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Untimely thumb spasm sent me soaring into a pipe. 400 was on the cards. #flappybird

Untimely thumb spasm sent me soaring into a pipe. 400 was on the cards. #flappybird

Last night’s achievement. 30’s off to a flyer. #flappybird

Last night’s achievement. 30’s off to a flyer. #flappybird

RoboFlop (I was hoping I’d get to use this)

Alex Murphy getting brutally dismembered courtesy of several shotgun blasts in the original Robocop will forever be ingrained in my memory as one of the most violent sequences I’ve seen on film.

Can’t say I remember much else about the 1987 version though and I won’t go back and watch it again because I doubt I can stomach 80’s sci-fi (stop-motion ED-209 anyone?). Nevertheless, it seems that it’s considered something of a classic in the geek world. Now that almost 30 years has passed since Robocop lumbered onto the big screen, naturally Hollywood decided it was time for a reboot. And, as with another sci-fi ‘classic’, Total Recall, the updated effort is decidedly ordinary.

To be fair to Total Recall, at least Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel made out in an elevator. What’s that? They fought in an elevator? Oh alright, well.…I’ll keep my version thanks.

Anyway, there’s hardly anything memorable about Robocop 2.0. His flip down helmet was cool I suppose. See how I’m reaching here?

That actually reminds me of a different emotionless law enforcement officer with head gear. Dredd. Another reboot sure but at least it was somewhat entertaining. The hyper-violence and blood splatter played a major part in that. Something the original Robocop had in spades too.

There’s nothing close to that level of bloodshed in the PG-13 rated 2014 (2028?) Robocop. It’s quite shallow and morbid, but could that have been what was missing, aside from an engaging story of course?

*Something about the parallels between the modern age of technological advances and the ‘man in the machine’ idea on which the movie is based*

Sorry the movie didn’t make me care enough to go into any type of deep analysis.

Onto the actors…

I hadn’t heard of Joel Kinnaman, a.k.a Robocop’s face, before this and unfortunately I can’t see this movie catapulting him to super stardom. Not that he could possibly expect it to given it’s a role for which Keanu Reeves is ideally suited.

Michael Keaton, looking every last one of his 62 years, was a passable if not entirely convincing villain. Come to think of it, Gary Oldman probably would’ve been a great choice to play the evil head of OmniCorp. All the same, his turn as a doctor battling with his conscience is probably the best performance in the movie.

Fun fact: Hugh Laurie was originally supposed to play the bad guy. While I might have preferred that, Hugh may have dodged a bullet here.

Samuel L. Jackson on the other hand is never shy to take a bullet as he plays a crazy-eyed host of a futuristic CNN-type program in his first major role of 2014. Of course he’s due to appear in 14 more films in March alone. All different genres but somehow he’ll be the same character and, as his legal obligation, he will utter the word ‘motherfucker’ at least once in each.

A special mention for Jay Baruchel. If you’re reading, you are incredibly unfunny and annoying (I did like ‘She’s Out of My League’ though).

Robocop wasn’t a complete waste. It prompted me to make a Tumblr post, something I haven’t done in a while. Hopefully, I’ll do some more writing now, I have a few ideas rolling around in my head.

Rating: 4.5/10

Christmas starts tomorrow

Lying around bored, just passing the time until December officially kicks in by scrolling through whatsapp for someone to message. The pickings are so slim that a strange thought enters my consciousness…can I message myself?

Thereafter, I make the mind blowing discovery that I can actually message me because I have my own number saved in my phone. Why did I save my own number? I don’t know? In case of amnesia?

Now when you type something to yourself the message is simply duplicated. So imagine if something like this happened:

Dominic: Hey what’s up?

Dominic: Not much, you?

(Been trying to get my other self to stop mimicking me, no such luck…yet.)

'You should be a writer' - My mother

The local film distribution company has a competition every Wednesday where participants create a short story using the titles of the movies released in cinemas that day. The prize is a couple of complimentary tickets to a movie of your choice.

I’ve won the contest a few times but, the story I’m about to share with you was my crowning achievement (so far) and, honestly, I really should have been given free movie passes for the rest of my life for this masterpiece.

So, without further ado…ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the sweeping epic that prompted my mum to suggest I could make a successful career out of writing and started me down this blogging path that has reaped no benefits whatsoever. (Really thought I would’ve been discovered by now.)

Based on a true story. (the names of the movie releases are in bold and capitalised in case you hadn’t figured it out):

My doctor told me that I was seriously unfit and I should exercise more. I had always hated the gym but decided to be a Grown Up about it and join one. I made up my mind to not only get fit but to get RIPD like Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine. I even hired a trainer who, as luck would have it, turned out to be very attractive.

I started on the treadmill. My trainer gave ME a Despicable look when she saw me set the speed to 2. She turned it up to Turbo and I almost slid off the thing. After 10 minutes of running, I was on the verge of death, “This is the End”, I thought to myself, but she said to keep going.

She finally let me off after 30 minutes. I was sweating so much I looked like I had taken a swim around the Pacific Rim. For some reason though, my trainer was impressed. She invited me to come to her place, a little White House Down the road from the gym, for a more ‘personal’ workout ;)

Did you see my clever use of that turd of a movie R.I.P.D to mean ‘ripped’? Genius, no?

Thor: The Dark World (rife with spoilers)

I’ll admit I wasn’t too enthusiastic for the thunder god’s second adventure. There could be a number of reasons why: The first one wasn’t anything special. Marvel’s last offering, Iron Man 3, was lacklustre. It could even have been the odd November release date. Nevertheless, I wasn’t about to buck the trend of seeing every marvel movie on the big screen.

Turns out my apathy towards The Dark World wasn’t unwarranted. A weak story, mildly entertaining action and perhaps not enough Loki make Thor 2 watchable at best.

While the movie in it’s entirety may not have been a memorable one, there were a few moments that stood out:

Thor jumping off the balcony and catching Mjolnir mid-flight. Heimdall getting in on the action this time around and taking down one of the dark-elves’ ships. Thor using a lightning bolt to turn Malekith into two-face. And of course, the anti-matter grenades or mini black hole bombs, whatever they’re called.

My favourite scene would probably be the one where Loki is trying to get under Thor’s skin with his shapeshifting tricks. And the Chris Evans cameo as Captain America was a nice addition. If I’m honest though, if there’s a cameo from another avenger I would’ve wanted to see, it would definitely have been the hulk. Especially since he and Thor went toe to toe in Avengers in the most impressive, albeit short, fight in the marvel universe so far.

Thor 2 was not without the witty one-liners that are customary in all the Marvel films. Loki, Darcy, Selvig and even Thor himself responsible for one or two chuckles.

Heath Ledger’s turn as the Joker and perhaps Loki himself in the Avengers may have set the bar too high but these superhero flicks are nothing without a compelling villain. Malekith certainly didn’t represent one. I’m a bit unconvinced by his motivation throughout the film. He wanted the Aether so he could destroy everything so that there would be complete darkness again. Well, it’s pretty dark in space. All he had to do was switch off the lights in his ship and just float around out there. Problem solved.

As with all sequels, stakes must be raised, which undoubtedly meant someone important was going to kick the bucket. Sadly the axe fell on the unfortunately named Frigga. I say ‘sadly’ but I’m not sure anyone really cared, I certainly didn’t. Thor, Loki and Odin didn’t seem all that bothered either…maybe because her funeral was so beautiful.

I thought the Thor/Sif relationship we got a glimpse of in part I might have been explored a bit more this time around. However it was wittled down to a brief conversation between the two and Sif aiming a jealous glare at Jane that surely would have melted Jane’s face if the Aether wasn’t protecting her. I love Natalie Portman but personally I would’ve chosen Sif.

Jaimie Alexander’s role as Sif is so minor I think she should jump ship to DC and start twirling that lasso of truth. I also believe Idris Elba is wasted as Heimdall and his talents could be better used portraying Green Lantern John Stewart in the inevitable Justice League movie.

Speaking of the competition, seeing a super powered being in a flowing red cape you can’t help but cast your mind back a few months to Man of Steel. While Man of Steel was the better movie in my (biased) opinion I’m glad that Alan Taylor didn’t go berserk with CGI during the fight scenes like Snyder did. Although, the scene towards the end, where Thor is renouncing the throne in front of Odin, has extremely dodgy visuals. It may have just been the lighting.

Now who was really surprised that it was actually Loki pretending to be Odin at the end? Not this guy. I wasn’t even close to being fooled by Loki amputating Thor’s hammer-holding hand either. He’s the god of mischief remember and it seems he’ll have a big role to play in Thor 3 if it gets the green light. I’m not entirely convinced the world needs another Thor solo effort though.

Next on the marvel slate is the impressive-looking (trailer-wise) Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. The latter was alluded to in the ever-present Marvel mid-credit scene. I can pretty much guarantee the general movie-going public will have no clue what that scene was all about. My limited knowledge tells me Marvel is building towards the Infinity Gauntlet which I only know involves Thanos trying to get some powerful stones together, putting them in a glove and ruling the universe, naturally.

Nov 2

A few words on the Counselor

Ridley Scott’s last movie divided nerd opinion like no other last year. Some, like myself, loved Prometheus because, along with the stunning visuals, it made us question the origins of life. Meanwhile, critics of Prometheus were quick to point out the numerous plot holes (some which I admit I had to look past) and complain that it wasn’t a worthy enough prequel to Alien.

I have a feeling that Scott’s latest, ‘The Counselor’, may have again left a considerable number of moviegoers leaving the cinema  muttering ‘what the f*ck was that about then?’

It’s been two days since I watched it and I’m still struggling to figure out what the movie was trying to tell me. I doubt that I was alone in thinking as I left the cinema that it somehow seemed unfinished.

The Counselor boasts a pretty impressive cast. Fassbender and Bardem were top notch. Brad Pitt is a big name sure but I personally feel he’s a rubbish actor. It must have been difficult for Cameron Diaz to get through her scene opposite the ageless Penelope Cruz. Diaz is only 2 years older than Cruz but you wouldn’t believe it. Cameron looks like she’s been punched in the face a fair few times.

I usually like to write longer reviews for the movies I watch but I’m not sure what else to say in this instance. It might require a second watch or some internet browsing to see if I can find the hidden meaning. Maybe someone here can enlighten me?

Welcome to the mad house.

As you might have gleaned from prior posts, I’m not a big fan of leaving my house, a situation which hasn’t improved since I got my bachelor pad. One thing I’m down for though, any time, any day, is family gatherings.

These occasions tend to follow a particular pattern:

They’re always loud. Decibel levels rise, as we try to talk over one another. Actually, it takes too much energy for me to become too involved in group discussions, so I prefer to listen and quietly formulate my thoughts. Then…when that split second window of silence opens up, I drop some masterfully witty comment that I’d been working on since the conversation started. Laughter ensues…or, more likely, I only say it loud enough for my brother to hear, he realises he was the only one who heard it, then proceeds to plagiarise my joke, everyone keels over.

Waterworks. There is a 50/50 chance that there will be arguments and someone might even end up crying because they’ve been put in the hot seat and they just can’t handle the pressure. Tends to happen to the weaker members of the herd.

LOL (Lots of laughter). Guaranteed, and the primary reason I enjoy hanging with the family. Much of it stems from us making fun of each other and come to think of it, that’s probably how the tears come about sometimes.

Deja vu. There absolutely will be a repeat of a story that’s been told at least 5 times before or an argument will develop that was supposedly put to bed at the last assembly.

Diversity. Conversations will range from as deep as the ocean (wild exaggeration, but I’m fond of hyperbole) to as shallow as a kiddie pool. We generally tend towards the latter. For example, yesterday there was a brief discussion about aliens, evolution and the existence of a supreme being but the topic that got the most air time turned out to be 50 Shades of Grey. See what I mean?

Football. BPL discussions are a mainstay of family get-togethers, among the guys at least. And thank god for footie, it’s practically the only thing I can talk about for more than a couple sentences.

Alcohol will be flowing continuously. As I type this, I’m realising that this is what fuels the entire operation! The shouting, which, miraculously, has not prompted any of our neighbours to call the police yet. Everyone’s ‘happy’, over the top chuckling is to be expected. People thinking they’re having some kind of profound exchange but they’re actually just spouting utter nonsense  (I should know, I’m the sober one). It makes perfect sense now.

I’m not ashamed to say that family link-ups are what I look forward to most, well, maybe  it’s neck and neck with a Liverpool match. But, unlike family time, I can’t say I’ll always be happy while watching Liverpool play.

Life is impossible in space (spoilerish)

I’m curious, is it that Sandra Bullock has never been particularly blessed in the posterior region or was Cuaron just trying to be scientifically accurate (astronauts lose muscle mass in space because the muscles don’t have to work as hard)?

Ok, onto the review.

Maybe I don’t know how to appreciate movies but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about with Gravity. Then again, if people are flocking to see it purely because of the visuals, then I can’t say I blame them. The almost constant view of the big blue marble we live on is quite stunning. It got me thinking, if movie technology ever reached the point where the viewer was fully immersed in the film, where you felt like you were actually floating around in outer space looking down at the earth and actually getting bombarded by space station debris, then Gravity would be a movie I’d go to experience countless times.

For now though, we have to make do with 3D. Speaking of which, one scene made the price of admission ($0, thanks again Palace Amusement!) worth it. The destruction of the International Space Station is the best use of the technology I’ve ever experienced. I’m still trying to remove pieces of shrapnel from my eyes. It is so obvious when other movies shoehorn a specific scene just to make use of 3D and try to justify forcing us moviegoers to pay exorbitant prices. The sky diving scene from Transformers Dark of the Moon springs to mind. Gravity was perfect for 3D though.

Another thing I appreciate about Gravity is that it’s short and sweet (a run time of an hour and a half). There was no time for me to get bored. Personally, the only movies I ever want to see exceed 2 hours are comic book ones.

There’s not too much to say acting wise. Everyone knows Sandra Bullock’s good and Clooney is there for what? 10 Seconds? and steals the show. No complaints here.

The story is nothing spectacular I’m afraid. Astronaut trying to overcome a tragedy (there’s always a tragedy) stuck in space, tries to make it back to terra firma. This would be one I’d recommend to rent if it wasn’t for the visual aspect of the film. So unless you have a 60” 3D TV or a home theatre, then go check it out.

Oct 9

Quick thought…

I watched the Tomorrow People earlier, which of course looks like it was ripped straight out of the pages of any of the myriad x-men comic books, but that’s not what this rant is about.
I also watched this week’s episode of Agents of Shield, and if this show survives cancellation I’ll be shocked. Again though, not what I’m ranting about.
My issue is with the use of guns in these shows, or in fact, the lack of use.
In both shows, there were scenes where the heroes infiltrated what were supposedly heavily guarded properties. Now this should mean that there should be well-armed security, right? So why was I seeing so much hand to hand combat? The bad guys rush in to fight with their fists and subsequently get their asses handed to them when it seems as if it would have been much smarter to start raining bullets from a safe distance.
I saw something even worse in another tv show, I don’t remember which, where the guard ran into the fight with his gun in hand but inexplicably not firing it. Naturally he was disarmed and knocked out.

I guess one show is a copyright violation of x-men and the other is set in the world of the avengers so I can’t expect too much realism.