A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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This is one of my favourite horror films of all time. My favourite horror movie series of all time. The first one because I genuinely think it’s a great horror film. The rest of them, mainly because I just love this series.
As Halloween approaches, I decided to rewatch the whole series because it’s been a long while.
As franchises go, I appreciated any Freddy I can have, if nothing else for its humour. But realistically, there are three that I find legitimately good films: Nightmare on Elm Street, Nightmare on Elm Street III – Dream Warriors and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
The others, I haven’t watched in a long time. So I’m eager to know how I feel about them. (Except for the 2010 remake, which I watched in the cinemas when it came out and it made me want to stuff whoever created it in a boiler and set them on fire, and I absolutely refuse to mention it again)
I’ve also found a documentary about it (Never Sleep Again) which I didn’t know existed and I plan on watching after I’m done with this.

Anyway, there’s only so much I can say about Nightmare on Elm Street.
We meet Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) a teenager, and her friends who seem to die, one by one, after having terrible nightmares about a man with a blade glove. Nancy herself starts having these dreams and waking up with injuries she realises he can harm them in real life, as he does while they’re sleeping.
Later we found that Freddy was a child murderer who was unfairly released and that the town decided to take justice into their own hands.

Since sleeping is something we all should do on a daily (well, nightly) basis, Freddy as a villain is very hard to avoid. But what wins this for me over all other horror film franchises, is Freddy’s sadistic humour. His quotes and puns are awesome and he’s definitely one of my favourites.

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Bojack Horseman

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I tried this series last year, after postponing it for a while, when I sat down with the boyfriend for a lazy Sunday dinner, and decided we might as well watch a couple of episodes. Season started mediocre and we kept watching, half-heartedly, because it wasn’t that bad.
Within the next week we obsessively binge watched the whole series.  After that slow start, it became one of my favourite animated adult series.
Mostly because I am quite the fan of black comedy and dark moods, and this show hits the right spot. Every little bit of detail is well thought and the continuity is crazy.
Season 3 ended on a frankly dark note and I binged watched season 4 this Sunday.
The character development of all of them, the inner struggles, the twists. It did not disappoint.

There’s a lot to say about Bojack, there’s nothing I’d change about it.

Dragon Age: Inquistion

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Reminiscing on my old screenshots of Dragon Age, I’ve decided to give another shot to Inquisition. I never really finished this game and I feel like I haven’t touched it in nearly two years?
Just re-read my old entry about DA:I and I’ve realised I had restarted the game already. Mostly because I forgot to load the stupid DA Keep tapestry.
I played at least 80 hours according to Origin app, but I remembered it so vaguely and that is not a very good sign.

However with this replay I feel like I have more to say about it.
Once again I’m not that interested.
If these people all died in a fire, I would not move a single finger to so much wave goodbye, as they burned in the distance.

Cullen is here and now he’s datable, which -ah- he used to have a crush on my mage yeah, and now we can hook up. Varric is back, sadly not yet to date. But still he’s the best of all besties. I love Dorian and Vivanne as characters. I find Iron Bull mildly amusing, I haven’t played much with Cole to be honest. Blackwall and Sera, I totally forgot they existed until I started playing again. Either way, there are more characters I like than those I don’t. Some of them I actually think it’s a waste to be in this game. I don’t even care a bit about my Inquisitor. Someone who, as I usually, was made to the image of myself.
The best thing about this was the inquistor table. I makes you feel like you’re actually as relevant as the story tells you, sending people to do quests. It also changes a bit from Hawke, having to do every single piece of crap yourself because nothing gets done withut you.
This villain: I can’t believe they had nothing else so they decided to bring back Corypheus. Bringing back people, or whatever beast, from the dead is what shitty horror movie sequels do. The kind of shitty horror movie sequels that just want to cash in using a formula that previously worked without going through the trouble of adding anything to it. EA WHY U DO THIS

I can’t exactly pin point what’s wrong with Inquisition. It was tedious even before I found out about Corypheus. I do feel like after the complaints about DA2 being too short, they actually made an effort to add more content. I mean you can get well over 100 hours of gameplay. The scenary is diverse and  there’s no shortage of quests, yet most of them felt pointless. I did it because it’s an rpg not because i was interested in their outcome.
And the hole in the sky plot? I’ve seen worse. It didn’t even think the plot pace was particulary slow. Yet I wasn’t curious for the ending, I didn’t look forward to developing friendships or romances, I didn’t care about this world, nor the quests were particularly engaging.

I am, once again, disinterested.

Dragon Age: 2

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I’d like to start this post by saying I didn’t dislike Dragon Age: 2.
To be fair, I also didn’t buy this as soon as it came out, so knowing that people weren’t pleased with it considerably lowered my expectations.
Now, it doesn’t even compare to Origins. But I think on its own, without the Dragon Age name, DA:2 wouldn’t have been so bashed. Specially now, I go back and see that there were a lot of good things.
I think the 2 in the title also implied there would be a sequel. Like Awakening, but longer, a full on game. Maybe that alone would make my hopes go up.

First, I really like the gameplay. I liked it better than Origins. The animations were better, as it should be. Hawke had a voice actor which I also found to add to the story engagement. Varric is my favourite companion after Shale. We had Anders from Awakening, and yes he fucks up everything, but I got quite excited since he was an interesting character.
We didn’t have the amount of choice/consequence Origins had. The game was much shorter, and for a similar price from when Origins first retailed. Which may be something to be expected these days, but annoying regardless.
The replay value of Origins is magnificent, while DA2 got a couple of runs.
I see now that it was a completely different and nearly parallel story in the same universe, you didn’t have an actual choice, but were tricked into thinking you do.
The gaps between in game years were also poorly detailed, as if the story was left on hold, but they had to let pass that amount of years before the end of the game for a reason we didn’t get to know.
We were watching Hawke’s life other than controlling it. Then left with the  vague implication that it would line up in the next sequel.

Like I said, it would be an okay game on its own but definitely not a Dragon Age worthy game.

Dragon Age: Origins / Awakening

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When I first saw a friend playing DA:O I thought it looked like shit. His character was engaging in the most expressionless looking conversation ever. It looked like Neverwinter Nights. And I really liked NWN, but it’s at least 7 years older than DA:O. I mean there were far better looking games out there. My friend did say he was sure I’d like it and I did make note of that. I mean, I appreciate a good looking game, but that’s definitely not the most important. It was a poor first impression.
A few months after, when I got the time, I decided to give it a shot. It is an RPG after all, and a Bioware one for that matter (to me, for a long time, Bioware was a given that a game would be good).
By this time Awakening had already came out, so I got both together.

I might have mentioned it before, but this is one of my favourite games.
The DLCs, together with Awakening, were worth every penny. The gameplay was nice, the characters, albeit still as expressive as NWN, had engaging personalities. It was easy to like the story, and your choices did actually change the course of it. The different outcomes gave the game even more replay value.
I gave it a few runs, some more complete than others. My first one being, as usual, the human mage. But one feels compelled to try every single one of them, 6 combinations. Different outcomes in different endings. It was an RPG fan’s dream.

I loved NWN and KotoR. But DA:O made Bioware my very favourite video game company. It set the bar so high that even now, I keep coming back this.

The Skull (1965)

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I’m back to my old horror film appreciation. It’s currently on Netflix, and stars Peter Cushing as Mr Maitland a writer and collector of occult items.
This film also stars Christopher Lee (as a guest star, and part of the reason I started watching it) playing a very unusual part, that of a non-villain.

Anyway, the skull of the plot (a distractingly cheap looking prop) belonged to the late Marquis de Sade, the one to give name to sadism due to his behaviour and sexual novels. His skull had been stolen from his grave from a man wanting to study whether he was actually insane. This man bathed the skull to remove the remaining flesh and skin, and later his wife finds him dead.
Turns out the Marquis wasn’t simply a violent weirdo who wrote novels about kinky bondage sex, but was in fact possessed by an evil demon.
Marco (a dodgy looking dealer of relics) comes across the skull and tries to sell it to Mr Maitland for more money than it seems to be worth. He won’t take it even after Marco lowered its price, but can’t help but wonder about it when he leaves.
Later he shares with his friend (Christopher Lee) who confirms the skull is indeed from Marquis de Sade and also evil. He knows this because it was stolen from him, and advises Maitland to leave it alone.
Obviously he doesn’t and the story ensues.

The editing was very good. The jumps between the scenes interesting and smooth, the point of view through the eyes of the skull, very unusual and a nice touch even if a bit wonky looking. The passages from character to character were thought through.
Specially noted this in the pool scene, my favourite scene, where we had a nice sequence shot of the conversation between the two.
The sets were also really fitting to the ambience.
There were some really bad actors. The scientist’s wife, the first woman to die right in the beginning, deserves an award (and a slap in the face) for worst dying act ever.
Disregarding the typically, for this time, overacted characters, this is balanced by the usual excellent acting of Cushing and Lee.

The plot was what least impressed me (if we ignore that lady dying): the possessed skull made people steal demonic statues and draw pentagrams and kill each other.
Err, and why? To steal their life supply? Just for shits and giggles?
Are we implying that this was what Marquis de Sade did in life? Being that he was the one possessed in the first place. And how did this happen? Was it only the skull the possessed part or would this have worked if they stole, like, his femur? Was he a born demon or did it show up at some point? I feel like this was less a story about a collector finding a dodgy item and more a slice-of-life tale of the skull’s life.

Voices of a Distant Star (ほしのこえ) 2002 and Makoto Shinkai

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It’s bank holiday weekend here in the UK and it was supposed to be hot and sunny. However, unsurprisingly, we got hot, stuffy and thunderstormy instead. Since it’s been pissing down all day I hardly left the house except to go grocery shopping. Which was a great opportunity to carry on my Makoto Shinkai binge watching, which I believe I have formed an opinion about. (Also explaining why these last three posts were about his films)

But first, about Voices of a Distant Star:
A short film of around 25 minutes, immediately the art is the most obvious difference, it’s not painful to look at, but the other films are far superior. Which makes sense, since Voices of a Distant Star was made in 2002.
Thing is, the amazingly drawn and animated settings were the highest point in every single one of these films. So that left VoaDS with not much besides the plot.
And the plot (as surprising as the fact that it’s raining in England) is about a middle school girl and a middle school boy, who have a crush on each other but no particular relationship status.
This takes place in “the future”, where 15-year-old Mikako gets recruited to a space battle (what?) and promises to keep in touch with her dearest Noboru via text message. The further Mikako is from Earth the longer the texts take to arrive.

(spoiler ahead, can I even call this a spoiler if the fucking film is only 25 minutes long, I mean) Continue reading

5 Centimetres Per Second (Byousoku 5 Centimeter 秒速5センチメートル ) 2007

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Takaki and Akari are very close childhood friends, when Akari moves away to another city they keep in touch by exchanging letters. Then Takaki’s family decides to move to the very south, and before he goes Takaki decides to visit Akari before their distance increases even further.

Was a bit slow paced to begin with, and it kept being slow paced. And then it ended and I realised it had been an hour long story with a 15 minute plot.

Here comes the spoilering: Continue reading

Your Name (君の名は Kimi No Na Wa) 2016

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I totally forgot about this film while it was in the cinemas, so I’ve only recently watched it.
First of all I need to say I liked the plot, and the animation, won’t even bother to comment, it’s gorgeous as expected, second I want to add that I found there were many unnecessary things.

It’s easy to pick on what is happening as soon as Mitsuha, who lives in rural Japan, wakes up to feel very confused about her body, as if it wasn’t her own. And in Tokyo, a boy named Taki, wakes up to realise he’s in a very unfamiliar environment as well. Their souls are shown to be swapping bodies for not yet mentioned reason, and in order to be able to live each other’s lives, they leave notes and diary entries to keep up. Some days they wake up in their own bodies, some days they swap. This happens often and randomly, and going to sleep triggers the exchange.

And anything past here, will be a spoiler: Continue reading

Polar Bear Café (しろくまカフ)

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I’ve  started watching the Polar Bear Café (しろくまカフ Shirokuma Café) on recommendation.
This one is very much as i like light animes to be, silly and random.
It’s a slice of life about a lazy Panda who needs to get a job, a Polar Bear who owns a café and their friends. Animals and humans casually mixed together.. So many puns. I love the puns. It’s really entertaining and pleasant. It doesn’t try too hard too hard and it doesn’t need to.
They talk about organic food and loads of coffee.
If nothing else, the art is really beautiful and the look it’s very light hearted as is the plot.
I’m quite happy with this discovery and i might give the manga a look.