Glastonbury 2015: The TV Coverage

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Lewis: Do you want to kick off?

Ben: I can indeed. How good were The Who!

Lewis: I can’t believe how good they were, even after 50 years of being one of the biggest rock bands around. The sound they created was incredible.

Ben: They were incredible. Their set was amazing and the crowd responded… it looked like a great atmosphere.

Lewis: Everybody knows at least two Who songs; that’s a universal law. It looked like everybody in that crowd were the biggest Who fans in the world for a night, which was fantastic. I’m a little annoyed that they cut about 4 songs for the TV coverage, including my favourite ‘Love Reign O’er Me’, but hey-ho…

Ben: Even I do, I know 4 or 5 songs and I think the more you know the better the set. I am a bit disappointed by the cuts; the coverage seemed a lot better last year.

Lewis: I didn’t really watch much of last year, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. Apparently there was a lot of banter between Daltrey and Townshend that was cut out, which is a shame too. However, what they left in was brilliant anyway. That final performance of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”… I have no words for how awesome it was. I was so happy they decided to do the full version.

Ben: I seem to remember a lot more full length sets. It does take away something, but I guess they can’t show everything. My favourite part was of the entire festival was the Kanye dig. Who’s the greatest rockstar of all time? Definitely not Kanye that is for sure.

Lewis: “I think that’s probably Elvis Presley, isn’t it?” Brilliant.
His set was so awful… the actual stage setup was pretty cool, but what the whole thing boils down to is some guy who can’t sing using a stage as a masturbatory aid for his inflated ego.

Ben: I didn’t watch it, but he comes across as that sort of bellend. I heard he did something to Bohemian Rhapsody, and there was the gate crashing Lee Nelson.

Lewis: He started singing it completely out of tune for a line, then forgot the rest of the words so tried to get the crowd to sing it… I didn’t see the Lee Nelson incident, and I’m not sure how I feel about it; mainly because they’ve both been bellends at different times. There was a moment during “Touch the Sky” when he got in a scissor lift to raise him up above the stage, and it stopped the song dead for a whole two minutes while the crowd waited for him to get up there, only for the song to start again. Only this time he was wetting himself holding onto the railing for dear life while trying to sing or rap or whatever he does. It completely ruined the pace of the set.

Ben: Yeah, while he was dicking about Suede were killing.

Lewis: I have to admit, I don’t really know much about Suede, but after the first couple of songs they really started to put their all into the set which was very impressive to watch. You’re probably more qualified to talk about them though.

Ben: Yeah well following numerous hours listening to numerous 90s playlists I have heard quite a lot of their stuff. The energy they put in was incredibly intoxicating, I was loving every minute of it. To start with “Animal Nitrate” and end with “Beautiful Ones”. For me it one of the best sets of the festival this year.

Lewis: You heard it folks, Ben hath spoken.
I’ll agree with you about the energy; it was really great to watch. However it doesn’t reach the level of The Who for me.

Ben: I think that comes down to the music you prefer. Like I said earlier, I like The Who but I have really got into Britpop/rock over the last few months, so Suede have the edge.

Lewis: That’s fair enough, I have a lot of love for 90s Brit rock but The Who top it for me. Speaking of energy though, how about Lionel Richie?

Ben: Another legend who showed Kanye how it is done.

Lewis: Exactly. He looked so happy to be there, and the crowd interaction was just great.

Ben: That’s always one of the highlights, the Sunday Sing along. He did indeed look like he was loving every minute of it.

Lewis: The crowd did too. Another artist who actually cares about whether the crowd are enjoying themselves.

Ben: Rather than just enlarging their own ego…

Lewis: Yeah, not naming any names of course… I also saw a little bit of the Franz Ferdinand and Sparks collab, as well as Deadmaus, and The Chemical Brothers. They all looked pretty solid, FFS in particular looked like a fun gig!

Ben: Of course. Yeah I had the red button coverage on most of the weekend and saw little bits of a lot of acts. I heard good things about FFS, George Ezra was solid, as was Hoozier, and the Courteeners looked pretty good.

Lewis: Florence and The Machine were as energetic and fun as usual too. To be honest, I really haven’t heard anything particularly negative about this year. Apart from the usual personal gripes about artists.

Ben: I’m not the biggest Florence fan, I would have preferred to have seen the Foo Fighters.
Yeah I haven’t heard anything negative (except for a certain individual). Solid festival as ever I feel.

Lewis: Definitely. I’m almost certainly going to be re-watching at least a couple of acts in the next few days, and waiting for a video of the cut “Love Reign O’er Me” to be put up on YouTube by somebody.

Ben: For sure. I still have a couple of things to see when I have the time. Anything else to add?

Lewis: Nah, I think I’m good.

Ben: Sweet. A good weekend sat in front of the tele.

Lewis: Doesn’t get much better than that!

Thanks for reading, and if you want to share your thoughts on the weekend, whether you were there yourself or watched it on the TV like us, please leave a comment down below. All the acts can be seen on BBC iPlayer, and we highly recommend you find the time to watch them.

Game of Thrones: Season 5 reflections

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CombinedpicLewis: Soooooooooo… Game of Thrones.

Ben: Game of Thrones. How do you want to do this? Character by character? Episode by episode? Or, alternatively, wherever the conversation takes us.

Lewis: I think if we talk about it character by character we can cover more ground in less time.

Ben: Righto, shall we start in the North and work down? Starting with Jon (I think we should say now that there will be spoilers)

Poor Jon…

Lewis: Yeah, there will be a whole lot of spoilers here

RIP Jon. The North remembers!

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Ben: I felt like he was really coming into his own this series, he became much more likeable and developed into the leader Westeros needs.

Lewis: For sure. He was becoming a lot more like good ol’ Ned (RIP). Unfortunately, GOT has a habit of killing off characters who begin to look like decent people… I do hope he comes back somehow. Everyone likes an underdog.

Ben: He was making good decisions (except for that Oli dickhead). Yes, hopefully they will bring him back, most probably using Melisandre.

Lewis: I don’t like her, but if she manages to bring Jon back she will gain my approval. It was pretty frustrating that Oli couldn’t see past the fact that Wildlings had killed his family, but I guess he is only 13 or something…

As for the Wildlings, I wonder what’s going to happen with them now?

Ben: I think everything is going to kick off between The Night’s watch and the remaining Wildlings, which will allow the walkers in.

Lewis: Hmmmmm, I hope it doesn’t turn out as depressingly as that, but then again it is GOT. Maybe Jon Snow will come back just as all hope seems lost, and he’ll unite the Wildlings and Night’s Watch in a glorious battle against the unending hordes of the undead. Then again, maybe not.

We also have the Boltons to worry about.

Ben: Yeah, the damn Boltons. Stannis burnt his daughter and his wife killed herself all for nothing! That’s my issue with GoT, everything is so futile. I would have forgiven Stannis for killing his daughter if it meant we would be rid of the Boltons, but we aren’t. The whole thing was for nothing, resulting in the loss of an anti-hero I could support.

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Lewis: Yeah, to be honest I actually quite liked Stannis, even if he was harsh. He always had The Onion-Knight to keep him in check though, so I think he would’ve been alright as a ruler.

Obviously my support for him dropped a little after he sacrificed his daughter… but you know, he might not be dead. We didn’t see the killing blow.

Ben: That is true, he was a bit harsh but he always seemed better than the alternatives. Bloody Brianne! Why does she always have to kill people that are ok, she should have been watching for the candle…

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Lewis: She’s a decent person but she’s always so self-righteous… do you think Theon and Sansa will get away?

Ben: She is incredibly self-righteous, it is like they are desperate for us to like her. She killed the Hound though, so I can never forgive her.

I kind of hope so; Theon is starting to redeem himself in my books. However this is Game of Thrones, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught.

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Lewis: I hope Theon has to sacrifice himself for Sansa…

It’s hard not to feel for the idiot though; he has been through a lot. Speaking of people who’ve been through a lot (nice segue, huh?), Cersei is finally getting what’s been coming to her for a long time.

Ben: Yeah that would be a nice touch, provided Sansa gets away…

Very good, but has she though? Yeah she has been ridiculed, but she now has The Mountain to carry out whatever she wants. And being ridiculed isn’t enough, she has to die and soon.

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Lewis: The Starks shall be avenged, Ben. If I had it my way, the Hound would come back and face off against the Mountain in an epic fight. That probably won’t happen though…

She also still needs to have her trial, as do Margaery and Loras

Ben: Ideally she will be killed off next series. It would be epic to have the Hound back. He was one of the most likable characters in the whole show.

The Tyrells were pretty much forgotten by the end of the episode.

Lewis: Yeah, I was a little peeved about how they didn’t really mention them in the later parts of the episode.

What do you think will happen to them?

Ben: I can imagine that Loras will be killed; further fuelling the Tyrell/lannister feud. The Queen of Thorns is a pretty solid character. In a show filled with blood and sex she is one of the few that possesses a quick mind and a sharp tongue, making many of her scenes very funny. Particularly ones where she slags off Cersei.

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Lewis: You know, out of all the houses, the Tyrells are really the only ones who aren’t complete arseholes most of the time. If anyone ends up ruling at all they’d be a good choice. Olenna is definitely one of my favourite characters in the show. Which leads me to think that she might meet a horrific fate at the hands of the Lannisters (or someone associated with them).

Ben: Especially now that Cersei has The Zombie Mountain at her side, they may not last long. The High Sparrow wants them punished for their sins too, I think their only hope is a war between the faith and the Lannisters

Lewis: Hmmmm I can’t imagine Cersei allowing her trial to go ahead. Her plan definitely backfired on her.

I suppose we had better talk about what’s been happening outside of Westeros though

Ben: We shall have to wait and see, Kings Landing is far too complicated to predict. What about Dorne?

Lewis: Yeah, will Jamie turn that ship around and get Myrcella the antidote in time? I have to say, even if he can be a real piece of shit, I do like Jamie.

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Ben: I think Myrcella is as good at dead, why do all the wrong Lannisters die?

He goes through phases does Jamie, starts off a bellend, then ok for a bit, then a dickhead again. He has been ok this series, paired up with Bronn, I like Bronn. I got a bit scared when he almost died.

Lewis: Unfortunately, that’s the fucked up world they live in. Yeah he’s a complicated anti-hero for sure.

Bronn is awesome I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous over the show than when he started to have that nosebleed… I think things in Dorne are going to become very complicated next season.

Ben: It just isn’t fair. I was shouting “No, no, no, no” when he was having that fit. I don’t know what I would do if he died. Yes, there will be some political manoeuvres and I’m slightly nervous for the ok-guy in the wheelchair. I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the Sand-Sisters.

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Lewis: Crazy sisters… I guess Bronn was right about the fucking and killing bit.

Speaking of killing, looks like Arya’s in a tight spot too (another sweet segue), I wonder if her blindness will be permanent?

Ben: He was indeed.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Arya story. It was quite slow, but I suppose it comes with the training she is doing but for me it was a bit Bran-ish. And then when she did start fucking shit up it backfired spectacularly… typical Stark…

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Lewis: I have to agree with you there. It was interesting, but out of everything that’s been going on it was the weak link.

Ben: You could have easily cut bits out and not know the difference. I doubt she will be permanently blinded. Hopefully it will just be a temporary thing until she learns her lesson. And then she can avenge hers family.

Shall we move further through Essos to The Mother of Dragons?

Lewis: Yes… good ol’Danaerys

I know she’s an alright person, and I know she’s a bit naïve, but goddam is she frustrating sometimes.

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Ben: She has become a secondary character in her own story arc. It is all about Tyrion and my personal favourite, Jorah.

Bless him, Captain friend zone.

Lewis: Ah yes, Mr. Mormont It’s not looking too good for him at the moment. He’s either going to die from the Grayscale or Dario is gonna kill him out of jealousy.

Ben: Poor old Jorah. He has always had her best interests at heart. Another issue I have with that story arc is that it has literally gone nowhere in the last 5 series. Danaerys started off with the Dothraki, then ended up in Quarth, and then on to slavers bay which is all character building stuff but now she has ended up back with the Dothraki thanks to the work of Drogon (that fight in the penultimate episode was pretty cool). The whole story has gone round in a big circle.

Lewis: Well hopefully that circle will have some kind of meaning behind it, but I get what you mean, it does feel like it’s stalled somewhat.

Ben: She was learning lessons in slavers bay that would help her rule Westeros, but going back to the Dothraki almost seems like an effort to get another book out her story if you see my meaning. The constant stopping and starting is getting frustrating.

Lewis: Yeah I understand what you mean, but who knows, maybe she can gain the support of the Dothraki?

Ben: Maybe. I kinda hope so, just so she can get rid of the bloody Lannisters. What do you reckon of Tyrion being given the control of Meereen?

Lewis: I think Tyrion’s been given a chance to come into his own. He’ll do very well, and to be honest, if Dany now has Tyrion as a permanent advisor, she’s going to more than capable of ruling. However, as the series goes on I just can’t see anything good happening to anyone in the Seven Kingdoms… I think it’s just as likely that everything will be destroyed

Ben: I agree which brings me to my final point if you are finished?

Lewis: I am indeed! This sounds exciting.

Ben: I wouldn’t be. My point is this…

I am tired of the emotional manipulation this show puts me through season after season. Not only do all the evil bastards survive while every good character and anti-hero is killed off in increasingly disturbing ways, when you do get to the point, when you, as a viewer, think you may get some redemption for the death of all your favourites, the evil fuckers like Ramsey Bolton prevail at the last minute. Or by some miracle, out of nowhere you develop some form of sympathy for people like Cersei Lannister. I know it is almost the point of the show and the books to throw the reader and the viewer off at the last minute, but after seasons of this bullshit I am tired of feeling depressed after every finale. Good guys had better start surviving because I cannot take the emotional turmoil much longer. End of rant *as I wipe a tear from my eye mourning the death of Ned, Robb, The Hound and all the others*

Lewis: Bloody hell, do you want a tissue?

That was quite the rant. However, surely the fact that the show can manipulate you in such a way is an indication of its quality and the quality of its characters? Yeah it’s depressing, yeah the good guys don’t win very often, but the bad guys do get their comeuppance. It’s the “grey” characters who manage to survive most often in that world. All the very “good” (like Ned) and very “bad” people fair pretty terribly. It’s just a matter of sticking it out until all the “bad” guys are gone.

Ben: Yeah I would agree that it is testament to the actors and the writing that it can invoke this reaction. But the issue is that even the “grey” characters are dying while the bad guys continue to survive. I accept the premise of killing off the “good” guys, but it has got to the point where we are 5 seasons in and we are even further away from the ending we wanted than we were then at the start of season 1. The Hound, Stannis amongst others are the ‘grey’ characters that should be surviving but instead we are left with Brianne who is the most forced and most dislikeable good guy on our screens. We also have the Sand Sisters, who, despite having my support in avenging their Father, are more concerned with killing innocent bystanders. We are now onto season 6; we have to start having some happy endings. Please, I am begging you.

Lewis: Didn’t Ramsey himself say something about happy endings that’s been adopted by fans to describe the series?

“If you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.”

Unfortunately, while the people who die may or may not have deserved it, the characters who do survive will be the right ones (if it turns out happily). If it turns out how I think it will (everything frozen over and barely anyone left alive), then I guess that’s the way it has to be and all this has been for nothing.

Ben: It has got to the point where I am actively rooting for the White Walkers to just cleanse Westeros which has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Shall we leave it there then?

Lewis: Hey, maybe that’s actually their purpose? But then again, that’s been done before.

Yeah I’m happy to leave it there, I think we’ve covered most of what’s going on Just as a final thought though, were you happy with this season?

Ben: Erm I suppose so. I think it was better than last season, despite the traumatic ending. I felt it was more evenly paced and the result actually meant something. How about you?

Lewis: I’m not too sure I definitely enjoyed it, and it was as good as Game of Thrones should be, but there weren’t many stand out moments for me, I wasn’t very thrilled by anything…

Except maybe for Stannis and Jon’s storylines.

Ben: I think in comparison to the last season there were many more standout moments. Apart from the death of Joffrey nothing else memorable happened. The series before that had the Red Wedding and nothing else. This series we had the attacks of the White Walkers, the return of Theon and Drogon, and many more important deaths. I take your point though…. perhaps it is a set up for next year.

Lewis: Maybe. We can only hope.

Coffee and Crap TV

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Benportrait1I don’t even like coffee, but that isn’t the point of this…crap TV is the point. You have to admit though, I shoe horned that Blur song in like a pro…

Now that my exams are done I honestly have nothing to do with my time, except for some writing and sending a few emails, but other than that there’s nothing else I can think of. This has resulted in me planning my entire day around crap TV. And it is crap, there is no other word to describe it.

I honestly think I watch one good TV show (Game of Thrones, if you were wondering) especially now that Gotham is finished (go watch that, it is really good). All of my other viewing has the E4 stamp of approval, which means… it is crap, normally American crap, which is the worst type of crap. I seriously plan my day around this stuff; I will wake up, have breakfast, watch a film (bit productive) and by that time I will be ready to head downstairs to watch 2 and a half hours of crap, kicking off with How I Met Your Mother repeats. REPEATS. It wasn’t particularly funny the first time I saw it, so why am I watching it again?

Due to a complete lack of effort I won’t move as The Big Bang Theory finds its way on to the tele’. Our remote is broken, so I have to get off my arse to change the channel. That is my excuse for sitting through it anyway. It just isn’t funny. The characters are some of the most irritating I have ever had the misfortune to watch, and how it ever got this far I don’t know. The acting is so wooden a door could and would do a better job. It isn’t that they are particularly bad actors, over time the cast appears to have become lazy and bored, resulting in dull and uninspired performances. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting manages yawn her way through every episode, acting with just two facial expressions… for crying out loud why do we watch this crap? I know it isn’t just me, there must be a few others that watch it.  At least How I Met Your Mother has a degree of character interest and invokes a bit of an emotional response (The Time Travellers Episode in Series 8 being one in particular). The Big Bang Theory only manages to irritate me, I do not know why I watch it.

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Finally, The Goldbergs will come on. I quite like The Goldbergs, for one thing it is something that isn’t repeats of How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory or Rules of Engagement (which even I, a connoisseur of crap TV, won’t watch.) on E4. However, the issue is that it is usually a repeat of the previous night’s episode, so why am I watching it again? As well as the E4 crap you can throw in a couple of episodes of Come Dine With Me for good measure, just because nothing else is on.

Why am I watching any of it?

I will tell you why I watch it, because it is switch off tele, that’s why. When I should be preparing for exams or lectures during term time it is nice to have that bit of time to sit, shovel food into my face, and not have to think about anything. Now I am finished for the summer I don’t have to think at all, so the only reason I can think for watching this crap is sheer damn laziness. I could be reading, I could go out (but I live in Portswood and that really wouldn’t be beneficial to my health), I could go to the gym, but it is easier to sit I front of our broken tele’ and watch something I have already seen 10 times before.

It is strangely fulfilling, you should try it.

– Ben

They Spared No Expense

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imageIf you’ve read or watched anything about Jurassic World on our site, you’ll know that we really didn’t have high hopes for it. We thought it would end up being a poor imitation of the original film, which relied too much upon CGI and one-dimensional (not even two-dimensional) stereotypes.

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Well, after the first five to ten minutes of the film, after I felt my hair stand on end as the camera soared over the huge expanse of the park with the classic theme accompanying it, all I could think was

“I think we were wrong, Ben. God this looks incredible.”

However, within the next twenty minutes the film started to batter me with stereotypes, ridiculous plot points, and those one-dimensional characters I mentioned.

“Forget what I said, Ben. We were right the first time.”

I really wanted this film to be good. I wanted it to change my preconceptions and to show me that just because the trailer looked bad, doesn’t mean the film had to be. Unfortunately though, it kinda was, guys. It turned out to be on a par with those Syfy monster films but without their most important aspect, the irony. They gave that amount of money to a script worthy of the Syfy channel. And you know what? I bet it would’ve turned out better if it had been a low budget monster-comedy.

Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t any good parts. In fact I think this film had the potential to be absolutely brilliant- the sequel its 1990s predecessor deserved. It’s just that the bad parts completely smothered those aspects until all I could see was a giant mess of cheesy occurrences, bad dialogue, and ridiculous characters that were so stupid I didn’t even consider them to be the bad guys.

I’m not going to dwell on those too much though, because who wants to read a review like that? You know my standing on it, and I personally believe that your money would be much better spent going to see a different film this weekend, one that won’t leave you as bitterly disappointed as an awkward one-night-stand (not that I’ve ever done that). Instead, I’ll go over some of the more positive aspects of this giant steaming pile of dinosa-

No. Nope. I said that I’d be positive about it. No more faecal imagery.

Right.

The park itself looks almost real in the way it’s laid out, resembling today’s zoos and theme parks (as you’d imagine). It feels real, although not as real as the original park. I think this had a lot to do with the shear amount of special effects being thrown at your eyeballs as you struggled to take it all in. This spectacle was a big bonus for the first half an hour or so, because it covered up a lot of the crap that was to come.

One thing that stood out for me at the beginning was the way Gray (Ty Simpkins) sprints from exhibit to exhibit, dragging his incredibly disinterested older brother, Zach (Nick Robinson), with him.

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It captures the pure amazement and enthusiasm you would feel being in such a place. Watching those scenes reminded me of being a kid at zoos and the Natural History Museum, trying to see everything at once, never stopping to rest until you’ve seen all there is to see. These few scenes were very close to saving the film for me. In fact, most scenes featuring the two brothers were pretty damn good, even if it did border on cheese at times. Their characters were solid and believable, even if there were a few clumsy attempts at character development that were brushed aside as bluntly as they appeared. Those are on the writers though, not these two very talented actors.

Speaking of acting, I honestly didn’t have an issue with any of the main cast’s performances. They all did the best they could with the writing, and the acting was probably the highlight of the film for me. Chris Pratt was as likeable as ever, even if his character, Owen, didn’t quite live up to the Dr Grant standard. Bryce Dallas Howard performed well too, in spite of the horrifically stereotyped 1970s era character she played (a character that has caused quite a few grumbles within Hollywood).

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My favourite, however, has to be Simon Masrani (the new owner of the Park, played by Irrfan Khan). He is the most ridiculously cheesy, semi-badass, philanthropist you could possibly create. I’m not sure what they were trying to do with him, but I doubt he turned out the way they wanted him too; truly hilarious.

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The CGI and special effects… Well, it’s certainly a spectacle, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s not the most visually spectacular film I’ve seen, even if it had every opportunity to be. I personally found Mad Max: Fury Road to look better and more visually impressive… and that’s set in a desert wasteland! Basically, there are a lot of cool shots, but none that shocked me with their ingenuity or beauty.

All our favourite dinosaurs are given some screen time, but to be honest the “stars” of the show were Chris Pratt’s stupid ‘Raptors that belonged more in a kids show called “Raptor Squad” or some shit like that. Along with these guys, we get the “Indominus Rex”. Which really isn’t that impressive, and also another really dumb idea. (I think you can tell how pissed off I am about this film. Trying to be positive about it is killing me).

I know I said that I was going to try and make this a fairly positive review, but I can’t finish without mentioning the writing and dialogue. How did this script get approved? There’s better dialogue in Commando for christs-sake! I mean COME ON. As for the writing itself; never has a film made put my head in my hands because I was embarrassed to be watching it. Until now. The end fight was absolutely great before a certain something is introduced. I’m not going to tell you what that thing is because, well, spoilers. But you’ll know… you’ll know…

Anyway, I’m sorry for writing such a depressingly angry piece on this, but it really doesn’t deserve much better.

I’ll tell you what though. If you want to go see a film this weekend, and you don’t want it to be particularly heavy going, just an easy to watch, cheesy piece of entertainment, then I guess I recommend this. Because, if it did nothing else for me, parts of it did remind me of what is was like to be a kid seeing Jurassic Park for the first time, which felt pretty awesome.

-Lewis

*A friend and I also have an idea for a parody-sequel that would be just slightly less stupid than what the writers will inevitably come up with. I might do something with it.

The Minimum Effort Podcast Ep.9: The Best and Worst of Movie sequels

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Hello everyone, I finally got around to editing a podcast for you guys to enjoy, so why not have a watch of/listen to episode 9 of The Minimum Effort Podcast?

Ben and Lewis are joined by Michael from Four Eyes Productions for a discussion of the best and worst of movie sequels.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you care?
Leave a comment below!

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Big Hero 6 vs The Lego Movie

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Benportrait1Being a big kid on the inside, I do love a well-done animated film. Last year wasn’t really a big year in terms of memorable animated films, which resulted in strong criticism of the academy’s nominees for the ‘Best Animated film’ after the snubbing of The Lego Movie,LegoMovieHeader a film I have been desperate to get my eyes on just to satisfy my inner seven-year-old. What better film to compare it to than Big Hero 6, BigHero6Headerthe film that eventually won the award. I have broken both films (from two of Hollywood’s production powerhouses, Warner Brothers and Disney) down into a few categories to make for easy bit sized comparison (see I am a nice guy really). There may be a few spoilers, and I do apologise for those, but you have been warned.

Story 

I will start with The Lego Movie. I loved the idea of this film, delving into the imagination of every child that has ever played with Lego. Using the Toy Story angle of the toys being alive, the film follows Emit, an everyday Lego man voiced by Chris Pratt, on his mission to become a Master Builder and save the Lego world from the Evil Lord Business and the ‘Kragle’.

Big Hero 6 is set in the fictional San Fransokyo, and we follow the 14-year-old genius Hiro, the Personal Health Care Companion Baymax, and their group of friends as they try to find the masked villain who started a fire in which (SPOILER) Hiro’s brother dies.

In terms of the story I have to say I preferred The Lego Movie. Although not particularly original (with the ‘chosen one’-having-to-save-the-world-idea baring an incredible likeness to first Matrix film) I think that’s an intentional parody though- Lewis. The sight of seeing Lego come to life in front of me spoke to my inner child much more than the more overused hero-loses-a-loved-one-and-they-seek-revenge premise used by Big Hero 6. Both films are very funny, but with The Lego Movie again just slightly edging it. It may not have had me belly laughing all the way through, but it induced a consistent chuckle.

The film was able to encompass everything within the Lego universe with ingenious storytelling, enabling the inclusion of those bloody picture instructions that I could never make head nor tail of. Great story telling allows our heroes to move between each of the worlds from Bricksburg to The Wild West, and the film makes use of its subject matter to aid the transition between the dimensions. It is brilliantly able to merge the Lego world with the real world, dropping hints throughout the film which eventually lead to the big reveal (the use of the Kragle is particularly ingenious), but I will say no more in order not to ruin it. Also, the interlinking between the Lego world and the real one gives the film a wonderful 3D effect.

Unfortunately, Big Hero Six misses out narrowly. It is definitely the more serious film of the two, which is odd to say considering that, in my opinion, this is the film that is more targeted at kids. As I said, it follows Hiro and his group of nerdy robotic student friends, who aren’t even that nerdy (Which is a minor irritation). One scene that particularly stood out was the hysterical low power/drunk segment. As Baymax loses power following his first adventure outside of Aunt Cass’s Café, Hiro struggles to get the inflatable robot home. This sequence provides the slapstick laughs for kids whilst giving a subtle nod to the parents watching, as to everyone over the age of 13 it is clear that Baymax is absolutely battered. However, other than that, I wouldn’t say I laughed much. Big Hero 6 definitely had a cooler villain though; many Marvel movies would kill for a villain like that. Although his motive is incredibly overused, he is more visually impressive (hard not to be more impressive than a Lego piece) and more threatening.

BigHero6Villain

1-0 Lego Movie

So much for bite sized….

Cast and script

I’ll try to keep this one a bit shorter. I will tell you my winner straight off the bat. It is the Lego movie again.

The Lego Movie has an incredible cast of voice actors, including the likes of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson as the brilliant Good-Cop Bad-Cop, and Will Ferrell

GoodCopBadCop

There are also a host of cameo voice roles from Anthony Daniels (who seems to purely live off work related to C-3P0), Billy Dee Williams, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. All of the cast members put in good performances supported by a quick, funny and intelligent script provided by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. However, for me, the stand out performance is provided by Will Arnett. Arnett was able to give a brilliantly spoofy yet serious enough Batman performance to not make the character irritating.

LegoBatman

Big Hero 6 on the other hand has a lesser known cast, no issue with that, but there is a script issue. You can tell it is the film aimed more at kids. I may well be being just a bit picky as, on the whole, the script and its delivery is solid, but nothing better than what I expect. However, there were a few instances where it let itself down. Within the first 15 minutes in particular the dialogue seems forced, wooden, and for want of a better word; stodgy. It does take something away from the film. After recovering, the film always seemed to regress, leading to further wooden dialogue. One line in particular went something like “Gravity is getting weird down here. Wait, lets use this!” It was just such a poorly constructed and executed piece of dialogue.

2-0 Lego Movie

Animation

Big Hero 6 pulls a point back here. Disney have been able to spend decades honing their animation techniques, resulting in beautifully created characters, but it is the sets that shine for me. The city of San Fransokyo is explored on foot early on in the feature, but the real money shot comes in the second half of the film. The Disney animators are able to flex their creative muscles in a sequence which sees Baymax exercising his new flight modification. We are able to follow Baymax and Hiro as the pair fly around San Fransokyo, weaving between blimps and traffic, culminating in a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge (or San Fransokyo version of).

BigHero6

The guys at Warner Brothers had a much tougher job making pieces of Lego look as visually impressive, and they did a good job, enabling me to immerse myself in each of the different locations. However, there is no denying how visually impressive Big Hero 6 is in comparison.

2-1 The Lego Movie

You may think that this is it, this is the end. Nope, it wouldn’t be a post from me without a rant at the end.

Uh-oh…- Lewis

lego

My issue with The Lego Movie is the message behind it. The film tries to sell (you will get that in a minute) this message of individuality, working against the corporate machine set in place by Lord Business. A nice enough idea, but this is a film brought to you by Lego. The company that has thrown aside the ability to let kids use their imagination, instead opting to sell Star Wars model after Star wars model (amongst others) for rapidly increasing prices. My problem is that the film is so incredibly hypocritical, trying to sell you this happy clappy message while the parent organisation sells you a 7 inch transformers model for £75. What has happened to the big buckets of Lego? Those were the days. This does tarnish the film for me, making it irritating to watch in the later stages causing the positive message to become bogus (yeah it really does matter this much to me). Everything is not awesome Lego, not by any stretch of the imagination.  For that reason, I am glad The Lego Movie didn’t get a nomination. There, I said it. Not a popular opinion by any stretch of the imagination, but I am glad Big Hero 6 won. Of all the nominees I do think it was the best choice.

There we have it. That is my take on the two. Thanks for making it this far (if you have done). Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel. If you think I’m wrong, or if you actually agree, leave a comment down below!

Cheers

-Ben