The Weekly Roundup – 19/08/17

Seems like we’ve started to hit into the end of summer slump big time now. It’s to be expected I guess but it always sucked that there was never anything good to see on my birthday. Which is tomorrow by the way. We didn’t go to the cinema much when I was a kid, it was one of those once or twice a year real special treat things. When we did go we never caught the good joints, I remember us seeing Shark Tale because our mum had heard that Finding Nemo was good and it’s another fish movie isn’t it?

I guess we knew Star Wars was special, we saw all of those, despite our parents’ obvious distaste for them. Now I’m older I have sympathy for their opinions. we were never there opening night but I remember for Episode III we were queuing  outside and an usher was counting along the line for who would get in. We did, we were about twenty people ahead of the cutoff, we felt so lucky. I don’t remember watching the film.

I think I’ve talked here about our first time watching Lord of the Rings, so Imma bring up the time when our mum was out for the evening and our dad let us watch Titanic on the TV. We figured she was annoyed because that film’s like over three hours long and we were obviously up way past bedtime but looking back on it my brothers and I were pretty young and that film has boobs in it. Probably weren’t appropriate. I do remember scenes from that though, the water in the tunnels, Leo lookin all cute and flustered, the romance. Dad clicked off the film once the boat sank, put us to bed, I think his opionion was that the rest of it weren’t worth watching.

I didn’t see the end of the film for several years.


It strikes me that Hideaki Anno & Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla might have missed out on the full absurdity that it conjured up purely because we’re all so well acquainted with Godzilla. They ain’t trying to make him super cool here, he actually quite silly for the first half of the joint. Maybe the laughs would come easier were it not chafing against expectations.

In fact the thing which immediately sticks out is how idiosyncratic it is. It’s not an action movie, sure Godzilla makes land on the coast of Japan and immediately starts wrecking shit, but we don’t stay close with any of the people on the ground. There’s some early clips you can see in the trailer there of the site of the attacks. They’re all very reminiscent of writer and co-director Hideaki Anno’s earlier experimental live action work, the early film dabbles heavily in this mixed media montage of news clips and cellphone footage and security feeds. >>more>>


David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde have some really great moments in, unfortunately they happen despite itself, when it sheds its baggage and fully commits to being the Charlize Theron action joint it was destined to be. If this gets a sequel I’m hoping it’ll shed most of that unfortunate baggage. And someone please tell James McAvoy that just because a character is goofy it don’t necessarily mean they interesting.

Unfortunately, aside from one truly outstanding fight sequence it’s kind of a disaster. I say outstanding fight sequence, it’s okay, one of those real self-indulgent long take type deals which, while it could be congratulated on its restraint, would be far more so if it could be bothered to shed its own artifice. We’re all very impressed, get back to making your movie. >>more>>


David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation  is another dissappointing entry into the Conjuring franchise. I wonder if soon, when the number of films not directed by James Wan is greater than those which are, it might all lose its credibility. Brand recognition is no replacement for great filmmakers. Whose gonna come up with the next monster, cos nobody’s out there remembering the scarecrow.

Honestly, when they’re building up this whole interconnected franchise mythology it can’t help but feel like the cast of Annabelle: Creation is the monsters’ B-team. Say they know the demon nun can carry her own weight but they gotta throw a whole bunch at the wall here to see what sticks. >>more>>


Mark Gill’s England is Mine is the unbearable portrait of a creative person not doing anything creative. I’m not sure what his thesis is supposed to be with this joint, young tortured artist, doesn’t fit into the world. Then nothing new, nothing enlightening, nothing to save us from this miserable drek.

You’d think that a biopic of the man’s young life; his years in Manchester, out of school, not yet a star would try to soften some of the man’s inherent intrinsic obnoxious awfulness. Or maybe they’d go the other route, take a look at this figure who seemed to succeed despite himself, how his better and more competent friends dragged this dead weight into the limelight. Mark Gill’s film chooses the stupidest way to go, it buys in completely to Morrissey’s self-made myth and produces no insight of value into the life of the man. >>more>>


David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a beautiful meditation on life and time. One which gently invites you and then delivers it message to you like a friend. If y’all ever fall off or want to get out, you can. I’d advise it in fact. If you ain’t content to let it wash over you the  you ain’t gonna appreciate getting wet.

I’m still trying to process what I saw. That’s why this is hard. The film lays some pretty clear themes out there: time, space, the ways we impress parts of ourself onto each. Grief and loss, what it means to recover, what it means to not. One character in the runtime expresses a definitive nihilist viewpoint that seems to be taken quite seriously, but I don’t think the film quite buys into it. >>more>>

That’s all the films I seen this past week but really, the most exciting release was the final episode, the series finale if you will, of  the McElroy brothers Dungeons and Dragons podcast The Adventure Zone. It’s a huge achievement, a work which combines the best parts of podcasting, storytelling, role-playing, it’s an loving and embracing and accepting space. It’s one of the few stories that has unquestionable been improved and uplifted by decent audience feedback.

The auteur theory says that if you accept the primary author, a director, a showrunner, a frontman, to be the creative force driving a story: every story told must in some way be the story of the author.  The Adventure Zone is a work which at its heart is literally about the transformative power of stories. The genius thing is, that without even realising, it showed us the authors falling in love with their creation and their process.

It’s what makes it one of my favourite works of all time. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I know 69 episodes (nice) can sound a little daunting but just do it. You’ll have the time of your life.


Also I’ve just picked up and started playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. I’m not really a fan of survival games, nor of multiplayer games (they make me feel too vulnerable) so I’m not sure why this one has stuck to me so hard. It a point where crouching in a house for five minutes can feel like an acceptable play strategy.

It lets you go as hog wild or as gentle as you like.  I’ve made it into the top five a few times by only killing one other player. It has its rhythms, the way I play it does anyway. You’re exposed for a while, then you find some brief security. I’m sure others go hunting, from the loot I’ve picked up they sure seem to get more stuff than I do.

I couldn’t be doing that, it’d be too stressful. I stopped playing that Telltale Game of Thrones months ago because I knew every time I’d boot it up something bad would happen and it would be my fault. There was precious little relaxation or beauty in that game. It’s strange that I’d be finding that instead in the hypermasuline deathmatch game. But there we go.


I know I took a bit of time out there without telling any of y’all. I keep saying sorry and not changing. It’s just my way. I’ll put something up next time. Passed my driving test though so that extra revision certainly helped some and I got a job interview too, that coming up on Friday, oh my heart.

Thank you all for sticking with me, thank you for reading, love you all.


Follow my page on Facebook if that’s your thing.

I also got a Twitter for the website, and I’ll have a personal one up too eventually, once I get over myself.

I post pictures to Instagram, some of them are in this post. I’m trying to be a better photographer but at least I have a e s t h e t i c.

I have a Pinterest, I dunno, like, maybe. Haven’t found a proper use for it yet.

I crosspost all my reviews onto Tumblr, some people prefer to follow along there, makes for a more consistent feed.

Music this week is Kendji Girac’s Ensemble. My twin’s been playing it while he’s been in town for our birthday. It’s like Spanish hipster pop. I pretend to be all above that but I quietly dig it.

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