Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Although I'm nowhere near achieving parity between my films seen and my films reviewed I couldn't resist a rant at War of the Worlds, which I saw three weeks ago. Slow huh? Well, I managed to let it all rip yesterday as I was writing up my review. It's the featured piece for now. Safe to say I was not the film's biggest fan. Anyway -- you can view this very easily at The Film Lair as per usual.
Additionally, the Million Dollar Baby rant (which I saw a month ago, yeah, lazy I know) is coming up shortly. I'm beginning to think everybody is seeing something in Eastwood that I'm not. Or have they been brainwashed? Hmm.. in any case, this is not as good as I was expecting, just as Mystic River wasn't. Alas, it's just another film that doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the Oscar podium in any category -- oh it has its moments, but they're so few and far between. You'll see what I mean pretty soon.
After really liking 4 out of the last 5 films seen, I've been brought back down to earth, and with a bump. I'm really itching to write my Life Aquatic review because I've got a hell of a lot to rant about there. I just hope that Melinda and Melinda has a few more redeeming qualities than these three flaw-ridden flicks. Off to watch that now.
More updates coming soon. Til' then!
Monday, July 25, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
This week, we revert to the 1998 Leading Actor category -- yes, the second time we've revisited '98. Evidently, people hate that year. Now before I continue, as you can see, I've left the remaining Oscar nominee Nick Nolte out of this, for the simple reason that I never hear him mentioned. There's always someone slagging Benigni off though, and usually it's for Norton. Nevertheless, I've seen McKellen and Hanks mentioned more often that not, so here we are. Personally, I prefer Jim Carrey's brilliance in The Truman Show to all of these, but I'm among a minority there, and he (criminally) wasn't nominated. If pushed, I'd go for Norton, but still -- tough call.
Friday, July 22, 2005
I’ve also done a couple of reviews. They’re both foreign films, and both are very good. The first (as promised) is 2046; the kind of anti-In the Mood for Love, but it’s all good. That’s the featured review for the time being. The second review is for Japanese drama ‘Nobody Knows’, which I saw about two weeks ago now, but never got around to writing my thoughts on paper. Needless to say, they’re there now for you to look at. I’d like to point out that, although they have the same grade, I did clearly prefer the latter of the two. It’s also featured in my Top 10 of ’04, since it’s been around for a while now.
All features are available to view at The Film Lair (as always), and should be very easy to locate.
More coming tomorrow.. See Ya!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
The romantic theme continued last night, as I revisited 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas, starring Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, both of which deserved Oscar Wins in my opinion. Why do people have such a problem against Cage? Sure, he may be a little unorthodox, but he is amazing at times in LLV.
A different kind of romance engulfed me with Hitch though, and its Rom Com mainstream appeal. I really liked this film very much, and one where I was not checking the time. It was over so quick -- that's definitely a good sign. Anyway, you can read a full review of Hitch here - it's the featured review this week. My DVD viewing tonight is My Summer of Love, Bafta-winner for Best British Film, about yet another kind of romance, of the lesbian variety. I'm expecting this to be good, but will post a little more on my thoughts in the next couple days.
The second review I've posted today is of The Machinist, which I saw yesterday. I hadn't been planning to watch it truthfully - a family friend just dropped it by after they'd finished with it. Anyhow, I gave it a whirl, and was disappointed, but at least I know now - and I didn't waste any money on it! Sadly, it hasn't got any romance in (although it could do with a bit of spicing up). It's just boring and pretentious, but you can read the review here. It's located at the top of the main page.
Finally, I thought I'd let you know what should be coming up in the next few days. I'm planning to write up reviews of:
- The Life Aquatic
- Million Dollar Baby
- My Summer of Love
- Nobody Knows
- War of the Worlds
Also planning to resume my weekly buzz report complete with the brand-spanking new talkometer, which will also come in helpful in analysis of the '05 Oscar predictions, which will be updated every couple of weeks from now to February.
That's it for now. Take Care.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
For those of you who don't know about the Potter collection (so that means people stuck in a timewarp from '98 through to '04), they're about a normal lad who one day finds that he's been invited to Hogwarts School of Wizardry due to his wizard descent. He's also crossed swords with an evil and devilishly powerful villain who also killed his parents, but I won't go into that. Anyway, they've basically annihilated the rest of the competition in the book world. She is a rich rich woman that J.K. Rowling.
So the sixth one (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) has just arrived on bookshelves around the world, and I got my copy today. I think I may have to have a little reflection on the fifth novel, just to recap my memory. This was two years ago remember. I've been deprived. On a note about the films, I've only seen the first one, although I will probably view the other two. In honesty, the first one was good, but you can't really bring to life the books in a way that it will satisfy all Potter fanatics. Nevertheless, they're well made.
An off-topic note: It's the final day of The Open tomorrow, so I'm not sure I'll be able to write any reviews. Perhaps in the evening. I do however have a complete review of Hitch, which I will write-up and post tomorrow. I'll tell you now that I was a little surprised about it. More tomorrow though.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
The second installment of the supposed biggest Oscar snubs starts today, but before we get into that, let's run through the results of Battle numero uno. It did go the way I anticipated unfortunately, with Blanchett's royal performance beating Gwyneth's fleety one. It was closer than I had anticipated though, with Blanchett winning a 67-33% majority. Oh well -- at least she won some ballot, hehe (had to get that one in).
So here we are, onward we bound, and so on. The next Oscar Battle is from the year of 1994, and the infamous Forrest Gump win, which was fairly unpopular amongst fans of both its closest competitors. This usually pops up frequently, in the case of both Pulp and Shawshank fans, who each feel their film was robbed. But which one was? If any of course. Gump has its fans too. Anyway, this triple threat Best Picture delight is the next Oscar battle, and will so be replaced on Saturday. You have a week of voting to be getting on with.
Let the battle commence!
Thursday, July 14, 2005
This is what I've been talking about doing for weeks, and now I've done it, opting for juice and still water as replacements for the moment, though I think that I'll eventually cut down the juice as well.
So anyway -- I've completed roughly 36 hours and already I'm getting headaches. Hmm.. not sure it can kick in that quick. Or can it? I can't remember a day before yesterday when I didn't have a glass of coke. I'm missing it so much already, but this will do my body the world of good, so I'm going to persevere.
As I stated in a previous article, coming off the caffeine will be hard, and will provide many withdrawal symptoms. In fact, I think my mood will probably deteriorate rapidly in the next week or so, so I apologise if I become a little inactive with this. I'm going to try and occupy myself with films anyway, having rented 2046 and Kinsey today. I'm also gonna try and get to the cinema sometime next week.
I've started a zero caffeine counter, which you should be able to see on the right hand side of this page. This chronicles the amount of days that I have avoided caffeine, and obviously I'm hoping it's going to continue for a while longer yet, if not forever. But I'm not gonna get too ahead of myself, I'm not the most strong-minded person and I never say never.
In this case, the glass is definitely half-empty as opposed to half-full.
The reason I mention it now, is that, after several series', the most evil villain on TV, the Prison officer Jim Fenner, who has lied, cheated, raped, killed, and squirmed his way out of more holes than Tiger Woods, was finally killed off in an episode aired last night. In one of the most gripping episodes ever, we saw six, yes SIX different attempts at his life. It was the final one which finished him off, a visually unpleasant sight but a deliciously delightful one for the hardcore Bad Girls fans, who finally saw Fenner get what was coming to him all these years.
Now comes the whodunit, was it:
- Fenner's wife, Di, who he had beaten up, ridiculed, and has a vasectomy behind her back
- The Prison Governor Neil Grayling, who, with the help of Fenner, had been suspended from his job
- A hitman hired by would-be top dog Natalie Buxton, so that she can re-gain power, and ensure a day-release so that she can escape
Or was it someone else? Tune in - Tuesdays at 9pm on ITV1
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Hebrews 4:15: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Now.. who am I to argue with the holy bible? An atheist you might say. You'd be right actually. But the world is full of christians, and they're all against me. Someone up there doesn't like me anyway. This morning, I checked my hotmail inbox and guess what I found. Yes, you've guessed it. Someone shouting "Free Coke! Free Coke! Come and get your free coke!" - or it might as well have been. It was like a hammer to the heart, a left hook that split me open. Everyone wants me to fail, wants to tempt me.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I've uploaded the Picture, Director, Actor pages, and the Actress & Supp Categories are coming tomorrow. Also gonna write up a couple movies and see a couple. I also have an update on the caffeine front, and it's not promising. I've sinned, but I did have what could prove to be a revelatory moment. I love having moments. They're very brief but can be quite impacting. Often it brings about a lot of self-loathing and pity, but these moments can change your life. Anyway, more about that tomorrow, if I have time.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Now, I've put this one first because every so often when I visit Oscar Forums, there is a post titled 'biggest oscar snubs' and this always gets mentioned before any other. If I was with Blanchett on this one, then yeah it would be fine. But I'm not. Paltrow totally 'gets' her film and is my clear favourite, so I regularly find myself defending her to the death. I think a lot of the bitterness towards Paltrow is because of the heavy Miramax campaign behind Shakespeare in Love, which propelled it over Saving Private Ryan. However, I'm inclined to believe that Paltrow's win is not a product of a marketing campaign, and that it would have been justly rewarded regardless. Because I'm always outnumbered on this, I am pretty much expecting a Blanchett landslide. Still, surprises do happen.
There are a lot of similarities to the two performances and characters. They both live in the Elizabethan period (fairly obvious in Blanchett's case), they both mingle with Joseph Fiennes, and they are both somewhat complex, even if in completely different ways. You're voting for the performance remember and not the career.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
While it is obviously a shock to wake up with 'Breaking News: London Bombs" at the bottom of the screen, I am really not surprised that such an event has occurred. It was our turn. It could probably have been much worse, especially when you look at what happened in New York and Madrid.
Naturally I give my utmost condolences to the friends and family of those seriously injured and killed. We are all thinking about the innocent victims of this sick attack.
On a personal note - I have no relatives or friends living or working in Central London, which is a personal relief to me. Being in the North East, it is less of a target, and in that way us Northerners are blessed.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
That's it for now.
Woohoo! London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, announced today at a little before 1pm BST. I'm not a Londoner but this means we get British coverage, no time delay, and lots of new stuff for the capital. Even though I live in the North, the games will be in like 7 years, when I will be umm -- abacus -- 25 years of age. Scary huh? Not as scary as the looks on the faces of the French when their Paris bid was beaten by just FOUR votes. Gutted. We're lucky France is pretty pacifist, or just in love with itself. One or the other, but that's another matter.
Is it just me or are European 'high-up' officials just naturally scary? Jacques Chirac could suck the fun out of a room full of clowns, not that clowns are fun - in fact - they're pretty damn scary themselves. Another frightening guy is London team leader 'Lord' Coe, who reminds me of an evil little goblin. Plus he's a conservative. Plus I don't like people with titles. Still, he's probably bought us the god damn thing, so congrats to him.
Anyway, contrary to everything I've said so far - the London 2012 Olympic Games promises to be very interesting, and hopefully will stir a few of our British sporting hopefuls into life, and *fingers crossed* bring us to the TOP of the medals table. OK, I may be a little ahead of myself, but I love sport, and I love it when Britain win stuff. I'm patriotic - so shoot me.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Mind you - a lot of it doesn't make sense. Like how the hell did she manage to sleep through a passing train? It's one of the noisiest things I can think of. Also, nobody seemed to have any courtesy to wake her up, people in London really aren't this rude are they? lol - I'll leave that question open, being in the North of England certainly has its benefits. Anyway. Yeah. So I'm thinking its OK but it doesn't make sense. But of course there could be some twist like it's all a dream and she's really asleep. Even though it's ludicrous the film hasn't had good reception, but no. Surely not.
Aaargh! This is the problem with faulty DVD's and such, I'm off to Blockbuster to see if I can get another copy. I'm absoloutely fuming about this.
Caffeine is an addictive drug. It operates using the same mechanisms that the amphetamines, cocaine and heroin use to stimulate your brain. Caffeine's effects are milder than amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, but it is manipulating the same channels and that is what gives caffeine its addictive qualities. If you feel like you cannot function without it and must consume it every day, then you are addicted to caffeine.
I thought I'd enlighten further on my caffeine addiction, and the problems this poses. I'm going through a recent coke paranoia, especially after seeing this referred to as 'substance abuse' by a particular website. Jesus. I can't give it up. I've tried everything -- slowly abandoning coke for cranberry juice, OK not quite everything, but damn it. I don't wanna give it up. I'm addicted.
My paranoia led me to an online quiz, titled 'Are you addicted to caffeine?'. These are the questions:
- Do you consume more than two cups of coffee, tea or cola or chocolate in a day?
- Do you feel fatigued on and off during the day?
- Do you go through massive emotional mood swings during the day?
- Do you suffer from frequent headaches?
- Do you suffer from constipation or are you dependent on tea or coffee in the morning for clearing your bowels?
- Do you suffer from acidity or heartburn?
- Do you feel a generalized pain in the neck, shoulders and back region and a sensation of discomfort in the legs, hands and stomach?
- Do you suffer from a burning sensation, fatigue and heaviness in the eyes?
- Do you have difficulty in going to sleep?
- Do you wake up in the morning feeling dead tired?
- Are you easily irritable?
- Do you suffer from irregular or rapid heartbeats?
- Do you often feel dizzy?
- Do you have high blood pressure problems apart from anxiety problems?
- Do you have ulcers?
- Do you have problems concentrating without your regular cup of coffee?
- Do your hands tremor?
- Do you feel dehydrated?
10 of them apply to me. This is the result:
If 10 to 12 of the questions have a positive answer, its time to sit up and listen to your body signals. Caffeine can cause serious damage to your health. Wean yourself of the habit slowly and steadily, preferably with the help of the dietician.
Not good. I sure as hell am not going to a dietician as a result of an online quiz, but I will need to cut down. I have to be vigilant about this... it's the only way. It's going to be tough, I know, but what needs to be done needs to be done. No point in being hesitant. I must be decisive. So this is what's to come I guess...
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild changes in mood to systemic, flu-like symptoms. The research team identified five major types of caffeine withdrawal reactions:
- headache, fatigue or drowsiness
- dysphoric mood including depression and irritability
- difficulty concentrating
- flu-like symptoms of nausea, vomiting
- muscle pain or stiffness
Wish me luck. Somebody?
Monday, July 04, 2005
Madge has clearly aged well, like a fine wine, not out of place in a Sideways ensemble maybe? Or maybe not, depending on whether you opened your eyes during Swept Away. Not good. Still, her forte clearly remains elsewhere, and I'm not talking about the world of literature.
I need to talk a bit more about my recent appreciation of the goddess that is Madonna, that included her magnificent set at Live 8. I've always liked Madonna, as I remember getting the video of The Immaculate Collection, which I used to watch over and over again. I also remember getting a cassette of Bedtime Stories when I was a bairn - makes me feel old, which is ridiculous of course.. My older sister is also a big fan, so I've had experiences of her albums in the 90's and most recently her last album American Life.
Anyway. Of late, I've been downloading (illegally shh) some of her older albums like True Blue, Like a Prayer, Like a Virgin - mainly cause of Nick at Cinemarati, saying I should give the old records a whirl. How right he was. I adore True Blue, and can't sit for an hour without having a minute or two of White Heat & Where's the Party blaring out of my speakers. What have I been doing all these years, unbeknownst to this brilliance. In nappies for the most part of the 80's yeah, but still, it's almost sinful.
Twenty years after the spectacular original, it was great to see a repeat event, and having watched the '85 version countless times on DVD, I think this one lived up to it. I'm still revelling in the whole experience, trying to download some of the sets (illegally shh), some with success.
Of course this excellent event gave me opportunity to see Madonna (I'd been counting the days), and it was totally worth it. Probably the best I've ever heard her sing, and glad she sang Like a Prayer, though a couple of the older renditions would have been even better. Alas, I'll take all I can get.
I wanna mention some other performances I loved:
- Dido & Youssou N'Dour - Seven Seconds
- U2 & Paul McCartney - Sgt. Peppers
- Joss Stone - Super Duper Love
- Razorlight - Vice
- Coldplay & Richard Ashcroft - Bittersweet Symphony
- Mariah Carey - Hero
I guess the question now though, is will it change anything?
We can only hope that Bush stops taking his cushy life for granted and wake up to what's going on in the world. Yeah, I know it might be a little unfair to just criticise Bush. There are other leaders as well. But jesus, the man has only just realised that global warming is happening never mind trying to prevent it. For a man with such power as he has, he shows no acknowledgment of any other country but the US (Oh, and Iraq of course). Come on George, try and give us something (anything) good to remember you for. The day you cease presidency will be a day when the world gets infinitely safer, and considerably wiser.
I constantly feel an urge to express my inner thoughts and occasionally go on a bit of a rant, which I rather enjoy as I haven't got a particularly explosive character (understatement of the new millenium). In fact, I can already forsee that I'm going to enjoy this... yes I'm happy.
I'm also pretty forgetful in the short-term. I do tend to ponder from time to time about meaningless and trivial issues, and soon disregard the whole thing, but it's better to display this tripe. I need a legacy, even if I do look back and think "what the hell were you doing?", it'll still have been worthwhile. At least I hope so.
It's called 'Ultimate Addict' for two main reasons:
The first is that I wanted the name to roll off the tongue. Too many titles are boring and unoriginal these days, like American Pie, American Psycho, Grease 2 (I mean what happened to "greasier" - it's certainly a more appropriate title) just to name but a sliver of the corporate cake. Plus I wanted to be clever, yes, titles are everything these days, people judge a book by its cover, not by its opening monologue. I don't long to be noticed, but I wouldn't mind some attention.
The second is that I can get a little obsessive about things for weeks/months at a time. I'm hardly commital (if that's a word), but I feel committed to The Film Lair. Maybe I've found a place I like - glued to a chair somewhere lol, seriously though, this could be the start of something (Flashback to Casblanca). I'm also quite compulsive (anyone see a pattern here? lol) - I don't ?think? I'm going down the Howard Hughes Route, at least I hope not anyway! I just like my things, like everyone does I s'pose, when I get engrossed, I find it difficult to let go.
I'm addicted to film. I have no problem about stating this. I adore it. Slightly more worryingly, I have an addiction to caffeine which borders on insanity (I drink numerous cans of coca cola a day). Yes, coke, and not coffee (which I detest), so it's killing my teeth as well as having re-percussions on my mood. When it rains it pours.
Anyway..yeah..so I've become a sharing person. I'd like to point out that I am fairly considerate anyway, but this is new territory for me. It's a milestone.
Feel free to comment.