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By Adair Simpson and Devin Lee
Luc Besson is the well known director of The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, and the Transporter. He is known for a peculiar and quirky style that just skims the edge of annoying. Usually, it works. This time, however, it really sucked.
This movie can easily be compared to Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. The stories are very similar. However, where Limitless succeeds and Lucy doesn’t is in the realism. Both movies focus on the concept of accessing 100% of your brain capacity. Besson is content with creating 90 minutes of random occurrences that essentially make Scarlett Johansson superman. In Limitless, Bradley Cooper is able to organize his thoughts and memories to suit his situation in the best possible way. For example, he is able to write a book within a matter of hours. In Lucy, Scarlett Johansson can teleport, move objects with her mind, learn Chinese without ever speaking it and essentially become God. Even Bradley Cooper had to take at least a course to learn French.
On top of all that, the entire movie doesn’t make sense. After a Chinese mob (who incidentally are speaking Korean) kidnap her, they insert packaged drugs in her stomach for her to carry as cargo. Of course something goes wrong and she gets exposed to the drugs. This is when it gets really stupid. She suddenly goes from a frightened hostage to an unfeeling machine who kills innocent people. And yet for some reason, she refuses to kill the antagonists in the movie. Seriously, she puts two knives in the gang lord’s hands, does a vulcan mind meld on him and then leaves him there. I don’t know what these drugs are doing but they sure aren’t making her smart. Although she played the robot part well, I couldn’t figure out why she became one in the first place.
Luc Besson does a lot of quirky things in the movie. It’s his style. This time, though, he takes it way too far. For example, during a scene where Scarlett Johansson is talking with her boyfriend, Besson shows an animal catching its prey. This symbolizes her walking into a trap, because the boyfriend’s about to get her into a lot of trouble. But the scene is so needlessly long, it feels like they’re just trying to pad the running time. The movie only gets more stupid as it progresses. At one point, Johannson overdoses on the drug and starts “melting.” Cut to her in a hospital room and everyone in the audience is saying, “Huh?” They never explain what happened.
Also, the gang lord had the potential to be very impressive. He was played by one of the most popular Korean actors today: Min-sik Choi. If Lucy wasn’t invincible, and the audience actually felt like she was in any kind of danger, I would be pretty scared of this guy. Unfortunately, his talent was wasted.
The root problem with this movie is that Besson assumed that using 100% of your brain’s capacity would affect your physical ability as well as your mental ability. This assumption is simply too far-fetched to take seriously. With all the tools Lucy has at its disposal (Besson, Morgan Freeman, Scarlett Johansson, Min-Sik Choi), it did indeed have the potential to be a quirky success. However, the mercurial nature of the movie, its unrealism, and its convoluted ending made you wonder – and not in a good way.
By Shahmu Lohdi
The release of An Awesome Wave in 2012 saw Alt-J shoved into the spotlight of indie folk/rock music, winning them the less-than-coveted yet merit marking Barclaycard Mercury Prize. Soon after, the four Britons toured internationally, playing at not only the big five US festivals, but also the O2 Greenwash.
I have to admit that I did not discover the band until late in 2013, when I streamed their live show on KEXP. I was entranced immediately by the ethereal sounds of Fitzpleasure. Over the course of the year, I became engrossed in their music, so when I heard about the release of the band’s second studio album, This Is All Yours, I couldn’t have been more excited. As September rolled around, I searched desperately for a leak of the full album, refusing to listen to any one single until I could hear the entire thing. Then, on September 17, two days before the official release date, the album was appeared.
I cleared what little was on my calendar and sat myself down on my favourite chair. The music began and singer Joe Newman’s atmospheric voice filled the room. I waited eagerly for the music to properly begin, anticipating that tell tale Alt-J intensity, but it never came. I was quite confused. Alt-J music is known for its unpredictability, but what was this? Save one or two moments, the entire album sounds like it was written while the members of the band were dozing off. Garden of England, a feudal sounding battle of flutes, was possibly the worst song that they have ever recorded. It seemed as if they were unsuccessfully attempting to run on a bumpy treadmill while performing the song. Every Other Freckle had possibly the tackiest lyrics ever written by the band: “I want to turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet.” I mean, seriously? I didn’t even realize that Choice Kingdom was a song; I just thought it was some sort of odd interlude where Newman breathed heavily into the microphone while the rest of the band tuned their instruments. The saving grace came at the end, Bloodflood Part II, with a pleasing mix of trombone and piano, and the same familiar lyrics, it was by far the best part of this disappointing album.
By Conor Healy
When it comes to buying from our favourite American retailers, Canadian online shoppers can’t seem to catch a break. Why does a struggling economy make it so difficult to purchase their goods? Why is it so hard to take things from one side of a border to the other? Isn’t there a free trade agreement? Taken from a close family member, below is an account of the troubles we’ve all seen shopping online.
West Elm: we ship internationally to over 90+ countries! YAY!
Me: I’m going to buy a duvet cover from you.
West Elm: Please enter your US address.
Me: I live in Canada.
West Elm: I will not tell you what to do if you live in Canada. Enter your US address.
Me: You may ship to me, but I can’t order from you online it seems. Which means I won’t be needing you to ship anything to me.
West Elm: Canadian money causes snowstorms. I heard that on Fox news, so it must be true. Winter is coming, but it doesn’t have to be right now. Please enter a US address.
Me: I live in Canada. What the hell, don’t you want my money?
West Elm: Due to an economic crisis in the United States, we are currently not accepting any foreign investment. I am just saying words now. I am very afraid that this is a trick to increase minimum wage.
Me: Fine, I won’t shop with you.
All US Retailers: Turn off the porch lights so those crazy Canadians consumers don’t buy our goods and send their devil snow to burn our flesh away! HIDE BEHIND THE STYLISH SOFAS!
Me: I still need a new duvet!
By Liam Gill
Since 2011 when Brendan Shanahan took over as the NHL’s chief disciplinarian, the League has seen a drastic change in Player Safety measures with fines and suspensions becoming a regularity in the league for both players and coaches. Last week, however, Shanahan abruptly left his position to join his childhood favourite Toronto Maple Leafs as their President and Alternate Governor. This sudden change has left his former department in limbo with no leader and an unclear direction. Nevertheless, with the playoffs underway this week, the department was forced to forge ahead and regulate the most physical and ruthless hockey games of the season.
By Sam HS
1. Go see Paradise Lost in the Chu on April 23rd and 24th at 7:30 pm. I’m directing, Ian Pica (the wickedly talented TBAW featured artist) designed the set, the acting is solid, and it’s set to dope Kanye beats. Think about that. Satan, Jesus, Adam, Eve, Kanye beats. Email me for tickets.
2. A couple new tracks out recently. Lana Del Rey debuted “West Coast” of her new album Ultraviolence, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. It’s sultry and slow. So basically if you like Lana you’ll dig it, and if you hate her it’ll be sonic torture. Speaking of the Black Keys, they have also released a couple tracks off their upcoming LP Turn Blue. “Fever” and “Turn Blue” have compounded on my view that things have been downhill ever since Brothers. Both songs are mellow and unimaginative. They sound like Auerbach and Carney got lazy and rehashed some old stuff.
3. What’s with all the hipster beards today? When will it end? Are they plotting a coup d’état?
April. The month known for blooming flowers, drizzles, hidden easter eggs, and yes, of course, snow.