The Bye Bye Man

The Bye Bye Man

This film has the worst title for a boogeyman ever. It’s a real struggle to be scared of a villain called the Bye Bye Man. Does he wave aggressively, cling on to that hug a little longer than he should, or appear from the shadows with a cheap Slipknot mask and a CGI dog? It’s the latter… unfortunately.

Three college students move into a huge, abandoned mansion which is home to a cursed bedside table, bearing the name of the Bye Bye Man. It only takes knowledge of his title for the supernatural to appear, immediately afflicting the three students and anyone else to whom they utter his haunting moniker.

There is no backstory to the the Bye Bye Man himself, other than flashbacks to his impact a few decades previous. We know nothing about his origins or motivation and, strangely, he doesn’t actually kill anyone; instead planting visions which make those aware of his name carry out his bidding. It’s clever in a ‘I’m tired, will you cover this for me’ kind of way but somewhat nullifies his ability to plant a widespread terror.

The story sounds fairly standard for a low-budget horror but, as things move along, the producers make some really weird choices including animated wallpaper and bloodless shotgun blasts. That the film was made in late 2015 with an ‘R’ rating hints at some pretty major studio edits which definitely haven’t helped The Bye Bye Man’s chance of success.

They set it up for a sequel at the end – that feels massively optimistic. But, if you are looking to have a bit of fun with a cheesy horror, The Bye Bye Man will do the trick.

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La La Land

La La Land

I’m not a fan of musicals and I feared the worst a few minutes into La La Land when a mass dance party broke out on a Los Angeles freeway.

The film follows aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) as she attends countless auditions while working as a barista on the Warner Bros backlot. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz-revivalist who dreams of opening his own club while working for tips playing Jingle Bells in up-market restaurants.

It’s a pretty standard Hollywood love story set against the backdrop of two leads juggling their love life while chasing their dreams and showing that the struggle to get there hasn’t changed much since the classic era.  There are plenty of influences from the genre-staples of the fifties and sixties, think Singing in the Rain and An American in Paris, while more modern musical traits are also included. The singing and dancing isn’t perfect but that adds to the enjoyment and makes the musical numbers feel as natural as they can in a film as aesthetically-focused as this.

la la land

From start to finish, the movie looks incredible. Each skyline perfectly lit by pink sunsets, the characters immaculately dressed throughout and the more tired streets of LA given a fresh coat of nostalgia.

La La Land claimed seven Golden Globes last night, winning every award it was nominated for including best director, screenplay, score and song. It’s splitting audiences and critics between those who are willing to commit to two-hours of escapism and those still stuck on the 2016 trip of hating EVERYTHING for not perfectly nailing their slant on politics, history and context. For me, calling a release the best film of 2017 less than two weeks into the year seems extreme but La La Land is going take some beating.

Are you a fan of musicals? Did La La Land live up to the hype?? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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Top 3 sneaker pickups of 2016…

top 3 sneaker pickups of 2016

Adidas have comfortably dominated 2016 with the revolutionary comfort of their Ultra BOOST technology and a non-stop barrage of (let’s be honest, slightly over-hyped) NMD releases.

As a result, it’s no surprise that my number one pickup this year has come from the brand with the 3 stripes and, even less shockingly, it’s a Yeezy! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about the Beluga v2 after seeing pre-release images but it is extremely difficult to do these justice on film.

In person, the beluga colour pops against the tonal greys and the structure / comfort of the shoe is perfect. Easily my top sneaker of 2016.

top 3 sneaker pickups of 2016

As they work to stay on the trail of Adidas, Jordan brand have focused on remastered retros, flooding the market with recognisable silhouettes and, towards the end of the year, upping the numbers produced to make them available to almost everyone.

Alongside the increase in production numbers has been a corresponding rise in price with my number two pick coming in at a cool £165. Having said that, the Air Jordan 11 Space Jam’s are a premium quality shoe presented in crazy packaging marking the 20th anniversary of the Tune Squad’s victory!

This is a classic Jordan sneaker updated for 2016 – a mainstay on every top 10 list this year.

top 3 sneaker pickups of 2016

Slightly removed from the hype-train is top pickup number three. Vachetta Tan is without doubt the hottest colourway of the year, appearing on absolutely EVERYTHING and showing no sign of slowing down as the year draws to a close.

These Vans SK8-HI’s dropped months ago overseas but only hit the UK market in November – a frustrating trend with Vans over the last half of 2016 (we only just got the Toy Story collection!). The Veggie Tan leather is incredible quality and the old-skool hi-top is updated with a well-utilised heel zipper. Don’t sleep on these – you can grab the Veggie Tan take on all three classic Van styles now!

So, those are my top 3 sneaker pickups of 2016 – what makes your list and what are you looking forward to copping next year? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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