Too Late to be Watching 12 Monkeys?

The second time that Cole pulled a gun on his son, the big bad otherwise known as The Witness, I had to take a break.

Being given the entire 3rd season of 12 Monkeys all in one weekend is like being given a car on your 16th birthday. You can sit in it but you just can’t get the full enjoyment. Not just yet, but soon.

I watched a couple of episodes and it felt like watching a really long film, rather than a series of episodes. Which want a bad thing. I stopped watching, reluctantly, until I got to the last couple of episodes. With the finale in sight, with that information about The Witness that has been alluding us within my grasp, I pressed on. And on I pressed until Cole pulled a gun on his son a second time. At that point, I got a little crazy feeling.

Here you have two people, let’s call them Cole and Cassandra. They have a life together, you know the 1950s house. They love one another. They are happy. And then they get pregnant. They continue to be happy, but things change. They start to wonder about a life without their child. What will it do to their realtionship? Is there life beyond their child? But they can’t do that. The child exists, their actions are redundant. The idea of the child is more powerful than their relationship. It presents a future of destruction. I’m not making this up, but their child bring about the end of the world.

Knelling before his father holding a gun, the son says “Whatever love you have for her is the reason that you must pull the trigger.”

Wow. I need to know how the writer feels about his or her family. If they haven’t already been to the psychratrist, they might need to go.

What is the moral of the story? Apparently, in the world of 12 Monkeys, life is great until you have a child who then ends the world and really puts a drag on your relationship. Heavy stuff.

Now that I’ve got that piece of crazy off my chest, I guess I’ll finish watching the episode.

One final note, Ramsey’s death. Let’s hope they bring him back because I spent half the series waiting for something to happen to bring him back. With this series, who knows.

 

Hardcore Henry

Hardcore Henry. It sounds a little like a cross between a kids programme and an adult film, it’s neither. If you haven’t already seen the trailer you are missing out. At first it looks like a gimmick and after a few different shots you realise it is a serious film shot completely in first person.

There is nothing new under the sun, just better versions. Hardcore Henry looks like a much better version of the 2005 film Doom, staring Dwayne Johnson. Now Doom was a box office boom, bringing in less money than it cost to make. There have been other, better first person movies like the 1947 adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel Lady in the Lake. Hardcore Henry is a lot more, well Hardcore, in terms of violence and action.

Is it going to be easier to watch Hardcore Henry than The Blair Witch Project? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to make any money. At the very least, someone found a good use for a GoPro.

Hardcore Henry

The Line-Up: Coherence

1416878686850Coherence: an important characteristic to have in any form of communication, but also the title of a film.

The cast is comprised of a group of vaguely recognizable actors, which is not completely accidental. The premise takes on a parallel universe, déjà-vu quality. The only exception to the cast might be Nicholas Brendon who used to have a reoccurring roll in the Buffy TV show. However, you might remember more recently from an alcoholic string of misdemeanors for trashing hotel rooms (hoteliers of the world beware) and most recently walked off Dr Phil. Even more interesting, did you know this guy had a twin brother? Kelly Donovan.

Back to the movie Coherence and to the guiding principle of Coherence which was not necessarily what the director was after having no actual script. Instead, the director/writer had a 12 page summary of characters and events and each day gave the actors a page of notes for their character only. More of a thought experiment than you might expect from your average film, especially as it would then lead to the movie having a more significant effect on the on the actors when they watched the film than the actual audience.

Continue reading “The Line-Up: Coherence”

Kaboom on the big screen: Flops, Disasters and Bombs

Everyone loves a disaster, except when you’ve paid fifteen bucks to sit in an uncomfortable room with too much trash on the floor and too many people eating too much popcorn. If you want to know the top ten box office bombs, check out Wikipedia, they even have the contentious box office revenue formula that means a film loses money if it takes in more money than it cost.
Unfortunately for films, the bottom line is the dollar sign. There are few other art forms when the revenue made is such an important sign of success or failure. It is only really films where profits are advertised so freely. Books can be bestsellers and music top of the charts without specific details of profits being advertised.
As a concept, the blockbuster throws millions of dollars at a movie with the expectation that a mere 25% profit will run into hundreds of millions of dollars. When that profit doesn’t appear we have some of the most interesting cultural and creative scenarios around. We have Disney disasters, good ideas poorly delivered, comic book catastrophes, Tarantino pet-projects and supernatural martial art KOs.

47 Ronin (2013)
A big budget supernatural martial arts film set in the time of the samurai starring Keanu Reeves. What is most interesting here is the box office fluctuations of Keanu Reeves. The year before 47 Ronin, Reeves starred in the smaller budget Man of Tai Chi which only took in a fifth of its budget. The next year, the budget of 47 Ronin was ten times Man of Tai Chi. The year after 47 Ronin, Reeves starred in John Wick. Obviously someone learned a lesson and with a budget a 10% the size of 47 Ronin and John Wick made double 47 Ronin.

Continue reading “Kaboom on the big screen: Flops, Disasters and Bombs”

What is Sense8 and should you care?

Sense 8: What now?
Sense 8: What now?
Sense8 is apparently one word, no spaces, and is a TV show produced by the Wachowskis (you remember the Matrix films) and J. Michael Straczynski (he wrote the screenplay for World War Z) for Netflixs.

Well that was relatively simple.

Everything else might be more complicated.

It is a science fiction show that focuses on eight individuals who are suddenly linked emotionally and mentally linked. Still with me?

Ok, they are called the Sensates and consist of a Chicago cop, a Nairobi bus driver, a Seoul businesswoman (also a kickboxer), a gay Spainard, a Berlin locksmith, an Icelandic DJ,and a Hindi pharmacist.

A guy named Mr Whispers wants to kill them and a dude named Jonas is trying to bring them together, but initially each of the characters get their own episode because they are in different parts of the world.

So I still haven’t address the should you care element of the question. I am getting there.

In our current landscape of taking a Hollywood film (take your pick from Sleepy Hollow, 12 Monkeys, Minority Report, Limitless and the list continues), a show that attempts to produce an original story seems to be rare. In addition, the sense that the global cast of characters provides us with a broader experience. By producing the series for Netflixs (like House of Cards and Daredevil) we are also experiencing a new way of watching TV.

On a number of counts, Sense 8 provides a changed experience from the narrowly defined way of approaching the media and any change is worth considering. None of that detracts from the fact it is hugely confusing and lacks a little excitement after the first episode.

I cannot claim to have watched the whole series and only time will tell whether the series will last. In the meantime, check out the trailer.

Persona Synthetics: Intruging or Lackluster Adverts?

You might have noticed a number of unusual adverts running at the moment for Persona Synthetics. Odd little adverts presenting the New Generation of synthetic humans. You can even head over to eBay to try and buy one for £20k.

The first time I saw the advert was running in an Agents of SHIELD break. Have a look for yourself.

The advert is relatively creepy by itself and also a little vague. Of course, when you follow the link, you will find this website that clearly states: “This page is an advertisement for Humans on Channel 4”.

This is very little more than a little viral marketing. Vaguely interesting but nothing about the TV show itself. For those of you interested, Humans is based on a Swedish SciFi drama of a couple of years ago which ran for a couple of seasons before it ran out of money.

Is the Channel 4 version going to be able to get beyond the basic looking drama? Channel 4 have done some good SciFi inspired dramas sets in the near future (or even now). I am thinking of Utopia. But the problem here is there is a lack of SciFi that makes this look a little like a cheap BBC show. Maybe, but not if the Persona adverts are anything to go by. Humans is out later in the year, so we shall see….