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Showing posts from April, 2018

Why I Love Grand Theft Auto V

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"Skeletons in your closet
Itchin' to come outside
Messin' with your conscience
In a way your face can't hide Oh things are gettin' real funky
Down at the old corral
And it's not the skunks that are stinkin'
It's the stinkin' lies you tell, yeh What did your mama tell you about lies
She said it wasn't polite to tell a white one
What did your daddy tell you about lies
He said one white one turns into a black one So, it's gettin' ready to blow
It's gettin' ready to show
Somebody shot off at the mouth and
We're gettin' ready to know It's gettin' ready to drop
It's gettin' ready to shock
Somebody done turned up the heater
An'a it's gettin' ready to pop."
Even if GTA V didn't have a brilliantly written, insightful, hilarious story, it would still be one of the great works in the history of video games. Los Santos is perhaps the most staggering game world the player has ever seen, packed fu…

Why I Love Quitting Smoking

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"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times." - Mark Twain

I started smoking cigars many years back. I liked the flavour and the social benefits that come from congregating in beer gardens and talking to people you wouldn't usually talk to. Cigars were easy to pick up and put down. They do not have nearly the same addictive quality that cigarettes have. I started smoking cigarettes because of my friend Conor, who would regularly have a pack and would offer me one or two when we were drinking. Something people don't tell you in warning you not to start smoking is that not only are they perfectly addictive things, but that for a while you actually get a high from them. This fuzzy headed, dizzy feeling was something that I started really missing when I would have a drink, so I started to buy packets for myself. It took a while for me to get properly hooked. At first I was able to control where and when I woul…

Why I Love Kanye West

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"This that prom shit, this that what we do don't tell your Mom shit, got a fresh cut straight out the salon, bitch."

There is no producer or artist more influential in the last decade than Kanye West. He has progressed Rap and R&B in ways that no-one else can compare with in the last fourteen years. Kanye has come under some scrutiny recently with comments in favour of Donald Trump. I am unsure if he genuinely means them, or if he is just following in the footsteps of contrarians like one of his unexpected influences, Lou Reed. I think it's probably the latter. Kanye knows the art of playing an old school wrestling heel. He tells you things you don't want to hear, but yet can't help but need to hear his new music.

I am not pro-Donald Trump by any stretch of the imagination, but it reminds me that while people on the left have supported the right of artists to state their political opinion when it agrees with theirs, they are sometimes very disgruntled ab…

Why I Love Singin' In The Rain

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"Dignity. Always dignity."

I didn't used to like musicals. I thought they were silly, frivolous things. Then I saw the Coen Brothers' masterpiece O' Brother Where Art Thou? and everything changed. I began to seek out musicals that had the same adoration of the power of music and dance. West Side Story, Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, High Society - all amazing. My favourite though is the classic Gene Kelly movie Singin' In The Rain. Singin' In The Rain is everything The Artist wasn't: a wise, uplifting and beautiful movie about the transition from silent movies to talkies. Unlike The Artist, Singin' In The Rain has more to it than a simple gimmick, it is a wonderful treasure trove of amazing song and dance, and genuinely hilarious physical/verbal comedy. Wrapped around a tremendously romantic story, Singin' In The Rain is probably the greatest musical ever made.

Even if you don't like musicals, Singin' In The Rain is a very com…

Why I Love Bayley Vs Sasha Banks Ironman Match

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Good wrestling can change your life. When it is at its best, there is genuinely nothing I find more meaningful in created things. The hero's journey: the struggle to endure through trials that ravage your body and soul. Women's wrestling was never a big thing for pretty much anybody. It was toilet break TV, and the athleticism and storytelling brilliance that arose in the men's matches was almost always absent. Not that there weren't great female wrestlers before now: there were, plenty of them. The way these athletes were treated however was shameful, sidelining them in favour of glorified soft porn stars who couldn't spell suplex, let alone execute one. WWE and much of the wrestling in the world was sexist, bordering on misogynistic. Now, in 2018, things have thankfully changed.

Women's wrestling in WWE and NXT is arguably the best thing going today in wrestling. A major reason why this is now the case, has to do with four women: Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlot…

Why I Love Amadeus

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"I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am the patron's saint. Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you all."

I don't know a lot about Mozart or Classical Music, except that I love it. My journey through Mozart's work began when my mother showed me perhaps the greatest movie about music Amadeus, many years ago. Amadeus, directed by the late, great Milos Forman plays on a comment that the real life Salieri made after Mozart died, that he felt responsible for his death. Amadeus was a play to begin with, and while it doesn't particularly adhere to the facts, what is created in their absence is so powerful that it really doesn't matter. There has never been a better movie made about the creative process - Whiplash comes close - or about the great pain that comes from being a mediocre talent in the presence of pure genius.

Salieri begins his creative life with gre…

Why I Love Drive

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"There’s a hundred thousand streets in this city. If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes, then I’m yours, no matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that, and you’re on your own."

Sometimes style is substance. This is certainly the case with Nicholas Rinding Refn's Drive. Drive is a Neo Noir with serious chops. It's up there with the very best, and based on pure visual joy it reminds one of another great Neo Noir, Blade Runner. Ryan Gosling, one of the most beautiful men in the world, is a nameless getaway driver who falls in love with his neighbour played by the wonderful Carey Mulligan. Drive has a beautiful soundtrack to complement the incredible visuals, featuring one of the truly great cinematic moments with a long drive with The Driver, Irene and her son Benicio all done to the song A Real Hero by College featuring Electric Youth. "A real human being...&qu…

Why I Love Wonder Woman

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"I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves - something no hero will ever defeat. I've touched the darkness that lives in between the light. Seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they'll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give... for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever."

After the astonishing success of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, DC haven't been able to catch a break. They have overseen five movies in the DC Universe and all came with unkind and unfair critical response. Where as Disney have become adept at getting overwhelmingly positive reviews for even the most insignifica…

Why I Love Luke Cage

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"You can't fix me. I'm unbreakable."

Luke Cage might just be my favourite Super Hero/Comic Book movie of all time. It has far more in common with The Wire, for the way it examines race and issues of social justice, than it does with pretty much any standard comic book fare. It is, along with Batman V Superman and Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, one of the smartest comic book adaptations out there. Unlike Batman movies though, I am not well acquainted with Luke Cage comics, so I cannot speak on how faithful the show is towards the source material. When I wrote for a comic book website many years ago, I never really cared about how many things adaptations changed, as long as the end result was pleasing, and boy is Luke Cage pleasing. 

The number of characters who are compelling is high. Luke Cage himself is, in my opinion, far more interesting and big time shout out loud in FUCK YES shouts than the lead in Black Panther, which it shares quite a bit with. When one consid…

Why I Love The Weeknd Live at Coachella 2018

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When I first saw The Weeknd live in 2013 on the Kiss Land tour, it changed my life. Sure, I had been to some good concerts before - Brian Wilson performing SMiLE live in 2004 in Glasgow was a highlight - but never had I seen someone who could genuinely be called 1) a future legend and 2) in their prime. It was, I imagine from seeing many concert films, like seeing Michael Jackson in his prime, before the drugs and the mental illness consumed him. Abel Tesfaye AKA'd as The Weeknd is one of the primary architects of Noir R&B, Progressive R&B and Ambient R&B. This means, in case you didn't know, that he is responsible for some of the most astonishing, life affirming and sensual music of the last decade.

The Weeknd headlined last night at Coachella, nearly seven years on from his first appearance at the music festival. Fresh off of his newest #1 album My Dear Melancholy, Abel dazzled and awed the audience both live in person and some 60,000 viewers of the Coachella Yo…