The Curse of the Video Game Movie

At the beginning of the year, I was asked to write a short introduction on myself to be used on the Writer’s Block website. Honestly, I don’t know how people are able to condense their entire person to less than three sentences and still manage to make themselves sound even remotely interesting. Instead, I just figured I could mention some of my interests and then proceed to write about those. Looking back at the little Writer’s Block archive dedicated to my ramblings, however, I noticed a gaping hole in the subject material (and no, I am not talking about my failure as of yet to write an entire piece on my love of Ice Tea). I have written about films, I have written about video games, I have written about memes, but never about the ultimate combination of the three: the utter meme that is the video game movie.

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The Ten Best Alice in Wonderland Films

This year marks the 110th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s death, and though it might sound a bit macabre, this may nevertheless be a good celebratory occasion to review the best Alice in Wonderland film adaptations.

Perhaps more fascinating than Alice in Wonderland itself is the mind from which the story sprang. Contrastive to his work, Carroll, or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), was said to be a rather dry and stiff man. As a mathematician and logician at Christ Church Oxford, he was orderly and meticulous, maybe what would now be characterized as bordering on OCD. But more than adhering to rules and order, he loved to break them, twist them, and turn them around completely until he arrived at the insane world that is Wonderland. Yet, saying that Wonderland is only a trippy celebration of chaos and disorder would be wrong. Alice in Wonderland very cleverly challenges the taken-for-granted logic of the adult world by using a child as a heroine who questions and doubts everything. In this, Carroll brilliantly captures a child responding to a world that has rules and logic that she, other than adults, does not yet fully understand and accept as ‘normal’. Continue reading “The Ten Best Alice in Wonderland Films”

Pretentious Pirates: Why My Favourite Film Is Actually Awful But I Still Love It

 

There are certain expectations you have to meet when you tell someone you love movies, especially if that other person is a self-professed film aficionado. For example, you absolutely have to have seen *insert random “classic” here*, been to a midnight screening/premiere at least once, preferably dressed as a character from said movie. You also have to have gone at least once to a small, obscure art-house cinema where the seats are sticky and, instead of eating popcorn, people drink chardonnays while discussing the latest feat of an equally obscure foreign filmmaker. God forbid you mention an interest in the cinema without having done at least one of these arbitrary acts associated with a bone-deep passion for “the moving pictures”. Luckily for me, I can often pass this first hurdle in conversation. For me, the real danger lies in the unavoidable follow-up question you get when you pass level 1 in the cross-examination posed by a fellow film lover; the question to surpass all other questions that will determine definitively your past, present and future as far as your acquaintance with that person is concerned. “So then, what is your favourite movie?” To me, it is both the most difficult and dangerous to answer; not because I don’t have an answer (although picking just one film is an almost impossible task) but because of what my answer is. My favourite movie of all time is Pirates of the Caribbean *cue gasp*.

Continue reading “Pretentious Pirates: Why My Favourite Film Is Actually Awful But I Still Love It”

#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie

 

A meme did the virtual rounds a couple of months ago, called “explain a film plot badly”. It asked internet users to take a well-known and universally loved movie, and write down the plot as horrible and in the most misunderstood way possible (think Harry Potter but with Voldemort as the hero). Not to read too much into a meme, but when these pictures with new and often hilarious captions littered my Facebook timeline it got me thinking.  Continue reading “#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie”

Review: Wonder Woman

So, a big monster guy crashes down onto Times Square, plucking a young maiden from the crowd. With a booming voice he proclaims, “Fuck you, citizens of New York! Bow and tremble to the might of Zorblon the Terrible!” Then Gal Gadot (our Amazonian heroine) comes out of nowhere and knocks Zorblon to the moon in one hit, rescuing the maiden. In a corner of the crowd one paparazzo nudges the other, saying, “Did ya see that? She must be some kinda… Wonder Woman” They start snapping pictures. Queue to the next day with presses rolling out a front page picture of the newly baptized Wonder Woman.

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Review: The Danish Girl

Warning: Spoilers.

Few movies have touched me like The Danish Girl. With the ability to weave a Hammershoi kind of look into this Denmark-based story, the movie sheds a light on love, freedom and identity. The Danish Girl tells the story of the Danish painters couple Einar (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda (Alicia Vikander) Wegener in the 1920’s. While Einar is praised for his landscapes, Gerda has trouble breaking through with her portraits. That is, until she has Einar pose for one of her paintings, which involves him wearing a dress. With her husband as her muse, Gerda finds her true artistic eye and takes over the art world with her portraits of Einar’s alter ego Lili. This wakes up a different side of Einar and he realises that he has never been a man, but a woman trapped in a man’s body and now has to figure out how both their lives will continue. The Danish Girl is based on the true story of one of the first transgender persons to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Continue reading “Review: The Danish Girl”

T2 Trainspotting

 

Choose to make a highly anticipated sequel to a 20 year old movie. Choose to ignore the cynicism surrounding remakes, follow-ups, and other so-called money-draining exploitations of an initial “good movie”. Choose nostalgia. Choose letting an entire generation reach for the last lingering strings of their youth. Choose to accept some meagre compliments and face the bile from the rest who tell you it was complete shite. Choose life.

The long-awaited (and at the same time dreaded) sequel to Trainspotting must have felt like a millstone to director Danny Boyle, who was allegedly plagued by a hushed “it’d better not be shite” even on set from the cast and crew. Fearing the Sequel Curse, for many critics and fans of the franchise, waiting for the release of T2 Trainspotting was like waiting for a bomb to explode that would completely destroy the cult franchise. Continue reading “T2 Trainspotting”