2019 Year In Review: Movies

2019 in many ways has been a pretty good year for me, but what it has not been, is a year full of spare time. So this has left me with major backlog of books, TV shows,  comic books, movies and video games to catch up on, (and look forward to doing so over the course of the year). But here are some of the best that I got around to experiencing in 2019.

So here are my top three films from 2019 (star wars would have been on it, but I didn’t see it until 2020).

Shaft

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I absolutely loved this film, I honestly thing that we all need to be a little more Shaft, in this wide a woke, post me too movement era, its nice to see a little bit of un PC humour coming back into movies, and this one was action packed and full of beautiful one liners and so many amazing coats that I wanted them all (and in fact actually purchased one). I also like that it  ties back to all the previous Shaft films of yesteryear an incorporates them without

Downton Abbey 

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It may surprise you to find that I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey (although if you could see the room I’m typing this in, maybe it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise), however I was very impressed with the show, and was rather disappointed when the show came to an end some years ago, but was delighted to learn of that a movie was in the works and this piece certainly holds up.

Aladdin 

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I wasn’t expecting much from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised, basically if you go in expecting Robin Williams, you will be disappointed, but Will Smith manages to take the role of Genie for his own, and really nails some of the musical numbers, the Fresh Prince certainly manages to keep things fresh.

Murder Mystery 

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I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve really been enjoying the work of Adam Sandler, a great funny man, who in this instance teams up with Jennifer Aniston to bring yet another netflix original movie to a great deal of comic enjoyment.

As you can see its been a really slow year for me in terms of films I still haven’t even been to see Star Wars yet, which if you know me at all is shocking.  Looking forward to 2020 there are a few films that I’m looking forward to, most notably the New James Bond flick set for this year.

Worst Disney Films That I’ve Ever Had To Suffer

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My little girl loves princess films, and as you can probably guess, the Disney back catalogue has featured prominently in my life since Marianna has learnt the names of the princesses that feature in these features.

But there are some that stick out as really, truly awful pieces of cinema, so here are the worst Disney films that I had to suffer.

Pocahontas 

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Urgh this film is just awful, even if we ignore all the historical inaccuracies, the sound track is lacking anything worth mentioning and the story isn’t an engaging one, I guess this is what happens when Disney try to re write history rather than re writing the Brothers Grimm.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

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I must admit, when I first saw this as a kid it couldn’t hold my interest, and as an adult who doesn’t resemble an oil painting (except maybe the scream) I feel that the film puts to much emphasis on looks, and again is lacking anything in the way of soundtrack.

Snow White

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Unmarried teenager who lives with seven blokes, whilst I don’t want to go slut shaming Snow White… Slag. All through this film, all I was thinking about, was where is Snow White’s Father in all this? Surely if the guy took a bit of notice of what was going on in his daughters life, this whole cycle of underage teenager running away with men could have been avoided.

Frozen 

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I don’t know whether it was because this film was so hyped up of what, but I hated it, absolutely loathed it, the catchy song was not enough to save it.

The Little Mermaid 

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This was in my wife’s words annoying, from the songs, to the story, to the acting, right the way down to the just massively superfluous characters (seriously what was the point of the bright yellow fish?)

 

Politics, Princesses And Partying

Today has been a busy day. It started this morning with councillors advice surgery where the public basically comes and complains at their local councillors, and we then take these complaints and do something about it, hopefully to solve the problem for them.

After this was done Marianna’s Mother, Jessica, and I took a trip to Pontypool for Geekedfest’s Pontypool Town Takeover where we got to see all the wonderful cosplay as well as enjoy the entertainment provided, Marianna was pretty frightened of one chap dressed as a storm trooper, but was quite enamoured of the various princesses she got to meet, who were all equally enamoured of her Wonder Woman costume.

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Wonder Woman and Merida

After returning home Marianna went to spend the night at her Grandmothers, and I’m about to don my dinner jacket and head to a friends wedding reception.

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

The Formula For Pulp

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I’ve been reading/ watching a lot of pulp sci-fi lately (which isn’t a new thing), but there is one thing that I’m noticing, and that is that the plots for all of the pulp sci-fi classics are all exactly the same.

If I describe the plot to you see if you can guess the film, book, comic or tv show.

  1. A human male is somehow transported to an alien world
  2. said human male will meet a local tribe, and will be captured and or fight, before gaining said tribes trust/respect and then learns that the planet is made up of lots of warring peoples all ruled by one tyrant.
  3. Human male will then meet a princess who is part of the resistance against said tyrant, will fall in love and then join the resistance.
  4. Human male will suffer self doubt before uniting all tribes on the planet against the tyrant.
  5. Final battle
  6. Human Male either marries princess and rules or is sent back to Earth to pine for princess and scheme to get back.

This formula actually applies to pretty much all stalwarts of the genre across all media, It accurately sums up the novel Princess of Mars, which gave us the John Carter film, it sums up Buck Rogers In The 25th Century. It is an accurate summation of the Flash Gordon serials, comics and film and is a true synopsis for DC Comic’s Adam Strange A Man Of Two Worlds.

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So if you ever feel like writing a pulp sci-fi masterpiece, you now know the winning formula, it worked for some pretty big names in cinema.

The Science Of A Magic Carpet Ride

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Earlier today I watched Disney’s Aladdin while taking my daughter to visit my parents. What first struck me, was how racist and culturally insensitive parts of the film were. The second thing that struck me was how fantastic the late great Robin Williams was as the Genie. Then the third thing that struck me was that during the magic carpet ride Aladdin and Princess Jasmine started in the Middle East, fly through Greece (or a country sporting Grecian architecture) before ending their evening watching fireworks in China. Not only this but during the course of the magic carpet ride a couple of loop the loops are performed. How both parties don’t fall off is a little beyond me, but my main theory beyond it plainly being magic is that this is an example of centripetal force.  Centripetal force is a force that makes a body follow a curved path, a good example is lifting a coin into a cup without touching it.

How they got from the Middle East to Greece to China and back in one night is something that I am having trouble explaining. Most commercial jets will fly at about 550 miles per hour (210 miles per hour above the speed of sound)  now it would take about four hours to fly from Turkey to Greece one way, and given that Greece is in the opposite direction to china that’s eight hours of travel to begin with, then add on that the 10 hours that it would take to get from Turkey to China and that makes 28 hours of travel time at over 200 mph over the speed of sound, with no protection from the elements whatsoever. In order to do that journey in one night (12 hours at most) they would have had to fly at approximately 1500 mph or mach 2. Without protection, travelling at that speed would, undoubtedly, have caused sever internal injuries, or even death.

Another explanation is that Aladdin and Princess Jasmine were away for several days, which would also explain the negative reaction from the Sultans forces upon their arrival back in sunny Agrabah

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.