Put the adjective “royal” in front of a word, it makes it better! – works perfectly with “baby” “pregnancy” “wedding” “visit” and “cock up”


There’s a word we like to throw around a lot in Britain: patriotic. Whenever something happens that means the media attention of the planet is focused on our little nation, you’ll find that word being thrown around a lot more than usual. You’ll turn on a news station and find an interview with a random man outside a pub saying “oh yeah it’s just a great time to be British, make you feel really patriotic you know?”. I do know, however I do not share this level optimism.

Now I know the title of this post suggests that there’s going to be a big political debate in which I’m going to rant about the Royal Family, however this is far from the truth. I’m aware that a small blog online, written by a bored young adult is far from the appropriate place to discuss such matters. It would be inappropriate to open up such a large debate on such a small scale. Plus only about six people would see it. Seven maximum.

What instead the title references is my growing hatred for the media’s approach to affairs concerning the Royal Family. We’ve now suddenly slipped in to this culture where we have to know everything that a member of the Royal Family does. Every time one of them takes a step in public we suddenly have a twelve page spread in every newspaper, with a separate pull out magazine consisting of sixty six pages of photographs. When did this start happening?

I’m pretty sure the majority of us would be fine if we didn’t know at least half of the rubbish we’re bombarded with. We would all get on with our lives, as long as we know the basics of what’s happening I’m sure we can still function as human beings. I’m not entirely sure if I can speak for everyone else, but I know I would be fine if I missed a news story discussing what type of dress Kate Middleton was wearing when she last appeared in public.

I don’t blame the Royal Family for this of course because it isn’t really their fault, the real people to blame here are the public. We’ve been sucked in to this celebrity culture where we’re supposed to care about the smallest little thing that happens in a celebrity’s life, like if they’ve moved up a dress size, or what their relationship status is or whatever nonsense I don’t care about. With people like Katie Price it’s more acceptable because we would expect her attention seeking nature to warrant the appearance on the front of closer magazine every week, but with the Royal Family it’s excessive.
There was an example of this about two weeks ago, I was sat with the 24/7 BBC news channel on, and on the tickertape at the bottom there was a headline that said “BREAKING NEWS: Buckingham Palace can confirm that the Duke of Edinburgh has had minor surgery on his hand”. Seriously? With everything else that’s happening in the world surely they could have found something more poignant to talk about. I don’t understand why they feel as though this is big news, it’s not as is if the surgery was lifesaving or even noteworthy. With more pressing issues occurring at the moment I can’t even begin to comprehend why this was chosen as important news.

It happens all the time though, and we just have to deal with it. As soon as an event happens that has the adjective “royal” slapped at the front of it, we have to stop everything, take the day off work and take to the television screens to observe whatever is being deemed important. The most tedious of which is when the word is placed in front of “visit”. That’s right, news stations divert their attention to a member of the Royal family visiting somewhere in England for a couple of hours whilst talking to people that neither they nor we have any real interest in. It just shows how much the idea of the Royal Family has changed over time. We’ve gone from having kings who would lead the country in to battle on a horse, to a Royal Family who visits a youth community centre in Hamphshire, to try some brownies that children have made, shake hands with people and then go home again. Inspiring.

But that’s the position we’re now in, members of the Royal Family don’t even have to do anything and yet the press will swarm. A lot of the time it involves the press standing outside a building without having seen any members of the Royal Family. For example, on the day of the wedding (it was a wedding) people piled outside Kate Middleton’s house and stood there for the majority of the day. I’m not sure anyone told them that she wasn’t in at that point and probably wouldn’t be all day. It was ridiculous, it just shows how obsessed people are that they will literally stand outside the house of someone famous on the day of a special occasion. A whole day wasted, stood outside someone’s house, it’s absurd.

The same thing happened when the whole baby thing kicked off last year. When young Catherine was rushed in to the hospital, the building was surrounded by members of the press who stood there for hours on end waiting for something to happen. Sound a bit boring really when you think about it.
And even that event was ludicrous, firstly because of the newspapers making a massive fuss about William being photographed wearing trainers on the way to the hospital. I’m sorry but that is not a news story, someone wearing shoes is not a story that deserves to be in the front of a newspaper. I think he should be able to turn up in whatever clothing he wants. He could have turned up wearing a Hawaiian shirt, purple tights and a Peter Pan hat whilst riding a unicycle and whistling Bohemian Rhapsody, the baby still would have been born.

Secondly because there were polls being taken with people guessing what the baby would be. I don’t’ think it could have been that exciting considering the fact that there’s only two possible options so the fun was taken out of it from the very beginning, if you can even call it fun. And then after that the even more interesting game of guess the name began, which is a game we don’t even like doing with our close friends let alone with people we’ve never even met. The news stations were taken over with interviews of people in the middle of a shopping centre saying things like “I think they should call it Malcolm because my dad’s best friend’s brother knows a person called Malcolm and he’s got a face, a face with skin, it’s a brilliant name!” as if the members of the Royal Family were watching these bumbling idiots and taking notes for that most vital of decisions.

I just get sick and tired of the media sometimes, and when I say the media I mean the public. They can’t get enough of this rubbish. They love it when Kate Middleton is photographed walking in to a building, they think it’s history in the making, which only passes on the belief that this is important, which I’m sorry to say this but it isn’t.

It angered me to see the tabloids insulting Kate Middleton because she didn’t instantly lose her baby weight and return to a dress size they deem acceptable. Our culture is so obsesses with sickening figures such as Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham who thrive off of being stick thin, and it makes us believe that this is genuinely important when it clearly isn’t. If Kate is slightly larger than usual because she’s just had a child then just accept that. It’s a natural part of life and so shouldn’t be mocked.

I can’t help but feel it’s only going to get worse from here. Women will be expected to be stick thin whilst actually pregnant and should expect ridicule if they’re anything above a size zero seven months down the line. We’ll have people like Katie Price having babies forcibly removed and grown in petri dishes rather than being inside them and making their figure look bad.

Getting back to my original point (apologises for the tangent there) the situation with the Royal Family is going to get worse as well I’m afraid. That word “royal” will be slapped in front of as many things as possible until the public are hanging on to hear news reports detailing the latest “royal oxygen intake” or “royal blink”. People weeping in the corner on the verge of a mental breakdown because they haven’t had their latest scoop about what shade of blue baby George is being dressed in. Entire weeks being taken off work because the latest “Royal hair cut” was better than ever before and now Kate Middleton looks as though she was hand carved by Zeus himself. And then people taking to the streets in a state of euphoria because the latest “royal handshake” was executed successfully and with minimal delay. This is what we’re causing, as people we are building this nation on the idea that every single event concerning the monarchy matters. It’s not that I don’t appreciate all that they do, I just don’t feel like we need to know every single about them at every point in time.

Have you ever had that experience of having a family member come to visit who you haven’t seen for a long time, and they begin to tell you every single detail of what’s happened to them and every one they know from the year 1986 right up until they sat down on your sofa and requested two sugars in their tea? That’s what this is, but on a national scale. And in both scenarios, I do not care.

In summary, I don’t like people.

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. 

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.

Rapid Reviews – Cloud Atlas [DVD]

After buying the dvd of the film weeks ago I was heavily distracted by quite a few things before finding myself utterly bored tonight. The time had come for me to face this 165 minute film that I knew very little about. I started to watch it with an open mind, ready to be enticed in to what appeared to be quite a diverse universe for a film. I ended the film with my mind in a slightly different place. A more cynical place to be precise.

If I had to sum this film up in one sentence I think i would have to quote the good doctor Mark Kermode when he reviewed a film previously “it is really quite remarkably unremarkable”, which is exactly how I felt after watching the film. You have the source material in the form of a novel that is supposedly ‘unfilmable’ so there is quite a lot of material to use, with a lot of characters and as far as I’m aware six different stories that interweave. This doesn’t make it any more interesting and certainly doesn’t make it any more clever, and with a star studded cast it just left me feeling that after 165 minutes even they had had enough. The look in Tom Hanks’ eyes was similar to that of a postman on their duty in the winter snow simply saying over and over ‘we’re getting paid for this’.

The story bounces between the past, present and future with different stories that link together. Some link nicely and others you have to think about, which I really wasn’t willing to do because it would involve engaging myself in such a film. The characters are meant to be strong and have some form of moral and deep message behind them but to be honest it was more like a game of Guess Who for me because I was trying to spot which actor it was playing the character on screen. I’m sure other people will have found deeper meanings behind the characters and truly explored their depths, but personally I didn’t feel immersed enough to give it much thought.

The best character for me was that of Jim Broadbent in the modern day section of the story, he provided me with some entertainment through sheer good acting and sharp delivery of witty lines. As for other actors it wasn’t really a film to show off any true ability. Tom Hanks is capable of so much better as we have already seen, Ben Whishaw is still relatively young so this may end up as a film he tries not to think about once he’s older, Jim Broadbent as previously mentioned is very good, and Hugh Grant just feels like the last man on the end of a conga line at a wedding; clinging on for dear life and hoping not to go crashing in to the buffet table.

The special effects are good, but to be honest so are the effects for most sci fi bashes nowadays so it wasn’t anything bigger than your typical sci fi film. It’s just become common courtesy to put on a big flashy show if you’re going to make a sci fi film in today’s world and the same splattering of shiny technicolour whimsy that is used frequently in modern cinema was strongly present in this film. It was a sign of how unengaged I was with the film that I began questioning the designs to some of the futuristic technology and indeed the interior of some of the rooms. Some sequences look good but they all reek of other films, with the older parts looking like ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ and the futuristic sections looking like a mash up of ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Irobot’ amongst others, so it was quite a cliched glimpse in to the future.

All in all I would give it two stars out of five. I really wanted the film to be good and genuinely watched it with an optimistic mind, but after nearly three hours of a film that doesn’t really find itself or get started into something bigger, I just felt quite bored. I agree with most reviews, the film’s heart is definitely in the right place and it was a good attempt at filming such a difficult book, but in the end it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I’m not sure if I will watch it again, because to be honest I don’t have that urge that wants to watch it again.

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?”

Instagram – One Of The Reasons Why People Annoy Me

I thought I would make a change from posting about film and attempt to talk about something different. As a teenager I can see the benefits to social networking, I think in some cases it’s brilliant. It allows me to communicate with people without having to walk to their house just to inquire as to how they’re feeling today. But sometimes I have to admit I get annoyed by it very easily.

It seems that in today’s world there is a very small amount of things people keep away from the public eye. In a way I miss the days when people were only just starting a Facebook profile, because it was the days when people barely posted anything, in fear of being mocked or judged by others. Those days were brilliant, the days where you got the basic facts about how someone was and what they were doing without being bombarded by pointless information. You could scroll through your news feed and see statuses like “I am in Spain at the moment. I am very Happy”. But now we have this strange situation where every thing is splattered across social networks. You’ve got where someone is, how they’re feeling, who they’re with, what colour socks they’re wearing, what drink they’ve got, it’s just getting out of hand. I know people have the freedom to post what they want, and quite rightly so, but sometimes it does seem a little excessive to be posting constantly. 

I’ve got less anger towards Facebook and Twitter because they bring me a lot of fun, through reading arguments or indeed being involved in arguments. However there is one form of social networking that annoys me to the extent of wanting to throw my phone at a wall, and that’s Instagram. I’ll say it now because I don’t want to seem like I’m being a hypocrite; I have an Instagram account and I used it for quite a long time. Nowadays my account is still open and I have the odd flick every now and then, but other than that I do not use it. Anyway, the concept is quite basic and could work nicely, if people didn’t use it for absolutely everything, and I mean everything. If you want to share a picture that your friends can see, then at least make it a picture that is worth sharing. The idea of having a photograph for me, is to capture a memory that you want to keep hold of, like on holiday or at a gig or whatever event you hold close to you, because it captures what you consider to be special and important moment that you will possibly never live again. It seems as though the concept of a picture has changed, now it seems to be something for you to get ‘likes’ on. 

Drawing on the point I made earlier about the first days of Facebook when people barely posted, and how now they post everything, Instagram is the epicenter of this nightmare. You’ve got people posting pictures of everything so that you know every tiny detail about them. ‘This is the page of the Jodi Picoult book I’m reading’ ‘I’m on the 43rd minute of an Adam Sandler film’ ‘my underwear is blue today’.  It’s even gotten to the extent now of people posting pictures of them selves in the bath! When did this start happening? When did somebody decide ‘you know what I actually feel like invading my own privacy’. Do people need to know you’re in the bath? And furthermore do we need pictorial evidence to allay our doubts? There wasn’t masses of people questioning the situation, thinking ‘maybe they’re just sat in a puddle’. It’s gotten out of control really,  I’m dreading the day I see my first snap of someone on the toilet. You may laugh at that but you’ll stop laughing eventually when you realise it will happen.

The worst thing about Instagram for me is that it’s ruining Holidays for people. Instead of going to another country and experiencing another culture, we’ve got people sat on their phones trying to decide which filter to use on the picture they have just taken of their flip flops. It just amazes me how someone can have a different country, a different culture right in front of them, and yet they would rather take a picture of themselves with their tongue out and caption it “got my sunglasses on!”. I would understand it if they were taking pictures of the country they were in and taking in the amazing views, but if you’re just taking the same stupid pictures that you take at home it seems a bit pointless. I can understand using a social network from abroad because it lets your contacts know that you’re still alive or that you’re having a good time, but if you are constantly using one whilst away then it somewhat negates the benefits of going on holiday. It makes sense wanting some pictures of yourself on holiday because they hold quite good memories for you, but there’s a line people cross that becomes excessive. There are some people I just wish I could shout at “you are in a beautiful country that is so much different from the one you live in, put your silly little phone down and appreciate where you are”. 

If you ever get Instagram you will soon find that the bane of your life becomes the hash tag. That thing is everywhere! Literally, for quite a dull picture that doesn’t have a lot of elements you’d be surprised how many ‘hashtags’ people can squeeze in. And that’s where two problems lie for me, the first is that the idea of a hashtag is that people search under that category to find pictures of that nature. So why would you need to hashtag quite a ordinary thing such as ‘#coffee’? As if there are coffee enthusiasts worldwide searching for their update on people’s caffeine intake. It just seems silly to take pictures of something that in all likelihood people have no interest in and it’s something that you come across on a daily basis. Problem number two is that people don’t know when to stop with hashtags, they overload a caption with to the extent of labeling things that are not even in the picture. You’ll see a big paragraph of ‘#girl #young #teen #blond #blueeyes #newnails #curlyhair’ which just leaves you baffled because it’s a picture of their mug of tea on a table. Are we that desperate to get ‘likes’?

Perhaps I’m just old fashioned in my views? Maybe the point of a photograph is not to capture a moment that is rare, maybe it’s now all about capturing things you experience on a daily basis, like putting socks on or brushing your teeth. I hope that’s not the case. I still can’t understand why someone would want to see a picture of something so dull like your feet, or new gloves, or the sandwich you’re having for lunch. If you took a picture and the caption was “got my new socks on” I would consider the possibility that you have quite an empty life. If however you posted a picture and the caption was “got my new socks on… and I’m on the moon” then I would take an interest and feel jealous that I’m not part of this memory. 

As I have said before I have an account, and I will admit I have fallen victim to some of the things I have mentioned (not to such an extreme extent luckily) so I can’t act completely innocent in this grand scheme of shit. I used to post pictures of the most tedious rubbish that sprang to mind “look here’s my cat” “here’s the new film I’m bought” “here’s the Neil Diamond song I’m currently listening to”.  I will say it, it’s only after you’ve looked at it from an outsider’s perspective that you realise just how stupid it all is, and it makes me feel like an idiot because I was part of it for a good seven months. There are people that post pictures of themselves three or four times a day, which to me kind of shows that they must have quite a boring life. 

The situation only gets worse from here though, camera phones are the main way we view things in today’s world. They give people the freedom to post pictures of whatever they want and post them however many times they want, but then on the other side of the coin I have the freedom to express my opinion however many times I like. In the future if any large events happen they’re not going to be viewed normally, they’re going to be viewed through the screen of a smart phone, with a filter on them to make them look slightly darker with a hint of black and white, and a pretty frame. I can’t wait.