It’s been something of a glaring weak spot in the MCU series to date, this weird and not entirely coherent nugget of poor decisions that gave the series a stumbling start into it’s long culture-dominating run. There wasn’t great uproar at the kit-bashed villain Ivan Vanko, who combined Crimson Dynamo with Whiplash to create… well whiplash with a different alter-ego, but there was definitely something lost in the rushed heap of Avengers seeds and hastily put-together plot that made for a pretty disappointing experience when held up against the rest of the series.
The past month, people across the world have been celebrating Pride month, a moment for the LGBT community and allies to celebrate all that makes up diversity. We here support people to be free to be who they want to be, so long as they’re not cruel to others. Except Joel, you can be mean to Joel if you want*. I thought I’d use today as a way to close off Pride month by talking a bit about myself… What? I’m proud of being a geek. Oh and I’m also proud of being an openly gay geek.
*P.S: Please don’t be mean to Joel, I was kidding.
Trailers for this film immediately caught my eye, a psychedelic trip-fest of colours and sounds that screams “art and sci-fi are at it again”. It was a film I immediately knew I had to watch in the cinema to get the full experience, but even if I’d had the time to do so (life is hard, and full of stuff) I would never have got the chance. Annihilation saw theatrical release in America only and digital distribution via Netflix everywhere else.
We’ve been robbed of one hell of a spectacle, not just a visually stunning film but artistically rich. I have a rant on this that I’ll save for another time, for today let me get into Annihilation: (more…)
Bunnies! Rabbits! These little hopping critters are everywhere and they typically make up fodder and small distractions in video games, but nevertheless, they are a much loved type of creature. With their cottontails and their floppy ears, a bunny is a creature which is often depicted around Easter time, as they represent reproduction. In this Top 10, we’ll celebrate the bunnies that make up video games, anime, film and more.
I feel like I’m going blind looking down this list! All I can see are floating clothes! Something isn’t right here. Oh wait, I know, this must be our Top 10 Invisible characters. Before we see what cannot be seen, we must tell you that a character doesn’t need to be able to control their invisibility to be considered; however it must be a skill or ability they have, or something that’s just natural to them. As ever then, here’s this week’s unseeable Top 10!
In 2016 New Line Cinema released a full length feature based on a short horror video that went viral back in 2013, Lights Out. If you’re not already familiar with it I’ve included it below, the premise is brilliantly simple and it’s little wonder that the idea caught the attention of big studios. I’m a big fan of the power of small creators getting their voices heard on the internet and making it big, it gives me hope, and kudos to David F. Sandburg for achieving what some of us can only dream about, but moving on from that optimistic tidbit.
Incidentally, the feature length version as it turns out is pretty good. So far as a short review goes, I’m glad they gave the director a decent shot and a good budget, and I hope it means more work for him in future. If I may remark on a couple of missteps that most of us could see coming, he uses the time to give the monster backstory and personality that she was scarier without. Still, he plays with the concept well, gets in a few good jump scares with that simple tension building technique. Moving on to the point I was getting to…
Increasingly we are seeing a problem emerging from the internet and it is the matter of copyright ownership, following the line of money and the source of creation, especially when an idea can spread faster than fire and inject itself so deep into the social consciousness that it becomes just another part of speech and of the way we interact with one another, terms like “trolling” are common parlance, internet celebrities becoming real celebrities, we are seizing the means of entertainment. Lights Out is a great example of this done well, YouTubers and Viners making it onto TV, musicians starting with internet distribution.
But there remains one very serious lack in communication and understanding, a generational gap at times, at others an apparently wilful spreading of misinformation to discredit the new kid on the block. Either way it usually ends up as a laughable disappointment, like parents trying their hardest to be “down with the kids”. Remember the CNN report about the hacker 4chan? It’s long established the memes die when pop culture grabs hold of it.
So next we come to Slender Man.
I love the internet’s bogeyman. As a huge Lovecraft fan I find myself wondering if he were alive today how close his creations would have come to that mysterious entity* that exists on the periphery of vision, and whose malevolence is only subject to conjecture. In his most popular depictions (the video game, the marblehornets series) he is seen as the classic “faceless pursuer” of nightmares, a warped depiction of a person devoid of features that we know instinctively to fear without ever really knowing exactly why we should fear him. We’re powerless, uncomprehending, and as good as dead.
The original creepypasta was the creation of Eric Knudson, but the concept has evolved, an idea that has grown bigger and bigger as more minds contributed to it; to say that it belongs to “us” may be a little (incredibly) overzealous, but is it something that should be in the hands of a big studio, and if they bring it to the screen do they then own it? So far the trailer has demonstrated… what?
Well, so far it all seems very mysterious I suppose, but the imagery thusfar has been that of the generically creepy, nonspecific flashes of insects, blood, surgery, teenagers compulsively writing and doing dangerous things with sharp objects, a teaser of a girl presenting something to police officers. The story will centre around a group of girls under The Operator’s control a la marblehornets, which is the second part of my problem.
General suspicions of corporate media groups aside, teenage girls, images of bloody violence and death, and Slender Man? Now I believe that no subject should be sacred, not even a word, it weaponizes it, makes it dangerous in its own right. Nevertheless, this does seem to cut close to the murders committed on behalf of a fictional character in 2014, no matter how disturbed the perpetrators may have been, it feels a little too “sensational” to make a supernatural thriller that plays into the fantasies behind a real crime.
I am not accusing anyone of sensationalising a crime, and after four years then perhaps it has been long enough. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding of course, if sufficient details are changed and enough common sense used then we may have an incredible creation on our hands, the culmination of countless creative hands creating a mythology so potent that it becomes as much a part of folklore as bigfoot.
Otherwise we have Snakes On a Plane meets True Crime.
*Despite the fact that such questions are completely counter to my views on causality.
I met someone recently who simply does not watch a film twice. This I find utterly astonishing, I suppose on some level I understand that with a plethora of new experiences to be had in this world, the act of going back over a film, game, TV show, book, anything that you’ve already enjoyed and doing it again might seem like an inefficient use of time, time that could be better spent discovering something new. After all, you’ll never get through it all in one lifetime.
But in this season where there is nothing on TV but the stuff you’ve already seen a thousand times, I feel that now is the ideal time to acknowledge the benefit of going back for a second time around. I’ll be talking about films, but feel free to replace verbs as applicable. (more…)
In 2009, Sam Raimi released the horror film he wrote with brother Ivan before taking to work on the Spider-Man franchise…
Did you ever see a horror film that made you howl with laughter but still left you creeped out? Because that’s Drag Me To Hell!
Oh, and the Evil Dead series. In short, if you enjoy your horror with a healthy dose of comedy then Sam Raimi is your man. In this he tells the tale of loan officer cursed by an old gypsy woman with a spooky eye, to be hunted by a demon for the terrible crime of not giving her a third extension on her loan. What follows will make you laugh until you vomit and/or the other way around. (more…)
It’s an enjoyable thing to review a film that you neither like nor dislike occasionally. You grow tired of the constant compliments or unmerciful dissection, and to find a film that is both good and bad across multiple elements is a perverse delight. Let me start by saying that I enjoyed A Cure For Wellness, but I think my issues with it may stem from having spent a long time critiquing films that predates my time here at GeekOut.
From Gore Verbinski, the man who gave us the best Pirates of the Carribean films, Rango, and The Lone Ranger (can’t all be good I suppose), A Cure For Wellness follows the journey of an upcoming young business executive, one of those nondescript business business men who do business busily, and apparently quite illegally. Having recently been promoted for closing an account with a shady deal, he’s tasked with hunting down a former colleague on whom the company intents to pin the blame; said colleague having written a defamatory letter and vanished to a health spa in Switzerland. Creepiness ensues. (more…)