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.