Sunday, August 21, 2016

Truth or Dare

I saw the film Truth or Dare yesterday evening. It is a film concerning a group of college friends who know how to have a good time and are at a party. A socially awkward young man who isn't in the clique but who fancies one of the girls chooses her as the person he'd like to sleep with in a game of truth or dare. Unfortunately her boyfriend doesn't see the funny side and takes it badly and the party gets intense when he challenges and then punches the young stiff. The story skips forward a year the friends are travelling independently to a party after their first year of university. It transpires that it is the birthday of the chap who was punched. It is set on his family estate somewhere in the wilds of the country, the guests are directed on foot to an old lodge building a walk away. It turns out that the friends find the lodge but it is only occupied by the brother of the awkward young man. He turns out to be a strong, fit soldier who has done several tours of some war zone. The man whose birthday party it is doesn't show because his flight has been delayed, that's what the guests are told anyway. I won't spoil it but the story is a good one. The film is pretty enjoyable, I thought the acting was good and the script was interesting and had a good twist.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

I went with my son to see this film at the cinema last week and enjoyed it. It's perhaps not an epic film like the previous one was (Into Darkness) but it is still an entertaining movie to watch. It recalls the mood of the original TV series quite well, carrying on the tradition from the first two films. This film is directed by Justin Lin, JJ Abrams was filming Star Wars so wasn't available. I don't think Justin Lin is as exciting a director as Abrams.


Physical activity

I wanted to write a blog post about my recent experience with exercise. I have been a home worker for a long time now and I religiously work long hours at my desk, sitting down. As I've gotten older I have started to notice how stiff I have been getting. I have put weight on around my middle too.
To help remedy this, I could consider a gym membership but I don't think I would keep it up and those memberships can be expensive plus you have to wait for machines to become free and then try to look as if you know what you're doing even when you don't. No, a gym is not for me, much too public and would make me feel inferior compared to the other men lifting large weights and looking all sweaty. I just cannot see myself driving to the gym in the cold, dark winter months.
I purchased a second hand Pilates book from a charity shop and got a few exercise out of it. I also purchased an exercise mat from Argos for £15.99 and I'm very happy with it. I unroll it by my side of the bed, so you don't need much room for one.

I bought a resistance band and a wobble board from Tiger, less than a tenner for both. You can do so much with a resistance band, they are awesome things and very cheap (£3 I think). At first I wasn't sure about it but after a few workouts I am impressed. The colour is pink, which is slightly off-putting but it does the job. The other thing I purchased from Tiger (a great shop) was a wobble board (plastic, £5). You stand on the board and tilt it just using your feet or you can try and balance it in the centre without the edges touching the floor.

Lastly, I have purchased 2 kettlebells (£4.99 and £15.99) and this is all I intend to spend for a while on exercise. The other option I have is to go to the local park, which is great because they have machines to practice on. You also get the benefit of being in the open air. It is very public but the people in the park are friendly and keep themselves to themselves.

I wonder how long the equipment in the park will last with vandals. I think it is brilliant to have this equipment out for the public to use though. My local park has six areas where there are different sorts of machines. Absolutely great!



Friday, August 05, 2016

2016 summer olympics

The opening ceremony of the Olympics summer games is this evening, actually tomorrow morning at midnight. I am looking forward to the games, I haven't anything in mind to watch really, maybe the judo but I expect I will catch a range of different events. They usually introduce a sport I'm less familiar with, which is a good thing I think.
What I'm most looking forward to though, is seeing how the games are influenced by the culture of Rio and the Brazilian people who I imagine are very relaxed and friendly. The setting and environment are fantastic and very picturesque.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Reef

Saw this film last night. It's set in Australia and concerns a group of four friends coming back together, two are a couple and two were a couple who had split for a time. One of the guys runs his own business delivering boats to rich clients. The other three are meeting him to go on a boat trip together. There is a fifth person who  has been hired as a captain's mate. Now, the film sets up nicely but you just know that trouble is on the way.  And the film cleverly uses the environment, so that the audience sees what a hostile environment the sea can be and how vulnerable we are, even in idyllic weather. I enjoyed this film, it feels similar to Frozen - about the friends stuck in a ski resort.


Eden Lodge

I watched this film this week. It used a lot of cliched tactics but was well paced and well acted. It managed to steer its own path through a story that has elements of Psycho and Wolf Creek but not enough of its own original slant. I've got to give mention to the beautiful actress Aggy K Adams who plays the character Pomona. What starts out well doesn't really carry on. Shame because a lot of good elents are here but are just not used well enough. If you fancy a bit of entertainment withou having to think too hard.

Diary of the dead

Surprised that George A Romero put his name to this rubbish. It is supposed to be shot in the style of an amateur film maker. It comes across as a Blair Witch wannabe without the authenticity of Blair Witch. Not a very good film.



Siren

I watched this film this week, it was a film I was looking forward to after seeing a couple of trailers. However, after seeing it I was a little disappointed.  I don't know why I felt so disappointed, could have been the lack of gore maybe? The climax wasn't very satisfactory, the end credits appeared and I just felt so what. I didn't particularly like the actors, the casting felt wrong to me. The girl on the island wasn't very scary. It is not a film I could recommend but its not a badly made film, it just doesn't have a lot going on that make you empathise. I would rather see Frozen any day. A film I was reminded while watching. There was not a lot of use of the environment as something to be scared of: more could have been made of the scenery, instead of it just looking idyllic. I guess I felt apathetic to the plight of the characters. The boyfriend character was particularly unappealing.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Splinter

I watched this Australian horror film this week. It was an interesting film in some ways. The heroes were the humans with their own weaknesses, sort of anti-heroes if you like. The villain was a type of fungus that attacks human flesh but in such a way that appears to be alive. I found some parts of the movie comical in an unintended way, not awful but my sense of humour was tickled. The sttings are sparse, most of the action takes place in a gas station. Effective camerawork and a good script help things along. All in all, I thought this wasn't a bad film.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

New Prime Minister

Things have moved fast haven't they? Since my last posting about the leadership of the tory party the race has certainly been cut short to the point at which it was no longer a race but a win by default without even having to run. I think the official campaign ended on its first day. Andrea Leadsom faced a barrage of bad publicity and while rough water I thought she should have stuck it out and made a proper contest of it. However, she decided it wasn't worth it. Perhaps her she personally wasn't ready for it but I don't know who is ever really ready for a job like that one. So now Cameron had to leave number 10 viciously early and Theresa May is installed in his place. All very rushed and unsatisfactory.
We have a new cabinet as well. The changes have been quite far reaching, I was surprised that George Osbourne is no longer the Chancellor. I was pleased to see a good number of female appointments and infact it is good that we have female leader. I see Boris Johnson has got a job in the cabinet but Michael Gove hasn't and I'm glad about that because I felt like many others that he stabbed Boris in the back. However, I am not sure that Boris will make the best Foreign Secretary.
One thing I have noticed about Theresa may is that she isn't afraid of wearing angular shaped dresses made of dark material, I hope this trend I've noticed continues. It might be the only thing of interest about this new government.


France's pain

I really feel for the French people. The terror attacks in Paris last year and now the lorry attack in Nice have shown how ordinary everyday activities can be forever marred by acts of brutality and savagery. I don't know how the families of the dead cope with horrible events like these but I wish them the will to carry on and not let the bastard terrorists win. Driving a lorry into crowds of people and especially children is such a cowardly kind of attack. I hope we never see the like of it ever again. How can we protect ourselves from this kind of attack without constraining ourselves or living in a police controlled state? Man's inhumanity to man continues to disappoint and depress me.


F

The other film I watched was called F. It is billed as a suspense chiller and it is very successful as a suspense film. It is set inside a school college and the main character is an unlikeable teacher there. He has been in trouble for his behaviour with students, he was headbutted at the beginning of the film by one, and is separated from his wife. Things are going downhill for the guy.
For reasons unexplained one evening the school is attacked by a group of guys in hoodies, a face is not shown for any of them. It is dark outside and they seemingly attack the remaining staff who are there at night at random. The main character's daughter is also at the school and he has to try and prevent her from being killed.
It is a strange little film, the ending is odd. The characters and setting are normal enough but it has a nightmarish, unreal quality to it, which I suppose is the intention of horror films. It's probably a little too strange to recommend widely but if you like suspense, it keeps a good sense of this throughout.


eXistenZ

I watched this film by David Cronenberg this week. I have seen the film before, I even remember it was at the cinema actually. The first time I saw the film it blew me away but it was something like 17 years ago now. That is a long time not to have seen a film a second time.
The story is a very interesting one to me. A famous games designer played by Jennifer Jason Leigh is making a special appearance to promote her new game. There is something slightly wrong and unsettling from the first moment though. The place they are unveiling the new game looks like a classroom in a school or some location that is very small considering it is a new game. The other unsettling thing is that the player is biologically linked to the game via a bio-port in their back. An umbilical cable then plugs into a console that is a moulded shape in flesh coloured latex. It is semi-erotic in that sense and the quiet, strange way that JJL portrays the character. The main male character is played by Jude Law who does a good job of playing a na├»ve young man who has to turn from being a marketing junior into a bodyguard. One neat idea in the film is a gun made out of bone that fires teeth. It was designed to prevent detection by metal scanners.
The film plays with blending reality with the world inside the game called eXistenZ and it does this very effectively in my opinion. To the point where the characters are not sure whether they are in the real world or not. I can recommend this film but I can also see that a lot of people might be confused and turned off by the subject matter of virtual reality games.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Witches

I watched the 1966 film The Witches this week. What a surprisingly good film I thought it was. OK there felt like the Horror Channel were showing a cut version for some reason but still I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. It is a higher class of film than a few other more modern films I've seen recently. I think for the time, it would have been more shocking than it is today. There were some sequences that if it were made today would be much more graphic and terrifying, however I think the ideas are still frightening. I liked this film, it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea though. Joan Fontaine plays a wonderful part in this film, a Stirling performance in her last major theatrical role in film.