Author: jofish95

Batman vs. Superman: Justice League 0.5

 

Verdict: brooding in Deadpool’s shadow, Batman vs. Superman is gritty, dark and punchy, but ultimately lacks depth and hinges on what feels like a flimsy formality.

The Good:

The movie opens with a swift and concise comic-book style Batman origin, pearls and all, before cutting to an equally dramatic set-up with scenes from Man of Steel. This is where Zac Snyder comes into his stride with the pacing of the obligatory origins handled carefully and quickly, bringing drama to the beginning of the film through the refreshing new arrangement. There’s certainly no doubt about Hans Zimmer’s collaboration on the music of the movie, with a fusion of blasts of 2012’s Inception distortion featuring heavily, punctuated by Junkie XL’s bassy electronic rhythms and Man of Steel melodies.

Another strong feature of the film was Wonder Woman, who although only really featured in the final showdown, seemed solid and mysterious as a character. Really, it was a shame that she only featured for expensive parties and the Doomsday confrontation, but I guess that’s why she’s got her own solo movie coming up. In that regard, future set up, whilst the only real focus, was this movie’s strength. Dream sequences featuring the Flash and nightmare sequences were a comic-loyal quirk that gave a different energy to the character progression and honestly prompted curiosity as to how the Justice League would later work. It’s not been done before, so it could be interesting.

 batman-v-superman-fight-blocked-punch

 

The Bad:

Batman. What I loved about Nolan’s Batman, was that he was not always grounded in logic; he would appear and magically disappear, dropping bad guys in a controlled methodical fashion. Also that you would leave the theatre with your ears ringing from the resonating sound of Batman’s heavy and calculated punches. He never `killed` anyone, (yes that’s a bit of a grey area) his real strength was his use of stealth to overcome his enemies and disappearing as quickly as he came. The perfect combination of brutality and the ninja.

Batfleck’s combat ultimately left me feeling numb and I realised how much my love of Batman came from the fight scenes, over the cheesy one-liners or shots of skyscraper brooding. Whilst Batfleck was brutal, any fire was robbed from his combat from his aimless killing with guns and out-right killing criminals rather than finding an intelligent stealthy solution. I didn’t find myself impressed by the fighting, just wondering whether he would actually survive, given his clumsiness and especially after he was stabbed in a fight with only 6 men. Not exactly amazing, how exactly was he possibly going to even put a scratch on Superman?

In the end, I found myself dismissive of his fight with Superman. It completely lacked substance. Slow, boring and only lasting a matter of moments, it seemed hardly worth the hype or frankly, the effort. Rather than the greatest gladiator fight of the century, it seemed more like a comedy sketch where Batman would get himself punched towards `deathtraps` and comedically smashed through a couple walls like an grumpy ragdoll who wasn’t being taken seriously enough – and for what? For him to realise their mummies have the same name, throw away his death-stick and be instantly ready for a best friends high-five montage. It seemed false, forced, and only really for the creation of the death-stick to be used later. Which as soon as its thrown into an inaccessible area, you know it’s going to be essential to the plot. Two years of blind hatred and then buddies? Seriously?  After three years of build-up and countless trailers?

Maybe I’m just an uptight Nolan-fanboy, but something seemed amiss; Batman felt reduced to simply a stubborn and stroppy man in a suit with expensive toys. There was no sense of legend, as it just became painful seeing how easily the two characters were played off one another by bumbling certified loony Lex Luthor. Even as a Batman fan, I found myself wanting Superman to just drop him on the naughty step for a time-out and for him to just put Lex’s stammering face through a wall – why didn’t you just kill him in the jail Bruce? You did it with the other criminals by giving them the mark, so that they got bumped off, why not Luthor, whether he won or not?

 

 

The Ugly:

This movie quickly shows its true colours; the colours of Justice League.

With the anticlimactic Batman vs. Superman `showdown`, it felt hard not to come away feeling cheated by the feeling that this film is really just what it has always been, a divisive stepping stone for Justice League films. Unfortunately to anyone who has a modicum of comic-book knowledge this was about as subtle as Lex Luthor’s photoshopped logo’s for future DC superhero movies that were conveniently on his computer along with bitesize origin story chunks for future characters. Apparently the man knows so much, more than Superman and Batman, the master-detective and all their combined knowledge – although the man can’t produce a single coherent sentence. Speaking of apparent knowledge, wouldn’t Wayne have considered putting out feelers for other `supers` in the two-year gap after Superman? The whole film was so geared towards future content, that even after all the build-up it seemed artificial in its production. The Justice League it not a bad thing, its new and frankly could be absolutely amazing, but with all the promotion focused on a killer fight and  `who will win?`  when the real focus was the last 2 minutes at a funeral scene, is I guess what really bothered me. If the studios just wanted to have a DC Avengers type-deal as soon as possible, don’t dress it up as something that it just isn’t yeah?

Then again, I’m just another voice in a sea of angry nerds and maybe it’s me who needs a time-out.

 

 

Image credit: www.screenjunkies.com

 

19.5.15

DSC_0491_1_edited

His eyes are closed. The hot summer day burns down upon his face. He can feel every stroke of the heat as it laps across his face. He visualises the waves of heat, strong and fluid like the motion of the sea. Red. Flickering light encased through the tangle of leaves above him, fluctuating the colours he sees through his closed eyes. Silent irregular motions, the light ripples. Orange. A cloud perhaps. Yellow now, then back to red through glowing shades of amber and gold. He relaxes his eyes. He lets the colours run.

Suddenly, the colours darken. A warm embrace, across his shoulders to the middle of his chest and then hands running through his hair in irregular but delicate patterns. Soft fingers delicately massage his temples and the stress and pressure he feels is released. The feeling trickles down the length of his body, down to his toes and the weight of his body returns to him. He imagines it as pure and white. He feels free now. It is time to wake up.

Blue. His eyes see only what is natural; the opposite. A flash of white, a smile and a soft kiss. Shifts in contrast, other colours flow in and balance the picture, the perfect picture.

He’s awake now.

Update: 12.10.14

I’ve been meaning to write on here for months now, but I’m never sure what to write. That or I just tell myself an excuse and that works (I felt I should write a post after the 5 month-ish absence).

People tell you that if you want to write, then you should just do it. But then again, easier said than done, am I right?

Dwight-Schrute

I first started this blog to practice writing for my degree – after being recommended to do so and I really enjoy it. The only problem is that with any amount of creativity, it doesn’t work well under pressure and I want to put good content up here, not just garbled stuff I came up with at 1 in the morning (If you want that, just follow my twitter: https://twitter.com/wasabibeans21).

I’m not really sure what this blog is, other than a collection of stuff that I write but, I plan to write here more regularly and I’ll work my way up to interesting content, promise.

Image source: http://www.crushable.com

Godzilla (2014)

Black-and-White-Godzilla-2014-Poster-570x831

The King is back

It’s been since 1998 since we last saw Godzilla on our screens (eugh, remember that movie?) and the time away off-screen has done the monster some good. Given the leaps and bounds that special effects has taken in recent years it was Godzilla’s turn for a reboot and he did so in style.

Bryan Cranston, winner of two Emmys and renowned for the role of Breaking Bad’s meth cooker kingpin Walter White, stars as Joe Brody the scientist researching into the strange events taking place at the time. However, the majority of the movie follows his son, star of Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, a bomb defuser for the US army and Ken Watanabe’s character, Dr Daisuke who spends 89% of his time contributing nothing but making a fantastic impression of an emoticon: “*0*

Without giving the plot away, the human involvement or importance within the film is fairly minimal (with the exception of pissing things off). All is not as you would think, as this Godzilla film is very unlike its predecessor in that Godzilla is in fact the hero of the story and described as the `king`  who will bring balance and natural order by Dr Daisuke, in the rare moments where he actually manages a dialogue (Or just break everything). As unlikely as this seems, this is actually more faithful to the original Japanese version and is certainly more refreshing. This follows  in the aesthetics and abilities of Godzilla and makes for a more interesting plot. The improved look of Godzilla himself certainly contributes to an impressive level of badassery especially at key turning points in the film quickly followed by the bone-chilling roar, which they have certainly done justice. Although, with the focus not always on our reptilian friend, you may find yourself at points asking: `where is Godzilla then? ` However, when Godzilla does make his grand entrance, it’s definitely worth the wait and you will quickly lose focus of what you were worrying about.

Godzilla-2014-Roar

*Insert Godzilla roar sound effect here*

As with any Monster movie, there is an insane amount of carnage and destruction, and Godzilla 2014 makes Pacific Rim look like a dwarf, simply due to the speed of the damage and its range over the majority of North America. This can sometimes seem a little overwhelming, but certainly carries a substantial impact and shock factor. Something that I admired about the cinematography was that for most of the film, Godzilla is not focused on directly, which helps to build suspense so that when we finally get a good look at Godzilla, it carries the impact that it should do. Godzilla is certainly not a movie to watch with the volume down when its released on DVD and Blu-ray, as even the music has seen an improvement, adding to the drama and scale of the film’s scenes (time to crank up the subwoofer).

It stands to reason that if you are expecting anything not a 10 on the ridiculousness scale then this movie is not for you. The plot, whilst an improvement from Emmerich’s version, quickly forms large monstrous holes when placed under any scrutiny. Don’t go to see this film if you will be easily irritated by continuous shots of people looking surprised, scared or horrified, or the US military’s attitude of “umm, just uh, nuke it?” (I’m just glad they didn’t punch the air and sing `god bless America` at the end)

This being said the film redeems itself as the ridiculousness is something to be embraced and to be honest, it’s what makes the genre of Monster movies so appealing. Time will tell if the sequels signed on by Legendary will be as much of a success.


 

I give this movie: 7/10

Images source: http://www.screenrant.com

 

The Door

old-door-knob-joanne-coyle

He had always wondered what the door would look like. Whether it be aged, warped or beaten by weather and years of use. Or perhaps healthy, covered in a fresh coat of polish or paint, the door handle glimmering. The expectations. He always wondered—and particularly on the journey over in the car. Or in-fact, any journey or space of time where concentration could escape him and his mind could wander. It didn’t matter what it was, only that it occupied his mind at that moment in time. Occurrences of troubling frequency in the recent weeks.

Why were the comfort blankets handed out by the Police to victims of a terrible tragedy or event so dull in colour and texture? The dull grey draped over the form of a woman, consuming her shoulders and her delicate flowery blouse. A cheerful pattern of colours; red, blue and soft yellow. It seemed odd to him that the object of safety and rest so perfectly symbolised the loss itself. Was this carelessness? Or simply seeking to be appropriate? No-one expects to be dressed in colours so bright after an event of that magnitude, only the colours of the police sirens. Oh that was it. He had to stop thinking this way, in every precise detail of an action or occurrence and their perceived notions. Or should he? Surely he is only better prepared for thinking this way. But at what cost?

The door was not how it had been anticipated. It was not one or the other, it was somehow both. The quality of the wood indicated that it had been stained and polished to maintain its rich tones. In the central to the door was a small, proud and ornate window furnished of stained glass. However, much like the people he expected behind it, the door had a character about it. On closer inspection, it was a little worn, the handle softly eroded from years and years of constant use. The wood softened in places where it had been held multiple times or from over-working by the maintainer.

He couldn’t stop this. Not since the event. He had been unable to change his thinking, to escape the details, the constant analysis. Perhaps it was a comfort. But a comfort does not create or exert a terrible pressure in the mind. It does not consume a soul. Instead it seeks to soothe. So that could only mean that the nature of this obsession was not pure. There was benefits to this view of the world, it enabled him to see things more clearly; to see through the shroud of confusion which plagued others. So maybe he was simply overreacting. But then again the problem was looking into things too deeply so in itself a vicious cycle was then created.

Now he found himself re-visiting his approach to the door, how his light feet and legs had become heavy with anticipation. His trachea constricted. His very lungs weighed down as if full of tar, sticky and unwilling to allow him air. He found it strange how his body reacted to this type of stimulus. He had never until this moment felt the weight of expectation and not in such a physical and tangible form. He instantly felt dread. Lights flashed a cruel red and blue in his mind. This simple action had transitioned into crippling him and even simple body functions seemed a struggle.

He remembered the night on the pier. It had been beautiful, the neon of the arcade had reflected far across the water. They had sat together on a bench, papers full of salty chips between them. They were over salted and feeble but it hadn’t mattered, the silence and atmosphere of the setting were simply appreciated, jointly. This night more important than the others because it was the first memory of many. The memory slipped away, like the rest of them.

What was waiting for him inside?

He could not allow another failure. This had to be the first of many successes. Determination gripped him, released the lock over his body and took hold of his arm, extending it out towards the door handle. He coiled his hand around the handle to have a strong and steady hold on it. He tugged on the handle to avoid slowness, there had been enough anticipation, enough waiting. He had no control over the event, he had been powerless. The time was now, he could and would control this. An eternity passed before the mechanism clicked. He pushed. The door squeaked on its hinges. He had always hated that.

Always? The memory of working on the door, returned to him and his promise to his wife to fix the squeak. He knew within a flash what he had been hiding from himself. He felt the pressure, the companion of his constant thought slowly begin to slip away, replaced by a different comfort. Familiarity. This door was not the unknown. The muscles in his forehead relaxed finally after seeming to be tense for so long. The deep furrows in his brow now told a story. His affliction of being able to see things clearly had blinded him from his own truth. The opening of the door, opened another in his mind. Images flashed through his head but not of the sorrow or tragedy this place had known so well. Memories of better times, times that had been lost to loss itself.

Before the sirens, the reassurance that everything would be return to normality and the suffocating dull grey blankets. All terribly suffocating. As if they could ease his shock. It was all so false, he could see through it and it had given no comfort to him. He remembered the night when he had lost them, his hand instinctively touching the scar on this forehead caused by the impact of the crash on his skull.

But it was over now, he had overcome this and now he could move on with is life. Away from the event. His vision momentarily blurred as the weight of the realisation came crashing down his cheek in the form of a single salty tear. He had made it.

He opened the door to his home. Finally.

 

Image sourcefineartamerica.com

The cat

The cat stood watch lazily, its hazel-green eyes never blinking. The cat had been sitting at the window for almost half an hour, to be exact, 27 minutes. The streaked ginger hair running the length of its back started to prickle, slightly. Its eyes swivelled in its sockets frantically. Its pupils dilated to a ridiculous measure as if the cat wished to absorb what it was watching in the blackness of its widened eyes. Very slowly, the cats form became rigid, the muscles tensing all over its body, the tail flickering angrily like an endangered flame.

Bullshit. Adam cursed under his breath and slammed the lid of his laptop down hard, cursed and carefully opened it again. The cat known as Cleo, fidgeted and lost track of what had previously caught its attention. Like an endangered flame. “What even was that shit?” Thought Adam. He knew what it was, certainly not good enough to be published. Unless it was for a kid’s book, he supposed. He slurped the last of his lukewarm coffee noisily. Adam gurgled in pain and spat a mouthful of steaming coffee back into the mug, massaging the sides of his face with his free hand as if that would help soothe the burning sensation. Another thing he was wrong about, he chuckled to himself before quickly grimacing as he remembered his burnt mouth. Fuck sake.

Maybe he was just too hard on himself, he had that column before, and he could get more writing work, right? What was he even doing writing about his stupid cat anyway? Cleo had moved to sit directly in front of him, green eyes staring blinklessly up at Adam and let out one long and shrill meow as if replying to Adam’s thoughts. The stench of stale cat breath wafted up to his nostrils. Hmmm…fishy. Adam wrinkled his nose and frowned; maybe he was telekinetic. That would cool. Maybe if he could communicate with minds he would be able to control th- Adam was brought harshly back to reality as the Cleo sunk his claws into his lap. “Ow! Shit, Cleo.” Cleo did not stop, but instead persisted; this was all part of his ritual. Adam glanced at his watch. “Of course” he thought, “he needs feeding.” Another thing that he had neglected to remember.

“Hey shithead.” Adam turned to see Trish stood in the doorway, half naked, hair wet from her shower and a sly grin on her face. “The cat needs feeding dumbass.” She winked playfully. “Well you need to get dressed, my lady” replied Adam in a mocking tone. “Alas, that is true.” Alice feign sighed, waving her arms around before flopping face first onto the bed where Adam was sitting, scaring Cleo into running out of the room. Things were never serious between them. That was a good thing as far as Adam was concerned, as soon as things were serious they became difficult. Everything was just better off as a joke.

“Thanks for that. He was really digging into me there.”

Trish pulled out a fake finger pistol from an imaginary holster down by her side, blowing away imaginary smoke from the barrel. “All in a day’s work, partner.”

“One day I’m going to tell him I named him after his stupid catfood.”

“He’s just a cat, he wouldn’t understand.” mumbled Trish from through the bedsheets.

“Yeah, but I know the truth so it’d still be fun.”

Trish laughed and lifted herself back up into a sitting position lightly punching Adam on the arm. “C’mon, start writing.”

Sleep-less

I found this uncompleted on my laptop- and I’ve been suffering from insomnia lately so hey, thought I’d finish it:

 

Sleep-less nights leading to                         sleep-filled days

Caffeinated is the flavour

Cups, cans and pills are the vessels

Craved are the facilitators of awakening

 

Short days leading to                                      long nights

The rooms filled with shadows

Time lapses and slows

The wait for the drift of consciousness

 

Sleep is not found here

Sleep     finds      you

6.3.14

I haven’t been able to write here for a while; there has been deadlines, I haven’t been feeling very creative, excuses and blah. Well, you know the addictive hold that Netflix can have over someone.

Something which I enjoy the most about university is meeting new people and trying new things. But I haven’t tried anything that out of comfort zone. Yesterday, on my way down into the town I was walking down the path by one of the colleges and got overtaken by a very tall lad, striding ahead of me- and I walk pretty quickly on a good day. This guy was dressed head to toe in costume- a bit like a steam-punk pirate. That guy has balls. What was particularly cool was the massive axe over his shoulder with his long coat hanging from the end. He must have been on the way back from a meeting on campus-  maybe the pirate society. Either way, he looked like a badass.

As something that just casually and completely happened out of the blue, it was super awesome.

It was one of those moments where you feel the urge to kind of look off to the side and pull a funny face or something. As if you were turning to look at the guy behind the camera lens to say: `did you just see that?`

Or…

maybe I’ve just been watching shows like The US Office too much.

The Office

Image source: http://www.crushable.com

Lava lamp

Not really having a great deal to do tonight, I thought I would give writing a poem a go. Simply because I’ve started a module at uni that involves the analysis of poems and other literary text in a really detailed way. Having just analysed two observational poems about the world that the speaker sees  I thought that I would give it a go by picking the nearest object to me. Just so happened to be my lava lamp, nothing meant to be too deep or meaningful . So, here it is:

Timelessly sealed forms of wax,

Encased in glowing liquid

The rise

The fall.

Ever-shifting shape and form,

Twisting and turning in space,

The rise

Then the fall.

Mesmerising endless cycles

Falling through slowness,

Then the rise

And then the fall.

Some do not make it,

Unsure of their grounding they wait, illuminated.

Then the fall,

Ready to rise again.

Dog Walk

As you can imagine, the daily routine of a dog walker could become quite monotonous and repetitive, the trick to keeping things interesting is often to diversify the route of the dog walk. Easy peasy right?

Sure and infact, I only really know my way around some places because I’ve stumbled upon them on a blustery and dark winter afternoon followed eagerly by my furry, four-legged friend, tail wagging so quickly that it resembles the motion of a propeller.

That is only of course if something weird doesn’t happen instead.

Yesterday’s dog walk occurred on a typical British afternoon, nothing unusual. By that, I mean that the weather was bloody miserable (as it has been for the past week) with only brief and teasing sun-filled windows of good weather quickly eclipsed by grumpy grey-ness. As a British person myself, even I question why us lot talk about the weather so much, it really does not hold any surprises so the conversation usually goes as follows:

“It’s raining here. I wonder if it’s raining in London”

“Yes quite. Cup of tea ol’ chap?”

I was casually walking through town, soaked from being caught out in a particularly enthusiastic shower. If you’re an avid Friends watcher or can remember the episode where Ross goes to get a sun tan but only gets his front sprayed and repeatedly three times (as funny as it sounds if you haven’t seen it) then imagine the same thing but with rain. A lot of 100% Organic rainy rain rain. Except only on the back of my body, great.

Anyway, I was strolling unperturbed along the pavement of the main road near the seafront when a man stepped out from the front garden path of his house. Normally this wouldn’t be a strange thing, I’d just make sure to move over on the pavement so that he could pass, the polite thing to do right? Except that there was something interesting about this man’s attire, or rather lack of. He was dressed in winter gear; jumper, coat, scarf, boots and shorts. Wait…what? Those shorts look a bit…Oh…riiiiiiiiight.

The man had left his house completely dressed. All except for one of the most crucial items of clothing; his trousers. And continued past me in true British spirit; awkwardly shuffling past and avoiding eye-contact at all costs which led me to believe that his lack of trousers was not what he had wanted from today.

I carried on walking past and nearing my home I was still wondering what, how and why the man had been walking at such an anxious pace away from the house (other than the obvious chill haha). Had he been caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to? Was he enduring some kind of strange of punishment? Had he lost a bet? Had all pairs of his trousers spontaneously combusted at all the same time? Had he just forgo- 

And then the heavens opened again, soaking me from head to toe and this time the front of my body, completing the job, stopping only when I stepped in the front door of my home to say:

“It’s…well it’s raining outside.”

“Really?”

What a strange dog walk.