The-Sarkologist

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
(1988)

Lacks what the previous films had
I thought that this movie was something that came out of Gilliam's head, but it turns out that it is based on a series of stories that have been floating around since about the 17th Century. Mind you, I'm not sure how close to the original source material it is, but it certainly does have a lot of what you would expect from a typical Gilliam movie. Actually, I also found out that it is the third part of his imaginarium trilogy, which also includes Brazil and Time Bandits. The other thing is that it really isn't one of my favourite films.

The film starts in an unnamed city that is under siege by the Turks. There is a play going on about the adventures of Baron Munchausen and his friends, when all of a sudden this older guy appears on the stage and puts an end to it because he claims that he is the real Baron Munchausen and that everything they have said is wrong. Well, the film then goes on to a story about how Munchausen started the war by talking all of the Sultan's treasure, and when finished the theatre is attacked, and Munchausen, along with a little girl, go on an adventure to get the gang back together to beat the Turks.

As I mentioned, it really isn't one of my favourite Gilliam movies. In fact it just seems to be trying to be similar to the previous two films and failing somewhat. Yeah, I thought that it was a little too over the top, which is something that one probably should expect from Gilliam, and just doesn't really have the charm that the previous two films in the trilogy had. I guess in part the way it was set up was no doubt to try an capture the impression of the story being conducted on a stage, even though we had moved beyond it. The other thing, is focus of the film is on an older man which rounded out the trilogy.

One of this things that I do like about his films is how they really focus on ordinary people. The heroes aren't always noble princes and kings, but instead normal peasants. In fact, in a way they are dirty peasants. Okay, maybe that is not the case with Munchausen, but the reality is that he is a old man in a young man's world, and coming back to confront all of the sins that he committed when he was young. For instance, he travels to the moon, only to encounter the king of the moon who has problems with the fact that Munchausen seduced his wife the last time he was there.

Then there is the idea of the bureaucracy, another theme that flows through this film. We have the elected official who we get the impression that it is in his interests to keep the war going. In fact, at the beginning he has a soldier executed not because he deserted his post, but rather did something brave, destroyed some cannons, and rescued some imprisoned soldiers. It certainly does seem that in Gilliam's world of bureaucratic nightmares that there is no room for heroics.

Mind you, there is a really nice twist at the end that plays into this, but despite not really liking this film as much as others, I still don't want to give it away. While it isn't a great film, it certainly does continue with the themes that were developed in the previous films, and once again does a good job of capturing the imagination, something that this bureaucratic world simply wants to stamp out.

Deep Web
(2015)

Drugs on the Web
This is another documentary about the internet by Alex Winter, the guy who played Bill in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Actually, ironically, the documentary is narrated by Keanu Reeves, who was Ted in the affore mentioned movie. However, this documentary has little to do with that particular movie, and everything to do with an anonymous Marketplace known as Silk Road.

Actually, the focus of the film is on the trial of Eric Ulrich, who was convicted of running this particular site. The reason that he landed up in court was because this particular site basically sold drugs (among other things), and could only be accessed through the Deep Web, which is a layer of the internet that you are generally not able to reach via your typical search browser.

What the film explores is the far reaching implications of the trail. For instance, the DEA hacked a server in Iceland to be able to obtain information regarding the site, and they refused to release this evidence. Further, they refused to release any of the witnesses, on the grounds that there had been death threats leveled against them. In fact, one of the things that stood out was how deeply flawed the trial was, yet despite all of this, and the appeals, Eric was still sentenced to life imprisonment - yeah, it really just seemed to be a show trial to send a message that the authorities are not willing to allow the internet to be used to sell drugs.

The documentary looks at three factors though, one of them being internet security, and the fact that the government really doesn't like it because it means they can't spy on you (though they claim that it is to hunt down people who are likely to be a threat to the safety of ordinary people). The second is how the court case effectively said that the Forth Amendment, namely the prohibition against illegal search and seizure, didn't apply to the internet. Of course, it doesn't appear if this matter is settled by a long shot, and it is difficult to know the details of the appeals that Ulrich made without actually reading the judgements.

The final thing comes down to how dealing in drugs is inherently violent, and the film makes the case that this is because of the war on drugs. Obviously, using such words does tend to evoke violence, but the idea behind Silk Road was to remove that aspect of dealing in drugs. For instance, the site uses a rating system like Ebay, which meant that if people didn't supply what they said they would supply, then they would receive bad ratings, and nobody would buy from them. Yet, one could argue that it is the threat of violence that keeps people from going down that road, but this war on drugs has been raging since the 80s, and there just doesn't seem to be any end to it. In fact, it has just made things much, much worse.

Mind you, they do point out that there are a lot of vested interests in keeping the drug war going, and it is not just with the cartels. No, the private prison system, and the drug testing companys, all have a vested interest in this operation. In fact, some argue that it is because of this so called War on Drugs that the United States has the largest prison population in the world.

Anger Management
(2003)

Nicholson & Sandler Face Off
I was somewhat surprised to have encountered an Adam Sandler movie where he stars beside Jack Nicholson, the reason being that I never expected this to be Nicholson's thing. In my mind he is the type of person that can pick and choose what he wants to do, and when he auditions for a role, the producers pretty much tell everybody else that their services are no longer required. Mind you, because of that, he does pretty much steal the show, even though I have to admit (and I'll probably make quite a few enemies in doing so), that I'm not a huge Nicholson fan.

Anyway the story is about this rather meek guy, typical Adam Sandler character mind you, who has a problem with people pushing him around. One day he is on the plane and he is accused of causing a scene, and lands up in court where he is assigned to Anger Management classes. It turns out that Jack Nicholson is running the classes (who he also happened to be sitting next to on the plane). Of course, it does sound ridiculous that such a meek character would be sent to Anger Management, but it does eventually make sense.

Still, this was a rather fun film, even though it really wasn't one of the best that I have actually seen. However, I did feel that the way it was put together was rather clever, especially with the way that Nicholson runs his course. It is certainly one of those peaches and pairs type of movies, where you have two characters that are clearly unsuited for each other being forced to have to put up with each other, though that is sort of one way considering that Nicholson knows exactly what he is doing.

I guess another problem is that Nicholson does have a habit of stealing the show, but that no doubt has an awful lot to do with his presence. Still, he did play the character well, despite the style of moving being a somewhat below his talent, not that I don't like Sandler movies, but in my mind I never really equate the typical Nicholson movie with the typical Sandler movie. However, they work well together, and despite it not being a great movie, it was still rather enjoyable.

Casino Royale
(2006)

Back to the Basics - An it works
I'm not sure when I last saw this film, but a part of me felt that it made no sense. The reason being was that it felt that it started in the middle of a story, ended in the middle of a story, and had a bunch of stuff happen in the middle that resulted in a palace in Venice being knocked to the ground (and a bit of research revealed that this wasn't actually filmed in Venice, but on a set, one of the largest sets ever built). Well, since I am slowly making my way through all of the Bond films, I have now watched this one again.

Honestly, I really don't know what I was on when I saw this film last, but I was incredibly mistaken. This film was actually really good, and it did make a lot of sense. Okay, it did sort of end suddenly, but that is because they were setting the stage for the next film, Quantum of Solace, and the reason why Bond has such a bone to pick with these particular guys.

One of the good things about this film is that they decided to go back to the source material and stick pretty close to it, so the events that happen in the film are basically the events that happen in the novel, with the exception of bringing it into the 2000s, and also moving the casino from Northern France to Montenegro. However, other than that (and maybe the opening scenes), the movie is apparently very faithful. Oh, and it is also sort of a reboot, though they do bring Judi Dench across from the previous film.

Basically Bond has just been awarded his 00 status, and immediately gets into trouble in Madagascar after he shoots up an embassy. Mind you, M is a lot more cold hearted in this film than the others, but a part of it was that they wanted to move away from the extravagance of the previous films and start coming back to Earth. Yeah, this version of MI6 has no problem with making agents that don't play ball disappear, and James certainly does get reminded of that. However, they are attempting to track down a terrorist organisation, and Bond sort of gets the opportunity after he prevents a plane from being blown up. This forces the bad guy, Le Chiffre, to enter into a high stakes poker tournament to make the money back. Bond's job is to make sure he loses, and while we all know that Bond is pretty good when it comes to cards, it seems as if in this instance, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

One thing that got me near the beginning of the film was when he first met Vesper, the woman from treasury who was handling the money. There was a suggestion that she might actually be Miss Moneypenny, but it turns that that this was not the case. The thing is that there is something about the relationship between Bond and Moneypenny which would be ruined if they ended up sleeping together. As for the relationship between Bond and Vesper, yeah, that was actually done really well. In fact, it made a lot more sense than some of the other ones.

Oh, and they had some pretty good lines as well, such as this one which I will finish off with: 'You're not my type.' 'Smart' 'Single'

Downloaded
(2013)

Destroying the Record Industry
A student in my class recommended watching this documentary considering that I was doing a presentation on Napster. It is a full length movie documentary that goes from the founding of the file-sharing service to its eventual demise. Mind you, the founders of the company aren't exactly poor, especially since one of them did get in on Facebook at the ground level, so he ended up walking away with a cool billion or so.

The thing about Napster is that it revolutionised the internet at the time. Before that the internet was really just a hub and spoke model, where people would access files on a central server, though in the days of dial-up-internet, downloading files, such a music, took a really long time. What Napster did was change that model to what is known these days as a peer to peer networking model. Basically people would share the content of their hardrives, and you could thus download the files not from one server, but from multiple sources, which sped things up incredibly. What surprised a lot of people was that nobody expected people to agree to share the contents of their harddrives, and it turned out that they did.

There were a couple of problems with Napster though, one of them being that they didn't actually have any way of making money, beyond what Venture Capitalists gave them. However, what the funding did was to create a new technology that has pretty much changed the internet as we know it. For instance, Bitcoin works on the same technology that powered Napster.

The other problem was that people were using it to share music, and this was a huge bone of contention. Some musicians loved it because it meant that their music got to a lot more people that it otherwise would have. Others didn't, in particular the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Mind you, that had a lot more to do with corporate greed than anything else, and also a business structure that wasn't designed to exist in this new world. Of course, they fought back, and while they may have defeated Napster, the problem was that the genie was out of the bottle, and once that happens, you simply cannot put it back in again.

What Napster did was that it democritised music. That meant that the recording industry no longer had any control over what they wanted people to listen to. It also destroyed the concept of the record, namely forcing people to pay something like $30.00 for a bunch of songs, half of them which they probably didn't like anyway. Napster opened up the possibility that people could thus pick and choose the songs that they wanted. Another argument was that it actually increased record sales, at least for the good ones, plus it allowed people to sample the contents, and if they liked it, they would buy it.

This is quite an interesting documentary actually, and really goes to show how the internet literally changed to world. It was also made by the guy that plays Bill in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Like the newspaper industry, the music industry was completely blind-sided by it, and had not chosen to embrace this new world. Ironically, it was actually the bands that prided themselves on being anti-establishment that kicked up the biggest fuss over this new paradigm. Others really didn't understand, and as such didn't care, while the rest simply went with the flow. However, one should remember that it has always been the case that bands have never made huge amounts of money from record sales, and the big bucks really come with concerts and merchandise sales.

Oh, and as for Napster, the only money they made was from selling some T-shirts.

Shaun of the Dead
(2004)

The First of the Cornetto
Another of those movies that I have never got around to writing a comment on, though I do have to admit that it has been quite a while since I first saw it. Fortunately, some friends decided that they would put it on their Covid-19 lockdown list, so I guess I can now add this one to my collection of reviews, particularly since I'm not a fan of writing reviews of movies that I haven't watched recently.

Look, I suspect most people know what this film is about, but as I usually do I'll run through the plot anyway. Basically it is the first of the Cornetto Trilogy, three films that are losely connected because, well, they have a Cornetto in them. The director, Edgar Wight, wanted to make some films that reflected some of his favourite genres, and this one was the zombie one.

The film is about this guy that works as a salesperson, is dating this lady, and is basically a loser. Well, his mate is more of a loser, and this it is suggested that the only reason they hang around together is because it makes him feel less of a loser. Anyway, one day it becomes apparent that a zombie horde has attacked, or at least people have decided to turn into zombies. Even though they have been told to shelter in place, they decide that the best place to shelter is the local pub, so they go on a quest to get his mother, his girlfriend, and then go to the pub - very British might I say.

Look, this wasn't one of my favourite films, though it certainly does seem to be appreciated by a lot of people. There are some cool scenes in it, but then again I've never been a particularly big fan of the zombie movie, that is until I saw Zombieland. Yeah, that sort of has set the standard for me, and unfortunately this one sort of just doesn't quite cut it. Then again, I wasn't a particularly big fan of it before hand.

Mind you, it does have all of Edgar Wright's trademark styles that you tend to see in a lot of his films. In a way it does set the standards, and in another way it is definitely quite low key in a lot of aspects. Yeah, I do have to give it credit for that, even though I don't consider it to be one of his funniest movies. However, it certainly does have some class about it, and it is definitely worth watching, particularly if you enjoy either his films, or just the Cornetto trilogy in particular.

Back to the Future Part II
(1989)

2015 Didn't Quite Turn Out Like This
I finally managed to get around to watching this film, after intending to do so for a while (the original plan was to watch all three in order, but that didn't eventuate). Mind you, I thought that it was pretty good, though there are suggestions that one of the main areas where it seems to fall down is that for about the third of the film they seem to just rehash everything that occurred in the first film. Okay, they sort of suggested that the era in which the first film was set is some sort of time junction, but in reality, it probably had more to do with Biff not really knowing which time to go back to and just picking a random time.

The film basically begins where the previous film left off, and the previous film did drop hints that there was going to be a sequel, just as this one drops hints, well not really a hint because the ending is pretty blatant, that this is going to be a trilogy. Yeah, this is the middle film (but you probably already know that), and as such it doesn't sort of stack up to where the other films shine.

I guess the main reason is that they seem to be jumping around a bit, and also the fact that there are some problems with the time line. Like, one would have thought that if Biff went back and changed everything, then Marty wouldn't have been able to initially go back, particularly since the old Biff told the young Biff to watch out for a kid, and a mad scientist, which meant that Doc ended up getting locked up, which meant that there would have been no way to send Marty back in time. Yeah, that's sort of what happens when you don't sit down and think through time travel paradoxes.

Still, I like this film, it is pretty engaging, particularly since this time they do attempt to change the timeline, which results in some disastrous consequences. Previously, it was all accidental, whereas this time it is on purpose. It also creates a pretty dystopian Hill Valley, which I thought was rather cool. They also spend a decent amount of time here as well. As for the future, well, we all remember Back to the Future Day, which happened something like 5 years ago, and it is interesting to see what they got right, and what they didn't. Yeah, no hoverboards or flying cars, but we do have smarthouses, and big screen TVs where you can watch multiple channels at once.

Yeah, this is a pretty cool movie, especially if you don't take it too seriously, which is something that I suspect that you aren't supposed to do.

Unfriended: Dark Web
(2018)

What not to do with a stolen laptop
Some has suggested that this was actually better than the first one because it did away with the whole spiritual, ghost aspect and just focused things that could really happen. That, I can quite appreciate because a good horror story is a horror story that doesn't focus on creepy crawlies and nasty undead but rather on true horror, and that is things that could really happen in real life. In fact, this film explores how all of the wonderful technology that we have could easily be turned against us. Mind you, it didn't seem to do all that well, but that probably has something to do with people simply expecting it to be a rehash of the original movie, and while it is in part, it certainly does go beyond it.

So, this guy finds a laptop at a cafe. Well, when I say find, I should actually say stole, though it turns out that there is more to what is going on that meets the eye. Anyway, he starts using it because he wants to develop this app to help him communicate with his deaf girlfriend, and the laptop that he has is pretty slow. Anyway, he quickly discovers that this laptop has a hidden folder that is full of some rather dodgy videos - namely snuff films. Anyway, it turns out that this laptop was owned by some rather nasty people, and they want it back, so it pretty much becomes one of those films where each of the main characters are killed off one by one.

Mind you, the thing that did get me about this film is that the main character just doesn't seem to be all that concerned about security. Like, it is pretty clear that he is doing some really silly things, like logging into all of his accounts on a laptop that he, well, stole. I could see from miles away that this was only going to end badly, especially when you are dealing with people you use the dark web. Then also, the fact that all of the passwords are prefilled for the original owner did raise my eyebrows, but it was more that this particular guy, an app developer, didn't seem to be all that concerned about security.

Then again, there probably wouldn't have been much of a movie if he had done what I had done, and that is formatted the harddrive before actually using it. Well, okay, sandboxing the computer to actually get all of the stuff off of it before formatting it would have been useful as well, though it wasn't all that obvious whether he could have done that without alerting the owners to the location of the laptop. Anyway, with the fact that they had devices that could spoof video cameras sort of suggested that these are certainly people that you don't mess with.

Look, I thought the film was good though, and clever in parts, and also better than the original one. Yeah, it was painful to watch in parts because you pretty much know what is going to happen in this film, but a part of me watched it through to the end nonetheless. Of course, one doesn't fully understand what is going on because, like a lot of these films, they do try to do away with the big picture to create a more suspensful experience. It was good, just not great.

National Lampoon's Vacation
(1983)

Annoying, but still a Classic
This was one of those films that always seemed to be played on television when I was a kid, and one of the reasons it grabbed my attention was because I remember when the sequel was actually released in the cinemas (which certainly does show you how old I actually am). Well, this is a part of my quest to try and watch as many of the movies from my younger years as possible, even though it turned out not to be that great,

Yeah, I remember it quite well, though it certainly did take rewatching it to finally remember what happened. Basically it is a story about a family, the Griswalds, who decide to travel across the United States from Chicago to California to go and visit Wally World. Yeah, it's actually supposed to be Disneyland, but I suspect that National Lampoon (which was a magazine) wasn't able to get the rights for it, which isn't all that surprising.

Well, as with a lot of these road movies, the thing is that pretty much everything goes wrong, right from the start where the used car dealer hoists a dodgy station wagon onto the Griswalds. Mind you, they are pictured as just being a normal family, it is just that they end up in an extraordinary situation. Another thing is that it is a pretty long journey, so there is always the perchance that something is going to go wrong.

As I mentioned, I'm not actually a particularly big fan of the film, though because it has been absolutely ages since I last watched it, I did want to give it a shot again. Well, it certainly hasn't changed my impression of it. I didn't find it funny back then, and I certainly don't find it funny now. Still, I do want to watch the others in the series, namely because, well, I watched them as well, and I do want to go through the motions again, even if only to put up a review of those ones as well.

Who Am I - Kein System ist sicher
(2014)

Germany's Mr Robot
I was watching some Youtube videos to gauge what people thought about the authenticity of the hacking on WarGames (though I probably didn't actually need to do that considering from my perspective it was pretty good) when I came across this film. I noticed that it was in German, which piqued my interest, and then discovered that it was directed by the same director who did Dark. Well, that pretty much sent it straight to the top of the list of films that I was wanting to watch. Actually, the story goes that the guy that runs Netflix watched his film, was so impressed that he approached the director and asked him to do a series on Netflix.

Well, it is a little difficult to say what this film is related to. There are elements of Mr Robot, there are elements of The Usual Suspects, and there are elements of Fight Club. Yeah, movies that you probably wouldn't connect with a hacker film (with the exception of Mr Robot), but it certainly does work. Basically our hero, Benjamin, approaches Hanne Linberg, who happens to head up the European Cyber-Security Taskforce (or something like that), and had also been given the task of hunting down his crew. Anyway, the film is mostly him telling Hanne his version of events, which as you can see has elements of Usual Suspects. Basically they are attempting to track down this hacker MRX who apparently leads a terroist organisation called FR13NDS.

There are plenty of twists in this film, from when we see Benjamin first get in contact with the group CLAY, and then play numerous pranks around the city before pulling off a daring raid so as to get the attention of MRX. In the end, pretty much everything goes south, which is why Benjamin ended up going and confession to Hanne. Mind you, as is the case with Fight Club, and as with the case with The Usual Suspects, we don't actually know the whole story, and Hanne seems to believe that there isn't so much holes, or that the attacks never happened, but rather Benjamin really doesn't have a true grasp of reality.

Well, that is interesting because there doesn't seem to be much mention of the ending, because in my mind it leaves a lot of things up in the air. Did the ending that we witnessed really happen, or was it all just in Ben's imagination. There are a few hints that suggest that it could actually have been all in his imagination. Yeah, the film twists, and then does a double back right at the end, which honestly, made me question whether what we watched was accurate or not.

The film does portray the world of hacking quite well, from the idea of Script Kiddies (hackers who just hack by running programs as opposed to actually being proper hackers) to social engineering, the major way that hackers actually get into systems. Yeah, social engineering is a key element, which generally means that the picture of a loner hiding in his basement isn't the true picture of the hacker.

Yeah, this film was actually pretty cool. It certainly does take hacker films to a new level, particularly pointing out that they are actually quite sociable, and go to parties and all that. Yet, as I suggested, there are some rather interesting questions that have been raised, particularly at the end. Though, I must admit that the plan that Benjamin executed to actually catch MRX, was pretty cunning in and of itself. Yeah, I've probably given too much away as it it, but it is still quite worth watching.

Kedi
(2016)

The Cats of Istanbul
A film about cats. Well, this was certainly something that attracted my attention. Okay, it probably isn't the only film about cats out there, but it is actually more of a documentary, and not one of the National Geographic ones either. No, it is actually pretty specific because it is about the cats of the city of Istanbul.

A couple of years ago, when I was travelling through South-East Asia I discovered that Muslims seem to have an affinity for cats. This was particularly the case in Malaysia, and especially the case on the island of Phi Phi. Yeah, it turned out that Phi Phi island is crawling with cats, so I decided to do some digging and I came across this film. The thing is that Istanbul is also crawling with cats, and this is basically a documentary about this rather interesting trait that the city holds.

They suggested that the reason there are so many cats in Istanbul is that when they built the sewers it literally attracted a plague of rats (though it might have been earlier than that). So, to deal with the rats the inhabitants introduced cats, and they literally exploded from there. Mind you, these aren't your typical house cats like we have here in Australia (and other parts of the Western World), these are cats that just simply wander around the streets and make their home wherever.

In a way, as they say at the beginning of the film, the cats don't have masters, rather they are just free to come and go as they please, and they simply attach themselves to certain places and certain people. Yeah, sure, there is this concept here in the West that cats don't have masters, they have staff, but as I indicated, the cats in Instabul are free to come and go as they please, and they just end up attaching themselves to individuals, which is what I noticed around parts of South East Asia.

This is a rather delightful film, and while the focus is on cats, they do explore the changing nature of Istanbul. They also speak with numerous people in the city, and their relationships with the cats. In a way they consider them to be not just a part of their lives, but a part of the city. It is interesting how some people even suggest that these cats give them a life of their own. Yeah, it is a rather delightful film, and really does capture an essence of Istandbul that probably most people have no idea about. In fact, it makes me want to go there just to see all the cats.

WarGames
(1983)

A Classic Hacking Film
I'm rather surprised that I hadn't gotten around to reviewing this film either, particularly since it is one of those films that I believe that I have seen countless number of times. In fact, this is one of those films that I have literally grown up with, and the saying 'do you want to play a game' as one of those sayings that resonated through us as kids of the 80s. In fact, in a way this film seems to not only be one of those must see films from the era, but it is still referenced today, and is also considered to be one of not only the quintissential hacking films, but one that is literally true to form.

Okay, the film doesn't necessarily tell you how things are done, such as the idea of phone phreaking, a way in which to make countless numbers of phone calls without having to pay a cent for them (and it doesn't really work these days anyway). It is also interesting how the film focuses a lot of how he located the password to the system, which literally seemed to be an early form of social engineering, but then again, this was back in the days where you could literally get away with having 'password' as your password.

So, this film is about this teenager who is a bit of a computer geek, noting once again that this is in an era before they even taught computing in schools. So, while he might be pretty smart, school does tend to be rather boring. Then again, one might argue that he actually gets in trouble on purpose because, well, he sort of knows were the school keeps their passwords to the computer system (another form of social engineering before it was even a thing).

Anyway, he accidentally hacks into a US military computer and begins to play a game with it, however what he doesn't realise is that the game that this computer plays, he plays it with Centcom's computers, so when he plays the Russians, and launches the missiles, this is displayed on their main computers. The problem is that once he has started playing the game, the computer continues playing it until its completion. The problem is that the staff at Centcom don't actually realise that this is a game, and that the computer is running a simulation.

There is so much in this film that makes a lot more sense after having studied computer science, and it really goes to show how much thought they had put into making it. Like, we have these primitive versions of machine learning, and computers playing games so as to learn about strategy. Like, they relate tic-tac-toe to nuclear war in that it is impossible to win, or lose, a game of tic-tac-toe because most of the time it ends in a draw (which it not strictly true, but it is still relevant).

Yeah, this movie is actually pretty awesome, though I do find it interesting how they referred to this kid as being a loner and all that, when it isn't actually quite true - he like has a girlfriend. Yeah, he certainly didn't come across about being one of those social recluses that they claim that he is, especially since the girl actually travelled to meet him as well, which I must admit is pretty noble of her. Still, that aside, it is pretty cool.

On the Road
(2012)

Just Read the Book
This is an independent film based upon Jack Kerouac's seminal work of the same name. The problem is that it is sort of one of those books that I don't think you can really turn into a film, and I certainly felt that this attempt completely fell flat on its face. Okay, there is a lot in the book that was left out of the film, or even if it was included, it was included in the wrong order. Another thing is that it seems as if they were trying to squeeze so much into it that the film pretty much ended up falling flat. Yeah, I really wasn't too impressed.

The reason I ended up watching this film was because I had just finished reading the book a second time and I really wanted to see how it was translated onto the big screen. Well, there were a number of things that put me off, especially since Neal Cassady (Dean in the book) is actually shorter that Jack Kerouac (Sal Paradise in the book). Yet this seemed to be switched around in the film, though I guess a part of it has something to do with making Dean somewhat more imposing.

The story is about Kerouac's journeys across the United States, pretty much focusing mainly on the travel. This occurred shortly after World War II, and as was indicated, he was pretty much attempting to kick start a writing career. In the film he is introduced to Dean and this starts a long journey, multiple times, across the United States. Mind you, you get the impression from the film much more than from the book, that Dean isn't a particularly nice person. Well, I should probably say fairly self focused. Anyway, you also sort of get the impression that Sal is pretty much just tagging along, though you sort of also get the impression that Dean is an influence, and not a particularly good one at that.

Of course we also have Mary-Lou, who seems to in part by Dean's girlfriend, but in reality she is just one of many. In fact, showing what Dean's character is like, he will simply dump her in the middle of nowhere and go off with somebody else. Also, he also seems to be quite happy to share her around with his friends, and of course we do have scenes where she is in bed with more than one guy. Another thing that stood out are the number of criminal acts that are mentioned, something that I didn't quite pick up in the book. Mind you, there is a lot more references to sex in the film than appeared to be in the book, though that might have something to do with Kerouac not really wanting to incriminate himself, particularly since the stories are actually based on true stories.

I personally felt that the film did lack quite a lot. As I mentioned, it seems to be trying to fit the book into a film, and adding things that aren't mentioned, and putting things in out of order. Yet in part I can still relate to it somewhat, especially with the character of Dean. I guess we all know somebody like that, somebody who is an influence, and not a particularly nice one either. On the other hand, I sort of got the impression that Kerouac wasn't drinking anywhere near as much as he did the book (however they were smoking an awful lot more marijuana).

Mind you, the ending is also one of those endings which suggests that when Dean returns to New York he suddenly discovers that Sal has moved on in his life. I guess in part it had something to be with both Kerouac and Ginsberg becoming published authors, while Dean, well, he never quite moved on (though Cassady was a Beat poet and writer in his own right). Then again, Dean did end up leaving Kerouac in Mexico City while he was suffering from an illness, and being deserted like that certainly does not go down all that well.

Sausage Party
(2016)

Crude, Offensive, as it is supposed to be
When I first saw this film being advertised in the cinema I simply wrote it off as being another one of those animated kid's films. It's not, and I certainly wouldn't be recommending people take their kids to see it. In fact when you see Seth Rogan's name attached to such as film, along with the actors that tend to congregate around him, then you sort of can sort of expect what it is going to be about. In fact, the innuendo in this film comes thick and fast, and honestly, looking at the title, I probably should have expected it when I first saw the poster. Oh, and the film is also full of expletives, particularly in the first couple of minutes.

Yeah, this film could be considered to be a send up of all of those animated kids films that float around the cinemaspehere. Basically it takes the concepts of giving inanimate objects life, and does it with food. That doesn't sound too odd, except the main character is a sausage, and the heroine is a bun, and if you look at one of the posters you might actually start to realise what they are suggesting. Honestly, I'm quite surprised that it went right over my head at the time, because that poster is pretty suggestive (and I suspect that there were a lot of innocent kids wanting to see the film, without knowing what the poster was actually referring to).

So, the film is about a sausage named Barry and a bun named Brenda. They are sitting on the shelf waiting to be picked up and taken to the great beyond, where they will live in harmony. Mind you, we all know what happens to food when they get taken out of the store, but the food doesn't, having been given this religion to keep them in hope. Mind you, there are also the ones that end up in the bin because they have gone stale, so there is that as well. However, what happens is that they are picked up, and there is a shopping trolley accident and Brenda and Frank end up on the floor, and thus go on a quest to return to their shelf in the hope that they can get into another package and go to the great beyond.

There is so much in this film that pokes fun at literally everything. Like you have this bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr, and this Havash. Now, these characters are implied to be Jewish and Muslim, and of course there is this argument over the fact that the bagels have taken over the part of the store where the Havash and his ilk live (no doubt a reference to the ongoing Israel/Palestinian conflict). Further down the track we have this firewater, which is supposed to be an Indian due to the comments of his land being taken away. In fact, he hides in this cave with other imperishables, that appear to represent oppressed minorities.

Yeah, this film is actually pretty clever, and offensive as well. It certainly does poke fun at religion, especially since I would be one to agree that religion is used to control people. The idea in this film was that the food were always terrified when they were taken because they knew that they were going to be killed, so the religion of the Great Beyond was created to calm those fears. Of course, when people end up coming back from the Great Beyond, they have stories of what is really going on.

Mind you, the end scene certainly does suggest that religion is pretty restrictive, but I guess they do have a point, especially when you do consider some of the denominations out there. I, obviously, have my own thoughts on the matter, but in the end I also suggest that if the whole idea comes down to being nice to people, and helping them out as opposed to simply living a self-centered life, then that is the problem. Of course, it does work both ways, but it certainly does give us some things to think about.

Autómata
(2014)

Should Robots Sel-Repair?
I first heard about this film when I was sitting in one of my Computer Theory classes, and the lecturer decided to use the cover of this film to introduce a topic (Push Down Automata), and of course he had altered the title somewhat. Mind you, I suspect that this probably went over most people's heads namely because it isn't one of those well known films, though I suspect it is on his list of favourites (with his all time favourite being Blade Runner).

Actually, mentioning Blade Runner I should point out that there are similarities with this film, but there are also similarities with I, Robot, though I suspect that Asimov would probably prefer this film above and beyond the one that they ended up releasing (despite the fact that I did quite like it). The reason that it is connected with I, Robot is because the robots in this film have two laws that are hardwired into their system, namely that they cannot harm, or allow to come to harm, a human being. However, that is where the similarity ends because the second law is that they are not allowed to alter themselves. So, as it turns out this film seems to hinge on the fact that robots have suddenly learnt how to alter themselves, which the film says has the potential to open up a whole can of worms.

However, I guess the other thing with its connection to Blade Runner is that while Blade Runner is wet and dark, this film is quite bright, and set mostly in a desert. The reason for this is due to solar storms that completely devastated the Earth and knocked society back significantly. Yet, I found it a little odd that they were able to build robots, but I suspect that has something to do with a majority of the population being killed, so robots were developed to help with the manual labour. As such, the world certainly does seem like a different place, especially since humanity is clustered in scattered cities, and there simply does not seem to be much in the way of food or water.

I guess this is another one of the films that expores the modern question of to what extent computers can become too powerful. The idea here is that if robots are able to modify themselves then their ability to give themselves upgrades will simply result in them become ever more powerful, and of course eventually being able to override the first law. This is the main focus of the film, and that is robots fixing themselves, which is something that didn't seem to be explored in Asimov.

The film is rather slow going, but I guess this is the same with Blade Runner as both films are exploring ideas. In a way both of them look at the idea of robots evolving beyond simply being mechanical humans, and actually taking a life of their own. In Blade Runner it was the desire to extend their lives, and this is sort of similar here, though it seems to be more focused on the idea of self repair. But that does go further because self repair also goes to repairing other robots, which in turn leads to modifying them, and finally building new ones, ones no doubt that evade the laws that have been programmed into them.

Of course, there is always the explanation that these laws are hardwired into them, and that they simply cannot be overwritten. Yet, as the film suggests, this is not some much a problem, especially since if hardware is developed that evades these laws, and the components can be swapped out. Interestingly the main robot that is the focus of the film starts off as a sex robot, but when given this new device advances beyond what the original programming demonstrated.

I do have to say that I did quite like the robots in this film. They certainly did have something about them that I warmed to. In a way it felt as if they were a new, innocent, life form that was on the cusp of evolving into something more. Also, I did feel that the film did end well, though in one sense it also reminded me somewhat of Blade Runner, namely that there just seemed to be unanswered questions. Look, in the end it is pretty good film, especially if you like the style, and the theme, or Blade Runner (and similar films).

Die Another Day
(2002)

Yeah, More of the Same
Yeah, I get the feeling that the Bond franchise is starting to hit the skids by this stage, and that they seem to be really scrapping the bottom of the barrel with regards to stories, and enemies. Yeah, this time we have North Korea as the bad guys, and while in part it might be laughable, there has been reports about the fact that they do sit at the head of a pretty large criminal enterprise, especially due to all of the sanctions that have been laid against it.

Well, the movie starts off with Bond going on a mission into North Korea, and then gets captured, and is tortured. However, he is eventually released when a prisoner swap ensures. However, it turns out that there is evidence that during his imprisonement, and torture, that he may have released sensitive information, so the film ends up being another film where Bond goes off on his own in an attempt to clear his name.

Yeah, this sounds like it has been done before, which was the case with License to Kill, where Bond also has his 00 status revoked, so it just feels pretty much the same. Mind you, that seems to be the case with a lot of the Bond films in that they basically follow a formula and really just have the faces, names, and other things changed to sort of give a hint to originality. Then again, it is a franchise that has worked, and worked quite well, especially since it is the longest running franchise of any film.

But, the problem is that the fact that the subtly of the earlier films disappearing does put me off somewhat, namely because I do pine for the charm that Sean Connery seemed to have, and Roger Moore to a lesser extend. Yet, there are also aspects of those earlier movies that sort of put me off of them, particularly looking back on them from this point in the future.

Still, half the reason that I watched it was because I am slowly making my way through all of the Bond films, though this particular one I feel that I never actually seen, probably because there was a period of about five years when I wasn't actually watching movies. Yeah, in part it was okay, but in reality, the series really just seems to be dragging along at this particular point, which is probably why the next one ended up being a, well, 'soft' reboot.

Fatal Attraction
(1987)

Affairs that End Badly
I was a teenager when this film was first released in the cinema, and I remember that it was being plugged pretty heavily. Then again, back in those days Michael Douglas was definitely one of the go to actors for this type for film, which is probably why Basic Instinct is also on my list of films to watch in the not too distant future. Anyway, I'd never got around to seeing this, and a part of me felt that maybe I'd give it a go, especially with all the hype that was surrounding it back in the day.

Well, the film is about this guy, Dan Gallagher, who I would say is happily married, except that he has an affair with this woman that he meets at a party, and turns out to also be working for one of his firm's clients. Well, his wife goes away to the country and Dan and Alex decide to have lunch together, and you can probably guess where things go from there. In fact, as the title suggests, the fling doesn't turn out all that well, particularly since Alex ends up being obsessed with Dan, to the point that she is now out to ruin his relationship.

I guess the thing that stood out is that these days I'm not sure if Alex's character would go down all that well with current social trends. The reason I say this is because it is generally portrayed that it is the guy that behaves the way Alex behaves as opposed to the way the film makes it out to be. Also, I sort of get the idea that men hitting women also doesn't go down too well, no matter how bad the woman happens to be. This probably why these days you tend to have women fighting women, and men fighting men.

Anyway, the film sort of reminds me of what tends to be argued by the Men's Rights Movement, who in many cases tend to be conservative men who are upset that women tend to be believed over and above the men. However, no matter whether they are right or not (and there are certainly instances of domestic violence where the woman is the perpetrator as opposed to the man), it is generally the case that men tend to be the more violent and abusive in the relationships. Yet, it is also a pretty tricky topic in any case, and one that I certainly can't give a solution to.

Another thing that stood out is, well, how affairs really don't tend to work out all that well. Okay, it could be dramatised somewhat more, but it does go to show how people can, well, become obsessed with other people. In a way I can see some realism in what actually happens here, namely because I have seen similar things being played out in my time here on Earth, whether it be at work, or whether it be at university. Mind you, I tend to try to keep my nose out of those things, but I guess once could say that things like these don't always end up having a happy ending.

In a way, I did find that the film was somewhat slow in places, but I guess it does have a lot to do with building up the suspense. It is certainly challenging, and confronting, particularly since it isn't always all that easy to walk away from people, especially when one has had such an intimate relation with them. I guess that it is a reminder that we can't always keep skeletons in our closet for too long, because they tend to always come out and haunt us in the future.

Mr. Deeds
(2002)

Another Delightful Sandler Movie
This is another one of those films that I believe I watched a while ago, though I can't say that I remembered too much about it, until I ended up watching it again. Yeah, in a way it is a typical Adam Sandler film, though in this instance he isn't so much a 'Man-child', but rather a nice guy from the country that has found himself negotiating the maze that happens to be New York. In fact, he is painted as a guy that really has never left his town, though he certainly is also painted as being a rather hardworking person that is content with his lot in life.

Anyway, the story goes that there is this billionaire that is insisting on climbing Mount Everest, and ends up dying in the process (and the fact that they used a helicopter to lift him off the summit sort of put me off this a bit considering that, well, you can't get a helicopter up that high). So, this guy dies intestate, and also without any heirs, which is where Mr Deeds comes into the picture, because he is apparently this guy's only heir.

Well, we have this country guy come upon an awful lot of money, and of course the running joke is that he just gives money away because, well, he pretty much has more than he needs. Actually, he is quite generous, and helpful, which works well for the character. Anyway, being in New York, and the newest rich person, the media want to get as much on him as possible, so this girl goes undercover as a damsel in distress, and they not surprisingly fall in love.

Actually, the whole thing is quite amusing, particularly since this journalist is making things up as she goes along, but Mr Deeds certainly doesn't pick up on it, namely because he just happens to be so innocent. Yeah, it sounds absurd that she happens to be a school nurse, and of course they play up on that as well.

I guess this film is really about how hard it is to be a nice person in a big city. In fact, it sort of shows how hard it is to be a nice person at the head of a big company. It is like pretty much everybody is out to destroy you, especially when the people that are running the show really see huge benefits in keeping Mr Deeds out of the picture. Yet, it is still a feel good movie, and the ending does work out quite well too, though this is the case with a lot of these films.

Yeah, I liked it, and it did come back to me as well, being one of the many Sandler movies that I have seen down the track. Still, it is somewhat similar to most of his other films, except that Sandler does happen to have a way with his characters that do make them quite enjoyable, and in this case it is giving away wads of money to complete strangers.

Monsters, Inc.
(2001)

Delightfully Pleasant
It's been a while since I had seen this film, and since I haven't reviewed it I thought that it might be a good idea to watch again. Well, I have to admit that it did turn out to be a good idea, especially since this film is actually quite enjoyable. Yeah, it's mainly for the kids, but Disney does have this way of making films that adults can appreciate as well, not that there is a huge amount of adult content in it. However, there are some subtle things about it that does make it rather charming.

Anyway, the film is set in the city of Monstropolis where they get all of their power from children screaming. Yet, there is this story going around that children aren't allowed into the realm because they could wreck havoc. Mind you, it turns out that there is some subtle manipulation going on here because the reality is that if children are no longer scared of monsters, then they won't scream, and as such they won't be able to get any more power, so of course they make up this story that children can't touch monsters because, well, they are dangerous.

So, there happens to be this rather sneaky, shape-shifting, lizard called Randal who is attempting to get to the top of the charts for the number of screams that he can get, and he decides to do some overtime. Well, what happens is that this little girl comes into monster land and our heroes suddenly find that she is following them around. Yeah, it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that children aren't as dangerous as they are said to be, which means that there is more going on than meets the eye.

Interestingly, one could say that there are lots of connections between this film, and the current energy debate that is raging around the Earth. In fact, it turns out that there are ways to get more energy than simply getting children to scream, but people don't seem to be looking in that direction. Mind you, it also makes me wonder, with all the power that Disney has, that they can't push the debate towards more renewable sources of energy.

Yeah, you could suggest that getting children to scream is sort of a non-renewable form of energy, especially considering that once a child is no longer scared of a monster, there is nothing they an do to change that. However, there are other ways, as I indicated, some of them good, some of them not so good. As you can probably suspect, Randal is looking at a rather not so good way of getting more energy.

This film, as I suggested, is actually rather enjoyable, and does ask some serious questions in a way that is quite light hearted as well. Yeah, I liked it.

A Quiet Place
(2018)

Thrilling
I decided to watch this after seeing another movie on Netflix about blind creatures who were only attracted by sound. I guess I sort of wanted to see the way that this film actually played out, and in a way it was somewhat better. In fact, it certainly does come across as one of those really well put together low budget films, despite the fact that it doesn't seem like it is a low budget film. However, when I noticed that there is a grand total of six actors in the film, that was when I realised that it was low budget, since actors tend to be pretty expensive. Also, the movie did pretty good in the cinemas, compared to how much it cost to make.

Basically the world has been invaded by this aliens that can't see, and it focuses around a family that is trying to survive. Mind you, like the other film, this film has a deaf child as one of the main characters, which as I suggested elsewhere, sort of doesn't work in my mind considering that deaf people really don't have much of a concept of sound, meaning that they don't actually know if they are making any noise or not. Still, that didn't really bother me as much here because it doesn't seem to indicate that this is a major factor.

Another interesting thing is that on the face of it there is very little dialogue, namely because everybody communicates using sign language. One interesting thing that I have discovered is that sign language pretty much changes based on the country you are in, even if you happen to be in a country that speaks the same language. Auslan, which is the Australian sign language, apparently is not the sign language spoken elsewhere, such as in the United States.

I did find this film to be a little slow going though, but it does happen to be a horror film, and that sort of is one of the reasons why it is slow going. Personally, I don't see how you could change it otherwise without keeping up the tension. I have to say though that it was pretty well put together, and does flow quite well, and after watching it, it does make me want to watch the sequel, even if to see how the story pans out (though I suspect that it isn't going to be anywhere near as good as this one - sequels rarely are).

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
(2018)

Pretty Much More of the Same
Apparently there is a sixth movie in production, though I'm not sure if the time line is still as it was previously. Anyway, this is the fifth movie in the franchise, and it turns out that there is a volcano about to destroy Isla Nubla, and there is a debate as to whether to rescue the dinosaurs or not. Mind you, there is no mention whatsoever about Isla Sorna, where I believe there were also a number of dinosaurs located, and sort of wander why it is that if this second site existed, why would the destruction of Isla Nubar result in the second extinction of the dinosaurs.

Well, that aside, it turns out that there are a number of people who sort of want to rescue the dinosaurs anyway, but not for the reason that our heroes think to be the case (noting, of course, that Claire has certainly changed significantly since the previous film, and of course Owen Grady returns as well, though I should point out that, not surprisingly, they didn't end up continuing with their relationship).

So, they go and rescue the dinosaurs, only to find themselves trapped on the island, except that they do manage to escape, despite the escape attempt being rather dubious and why the people on the ship didn't pick up on the fact that this extra truck managed to jump off the jetty and into the back of the boat. Anyway, as it turns out they are taking the dinosaurs to auction them off to the highest bidder, and surprise, surprise, they have once again made another genetric mutation to turn these dinosaurs into weapons of war.

Yeah, I felt that this film dragged on a bit, and it really wasn't all that exciting, but then again I didn't really feel that any of the previous films were all that exciting either. In fact, many of them just seemed to be the same old story with a slightly different theme, and of course more powerful dinosaurs being created to have a somewhat intense ending. Further, there is still the idea of some guys trying to weaponise these creatures, though I do note that this wasn't the case in the third film.

In a way it would be interesting to see how the sixth film turns out, though a part of me really isn't expecting too much. It took me a while to actually get around to watching these versions and I'm not in too much of a hurry to go and see the final installment, though now that I have watched the five that have been released, I suspect that I will eventually go and see the sixth, and hopefully final, installment.

Click
(2006)

Seen it all before
The first thing that stood out was during the opening credits this film claimed to be a 'Happy Madison Original'. Honestly, no, it really wasn't an original. In fact, this film reminded me a lot of the Jim Carry movie Bruce Almighty. Come to think of it, there seems to be something similar between Jim Carry and Adam Sandler which sort of made me realise that this movie had very little difference between the two. Okay, as comedians they pretty much have their own style, and Carey certainly does seem to have a lot more diversity in his skills than does Sandler, but I guess since both of them have a sort of uniqueness about them, and that they are able to carry their own movies, is probably why I didn't consider this film to be all that original.

So, the film has Sandler as this high flying architect that is climbing the corporate ladder, but also is having a lot of difficulty juggling his aspirations for work with his family life. He is then given an opportunity to have a bit of a helper in the form of a universal remote control that allows him to have greater influence over the world. However, as one can expect, with great power comes great responsibility, and while at first it seems that this device gives him an edge, this edge ends ups being a rather nasty blade that pretty much ends up ruining his life.

Yeah, as I suggested, there is pretty much nothing original about this film, and in fact while the idea of a universal remote control for your life might be new, the concept of gaining some extraordinary power to make your life easier, only to discover that with the benefits comes some rather nasty consequences, isn't really all that new. As such, I have to say that I found this film to actually be rather boring.

The other thing that annoyed me about the film was that it was running on this theme of family verses career advancement, and the suggestion that one should not sacrifice family for career. Yeah, that's true, if it wasn't for the fact that it can be pretty hard for somebody to be able to hold down a good job, and have enough time to spend with their family. In fact, there are these stories of politicians retiring to spend more time with their family, but the reality is that for many people this really isn't an option. In fact, the need to keep paying bills, and mortgages, as well as having decent healthcare, and providing one's kids with a good education, is actually pretty costly, especially in the United States.

I guess this is what gets me with these films, in that they really don't understand the life of normal people, and we are talking about the middle class here, not the working classes, or even the service orientated classes. Honestly, it really gets me how Hollywood really seems to have this absolute disconnect with the lives of the ordinary working people in America, or even in other countries as well. Sure, there is the fact that this film was released in 2006, before the world drastically changed after the global financial crisis, but the middle class was still struggling back then, and it has only got worse. Yeah, it might be a good thing to say that one shouldn't sacrifice their family for their career, but unfortunately, in the real world, many simply just don't have that option.

Wu du
(1978)

Good Old Hong Kong Kung-Fu
Well, this film certainly didn't go down all that well with my Zoom watch group, and I guess I'm glad that I wasn't the one who picked it. Then again, it seems as if none of my favourite Golden Age Hong Kong films are available on Netflix, at least not the Jackie Chan or Jet Lee ones. Still, it was interesting to see that there were still a fair number of films of this style available.

So, as I suggested, this is basically a kung fu movie from the 70s, and look, I didn't think it was all that bad. Basically it is about this kung fu master who runs an academy that teaches specialised styles of fighting, each of them named after poisonous animals found in China. Anyway, these fighters don't know who each other is, and some of them have turned bad, so it is now up to the trainee to track them down and defeat them.

Personally, I liked the story, though it did take some time to pick up the pace, but the concept actually wasn't all that bad. That is that he is tracking down these kung fu warriors, but the only thing he knows about them is their fighting style. It is once the fighting style becomes apparent that they know who these guys are.

There also some political chicanery going on here as well, which was somewhat dry and boring, and another problem was that it was difficult watching a film with subtitles and reading the zoom comments as well. Of course, there were a lot of references to Tarrentino's Kill Bill, which probably shouldn't surprise us since he has been influenced by a lot of films that many of the other directors aren't, which is why he has his own specific style.

Still, I wouldn't expect too much from this film, particularly since it is one of the earlier of Hong Kong's productions, though apparently the Shaw Brothers were pretty big in the Hong Kong cinema scene. The Netflix subtitles were pretty good as well, namely because the original Chinatown subtitles were pretty much rushed just to comply with the laws in Hong Kong that movies had to at least be accessible to the English speaking public. Still, while it wasn't great, I'm sure there are people out there that will appreciate it.

Death in Brunswick
(1990)

A Peek into Life in Innercity Australia
I remember watching this film years ago, back when it was first released in the cinema, and I have to admit that back then I hated hit. However, over that time I have moved to Melbourne, and even spent a decent amount of time in Brunswick, especially along Sydney Road. Anyway, I was having a chat to some friends who referenced this movie, and they mentioned that it was a pretty good representation of what Brunswick used to like. Mind you, I should point out that this is not the case anymore because these days it is your typical hip and trendy innercity suburb.

Well, I watched it again, and I have to say it was actually pretty good, particularly the grave scene. In fact that scene is by far the best scene in the film, and I won't say anymore because, well, that will simply give too much away, and spoil the film for those who have not yet seen it. On the other hand, I might mention that it is also very Australian, so people who aren't familiar with Australian culture simply might not get it, let alone understand the humour.

So, it is basically one of those dark romantic comedies. It is about this guy who lives with his mother in Brunswick and get gets a job as a cook at this rather seedy nightclub. Yeah, this is certainly not what the clubs and pubs in Brunswick are like today, but it certainly does give you a good taste of what it used to be like. Anyway, he meets this bartender named Sophie and they pretty quickly hit it off. Of course, it turns out that he is not the only person interested in her, and this tension plays out throughout the film, particularly since one of her suitors happens to be the owner of the nightclub, and of course his heavies do make life somewhat difficult for poor cookie.

Yeah, as I mentioned, watching this film now really did change my opinion of it, particularly since I am somewhat more familiar with Melbourne now than I was back then. Then again, this could have been any innercity suburb in Australia judging by the rundown houses and the furniture that seems to have been cobbled together from anything. In fact, I have been in a number of houses like this, and I have to admit that they do still exist. Okay, these days a lot of them have been bought up by renovators, and they have either been knocked down, or completely restored, yet they still do exist.

Another thing I hated about the film back then was the age difference between the two main characters. This time I sort of looked at it and really questioned my judgement back then. Like, they were only five years apart, but as a young kid watching the film I guess five years was monumental as opposed to what it is these days. Mind you, I guess they were also very coy as to how old Cookie actually was, and there is a suggestion that he is actually older than his stated age, though it is never actually mentioned.

Yeah, I am so glad that I watched this film again because honestly, I appreciated it so much more this time around than I did back in the day. In a way it really did capture what life was like in Australia's inner suburbs, and having grown up in Australia, I was really able to relate to it better than I did back then.

Jurassic World
(2015)

More Genetic Engineering Stuff Ups
Once again I have decided to continue to watch the Jurassic Park series for some rather unknown reason. I guess it had to do with simply wanting to watch through the series, not that I have huge amounts of time on my hands anyway. So, I've got up to this film, which no doubt was released some time after the previous one, so of course we have different actors, and a different situation as well. Well, not quite because this is still a film about rampaging dinosaurs, and if you have seen the previous ones, then you pretty much can guess what happens in this one as well.

However, since numerous years have passed, the park has now opened to the public and it is basically this huge amusement park where people can go around looking at dinosaurs. However, as with all capitalist ventures, they need ways to be able to keep the people entertained, and as such they decide to create this completely new dinosaur. Mind you, as well all stupid human endeavours, the genetically engineered dinosaur escapes and starts running rampant around the park, pretty much killing anybody and everybody.

Yeah, as I mentioned, it is basically pretty much like the other three films, except that there are a lot more people, and the park is also operating. Oh, and they have new actors in it as well, so I guess there is that, though I do have to admit that I did quite like Chris Pratt's character, but then again he is able to pull off his roles pretty good anyway. However, unlike the other main characters in the previous films, he seems to be one of those guys whose job is to basically train dinosaurs.

Mind you, one interesting thing that is raised in the previous film, and sort of sticks with me here, is that these creatures aren't strictly dinosaurs. The reason for that is that while they have been constructed using genetic material from dinosaurs, these creatures have also had other genes spliced into them to fix up the missing bits. So, as Sam Neill's character mentioned, he doesn't consider them to be legitimate dinosaurs, which is why he would prefer to go back to his digs, not that people are all that interested in them anymore.

Yeah, this film was okay, at least for entertainment value, but it really doesn't stand out as much as, well, other films that I have watched. In the end it is just basically more dinosaurs running around terrorising people, and a couple of kids being caught up in the middle of everything. I guess one sort of starts to get a bit sick of dinosaurs after a while, though I do note that they do play up the theme park aspect of the place much more than they did in the previous films.

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