Sunday, 27 February 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it.

I’d actually like to point out this is an incoherent rant based on everything wrong in the world. I apologise for its sloppiness and lack of structure and lucidity.

But I don’t feel fine. There’s a lot to this point where numerous amount of different topics could fit in. Change is inevitable, it’s healthy and usually good but what if we’re being misdirected? Led astray by our own stupidity? That’s what seems to be happening in a whole manner of things at the moment. The whole way society thinks is being manipulated in this growth of change but we don’t even realise it.

First off, is the change in politics. You may not care but you really should when it comes to effecting your life and that your knowledge and vote does make a difference. The change in politics at the moment is the constant increase in taxes, the constant decline in the public sector and the general load of bullshit we are spoon fed in a patronising manner, as if we’re all idiots. The sad truth is, we aren’t ALL idiots but the majority of idiocy is ever grasping its hold on society. A society which proudly boasts a film for the anti-Christ of music; Justin “cunting” Bieber. Of course, cunting isn’t his middle-name but you get the picture. He’s just a big prick in a prepubescent and pig-faced body of stupidity. I’ll get back to him later though.

The constant increase in taxes of main items is making life more and more miserable for everyone. The pleasure fund goes down. The quality of life goes down. The happiness level of the country goes down. A lot of things which you wish wouldn’t go down, go down and take you with them. Then the things you want to remain steady or decrease, expand and increase in gigantic manners leaving you weeping into a glass so you can collect the tears to bathe as you can’t afford to pay your water bill. We all need to recycle anyway so that’s a plus side to all those wasted tears.

Petrol remains the soaring complaint of most people, including me. People tell me to sell my car and a lot of other poor suggestions but I’m not going to argue with them, I’ll just simply say “no” rudely. The massive problem with all of these hike ups in prices and taxes means the economy will suffer which I already discussed here. Now businesses will struggle and cripple underneath the debt they’re making because of the lack of customers because of too much tax leaving them with only enough to survive because of the right-winged plan which won’t work because they didn’t think it through or listen to anyone because they’re Eton educated perfection but they’re actually just ignorant idiots. I just don’t understand how an eighteen year-old, third year sixth form student can figure this out but a privately educated Oxbridge graduate cannot. State schools prevail in the promotion of common sense? Probably not actually. Schools are shit for the most part and education makes learning and being knowledgeable a loathsome chore.

A change that is necessary is finding an alternative fuel. I don’t want to become all hippy about this issue but it’s becoming increasingly important and I’m starting to get slightly worried. Oil is being used as if it was in abundance but it’s really not. Hypocritically, I’m typing this on my laptop which is being powered by electricity which is harnessed from oil but what can I do to stop it? I can’t just build a wind turbine in my back garden. It’ll be ineffective, it’d just be one of those garden ones. You know, the ones which sparkle because of the glittery paper? No? Just me?

I’m trying to make light of a dire situation really and maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should press you with some rather depressing and frightening facts. I was informed about a month ago but “peak oil”. This means the peak, the high-point, the maximum amount of oil and oil consumption we have before it goes into decline. The scary part about this is that we’ve already peaked - we’re now in a decline. We need to find an alternative fuel before it runs out and we all just stop. There’d be no electricity, no heating, no gas to cook, no refrigeration for food, no transportation for food and so on. We’d all be left to our own devices and our own life survival skills which we don’t have. No more going shopping for food because you’d have to grow and hunt your own food. After that, you’d have to prepare the food yourself and you’d have to cook it in a makeshift stove because your oven in the kitchen would be powerless. It’s all up to you.

How scary is that? The human race has become so dependent on this energy that a high majority of us would starve to death. We need to use the energy we currently have to invest in a new energy because we all know solar panels, wind turbines and other makeshift things aren’t very viable. Nuclear power is possible but not without its massive disadvantages and possible mass destruction. Is that what you want? A mutating power plant? There is only one fuel which I know is perfect for an engine but I have no idea about anything else and that is hydrogen.

Hydrogen is abundant and we literally can’t run out. The only problem is that it’s so needy that it’s always stuck to something so we need to purify it then condense it into a liquid which doesn’t come at a price, but that’ll come down. That is the only draw back. It emits water instead of carbon dioxide so the “we’re all going to die because of global warming” panic will be over because we will no longer be ruining our atmosphere. The best part is that Honda have already made a hydrogen car and they can mass-produce it and it’s the same price as a brand new Honda anyway. Honda can sit back and take all the credit for saving the world but it’s been three years and I don’t think there are any more hydrogen pumps in the world bar in Los Angeles. Why has this not been rectified? Where’s the scrappage scheme when you need it?

Change happens and change can happen quickly but why isn’t it happening now? We’re usually quick to change everything even to protests but this is a positive change which is being restrained. Yes, people will still have petrol and diesel cars and yes we’ll still use the oil but they’ll slowly be phased out and they’ll never NOT exist but they won’t need that much so they probably wouldn’t run out of oil. We’d all be frolicking in the clean air because no cars would be polluting our faces. Personally, I don’t care about the pollution of my senses or air. It’s air, it doesn’t feel different anywhere so I don’t care.

Another change which is practically the end of the world is how the world of music and film have changed. Look at music now. The people who will be remembered as “greats” of our time. I’m ashamed to even call them that sarcastically and be associated with my generation of “pop” music. The greats will be people like Lady Gaga who stutters in her songs of electro manufactured vomit and they all sound the same. She’s a PR whore and a media driven hype because she’s psychotic. She shouldn’t be idolised and worshipped, she should be committed to the hospital. If I dressed all in meat and went out in the street I would be wrestled to the ground by nay-sayers for being a lunatic whilst being viciously gang-banged by a pack of dogs.

Another atrocity and plague to our society who will forever be known - unfortunately - is Justin Bieber. Now, anyone who knows me knows how much I want to savagely beat this child with his own possessions. He is at the core of everything that is wrong with music. He’s been signed to a label since he was fourteen. Being praised for talents he does not possess as he dances his way around his teen demographic of ignorant and herded morons who will never know better. He parades around telling his irritating fans to “never say never” as if he tried so hard and struggled through thick and thin to be what he is today when really it happened overnight.

Then there’s the X-Factor. This is the brutality of music as people butcher songs which weren’t good anyway in a desperate plea to be overexposed to people who attention spans of gnats. They are talentless people who will go straight back to their menial jobs. They didn’t work for it, they didn’t write their own songs, they didn’t hit every note but they were praised anyway. Why are we falsely praised in society today? Good work, honest work and real work is, apparently, something of the past. The real talented people go to waste while Usher signs on for another tour where he’ll dance and sing a word here or there…out of tune.

Black Eyed Peas. They are the definition of talentless. Their breakthrough song which seemed to make pop music seem like it was actually tackling political subjects wasn’t even written by them. They now go back to their ways of club songs, auto-tune and their need to cover yet change the words so it’s a club song as well; how clever. I direct you to “Dirty Bit” which could stand for the worst song of the century.

The terrible TV programme which features a bad script, bad acting, bad singing, bad writing and pretty much everything bad is praised as a great. It’s actually an award winner: Glee. It’s hypocritically named Glee when it all it does is fill me with such sadness, anger and resentment to everything as I watch it.

Then it goes to films. The real films which have substance, meaning or are just genuinely well acted or well made are ignored. They’re ignored for films which aren’t funny nor are they entertaining. Big Momma’s House 3 proves that films are going downhill. The constant amount of identical RomComs filled with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher butcher the modern film industry and they butcher society as a whole today. Such great actors like John Cusack are poisoned to create filth like 2012 and The Contract after such greats as High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank, Pushing Tin and numerous other fantastic films.

The world is poisoned and riddled with the disease of idiocy. The streets are littered with dead brain cells which have been destroyed in this plagued society. I feel that I’m the one of the only sane people in a world of insanity, drivel and literal dribble slopping out of the mouths of slack-jawed, knuckle scraping Neanderthals looking to be entertained quickly and constantly. No one wants to think any more. Thinking is in the past, how dare I speak of such an ancient and archaic concept. Why must I live in such a wronged world?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Fighter.

The Fighter film poster

My goal to see every Oscar nominated film before the ceremony is seeming very unlikely thanks to me being a student. Either way, I went to the cinema last night to see a film I've been dying to see more than any of the other Oscar nominations, The Fighter. I'd heard great things about this film and about all the performances in it but I still went in with my no expectation view on the film. About ten minutes in, I realised that Christian Bale was amazing; it took only ten minutes for that to kick in.

A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

This film is based on the true story of Micky Ward, the younger, cast-into-the-shadows brother of Dicky Eklund who knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down when he was in his prime and that was his last professional fight. Dicky Eklund is deluded to the concept that he can still make a comeback and so is his mother, Alice Ward - played by Melissa Leo. Although they claim that this is all about Micky and family but really it's about having money and so Dicky can build himself back up to be a champion yet again. There is no bias in the family, according to Alice, but there blatantly is. Dicky is the star child of this dysfunctional family since he knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard, the crack addicted star child that is.

The direction of the film is pretty much perfect. The film pulls you in as if you're a helpless family member in this chaos and you get fully immersed in such a helpless manner that you want to put Micky Ward's family in their place.

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Directed by David O. Russell.

That being said, this can be quite funny at times. Weird as it is, you like the crack-addicted brother who's selfish in his thoughts. The way he moves, talks and just acts with a brash of never ending arrogance makes you like him instead of despising his pathetic self. While the film will have you laughing, it will also send you into a spiral of different emotions and the most common one I had was frustration at the fact that Micky was getting ignored so easily. Any film that sucks you in so easily is incredible.

I noticed that Mark Wahlberg was robbed of a nomination. I haven't seen Biutiful so I can't comment on Javier Bardem's performance but all I know is that Mark Wahlberg was ignored purely because he kept it all together. He didn't have the loud, skinny addict brother but the level-headed one who has always stayed in the shadow of his half-brother Dicky Eklund. He was Micky Ward and he really performed in an outstanding manner. I still believe that Mark Wahlberg is an incredibly underrated actor ever since I saw him in Fear, Three Kings and Four Brothers; he's just made some wrong decisions about what film to act in really. We can't forget about the train-wreck of The Happening and the painfully bad but beautiful (cinematography wise) Max Payne. Maybe they're punishing him for those? Hopefully, this'll lead to him actually doing more great films again.

Mark Wahlberg waived his own salary and took no upfront fee for this film. Christian Bale was paid only $250,000 for his role.

Christian Bale's portrayal of a crack-addict who can't let go of former glories like a nostalgic grandfather who rambles on about how society used to be and how he used to work his socks off for a mere tuppence is far too convincing. His performance is the most talked about but for a reason. He takes in a lot of the attention with his character who hogs the limelight from his brother, and that's what Christian Bale does in this film. He takes centre stage from an incredible Mark Wahlberg just like their characters.

Amy Adams's (yes, it is s's, google it) "sexy-bitch" character - as described by David O. Russell - is an incredible all-round performance. From the rude but comical way she introduces herself to Alice Ward to the fight thanks to an "MTV girl" insult from one of the seven haggard sisters, Amy Adams shows she can do it all and shouldn't be type-cast. Even though she's now at the age of thirty-six she still looks in her mid 20s so hopefully we'll see more from her. From the silly-but-hilarious Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to the probably awful (haven't seen it) Enchanted, Amy Adams can do it all; and she really wants to be seen as a sexy dominating girl who will fight and voice her opinion. Amy Adams deserves an Oscar for this role and her ability to diversify herself.

Another great performance from the near-perfect cast is Melissa Leo's manager/mother depiction of Alice Ward. A terrifying, controlling mother of nine children but puts her Dicky on a pedestal that no one can eclipse. The Oscar nomination is deserved and if she won it then there'd be no complaints from anyone but I still think that Amy Adams deserves it.

There is only one complaint on my part and that is annoying Boston actress, Jill Quigg, who can't act and annoyed me with her brief performance in Ben Affleck's directorial début, Gone Baby Gone, and now this. Just because her Boston accent is incredibly strong doesn't mean she has to be cast. She also looks like her face has folded in on itself and that's not something you want to see from an emotionless and monotonous actress.

To summarise, this film is for everyone. It's a fantastic, if not clichéd, storyline of the underdog but that doesn't matter since it's true. Nothing about this story seems unoriginal and David O. Russell has created what I deem to be one of the best films I've seen. From the authenticity of the fight scenes (by using the real HBO cameras) to the authenticity of every single character who made this film a believable spectacle which almost makes you shout in anger and cheer in happiness along.

I've decided to adopt the "star system": ★★★★★

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Aber scholarship exam.

Tomorrow I'll be sitting my first of two exams for an Aberystwyth exam. Tomorrow afternoon's one is "Pure Maths" and then on Thursday morning, I have "Politics & International Politics" and I was quietly confident when I sent off to do these exams. Now, not so much. That's why I've decided to revise some of the past paper questions from the past few years (you only have to pick two out of ten or twelve) and this is my revision for it. Odd that I have an excuse for this now.


1. Can torture ever be justified?

Torture is a huge moral dilemma. What gives us the right to torture people for information? Then again, what gives the right to not torture someone who was planning the mass-murder of innocent people? It has two sides and both are very strong and stubborn in their views. I plan to analyse both sides and weigh them up to decide; firstly, the anti-torture view.


I can see why people are anti-torture as it's a blatant violation of human rights. Agonising pain and possibly murder for information? It seems like an unjust thing to do to a potentially brain-washed person. Can you imagine the terrible concoctions they come up with in a way to summon information from them? Then again, who specified that this torture would be for information? It may just be to cause suffering to those who have been incarcerated for breaking the law which is hypocritical; they'd be violating the laws they're claiming to beat into these victims


Now, if it was for information on other terrorists and to save other innocent lives then it can be understandable. That's not always the case though, there are many other factors in a torture. What if they're being threatened and forced into such acts? They'd be suffering for the protection of family, friends and so on. What if the suspect is innocent? They'd be arguing saying they know nothing and that they're innocent to be tortured even more for "lying" when they're not. It would be a never ending cycle of anguish, misery and torment.


I'm - personally - pro-torture for information as long as there is hard physical evidence supporting the claims of their plans to harm people. Without it, it's the most inhumane and cruel thing to do for the "protection" of others. Protection from what? By tormenting people they cause serious psychological harm and could drive this person to do even more terrible things when released. What a dilemma.


The pain - and possible sacrifice - of one evil-minded person who plans to slaughter innocent people is a just dessert in my opinion. Not only could it lead to that danger being hindered but it could lead to more plans being foiled and more lives saved. I think that's a massive upside. Not only is it an upside because of spared lives, non-traumatised families and no biased or skewed views from a horrific tragedy; it's also a massive money boost. The government pay out massive compensations to the injured or families of the deceased and that would save a lot of money which could be spent on a lot of other important things. I'm not saying torture is justified because there'd be less payouts from the government, I'm just saying consider the amount of money that would go to them and could go to NHS funding, education and other important things.


I still disagree with unnecessary torture but I also disagree with the current prison system which is more of a luxury than a burden. It may be a burden when they get out because they might not be able to get a job but who says they'll try? If prison is that comfy and luxurious then why would you want to leave? Therefore, reform the prisons so they're less enjoyable like they should be. A bit of a ramble but I feel it is slightly relevant to torture as it is currently the complete opposite there.


Therefore, torture can be justified in my opinion. There are extenuating circumstances, of course, there always will be but if they have sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect has terror plots then it is justified to find out more information from these about future plans. If it's just because the torturer is a bit bored and wants to cause massive psychological harm and possibly cause a rage-filled killing spree, then no, of course it's wrong. There is no answer to the ambiguity of "torture" so I agree with it for information and to save lives but I disagree with it for everything else.


2. What does it mean to be a 'citizen of the world'?


The meaning of 'citizen of the world' is pretty self-explanatory. I, weirdly, decided that I agree with these views about five days ago. If you're a 'citizen of the world' it means that you're unpatriotic and do not pledge allegiance to a country, a bit of land that your ancestors maliciously and moronically fought over as they were power-hungry and greedy. Just some mud, some sand, a little bit of greenery and now massive man-made structures which are blemishes to real land. Weirdly, I prefer cityscapes to landscapes.


A 'citizen of the world' has no country and no national pride. They simply believe that the world is one and we should not segregate ourselves to countries, nationalities and so on. In my opinion, it raises questions of equality considering we all are confined to different countries as if having a nationality matters. Why does that matter? I'm technically Welsh but I consider myself to just be alive and free in a world with many possibilities. Personally, I'd prefer it if the world was solely governed by one government and wasn't dictated by the laws of religion and embarrassing ethical reasons. That's just me though.


I don't know how to extend this definition further, it's quite a simple concept.


3. What poses a greater threat: environmental change or weapons of mass destruction?

These two threats could potentially change the world we live in forever in such negative ways. The sad truth is we have no power over either of these. Mother nature isn't a nurturing loving mother that she's made out to be, but more of a destructive mistress who wants to remain unchanged and consistent so therefore she screams "get the hell off me and stop damaging me" by giving us warnings. Too late though. This is not the effect of global warming though, this is a natural cycle on this planet which is caused by changes; changes which aren't liked. I believe more in the Madea hypothesis than the Gaia hypothesis.


Then there's the other threat. The threat that one day, one person may launch a nuclear attack onto a country which then starts a world war and destroys everything and everyone. It'll take one unstable person, one unstable thought, one error of judgement to potentially murder an entire civilisation, an entire life and every other animal on the planet. An entire planet would remain hollow and unscathed but maybe that's what it wants?


These threats are equally real and equally dangerous. Currently, there is a cyclone in Australia which is tearing it apart, bit by bit. This is nature at its worst. You can't stop it from tearing things apart with its colossal power, it is almost a god-like entity who has been infuriated. The worst thing about nature is how do you stop it? There is no way to intervene, you just have to ride out the storm - pardon the pun. You cannot stop it its reckoning and therefore its threat could eclipse the threat of weapons of mass destruction.


There's a possibility of stopping these weapons from being used. Whether it be a peace treaty or an uprising in a dictator controlled country to get rid of the unstable and inhumane leader or the military intervention to stop these genocidal maniacs. Much like the Iraq war, they may have been underlying reasons and it may have been eclipsed by money and greed but it still wiped out a lunatic with far too much power. I live with more with the fear of human ignorance and stupidity to nature taking its toll. This is because humans are far more unstable, eccentric and destructive as our power hungry nature is nothing short of an arrogant god-complex.


One bad decision could result in the end of the world, a real apocalypse. How frightening. It's scary that one man like Kim Jong-il could potentially ruin the world we live in just because of his crazy ways. It's an unjust world that we live in that one man could destroy so much but it's one we have to live in and fight against. There is a way to do it but an illegal war in Iraq is not the answer to a genocidal maniac apparently.


In my opinion, the biggest threat are the weapons of mass destruction. Not just their power of mass devastation but the power in an imperfect person's hand; that is the bigger threat.


4. Does British politics limit the participation of women?

No but if it brings terrible people like Margaret Thatcher into politics maybe it should. There's also Harriet Harmon and a few others. That's all I have to say on that ridiculous question.


5. Examine the arguments for and against the BNP being banned from participating in the UK's representative democracy?

The BNP is a party which is founded on ignorance and - quite simply - racism, xenophobia and homophobia. The same views as Adolf Hitler. They are a party which practice suggestions as deporting all immigrants, legal or illegal; banning homosexuality and making it an arrestable offence, like in the olden days of ignorance and misunderstanding. Oddly appropriate to their outdated and right-winged views.


They have traditional views and traditions hinder change and evolution. Why hinder something which is for the good of a nation? That's like disagreeing to know thereal creation of the universe by believing a book written millenniums ago.


Their moronic leader once said:

"Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal... [it] is like suggesting force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence." - Nick Griffin.


We wouldn't be a democratic country if we stopped them from running, that would completely contradict the point of a democracy. I don't even believe that the problem really lies with their twisted ideals, though they are cause for worry. The real problem is the ignorance and stupidity of society and how they get brainwashed by the right-winged media and fail to see the full picture. Instead, they stereotype and blame an entire race or religion instead of blaming the real minority. I don't understand how they thought Britain was so "great" when it's never been great and is actually better than it was, yet, they want to revert us back in time.


I believe that the real problem lies with media not reporting full facts and slandering innocent people by generalising their race or religion. I mean, Hindus and Sikhs even suffered abuse thanks to the ignorance of their attackers after 9/11 and 7/7. I don't think we can stop the BNP from running but they should have to publicise their real views and every opinion. Ranging from their disgusting and backward views on immigration, rape and unnatural homosexuality. They should have to tell everyone of how they plan on incarcerating those who are genetically different.


The idea that legal immigrants are "stealing our jobs" is ludicrous and preposterous. The amount of people who lazily lounge around watching Sky TV and only leave the house to get more Carling and to pick up their dole have no jobs because they're too pathetic to actually get one. They're the real disgrace. They'd rather sit back and jack up on heroine complaining that their dole isn't enough to pay their dealer so they start blaming immigrants for stealing their money. They aren't stealing any money from you, you bum. They actually pay tax, you drug-addled and AIDS-ridden junkie. They contribute to the taxes and that actually pay for you to sit there and complain about them, how hypocritical. They aren't stealing your job but they are, unfortunately, helping you live and breathe.


Therefore, there should be a reform in the public media so that they don't promote their neo-Nazi views and get away with it as they publish exaggerated rumours, figures and statistics. Only 4% of Britain are immigrants, that's about 2.4 million immigrants, that doesn't necessarily mean Muslims either. Also, 92.1% of people in Britain are white, how can we claim to be overrun? We cannot stop them running but let's stop their lies.


6. Is military intervention for humanitarian reasons a moral imperative in cases of genocide?

Cases of genocide need to be stopped, that much is obvious, and if the only way to achieve this is via a military intervention then so be it. Some people are so stubborn and ignorant in their views - especially genocidal dictators - then force is the only option to stop these lunatics. A very good example is the Iraq war.


The ever debatable Iraq war. While others say it was an illegal, greedy war for oil and money, I still think the murder of a villainous dictator who slaughtered innocent people is enough of a reason to intrude. It may have been for the wrong reason but the intervention stopped him so I deem it very worthy. Installing democracy in a previously dictated country seems very worth it. That country had no quality of life, bar the people who were bought by Saddam Hussein. We effectively resurrected a country and will give millions of people happiness, equality and no fear of being murdered for insubordination.


Another infamous case is obviously World War II where one man brainwashed a country into killing innocent men, women and even children. Not only did he kill most people who were Jewish but he forced them to work to build their weapons, performed medical experimentation on them and other horrendous and gruesome forms of torture filled with endless agony. Without military intervention, the numbers would be even higher than their current disgusting high. Numerous amounts more of innocent people - whether they were Jewish or disabled or anything else that was against their leader's xenophobic views - would be killed because we did nothing.


The mass extinction of life is not something that we should sit back and ignore. It is a necessity to counter these despicable occurrences. I personally do not understand the disagreement with this, I cannot even think of any logical reason.


When people claim that the "loss of lives" in their army isn't worth it then they're clearly unnecessarily patriotic and think that they're better than everyone else. Why listen to those uneducated morons? The type of people who claim that footballers get too much (quick summary of this: it's the money in the football industry which means they get taxed a lot so it does effectively pay for a lot, get over it) and that soldiers deserve more money and respect. They get a lot of respect and I respect them for what they do but they weren't conscripted into the army, it was their choice; something that the country which is being torn apart doesn't have.


Yes, it is a moral imperative to stop mass genocide and I cannot see any other side of that. I'm not being close-minded, I'm being a humane realist with compassion. I'm open to your opinion though but I just do not see any counter to the cessation of genocide.


I'm done. Was it any good?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Dark Knight Rises?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

It seems that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be working with Christopher Nolan again after the blockbuster success Inception. As always, Nolan is keeping to himself about his film and is keeping shdum about his upcoming and highly anticipated third Batman film, awkwardly named The Dark Knight Rises; a name which doesn't fit the bill for his last Batman film. It is confirmed that he is in the film but it's followed by a plethora of rumours over his character and he's highly predicted to be The Riddler.


It's nice to Levitt get recognised as the great actor he is. Even as a child he acted well and you could see a bright future but he sort of disappeared, voluntarily. He was first truly recognised in the TV programme Third Rock From the Sun which was an alien based sitcom. He then made people laugh with Ten Things I Hate About You and then took a sabbatical from films to return nice and fresh and let the world understand that he loves the idea of indie films. He returned with Mysterious Skin and Brick and was praised for his performance. He was then globally recognised for his part in (500) Days of Summer and showed his ability to change roles. I find it hard for him to be type-cast and I hope it never happens since he has the ability to diversify himself and still always be successful.


Not so long ago there were reports that Robin Williams was going to feature in this as the character Hugo Strange. Could Levitt be replacing Williams as Hugo Strange? No one knows and we won't for a while or until the release of the film, as Nolan loves secrecy.


All I know is that this is shaping up to be a film of epic proportions and a massive spectacle, an incredible piece of cinema. At the same time though, I can't help but think, "is it too much?" If it is his last of the trilogy then why would he bring in so many new characters? It's already confirmed that Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway are starring in it as Bane and Selina Kyle, respectively. The potential full line-up of this film could be Tom Hardy as Bane; Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Robin Williams as Hugo Strange and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as The Riddler. It's shaping up to either be one of the best films ever and will trump The Dark Knight or be a massive disappointment and a massive waste of massive talent.


Is it too much?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Utopia.

A weird thing to think about but imagine your utopia. What do you see in your paradise? In most people's it'll consist of sun, sea and other things which just fill you with ecstasy. Now, that thought is shallow so I want you to delve deeper to find your real utopia and who or what would be there, the rules and numerous things that you deem important. You can inform me of yours if you want, since that's what I'll be doing now.

Recently, I've made a weird decision. I've now decided that I'm not patriotic nor do I believe in countries. I obviously believe of their existence because denying that would be nothing short of idiotic, their existence isn't conditional but I believe they shouldn't exist and shouldn't separate. What I mean is that I know count myself as a "citizen of the world" instead of being stubbornly and ignorantly patriotic over a patch of land. Billy and I started discussing our idea of utopia with this ideal. This, would be my utopia.

I believe that there should be no countries, no allegiances to a flag and no national pride. I believe that we're all in this together, as a race and we should not fret over such petty things as land. First of all, most wars are over holy land and their right to be there and that should be scrapped. Everyone would belong to everywhere and there could be no complaints about anyone unlawfully being there. No religion which govern laws, no reasons dubbed "ethical" when it really means "religion disagrees with it even though the texts are outdated and written thousands of years ago by people who had no science, no understanding of the world we live in and used to eat magic mushrooms to come up with psychedelic euphorias and has been twisted in translations to suit people." That's why they shortened it to "ethical."

I'm pro-choice, obviously. I'm also an atheist and so on but I don't think you shouldn't be allowed to practice religion and if you believe in it then good for you. I do not agree with being forced to live by rules because of other peoples' beliefs. I don't do that to them yet they continue to do it for me? A simple way to put it is "if you don't like or you disagree with it, don't do it." Government should not be led by a hypothetical entity; it should be led on equality and laws which do not discriminate.

In my Elysium, I see the world being ruled by one government and having no religious ties at all to their laws, speeches or practice. Just one government so there are equal laws, no need for overly complicated economies, equality and numerous other things. I mean, America is one of the world's most powerful countries and it's always led by a Christian who brings their faith into account when making decisions. They finish speeches with "God speed" and say stuff like "let us pray..." and I can't help but think "no". Religion is outdated, it was done with ignorance and was nothing more than a book of morales to stop sodomy really.

Who doesn't want equality and an open world? Pathetic patriots who practice traditions "just 'cause". It's a ludicrous idea that they fight for what their ancestors fought for, which completely hinders change. Why don't they see the error of their ways? They're too busy being racist ignoramuses as they drunkenly defend Britain from "being taken over" in a senseless pride. I mean, they have no idea because they're uneducated philistines that don't think for themselves but follow a conservative paper who put headlines like "MUSLIM OFFENDED BY *something little*" and then they claim it's a disgrace over a minority saying we're being overrun and that they take our jobs. If they actually looked into facts they'd know that only 4% of Britain are Muslims and that doesn't mean they're all Pakistanis either. I mean surely, ignorance can't be bliss?

I got side-tracked there but what I mean is that their "pride" hinders change. It's like it numerous amount of countries. For example, the middle-east is riddled with war over "sacred land" and "pride". They also govern themselves by Islam and not reason or fairness. There are numerous amounts of dictators who destroy change and govern their land with fear. Why not govern the entire world in a fair democracy? Does it not seem more plausible for it all to be run equally? After all, we're all the same.

Another thing I'd like to see is equality with animals. I know I may becoming hippy-like now but I'm not like that. I just mean that if an animal - who doesn't know any better and acts on instinct - bites someone, be it an adult or a child, why should it be put down? Animals act on instinct and survival instincts. They're not intelligent enough to learn better really, you can't stop it. If a human felt threatened and feared for its life, it would do the same. What gives you the right to put that animal down? What gives you the right to put any animal down (considering you can't consult with it) when a consenting person cannot be killed in the same dignity? We're the most greedy, corrupt, unjust, selfish being on this forsaken planet.

There are numerous other things that I would love to talk about but I'll spread them out to be in depth but such topics as the environment, selective prejudices and the unnecessary censorship are on my "to-do list" of sorts.

To close, let me ask you this. What is your ideal world?

Black Swan.

Black Swan movie poster.

A funny factoid for you (about me though) is that when I was in the cinema I was just sitting there waiting for the film to start and then a woman came in with two little girls. Now, my panic set in that I was in the wrong cinema screen and that I may have been missing this film but instead it turns out she came into the wrong film. I started laughing after she asked us what's on in here and when I told her "Black Swan" her reply was "oh my God! I saw this film the other day, can you imagine if they saw this?" and I hadn't seen it but those kids would have been scarred by numerous amount of scenes. As she left the advert for No Strings Attached came on and the word "sex" came up quite a lot before she'd left. That made me think again that Natalie Portman has gone from a potentially Oscar winning performance to a terribly average RomCom with Ashton Kutcher and then a stoner comedy (which seems hilarious) with Danny McBride and James Franco so well done to her for not being typecasted and I hope she maintains this level of variety because she's a great actress.

Well, I suppose I'm assumed to jump on the band-wagon with weirdly inept descriptions such as "hauntingly beautiful" but I won't. I did enjoy the film and I thought it was amazing but the whole description of it being "hauntingly beautiful" is completely inadequate. The only thing worse than that is getting a ballet dancer to review the film which numerous people have done. Yes, it's about a ballet dancer and is to do with ballet but it's not the main point of the film. I don't understand why people seem to have that idea.

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile the Black Swan, daughter of an evil magician.

It's an intelligent and original film by taking the storyline of a famous ballet and using the symbolism of that story to highlight a dissection of a schizophrenic who's under stress and goes through violent changes. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll try to keep information to a minimum. If you haven't seen it yet or you're going to see it again, you should look out for all the symbolism which is in this film. There's a black swan in the background of Nina's (Natalie Portman) room and numerous references to the differences of good and evil. It's very clever, in all fairness to Darren Aronofsky.

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

In fairness to this film, it's pretty jumpy. I'm not going to lie and pretend I'm all manly and don't get scared by films because I jump quite easily, even when I expect something. It's weird but it doesn't mean I get too scared to watch, I just jump at scenes. What I mean is, this psychological thriller is actually quite scary at parts. Not only because of bits which are made to make you jump but the thought of losing your own mind is a frightening concept if it's anything like this. I find myself checking reflective surfaces, hoping that the reflection doesn't differ from what I'm doing. I suppose the frightening realism in this film is possibly the most scary of all. I don't want to lose my mind, if I'm honest.

Natalie Portman is incredible at playing both sides of her character and Mila Kunis is possibly snubbed for an Oscar considering her performance is excellent. They make it believable, and I don't mean that most films aren't believable, but I mean that I feel like I'm fully immersed in the storyline and actually just watching their life as it unfolds in a horrifically, tragic "can't look away" way. It's an extended car crash. The direction is pretty well-done but at times it's too shaky and irritating and it's a typical Aronofsky piece with a lot of cuts. Despite being a film about a woman becoming a lunatic it's all very fluid, smooth and beautiful. It's a sort of smooth, organised chaos as it disrupts and then erupts in an explosion of emotion.

The soundtrack of this film is really amazing and I think I could listen to it in my spare time, quite a lot. I do have one problem with the film and this is a bit...

SPOILER ALERT

...ambiguous. What I mean is that it's a sort of "draw your own conclusion" film which are clever but in this, it seems like it was done lazily. I mean, there is no definitive answer to any one scene because it doesn't draw one conclusion. It seems as if they couldn't decide on what they'd like to define reality and her mind as it is all in her (Nina) perspective. That's one of my only complaints because without this ambiguity and without a definitive answer it's annoying me a little because I'd rather know what happened instead of a "you decide." I'm not the director nor am I the writer and least of all am I the character that is portrayed. It's been known to annoy me just like Shutter Island and the people who claimed to know exactly what was going on from the beginning even though there's no definitive answer; Inception and "did it or didn't it wobble? Dream or not?" even though that did wobble and it wasn't a dream and so on. I can't think of any more examples at the moment.

My verdict is it's a very good film and very well done but it's a tiny bit annoying at the same time. I'd rate it 9/10. Now, go see it and don't wait for the DVD release because it's amazing in the cinema with its soundtrack.

Transsiberian.

DVD Cover

I watched this film yesterday which had a promising plot outline, a promising cast and even the poster looked pretty good. Unfortunately, none of it turned out the way I'd hoped. It's a non-thrilling thriller and I'll forever use that term loosely when looking into a film to watch from now on. I think I may be being too harsh on this film as I when I read the plot outline I expected something almost horrifying, that would make me jump and that would have a disturbed couple which brutally murdered, tortured and hunted you down. It was nothing like this. I can't think of an apt description for this film.

A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers.

The main character, Jessie, is someone you're supposed to side with and pity but instead I ended up questioning her every decision, her every move and just everything she said. Maybe it's just my reaction but I did empathise with her at parts but other parts she was being a bit stupid about it all. The direction was so-so. It seemed as if it was being left to your own devices to guess what would happen and what the couple would encounter but the outcome of what actually happened was nothing but a bitter, slow and boring disappointment. There was also the fact that it was incredibly dragged out for a reason I don't understand. If it was to build the characters up then it could have been made shorter and it just seemed nothing but a bitter disappointment really.

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega and Ben Kingsley.

A eclectic cast of talent couldn't even hook you in and save this film. I'm notoriously easy to please when it comes to films as well. I can easily immerse myself into anything but this just had me questioning everything all the way through. I just don't understand why the film is teetering on the brink of two hours with a run time of 111 minutes when it could have been done in about 80 minutes. I'm not saying I don't like lengthy films nor am I being a philistine about such a thing but what I mean is that it was dragged out for a point I cannot even recall. I barely remember much happening in the film and that's because nothing really happened. I can remember certain scenes and none of them built up tension for me at all, except the church yard scene which was abruptly put on hold with shock and confusion; even that could have been more eventful.

Jessie: Kill off all my demons, Roy, and my angels might die, too.

In short; bad storyline, dragged out, too long, you don't really empathise with the main character and it could have been SO much better. In my opinion, it's not really worthy of a watch but that's just my opinion.

4/10.