The Asylum

As a quick follow on from yesterdays post I’d thought I’d draw your attention towards The Asylum, the studio which was responsible for Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus and a whole pantheon of movies equally worthy of the title worst film ever.

The Asylum is an independent budget studio who has produced bucket-loads of films with an average cost of about £500,000 each, which is actually faintly impressive considering how difficult it is for indie studio and how much movies cost these days. My admiration for Asylum stops there though. What The Asylum specialise in is a genre known affectionately as “Mockbusters” and less so as “blatant rip-offs made to cash in on a Hollywood hits success.”

Their filmography consists of titles like, The Da Vinci Treasure, Alien Vs Hunter, I Am Omega, Pirates of Treasure Island, Snakes on a Train, and Transmorphers. While the films tend not to follow their doppelgangers plots too closely they are almost unwaveringly released a couple of weeks before or after them.

I guess it just gets on my nerves, films are supposed to be works of art, not opportunistic money grabbing ventures.

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Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Last night I had the misfortune of watching Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You know the one right? The one with the ridiculous trailer that went viral and looked like it would become Snakes on a Plane all over again? If not it is worth a watch

It looked like it was going to be B-movie heaven. In reality it was…..really, really boring. 90% of the film consists of pointless, dull dialogue, delivered by wooden actors playing characters who were bland and uninteresting. It was amateurish in a manner which wasn’t even funny. I thought there would at least be some moments which would be comically awful, or some impressively over the top action sequences but it was pretty lacking in both. All of the best parts of the film are shown in the trailer and if you’ve watched it there’s almost no need to watch the rest of the film

There are also glaring continuity errors, in one scene a jet is sent to fight the giant octopus and yet every time it cuts back to a shot of the jet it is different. An F-15 one moment, an F-22 the next. I don’t think they did it on purpose either…

Some scenes just don’t make sense; I still don’t know what caused the awkward Mexican stand-off on board the submarine, or even why the submarine crew would need guns. And then there’s the characters introduced near the beginning that are then forgotten for the rest of the film…I should probably stop pointing out its flaws now…I think you’ve probably realised that I don’t recommend it.

The thing is I am a fan of this type of modern pulp cinema. One of my favourite ways to spend the night is on the sofa with a couple of mates, a godawful film and more than a couple of beers. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is not worth buying though, it really does suck. lots.

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Ahoy again.

Thrilling news all.

First off I haven’t abandoned this blog, I merely had to stick it on hiatus for a while due to a couple of reasons of my own. Secondly it’s getting a full revamp and I’ve just bought myself a domain name and am just in the process of setting up the rest of the site so very soon this blog shall be moving over to Meanderthal.co.uk and changing it’s name to match. Content wise the site should be staying the same for the immediate future although eventually the plan (or perhaps pipedream) is to use it to become a Digital Nomad, travelling and using the funds that I’ll hopefully raise from blogging about my travels to pay for more travels. That’s the plan anyway but I still need to finish uni before I can go travelling again so up until that point it’s just going to the place for general stuff.

So there you go, I’m not dead, and I haven’t given up on blogging. Which is nice.

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The Laughter Track

I’ve been working on another blog for the past couple of weeks, It’s for one of the Online units of my Jounalism degree but is also an outlet for my interest in TV Comedy.

Check it out at Laughtertrack.wordpress.com 

It’s full of News, reviews and analysis on all things Comedy on TV.

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A Few Reflections

I haven’t posted for a while because of things have been a bit hectic and to be honest I think I lost a bit of steam with keeping this blog going. So as a way of kicking myself back into gear I think it might be a bit useful to take a look at the some of the things that I’ve found useful in developing this blog, and highlight some of the things which might be usful for others trying to grow a fledgling blog.

1. The most important thing I’ve found out is that you need to post regularly. Not necessarily every day, but on a regular basis so that your readers can know when to expect having something to read. Readers will also check back more regularly if they can expect to find something new. It’s something I’ve been guilty of not observing recently and my blog traffic has suffered because of it. A good way of keeping blog ideas coming and being able to post regularly is to make lists of possible ideas of blog posts that you can work on at a later date, rather than having to come up with an idea every day.

2. Social networking is also a really vital way of bringing new readers in. I think Twitter is probably responsible for about half of my new traffic at the moment and facebook was really useful for letting all my friends know about the blog at first, most of whom are now regular readers and have sent links on to their friends. The thing with social networks though is that there’s so many of them and they’re constantly changing so it can be hard to keep up with them and really get to grips with more than a couple of them. However they are well worth using especially if you can use them to join up with other bloggers in a similar vein. I think the trick is to just try all of them and work out which networks are most effective for you. My project for this week is to really get to grips with Digg and work out how to use it to my advantage.

3. Commenting on other blogs is an essential part of blogging. It’s along similar lines to my point about social networking, but no-one is going to to just randomly visit your blog if you don’t tell anyone about it or interact with anyone else. I quite often try to seek out other similar blogs and comment on interesting posts they may have, partly to add something to the conversation, partly in the hope that people will then follow my comment back to my blog (there’s a setting on wordpress that turns your name into a link to your blog). I struggled at first finding similar blogs to mine, because I cover such a range of topics but WordPress’s tag surfer is quite a useful way to do this.


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Obama’s gift to Brown

Earlier this week, when Gordon Brown met Barack Obama he presented him with the gift of a pen holder, made from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister ship to the HMS Resolute, which was used to make the desk in the oval office.

A well thought-out and meaningful gift no-doubt, but Obama’s gift to Brown has raised a few eyebrows.

The President’s gift to the Prime Minister was a box set of 25 DVD’s of classic American films.

A lot of people have used this to bash Obama’s diplomatic skills, and when compared to Brown’s gift for him it does seem a little insubstantial but I do think it’s a nice gesture. Hollywood film is probably America’s most popular and influential cultural export and its a nice idea to give something which represents American society. There’s a bit more information on the story here including the probable list of films.

It got me thinking though, what 25 films would I put in a box set to represent Britain, heres a quick list in no particular order.

1. Trainspotting
2. Brief Encounter
3. The 39 steps
4. Secrets and Lies
5. Four Weddings and A Funeral
6. Monty Python’s and now for something completely different
7. A Matter of Life and Death
8. Carry on camping
9. 24 hour party people
10. Goldfinger
11. If…
12. Look Back In Anger
13. Blow Up
14. Shaun of the Dead
15. A Hard Days Night
16. The Wicker Man
17. A Clockwork Orange
18. The Remains of the Day
19. The Crying Game
20. The Full Monty
21. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
22. Kidulthood
23. Bend it like Beckham
24. The Dam Busters
25. Dracula

There were a few others but I decided to limit myself to 25. I’ve tried to include examples from most of the major british directors and that cover a range of subjects that show britain. It’s not necessarily a list of the greatest british films, although I think many of them are, but it’s supposed to be a list which represents Britain, both past and present. Think I’ve missed anything or disagree with it? let me know what your opinions.

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Indiana Jones story development

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while, been a bit busy. In the mean time may I distract you with this?

It’s a bit geeky I know, but the sheer awesomeness of it cannot be denied. It’s a transcript of the conference between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg that they held in 1978 to develop the ideas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just chatting away casually creating one of the most iconic film series of all time.

It’s great to see which parts stayed and which parts got left out and how they list the influences. Indiana Jones came quite close to being a kung-fu genius.

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