All posts by Jonathon Wilson

Your favorite writer's new favorite writer.

Review – Girls Trip

What’s this?

About a year ago, a friend of mine pointed me towards a YouTube video in which a woman who calls herself Angel demonstrated how to use a grapefruit to enhance a blowjob. Angel’s technique – which my girlfriend wholeheartedly believed was a prank I’d somehow engineered for my own benefit – is perhaps the most terrifying thing I’ve ever witnessed, and I am a man who has seen a video of a hostage being beheaded by a terrorist, and a woman in Ibiza fire a rugby ball from her vagina with such velocity that it hit a patron twenty feet away.

Girls Trip is essentially a feature-length version of Angel’s grapefruit video. It even includes a scene which specifically imitates it, and I think it’s telling that this is somehow less ridiculous than the original footage.

I should clarify that none of this is a criticism.

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Recap – Game of Thrones S7E4: “The Spoils of War”

More like “The Spoiled of War”, am I right? Eh?

Oh, god. I’m so sorry.

Putting aside the fact that HBO’s international distribution partners are leakier than the Titanic, the title does seem fitting; this fourth episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season opens up with Jamie Lannister handing Bronn – sorry, Ser Bronn – a bag full of gold. The Lannisters always pay their debts, of course, which is why the Kingslayer is hiking across the continent with all the pilfered spoils of Highgarden. If the Iron Bank is going to fund Cersei’s world-conquering revenge campaign, they need to be placated. That was the plan all along, it seems, although I guess Jamie didn’t quite anticipate Lady Olenna dropping that bombshell about Jeffrey’s welcome demise. Bronn put it better than I could: “Did the Queen of Thorns give you one last prick in the balls before saying goodbye?”

Yes, quite.

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Review – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

What’s this?

As I’ve noted before in this very series, the idea of alternate timelines and universes and all their attendant paradoxes is largely what has prohibited me from becoming what one might describe as a “fan” of comic books, which some would consider a rather egregious oversight given my line of work. When I reviewed Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, another direct-to-DVD feature courtesy of Warner Bros. and DC, which also concerned a superhero team who ventured into a mirrored dimension to battle their doppelgangers, I expressed concerns about the futility of the endeavour, which I still hold. That movie surprised me, though, and it must be said that this one, which is based on the 2011 comic book crossover event “Flashpoint”, by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, surprised me just as much, if not more so.

Why’s that?

A couple of reasons. The first, rather obvious one is that a standalone feature-film is a very different proposition from a concerted effort to mangle and merge a dozen characters’ established continuities. In comic books, these events are permanent – until, that is, the next one happens, or the whole line is arbitrarily rebooted, though even then the ostensibly clean slate still contains the sticky residue of versions past. It’s a nightmare. Something like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox has the distinct advantage of having no obligation to a broader continuity. You can enjoy its hypothetical rearranging of DC’s stalwarts secure in the knowledge that by the time the credits roll, none of it will have mattered.

The second reason is that, unwieldy title notwithstanding, it isn’t a movie about the Justice League.

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Review – Kidnap

What’s this?

A perplexingly bad new thriller that follows Academy Award winner Halle Berry as she pursues her kidnapped son through Louisiana while talking, crying, screaming, whining and praying to herself in medium close-up for 90 agonising minutes. It is asinine, unabashed garbage, and made with such an absence of skill or dramatic consideration that the reliable incompetence of its writing, direction, editing and acting make for one of the most unintentionally hilarious puddles of genre slop I’ve seen all year.

Well, it is August. What’s it about?

Berry plays Karla Dyson, a single mother making ends meet by working a thankless job as a diner waitress. The diner, needless to say, feeds only rude and difficult clientele, and her son, Frankie (Sage Correa), frequently sits inside while he waits for her shift to end. This is, as far as I can tell, tantamount to child abuse. It’s no surprise then that Karla’s off-screen husband is divorcing her in favour of an upscale new squeeze, and while he’s at it he’d like Frankie full-time, thanks very much. While negotiating the terms of this arrangement in a local park, Frankie is snatched by a couple of scruffy, fat hicks, and bundled into the back of a teal Ford Mustang; Karla gives chase. This pursuit takes up most of the movie and is wonderful, laugh-a-minute stuff. Most of it is filmed an inch or two from Berry’s nose, which is far enough away to take in her bug-eyed, teeth-gnashing overreactions, but too close for the audience to see all the automotive mayhem that’s apparently happening outside the car. At one point Karla leaves the Chrysler to pursue the Mustang on foot, and this strikes me as perhaps the funniest movie moment of the year.

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Review – The Emoji Movie

What’s this?

Surprising absolutely nobody, The Emoji Movie is an insulting travesty without a shred of wit, intelligence or worth; a shameless, unfunny slab of advertising that exists entirely to slobber all over the shiny corporate cock whose limp spurts of digitised ejaculate droop from the movie’s saccharine façade like the tears of all those parents who were dumb enough to buy tickets for their children to see it.

Having said that, it did surprise someone: Dan Hart, my very own colleague here, who insisted live on air that The Emoji Movie would secure a Tomatometer score of over 50%, and even bet ten pounds of Her Majesty’s finest sterling on the matter. I can’t get back the 90 minutes I spent watching this appalling aberration, but at least I’m up ten quid.

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Review – Atomic Blonde

What’s this?

It’s Jane Wick.

Okay, sorry, that’s not entirely accurate. But I’ve had that joke lined up since the first trailer, and while it might not be my best work, I needed to get it off my chest. It’s half right, anyway. Atomic Blonde is about a badass super-spy punching, shooting and stabbing her way through a stylized aesthetic under the direction of David Leitch. Certainly sounds like John Wick to me.

But, alas, Atomic Blonde isn’t that – at least not all the time. In reality, it’s based on a moderately obscure graphic novel, The Coldest City, and takes the form, structurally and tonally, of a twisty Cold War espionage thriller full of Soviet skulduggery and collapsing communist regimes. Which isn’t exactly what was advertised.

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Completed #5 – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game about family, about love, about trust, teamwork and companionship. It’s also a game – if you go out of your way to unlock all the achievements – about being a fucking psychopath. This is one of the many things I love about Brothers, which is the kind of perfectly-pitched experience that is novel, creative, and far too expensive for most people to bother playing it.

Luckily, though, Brothers was one of the titles used to pad out Microsoft’s new subscription service, Xbox Games Pass, and at only a couple of hours long it’s the perfect fit. Now you can play a wonderful game for nothing, and not have to waste your time bitching on forums about the price.

Continue reading Completed #5 – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons