Gotta Love Them Side Effects

Afternoon all

 

So some background before we get started. I have depression, and while we all know there are MANY forms and severity, mine is categorised as severe but not suicidal (which we can all agree is a dull silver lining) I’ve only been actively managing my disease for a few weeks now, though I’m certain I’ve had it for many years.

So confronting it was the first step and I urge anyone who believes they may be suffering from depression to go get checked NOW! but here’s a heads up for ya (NOT a means to dissuade you though, go get fucking checked!). The Side effects of the meds they give you are things to be prepared for because they are part of the process of managing a disease that is not anyone’s fault but will take time and effort to overcome, if you have depression, this is your life.

So the first medication my doc put me on caused dizziness and severe dry mouth to begin with, plus stomach problems, constant headaches and (here’s the roughest ones) Insomnia, loss of motivation and an increase in what I call the “low” feeling, basically for your first 2 weeks (if the meds work) you are going to feel more depressed….shit right? So yesterday I called my doc to explain the meds weren’t really working and I couldn’t sleep. Now my doc is awesome and gets the whole depression thing, dude understands what to do, so he stuck me on some new meds for my disease with an added bonus of helping me sleep, which I did, for 12 fucking hours!

See here’s my issue, depression is a well known physiological and psychological condition that almost 50% of us suffer from, I get that all meds have side effects but the list of side effects is huge and varied, surely after all this time we found a way to treat this disease without the dizzy spells, stomach problems (no detail here just use your imagination) weird dreams, fatigue, headaches (I hate these) and a general feeling of Malaise and absence of motivation? Don’t get me wrong you gotta do a lot of helping yourself, going out in the sun, exercise, doing something you love (hence the writing for me) but it’s difficult to go for a jog when you’re dizzy just standing still. I know these tend to clear up after a few days/weeks of using the meds but it’s still annoying, so I’m venting I guess.

But…BUT…do not let this dissuade you, you feeling suicidal? See a doctor! You feeling low and sad? See a doctor! If, like me, you feel like you’re unable to access emotions of any kind and you’re more numb than functional? See a doctor! It doesn’t matter if you have past trauma (though honestly who of us doesn’t) or you’ve just been through a break up, or someone has passed away, or you hate your job/relationships/life, go see a doctor, there is help out there, the side effects are manageable (despite my annoyance) and you can and in time WILL feel better. Go see a counsellor too, if you’re in the UK there are NHS funded counsellors out there (just gotta get on a waiting list, or if you can pay for one do that) if you’re in the US or elsewhere I’m sure there are centres to help you with this disease. You are NOT alone, it is not the end of all things and the vastly intelligent people who suffer from this can get help and keep living.

Death is not the answer, medicine is, people are, help exists….Go get it

Cheers

Greg-severe depression sufferer, champion for help (chimeradreamsblog@gmail.com)

For my UK peeps go sign up here for counselling https://www.talkplus.org.uk/

Howdy

This isn’t gonna be a long one, but it’s a funny story to me.

Despite yesterdays post about the power of emotional resonance in cinema and the effect of great movies despite general opinion….I was recommended to watch Sharknado, so not the type to do anything by half….I watched all of them.

Honestly…the budgets are low, the acting is almost non-existent, the effects are laughable…and the movies never try to be more than they are, as a result they are amazing. Like honestly the movies are so charmingly fucking awful that I laughed through all 5 of them. The cameos were hysterical (look out for Corey Taylor in the 4th film, don’t blink, you’ll miss him) but all in all I would totally recommend these movies, trust me, they’re amazing.

Cheers

Greg-B movie cynic (chimeradreamsblog@gmail.com)

Ode to Cinema (Short)

What makes a good movie? and why are some movies considered greater than others? Are we taught that some movies are universally perfect and don’t you dare say otherwise? Well yeah but I think there’s more to it than that. As a full fledged movie nerd and obsessive trivia memorizer (it’s a gift?) I find myself fascinated by this idea that there are movies that are universally loved, and then there are those that the majority believes are perfect movies and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot, or they didn’t understand the movie, or they’re just trying to start a fight….

But we’re all missing the most important component of why movies work….Emotion.

Stay with me here, this is gonna get bumpy, some of you are gonna have a hard time. Nothing is sacred.

I have this buddy, I saw him the other day and as often happens we talked movies. The conversation started with the question “has Christopher Nolan ever made a bad movie?” , after a little IMDB research we at the table agreed that he had so far not made a bad movie, good job Chris. However the conversation then turned to “Which reputable directors had made bad movie or movies?”, Spielberg was first up to the plate and it turned out that my love of The Beard’s work was not a universally agreed belief, that he had, in some opinions, made some bad movies. Then my buddy dropped the bombshell that he did not like the work of Quentin Tarantino, but before you get your torches and pitchforks and label him an idiot or a blasphemer, ask yourself this: DO you, dear reader, adore EVERY Tarantino movie? Cos I sure as shit don’t, I hated Jackie Brown, Death Proof and was not hugely enthused by either Kill Bill films…and that’s fine.

See we have been taught that there are the great directors and great movies of our time, no questions, no other opinions, this is fact and law. While I understand historical significance I must disagree with these lists for a very good reason, what resonates with you, may not resonate with me, and I see films and their brilliance being based on more than technical greatness, performance, and actor torture (see any Stanley Kubrick movie) all of these aspects are used to tell the story but the viewer is a subjective element ruled by emotion. For example, I met someone many years ago that absolutely hates the Godfather, like deep down cannot watch it anymore, my dad on the other hand believes it to be the platinum standard all films are measured against, not all gangster films, not all dramas, ALL films. The difference being that the Godfather moves my dad on an emotional level, far more intense than the level I’m moved by it. It’s a great movie, yes, but not everyone can or will agree on that. For me the platinum standard of films is Gladiator, Blade Runner, Saving Private Ryan or Road to Perdition. I find Lilo & Stitch and Big Hero 6 to be the greatest Disney movies ever made ever, and personally don’t feel much emotion of any kind toward things like Cinderella or Ratatouille. I have a friend who thinks the Emperor’s New Groove is Oscar worthy material, and while the movie makes me smile I disagree, but it’s the same movie right?

Movies hit us in our hearts and brains, I studied film and media for years, technical stuff blows my mind, performances impress me, but these are only components of a larger piece. The movie as a whole has an effect, much deeper than we can explain or identify, and we have been taught to criticise our peers because they don’t like movies we’re suppose to consider masterpieces, we see the love of these movies as a sign of status…bullshit. I hated Clockwork Orange and to this day will not watch it, I have made my mind up, and I have been berated and chastised for this opinion. I had to watch Blade Runner 5 times before I realised I like it, I grew as a person between each viewing, but I knew there was something in that movie that made me want to keep watching it. I will never demean a movie I haven’t seen or at least tried to see, but there’s still this status stigma….

Think about your favourite movies, think about why they’re your favourites, but also go through the top 100 Greatest Films of all time list and tell me this….are they all great movies to you?

They’re not are they? Movies are more than beautiful cinematography and sublime performances, they hit us where we hurt, laugh, cry, scream and hide….

“They last forever these movies” – Tom Hanks

Netflix Nerdgasm

Hi!!!!!!

 

The Defenders….Holy shit this show was so damn good! On like so many levels and the four shows that built up to it really helped.

For the sake of honesty though, Daredevil was my absolute favourite and Iron Fist was my least favourite, and sadly this hasn’t changed much in Defenders, but I really like Iron Fist this time around, not totally, but he grew on me a little more in Defenders than he did solo.

It’s been a long wait to have all of these characters together for the team up we were promised and I was concerned that it may have been a whole lot of build up for nothing but it really, REALLY paid off as the 8 episode format really gave us a tight story that didn’t run off in too many different directions, and once the team was together they did stay on task, which was a relief as so many team ups tend to get the team together only to separate them soon after (though Danny does get kidnapped 2 episodes from the end). but all story beats and character growth aside (stay with me here) nothing will be as mind blowingly cool as seeing all four fighting together, which is done in one, beautiful, continuous shot toward the end of the finale.

See I had multiple points to make and multiple holes to poke in the plot, villains, and a lot of the apparent scientific logic of the show, but as I write this it occurs to me that none of that matters, the little nuances can’t be described, they have to be seen and experienced. The most prominent thing about the show that stays with me is the visuals and the fact that we get the payoff we asked for. Iron Fist is still not fully rounded out, Luke Cage is still the only true hero, Jessica Jones is still a mental health suffering superwoman riddled with guilt and the unwillingness to deal with her issues and Daredevil remains the most interesting, arresting and impressive character of the bunch. Side characters steal the show often, the fight scenes are phenomenal and this show is not the Avengers in the best possible way.

It is well worth watching, it is well worth re-watching, and if this is the quality going forward…It’s gonna be a hell of a good time for Marvel fans.

And as always, stay til the end of the credits….oh my god.

Cheers

Greg-Daredevil fanboy (chimeradreamsblog@gmail.com)

 

HHHIIIIIII!!!!!!!

I wanted to do a whole article on the 2 movies I watched today (Beauty and the beast remake and The Green Inferno) and I wanted to do a whole thing about how remakes aren’t as bad as we’re taught they are, how the Nostalgia Filter can be very detrimental to our memory of things and how we are taught to hate movies right out the bat because the world wants you to hate money. I was also going to do a whole thing on how marketing sets us up to adore a film but then when we come to watch it it’s hugely disappointing BECAUSE of that marketing….

I really do want to do an article about all of that, and I absolutely am going to, I really am, However: I have just started the first episode of The Defenders, I’m a GIGANTIC nerd and I adore Marvel especially their TV shows, so this evening I will be watching one of my absolute favourite Marvel characters (Daredevil, played to perfection by Charlie Cox) 2 amazingly well portrayed Marvel badasses (Mike Colter’s Luke Cage and Krystin Ritter’s constantly tough Jessica Jones) and finally a great Marvel character that I feel was disappointingly portrayed (Iron Fist played by the Knight of Flowers Finn Jones, who I am giving a second chance) all band together to save New York while the Avengers are busy…I dunno, doing something that isn’t worth making a whole movie about yet. This is my evening plan, I will be bingeing as much as I possibly can, and at some point I will be gushing about it, because I have faith it will be amazing….

Go watch it folks, it’s gonna be a fun 13 episode ride, trust me, I know nerdy stuff

Cheers

Greg-SuperNerd (chimeradreamsblog@gmail.com)

Stop it.Stop.Stop.Stop it

A bunch of senseless assholes (currently at least 2 men) have attacked a crowd in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, killing at least 1, though the news says this number may rise due to serious injuries suffered by some of the people hit.

They used a van and ran into a restaurant, armed.

So here’s my problem, first this is going to cause many of the one track mind racists in the world to declare more war on Islam (as apparently all terrorists must be Muslim) and recruit and propagate their message of hateful bullshit further and further, that doesn’t sit right with me as racism is not the answer and quite frankly I think it’s what the terrorists want so they can justify attacks like this one in Barcelona.

Further to that, what are these terrorists doing? I mean really? get a job! contribute to society, learn to drive and stop fucking killing people! you’ve failed, no one is scared of you and you’re just asking for more countries to bomb you back to the stone age (unfortunately without much consideration for civilians at this point). How about this…TELL US WHAT YOU WANT! and sit down with world leaders like a fucking grown-up to facilitate a change that works in the interests of everyone, you cannot win by killing, you’re attacking global superpowers with itchy trigger fingers and your people keep dying while you do it. This is not a productive way to live or even operate, go build a school or hospital, solve the food crisis in your own country, trade, join in with the rest of the world (and for fuck’s sake read your Quran properly, don’t just skim)

People are hurt, and dead, and dying, you’re spreading hate and fixing absolutely nothing, you hate the West but don’t seem to be trying to understand the West (and stop calling us The West like we’re some kind of supervillain team, many of us are struggling to like each other as it is). Stop killing, start talking.

Or at the very least see a shrink and work through your frustration and anger.

Be better ya know?

Cheers

Greg (chimeradreamsblog@gmail.com)

 

-Credit to Cody Johnston of Cracked for the title, see his expert use of it here (at 2:50 onward): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifTBDjtF38&t=337s

Yo What’s up guys, it’s time for some nerdery (made up word, don’t care)

So in 2001 sometime I was recommended by a friend to watch a little animated film called Ghost in the Shell. Now I’ll admit I have never been huge into anime (though I am trying at the moment in the wake of research for this post) but anime was on the rise in western culture and I figured I’d give it a go, needless to say I don’t remember the experience, except that I do remember the movie being amazing, though that seems to be the Nostalgia Filter at work (more on that in a bit).

So last week I watched the new, remade, live-action version of Ghost In The Shell with Scarlett Johansson and lots of cool CGI, I loved it, like really, really enjoyed it, but I did remember a lot of backlash at the choice of casting and various other things to do with the production, namely the “whitewashing” scandal. So in the interest of fairness I rewatched the 1995 version last night to be sure that what I was seeing, and hearing was either founded in truth, or pushed violently through the Nostalgia Filter with a heavy dose of politics on the side.

Image result for ghost in the shell comparison images

Let me be clear, I am not saying there is no whitewashing in Hollywood, I’m not saying that either film is perfect in any way, I am merely saying that arguments can be made that a lot of the backlash might be hate for the sake of hate (something I will definitely be tackling in a future post).

So, first of all, no politics, just plain movie love: I thought the noticeable deviation from the core story was actually quite a wonderful idea in the 2017 version, instead of a standard conspiracy we get a Cyborg/Human hybrid trying to understand ghosts in her programming and remembering who she was before they stuck her in a new body. I loved the whole idea of the governments best weapon, controlled by their best programming and smartest minds, breaking free of those controls with gentle pushes toward the truth. I think that version of Major really humanised the character in a way that made me concentrate less on her gender or race and more on the very identifiable story of having control over your own life, what it means to be human and the corrupting power of business success. That said…I found the 1995 villain to be far more interesting, far more believable within the physics of the film’s established world and far less whiny, tragic and “smart man saves strong woman” that felt like a forced attempt at a feminist metaphor. In the original the Major was smart, fast, strong and possessed a willpower that would make the Green Lantern re-evaluate his life choices. See in the original the villain never directly harms anyone because he is a pure,autonomous A.I. who can accomplish everything he wants without physical constraints. Hell a physical body is used to trap him, leading to a revelation whereby he explains that he does not need a physical form to accomplish his goals, that he has evolved a trancended the human condition, his goal in one of unity against greed and oppression. In the 2017 film he is a former, failed test subject for Section 9, the department (in both movies) that Major works for and is owned by. He is angsty, whiny, and a full fledged terrorist that while fighting a shady organisation manages to make himself one of the least sympathetic characters in the entire film! Hell I even liked the main ‘big business’ style villain more than this C3PO on steroids. Furthermore the revelation that Major and Kuze (the Emobot) used to be Asian before being put into their American, robot forms feels like a last minute change/cop out in response to the Whitewashing scandal, I mean stick to your guns guys, if Scarlett Johansson is your choice for Major then embrace that shit and just make the best film you can, I understand the drama of it but you made your choices and politics is not your concern, I love Ms Johansson as the lead, I found her action scenes very convincing and moreso her struggle to understand the truth of her existence,  an amazing choice and one that I feel should have shut up the haters very easily. I also much preferred Pilou Asbaek (of GoT fame) as the tough, slightly closed minded but all round charming Batou, he was far more identifiable as a gruff but caring tough guy than the representation in the 1995 original, though I don’t fully understand why we needed to find out about his eye damage as a side plot when the original had him with his ocular implants from the start (though they always just seemed to be cool sunglasses). Regardless my main point is I loved both movies for different reasons but I disliked both in some places too, which brings me to:

The Nostalgia FIlter

This little psychological phenomenon has never been more busy than it is now, it’s the thing our brains and in turn our big mouths use to justify why we hate a film/tv show/book/video game so much that we feel we have the right to hate on that thing so venomously and publicly that we should all (me included) be ashamed. Need an example? Great cos you were gonna get one anyway: I really don’t like Spiderman 3, and before realising some hard truths about myself I REALLY disliked Spiderman 3, venomously, hatefully, and I grew ashamed.

See I love Venom, the greatest Spiderman villain ever made, I believe he is to Spidey what the Joker is to Batman, the perfect opposite in every regard. However in the film he was used as little more than an annoying thug with a cool suit, his capabilities, vast intelligence and even his vague respect for the Spider dude are never fully explored because he is shoe-horned in at the last moment, any Venom fan will tell you, you do one movie for Spidey in the black suit, you save the emergence and origin of the Eddie Brock Venom for the NEXT FUCKING MOVIE (see I’m still not totally over it). So I hate Sam Raimi, and Sony, And Topher Grace, And Tobey Maguire and basically anyone who allowed such a disrespect of my childhood Venom love. But here’s the thing…Hate burns you more than your target, it is blind and stupid and solves nothing. See I later found out that Raimi didn’t want to do Venom at all as he doesn’t like the character, but Sony in their wisdom made him do it, thus a subpar joke of the character was given life. Raimi wanted to make his move, Sony wanted money, and no one else was to blame. I only really understood when Suicide Squad was all over the place being chased by hate and anger. We remember the great Heath Ledger as Joker, but Jared Leto can fuck off. Really? Cos I remember everyone going fucking berserk when Heath Ledger was cast, saying that he was too pretty and couldn’t possibly be trusted with our dear Clown Prince of Crime, yet when Leto gives it a go he’s an asshole?! Look I didn’t like his portrayal either but I barely saw the dude long enough to warm to him, again he was supposed to be the main villain but Warner Bros. told director David Ayer to change the plot to suit a larger scale movie, so who’s fault is it? Leto’s? Ayer’s? NO! It’s yours! you all kicked and screamed and Warner Bros. panicked and changed it all.

To those Ghost in The Shell purists: Have you seen the remake? or have you judged based on a collection of images and your need to hate everything.? You realise sale of the original on DVD/Blu-Ray has shot up because everyone is curious as to what this remake came from, new audiences are watching the beloved original because they remade it, isn’t that fantastic? But don’t sit there and tell me it’s a perfect movie, that it stands the test of time. It does a good job, sure, but it’s flawed, just like ALL good sci-fi movies are…ALL

Watch the damn movies before you pass judgement and look beyond petty ideals about the movies you watch. Then we can all start having nice things.

 

Cheers

P.S. What is America’s obsession with removing nipples?