Movie Review – Creed

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I’ve been meaning to watch Creed since it came out at the cinema, but for some reason I never got round to it. Maybe because it’s not the sort of film my partner would enjoy – having never seen the rest of the series – and to be completely honest I wasn’t so sure the 7th film in the series would actually be any good.

I’m not so sure about anyone else, but I got the impression that a dead horse was being flogged. Still, being the Stallone fan that I am, I knew I would watch it. And seeing as my husband was doing a longer day at work I figured I would enlighten Marcus to the joys of Stallone films (He’s not even 4 months old and wasn’t impressed.) Back to Creed – I was suitably impressed.

As stallonea basic premise for those that havn’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet – The son of Apollo Creed wants to prove himself in the boxing ring in his own right. Asking Rocky Balboa to be his trainer. Of course, Rocky refuses to begin with wanting to leave that life behind, but he comes around to Adonis’ side and takes on the challenge. There is enough padding out in that to allow the story to hold it’s own as a drama also, but I wouldn’t like to spoil anything.

What is actually rather good about the film is it uses Stallone age (70 today, hurrah!) to it’s advantage. It’s not a film about Rocky making hs own come back to the arena – that’s been addressed already – it’s about Creeds son ad his trials, both personal and professional. And it’s great to see Stallone passing on the mantle of the series onto the younger generations in a sympathetic and well written way. It’s not only a fitting end for Rocky, but also a fitting beginning for Adonis Creed. It’s wonderful to see Stallone in a supporting role in one of his more recent films, rather than taking the lead. He’s done some wonderful films lately, I’m mostly on about The Expendables here, which have lent themselves brilliantly to cheesy action movies of the 80’s/90’s.

The first scene of the movie made me think that Creed would follow that same cheesy theme that The Expendables would follow, but I am pleased to say that it didn’t. (It had it’s moments, like scenes with dirt bokes) There were also wonderful gems of Rocky in the movie where you can see his younger, more care free, nature coming out to play which gives credit to Stallones acting.

Yes. Hold the Phone. Stallone can act!

There is one scene in particular that really stands out to me in the film, and it’s not even about boxing where Stallone totally steals the show. Having just been given some bad news (understatement of the century) and how he deals with it. It’s pretty powerful and helps to carry the story to just more than a film about boxing.

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Also, the closing scene with the steps shows the bond that grows between Rocky and Adonis.
“One step at a time.”

It’s a film worth seeing, even if you have no interest in the sport. However, I don’t know how well it would stand up without having seen the rest of the series. Needless to say Rocky (1978) is a little bit out-dated by current movie standards and they all become a little bit predictable as you go along. It would be interesting to hear some others – who havn’t seen the Rocky series – opinions on this.

I’ve seen rumours that there is going to be another in series (Rocky 8/Creed 2) but as with these things, it’s a rumour mill. Something to keep an eye on, but I think I’ll be as hesitant to seeing Creed 2 at the cinema as I was Creed. Mostly because that dead horse isn’t going to be breathing anytime soon.

 

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Shame

Shame

I don’t often get to watch films like this, generally because they would bore the socks off my partner and we get little movie watching time together anyway.

So when I have the house to myself I like to take advantage and rent a movie for myself to settle down and enjoy – even if they aren’t the main-stream sort of film that I am known for enjoying.

It’s a rather grim character study of Brandon – a High-Flyer living in New York – and into his life as a sex addict. It seems a great deal of effort goes into keeping himself distant from other people and as far, far away from any real human affection as possible. Whether this is due to abuse as a child or some other unwritten reason the audience never gets to know. His addiction ranges from simple masturbation (At home and at work) hiring prostitutes, casual one night stands in dirty parks to receiving oral sex from other men and a rather large collection of pornographic merchandise.

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It seems that Brandon is all rather okay with his rather estranged life until his sister Sissy (I wonder if any research went into the name Sissy, as it’s often used to refer to men who like to dress as women or who are forced to in the fem-dom fetish, though I guess it could just be an affectionate name for sister? I am leaning towards no though seeing as she uses the name freely.) comes to stay with him. Indefinitely. This put a rather quick halt on the daily routine of – wake up, masturbate in shower, work, use work computer to look at porn, masturbate in the toilet, attend meeting, finish work and go out with friends, cock-block mate/boss, sleep with woman, go home, hire a prostitute/watch porn, sleep. Only to repeat tomorrow. Leaving Brandon rather frustrated. No wonder he gets rather mad at her on more than one occasion. Yet there is more to their relationship that just stopping him from masturbating in his own bathroom. There is a rejected tenderness, Sissy clearly yearns for her big brother and at times Brandon seems just like he is going to open up to her, only to put his mental barriers back up and lash out instead.
He seems like one big confused mess with her.

When watching, I couldn’t help but see Sissy as a female counterpart to himself, although we don’t know what she gets up to while he is at work she does bring his boss home after one night – after not long having split up from her own boyfriend, pleading with him to not leave her and repeating that she loves him over and over.
They are seemingly alike in their promiscuity, yet at the same time Sissy seems to do it for unfulfilled love and attention while Brandon just seems to want to fill a hole of desire over and over again with another person. So detached is he that the only time we see him with someone he may care for in a sexual situation that he cannot perform. So right after being able to perform with her he hires a prostitute instead with much success; showing the levels of his addiction. He is even ignorant to Sissy when she calls him right before attempting suicide – he is rather busy at the time with two other ladies.

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At one point in the film I wondered if the cause of Brandons problems were his sexuality – he seems happiest while receiving oral from another man, and when we see him directly afterwards enjoying a threesome his orgasm seems to be almost pained, but I figured that the whole point of the film couldn’t be that simple. I now think that maybe Brandon was so ashamed by his actions – sex after sex all night before returning home – that it was difficult to bare. Hence his breakdown later after discovering Sissy. Maybe there is guilt? He would have been there for her if he hadn’t been so busy trying to get his own happy end in’

It’s a curious film with typical Steve McQueen long extended shots that can get a little tiresome if it’s not your sort of thing, but overall I found the film rather fascinating.

International what day now!?

According to the wonderfully reliable source that is Twitter, apparently yesterday was ‘International Fangirl Day.’ If I had known sooner then I would certainly have made a bigger celebration of it. The fact that at Thirty I am still able to be a fangirl is such a wonderful thing. No. Really it is!

The fact that I am often away with the fairies creating my own things is just wonderful for me. I love living inside my own head and making war and peace and anything else that I could possibly think of.

And honestly, at the moment it feels great to be here again.
I feel inspired, able to draw and take on the world with my craziness – just because it’s fun. It’s imaginary.

I guess that last part sums it all up for me. It’s make believe. It’s creativity. I know where the line is and I cross it with my thoughts, but I don’t think I am of the mind to go stalking people or anything!

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But seeing as this is meant to be about fangirling and the things that I am reminded of in the past I should get onto a topic I can talk about. Last night I watched ‘Robocop’. The newest installation of the films, I recall being a bit of a fan of the original but rather than approach the new films with any sort of anticipation or horror I was rather excited. Unlike a lot of people out there I don’t have any issues with remakes as long as they bring something new to the table – I believe I made a point of how the remake of Total Recall seemed like a carbon copy.

While the back bone of Robocop is still the same – they take Alex Murphy’s dying corpse and put it in a machine and call him Robocop – the story does greatly differ from the original. The whole feel of the movies are different. The original having a much more grungy feel to it, while the newer has a sleek Sci-Fi feel to it. Which just goes to show the difference in trends when the films were created. Sci-Fi back in the 80’s was a lot dirtier, I mean look at Terminator and then compare it to the new Star Trek movies and you’ll see what I mean. (Or you should) So as a remake or a ‘reboot’ of the franchise it certainly works. As an action film, I am not so certain. It had it’s moments and it’s explosions of course, but I feel it was a little lighter on this ground than it could have been, maybe I am just being to much of an action-whore here? Feel free to disagree. I enjoyed the action that was there, but couldn’t help but feel I wanted more.

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I think it was a simple think that was lacking in the film and it’s something I have mentioned before. That all important ‘Fuck Yeah.’ If I remember correctly, in the original Robocop there was a lot of rather awesome action quotes that just made you root for Robocop – I mean, this metal, walking human was pretty cool to begin with, but when you add that onto such cheesy lines as; “You move, Creep.” and “Dead or alive, you are coming with me.” it was epic.

There seemed to be a reversal in the movies as well. In the original Robocop is plagued with memories of his humanity and who he used to be and tries to get that back, but his family has moved on when he figures it all out. In the newer he retains knowledge of his humanity and his family wants to be a part of his life and it’s embraced, rejected and then comes full circle. All in all they’re both great movies, I personally lean towards the older ones, but that is because I simply love 80s/90s action flicks!

A New Hope

The film this week, I settled down to watch rather begrudgingly. 
As the title suggests it was Star Wars: A New Hope. 

It’s fairly obvious that I like Star Wars, as it’s been shown in previous posts, but it seems that whenever Star Wars is brought up you just cannot avoid the divide between the newer Star Wars films and the older ones. I don’t exactly sit on the fence with this issue either – I’m all for the new stuff. It’s not that I hate the older films, they are still good.

While I understand completely the limitations of technology, it’s not the space flights and fights nor the ‘computer generated’ effects that cause me to prefer the newer films. It’s the one thing that really wasn’t held back my technology, because the means to create such a thing has been around for centuries.

The fight scenes.

There is this one part of the film – the tension is built and the lead up is fantastic. Shooting troopers with blasters, the excitement of seeing the main cast getting crushed, the build up as Vader and Obi-Wan meet, you expect something special… more than special. And then… you get this slow paced really, let down battle between the two.
I’m not expecting the world here, but the filming just seems to go right out the window, giving close-up shots with little to no spark. Compared to the rest of the film, it’s just a little bit dull. Which is a shame.

I don’t think I want to get into this argument! Maybe I do sit on the fence a bit more than I thought, maybe that’s all I really need to do.
Maybe, there doesn’t need to be a divide between old and new? We should all just hold hands in a big circle and share how much we like Star Wars as a collective, rather than bitch and moan about how one set of trilogies doesn’t set our souls on fire as much as the other.

The Raid

(Original artwork by: Jock)

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about something I’ve recently watched.

I admit, then I first came across this movie I wasn’t overly convinced that it would be any good. I recall the trailer for it just looked terrible – giving the briefest outline for a plot and showing what looked like really poor quality film.

Still, when a friend recommends something it’s usually a good gesture to at least give it a try. So when Tom said that he and Shakahnna really enjoyed this film, that’s what I did. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and put it on my LoveFilm list.

I am glad I did.

Not for any spectacularly profound plot or any other such nonsense, rather for the glorious amount of enjoyable ass-kicking.

The plots pretty basic – a SWAT team go covertly into a building full of thuggy-baddies, get spotted and have to clear them out in order to get to the boss they’re trying to arrest. Everything goes wrong – but that’s where all the entertainment is!
There are the typical and really predictable plot twists – the corruption in the police force, the rookie SWAT team, the insider, the friendly resident in the building – but you know, when you watch the film you really don’t mind these glaringly obvious plot elements because you’re waiting to see the next wonderfully choreographed fight scene.
These really do steal the show, they’re perfectly put together dance sequences, and they look brilliant. Even the two against one final fight is masterfully pieced together, so really just watch the film for them – but then again why would you watch a film like this for any other reason?
You don’t need character development in every movie, and I think in this particular case it would just slow the action down. I rarely say that about movies as I adore character driven plot, but in this case I think it best to just enjoy the action and what character driven stuff there is in the obvious plot.
What’s not so hot about the movie. There is a Hollywood remake due. Hmmm. Not sure what to think about that, I don’t think the action needs to be more actiony, I don’t think the plot needs any elements adding as they’d just be a distraction from what the movie is intended to be – an ass kicker!
Honestly, it brought back memories of watching and playing Street Fighter – especially the double team fight against one bad-guy.

 

Cats and the meaning of Anthropomorphism?

I was walking out of my driveway the other morning and I happened to see one of the local cats walking along the opposite side of the road. Sauntering along like he (or she) owned the street. The fact that he (or she) probably does own the street in the cat sense didn’t cross my mind until later on in the day. It was the fact that I was instantly reminded of the intro sequence for “Walk on the wild side,” directed by Saul Bass.

While I do not compare where I live to the roaring scene of 1930’s New Orleans, it did make me wonder why I had never noticed this particular cat before. The neighbourhood in which I live seems to have as many cat residents as it does human ones; they often find pleasure in sitting on my back lawn in the sun and falling asleep and I for the most part enjoy watching them.
Saul Bass claimed he used a cat in his title sequences as he preferred to bring attention to objects that we tend to overlook in modern society.

It was this along with the fact that I’ve been reading a book by John Burger titled; Why look at Animals? 

The role of the animal has certainly changed with society. They’re less used as a part of a work force, I can’t say entirely so as there is still stock for farm animals. When the Fox Hunting ban was passed in the UK, however I do not know if I was the only one to think that a lot of Hound Dogs would be out of work as a result!
Animals have come into the home as a pet instead. I think this was a Victorian change that made this so, but I am currently uncertain as my readings have only recently began. Their role has shifted from a tool; something of use to a spectacle; a form of entertainment and comfort.

I started to wonder the role in which animals have to people in the same situation as myself. Someone who works part time (So is out of the house a fair amount) with a partner who works full time. I’ve noticed that since wondering this that the house has felt utterly quiet and rather lonely while I am in it by myself.

Why is this?

Is it the fact that it has come to the forefront of my mind since thinking it – certainly this has a part to play, but also I have always had an animal in the home before. Like most children, I grew up with them. At most points in my youth there was an animal either in the house or in my bedroom. I personally preferred Budgies to the usual offering of rodents; but we also had Gerbils as pets as well as the usual cat and dog. After leaving school I did a Diploma in Animal Management.. which was where I started drawing anthropomorphic characters for the first time more “seriously” – I think most children have animal characters without knowing what they really mean?

Yet, I know of some people who are frightened of animals. Not just a specific type of animal, but all animals. I can only wonder what that would be like, as I find the whole world of animals fascinating.

Likewise with the world of anthropomorphism. This was something that I also grew up with. Most childrens cartoons I watched had some sort of anthropomorphic representation in them.

And these are images just from the ones I can remember off the top of my head. If anyone can think of any more please feel free to leave a comment because I know for a fact that there are a lot more.

I wonder… is there a decline in Anthropomorphic representations to children in cartoons in current times that may not help them adjust to seeing real life animals?
Does Disney still rely on talking animals in their feature films or has the trend for them really moved on to something a lot more human orientated?
It something that I have noticed over the years that there seems to be a decline in, but I don’t know if that is just me no longer paying as much attention to cartoons.

Sorry for the absence.

I made the very silly decision to delete my blog.
Thankfully, blogger keeps deleted blogs for a while and lets you undelete them
Which is what just happened.

So, over on good olde facebook, I posted this status:

“Remind me never to look at Boromir related stuff on Tumblr ever again… tears in my eyes… clearly still not over that enough to talk about it!”

So, here I am, ready to pour my heart and soul out about this man finally, I think.
We shall see.

First, let me start off with saying that I have been on a bit of a Tolkien high lately. Mostly after being asked if I would roleplay as a certain Dwarf over on OneWorldRoleplay. Whenever I am asked to take on a certain role that I do no know or understand I do my very best to research the role… thats by the by.

It is a very well known fact of my fangirlings that my favourite character always dies. So, when I went to see the first Lord of the Rings movie way back in 2001 (Time flies, huh?) I was certain that with Boromir I was on to a winner. I really should have known better, because… Sean Bean.
I can honestly say that death is one of the most soul shattering, tear jerking things that I’ve ever witnessed. No, seriously. Here is a man so determined to restore honour and dignity to his people he would sacrifice his humanity to do it – sure it could be said that was the One Ring talking to him, making him be a bit of a jerk to Frodo about it; I’m rambling now, I know it.

So
Why did Tumblr (Of all strange internet places) almost make me break down while at University?

 

 

 

I think this pretty much sums it up.
Did Boromir deserve to die?
I can’t answer that really.
But, I do know he needed to.
Seeing the death of someone you care about strengthens your own personal resolve. You don’t want to fail them, or their death would be in vain.
Boromir was such a person to the Fellowship.