Month: August 2015

"FLEE, YOU CELLULOID BASTARDS!"

Thanks guys!

Longlisted-Buttons-300x250

Look at it. LOOK AT IT! Isn’t it beautiful? But y’know, I have just one question.

"Does it come in black?"

                          “Does it come in black?”

Longlisted-Buttons-300x2505

Now we’re talking! Thanks to everyone who nominated me. You guys are the greatest. The shortlist will be announced on 02 September (yeah, they don’t wait around do they?) and after that public voting will commence on 07 September and run for two weeks. I’ll let you all know if I make it to the second round.

Thanks again guys! VALIDATION! WHOOOP!

Moomin-and-Midsummer-Madness-DVD-L096009113544

Moomin and Midsummer Madness (2008)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

When trying to understand the appeal of the Moomins, you first have to look at their creation back in…
Hello?
Hello?
Anybody?

Anybody?

"Congratulations Mouse. You’ve finally done it. You’ve finally succeeded in completely alienating your entire readership. Bravo. Genius. Take a blog that’s largely supported by Disney fans and devote it to obscure European cartoons, Irish politics and a film that was literally never even released."

“Congratulations Mouse. You’ve done it. You’ve finally succeeded in completely alienating your entire readership. Bravo. Genius. Take a blog that’s largely supported by Disney fans and devote it to obscure European cartoons, Irish politics and a film that was literally never even released.”

WHAT HAVE I DONE!? Surely its not too late?!

“WHAT HAVE I DONE!? Surely its not too late?!”

"Nope. They’re gone. You had your one chance at internet stardom and you blew it. That was it."

“Nope. They’re gone. You had your one chance at internet stardom and you blew it. That was it. Let’s go boys.”

"No! Wait, where are you going?"

“Wait, where are you going?!”

"Back to the Google images page you stole us from. Farewell, Mouse."

“Back to the Google images page you stole us from. Farewell, Mouse.”

"See you, Mouse. It was fun except for that time I was almost fed to wyverns."

“See you, Mouse. It was fun except for that time I was almost fed to wyverns.”

"Peace out, dawg."

“Peace out, dawg.”

"No…my readers. My maps. They’re all gone…"

“No…my readers. My maps. They’re all gone…”

“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.” “There’s a pain goes on and on.” “No more views and no more comments.” “Oh my blog is dead and gone.”

“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.”
“There’s a pain goes on and on.”
“No more views and no more comments.”
“Oh my blog is dead and gone…”

Guys, I swear, I will review a movie you’ve actually heard of as soon as I’ve done this one. Contractual obligations and all. If it helps, I’m as much in the dark about this one as a I think most of you are (with apologies to my Scandinavian readers). That’s not to say that the Moomins are unknown in Ireland, I know quite a few people who are fans, but the whole Moomin phenomenon just kind of completely passed me by. My blind spot on the Moomins honestly extends to most things Scandinavian. I just don’t know that much about those countries apart from the fact they constantly conspire to keep Ireland out of the top five on the Human Development Index, the Nordic Marcia Brady to our Gaelic Jan.
 Nordic Marcia
"Sweden did it again! Sweden, Sweden, Sweden!"

“Sweden did it again! Sweden, Sweden, Sweden!”

 

Okay. So. The Moomins. What are they? I don’t know. I mean literally, I have no idea what they’re supposed to be. Wikipedia describes them as “fairy tale” characters, which is just wonderfully specific. I suppose, since they’re called “Mumintrolls” in Swedish they’re supposed to be trolls from Scandinavian folklore but…
Yeah, how did I not get that?

Yeah, how did I not get that?

Well anyway.
Okay. So. The Moomins. They’re a family of white, hippo…things. Who hang out. And have whimsical adventures tinged with an unmistakeable air of melancholy. They were created by a Swedish-speaking Finn named Tove Jansson who wrote and illustrated nine books featuring the characters between 1945 and 1993 and who also takes a hell of a stylish photograph.
Who you know fresher than Tove, riddle me that?

Who you know fresher than Tove, riddle me that?

There have also been EIGHT cartoon series based on them, and numerous movies with the most recent being released this year. They are, like all things that are cute but difficult to explain, huge in Japan.
And yes, they have their own theme park.
"Because Europe."

Because Europe.

So, now we’re ready to talk about the movie? Oh, we have not even begun to unpack all this.
So, one of those eight (!) cartoon series was  Opowiadania Muminków, an Austrian, German and Polish co-production that ran between 1977-82. Then, in 2008, a Finnish company took that series and edited into a single movie called Moomin and Midsummer Madness, the English dub of which I am reviewing today. So, to recap.
  • Swedish speaking Finn writes a book.
  • Germans, Austrians and Poles adapt it into a TV series.
  • Finns adapt TV series into movie.
  • Americans dub movie.
  • Man kills God.
  • Man creates dinosaurs.
  • Dinsosaur kills man.
  • Woman inherits the earth.
 Got that? Okay, let’s do this.

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Children

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Denis O’Brien but were too busy being sued to ask.

Welcome comrades, to the glorious resistance! If you’re just tuning in and missed my last post about Denis O’Brien’s ongoing assault on Irish democracy…

Inigo

Ireland’s richest man has apparently gone crazy and is suing or threatening to sue everyone who publicly mentions his shady business practices, including, at the time of writing, Waterford Whispers News, Broadsheet.ie and members of the Irish parliament. Not that you’d read about this in almost any Irish newspaper because he owns most of them.

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So I have taken the decision to make Unshaved Mouse the Huffington Post of Denis O’Brien news, a place where anything you would ever want to know about this…person, is just a click away. This will be updated as needs be, and feel free to link to stuff I’ve missed in the comments.

So, let’s start with the obvious. His Wikipedia page, which gives an excellent overview of the man.

From Broadsheet.ie:

Their reposting of the Waterford Whispers article that got WWN sued.

Which then got Broadsheet sued.

An excellent guide to all the people Denis O’Brien is suing, and God knows we need the help.

From the Irish Times (which, interestingly, Denis O’Brien does not own).

‘Misplaced’ IBRC minutes confirm Siteserv writedown was €119 million

“Denis O’Brien lawyers demand removal of broadsheet.ie article”

“Denis O’Brien legal challenge a ‘threat to democracy’”

Some practical advice.

Boycott

What needs to change.

From The Journal.ie:

In which the Dáil hears claims about Denis O’Brien’s dealings with disgraced bank Anglo Irish.

In which a committee ruled that these claims were NOT an abuse of parliamentary privilege.

In which Denis O’Brien sues the entire parliament…

…and the committee that made that ruling.

Julien Mercille’s excellent overview of how the Irish media and political system have been complicit in granting Denis O’Brien such a dangerous amount of power and influence over this nation.

Fair is fair, I’ll let the man himself justify his actions.

Obrien

And this from the Daily Beast, an excellent overview of all his shady motherfuckery:

“Why is the Irish government scared of billionaire Denis O’Brien?”

And this is all getting very depressing so, here’s every Denis O’Brien related post from the Waterford Whispers that hasn’t been taken down yet:

Government to discuss what to give Denis O’Brien this time

Denis O’Brien to build moat around evil lair after recent publicity.

“Denis O’Brien renews Illuminati membership.”

Maltese Tax Exile Briefs Government On What To Say Next

“Nation: “We’ve Never Experienced An Assault On Democracy Of This Level””

Possibly the most sarcastic apology in the history of the world.

Denis O’Brien to sue everyone (I don’t get it, that’s supposed to be satire?)

Only the start folks, check back in for more updates and by all means, contribute you own.

Mouse out.

"FLEE, YOU CELLULOID BASTARDS!"

Things I’ve learned from three years of blogging.

The third anniversary is a weird one, isn’t it? First anniversary it’s like, yay! Made it! Second anniversary is, yes, definitely in this for the long haul. But the third year is just another year down. It’s kind of a nothing anniversary.
"Although, the traditional gift is leather, so it has that going for it."

Although, the traditional gift is leather, so it has that going for it.

Anyway, it seems that more and more of you are starting blogs of your own so I thought now might be as good a time as any to set down some of the things I’ve learned about this weird hobby of ours.
Have a plan
Can’t stress this one enough. This is the big one. If this list was a cartoon show it would be “Have a Plan and Friends”. Right now on my desktop I have a list of every movie I’m going to review and the date it’s due to go up until August 2016. “What am I going to write about?” is a question I have literally never had to ask myself. This means I never have to sit down in front of a blank screen and have to figure out what the next post is going to be.
Before you go live, have a backlog built up
You wouldn’t open a grocery shop with only one can of beans. Have a good few posts already written in advance so that when you go live you already have a fairly large body of work for someone to go through (say, four or five posts). When someone reads your first post you don’t want them thinking “That was cool. Wonder what else they’ve written. Nothing. Huh.” And then leaving and never coming back.
Specialise
Picture this, you’re sitting on a bus and someone sits down and asks you if you want to hear some of their “random thoughts”. How appealing does that sound? Starting out, your blog should have a single focus and be aimed at a specific target audience. A blog that tries to have too broad a remit will always struggle to find an audience because, while I might love your overview of early Tudor drama, that’s not really going to make me want to read your dog-grooming tips. It will however, make me interested to read your overview of early Jacobean drama. This will also help you get a readership with shared interests who will actually want to talk to each other. Commenters are a vital and often overlooked element of what makes a blog a success. I know part of what brings people to my blog every two weeks is wondering what swanpride thought of this movie or what terrifying eldritch Australian hell-beast with a delightfully whimsical name Paper Alchemist will teach us about today.
It latches onto your face and eats your eyes while it’s venom paralyses you and reduces your muscle tissue to soup. It’s called the Twizzlewozzer.

It latches onto your face and eats your eyes while it’s venom paralyses you and reduces your muscle tissue to soup. It’s called the Twizzlewozzer.

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denis

One letter away from “Penis”…

Waterford Whispers News is Ireland’s answer to The Onion, a parody news website that frequently produces satire that is often as brilliant and biting as it is poorly proof-read.

Denis O’Brien is Ireland’s answer to Rupert Murdoch. He is the wealthiest man in Ireland (or whatever tax shelter he currently rests his head). He is the owner of Communicorp which owns a total of fifty one radio stations across Europe and the Middle East, and basically every Irish radio station not run by the State. He has also substantial interests in energy and telecommunications. In 1995, he was awarded the Irish GSM mobile phone licence, as a result of his corrupt payments to now disgraced energy and communications minister Michael Lowry. He also controls Independent News and Media, an Irish media conglomerate that owns newspapers across 22 countries and owns many Irish newspapers including the Irish Independent (oh why am I not surprised?). He has used this position to quash reporting of his financial affairs in the Irish media, in one case even forcing the Sunday Independent to stop mid-press to remove a single sentence that remove a single sentence identifying him as the controlling shareholder of INM.* He has also threatened to sue media outlets who reported on remarks made in Dáil Éireann (the Irish parliament) regarding his dealings with disgraced bank Anglo Irish which were made under Dáil privilege.
So why am I even writing about him? He’s a filthy rich asshat who looks like his mother cuts his hair. World’s full of them. One even looks more and more likely to become president of the United States with every passing day.
Okay America. Stop. It's not funny anymore.

Okay America. Stop. It was funny in the beginning, but you’re taking this too far.

Well because WWN published a satirical article entitled “Denis O’Brien Receives 20 Year Jail Sentence For Mobile Phone Licence Bribe in Parallel Universe”. O’Brien’s lawyers responded thought this was so hi-larious that they threatened WWN with legal action, forcing the site to remove the post.

Clearly, this can only mean one thing.

Denis O’Brien has won. That article, the last feeble gasp of defiance against his stranglehold on the Irish media has been quashed. That article shall never be seen by anyone again, and Denis O’Brien can rest easy knowing that he has triumphed totally and utterly and oh look here’s the entire thing courtesy of Imgur…

Oh well. I’m sure that was just a once off. A glitch it the system. Surely that article will never again resurface on the internet oh lord amercy there it is again…

(more…)

Fantastic-four-movie-poster

The Fantastic Four (1994)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

Sometimes, a movie comes along that is so notorious, so terrible, so gosh-fucked appalling that no one reviewer may safely tackle it alone. To that end, Unshaved Mouse has teamed up with the illustrious NewtCave and Erik Copper to review the never-released Roger Corman-produced superhero movie; The Fantastic Four. 

UM: Hi guys and welcome to Unshaved Mouse. Make yourselves comfortable, don’t touch the continents. They bite.

“Hssssssssssss!”

 

UM: So. Erik. Newt. What the fuck did we just watch?

EC: I was under the impression that we were just witness to the birth of the anti-christ of comic book movies.

NC: Pretty much. This thing gets my vote for “Worst Marvel Film.” Including Howard the Duck.

UM: Was it though? I mean, can’t we grade of a curve? There were extenuating circumstances here.

NC: Fair point, furry one. But let me put it this way. Elektra? Released in theatres. Hulk? Released in theatres. Howard the Duck? For some reason, still released in theatres. Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four? Kept secret. Kept safe.

EC: Gandalf’s wise words were still not strong enough to keep this mess off of the internet, though. Because as we all know, technology is the MOST powerful of the dark arts.

UM: Speaking of dark arts, Erik, aren’t you supposed to be dead? 

EC: Huh?

UM: Yeah. I totally fed you to a shark at the end of our last review.

EC: Oh yeah. Dick! That was the single most tortorous experience of my life! I had to chew my way out of the shark’s stomach! I still have nightmares! I

UM: Heh.

EC: It’s not funny!

UM: It was funny to everyone who wasn’t you. Which, y’know, was the entire human race. Needs of the many, Erik.

NC: Should I step outside while you two work through your prior history?

UM: Nah baby, we cool. Let’s get started. Newt, as our resident Marvel buff, what can you tell us about the good ol’ Fantastic Four?

NC: Probably more than is either necessary or interesting. But, limiting myself to relevant information, the Fantastic Four have often been referred to as “Marvel’s First Family.” and that’s only because that’s exactly what they are. Back in the ancient past of 1961, Stan Lee took it upon himself to create a team of superheroes like none that had come before. Instead of a bunch of square-jawed Super Friends, he elected to make a team that was more like a family trying to make the best of a bad situation.

UM: With Square Jaws.

EC: Rather rubbery and slightly malleable jaws, too.

NC: When The Fantastic Four #1 hit newsstands, they didn’t even have costumes or secret identities. They were all about breaking the norms of what people had come to expect from the superhero genre.

UM: I think the FF was really the big bang of the modern Marvel universe. So many of the characters and concepts that make up that world got their start in the pages of Fantastic Four. Doctor Doom, Black Panther, the Inhumans, the Skrulls, the Kree, the list just goes on and on.

NC: Exactly. The company wasn’t even called “Marvel” before the FF came along. Anything before that was published under the not-so-timeless brand of “Timely.”

EC: It was incredible how fast the superhero boom took off. Most of the heroes we know today didn’t even start off as anything other than one-off stories that were just too popular to remain that way. Spider-Man? He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15. Thor? He was first introduced in Journey into Mystery. Iron Man? Tales of Suspense. These heroes didn’t start off timeless, but they slowly captured our hearts. The Fantastic Four is no different.

UM: Which is kind of why it’s so sickening how Marvel are treating this title now, basically sweeping it under the rug because they can’t get the movie rights back from Fox.

NC: Well, to be fair, they’re doing that with ALL the properties they haven’t regained the movie rights to, which seems a bit like dirty pool to me.

UM: I dunno dude. The day I see Wolverine and Spidey at the dole office maybe. It seems like the Fantastic Four have gotten it worse than anyone.

EC: I don’t even know who’s side to be on. Fox is being a child not willing to share its toy, and Marvel is being a child throwing a tantrum because they want that toy SO VERY BAD.

NC: It’s a crappy situation, and I think everybody involved lost. I mean, I know we’re supposed to reserve judgement on Fant-four-stic… but yeah. ‘Nuff said, am I right?

UM: I will lay good money on it being the best Fantastic Four film ever.

EC: I will lay good money on it being an attempt. And that’s about all I can give it.

NC: I will lay good money on the team being rebooted with the SAME DAMN STORY enough times that the filmmakers all throw their hands in the air and finally adapt Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602.

UM: Ah, the Fantastick Four!

EC: Yes, and Peter Parquagh! (GOD WHY?!)

UM: Okay, but what about today’s movie? If I may?

NC: Go right ahead.

UM: I thank ye. So, back before Marvel decided to stop letting other companies fuck up their characters and just do it right themselves, they sold the movie rights to the Fantastic Four for a song and a wink to a German producer named Bernd Eichinger. Eichinger had a limited amount of time to make the movie or else the rights would revert to Marvel so, when he couldn’t get the money in time, he teamed up with legendary cheapo movie-maker Roger Corman to make a superhero movie in three weeks with $1 million. The resulting…thing…was never meant to be seen by human eyes. It was solely created to allow the company to hold on to the movie rights. Thankfully, such shady business practices would never occur in Hollywood today.

Ha! It's a joke! Because it happens all the damn time!

Now how did that get there?

UM: So, just how bad can it be?

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