Movies Movies Movies

The Carlton in Westgate is slowly becoming a second home, not that Im complaining of course. The second half of 2015 saw as many visits to the cinema as the previous year what with Star Wars, Mission Impossible and others. It’s so easy when a trip to the cinema  can cost around a tenner for two tickets pop corn and a drink (The combo). It’s even better when you can book tickets ahead so there is little disappointment.

In 2016 though, we’ve already managed to chalk up four visits and it’s still early February. The Hateful Eight, which wasnt too bad once it actually got going, it was just so slow to start with. The Revenant was next and this one was a great film to watch. Leonardo Di Caprio was truly on form in this movie and was great from start to finish. If this doesnt get him an Oscar, I really do not know what will because it certainly deserves one.

The Fifth Wave featuring Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) is a sci fi film based on the books by Rick Yancey. It’s based on human survival after several waves of wiping out the human race. Moretz plays her role well and with the run of films lined up, it will be a busy year for the youngster who has built up a vast array of movies in her career.

There are several visits to the cinema still to come and 2016 is certain to be a bumper year especially with the spin off Star Wars movie due out just before Christmas.

Whichever film you choose to see this year, do go along to the Carlton where the seats are cheap and you can pick yourself up a loyalty points card.

A week of wonder, but those automated calls still get to you.

Last week I found myself with a week off, a nice perfect week of doing nothing but relaxing and chilling. Sadly but to no surprise the weather couldn’t decide what it was doing. One day sun, next day rain, then sun. Should be used to it by now given that it always seems to be the way. Anyway, I finally got to see Avengers Assemble: Age of Ultron, a really good film I thought and if you haven’t seen it, you really must go and catch. One thing you should do is stay right to the end of the credits.

It wasnt just the main film. The trailers included Mad Max, Ant-Man, and some others. It seems that I am likely to be making several visits to the cinema over the next few weeks and more than likely the next few months. Ah well, why not. I’ve still got the Spooks:The Greater Good film to catch. I so have to go see that at the cinema. It would have been good to see another series, but I wonder if they might make another couple of films. I could deal with that as an alternative.

Managed to finally complete season three of House of Cards. A fantastic series based on the Michael Dobbs books.Whilst the original series evolved around the three books: The House of Cards, To Play the King and The Final Cut, the American set version takes the original series and expands it into the American political scene and under the same title. In the US version you see a character called Frank Underwood, portrayed by the fantastic Kevin Spacey, who after being looked over for a government role, aims with his wife Clare, to plot revenge and god forbid if anything gets in his way. In the UK version it featured the brilliant Ian Richardson as the infamous Francis Urquhart, one of the most scheming and underhanded characters to appear on tv. I also intend to buy the books as I imagine there will be much more to the character of Francis Urquhart. A fourth series of House of Cards has been commissioned and will be aired in 2016, which is the presidential election year, something to spice up the political tastebuds I feel.

It was birthday weekend as my sister celebrated her birthday on one day and a good friend of mine on the Sunday.If there is one thing that a visit to my sisters will bring, it is the endless bound of energy of my fantastic niece and nephew. Peter Pan and Captain Hook were the order of the day as they jumped, screamed and pretended to be in Neverland. It’s certainly never a dull moment with those two around.

Sunday was a visit to my good friend Gemma, who was celebrating her birthday, Much tea, cake (both purchased and made by the excellent Sasha) and laughs were to be had. The delightful young Misty being the entertainment for part of the  afternoon.

Visits to banks don’t always bring good results but apart from almost leaving my card in the bank, my trip was a fruitful one. Safe to say that it means I will finally be able to say good riddance to Vanquis, you wont be missed.

After much thought, well two minutes chatting to an online customer advisor, I decided to stay with o2. It was back to the good old sim only deal, this time  a minimum of twelve months. For £18, I would get 4 gb of 4g data, unlimited texts and calls plus a £4 loyalty credit thrown in for good measure. I also opted to change my number, I had become fed up with the regular blocking of PPI/write off your debts/you were involved in an accident so you maybe entitled to compensation. Peace at last you say, oh sodding no. Within three hours of changing my number, I get one of those bloody automated calls. The bastards get you because its unknown number, but you can’t leave it unless its someone trying to get hold of you from an internal line. Thankfully that has been the only one so far and I hope that stays the way for quite a long time.

The mental health battle continues and a review on the week just gone has seen my medication increased and referred for one to one counselling. I hope that this will keep the good ship full steam ahead.

My good friend David Stone is doing his bit for Thanet’s local coffee shops and eating establishments, not necessarily for that reason, but one of Davey’s ideas is for readers of his blog and others, to search for a lucky artefact attached to underneath a table. I imagine this will bring many a person sitting and feeling underneath the table or to the unsuspected soul. a rather uncomfortable look. For more information along with other wonderful and entertaining posts, go to www,blokecalleddave.co.uk

One final thing is down at Bernie’s Chocolate Bar Margate High Street, lovers of photography and those who like a good hot chocolate, can find Andrew Steven’s first photographic exhibition. It is on until 9th June so there is plenty of time to get down and have a look and enjoy what Bernie’s Chocolate Bar has to offer.

Films, books and a little bit of musings

Today’s blog post is a mix of different things. Film, books, and general musings. Well i wouldn’t have musings in the blog name if there wasnt musing…..

So films and cinema. Well now we’ve got past 50 Shades of Grey and all that, the rest of the year looks strong for the fans of action, spy, fantasy and horror movies. The month of April kicks off with a bang. Fast and Furious 7 hits the big screen. The seventh installment that never looked like being finished due to the tragic death of Paul Walker, but with the use of his brothers standing in together with CGI, the action movie was completed and no doubt a perfect tribute to the talent who left us so tragically early.

The Woman in Gold features Dame Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds in a film based on the true story of Maria Altmann. Maria Altman (played by Helen Mirren) was an elderly holocaust survivor who with her young lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds) fought the government of Austria to reclaim a painting of her aunt that was confiscated by the Nazis.

John Wick is an action film that features Keanu Reeves in the lead role as a former hitman who looks to get revenge for the death for the death of his dog Daisy, a gift given to him posthumously by his deceased wife to help him cope as Russian criminals take his car. The film also features Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane in what looks to be a great action film with Reeves on top form.

April closes with an appearance of a Marvel film. The one that many have been excited over as Avengers:Age of Ultron finally hits UK cinema. The film sees a post S.H.I.E.L.D scenario and an attempt to bridge peace by Tony Stark, which doesn’t turn out well and relies upon the Avengers to sort out the mess of Ultron hellbent on destroying humanity.

Not forgetting the Re release of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner:The Final Cut which will please fans of the cult film featuring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer. Some films deserve to be seen on the big screen and that is one of them. It will also hopefully open it up to a whole new audience who may never have seen the movie.

May is personally one that I am looking forward to. On May 8th, Spooks:The Greater Good is released in the cinema. Having been a fan of the tv series, I had hoped but never expected more Spooks related releases but I was glad to read that a film was being made. The story sees Harry Pearce resign following the escape of a major terrorist and the film follows the investigation and attempt to prevent an imminent attack on London. It is one I look forward to going to see in just over a months time. Fans of Matthew McFadyen, who played Tom in the series, will have to watch the film to see if he makes an appearance in the movie as so far there is no news on an appearance from the star.

Tom Hardy fans have the release of the fourth Mad Max installment to look forward to. Mad Max: Fury Road is the first Mad Max film in thirty years. I have yet to watch all of the previous threes…Some comments will be coming my way from certain people no doubt ha ha.

June looks a scorcher of a month for movies. Comedy movie Spy opens up the month followed by the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park saga. Jurassic World which has been over a decade in the making, sees dinosaurs back on the big screen and causing mayhem once again. Jurassic World is set in the park that John Hammond had hoped for back in Jurassic Park.

Arnie is back as Terminator:Genysis is released in the cinema. This is the fifth film of the Terminator Series but by all accounts a retconned sequel. Whilst I look forward to the film, having seen the trailer, it does remind me of Terminator Two, but will have to wait and see how the film pans out. Then of course its the film many of us have been looking forward to, its banana time and the movie Minions finally hits the screen in their own big movie.

Cinema goes old school in August as Guy Ritchie brings Man From U.N.C.L.E to the big screen. Ritchie has kept it set in the time it was done compared to the recent ways of setting things in the modern era. Originally set to feature Tom Cruise, the film sees Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer take the roles that were made famous by Robert Vaughn (recently of The Hustle) and David McCallum (NCIS).

October sees a horror release from Guillermo Del Toro in the form of Crimson Peak. Set in Cumbria in the 19th century it features Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. Described as a gothic horror. It looks to be a dark and bloody horror film.

Then of course late October, Bond is back in his latest outing title Spectre. It seems an age since Skyfall, but having seen the trailer, Im quite excited for the new Bond film. I hope though the theme song for the movie is a bit more easy to listen to than Adele’s Skyfall track.

Then just in time for Christmas, the arrival of the latest Star Wars outing. Episode VII: The Force awakens. When Disney acquired the rights to the Franchise, I initially hesitated at the idea, but then when JJ Abrams was getting involved, all was good and the teaser trailer looked good. Rumours that the release date was being brought forward to a summer release have yet to be confirmed.

The other day I bought The Colour of Magic. The first of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. It has been a long time since I read the Discworld novels. Hooked on the wit and wisdom writing of the fantasy writer. My introduction to the Discworld series was through my good friend David Stone, more commonly known in his writing capacity as David Grimstone during our days at school. You can check his work at blokecalleddave.wordpress.com. My Discworld collection is slightly lacking as I have concentrated on other things. It’s also down to having space. I don’t have enough space. I personally would love to have my own massive library to hold the books I have (there are many I still have to get).

A while back I added some crime novels to my kindle. I was trying to get a feel of how to write one as I had one that I started writing. The first one was 48 Hours: A City of London Thriller, by an author named. J Jackson Bentley. Some of it may have been a bit far-fetched and maybe not wholly accurate to how things are done, but it had me hooked from beginning to end. The story involves a man being threatened with death if he doesn’t pay £250,000 within 48 hours. The story follows twists and turns and just when you think you have it sussed, something else happens. It is still free as I write so if you have a kindle, looking for a crime novel and something for free, you wont go wrong in adding this to your collection.

I came across another one called A Reason To Kill by Michael Kerr. It’s the first book of the DCI Matt Barnes series. It’s about a Detective whose job seems to be his life and in this first one, he finds himself trying to bring down a Mafia group in London. It had me gripped all the way through. Afterwards I had sent the author a message saying how good it was and discussed the story I was trying to write. I cheekily sent him what I had written so far and he came back with some positive feedback. It is a plan to rewrite it and hopefully it will progress further from there.

My mobile phone contract is up at the end of May and I have been pondering where to go next or what to do next. There have been many factors recently that have lead me to look towards giffgaff. It runs off the o2 network but the tariffs or goodybags represent better value for what I have now. It would mean no new phone although there are other options that giffgaff do in new phones. If I was to get a new phone it would be the Iphone 5S. Ive still time to think about it as I look around the options, which were first going to the o2 Simplicity sim only deal. A shiny new phone would be nice but Giff Gaff means saving money and I guess I could buy a new sim free handset later on at some point.

Last night housemate Peter, decided to find the worst film to watch on Netflix, his choice was Batman:The Movie. This was the 1966 version featuring Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and Lee Merriweather. It was based on the tv series and comes at the end of the first series. It’s not until you watch it that you realise how far it is from the Tim Burton offerings which saw Jack Nicholson play the Joker. If there seems a huge distance between the 66 version of Batman and the Tim Burton version, then there would seem to be light years from between the Adam West and Christian Bale Batman which also saw the late Heath Ledger’s epic performance as The Joker. I hadn’t watched it in years, but Im not sure I could stomach it again for many years to come.

I will though settle back into watching Season Three of The House of Cards. Initially I was never sure about it having seen the original UK version featuring the late Ian Richardson as the infamous Francis Urquhart. I gave it a go though and thoroughly enjoyed it. The elements of the original story were there along with the infamous quote, but with the American political system being different to the UK system, it enabled the story to be enlarged and taken in different directions. It will be interesting to see where it goes from Season Three and whether that is it, or whether a fourth season will bring closure on what is a great televisual feast. It is a book that I also must acquire and read together with To Play The King and The Final Cut. Ive still to start on Game of Thrones, I guess that will be my next viewing as I start from the first season.

Films for the big screen

The other day my cousin Jamie,  posted a link on facebook, nope not one of the pointless annoying links that fill up the timelines. This guy shared a link to a trailer of a film, not any film, a cult film. The film was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I have to admit that I haven’t seen this film all the way through, mostly because of having the time and being in the right mood, but now though with the new trailer and the release into the cinema again, what better way to correct that error.

For many people it will be the case of havent seen it or have only seen it on the tv. I believe that this film, first released in 1968, deserves to be seen and appreciated at the cinema for all its glory. There are films that are released into the cinema that you can happily wait until the dvd/blu-ray release is out and then there are films that whilst enjoyed on the tv, need to be watched on the big screen. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a big screen must see. I guess to appreciate the whole experience, it needs to be on the big screen. I will of course have this privilege in December when I go and watch it in December with my good friend Debz.

Of course it isnt the only film that needed to be seen on the big screen to be appreciated. Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings Trilogy is very much one of those. I will forever love those films and whilst I enjoy them on the small screen there is nothing better than the big screen experience. Gandalf and the Balrog battle at the Bridge of Khazad-dum where the bridge collapses and both hurtle downwards. Thrilling as it is watching on the dvd, it was something special at the cinema on the big screen. The Star Wars Trilogy another group of films. Not because of the scrolling introduction, but the opening scene of Star Wars: A New Hope is ultimately a scene that needs to be apprectiated on the big screen.

Something that Jamie would no doubt agree with a couple more movies, still in the Sci Fi genre to be enjoyed on the big screen and they are Alien and Aliens. The nature of the films with the tense and psychological moments are well suited to the big screen. Given that the sequel features a fair amount low light scenes, watching it in the dark on a big screen and great sound is enough to make it more gripping and more effective at the cinema.

One film that is yet to come out but hopefully will be better than the first two films is the the final installment of the Hobbit series. The Battle of The Five Armies. Ive watched the first two and have been somewhat disappointing. Im therefore hoping that the final hobbit instalment goes out in style. If it doesn’t then it could be Peter Jackson’s lesser fine moment.