How to Talk to Girls at Parties

I love pretentious shit.

I always loved movies that are being criticized for aiming for style over substance. My favorite film is American Psycho even after all years. I love A Single Man. Neon Demon blew my mind. Now Elle Fanning from Neon Demon is in something from Neil Gaiman. I can’t call Neil Gaiman pretentious but American Gods the TV series was full of style. Heh.

Anyways, the short story is free on Neil Gaiman’s web site, so I’m not doing any copyright infringement if I am linking the actual site as well:

http://www.neilgaiman.com/Cool_Stuff/Short_Stories/How_To_Talk_To_Girls_At_Parties/How_To_Talk_To_Girls_At_Parties_(Text) 

Maybe I’ll get some of you to read the story for 30 minutes and we can talk about it before and after the movie.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

“Come on,” said Vic. “It’ll be great.” 

“No, it won’t,” I said, although I’d lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it. 

“It’ll be brilliant,” said Vic, for the hundredth time. “Girls! Girls! Girls!” He grinned with white teeth. 

We both attended an all-boys’ school in south London. While it would be a lie to say that we had no experience with girls — Vic seemed to have had many girlfriends, while I had kissed three of my sister’s friends — it would, I think, be perfectly true to say that we both chiefly spoke to, interacted with, and only truly understood, other boys. Well, I did, anyway. It’s hard to speak for someone else, and I’ve not seen Vic for thirty years. I’m not sure that I would know what to say to him now if I did. 

We were walking the backstreets that used to twine in a grimy maze behind East Croydon station — a friend had told Vic about a party, and Vic was determined to go whether I liked it or not, and I didn’t. But my parents were away that week at a conference, and I was Vic’s guest at his house, so I was trailing along beside him. 

“It’ll be the same as it always is,” I said. “After an hour you’ll be off somewhere snogging the prettiest girl at the party, and I’ll be in the kitchen listening to somebody’s mum going on about politics or poetry or something.” 

“You just have to talk to them,” he said. “I think it’s probably that road at the end here.” He gestured cheerfully, swinging the bag with the bottle in it. 

“Don’t you know?” 

“Alison gave me directions and I wrote them on a bit of paper, but I left it on the hall table. S’okay. I can find it.” 

“How?” Hope welled slowly up inside me. 

“We walk down the road,” he said, as if speaking to an idiot child. “And we look for the party. Easy.” 

I looked, but saw no party: just narrow houses with rusting cars or bikes in their concreted front gardens; and the dusty glass fronts of newsagents, which smelled of alien spices and sold everything from birthday cards and secondhand comics to the kind of magazines that were so pornographic that they were sold already sealed in plastic bags. I had been there when Vic had slipped one of those magazines beneath his sweater, but the owner caught him on the pavement outside and made him give it back. 

We reached the end of the road and turned into a narrow street of terraced houses. Everything looked very still and empty in the Summer’s evening. “It’s all right for you,” I said. “They fancy you. You don’t actually have to talk to them.” It was true: one urchin grin from Vic and he could have his pick of the room. 

“Nah. S’not like that. You’ve just got to talk.” 

The times I had kissed my sister’s friends I had not spoken to them. They had been around while my sister was off doing something elsewhere, and they had drifted into my orbit, and so I had kissed them. I do not remember any talking. I did not know what to say to girls, and I told him so. 

They’re just girls,” said Vic. “They don’t come from another planet.” 

As we followed the curve of the road around, my hopes that the party would prove unfindable began to fade: a low pulsing noise, music muffled by walls and doors, could be heard from a house up ahead. It was eight in the evening, not that early if you aren’t yet sixteen, and we weren’t. Not quite. 

I had parents who liked to know where I was, but I don’t think Vic’s parents cared that much. He was the youngest of five boys. That in itself seemed magical to me: I merely had two sisters, both younger than I was, and I felt both unique and lonely. I had wanted a brother as far back as I could remember. When I turned thirteen, I stopped wishing on falling stars or first stars, but back when I did, a brother was what I had wished for. 

We went up the garden path, crazy paving leading us past a hedge and a solitary rosebush to a pebble- dashed facade. We rang the doorbell, and the door was opened by a girl. I could not have told you how old she was, which was one of the things about girls I had begun to hate: when you start out as kids you’re just boys and girls, going through time at the same speed, and you’re all five, or seven, or eleven, together. And then one day there’s a lurch and the girls just sort of sprint off into the future ahead of you, and they know all about everything, and they have periods and breasts and makeup and God-only-knew-what-else — for I certainly didn’t. The diagrams in biology textbooks were no substitute for being, in a very real sense, young adults. And the girls of our age were. 

Vic and I weren’t young adults, and I was beginning to suspect that even when I started needing to shave every day, instead of once every couple of weeks, I would still be way behind. 

The girl said, “Hello?” 

Vic said, “We’re friends of Alison’s.” We had met Alison, all freckles and orange hair and a wicked smile, in Hamburg, on a German exchange. The exchange organizers had sent some girls with us, from a local girls’ school, to balance the sexes. The girls, our age, more or less, were raucous and funny, and had more or less adult boyfriends with cars and jobs and motorbikes and — in the case of one girl with crooked teeth and a raccoon coat, who spoke to me about it sadly at the end of a party in Hamburg, in, of course, the kitchen — a wife and kids. 

“She isn’t here,” said the girl at the door. “No Alison.” 

“Not to worry,” said Vic, with an easy grin. “I’m Vic. This is Enn.” A beat, and then the girl smiled back at him. Vic had a bottle of white wine in a plastic bag, removed from his parents’ kitchen cabinet. “Where should I put this, then?” 

She stood out of the way, letting us enter. “There’s a kitchen in the back,” she said. “Put it on the table there, with the other bottles.” She had golden, wavy hair, and she was very beautiful. The hall was dim in the twilight, but I could see that she was beautiful. 

“What’s your name, then?” said Vic. 

She told him it was Stella, and he grinned his crooked white grin and told her that that had to be the prettiest name he had ever heard. Smooth bastard. And what was worse was that he said it like he meant it. 

Vic headed back to drop off the wine in the kitchen, and I looked into the front room, where the music was coming from. There were people dancing in there. Stella walked in, and she started to dance, swaying to the music all alone, and I watched her. 

This was during the early days of punk. On our own record players we would play the Adverts and the Jam, the Stranglers and the Clash and the Sex Pistols. At other people’s parties you’d hear ELO or 10cc or even Roxy Music. Maybe some Bowie, if you were lucky. During the German exchange, the only LP that we had all been able to agree on was Neil Young’s Harvest, and his song “Heart of Gold” had threaded through the trip like a refrain: I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold. . . . 

The music playing in that front room wasn’t anything I recognized. 

It sounded a bit like a German electronic pop group called Kraftwerk, and a bit like an LP I’d been given for my last birthday, of strange sounds made by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The music had a beat, though, and the half- dozen girls in that room were moving gently to it, although I only looked at Stella. She shone. 

Vic pushed past me, into the room. He was holding a can of lager. “There’s booze back in the kitchen,” he told me. He wandered over to Stella and he began to talk to her. I couldn’t hear what they were saying over the music, but I knew that there was no room for me in that conversation. 

I didn’t like beer, not back then. I went off to see if there was something I wanted to drink. On the kitchen table stood a large bottle of Coca-Cola, and I poured myself a plastic tumblerful, and I didn’t dare say anything to the pair of girls who were talking in the underlit kitchen. They were animated and utterly lovely. Each of them had very black skin and glossy hair and movie star clothes, and their accents were foreign, and each of them was out of my league. 

I wandered, Coke in hand. 

The house was deeper than it looked, larger and more complex than the two- up two- down model I had imagined. The rooms were underlit — I doubt there was a bulb of more than 40 watts in the building — and each room I went into was inhabited: in my memory, inhabited only by girls. I did not go upstairs. 

A girl was the only occupant of the conservatory. Her hair was so fair it was white, and long, and straight, and she sat at the glass-topped table, her hands clasped together, staring at the garden outside, and the gathering dusk. She seemed wistful. 

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I asked, gesturing with my cup. She shook her head, and then followed it up with a shrug, to indicate that it was all the same to her. I sat down. 

Vic walked past the conservatory door. He was talking to Stella, but he looked in at me, sitting at the table, wrapped in shyness and awkwardness, and he opened and closed his hand in a parody of a speaking mouth. Talk. Right. 

“Are you from around here?” I asked the girl. 

She shook her head. She wore a low-cut silvery top, and I tried not to stare at the swell of her breasts. 

I said, “What’s your name? I’m Enn.” 

“Wain’s Wain,” she said, or something that sounded like it. “I’m a second.” 

“That’s uh. That’s a different name.” 

She fixed me with huge, liquid eyes. “It indicates that my progenitor was also Wain, and that I am obliged to report back to her. I may not breed.” 

“Ah. Well. Bit early for that anyway, isn’t it?” 

She unclasped her hands, raised them above the table, spread her fingers. “You see?” The little finger on her left hand was crooked, and it bifurcated at the top, splitting into two smaller fingertips. A minor deformity. “When I was finished a decision was needed. Would I be retained, or eliminated? I was fortunate that the decision was with me. Now, I travel, while my more perfect sisters remain at home in stasis. They were firsts. I am a second. 

Soon I must return to Wain, and tell her all I have seen. All my impressions of this place of yours.” 

“I don’t actually live in Croydon,” I said. “I don’t come from here.” I wondered if she was American. I had no idea what she was talking about. 

“As you say,” she agreed, “neither of us comes from here.” She folded her six- fingered left hand beneath her right, as if tucking it out of sight. “I had expected it to be bigger, and cleaner, and more colorful. But still, it is a jewel.” 

She yawned, covered her mouth with her right hand, only for a moment, before it was back on the table again. “I grow weary of the journeying, and I wish sometimes that it would end. On a street in Rio at Carnival, I saw them on a bridge, golden and tall and insect-eyed and winged, and elated I almost ran to greet them, before I saw that they were only people in costumes. I said to Hola Colt, ‘Why do they try so hard to look like us?’ and Hola Colt replied, ‘Because they hate themselves, all shades of pink and brown, and so small.’ It is what I experience, even me, and I am not grown. It is like a world of children, or of elves.” Then she smiled, and said, “It was a good thing they could not any of them see Hola Colt.” 

“Um,” I said, “do you want to dance?” 

She shook her head immediately. “It is not permitted,” she said. “I can do nothing that might cause damage to property. I am Wain’s.” 

“Would you like something to drink, then?” 

“Water,” she said. 

I went back to the kitchen and poured myself another Coke, and filled a cup with water from the tap. From the kitchen back to the hall, and from there into the conservatory, but now it was quite empty. 

I wondered if the girl had gone to the toilet, and if she might change her mind about dancing later. I walked back to the front room and stared in. The place was filling up. There were more girls dancing, and several lads I didn’t know, who looked a few years older than me and Vic. The lads and the girls all kept their distance, but Vic was holding Stella’s hand as they danced, and when the song ended he put an arm around her, casually, almost proprietorially, to make sure that nobody else cut in. 

I wondered if the girl I had been talking to in the conservatory was now upstairs, as she did not appear to be on the ground floor. 

I walked into the living room, which was across the hall from the room where the people were dancing, and I sat down on the sofa. There was a girl sitting there already. She had dark hair, cut short and spiky, and a nervous manner. 

Talk, I thought. “Um, this mug of water’s going spare,” I told her, “if you want it?” 

She nodded, and reached out her hand and took the mug, extremely carefully, as if she were unused to taking things, as if she could trust neither her vision nor her hands. 

“I love being a tourist,” she said, and smiled hesitantly. She had a gap between her two front teeth, and she sipped the tap water as if she were an adult sipping a fine wine. “The last tour, we went to sun, and we swam in sunfire pools with the whales. We heard their histories and we shivered in the chill of the outer places, then we swam deepward where the heat churned and comforted us. 

I wanted to go back. This time, I wanted it. There was so much I had not seen. Instead we came to world. Do you like it?” 

“Like what?” 

She gestured vaguely to the room — the sofa, the armchairs, the curtains, the unused gas fire. 

“It’s all right, I suppose.” 

“I told them I did not wish to visit world,” she said. “My parent-teacher was unimpressed. ‘You will have much to learn,’ it told me. I said, ‘I could learn more in sun, again. Or in the deeps. Jessa spun webs between galaxies. I want to do that.’ 

“But there was no reasoning with it, and I came to world. Parent-teacher engulfed me, and I was here, embodied in a decaying lump of meat hanging on a frame of calcium. As I incarnated I felt things deep inside me, fluttering and pumping and squishing. It was my first experience with pushing air through the mouth, vibrating the vocal cords on the way, and I used it to tell parent-teacher that I wished that I would die, which it acknowledged was the inevitable exit strategy from world.” 

There were black worry beads wrapped around her wrist, and she fiddled with them as she spoke. “But knowledge is there, in the meat,” she said, “and I am resolved to learn from it.” 

We were sitting close at the center of the sofa now. I decided I should put an arm around her, but casually. I would extend my arm along the back of the sofa and eventually sort of creep it down, almost imperceptibly, until it was touching her. She said, “The thing with the liquid in the eyes, when the world blurs. Nobody told me, and I still do not understand. I have touched the folds of the Whisper and pulsed and flown with the tachyon swans, and I still do not understand.” 

She wasn’t the prettiest girl there, but she seemed nice enough, and she was a girl, anyway. I let my arm slide down a little, tentatively, so that it made contact with her back, and she did not tell me to take it away. 

Vic called to me then, from the doorway. He was standing with his arm around Stella, protectively, waving at me. I tried to let him know, by shaking my head, that I was onto something, but he called my name and, reluctantly, I got up from the sofa and walked over to the door. “What?” 

“Er. Look. The party,” said Vic, apologetically. “It’s not the one I thought it was. I’ve been talking to Stella and I figured it out. Well, she sort of explained it to me. We’re at a different party.” 

“Christ. Are we in trouble? Do we have to go?” 

Stella shook her head. He leaned down and kissed her, gently, on the lips. “You’re just happy to have me here, aren’t you darlin’?” 

“You know I am,” she told him. 

He looked from her back to me, and he smiled his white smile: roguish, lovable, a little bit Artful Dodger, a little bit wide- boy Prince Charming. “Don’t worry. They’re all tourists here anyway. It’s a foreign exchange thing, innit? Like when we all went to Germany.” 

“It is?” 

“Enn. You got to talk to them. And that means you got to listen to them, too. You understand?” 

“I did. I already talked to a couple of them.” 

“You getting anywhere?” 

“I was till you called me over.” 

“Sorry about that. Look, I just wanted to fill you in. Right?” 

And he patted my arm and he walked away with Stella. Then, together, the two of them went up the stairs. 

Understand me, all the girls at that party, in the twilight, were lovely; they all had perfect faces but, more important than that, they had whatever strangeness of proportion, of oddness or humanity it is that makes a beauty something more than a shop window dummy. 

Stella was the most lovely of any of them, but she, of course, was Vic’s, and they were going upstairs together, and that was just how things would always be. 

There were several people now sitting on the sofa, talking to the gap- toothed girl. Someone told a joke, and they all laughed. I would have had to push my way in there to sit next to her again, and it didn’t look like she was expecting me back, or cared that I had gone, so I wandered out into the hall. I glanced in at the dancers, and found myself wondering where the music was coming from. I couldn’t see a record player or speakers. 

From the hall I walked back to the kitchen. 

Kitchens are good at parties. You never need an excuse to be there, and, on the good side, at this party I couldn’t see any signs of someone’s mum. I inspected the various bottles and cans on the kitchen table, then I poured a half an inch of Pernod into the bottom of my plastic cup, which I filled to the top with Coke. I dropped in a couple of ice cubes and took a sip, relishing the sweet-shop tang of the drink. 

“What’s that you’re drinking?” A girl’s voice. 

“It’s Pernod,” I told her. “It tastes like aniseed balls, only it’s alcoholic.” I didn’t say that I only tried it because I’d heard someone in the crowd ask for a Pernod on a live Velvet Underground LP. 

“Can I have one?” I poured another Pernod, topped it off with Coke, passed it to her. Her hair was a coppery auburn, and it tumbled around her head in ringlets. It’s not a hair style you see much now, but you saw it a lot back then. 

“What’s your name?” I asked. 

“Triolet,” she said. 

“Pretty name,” I told her, although I wasn’t sure that it was. She was pretty, though. 

“It’s a verse form,” she said, proudly. “Like me.” 

“You’re a poem?” 

She smiled, and looked down and away, perhaps bashfully. Her profile was almost flat — a perfect Grecian nose that came down from her forehead in a straight line. We did Antigone in the school theater the previous year. I was the messenger who brings Creon the news of Antigone’s death. We wore half-masks that made us look like that. I thought of that play, looking at her face, in the kitchen, and I thought of Barry Smith’s drawings of women in the Conan comics: five years later I would have thought of the Pre-Raphaelites, of Jane Morris and Lizzie Siddall. But I was only fifteen then. 

“You’re a poem?” I repeated. 

She chewed her lower lip. “If you want. I am a poem, or I am a pattern, or a race of people whose world was swallowed by the sea.” 

“Isn’t it hard to be three things at the same time?” 

“What’s your name?” 

“Enn.” 

“So you are Enn,” she said. “And you are a male. And you are a biped. Is it hard to be three things at the same time?” 

“But they aren’t different things. I mean, they aren’t contradictory.” It was a word I had read many times but never said aloud before that night, and I put the stresses in the wrong places. Contradictory

She wore a thin dress made of a white, silky fabric. Her eyes were a pale green, a color that would now make me think of tinted contact lenses; but this was thirty years ago; things were different then. I remember wondering about Vic and Stella, upstairs. By now, I was sure that they were in one of the bedrooms, and I envied Vic so much it almost hurt. 

Still, I was talking to this girl, even if we were talking nonsense, even if her name wasn’t really Triolet (my generation had not been given hippie names: all the Rainbows and the Sunshines and the Moons, they were only six, seven, eight years old back then). She said, “We knew that it would soon be over, and so we put it all into a poem, to tell the universe who we were, and why we were here, and what we said and did and thought and dreamed and yearned for. We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable. Then we sent the poem as a pattern of flux, to wait in the heart of a star, beaming out its message in pulses and bursts and fuzzes across the electromagnetic spectrum, until the time when, on worlds a thousand sun systems distant, the pattern would be decoded and read, and it would become a poem once again.” 

“And then what happened?” 

She looked at me with her green eyes, and it was as if she stared out at me from her own Antigone half-mask; but as if her pale green eyes were just a different, deeper, part of the mask. “You cannot hear a poem without it changing you,” she told me. “They heard it, and it colonized them. It inherited them and it inhabited them, its rhythms becoming part of the way that they thought; its images permanently transmuting their metaphors; its verses, its outlook, its aspirations becoming their lives. Within a generation their children would be born already knowing the poem, and, sooner rather than later, as these things go, there were no more children born. There was no need for them, not any longer. There was only a poem, which took flesh and walked and spread itself across the vastness of the known.” 

I edged closer to her, so I could feel my leg pressing against hers. 

She seemed to welcome it: she put her hand on my arm, affectionately, and I felt a smile spreading across my face. 

“There are places that we are welcomed,” said Triolet, “and places where we are regarded as a noxious weed, or as a disease, something immediately to be quarantined and eliminated. But where does contagion end and art begin?” 

“I don’t know,” I said, still smiling. I could hear the unfamiliar music as it pulsed and scattered and boomed in the front room. 

She leaned into me then and — I suppose it was a kiss. . . . I suppose. She pressed her lips to my lips, anyway, and then, satisfied, she pulled back, as if she had now marked me as her own. 

“Would you like to hear it?” she asked, and I nodded, unsure what she was offering me, but certain that I needed anything she was willing to give me. 

She began to whisper something in my ear. It’s the strangest thing about poetry — you can tell it’s poetry, even if you don’t speak the language. You can hear Homer’s Greek without understanding a word, and you still know it’s poetry. I’ve heard Polish poetry, and Inuit poetry, and I knew what it was without knowing. Her whisper was like that. I didn’t know the language, but her words washed through me, perfect, and in my mind’s eye I saw towers of glass and diamond; and people with eyes of the palest green; and, unstoppable, beneath every syllable, I could feel the relentless advance of the ocean. 

Perhaps I kissed her properly. I don’t remember. I know I wanted to. 

And then Vic was shaking me violently. “Come on!” he was shouting. “Quickly. Come on!” 

In my head I began to come back from a thousand miles away. 

“Idiot. Come on. Just get a move on,” he said, and he swore at me. There was fury in his voice. 

For the first time that evening I recognized one of the songs being played in the front room. A sad saxophone wail followed by a cascade of liquid chords, a man’s voice singing cut-up lyrics about the sons of the silent age. I wanted to stay and hear the song. 

She said, “I am not finished. There is yet more of me.” 

“Sorry love,” said Vic, but he wasn’t smiling any longer. “There’ll be another time,” and he grabbed me by the elbow and he twisted and pulled, forcing me from the room. I did not resist. I knew from experience that Vic could beat the stuffing out me if he got it into his head to do so. He wouldn’t do it unless he was upset or angry, but he was angry now. 

Out into the front hall. As Vic pulled open the door, I looked back one last time, over my shoulder, hoping to see Triolet in the doorway to the kitchen, but she was not there. I saw Stella, though, at the top of the stairs. She was staring down at Vic, and I saw her face. 

This all happened thirty years ago. I have forgotten much, and I will forget more, and in the end I will forget everything; yet, if I have any certainty of life beyond death, it is all wrapped up not in psalms or hymns, but in this one thing alone: I cannot believe that I will ever forget that moment, or forget the expression on Stella’s face as she watched Vic hurrying away from her. Even in death I shall remember that. 

Her clothes were in disarray, and there was makeup smudged across her face, and her eyes — 

You wouldn’t want to make a universe angry. I bet an angry universe would look at you with eyes like that. 

We ran then, me and Vic, away from the party and the tourists and the twilight, ran as if a lightning storm was on our heels, a mad helter-skelter dash down the confusion of streets, threading through the maze, and we did not look back, and we did not stop until we could not breathe; and then we stopped and panted, unable to run any longer. We were in pain. I held on to a wall, and Vic threw up, hard and long, into the gutter. 

He wiped his mouth. 

“She wasn’t a–” He stopped. 

He shook his head. 

Then he said, “You know . . . I think there’s a thing. When you’ve gone as far as you dare. And if you go any further, you wouldn’t be you anymore? You’d be the person who’d done that? The places you just can’t go. . . . I think that happened to me tonight.” 

I thought I knew what he was saying. “Screw her, you mean?” I said. 

He rammed a knuckle hard against my temple, and twisted it violently. I wondered if I was going to have to fight him — and lose — but after a moment he lowered his hand and moved away from me, making a low, gulping noise. 

I looked at him curiously, and I realized that he was crying: his face was scarlet; snot and tears ran down his cheeks. Vic was sobbing in the street, as unselfconsciously and heartbreakingly as a little boy. 

He walked away from me then, shoulders heaving, and he hurried down the road so he was in front of me and I could no longer see his face. I wondered what had occurred in that upstairs room to make him behave like that, to scare him so, and I could not even begin to guess. 

The streetlights came on, one by one; Vic stumbled on ahead, while I trudged down the street behind him in the dusk, my feet treading out the measure of a poem that, try as I might, I could not properly remember and would never be able to repeat.
 

Logan

To start with, the teaser trailer of Logan with its use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” is one of the greatest trailers I ever watched.

The song really set the tone of the film and also set as ever, my expectations with my soft spot to comic book adaptations. Although critically panned, I really liked Mark Millar’s vision for Old Man Logan, because who could resist a post-apocalyptic world with now disfunctional superhero lore? These are my favorite two things ever!

Before that Hugh Jackman teased Old Man Logan in Comic-Con 2015:

Yeah, I watched this in 2015.

I was already in the mood for Mad Max in X-Men Universe. (Dear non-nerds, please be reminded that Fox have X-Men, Marvel Studios have everything else, so direct adaptation of Old Man Logan would not be actually possible for another fucking century).

I always, always love dark and gritty imaginations of things. So much more realistic and gritty movie which barely contains superhero motif will never be problem for me. You are going to make Last of Us with claws? You are remaking Mad Max with a really two 100 year old dudes along with a preteen girl as a road liability?

Yup! Logan in its second half decides to turn into Mad Max Fury Road with a sad road trip, as Logan and the gang drives to the Canada to find Eden, a place where X-23 (Laura) kind can live as free mutants. Y’know, that serene and perfect land Furiosa remembers from her childhood. The Green Place. Then the film immediately turns into another Mad Max movie. Beyond Thunderdome. Because little kids and their reluctant crazy protector.

In addition the entire Anti-Trump propaganda shoehorned in Mexica Texas border and uber driver Logan (instead of a horse, yeah this is a western, blink blink. Real MEN mounts on top of bigger things, blink blink.) We do not get any other themes other than being old sucks and being 130+ years old gets boring after everyone you ever met is dead. We know being old sucks. Well, being 30 years old sucks, let alone to be born in 1886.

I can cynically refer to Stephen Spielberg: “We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western.” Now comic book films are mimicking Sergio Leone’s nihilistic westerns which most of us has no nostalgia connection and a quick reminder for they are not going to slow down at least until 2030. I even think we are going to get a Hugh Jackman in yellow spandex for the next Deadpool movie despite all the denials. Make people go to the theatre to make them bid their farewells and later make Hugh Jackman to piss it on with a parody while making them happy with the yellow spandex. What a lovely twist!

Logan is simply not one of the greatest comic-book movies of all time in my opinion, despite the overwhelmingly positive buzz. I can accept that it is a forcefully melancholic but a proper send-off for a dude I am watching on screen from the age of 12 but it is not really that much of a masterpiece.

Then again even when vaguely adapting Old Man Logan how can you miss the suspense to not have him snikt for 2/3’s of the movie? The film immediately starts with Logan slicing and dicing people for fuck’s sake.

JUST HOW..

..YOU CAN..

..MISS THIS?

The setting, bleak no-hope apocalyptic attitude and the R-rated grittiness (fights were really awesome though) was deserving something to end on a higher note than on the nose metaphor for his on his prime beast of a youth vs. his old potato current self. Wolverine vs. Wolverine Clone finale could vastly be improved with a mere inclusion of Sabretooth instead of a boring and gimmicky CGI clone. Please stop comparing this to the Dark Knight. Even Max Payne 3 tried to do this old and weary thing in Rio.

La La Land

Our generation is only aware of some of the MGM Classics though we always hear about all of them, all the time. Did you ever actually tried to watch one of them?

Their slow paces, non-existent CGI technology and old weird colors? Awww, you really have to at least watch some of them because they are milestones of the world heritage, right? Old movies are important! So, the regular folks cannot pass 30 minutes of Lawrance of Arabia and only being forced to watch Citizen Kane because someone is discreetly patronizing them to show how much they are better than them (or actually like that old movie but they are like the privileged ones, one percenters.)

So, when you are hearing out how La La Land is a love letter to the old time classics, you are probably ashamedly nodding your head like yeah they better be like this while having no idea what a classical film actually is supposed to be.

La La Land is what it says on itself as “How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.” This film is by no means revolutionary but while it is not claiming that, the entire mixing jazz with modern stuff directly applies to itself. A classic film with cell phones! Modern problems! Relatively more updated storytelling!

I asked to myself is this a periodical piece within ten minutes of this film. It sure started like a 60’s film but all the contents are about modern life. This is why a romantic musical ended up very intriguing for me. Emma Stone, as gorgeous as ever, is not a classical lead. Yes, she has the largest, best eyes in entire Hollywood and she has screen presence and charisma of a goddess but her raspy voice, her weird mannerisms are not typical, especially considering when Ryan Gosling was floating like a handsome swan and I pretty much guess this is the point. (Then again, as soon as I started to read reviews, no one actually mentioned this.) Welcome to late 2010’s, the lead girl awkwardly laughs like a boy during the best song in the musical and it is counted as a heart warming moment, the chain-smoking wife-beating leading men are extinct. Weird mannerisms and stupid reactions are hot and just like how you do it. Yeah, I cannot imagine I would love this film this much if Emma Watson was in the lead. She would be another cold, mandatory-feminist, obligatory-environmentalist, soulless robot for this role. Did I mention I love every little gesture of Emma Stone and declared she would be best Holywood star to play video games with in 2007? It is so easy to imagine her to curse around and kick your ass on some PS4 game. That feels genuine.

Okay, the theme of the film was entirely classical. Easily, it’s like Nolan films, what you do is more important than what you feel. Remember Batman Begins’ “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you” quote or entire plot of Inception yelling at you distractions are (mostly women) distracting you from what is holy, thy name is WORK? (and you can argue he did nothing wrong, he supported her from scratch and he could not watch her performance because of work, so work is the greatest excuse ever and she was not keen on her work or you can take side with her and talk about importance of that one woman play.)

While there are not too much songs that you can memorize as you would in a typical musical, (Sweeney Todd’s Epiphany, Nine’s Guido, Be Italian, Les Misérables’ pretty much entire first half, whatever Moulin Rouge covered, etc.) I am currently having City of Stars as my ring  tone like every other oh-so-romantic girl and still humming that earworm of a melody.

This works, because you get to question their love, would they be poor (while they both still struggling to open a bar or become an actress) and happy or if achieving all of their goals would make them eternally happy in the end. When they are not happily singing songs together, no one ever dances around and I love this film because of it.

It feels more romantic and genuine with all its character flaws than every stupid rom-com I have ever watched in my entire life.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I never wanted to say anything about Force Awakens because by the time I could even write one word; every single comment and every single joke imaginable was already on the internet and your opinion would not matter at all. Call it a nostalgia factor for generations or sheer excitement after waiting to see a lightsaber on screen for the last ten years; everyone was satisfied when they finally get to see it again, even if it is essentially a remake of the old one.

No one is really excited for Rogue One merely one year later of this. Not to mention bad press regarding reshoots and the feel that we will be watching a lot of these for the next decade.

It is the first time ever that I think annualized series are killing the excitement of a brand name. Sure, I like my annual Saw series and Assassin’s Creed video game series but they do not have first class worldwide social and cultural event vibe like the title Star Wars. When you are playing with the ultimate golden standard of nerd culture which is pretty much popular culture now, it should make us feel something.

I felt nothing. Zero immersion. From the opening with child Jyn Erso, save for the last five minutes which I actually cheered happily, I blankly stared at the screen while this structured mess unfolding its events in the most boring linear way possible while hating the darkness of 3D, hating where I was watching it, hating the other viewers making stupid comments throughout the film while being completely aware of my surroundings.

This is quite saddening because I always like the idea of dark and gritty versions things we already like. The idea of ground level dirty Star Wars “war” movie with a clear goal is still appealing to me even if I hated this one. However, this does not feel like a war movie or a team-up movie where the team is not really a solid team and you cannot make any emotional connection with any of the cast. I still have no idea who the turncoat imperial pilot was.

In addition, we do not have any background information on our lead for thirteen years and we do not know her character at all as she automatically executes her tasks to the new check point. Her romantic interest only targets a gun at her father at some point and his entire act is done after that scene, he becomes a background extra. Chinese guys lack the presence and charisma and both of them are extremely one dimensional: one tank with a big gun and one blind magic guy with a stick. Even the robot that should be the highlight of the film and fan favorite for all ages feels forced. (We saw the toys of him in everywhere for the last two months.)

Jyn’s heroic speech before third act felt so obligatory that even she looked like she does not belive in what she is saying. I continued to stare blankly at the screen without feeling anything while wondering about Kyle Katarn whether if I could play Star Wars: Dark Forces, a video game that is 21 years old also depicts Katarn single-handedly stealing the plans for the first Death Star in the first act of the game, at this weekend.

Darth Vader was misused in this film. His half assed opening scene with rehash of his choke powers was again a merely note to hit and though I liked his slaughter of rebel scums in the last five minutes, screaming loudly about how badass the world’s respectively biggest villain in the film history (American Film Institute says Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates are better than him but pffffs.) is like boasting to elementary school students who are struggling to learn reading to how you have read a book that is 1500 pages one time in your life. Darth Vader was already menacing when he was slowly touching sabers with Obi-Wan.

The best idea of this film is the retcon of the Death Star that took two decades to complete to have a major fault as an exhaust pipe that leads directly into the main power generator because the creator was a good guy and the entire film is only good for retconning a stupid plot hole.

I do not think I can be excited for “A Star Wars Story” MEGA FRANCHISE series if the upcoming Han Solo prequel will be as soulless as this in 2018. That being said, I am still genuinely excited for Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII.

#film American Ultra

 

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People hate the fuck out of Max Landis.  (He also knows this very well; look at this direct quote from his personal blog: “but there’s another side to me that I don’t quite understand yet, and that’s that, for my entire life, people have really hated me. and if it helps look at the comments at jezebel (click here: http://jezebel.com/screenwriter-bro-just-might-be-hollywoods-biggest-fuck-1440597536) and I, for numerous reasons love him. I first encountered his Death and Return of Superman video (it’s pretty much my favorite internet video with fuckload of celebrity cameos to this date, maybe except Jimmy Kimmel’s I’m fucking Ben Affleck one)

Watch this:

I also love Chronicle, which is also written by Max Landis. (It’s kinda sad that Josh Trank kicked out of his Star Wars project and his Fantastic Four is worst fucking comic book adaption ever) and all his casual movie pitches usually sounds amazing. His take on Supes, his take on FF and so on. Listening him talking about a pitch for an hour is fun. American Ultra? All I knew about this film was Max Landis wrote it. I never bothered to check its trailers, all I know about this film was Jessie Eisenberg is playing it while having Max Landis’ haircut.

So what is American Ultra? It is Bourne meets Chuck. Some stoner idiot is together with some gorgeous babe (Kristen Stewart) he smokes weed and panic attacks the fuck out of everything. Then CIA activates his powers and he beats the fuck out of everything. This is what you’re going to get.

But why did I like it? Because you can almost see Max Landis is explaining the shit to you like; “LOOK AT THIS NOW HE’S GOING TO USE SHOVE THIS SPOON TO THIS GUY’S THROAT AND CLICK HE BROKE THE OTHER GUY’S NECK” while watching the film. All the cool scenes exactly plays out like some overly excited teenage guy is pitching you the idea of their cool sleeper agent film.  Like just as what I was praising him for before. Also, Kristen Stewart looks gorgeous as a fucked up stoner babe. I find joy watching universally disliked pretty girl in a script written by universally disliked smart guy. So I am more than sure not everyone will like this or even bother to watch it. For that matter, our theatre was pretty much empty while it was its first day of showing. Eh, I liked it.

#Film Avengers: Age of Ultron

landscape-1429550012-avengers-2-age-of-ultronIs it not weird that we are taking everything for granted, in a blink of an eye? 4 years ago we could not even imagine to see one of the two most popular super-heroes kicking each other’s ass as mainstream entertainment; now we’re watching a promotional Iron Man and Hulk punch out contest on our tiny little phones (it was only a little bit extended in the film) and bicker about Batman and Superman cynically. Yeah, we are sooo taking everything for granted that Avengers: Age of Ultron feels… We already have watched the entire damn thing at least a dozen times.

This was my first criticism as soon as the post credits began to roll and my friends were like “you really should not have watched every promotion, every trailer and read every news”. But what I am trying to say is that the genre fatigue is setting in; comic book adaptations are on a 4-films-a-year basis and this, as the admiral ship, should have offered something more different.

This is an action movie which I had more fun with dialogues. Joss Whedon’s uncanny ability to write an ensemble shines so well that when they are in a room talking about stuff it is far more enjoyable than anything in Michael Bay territory of blowing CGI shit up everywhere. The one-liners and banters are priceless. However, they make you feel like there are not any stakes because even if a fucking moon sized meteor was coming to earth in a rush, you are sure first one who sees it is going to make a joke about it. Then again I am not bashing the film because of the less risk they have taken this time around. Ultron is a good villain and his sarcastic tone throughout the film really makes you want to hear him more even if you were baffled like “waitaminute, why is he a bad robot now?” since he was rushing to become Terminator just mere seconds after he was born. Dealing with raw emotions is harder for this generation’s robots I guess.

Uh, and I was expecting something less systematic. Comic book nerds know where Wakanda is, nerds also knew Gollum is playing the Klaw and Black Panther’s main baddie is revealed as a plot point in this film but we already knew everything and showing the gems in a dream sequence at this point is not throwing us a bone here. Heroes trying to do heroic thing and trying to save all civilians in this godforsaken Russian city is a neat thing to watch but all internets are trying to win upper hand with “we Marvel love our citizens and try to save them from harm. Superman did not in Man of Steel. Hehe.” Come on. It is easier when there is a dozen of you to save civilians while Thor or Vision is in punching contest with Ultron.

Nothing was ever surprising, except Hawkeye has a family and he does not want to bang Scarlett’s Black Widow. Were they not flirting in the first film, so much that there was a speculation of a Black Widow & Hawkeye film? Nope, this is not the case from now on, because Black Widow is AUNTIE NAT. Hawkeye’s poor little pregnant wife with two children does not bat an eye when he stops by at the house to get some more arrows because there are ten more robots (out of two thousand) that he can kill. She’s not jealous of the hottest Russian girl hanging around too. Best wife ever!

As for other heroes; poor Captain America is a side character who is throwing his bike to people and generally being sad about his forever-alone status. Also, Black Widow was flirting with him in his last solo film but now he has to give advice to Hulk because no one wants to bang Black Widow. HULK FLY AWAY NOT TO BANG BLACK WIDOW!! REDHEAD RUSSIAN MAKES HULK UNCOMFORTABLE! Better Olsen was hot even with a horrible Russian accent. Quicksilver was just there to run around without any real impact. (Also, we have seen before our eyes that X-Men: Days of Future Past Quicksilver scene cannot be improved. If you wanna see it (again?) here’s the link). By the way, did not Iron Man quit being Iron Man at the end of Iron Man 3? When did he build a very shiny (but very same) armor for the 43rd time? (This is not a joke, the suit is literally called Mark XLIII)

The sad thing is, now Whedon is tapped out and the following Avengers films will end up with even more CGI and action and space fighting and more characters from every single film ever and the glue, the heart and basically ERRYYTHING, especially the good dialogue and characterizations will not be there. Eh, maybe one or two real Avengers will die next time to prove the next villain is somewhat a threat.

#Update #Films Watch all the trailers!

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Since it’s been forever since I have posted, here’s all the internet lately and my sincere opinions of them. (Sincere: we bought a customized lightsaber on my birthday after careful examination and I am still only out of meh -level of excitement for the new Star Wars film.) Also while I am in somewhat negative tone for all the trailers below (except Mad Max and that damn awesome Avengers clip) they all are obvious FIRST DAY- FIRST IN THE LINE viewings for me, bitter cynical tone is a side effect of growing up I guess.

Number 8 – Terminator Genisys

I remember watching Terminator Salvation twice back in 2009 (because I was a little bit intoxicated at first time, also Christian Bale.) Not really exciting even with the plot twist (spoiled in the trailer above) actually looks really risky and daring.  Poor franchise. Can James Cameron get the rights back at some point?

Number 7 – Fantastic Four

Chronicle was the most surprisingly accomplished comic book film of the 2012 in competition with Batman, Avengers, Spider-Man and Ghost Rider (lol) despite its indie, hipster extravaganza while not being an actual comic book adaptation.  For this reason only, I am giving Fantastic Four more chance than it actually deserve. First trailer was really looking like Interstellar sequel and this one feels kind of odd, but Kate Mara is gorgeous, I love the Whiplash dude and yeah.. Let’s see if this is going to suck or not.

Number  6 – Ant Man

Not that there is anything wrong with it but this one looks a little bit generic, silly but fun action flick. Even the trailer is looking like every superhero cliche ever is crammed into one film but we are talking about Ant-Man in a world we never saw comic-book accurate Aquaman. (and will not for the next six to ten years)

Number  5 – Jurassic World

I really want to like this. Call it nostalgia (when I saw the trailer on screen with my friends none of them were amused or excited) or my early fascination with dinosaurs like every other normal seven year old kid, somehow I want this not to be a total disaster. Also, I do not want to see people get bored from Chris Pratt this quickly. (You may want to burn Jennifer Lawrance on a stick and I am totally okay with that)

Number 4 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

A few years ago, we made it through a six film Star Wars marathon in numbers order. By the time film six, we were feeling we had enough Star Wars for a life time. Now we are going to get yearly Star Wars releases and the first big one really does not do the trick for me. I am more excited for Rian Johnson’s (Looper, anyone?) Episode VIII.

Number 3 – Avengers: Age of Ultron clip

This looks awesome. Only ten days left.

Number 2 – Mad Max: Fury Road

Whenever I get the chance I praise how I love post-apocalyptic stuff  or Fallout games. This is the granddaddy of everything post-apocalypse. The trailer looks perfect. Tom Hardy is a great choice. George Miller’s vision is finally on screen without EVERYTHING CGI. For 2015, this is my most anticipated film.

Number 1 – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Shut up. It’s Batman. I know how depressing is the trailer. I know we, DC is trying to separate our films from Marvel by doing them dark dark dark brooding brooding brooding and SAD. It’s the greatest comic book accurate Batman we ever going to see. Justice League is coming. Tell me, do you bleed?

#Film Exodus: Gods and Kings

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When the Pharaoh saw all these Israelites living in Egypt, he thought, “Holy shit! We’ve got an illegal alien problem.”

So the Pharaoh enslaved God’s chosen people and put them to work picking green beans, framing houses and things like that. Not wanting her son to grow up as a slave, one lady put her baby in straw basket and released it into the Nile River. The Pharaoh’s daughter stumbled upon the basket while she was out swimming. She later adopted the boy and named him Moses. 

As Moses grew up, he went to the best schools, ate the best food, played with the best dogs, and generally lived the good life. All of which was built upon the misery of an army of slaves. But then one day he learned the awful truth: he wasn’t a blue-blooded Egyptian at all. In fact, he was the son of illegal aliens. Having learned of how he came to be in the Pharaoh’s family, it occurred to Moses that the only thing that separated him from the slaves being whipped outside the palace was a basket ride. This realization caused an existential crisis in Moses. He turned his back on his adopted family, his country club and all his yuppie friends, and went into the desert to sort things out. 

While in the desert, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and told him to go free his fellow Israelites from slavery. When a flaming shrub tells you to do something, you do it. 

Moses returned to Egypt, demanding the release of all the Israelite slaves. The Pharaoh thought his radicalized grandson was just going through a phase. That if he just held out long enough, Moses would shave off his beard and the Che Guevara poster would come down off the wall, and everything would go back to normal. But Moses was serious, and so was God, a point he drove home by turning the Nile River into blood, creating swarms of frogs and giving everyone skin boils. In light of these horrors, the Pharaoh offered to let the Israelites go, but only if they left their cattle and sheep behind. This wasn’t good enough for Moses, as he knew this meant a future without jerky or leather furniture. So to raise the stakes, Moses summoned the Angel of Death. 

That night, the Israelites covered their door frames with lamb’s blood, so the Angel of Death would know to pass over their house and to move on to the neighbors, where he would kill their first-born son. This where the Jewish Feast of Passover comes from.

The Israelites got to keep their sheep and cattle. And they got to leave Egypt. God told Moses to take his people into the desert and await further instructions.

The Egyptians had made running a government look easy, but Moses quickly learned that it’s actually kind of a grind, especially when you’re leading a nation of people on what is going to be a 40-year nature hike. 

There was simply no way Moses could be everywhere to make sure nobody killed anyone else, stole their food, screwed their wife, or ate something that made them sick. And even when he could catch someone in the act, there wasn’t much he could do about it. You can’t exactly put someone in jail when you’re marching ten miles a day.

Moses did his best to keep order, but people kept getting sick, fights would break out and people were so fed up with the situation that they threatened to leave and go back to Egypt. For a while, it looked as if in the midst of all this crime and chaos that the tribes of Israel might simply dissolve and everyone would go their separate ways. 

Moses wracked his brain for ways to keep his nation of hikers together. Finally, God decided to help Moses out. He called him up to the top of Mount Sinai and gave him a bunch of stone tablets. “Be sure to tell everyone that these are coming from me.” God told him. “If they follow these laws, I’ll always be there to watch over them,” God said. “That’s the deal.” To commemorate his deal with the people of Israel, God told Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant, a gold trunk decorated with angels. Inside the trunk, they kept the Ten Commandments and some other mementos. They also built a Mercy Seat, a little seat on top of the ark so that when he came down from Heaven, God could ride around on top and kill people as they carried the ark with them. 

After a few days, Moses came back down the mountain with a bunch of laws, and unlike the rules he’d tried to lay down, these laws, he told them, were given to him personally by God. A gasp went up from the crowd. This was serious poker. People were far more worried about disobeying God who, unlike  Moses, actually could be everywhere at once. So they cut down on cheating, robbing, and killing each other and generally cleaned up their act.

The nation of hikers was saved.

This fine little story (aside from Torah of course) is from God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler which  is for people who would like to read the Bible…if it would just cut to the chase. So, for a film quite literally depicts how the actual holy book is written with minor to no changes, anything I am going to say about the script shall make me impious. (You know, I reeeeeallly care about that stuff) Well, god is indeed an angry dude, in this case. A child. What did I think about a film almost everyone scowls at?

Pacing is pretty much all over the place. Semi-realism is kinda fun to aim at but also kills the epic feeling. Christian Bale is badass as usual but you wonder why the heck he is both Jesus and Moses now. Can he take a shot at Mohammad too? Would Arman be satisfied if jihadjihadmohammadjihadallahackbar ISIS dudes kills Bale of? (Editor’s note: No. But he should quit acting. OR ELSE!…)

Seriously, the only thing left to be said is how unmemorable the film was. I loved how they cared about hairstyles and accessorizes of Egyptian masses but I really would like to watch another real Egyptian themed film instead of this. That triangle haired chick was hot.

(Final words: Assassin’s Creed lore states that Moses’ staff was, in reality, a Staff of Eden, which he used to free the Israelites from the Egyptian rule and to part the Red Sea. Moses was also the first known member of humanity to possess a Staff of Eden. This film did not have any staff. I can only think by Assassin’s Creed terms. My “testament” on Unity is coming after I finish Paris Stories.)

#Film Interstellar

-98caac85-f5ed-419a-8a2e-672a10473ea3As I try to go and watch films weekly, I’m actually not picky at all. You know what I needed to know to watch Fury? Brad Pitt and a tank. Why am I going to watch John Wick? Because Keanu Reeves is shooting people. So, I usually have the expectation of a 45 year old single dad in terms of hype. But then I get excited for some films. Quite a few ones are actually personal, like a form of religious service.

We’re talking about Christopher Nolan here. If I’m invested in a film like I’m actually a part of it, he’s the most divine one. So, I was hyped. I remember when I left the theatre after seeing Inception in 2010, all I ever wanted was to watch it again. So, I left nothing to chance. I arranged to see two screenings on the first Saturday (Friday was not available for the reasons I don’t want to discuss).

Uhm, what happened? “Once you’re a parent, you’re the ghost of your children’s future.” Once you were a kid, you thought space was the coolest. (Watch this animation and be sad for how much you’re getting old). I was expecting the ultimate space film to end all space films. I was expecting the coldest, meanest, smartest film yet. I love how you feel smart when you “get” Nolan’s plot points. I can argue how on Prestige Hugh Jackman lied about being cloned and that you’re a fucking idiot if you disagree with it. I wanted some ambiguity and some spectacular new planets; because I would kill to be able to create something like Inception’s limbo. I wanted this to be the coldest. Because space should be huge, soulless and cold, right? Yeah, even the Time article stated that Nolan is emotionally cold. He is a guy who is never seen without a suit and a tie. He shoots his films all buttoned-up. Well, he says “it’s a habit he adopted out of respect for the crew” but he also doesn’t use a cell phone, you can’t just e-mail him about stuff. Just to read; Jessica Chastain got her script watermarked with her name. She wasn’t allowed to keep the script after she read it.

Then again, what we have here is an essentially a Steven Spielberg film. You know, to quote moviebob, Nolan films are all about hyper-masculine view on emotion versus reason. Rigid stoic professionalism is the highest possible virtue and heroes who embody that virtue are brought down by the interference of emotional response. It was the plot of Inception. It was the Dark Knight trilogy. It’s not the point here. It’s like someone dared Nolan to feel something and make a movie about parenthood and cute hipster stuff; and Nolan, ever the robot and one of the greatest geniuses of our time, accepted the dare and made a film about love. I sarcastically laughed at every single “love conquers all” reference.

At the hands of Spielberg it would be so much different. (Again, do not presume that the reason of my bitterness for this film is because it was weak. It just wasn’t what I expected. My eyes were almost teary on the 23 year gap stuff. Arman actually DID cry.) But there are fifteen differences:-Instead of Dr. Mann showing up and yelling MATT DAMON! MATT DAMON! MATT DAMON! and MATT DAMON! (I thought he was Mark Wahlberg first and was immediately puzzled, also, do you need a link for this reference?) at us, there are aliens and bad robots. I’m quite serious. Cooper finds a dusty Chinese base camp on the planet so the Chinese had already discovered the ice planet 30 years prior with a 4 man crew & 15 robots. Nolan probably hates every depiction of aliens (except for the Alien series) and the last Indy film anyway. The original story loses the emotional connection between the father & daughter and instead it explores much more fully the relationship of Cooper & Brand as it grows. So, I don’t know what to say, Nolan can’t handle that yuck girl and boy relationship stuff but tries something even more fundamentally about love itself? I’m confused. They also find a laboratory containing a machine, which when turned on reverses the gravity inside the room and we’re relieved from Half Life 3 confirmed jokes.

We have a well-settled and dignified space drama. I don’t think it can get any smarter than this without being a documentary. Even the dust bowl survivors at the beginning were real. They weren’t actors at all. They lived through the real dust bowl of 1930’s. Nolan actually said “We could not in the film make it as bad as it really was or people wouldn’t believe it”. (Here’s hoping for a post-apocalyptic Nolan film. Something darker than Mad Max.) So in terms of realism, we know he worked with a cosmologist. I liked all glamorous space shots (more than that overrated Quick Time Events the Movie) and we did all our homework about space ye’ dimwits! expositions but nevertheless I was expecting Inception: Space Boogaloo. Also, six dudes leaving the theater claimed the film was not realistic because Cooper never ate or drink something in space and never visited a bathroom. I wasn’t this enraged at probable low points of human mental capacity in quite a while.

I’m adding this just to be sure we’re at the same page: I watched Inception five times, The Dark Knight Rises five times and The Dark Knight six times at the theatre. (Not counting watching at home).

Interstellar will only have three viewings and sometimes, you can’t make a Nolan film with Nolan.

#film Fury

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War. War never changes.

The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower.

But war never changes.

Also war movies. Every single war movie always depicts how fucking horrible human beings actually are. War movies never change. Like, you can get Adrien Brody for hipsters, you can get motherfucking Spielberg to make an epic fairy tale with big words or you can make Hitler memes for everything; or you can get a nut job to kill Hitler at a theatre. This one? Using Apple words, unapologetically brutal. You’ve watched Keanu Reeves’ Street Kings or Christian Bale’s Harsh Times? FUBAR cop characters? (After dismissing Spielberg, I’m quoting the movie. Good job, Aral). This is the World War 2 version of that. All the clichés work because you think that’s how it all went down, if not somehow even darker. All the violence work because it’s quick, angry and not dramatized. You see dead bodies in the mud, only to serve as road dirt. You see guts everywhere. You want to see dead Nazis everywhere (Even if the film isn’t really interested in ‘Murrican Patriotism, you hate Nazis naturally).

The tank scenes are wonderfully done. While the trailer and posters flaunt this movie as “Just Brad Pitt and a tank” it’s actually more than that because you need at least five more guys to operate a fucking tank and they’re all well drawn. If you’re following my reviews often, I guess you’re used to my long sentences on how I think human beings are actually terrible things at heart. This one doesn’t support the other way. Give man a power and he’ll exploit it. You may root for an American soldier invading a German citizen’s home because he’s not raping and killing everyone he sees. That doesn’t mean he’s not fucking breaking and entering. Well, you might argue it’s his job and he also helped the poor woman. But it’s all perspective. His fellow buddies wouldn’t be that nice if they had the chance. If that’s not the purest form of being a human with power, I really don’t know what is.

I also recommend the soundtrack. I tend to listen more music at work nowadays and I usually pick something instrumental to concentrate better (except Shia LaBeouf!). Steven Price’s original music with some choir really does the trick.

I’ll follow David Ayer from now on. Also, dear DC Comics, give Suicide Squad to this guy. Pay accordingly. You lost Duncan Jones to the fucking Warcraft movie.