Dinosaur 13

The heartbreaking origin of the world’s most famous Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen.

This is a slightly unusual review as it’s about a documentary; Something I didn’t think I’d be talking about on here. But I’m gonna do it anyway. This was my second time watching this and I really felt the urge to write about it.

This is the bit where I normally shout spoilers but for once, I’m not giving any spoilers. If any of you choose to watch it, I want it to unfold in front of you without you knowing what’s next.

But we still have to ask the question, what do I think the story was?

In 1990 paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute discovered the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever found. The next ten years were a mess of court cases as various groups waged war over who the fossils really belong to. The team from the Black Hills Institute weren’t just fighting to keep Sue the T-rex, they were fighting for their freedom.

If you have any interest in dinosaurs or law I would definitely suggest watching this. I myself lean towards the dinosaur side. If you are like me, don’t expect to learn lots about T-Rex though, this is all about the people that found Sue (the T-Rex is named after Susan Hendrickson, she was the person who found the specimen to begin with) and the complicated webs of law that surround them.

There is so much to enjoy in this documentary, the initial discovery is exciting but after that you get hooked on what will happen to Sue and the people that found her. Every time you think something bad happens, around the next corner something else goes wrong. The journey is filled with money hungry farmers, hateful judges, pained paleontologist, extortionate bidding wars, passionate public and a constant worry that Sue won’t get the home she deserves.

I don’t normally find law all that interesting but I really enjoyed this. Admittedly that may have been largely due to it being about a dinosaur but I also found it fascinating how complicated things got over who owned it. Apparently finders keepers doesn’t hold up in court. I found myself getting invested in the people involved and have a whole different sense of appreciation for that T-Rex, if I ever get the chance to see her, I reckon it’ll make a tad emotional. Cause I am a child

10 times more or never again? Yeah another ten times for sure. And I would urge you all to watch it too. Hope you enjoy.

I know this was a quick one, I just really wanted to share my thoughts on it. So thanks for reading my little ramble.

See you later.

P.s please don’t hate me if you watch and don’t like it. I’m just a nerd that likes dinosaurs too much and anything with them in it gets like ten extra points from me. That’s right I am bias! I am only human!.. wish I was a dinosaur though.

 

It’s always sunny in Philadelphia… Or is it?

So after a few months of me and my girlfriend watching Always Sunny, we have reached its current end. And as we wait for season 14 to roll around I thought it would be great opportunity to share my thoughts on it. Let’s go!

SPOILERS !!!

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is an American sitcom that follows a group of 5 (though it starts as 4) unstable individuals as they try to run an Irish bar in Philadelphia called Paddy’s Pub. We have Dennis Reynolds the self loving sexual predator and his twin sister Deandra Reynolds the wannabe actress that is instead the butt of everyone’s jokes and a bit if a general mess. Mac (Ronald MacDonald) is the self professed karate chopping hard man who is secretly insecure about every part of his life. Charlie Kelly is the wild card that loves to stomp rats, hang out in the sewer and stalk the love of his life, the waitress. Finally Frank Reynolds rounds off the crew as the father of Dennis and Dee trying to make up as a father by funding all the crazy schemes. He also becomes very fond of Charlie and likes to hang out in the sewer and under bridges with him.

Each of the main cast are brilliant and each character bounces off eachother perfectly. They are all terrible in perfectly normal situations. For example the intro the very first episode (the gang gets racist) starts with Dee bringing a black man into the bar. Now to any normal person this wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary in the slightest. But Charlie, Dennis and Mac quickly dig themselves a hole by saying things like “we don’t want any trouble” and “we have plenty of African American people in here, you might know some of them”. There is an attempt to diffuse the comments and clear the air but instead they completely unintentionally make things worse. This kind of thing happens quite often, where the gang will accidentally do or say something that could be seen as wrong (but was not meant in that way) and try to hard to make it better which makes things ultimately worse. The programme will go to some pretty dark areas of comedy and still make it amazing.

The running gags are not only hilarious but also make the programme feel more authentic. This is furthered by one of my favourite things, the shouting matches. In normal entertainment arguments appear very scripted but in this, the cast really do just scream over eachother in a way that seems incredibly real. Performances like this make for a lot of improv on set which I feel is clear in the final product.

The stories drastically vary from typical bar stuff like preparing for a health inspection to trying to solve the oil crisis, writing a play or buying a boat. The constant change in stories keeps you on your toes and constantly surprised by what they do next.

It’s not only the main cast that bring the hilarity but the the recurring side characters. All of them are a touch on the unstable side (but then again, everyone is in this programme) but each in unique ways. Some of the stand outs are Cricket the priest turned homeless drug addict, the Mcboyels family of incestual weirdos and Charlie’s love, the waitress. Every single character has stand out moments that will make you cringe or chuckle.

I’m going to rate this like I rate everything, watch ten more times or never again. For me, I would happily watch all of it again and again and again, and I plan on doing so. For a programme full of seemingly heartless people, it sure does have a lot of heart. You learn to care about all these bad people and any display of emotion can be quite heartwarming. It’s truly hilarious and there is so much of it, that I will have forgotten many episodes and I can’t wait to re-experience them all. It’s crowned itself as my favourite sitcom.

If any of you are interest in seeing what it’s all about then I have a few of my favourite episodes to suggest. You can watch them all on Netflix by the way.

7) The gang turns black

In this weird episode the gang wakes up in the bodies of a group of black people, the hilarity ensues as the try to figure out what the rules are and discover they are trapped in a musical.

6) The gang buys a boat

The title of this one pretty much speaks for itself. The gang buys a boat and as always it doesn’t go as planned.

5) Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs

When Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs on a bet, they expect it to be easy but instead one of my favourite things happens, Dennis goes completely insane and Mac unravels too.

4) Sweet Dee has a heart attack

When Dee has a heart attack her and Dennis join a gym, Mac and Charlie get new jobs and Frank ends up in a hospital. It’s all good fun.

3) Charlie work

In this episode we see how Charlie secretly holds the whole bar together when a health inspector visits. This episode is shot incredibly well, most of it seems to be done in one continuos take.

2) The gang goes to a water park

When the gang decides to visit a water park Dennis adopts a girl to be his partner in crime, Mac and Dee get stuck in a slide, and Charlie and Frank pretend Frank has aids in order to skip all the cues in an attempt to go on every ride.

1) The Nightman cometh

In my favourite episode Charlie writes a musical play for the gang to perform. It may be loosely tied to Charlie’s past which is a bit dark but the whole episode is funny from start to finish and has songs that will get stuck in your head for hours.

See you later.

Hateful 8

Hateful 8: bad or great?

A couple weeks ago I watched Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film The Hateful 8 for the first time. I decided I would leave it a little while before giving my views so that it is a true representation of how the film impacted me. I feel like whatever I remember now says a lot more than whatever I remembered just after watching it.

So let’s get into it.

I’ll try to not make this as long as the film itself.

Let’s start with the plot and ask the question: what do I think the story was?

Oh yeah, SPOILERS!!!

So The Hateful 8 is a wintery western that follows a group of unlikable people trapped in a wooden house for almost the whole film. We have Sam Jackson as a bounty hunter, on his way to collect his bounty. Kurt Russell is also trying to collect a bounty, on a prisoner he is keeping alive (at least it isn’t star lord this time) so that the hangman gets to do his job. This prisoner just so happens to be the mum from Netflix’s Atypical which is good cause she was a bitch anyway. There is also the rather forgetful stage coach driver and the sherriff that I recognised but couldn’t tell you what he was from. Marvel’s abomination (what ever happened to him? Like he just disappeared at the end of that Hulk film. I hope he is on the raft and is released to help fight the next big bad guy. I would like Galactus personally) joins the party in his human form, Tim Roth as the towns hangman. There was that Mexican dude that I don’t remember the name of played by somebody I don’t know. Michael Madsen from the kill Bill films played a grumpy writer and lastly there was the racist war veteran who was part of an arm chair.

So Sam Jackson, star lord’s dad, the only girl, the new sheriff and the stage coach driver are forced to go to Millie’s cabin to wait out a blizzard. The rest of the cast are all waiting inside. When some of the characters die from somebody poisoning the coffee, Sam Jackson starts an investigation. And it reveals that Kurt Russell’s prisoner was the sister of Channing Tatum (oh yeah he is in this for 5 minutes I forgot) who is the leader of some huge gang and the rest of the people in the cabin are also part of that gang. Basically everyone ends up dead I think. It’s not clear if Sam Jackson and the sheriff die or if they manage to survive. But yeah that’s the story. It seems pretty lacking now that I’ve written it down, especially for a 3 hour film.

Though the story seems a bit empty I feel that the film makes up for it with all the character development. It was definitely a character based film rather than story focused. That was very much a good thing about this film, the amount we knew about each person really fleshed out the world they were living in. Not only this but it really made you root for certain people.

The acting in this flick was pretty great all round and there was loads of playful dialogue being thrown about. Kurt Russell’s character was a big presence for the first half of the film and sort of acted as the voice of the audience as he probed each character, trying to get information out of them which for us as viewers, supplied bountiful amounts of information. And the camera work of the landscape was brilliant, it was able to really create a sense of isolation when needed and maintain an old school western feel. The musical score for the film was also really good and felt like it had quite a presence in each scene, it really helped drive things forward.

On the whole, this film felt like a drawn out, exciting game of Cluedo. In which the journey of asking the questions was more exciting than the conclusion of the game. There was also a lot more blood and gore than any game of Cluedo I’ve ever witnessed. Whilst I have said mostly good things about the film I feel like it was lacking a bit of heart. I didn’t find myself invested in any of the characters, expecting each of them to get their head blown off in the good old QT fashion.

Watch 10 more times or never again? Though I do like the film it’s going to be never again for me. It was just too long for too little heart for me.

But why should you listen to me? I push almost every door marked pull. So go make up your own mind… If you like long westerns and violence. If you don’t then go enjoy a bath and a book. If you can’t read then just have a bath and stop staring at your screen wondering what all these words say. Oh I do love a good tangent.

Anyway!

See you later.

Shared passions

Today I was on my way to the train station listening to the podcast Fatman Beyond. It’s a podcast hosted by one of my favourite directors and one of his good friends, the writer, Marc Bernardin. They were chatting with the guy who controls the BB-8 droid on the set of the most recent star wars films. So I was pretty lost in my ears. And I find myself looking quite intensely at a man’s t-shirt as he walks past me. It was a star wars shirt with an X-wing on it, done in an old comic book style. Then this same man takes his headphones off and points at my shirt and says amazing podcast. It just so happens I was wearing a weekly planet t-shirt. This podcast is all about nerdy stuff similar to Fatman on batman but hosted by two Australian guys (can you tell I like a good podcast?). I was a little stunned at first as it made me realise just how much I was staring at his shirt. But then I was overwhelmed with a sense of happiness. This person I had never met before and will probably never meet again already had loads in common with me because not only did he like the podcast but he must have liked something they talk about, and I like basically everything they had to say. It was nice to get recognition from a fellow fan.

I kept thinking about this encounter whilst on the train and it made me look at my relationships with people and it made me realise just how important shared passions can be. For example my girlfriend had only ever seen a handful of marvel movies before meeting me. Once she discovered how much I adored them she wanted to watch them too. So in what were possibly the best months of my life, we would watch maybe one film a week. Flash forward to the release of captain marvel and she was up to date, she could come see this film with me and it was a brand new experience we could share. And then avengers endgame came out and the second time I saw it (first time was with my dad as we always do midnight releases for avengers), I was with her and not only was it another shared experience but if you’ve seen that film (and judging by the box office it looks like everybody has) you can guess it was a bloody emotional one. I was crying like a child that santa forgot, but even better, so was she! That’s how invested she had became in these films and it meant the world to me that we could both cry like children together over this thing we loved.

One of the best conversations I’ve had was with one of my best friends that I now refer to as Nightman (ah-ahhhh). Where we spoke for a solid ten minutes about our favourite cereals. We both got so passionate about it. You would have thought we were in the cereal business or something. But alas we just really like cereal.

So if you’re passionate about something go out and talk to somebody about it. Or better still, strengthen a relationship by going and exploring somebody else’s passion. If you end up liking it then that’s something else you can share and personally, talking to people that love the things you love is one of the best things in the world.

See you later

P.s Dayman is better than Nightman

Hellboy (2019)

So hellboy went and got itself a reboot this year with stranger things’s David Harbour dawning the horns. I’m going to take a little look at the film and tell you what I thought of it. But first things first…

SPOILERS !!!

There are about as many spoilers in this as there were weird creatures in the film. So you have been warned.

With a film like this people are bound to compare it to the original that had a charming cast of actors to bring the world of hellboy to life. However I am going to try my best not to compare the two properties. And I think if you watch the film yourself you should do the same as it is much more enjoyable if you’re not constantly making comparisons.

So let’s get it into it.

This is currently my third draft of this post, coming up with a structure has been a struggle. But I think what I’m going to do is break down components of the film rather than going through its start to finish like I have previously tried, because that would be long and boring. So let’s start with the plot and ask the question.: What do I think the story was?

We start hellboy with a black and white scene that gives us the run down of our villain. The blood queen. Once upon a time in the land of old, she brought a plague that could have wiped out the human race so that monsters could live their own peaceful lives.
Now I personally think there should have just been some peaceful protests from the monsters, maybe chain themselves to fences and wagons, it seems to have helped in the way of equality in the real world.
The queen however liked the killing stuff and went down that path instead. Which ironically led to her own death by none other than king Arthur and his sword Excalibur. She was sliced up like a Christmas Turkey and put in little boxes that were hidden across the UK, insuring she would not come back to power and that the human race would be safe from her evil…

Like that was gonna work. HA!

Flash forward into the modern day and a walking Scouse pig is going after all of the blood queen’s boxed up limbs in a hope to bring her back from the dead and bring all the world’s monsters back to the forefront. He succeeded in his mission and the queen is returned to her former glory.
Hellboy, agent pussycat and Alice from wonderland team together to take her down. Along the way we find out that hellboy is prophecised to bring an end to the world rather than the blood queen. Now how’s that for a spanner in the works. He of course proves this to be wrong and saves the day by beheading her yet again. Poor woman.
As far as stories go, I liked it. It was easy to understand but didn’t fall too flat because it had other little arcs going on such as hellboys relationship with his dad, the mystery behind agent pussy cat and the Scouse pigs need for revenge against hellboy.

There are loads of great scenes in this film and if you like blood and guts you’ll definitely enjoy the fights. For example, when monsters come out of the ground because hellboy picks up king Arthur’s (yes THAT king Arthur) sword, there are plenty of beheadings and all sorts of dismemberment. I was actually surprised at it being a 15 when you take into account how graphic the film is, in terms of violence.
I am particularly fond of the scenes where hellboy teams up with some British soap stars to kill three giants in the English countryside. By the end of the scene in which he is betrayed by the Osiris club (the British soap stars) and battered by giants, hellboy should most definitely be dead. The limits of how much damage he can take is not at all clear. But oh well, makes for some good fights.

I really enjoyed David Harbours performance as hellboy. He brought a lot of emotion to the character which is impressive as he was caked in a few inches of prosthetics. He also brought quite a nice bit of humour to the roll.

There was something a little strange about the audio in the film because certain lines delivered from agent pussycat and Alice were so crystal clear that they sounded almost as if they’d been added in post. Whether that was just their accents or poor editing I found it a little off-putting at times. Not a major issue though.

I would have liked to have seen the agent pussycat character fleshed out a bit because even though they explained his back story u felt the character was a little bit flat. The Alice character however has a lot of potential as she is discovering her powers throughout the film like when she accidentally punches a man’s soul out of his body. Not to mention she has that cool ability to vomit up a dead person so they can talk for a bit which allows hellboy one final conversation with his deceased father.

The soundtrack was something I really enjoyed with this film, had a good mix of indie rock songs that helped set a tone. Matched with a dark grossly world it really worked.

Over all I enjoyed this film. It had some good performances and characters. But it definitely has room for improvement. I’m not going to do a boring ranking system of 1-10 or something. Instead I will say if I had to either watch it 10 more times or never again, what would I pick? I think I’d watch it another ten times, it was an enjoyable experience for me. So if you haven’t seen it but all this sounds appealing, get yourself down the shop and get yourself a copy.

See you later

P.s some of the scenes were ripped straight from the comics and that is so pleasing to me how accurate it is.

Heyo

Heyo! And welcome to bearded reviews. This is a blog where I’m going to spill my brains out on the things that matter to me, mainly films, TV, comics, books and games etc. I’m just doing this for fun so if you enjoy it that’s a bonus.

So pull up a chair, grab your pet and force them to give your cuddles and let’s talk about some stuff.

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