Happy Endings – Realistic or Idealistic?

casablancaIt would appear that a happy ending has become the default setting for romantic films, but is really the best kind of ending?

*Spoiler warning! This post discusses endings from films across the years and so contains important plot points for numerous films*

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” the famous line delivered from Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine. One of the most emotionally weighted characters Hollywood has ever given us, but strangely one of the most realistic too. He appears initially to be cynical a man who is only interested in himself and his actions are based entirely upon his own interests, but as we learn he actually cares more for the one he loves, to the point of realising he must let her go. It presents us with one of the most heartbreaking endings in cinematic history, but it gives us one of the most realistic.

I should make it very clear at this point that I’m not a complete cynic as the title may suggest. I believe it was Blur that once sang the lyric “I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it” which is precisely the point. I don’t think every film should have a bitter, spriting crushing ending like The Mist or The Exorcist. I’m still a child at heart and so I much prefer it when certain types of film do have a happy ending. It’s not like I sit down to watch a Winnie the Pooh film, enjoy the various adventures and mishaps that occur but then remain unsatisfied unless the film ends with Tigger and Piglet being shot at dawn having been convicted of war crimes. I just think happy endings are not always realistic. They are the glossy ideal conclusion but not always the most believable.

What we must consider is that a happy ending as an element of narrative has become common in the romantic film genre. It has become something of the standard. If a romantic film does not feature a happy ending, particularly if it’s a romantic comedy, then it is often deemed as negative or miserable. And is this really warranted? When I think back to some of the romantic films I have seen in recent years that do feature a happy ending can I honestly say that they all deserve one? Of course not. I am a firm believer that if certain characters existed in real life they would not get their happy ending. For example the main character in 500 Days of Summer, yes admittedly we see him get his heart broken by Summer and him having to move on with life, but then in walks a pretty young lady named Autumn. And with a sly look at the camera we know he is has been given his second chance at love. What a load of nonsense. After all of his whining and behaving like a school boy having a tantrum I don’t think he deserves a second chance so soon. I think he needs to move away from the city, take some thinking time, grow up a bit, start eating olives even if he doesn’t like them, possibly consider becoming a monk or a priest, and then attempt love again.

I think the main perpetrator in this annoying movement of making happy endings that shouldn’t exists is films like Sex & the City where we see these awful portrayals of human beings behaving in a way that is utterly repellent and yet they are still happy. We’re meant to believe that these people are real, and yet they are written to be such shallow and painfully consumerist arseholes that talk about nothing other than sex, shoes and themselves. I honestly don’t think people like this exist in real life and if they do they then they cannot be happy. If they go through life thinking they are above everyone else and consistently obsessing over their appearance then they cannot possibly live a happy life. If you want to see a realistic take on the self obsessed, consumerist caricatures that feature in S&C  then I would draw your attention to Blue Jasmine in which we see how people actually look at these cretinous monsters and what would actually happen to them in real life should they behave the way they do on screen.

Sex & the City for many, including myself, can’t even be classed as a romantic comedy. It is not funny in the slightest, due to the fact it draws humour from gruesome stereotypes, and when the main characters measure love based on how much money men spend on them I hardly think you can call it romantic. This is a prime example of a film that does not deserve a happy ending. If we have to believe these self centred cretins who essentially set back feminism several years actually exist then we need to see a conclusion for them that is just.

I’m not being bitter and I’m certainly not suggesting that happy endings should not exist, but I think films should show a more realistic outcome for characters. If the films are to be believable then they need to have some glimmer of truth in them. It seems that films don’t like showing the truth that not everything lasts forever, instead they decide to show almost every relationship being successful and everyone being happy no matter how much they fuck up. In reality love is certainly not an easy experience, it is tempestuous at the best of times, and more often than we like to admit it does not end well. Sometimes relationships have a nice clean break that leaves the two parties in tact and then other times it goes up in flames completely and burns either side in the process. Having been in a long term relationship that ended a couple of months back I understand now that love can be a rather troublesome experience that does not always end in an easy way, and I think it’s something that should be seen more often in films.

Already I have mentioned Casablanca at the start of this post, which I believe to be one of the best endings a film has ever given to the audience. The wartime context makes it all the more emotional as we see Blaine risking everything to get the woman he loves to safety with the man she loves. It’s not just a well written ending but it’s also an important ending because of the statement it is making. It is an ending that chooses to ignore how naturally selfish humans can be and instead chooses to show what a human would do if they love someone enough. If this was an ending written by a modern film maker we would see Blaine shooting Isla’s new man in order to get on the plane with her and keep her to himself. And if Michael Bay got his hands on it I’m sure there would be an explosion or two thrown in.

Thankfully it is not just older filmmakers who have a firmer grasp on reality, there are fortunately modern films that choose to show a more realistic ending in their work. About two years ago cinema goers had the pleasure of seeing Spike Jonze’s latest triumph Her starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. For the most part this film is very upbeat as we see the main character, Theodore, developing a relationship with his operating system, Samantha. Although it is meant to be set in the future it is written in a way that makes it relatable in some senses. We see the main character falling in love just purely through speech. All visual aesthetics becomes unimportant because the OS doesn’t have a physical form, their connection is built purely through speaking. This leads to the relationship’s eventual end as we see the OS attempt unsuccessfully to add a physical element through the use of a surrogate lover, and Theodore seeing how there are complications that come with an artificial girlfriend. It is not the most positive of endings but I think it is realistic because it shows how as humans it is our actions that build the path we follow, and all consequences are a result of what we do. Theodore invested a lot in to the relationship and withdrew himself from many people so when it ends there is still some positivity in seeing him strengthening his connection with this friend, played by Amy Adams.

It’s going to be a controversial point but I’d argue that one of the finest romantic comedy writers is still Woody Allen. He’s not a person many people like; I think too many people have been brainwashed in to thinking they don’t like his films because they don’t like the Woody Allen they read about in the Daily Mail. Personally I think he is a complex man and I do not condone any of the actions he has been accused of by any means, but I haven’t let this prevent me from enjoying his contributions to cinema. Particularly for this topic I believe Allen’s contributions are most admirable. As a comedic writer his back catalogue is unparalleled and he has given us some of the most impressive romantic comedies, the majority of which have realistic endings.

Firstly consider Annie Hall, arguably Allen’s most well known film. It tells the story of comedian Alvy Singer’s relationship with the titular character, from the initial stage of young romantics through to the inevitable breakup. I don’t think that’s a bad way to end a film, two grown ups accepting that their relationship is no longer working (I draw your attention to Alvy’s dead shark analogy) and that’s the mature thing to do. It is admirable of a writer to approach love with at least a shred of maturity and accepting that not everything lasts forever. It’s more realistic to show Alvy and Annie parting ways as friends than try to convince us they could stay together for a happy ending. In fact I’d say that’s one of my favourite moments of film, seeing the montage of Annie and Alvy together before Alvy speaks of how grateful he is to had had Annie in his life and how he still sees her as a fantastic person.

Furthermore I think it’s clear from Allen’s body of work that he is capable of mastering the obscure comedic elements that we all love but then balances them with absolute sincerity when approaching love as a topic. Films like like Midnight in Paris which again ends with a break up of sorts but again it is one that the audience has to see as logical. It is a grown man accepting that the woman he is with is no longer a nice person and so he cannot stay with her. It is an ending that leaves us full of uncertainty because we don’t fully known what is going to happen to Gil after leaving Inez and deciding to move to Paris, but we know that he has done the right thing. The image of a man sitting alone in Paris staring blankly without knowing what his future will hold is a sad image, but it would have been so much sadder if he had stayed with Inez.

To summarise I suppose what I want from the ending of a romance film, because it is a genre I care greatly about, is for it to be realistic. If the characters have behaved like idiots but still get the person they want, that’s inappropriate. It is their own behaviour that brings them to their conclusions, so for a writer to suggest (much like we see constantly throughout the series Friends) that a character can act like an absolute arsehole and just generally annoy everyone but then still end up with the person they want for a happy ending, doesn’t quite sit well with me.

It makes me happy to see writers such as Woody Allen and Spike Jonze writing for intelligent, sentient beings who can accept that not everything is perfect in the world, and you can’t deal with that unless you acknowledge it. I’ve had the misfortune of seeing films that butcher the romantic genre on screen *cough* The Fault in our Stars *cough* but I have also had the pleasure of seeing some of the best pieces of romantic cinema, written by both admirable and talented writers who keep the genre alive.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, whether you’re a regular viewer or if this is your first time on this blog I’m grateful for you choosing to spend ten minutes of your day reading my work. If there is anything you’d like to discuss, any films you would like to address, or any comments (good or bad) then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I will send a response within twenty four hours.

midnight in paris

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film Translation


Cinema screens worldwide are soon to be poisoned with this unwanted and unjustified big screen transferral, and it’s safe to say Mr Grey will not see me now, or my money for that matter.

I was hoping I was going to wake up from this nightmare world where bad books were somehow granted access to cinema screens, but it seems as though that nightmare was in fact reality. I had doubts when I was sat in a cinema screening for a genuine adaptation of The Fault in our Stars which apparently happened, and now that I realise how real all of this is it would appear that the next of these pieces of rubbish is rapidly approaching on the horizon. So lock up your daughters and other family members, head for the underground bunkers and wait for Armageddon because Fifty Shades of Grey‘s big screen adaption is coming soon! I hope the radiation seeps in and sucks my eye balls out of skull so I don’t have to watch the film.

I still maintain that the film does not need to be made. Because it doesn’t. It’s based on a book that is appallingly written and completely lacks substance or any real interest, so how on earth can you make a film of that? It’s going to be a grotesque and completely unartistic piece of film that is already making me lose faith in people because they actually want to see it. They want to give money to this disgusting enterprise.

It’s going to cause all sorts of controversy, much like the book did, just because in terms of what statement it is making with its gender politics is a complete backwards step. And then a couple more. In fact a whole marathon backwards. We’re living in a world that is quite rightfully striving for gender equality, with more and more books and films showing female characters as independent and really breaking free from the shackles of how they were previously portrayed. And now we have this film. A film showing an arrogant self obsessed man who is animalistic and boulder headed, with a woman who is wracked with self doubt, weak willed to the point of being submissive at the first signs of challenging characteristics, and basically showing how a man can take complete control of her. That is not welcome. Male supremacy is an ugly undertone to the books so one can only assume the film is going to be of the same nature. It isn’t sexy, it’s infuriating and completely counterproductive. But still it’s being sold to us a romantic movie? I’m sorry but I am not convinced for one moment that this film is going to be romantic in any sense of the word.

As of yet we’ve only had a couple of trailers for the film and the odd poster thrown at us but already people are labelling the film “exciting” and even “sexy”, which I think is a bit too kind. See I think what the trailers have done is tricked people in to thinking it’s going to be this sexy film that’s romantic or good in any sense of the word. It’s got loads of lines of dialogue that are written to make people think it’s romantic, much like the song Blurred Lines did last year, until you stepped back and listened to it more carefully and realised that actually it has some sinister undertones. I analysed that song on this very blog and basically gave a translation for some of the lines that needed a little bit of clarification. So what I’ve decided to do this time is to break down some of the lines from the trailers that have been released for this film so far and clear the air as to what they really mean and what they are really telling us about the characters. I think there is more of an air of truth to my translations but obviously people will interpret them in different ways. Make of them what you will:

“Mr Grey will see you now” –  Let’s get this ball rolling with a line that makes him sound more mysterious than he actually is. Really it’s more of a warning has to how arrogant he is and it’s the perfect time to turn around and ditch the interview. No? Don’t worry, you’ll learn the hard way”

“He was polite, intense, smart, really intimidating” – “He’s a successful man and I’m just a woman. Also he was wearing a suit. I’m one of those people who finds anyone in a suit attractive. Like literally anyone. Successful business man? Check. Groom at a wedding? Check. The manager of a department store? Check. The people that carry the coffin on their shoulders at a funeral? Check. Serial killer appearing in court? mmmmm sexy”

“There’s really not much to know about me, I mean look at me” – “Open invite for him to make a cliched line that shows how a big successful man can somehow find something attractive in a wilting flower of a lady. I don’t need anyone else to tell me I’m unimportant because I’m doing that for myself, I mean why be self confident? Urgh, so unattractive!”

“I exercise control in all things Miss Steele” – “blah blah blah hegemonic masculinity blah blah blah successful blah blah better than you blah blah blah I’m complex blah blah blah sociopath blah blah blah pontification”

*response to the previous line* “it must be really boring” – “it’s funny because I’m going to find out later that actually he’s not boring because he’s going to take control of me. Love the irony there, classic”

“I’m incapable of leaving you alone” – “the courts have not stopped me yet so make hay while the sun shines!”

“I had a rough start in life, you should stay clear of me” – “this is cliched and ambiguous enough to make it sound like there is some level of depth to my character right? I mean we have established I am a fully one dimensional character with absolutely no substance at all but this slightly mysterious line makes it sound like there could be more to me right? Let’s just go with that, who gives a shit about writing anyway? BORING! Let’s get to some whipping scenes man! Bring on the chains and handcuffs!”

“I don’t do romance” – “as long as my sexual needs are met then this is a functioning relationship. That’s the way this thing works right? She is finding all of this sexy? Alright then! All I have to do is wait until the next time she’s menstruating and we are good to go!”

“My tastes are very singular” – “Blurred lines! I know you want it! I know you want it, you’re a good gi- oh…. yeah I should have mentioned this before. You know how some guys aren’t in to sharing? Like when you go out for a meal they’ll want to order separate meals and pay for separate meals and leave it at that? That’s what we’re talking here. I promise it doesn’t get any worse than that. What was that? What’s the blindfold and riding crop for? Nothing….”

“Enlighten me then” – “Let me in to your world where I can be reduced to a dog toy within this relationship! It’ll still be sexy because the man in the suit is in charge and the anxious woman is serving her purpose”

“I have a natural instinct for what makes a person tick” – “mainly myself. I understand myself quite well”

“You do realise he hasn’t stopped looking at you?” – “I think Hannibal likes you. I mean Dorian Gray. Shit I mean Christian Grey. Fuck sake creeps are all the same”

I mean obviously the translations aren’t word for word and there are a few other words thrown in to the mix so the lines are slightly longer, but it’s near enough a direct translation. Maybe with a dose of sarcasm too, but it’s hardly noticeable.

As said before, other people will interpret these lines in different ways and so will get different things from them. All I got from them was a feeling of discomfort and a suspicion that there is some fucking awful writing afoot. I wonder why.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of romance films, I will admit that. When romance films are written well then they can make it as some of the best films you will ever see in your life. Films like Casablanca and Annie Hall are utterly fantastic and kick start a whole cocktail of emotions because they are fantastically written are just so engaging on a raw level. This is nothing like that. This is a film that it is the complete opposite of romantic. It is toxic to its very core, and I hope that some of the petitions to get this film banned from local multiplexes are taken seriously. It is a film that is going to suck more money out of the idiots who already bought the book, and then the people who made it can claim that it’s a good film because the box office stats were booming. Just because it takes money it doesn’t mean it is a good film. Titanic, Transformers 1,2,3 &4, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Grown Ups 2 and the Hangover Trilogy is living proof that the box office stats mean bugger all.

Everyone involved in this film should feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves. And that is including, and I am sorry to say this because previously she was admirable, but Beyonce. When she was involved in campaigns that encouraged young girls to be confident and stand up for themselves, I was happy. Now that she’s taken a back step and is recording alternative versions of her songs to help advertise a movie as degrading as this, I will admit my opinion has been altered. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed because I expected better from her.

But as I have said before when I wrote about this film, I want to be proven wrong. I want this film to come out and kick all of my opinions out of the window and show me that I was wrong and that actually it is a good film. There’s nothing better for a film fanatic than when you expect a film to be bad but it proves you wrong and shows itself to be brilliant. I want it to happen of course I do. Do I think it’s going to happen? No. Looking at the source material, I’d say there is a very slim chance this film will be good.

To summarise, I merely have to quote the poem Storm by Tim Minchin:

“You show me that it works and how it works, and after I have recovered from the shock, I will take a compass and carve “fancy that” on the side of my cock!”


What Exactly is Wrong with “Love Actually”?


Christmas is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to talk about what is arguably one of the most popular christmas films of the modern age. 

December is now racing by, my advent calendar is moving in to that stage now when it looks like it’s had a break in, so I thought it the best time to talk about Christmas films. I sat down and watched It’s a Wonderful Life yesterday which has already made me want to run out in to the streets in a Jimmy Stewart fashion and shout joyous greetings at strangers. But alas until I am prime minister or supreme overlord I shall have to restrict my happiness to the borders of my bedroom.

Another film I’ve already managed to watch is one that it is essentially one of the best modern christmas films, and that’s Richard Curtis’ much loved comedy Love Actually starring just about every big British actor you can think of. And Hugh Grant.

Now there’s a common misconception that men do not like this film. It’s an assumption that women of all ages make when the topic of this film comes up, and they believe that men generally hate this film, which I’m afraid just isn’t true. I have a lot of friends that are guys and they all talk about this film and talk about how funny it is. I myself have even said on numerous occasions that I really like romantic comedies if they are written well, which I believe this film is. I think it’s a film that has a lot of heart at this time of year and is an uplifting experience every time I watch it.

It’s not a film that is meant to be taken too seriously, so it’s not meant to be over analysed and it’s not necessarily one that people will go in to depth with over the cinematography. It’s just a bit of fun that is written to make the audience laugh and to make them smile at the end. It is very reminiscent of ancient Greek theatre in which the comedic plays weren’t meant to be anywhere near as complex or deep as the dramatic pieces, they were purely meant to be absurd pieces of surreal theatre that had a happy ending. That is exactly what you have with Love Actually, it’s a bit of fun that’s meant to make us laugh at a time of the year that is commonly associated with being happy. If you really want to go in to detail over it and over analyse it then the film isn’t for you. I know some people want to analyse every bit of detail for every film, which is fine if you’re watching something like 12 Years A Slave but it just plain stupidity with something like this. If you didn’t like it because you took it too seriously then you need to lighten up a bit a stop being so bloody boring.

It’s great to see a film talk about love as a broad topic. The problem with most modern rom coms is that they focus on just on couple, or one type of person, which is exactly what this film avoids. What Curtis shows with this film is that love is something that can happen to absolutely anybody in absolutely any possible way. So instead of just having a young american couple like a lot of films do, you’ve got an all manner of different scenarios in which people are falling in love, from Andrew Lincoln falling in love with his friend’s new wife, to Joanna Page and Martin Freeman falling in love whilst filming as nude doubles for other actors. It is such a broad look at love that even covers age which is quite interesting to see, in particular the character played fantastically by a young Thomas Brodie-Sangster which is that of a child going through their first experience of love, but who speaks like a jaded heartbroken writer.

The narrative structure is quite clever also, with several threads that all come together, be it straight away or right at the last minute, but it’s good to see a film at christmas that promotes this idea of community. I understand this time of year means different things to different people but one of the key things I think you’ll find among most is that it is a time to spend with the people that mean the most to you. That is exactly what this film promotes, showing couples (obviously), friends, siblings, extended family, reconstituted families and a whole other bunch of relationships so it gives the film a warm feeling. It makes you think about how much people mean to you and just how lucky you are to have people around you at Christmas time so in that respect it is a film with a lot of heart.

I have always admired Richard Curtis as a writer because not only is he a very clever man, but also he is extremely talented at forming such fantastic characters. He is good at observing things that happen in real life and then putting them to screen in a comical style. For example one of my favourite characters in the film is that of Rowan Atkinson as the sales advisor, which although it is a small role it is one that shows some of the best observational comedy you will ever see. It’s not only subversively mocking shop attendants but also it is quite clearly mocking the high end jewelry stores that have such a focus on being pompous and excessive. And the of course who can forget his depiction of the British Prime Minister? He takes a figure we all see as being boring and rigid and very much work based, and then shows them dancing around number ten to Jump by the Pointer Sisters. It is one of those moments in film that never ceases to make me laugh every time I watch it, just because of the absurdity of the whole situation.

The subversive comedy doesn’t just stop there though, it seems as though Curtis uses a lot of different topics to provide a satirical approach to the modern age. As discussed before there is obviously the jokes based on both British and American politics, then there’s the mocking of how British people act to Christmas shopping but one of my favourite characters is Bill Nighy as the jaded pop star who makes a bloody awful christmas single. He is an over the top wanker who is incredibly unlikable but he is one of the finer comical points of the film. He represents just how stupid the music industry gets around christmas time, with people selling themselves out just to be number one, the same song being played over and over so it is nice to see Curtis and Nighy openly mocking this. Also the side of his character that openly talks about sex and drugs is a perfect mockery of several famous musicians which adds to the comical value.

I think as a nation we do like this film quite a lot because of how unashamedly British it is. It is a film that celebrates Britain as a nation by parading some of our finest actors throughout and by celebrating humour that we all love. And it’s not just the scene where the Prime Minister verbally destroys the President that make you feel proud to be British, it’s all of the moments that show just what British people are like. One of the best scenes for this is when Joanna Page and Martin Freeman are the nude doubles, so they are completely naked in front of each other and in an all manner of sexual positions, and yet they’re talking about how bad the traffic was. It’s awkward and stale humour but it’s the sort of thing a British person would do and so I think the film for us as a nation is relatable.

My only problem with the film is that I’m a fan of more realistic romance films where there isn’t necessarily a happy ending. Films like Submarine and Annie Hall where the unhappy ending is shown to be the result of the main character fucking up so many times seem more realistic to me and more relatable. Particularly in this film it is the scenes of upset that I think are more human because they how love can be used as a weapon as well as a medicine for healing. In particular the thread of the narrative that hits me the most is that of Emma Thompson’s and her troubles with her husband. As upsetting as it is to see her go through that and be stuck with such a nasty prick is is the sequence that seems more realistic than all of the happiness at the end. But I understand at this time of year we need happy endings to keep spirits up, and I’m not sure the film would have the same impact if it ended with masses of heartbreak, divorce and death so I am willing to let the glossy Hollywood ending win on this occasion.

So I probably will watch the film again over the christmas period, it is a bit of fun for this time of year and allows my inner film nerd to kick back and relax for a bit without over thinking so much. It’s also a time to watch some classic films that tv channels like to play at this time, most notably Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so this can be a good time of year for films.

But enough about my opinions, I want to hear what you think of the film and whether you think it is an important christmas film or not. Also I’m interested to hear what christmas films people love, so feel free to leave a comment at the bottom.

Until the next time I shall leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the film:


My Predictions For How Game of Thrones Ends, Place Your Bets

I can guarantee that the majority of people who see the title of this post, wherever they may see it, will continue to scroll because they’re not interested. In which case shame on all of those people, they don’t know what they’re missing out on.

As of last week I am fully up to date on all Game of Thrones events, having blitzed through the third season over the space of two afternoons. I now understand so many references and can indulge in various discussions about the programme, and with the fourth season now airing and two more seasons confirmed, it seems only appropriate to talk about the different possibilities for how it all ends. So what I thought I’d do is take every main character and guess what will be their eventual outcome, based on their current state, what I think of them, and what I would like to see happen. So I’ve devised two different outcomes for the characters, what I want to happen and what I think will actually happen.

I will say in advance I haven’t read the books so I don’t actually know what happens to the characters, the predictions here mere guesses, written to provide some form of entertaining experience for fellow GOT fans. There may be slight spoilers, but I shall do my best to speak spoilerese.

Tyrion Lannister 

Ideal – I want him to be happy, settle down with the woman he loves in a nice condo in California and become a successful director. Possibly becoming king by some bizarre route, alas there is more chance of Ned Stark becoming king.

Actual – I get the feeling he’s going to continue being unhappy and having decisions made for him, forcing him to take a part time job on the checkouts in a supermarket. Tywin will probably push him into working for Walmart.

Cersei Lannister

Ideal – just to be unhappy. To realise that she is quite a repellent human being and to be banished to a place that fits her personality. Like Hull.

Actual – she will remain the same, annoying everything and everyone and being one of the few people that does not die. Her inappropriate behaviour will continue to grow, expanding in to areas such as internet fraud, and still she will receive no form of justice for her actions.

Arya Stark

Ideal- can she just be happy please? She’s gone through so much already, I just want her journeying to reach a nice conclusion and for her to settle down somewhere. She could even become a teacher of self defence for young people. Or use needle to teach sewing, I don’t know, just as long as she’s happy

Actual – she is doomed to spend the next three years walking/ running, in a Forrest Gump like fashion, until she needs new trainers and grows a full beard

Daenerys Targaryen

Ideal – she finally reaches Westeros, still bent on claiming the throne and becoming Queen, however when she gets there it turns out all of the soldiers are a figment of her imagination and her dragons are mere kites she guides on string. It turns out she was a patient on Shutter Island who was allowed to act out her fantasy as a way of realising who she really was. It didn’t work.

Actual – I want her to continue building her army up to make it strong and stronger, until she eventually reaches Westeros and no one recognises her. She has no reputation and so has to open her own pet shop, specialising in lizards and other reptiles

Jon Snow

Ideal – finally knows something

Actual – knows nothing

Jorah (AKA Captain Friend-zone)

Ideal – he finally tells Daenerys what he thinks of her, and after venting his emotions he goes on to lead a happy life and eventually moves on to someone who is less obsessed with bloody dragons. The mentioning of the word “dragon” causes him to have panic attacks for some time.

Actual – he delves deeper and deeper in to the friend-zone, forever doomed to see naked Daenerys, but no touchy touchy

Sansa Stark

Ideal – she realises that Joffrey had essentially brainwashed her in to this whole “traitor” mindset, she slaps him and applies for a place at the University of Sheffield to study graphic design. Eventually she defers her entry and moves to Alaska with Sam Tarly. He’s used to the cold weather and he’s looking for a career change so it works out perfectly for the both of them.

Actual – I can’t be too specific, but I don’t think she’s going to be happy. There’s more this “I’m not hungry” and “I’m going to pray” rubbish so all we can do is hope it’s a teenage phase she grows out of.

Joffrey Baratheon 

Ideal – suffering, lots and lots of suffering. Involving his crossbow. Oh and Tyrion gets to slap him again and tell him to go to bed.

Actual – his reign of error shall continue and he’ll grow old as a the king, and none shall oppose him. It’ll be a similar situation to Margaret Thatcher; he’ll lose his position but only after a number of years and a lot of controversial decisions. There will be an uproar of celebrations once he eventually dies (another possible link to Thatcher, interpret as you wish)


Ideal – Hodor

Actual – Hodor

‘The Hound’

Ideal – He will continue with his “not giving a f***” attitude and his anti-establishment views because he’s his own man, allowing him to form his own punk band called “f*** the king”. Their debut album “don’t play with fire” reached number 17 in the charts.

Actual – a freak accident will lead to permanent brain damage, restricting his vocabulary to the word “yarp” and forcing him to become a trolley boy at Somerfield working for Timothy Dalton. I hope people get the reference.

Bran Stark

Ideal – he shall continue with his animal talking and shall live in the jungle like Mowgli

Actual – he’s going to take over from Eddie Murphy and make some more Doctor Dolittle films, nearly killing off his career completely

Jaime Lannister 

Ideal – he realises that he no longer needs his sister for coitus and moves on to a more conventional relationship with someone who isn’t psychopathic.

Actual – with his new metal hand he goes on with Han Solo to take on the empire and defeat Darth Vader

Tywin Lannister

Ideal – he backs down and gets his arse back to Harrenhal, leaving Tyrion to his own devices

Actual – he moves away to Hawaii with Hodor, where they elope and have a healthy relationship, running a cafe on the beach

Lord Baelish

Ideal – he becomes more and more mysterious as a person until he eventually just disappears as a puff of smoke in the night.

Actual – he goes on to become a very successful Gary Oldman impersonator


Ideal – the banter never stops and he continues to serve Tyrion through thick and thin, with various disputes about whether he is being paid enough.

Actual – HBO funds a comedy programme consisting of Bronn and Tyrion improvising conversations. It runs for 16 successful seasons before ending with a christmas special set in Spain.


Ideal – she stumbles across the Doctor as a young child, goes travelling through time and space and marries Rory.

Actual – she wanders for miles and miles before realising that she’s actually two centimetres tall and is in fact living inside a giant snow globe. She curses the glass sky and shouts “who am I to have sexy cave times with now?”

Now I’m not particularly good at maths, I got my A at GCSE and left it there, so I don’t know what the odds are of these things actually happening, but at the moment I’d say they’re about 3:1.

Already I can hear fans of George R. R. Martin leaning back in their chairs and cracking their knuckles, ready to type various comments about how wrong I am or how childish I am for writing such nonsense, but I look forward to reading them. It can’t be as bad as all of the abuse I got for my views on The Hobbit. Tolkien fans are vicious. And quite bitchy too.

So those are my guesses as to what happens, I’m very interested to find out what other people think is going to happen, please feel free to leave your opinions.

I’m nearly certain that some of these things could possibly happen.



Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke – Lyrics Translation/ Meaning

I know it was one of the most popular songs of last year and it had a certain amount of downloads, but honestly, that is not a display of whether it’s a good song or not. If you actually listen to the lyrics you start to realise just how horrific it actually is, I mean the title of the song should just be changed to “no means yes”. 

Some people, including Mr Thicke himself, have attempted to defend the song by saying that the lyrics are written about his wife. Because that makes it better somehow..? It’s like being pulled over by the police and saying “no officer it wasn’t just any child I ran over back there, it was my own son”. So not only has Mr Thicke written a song that’s a little bit rapey, we now find out it’s about his wife, which makes me dislike the song even more because it makes it even more poisonous than I thought it was originally. If this song was a person that was walking down the street whilst on fire I would punch it to the ground. And I’m not a violent person. Seriously. I got annoyed and kicked a bin once and I thought I was dying, but I’m willing to make an exception. 

Now I know there’s been a bit of confusion about what the song actually means, so what I thought I’d do for the benefit of everyone is to translate what the lyrics actually mean based on Mr Thicke’s thoughts. I didn’t want to do the whole song so I’ve picked out the main lines that I thought needed a bit of help. In bold you will find the lines in the song, and in italics you’ll find Mr Thicke’s actual thoughts. 

“everybody get up” – “leave now. You have been warned. This song gets weird”

“if you can’t hear what I’m trying to say” – “I am a man, therefore you must listen to me. If I am not listened to then I shall continue with my actions regardless. You have been warned second class citizen”

“If you can’t read from the same page” – “oh, you’re reading from The Guardian and I’m reading Nuts Magazine? Don’t worry I’ll carry on talking any way” 

“maybe I’m going deaf, maybe I’m going blind, maybe I’m out of my mind” – “there is something wrong with me regardless and I would like to seek professional help on the matter. I’m not entirely sure what it is that’s wrong with me, but from my basic understanding it involves and inability to comprehend the meaning of the word “no””

*inaudible noise from Pharrell Williams* – “ha ha, that’s some bloody good writing there. Modern listeners love the repetition of the noise Pharrell makes when he’s having a prostate exam”

“tried to domesticate you” – “darn it! But where others have tried, I shall succeed! Avengers Assemble!”

“just let me liberate you” – “I would like to place a part of my body inside your body, regardless of whether you would like this or not. I have decided this is the best course of action and a second opinion does not need to be found. This is the end”

“you don’t need no papers” – “there is no official documentation needed for us to have intercourse”

“that man is not your maker” – “never let a man control you and say you’re his possession! Unless that man is me… then absolutely follow every word that leaves his mouth”

“and that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl” – “firstly I would like to apologise for my grammar, I’m aware that “gon'” is not an actual word, but you guessed from the start that my writing ability is rather restricted. Basically I plan to take a lovely young individual, who was perfectly happy in her life before meeting me, and put her through ten uncomfortable minutes just so I can feel satisfied that I’m living life properly, that’s reasonable right?” 

“I know you want it” – “I’ve made this decision for you, I think it would be advantageous to both of us if we follow this course of action. I know that you don’t actually want to because you have refused several times, but if I repeat this line several times throughout the song then it negates your entire argument. Jeez I should decide people’s thoughts for them more often”

“can’t let it get past me” – “I have this weird obsession where I have my mind set on something so it has to happen. It started off as just little things like having to check the door was locked a certain amount of times before I leave the house, or flicking the light switch 206 times to make sure it’s definitely locked, but it somehow grew to this”

“I hate these blurred lines” – “you know I cannot stand it when someone says the word “no” and I don’t understand what they mean. Even if they say the sentence ” I do not want to have sex with you” I still find that too ambiguous. It could mean so many different things so I’m going to use my initiative and go with what my gut tells me. Which is do it any way. Success”

“the way you grab me, must wanna get nasty” – “a member of the opposite sex touched me? She must want to have sex with me! Even if it’s just brushing past each other in a small corridor in an office. Or her reaching past me at the supermarket to reach something on a higher shelf, slipping slightly and placing her hand on my arm to steady herself. It’s a date”

“what rhymes with hug me?” – “this is a tough one. Can I phone a friend? Pharrell! Pharrell! F*** sake he’s just making those stupid noises at me”

“I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” – “that is genuinely what I’m thinking. I’m that arrogant and I think this is the perfect way to charm a woman. Never mind being romantic, if I behave like an arse to her then she’ll want me more. That’s right isn’t it?”

“he don’t smack your ass and pull your hair like that” – “a gentleman? I don’t like the sound of being nice”

“not many women can refuse this pimpin'” – “my personality, like many other people’s nowadays, is very difficult to stomach but remembers lads, if they say the word “no” and you ignore it, then it didn’t really happen!”

“I’m a nice guy” – “just thought I’d throw some irony in there to make sure that everyone was awake at this point during the song”

*random Pharrell Williams section that doesn’t include unsettling noises* – “yeah the guy who I had to name drop to make this song a success had to have their own part. If you want to skip this bit then go for it. Or just do what I’m doing in the music video and chill with some naked ladies”

I’m not saying that this is the actual meaning behind the song, it’s just my own interpretation. I’m aware that different people get different things from songs so I just thought I’d give an alternative perspective. 

I say that people get different things from songs, well what I got was an uncomfortable experience that filled me with so much anger it made me realise just what I dislike about modern popular music. If a man is allowed to make a song that has very sinister messages behind it and an even more sinister un-rated music video, and then have that song make it to number one, then I’m glad I avoid listening to the charts. It’s a toxic landmine filled with such filth and it makes me sick to think that people think it’s alright to laugh at the song. It’s funny is it? It’s alright to laugh a song based around a man who is so arrogant he believes he can have sex with any girl out there, regardless of having consent, and to use naked women as objects in his music video? Ha bloody ha. 

People can defend it all they like, but if it’s going to treat women in such a disrespectful way then it will always be utterly without merit in my eyes. I will never call it romantic, I will never call it catchy, and I certainly will never call it good. 

And as for Mr Williams, who is responsible for the god awful song “happy”, this rant is far from over. 

500 Days of Summer Results in 500 Minutes of Over-Thinking

It’s only been four months since I turned eighteen and yet there are more signs appearing that I am a fifty four year old man trapped inside a young man’s body. I find myself feeling negative even after watching a film that’s meant to be funny. It’s not negative as in “everything is awful” or “I don’t like living” but it’s more just me thinking about why people are so annoying. 

I’m starting to consider the fact that it might not be films I dislike, but it’s the people in them that I dislike. It sounds silly because I know they’re not real, but I allow myself to get to immersed in to a film that for the time they’re on screen, they’re real people. It’s odd how I develop a bigger hatred over an hour and half running time for someone who doesn’t exist than I do for someone over a number of years who does exist. It’s the reason why films that are loved by everyone else are less enjoyable for me, as I found recently this is the case with the film ‘500 Days of Summer’. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like how the film is written and the style of it is very well delivered, it was a romantic comedy that I was able to sit through and find myself enjoying it, but it made me uncomfortable. It’s curious how romantic comedies are set up to make you like or dislike certain people, and even more curious how I can take this rule and turn it completely on it’s head. I’ve seen the film four times now and after each time my thoughts became more distorted, like so:

First viewing: “I dislike the female character. It was unfair for her to lead the man on and make him feel as bad as he did. It’s her fault that he ended up feeling so unhappy”

Second viewing: “Actually I dislike the male character. It’s his fault that he’s unhappy because she clearly stated at the beginning that she wasn’t looking for a relationship, so it’s his fault for jumping in too quickly and assuming it was a solid deal. His unhappiness is caused by his own stupidity”

Third viewing: “You know what? I dislike both of them. They’re not going to be happy together so there’s no point in them even trying to patch things up. I don’t think either of them actually know what they want because the line between friendship and having casual sex has been completely removed. If they’re going to string it out over a five hundred day period then they deserve to be unhappy quite frankly”

Fourth viewing: “I don’t like anyone in this film. The couple (if you can call them that) are just plain annoying because neither of them can look after themselves let alone another human being so they shouldn’t be trusted with the idea of a relationship, the friends are beyond useless because they’re written to be the stereotypical beer drinking, football watching guys that every American is supposed to know, I don’t even know why Chloe Grace Moretz is in this film because her character is about as important as the football she kicks around, and then the people that the guy works with are beyond irritating. Why do they care so much about stupid greetings cards? All of their ideas on love are so distorted, they just need to take a step back and think about their actions. Or are they all too busy singing Karaoke at the bar? I’m glad they’ve all stopped talking and don’t actually exist”

So when I said my thoughts became a little bit distorted, what I actually meant was that they spiralled out of control and lead to me not wanting to speak to anyone in case they annoyed me as much as people in the film did. It’s annoying how it went from being a film I actually quite liked the first time I watched it to being one that can easily irritate me when I think about it. 

It wasn’t just the whole relationship crisis that annoyed me in the film, it was the fact that Zoeey Deschanel plays the character that’s supposed to be different and mysterious…again. 

The word that is often used to describe the film, and Deschanel’s character in the film is “quirky”. It’s a word that annoys me beyond belief when describing a person, let alone a film. It’s a word that people use to justify being slightly odd, or dressing in a different way, or listening to music that others haven’t heard , or eating hummus in a onesie at three in the morning or blah blah blah. It’s a word that it used by so many people it completely negates the meaning of the word. Now to describe a film as that suggests to me that you haven’t got a lot else to say about it. It’s almost as bas as when a film is described as a “sexy comedy” because that suggests the best the writing team behind it could come up with was cleavage shots, a food fight and then a gag about male genitals.

Anyway getting back to the Deschanel’ issue, it was annoying how she was meant to be “quirky” because it made her character quite irritating, but then it was made worse by the fact they tried to link this behaviour to listening to the Smiths. Now I’m a big fan of the Smiths so it was annoying to see their name being used as another “quirky” interest for the young Summer. I like the Smiths but I’m not anything like Summer. I think the writing behind their lyrics is superb and it reflects so much about Morrissey, but I’m the sort of fan who knows that they have more songs than just “there is a light that never goes out”. 

I think it’s just one of those films that I like and dislike at the same time but I well never truly settle on one side of the argument. I will never go so far as to say I hate the film because it’s not that bad, but then equally I will never go so far as to say I love it because I admit it has flaws. I don’t know if I dislike it because I’m thinking about it too much or because it’s meant to be annoying, but either way it’s allowed the inner old man in me to moan, which shouldn’t be done on any occasion.

In summary the old man part of my mind doesn’t like female characters who flutter their eyelashes and have supposedly “cute” laughs, guys who don’t think properly about situatons, young people not appreciating old music, people who are named after seasons, greetings cards, and the word “quirky”.

After thinking about it for so long I’m worried what my thoughts on the film will be after watching it for a fifth time. 


300 and Titanic Aren’t Good Films, Pirates Of The Caribbean Wasn’t Johnny Depp’s finest Moment, And Episodes I, II & III Killed Star Wars – Among Other Unpopular Opinions

In recent conversation with fellow film enthusiasts the subject of directors and writers caused quite a bit of stir, with blocking positions and take down moves being thrown about like a bad game of Street Fighter. It gets very annoying when a discussion gets turned into an argument when someone cannot accept an alternative opinion. I like to stay reasonably open minded when it comes to people’s opinions about films because obviously we all interpret them in different ways and get different things out of them. However, if I am faced, for example, with a situation where someone is ramming their opinion down my throat about how “House Bunny is one of the best films ever made” then I’m afraid it is a case of the feces and the fan. 

What people cannot seem to accept is that directors and writers have their off days. It happens with nearly all of them; the Coen brothers made ‘The Ladykillers’, Quentin Tarantino made ‘Death Proof’, Ridley Scott made ‘Robin Hood’, Francis Ford Coppola made ‘The Godfather Part III’, Zack Snyder made… films, but you can see my point that every once in a while they slip below standards. It just so happens that some people do it a lot more than others. 

As the title suggests there are films that other people consider to be “good” whereas I on the other hand disagree. If my opinions are labelled as being unpopular then so be it, I’ll stand by them. I come from a generation of teenage boys that would label ‘300’ and ‘Watchmen’ as “awesome” which makes me want to bury my head in the sand like an Ostrich. It just goes to show the mental age of directors like Zack Snyder that impresses young audience by overloading a film with visual effects a blood rather than substance. He does have a unique visual style and it does work well for films, but in terms of directing he couldn’t direct traffic let alone a decent film. Any director that makes a film where they ensure every actor has some stomach muscles present and then let’s Gerard Butler get away with not actually acting needs to be sat on the naughty step by Supernanny, have their camera taken off of them and left to think about what they have done wrong. By which point they’ll obviously have missed on their chances of gaining an award for lifetime achievement. People seem to think that there is a direct link between running time and substance, which clearly isn’t the case because ‘Watchmen’ rambles on for the best part of three hours and remains consistently average. The source material clearly wasn’t considered by Snyder enough, he was too distracted in making sure the latex outfits looked good. Which they didn’t. Both ‘Watchmen’ and ‘300’ poorly made films that lack real substance and interest, but you know something, they’re marketed perfectly for the audience they’re aimed at; bored teenagers who need violence to keep them awake.

It’s not just the young lads of my age group that annoy me though, the girls have their fair input as well, nearly deafening me by ranting about how good a film ‘Titanic’ is. Just for the record in case anyone hadn’t figured it out yet; it isn’t. James Cameron had the chance to make a big and bold film that was historically accurate but instead he turned it in to a romance film based on a fictitious couple. It ruined what could have been a good film, with elongated scenes of Jack and Rose talking aimlessly about things we don’t care about. I don’t know what James Cameron was thinking when he wrote the screenplay, but it must have been along the lines of “MONEY MONEY MONEY” which would explain why we have such painful scenes. For example, the most ridiculous scene of the entire film is when Jack and Rose are stood on the main deck with the ship slowly sinking and everyone screaming in fear, Rose turns to Jack and says “this is where we first met” which after nearly three hours of our lives wasted was not only an obvious statement but a stupid one too. Why did we need this repeated? To make us care about their relationship and to reinforce how strong their love is? If anything it made me care less about their relationship, I was feeling rather sorry for Jack being stuck with someone who can’t prioritise in a time of genuine panic.The montage of the different people that we see as the ship is sinking, such as the mother comforting her children, was of more interest. I cared more about them in thirty seconds of screen presence than I did after three hours of Jack and Rose face time. I wouldn’t say that it is a bad film, I would go so far as to say it is an awful film that was a wasted opportunity.

But it’s not just film makers I dislike that I have to slate sometimes, on the rare occasion I do have pick at the ones I do like. Those who try to start an argument with me by saying “Django Unchained was a bad film” never expect me to agree with them which is brilliant. It’s not that I think it’s a bad film, because it is excellently written and Tarantino deserved his Oscar for screenplay. but because it is very ill disciplined. The comic book style of blood splattering violence did become quite tiresome towards the end and there are tangents in the film that could have been avoided. Not one of Tarantino’s best films, but it is clearly one of his best scripts. It was funny, it was intelligent, it had a certain charm to it that made the characters interesting, it was well thought out and only ever dropped out during the tangents. 

It’s always interesting when people like an actor and so automatically defend their work regardless of their performance. For instance I know a lot of people who like Johnny Depp, which I can understand because he is a very talented actor, and yet they fail to see that his best performance is not in ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’. His impression of Keith Richards is slightly funny to begin with but becomes quite tiresome and it is not his best acting role by far, however I do not blame Depp for his performance being tainted in the film, I blame the director. There was a famous story from the filming of the first ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ in which Johnny Depp came on stage and started acting like a drunk Keith Richards without being told to. The studio hated his performance and told Gore Verbinski as the director to tell him to change it, which he didn’t because he didn’t. That shows the directing capability of such a man, who cannot tell his leading actor how to act out of the fear that he may leave the film. The first Pirates film was a bit all over the place but it was enjoyable in places and Johnny Depp was alright in his role, but we didn’t need there to be sequels. This allowed Verbinski to indulge himself in this franchise that got out of control until even he didn’t want to direct the fourth film. Does it need to end now? Definitely. Is it going to end now? Of course not.

I’ve mentioned the next point before but only briefly so I will repeat it just for those who missed it; the Star Wars prequels are awful. Yes they may be visually pleasing and have a lot of action, but what’s that thing they’re lacking…that….what is it… oh yes substance. The original trilogy was fantastic, with three films that really set the bar for how science fiction films should be made, and then George Lucas decided he wanted another yacht, or he wanted money to power his golden fountain that shoots out hundred dollar bills or whatever, but either way he wanted more money and so made prequels we didn’t want and/ or need. They darted off in to random political scenes that weren’t actually intelligently written when you listen to them, they were just dull. The visual effects were clearly a high priority which is why we were overloaded with head banging chase sequences and quite poorly choreographed lightsaber duels, leaving us with a script that sounded like it was written in someone’s lunch break. None of the three prequels had any where near as much interest as the original three and the characters were so deflated they made R2-D2 sound like a complex and philosophically inspiring character. And what’s that sound we all heard at the beginning of last year? It was George Lucas rubbing his hands together after signing the contract for the 3D release of the prequels.

Arguments do arise frequently when I talk about films with friends and family but that’s only because I’m passionate about the art form. I’ve always said to myself that taking an interest in anything is about appreciating what you like, rather than settling for what other people like. I cannot think of any other way to describe being interested in films. If you have an opinion then stick by it no matter what people say. It’s what I have to do nearly on a daily basis, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. What’s life without a challenge every now and then?

Career Paths From Films – None Of Them Would Work Out

I might be the only one who has moments like this, but I had random thoughts the other day about characters from films and the jobs they have. After glancing through my film collection and reminiscing about the lead characters I started to think about how good their jobs are. I started to consider what film character I would want to be based on their career alone. They all seemed like quite interesting options, but then I thought about the job titles they have and realised just how unsuited I am for them. Quite depressing when you think about it, realising that you’re so unsuited you can’t get a job that doesn’t exist. It may seem like I’m being a complete pessimist, which in a sense I am, but I couldn’t help but think about how badly suited I am for certain job roles from films. Still, it was an interesting thought process about non existent jobs and the results did seem quite entertaining to me, so here’s a list of just some of the careers paths from films that I’ve ruined for myself:

1. Blade Runner – I like to think I’m good at running which would work in my favour quite well. I’ve been on a shooting range before which didn’t go that badly, but I question my skills of finding the right people. I’d end up shooting the wrong person, or letting the right person escape because I didn’t suspect them. It could get very confusing, and despite any future advancements in technology there would still be a lot of paper work to fill in.

2. The Lone Ranger – firstly I don’t particularly like horses. Which is a problem when you consider the fact that they’re the main mode of transport I would have available to me. Working in an area that is largely desert based is an issue also because I don’t really like hot weather so I’d be very grumpy on the hob. And if I’m honest I don’t think the whole ‘secret identity’ thing would work out for me. I’d probably leave my mask in the wash because it got a slight bit of dust on it. It’s all well and good being a masked vigilante who fights for justice, but I’ll only do so if my uniform is washed frequently and ironed.

3. Space Ranger – by this point I realised that any kind of ranger wouldn’t really suit me. I’m not that great with heights so flying (or falling with style) wouldn’t really be an option to me.

4. Captain of The Enterprise – I would like the comfy chair, but already that would a hindrance. The ship would be getting attacked by Klingons and I’d be sat there adjusting the height of the chair and position of the arm rests so that I’m comfortable. Having an arch enemy seems to be a key element to, but that sounds like quite a lot of effort. Plus the technical side would go right over my head, and I would mix the shirts up in the wash by mistake. So basically The Enterprise would have a redesigned uniform consisting of orange, green and purple shirts within a week.

5. Alfred the Butler (from Batman) – I have quite a steady hand so carrying a tray full of food/ drink would be alright, but I don’t think I would be able to assist much more than that. He offers moral advice where necessary, whereas I would get quite bored of Wayne’s moaning and tell him that he picked the career path so really it’s his fault he’s suffering. Keeping Batman’s identity safe wouldn’t last long either.

6. The Godfather – I would be so concerned about the budgeting and cost/benefit analysis of criminal activities.

7. Head of Q Branch for MI5 – I got an A in GCSE Graphic Products but that’s the only skill I could bring to the job. My ideas would be quite abstract and wouldn’t be particularly useless for a spy to own. I think now that the spork has been invented there’s not really much point in trying to invent something new, nothing is going to top that.

8. Wizard – I’m more suited to essay based subjects, anything practical involved and my skills are very limited. Ideally I would want to be on the same level as Gandalf, but I’d me of the ‘sales advisor’ equivalent of the wizarding world.

9. Time Traveler – I’m one of those annoying people that always turns up to an event annoying early.

10. Men in Black Agent – I have the clothing sorted, that isn’t an issue for me. But what would hold me back is that my name begins with the letter ‘a’ meaning I would have to be ‘agent a’. I am more than certain that would have been taken already so I would have to wait until a vacancy arises before making my move. Communicating with aliens is an issue too because of the language barrier. Not sure my B in GCSE German would really be of any use to me.

After thinking about the topic for a longer period of time than I should have done, the thought of ‘I need to find a proper hobby’ springs to mind more prominently, but in this instance it’s accompanied by the thought of ‘I need to find a proper job’ quite nicely.

That Brilliant Construction Of A Comedy With Layers.

For those who are regular readers of my blog you will no doubt have seen my review recently of Edgar Wright’s ‘The World’s End’ which I thought was very good. If you’re thinking of seeing the film or have seen it then please read that review, it may prove to be of some use to you. From that review I know some people were surprised that I managed to find so many themes behind it and the deeper meanings just from one screening. But that’s the way I like to look at comedies. It’s all well and good having a film that is funny, the sort of film you can watch and then feel happy after wards. But for me it’s strikes as something quite special when a comedy film manages to grasp that link between making you laugh, and also making you think. 

Some of the best comedies I have ever seen are the ones that have a deeper message behind them with themes that resonate in your mind. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy comedies that are made purely to get laughs because there are many of those which I have enjoyed over the years, but it’s the ones that have depth and meaning that really stand out for me. After a good long while thinking I’ve managed to select examples that have really stood out for me, and I’ve done my best not to mention films that I have previously talked about. Ones that sprang to mind instantly were ‘The Angel’s Share’ ‘Is Anybody There?’ and of course my all time favourite ‘Submarine’ but I’ve decided to steer clear of those as a means of not repeating myself and talking about something different. 

‘Ruby Sparks’ was one of the first films that sprang to mind when preparing for this post, a film about a man who literally writes a woman into existence and then forms a relationship with her. I viewed the film for inspiration for a script that I’m actually working on at the moment, and after viewing several others I wasn’t holding much hope because of how bad the others were. However, I was completely wrong to judge the film so quickly, it was a genuinely brilliant film. Written very well by one of the main stars Zoe Kazan, I thought the screenplay was very witty and had a certain charm to it, but the story presented the audience with some very interesting ideas based around relationships. There was a lot of underlying messages based on the idea of having the ability to control the person you’re in love with, and the darker power of intervention within a relationship so it was quite a dark spin on the usual romantic comedy and really stood out for me as something special. But then on the other side of the coin there is a lighter touch behind the film, with this idea of ‘if you had the chance to start again, would you take it?’, which gave a more delicate element to the film that showed how it truly managed to grasp both comedy and drama successfully.

Thinking about ‘Ruby Sparks’ made me think about just how far back this message about having the ability to control love dates back to. It had a similar feel to Shakespeare’s classic play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in which humans are subject to the antics of fairies who have love potions that influence their thoughts and change who they desire. As well as being stroke of genius and one of the most magnificent plays ever written is does present the audience with similar themes, this idea of being able to control love and just how risky the effects of this are. With ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ it is used more for comical effect and to enhance the mischievousness of characters such as Puck, whereas in ‘Ruby Sparks’ it is used in a darker way to show the importance of freedom within a relationship. We see the character of Ruby becoming more and more human as she develops and that’s what causes the writer to try and change her which further leads to more problems for him, thus emphasising one the most important ideas of the story; freedom. I was very impressed by the film, it was charming and very well written. It was interesting as well because the things I laughed at in the film, were the things I knew were true, such as just how much a single word can change a person entirely. 

The next film I feel I need to talk about is the 2010 film written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant ‘Cemetery Junction’. The film tells the story of three young men growing up in a small part of Reading and how they are all preparing for the separate paths they are going to walk in life. It is a very simple story, but the screenplay is just superb, with laugh out loud laughs, smaller chuckles, and then times were you don’t know whether to gasp or laugh, and so end up doing both at once. The characters for me in this film were very important because they all represented something different and brought their own element to the themes of the film. You’ve got Freddie who wants to build a stable career and settle down as a successful man, Snork who doesn’t really know what he wants other than a nice girl to settle down with, and then Bruce who wants to carry on drinking and fighting as if life isn’t slowly passing him by. The film presented some very interesting themes for me, based around wanting to stay young and the fear of growing up, appreciating your heritage but then also accepting there is a wider world out there, and the most important theme for me was the value of friendship and appreciating just how much someone means to you. It was a feel good comedy that worked perfectly as a drama as well for me showing yet another display of just how talented Gervais and Merchant are at writing, presenting us with strong characters that you love and hate, and also cringe worthy situations that make you feel the embarrassment of the characters. It is an emotional film because of how closely it links to real life but you will finishing watching the film with a smile on your face.

Finally, possibly a less well known film but still one that I would recommend, the 2009 film from Paul King, the director of The Might Boosh ‘Bunny and the Bull’. Now I will say firstly that it’s not for everyone, it has quite obscure humour, just like The Mighty Boosh and is quite an artistic film so it may be a little too far outside the ball park for some people, for me it was a terrific film. It tells the story of two friends, Stephen and Bunny, who embark from their flat in London on a journey around Europe. There’s a very good contrast between the two main characters, Stephen is the shy man who wants a relationship and a well structured life, and then Bunny who just wants money and to have a good time in life regardless of consequences. They both have their own connections in terms of love, Stephen tries too hard and gets nowhere, Bunny is his usual self and ends up with women either way so there is a clear contrast and it makes you think ‘why on earth are these two friends?’. The story is very well written, with a clever narrative all the way through of Stephen recounting his journey with Bunny but then at the same time being afraid to leave his flat, leading to the explanation at the end which I shant give away. Once again it was a film that presented some very interesting themes based around the value of friendship and cherishing the years you spend with your friends, and also the idea of going out to see different parts of the world. But then this film also had some quite deep psychological themes linked to dealing with stresses and moving on from troubled times. The film is initially charming and very funny but then takes a serious turn, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it shows a perfect balance between comedy and pathos. 

I would recommend any of these films, not only to those interested in films but to those who just want a good film to watch, they are all very good. I was pleasantly surprised when all of them turned out to be brilliant so they are well worth a watch. They all work perfectly as comedies and as dramas so they offer something different for everyone. For me they are perfect examples of comedies with layers and depth because they are successful at making me laugh but then have meanings that link to wider themes so they are thought provoking and engaging. 

As always please feel free to leave any comments, either about the topic or about the films mentioned. In particular here I would like to know any comedies that you felt as layers to them and why, I’m interested to see what other people have to say about this topic. 

Until the next time I’d like to leave you with a quote from ‘Cemetery Junction’ that is quite thought provoking and one of the best quotes from the film; 

“What if the world is having another party and we’re missing it because we’re stuck here?”

The World’s End [Review – no spoilers] – The Cornetto Trilogy’s worthy last installment

After waiting patiently since the early months of the year, I finally got to sit in a screening of the new Edar Wright/ Simon Pegg film ‘The World’s End’. I knew vaguely what the film was about but I tried to go in with as little knowledge as possible, eagerly looking forward to seeing what Wright has produced for our screens. After the success of ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, which have become films that we all love and could watch over and over again, I went in to the cinema screening really wanting to like this film. What was the result? Well to put it bluntly, I did really like the film.

Now firstly some background reading, for those who are unfamiliar with the Cornetto Trilogy, it’s basically the series of films written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg that they themselves describe as the ‘blood and icecream’ series, due to the nature of the films and the humour. The trilogy consists of the 2004  horror/ comedy ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, 2007 comedy ‘Hot Fuzz’ and then recently ‘The World’s End’. There are running gags throughout the series of films that fans eagerly watch out for, most famously the ‘fence’ scene in all three films. If you don’t know about the ‘fence’ scenes then I’m quite ashamed of you. But don’t stop reading.

Moving back to the latest installment, the story is quite a nice concept that I appreciate. It centers around five men meeting up and returning to their home town in an attempt to retry the pub crawl they failed at as teenagers. The pub crawl consists of 12 pubs over a one mile journey, all finishing at the last pub entitled the world’s end. Once they’ve started the pub crawl they start to suspect something is wrong with the town because it’s not like they remember it being as teens. After some mishaps and turns in events they find out that the inhabitants of the town have been replaced by robots or robot like creatures, and they see it upon themselves to uncover what has happened to the town, whilst finishing what they started. The subject matter of the story and the genres involved are different from the other two installments to the trilogy, in the sense that it is moving more in to sci fi territory, with some nerd humour involved, which is by no means an issue.

Along with the story comes interesting characters, which were played very well by the actors involved. Simon Pegg does a brilliant job of playing the nearly middle aged man who is still living in the past and wanting to keep young for as long as he can. Nick Frost is the stiff necked lawyer who feels that moving on from childhood is the best thing and is happy in his new life. Martin Freeman plays the nervous real estate agent who is reluctant to try the pub crawl, based on what happened during their last attempt. Eddie Marsan is the quiet businessman who’s settled down happily with his family, who’s more optimistic about the pub crawl but is happy to be back with friends. Paddy Considine plays the one in between really, he’s an average man who doesn’t really see eye to eye with Pegg’s character, particularly if a female is involved. Finally there’s the character played by Rosamund Pike who is the sister of Martin Freeman’s character. All very interesting characters, played by a knockout cast, who had both good chemistry and hilarious clashes.

It was interesting to see the different characters involved because it took quite a spin on the other two ‘Cornetto’ films, firstly because there was a group of central characters instead of having two central characters played by Pegg and Frost. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it added to the humour and was still entertaining. It was also quite a twist because usually Nick Frost plays the character who is a bit slow and who’s stupidity is ephasised for comic effect, whereas Simon Pegg plays the more clever individual who’s common sense is better utilised. In the case of this film there was a switch, so Pegg played the character who was openly ignorant, whereas Frost played the clever character who tried to solve situations logically. This for me made the film stand out because it offered the audience something different without making the film slack.

In terms of screenplay I was very impressed. Just like the other two installments it was very funny, with a lot of laughs throughout. I liked the use of humour in this film because it wasn’t always jokes that are blindingly obvious, there were jokes in there that you actually have to think about, so it was quite a clever film. There is some humour that I would describe as nerdy but it had links to sci fi films, but it shouldn’t be a factor that deters people because it is still very funny. But it wasn’t all just jokes, as usual with Pegg and Wright’s writing there was a serious element to it as well, showing true character development and darker side to the film that showed how seriously they handle certain issues. As per usual there are a lot of profanities, but that only makes it more funny. The expletives used are not done so in an ill disciplined manner, they scripted well to suit the situations presented in the story.

For me, Edgar Wright has always been a very good director as he has proved in the past, so it was refreshing to see that his skills were shown in this film as well. There are certain sequences in the film that were fast paced but Wright did a very good job of them, so it was clear to see what was going on but still kept up the pace. Also Wright did what he has done admirably well in the past which is mixing action and violence together. For me that takes a lot of skill because directing an action scene is hard enough as it is, but to be able to make that funny for a modern audience it shows that he understands cinema and is good at what we does. The violence in the film is different from that of ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ but that is by no means a bad thing. The camera angles used by Wright are also quite familiar, showing small details that sometimes add to the humour and other times make a scene flow quite nicely. Excellent work all round from Edar Wright yet again..

Finally I have to talk about the themes of the film. Now I know it’s easy to look at a comedy and say that it’s just a film that designed to be funny, but in the case of this film it was written to have layers and depth as an intelligent story. It hit me quite hard because the themes were largely based around trying to stay young, reclaiming old days that you enjoyed, and the value of friendship. I may still be young, but I appreciate the memories I have of days gone by, the days I’ve spent with friends in the summer so seeing a group of friends trying to relive these days was something quite special. It was nice to see a film that focused on the value of friendship because it is something that I hold quite close to me. The characters all had a strong connection that was shown on my occasions, bringing a big smile my face because it made me think about the friends I have and how much they mean to be. Another theme that I quite liked that is more present as the film progresses and that’s the idea of being proud to be a human and what it means to be a human. The film may not explore this idea in too much depth, but it was still present and was a crucial element in what made the film stand out for me.

I know already some people have started to pick up on the flaws in the film and the story, which I can appreciate there probably are a fair few. But I’m just going to face it, it may not be the best film ever made, and it does have flaws, but you know what, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a brilliant film, the sort of film I left the cinema screening from feeling happy, I had a smile on my face and I knew that the duration of the film was time well spent. I would happily watch it again and intend to in the future.

Overall I would give the film four stars, I think it was very well written and directed with a cast that did a brilliant job. It was different from the other two installments to the trilogy but it was a worthy contributor in itself, being different from the other two but having the same feeling as the others at its heart. It was sad to see the trilogy come to an end but it was closed off very well and there is still hope that there is more to come from Wright and Pegg. I don’t think it’s going to be as big as ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ or ‘Hot Fuzz’ because it is somewhat different, but that’s not an issue for me because I know I enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see and intelligent comedy that was well written and had layers to it. It’s feast for any fan of films, sci fi, or indeed the ‘cornetto’ films but I would recommend it to anybody because it’s a good laugh and an entertaining experience. I like the fact that it’s different in quite a nerdy way, and the undertones of the film based on friendship really meant a lot to me.

I hope this review was helpful for anybody thinking about seeing the film. I would heavily recommend it and indeed ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ if you have not already seen them. The ‘Cornetto’ Trilogy provides some of the best and funniest films you will ever see so I would recommend seeing the trilogy at some point in life. Preferably now. Right now.

Please feel free to leave any comments about the film or about the review in general. I am open to any comments or criticisms so please don’t hold back. It’s only the second review I have done so any comments you have about it are much welcomed.