Sunday, March 31, 2019

Irre(x2) Table of Contents, March 2019

This should be the last time I post more than 100 posts in a single month.  All apologies for that...

Movie Irreviews (Irrewind)

Miscellaneous

Movie Irreviews

Irrespectives

Music Playlists

Book Irreviews

Television Irreviews

Television Irreviews (Irrewind)

Video Game Irreviews

Irreverent Irrevelancies

Comedy Irreviews

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Video Game Irreview: Halo 2 (Anniversary)



***

So, I went ahead and played Halo 2 on Legendary difficulty.  I must say, I forgot a few things:
  1. How great the game is.
  2. How great the story is.
  3. How jump-the-sharky the Gravemind is.
  4. How abrupt the ending is (Hello, Halo 3).

But, man... where Halo: Combat Evolved has lost a little bit of its shine, Halo 2 seems to have kept its polish.  The updates are welcome, though - as with the Anniversary Edition of Halo: CE - some of the lightning effects are annoying as fuck.  I found myself switching between the updated graphics and the original graphics quite often.

Looking forward to playing through the rest of the series.

9/10 (for the original)
8/10 (for the Anniversary edition)

Irreverent Irrelevance: Accepting Failure



***

My breakfast this morning was a banana and two whiskeys and coke.  Makers Mark Bourbon.  Diet Coke.  My friend Harry left the Diet Coke here weeks ago, so it was as flat as Tig Notaro.

That was mean.

I don't care.

I actually like Tig Notaro.  I saw her in 2011 in Sydney, Australia, as part of an off-shoot comedy festival (the big one was in Melbourne).  Same show I first saw Tony Woods.  And some Canadian biker dude who lived down the street from me in Studio City, California.

I miss that trip.  That was a good trip.  I haven't had a good trip in a while.  I used to date a woman whose last name was Tripp.  She was interesting.  Ruined my life.  Not her fault, though.  I was born to lose and she saw me for the sucker that I am.  We can't help our natures.  She was a good kisser, though.  And one of my favorite hugs.  I don't think I ever told her that.  I don't think I ever will, either.

There I go, being a sucker again.

C'est la vie.

Since November of last year, I've put almost all of my energy in this last, great screenplay.  It started life as Empress, then became Anthropy.  It might be my last screenplay.  It's definitely not my great screenplay.  I don't have one of those.

I'm pretty much broke now.  Financial, emotionally, mentally.  I stayed in bed for five days straight.  Monday through Friday.  I'd be in bed today, but my landlady wants to pick a fight that I'm happy to fight.  She's trying to break the law and blame it on me.  I don't break the law willingly.  I learned that from my dad... be honest to a fault, even if it fucks you.

And believe that.  Being honest fucks you.

But at least you can sleep at night.  It's the waking hours that are the problem.  These past two weeks have been the most difficult two weeks I can remember.  Emotionally, anyway.  Somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to not worry about shit.  I lost the ability to power through adversity.  Maybe I never had those abilities and my whole life has just been one big lie.

I fear that I'm too old to start a new career.

I don't even know what I'd want to do.

No, never mind want.  I don't even know what I could do.  I have no job skills.  I'm not particularly good at anything, except maybe procrastinating.  And spelling, I guess.  Too bad spell-check removes my use from society.

Maybe that's the answer.

***

"Move your face.  I want to lie there."

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Playlist V, March 2019: MXMS

I was introduced to MXMS this past December, when I just happened to be perusing YouTube at the same time that MXMS uploaded their recent track, "After Night."  I was in the middle of other things, though, so I didn't jump into the MXMS rabbit hole just then.

Fast forward a couple of months, and they release the lyric video for "Paris."

That's when I jumped into the rabbit hole.

Posted in order of release, seven of their tracks currently on rotation on JeffScape radio: "omg" (from 2015!!!), "Rx", "Carol of the Bells", "The Run", "Gravedigger", "After Night", and "Paris."

They're coming to Los Angeles on May 1st, but they're opening for a couple of bands that I don't like, so I have to debate that one...

We shall see.

Enjoy.

***















***

The Complete Playlist 5, March 2019


Playlist IV, March 2019: Irrespectives II

If you're going to watch yourself lose your mind, you might as well listen to good music while doing it.

Enjoy.  Both.

***

"Almost: An Irrespective"




"Tornadoes: An Irrespective"




"Reality: An Irrespective"




"Apathy: An Irrespective"




"On Insanity: An Irrespective"




***

The Complete Playlist 4, March 2019


On Insanity: An Irrespective



***

The breakdown is taking a while.  My entire life, so far.  It's not completely broken yet, but it's close.  I know I should care, but I don't.  I don't if I could care, but I should.  I'm not sure that I would care, either, given the options.  Run it into the ground.  Sanity is for the birds.

I miss being angry.  Truly angry.  I made a conscious decision to eliminate that part of my psyche about ten years ago.  Which explains why I'm so numb.  In order to feel anything, I have to strive to be alcoholic.  Except I'll get sick of booze and go months without.

Maybe I should start smoking again.

If only for a holiday.

***

Walking alone on Rue Des Barres
I saw you standing there
I feel my heart beat
You light a cigarette

I'm only here for holiday
You smiled and looked away
"Why is so Paris so beautiful tonight?"
He said, "Not as beautiful as you."

And I don't know where I am
Or what I'm doing here right now
And I don't have any idea who you are

Will you stay with me?
Don't leave me alone
Will you stay with me?
Tonight, don't go

Tell me something I don't know
Raise your arms and part the sea
Teach me how to love myself
Show my heart the way to bleed

And I don't know what I can do
About the way I feel right now
I can't be without you

Monday, March 25, 2019

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Beneath

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 5, 2014

***

A well-made, well-acted film that starts out brilliantly... and then gets kinda sloppy... and then finishes very sloppily. Not altogether a bad horror film, but it could've been so much more.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Beneath is definitely a fun-ish horror film.  Jeff Fahey has charisma to spare and it's a wonder that dude didn't get more famous than he is.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Horseman

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 5, 2014

***

Holy shit. That was brutal. Some technical issues keep it from being really good, but damn... intense.

8/10.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I talk about The Horseman a lot.  I always seem to forget what it's called, though, so I can never show it to anybody.

The Horseman, The Horseman, The Horseman.  Australian revenge film.  Pretty awesome Australian revenge film.  The Horseman.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Blue Ruin

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 4, 2014

***

Super cheap. And super good. Excellent script and an above-and-beyond production value. Very nice.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I remember being hesitant to watch Blue Ruin.  I was curious, of course, given it's super-low budget.  But there's a propensity to overemphasize and overrate certain types of indie films, and Blue Ruin felt like it would be one of those.  It is not.  So good.  Green Room is probably better, but that's what happens when you recognize the scope of your talent and don't go crazy when someone gives you more money.  Don't get me started on Hold the Dark just yet...

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Disappearance of Alice Creed

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 3, 2014

***

Every time I watch this, it gets better.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Seriously, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a master class in (mostly) one-location storytelling.  So minimal, so tense.  Love this movie.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): 3 Days to Kill

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 3, 2014

***

Amber Heard as a CIA handler is a ridiculous casting choice. The "human" subplots are laughably superficial (though one is legitimately humorous). But, seeing Kevin Costner play an aging bad-ass - a la Liam Neeson - is worth it. A fun action film and probably McG's best work as a director (which isn't saying much).

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I know that 3 Days to Kill is just another cog in the machine that is the "aging actor as a retired spy/hit man" genre, but... I kinda like the "aging actor as a retired spy/hit man" genre.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Shadow of the Vampire

November 2, 2014

***

A long-overdue viewing. Devilishly clever. Film aficionados must go crazy for this one.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Yep.  Shadow of the Vampire is great fun.  What a great concept.  Don't know where the idea for this came from, but they should've gotten an Oscar for it.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Stake Land

Originally reviewed on Facebook, November 1, 2014

***

I admit that I had long ignored this film on Netflix because of the ridiculous title. Big mistake. One part THE ROAD, one part VAMPIRES, this is a pretty good movie. Waaaay better than it has any right to be.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I showed Stake Land to my buddy Zach not too long ago, and, yeah, it holds up.  There is a sequel, however, that isn't very good.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Out of the Furnace

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 31, 2014

***

Oh, wow. How'd I miss this??? Awesome film.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Shit... yet another one I can barely remember, my impressions of Out of the Furnace are that it is very, very good.

Maybe I just need to have a "Good Movies I Can't Remember" marathon.  Or, better yet, a film festival!

Nah... I'll stick with marathon.

Anyone want to join me?

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Escapist

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 30, 2014

***

Pretty intense prison thriller. Not too sure about the narrative device used, but I suppose it holds up in context. EXCELLENT cast.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Oh, snap... I had forgotten ALL about The Escapist.  This one's due for another viewing, to be sure.  My memories have certainly grown fond of this one.  Despite the fact that, you know, I had forgotten all about it.

I'm serious.  Watch this one.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Gone Girl

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 27, 2014

***

Almost every individual aspect of this film is great. But, to me, GONE GIRL proves that a film is not just the sum of its parts. I enjoyed it, I'm glad I saw it, but I don't think it's a great film. Pretty good, but not great.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Yeah... I dislike Gone Girl more and more as time goes on.  Not David Fincher's best.  Not anyone's best.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Son of a Gun

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 20, 2014

***

A Hollywood-style action/crime-thriller, it's just Aussie enough to not feel like a Hollywood film. Unravels just a tad in its third act, but the overall conclusion feels natural. Great acting, good direction, better-than-okay script. Not sure if this is getting a US release, but if it does, it's worth a look. And Helen liked it!

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Son of a Gun was an A24 release in the United States.  Which means I wouldn't have bothered it with here.  Luckily, I saw this in the cinema in Australia.  Decent fun.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Turning

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 19, 2014

***

Ambitious. Ultimately a mess. I was lucky enough to have read the book, so I wasn't as lost as most people. Still, the best story in the book got arguably the worst screen treatment. Ah, well. At least it got made.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Man... was The Turning a disappointing mess.  Like... here are a bunch of short stories.  Let's ignore the fact that they are all actually connected stories, so we can treat each as a stand alone short film.  And not just... what?

I get it.  I really do.  But this is the kind of shit that filmmakers attempt when they feel like being "artists."  Just make a goddamned movie that doesn't suck, please.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Comedy Irreview: Jimmy Carr: Funny Business


***

Despite Jimmy Carr: Funny Business being three years older than his The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits, it's a far, far more polished presentation from Netflix, who seems to be on auto-pilot at this point, regarding their technical directing.

That stated, Carr's material in Funny Business is a little rougher around the edges and it takes a while before he hits his stride.  Unlike the more recent Netflix special, this one leaves most of Carr's audience interactions in and it's a far superior special because of it.

Still... the material just wasn't as good here.

7/10.

Apathy: An Irrespective



***

What a complete waste of a day.  I'm on a clock and I can't get myself to give a shit.  Tick tick tick tick...

I don't think there are any second chances after this one, and I can't get myself to give a shit.

Everything feels underwater.  Like I should be drowning.  I just don't give a shit.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Reality: An Irrespective



***

I can't finish my writing.  I can't finish my taxes.  I'm finding it pretty hard to care about doing so.  I'm finding it pretty hard to care about anything.

I'm going back to bed.

Comedy Irreview: Jimmy Carr: The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits


***

Jimmy Carr is hilarious.  He's mostly word- and logic-play, and by and large as "politically incorrect" as they come, but he's hilarious.  I imagine he's not one for the social justice warrior crowd.

As a special, Jimmy Carr: The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits is pretty good.  Jimmy Carr is hilarious.  The special itself is, however, atrociously edited.  Not particularly well-directed, either.  Some of Carr's most memorable bits involve his interactions with the audience (especially his invitations to be heckled), but that section of the special is jarring and... well... atrociously edited.

Adding a point for Jimmy Carr's stand-up.  Docking three points for Netflix's technical presentation.

6/10.

Tornadoes: An Irrespective



***

What happens when you need to be taken seriously and nobody you know will take you seriously because their impression of you is that you're rarely serious?  I have no idea.  But, it's a good goddamned question.

You can iterate and reiterate that something important needs to happen, and quickly, but if your "friends" don't care, you can't make them care.  It's disheartening.  Even more so when they approach your iterations as a game.

I'm sorry, are we enjoying ourselves?  Are you laughing?  Am I?  I said this and that, and I mean this and that.  That's great that you don't give a shit.  I do.

I suppose there's really no one to blame but myself.  Perhaps it's my fault that I failed to present myself as being serious.  If so, then perhaps I should just suck it up and reap that whirlwind.

We'll both pay for the oversight.  Not that you'll take it seriously.

I will.

C'est la vie.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Television Irreview: Wild Wild Country


***

As bad as Netflix is with movies, they're pretty good with television (although that star is quickly fading, as well).  And as pretty good as they are with television, they're outstanding with documentaries.

I've been meaning to watch Wild Wild Country since Netflix released it last year, but never got around to it.  This week, I finally fired it up.  And I have to say, it's... well... outstanding.

I don't know enough about the subject matter to state either way, but the documentary series feels so exquisitely balanced.  The good and the bad of all sides are presented in equal fashion, and while that may very well be a form of propaganda in and of itself, it makes for entertaining and compelling television.  Quite simply, by doing little more than assembling footage and letting people speak for themselves, the filmmakers (Chapman Way and Maclain Way) make you care about damned near everybody involved in this story.  It is (quite simply) the type of filmmaking that Americans want more of, but sensationalists in charge of production companies and studios won't let us have.  For all of my complaints about Netflix, I am very glad their system allows stuff like Wild Wild Country to exist.

Anyway, this is a pretty fantastic documentary.  Try as I might, I can find little fault with it.

9/10.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): RoboCop (2014)

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 19, 2014

***

As profound/classic as the original? No, not by a long shot. Did I still like it? Other than a ludicrous 80s-style "in-the-dark" villain's den combat sequence, yep. I liked it quite a bit.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I really do like this version of RoboCop.  Of course it's not the original, but it's good enough to warrant a franchise.  Looks like they're rebooting yet again, though.  Frank Miller is supposed to be running things, so we'll see how that goes.  As I recall, he had a lot to do with RoboCop 2, and that was balls-out garbage.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Transformers: Age of Extinction

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 19, 2014

***

Definitely (at least) 30 minutes too long. But better than the second and third films in the series. Despite its length, didn't feel as bloated as the third.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

As I've said elsewhere, there are three good Transformers movies and three bad Transformers movies.  According to the above review, I was of the opinion that Transformers: Age of Extinction is the best of the bad ones.  Now, in my memory, at this very moment, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen holds that distinction.

Doesn't really matter, though.  They both suck.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Rover

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 17, 2014

***

I hesitate to recommend this, because I think most won't like it, but there's something to THE ROVER. Every now and then I find a film kinda hypnotic. This is one of those films.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I showed a friend The Rover not too long ago, so you'll see an updated review at some point.  I really, really like this movie.  Dour in that Aussie way, I won't compare it to The Proposition, but maybe I should.  Guy Pearce is fucking awesome.

9/10.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Wake in Fright

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 16, 2014

***

I'll give it the "genuinely shocking" bit (particularly for the absolutely disgusting use of actual kangaroo hunt footage), but... overall I was left a bit bored and a bit bewildered. Still, I guess there's as much legitimate Aussie culture revealed here as there is in THE CASTLE. Weird.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Yeah... I don't much care for Wake in Fright.  Sure, it's a defining film, but there are plenty of defining films that I don't much care for.  Like Blade Runner.  Yawn.

Anyway, if I had to watch a film with the tone of this one, I'd probably toss in the original Straw Dogs again.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Castle (1997)

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 16, 2014

***

I can only describe this as... "Australian." Pretty funny, though.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

The Castle is by the same filmmakers as The Dish.  It's another example of that peculiar brand of Australian comedy.  I think this one's the better film of the two.  Not by much, though.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Dish

Originally reviewed on Facebook, October 15, 2014

***

Any fan of Aussie comedy and/or the space race will love this. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but enjoyable nonetheless.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Australians have a peculiar sense of comedy.  Without the snobby intellectualism of the British and the slapstick timing of the Americans, there's just something... peculiar about it.  Anyway, I quite enjoy The Dish, but I think I like The Castle better.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Last Mogul

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 31, 2014

***

Pretty cool documentary. Felt a little flat (can't put my finger on why), but it's an interesting look at an interesting man. Must-see for people who like Hollywood history.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

The Last Mogul apparently felt a little flat enough that I can't remember any of it.  I wonder how much I drank when I was watching these movies that I don't remember.

Then again, I was absolutely hammered when I saw that remake of Jumanji and I can remember that one just fine.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Nymphomaniac: Volume I

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 27, 2014

***

Do people actually like this movie, or do they just think they're supposed to???

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I am on record as disliking Lars von Trier as a filmmaker.  With the exception of Dancer in the Dark, I find everything he makes to be boring and pretentious.  Nymphomaniac: Volume I is no different.  A movie with as much fucking as this one can be boring, I have no idea.  The man has skills, I guess.

He also has a hatred for people who enjoy movies.

Television Irreview (Irrewind): Streets of Laredo

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 26, 2014

***

Though my second favorite novel in the series (by default), this is only marginally better than the DEAD MAN'S WALK adaptation. Rather disappointing, this one.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I think I may have waited too long to see Streets of Laredo.  At that point, I saw both of its prequel miniseries already (didn't care for either), and then... I dunno... Sissy Spacek was not great casting.  Of course, how does one follow Lonesome Dove?  I don't think one can follow Lonesome Dove.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Guardians of the Galaxy

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 22, 2014

***

Great fun. Not my favorite Marvel film. Not even my favorite sci-fi film this year. But it's an awesome movie. I can definitely see this one inspiring the next generation of filmmakers.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Who knew Guardians of the Galaxy would be such a hot, cinematic property?  I wouldn't have called it.  Then again, back when I was reading the comic book, it was the old Guardians, so most of these dudes were new to me.

Great fun.  Good call, Marvel.  Good call.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 8, 2014

***

Just saw this on the big screen. Two things stood out: 1) an amazing script, holds up perfectly, even if the special effects do not (then again, they weren't great FX at the time, either), and 2) an overwhelming realization that, yes, movies are meant for big screens. I have seen this movie many, many times, and have never had anywhere near the experience I had tonight.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Depending on my mood, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is either my second or third-favorite Star Trek film.  Not only is it an excellent Star Trek film, it's an excellent science fiction film in general.  A wonderful, wonderful picture.

8/10.

Movie Irreview: Isolation


***

I first saw Isolation years ago.  Can't remember how or why, but I remember being pleasantly surprised.  As rip-offs of Alien and (to a lesser extent) The Thing go, Isolation is one of the better ones.  And it's about mutant cows.

I know, right?

If you fancy smart horror, this is a good one.  It's a bit slow to start, but give it 20 minutes... it gets really good, really quickly.

7/10.

Television Irreview (Irrewind): Orange Is the New Black

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 5, 2014

***

Took a few episodes, but okay. I get it, now. Good show.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I really enjoyed Orange Is the New Black through three seasons.  I started feeling it in season four, and haven't been back since.  As Netflix fatigue has been seeping from the movies into their series, there's a very strong possibility that I won't be back, either.

I dunno.  You have any opinions you'd like to share?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Playlist III, March 2019: Pomme

Yeah, so we're back to French pop.  This is Pomme.  If you've spent any time on Irre(x2) lately, you've seen and heard her.  She's pretty awesome.

Here are - in order of her own YouTube uploads - "J'suis pas dupe", "De là-haut", "On brûlera", "Pauline", and "À peu près".

For whatever reason, I've gone with the European style of placing punctuation outside of the quotation marks.  Deal with it.

Enjoy the music.

Profitez bien !

***











***

The Complete Playlist 3, March 2019



Almost: An Irrespective



***

Good enough isn't good enough.  Great might be good enough.  But it's never enough.  There's always something better.  Someone better.  How do you know when you're it?  That's easy, really, if you think about it.  Did they offer you money?  No?  Then you're not good enough.

The system isn't perfect, but don't count on you being the exception.  They've survived because of the system.  Its quirks and nuances exist for a reason.  If you're really that arrogant to think that you're going to be the one to break it, then... good luck to you.  Just remember that good isn't enough.  Great luck is a skill.  An art.  And you are not an artist.

Neither am I.

Irreverent Irrelevance: Drunk Irish 2019

"What do you mean, 'Where do I sit?'  Who the fuck cares where you sit???"

***

It's been a weird week.  Been scrambling to get a presentable draft of my latest screenplay ready in time for a table read with friends that I just had to cancel because of a series of ridiculous excuses from one of the readers.

Funny thing is, I was going to cancel a couple of days ago, since I hadn't realized that today is St. Patrick's Day and was having trouble filling out the readers.  But then the readers already coming banded together and filled out the readers, themselves.  Only to have one of them drop out five hours to the read.

Seriously, five hours.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've been taught that if you're being counted on for a tasking, and you've agreed to this tasking, should you need to pull out for whatever reason, you should provide your replacement.  Or, at least try to.

Let's just say this particular actress is being dumped from the Rolodex.

Are Rolodexes still a thing?  I wish I had a Rolodex.

Anyway, it figures that I'd have to cancel a table read on the morning I watched Fyre, a documentary about an infamous canceled music festival.  Coincidence?  Of course it was part of God's plan!  He/She/It cares that much about reminding us that He/She/It is real!!!

Can you imagine?

"Hey, St. Michael, what should I do today?"

"Well, God, you should inspire this random schmuck to watch this Netflix documentary about a canceled music festival, so when he has to cancel his table read, he'll know you're real."

"Oh, shit.  That's such a good plan!"

"Not as good as you planting your son in one specific area of the world in order to convince the entire world that you're real.  I mean, I might've planted multiple children around the planet at the same time in order to foster, you know, global compliance, but you do you, big man!"

HAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

If there's a Hell, I'm going to it.  And gladly.

Anyway, I think I'm going to watch Isolation tonight.  It's basically a remake of Alien, but with mutant cows.  Sounds dumb, right???  But it's soooooo good.

I'm drunk.

Cheers.

Movie Irreview: Fyre


***

As documentary films go, Fyre is just okay.  There's nothing much for the filmmakers to do here, save show what happened and kinda go into how it happened.  For those whose curiosity stops at the who, what, when, and where of the Fyre Festival debacle, Fyre is an entertaining enough watch.

If you're curious into the hows and the whys, there's not a lot of depth provided.  Some attempts, sure, but not much successful digging.

This thing does reinforce my hatred of "influencer culture."  At least we know who to feed to the zombies first.

6/10.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Movie Irreview: High-Rise


***

Man... High-Rise can only be described as a glorious mess.  One gets the feeling that director Ben Wheatley is out of his league with the subject matter.  I dunno.  I've only ever seen one of his other movies (Free Fire) and that one, too, was a glorious mess (though quite fun).  Perhaps Wheatley was trying to channel the slow-burn aesthetic of early Caro and Jeunet.  Perhaps he and screenwriter Amy Jump thought they could appropriately tackle J.G. Ballard's source material.  I mean, Ballard writes about some dense topics, so it makes sense that filmmakers would try, but...

I'm meandering.  High-Rise isn't terrible, but it's aimless.  The first half is a slog, primarily serving as an extended set-up for a less than satisfactory payoff.  Though High-Rise does pick up at the mid-point, it loses its new-found steam after 20 minutes or so, and we fall back into slog, pretty much through the denouement.

The ideas in the film are huge, and the film isn't big enough to support them.  Sorta like the plot of the film itself... a high-rise with no real infrastructure... no real ground to stand on.

I suppose the aesthetic is effective, but... meh.  The cast and their performances are pretty solid, though.  Maybe I'm in a generous mood, but...

5/10.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Originally reviewed on Facebook, August 4, 2014

***

Hollywood got this one right. Excellent movie.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best of the new trilogy.  Not much more to say, really... except that I wish the third movie was better.  But we're not talking about that movie, we're talking about this one.  And it's the best of the new trilogy.  Which is quite good.  Except that the third movie could've been better.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Edge of Tomorrow

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 17, 2014

***

Other than slightly pushing the limits of disbelief in the first act, this is as fun and as good as science fiction comes. Fucking. Wow. Anybody who likes to complain about how Hollywood movies all suck these days, but hasn't seen EDGE OF TOMORROW, gets their right-to-complain-about-Hollywood cards revoked.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Hands down, Edge of Tomorrow (stupidly re-titled Live Die Repeat) is one of the best science fiction films of the decade.  Maybe of the century, as young as it is.

You'll see this one reviewed again.

I hope they don't fuck up the sequel.

Television Irreview (Irrewind): 24: Live Another Day

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 15, 2014

***

I was mostly bored for over 11.5 hours. But the epilogue was outstanding.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

In hindsight, 24: Live Another Day is much better than that reboot/sequel series.  At least I watched all of this one.  Time to let Jack Bauer go, though, I think.

Movie Irreview: What Happened to Monday


***

Despite my buddy Tom's nudging, I have resisted watching What Happened to Monday because of its Netflix branding.  Let's face it, people... most Netflix-branded movies are terrible.  Like... legit terrible.  I mean... I'm using ellipses for emphasis, for fuck's sake.  I like... ellipses.

Combine the Netflix brand with the fact that Tommy Wirkola - though somehow responsible for an (overrated) cult classic - is not a particularly good film director... I really (really) resisted watching What Happened to Monday.

I mean... now I'm using dashes and parentheses!  (I suppose I could use dashes or parentheses... but I like the visual diversity.)

So... I have to admit... What Happened to Monday is - so far - my favorite Netflix-branded science fiction film.  I think.  I'm not 100% positive that's the case, but I'm (at least) 90% positive that's the case.

The script is fun, though definitely has its problems.  As with Okja, the evil bad-lady white woman villian's subplot is terribly underdeveloped, to the point that they probably could have eliminated it altogether and just went with the "monolithic villain."  Even the evil bad-lady white woman's sidekick was ludicrous, and the visual attempts at making him into Darth Vader were laughable, at best.  There's a scene in which, Christ-like, he's holding his arms out so that two of his henchman can put a bullet-proof vest on him.  Like... dude... you can do that yourself.

Anyway...

I enjoyed this one.  That's two Netflix-branded movies in a row that I haven't hated.

Maybe someone at Netflix is coming to their senses.

I doubt it.

...

7/10.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 13, 2014

***

Damn, Mr. Lumet. If this has to be someone's final film, it's a good way to go out. Phenomenal movie. May watch it again tomorrow.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is definitely due for another screening.  I was thinking of a word for "screening" that started with a "D," just so I could fuck with some alliteration, but I didn't manage it.

This cast, however, is killer.  A tour de force of acting.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Animal Kingdom

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 13, 2014

***

Not entirely sure why it did better than THE SQUARE internationally (I get why it did better in Australia), but it's an excellent film with a superior ending. Joel Edgerton's the man. And he's barely in this.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I should definitely watch Animal Kingdom again.  The US series is pretty popular, although removes the Australian elements (obviously).  I thought I had more to say, but I don't.  Except that I've heard Joel Edgerton is kind of a dick.  I hope not... that dude rocks on-screen.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Iceman

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 13, 2014

***

I don't know why I thought that was Paul Giamatti on the poster, but this is a pretty intense movie. Excellent casting.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Okay, so it's kinda hard to mistake Michael Shannon for Paul Giamatti in the poster for The Iceman.  But go to the IMDb page (click on the poster above) and look at that thumbnail.

TELL ME YOU DON'T THINK THAT'S PAUL GIAMATTI!!!

Also, I might have to watch this one again.  I don't remember half the credited cast members being in this thing!

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Hot Coffee

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 12, 2014

***

Probably a few too many moments of brazen politicking, but otherwise a very, very good documentary. Certainly changed my opinion of the titular McDonald's coffee lawsuit.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

I still cite Hot Coffee in arguments and debates from time to time.  Seriously, people, this one will change your perspective on things.  Give it a look.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Square (Second Review)

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 12, 2014

***

It's official. My "Top 8 All-Time Greats" list is now a "Top 9." This is the latest addition.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

This is my second formal "review" of The Square.  This would've been my third or fourth viewing of the film.  The second or third viewing being the one I wrote about previously.

I'm still not entirely sure why I don't bump this from a 9 to a 10.  I've got Inception at a 10, and I don't like the that film's closing moments, either.

Hmm... I'll have to mull it over.  I know I've watched The Square at least once since this viewing, so you're bound to see it again.

9/10.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 8, 2014

***

Not one of the better "30 for 30" films. Hardcore American football fans will get a kick out of it. As will Trump-haters. Other than that, it's kinda meh.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Along with many sports fans, I'm kind of obsessed with USFL trivia.  Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? was such a straightforward documentary, it felt... unnecessary.

Anyway, with the Alliance of American Football underway, we'll see if there's room for a second league again.  As of this writing, the AAF had to beg for $250 million to make payroll.

I suppose there's the relaunch of the XFL to (not) look forward to.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): The Last Stand

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 7, 2014

***

Totally stupid. Kinda fun, but totally stupid.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Hmm... The Last Stand is yet another one I can't really remember.  I also can't imagine anything starring Schwarzenegger and Knoxville to be any good.  Fun, maybe... but not any good.

I guess I'm repeating myself.

You ever do that?

Repeat yourself?

I repeat myself a lot.

Do you?

Movie Irreview: L.A. Confidential


***

It very recently came to my attention that neither my friend Zach nor his girlfriend Rebekah had seen one of the greatest movies of all time, L.A. Confidential.  We rectified that tonight.

They don't come much better than this.

You'll see reviews for this pop up again and again, I'm sure.

10/10.

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): Odd Thomas

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 6, 2014

***

Made it 40 minutes. Not altogether horrible, just boring. Wondering how it has such a large fan base. Regardless, a fan or not, it's a great example of what expository dialog does to a movie.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

The part of me that respects and misses Anton Yelchin makes me want to give Odd Thomas another shot.  I dunno, though... me turning off a movie means I had a pretty strong reaction to it.

Anybody want to convince me?

Movie Irreview (Irrewind): V/H/S

Originally reviewed on Facebook, July 6, 2014

***

Somehow, I endured 30 minutes. 30 absolutely boring, nonsensical minutes. How a horror movie can instill a sensation of ennui, I'll never know.

***

Upon Further Irreview:

Let this be a lesson to all of you aspiring filmmakers out there: Make a horror movie!  It doesn't matter how fucking boring it is.  If it's at least as good as V/H/S, it'll launch a fucking franchise!

Help keep your failing actor friends employed!!!

I can't fucking wait for D/V/D.  The next evolution in horror.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Movie Irreview: Triple Frontier


***

Triple Frontier is very likely the best Netflix-produced film I've seen in a while.  That doesn't mean it's very good, however.  It just means that it's not very bad.  There is quite a bit to like about the film - particularly the first half - but once it becomes less about the heist and more about the escape (and -  yawn - the characters "learning who they really are") it just sorta meanders.

And therein lies the rub.  The script is incapable of carrying the shifting motivations (in at least one instance, almost inexplicable) and muddying loyalties (in every instance, almost inexplicable) that this film so very much wants you to care about.

As it is, Triple Frontier has its moments.  But, overall, it's just okay.  For Netflix, however... that's a coup.

6/10.