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My Thoughts on the Passing of Bill Paxton

Howdy people of the internet, this is a blog post I didn’t expect to write any time soon. So yesterday the world was made away about the passing of Bill Paxton and there’s been a lot of condolences and beautiful thoughts shared about him from celebrities and fans alike, so I just wanted to share my own thoughts.

So after I left work yesterday evening and was waiting for some fast food I decided to check the internet for some superhero news and then I saw on Comic Book Movie and saw a headline about Bill Paxton passing away at 61 years old. Honestly I thought it was a joke, so I had to check Google straight after and it was confirmed on multiple sites and honestly I got so frigging sad. Now a number people state that getting sad about celebrities that you don’t know is silly/unnecessary, but screw it I can’t help it. Paxton is one of those actors I’ve been aware since I my childhood and while I never really knew who he was specifically until I was a teenager, he’s always been one of those guys you not only knew by face, but also knew he’d deliver a solid performance as well.

I don’t know if I saw him in Aliens or Twister first, but Twister was the film that put him on my radar, I saw that film a good few times when I was younger and as I got older whenever I watched a film with him in it, I’d be like “Hey it’s that dude from Twister, I like that guy.” It wasn’t until 204 when he made a good few appearances in films and TV that he really started to ascend in my favourite actors. And even now going through his filmography, I’ve seen him in a good number of films that I never even knew he was there, and that doesn’t mean he’s invisible, but it just shows how much work he’s done over the decades. We got films like Weird Science, Predator 2, Titanic, Might Joe Young, and even 2 Guns, a film I enjoyed at the time I forgot about his appearance there too.

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But my favourite roles were the punk dude from The Terminator, Bill Harding, the leading man from Twister, the stringer Joe Loder from Nightcrawler and one of my favourites, Master Sergeant Farell from Edge of Tomorrow. And then of course you had his appearance as John Garrett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., say what you want about the Marvel show especially in season 1 but he brought a lot of fun, humour and badassery to Hydra and the show in general.

What really stung about the news of his passing was the fact that I met him. I got to meet him at London Film & Comic-Con in July 2015 a few years ago and he was the nicest dude ever, so kind, welcoming and funny, and getting my picture taken with him was honestly one of the highlights of my life. I look forward to checking out my of his filmography, and though he’s gone he’ll never be forgotten because he was 100% badass.

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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Rant 19: When People Talk During Films

https://i2.wp.com/www.deelip.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/121.jpg Howdy people and welcome to another instalment in my blogging rants. I can’t believe that its been almost a year since the last rant, that’s mental. with all the crazy stuff I had to deal with in 2016 I’m surprised I didn’t make a few more posts last year. But nevermind, I’m back to talk about something that’s always irked me for a long time and that is people who talk during films.

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Now this may not be a big deal for people who aren’t that into films but for me and many other film lovers it’s an infuriating experience. For most people films are fun to watch alone or with friends whether you’re in the cinema or at home, but when someone starts talking away during a film you have to questions things like:

  1. Why watch a film if you’re going to talk though it?
  2. If you have questions about what you’re watching, why not let the film answer those questions?

It is mainly terrible when you’re in the cinema because it is the ultimate film-watching experience and you can be in the best mood ever while being fully immersed in a great film… But then you get some selfish asshole, or multiple assholes, whether they’re teenagers, groups of loud girls or guys, annoying couples or old people, sometimes they talk too much. Children are the worst offenders because parents either bring them in because they have no baby sitters or decide to bring them into a screening for a film rated higher than their age… But sometimes it’s not just random people that can bug you, sometimes it can be your own friends and family. On numerous occasions I’ve watched films with people I know only for them to constantly ask me questions or moan about the quality of the film and it got so tedious. My mum is the worst for that, she always asks questions and just doesn’t let things play out, she’s vocal about the notable elements of a film like a bad joke, character death or a double cross, it’s especially annoying when its a film I haven’t seen before and I miss certain details. But then there was my uncle on Christmas Day, good gravy I think he may be as bad as my mum. We watched most of The Avengers and Ant-Man and had to comment on everything from the story, to character motivations to the realism and everything else, and considering that I love those films I hate to be distracted and good god it was almost impossible, and it made me wonder how much worst he’d be like if he was in the cinema. Now I have no issue with watching film with people at all, in fact I welcome it for certain times of films like comedy, horror and superhero films, but with all that bloody jibber jabber, it makes me glad that have the option to watch films alone just to avoid the distraction of people around me. In the end people respect the film watching experience and be silent unless the film wants you to make noise, if you’re talking and not paying attention to the film just get lost.

Well that’s another rant over. Hopefully this has been somewhat insightful and if you’ve had any similar experiences please be sure to comment about it in comments below. Until the next time people, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Rant

 

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Late End of Year Review 2016

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Howdy ladies and gents, 2016 is technically over and normally at the end of the December I do my  annual END OF YEAR REVIEW, however because of timing issues, work and New Year’s Eve plans I never got around to releasing it on time. And so I’ve debated with myself over the last few days as to whether or not to write it, but after 5 years it felt wrong in my mind not to, so, even though it’s late, my review of 2016 is here now! 2016, was one heck of a year and while there was some good times here and there, it was somewhat of a surprising and melancholy year due to a lot of the events that took place. And while I can’t cover everything I’ll do my best to cover what I remembered. As with previous entries I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

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I think 2016 was a good year for games, even if I didn’t play too many of the new ones because I didn’t have the console to play them on, initially. Most of my gaming was Nintendo-based again with my 3DS and Wii U getting a lot of play time. I spent a fair amount of time trying to perfect my skills in Super Smash Bros. 4, also played a fair amount of Xenoblade Chronicles X and went back to Xenoblade Chronicles for some level grinding too, Lego Marvel Superheroes got some love and I was even able to fit some time in for Super Metroid, a game I’m not too good at but find a lot of enjoyment in when I’m in the zone. My 3DS got the most play time, I finally finished Fire Emblem: Awakening and was emotionally saddened when I finished it, kept going back to Sonic 2 3D and for a little while Fire Emblem Fates had my love attention, but just didn’t have the engagement level that Awakening did. However, once Pokémon Sun came out I was on lock down, it was easily my most addictive new game of last year, and while the wow factor wasn’t as intense as X & Y, the game was just really fun, accessible and changed so many of the core game mechanics and progression in subtle and great ways. Oh and speaking of Pokémon, Pokémon GO yeah that thing, i was on that hype for around 5 weeks and then fell off, and after the game became incompatible with my phone I was obviously gone for good, but those first 3 weeks were frigging full-on walking, catching and chilling in town at PokéStops haha. Oh and last year I got a PS4, finally. Spent a few days of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and then went straight into Final Fantasy XV, the whole reason I got my new console and during 2016 it was very different, and took time to adjust to, and while there were some issues I had with the combat, choice of buttons and game mechanics, it was hella fun and exciting, and the main four characters are some of my favourites in recent gaming memory. I’m really looking forward to gaming in 2017 especially when the Nintendo Switch drops, I need that thing to be good! 😛

Films

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For me 2016 was a solid year for films, and while there was a fair amount of disappointment with a good deal of the popular films, there were some absolute gems that popped up over the course of last year. I had a fair amount of fun in the cinema and did a bit of catching up at home as well with some of the films I didn’t watch when they were released, I also just got around to checking out some films I hadn’t seen or wanted to rewatch like Enter the Dragon, Attack the Block, Stargate and Get On Up. I luckily didn’t watch too many bad films because I was smart enough or lazy enough to stay away, though Ben-Hur, while bad, it wasn’t the worst I watched last year and in some ways I found it quite funny haha. Anyway I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual I’m only counting films released in 2016, films originally released in 2015 that got UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2016:

Top 10 Films of 2016

  1. Sing Street
  2. Captain America: Civil War
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. Rogue One
  5. Midnight Special
  6. Jungle Book
  7. Doctor Strange
  8. Zootopia
  9. Hell or High Water
  10. Green Room

Special Mentions

  • Moana
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • The Accountant
  • The Nice Guys
  • Don’t Breathe
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Arrival
  • Hunt For the Wilderpeople
  • Ben-Hur (for being unintentionally hilarious)

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2016

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
  2. Suicide Squad
  3. Independence Day Resurgence
  4. Batman V Superman
  5. X-Men: Apocalypse

Television

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TV last year was pretty filthy, I was watching a lot. From the Marvel/Netflix material with the great yet flawed second season of Daredevil and Luke Cage which had a great first half and questionable yet decent second half, but it was Stranger Things that was my favourite show of last year. It was a frigging revelation and I’ve not loved an origin TV show like that show for a long time. I also got around to finishing The Wire (which was awesome, checked out Luther and started Prison Break (better late than never). has been the most crammed one yet with me taking on multiple TV shows, new and old over the course of the year, sometimes overlapping several shows at the same time! One of the most heartbreaking experiences I had this year was seeing the end of Parks and Recreation with season 7. I also got to rewatch Fringe and relive all that awesomeness, and after around 2 years I finally finished the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh and I finally finished Hotel Babylon after all this time.

On top of that in the Fall/Autumn there was a lot of good TV with the first good season of Arrow‘s since season 2, a pretty awesome first half of season 4 of  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thanks to Ghost Rider and The Flash’s season 3 which has been good but a little lacking when compared to the previous seasons. Star Wars Rebels was a little up and down but had moments with season 3, Game of Thrones definitely delivered with season 6 when compared to last year, Atlanta was another surprisingly fun show, Preacher while a little patchy at first got better towards the latter half and The Walking Dead’s latest season hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it’d be. But Blindspot and Lucifer were the real surprises of last year, but of those second seasons were much better than expected and featured some really solid character and story material. Still need to finish Mr. Robot and Black Mirror, and finally start Westworld and Ash vs. Evil Dead.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Stranger Things (season 1)
  2. Daredevil (season 2)
  3. Game of Thrones (season 6)
  4. Mr. Robot (season 2)
  5. Arrow (season 5)
  6. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)
  7. Lucifer (season 2)
  8. Luke Cage (season 1)
  9. Blindspot (season 2)
  10. Atlanta

2017 promises a lot for the world of TV but I’m mainly hyped for Iron Fist, The Defenders, and the return of Preacher, Master of None and Stranger Things.

Music

Music this year has been surprisingly decent, I mean overall there’s been a great deal of crap that I’ve been subjected to at certain parties, gatherings and just at work on the radio and stuff, but it is surprising how many songs that have been either genuinely good or absurdly addictive.

Top 6 Songs

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
  2. SG Lewis – All Night
  3. A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…
  4. Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl
  5. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!
  6. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

My Experience

2016, to be honest hasn’t been too bad of year for myself, I’ve dealt with a lot of shit, but my troubles haven’t been as severe as previous years. I did a lot that I never got around to doing in previous years, had a lot of fun with friends and family and got to have a high school reunion 10 years after I left school in May of 2006, something I thought I’d never get to experience and it was amazing. Also like previous years I returned to the Children’s Media Conference and make new acquaintances, went back London MCM Expo October 2016 Review, attended two wonderful weddings too, and also got finally see Alien Ant Farm live and got to see Red Hot Chili Peppers again too. Another random fact, last year I worked in a total of 4 different places and hopped 3 jobs before I landed the job that I have now, and 5 months on I’m in a much better place than I was before.

In addition to that I obtained my first long-term job that lasted longer than 6 weeks and got back into drawing in a big way for the first time in a while. But the key thing that makes me smile is the fact that I’ve been able to have such great experiences with my family and friends and that’s really helped me deal with some of the regular bullshit. Blogging-wise things were fair messy/lazy and I feel like last year was the worst year I’ve had on WordPress so far, but hell I pushed on and I hope to rectify the lack of content this year. Plus my podcast, while it started out well and I got better at it, there was a lack consistency for sure, so again hopefully I’ll get things sorted this year.

But does need to be noted about all the crazy stuff that went down last year like: 1) America allowed Donald Trump to become president, I knew its happen, I just hoped that it wouldn’t. 2) The UK voted to leave the EU, I also had a feeling this would be the case but again hoped it wouldn’t happen. And 3) Celebrity deaths, holy crap last year was just pure pain for all of the notable musicians, film and TV stars that passed on last year, and while there are too many to mention, for me I’ll miss Muhammad Ali, Ron Glass, Prince, Anton Yelchin and Alan Rickman. But the one’s that hit me hardest were Phife Dawg (because of his contributions to A Tribe Called Quest which affected my life in my late teens/early twenties), David Bowie (who after college I couldn’t imagine life without his music), George Michael (who had music which was part of my childhoo), and Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (the timing was awful and Carrie’s passing made my heart sink). And while these wonderful people are no longer with us, we gotta show love and continue to celebrate their achievements, RIP peeps of 2016.

Conclusion

In conclusion 2016 wasn’t a complete waste especially on a personal level, but at the same time let’s just all agree that a lot of the bad outweighed the good and I think we’re ready for this year to be over. So goodbye 2016 and let’s hope 2017 is a better year.

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2016? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hopefully I’ll see ya in again 2016. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Television, Video Games

 

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Happy New Year To You All!

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Howdy people of the internet, HAPPY BLOODY NEW YEAR! How’s it going? Hope you all had a good transition into 2017. I had a pretty decent session myself. Last night I wasn’t sure if I even had any plans. I was working from the afternoon to the evening, and luckily a couple of friends showed up bought me a drink and we had a little chill session. Then went to a friend’s house and had some catch up time, watched three-quarters of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation before the majority voted to turn it off, we ate some food and had alcohol, missed the countdown but was able to bust out the fireworks at the start of the new year. It was pretty cold, but the fireworks were pretty and that feeling of joy that you get when you’re in good company at the start of a new year felt lovely. Then we ended up watching Jools Holland on TV, most of the performers I’d never heard of, but then there was Chaka Khan and my god she was able, it was a little jam session in the room as she sang, Chaka’s still got it and I was in love with her singing and the band’s music. The other notable performers were ABC, Gregory Porter, Christine and the Queens and Caravan Palace. I also was really surprised by the great performances from Seasick Steve, Rag’n’Bone Man and UB40 too. Overall it was some damn good TV.

As for everything that followed after I woke up has been a lot of Prison Break and buying video games in the January sales. Anyways let me know about how you got into 2017 and look forward to the updates for my blog soon. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Life

 

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My Top 7 George Michael Songs

Howdy ladies and gents, hope you’ve had a good Christmas session and if you’re still off work at the moment then I hope you’re enjoying that relaxation to the maximum. So, 2016 is almost over and with the amount of depressing, chaotic, and troublesome stuff that’s gone down this year, you’d think things would finally stop… And yet, yesterday, I hear the news that George Michael was death and I’m like “No way! You’re kidding.” And yet I look online and its confirmed by several news sites and I felt so deflated, and on Christmas Day of all days. I seriously thought at that point, “2016, seriously just fuck off.” And so I just wanted to share with my brief memories of the man and the music that affected me over the years.

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Now I’ve never been the biggest fan of George Michael, but to ignore his contributions to the world of music would be rude and unfair because the man’s talent was undeniable. I sort of grew up on the hearing the sounds of Wham! and Michael’s solo work through the 90’s to early 00’s and some of it I loved, and some of it not so much, but his music was inescapable especially if you live in the UK like I do. Before I reveal my list I want to say that I’m going to cheat a little and include both Wham! and Michael’s solo work because I couldn’t exclude the Wham! material, also while I enjoy the sounds of “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go“, “Careless Whisper“, “Faith” and “Amazing” they won’t be making the list because I enjoy the following songs a lot more.

So yeah the following songs I’ve compiled based on their replay value, dancing quality and emotional engagement. 🙂

7. Flawless (Go to the City)

This is one of those songs that I forget that George Michael worked on, and every time it dropped on the radio I was like “Oh yeah, this is a jam!” I really enjoy the upbeat/electronic nature of the song and it so different from Michael’s other song because its house sound, but it makes for an unexpectedly good sound.

6. Jesus To a Child

You know when you hear a song for the first time and it hits you? Like in that super dramatic/emotional way? That was what happened to me when I heard this song in my childhood days. The drama and sense of saddness in this song is so intense and beautiful, it is not a very happy song, but that is one the reasons I love it. Sometimes I feel like one has to listen to songs that aren’t necessarily happy just to gain some perspective, appreciate life and learn more about certain musicians. Over the course of Michael’s career this has always been one of his most notable songs.

5. The Edge of Heaven

This song represents one of the key reasons I love music from the 80’s; the sound is so charismatic, upbeat and makes you dance, it’s simply so gorgeous in its musical composition and the lyrics are easy to up and sing along to. The funny thing about this song is that I heard it a lot during my teens but never knew it by name until I looked it up today, but it’s one of those songs that whenever I heard it I got in a happy mood.

4. Fastlove

This song in the 90’s was my frigging jam, not only was the song badass, but the video was quite notable because it was always in circulation on the music channels and it was overly sexual which was a little strange/awkward to see as a child. That being said, the song was far too cool to ignore so just tried to look past the visual imagery. This song just has a delicious, sexy and funky groove, the bit towards the end with the use of Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots” is damn good too. But it’s just the words “Gotta get up to get down.” Those are words to live by and in this song they are repeated with style and conviction that its hard not to let those lyrics get inside your head.

3. As

I know this is cover of Stevie Wonder’s song, but screw it this version has my heart yo. For the longest time this was my favourite George Michael song, not because the amazing vocals from Michael and Mary J. Blige but also because of the music video. When I saw the video as kid I was amazed by the multiple versions of Michael and Blige singing, dancing, chilling, etc, it was insanity to my feeble mind but it was also the best thing ever. I adore Michael and Blige’s vocals, they blend well so well and you can hear the passion in their voices that makes it feel so much more engaging.

2. Everything She Wants

This Wham! song is one hadn’t heard until a few years ago and after I heard it was annoyed that I hadn’t come across it sooner. This is absolutely one of the Michael’s best songs, the lyrics tell a very interesting and dramatic tale about complexity of a relationship where one is giving everything and the other half just takes. It has a wonderful and emotionally engaging sound which is both thought-provoking and nice to listen to at the same time.

1. Club Tropicana

If you want a song that’s gonna make you feel good and want to dance look no further than this song. For me, this is one of the most feel-good songs in the history of existence, ever since I saw this song on TV, it’s become one of the key songs that represents good times and works especially well in the summer. My sister and I always insist that we’ll play this when we go on holiday at some point because it feels like a holiday-kind of song. I honestly love everything about this song, its great for karaoke, has a lot of catchy lyrics and the music from the horns, piano, bass guitar and so on, it is all on-point.

So even though it is sad that George Michael’s no longer with us, like the other celebrities that have passed on we just gotta keep their spirit alive and celebrate what they accomplished. RIP dude, you were awesome.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Life, Music

 

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London MCM Expo October 2016 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I am back on my blog to talk about the London MCM Expo, I missed the convention back in May but decided to give the October one a go and after my session on Saturday I just wanted to share my experience with you all. 🙂

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So for those not in the know, the London MCM Expo is pretty much the most notable UK convention for anime and manga, comic books, films  and video games held two times a year in May and October. And just like last year I attended just for the one day (mainly because I dunno if I could handle all three days), and for the most part it was a good time. And while I’m no longer wowed by a lot what happens at this convention because I’ve been attending this madness since 2008, there’s no denying that MCM is still a good time.

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Now like last year’s review I’m going to talk about what I got up to and separate this review into two halves; what and I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked

This year’s Expo experience was a little different as I was technically like a tour guide for my mates who had never gone before so it felt weird to have to explain certain things and show off my knowledge haha. But it was nice to be with a group of people who were taking in the energy and had that surprise about seeing all this stuff for the first time like me and my friends had a good few years ago. As usual I enjoyed just being in the Expo hall, walking around, seeing what was new, what was the same and checking out the clothes, artists, toys and games. And there’s the cosplayers, while a lot of them were the usual suspects, but at the same time there was a lot to love with a good people dressed as Rey from The Force Awakens, Spider-Man was in full effect (especially ones from Civil War) and the amount of cool-looking dudes I saw dressed as Deadpool and the BvS Batman was pretty impressive too. As for the games I didn’t dabble in much this year, however, me and my best mate from uni had a few rounds of Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse 2, and it was surprisingly fun. While I don’t think it’ll ever replace my love for the Tenkaichi series, it is definitely more fun then than a lot of the recent DBZ games I’ve played.

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This man was the best cosplayer I saw all day, I’ve not seen many people dress up as Hagrid at the Expo, but this guy was the best one ever, so accurate! 😀

I also ended up buying some really lovely art, got to talk to some cool artists and got my picture taken with Danny John-Jules who plays Cat from Red Dwarf which was awesome as he’s my favourite character next to Lister and Kryten. And then the night ended with this crazy winner stays on style of lightsaber battles just outside of the Excel Center, it was pretty cool and funny to see different people stepping up and having these fun little duels.

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Meeting Danny John-Jules was great, I was very delighted.

What I disliked

Organisation, or should I say the lack of was fairly evident this year. Now I know this convention gets bigger every year and so it can be hard to accommodate so many people, but considering how many years this convention has been going down you’d think the basics would have been covered and yet there were a few issues when it came to:

  • Lines to get in: Even though there was still organised lines for the people who had general and priority tickets, they got rid of the barriers that helped keep people structured and streamlined. So when me and my friends got to the Excel it took ages to get inside because there was a swarm of people rushing to through the barriers, plus I was very surprised by how little staff there were to check tickets and give out wristbands.
  • Lines for Photo shoots: While it was a little better than last year, this year’s Expo still had problems with lines in terms of placing people and getting the photo shoots with specific celebrities to happen on time.

The only other things that I wanted to note was that this Expo felt a little lacking when compared to previous sessions with the types of guests, the amount of good games and unique stuff to buy.

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In conclusion the MCM Expo in London was a good time. It is great to know after all these years that the Expo is still going strong with so many events, cosplayers, games and so on. While this year’s Expo will probably go down as my least favourite of my convention experiences, there were plenty of unique and memorable elements that made it worth attending. 🙂

So did you go to the recent MCM Expo and if so what did you think? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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Blog Update (October)

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Howdy people of the internet and thank you for dropping by, I just thought I’d give you lot an update on what’s happening with the state of this blog and what I’ll be providing for the loyal few of my followers or anyone still interested in my material.

Films

First and foremost this blog was started as a place for film reviews, however, after I left uni in 2014 I lost a lot of the free time I had to go to the cinema and watch anything and everything whenever I wanted. And since 2015 the length of my reviews and the number of them in general diminished by a great deal. These days my reviews tend to fall under the “QUICK REVIEW” or “ONE PARAGRAPH” category with just a few films getting the full-length reviews with over 1000 words in it, and that’s just because I am short for time and it helps to condense my thoughts into smaller reviews. And so these type of reviews will probably be the standard going forward so long as I have the time to write about them.

As for the film reviews as you can tell the amount of film reviews I’ve done since the summer has been incredibly low and that’s for two reasons: 1) Because of work, on my days off I rarely leave the house and choose to spend my time inside. And 2) Since TV season started up at the start of September I’ve dedicated a lot more of my time to that over going to the cinema.

In terms of films I’ve watched in the cinema (besides my recent review of Kubo and the Two Strings) that I haven’t reviewed on this blog there’s only two major films and they are The Magnificent Seven and Deepwater Horizon. When it comes to The Magnificent Seven remake I thought it was pretty solid and better than I expected, there was a decent amount of references to the old film, but had enough differences to make it stand out on its own. If I were to compare it to the original I will admit that there was something timely about the old film, some of the scenes and quotes worked better and the main reason for the protagonists being brought together was much weaker in this film as opposed to the original. I really liked the action, explosions and chaos as it’s not something I normally associate with westerns and the cast was really fun especially Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio. And then there’s Deepwater Horizon and man, that film was a hell of a lot better than I expected. I mean I had hope for this film because it was coming from Peter Berg and I loved Lone Survivor, but the trailers for this film looked so generic and not very engaging. But Deepwater Horizon was a really good film, I was surprised that I got invested in the characters, story and spectacle of the oil-based incident. I will admit that the early half of the film was a little slow and I was wondering when the story would grip me, but once the danger kicked off and oil started gushing everywhere good god this film had me. From there this film just became a disaster film in the best possible way with so much madness going on with the flames, explosions, debris and all of the people caught in the crossfire as well, several times I was like “Damn, this is some intense stuff!” I felt fear, claustrophobia and tenseness on a level was equal to a horror film to a degree and Berg once again did well at bringing a real life event to the big screen in a captivating, dramatic and informative manner and got some great performances from Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien (my man) and Kate Hudson.

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TV

So as I said above TV season is in full swing and anyone who knows me know that I LOVE me some TV. Since I was at uni, I got into the binging lifestyle with several shows and these days I get so deep into the world of TV that it takes over the film stuff. Right now I’m watching a good deal of stuff at the moment, I have my returning shows in the form of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, Lucifer, The Flash, Arrow, Regular Show, South Park and Star Wars Rebels. But then I’ve also been watching Atlanta, Outcast and catching up on Supergirl season 1 before watching season 2. So I’m spending a lot of hours at home with my TV shows but I’m loving it so far, just be on the look out for “What I’m Currently Watching” which will be out on a weekly basis, though as the number of shows have increased recently I may break the reviews in half so that I can get the reviews out as quickly as possible, and to also cut the word count for each post.

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Well that’s it for now, hopefully you’ll look forward to my TV reviews and some more film reviews from the cinema when they come, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2016 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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FIVE Years On WordPress! Anniversary Times!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, how’s it going? As you can see from the title above, today marks the five year anniversary of this blog’s existence and so I just wanted to do a quick post today and reflect on the years that’s gone by. 🙂

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I needed a good meme for this occasion and this one jumped out at me so much.

It is crazy to think that today marks the five year point for this blog, I remember joking around back in university in my first year that I’d be doing this blog for at least three or five years, but look at where we are now. It’s 2016 and this blog is still operational! Madness! Haha! 😛

Now it does have to be noted that this blog is not the same blog it was three to four years ago, between 2012 to 2014 were my peak periods in terms of content, viewership and interaction from followers/visitors and I have seen a decline since then. Why bring that up? Well It does feel a little disheartening to work for so long and have a decrease in engagement. I know that’s partly my fault for the lack of content, but with the amount of followers I have and keep getting over time, I’m surprised there are not more people stopping by. But hey I guess my blog isn’t powerful/consistent enough. Oh well, I still have the odd new person, friend or regular follower that still swing by for a bit of discussion and at the end of the day that’s all I could ask for. 🙂

So what’s next for this blog? Well the TV season is back in full swing so the weekly reviews will be back in play, I’ll also be trying to get back to doing more cinema reviews during the Autumn/Fall season and there will be some more podcast stuff coming too so be sue to look out for that in the coming weeks/months.

In conclusion thank you to all the people who are still checking out this blog, I love ya haha. And here’s hoping we can keep this blog going for another half decade! Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Life

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #23 – Summer Edition!

Howdy ladies and gents, and after how many months away welcome back to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. I feel terrible for leaving this series dormant for several months now, but work, life, timing and effort were all factors that prevented me from coming back to this. But since I’ve gotten a little spare time recently I had to talk about some TV. So with week 23, I’m gonna talk about two of the shows I recently finished; The Get Down and Luther. Oh and careful for minor spoilers below…

The Get Down (Part 1)

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So The Get Down is a show I’ve been excited about for ages since I heard about it online many months ago, the concept of the show just intrigued me with the 70’s setting and birth of the hip hop genre amidst the all the drama, crime and violence. I finally saw it last week over the course of one day and really enjoyed it.

At first I wasn’t keen on the more fantastical/otherworldly nature of this show, it seemed to ride this line between realism and fantasy and sometimes with the way certain scenes were framed and the use of sound effects took me out of the show on a good few occasions. That being said, once the show got going it became really fun, interesting, and engaging. Regardless of how true to life this show is in terms of the depiction of the time period, disco and the early phase of hip-hop, DJ scratching and being an MC, this show did a great job at showing the origins of these elements with an interesting cast of characters in the main and secondary cast. The show has a great sense of fun, pride and drama, and while some of the characters and story elements aren’t as compelling as other. Once the six episodes are over you really want to see more. The best part was seeing Ezekiel’s journey, seeing Grandmaster Flash and following the formation and adventures the Fantastic Four Plus One. This was my favourite material as it was really engaging, fun, fabricating and felt really realistic to a degree. I also liked seeing the state of New York during the 70’s with pop culture, crime and the difficulties that people faced. The cast is solid and really bring these characters to life. Firstly there’s Justice Smith who’s great as Ezekiel “Zeke” Figuero, Zeke is an interesting character because of he’s a smart,talented ad yet conflicted and has struggles with his future, love interest and friends. Shameik Moore who I loved in Dope was pretty good as Shaolin Fantastic, this was a very different side of Moore than what I’ve seen, Fantastic was strange, cocky and made questionable decisions, but he was an endearing and stylish dude. Jaden Smith as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling was good, I know these days it’s cool to hate on Smith because of his acting and questionable comments on social media, but Dizzee felt like a role that was made for Smith, he’s artistic, otherworldly and not everyone gets him, but he’s spiritual and pretty cool. Skylan Brooks was really good as the level-headed Ra-Ra Kipling, and T. J. Brown Jr. who initially annoyed me ended up being cool as Boo-Boo Kipling.

The one weak link for me was Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, and it wasn;t so much Guardiola’s acting, she was great in the role, but it was the character I couldn’t get on board with. She had such a hot and cold attitude with Zeke and her quest to become a famous singer in the disco genre just wasn’t as compelling as the Fantastic Four Plus One, however, her story definitely gets better in the later episodes.
Jimmy Smits was really good as Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz, I wasn’t sure what to expect from him in this show but he ended up being one of the most engaging characters because of the balance he had to do between his business and personal life. From the recurring cast Giancarlo Esposito was fantastic as Pastor Ramon Cruz, he was scary, ferocious and felt like he was channelling a bit of Gus from Breaking Bad. Also Mamoudou Athie was really cool as Grandmaster Flash and finally Kevin Corrigan, who I’ve loved since Fringe and Comminuty was one of my favourite people as Jackie Moreno, he played a record producer who had a lot of bad habits but was also brilliant at his job. I’ve enjoyed this show so far and I can’t wait to see season 2.

Luther (Seasons 1-4)

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So Luther, that British TV show from the BBC that a lot of people have been going on about for years, I only got around to watching it in the last week. Yeah it has taken me that long to check it out haha. I can see a lot of people being surprised by this but there’s a legit reason. During its initial run I wasn’t too interested in a lot British TV and didn’t commit to shows that were longer than 30 mins. However after I was exposed to all of the US TV I binged during uni, I became open to watching longer TV like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Sherlock and so on. This show has been on my watch list for years (mainly the last two), but I’ve had a lot to check out and after finishing The Wire in July, Luther was next. So how was Luther? Pretty darn good, but not without its issues.

What was notable straight away was how engaging things were from the first episode. From the beginning the stories featured a variety of scenarios relating to DCI John Luther and the crimes he investigates, these stories are full of danger, mystery, intrigue and drama. The cool thing about these stories was that they were captivating and entertaining in the best possible way with some episodic adventures and some that were in two or more parts. And while most episodes focused on the police cases normally involving murder, they were times when the show deviated away to Luther and his personal life or side cases, and some of the best episodes involved stories involving crazy or creepy murderers and/or Luther’s personal life. That being said, what surprised me about this show was how ridiculous it got. Some of the stories, dialogue and character motivations stretched the realm of realism and the term suspension of disbelief comes to mind. With each season the scenarios got more and more ambitious and absurd, however, after a while you do adjust the over-the-top and silly nature of some of this show as it becomes part of the fun and crazy rollercoaster of an adventure.

It also helped that the show was shot very well, the cinematography was lovely and this show does a great job at showing off London in all its beautiful and not so beautiful scenery. But it is the characters that make the show super fun and engaging to watch. Firstly there’s Idris Elba as DCI John Luther and Elba is great, along with Stringer Bell from The Wire, this is the key role that shows why people love Elba as an actor because of his dramatic range, likeability and screen presence. The next key performance in this show comes from Ruth Wilson as Alice, she’s introduced early on as a dangerous, unpredictable and unlikable character, but over time your grow to appreciate her, and after a while you can’t get enough of her and that is due to Wilson’s performance that is so captivating, creepy and sexy all at the same time. Other great characters include Dermot Crowley as DCI/DSI Martin Schenk who initially is a stern and douche-like character and then becomes one of the key people in Luther’s circle of people, Warren Brown as DS Justin Ripley is another great character who is Luther’s partner and friend and has some really key moments in the show, and some other notable people I liked were Michael Smiley as Benny ‘Deadhead’ Silver, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Jenny Jones and Rose Leslie as DS Emma Lane. As an overall show it is good but flawed due to the fact season 1 and 2 were great, season 3 wasn’t as good but still enjoyable, and the two-part season 4 was interesting but felt hollow and inconclusive. I do hope that Luther will get a proper ending because this fun show deserves it.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Life, Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Summer of Sonic 2016

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’ll be giving you a convention review as I attended Summer of Sonic in London yesterday and I thought I’d give you my thoughts on what could be described as a very memorable day.

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So for those not away, I’m a stupidly big Sonic the Hedgehog fan, have been since the 90’s with Mega Drive and the characters are the reason I’m an illustrator too, and regardless of how questionable/crappy the current games are, I still show love for the hedgehog because I’m loyal. So you have to understand, going to this convention was mandatory, especially considering that its been going since 2008 and I’ve missed each one because of a lack of funds, university or bad timing with clashing events. Luckily I threw my money at the Kickstarter for SoS not too long after it went online, and then months down the line its August and I was so hyped to finally be going to the convention, and while I was late on my first train and my second got delayed by around 30-40 mins, I finally got to the venue and that’s when the magic started.

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It sounds kind of silly/lame, but there was a certain joyful/magical energy about being in the convention hall where everything’s Sonic, from the games new and old to the merchandise to the cosplayers and so on. Plus it was just nice to be surrounded by other people who share your same passion for the blue hedgehog, most times I’ve been to MCM London Expo or London Film & Comic-Con you’ll only meet a handful of fans, and the rest will just be haters and question while you still support the franchise. But yesterday it was all love and positivity, whether you mentioned Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog, standing in long queues or could hear Sonic R music playing in the background, it was all good vibes and that’s something I appreciated.

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When it came to what I did personally I did a lot and not too much at the same time, but I’ll try to highlight some stuff below:

  1. Watching the cosplayers: As soon as I got in there was the official person in a Sonic costume taking pictures with fans and I had to be mine done obviously. But then there was all the nice little moments like seeing this awesome Perfect Chaos costume or ladies dressed as Amy Rose or Rouge the Bat. But my favourite moments was when Sonic and Chaos were having a dance off and when the guy cosplaying as Eggman picked a fight with Sonic.
  2. Playing Sonic Mania: No way in hell did I expect this game to be at this event considering how recently it was shown off to the world, but I stand from a distance and knew I had to line up. And so I queued up for what felt like an eternity as the first line was a line to get into the official line for the game! 😛 But after around an hour of waiting and extreme leg pains, I got to play Sonic Mania and it was just as wonderful as I’d hoped. While I really wanted to try out Green Hill Zone for the chances made to the layout and use of elemental shields, but I had to go with Studiopolis Zone because that’s the new stuff. Mania was very pretty, the animation was super smooth, the art direction was great and most importantly the gameplay was accurate, this was classic Sonic and after messing around with my usual tricks I can say that this game is the good stuff and I can’t wait to play it in full next year. 😀
  3. Talking to fans: While waiting in lines or playing games, it was just cool to be able to talk about Sonic stuff the maximum level of nerdiness. Whether we were sharing gaming experiences, expectations for new games or talking about our favourite games or characters, it was just fun, plus I got to meet these two really awesome dudes who I got to hang out with and share some cool experiences with. 🙂
  4. Meeting Duncan Gutteridge: For me growing up in the 90’s, there were a few different art style for Sonic, but none of them were as popular or notable as Duncan Gutteridge’s work. His art style made Sonic look striking, dynamic and super detailed, and he’s almost the whole reason I started drawing because I wanted to draw just like him. So getting to meet him, shake his hand, show my appreciation and buy some of his artwork was a big deal for me.
  5. Jun Senoue & Crush 40 Live Music: Firstly, it was so cool to get to hear Jun Senoue jam away to some of my favourite tunes from Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 especially when it came to Emerald Coast, Prison Island, Pyramid Cave and Metal Harbour, but the sing along to “Escape from the City” was the best. But nothing could prepare me for Crush 40, no word of a lie, I have been waiting to see these guys live since 2003. I’ve been in love with their music since I played SA 2 and SA1:DX on Gamecube, and seeing Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue performing together on-stage was so surreal and beautiful. If I had time to cry I probably would have. But all I was doing his shouting my head off, waving my arms and bouncing around while I heard some of my favourite Crush 40 songs. The highlights was definitely “Open Your Heart“, “His World“, “I Am… All of Me“, “Live & Learn“, “Knight of the Wind” and of course “What I’m Made Of“. It was such an incredibly interactive, beautiful and badass session! 😀 😀
  6. Meeting Mike Pollock & Takashi Izuka: I’ve watched, heard and read interviews with Mike Pollock and he’s always come across as a nice guy, but I didn’t expect to meet him in person, get my copy of Sonic Colours signed and get a picture taken with him too. The dude was SO nice, funny, modest, charming and delightful, definitely one of my favourite moments ever. And just as the convention was ending Takashi Izuka was walking amongst the fans and I was luckily enough to shake his hand and get a picture with him too, su ch a cool way to finish the convention. 😀

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In conclusion Summer of Sonic was a lot of fun, it was great to just be around all of the fans, play some games, and check out some cool live music among other things. I was glad to have gone and while I didn’t get around to doing everything I wanted to, overall it was a great session and I really hope this is isn’t the last time this convention goes down in the UK.

Well that’s my review done, so did you go to Summer of Sonic and if so what did you think of it? Also was it your first time or are you veteran of this convention? Whatever your thoughts be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Life, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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