Friday, 19 August 2011


This week has been quite eventful to say the least. As most people across the country will know, yesterday was A-level results day. I was fortunate to do well and will soon be leaving to study French at Exeter. So last night naturally was a big one and most of my year went out. It was an amazing night but I am well and truly paying the price today.

On Wednesday I went to see The Inbetweeners Movie. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was and because I love the programme so much I was ready to be disappointed but it was amazing. I spent all of Tuesday watching all three series' and was definitely in the mood for some more hair raising comedy!

Instead of being set in the usual confines of suburbia the film follows the four characters, Simon, Will, Jay and Neil, on a lads holiday to Malia before they all leave. The film shows not only what happens on the trip and all its disasters from start, ending up staying in an appallingly disgusting hotel, to finish, finding holiday romances and finally having a good time, but there is also much more character development. I think the characters had to be given more depth for the film in order to keep the audience invested for a longer amount of time. A serious downfall could have been for the writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley to literally elongate an episode but I think that would've become boring quite quickly.

Also the characters really excel themselves in the film and all of them are the funniest they've ever been. There are touching moments too, from Jay when he realises he's not going to see his best friend Simon everyday anymore and with the budding romances of the four the Inbetweeners show that they have a sensitive side!
Most criticism of the film before it was even released came from the fact the film was a fifteen. The majority of people thought they would lose some of the crudeness of the series to fit the big screen and appeal to a wider demographic but this was by no means the case. The painful humour remained with plenty of cringe worthy sex and nudity scenes, the usual disgusting sick and of course Jay's very creative use of expletives, but the dancing is something which stood out as something else!

Although many people will compare it to the series in order to find fault in the film I think it should be viewed in its own right. It was probably the funniest film I've seen in a long time and properly laugh out loud funny too. Although its sad to say goodbye to the Inbetweeners they couldn't have
done it in a better way.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Albufeira and The Big Chill

It seems like ages since I last wrote anything, as the last two weeks have been extremely busy and I've had no access to a computer! I have however had what have been the best weeks of my life.

 Two weeks ago I embarked on my first holiday without the rents! I know risky and you would expect that what will now follow to be a list of disastrous events and tales of what went wrong. However, surprising as it may seem, everything ran smoothly! Me and four of my friends went to Albufeira in Portugal and had an absolutely incredible week. We had a apartment with stunning views and access to a massive pool. After going for a wander on the first night merely to see where everything was, we managed to stay out until two in the morning due to most bars offering free shots with every five euro cocktail! So this continued to be a pattern of the holiday, out every night till five, up at midday for a full English breakfast, then lie next to the pool until it was time to go out again. Now, I am making this sound like a bunch of hateful binge drinking teenagers on holiday for the first time, but we did visit the beach, the old town and do souvenir shopping as well not just consume a ridiculous amount of alcohol! We made lots of friends too and as we became regulars in the one bar we got around eight free shots on the last night! Not bad I'd say! So all in all it was an amazing week full of countless glasses of sangria and tonnes tequila shots!

Now that would've been enough to keep me happy for the rest of the year but the day after we got back it was The Big Chill. It has been dubbed the original boutique festival and it just so happens to be round the corner from my house. After the start of the first day I just wanted to come home. Putting up a six man tent in heavy rain is never fun, but after I'd dried off and had a few drinks I was very excited for the weekend ahead. Many fellow big chillers have, in my opinion, been unfairly critical of the Chill this year accusing it of selling out and becoming too commercial. I do think it has changed, maybe to appeal to a wider market but the relaxing, family values of the original Chill remain, especially with the hillside hammocks and enchanted garden. The atmosphere was unchanged and although there were bigger acts this year, I'm not complaining as everyone I saw was incredible.

Friday: I managed to see one of my favourite bands ever on the first day. None of my friends really liked them and they're not exactly massively well known but Empire of The Sun were amazing. The show they put on was mind blowingly good as were their costumes and their dancers. After that I saw Friday headliners, The Chemical Brothers. They were absolutely amazing and again although most of my friends gave up after half an hour, I stayed for the full set and it was incredible. Despite missing Aloe Blacc because of them I managed to catch the end of Chipmunk's set and actually he was really good! His covers of Beautiful People by Chris Brown and Fix Up, Look Sharp by Dizzee Rascal were highlights as was his closing number Champion. The last act I saw on Friday night was Plastician who was amazing. By the time his set finished at two in the morning though I was pretty much ready for bed!

Saturday: Christened the day with all the acts, I was up at eleven to take my younger sister to see Dionne Bromfield, Amy Winehouse's goddaughter. She was so good. Her voice was incredible for a girl of fifteen and the similarities to Amy's voice were striking. She was clearly emotional about the death of her godmother when singing Mama Said but when she closed her short set with Love Is A Losing Game in tribute to the star her sadness was evident and she couldn't sing the last line because she broke down in tears. It was actually really moving. After a couple of hours midday rest we were back again to see The Midnight Beast who were absolutely hilarious! Their parody of ET was so funny but the TicToc parody for which they are probably most famous was amazing! Then on the way back to the tent we stopped to watch a bit of Janelle Monae who looked beautiful in her trademark tuxedo! Then the first 'big act' of the evening was Katy B who was way better than I could've ever imagined. After that I saw Jessie J dressed in a leopard catsuit, cat hat and purple hair. She was amazing and I couldn't get over how incredible her voice was. She was also just really sweet and kept chatting to the crowd describing herself as a wailing cat! Later that night after the headliner, who I will get to in a moment, I saw Calvin Harris who was also really good.

So yeah, the big man himself, Mr Kanye West. Now we all know his an arrogant 'insert appropriate expletive here', but lets be fair to the guy he's also Kanye West. Obviously he came on three quarters of an hour late, but we all expected it. Also his entrance made up for it. He was on top of the VIP tower singing Higher, clever right? Then he made his way on stage to join his amazing dancers who really were incredible! And aside from this slight divaish performance and the hour long speech about how everyone gives him such a bad press, in which he did compare himself to Hitler (admittedly that was probably too far!), he was awesome. There is no denying it he put on a show which was undoubtedly the best thing I have ever seen! I may be a bit bias in that I knew every word to every song but all his classics like Stronger, Good Life, Touch The Sky and Gold Digger and Diamonds from Sierra Leone were so good its ridiculous. I mean he's Kanye West and I'm sorry to conform or whatever but he was awesome!

Sunday: The final day now what could compare to the night before. There were a few bands that I had heard of (and Robert Plant!) but none that I really wanted to go out of my way to see. Like I said what could compare to the night before. This was the opinion of most of the people I was with as well so we decided it would be better just to get drunk and find a random tent with good music which is what we did and it was really good! I did stop in and see Annie Nightingale for a while who was still excellent!

In general the weekend was amazing and despite having to be lifted over the railing by the main stage after nearly getting crushed it was so good and I loved it! All in all an amazing two weeks in what is sadly my final summer at home as I move into the real world in September! Everything seems to be moving rather fast with results in less than a week so I'm going to carry on enjoying the summer, however I'm not sure how I'm ever going to top Kanye West!

Deathly Hallows Part Two

I thought I'd published this and it should have been posted two weeks ago but for some reason I didn't! Anyway I have seen it! It is something which is dividing the world into two different sections, those who haven't and those who have. I apologise for my Harry heavy posting at the moment but it is undeniably extremely important, so I will say my piece about the film and then leave it at that, most likely forever.

The Deathly Hallows Part Two was the perfect way to finish the series and I was even able to look past the omissions from the book as I loved it so much. There were, of course, as with all the Harry Potter films, startling problems. I was particularly disappointed with some of the deaths and felt that the death of Fred Weasley, which for me was a crucial moment in the book that had me in floods of tears, was skimmed over and not given enough attention. Also the flash forward scene was in my opinion not done well at all and huge chunks were again missed out and characters were not quite fulfilled. However, I think that the final battle sequence surpassed itself and was done very well. Despite the tense and at times fairly scary scenes the comfortable humour of the Potter franchise wasn't lost and neither were its characters. This was especially seen with Neville Longbottom and I think that Matthew Lewis gave his best performance yet, and potentially the best of the film. I also was pleased Snape's death and 'revelation' worked so well and it was very effective and genuinely moving.

Despite all these flaws though I thoroughly enjoyed the film. As ever the sets were incredible and I thought that the 3D was used very well. The series truly went out with a bang and I will certainly, along with many others miss what has been a large part of my life!