Monday, 30 March 2015

Features: Manic Monday - Shake Your Twigs

And another weekend is over, leaving us with a sour taste on a Monday morning. In order to improve your mood, we'd like you to have a look at Groot and how he simply shakes off the Monday Blues. Please don't tell us that this Guardians of the Galaxy hero can't save your start into the week. We know you'd be lying.

© Walt Disney Studios | Source: Cinemablend

Monday, 23 March 2015

Features: Manic Monday- Castiel meets the Ghostfacers

© The CW | Source: Fotolog

We all know that Supernatural is a show about the Winchester brothers and their battle against ghosts and demons and whatever other kind of evil force you can think of. But what if our dear Winchesters happened to be otherwise… occupied? Who’d save the world then? Good ol’ Castiel may or may not have found a group of worthy representatives.

♫ If there's somethin' strange in your neighborhood ♫
Who ya gonna call?

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Characters We ♥ : Richard Harrow (Boardwalk Empire) [Spoilers]

take as a screencap from the season 4 DVD set of Boardwalk Empire
© HBO | Source: Screenshot Boardwalk Empire - Season 4

Richard Harrow’s stay on Boardwalk Empire was originally intended to last for only three episodes in season 1. Fortunately, the producers of HBO’s mobster drama changed their mind when they realised his potential as a recurring character. Played with utter dedication, complexity and impeccable subtlety by Jack Huston, the man with the mask quickly gained a huge fanbase.

“A man's death is no laughing matter.”  -- Richard Harrow

Having fought in World War I as a marksman for the US Army, Harrow returns home with a trauma and severe mutilations on the left side of his face. As a result, he has to wear a tin prosthesis painted in his skin colour to hide his gruesome scars and make his face look as natural as possible. However, his unconventional appearance, the coarse sound of his damaged vocal chords and his reserved yet frank behaviour render him an outcast of society. Regarded as a freak by most people, it is his friendship with fellow veteran Jimmy Darmody, one of the main characters of the show, that enables him to feel less alone. Eventually, it also grants him access to the underworld mechanisms of the prohibition era, introducing him to characters such as Nucky Thompson, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and the like.

Harrow’s one talent, we are made to understand from very early on, is killing. Skilled with guns and in fist fights, he soon becomes the hatchet man for Darmody and his partners in crime. The appealing thing about his character, though, is that underneath all those brutal abilities lies a sincere, witty, likeable and genuinely good-hearted man who is longing for love and acceptance. He is not a ruthless war machine but rather a man whose interior has been left just as damaged by the war as his exterior. A man who actually has a tender soul and an interest in the arts, a man with a strong moral compass, a man who has a way with children and profound respect for independent women.

Harrow, I believe, speaks to our own insecurities and vulnerabilities. He reflects our own sense of unease about ourselves; about our looks, our regrets, our interpersonal relationships. We are able to identify with his fear of rejection, with his longing for a fulfilled life. I suppose that’s why I root for him. I want him to succeed. I admire his impressive, badass killing spree against a bunch of evil guys in the season 3 finale of the show just as much as I love to see the writers explore the sensitive aspects of his character. I love his relationship to Darmody’s young son Tommy, which brings out his benign and fatherly qualities and gives him a sense of purpose. I love to watch him court his eventual wife Julia, who makes it clear to him that he is indeed worthy of affection and desire. I love to find out more about his connection to his twin sister Emma, who is one of the closest ties he has and who appears to have deeply shaped his personality. In the course of Harrow’s story arch, it pleases me to watch him travel from the dark realms of contemplated suicide to the comforting sphere of a loving family life. It delights me to see his dreams come true.

”I loved Richard, I really loved him. That’s how I played him, I played him through love. Even though he was a stone-cold killer when he wanted to be, everything came from a place of love in a certain way.”   -- Jack Huston (Interview with RollingStone, November 2013)

Jack Huston’s portrayal of the character is one of those notable instances in which the actor seems to completely disappear in his role. The born and bred Englishman transforms as soon as he puts on Harrow’s mask, adapting a mode of speech and a way of body language that is utterly Harrow’s own. The thesp manages to evoke the entire range of Harrow’s emotions using only one half of his face, and not once does he fall into the trap of overacting. His performance is subtle and restrained, fitting the reserved manner of Harrow’s character. Still, there is a vigorous power and something deeply moving in Huston’s rendition. His conveyance of desperation, longing, happiness and heartbreak is quiet and yet perfectly engrossing.

Harrow’s tragic demise in the final episode of season 4 came as a shock to many of his fans. I myself cried like a baby. After accidentally killing an innocent person on his very last job for the underworld bosses, it was clear that Harrow’s own death could be the only solution to his moral dilemma. In a beautifully arranged montage, we see him die of a bullet wound underneath the boardwalk, finally feeling like a ‘whole’ person again, at peace, with thoughts of his family. Yet it is overwhelmingly sad to know that he will never be able to live the family life that he has dreamt of for so long even though it was waiting for him right at his doorstep. The only comfort is that he left a defining mark amongst his loved ones. He brought Julia and her estranged father closer together. He made Emma happy by re-establishing their contact. He did his very best to save Tommy from his psychologically unstable grandmother and a life filled with violence and organised crime – even though his efforts were in vain, eventually.

Richard Harrow’s end was bittersweet. Beautiful yet upsetting. Poetic and heartbreaking. The perfect farewell to one of television’s most compelling characters.

YouTube Hint: Conversations with Jack Huston of BOARDWALK EMPIRE by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation (posted on 29 May 2013) 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Features: Manic Monday - Mean Tweets Best Of

Source: YouTube screenshot

It's the first day after the weekend and Monday's being mean to you? Well, just tell yourself that you are not the only one out there suffering from the spite and viciousness inflicted by somebody else. As a proof, we present to you this best of video of Mean Tweets from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Enjoy the malevolence while celebrities read out loud mean tweets about themselves, and have a good start into the week.


Monday, 9 March 2015

Features: Manic Monday - The Sublime Homo Saurus

Source: Tumblr

Lo and behold the incredible Tom Hiddleston in the role of his life. Is he really human or are there perhaps some Velociraptor genes running through his veins? We may never know but it's entertaining as hell. Enjoy the video and have a good start into the week. 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Data Base: The Big Bang Theory (2007 --)

© CBS | Source: comicvine

Series PremiereSeptember 24, 2007
Series Finale---
Country of OriginUnited States
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes171
Running Time18-22 minutes
Developed byChuck Lorre, Bill Prady
StarringMayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch 
Guest Stars Worth MentioningBill Gates, Stephen Hawking, James Earl Jones, Stan Lee, Charlie Sheen, Wil Wheaton


The Big Bang Theory tells the story of an aspiring actress and a group of male scientists. At the beginning of the series, Penny moves into an apartment right across from Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, two brilliant physicist, who are anything but brilliant, though, when it comes to their social skills. They include Penny in their circle of friends – friends who are no less socially awkward – and whenever they meet their worlds clash in the most hilarious ways.

Yay or nay?

The Big Bang Theory isn't a show about superheroes, but about the fans of superheroes - a group of genius scientists who understand the theory behind how the world works, but are entirely helpless when it comes to dealing with "real world" problems. Throw in a bunch of ridiculous idiosyncrasies and social anxieties and you are bound to have a solid foundation for witty and self-ironic humour. Alhough it can be a little overdone and predictable at times. The Big Bang Theory is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of show, so check it out and see for yourself which side you take.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Film Review: A Love Letter to Whiplash (2014)

© Sony Pictures | Source: moviepilot

USA; 107 min.; drama, music
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writing: Damien Chazelle
Cinematography: Sharone Meir
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang

Alternates, do you wanna clean the blood off my drum set?” -- Terence Fletcher 

It’s official. Whiplash and I are engaged to be married. We met on a cold winter evening. I was chewing on some popcorn and, bang!, there it was, ready to take me by storm. Even though many other films have tried to steal my heart in 2014, I’m fairly certain that Whiplash is the one: my counterpart in a romance meant for the ages, my sole true love.

Originally a short film because writer and director Damien Chazelle could not get funding for a feature, mini-Whiplash impressed audience and critics alike and went on to win the Short Film Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Consequently, money for a feature-length movie flowed in. A blessing for humanity, if you ask me, since there’s really no way that I would actually want to miss out on this breathtaking gem of a film.

The plot is about Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a young, ambitious jazz drummer trying to become one of the greats, encountering Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a sadistic instructor willing to go far to bring out the best in his students. The story sounds simple on paper but, girl, does it dazzle on screen. It is not only that Chazelle creates a brilliant reflection on what it means to achieve artistic greatness, he also portrays a gripping face-off between two intriguing characters. Furthermore, he excels in every cinematic aspect of his film, forming, what I would call, a true masterpiece.

There is the sweeping atmosphere of seclusion. With most scenes placed in dimly lit rooms without any windows and contrasted against snippets of city life impressions, Andrew‘s intransigent striving for jazz genius and his progressive detachment from social bonds become tangible. There’s Sharone Meir’s dynamic and utterly immersive cinematography which not only enables us to see things from the characters’ perspectives or gain an understanding of their inner lives, it also perfectly visualises the musical rhythm of the entire film. There is Tom Cross’ precise, fast-paced, Oscar-winning editing, which especially shines during the band performance scenes, supporting the rush of adrenaline evoked by the vivid camera work and the thrilling jazz soundtrack.

And then, at the centre of all this, there are Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons knocking out two unforgettable individual performances as well as showing off their precious chemistry brimming with hate and yet a certain amount of respect for each other. Teller delivers an intense tour de force, further proving that he is an actor to look out for in the future. He brings naturalness, physicality and drumming talent to the character, and perfectly masters Andrew’s transition from naive little drummer boy to obsessed, strained, dark, self-abandoning careerist. J.K. Simmons, who has won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his portrayal, is a revelation. His Fletcher is vicious and mean, precise, clean-cut, wickedly hilarious, abusive, threatening, and yet full of emotion and heartfelt passion for his job. It is a joy to watch him revel in the character, to see him embrace the curses and the shouting, without ever exaggerating the part.

In the end, Chazelle’s take on artistic genius is rather sinister. Similar to Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010), Whiplash explores what it takes to become truly great. It sheds a light on the hardships, the self-doubt, the solitude, the strength, the physical and emotional pain that has to be suffered, the boundaries that have to be crossed to experience celebration and critical praise. Here, against all romantic notions, genius is nothing inherent. It is built on tough work and the willingness to play an active part in a dog-eat-dog society. So, after the fulminant finale of the film, the director leaves us with a discourse-inspiring ambiguity: Does the sensation of a flawless artistic performance really outweigh the burden that has to be overcome to make this performance possible?

Yes, Whiplash, I love you. Every time our dates come to an end and I leave the cinema to walk to my car, I feel decelerated. I miss your fast pace, your whirlwind storytelling, your visual beauty, your outstanding performances, your music, your discourse on ideas about artistic greatness. I miss your curses. This is why, for me, you are the best film of 2014 and, most certainly, one of the best of all motherfucking time.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Features: Manic Monday - It's All in the Name

It's the first week of March, but even the pending spring doesn't make your start of the week any easier? Here's a different approach:

Fame, fortune and happiness might just do the trick. And nobody's got more of that right now than recently married, soon-to-be father, and oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch. So how can we be more like him? While he works hard and definitely got that special something in his looks and charm, my theory is that his name is half the battle. 

B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T    C-U-M-B-E-R-B-A-T-C-H

The way that rolls over your tongue makes you stop, reflect, and come out of it pleasantly surprised. Ergo, we need that special something in our name. To help you on that first step to success we unearthed this helpful little gimmick from the depth of the internet:

Enjoy ;)