Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: Hansel & Gretel - Witch Hunters (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare and Famke Janssen
Writer: Tommy Wirkola

Some movies are a lot like candy. They can be pretty tasty but don't really provide any sustenance. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is very much like this and by the end I was craving for more.

Not once does this movie ever take itself seriously and instead it keeps things moving at a very quick pace. It gives us fun if not fully fleshed out characters, interesting witch designs with generous amounts of bloody death and some good action pieces.

What probably makes this movie better than average is the fun that Renner and Arterton bring to the main characters. They do come across as brother and sister, and don't play it too seriously. The other plus is the Tommy Wirkola actually puts lots of little details into the movie. They really flesh out this steam punk style world and work as a laugh. I loved the missing children's pictures being tied to old milk bottles.

Overall Hansel & Gretel is a movie that only wants to entertain and that's it. You'll watch this movie, laugh and cheer. But by the time the end credits role, you'll quickly forget the movie. This isn't really a bad thing, but it can turn people off that the movie is so hollow.

1 broomsitck out of 1
One thing this movie does well is entertain.
0.5 broomsticks out of 1
It can over explain things a bit too much, but it's fun.
1 broomstick out of 1
Everyone works in this movie.
0.5 broomsticks out of 1
It works but some of the direction is bland.
0.5 broomsticks out of 1
Set, witch and weapon design is great. However some special effects look a little fake.

3.5 broomsticks out of 5
Entertaining movie that never over stays it's welcome. Shame there isn't much more to it than witch killing.

Spelunky Daily Challenge 30/03/2014

So today we kick things off right. We take Van Helsing and enter the Castle of Doom. Doooooooooom! Will I suffer a doomy fate? Will I ever get a vampire to love steak? All these and possible nothing else will be answered in this exciting Daily Spelunky.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 29/03/2014

Despite having technical problems in the middle, we venture into the belly of the worm. Will my corpse fester in the intestines of a giant worm? Find out.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 28/03/2014

It's astounding. Time is fleeting. And I make another glorious mistake. Which means that you win.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 49

A little mining, a little home decoration. It's a grab bag of stuff as we finish up the week with no death. Huzzah. Accomplishment!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spelunk Daily Challenge 27/03/2014

I don't get. I really really don't get. Why must we lag? Why must we suffer the slings and arrows on ingenious traps? What are those little white bits in mixed vegetables supposed to be? So many questions.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 48

Today is brought to you by death. Death and creepers. And in my frustration I shatter an ancient peace treaty. Certainly one of the darkest points of my hero's journey. Will I rise up to reclaim my heroic mantle or am I ever destined to become a villain?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Journal of a Nerd Father: Midwife Meeting


Last Friday we had our first Midwife Meeting. Were secrets bestowed upon us? Did stupid questions slip from my lips? All will be revealed in this new update of my journey into fatherhood.

Spelunky Daily Challenge 26/03/2014

It all seems to be going well and then an evil demon is summoned that makes reality slow down. Damn it. It was all going according to my lack of plan.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 47

A lot's happened between episodes, so I become a tour guide and show you what's changed. We also head to the end of the line and realize the iron is needed if we want to try and get anywhere.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 25/03/2014

So here is today's Spelunky Daily Challenge. And well it's a better run than the last run. About all I can say honestly. LONG LIVE THE FIGHTERS!

Spelunky Daily Challenge 24/03/2014

I thought I missed yesterday's Daily Challenge. I was wrong. Unfortunately a lot of people decided to play at the same time and lag reared it's ugly head. At least that's what i'm blaming as this has to be my worst run.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 46

Like phoenix from the ashes, I rise from my sickness to give you entertainment. Yet the forces of darkness are jealous and come after my beautiful face. Damn you evil forces.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bonus Spelunky 01

I'm sick today, so here's some normal Spelunky that I filmed beforehand. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 23/03/2014

Despite feeling under the weather I attempt the Daily Challenge. Stupid mistakes happen, horrible situations are stumbled into and for some reason I have the best run so far.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 21/03/2014

Back into the mines and this time we have no lag. Huzzah. Unfortunately that doesn't mean I survive. Death is always around the corner.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 45

We head on a slight diversion as I make some stained glass and finally create the symbol for Danron. This leads into creating a master bedroom and some spider fighting. See excitement.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Journal of a Nerd Father: Scrapbooking

Today I talk about the Scrapbook that i'm making for my son and the reasons behind it. Hell if i'm going to go on a nostalgia trip then i'm dragging my son along with me.

Spelunky Daily Challenge 20/03/2014

The lag is still there. Always there. Waiting for me to die. However I actually have my best run yet. So I have no clue.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 44

We continue our journey in Subway making. No we aren't eating fresh, but we sure are travelling faster. We also attain black sheep. So I guess that's a win.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 19/03/2014

Today was such a wonderful experience. Basically death by lag, and very very sharp spikes.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 43

While continuing the building of the subway, I discuss how magical it would be for people to be able to pull a rabbit out of their ass. Yeah i'm not sure how sane I am some times.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 18/03/2014

Oh dastardly day. I manage die in the first level. So i've got that going for me. So many god damn skeletons.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 42

I start the subway and actually make some great strides. It's amazing how uplifting it can be to actually have things work.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 17/03/2014

So it begins.

I'm taking a rest from the whole Worgen thing, but I'm going to bring you the Spelunky Daily Challenege.


Well I love Spelunky and that's a good enough reason for me.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 41

We finish up with the farm and make sure that every sheep has someone to huddle close to during the winter times. In other events, I head back to the mines and start getting some iron for the subway construction.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Get Ranty: John Constantine and Smoking Censorship

So the Constantine television series is getting ever closer, and it seems that David Goyer is still trying to fight for the character to smoke. This has gotten under my skin, and got me fuming. Probably my angriest Get Ranty i've recorded so far.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 40

Getting this farm in order is troubling business. Especially when creepers appear and blow up your house all to hell. GOD DAMN IT CREEPERS. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Journal of a Nerd Father: It's Alive

Today I talk about how awesome it is to finally feel my son move in the stomach. It's been a while, and I must say it was a downer that I hadn't yet. So here's some advice and a recounting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 39

With iron in hand it's time to expand the farm. Damn stupid pigs and cows don't understand the plan. I hate those damn pigs and cows. I WILL DESTROY THEM.


Journal of a Nerd Father: Beginning Physio

Today we begin the vlog journey. I talk about my wife's first visit to the Physio Doctor and kind of lay out what this is all about. Gonna be a big journey to becoming a father.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 38

Tragedy strikes and I cry for a good portion. Taste the tears but also the triumph of getting back on the horse. (Please note that there are no actual horses as I haven't got them yet.)


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 37

Digging for Iron is a great way to find hidden caves. I find such a place and what do I get? Diamonds? Iron? Nope, just a butt tonne of monsters after my flesh.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 36

Time to show people my relentless digging I did the other day. I also go back to the mine to find previous, precious iron. It helps me play.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: Mama (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Andrés Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau & Megan Charpentier
Writers: Andrés Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti & Neil Cross

It seems ever since Paranormal Activity, ghost movies have been a huge thing. With successes like Insidious and The Conjuring it seems like the ghost genre isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. Mama heads into a crowded genre and tries to differentiate itself by giving us a ghost thats painted in a few different shades.

At the heart of Mama is a story about motherhood and the bonds that can be formed even if parent and child are not biologically the same. Two little girls are found in a cabin, having gone feral after a terrible incident leaves them stranded in the woods. Adopted by their Uncle Lucas (Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain), the two girls slowly learn to rejoin society, and yet there is a presence that seems desperate to reclaim the girls.

It's a movie with a heavier story than you would think from the horror genre, and thankfully Jessica Chastain and the girls do a great job in the respective roles. Nikolaj is also great as a very caring uncle but is sidelined for most the movie unfortunately. Honestly the movie is filled with some good acting it's just a shame that the script/editing really does a disservice to that work.

Script wise the movie while having a strong central core, seems to be undone by some lousy side stories. I think it's a testament to the core of the movie that things came out as well as they did, as the extra layers of conflict only add plot holes and bad character development. Events surrounding the girls Grandmother are pretty unbearable. It's not really the actresses fault, but everything her character does just screams out in stupidity.

On top of that the movie seems to be edited down to accommodate a shorter play time. Scenes that allow for a greater understanding of the bonds being formed seem left out. Instead things jump ahead and don't seem that realistic. It wouldn't surprise if a longer and more fulfilling movie could be made from the leftovers.

Lastly some of the special effects are bad and jolted myself out of the movie. When the ghost wasn't on screen, there was a great sense of dread and scares happened from just the fleeting shadows and noises, But when the eventual reveal was done, it was pretty bad.

Still even with the negatives the core of the movie is fantastic and when the final scene plays out, I really felt a great sadness. There is something refreshing in how the ghost is portrayed and the final end game. However I just can't shake the feeling that what amounts to a good film, could have been a great film if there was more there. Still for any ghost movie lovers out there, this is seriously worth a watch.

0.5 ghosts out of 1
Some of the plot holes really distract from the great core.
0.5 ghosts out of 1
Side stories really hurt the strong and emotional plot.
1 ghosts out of 1
Actors are great even if they are hurt by some bad script moments.
0.5 ghosts out of 1
There is some great scenes but the overall can be a little choppy.
0 ghosts out of 1
Some bad cgi and bad editing really hurt this film.

2.5 ghosts out of 5
This is really worth a watch for ghost movie fans, however it fail to be a great movie thanks to some really bad decisions.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 35

From tragedy and destruction we must rebuild. We must become better, stronger, larger. It's time to make this house rock. Join me won't you.

World of Warcraft - A Monkey's Journey Episode 10

It's the final countdown. The final battle. The forsaken may take our lands but they will never take our FREEDOM. Or our doggie biscuits.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 34

So today we do a lot of farming and breeding. Yep we now have cows, chickens and sheep of many many colours. Sadly we must be ever watchful for creepers are just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 33

It's finally time to capture some sheep and get my schemes of colour wool off the ground. It's a beautiful thing. All the colours of the rainbow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

World of Warcraft - A Monkey's Journey Episode 09

The battle for the city is at hand, and one Worgen will make the difference. Not me of course. I get lost and have no idea what i'm doing, but another Worgen is a hero.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 32

The Journey Home. It all begins with one step. One step into the rain and throngs of monsters. Will I make it home? Will I discover the true meaning of Christmas? Watch and find out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 31

In a shocking turn of events, a plan actually comes together. That's right I've got slime, slime I say, GLORIOUS SLIME. Other than that I have to defend myself against a butt tonne of monsters.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Review: Frankenstein's Army (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Richard Raaphorst
Starring: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse & Robert Gwilym
Writers: Chris W. Mitchell, Richard Raaphorst & Miguel Tejada-Flores

As much as I like found footage movies, I'm getting to a point where I just wish the idea would crawl into a hole and hibernate for a while. We can erect a safety fence and border guard to protect the idea. But we just need a rest I think. I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be an idea any time soon that's going to make me want to watch yet another found footage movie.

What's that? A Nazi army made of monsters designed by Dr Frankenstein? Okay you win this round.

So back again into found footage movies I went, but at least this time I went with a spring in my step. There was something so insanely over the top that I thought that I was bound to have a grand ol time.

At the heart of Frankenstein's Army is an idea that delivers such potential it's a shame that the movie never really lives up to it. The main factor is that the budget and scope couldn't possibly hope to wrangle the idea into anything but a silly little tryst. Indeed some of the creature designs are effective, especially when they are of a more simpler variety, when the movie tries to go big it suddenly feels a bit like a Halloween party. Give the movie marks for effort but the pay off never really comes.

Besides the zany creations from the Frankenstein collection, we are left with characters that come across as bastards or idiots. Also the main character filming it all is really a son of a bitch and not once could I give him two hoots worth of investment. Only Karel Roden who plays Dr Frankenstein engages with the audience. He's a hoot but is left for the end of movie crazy reveal so we really don't get enough of him.

Looking at all the decomposed parts of this movie, we have a film that can wittle away some time without too much agony. In fact some of the monster designs might keep people hooked until the third act which is the most interesting. But it overall seems to be undone by two things. One is the characters, they are unlikable and that's the fault of the writers. The second is ambition, it definitely outdoes the budget, and while this leads to problem you can't fault the filmmakers for wanting to go large.

0.5 bolts out of 1
There is some entertainment to find.
0 bolts out of 1
Plot is not strong and the characters are unlikeable.
0.5 bolts out of 1
Karel Roden is the highlight of the movie.
0.5 bolts out of 1
There is some talent behind the camera.
0.5 bolts out of 1
Some monster designs work, others don't.

2 bolts out of 5
Honestly only for those with a thirst for cobbled together monstrosities.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Get Ranty: Slenderman

Oh Slenderman I do adore you. But maybe all these Slender Let's Plays might be killing him. If only those who deal with him knew this. Could save them a lot of trouble in the long run.