Real Life Lessons: Is It Better To Be An Introvert Than An Extrovert?

A child should be seen and not heard. Introverts are rarely the first to get culled in times of group conflict.

Today’s real life lessons for little children: You know when the teacher asks the class a question and you don’t put your hand up to volunteer an answer? That’s instinct and it is what ensured the survival of many a species over the course of history. ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ eliminates the most visible first not those who keep their heads down and who keep their personal agendas to themselves. You can still excel past your peers but you will not be as recognised as others in your lifetime. It has happened many a time in the sciences most notably between Thomas Edison, the extrovert showman of science, and Nikola Tesla who has now become semi-mythologised.

But where in real life history did this apply? Stalin’s purges of course! When he got rid of the best and brightest in Russian society because he considered them a threat to him! Some intelligentsia survived through the sheer instinctive ability to lay low and not promote themselves in such a way that attracted his attention such as the curators at the Hermitage. They protected it’s abstract art collection, which was of course in storage, by citing that none other than Lenin himself had commended the pieces as examples of exemplary art (and thus it was beyond question to consider destroying them in line with the social realism expected of Soviet artwork as Lenin’s opinions were a quasi-deified ‘law’ in the early Soviet society). An extrovert would be unable to do this and ultimately would have ‘disappeared’ under their own power to foreign lands in exile or through government agencies’ enforcement for a sojourn in a Siberian gulag they would never return from.

“But I didn’t come here for lazy generalisation about the Soviet Union” I hear you cry!

Of course not, but it demonstrates a situation where behaviour associated with introversion aided survival albeit via ‘blat’ i.e. blackmarket dealing and knowing the right people in positions of authority (which you could argue required charisma usually associated with the extrovert of society). Ultimately knowing who to trust and not betraying others intentionally, or by having a big mouth, was key to many affiliations. Also it should be said Russians, and perhaps Slavs in general, are not all stony faced xenophobes but, due to their histories, need their trust gained first but then will stick with you through thick and thin. Tough exteriors with a soft centre. Like a particularly luxuriant caramel chocolate bar. Or an egg… yes, they’re good eggs.

Time to do the bullet points as you probably skipped reading the paragraphs…

Introverts will put up with you shit and laugh at your crap jokes – just what everyone wants in a partner though they only ask for world travelling adventurers on dating sites.
• An introvert is not distracted by petty things and can focus on a task. Like a trained army sniper. Like a hypnotised chicken.
They will value interaction. ’SOMEONE’S ACTUALLY SPEAKING TO ME! I DO ACTUALLY EXIST’ they will think.
• Incredibly naïve due to not learning the unwritten, unspoken, ‘rules of society’ at the school of hard knocks/life. Want to borrow something? Sure, of course, no questions asked! Then you need never return the item. Start little by borrowing pens and eventually you will be borrowing cars and squatting in their house, rent free, eating them out of house and home like a loveable little farting gremlin.
People love an underdog. Introverts are underdogs by nature. Eyore is the icon of such in children’s literature. People like Tigger in short bursts but often consider him to be an annoyance. Everything ‘a tigger does best’ turns out to be done badly. People adore Eyore and the house at Pooh Corner was built for him by the others as he was so loved by them despite being a sarcastic and bitter old soul.
If raising an introvert child they will likely not run off and become the subject of news regarding their disappearance. In fact they probably won’t leave your side once their spirit is properly broken and of course due to this they will always fail to have successful relationships as people aspire to partners who improve their station in life which first and foremost requires confidence i.e. extrovert tendencies. Therefore with an introvert child you will have an on hand servant for all occasions for the rest of your life.
They don’t need to be supervised constantly. Stick them in a cupboard for nine months to work and you won’t hear a word of complaint and all the work will be completed anyway without you contacting them once during that entire period. Matilda, Harry Potter, there are many examples of such noble figures in children’s literature they should aspire to be like.
• An introvert, not actively seeking to have their existence validated by others every single moment of the day, will be able to learn new skills quicker if taught properly in a formal situation. If you say jump they don’t ask how high because they already overheard you say what height you desired in a conversation you had earlier in their presence.
• ‘Good Communication Skills’ means that people don’t ignore what you say because you say so little there must some value to it. Except if you say the building is capable of turning into a giant kaiju fighting robot. Then they will either be unsure if you are telling the truth, as you are not one to make general joking banter, or if you are quietly insane and hence there is a reason why people do not speak to you. No the building does transform. It’s the only explaination for it’s design…
An introvert thinks first then speaks. They usually make more constructive points compared to extroverts who adopt a ‘throw everything and see what sticks’ mentality because they ‘work the numbers’. However they will also probably say the boring common sense answers too which an extrovert will have not said as it is obvious and thus admonish them for even wasting their time stating.
An introvert will listen to your problems but there is no onus on you to reciprocate this. Their lives are mostly fantasy in their head, not doing anything actually interesting in the real world as they are so used to sitting in a room alone, so it would be hard to communicate anyway as its all theory. They’re a sounding board for all life’s griefs.
Ultimate team players. Will listen and co-operate with others. Unquestioning cannon-fodder. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir! Like dunking a hobnob biscuit they just keep going absorbing more and more and want more still without breaking! Challenges are welcomed not moaned about. More, more, more! Masochists to the end!
• Spend so much time imagining all the variables they are over prepared for many things. Introverts are the real world equivalent of Batman!
Easily fade into the crowd. Super spies are not like James Bond but that person who face and name you can’t remember but you know was there for a long time in the place you used to work at but made absolutely no impression on you. Like Harry Palmer played by Michael Caine in the Ipcress File.
As leaders they are the type to bring out the best in individuals as they consider others views, even if they do not agree, as they want the best outcome… but then they are so poor at self-promotion they will not be a leader without a senior staff member noticing, while the extrovert is vocally announcing each minute task they have completed in order to be praised, or by being the founder of the organisation.
To introverts the happiness of others takes precedent over their own desires. They will not be able to communicate this. It is traditionally the Celtic/Gaulish notion of love i.e. if you truly love something let it go / their happiness makes you happy, even if it is with another/ love is free not something to be locked away / etc. Hence the annoyance from locals when all those padlocks were placed on the Pont de Arts Bridge in Paris by foreign visitors. To the locals it was as if the people who did this completely misunderstood the notion of love. Obviously this means introverts are very lonely people who will wind up caring for their parents in their old age as carers while their peers have gone off having families. End of a blood line but then the world is over populated as it is.
• Introverts will suffer multiple small failures rather than single big failures like extroverts leaping in before they look. Easier to cover up and more forewarning before everything goes to hell.
You can push and push an introvert but be aware: they may be a ticking time bomb and you don’t want to be there when they explode! But most introverts internalise their anger and so will suffer depression long before expressing their anger outwardly. So you probably shouldn’t worry at all. In fact if you hate them just start the snowball rolling and the rest of it will take care of itself. Win/win situation.
Very often the heroes in popular stories are introverts with poor communication skills e.g. Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice, many of Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western roles, protagonists in computer games (although in this case they are supposed to be a ‘blank slate’ the player imprints themselves on) and most other action hero roles. Men of action not empty words.
• Ironically though in real life there is a contrast due to the cliché of ‘he was a quiet man, kept to himself…’ regarding murderers in media reports usually the truth is that the person involved was very socially skilled and highly active in their community thereby gaining peoples’ unquestioning trust which they go on to later betray. The most famous and, in a dark way, ‘successful’ serial killers like Ed Gein or Ted Bundy were highly socially skilled sociopaths not introverts at all but dangerous outsiders in society will always be portrayed as introverts as it goes against the basic nature of Homo Sapiens as a social animal living in co-operative communities.
• They will be prone to sarcasm or constant attempts at humour to express disagreement before stating it bluntly and offending others like an extrovert would.
• More often than not they are likely to have taken the moral lessons learned in childhood and maintained them into adulthood. Stupid things others grow out of like telling the truth, being honest, putting others before yourself or superstitions like not screwing others over otherwise it will come back to you three fold.
Will work to the best of their ability and take personal responsibility for their actions. In fact to such an extent they will be hyper sensitive to any minor criticism and likely offer to commit seppuku (also known as hara-kiri) at a moment’s notice to retain the team’s honour. Paranoia and an ever present dread of criticism will likely only aid in motivating they to provide only the highest level of service.
Will work with anyone. Even the most antisocial and aggressive people without uttering a word of complaint. Again may lead them to internalising and self-destructive behaviour but then there are plenty of other people you can employ to replace them aren’t there?
‘Hell is other people’ – Introverts can and probably will prefer working alone for the most part but having people to speak to will remind them they are disposable and ensure their compliance. You may be lucky and they actually get on with the people they work with. Anyway you play it it’s a win/win situation with introverts.

If your child is extrovert and you would prefer an introvert child then you need to do a few things. First break their will. Sit them in silence at meals. Isolate them from other children to ensure their social skills are those of an adult and so they have a hard time acclimatising with people of their own age and generation for the rest of their lives. If they rebel use excess force. You only have to do it once as it will be like a nuclear deterrent. Everyone saw what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and so the atom bomb only ever had to be used once to make sure everyone knew their place despite and the gesturing nuclear powered nations make towards one another. Occupy the child’s time. Get them after school lessons that ensure not only are they indoctrinated into measuring their live via achievement but also during this time you have a bit of peace and quiet for yourself as they are being baby sat. Don’t do anything deemed ‘child friendly’. They are there to serve you. Go to places that don’t cater to children. Insist on sitting around for long periods of time with no activities for them to do. The boredom will make them use their imagination more and more until it overtakes their social skills and they are like a little pack mule you have trundle along after you though of course, like many mules, if you chose to use your introvert child this way they will likely be for all intent and purposes infertile as they will be unable to form successful relationships so do not expect any grandchildren.


This is a satirical companion piece to my previous ‘be extrovert rather than introvert’ entry. https://ramblingatthebridgehead.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/real-life-lessons-be-extrovert-not-introvert/

Both have their benefits and their problems. Most people exist somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between the two extremes. Isuppose the stereotype is that extrovert are living life to the full while introverts leads a somewhat tragic existance not achieving their potential.

Regarding the ongoing ear ache saga: Keeping a hot water bottle on my ear for hour upon hour until my ear was bright red has done wonders. Not fully overcome the ailment but leaps and bounds beyond where I was yesterday. At least I can sit vertically and use a laptop this evening.

Short Movie Reviews: February 2015

Evil Dead (2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_Dead_%282013_film%29

An interesting, but ultimately flawed, attempt to recreate something without understanding what made the originals classics of the horror genre. Directed by Fede Alvarez. It is a modern horror remake of a classic of the genre so it was always going to be difficult for it to stand on its own without severe scrutiny. Guess my reaction. As with all these remakes the original caught the zeitgeist of some aspect of society’s fears. Rosemary’s Baby did it when fears about Satanism were prevalent due to media scares (even the nice old couple next door could be part of a cult), Halloween did it when fear of serial killers in middle America’s suburban ‘white picket fence’ communities was commonplace due to more media scares (if someone goes on a killing spree you won’t be able to stop them) and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ raised fear of how powerless adults were to prevent paedophile access to their children after even more media scares (the murders being in the children’s dreams and caused by a hidden shame). Ultimately this makes me thing the next successful horror series will be about Russian radical Islamist (Chechen?) immigrant terrorists if the media scare trend is anything to go by…

The original Evil Dead was grittier, darker and more bleak than many of its contemporaries (except of course Texas Chainsaw Massacre) but the series is of course best known for Evil Dead 2 (basically the same story but with black humour) and Army of Darkness (basically a comedy adventure with horror elements). The message troughout the series overall was to revel in the absurdity of the situation which had a decidedly H P Lovecraft perspective in how there is little, if anything, you can do to fight it – except of course Ash, an everyman action hero, is placed into the scenario and thus disrupts the usual fatalist tone such stories undergo by their end.

The remake removes this figure we vie for and identify with yet retains, if not embellishes, the ‘tree rape’ scene Sam Raimi has always said he regrets. If anything the sequel is perhaps more influenced by Lovecraft’s tone of fatalism but in having over the top gore it also undermines itself. The trailers, especially the red band ones, gave away everything, and I mean everything, interesting about the film and so it was more a ‘tick the boxes’ process than something to enjoy. The only thing I can say is that applying gender studies to the film we find instead of Ash’s phallic chainsaw finale we get the gynocidal fountains of blood as Mia wrenchs her own arm off unrealistically as she was pinned under the upturned vehicle and she cleaves the demon in twain. I am not sure if the demon was meant to look like her or the girl from the introduction sequence. I swear during the introduction sequence burning the old woman is speaking Welsh. The final scene is just red on red and its hard to distinguish anything really. It’s as if the saw Kubrick’s adaption of The Shining and thoguht the elevator scene needed to be used in other scenarios.

Where the original series was in the tone of the grand guignol, leaving the audience entertained and satisfied, the remake is merely plodding scenes, impressive in their imagery but fatally flawed in their setup, where we just wait to see who survives if anyone and feel a loss of nostalgia when the stinger closes at the end of the credits with Ash speaking the phrase ‘Groovy’. Well made but not something you will bother seeing again.

The Woman In Black (2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woman_in_Black_%282012_film%29

A Classic ghost story masterfully told. It is directed by James Watkins, the screenplay is by Jane Goldman and is based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name. It is made by Hammer and is a fantastic addition to their back catalogue. A classic ghost story which relies more on its atmosphere than on jump scares (though it uses a few and this is one of the few situations where they are vindicated). Daniel Radcliffe gives a fantastic performance proving he is more than capable of emerging from out of the shadow his role as Harry Potter risked overshadowing his skill. The terribly airbrushed cover photo they insist on using for the posters and DVD cover really doesn’t do this film justice. Hopefully one day they will revisit the marketing and create a more fitting image.

The cinematography is fantastic and it really shows the passion everyone involved had for the project. I have the DVD and the commentary is admittedly quite dull though they do note a few things you may miss and give some details about where they acquired the automatons from. The other extras are nice additions including Radcliffe reading the winner of a ghost story writing competition.

The Rambler (2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rambler_%28film%29

Jacob’s Ladder occurring during a road movie directed by Calvin Reeder. I have the DVD which is very bare bones to the point it doesn’t even have subtitles. Either you will love it or hate it. It is not a film that will explain itself to you.

Think of Lynch or Croenburg during the 1980s and you have a good measure of what to expect. It is something you probably won’t fully appreciate on one viewing despite the impression you may get. It deserves more love and is a promising start from its director.

Whats Up Doc? (1972)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What%27s_Up,_Doc%3F_%281972_film%29

A screwball comedy directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It is fantastic light hearted fun and did the ‘Manic Pixie Girl’ before that was a thing with the likes of Zooey Deschanel taking on such roles. You can see how Barbara Streisand was the it girl back then.

It is one of the classics of American cinema and easy to follow. It shows how a lot of the ‘screwball comedies’ of recent years don’t quite get that the audience need to like the characters so you can’t just keep having everyone be a sociopathic man child running around causing trouble. Having one in your film works and no doubt they will be a fan favourite but too much exposure is a bad thing in such cases.

The Great Race (1965)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Race

A classic directed by Blake Edwards. I didn’t know of it but caught it on TV. Fantastic fun light hearted fun. The comedic villains inspired Dick Dastardly and Muttley of the Wacky Races. Natalie Wood… speaking Russian for a brief moment 😀 Although it is a bit sad that she is meant to be a suffragette styled Gibson girl and ultimately is left running around in her stockings later on. Also yes Peter Falk (Columbo) is Max the henchman. Oddly it should be noted Max influenced Muttley and Columbo influenced Mumbly (similar to Muttley but a detective) so apparently Hanna-Barbara adored Falk…

A really entertaining film with great set pieces and I actually ended up watching it twice over two days and didn’t mind. There need to be more comedic villains like these even if it seems a bit silly by today’s standard. Good honest clean fun.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spy_Who_Loved_Me_%28film%29

‘James Bond’d Ocean Adventure’. A James Bond film starring Roger Moore. Features fan favourite henchman Jaws. Barbara Bach is the eye candy this time. This is the one that starts with the ski chase ending in Bond leaping off a cliff and using a Union Jack parachute.

A classic Bond film. What happens? Bond goes around making quips while bedding beautiful women, fighting eccentric villains, going to exotic locales, driving a car that turns into a submarine, drinking expensive drinks. I have no idea it’s a haze… It’s the ‘James Bond and the Ocean Adventure’ entry in the series.

The Wind Rises / Kaze Tachinu (2013)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_Rises

Studio Ghibli so obviously the animation is beyond question in terms of quality. Although it is often said to be a biopic of Jiro Hirokoshi, designer of the ‘zero’ aeroplane which the Japanese used during World War II, it is more based on the fictionalised account in the short story ‘The Wind Has Risen’ by Tatsuo Hori, with a few of Hiro’s characteristics like smoking which Hirokoshi did not share.

A beautiful film, but also one that has an ongoing trace of sadness, throughout it. Hirokoshi achieved his dream of designing a world class aeroplane only to see it used as an instrument of war. As people draw parallels between this film and Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement (but he has said that before so no one believes him) maybe Miyazaki also looks wistfully at the Japnese animation industry he has been so influential in and yet perhaps is not proud of playing his part in establishing.

Moonraker (1979)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonraker_%28film%29

‘James Bond In Space’. Roger Moore as James Bond and Henchman Jaws appears again. Jaws gets a girl and presumably burns up in re-entry after the camera gives him a happy ending while elsewhere Q makes a double entendre about Band attempting re-entry as he has sex, on the monitoring system watched by military staff, with the Bond girl of the film.

I enjoyed it but it is one of the more ridiculous entries in the series but at least it realises this and has a bit of fun with the idea.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2010)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Be_Afraid_of_the_Dark_%282010_film%29

An excellent dark fantasy film. The sort of thing that is rated for older audiences but is the sort of thing which children will enjoy a few sleepless nights over.

Influenced by Arthur Machen and Algenon Blackwood this lends itself more to the traditional style of horror story combined with fables. A classic film which will only gain more of a reputation over time. I just wish thet didnt put Guillemo DelToro’s name all over it as if it was his work alone when he is just producing it…

She’s The Man (2006)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She%27s_the_Man

An adaption of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night apparently. If you remember how ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ successfully modernised ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ with strong performances from its leads you can just forget that here.

Amanda Byrnes and the insistence on comedy over narrative lead this from bad to worse. Friends of mine, while severely drunk and not knowing what it was, went to see this in cinema when it was released and immediately regretted it. That was a more entertaining and inspiring a story in that one single line than this entire film. It won’t make people seek out Shakespeare’s work nor will anyone remember it as soon as the credits roll.

Balls Of Fury (2007)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balls_of_Fury

‘Hey guys I have this crazy idea for a film. Chinese triad death tournament but instead of fighting like in Fists of Fury they play ping pong’ that was the pitch and the reaction was ‘duuuuude pass me the roach before I lose my high’.

It has a few good low brow jokes at the start but quickly runs out of idea. Also Maggie Q’s character goes from hating the lead to being literally clinging onto him with her legs over one scene. I know it is meant to be a parody film but if the parodies fail and the narrative drive fail you are just left watching a car crash. Its a 5 minute sketch dragged out. They should have kept Christopher Walken’s involvement out of the promotions as it is too obvious who the big bad is and so the biggest joke of the film ie the xenophobic blind mentor trained a ‘gwai-lo’ as his best student is completely ruined even before seeing the film. If you want to see a film about ping-pong watch the 2002 Japanese film.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_%28film%29

Marvel make a feel good team up film with relatively unknown characters and it works. I think James Gunn worked his magic on this and made a fun film even more successful.

I think what works for it, unlike the sequels of the bigger name films, is it doesn’t take itself seriously, we don’t have expectations of the characters and while it’s never going to be on anyone’s top ten of all time films it is a fun ride which often choses to defy conventions without becoming overly involved in its own narrative mythology. It’s a feel good science fiction adventure film and to be honest what with the Star Wars prequels drowning in their inability to be satisfactory let alone good this film is not only welcome but likely to long outlast the films of Marvel’s big name characters.

Kwaidan (1965)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwaidan_%28film%29

Based on 4 stories from Lafcadio Hearn’s collected Japanese ghost stories. No he isn’t a relation of mine sadly. The stories featured are The Black Hair, The Woman of the Snow, Hoichi the Earless and In A Cup of Tea.

A masterpiece of world cinema. Slow pacing to build the tone of the stories and although you could easily read the stories in a few minutes I feel the film really gives such a heightened experience. Thoroughly enjoyable. I for a long time didn’t really find anything to lure me back to Japanese cinema due to the recent pandering to certain audiences and over use of cheap CGI but this reminds me of the calibre they are capable of. The cinematography alone is worth watching this film.

Ai To Mokoto / For Love’s Sake (2012)

Directed by Takashi Miike. He is never scared of mixing it up admittedly. There isn’t a proper Wikipedia page for the film and little English language information online about it. It is based on a 1970s manga.

It parodies various famous Japanese songs and the entire thing plays up on how ridiculous the entire genre of high school love is. Does it faithfully adapt the manga or is it satirising it? I don’t know as the manga has never been translated, officially or by amateurs, so it is anyone’s guess.

It starts out great with a number of impressive scenes and musical numbers but kind of loses itself by the end with the main guy beating up a hoard of Schoolgirl gang members for about 10 minutes. Basically imagine the supercut of the American remake of The Wicker Man where Nicholas Cage goes around punching a community of women in the face endlessly and you can guess what the end of the film began to look like.

The main guy doesn’t love the main girl. She treats him more as a project to improve him from being the working class ruffian he is in comparison to her upper class privileged background. Long story short the film ends with him knifed by a teacher he punched (actually a famous Japanese wrestler in real life) and bleeds out as he goes to the girl. He dies at the end. He hates the upper class and ultimately it’s because of the girls interfering in his life he is on the verge of death and she hugs him thinking he finally loves her back. It reminded me of Memories of Matsuko… a film which to me should be renamed ‘Hey Suicide is Painless Compared to a Tragic Life’. Go watch it. Then tell me you disagree. The trailer for that is a lie…


‘Oh hey just to keep the blog running over with regular updates why don’t I do mini reviews of films I have seen recently?’

No.

Bad idea. It actually took longer than some of the more considered posts. Not that I consider them for more than a day or two and those ones are obvious. *cough*ultralongFrozenpost*cough*

Next time it will be another random topic.

Movie Reviews: Short reviews of films that have been on television recently

So over the holiday season I have watched a few films on television. Some of them are well known and some are not. Don’t expect anything in depth as these are purely brief opinion pieces i.e. I have nothing better to post right now.


Up (2009)

Was you favourite part when there is the non-dialogue musical section about Carl and Ellie’s married life together growing old, suffering the news they cannot have children and her passing away? Was it the bit when they reprise the ‘Married Life’ musical piece as Carl opens the adventure book and finds Ellie left him one last message thanking him for all the adventures and telling him to go have a new one?
No?
You are lying!Those parts were far and away in a totally different league to the rest of the film!
To be honest once they realised the ‘married life’ backstory part worked better with no dialogue they should have just accepted they made something far better than the main part of the film and found a way to do the backstory segment a different way and have the ‘married life’ part be its own small feature. You can like Dug as a character but that is as far as I can allow. Ironically they ruined their own film by making a timeless moment with the ‘married life’ segment which leaves the rest of the film pale in comparison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_%282009_film%29

The Dark (2006)

AKA Sean Bean and his American wife with their daughter go live in rural Wales where ghosts cause them trouble. It would be a good film if it wasn’t for the fact I know about the Welsh mythology they allude to while mixing it with a heretical chapel community who committed a suicide pact together. Annwn isn’t the odd cold, blue, windy place they depict but a sort of Valhalla without the need to go fighting, a world of delights and eternal youth where disease was absent and food was ever-abundant. A film of tepid Welsh caricatures and tepid supernatural thriller. It’s okay to watch if you are unfamiliar with Welsh mythology but otherwise it seems very poorly intended despite being based on a novel… a novel called ‘Sheep’… because… you know… Wales… Sheep… Stereotypes. I have watched it a few times thinking maybe I have missed something as they leave any spoken Welsh untranslated at the start but no… no apparently it’s just not that well thought out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_%28film%29

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
Excellent fun adventure film and enjoy it whenever I see it. The motion capture is well done though the faces are in that strange uncanny valley area of features. It amalgamates a few Tintin stories to make its own thing. I would have liked it if they had stayed true to Herge’s original ‘dot eye’ look personally. Andy Serkis as ever proves he is the go to man for ‘ink suit’ acting. I wish they had made a sequel so we could see Professor Calculus. Thompson and Thomson steal every scene they are in due to Pegg and Frost. Admittedly the albums/graphic novels have more space to develop the storylines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Tintin_%28film%29

Hunky Dory (2011/2012)
Set in Swansea. So yes Minnie Driver ‘acting Welsh’ and seeing actors still doing the rounds on Welsh Language television and SkyOne’s Stella is odd. A 1976 comprehensive school does a version of Shakespeare’s Tempest with David Bowie music following the trials and tribulations of all involved. It is a period drama piece and I wasn’t fussed on it. Then again I have a very awkward response to Welsh period drama set in the late twentieth century but it did come across as quite flat despite flashes of potential occasionally. The director also did ‘Patagonia’.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunky_Dory_%28film%29

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
I had wanted to see this for a while but never got around to it. A very fun anachronistic film I would happily see again. It is a stop motion film done by Aardman animation so you know its good stuff and you won’t catch every bit of humour in a scene the first time you watch it. Queen Victoria steals the film as far as I am concerned although all the characters are well done. Apparently based on the first of a series of books so it would be nice to think one day they will go on and adapt others from the series. I would actually go out of my way to see it again if it comes on television again soon it was that enjoyable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirates!_In_an_Adventure_with_Scientists!

The Wolverine (2013)
A film that didn’t need to be made. More to the point it ends with some things unresolved like his adamantium claws being sliced off but I’m guessing by ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ this is never addressed how they became adamantium laced again… They hired a slightly less attractive actress to make the love interest actress look better in comparison. The ‘bow and arrow’ guy I was never clear if he was meant to be Mariko’s dedicated protector or a loyal servant of the family and thus more of an anti-hero. He was eye candy for the ladies so I guess it doesn’t matter. The reveal of who the silver samurai is isn’t a surprise although the de-aging bit was silly. Dr Green is just a very odd ‘obvious villain’ character who is never really given any characterisation beyond ‘obviously evil’. In fact no one gets much to work with in this film in terms of their characters and it shows. I will never willingly watch this film again unless I need to sleep.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wolverine_%28film%29

Puss In Boots (2011)
Puss In Boots stars in a film with humour on the level of Shrek the Third. It’s fun but unfortunately Shrek 2 kind of ruined it for the later films due to its multifaceted cultural references giving adults and children an equally enjoyable film and expecting the later ones to follow suit. Humpty Dumpty I wasn’t too sure about but in the end I think he was a very good character albeit the ‘he was a golden egg/good egg all along’ part was a bit too contrived. There is a lot of Mexican/Spanish style music and it really keeps the film at a strong energetic tempo. Also just after this they showed the short ‘The Three Diablos’ which was okay but should have either been a bit longer or tightened up a bit as it felt a bit ungainly in its story progression.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots_%282011_film%29

Men In Black III (2012)
As good as the first one if not a little better in some respects depending on what you like. Josh Brolin does a brilliant impression of Tommy Lee Jones playing the younger version of the character. Emma Thompson and Jermaine Clement are both excellent and should have been in the film more. However Griffin, played by Micheal Stuhlbarg, steals every scene he is in. The inclusion of interesting alien characters was what was missing from the second film where they confused ‘weird and a set up for some puns’ with interesting as you actually care what happens to the characters here. I wouldn’t mind seeing this on television again one day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_Black_3

Nativity! (2009)
As a stand-alone film this would have been a cheap and cheerful bit of fluff quickly forgotten. How it has had sequels I have no idea as there only seemed enough there to just barely make one film let alone more. It was okay to watch once but I will never watch it again even if there is nothing else on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity!_%28film%29

Mary Poppins (1964)
Classic film. Dick Van Dyke and his dodgy cockney accent. Good stuff. Tarnished in my mind by ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and knowing P. L. Travers wasn’t happy with what they did with her character. It is never nice to find the original creator is unhappy with an adaption of their work. Personally I think they should take a view that it is an adaption and doesn’t change their own work but as we all know sometimes, if not more often, it is the adaptions people know and not the original upon which they are based.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Poppins_%28film%29

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
A film for those who would like something like Mary Poppins but don’t want to watch Mary Poppins again i.e. Disney live action mixed with ‘in animation land’ sequences. I never really ‘got’ this one personally. I think because the character basically go running around stealing a king’s pendant and having an element of ‘the protagonists are in the right always’ even when being thieves. Also the setting lends itself to ‘stiff upper lip’ English stereotypes which when the film was made in 1964 must have already seemed a very old fashioned idea already. I think this was one of the films in my childhood that made me always identify with the villain rather than the protagonists. Also the villain is named Astaroth just like the demon which I found surprising in a Disney film considering that in Fantasia they changed the name of the devil/Lucifer in the ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ section to that of the ancient Slavic mythological deity Chernobog… because… you know… Eastern Europe = Communism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedknobs_and_Broomsticks

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
DC animation film. It’s basically about Super-girl arriving on earth, being trained by Wonder Woman, kidnapped and brainwashed by Darkseid and then returned home. They obviously didn’t think people would buy it if they admitted that. It’s okay but quite generically comic book story wise. Watch it once if you are interested but there is nothing there to draw you back ever again. A very generic comic book story… in fact shockingly so to the point you could imagine it being a satire. The one good bit is when they think everything is resolved then Darkseid appears out of Ma and Pa Kent’s house and there is a massive battle. In the aftermath Ma and Pa return to find their home decimated and Clark introduces his cousin. I’ve ruined the best bit but to honest it was quite boring even if it was only about an hour long.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman/Batman:_Apocalypse

Megamind (2010)
Dreamworks always tend to be a very hit or miss affair with more ‘fails’ than successes in my mind. Megamind is one of the few I feel actually works as it stays true to its subverting of superhero films although it brings nothing new to the table. There is good interaction between the characters and I feel that they could easily have made some interesting continuations with the story if they had wanted. I always think it is George Clooney and not Brad Pitt doing Metro-Man’s voice. Jonah Hill voices Hal Stewart/Tighten and ironically life imitates art is seems as he has more and more come across like an asshole in recent times with his ‘suck my dick faggot’ comment amongst other things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megamind

Конец Санкт-Петербурга (Konets Sankt-Peterburga) / The End Of St. Petersburg (1927)
Silent black and White film made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Worth watching, very intense visuals and performances. As a film made during the early Soviet era about a key period in its beginnings it is of course propagandist but you should check it out if you have even a passing interesting in the history or cinema.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_St._Petersburg

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
AKA the one where Bond marries at the end and she gets gunned down in a drive by shooting by Blofeld and his henchwoman. If nothing else that makes sure I could never think of this as ‘the bad Bond film’ as many insisted it was for years due to George Lazenby being the ‘Milk Tray’ man. The death however is foreshadowed far too heavily by how many times they said the phrase ‘we have all the time in the world’ even to the point of having it as the last line in the film but mostly its reiterated by how often the song reoccurred during the film. There’s a room of women from different nations as Blofeld’s ‘angels of death’. This was the ‘worst’ Bond film apparently for a long time but I actually enjoyed it albeit there are far better ones but if you take this one with a pinch of salt it is really enjoyable and at least breaks the mould of the 007 series up a bit as it’s not as by the book as some others. For me personally Quantum of Solace is the worst one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Her_Majesty%27s_Secret_Service_%28film%29

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Kingdom_of_the_Crystal_Skull

Basically its a rehash of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The villains who are generic villains but this time Soviet Communists instead of Nazis are after a mythological item… lots of call backs… Cate Blanhett doing a hammy Hollywood Ukranian accent… substitute Nazi occultism for Soviet ESP experimentation… adventures… rocket cart… survive nuclear blast in a fridge… strongman villain with little no dialogue killed in a gruesome way… someone talking in riddles… treacherous colleagues… fantastical resolution EXCEPT THIS TIME IT WAS ALIENS NOT MAGIC! …as M Night Shamalan would say ‘What a twist!’…or to be correct as Ox says in the denoument they are interdimensional beings not ‘alien’ aliens so yet a further twist! ‘knowledge was their treasure’ they conclude in the end… I hope you feel the same way now you’ve read these mini reviews.


So the next two posts will be regarding films I have on DVD. They will hopefully be uploaded later this week… hopefully.
O slavnosti a hostech / A Report on the Party and the Guests / The Party and The Guests. (1966) Czech
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Report_on_the_Party_and_the_Guests

Pociąg / Night Train / Baltic Express (1959) Polish
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Train_%281959_film%29