The inevitable moment (to teach the little ones right from wrong) where the lies of our hero are exposed just as he truly earned the trust of his peers arrives and we as the audience have suitably renewed our interest in the film and although it’s a scenario played to death in films, it is still emotive and we find ourselves just a little devastated as Rango is cast out back into the desert to resume is existential meltdown. But you can’t keep a good lizard down and finally the long awaited show down arrives, amidst a rather confusing explanation revealing the perpetrator of the villainous H2O heist. Rango squares off against Rattlesnake Jake in scenes reminiscent of any western flick you care to mention and all is saved.
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Upon moving to Paradise (so ironic that it’s commented on just in case we were too thick to get it ourselves) John starts a new school and immediately meets Sarah, a quiet, pretty, loner girl played by Glee star Dianna Aragon. John and Sarah click instantly as they are able to both relate to being invisible; Sarah has no friends and hides behind her Nikon Camera and John….well he’s an alien on the run. Lonely heartthrob lead guy and pretty, sensitive lead girl –check. Soon after meeting Sarah, John witnesses high school politics at hand as the Jocks led by athlete Mark terrorise nerdy science geek Sam. Social group bullying – check. John is initially befriended by Mark but things soon turn sour between the pair when it emerges Sarah happens to be Mark’s ex-girlfriend and he isn’t that much into sharing. Male rivalry centred on a girl – check.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Well that was exhausting. Uploaded all my previous work and bothered to trapse around Google for pretty pictures. My work varies as the pieces have been written for different magazines and come with varied restrictions on word length, subject matter and writing style yadda yadda. Some I absolutely love. Some I don't mind. A few....bleh. But I've put the good, the bad and the poorly written up to at least show some growth.
9am lecture and it's 2am so off to bed but new reviews coming soon as well as the development of random rant pieces ect.
Finally getting somewhere.
9am lecture and it's 2am so off to bed but new reviews coming soon as well as the development of random rant pieces ect.
Finally getting somewhere.
The list upheld equality in the shape of its ‘nude dudes’ with silver haired heartthrob Richard Gere becoming something of a man candy in the 80s and 90S as well as Ewan McGregor making the grade for his sheer enjoyment of being on equal par with the ladies and never objecting to dropping his draws when the role requires. There were legends of glamour such as the late Charlie’s Angel star Farrah Fawcett whose infamous pin up poster and enviable hair catapulted her to fame; as well as original Bond girl Ursula Andress who proved that leaving a little to the imagine can still drive the men wild.
The programme showed variety in illustrating that not all nudity had the desired effect and in fact ill received nudity sunk the careers of household names such as Demi Moore and also Sharon Stone, who became so well known for her leg crossing scene in Basic Instinct that it defined her. Figure such as Sienna Miller came under attack as well as queen of pop Madonna for less than impressive acting skills, yet more boobs than you can shake a stick at on screen. The top five saw Pamela Anderson beaten to number four as surprisingly yet rather logically Dame Helen Mirren took the crown. Mirren from a young age had enjoyed quite a successful career from showing her skin and it was her move from being known for such roles yet still gaining the respect of her peers and going on to win the Oscar playing the ruling monarch herself that gave her victory.
Attention to detail is critical within the film and very well done as from the beginning it adds the sinister tone to all that occurs, from the haunting atmosphere at Hailsham to the wrist bracelets they are all required to wear to check in and out when they are supposedly ‘free’, the film manages to make the concept very real to the point where it doesn’t seem so impossible of a future. Where the film perhaps falls down is the whilst we are shown from different angles how the fate of the clones affects them, there is no real engagement with the world outside their own community, we are left unsure if people know this is donation process is happening or if they care about the clones and see them in any way to be human. The pace of the film can sometimes be slow as it remains inside a bubble where because of the acceptance there is no uprising and action; however this is also a strength in that the film is devoid of the generic Hollywood explosions and government cover-ups that usually surround films with subject matter such as this.
The show then moves to Brooker who more or less gives us the Screenswipe magic, commenting on the sexism furore caused by Andy Gray and Richard Keys, playing us the video tapes in question just in-case it passed anyone by. The team then gather at a round table with Laverne keeping the boys in check as they comment on Mitchell’s interview; this part gets slightly sloppy, with the comedians jostling to get a laugh amongst the odd serious comment. Meanwhile Laverne seems to ask the questions but shies away from answering without the obligatory wisecrack; however feels much more at home in a comedy sketch parodying the Gray-Keys sexism row. A highlight of the show was the second interview by Mitchell on the issue of control orders, in which a terrorism expert and a former terrorist suspect come spectacularly to blows. It was a shame when time had to be called on the row in order to move to the next slot as a fair amount of sniping and squirming continued to take place.
Overall 10 O’ Clock Live was an enjoyable piece of entertainment that mixed politics and the comedy we love successfully. The show manages to fit in an impressive twelve pieces yet it could benefit from a smaller number with more time given to Mitchell’s interviews or Brooker spitting venom. Laverne jars slightly but her presence brings a little more than comedians just trying to outshine each other. Despite its minor teething problems, 10 O’ Clock Live is a very watchable format which provides a refreshing alternative to more serious programming.
Alas the course of true love never runs smoothly and Gnomeo and Juliet are devastated when they realise their gardens are mortal enemies. Equally as gutsy as their Shakespearean originals, the love struck gnomes meet in secret and come across lonely garden flamingo Featherstone who urges the two not to let their love be ruined by hate as his own was. Leading the feud between the two gardens is Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, a burly, menacing gnome with intimidating anger; although you would be if painted on permanent rosy cheeks seemed to get in the way of the true villainy. Caught up in family loyalty Gnomeo struggles to choose between the girl (or gnome) he loves and his duty to continue the cycle of revenge against the Red’s attacks. This dilemma leads to a tragic lawnmower fight in which a gnome loses his life and it appears Gnomeo has lost his too, sending the opposing gardens into mourning before swiftly moving into a fight to the death that is set to destroy them all.
The film has many strengths, one being the way in which it forges its own path but still manages to stay true to the original play. For any English students watching there were several rewordings of famous lines such as ‘a weed by any other name is a weed’ and ‘a hat for a hat’ yet amongst these nods to Shakespeare there are lines taken from Disney’s Bambi as well as contemporary jokes to please all preferences. The setting is also a refreshing touch as the film feels quintessentially British without feeling like there has been a compromise on the quality of the animation that big budget Pixar films have access to. Clever casting also plays its part in the film’s quality as originally it’s rather disconcerting to have Juliet looking no older than sixteen whilst Gnomeo contractually obliged to have the trademark little grey beard looks like a handsome fifty-five year old. This issue is solved thanks to James McAvoy’s ability to sound playful, boyish and rather like an Essex boy. Emily Blunt is also well cast as gutsy Juliet, feminine but with an intelligent and explorative nature. The voices of the side-kicks of the film are also spot on, in particular the casting of legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne as dozy Fawn; a slow Brummie drawl that was used to comedic effect. Jason Statham also manages to prove himself as one of the ultimate hard men by being able to still made Tybalt formidable beneath the rosy cheeks.
The noticeable layer of changes to the format altered the programme significantly as it felt somewhat like a mash-up of both Push The Button and Saturday Night Takeaway with the hosts departing from playing it neutral and each taking up a team to support and rivalling each other. In scenes reminiscent from Saturday Night Takeaway’s popular ‘Ant Vs. Dec’ family members were asked to guess who could parallel park a stretch limo the quickest. The show had clearly aimed to expand with family members going against each other and performing on Dancing On Ice as well as celebrity participation from Alan Shearer who was challenged to kick a football over a house; however this served to add to the split personality of a show trying to be two things at once. Whilst the variety of games appeared less creative, new creation ‘The accumulator’ proved to be an exhilarating game changer with the down and out Strauns managing to overtake the Lever’s with a £38,500 leap of faith.
The first episode inevitably drew comparisons to High School Musical with the establishing of characters Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry. Finn the kind hearted but oafish quarterback with a singing secret and Rachel the twee looking glee club singer with dreams of becoming a star. From this point there is a distinct departure from the teeny-bopping franchise in the way that Rachel is far from timid and mild mannered; she is fame hungry and self-centred to the point of becoming unlikeable. Whilst Finn’s unique singing ability isn’t discovered because of an Efron-like need to listen to his heart and choose his own path; a desperate Mr Shue plants Marijuana in his locker and blackmails him into joining the New Directions. With our leading couple established we meet the other members of the uncoolest club at McKinley High; Mercedes, the diva with a voice to match, wheelchair-bound Artie, stuttering Goth Tina and flamboyant soprano Kurt. Each of these characters can indeed be seen as clichés of committing to being ‘representative’ i.e. the ethnic minorities, the overweight, the disabled and the homosexual; but the programme uses them in a way to acknowledge that these are the very people who are often excluded in High School life with no popular representation of themselves on television. There are episodes that focus on the issues around these characters such as ‘Wheels’ which dealt with Artie’s disability and included a rendition of ‘Dancing with myself’. Whilst some critics have found it inappropriate to have an able-bodied actor play the part, Kevin McHale who plays Artie gave a convincing performance that felt realistic and although it verged on being sugary sweet it struck the tenuous balance between being too idealistic and too depressing.
The rising star within the young actors of the glee club is again difficult to choose from in light of much talent and character development; however Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel manages to rise a hair above the rest. Colfer plays out and proud gay student Kurt; with voice enough to compete with Rachael and a dress sense that would make Lady GaGa proud. Kurt goes through the same motions as many of the gay characters that have made it onto our screens over the years; merciless bullying and the struggle to feel accepted. Where Kurt becomes loveable is in his relationship with his father. The pair are bonded together over the loss of Kurt’s mother years previous; however a strange dynamic exists between the obviously effeminate son and his father who is a rough around the edges, butch, blue collar worker. The episode where Kurt comes out to Burt is both funny and touching as his father makes clear that he had is suspicions when Kurt started walking around in heels at the age of four. This is taken further then Kurt deliberately sabotages himself in an audition for lead against Rachel to spare his father the embarrassment and threats he has been receiving.
Glee has contributed many things to popular culture; it has revived Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing’ for a new generation, made it okay to sing our favourite songs from musicals we pretended not to know the words to, as well as reinventing well known songs, such as Mr Shue giving it the white boy swag with Kanye West’s ‘Gold-digger’ in the opening episode. One thing Glee will be forever remembered for is the creation of Sue Sylvester. Played by comedian Jane Lynch, Sue Sylvester is a creative stroke of genius as the arch-nemesis of Mr Shue and the glee club. Adding a new level of sinister to the head to toe Addidas tracksuit, Sue is mean, manipulative, conniving and a bully to staff as well as students. Sue competes with Mr Shue for the limited funding available to the school and sees destroying the glee club as a way to provide the best to her Cheerios. To say Lynch plays the part well is an understatement as her unashamed spite and sarcasm is just a delicious as her barrage of insults about Mr Shue’s perfectly coiffed hair. Like Mr Shue, Sue does not remain one dimensional and carries chinks in her armour; such as her defence of the glee club whilst judging nationals in the season finale. Also her picking of Down syndrome student Becky to be one of the Cheerios, despite rejecting girls based both on looks and weight, reflects her soft inner shell as it is revealed that Sue’s older sister suffers from Down syndrome, spurring Sue to give Becky a better High School experience than what her sister had to endure. Although Sue takes herself extremely seriously, she manages to treat us to her restyling as Madonna in ‘Vogue’ as well as becoming an overnight sensation with Olivia Newton John to ‘Let’s get physical.’ If Will Shuester is at the heart of the glee club, Sue Sylvester is at the heart of Glee itself.
The film builds speed and brings more menacing train shots, sometimes with trees in front to add that extra mean look. Barnes and Colson now have the attention of the media as everyone (including us) watches with baited breath. Incredibly the pair manage to catch the train and slow it down enough to make it round the Stanton curved track that would have caused destruction but that mean train is just relentless to kill (I think some are born that way) and picks up speed once more. This allows Denzel to put his action man hat on as he and Colson leave their train and roof jump onto the runway; Colson saves the day ultimately by climbing into the controller’s cab and finally fixing that pesky lever before jumping off to join Barnes in a speeding car that has been running alongside them.
The train is finally halted and the pair are hailed as national heroes; Frank is allowed to keep his job and Will’s wife arrives with his son ready to forgive the little bit of domestic violence in light of the situation. We also find out that Dewey is fired and now works in the fast food industry. Given that the film is based on a true story I find it amusing to know in a McDonalds out there somewhere, the guy offering fries with your burger nearly caused a national disaster.
|Too much mouth!|