Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Over Cluttered

After admiring my friend's collections of book, films and bits and pieces, I tried to re-organise my collections.

Spread over 5 bookcases (not all films) and 6 metal racks screwed to the wall, I emptied it all. I made the wrong decision to pile everything on the floor and re-arrange it that way. I ended up walled into my room, literally. Piled up against at the door, the bed and the sofa and I even filled a gigantic box and still it was difficult to move let alone put things back.

Anytime I start to re-organise or even dust the shelves, it turns into a mammoth task. I moved everything twice before settling on what arrangement I wanted. I look at it all now and still need to make changes as I remembered some of the vast collection was missing. I had a leant a few DVDs out.

The de-cluttering wasn't just limited to films. I had gone through books too to see if i'd miss anything or if I could get rid of books I had read but didn't want anymore. Not many as it turns out but I was successful on Amazon. I recently sold a precious art book. It was worth quite a bit of money and I did make a profit but I'll be sad to see it on my shelf anymore.

Clothes and shoes were also tossed aside. I've gone back to ebay-ing a few things that have been hanging around for way too long. Selling a few more items too but all these things have barely made a dent in what has been left.

Suffering from 'oh gad I have too much STUFF' syndrome happens too often these days. I used to keep everything back in Uni, just in case I could use it for a party as part of a costume or for a film. The odd bits and pieces came in handy. But I need a realisation check, there is just not enough space for me, Scruff and my DVDs. If my plans go ahead (more on that later) I'm going to need space and money. Selling off my wares is the only way to go.

So far, things are going little by little and thats just what its going to be for now.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

We Ain't Never Had An Actor Like Him

I'm sure a million other blogs, newspapers, websites and zines are doing this right now but I wanted to add my appreciation to the gigantic pile. Robin Williams, one of the most hilarious actors out there died. What with PSH passing, Bob Hoskins and now Robin Williams. Too many great actors leaving us.

Here are my top 5 favourite characters Williams has played. Of course the Genie from Disney's Aladdin is amazing but I'd have a separate list for all his role in animation. He was the only funny part of Happy Feet (terrible film) and as I said, he will always be the Genie.

1. Mrs Doubtfire - 1993

Every child growing up in the 80s/90s would have seen this brilliant and actually sad film. Its about divorce, a man trying to find a job and a father who really wants to spend as much time with his children as possible. Its also about hating Pierce Brosnan from a young age and loving the moment Doubtfire throws fruit at him. Based on British writer Anne Fine's Madam Doubtfire, this really is implanted in everyone's mind when it comes to comedy and men dressing up in drag. And yes, the whole time? The whole time he was dressed as an elderly woman. Dude really did look like an old lady.

2. The Birdcage - 1996

Playing Armand, partner to Nathan Lane's Albert, this could not have been a better paring. These two together made a hilarious play, a brilliant film, to me its all about the two together and their relationship. A gay couple pretending to be a straight couple (Lane in drag) to make a 'good' impression on uptight married couple to their son's girlfriends parents. Screaming, singing, awkward conversations, people pretending to be something they aren't and drag numbers.

3. Good Morning Vietnam - 1987

I saw this film some years ago and this was only having seen Williams in purely comic roles. This was a great story based on truth about radio DJ Adrian Cronauer who broadcasts in wartime Vietnam. It's perfect balance of funny and tragic moments. Williams actually and its not hard to believe, improvised most of his radio broadcasts in the film. Even if you've not seen the film, you will know 'GOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!'

4. Jumanji - 1995

This is a classic children's film which is faced with being remade at the moment. Williams is Alan Parrish all grown up after being trapped in the board game for 26 years. Its fantasy mixed with adventure and real terror - they are chased by a lion, gigantic mosquitos and harassed by monkeys and they survive an earthquake and monsoon, all in one day!

5. Death to Smoochy - 2002

Williams plays a washed up bitter children's entertainer and basically, not the nice guy in this story and its brilliant. He's naturally funny and usually plays nice or wise characters but Rainbow Randolph is mean, bitter and twisted. Throughout the film he is trying to frame Smoochy the Rhino, his rival played by Edward Norton. An underrated film, directed by Danny Devito no less. If you've not heard of this, go watch it now!

Another few mentions would be the sort lived sitcom, The Crazy Ones, Hook, World's Greatest Dad and One Hour Photo and I know everyone hates it but I loved it when I was younger. It was like seeing the cartoon jump of the page to make a tacky full functioning Sweet Haven. I loved Popeye and though Williams was brilliant, right down to the over stuffed forearms.

As a parting gift here's the musical trailer: Popeye (1980)

Monday, 4 August 2014

90's Revival

Is it just me or are we all having a 90's revival?

I've noticed that 90s things (mainly fashion) is everywhere. It was sneaking up on us for the past year but this summer its here to stay (until another era makes a comeback).

We've seen the 80s, 70s (usually during music festival season), 60s, 50s, 20s and even 30s make a comeback. The 40s have yet to make a steady comeback, that era usually gets dragged in with 30s and 50s. These comebacks have also affected films with plenty of remakes of films from a particular era. And now with remakes of Point Break and a rumour about Jumanji coming out, the 90s are on my mind.

After re-watching most of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (seasons 5+6 were rubbish, so was 7 but the end was great), I started getting obsessed with all things 90s. I loved this US teen sitcom when i was at school and I know there are some fans out there who used to read the books too. I never went that far but I was and am a huge fan, nothing like light entertainment that also has a moral at the end of every episode to help you relax at the end of the day. I also noticed the fashion in the series. It was like looking at the sequence in Sex and the City (also 90s) where Carrie goes through her epic wardrobe of crap. Some outfits were good but remember, these were the days where Britney Spears first appeared. That was decades ago!

I have also been listening to typical 90s music, or bands that appeared on the soundtrack for tall those teen films. I was blasting out some No Doubt, Placebo and even some Shania Twain while I rummaged through my own collection to relive some of those classic 90s films. It now almost 20 years on from the heyday of 90s films so its safe to say classic.

Apart from all the Brit rom-coms, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sliding Doors and the ghastly Notting Hill, I forgot for a moment that decent films like Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption came out in that decade. The 90s was definitely the years of film education. Toy Story, the first full length feature in 3D animation came out in 1995. Disney classics like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lion King came out. The latter was the first film I remember seeing at a cinema.

As I got older, it was the best two teen comedies, both based on classic literature that captured my attention. Clueless, 1995 and 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999 were as brilliant then as they are now. Empire Records should also be in this mention too but not exactly a teen film, more about teens who all happen to work in a independent record store. I appreciated this film much later.

Then, of course, the Coen Brothers. They won an Oscar for Fargo in 1996 and the Palme d'Or for Barton Fink in 1991. Not to mention cult hit The Big Lebowski, the dude abided in 1998.

While all this is reminiscing about the past, the 90s and its influential films are appearing now. What with all the 90s action films in the works and that have already appeared and not to mention the fashion too. All this plays a big part in what we will see next.

I see more remakes (most not needed) that will push people to see the better originals and most likely revisit old favourite TV shows. I know I'm doing that.

Recommendations for a 90s revival in your own home:

Watch some classics: Drop Dead Gorgeous - a mockumentary about a beauty pageant. A film crew follows the events in a small town in Minnesota. The cast is brilliant a features a bearable Kirsten Dunst before she was MJ

Pulp Fiction - Tarantino's big breakthrough and award winner - if you don't know the plot you are missing out.

101 Dalmatians - to feel like a child again, watch the actually rather good live action of the Disney classic based on a book of the same name. Glenn Close is perfect as Cruella deVil.

Titanic - 1997, the year all box office records were broken by the unsinkable ship that sank. Emotional and a really good film - ignore the people who hate successful films.

Rushmore - Wes Anderson's film about a crazy ambitious private school student. The story and characters are amazing, not s dull moment.

Whispher of the Heart - a lesser known Studio Ghibli film a young girl who wants to be a writer, not fantasy but makes you feel young again.

The Sixth Sense - just so you can remember how great M Night Shyamalan used to be.