Movies · Review

Turbo Kid, a review

Anyone who knows me knows I have an enormous appetite for 80’s movies/music/aesthetic and, although I cannot explain this love fully, it has inspired and guided many of my own artistic aspirations.  The journey to this movie started with music: I was looking for something new to listen to on my Pandora station and came across Timecop1983 in all it’s space-ephemera-synthwave-goodness.  As I was listening and jotting down other bands to check out later Le Matos- Chronicles of the Wastelands/Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack came up and I dropped my pen–original motion picture soundtrack meant that there might be a movie connected to this music I was now obsessed with. To the internet I went! And lo and behold, there is a movie called Turbo Kid–AND it’s on Netflix!

Turbo Kid (2015, Canada / New Zealand).  Half mask, half Emma; glove replaced with sword

So two lunch breaks later and I have consumed this movie entirely, and enjoyed it thoroughly–now, I will admit, it is nothing spectacularly clever or new in the genre of post apocalyptic survival movies but I don’t think it needs to be. The plot of lone wolf type just trying to get by in a ravaged world, who eventually makes contact with another human, and eventually defeats a sadistic war lord is pretty simple to the point of cliche (Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Escape from New York, The Quiet Earth) But this movie does two things that make the simple plot work and make an enjoyable film.

First, The Kid is just that–a kid who has used toys to help comfort him as he survives.  There is just something more compelling about a kid trying to survive during desperate times than an adult, and while this Kid is around 17 you find out through the course of the movie why he’s on his own and that he has been since he was very small. Also having the character be a kid means in addition to over throwing the evil warlord trope there are also opportunities for the kid to grow up through events in the story which adds a layer to the simple story. While mostly this movie is ridiculous there are some poignant moments between The Kid and Apple (a rather strange girl who shows up and demands they are friends) as their relationship evolves.

10 movies to watch since you love movies so much

The second thing this movie does that only enhances the tropes used is that it is juuuuust this side of over the top.  Frankly, the gore is ridiculous.  You literally watch a man’s intestines pulled out of his stomach by a henchman on a bicycle contraption–it sounds gross but really, I just laughed.  There are also blown up torso’s that land on other characters during the final battle that just…I had to pause the movie to take that in. I appreciate this ridiculousness because it allows the film to sort of laugh at itself and not take itself too seriously.

Munro Chambers - Turbo kid                              …

In all, it is a nice homage to a very strange vein of movies from the 80’s and 90’s and definitely benefits from ‘less is more’. I’m not sure if this movie is for anyone who doesn’t already like these kinds of movies but if you do it is worth checking out.

Research · Review · Television · Writing

Binge watching and a Review

I am not a binge watcher, per say. I watched way more movies growing up and still prefer movies to television shows. The binge watching phenomenon that came with streaming services is lost on me–two episodes and then it’s a fight to stay focused. The other reason I don’t care for binge watching is that my brain has a knack for patterns* and when I start watching television shows in large chunks I start to discern the tropes and writing patterns that take me out of the story and therefore make it less enjoyable. 

Recently, however, my thoughts on the matter have changed–no, shifted is a better word**. I have been on 12 weeks of maternity leave and while she is a good baby and a much better sleeper than her sister there are long lengths of time where all I have been good for is feeding and laying on the couch and letting the tv play while my brain de-mushifys. This has led to some inadvertent binge watching. 

With my latest writing project being a buddy cop/detective story my tastes in television have been the same. I started with Gotham (totally separate fan girl filled blog post!) and have since moved on to Person of Interest. 

Here comes the review: To put it bluntly–I really frickin’ love this show! 

To detail further: Not only does this show combine many things I love– detective stories, cops, espionage, technology/hacking, it has subtley complex characters across the board and a great mix of one shot stories with great overarching plots. 

Mr. Finch is quirky yet believable and is an excellent foil to John Reece’s dry ascerbic humor and more violent tendencies. Detective Joss Carter might be one of my favorite women on television ever. She is a great detective but is not solely defined by that–she is also a mother, a woman trying to get a date and a great moral compass for the show that walks a very fine legal line. Fusco, Shaw and Root get more interesting through the seasons and I appreciate that the writers hold back and let these characters develop later.  So many shows seem to want to lay out their entire team in the first season and make everyone interesting immediately. 

I’m almost finished with season 3 out of 5 and while several plot points are slightly predictable there have been several that took me by surprise which is refreshing. We are deep in Government Conspiracy Land but I have faith that it will be far from ordinary fare. 

* Not on a genius cryptographer sort of level–more of a “hey that line of cars next to me has alternating white and black cars” and “my daughter gets extra weird one week a month around the full moon” level. Although, at one point in my life (around 7th grade) I was rather obsessed with codes and code breaking. Perhaps on Earth 2 I am a world class cryptographer! Who knows! 

** I say shifted because as soon as I go back to work I will shift back to not liking nor have time to binge watch. 


Holidays are Here!

So I know I keep promising to update more often and I really have every good intention and then my adult self-diagnosed ADD kicks in and I fail miserably. All I can promise is that I will do better! Perhaps a New Year’s resolution is in order, neh?

In the music world I just finished running lights for Gainesville Ballet’s The Nutcracker a week or so ago, and while it was an interesting and exhausting theatre experience (having never run a dance show before) I did manage to enjoy the music. I have to say that Tchaikovsky may just be my favorite composer of all time–right up there with Prokofiev and Beethoven. If you want a grand mix of classical songs his ballet The Nutcracker in its entirety is the place to look. Within Act I there is the grand but simple March that seems to envelope everything about Christmas that I love. It moves but still maintains a lighthearted child’s perspective of Christmas. Then there is the powerful and elegant Waltz of the Snowflakes, which is probably my very favorite of his which really captures the swirling beauty of a snowstorm. The tinkling of the bells mixed with the sweet voices representing the delicate flakes overlaid by the deep swirling of the strings that represents the wind, whipping the flakes around. If you ever get a chance to see the Nutcracker, really watch because this dance is the best!

Act II leads us into the magic land of sweets where Tchaikovsky manages to capture in music the elements of each of the candies as they come to dance before Clara and the Nutcracker. Each dance is distinct from one another in tone and rhythm giving you a wonderful idea of what the dancers look like. My favorites are Tea (The Chinese Dance) and Trepak (The Russian Dance) which are probably some of the more famous of his pieces. The act ends with more waltzes that are just as powerful as the Waltz of the Snowflakes but with their own distinct flavors.

I could gush on and on about The Nutcracker but really this is music that should be listened to and even better seen with the dancers! It is all good.

I love all Christmas music but this is my all time favorite, Dominic the Christmas Donkey not withstanding–but that is another post!