Tag Archives: cigarettes

My friend Alex came over yesterday. We watched Blade. Alex had never seen it.

What makes a film timeless and what makes it of its time? Last night while watching Blade I noticed that it felt a bit dated. It was very much A 90’s film ( a fact that I IMDBed. Maybe I should try and get that into the urban dictionary.”I wanted to know what other films Kris Kristofferson had been in so I IMDBed it.” By the way he hasn’t been in as many films as you think, check it out. Oops, digression).
So what makes a film of its time and what makes it timeless?

1) A film set in a certain time that is filmed at the time. Some films are set in the fifties and filmed in the 80’s. This seems to work as there is an effort to make the film authentic to the era. Blade was filmed in the 90’s and really feels like it. The clothes, the back drop the 90’s ness of it. I also think its one of those had to see it at the time films. If you saw it at the time you don’t notice the fact that it’s dated. Prime examples of this are a) The Goonies b) Ferris Buellers Day off and c) Mall Rats.
Some films can escape this trap but not many.

2) Sayings and phrases. As if! Cha-Ching! Bonus! Granted most of these are 90’s slang but that’s my comfort zone. It’s funny when you watch stuff back and have that ‘I used to say that all the time’ feeling. You can also tell the language is of it’s time when the older generation start using it 10 or 20 years later. My parents tell me they are having a chill out day quite often. I can’t remember the last time I put the out at the end of chill. What I also find amusing is that the current generation of kids laugh at me for my miss use of current slang (innit fam).

3) Technology. Will anyone watch the social network in 20 years time? Will any 20 year old even know what it is about? My 2 year old will never know a world without the Internet or the global domination of fruit named companies such as Apple and Blackberry. Give me an example I hear you shout. Fine, no need for that tone.

The Net
Angela Bennett’s a software engineer type who works from home and has few friends outside of cyberspace. Taking her first vacation in years she becomes embroiled in a web of computer espionage.

I just IMDBed that.

It’s not just that though, it’s the fact that they put a cassette tape in the tape deck in ‘White Men Can’t Jump’. A kid in my class found a tape in the stock room the other day and asked me what it was.

4) Special effects. Just go look at ‘The Last Starfighter’ and ‘Flight of the Navigator’.

Alex enjoyed the film by the way. I think it was more in a cheesy 90’s nostalgia way though.

All pictures in the blog today are from IMDB. I IMDBed them all.

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The future is coming!

As a teacher I get to impart my knowledge to the children in my class. Yes I do have to follow the national curriculum and yes most of the time it’s about being 2 steps ahead of the kids with your subject knowledge. At the moment we are looking at films and the composition, lighting, mood, language and so on. It made me realise how much I love films and how passionate I get when talking about them. It’s as if I am actually in the film when I watch a good one. It also means that I retain a great deal of useless information. One of my favourite knowledge banks is that of future dates in sci-fi films. Here are some of my top ones.

22nd of December, 2012. Fox Mulder uncovered a plot for alien colonisation of Earth. In one of the last episodes of the show the deep throat cigarette smoking dude fills in Fox on the “End Game” plans by the military. This prediction was made in 2002. Unfortunately we have all seen our last Christmas in the comfort of our own homes people, that’s why I’m having presents early this year and running up a huge credit card bill.


21st of October, 2015. Back to the Future, Part 2. Three years till hover boards! This has its inclusion because of the alternate time line in the film. If an idiot like Biff can run a global empire then imagine if someone with brains got their hands on a DeLorean and a sports almanac from the future. Fistfights, chase scenes and teeny tiny pizzas that you can rehydrate? Bring it on.


Sometime in November, 2019. The replicants are coming! The humanoid clones return to Earth on a stolen spaceship, hell bent on killing the evil suits at the Tyrrell Corporation. Ex cop Rick Deckard is the “Blade Runner” who is sent to chase them down. I think if I was sent off-world to do some of the crappy jobs I’d also be a little upset. Prediction made in 1982 and any other time the director/media company needed an extra few quid and released another version.


Sometime in 2022. The secret is in the sauce. Earth has run out of natural foods and is overpopulated. Step in Soylent, a company with all the answers. Detective Robert Thorn nearly ends up as lunch when he discovers the truth about what goes into making “Soylent Green” when investigating a murder. It’s still got to be better than a pot noodle. Prediction made in 1973.


3rd of August, 2032. Getting sent to the cooler takes on a whole new meaning. Simon Phoenix and John Spartan, the “Demolition Man”, duke it out in the futuristic land of San Angeles. Phoenix escapes and Spartan is unfrozen and tasked with bringing him down. My main concern about this is the fact that they don’t seem to have toilet paper, that and sex is a non contact sport. Prediction made in 1993.

5th of April, 2063. To boldly go… Captain Picard and crew fight off the Borg infestation aboard the Enterprise so that “First Contact” can go off without a hitch. The meeting between Zefram Cochrane and the Vulcans is the backdrop for an epic battle against assimilation by the Borg, who attempt to set up a sub space beacon directing the past Borg to Earth. It’s a prediction made in the present about a future star ship going back in time to our future. Confused? Prediction made in 1996.

2 extra come from two very different sub groups of sci-fi. I have left them out of the main list partly because they won’t concern the inhabitants of Earth directly and partly because they are sooooo far away. The first is 18th August 2158, the day the Na’vi protect their home world and fight off that hard ass army dude. The second is May 2511. Malcolm Reynolds makes his last stand in the Battle of Serenity Valley. If you haven’t seen Firefly (or the spin off movie Serenity) then you must. It’s a cult thing these days but you won’t be disappointed.

Please let me know of any other disasters or important moments I’ve missed (or might miss).

Enjoy your weekend, it could be one of the last we have on this planet.

Feel free to leave a comment, your email address won’t be used for any sinister plot. Alternatively you can cut and past the URL into your Facebook status or twitter to share it. That is all.

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Footballing reasons

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Not only has my wife become a football widow but I have also neglected my blogging duties. Welcome to Euro 2012.

There is something compulsive about it. Something that makes you watch competitive games between countries you can’t even find on a map. Games that scream of tedium and are special only in how amazingly average they seem to be. Countries I wouldn’t go and see play live if they were holding a game at the end of the road.

Competitive football tournements though makes these countries interesting. Not only do I neglect my family when games are on, I also become obsessed with stats, analysis, team selection and highlights. It’s all encompassing.

It becomes even more so when England are playing. It’s the knot in your stomach when the opposition is on the edge of your 18 yard box, the hope when a player, someone you have just berated, runs at the other teams goal. The elation of the goal, the crushing defeat of the equaliser, the shouts and swearing at the TV as if the players can hear you.

So a short blog this week. Can’t help it, football is on.

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Ugly Kid Joe: The Comeback Gig

Ugly Kid Joe are back! And they are fantastic. From the chugging chords of Neighbor, to the acoustic version of Cats in the Cradle and the inevitable encore of Everything About You, it was as if they had never been away.

Before they could take the stage, the support act of Fozzy attempted to get the crowd going. They were not great. The crowd sung along when directed to and waved their hands with the lead singer. I think this was mainly because of his size of the lead singer and the fact the he was (and still is I suppose) American wrestler Chris Jericho. Big? yep. Scary? yep. Camp? Very much so. They came on and left with a meh, then it was time for UKJ.

They opened with the shout along classic VIP and the crowd responded as expected. The crowd itself was a real mix of people of all ages. I was surprised to see some people there under 20, not surprised to see lots more 30 somethings and happy to see the old rockers with the obligatory Stones and Pink Floyd t’s on. As the set progressed it became clear that they had practiced for this gig. They were tight, enthusiastic, humble and seemed to enjoy (unlike most other bands who have not had a fifteen year break between gigs) playing the old stuff.

The new stuff was good also. The only song that stuck out was Another Beer and only because it was played acoustically straight after Cats in the Cradle. The crowd went from shouting the lyrics as one, to complete silence. The new EP was available from the merch stall (we were informed by lead singer Whitfield Crane that they don’t have, nor need, management or a label) or can be downloaded. I must admit to downloading the greatest hits a few days before the gig. I must also admit to not buying the new EP (yet). A further admission was that of being drawn to the old school t shirts (the ones with the cartoon dude with the back to front hat on) as appose to the new ones.

I personally think that the new stuff is not standalone. In my humble opinion, as long as they keep playing the old stuff they have a money spinner. I would highly recommend going to see them, if only for that being fifteen feeling. I leave you with the set list. If you are going to see them, prepare yourself for a nostalgic treat.

Setlist:

VIP
Neighbor
God
Dialogue
Panhandlin’ Prince
Milkman’s Son
C.U.S.T
Cats in the Cradle
Another Beer
Sweet Leaf
Make Me Sick
I’m Alright
Tomorrow’s World
God Damn Devil
Everything About You

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An open letter to my neighbours

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Dear neighbours,
I have come to the conclusion that my ‘not to subtle stares’ and ‘talking very loudly on the balcony about my issues’ tactics are not getting through. I Am therefore left with no choice but to write a letter of complaint on a blog that you will never read. I believe you have it coming.

Firstly, I feel I need to inform you that the harder you slam your door has no relationship or bearing to how securely it is closed. Burglars will not be foiled by this tactic, they will not reach your door and find that it has been slam locked and so give up and look for a more considerate persons door. It will not protect you from nuclear fallout. When the dust settles and the rescue teams, in hazmat suits, come to search for survivors, they will not find you alive and well. The tabloids will not run the headline ‘Door slammers are fallout out jammers’. Force of slam + noise of door shutting = safety. No.

In addition, the cigarette butt collage on the balcony is not considered art, so please feel free to use an ashtray and not your window. If this does not change then I shall douse my balcony in petrol so that I have an early warning system and can find out who is chucking them. Yes, this may burn down our block of flats, but the upside to this is that you, being higher up, will take longer to escape. I also feel that if an investigation goes ahead, you will be the one held to account for physically starting the fire.

Finally, buzzing my door at 3 in the morning will not have the desired effect of me letting you in. It will make me swear at you through the intercom. I may also decide to get up at 6.30am just to buzz your buzzer repeatedly. I would expect you to swear at me back and accept that outcome with a smirk.

In conclusion, I feel that this letter should put a stop to all my gripes. Please find my obscure blog, read it, make the link between it and me, take it on board, change your ways and consider your neighbours. The alternative is unthinkable. I may have to speak to you in person. As a Londoner, I feel this breaks many social etiquette rules.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Thomas (flat 3)

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