Bikes-vs-Cars

I’ve always wanted to knock out a blog on this subject, it just causes so much hassle and so much controversy that it deserves more attention. The only time the subject of Bikes -vs- Cars comes up in the news is when a cyclist (usually the typical kamakaze cyclist) gets either seriously injured or is involved in a fatal collision with a car which should have the right away in all road situations but has to give way to crazy cyclists who think that because they’re vulnerable every motorist should bow down to them on the roads.

Now, it’s easy to see where my allegiance lies with this matter. I think all cyclists whether young or old should have to go through multiple cycling proficiency tests to make sure they’re ready for the roads; there are so many accidents caused by cyclists all the time because they think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, and the only time you ever see the police pull them over for skipping a red or cutting up a bus or lorry is when the news crews are out and the fuzz are performing for the camera.

This blog is called Bikes -vs- Cars, but I really can’t think of any situation where cars should be in the wrong, I mean, the government are actually thinking of banning lorries in London during peak hours (when lorries should be delivering and getting around) so that idiot cyclists can bomb about the place!

“Now I don’t mind if they want to poodle about on their silly Victorian distractions, but don’t get in my way” – Jeremy Clarkson, I’m pretty sure that quote goes something like that. He, as usual has a very good point, and the government should be doing something more serious about the situation, by putting a cycle lane that’s two meters long on the busiest roads of London, you’re not helping out at all Boris! You need a complete system of cycle highways that are going to keep the crazy need-to-modernise-and-get-a-car cyclists out of the path of lorries and buses and cars who have an actual right to be on the roads; simple, and forget about the money side of things because by doing this you’ll not only be saving hundreds of lives a year, but you’ll also be saving the motorists from having to go completely insane because a bike has just cut them up due to the fact they are too impatient to wait for the light to go green! 

There are certain things the bus drivers in particular are guilty for doing, this includes driving around the city like they’re in a Mini Cooper, but I mean, if a bus is coming up behind you and you’re a cyclist on a section of road that isn’t a cycle lane, get out of the way, simple.

I tried to stop being so bias against bikes users just then but it didn’t go very well.

I’m going to stop now because it makes me angry just thinking about how ignorant bike users are in London. And before you all say “well fine, we’ll get on the pavements and get out of the way” no, because that is even worse because then you’ll be in my way and I will knock you off! 

Gangster Squad

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What can I say, put Josh Brolin in any film and it automatically turns it in to a hit. Mix in Gosling, Stone AND Ribisi and you have one epic result. Gangster Squad is that type film that assures the audience is captivated from the get go. There was one little niggle I have about it, and that is unfortunately Penn’s portrayal of a typical Italian-American mob boss; sorry Sean, I know that’s probably what they asked you to be but come on man, put your own spin on the gangster boss instead of being a straight mix between Scarface and Don Corleone.

The story and setting is fantastic, perfect in fact and it all weirdly reminded me more of L.A Noire (Xbox) instead of being compared to any other film; that is of course besides Penn, Obviously. When you make the good guy become the bad guy to beat the real bad guy you have…Well basically a bit of a mess, usually; but this is different somehow and Brolin and Gosling play the bad good guy so well you see them more of a group of batman vigilantes; which is brilliant.

I want to say something in Penn’s defense, just because it’s him, and he’s alright I suppose. He did play the typical, not very original and frankly rather predictable Godfather; but he played it rather well you have to admit. When someone gets so in to their roll, when they get lost in it, they create a character who’s is quite spectacular. There’s only really one actor who I can truly say gets completely lost in every role and that’s Will Smith; but because no actor can ever be as good as Smith, we’ll have to settle for what everyone else is capable of doing, and in Penn’s case here, that’s pretty alright.

OH! When I thought Brolin’s wife was dead with the baby, geez that was tense. That’s that on that subject.

The story is a good one, and that’s really all you need as a foundation for a good film; it doesn’t matter how good the actor is (unless he’s Will Smith of course) if the story is rubbish then the finished piece is going to be average at best. But a ‘gang’ of ex-soldiers playing vigilante on the streets of L.A to take down the big mob boss? yeah that’s always going to be a stunning piece of cinema..

They all played their respective roles well, and they made a good plot a great one, with the final scene, (not the beach scene, the fight scene), although it was quite obvious that Brolin was going to win out in the end, being really well done. In fact it was all well done to be honest, I really can’t fault it without being too picky.

Well done Mr Fleischer. Respect.  

 

 

Observe The People Around You!!

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This blog isn’t about a film, it isn’t an argument; it’s a little something to get you all observing your world, wherever you may be. We often walk around, oblivious to the people around us, and we don’t often think about where those people are going; what is that man opposite you on the train going to be doing with his day? You obviously aren’t going to ask them, unless you’re really brave, so what I want you all to do is, on your way to work or school or wherever you may be going on your daily journeys take a look at someone and make their story up in your mind, trust me it’s quite amusing what your imagination can come up with at 8 O’Clock in the morning when you’re starved of caffeine at work!

Also, we tend not to look at people when we’re moving about, we tend to just keep ourselves to ourselves and not look at anyone for fear of them looking at you like you’re a weirdo.

I’m going to mention someone who made me realise why we never look at or interact in any way with other people on our way to work, and then i’m going to mention someone who made me realise why we should :).

I was on the bus the other day and found myself doing the usual; looking out of the window, listening to my music, waiting for the moment I can just get home and crash! When out of nowhere some woman, and i’m not kidding, starts simultaneously eating (really messily eating) a sandwich whilst, not after..WHILST spraying herself with deodorant! People who generally catch the bus are a strange and unstable bunch.

That was a bit of a digression from the main track, but I thought it was quite funny. I also managed to catch someone who was the first person that i’d actually seen. This might sound weird, but when you’re just walking aimlessly down the street you might see blurs in your peripheral, but you don’t SEE them. Let me explain; I tried to make up a story for this man on the bus because it has become difficult for me to simply walk past someone and except the fact that i’m never seeing them again, so I’ve begun to create their lives for myself, which, it turns out, is interesting and rather difficult. You kind of get the need to make them a secret spy who saves the world by night and works in an office by day, but then you begin to SEE them, for what you believe they actually are. This might not be making a hell of a lot of sense, but i’ll go on anyway. My little story for this man is simple, and i’ll be honest quite nice and boring, but I like that when it comes to old people. I saw this man for about 5 minutes when he was on the bus, so I tried to figure out what he’d been doing and where he was going…

He was an old bloke, I don’t know, about 70 lets say, he was holding a bag from M&S and in it I could see what was clearly his dinner, for him and possibly his wife? Now he didn’t look like he’d had a particularly hard day, perhaps it was a boring day, maybe the only thing of interest in his day was going to M&S for the dinner, But the thing that made me notice this particular old guy this day, was the fact he never stopped smiling! The story goes quite easily from there. I deducted that this was a happy chappy, and decided that he was getting dinner to make for his anniversary. simple. He looked pleased with what he’d bought because he kept looking in to the bag and smiling as if to say ‘Yeah, i’m going knock her socks off with this dinner :)’

The story was simple, it was basic and I only saw the man for five minutes, but I saw him, and that’s my point. If you take a small amount of time out of your day to SEE someone and create their story, you start to realise that people aren’t just blurs in your peripheral vision who need to be ignored.

Everyone has their own story, and it’s not only important to make your story a happy one. If you don’t know someone, make up their story, however you like!

But don’t just make everyone Superman!      

The Great Gatsby

There’s something about this film that isn’t, real, somehow. It has an air of fantasy about it, everything is shaded with a tint of, fake; for lack of a better word, nothing, not even the basic sets look or feel real to the viewer. Strange, i’ll get back to that.

Now everyone always says “I couldn’t think of anyone better to play that person”; well of course not, you’ve never seen anyone else play that person other than the person who actually plays them on screen. But for this, and you can choose not to believe it, I always had Dicaprio in mind for the part of Gatsby. I’ve read the book countless times and every time I have Dicaprio pictured in my head. The one who I was a little but dubious about was Mr Maguire, and everyone would know why I would have some scruples about him; it’s because I just can’t get my head around him being anyone else other than Spider-Man, simple. But he played the part perfectly, I mean I always pictured my Carraway being a lot taller, thinner and with less of a girly whisper about his voice, but he did it well, and you can’t really fault him. 

Now enough of the actors, although they were brilliant, weren’t they.

The story bases it’s self around Nick Carraway telling the story of the time he spent with Jay Gatsby, and the wonder and mystery around him. You would assume that because Carraway is the narrator and he’s in it the whole time that he is the central character but no, it’s Gatsby, the story is focused completely on him and you try and spend the entire film working out who he is and what he’s about. If you try and assume anyone else id the main protagonist, you’ll get a bit lost. Do we ever really work out where his money comes from? I never got that bit. Also, what maniac would throw all his clothes off his bedroom balcony like that; actually come to think of it, who has a bloody balcony in their bedroom?

I’ll quickly mention the bloke who plays Buchanan. Yeah, not good. I’m sorry but he was never the right choice. The right guy needed, and you can’t stress the word NEEDED enough here, to be bigger, with an air of pure wealth and body language that screamed posh spoiled little rich boy, but also with a tough-as-nails demeanour that said i’m a crazy ex-sports captain psychopath. And Joel Edgerton just didn’t have the qualities perfect; he was alright, but not perfect. Carey Mulligan was brilliant, and frankly so was everyone else, sorry Joel.

One of the greatest praises for this film isn’t an actor, or indeed the fact it’s based on a world class book. it’s the fact that Baz Luhrmann found the perfect actors (mostly, i’ll explain in a sec) for a film based on a world class book (which is very brave, it’s worth noting that not many people can pull this off very well) and he did it brilliantly; so hats off to Luhrmann for this absolutely, sticks-very-nicely-to-the-book movie. Congrats.

Well, the film was really great, there’s no doubt about that. I suggest you read the book first though, just to get your own characters in your mind before Edgerton ruins everything for you. But overall, straight 8/10, would have been 9/10 but you know…Edgerton.

 

ps. I said i’d get back to the unreal nature of the sets and stuff, yeah, I forgot. 

 

 

Xbox -vs- PlayStation

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Now the PlayStation is the old boy in this case, so the Xbox is the one that needs to prove itself. The PlayStation has been knocking about for donkeys years now and you can’t deny has improved throughout those yearS, as it should. One thing which does annoy some gamers about the PS is the pad; it hasn’t changed or improved in all those years and there are so many other pads on offer that are so much better; it’s old fashioned; out-dated. Whereas the Xbox has changed a few times, and has improved with each design, in terms of usability and aesthetics.

Now, i’ll be honest, my experience of the PS is limited to the PS1 AND 2, but I happen to know people who swear the Xbox is better than the PS3, not sure about the 4 yet, but it’s probably not as good as the Xbox One. One thing that does stand in the Xbox favour are the Call of Duty and Halo franchises, arguably two of the greatest franchises in gaming ever, exclusive to Microsoft, whereas (and you can correct me if i’m wrong) I don’t believe there are any major franchises that are exclusive to the PlayStation and Sony. So 1-0 to Mr Gates then.

There really isn’t much I can say that would convince anyone that I prefer PS over Xbox. But i’ll try.

  • It’s, errr, nice to look at. What I mean is it’s not a bad design. So that’s good. But the Xbox is prettier.
  • Ummm, it has FIFA… But so does the Xbox, and the pad is so much nicer for Xbox when playing FIFA, FACT!.
  • It’s got a nice name; PlayStation is quite cool, but, Xbox is cooler. FACT!

So this has been a slightly shorter blog, but the argument is useless; Xbox is better. FACT!

 

Rural -vs- Urban

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I think we already know who has won this battle, But just for arguments sake we’ll do it anyway. Here goes nothing… 

Now I grew up in Bromley, which, for those of you who don’t know is about a half hours train ride from central London; so as a child I went to London a lot, all the time with my parents. When I got to Uni and found out that some of my housemates had only been to London once or twice or not at all I was gobsmacked. I thought how could you grow up without EVER visiting the greatest city in the country, nay, the world.

One of my mates insists the country is better than the city, and categorically states that it is better to live in the country than the city. Now he might have a point when it comes to value for money, because lets face it, you can’t really live in central London unless you are super rich, and you can get a five bed detached house with a beautiful garden for the price of a studio flat in London; but there are plenty of opportunities to find a shared house in London for alright prices, so that’s that argument sorted. You can get an alright house in London, which is what I want. Why would you want to live in the country, where there’s nothing to do?!

The other thing which always crops up in these debates is this; “Oh yeah, but what about all the crime in London?”. Now there are a few things wrong with this argument, 1. it’s not all Grand Theft Auto and gun crimes with bank robberies and “Save us Superman, Save us!”, 2. I’m pretty sure there are more guns in the country than the city, maybe, and 3. If you spend anytime in the city you’d realise that 99% of people here don’t give a damn about guns and shit! 99% of people are goodies, there are only a few Lex’s out there, chill. Right so that’s that argument sorted; the crime is way lower than the country folk think; so that’s no excuse to not live in London.

Two of the biggest reasons for people moving out of the city and in to the country are pollution noise; now these little blighters are an actual problem, but it’s no where near as bad as people make out, ask Jeremy (should be Sir) Clarkson, he’ll set you straight. There are plenty of places you can go to avoid the POISONOUS GASES AND LOUD HOOLIGANS!!. Pollution is everywhere and so is noise, and in the country everyone’s driving massive trucks and loud quad bikes, chasing loud arse cows around a muddy field. At least in the city we’re trying to battle the problem with electric motors and small quiet chihuahuas. So there you have another argument settled; it’s actually quieter in the city.

The last thing i’ll mention in this is the main one, fashion. Now i’m sorry to the people of the country but you really don’t help yourselves with this one. Checked shirts, jeans and boots; it’s an OK look, but it’s a stereotype gone mad! In the city people are constantly trying to innovate fashion, and I like checking it all out through Pinterest go check out my Fashion board, it’s Danny Potter, obviously. It’s actually evolving so fast we might all end up looking like the city folk in the Hunger Games! We’ll see.

But as we have decided the city is more quiet, has less pollution, is better for money AND has less murderous gun wielding maniacs. So there you have it, move to the city.

 

 

  

 

 

Gravity

Gravity is one of those films where you kind of know it’s going to be great before you even step foot in the cinema. And we all know why; the cast, obviously. Mixing Clooney and Bullock was perfect, what with both of them being more than capable of holding an entire film with just the two of them, and Bullock being outstanding by herself for most of it.

The opening scene is full of suspense and you automatically know the budget for the film was out of this world; (see what I did there). The use of the emptiness of space is genius and it helps us understand how alone the characters must feel. No noise, No air, No gravity, nothing; just them and not a lot of time. You get the feeling right at the beginning that the third character is never going to make it, not in a million years; he was always going to be the first ‘man down’.

I think the thing which truly engaged my full attention was the suspense; if the film was full of pure action with no wondering what’s going to happen next it would become predictable, and that’s never good. That’s a bit like putting someone like, oh I don’t know, Tom Cruise in to a distopian future and telling him to fight the crap out of everything!!…oh wait they did that didn’t they, Little dialogue creates even more tension and when Bullock is left alone, when Clooney drifts in to the distance- which is rather sad i’ll admit- you get the loneliness that I believe the director was going for.

Now, there is a moment in the film when the viewer is given a really big slice of false-hope pie. It’s when Bullock is almost passed-out and we see Clooney knocking on the window, having made his way back to her against all odds. We kind of know that this isn’t possible and we know that she’s sleeping, but the suspense and genius directing still make us believe that he is alive, and it’s made all the more annoying when she turns round and he isn’t there, to have such a deeply emotional story-line in a film like this is absolutely brilliant. Clooney’s death is not only unexpected, but I reckon if he didn’t die the whole ending would be a bit, happily ever after for my liking.

That however isn’t the greatest scene; the greatest scene isn’t even when they’re in space, it’s when Bullock gets her feet on solid land again (after almost drowning that is) and she can barely stand up because the ‘Gravity’ is too much for her to take. That and the fact that we have know idea how she’s going to get home from that jungle. So two epic performances from two epic actors who, without them, or with anyone else; and I know this sounds a bit cliche, the film would never have been so epic.

YouTube. Such a great platform!

YouTube is such an amazing platform for everyone; whether you’re a singer, musician, magician, or if you are a gamer or simple Vlogger. I have always been interested in everything to do with YouTube and when my housemate showed me the video ‘2 Blacks vs the world’ I had my first experience watching KSI, and he became the reason for me wanting to watch more and more and more YouTube videos and gamers and Vloggers in general and anyone and everyone who has become a YouTuber. It seems to me that YouTube has changed so many lives and it has only been knocking about since 2005; so there’s so much more to expect from so many more YouTubers and of course the ones who have already taken the internet by storm, Jenna Marbles, Caspar Lee, Syndicate, and of course KSI and his brother CSG (Comedy Shorts Gamer) to name just a few!

 

I mainly watch these ‘YouTubers’ now, people who are on YouTube and make videos because they love what they do and it’s great, but I do of course use it for everything under the sun; mostly for You Me At Six and other band music videos and tour diaries; which are awesome, by the way.

Now, I had my Top Five Youtubers, as many people do and they went as follows; 1. KSIOlajidebt; 2.Jenna Marbles; 3. Caspar Lee; 4. Callux; and 5. Adrian Van Oyen. But unfortunately today I have found another which means that someone has to be relegated to the list of ‘Other YouTubers I Like’, and I’m afraid it has to be Adrian Van Oyen. So who’s the newbie to my Top 5 list? Mr Ben Brown, who doesn’t quite have as many subscribers as the rest of my list but he is brilliant and you can clearly see that he does what he does because he loves it, simple. So go check him out. Oh, and he just so happens, as his @MrBenBrown Twitter account says, to be ‘GB Athlete; 2 x Kayak World Champion. Pro Video & Photos. Amateur surfer, pro chiller-outer. Travel addict! So it’s safe to say he’s a busy bee.

I’m going to finish on explaining why the next YouTuber is one of the best, and why he deserves everything he’s got. I mentioned him briefly and as you can see he tops my Top 5. KSIOlajidebt is a YouTube legend, there’s no denying; he has 4,105,747 subscribers for his main account and 1.312,242 subscribers for his second account, that’s mad! I’m pretty sure i’ve watched nearly all of his videos, which may seem strange but you’ll know why when you watch one, and you yourself will be hooked. When he plays a game, he goes in on that game like a blood hound! And when he gets CSG involved it gets even more amazing. He does most of his videos from his bedroom and that’s fine, because that has now become an infamous YouTube stage. He has a job for BT Sport now, has been invited to The Gadget Show live, has his own online clothing store, and has so many other sideline things to get on with i’m not quite sure how he has time to breathe. If you haven’t already,check him out on YouTube via KSIOlajidebt for his first account and KSIOlajidebtHD for his random games account, and Twitter (where he has just had his account verified) on KSIOlajidebt. Off you go.