is to dive in head first with the subject, and eagerly go where they’re story takes you.  Which is exactly what you get with The Last Member.


Three or four decades ago, a high school principal was given a petrified bull’s penis a gag gift from a colleague.  Well, that one gag turned to an obsession, and almost 40 years later, that once school principal is now the owner and curator of a museum that exhibits nothing but dongers, and donger related paraphernalia.  Now, that probably sounds pretty weird to you.  But what if I was to tell you this wang obsessed gent is from Iceland?  For some reason, after that reveal, everything seemed to make a whole lot more sense to me. (more…)