Opinions and factishes about movies


10 things wrong with the Sonic trailer

Can we talk about the Sonic trailer for a moment? You know the one. Where one of our most beloved game characters is brutally butchered into a CG abomination that makes us want to boil out our eyes. Here are ten things wrong with the Sonic trailer. We insist you watch it before reading this list.

Click here for the trailer. Note from author: this blog was written on may 3th 2019. There is a possibility the look of Sonic will have been updated to a less… cringeworthy version by the time you read this.

1 Sonic

There are so many things wrong with the design of this character alone, we could make a Ten things wrong with Sonic list. But we won’t. Just look at it. Look.

We have played the game, of course, we have even watched the cartoon, back in the day. Nothing could prepare us for this kind of misrepresentation. The game character has evolved as the computers progressed, but how someone came to design this version of Sonic is beyond us. Look at his body, his teeth, his fur… Everything is just… wrong! That’s why this is the number one spot. The funny thing is that the internet, led by Xennials and Millenials, sort of imploded after this hyperactive trailer came out and Jeff Fowler replied on Twitter. There might be some improvements on Sonic, but the internet doesn’t forget.

2 Gangsta’s Paradise

Are you kidding us with this song? Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise in a Sonic the Hedgehog movie? This song about a guy living in the ghetto is so wrong in a movie about a blue hedgehog, there are no words. This was the theme song for the nineties movie Dangerous Minds, with Michelle Pfeiffer, as you might recall. This 24-year old rap hit just doesn’t fit anywhere in a Sonic movie. When Weird Al Yankovic parodied the song, Coolio was very much not pleased. We don’t know his opinion about the use of the song now, but we raised all of the eyebrows.

3 Jim Carrey

We’re not sure if the batshit crazy (and in our opinion very depressed) JC will either save or wreck this monstrosity, but time will tell. In the trailer his representation of Dr. Robotnik (who should be called Dr. Kintobor before changing into the bad guy, but who’s keen on backstory anyway…) is as obnoxious as only Jim Carrey can play. Imagine the Cable Guy, but without the lisp, merging with Lloyd Christmas doing ‘the most annoying sound in the world’ and you’re kind of there. We are cringing in advance. His initial look is off, but we see the endresult in the very last shot. At least they got the ‘stache right.

4 The slo mo guided missiles scene

At one point in the trailer Dr. Robotnik fires off a buttload of guided missiles towards Sonic. (He has to destroy him, of course. Oh, please tell us how. Dr. Robotnik is probably be the real hero of this movie.) Sonic pulls a move we have seen in multiple movies; looking at his watch first, going überfast to redirect the missiles and saving the day. We saw Hammy doing the exact same thing in Over the Hedge, as well as Quicksilver in X-Men; Days of Future Past. Oh, and Jim Carrey as the Mask when he throws Cameron Diaz in the air. It’s kind of a plot hole as well, because in the first few seconds a cop sees Sonic go 760mph. But sure. Sonic goes faster than the speed of missiles.

5 Failing to hide the creature

The protaginist has to sneak the weird creature in somewhere. Sounds familiar? That’s because it is. Roger Rabbit was sneaked inside a bar trashing around and speaking loudly in the trench coat of detective Eddie Valiant. (A detective is kind of like a cop, right?) And nobody noticed. In the Sonic trailer cop Tom tries to sneak the blue abomination in in a duffel bag. Sonic doesn’t shut up, of course, making it an awkward situation for the poor cop doing his best not to be caught with a wanted creature.

6 James Marsden

Don’t get us wrong, we love James Marsden. We’d eat some rusk with this guy, given the chance. Wether he plays Cyclops in an X-men movie, a handsome writer in 27 dresses or a television host in Hairspray, he’s fine. Marsden is a decent actor and quite a talented singer, did you know? He can pull off a nice Sinatra. But that’s besides the point. To carry this load of crap is just an insult to an actor of his caliber. And he plays a cop. Cliché.

7 The military

There should be a rule number about this. In movies, if there is SOMETHING, the military gets involved. Transformers, a planet with Unobtainium, aliens, it doesn’t matter. And there is always this unremarkable, snarky, bad tempered Major / Colonel / High Ranked guy. In this trailer his name is Bennington and he’s só generic, we kind of fell asleep. Watching Jim Carrey talk over him in a done-to-death underminig way multiple times was just annoying, not funny.

8 Sonic the alien

Sonic: “Basically it looks like I’m gonna have to save your planet.”

So Sonic is an alien in this story? He wasn’t an alien in the original game and other adaptations. He was from Mobius, which was generally earth in the future, so an alternate version of earth, but still earth. Also, he lived with his 5 sisters and mother in Nebraska under a hegde. But now he has to ‘save the planet’. *sigh* This probably explains why the military is involved: aliens.

9 “Meow.”

Oh, come ON. Can we get a good guy and a weird creature meeting without it being this stupid? We’ve seen it, guys. In all the movies. The protagonist meets the weird creature(s), screams or whatever and the creature says something ‘funny’. In this case it’s “Meow.” Ha. Ha. We kind of expexted the voice of Ryan Renolds. Apparently this is a nod to Sonic X, where Chris mistakes Sonic for a cat. In animation people are really really dumb, mistaking BLUE HEDGEHOGS for cats and creepy ass blue aliens for dogs.

10 Portals

In a very short part of the jam packed trailer we see Sonic throw a golden hoop and two people fall through it, like a portal. A closer look reveals that it’s James Marsden and a woman, probably Tika Sumpter. Of course there is a stupid romance sub plot nobody cares about in garbage like this. Portals are a great deus ex machina in movies, to save the heroes in the nick of time from splattering on a sidewalk. Can we get a portal out of this movie?


Scary: Black Mirror episode Nosedive vs. social ratings irl

Netflix Original series Black Mirror is definitely a must see. Social media and advanced technology play a big role in this dark, yet surprisingly gripping series. Today we’ll take a look at one of the best episodes: Nosedive. SPOILER ALERT.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Lacie Pound, a thirty-something woman in a very pastel looking futuristic version of the US. In the first shot we see the slightly overweight Lacie run at dawn, with something like a smartphone in her hand. We hear a sad piano melody play as backgroundmusic. As Lacie passes a group of other joggers, a guy says: “Hi, Lacie.” She squeels: “Hi!” and appears to send something with her phone to the guy. Soon we see what is it.

A five-star rating

Apparently in the reality of Nosedive, everyone is on a kind of Facebook, slash Instagram-hybrid, rating each other with one to five stars. We cut to a scene of Lacie in her bathroom, practicing smiling and laughing at her mirror. In her eye is a kind of lens which projects information on the mirror about herself: Lacie, 4.243. This is her social score, as we discover soon after. Lacie lives with her brother in a small apartment, but her heart is on a new place. At a coffeeshop Lacie is still looking at the picture perfect posts of people she knows, rating them. The barista JJ offers her a free cookie, so Lacie replies with a high-pitched: “Sounds awesome!”, after which she and JJ send 5 star-reviews to each other. A picture of Lacie’s cup of coffee with a half eaten cookie next to it (she spits out the bite) gets her a number of 5 star ratings. They make her smile. Interacting with a disgraced co-worker, result in a few one-star ratings. To counteract this, she posts a picture of a toy she made with her childhood friend Naomi. Naomi, incidentally, has a 4.8 rating and a seemingly perfect life.

Real life rating

In real life we sort of seem to do everything for that kind of social rating as well. On social media we ‘like’ each others posts and we enjoy getting likes on our own. The more likes you get, the better it feels. Our succes is visible in the amount of followers on social media. This kind of social rating system is starting to take hold in other parts of life. In China there is a social rating system active already. With a lower rating, people have more difficulty to get loans, for instance. At the end of 2018 statistics say that already 17 million flights have been denied to people based on their rating and 4,5 million weren’t allowed to get a train ticket. It’s pretty scary that the world in Nosedive is closer than we think. The pretty lives people show on social media are not as pastel in reality. People choose to show the beautiful parts, like in this eposide. It’s not yet the daily task we see here, but life does seem to get more ‘online’ and fake, like Lacie’s disgusting coffee. How does it play out for her?

Fake everthing

Lacie wants to opt for a nice apartment, but she needs a 4.5 star rating to apply. That evening Naomi asks her to be her maid of honor because of her post. This will be great for her rating, so she applies for the house and transfers the deposit. “She fucked Greg!” Lacie’s brother incredulously exclaims. Lacie starts practicing the perfect speech for the wedding, including a forced tear at the end. A fight with her brother about the fakeness of her life makes Lacie late for her cab to the airport and after she bumps into someone, her rating starts going down. From this point on the episode shows Lacie trying to make it to the wedding, all the while losing more points and getting increasingly more agitated.

Losing everything

At the airport she is denied a ticket because her rating isn’t high enough, so she has to rent a car. Things go from bad to worse. It becomes painfully clear that having a lower rating means that everything is more difficult and that the people around Lacie even rate her based on her lower rating alone. As it turns out, Naomi only invited her to the wedding because of her rating. “When I asked you to speak, you were a 4.2, okay?” Naomi says on the phone, “And the authenticity of a vintage bond low four at a gathering of this caliber played fantastically on all the simulations we ran.” She says Lacie isn’t allowed to come to the wedding anymore with a 2.6 rating.

In a world where it looks like everyone has a big social network, Lacie turns out to be totally alone. Breaking down completely and sneaking into the wedding, Lacie ends up loses all her points. (Roll credits: Nosedive.) When she’s arrested and put in a cell without her smartphone, she suddenly seems to experience… freedom. There is nobody to impress for a 5 star rating and there is no one to give a rating to. Losing everything she worked and faked so hard for, Lacie is finally free.

We wonder if we will ever be freed again of the social rating systems that imbedded themselves in our daily lives. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Ariel and Hercules related

Disney family matters: Hercules and Ariel are related

Did you know that beloved Disney princess and mermaid Ariel and ultimate fitboy and demigod Hercules share ancestors? They are cousins. How do we figure? Well, settle in for a bit of Greek mythological history.

Hercules’s father was Zeus. As most of us know, Zeus was quite infamous for sleeping around with all kinds of lovely ladies (or not so lovely ladies and sometimes not even ladies at all) – producing offspring left, right and center. In the Disneyverse however, he’s happily married to Hera, who is quite a nice lady in this adaptation. Hercules, by the way, is the Roman name of the mythological Disney-hero. In Greek mythology we know this dude as Herakles. All other characters in the Hercules-movie got their Greek names, but Disney might have liked the sound of Hercules better. That’s curious, isn’t it? Well, never mind. In mythology the married and mortal Alkmene bore demi-god Hercules. Zeus was such a player.

Family tree

By the way, Hera wasn’t just the wife of the adulterous grecian thundergod: she was also Zeus’ sister. Lannisters approve, right? Anyway, how is Herc related to the red-haired beauty whose bottom side is all fishy? Well, take a look at the family tree of old Zeus.

His parents in mythology are the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and his brothers are Hades and Poseidon. Hades rules over the underworld and Poseidon reigns over the seas, leaving Zeus to be the lord of the heavens. Alright, you can already ‘sea’ where we’re going, right?

One of Poseidon’s sons is Triton, Ariels short-tempered and kind of racist father. So Hercules and Ariel share a set of ancestors in Cronus and Rhea. There we are. Triton is Hercules’ uncle, which makes Ariel and Hercules cousins.

Well, that was easy. A bit of mythological lore, with a little Disney sauce on top, and nobody had to translate any texts from Old Greek. If Pixar movies are interconnected, Disney is going down that road as well.

This theory is discussed by The Film Theorists on YouTube.

Simon Masrani
‘The key to a happy life is to accept you are never actually in control.’

Said by: Simon Masrani in Jurassic World

Seems like the Dude is back.

We’re pretty sure this tweet speaks for itself. If you don’t know what this is about, we just don’t know what to tell you, man. This tweet from Jeff Bridges indicates that there’s a sequel to the infamous Coen Brothers movie “The Big Lebowski” coming. Apparently, we’re to expect something on 2 march 2019. Have they done an entire sequel in secret and are they releasing it? If it is, this must be the most minimalistic way to announce it. And knowing the Dude, that’s exactly what he’d do.

Hunger Games

Hunger Games: How to make the odds in your favour

In 2012 the film adaptation of The Hunger Games hit theatres. In a post apocalyptic version of the United States, 24 children from 12 districts are chosen and thrown into an arena to kill and survive. The evil Capitol uses the catchphrase: “May the odds be ever in your favour.” But can you do that? How can you make the odds be in your favour so you have the best chance to survive?

First of all: don’t volunteer if your name is not drawn. That will make your chances of survival a 100%. If you are chosen, however, there are things you càn do. Sulking around and being anti-social like Katniss will not improve your chances. Maybe you think that age or gender are big factors in the Hunger Games, but you would be wrong. It also doesn’t really matter from which district you are either.

In this theory from the YouTube channel The Film Theorists they explain how you can actually turn the odds in your favour. If you want to survive the Hunger Games, you might want to pay attention. There are some pretty clever tips and tricks you can use and emerge alive, thus victorious!

How to survive the Hunger Games part 1

How to survive the Hunger Hames part 2

Sierra Burgess

Sierra Burgess is a Loser: another ugly duckling story

Netflix movie ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser‘ is the classic tale of the ugly duckling falling for the handsome jock-guy. In this cliché riddled modern teen drama the high school ‘kids’ are, as always, in their twenties and speaking like they have an autocue nearby. Fact: in real life people do not. And we never have. If you’re planning on watching Sierra Burgess, SPOILER ALERT.

Believe me, we like the ugly duckling story just as much as any other former ugly duckling, but it’s getting so damn stale by now. Truth be told, the ending was clear within the first ten minutes. If you mix She’s All That, Ten Things I Hate About You, Mean Girls and 13 Reasons Why, you’re pretty much there. Except the supposedly losery girl is actually quite obese in this movie, in stead of a damn supermodel wearing glasses or overalls. But Sierra is witty and intelligent as fuck, of course. And beautiful, in her own way. Of course. And she can sing. There is some Cyrano in there as well. (Or, Roxanne, which is basically the same story.)

We can sum up this movie in two sentences. 1 Witty Fat Girl is texting and calling Handsome Guy, who thinks he’s texting and calling Dumb Pretty Mean Girl. 2 After some obvious misleading misunderstandings Mean Girl turns to Nice Girl and Witty Fat Girl gets Handsome Guy.

Real life

As someone who actually was that ugly (albeit slender) loser girl between the age of 4 and 15, this movie pisses me off. The volume of unrealistic bullshit is staggering and the amount of teen romcom drama cliches curled my toes. No, Netflix. It doesn’t work like that in real life. Not in the late nineties, not today. No matter how witty or smart you are, you never get The Guy if there is a more pretty girl around who is also witty.

As a pretty okay-ish looking adult, I actually asked my ‘The Guy’ what that pretty girl had that was so damn special. “Nothing.” he said, “I don’t even remember her. I remember you more than I remember her.” It was quite satifsying to meet him after I grew into a normal adult, to be honest. It is also *very* satisfying to see that the popular girls who bullied me have turned into unattractive fat housewives… but I digress.

Back to high school drama. Real life doesn’t work like all those movies and series show us. It’s rare to be the ugly duckling and actually turn into that swan. Or rather a normal, happy, healthy duck. Quack.

Fake versus real: a list of things

I’m going to make a list about the… lets call them ‘Fake High School Romance Drama’s’. I have named a few movies (and another Netflix-serie) which are similar to Sierra Burgess is a Loser. Which boxes do they tick off and what is the difference with real life?

1 Age of the actors

The young actors having to play high schoolers are mostly in their early- to midtwenties, something that sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course we’ve seen this in Grease, when a 30-year old had to play 17. Come on, Hollywood. Is it so hard to find decent actors who actually look like teenagers? Apparently. The massive Shannon Purser, who plays Sierra (and Barb in Stranger Things), is born on june 27, 1997, which means she was at least 20 at the time SBiaL was filmed.

2 Way of talking

I’ve said this earlier. The way the ‘kids’ talk is way too mature and witty. Nobody talks the way the teenagers do in movies and series. The worst might be Ellen Page as Juno, (Juno) who talks like she’s reading a philosophy book out loud all the time. In real life we mess up our lines. We stutter or shut down. We talk like human beings, especially when we’re teenagers. Okay, we may get a few good lines every now and then, but it’s mostly improvising the crap out of everything.

3 Peer groups

The jocks, the losers, the cheerleaders… It appears people fall into very sharp categories in Fake High School Romance Drama’s. Real high school is less divided, at least where I’m from. Birds of a feather flock together, so you probably have some things in common with your friends, but in my experience it’s not that extreme. The majority of us don’t really fall in any category anyway.

4 Adults

The parents and/or teachers in the FHSRD’s are mostly divided into two groups: understanding and cool or aloof and dense. They appear to be completely oblivious to the lives and struggles of their kids/students, giving the most unhelpful advice or grounding someone for no apparent reason. Adults in the real world are just people, in stead of stereotypes. Personally I have never even heard of someone who was actually grounded.

5 The same story

All those stories have the same premise. There is a high school where nearly everyone is ridiculously pretty. (Have you seen the actors and extra’s in 13 Reasons Why? My. Effing. God. It’s like a model bomb exploded over there.) There is an unpopular girl, she falls for a handsome guy and there are popular kids who act like assholes. In the end the unpopular girl overcomes her loserness and the mean ones learn their lesson. In real life this does not happen. Mostly because the mean jerks don’t even realise what assholes they are and ugly losers just don’t get their overly goodlooking love interests. They get other ugly losers and that’s okay.

6 Prom

I’m sure you can name at least 3 scenes involving a prom. Carrie, anyone? The ugly duckling is wearing a lovely dress and has transformed into the beautiful swan she was meant to be. The love interest is stunned by her new appearance, after which there is a shared dance and/or kiss. Don’t we just love extreme make overs… In reality nobody suddenly shines like a diamond at the prom. Either they were good looking to begin with or they stayed themselves, but in a better outfit.

7 Happy ending

Most endings are happy ones. Well, except for 13 Reasons Why, of course, but that’s a whole other story. In reality there is no end. Life doesn’t magically stop after the prom. Most people don’t end up with their high school sweethearts anyway and the naive ones that did, have turned into single parents by now. I’m quite glad I didn’t marry one of my high school sweethearts. The thing is: you’re a child and your brain and personality are in no way finished before the age of 25. So it’s fine to date and to learn what you want out of a significant other before tying the knot. There are no end credits in real life.

Why so serious? It’s a movie, Wordy!

I hear you. In reality the guy would be appalled, hurt and offended by the blatant catfishing the girls pulled off. But this is a movie, so the pretty guy takes the loser girl to prom. Of course things are totally unrealistic in movies, because we enjoy watching the FHSRD’s. We root for the loser to get the guy and we wish we could indeed turn out crazy pretty at our prom. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy watching Sierra Burgess is a Loser, but it was just so painfully predictable. I said: “Both of you.” out loud at the exact moment the pretty boy did. Every plottwist came at the exact moment I expected it and the end was precisely as all those other movies. (Except for the obese thing, but the guy said he liked that. Real women have curves, y’all! If curves mean having your belly hanging over your belt… Muffin-tops are the new six pack, I guess.)

I’d like to see a FHSRD where the actors are actually teenagers, where not everyone is beautiful and where the lead just gets over his or her crush and goes on with life. We at Reasonish did and we turned out pretty fine.

Roll credits.

By the way

The title is stupid. Sierra does very well in school and she has a sweet best friend who’s there for her. She’s a tutor, she speaks multiple languages, she plays an instrument, she can sing and her parents are caring, wealthy, succesful and happily married. Sierra may be unpopular, but she is NOT a loser. You can also watch are you the one season 10 if you are interested.

Making a Murderer - Season 2

Spoilers: Making a Murderer Season 2 – Is there justice in Wisconsin?

Anyone who has watched the entire first series of the Netflix-documentary “Making a Murderer” will at least vaguely remember the rollercoaster of emotions that is generated by watching this series. When the first season ended, viewers were left wondering about the guilt of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, but anyone with an ethical bone in his body and anyone with any respect for the judicial process couldn’t help but being marvelled, shocked and appalled by the way this investigation and its subsequent court proceedings ended with two persons being jailed.

Making a Murderer – Season 2 is that same rollercoaster of emotions. We’ll try to summarize what we learned. If you’re planning on still watching the new season: there will be spoilers. Lots. In this season Kathleen Zeller is hired as Steven’s new lawyer to clear the charges for theft of a car. Remember that he tried to become his own lawyer in the first season of Making a Murderer? Well, she’s taking over, and she’s doing a tremendous job. Right from the start, she starts doing a serious investigation. She buys the same car as Teresa Halbach had. Then, she starts by trying to reproduce the narrative that got Steven convicted.

Not enough blood, too much DNA and way too clean

And she does that with attention to detail. The blood in the car? Turns out – it should have been on a lot of places, but not where there was blood. The DNA under the hood? Way more DNA was found there than opening the hood would explain. Also, the sample was squeaky clean. Not at all the way a swap from under the hood of a car would have looked. She then discovers that there was actually DNA taken from Steven’s groin (try and unsee that). It was never entered into evidence. Yeah, it probably got swapped. The DNA on the key was also 10 times more than you would find on a key that a person held. And every time the results were way too clean for a normal crime scene.

Blood spatter patterns don’t match the story

The blood spatters on the back door of the car matched a pattern that was different from what the DA said might have happened. She wasn’t thrown in the back of the car. The blood doesn’t have the right pattern. Someone probably hit her with a hammer while she knelt at the back of the vehicle. So, that rules out shooting her in the garage.

Bullet didn’t have skull fragments

Which does explain the fact that there was no bone residue on the bullet that had her DNA on it, the one that supposedly went through her skull. It probably only went through a piece of wood. So how did her DNA get on it? Well, the DNA-samples that were taking from Teresa’s apartment didn’t follow the rest of the evidence but made their way onto the Avery-territory. And they included a chapstick, which probably explains the greasy substance seen on the bullet.

So now there’s no murder bullet, the blood spatters indicate the murder wasn’t inside, Steven’s blood in the car couldn’t be reproduced by someone bleeding from a cut and the DNA sample from the hood is too clean. Also, an expert on burning bodies indicates that the firepit Steven is supposed to have burned Teresa in with two tires isn’t possibly enough to destroy an entire body. So what happened to the rest of Teresa?

Wait, there’s more (bones)!

Turns out there were more human bones, far outside of the Avery property! Well, how convenient.. maybe somebody should have said so during the trial? I mean, human bones. With cut marks, even. They were spread out over the terrain near where the cell phone records said she was last – so, no longer on the Avery property. That means they found evidence that she was cut up and not burned in a huge fire. Leaving that out of the trial… at some point you can no longer conclude that “hey, maybe he did it and they were just incompetent?”

Pure, diabolical evil

During the 10 episodes that this season of Making a Murderer offered, the feeling of evil really started to take a hold. Pure, diabolical evil of the dark overlord-kind. The system decided that Avery was guilty and nothing could stand in the way of that. Not the lack of evidence, not the evidence to the contrary. At one point in the documentary, a witness came forward that had spotted Teresa’s car by the side of the road. This was before they found it at the Avery site. Sure enough, he reported it to a cop. Which cop, you ask? That couldn’t have been a cop involved in his previous wrongful conviciton, right? Well… you might very well think that, but you’d be wrong. Remember: Avery served 18 years for a previous crime that he didn’t commit and was suing the police at the time. A detective had rung the officer in the 90s saying that he had found the real perp…. and the agent answering the phone didn’t act on that information.

Of course it was!

Yes, that was the same cop who now got information from a truck driver on the whereabouts of Teresa’s car. And he verified that it was Teresa’s car via phone, but never reported seeing the car standing by the side of the road. IT WAS THE SAME DAMN COP!

The rollercoaster is real…

You can’t help but be convinced that malificent wrongdoing got Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey into jail, not just astonishing incompetence. The above is just a summary of evidence that Kathleen Zeller collected. The season is so much more than just that. It tells the tale of the suffering of families, particularly the mothers of both Steven and Brendan. Zeller looks at possible other suspects. Making a Murderer makes you feel the frustration of the elderly Avery’s as they are missing their son (56) who has now been in prison for more than half his life and the clock is ticking for them. It makes you feel anger at Ken Kratz, who has stepped down as DA for unprofessional behaviour, but is actively doing a media tour with the highlight of him doing a press conference at the day of an appeal where he has no business being.

The soundtrack does an amazing job of supporting this rollercoaster of emotions in what is, in essence, a slow-paced documentary. It’s made to make you feel the importance of each discovery and it does exactly that.

No justice in Wisconsin

But the most astonishing thing about Making a Murderer – Season 2? At the end of the season, both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are still in jail, wasting away their life while Zeller is bent on proving Averies innocence and Dassey’s legal options to fight against the heartwrenching so-called “confession” have apparently run out. None of the facts line up and yet, it looks like no-one on the side of the prosecution is willing to take a stand and start looking for the real killer. Ultimately, it makes you feel like there is no room for justice in Wisconsin, and maybe not in America.


The secret of Cobb’s totem in Inception

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 masterpiece Inception has a rather ambiguous ending, everyone who saw the movie knows this. There have been a lot of theories about it since the release, but we have found the definite answer to the biggest secret of Cobb’s totem! (If you haven’t watched Inception yet: major spoilers ahead, so be warned. Also: watch it as soon as possible!)

When I went to the theatre in 2010, a friend who had already seen the movie gave me the best piece of advice ever: “Just let it wash over you. Don’t try to understand everything, just let it happen.” Because I hadn’t read anything about it yet, I was able to enjoy the movie immensely this way and it has been one of my favorites ever since. Inception is a mindfuck on every layer, so you have to pay attention to fully understand it and appreciate it’s incredible premise.

The totem

A big plotpoint are the totems. To give the dreamer proof that he is dreaming, they are advised to have a totem. “You need a small object, potentially heavy which you can have on you all the time.” Arthur explains how he has a loaded die of which only he knows the exact balance and weight. “That way, when you look at your totem, you know beyond a doubt that you’re not in someone else’s dream.” Dom Cobb’s totem is supposed to be a spinning top that belonged to his dead wife Mal. But is it?


Mal’s spinning top totem used to spin infinitely if they were in a dream, but toppled over in reality. That way she could make sure she was dreaming or if she was awake. (Not that it helped, because she committed suicide nontheless.) It’s implied heavily that Dom uses this same technique during multiple scenes. The thing is that Arthur tells Ariadne that she can’t touch his totem, because that would negate the purpose. Dom, however, actively uses his wife’s totem. Weird, right? We also never find out what his totem was before she died…

The secret

What if the spinning top isn’t Cobb’s totem at all, but just a memento? At the end of the movie, we see him spin the top on the table and then walk to his kids without a backwards glance. We, the audience, watch the top spin and spin and eventually give the tiniest of wobbles before the screen cuts to black. Ambiguous, right? Not really. (Besides Nolan having explained that Dom is indeed awake at the end of the movie.) Have you noticed that Dom is wearing his wedding ring whenever he is in a dream? When he is awake, there is no ring. Rewatch Inception and you’ll see it’s true. We think the wedding ring is Cobb’s totem, not the spinning top. It makes more sense, because it is actually his own. He just has to look down at his hand to see if the ring is there to know if he’s dreaming. That is even easier than spinning a top. So there it is; the big secret of Inception: the ring is Dom’s true totem. That’s why he doesn’t have to look back at the spinning top on the table at the end.


Dom Cobb in Limbo with Saito, wearing his wedding ring.


Dom Cobb spinning his dead wife’s totem, sans wedding ring.

Hook Liar Liar Jingle All The Way

Comparing Hook, Liar Liar and Jingle All The Way

We’re going to take a look at nineties legends Hook, Liar Liar and Jingle All The Way today. The nineties were chuckfull of great movies with amazing plottwists (Fight Club), awesome special effects (Titanic) and loving patriotism (Armageddon and basically every movie situated in the US.) The failing dad-trope isn’t limited to the nineties, as we could see in 2012, War of the Worlds and Interstellar, but it is one of the key components in the three movies we’ll be comparing.

Meet the three protagonaist first. In Hook (1991) we have the overweight lawyer Peter Banning, played by Robin Williams. Another lawyer, but a smooth one, is Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar (1997), played by rubberface Jim Carrey. In Jingle All The Way (1996) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the muscley salesman Howard Langston. [Spoileralert.]

Now let’s take a look at the list of similarities.

1 Annoying sons

The failing dads in all three movies have an annoying little boy to disappoint. The kids are basically interchangeable with their nineties haircuts and whiney voices. We don’t even know their names and we don’t have to, because it doesn’t really matter. The boys have only two traits anyway: they like a certain sport and they love their daddy.

2 Perpetually late

The dads are perpetually late to everything, especially important moments for the boys. Both Banning and Langston think they can make the sportsevent of their sons, even yelling: “I’m gonna make it!” and then arrive when the event is already over. As in: way over. Fletcher has some other things on his mind (and dick) that make him late.

3 Workaholic

The reason these daddies are late all the time is, of course, their job. The workaholic father is a special kind of failing dad. Howard even says “And remember, you’re my number one costumer.” to his wife on the phone. The positive part is that the fathers are rolling in dough, which makes their quests a lot easier.

4 The promise

Peter has a catchphrase about The Big Promise (to attend the ballgame): “My word is my bond.” He missed the game, however, and when he actually uses this phrase again, the son answers: “Yeah, junkbond…” In Jingle all the way Howard promises his son to come to the parade: “I’ll be there. I promise.” Even though he eventually shows up as a part of the parade, he still breaks his original promise. Fletcher promises son Max that they can go play catch, which never happens, and he promises his ex-wife that he’ll pick up the boy, but he fails. Even when he makes ‘the mother of all promises’, he messes up.

5 Generic mothers

The mothers in all three movies are pretty, brownhaired and generic. Boring, basically. They only display one charactertrait: disappointment in the dad. None of the mothers explain what ‘workaholic’ means, though, nor do they seem to make a lot of effort to get through to the fathers. But they love their kids and that’s the most important.

6 Other fatherfigure who doesn’t mess up

In all three movies there is a substitute fatherfigure who doesn’t mess up like the biological one does. In Liar Liar the mom has a new boyfriend who’s actually a nice guy. He tries to bond with his girlfriend’s son and wants what’s best for both of them. Captain Hook, played by Dustin Hoffman, tries to win over the son just to fuck with Peter Pan, and he almost succeeds. Howard’s divorced neighbour does his best to seduce the mom and he maintains the façade of the perfect single dad. The other mothers in the street practically drool over him all the time. His son even mentions to his friend that maybe his parents should get divorced as well.

7 The gift

The boys all get a gift from their fathers. Fletcher doesn’t know what’s in the gift, because his secretary bought the ‘baseballstuff’, but Puddingbowl Haircutboy loves it. Peter gives his pocketwatch to son Jack, which functions as a kind of McGuffin in Hook. The biggest McGuffin is of course the Turboman action figure Howard keeps trying to get his hands on during Jingle All The Way. When tiny Anakin eventually gets the doll, he gives it away… because ‘he already has the real one at home.’ Really? A boy who gives away a special edition action figure? *sigh*

8 Antagonist

The antagonist in Liar Liar is probably Fletcher himself, but his bitchy boss fits the bill as well. We don’t even have to explain the bad guy in Hook, but in Jingle All The Way Howard meets a mailman he keeps bumping into. This guy is also looking for the Turboman action figure and they keep battling for the toy until the bad guy goes to jail.

9 Flying

Howard and Peter’s flying is pretty literal in Hook and Jingle All The Way. Peter Pan manages to fly eventually because he finds his ‘happy thought’ and Howard gets to don the Turboman suit with jetpack. Fletcher does a bit of flying when his stolen cart crashes at the airport.

10 Bonding

After all the danger and drama has passed, all fathers bond with their sons, bettering themselves and changing their ways. Or so we’re to believe. Banning overcomes his fear of flying and open windows, while Reede finally realises he shouldn’t take his son for granted and Langston admits he’d been neglecting his son and wife. “But noe moah!” They all live happily ever after.

Read about surprising voice-actors here.