Reviews

The Revenant Immedate Responses

I’m not going to write a review because it would never compare to the hundreds of others which actually have insightful things to say. But I wanted to contribute something after seeing this film. Because Leo might actually win an Oscar this time.

I often find the best film commentary occurs in the first words, or even just the looks, straight after the credits roll. Or the most honest, or funny. These are some valuable comments my group of attendees made. I believe they are opinions worth sharing.

“They weren’t wrong when they said Leonardo De Caprio gets mauled by a bear, and not much else happens.”

“Do you ever just, get naked and sleep inside a horse.”

“The way he put his clothes on after that and touched him, it was exactly like a one night stand. He should have said thank you. Or I’ll call you. And you could have called it a comedy.”

“There should be a Revenant 2. I want to know more about the baby bears. What’s their story. What famous actors could they maul.”

“None of these characters care about getting their feet wet. Like at all. They just walk straight through.”

“It’s cold. But no one really talks about that.”

“My favourite scene was when they got really giggly eating snowflakes with their tongues. It’s the little things in life.”

“I wish I could get my fingers chopped off and just go about my day. They really didn’t seem fussed about that.”

“No one really knows why the bear really did maul Leo. It didn’t seem like much was achieved since he didn’t didn’t get eaten.”

“It’s definitely not a film for a pissed dyslexic.”

I’d say all in all those are the most important aspects of the film, summarised in the best way – spontaneous commentary just saying what’s on your mind.

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Reviews

Wolf Alice

The first EP from Wolf Alice, called Creature Songs contains only 4 songs yet displays a wide variety of sound compared to other bands of a similar genre, alternative rock. They are yet to release their first official album but this does not detract from their sound being well established. EPs are a quick way to release songs to listeners while remaining current and relevant and for Wolf Alice is just the right sample size to showcase their sound and variety to new listeners.

Wolf Alice were one of the first acts announced for Reading and Leeds 2015 and being a now almost (having been twice consecutively) frequent attendee I couldn’t not investigate their sound. I have to say by listening to just one song, I was much more enticed than their fellow contemporary Years And Years on the line up.

The first song I listened to was ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’. I was surprised with the rocky edge it had to it as I was expecting more of an indie sound. This new wave of alternative rock bands is a phenomenon where rock which previously would only be appreciated by rock music types has been brought into the mainstream by becoming much more easily accessible. UK bands such as Royal Blood carry a rock sound and can be listened to by wide audiences as they are not as heavy or targeted at rock listeners as others, which means audiences can have an appreciating and insight into rock without being a huge fan of the genre. With an already clever song title this tune was ticking all the boxes and it went straight to my ‘available offline’ downloads in Spotify premium. Not quite an iTunes download but I’m sure they’ll get there soon.

The other songs on the EP are ‘Storms’, ‘Heavenly Creatures’ and ‘We’re Not The Same’. I choose to write about this EP not the bands music as a whole because I think this is a good place for new listeners to start with the band as it gives a good overview of the bands sound and vibe. ‘Storms’ and ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ are rock songs while ‘Heavenly Creatures’ is softer and more of a gentle alternative indie sound.

On the 24th of March I got to see Wolf Alice at Rescue Rooms. Their energy on stage was impressive and the crowd and atmosphere of the gig was lively as opposed to mellow which I imagined it could be during their slower songs which made the night extremely enjoyable. If I had more money I would have bought Creature Songs from the merch stand but unfortunately I spent it all on Red Stripe. To be honest, if I had the EP I’d be afraid I would over listen to it and I want to still be loving them come Leeds, so maybe it was good that I wasted that money on beer.

Seriously hoping for a full album soon, and if anyone is reading this check these guys out on Spotify or YouTube, they are definitely worth a listen!

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Reviews

Extant

New American sci-fi series Extant, with executive producer Steven Spielberg, was recommended to me by a few sources, and it had been a while since I’d really got into a series (probably the last one was Orange Is The New Black). So I went to the effort of borrowing my friends amazon prime login so I could watch this new program.

The trailer didn’t reveal to me the futuristic side to the program, although maybe I wasn’t watching closely enough because I suppose a sci-fi TV series involving a solo mission to space isn’t likely to be filmed in the present day. Since I’m not used to all this future-y type stuff I was pretty amazed at the first unordinary thing I saw, which was a bin.

Moving on through the first episode I began to dislike the world they had created to base this program in. The technology was advanced but not exciting, and it is noticeable that there isn’t a friendly atmosphere when the characters are in public, instead everything feels kind of creepy. This did scare me a bit to begin with along with the shots that spring up on you of people that may-or-may-not be dead. The son, Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) is a ‘humanic’ or a robot in more simple terms, and he is what I initially identified to be a weird guy. He is arguably a difficult character to warm to, but he brings philosophical plots into the series on whether he is a ‘real boy’ or not. Seeing this new medium of discrimination is interesting, and provoked to me some interesting thoughts and opinions on when technology may go too far.

The program itself was rather slow paced until the last 2 or 3 episodes. It has a high rating on sites such as rotten tomatoes and IMDB but I am not sure it quite deserved this. Each episode leaves you on a big cliff hanger, which kept me watching until the end of the series, but had those episode endings been as mundane as some of the other scenes in the bulk I’m not sure I would have persevered.

Some scenes are unrealistic, such as the sheer amount of death of innocent people (usually guards etc) that occurs especially towards the end and doesn’t seem to be touched on with any emotion, people seem so focussed on their own individual goals that they don’t notice that they’re in a room with half a dozen dead men (ahem Molly). Sometimes it is also rather cheesy, for example (slight spoiler alert?) when Yasumoto (Hiroyuki Sanada) is in the mine. His back story, which is the basis of the events in the whole series seems quite unrealistic, but perhaps this is again trying to raise concerns to viewers how wealth and technology can go too far and make us selfish.

I’m not a lover of sci-fi. The furthest I’ve ventured into the genre before would be Doctor Who or Gravity, so I’m not the best judge of the future that the Extant team created. But to me it seems pretty well done and they clearly had a very large budget to work with. One touch I loved in this future universe is the smashed up Toyota Prius that Kryger (Brad Beyer) drives – which to us would be a very modern and expensive car. The cast play their roles well also. Not many of them make me feel particularly sympathetic towards as they’re just not characters I connected to (apart from Kryger as he seems to have perhaps more ‘normal’ emotions to me) but the acting was pretty on point.

One major complaint about the program is where have the worlds environmental worries gone?! No explanation of this whatsoever which isn’t very realistic seeing as environmental concerns are in the news and internet 24/7 in the present day. You can’t fix all the pollution you’re causing from your weird skyscrapers, robots on every corner and excessive missions to space with a few swanky electric cars!!

The program touched on every day household tiffs as well as deep questions about the corrupt world main character Molly (Halle Berry) lives in, which was a clever way to appeal to multiple audiences. The story was enjoyable, thrilling and gripping in the way I wanted to watch more, although this could have been in annoyance of the huge suspense left when the credits started rolling. I don’t feel compelled to recommend this to friends, however after finishing the series I am pleased I didn’t give up on it. I do feel encouraged to explore the genre more and see if I feel similarly about other shows, or whether I like them more or less and see if these themes I noticed in Extant follow through to other programs.

Rose x

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