Jake’s Movie Picks #3

words by jake cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

Alex Garland has done it again.

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Yer auld da and one of them piles of paper with words.

I’ve been intrigued about Annihilation since the first trailer dropped a while back, so Intrigued I bought the book (written by Jeff VanderMeer) and read it almost straight away. It was excellent. So I decided, I was going to go into the film adaption as blindly as someone who had just read the fucking book it was based on can and I’m glad I did because Annihilation is a masterpiece.

Alex Garland’s film goes at its own pace. The story beats are there, but they’re warped. Mangled, rearranged (you get the idea). This is a VERY unconventional piece of work. It’s smart, and it knows it is, but it doesn’t spoon feed the audience with shitty exposition and the like. Who knew people didn’t need to be treated like fucking morons to understand relatively highbrow concepts?! Truly a revelation in itself, and a long overdue one.

Annihilation is one of the most striking films I’ve ever seen. The imagery is utterly bonkers. From the designs of the copious amounts of fauna and wildlife to the more urban looking backdrops, everything pops out of the screen and screams “LOOK AT ME THEN LOOK AT THAT THEN LOOK OVER THERE!”. That being said, it never once gets overbearing, and Garland and the VFX team knew when the perfect times to be subdued were.

I suppose I should discuss what I can of the plot without spoiling anything. Something happens at a lighthouse that causes a phenomena coined “The Shimmer” to develop and begin expanding quick. A few teams have gone in, and barely any of them have came out. One of the people who did return from The Shimmer was Kane (played by the ever fantastic Oscar Isaac). He happens to be the husband of protagonist Lena, who volunteers to be a part of an all-female team to venture into The Shimmer and find the source of the chaos. That is basically as deep as I can go without spoiling anything, but let me tell you right now my friends you are in for a hell of a ride.

The cast of Annihilation is pitch perfect. Jennifer Jason Leigh is great as the secretive Dr. Ventress, Tessa Thompson impresses as always as the innocent and inquisitive Josie and Gina Rodriguez is fantastically unhinged as Anya. But this is indisputably Natalie Portman’s film. Her performance as Lena is fucking solid gold baby. She sells the effects that The Shimmer has on the human psyche wonderfully, playing action hero one minute and almost having a full blown panic attack the next. The range Portman shows is truly brilliant. If 2016’s “Jackie” kicked off the, ugh, Portmanassaince, then Annihilation solidifies it as “Thing That Is Definitely Occurring”. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

I truly do want to cast a critical eye over this film and point out any flaws, but for the life of me, I can’t think of any. This movie is quite simply put a triumph on every front. A scary, sharp, Lovecraftian nightmare that in one moment permafucks your brain into submission and in the next massages your eyes to near ecstasy. The acting is brilliant. The cinematography and direction is brilliant. The score is brilliant… motherfucker this is a 10/10 film.

It’s remarkable that this even got made, but goddamn it all am I glad it did. See this film as soon as you can, I simply cannot recommend it enough.

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Jake’s Drunken Review Of: Oscars 2018

Hey hey hey, regular film man Jake Cordiner here. The Oscars eh? The glitz, the glamour, the… overlong circle jerk that everyone wishes they were invited to. There were literally zero surprises last night, like none. So I’m just going to go category to category and discuss how the winners made me FEEL, MAN!

Full disclosure before we get going here, I got almost blackout drunk watching the ceremony. So I’m going from memory here, and a quick shoutout to Blinkclyro regulars Josh Adams, Andrew Barr and Ethan Woodford who kept me sane and let me tell awful, drunken jokes through the entirety of the ceremony. Let’s crack the fuck on my guys…

First things first, Kimmel. Wow, genuinely what a surprise, he crushed it. I was expecting a very cringe, safe performance from America’s Third Favourite Talk Show Host™, but he went for the jugular early. Weinstein jokes, shout-outs to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, while a predictable move, was classy none the less. All in all, from what I remember he did an absolutely stellar job.

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Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for his stellar performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. While not a surprising win, it was a deserved one. I said to my buddies last night that Sam Rockwell is one of my favourite actors that’s never been in a “BIG” picture, and hopefully, this win will get him more work as a leading man, because the fucker oozes charisma from his every pore.

So from what I can recall from the early portion of the evening/morning, Phantom Thread, a film I haven’t seen but understand as a motion picture solely about fashion, won the Oscar for costume design. I mean, if it hadn’t won the costume designers should have all been hung, drawn and quartered, or sacked if people didn’t fancy being weird, old-timey murderers.

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Dunkirk swept the technical categories, deservedly so in all honesty but I’m kind of gutted for the folks that worked behind the scenes on Baby Driver. An editing marvel is Baby Driver, and I was pulling for it to win in sound editing and editing in general. But I’ll accept Dunkirk, or Panic Attack Inducing Simulator 2017, winning.

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Best Supporting Actress went to the fucking hilarious Allison Janney for I, Tonya, a film I haven’t seen yet but looks so far up my street it’s actually moved in next door to me. I had Laurie Metcalf in my predictions for her brilliant, brilliant, brilliant performance in Ladybird but this was such a strong category this year that anyone could have won and I’d have been thrilled. Extra special wee shout out to the always incredible Octavia Spencer for her performance in The Shape of Water, which is an acting masterclass.

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Jordan Peele took home best original screenplay for Get Out. FUCK. ME. That’s all I’ve got to say really, Get Out is a vital, wonderful piece of cinema and it’s beyond brilliant to see a film that deals with the themes it does get represented at The Oscars.

ROGER FUCKING DEAKINS FINALLY WON THE CINEMATOGRAPHY OSCAR. FOURTEEN NOMINATIONS AND THIS WAS HIS FIRST WIN. GOD IS REAL AND NOTHING HURTS. Look through the man’s IMDb page, he has shot some of the most incredible films of the modern era. Blade Runner 2049, The Assassination of Jesse James…, No Country For Old Men, A Serious Man, Prisoners… the list goes on and on and on. He is a colossal talent and I am absolutely over the moon he finally won the big one. I audibly screamed when he won, and that is not hyperbole I am a passionate young man.

Best Actor went to humongous piece of human waste Gary Oldman, who for some odd reason didn’t find the time to make any racist or anti-Semitic comments in his acceptance speech, and instead decided to thank his dying mum. A nice gesture from a decidedly not nice man. Everyone else in this category deserved it more than Oldman, but The Academy loves it when actors slap some makeup on and portray fascists so here we are. It’s a damn shame Oldman is as colossal a cunt as he is because he’s undeniably talented. Oh well.

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My main man Guillermo Del Toro did it!! Best director, best man. I have always loved this big boy and his mad films and it’s a joy to see him receive this accolade from the Academy. A humble, insane genius of a man. Hopefully, the number of awards The Shape of Water has bagged him will allow him to finally get some of those 209,0000 projects he couldn’t get funding for off the ground. Start with that At The Mountains of Madness passion project GDT, my man. We’re long overdue a good Lovecraft film. A quick aside, Greta Gerwig seems like the nicest human being on this hell planet. Look up an interview with her, literally any interview, and marvel at how such a humble person has managed to succeed in Hollywood.

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Best Actress. I mean, could it have been anyone else but Frances McDormand? True enough the category was stacked (barring Meryl Streep’s annual nomination, which is getting beyond tiresome) but McDormand carried Three Billboards… on her back and almost single handedly made it as fantastic as it is. A powerhouse performance doesn’t do her justice. Also, what a fucking SPEECH, she is a fucking treasure and I won’t hear anything to the contrary. Of course, props should be given to the spellbinding Sally Hawkins (who I love dearly) for The Shape of Water and SourShoes Ronan, who owned the screen at an alarming rate in the stupendous Lady Bird. What a good year for films, eh?

Lets get this shit out of the way first and foremost. The best picture category snubbed Blade Runner 2049 hard. Now I know, The Academy doesn’t take too Kindly to sequels, but this is FUCKING DIFFERENT, OK? BLADE RUNNER 2049 IS A CINEMATIC MARVEL. AND HOW DARE THE ACADEMY NOT PUT SOME RESPECT ON IT’S GODDAMN NAME FUCK I AM HEATED. I AM VERY HEATED. Other films that, imo, were snubbed include: A Ghost Story, The Florida Project, The Big Sick, The Meyerowtiz Stories and Paddington 2. Yes, Paddington 2.

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However, The Shape of Water won. And out of all the films nominated, it was the only clear cut winner in my eyes. Sure, I’d have LOVED for it to go to Get Out or Ladybird but let’s take a step back and really think about the subject matter tackled in The Shape Of Water. It is, quite literally, a film about a mute woman falling in love with an Amazonian Fish God. The only man that could pull off an idea as batshit insane as that is Guillermo Del Toro, and pull it off he did. The Shape of Water is almost annoyingly wonderful, from the performances to the set design, the score, the makeup and costumes, everything comes together in a cacophony of pure cinematic joy. It. Is. Remarkable. And you should see it at your earliest convenience.

Before I love you and leave you, here are some scatterbrained notes from memory about the ceremony.

BOSS BABY WAS FUCKING ROBBED. WHAT THE FUCK ARE THE ACADEMY THINKING? THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS FUCKED, GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD YOU DINOSAURS. YOU VAMPARIC CUNTS. YOU FUCKING SHITBRAINED OLD TWATS.

Love you all, I have been Jake Cordiner. Thanks to Liam Menzies for letting me write this stupid as fuck article and for giving me a platform for my daft opinions. Stay safe, love each other.

Jake’s Top Ten Horror Films

By Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh)

Hey y’all, Jake here. Just a wee disclaimer before we kick things off. Some of my choices will be met with nothing but ire and PURE UNFILTERED RAGE. I’m so sorry. I wish I could make you all happy all the time but I’m a simple boy. So please, let us know what YOUR favourite horror films ever are on Twitter / Facebook / Bebo. Also, all hate should be directed to @NME on Twitter. Don’t tell them why you’re annoyed, just attack them. Finally, everything before 5 are interchangeable in order, this has been a hard process to narrow down. Now, let’s kick things off wiiiiiiiith…

10. Event Horizon (1997)

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I am a sucker for Lovecraftian/Cosmic horror, and Event Horizon fits the bill flawlessly for me. Sure, some of the acting/dialogue is corny as all hell, but when a film is as genuinely creepy and visually stunning as this, I can look past it. Watch this ASAP.

9. The Babadook (2014)

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This used to be way, way higher on my list but on repeated viewings it slowly started creeping down. I still adore it, though. A chilling film that uses a physical entity as a surrogate for the effects and strains of PTSD and depression, this film is vital viewing.

8. Kill List (2011)

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God I love Ben Wheatley. This is a proper slow burner but when it gets going, you better believe it GETS GOING, motherfucker. A lot of twists and turns coming your way when you watch this. Go in as blind as you possibly can and I promise you you won’t be disappointed.

7. [REC] (2007)

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The grandaddy of all zombie films (I’M SAYIN IT). This Spanish-language found footage barn-buster is set almost entirely in one apartment building. It is nerve-shreddingly tense, with some of my favourite jump scares ever used in film. WATCH. IT. And avoid the US remake (I think it’s called Quarantine?) at all costs. It sucked out all the life and charm from the original, as the vast majority of remakes tend to do.

6. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

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Sam Neill knows a good horror script when he sees one. This slice of Lovecraftian loveliness was panned by critics upon its release and I honestly cannot fathom why. Stunningly creepy, with great performances throughout and DIRECTED AND SCORED BY JOHN FUCKING CARPENTER this film is a fucking blast. Don’t let Rotten Tomatoes guide you, watch this at your earliest convenience.

5. Raw (2017)

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The most recent of all the entries on this list, Raw is a coming of age drama hidden in the middle of a big, cannibalistic sandwich. With a breathtaking central performance from Garance Marillier, this French-language film is a total fucking knockout.

4. The VVitch (2015)

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Oh baby I fucking LOVE The VVitch. Set in New England in the 1600s, this movie will get under your skin and stay there for days after you watch it. It also has my favourite jump scare in all of horror history (“PEEKABOO”) but it’s RUINED IN THE TRAILER so please try and avoid any marketing for this film you find on Youtube (to be honest, trailers should be abolished, but that’s an article for another day).

3. The Blair Witch Project (2016)

PLEASE DON’T HARM ME OR MY FAMILY I’M BEGGING YOU I MEAN NO HARM. I’m sorry, I really am, but this film terrified me like I’d never been terrified before when I seen it in the cinema. Taking the concept laid down by the original Blair Witch Project and running with it, this is a bold film with cracking performances throughout (including my boy FAMOUS ACTOR JAMES ALLEN MCCUNE!) This little sweetheart is on Netflix and I’d heartily recommend watching it as soon as possible.

2. The Descent (2005)

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Not that I was ever planning on becoming the type of man who explores caves, but this film has put me off that hobby FOR LIFE. The less said about this wee masterpiece the better, you will be on the edge of your seat throughout and you will become a hater of caves. See this film.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I love horror films a lot and I meant it when I said this was a hard list to narrow down. So here are like… another 10 maybe? Vital horror films that I’d feel remiss to not mention at all. So in no particular order…
The Thing
The Conjuring
Get Out
Insidious
Alien
The Devil’s Backbone
SAW
It Follows
Evil Dead (original AND remake)
The Cabin in the Woods
28 Days Later
Coherence
The Fly
The Host
(Ok, I lied, that was 14, sorry)
AND SO MY NUMBER ONE HORROR FILM EVER IS…………..
1. Scream (1996)

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Hell yes my guys, fucking SCREAM (not a command, by the way). A complete skewering of slasher flicks by Wes Craven, the guy who basically popularised the genre. This film is creepy, suspenseful and really fucking funny all in equal measure. A true horror classic.

What are your fave horror films? let us know. And please, tell me how fucking wrong I am on the twitter: i’m @jjjjaketh. Have a swell day and happy October!!!

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