Movie Roundup – 2016 and THE NERVE!

I’ll have you know that I owe the world a few tidbits about things in the movieverse that i’ve been watching.  In this post, i’ll be talking about rented, streamed and theatre viewed movies released either this year or in the past.  However, all of the movies spoken about except for minor mentions, are likely to be WATCHED in 2016.  This is because i’m very annoying and I never am good at doing full reviews (they end up as huge rants).

WARNING: The last end of the review about the movie NERVE is long, rant-like and entirely opinionated.  Read at will, if not – stop at My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.  Especially because honestly i’m not writing a whole new blog post JUST for a long winded rant! 

What our family does in the shadows

Normally, we rent movies – or we’ll stream a few here and there on our apple tv through various sources.  I also regularly TRY to make it to the theatre, but have had a few travelling tidbits where I had to save extra cash to help out for stuff. (I’ll tell you more about that sort of stuff later!).  Yes, I eat POPCORN, yes i manage to even pull a large or super large MT Dew just to stay awake during the movies (I’m not 12 anymore shut up.)…

New Zealand, i love the choc-tops, but until you make soy ones – I’m screwed, and nobody wants to smell me after i’ve had lactose intolerance downwind experience.

Let’s start with this week, though probably a tad pre-emptive, because i’m sure there’s movies on in the days coming or rentable ones?  Gah, why can’t they just get all the new movies out so i can go back to being a nerd?

From memory serving we’ve watched several movies – and i’m sure to miss a few because we have had the Movie Channels on SKY (Kinda like the US Cable’s HBO etc etc.. just … y’know if we wanted HBO in NZ we’d get soho, and that’s not cheap.).  We also had the family laden CHRISTMAS CHANNEL for a few days before this week – so i’ll probably just note the ones I remember watching in the last few days..  I may edit this and ask mom later if she remembers (or i’ll bother to troll the TV GUIDE) ..

Roll With the Movies:

YESTERDAY I personally engaged in (cause one of the movies i didn’t fully pay attention to, so in my eyes i’ll just write that MOM WATCHED IT!):

Batteries Not Included

(Stephen Spielberg directed it!) –  My comments are as usual, for it’s time it was awesome.  Ok, it’s still adorable, and it still has a place in time – sure the animation and technology is a bit cheesy but it was the 80s.  To this day the closest you’ll get is WALL-E, and even WALL-E can’t fix up a derelict building in the middle of a torn down neighborhood.

Mom watched – Green Mile.  I payed MINOR attention to it, made jokes about Lt. Dan and Forrest Gump-y while mom rolled her eyes at me. (Ok shh, i know i’m not 12 anymore.)

We went out and RENTED movies as the choice left on the seriously over repeated movie channels here drove us nuts…
In Order We WATCHED:  Walt Before Mickey, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and NERVE.

Walt Before Mickey –

A cute, sometimes slow moving introspect into the pre World War 2 era of business and animation.  A timely tale of how the Disney Brothers – namely Walt, got his name across and made it into the big business.   It was a little hard to pay attention to, i was really more intersted in playing MINI METRO than watching most of this.  Live action wikipedia movies aren’t my thing.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

OH HO HO, I think i watched most of the first – or didn’t pay half attention to the first.  I should have, because even though you do note whos who etc – this is imperitave to get the family jokes.  Knowing that i’ve got irish and german heritage, it cracked me up to see how close these families get.

Knowing it’s also hollywood media, and a screenplay loosely based on the main actor’s life – It was still adorable.  The father’s adoration and drive to be a “Direct Descendant of Alexander the Great” – and the kids spilling out Spanish words that were “Actually Greek Derivatives…” made it a laugh.

I have to take a 20 second break from writing because THE SMALLER OF THE TWO DOGS WE HAVE wants direct attention and tummy pets…  And if i don’t do it, she’ll growl at me and whelp and whine and YAP.

Ok back to where I was about to go with this, the whole movie had laughs and drama and turnarounds.  It did what it was meant to do: Make you pay so much attention that you’ll snort your drink, choke on candy canes and pee your pants.  And not all in that order.  Sometimes it’s a pre emptive, early in the day before you watch the movie action – when you’re not looking and your mom makesa dumb joke so hard you choke on your choco candy cane and you inhale it … and she laughs at you…

That’s the kinda family irish, greek or whatever – this movie presented the sense of family enough that well, it didn’t just warm the heart, it warmed everything!



No, that’s not my review.  That’s just my nerdy opening line to get you wondering what the heck this movie really was about.  I don’t even remember this sucker getting into the theatres here, and I’m oddly thinking this would’ve been worth more than just cheap microwave popcorn and more Dew and a bucket of popcorn.

To quote the ACTUAL plot of the movie (as it’s not a well known flick i’d assume):

From Wikipedia:

Nerve is a 2016 American thriller film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and written by Jessica Sharzer, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan. The film stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis, and revolves around an online objective truth or dare video game, which allows people to enlist as “players” or “watchers” as the game intensifies.


Ok, i’m less worried about reviewing the actors and the this that and the other thing (cause I wondered why one of the guys was so familiar…) – and more to talk and review the thrilling yet nerve wracking technology that can come with this sort of movie.

People who read the back of the DVD automatically assume it’s virtual reality, like you log into Second Life and you go screw some alien in a back alley and log out and you get lindens for it.  If that was the game, and it was that easy to get Linden Dollars for it – sure, i’d probably be up for it.

But not if it was the level of personalized, IP hacking – Identity theft laden game that the movie presents.  I’m not even reviewing the “who did what right and wrong” of the technology world.  I’m talking about the fact this movie presented some really great arguments about how this sort of game would work.  How the technology we trust today can be turned against us.

Sure, it could be an artistic way of saying “Eh, no it didnt’ mean anything it was just a game!” – but I’m an asshole, and i’d like to tell you kids about a thing called  THE INTERNET.

They talk about the DARK WEB, as if nobody knows about it.  The truth of the matter is, after all that my mother asked politely if someone we know that is in jail for child porn and abuse charges – if he was using dark web.   The possibilities are there, but more likely people that don’t know about the dark web, don’t know how to access it – because the “dark web” they spoke of in the movie wasn’t the easy dark web.

10% of the interet is about right, and that 10% includes 4chan, 2chan and even the good old Encyclopedia Dramatica.  This number percentage also includes in my opinion your old variety of condom-safe but only if not broken, torrent sites and napster etc. The problem in my descriptions is that I have a knowledge about technology from knowing people who knew how to get into things.  I dabbled in areas – so my knowledge isn’t deep, and i’m not perfect.

I also know this is now turning into a rant, and not a movie review but PLEASE stay with me – There’s a REASON FOR THIS!  (And i think that i’ve forgotten all the christmas movies we watched because OMFG there was SO MANY OF THEM…)

Ok so THE REST OF THE INTERNET isn’t something i can fully classify without having a huge list in front of me, but to speak on the few things they showed in the movie…

Tor browsers, bot nets – deposting and removing money from bank accounts without even logging in with personal information.  Devising ways of getting personal information, and not for advertising purposes.  When you hear of a data breach,  the technologies used as a reference in this movie are similar.

So when your kid’s talking about “HACKING” a “PORTAL” (or poodle as i call them.. long story) – They’re not talking about the dark web, they’re talking about a Sci Fi mobile game called Ingress.  Look it up, that’s what started the freaking Pikachu craze your son’s probably going on about – for the tenth time he’s probably evolved his Santa Raichu.

The problem isn’t the technology referenced, it’s the fact that there’s a sting of reality that people won’t see when watching the movie.  They’ll gloss over it because they’ll be like “OOO FICTION!” – because it’s no longer the 80s, we think we don’t like reality so we think we’ll just convienently gloss over crap.   People won’t see the dangers of things like- going out on a whim with a stranger…

Uh, anyone ever heard of STD’s?  Public indecency, breaking laws and OMFG let’s not go onto the fact that tumblr itself would tear this movie apart. (Like just the colors would trigger someone on there, the nerve!!!)

I was born in the 80s, they call me GEN Y, they call me Millenial – they call me lazy, mentally ill and dumb.  Frankly, that’s cause social studies and sociology doesn’t know how to put two and two together to get an actual story.  The idea that you do these things, even with modern virtual or augmented reality games, worldwide or locally – can scare the pants off people.

I’m not saying that using MMO’s or Virtual Worlds does to me – i’m the first person in the house to get hit for having friends that aren’t local.

I’m more saying the local, the laws – the dangers, sure there’s a rush – but the fact is – there’s people hacking there’s people deep digging even without a real version of this game.  I’m not scared of what they’ll find,  I know i’m plastered all over the interet – sadly that’s something i’ve gotten used to.

There’s people that have a clue what your phone numbers are, and it is no longer a day and age where stolen identity theft is over the phone, or because you left your wallet at Wendy’s or Dairy Queen.  The idea that your facebook profile is a minefield of personal information, location information and payment information.

Some people themselves, find this danger – but only because they don’t understand the modern world of technology.   The danger isn’t in the companies existing and having servers and secure technology to hold your payments and personal info for advertising purposes.  Nobody’s perfect, and there’s always a back door – locking it doesn’t help as there’s always a will and a way.

They talked about bot nets, they talked about depositing money back and forth – they talked about running naked through expensive department stores..

I think my parents would call the last one “I did that once, i was drunk.  Been there done that got the t-shirt.”  – I wondered for years why they always said that, until I watch the younger generation update the crap they’re doing thinking it’s something shiny and new..

Yea, i sound like my parents “BACK IN MY DAY…” – frankly, back in my day if i honestly put a firecracker in a bottle and let it off in the middle of nowhere, got caught – my parents would’ve had a field day with me.   The words repeat “Been there done that, got the souveniers … why do you think i told you not to?” – Some of my generation got away with it, but I never bothered. I was too chicken.

If you think about the fact that the government has access to a LOT of this information, maybe mostly the US but also NZ with the GCSB and whatnot…  What can you access if you have the right tools?

You can’t just GOOGLE someone and expect to get the full picture.  You have to dig a hole, and dig deep enough for the material to well up and give you the full picture.  That’s what the technology behind the actual game basically in a sense does.

The scary part was they were able to get bank information, social security details of not only the people playing but their family.  Each game accepted and non-failure completed – money was deposited.

Of course in the end, the money flew out like a rat’s ass – but the scarier thing was? Someone was able to code and hack their way through the interwebs to reverse the money all back in.


There’s obviously a sense of fiction to the game, because an actual game like this could not legally exist in the actual sense.  In a way, it felt like precursor to the hunger games – y’know right before Trump gets in and takes our toys away?

It’s not like the movie sucked, in fact the cinematic effects, the technology presented it was well done.  The acting was actually honestly never perfect, but that’s because i’m not 17-18 anymore, and the only time i rant out like that at anyone – is cause i’m not understanding what’s going on and having one of my ADHD/autistic moments.  Scuze me for trying!!

The thrill of it, the way and sense they’re using the category of “THRILLER” made me think that they’re finally reinventing new ways to thrill and keep people in suspense.  Holding a knife in a shower curtain with suspense music is every movie goe’rs nightmare at this rate.  Unless of course you’re watching some good classics… or just Foamy The Squirrell singing about the Amityville Toaster.

They certainley did thrill me, and not in the same way it did to my mom who was watching it with me.  She found it intruiging, and i found it nightmarish – the fact that every new thing was brought up by the watchers. They knew every move, they planned things – to understand what drives people has been a motive for centuries.

There’s nothing “BAD” per se I can actually point out about the movie, my rant was merely to say “Oi. THIS IS WHAT THE TECHNOLOGY IS” in a sense.  Like i said, i’m a nerd -I understand a bit about terminal bash on linux, and i have a friend who’s addiction to slackware and unix is amazing.  I’ve had friends who taught me how to install things on a server… I’ve had to learn how to do web hosting all on my own…

I’ve had to know about things.

So to see this technology all of my friends and i knew about because of things we’ve gotten up to like morons on the internet – placed in a neat packaged movie, was a GOOD NIGHTMARE.

Now let’s just hope those dastard “millenials” they keep yapping about will listen..
Oh shit, sorry that’s evidently the Generation Y…  I meant the kids that were born 95′ onwards who didn’t really have dialup unless they lived in New Zealand.

You’ve got mail peeps, and i’m done! 🙂
Thanks for reading!


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