Posted in Uncategorized

Wait, Another One?

Still recovering from the fit of confusion and fear that resulted from my nomination for a Blog Recognition Award, I was stunned earlier today to discover that my internet droppings have once again been given a shiny jpeg image looking like a prize. Why did I win this? Not entirely sure. Did I deserve this? Definitely not. And was it the same person who nominated me for a Blog Recognition Award, and is thus a clear example of blogger nepotism gone wild? Hell yes.

But hey, here we are. And a real, vaguely genuine thanks to Vahrkalla for nominating me – go check that blog out if you haven’t come from there. It’s an interesting contrast to mine. He got the writing ability, I got the winning personality and crippling self-loathing. So, rules! Rules are made to be broken, someone once said. Unfortunately, I’m a dirty conformist.

  • Write a post including the award picture.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring, and most importantly ENTERTAINING!
  • Add these rules to the post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog!
  • Answer the questions down below:

What do you hope to gain from blogging?

Glad you asked that, friendly internet stranger. Simply put, I mean to stave off the howling existential void of despair with some vague commentary on human entertainment.

On a slightly more serious note, blogging is really my outlet. My main source of mild RSI online is TV and film reviewing, a format I love, but it can be very constrictive and limited in terms of how much you can actually write. Blogging, therefore, is my way to accomplish the broad goal of self-improvement in terms of honing my own authorial voice and grasp of this complex, weird language, but also simply to lark about and post whatever comes to mind that I care about with no restrictions. I can physically write nothing but shitposts about provocative political issues and terrible Gerard Butler action sequels for months, and no one will yell at me. It’s cathartic, and it’s creative.

What genre of film entertains you the most?

‘Entertain’ is a different kettle of fish to ‘appreciate’, so forgive me for picking the lowbrow choice: superhero movies, which I feel are more or less a genre unto themselves these days. Superheroes are an infinitely malleable archetype, and the basic core idea of an ordinary person who can accomplish the incredible and inspire hundreds with their selfless deployment of abilities or resources is not only cathartic, but important in a dark and disquieting time when genuine heroes seem to be vanishing off the map. My most rewatched films are nearly always superhero movies, and I think it’s the dichotomy of pure escapism and inspirational symbolism that makes them important to me.

Do you consider yourself a writer, and what inspires you to write?

A writer, definitely – anyone who picks up a pen or a laptop and starts mashing out words is a writer. You don’t have to be a professional or a genius to be a writer – you only have to care enough to put your thoughts into the world, which is comforting for a loser like me. I’m not, however, a critic. That, I think, requires a paycheck and a better grasp of run-on sentences.

As for inspiration, a lot can inspire me. I often ‘write’ articles in my head to relax myself or take my mind off things (it’s an unusual habit, but it’s a nice crutch), and while most of those ideas never make it into real life, sometimes I find an idea that I need to get down and write as soon as possible, the idea actively energising me. Often, with those lightbulb ideas, I get sick of them and bin them after 20 minutes, but eh.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I have a lot of pet peeves, so I’ll pick two. One is the obsession with ‘plot holes’ and watertight logic in films and TV that reduces a piece of art to a flawed scientific equation, reducing powerful feelings to ones and zeroes. The second is the ridiculous ‘fans versus critics’ narrative where a bunch of hard-working writers are demonised by 4chan manchildren for having opinions. Both are actively corrosive.

Why did you choose your particular WordPress username?

Rabinovsky, the handle I go by on most online platforms, is the ultimate result of a five-year-long search for a good and consistent username that took in literally dozens of awful attempts at names that frequently come back to embarrass me even today. The story of that name is particularly thrilling, so settle in.

Kidding. It’s a butchered version of my real surname which was spoken by one gym teacher with an interesting grasp of pronunciation.

What is your favourite book, and why does it speak to you?

Accepting it’s a ridiculously hard choice, my favourite book may actually be a work of non fiction – The Writer’s Tale by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, which chronicles a tumultuous time in the show’s history through a long set of e-mails between Davies and a journalist. It speaks to me because it’s a fascinating, unrivalled look into the utter chaos that lies behind the neatly structured order of television, chronicling the anger, fear, nerves, hopes and ultimately joy of putting art out into the world. Even if you’re not a Who fan and don’t care for production insights, it’s a genuinely gripping look into the madness of creativity.

My Nominations

Oops. Lack of WordPress connections.

I’m cheating again! Just like last time, if you do happen to stumble upon this blog while scrolling through the list of tags I’ve falsely put on this article, that’s a nomination for you. Only while stocks last.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Blockbuster Season 2016 Wrap Up

Summer, as everyone knows, is the hottest and sunniest period of the year – a time to go outside and socialise, enjoying the weather and the outdoor attractions on offer. Naturally, then, Hollywood has once again unleashed its comedically overlong slew of mega-movies with eye-watering budgets that need to earn a small country’s GDP in order to break even, just so you can spend your summer indoors in a dark room.

With the last major blockbuster, Suicide Squad dropping like a stone in the box office, this year’s blockbuster season is just about at an end, with only the dregs of inevitable flops like Ben-Hur and Mechanic: Resurrection (‘What are those?’, I hear you ask. Exactly.) left before the great bear goes to sleep once more for a month and a half (it’s an all-year-round deal these days). So, in this blog’s venerable tradition (AKA: I did it last year), here’s a nostalgic look back/autopsy report at an eventful, if not necessarily good, summer:

Note: Like Hollywood’s, my definition of ‘summer’ for this is pretty loose. Since it more or less opened the blockbuster-a-week floodgates for the year (and is also definitely worth laughing at), Batman v Superman is included despite the fact it came out in late March.

The Safe Pair of Hands – Captain America: Civil War

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In a year where DC’s attempts to carve out their own universe began with two awkward and messy attempts at world-building, Marvel’s status as the superhero genre’s safe pair of hands has never seemed more cast iron. There may have been a few worries beforehand about an overload of characters and a lack of focus in a solo Captain America movie, but ultimately, the critical acclaim and warm fan reception for this didn’t exactly come as a surprise. As the opener to Marvel’s ambitious and expansive Phase 3 of movies, Civil War served as a reassuring reminder of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s status as one of the very few genuinely successful mega-franchises out there. The story, although not without its inconsistencies and plot holes, mixed rewarding character development with a keen eye on how the previous movies have shaped and transformed the MCU’s most important characters with an intelligent exploration of how superheroes fit into a knotty political environment of allegiances and regulations. On top of that, Civil War was pretty damn fun too, with the Team Iron Man v Team Cap airport fight serving as one of the most purely entertaining action set-pieces in the entire genre thus far, helped by the very encouraging additions of the laconic but ferocious Black Panther and arguably the best live-action Spider-Man yet to tee up their solo movies. Civil War was weighed down by a franchise commitment to retaining the status quo which robbed the movie of the chance to completely shake up the MCU as it could have done, but this was a very solid and satisfying sequel that illustrated how Marvel is continuing to stay the course while broadening out their world, eight years in to their big experiment.

I am now legally required to remind you that Disney are ‘the best company out there’, and that they pay very well for all endorsements of their movies. Please visit their shop here. Each purchase will help our corporate overlords in their ongoing plan.

The Confusing Disappointment – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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The yin to Civil War‘s yang, the apple to Civil War‘s orange, the Vegemite to Civil War‘s Marmite (because, kids, Marmite is the best spread for toast out there), Batman v Superman is arguably the most divisive major movie of the decade, able to spark actual fights to the death with a simple mention of the word ‘Martha’.  My two regular readers will know what side I come down on in this debate: Dawn of Justice ,is a failure – a fascinating, experimental, ambitious failure, but a failure nonetheless. It’s cripplingly flawed, but in a deeply weird way that makes it at least intriguing to watch. Sure, there are some conventional flaws here: the overstuffed and clumsy world-building that ruins the film’s value as an individual experience, the embarassing and ridiculous villain and the frustratingly obnoxious tone that takes criticisms of Man of Steel‘s ‘gritty realism’ as a dick-measuring challenge. But what makes BVS interesting as a very elaborate piece of road-kill is the unique and exciting ways in which it utterly screws up.

There are the increasingly abstract dream sequences, one of which features a major cameo from the Flash so utterly incomprehensible that I’m not even sure the writers understood what was going on, the utterly butchered depiction of Superman that paints him as a detached sociopath who’s barely interested in saving the world, the mildly butchered depiction of Batman as someone who blows up people and/or stabs them on the regular, the weird meditations on faith that sound like a sixth former’s rushed philosophy homework read backwards and the strange decision to end on a ‘tragic sacrifice’ so empty that the movie undercuts it ten minutes later. BVS has its merits, from a good cast to some interesting ideas on subverting and deconstructing genre tropes, but it’s simply a case of serial movie-ruiner Zack Snyder getting high on his own supply.

The Pleasant Surprise – Star Trek Beyond

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from Star Trek Beyond. Coming off the back of the endlessly debatable Into Darkness and evidently rushed into cinemas to hit the franchise’s 50th anniversary, it wouldn’t have been surprising if it was an awful mess. Thankfully, Beyond proved me wrong – it’s undoubtedly slight and lacks enough substance to really stick in the memory with half-hearted themes and a forgettable villain, but the general sense of fun and joy prevalent in the direction and performances ensures that this still feels like a valuable addition to the series, with enough character development and heart to not just come across as an extended big-budget TV episode. In a summer where franchise-building requirements left a lot of blockbusters feeling bloated and overstuffed, Beyond is a rare movie that just wants to tell a good, fun story that works as a satisfying experience in its own right. Naturally, it’s been the least commercially successful Trek movie so far and a sequel probably won’t happen, but hey, details.

The Movie Equivalent of Skimmed Milk – X-Men: Apocalypse

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Credit the superhero genre for this: in a year inundated with comic-book movies, most entries into the genre have at least tried to do something different, even if those attempts often ended in strange and confusing failure. However, one rebellious movie stood aside from the pack, refusing to accomplish anything new whatsoever. X-Men: Apocalypse, the movie equivalent of tasteless skimmed milk, is so staunchly formulaic and conventionally flawed that it almost seems as the script was created by a computer programme instead of human beings. It’s not bad, per se – there are some fun action, decent character interplay and an attempt to delve into the more philosophical elements of the X-universe, and it leaves the universe in an okay place going forward. It’s just so standard, ticking off traditional superhero movie flaws one by one: bad pacing, unnecessary crowbarring in of Wolverine to fit quota, awful Power Rangers villain, excessively destructive CGI world destruction finale, a pile-up of forgettable characters, unconvincingly bald James McAvoy etc. etc. With its bland adherence to formula and mild, low-key entertainment factor, Apocalypse is, ironically, exactly the kind of movie the other X-universe entry, Deadpool, actively stuck a middle finger up at earlier this year.

The Ultimate Three-Star Movie: Jason Bourne

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Rating a movie out of five has always seemed reductive – how can you reduce a complicated and varied piece of entertainment to a simple numerical scale? For those ratings-lovers having an existential crisis as more sites simply choose to state their opinion instead of summing it up with a neat number, Jason Bourne is here for you. It’s the definitive three-star movie for our troubled and complex times: a piece of filmmaking crafted lovingly to make critics choosing whether their review should be Fresh or Rotten have as difficult a time as possible. It’s exciting, well-made action entertainment, with a good cast and a doggedly faithful rendition of every franchise trope in the book, but it also delivers a flat and airless story where no-one’s motivation really makes any sense, where stating ‘mass surveillance is bad, but also maybe it isn’t’ is enough to justify the franchise’s return in 2016, and where the only real plot twist is Daddy Issues: Part 283. For fans like me who positively tingle at the prospect of Matt Damon punching people while director Paul Greengrass waves a handheld camera about, Jason Bourne is vaguely satisfying, but it’s a completely hollow movie with absolutely no creative reason to exist. It’s better than the stupid and dumb and stupid Legacy with its drug-addict protagonist and waste of Oscar Isaac, and less up its own behind than the narcissistic and bloated Spectre, but in ten years time, I guarantee that Matt Damon will forget where that pay-check came from.

The Utter Mess: Suicide Squad

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With more and more riding on the success of tentpole movies to keep the lights on in Hollywood, studios have become increasingly involved in the creative process, doggedly dedicated to making their movies as homogenous and awkwardly made as possible. Suicide Squad, more than any other major movie this summer, has the handprints of nervous studio execs all over it, from the chopped-up first act that plays as a series of one-minute music videos with actual on-screen graphics serving as character work to the incomprehensible plans and strange timing of the villain, who stands in the same place practicing for her Twister World League tournament for about 75% of the entire movie. It’s entertaining if all analytical thought is shut off, but if you start to scrutinise one inch of Suicide Squad, then it crumbles entirely to pieces as something that simply does not work as an actual piece of art. ‘This movie felt like a trailer’ has become a common complaint regarding movies that are too forward-looking in their attempts at world-building, but Suicide Squad really does nail the ‘extended trailer’ vibe thanks to its impressively choppy pacing and baffling continuity: a Frankenstein’s monster of the movie where all the stitching and cheap glue is sticking out for all to see.

On the bright side, it gave us 2016’s best character, Slipknot (the man who can climb anything) who, according to inside sources, will star in his own solo movie thanks to his breakout popularity. Working title is Slipknot: Climbing The Mountains of Success. Rumoured villain is, rather than any established DC baddie, is actually just Mount Everest.

Is This a Real Movie? – Now Y0u See Me 2

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Existentalist philosophers believe we live in a cold and unfeeling universe that has no outward meaning. Anything outside of what we believe can, effectively, cease to exist because the only meaning in the world is the meaning we ascribe to it.

My point is here: if everyone has forgotten it, does Now You See Me 2 actually exist? Will all the actors involved simply recount to their grandchildren that there was a three-month gap in their memories in 2015? I’m serious, by the way: there are images of it online, and it’s still in some cinemas, but was Now You See Me 2 a real movie that was produced and released into cinemas, or simply a figment of our collective imagination? How can we tell? After all, why would Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo spend his valuable time filming a movie equivalent of a literal black hole, even if the pay was good? Does that really make sense at all? Why would writers and directors put away their dreams of creativity to simply mash at the keyboard for enough time to create the script? None of this is logical, so I can only conclude that Now You See Me 2 doesn’t really exist.

This is good, watertight logic.

Posted in films, Uncategorized

The Suicide Squad, Ranked from Worst to Best

Spoilers for Suicide Squad within!

As you may have noticed, somewhere, a small movie has recently flown in under the radar with next to no marketing and a cast of complete unknowns. Literally no-one is talking about it, but hey, as I’ve shown, I’m a champion of indie movies.

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DC’s latest attempt to finally make people like them, Suicide Squad, is a weird, weird movie. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of filmmaking that’s been taken apart and glued back together again about three times, resembling a music video directed by your dad for about half an hour before segueing into a classic ‘PlayStation 3 game from 2007’ aesthetic for the rest. It’s vaguely enjoyable and at least wants to be entertaining, giving it a leg up on BVS, but as a piece of filmmaking this was borderline incoherent. Rather than reviewing a film on which my thoughts are pretty complicated, I’m doing something different that no-one else has done on the internet: ranking the members of the Suicide Squad from ‘most bad’ to ‘least bad’, in terms of how the movie portrays them!

Note: I’m aware that Amanda Waller, Enchantress and Joker aren’t actually Suicide Squad members, but they’re here anyway because my opinions on them are really good (and they’re given enough screen-time anyway).

11. Enchantress

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Oh dear lord.

Enchantress, marketed as if she was part of the Squad, is actually the film’s main villain, nipping off after she’s rounded up for inclusion in the force to resurrect her mysteriously awful-looking brother to create an evil sky portal to destroy humanity because…? No, really, that’s her characterisation. The introduction scene where archaeologist June Moone discovers her tomb is quite good, but for roughly 60% of the film, she’s belly-dancing in front of a green screen in some kind of bizarre ritual at a subway station. As the villain, you’d think she’d have more motivation than ‘humanity worships the machines’, but hey, you’re out of luck if you were expecting a good central villain in a film about villains.

Cara Delivigne tries, in fairness. Trying is good, but trying, in this case was not enough to offset a character who seems to have been created, sketched out and scripted in a lunch break.

10. Killer Croc

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“Not me, shawty, I’m beautiful.”

How, exactly can you do a bad version of Killer Croc, a character who virtually writes himself? Suicide Squad shows you how, with that quote above showing its impressive process of reducing Killer Croc to a complete irritant. The design of his character is really great, but every bit of dialogue that comes out of that crocodile’s jaws is either completely unintelligible, spoken in a bizarre garbled crocodile tongue resembling English, or just painfully unfunny with an unsettling undercurrent of racial stereotyping. He’s supposedly the ‘comic relief’, but he just kind of embodies this movie’s desire to please and make people laugh, which is so desperate that it kind of forgets how comedy is done.

9. Rick Flag

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The human embodiment of white bread, Rick Flag is potentially the definitive average white male action hero for our troubled times. Played with a perfectly balanced middling amount of charisma by the reliably alright Joel Kinnaman, Rick Flag is a strong leader type who is motivated by love for Cara Delevingne’s June Moone. It’s not a very interesting or fleshed out romance, and the age gap between the 23 year old Delevingne and the 36 year old Kinnaman really does not help in that regard. In a mid-budget, critically panned action movie starring Tommy Lee Jones in a supporting role, Rick Flag could definitely flourish as the lead character.

8. Katana

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Leaving aside the unimaginative name, Katana is a wee bit forgettable. The movie’s attitude towards her characterisation is summed up when she’s introduced hopping into a helicopter that’s in flight, apologising for her arrival amidst a 15-second backstory flashback. Then, we’re told her sword steals souls. She then disappears from the movie for about 20 minutes. She gets some very cool moments in the action sequences, but the development for her character is so minimal that it’s actively weird when she speaks. Potentially fascinating, Katana is just window dressing with a really sharp sword.

7. Boomerang

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Alright, now we’re getting to the good stuff! And by ‘good stuff’, I mean ‘adequate characters’.

Boomerang is kind of fun. Jai Courtney, derided for being a total charisma vacuum when he’s been forced into leading man roles, is actually pretty great as the team’s resident dickhead, and there are a couple of comedic moments that actually work. Unfortunately, Boomerang is a one-joke character – one joke that the movie decides to tell over and over again. He stars in the movie’s defining moment of total incoherence where he leaves the team and immediately returns for the big group shot with no explanation in the next scene, so he’s got that going for him, but overall he’s an very shallow and repetitive presence after a while. His pink unicorn fetish is perhaps the most genuinely interesting thing about him, but there are no flashbacks to show its origins.

6. Joker

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I used the most obnoxious picture of Leto’s Joker as I could find!

This movie’s incarnation of the Joker has been one of its most hyped-up elements, and he’s been front and centre of all the marketing with lovely stories about Jared Leto’s method acting in which he borderline harassed the entire cast and crew by sending them used condoms and anal beads. I’m surprised he bothered, really – the Joker is basically insignificant in the grand scheme of things here. He gets about 10 minutes of screen time, split between tiny flashbacks and a present-day subplot that intersects with the Suicide Squad for a stunning 40 seconds, and his role in the main story is completely superfluous. Jared Leto is fine, I guess – his Joker laughs a lot and says things in a different tone of voice every now and then, because that’s what the Joker does. Leto’s take on the Joker a very predictable portrayal, really – it delivers the basic checklist of character traits for the Joker but doesn’t really add anything on top. It’s a generic, standard Joker, inoffensive but completely forgettable. While it’s not as bad as Jesse Eisenberg’s awful Lex Luthor, I’m not really bothered about seeing Leto again in the role.

5. El Diablo

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The first character on this list to get actual development!

El Diablo is interesting, but also a frustrating missed opportunity of a character. His basic character arc is, on paper, substantial and worthy – the kind of solidly executed development you’d want from a film about villains overcoming society’s perception of them to do some good for the world. Jay Hernandez is good in the role, delivering a quiet and relatively subdued performance that conveys a lot of repressed self-hatred and fury, and his final moments are relatively good as he takes down Enchantress’ brother, although it’s undermined by the fact that literally no-one mentions or regards his sacrifice after it happens, 15 minutes before the movie’s end. That said, his actual backstory is dull and cliched, verging on the vague racial stereotypes of Killer Croc with no depth beyond, and the flashbacks of his family’s death involve him screaming ‘NOOOOO!!!’ into the sky while cradling someone’s body. Yes, it’s 2016, and people still do that in movies. El Diablo is a decent character, but with more focus and depth in his backstory, he could have been the movie’s breakout hit.

4. Amanda Waller

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This list is all about milestones the further you go up: the first recognisable character, the first adequate character, the first interesting character and so on (these milestones are not exactly high bars, but hey, this is Suicide Squad). Amanda Waller is the first character who actually just works – the movie sets out to achieve something with Waller, and it does so efficiently and effectively. A lot of that is down to Viola Davis, who overcomes Waller’s lack of character depth (she’s ‘a mean lady’, but that’s it) with a great performance that’s all icy authority and veiled threats – scarier than most of the villains here because her sociopathic nature isn’t clumsily spelled out for us; it’s simply lurking underneath every line of dialogue, implicit in everything she does. Waller as a character is a great deconstruction of the Nick Fury-esque chessmaster behind a heroic team, and it’s good to see that the movie gets across that key function nicely. Low bar, but it cleared it.

3. Harley Quinn

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Harley Quinn is a fascinating character, but she’s also a deeply problematic one whose uniquely weird and violent relationship with the Joker is fraught with all kinds of nasty subtext that sits awkwardly in an era where issues of abusive relationships and gender roles are right at the top of the cultural conversation. Suicide Squad‘s attempt to deal with these issues is a wee bit awkward: it kind of gives them lip service, which theoretically removes it from engaging with the worst parts of her relationship with Joker, but in practice just makes matters worse because it simplifies the issue and makes it come across as cheap, quick usage of abuse for shock value. Her character arc relating to this is borderline nonsensical – she wants to get back to the Joker for very little reason, chooses her newfound ‘friends’ to fight with in the end but only because she thinks Joker is dead, but then reverts back to where she was at the start of the movie when the Joker rescues her at the end. Along the way, we learn she wants a completely normal and domestic life, something that contradicts almost everything else we learn about her.

Parallel to that, you’ve got a performance by Margot Robbie that is near-definitive: she’s having so much fun in an unapologetically crazy role that those huge flaws in her characterization somehow seem manageable. As a character who bounces off others and creates new, weird relationships with almost every member of the Squad, she’s genuinely great, which helps with the camaraderie in a team made up of 50% moving cardboard cut-outs. She gets most of the best comic relief moments, too, and they’re – wait for it – actually funny. With a weaker actress than Robbie, Harley Quinn would sink under the weight of that weird, troublesome back-story and incoherent arc – but she’s just fun enough here that you can forget about the shaky foundations, at least for a time.

2. Will Smith’s Deadshot

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Deadshot is arguably Suicide Squad‘s best contribution to the universe in terms of interesting, well-developed characters backed up by a strong performance that mixes intensity with levity. Is he a true classic villain who will be spoken of by camp fires 100 years from now in hushed tones by the android generation who will have overcome humanity by then (I put thought into this stuff)? No. But he’s a character that changes in a way that feels earned and logical – a simple transformation from unrepentant assassin to man with a conscience, fuelled by love for his daughter that’s given sufficient attention throughout the movie so we can actually see the change.

Also, in a pleasant surprise, Will Smith turns up for this. Perhaps unfairly, I pegged his casting when it was announced as a pay check for him and a marketing device for DC, but Smith’s performance hits all the right notes – charismatic, swaggering but also introspective and quietly regretful. Smith makes anything the script throws at him sound convincing even when the dialogue is painfully obvious and emotionally manipulative which papers over some of the cracks script-wise (the inclusion of his daughter is just there to push all the very standard ‘be a better dad’ emotional buttons, and very little else), and while the performance is still very Will Smith, it’s good to see a leading man performance in a movie that would otherwise have lacked an emotional centre. The

Also, the flashback where Ben Affleck’s drops down from an alleyway, confronts Deadshot and says “It’s over, Deadshot” hinting at dozens of encounters before is legitimately one of my favourite moments in this universe so far. See, Zack Snyder, it’s not that hard to world build!

Still, Deadshot pales in comparison to the number 1 character of the Suicide Squad; the DC universe’s greatest champion; a new hero for our troubled times. Number 1 is:

1. Slipknot

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The man, the myth, the legend: your favourite DC hero has made it to live action, and he’s incredible.

Slipknot, the man who can climb anything: introduced not with a flashback and fancy graphics like nearly everyone else, but instead by abruptly arriving in a jeep like an 8 year old late to his table football tournament with absolutely no fanfare. “That’s Slipknot, the man who can climb anything”, says Joel Kinnaman, presumably dreaming of what there would be for lunch that day at craft services. In his next scene, Slipknot is convinced to escape. As the man who can climb anything, he climbs a building… and his head is blown up to prove the Squad’s neck bombs do work. He is not referenced after.

Don’t let the briefness of his screen time fool you. Slipknot is a true hero: the DC universe equivalent of Harambe, the gorilla who, like Slipknot, was taken from the world before his time by the United States government. I salivated in euphoric anticipation at the potential of Slipknot’s adventures, only for my dreams to be crushed. Fear not, readers: Slipknot lives within my heart. He will not be forgotten.

Hail Slipknot.

Posted in Uncategorized

Blogger Recognition Award – Wait, What?

I am very deeply confused about this.

Off the bat, thanks to Vahrkalla for the nomination! It’s very kind of him to think of me, and this validation clearly shows I am loved and appreciated by the WordPress community. No, it’s not nepotism. Hush.

Vahrkalla is a gaming blog filled with insightful opinion pieces, comedy posts and occasional poems which, with no context, I assume are written by him – if so, nice job with the poems! – (if not, please reject that praise). He’s been a useful WordPress companion in that his massively superior hit count, follower count and quality of writing has given me something to gaze at wistfully in the distance (what, you think I’d chase him?).

There are some rules to this! Rules are made to be broken, but I’m a loser so I follow them anyway:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Attach the award to the post.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  • Select 5 other bloggers you want to give the award to.

How I Started

My internet blogging has a long, storied history. It is a five-year epic, beginning with a quaint, shittily designed hovel of a stomping ground on Blogger (here, if you have to) and then moving to a potentially worse successor with inferior design, also on Blogger (here, if you want to waste your time), and then…

… hang on, you meant only this one?

Ah, well, that story is simpler. The majority of my online writing is comprised of TV reviews – and while that’s a really enjoyable and rewarding experience, the format is obviously pretty restrictive, which means I have very little leeway to write about the other stuff that interests me outside of the shows I review (woe is me, I know). So, in the interests of working purely for myself and having a place to dump any ideas that came to mind with no creative restrictions, I made this blog. My commitment to it has been awful, but it’s the thought that counts.

A Piece of Advice

I’m no expert, as I have stated ad infinitum again and again in a desperate attempt at self-deprecating humour covering up real insecurities (wait, what?), but from my experience of online writing, my one piece of advice to anyone willing to listen is to put yourself into your writing.

That sounds obvious – surely everyone puts a bit of their personality into their writing, right? – but I think that’s the key to writing something you’re personally proud of. Anyone can write a dry, basic explanation piece about superhero movies, but when you start leaning into your own personal experience and specific preferences in anything you’re writing about, the results are often a lot more personally fulfilling than something that’s blander and more applicable to your average reader. I suppose that’s a long-winded way of saying that finding your identity as a writer is crucial – but, equally, don’t get pidgeon-holed into just one style of writing; playing around and experimenting with your style and voice are equally vital parts of honing your writing.

Obviously, this advice only goes so far. I’m still finding myself as a writer and a person, and my beliefs and priorities in terms of writing have changed drastically even in the short time since I set this up. My gauge of what’s good and what’s not is highly unreliable, and I’ve lost count of the number of articles that have publicly been put up on relatively popular websites by me that I have completely hated. As someone who’s taken the most pride from articles that were recognisably influenced heavily by my worldview and ideology, though, I can offer that as advice that probably should work.

My Nominations

Okay, this is where I look like a bit of a chump. WordPress, I have let you down by not engaging avidly enough in your community, and as a result, there are no blogs I can think of to nominate aside from the couple that I know have already been nominated.

So, hey, I’ll cheat. If any blogger happens to come across this on their travels, you have been nominated! I know it’s unlikely, but I’ll put this on a few popular categories just to up the chances. It’s a free nomination for all those bloggers out there who might not have established links enough to get a nomination, but do awesome work anyway and deserve the glittering JPEG image to hang proudly on their blog.