Thursday, 21 October 2010

As A Bee

Amazing how blogging takes a back seat when stuff is actually happening in your life, isn't it? So I have been crazy-busy with FYP and assignment stuff for uni - but not too busy to indulge myself a bit. I recently bought Everything Everything and Local Native's albums - amazing. I can't stop listening to Everything Everything, for some reason. Local Natives is damn good as well, in a completely different way. Everything Everything hits you with brilliance, Local Natives is what I like to call "nourishment for the soul" - I challenge you not to want to sing along to "Airplanes", at the top of your voice and from the bottom of your heart. I bought the latest album from The Bees "Every Step's A Yes", have only listened to it two times (once through laptop speakers, yuck!) but early signs are very good.

I also bought some video games, I've now got Skate 2, Racedriver Grid and PES 2011. Only the last one have I played for long periods. Pro Evo is back - I am completely addicted. I won't throw away FIFA 10, although the bugs in Manager Mode are really annoying and apparently they haven't been fixed in FIFA 11. Haven't played much Master League Online in PES 2011 yet, it looks bloody difficult and you need to be around at set times during the day.

Seen a lot of films and got hold of a lot more, yay for culture! Unfortunately there are no good cinemas in Stafford or Stoke so I had to go back down south for my fix of current releases. I saw Winter's Bone at Curzon Soho, The Illusionist at Odeon Panton Street and A Town Called Panic at Curzon Soho. Curzon Soho is my favourite cinema, a teensy bit pretentious but there is a nice cafe area at street level, a bar one level down and the cinema screens and confectionery area at the bottom level. They play good independent and arty films, stuff that might be difficult to see elsewhere. However, reviews are needed.

Winter's Bone is an intense thriller set in a close-knit community in the American south. The story follows a girl who must find her father in order to keep the family's farm, which her father put up as a bond. If I could use one word to describe the tone of the film it would be "sinister" - that is the feeling you get the whole way through. It is also one of the few films that deals with drugs in a very mature way. Most films that deal with drugs are either "stoner flicks" that revel in the comedy of drug use or hard-hitting anti-narcotic films that try to reduce the characters to one-dimensional "drug fiends". Winter's Bone did neither, crystal meth was discussed openly and casually but was never portrayed in a hugely positive light.

The Illusionist is an animated French film, following an elderly magician who finds his act becoming out of style, so travels to Scotland to find more work. Along the way he establishes a relationship with a young girl - and I shan't give any more away but I should say that the film is kid-friendly with a message that may, perhaps, be lost on a younger audience. Well worth the price of entry, and Odeon Panton Street is definitely the pokiest cinema I have ever been to, a tiny screen with a men's toilets that was the width of a corridor and as long as a disabled toilet cubicle. That said, very good film.

A Town Called Panic might be the most thoroughly mental film I have ever seen - in a good way. You know those Cravendale adverts? That, basically. It follows three characters - Horse, Cowboy and Indian - and from the basis of "we forgot Horse's birthday, let's make him a barbecue, oops we bought too many bricks" the story charges forward from there. It includes aliens, crazy snowball-chucking scientists, accidentally going to the centre of the earth and lots more. There is even time for a Horse love interest. Well worth the price of entry, huge laughs throughout.

I also found time to watch Memento, Funny Ha Ha and Baghead. I didn't think much of Baghead. Enough of that. Memento is quite brilliant, I love the plot structure and finding out more about the mysteries as you move back through the film. Funny Ha Ha was a very good film - clearly low-budget but the realism of the character's exchanges and the little awkward moments made the film for me. It is quite funny in places, but I was immersed in the story right from the opening exchanges.

I now have copies of The Exorcist, Nowhere Boy, This Is England, Being John Malkovich and Amelie. So what if I have seen This Is England and Amelie? They are great films and it is fantastic to have them on DVD.

I think that is just about everything, I am off to attempt to work on my assignments and final year project. See you.