Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What I've Been Doing Lately - Featuring Ayoade & Campbell Update

Hello reader/s, I thought this time I'd actually write something that resembled an ordinary blog for a change.  This means boring you with details about my life...

For those of you that have been reading this blog, you will know that I recently succeeded in obtaining the 2 books on Ayoade & Campbell.  You also will be pleased to know they were received in good condition.  The Campbell book was a great read, a fascinating & witty insight into the world of the B-movie actor (who sometimes steps into the world of the A-movie/TV) He seems like a nice guy (By his own account of himself) And I can really see why some people just drop out of the the whole acting scene.  You may think you have to deal with assholes in your job, but the movie world is a rich seam of asshole gold.  According to BC a lot of people drop out because they are simply ground down by it all.  To be an A-list player, you gotta work it - attend the right parties, lick the right ass & put up with endless BS & egos.  Anyhoo there you go.

I'm still reading the Ayoade book, but was immediately disappointed to find that this is not an insight into the man, but just a very stupid book.  I'm stubbornly trying to read it to the end, because I like the man & it is quite funny at times.  It's just that the book is based around the idea that he is being interviewed by himself.  The interviewer Ayoade is fairly serious, while the interviewee Ayoade is a ludicrous caricature of himself.  Arrogant & deluded, infantile & pretentious.  Anyway I don't recommend this book beyond being used as a coffee table book to be picked up from time to time & laughed at.

I've been playing an online game on my tablet called "Order & Chaos" it's been astoundingly addictive & fun & it's free!  I've now reached level 64 which has taken me around 3 months playing virtually everyday.  I'm getting to the point where I'm a little bored by it - thank goodness (or is it?) this leads me on to my next point:

I think I may be losing some interest in computer games!  Arggh the horror!  What's the evidence? I hear you demand.  Well I haven't played anything on my PS3 for around 5 months.  When I've tried I had no interest & just turn the thing off.  I've played no games on my laptop either, hardly any on my phone.  Yes I've been playing on my tablet Order & Chaos & some others - but even this interest is waning.  Oh no it looks like I may have to fill my time with something that's worthwhile & goes towards improving my life in some way.

This is my worst time of year.  The run up to Christmas irritates me, the actual day is usually pretty good though.  I dislike the darkness outside & the corresponding darkness inside.  My energy drops dramatically & going out & socialising becomes harder & less pleasurable.  This year however, i'm doing a little better & my energy levels are not as low as usual.  I still have to go to bed earlier during the week, but I haven't felt completely hollow inside while socialising - yah!

That's all for now, your'e lucky/unlucky you got this much out of me - the Archers project is really shaping up, won't be long now...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

You Know You're a geek when...

1. You see ex-Sci-Fi actors in mundane situations on made for TV movies or soaps & you feel like crying, for example:

Craig Charles (Lister on Red Dwarf) in Coronation Street

Bruce Boxleitner (Captain Sheridan on Babylon 5, Tron) Hosing his lawn in a made for TV movie

Gareth Thomas (Blake in Blake's 7) as a pensioner in a children's TV programme burning his hand on a kettle & acting like a big baby.

William Shatner (No I will not explain who he is!) TG Hooker

Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully in XFiles) Bleak House

2. You felt joy when:

at the start of each episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart's voice informs us that it's a "Continuing" mission rather than a "5 year" mission as in the original series.

3. You felt outrage & anger when:

Firefly was cancelled, The Tick was cancelled, Caprica (spin-off from Battlestar Galactica) was cancelled.  The last Star Trek series "Enterprise" was an absolute steaming pile of excrement & totally killed Star Trek's chances of ever being on TV for at least another decade!!!

4. You will always think Patrick Stewart is amazing

5. You want Bruce Campbell to stay looking heroic like "Ash" forever & not be slowly putting on weight as he gets older. (You still think he is great though)

6. You still agonise about how Red Dwarf became a bit shit when one half of the writing team left

Well that's it.  if you have any other ideas on what reveals a person to be a geek, feel free to add your comments below.

Next Time: That Archers story you've been waiting for!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What Would Chris Pine Do?

Hello to you & yes another post already.

While I write this on the sofa, Mrs Rockford is sat next to me watching another episode of Columbo.

I guess you want to know why I'm writing another post already, no? well i'll tell you anyway.

I've been taking more action lately & it's all been inspired by Chris Pine.

Chris Pine first came to my attention in the re-imagined Star Trek films.

He played Captain Kirk, a major feat, following in the footsteps of William Shatner!

In my opinion he did damn well.  The guy needed bags of charisma to fill Shatner's shoes, he absolutely phasered charisma off the screen.

As for the films themselves, I though they were ok, but something was off.

Sure Zachary Quinto was equally great as Spock - good casting guys!  But something didn't feel right.

The films were directed by  JJ Abrams, I just don't trust the guy, I get the feeling he doesn't really like Sci-Fi.

Call me crazy, but I think one day I'll be proved correct.

Anyway, I've just seen a film starring Chris Pine & Denzel Washington called "Unstoppable" a simple idea about a runaway train, but very good.

Chris Pine once again plays the action hero. He's really good a playing these flawed heroic types.  One thing these characters he plays have in common is that they get things done.

That's the kind of guy I wanna be.  I don't mean saving lives, blowing up planets or stopping trains, but just getting stuff done.

My problem has always been that I over-think stuff , & end up doing nothing having talked myself out of it.

The characters CP plays have a quick think & then take action before it's too late.

Inspired by all this I've tried to incorperate these characteristics into my daily life.

Already today I've:

  • Got Myself & Mrs Rockford across the road quicker than other pedestrians.
  • Got the attention of a waiter in a cafe who seemed oblivious to our presence.
  • Wrote more posts than usual
This is just the beginning of a new way of being.  From now on I will be asking myself "What would Chris Pine do?"

Ayoade Additional

Hi folks, it's me again.

Just wanted to update  you on the Ayoade situation:

A few days later I returned to Waterstones during my lunch hour.

The book had been removed from the window.  Perhaps my recent inquiries had alerted them to the sad lack of Ayoade, despite what the system had said.

You will be pleased to hear that I have not only ordered Ayoade from Amazon, but also The Bruce Campbell Autobiography.  Both books were second hand, but apparently in good condition, and less than half the price!

The online method wins again.  I don't want high street shops to die out, but they let themselves down with these sort of shenanigans.

I'll let you know how I get on with actually reading the books.

I can't wait to see what I write about the Archers!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ayoade overload

While we're waiting to hear about The Archers, I thought you might want to hear about my lunchtime adventure today!

Today for a special lunch-time treat I decided to go to Waterstones & perhaps look at some graphic novels & such.  On arriving my eye was drawn to the window display of books.  In particular to a book named Ayoade on Ayoade.  An apparent biography of I.T Crowd star turned director Richard Ayoade.  I went inside & made the mountainous climb to the third floor film section.  After a few minutes searching I was sure the book wasn't there.  No luck in the biography section either.  With only a 30 minute lunch hour at my disposal, I decided to ask for help.  The 1st floor female shop assistant was certainly willing & even followed me into the street to see the book in the window.  Back inside she consulted the computer which told her that there were currently 11 in stock. She was very sure that it would be in the film section. I mentioned that I'd already looked, but thought if the computer had said there were 11, then I must have overlooked it.  I once again traversed the north face of the Eiger to reach the 3rd floor... Yep it wasn't there.

With confusion beginning to fog my world,  I asked a friendly looking young man. He was convinced it would be downstairs, smilingly descending into the unknown, I waved him off .  Reading a book while I was waiting seemed a good idea.  I glanced down & was pleased to see Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill" an autobiography of a B movie star.  Bruce Campbell is best know for his role as the wise-cracking square-jawed hero "Ash" in the comedy horror movie series "The Evil Dead"  In the introduction he talked about how other such books were usually accounts of a meteroic rise/fall to/from fame.  He pointed out that reading such books were a waste of time, since we already know so & so had a great career but a rotten life, or that Charlton Heston had a great voice but terrible toupee!  he wanted to talk about the lesser known guys, the B-movie actors grinding away in the background.  By this time the re-emerging friendly looking young man had evolved into the apologetic looking man.  No he couldn't find any, strange.  Did I want him to retrieve the copy from the window?  I advised him that not only did I just want to have a look and may or may not buy it, but mainly that my lunch break had nearly ended and there was no more time.  I took my leave.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bring Back The Tick!


Hello everyone, something amazing has happened, or is about to happen! One of my favourite ever short-lived TV shows "The Tick" is close to being resurrected. To say this is a most unexpected development or in the words of the show "A fortuitous happenstance" is an understatement.  "What is this TV show of which you speak?" I hear you ask.  Well I'll be pleased to fill you in:

The Tick!

Created by Ben Edlund, The Tick started life as a comic book  back in 1988.  Evolving into the excellent cartoon series I know and love in 1994, it enjoyed popular success. For my flat-mate & I at the time, it's absurdist, twisted humor was the perfect antidote to a crap day at work.

Animated TV Series

The cartoon show was a surreal parody of the world of the superhero.  The Tick, defender of the citizens of a city known only as "The City" was a super strong, nearly invulnerable dunder-headed madman.  He existed in a world where most superheroes had no powers & were either sadly deluded or cowardly.  Despite his great power, The Tick did however feel pain. His enormous stupidity and significant sanity deficit often led to some absurdly uncomfortable situations.  Fortunately he was assisted by his side-kick Arthur or "The Moth" an ex accountant recently turned superhero.  Arthur had no super powers, but had a better grasp of reality than the Tick and most other heroes & villains in "The City". As the show progressed, it became increasingly obvious how much the two of them really needed each other.  The Tick provided the all important muscle, while Arthur supplied wisdom, intelligence & sanity.  Arthur also acted as a kind of mentor to The Tick, guiding him in the ways of the world.

The Tick's child-like view of things, and his enormous power seemed to suggest he was not of this world, a kind of souped-up "Mork" with his origins completely unknown to all including himself.  Unlike other super heroes, he had no alias, and existed as the Tick at all times.  The sight of the big blue-costumed crazy at Arthur's apartment, wresting with everyday tasks like watching TV & flushing the loo were hilarious.

One of the greatest things about the show was The Tick's absurd heroic sounding dialogue, for example:

Tick: "Destiny's powerful hand has made the bed of my future, and it's up to me to lie in it. I am destined to be a superhero. To right wrongs, and to pound two-fisted justice into the hearts of evildoers everywhere. And you don't fight destiny. No sir. And, you don't eat crackers in the bed of your future, or you get all... scratchy."


Tick: "Like a great blue salmon of Justice, the mighty Tick courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil."

Another great thing about the show was the ridiculous cast of idiotic superheroes & villains. Our two heroes would periodically team up with these inept costumed do-gooders.  Heroes such as Die Fledermaus (The Bat) an obvious parody of Batman. Garbed in a stupid bat costume, DF is a cowardly, womanising ego-maniac. Or Sewer Urchin - the sworn defender of "The City" sewers, stinky, slimy, shunned by most.  The villains were even more insane, such as Chair Face Chippendale, a mafia don type, with the head of an antique chair. The Breadmaster, a disenchanted baker wreaking revenge on a society that has accepted sub-standard bread.

Comic or TV Who Knows?

After a successful run and three series, the cartoon show ceased airing some time in the 90s.  I never forgot this show however, it had lodged itself in my psyche.

Years later, when the internet & laptops had been invented, I decided to try to recapture that old Tick magic.  It was during one of these catch up sessions that I was shocked & over-joyed to find that a live-action TV show had been created!  This show starred Patrick Warburton (The voice of Family Guy disabled cop - Joe Swanson) dressed in virtually the same insane suit from the cartoon joined by Arthur "The Moth" & other characters from the animated series.

I was excited to see that they had really capured the spirit of the animated series & in many ways had improved on it.  Characters such as Die Fledermaus had been tweaked.  DF had now become Batmanuel, a Kind of latino Batman, with the same egotism & obsession with women, but perhaps a little more human than his animated counterpart.

Patrick Warburton was superb as The Tick, as was David Burke as Arthur.  I greatly enjoyed these live-action episodes and looked forward to each one.  I was  hugely disappointed then, to realise that the 9 episodes I'd watched, was all there was!  Despite critical acclaim, the network decided to pull the plug!

Roughly 10 years later, I have discovered that there is a real chance to bring the programme back!

I don't know if you've heard of it, but Amazon run a competition where the public get to vote on green-lighting pilot TV shows.  Its called Amazon originals.  You watch pilots of shows on their website & vote on the one you'd like to be made into a series.  Very soon The Tick will get this chance.

So I'm asking you to help me bring it back!

I know the show will not be to everyone's taste & that's why it needs your support.  Too often, creative formula smashing shows or movies are not given the chance they deserve.  When they are, something wonderful is born. Back in the 80s George Harrison lent his financial support to films that would otherwise never have been made.  He financed "Monty Python - The Life of Brian" and through his company "Handmade Films" unique & eccentric craziness  like "Time Bandits" were made.

There are certainly some great shows around, usually from HBO.  But we don't just need great, we need more leftfield, creative, funny stuff.

I don't know when it's coming to Amazon originals, but I'll keep you posted & hope that you can vote for an original, creative, funny formula-smashing show!

Live-Action TV Series

Next time; what would "The Archers" be like if it was about online game players?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Coming Soon - Bring Back The Tick!

My one-man mission to ensure that the world's best ever TV show is brought back to our screens!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

My Wife's Shocking TV Obsessions - Part 3

Alias Smith and Jones

Now I barely remember this one from childhood, Mrs Rockford has a much clearer recollection being a bit older!

Two cowboys constantly travelling, performing good deeds along the way, are my images.  Enough at least to find the name of Mel & Griff's  series  "Alas Smith & Jones" faintly amusing.

Described by Wikipedia as:
Alias Smith and Jones is an American Western series that originally aired onABC from January 1971 to January 1973. It stars Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes and Ben Murphy as Jedediah "Kid" Curry, outlaw cousins who are trying to reform."

These two handsome fellas took on all challenges in a most philosophical fashion, never wasting time with negativity about a situation (No belly-aching) instead pouring their energy into solving the darn thing!

A great funny eccentric TV programme that survived for 3 seasons.

Sadly, Pete Duel died early in the second series and they immediately replaced him with Roger Davis.

This was the guy that not only did the voice-over at the beginning, but played a bad guy on a previous episode.

Bizarrely, Roger Davis played the same character as Pete Duel.

Even more bizarrely, and just a bit screwed up - filming restarted only 12 hours after Pete Duel's death!

This was allegedly due to ABC threatening to sue if filming didn't continue - nice!

It may be my imagination (although very likely true) but co-star Ben Murphy can be seen sleep-walking through his role soon after the death - not surprising really.

This is one Mrs Rockford obsession that may be nearly over.

The loss of Pete Duel is too great!

So there ends the list of televisual treets.

Until next time!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My Wife's Shocking TV Obsessions! Part 2

Welcome back to the second installment of this exploration of my wife's quirky viewing habits!

Next -  a ridiculous, but oddly entertaining programme was:


Described by Wikipedia as:

"... an American detective mystery television film series (1968–1978, 1989–2003), starring Peter Falk as Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department."  

The formula for each episode was pretty much the same: the characters and story are introduced, one of the characters murders the other, attempts to cover it up, just when he/she thinks they have gotten away with it,  Columbo (After nearly an hour in)  comes chugging up in his car-wreck & raincoat.  

Our detective is never at full health, usually experiencing either: food poisoning, lack of sleep, general fatigue, or headache.  He is routinely not recognised as a superior by low ranking officers, until he wearily flashes his badge.  

This guy never misses a detail, scrutinising every aspect of the case ,asking and re-asking seemingly unimportant questions, which later proved to be central to solving the case.  This skill is regularly employed by Mrs Rockford, who herself has the reputation of getting to the bottom of any situation/challenge.
So great was Mrs Rockford's love for the programme, that a few years ago we found ourselves watching a small theater production of Columbo. This special one-off starred the A-Teams's Dirk Benedict as our dishevelled hero.  We were at first skeptical about anyone filling the Falk's shoes, but fill them he did, and with style! 

There's just one more thing: While always fun to watch, continuous viewing finally begs the question "at what stage did he know?" Because our hero is clearly onto the murderer from the very start, and just seems to spend the whole time harassing the person until they 'fess up or slip up! So is Columbo psychic? I guess that will remain a mystery...

Next Time: "Alias Smith & Jones"

Monday, 25 August 2014

The comics are coming!

I've just started using a comic book creation app on my tablet, it's really good!

I have tried a few today & they were good for free apps, but didn't quite give me the freedom I needed.  
For the small price of 99p "Comic Strip It Pro" used in conjunction with an art app does everything I need!

Soon I will be creating some comic strips about my experiences for your entertainment.  In the meantime enjoy my experiments below:

Monday, 18 August 2014

My Wife's Shocking TV Obsessions! Part 1

Welcome to a new post who's regularity is out of my hands, instead depending on:

Mrs Rockfords Quirky Current TV Obsessions!

few years ago we decided to go with Virgin as we live in a basement & can't receive Freeview. This gave us the opportunity to catch up on endless repeats of ancient TV shows.

Peculiar TV obsessions arose within my wife

Before these obsessions firmly took root however, one of the first shows we enjoyed together was the fantastic Rockford Files - hence my blogger name. James Garner plays the private detective who prefers to talk, rather than fight his way out of a scrape. 

The title sequence was superb, with the highly original theme tune voiced by the Minimoog synthesizer. Each episode begun cleverly with a different answer machine message, usually concerning Rockford owing money etc. The title visuals used a series of stills of the city & Jim, rather than the usual clips of previous episodes - brilliant! We loved this show and then it just stopped...which if you're familiar with Virgin/Sky and their endless repeats - seems incredible!

It may be this sad loss that drove my wife into the arms of Bodie & Doyle in:

"The Professionals"

Starring a rugged Lewis Collins & a tough but slightly more sensitive Martin Shaw. Every week the excellent Gordon Jackson as their shrewd, dour Scottish boss, kicked Whitehall ass as our boys kicked actual ass in the field! This programme running from '77 to '83 was in my opinion one of the finest on TV at the time. The well thought out, action-packed stories, contained just enough plot twists & humor to keep us coming back for more.  The fight scenes were well choreographed, which was almost unique in the era of wobbly sets & "no one will notice" attitude of programming. 

It of course seems ridiculously sexist to our modern eyes & was clearly one of the influences to Gene Hunt & other characters in "Life on Mars" Like a piece of quality clothing though, it largely stands the test of time. Today this great programme remains sadly underrated & strangely absent from modern retro-culture.  

Newsflash: I've just heard that a modern-day film of the series could be being made at this very moment - alright!

Next Time: Columbo

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Papa Is A Phony!

Here is my regular spot where I wade through the effluent of celebrity news to scoop out the very best of modern tittle tattle just for you!

Madonna found herself at the centre of a media storm last week when it was revealed that the man in her music video "Papa Don't Preach"  was in fact an actor and not her real father.  In a interview the pop legend claimed that she was "In no way trying to fool anyone".  She went on to say that " This was not a documentary of my life... I may have drawn on some of my own experiences... but this was essentially the story of every girl in this situation"  Despite her assurances however, experts have confirmed that the female in the music video is most definitely Madonna.

Fans from all over the world have posted comments on the official Madonna fan-site pledging support for the actor/singer, while others have said they feel extremely let down by the 85 year old. One fan said "I had my suspicions at the time, but just put it down to random resemblance & intellectual frailty, now I feel completely used!" Madonna has publicly shrugged off charges of fraud & gross negligence saying "Look this video was made in the 80s, it's ancient history, as far as I'm concerned it's so over!" The British Prime Sir Anthony Head has hit back saying " War crimes were committed decades ago, but that doesn't mean the perpetrators should be absolved of all guilt"

The actor who played Madonna's  father, real name Danny Aiello claims he was tricked into doing the video.  Mr Aiello said "I thought I was shooting a video with my real daughter, then they brought this blond broad on... I didn't know who the hell she was...the crew said she was a stand-in used to rehearse the shots and that my real daughter would be brought in later, that turned out to be a load of baloney!"

 Madonna wasn't available for comment last night at her home in South Shields, County Durham

That's nearly all folks, it just remains to say that Madonna qualifies to be in this blog because she was in the films Dick Tracy & Die Another Day - both films were sort of about superheroes!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Coming soon - Madonna Scandal Rocks World!!

Pamela Stephenson Shut Your Mouth!

Over the years I've become increasingly aware that there is a serious issue that needs addressing.  For too long the public and media have colluded with a bragger. I aim to expose this bragger and alert people to the self-publicity factory that is Pamela Stephenson!

As a youngster I was quite a fan of Pamela Stephenson.  On the successful British TV series "Not The Nine O'clock News" PS was hilarious with her Kate Bush, Janet Street-Porter & Oliver Newton-John send-ups. She brightened up an otherwise pathetic GMTV by attempting to undress the male weather-man, and was generally outrageous during various guest appearance on TV shows.

Then she became a psychologist and a long successful career as a bore ensued.  In 2001 her book "Billy" all about her husband Billy Connolly was a great success.  PS even admitted that the success of the book temporarily made her the media equal of her husband.  This status soon faded, so in 2003 to top-up, she produced the book "Bravemouth" all about living with Billy Connolly.  There she chronicled how sadly screwed up the hugely successful comedian & actor was, while conveyed his enormous good fortune at being married to a fun-loving but wise psychologist.

The success of this  book propelled her on to such TV shows as "Shrink Wrap" psychoanalyzing celebrities in public, and many more opportunities too numerous to mention.

Her latest self-congratulating involved her interview with the Daily Mail, where she claims to have saved Billy's life.  This amounted to her nagging of Billy to go to the doctor where he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and parkinsons.  She also claims to have convinced him to continue his comedy career, thus saving him from depression.  This is all probably true, but why tell everyone about it?  It's something that most wives have done for their husbands and will always do.  Men are notoriously bad at seeing their GPs and often require a bit of encouragement.

I have no doubt that PS is a good companion for BC and that they have a great marriage, but It seems to me that PS has totally cashed in on being married to BC.  She has bragged and bigged herself up.  She has presented herself as BC's carer, and made piles of cash from laying bare every nook and cranny of poor Billy's twisted damaged psyche.

So I say "Pamela Stephenson shut up about your husband, leave the poor bastard alone!!"

By the way, If you were wondering just how PS qualifies to be in this blog, she was in Superman 3!

This has nothing to do with my article, but if you enjoyed the last match of the world cup click on the link below to see it played out in Lego!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Three Films You Absolutely Must Avoid!



3 Horsefilms of the Apocalypse Cometh!!


Escape Plan is the first turd floating to the surface of our DVD loo line-up

Starring Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger In their first movie as a duo, rather than as part of a team - like in "The Expendables" 

Stallone plays a structural engineer who job is to break out of prisons to expose flaws in security.  It all goes pecs-up when he is betrayed, and has to befriend fellow inmate Schwarzenegger in order to escape. 

I watched this film out of misty eyed nostalgia for the great 80's action movies I grew up with.  Unfortunately this film is a smelly stalker of those movies.  Empty, pointless & clumsy was ok back then, but it just don't fly now (Did you like my use of cool current language there?!) 

To say all the characters are 2 dimensional, is adding a dimension.  There is virtually no back-story for Stallone, just a wisp of a clue about the fate of his absent family & now what drives him. Schwarzenegger has even less, he is a mystery and reveals nothing until the end, which equates to only 0.5 more than nothing.

The only interest in this film was the impressive level of muscle on Stallone's ageing body & a previously unheard rant in German from Schwarzenegger.

Number two is appropriate for our second slice of shite 

The Counselor

Directed by Ridley Scott & with a great cast, surely this was gonna be great...

The Counselor as in lawyer, not therapist, which is what you'll need following the fall-out from this nihilistic death-bomb. 

The Counselor Michael Fassbender wants to fund his infantile lavish lifestyle, so invests in a drug smuggling operation. 

Being a fan of Breaking Bad (Along with it seems the entire human race) I thought this might be a bit of a fish-out-of-water-dabbles-in-drugs-fun. I was utterly, utterly incorrect! 

All quickly goes grotesquely wrong, with his friends and girlfriend being killed & ends with him weeping like a girl from “Little House on the Prairie” 

If you like watching people suffer for absolutely no reason, with no hope, then you're love this – otherwise do not let this into your mind!  

I demand to know "Why did you bother, Scott, Pitt, Fassbender, Barden & Diaz?!"

About Time

Aptly titled, as Richard Curtis claims this is to be his last film or something. Let's hope he's a man of his word! 

 I actually didn't realise this was a Richard Curtis film when I started watching it. After around 20 minutes I started to think this was some up-start director trying trying & failing to cash-in on RC's syrupy success formula. Of course I had to check & realised with horror that the man himself had created this sad pub-tribute-band level film. 

The story centres around a 21 year old man who is told by his Bill Nighy dad (Who else?!) that the men in the family can travel back in time. What follows is a sickening, contrived bunch of scenes with the young fellow & his Curtisly perfect family having great times together. In one scene where he plays table-tennis with his dad, the forced half-assed laugh from BN is embarrassing to witness. I don't blame BN, I think he is fantastic & wish lazy directors would stop type-casting him. His evil vampire lord in Underworld was superb! 

The dialogue is pure Curtis, with the lead continuously channeling Hugh Grant, but with less handsomeness. The whole film is lethal to diabetics, but at least ends with a positive message about living mindfully and appreciating life. 

My message is this "You can have a better life if you don't watch this film".

So that's it, there it is, my little list of dirty dvd duds.  I've suffered so that you don't have to, I've thrown myself on the grenade of inept film making to save your asses.  I say this to you: Life is short, so only accept quality in your life!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Truth About GTA 5

No not really the truth, just another needless discussion about Grand Theft Auto.

Much media space has been corrupted with coma inducing debate about GTA.  Most of us have some idea of what the game is about, the gamers amongst us know that "Rockstar" the makers of GTA have gained a lot of free publicity by courting controversy  - yawn!  But it's a fact that there are many games with an equal or higher level of violence. But I don't want to talk about that here, no I want to talk about the free GTA app that you can download to your smartphone.  The app is called ifruit & after a quick set-up will link to your Playstation network account (I expect it's the same for Xbox) This app allows you to train a dog called "chop" who can be seen in the GTA 5 game.  The dog can be trained to sit and retrieve stuff & there are mini games to earn money to buy new collars.  The app also gives you the ability to customise your in-game car from your smartphone, personalise your number plate, respray job etc. If you think this sounds boring and pointless, then you're right.  The idea is great, but the execution is similar to a game involving picking up a cup and placing it onto a table ten times.  I hope they develop this further because I think this is the future.  Rockstar say so on their website and I agree.  It's about integrating a game into your life, so that even when you're not playing - you're playing.  So let's see your comments.  What do you think about the future of gaming? How will it evolve? How does it need to evolve? Does it need to evolve? Evolve? Is the integration of a game into your life a good thing? What's on telly tonight? No forget that...

Saturday, 7 June 2014

How TV Is Destroying Your Life Or Less TV, More Life!

After many years and googolplexs of hours of TV watching, the 2 of us have decided to prune it back.  It's our second week of deciding to let life in!  The rules are simple; no TV Monday - Thursday, TV on Friday evening, on Saturday & Sunday no TV until mid morning & then only one programme until the evening.

Western society has gradually increased it's awareness of the dangers of sugar, one day TV will be seen in the same way.  At the moment there has been zero public discussion of this.  TV is universally loved and celebrated. At it's best TV can be inspiring, moving, informative and of course highly entertaining.  At it's worst, time wasting, depressing, life-sucking garbage.  I've always enjoyed TV, but I can no longer ignore the fact that I've used TV like a narcotic.  That rather than using my time for creating & doing & generally living life, I've sat motionless digesting hours of someone else's creativity or lack of, as the case may be.

Here are just some of the reasons why TV can be dangerous to your life:
  • It draws you in and makes you feel like you are experiencing something real.

  • It's sounds and images are over-stimulating and tiring.

  • It saps motivation.

  • It leaves you with no head-space to dream and plan.

  • It takes up valuable time that you could be using to create, plan, do, remember...

Ultimately It can be just another addiction that we use to escape difficult emotions and thoughts, instead of facing them head on and making a positive change. 

Us 2 in this home will continue to watch TV, but TV will take it's rightful place secondary to us actually living life.

I will keep you posted on our progress  - tune-in for further updates (pun intended)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Just Killing Time!

Well my plan was to write shorter posts and more often...that worked out well then! What you won't realise is that I've already just written that and more. I'm writing that again because the Blogger site had decided to crash and take the 300 or so words I wrote down with it. But I have adapted as any hero must, by writing again. I think I was going to write about the rise of “time-killing” games on phones. That's a strange thought “killing time” doing an activity to become less aware of the passage of time. It seems to suggest that for the time you are playing the game, you are not participating in your own life. You are waiting for a certain amount of time to pass until you re-join your own life. I must admit that I enjoy playing games, and perhaps could be using my time more wisely. Wouldn't it be good if time playing the games actually went towards improving our lives, perhaps earning us money or helping us learn a new skill. I'm sure there are apps out there that do that, and maybe some in the form of games. If anyone has thoughts about this let me know. In the meantime I'm playing a great game on the phone called Castle Doombad, it's a variation of the tower defence games, and it's really good. A very satisfying game with great gameplay, animation and humour, time just simply flies while one's playing it...

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Games People Play

Actually it's the games I'm playing on my mobile right now.  Since my brother kindly gave me his old iPhone, I've been experimenting with downloading all sorts of games. There is lots of dross out there, but also some great little games. Here is a run-down of what I'm playing at the moment rated in order of preference

    7. Dumb Ways To Die – Really pointless, but a fun diversion. You have to rescue people from a variety of dangerous situations, less of a game, more of an interactive joke.

    6. Star Wars Tiny Death Star –Based on the Tiny Towers games. Slightly less pointless than DWTD and barely a game, but kind of fun with it's slightly piss taking attitude to Star Wars. The idea is to build different floors consisting of shops, caf├ęs and apartments. You amass credits to spend on more floors and just keep building upwards. You do get to use your brain in some small way, occasionally. The ice-cream parlour named “Scoop of Hoth”  gave me a chuckle! But I must state again: pointless and barely a game, as you don't ever lose and there is no difficulty. I actually don't understand why I play it.

    5. Ashpalt 8 – Nice looking car racing game, where you can pull a few stunts, upgrade cars and race others online. Good stuff!

    4. Super Monsters Ate My Condo – How do I begin to describe this madness? Its a mixture of Jenga and Tetris. Condos (coloured blocks) constantly drop from the sky and stack on top of each other. They have to be fed to one of 2 coloured monsters who flank the tower. Three blocks in a row mean they disappear and the correspondingly coloured monster is swapped out for a different coloured monster. Oh just Google it! A great game, brilliant graphics and sounds, all very Japanese, completely insane – I really recommend this!

    3. Solomons Keep – Typical dungeon crawler, similar to 80s arcade game “Gauntlet” seems fun and you can upgrade spells and such. Really good controls that make moving and shooting pretty fluid.

    2. Carmageddon - The classic late 90s PC game gone mobile.  Inspired by the Deathrace 2000 films. The aim is to not only to race, but to mow down people and animals. The game is a real challenge and a damn good laugh!

    1. Quadropus – This is a proper game! You are a sea creature battling other sea creatures. You get to level-up weapons and abilities and there is some strategy involved. It's so 1980s in game-play style. There's lots of humour and the character animations are brilliant. Yep it's my top game at the moment.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Coming soon "Do I Believe?"

Learn my verdict on the Watch channel's new Sci-Fi/Fantasy programme "Believe"

I Don't Believe It!

I was excited when I first saw the trailer for the "Watch" channel's new sci-fi fantasy TV series "Believe" The trailer showed a a young girl screaming and a load of creatures swarming around a person.  It looked super creepy & mysterious!

On watching the show we learned that it's about a young girl with paranormal gifts being hunted by an institute from which she has been snatched.  The institute (possibly evil or grey) want to continue "helping her" while another group also want to "help her" but they are nice people.  The young fugitive is accompanied by a death-row convict, whom the good guys busted out to protect her.  What the pair don't realise is that they are actually father and daughter!   They travel from place to place solving people's problems.  One of them is a reforming loser, the other is a paranormal gift to the world.  Avid TV watchers of a certain age will feel this story line is familiar.  That's because in many ways it's very similar to 1980's series "Highway To Heaven" Following the adventures of two guys travelling around the country doing good.  One of them a resurrected beardy loser and the other a thick-necked angel on probation.

Unfortunately this show simply lacks subtlety and style.  For instance, the father and daughter story-line is revealed in either the first or second episode - robbing us of any "shock" revelations for later.  Three episodes in, we find out loads about the mother too - oh!

The scenes within the institute seem flat and lifeless.  The gifted research subjects are often seen sitting in their rooms looking bored and aimless, usually levitating objects.  One subject can levitate tons of bricks to create a large model dog on the grass outside his window.  This guy then, has almost god-like power, but no one is that impressed.

When the cops assigned to track down the girl are shown around the institute and witness the dog-bricks man, they show no more interest than if they'd just seen a basketball player sinking 10 hoops in a row.

This little girl seems to have very little room to grow, because already by the third episode she can:

  • Mentally move objects 
  • Read people's minds 
  • See the future 
  • Electrify objects
  • Just generally know what to do for the best 

It just seems like lazy writing to give a character immense power or reveal that power so early on.
I really don't know where else there is to go with this series, and frankly in our household we don't care.  it's over for us.  What a wasted opportunity, and a shameful waste of  Kyle Maclachlan.  So I await the next attempt, Next!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

5 Reasons Why TV Could Kill You

We all love a bit of TV, but is it really killing us?!

See below and find out how

1. Spare The Rod

Rod Hull (With Emu) had a long assaultive career, plunging his hand into peoples forbidden areas, only to die while trying to adjust the TV aerial on his roof. Don't try this at home folks!

2. Let's Call Death "Death" Don't Couch It Out!

It's been proven that the more time spent sitting n the sofa, the shorter your life span,  and let's face it most people sit on the sofa to watch TV.

3. Aversion To Soap 

A dark soap like Eastenders can add to the stress you already have.  It struck me about 30 years ago, when I became aware of a nagging worry at the back of my mind.  On examining my thoughts I realised that I was worried about Sharon off Eastenders.  My soap watching ended immediately.

4. Non Reflective Service

Constant TV watching doesn't allow you to have head-space to reflect on your problems, and perhaps formulate solutions.  So that nagging pain in the chest that you had made half a plan to see the doctor about gets forgotten again, or your partner doesn't get a chance to talk about their nagging pain, or nag you about yours and then 20 episodes later your story ends...

5. Death To Apathy Or Whatever

TV is very good at making you feel like you're doing something.  You watch other people: building houses, saving the world, having romance, travelling the world - and somehow you feel you've experienced it all.  Well you haven't, you've sat on your ass drinking tea, dunking biscuits and your life has flowed past you like an irrelevant river.  I write from personal experience, because I'm a born-again life liver!  Ok so it's not exactly killing you, but you are suffering loss of life.  It's like a person walking through the country-side, but instead the country-side zooms past the stationery person while they look down at nothing in particular.

TV can be great, but handle with care!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Coming Soon - 5 Ways TV Can Kill You!

Look out for this exciting revelation filled, life changing post arriving in the next few days!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Dumbness of Galactic Proportions

So I'd just been watching one of the excellent off-shoots of Battlestar Galactica on a cable channel.  The story was ending as we see our star-ship flying hero zoom off to victory and beyond.
We are still seeing his smiling face with the credits a gnats toenail away, when suddenly a moronically croaky voice smashes into the moment with "Now don't forget there's..." and proceeds to tell me of other programmes I might like to watch. The moment that I have just invested an hour in to see is utterly cremated.  I want to shout at him "Never mind about what's on later, I'm watching this now, yes now!" and then  "Do you know what now means?, It's the current situation unfolding, It's what's going on at this moment, Unlike some better imagined future, it's whats actually happening at this time"

Do their own programmes mean nothing to these people?  Do they consider their output as meaningless worthless trash, trash that can be talked over or covered with pop-up boxes saying "Dr Who next"

Or do they think we're like the people you see out with their mates: head down texting, missing any subtle interactions or spontaneous fun,  missing most of the conversation. What is this important texting about? I'll tell you shall I? These people are texting other mates about future social events, perhaps meeting in a pub, like the one they are in now, maybe the actual pub they are in now, maybe with most of the people they are with right now. What happens when this future event arrives, what will they be doing while their mates laugh and chat around them? I think you know don't you?

Anyway my point is if the announcer could have held off for literally half a second, yes half a second - I would have been allowed to savor the moment.

To understand how I felt, imagine you've just had a lovely dream and you're about to wake up feeling great, when suddenly some shrimp brained mulark  grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you while shouting in your dribbling face "FIRE, FIRE!"

So I say this to you cable TV people: allow us to fully watch our programmes, let us enjoy the moment and savor the experience that you have delivered to us.
Stop rushing in to move us on to the next thing.  Let us drift a while longer in the sea of fantasy, and come back to reality gently, don't tip up the dingy soaking us in salty wetness you gigantic group of ass!