Archive | April 2013

Iron Man 3 tomorrow

Pretty much what it says really. First summery thing of the summer with friends, off to the cinema tomorrow for the new Iron Man.

Not a huge fan of comic book films really, especially Iron Man. The Dark Knight trilogy was awesome, obviously, and I liked The Avengers and Amazing Spiderman.

Iron Man is one of my favourite Avengers because he’s hilarious, but the actual Iron Man films just haven’t been very good to me. It’s the same superhero film formula, he’s never realistically going to be beaten because he’s the hero. True of most film plots I suppose, just more glaringly obvious with superheroes.

But it should still be entertaining, it’s Orange Wednesday too so will be cheap, and it’s good to get out and do things with people. As long as it doesn’t involve a horrid sweaty club playing horrid sweaty music I’m in.

So yeah, not a massive comic book nerd or film nerd, not gonna pretend to be. Still hopefully be a good film and a fun day tomorrow, looking forward to it.

Also I just ordered Dominos and really need to start eating better over summer. I should have a job sorted at some point and I have futsal and squash and swimming and gym to keep fit with, I just don’t know how to diet.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

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12 Angry Men

Going through the IMDb Top 250 list a couple of weeks ago, as you do, and this film was at number 5 or 6.

It’s from 1957, and is set almost entirely in a jury’s chamber, as one man tries to convince the rest of the jury that a murder case isn’t quite as cut and dry as they believe.

This is probably something that won’t get me a lot of views, but I had to just put out there how brilliant I thought it was so that other people might see this and watch the film.

I loved this film. It is so simple in how it’s set out. There are 12 men, cooped up in one room on a warm day, deciding whether or not a young man is to be sent to the chair.

The fan is broken, so everyone starts to get hot and flustered. Then Henry Fonda comes in saying that this apparently obvious case might not be so clear, and we see each man unravel to varying degrees as he keeps them there to convince them the man may not be guilty.

The camera angles used throughout the film get lower down and closer in as the film goes on, enhancing the effect of claustrophobia that is setting in on the men.

The thing I like best about this film is the fact it doesn’t try a huge swervey twist to trick us. It’s nice to sit through a film not thinking about whether everything you’re being made to feel and see is a way of throwing you off the actual meaning of the film.

Huge twists are one of my least favourite plot devices. I’m sure people disagree, but I can’t enjoy a film if I’m trying to second guess myself all the way through it.

Anyway, the cast of 12 Angry Men are all brilliant, a truly diverse group of people from all ends of the tracks, which makes for an entertaining array of dynamics.

Great film, dramatic and tense without huge set pieces and wild story swings.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Title 20

Just watching the closing stages of United-Villa, been a no contest since about 12 minutes in.

We have been a bit stop start for a lot of years in the cup competitions, especially the FA Cup, but the Premier League will do me for this season. This time last year was just unbearable so it’s nice to see City well behind, and with four games left can’t be caught.

A lot of people have been saying how poor this squad has been compared to previous years, but I think it’s developing into the best squad I’ve ever seen, including the ’99 side.

Last year we didn’t deserve to win the league on squad strength, even take second, but we still pushed City to the last day and should really have won it ourselves before then.

Since then Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie have come in. van Persie has made the difference obviously, but Kagawa offers something different in midfield.

Then there is the development of De Gea, Rafael, Welbeck, Cleverley, Evans, Smalling and Jones. A lot of young players to take us forward and they’ve come on so much this season. Carrick, Giggs, Hernandez and Ferdinand have been superb as well.

De Gea looks like the Messi-slayer he was in Spain, Rafael has improved unbelievably defensively, and Jones and Smalling will slot in seamlessly when Rio and Vidic retire.

Just a shame I’m watching the crowning moment of the season at uni by myself. My current favourite player in the world RvP has helped with a magic second goal of a half hour hattrick.

There goes the whistle, champions again! Feels good.

Chuffed for De Gea, RvP, Kagawa and the rest who have won their first BPL title.

Fergie is a stupendous human being. He will never retire.

I love RvP. So much. Knew he was worth £24m.

Valencia had his best game since he came back from his broken leg tonight. Pleased he looked sharp and hope he can kick on next year because he has been our best winger over the last three or four years.

Whatever people say we could do with holding onto Rooney. Fancy a European charge next season.

Going back over the City 3-2, RvP’s hattrick against Southampton, even coming back twice against West Ham last week. Can’t wait for next season to go already.

I also like the look of Buttner when Evra hangs it up.

Enough of my thoughts spewing all over everywhere. Off to watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

UNITED!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Save Rock and Roll – Fall Out Boy

I don’t like hyphens. Just making sure everyone knows. But the only other thing I could’ve replaced them with would be quotation marks around the album, and I like them even less than hyphens. I always think that given the context and the capitalisation it would be clear what the film or song or album name was.

Never mind, apparently it’s what has to be done. But my essays also have to be done, and I’m doing this instead, so sod it.

I’m trying to listen to Spotify playlists on the train, but the connection is shocking. I can still listen to Fall Out Boy’s new album though since I have it on my iPod.

They got back together a couple months back and put out a song that made me say “Oh god they’ve sold out this is the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone.” Using speech marks is fine, since it’s speech.

Good thing I have Spotify. It’s still playing now. The Phoenix should have been the lead single, it sounds more like old FOB than anything else on the album so it would have eased older fans like me in before going another direction.

I do hate it when people just sit and say things like artists they used to really like suck because they changed it up and don’t sound the same. Bands evolve, if all their records sounded the same what would the point be in having more than one record? I’m not a fan of the artwork though it has to be said.

I still prefer Take This To Your Grave, but this is still really good. Rat A Tat is ruined completely by Courtney Love’s absolute lack of talent, but Elton John makes up for it in Save Rock And Roll. Everyone loves Sir Elton.

I wasn’t impressed with Folie a Deux. I was glad they tried to do something different but I always hoped it wouldn’t be their last album. This could well be, and I would be happy to have it to remember them by. It’s a bit electronic as well, but still cool.

Oh, and Patrick’s voice is immense. Anyone who thinks Justin Bieber or Will.I.Am are musical geniuses haven’t heard this guy.

Now, about those essays.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Back at uni, bored of uni

I think these posts are going to get more and more infrequent. I used to think I had to keep them regular, I’m a bit OCD like that. But now I’m like hey, I’ll post when I have something worthwhile to post about.

Having said that, all I have to say now is that uni sucks. I’ve been back since Sunday and I’m just weirdly stressed here. I have to drive out to Teeside tomorrow for filming, but I’m well on top of all my work, so hopefully I can get everything done by next weekend.

If I do though I’ll have like a week and a half to kill before my assessments start. All I know is I have to get everything handed in by the 9th, so I can go back for Jess’ little brother’s christening. Need some nice clothes for that come to think of it.

So than it’s home for summer, apart from one day back for an exam. Then summer, hopefully with a job, then moving into a house that I can’t get a viewing sorted for because noone seems to want to look at it again. I’m worried it’s going to be another horror show. More annoying since I was all set to move into a brand new one before I was ‘swapped’ for someone in this one.

So who knows what I’ll be like come 2014. Alls I know is I’m gonna be very close to graduating, which is scary.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

A list: Go-to songs #1 – 5.4.13

This is a new list of things. Probably the last post I’ll get out before uni time again, yay.

Before I go to sleep I like to put my iPod in and put some of my favourite songs on. At the moment these are the ones I scroll onto when I can be bothered, otherwise I just go shuffling on through for about 200 songs.

Walk – Foo Fighters (Wasting Light, 2012)

Currently learning this on guitar, so will probably be sick of it before long, but for now I’m very much enjoying it. More like classic Foos than anything else on Wasting Light.

You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance – A Day To Remember (For Those Who Have Heart, 2008)

Went through my ADTR phase listening to What Separates Me From You, so this album is still repeat-free for me. A little heavier than what I usually like for vocals, but it’s good for once in a while.

Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind (Third Eye Blind, 1997)

This song, and pretty much this whole album, reminds me of the film Yes Man. Obviously because of the ledge scene where Jim Carrey sings Jumper. I’m sure this one is on an American Pie film too though.

Pocket – Biffy Clyro (Opposites, 2012)

Yup, still listening to this album. Pocket has become my top listening song from it, primarily because it’s less than three minutes and is poppy and bouncy and fun. Not as good as Biblical though.

3 Cheers For The Easy Life – Deaf Havana (Meet Me Halfway, At Least, 2009)

Last one, love the vocals towards the end of this song. Not an album I’ve really had much listen time for, but I love this and Friends Like These, they can be a little too screamy sometimes.

Hooray for lists, here are some more: Creepy or Common 1, Creepy or Common 2, Top 22 Albums 1, Top 22 Albums 2, Top 10 Actors.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Wrestlemania! Aftermath

Been a few days since last post, because this is the first time I’ve been back on my laptop since then.

Wrestlemania started off well, we all got there well in time and got some good seats. The walk wasn’t too cold and we had the drinks in before it came on.

But then, literally a second after the first bell of the first match, the bar’s Sky satellite went down. Which meant we missed about half of the whole thing.

After trying a different bar, and watching half a Jericho match on a small TV, we decided to go back to Big Al’s and just see if it came back on. There was a technician there by the time we got back, and we actually got the projector back on in time for Undertaker.

The fact that it went off made the night really. Since none of us bought any drinks when it was off because we were minutes away from going home we saved loads of money for when it was back on. We also got two free bottles of champagne for coming back.

Only problem with the champagne was after it had gone everything else tasted like sewage for the next half hour. But we got to see the three matches we went for.

The atmosphere wasn’t what is was last year, obviously so since half the people left, but it was still good.

Genuinely was convinced halfway through the Punk-Taker match that Undertaker would lose, also thought Lesnar would win, and obviously knew Cena would.

Didn’t stop us all chanting rather loudly, bit of a sore throat in the morning time but otherwise not too worse for wear.

Got my hair cut after getting up, looks the same to everyone except Jess. Then went to watch the derby with Alex and need not have bothered.

The first half was so poor from both teams, only Jones and Clichy really stood out for me, and when the two best players are defenders it’s clearly not been a classic.

Still, we were still well in it, even though Giggs, Rafael and Evra were all having shockers. Second half we played better as a team, but still didn’t even look like scoring.

De Gea got unlucky with the first goal, deflected past him. We certainly got lucky with ours, Jones clearing van Persie’s free kick off the line onto Kompany and in.

Then Aguero’s goal was just down to awful defending from just about everyone, keeper no chance.

So a disappointing end to the weekend, league should still be ours though. Gonna watch the Stoke game before going back to uni on Sunday, avoid the traffic from the Sunderland Newcastle game.

Couple of NBs, very very sorry Jess and Emily for keeping you up all night Sunday, and Dom I hope your head has somewhat recovered since yesterday.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Wrestlemania!

I feel no shame. As other wrestling fans will already know, since I end every post with a Cactus Jack quote.

Wrestlemania is on in two days, and a few of us are off to the newly reopened sports bar in town for it.

I used to watch wrestling when I was smaller, when every match had people being hit in the face with chairs and swearing and bleeding everywhere. Since then everyone from back then has retired or is really old and only come out for Wrestlemania.

My favourite wrestler ever was Shawn Michaels, so I watched his last two matches with The Undertaker and was very sad when he retired. They have been watched lots since.

This guy.

Other than those two matches, I’ve barely kept up with any of the business for about five years. I went back to watching it every week last year, but it was rubbish so that didn’t last long.

But last year Undertaker was back as usual, against Triple H. The Rock and Chris Jericho were back too, so five or six of us went out to watch it. There were about 150 other people there, and the atmosphere was just brilliant. Plus you could get three pints for £6.

Hoping for something of the same this year, although I’m not sure what is happening with most of the matches. It’s also on til 4am, so I probably won’t be able to get any decent food on the way home.

This year has Undertaker vs CM Punk, HHH vs Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs The Rock to get me excited enough to go watch it.

So, why is it embarrassing to like wrestling?

Because people who like UFC and know nothing about wrestling say ‘it’s fake’ and so on, and generally dismiss any claims of it being a valid source of entertainment.

Which is fine, for them. For me, watching something where the winner is already decided but gives the same amount of emotion in half an hour as a year of UFC, and provides better storytelling than anything in sport, isn’t really sport to begin with.

It’s entertainment. Like the kind of entertainment The Rock continues to being to the big screen. I regularly sit down and Youtube my favourite football clips, and watch them all back to back because they’re like the highlights of a lifetime watching football.

Wrestlemania is like that, but live.

It takes all the passion and emotion of sports, takes storytelling from the movies (more recently it’s been more like soap operas, but nevertheless), and puts it all into four hours for people to yell and cheer and boo at.

 

So this is why I’m looking forward to watching Wrestlemania 29. Not as much as last year, but I hope the atmosphere will be just as electric.

And to people still saying it’s fake, they do a very good job of making this look real. (Pretty gruesome injury, don’t watch it unless you don’t mind watching legs pointing the wrong way.)

People are entitled to their opinions, so those who think wrestling is stupid probably can’t be convinced. I don’t think I’ll lose much sleep over that though.

 

And I know I’ve categorised it under Sport, but I’m not making a ‘Sports Entertainment’ category just for this post, so there.

Also, Spotify doesn’t open automatically for me anymore.

 

Wrestlemania 29, April 7, midnight. Watch it.

If you don’t want to watch those, the two HBK-Taker matches I was talking about are here: WM25 and here: WM26. You’re welcome.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy

Longer nights are better and worse

The clocks went back last week so we all get an extra hour of sunlight at night.

It’s a good thing because it means we’re moving into spring time fully now, also evidenced by the lambs bouncing around. With days being lighter later I feel like I can get more done in a day than usual.

But, the bad part of this is that living in the north of England means it’s still pretty cold. When it gets to about 6 or 7 in the evening it’s too cold to really think about doing anything outside, so the point of a more exercisey time it gone.

I hate that dusky not-quite-night period after the sun goes down. I like sunny days and I like night-time, but that part is just annoying. If the Sun worked like a light switch I would be much happier.

It also says “Hey, come outside, it’s summer soon!” when really it’s still as cold as December at evening times.

Today and yesterday have both been quite warm though, so I’ve been up and about.

That’s all, gotta go apply for jobs now if I can get Word to work.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

April Fools! Last Action Hero

Happy April Fools Day everyone! I hope people got some good April 1st pranks in, I always forget about it until after midday, so I never get a chance to prank anyone.

Never really been overly excited about Easter, apart from when I was little since all kids like chocolate. Not so fussed now, although I got £100 in late birthday money, which was nice.

After a Sunday dinner yesterday I ended up at Alex’s for a Chinese, haven’t had BBQ ribs and duck chow mein in ages so that was nice as well.

After watching the end of Se7en and the whole entirety of American Psycho, I watched Last Action Hero before I fell asleep at about half 4.

Has to be said straight away, this is a ridiculous film. It is just action cheese and impossible explosions turned up to 100.

That seems to be the point of the thing though. It is about a kid who gets taken into a movie by a magic ticket. Already ridiculous. Everyone in the movie thinks they are real and that the film world is real.

Disregarding the lack of film crews and cameras and whatnot, you can make sense of it. It has a fun take on the insane nature of most action films from the 80s and 90s, where everything explodes if you shoot it, and the hero can withstand a million bullet shots.

When they come out into the real world, the movie’s hero Jack Slater (Arnie) is surprised by cars not exploding and police not instantly arriving after someone is shot.

There are the usual hilarious Arnie one-liners and mental stunts, but it’s all done in a very tongue-in-cheek way. I like the fact that Arnie is prepared to have a go at the kind of film that he embodies, knowing that it is somewhat exaggerated.

It’s not an amazing action film, or a Walk Hard-style parody, it’s just a funny film that pokes a bit of fun at the genre that it is supposed to be, if that makes any sense.

So it isn’t 8 or 9 out of 10 good, but it is an enjoyable 6 out of 10 good. Again, if that makes sense.

I think it does.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack