Monday, 30 August 2010

BEDA - Aug 30 - Reading Festival 2010

First allow me to apologise for my utter and abject failure to blog since Wednesday. The reason is simply that I have not been within range of a laptop since then. I was at the Reading music festival all weekend for my birthday, and while I expected to be able to blog from my phone, it turns out you can only read posts from Blogger on mobile devices, not post them so that somewhat scuppered the plan!!

I will however make up with it now with a full recap of my weekend.


Not a lot to be said to be honest, got to the campsite at Reading on Thursday afternoon, went and got some food and just generally chilled out for the evening. Very much what I have referred to before as the “pre-awesome” day.


At around 11am, the gates to the main arena opened, and the 1000’s in attendance rushed in.

My brother and I headed first to the Alternative stage, where we were lucky enough to catch some brilliant comedy from the likes of Emo Phillips and Stephen K. Amos before the crowd swelled to fill the tent as YouTube sensations “The Midnight Beast” broke out their own brand of hip hop (including “We are the TMB Party! Who in da house? We in da house! We in da house of parliament)

Next we rushed over to catch the end of Two Door Cinema Club’s set, and then chill out sat watching The Big Pink

We then headed over to the Main stage to be serenaded by scottish rockers Biffy Clyro and Wales’ offering to the festival Lost Prophets. Both were awesome, indeed Biffy remain one of my favourite bands of the moment, and while their new album is perhaps not the strongest material they’ve got, their old stuff doesn’t fail to please.

American rock legends Queens of the Stone Age followed and – hardly surprising having seen them several times before – they kicked some serious ass, and had complete control over the huge crowd gathered to watch their hour long set.

And then the problems began.

9:30PM: headline act Guns N Roses are supposed to be taking to the stage.

9:45: No sign of them

10:00: No sign of them, the crowd is booing by this point

10:15: More and more boos crescendo throughout the crowd, as plenty of people walk off to other stages, convinced they’re simply not going to turn up at all

Finally at gone 10:30, well over an hour late, the band take to the stage, and understandably the completely pissed off crowd boos the hell out of them. There is no apology from Axl, indeed no interaction at all with the crowd for the duration of the set, which basically consisted of them playing a song, then a 5minute guitar solo while Axl went off to change his costume, followed by another song, followed by another costume change. Given how bloody late they were to begin with one would have assumed the idiot would have just kept in what he was wearing and motored through but oh no, he decided he would do things his way, and, yes you guessed it: even more boos, chants of “Fuck You Axl”, and “We Want Slash” coming from all around the field.

The official curfew for the event, as set by noise pollution laws, is 11:30, and the organisers had made clear they were going to stand firm on this. As you can imagine, this particular set was not going to be completable in the single hour they had (entirely because Axl was being a prick). They play ed until 11:45, which they shouldn’t have anyway, at which point the band left, meaning to return for an encore, but the organisers cut the amps, so that when they returned they were effectively unable to complete their set.

The whole thing was a bit of a shambles, but to be fair not one bit of it can be blamed on the organisers: they were sticking to the rules, and they had been lenient as it was. The band were the ones fucking about, not anyone else.


Once again with our eyes set firmly on the Alternative stage to start our day, me and my brother were excited to see Kevin Bridges, one of our favourite comedians. Unfortunately when we got their we were informed that Bridges was currently delayed at Edinburgh airport, and would be here as soon as possible, and would be on later in the day if he made it in time.

In the mean time they moved the remainder of the schedule up, which brought an American comedian by the name of Neil Hamburger to the stage. Oh my god. I have never heard such a tirade of just blatant homophobia, racism, and other sick jokes (some aimed towards Michael Jackson, who lets face it, in a crowd made up of music fans, is just off limits). In his 25minutes there simply was not a funny joke. The entire crowd booed him, and before long we were pelting him with bottles and whatever else littered the floor of the tent. Chants rang out of “You’re shit and you know you are, you’re shit and you know you are!” until finally he left the stage.

The host, Andrew O’Neill immediately managing a bigger cheer than Hamburger’s entire set as he walked forward and asked: “You may not have liked that, but did you at least enjoy hating it?” (which yes, I think its fair to say we did).

We stuck around to watch Jason Byrne (who was hilariously funny) and Milton Jones – who was actually funnier than he’s ever managed to be on Mock the Week, which is saying something, before moving on to catch a few songs from Hadouken on the second stage and The Maccabees.

Rapper Dizzie Rascal is decidedly out of place so far up the bill, (or on it at all), but the crowd knows all the words anyway, so we sing along at the top of our voices nonetheless.

As the day went on though there was only one way it was moving, and that was towards the band second on the bill on the main stage. The Libertines. A band who’s set was more anticipated than any other at any festival I’ve ever been to.

For those of you who may not know the long and drawn out history of The Libertines, they are a four piece punk outfit from London, who despite a meteoric rise to fame in the early 2000’s, could not handle the pressure and effectively imploded. Best friends Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, the Paul and John of the band if you will, simply descended into a bitter feud, and the band came to an abrupt finish with Doherty’s arrest and imprisonment.

Pete has been in and out of prison and drug rehabilitation ever since, while Carl has tried to restructure and move on.

Over the last few years both Barat and Doherty have formed their own bands (Dirty Pretty Things, and Babyshambles respectively), but deep down in the hearts of Libertines fans we have always hoped they may one day reconcile. The gigs have been rumoured since almost the day they first split, but finally, after 6 long years, in March of this year it was announced that the reunion was on. Reading 2010 would be the reforming (as it stands for one night only) of The Libertines.

So here we are, August 28th 2010. 8:30pm. The moment music fans the world over have been waiting for. And there they are. Pete, Carl, John and Gary. They play all the old favourites, including the seemingly prophetic “Can’t Stand Me Now” (a song which was on their first album, but basically spoke about two best friends who ended up hating eachother)

Embracing one another like brothers, Pete and Carl look like they’ve never been away. It’s one of those moments which will live in the minds of those who witnessed it forever.

If this was the end, it was a happy one, but I honestly hope this isn’t the end of the Libertines story. Maybe we can finally put the past behind us and let the future shine.

Oh and…headliners Arcade Fire kicked ass. Nuff said.


A) Sunday was my birthday, so wooot. Thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes on Facebook/twitter/email/text whatever. All were greatly appreciated!!

B) Ok back to the bands. Sunday started out with my surprise of the festival, a band I’d never heard of, but who I completely and utterly love now (experiences like this are why I love festivals, because you can discover as much as you can enjoy old stuff). Anyway, the band is called Motion City Soundtrack, and the lead singer is a total nerd, and their songs include references to things like falling asleep late at night watching Veronica Mars reruns, and generally the sort of thing I do. I could literally be best friends with the frontman.

We hung around to watch The King Blues, who I only really knew one song from (inevitably the last they played), and have to admit I was sort of disappointed with the rest of their set. Perfectly Ok, but I love the one song I do know (Save the Girl, Save the World), and I guess I wanted to love the rest as much.

Then it REALLY started pouring with rain, so we ducked back into our go-to tent, the Alt-Stage, where Russell Kane (who less than 24hours before hand had won the a comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe) was performing, and I think it’s fair to say, from what I saw he definitely deserved the award. He was seriously funny.

We sat and ate lunch beside the tent where Metronomy were playing, who were enjoyable enough, before going to see Weezer, who literally exceeded every possible expectation. With perfect renditions of Teenage Dirtbag from Wheatus and mixing the lyrics to Poker Face into one of their own songs, this set was a definite highlight of the festival.

Next up it was the turn of Paramore. Now this is a band I have said some very mean things about before – including calling lead singer Hayley Williams the antichrist. I just don’t like them at all. That being said: on this night, with 10’s of 1000’s of people singing along, Only Exception and Brick by Boring Brick do sound spectacular. Otherwise ‘twas a pretty boring set, but better than I was expecting

Finally it came down to the final band of the festival, as the crowd swelled around the main stage to see Blink 182 play their only UK show this year. Blink are a band to whom I owe most of my childhood. They’ve always been one of my favourite acts, and I had always regretted not seeing them live while I had the chance first time round, so ever since the reunion was announced I’ve been waiting patiently for a UK tour – so the moment this UK date finally came up I was right on it!

“All the Small Things”, “I Miss You”, “First Date”, the hits just keep on coming, and despite the fact front man Tom Delounge is clearly stoned off his face, the gig goes to plan anyway. It’s a real special way to finish a great weekend.


And we’re back. Today I’m frankly too tired to do anything much at all but lay around now that I’m home.

I leave you all with this video of The Libertines tearing up the Main Stage with "What Became of the Likely Lads"

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

BEDA - Aug25 - Goodbye Esther

I'm sorry, but this blog cannot be about Mockingjay today. It just can't. There are more important battles today than Katniss'. The most important battle one family will ever face was lost today.

This morning, at 3am her time, a girl by the name of Esther Earl passed away. She was just sixteen years old.

I won't claim to have known her that well - we tweeted at each other back and forth a few times, but other than that I won't pretend I was exactly her best friend.

But she touched my heart as she touched so many others.

You see Esther had terminal cancer, but she refused to let that get in the way of life. Instead she took every oppurtunity she had in the time she had left to make her big heart go a long way, and a nicer girl you will literally never find.

Her message of hope, and of love was and is an inspiration to Harry Potter fans and nerdfighters alike, and indeed it was in part because of Esther that the Harry Potter Alliance was able to band together to win the Chase Community Giving Challenge, earning $250,000 for a charity which was so near to her heart.

A wise old wizard once said that to the well organised mind death is but the next great adventure, and I know deep down that that's true. Somewhere, Esther is being her bubbly, happy self, spreading her message of love across the whole universe.

So we say goodbye for now Esther Earl. I hope to see you again, and to adventure with you in eternity. I will not say Rest In Peace, for I do not believe you are resting. I believe you are off somewhere being the little bundle of life and of love that we all knew.

Instead I will sign off as your friend John Green would: DFTBA Esther, and best wishes.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

BEDA - Aug24 - The "I'm a Bored Internet Nerd" Game. (aka Related Video Game)

I really wanted to spend this blog post telling you how amazing Mockingjay was. But I can't. My book was dispatched yesterday, so I really hoped it was gonna beat the international embargo and arrive today, but obviously that would be too much hassle, and so I guess it'll come tomorrow, and so I'll read it all day tomorrow and let you know what I think tomorrow night instead...

The problem is that now I have nothing to say today...

And when Youtube nerds have nothing to do: we end up playing the related videos game.

So I guess that's what I'll talk about. Now for those of you who don't know, the related videos game is a great way to discover videos on youtube which often you may not see, or may not have even found.

The idea is to go to Youtube, hit the browse button up the top, and then pick a video on the page which loads up. Now that is likely to be a Most-Viewed-Today video, but that also means it is likely to have 100's of related videos attached to it.

So watch the first video, and then click one of the related videos, and watch that, and then click one of it's related videos, and so on. If you get just the right selection of videos you can go through hours of pure gold before you are left with just KeyboardCats and the other useless stuff YouTube also has to offer besides the awesome.

Also remember: if you play this game while LOGGED IN to Youtube, your "Recommended for You" front page box will also inevitably fill up with lots of awesome to return to at later dates (you can also start a Related Video Game here, and have just as much fun).

Give it a go, and just find out who you end up discovering.

Monday, 23 August 2010

BEDA - Aug23 - Countdown to Mockingjay

Those of you who have read this blog since the very beginning (or those of you who click the link to see the previous months posts) will know that the very first item ever posted on this blog was a review of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

That review was from an advanced copy of the book that was sent me for review for Platform's actual printed magazine, and I wanted the person at Scholastic who had been nice enough to send me the book to be able to read the review. So I started this blog, with no intention of using it again, just to post the text here (hense why the blog's url, and former name, was NTU Books). As it happened a few months later I wanted to start blogging and knew this one was kicking around, so just changed the title (couldnt change the url unfortunately) and just started using it as my personal page.

Now, just about one year later, we are mere hours away from the release of the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy: Mockingjay.

The book is released at Midnight tonight in the US, and Midnight on Wednesday in the rest of the world, and it is then that we will finally follow on from the brilliant conclusion to Catching Fire.

I literally pray that it can stand up to the remainder of the trilogy and that it can close it in perfect fashion.

Just figured I would spend the last post pre-it-being-in-the-world to give you some of my theories on where it's going. I should of course mention: I have no spoilers what so ever, and these are purely theories, so you're in no danger of being spoiled.

  • Peeta Vs Gale: I'm team Peeta. It just feels like the books have built up and built up the fact that Katniss is supposed to care about him, and in the end I hope he is the one she chooses. I can see why Gale makes sense too, but I just feel like she's going to go with Peeta
  • I think Haymitch and Cinna will both die before the book is out, but that Katniss/Peeta/Gale will all survive.
  • Peeta will have to save Katniss from President Snow at some point, and this is what will send Katniss to his side.
  • The rebellion will become so big that the Capitol will destroy not just District12 but all the remaining districts as the uprisings get stronger, forcing everyone who is anti-Capitol to converge on D13
  • The final battle will take place in the Capitol, and will involve EVERYONE who remains anti-Capitol on one side, led by Katniss and Peeta, and President Snow on the other side with the few (not many) who remain loyal to him, with the many finally overthrowing the few.

In just a few hours we'll know. In just a few hours, the Mockingjay rises, the revolution begins. The final battle is coming.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

BEDA - Aug22 - OMG Obama isn't a Yankees Fan?!?

Ok, this blog isn't about Mr Obama's baseball team of choice, but it is, if you ask me, about something just as flippant.

There has, for one reason or another, been alot of questioning over President Barack Obama's religion over the past year and a half. Now, personally I don't care whether he's Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheistic or agnostic, thats totally up to him. But you know, certain news organisations *cough*FOXNEWS*cough* insist on making it an issue.

In this so called modern era we're living in, I don't honestly know how this is an issue. In a country that prides itself in being the free-est nation on earth, the idea that it matters what religion your President is seems almost anti-Everything-America-Apparently-Stands-For, and feels very "All animals are created equal just some more equal than others" if you ask me.

Sure Obama CLAIMS to be Christian not Muslim, but how can we be sure he's telling the truth? (and as previously stated: who cares at any rate?)

So, in a style that only he can pull off, John Green decides its time to wade into the debate and you know, actually look at the evidence. And I figured I'd share it with you.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

BEDA - Aug21 -New Beginnings and The End of everything

As I write this, I have just one week left as a teenager. This time next week it will be the eve of my 20th birthday, and I will no longer be just a kid.

My final week with a 1 in my age is going to be a pretty interesting one - I start my new job tomorrow morning, so thats an interesting beginning to go with my new adult age bracket, but don't worry, there's lots of partying to come too!!

Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy hits bookstores on wednesday (or tuesday for all of you lucky people in the states.... [/not bitter at all]) and I cannot wait for it. The first two books are literally amazing, and I trust that the final part of Suzanne Collin's story will be as good if not even better.

And then, next weekend, in what will become the hardest BEDA challenge ever, I am going to the Reading music festival for the weekend for my birthday (I will see Blink182, one of my all time favourite bands, headline, on my birthday itself, which honestly will be worth the admission price on its own, before you add all the other awesome going on - Arcade Fire, Pendulum, Guns and Roses, Klaxons, and sooooo many more.

So yes. This is a week of things ending, and of new beginnings. A new and exciting chapter in my life is just dawning, a chapter which will see me finish uni, and go out into the "real world". It's scary, but I hope each and every one of you is ready for the challenge. Because I want you with me. Every step of the way.

Friday, 20 August 2010

BEDA - Aug20 - Umm... Oops

Totally forgot to blog yesterday, because I fail at life. I was working all day, and then came home for the weekend, so had like a 3hour drive. By the time I got home, I basically collapsed asleep and just woke up now.

Making it through the month with only one day missed isn't bad going at any rate.

Now, as an aspiring broadcast journalist, there is nothing I love more than a funny moment in the world of broadcasting.

Thomas Schafernaker, a BBC weatherman, brought just such a gaffe this week when a producer cut to him at a rather...unappropriate moment, and can be seen again and again for your viewing pleasure below:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

BEDA - Aug18 - Work Issues

After weeks of uncertainty at work, I finally found out today that my job is unfortunately unsecure. Or you know…effectively just nonexistent. At least in it’s current form.

I got called into the manager’s office earlier, and they basically let me know that the store was making huge losses and that they needed a reshuffle as a company. This would inevitably mean cutbacks – and that mine, and several others, positions were just no longer available.

Thankfully there is another store in town – a store infact where our former store manager recently got transferred himself – which has a few vacancies, where I’m being transferred. It’s further away for me to walk every day (especially seeing as I’m moving into the centre of town in a few weeks, where the current store is), but hey, I still have a job, so it could be substantially worse. I’ll have to see how it goes for a while, and if need be maybe think of moving on, but at least I know I have a steady paycheque in the meantime

I’ll keep you posted on any developments

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

BEDA - Aug17 - The final mention of Scott Pilgrim in this blog

So, after lots and lots of mentions of it here recently, I finally saw Scott Pilgrim Vs The World today. I would love to review it for you properly, but I have to save it for Platform. For now I will just say this: IT WAS EPIC.

Monday, 16 August 2010

BEDA - Aug16 - So many nerds, so little time

It won’t have escaped your notice, but I’m a total nerd. This afternoon I spent 2hours queueing around the block to meet Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels at the local independent comic store in Notts: Page 45.

I can’t say I realised just how many nerds there were around here, so I didn’t expect a huge line, so turned up like 10minutes before the signing was due to commence. Big mistake. The queue was literally like 100’s of people long already, and that’s why it took me so long to get in.

Bryan was lovely, and seemed genuinely delighted that so many people had turned up. He’d been at Page 45 once before, back in 2006 when almost noone knew of Scott Pilgrim, and the crowd had been exceptionally small, and had returned because he was so impressed with the place (and this time the crowd was deservedly bigger =D) He only had time to sign one item per person by the time it got as far back in the queue as us, but that was fine, it was just nice of him to keep going long beyond his official finish time.

In the line I met a guy with a Jay and Jack tshirt, as well as all sorts of other awesome people, thankfully reminding me that I’m not the only person in the surrounding area who thinks it’s cool to be a nerd.

I must say: I’ll be frequenting Page 45 more often, as the staff there were awesome, and worked so hard to keep the people in line happy as the time passed – kudos to them J

And now, with a signed copy of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life in my possession, I’m totally ready to see the advanced screening of SPvtW tomorrow night. EXCIIIIITED!!!!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

BEDA - Aug15 - Sons of Admirals/John Green

As promised, something is finally happening in my life, as yesterday saw me once again venture to our nations capital (once again for YouTube stuff in fact, although this time I was off to see YouTube super-group Sons of Admirals).

With a capacity of 420 or so at Ice Father Nation, I get the feeling the boys expected to be playing to a half empty room, but oh no: about 1000 people turned up, utter chaos all but destined to break loose.

With just 10minutes to go until show time, and the crowd upstairs anxiously wondering if they’ll ever get in, John Green appears, announcing that there was no way he wasn’t going to let anyone who’d made the journey down.

He would do his reading upstairs in the lobby for those who couldn’t get in, while the band played the first half of their set downstairs, then he would go do his proper reading during the bands interval, but instead of the band taking a break they would come up and play an acoustic set free of charge for the crowd upstairs before returning downstairs to conclude their set.

Many a band would simply have said “sorry we’re full, nothing we can do about it”, and sent people home, so seriously: fair play to the lads for not doing this. They proved that it was the music, and playing for their fans, that was what mattered to them, not just getting the cash of the people inside, and in this modern age: that’s something to truly be admired.

Now anyway: on to the main gig downstairs, what you all want to hear about.

John joined us on stage for a brief reading from Paper Towns, as well as perhaps the most intellectual discussion ever to grace this indie venue, covering topics as wide as “How much of what we see in other people is a reflection of ourselves”, and whether John knew the last words of his tragic Alaska Young (Last words being the obsession of the love struck character Pudge in Looking For Alaska). Then it was time to rock and roll.

Things start leisurely, with the three boys (Charlie Mcdonell unfortunately unable to make it) playing short solo sets of their own work – getting the crowd going. Chant’s of “D-F-T-B-A say DFTBA!” ring through the packed crowd,

First comes Tom Milsom, “the greatest music producer on all of Youtube” as Edd would later refer to him, and its true. Playing the ukulele, the keyboard, the drums and the guitar in the space of his set, he rocks quickly through singalong track’s Indigo and Porphyrophobia (which I know every word to but still cannot pronounce the title!! Dam it Tom!! =D)

Next up it’s the turn of Alex Day. To be totally honest, of the three boys, I was really here to see Alex. As much as I love Tom’s music – and I do, I think Tom has RIDICULOUS talent, which I can only dream of ever imitating - Alex has written some of the best stuff that’s ever gone out on DFTBA, and he doesn’t disappoint here. He whips the crowd into clapping frenzy with fan favourites “Awful Lot of Running” and “Pokemon What Happened to You”, as well as his less nerdy tracks “Time of Your Life” (which he begins with a beautiful acoustic version of the chorus before Tom joins him to play the main keyboard part on the track) and “Georgia”. The personal highlight of the set for me was 2nd album title track “The World is Mine” which sounded even more melodic here with a choir of hundreds singing it back to him than it does on the album. Alex deserves to go so far in his musical career, and I hope he gets picked up by a major label soon.

Another confession: other than Eddplant’s cover on the Erase This album, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to anything he’s ever done. So when he took to the stage, I didn’t really know what to expect. Opening with an AMAZING acoustic cover of King’s of Leon’s Use Somebody, it’s not long before I realise why they’ve let him play last: he really is the headline act. With a much fuller sound than Tom and Alex, most of his set needs them to play behind him.

“Less than Three”, the story of a guy who can’t say the three words “I love you”, yet needs to say something stands as probably the best songwriting effort of the night, and I’d buy the album just for this one song.

As they ramp it up in the second half of the set, there really is only one song they can close with, as the whole of Ice Father Nation explodes into movement for Ed’s superb ANTHEM “Girl Can’t Dance.” I can tell you this: if anyone else there did not know Ed before last night: they know him now, and I can say he has gained at least one subscriber following the gig.

The crowd shout for an encore, and the boys are more than happy to accept. They won’t play Here Comes My Baby though. “It wouldn’t be right without Charlie”, they say, and to be honest they’re right: the song has four verses, and it’s one each. Sure the crowd would know the words to the missing verse, but it really wouldn’t be the same.

Instead they rock out acapella style, closing with Tom’s “Animals”, the 3 quarters of Sons Of Admirals send the crowd out in style.

“We’ll be back soon, we promise!!” they say. And we can only hope that next time round it’s a full UK tour, with the full band – the crowd tonight surely proving they can fill a venue!

Friday, 13 August 2010

BEDA - Aug14 - The Top Ten Trilogies?

I’ve been thinking a lot since the release of Toy Story 3, which I maintain by the way is the best movie you’ll see this year, about the greatest movie trilogies of all time

The Toy Story trilogy is made up of 3 of my favourite movies, and when I came out after seeing it with my family my dad said that it was probably his favourite ever trilogy. I found myself unable to think of one better there on the spot, and to be honest I’m still struggling. I’ve thought about it and thought about it, and have come up with a list of some of my favourites.

So this is my top 10.

10) The Matrix – a somewhat flawed second act, but overall the story is brilliant, and the first and final movies are awesome.

9) Jurassic Park – Dinosaurs eating people. ‘Nuff said?

8) Austin Powers – That rare thing, a trilogy which got funnier and funnier as it went along. So many in jokes have spawned from this trilogy. Just plain funny as hell.

7) Bourne – Three of the best thrillers ever, Matt Damon kicks ass all three times out. Just don’t ruin it with a fourth film or a prequel…Please?

6) Indiana Jones – Harrison Ford’s first of two entries into the list, and an example of why fourth films can destroy franchises. We purists can just forget Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…there were only 3 Indy movies… #untruefacts

5) The Mighty Ducks – Ok so I know this sticks out like a sore thumb on this list, but seriously, I grew up watching these 3 movies more times than any other movie I can think of. Coach Bombay and little Charlie Conway… Probably THE BEST sports movies ever. There…I said it.

4) Lord of The Rings – Some of the most expensive movies in history, and some of the best, this narrowly misses out on a top 3 placing. It’s sort of…honorary top 3 though!!

3) Back to the Future – I will always remember the first time I ever came across Marty McFly and Doc Brown, my dad had the trilogy on VHS, way back in the day. I found it sat around and put it in, and I literally watched the entire trilogy in one go. It was amazing, and from that point on I was hooked. I got the DVD as soon as such a thing existed, and plan on upgrading to Bluray in a few months when that comes out because even my DVD is looking tattered from over usage.

2) Toy Story – The third film is still in theatres, but I’ve seen it 4 times now, and that’s plenty to judge my reception to it. 3 literally perfect movies, with a message of loyalty, love and friendship. Woody, Buzz, and all the rest will always have a place in my heart, from here to infinity (and beyond)

1) Star Wars (the real trilogy) – There is simply nothing to say regarding Star Wars that hasn’t been said before by much smarter people than I. George Lucas (the real one, not the cyborg who killed him, stole his body, and churned out the new trilogy) is a genius. Fact.

Comment below on your favourite trilogies. Did they make my list? Did I miss something? Let me know what you think.

BEDA - Aug13 - Emmy's Predictions

The Emmy awards are just a couple of weeks away, and that means it's time again for one of my (by now famous) Award Show Prediction blogs.

You know the drill: one column for who I want to win, one for who I think will win. Easy enough. Here we go then.

Oh and: I'm wholeheartedly aware there are other awards not included here, I just have no opinion on them - either because I havent seen enough of the shows to judge, or because I just have no opinion)


Want to Win

Think Will Win

Best Actor in a Comedy

Jim Parsons – Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons – Big Bang Theory

Best Actress in a Comedy

Lea Michele - Glee

Tina Fey – 30 Rock

Best Actor in a Drama

Hugh Laurie - House

Mathew Fox - Lost

Best Actress in a Drama

Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife

Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife

Best Comedy



Best Drama



Best Miniseries

The Pacific

The Pacific

Best Reality

The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race

Thursday, 12 August 2010

BEDA - Aug12 - Boooooring

Spoiler alert: This blog is boring. You have been warned.

As previously mentioned, my life right now is exceptionally dull. Absolutely nothing is going on in it. I’ve spent a lot of time watching movies and writing reviews for Platform (look out for reviews for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Last Airbender in the next few hours.)

The only vaguely fun thing that has happened today is that lots of new information about the Deathly Hallows movies has come out. We found out definitively where the split is, and also found out about some changes to the story compared to the books (generally stuff that will just make stuff that already happens just look even cooler on screen).

I won’t spoil anyone who doesn’t want to know, but I will direct anyone who does to Leaky, where you can see the scans of the EW article where the information came from.

And that is LITERALLY the only thing that happened today. Oh and since I last blogged I’ve found a screening for Scott Pilgrim. Woot.

Dear world: please let something happen tomorrow. I don’t like boring my readers!!!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

BEDA - Aug11 - This is Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

I am at that part in the middle of the month where I have run out of interesting things to say in this blog. There are some interesting things coming up in my life in a week or so, but until then if I was to just give you a "this was my life" today blog, it would just be: "I went to work, I came home. My life is dull." And you don't want to read that!!! The last few days there have been some interesting issues to talk to you about. But today, even they seem to be eluding me.

So instead I’m going to use today’s blog as a piece of free advertising. For the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs The World to be exact.

If you haven’t heard of this movie, then you have clearly been living under a rock, because it feels like there are trailers for it before almost every movie, and it’s been trending constantly on Twitter for a while now (and hasn’t left the top 2 in the last few days).

It’s based on a set of 6 graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, of which I’ve read the first 2, and can confirm they’re brilliant, and according to everyone I know who has seen an advance screening of the movie: it is as faithful as it can possibly be (right down to even the style of the movie almost being that of a graphic novel, with “POW!” and “Kaboom!” appearing on the screen during the fight scenes.)

The movie follows the story of Scott Pilgrim (played by Hollywood’s go-to-guy Michael Cera), a twenty something love-struck rocker in a crappy band. Scott falls for the bewitchingly beautiful Ramona Flowers, but soon realises that to be with her he will have to do battle with her seven evil exes. Like actual battle. Comic book style. With Kung fu, and swords and all sorts.

As if this movie wasn’t already going to keep the nerds happy, it’s written and directed by Edgar Wright – creator of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced – who fell in love with the story after being given a copy of the first novel at a promotional event a few years back. Wright’s work has always had the cult edge to it, and that’s why this sort of project is one I’m really excited to see him take on. He’s yet to make a bad movie and I doubt he’s going to start now

I’m trying my hardest to find an advance screening before this movie comes out, because my utterly nerdy brain simply cannot wait to see it.

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World is released in America this weekend, and joins us here on this side of the Atlantic on the 25th of August. See it. You won’t regret it. And in the meantime, find a book store and buy the first graphic novel (titled Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life – SPvtW actually being the title of the second novel)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

BEDA - Aug10 -No more Newport State of Mind

So yesterday I spoke to you all about book piracy and copyright issues. And now I’m back for a second round, this time squarely aiming at the music business. Now, my opinions on the piracy of music in the “I’ll just download it for free” type of piracy are that it’s wrong but that it’s the way the world is going, and so the music industry is going to need to learn to adapt.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk primarily about Parodies, and their place in the confusing and murky world of copyright law.

Today, “A Newport State of Mind”, a brilliant parody of Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind which had amassed tons of viewers on Youtube in the last month was pulled down after a complaint from EMI that the song had infringed upon their copyright.

Now technically it’s certainly fair to argue that a parody is a derivative work, and that derivative works are indeed covered under copyright law (except when used for research/criticism or news reporting) Noone would argue that.

But at the same time there is a level to which parody has always been used to not only imitate but in many ways criticise and comment on the original work, and I would argue that to some extents that is exactly what Alex Warren and Terema Wainwright were aiming for when they created “Newport”. Instead of speaking in the idealised tones that the original did of New York’s “concrete jungle”, indeed they list everything wrong with Newport and try to pass it off as the greatest city on earth all at the same time.

Add to that the fact it’s clearly free advertising for the original track, the pulling of the video just seems to conflict slightly with common sense.

In this world of ever evolving social media, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to see where the lines on copyright law stand, and in the next few years I wouldn’t be surprised if there are radical shifts both in the way we receive music (probably with a move towards complete DRM free downloading and sharing being the norm), and the way in which Record labels make money – while physical music sales are declining live revenue has been growing exponentially as more people have more access to more music. Sites like YouTube will be the home not only to the music videos that you would once have watched on MTV, but also fan made videos, covers and parodies like this, hopefully without “the man” stamping all over it.

I mean come on lads: Newport State of Mind: CLEARLY A JOKE, not making any money, and frankly, not a threat to EMI’s bottom line, so WHY BOTHER?!

p.s: if you’re interested, you can still see the video here, where it hasn’t been pulled, because obviously: copyright infringement is only copyright infringement once its had 1million views on youtube, and not before then (EMI’s blatant hypocrisy/stupidity/whatever you wish to call it, showcased for all to see.)

Monday, 9 August 2010

BEDA - Aug9 - SEKRIT things are SEKRIT

Secret (or SEKRIT as Maureen Johnson would say) things are afoot. I’ve been very busy the last couple of days with planning and figuring out logistics for a project I am going to embark upon very soon. This (as well as an epic late night shift at work) was the reason for my completely rubbish blog yesterday. I just wanted to keep planning.

I cannot tell you exactly what it is yet, because until I unveil it properly I want to keep it on the down-low. Just know that (I think) it’s going to be a lot of fun.

My current plan is to try and get it unveiled as part of the end of BEDA on August31. But if it’s not ready by then, then I won’t be releasing it until it is – I want to do it justice, and this is sort of a labour of love. All I can say is that it’s going to combine my love for Film, for Youtube, and for blogging – possibly not in the ways you might immediately think. But anyway: more on that later in the month.

For now: its August 9th. I was just watching John Green on BlogTV, and discussing the ins and outs of ebook piracy, stemming from the fact that more than 40000 have allegedly illegally downloaded John’s book Looking for Alaska in 2010 – far more than have bought it.

This led to a discussion on the future of publishing both in ebooks and regular books, and the way copyright works, and how an alternative system with no copyright may (or may not) stifle creativity.

It was fascinating stuff, and as an aspiring writer myself – I am in the process of writing my first 2 novels (yes, 2 at once, both entirely unrelated, I just liked both story ideas so much I needed to keep writing both or I would have lost one of them) – the idea of actually making money off of my stories has never been at the forefront of my mind, indeed both stories I am writing purely because I need to write them – if anyone else enjoys them when they’re done then all the better, but I’m really writing them because they’re in my head and have been for years and I need to finally do something with them.

For many people though – people like John – it’s not that easy. They need to make their living on writing, so they can you know, buy food, or diapers for their 6month old son. So in this new world order, if people are becoming less and less likely to purchase books in the way they once would, just where will these kinds of authors go?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

BEDA - Aug8 - Totally cheating

I am absolutely cheating today, and just writing this one sentence because I'm super busy but didn't want to just not blog at all *total cheater*

Saturday, 7 August 2010

BEDA - Aug7 - Don't even get me started

OK, so my day, by which I take to mean the entirety of August7, starting at midnight, has totally and utterly sucked.

My bus home from Summer in the City got half way up the motorway only to find the motorway closed because of an accident, and so we sat stationary for hours. I was already supposed to be getting back in at like gone 1, I ended up getting in after 4. It was hell. Especially as I had to be at work by just gone 8, and not for a short shift today - oh no that would be too easy - but for an entire full 9hour day, on literally no sleep except for some sketchy "trying to sleep on the coach" sleep, which didn't help at all.

Add all this to the fact I was already more than a little peeved to not still be at Summer in the City ANYWAY, you can generally imagine how I'm feeling right now.

But enough of my whining. Because ONE cool thing did happen today. The epilogue to Lost leaked. And given that Lost is the best thing to happen to television since the actual invention thereof, this cheered me up a little

A 12minute sequence, made up effectively of 2 scenes, titled "The New Man In Charge", aimed to show what happened during Hurley's tenure on the Island, and hint at where it would go next. It's on the DVD box-set for the 6th season and complete season box-set to be released in a few weeks, but it leaked (very temporarily) online earlier

Without wanting to spoil anyone who hasn't seen it, it definitely gives some answers we didn't get before, which I like, but somehow feels like it was made purely for that purpose - to tie up loose ends, and after the finale I was very much in the camp that I was fine with the end anyway. My loose ends were tied.

There will be people who love this completely, and will call it the definitive end of the show. But while I sure liked it - I will never not like new Lost footage - and appreciate it for what it is: I can't bring myself to say I loved it, and Vincent and Jack in the bamboo will always be where my story ends.

Friday, 6 August 2010

BEDA - Aug6 - Summer in the City

Regular readers of this blog will of course be aware of my YouTube obsession. I’ve been vlogging on and off now for about 2 years, and in that time have forged numerous friendships in the Youtube community, as well as finding people who I watch all the time even though I know they have know idea who I am. YouTube is one of very few places where you can say that and it’s not stalkery at all. And Summer in the City is one of very few times that UK YouTubers all get together and generally party hard, and realise that we’re all the same.

After an early morning to get to the coach station the day got off to a disastrous start – I’d booked 2 coach tickets, one for today and one for another event I’m attending next week, and of course, in the early morning rush I’d printed the wrong one out. Thankfully I could pull up my email on my blackberry and show the driver the confirmation, or I’d have been in serious trouble!

Finally arriving in London I quickly found Lidewij, my dutch friend from Vidcon, and her group of friends, who I quickly came to learn were just as awesome as she was. Throw in Steve the Aussie, and this was gonna be an ace day.

The 100’s in attendance split into teams (our clean team name being Team Double Rainbow, our not so clean name being a rather… dirty… dutch word which I won’t repeat here - partly because I can't spell it =D) and embarked on a huge scavenger hunt which would see us take in just about every sight in London, before eventually crashing out around Leicester Square for drinks and food – preferably in that order. Lidewij left us to head to some concert, and the rest of us headed to Yates’s bar to enjoy some cold beverages.

And then all too soon the day was over. I wish I could have stayed for the full weekend, but unfortunately work shifts worked against me and meant that I had no choice but to get to the coach station and return to my normal life.

I’ll see Lidewij again next weekend at a John Green event (back in London again), and this is just about all that’s keeping me sane, the promise that there is more fun to be had in the near future. Because leaving a group of friends behind is always difficult. Whether you’ve known them 9hours or your entire life. If you’ve clicked with people, you’ve clicked with them.

SitC2011 is a long way off, as is VidCon2011. So my plea: Lets not wait for the next official gathering to all meet up!! Everyone should just come visit. You are always welcome here, and there will always be an airbed. Just let me know you’re coming and turn up. =)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

BEDA - Aug5 - Is it tomorrow yet?

This must be a Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. The words of course of one Arthur Dent in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy just moments before the planet Earth is destroyed. But it sort of applied right here in "real life" today.

Tomorrow is Summer in the City, when I get to go meet up with 100's of YouTubers in London, and hang out and go on epic scavenger hunts and generally have fun.

Unfortunately that made today the pre-Awesome day. And pre-awesome days are generally completely notsome purely because they're spent anticipating fun not having it.

I went to see Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore with my mate Amy, (full review here, please go comment over there if you've seen the movie - or even if not tbh, I like reading your comments [/shameless plug] ) which wasted a little bit of time, but generally its been a very dull day, just biding time.

Not sure exactly when I'm going to manage to blog tomorrow - as I'm out all day, and not arriving back in Notts until post-midnight - but I'll take my laptop and will try and fit a write up about all the awesome in around said awesome. I'll figure something out, don't you worry.

Until then... Gonna go watch some TV and then get an early night so I can wake up early in the morning for my coach.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

BEDA - Aug4 - Fuck Proposition 8

I'm not going to lie to you readers. I almost forgot to blog today. But never fear. Something VERY important just happened, and I felt compelled to blog, and as such made my way over here.

For those of you who may be reading this who aren't familiar with Proposition 8 I'll give you a quick recap of the story so far (I doubt there are many, but it's possible.) In short, in 2008, a referendum took place in California on whether or not to ban same-sex marriage - reclassifying marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Despite huge campaigns from both sides of the debate, the anti side narrowly won, and the referendum passed. This was a huge blow for equality, and one which has been fought vehemently since the day it first passed.

Well finally, today, August 4th 2010, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker residing in San Francisco has overturned the ban, ruling that it is unconstitutional, and that it goes against people's RIGHT to marry whomsoever they may choose.

This is only the first step in what will be a monumental process - there will inevitably be numerous appeals from the other side, but this is a first step. A first step towards equality, and fairness for all.

You may be sat there thinking: "I'm neither gay, nor living in California, what does this have to do with me", and hey, I could think just the same, all of that applies to me too, but I'm not. Because humanity is a shared thing. And our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community are just as much a part of our shared existence as me or any straight person.

And after all: if you take away a person's right to love and be loved, then what is humanity anyway?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


I think it's fair to say that today was not as good a day as yesterday. I had another early shift at work, and to be honest was too tired to do much else, so just came home and had an afternoon nap. I then spent the remainder of the afternoon writing and editing my reviews from last night - which are about to (if they haven't already when you click the link) go up at Nottingham Trent University's Platform Magazine , where I'm Film editor this year, and am now about to go and see The Rebound, Catherine Zeta Jones' new rom-com which will also have a review up on Platform probably by the morning, so you should defintely keep checking the Film section over there as it's being updated all the time, and comment and stuff so I know you're there =)

In the mean time, a friend of mine by the name of Nina Jankowicz is in a competition to try and get a music video she made played on the Jumbotron at the US Open of Tennis in New York. So if you could watch the video and then click here and go and "like" it, that would be great. This would be the most amazing exposure for her if she could win, and she deserves it completely!!!

Monday, 2 August 2010

BEDA - August 2nd - Of Fresh Bread and Psycho Ex Girlfriends.

So here we are again. It’s been a busy day since last I sat down to write a blog, and – at just minutes to midnight as I write these words, I fear it will probably be August 3rd local time by the time I post... but it’s still August2nd in half the world, so that’ll do for me.

I had an early shift at work today, so I had most of the day to myself, and I think its fair to say I made the most of it.

I spent the afternoon baking bread – filling my flat with the most pleasant aroma I think it’s ever had in it. You can see a picture of the finished product below. I’m not totally sure why I chose to do this, but you know: it was one of those things which felt like a good idea at the time, and in retrospect – with the beautiful food in my stomach – seems an even better one than I first thought.

I then figured I’d hit the cinema for the promised viewing of The A Team – and decided I’d catch The Karate Kid too while I was there – short reviews of which I will post as the official August 3rd blog post (and full reviews of which I will post on Platform Magazine’s website in the morning, so watch out for that link)

In short: both were substantially better than expected, although Karate Kid was a bit slow.

Perhaps the most amusing bit of the day however was as I was walking to the cinema. Walking down the street towards me I suddenly realise I am looking at the person I hate most in the entire world. My psycho ex. And man oh man has she let herself go. When last I laid eyes on her 11months ago, she was a vision of almost complete perfection – getting modelling jobs left right and centre and generally never having so much as a hair out of place. Today it was almost as if she wasn’t clean even. I only got a glimpse of her as I walked by (I was NOT going to start a conversation), but honestly: I can finally feel like maybe that relationship ending was a good thing – a stage I’d never quite got to up to now.

So it was a rewarding day, one I have a lot to show for. Maybe all days are this eventful and I simply don’t notice because I don’t try to recount them every day, but honestly: if I achieve as much on every other day of this month as I did today: this is gonna be one hell of a month.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Blog Every Day in August (BEDA) - Aug1

This is a very short post for the first day in August, the beginning of BEDA (Blog Every Day in August).

I'll be updating here with stuff going on in my life every single day this month - which should be interesting given that I am spending at least 3 days away from an internet connection, but I'll work it out.

I'm going to see The A Team tomorrow, so that should provide me with something to talk about tomorrow. For now though: I'm watching Sherlock, so I'll see you all tomorrow.