Don’t Push Me Around

Hidden away in the middle of the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon, there is a world of butterflies. Butterfly17-2For a reasonable entrance fee you get to see a large array of butterflies flying around and landing you and have a mini sauna all in one. Butterfly17-51There are other other areas showing the life cycle of the butterfly along with other insects, spiders, snakes and not forgetting the ants that busily match over head on suspended ropes. Butterfly17-25Well worth an hour or so visiting, with or without your children.

Now I come to the negative, why’o’why do people insist on taking their “buggies”, pushchairpushchairs and child sized 4×4’s into these places. It never ceases to amaze me. Other than the fact the the bloody things are bigger than the narrow walkways, they think that they always have the right of way, pushing through no matter what. What has changed, my wife and I have had children, we had pushchairs, but we never took them in places like this, nor did we use them as a battering ram to force our way through. The same was true whilst walking around Stratford, very busy streets to which you are constantly confronted with an oncoming pushchair, that momentary stand off until the gentleman in me lets them pass. Have good manners gone like so many other disposable things nowadays. Is it the modern way just to be rude or is it nothing more than ignorance?

Hacksaw Ridge: Review

Hacksaw Ridge

To be honest, with the words “True Story” and “about a Conscientious Objector”, I didn’t hold much hope of me watching it all the way through. The story starts a little slow as we get to understand the circumstances of why Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) decides not to pick up a gun when he enlists in the army. He has a rough ride through his basic training with hopes of becoming a medic. Then the action really starts with dramatic scenes of warfare in a bloody battle where our hero comes into his own. Trust me, you will stick it through to the end.

4 Stars

The Nice Guys: Review

niceguysSet in the 70’s, Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling) are forced together to investigate a missing girl. They stumble about gaining leads on a conspiracy connected to the death of a porn star. I almost pasted by this film, but I’m glad I gave it a view. Both Gosling and Crowe work together well giving the film, although dark in subject matter, a light humours feel. Add to this the retro music backdrop and bad hairdos and it was very enjoyable to watch.

4 Stars

Surprise!! Honey G was fake

honey-gHaving just been to another open mic night where we watched and listened to a mixture of unknown talent. Over four hours of pure enjoyment as Sid, the venue’s host, took us from one act to the next. Each act belted out their choice of four titles. The audience made a few suggestions of their own which were sometimes granted. My mind couldn’t help thinking about the night before, where[clash] whilst putting on my shoes to go out in front of the TV, which was still on warming the room with no-one really watching it, Dermot O’Leary (who I’d like to ask “why does he choose to stick with such a poor program?”) announced the next act as “Honey G” and would she (or he, not too sure) have what it takes to get to the semi-finals? The music started, then this “artist” started to sing/rap. My ears were immediately repulsed. There is something bitterly wrong when someone without any talent gets so far in any show to almost reach the semi-finals. Has she/he no friends that could have taken her/him to one side and explain that she/he couldn’t sing? I aired my view to my wife who explained that it was the public that votes for them to get this far. WHAT? REALLY? So let me get this right! There are people out there that have picked up a phone, texted or rang a number to KEEP this talentless bundle in as a joke? They’ve paid out hard earned money to BT and their mobile network supplier just to keep her/him in? I’m struggling with this. Why would you want to do it? Is it because you think you’re messing with the out come? I can’t and won’t believe that it’s because you really think she/he has got talent.  Well whatever the outcome on the show, Mr Cowell and his fellow assassins on talent, have  it covered all ways. They and BT get revenue in one form or another from your calls/texts, and as long as you keep watching, they’ll keep turning out this excuse for entertainment adding to their personal fortunes. And by-the-way, rumour has it, that Honey G was just created solely for the show to add entertainment. Wow what a surprise it’s all fixed.

Suicide Squad: Review

suicide-squad

The US government assemble a task force from a selection of expendable super villains.

Their first mission is to “save the world”. Once they realize that they are on a suicide mission, they decide to take things into their own hands as they face the oncoming apocalypse.

There’s the plot and it doesn’t take too many brain cells to work out the ending, and an ending which didn’t come soon enough for me.

A patchy, disorganized, poorly acted 123 minutes. I felt sorry for Will Smith, who played Floyd“Deadshot”Lawton, the inadequate dialogue failed to add any enrichment to his character. There was a few fleeting moments from Margot Robbie who played Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel / “Harley Quinn” but I’m struggling to give any examples that don’t have any reference to her clothing or the lack of it. Then we have Jared Leto, well how cheap and tacky can you go? Why on earth he was trying to do a very inadequate impression of Jim Carrey as he thought he might act as “The Joker” rather that “The Riddler”, I do not know. I hated every scene with this tacky impostor. Once again the Warner Bros./DC combo have failed. This is NOT on my Christmas list of Blu-rays.1-5 Stars

Legend: Review

Legend

Another look at the Kray Twins and how they became a legend. It depicts the rise of the notorious gangsters who during the 1950’s and 60’s gained control over crime in London. Through his writing and direction Brian Helgeland shows the torment between the brothers as Ronnie became more and more mentally unstable, while Reggie attempts to control him and their growing business. The twins are pursued by Detective Superintendent Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read, determined to bring their downfall.
The brothers are played by Tom Hardy, who does an outstanding job in making both brothers different and believable. Supporting roles are from Christopher Eccleston as DS Read and Emily Browing as Frances Shea (Reggies love interest). After watching this adaptation of the well documented of the crime duo, I couldn’t help feel that there was something missing. Not one that I’d sit through again and not I fear worth buying the DVD. 2-5 Stars

The Demise of the British Sitcom – nothing to laugh about

ComedyBannerWhat has happened to British comedy? Scanning through the TV channels it’s difficult to find any form of sitcom that is actually funny. The idea of comedy is a scenario or situation to have a surprise twist at the end, making it funny. However most comedy written today relies on shock tactics that are vulgar or tasteless.
Granted after you’ve seen the 412th episode of Last of the Sumer Wine, the comical twist has become tired. And yes it does therefore need a new approach. But nowadays this new approach evolves blatant swearing or crude sexual visuals to bolster the already obvious outcome of the gag.

When I think back over past sitcoms with the likes of, Are You Being Served, Blackadder, Bread, Butterflies, Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Last of the Summer Wine, One Foot in the Grave, Only Fools And Horses, Open All Hours, Porridge, Rising Damp,  Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Steptoe & Son, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Good Life, The Likely Lads, The Royale Family, and even ‘Allo ‘ Allo!, Red Dwarf, The Office, Men Behaving Badly with their slightly riskier overtones, all these delivered the punch line with a subtleness that is sadly missing from today’s sitcom.
Have we as a race of people become so obsessed with fast foods, fast cars and fast Internet (unless your with BT), that we’ve lost the ability to make the fine distinctions between humour and poor taste.

Southpaw: Review

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Firstly, I’m not the greatest fan of boxing, however numerous people told me that Southpaw was good to watch, even my daughter, so watch it I did. The story line isn’t exceptional, it simply follows the rise and fall of a light-heavyweight boxer Billy Hope played by Jake Gyllenhaal. But you get a good sense of feeling as the tragedy unfolds, watching how it affects him and his family as he tries to piece his life back together after he is found unfit to box. After hitting rock bottom he turns for help from an old boxing trainer Titus Wills played by Forest Whitaker. There is a small part played by 50 Cent (Go back to the music day job) and some very emotional scenes by Oona Laurence who plays Billy’s daughter. The film is 123 minutes long but with the aid of some good acting and well shot fight scenes you are kept entertained until the end. As I said at the start, I’m no boxing fan but this is well worth the watch and could be one for the DVD collection. 4 Stars

Grimsby: Review

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Okay, lets start with the story-line, Nobby, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is a football hooligan from Grimsby. Nobby has spent years looking for his brother Sebastain, played by Mark Strong (totally wasted in this film) who is a MI6 assassin.  Finally finding him whilst he is in the middle of terrorist attack. Right, that’s the plot now the critique. There is some attempt at humor as they try to build on some of  the cliché stereotypical northern gags. Then it slides into depravity with smut, base vile shock tactics in an effort to be comical, some of which border on pornographic. This bad taste then continues throughout the film, it’s not clever, funny, nor entertaining. I am sooooooo glad that I borrowed this DVD and didn’t waste my hard earned cash  on this utter rubbish.  I’m no snob, but have we lost the ability to write humor?  Not one for anyone’s DVD collection. (They brought this garbage out on Blu-ray – WHY!!) 1-5 Stars