Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Female Movie Voiceover

At a trip to the cinema recently, it struck me that the voiceover for every trailers is always a man.

I don't think I've ever heard a female voice for trailers and I wonder why. Sure, it feels like it should be a bloke, but when you listen to this:

I don't have a problem with this at all.

It's time to redress the balance, people. Let's have more female voicovers for trailers please!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Films I've seen of late (August)

#44 Doctor Strange (2016)
Marvel is at it again with yet another superhero instalment, this time featuring neurosurgeon-turned-mystic warrior Steven Strange. Not particularly original as a superhero film but at least it doesn't take itself too seriously. Some impressive visuals, but lacklustre plot.

#45 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
An enduring and timeless classic, Oz set the benchmark for all fantasy films made ever since. The tale of Dorothy, the scarecrow, tin man and lion is told with innocence, wit and humour - all in glorious 1930s cinematic technicolor.

#46 Blind Date / A Little, a Lot, Blindly (2015)
A charming French-language film that tells the tale of two introverts living in apartments next to each other who gradually strike up a relationship by talking through their thin partition wall - and not actually meeting. Despite this slightly unrealistic premise, the two leads are enjoyable to watch as they navigate an unusual journey of romance.

#47 Independence Day: Resurgence (2015)
Sequel to the alien-invasion disaster movie that spawned numerous imitators. This, too, sadly is far from original - rehashing the original premise but just making everything more ludicrous. Whilst it's interesting to see what has happened to the main characters after 20 years (well, apart from Will Smith's), it just lacks any of the heart and soul of its predecessor.

#48 Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015)
George Clooney does some kid-friendly Disney that has some dark edges. Inventive and entertaining, it is nice to hear a message of hope for a change (one of the themes of the movie). There is still, however, something missing from the film - leaving it somewhat dissatisfying.

#49 The Phantom (1996)
Billy Zane is the titular hero in this comic-book caper, with plenty of nods to other adventure films like Indiana Jones and Batman. Despite feeling a bit rushed in places, and having a couple of daft stunt scenes, Zane is enjoyable as the mysterious but chivalrous hero.

#50 Keeping up with the Joneses (2016)
A glamourous, attractive couple move in to an idyllic American cul-de-sac and befriend their neighbours who suspect something's not right, soon discovering that the newcomers are actually spies. Much hilarity and mayhem ensures. Fairly predictable but enjoyable comedy.

#51 Event Horizon (1997)
Cult horror often described as 'The Shining' in space. Has some shortcomings and there's clearly a heavy 'Alien' influence, but it still holds up well twenty years later. Whilst a more gruesome film was originally planned and shot, the heavily edited version which ended up as the final cut is enough for me.

#52 Detroit (2017)
Police brutality and racial tension is put under the spotlight in this harrowing drama set during the '67 Detroit riots. The performances are excellent but the overlong script sadly induces a sense of boredom about an important subject.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Offworld Feature Film - Trailer

Offworld is an independent feature film that was shot in Wales earlier this year. I have been part of the post-production team, working on the edit and have helped to put together this trailer:
We hope to release the final film in December / January.
Please like and share to support independent productions!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Films I've seen of late (July)

#34 Galaxy Quest (1999)
This Star Trek spoof perfectly hits the mark as it lampoons the classic show and its obsessive fan following. There are a couple of plot holes that don't really work if you think too hard about it, but ignoring that, Galaxy Quest is a fun story.

#35 RIPD (2013)
Nowhere near as bad as what I was expecting. Essentially Men In Black with demons/undead ghosts: two dead cops (Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds) on the case of a baddie played by Kevin Bacon. Bridges' mumbly cowboy dialogue is not the easiest to follow but Ryan Reynolds does a good turn as the rookie. Popcorn-pleasing fun.

#36 Bridget Jones' Baby (2016)
Bridget Jones returns, and this time she's having a baby, except she doesn't know who the father is. This sequel feels slightly forced and unnecessary (especially after over a decade's hiatus) but is enjoyable in places and has its moments.

#37 Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Another effort to cash in on the Minions / Gru phenomenon, D3 is a reasonable sequel. Gru learns he has a twin brother and takes him on a mission to rescue a stolen diamond from an ex-80s-child-TV-star-turned-villain. Contains heaps of 80s references and in-jokes to keep the parents of the target audience happy (I know exactly what you're doing, Universal).

#38 A Million Ways To Die In The West (2015)
Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane is the loser sheep farmer unlucky in love who, through a chance encounter, ends up falling in love with the local psycho bandit's wife. Plenty of crude humour abounds in this goofy western that manages to strike the right balance between comedy and period love story (of sorts).

#39 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Sequel to the Apes franchise reboot that lives up to its predecessor, with impressive CGI and action pieces. The simian flu has wiped out most of humanity, leaving the genetically engineered apes to live in relative peace in the mountains outside a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. A chance encounter between the apes and surviving humans is the catalyst for a bitter struggle for supremacy. We know how it's going to pan out, but the story keeps you hooked all the same (plus it's got an ape weilding machine guns atop a horse - you can't beat that!).

#40 Baby Driver (2017)
Edgar Wright is clearly having a blast in this ultra-cool bank heist 'action musical'. Weirdly, it has a bit of an unsteady start but soon turns up the revs with spectacular action sequences all to the tune and rhythm of an excellent soundtrack.

#41 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Kingsman is an attempt to reinvent the spy actioner with plenty of tongue-in-cheek antics and over the top violence. It does the job fairly well, but everything still seems all to familiar. Some good scenes and witty one liners just about save the day.

#42 Nocturnal Animals (2016)
A wealthy art dealer regains contact with her ex-husband in this dark and moody tale of revenge and betrayal, with events playing out between the story of a novel and the real world. Nocturnal Animals is not easy watching but the acting and cinematography keeps you engaged.

#43 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
I really wanted to see this when I was a kid, but I'm glad I didn't. In some ways, not as bad as everyone says (especially considering its miniscule budget and the fact that most of it was filmed in Milton Keynes of all places), but still an awful film. The set up seems to work OK but then it rushes to the end, presumably to put the viewer out of his or her misery.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The wonder of Toffifee

I've recently rediscovered the magnificent treat that is Toffifee (weirdly marketed under the name 'Toffifay' in the US) - a caramel/chocolate/hazelnut combo that is truly yummy.

I have a childhood memory of Toffifee always featuring in the 'hamper' section of Christmas catalogues. Whilst it falls into the same confectionary category as 'Quality Street' and 'Celebrations' I don't think Toffifee has ever been regarded as an equal - and yet they taste just as good as anything Cadbury or Mars can make. For some reason, I wasn't all too sure how to regard Toffifee when I was younger. Were they chocolates or some other category of sweet? I could never tell. Sadly, for decades my weird brain regarded Toffifee with a mild distrust for no logical reason.

Until now.

I recieved these little pods of joy for Father's day and I am determined to no longer treat these treats as second-class citizens.

Don't pass them by - give them a chance. I know you won't regret it (unless you have nut allergies of course).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My current TV viewing

Thanks to the wonder of streaming, Wifey and I are now plugged in to a plethora of TV shows all waiting to be rabidly consumed. Here's what we've been watching:


- Stranger Things
The perfect blend of horror, mystery and 80s nostalgia, Stanger Things is probably the first show we have properly binge-watched (at least, for a while). Can't wait for series two in the autumn.

- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The hopelessly optimistic Kimmy is the ultimate antidote to modern life. We're onto Season 2 and it's doing OK so far. Not as hilarious as the first series, but maybe it's because I'm used to the surreal humour.

- Designated Survivor
A slow burn conspiracy thriller, Kiefer Sutherland is perfect as the lowly cabinet member thrust into the highest office in the land after a terrorist attack on Capitol Hill. Makes me wish Kiefer was president instead of that bumbling orange moronic man-child.

- Master of None
Aziz Anzari's comedy is full of observational wit surrounding the highs and lows of being a millennial / thirtysomething. Throws in some scathing commentary on racial prejudice in America too.

- Archer
I've not watched much of this, but Archer's idiotic spy is a great take on the genre (and hilarious too).

- The Handmaid's Tale (Channel 4)
HBO's adaptation of the acclaimed novel about a dystopian America is more poignant and timely than the book itself. Scarily the premise doesn't seem too far fetched in this post-Obama world.

- Mad Men (DVD)
We're finally onto the last series after several years of watching it on and off. Even though not much seems to happen in an episode, it's still compelling viewing. I will miss Jon Hamm's deeply flawed anti-hero Don Draper (though not much - he's a misogynistic jerk, after all).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kneel before your insect overlords

Since my little ones were given some pets for last Christmas, I have become the primary carer of 'new' little ones in the shape of Eurocantha Calcaratha 'spiny devil' stick insects. They have steadily grown from little critters to fearsome looking mini-beasts.

Thankfully, they are vegetarian through and through, so won't be swarming the family home looking to devour pesky humans anytime soon.

Or at least that's what I'm hoping.

I'm dreading the day when the female gets clucky and decides to breed. I'm not sure what we'll do when that happens...