Monday, 19 July 2010

My First Proper Review


Every now and then, a film comes along that makes you remember why you love movies. Something clicks to let you know you have witnessed pure creation from some of the brightest minds in the business. This is one of those moments.

Christopher Nolan has proved time and time again that he is a clinical maestro when it comes to film-making. For starters, you have The Dark Knight - still very fresh in the minds of viewers. Add Insomnia and Memento, along with The Prestige, and you have a line-up gracing the majority of film lovers’ collections. Even before the release of Inception, the expectation for Nolan to deliver a movie of five star quality was sky high. I actually believe that this is, without doubt, his finest production to date.

The idea is a simple one: corporate espionage has reached another level in a world where the dream can be entered - not even your deepest secrets and ideas are safe. To try and explain the plot would be a lost cause, as it would take 20 pages to do it justice. It really is one of the most detailed storylines I have ever witnessed on screen - unravelling at a relentless speed, while remaining at an almost perfect pace to keep you 100 percent involved. Throughout the entire two hours and 28 minutes, not once did I think or wonder when the ending was coming.

The action scenes are wonderfully shot - they provide a balance to the developing storyline, only arriving when you feel they should and not just for the sake of blowing something up… á la Michael Bay. Each element involved in the movie is as close to ideal as it could be.

The cast deserves every ounce of credit they will receive, as each member plays his/ her role to the highest calibre. Leonardo DiCaprio (Cobb) is at his very best as the leading man with trouble letting go of his past, providing a performance worthy of a nod when Oscar season rolls around. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur) proves he has a real depth to his talent as the right-hand man to DiCaprio. Ellen Page (Ariadne) shows why she has been touted as one of the leading female stars of the future. I should also mention Brit actor Tom Hardy in the role of Eames, who provides light comedy relief while holding a dominating, yet suave, presence for every second of screen time.

One performance that does not usually gain the recognition it deserves should also be praised here - the composer. Hans Zimmer gives the film an extra dimension, using his impeccable talent to set each scene with the desired feel throughout - something that undoubtedly added that little bit extra to the viewing experience.

If I were to offer one minor criticism, it would be that the complex storyline progresses at such a pace that a momentary lapse of concentration could result in missing a key plot point – make sure you go to the toilet before the film starts!
That aside, its is really hard to find fault with any other aspect of Inception - it is possibly the perfect movie. The ending suits the mentality of the movie, without leaving you frustrated or short-changed, the visuals are stunning throughout and the story is as brilliant as it is intricate. This proves that in a time of sequels, remakes and reboots, something original and intelligent can still come along and blow you away. Christopher Nolan has written a masterpiece that may be studied by media schools in years to come and I urge you to experience it – you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Crying Babies

I HAVE A NIECE I HAVE A NIECE!!! Congratulations to my sister Katie and her husband Tom as they have just had a beautiful baby girl - Mia Summer. As I write this she is only 2 days old but already has the world in the palm of her tiny hand, so many people have wished her well and commented on how gorgeous she looks. Hopefully I will get a chance to head to Kent to meet Mia soon and see how amazing Dylan is as a big brother. Just look at that photo I have used for this blogs focus, brilliant!! So yes I'm sure there will be plenty more to come on Mia and Dylan but for now I'm just excited to meet her soon. So pleased for Katie and Tom!! Whoop!!

In other baby news my cousin Dan and his lady Helen have had a little girl too called Ella. I actually got to meet her last weekend and she is a cutie too. Congratulations guys. There are babies everywhere at the moment!! The couple that live in the apartment below us also had a little girl last week -Sophie. I don't think that any more are due any time soon though, lol. So a massive congratulations to everyone who has bought a little person into the world recently. What was 9 months ago?? October... That must have been one randy month

Legs Like Jelly!!
I mentioned last time that I would be starting pre season training soon, well that was last Tuesday and here I am 4 sessions later feeling a hell of a lot fitter. The first session I actually thought I was going to throw up and it felt like someone had stolen my legs at one point. Behind the football club there is a big hilly park that I didn't know about until training. The views are amazing and you can see for miles but there are also hills as big as your house and steeper than you can imagine. Every bump and turn of the two main 'Killer' hills is etched in my memory as I have run up them so many times now. My cousin Matt and his fiancée Emma came to stay on Saturday night so I took him over there for a run on Sunday which was cool. I think my mum would really appreciate a visit there next time she is up this way. Not for the hills of course for the amazing country views, its her kind of thing. With each training session though the hills got easier and the football I was playing got better, you really struggle when your mind is tired to play how you want to play. The first pre season game is this Saturday against MK Dons reserves, although I will have to see if I am heading to see Katie, Tom, Dylan and Mia as I dont think I will get many more chances before the season starts. So all in all the football is going well so far, good bunch of lads and a good set up. That's probably the main thing I missed about not playing football last season, the banter with the lads, you cant get that anywhere else. Lets hope it carries on this way.

Now I know that so much more is going on with me at the moment but I just cant think for the life of me what to write about. The Wii Fit seems to be working - when I started on 6th June I was 13st 12lbs, now after a bit of training and football (with a weekend of hard drinking at Download Festival thrown in halfway through) I am down to 13st 4lbs now which is some good going I think. I also played a match for my cousins team back in Middlesex at the weekend which was great, it was quite a family affair with 2 of my cousins playing with me on one team, another cousin playing against us for the other team and another cousin was the ref, haha. We drew 3-3 but it was a really good game and great to play with the guys.

Movie Thoughts
Oh... I have finally come around to the idea of for DVDs. Now for those of you that don't know LoveFilm is basically a rental site for films, games etc that you can pay a monthly fee and get sent DVDs. You create a list of films/games that you want and prioritise them according to which you would like first and they send them to you. You can keep them as long as you want and when you send one back they send you another one from your list, brilliant. There are all types of packages, 1/2/3/4 discs at a time and 2/3/4 unlimited swaps a month which works great as they are all at different prices to suit the sort of viewer you are. I have 2 discs at a time with a limit of 4 swaps a month and I can have 2 DVDs or 1 DVD and a Game. I think in the long run this is going to save me a hell of a lot of money, especially on Xbox games. Its great for TV series too, coming to the end of Season 2 I can just request Season 3 on a disc by disc basis and watch them all for under a tenner a month. Good times, I would recommend that to anyone who has a bit of a film or game passion, I'm just surprised it took me so long to come around.

I am heading to the cinema tomorrow to watch Inception, the new Chris Nolan directed film with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. I have been excited about this for a very long time so hopefully it will live up to the expectation. Other than that I havent headed to the cinema much lately, need to sort that out. One of the DVDs I have from LoveFilm at the moment is the latest Star Trek so i need to watch that. Now I absolutely hate any form of Star Trek in any form but the latest one was done by JJ Abrams who I think is amazing so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt and Im going to check it out, I will let you know.

What else....... Well the weather (barring today) has been fantastic lately, most of my lunches have been spent relaxing in the field over the road from where I work which is nice. It feels like we are finally getting a summer after under achievement from the sun in past years.

Now that I have had the new iPhone 4 for a while it really is amazing, the battery life is my biggest plus. Before I was having to charge it on a daily basis but now its an every other day thing even though I am probably using it more. I have iMovie as an app that is just brilliant for editing your recorded movies on the go. I know that people are complaining about the reception issues but I have had no troubles at all. Pleased as punch.

I think that should just about do it for this one. I know its probably a bit slow but I cant think of anything that springs to mind that I need to write about. So for now, Ta Ta.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

More Than One Home Town

I always wonder how to start these things, pondering to myself thinking what do I talk about first?? Where I have been, what I have seen, who I have been with?? This time however I have got no worries at all, one of the days geeks look forward to each year has arrived and this time I got involved.

Little Box of Tricks
It has been 2 years since I returned from my travels across America and Australia, one of the first and most important things to do these days is buy yourself a mobile phone (thats a cell for all my American friends, lol). So just at that point the iPhone 3G had just been released. I had been looking at it while I was in Oz with my cousin Ollie and we both wanted one. Sure enough the first chance I got less than a week after getting back I was a proud owner. The next year I decided to pass on the 3GS as I had 6 months left on my contract, but last week the iPhone 4 was released and it was a real iWant!! They were released Thursday and by Friday I had ordered one. It arrived Monday and has blown my expectations since then. First off it looks amazing with the glass front and back, the metal border round the side of the phone and the redesigned buttons. That is not the main thing though, the whizz kids at Apple have managed to cram a world class magician into each phone because as far as I can see this thing is filled with Magic!! Everything is so responsive, everything works how I would want and hope something to work and its just excellent. The battery life has increased significantly, the camera has increased to 5megapixels, not to mention the 720p HD video recording. Although to truly unlock the potential the Apps are where its at. Coloursplash is a favourite of mine and has been since I had my old phone, but it comes into its own with the new 'Retina' display screen that the iPhone 4 has, it is seriously crystal clear, the highest resolution display ever put in a phone. With Coloursplash you can take a photo you have and add/remove colour from any part of the photo, allowing you to be really creative. I have added a photo up the top of here that I have recently done for my sister from her wedding that I need to send her. I hope you like it. Thats enough on the iPhone 4 for now but I have only scratched the surface of its potential and am in awe of what I have seen from a handheld gadget!

Shouting Descriptions
At the weekend I headed back to Shepperton for a leaving do for my cousin. We had a few beers, a Chinese and had some good laughs, it was really nice to see so many of the family again. I stayed at my cousin Stewarts and we managed to play FIFA until the very early hours (like 4am!!) I even fell asleep in the middle of a game at one point and so did he, haha. Saturday I headed back for a BBQ at Joes, what a day! The sun was out non stop, Joe had the BBQ literally at the highest temperature it could be before it melted a hole in the Earth, the drinks were flowing and the company was great. We ate the food, drank the drink and decided to play a game called Articulate. Now this is a game that should be played for fun, but from what I have heard it always gets very competitive, haha. What you have to do is explain words or places to your team from a category such as 'Places' or 'People' without saying the word, anything rhyming with the word etc. to make them say the answer. For example if you had 'Laptop' you would need to say something like 'small computer that you can flip open and take anywhere' or something like that. You get as many answers as you can in 30 seconds to move around the board. We played a good few games of that and some of the answers coming out were hilarious. I think I will be buying that game at some point cos it is a definite party pleaser. Joe will be pleased that I am sharing this considering how competitive we are. We played 4 games in total, all with different teams, I won 2 and he won all 4 (the bastard!) Well done Joe! But all in all it was a great day. I wont mention Sunday because it was England V Germany and we all know what happened there. Lazy muppets!!

On the subject of football I have looked into a team for next season from round here. Ampthill Town is just up the road and play at a pretty decent standard so I took a chance and headed over there tonight to see if I could find out when pre season training started. I managed to get lucky and the manager happened to be down at the ground sorting a few bits out. I introduced myself and they are going to be starting training next Tuesday, result. So watch this space and I will update a few bits about that soon enough. Thank god I started doing the running on my lunch breaks a few times a week to blow the cobwebs out.

Quick update, Lara and I are smashing through LOST, we are up to about episode 13 of Season 2 now. It seriously is so much better the second time round, I am remembering all of the questions I asked in the first place (99% of them Lara is asking me and I stay totally silent) yet as I am asking them I know they are going to be answered which is nice. There are so many things that I have forgotten about too. The characters are fantastic and you can see how clever the writers are at developing them (Lara has switched completely with a couple, like I mean she wanted one to die in the beginning and now loves him, lol). I am really enjoying it. Who knows, maybe the couple of seasons that I thought were a bit below par may actually be better this time around??

Anyway....... Heading back home on the weekend got me thinking and led me to the title of this posting. Can you have more than one home town? I say yes. I say this because I currently live in Maulden, Bedfordshire and I love it here, the quietness, the atmosphere and the whole attitude just suits me. Then there is Berkshire where I have grown up, a lot of my friends and family live there and I can go back any time knowing that I will have a great time. I think of them both in different ways though, Maulden is my home town where I live and Berkshire is my home town where I am from. I think I am quite lucky to have two places like that.

So todays question is - Do you have more than one place that you call home and why?

Laters Taters... G