Toy Story 3 Review

When I became a man, I put away childish things. This of course is a quote, as I still play computer games, paint little army men and watch films called Toy Story 3.

Pixar’s latest film returns to the well realised characters from their first feature, released way back in 1995. A subset of the cast from the previous two films find themselves neglected by their owner, Andy, desperately trying to regain his attention. We learn that Andy is going to college and must decide what to do with his old toys. Through various mishaps most of the old gang end up at a daycare centre, whereas Woody has a golden ticket to college with Andy. Of course, the daycare centre isn’t the paradise it appears, and Woody is left with some important decisions to make.

You may have heard that this film is a bit of a tear jerker, and your humble reviewer can report that he wasn’t above having a bit of a weep towards the end of the film. It is genuinely affecting seeing characters I loved when I was 14 struggling to live in a world increasingly hostile to them, a family whose circumstances are changing just like the family of Andy. I challenge any adult to not feel at least a little emotional when Andy’s mother sees his newly emptied room, or when the toys stoically face death together after facing a world filled with betrayal.

Pixar’s talent for layered storytelling takes these emotional themes, more at home in a drama, and mixes them with elements that are fun, hilarious and at times a little scary. The film follows a narrative that is easy to follow and keeps the pace up well with nary a slow moment, possibly at the expense of feeling a little rushed. This pacing ends up burying some of the other toys, Bullseye and Slinky Dog seem to be downplayed almost to transparency, and I’m not sure that Bullseye is actually in the conveyor belt scene at all. It would have been nice to see more of the supporting toys from the earlier films, but I suspect that would have dragged down the start of the film unnecessarily. Saying that, the implied loss of some other toys, namely Woddy’s squeeze Bo, impart the theme of the film early and well.

There is also a confusing romantic subplot happening between Jesse and Buzz which, whilst leading to some entertaining scenes, adds little to the story and seems disjoint; especially if your memory of the second film is a bit hazy. I’d have gladly given this up for a bit more screen time for some other characters. The last real issue with the film is that it might be a bit scary for younger kids, I heard one child remarking that they were scared and I’m fairly sure another left the cinema. Although the level of threat is fairly high, it’s not opressive. The film is a U rather than a Uc and seems secure in the knowledge that kids don’t want an boring happy romp. I for one have much fonder memories of childhood films with a high level of antagonism.

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen voice the protagonistic couple, Hanks has the lion’s share of the work but Allen puts in a great performance and managed to make me forget I was listening to the ‘star’ of Home Improvement. Other characters are well rounded where they are allowed to be. The perennially quixotic Joan Cusack puts in a great performance as Jesse, being both abrasive and endearing at the same time, but not given enough space to really shine. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) have some good scenes together as well, and are the most active of the supporting toys.

New additions Ken (voiced excellently by Michael Keaton) is the comedic star, providing a lot of the laughs during the middle stretch of the film. Casting Keaton here was stroke of genius, you can almost see the first movie Batman’s face in Ken if you squint hard enough. Ned Beatty as antagonist Lotso never seems to really get to grips with the character though, by turns outraged and friendly he doesn’t come off as the mastermind he’s supposed to be, more two personalities inhabiting the same character.

A quick note on 3D. I tend to avoid it wherever possible, I find it distracting and blurry, but for Toy Story 3 it’s worth investing in the Elvis Costello glasses. If it wasn’t for the fuzziness in near objects I could have completely forgotten the film was in 3D, but Night & Day however, the short before the main feature, uses the 3D effect in a genuinely interesting way and is well worth seeing.

All in all, I adored Toy Story 3. The continuing theme of obsolescence carried through the series from the first film comes to a head, and leaves you with a bittersweet ending to the character’s stories. This is possibly Pixar’s best film to date and the best film I’ve seen this year. Go to see it now, take the kids, friends and a tissue. You won’t be disappointed that you did.

+10 on the Rjandberg-Smythe scale

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Twi-Hard 2: Twi Harder! LIVEBLOG!

Well, we’re back! And we’ve brought Twilight: New Moon with us! For reasons none of us really understand we’re here to live blog the second movie in the Twilight saga.

Present is Ado to my left, and Gazz to my slightly further left. The Thai food is here, and two pints of beer have been consumed. Meet us at 20:30, and prepare your loins!

We’re here, and we’re watching the trailers before the ‘feature’! I have a beer, Gazz has a beer and Ado has a squash.

More ARRPATTS trailers before the film starts. YAY

Crustyplow: The Driest Furrow. A movie about kids watching old folks getting it on.

The URL advert for Eclipse lists a Bebo address. Aren’t they dead?

A yellow moon. That’s symbolism for a weak bladder. Bella sounds prophetic (pathetic). Lots of red riding hoods. Flowers and some old bird. HI GRANDMA!

The sparkles begin! EAT GRANDMA! DO IT EDDIE!

HOLY SHIT; Edward did Bella’s granny. Now bargain basement Jason Leigh brings a sammdige. I’M BORED.

Ado: She only has one tone.
Gazz: You’ll learn to love it.

What kind of car is that. I think it’s a Volvo! Perfectly framed shot of a pretty boy walking in slow motion next to his shiny Volvo. Yea!

Ed is 109, she is 19. ULTROPAEDO! Get off that lass, grandad!

Gazz: We could just fuck in the back of this Volvo?

Best line of the film? ‘I’m just filling out Bella’ and ‘You should come take a ride’

Ado: ‘I saw this hole the other day, and I thought of you. It’s like a wizard’s sleeve!’

Perky girl rots my brain. Ado: ‘Vampires don’t use stairs, it makes sense now!’ Funny ‘don’t trust vampires joke’

Ado: ‘The Keanu Reeves award for emoting goes to…’

Gazz: ‘Previously on Twilight: biting’

PRETENTION!

Shit! Brian Clough is in this film! Nice ruff, Clough!

Best part of the film? Dismemberment by Brian Clough. Clough’s Rough Stuff is Gazz’s Cliff Richard cover band.

‘She’ll come for me soon’

‘Don’t hate the truck. It’s a Volvo’

YOU GOTS BLOOD ON MY BEIGE CARPET BITCH, TAKE IT! Eat her!

Does Ed look a bit disgusted.

Ado: Look at all the blood in you. Time of the month is it?

‘How do you do it?’ From behind with a bag on your head. No two bags for redundancy. You’re a double bagger.

Why do they burn the bandages? It’s so that they don’t go rooting through the bins later for them. It’s like when you throw half a sausage away, then regret it later.

Mumble translation:-
Ed: Bella do you understand my feelings for you at all?
Bella: God told me. How’d you feel about your solo? Ern weewap, so don’t worry about mine
E: Scronsay
[pause]
B: Shitty birthday. Say ass one thing. Kicks me (Gimli?)
E: SCROMF. [pained look]
B: It was a poo
E: Who are you?
–==SCENE==– (Ed only does one take)

Bella don’t use no photoshop. Also Gazz sez they ruining Bon Iver. Ado: Nice titties on the left.

Neil: What’s happened so far?
Ado & Gazz: Nothing

Who the fuck is Jizbert?

Bella: ‘I’m coming!’ Us: From that distance?

Who the hell is charlie? We don’t know but they ARE in the trees.

Charlie says, don’t watch Twilight. Gazz: Oh Stephanie Meyer, how I hate you

MOPE!

Bella still looks constipated. No wait, it’s coming! No, she’s just falling over. WHILE STANDING STILL. DU HAW, I’M SO CLUMSY LOL

Topless action! Man boob. Moob.

Ahh, Charlie is Tesco Jason Leigh. Gazz: ‘I got naked, but I didn’t rape her’

OKTOBER
Mope
NOVEMBER
Mope
Gazz: She’s not even listening to the Cure. Rubbish
DECEMBER
Snow mope. Snope
EMAIL BREAK. Cool, disappearing computer!
Bella: SCREEAPHRAAAGHHHAHHH! Period cramps
Charlie shall now be called Churl.

Beer is gone 😦 GAZZ, GET ME ANOTHER. Now Bella is going to Jacksonville. I hope the movie ends soon.

WE’RE ONLY 30 MINUTES IN! There’s another hour and thirty to goooo.

Hopefully it’s an hour’s worth of credits. Ado: Who for? Mumblor and all the cameramen who offed themselves.

Bella’s truck don’t work ’cause it’s not a VOLVO. I wan’t to drink at ONE EYED PETE’S.

Wtf is with ghost Edward? Really?

Bella: I think I know one eye.

Bella want rough trade. Ed thinks that be a bad idea. None of us have any clue what’s going on here. Now time for MORE MONOLOGUE!

Bella: If i need a rush of danger to see him, I’ll have to drive a HONDA.

Is it that Ed actually turns up when she’s in danger, or that she’s gone mental and sees him when she’s high on adrenaline?

Why do they keep making jokes about Bella’s age. Is this a theme?

Wolfman (Jacob?): Do you not like that song?
Bella: I don’t like things I enjoy

First time I’ve seen Bella turned on by is man fighting.

I remember this on time I broke up with a lass and woke up screaming every night. Supportive Churl is supportive. And not funny.

Churl: Sometimes you have to learn to love what’s good for you. [Later he is arrested for incest]

Gazz about Jake: Is that as close as you can get to being female whilst still having a ballsack?

There’s still a damn hour left.

Is Ed really scared of her driving a dirt bike. Isn’t that a mite overprotective. YES FACEPLANT INTO A ROCK! MORE OF THIS SORT OF THING!

GREAT LINES IN CINEMA:
Jake: You’re apologising for bleeding?
Bella: I guess I am.

More random topless! ‘Here smell my shirt. Mmm’

Why can’t we see the tigers being killed by bears?

Bella: What about ‘Face Punch’ have you heard of that?
Rando #1: No
Bella: You have now! [Smek]

Let’s Do This! Face Punch. I wanna see that more that Twiglet. Rando is a pussy. We also wanna see Parking and Gambling, Gods and LSD, also Pontypool, Mike Zero.

BOO RALPH! You’re rubbish. We see you’re online, you’re just hiding from this amazing film!

Bugger! Jake made her feel feelings again. Now we go back to mopecore mode for a while. STOP MOPING! SHUT UP! FUCKING TEENAGERS! ‘I’m not like a car, you can’t just fix me. But I do have a spacious boot and wide exhaust’

I honestly don’t know what’s happening now, except that Ed has gone and Bella’s a bit mopey.

Topless!

Why does Bella go for angry assholes? Ginger rando was OK.

‘Hey Jake, come and hang out in the woods with us guys in tight shorts with no tops on in the pouring rain! It’s totally not gay!’

We think Bella’s trying to find a cliff to jump off. We want that! DO IT BELLA.

Oooh, Bella on her knees again! Who’s this guy? I think his name is Orwan, Rowan or Woyan. His accent is great and randomly dropped. Actmaster!

Ado: MY EDWARD SENSE IS TINGLING
Gazz: Who the fuck are all these people?

Why would any vampire be afraid of Ed? He’s a goit.

Growbag: I can’t help but kill you, so mouthwatering
Bella: Please don’t

There’s totally a wolf! Werewolves vs. Vampires is more boring than I thought.

Twilight rules of vampires:
A) You’re immortal
B) You’re pretty
C) You’re sparkly
D) Don’t really need to drink blood
E) Get a bit angry around blood sometimes but not a lot
F) BASICALLY NO DRAWBACKS!

Ado and Gazz are on Team Jake. I’m on Team FOAD.

Jake can’t work shirts anymore. Cutting his hair cut his IQ by all.

WE DEMAND VAMPIRE, WEREWOLF, MOPEY BINT THREE WAY! IT SHALL BE AWESOME!

Bella: Come back and talk, Jake! I have not moped enough! (Falls over)

Plot is actually happening! We’re on tenterhooks!

Ado: It’s all about the dialogue. The dire-log

SLAP! Anger! Wolfywoo! Let’s hope those shorts grow back!

Ralph, you’d like this. They keep talking about feelings. You’re into that, right?

Wolfmen: Hey Bella, wanna come inside? there might not be any nobbing.

Ado is taking his top off to show TEAM JACOB solidarity. Bella is a total whore for supernatural bastards.

BEER 3!

I watched Inception before this. I don’t know if that’s making this worse, or if it really is this tedious.

BITE HIS FACE OFF! Jamaycahn vampire’s face was delicious, B. You know, the main villain in this film hasn’t been seen by the audience yet, but is always talked about. Is that good filmmaking? NO!

Ghost Volvo! Golvo! Ginger, there in the trees, old man! Dumbass. Now she’s after Churl! OH NOES! Get the ginger, Team Jacob. Do you think she’s leading them into a trap? I THINK SHE IS!

Twilight vamps can not only cross running water, they can swim like motherfuckers.

Ado: Not vampires. CAMPIRES!

Bella’s going to be killed by the sea! Yay! Shark ginge! Kill her, end this damn movie! At least Ghost Ed is around to watch.

Grey Shorts Guy: Hey A-Hole ar going to horrargh ver place. Have you seen the financing available on new Volvos?
Bella: [Mumbles]

All the dudes Bella likes are the Hulk. Imagine if she met Bruce Banner. SPAFF!

Bella is such a ho bag. ‘You’re so special! Also, I hallucinate about Ed like all the time. Lets knob and I can hallucinate his face on your piece!’

Ado: Abstinwhore did done goned did a breathe!

Psychic vampire is not a character. Sometimes I wish I was a walking deus ex machina.

Psychic lass: #Bella, what is that awful wet dog smell?’
Bella: ‘MY THATCH!’

Better wolfvampbint threeway! Psychic vamp is a better Ed. Me: What month is it now? Gazz: Mopetober

Shit, this is the first time in an hour we’ve seen Jake with his shirt on! 5 to 1 that he’s topless in the next film. Bella should knob Jake, he’s much better.

Stuff happening! Psychic: He wants to die too! Us: SO DO WE!

Is that a Volvo? WHY YES IT IS! Bella has her own plane. It’s a Virgin Atlantic. FNARR!

Brian’s back! Get in there, Brian! Camp, camp Brian Clough. Are the folks in Engerland? They’ve nicked our road signs. It’s apparently italy. With Brian Clough. They’re also driving a Porsche, so you know it’s Italy.

FUCKING CLOWN SHOES! None of this makes sense! ‘You go, because he can read my thoughts! Even though he saw you dying half way across the globe!’ Ed’s suicide plan is gash.

SHUT UP YOU MOPEY TWATS! You make no sense and we can’t tell what you’re saying.

Bella – still a virgin whore. What are we betting that the little girl vamp is like 800 or something.

WORST MUZAK EVER! I bloody hate these damn boring vampires. BRIAN CLOUGH IS BACK! Brian: ‘ANwo Anctante!’

Ado: This is the best bit of the film! Look at Brian emoting! I’d forgotten that people could do that! He actually changed the tone of his speech! Amazing!

FIGHT! It’s fast in slow-mo. Nobody knows why they’re fighting. Probably for ratings. SMASH HIS PRETTY FACE IN!

For a soulless vampire, Ed is one depressing bastard.

INTO THE CLOUGH EYE! What’s in there? A crap scene where Bell and Ed have a nice run in the woods. We know Bella is a vamp because she FAILS TO FALL OVER.

Ed: Sorry I fucked off forever. It were for your own good
Bella: …
Ed: Whormble wardhe
Bella: …
Ed: …
Bella: My donna wo change me
Ed: [waffle]

Gazz: If you become a vampire, you automatically lose your hymen. Incidentally Bella is more of a son than you ever were, Ed

Woop! Jake and Ed meet! Jake has lost his shirt again. Jake has introduced an exciting contrivance that will stretch this out for another movie at least. Bella tells Jake she’s been stringing him along. I’ll bet Jake keeps sniffing around her though. Damn Bella’s fickle heart! So many hot dudes want to do her, and she can’t decide who gets a ride.

Ed: Wait five years, then I’ll make you a drawback free vamp.
Bella: No
Ed: Marry me then

END. Thank fuck that’s over!

No wait! There’s a stinger after the credits! It’s Brian Blessed as Ghengis Khan! He’s come to set all the main characters on fire for being boring mopey assholes! Look at all the blood! best stinger ever!

That was bloody awful. I hate you all. Goodnight.

Twi-Hard: Twilight Liveblog Edition

Howdy.

Tonight I present to you a special post, one so steeped in scientific nous and socio-political importance that it might just make you take this blog seriously. Tonight I am going to liveblog my very first watching of shiny-vamp extravaganza Twilight.

For those not in the know, Twilight was released in December 2008 and is based on the book by Stephenie Meyer. Being girlie tween fiction mixed with vampires with their shirts off the film went on to gross an estimated $70 million in its opening weekend and gained a score of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. A sequel to the first film was released this summer, New Moon, which managed 28% at RT and a $72mil opening weekend.

Twilight has been responsible for a lot of nerd rage, and it occurs to me that there may be a lot of people who have passed judgement on the film without actually seeing it. I intend to address that fact by watching the film and scribbling internet-crayon thoughts as I do. I’ll admit at going into this with a bias towards disliking the film, I’ve watched and loved enough vampire films and books to think that watering down the horror of the vampire with a wishy washy kids love story is a bit shit.

Anyways, join me at 20:30 to begin my journey into the unknown world of tween-romance-horror-flicks.

UPDATE Spell checked!

IT BEGINS

OK, I’m in good shape having just watched the somewhat excellent Gruffalo. I have a glass of G&T, the cat is asleep and I’m settled in.

It’s starting. OOOH!
First though, washed out acid look = overused.

First line is about dying. Now a deer is dead. That’s what happens.

EXPOSITION. Also, was that that wrestler with no neck?

Monologuing about forks. Sorry, Forks. I misunderstood. Dad is chief of police. Music is like VAST on weed.

‘Charlie don’t hover.’ Also cripple is a joker. Jacob tries harder but can’t avoid having the same hair as protagonisto-lass. Fortunately this girl knows how to double de-clutch. Who still does that?

Apparently the prot is called Isobel. Aww, she’s shy! Also just beaned a dude on the head. Call her Bella (like Belladonna? Deadly nightshade? Hmm)

Wow everybody likes the new lass. New lass likes the effete, angelic types from Alasks (ARE THEY VAMPIRES? I AM NOT SURE!) They are ‘weird’ apparently, because they are pretty? Main squeeze boy looks constipated. There is now a fan with slow-mo and what looks like main squeeze vomiting.

Shot with the pretty boy with wings behind him. ART? No. Just no.

For reasons I can’t understand Bella is pissed off that everybody likes her. Rommel is a vampire.Now Bella shuns her new friends for an ill tempered boy who thinks she smells. ?

Another acid burn shot industrial scene, someone is dead. We don’t care who.Bella falls over IS THIS ALLEGORY FOR HER WHOLE LIFE? So far moping > acting.

Angry mopey guy is back. His name is Ed (or Edward). I think he is constipated, also high.

“Do you enjoy the rain” “Are you asking me about the weather?” “Yeah I guess I am” “Not really. I don’t like things wet and cold”

Acoustic guitar, close ups on eyes. Awkward silences. Talking about biology lessons. IS THIS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?

Pause for booze!

Ed is like low rent superman liek OMG. They are playing I am the Walrus backwards.

I take it back, the effete pale doctor who is obv. a vampire scares the shit out of me.

The dialogue is causing me pain. I am failing to understand why this lass is so attracted to a passive aggressive weirdo who thinks she smells. Now she’s dreaming about him. Turns out you can tell a vampire by their elaborate hair. And the posing.

“Compost is cool!” Best line yet.

Bella fell over agin. I’m thinking she’s permanently wasted.

Bella dropped her bag. I am sensing a new drinking game! Now she’s dropped an apple but Ed has saved it. Does that count?

DC and Marvel comics references at last. I can see fom this film why women end up with wife beaters, Bella seems to think that a moody guy who doesn’t tell her anything but is insanely hot is the best thing evar.

Ooh, ominous music and the history of the vamp kids. The injun kids are descended from wolves and the vamps were a rival clan who they made friends with for some reason. It’s a lot less spooky than the score would have you believe.

Vampire whore is fun. Black vampire wears a cravat. Man on boat is dead. Nobody misses him.

HINTS! Whenever the weather is nice the Cullens (Ed’s mates) don’t come out. Hmmmmm. Also Asian lass needs to eat some pies. We are trying on dresses. In a turn of acting skill Bella is as bored as I.

Drunken bigger boys. I wonder if Ed will save her?

HOLY CRAP HE DID, in his awesome car which looks to be a small Volvo which sounds like it’s had it’s engine replaced by the one from the Batmobile.

Bella to firends in front of Ed: “Yeah, I should eat something.” Pause. [snigger]

Ed doesn’t eat no ravioli, hes on an [ahem] SPECIAL DIET, nudge nudge.

Bella frustrates Ed because he allegedly can’t read her mind. “I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore.” This is ROMANCE at it’s best.

Ed has cold hands.

A man is dead, let’s try to emote shall we? She almost managed to look sad. Like that time she fell down.

Old indian book talks about ‘cold ones’. Bella didn’t know what a vampire was until she googled it. Now she’s got a bigger horny pants for Ed. I hear in the sequel she dates Ed Gein and Ted Bundy simultaneously. IT’S A LAFF RIOT!

Tee-hee “You’re impossibly fast”

“I know what you are” “Say it. Out loud. Say it” “Vampire” “Are you afraid?” “No” Bah.

Ooh we get to see what Ed looks like in the sunlight. “This is why we don’t show ourselves in sunlight” He looks like david Bowie has sprayed him with body glitter. “I’m a killer” A glittery killer.

New film idea: Twilight vs. Predator. EPIC!

Ed is now showing off by running around. Bella is like a drug, interesting how he’s so pale and thin and likens her to his own personal heroin. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Overblown washed out romance scene. Ed cops a feel. Now Bella sits with a vampire who admits to killing folks in a field of flowers. They sit and stare at each other a lot. Ed is shiny again. I throw up a bit. Camera pulls out. Cue the strings!

“There are a few things I am sure about. First, Ed is a vampire” Writing genius! 4th G&T

Ed is smiling and wearing 80’s sunglasses. Some lass just said “Oh. My. God.” It’s like the Breakfast Club! But bad.

Apparently to turn a dude a vamp just has to bit them, then the ‘venom’ turns ’em. Vamps have to stop drinking to turn them, which is hard because they love them some blood. Ed and his chums are, and I quote “vegetarian vampires” “like a man eating only tofu”

Ed has a special power to read minds. One can see the future. One can make salad out of biscuits. The other can make a noise that sounds exactly like Chewbacca. I may have made the last two up.

Ed’s house is also like an architect’s we dream. Vamps are cooking. Moodily. People are laughing! This may be the first time in the film!

Ed’s room is an Ikea catalogue. Hey; like my house! Wait, it’s tidy. Boo.

Bella has reminded us for the second time that she can’t dance. This man predicts she’ll be dancing like a fucking ballerina before the end of the film.

Ed is playing Bella piano. Invisible violins make it sound emotional.

Vampire prostitute is back!

Bit of actual drama. There are lots of veggies in this movie. Bella is dishing about Ed with her mum. Ed has broken in to listen. IT’S A PLOT TO SET UP THE BEST ‘YOUR MUM’ JOKE IN FILM HISTORY!

Fail. Instead we have heavy breathing. Oh and kissing. No sex because Ed is like the makai (bonus! Anyone who isn’t Ralph who knows where the like “You makai are all the same. One smell of pussy and you fucking lose it” gets a free slice of toast)

Dad will allow Bella to bring Ed to meet him, but he is also cleaning his shotgun. HOHOHO! Funny times. Now Bella is going to play baseball with vamps.

‘Supermassive black hole’ and vampires playing baseball during a thunderstorm. This montage is awful. Bugger me this is crap.

Yay! baddie vampires are here to break it up!

NOOOOOOOOOO! The baddie vampires are going to play too. Bella looks constipated again. At least she hasn’t dropped anything for a while.

Saved by delicious human blood. the EdBell (BellEd?) hivemind has to run away for some reason.

Aww for no real reason Bella has to be nasty to her dad so she can run away with Ed. TBH I wasn’t concentrating very hard.

OK, I’m really not sure why 2 of the three baddie vampires have to track down Bella for some reason.

Petulant blond vampire is petulant.

Bella is now Ed’s life despite only knowing her for a month or so. Vamps are wearing Bella’s clothes to keep the evil vamps off her scent, but are running down the side of the same road she’s driving down. BUH.

Deus ex machinaRandom lass who can seethe future tells us there’s at a place with mirrors. TURNS OUT IT’S WHERE BELLA TOOK BALLET LESSONS AS A SPROG. HA! This is the best writing evar.

Bella is going to meet the vampire who wants to eat her without her vampire friends. It’s OK she has her can of mace. She’s doing it so that evil vamp #1 won’t eat her mum. WHUT?

Baddie vamp #1 is filming Bella being sad. Sadly Bella’s actress has only a passing knowledge of how to look sad. Now she’s supposed to be scared but she still just looks constipated.

Baddie has just broken Bella’s leg, but she still can’t sell it. It’s OK though Ed’s here to distract us! Bella has been bit and she’s writhing in pain. I like this bit!

On the upside he’s getting leathered. On the downside now his bit of fluff is dying he’s found the ‘inner strength’ to beat the baddie. Scary vamp doctor knows Bella is dying from the ‘venom’. But it’s OK, Ed can suck out the venom! It’s been a good 3 minutes since she was bitten.

Ed is sucking on her wrist, she’s sucking her cheeks in and going cross eyed. It’s like a 5 year old pretending to be drained.

MOVING MONTAGE!

It’s not that moving because Bella isn’t dead. Despite having her femoral arery severed for 3 minutes and a fuckton of her blood sucked out by her man she’s still OK!

Bella has discovered acting! she’s still no good at it though.

Back in Forks it’s time for the prom! Ferfuck’ssake. Bella’s Indian friend is back. DO YOU THINK HE MIGHT BE A WEREWOLF? HMMM?

Prom montage! All Bella’s norm friends still like her despite her not having talked to them in ages. Bella is slow dancing with Ed. They are playing mopecore.

Bella wants to be a vamp but Ed thinks it might be a bit like marriage and tells her he thinks it wouldn’t be right in order to cover his tracks. Ed worries about Bella becoming a monster, a sparkly monster that has superpowers and for some reason never seems to have to drink blood.

Actually, they’ve never explained what the veggie vamps do eat. Was it that deer at the start? I dunno.

vampire whore is at the end when it goes all balck and white in order to add a bit of respectability. They montage black and white shorts from the film over the credits.

I have wasted 2 hours of my life on a poorly written nonsensical love story with a tacked on supernatural twist which had had it’s guts removed to make it palatable. If I’d paid for it I’d feel let down. Not an awful film, but not any good by a long chalk. Avoid unless you’re a 16 year old girl.

I have your movies…

Hey guys and gals and none gender specific trolls (I’m lookin at you Squeil). I just came up with a lovely new game I’ve been playing with myself (please do not insert your own grammar into that sentence and that’s not new, it’s the second oldest game, just behind the game*). It involves entering a message into your mobile/cell** phone and then using the predictive text to deliberately alter the meaning to obscure your true intentions, thus rendering the recipient blissfully unaware of truth that lies beneath…

This can be done for best effect when having something horribly hateful to say but simply disguising it as an informational text or, even better, something nice and complimentary.

80s Style!!!
80s Style!!!

If you want to have a go and then wish to share that go with the world*** post your best tries in the comments section, either with the actual message you have subtly camouflaged in [square brackets] or leaving us all to hazard foolish guesses.

* not the wrestler
** delete as applicable
*** world may only extend to the three people that read this blog ever now and then

A Brief History of the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale

Dr Rjandberg and Mr Smythe as Youths
Dr Rjandberg and Mr Smythe as Youths
As you all know, the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale is the preeminent method of rating an entertainment piece. Below is an article I wrote for Harper’s earlier this year (don’t look for it onlne, it was a print-only deal). I’ve talked to the editors and they’re OK with me republishing it here:

In 1918 two men, sick of the inexact measures of quality of pipe tobacco, began work on a ground breaking new system to gauge brands of smoking matter. Dr Clive M. Rjandberg, Professor emeritus of Kings College London and noted moustache enthusiast first mooted the idea to his close friend Mr Samuel ‘Bunty’ Smythe (noted cad, raconteur, womanizer and rumoured American) at the Reform Club. The two found that the aromas of pipe tobacco varied wildly, as did descriptions of them. The pair, profoundly moved by a discussion as to whether ‘Woodrow’s Finest No. 6’ smelled ‘like the arse end of a mule’ or ‘akin to scent of your mater’s thighs’, decided a more empirical method of measurement was needed.

The original scale ranged from -37 to +49, reflecting the relative grades given to the pairs favourite tobacco. The system failed to take off however, and the pair were described as ‘barmy as Welshmen’ by their peers. It was only two years later when they created the Revised Rjandberg-Smythe Tobacco Aroma Gradation Rating System (commonly referred to as the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale, or Randy-Smie Number) that people began to take notice, eschewing the previous values, the pair settled on a -12 to +12 scale, with 0 being the median, or starting point. Over the next few months the system gained impetus, spreading around Gentleman’s Clubs throughout the country and many tobacconists began labelling their wares according to the pair’s new system. This practice continued for some years until, in 1924, Professor Eustace Dorricott of Oxford University created the Oxford Rjandberg-Smythe Plain Language Translation Formulae. It was around this time that Mr Smythe began working on ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to the Revised Rjandberg-Smythe Tobacco Aroma Gradation Rating System and Smutty Flickbook’, a definitive work on the application of the Scale, along with pictures of French Ladies of Ill Repute.

Doricott’s Formulae, specifically created for the mathematically challenged, assigned a word in common parlance to each rating, cross referenced with many other factors. The exact formulae was lost when Professor Doricott was eaten by cannibals in the Congo, his notes on the matter are said to be used as divine teachings for the tribe to this day. The Formulae apparently gave results ranging from ‘Positively Rancid’ to ‘Verifiably Top Hole’, which allowed the working class and women to understand the system. In November of 1924 the failing Wellson & Sons Tobacco Company of Great Britain began marking their products with the Rjandberg-Smythe number and the Oxford Formulae rating in an attempt to bolster their sales. Sadly the ruse failed. Possibly due to the fact that a good selection of Wellson & Sons’ products proudly bore the inscription ‘Immaculately Feculent’. Thanks to the Oxford Formulae the company folded. Afraid that the same fate may befall them other tobacco companies began barring their brands from being sold with an associated Rjandberg-Smythe number, forcing the practice underground.

Despite having many adherents at its place of creation, the Reform Club, the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale eventually fell out of favour. Mr Smythe’s book on the subject remained unpublished and the manuscript languished in his modest four storey mansion.

The Rjandberg-Smythe Scale was lost for a long period, and the populace returned to haphazardly rating tobacco by unempirical standards. It was only in 1952 when film reviewer Terry ‘Ted’ Pepper was asked to write his opinion on Fritz Lang’s western ‘The Legend of Chuck-a-Luck’ (later renamed Rancho Notorious) that the Scale was returned to the popular consciousness. Pepper, a journalist and frequent gambler, had won the title deed to the Smythe Mansion in a game of craps against American columnist Arthur “Bugs” Baer. Among the possessions left in the mansion by the American Pepper found Smythe’s original manuscript for ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to the Revised Rjandberg-Smythe Tobacco Aroma Gradation Rating System and Smutty Flickbook’. Drawn in by the promise of Gallic nipple, Pepper became entranced by the idea of an empirical ratings system. He first implemented the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale in his review of Rancho Notorious, giving it a -8 and stating “Who thought naming their female lead ‘Chuck-a-Luck was a wise decision?”.

Pepper continued to use the scale in his reviews, and went as far as to copyright his idea in 1953 as ‘Pepper’s Numbers’. Other film reviewers, inspired by Pepper’s success, began to emulate him using various methods. Hunter S. Thompson famously used a scale of e to 7.34 in his early ‘zine work. Others settled into using either a 0 to 5 or a 0 to 10 scale as they were prevented from using ‘Pepper’s Numbers’, a tradition that has continued to this day.

It was in December of 2008 that famed Numerology Historian M. Dennis Mellenkampf discovered Pepper’s lost copy of ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to the Revised Rjandberg-Smythe Tobacco Aroma Gradation Rating System and Smutty Flickbook’ at an Oxfam shop in the West End. Amazed by the pictorial content of the book Mellenkampf quickly purchased the book and consumed its contents with gusto. It was only by chance that Mellenkampf happened to be a fan of Dick Powell’s ill fated ‘The Conqueror’ and had recently read Ted Pepper’s review on the internet (he gave it a +3, noting that ‘Wayne was dynamite!’) that he noticed the similarity between ‘Pepper’s Numbers’ and the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale. Taking his findings to the patent office, Mellenkampf was able to provide proof of prior art using Smythe’s manuscript and Pepper’s estate’s copyright on the system was rescinded.

Now the Rjandberg-Smythe Scale is in the public domain reviewers are free, and encouraged to, adapt it to rating any product, service or event. The recognised implementation of the scale gives 0 as absolute average, +12 as the pinnacle of quality and -12 the epitome of awful. To grade against the Scale one begins at 0 then assigns a value to positive and negative traits of the piece. Once all factors are considered, the values are tallied to give the final score. Below is an example using the fictional period film ‘The Ghost of Mary Stamford’ directed by Michael Bay:

Positives:
3 – Megan Fox is very hot
1 – The ghost effects were very good

Negatives:
3 – Slow motion action scenes were an ill fit for a period drama
3 – Christian Bale’ performance as Mr. Blaringsworthworth was at best poor and at worst soul destroying
3 – The political power struggle subplot was poorly written and entirely unnecessary
2 – The ghost sex scene was ill thought through
2 – The casting of Sean-William Scott as Roger the Stable Boy was ill advised
1 – The Uzi was not invented until the late 1940’s
1 – There are no 6 lane highways in Elizabethan England

We now total the positives for a score of +4, and total the negatives for a score of -15. Adding the scores together we get -11, one up form the lowest rating on the Scale. Casting anyone except for Megan Fox as Mary Stamford and her comedy ghost buddy Xirraxgranithikkor Queen of The Pit would have led to a -12 and a critical drubbing form the cognoscenti.

Image courtesy of Louisville International Airport.

…All’s right with the world.

You know how it is when you spend so long waiting for something that eventually you stop checking?

A couple of years ago Hideaki Anno, Gainax and Studio Khara announced the Rebuild of Evangelion project. It’s aim to retell Neon Genesis Evangelion across four theatrical movies. The first three focusing on updating the original series with the addition of several new elements including new characters and at least two new EVA’s. The fourth film is intended to give the franchise an alternative ending(at least its fourth variation across all Media).

Grand plans indeed. The first of the four movies was released in September of 2007 and was pretty much a straight remake of the first six episodes of the series, none of Anno’s plans became apparent in the actual movie, its not until the teaser trailer for part two at thee end of the movie that there is anything for the fan to get greasey-excited about. Here we are treated to glimpses of a new Eva model. our first look at the redesign of Eva 02 and our first glimpse of a young girl with brown hair and spectacles who may or may not be a new pilot. Pretty exciting stuff.

Then things went quiet though. The originally planned release date of January 2008 came and went, anime magazine Newtype anounced that the film would now be released in December 2008, almost a whole year after the original date. October 2008 the official website published enigmaticly that the second film wouldn’t be released until “Early summer 2009”, it was starting to look like the rebuild project was going the same way as the ill-fated western Movie.

That’s what I thought any way, an as time went on I stopped checking, until today I tapped it into Google looking for a UK release date for Book 12 of the manga, what I found instead was a new trailer for the second movie, and a confirmed release date of June 27 2009.

While I realise that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, since I first saw the series I’ve loved it, it features a complexity to it’s characters that I find fascinating and while many of it’s themes are cod philosophy, psychology and theology at best it’s still probably more thought provoking than your average Dan Brown adaptation.  And it has giant robots (sort of), take that Hanks!