Saturday, October 30, 2010

Torture Porn Does 3D

Films are released on Thursdays.
So, Thursday just gone marked the first day in Australian cinemas for The Social Network, Made in Dagenham and Red. What did I go see? No, not Helen Mirren shooting up bad guys, or Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg by way of Sorkin and Fincher.


I went to see Saw VII.

Right. Context. I didn't see the first two at the cinematorium. Rather, I paid to see numbers 3, 4 and 5 with my hard-earned dosh. I bypassed number Saw VI, after the sore disappointment (albeit, with splashes of morbid, disgusted laughter) of the previous three. VII though, has two things going for it. That is, apart from the massive amounts of gore, blood, blood-curdling screams and completely absurd "traps".

  • IT'S IN 3D!
Dr Gordon takes a hands-on approach to the traps.
Knowing that Cary Elwes was finally on board for one of these sequels and that this is supposedly (pfft...) the last of the Saw films led me to think that PERHAPS they'd put a little bit more effort into the story/script, and had lured Dr Gordon with the promise of something worthy of a return.

So, what DOES happen to my beloved Prince Westley/Robin Hood? To divulge that would be spoiling the twist that the Saw films always manage to throw into the end of the film. However, the "twist" in this newest installment is slightly more impressive than the last three or four sequels. You'd bloody hope so too.

The plot itself involves "the cop from the last one" and Jigsaw's milf-y widow, as well as a former victim of Jigsaw's, doing the motivational speaking circuit, telling his story. There's the usual race to find the warehouse/abandoned junkyard where the trap is being set, as well as the usual morbidly hilarious horror of seeing the traps in action. Seriously, can you imagine how much fun it'd be to be coming up with some of that shit? I don't know whether to be jealous of the fun, or repulsed by the minds that conjured them up.

The 3D is what you'd expect. THINGS FLYING AT YOUR FACE!! DUCK! HERE COMES A WRENCH! The usual jumps, only in 3D, and HURTLING AT THE SCREEN. I suppose 3D is somewhat validated, what with Avatar and the news that Martin Scorsese is shooting a film in 3D. Saw 3D holds no surprises, nor the mindblowing beauty of Avatar. That's what Saw's about though. Ridiculous fun.

I saw the film with two friends of mine. The three of us were the only people in the cinema, being mid-afternoon on a weekday. As such, we were able to scream and holler and laugh hysterically and yell out expletives in surprise to our heart's content. In fact, we did a certain amount of cheering during Dr Gordon's scenes. We yelled at the cop, we recoiled in horror with cries of "OOHHHH, SHIIIEEEET!"

Same as the context of my sitting through of Kanye's Runaway video, my viewing company weighed heavily on what I took from Saw VII. With Linc next to me yelling things like "HOLY crap, she is FIT!" whenever Jigsaw's widow was onscreen and "THEY'RE FUCKED!" during many a trap scene meant that my enduring memory of that afternoon is one of enjoyment. Not so much disgust, even though the traps were exactly the amount of gore and stomach churning horror that you'd want and expect.

Yes, it is better than the last four. It is. It's disgusting. It's stupid. It's got DR GORDON. It'll make you laugh at the same as recoiling in horror. It's also fun. God, how's that for a hit rate? One, two, then SEVEN as good installments of a franchise. Jesus.

Make sure you see it with some hilarious friends.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Twenty two years ago, I was born. I am a year older than I was a year ago, perhaps a little wiser, definitely much fatter.

Hoorah, it is my birthday!

"So, what does it mean to be twenty-two as opposed to twenty-one?" I hear you ask. "Any great revelations had? A sudden feeling of maturity never felt before? A grasp on the world and how you fit into it?"
Well, I'm glad you asked.

  • It means that I feel even more compelled to look for a "real job".  
  • As a result, it means I feel even more compelled to start saving up in earnest for a trip to South America next year.
  • It means I've looked back on the year that has passed since the last celebration of the anniversary of my birth and yes, I have learned quite a bit through the myriad mistakes and stumbles I've made.
  • It also means that if I am to recount the Epic Tale of "Adrian the 18-year-old", I will seem ever so creepy-old. Or a sexy cougar type. Yes. I think we'll go with that one.

Mature. Wise, like an owl.
To be honest, I actually forgot about my birthday until maybe a week ago, when my folks reminded me. I guess it was the excitement of being back on home soil, back with my friends, getting back in the swing of things. Speaking to a mate, Tim about it, he shrugged, "Easy to understand. Twenty two's not very exciting."

Having said that though, today's been quite nice. Woke up rather late, so the family had gone their ways by the time I emerged from my backyard lair. Luckily, a barrage of text and facebook messages soon brought the love. The morning was spent hanging out in the sunshine with Elvis and Neil Young, until heading off with Linc for most of the day. Off to Chadstone to spend some of my birthday winnings. Bought The Omen and Mad Men (season 3), had a rather nice coffee at Jones the Grocer. Spent much of the day shouting, hollering and generally making strange and annoying noises with Linc (as is the case when around the guys).

In fact, one of today's highlights (cheap thrills, y'all) was most definitely, without a doubt, a brief trip to the Apple Store. I had wanted to visit a pal, Clay, whom I hadn't seen since a while before my trip over yonder. However, while Clay and I chatted and caught up, Linc decided to busy himself on one of the shiny display Macs. Namely, by searching for a particular video. With the sound of Linc's cackling laughter behind me, and the sniggers of an Apple minion beside him, I turned around to be met with this:

Cheap thrills, y'all indeed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

34 Minutes with Kanye

I just spent the last thirty-four minutes with none other than Kanye West.

It's not exactly the way I usually plan on spending half-hours in the evening when I could be finishing those alterations on that dress I bought yesterday, or watching the Flinstones, or taking Elvis for a walk (that's my dog, not the living ghost of The King)... but you know. So, I was aware of Kanye's opus being in existence, but only vaguely. Remember, I've only just recently arrived back from a few months overseas and my pop culture know-how is somewhat lacking. I felt compelled to get myself back up to date. Also, I'll admit to being just plain old intrigued ... how the fucking what would Kanye fill one-third of a feature film?

HURRRR. I direct nao.

The answer?

Slow mo. (I'm not even kidding, if you sped up all the slow mo, it'd probably go for about ten minutes)

Now, the trailer itself is essentially just an exercise in a few vague, pretty, slow motion shots. Somewhat ominous, in my eyes.

In that case, the film itself ... God, after the frequent sniggering subsided, confusion set in. Confusion, and irritation. Those who think Kanye is a douche, will think no different of Runaway. Those who think he's a genius ... might like it. While I think the odd song of his is tolerable, occasionally catchy, I was basically dumbfounded by the sheer self-indulgence and ... dumb of it.

Right, so it's directed by Kanye, with music by Kanye and high art aspirations by Kanye. Interestingly, script writing congratulations are reserved for one by the amazing name of Hype Williams. So not all the blame should be squared at ol' Kanye. From the opening chorus of opera stylings to the end credits and all the well-shot prettiness in between (credit to Kyle Kibbe), there may be a lot of blame you want to aim.

A step by step account ... Kanye drives his shiny car through a pretty forest. Meteor hits it. SLOW MO EXPLOSIONS. From the wreckage (Like a phoenix! Cause phoenixes appear from fiery ashes! It's symbolic, yo!) appears bird-girl (otherwise known as Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks), in a feathered "costume" so revealing it may as well not be there. Impressive boobs are impressive. She wakes up at his place. Creepy, perhaps. She bonds with a bunny and a fluffy sheep in his yard. Perhaps he wants to eat her? Definitely creepy. He takes her to see a marching band and fireworks show, complete with GIANT INFLATABLE MICHAEL JACKSON HEAD. Creepmax. Symbolic? Kanye probably thinks so.

Slow mo explosion, Kanye rescues girl. Symbolism.

The largest portion of Runaway revolves around a giant dinner party Kanye throws for birdgirl, interrupted rudely and symbolically by ballerinas and Kanye playing single notes on the piano. Then standing on the piano. Then singing about douches.

Then. Then Kanye and Birdgirl exchange a horribly awkward DEEP CONVERSATION, then they kiss, then she wants to leave so he convinces her to stay for a while, with his dick. Cue slow motion explosions again.

I'll say right now, that I had the good fortune to watch Runaway online while a good friend of mine, Dave, watched it at the same time. As Kanye's opus played on youtube, we were on Messenger, providing capslocked commentary of the goings-on. Funny guy. Funny combination. I'll admit to being in stitches during much of the video... and I know for a fact that your smartass friend yelling through the internet things like, "SLOW MO BIRD ANGEL BITCH!" isn't conducive to taking something seriously. I suppose that if I'd watched Runaway in a different setting, perhaps a gallery with everyone in the audience looking nice and without Dave sniggering in the background, I would look at the symbolism (she flies!) and the slow mo (so much slo mo...) and try to take it seriously and give it a go. I suppose that's not quite fair on Kanye.

Similarly, I suppose if I'm trying to be nice, ol' Kanye deserves "a fair go, mate!" with all the heavy handed PHOENIX RISING FROM THE ASHES! PEOPLE HATE THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT! symbolism, recovering from the Kanye-Is-A-Douche of the "Taylor Swift Incident".

But then again, I just watched this interview ... he cites Kubrick, he says he wanted to create a film "that was like, all stills" and that he wants "females to connect to the different emotions". Eh... nah. Sorry. Kanye, I can't take your directorial debut seriously. It's pretty, but ... no. You're still a douche.


Monday, October 25, 2010

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

Behold, a new blog.

I've dabbled in blogging before, mostly at university. Seeing as it was a requirement to keep our blogs updated, relevant and pretty throughout the three years of our degree (Media, at RMIT), occasionally there was a chore-like feeling when one would sit down to do some good hard blogging. You know, "Come ON, I have ANOTHER self-assessment?? But I just WROTE a group assessment for that other class!" "What? ANOTHER post about the future of print media??" ... the usual.

I suppose whenever you're forced to do something, you get the lazies in a big way. As is always the case however, during the periods of the year when the assessments weren't coming in hard and fast (hurr...) and it wasn't required to be stressing about our blogs, I'd constantly be posting on it. Typical, no?

Anyway, fast forward one year, a few failed blog attempts and one epic journey to Europe and back, and I feel the time is nigh for a real attempt at blogging.


Cause I love writing. I write all the time, probably a bit too much (Postcards, illegible. Letters to friends back home? Excessively long). Also, considering it's coming up on a year since I've graduated, I feel it's also time for a concerted attempt to get back into the media swing of things. The occasional filming/editing job? Sure. But it's time for A REAL JOB. Or jobs. I suppose as well as film reviews and ramblings and general tomfoolery, this'll chronicle the journey and woes and occasional triumphs of a Recent Graduate that almost isn't allowed to put the "Recent" in that description.

Somewhat daunting, a first post. So many posts ahead of me. But from little things, big things grow. Baby steps!

Your humble narrator.