26 Jun 2014

Is this the end for Seth?

Seth Rogen has courted controversy before, mostly in the sense that the green Hornet was a pretty awful film. He has also courted some controversy about parodying Kanye West’s weird as music video, for his weird as song Bound 2.  I had intended to post some lyrics to re-enforce how weird the song is, but you can look them up yourself.  Needless to say if you have not seen the music video for Bound 2, I would recommend the Seth Rogen version where he takes the part of Kim Kardashian and mimes having sex with James Franco on a motor bike.  Their parody is actually less awkward then the original.

No really this is considerably less awkward than the real version. 

Now Rogen and Franco have courted more controversy by committing acts of terrorism and aggression against a foreign country, and I am not referring to the foreign release of The guilt trip.  No I am referring to North Korea’s reaction to The interview.

The film is about a talk show host (Franco) who is invited to interview North Korea's beloved leader little Kim, but is hired by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un during the visit.

According to BBC news a spokesman from the oppressive dynastic dictatorship said if the film is released “a merciless counter-measure will be taken"  We can only assume that the dastardly North Koreans regime will respond with a weapon of mass destruction of some sort. While it is noted that North Korea is further developing its missile program I do not think that a conventional or even nuclear strike is what they mean.  No the North Korean leader and his cronies will respond in a way to cause the most pain to the American people (yes I am aware that Rogen is Canadian, but I am not sure that the North Koreans are).

That’s right North Korea will respond with a global release of L’il Kim sings Disney’s greatest hits!  


Obviously Rogen and the other producers are jumping up and down and clapping their hands over this press for their unreleased movie. If they are clever they can play it up the marketing to appeal to the fundamentalist NRA militias.  

See the Interview, the movie where Seth Rogen and James Franco travel to the last bastion of socialism and kill a Commie!

Of course the State department could look at it as a political tool, a bishop in the current game of chess between them and the ironically named democratic people republic. Perhaps they can use the release for he film as a bartering chip to release hostages?  Seth Rogen could then make dozens of films about world leaders never to be released unless they towed the US’s global strategy.

I look forward to the future where Seth Rogen, Drunk with power eventually turns on congress with a vitriolic documentary in his later years and becomes god emperor of the states.

Lets hope so. 

11 Jun 2014

I need cash

George RR Martin loves wolves.  He has a mad passion for them. George RR Martin is drawn to wolves the same way I am drawn to raspberry slice.

Thus in support of this charity he is offering to insert you, yes you, into the very fabric of the Game of Thrones novels for the price of $19,950. 
But don’t call now, wait for it.
wait for  it.............
Not only can you have a character you create in the new novels, but they get to be killed too at no extra cost.

Now normally asking for a character to be killed would cost $100,000, but if you donate$20,000 to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary you can have it for no extra cost!

Kanye West tried to insert a character into the series and have it killed but Martin said “In a fantasy world of Dragons, Giants, and White Walkers there still needs to be at least a semblance of logic, rules if you will. The sun should rise, gravity works, it has to be a world that the readers can conceive of and accept. A fifteen foot god king known as ‘Kanye the Immortal’  who has laser beam eyes and can kill dragons with his voice’  probably crosses that line.”

Frankly good on George! 

While this all may seem a bit exorbitant, I think it should be pricey. Firstly there are people out there with $20k burning a hole in their pocket, for some that’s a good Friday night out on the LA club scene. Secondly how many of us would like to do this? How many fans would want to be part of the mythology, in some small way? The answer is how many fans does he have? 

I am not entirely sure how successful Martin will be in this, but I imagine that by creating this opportunity he can assist a cause that he believes in. And all power to him.  Some people have a real problem with celebrities using their fame and influence for charity or causes. I don’t.

If I had $20,000 to spare, just under the couch cushion, or in the loose coin tray in the car, what would I submit to Mr. Martin?

Well like the majority I would probably choose a noble, but minor one.  One of my favorite characters is Olenna Tyrell, thus a Bannerman to the Tyrell’s would be a good option. I suspect the Queen of Thorns is not done yet and she may need to have a trusted Bannerman, a distant relative on the Redwynne side perhaps, to keep her grandchildren alive on the battlefield. I would like a character to engage with her, exchange banter with her.  I would make him a good warrior, who would die not in battle, but perhaps in a surprising way.

If I had a choice I would have Melisandre facing off against Olenna. It is always interesting to have two intelligent and powerful women facing off in a battle of wits, and I think this would be a great scene.   Perhaps a conflict in the capital between Stannis and Kings Landings in which Melisandre  sneaks in to kill Tommen and encounters Olenna instead.
 A battle of wits and words would ensue which Melisandre would eventually lose to Lady Olenna who would expose the younger woman’s guile to be a clever facade which would crumble in the face of real intelligence.
 However Melisandre would then order her henchmen to kill the old lady (funny now I read that, she is literally an old lady!)  Then Lady Olenna will call for my character (lets calls him Oscar for now) to kill her. There could be a reasonably light scene where he has just arrived from the battle, and having run up all those bloody stairs now has to fight.

Oscar will move forward and engage the Henchmen; maybe they are Baratheon knights, or more likely fanatical followers of the red god, or both.  After a short exchange Oscar kills the Henchmen only to have Melisandre shoot him in the stomach with a crossbow bolt.
 Then as the old lady sits and watches Melisandre monologue about the power of her God etc etc, Melisandre sets Oscar on fire as a sacrifice.  She watches him scream for a second before drawing a knife and advancing on the Lady Olenna.  But before she can strike a bloodied burning hand grabs her and crushes her to the screaming body of Oscar. She is immune to the flames but cannot pull free. Oscar, mad with pain and rage, manages to stumble to the window and falls out dragging Melisandre with him to fall to their deaths into the sea below.
 Lady Olenna will walk to the window and mutter a little sadly “stupid boy.”
 End scene.
 Or something like that.

That is my idea, If you had 20k rolling around what would you write? 

10 Jun 2014

Stink Bum

When I was about eleven I used to sneak out of bed and watch late night TV. I can't remember what I was up to watch, but I do remember stumbling upon The Young Ones one night. Until then there was a variety of UK comedy on TV:  Benny Hill, The Two Ronnies,  The Kenny Everett Show, and The Goodies  to name a few.

But while I still enjoyed those other shows, The Young Ones opened up a whole new world to me, and all my friends.  All the kids (admittedly mostly the boys) started to emulate Neil, Rick, and my favorite Vyvyan.  We wondered who the hated "Thatcher" was, and we were exposed to bands like Motorhead, Madness and the Dammed.  It exposed us (Oo-er) to a world of UK 80's music, art and politics.

But it was not for everyone. On an interview in 1984 Terry Wogan discussed with Rik Mayall how divisive the The Young Ones was in Britain at the time. Apparently The Young Ones divided the country down the middle; between the youth of Britain and their parents and grand parents.  Rik seemed surprised as that was never their intent. He wanted to make comedy more inclusive, he wanted his friend Adrian Edmondson to work with Spike Milligan for example. 

But in the post punk era of Britain it was a changing time, and the comedy of Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, Alexi Sayle and Peter Richardson I think was part of that change.  

That aside Rik Mayall, writer and star of the The Young Ones, became a firm comedy favorite with me and my brother; Filthy, Rich and Catflap, Bottom  The New Statesman, The Comic strip Presents and his cameos on Blackadder,.  Each was funny in it's own way. 

I am embarrassed to admit that Rik Mayall's performance in the second season of  Black Adder may have influenced my language and my behavior towards women for a time. I am more embarrassed to admit that shouting WOOF WOOF to girls at parties actually got them talking to me

Oh well it was a simpler time. OK it wasn't simpler, but we were young and very drunk.  I do not condone that behavior now.  

Rik Mayall and his friends changed the face of comedy for an entire generation, and inspired a whole new generation of comics. But that was never their intent, they just wanted to entertain and make the sort comedy that made them laugh. 

He certainly made me laugh. Except today he made me a little sadder. 

RIP Rik Mayall  you were fantastic. 

6 Jun 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

We are living in a renaissance of Geek.  Dr Who is back with a vengeance, Cosplay is a thing, we are even getting new Star Wars films.  If you look at TV, some of the  most popular shows consist of Game of Thrones (GOT has just been announced as more popular than the Sopranos), Arrow, Agents of Shield and the arrow spin off  The Flash is about to start. Basing on the dreadful amount of times it is repeated  (it was on 3 times a week at one stage)  Big Bang Theory is the new Friends.
Jareth was devastated to hear TV2 had swapped American Horror story for Seinfeld

At the moment three of the top five grossing films consist of a fairy tale, a monster movie and X-Men: Days of Future Past. 

With the success of super hero films like Avengers,  The Spiderman Trilogy, the Spiderman reboot trilogy, Batman, Superman etc the studios will happily endorse more super hero movies. Antman, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, another Avengers movie, the Justice League movie, The Black Panther Movie, the Lobo movie, are all in some form of development right now. But is this too much of a good thing?

I enjoyed the first X-Men film, but I thought that it had issues. Killing off Sabretooth seemed detrimental to the franchise, and while I don't know much about the X-Men the depreciation of Cyclops seemed a bit lame. By the third film I was over the franchise entirely.

But Matthew Vaughn, the man that brought us  Kick-Ass, Stardust and the marvelous Layer Cake, wrote and directed  X-men: First Class and brought the fans back into the fold with the best film of the franchise.


However Vaughn was not directing X-Men: Days of Future Past which bothered me. I was worried that this would be a terribly bloated film where Wolverine saves the day with no pathos or drama as he is indestructible. Boo and yawn. 

But With Bryan Singer directing, Matthew Vaughn one of the writers, and a massive ensemble cast of James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lawrence and Hugh Jackman, I was pleasantly surprised.  Yes it could have been a dog, but not only is Days of Future Past so good that it challenges First Class as the best of the franchise, it completely reinvigorates it.  

I am not going to give you a synopsis as I think it would be too much of a spoiler, but I will say that just when you think you might be over super hero movies, a film like this comes along and reminds you why you love them in the first place. 

Unless you don't in case you won't really. 

8 marvels monkeys!

2 Jun 2014


Long ago in the dark past, when Grunge was king, Godzilla was the king of late night TV.   I have fond memories of watching Godzilla battle his way through a variety of monsters, and devastate the major cities of Japan at the same time.  I cheered when Godzilla smashed Mothra, and burnt the smog monster, and I sighed when I realized, after twenty minutes in, that the film All Monsters Attack  was not a real Godzilla film, but some weird Japanese after school special  spliced together with footage from other movies. Still, I remained a fan.

I was not such a fan of the 1998 American Godzilla movie. Despite a pretty entertaining performance by Jean Reno it was a pretty awful film. Which is an interesting thing to say about a series of movies about a guy in a rubber suit smashing model buildings.

When I heard Hollywood was making a new Godzilla movie I wasn't all that fussed. But then you can't just review movies you think you will like, so we went along.

Surprisingly this film appears to follow the canon of the old Japanese films. All the nuclear testing after war seemed to awaken some ancient creatures that existed when the world was more radioactive. They arise and battle huzzah.
Spoilers follow

There is an excellent cast with  Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. None of whom are really utilised. Cranston has some nice scenes with Binoche, but then, well he dies. This was a nervous part of the film for me, because when such a talented actor dies early it is never really a good sign.  I really like Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a young actor, but all the cast are pretty one dimensional. The human elements of the story are basic, not bad but not great.

But who cares. No one that is a fan of Godzilla watches these films in the hope that a couple separated by natural (or unnatural) disasters reunites. Fans go to see the king of the monsters kick arse and take names.

Interestingly enough there is not a great deal of this. I estimate that the Godzilla scenes were maybe 15-20 minutes. While this may seem to be disappointing amount of screen time for the star, I found that the anticipation did build. Gareth Edwards did the same thing in his indie hit Monsters.  Making us wait until the end to reveal the spectacle of the alien creatures. Edwards keeps the big fight for the end, and I think he pulls it off because when Godzilla arrives in all his glory, it is awesome!  Even my partner enjoyed it when Godzilla appeared to battle the other monsters

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed myself, but I know I enjoyed it because I am a fan. I think that Gareth Edwards has made a successful Godzilla movie, but if you are not a fan of giant monsters or disasters movies then you might be disappointed.  I wasn't. Godzilla has returned as the king of the monsters and I hope there is a sequel. 


7 monkeys