Archive for July, 2011

So it’s potentially hours to go until the birth of the new boy.

Chances are that this post will have a rather large gap between me starting it and finishing, pending on when the time comes. Nevertheless I’ll push on with it.

So, two boys. Brothers. Siblings. Cohorts. No matter what, it’s going to be interesting. Prep has been done, Wotsists and Jaffa Cakes have been bought. Special Agent Oso has been recorded. When the time comes the boy will be spoilt rotten and basically kept quiet by whoever is watching him with the aforementioned tasty treats. That is if I can keep my hands off them myself. I swear those wotsits are laced with cocaine (have I said that in a previous post? I can’t remember…). Once the new boy is in the world I’ll wrench the then orange faced toddler away from his favourite animated TV panda to come and meet his sidekick and then we come home and we are a complete set. The four of us.

Four is a number that seems to fit. The thought of us all in the house together instantly makes more sense that just the boy as it is now. The more I think the more it seems such a perfect set up. Also I’ll have the right amount of children to explain the amount of grey hair I have. Sweet.

Life is funny sometimes and most people ponder the eternal question, what is the meaning of life? I used to, but I don’t any more because I have my own answer to that (I’ll tell you later).

The things I ponder these days are stupid things. I’ve pondered that phrase about having your cake and eating it too. Is that not what a cake is for? To be eaten? Why would you just have one and not eat it, it makes no sense.

Before you starting thinking that I’ve missed the point I’m aware of the phrase and what it actually means, but fuck that I want to take it literally. And if you ever have someone say that to you, tell them that you want two identical cakes. That way you can have one and eat it too. Simple.

Anyway, enough of that. I ponder other things but I can’t think of anything other than cake right now so I’m off to go and get one.

By the way you might notice some minor Amazon related changes up top and below the blog. I’m just trying something out. If you think it’s a getting in the way or something let me know I’ll take it off. I’m here for the art dammit.

Just click on the other adverts a million times so I can buy an iPad2.

Unless inspiration hits I’ll probably post after the new boy has been born, so God only knows what time it’ll go up.

Oh yeah, the meaning of life. If someone ever asks me that, my answer?

To live. So go live it. Preferably with two identical cakes.

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There are films. You know this of course, you might’ve seen one or two of them in your time.

Sometimes these films are good, sometimes bad. Sometimes they’re the most amazing pieces of visual artistry that you will ever see and they will move you to tears, and sometimes you get Battlefield Earth.

But then sometimes you get films that are so bad, you can’t help but enjoy them and like to watch them again and again just to laugh at how poor it is but you thoroughly enjoy it every time. They’re generally referred to as guilty pleasures.

Total Recall is not one of these films, mainly because it’s awesome.

An explanation might be in order here then. Total Recall has been a favourite in this house for a while now. I can’t remember where it started but I’m assuming it had something to do with large quantities of alcohol and a lack of things to watch on TV. There’s something about the combination of story, acting, the fact it was made in the eighties and Arnie (I utterly refuse to type his surname; whos got the time?) that is truly magical.

You might think it’s rubbish, you may have a point. But then I’d want to throw a piece of Austrian oak at you and see that you got the irony as it bounced off your head.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a classic story of a man who dreams of going to Mars, but can’t afford it. He then hears that he can have a memory implant in his head that’ll make him think he’s been on a nice holiday, but he also has an optional extra that make him think he’s a spy and has a dream-like adventure. Unfortunately due to the fact that this is Arnie’s head, the implant knocks out all that was in there (which probably amounts to thoughts about guns, boobs and a monkey starching his arse) and unlocks the fact that he’s actually a spy in real life but he can’t remember anything else. So he does what anyone else would do and kicks the shit out of anyone who looks at him funny.

And that’s essentially it. From this point on the plot goes out the window and he just goes and get’s the biggest handgun I’ve ever seen and blows snooker ball sized chunks out of anonymous henchmen whilst trying to get to Mars to meet a girl and help some Jim Henson creations. Or something.

I never thought about the plot that much, it’s just waiting to get to the bits that you remember and cheering him on as he inexplicably manages to kick to people in the face at the same time whilst being held down. The film is an example of the eighties style ‘ultra violence’ that was popular in other films like Robocop and Scarface, which is so so over the top you can’t help but laugh at seeing someone getting his head blown off. Or in the case of one of Recalls most iconic scenes using a fake head to blow up other peoples heads. You know the one, right?

                                           An everyday occurrance in eighties cinema…
                                       
One of the key ingredients to making this film awesome is Michael Ironside, who plays the (almost) main bad guy Richter. I’m sure he’s a great actor, but this is one of those ‘have fun and get paid’ roles for him .

Richter is a very angry man indeed. The main problem is that he can’t seem to be able to shoot a man who is six feet wide and stands out like a giant ogre in a pub full of hobbits

                                Pulling this face for a two hour film deserves an award in itself


But it’s his pure fury (and to be honest I don’t think he even knows why he wants to kill him after an hour) that leads him to his down fall and possibly the most missed opportunity for a quip in cinema history.

Basically he get’s his arms ripped off by a lift. Arnie is left waving said arms and he says “See you at the party Richter!” This is an Arnie film. No arm quip? Seriously? This is the guy who shot a crocodile and said “You’re Luggage”

*sigh*

Which lead to the main attraction of Total Recall; Arnie Himself.

Lets face it, any Arnie film without him would be a straight to video affair. But eighties Arnie could do no wrong. His huge range of emotions he shows is without equal.

Actually he has two expressions, one of which is:

                                            How has this man never won an oscar?


He’s is without doubt, awful. When he’s supposed to be in pain he sound like he’s reading it straight from the script.

But that’s the charm of big dude. People didn’t want to see him act, they wanted to see him destroy things. And people. And dialogue. He was at the peak of his powers doing this film and it shows. The effects may look rubbish now, the music and script is terrible and the acting is not even phoned in. Faxed in would be more appropriate.

But it’s just perfect for what it is. You know the saying two wrongs don’t make a right? Well a shitload of wrongs apparently is what it takes it to make one of the most unforgettable and entertaining films your ever likely to see. It’s probably on ITV2 or one of the sky channels now. Go watch and enjoy.

Plus how can you not enjoy a film that gives you a moment like this;

I saw a man having the fat sucked out from behind his nipple. I’m hoping it’s the one and only time.

That was Embarrassing Fat Bodies on Channel 4. Sadly, there’s not an amazing story that culminates in me having to witness the aforementioned operation to figure out how to stop the terrorists by recreating the moves of the surgeon to disarm the nuclear bomb on the way to the White House, It was just on when I walked in the room.

At first I thought there was some sort of uncooked pizza on the TV. Then, the horror. The horror when I realised what I saw.

This is today’s entertainment. It shows how TV has changed in the last twenty-odd years. I’m not going to rant on about it being rubbish compared to TV “back in my day” because my my day there was a lot of filler as well. It was called ITV.

(It still is, by the way. ITV is fucking terrible. All that needs to be done is for the BBC to buy TV Burp, and then ITV can be shot in the head and buried at sea, like that guy was the other day. You know the one, that beardy guy?).

The embarrassing bodies series actually quite deceptive. You can look at it and think that it’s just to laugh at fat people, but if you actually watch it, it shows the full extent of issues that some people in society face. It shows surgery as well, something I can’t watch because I’m a bit squeamish.

It also shows that TV is these days quite deceptive. I only realised the other day that a few of the programmes I watch are essentially game shows in disguise.

I watch The Apprentice. (In fact next year I’m thinking of setting up a blog to run alongside the series, but that’s another thought for another day) and the appeal for me is to watch supposedly the best business minds in Britain making complete tits of themselves. But then I thought that they’re competing for a prize, complete tasks and a few get knocked out every week.
Is that not what crackerjack was all about (I think, I’m actually too young for that one…) or The Generation Game? Or Big break? Or EVERY FUCKING GAMESHOW EVER!?!?

The only difference is that it has a shiny business like veneer instead of novelty buzzer noises and the chance to see what they could’ve won. Well they know what they could’ve won, it’s 250k and Lord Canderel as a matey blokey-bloke business partner instead of a 1978 Vauxhall Astra, or a weekend away for two to Benidorm.

I love it though, Nick’s expressions alone are TV comedy gold.

Another one I watch is Four Rooms. A new one from Channel 4 shows people bringing in all sorts of stuff to try and sell to dealers who presumably flog it off for a huge profit and laugh like a manically insane bond villain whist kicking kittens through an electric fan. I assume. They may just go home and eat their tea, I’m not sure.

This one is quite compelling. Basically people want to sell their stuff. They get greedy and usually go home with nothing. Four people make them offers. These people include someone who looks like Sean Lock, someone who looks like Phil Jupitus’s Dad, the ‘Simon Cowell’ of the group who’s surname is a breed of fish I can’t remember and a woman who looks like she’s a big fan of Tim Burton’s work.

The main draw on this is the fact that you can see people go into these rooms and have a game plan and as soon as they get a whiff of an offer more than they thought you can practically see the pound sign in their eyes. But again, it’s nothing more than a game show. It’s a game show that’s a unholy hybrid of Deal or No Deal, Dragons Den & Cash in the Attic (love and hugs to my wife for this comparison) but a game show nonetheless. They go in to win a prize and they either win or lose. It should be hosted by Roy Walker, he’s a legend.

So if I think about it, I watch Sci Fi, cleverly disguised game shows, QI & American sitcoms about people who watch Sci Fi.

I still haven’t seen Werner Herzog eat his shoe yet.