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WHAT I HAVE WATCHED THIS MONTH / ISSUE 3 / september

BRE AK I N G BA D


the breaking bad issue design, words + illustration richard walker and SPECIAL THANKS TO luke thompson g0 to - wihwtm.tumblr.com


you want to take me on? 4. review

dark horse | lawless | total recall

8. future releases 10. tv breaking bad | futurama

18. rewatch


new and future

releases dark horse | lawless taken 2 | total recall the campaign | the sweeny


dark h o rs e dir - todd solondz, star - jordan gelber, selma blair

The trailer for Dark Horse is incredibly misleading. It makes the film look like a Duplass Brothers style film about an overweight, middle aged loser called Abe who isn’t too good with girls and for the first 45 minutes of the film that’s what it is but then all of a sudden it’s like director Todd Solondz took a load Walter White’s Blue Crystal and went on an insane trip. You start getting story lines inside of story lines inside a coma fever dream, but don’t let this put you off because it makes for an incredibly funny film it’ll just mess with your mind. I’m a big Todd Solondz fan you probably know him best for the 1998 classic, Happiness, he has a brilliant way of making films where all the characters are hopeless at life but impossible not to love. It is no different in Dark Horse. The main character Abe

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is played by Jordan Gelber a relatively unknown actor who recently guested on Boardwalk Empire for three episodes. He is absolutely perfect for the role and gives a performance no one can fault. He is backed up a dream cast of supporting actors including Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow who play Abe’s long suffering parents. For me Mia Farrow is the stand out actor in this film her approach to playing Abe’s mother was original and hilarious allowing some fantastic exchanges between Abe and his mother. Walken doesn’t talk much but gives some classic Christopher Walken death stares. The story follows Abe as he meets a girl at a wedding, Miranda, and proceeds to propose to her the following weekend; this is such a cringe worthy moment you feel embarrassed just sat there watching it. She accepts and accidentally gives him hepatitis B because she is just that nice. After that the film takes a big twist after Abe is injured in a car crash and you see a series of increasingly weird dreams he experiences in his coma. During this part of the film Solondz makes use of some characters that you over look in the first half of the film. This means you never become bored with any of


if it wasn’t for him i could’ve been a singer now i’m even too old for american idol.

the characters because you are constantly being fed fresh interesting characters to enjoy. The attention to detail paid to each character is breathtaking no matter how minor the character appears to be they have so much personality and individual style to them which makes the whole film feel very well put together and fluid even with such a jumpy plot. In short this is a very fresh approach to the loser lead role style film and definitely holds its own against similar films like Jeff Who Lives at Home. On form like this I am very much looking forward to seeing what Todd Solondz will do next

8*

An amazingly awkward film that lulls you into a false sense of security then completly and utterly confuses you. Advice: Rent before you buy it because you will either love it or hate it with a passion

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lawless dir - john hillcoat, star - tom hardy, shia labeouf

look at you, swanning around like your al capone Lawless had got everything going for it: dream cast, amazing director and that prohibition magic Boardwalk Empire has got us accustomed too but it unfortunately just falls short of expectations. Don’t get me wrong it’s still good but just not Boardwalk Empire good. The acting in Lawless is faultless and even Shia LaBeouf doesn’t let the team down and we are talking about a dream team: Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain. Guy Pearce is the real stand out in this film, he plays a new in town police chief who will stop at nothing to take down all the moonshiners. He is so menacing in character and fits the role perfectly, I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Pearce playing this role. Hardy is also amazing in Lawless but I don’t know if it’s me being ‘that guy’ but I can’t stop thinking of him as Bane and it was a little off putting! However his character is really quite special he has a reputation for being invincible which is shown several times in the film in one instance having his throat slit and another getting shot several times in the chest, a true Tom Hardy role. Gary Oldman is superb but you don’t see enough of him, his part seems like it was massively cut down. For me Lawless was not long enough it started this amazing story with great characters but as it just starts to get into it, it’s done. If it’d been about half an hour longer I think the characters would be able to really develop and the story wouldn’t have to be quite as rushed.

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7*

Y’all are in for some good old time moonshining fun... with Bane. Advice: Cinema viewing is recommended but not essential.


total recall dir - len wiseman, star - colin farrell, bryan cranston

you’re going to wish you had three hands Chances are if you ever saw the original Total Recall with Arnie as the lead you have no intention of ever seeing this reboot but I think you should give it a chance. It’s another Tron/Tron Lecgacy debate and I think it has the same outcome; the original is great because it was made in the 80s meaning the effects were awful and the scripts were super cheesy but the modern ones are good but lose the magic because they are too well made. Colin Farrell, In Bruges, takes the lead in this reboot and he gives a solid preformance as Douglas Quaid the brain washed double agent who gets caught in the middle of a plot to invade Austrailia. Farrell is such an underused actor and always makes the most of a role, if he wasn’t leading in this reboot I think it would really struggle to maintain any sort of pace. However 20 minutes into the film all Breaking Bad fans in the house have a ‘moment’ when Bryan Cranston’s face appears on a huge bilboard. He plays Prime Minister Cohaagen who is the villian in the film and is the one trying to invade places with his robot army. Cranston completely steals the show in true Walter White style by just being the complete boss. He doesn’t hessitate with any decision, he is strict and he has a power lust that reviles that of Darth Vader. Total Recall not only has a solid hero and villain but the supporting cast has been very well selected which ensured there were no bad links in there, which is essential in a reboot and is where films like Tron Legacy fall down. With actors like Bokeem Woodbine, Jessica Biel and Bill Nighy there is always someone interesting on screen. In short as reboot’s go this one is pretty good but it was never going to be as enjoyable as the original because it doesn’t involve Arnie and cardboard sets. Farrell’s acting is far better than Arnie’s was but that’s why the original was so great, however Farrell gets overshadowed when Bryan Cranston walks in and goes all Walter White on everyone.

5*

A good action film but has lost the weirdness of the original. Advice: See it in IMAX maybe buy the Blu-ray if it comes in nice packaging.

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taken 2 Dir Olivier Megaton Star Liam Neeson Famke Janssen Maggie Grace Release 4 October

the campaign Dir Jay Roach Star Will Ferrell Zach Galifianakis Release 28 September

the sweeny Dir Nick Love Star Ray Winstone Ben Drew Release 12 September

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IMDB says: In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter. I say: Taken was such an epic film because it basically just consisted of Liam Neeson shooting people and punching people on boats so Taken 2 has got a lot to live up to but at the same time as long as it sticks too the same formula it can’t really go too wrong. It seems at the moment Liam Neeson can’t do any wrong (except for Battleship that was awful) especially after his Dark Knight Rises role so my hopes are pretty high for this one.

excitement 8/10

IMDB says: In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center. I say: From the trailer it does look like The Campaign will be quite funny and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be with Ferrell and Galifianakis as leads. It follows a politcal campaign and Galifianakis plays a country boy politcian which should definetly pull in some laughs. This film does look good but I always hold off with Will Ferrell films until I’ve actually seen them.

excitement 5/10

IMDB says: A hardened detective in the Flying Squad of London’s Metropolitan police. Based on the ‘70s UK TV show. I say: Yet another reboot but this one does have Ben Drew in it and bearing in mind his last venture in the film world was iLL Manors I have faith The Sweeny might actually be alright. I know Drew hasn’t directed The Sweeny but he seems very passionate about making quality things whether it be in film or music so I can’t see him being in something that he didn’t believe in. Ray Winstone stars opposite Drew so your at least guaranteed some deep voiced cockney one liners.

excitement 4/10

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t.v


your heisenberg. your damn right. I’m not even going to pretend there is a better show then Breaking Bad, there isn’t. Not even if we look back at some older amazing stuff like Rome or The Sopranos, it’s just a fact we have to accept that this is the best it’s going to get for TV. No other show can possibly bring together the most incredible cast of underrated actors, a nearly giving up genius writer/director and to top it off throw in the Mexican Cartel for good measure. I mean in what other show will you see a crystal meth operation run out of a KFC? None. I know I just answered a rhetorical question but it’s true and needed to be pointed out. I can not think of another show that can from the outside sounds ridiculous but on the inside is so sharp, clever and quick witted at the same time. So needless to say when season five was announced as the last season we all shed a lot of tears and tried to drink the pain away but then you have to look at it from a positive angle if this is the

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last season that means they have to tie up all the story lines and kill off about five people. You start to think wait a minute this is going to an insanely good season. Also they have cut season five in two so we will get 16 episodes in total spread over two mini series. We open season five with Walter sat in a Denny’s writing 52 with his bacon and talking to the waitress. He looks weaker than in season four, you know after he blew up that retirement home. He then ventures out to his car and looks at a bag in the boot which is filled with cash and guns, you get the feeling it is about to kick off then boom the opening credits are on and you are back to season four Walter trying to figure out his next move after killing Fring. The Walt we see in the first few minutes of this episode is completely different to the Walt who we see in the rest of this half of the season. The Walt we are introduced to in this first half of the season is sharp, in control and really just a complete bad-ass. He knows exactly what’s going to happen and how and doesn’t care what has to happen in order to get his ideas put in action. There is no more running around like a headless chicken just a man with a mission to make a lot of Heisenberg Blue.


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Spoiler alert. Don’t read pass this point if your not up to date because I don’t want to ruin it for any of you who haven’t seen it all yet. All of the characters undergo massive personal changes this season the main one being Mike. Since being introduced to him all the way back in season two he has always appeared to be invincible and unemotional but season five reveals why he worked for Fring, for his granddaughter. In one scene we see Mike playing Hungry Hungry Hippo’s with her and in another pushing her on a swing-set not to mention leaving her about $3million in a safety deposit box. For the first time you see Mike really care about someone. When watching I was worrying if the Mike we knew had given up but thankfully I was proved wrong. When Walter and Lydia (new character) puts him in increasingly bad situations Mike comes back to true form and takes control again. At first I wasn’t over the moon about Mike’s soft side but I think it was necessary to show this to make him a real person, a person who had someone in his life he cared about. This does however make it all the more painful when Walter shoots Mike for fear of him talking to the D.E.A. This season has really shown the toll the meth business takes on the people involved in it. All the main characters, except Walter, show a very different side. A side that highlights the pain they are suffering about the decisions they have made and how they would do anything to get away from it all. Jesse and Skyler are the main ones who really suffer this season. Jesse has never gotten over killing Gale and then add on Todd shooting the kid after the train heist he is in no fit state at all and tries to get out all together. At the end of episode 8 and seeing the wreck that he is I honestly think we will see Jesse commit suicide in the second half of the season. Skyler at the start of the season is just a complete state she is thinking about turning Walt in and she makes Hank and Marie take the kids, she thinks Walt is dangerous which I guess is true. She is so desperate to get out of the whole situation that she tries suicide and thinks about going to jail. When Walt announces he’s finished she really seems to pick up but I wonder how long it will last. Bear in mind Walt seems to be alone in the Dennys scene so by his 52nd birthday she must be out the picture, I’m very excited to see how she plays out. So far this season of Breaking Bad has been the best so far and the second half looks like it is going to incredible with Walt looking to go down in a blaze of glory and everyone else trying to stay as far away as possible from him. I’ll leave you with these questions that are left unanswered so far: Has Walt’s cancer come back after that hospital visit? Will Hank actually follow his instincts and go after Walt? What is Jesse going to do? Is Lydia going to come back to make trouble for everyone? Has Skyler actually calmed down or is she also going to cause problems? and the most important one of all If Walter and Skyler both go away who is going to cook Walt Jnr breakfast?

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once a lady goes walrus...no one ever goes walrus When Futurama got canceled after season four everyone knew it was the worst decision since letting Madonna adopt all those kids but a couple of years back they came to their senses and restarted the series and it’s been a magical time for Futurama fans. First we got the mini-films then seasons five and six and now we find ourselves on season seven. When most shows hit the seventh season they usually start to get a bit tired *cough* The Office *cough* but this has been one of the best seasons of the show yet with some of the best and most original episodes in the history of the show. All of the characters have been so well developed now that some are only on screen for one joke but that one joke absolutely kills. The best example of this is Zoidberg. In the early seasons he was easily one of the best characters, if not the best,

but they did over use him a little bit now in season seven we get maybe one or two Zoidberg moments per episode but those moments are absolutely ingenious. The one thing that I have really enjoyed this season has been the originality of the episodes with crazy story lines about Bender becoming emperor of the earth to the mob stealing mars. There has however been one true stand out episode so far, episode 13, Naturama. This episode is a spoof documentary about how earth’s animals live and develop and you probably have already figured out all the animals are beloved Futurama characters. We see the Professor as a Turtle, Bender as a Seal, Scruffy as a Walrus and Zoidberg as a Lobster (I know he is already a lobster but he is a much better lobster in this episode). In short if your behind catch up because this is only getting better.

rewatch: early futurama special Futurama is one of those shows that has never dipped in terms of quality and hilarious-ness so here are my pick for the best episodes from the original 4 seasons: 1. Hell is Other Robots is the first episode where you meet the genius that is the Robot Devil and Bender gets addicted to robot meth. 2. Fry and the Slurm Factory was the finale for season one and is one of the best Futurama episodes ever in my opinion. It mimics Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but takes a typical crazy Futurama twist on it. 3. Brannigan Begin Again sees legendary space captain Zap stripped of his rank and he is forced to turn Kif into a rent boy. 4. IT’S THE GENDER BENDER! Bender makes it in the world of Ultimate Robot Fighting.

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5. That’s Loberstainment sees Zoidberg taken for a fool, as per usual, when his uncle Harold Zoid comes back into his life. One of the few Zoidberg based episodes. 6. Anthology of Interest II shows what the Futurama crew does best and interlocks about five completely bizarre story’s the highlight being the Atari/Nintendo character invasion of earth. 7. In The Farnworth Parabox you get to see all the Futurama characters in parallel dimensions and some of them are just amazing. Especially gold Bender. Oh yeah and Blue Zoidberg, he’s pretty special. 8. The Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings was thought to be the final episode of Futurama ever so they made it amazing by bringing together all the great characters and throwing in musical numbers to make a masterpiece.


1. Futurama, Hell is Other Robots, S1 E9

2. Futurama, Fry and the Slurm Factory, S1 E13

3. Futurama, Brannigan Begin Again, S2 E2

4. Futurama, Raging Bender, S2 E8

5. Futurama, That’s Lobstertainment, S3 E8

6. Futurama, Anthology of Interest II, S3 E18

7. Futurama, The Farnsworth Parabox, S4 E15

8. Futurama, Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings, S4 E18

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1. 2 Broke Girls, And The One Night Stands, S1 E18

2. Spartacus, Kill Them All, S1 E13

3. Parks & Recreation, Ron and Tammy, S2 E8

4. Lucky Louie, A Long Weekend, S1 E4

5. Flight of the Conchords, New Fans, S1 E10

6. Big Bang Theory, The Psychic Vortex, S3 E12

7. I.T Crowd, Jen the Fredo, S4 E1

8. Blue Mountain State, Drug Olympics, S1 E6


rewatch

I’ve cherry picked my favorite episodes and films I’ve seen in the past month, details below. 1. 2 Broke Girls, E4 seem to love this show, I gave it a go and it’s a bit boring and stereotypes eastern European’s. Don’t waste your time. 3*

9. Step Brothers, 2008

2. Spartacus, the season one finale is incredible with all the gladiators taking their revenge on the House of Batiatus in a fierce 20 minute long battle. 9* 3. Parks & Recreation, Lesley makes the mistake of re-introducing Ron and his ex-wife Tammy. Things go crazy and Ron loses part of his moustashe. 8* 4. Lucky Louie, a romantic weekend for Louie and Kim turns sour after Louis calls her a c**t. 8* 5. Flight of the Conchords, the boys drop some LSD and Brett becomes the Prince of Parties. 7* 6. Big Bang Theory, Raj makes the mistake of getting Sheldon to be his wingman but as it turns out Sheldon has wingman skills Barney Stinston would be proud of. 5*

10. Zombieland, 2009

7. I.T Crowd, Jen gets a promotion and Roy is still an emotional wreck following his break up. Moss fixes everyones problems by showing them how to play role playing games. 6* 8. Blue Mountain State, forget London 2012 real men try do sports while coked up to the eyeballs. 7* 9. Step Brothers, I think Abe from Dark Horse would get on well with Brennan and Dale as they are all super losers and seem to think they’re epic. 7.5*

11. Blue Valentine, 2010

10. Zombieland, another loser character in Columbus but he actually turns his life around and kills a load of zombies then steals a Hummer and tops it off making Andrew Garfield jealous by kissing Emma Stone. 8* 11. Blue Valentine, whenever anyone tells me The Notebook is Ryan Gosling’s best film I force them to watch this, then Drive...twice. 9.5* 12. Devil’s Double, Dominic Cooper plays two roles to portray Uday Hussein and his body double. This is truly amazing spectacle of a film that shows the horror and brutality of Uday’s abuse of power. 8* 12. Devil’s Double, 2011

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AMERICAN GANGSTER, 2007 dir - ridley scott , star - denzel washington, russell crowe

blue magic that’s a brand name. i stand behind it. i guarantee it. When trying to pick an older film to complement Breaking Bad I really struggled, for starters there are no films about crystal meth. Change to general drugs and suddenly you have loads of films to pick from, so after a lot of deliberation I went for American Gangster not only because it’s incredible but because his dope is called Blue Magic and it’s about the closest reference I could get to Breaking Bad. Ridley Scott has made some amazing films in his time Alien, Prometheus and of course Blade Runner but out of them all American Gangster is that one film that for me just stands out. Based on a true story we see Harlem being controlled by legendary gangster Frank Lucas played by Denzel Washington. Lucas was bodyguard to Bumpy Johnson the previous Harlem drug lord to Lucas. He saw how Bumpy was paying out left, right and center for transportation, bribes and protection. Lucas knew that without these costs you could grow an empire

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very quickly so he stopped relying on distributors and middlemen and started to import his own dope with his own men meaning the product was not messed with. With high quantity of high quality product at low cost Lucas could sell a better product the anyone else for half the price of the competition. He surely was one of the smartest drug dealers of all time. Scott takes this amazing but complex story and makes it into something even better. At no point are you left confused as to what is going on, the narrative makes it feel like your inside Frank Lucas’s head, inside his deals, inside his world. One of his many rivals in this film is officer Richie Roberts, Russell Crowe, who is trying to track down the source of the Blue Magic. His character is a sad one who is struggling to hold life together with the death of his partner and a messy divorce he doesn’t have a lot to hold onto but underneath all that he is a smart guy who does eventually bring down Lucas’s whole


10* Hands down one of the best films ever made. At 2hours 37minutes you get a lot of it as well!

operation. The great thing about American Gangster is that it has all these great characters who allow the story to have lots of different elements and show how Lucas affected the lives of so many people from his family to the junkies on the street. Granted this film is not popular with everyone, a lot say it glorifies dope and drug dealers but I have to disagree because, like Breaking Bad, it clearly shows the negative effects that the industry takes on everyone involved. The only person it maybe glorifies is Frank Lucas but even so he was a very clever man ok his business was dope but respect still should be given. If you can stomach long films it’s well worth sitting through the full length directors cut which is about 40minutes longer than the theatrical version but the extra footage really makes it. There are other great gangster films: Goodfellas, Godfather, Mesrine and Layer Cake but American Gangster is that one that stands above all others to say look I’m the best, deal with it.


ISSUE #3 i am the one who knocks

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next issue: looper


#3 What I Have Watched This Month