Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Despite not having yet seen the film, I saw the trailer of a ground-breaking movie back in late October last year (I can say last year now and not think it was yesterday!) and am utterly hooked until it comes out. The film? Cloud Atlas. I am a massive fan of cinema, especially when it comes to setting new boundaries. The Matrix is always to go-to for any word on cinematic history and of course it deserves all its praise. But that was over 10 years ago. What could cinema possibly have up its sleeve now?

To answer that, I’d like to take you back a few years when I was at University still. I had heard of the film Inception but had no idea how much it would influence not only my writing, but my life (perhaps not as dramatic as you may think though). In interviews, director Christopher Nolan admitted his previous films were all practise for his trump card Inception. Practise? Are you sure? Batman The Dark Knight Rises was just practise? Surely not! But it was indeed so, and then Inception was birthed. I remember vividly seeing it for the first time at the IMAX in Southampton. I was utterly bewitched and the ending blew me away. I couldn’t remember the last time cinema had such a profound effect on me, so I went back, again and again, to see if I had missed anything; a small detail perhaps that would unlock its mystery. What I found was even more incredible.

Spoiler alert for those who don’t know the ending of Inception: It didn’t matter. The ending did not matter. This is what probably confused a lot of viewers and, ultimately, put them off. But I found it even more intoxicating. It didn’t matter? How can an ending not even matter? The whole story revolves around Dom Cobb, and throughout we see how tortured he is about leaving his children behind. When we hit the finale and see the kids’ faces brighten up that dad is back, the camera leaves the happy reunion and focusses on the spinning top. Before we can see if this is real or not, the film cuts out and ends! So was it real? Was it a dream within a million other dreams? Simple answer: It doesn’t matter. Why? Because Cobb’s story arch is complete. He believes it to be real, so we have to accept it as reality too. Have to? Well think of it this way, in our own lives, in our own world, we perceive it to be real. But what is reality anyway and how can you prove it? Thinking of the Matrix again? Yep. It simply doesn’t matter.

Cloud Atlas is proving to be another one of those films, where audiences will laugh, love, cry, and go through a roller-coaster ride of emotions until, at the bitter end, when we see how everything and everyone is connected, we accept the lessons and leave the cinema feeling inspired, elated, perhaps even thoughtful. I got the vibe straight away from the trailer, and with such an all star cast, I had to read the book first. I am a mere two thirds of the way through and it is fast becoming my favourite book of all time. The complexities of writing, how the author willingly chose to stick his middle finger up to the world of literary and say ‘This is how I want to present my book! Screw you and your prose-has-to-be-THIS-way nonsense!’ And hats off to you, David Mitchell!

For me, spotting the twist in the plot comes easily, and I am already pretty aware of how all the stories will end, and for that reason I am incredibly excited about the film coming out here in the UK in February. If the author pushed the boundaries, I’m certain it will translate to screen in a similar way. Here’s hoping!


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Don’t you just love celebrities? Movie stars, TV soap actors, singers, auto-tune non-talented singers, I mean there are so many celebrities for so many different reasons it’s no wonder pretty much anyone can have their 15 minutes of fame. I am, without a doubt, a fan of Strictly Come Dancing. I used to do Scottish Highland and Country dancing (I got to the swords, couldn’t get it at all and unfortunately I quit). But I do so love to watch people dance on Strictly. From Foxtrot to the Jive, I always look forward to seeing what the celebs get up to. What do I find most enjoyable? Watching my favourite pro dancers.


One of which is Brendan Cole. Apparently he was quite the womaniser and has an ego bigger than Jupiter (I believe NASA is aware of this), but there is something in his energy, his sharpness, his determination. I won’t pretend to know what he’s like, and frankly I don’t care to, I just like watching him dance. Yesterday evening I thought to myself, as my phone went through all the music on shuffle, ‘God, I would so love to dance with Brendan Cole to this song.’ So distracted was I by this thought that I tweeted it. Ah, the power of Twitter. One simple tweet to a celebrity and you feel like you’re somehow conversing with them. Who cares if they don’t immediately get back to you? It’s just lovely to say hi. I must admit, it’s also pretty scary. I’ve seen some fans get rather, well, emotionally attached and thus very fan-girly. It can get rather frightening! I’m more of a ‘I admire you for your work!’ kind of girl as opposed to the ‘HOLY OMG I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!’ Although my tweet was purely for my own amusement, what I didn’t count on was a response.


‘Thanks : )’ How utterly adorable. Brendan Cole, pro dancer on Strictly and one of my all time favourites, tweeted me. Me. For two seconds out of his life, he looked at his Twitter account, looked over his many daily tweets (I’m assuming here), saw my comment, and decided to respond to his fan. I won’t deny I was on a high for at least an hour about it, but it made me wonder… Do celebrities realise how much ‘power’ they truly have?

x men

I don’t mean like an X-Men power, or the power  to dominate all life, but the power to make someone’s day with one simple gesture. I wonder, do they realise it? I admire Brendan’s dancing and he has real flair, for a simple ‘Thanks : )’ it made the rest of the evening awesome. Can’t rain on my parade tonight, Brendan said thanks. How sad! And yet, if your favourite celebrity acknowledged you for two seconds, I guarantee you’d be the same. Having said that, my dad met Eric Clapton. In a bar. In Russia. Dad was already at the bar, when a man sat nearby. He looked over, as you would, and instead of a random person, it was Eric Clapton. They had a nice chat, since the bodyguards practically sealed the entrance from fans or media coming in. I’m sure my dad felt awesome for a while after! And how nice of Clapton to take time to, not boast around saying ‘Oh look at me, I’m a celebrity don’t you know!’, instead take a minute to just chill out and have a human conversation.

At the end of the day, that’s what we all are. I’m no celebrity and have no intention of becoming one, but it’s nice to make a little good for someone else. I like doing kind things for strangers in the hope I can brighten their day. Even just a little. Like Brendan did for me.

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When I was growing up my parents subjected me to a lot of different music. I say subjected to only because George Michael in particular was thrust upon my ears when mum made dinner. Every. Single. Evening! Still a lot of what I know about music is thanks to my parents. My dad was a club DJ in Eindhoven, one of the best of the best! And I believe he also played the drums at some point. He has a very big influence on my taste in music and it couldn’t be more varied.

My favourite band on the planet has to be Toto. I have seen them twice in concert and would happily see them again. Not only that but I got to meet my favourite band member Steve Lukather at the Manchester concert about five years ago now. This chance meeting plus their amazing skill and talent, with many different styles and singers, Toto will remain my favourite band until death do us part.

Having said that, Digital Love by Daft Punk will always be my favourite song ever. There is just something about it. A lot has to do with the nostalgia aspect attached. This came out when I was growing up, early teens I believe, and has stuck with me ever since. It’s simple, it’s catchy, the music video is incredible. But this song and the music by Toto are completely different. On the one hand electronic, on the other hand there’s 70’s/80’s rock.

It doesn’t stop there either! I also enjoy the amazing bass lines and catchy tunes from the disco era. The electronic funk, the slap bass, the epic dances in the videos, all amazing and all cheesy beyond belief. And yet somehow it captures my heart. If I go to a club nowadays, I will seek out the ‘cheese’ section as it will almost always play the disco funk genres. Would I rather listen to dubstep and somehow dance to that, or the catchy Tavares and proclaim over and over how heaven is missing an angel? The latter, obviously!

But that’s not to say I always enjoy orchestral music, in particular soundtracks. I explored in an earlier post how I adore video game soundtracks, in particular Mordin from the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack, but movie soundtracks are where it’s at. If a film doesn’t have a moving score, I don’t want to know. Most of the emotions on screen come to life with the sting of strings, the lone french horn, the lightness of a flute. Incredible music will always stay with you and the one above from the film The Truman Show will remain so strongly in my heart that when I hear it, I can see the whole film in my mind’s eye.

My music tastes can vary depending on mood, on the weather, on anything. But I am so glad my parents introduced me into the world of music. I can’t stand the sound of silence, but music is in my soul always.

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Sometimes along comes a TV show that absolutely blows you away in every single sense. The cast will be perfect, seeing new faces break into the industry, old faces we know and love and then quirky relationships to make all of them a happy (or sometimes not so happy) family. But when it comes down to it, there will be that one guy and one girl who you know belong together. These two people will be pushed, pulled and ripped from another, are meant to save each other, and finally end up together. Here is a short list of my absolute favourite couples.

Matthew and Mary

Ahh… Good old Downton Abbey. Now there is a TV show I adore. Not usually fond of period dramas, Downton Abbey had me from the first episode. I remember I was in second year of University when my script writing teacher suggested we all watch it. I’m glad I listened as it remains on of the best dramas ever to grace our screens. In the thick of Season 3 at the moment, Mary and Matthew didn’t always see eye to eye. Indeed the first season, setting everyone and everything up for us viewers, the pair were slightly annoyed at each other (though more of the hostility came from Mary). Was it like playground times, when picking on someone meant you liked them? Oh Mary, you were so confused. But it was too late. End of the season and no marriage. She had ruined it. I was so upset. A whole year to wait and finally Season 2, but it brought even more heart wrenching scenes as the back drop was WW1 and Matthew was on the front line. He was seeing Lavinia, a sweet young thing but she was no Mary. A lot of pushing and pulling later, with unspoken feelings, Julian Fellowes finally gave us the Christmas Special where Matthew proposes to Mary and she finally accepts. Now happily married, it feels like, without the drama between them, that Downton has lost some of its appeal. After all, Mary and Matthew are the driving force for me.

John Crichton and Aeryn Sun

From period drama to sci-fi cult classic, Farscape truly rocked my childhood. Whilst growing up you need some inspiring and amazing role models. Well, what’s better to a geeky girl who was a bit of a misfit than alien butt-kicing heroine Aeryn Sun. And how do you make sure she’s the best of the best? Give her a weakness; John Crichton. These two are an incredibly good looking couple and part of me wished the actors would end up together. But I digress. Finding himself the only human onboard a living ship, the Leviathan named Moya, John Crichton is hoping for a way home, back to Earth. Along the way he meets a whole host of different alien species, including his eventual best chum Ka D’Argo, greedy Rygel, lovable Pilot (job is in the name), and the very sexy Aeryn. Of course more characters come and go, but Aeryn and John are always there. Back to back fighting, these two aren’t ones to waltz around ballrooms like Matthew and Mary. If there’s a mission to be done, these two are your go to. Think their love gets in the way of blasting aliens? You’d be wrong, for the most part. Aeryn’s reluctance of letting people close to her and finally giving in to John makes her character so simple to lap up. John’s human curiosity is portrayed beautifully and so when these two get put on a very long rollercoaster including deaths, clones and babies, you can imagine why I love this pairing.

Carrie and Aidan

What’s more annoying than seeing the perfect on-screen couple? Seeing said couple fall apart and never end up together. Sex and the City defined the 90’s in terms of style, sex and sophistication. Although many would argue that Sex and the City is just smutty, slutty rubbish, the show does hammer home and touch base on some real issues women have. And it’s not just the women, mind you. I have many male friends who love the show (and yes, who are straight). Surely I don’t need to even give the girls an introduction here. Our leading lady Carrie is on the quest for the perfect man. What girl isn’t? The annoying thing is she found him. Aidan Shaw is quite possibly the perfect man. He’s homely, all American, traditional and romantic. He’s cute and sexy all wrapped up into one amazing package. The pairing was great, the flirtation was playful, the relationship was plain sailing. Actually that was Carrie’s main problem; there was no drama. Here is probably where it all went to pot. If you are expecting to be hurt in a relationship, you will be, if not by the man but because you made it happen. Aidan’s personality, his profession, his whole life just seemed like most women’s dream. Yet here comes Carrie and wrecks it all because the lack of drama. Sigh. Having put all my frustrations about this couple in a box, I must say they are a favourite TV couple of mine. Aidan appeared twice in Carrie’s life and they even became engaged. My favourite episode of the whole show was when Aidan proposed to Carrie. The two had chemistry that I wish I had with a guy. But perhaps it just goes to show. We might find the perfect guy for us, but that doesn’t mean we are the perfect girl for him.

And that is my little list of great TV couples. If a new drama erupts onto the screen and doesn’t include a destined couple, odds are I probably won’t watch it. Truly the characters are the main reason (followed oh so closely by a good story) I even watch the programme. Favourite video game couples, well, that’s a whole different story.

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Ah… I do so love Strictly Come Dancing. I wasn’t hugely interested the first time I heard about it, it sounded so old fashioned and boring, I couldn’t imagine that it would be so entertaining. My parents used to dance ballroom and they act as the fifth and sixth judges. It definitely adds to the atmosphere. But I have to admit, there is a big reason I watch this programme and it’s one of the professional dancers.

Well, I say one of them, I adore them all in their own right. But there are certain dancers who I will drop everything for; dinner, writing, gaming, even perhaps a cup of tea. Yes. I would drop a cup of tea to watch these dancers wiggle their cute rears on my screen. What? Don’t look at me like that. Everyone has a cheeky look (pun not intended). Especially for Artem, Brendan and my absolute favourite, Anton Du Beke.

This man is legendary when it comes to ballroom. He makes a waltz entrancing. And yes, his bum is awesome. Let’s rewind a little though. I remember I started watching Strictly Come Dancing when Ann Widdecombe was on, I believe that was 2010. My parents were watching it and, thinking it would be a pile of boring old sodding rubbish, I didn’t even want to pay any attention. Until on comes Widders and absolutely blew me away. I have never laughed so hard in my entire life. I was almost in tears. And then I noticed how Anton danced. His grace and charm are a force of nature, still are. But in those moments watching him throw Widders around the floor like an aged mop, I absolutely fell in love with this man. Like the cutest puppy you’ve ever seen, Anton has my vote no matter who he dances with.

Now of course, I’m hooked. I adore Strictly Come Dancing and all of the contestants. It’s always a treat. Goes so well with my evening tea.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I would quite like to have a cup of tea with Anton. That really would be incredible.

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