Posted on December 31, 2012 by Darren
As well as counting down the top twelve films, I’m also going to count down my top twelve movie related “moments” of 2012. The term “moment” is elastic, so expect some crazy nonsense here. And, as usual, I accept that my taste is completely absurd, so I fully expect you to disagree. With that in mind, this is #1…
If you ever need proof of how delightfully absurd The Muppets was, the sight of Oscar-winner Chris Cooper dancing and rapping across his desk, only to unleash a storeroom full of chorus girls while Jason Segel looks on in confusion should do the trick. It’s a fantastic moment because it’s so ridiculously surreal. Cooper is rapping for about a minute of screen-time, meaning that it’s over before it has really begun – leaving both the characters and the audience wondering what the hell just happened.
In a great way.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Academy Award, amy adams, art, avengers, Bret McKenzie, Chris Cooper, Dark Knight Rises, film, Hollywood Reporter, jason segel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kermit, Lion King, Movie, multimedia, Muppet, New York City, popular culture, ricky gervais, Ty Burrell | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Darren
Ted is an impressive directorial debut from Seth McFarlane, the creator and star of Family Guy. Those familiar with McFarlane’s work will know what to expect from Ted. It’s loud, it’s crude, it’s full of retro pop culture references, but it’s also constructed with almost surreal innocence and earnestness. McFarlane can be brutal at times, and he does make a few cheap shots here or there over the course of Ted. (Take that, Justin Beiber! Take that, Brandon Routh!) However, for the most part, the film actually does a remarkable job of balancing its crass in-your-face offensiveness with a weird emotional warmth. At it’s heart, Ted is still the story of a boy and his teddy bear. It just so happens to be a really messed up teddy bear.
Bear with me…
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: adam sandler, brandon routh, family guy, film, John, Lori, mark wahlberg, McFarlane, mila kunis, non-review review, Peter Griffin, popular culture, review, Seth MacFarlane, Seth McFarlane, TED, Teddy bear, will ferrell | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 12, 2011 by Darren
Return of the Living Dead is a fairly strange beast. Something of a black comedy spin-off from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the film is a ridiculously campy exploration of trashy low-rent horror… and yet somehow has been picked up and embraced by popular culture. After all, this is the movie that introduced the idea that zombies weren’t just satiated by consuming large quantities of meat (most often from humans) – this was the film which introduced the idea of zombies stumbling forward, repeatedly droning “braaaaains!” It’s a concept which has been so throughly incorporated into pop culture’s definition of zombie (although it’s rarely the case, we still expect it and recognise it), so it seems strange that it came from a spoof.
No bones about it...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Dan O'Bannon, film, george romero, horror, Horror film, Living Dead, Michael Jackson, Movie, Movies, night of the living dead, non-review review, parody, popular culture, return of the living dead, review, sam raimi, schlock, zombie | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 31, 2011 by Darren
That was a fun month.
I’m still, to be honest, entirely speechless. I picked up the Best Pop Culture Award at the Irish Blog Awards earlier this month, and I’m still delighted and humbled and honoured and all those things. I know I don’t blog to win awards, but I really feel motivated to try even harder to justify the huge vote of confidence that it represents.
Other than that, there was tonnes of stuff. I’m currently blogging along with Things That Don’t Suck‘s “Raimi-fest”, which is a blast. Always a joy to be asked to take part. March also had some fairly decent films – with two brilliant films in Source Code and The Adjustment Bureau, along with a slew of quite good films to go along with it. So that was pretty fantastic. Although maybe I’m just a big softie.
I got to ramble (at length) about the upcoming Superman film, and revisit Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (and just why he was so damn suited to it). I had my first honest-to-goodness interview, with the wonderful Grace Dyas.
I defended big budget blockbusters, wondered who killed The Mountains of Madness and got to discuss why this year’s Academy Awards felt like a great big group hug.
It was a fun month. Hopefully the trend will continue!
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Academy Award, Adjustment Bureau, arts, Belfast, irish blog awards, Movie, popular culture, sam raimi, source code, spider man, spider-man 3 | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 9, 2011 by Darren
We made the final of the Irish Blog Awards in the Best Pop Culture category. It’s an honour to be nominated again, and we’ll see you all for the final in Belfast next Saturday.
It’s an honour to make the final alongside such Irish blogging institutions as:
A huge congratulations to those who made the final list, and commiserations to those who didn’t.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Europa Hotel, irish blog awards, popular culture | 17 Comments »
Posted on November 6, 2010 by Darren
Jumping The Shark is the moment when an established show changes in a significant manner in an attempt to stay fresh. Ironically, that moment makes the viewers realise that the show has finally run out of ideas. It has reached its peak, it will never be the same again, and from now on it’s all downhill.
Jumping the Sharks is a small, quirky play. Essentially a one-man one-act play following the triumph and decline of a Hollywood big shot as he waits in what must be limbo while outlining the seven core stories, it banks a lot on the central performance of Don Wycherley. Wycherley, an actor you might recognise from Perrier’s Bounty or Sweeney Todd, gives the play his all as former television executive and now dearly departed Nick Cross, managing to seem a convincing and charming conversationalist on a sparse stage. His delivery is truly impressive, inviting the audience to overlook some of the sleight of hand the play uses, and helping the hour breeze by.
Swimming with sharks...
Filed under: Theatre | Tagged: Theatre, dublin, popular culture, arts, Aaron Sorkin, Jump the Shark, Happy Days, Fonzie, nick cross, don wycherley, blood in the alley, dublin theatre, smock alley, smock alley theatre, jumping the sharks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 31, 2009 by Darren
With The Avengers universe building up – Marvel’s plan to introduce a bunch of comic book characters through solo films and tie them together into one big team-up movie -, there is one of the prequels (if we can call them that – they aren’t really prequels or sequels and some aren’t even origins) that I am really interested in. It isn’t Favreau and Downey’s Iron Man 2, nor is it Branagh’s Thor. I am most interested in how the Captain America movie comes about – particularly at the moment. This has nothing to do with the charmingly awful version we saw about twenty years ago. This is more to do with how the most blatantly American superhero will do overseas.
America, F%!& Yeah!
Filed under: Comics, Movies | Tagged: america, americana, avengers, barrack obama, captain america, captain america: the first avenger, Comics, films, indiana jones, iron man 2, marvel, Movies, obama, politics, popular culture, the avengers, thor, world war 2 | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 28, 2009 by Darren
It’s a good time to be a nerd. When exactly did it happen? How did Star Trek become cool again? When did nearly half of all blockbusters find their roots in the oft-mocked comic book artform? When did Comic Con become a major event in the Hollywood calendar? When did it become truly hip to be square?
Filed under: Comics, Movies, Opinion | Tagged: arts, blockbusters, comic book movies, comic books, comic con, culture, films, geeks, graphic novels, mainstream, Movies, nerds, pop culture, popular consciousness, popular culture, popular taste, prestige | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 24, 2009 by Darren
I discovered a really fascinating movie-related concept this week, from my better half, who in turn picked it up from the Irish Times magazine. Basically, it’s The Bechdel Rule. Basically it states that the eponymous author will only watch movies that meet three simple conditions:
It has to have at least two women in it…
… who talk to each other…
.. about something besides a man.
There’s also a suggested corollary (known as the Mo Movie Measure) that the two women must be named characters. I’m dubious about using the test as a measure of quality, but it is interesting to think about how many movies meet that criteria. And which movies don’t.
So, does talking about how crap their lives are because they are oppressed by men count?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: bechdel rule, equality, feminism, feminism in movies, gender, Movies, popular culture, roles, Television, the bechdel rule, the mo movie measure, women, women in movies | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 14, 2009 by Darren
I am a nerd. I openly acknowledge that. In fact, I revel in it. I like to think I enjoy a broad sampling of all artforms, enjoying a nice play, a well-illustrated comic book, a compelling television miniseries, a smartly put together Oscar-baiting drama and a nice book, among other things. I’m not a snob – I love ‘big dumb fun’. I also like niche and wacky nerdy stuff. And I can appreciate the occasional bad writing that creeps into these genres – because isn’t bad writing everywhere? (Anyone reading this blog would likely agree.) And I really enjoy the vast majority of fans – the people who have a genuine interest in the subject matter. I never got why if you were an expert in Lewis Carroll Stevenson you were a literary connoisseur, but if you embraced the world of JRR Tolkien you were a fan. I love that people embrace these works and discuss them and think about them. That’s something encouraging to see in any media – engagement. But there is one element about these niche artforms that does throw me for a whirl, and it’s a perception that makes my somewhat shy to acknowledge that I embrace these forms of art. Yes: it’s the dreaded fanboy.
Things David Tennant would rather listen to than fanboy complaints...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: backlash, children of earth, cult, fanboys, fandom, fandumb, fans, james moran, Movies, popular culture, Television, torchwood, torchwood: children of earth | 3 Comments »