Scene 23 – When Marine Was There

And just like a Phoenix…I am back! Risen from the flames, covered in ashes and dirt… and also wishing Dumbledore my lover wasn’t as forceful.

Going to try make these posts regular, even though I am swamped…It’s something I really wanna do. Anyhow, let’s get straight into it….

Since I have been on break, I thought it fun for the first movie to do (upon my return to blogging) to be the last one out of Studio Ghibli before their short-lived hiatus with ‘When Marine was There’. Having said that, ‘Marine’ would and should have sibling syndrome competing with ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, ‘Spirited Away’ and my personal favourite, ‘Princess Mononoke’. For me, it didn’t quite live up to the expectation….

‘When Marine was There’ follows a 12-year old girl, Anna. She doesn’t have any friends and her foster parents are overwhelmed with her, so they sent her to the countryside to visit some relatives. There she meets and befriends the mysterious girl Marnie. And that in a nutshell, is the plot. Stylistically, ‘Marnie’ is similar to ‘The Wind Rises’. However, with the stories roots firmly footed in English tale by Joan G. Robinson, the animators couldn’t let their imagination go wild and create amazing fantasy worlds like in ‘Spirited Away’. Personally, this is the major problem with the film. While the plot itself is great and has some interesting themes,  the friendship between the two girls is extremely superficial and barely explored. They meet and from one second to the other are best friends for life. To make it even worse, the dialogue is cringe-worthy at times, especially when cliché’d phrases like ‘I will love you forever’ and ‘ Always remember me’ are used. This wouldn’t be a problem, but since the mutual relationship is one major theme and not really developed, this dialogue seems heavy-handed and out-of-place. So not to spoil entire film…lets head to the Bad and the Good…

The Bad: Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s love affair with Western stories continues, this time however he hasn’t got the Godfather; Miyazaki, to steer him on the right path and everything seems forced and a little to cliché’d.

The Good: Absolutely Gorgeous Animation, as expected from Studio Ghibli. Enthralling story (even though laboured in parts). One for fans of Studio Ghibli, but wouldn’t recommend to newbies’s wanting to get lost in The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.

But don’t take my word for it,this is just my Outake.

Watch it and let me know what you think….

Week 17

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week has actually turned into highlights of the week. Finally got around to watching Max Mad: Fury Road….and if you haven’t seen it…do! It channels the essence of the original movies, with the practical effects and it really delivers. Tom Hardy was stuck in Bane mode for the first two acts…but Charlize Theron holds the helm. I also got to see Jurassic World…and what can I say…I may have cried when within the first 15 mins. The only thing I hated about the movie was the last 15 mins or so..it was like they had been writing the the script for the last 10 years and a half an hour before the deadline they scribbled down the 15 minute ending….but it is still worth seeing over and over again..


Soundtrack of the week this week has to the return of Jurassic Park by the legendary John Williams….I don’t think this need an explanation, only the part where I listen to the soundtrack while following the musical score…That probably need some explaining…but you won’t get it.


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story

JURASSIC PARK – THE LOST WORLD

JURASSIC PARK III

GAME OF THRONES

JOHN WICK

EX-MACHINA

BLACK MIRROR

THE ENGLISH TEACHER

UTOPIA (2)

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

HANNIBAL

THE SOUTH BANK SHOW : G.R.R MARTIN

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SMITH

THE STAG

DAREDEVIL

JURASSIC WORLD

ENTOURAGE (14)

“One should try everything he can in his career, expect folk dancing and incest” – Sir Christopher Lee, RIP…

Week 15

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week is a tie between starting the second season of Utopia and this weeks review John Wick. If you haven’t seen either I urge you to do so! I have talked about the first season of Utopia in an earlier highlight of my Watched, Read & Listened To List.


Soundtrack of the week this week is Joe Hisaishi’s masterpiece for the 2004 Studio Ghibli movie Howl’s Moving Castle. Truly masterful stuff from Hisasihi again, who really knows how to play on the heart-strings.


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story


ENTOURAGE (36)

CALIFORNICATION

MOVIE 43

HAPPY GILMORE

STEP UP 5

THE FOLLOWING

HOME

GOING CLEAR 

UTOPIA (2)

JOHN WICK

THE DUFF

THE WEST WING (2)

BASEketball


… As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in pie. And there’s an “i” in meat pie. Meat is the anagram of team…  actually I don’t know what he’s talking about…

till next time.

S

Week 14

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week would have to sitting down to watch the Cornetto Trilogy back to back in all its glory.  For those of you who don’t know of the Cornetto Trilogy it is the love child of the fantastic Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, featuring ‘Shaun of The Dead‘, ‘Hot Fuzz‘ and ‘The Worlds End‘. Never watched it back to back before, and it was great to see all the links and homages within each film….and if I had to pick between each of these amazing Wright-Pegg love children….I’d have to go for Shaun of the Dead…guess I just got red on me..


Soundtrack of the week this week is from one of my favourite composers….Michael Giacchino with the award winning soundtrack for the 2009 Pixar film Up. This guy is such an amazingly talented composer…having two Grammy nominations in this year ‘Star Trek‘ and ‘Up’, with the latter winning. Two completely contrasting scores…and both deserving of the award!


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story


ANIMAL HOUSE

ALADDIN

ENTOURAGE (40)

I AM BIG BIRD

THE INCREDIBLES

THE FOLLOWING (2)

MAD MAX

JACK ATTACK

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

SHAUN OF THE DEAD

HOT FUZZ

THE WORLDS END


Till next week I’ll leave you with this…..

“It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet….there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

S

Week 13

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week would have to watching Jurassic Park again of the billzillionant time…this time in 3-D. Now I’m not a fan of 3-D in general…but it’s Jurassic Park!!

Haven’t got a new soundtrack of the week I’m afraid….as I was fairly busy with work…but I’ll make up for this week.


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story


FAST & FURIOUS 7

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

THE LONGEST WEEK

DRINKING BUDDIES

I.T CROWD (7)

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE

HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY

THE LONGEST YARD

CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS AND 2012

JURASSIC PARK 3-D

WAYWARD PINES


….till next week, keep it secret, keep it safe!

Week 12

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week would have to a British series called Utopia. The series follows a group of comic fans who uncover a manuscript to a second part of graphic novel which conceals a terrible secret, and soon find themselves drawn into a complex conspiracy.


Soundtrack of the week this week is a firm favourite of my Howard Shores, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge fan of Howard’s Lord of The Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy scores…They is something of a ‘when all else fails…put on some Howard Shore’ mentality with me when it comes to scores to listen to. The track that stands out most on this album is ‘Misty Mountains‘… with good auld Jimmy Nesbitt showing off a lovely lower register.


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story


Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, Kevin Smith (p.260 – 414 Fin)

GO ON (7)

STAR WARS EP II – ATTACK OF THE CLONES

GOTHAM

UTOPIA (6)

COBAIN – A MONTAGE OF HECK

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE

ANNABELL

ELYSIUM

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF

SEVE

THE I.T. CROWD

THE CANYONS

ADVENTURELAND

DAREDEVIL


Till next week…

S

Scene 12 – Adventureland

I came across this weeks movie by mistake coincidence…having mistakenly mixed it up with another ‘land’ titled film, also featuring Jesse Eisenberg….so I never got around to watching this one. So what better way to watch it then have it as this weeks blog…
 


Director Greg Mottola shot onto the movie scene with his critically acclaimed debut feature The Daytrippers. This, his third instalment Adventureland, his quasi-autobiographical follow-up to the successful 2007 hit, Superbad. Adventureland shares similar plot-lines with The Daytrippers, such as woven acuity relating to matters of class and culture, sex, growing-up and money, in ‘modern’ American life. I use ‘modern’ loosely here in relation to the 1980’s/mid 90’s term “building for a new, modern America”…blah blah blah. As for Adventureland , it is set in the neither distant nor immediate past of 1987. 

 
The plot focuses itself around James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a young man who plans to move to New York City to pursue a postgrad journalism course at Columbia University. James’ woes begin when, just after graduating, he’s told by his parents (Jack Gilpin and Wendie Malick) that because his father has been demoted at work, they can’t afford to contribute to either the trip to Europe he planned to take with his wealthier friend Eric (Michael Zegen), or his move to New York….i.e the real world flipping him the bird.
 
James search for an alternative cash flow leads him a summer job at Adventureland, a lame expanse of junk, where most of the games and rides are fixed, and of dubious safety. The class divide is subtly continued within the park were the pretty & popular types chosen to run the rides and the weedier rejects assigned to games. James, to his annoyance…much like when he found out he had work for his money, is now assured by owner-managers Bobby (Bill Hader) and Paulette (Kristen Wiig) is definitely a games type. He soon makes friends amongst his coworkers, helped in large part to the stash of weed Eric left him….oh and to his decent, gentle demeanour. Soon after he begins a tentative romance with one of his fellow games drones, Em Lewin (Kristen Stewart), after she helps him out of a sticky situation…only to awkwardly declare himself to be slowly recovering from an 11-day failed romance to excuse the fact that he’s befuddled at still being a virgin…it’s probably cause he’s a twat!
 
A common trait among the films Mottola as directed is a deceptive script, with Adventureland following suit—offering virtually shapeless offerings of the characters’ daily travails, the drolly recounted frauds, frustrations, inanities, and yearnings that characterise a day’s work at the fairground, all the while quietly building towards an inevitable moment of crisis. It has to be said that crisis is signaled early on when it’s revealed that although clearly attracted to James, Em is carrying on a purely sexual affair with the fair’s resident mechanic, Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds)…I know what you are thinking, Kristen Stewart sleeping with an authoritative figure…wait, you weren’t?…forget I even said it……Em is something of an enigma even to herself, daughter to a well-off lawyer, already studying in New York, but who has buried herself for almost Dostoyevskian reasons in a crummy, low-paying job for the duration of the summer. As her romance with James blossoms, she reveals a lingering, consuming outrage at her father’s marriage to Francy, a high-strung, obnoxious social climber with whom he had commenced an affair when her mother was dying of cancer.
 
Adventureland belongs in a kind of subgenre of growing up in modern America’ movies, amongst the likes of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, with a playful edge of nostalgic satire and a “jeez wasn’t it sucky but it all works out in the end” take on the difficulties of negotiating youth and functioning adulthood. Adventure land is not only about James’ education in matters of love, but also in matters of economics, as he is introduced to problems of social mobility he hadn’t had to consider before. Is it to Mottola’s credit that the characters are well-rounded, familiar types or is it Mottola just fitting in with the subgenre Linklater coined years before, just like his movies….and I’d have to say it’s the latter. Although idea of using the amusement park as a microcosm of life is a genuinely effective motif. 
 

Stewart’s nascent career has been badly hampered in terms of critical attention thanks to the Twilight films…and rightly so in fairness,  but she’s quietly good as a likeable but uneasy, compromised, subtly fraying girl, particularly in the sequence in which, after receiving a series of pounding humiliations, she returns home and insouciantly pours herself a whiskey whilst taunting her mother-in-law with obviously incendiary intent. Eisenberg is ok as James, even if he’s required to be little more than a slightly snappier and manlier Michael Cera from Superbad.


Mottola’s narrative does little that’s unfamiliar….There’s a lot of humour in the film, most of which stems merely from dryly observed perversities of the park and period tragedies, like the incessant playing of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”. Watch it or not, Adventureland won’t show or tell you something you haven’t seen before. Its story fits in just like the templated characters within the subgenre, offering nothing new, only reminding us that growing up is hard and sucks…but someones gotta do it.