Monday, 30 September 2019

Review: Fleabag (NT Live)





Fleabag (National Theatre Live)
Cert: 15 / 80 mins / Dir. Vicky Jones / Trailer



And so Phoebe Waller-Bridge*1 takes to the stage once more with the solo show that started it all back in 2013, this time at Wyndham's Theatre London for a sold-out four week run. This is a stripped down, black-box presentation. A single chair, build for function not comfort, houses the character. Framed in darkness, sound effects and lighting fill the gaps in the viewer's imagination, while the rest is entirely down to PWB's performance.

And what a performance. Obviously the 2019 audience are already on-side here, but PWB owns the stage, the room and the crowd instantly. We're thrown in medias res with a job interview which is going badly. Flashes of backstory begin to emerge immediately, and before long we're in the midst of a rambling confessional inner-monologue. Many themes and emotions are covered but guilt is the touchstone, the connective tissue between stories, between the performer and the audience.

ARTIST


PWB absolutely shines here, an artist at the very top of their game. Confident without being self-satisfied, vulnerable without mawkishness. It's difficult to know if she'll ever truly escape the shadow of the character she's created, this beautiful snapshot of anaesthetised millennial angst. The phrase 'tour de force' is bandied around far too often in theatrical critical circles, but it must have been dreamt up with this show in mind.

It's just that...

...well, presenting this show now to this audience - which is to say a re-staging of a 2013 work to a crowd who mostly haven't seen it before, but who have almost certainly seen the 2016-19 TV show that followed - creates a disconnect. When the play features routines and scenarios which were later retooled and adapted for the small screen, this draws the audience out of the live performance and into their memory of the filmed one. Even if it's just to take note of the differences. Although if you're able to un-remember the first time you saw something as iconic and starkly touching as Fleabag then this probably won't be a problem for you.

CHRIST


Had this presentation been a recording of the original 2013 run, this wouldn't apply of course. But it's not, and the audience knows it's not. The room - and the expectation - is bigger this time around, and both feel so. Even with the minimalist set and one-person structure, the intimacy we've come to expect from Fleabag is somehow removed. In the TV version, the character confides with the viewer on what feels like a 1-on-1 basis, quiet asides to the tumult of her life. Here, it's a continuous train of thought, at times bellowed into the auditorium*2, at the expense of that personal connection. We still get to know the character and feel every beat of the story through PWB's outstanding performance, but it always feels just like that - a performance to an audience.

Maybe it's because on the small screen she doesn't have to be so animated. The character causes other people to lose their shit and then it's a masterclass in reaction-shots. By virtue of having to flesh out the other characters here, PWB is tested more as an actor (and succeeds notably), but something of that later development is lost once more.

BRUCE


Now, I can't say that the televisual iteration of Fleabag is 'better' than the stage play - they're different media created at different times. But the TV version has been expanded, refined and polished. Even with addition of other cast members (because of them, in fact), it's still undeniably PWB's gig.

If I'd been a proper theatre hipster and seen this in 2013, I'd have been blown away by the show (and this review would be a damn sight more smug as a result). But I didn't. So I saw the National Theatre Live screening of Fleabag the same way as the majority of its audience - as a retrospective viewed for the first time. An exquisite, but crucially imperfect, work-in-progress.

And that's not to take away from the brilliance of the play nor its author and star, but none of us are who we were in 2013, we can't pretend otherwise and that's probably for the best...


So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Live stuff that's Very Much New Theatre™ and you pretty much know if that'll be your thing before you go in.


Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
If you get the chance, yes.
Not least since it looks like that's your only option
.


Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
If the National Theatre ever decide to go down that route*3 absolutely.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Fantasic? Yes.
Best? No
.


Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Entirely possible.


Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.
Sound-effects feature as well, no excuse
.


Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: L3-37 is in this.


And if I HAD to put a number on it…
Don't look at me like that, I've explained why.


*1 Hereafter referred to in the review as 'PWB' since 'Phoebe' sounds too familiar, yet my surname go-to of 'Waller-Bridge' is as unwieldy as typing her whole name each time. And while I'm on, I'll be referring to her character as 'the character', since Fleabag isn't actually her name. It's become slang for the character of course, but she's never named directly, which is sort of the point.
[ BACK ]

*2 On a side-note, there were several inflections and flourishes in PWB's performance here where I thought 'that's like Richie in Bottom. Oh my god, this is exactly how Rik Mayall would play this role! And that is brilliant'. And once that was lodged in my head it was a pretty difficult idea to shift. I mean it as the greatest compliment to both performers, of course. [ BACK ]

*3 WHEN YOU'RE READY NATIONAL THEATRE, DANNY BOYLE'S FRANKENSTEIN BLU-RAY, DOUBLE-FEATURE, THANK YOU SO MUCH. [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Review: The Kitchen





The Kitchen
Cert: 15 / 103 mins / Dir. Andrea Berloff / Trailer



Hell's Kitchen, New York, 1978*1. The put-upon wives of three mobsters (Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss) find themselves struggling when their husbands are jailed following a failed store robbery. At first they decide to take up the reins of the business themselves, then the idea occurs that the ladies could be players in their own right. As their operation grows, they find themselves rubbing up other underworld figures the wrong way, and eventually decisions have to be made about how far each is prepared to go to assure their success...

POINT


Now. I've heard a few folks comment that the premise of this movie is a blatant rip-off of 2018's Widows, and I feel the need to point out that this is definitely not the case. The Kitchen is in fact based on the 2015 comic from DC/Vertigo, and that was a rip-off of 1983's Widows. Come on people, really. Flippancy aside though, this is closer in tone and structure to a sort of Grand Theft Auto '78, since they're not pulling off One Big Job but building a sprawling criminal empire.

And although the levels of intensity feel right, the setup for the central premise itself feels a little linear. "Hey, y'know we could do The Crime, right?" - "Shall we do The Crime?" - "Yeah, let's do The Crime!!". Structurally this isn't a million miles away from Hustlers, except here it's a fight for identity and survival, rather than entitlement (obviously there is a bit of entitlement). Also, the vintage soundtrack is better in this movie, even if the best tunes have appeared in numerous other soundtracks over the years).

PRISON


The central cast all do well with roles which don't tonally overlap too much, joined by Margo Martindale in full, glorious gangster-pantomime mode. Each of trio are individually flawed outside of their base criminal aspirations, with their own hurdles to clear before the credits roll. Two of our gang take to the life of crime like ducks to water, while the third still gives it one hell of a crack before becoming uncomfortable with the consequences of her new responsibilities. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Melissa McCarthy is far better at drama than she is comedy, even if she plays both almost identically*2. And it turns out that the same appears to be true of Tiffany Haddish. Elisabeth Moss is great as always.

As well as the strong - borderline caricature - 1978 production design*3, we're treated to some fantastic establishing scenery shots courtesy of cinematographer Maryse Alberti and the effects team who brought them to digitally enhanced life. At times this feels a bit like an early Guy Ritchie flick (no bad thing) in that the police are mentioned, but fire a handgun a few times in broad daylight and they're nowhere to be seen. This isn't their manor, and the players in this tale don't take them seriously anyway.

BIG


The film drags a bit in its third act, and the whole thing ends up feeling like it could easily lose around twenty minutes. When the final plot tie-up arrives, it feels like something which has been dropped in because it's expected for the format, rather than the thing which has been driving the story all along. As escalating crime-sprees go, The Kitchen is a relatively nuts-and-bolts rendition, but one made with conviction and no small amount of style...


So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, BlacKkKlansman, The Godfather, Free Fire.


Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
If you can, it's worth a punt.


Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
Buy it, but maybe wait for the price to come down first.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Not particularly, but there are strong and surprisingly nuanced performances all round.


Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Unlikely, since while The Kitchen won't be for everyone, it'll be a difficult to movie to actively take against.


Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
No.


Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: General Hux is in this (and whose deadpan comic timing is superb, by the way)


And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 While obviously I'm aware that the title is location-specific, I can't help but feel that putting three women in a movie called "The Kitchen" in 2019 is playing into the wrong hands, somewhat. [ BACK ]

*2 I'll be honest, a small part of me was hoping Melissa McCarthy would be dreadful in this so that I could say "If you can't stand The Heat... stay out of The Kitchen!!1!". Alas, that cheap pun doesn't apply because her turn here is absolutely solid. We can only play the cards we're dealt, right? [ BACK ]

*3 Mate, it's 1978 and no one mentions Star Wars? At all? It'd only been out for six months and was still massive. You have a scene in a street full of movie theatres and the most recognisable name you've got splashed on the hoardings is Grease? ...what do you mean 'this isn't a documentary'? [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Review: Hustlers





Hustlers
Cert: 15 / 110 mins / Dir. Lorene Scafaria / Trailer



I think I'd consigned Hustlers to the 'no thanks mate' shelf by the point of a gratuitous slo-mo sequence telling me I was supposed to be impressed that someone in the production company had managed to convince Usher to come on and play himself for sixty seconds. Although I spend thirty of those trying to remember who the fuck Usher was. But I digress...

Lorena Scafaria's strutting crime-spree stars Constance Wu as Destiny, a fresh-faced lap dancer in 2008 New York. Under the guidance of Jennifer Lopez's older and wiser Ramona, the pair realise that swirling round greasy poles for pervy old men may cover the rent but it'll never make them rich*1. With that in mind, they recruit Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) and Mercedes (Keke Palmer) to form A Crew™; drugging then card-scamming the more obscenely wealthy (ie morally dubious) of their Wall Street clientelé. Obviously this is a delicate balancing act; how far can, and indeed should, they go?

STORIES


Now. There are two ways to approach this (and indeed any) film. For what it's trying to say, and how eloquently it manages to say it. Like many similarly-formatted stories, Scafaria's movie sprang from a magazine article based on real life experiences. And as with many similar stories, there is a compelling tale to be told. But Hustlers it's like watching a hen party re-enact The Wolf Of Wall Street for two hours. Fine if that's your thing, but don't pretend it's got deeper meaning because the crooks are wearing bikinis.

So you're going to what Destiny, out-capitalise capitalism? How very post-modern. Not sure that's quite as revolutionary as you think, though. Because it doesn't really matter how crooked 'the suits' are, you're not really Robin Hood when you're just in it for a bigger house*2. Being a single parent in a tough gig but here it's treated as a get-out-of-jail-free card (literally in some cases)*3. This is the same entitled-logic which flawed the likes of Going In Style.

MONSTERS


I think for Hustlers to work, the viewer has to subscribe - on some level - to the moral validity of lap-dancing clubs. And much like non-disclosure of terminal cancer, that was a line I just couldn't cross. You want to pole-dance? Fantastic, good on ya, you look great. You want to do it for the power-play entertainment of some of society's absolute worst people and still pretend you're providing a worthwhile service? I'm waiting to be convinced. This film didn't.

And sure, likeable characters aren't everything, but interesting or complicated ones would be helpful*4. Because when you've got past the me-first archetypes using the word "family" as punctuation, Hustlers is in incredibly ordinary film. Its well-worn interview/flashback framing device sets up the first act struggle, the second act highs and third act lows - all of which are predictable and vacuous in equal measure. Is real life always this boring or are these just the stories magazine subsribers pretend to be interested in?

BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA


The movie doesn't have the wild hedonistic streak nor the searching philosophical questions it thinks it has, only copycat approximations which appear in mid-range Saturday night multiplex fare. Lorene Scafaria wants us to look past the bikinis and baby oil to see the people underneath. I did that and it was still grubby and linear. If Scarface is a cocktail of tequila and cocaine in the back room of an illicit club, Hustlers is a bottle of Lambrini smuggled into a provincial theatre for a Dreamboys*5 show.

Naturally it all ends with a greatest-hits montage comprising moments from a film the audience hasn't yet finished watching, followed by a cynical, faux-ponderous one liner from J-Lo. Rarely before have I spent so long waiting for That Oscar-Bait to kick in*6.

So what is this? Ocean's Eight Nights? Magic Mike But For The Dads? While the film clearly thinks it's better than spending two hours ogling feisty women, I suspect the finer points of this are going to be lost on The Wrong Type Of Audience. Although since they're paying the same admission, perhaps that's the real hustle...



So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Well it's probably more Miss Sloane than The Wolf Of Wall Street, but not as good as either..


Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
If you like watching your lap-dancing up close and huge but can't work up the courage to go to a lap-dancing club, I expect so.


Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
Stream if you must, re-watch value is going to be low here (unless you fall into the bracket above).


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Nope.


Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Yep.


Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Nope.


Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Frank Whaley's in this, and he was in Pulp Fiction sitting in a chair being shot at by Sam 'Windu' Jackson as Phil 'Fisto' LaMarr looked on in horror.


And if I HAD to put a number on it…
I don't have the energy to award this a two. For all my ranting, it's not an awful movie, it's just firmly below average. What's annoyed me more is how everyone else seems to adore it, the heathens.


*1 First half hour of film: 'Hey, we're dancers, not hookers! Respect this job!'. Rest of film: 'Ugh, I can't go back to the pole, that's so beneath me!'. And while both of these can certainly be true, bear in mind that the movie opens with our heroine Destiny glumly counting out around $200 for a night's work once everybody's taken their cut. Since she's getting paid cash are we to assume there's no tax coming out of that later? It certainly appears that Destiny has never worked a week in a factory. Or in a restaurant. Or a school. Or that Destiny had any job where she doesn't expect people to literally throw money at her. [ BACK ]

*2 Do not get me wrong, I'm not on the side of the drugged guys here. At all. At one end they're deserving of far worse and at the other they should fucking well know better. If Mortgage-Man is gullible enough to think he's being chatted up in a bar by four absolute hotties and he can hear a single word they speak over the alarm bells that should be ringing in his head, then frankly he should either learn a lesson and move on or track the crew down himself and persuade them to issue a refund. Although their game was totally illegal, the ladies didn't mug Terry down a dark alley - he walked into this shit with his eyes wide open. Getting the police involved ain't going to get your cash back mate. [ BACK ]

*3 Oh no, J-Lo isn't allowed to dictate her own flexible working ours in a retail job just because she's a single parent unlike anybody else! THIS IS THE PATRIARCHY BOO THE BAD MAN!! [ BACK ]

*4 The most migraine-inducing line comes from Destiny: "Y'know, I have this nightmare where I'm in the back seat of a car, then I notice that no one is driving, and no matter how hard I try I can't get into the front to control it!". OH MY FUCKING GOD YOU'RE SO DEEP I WONDER WHAT THAT COULD MEAN?? [ BACK ]

*5 Are the Dreamboys still a thing? I don't know and I'll be honest I'm not going to look it up. You know what I mean though.
[ BACK ]

*6 Really Harpers Bazaar? Fucking really Empire? The Academy Award For Looking Wistfully At A Photograph? Or for doing the jaw-jutting, table-punching stomp that J-Lo does as default in any of her movies when someone disagrees with her? OH!, the Academy Award for acting as if buying genuine fur coats in the 21st century is acceptable in a parable about moral justice. I SEE. Yeah, send that one off to the engravers now mate... [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Review: Ad Astra





Ad Astra (Spoilers in the footnotes)
Cert: 12A / 123 mins / Dir. James Gray / Trailer



"Y'know what, Terry?" said the HR assistant at Space Command Headquarters as he mused over a crumbling Hob-Nob, "I'm starting to think that blasting emotionally repressed people with clearly unresolved family issues into the unflinching void of space could be what's causing our problems, rather than solving them...". Alas, this ponderous scene was cut from the final theatrical presentation of James Gray's Ad Astra. All the other ponderous scenes were left firmly attached, but let's hold out for a director's-cut reinstatement on the Blu-ray, yeah?

MISSION


So. Brad Pitt plays Roy McBride, a near-future astronaut specially selected for a mission to contact The Lima Project, an exploration vessel which disappeared decades earlier carrying his astronaut father Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones). Donald Sutherland turns up for ten minutes in an attempt to add gravitas to a largely gravity-free environment. Liv Tyler plays Brad's wife Mrs McBride*1 who stays on Earth looking sad and out of focus.

For better or worse, Ad Astra is almost exactly The Space Film™ you think it's going to be. There are deliberate and repeated nods to the world of 2001 of course*2, as well as tonal references to First Man, Interstellar, The Martian, The Black Hole, Armageddon and Gravity. Hell, there are even notes of Alien*3 and Total Recall in this. All I'm saying is that since Brad has to go on a secret mission to Mars with overtones of conspiracy theory and unexpected combat, why not just make this a Doom sequel and have done with it*4?

SISTERS


While there's some stunning cinematography*5, the film spends so much time gazing out of the window and stroking its chin that it hopes the cracks in the story won't be visible*6. Those don't matter when held up to the emotional core of the film, but even that substance itself is slight given the wasted potential of the acting talent on board. The screenplay is not afraid to ask questions, but doesn't really have the vocabulary to ask them clearly, so no satisfying answers are forthcoming.

Ad Astra feels very on-the-nose and offers little that audiences won't have enjoyed elsewhere. That said, the film looks outstanding and is sure to be worth the uplift of an IMAX ticket. Only you can decide if that's a mission worth accepting...



So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Well I think we've covered that.


Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
For the visuals, yes.


Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
This is going to lose a lot on its way to the small screen (even if your telly's huge).


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
No.


Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Yes.


Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
No.


Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Liv Tyler is in this (just about), and she was in that Lord Of The Rings alongside Christopher 'Dooku' Lee and Andy 'Snoke' Serkis and Elijah 'Rucklin' Wood.


And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 We don't hear her character say much but Liv is seen swigging from a 2-litre bottle of Irn Bru at one point, so it's safe to assume her name literally means "Scottish Wife". A disappointing lack of imagination, there. [ BACK ]

*2 Although speaking of in-universe continuity, I haven't seen Space Cowboys but I know Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland are in that so I'm just assuming this is part of the same cinematic universe. Do not @ me to say Tommy or Donald die in that film or somesuch so that can't be the case, my mind is made up. I am still not going to watch Space Cowboys either way. [ BACK ]

*3 And it turns out Tommy Lee Jones was the monster all along! Gnawing his way through the scenery like an acid-bleeding Xenomorph to the barely concealed horror of anyone trapped in a room with him. You can dial it down mate, this isn't Event Horizon... [ BACK ]

*4 Angry Space Baboon™? FUCK YES. [ BACK ]

*5 Although there's so much lens-flare here that I expected to see JJ Abrams' Enterprise edging into the frame at any moment.
[ BACK ]

*6 Why does Brad need to travel to Mars in the first place, though? They tell him it's so they can broadcast a clear signal out to the edge of the solar system, but they only send an audio recording. He could have made an mp3 on Earth and e-mailed that over to Mars for them to forward. I know they then try to detain Brad afterwards, but they could have just done that on Earth and saved the petrol. Who's in charge at Space Command? No wonder they're in trouble.

Also, what has Tommy Lee Jones been eating and drinking on that ship for the last three decades? It's not big enough to have its own garden or eco-system, and he'd be dead from vitamin deficiency if he'd tried to survive on packaged rations. Less of the science more of the fiction, I think. Which I suppose is fine, but y'know... [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Review: The Farewell





The Farewell
Cert: PG / 100 mins / Dir. Lulu Wang / Trailer



Ah, we're finally getting into the Autumnal graveyard shift, I see. That time of year when distributors can release the smaller, more interesting films which wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell during the Summer or Winter blockbuster seasons (not to be confused with the stretch in late December / early January where we get all the Worthy Awards Bait™.

Writer/director Lulu Wang's film The Farewell centers around Billi (Awkwafina), a young Chinese American woman whose family engineers the phoney wedding of her cousin in order to visit the family matriarch Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) en masse. The reason for this subterfuge is that Nai Nai has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but doesn't know as the family are keeping this from her - determined instead for their beloved mother/grandmother to live for as long as possible in blissful ignorance.

PLENTY


Yeah, not going to lie, I struggled with this. And don't get me wrong, there's plenty to love here. Plenty. Wang's direction is quiet and focused, the screenplay takes its time and all of the performances are outstanding. Anna Franquesa Solano's scenic cinematography is solemnly graceful*1, while Alex Weston's ominous, stripped back score wouldn't be out of place in an Almodovar film.

Yet as much as I admired the craft here, I just wasn't sure what I was supposed to get from it all other than "family politics up to and including life-threatening lies are basically a global language, and there's nothing you can do about that so just suck it up". While the film certainly tackles the issue of the non-disclosure, it refrains from really making any judgement on it, implicitly suggesting that the audience should too. And I just couldn't get over that hurdle.

GONDOR


The Farewell is often wryly funny, but the long silences leave the audience deliberately uneasy, as if the film is holding their hand somewhat, trying to goad reactions early on. And the moral of the story seems to be that enforced ignorance has demonstrable moral - and medical - benefits. The more time I spent in the company of Billi's family, the more actively I disliked them (apart from Billi and Nai Nai, obviously*2), and by the time the credits rolled I wished they'd all get stage four lung cancer, too.

And I hardly think that's the message the film is trying to impart...*3.


So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Oh, I don't know. Something like The Big Sick, I imagine.


Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
If you know beforehand it's going to be your thing, sure.


Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
Stream it.


Is this the best work of the cast or director?
That's entirely possible, although you've already worked out that I'm not really in any position to make that call.


Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Yeah.


Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
No.


Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: The voice of Hamato is in this.


And if I HAD to put a number on it…


*1 Genuine question for those who have seen The Farewell and know about these things: the film's conversational scenes seem to have some very odd framing where characters’ heads are lined up with the horizontal centre of the screen rather than being in the top half. You rarely see below anyone's waist so it feels like the film should be in 16:9 but has been cropped at the bottom to make a 2.35:1 presentation (even though the subs are in the correct place, so that’s definitely the final print). I'm not sure if this is a regular setup in Chinese cinema or another device to subconsciously throw the audience off kilter along with those glorious long, awkward silences. Any ideas? [ BACK ]

*2 Not for nothing, but Nai Nai is Shuzhen Zhao's only credited screen role. I mean, leaping in at that stage in life, with that performance? FUCK YEAH. [ BACK ]

*3 Note to whom it may concern. If I ever develop a terminal illness, please tell me. Apart from anything else, the countdown would probably spur me back into finally catching up with The Walking Dead, so that'd be handy. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. may just have to wait until the afterlife, though. [ BACK ]


DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.