29th Jun 2014

'Kick-Ass 2' Review

When I decided to start reviewing something to be uploaded every Thursday (so far just new films, but when the summer blockbuster period is over I will be finding other things) I thought that I would hit a lemon soon enough.

I reviewed 'The Wolverine' and loved it, then I reviewed 'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' and loved that too ... and now it's time to review 'Kick-Ass 2' ...

Seriously, I really don't love every film I watch ... but I really loved this film too!!!

I'm even going to (controversially) go as far as saying ... I liked it more than the first film.

The story follows Kick-Ass as he joins forces in a super team of wannabe heroes, meanwhile, Hit girl is struggling to become the "Normal girl" that society expects her to be. Little do they know that things will get serious when an old enemy comes looking for revenge.

The jokes were hilarious, the action was (how it should be) exciting, and the story was decent ... it had a moral to it and everything ... though I can't remember what that moral was exactly as I can't stop thinking about Lindy Booth as Night B*tch (A Harley Quinn type character who I am now madly in lust with).

Even though 'Kick-Ass 2' is a sequel, it still feels fresh and new ... there are some great little touches that make it stand out (the coolest subtitles ever is an example) ... and you get a feeling that anyone could die at any time (something you don't see in blockbusters often, which keeps the tension high).

Sound effects and the music in the film need an honourable mention ... from the cracking of a neck to the beautifully epic score ... everything sounded fantastic!

No film is completely perfect, so here are my minor niggles ...

- Jim Carrey needed more screen time (he is a legend)

- There is a (much too long) scene including the "music" of 'Union J' ... nobody should be put through that, it's inhumane!

- I want to see 'Kick-Ass 3' ... right NOW!

You can see 'Kick-Ass 2' at cinemas across the UK now ... it is awesome!

... oh, and stick around at the end as there is a short post credits scene!

Kick-Ass 2 movie poster

Posted by: Smolemon at 23:06:34 14th Aug 2013

'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' Review

Alan Partridge is like Marmite ... no wait ... Mustard, Colman's Mustard ... You either love him or hate him (and he's based in Norwich).

Personally, I love Alan Partridge ... he is the king of cringe in my eyes (so this review may be slightly biased), and if you are not a fan of the tv show ... this film will not win you over; it is pure fan service (but may still appeal to the casual cinema goer).

Whenever a film comes out based on a tv show, the inevitable question will be "is it like a long episode". In the case of Alpha Papa ... yes it is, but that is the wonderful part about this film. They don't do completely outrageous things with the character, they just give Alan Partridge the chance to talk a lot and have a bit of the lime light he has craved for so long ... and it is hilarious!

The story follows Alan as he deals with a corporate takeover of the radio station he works for (North Norfolk Digital). When Alan's aged DJ colleague is sacked to appeal to younger radio listeners ... a hostage situation takes place, and only Alan can save the day (oh no!).

The funniest parts aren't in the trailer (thank god!). Once the laughs started coming, the whole cinema was loudly laughing ... Other than two teenagers who were sat near me and snogging each other's faces off. They left before the end of the film, but I don't think they really cared what they were watching (ahh to be young and in love ... disgusting).

Alpha Papa will sit nicely on the end of the whole Alan Partridge DVD collection ... it is full of laughs, (destined to be classic) quotes, and it feels like a natural progression for the character. It was great to see some familiar faces too. I laughed the whole way through and I am certain I missed a few jokes ... I can see this film getting better with time on repeat viewings.

A welcome return for Norwich's finest ... Back of the net!

'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' is in Cinemas now!

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa movie poster ... lovely stuff

Posted by: Smolemon at 18:48:23 8th Aug 2013

'The Wolverine' Review

Hugh Jackman is Wolverine ... no, really ... he doesn't just play a part of Wolverine ... he is Wolverine. The same way that Christopher Reeve is Superman (and always will be). Oh yeah, some flashy reboot might come down the line in 20 years and we get a new actor to play Wolverine ... but he will always be compared to Hugh Jackman ... and the new actor will have to look like Hugh Jackman in certain lights and act better than Hugh Jackman to be a better Wolverine ... because Hugh Jackman is the Wolverine, bub!

... this is why I was excited about seeing the new film in the X-Men canon ... "The Wolverine". I didn't care if the film was terrible ... I just wanted to see the Wolverine on the screen again. Slicing through bad guys and back chatting to people he deems conversation worthy (before he slices through them).

... But what I got was so much more ... a character driven action film that was still fun as well as gritty ... and more importantly, it was a great film.

The film doesn't ignore the events in X-Men 3 (the last stand) ... it fully embraces them and builds on what came before (it makes the third installment seem like it had a point other than to make some cash, no small feat). Now Logan has lost his way, he is fighting his demons (in the shape of a loved one, Jean Grey, that he killed to save the world). Logan has been a reluctant hero in the past films but now he just wants his misery to end, he doesn't want to connect to people because he doesn't want to hurt people.

This isn't a brainless action movie (although it does have the exciting action elements you would expect) ... it takes it time, it builds on the Wolverine character, takes him on a journey of redemption, and fleshes him out to a point that you are rooting for him for more than being the coolest on screen.

Basically, I loved it ... and if you are a fan of X-Men ... then I suggest you go see it.

I also strongly suggest you stick around for mid-credits scene ...

But as I like to even handedly review things ... I don't expect you to take just my opinion of the film ... why not take the opinion of the Barbie girl and Muscle man who left the cinema in front of us, their review went like this ...

Barbie Girl: "Well, that was bo***cks" (Translation: That film didn't float my boat, in fact, I would compare it to a pair of hairy man sacks dangling in front of me for an hour and a half)

Muscle man: "Yeah, ah no" (Translation: "yes, I know ... you are quite partial to this act, but only until you feel too tired, at about the 5 minute mark. Perhaps we should have gone to see something like The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, as that would surely stimulate our minds and give us a dose of action and humour that we so crave and desire")

The Wolverine is in Cinemas now ... and so is The Heat (apparently)

A Smolemon homage to Marvel's Wolverine

Posted by: Smolemon at 19:18:04 1st Aug 2013

Misfits series 5: Set Visit

It was a cold Sunday night, November 2012 ... My friend (Dommy B) was sat next to me on the sofa, a tray of biscuits and bottles of beer were out on the table, and the closing credits of Misfits were rolling up the television ... I turned to my friend and spoke ... "I'd love to go on the set of this show, meet the cast and all that ... I love it so much; would be a dream come true". Dommy B agreed, but laughed at me... He knew it was just a pipe dream ...

Fast forward 8 months ... and who's laughing now, Dommy B?

Yes! E4 invited me to the Set of Misfits where they are currently filming the fifth and final series; and now I get to tell you all about my experience, the cast, and what to expect when the award winning show returns to our screens later in the year.

Title - The Set

My Misfits adventure started in the production office where I met a bunch of friendly people (the production team), I repeatedly told them how much I love the show, and I could tell that they loved the show too. From there I was taken out for a tour with Francesca (A shiny happy person who loves her job and gained extra cool points for wearing a batgirl t-shirt).

We walked through what looked like a deserted town ... it was overgrown and creepy (even in the hot summer sun), but it also looked somehow familiar. It all clicked into place when Francesca told me that it had been the set of the wonderful 'White Bear' episode of Charlie Brooker's 'Black Mirror' (of which I am a big fan).

At the end of a street we entered a warehouse and suddenly I was transported into a community centre. It took me by surprise.

I was standing in a hallway that I had seen so many times before ... I had once witnessed zombie cheerleaders getting bludgeoned to death in here! I'd never been so amazed and excited by a hallway and a vending machine in my life (definitely number one in my list of top ten hallways with vending machines).

I walked through the different rooms ... each throwing up memories and storylines that I loved. The big hall, the top of the stairs (where Nathan used to sleep), the probation worker's office, the store room, The chest freezer (a good place to store bodies and have a pee?), Rudy's bedroom, the iconic locker room, toilet, and shower rooms (this is starting to sound like a really weird house listing).

The detail of the set was astonishing ... even down to the crust on the toilet urinal!

Rudy's Bedroom was filled with so many things that I couldn't take it all in ... it looked really lived in. I wanted to pick up and flick through the copy of a Predators comic he had on the coffee table, and I was astonished to find that he had a VHS collection (including a copy of Pretty Woman).

Francesca mentioned that Joe Gilgun (Who plays Rudy) has a habit of leaving bits of graffiti around the room; she pointed out a lovely drawing on a lamp ... of which I have reconstructed below ...

Misfits series five set

Title - Filming

In another set they were filming a scene for the last ever episode of Misfits (Series 5 episode 8), and that was my next destination.

I was introduced to more people and given a seat, where I stayed very quiet and watched in astonishment as I saw spoilers unfold before me. I had to stop myself from gasping at one point and all the time I couldn't believe that the whole of the main cast where there in front of me. It was a fans dream. I can't discuss all the things I saw right now ... but I will do when the series has come to an end.

There was a monitor screen that had a troop of people huddled around it (continuity editors, makeup artists, etc) keeping a keen eye on all the finer details ... I really enjoyed watching them and listening to what they were saying.

Most of the people didn't even notice I was there but the Visual effects artist, Joe Batten, took a seat near me and asked who I was and what I was doing (He wasn't interrogating me, just being friendly). He was a top bloke and I look forward to seeing what his effects look like on screen.

Title - The Cast

After the director called for lunch, I made my way outside and waited for the cast to meet me.

Joe Gilgun (Rudy), Natasha O'Keeffe (Abbey), Matt Stoke (Alex), and Nathan McMullen (Finn) approached me. I shook their hands and we introduced each other (like I didn't know who they were already?!?). Unfortunately, Karla Crome (Jess) had to hurry off so I didn't meet her, but I had seen her on the set earlier at least.

Joe Gilgun said he was nervous about meeting a blogger (in case he said something stupid and I wrote it down); Suddenly, I was less nervous. The whole group were very friendly.

Matt was wearing some of the coolest shades I had ever seen, I told him that I approved.

We all had a walk ... they seemed keen to speak to me and it was like catching up with old friends.

After telling them how much I loved the series and their characters (I genuinely mean this, by the end of series 4 I loved the characters the same as I love the old gang) I tried to get some more information about series 5 (in between general chit chat about Durham and Lip service).

Natasha O'Keeffe confirmed that we will be seeing a lot more of her character (Abbey) in the final series. She will appear in every episode (this makes me very happy).

Matt and Nathan told me that we are going to be getting the most controversial series of Misfits that there has ever been, and they couldn't believe some of the things they are doing in series 5.

... as it is the final series ... it's got everything that makes Misfits great and they are going out in style. It's going to be fantastic.

I was then invited away by Joe Gilgun to see another set, so I said goodbye to the others (I thought I'd see them again but didn't have the chance, I hope I get to meet them again in the future as they seem like marvelous people).

I got to spend a lot more time with Joe Gilgun . He is a naturally funny guy, and probably one of the nicest people on earth. He is also ridiculously modest.

We spoke about his career ... He feels so lucky to do what he gets to do (acting), and he loves playing Rudy. He seemed so disappointed that the series was coming to an end because he simple loves working on Misfits, but he also seemed happy to be going out on a high. He said he has had an amazing time over the last few years.

He is also excited by what the future will hold ... there are roles coming up that he is looking forward to doing.

I loved having a walk in the sunny weather; casually chatting with Joe ... it's an experience that will be difficult to top.

Title - Filming

Title - Save Me Barry

Before Joe left for lunch he told me about the Graphic designer, Barry Gingell, and the Easter Eggs that he hides all over the set (Like the Easter Eggs you get on DVDs, not literal ones, that would be ridiculous).

I won't spoil them for you, but I will tell you that if you see numbers ... it is probably a message. Also, if you see any company or product name in Misfits ... it is probably referencing some geek related media. So keep a keen eye open.

I met the graphic designer before I left for the day and had the chance to tell him how impressed I was with the "Super Hoodie wall" that he made.

I had a fantastic time on the set and I cannot believe how nice everyone was. I felt so welcome.

It really was a dream come true for me (better than I ever imagined) and I hope everyone involved knows how much I appreciate it ... the whole Misfits team and E4 ... they rocked my world.

I am now convinced that my friend Dommy B is a genie that takes 8 months to work his magic ... I've already told him my next wish (but I refused to rub him for good luck).

Misfits returns to E4 for an 8 episode series later in the year ...

For updates on Misfits and other E4 shows ... follow Misfits (@E4Misfits) and E4 (@E4Tweets) on Twitter

You can still Catch up with earlier series of Misfits on 4od.

... can you spot the references in the 'Smolemon homage to Misfits' below?

Can you find all Misfits references?

Posted by: Smolemon at 11:28:10 21st Jul 2013

Fit T-shirt, Bro

Fashion trends come and go; some are good ... some are terrible.

Some ... baffle me!

The one thing that I've noticed recently cropping up all over the place has me scratching my head.

The sexy woman T-shirt ... I don't mean the T-shirt a sexy woman wears ... I'm talking about the picture of half (sometimes 3 quarters) naked, sexy woman printed on a T-shirt.

It has me confused because:

1) If you are a girl ... Why would you want a girl who is much hotter than you on your chest? Is it to try to trick guys into thinking you are that hot? Or is it to stand up for woman's rights and the female form?

2) If you are a guy ... Why would you want other guys looking at your chest and possibly getting a semi on?

... or is it like a band t-shirt ... "I like this band" ... "I like the fun bags on this girl" ...

... or are high street clothes shops just wanting cold hard cash from moronic pervs?

I guess I will never understand ... feel free to enlighten me!

Until the next time I am confused by society ... Bye for now!

Why do people wear naked women on their Tshirts?

Posted by: Smolemon at 21:27:25 9th Jul 2013
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