Mirai Nikki (2011-2012)

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer, read this at your own risk because this could very well be the most rage filled post I’ve written to date. It took a godly amount of will power to finish this 26 episode series. The mere fact that I survived it is a miracle. The only thing I liked about this show is the OP. The first OP was pretty awesome, which really does mislead you into thinking you’ll be watching a good show.

I suppose it’s getting pretty clear now how much I liked this show so let’s just dive right into it. I never want to hear the name “Yukki” ever again and if I do I might purposely rupture my eardrums. You can youtube videos of Yuno saying that name over and over if you’d like to get an idea of what this show is all about. I actually heard this rumour that they use it as a new torture technique for extracting information from hostages. I hate almost every single character on this show. They are the most annoying cliche ridden characters in anime. I mean the creator of this game is named Deus Ex Machina! I don’t know if the writers did that on purpose just to rub it in or maybe it was supposed to serve as a warning to anyone that might watch the show. If you don’t know what it is, it’s when the writers don’t know what to do next and make up some random plot device to solve the problem and save the day. This show had so many of them and so many “plot twists” that it became absolutely ridiculous. There was no consequence for any characters in this show because if one of them happens to die they almost always come back to life in some way. Maybe they were wearing a good ol’ bullet proof vest, or it looks like they died cause they gave this great death speech then the scene goes black and 10 minutes later you find out that they escaped in the nick of time off screen. This one is my favourite though, the one where someone gets shot, the screen goes black, and it’s all in slow motion, then you find out in a few minutes that they were shot but it just grazed their ear or they’re really hurt but not totally dead yet. Someone gets their hand blown off in an explosion? Oh wow, that’s crazy… good thing in the next scene they’re totally okay and just need a bandage to fix it. Someone gets stabbed? Oh wow that’s crazy… good thing in the next scene they’re totally okay and just need a bandage to fix it. I could keep going on and on, but for the sake of anyone reading this I’ll stop there.

Now I’ll talk about Yuno and Yukki’s “relationship”. It is appalling that anyone could be so stupid as to fall for Yuno. She is clearly a psychopath with more rage issues than me. I don’t care how many times someone says they love you, if they go from loving you to trying to murder you then you need to run in the other direction. There is absolutely no reason why he should ever love her and spend 10 years of his life grieving for her. He says he loved her because “she was always there for him” wow that’s a great reason. Even he knows that her only redeeming quality is that she’s a stalker who is literally always there for him, whether he wants her to be or not.

Look, for 26 episodes there are so many things that drove me absolutely insane and caused me to shout obscenities at my screen. If you’ve agreed with any of my previous posts then you won’t like this show and you should stay away. Please stay away. I don’t want to keep going with this post because I can come up with things I hate all day long. I am just going to give it a score that’s possibly more than it deserves and call it a day. I will be back soon with an anti-rage post to lighten things up a little.

Verdict: 4/10 Needs less existing

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The Time Machine (1960)

Last week I finished reading the novel version of The Time Machine and even though it was written in the 1800s I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The beginning was dry but half way through it picked up and I really got into it. So when I got the movie, I was excited to see how the adaptation would be. Bear with me here, this post may get ragey because I’m directly comparing it to the novel. The first thing I noticed was that the time traveler in the novel, known as George in the movie is a lot younger than I imagined. I give a thumbs up at that cause he wasn’t too bad to look at for an hour and 40 minutes. Then the actual time traveling starts and the differences start to pile up. I don’t mind the fact that he travels ahead only a few decades to see what becomes of the world he knows because I thought it was decently well done. I liked the stop motion melting of the candle and opening/closing of the flowers. I would really love to know though, why is there a volcano right by George’s house?! The city gets bombed which causes a volcano to erupt, instantly spewing lava all over the city? I can’t even wrap my head around that! Whoever came up with that idea, shot it and put it in this movie, I would really love to meet you. I’d also love to make sure you never become a city planner.

It was at this point that things started getting kind of weird and stopped making much sense. George is 200,000 years in the future at this point, and he’s starting to talk to the Eloi. The first difference is that they can speak English instead of just grunting. So the English language survived for 200,000 years somehow? I’m not buying that for one second. I’m also not buying that the Eloi know the word government if they don’t have one and, presumably, never had one in the first place. In the first part of the movie there was a lot of narration for George’s inner dialogue, so I don’t know why they just didn’t continue that throughout instead of using the Eloi to explain everything to us. I found it more intriguing with George guessing how everything worked and piecing it together himself. However, the books crumbling to dust was pretty cool, even though it doesn’t really makes sense that they would keep a library at all…

Near the end is where the movie triggered rage mode for me. George pretty much saves the Eloi from the Morlock’s and I don’t know, makes it his life mission to re-build society? Not that I didn’t like Weena, but the novel version where they killed her and the whole forest burst into flames was so much better. The Morlock’s were explored more in depth in the novel whereas the movie seemed to gloss over a lot of the interesting traits. The fire being so bright that it blinded them and effectively saved George was a cool idea. Clearly in the movie, the Morlocks are completely cool with light and are just like some kind of yeti monster instead of an alternate evolution of humans. I won’t rage too much about excluding the ending of the novel where he goes much farther into the future because I think they opted to leave that out and include the part about traveling into the near future to see the wars. This might go without saying but I’ll say it anyways, I was left pretty unimpressed by the end of the movie.

Is it fair of me to judge this movie based on a direct comparison to the novel? Maybe not, but I play by my own rules and that’s just what I did. The story in the novel felt a lot tighter and more thought out which made it extremely difficult for me to adjust to the illogical changes they made in the movie. And with that, I have no choice but to deliver this verdict.

Verdict: 6/10 Needs more grunting

The Apartment (1960)

Went back a few years on this one and I was pleasantly surprised. This will probably be a short and sweet post since I’m finding it hard to come up with a lot to say about this movie. As is tradition, I’ll start with what I enjoyed. There were some subtleties in the dialogue that I absolutely loved. Near the beginning, when Baxter is talking with Fran you hear him say words like “cookie-wise” and adding wise to the end of other words. Later on in the movie when Fran starts to fall in love with him she picks up the way he talks and starts using some of those same words. It happens a few times, until the end where she repeats one of his lines word for word and you just know that she’s made up her mind to be with him. I found a lot of the dialogue witty and snappy, and Baxter was a great character. He never felt like a cliche or stock character that you see in every movie. He lets his co-workers use his apartment for sex, makes spaghetti with a tennis racket and shot himself in the knee by accident while trying to commit suicide. The way he lets his neighbours think he’s this player that sleeps with different girls every night is pretty great, since he obviously isn’t that kind of guy. The pacing of the story was spot on, at over 2 hours I never felt the movie drag on. Overall, I was surprised to find a movie with lots of implied sex and suicide attempts made in the 1960s since my experience with older movies is that they’re pretty tame. Perhaps my experience needs more experience… maybe by going back in time? Hmm…

…but of course no movie is without its faults and there were some scenes that weren’t so good. When the doctor is trying to wake Fran up he starts slapping her across the face which is uhh… I don’t think that’s how you do it. Then Baxter and the doctor start dragging her around the room trying to get her to walk and stay awake which, again, I’m pretty sure doesn’t have much affect on keeping someone alive who swallowed a bottle of pills. Another piece of the story that I didn’t think was too good was that Fran never called her family to let them know she was okay. She could have called and made up some excuse, it’s not like she had to call and was forced to tell the truth at gunpoint. It seems like the only reason she didn’t was so her brother-in-law could find her and hit Baxter right before their beautiful, candle-lit, tennis racket spaghetti dinner. I suppose some of this is just because it was made in the 1960s and they didn’t have better medicine or excuses, so I’m not really going to let that sway my verdict too much. For now, this movie gets what it gets… and for later, well… you’ll find out soon.

Verdict: 8/10 Needs more coffee

Interstellar (2014)

So I finally got around to watching this since the DVD sort of came out. I have very mixed feelings and I’m not sure exactly what I think of it. I’ll go with the traditional format and start with what I did like. Obviously, the visuals were stunning, the other planets looked beautiful and the general atmosphere was just great. Some of the science parts of the movie were really interesting and for the first maybe 1.5 hours I was really into it. After that I feel like it went off the rails and changed direction which didn’t really sit well with me.

The biggest problem with the movie for me is the overall script/story. I don’t really understand why NASA didn’t know where Cooper was the entire time. It’s not like he’s in hiding, how hard would it be to find his address or phone number and ask him to fly the space shuttle. I was willing to put that aside and not count it against the movie, but then NASA starts telling him their entire plan within the first few hours and I find that hard to believe. While I think the acting was good, young Murph suffered from a case of overacting. I guess you can argue that she’s pretty young, but it really took me out of the moment, specifically the scene where her dad gave her the watch. Speaking of taking me out of the moment, all the talk of love made me sigh the biggest sigh I’ve ever sighed. Scientists almost disregarding logic and science entirely because of love made me feel like I was watching an after school special. Now another problem I had with the movie is how Doyle died. He stares at his impending doom instead of hauling ass back into the shuttle. I don’t really understand why he needed to be out of the shuttle when Brand was being brought back in when he could’ve easily been half way inside. If Brand didn’t make it back then would he have stayed outside to die with her? Doesn’t make sense to me, what a pointless death. And while I’m on the topic of not making sense, let’s fast forward to the last 30 minutes of the movie. Murph sets her brother’s crops on fire and tries to steal his wife and children away while he’s gone. When he comes back, he should be furious at her… but she says complete nonsense to him and hugs him and he just stands there and takes it. No repercussions from that act of sisterly love at all.

I guess I have a lot of negatives to say about the movie, but overall I did enjoy it so that was enough to pull the verdict up. If they took some of the cheese out I probably would’ve gone up some more.

Verdict: 7/10

Gran Torino (2008)

Gran Torino, both a very sexy car and a very shitty movie. Yeah, I haven’t posted for months and it’s going to be one of those posts. I find words just flow out of me easier when I truly despise a movie. So… Gran Torino, a 142nd ranked movie on IMDBs top 250, 34th on the top 50 movies of the 2000s and a good showing on the all-time box office list. Should be pretty good, right? Well, obviously I don’t think so. This is the classic story of a white man who comes along to save a family of a non-white race. He is a crotchety, racist old war vet who killed Koreans in the war and just lost his wife. It’s pretty tough to pick up on in the first 30s but trust me, if you give it at least a minute you’ll catch on… and then for the next hour you can have it shoved down your throat. His next door neighbours are Hmong and they are awesome people that are caught up in gangs, because obviously. It’s almost not even fair to criticize the acting in this movie, but dammit I will. Awful. Just awful. The most unbelievable over and under acting by pretty much everyone in the movie. Maybe this is blasphemy, but I didn’t even enjoy Clint Eastwood’s performance. Yes, yes I know that the Hmong family members were mostly unknowns who had never acted before, but that is absolutely no excuse. The actors also had some pretty terrible dialogue they were forced to say. It’s another case of narrating what should be shown. Walt has this habit of calling out everything he sees. Let’s take a trip to one of many scenes of Walt drinking beer on his porch where he sees an older woman getting groceries out of her trunk. Oh no, the groceries fall out of the paper bag! But good news, there are some kids nearby… who laugh at her… and walk away… wow, alright. Walt, how should I feel about that? What will you do now?! Walt makes a move to stand up and he says, “Kids these days… guess I’ll have to–” and before he can even finish dictating his life to us, cue nice guy neighbour walking across the street to help the lady. Please tell me why Walt couldn’t have just sat there to watch it play out without narrating his every thought and movement to us. We do have eyes, this isn’t some kind of radio play!

Okay, new paragraph time. I want to lighten this up a little bit because it sounds like I have a lot of hate for this movie. That isn’t entirely true, it’s mostly true. See, another problem is that the story feels very disjointed. The basic elements of the story are there and they tried to make a story out of it but they jumped from scene to scene and plot point to plot point too quick, so nothing really left an impact on me. Let’s not forget about the fact that it is SOOO heavy handed. They try to slap you across the face with the message and it really just makes my brain put on its hat and shoes and walk away. Subtlety, dammit, subtlety! I… I just can’t talk about this movie anymore. Normally, I’d try to come up with some positives… but this was one of those movies so ridiculous that I was shouting at my TV and questioning what I’m doing with my life. I believe this is truly undeserving of its praise and place on any top movie lists. Part of me thinks that the praise it gets is because of Clint Eastwood’s star power and nothing more. Then part of me thinks that I’m done and ready to deliver a verdict.

Verdict: 5/10