Tuesday, 19 May 2015

New Blog!!

To anyone who has stumbled across this blog recently and wants to see more I have moved to a new blog.


It is more of the same mostly film and music related and it would be great if you checked it out!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Last Summer Trilogy and NEDs

It has officially come to my attention that since starting university I have become a fair weather blogger. It is therefore my intention to be good and aim to post once a week. Now I am aware I have made this resolution before but at the moment I am becoming increasingly bored and lazy so I feel I should fill my free hours with something more productive whilst avoiding the ever multiplying pile of washing up at the same time! I also have been watching a huge amount of films recently (good and bad) and with award season upon us and the Oscars just around the corner I am for once by no means short of things to write about.

At the weekend, I re-watched the teen slasher classic I Know What You Did Last Summer. To say the least it wasn't quite as scary as I remember it but it was okay. It does what it says on the tin, so to speak. However, for some reason, blame what you will, tiredness from the early hours of the morning or maybe even just the obsessive compulsive in me needing to finish the story, I then went on to watch the whole trilogy. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was to be perfectly honest not that bad, relatively speaking of course! Set in the Bahamas, co-starring Brandy and Mekhi Phifer and featuring a cameo from Jack Black as the stoner pool guy it was cheesy horror at its best. But the fun well and truly ended with the third and final film I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. The barrel had clearly been well and truly scraped not just for the story line, but for actors, special effects, just everything really. It was absolutely atrocious and that doesn't even begin to really describe how bad it was! Almost two hours of my life completely wasted which I will never be able to get back!

On a more positive not, although I'm not quite sure positive is the right word to describe this film, this week I also watched Peter Mullan's NEDs (Non Educated Delinquents) It follows the life of a young boy, John McGill growing up in 1970s Glasgow. At the start of the film John is full of academic promise and wants to escape the life he currently knows, with a drunk, abusive father (played by Peter Mullan himself) and a violent brother who is constantly in trouble with the police. But, as John moves up to secondary school his whole world changes and he soon finds himself falling into the exact life he was trying to escape. With an outstanding performance from Conor McCarron as John it was one of the most moving films I have seen in a long time.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Great Expectations and Treasure Island

With Christmas always come yet more TV adaptations of classic stories and this year there were two which stood out for one reason or another.

Firstly the BBC did Great Expectations. Now everyone loves a bit of Dickens at Christmas and I am definitely one of those people. However, having just studied this particular novel for my English A-Level I wasn't exactly thrilled by the prospect of reliving all those painful hours of revision, but nonetheless it was Christmas, it was Dickens and it starred Ray Winstone as Magwitch, what could possibly go wrong? Turns out actually not much.

Generally, I really liked it. Douglas Booth, formerly a model for Burberry and Boy George in the BBC Worried about the Boy, was an excellent Pip as was Vanessa Kirby's Estella and Winstone's performance really was incredible. There was, however, for me one weakness, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. For some reason I just didn't like her and I can't quite pinpoint why. Hopefully the upcoming film will have a much better Miss Havisham as she is to be played by Helena Bonham Carter, which some have described as the role she's been destined to play for all her life. Apart from her though, and the omission of Biddy, it was very enjoyable.

The second big adaptation of the holidays was Treasure Island on Sky 1. Now, everyone knows the story we've heard it hundreds of times seen countless versions and we all have our favourites, for me its a no brainer, The Muppets Treasure Island starring a young Kevin Bishop wins every time. But boasting perhaps a more high calibre cast was this latest edition. Once again for the most part I really liked it. The look of the two part series itself really was beautiful. The richness of the scenery and the cultural diversity of the pirates shown through their costumes really created a magical world in which the story fitted perfectly.

There was the introduction of new talent with Toby Regbo, also seen recently in One Day and as the young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, playing the anti-stereotypical action hero Jim Hawkins. The good guys really were just that, even if only in their acting abilities, Rupert Penry-Jones as Squire Trelawney, Daniel Mays as Dr. Livesey and Philip Glenister as Captain Smollett all brought something very original to the roles. The pirates too all had their unique personalities within the crew and each one stood out. Elijah Wood was stunning as Ben Gunn and his mad man act was brilliant.

However, much like Great Expectations there was one flaw, and that flaw happened to come in the shape of Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. Now don't get me wrong I am a huge Izzard fan and I love him but for me he wasn't right. It wasn't even that he was bad because he wasn't; he just wasn't Long John Silver. Despite this though it didn't by any stretch of the imagination ruin the programme which in general I really liked.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock

What with coursework, revision and the glorious Christmas holidays it has been almost two months since I last posted and for once I am spoilt for choice with topics to write about. So, as I did my only exam this morning I now have a whole week ahead of doing not very much at all and I intend to fill the week mostly with blogging and once again part of my New Year's resolution is to blog more regularly, we'll see how that goes. Now the question is which idea to start with? Naturally with it just being Christmas, I, like most people, spent a great deal of time in front of the TV so there is no lack of subject matter there. However, I want to start with my most recent cinema visit which was to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Many 'Holmes purists' would say that the Guy Richie adaptations of the legendary stories are nothing more than over the top action films which have been created to get bums on seats. And to some extent this could be true. There are big names, lots of action scenes, laughs and of course the obligatory glimpse of Robert Downey Junior's torso, all of which are naturally crowd pleasers and of course this is what they do. It is this the combination of factors, the whole package of the films which I think is the reason for their success.

The second film in the series, A Game of Shadows adds a new collection of names to the cast. Noomi Repace adds a more exotic element as the mysterious traveller Madame Simza but the two main new additions are the two Ms, Sherlock nemesis Professor James Moriarty played by Jared Harris and his brother Mycroft played by Stephen Fry. I loved both of them and although there has been much discussion as to whether Fry's performance as Mycroft added too much of a camp element to the film I thought that the nickname given to Sherlock, Shirley and the scene in which Stephen Fry appeared completely naked were amongst the funniest moments of the film.

Most of the humour of course came from the man himself, Robert Downey Junior. Not only with his constant wit, just as Holmes should be, but the scene in which he disguised himself as a woman was very funny, although not by far his best disguise! In my opinion Robert Downey Junior is a very could Sherlock and the relationship between him and his Watson, Jude Law does work well. Despite my fairly low opinion of Jude Law I can actually just about get through his performances as Watson without wanting to punch him in the face. (although his recent appearance on The Graham Norton show in a beanie hat soon rectified this!)

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch star in Sherlock
Now a very different Sherlock and one which seems to be receiving a lot more praise than the film is the BBC recreation and I too can say that I prefer it a great deal. I absolutely love Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock and also Martin Freeman's Watson. The latest episode, The Hounds of Baskerville was a very interesting take on the classic story. With Baskerville taking the shape of a highly secret animal testing centre hidden on the moor which created a drug, the 'Hound' which caused terrifying and life like hallucinations. It co-starred a confused and scared Russell Tovy and was as ever both witty and extremely entertaining.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Jurassic Park, other 'boys films' and my brother

It is widely known among my friends that, when it comes down to it, I am, to say the least, a bit of a geek. You need only to glance through some of my previous posts to notice that a high percentage of the films I watch are probably not considered typical for a girl, but the truth is I love sci-fi films, always have and always will.

Yesterday, I re-watched for the first time in ages, Jurassic Park, and I had forgotten how awesome it is. As cliché and corny as it might sound it completely took me back to my childhood (even though I am aware that wasn't that long ago) and brought back memories of hiding terrified behind the sofa. Also it reminded me of the countless dinosaur based activities - I know you're thinking there can't be that many. Trust me there are! - I had to endure as a child because of my brother's obsession with all things paleontological.

I used to be able to cope with the herbivore parts of Walking with Dinosaurs and could just about deal with The Land Before Time but I remember one occasion which I think is possibly one of the most terrifying moments of my entire life. We went to, what I suppose you'd call, an exhibition of dinosaurs and I had only gone with the promise that none of them would move and none would make any noise, a phrase I kept repeating over and over all day. Now, the 'tour' started of much like that in the film Jurassic Park itself, not a lot happened. There were models of triceratops, brachiosaurus and stegosaurus and everything seemed quite nice. Then when we entered the next room everything suddenly seemed darker and already I was a bit scared. Then out of nowhere, as I was continuing asking my mum to confirm that nothing would move or 'talk', the loudest noise I've ever heard broke out across the room and a light revealed a massive looming tyrannosaurus rex complete with blood and a dead dinosaur writhing in its mouth. Obviously, I responded with much crying and screaming whilst my brother lapped up every minute. It was terrifying and took me a long time to trust anything I was told for a while as I had been assured nothing would move or make a noise and that was obviously the biggest lie known to mankind!

Trauma aside sci-fi has otherwise been kind to me. It also served as a way of bonding initially with my brother (although I could never really accept his love of dinosaurs) but it was also something we could then share with my younger sister when she was old enough; we are quite a sci-fi heavy family. Naturally, as I have talked about before (Goodbye Harry and Deathly Hallows Part Two) I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I think it helps that I am at the perfect age for matching the characters in the films as they were released. My dad read the first few books to me and my brother, as he was too little (and probably too lazy as well!) to read them himself. It was so exciting and sometimes torturous to have to stop and go to bed. I would relish weekends and holidays when we could hear more than usual of the stories. I love everything about Harry Potter and am now extremely happy to be studying at the same university as its creator, although I have yet to visit the pub on which the Leaky Cauldron is based! However, I will leave the world of Potter as so frequently is it mentioned, even by me.

Another big one for me is Lord of the Rings. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am an obsessive but it's pretty close. My love for Lord of the Rings is again linked to my brother as he was at one point obsessed with everything about it. However, I used to joke about how he could quote large sections of the films by heart and knew the back story of most of the characters, but know I am now pretty much in the same boat! I just love it. The world is amazing and the sheer detail from Tolkein is incredible. Although I certainly cannot claim to be at the same level of Lord of the Rings fan as my brother I do think I have, shall we say, an above average love for it. Having listened to all the commentaries on the extended copies and thus being able to point out things you otherwise wouldn't know qualifies me in that category, I think.

Then of course we have Star Wars - cult classic sci-fi. There isn't, in my opinion, an awful lot to be said about it other than the fact that it is undoubtedly complete and utter genius. It's just awesome in every way possible. I even love the new ones which are obviously terrible, the Phantom Menace is up there with the Philosopher's Stone for films I saw the most amount of times in the cinema, and all in all it is terrible. However, I literally cannot wait for it to be released in cinemas in 3D I am too excited for words!

So basically I am a geek I could go on about all the terrible films on the sci-fi channel or documentaries about the aforementioned films I have watched, including a five hour one about Star Wars, and I haven't even mentioned Doctor Who yet! I don't really understand why people still think it weird that girls like sci-fi and 'boys films'. I for one love them and can't wait to go home at Christmas to watch all three Lord of the Rings films back to back and more than enough Star Wars and Harry Potter as well with my brother (and sister if she can stick it out!)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


The title of this post reflects my reaction when I realised that it has been, wait for it, over a month since I last posted. I mean even for me that is terrible. I have also realised it has meant my steady and fairly regular (albeit very small) page views have waned to almost negligible figures. Its not that I haven't wanted to post or even, as I feared, due to a lack of content but perhaps more sadly a lack of time.

The fact of the matter is university is pretty full on. I'm constantly being ask to write something or research something else and I've had so much paper thrust under my nose to read since I arrived I'm beginning to wonder how many trees can possibly be left in the Amazon rainforest! When I'm not reading endless extracts on French film theory or discovering who invented the fondant chocolate cake there's always something else to do, be that a social or a Rubix Cube party! So my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat of late but I am determined to get back into the habit of writing starting... well right now I guess.

I don't really have one topic as such though but firstly I will say that I did go and see the Lion King 3D a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. It is probably one of my favourite films of all time anyway and to see it in 3D was awesome. It was incredible to me how many jokes I missed when I was younger and the script is very witty indeed. It was hilarious and also just as sad as I remember it being. The scene where Mufasa dies was heartbreaking and my eyes welled up at the end too; it was very emotional! I thought that the transference into 3D was also very successful, I had wondered whether it was just a lot of trouble for nothing but as it turned out it made it all the more beautiful. (I hope this is also the case for the soon to be released Phantom Menace in 3D!)

The main thing I want to talk about is the concept of the 'indie kid'. This is a little off the kinds of posts I usually write but after receiving a comment from one of my friends about some recent purchases (brown patent brogues, grey military boots, grey skinny jeans and a maroon Ramones T-shirt) that after going away to uni I am 'slipping back into all that weird indie stuff you used to wear in like year 11' I began to wonder what that actually meant. Now I didn't really know what to say to this. Should I have been offended? I have decided no but it got me thinking about why people insist on categorising others because of what they wear and the music they listen too.

I'm not particularly adventurous with what I wear or anything but I would say I definitely have my own style. I also rarely wear big label clothes - not that this is a bad thing necessarily - and I have yet to succumb to the ever increasing evil power that is Jack Wills! I think that this is probably the evidence upon which my friend was making her assessment. Also it may have something to do with the fact that, for God knows what reason, I occasionally like to listen to music that involves some sort of talent and actually has substance even though its 'like well old' so anything from over 10 years ago!

One of the definitions of an indie kid on Urban Dictionary is that "all indie kids do is try to be cooler than other people..." This is the kind of stereotype which seems to have developed amongst people today. When really what being indie is about is the music. It is essentially and anti mainstream movement if you can even call it a movement at all. Basically its a bunch of kids who were annoyed by all the drivle in the charts so looked elsewhere for their music and really isn't that just what the majority of teenagers go through at some point. Especially today with shows like the X-Factor churning out manufactured record after record. I know its all been said before that our generation have no 'real' music scene and we're led completely by what's in the charts but sadly it seems to be the case.

So what is the point of all this? Well I recently went home and visited the shop Rise (with shops in Bristol, Cheltenham and Worcester) who were voted the UK's best independent record shop and it was like a showcase of all the music which everyone should be discovering too and should be in the charts. So what if I listen to this type of music? Its good and I like it so call me indie if you want but I'm pretty sure that doesn't really mean anything. I don't think a pair of coloured skinny jeans ever really hurt anyone.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Well, it truly has been such a long time since I last posted and for once I have a genuine reason for my lack of blogging. Last Sunday, I, along with many other students across the country, made the move to university. Yes that's right I am now a proper grown up living alone and I have already encountered several disasters including breaking my electric, making a huge mess washing up and of course, discovered that I am incapable of doing the age old favourite pastime of separating laundry!

These minor issues aside, as well as the ever increasing credit card debt, so far it has been amazing and I know its clichéd and everybody says it but Freshers was one of the best weeks of my life! Obviously I went out every single night and the earliest I got in was about 3am! It was an awesome week with geek nights and beach trips and to be honest it hasn't really stopped yet as we still seem to be going out an awful lot! I started lectures and classes this week and despite having a lovely Monday off I am finding it hard. There is a lot to do what with signing up to societies, preparing for lectures, homework, food shopping, washing and going out; its never ending but so worth it!

The move has, however one downside. Due to a very hectic schedule and the fact I can't afford a TV licence my material for my blog is severely lacking! I've dramatically fallen behind in all TV and haven't watched a new film for ages and I feel this is a trend that will inevitably continue. Having said that the ingenious invention of of iPlayer, ITV player, 4OD and Sky Player are doing much to remedy this and I can watch some things online.

Currently showing on BBC iPlayer is Kidulthood, Noel Clarke's debut film. The film follows the lives of a group of 15 year olds and their, to say the least, less than perfect lives. To say it is a mix of emotions is an understatement, its both funny and hard hitting a combination which is without a doubt difficult to achieve but something that Clarke does well in all of his films. It, a cheesy as it sounds, does make you think; it is enjoyable yet powerful and I would definitely recommend it.