Eight Ranger 2 (2014)

8ranger2Directed by: Tsutsumi Yukihiko

Wow, that was so much fun!

Of course I was going to enjoy it. I love Kanjani8. I love Super Sentai. This is a Super Sentai parody starring Kanjani8. There was no doubt I was going to come out very happy. And I did. It was great stuff. A really engaging – and scary! – plot, great costumes, great effects, everything. Parody tokusatsu at its best – possibly even better than Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger!

I saw this at the Melbourne leg of the Japanese Film Festival, and the subtitles they provided were really bad. Really, really bad. Some lines were just plain wrong; others were “localised” to the point of there being significant changes in the meaning. Thankfully, I understand just enough Japanese to be able to make sense of the film.

I particularly enjoyed Yellow’s sexual confusion, and I’m in love with Green and Purple. :)

I haven’t seen the original Eight Ranger, but I’m going to ASAP – and I hope an Eight Ranger 3 follows soon.

Sleepy Hollow Season 2a

shs2aI quite enjoyed season one of Sleepy Hollow, so was excited for season two.

Season one had its faults, but there weren’t many. The story felt a bit contrived at points, and there were moments when it seemed to me like the writers had forgotten to include something they intended in an earlier episode, so had to rush to insert it in a later episode in a really ham-fisted way. But the interesting story and cool characters outweighed all that.

Season two is different.

Characters appear out of nowhere. The story seems to have little focus. There’s far too much of the incredibly irritating Katrina. Characters keep not dying just to service the story, when there’s no reason for them to survive.

It really feels like they just have to fill a certain number of episodes and are coming up with silly and awkward stories to fill the number.

Hopefully part b will be better.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

egakScreenplay by: Adam Cooper & Bill Collage
Directed by: Ridley Scott

What an awful, awful movie.

Seriously. It’s the worst film I’ve seen since Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. RotF is the worst film ever, and this was only marginally better. There was not a single redeeming feature about it. I don’t know why I expected anything different – the film stars Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale, for Christ’s sake.

Awful, awful stuff. Beyond awful. Just horrendous.

Archer Season 5

archers5Oh. My. God.

This season made me laugh so hard I think I actually injured myself at one point.

It also left me wanting cocaine. I’ve always passed on it because snorting anything makes me gag. Now that I know you can eat it, I have no reason not to give it a go. If only I still had the means to acquire it. :(

Every single episode had me laughing uproariously. The only thing I didn’t particularly care for was the departure and then lecherousness of Ron Cadillac, who had previously been my third favourite character (after Cheryl/Carol/Cherlene and Pam). Oh, and also that Sterling is Lana’s baby daddy. That’s not entertaining.

So many one-liners from this season have made their way into my rotation, including the return of phrasing. I thought it was so 2011, but in reality it is one of those things that should never go out of style.

Absolutely can’t wait for season six. I’ll almost certainly rewatch seasons one through five at least once between now and when season six debuts.

Trick ‘R Treat (2007)

trtScreenplay by: Michael Dougherty
Directed by: Michael Dougherty

I’ll be honest – I saw this film a while ago, and it didn’t leave a huge impression on me.

There was nothing either good or bad about it. It was just a series of mildly interesting stories loosely linked together. The whole concept of Sam (seen on the poster) wasn’t explored very thoroughly – who and what he was, and what he wanted, wasn’t always clear.

The individual stories ranged from boring as all heck to only mildly interesting. I liked the side-story at the quarry, but I really like Jean-Luc Bilodeau. I liked the murderous neighbour, but trying to tie that story into an overarching narrative at the end came across as a bit ham-fisted.

The weaknesses in the film come not from the stories themselves, but the overall execution – there’s no real sign of a point to it all. As I said, Sam isn’t sufficiently explored or explained, so it seems like just a bunch of stuff that happens on Hallowe’en.

I wouldn’t mind a sequel in which we get a thorough look at Sam because… just look at him. He’s adorable.

The Bridge (US) Season 2

bridge-us-s2Oh, how awful.

I really liked season one of The Bridge. It didn’t come close to The Tunnel, but it was still pretty good. Except for Sonia (Diane Kruger). The plot was engaging, but The Tunnel did the same plot way better. The acting was OK. Except for Sonia (Diane Kruger). The characters were interesting. Except for Sonia (Diane Kruger).

Notice a trend?

Long story short: I enjoyed it, and I was really excited for season two.

But season two was terrible. Utterly, utterly terrible. The writing was ridiculous – characters would say or do things that made absolutely no sense. In the final episode, Sonia hunts down a multiple murderer, who is being attacked by her father. She shoots and kills the father. The murderer thinks she’s going to kill her, but Sonia says “I’m not like you.” Sorry, Sonia, but you just murdered someone. But oh, wait, that doesn’t count, because he’s not the main character. Just like in all those American action movies where the hero lets dozens of people get killed or maimed so they can save one relative-unimportant person.

The plot was obscenely dull and we were never given a reason to care about anyone. I could not wait for it to end and it is very unlikely I’ll even try season three.

Maze Runner (2014)

mazerunner2014Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim & Grant Pierce Myers
Directed by: Wes Ball

I love Dylan O’Brien. I truly, completely, utterly love him. So much. He’s so beautiful physically, and so sweet and lovely as a person (from what I can tell). I want to be his best friend.

It is for that reason that I saw Maze Runner. Well, that and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. And, yeah, probably even Will Poulter. But there’s a twist – in the lead-up to the film, I started to read the book (it’s been four months and I still haven’t finished – distractions!) and I loved the book. It has some issues, but is generally really quite engaging. So I had high hopes for the film.

The film wasn’t very good.

It didn’t help that I was cursed trying to see it. It took three attempts – the first time the cinema had some sort of issue I don’t recall; the second time someone collapsed 90 seconds into the film and we had to leave; the third time I finally saw it. Yay.

Of course, I got what I really wanted, which was to stare at O’Brien and Sangster on the big screen for an hour and a half. I won’t deny that. But the film dropped almost all the good things from the book, emphasised the bad things and added more things of the same bad vein. It was hugely disappointing, and it felt like not very much happened – by the end of the film I felt like what I’d just sat through should have taken no more than twenty or thirty minutes.

In the end, I’m torn on how I feel about it. There’s things I love beyond measure, and things I thought were awful, but they don’t quite balance out. All I can confidently say is that it is sufficiently different from the book that you shouldn’t assume you’ll like one because you like the other.