Monday, 31 December 2012

Bring on 2013!

This year hasn't been the greatest, I'm not saying there hasn't been some good times but I'm hoping the coming year will be good! So to ensure this I going to make some resolutions and try my best to actually stick to them. I don't usually bother making any, as I forget I made them by February. 

These are my resolutions this year and I WILL print them out to remind myself they exist.

1. No negative comments on social networking sites, unless its funny

2. Finish writing a chapter/short story/script each month

3. Pass driving test

4. Save money

5. Read more!

6. Set myself a new film related challenge

7. Be more like Tina Fey

8. At some point I do need to make a dentist appointment

9. (One for my sister) Go to Budapest 

From looking around and listening to friends (odd way to put it) I think this year has been a bust, it will be great to see the back of it!

So I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Go get drunk, party, dance, fall into bushes but do it all safely now.

Before I start my celebrations I need to decide when I can throw away my 2012 calenders . . . 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas ethnically confused fans! Hope you all have an awesome day and eat lots of turkey/goose/gammon/chicken whatever you're eating. Also try some brandy butter, its amazing!

This is me in the past....

This is me in the present ....

As for the future, I couldn't bring myself to try and create what I would look like!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, 24 December 2012

December Watch List

Last of this year's Watch lists.

1. Great Expectations

As expected, fabulous looking costumes, a great cast and reminder to me of what the end was. BUT alas, although it was many times better than the BBC effort (last year/this year, not sure) it still didn't have anything new to say apart from that Helena Bonham Carter made an excellent Miss Havisahm and Jeremy Irvine needs to be in more good films (note: Now Is Good is NOT a good film). The classic Dickens coming-of-age story of Pip a young orphan who inherits a living from a mysterious benefactor and is swept away to London. This, unfortunately, won't be the last adaptation of the novel but it would be nice to see a less known novel made into a film or better yet a TV series. 3/5

2. Rise of the Guardians
Based on a series of children's books, the Guardians of Childhood, the story brings the existing guardians, Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman together to fight Pitch, better known as the Boogeyman.  They need another to join them in the fight against Pitch so they enlist Jack Frost but of course, for story purposes he is reluctant. Reading the story made it sound naff, I wasn't that impressed by the trailer as it seemed to be all about Jack Frost, who is definitely not the best character, that would be Sandy (the Sandman) who doesn't talk, just creates amazing dreams, especially at the end. To be honest all the characters have likable quirks, even the Australian Easter Bunny. The story on the big screen isn't naff at all, its exciting, the story is fast paced and the villain is an actual threat. Although its in 3D, not needed by the way, the film is pretty spectacular, I really hope there is a sequel, and I don't say that often.  4/5
3. Damsels in Distress
Seen by very few but loved by those who did. It is strange and i can see why, if anybody who did see it, dislike it. It's very odd. The main characters have a strange understated way of talking and usually that would really annoy me but I'm starting to warm up to Greta Gerwig more and more. Shes funny in this but I'm not shes meant to be. Described perfectly as 'deadpan hilarity' the story is about a group of 'damsels' attending college who run the Suicide Prevention Centre and about their various distress' (the boys). It's difficult to explain anymore than that as there is no real steady plot apart from Violet, the leader, wanting to start a new dance craze, the Sambola. The cast actually perform the dance at the end, its brilliant and understated, the film, not the dance. The dance is good though. 3.5/5

4. Side by Side
The documentary discusses one of the major issues in the film industry, can film survive the digital wave. There are so many interviews with all the best and brightest cinematographers and directers and each of them has something interesting to say, even George Lucas is annoying but he was one of the first to film digitally. Not only is it interesting for those tech enthusiasts but its also a history lesson in how things were done back way when. Not the film studies kind of history lesson either, the interviewees talk about how they worked. Everyone is different. Most of the English directors and DoPs are actually really funny and all the Americans are set in an argument and all the Europeans are very serious about their craft. It's a great documentary, but if you're looking for a conclusion you will be disappointed. There is talk that all the interviews that were cut will be released at a later date as well as longer cuts with people who were in the film.  I saw this documentary at the BFI as I thought there was no UK release date, luckily its out in February.  4/5

5. The Amazing Spiderman

So they rebooted Spider Man, it's only been 10 years since the first one came out but Spider Man 3 was terrible I can see why they were calling out for another. In a way I thought the first Spider Man was still pretty good. But this film is indeed amazing. I don't know the comics that well but I knew that Peter Parker made his own spider web machine, which I preferred. I also preferred the casting for Uncle Ben and Aunt May as Martin Sheen and Sally Field were more like family to the character and less annoying. Andrew Garfield is a fantastic Spider Man and is extremely believable as the intelligent, science nerd turned vigilante. The story was good too, just enough origin mixed in with present day plot. Love the reboot!  4/5

Thursday, 20 December 2012

World Film Challenge - Completed

Back in May I set myself the following challenge:

'I have undertaken a challenge to watch a film from as many countries as possible in 180 days (6 months).

I know the challenge ended in October but I thought I would round off the year with this final tally. I watched 21 films from around the world (but really 19 as UK and USA don't count). I did have a few more lined up and some that I did watch after the deadline but to be fair to the challenge the final tally in October was 21.

I am going to set myself another challenge for 2013 so watch this space!

Below is a list of the films included in the challenge!

1. Greece - Dogtooth (2009) directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
2. Italy - Gomorrah (2008) directed by Matteo Garrone
3. Ireland - Ondine (2009) directed by Neil Jordan 
4. Norway - Troll Hunter (2010) directed by André Øvredal
5. Scotland - Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life (1993) directed by Peter Capaldi 
6. Taiwan - The Wayward Cloud (2005) directed by Tsai Ming-liang 
7. Spain - Jamon Jamon (1992) directed by Bigas Luna 
8. China - The Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) directed by Zhang Yimou 
9. South Korea - The Good, The Bad and The Weird (2008) directed by Kim Ji-woon 
10. Denmark - Flame and Citron (2008) directed by Ole Christian Madsen
11. Lebanon - Where Do We Go Now? (2012) directed by Nadine Labaki
12. Canada - Cosmopolis (2012) directed by David Cronenberg 
13. France -  Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009) directed by Jan Kounen
14. Australia - Sleeping Beauty (2012) directed by Julia Leigh 
15. Mexico - Miss Bala (2011) directed by Gerardo Naranjo
16. Indonesia - The Raid (2012) directed by Gareth Evans 
17. New Zealand - Love Story (2012) directed by Florian Habicht 
18. UK - Broken (2012) directed by Rufus Norris
19. Sweden - Snabba Cash (Easy Money) (2010) directed by Daniel Espinosa
20. Greenland - The Village at the End of the World (2012) directed by Sarah Gavron
21. USA - Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012) directed by Lee Toland Krieger 

Films watched after the deadline:
Germany - The Wave (2008) directed by Dennis Gansel
Wales - Very Annie Mary (2001) directed by Sarah Sugarman

A Time Of Cold Weather, Eggnog and Christmas Specials

I'm sure everyone is thinking what I'm thinking, Christmas movie time! The films you either only buy this time of year or the ones you bought ages ago and only watch this time of year!

I have a set of films and TV specials that I watch, only during Christmas and it does not include 'It's a Wonderful Life' or that insufferable film 'Love Actually'. No this is a list, that is probably similar to other lists, but includes Irish reindeer, Halloween characters, adults acting like children and John Lithgow. It's not Christmas without Lithgow.

1. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
A classic tale of Halloween Town taking over Christmas with Jack Skeleton as Sandy Claws. This film could also be a Halloween film too but I always associate it with Christmas as I only got to see the whole thing last year. I usually miss the beginning and get caught up. The songs are catchy, as my mum pointed out the other day and the animation magical!

2.  Robbie the Reindeer - Hooves of Fire
Robbie, son of Rudolph, arrives in the North Pole to join the other reindeer and Father Christmas. He has to prove he is worthy of being part of the team and has to beat Blitzen, the villain, in the ultimate race. There are two other episodes but the best is Hooves of Fire as its more related to Christmas and its Ardal O'Hanlon as the voice of Robbie. Plus there is a hilarious seal moment.

3. Flint Street Nativity
My friend first showed this to me at University just before Christmas and I couldn't stop laughing. All the actors, mainly all known comic actors, play children who are performing the Nativity for their parents. There isn't really a main plot but all the characters have something going on. Some of the girls keep switching friends, one angel is determined to play Mary, one of the three kings is trying to hide his lisp, the inn keeper is trying to impress Mary by gluing his hair in place and the star is looking for a lost lizard. I'm not sure if it gets repeated each year but I know its on youtube.

4. Father Christmas/The Snowman

 Some more animation! These two stories are the real classics as everyone remembers the snowman and how sad the ending is. It has the famous image, as famous as E.T and Elliot clycing through the air in front of the moon, the image of the snowman and James flying through the snow. The simplest ideas have the most effect. Father Christmas is more amusing, he grumbles and makes a fuss, a typical old man. He decides to take a break and go on holiday to Scotland, France and Las Vegas but he makes time for Christmas Eve. I loved watching these near Christmas when I was young.

5. Santas Claus: The Movie
Another favourite from childhood, in fact nearly all of these films on the list are from childhood. I used to watch this gem from the 80's on a loop, usually on Christmas Day when my sister would open our stocking presents. A few times I would sneak downstairs in the early hours and put this on. My family would come down for breakfast and see me asleep on the sofa watching this film. I watch it every year at some point during Christmas, sadly on youtube as I still haven't bought the DVD. Why? I have no idea. Its the story of how Santa came into being and how through the ages children have seen him. In the present time, Patch (Dudley Moore), the smart elf leaves the North Pole and ends up in business, by mistake, with a disgraced evil toy manufacturer, John Lithgow, and with the help of an orphan and  a street urchin Father- I mean Santa saves the day, with help from faithful Patch.

6. The Muppets Christmas Carol
Saving the best til last, the ultimate Christmas film. It has Muppets, its a classic Dickens tale and it has Micheal Caine in it, what more could you want. I watch this every year without fail too, usually Christmas Eve or after I've made the biscuits. Surprisingly its similar to the original A Christmas Carol and is one of the better adaptations, just because it has Muppets in it. The songs are great too, especially the opening number where we meet Scrooge, played to perfection by Caine. All the Muppets are used to play counterparts which fit so well, such as the two old men, Staler and Waldorf play Jacob and Robert Marley and Fozzie plays Fozziwig. And don't forget the ice skating penguins. What are they doing in Victorian London? Who cares they are ice skating penguins!

Hope you enjoy some Christmas films and TV!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

An Unexpected Return to Middle Earth

I didn't think they would make the film, not yet anyway. Then I thought Peter Jackson would never make it. Then when the project kept changing hands I thought this film CANNOT be made without him!

I remember listening to the 1968 BBC radio recording cassette tape when I was younger, yes I lived in a time where we listened to tapes not CDs. It was my favourite story tape, we, my sister and I listened to it so much that we wore it out! When The Lord of the Rings came out I was excited by disappointed that The Hobbit wasn't made first. I thought the same with The Chronicles of Narnia, why do they never make The Magicians Nephew? Its' the best one, after The Voyage of the Dawn Tredder of course. Anyway, after I saw the first LOTR film, I was hooked, obsessed with it. It was difficult to find people who loved it as much as me, especially as I went to an all girl's secondary school. They all read Heat magazine and I read Empire. But still, I couldn't get enough of Middle Earth adventures.

When The Hobbit was finally announced I wasn't sure if I was excited as it a part of my childhood. But they made Tintin and I loved that, they kind of ruined Narnia but I still have my BBC TV series so that's ok and The Great Gatsby looks amazing (ok that wasn't childhood but it's my favourite novel). In short I saw The Hobbit and LOVED IT!

Lord of the Rings fan, Tolkien fans, Middle Earth enthusiasts have been waiting since 2003 for The Hobbit to be made and at long last, its here. First off, the film is amazing BUT I do actually have a couple of qualms with it.

It's just like how we all remember Middle Earth where we left off in LOTR, except this time its not all about Elves, Men and Hobbits, its about Dwaves, who, let's face it were the most under used race in the first trilogy, but in this story, the first story, they are the main focus and it's hilarious. I think the fact that there are so many of them in one room/scenes together its amusing. The dwarves make the film and also distract from that one scene that I hated. It should have been cut out as it felt like a LOTR reunion. If you see the film, you'll know the one I mean, it features two characters that don't even feature in the book (The Hobbit that is).

All the Dwarves, Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Nori, Dori, Ori, Gloin, Oin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin Oakenshield are amazing, each has an obvious personality and each has their time on screen, except Bombur who doesn't speak in this film, just eats. Of course my favourite is Kili and Fili and I think the camera's favourite as they are the most seen on screen. Thorin (Richard Armitage) is perfect as the sullen, warrior determined to reclaim his kingdom from Smaug (who you don't see until the end) the Destroyer, the dragon. I should mention Martin Freeman who is great as Bilbo. After seeing his performance as one of my childhood character favourites, he really is the only person I can think of for the role.

My other qualm I can't go into the detail as it may spoil the film, but it involves a severely minor character and strange subplot that wasn't necessary, the film is a master peice without it. But I have a feeling its in there to pad out the films. By the way, whoever was getting excited anout there being three films, this included me at first, I have no idea what the hell is going to happen in the third one, as the end of the first is half way through the story anyway. There are glimpses of characters to come throughout the film, which was exciting and there is even a poster of Gandalf talking to a giant bear, that is the next film though, a fantastic character too.

The film is lighter, as it should be, than LOTR. This was afterall meant to be a children's story.

Anyone who tries to bait me and say 'the film was too long, it was rubbish' don't say it on here or anything associated with me or I will bite back and get angry. If you have a valid argument, have with me in person, that's much more cilvilised.

An amazing film, now its only another year to wait for the next installment.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Argument With One's Self

There has been plenty of times that I have wondered into a room where someone is having a conversation or worse, an argument with their selves. If its the latter, run away as soon as you realise otherwise, bad things happen.

The person having an argument with themselves can be spotted by the way they are standing or moving. They are usually facing away from any doorways or windows and are, at first busy doing something. Such as, making a cup of tea or cleaning up or moving items around when they shouldn't be.

The person is always mid sentence as they have already started the argument/conversation thinking that someone is listening or that you, the victim, is in the room. All of these arguments/conversations start off quietly, unless the person is in a mood, then its pointless loud talking all the way.

After you, the victim, wonders into the room with the person, they continue talking but they don't quite acknowledge you. Sometimes they suddenly turn to face you and scream or they scream and answer their own questions without you, the victim having time to understand the situation.

By this point the person is in full swing of the argument and they is nothing you can do. If you try and talk over the person, more shouting. If you gently try and say something, there is outrage and more rhetorical questions that are answered. All answers that are said, are wrong.

With all the shouting and screaming, you, the victim, has the choice to run away or attempt to carry on with your own business, leaving the person arguing to themselves.

I should also add most conversations will turn into arguments. I advise to leave before it goes any further. But if this whole thing starts because the person started this conversation/argument when you were asleep, I'm afraid you're on your own as there is no logic to 'you asked me that when? When I was alseep? Then how do you expect me to know, I WAS ALSLEEP!'

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Seal (of some sorts) of the Day

When it gets closer to Christmas I am hoping for more seal realted gems to pop up everywhere, but seeing as its only a little over two weeks til the big Christmassy day, I'm not so sure. I can rely on those awesome people at Ohh Dear to keep me entertained.

Just browsing through their photos of awesome designs (sadly not all seal themed) and other bits and pieces, this is posted up on their facebook wall.

I looked at it for a while wondering if I actually liked it or not. But the more I starred at this poor dog in this hilarious costume, I decided that it was genius. The dog's expression makes the picture.

This cheered me up while I'm trying to revise and get over whatever illness this is. Spent most of yesterday afternoon in bed/sofa feeling rather under the weather. But this has made me feel a tad better and spurred me on my seal quest.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

War of the Baubles

Its Christmas time, expect plenty of window displays all full of snow and jumpers, lots of cards in the post and Christmas themed food being stored in cupboards. Not to mention all the magazine and television Christmas themed issues and episodes.

On the weekend we put up the tree, a tradition I am sad to say has become smaller by the year. I don't mean the tree, I just mean the enthusiasm. But there is one element that never changes about this tradition and usually and strangely makes things seem more Christmassy.

When my sister and I were younger, in the days where shops didn't decorate their shop windows at least until late November, (showing our ages, sorry sis) we used to decorate our tree, which is probably older then both of us. We were helped by our Dad.

He is king of Christmas decorations. He really gets into the spirit, until the spirit becomes a perfectionist maniac. Every year he would buy at least one new box of baubles even though we had tons to spare. As we got older, it was thought that my sister and I would take over tree duties and he did the rest. But of course this was not so. He would either take over and add more baubles or he would actually rearrange the decorations, including, when we did do it, the tree chocolates.

Its a running joke now that the tree decorations is our Dad's thing. Last year though, I took a stand, I would take over the tree. I was proud of it and I didn't even need to use half of all the baubles, mostly red ones. But sure enough my Dad interfered, he added a few more and kept saying 'nice tree, more baubles though'. This year was the same, except the only decoration that did go up this year was the tree. I put even less up, it looks better and I let my Dad put the Three Kings decorations up, I know he enjoys it.

This is what the tree looks like. But everyday my Dad says, "More baubles? I think the tree needs more baubles". I would not be surprised if one morning the tree is completely different.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

November Watch List

If you have those old blue and red 3D glasses, put them on . . . . . .  . . . . . . NOW!

This is the awesome cover of the current Little White Lies issue, this bi-month, it is The Master Issue.

1. The Master

To some this film is known as 'the Scientology' (and I was just spell checked to make sure it had a capital S), to others its the sixth film from Paul Thomas Anderson and to critics and film fan everywhere it is a highly acclaimed masterpiece. For me, its the return of Joaquin Phoenix on the screen, not as a crazy hobo beard character. Although that documentary was hilarious. This film is not about L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Although there are comparisons this film is about Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)who is the charismatic leader/author of The Cause. After Naval veteran Freddie (Joaquin) wonders onto the leader's boat, he becomes enthralled by the man and his following, but their relationship ultimately unravels. People have been split over this film, mostly because of the build up. It wasn't as in your face as some campaigns, the film sort of crept up on us. It's an amazing film and the cast are incredible. Most of the applause will go to Hoffman but I think, not bias opinion, Joaquin Phoenix deserves praise for his portrayal as broken, animalistic, lost Freddie. I think I need to see it again just to take it all in but as I saw the film screened in 70mm I'm not sure a second view would measure up to how amazing it looked. It felt like it was actually from the 50's. A masterpiece. 5/5

2. Rust and Bone

If I could just play the trailer in this section, it would sum up the beauty and brilliance of this film. Based on a collection of short stories of the same name by Craig Davidson. In short its the story about an unemployed single father and ex-boxer/kick boxer who falls in love with a woman who trains killer whales. In truth they start to fall in love til very late on in the story. Stephanie, the whale trainer has a terrible accident that completely ruins her life. When I saw the trailer I thought she only damages her legs but the scene where she wakes up to see her lower parts of her legs missing is unbelievable horrific. Its after this accident that they begin to connect. The scenes under water are amazing, but the scene that touched me the most is when Stephanie is standing in front the whale tank and she starts the routine she used to do and whale responds and it still remembers her. Although Marion Cotillard's name is everywhere on this film and she really is great in the film, I see this as Matthias Schoennaerts' story. His character has been left with his son by the mother, who you find out later was using her son as a drug mule. After being taken in by his sister, he takes various jobs to keep afloat but he soon starts to take part in illegal street fighting. The fights are brutal but aren't seen as terrible because Stephanie approves, even helps out with sorting the bets. The film is amazing and I can definitely see some awards on the horizon or its criminal. Then again, Drive was the best film of last year and snubbed completely. 5/5

3. Spaceballs

I love an old spoof as much as the next person but really Mel Brooks, do you really have to have THAT many Jewish jokes in the film? Apart from that, the film was good and I did laugh out loud, especially at Rick Moranis as a sort of piss take of Darth Vader. The fact it was a spoof of a collection of sci-fi films was enjoyable. I particularly loved John Hurt's cameo in the diner scene, brilliant. The story was basic, the best way to make a comedy, Princess Vespa is rescued after she runs away from an arranged marriage. Lone Starr (a very young looking Bill Pullman) and his buddy Barf (a hald man/dog John Candy) rescue her and her android friend and an adventure ensues. They meet a disturbing yoda type wise creature (Mel Brooks) who teaches them about 'the schwartz' (annoying) and there is a satisfying ending. Not my favourite, nothing beats Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but a pretty good film. 3/5

4. Gambit

I love how the lion is on the poster yet only seconds in the film. Gambit is the long awaited film written by the Coen Brother but not directed by them. Shame. Gambit is a remake of the 1966 version which the producer, Mike Lobell saw at its premiere in London. After several revisions, cast changes, script changes, the Coen Brothers script triumphed. The story is about art curator Harry Deane who works for the god awful Lord Shabandar. To exact revenge on him, he devises a scheme involving his friend the Major who paints copies of famous artworks and rodeo queen, PJ Puznowski. The film feels set up to be this great caper but in fact its very subtle the whole way through, that is, until we see a lion as the 'security' of an art gallery. The cast is good, the script is better. When watching the film, I did laugh out loud several times but I couldn't help but wish the Coen Brothers had directed it. It would have be so much better, more Coenesque, maybe more violent and possibly not a 12A. Saying this, the scenes at the Savoy were pitch perfect, Colin Firth is brilliant as Harry Deane as he changes from room to room not wearing trousers. See it just for that scene, or best wait for DVD. 3/5

Monday, 26 November 2012

Seal of the Day

Something cheerful this morning that was brought to my attention by my sister.

This awesome design The Seal of Approval and Friends by Gemma Correll that was posted up on Ohh Dear's facebook page.

Here is a link to Gemma's website

and to Ohh Dear's facebook page

When I researched further I found another website where you buy all these marvelous things with this design on it! Including a cushion which I am very tempted by. 

If you find anything seal related let me know by emailing me, I'm always interested to see more seal discoveries!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

To the Beach, Of the Sea and the Animals

I finally got the film from my camera developed. The beach photographs were from our day out at Airbourne in Eastbourne. It was so foggy and later cloudy that day that all the photographs had a mist about them.

The animals and the Needles photographs were taken in October when I went to stay with my family who live in the New Forest. They took me out for a day trip on the Isle of Wight.

We walked further up the beach after lunch to see how far we could go and so I could follow the cutest Westie dog called Ceaser. As the weather wasn't great, the beach was almost deserted. You can see the edge of the beach covered by mist in the distance.

Unfortunately it isn't clear in this photography, but there were several boats out on the horizon.

This is one of my Dad's favourite places, The Needles, Isle of Wight.

These were the steps leading down to a tunnel that lead to a look out post that looked over The Needles.

We had planned to visit a castle, also on the Isle of Wight, but it had closed. I thought the view from the entrance was amazing though.

While driving through the New Forest we were sheep and pig spotting. We came across, like always, a small herd of sheep blocking the road. But the pig, I spotted her rummaging around in the mud, we almost missed her.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Necessary Culling

Just seen how I have neglected my blog, over a week without a post, that's bad. I have a very good excuse though, I have been working non stop. But other than that I've been absorbing everything film.

This post will appeal to those to have huge collections of things, mainly movies, and have run out of space, meaning their addiction or collections cannot grow.

My November Watch List is looking bare, I only have two films on it and its already halfway through the month. Next week I look to rectify this but going to the cinema at least three times, or if I'm lacking funds, I will watch some films that are hidden away in my collection that I still haven't seen.

Last weekend, actually the weekend before that too, I began sorting out the boxes that were in my cupboards. Filled with things I couldn't sell or give away, but I had kept because I thought I could use them as props or for nostalgic reasons. It was time to get rid of everything I could. I seem to do this every so often. Get all my things out and then take out a fraction and put everything back into the cupboards and draws. Usually I am successful in this culling but now that its basically just paper and old magazines, I am stuck with the things I horde. I know my parents do the same but they never get rid of anything. I volunteered to do a necessary culling for them, but they declined.

When it comes to DVDs, books and mugs, I can't part with anything. But this time I had to, not to sell or anything like that but simply because there is no room at the inn anymore. I have stocked up all walls and shelve space. Boxsets have had to be moved upwards, sewing machines* have been banished to the loft and magazines have been thrown away (not Empire or Little White Lies). I looked through every book, decided if it would go or stay, same with DVDs. Mugs weren't going anywhere, I needed them in my argument with certain people who don't understand or appreciate a decent sized mug. They all have a purpose.

These are currently where I can store them. No more space, its insane. TV box sets are at the top too, double stacked.

In the end, only two DVDs went, 'See This Movie' and the Czech version of 'Living In Oblivion' (I didn't realise it was a Czech version, I bought the English one ages ago). The latter has Steve Buscemi in it so there was no way that going if I had only one copy, but i had two so it could be spared. As for 'See This movie', it had the promise of a great story but in fact it was just utter crap. Too long, not funny, bad acting, literally no proper story. It tried to make a point about filmmakers and didn't make a point about anything. Or maybe it did, that anybody can make a cack film. I really want those two hours I wasted, back.

The rest of the collection is safe, for now, until the next cull.

I may need more shelving. And a place to put the shelves. Maybe I should invest in a Beauty and the Beast type library, but with DVDs, that would be magical.

*I have one, its just the way I was writing.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

October Watch List

Sorry for the delay! Also there is a number missing, Frankenweenie bu it had its own post.

1. Queen of Versailles
I love the fact that documentaries are in cinemas more often now, seeing The Imposter on the big screen did have an impact. But with this one in particular, I would have been happy seeing this on TV. Saying that, the film was really good. It was about billionaire David Seigel and his wife Jackie and how they planned to build the biggest family home in America, using inspiration from Versailles itself. But when the recession hits, everything goes wrong financially, David has trouble keeping his business' afloat and they are forced to put their dream home on the market unfinished. The film is brilliant in the way it depicts all the family and the couple especially. There is a particular moment where Jackie, after the recession, goes back to her home town to see old friends. At the airport she hires a rental car and asks who her driver is. The man behind the counter looks at her disgusted and confused. She then realises that a driver doesn't come with a car. 4/5

2. All in Good Time
Based on the play, Rafta Rafta which played the National Theatre, the story is about the troubled relationship between Eeshwar and his son Atul. Atul and Vina are newly weds but are having trouble consummating their marriage. Atul's interfering father doesn't help. Its a short story and I can see why it would have made a better play. There are plenty of opportunities are long played out scenes that have been cut down to make it work for a film. The leads are great, wished we could see more on them on screen but the story was just ok. Funny in places but overall frustrating. At least there is a satisfying ending. 3/5

3. The Cabin in the Woods

I said I wouldn't see this in the cinema as I would get freaked out but after many people reassuring me I rented it and watched it late at night. Not a cool move. Luckily I was wrong and was scared some of the time. To be honest the only original reason why I wanted to see it was for Franz Kranz, actually Fran Kranz of Dollhouse fame. I needed to see Topher on screen again. You think you know the story, well you don't, as the whole this is a massive twist that the audience is in on, the characters are on the outside. Excellent concept. 5 friends go to stay in a cabin in the woods, that just screams horror film, strange things happen and monsters are released, really scary monsters. But they are being watched but an unknown company who are in charge of making a ritual happen. They need five sacrifices, the slut, the athlete, the scholar, the fool and the virgin (well sort of). Its a great story, the ending is a tad off but it has funny moments which make it all better, plus it has the key ingredient, Franz Kranz. I demand more Kranz!4/5
4. Taken 2
As there was nothing else at the cinema my friend and I watched this. It was unbelievably bad. The script was ridiculous and they stole the soundtrack from Drive. Complete crap. As far as story went, the people he killed last time, well they're families came after him and kidnapped him and his ex-wife. He got away quickly but kept leaving her, everywhere. Seriously, he left her so many times. It was up to the daughter to sort of save the day. The film was about an hour and a half but only 10 mins of story and actually felt like an hour to watch. Terrible film. 1/5 is being generous.

5. Casa Me Di Padre
Loved it. It was funny, it had my favourite Mexican actor, (Gael Garcia is awesome), the theme song was hilarious, it was in Spanish and it was like watching a telenovela. The story is about Armando Alveraz who has to protect his father's ranch from an evil drug lord. Fantastic idea, but the story wasn't super. Predictable, in a way and I thought the actress was annoying. When I heard about this film from Will Ferrel's biggest fan, I couldn't believe it but really wanted to see it as it was such a bizarre idea. I'm hoping that this film will encourage more people to see foreign films too after seeing it. Subtiltes do not get in the way of a film, this proves it to those doubters. 3/5
7. Lockout
Prison in space, that's right. If Luc Besson is involved, there has to be some kind of sci-fi/violent element to it. Framed criminal Snow has to go into the space prison to rescue the president's daughter who was captured after a prison riot while on a visit to see how the inmates were being treated. Great action film and I liked the idea of a prison in space, why did no one think of this? Guy Pearce is on top form as the severely sarcastic Snow, while he is not matched well with very annoying Maggie Grace who just needed to shut up for 80% of the film. The prison inmates were also very good, genuinely freaking scary but guess what they were all Scottish. Surprise surprise, Hollywood need criminals, and British actors fit the bill but these are your swarve villians these are hard as nails crazy thugs, so naturally they thought make them Scottish. It's really offensive that Hollywood need criminals, make them English, Irish or Scottish. Why not Welsh? That would be a change. Other than that, great! 3/5

8. Skyfall
Bringing Bond back! That's what it felt like anyway. First I was worried that the 12A rating was going to mean less violence but it was actually not bad at all. Loved the new (but old) characters, such as the amazing Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomi Harris as, well her name isn't revealed until the end so I won't spoil it. There is also a death that I have waited to see on screen for years but again I cannot say because its a glorious spoiler, but it was worth the wait that's all. Hints to the past 50 years of Bond was not over pratronising but welcomed. I am not a fan of Bond but I did love Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace was utter cack and Skyfall has redeemed the Bond name. It sounds strange but also loved how London was very much involved with the story. Skyfall itself, the place where Bond grew up was a nice touch too. In the trailers and teasers, it looked like it was a secret mission or something but instead, the family home. It gets completely destroyed at the end which is a shame but an amazing film. Bring on Bond 24. 4/5

9. Friends with Kids
  From the trailer I thought this film was going to be really funny, alas, it wasn't. The two funniest actors, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm were under used and their characters were lame. Chris O'Dowd should never do an American accent EVER. The two leads were good but everything about this film was just too serious. Everything 'go real' when everyone had children, everyone was so depressed or angry and I just couldn't enjoy this film. The story, two friends who are perfect for each other but aren't attracted to each other want a child so decide to have one together. Everything actually turns out fine until they start dating again. Not great but not awful either. 2/5

Sunday, 4 November 2012

"Let's turn on the juice and see what shakes loose"

(Quote from Beetelejuice)

I just thought I'd take a moment to write a random blog about Michael Keaton that I starting writing last year. This could be a distraction from the many prolonged fictional stories I have planned but not finished but I wanted to at least get this post published.

Anyway, on with Keaton! Five roles which I thought he was great in:

1. Beetlejuice, of course!

2. Henry Hackett - The Paper

3. Batman/Bruce Wayne

4. Billy Caufield - The Dream Team

5. Captain Gene Mauch - The Other Guys

But nothing can beat Beetlejuice. Why can't doesn't Tim Burton take another Johnny Depp d=break and work with his original (male) muse again, I'm sure they could come up with something amazing and weird.

Bang Bang Fizzle Fizzle

Friday night was fireworks night!!

Even though it wasn't bonfire night, that is on Monday, there was an amazing free fireworks display happening in Brockwell Park in Brixton.

Here is just a snippet of the amazing display. Sorry for the not so awesome quality.

After the display we all went looking for food and what did we find, apart from the usual waaaay overpriced burgers and beer, we found WAFFLES! My friend was very kind and leant me money (out of cash) so that I could enjoy the crazy waffle that was on a stick, strange but so delicious. Anyway enough about the waffles, more about the fireworks.

When the crowds were walking towards the light, it looked like we had all been hypnotised by the pretty lights or we looked like we were part of a cult of some sort.

It reminded me of the episode of 30 Rock when Jack pitches a one off show, NBC's Salute to Fireworks and it is an utter disaster. Hilarious.

Couldn't find a better clip, bu you get the idea.

Hope you all get to see some fireworks!

Remember remember the 5th of November . . .

Monday, 29 October 2012

Seals of the Day

Back by demand, sort of.

I found this on a newspaper webpage from 2009. 5 of 59 baby seals waiting to be fed at a breeding station in Norrdeich, Germany.

The seal sanctuary takes care of around 30 to 80 orphaned seals and grey seals are bred every year.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bad Dads, Bill Murray and Art Work

Wes Anderson I love you! The appreciation continues with some samples from an art show that I would have gone if I lived in San Francico. All the awesome Wes Anderson events seem to happen in USA or somewhere in Europe.

I think the last one is my favourite. Well if you're in San Fransico, go enjoy this amazing looking show.