Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Telling it like it is.

One of the things I bunging love about the bbfc (British Board of Film Classifications) is how very specific they are nowadays. Their latest update on why Toy Story is a PG, for example: -

"Contains mild violence, scary scenes and some dangerous behaviour"

sums up how I feel about the content in it exactly. I first saw the movie when 5, and Sid scared the crap outta me.

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Harry Brown, a British film with Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer, however, is a little more adult: -

"Contains very strong language, strong violence, hard drug use and sex"

Michael Caine bunging and saying the c-word? It's more than I can cope with, frankly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turn it Up (Pixie Lott)

Brentwood-born British singer-songwriter Pixie Lott is, at 18, younger than me, and already has two UK no.1s. Not too shabby, eh? Her album, Turn it Up, came out this Monday, and I thought I'd give it a listen.

Here are the tracks on her album, ranked in order of preference:
01. Mama Do (class song, so catchy)
02. Turn it Up (cool song and lyrics)
03. Band Aid (catchy tune)
04. Gravity
05. Cry Me Out (powerful vocals)
06. Boys and Girls (intro sounds a tad HSM3-ish)
07. Jack
08. My Love
09. Nothing Compares (yawn)
10. Here We Go Again (just too samey)
11. The Way the World Works

Hahaha.

I'm going through issues of Mizz, this magazine I used to read when I was 13. I'm surprised we've still kept them, but anyway... too many lulz. Here's just one of the hilarious things in it: -
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Watch this, like: -

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guess the Movies.

Because it is fun!

1. Photobucket Family Plot, correctly guessed by William

2. Photobucket Mean Girls, correctly guessed by Anahit

3. Photobucket The Aviator, correctly guessed by Joe

4. Photobucket Cinema Paradiso, correctly guessed by Anahit

5. Photobucket North by Northwest, correct guessed by Anahit and William

6. Photobucket Marie Antoinette, correct guessed by Anahit and William

7. Photobucket anyone care to guess?

"And I owe it all to you"

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R.I.P. Patrick Swayze.

You Sexy Things.

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Empire film magazine have opened voting for their 100 sexiest film stars, and I am telling you to go over there to make the votes this year somewhat respectable. Because, I tell ya, if I see those goons Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe anywhere near the top 25 this year, I will not be happy.

Here were my picks, if anyone cares: -
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Tell me yours!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


01. What flowers are blooming in the area where you live?
02. What is your favourite bird?
03. Will you be putting up the Christmas lights this year?
04. What colour do you wear the most of?
05. Tell me two truths and a lie.
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Oh, and can I just say... unf? Girlcrush, much?!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Smug git.

On Wednesday 9th September (ie this Wednesday), Derren Brown appeared to pull off the impossible - predict all six of the winning lottery numbers. In a sealed off location somewhere with - what he claimed to be - just two cameramen in the room, the lottery draw was played, before Derren Brown walked over to a stand on the other side of the camera frame, turned them around, and revealed the numbers. And, lo and behold, they held the six numbers. Yesterday night, he gave his "explanation".

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Derren Brown stretched out the hour first by tormenting a woman with a fear of mice by putting her hand in three out of four boxes, when he told her one of them contained a mouse. It was so clearly staged. Next, we watched a clip of a man who was told to stamp on fourteen out of twenty polysterene cups, one of which had a knife underneath. Miraculously, he went on to stamp on nineteen cups, avoiding the knife (which was really a mouse). Both events had clearly been staged, with the "random participants" selected actors.

Derren Brown then carried on this vein of "thought", claiming that the synergetic power of people's willpower could actually make things happen. He demonstrated this with a toin toss competition, wherein a man who had to flip HHH lost to a woman who had to toss THH due to more people "supporting" her. Um, no. This is a simple Mathematical trick, actually, nothing to do with "willpower."

But yeah. His explanation for predicting the six winning lottery numbers was, apparently, that 24 people had guessed the numbers, and then he had taken averages. Batshite. How dumb does he think we are?

I know how he did it - either with remote controlled balls which changed the numbers, or, the split screen - wherein a crew member ran on with the right numbers straight after the lottery number was called. It was technology that explains this simple conjuring trick, not pseudo-science. Twat.

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More positive things:
Cringetastic Sex and the City II movie fashions
Dev Patel and Freida Pinto still looking wonderfully happy together.
google, oldschool
Girls Aloud being stunning

Friday, September 11, 2009

Michael Fassbender makes me wanna bung.

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Today marked the relase of Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, which is being hailed as British film of the year by many critics. It tells the story of a 15-year-old Essex girl who, excluded from school and frequently using the c-word, is at a bit of a dead end in her life. Her blugeoning sexual awakening is piqued by the arrival of her mother's dishy new man, played by, you've guessed it, the *very* lickable Michael Fassbender (amazing in Eden Lake, Hunger and Inglourious Basterds), and guess what? They bung. This sort-of-Lolita-in-Essex sounds both ridiculously wrong and at the same time, morbidly interesting, and I do hope to see it asap, to admire the kitchen sink drama, Andrea Arnold's direction and Michael Fassbender's hotness. I adored Red Road and last year's Somers Town, which seems to be quite similar in tone to this, so I just know I shall love this film.

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Not convinced about his bungability? How about now?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

5 Favourite Songs from Taylor Swift's "Fearless".

I adore Taylor Swift. Despite being a mere four months older than me, she exudes talent, wisdom and pretty awesomeness from head to toe, and her album Fearless would probably make my all-time 50 favourites if I were to make a list. Taylor Swift has been writing songs since she was 10, and she writes them amazingly, as well as playing the piano and guitar like a pro and having a wonderful voice. Here are my five favourite songs from a very strong selection.

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05. You belong with me
The video to this song is one of the cutest things in years and highlights Swift's charm, but the lyrics that touch upon this other girl, too, ring all too true - "she wears short skirts, I wear sneakers, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers." Boys, so dumb.

04. Fifteen
An anecdotal song about having your heart broken when fifteen, this is an interesting counterpart to Rilo Kiley's considerably less innocent song of the same title. I can totally connect with the beautiful, heart-wrenching lyrics of this song.

03. Fearless
I love the sweetness and hope of this song and how it conveys the feeling of how nothing is impossible and fearlessness when you think you're in love.

02. Hey Stephen
The cutest of all the songs on the album and possibly one of the loveliest songs of all time, there are soo many "aww" moments I got from listening to this.

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01. Breathe
Captures the fallout after a break-up perfectly. There's real pain in Swift's voice and the lyrics show her to be wise beyond her years. LOVE this.

Watermelon.

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Anna Friel is charming enough in this TV adaptation of Marian Keyes' chicklit novel, but despite her best efforts and convincing Irish accent, she can't prevent this from being terribly boring and predictable. It was quite annoying too. Not recommended.

^ lol, worst review evar.

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Final Exam by Pauline Chen also failed to make me feel anything other than dire boredome. A doctor reflects on her journey through time and how she has come to terms with death. I came to terms with the fact that this dull and dreary book belonged in the bin.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

X Factor 2009 - Episode 3

Yesterday's episode started with the Manchester auditions. The first guy we meet, Allan, tells us he is a bartender in a 4 star hotel in Wrexham, which is more than a bit of a plug. When he signs "When the Going Gets Tough", he is both out of tune, and forgets most of the words. His dancing is also terrible, Danni likens it to being electrocuted. The panel are not impressed, but he takes the criticism well and goes on his way. Next, is a middle aged guy, Gurdip, doing Pussycat dolls. Terribly. He must have been auditioned for the banter, because I don't know how he could have seen that it wasn't terrible. Then there's a guy who tries to cover Dolly Parton, but fails. The bad performances are topped off with a guy who dubs himself G.W.S., real name, Ian. He tries to sing "Can't Touch This." He is 25 and unemployed, and following his performance, I honestly can't think why. The outfit is as lol-worthy as his singing and dancing, yet, Simon gets booed for simply speaking the truth and saying that he's not very good. See, this is why I'm not sure about the live audiences; without it, Simon could probably get to be more honest and scathing toward the duff performances. Eh.

Next, we go to Cardiff in Wales, where X-Factor fever has clearly run this town. We see fish stalls with "Cowell's Cods" and vegetable markets selling "Louis' Leeks", which are so deliciously naff and kitsch. Our first audition is a three man group, two girls and a boy from Sixth Form, who call themselves 2 Gorgeous 4 Words. Hmmm, I sort of beg to differ. They attempt to cover "Let's Hear it for the Boy", and are SO out of tune. Simon gives them their marching orders and the more outspoken member of the threesome spits "We think we're excellent so it doesn't matter what they think." Um, ok then. *pats head*

Next, a girl called Ashanti sings "I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige. Whilst she's good, Simon comments (rightly) on her lack of stage presence, which is met with boos. As ever, Cheryl, Danni and Louis are in agreement that they love her. Even Simon gives a begrudging yes. "You're always grumpy in Wales", Louis remarks. We then have Daniel Williams singing "Let it Be" by The Beatles, which is quite good for a 19-year-old. High School Musical music snakes into the background. We're then treated to a sob story/cheesy quote moment to the music of "I'm not a Girl, Not yet a Woman" whilst various people talk about how winning X-Factor would change their lives. Well, duh!

Now it's the turn of a pretty girl from a Welsh village in a nice dress but fugly gladiator sandals. She's called Lucie, and looks slightly older than her age, which we're told is 18. She sings "I will always love you" by Whitney Houston, which Simon questions the choice of. I would never dare attempt because it is just such a massive gamble; sounds amazing if you get it right, but will easily sound awful if you get it wrong. She gets it right - although she hits the high note with tentativeness, she still gets it right. Straight after the performance is over, we get the usual X-Factor cheesy music stint. Cheryl gets it spot on when she says she "loved the vulnerability" of the performance, and that, despite Lucie being a sure talent, the girl wasn't aware of her own amazing skill. And Simon gives the highest accolade so far, "I really, really like you." These words are like gold from him.

We then get a wee bit of a pisstaker who does three songs, all made-up, "Beef and Onion Crisps", "The Lonely Lama" and "Shepperd's Pie 'til I Die." I am serious, he actually sings these songs. Simon gets completely exasperated. Another welsh lad, Gareth, sings, or shall I say, bastardizes, "Angels" by Robbie Williams. Bung.

Lloyd, a chirpy-looking schoolboy then begins his rendition of "I'm Yours", and although he has an OK voice, we just know from the off that this is not the song for him. Cheryl stops the audition and everyone boos. Louis asks for another song, and, like Shaheen on his audition for Britain's Got Talent this year, he excels a secod time round. By the by, this lad is 16, and he has a tattoo on his wrist! Is that legal? I want a tattoo.

X-Factor hits staged heights when Kirsty and Jack, a duo who used to date but, we are told have now broken up, bung on. He's wearing a Liverpool T-shirt. Not a Liverpool strip, more a T-shirt with the Liverbird on it. Aaaanyway, they're called Combined Effort and tell the panel that they used to be engaged, but he broke the engagement off because they were just pissing each other off too much. "Are you comfortable with performing together?" is the question they're asked, to which he gives a sweet but rather cliche reply of "I'd rather have a friend than not at all", which unsurprisingly evokes a massive aww from the audience. After all that backstory, the singing, when it comes, is atrocious. He even stops in the middle of it because he's so bad. Cheryl's acting as if it's the cutest thing ever. "Nothing's gonna stop us now", they screech, as Simon stops them. The panel give their thoughts - which is that the singing wasn't very good, but this takes a backseat to their thoughts on the couple's relationship, which is that it could still work. And surprise surprise, the two walk away, in love again. Bless... NOT. You can check out the staged cheesiness here:


The X-Factor panel have just touched down in London town, and 17 year old girl studying for her A-levels. She sings "And I'm Telling You" by Beyonce, which is the song in which Beyonce actually got to show her amazing pipes. "Is she good?" Dermot asks her mates, watching off-stage, and she is, according to them. In fact, she is rather good. After that, we get the worst Mariah Carey singing ever - and he gets two gos at it, sadly. Simon lays into him and again, gets booed for it.
So, what did I learn from yesterday's episode of X-Factor? Well, that they stage things, that some people audition for the lulz and that Cheryl is pretty. So really, I didn't learn anything new at all. But, it was very entertaining/embarrassing, and I needed to chillax a bit after biting my nails off all the way through the Republic of Ireland football match, so it's all good!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sad to say goodbye.

I am currently tidying my room, throwing out old clutter, etc. I've found a ring that I was once very proud of, but is now rubbish, as part of it has fallen off,




Say hello to the bin, I'm afraid.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Advertising bung.



I've come across two rather terrific attempts at movie marketing today: -

1.



The use of the T-shirt here, with him looking down on it, I think captures the feel of the film terrifically, as I hear the film is a very "bitty" look at various episodes in the two's relationship.


2.

Hehehe. Just genius.

I want to see both films now. Have any of you guys seen either film? Thoughts?

The Secret of Chimneys (Agatha Christie)

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The Secret of Chimneys tells of Herzoslovakian princes, political memoirs, foreign diplomats, missing diamonds and, of course, murder. It is also one of the most boring novels ever written. Do yourself a favour and don’t go anywhere near it. I am terribly, terribly disappointed by Miss Christie. There’s one colossal twist at the end which was cleverly constructed but by then, I was too bored to care. Not recommended in the slightest.

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Other craps...
- I might get this

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

11. Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)

Hitchcock’s first American effort, Rebecca, is a chilling tale of obsession and insecurity. A stellar adaptation of Daphne du Marier’s gothic novel, the film begins in a mesmerizingly haunting way with a dark shot of meadows, takes us on an eerie trip through Manderlay and does not let go until the last minute.

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Rebecca de Winter was a glamorous and generally adored socialite. It has been a year since her passing away, and her husband (Laurence Olivier), grief stricken, goes away to Monte Carlo. Here, he meets naïve young secretary (played by Joan Fontaine, but interestingly, her character never has a name). She is everything Rebecca wasn’t: guileless, sweet, a little on the mundane side. All these attributes greatly endear her to Mr. de winter, and they fall in love and get married. However, on returning to his home in Cornwall, the Manderlay estate, the second Mrs. De Winter finds that all the servants are somewhat frosty towards her, in particular Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), Rebecca’s loyal housekeeper, who is still living in the memory of her past mistress.

The performances in this film are perfect. Judith Anderson, as the cruel and sadistic devotee who is possibly lesly b ann towards the deceased Rebecca (she prizes one of Rebecca’s négligées), gives one of the best supporting actress performances in history. Her obsession with Rebecca is perverse and creepy, and reaches levels of sinister undertones that cinema had not achieved before. George Sanders, as Rebecca’s cousin and lover, oozes greasiness. Laurence Olivier has the distant aloofness of Max down to a t, who delivers such melancholy lines such as “Happiness is something I know very little about” with perfect finesse and what’s more, is completely gorgeous to boot. He depicts his character’s confusion very well – he loves his wife, but often gets short with her, and even loses his temper at her in one scene – she, poor thing, in trying to impress him and live up to Rebecca, follows Mrs. Danver’s purposely catastrophic advice and wears a dress that was worn by Rebecca.

But the film belongs to Joan Fontaine. Poor Joan Fontaine was put through hell during filming – Hitchcock encouraged other cast members to shun her in real life, leading to the actress becoming very twitchy, and this comes across in her portrayal as the insecure young woman, the epitome of frail beauty. Fontaine is one of my favourite actresses and has impressed in many, many roles (The Constant Nymph, Suspicion and Letter from an Unknown Woman to name a few), but this will remain my favourite performance of hers. She is the quintessential gothic heroine, a frightened, unsure character who was totally unaware of what she was getting herself into when she married the man she loved.

Rebecca was also a technical masterpiece of its day. The camerawork stunning, and the set, of austere, cold, Manderlay, makes the second Mrs. De Winter’s plight all the more believable. Producer David O. Selznick loved to get right into it, but Hitchcock’s director’s stamp is prominent throughout, from the suspense, the chilling atmosphere created, the music and the camera moves. The film has terrific performances, a great script and awesome technicals to become a true masterpiece.

The denouement is appropriately dramatic and, although dated, the film has lost none of its thrill. The psychological mind-play is still affecting, and we really feel for the second Mrs. De Winter. Although no blood is shed and there is no gore, Rebecca is far more frightening than any of the so called “horrors” that Hollywood churns out by the dozen these days. In the final shot, the “R” of Rebecca is framed, in all its glory. This woman may be gone, but she is far from being forgotten. The novel itself is extremely rich, atmospheric and gothic, but it is mainly Hitchcock’s mastery that brings all these words to our senses, so we can fully experience it.

(as a side note: I watched this film on a rainy April day with the bro. Was SO atmospheric, a perfect way to spend a rainy day – watching my second fave Hitchcock movie. Hint hint.)

Before I head off to work for the first time in five days...

A quick reminder!

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