Reviews for Normal People

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Late Night Fan Theories: Slow and Steady Wins the Race — May 12, 2015

Late Night Fan Theories: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Can Marvel be stopped? Most have already accepted that the answer is no. They got people to see a movie about the Guardians of the Galaxy. They can do whatever they want.

Well, what many people forget in this discussion is that Guardians of the Galaxy was also a very good movie. Movies that don’t have that advantage don’t tend to do as well, like 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

But still, Marvel has been successful in almost all of their ventures, and if they keep pumping out quality action movies, why would you want to stop them?

Well, there’s the problem. No matter what way you slice it, they’re not going to keep pumping out high quality action movies. The seeds of Marvel’s forthcoming demise have already been planted and soon enough, DC will eclipse them and rule the industry. For a while. And it all started with 2013’s Thor: the Dark World.

Thor 2 marks a few milestones for Marvel. It’s the first objectively bad Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Sure, Hulk was a letdown and Iron Man 2 was disjointed and infuriatingly silly, but on repeat watches neither of them are that bad. Thor 2 is that bad. It’s boring, overly dark, cluttered, practically action-free, and incompetently directed by Alan Taylor. It also marks the first time Marvel has tried to one-up DC. The common perception is that Marvel’s films are on a level above DC, but they’re both in the business of making money, and Man of Steel made a shitload of it. The natural consequence was Marvel’s abysmal rip-off I affectionately call a movie, Thor: the Dark World. Critics panned it and while it did fetch a few hundred mil, it still didn’t see the kind of attendance that Amazing Spider-Man 2 did a year later. I also think more people liked ASM2. At least it was so bad it’s good, at least it had good special effects, good cinematography, good performances. Thor 2 is almost unwatchable.

“But Jeremy,” you say, “Marvel bounced back!” And you’re right. They put out Guardians of the Galaxy, which was great. They put out Winter Soldier, a lot of people liked that. Hell, Age of Ultron wasn’t bad at all. But there’s the problem. No one ever says Age of Ultron is a great movie, as they do with most mediocre Marvel movies. They say it’s not bad. Because we expect a backlash. Because we know it has its fair share of problems. Because we know, even though it’s bigger and faster and funnier than the first one, it still has a lot of fundamental flaws. That’s how the backlash starts.

Do you intend to see Ant-Man this July? Chances are, most of you said no, some of you said yes because you love Adam McKay, and the rest of you didn’t know it was coming out in July. I don’t think the movie is going to be bad at all, but with all the behind the scenes drama and the fact that it’s coming out two months after the last Marvel movie, most of the general public has given up on it. This could go either way. It could serve as a harrowing wake-up call to the folks at Marvel that they can’t just do whatever they want. They’ll start listening to what the fans want, accept that it couldn’t last forever, and have one last hurrah with Infinity War or some similar spectacle.

The other option is much darker. You see, we can’t really guarantee that people won’t see Ant-Man. If it’s a huge hit, then that means that Marvel can do whatever they want and if that happens, then god help us. Because Marvel’s going to start slipping, and we’re going to keep watching, because we watched fucking Ant-Man. If we don’t stop them, they will not stop.

But Marvel doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There is another force that has potential to save the day: DC Comics. Right now, the general public has a pretty negative view of DC, mainly for the slightly underrated, but mediocre at best, Man of Steel. The promotional material for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hasn’t been super promising, which makes matters even more difficult for the brothers Warner. But, here’s a novel statement, I think DC is going to pull it off.

Note how I didn’t say they can pull it off, I said they’re going to. Will BvS be the one to do it? Probably not, but never say never. Chris Terrio is a much better writer than Man of Steel‘s David Goyer, and I still feel like the movie could be redeemed if it’s done well. Now, think about the movie’s release date in context. It comes out about a month before Civil War, and despite its somewhat bad rap, every last one of you is going to see it. Imagine the superhero fatigue coming off of that. A month after Batman v Superman, one of the biggest superhero movies of all time, and two months after the highly anticipated Deadpool. I may be wrong, but it could definitely weaken Marvel’s sales, if not for Civil War, then definitely for November’s Doctor Strange, which may have even less of a hype machine than Ant-Man.

But that’s beside the point. BvS isn’t going to be the movie that saves DC. Suicide Squad is. Coming next August, bridging the six-month gap between Civil War and Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad has it all. A talented director, an awesome cast, great characters, the works. There’s nothing I’ve heard about this movie so far that didn’t excite me. The charisma train of Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie is enough to carry the movie regardless of how good it actually is. Suicide Squad will be a success, I’m sure of it, and Marvel is going to have to start seeing DC as a serious threat. Because or all Feige’s talk, the folks at DC clearly know what their doing more than Marvel does.

According to chief creative director Geoff Johns, DC intends to allow their creators “to make the best possible product, to tell the best story…” You see, one of Marvel’s biggest troubles is that they can’t keep a director for more than two movies. They pissed off Jon Favreau. They pissed off Kenneth Branagh. They pissed off Joe Johnston. They fired Whedon. They fired Edgar Wright. Idris Elba says that working with Marvel was the worst experience of his career, and Chris Evans says he never wants to act again once he’s done with these. DC is giving their talent room to breathe. They’re making the movies they want, and Snyder is just bringing together all the characters.

And look at the talent they’ve got. Furious 7’s James Wan is directing Aquaman, with Jason Momoa in the lead role. The Rock is starring as Black Adam in Shazam. Ezra Miller is starring in Flash, directed by PHIL LORD AND CHRIS MILLER. I haven’t seen Ray Fisher in anything, but his casting indicates that DC is seeking out real talent, as opposed to Marvel, who chooses from the list of five black actors they’ve heard of. We’re lucky DC swooped up Will Smith.

Is any of this definite? No. Maybe Marvel will take DC’s success as a warning sign and start making better movies. Maybe DC won’t succeed. But to me, it seems like the safest bet that DC is going to do better than Marvel within a few years. Hell, Id put good money on BvS and Suicide Squad doing better than Civil War and Doctor Strange next year. The times are changing. Be prepared.

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Why One Direction Are the New Beatles — March 24, 2014

Why One Direction Are the New Beatles

Now, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am not a Directioner. I’ve only liked two 1D singles (Best Song Ever, Story of My Life), and I haven’t listened to anything but their most popular songs. What I’m doing today is simply noting the parallels between 1D and the Beatles, a band I’ve always found to be a tad overrated (More of a Stones guy, myself). We’ll start with:

#1) ORIGINS

Oh god, no

There are no parallels between the origins of the Beatles and One Direction.

#2) FREAKY CHRONOLOGICAL STUFF

"Hi, everybody!" "Hi, Doctor..."
“Hi, everybody!”
“Hi, Doctor…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatles’ first single to chart in the US came out in 1961. 1D’s first single to chart in the US came out in 2011, 50 years later. The Beatles’ first good single to chart in the US came out in 1963. 1D’s came out in 2013, once again, 50 years later. In their first year active, 1D and the Beatles each released two singles. The Beatles were 21, 19, 18, and 21 when their first single came out. 1D were 18, 21, 19, 20, and 19 when their first single came out. the average age of the Beatles at the time was 19.75. The average age of 1D was 19.4. If some of my numbers are wrong, please do not correct me.

#3) THE MUUUUUUUUUSIC, MAN!

It’s my favorite movie, man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatles’ first few singles sucked. Their first, “My Bonnie,” was essentially a sea shanty, and not a good one at that. Their first couple songs were the kind of vapid, generic trash we’ve come to expect from boy bands like One Direction. Their first good single, “Roll Over Beethoven,” was still a typical ’60s surf rock number, and was a cover of a song by Chuck Berry (1D got their start on X Factor, covering songs like “Torn” by Ednaswap (don’t ask me)). Obviously, you could see how this stage in their career resembles One Direction. But here’s where it gets interesting.

#4) I SAW HER STANDING THERE

Can you read this sheet music? The Beatles couldn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Saw Her Standing There” and “Best Song Ever” may as well be the same song. Looking at the Beatles’ previous singles, they’re all addressed to “you” (Love Me Do, PS I Love You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, From Me To You, Thank You Girl, She Loves You, I’ll Get You, etc). And looking at 1D’s previous singles… same thing (What Makes You Beautiful, One Thing, Live While We’re Young, Little Things, etc). But “I Saw Her Song Ever” was their first song that felt real, like it was about a real person. This was made possible by detailed lines (“She was 17,” “Her name was Georgia Rose”), as well as genuine, heartfelt lyrics. Of course, “Best Song Ever” wasn’t written by any members of 1D, but the principle’s the same. It was true for someone. The songs themselves are also really similar. They’re both about dancing with a girl and falling in love with them. “Best Song Ever”‘s riff was stolen from “Baba O’Riley” by the Who, while “I Saw Her Standing There”‘s was lifted from “Talkin’ About You” by Chuck Berry. They’re both very upbeat, pop-rock songs, despite their romantic lyrics, and even some of the lyrics are the same. Look at this:

Beatles: “1, 2, 3, 4!”

One Direction: “1, 2, 1, 2, 3!”

Beatles: “And the way she looked was way beyond compare”

One Direction: “Maybe it’s the way she walked straight into my heart and stole it”

Beatles: “Whoah, we danced through the night”

One Direction: “And we danced all night to the best song ever”

Y’see? And of course, this brings us to the last point there is to talk about, since 1D hasn’t really done anything else:

#5) STORY OF MY LIFE

“Story of My Life” is actually really good. And it’s not really like any Beatles song. “You Really Got a Hold On Me” is similar in theme, but it sucks and was never released as a single. This could be a sign of 1D becoming something distinct, which could lead to great things for them in the future. Just like the Beatles, when they became something distinct, in… 1964. Huh.

So, that’s how 1D parallels the Beatles. Let’s hope they continue down this path. I’ll have a bunch of other articles out eventually. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…

Like dis if yu cry evertim.

Late Night Fan Theories: Pizza Planet — December 20, 2013

Late Night Fan Theories: Pizza Planet

One of the most well-known Easter eggs in the history of film is the Pizza Planet truck, which to date has appeared in every Pixar movie.

Yo, Pizza Planet truck. Where u at?

Pixar does things like this a lot. Another example is the fact that John Ratzenberger, better known as Cliff from Cheers, has also been in every Pixar movie. In Cars, he was Mack, in Toy Story, he was Hamm, and in Brave, he went Hamm all over everyone’s ass.

Close enough

Now, I am a fan of the Pixar Apocalypse theory, but I do feel the one that went around the internet is very flawed. It seemed to only take into account Easter eggs that were convenient. They didn’t even mention the Pizza Planet truck, which is the most well-known of them all. So here’s my theory.

What if John Ratzenberger is a Time Lord and the Pizza Planet truck is his TARDIS?

you right now

Now, you may be saying, “But other people have driven the Pizza Planet truck.”

Companions.

But they weren’t with John  Ratzenberger.

Just borrowing it for a few.

But why do all the John Ratzenberger characters have the same voice?

Ah, there’s the real question. You see, the real question behind that is, what is the difference between the Pixar universe and the Doctor Who one? And (one of) my answers to that is that the Time Lords always have the same voice when they regenerate. For this reason, the Doctor couldn’t avoid the Time Lords for long, who eventually found and imprisoned him. However, a few Time Lords did evade prosecution by fleeing to Earth, a planet where a lot of the species thought the others were inanimate, it was a huge mess and it would be really hard to find them because everything is alive. One of these was John Ratzenberger.

you right now

But note how I said “a few Time Lords.” I’m suggesting that every time a voice actor appears as more than one character in Pixar films, it’s a Time Lord. By the same logic, Jeff Garlin is a Time Lord. In WALL-E, Jeff Garlin’s character is the pilot of the ship.

He’s the one who brings the humans back to Earth.

He’s the one who listens to WALL-E even though no one else does.

He’s the one who defies the ship while still trying his best to make sure that

Just this once…

Everyone lives.

you right now

That concludes today’s Late Night Fan Theory. See you on Sunday for the big Anchorman 2 review, followed by my end-of-the-year shit, followed by more reviews and more fan theories in 2014. Until then…

End transmission.

you right now
Late Night Fan Theories: Monsters University — December 8, 2013

Late Night Fan Theories: Monsters University

Okay, so let’s talk about Monsters University. In the end, Hartscrabble is forced to expel Mike and Sulley, so they go to work in the mailroom at Monsters, Incorporated, eventually rising up the food chain and becoming the most accomplished scarers of all time, narrowly beating out their college frenemy Randall.

Let’s start with the question of how long it took for them to become scarers. Since they were there long enough to become good friends with the Abominable Snowman, let’s assume that they left the mailroom right around when Snowy was banished. They worked about three or four other jobs before they became scarers. Let’s say that they worked a total of 5-8 years before finally becoming scarers. Now, how long did it take Randall to become a scarer?

It seems safe to assume that Randall completed scaring school, which would have taken him at least four years, possibly more. So, assuming he got the scaring job right out of college, that means it was 3-5 years after Mike and Sulley were expelled, let’s say. This would imply that Randall was a scarer for 0-3 years before Mike and Sulley became scarers. It occurs to me now that only Sulley became a scarer, while Mike was still a can jockey for most of Monsters Inc. This makes matters even worse.

At the end of Monsters Inc, when it’s revealed that Roz was working for the government maintaining a close eye on Mike and Sulley for reasons everyone was confused about until this year, Roz says she’s been surveying them for two and a half years. This would imply that Mike broke the all-time scare record in two and a half years, which is insane because plenty of scarers completed MU and worked as scarers their entire lives. But Mike wasn’t the only one who broke the record. He had a sort of Gates-Buffet dynamic throughout the movie with none other than Randall Boggs.

So basically, we were rooting for the wrong person the whole time. While Sulley might have been a better scarer than Randall, Randall actually, you know, finished school and listened to his supervisor and didn’t destroy countless items of value that would cause him to get expelled despite filling up an entire room’s worth of scream containers. Now, you might think, “We didn’t root for Sulley because he was better at scaring than Randall, we rooted for him because he was trying to save a two-year-old’s life.” Yeah, but Randall wasn’t trying to kill Boo. He was trying to take her out of the hands of two clearly irresponsible people who threatened her life on numerous occasions. If Randall got a hold of Boo, he would probably have given her to the proper authorities, who would have then escorted her back to her house, and maybe erased her memory or some shit, because monsters have free unlimited energy and portals to another planet or universe.

In a nutshell, Randall is the misunderstood hero of the Monsters franchise. See you next time for another exciting installment of…

LATE NIGHT FAN THEORIES!!!!!