JawkwardLOL

Doctor Who 8×02 ‘Into the Dalek’ Review

What did we learn today? There’s no such thing as a good…anything, really. Everyone has flaws, humans, Timelords, Daleks…the Doctor (yeah, yeah he’s a Timelord, but let’s put him in his own category anyway). This theme’s been a’cooking for a while now, and this episode clearly lays the foundation down for a series-long study of the Doctor’s moral makeup. With a Dalek (who the Doctor dubs Rusty) suffering from morality (taking us right back to series one’s ‘Dalek’ innit?) as the central plot, the Doctor, Clara and a few soldiers are shrunken ‘Honey I shrunk the Doctor!’- style and off into the heart of the Dalek (darkness) they go.

The Doctor saves a soldier, Lt Journey Blue (VOD! I mean Zawe Ashton), who establishes herself quite firmly from the get-go. Heh, I would still like to see Zawe Ashton as the Doctor some day, and seeing as you can explain away a guest-actor becoming the Doctor once, why not a second time? Keep that in mind, guys. Right so humans are locked in a battle with the Daleks, and they’ve got one Dalek (Rusty) suffering from ‘morality as malfunction’. We learn about the insides of a Dalek, which is visually comparable to the inside of a Teselecta, well crossed with a jumble of tubes- them human remains though.

Surely the Doctor should have known that by ‘fixing’ Rusty, the Dalek would revert to his natural state of hate. Was a bit dumb. However through this central plot-line the Doctor is faced with an idea that’s been giving him intense internal turmoil for the the better part of 2000 years. Because when Rusty gets a glimpse into the Doctor’s mind there’s a hiccup as he picks up on the Doctor’s hatred of the Daleks. And the age old ‘we’re not so different, you and I’ rears its familiar head.

Is the Doctor a good man? He makes quite a few judgement calls that could be deemed cold, but this isn’t new. Clara’s answer, that she doesn’t know if he’s a good man but the fact that he tries is the point, works. The Doctor often needs his companion, or carer, to slap some sense into him.  And in this instance Clara literally does. Capaldi’s stint as the Doctor is shaping up to be rather excellent, and I welcome all the coldish zingers with open arms. He’s looking to be less apologetic in the sense that he doesn’t beat around the bush about the facts. The Doctor’s dynamic with Clara is, in my improving, Clara should be glad he forgot her in Scotland (which isn’t too far from her home, and is thankfully in the same time and on earth). Also, our introduction to Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) was great. I can already see the Doctor not liking Danny- not just because of his alpha maleness (even if he’s socially awks) but because he was a soldier. Even one with enough of a conscience to reflect upon past deaths and shed a tear in front of a class of students. Way to make us all uncomfortable, sir! I’m already living for any and all his interactions with Clara. I bet you’re living for it. That’s what I said. I bet you say that.

Next week we’re off to Sherwood Forest!

Honourable Mentions:

- Why couldn’t the Doctor have taken Journey with him? Think of all the puns!

- And Missy, once again in ‘heaven’ greeting those who’s ‘passed on’ during the episode. Nobody guards the dead, aye?

- Danny Pink, ladies and gentlemen. Lady Killer extraordinaire.

 

 

 

 

Divergent DVD Review – NZ Release

Divergent is available to buy or rent on Blu-ray and DVD in NZ from today, August 27, 2014!

The dystopian film, based on Veronica Roth’s young-adult trilogy of the same name, is set in a future world where society’s been divided into five distinct factions. But as you know Tris don’t play that one-group game because she’s divergent. Which isn’t something you want to be. So…conflict. There’s action, female badassery, humour, guns (in more ways than one) and romance.

I said, in our theatrical review, that the movie was a bit too long, and I still believe that. However with a DVD you can fast forward or rewind to your heart’s content. And also- the Special Features! You get a cool featurette, ‘Faction Before Blood’, with some behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and Veronica Roth herself. You get audio commentary by Neil Burger and one with producers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick. However you know what we’re really here for, the deleted scenes. Notably the infamous eye-stabbing scene which we thought was cut for PG13 reasons, although very important for both Edward’s character (the stabbee) and Peter (the stabber), was really cut due to it interrupting the ‘flow of the story’. More importantly there’s a deleted scene where dauntless cake is mentioned and SHOWN. ALL HAIL DAUNTLESS CAKE.

I was pretty keen for audio commentary by Shailene Woodley (Tris) and Theo James (Four) which unfortunately didn’t happen. However grab the DVD for the deleted scenes alone, or just so you can pause the film whenever you like to erm study mise en scene? Lighting? Camera angles? Theo James’ arms?

While it does have its faults, questionable timing and world-origin story, the film is a must-see for any dystopian fan. The action scenes are on point, the soundtrack is ace and the acting is above par, even if there was an unnecessary character- I still don’t understand why Max was given so much screen time when we could have had Uriah. However here’s to looking toward the release of Insurgent, next year, and the introduction of my favourite character. Until then, do yourself a favour get yourself a copy of the DVD/Blu-ray.

 

Doctor Who 8×01 ‘Deep Breath’ Review

For the past few regenerations there’s always an adjustment period during the new Doctor’s first episode, where he’s still cooking and getting used to the change- during that period those around him also take a moment to get used to the new appearance, voice, (at times) accent and characteristics. By ‘those around him’ I’m also referring to the audience, because just as his companions/friends need to come to grips with who the doctor now is, the audience must also adjust. Peter Capaldi’s debut as the twelth Doctor is rocky, in terms of the episode itself, but the man, the mystery, the timelord? Capaldi nails it. As a darker character than his predecessor I didn’t expect for him to make me laugh as much as I did during the episode. It was a pleasant surprise, I love that Twelce is incredibly crotchety and isn’t a hugging sort of person. And at over 2000 years old he’s picked a face that outwardly exhibits that age.

Madame Vastra: “He looked young, who do you think that was for?
Clara: “Me?”
Madame Vastra: “Everyone. I wear a veil as he wore a face- for the same reason.”
Clara: “What reason?”
Madame Vastra: “The oldest reason there is for anything. To be accepted.”

The episode itself was a bit, I don’t know, we saw a dinosaur materialising alongside the Houses of Parliament in Victorian London, and the Pasternoster Gang are relieved when the Police Box is spat up. But the appearance of the TARDIS doesn’t bring help, but rather a Doctor in need of it; newly regenerated, extremely volatile and questioning his self-worth. The only person that may be able to help him is Clara, whose name he can’t even remember in his discombobulated state, and she’s still grappling with the losing the Doctor she knew and loved.

Their new dynamic shows promise and I’m very much excited for more. So I found the appearance of Smith a tad unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Eleventh doctor, however bringing him back for that phone call with Clara was just a bit overboard. I suppose Clara needed that push to get her to accept that the doctor is still the doctor even if he looks, sounds and kinda acts differently now.

Honourable Mentions

- Who is Missy? (APART FROM BEING PICKWELL IN BAD EDUCATION- I GOT SO SCARED WHEN I SAW HER LOL) She said she loves the doctor, she lives in what she calls some kind of heaven. Sure she’s not the Master, because the Master had a very volatile relationship with the Doctor. And also, the Master refused to regenerate. It’s someone else entirely. But who, what where and why?

- Madame Vastra and Jenny are my OTP. Just, seriously. LOVE THEM.

- Fires of Pompeii: So we address that initial issue of ‘but he’s been on the show before!’ The Doctor talks about how he’s seen his face before but can’t place it and then goes talks about how the regeneration always chose his face from faces it knew. Remember when we saw this face, Ten learned that, to a certain extent, time can be rewritten, that even though history says everyone in Pompeii died, Peter Capaldi’s character and his family were saved. And at the end he tells Clara he’s made a lot of mistake and that he’s going to start doing something about it. Interesting.

- Who placed the ad? Same person who gave Clara the TARDIS phone number way back when?

– Strax is still amazing.
- Until next week! ^_^

The Worst Football Team In the World? ‘Next Goal Wins’ Review

The heartwarming documentary about the worst football (soccer) team in the world, American Samoa. Not Samoa Samoa, the other guys. Just kidding, we love you Amerika Samoa.

Next Goal Wins, the 2014 British sport documentary directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, chronicles the national football team of American Samoa in their efforts to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup- and improve their world-ranking. American Samoa’s football team is an international laughing stock, seriously the opening montage of footage from their record-breaking 31-nil loss game against Australia in 2001 is just sad. However despite not having won in over a decade the team continues to stay together. For it’s the love of the game itself that keeps this ragtag team- which includes the goalie (Nicky Salapu) from that faithful match against Oz and a fa’afafine (my favourite person in the doco, Jaiyah Saelua)- together as they train for the next World Cup and a chance to redefine their international rep.

With the help of Dutch maverick Thomas Rongen, who flies in from the US to coach them for their World Cup 2014 qualifying matches, and the fighting spirit of a team with nothing to lose and everything to gain, Amerika Samoa’s team shows how defeat can be character-building. I know, you should see our league team’s ranking.

Check out the trailer below if you haven’t seen it yet and grab the DVD, it’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy and perhaps want to triumphantly punch the air once or twice. The visuals are stunning and there’s a genuine feeling of admirable relentlessness you gain after watching, and despite the predictable outcome you’re left with an overall sense of pride- even if you’re not much of a football (or American Sa) fan.

The Raid 2: Berandal – DVD/BLU-RAY NZ Release Talk

The Raid 2It’s not over yet- is it ever over? Nah seriously, is it?

NZ DVD/Blu-Ray Release: 14th August 2014.

The Raid 2: Berandal sees Iko Uwais reprise his role as Rama- the rookie Jakarta cop who littered the halls with the broken bodies of gangsters during The Raid: Redemption in 2011. After fighting his way out of the rundown building filled with ruthless thugs and deranged folk, Rama was under the impression that he could go back to living a quiet life with his wife and kid. LOLNOPE.

Director Gareth Evans’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Raid manages recapture the adrenalin that made the initial film so good while doing its damned hardest to be even more brutal and pain-cringe-inducing than its predecessor. Rama’s opponents from the first raid were crazy, but they’re nothing compared to what’s in store for him. His actions in the first film means he’s attracted the attention of those at the top of the criminal foodchain putting his life, and more importantly to him, the lives of his wife and son at risk.

Forced to go undercover and basically fight his way through the hierarchy of competing forces in order to incover the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap, Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender “Yuda.”

We’re introduced to some rather delightful* characters along the way, and of course the fight scenes are epic- beautifully gruesome and tightly choreographed and just so, so, epic. Sure the runtime is a bit of a killer, heh, and the film could have done with a bit of a condensing as a result, but I wouldn’t trade in any of the fight scenes for anything.

Seriously though, check out this teaser trailer:

FOUR out of FIVE Pained Silent LOLs

Preorder/Grab a copy on DVD for $29.99 or Blu-Ray for $34.99.

 

*

The Tautai of Digital Winds – Review

The Tautai of Digital Winds

What does it mean to feel incomplete? In the search for identity, cultural or otherwise, do we look forward or back?  

The Tautai of Digital Winds provides a unique blend of Polynesian mythology and storytelling, contemporary experiences, art, dance and music to weave a vibrant production that spans generations and cultures. The cast of new and seasoned actors breathe life into characters attempting to navigate their way through an increasingly digital world.  

The production hinges on two main narratives that bleed into each other. 16 year old Maui Inati, a kinetic (because he’s always on the move), free-spirited but troubled boy played with the perfect amount of teenaged arrogance by Aisea Latu and the story of Celeste, quiet, poetic whose diary entries detail a story of teenaged angst and heartbreak that ends rather surprisingly- intensely portrayed by Jennifer Perez. 

The live band is great, stand-out scene: when Celeste is having an intense journaling session dripping with teenaged angst as the band plays an emotional track while interpretive dancers use movements to depict Celeste’s turmoil. The play ends on a rather ambiguous note, taking us back to the initial monologue right after Celeste’s scene that somewhat mirrors Tavita’s (Maui’s brother) except the scene ends before we can find out if Celeste does what Tavita did. The fragmented way in which the story is told allows the show to mess around with time and take us anywhere, a bit like a TV show.

The use of video from the Bollywood fantasy- real talk I had a math teacher just like Mr Sadhavas- to Isumus (lol y’all know isumu means mouse in Samoan, right? RIGHT? More on this Jklol Thoughts below) the hacker’s vlog- was on point. There’s an abundant referencing and use of technology, digital winds indeed. 

Ultimately I did feel the play was a tad long, with a few somewhat dragged out scenes, at over two hours and no intermission it could seem a bit much. However the play hits all the emotional notes with the right amount of humour. The poignancy is not undercut, however, just alleviated.

There’s a chance for it to become a little preachy, running the risk of coming off as an after-school-special but there’s a enough gritty realism to stop this thought short. The Tautai of Digital Winds takes the audience on a journey through cultural disconnection and offers contemporary views on the navigation toward identity while giving a hat-tip to traditional mythology. 

Written and Directed by Iaheto Ah Hi and co-directed by Leilani Clarke.

WHEN: August 5th to August 16th 7pm-9.15pm
 
WHERE: Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku
Corner Orly Avenue & Bader Drive
Mangere Town Centre
Mangere

VERY NICE, HOW MUCH: Adults: $20.00, (6-18 years): $10.00

BOOK NOW: Eventfinda

 

JawkwardLOL Thoughts during the show, in no particular order:

- Tokelauan and Samoan are really, really, similar. I mean I thought so before but I pretty much understood what they were saying in Toke. ALSO yo that feke (octopus) story whose story is it? Because there’s a Samoan myth that’s basically identical, we even have a song! Which I kept singing in my head.

Si fe’ē, tago ia i lou ulu
Po’o a ea, na mea o iai
A o si fe’e, ua tilotilo mai 
Ua le malie lona loto
I le mea ua fai

English translation:

Poor Octopus, touch your head.
What is that on it
But the poor octopus was looking over
Not at all happy 
With what was done

- Where can I get me one of those vests?

- I’m pretty sure that’s a funeral song. IT IS! Manaia manaia le lagiiii- don’t sing along to the funeral song you vale. But why’d the kids sing a funeral song for White Sunday-OH. Interesting. This play is in support of suicide prevention and support. There’s a disconnect between the song and White Sunday, while disconcerting, serves to make you stop and think- wait that’s not right… or am I reading too much into this?

- The lady behind me keeps talking, lol should I find her a mic?

- Yaaasss leg stretch.

- I can dance like that…no you can’t- okay I can’t.

- Jess should have come, that bollywood fantasy would have been right up her alley. Lol is that the Mangere Bridge?

- It was a good thing Luisa came so I can bombard her with questions about organisations mentioned.

- Straight up, what kind of gang leader nickname is Petalz. Also I would so watch a TV show about their gang. Can we get that funded because I need more of Blinky. BLINKY’S MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER.

- Are you loyal, tho’?

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Book Review

http://jawkwardlol.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/c11cb-dogam_hb.jpg?w=411&h=633

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

What an end! And a beginning? Dreams of Gods and Monsters does what all good closers do, leave room for the imagination. With 600+ pages to work with Taylor weaves an, at times dizzying, conclusion to a rather elaborately constructed narrative. There’s a satisfactory end, I suppose, even though we’re left with the sense that the story is far from over.

We were left in a lurch, following the events of the Days of Blood and Starlight and it seemed like Taylor wanted to extend that suspense, setting us up for some grade A plot-twists. Taylor has a flair for ornate prose which, while undeniably gorgeous, can at times become slightly finicky.

Chimaera and the Seraphs face an even bigger danger than themselves, human weapons- Jael is trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction all the while there’s an even bigger danger on the grandest of scales.

We’re going to be honest with you, this has been sitting here in drafts for a long time- so it’s time for a super-fast-rundown of my feels and a super-fast-post because I’m sure you’re dying to know what I thought about the conclusion to DoSaB Trilogy.

- The beginning was confusing, like who introduces a finale with a completely new character that seemingly has nothing to do with the story so far? Of course all is revealed in a way that makes you go ‘oooooh deus ex machina’ much?

- There were enough moments where you wanted to punch both Karou and Akiva in the face.

- The villains were sufficiently villainous. Well done.

- Ziri was the best.

All in all this book did what it was supposed to do, the ending was left open to show that everything wasn’t neatly tied up but things were mending- or on the mend. However I can’t say I loved it as much as the first or second book.

shrug animated GIF

Spoiler Corner:

- I sorta saw Ziri and Liraz coming, it made complete sense tbh.

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