Quick Update 6/8/17

So I haven’t written on here in awhile and I was just keeping it in the hopes that I had some sort of inspiration and just had to write something down. The reality is I’ve been really busy with work, uni and actual fiction writing (which is what this was originally meant to be practice for haha).

Having seen that for whatever reason, this page is still getting a slow trickle of page views, I thought I’d just do a quick dot summary – ie. what’s good Miley – of Media/Pop Culture recommendations.

Also I’ve been in Japan for the past month and it was fucking awesome. Although I probably wouldn’t recommend going in summer if you don’t handle heat well because it gets bloody hot. A couple of pro tips: Buy the JR pass before you get there because you will use the subway way more than you think. Don’t get stuck in Tokyo, make sure you leave plenty of time for the other places (especially Kyoto). Not many people speak English, Taxi’s are expensive, mainly cash economy and you can sleep on the street quite well as I found out one night (I think my wallet actually had more money in it after I woke up lol).

  • As far as Netflix goes, I’m looking forward to season 2 of Stranger Things and Riverdale. The two trailers for season 2 of Stranger Things look phenomenal so I hope it avoids the trap of just making another season because it was successful.
  • Season 2 of Master of None was phenomenal. I have a deep love for that show. I bought the Mondo vinyl of the season two soundtrack – so I popped two cherries in buying my first vinyl and Mondo product.https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0558/2081/products/MoN_FC_Spine_discs_1024x1024.jpg?v=1494441725
  • Steven Universe continues to be pure joy.
  • Logan, Dunkirk, Baby Driver all great movies.
  • The Wolf Among Us season 2 frick yes!!! Also Fables continues to be amazing.
  • Also on the comic front, I’ve been reading Tokyo Ghost which has some of the best cyberpunk art I’ve seen in a comic.
  • Titanfall 2 has had the best post-release content. All free, substantial, no shitty-microtransactions and that game is as fun as the first game should’ve been.
  • Looking forward to starting The Handmaid’s Tale. Don’t know much about it which is always good.
  • Finished all of the Witcher books. Gosh they’re just the best. Have started the Name of the Wind to fill that Fantasy hole in my life.
  • I can’t see the Dark Tower movie being good (having read all the books and seen the trailers).

I’ve enjoyed a tonne of other stuff as well but can’t think of it atm. It’ll probably occur to me later and I’ll get annoyed at myself.

That’s all folks (:

Cheers,

JK Pimento.https://i0.wp.com/www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/dunkirk-movie-preview-01_feature.jpg

A Coen Brothers Critique: Who is Hail, Caesar For?

I just finished watching Hail, Caesar! the latest film to be written, directed and produced by the Coen Brothers. For some reason, I PAID for this film on blu-ray and when it finished all I could think was ‘I got nothing out of this’. Now I don’t know why I bought the film, I think for some reason I thought it was a Wes Anderson film. Considering that The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of my most favourite films of recent years, I was looking forward to a new Anderson film. But no, just another Coen brothers affair and I’m left dissapointed.

Hail, Caesar! is a day in the life of a big shot producer, Josh Brolin, at a big movie studio in the Golden Age of Cinema, 1950’s Hollywood. Now I’m no schmuck, I’ve studied film and what the Golden Age was like, so I’m not one to miss the references and all that. Also many of the actors in the film I really enjoy, but for the most part, there are so many shoved in that many only have a single scene or two, so there is limited character development or even room for comedy. This has the added overall effect of taking time away from the main plot lines. In the end, I was left feeling like Hail, Caesar! was a fun, kinda quirky historical piece and that was it. I’ll probably never think about it again.

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Don’t get me wrong, for all intents and purposes it’s a very well crafted and executed film but there’s so little substance, and I know the Coen Brothers films are more about characters than plot, but come on give me something to follow, someone to root for. I think that’s the problem with Coen Brother’s films, they are well made and unique movies with lots of star power so they’re really hard to criticize. I like the fact that they’re meant to be for an audience of a certain educational level and you get more out of them the more you watch them. However, this is meant to be a comedy and I barely laughed a single time. I like the actors in the movie, appreciate the characters, understand (most) of the movie industry references and yet I have no reason to watch it again and have no idea who I would recommend this to.

Maybe my expectations were too high, but if someone like me found the film forgettable then who is it for? 1950’s cinema historians, the George Clooney Josh Brolin fan club, anyone still alive today who worked in the Golden Age of Cinema? The Coen Brother’s could take a lesson out of Anderson’s book in that The Grand Budapest Hotel featured a tonne of actors playing oddball characters, yet each was given appropriate screen time for their role, the narrative was charming and engaging and we had likeable characters to root for, oddball characters to laugh at and villainous characters to despise.

Just like Anchorman 2 was criticized for straying into the self-indulgent at times, I feel as though the Coen Brothers are at risk of the same here. Fargo was a fine film, I enjoyed it much more the second time when I understood more about the subverting of cinema conventions in the narrative. The Big Lebowski is a cult classic that I have to watch again, No Country for Old Men was a great film with a strong central plot and Inside Llewyn Davis was a critically lauded film that I’m yet to see. The Coen Brothers make well crafted movies…when they focus on the narrative.

Once again the problem remains, who is Hail, Caesar! for?