Monthly Archives: June 2013

BriTANicK: Academy Award Winning Trailer

Behold, the trailer for the Academy-Award winning Good Will Dances With The Titans of My Left Foot:

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Monsters University Review: Mike & Sulley go greek

The last Pixar film I watched was Brave. That movie was a big wet fart. It was pretty abysmal.

I say that out of love, of course, because I hold Pixar to insanely high standards. Standards that they themselves have established. And you know what? All studios should strive to be what Pixar is. We should all stand in agreement that any movie being made needs to blow us out of the water in order to be considered remotely worth making. For crying out loud, the budgets for some of these films could feed the entirety of Haiti for a year. Lets do better than Oblivion, movie industry. Let’s do better than After Earth. Let’s definitely do better than freaking World War Z (seriously, how can Brad Pitt even call it World War Z? IT IS NOT WORLD WAR Z.)

I digress.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is Pixar is like the Roger Federer of the movie industry. He  was always number one most consistent player. At his peak, you could go to a Federer game and watch him deliver time after time. And then, Roger Federer stumbled a little bit when Rafael Nadal got in the way (i.e. DISNEY). He tried adjusting his game, and as a result, lost a few tournaments (Brave and Cars 2 – CARS 2 – why the hell did they even make Cars 2?!)

This tennis metaphor isn’t really working out. In conclusion, Pixar has been shaky the last couple of years. I went into it not expecting all that much. But then, lo and behold, as I sat watching it unfold in the darkened theatre, Roger Federer delivered a pretty good game.

Monsters University tells the story of Mike Wazowski and James P Sullivan’s epic friendship. It focuses on widdle Mike Wazowski, who for all his life, dreamt of being a big bad scarer.

LOOK AT THAT CUTIE PATOOTIE

In a world where your entire self-worth is defined by your scaring-potential, Mike’s adorable little eye and adorable little frame set him at a significant disadvantage. Nevertheless, he buckled down, studied and studied, and got accepted into the prestigious Monsters University Scaring Programme.

Mike meets Sulley for the first time in the lecture hall, where the big blue oaf saunters in, cocksure and dismissive. James P. Sullivan is a legacy – people expect great things and he, at least on the surface, really delivers. He’s a naturally scary brute. However, over the course of the semester, his lazy arrogance leads to his own failure as he begins to be outstripped by the hard-working and studious Mike. Their competition comes to a head at their Semester Finals, where failure leads to automatic termination from the Scaring Programme.

Dean Hardscrabble, the ruthless Head of the Scaring Department, is unimpressed by Sully’s lack of commitment and Mike’s lack of general scariness which leads to her personally dismissing them both from the Scaring Programme.

Helen Mirren voices Hardscrabble. She really is the scariest dragon-lady. The clicking of her centipedal feet made my skin crawl and gave me heart palpitations. She’s Severus Snape in centipede-dragon hybrid-cross form.

The ultimate boggart in the wardrobe.

Devastated, Mike is determined to get back into the programme no matter what. He finds inspiration in MU’s annual Scare Games – a competition between the fraternities/sororities to prove who is the scariest monster of them all. Mike masterminds a very public wager with Hardscrabble for his place back in the Scaring Programme if he wins the Scare Games. Of course, he needs a frat team to do so which leads him to joining ultimate loser frat, Oozma Kappa, and reluctantly accepting Sulley as their final team member. If they win, Hardscrabble accepts the entire team into the Scaring Programme. If they lose, Mike and Sulley leave MU forever. (I can’t imagine any university dean pulling that shit in real life, but I suppose, the rules are different when you’re a dragon-winged insectoid nightmare.)

This is where it gets interesting. The Pixar team clearly put a lot of effort into crafting these hugely fun scenarios, integrating the best of their natural Pixarian storytelling genius with some creative Dreamworkian intertextuality. From here onward, it was a bit like that TV show, Greek, meets The House Bunny, except instead of hot Emma Stone in some ugly-girl spectacles, you have a bunch of awkward monster misfits. Folks, meet Oozma Kappa:

It took more than a push-up bra and some mascara to fix these weirdos. It was quite heart-warming seeing them band together as they tried to conquer the Scare Games. Anyway, shan’t spoil it, but it’s pretty frickin’ adorable.

Then of course, you have the rest of Greek Row:

The Jocks (a.k.a. the morons that use performance enhancers)

The Goths (a.k.a. the witch coven from The Craft)

The Southern Belles (a.k.a. Elle Woods and The Bitches in Pink)

And finally, the Slytherins to our Gryffindors (if Gryffindor was kinda loserish like Hufflepuff, that is):

The Privileged Legacies (a.k.a. the assholes that hang with people like the Winklevoss Twins)

Yeah, thats right – look closely at the Roar Omega Roar picture and you’ll see a special guest appearance by resident dickbag, Randall Boggs. Its kinda sad – Randall wasn’t always the Draco Malfoy of Monster World. You’ll see why if you GO WATCH THIS FILM.

While not as heart-warming or as thoughtful as Monsters, Inc, Monsters University is hugely entertaining and engaging. It explores the touching relationship that develops between misfit best friends, Mike and Sully, while shining spotlight on the oft-overlooked Mike Wazowski. He is the brains of bunch and its high time that he got a little credit.

VERDICT: Go watch it if you’re a passionate believer in a mighty good comeback! It ain’t ground-breaking, but its a super fun ride. If this is any indication of the future, I expect Pixar will be back on top very soon. Don’t let Disney stamp out your light, Pixar!

BONUS – check out the impossibly cool website that they’ve created for Monsters University. Its more comprehensive than my university’s website. Freaking hell, they even have a merch store! Who DOESN’T want a four-armed hoodie?! So when are they accepting applications? I’m looking for a good uni to go to after I matriculate from Hogwarts.

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Mad Men Recap (S06 E13): The 70s suck

I have not bothered recapping the last few episodes of Mad Men because (a) I’m lazy, and (b) the story arcs have been sub-standard.

As such, (a) + (b) = (c) I am lazy to recap sub-standard crap.

I understand that Mad Men holds itself to a different standard of story-telling. Matthew Weiner doesn’t do the cliff-hangers, the bottle episodes, the melodrama etc etc – all hallmarks of typical television dramas. However, it has to be said that skewering all the characters of your TV show can’t be considered good television either.

In seasons past, no matter what the crazy shit it was that they pulled, you always felt an illogical loyalty to whomever your favourite characters were. Whether it was Pete cheating on his wife, Don cheating on his wife, or Peggy cheating her way to the top, there was always a little voice in the back of my head going, “aww, but its not all his / her fault – they just have a shit deal.” Mad Men has achieved the impossible by rendering every character, no matter how minor, as an actual human being. And that, my fellow TV nerds, is what makes compelling television.

Now obviously, I’m not the type of viewer that watches Mad Men to analyze the significance of Megan Draper’s t-shirt (can we all just admit that the whole Sharon Tate murder thing was a complete red herring?) or the importance of Bob Benson’s coffee-drinking habits. I know that a bunch of viewers enjoy the intellectual workout that Mad Men offers – that’s where they get their kicks, and thats fine by me.

Take that, conspiracy theorists! Megan is STILL ALIVE.

However, I’ve taken enough film and television studies courses at university to vow never to over-analyze, and thus ruin, my TV shows. Mad Men is genius – its smart, well-written, highly cerebral, but more than that, it was engaging as all hell. For those who thought Mad Men was just a bunch of pretentious tosh, I would always shoot back, “YOU ARE DAMNED FOOLS!”

The reason for that has always been because of one reason: YOU CARED FOR THE CHARACTERS. You cared about their lives, their journeys – it was like watching your best friends screw up week after week, and you sat there in blind support because you gave a damn about their futures.

That’s why it pained me this season to watch all the main characters slowly screw themselves over and over. The glittering glamour of the 60s is over, folks. Welcome to the muddy mess that is the 70s.

Nevertheless, I have decided to break my silence because this episode gave me a glimmering flicker of hope that its all going to be okay.

Douchebag Draper – As much as I harp on about how I hate Don Draper, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want him to find redemption. I’ve hated on him pretty hard this season, but I see why now. He’s like that childhood friend that I can’t quit – no matter how much he fucks up, no matter how much I rage about his bullshit, I still want him to dig himself out of that alcoholic, philandering hole and get his shit together. Matthew Weiner tore him down, and this episode was Don’s rock-bottom. Sally won’t speak to him, his partners as SC&P have ousted him, and Megan has seemingly left him. He is finally getting everything he deserves and it was all of his own making. Strangely enough, I felt no joy at his ruin. Instead, I felt an immense tug of hope well up inside me when he took Sally and his boys to see his childhood home. This was Don trying to face his past, and rebuild his present. Kudos, Jon Hamm – I can’t ever quit you.

20 pts (for recognising the vast failures of your life and trying to get your shit together)

Miss Peggy – Hey girl, you finally got it on with Teddy Chaough. I hope it was hot, because we can’t be having that infidelity crap hampering your meteoric rise in the advertising world.

What up, Don? Peggy is in the house. As much as I liked Ted, her whole arc with him has been a distraction from where she needs to go. Where I need her to go. And that is, the top of the heap. God love her for not being a coldly ambitious ice queen – Peggy is still a girl who wants to love and be loved, as much as she wants to be the ultimate advertising dragon-lady. But hon, like Ted says, him leaving for LA is going to be the best thing that’s happened to you.

10 pts (for her ridiculous get up to make Ted jealous, proving that she’s just like the rest of us silly girls) + 20 pts (for telling Ted to get the hell out) = 30 pts

We’ve all been there, Peggs.

Ted Chaough – Oh honey, NO. It’s not okay to cheat on your family. You’re better than Don. It’s also not okay to seem so overwhelmingly decent and earnest in your love confessions, and then change your mind on a girl.

NOT OKAY.

– 30 pts (for cheating on the familia) – 20 pts (for “if I can’t have you, no one can”) + 5 pts (for going to LA after realising that YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT) = -45 pts

Sideburns Campbell – Oh dear, his receding hairline is receding even faster. That dastardly Manolo! Pete’s family life is becoming a bit too soap-operatic for my taste – Oh no! He cheats on his wife! Oh no! She kicks him out! Oh no! His mom has dementia! Oh no! His mom’s gay caretaker marries her on a cruise-liner, throws her overboard, and tries to steal her money! OH NOOOES! (Seriously, read that last line again to yourself and tell me that doesn’t sound like a plot line from The Bold and The Beautiful.) (No disrespect to B&B – the women of my family have been enjoying the crazy adventures of Brooke Logan-Chambers-Jones-Marone-Forrester for over two delightful decades now.) But like Don, Pete has very much hit bottom (maybe not rock-bottom, but bottom enough to realise his life sucks) and there is a glimmering hope at the end of the tunnel. Bonus – we got to see Trudy! I’ve missed you, Miss Alison Brie. Like she says, Pete is finally free of everything. May he make the best of it.

10 pts (for his hilarious freakouts over the phone) + 5 pts (for his poignant moment with Tammy) = 15 pts

In commemoration of a happier time.

Silver Fox – Roger is the great love of my Mad Men life. You can’t ever hate him. And more than that, you genuinely feel sorry for him despite his shenanigans. He is that perpetual lost boy who doesn’t know what happened to his life.

20 pts (for calling out his brat of a daughter, because she’s a BRAT) + 10 pts (for his effortless charm with little Kevin) = 30 pts

Bob Benson – LOL Bob wins at everything.

50 pts (for being in everyone’s face all the time)

WINNER: Bob Benson – for being completely, and utterly unflappable. He is Don of the 70s, but better.

See that rosy sepia tint? That’s me missing the 60s:

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Axis of Awesome: Clubbing in the 21st Century

Quarter-life-crisis me totally knows what they’re talking about. Hand me my knitting needles and a bowl of instant noodles instead, please.

 

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Game of Thrones Recap (S03 E10): Wolf-headed Robb

I KNOW… The episode aired two weeks ago. What is wrong with me?!

I’ll tell you what – me watching the brutal slaughter of Robb Stark and his brethren was like an alcoholic going on a bender of Charlie-Sheen-like proportions, only to awake in a puddle of pills and puke. I needed to check into the George RR Martin Clinic for Recovering Viewers for a fortnightly stint. I’m faring better, folks, so here’s the jam:

THE BREAKDOWN

Our ever-noble, King of the North

Last week, I was all a-twitter, asking “Where’s wolf-head Robb? Are they going to show it?” I thought it would be so disappointing to miss out on this spectacularly gruesome detail from the novel. The opening of the episode served it up, nice and cold. Nothing was more infuriating and distressing than the sight of Grey Wind’s head however, skewered, out of Robb’s body. It made me want to crush skulls and eviscerate men. Smack that shit on a poster and you’ll have your martyr for the North. I guarantee it’d be more effective recruiting soldiers than Uncle Sam and his pointer finger. (E.g. just watch Arya stab the shit out of that guy who was bragging about sticking the wolf-head onto Robb)

A good deal more gruesome than I expected it to be. Its a testament to the Game of Thrones effects team that shit like this doesn’t throw me as much anymore. I feel like a proper Westerosi denizen – “Yeah, sure, I see mutilated king’s corpses all the time – no biggie. Adding that wolf head was an asshole move though.”

King’s Landing

Its sweet to see Sansa warming to Tyrion. Peter Dinklage truly embodies the decency and hopeful loneliness of a lifelong outcast. The two of them plotting to “sheep-shift” Desmond Crakehall is adorbs. You get the feeling that Sansa is the little girl, strolling with Mummy and Daddy in the gardens (Mummy being Tyrion’s whore-mistress and Daddy being her hubby, Tyrion).

When Varys tried to bribe Shae to go away though, its admirable that she chucked it in his face. It felt a little bit soap opera-esque though. I can’t get down with Shae, for some reason.

Isn’t Joffrey just the most annoying little prick? He’s like that kid at school who is a total cowardly douchebag, bullying the poor kids because his Daddy is richer than theirs. Can someone smack his smug face already? OH WAIT, Tyrion already did that. Let’s enjoy:

Epic LOLs. Too bad he can’t do that anymore. He’d probably get his hands chopped off and be forced to eat them or something nasty like that. Joffrey is a sicko. That whole “I want to serve Sansa Robb’s head”? WHERE DOES HE GET THIS STUFF? Cersei – what kind of XXX snuff films did you show him as a child?!

Anyway, that whole Small Council scene was SO MUCH YES!

God, there is SO MUCH AWESOME going on in this scene. Case in point:

“Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.” – WUH-WUUUT?!

“The King is tired. See him to his chambers.” – Run along now, widdle Joffrey-poo, before you get a proper spanking. My god, if I had Tywin Lannister as my gramps, I’d be pissing myself.

“Explain to me why it is more noble to slaughter 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner.” – I’m totally down with that School of Tywin’s Art of War.

But, dayummm, Tywin. That man be COLD. Tyrion: “When have you ever done something […] solely for the benefit of the family?” / Tywin: “The day that you were born!”

THAT HAS GOT TO STING. I’m giving out free hugs, Tyrion. Come claim.

Bran, The Little Man

Blah, blah, the North is cold. Blah-de-blah, don’t kill a guest under your roof! Its bad ju-ju! Yes, be more obvious, HBO-GoT writer’s room. At least we have Walder Frey’s comeuppance to look forward to.

I actually thought it was pretty cool when Bran met up with Fat Sam and Gilly. It felt like cross-over fanfic! Can you imagine how sweet its going to be when Khaleesi gets her groove on with Jon Snow or something? EPIC.

The Traitorous Twosome: Walder & Roose

Whenever I say the name “Walder”, my brain automatically thinks “Balder Walder”. I HOPE THE REST OF YOUR HAIR FALLS OUT, YOU FILTHY TRAITOR!

Watching Balder Walder and Roose conspiring together, like they’re some epic martial geniuses, makes the bile rise in my throat. It’s clear to everyone but Walder Frey that no one respects him any more now than before. Just look at Roose’s patronising sneer. I hope Roose is stuck with that blithering idiot forever, like the Pinky to his Brain.

Balder Walder and Roose Bolton

Theon Gayjoy

So, I’m guessing Theon got a proper gelding. Ouch.

This made me giggle like a tween. Then, I immediately felt slightly disgusted with myself. Is it just me or does he kinda look like the dark-twisted doppelgänger of Samwise Gamgee?

That bastard Ramsay and Joffrey should get together. They’d be great mates, with their fondness for dismembering people and sending various body parts to their families’.

The Fleabottom Boys

Yay for hometown solidarity! Davos rescuing Gendry was all kinds of touching. I get these pangs of concern for Davos though. He’s acting very Ned Stark-y. I don’t want his head rolling around anytime soon.

This felt very crossover-fanfic to me as well. Its like that feeling you get when you meet someone from your hometown when you’re overseas. That massive “OMG, I DONT KNOW YOU BUT YOU MUST BE COOL BCUZ YOU’RE FROM HOME! LETS BE BFFS 4EVA (or, at least until the end of my trip)!”

Can I just reiterate how handsome Joe Dempsie now looks compared to his druggie-Chris from Skins days?

The NOOORTH

YEAAAAHHHH GURL, SHOOT THAT BASTARD DOWN!!! It took me a while to get on Team Ygritte, but I’ve never loved her more than this moment.

Okay, she’s a whole lot of cray-cray. Like, her and Taylor Swift could be best buds. What she did reminded me of Carrie Underwood’s ultimate ‘bitch-be-crazy!’ anthem. But nevertheless, Jon Snow was a bit of a dick-tool. He got in there, made her love him with all his lovey-talk, then he just rode off. TOOL.

“I am the Khaleesi, and you will do as I say!”

You mark my words, she is going to rule Westeros and the Eastern Kingdoms. LOOK AT HER, getting lifted up on people’s shoulder’s and shit. That is RELIGIOUS FANATICISM. She is the JESUS of Game of Thrones. She is MHYSA!!!

BONUS – Everyone has seen this on Buzzfeed, but it made me snort big-time into my lunch. This is Game of Throne’s, according to some random’s dad. ENJOY:

EXTRA BONUS – Shout out to Daniel Shpeizer for the kick up the arse. You post this stuff onto the Interwebs, hoping that it doesn’t get sucked up into the void of Internet-crap where pedos and lolcats reside. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone. All I can say is:

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Game of Thrones Recap (S03 E09): DOWN WITH THE FREYS

I read the third book almost two years ago. I have had a long time to ponder the death of my beloved Robb Stark. Nevertheless, when The Red Wedding erupted into a violent bloody gorefest, it very nearly incapacitated my poor little brain.

I thought I was prepared. I read the books after the first season, after I fell deeply in love and solidified my destiny to become Mrs. (Lady?) Robb Stark. Robb was rather poorly-drawn in the book, but by imagining the handsome Richard Madden in the role, I was engrossed in his story. Then came ‘A Storm of Swords’. The Red Wedding sent me spiralling into a clinical depression over the doom of my fantasy hubby. I nested in the darkness for days, wallowing in grief and having nightmares about his wolf-headed corpse (okay, no nightmares – just a lot of laziness and instant noodles).

I think if everyone who has ever been psychologically traumatised by George RR Martin came together,  we could probably launch quite a sizeable class-action lawsuit and win some major damages.

Anyway, point is, I’ve had almost two years to come to terms with Robb Stark’s unceremonious murder. Still, watching ‘The Rains of Castamere’ last night felt  like I was reliving the brutal homicide of a loved one.

It started with Walder Frey’s (aka. Argus Filch from the Harry Potter movies) pervy comments about what was ‘underneath’ Talisa’s dress. They thought he was just being a dirty old man, but it wasn’t her nakedness he was referring to. Of course, he knew about the bun in the oven. His old-man cock had cooked up enough to know, I’m sure. That was the final, ultimate slight. Of course he had no qualms humiliating the Queen of his sovereign. He KNEW that none of them were making it out alive.

And then of course, there’s pretty Roslin Frey. Edmure grinned like a blithering idiot when they lifted the veil and it turned out his new Walder wife was totally boink-able.

IF IT SEEMS LIKE ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – EDMURE – IT PROBABLY IS. Brynden Tully has it right – Edmure is a FOOL.

Sidenote – Filch’s face was PRICELESS when everyone saw how gorgeous Roslin was. He was all, “that’s right, ROBB, look what you could’ve had.”

Then, freaking Talisa had to go tell Robb that, “ohh I have a baby in me and if it’s a boy, imma gonna name it Eddard. After the dumbest man in Westeros.” Foreshadowing much? Doesn’t everyone know by now? George RR Martin lifts us up until we soar. And then, HE CUTS US DOWN LIKE THE MANIAC THAT HE IS.

Baby Ned, harbinger of doom.

I refuse! I reject all that warm-fuzzies! I refuse to let you, evil GoT producers, make me root for this happy couple when I know that you have sent them to the Twins to DIE. (I couldn’t help it though – my heart got all gooey at the thought of Baby Eddard and Papa Robb riding horses together.)

AND THEN, Walder Frey showed the world that he is THE WORST WEDDING PLANNER, EVER. It started with The Rains of Castamere floating down from the wedding violins. Suspicious… Then, Catelyn Stark discovers the chainmail under Roose Bolton’s clothes (THAT TRAITOROUS BASTARD). More suspicious… Well, you guys know the rest:

This is how I feel:

JUST LET IT END. PLEASE.

That scene is a watershed moment in TV history. Nothing before it has ever been more devastating to watch. And the long silence at the end, as Catelyn had her throat sliced open? Thats the kind of stuff that will haunt your dreams. Michelle Fairley deserves an Emmy for that monologue.

At this point, I really dont give two hoots about the rest of the episode.

Jon leaves Ygritte because he couldn’t kill some innocent old horse-farmer guy.

You’re telling me, sister. That’s the face I made when George RR Martin smacked me repeatedly in the face with Robb’s death.

Daenerys (or should I say, Daario) conquers Yunkai. Grey Worm is a TOTAL BAD ASS (good investment, Khaleesi).

Jorah’s not so bad either. Daario’s scyth caused sympathy pains in my abdominal region every time he disemboweled a Yunkish guard. Watch them in their full glory:

Uh, something happened with Bran. Little Rickon, whom I thought was mentally-challenged, spoke more lines in this episode that I’ve heard him speak all series. And little Arry has a case of “gosh darn it, I missed them again!”

It was a brutal episode. Alas, my fellow Thronies, we have made it to the other side, minus one Young Wolf. It really sucks to be a Stark in Westeros right now.

And this makes me want to smother my sorrows in Gippsland blueberry yoghurt:

BONUS – I really need to feel better right now, so enjoy this adorable photo posted up by the Queen Regent of Twitter. Let’s all pray for the well-being of Tyrion. I can’t bear to lose another.

 

 

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