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Monday, 1 July 2013

Chapter 16 (Part 1) - A story about epic films and an album to avoid

Hello friends! And welcome to the first part of Chapter 16! You might ask why this chapter is split into halves (and that would be a very good question) and I’ll get to the answer…. But let me start by apologising to you all - because I have no idea why I said at the end of the last chapter that I would be back in a week. I clearly wasn’t thinking as I knew full well that the weeks in-between these chapters would be fairly mental. But what have I been so busy doing you may ask? What have I been doing that has meant that I haven’t been able to ramble for the best part of 3 weeks? Well the answer is loads! And that explains why the chapter is split. I want to tell you about everything and to bring you up to date – but I don’t want to write something that will take you ages and ages to read…so I’m tackling your questions in this part and in the next part I’ll tell you all about our holiday, weddings, birthdays, gardens, suits and tactical dumps (or TD’s) So…here we go….

What has been your favourite blockbuster so far this year?
I’m guessing that After Earth will soon be propping up a number of “worst film of the year” awards, and normally I don’t pay that much attention to reviews – but this time around I did and avoided After Earth like I would normally avoid salad (by running the other way…very quickly). From speaking to people that have watched it – I consider it a bullet dodged. But the question was about the best blockbuster so far. And I think that to date that I’ve seen 4 - and in viewing order they are:

Iron Man 3
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Fast and Furious 6
Man of Steel

The first thing to say – is that unlike other summers loaded with blockbusters (and their inevitable disappointments) to some degree I have enjoyed all 4 films. I love comic books anyway and whilst Iron Man and Superman are two of my least favourite comic book characters – I have to say that both roles (and films overall) are superbly cast. Iron Man 3 was funny, loaded with action and pumped full of references to other characters and to the Avengers. Whilst it didn’t stick that closely to the storyline of the graphic novel (Extremis – possibly the greatest Iron Man story), its storyline was still great and it was a really enjoyable film – especially when you see Iron Man and Tony Stark at their most vulnerable.
Man of Steel on the other was simply epic in it’s storytelling and a complete contrast to Iron Man. Iron Man has countless moments of humour, whereas Man of Steel at times had moments of real darkness closely followed by flickers of hope. It’s certainly not a flawless film – there is a start and an end but only about 10 minutes in the middle which means that unfortunately character development suffers – and this is most evident in the later scenes between Superman and Lois where relationship stages seem to have jumped. It looks amazing but more than anything else my favourite thing about the film was the way that the origin story flicked between early life and present day. There are films that simply have to be seen at the cinema to help you grasp the scale of them. Man of Steel is one of those films.
Make no mistake about it, on watching the first Fast and Furious film if you had told me that there was going to be 6 (the 7th is already in development) I’d have been shocked to say the least (I would probably have laughed in your face). But Fast and Furious 6 is really good fun. It will not win any Oscars (or any other serious film award) and the amount of times Paul Walker says “Yeah!” gets frustrating but on the whole Fast and Furious 6 is just great entertainment – and let’s be honest – you go to the cinema to be entertained. And it did just that. I wasn’t expecting it – but I really enjoyed it. 
Star Trek: Into Darkness could well have suffered from 2nd film syndrome (there are a number of examples that buck the trend…but in general 2nd films are worse than the originals). The original rebooted film did so well and to such wide acclaim that JJ Abrams took on an almighty task when he made the sequel. But what a film he created.
Cumberbatch is phenomenal as a character that until the last few minutes you cannot tell whether he is right or wrong or if he is good or bad or even if you like him or not. And the rest of the cast are great as well (even if a scene from Alice Eve is a bit pointless). It looks great, makes you laugh at points, entertains and doesn’t feel as long as it is. One of the only criticisms I have though is that the twist at the end is very predictable – but by that point you are so drawn into the story that it doesn’t make that much difference. It will be interesting to see though how the films continue without Abrams at the helm (he's in charge of Star Wars now). But order: 

  1. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  2. Fast & Furious 6 (Yeah – I know)
  3. Iron Man 3
  4. Man of Steel
What albums have you been listening to?
Bastille – Bad Blood
Kodaline – In a Perfect World

Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Taking Back Sunday – Taking Back Sunday
Rend Collective Experiment – Campfire
Hillsong United – Zion
Worship Central – Let It Be Known

And the award for the most uninspiring album of the last few months goes to:
Paramore - Paramore
It's bland, lacks any of the depth of previous releases and is actually quite unoriginal. Very disappointing.

Incidentally – if you are on the lookout for some new music…check this out from my pal Tom Lynam

What is the worst date you have been on?
There could be any number of events to choose from here - but the one I'll tell you about took place 14 years ago (I was 15). There was a girl that I had been wanting to go out with for ages. The feeling was mutual (you'll be pleased to know) but thanks to secondary school two-week long relationships (you all must remember them), neither of us had been single at the same time...until a day in March 1999. I asked her out. She said yes. I set up the master date plan. It was going to be an amazing evening and she would think that I was amazing and fall instantly in love with me and we would live happily ever after and I would fulfil my (then dream) of becoming the new Jon Bon Jovi. Unfortunately though.........all did not go according to plan.
I took her to the cinema and that part went well (you'll be pleased to know). I even did the really unsubtle yawning / moving arm around her thing. The film finished (it was rubbish but that didn't matter) and we left the cinema to go on to the next part of the date. I was taking her to TGI Friday's - which (and I'm sure that you'll agree with me here)....for a 15 ear old boy was pretty classy. 
So picture the scene. We left the cinema together. It was dusk. The weather was perfect. TGI's was just a few moments walk away but i wanted to make those precious moments count. So i took her hand in mine and did the looking into her eyes thing that all women like as we were walking along. Unfortunately i probably should have paid a little bit more attention to where i was going as i walked (at full pelt) straight into a lamppost.

BANG!!! (went my head on collision). And for a all went dark.

A minute or so later I came around. I was on the floor and a few people had assembled around me. Missing though from this group of people however was my date. As i started to look around    though I saw her in the distance....walking away. And that was the last time I saw her until.........well that's another story. And no...I won t be revealing who the person is.... 

10 Resolutions will be back later this week with the 2nd part of Chapter 16. If you want to ask a question though please do so in the comments below, by email or by utilising the twitter.

God Bless

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