Thursday, 27 June 2013

George Osborne's Big Kahuna Burger

Jules: Hey kids! How you boys doin'?
[to man laying on the couch]
Jules: Hey, keep chillin'. You know who we are? We're associates of your business partner Marsellus Wallace. You do remember your business partner don't you? Let me take a wild guess here. You're Brett, right?
Brett: Yeah.
Jules: I thought so. You remember your business partner Marsellus Wallace, don't you, Brett?
Brett: Yeah, yeah, I remember him.
Jules: Good. Looks like me an Vincent caught you boys at breakfast. Sorry about that. Whatcha havin'?
Brett: Hamburgers.
Jules: Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers?
Brett: Ch-cheeseburgers.
Jules: No, no no, where'd you get 'em? McDonalds? Wendy's? Jack in the Box? Where?
Brett: Big Kahuna Burger.
Jules: Big Kahuna Burger. That's that Hawaiian burger joint. I hear they got some tasty burgers. I ain't never had one myself. How are they?
Brett: They're good.
Jules: Mind if I try one of yours? This is yours here, right?
[Picks up burger and takes a bite]
Jules: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger. Vincent, ever have a Big Kahuna Burger?
[Vincent shakes his head]
Jules: Wanna bite? They're real tasty.
Vincent: Ain't hungry.
Jules: Well, if you like burgers give 'em a try sometime. I can't usually get 'em myself because my girlfriend's a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mm-mm-mm.

Okay, I'm presuming we all know how Brett ends the scene? Hell we all know what happens to Marvin too! But we are not here to talk Pulp Fiction (but oh my good it's good isn't it?!). Nope, we are here to talk about George and his burger.

See, let me lay this out for you, that okay? Cool. George, tweeted a pic... Oh, sorry, first fuck up. 'George Tweeted,' no, no he didn't. One of his team did presumably, but still, lets move on. So George tweeted a pic of himself eating a burger and chips. He was working on his spending review speech. Now I know he's going to miss the sad hilarity of that remark but oh well.

Obviously this pic was sent out to make him look like a 'man of the people', and what could be more normal than having to grab food on the hop because you have too much to do? Nothing. So good on you matey!

Wait...

The Burger turns out to be a Byron Burger, which is £9.70 to buy. 

I'm hoping that's one tasty burger. Worthy of Jules and his pre gun rampage feast in Pulp Fiction! A burger of true excellence!

See, the thing is, George? You are one of 'the people', yes, but you are not 'a man of the people.' I didn't even know what a Byron burger was until I was informed. I presumed you could spend that and far more on food if you wanted to but you'd have to be ignoring any budget restraints to do so, right? You'd have to be loaded to spend that much on a burger as far as I'm concerned.

Now I don't begrudge your wealth George. I don't. There will always be rich people, like you, and there will always be financially poor like, like me, and that isn't going to change. The thing that worries me is that you are more than likely going to charge the tax payer for that burger, you are more than likely going to have another real soon and ...

...YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF CUTTING THE COSTS THAT YOU SAY WE HAVE TOO!

Now a man that is laying waste to jobs and providing no industry to back that cull, a man that is saying that every penny counts, is splashing a wedge of cash on a single burger. It doesn't show us we are 'in it together,' it shows us that we are in it and you and the other M.P'S aren't. 

You'll never be a man of the people George, and neither will any of your mates, or in fact will the people we laughingly refer to as 'The opposition'. You are NOT suffering in the recession and you are NOT likely to pull us out of it by NOT investing, NOT searching for a mass industry that will employ millions, and NOT controlling what government costs.

You and the gathered politicians may not get it, so I'll lay it out for you right now. You cut money to people that really need it, you cancel payments to the sick and the poor, you cut spending so increasing the amount of unemployed and then you attack the unemployed and the sick for costing the government too much money. The amount of money you spend on catching benefit fraud is more than you save by stopping it. Just stop fucking about and make jobs!

You're hypocrisy really does hold no bounds, as you, our representatives, increase the amount of pay you get and shift your hours round so you can sit on boards of companies to make even more money! You claim for homes and food and cars and employ your relatives and still you tell us WE ARE THE PROBLEM?!!

NO SIR! YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!!!

Now, you may feel I have assaulted you, insulted you and laid the crimes of others at your feet, but George, it isn't just a burger. That there is a big, tasty, Kahuna burger. And yes George, You are chowing down from our plates. And yes George, you are telling us to tighten our belts. And yes George, it does show us exactly the problem.

It's not just a burger. It's your burger. The rest of us simply can't afford it and you just don't get it.       

Monday, 24 June 2013

Music Monday: Abuse Of Trust

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”  Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.”
– Nicole Kidman

Domestic abuse; how and why does it happen? I wish I could tell you and have some meaningful answer that moves people forwards, but I don't. Angry, faded, broken people try to victimise people they think they can control and make them the focus of their poisoned and controlling love? Jealous and soulless monsters inflict a hell that is undeserved on a person of their choosing that they feel has welcomed them to do so? Pathetic little creatures try to break those they should be supporting and cherishing? 

All those things are true but there is so much more. Obviously abusers are people too, but there seems to be something wrong in their make-up, something that simply put; I cannot understand and never wish to.

How anyone can take a partner that they are meant to show love and respect to and systemically assault, destroy, control and abuse them is beyond my understanding. It's inhuman. Perhaps that is an over simplistic view and that I should try to fathom how these people can live with themselves, but I really don't want to. I just want them to fuck off, or even better, just stop being horrible, domestic despots and transform magically into real people.

Abuse is a broad term, children and adults, pensioners and the disabled fall victim to abuse, and it comes in many twisting and evil forms from sexual and physical to emotional and societally ignored . It can be emotionally based and come as control of a person's life to flaring encounters where fists take the place of words or foul words and demoralising assaults take the place of love and support.

I can't do this subject justice, have no way to tell you how this makes people feel, obviously terrible and low but it would be crap of me to try properly. I haven't felt the dark stare of someone just before they strike or had every small part of my life controlled by someone I should be able to trust and relax around. 

Here are five songs, they are from various artists, have different sounds, are from different musical genres and yet they all get it. Listening I'm struck by the inherent sadness that runs through each song, the haunting and terrible understanding of loneliness that surely victims must feel. 

Obviously this was kicked up by the Saatchi incident in London, the reaction on Twitter and the lack of reaction from the media immediately afterwards. All through the social networks people denounced the man for being an abuser while the Media simply turned a blind eye.

Repugnant.

If we see someone suffering we should try to help them and if we are told to get lost then of course we must respect people's decisions. Don't judge someone that stays with an abusive partner, be they male or female, they are the only one in that situation, they know what they are feeling, how the situation is always more difficult than you, the outsider, can imagine. It's not as simple as just walking out. 

It's never simple when something as complexed as emotion is involved.

In the end we must stop blaming 'the victims' and instead shift the emphasis of blame onto those that commit the crime. Strong, beautiful, wonderful people fall foul of abusers that often attack the  strengths of their partners until their partner feels that their strengths are actually weaknesses. 

Abuse must be stopped by stopping people from starting to abuse, not by telling people not to be abused and 'stand up for themselves.'

I'll shut up now. On with the songs. No words. Just songs. 
















I hope you listened to all the songs. I hope I can one day say that domestic abuse is a thing of the past. Sadly, I do not see that day coming any time soon.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Super Women: Where Is The Female Franchise?

The Cinema; a place consumed by sweeping fads and movements. Is it Film Noir, or Westerns, Serial Killers or Robin Hood, Biopics or Armageddon,? Lets face it we all know that the film industry likes to move as a pack and clearly there is a movement behind Superheroes!

As a life long Marvel fan I would tell you that Marvel has been churning out cinematic worthy stories for years and point to a time when they simply couldn't get it right. Captain America was played by Matt Salinger in 1990... Oh God. Meanwhile D.C were rocking it with Michael Keaton as Batman and Christopher Reeves was a cinematic icon with a letter on his chest; making him the most powerful member of the Seasami Street cast ever!!

Fast forward twenty years and more and The Batman is The Dark Knight and Superman is The Man Of Steel, Ironman is patrolling the skies, Spiderman is on his fifth film with two more to follow, the X-Men are doing roaring trade and Marvel has a genuine movie studio that was bought by power mouse Disney.

And yet where are the female heroes?

Catwoman? Didn't go well, Supergirl... Really?! Aeon Flux? Tank Girl? Ultraviolet? These are not bringing back good memories are they? No. No, they aren't.

What went wrong? How can we still be looking at a female free hero cinema craze?! 'Black Widow', someone shouts, yes she is awesome; so awesome she was given her own franchise? No. Does that mean she isn't awesome? No. It means the attitude to the female hero is confused and terribly, terribly wrong.

It seems the industry believes that Catwoman needs to wear as little as possible and have the highest heels ever? That she should throw her hip out and battle the beaver queen Sharon Stone, because a man is too tough an opponent right?!

Black Widow doesn't wear heels of great note, she doesn't stick the hip out enough, she simply is too competent. Can't have that! No franchise for a very popular actress who could easily run her male buddies down.

I think the basic idea of a female hero must appeal to the execs and so when someone proposes a Wonder Woman film the GUYS in suits say Megan Fox; because Wonder Woman has to be sexy... and who's going to be the love interest? It's a female character so she needs a man to define her right!

What to do about this? Realistically the cinema needs female superheroes that are not propped on huge stilt like heels and are not built to appeal to superficial men who don't want to be threatened by a female hero we could actually get behind (so to speak). New tack... lets get them to appeal to women instead! They can fight, be sensitive, sarcastic, human, tough and everything in between and be women. They can fulfil the same roles as men but be written so that they don't only talk about men, are defined by their relationship with a man or dress to only appeal to men.

Surely there aren't any characters like this in comics?! Right?!

Don't be an idiot! With careful adaptation there are many female LEAD ROLES that are begging to be made. Someone just needs to stop being stupid and make them.

I'll pick four characters that I want to see on the screen. I'll tell you why and I'll even pick a few actresses that could perhaps fit the bill.


CAROL DANVERS: CAPTAIN MARVEL.


Carol Danvers has been part of the Marvel universe for many decades. She has seen many costumes and many power sets but now is the time to strike! A recent upgrade to Captain Marvel and a long stint in the Avengers has seen her stock rise and rise. She could carry a plot for sure!

COMPANY: Marvel.

POWERS: Flight, Super Strength, Resistant to damage, energy powers in different guises.

ATTITUDE: Militaristic and hard arse Danvers doesn't take shit and she has never needed too. She is a serious and strong woman who has a military background and expects things done by the book.

EASE OF ADAPTATION: Incredibly easy! The current costume is a blue jumpsuit, give it texture and purpose and keep the camera off her arse for most of the time and you are there! Lose the sash and keep the boots flat soled and you have someone who has a superhero costume that isn't a slave to fashion!

WHO TO PLAY HER: Who to play her indeed? Right, we need someone who can do all the action, can also stare down the men and can act. We want someone to thrill an audience, and not just because the costumes too fucking tight! How about Katee Sackhoff...







DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN

Wonder Woman is one of D.C'S 'holy trinity'; the trifector of cool that is Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. She had her own t.v show is on T-shirts that are worn by women all over the world and is a firm fav of the male readers as well.

Wonder Woman is the complete comic book package for the cinema. A character steeped in ancient Greek mythology, powerful, iconic and a property so hot it glows white... and yet D.C still can't get a version on the big screen? Oh God.

COMPANY: D.C

POWERS: Super Strength, fighting skills, tough skin, lasso of truth, bullet blocking reflexes.

ATTITUDE: A bastion of truth and justice, Wonder Woman backs the right, not the flag or the powers that be. She is tough, powerful and respected. She makes the tough choices and with her lasso she can find the truth, no matter the situation and act accordingly.

EASE OF ADAPTATION: Stupidly easy. The general public have already accepted a Wonder Woman show in the seventies. Another one was piloted but died recently, why? Because they didn't adapt as needed. She needs to have a more robust costume for the modern era. A recent costume review saw her wearing blue leggings, a red top and blue jacket. Much like in the poster above. Wonder Woman needs some straps for that top so the actress can fight hard (think more Xena; Warrior Princess) and not look like she's about to fall out of her top.

The rest is easy. She was made of clay, she's magic, the public accepted Thor, they have accepted Wonder Woman before, they will do so again.

WHO TO PLAY HER: GINA CARANO FOR THE WIN!!!




















BARBARA GORDON: ORACLE.

The daughter of Jim Gordon and the former Batgirl, Barbara was shot by the Joker when her father was kidnapped by him in the Graphic Novel 'The Killing Joke.' She survived but was crippled for life. She found new ways to be a hero!

Using her computer skills she became ORACLE, an information broker who used her computer skills to expose corruption, super villains and helped untold Superheroes to defeat their enemies by the proper application of intelligence and information.

No, this isn't likely to be an action film as much as the others listed here.

COMPANY: D.C
                                                 
POWERS: None. A genius level in computers and investigative matters brings Oracle to a place where she is far more useful than any fist or hired gun.

ATTITUDE: She has known hardship and pain and feels for the people that surround her. She isn't an unyielding Dark Knight, she makes deals for information, strikes down the greater evil and knows everything she needs to about her enemies. A societal reforming tool far greater than any Superman because she can root out the corrupt officials and find the best people for the big positions.

EASE OF ADAPTATION: You are going to have to fight a lot of fans here. There is no Barbara Gordon in the Dark Knight cannon and so we need to adapt. Barbara Gordon can have a slight name change or be clearly distanced from her old man 'Jim'.

As an ex-military woman who lost her legs in service she knows the importance of logistics and so gathers a group of investigators and fighters around her to impact real change on the streets of Gotham by closing the organised crime that grips the city through the applied use of intelligence. This plays more like a thriller and certainly more like G.C.P.D than 'Birds Of Prey'. There are people to do the 'leg work' so to speak, but the real character her is Oracle. An Internet based hero who will sniff out your secrets.

WHO TO PLAY HER: Okay, I have a thing for Olivia Wilde, but saying that she is genuinely a really good actress, has the presence needed and they could certainly build a franchise around her. I did charge around and have a look for actresses in wheelchairs but it seems there are very few famous ones and so sadly I gave up.





ORORO MONROE: STORM.

Ororo Monroe is a main stay of X-Men and has been since Wolverine joined the team with such classics and fan favourites as Colossus and Nightcrawler. She has also been able to break free from the X-men and appear in many other comics. She was a member of the Fantastic Four when her husband, The Black Panther, took the reigns for a short while.
She has links to the Avengers and is a global star.

She is also one of the only black women who have been a constants in the Marvel universe. Monica Rebeau (Captain Marvel) has been a chairwoman of The Avengers, yes, but she certainly hasn't managed to stay as important a character with-in the universe.

COMPANY: Marvel.

POWERS: Weather Control.

ATTITUDE: An African mutant who was worshipped as a goddess in her native country of Kenya, Storm is well aware of the gift of power that was given to her. She is sensible, level and a calming force on many of the X-men. Yes, she has gone off the rails a few times but the overall impression of Storm is one of competence, control and compassion.

EASE OF ADAPTATION: This is funny one. Halle Berry is the current Storm but as much as I think she is excellent I don't think she was brought anything that exceptional to the role. For me you take Storm away from the X-Men, give her the origin treatment like Wolverine got and try to set a powered Marvel story in Africa without instantly making about famine or civil war.

This could be a very important role, a series step for Marvel and the opportunity to bring in The Black Panther as a back up character for her, rather than draping her on HIS arm, and expanding the universe.

Obviously Fox holds the rights for Storm and the other X-Men but they could make some magic here. For sure!

WHO TO PLAY HER: I can see why you would keep Berry but I have another woman in mind. Her name is Kerry Washington and I last saw her in Django Unchained. She blew me away!



I can here you saying things like; 'WHERE'S SHE-HULK?' And, 'What about the Wasp?' Well, off you go, make a list and pick some people to head the films! These are my four. Of course there are plenty of indie characters that could do with a shot at the franchise, Durham Red, Halo Jones, Shi, and you are right! They could hold a film too!

The sad truth is that the industry doesn't think a Woman can attract the same bums on seats as a man. NEWSFLASH! People didn't believe Tony Stark would be able to, but he has, and it's more than Downey Jnr, it starts in the development stage when the powers that be gather and talk about The Dark Knight and I'm pretty sure their first concern is not 'how much flesh can we show?' Or 'Who is their love interest?' Instead they ask how to make him cool, tough, capable and successful. 

We should be asking them to ask these questions about the female heroes. Do that and follow through with an attitude of wanting to make the best product possible and you have Billions of fans that will put their hands in their pockets.

Black Widow needs a franchise, but she isn't the only one.

Thanks for reading. 

Silent Sunday


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Man Of Steel: A review

This Review is in two parts. The top section in a spoiler free zone. When the words 'SPOILERS! DON'T LOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T SEE IT!' Appear then you'll know to look away.
Great!

Man Of Steel, or as we should perhaps correctly call it; Supeman: Man Of Steel, has had much hype surround the cape and boots. People have chatted about the 'Inny' pants, the tactile look of the costume, the muscle effect of the famous 'S', the decision to run with an all new score; this movie has been on the radar, big style.

I suppose the first thing that needs to happen is that I need to confirm that this is a completely different animal to the botched 'Superman Returns.' Well, it is. This is not a yawn fest and Henry Cavill didn't come to do his best Christopher Reeves impression. He came to fight, fly, act and be the Superman we have yearned for since the end of Superman two. He does a great job of being the man to finally put Superman four to bed.

Michael Shannon does the business as Zod too. He looks, sounds and acts the part and I love the pair of them when they share screen time. Zod and Supes are a dynamite package, that much is certain.

Backing Cavill and Shannon are many famous faces including Russel Crowe as Jor-El, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Dianne Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishbourne as Perry White and Christoper Meloni as Colonel Nathan Hardy. All these fine men and women do a very good job. I particularly liked Crowe as Jor-El and I love Meloni as I'm a huge fan of the t.v show 'Oz' in which he was a pivotal character from the second season onwards. A brave and challenging actor indeed.

Right back to Man Of Steel, we see the film kick off with the last days of Krypton (of course) and Jor-El trying to make the council see sense; that the planet is dying and nothing can stop that happening. Of course it doesn't go according to plan and Jor-El's son is shot into space, taking with him the Krytonian Codex, a kind of genetic data bank. Zod vows to capture the son of Jor-El and restore Krypton's people to their former glory.

Boom, now we have Clark on Earth, Snyder builds the story cutting between present and past and brings us to a point when Zod comes back into play.

I love a lot of Snyder's films, I think he has an incredible technical ability and has some incredibly cool shots, but for me? He drops the ball a bit. There is just too much of an emphasis on the fight, the action, and when there isn't a fight or something to explode we have cars screaming off roads or weather being the enemy. There isn't a quiet, strong core here, it's all noise and action and though that is better than Superman Returns here it's overdone. There really are just too many set pieces, too many times that the volume is turned up to the max. Moments that should really have touched us and formed the kid Clark Kent into the Man Of Steel just become yet another busy set piece, this is shown most effectively in a scene with Costner that tries too hard to make our blood pump rather than our heart ache.

Snyder appears to have liquidised Jerry Bruckheimer and injected him into his veins before filming any of these scenes and that gives us an action packed roller coaster that sadly lacks heart and passion.

Don't get me wrong, I expect changes and adaptation but there are moments in this film that don't fit Superman. They in fact show a lack of core understand for the character that should have seen the writer and director pushed in another direction long before the film was released but saying that I can't say I hate it.

Man Of Steel is a modern take on the Superman myth and one that goes a long way to make itself the most action packed film you'll see this year. Because of this it feels like it's trying too hard, loses emotional integrity and misses many key parts to the core character. Many people will love this movie and claim, quite rightly, that this is the best Superman film since Superman Two. They may well be right that it's the best one ever, though I wouldn't agree.

The effects are solid but they do suffer from having the  fights thrash in front of us so we simply can't really see that's happening. Superman and his fellow Kyptonians fly about and we see plenty of walls explode but the actual impact of the blows and the ebb and flow of the fights is missing.

The sacrifice of character and emotion for explosions and action is not a fair trade, Superman is the ultimate superhero. He is a man that will always do the right thing, no matter how hard it is. He upholds the greatest of comicbook messages, truth, honour and he doesn't compromise on his principles.

This film falls short, but it gives it a good, if negative go.

Man Of Steel. 7/10.

SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN MAN OF STEEL!

Have you strayed into this section? Are you ready for some Spoilers and I'm afraid to say moans? Okay, let's do it!

Man Of Steel is a film that seems intent on putting the dull Superman to bed forever and giving the world a bigger, louder, more action packed hero. Snyder and Goyer clearly wanted to show the POWER of Superman and that he wasn't just powerful but that that he did indeed have Steel.

This was always going to produce a very different product compared to Reeves and Routh's Supermen and yet that intent is almost been their undoing as well. In a rush to avoid being boring they have gone to far the other side.

Seen Man Of Steel? Okay, please answer me some basic questions;

1/ If Each Kryptonian is breed to do their job and that is what they are genetically good at how come Jor-El so easily hands Zod his ass in the opening throws?! Zod is the ultimate general and soldier and yet Jor-El is a fucking action god! It makes no sense!

Snyder and Goyer have obviously gone; 'Yeah, Superman's dad needs to kick some ass too man! WOOOO!'

2/ Clark Kent pisses off to become a travelling worker, constantly changing his name. Surely he's guilty of Tax evasion as he can't possibly pay the tax legally right. Also how is he changing his documents round? A local fixer presumably? So Superman is in league with the common crim.

Now you may think that's being petty but what it I'm actually showing is that his wanderings are basically completely illogical. Clark Kent is a man who has grown up and has allowed fear to control his destiny. That isn't very Superman is it?

No.

3/ He doesn't become Superman until he has to stand in front of Zod, how are the people of Earth meant to have a connection with Superman if they have simply never heard of him?! No.

4/ Lois Lane tracks him down with relative ease don't you think? She goes off for three weeks of holiday and finds Clark Kent just like that. Yes, she is a great journo but seriously?! No.

5/ Jonathan Kent's death was completely illogical. He allows himself to die so that Clark learns to hide in the shadows no matter what? Leaving his wife a widow to teach Clark that he can't use his powers?! Stupid! Secondly what the fuck was the need for the tornado?! Couldn't we have had him fall with a heart attack and tell Clark not to fly at superhuman speeds, or perhaps get him to just say goodbye?!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

There are a thousand more including destroying half of Metropolis, fighting inexplicable tentacles in the Indian ocean... why?! Wouldn't a force field of done it?! Evidently not. Or how about the minimal chemistry between Adams and Cavill, or the bizarre idea to have her rage around Zod's ship shooting bad Kryptonians?! Can people not be strong and useful if not killing people Zack?!

You know where we are going don't you?! Yes... it's the bit where Superman murders Zod.

6/ Why? What possible reason could you have for wandering into a project where the central character doesn't kill; that's one of his big things, and making him whack the baddie at the end?! Oh? Zod was going to cook some people?! Well Zod killed half of fucking Metropolis already dude! He's just done it and by the way? YOU DID TOO! BY FIGHTING HIM IN A MASSIVELY POPULATED AREA!!!

WEAK!

Mark Waid; a great comic writer was rightfully horrified by the clear butchering of Superman's core beliefs and messages. I was with him, but even more annoying was the attitude by the film makers!

The passage below was on a Yahoo article about the controversial ending and shows that they never had any intent to make the real Superman;
David S. Goyer, 'Man Of Steel's writer has also revealed that Christopher Nolan had a problem with Snyder's idea to turn Superman into a killing machine.
He told Empire, "Killing Zod was a big thing, and that was something that Chris Nolan originally said, 'There's no way you can do this'…originally, Zod got sucked into the Phantom Zone along with the others."
However, Goyer soon came to the rescue, and he revealed, "We talked to some of the people at DC Comics and said, "Do you think there's ever a way that Superman would kill someone?" At first they said, "No way. No way." We said, "But what if he didn't have a choice?" Originally, Chris didn't even want to let us try to write it. Zack and I said, "We think we can figure out a way that you'll buy it." I came up with this idea of the heat vision and these people about to die. I wrote the scene and I gave it to Chris and he said, "OK, you convinced me. I buy it."


Right, so we would buy that Superman couldn't fly through the roof dragging Zod with him or yank Zod away? No, it's bullshit!

They wanted a cardboard cut-out Superman for the modern era, and let's face it, physical restraint isn't something Modern cinema could be accused of having is it? Nope. So Snyder wanted a killer hero?

GO DIRECT DEADPOOL YA DICKHEAD!

The thing that bugs me about Man Of Steel most is that it makes not one bit of sense. Pa Kent doesn't teach Clark Hope, he teaches him fear. Fear of himself, fear of other people; even so far as suggesting he should have let a bus load of kids drown rather than expose himself. He's so obsessed with the idea of concealing the wonder that Clark has been gifted that he throws his life away for no apparent reason whatsoever, leaving his wife and so to face the difficult world alone.

Fear.

This is not a dark tale, it's a stupid one.

Oh and how the fuck does Clark Kent get a job at the Daily Planet?! He's been a fisherman and waiter for the last decade, no more like fifteen years. He didn't go to uni, get a Journalism degree, has no experience and it's basically incredibly stupid. Again.

The Alternative view from the concerned and pissed off Comic book lover gives Man Of Steel a six for watchability and a 4 for effort.

Here is the Yahoo article referenced above:   http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/man-steel-ending-controversial-apparently-230200041.html

Here is another blog that tears Man Of Steel to pieces far better than I can. Utterly hilarious, utterly brilliant, utterly depressing because its all so terribly accurate:

http://io9.com/the-most-important-scenes-from-man-of-steel-as-i-remem-516405346?utm_content=bufferaf581&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Brain Dump one.

I've been busy, that much is true, and yet the world has continued to turn. I've watched it twist around me as I've sat editing, dreaming and crafting the next one. But I think I need to dump some stuff, so here we go.

Brady

Ian Brady was seen for the first time in public in many years this week and it was all to do with his wish to be cleared 'sane' and moved to normal prison. I can have a very 'eye for an eye' mentality sometimes and so I sat on my hands and tweeted and typed nothing. I didn't comment.

Turns out that was the right thing to do.

I don't need to have my say, show my colours and rage because he isn't worth it. A terrible, evil creature of the night that will go back to a hole and stay there and if I just swallow it down for a bit I find that I can just let it go. Brady took lives and destroyed families.

He isn't worth anyone's time.

Dave's Dinner 

So, the G 8 are back in action, flying in with capes fluttering behind them, ready to save the world! Woo Hoo!

Oh, no, hang on. That's not it at all.

See I am not some lame anarchist, screaming my rage at the capitalist pigs while I wear label t-shirts and chew my Mc D's, and yet I can't let this slide. Dave and Vlad are chatting happily about what to do in Syria, like it is our choice after all! I mean, we can back who we like right? They can back who they like and then it's not about us and OUR interests at all! Nope.

I think it's a difficult situation, certainly more complicated than just arm 'these guys' or 'those guys' but I do know Vlad and Dave chatting about the fate of another country makes me very uneasy indeed!

Later Dave's twitter monkeys posted up a menu for dinner, presumably a dinner at which they would discuss world poverty, famine and war torn regions of the world. Meanwhile the people in their own countries are gripped by falling living standards, unemployment and uncertainty. The G8 meal sounded extravagant when consumed while discussing such topics.

To cap this off Dave took the opportunity to tell us the G8 would address the issues of poverty so that 'Hard working families' in poor countries could climb out of poverty and get better starts and better quality of life. Dave? How many utterly lazy families do you know? Presumably loads from your estate up bringing right?

Wanker.

I suppose the 'lazy families' can go fuck themselves yeah? That's it, lets line them up with the sick and disabled too right?

Utter wanker.


Breastfeeding

This is so simple, but lets do it.

If a baby needs to eat, and the mother is breastfeeding, then she should feed that baby wherever the two of them are. It's that simple.

If you think there is something wrong with breastfeeding then NEWSFLASH!

There's something wrong with you!

TNA Wrestling

Yeah, I watch pro-wrestling. Live with it.

Recently we have been watching the two hour show on Sundays and then have caught two pay per views free of charge on the Wednesday following their airing. I have to say the quality is excellent, the depth of talent is impressive and most of all it makes me remember what I used to like about WWE.

Very good company from what I can see.

Book Two

I sent the rough copy of my next book to a trusted reader. V.O.R arrived in an email and I knew it was in a rough state but when I opened the document to edit I found it needed a lot of work. I presumed this would reflect badly on the enjoyment of the test reader but it turns out the reaction was positive, and I've been told I'm doing good things.

This fills me with joy.

Editing it is turning out to be a real task, difficult, tiring and involves adding content I always intended to. And yet I'm loving it. I remember the time I told myself Blank Canvas needed to be cast out and left alone.

I can honestly say I'm dreading saying goodbye to this one.

Blank Canvas

Well there is movement and plenty of lovely comments and that has been great. I can say sales have fallen off and now I have to try to find new ways to get the word out.

If you have any good ideas then let me know. I have to admit I'm not an expert at this sort of thing.


Stuart Hall

No words can express this sickening situation; the events, crimes, cover-ups and finally... a fifteen month sentence.

Fifteen months.

That's it.

No words.

That's it.Thanks for listening.

Monday, 17 June 2013

AFTER EARTH: A Review

In the future, like far in the future man, like a thousand years in the future, man has left Earth.

Turns out we crapped on it. Silly really.

Anyway, we set up on this other planet but we met aliens and they turned out to be bang out of order. That took us by surprise.

Bastards.

They release creatures that were big and grumpy and ate us and could track us by smelling our fear right, it was a total bummer. But then we learned to control our fear so they couldn't see us, this was called 'ghosting' right?

Awesome!

Now we kick their butts but I'm not sure where the original evil aliens went too... I think they left that bit out or covered it with 'we beat them up.' Some thing like that.

Now Will Smith is a super dude at 'ghosting' and his kid (played by his kid) is a cadet, but he isn't so good at all that jazz, even though he kind of is actually good at it at the same time. Which gets annoying as he routinely falls apart throughout the film when he's meant to be trained and then turns into fucking Superman at other points...

Anyways...

After Earth has a strong visual style, the tech looks good, the effects are excellent and the effects are excellent as are the effects... Okay, the rest isn't as good as the effects.You are detecting this yes? Excellent!

The Smiths go off for some bonding time on a space ship, the ship is damaged and they are forced to crash on Earth; a quarantined planet where 'everything has evolved to kill humans.' Only they clearly haven't.

The rest of the crew are all dead and Will is injured meaning Jaden must make a long journey across the planet to retrieve something from the tail section of the craft that landed elsewhere. He has to make the journey and survive the many pitfalls and dangers that lie in wait for him while his dear daddy waits for him on the ship, guiding him through via radio link.

Both Smiths are awkward and certainly Will Smith doesn't pull off the strong, unemotive soldier type very well, his son is young and isn't a great actor at present and that shows too. There are awkward scenes of them together and others of them communicating over distance and really neither look like they are really digging it.

It's illogical, unconvincing and all in all it's a bit of a botched job, but it does have some nice moments and some cool designs and effects. I wouldn't have said it was the worse 'future earth' film so far this year but it does suffer from the same problems that 'Oblivion' did; looks great, but is dogged by idiocy.

Out of the two (Oblivion and After Earth) After Earth wins as it doesn't rely so heavily on retreading other peoples movies and their better shot scenes, and yet it does suffer from bizarre events, illogical happenings and has no real backbone of its own.

AFTER EARTH : Nice design, some enjoyable moments and visuals but never makes it up to the idea they stuck on the wall. 5/10.  (MUST TRY HARDER)

Music Monday: Victory

'I WIN! I ALWAYS WIN! IS THERE NO ONE ON
THIS PLANET TO STOP
ME?!'

Now obviously this not a statement I have ever uttered before as I am neither A/ General Zod or B/ Very successful, but still, I felt my first opportunity to yell it today!

Woo Hoo! I received in the post something I didn't think I'd ever get and it was a kind of special moment. Yes, today a proof copy of my book arrived....

Yeah.

Now I'm realistic, I know I'm not Stephen King, and yet even he had to start somewhere right?! Yeah, that's right! So I felt it start today, and it felt good!

These tracks reflect this momentous occasion....

 


Okay, that was obvious...




There's a line in here that says 'Mistakes? I've made a few.'

Well, having edited the copy about seven times I flick open the proof copy and my eyeballs rest neatly on a mistake. In the astral ether around my head a mystic version of myself punches me in the face repeatedly till his arm starts to hurt.

I'm in too much of a good mood to notice and so I ignore the blows and carry on regardless aware I can fix it with the wave of my hand over the document.




No, I don't drink... But still, I like the sentiment. Beside I spend many years thinking I was indeed pissing my life away, not just my nights :-) Still, I could still be proved right on that count!




BUT UNTIL I HAVE DEFEAT SPREAD ACROSS MY BODY WITH A BUTTER KNIFE LIKE MARMITE ON SOME TOAST.... PARRRRTTTTTTYYYY!!!

Now, obviously it would have been better if I'd got an agent, been snapped up and become an overnight sensation, but then, that doesn't sound real to me. It doesn't fit with anything I've ever done and to be honest I'm not likely to start getting it right first go just to make life easier for everyone else!!

OKAY?! Great.

In the end the book I have here proves one thing as I go through hunting typos and some minor problems still...




Now obviously I'm not Frank... But I'll belt this out as you head off to another side.

Until it comes crashing back down to Earth... Be excellent to each other.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Toy Animal Wrestling Club Week TWO

This week on TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB we pit the mighty Edd versus counting snake! The rules are simple, the battle won't be!


THE RULES!

1/ You don't talk about Toy Animal Wrestling Club.

2/ YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB!

3/ You need to make sure you get all your jabs first. There are no rules and animals? They tend to bite.

4/ All members have to help tidy up the hall after TOY Animal Wrestling Club. With many animals in the hall there can be a real mess afterwards and we need to make sure the floors are swept and mopped and the kitchen is left tidy.

5/ If it's your first night at TOY Animal Wrestling Club... You have to bring a Toy Animal!!

Enough gibber jabber! 

WE ARE HERE TO FIGHT!!
A snake that's looking for a fight!

A high attack is blocked!
He's down and this could be over!


REVERSAL!
Clever lunge for the throat plays off!

A full hold and it's looking bad!
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory once again!

Next time it's Edd verses a celebrity frog.....

Friday, 7 June 2013

Professor Elemental Comics Issue # 2. A Review!






(This may seem slightly cock-eyed doing a review for Issue # 2 when there isn't one for # 1, but have no fear I will soon sort that by posting up another review very soon to cover that oversight. Now, on with the show!)

Professor Elemental is musical artist and performer based on the south coast of England. He combines Rap and a traditional English character to deliver a truly unique stage act and has cut several albums. Albums I love. He defies stereotype even as he stands in pith helmet, a jacket and shorts; a nineteenth century explorers garb that contains a man with a razor sharp wit and a way with words that can bring laughs even as he probes such serious subjects as The Empire, stalking and Tea.

He's a multi media madman who has an online mini series, a list of gigs as long as your arm and a thirst for a good party. He also happens to have a comic...

PROFESSOR ELEMENTAL COMICS Issue #2!

This is a lovingly put together, colourful and entertaining mix of stories by a dazzling array of artists and writers. There are eight short stories in the comic, ranging from 4 to eight pages long and each has a very different flavour while at the same time all feeling very much like they understand and get the complexed and intelligent joke that the Prof is telling.

Stories like 'The Tempestuous Teapot' and 'Large Animal Legislation' have a more standardised comic art feel, complexed backgrounds and detailed character portrayals are backed with vibrant inks and colours to produce a more mainstream feel in contrast to 'Young Elemental & The Belvedere Bully', 'Steampunk Superheroes,' and 'Young Geoffrey,' which have a more cartoon style.

The cartoon style sections burst with humour and are about as much fun as they possibly could be. Fast, fun and frantic, they fit very nicely into the Professor Elemental lexicon and embody the charming, childlike nature of his persona while still possessing essential 'elements' (see what I did there) of self parody.

Finally there is something very 2000AD Futureshock about 'Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again,' 'Professor Elemental And The Case Of Aunt Fanny's Horn From The Journal Of Professor Elemental,' and 'Professor Elemental's Meta-Dimensional Voyage.' These three stories have a darker and yet still highly comedic feel. I was particularly fond of Aunt Fanny's Horn.

Professor Elemental comics Issue #2 is a collaborative work gelling fine artists with excellent writers to produce a highly entertaining and infectiously funny read. I highly recommend it to those that love comics with a difference, or generally light hearted and cheerful material.

It's a must in this household.

Contributors to the comic are listed as the following:

Mr Tom & Mrs Nimue Brown, Mr David Perry, Ms Mellissa Trender, Mr Alex Patterson, Mr Jonathon  Taylor, Mr Gibson Quarter, Ms Jennie Gyllblad, Mr Owen Watts, Mr Neil McClements, Mr Christopher Mole, Mr Tom Hallam, Mr David Metcalfe-Carr, Mr Brendan Purchase, Mr Noah Rodenbeak, Mr David Thompson, Mr Matthew Safffe, Mr Mike Bunt, Mr Andre May, Mr Christian Wildgoose and Ms Nikki Foxrobot.

It was presented by Messrs Christopher Mole and Paul Alborough.

Sites of importance: http://www.professorelemental.com/fr_home.cfm You can find the Professor at this address where you can order the comics and music that will brighten your days.

For more Professor Elemental material go to  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leANn4T5bK8 for the web series and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eELH0ivexKA for a slice of the Professors sound.
    

     

'The Purge'; A review.

Sinister masks. Original.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! 


In 2022 (that's nine years away folks for fuck sake)America has resorted to sanctioning all crime for only one night of the year. Between seven P.M and seven A.M on the night of The Purge you can murder, rape and kill as much as you like. All emergency services are suspended for that night and you, as a citizen are on your own...

It sounds like a cool concept for a film; government sanctioned mass murder. The idea that you can go for a crazy blow out and relieve all your aggression and hatred in one night by rampaging through the streets, or perhaps tracking down your boss, or ex boyfriend and brutally dispatching them... and it's legal! Sadly that is as much thought as they have put in here.

The idea itself leads you to the obvious; the rich survive, the poor die. That is true in all of history, but in this film they claim The Purge drops the crime rate down to 1%! Like there wouldn't be revenge kills in the weeks after? That the relatives of the raped and ravaged wouldn't tool up and head out into the night air. After all, if you can kill without conscience one night of the year then why not two, three, four or even five?

Ignore post traumatic stress disorders, vengeful survivors and any sort of thought at all really. Lets just say The Purge allows the rich to kill the poor, burn down their houses, the ghettos to become bloodbaths and inject a world class idiot into the mix in the form of Ethan Hawkes character shall we?

Great!

So, Ethan Hawke plays a home security salesman who has made a lot of money from his local area and is now top of the sales mountain. The system is essentially big steel shutters that close off the windows and doors of your house to the outside world. 'They a living in a box, living in a steel reinforced box'. These shutters roll down from between the internal and exterior walls, making your building one tough hombre to get into. The system is presumably expensive and so Mr Hawke lives in a gated area secure from the scum of inner city America.


Hawke by his shutters. See the thickness? Pulled off by a truck
His wife (Lena Headly; Last seen by me in Judge Dredd) is a housewife, loving mother and will prove herself throughout the script to be utterly useless. Ho hum. His kids are just as useless. His daughter has an older boyfriend who is pretty obviously a bit odd and Hawke classifies him as stereotypically the 'type she should stay from.' His son is a kid who likes gadgets and isn't a fan of the Purge at all. Mainly because its barbaric and ridiculous (you may have detected a certain commonality that we share?).

On the night of The Purge Hawke gets back just an hour before it starts. His wife puts some flowers outside their house (as do all the other women in the area) to show their support for The Purge. After all it has sorted their economy, probably removed the need for universal health care and dropped the unemployment down to 1 % as well. Obviously the cost in human lives and mental health is not an issue. Realistically their officials don't seem to give a fuck about mental health anyway so this film isn't that far removed from the truth in that respect.

A cooler poster.
Back to the film... Yes, Hawke switches on his security system when? Five minutes before The Purge. Yep. On the one night of the year that anyone can kill anyone else legally and some of the neighbours have been pretty threatening to his wife outside he waits till 6.55. They have dinner first. Oh God. Oh and he switches it on as his wife sits sweetly on the sofa, unable to press buttons or perhaps do anything of any use other than cook dinner. She probably does all the housework and smiles sweetly as she gets him a beer after his hard day (PLEASE FUCK OFF!).

The Purge is kicked off with a siren sounding and then you wait. Now do you wait by the security monitors and make sure no shit is about to go down or do you walk off and do some paperwork or perhaps 'watch a movie'? No, you'd stay by the station and make sure you didn't get killed. Hawke fucks off as does everyone else. His son sees on the monitors later that a man is in the street pleading for help and so punches in the code and opens the security system.

May I ask who showed him the code so he could nullify the expensive system? Was it the worlds stupidest security system salesman? Probably.

Man gets into the house, people point guns at each other and meanwhile upstairs daughters 'wild' boyfriend snuck in while they were having dinner and wants to go have a 'chat' with her dad... on murder night. 'Okay,' she says and puts on her headphones as I punch myself in the face as a means to escape the idiocy.

An attempt to evoke Manson like images?
Yes, boyfriend tries to kill Hawke, Hawke kills boyfriend, much screaming, homeless looking black dude hides in house. Later evil people come and want the dregs of society pushed out so they can murder him. Much bullshit ensues, man stays in house, evil rich kids outside get trucks and pull the steel from the windows and doors of the house (God this is stupid) and then enter.

Mayhem, blood, murder, and every stupid decission a character should never make in this situation is made from 'splitting up' to walking down the centre of the corridors to leaving someone tied up downstairs when they could obviously help you fight the evil privileged white Americans that have invaded the house.

Hiding under the bed?! Really?!
Are we shocked when the neighbours turn up to kill the intruders but have darker intentions themselves?! No. Are we stunned when homeless black dude comes and rescues the homeowner's from the neighbours? No. Are we surprised when Headly allows the neighbours to live as this 'Purge' thing is wrong? No.

The truth is there is tension in this film, there is menace but it feels like an atempt to make a clever video nasty. Loads of blurred shots of people being stabbed in the streets, some justification for killing people with axes, the neighbours ready to slaughter the kids of the Hawke so the Purge can release their anger. Sadly though it's all so obvious, all the characters are so dumb you wonder how they have survived this long? How?! How did Ethan Hawke's character not die putting on his trousers, or perhaps trying to win a 'running down the stairs backwards race' at work?

It could have been an excellent social commentary film on the idea of cathartic violence, of how the state sees the poor and weak as dead weight they wished they could just cut away. It could have challenged while delivering the gore but instead it is just a stupid, stupid, stupid film.

You will see worse films this year, filled with stupider characters and stupider plots. You will. But does that let The Purge off the hook?

No. No it doesn't.

I could go on for another thousand words but I won't. It was poor.

4/10.

  

Monday, 3 June 2013

Toy Animal Wrestling Club!

There are many clubs you can belong to; chess clubs and football clubs, Motorcycle clubs and book clubs, but this year, you only need to join one club...

TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB!

The rules are simple and I'm happy to lay them out for you, but to break the rules of TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB is to invite danger and retribution from the club!


THE RULES!

1/ You don't talk about Toy Animal Wrestling Club.

2/ YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB!

3/ You need to make sure you get all your jabs first. There are no rules and animals? They tend to bite.

4/ All members have to help tidy up the hall after TOY Animal Wrestling Club. With many animals in the hall there can be a real mess afterwards and we need to make sure the floors are swept and mopped and the kitchen is left tidy.

5/ If it's your first night at TOY Animal Wrestling Club... You have to bring a Toy Animal!!

If you are willing to stick to the rules, to give all to the club, to wrestle toy animals as hard as you can, then you too can join. Just post up your pics!

Think I'm joking?! This shit is real!!
STARTS WELL! I HAVE THE UPPER HAND!
HE TURNS AND USES HIS SUPERIOR NECK LENGTH ADVANTAGE!

NEVER LET THEM GET YOU DOWN!!

ITS ALL OVER!! 'KEN' THE TOY GIRAFFE ONE, EDD NIL. 

Join us next time for more TOY ANIMAL WRESTLING CLUB!!
(NO toy animals were harmed in the writing of this blog post, though Edd was badly wounded!) 

Who's WHO?

The great Matt Smith is gone! Well, okay, he's not gone yet, but he is going. Come Christmas he will get the blasting light treatment and will transform into a guy that used to play one of the most famous and important science fiction characters to ever grace the small screen.

I hope Smith goes on to great things, I may not have always enjoyed the Moffat run but I've loved his Doctor from day one! Still it leaves us with an interesting and fun question; who will be Who?

There are the usual calls for a female doctor and of course if that happens I won't switch off, but for me the Dr is a male Galifreyan. We've seen male and female ones and there was a clear distinction and though I am no expert I do know that one of the race swapped sex, but for me the question is why? Why do we need a female doctor? Can't we just have a spin off? I'd watch!

Anyway, below is a list of actors that I feel could do the job. It's not a list of likely to be's or probables. I think they are more likely to pick a less known person to move forward with but for what it's worth here are a few of the face's I wouldn't mind seeing.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba; super cool British actor, packed with intensity, charm and yes, he'd be the first Black Doctor. Not something that needs to happen because of colour but because its a role he would bring something different to.
Paterson Joseph

Paterson Joseph; same again, this dude has a lot of presence and charm, carries a great sense of humour and fun and he has a smile that is highly infectious.





El Sid
Alexander Siddig. One of my favourite Star Trek actors of all time, has stared in some big movies, done t.v of significance from DS9 and 24 in the states to Primeval in Britain and he's a sci-fi stable. A great actor and yes, he would be the first non Caucasian actor to play the Doctor.
Colm Meaney
Colm Meany; intense, dangerous, approachable, funny, new accent, tubby, like a friendly uncle that's a bit scary when angry! He's done lots of movies, two Star Trek franchises, and once stuffed Daniel Craig in a fridge and beat him till he screamed in terror (Layer Cake)... and it looked believable.




Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie, hot in the states, musically gifted, comedy legend, great actor. He'd do a great job and it would feel very, very British!

Laurence Fox
Laurence Fox; an outside choice but maybe he'd be able to remove the curse of the blond doctor! No, I'm not referring to Peter Davidson, no I am of course talking about the bad Baker! Big C, the one that the got it horribly wrong. Obviously that's just my opinion but I couldn't stand him!

Fox is a really good actor, tall, swift and intelligent looking. He has all the tools and maybe this would be the kind of gig that would give us an unexpected gem?

Prof Elemental
Professor Elemental, it's not going to happen, obviously, but this tea swilling chap hop god would certainly shake the foundations of the Who franchise to it's very core! Britain's greatest eccentric 2012 playing Britain's most eccentric character ever. A marriage made in heaven.
Steven Waddington

Steven Waddington; the big dude option. Waddington has the ability, is a pretty large man, wide and tall . An imposing, almost frightening Doctor, who's size becomes a factor in the reactions of those around him. No, I'm not saying he'd punch people (though Pertwee did!).


And finally, if we want a female Doctor then it's easy, here she is; write it round so she takes over!


Shouldn't be hard to convince her, she is the bosses daughter after all! 

None of these people will be the next Dr I dare say, but they all would be cool and I'd love it! I suppose the only question remaining is this;

Who do you want as the next Doctor Who?