Character Spotlight: Jean-Jacques Leroy

While watching Yuri on Ice this year I found myself falling in love with the journey of its characters throughout the grand prix. Their themes helping to symbolize elements of what they desire and who they want to be. While the story is all about Yuri, Yurio, and Victor I found myself falling in love with other skaters that shone in the grand finals. One such person who has captured my attention in the end was the Canadian figure skater, Jean-Jacques Leroy, or better known as JJ. Yes that very same narcissist, and one of the least liked characters in Yuri on Ice.

I will be spoiling elements in Yuri on Ice that regards JJ, and others who directly impact him. You have been warned.

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12 Days of Halloween – Scream 2

Day 12

Well even with the days messed up, this is still the final post of the 12 Days of Halloween…though it probably should be called 15 days now that I think about it. The reason why this is a mystery pool day is because this is essentially a bunch of material I have either been extremely excited to watch or have really wanted to talk about. Last year for Halloween I did a slight look into the original Scream on a blog called popculturemecha, and while I do want to clean it up and potentially do another that will probably be after I do the rest of the franchise.

Wes Craven as a director has been one of my inspirations for wanting to be in cinema in the first place, primarily with the Scream films. Now after the hit that was Scream, he had something much harder to do…create a sequel that could stand apart from its predecessor while also satirizing something in the process like its predecessor. Kind of weird I know, but for that we got the horror sequel satirizing Scream 2. We all know the long string of horror sequels Hollywood had a problem with in the past, I mean there is still the umpteen Friday the 13th sequels. So could Wes Craven recreate the same reinvigoration to the horror genre that the original was in its sequel without falling prey to the very things he was attempting to satirize?

Now if you haven’t seen the first Scream, this review most likely will review some of its more important reveals. Ever since it is ultimately a whodunit, Scream 2 does make multiple references to the characters in the original as well as to discuss its main killer in reference to the events taking place in the film. Yes this will spoil the main twist of the original film so you have been warned.

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12 Days of Halloween – Perfect Blue

Day 11

It seems like I have failed in keeping everything going up on time, midterms easily saw to that. I wasn’t able to get everything down prior, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to throw out the last two days! It just means I need to fit them in no matter how late they will be.

Satoshi Kon is a name many as anime fans know and love. We seem to have followed the term auteur and I have been throwing this term around a lot during this marathon. I can tell you with all certainty…when you have seen a Satoshi Kon film you can certainly recognize it. Sadly the man has passed away in 2010 at the age of 46 and the anime world has lost one of its best creators. Many western films have been inspired by the works of Kon such as Inception with the film Paprika. As well as the film I will be talking about today had inspired Black Swan and a scene from Requiem for a Dream. It is hard to deny the impact of Perfect Blue on director Darren Aronofsky’s work, yet Kon himself focuses at times on a more disorienting viewpoint in his film. Perfect Blue is one of the few directed titles from Kon, to which many (myself included) wanted to see more from, that helped to cement his name in the anime industry. Yet with all its visual theatrics does it still stand up today? Continue reading “12 Days of Halloween – Perfect Blue”

12 Days of Halloween – Audition

Day 10

Aha! I have made it! As much as I have not seen many films from Japanese cinema, Takashi Miike is a name I know all too well after being forced to view one of his more auteur pieces. I seem to have been talking about auteurs more often than not during this marathon, but out of all of them Miike is the only one who has been acclaimed as such. Miike’s extreme violence as shown in films like Ichi the Killer is certainly what forces him into a more niche audience, and I would say after Ichi the Killer I just wasn’t that audience no matter how absurd and well-acted it was. Many say Tarantino is the master of violence, and that may be true for action films, but Miike has proven time and again horror violence and psychological horror is his forte. Yet it is hard to argue that point when he is so well rounded with films like 13 Assassins also in his filmography. Day 10 has given me yet another one of his films to view, and I am just mentally preparing myself for the shock that will most likely be Audition. Continue reading “12 Days of Halloween – Audition”

12 Days of Halloween – Hush

Day 9

Home invasion films have a sense of just utter terror to me that is kind of primal. I’m a paranoid fellow at times and I often worry about certain settings or scenarios because of my long history of love with horror. The idea of a home invasion is terrifying, specifically if you think about how terrifying some of those situations can be. Yet with such an easy subgenre to give me thrills, I often find myself at a loss when it comes to the craft or overall execution of those films. There are so many flops in this genre it is staggering, and I want to find one that finally brings to me a tale worth raving about. Luckily, Mike Flanagan’s Hush could very well be that film. I was previously impressed by the visual trickery Flanagan used in Oculus and I feel like he is certainly a director that could become an auteur of horror films down the line. Will Hush just prove the point more or is this the first film that shows the cracks in his armour?

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12 Days of Halloween – The Visit

Day 8

M. Night Shyamalan…we meet again! Something always brings me back to this guy one way or another, and it will always be a neverending struggle for me to want to see him hit his stride again after consistent flops. He even has my most hated film in his repertoire and it quite hard to forgive that slog, you can probably guess which one it is. I do enjoy some of his films in the whole, “it’s so bad it is good” kind of way. Though I have heard a lot of positivity regarding M. Night’s latest film, The Visit. I thought why not put it into the pool and perhaps see what happens and sure enough, like destiny, I managed to get this one. I’m not too optimistic about this one, as more often than not I am burned by both the director and the particular style of horror so this doesn’t seem to be a great combo. Who knows, for once in a long time I could be singing the praises of M. Night.

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12 Days of Halloween – The Others

Day 7

Ghost stories are the bread and butter of campfires. That twinge of fear, the ambience, burnt marshmallows, the fire burning bright, and yet to me that means nothing when you see a ghost story done right on film. The funny thing is that it is slightly harder to choose which ones are better, when so many have an atmosphere down pat. The Others is no exception to that. It uses its gothic mansion and unique lighting situation to create a constant air of suspense. The thing that makes it so unique is its circumstances. The circumstance of the children’s photosensitivity to light, the new help arriving who seem a bit odd, the husband going off to the war, then of course strange noises and weird figures being seen all through the house. Does the narrative however give its setting and scenario enough time to breathe into a story worth sitting through this slow burn is the main question to me though.

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