Stolen Jewellery

The name’s Charles. Charles Ashton. I’m a private eye working in LA. Or at least, I was till recently. Currently, I’m being held in a holding cell the size of a janitorial closet, awaitin’ my trial for assault. My lawyer’s coming soon, but by my luck he’ll have the brains of a pitbull and none of the brawn. Now, how did I get myself into such a situation, you ask? Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but I don’t mind indulging.

You see, it all started about last week, just on Christmas day. It was a snowy evening. Kids were running amok lookin’ for some candy to buy right after all the busy parents had come back home for the day to relax. Me, though, I don’t relax. I was just sittin’ in my office, waiting for new potential clients. Now, business wasn’t exactly boomin’ for me. Other than some distrustful dames comin’ in worryin’ about their marriage going downhill, I hadn’t gotten much in terms of good clientele. And investigating stale marriages ain’t my style. No interesting material and it usually turns out that the dame’s just being paranoid. No, I was on the lookout for something much more unique, and I knew I’d got something good on my hands when that man walked in.

He was a tall man, something about six feet or so, but he was dressed like he was at some costume party. The fancy old suit was the first tip-off, the top hat the second. The snobby look on his face and the monocle over his left eye? The icing on the cake. He looked like he was from another period of time entirely.

“Do you happen to be Charles Ashton, by any chance?”, he asked.

“That’s me”, I muttered, eyeing him from head to toe. “You got any business here?”

“Ah, yes!” He adjusted his monocle, a glimmer of hope shining in his eyes. “But first off, introductions. I’m JJ Vincent. Pleased to meet you.”

“Pleasure”, I replied, shaking his hand, though not rising up from my chair yet. I preferred to get up only when the request seemed interesting enough, so the client could tell if they’d caught my interest.

“I happen to be a stockbroker, Mr. Ashton”, Vincent explained, taking his hat off and holding in his hands. “And recently, a most disdainful thing has happened at my own house!”

“And what might that be?”, I asked, looking out of my window.

“A burglary! It’s absolutely terrible!”, he cried out. “My wife’s jewellery has been stolen!”

I raised an eyebrow, getting up from my chair. Now this sounded like a proper case.

“Shouldn’t you go to the police for that?”

“I have, but they’re not offering any support! They’re simply saying they’ll do their best, but they’re front loaded with other crimes. If you ask me, they don’t seem interested in my case at all”, he said. “You need to come with me, Mr. Ashton! The thief needs to be caught!”

“Fine. I’ll see what I can do then”, I agreed. “So do we set out now?”

“Of course! My chauffeur is waiting outside for us. He’ll take us to my house. I’ll give you the rundown on the way there.”

So we set out. As we were on our way, he gave me some info. Apparently, his wife had stored some jewels in the main hall of his home, but by the next day, they’d disappeared entirely. It seemed a strange coincidence. Although his wife had gossiped about the box at a party the previous night, only the couple were there that night in the house. No servants were working for him at his house either, and all doors and windows were locked. As we arrived there, his wife was there to greet us. 

“Oh, Vincent!” She cried out, nearly in tears. “What ever shall we do? Once word of this gets out, our reputation here will be practically ruined!”

“There, there, Poppy”, he said comfortingly, patting her on the back to console her. “I’ve got us a private investigator to help settle the matter.”

As they talked, I took a look at Vincent’s house. It looked about as old fashioned as he did, like a bonafide chateau. It looked like a fancy place, though with some minor adjustments like a chimney poking out through the front. Looking to the right, I saw a mansion just as posh looking. A man appeared to be peering in the general direction of the house, a strange look on his face. He looked like a guy who’d undergone a lot in his life, and the scars on his face seemed to affirm that.

“Ah, you’ve noticed him, haven’t you?” I heard Vincent’s voice behind me. “Yes, well, that’s our neighbour, James Mortimer.”

“Howdy”, he said, giving us a short wave. “Got the jewel problem shorted yet, JJ?”

“I’m afraid not, James”, he sighed. “But with Mr. Ashton here assisting us, perhaps we can reach a solid conclusion on this case.”

“Heh, really, now? Good luck with that, fella”, he smirked. “Let’s hope you’ll have better luck than the coppers did.”

“You two know each other well?”, I asked out of curiosity.

“Ah, well, we actually used to be coworkers once”, Vincent explained.

“It wasn’t the life for me, ‘nfortunately, so I quit and joined the circus instead. Built up a lotta money and then shifted here. And lo and behold, we’re neighbours now! Straight out of a movie, yeah?” James gave a friendly grin.

“Anyway, we should be going to the house now. I shall see you later, James.” Vincent then escorted me to the house. I barely had to look around to figure out what the problem was.

“The fireplace”, I pointed out. “You left your jewels on the table right next to the fireplace. The thief could’ve just snuck in through the chimney and stolen the jewellery from there.”

“But no normal person could fit through there! It would be nearly impossible”, Vincent countered.

True, he did have a point. It did seem rather narrow. I couldn’t crawl through there if I tried and I’m the type of guy who could be mistaken for a beanpole without moving. The windows had been closed the night before too, and all the doors had been locked beforehand. So unless either Vincent and his wife were misremembering or lying, this seemed to be a perfect locked room. Still, I had an idea.

“How about we keep a box here just like the other one and leave it here at the same time? Then I’ll keep watch here and see if I can nab the guy behind this when he strikes.”

“It’s not foolproof, but I suppose it could work”, Vincent admitted. “I’ll just have to make it “public knowledge” that I’m keeping yet another box of jewels here and see what happens.”

That night, the both of us stayed in the main hall, hiding behind the sofa. Sure enough, the perpetrator entered…through the chimney as well.

“I knew it”, I whispered with bated breath.

“Wait! What is he doing?”

The mysterious figure went to the box and picked it up.

“Now! Let’s nab him!”

We both jumped up at the same time and caught the thief red handed, though he put up quite the fight. And just as we turned on the lights…

“Huh? A monkey?”, I asked in confusion.

“Oook ook!”, the poor creature cried out. Clearly it had been shocked by both of us. Around it was a name tag.

“Wait…” I paused. “I think I know who’s behind this.”

———

Ding dong!

“Eh?” James opened the door, appearing groggy. “What’re you doing here so late, you two?”

Vincent raised the monkey in his hand. “We just figured we should return this to you, James”, he said, voice clearly strained.

James staggered in shock. “Wha- whose is that? I dunno who that ape belongs to-“

“The game’s up, Mortimer.” I poked the tag attached to the monkey- JM. “It could only have been you- isn’t that right, former circus performer?”

James’ eyes shifted to his belt. Suddenly, he pulled out a revolver. “Don’t move.”

I don’t rightly recall what happens next. All I remember is getting into a huge scuffle, and then suddenly the sound of a shot firing and then silence. Then I just blacked out.

When I woke up, I was in the hospital. My ear was bandaged, but Vincent was by my side. He explained what happened. Apparently, they’d managed to arrest ol’ James but not before he had managed to shoot both my ears, somehow. I’d apparently been out for six days- it was the 31st now. Thankfully, they’d managed to stitch back my ears together, so all was good now. It was bandaged but it would only take a few weeks to get back to normal. And already things were sounding alright- literally and figuratively.

“Congratulations!”, the doctor by my side said heartily. He gave a slight chuckle.

“What’s so funny, doc?” I asked.

“I just thought it was good timing- you woke up just in time…for New Ears!”

I didn’t think it was funny.

So I decked him.

Next thing I know I’m sitting here in this dump of a cell waitin’ for my lawyer to come. Happy New ‘Ear’, indeed. But it’s alright, it was self defence. With jokes like that, I was just defending myself from him.


Hey guys, thanks for reading this! Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year in my own special way! I have some other cool stuff planned for this site for 2019 as well (though I’ll still be a bit busy, but I promise to at least get some posts in!) and I can’t wait to show it to you all. Have a nice one, and remember not to tell people bad jokes! Just a general tip.

~SC

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Into the Spider-Verse: A Spoiler Review

[As mentioned in the title, this review contains spoilers for the film Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. If you don’t want to be spoiled on the film, then it would be best for you to stop scrolling any further.]

When I saw the trailer for Into the Spider-Verse some months back, my initial reaction was something along the lines of this:

It didn’t particularly pique my interest. The scene I saw was Miles Morales visiting Peter Parker’s grave to apologise and the chase scene that subsequently follows. It wasn’t really funny to me and I found myself unamused by it. In fact, I didn’t even wish to see this movie and only went to view it on a complete whim.

And, well, my reaction after I saw it was something along the lines of…

It absolutely lived up to the hype in every way possible. I was completely blown away by this movie and all it had to offer. I even wanted to give it a rewatch just so I could appreciate everything about it more (which I did just two days back, incidentally). So now, let’s get into the details, shall we?

The Story

So, starting with the basics, the story is simple but works quite well both as a serious tale and as a parody of Spiderman tropes. Seeing the normal, everyday life of Miles being contrasted with the very out-there lives of the other Spidermen is interesting. Miles’ subplot involving his family works very well and I was invested in his relationship with his father as well as his Uncle Aaron. Making Aaron the Prowler was certainly a surprising twist as well, though sadly his death soon after makes it feel like it has lost potential. I would’ve liked to see Aaron converse with Miles more after being exposed and I would have liked to also see how he even became the Prowler. On the other hand, it set up a pretty good subplot with how Miles’ father dealt with it all so I can’t say I’m particularly unhappy about it.

A minor complaint I do have with the subplot though is how it ends. Sure, Miles makes up with his dad both as himself and as Spiderman, but I found it disappointing that he didn’t reveal his identity at the end. Of course, it makes sense to him considering his father doesn’t really appreciate vigilantism and such but I felt it was a wasted opportunity from a story perspective and that it was such a tease.

In terms of other subplots, I also liked the relationship with Miles and Peter B. Parker as well as Gwen. Both were well done and felt quite meaningful at the end. I liked how even though it would’ve been “cooler” for Peter to join the final fight against Kingpin, he doesn’t because it’s more thematically relevant and more importantly, meaningful for Miles. Another nice touch I liked was that Miles and Gwen don’t fall in love at the end and instead decide to stay friends. I was absolutely dreading the cliche kiss scene but was pleasantly surprised when their relationship stayed platonic but also felt meaningful, as Gwen had finally managed to make a friend in Miles. It felt very nice.

Other than that, the only major subplot there is involves the villain and his motivations, but I’ll tackle that later on since it ties into something else I want to talk about.

My funny bone is tingling…

But while I’m here, I’ll also mention that the writing in general was done perfectly. Not just serious scenes, the comedy in this movie was absolutely hilarious, aforementioned trailer scene aside. It felt like such a fresh breath of air after so many movies I’ve watched try to tone up the expletives and vulgarities in order to incite laughter from the audience, whereas this one just does it by being normally funny. It’s clean, family friendly but also actually good- the perfect combo for a good comedy, at least in my opinion. Special shoutouts in terms of jokes go to: the spider casually being swatted away after biting Miles; the Comic-Con shoutout; the scene where Miles realises everyone is depending on him at Mary Jane’s speech only to be corrected by some guy explaining it’s a metaphor; the reveal of Peni Parker and Spider-Ham; Miles appearing as if he’s going to jump off but then running back down the stairs of a building; and finally “Say I love you back”. This film is filled to the brim with a lot of other similarly hilarious jokes but I’ll keep it to those. It was fun, dynamic and consistently good. It easily has a lot of rewatchability factor in terms of comedy alone.

Oh, and the post-credits scene as well. I was giggling so hard at that that it was somewhat embarrassing.

Anyway, now that we’re done with that, it’s time to move onto…

The Animation

Absolutely mesmerising.

Not much to say here in terms of the animation except that it was amazing. The visuals are on par, if not better than the story and the comedy. In fact, they perfectly complement each other. The art style is actually perfect for a movie like this. I like how it perfectly fits the tone of a superhero comic and has this comic-like feeling to it. The visuals really shine in the parts with the accelerator especially, but the normal parts also look good enough to work.

I also really like how they made the Spider-people from all the various timelines perfectly contrast with each other. Peter, Miles and Gwen look normal enough, but then Noire Spiderman fits the edgy early 1900s image going for him and is completely monotone. And meanwhile Peni and Spider-Ham have an extremely cartoony look going for each of them and manage to appear 2D in a 3D world, somewhat reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (though there is one scene where they pan over Spider-Ham and he’s noticeably more 3D than 2D, unfortunately). But it really works and makes it believable that they’re all from completely different worlds.

Overall, the animation is yet another highlight of this movie to me and works wonders for the tone of the movie. It’s visually pleasing but also complements the feel of a superhero movie. And now, moving onto…

The Characters

The characters are all good. Starting with the main cast, Miles makes for a good protagonist. Simple but relatable. And then comes the rest of the Spider-Crew. And, um…how do I put it?

“Top 10 Anime Crossovers” doesn’t even begin to describe what’s in front of us here.

They’re….certainly out there, I’ll say. Though this brings me to a minor qualm I have with the movie. Other than Peter and Gwen, the others- Noire Spiderman, Spider-Ham and Peni- are mostly just there, along for the ride. This isn’t too much of a bad thing, admittedly- they contribute to the fight scenes effectively and add a lot to the comedy of the movie. Seeing a literal anime girl and a cartoon pig battle it out with some of the baddies is hilarious yet strangely interesting. However, they don’t really have any substantial depth or make any meaningful relationship with Miles or the others. Perhaps one could say this is too much to really expect from a film like this, and you would be most likely correct. But seeing the dynamic between Miles and Peter as well as Miles and Gwen, these other three pale in comparison (though I liked how they all got their own little arc concluded by the end of the movie anyhow).

Next up are the villains- Kingpin and Doctor Octo. Let’s deal with the latter first- I liked the twist that she was just the head scientist this timeline and I liked how she was trying to accomplish her own thing as well. Her fight scenes were good and although it was anticlimactic how she simply got squashed by a bus at the end, I’d say it benefited the movie more in terms of pacing. Now, for the real meat…

Look at this beast of a man.

Kingpin always felt like one of the stranger, weirder Spiderman villains to me. His design felt weird and out of place with the other characters, even in this movie, and his superhuman strength felt like a strange contrast to his job as a mob boss. It surprisingly ends up working well enough with the cartoony tone of the movie, but I still felt that his presence was, for the lack of a better word, weird here.

Another problem I have with him was his motivations. It’s usually a thing to give villains their own tragic backstory to sympathise with them and in this case I liked Kingpin’s enough- even though you can understand why he hates Spiderman so much, you can also understand that it’s his fault in the first place; but also make sense of why he’s trying to collide multiple universes together. But ultimately, there wasn’t much payoff to all that, besides a neat little parallel with the other universes’ Richards and Vanessas running from him yet again as he tries to kill Spiderman. It felt like a bizarre anticlimax and we don’t really get much of him after that, apart from another fight scene.

Apart from that, the other side characters also work well. Even the other somewhat irrelevant characters contribute their own comedy to this movie and the main characters, apart from a few mild criticisms. Now, moving onto…

The Music

What a fitting day to put up this review, eh?

Surprisingly not much to add on the music. I usually don’t try to listen to it too much but I vaguely remember some tunes like What’s Up, Danger and such. It does its job well enough without being distracting, which is what a good movie soundtrack can be.

On another note though, the Christmas Album (which they actually released) is absolutely amazing. I wholeheartedly recommend it for your dose of Christmas cheer. Spidey-Bells is by far my favourite song, which even plays in the credits of the movie, which is much appreciated since you can properly listen to its chaotic glory without any character talking over it. Truly a wonderful prelude to the strange hilarity of the post-credits scene.

Overall

So, as we come to the end of this review, I think my thoughts on this movie are clear enough. It’s an absolutely vivid experience and I thoroughly recommend rewatching it just so you can appreciate the finer details more. An interesting little fact I noticed on a rewatch is that whenever Prowler (Aaron) is chasing Miles, he doesn’t know its his own nephew. Even in the tunnel chase scene, it’s dark enough to reasonably assume he wouldn’t realise it was Miles he was chasing. And in the other chase scenes, Miles is wearing his costume, so obviously Prowler wouldn’t recognise him. But I digress. Overall, this is just a load of fun. The visuals, the story, and the comedy all live up to the Spiderman name. It works both as a standalone and as a parody of superhero movies in some rights. Even though I had some minor gripes, this movie was good enough where I can overlook most of these. It’s really an almost perfect animated feature.

If I had to give this movie a score, I’d certainly give it a 9.5/10. Not much else to add, really. I think it’s clear why it deserves that score.

Thank you all for reading my spoiler-review! I know a new post’s been a while coming now, and I didn’t want to disappoint! All of you have a Merry Christmas, and believe me, this isn’t the last of me you’ll see this year! One last post is coming this month, believe you me.

But anyway, have a good day to you all!

~SC

Edit: Oh, but speaking of Christmas Miracles (or technically Christmas Eve Miracle since this was sent yesterday), apparently this is a thing.

It doesn’t feel like it’s been so long…

So, uh, hooray for me, I suppose!

Sickness

One morning, you wake up

Put a hand over your head

Check the temperature- oh no!

The thermometer’s turning red!

You try to reassure yourself

It’s gonna be okay

But then you’re strapped to your bed

And kept there for the entire day

They give you some medicine

To try to get the temp lower

They make you take warm water

To try and combat the fever

So you give it your all

And by the next morning

You get up, and it’s gone

Your head’s not throbbing!

The sickness has vanished

Perhaps for good

And you’re back on your feet

After the hell you just withstood.

Continue reading “Sickness”

Incredibles 2: A Spoiler Review

A sequel 14 years in the making, Incredibles 2 has finally released to the public. I myself was a fan of the original (though not as much as others), and this excited me a lot. So I just had to go see it. Does it live up to the high expectations it set? Find out below. But, as the title says, this review will have spoilers for the film. Watch it first before reading this.

Continue reading “Incredibles 2: A Spoiler Review”

Journey Through The Earth

[Disclaimer: This is not historically nor geographically accurate, nor is it meant to be.]

Once, in Europe, near Sweden and Norway, people thought that the earth was flat, and did not travel too far, because they were scared of falling off its edge. But there were three brave explorers- Fenrir, Jonathan, and Zlatos. They thought that the earth was round, and set out to explore it. Their relatives gave them their best wishes, and hoped they came back alive.

Fenrir steered the ship southeast. One week later,they saw land in the distance.It was the country of China! Jonathan took the honour of being the first to set foot on it. Suddenly the ground under him collapsed,and he horribly fell to his doom and died in a ravine. His two friends tremendously grieved for what seemed like ages. But they went and saw the Chinese Emperor himself!

The emperor felt sorry for both of them, so he gave them some exclusive treasure from the marvellous country. The two friends’ spirits lifted up a little, but not completely. They went back to their ship and started to steer it. Zlatos steered it northwest and went to where Seattle would be in a few centuries! Unfortunately,Red Indians lived there, and they didn’t appreciate travellers invading their land.

They started chasing the duo. Fenrir was too slow,and was killed by them. Zlatos felt even more grieved. How could this have been? He sailed off in a direction no one has found till today, and he landed in Rome! Now, if you may know,Rome is the capital of Italy, and was also the home of Italian food. In one hour,he was taking a tourist trip through the ancient Parthenon,after eating a buffet of pizza (too many anchovies) , pasta,(too many veggies) and lasagna (too much perfection).

He had a successful trip through the city and soon went back on his ship. He was ready to go back home and scoff in his favourite manner at his friends and relatives that there was no such thing as the edge of the earth.He had learnt that it was round! He was quite proud of his accomplishments now! The ship took sail back home.

Then it fell off the edge of the earth.
Continue reading “Journey Through The Earth”

Bad Jokes- A Thesis

We all listen to, laugh at, and regularly tell jokes everyday. The genres usually vary- from the common slapstick comedy to the more subtle variants, which require some thinking to figure out. But, of course, as it is with everything in life, jokes can be both good or bad. Obviously, the good ones are more tolerable, and much better to listen to. But the point of this essay is not to point them out, but rather to show the darker side of the spectrum.

Of course, I refer to their significantly less popular siblings, the bad jokes. Universally despised by all, these jokes usually either subvert things to a point where it becomes groan-worthy, or simply forget to subvert anything at all. Obviously, the latter is somewhat similar to the infamous “anti-jokes” (which in itself is another genre of bad jokes) but with those, punchlines are deliberately avoided as that is their entire point. No, bad jokes are done by people so inane and inept that they come up with something absolutely terrible, meriting several moans of despair, facepalms, and the dirty brown projectiles also known as “slippers”.

In a strange way, though, they often become so backward and twisted in their sense of “humour” and “logic” that they somehow arise laughter out of the crowd. Of course, the laughter is, in fact, not genuine in the slightest at all. It is completely tinged with irony, as the crowd is caught off guard by the nonsensical attempt at comedy that they cannot help but let out a slight chuckle.

One of the best examples of the bad joke exemplifies this perfectly. It is, and I quote:

Newton. But where is Oldton?

 

When first hearing this, the crowd’s reaction is usually some audible groans and ironic laughter, followed almost immediately by strong heckling. Analysing the joke, this reaction is perfectly understandable.

It starts out rather plain. Newton immediately piques the crowd’s interest. Sir Isaac Newton, the famous physicist who founded the laws of gravitation, among them things. What could this joke possibly have to do with him? Is it involving the infamous apple that landed on his head? Is it a simple joke involving physics? And as the audience is in deep thought, going through the one word that has been elucidated so far in the mysterious joke (or simply waiting for the punchline to be said), the zinger is delivered. And what a zinger it is.

But where is Oldton? absolutely drives the crowd nuts, and not in a good way. After all of that, it was just a simple turn of phrase involving the name. The joke is just opposites- Old and New. Something so idiotic and simple that yet, somehow, the crowd couldn’t see it coming.

Of course, not all bad jokes are of this variety. Some are instead much too convoluted for their own good. For example:

What is the difference between Sulphur Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide?

One is O-S, the other is O-NO!

 

This one sets the bar up rather high (at least relatively, compared to the previous one). Immediately, a question is put into the audience’s mind- what exactly is the major difference between the two compounds? The scientists of the group contemplate both the physical and chemical properties of the two, while others are left thinking the punchline is something you may only understand if you have a PhD in Chemistry.

And par for the course, it’s neither of the two. Instead of referring to their properties or anything (the person tells the joke is most likely not at all familiar with the two compounds in the slightest), it’s a pun on their chemical symbols. Sulphur Monoxide- SO- becomes O-S (phonetically “Oh, yes”), whereas Nitrogen Dioxide- NO2 – becomes ONO, or O-NO (phonetically “Oh, no”, much like the audience’s reaction to the joke). This is contrived to the point that no ordinary human being could possibly anticipate it.

In a way, it is the opposite of the previously mentioned Oldton joke. Instead of being ridiculously simple that it comes across as unexpected, this joke sets up a high bar only to dodge it entirely in an extremely long-winded approach. Yet, this too yields some ironic laughter in the same way as the Oldton joke does, leading one to believe they are similar in some aspect. These two appear to be completely different in their terrible punchlines, yet similar in their usual reactions.

By now, I have laid down the basic foundations of what constitutes a “bad joke”. They start off somewhat normally (or rather, they usually do), but then proceed to subvert expectations in the worst ways possible, usually by being so unexpected that no normal person could anticipate it…or by hardly subverting a thing at all. So far, however, we have discussed jokes genuinely intending to be funny, even if they did fall flat. There is another subcategory, though- the deliberately bad jokes. These weren’t made with good intentions. They are to irritate rather than to amuse.

Given below is a rather long example:

A man finds himself rather thirsty, so he goes out to buy a drink. He sees a shop selling milkshakes and enters it. There is a rather long line, however, but he decides to wait. One hour, two hours. This is the longest line he’s ever seen! His throat is getting dryer by the minute. He decides to leave and get a drink at another place.

 

So he walks some more, and sees a shop selling cider. He enters this one, but there’s still a rather long line. He waits there for another hour before realising that this is moving even slower than the previous one! So he exits, somewhat frustrated by his bad luck, and decides to go home. On his way back, though, he bumps into a woman. Bored and tired, he decides to chat with her. They start getting along well, and agree to meet up later.

 

They continue seeing each other for a long time, and start falling in love with each other. After a while, the man decides to propose to her. The woman accepts, and they get married some months later. After a while, the woman becomes pregnant with a child. During childbirth though, she passes away while the child- a boy- survives. The man is distraught by his wife’s death, but still decides to take care of his son.

 

After a while, the son grows up and becomes an adult. He decides to leave the house, searching for a new place to live. His father is now left all alone in his house. Suddenly he realises he’s still thirsty after all this time, and decides to go back out to get a drink.

 

He goes back to the street he visited all those years back. He sees the milkshake shop, and enters. The line is still as long as ever, but he decides to wait. One hour, two hours, three hours! Still absolutely nothing. Annoyed, he exits the shop, and sees the cider shop. Hoping to finally procure a drink, he enters, but the line is twice as long as it was before. He leaves without even waiting.

 

Now disgruntled and irritated, the man is left thirsty on the road. Then he remembers a shop that never had such large lines- a shop selling fruit punch! So he goes to the shop and enters it. And lo and behold, there’s no punchline!

 

The above joke is excruciatingly long and takes its own time, all to end on a frustratingly anticlimactic “punchline”, or rather lack thereof, which is much worse considering its enormous length. This is similar to the anti-jokes mentioned at the start of this thesis, where they subvert the crowd’s expectations by not having a punchline at all.

Analysing this joke, one can see it accomplishes this perfectly. It starts off rather plain, with just a man wishing to purchase a drink, and follows his journey through the very busy stores. Then the main plot comes to a very sudden halt, where the man meets someone else, settles down, gets married and has a child. Then we fast forward to years later, when his son leaves the house. Yet, the man still thirsts for a drink after this, which is honestly a better punchline than the actual one.

Then he revisits all the shops one by one, as the joke goes into exhilarating detail into simply saying that the lines are long as ever. Much like the man, the audience starts to get impatient, wondering what the joke is. And when the zinger is told, they cannot possibly contain their anger by being forced to endure this long mess. Just like the Oldton joke, it was something so idiotic and simple that yet, somehow, the crowd couldn’t even expect it at all.

And in the end, that is the beauty of bad jokes. They start off quite simple, but deliver a zinger so dumb that you cannot help but garner amusement from their stupidity. This is why, that, even despite their terrible quality, they’re still appreciated among others, no matter how ironic the appreciation may be.

The Emoji Movie (Actual Review)

Hello, everyone. As you may have surmised by now, yesterday’s “post” was my lame attempt at an April Fool’s joke. Disappointing, I know. To consolidate you, however, here’s my actual review on the Emoji Movie. I don’t really know if I can be quite San organised as last time, though, so this will be more of a rant than a proper review.

I also don’t know if my normal rating system can really be applied to this movie, so I’m going to have to think of something different for this. While I think of it though, here’s my review.

So, overall thoughts on it? …Don’t kill me for saying this, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong though, it was still bad to the point where I kept all the curtains closed and the door locked (no one must know), but I don’t have as bad an opinion on it that others do. It’s a pretty easy target anyhow, but it was…meh.

The story is almost like Foodfight. Already a terrific start, I know. All these objects you thought were inanimate are actually real and live in their own world, but when something bad happens to them the dumb protagonist and his even more moronic sidekicks have to save their world from being ruined while this terrible female villain tries to stop them. In the end, everything goes back to normal, the protag gets their girl and their dumb message is forced in. I’m pretty sure they both end on a dance number too. This movie’s especially is absolutely horrific.

The best part of the story was just how technologically inaccurate it was. Some things you could handwave by saying ‘oh it’s just a movie so it’s creative license’ but some stuff makes no sense, like making internet trolls just beings inside the phone?! The end is an absolute copout too. The dumb kid Alex or Arthur or whatever goes to get his phone deleted because it starts malfunctioning all the time but when Gene EXPRESSES HIMSELF (BECAUSE THAT’S THE THEME OF THE MOVIE, GET IT?!) and now is malfunctioning in a way that benefits Austin, he just goes “oh okay I guess this is good now” and unplugs the phone, WHICH ALSO BRINGS BACK ALL THE DELETED DATA?! Which allows those idiots to live I guess. Except Smiler, I dunno what happens to her after she gets crushed by her dumbbot.

The characters were hilariously entertaining in how they were all so mean-spirited. They make all these jokes which actually bring negative messages. Like when Gene and Hi-5 leave on their great adventure and the red wagon comes and asks if it can go, Hi-5 just says “TALK TO THE HAND” and they abandon him. Real nice of him. And then there’s this joke about how Jailbreak, now revealed to be a princess, can’t just whistle and have birds come to her because that’s a stereotype but afterwards, it turns out that she can do that! Hi-5 even comments on it. Great job, movie! Now I know to always believe stereotypes! A good message for the kiddies watching this. Not that there’s that many of them, but still.

The “romance” between the lead characters, if you can even call it that, was utter garbage. Watching the movie for the first time I could tell just when the writers decided ‘Yep, this is the part where the fall in love now’. And when Jailbreak says that she doesn’t want to just be in a romance and wants to pursue her own thing, Gene goes “waaaah, she doesn’t wanna be with me” and ‘meh’s out. How sour of him, as well as a good message. Remember, kids, if you ask someone out and they say they aren’t interested, you should definitely be angry with them because it’s their fault that they don’t love your perfect self!

The animation was subpar. Not much to say, it did its job without being bad or in the way. I guess you could say it was…meh. Jokes were hit and miss, which surprised me because there were actually hits at all. I don’t actually remember what they were, given, but I remember liking them so they probably existed as well. Biggest surprise for me was they only had four poop jokes (not including the butt jokes, there were about two or three of those). Incredible restraint on their part to only stop there.

Er, that’s mostly all that comes to mind. Terrible movie, but somehow fun to watch (and riff on). Even the popcorn didn’t taste that great. …Erm, right, ranking. Well, since they only made four poop jokes…then my ranking is 💩💩💩💩 out of ten, just because of the ironic enjoyment. If we’re talking about genuine enjoyment, then it’s probably out of hundred.

And that’s about it. Thanks for reading this, guys. More stuff coming this weekend, perhaps even more embarrassing than this is. Scary, I know.

~SC

The Emoji Movie (Review)

Hello, everyone! Sorry for the delay, I just wished to wait until today before posting this.

Now, I realise I’m somewhat late to reviewing this movie, seeing as it came out in July. Unfortunately, certain circumstances prevented me from seeing it until recently, so that is why I am only posting this now. Believe me, I wish I could have seen it earlier as well.

Anyway, let me get started. I shall go through each individual facet of this magnum opus of cinema and properly analyse all of them (no spoilers, of course). Starting with…

The Story 

The story is extremely well written, lacking in any flaws whatsoever. There are several plot threads beautifully intertwined throughout the movie, all of which  beautifully come to a close at the well written climax. From the main plot about Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreak trying to hack the phone so that Gene’s malfunction can be taken care of; the real world dilemma in which Alex, the owner of the phone, is seriously considering having it deleted as it ruins his chances with his crush; the subplot about Gene’s parents trying to locate him; and Smiler-the extremely psychopathic villain- trying to capture Gene and delete him so that everything will go back to normal.

The beautiful message about “expressing yourself” is oh-so subtly integrated as the characters literally say the exact same thing ad nauseum.  I find that the plot twist with Jailbreak is particularly surprising, but I will not spoil it for you Emoji Movie aficionados who still are waiting to look upon this film for the first time. The world of the phone is absolutely stunning as well, and puts other similar films like Inside Out, The Lego Movie, and even the mesmerising Foodfight to shame.  I especially liked that they added very real apps like Twitter, Instagram and the extremely infamous Piracy app to the phone and realistically implemented it in such a fashion that even I was nodding at the technological accuracy. For example, we all know that internet trolls aren’t real people in the world, but mere figments of your handheld device.

All in all, the story was superb, and I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

The Characters 

The characters are all incredible. Gene is the typical outcaste inside the phone who can express more than one emotion- which is looked down on by the others, I might add. I find that his character is especially well written in particular. A very well done attempt at social commentary, I dare even say. Hi-5 is the usual comic relief, and he does an exemplary job at it. Not once during the entire movie did I ever wanted to get up and strangle his stupid fingers to death. All of his jokes were, as the youngsters say it, LOL XD.

Jailbreak is the classic female sidekick, except competent. While watching the entire movie I was half expecting her to fall in love with Gene. But does she? That’s a surprise for all you viewers! I will say I definitely appreciate the wonderful feminist message they gave to here, though. Those are the classic trio, but there’s even more! Smiler, the evil smiley emoji- the very first of her kind, in fact! She is also well written in that the viewer comes to hate her just as much as the protagonist does. Always a hallmark of a great villain. Gene’s parents also have a larger part to play than expected, and I found myself liking those scenes quite a lot.

Overall, all the characters are well written and spectacular. I give them 5 out of 5 marks.

The Animation 

The animation is absolutely fantastic, as expected of Sony Pictures Animation. It really lends itself to the world of the phone. There isn’t much for me to say here, given that I’m not much of an animation expert, but you can tell that the animators really put their all into this.

I give the animation of this movie an excellent ranking.

The Music 

The Emoji Pop™ is a wonderful dance move and I shall be performing it for years to come. I give the music a thumbs up.

The Jokes 

The jokes were all hilarious and had me ROFL, as they say. I myself am fond of the jokes involving social media, especially the facebook scene. It really does make you think. The Candy Crush and Pen Pineapple Apple Pen cameos made me lose it as well.

If there’s one downside to the jokes, they really underused them. I kept track during the entire movie, and they only had FOUR poop jokes. Really, guys? Bit underselling it here.

So yes, I give the jokes a “Hahahahaha” out of hundred.

Overall

As I have said numerous times throughout this very review, The Emoji Movie is one of the best films I have seen in my life. I would watch it forever if I could, and I definitely recommend it to everyone in every age range. My overall score of the movie is 99 out of 98!

Thank you everyone for reading this. See you later!

¬SC

The Monsoon Gloom

Darkness enshrouds me
Little I can see
O Great Sunshine!
What has happened to thee?

No time to sleep
No time to scrounge
With heavy footsteps
I run to the lounge

I look at the time
Barely a quarter to nine
Somehow the day has only started
And already away the light has been carted

Says I, Good Lord!
What a horrible fright!
If it is morning
Why does it appear to be midnight?

This question to be answered
Does not take long
Soon the clouds start singing
Singing their mournful song

Their tears fall slowly
Crashing on the grounds
They splish and splash
And make other sounds

Thus I understand
Everything makes sense
For of their water
The clouds do dispense

The date is roughly a month after June
And so thus starts the monsoon gloom

Thunder roars
And lightning strikes
Those sounds are one of
My prominent dislikes

And yet I enjoy
The aura they make
The moody glum atmosphere
For God’s sake!

Even in the morning hours
Though it’s so dark
It’s rather enjoyable
And leaves quite a mark

Meanwhile, the splatters of raindrops slowly intensifies
This is wherein the true beauty of nature lies

The monsoon gloom, unloved and underrated
The love of its mood is understated
Some people like summer, which is fine
After all, not everyone likes darkness at a quarter to nine

But still, it is not to be feared
Nor is it to be leered at
The monsoon darkness is loving
Much like a pet cat

It is simply the rain
The beautiful tears of the sky
Would you be afraid or be mocking
If your friend started to cry?

And thus, as I think this
The great mourning ends
The sky brightens and the sun shines
They have finally made amends

Even though the aura does no longer loom
Forever I shall remember it
The Monsoon Gloom.


Hey guys, thanks for reading this! This one was pretty nice, I think. More on this poem under the cut if you’re interested.

Continue reading “The Monsoon Gloom”