Jigsaw – A Movie Review *SPOILERS*

So, just finished watching the last movie in the ‘Saw’ franchise, which I’ve been a HUGE fan of for the past 10 years… and I must say, I was quite disappointed.

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The prime thing which had attracted me to all the Saw movies, apart from the inventive torture devices, was actually the ability of the writers/producers to interlock all the movies and storylines togather like a jigsaw puzzle. That was the genius of the whole thing – that while the first movie in the franchise was taking place, chronologically we (later realize) that movies number 2 and 3 were also taking place (with different individuals) at the same time! I don’t want to give any spoilers here but I kind of had to in this case. So basically the some of the whole was better than it’s individual parts.

And that’s great HOWEVER as of the third and fourth movies we started seeing a common plot emerge, which the writers just continued to exploit by repeating again and again… and in the case of the latest ‘Jigsaw’ movie, yet AGAIN.

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For Pete’s sake, how many ‘disciples’ did this guy have? How many ‘ex-victims’ did he ‘convert’ to his ideology of pain? Were they all unaware of each other? And will the producers continue to milk this cow forever? It was a great idea and twist the first time round, and ok the second time round too. But a third secret disciple… and a fourth? Even at a distance of 10 years from Kramer’s death?

Ugh – yea again sorry for the spoilers. I just wish I could erase this last movie from my head and keep the old ones. So, thanks, but no thanks.

Movie Review – Birdman – SPOILERS

Personal rating – 1 Star

I was really looking forward to watching this movie, not only because it’s the movie which won the bigger number of Oscars this year (4 in all), but because I like Michael Keaton as an actor, and I simply salivate over Edward Norton’s talent -he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the way.

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So there I was on a Saturday evening, home-made salami and mushroom pizza in one hand, glass of wine in the other, breathlessly waiting for it to start. Then after a while, waiting for it to actually kick in… then after an hour, waiting for SOMETHING to happen, and then after more than an hour and a half, just waiting for it to end. Which it finally did.

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Disappointment as a word, barely describes my feelings.

Basically the film recounts the last week in the life of a sixty-year old something actor who had been famous in the 90s for his ‘Birdman’ role as the Superhero du jour… reference to Batman much? Riggan Thomson (aka Keaton) played Birdman in 3 movies and then after turning down Birdman 4, receded into semi-anonymity and cheesy roles, until finally he tried to break out as a success in the theatre instead of the big screen. Keaton, who, like Riggan, last starred¬†in his last Batman movie in 1992 (he had the role for only 2 of the movies), afterwards DID kind of spiral into more mediocre roles. So, one obviously asks, is Birdman the film a parody of Keaton’s life?

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Riggan directs and stars in a play in Broadway, apart from his tired and washed up life, we also meet up with the interlocking stories of his co-actors, their problems, their licentious sexual lives, and their general emotional and psychological confusion. Many of the reviews I read lauded Birdman saying that it gave the audience an insight into actors’ actual struggles… so, basically this film won 5 Oscars for showing non-actors that actors were as fucked up and decadent as everybody else? Wow, big deal!

Norton was kind of okayish – given that the part he had to play was totally pointless and colorless, but still almost every movie I’ve watched him in showcased his talent better than this one.

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In the end, fed up of hearing the voice of his past superhero alter-ego berating him for being such a looser (and being right) and asking him to leave the theater and invest in a Birdman remake, Riggan tries to commit suicide… during his play’s premier. He botches it, as he botches everything else, and ends up in hospital. Everyone knows it was a suicide attempt, yet they seem to ignore that, leaving Riggan alone in a vast and unsupervised hospital bedroom in a sky-high building. Needless to be said, Riggan, believing himself to be able to fly as Birdman did, opens his enormous hospital window and jumps off. Riggan’s druggie daughter comes into the room, and not finding him, looks out. We are not shown what she sees, however we see her looking up and smiling.

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THE END

So, what? Was Riggan really flying?

Wow, we didn’t see that coming at all did we?

And THIS movie won 5 Oscars, while a gem like The Imitation Game won only one?!

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Say it with me – W…T….F !!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin – Book Review (SPOILERS)

I am currently of two minds about this book. Having just finished it, I am still oscillating between amused interest and irritated indignation.

Following the Twilight destruction phenomenon, a spate of wanna-be teenage angsty star-crossed lovers ‘novels’ started to come out, all aimed at young people and all of them the same.

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Mara Dyer Book 1 started with a very interesting (although not at all original) premise. The reader is unsure whether Mara is suffering from post-traumatic stress psychosis or if there’s something else. We see flashes of the truth, but the narrator is fallible, so we are still not sure what is happening. Everything is exciting, mysterious and a tad uncanny.

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And then, everything goes to rot.

Enter Noah – the new Edward. Perfect in every sense, every girl wants him, but for some strange inexplicable reason he only wants quite, introvert Bella.. er I mean Mara. Noah is elusive and special. Rich and adored. And he has special powers! Surprise, surprise!

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By the way, have I mentioned Noah’s equally perfect ex who bullies Mara with the help of her friend the blonde-Mr America? Are all the characters so beautiful and picture perfect? Yes! Gods even this is enough to irritate the hell out of me! Where are the fat chicks, the pimpled cowards, the bitchy sluts and the insecure people you REALLY find in every school in existence?!

Anyways, to be fair, there are many differences which tend to try and put Mara Dyer outside the Twilight zone… maybe I have become too adept at perceiving similarities everywhere? Hmm… Maybe it’s just me? Or not?

Anyways, Bella… I mean Mara, feels physical attraction towards Noah, but he keeps back (even though apparently he’s shagged every other thing in skirts), because… well no actual reason is given. He just refuses her advances… sounds familiar? To make matters even more… *cough*cough* cheesy, we realize that Mara too has special powers! Oh these two are so special! Their special powers complement each other so specially, driving the point home that, as Noah said ‘We are made for each other’… honestly, the syrupy sweetness is enough to curdle bacon.

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And yet… there could be something there… something more…

Maybe it’s just the awesome book-cover which is still getting to me lol (for some reason it seems familiar too…?)

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Yes, I’m going to start reading the second book of the trilogy, ‘The Evolution of Mara Dyer’… maybe it will get better.

I surely hope it won’t be worse.