IMDB Find Movies, TV shows, Censorship and more…

“As part of our ongoing effort to continually evaluate and enhance the customer experience on IMDb, we have decided to disable IMDb’s message boards on February 20, 2017. After in-depth discussion and examination, we have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide. Because IMDb’s message boards continue to be utilized by a small but passionate community of IMDb users, we announced our decision to disable our message boards on February 3, 2017 but will leave them open for two additional weeks so that users will have ample time to archive any message board content they’d like to keep for personal use.” – IMDB Douche.

I have been using IMDB on a daily basis for roughly 15 years and frequently peruse the message boards for insights, opinions and otherwise on movies and actors et cetera to broaden my perspective. With this announcement by IMDB I am left with conflicting feelings over the decision, but none of them are good as I feel this is an indicator of where genuine public feedback is ranked among corporate interests. As pathetic as this may seem, there is a darker side to it which should be familiar to anyone raised with an awareness of the mechanics of fascism / Nazi Germany. Censorship is a big factor in controlling the populace which is likely the motivator here by IMDB and the interests it represents. What the message boards allow are a free exchange of ideas and critiques amongst passionate advocates of what is supposed to be fun, lighthearted entertainment so why make this move now? Today, in the case of movies anyway, we are seeing a massive upswell in the financial efforts behind marketing and advertising increasingly poor quality products in hopes of big returns opening weekends. These big returns can then be used as advertising for the next weekend and so on up until the blu-ray or whatever medium they are backing these days. The facts are, despite reporting record profits, the corporate movie industry isn’t very healthy in any sense of the word. Plots are derivative, special effects – particularly CGI seems to have stopped evolving somewhere around 2004, actors are bland yet with heavily controlled images and no longer rely on public popular opinion to make them stars. They come pre-packaged and pre-sold to audiences with little regard for any actual appeal beyond being heavily, heavily advertised as being appealing. CGI muscles, CGI removed wrinkles, blemishes, tears, sweat and pretty much anything resembling humanity are turning celebrities into little more than standups who do, go and say only as they are told. That isn’t a blanket statement of course but regardless, the great thing about IMDB was it was a place you could go to discuss these people frankly and that’s what made it the great website it was. It was a community of movie lovers, people with considered opinions and ideas who were willing to share and to listen, refute and argue but ultimately discuss which is the tenet of any free society, be it digital or actual. And therein lies the threat…objective, reasoned or even new opinions serve as counter-programming, anti-marketing, anti-carefully created images and apparently it was becoming quite a substantial one because it doesn’t make sense to me any other way. The idea here seems to be there is only one acceptable opinion of things and it will be told to you and accepted without discussion because no discussion is allowed, on IMDB anyway…

Those that run the world aren’t very smart.

I have a lot of thoughts on this so please forgive the disjointed nature of this piece. I feel I just need to get it out and, ultimately, so I can say I was involved and I tried to do my part to help.

“Greed is a deadly disease and needs to be treated at such.”

What I believe is the main problem amongst the ranks of those with their boots on the planet’s throat is a general lack of talent. The workings of the world are in the paws of a bunch of marginally talented business people (marginally equals completely ruthless and shameless) who have banded together and work to not only block the ascension of talented people but to stop any real progress on any front.    So as things trickle down, this system uses the talentless but ambitious, unable to succeed on a level playing field they’ve convinced themselves they’re ruthlessness is a strength as opposed to a weakness. These are its administrators, our world’s political and lower tier business leaders, our media personalities, our stars and still, somehow, our religious leaders. the untalented like to keep untalented in positions of influence. Using their leverage instead of talent to generate wealth but what happens to those talented and without leverage? Where have their opportunities gone?

“There are limits to our knowledge and limits to what we can control.”

Illegitimate influence, I don’t call it power because we all choose to participate, leads to paranoia hence the rising, and quite pathetic police state. This is normalized via the ever pervasive media and the press monkeys with the increasingly daunting task of keeping us distracted. Major issues are handled with smug smiles and attempts at humor wherein we confuse the pointing out of our systems flaws with action. We believe awareness equates resistance which leads to change which is a fallacy; action equals resistence. We are the money sponges ever being squeezed by the untalented ‘delite’. Trying to achieve a balance between generating wealth to siphon / tax but not allowing us to generate too much wealth as to be able to gain / purchase influence that would threaten their system. This is how the status quo stays quo as the system generally gets shittier for the rest of us. Otherwise it would leave no place for them except perhaps servants, pouting on the sidelines and feeling sorry for themselves, bitter at their lack of entitlement and plotting in dark corners for ways to change the system. As most of us are now, though in this instance we are right. This world isn’t sustainable and that’s simply the product and ambition of a rational mind.

“You can’t adequately rule humans unless you are one.”

How does the will of one small but very damaged group cause the whole world to move? Economy, religion, nationalism all glorified and deemed necessary by relentless propaganda. I imagine the biggest attraction to them is the lack of accountability. Think about how you would act if you thought you could get away with pretty much anything. Everything comes down to feelings. We act on how we feel about things, whether as a microbe or a douche bag CEO. We all do what we believe makes us feel good. So, therefore, feelings rule the world. Those who feel the worst have the most influence. Those who are least incapable of controlling and managing their feelings have their hands on the planet’s tiller. And for an insight to their mental state, take a look at their actions. Not too good. Not that they necessarily love war, but they do love the wealth it generates. The intellectually unarmed fear those who are armed. Another reason they turn to the gun, dead people can’t make you feel stupid.

“If you stop playing the game, the game ends right?”

Why do we collaborate? As well as the afore mentioned tenets of society I think it’s partially to do with the ingrained yet highly dubious idea of an afterlife.  It makes us feel there will be justice somewhere but only after were dead while we spend the only conscious experience we are guaranteed watching as the world is manipulated by lame people serving their only demented urges. Living as though dying will gain us access into some vaguely defined paradise is cowardly and irresponsible. It makes it worse and along this path we only guarantee the future will be worse for those like us. The paradise we seek will only exist if we create it now as this is likely the only interactive reality experience we will have. There is no winning or losing, it’s about living and how you choose to. We all die, that’s not a choice but how we live is.

 

 

 

 

Okay, I’ll just come out and say it if no one else will : Bryan. Cranston. Suuuuuuuucks!

I say this merely in relation to the ratio between his exposure and his talent. I did, however, enjoy him in Trumbo. He was a passable mimic of an impressive man. Old Hollywood + screenwriter + rabble-rouser saying fuck the man take me to jail I’ll never stop saying it = approval from me. More of this please and less everything else *cough* Godzilla *cough*. Update !!! Word is he just signed on to play the bad guy character in a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers reboot so I feel somewhat vindicated. Nice follow-up to the oscar nod but at least you are sinking back into your wheelhouse ass hat. My prediction is either he kills it because that is what he is meant to do or he actually tries and makes an utterly shit movie utterly shittier. Vent over and it feels so good.

The National Hockey League

On Monday April 18 in Philadelphia, during a playoff game between the Flyers and Washington Capitals the referee decided to give the home team a penalty on behalf of the audience. Now, I’m an admitted hockey fan, I like the sport and grew up in, arguably the golden age of the professional North American game, during the 1980’s and 90’s. Golden not only because of the on ice talent, Gretzky, Lemieux, Roy, Bourque, Yzerman, Jagr, Messier, Lemieux again, I could literally go on, but won’t because it was also a time when the game was become accessible to the broad audience it’s currently alienating. Assessing an entire arena – 18,506 customers, paying premium ticket prices – a bench minor for delay of game. This also just in, the NHL has approved an expansion team for Las Vegas. I do believe this is end of the fastest game on ice (tm, copyright, etc…) as once an entity loses credibility (see McDonald’s) there is nowhere for it to go but down.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Talents : Andy Serkis (mo-cap), Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Directed by: Matt Reeves. Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Based on a novel by Pierre Boulle.

Tiera: Great observation on how violence can arise and become a way of life in rise in defiantly peaceful societies and a wonderful look at how the needs of two different societies can clash due to trying to fulfill their needs. For the humans, the quest for hydro-electric power and a return to their way of life, for the apes, isolation and solitude they have fought and suffered so hard to earn. This was a lot more intense than I expected going on it both visually and thematically. The dark, gloomy yet beautiful forests to the reclaimed San Francisco nicely reflected the conflicts of human nature and the movies underlying themes. Humanity, capable of such amazing things and the same time amazingly horrible were illustrated particularly effectively in the scene where (spoiler alert!) the power came back on at the gas station, back dropped by The Band’s “The Weight”.

Tiero: Great cast used effectively, some familiar faces, some old – the great Gary Oldman playing against type (not a nice man) and Keri Russell while relative new face Jason Clarke is the main human character and plays is well as both likeable and relatable. In a smaller part, Kodi Smit-McPhee, excelled as their son and as a natural diplomatic bridge between the apes and the humans. The (spoiler alert!) reading scene with Maurice was amongst the films highlight and one that I thought helped to fuel the underlying feeling of very relatable feelings of tragedy and hope this series evokes so well. While perhaps a bit dense in storytelling, it stands up well as an action / thriller with political / societal undertones. Interestingly both the action and story are turned up a notch, expanding from the first movie as a good sequel should do. If you liked the first one I think you’ll really like this one, though if you came for more James Franco I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.

Tieree: Great special effects, wonderful Mo – cap / CGI blending. Cool sets – the Ape fortress looked realistic and practical. Big Ape battles including a stellar mass hunting scene complete with machine gun-toting Apes. However, sadly no Ape on human action (wink wink) in this entry either, but i assume they’re saving that stuff for later installments. One can only hope!

Willow Creek (2013)

Talents : Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson. Written and Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.

Tiera : I liked it but only because a few solid elements stand out ahead of the movie as a whole which is ultimately sort of dull. I’m a fan of Bobcat, not only because I enjoyed his onscreen work growing up, I genuinely enjoy his work behind the camera. After World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America I’ve discovered he’s a whole lot smarter than I ever expected. Special mention must also be given the Chappelle’s Show because well, I really miss it. Anywho, I feel Bigfoot is an unsuccessfully tapped resource in the Sci-Fi genre, I guess the high water mark is Harry and Hendersons (1987)? In terms of using Bigfoot as a baddy I’m not sure how this movie will rank but I’d place it near the top. That’s how weak the market is.

Tiero: We return to the infamous site of THE bigfoot siting with the promise of a bigfoot being captured for the second time on camera. And, though it holds the same promise as countless YouTube vids the journey is more rewarding and you do become somewhat invested. Lots of lovely scenery and by focusing on a loving, and somewhat cool, couple you’re spared hating them until the dumb decisions that ultimately must drive these types of stories. It’s a shoestring budget with more than a few favours being owed to The Blair Witch Project which works for it though makes it a feel a bit safe. Character motivations are believable initially though as time passes it becomes too clear where it’s all leading. Good work by the two leads and good audio effects. Though it’s pretty much footage of a backpacking trip gone awry I was genuinely creeped out so in that sense, what it set out to do, for me, it did.

Tiere: Well lots of silly locals, a few good barbs and yes, some gratuitous nudity though you have to wait closer to the end suckas’. Pretty fun if you can stay awake and I think worth watching though I’m not even sure I would recommend it to anyone but the more patient film fan. But if you want to understand why I guess you’ll just have to watch it, I mean the posters alone demands a least a little bit of that.

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Chappie (2015)

Talents : Sharlto Copley (voice & mo-cap), Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Ninja, Yo-landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Brandon Auret, Sigourney Weaver. Written by : Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell. Directed by : Neill Blomkamp.

Tiera: You’ll need to look past the surface a bit on this one but there’s some good stuff when you do. . As usual Neill Blomkamp manages to sneak a solid morality tale into what is what is more or less a heist movie. Not the morality surrounding the heist or the gangsters involved, but the morality of using a robot with the mind of a child as the muscle. It’s playing god in the digital age and, perhaps uniquely, an insight on the parenting required when one successfully creates AI. Frankenstein touched on this a bit, but more from the Creature’s side once he’d realized he’d been neglected. Dev Patel realizes this responsibility from the get go and does his best. What’s cool is those who initially see Chappie as tool to meet their ends, end up loving him after he shows his love to them.

Tiere: It’s a likeable and often fun action flick punctuated by likeable and often fun Dev Patel in what’s probably his best performance since Slumdog Millionaire. We get to know the characters quickly and easily albeit through some questionable behaviour. And though they’re motivations are not very well explored it acceptable and moreover it’s their individual interactions with Chappie himself that makes this picture special. The CGI and character design is so well done on him I just accepted his as another performance. As the perpetual hard case he’s easy to root for from the start. Plus it’s got Sigourney Weaver and if nothing else it’s got Hugh Jackman sporting a mullet and tight-fitting safari gear.

Tiero: It’s a feast for the eyes if nothing else as we tootle around the slums and industrial quadrants of South Africa. Scantily clad, foul-mouthed men and women with guns who aren’t afraid to use them results in police shootouts, car chases, fire bombings, armed truck robberies, an infantile robot hilariously learning how to swear and use weapons (but not to kill, don’t you worry, just to help ‘sleep’) and general, lawless mayhem all capped by a satisfying robot battle. Back dropping it all is a solid soundtrack including, of course, Die Antwoord which for me was a good introduction to the band and if nothing else, gives them greater exposure which I think they deserve.