Incompetent Gamers: Rocket League

Join incompetent gamers DarthPudden, Sharpy, and Bethles as they buckle up for Rocket League!

Streamed live on YouTube, with all the complications associated with such a task, check it out ⬇️

Subscribe to YouTube.com/FTAchannel to be notified of and involved with the next live stream of Incompetent Gamers.

Advertisements

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

NO LOVE LOST.

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Netflix’s teen romance, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Overbrook Entertainment / Awesomeness Films / Netflix

Awkward sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey’s life becomes complicated when her secret love letters get posted to her five crushes, including her sister’s ex-boyfriend…

Based on Jenny Han’s 2014 young adult novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before leaves one wondering if the weak link in the chain sits with the perils of adaptation or the source material itself. Another in a string of Netflix-distributed teen flicks, this particular offering looks quite promising on the surface. Finally, we have a romantic comedy whose protagonist doesn’t fit the typical WASP mould. Even better, she is from an incredibly underrepresented ethnicity.

It isn’t long until the film settles into all-too familiar territory, which isn’t always a bad thing. The cast tick all the boxes of particular archetypes, so there should be at least one person for its target audience to relate to. Lana Condor is particularly charming as Lara Jean. Though offering nothing new to the sweet, nerdy, neurotic character type, she is quite likeable, and it was a relief not see any Hello Kitty paraphernalia lurking about (take note, 13 Reasons Why).

However, where To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before falls flat—and does so quickly, mind you—is that as accessible as the characters are, most are two-dimensional and none are remotely interesting. Furthermore, the narrative becomes more painfully predictable as it goes along. There’s some flashes of effective humour here, but the overall film lacks any wow factor.

What is the point of having an Asian-American protagonist if the perspective isn’t any different? Why can’t any of Lara Jean’s crushes be from a similar ethnicity to hers—Asian blokes are just as desirable as Anglo-Saxon ones (thank you, 13 Reasons Why). Also, is there any valid justification why a significant part of Lara Jean’s heritage is reduced to a Korean yoghurt product found in a specialty grocery store? And where is the diversity in the supporting and background characters? (Drinking game: Even if you have a shot for every non-Caucasian person you see, you’ll still be sober by the end of the film.)

Alas, despite some redeeming features, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is nothing special. The differentiation factor it does offer is merely window dressing for what is a tried, tested, and pretty dull affair. 1½ / 5

 

Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, Israel Broussard, John Corbett.

Director: Susan Johnson | Writer: Sofia Alvarez (based on the novel by Jenny Han) | Producers: Brian Robbins, James Lassiter, Will Smith, Matthew Kaplan | Music: Joe Wong | Cinematographer: Michael Fimognari | Editor: Phillip J. Bartell, Joe Klotz

 

Available: Netflix

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

A Podcast Called FRED #33

Join Kendall and special guests Fulya and Wayne for the latest in pop culture and entertainment news in the podcast that refuses to behave.

Kendall is sick again, Fulya got her mum back, and Wayne can’t get over a cinematic experience from nine years ago. Get ready for an episode packed with tangents, rants, anecdotes, and a reflection to Dan Quayle’s spelling of ‘potato’—it’s A Podcast Called FRED!

Nerdy News includes:

  • Matt Smith joins Star Wars Episode IX cast in an undisclosed role;
  • Dwayne Johnson starring in Big Trouble in Little China sequel;
  • Emmy Rossum announces departure from Shameless
  • and more!

Trailer Park discussions:

This week, the team solve the mathematics problem that hurt Phillip’s head and also discuss which films and TV series they would like to see a prequel to, including responses from you!

 

Remember to let us know your response to the Popcorn Culture question to be featured in next week’s episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: A Podcast Called FRED #32

Incompetent Gamers: Payday 2

Join incompetent gamers DarthPudden and Sharpy as they attempt a heist while being dogged by Mondayitis and questionable internet connection.

Streamed live on YouTube, with all the complications associated with such a task, check out Payday 2 ⬇️

Subscribe to YouTube.com/FTAchannel to be notified of and involved with the next live stream of Incompetent Gamers.

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Kidnap (2017)

SHUT UP AND DRIVE.

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Kidnap

Aviron Pictures

Overworked diner waitress Karla (Halle Berry) is the doting mother of six-year-old Frankie (Sage Correa). While enjoying an outing with her son one afternoon, she receives a call from her lawyer that her ex-husband wants primary custody of their child. When Karla’s phones battery dies, she returns her attention to Frankie, only to discover that he has gone missing.

Having witnessed him being forced into a car, Karla follows the abductors and goes to extreme lengths to retrieve her son.

Kidnap’s premise and ensuing plot is straightforward enough that it is not the sort of film that demands much from its audience. And therein lies the problem: Knate Lee’s screenplay is so heavy with exposition that the film would be far more engrossing if it weren’t as condescending. For example, Karla sees an AMBER Alert on a road sign describing the perpetrators’ vehicle. The catch: he has changed cars since she reported the kidnapping. We as the audience know this because we have seen it in quite a dramatic sequence, and yet, Karla needs to explain this to us anyway in case we are wondering why she is angry at the road sign. Similarly, we need the bad guy (Lew Temple) to tell us why he is frustrated with his gun because we would not have otherwise come to the conclusion that he cannot find his ammunition.

Unfortunately, these are more the rule rather than the exception to Kidnap; it is an unwanted distraction. Berry does an exceptional job of trying to rise above it (as one of the film’s producers, she has a little more invested in the project), but her efforts are not always enough—the dialogue gets that bad at times. It is a shame, really, because Kidnap showcases some edge-of-the-seat thrills, is edited meticulously, is framed and photographed beautifully, and has an engaging score.

Worth a look at, but leave your brain at the door. 2½ / 5

 

Starring: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lew Temple, Dana Gourrier, Jason Winston George.

Director: Luis Prieto | Producers: Gregory Chou, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, Joey Tufaro, Taylar Wesley, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Halle Berry | Writer: Knate Lee | Music: Federico Jusid | Cinematographer: Flavio Martinez Labiano | Editor: Avi Youabian

Available: Netflix

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s #14

This month, Fulya and Kendall discuss their all-time favourite film scores and soundtracks—including responses from you!

Have a listen and let us know what your most loved movie tune is and get ready to respond to the next Monthly question, revealed at the end of the episode ⬇

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s #13

 

Collectible Chaos: Top Ten Michael Jackson Live Performances

Join FRED the ALIEN Productions‘s pop culture queen Kendall Richardson for Collectible Chaos!

To mark what would have been Michael Jackson’s sixtieth birthday, Kendall counts down her favourite live performances from the King of Pop! Let us know your number one choice in the comments.

Check out Collectible Chaos – Top Ten Michael Jackson Live Performances

 

RELATED POST: Collectible Chaos: The Michael Jackson Collection (click on image)

A Podcast Called FRED #32

Join Kendall and Phillip for the latest in pop culture and entertainment news in the podcast that refuses to behave—it’s A Podcast Called FRED!

Nerdy News includes:

  • Tom Hardy signs on for multiple Venom movies
  • The Big Bang Theory to end
  • Superman and Lois Lane coming to Arrowverse crossover

Trailer Park discussions:

This week, the team also discuss which fictional villain you would vote for to be the next Prime Minister! Couldn’t be worse than what’s happened in Canberra, right?

 

Remember to let us know your response to the Popcorn Culture question to be featured in next week’s episode of A Podcast Called FRED!

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: A Podcast Called FRED #31

 

Incompetent Gamers: Civilization V—Downfall Begins

Join incompetent gamers DarthPudden and Sharpy as they take on civilisation itself! But will their efforts all be in vain?

Streamed live on YouTube, check out Civilization V

Subscribe to YouTube.com/FTAchannel to be notified of and involved with the next live stream of Incompetent Gamers.

 

PREVIOUS EPISODE: Incompetent Gamers: Civilization VBoredom Begins

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: In The House (2010)

OPEN HOUSE.

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is In the House (Dans la maison)…

La Banque Postale Images 5 / Canal+ / France 2 Cinéma / Mandarin Cinéma / Palatine Étoile 9 / Région Ile-de-France / Mars Distribution

Literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) forms a bond with his sixteen-year-old student Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who possesses a remarkable talent for writing.

Germain tutors the precocious Claude, whose story inspiration comes from his transgressive manipulation of best friend Rapha (Bastien Ughetto) as well as Rapha’s doting parents (Emmanuelle Seigner and Denis Ménochet), as Claude becomes increasingly comfortable in their house…

François Ozon is one of France’s greatest directors and a standout among his contemporaries within the vast realm of filmmaking. As with In the House, his films tend to explore the complexities of interpersonal relationships and sexuality, delving into themes of humanity that are often relegated to low budget indie movies.

With In the House, Ozon presents a compelling story of manipulation, underplayed in such a manner that it has a subtle level of menace. Fabrice Luchini is in fine form as Germain, a middle-aged teacher whose passion for his profession is reignited by the skills of a student who sits quietly in the back row. That student is Claude Garcia, played with exceptional confidence, charm, and intelligence by Ernst Umhauer, who had only two film credits to his name at this stage and was the recipient of the Lumières Award for Most Promising Actor for his efforts here. It is not difficult to see why.

The tangled web of relationship dynamics becomes even more complicated as both Germain and Claude’s obsession with the execution and authoring of Claude’s story becomes the central focus of their existence. If the story can only be written with lived experiences and interactions with the Artole family, it is essential that Claude maintain access to their house; what Germain and Claude do to achieve this is the source of most of the plot points and narrative turns.

The subplot involves Germain’s wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) who is working tirelessly to open a gallery exhibition. This serves as a breather from the building tension as well as adding to it at the same time. It is a narrative device that can only be appreciated upon reflection and this is a testament to the sort of filmmaker Ozon is; the director also adapted the screenplay.

Overall, In the House is performed, photographed, and edited with beautiful subtlety. The focus is on the characters, their motivations and desires. It is the sort of film that pulls you in quickly and, thanks primarily to Umhauer, refuses to let you go. 4 / 5

 

Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Ernst Umhauer, Yolande Moreau.

Director: François Ozon | Producers: Éric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmeyer, Claudie Ossard | Writers: François Ozon (Based on The Boy in the Last Row by Juan Mayorga) | Music: Philippe Rombi | Cinematographer: Jérôme Alméras | Editor: Laure Gardette

Available: DVD or stream it for free at SBS On Demand.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.