2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Interview Movie: Giving the Finger to Kim Jong-un

kim-jong-un-the-interviewI will be very honest here, I adore Seth Rogen and James Franco as a team and in The Interview movie, where they give the finger, or more accurately a tank round, to Kim Jong-un these two prove yet again, just how good they are together. Long introductory sentences aside, the point about the film is this, a feature does not have to be high art to be popular, period. Yet we have a score of “film critics” who are now pontificating about the merits, and lack thereof, of the film and its plot, characters, etc, etc, etc…

Does anyone really care? I know that for the last year (Its not really that long but I’m too lazy to work out the exact time period.) I’ve been an illustrious member of the Nevada Film Critics Society. I can hear you in the back, “Well look at you!” It is not that impressive, to explain let’s just say that the average cinema goer dislikes the fact that the press get their own roped off section in the theatre and leave it at that. Still it is a great, non paying gig, and I’ve met some great folks who have opinions about films.

Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to speak to any of them about the film so let us talk, for a very, very short time, about the movie The Interview, which does indeed give Kim Jong-un the metaphorical finger, or two fingers if you are British. First of all, it should be pointed out that Sony and Rogen have hit ironic gold with this film. Secondly, it should be pointed out that even with out the North Korean threats and cyber terrorism, the film would have run “mad crazy” at the box office.

Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview

It is a great film. (I’ve watched it no less than four times since purchasing it.) I adore it. It is a brilliant combination of clunky humor intermixed with black comedy merged with all the signature references that people have come to expect from a Rogen film. Think Pineapple Express and This is the End here.

Even parts of the film not related to North Korea are funny. The scene where Eminem declares, no less than four times, that he is gay is hysterically funny. The dead pan delivery sells the humor here and it leaves the viewer wondering just how many takes that one took to “get it in the can.”

The film is full of such short punchy comedy. James Franco, waking from an epic ecstasy and booze filled party, shouting about his “stink-d*ck” while the CIA listen in for example. Even the longer bits are funny, the scene with the tiger had me in stitches, not to mention reaching for the rewind button the second it finished. The entire scene with the rocket is worth the price of admission, or not admission if you watch it online.

This was, quite possibly, the best Christmas gift ever. Brilliantly funny, not intellectually so, but, repeat after me children, “film does not have be high art to be entertaining.” The Interview movie is not just giving the metaphorical finger to Kim Jong-un, it is telling the world that Rogen and Franco as a team are unbeatable. The film can be rented or purchased online from a few outlets, do not look for it on Amazon or iTunes however as they lacked the cojones to stream this film.

At around $6 to rent, or $16.99 to purchase, The Interview is worth a look. If you are fans of Rogen to begin with and even if you are not, take a look to see what got Kim Jong-un’s knickers in a twist. This is a real 5 out of 5 star film here, it pretty much hits all the cylinders square on.

Kim Jong-un in The Interview

Michael Smith

The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch is Quirky British Hero (Review)

The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch is Quirky British Hero (Review)

The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch as the quirky British war hero Alan Turing is a fascinating film, it strives to be somewhat autobiographical in nature, while it gives a truncated version of Turing’s contribution to the mastering of the Nazi code machine Enigma. The movie also tells of the horrid injustice done to the man who could be called the father of the modern day computer. Alan was a homosexual at a time when it was against the law in England and after the war the man was prosecuted under the Draconian laws of that time and rather than go to prison, Turing opted for chemical castration, aka hormonal treatment. Two years after his conviction the 41 year old secret war hero was found dead from cyanide poisoning.

The Gambler: Mark Wahlberg Leaves Audience Dumbfounded and Depressed

The Gambler: Mark Wahlberg Leaves Audience Dumbfounded and Depressed

Mark Wahlberg is Jim Bennett in this remake of the 1974 James Caan film The Gambler and as directed by Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) this version leaves the audience dumbfounded, depressed and not a little confused. Like the original film, Wahlberg’s gambler is a academic figure, a professor who teaches literature at an unidentified Los Angeles college. Jim Bennett is a published author who has given up writing to teach it, or rather to discourage others from participating as writers.

Into the Woods: Disney Does Broadway Beautifully (Review and Trailer)

Into the Woods: Disney Does Broadway Beautifully (Review and Trailer)

Having never seen any stage version of this Stephen Sondheim musical it is much easier to take this big screen adaptation of Into the Woods at face value and while Disney does do Broadway beautifully, the film, for all its hype and fan excitement, does not overwhelm or overly impress. Certainly the movie looks gorgeous, the costumes, the set designs, the actors, with the exclusion of James Corden as the baker are all equally beautiful.

Unbroken: Angelina Jolie Tribute to Olympic POW (Review and Trailer)

Unbroken: Angelina Jolie Tribute to Olympic POW (Review and Trailer)

The Angelina Jolie tribute to an Olympic WWII POW in her film Unbroken, can either be seen as a patriotic salute to one man’s incredible spirit and refusal to give in under the most extreme of pressures. Or it could be an overlong attempt to ride the long wave of popularity caused by Laura Hillenbrand’s best selling 2010 book of the same name. Not that this latter possibility should be seen in a negative light, what the late Louis Zamperini went through, and survived, is an amazing story of a young man who beats his captors by never giving up.

‘Big Eyes’ Amy Adams Paints In Secret (Review and Trailer)

‘Big Eyes’ Amy Adams Paints In Secret (Review and Trailer)

In Tim Burton’s latest effort, Big Eyes, there is no sign of Johnny Depp and instead Amy Adams paints in secret as Margaret Keane while Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane takes credit for the the big eyed children in his wife’s paintings. This true tale is based upon the 1980s court case where the artistic couple went to battle in a Honolulu courtroom to prove who really was the creator of the “waifs” who took the world by storm, earned Mr. Keane millions and made fans of Hollywood stars who commissioned paintings done that featured the large eyed children.