Wednesday 30 November 2011

Today's Review: The Smurfs

How many kid's movies do you want to bring out Sony? You know they'll probably incur my wrath, just look at my Zookeeper review. But I used to love The Smurfs, and clearly you think nothing is sacred anymore. Mainly because what starts out as a nice little nostalgia trip into the quaint village of the Smurfs quickly goes tits up as due to some random plot device they end up in New York.

Yes, the Smurfs in New York, the mind boggles. I guess kids today aren't satisfied enough with the capers of little blue men (and one woman) being chased around a forest by an evil wizard, so they have to be introduced to a story about a couple in New York who are about to have a baby, and the husband has a stressful job as an advertising executive under a cruel boss named Cruella Odile (that name sure sounds familiar).

I'm not going to go into too much detail here, because it's getting late, and I already pointed out the main things wrong with this movie in the last "things that shouldn't talk end up talking, freaking a guy out, then helping him" movie. The human element is stupid, especially since it's been overdone. It ends up being pushed into the background anyway, because there's no real tension in that story, we're just trying to root for the good little Smurfs trying to get home. I guess this is the 21st century, and everything has to have a modern feel about it, but again there are constant references to things that adults would probably recognise, it's a cheap shot that is employed in so many movie nowadays, and I hate it. If you want to make me happy watching this movie as an adult, just have it set in the damn Smurf village.

The Smurfs isn't an abysmal movie. At least there's some semblance of plot progression, and the actors do perform adequately with the one dimensional stupid roles they're given. There was a point at the beginning of the movie where I was sure they weren't going to mention that Smurfette was in fact created by Gargamel, but thankfully they have stayed true to the old cartoon. Still, it's a small consolation, seeing as this movie is pretty bad. Kids will probably love it, sadly, but I wouldn't advise you go out of your way to watch it.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Today's Review: The Involuntary Tip I Gave The Pizza Guy Yesterday

I ordered some pizza yesterday, clearly nothing out of the ordinary there. I suppose I order a lot of Pizza Hut, but it's not like it's a weekly thing. I cook meals a lot of the time. Don't you judge me.

Anyway, the total of my order came to £15.60, or something in that region of pennies. The driver stated the amount, I handed him a 20, and he proceeded to inform me that he owed me £3.40 in change. Really. Mr. Driver? Something doesn't sound right there. But what do you say? "Sorry man, your mathematics is terrible, so I'm going to have to demand you provide me with that extra pound that society tells me I should give to you as a tip anyway"?

I'm not a big tipper, as you may have realised. Sure, tips are good for those who receive them, but I've never had a job where I've been tipped, and I've gone out of my way to help customer more than people who've brought food to my table or stood and cut my hair. But at the end of this exchange of cash for pizza, I couldn't help but feel he did it on purpose. Perhaps I was meant to fall for his ploy of bad mathematics, and feel sorry for him. I'd think he needs this extra pound because he is clearly not educated,  when in fact he is akin to a super villain, rubbing his hands together and cackling maniacally upon returning to his car that smells like pepperoni and grease.

I'll go with my gut here. Yes, driver, you win this round, and I congratulate you on your craftiness. An effort to trick me like that is actually almost deserving of a tip, or at least that's what I tell myself to feel better about the whole situation.

My rating: 2/5

Monday 28 November 2011

Today's Review: My Tram Experience

There's a video going viral on YouTube at the moment called "My Tram Experience", which shows a woman giving an inspirational speech concerning various ethnic minorities dotted around the tram she's travelling on. Be warned there is a lot of strong language, as she is so committed to her cause

I congratulate this fine, upstanding citizen on confronting an issue that is so prevalent in today's society. She towers above the other passengers in her sheer grasp of English vocabulary, often using the word "fuck", which is indeed a word with many versatiles usages. I have for a while now suspected that the very downfall of our society is caused by "brown and black people", the popular media and my own personal (yet clearly fallible) experience had previously attributed it to lazy English youngsters who can't be bothered to get a job and have been suspiciously starting to mumble constantly in a Jamaican accent.

This woman is clearly a hero, instilling the best of our nation's pride into the impressionable young child on her lap. Hopefully he can grow up to be a proud British gentleman who spends his time throwing F-bombs at anyone whose skin is an off white hue, instead of going out and getting a job like some other muppet. Seriously guys, you can just go on benefits nowadays and spend all your spare time complaining about "efnics".

Particular shame on the coloured woman who attempts to calm the situation, doesn't she realise that this rousing speech is reminiscent of the finest produced by Churchill or Luther King? Perhaps if she spent more time focussing on the real issues plaguing Britain she'd realise that the real problem we face is an influx of people from a place called "Nigrafrica", a country I previously didn't know existed.

I know where this fine British lady is coming from. I know there are many people who complain about foreigners coming and taking their jobs, but I am one of few who have actually experienced it. Once I went for a lunch break, and when I returned to work it turned out one of those Polish people had stolen my job while I was absent. Now I am rendered incapable of working, because I could look for more work, but I can't be bothered because some foreigner will come and take that off me too.

Thank you, eloquent YouTube lady. It's so great your expletive-laden voice was heard far and wide within that one tram car. Your arrest is clearly an act of political injustice, and not, contrary to popular belief, because you're a massive twat.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 27 November 2011

Today's Review: Badly Lip Synced Adverts

There's nothing worse to watch during an ad break than hearing a person talk, but watching the person on screen move their lips in an entirely unconvincing manner. They're clearly not saying the stuff you're hearing, the voice doesn't even match the person, what's going on?

I understand that in some cases the advert could be foreign and the voices merely dubbed over in English. But why? I get that movies have to be dubbed, because reshooting it in English would cost a lot more. But getting an actual English person to drive a car or wipe a cloth over a surface wouldn't exactly break the bank.

Badly dubbed adverts look sloppy, ad they infuriate me. Maybe if they made more of an effort I'd be more interested in their products.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 26 November 2011

Today's Review: TT3D: Closer To The Edge

I know next to nothing about motorbike races, so I pretty much went into TT3D having no idea what it was about, except motorbikes. It's something I probably would have normally skimmed over, but since I could rent it for free, and due to the fact that it was on 3D Blu-Ray, I gave it a go.

TT3D is a documentary that covers the TT race in the Isle Of Man in 2010, and the build up to it. We predominantly follow Guy Martin, a straight talking maverick of a racer who doesn't take much crap and is determined for things to go his way so he can snatch victory. A few other racers are introduced and interviewed, and despite the racers all having quite different personalities, they all share the same unwavering passion for racing.

I don't think I've really seen too many documentaries that aren't trying to get a point across. I've seen a lot of Michael Moore movies, also Religulous and Supersize Me. Each one certainly skews the presented subject matter in the narrator's favour. TT3D, however, is a simple documentation of the preparation for the races, and the riders' views about their sport and motivations. There is some narration throughout, but I don't really see why. All we get is Jared Leto (for some reason), stating some facts about the races in a voice that just makes him sound extremely bored. Every time I heard his drawn out tone I wondered why it was there at all.

The 3D, while certainly a novel thing for documentary purposes, is a bit hit and miss. Sure, it looks nice, but most of the footage is just of the racers talking. The race scenes do look great, but a lot of the footage presented is from the riders' own helmets, so the 3D conversion falls a bit flat in that respect. Still, the picture quality is great, and we see all the glorious shininess of the bikes, the dirt being kicked up by the wheels, pretty much every detail.

TT3D was an interesting documentary. It was a good decision to predominantly follow Guy Martin, as having interviews with just the other guys would have made the movie drag a little, but Guy is certainly a character, always talking with a mischievous look in his eyes and stirring up trouble around the island. While the film starts out simply explaining what the TT is all about and watching the racers get their bikes ready, the latter half is certainly much more involved, with the drivers reacting to the race results, and also delving into some previous accidents and the risks involved with road racing at such high speeds.

TT3D is a nice documentary. It doesn't try and shove an opinion down your throat, it simply presents a fairly extensive look at the TT races, and maanges to add some quite emotional elements as events unfold. I don't really like racing, and I still enjoyed it. Maybe you will too.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 25 November 2011

Today's Review: Spending Money I Don't Have On A Lovely New Mac

It's fair to say my financial situation is not the best at the moment. Since I got a credit card and vowed to hardly use it, I have in fact used it quite a lot this year, especially a few months ago when we thought "screw it, let's just buy all the furniture we need and pay it off later". Unfortunately that lured me into 3D TV territory, so there's quite a bit outstanding. Still, it's manageable. But my Macbook has been in a pretty bad state for a while, and to really ensure that nothing in my place was falling to pieces anymore, I've been looking to buy a Mac Mini, the cheapest of the Apple computer range. 

Casually looking at eBay yesterday I noticed an almost new Mac Mini going for quite a nice price, so against better judgement I bought that bad boy. Then I realised I kinda needed a monitor to go with it too. So here it is in all its splendour.

Awesome? Yes. Worth the money? Indeed. For less than the price of a new Mac Mini I got a month old Mac Mini with proper Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse (dem's expensive), and an 8GB RAM upgrade installed. Good stuff. The monitor was surprisingly cheap though. But was it a good purchase for me? Almost certainly not. Now I am very much in debt, and must engage maximum saving mode in order to be able to pay all of my nice new stuff off. But hopefully the threat of looming debt will force me to change my money spending ways, and my technological brain is quite happy with the setup I now have adorning the living room. 

Still, I have a problem. I invariably spend money faster than I can make it, and too much of that behaviour can lead to very bad things. So while I am very much enjoying my latest purchase, for me it has to be a nail in the coffin of excessive spending, or I might have to rework this blog into an advertising platform for when I start selling my body.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 24 November 2011

Today's Review: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

They say "dark side of the moon" all the way through, but I guess they didn't want the title to sound like a tie in with Pink Floyd...

Yay, it's a third Transformers movie. If you like your massive robots and explosions, you probably won't be disappointed. If you enjoyed the second Transformers, you probably won't be disappointed either, but I thought the second was kinda bad.

It's good to see this carries on the tradition. We start the new movie following the recent exploits of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), as he has hooked up with a random girl who isn't Megan Fox. She is referred to as a bitch though, so good job on being tactful there, Michael Bay. Anyway, Sam is a bit down on his luck, and struggling to find a job, but when he eventually does he finds himself quickly embroiled in the latest Autobot/Decepticon world ending war event. This time it's tied in so that the moon landings were a cover up to investigate a crashed ship, but while they try and tie it in neatly to stock footage, nothing can detract attention away from a CGId Kennedy face.

Soon all the robots are present, and after explaining some plot that could bring about the end of the world, the explosions and gunfire begin. Unfortunately this movie wastes a hell of a lot of time setting up the story, and doesn't do it very well. Where Revenge Of The Fallen had enough bad comic relief to put off a lot of fans of the first, Dark Of The Moon just keeps on going. The one liners are bad, the comedy is almost reduced to slapstick, and the characters are all so over the top that it seems like Transformers is set in an alternate universe where giant sentient robots exist, but also every human being on the planet is just a ridiculous caricature.

There are also some wise cracking tiny robots with stupid accents, apparently because all the stupid attempts at human comedy were not enough, and we need some racial stereotype voices layered on top of some mechanical characters too. So yes, the first hour and a half of the movie is quite insufferable. Any time there's an action scene, and the story seems to be progressing, we're treated to just as much footage of Sam stumbling over desks or getting into awkward situations with co-workers.

Thankfully it does pick up near the end. When all of the build up is out of the way all that's left is to wrap it all up with climactic action scenes. While Michael Bay may be ridiculed for his use of explosions, he certainly is good at making them. At two and a half hours the movie goes on for too long, but most of the first half could have been cut if anyone with a real sense of humour was allowed in the editing room, hell, even employed to write the thing. But what you find in the final scenes of the film is some damn good special effects laden action sequences. The flimsy plot may not hold up beforehand, but during the last moments you're really egging the guys on as they dodge explosions and evil robots to save the world, pure Hollywood style.

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is a pure Hollywood movie. A strong script and great actors are not really to be expected, but they certainly make it worse with all the ridiculous jokes and slapstick dotted throughout the first half. But looking at the movie as a whole, it's not bad.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Today's Review: Coming Home From Work To Find A Chinese Waiting For You

A Chinese meal, not a Chinese person. That would be weird. Because I don't live with a Chinese person.

Anyway, it was quite a long shift at work today, and I didn't really get enough time to take a break, not that I was too hungry anyway. but then I got a text from my lovely lady asking if I wanted any Chinese food. Hells yeah I did. So at 11pm I got in the door and found a veritable feast waiting for me in the microwave.

Reheating Chinese food isn't an exact science. I just kinda put the microwave on until the food was hot. But eating afterwards, it was all good. It was a mighty fine payoff to a stressful day. So anytime you want to feel really good, just order some Chinese food on the way home. Except if you don't like Chinese food. Then you can probably grab a burger or something. I'm sure the same principle applies.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Today's Review: Pineapple "Jammin"

I was thirsty, I was in Tesco, I wanted something cheap. So that's how I came to drink "Jammin", which should technically be called "Jammin'", but I'll let it slide. 
I guess I could call it a little racist, seeing as it thinks a "caribbean" taste would invariably be pineapple, but I guess they could be bringing out a line of other distinctive flavours too. As long as they stay away from watermelon and fried chicken I think we're good.

How does it taste? Kinda like pineapple. I looked at the ingredients and noticed that it contains lemon and safflower concentrates, but not a trace of actual pineapple, but it's not too bad. It's not as good as the already well established caribbean carbonated beverages company Ka, but at least they tried. Obviously I liked it enough to drink more than half the bottle, as seen above, I even went back and bought another. But anything more than the current price of 29p would probably be too much for me. Good, not great.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 21 November 2011

Today's Review: Headaches

I have a headache right now. In fact, I've had some form of headache or other for quite some time now, something that is currently being investigated, but that's another story for another time. But everyone has headaches. From regular, to pressure headaches, to full blown migraines, everyone understands what a headache entails. Apparently women get them a lot more than men, at least that's what popular media has told me.

So yes, headaches suck. But they're just a fact of life aren't they? Headaches are here to stay. But why? They don't make sense. I know pain is a way for our bodies to tell us something's wrong and we should probably stop doing the thing that's making us hurt, but there are so many things that can go wrong in your head, just giving us a pain isn't really helping. We're an advanced civilisation, we have evolved, can't we give birth to someone who instead of getting a non-specific head pain gets a little voice in their brain saying "Hey, asshole, stop drinking so damn much"? Then we can let him breed and further humanity while we all sit grumbling in corners holding our heads.

I know, silly solution, but headaches still suck. So while we toil away at making painkillers and getting to the source of the problem, there'll always be those pains in our head pissing us off and clouding our judgement. Because headaches are bastards.

My rating: 0/5

Sunday 20 November 2011

Today's Review: The Way That Putting "The" Before Certain Negative Words Makes It Positive

You know what I mean. If something's "shit", it's bad. If it's "the shit", then it's good. "Bollocks"? Bad. "The bollocks"? Good. "The dog's bollocks", even better.

I know it's not true for all words. For example, if something is "garbage" then it's not great. But if it's "the garbage" then it's something that you're putting in a bin and waiting for men to put in the back of their truck. So why is it only a few words that have found the magical state changing wonder of the addition of "the"? I know it's a relatively new thing in the English language, but it has been going on for a while, and there doesn't seem to have been a point where someone has said "Wait a minute guys, you're not making any god damn sense"

Perhaps if we look at the semantics we can understand this phenomenon a bit more. Shit, in general, is bad, yes. But "the" implies the definite article, and is normally used to describe the best possible version of the thing you're describing. So perhaps the definitive lump of faeces is so wonderfully constructed that its merits outweigh any negative connotations. The same could be said even more for bollocks, because for one thing they're not big lumps of smelly waste. Dog's bollocks though, that doesn't make sense. Ergo my logic falls pretty flat.

I don't get it. Which is why I don't say it. I use words like "awesome" and "orgasmic", because I love positive sounding words and actually know quite a few. It seems to me like some people couldn't think of a good word, so just said something negative and attempted to turn it round in the worst way imaginable. Oh well, good luck to them. They're the shit. I mean they're shit.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 19 November 2011

Today's Review: Sarah Millican - Chatterbox Live

I do like a bit of stand up now and then, but I don't really dabble too much. Also I don't really watch normal TV much, so I often miss out on panel shows like Mock The Week. As such I had absolutely no idea who Sarah Millican was, but I pretty much assumed she'd be like most other female comics I've seen, just complaining about being fat and ugly and saying how men are all shit.

It didn't help when the first jokes of her set were indeed about how fat she is. But she kept going, and eventually I found myself laughing. It's not so much the subject matter she covers rather than the limits she stretches. Sarah says some pretty dirty things in this show, but you can pretty much just laugh and forgive her because she's a fun, bubbly lady.

While her scripted jokes aren't all wonderful, the essence of Chatterbox lies in the audience interaction. At several points during the show Sarah poses questions and waits for anyone to shout out the answers, and her reactions and comebacks are witty and hilarious at times. It shows her strength as a comic in suppressing hecklers and responding to unexpected suggestions, and while she often leads the topic back on track to insert another planned story, it's these moments of random pontification that really make Sarah shine.

I was pleasantly surprised with Chatterbox. While it's certainly not perfect, I found myself laughing an awful lot, and Sarah Millican certainly has a lot of talent she can employ while thinking on her feet.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 18 November 2011

Today's Review: The Human Centipede 2

The Human Centipede 2 is a heart warming family movie about an intrepid group of 12 regular people going up against all odds and forming a close relationship with one another.

Just kidding. The Human Centipede 2 is a soul destroying endeavour. Your heart is only warmed by your body reminding you that despite your decision to watch this movie, you are in fact still human, somewhere inside. Also, the close relationship I described is simply the 12 people being stapled ass to mouth.

Many people know about the horror of The Human Centipede. Many refused to watch it, and many of those who did wished they hadn't. I am quite a sick person it seems, because I found it to be quite tame in comparison to some of the stuff I've seen on the internet, and actually quite a well made movie. With all the controversy behind it though, of course there had to be a sequel, and of course it had to be even more depraved than the first. Despite initially being refused classification in Britain, it is now cut and ready to be unleashed upon the public.

The antagonist in The Human Centipede 2 is a lonely English man named Martin. He lives with his mother, who blames him for his abusive father's imprisonment, and is completely obsessed with the movie The Human Centipede. So much so, in fact, that his main desire is to construct his own centipede containing 12 people. So he sets about bludgeoning people at the underground car park where he works the graveyard shift, and taking them to a warehouse he has rented. By rented I mean he walked in and bludgeoned the guy who wanted to rent it out. Also apparently no one cares about the various bloodstains and abandoned cars left in the car park, but hey, we don't care about that, we want to get to the ass-mouth sewing. So after undergoing various trials with people in his life and collecting enough people for his experiment, Martin begins his work.

The Human Centipede 2 is certainly not for the light hearted. It's filmed entirely in black and white, probably to tone down the vast amount of bodily fluids flying everywhere, but there is some really gruesome stuff. The black and white visuals only really serve to add to the dreary atmosphere that is felt all the way through. The set pieces are old and decaying, the characters are mostly vile, and Martin himself doesn't speak, so most of the sound we're treated to in the movie comes in the form of the groans and cries of the victims, and the grunts and screams of an infuriated Martin.

To everyone's credit though, the parts are acted quite well. You learn to despise Martin from the moment you see him, and his actions only do more to accentuate this perception of him, especially with the screams of the victims being so convincing. The special effects are extremely well done too, this is a movie where everything that happens is shown in extremely gory detail, so a lot of effort has gone into every disgusting scene, presumably to make the audience vomit as much as possible.

The Human Centipede 2 is a depressing, disturbing, gruesome movie. It's certainly not the worst I've seen (I'm looking at you, A Serbian Film), but it's definitely near the top. But despite the controversy and the fact that it may destroy your soul and leave you incapable of happiness, it's quite well made. Seeing as its sole purpose is to disturb and cause controversy, I can hardly deny it a good score, because it does it so well. Watch at your own risk, ladies and gentlemen.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 17 November 2011

Today's Review: Zookeeper

This doesn't even happen in the movie! Why is it on the poster? Oh, sorry, I've launched into criticising the movie before I've even introduced it. Zookeeper is a retarded movie in which Kevin James takes dating advice from talking zoo animals.

We open with Kevin James' bumbling character Griffin proposing on the beach to his girlfriend, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb). However, she rejects him because he's a zookeeper, with a tone that basically likens his profession to working in McDonald's. Screw that guy, he's just a zookeeper at a popular zoo, it's not like he needed qualifications or anything. Slacker. Anyway, five years later, Griffin still isn't over Stephanie, and it only gets worse when she starts visiting the zoo every day for some reason. Convinced that the only way to win the girl back is to get a job at his brother's car dealership, for some reason, Griffin plans on leaving the zoo. But the animals don't like that idea, because they like Griffin. Also they can talk, and decide to break their golden silence to talk to Griffin and tell him how to win the girl back in a different way.

Griffin appears to like that idea, as he very quickly gets over the shock of talking animals and starts taking their advice to heart, such as taking lessons on marking territory from a wolf and then pissing in a goddamn restaurant. Also a love rival turns up who's just a complete dick, so Griffin decides the best way to win her over is to be an even bigger dick, and by God it works.

Oh, sorry, I forgot to say spoiler alert, but that's okay, because you don't want to watch this movie. The situations are ridiculous. The guy smuggles a gorilla out of the zoo and takes him to T.G.I. Fridays. Then later on he does it again, damaging several things around the city and probably scaring the crap out of people, and there are apparently no repercussions at all for his job.

The animals are not so much given voices that reflect their personalities, but the ones most likely to make you lose faith in the entire family movie industry. The giraffe sounds like a person genetically bred in a lab to have the most annoying, grating voice ever witnessed. I know your voice isn't usually that bad, Maya Rudolph, what happened? Did Adam Sandler punch you in the throat until you agreed to do another of his shitty movies?

I would say the actors are terrible, but that implies that they could actually do anything good with what they're given. It's just an awful movie that makes no real sense. The talking animals are clearly there to inspire children, but at the same time it's about how much a guy is willing to change himself to do a hot chick. Also there are random eighties songs thrown into the mix to apparently make adults interested, which you always know is a sign of a good movie. I had the option of watching the Blu-Ray with MovieIQ, a service that looks up actors and songs while you watch the movie, but I gave it a miss, seeing as the only questions I was likely to ask were "Can you provide me with the addresses of the filmmakers, and also instructions for making a mail bomb?" and "When will this dark patch on my soul go away?"

I didn't like Zookeeper. You won't either.

My rating: 0/5

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Today's Review: Potentially Staying At Work Until 5am

So here I am at work, and I won't be home before midnight, meaning this post will go out with some mangled form of apostrophe in the title. Sigh.

Tonight is inventory, that wonderful time of the year where we scan everything in store. Can't do it when we're open, so now we're shut the fun can commence. We need to scan all the discs, accessories, count the food, among other things. That in itself takes some time. But when It's all done we'll be presented with several sheets of paper saying "Well, where's this stuff then, bitch?". Then it will be our job to hunt this stuff down, bleary eyes in the early hours of the morning. Working 'til 5am is not a practice I'd advise, but hey, getting paid to scan a load of stuff isn't all bad.

My rating: 2/5

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Today's Review: Horrible Bosses

Heeey, the poster we've got at work has "Nympho" written over Jennifer Aniston's face. Apparently that's an acceptable word to display on a five foot cardboard cutout.

Anyway, Horrible Bosses is a bit of a different movie. First off the premise is actually pretty dark. Our intrepid heroic trio, played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, are fed up with their shitty bosses, played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and a somewhat unrecognisable Colin Farrell. So they decide to hire someone to kill them. Unfortunately, it turns out the hitman they decide on, played by Jamie Foxx, isn't going to follow through, so they decide to kill each others' bosses, and hilarity ensues.

Sure, it's quite a dark plot in a way, but on paper I must admit it doesn't sound too much like a great movie. But Horrible Bosses more than makes up for it with some great acting work and a hell of a lot of foul dialogue. Aniston in particular is surprisingly dirty, with her constant demands for sex and compromising sexual positions. It's a far cry from many other roles she has played recently. Kevin Spacey is as brilliant as always, practically every line he says makes you want to punch him in the mouth.Bateman, Day and Sudeikis play off each other perfectly, each bringing their unique character traits to the table in order to help each other out, but more often than not hinder each other on their quest of murder.

There certainly is a lot of comedy injected into this movie. Be it sex jokes, slapstick or just plain random dialogue, there's something there to entertain everyone, and I found myself laughing quite a lot throughout the movie. Some of the situations do get a bit silly, but never completely over the top. There is a clear direction that the plot is headed in, but perhaps a little too much time was spent on introducing the characters, as everything seems a little bit rushed to be wrapped up at the end. Jamie Foxx's character seems a little unnecessary too, he doesn't bring much to the table, but thankfully he doesn't get too much screen time either.

If you're a fan of The Hangover, or any Apatow style movies, then Horrible Bosses should be right up your street. It's another of these good comedies that have come out recently that is raising the bar away from juvenile spoofs or movies where Adam Sandler says thing in a stupid voice. Horrible Bosses is certainly not perfect, but I certainly really enjoyed it.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 14 November 2011

Today's Review: Liquid Soap Dispensers

Liquid soap dispensers are pretty awesome. I'm not quite sure when they properly came into the mainstream, but I distinctly remember a time in my childhood when the bathroom sink was adorned with a bar of soap. Bars of soap are pretty gross actually. Everyone touches them, they're all slimy, it's difficult to get an effective soap distribution on a flannel or something, and many TV shows would have you believe that people actually rub them on their genitals.

The liquid soap dispenser, on the other hand, is awesome. Just one tap and you're provided with a set amount of fresh, easy to apply soap that certainly hasn't been spread on someone's genitals. Unless something went horrible wrong at the factory.

Apparently they still sell bars of soap. I have no idea why. These bottles with pumps should be on top of all the sinks in the world, but I guess people still enjoy rubbing their face on someone's penis by proxy. Well, they're welcome to it.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 13 November 2011

Today's Review: Bridesmaids

When I first saw the poster for Bridesmaids I groaned a little inside. Then I learned it was another Judd Apatow produced comedy, and my hopes were suddenly lifted. Apatow has served me well over the years. In a time when I was completely disheartened by the comedy genre, I took a plunge and watched The 40-Year-Old virgin and absolutely loved it, and most of the things Apatow has been involved with since. To me he has revitalised comedy in this day and age, and Bridesmaids is continuing that trend.

Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig as Annie, a single lady who doesn't have much going for her since her bakery business failed. Upon learning that her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and wants her to be maid of honour, Annie plunges somewhat unwillingly into the responsibilities thrust upon her, learning to deal with the rest of the bridal party, especially Lillian's other friend Helen (Rose Byrne), and the inevitability of her relationship with Lillian changing.

Don't make assumptions from the plot. While this does sound like a generic girly romantic wedding movie, it is in no way like that. If you've seen a few Apatow produced pictures in the past, you'll feel right at home with the swearing, the gross out elements and the improvised scenes. At times there are really uncomfortable situations, and at others it's just laugh out loud funny.

The cast all do a great job in their roles. The bridal party itself does well to encompass a whole range of characters, from the perfect goody two shoes lady, Becca, to the intense and kinda gross Megan. While some are indeed more outrageous than others, none of the characters escape some of the more unpleasant moments in the movie (you'll know exactly what I'm talking about if you've seen it). It's good to see that even with these characters wrenched out of their safety zones, they're still played in a way that makes them very believable.

The dialogue is very well written. The rapport bouncing forth between characters in conversations is great, and you can often find yourself chuckling from just a couple of lines. This is what the element of the improvised scenes offers, if you look at the extended versions you see a lot of weird stuff being said, but in amongst that is a lot of great stuff that made the final cut. While it is good to see improvisation used to inject some fresh humour into the movie, you can really tell when it's being used, especially alongside scenes that are more tightly written into the script, and can be a little jarring, although very funny indeed.

The story is a little disjointed in places too. It feels as though there were a lot of ideas, and not really enough time to tie them properly together, despite the film lasting over two hours. Even despite the length, some scenes feel very cut, like there was a lot of stuff discarded that could have been great. I know this especially because the trailer at work that's been playing for weeks had some great lines in it that were conspicuously absent from the movie.

So yes, there are a couple of setbacks, but they don't really spoil the movie. It's still funny and well acted, and does a great thing in straying away from the lovey dovey romance movie to prove that women can be very successful in the gross-out "bromance" genre. I was certainly not disappointed.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 12 November 2011

Today's Review: The Idea Of Watching Stand Up Comedy On Blu-Ray

It's almost Christmas, so it's time for a massive amount of stand up comedy to be released on DVD. It's especially noticeable working at Blockbuster, because we have none of them all year, get tons at Christmas, and then end up sending the remainders back in January 'cause no one wants to buy them anymore. Yes, I say DVD, because quite a few comedians have not yet wandered into high definition territory yet, and I haven't really seen any be delivered at Blockbuster until Peter Kay's newest tour came in on Blu-Ray.

I don't see the appeal to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Blu-Ray, if I want to buy a movie I get it on Blu-Ray or not at all. High definition is awesome, looking at explosions, animation, all the stuff that makes movies look great. What I'm not so keen on watching in high definition is a sweaty man pacing around on a stage for over an hour. Not that I've actually seen any high definition stand up, but I am reviewing the very idea of seeing each individual bead of sweat on Peter Kay's overweight face. Have you seen Lee Evans when he gets worked up too? Well, with his new Blu-Ray you can see all the wrinkles in his crumpled up silly faces.

Yes, I may be a quality-phile, but I honestly don't see why anyone would need to see one person talking in glorious 1080p. I just hope they don't start releasing 3D Blu-Rays, the last thing I want is to see spittle fly out of the screen at my face.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 11 November 2011

Today's Review: Pizza Hut's Crown Crust

Pizza Hut have dabbled in different crusts before. There's been the garlic butter stuffed crust, which was a bit too garlicy, and the pepperoni stuffed crust which was actually pretty good. I guess they want to continue the trend with their new crust.
Not content with putting melted cheese, garlic and one kind of pizza topping in a pizza crust, Pizza Hut have decided to work their way through the menu apparently. So embedded in the edge of your Crown Crust pizza are several meatballs. It's not all meaty though, because these crusty pockets alternate between that and garlic butter. I'm not quite sure why it's called "Crown Crust". I assume it's because it looks like a crown, but if someone actually wore a crown filled with meatballs and garlic then there's probably something really wrong with them. Plus their head smells bad. I think a more appropriate name would be "Crusterfuck".

I get what Pizza Hut are trying to do, and the stuff inside the crust does taste good. But do I really want all this in my crust? Even if putting meatballs and garlic together doesn't end up a disaster, is it really necessary? What's next? Putting an entire pizza inside the edge of your pizza? So while indeed it is quite nice, I think I'll be sticking with regular cheesy stuffed crust from now on.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 10 November 2011

Today's Review: Accidentally Dislocating Your Knee

I was sitting on my bed today, sorting out some stuff around the room. Yes, I can sort things out while sitting on the bed, it's a pretty small room. Anyway, after bending myself into some position or other to put a box down I got a familiar feeling. The feeling of my knee joint disconnecting a little.

There's not too much I can do in this situation. Any attempt to neatly slot it back in pretty much fails, as any kind of movement just causes it to snap back into place with a lot of accompanying pain. I guess 'cause bones kind of want to stay in place, otherwise we'd all be able to swing our joints around willy nilly, and dancing would be a hell of a lot more interesting.

The point it that it sucks. This happened several hours ago, and there's still some pain in my knee. I don't know if it's proper dislocation, but it felt like my bones coming apart so I'll just assume so. Why does it happen when I bend my legs in certain positions? I don't know, apparently my body is broken. Perhaps I should just spend my days sitting only in safe positions, but what kind of life would it be if I couldn't go crazy and sit how the hell I like? Bone dislocation certainly puts a damper on those antics.

My rating: 0/5

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Today's Review: This GIF Of An Ostrich Skiing

Look at that. Just look at it! It hasn't even got any hands. How did that ostrich even get there? The mind boggles, but one this is for sure. This GIF is awesome.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 7 November 2011

Today's Review: This Article I Read In "Love It!"

 There are various forms of these "real life" magazines dotted around my place, you know, the ones with harrowing stories of diseases, accidents and cheating husbands. I farkin' love them to be honest, we all like a bit of drama, and I can't be alone because there are massive amounts of these magazines in publication. It's nice when they try to make women feel more powerful and independent and confident with their own im.... oh wait.

I think the best thing about this article is the header of "Britain's Got Body Issues". Most magazines would decry this as being the state of our nation induced by size zero models and pressure to starve ourselves skinny. But not this magazine, oh no. Their solution is to say "Hell, you're probably not getting any thinner, but don't worry! You can have plastic surgery! Can't afford it? Well, that's why we're letting you win reconstructive surgery as a competition prize!"

So yes, one lucky winner each week last month received a grand prize of being cut open and physically altered. The rest of the people who enter? They'll probably just see the great results the winner had in a follow up article and then wish they could afford it. But they're in luck, because 200 runners up get 20% off their future plastic surgery, so it's only slightly less unobtainable for all those who "Love It!" deems to be so unsuccessful at losing weight that this is the only solution to being a fatty.

What a great competition. This will likely instill confidence in all the ladies. But wait, perhaps you don't have a bulging belly, perhaps you just have an ugly face with a massive snout. Have no fear, because next week you could have a chance to win a nose job! Watch in amazement as one lucky winner has part of their face broken and rearranged, while the rest of the contestants get to sit at home and watch tears roll off the end of their enormous trunk and into their tea. Thanks "Love It!", you're a hero.

My rating: 0/5

Sunday 6 November 2011

Today's Review: Keys

Keys are a pretty good thing. Most of us have stuff we like to keep safe, and most of the time that's through the use of a key. We have keyholes on doors, windows, safes, It's just an easy way to keep everything locked up tight so some asshole doesn't steal it.

But where do you put those keys? All on one keyring I bet. Nothing wrong with that normally, until you lose the keyring and therefore any access to your stuff. I've been without my keys for a few days now. They're probably around here somewhere, but they're just so damn small. I know it's convenient to make keys so they fit in your pocket, but couldn't they offer an alternative of giant novelty sized keys to the messy and forgetful?

Keys can be sneaky little bastards too. Like when you have two that look the same and open things that are slightly similar. You don't know you've picked the wrong one until you try to turn it, but by that point you're so pleased that it actually slotted it all the way in that you turn it with enthusiasm. Then it doesn't move and it hurts your fingers slightly. Or maybe that's just me.

But I guess that's not a problem with keys themselves. Keys can be any size, and can also be labelled by people who have no idea what their keys do. So despite a few quibbles, I'm mostly thankful for keys. If I didn't have any then all my stuff would probably be gone. Or maybe if humanity had evolved without keys we wouldn't have developed a desire to break into things. Are keys the cause of society's downfall? Probably not.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 5 November 2011

Today's Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Anyone who knows me will find out soon enough that I am a massive Pixar fanboy. No other computer animated movie came close in my esteem to Pixar's works for many years, but lately I have quite enjoyed some other outings by different studios, such as Cloudy with A Chance Of Meatballs and Rango. It seems the industry is finally catching up, but the one thorn in my side the entire time has been Dreamworks. I have never really fully enjoyed a Dreamworks CGI movie. Until now that is.

I vaguely remember watching the first Kung Fu Panda a couple of years ago, but it never really stuck in my mind. Sure, it wasn't awful, but it obviously wasn't particularly great, as I lumped it into the regular Dreamworks pile of silly slapstick, stupid facial expressions and random 80s songs thrown in to make adults chuckle. Needless to say I wasn't prepared for the sequel to be anything special either. I even decried its trailer in a review earlier this week.

Kung Fu Panda 2 picks up where the first left off, with Po (Jack Black) now firmly recognised as a Kung Fu master. But another threat is on the horizon in the form of Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a peacock with a particular obsession for fireworks who wants to take over China. It's up to Po and the Furious Five to stop him.

There is not much of the silly slapstick in this movie, nor is there a lot of Jack Black being Jack Black. We've already gotten the bumbling fool out of the way with the first movie, and now Po has to be a somewhat competent character, and it's pretty refreshing. There are still some silly moments, but they are overshadowed by such new wonders as character progression and well crafted action sequences. Po's backstory is explored in some detail in this movie, and it adds an emotional element to the movie that was not present at all in the first. The voice actors all do a pretty good job in their roles as well, especially Gary Oldman as the villain, who at times seems to be channeling old school menacing villains like Aladdin's Jafar.

The action is often very well done. While the first movie dealt with lucky shots and slapstick, the enemies are a lot more competent and menacing this time around, and the fights and escapes require some kind of thought process behind them, and the result is a lot of pretty good action scenes. Perhaps it's the inclusion of some great names in the production credits, but Kung Fu Panda 2 is a well made piece of cinema. Music by Hans Zimmer, produced by Guillermo Del Toro, and even some uncredited writing by Charlie Kaufman. Kung Fu Panda 2 is by no means completely perfect, it still hangs onto some of the old Dreamworks roots, but it is without a doubt my favourite Dreamworks movie so far.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 4 November 2011

Today's Review: This Awesome Original Toy I Found In Poundland

Wow, Convertors. They look so cool. They even have four different types. I swear, they could make a whole bunch of stuff out of this. Cartoons, movies, you name it. I assume they're called Convertors because they convert from one thing into another, but I'm not sure what those things are. But this one is a "Super robot bird king", and the initials in the star there are "BK", so I can only hazard a guess that it converts from a bird king into a super robot. But what then? Does it retain its regality in super robot form? This is why we need a backstory that only a movie can afford. 
What a great tagline too. "Fighters in disguise". I'm guessing the super robot persona is the fighter, because no one would expect a bird king to fight people. It would just preside over the other birds with that scepter up there that looks like it has a Rampant Rabbit on the end. 

But you know, I could be wrong. I didn't buy the thing, so who knows what it really converts to? It looks like it still has wings in robot form. Does the dildo scepter get used by both forms? I know I probably should have made the purchase to properly assess the product, but it's clearly too awesome for my boring grown up ways. 

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 3 November 2011

Today's Review: Eating An Entire Bag Of M&Ms

I'm not proud of what I did. But yet I feel no regrets. I had a bag of M&Ms earlier, and now they are gone. As the moustachioed Pringles guy would say, "once you pop you just can't stop". Although in this case it's ripping, and also these are made of chocolate, which is much better.

They're just so tiny. You try and eat one at a time, but it isn't enough. You want more. Then you get accustomed to dropping four in your cavernous pie hole and keep doing that. Before you know it, they're all gone. But it is a very pleasant experience, because M&Ms are awesome. I'm sure this review could be applied to most forms of chocolate, but this is the kind that was devoured by me tonight. Shameful, perhaps. Tasty? Damn right.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Today's Review: Movie Trailers For Sequels Where The Number Falls Down Clumsily At The End

You know the ones I'm talking about. It's normally kids movies, and after several clips of the best parts of the film we're shown the title. Well, part of it, until the number 2 or 3 flies out of nowhere and cracks something or causes an earthquake, what a jerk.

It's always announced by one of those annoying voice over artists, with an emphatic pause for effect. Kung Fu Panda... 2! Ice Age... 2! What the desired effect is meant to be, I don't know. Perhaps after watching clips from a movie we've never seen before we get caught by surprise when the name of a movie we've already seen comes up. "Wait a minute, this isn't new... Oh, a massive 2 came crashing down! My excitement is renewed!"

It's stupid. Even kids probably think its stupid, they just don't mention it. They're just too busy having their minds blown by the newest adventure of some bumbling animal voiced by Jack Black.

My rating: 0/5

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Today's Review: SweeTarts

I am thankful to Wonka for many things. They made pretty good chocolate at one point, and Nerds are just amazing, Everlasting gobstoppers, Pixy Stix, them's some amazing sweets right there. So on a recent trip to Cyber Candy I was pleased to find a Wonka delicacy that I hadn't tried before. I endeavour to try any kinds of American food that I hear about on TV, but thus far SweeTarts had eluded me. The price wasn't so ridiculous compared to other imports either, I got quite a long tube for just over £1.

Immediately upon opening the packet I figured I was going to be eating Love Hearts. Probably because the name almost sounds like "sweethearts", and the fact that they look the same, apart from not having some lovey dovey message. But no, these are in fact like oversized Refreshers, except not quite as fizzy. The flavours therefore are not too pronounced, in fact I have trouble picking them out. Eating them is pretty much a slightly tingly sugarful sensation. But hey, this is candy, what else should I expect?

All in all they're pretty nice. But given that the alternatives of Refreshers and Love Hearts are already readily available and cheaper throughout the UK, I think I'll go for them instead of these.

My rating: 3/5