December 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
Given that today is Christmas Eve, I thought of giving a look at Christmas tale that is actually good for once. Now I may be called a Hypocrite when I say that I don’t want to review something from my childhood that’s basically unreviewable today but really, I reviewed a lot of Christmas stuff that sucks so do give me a break on this. Besides, I did mention that this year’s Christmas is not gonna be great for me and I have a legitimate reason so for now let me talk about one of the best characters that’s played by Rowan Atkinson himself, Mr. Bean.
I first came to known this character during the mid 1990s and Mr Bean is basically this generation’s answer to Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp character. He was first created as a similar character known as Robert Fox back in 1979 and the act became so hilarious that it took until 1987 that Rowan decide to tweak it a little and became more well-known which ranges from a television series, two movies, a cartoon show and even a dating game show appearance. Now this 1992 episode titled Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean is really one of my favorites of the show and it remained on my memory until this day and beyond so let’s have a look at this one and see why it still holds up in these times.
The episode begins with Bean parking his car to a huge store although almost like how a drunk person parked his or her car. Following him exposing an Santa Claus by taking off the beard, he finds his ways to get the Christmas lights all while unplugging the store lights. He also did his own rendition of the Nativity scene by using toys from to a helicopter to a T-Rex to a freaking Dalek. His playtime has been stopped by a store manager though. He then attempts to expose another Santa but as he pulls the beard, he is stunned that it’s real rather than fake.
Bean then encountered his girlfriend and she wanted the ring for Christmas but he mistakenly thinks a photo near the ring is the one she wants. He then tries his way to win a free turkey by cheating by using the weight machine and a calculator. Later on, Bean tries to be helpful with an Salvation Army member by holding the money basket and he is helpful in the way that he spots a pickpocket kid so the kid gives him the whole stuff he steals even from inside his mouth. Giving the basket back, Bean is then subject to be the composer for the army’s brass band and did it comically.
After that, he is on the mission to get the tree but as it’s sold out – the only alternative for that is to steal one with crowded people involved and neither of them didn’t notice it. He returned home with a cut-down size of the tree (the remains are outside his home) and sets up his envelopes by setting it to one person he knows – himself. The envelopes containing the same Christmas cards by the way. He then sets up making his cracker by taking the fuses on all that he has and combine it into one. As he’s getting a bit tired, he then sets up three stockings – one for the mouse all while him saying meow. Bean turns the telly and sees a bunch of war films (and one horror film) which turned him but not before the choir is outside his door. He sits on his chair and watches them sing which leads to him closing the door like a jackass.
It’s christmas morning and Bean is very hyperactive about this. He gives the gift for his teddy and the mouse (which includes the mouse trap) while he himself got his favorite gift – another Stocking sock with the same design. Hours later, he is preparing to set up the turkey by stuffing it in with his watch inside it. And then came the part where his head is inside the turkey. Let me tell you it’s one of the funniest scenes of the episode and it worked so well that there’s no imitations that’s better than this.
Bean’s girlfriend arrives to the door and he hides himself away from her. She then discovers him with the turkey on his hand so she helps out as hard as possible which worked the second time. Oh, and he got the watch back but the turkey is out the window. Bean opened his gift from her which is a pirate ship tool kit and then he exchanges her with the photo from earlier. She has gone sad and cried but not before he gave her another gift which she thought was the ring but it turns out to be a hook for the photo. She left a second after leaving him alone for the holidays.
The episode then ends with opening his cracker which caused the explosion in his apartment. Again, this episode is one of my favorites and if you never seen it, I suggest you should check it out along with the whole series. It is also better to see this along with Blackadder Christmas Carol if you want more of your Rowan Atkinson fix since both are funny in its own way and direction. If you have seen it, do see it again and hope you’re still liking it as much as I do.
Now the reason on why I decide to review this episode and the part about me having a possibly sad, depressing Christmas is really a personal one. You see, Mr. Bean is not just a favorite of mine but for my own family itself. One of which is my mother who is the point of the reason. She was born in Christmas Day in 1957 and on 21st of February this year, she passed away due to complications involving both cancer and her hepatitis. This is really the first Christmas I along with my two sisters gonna have without her mortal presence if you will and yeah, that’s the reason I said all this.
Honestly, I’m not making this review to bring everybody down. I actually made this in my case of nostalgia as well as this being dedicated to her since it’s one of the few shows that she and I both liked. Granted, she is also a fan of The Nanny unlike me but everybody has their own opinions. If you have a loved one who either has a birthday or wedding day that falls on this day or liked this holiday so much even if that person has different beliefs, do spent it with that person and give him or her a gift because we all live in one life at the moment and don’t know what is beyond our own mortal coil. And also don’t be like Scrooge and hate on this season, try to celebrate and be joyful about it. I am spending Christmas with my family and maybe next Christmas would be better but I can’t lie if it’s not gonna be the same as before. So all in all, Merry Christmas and hope that next year is a happy one.
December 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
So moving on from The Asylum, let’s see what else is there? Okay, we have The Greatest Store in the World which is based on a novel by Alex Shearer and has a bunch of celebrities like… Peter Capaldi and Brian Blessed! Oh yeah, you heard what I said. The Doctor and King Yrcanos together again in the same movie and to make it more awesome, S Club 7 is also in this. Okay, that last part is not really awesome but then again, it’s a Christmas movie starring Peter Capaldi and BRIAN BLESSED (And I have officially done my deed on saying his name out loud, it’s worth it). It goes to the point where whatever negative thing I say about this movie somewhat invalid even though I haven’t seen it before this year.
I do like to mention that it’s not the first time Peter and Brian starred together though. They previously starred in The History of Tom Jones and well, let’s just this one has got bit of news recently with Brian revealing that he thought he nearly accidentally killed Peter during the serial. Yeah, Prince Vultan nearly killed Malcolm Tucker. Granted, it was part of the story but at least they remained friends afterwards. Moving on from the awkwardness and this movie is the work of one Jane Prowse who made nothing much to be honest. She did make few movies and television works like say, The Craig Ferguson Story for example.
But anyway on to the movie. This tale focuses on Livvy (Elizabeth Earl) whom along with her little sister Angeline (Holly Earl) and their mother (Dervla Kirwan) are rendered homeless after their van exploded. With that, they decide to briefly reside into a store owned by Mr Scottley (Brian Blessed) for a few days on Christmas. There, they hide under their beds, having an montage with Bring It All Back by S Club 7 playing and even gave treats to a security dog while not getting caught. However, Mr Whiskers (Peter Capaldi) suspects on their appearance in the store at first and is thinking of giving them to the authorities.
Their mother didn’t make it on one night to hide in the store and the girls are just hiding by themselves. And then suddenly, Mr Scottley and S Club 7 appears out of nowhere (and behind a cardout of the band themselves). The group discovers the two and lets it slide but that’s before the mother gets in the store to get her kids. Mr Whiskers has his suspicions being correct and decide to keep it secretive. A couple of days later, Livvy discovers that the store’s Santa (Ricky Tomlinson) and his elf (Sean Hughes) are planning to steal the jewels but it then cuts to a cat-and-mouse chase.
The two crooks are caught along with the store manager Miss Greystone (Helen Schlesinger) who’s also the leader of the heist. However, the three girls got caught by police as well and are in trouble. Actually, Mr Scottley hears Mr Whiskers’ story and dropped charges while inviting them for Christmas supper ending the movie with Livvy and Angeline discovering the real Santa outside the window.
Okay, this movie is pretty harmless and good for all ages even if Peter and Brian didn’t star in it. It shows what life is like for people becoming homeless in the holiday season while having their own adventure. Both Elizabeth and Holly are themselves talented and anybody else (including S Club 7) is alright. The only issue I have is that it kinda disguises itself somewhat as a S Club 7 vehicle but they were relevant at the time and doesn’t infect much to the overall plot. So if you want an Christmas movie with laughter, tears and great storytelling, this is one of them and is worth checking it out. Next time, I’m taking on another good Christmas material and yes, it’s the one that I mention that is personal as well.
December 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
Given that I have a few regrets when I review whatever on my site, one of those regrets is to find any Christmas material. The reason for that is because when it comes to something like Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, I thought it would be perfect to review at this time but I know it’s been reviewed to death within the first couple of days. And when it comes to something from my childhood, I might get lucky there but I might go ahead and review A Mom For Christmas. Then again, I don’t think I will review that one due to something that I will reveal later. Not this week though but before Christmas arrives this year of course.
And to my surprise, I don’t think I ever reviewed a Christmas movie from The Asylum. There has been a bunch like Snow Globe Christmas and Love At The Christmas Table but other than that, I looked it up (which I shouldn’t since wow, some of my articles I look at has “embarrassment” written over it) and yeah, I only review something awful like an episode of The Nanny for example. So I may as well start with me reviewing a Christmas movie involving talking cats… no, not that one.
The movie starts with Santa Claws (John P. Fowler) doing his usual duties on Christmas by delivering gifts for the children but there’s one issue – he has gone to the home of Julia (Damoni Burkhardt) and a bunch of cats which he’s notably allergic to (one of which mentioned it before encountering Santa). As Santa sees one cat drinking milk on the table, a little mayhem occurs that wakes Julia up and witnessing him before he disappeared. Santa is also seen outdoors by Julia’s friend and neighbour Marcus Bramble (Max Baroudi).
Flashing forward to thirty years and Julia (now played by Nicola Lambo) is still living at her home with his son Tommy (Ezra James Colbert) and four cats. As Julia somehow doesn’t believe in Christmas, Tommy does along with Marcus (Evan Boymel) who went from Julia’s childhood friend to socially awkward Santa-obsessed stranger. The kittens – Patches (Jordan Bielsky), Hairball (Quinn Ljoka) and Mittens (Lauren Elizabeth Hood) – were causing a bit of mayhem at the house which leaves Julia to send them to another home. Tommy being upset decide to put the three in the box while writing a letter to Santa at night. Santa arrives and took the box to the roof before he fell as witnessed by Marcus.
The kittens decide to help save Christmas by delivering presents with the help of two reindeers – Prancer and Baxter (both voiced by Dylan Vox) – who talks like two 90s-era radical surfer dudes. No really, two reindeers talk like they’re Chip and Pepper. Tommy discovers Santa and puts him the house while Marcus went to play the “antagonist” card and try to get Santa as well as the mother cat Maisy (Marguerite Insolia). The kittens then deliver their first gift but it leaves one of them stuck in the tree before it fell over… and somehow the three put it back up despite it being sort-of ruined.
Santa then awakes and explains why he fell over along with explaining the cats are part of his many allergies. Julia woke up and hides on the stairs thinking he’s a home invader. Meanwhile, The kittens went to another house for Christmas delivery but are somehow caught by their worst nightmare – some obnoxious pigtail girl. They manage to escape though and then, montage of them delivering gifts. Later, they got caught in a near collision course with a plane that results the sleigh to be fall to a snowy fields while the reindeers search for them.
Julia then quits hiding and go a bit manic on her seeing Santa before she discovers he’s the real deal and runs away. As Santa and Tommy went to convince her to believe in Christmas again, Marcus is in the house and took Santa’s hat which leads him to wear it and sees images of the kittens having adventures. As he changes his tune, Santa finally discovers the kittens are helping Christmas and panic for a minute thinking the plan is not gonna work along with Earth going into chaos for some reason. Yes, in a time when people stopped believing in Santa, Santa himself thinks apocalypse is gonna happen if no gifts arrived on time.
Marcus decide to hack into the sleigh’s GPS system and tells the kittens plans to save the holiday with the sleigh having a rocket booster. Back at Julia’s home, Santa eats a piece of Peanut Butter cookie and oh uh, he’s allergic to Peanut Butter so it leads Julia took the syringe and kinda doing the Pulp Fiction moment. The kittens then arrive near their home and Marcus took them in his house. Julia, Santa and Tommy went to them and as Santa see the kittens, he throws a few big sneezes at Marcus. The Reindeers arrive, Julia rekindle her friendship with Marcus and Marcus decide to adopt the kittens. Santa went home and the movie ends with Marcus taking a picture of him and the other two.
Honestly, the movie is alright and harmless. It is perfect for kids and also for adults. The acting is fine, the storyline is well-put and the kittens played their cute role with a minor exception on that. You see, some scenes have talking cats without their mouths opened and other scenes have them with CGI mouths opened and let’s say Maisy talking is kinda bit creepy. Granted, her role is minimal and doesn’t ruin it. I thought I should also mention that one scene has Marcus finding a video cassette tape to record Santa’s sudden appearance and one of those videos he doesn’t want to tape over is Sharknado. Stay Classy, The Asylum.
So if you want a movie that’s the opposite of either that Grumpy Cat movie or Santa Buddies, this is a good alternative and is worth checking out. Now I got one down, two to go so next time, I’ll be looking at a Christmas movie that has a touch of English. You’ll see what I mean by then.
December 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
It’s me talking about something involving time travel again and yeah, you should have known my style by now. I’m pretty much an average fan of the Terminator franchise since well, I liked the first two movies with a passion, don’t mind the third and (surprisingly) fourth movie and can watch the television series when I need to. Oh, and there was that Asylum knockoff I remember seeing once years ago that I kinda forget (except for the ending and a twist). So anyway, when there was the fifth movie coming with a ridiculous subtitle, it’s been said to be both a sequel and a reboot in a similar way JJ Abrams once took the helm on Star Trek. And a trailer is out so let’s see how that one goes.
Well, that happened. And to put it honestly, I really want to check the movie out. Not in the sense that this movie might be as bad as the last one or me going hipster-like and say that I will watch it ironically. No, I want to see the movie now because it looks freaking awesome despite what I just witnessed. I’ll get back to it shortly but for now, let’s see the casting call and who else is involved in Terminator: Genisys (that really is a dumb subtitle).
First taking the role as John Connor is Jason Clarke. He seems like an alright actor but I hardly seen him in everything. I did see him in Death Race and You Can’t Stop The Murders (which is a funny flick) but that’s it so I got little to say about this Australian actor besides seeing him in only two films. Yeah, I suck at this so let’s see the other Clarke in the picture playing Sarah Connor – Emilia Clarke. She was Daenerys in Game of Thrones so fuck it, she’s already perfect as Sarah Connor. Really, I’m just being honest here, she could be as perfect as Linda Hamilton and Lena Headey so what could I say about her that doesn’t need any explanation? Nothing at all.
And the father of John Connor has to be cast so let’s get John McClane’s son in on this. Okay, this one is another that I gonna come off as honest. Despite seeing him in A Good Day to Die Hard, I don’t see much of his work besides that. Yeah, this is me going back to Jason Clarke part. Although I might check out the Divergent series and Jack Reacher when I have free time (which is after January, I hope) and yes, he is alright as Kyle Reese but dammit, he is also perfect as Captain Boomerang in upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Sorry but really, it’s a better fit for the role instead of say, Sam Worthington. And now on to Matt Smith as “????” according to one magazine cover.
I’m a Doctor Who fan and whatever the role he plays, I don’t care because he might be good in this. If the character he’s playing is John’s high school buddy Tim, okay since I might be the only one to wonder what happened to that guy. He might be in his fifties if he survived the nuclear holocaust though. There’s also Courtney B. Vance of Law and Order: Criminal Intent fame as Miles Dyson which is really a nice fit. There’s also J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi (as Danny Dyson), Michael Gladis and Douglas Smith so nothing bad about them – especially J. Jonah Jameson himself because really, the actor is awesome in anything.
And I forgot to mention the Terminators themselves besides Arnie of course because I’m a fan of the movie so you probably expect my take on him as one of the characters he’s known to play. Other than that, he’s not the only T-800 model in the movie. The other one is played by Aaron V. Williamson who’s previously known for stunt work and for being a fitness professional. Looking at the trailer, his face might be replaced by Arnie’s face (presumably like Terminator Salvation) so I don’t know. His role might be a bit part so talking about him might be a bit pointless at this point. There’s also the T-1000 model which is now played by Lee Byung-Hun. Yeah, Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe movies.
Okay, he’s known for anything else like RED 2 and Three Extremes but again, it’s Storm Shadow as T-1000. It might be good or might be bad and I have nothing much bad to say about him even if he played Storm Shadow so we’ll see. Now to the people behind the work (besides James Cameron who’s somewhat involved in this movie). Oh Alan Taylor, the director of The Emperor’s New Clothes and Thor: The Dark World. What do I say about him? Probably that he might be better than McG in directing a Terminator movie. Yeah, I got nothing bad to say about him since his body of work is alright so he might be good in this.
To the two producers and we have David Ellison who was the executive producer of True Grit, Jack Reacher (again, I’ll watch that movie) and Star Trek Into Darkness (which I’m somewhat still defending). Then again, he also executive produce World War Z and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Uh, I hope his involvement in this film is a good thing. There’s also his sister Megan Ellison who has a better work than him. I mean, she won a Golden Globe for American Hustle and is nominated for four other films so hey, we might be in good hands.
The third producer is Dana Goldberg who’s similar to David Ellison mainly because they work together in Skydance Productions. On to the screenwriters now and we have Laeta Kalogridis who’s best known for… um, Birds of Prey? Oliver Stone’s Alexander? Uh, Pathfinder? Oh boy, me saying “we might be in good hands” earlier has shifted to the opposite direction. But she is the co-writer for this so let’s see what the other writer, Patrick Lussier has done and maybe he has good stuff. Well, he directed Drive Angry and that was a good movie. He also did Dracula 2000 and it’s two sequels. Okay, I only seen the first one but really? You got the guy who connected Dracula with Judas Iscariot, really?
Uh okay, it may be a fluke. Their work on Terminator: Genisys could be more superior than their previous work (and again, Drive Angry is a good movie so let’s pretend that one doesn’t count). Where the heck am I on now? Oh yeah, the plot to this movie which I will get back to earlier. Now I know about the plot synopsis weeks before the trailer hits and when I read that the T-800 (the one played by Arnie) is now a father surrogate to Sarah Connor in this new timeline that Kyle Reese has somehow stumbled onto to, I’m surprised by the whole alternate timeline aspect of this. Sure, it sounds like it comes off a bit like fan fiction but let me honest on what I’m gonna say, the whole Terminator franchise hasn’t come off being a singular continuity since after the second movie.
Why do I say this? Well, there was this original ending to Judgment Day where John Connor somehow is not a criminal and is instead a politician and wealthy father in a utopian future (plus Sarah Connor didn’t die of cancer). Sure, that one changed to a different ending that segues to the third movie. Or the second third movie since before Rise of the Machines, there was T2 3-D: Battle Across Time which is part Universal attraction, part movie plus it has the cast from the second movie including James Cameron, James Bruno and Stan Winston as the co-directors. Oh and in continuity sense, it has John Connor traveled forward to the future to witness the T-1000000. If anything, this one is the original Terminator 3 and I am pissed that it somehow became non-canonical thanks to the other movie.
And we got Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines which has the whole “Judgment Day is delayed, not aborted” thing (again, this movie throws Battle Across Time out of the window) and there’s the Zack Whedon-written comics which plays out as a prototypical version of Genisys and oh you should check this one out if you haven’t. And there’s that awkward crossover with Superman which I think it’s best to avoid. And of course, there’s the television series which… has its own set of multiple timelines!
Now you see my point on this, the Terminator franchise has more than one timeline being present and causes enough headaches that I bet there’s a Crisis on Infinite Earths-like event involving this somewhere. This is why I think the only two movies are fully connected to each other while anything else is its own thing one way or another. It probably doesn’t more continuities than the Highlander franchise but it’s dammit, it’s close. Hold up, does that mean that Terminator: Genisys is the “Highlander: The Source” of the franchise? I hope not because I don’t dare compare the second movie with Highlander II: The Quickening and both of those movies are miles apart from being identical to each other.
This is already becoming a confusing article (and sorry if I did cause it). So really, what I’m saying here is that I sincerely hope this new one doesn’t suck because I’m already pretty positive for the trailer, the casting, the director, most of the creative team and the surprise take on the franchise. Plus it’s the set up for a new trilogy so just hope this one is a success enough to have two more movies. And lastly, Arnie is already back into one of the roles he’s best known for playing and might save the franchise from becoming irrelevant enough to rebooted by a dumbass hack director about a few years. Yeah, I don’t want another Total Recall/RoboCop crap on this one so please don’t fuck this up.