10-10-1(0) Challenge

Over on Instagram, I was nominated to take part in the 10-10-10 challenge, but I’m a cheat so I’m doing it as 10-10-1.
10 awesome scenes from 10 favourite films over 1 day.
y’all know I’m a sucker for these things and I’ve done similar recently but I’ve chosen films not previously featured in my lists. films and specific scenes which have actually affected me whilst watching, and given me long lasting memories.
I’ve put them in chronological order (I think)

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Poltergeist (1982)
I remember one Christmas in the late 80s. I should have been in bed but I couldn’t sleep. Sneaking out of my room in I sat on the stairs and saw through the windows of the living room door, that my parents and grandparents were watching something on TV. It caught my attention and I sat there in darkness, watching in silence, until one particular staircase scene. They heard me yelp over the film.

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Beauty & the Beast (1991)
My mum was taking myself and my best friend to the cinema to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We had just missed the screening and this was starting shortly. Begrudgingly we two 11 year old boys trudged in, little did we know that it would become one of our favourite films of all time.

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Jurassic Park (1993)
It was a Thursday night, the day before I was due to break up for Summer holiday. I had always been obsessed with dinosaurs, (aren’t most children,) so when Jurassic Park was coming out, my dad was sure to take me. We caught a screening around 9pm (quite the treat for this tubby 11 year old) and it was the most awe inspiring, spine chilling, resonating still with me to this day, cinema experience. I remember the roar of the T-rex making my Adam’s apple shudder. I watched through wide eyed wonder, never thinking I’d see anything like that.

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Saving Private Ryan (1998)
My granddad never liked going to the cinema, it was far too noisy for him. I was the little movie nerd so I used to go with my nan all of the time. We’d chill out in town (Liverpool) then go to the Odeon at the bottom of London Road. I saw so many films with nan, from Street Fighter to Tarzan. Deep Blue See to Naked Gun 33 1/3. Saving Private Ryan  though… wow. We were both speechless when it finished. Glassy eyed, I remember nan managing to finally say “wow.”

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LA Confidential (1998)
I never got to see this at the cinema, but it was at this time I was finding my feet as a film fan. I was studying Media Studies at college and discovering a new identity. Ever the nerd, and avid in collecting, general fandom. This film set me down a path of reading James Ellroy and on to Elmore Leonard. Not being able to tear my eyes away from the TV when watching, and watching it a lot, I did. Completely immersive thanks to stunning cinematography and attention to detail. A true cinematic joy.

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A Bittersweet Life (2005)
2006, a difficult moment in my life. I found myself starting from scratch. Barely any belongings and back home. Cinema, as for many others, was an escape from overwhelming reality. Korean cinema was about in a big way thanks to 2003’s Oldboy, but this flew pretty much under the radar. I will never regret blindly buying this. I will always recommend it. A modern masterpiece.

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Away We Go (2008)
I first watched this on a flight home from Las Vegas. It was 2nd January 2010. In the middle of 3 seats, between 2 strangers, tears cascading down my cheeks. One of few films from within the past 10 years that has managed to sneak into my all time top ten. Beautiful on all fronts. A true joy of a film.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
Not much needs to be said about this, other than it being the film that made it clear it’s ok to express your emotions in the cinema. 29 years old and openly crying at the incinerator scene.
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Avengers (2012)
Not my favourite of the MCU films, (it’s up there though) but like Jurassic Park, one of the most exciting and awe inspiring cinema visits I’ve ever had.
I remember when the helicarrier began it’s take-off. I turned to my friend and said “I want to have Joss Whedon’s ginger babies”
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Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
I was scared. Blade Runner is one of my favourite films of all time. I was confident, Villeneuve had a brilliant track record coming in to this. I was apprehensive, the cinema was deserted.
What followed had me in tears down to it’s sheer beauty. I couldn’t have asked for a better sequel to a film I love. This will crash my top ten eventually. It will stand the test of time. A true Joi.

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I Know Everything About Film, I’ve Seen Over 240 of Them.

So. I’ve seen a few of the big cinematic releases recently; Wonder Woman, Transformers: the Last Knight, and Baby Driver.

I’ve previously shared my initial thoughts/ reactions on Twitter but it’s hard to convey how I really feel about them in 140 characters, and I’m not one of those insufferable people that clogs up the timelines of others by replying to their own tweet (you know who you are) so I thought’d I’d do a little post on here, as this tends to be my cinematic soapbox.

Well. Let’s start with Wonder Woman. As with the previous instalments of the DC movie universe, I really wanted to like this film. I mean, what kind of an idiot pays to see a film that they want to dislike?! Man of Steel has grown on me. Batman v Superman, well, I’ve given it three chances (saw opening day at cinema and since bought the extended edition on bluray) but I can’t find it in me to like that film no matter how much I try. Suicide Squad, lets call it what it is, fucking tripe. Now Wonder Woman. Like most of my school reports said, “so much potential. I expect better.” People lauded this film. “One of the best superhero films.” They must have watched a different film to me because what I saw was unoriginal and ugly. I won’t go into spoiler territory,  but I’d say 65-70% of this film was bog standard. There were moments of greatness and, dare I say it, wonder, but as a whole the film disappointed me greatly. It was great seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen and great for Patty Jenkins, an accomplished director, to make such a successful film, but I don’t understand the whole female empowerment angle (apart from the fact that she’s a woman.) What I mean is, she is a demi-god that does what she wants, dresses how she wants, and kicks ass doing it. That’s great, but for all of the innuendo between her and Steve Trevor, I failed to see the difference between their relationship and that between Bryce Dallas Howard & Chris Pratt in Jurassic World, a film which has been slated for being sexist. Yes, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character was wearing high heels and business attire, but that was for her bloody job! “Shit, there are dinosaurs trying to eat my nephews! Just let me run to my office and change my shoes though, these are going to be a nightmare to run in.” Sorry, I’m digressing, but the double standards between the two films was really getting my goat up.

Right, on to Transformers: the Last Knight. To be honest, the less I say about this, the better. I saw this out of curiosity in the hope that they may make an entertaining Transformers film, but it turned out to be the worst of the lot. Yup, even worse than racist robots and giant decepticles. This film is absolute fucking nonsense. How they managed to get Sir Anthony Hopkins, I’ll never know, but even he was shite and the batshit member of ancient English aristocracy. And what the fuck was Stanley Tucci doing coming back as Merlin, playing it like Sir Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery in Iron Man Three?! Completely devoid of any cohesive narrative or continuity, and after they ruined my favourite Transformer Jetfire in Revenge of the Fallen, they go and fuck up my second favourite, Hotrod, in this! I laughed a lot watching this, but only because of how utterly abysmal it is. The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to change my one star review on Letterboxd, to zero stars.

Now, today’s film; Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. When it comes to sound and visual editing, this film is nothing short of a masterpiece. Remember when you saw the Suicide Squad trailer and they matched up 3 gunshots to Bohemian Rhapsody, well think that, but most of a brilliant film so in sync with it’s stunning soundtrack that they become one entity. From background posters to throwaway blink and you’ll miss mannerisms, the visuals and soundtrack merge into one stunning piece of cinema at times. Yes, it suffers a little in the middle, but it’s basically allowing you to take a breath before you’re thrown back into the music and mayhem. I wouldn’t say any of the performances are groundbreaking, they don’t need to be, and a few elements of the characters and story felt a little ill thought, but you’d be hard pressed to see a more entertaining film at the moment.

Bring on War for the Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man Homecoming!

(Amontage video by the awesome Amon Warmann)

 

“… if your eye got poked out in this life. Would it be waiting up in heaven with your wife?”

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I have questions about Heaven. There are not enough characters on Twitter so I’ve brought them here.
I am not religious. Not even in the slightest. I understand that some people need something to believe in, and I respect the (very limited) morality religions instil in their followers, but I do not understand how ancient religions continue to exist in a world of science.
Anyway, I digress.

My questions lie primarily with the Christian concept of Heaven.

If you believe in it, what do you think it is?
I genuinely want to know your thoughts; Is there one heaven? Do we have individual heavens for each other? 
I wonder this because, well, say your partner was in love with someone else which you were unaware of. They die and go to ‘Heaven’ and in their Heaven, they will be with that other person. You still love them so, so will there be another version of your partner for you to be with? OR would them loving someone else be enough to cast them into the firey depths of Hell?

Is the concept of Heaven just a scare tactic to make people behave or even a manipulation tactic by the ‘ruling’ religious bodies? If you’re only behaving in life due to the prospect of going to Heaven, is this selfish act worthy of entry?

I find it hard to believe that the concept of Heaven was developed to help people to cope with death, specifically the deaths of loved ones, as I’m not sure people gave that much of a shit back when the bible was being made up written.

Can anyone help me with these questions?

Fudging the Facts about Me

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This is a survey that the handsome Fudgey over on Twitter did. I thought I’d answer too.

  • Age – 35.5
  • Eyes – like sunflowers in a blue sky
  • Hair – on my face
  • Gender – Male
  • Preferred Pronoun – cantankerous
  • Height – 1 fathom
  • Weight – that of two spectacled bears
  • Shoe Size – 11
  • Underpants Size – M/L
  • Distinguishing Features – beard and piercing come-to-bed eyes
  • Favourite Cup Size – FA
  • Favourite Crustacean – the King of Prawns
  • Least Favourite Crustacean – Krill Smith
  • Favourite Food – apples and chickens
  • Least Favourite Food – beans
  • Favourite People – huggers
  • Favourite Crisps – Roast Beef and Mustard Brannigans
  • Favourite Cartoons – Bravestarr & the Legend of Prince Valiant
  • Favourite Cheese – Manchego
  • Favourite Type of Dog – Snoop
  • Favourite Naval Battle Cruiser – the SS Essess
  • Favourite Breakfast Cereal – Frosties
  • Favourite Chocolate Bar – Topic
  • Favourite Heavy Metal Bands – Herman’s Hermitts
  • Favourite Sweets – Midget Gems (but not the charlatan ones which have fake liquorice black sweets)
  • Favourite TV Show – the Office: an American Workplace
  • Favourite Colour – Green
  • Favourite Toilet Paper – anything but quilted. I’d rather use 80s primary school tracing paper toilet roll than quilted.
  • Favourite Kid’s Movie – Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
  • Favourite Twitter Followers – they know who they are.
  • Favourite Sex Position – watching from the wardrobe
  • Favourite Transformer – Jetfire
  • Favourite Müller Corner Yoghurt – Mud Pie
  • Favourite Farm Animal – Goat
  • Favourite Fish Tank Ornament – crashed X-Wing starfighter
  • Favourite Film – Empire Strikes Back
  • Favourite Food to have for tea – cakes
  • Favourite Hot Drink – coffee. strong, splash of milk, no sugar.
  • Favourite Take That bloke – the tax dodging one that sent flowers when my granddad died.
  • Favourite Spice Girl – Geri of course.
  • Dog, Cat or Unicorn – Nickelodeon’s UniCatDog
  • Favourite Pygmy –Pygmalion
  • Favourite Budgie – the Little Helicopter
  • Favourite Kuala Lumpan –  the Head Juicer at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
  • Favourite Tea – Rich
  • Favourite Dessert – something with toffee but no dried fruits

Batman v Superman; I Wish I Could Like It.

So, it’s over a year since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was unveiled to the world. I was there on Good Friday, taking in the first (mini)iMAX 3D screening in a more or less packed out theatre. I was excited but apprehensive. I wasn’t blown away by Man of Steel, although it has improved on further watches, and despite my excitement to see Batman and Superman slugging it out, I thought it was too soon in the revived DCCU to bring together their two heavyweights.

I was laughing when I left the cinema. I think I was confused more than anything. What the Hell had I just watched? Seriously, most of the third act was a loud blur. It started off with so much promise. I was taken aback by how the film opened, (yet another mini death of the Waynes scene,) but then Bruce heading to Metropolis was a creative, surprising, and stunning way of bringing us in to his world.
It quickly went downhill from there.
The constant bad decisions made by major characters in this film were more akin to the black comedy stylings of the Coens. It was baffling why people were doing the things they did, and it continued throughout the whole film. I guess it was just the characters echoing the film-makers. It was a mess of ‘you know what would be cool?’ ideas straight off the storyboard.

12 Months and a further two watches Later 

I wanted to like this film. Yeah, I’m mainly a Marvel fanboy, but please don’t think that I wanted this to be bad. I paid to see BvS at the cinema, and when the Ultimate Edition was released, I bought it,  the hope inside wanted the broken film to be fixed. I have since watched the Ultimate Edition twice and where it DOES fix plot holes and logic issues, the film is an even longer, boring, car-crash-I-WANT-to-look-away-from, mess.
Seriously, 3 hours. THREE FUCKING HOURS and still no sign of an entertaining superhero film. Why is more time needed to make these characters exciting and enthralling? We know who these people are, previous incarnations or not, we are invested in these characters. Why try to make us dislike them??
Don’t get me started on the ‘Martha…’ debacle. Seriously, did the Hollyoaks writing staff pen this film?

I’ve given it three chances. Nearly nine hours of my life, and if anything, I’m disliking it more.

I’m glad people can find joy in it, I really am. I just wish I could.

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Another Film List

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I don’t have the patience to reveal a film a day so you’re getting them all in one fell swoop. Based on some of these questions though, I imagine my favourite film may get a fair few mentions…

1. Star Wars Episode V the Empire Strikes Back
2. Jurassic Park III
3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
4. Magnolia
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
6. Airplane!
7. the Way Way Back
8. Amour
9. Star Wars Epsiode VI Return of the Jedi
10. Steven Spielberg
11. Back to the Future
12. Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
13. Zodiac
14. (after the Empire Strikes Back its…) Blade Runner
15. Masters of the Universe
16. Rogue One A Star Wars Story
17. Doctor Zhivago
18. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
19. Daniel Day Lewis
20. Michelle Williams
21. the Dark Knight
22. Everything is Illuminated
23. Indiana Jones
24. Searching for Sugarman
25. JFK
26. Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story
27. It Happened One Night
28. Away We Go
29. nope. why would I ever wish I liked a film?
30. LA Confidential

Birthday Box Office

As mentioned in my previous post, last year social media asked us to compile a list of the Box Office #1 movies on each of our birthdays; my birthday being 24th August.

The UK ones aren’t as easy to locate prior to 1992 so I never bothered finding them.

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Left US #1, Right UK#1

1981 An American Werewolf in London / ?
1982 ET the Extra Terrestrial / ?
1983 Easy Money / ?
1984 Tightrope / ?
1985 Back to the Future / ?
1986 the Fly / ?
1987 Stakeout / ?
1988 a Nightmare on Elm Street 4 the Dream Master / ?
1989 Uncle Buck / ?
1990 the Exorcist III / ?
1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day / ?
1992 Unforgiven / Alien 3
1993 the Fugitive / Jurassic Park
1994 Forrest Gump / True Lies
1995 Mortal Kombat / Waterworld
1996 Tin Cup / Independence Day
1997 GI Jane / Event Horizon
1998 Blade / the X Files
1999 Sixth Sense / Star Wars Episode I the Phantom Menace
2000 the Cell / X-Men
2001 American Pie 2 / Planet of the Apes
2002 xXx / Men in Black 2
2003 Freddy vs Jason / American Wedding
2004 Exorcist: the Beginning / the Village
2005 the 40 Year Old Virgin / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2006 Snakes on a Plane / Snakes on a Plane
2007 Superbad / the Bourne Ultimatum
2008 Tropic Thunder / Hellboy II the Golden Army
2009 Inglorious Basterds / Inglorious Basterds
2010 the Expendables / the Expendables
2011 the Help / the Inbetweeners
2012 the Expendables 2 / Brave
2013 the Butler / Kick Ass 2
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy / Lucy
2015 Straight Outta Compton / Paper Towns
2016 Suicide Squad / Finding Dory