Medi(@)Slave - spoilers ahead
#InsideLlewynDavis review

The film tells the story of Llewyn Davis, a one time folk singer who was part of a duo, who after losing his partner, and making his own solo record, is trying to get his life together.

Llewyn Davis isn’t a nice man. He lives on peoples couches, taking advantage of them and is a permanent slacker. He’s a penniless artist trying to make a name for himself and doing whatever he can to survive. The thing that makes him so unlikeable is that everything is about him. He has an air of entitlement about him and thinks he is better than everyone else. Yet you cant help but feel sorry for him. It’s a good job by the actor taking this arrogant character and somehow making you want to root for him.

John Goodman’s character is the older, more haggard version of Llewyn. Still playing shows, having made it a little bit when he was younger. Its probably why their characters don’t like each other.

The film ends exactly how it started, and even though it seems like Llewyn is going to try and move on with his life, something always gets in the way, and makes him just continue on this endless cycle of sleeping on peoples couches and trying to make it big. 

Best Films of 2013

This is a compilation of the best films of 2013, I have a cineworld card, which afford me free films for a fee per month, and have watched many a film. I’ve pretty much seen every film which is released at the cineworlds nearest to me.

Special Mentions go to the following films (in no particular order)

Frozen, Gravity, Nebraska , The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Captain Phillips, Elysium, The Way Way Back, The Worlds End, Blue Jasmine, All is Lost, Rush, Saving Mr Banks

In the names of the films will be linked to the previous blogs I wrote about them, which may or may not go into more depth into why I liked it.

5) Populaire

I don’t know why, but I found this film really charming. It wasn’t the most original of ideas, but it had a certain old school feel to it. It felt very much like a screwball comedy from the 50s.

4) This is the End

This film is Seth Rogen back to his very best. It has been a while since he has made a film which has made me laugh out loud, and this is probably one of his best films to date. The way they were able to play with their “characters” and the publics preconceived notions of them was a masterstroke.

3) Philomena

This film came out of nowhere for me. I hadn’t seen a single trailer for it, and all I had seen was the poster, so I knew nothing coming into it. What I saw was a great story, not only of faith but of hope.

2) Mud

I watch so many films every week, and many of them leave my mind, but for a long time, whenever someone asked me for a film recommendation or what I thought was my film of the year – it was Mud. Mud was just a great coming of age story, for not only a child, but a man-child.

1) Short Term 12

I can’t tell you how much I loved this film. Much like Captain Phillips, it just felt so personal to me (I used to work on cruise ships, hence Captain Phillips – and I used to work in childcare, hence Short Term 12). I can’t write anymore good words about this film, instantly after watching it I knew it would be my film of the year – go read my review (link in the title) 

Best TV Shows of 2013

This is a compilation of the Best TV shows of 2013, they can be long standing shows, sophomore shows, or new shows, only episodes from 2013 will count. IN MY OPINION these are the worst shows of 2013, if you disagree then so be it.

I generally give shows a one season watch, I feel this is in order, because a lot can change over the course of a season, a bad show can turn around, and vice versa, judging from a pilot is never really a good move in my eyes, because some pilots can be quite in your face, trying to sell it to you, and sometimes, as the shows get on throughout the season, a show can find its feet, and find where it wants to tell its story.

3) Rectify (6 episodes)

Rectify is a simple premise, a guy gets out of prison after mistakenly being put there for a crime it seems he didn’t commit (its still up in the air) and has to deal with life on the outside world. Having gone in, in his late teens, he comes out still a man child. The thing about the show, is just how it is shot – it is beautiful and really shows how small the character feels in such a small town.

2) Bates Motel (10 episodes)

Bates Motel was a great show, and one I tuned into every week waiting with baited breath to see what happened. The main thing I liked about it, was that even though it was a modern day retelling, it still had that old school feel to it, especially in the characters costumes. The only reason you knew it was modern day was every now and then they would pull out a cell phone or something like that. It really made the Norma/Norman relationship creepy, and very incestuous. The actor who played Norman Bates as well did a great job in “switching” from nice guy to all around Psycho

1) Orphan Black (10 episodes)

I didn’t know anything about Orphan Black, not one thing, but I watched it when it came out, and was instantly hooked. Its not even the whole sci-fi clone thing which hooked me in, it was the characters. All the clones are obviously played by the same person, but each of them is so well defined and interesting. Also at the same time having one clone play another shows just how much faith the writers/directors have in the main actress. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about this show, and am really excited for the second season.

Worst Films of 2013

This is a compilation of the worst films of 2013, I have a cineworld card, which afford me free films for a fee per month, and have watched many a film. I’ve pretty much seen every film which is released at the cineworlds nearest to me.

Special Mentions go to the following films (in no particular order)

Diana, Prince Avalanche, The Bling Ring, To the Wonder, Baggage Claim, Grown Ups 2, Renoir, A Haunted House, Spike Island, Summer in February, After Earth, Closed Circuit

In the names of the films will be linked to the previous blogs I wrote about them, which may or may not go into more depth into why I didn’t like it.

5) Spring Breakers

The film just felt like the directors way of having a party, and filming it. It just felt seedy and sordid – sure that’s probably how it was meant to feel – but it was just uncomfortable viewing, and just plain boring.

4) Only God Forgives

The film is the externalizing of what someone is feeling on the inside. Its well shot, but then there just isn’t that great a storyline or dialogue to be entertaining. Ryan Goslings performance in this is much like a robot – I’m sure he doesn’t blink once throughout the film – and it just felt pretentious and overhyped. 

3) The Counsellor

This film was like watching an adult version of Dawsons Creek, but instead of having long boring conversations with each other – it was two people just talking at each other in some kind of existential pretentious monologing.

2) Movie 43

This didn’t feel like a film, it felt like a sketch show, and one which wasn’t very enjoyable considering the talent they had in it.

1) The Harry Hill Movie

Don’t get me wrong, I like Harry Hill and his humour, but this was just too surreal for me, and it just felt too meta for my liking. 

Worst TV Shows of 2013

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This is a compilation of the worst TV shows of 2013, they can be long standing shows, sophomore shows, or new shows, only episodes from 2013 will count. IN MY OPINION these are the worst shows of 2013, if you disagree then so be it.

I generally give shows a one season watch, I feel this is in order, because a lot can change over the course of a season, a bad show can turn around, and vice versa, judging from a pilot is never really a good move in my eyes, because some pilots can be quite in your face, trying to sell it to you, and sometimes, as the shows get on throughout the season, a show can find its feet, and find where it wants to tell its story.

3) The Following (15 episodes)

The Following should have been good, it had a great concept, and Kevin Bacon in the lead role. But it just became the Kevin Bacon show. Sure The Bacon is a good actor – but was so good it was on the verge of a Gary Stu character – one who was perfect. Sure they tried to give him flaws, but they were only used sparingly (or to give the bad guys a chance to run away). The show made the police officers seem incompetent, had the bad guys hole up in a house (pretty much making it villain big brother), and made it impossible to empathise with anybody because they always tried to shock you by having someone die or turn out to be a bad guy.

2) Revolution (19 episodes)

Revolution had a lot of promise, I was really excited for it, but it just wasn’t that great. The main character was awful, and eventually replaced by her mother, who also was an awful character. They had characters who were no more than background but tried to make them seem important by the end and yea, I stopped watching after the first season it was so bad.

1) Da Vincis Demons (8 episodes)

This was awful, I don’t know why I didn’t like it that much, it was just something I felt I had to watch because of my “one season” rule, but whenever I did watch it, it invariably became background noise. The fact that all the male characters looked the same made it hard for me to even remember anyone’s names, and it just seemed like it didn’t know what it wanted to be – was it a detective drama? Was it a supernatural show? Who knows? 

#47Ronin review

The film tells the story of two cities. One of which has a plot against it by the other city. In order to take it over, they kill the “major” and are given a year before the two cities can join. In the lead up to the end of that year – the former samurai who governed the city have gotten together and plan to take back their city but also to gain revenge for their master.

To me the film is an Asian fairytale of a more nobel time in Frugal Japan. A time where honour and tradition were big things.

The film shows that Samurai were the “police” of their day, but if they had no master, they were Ronin – shamed. When they stumble upon a “white man” – something which was uncommon back in the day – they see him as bad luck and outcast him. Yet their master sees something good in him and they keep him, much like a stray pet.

The White Man is not taken seriously, but at the end of the day, he takes the treatment because “he doesn’t know any better”. In the end he is the one who is able to bring the Ronin together, and is integral to the mission. Eventually being accepted into the “family”

#AllIsLost review

The film tells the story of a man who whilst sailing alone, runs into trouble with his boat, when a stray shipping container crashes into him. After fixing the hole in his boat, the man then runs into a storm, which not only tests his sailing ability, but also eventually sinks his boat. The man finds himself in a life raft, and trying to survive.

The film plays out in pretty much complete silence, apart from an opening narration and the occasional word. It’s a bold move on the part of the film, but then again, that’s the thing about sailing – most of the time its about solitude. Its you and the waves, just your thoughts. Robert Redford does a great job at externalising his thoughts and does it in a way that draws you in – especially the later parts at where he seems his most desperate.

The film is a basic – man vs the element’s story. With Robert Redford on his own against a storm. Not only is he against the storm, but most of his high tech equipment is frazzled, so he is using old techniques which makes it a more basic man as opposed to modern day man. During the film, you realise that Redford is a veteran of the seas, he is always calm, and always knows what to do. As it goes on, you can see him get more and more desperate, scared of dying alone in the middle of the sea.

The film ends with him – attempting to drown himself when he uses his life raft as a way of getting attention. During this he lets himself sink when all seems lost – and then you see a light coming from the top, and him swimming to the top and “being saved”. I think that this is all a figment of his imagination and that he died, and this is him “going to heaven” so to speak.

The reason why I think I liked this movie so much is because I used to work on ships, so not only did I know a couple of the things he was going to do before he did it, it also brought my worst fears of working on cruise ships to the front, and made me question how I would have handled the same situation. 

#TheSecretLifeOfWalterMitty review

The film tells the story of Walter Mitty, a man who works at life, and is high up and respected by the main photographer. When he is sent the final cover picture of Life, and it seems to be lost – Walter, a man who usually is caught up in his own imagination – ends up going on a “treasure hunt” for the photographer in order to find out about the photo.

Walter Mitty seems like an ordinary man, one who just seems to play it safe, instead coming up with fantasies in his head about what he should be doing or how he should act out. He is a reliable man, and one who is relied on heavily by his family. As the film goes on we realise that, after his fathers death, Walter became the man of the house, and started to look after his family, even if it meant sacrificing his dreams. He doesn’t begrudge them this, its just something he did.

The episode then becomes a life affirming story, with Walter finally getting out of his routine of life, and just living. In the span of a couple of days, he goes a journey to try and find a man – a photographer, with whom he needs to talk about a photo. Whilst on the trip, he realises that amazing things just don’t happen in your mind, they happen in real life – all you have to do is go out and seize it.

The thing about the film though it that it lost me halfway through, and after a great opening, the middle started to drag and the ending just felt a little anticlimactic. 

#TheButler review

A orphan is taught how to serve during the olden days, and eventually works his way up to being a butler in the white house. He works there for most of his life, and sees a lots of presidential terms, all whilst becoming estranged from his family, especially his son who tries to fight for black rights, all whilst he is slowly gaining more clout in the white house.

The film tells the slow story of black peoples rights, told from the point of view from someone in the middle of it. Someone who wasn’t able to have a direct say, but did hold enough sway to make people think about it.

Much like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X – the Butler and his son are sides of the same coin, both of them wanting the same thing but going in different directions in how they go about trying to make that change, it is also a nice touch when they switch sides and start to see how they other one was living, making them able to empathize with each other.

Change doesn’t happen overnight – it happens in waves, slowly, but surely you are able to break down peoples thoughts.

#DonJon review

The film tells the story of a man who is addicted to porn, even though he has his fair share of women, he still cant seem to get away from it. When he seems to have the perfect girlfriend, his addiction gets in their way of their relationship, and he eventually finds solace in a broken woman in his college class.

The film is about addiction, and how it can numb you to emotions when it comes to the opposite sex. The fact that this mans addiction is to porn also make its seem like he objectifies women – when he tries something new – being in a relationship – with seemingly the perfect woman, our hero still cant seem to get that satisfaction that he does from watching porn.

Our hero has a valid point that porn is no better than the romantic comedies that people watch – it’s a fairytale, something which puts forward a style of life that is very rare, much like when you watch porn.

The film works as a rom com for guys, with it going through the usual rom com type tropes – the big first kiss, the having a perfect relationship only to realise that the real person for you is someone you never thought it would be.