Posted in Writing

A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out

When we feel under the weather, we take some medicine. We like to make some herbal tea, prehaps wrap up and not leave our beds for a while. But a mutant virus only has room for a lifetime of being cosy  in your body.

These movies make you want to cleanse yourself thoroughly  and stay in a spacesuit for all eternity because no one wants to ‘get it’ . Brace yourself for some body horror creatures that I’ve enjoyed watching..from a distance ofcourse.

Credits: Directed by John Carpenter (Based on the novel Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell). Music By Ennio Morricone. 

The Thing (1982) is one of my favourite virus movies I’ve come across. In the Antarctic a helicopter opens the scene trying to shoot a dog running for its life until he eventually fails. The very same dog that comes on board with MacReady (Kurt Russel) and his scientific team when they come back with it and a disfigured corpse with two faces.

Whilst the research team work in the cold isolated station with some whisky and a game of chess against the computer, the dog mutates into some..thing..” I don’t know what the hell is in there, but it’s weird and pissed off”. and is quickly burned.

An autopsy reveals the creature is able to imitate other organisms, so perfectly that you wouldn’t even know you were standing next to one.

It’s not long before suspicion arouses amongst the team and everyone suspects each other of being ‘the thing’. It just needs  you alone and alive.

There is a great iconic scene where everyone is tied to a chair and one by one, MacReady tests their blood with a heated copper wire to expose the creature from its hiding as it reacts to high heat.  The tension runs so high that no music is even needed to set the dreaded feeling of “we’re going to find out who’s who”. 

MacReady contemplates his fate as he sits down at his tape recorder ” nobody trusts anyone and we’re all very tired”. 

A creature so clever it can hide well for years undetected.  Better get that blowtorch MacReady.

Credits: Directed by Eli Roth. Music By Angelo Badalamenti and Nathan Barr.

Never has a skin rash been so severe than a group of teenagers  taking a trip to a weird isolated cabin with the inhabitants of a weird town. Before the horror can even begin, there is the racist shop keeper where the teenagers make a stop to pick up some groceries.

You have a strange kid sitting outside who likes to shout pancakes! And bites people  (Well.. he is normal as far as infections go at least), with a sign reading Do not sit next to Dennis. Not to mention a cop who is far more interested in weed and parties than a cry for help.

It all starts with a rotting dead dog who infects his owner, who later drops by the cabin  in need of help. Fearing for their lives as he vomits blood continuously all over the place, they accidentally burn him alive when he ignores their warning to “stay the hell back.”

When sexy time turns into a hot mess, with one of the girls being infected, they isolate her in the shed in hope they will not ‘get it’. How the heck did she get it?! You begin to wonder what’s feeding them the infection. “There’s some sick shit going around and that hermits spreading it around” . Talk about a bad skin day.

Credits: Directed by Bruce McDonald. (Based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess). Music by Claude Foisy.

Never have I been more terrified  to speak the English language when you realise you can get infected just from speaking.

Grant, Sydney and Laurel-Ann work at a radio station when they get a lot of disturbance on air from their callers. A horde of people start to surround the place, Grant  can only think that this is some form of a demonstration. “I don’t know if this is a way of terrorising people”.  

One caller in particular; Ken, is trapped in a place where he recalls in horror ” some are naked, their pulling two people apart, carrying  them in their mouths  on the ground..biting them like piranhas”, it is one of the most terrifying scenes, as we do not get to witness what he saw, instead the noises alone are enough to scare us.

A French over speaker translated, tells them not to speak to any family members and not to use words of endearment (such as I love you, ), or the English language as the virus spreads through constructed sentences.

It’s a unique twist on the virus movies and one that is wonderfully weird. On that note I guess I hate you.

Credits: Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. 

Good evening, this is Angela Vidal speaking” she says to us in front of the camera as we embark on a distress call about a woman screaming in a trapped apartment. With a crew of firefighters they take flight to help this woman.

Standing in the hallway in the shadows, we see a woman in her nightie, covered in blood and almost growling, she becomes aggressive and bites the neck of an officer and in turn infecting him now.

The dialogue  (in subtitles) is what makes this movie so interesting and a fresh take on the zombie franchise. When interviewing people, one lady states ” I knew something like this would happen, I don’t get Why people just fall from the building and bleed everywhere. I’m definitely going to sue”. 

Another man whispers ” it’s the Chinese. They eat raw. It smells. If they were the nice kind who do feng shui but no”. And then asks Angela when they are ready to start rolling when he was already being filmed and laughs wearily.

It is those small witty remarks that make a big impact for the movie  to stand out. Not only that, Rec has a lot to offer in its storyline with twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect.

Rec 2 is also worth watching by the same director as it ties in nicely with the first movie. Then there is rec 3 genesis which I disliked and rec 4 which I haven’t seen.

Rec is  a clever found footage style, with well framed movements that expose more than a shaky camera. Night vision on. Check. Press record..check.

Credits: Directed by Francis Lawrence (2007). (based on the novel by Richard Matheson). 

A genetically engineered virus initially created to cure cancer fails to work and wipes out the majority of the population and those remaining patients turned into a monsterous form (almost like a vampire) that hide from sunlight. That is but one man and his dog Sam, roaming the isolated New York City amongst some wildlife that seem unaffected.

With three years gone by without civilization, Neville goes on with his daily routine of checking his watch for when the sun sets ( when the creatures come out to play), stocking up on food, listening to Bob Marley, experimenting on some live rats, excersising  and talking to his mannequin friends who have names.

His desperate lonliness  is portrayed so clearly as he struggles to keep himself going whilst ‘role-playing’,  as he walks up to a lady doll to finally say hello. “please say hello to me “.  However a mishap disrupts his order of doing things at a timely fashion and Neville is about to realise he isn’t so alone.

Other movies to get under your skin..

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Posted in Foreign Films

The Vengeance Trilogy

As much as I love a well made Hollywood movie, I find myself drawn into foreign films as well. There seems to be something very heart warming when I read the dialogues.

There is always so much depth in the characters story that makes it feel closer to home in a sense. Everyone should give them a chance before considering another blockbuster film.

Korean movies are mainly what i have seen most of with the odd spanish and french here and there that are equally great.

I have collected some of my favourite movies that sit proudly on my shelf. This is one of them by Park Chan Wook, whos work consists of crime thriller that is filled with blood curdling revenge but leaves plenty of room for your  sympathy.

The vengeance Trilogy consists of three movies ; Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance ( 2002), Oldboy ( 2003), and Lady Vengeance (2005) directed  by Park Chan-Wook that all deal with revenge.

The movies display a strong symbolic theme of deprevation from each character, the feeling of losing something so valuable that it makes you lose your humanity.  The movies have their own stories  but i love all three films so it made more sense to have the box set.

As far as sympathies go, Ryu is a deaf-mute man who works in a factory. His dying sister is need of a kidney transplant with no match. With barely enough money for her operation from a lucky donor, Ryu and his girlfriend (who is in a strange anarchist gang)  make a plan to kidnap the daughter of the guy who fired him from his job.  They justify their actions by saying “the bad image kidnappers get is because of kids getting killed but we’re different”. 

Within few hours, mayhem kicks in when the kidnap turns into a hot mess, resulting in the two men at war for their daughters demise.

There are some rough scenes of what i can only describe as a handful of blood, as Parks movies tend to display which add to the depth of the characters brilliant acting, and clearly we see their raw emotions on screen.

With some gory moments, it is also that presice  feeling of being cheated on life, filled with so much anger that you are fixated on killing from what was rightfully taken from you.

Your mentality can only stretch  so far into madness when Dae-Su is seen to be imprisoned in a tacky hotel room for fifteen years for reasons later revealed. With occasional food and a tv, he learns of his wife’s murder and that he is her apparent murderer.

When he is finally released in a small suitcase, awakened in a suit on a rooftop, Dae-Su soon puts his fighting skills to good use (with his odd choice of a hammer)  on some attackers that get in his way whilst trying to locate his daughter.

A memorable scene of a drunken like man putting up a clumsy but well executed death that feels realistic and  would only come so naturally  after being tortured for so long.

With revenge of hunger on his mind “i want to eat something alive” you clearly realise he is not just after some live octopus to hug his face. (Think of eating some spicy food you enjoy but gives you heartburn yet here you are still eating it). In a bizzare way that’s the impression I got from his facial expression.

With some gruelling moments of madness and greatly shot fighting movements, this is a  visually beautiful movie that shows deprivation of a man who has lost so much of his life. This will have you bite your tongue at the very end.

Nothing could prepare lady Geum- ja  for what she had in store for her victim; a murderer of a five year old boy. Coming out of prison for a murder she did not commit she has a mind full of anger and grief from parting from her little  girl and  everything she has been through but had put up a facade of being reformed in her ‘good nature’ to this crime.

There is a great shot at the start of her release, where tofu is brought to her as a cultural welcome which she throws to the ground “why don’t you go screw yourself” and walks away, which marks the start of her anger brewing towards those who showed her a cruel fate.

With her blood red eyeshadow “because I don’t want to look kind hearted” and a disheartened mind, Geum-ja goes in search for her daughter and to find the real murderer- a high school teacher by the name of Mr. Baek. She soon realises alot has changed since her time in prison  and is horrified at learning there is more evil to this man who she trusted to help her, who used her and stole from her and threw her away, which fuel more of her hatred for him.

It is not just a story about revenge but a mother, a woman in her own rights who has been stripped from her freedom and cannot bear to find sympathy in her actions. After all revenge is best served cold.

Posted in Awards

The Versatile blogger Award

This will be a short, simple but none the less sweet post about recognising peoples sites and the efforts they go to in creating something worth your interest.

With a very small amount of followers and following, I’m just a lady on a small part of the internet where I love to write about my passion whether it’s on a book, movie or game.  I’m unwell for the most part which i never speak about on here so writing at times can exhaust me but i try my best.

I never expected to find myself nominated for something called a versatile blogger award so I’m very grateful that there  are people who give me their time to read what I have to say..or rather write. Thank you to those who follow me.

The rules for the award:

1) Display the blogger award logo sign.

2) Thank the person who nominated you for this award and link their site.

3) write seven things about yourself

4) Nominate other bloggers of your choice.

screenshot_2017-01-15-16-25-13-1

https://raistlin0903.wordpress.com

I’d like to thank Michel for nominating me for this award. Very kind of you. My very first one I may add. He is a lover of Asian movies and anime as I am and  it wasn’t hard to find interest on his blog. He is very welcoming and supportive of my own blog which is always very appreciated. I never think much of my work.  I highly suggest you browse through his site as I’m sure you’ll  discover some great movies as i  did.

1) I’ve been a newly vegetarian for six months. I always tried to after thinking alot about the world we live in but i don’t condone anyone who isn’t one as I respect everyone’s choices.

2)  I was nearly kidnapped on two ocassions around the age of six by some creepy men who told me “I’m your uncle don’t worry”. And later in my teens, followed by some older ones. (Either I was too damn cute or I have a weird magnet that attracts the oddest kinds).

3) I love the vintage era alot. From film noir to the novels and games. Hardboiled detective mystery crimes to be presice.  Anything of that kind in the present works well too if well scripted.

4) I’m quite the introvert lady. One that’s shy at first for fear of being judged ‘weird ‘ but socially very talkative.I guess that is where my blog comes in to voice my passion.

5) I used to play the piano and sing (ahem). people told me I was good, I say their being too polite.

6) I love live theatre plays and musicals (of a certain type) but i haven’t Been too many. You probably won’t hear me talk about it much on here so I thought i’d mention it. I am very picky with what I watch hence being somewhat of a minority amongst the crowds. The woman in Black play is a great show and Grease live. Both of which are also films.

7) I like having a collection of items such as  films or books by a favourite persons work (provided i like most of the individual films enough) such as Ridley Scott movies, studio ghibli, Raymond Chandler novels etc.

Now for the nominees.. ( I feel like I’m presenting the golden globes heh).

https://dirtyscifibuddha.com

Kent Wayne was one of the first few people to acknowledge my blog when I first wrote a post. He is far from dirty I may say! He is an exceptional writer with his novel Echo about a dystopian sci fi world that explores many themes of the strangest kind. And one for whom needs to be recognised more so.

https://natalieslovelyblog.com

Natalie has a great blog that shows off her photography skills. Her posts about different places and her general thoughts are insightful like a mini journal style and it’s always lovely to read.

https://epsilonlaylay.wordpress.com/about/

Epsilon is someone I recently discovered and it’s a great blog mainly about horror movies and games with some terryfying articles based on real events which is something I love too. If you like  the dark side of things,  take a look into this lady.

It turned out more than a short post but it never was going to be. Thank you again for reading my blog and i shall see you on the next one very soon.

 

Posted in Games

Discworld Noir

Virtual gaming is another part of my life amongst movies and books. My very first console was a Sega Master System 2 that came out in 1988. I barely ceased to exsist but after growing up enough at the age of nine this young girl was able to experience a different kind of fun with her odd toaster like bulky console that let you run jump and do one fancy move. I thought it wouldn’t  get any better than that as I sat there playing my one and  only Sonic the Hedgehog game.

As I grew up, in my teenage years I discovered a little more adventure with Tomb Raider and click and point games on the pc.

Whilst i was busy growing up, the PlayStation had come out and I felt it was the best graphics I had seen in a long time and spent hours being content with a few games..and this is how I disovered and fell in love with alot of games of today, as i appreciate how much work goes into creating something not only visually beautiful, but something that is also entertaining for hours.

Games recently have exceeded my expectations and most of them are astonishing with life like movements and a strong plot.

With years  gone by, it can unfortunately be difficult to continue gaming for much anymore, and lately my spare time is usually more accessible for Android games but walkthroughs are always an interesting choice which are also none the less entertaining. Here is  one of my all time favourite adventure game that kept my younger self happy for a couple of hours.

Credits: Developers – Perfect Entertainment and Teeny Weeny Games. Design by Gregg Barnett and Chris Bateman. 1999.

It was hard to find a decent trailer or one at that, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say how amazing this game is. What you just watched in this clip was a cut scene of Lewton being chased by an unseen force, eventually being stabbed   by a sword. ” I’ve had some bad days since i started work as a private investigater but i’ve never woken up dead before “. 

A flash back shortly occurs off screen on how everything became this way as you take on your first case by a woman named Carlotta who wants you to find a guy named Mundy. The Problem is Mundy is dead..

As the name suggests, this game is heavily based on the crime  noir movies and books you may have come across with the classic detective in his rain coat, sleek hat and a hot pin up damsel in distress.

screenshot_2017-01-13-16-57-39-1

The game is set in a fictional universe known as Discworld, refrencing some places like Ankh- Morph from Sir Terry Pratchett’s novels (which are beyond some very fantastical imagination and amazingly detailed stories), but do not rely on the characters and you do not need to read them in order to understand the story of this game. (But I’d give them a chance if I were you).

screenshot_2017-01-13-16-55-37-1Lewton is a private investigator who is on a murder case which sets him off on a long trail across  different towns in the city.  Along his way, he meets alot of eccentric characters that he speaks to and some that require a more brutish tone to get some  answers,  after all everyone is a suspect.

For a game from an older generation, it was one of my childhood gaming experience and one I grew to love in my adult life as I could pick up on the humour much strongly ” well.. i’m afraid my memory isn’t very good..i need something  to jog it..to which Lewton responds ” would a crowbar work”?and also  find references to such classic movies such as The Maltese Falcon and a song paradoxically  played by a character used in the 1942 movie Casablanca which I later discovered when I replayed the game.

I love the idea of being able to interact with any characters in the game as many times as you want, listening closely to their conversation and taking notes which you use for clues for the next lead in your investigation. It’s also reassuring that you won’t get to a ‘game over’ point at anytime as it’s a game of wit and relies on a structural narrative, allowing the player to use clues to figure out where to go next and who to talk to now.

The whole tone, dialogue and graphics are similar to the feel of stepping into a classic noir movie, with the jazz music in cafes and the darkly dim shadowed  places that you’d find in a crime scene.

The game can be played on Windows PC platform and PlayStation if you still have one. Unfortunately it  doesn’t come without its glitches as you would expect from a game of the 90’s and it was a huge data to install at the time on my boxy looking PC.

Sadly the game was never released outside Europe but if you ever got the chance to play this i would be just as excited to know, otherwise   it’s worth watching some gameplay from some gamers, just to know how great a story this truly was for it’s time.

If you’re someone who loves hardboiled fiction noir tales like me then this is a perfect rare gem of a game for you. I only wish they made more games of this kind. (I shall talk more about noir movies in the future). With a brilliant team of voice acting and a highly interactive role playing game, crime certainly pays off.

Some other very similar interactive favourites include..

 

Posted in Writing

Animated Series

Animations are a beautiful thing that come in all formats, from black and white to stop motion and hand drawn. I grew up watching many types of animations that it has become a part of me along the way.

They have come a long way with their movies too, but i’d like to focus on some of my favourite anime tv series. I would suggest watching them in their original language if and when it’s possible as it’s  sometimes more engaging but there are some quality dubs too.

I have seen some of the greatest stories within animations and anime (manga) so it’s about time they shined on here. Perhaps  a favourite of yours is also on here.

Credits: Manga Written by Hajime Isayama. Anime Series Directed by Tetsuya Araki. Music by Hiroyuki Sawano.

For over many years the tall walls of Shinganshina town have been protected from the gigantic human like creatures that roam the outside world. That is  until a clan of greater Titans break down the wall and start to eat the inhabitants which force Eren Yeager, his sister and friend to flee their hometown looking in horror at the destruction left behind.

Five years later they manage to enlist as cadets and join a special operations squad that deal with fighting the titans with their unique quick slicing attack to the necks on their flying rope like mechanisms.

The raw emotions each character displays is something to behold and one of the most striking acrobatic actions you’ll  see in an anime as Eren says ” if you win, you live. If you lose you die. If you dont fight, you can’t win!”

 With bones being crushed and heads being torn apart, this anime is far from being shy with gore but it’s gore with suspense and a highly entertaining story.

Credits: Manga Written by Tsugumi Ohba. Anime Series Directed by Tetsuro Araki. Written by Toshiki Inoue. Music by Yoshihisa Hirano and Hideki Taniuchi.

Playing ‘God’ may seem fun for awhile but it comes with dire consequences as Light Yagami finds out. ” I will reign over a new world.” With a supernatural notebook at hand, killing without getting caught should only be so easy if it didn’t get so complicated.

With a task force and a smart but very odd, sugar addicted detective by the name of’ L’ hot on his trail, Light finds himself in many dangerous situations. With a thrilling dark tale, this series makes for a very intelligent watch and always remember to never give out your real name.

Credits: Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Composed by Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin  Wynn.

The world of Aang is divided into four nations; the water tribes, the earth kingdom, the fire nation and the air nomads. where people have the ability to use their designed ability to bend and manipulate that element.

A very heartwarming and entertaining story sees the legendary twelve year old Aang and his friends who venture on a flying bison named Appa to save humanity from being torn apart by the Fire nations. So many epic battles occur that it seems all too much for a  couple of youngsters which makes them that much  stronger. Aang is a legend because “only the Avatar can master all four elements”.

The three seasons are each titled in books that represent the three elements of Water, Earth and fire.

The show is full of quirky humour that is not only for the kids but enjoyed by everyone of all ages. The airbending adventure awaits. I choose Earth!

From the creators of Avatar the last airbender, comes a sequel with the same elements of bending. Years have passed since Avatar passed away and reincarnated in the spirit of  the fourteen year old Korra; “it just doesn’t come easy to me..” who finds taking after such a master is a very challenging cycle.

I love this series just the same (dare I say a little more),Because of the humour and the depth the characters go into moreso than  Avatar did, as the maturity helps the plot develop into something with more  suspense and  dark elements which i prefer.

Credits: Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Written by John Semper. Theme tune composed by Joe Perry and Shuki Levy.

The theme tune to this alone makes me nostalgic. I used to wake up quite early just to watch this. It is one of the best designs and nicely voiced characters of its time, not to  forget the sarcasm that plays a big role in Spidermans traits sure pal, whatever you say”, are highly entertaining.

I loved how as the series progressed, so did the villains that included the Kingpin, Green Goblin, the Lizard and Doctor Octopus to name a few. And then we have Peter’s love interest Felicia Hardy with her alter ego as the Black Cat and various other superheroes from the Marvel series also make an apperance.

Credits Created by Jack Kirby,  Stan Lee and Len wein. Theme music composed by Ron Wasserman.

Like Spider-Man, this was another early morning watch for me. (The 6a.m trip downstairs sure were  worth it).  A great theme tune to go with a great series.

The character development was also accurate to the comic and Storm really did  justice  with her powers as she was created to and my favourite character from the show. What’s  more, even spidy himself makes an appearance when he needs help after he learns of his transformation.

Credits: Directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro. Written by Gen Urobuchi. Music by Yugo Kanno.

I have just finished season one and it was a great cliffhanger when someone gets killed. It’s a promising story that focuses on the idea of a network that scans civilizations active mentalities of the  likelihood of them comitting a crime before they actually have. We indeed  have a little Minority Report happening here.  “ A perfect plan is acheived when it has the plasticity needed to flexibly deal with troubles”.

Police officers use guns known  as Dominators that activate at aimed suspects that have a high crime rate level. Sounds like it should be a clean criminal free city then..except there is a criminal mastermind who goes undetected and a cat and mouse chase pursues with dangerous casualties.

Next on my list to watch..

Posted in Foreign Films

Train to Busan

When I thought zombie films were quite..dead for awhile, Train to Busan surprised me. I didn’t  know what to expect, only that I felt I had seen most of the better ones made to date, and didn’t know if it would be anything out of the ordinary, the countless undead can get tiring for the human mind.

What Intrigued me  is the fact I always seem to enjoy Korean movies of choice and hearing  of a zombie one was exciting enough as I am drawn to movies of this kind.

Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a divorced father spending his visiting time with his daughter Su-an (Kim Su- an) who he rarely sees due to his commitment at work. The kind of father who buys two Nintendo Wii and “makes promises you can’t keep” as his daughter sadly points out.

As her birthday wish is to visit her mother in Busan, the pair make a train journey to hell when a young infected woman frantically boards the train, unnoticed by the conductor who panics ” this can’t be happening “, whilst wrapping up her wounded thigh. I’m afraid  to tell you.. It’s happening.

Before the outbreak, the director has managed to capture the characters personality on this journey which builds up the tension slowly but surely, unknowing to them, as the camera cuts to a secluded part of the carrage of the dying woman on the floor.

20170103_165621-1-1Meanwhile we see two elderly sisters who remark ” don’t eat too much boiled egg, you’ll be passing gas”.  A man with his pregnant wife timidly asking her from a long -awaited locked  cubicle “ baby are you ok”,  a selfish businessman who doesn’t want to be here for long, an oddball homeless looking  man and a bunch of athletes. Great! the gangs all here, now we can continue the train ride.

It’s not long before the walking dead are jolted back to life with disjointed bodies and throats are being ripped open and legs are chewed upon, whilst we venture through the claustrophobic narrow halls that are the gateway to their escape. Now would be a good idea to stack up some luggage.

I kept wondering what would have occurred if the train wasn’t as fancy with the several toilet cubicles and doors which serve as useful  survival routes for the people.

There are moments of the action that seemed to be  dragged out whilst the zombies are sparsed in different directions outside the train, but it is entertaining to see how it would all pan out.

Visually there are great scenes where the zombies are awkwardly mounted on each other, as recognised in World War Z and a horde  of zombies climbing the escalators.

A few blood filling moments later you realise it plays greatly on instincts and survival tactics by everyone on the train and the lengths people would go to protect themselves and their loved ones.  An endearing movie about sacrifice that makes  this a tasteful movie to sink your teeth into.

Credits: Directed by Yeon Sang-ho. Written by Park Joo-suk. Cinematography by Lee Hyung- deok. Music by Jang Young- gyu.

An animated prequel was made by the same director which I will shortly be on board to watch.