Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ageing equals great art.

A few years ago in a contemporary gallery in Poland I saw an amazing piece of art that has never really left me. You walked into a room that was essentially an extension of a bay window. The shape of that room gave it a natural flow and people would follow a series of photos of the same person at various ages of his life. The figure was a male. The photos were all the same, same light, same, pose, same outfit with the subject wearing a white top and looking directly into the lens. What was remarkable was the way the pictures were taken to be timeless. You couldn't tell what year they were taken - in fact they were taken in such a way to make you feel they were all recent. But the subject had miraculously aged. He began as a young man and then every ten years or so another picture would show him older and the thing that hit you was that in the space of a few seconds from your first pictorial meeting with this man, you had seen him age a lifetime. I found it a remarkable piece of art, but also found it moving and quite sad. It certainly made me think about my own mortality.

Then I watched an old SNL show with Mick Jagger and I wondered how many times he's felt the exact same thing through the media - but in his case, he is the ageing subject... so it needed to be the subject of a post. I added Keith as well so Mick wouldn't feel lonely. Enjoy!





Scott Norton Taylor - Inner City - Ebook for Kindle, Epub Sony, Palm or online!

Reviews: From Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read May 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book was so intriguing I hardly put it down. Wonderfully written it does not linger on any 
one event nor does it speed through scenes making it a poor read. The characters were well 
thought out and the inner turmoils they all face are far from dull.

5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular April 5, 2013
By Jack
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
The book was simply amazing it had action romance and just enough drama to make me happy 
one of the best books I have ever read

From Barnes and Noble - Nook Books:

Posted December 1, 2012

 Great read.

A story filled with with love, hate, violence, peace and so much more. 538 pages of wondering what will happen 
next. A FULL story from start to finish. Thanks to the author for sharing a great work with the readers.

Posted July 8, 2012
 Couldn't put it down...
For this to have been a free book, it was wonderful. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn't 
put this down. I think this would make a great movie!

Posted April 20, 2012

 Amazing

Perfectly written with great detail it was thought provoking and asked the fundemental question of would you 
stick up for what you believed was right even if you would be killed for doing so.

Posted April 5, 2012

 This book is AWESOME! it keeps you wanting to read the entire ti

This book is AWESOME! it keeps you wanting to read the entire time. It tells of 2 worlds, and both are 
extremely unique. One of the best books I've ever read!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The 10 best coming of age books - Inner City


Here's the link! And Inner City is still free so get reading!

The 10 best coming of age books!


This is from a site called book I can believe in and I did not photo shop it! But I do think it's a bit silly that my book Inner City is number one and Catcher in the Rye is number three.

Any one in their teens or who loves coming of age stories, and in this genre I include social commentary coming of age stories, that is, stories that serve to inform and educate about our world, politics, and social interaction... here's my short list.

1/ Huckelberry Finn
2/ Catcher in The Rye
3/ Lord Of The Flies

These three stand out as classics in any list. Other books I have really enjoyed as coming of age genre are - My Side of The Mountain and The Last Days of Summer (for boys)


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Inner City Reviews and Ratings


INNER CITY is truly being read and enjoyed by a lot of young people. On Amazon, and Good reads I found reviews and discussions about the book. Even Nook Books had a whole two pages and 39 reviews that give it to date 4.5 out of five stars. I'm chuffed and thank you everyone for reading it!

Although out of all the reviews I read this is my favourite:


Anonymous
Posted June 7, 2012
I quit this book after several pages because of innapropriate content 
and a bad word, would not recommend.

I really hope he/she doesn't read this blog!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Gay Marriage – You Cannot Straddle The Rainbow.


When people struggle to construct a logical argument to stop something they're against they usually resort to citing imagined outcomes that are either absurd or terrifying - sometimes both.

For instance – “We cannot allow people to marry a partner of their choice or we will be allowing men to marry horses.”


Of course to allow this argument we must also acknowledge shooting a horse would be murder, owning a horse would be slavery and riding a horse would be just a little weird. We would also need to redefine what we consider to be inclusive of the human race. In fact, there is not much of our legal common law system we wouldn’t have to redefine to fear this outcome.

Or, we could send a grade three teacher across the floor of the government assembly to the elected represented who dared to argue gay marriage should be disallowed on the grounds that horses would be choosing bridesmaids and have her rap that idiot over the knuckles with her discipline stick.  


We are talking about the right of people to marry the person of their choice in a binding, moral, spiritual union. If you argue this means we would need to redefine what marriage is, then fine - redefine it. Our legal system has a legislative history and continued existence built on the revision of earlier laws so why suddenly set in stone those aspects that help the prejudicial deny change to those wanting and needing change?

But then there's religion. Christian...


Muslim...


Hindu and Buddhism.


The Dalai Lama's views aside..Traditional Buddhism has for centuries adopted the view of sexuality that is fast becoming the populist accepted view - allowing variation on sexual attraction to be dictated by individuals and not by the few for the masses, as has been the practice of many societies and religions to this point in our history.


Religious freedom is a basic human right and many around the world, within a variety of different religions still live incredibly pious lives and adhere to the teaching and interpretation of their faith and their faith’s leaders.

This cannot simply be dismissed and if it is, then the argument of gay marriage as a fundamental right can only be made at the expense of other people’s fundamental rights. Faith based beliefs have been so strongly held by the human race through out time they have shaped our history and all too often these beliefs have led to the death of individuals who try to enforce change or disrespect another's religion


Marriage, for many, is still the most seriously held religious pledge and blessing made to and given by God. It would be wrong for those who consider marriage as less sacred to force those who are deeply religious and consider marriage a central doctrine within their belief system to treat it the same way.


For both sides, this choice is a human rights issue.

It is a human right for every member of society to be allowed to take a partner of their choice, to create a family and make a commitment pledge that is morally and spiritually binding, in whatever manner those individuals choose.

But human rights go both ways and often, as, I believe, is the case with gay marriage, two groups, with differing human rights, find these rights in conflict with each other.

Is it justified to force a religious body, officials or congregations to accept a religious ceremony that the body, officials or congregation believe denigrates their religion and devalues their faith?



Freedom of faith, and therefore protection of that faith as those people see it, is also a basic human right.

Of course, this still leaves any argument against a state certified non religious form of gay marriage based on antiquated laws as looking ridiculous. Who is state condoned gay marriage hurting in that case? 

But there is still a case to be argued for those citing religion as their primary opposition to gay marriage. 

Personally I believe and hope that religious people and bodies who choose to oppose gay marriage, and, in so doing, deny equal rights to gays, will lessen in number and fade away as their position becomes increasingly untenable to the wider community. If this happens it will be interesting to see if they change their view in order to survive. 


But, regardless of this personal view or hope, I believe the bigger and current issue that needs to be brought front and centre is that those arguing against gay marriage, while claiming a tolerance of gay people, need to be 'outed' as being incredibly two faced and hypocritical.

You cannot be a little sanctimonious about this issue. If you claim a religiously based human rights charter as an argument to deny marriage to same sex couples you must also claim a personally held religious belief that condemns all same sex attraction as something outside your own personal and spiritual beliefs. Not to do so makes no sense and totally undermines your gay marriage argument.

If you argue against gay marriage on the basis of an ever changing man made legislative agenda that has been constantly changed and update throughout time to accommodate change in society, then you are clinging to it for only one possible reason - to hide your homophobia. 

You cannot sit on the fence and claim to love gays, but deny them marriage. Tony Abbott, the Australian opposition leader famously tried to do this by describing same sex couples entering into civil unions as having relationships that were no less loving and worthwhile than any other relationships, but then declared he didn’t believe they had the right to marry, where marriage would allow exactly the same rights and spiritual union to same sex couples as heterosexual couples.



Trying to argue a separation between an anti same sex marriage stance and a subtle or overt homophobia is illogical. To argue against gay marriage is to argue that in some way you see gay unions as less worthy or less valid a partnership option than that of a man and a woman. To do this you must view homosexuality as less worthy or less valid.  

If you are against gay marriage on religious grounds then you are against homosexuality on religious grounds. To date I have not heard anyone argue against gay marriage, and then embrace the gay community and not sound foolish. The only coherent argument is to site a conviction that your God, through your religion, has made it clear homosexuality is not acceptable.


I don’t agree with that argument, but I respect it. In fact I would argue against people or groups with these views from being forced to change their charters to accommodate gay marriage. Of course once the majority of people, including a majority within these religions start advocating for change alongside the gay community, what do we do? What's the equation that dictates when a human right should be granted to the many if it involves the loss of a human right for the few? How many are enough and how many are too few?

When no loss of life or injury is involved in the denial of a human right, and the granting of that right conflicts with others, it becomes difficult to decide how to give everyone what they demand. And this is certainly a complicated issue for worthy minds, but, it is also time for those who are against this change on religious grounds, or any other indefensible legal grounds, to be held to account. You cannot have it both ways and we should stop allowing our leaders of both church and state this luxury. 


If you are against a fundamental human right, in this case social equality, being extended to people for any reason, then you are against those people fundamentally for the same reasons.

You may only be mildly against them, you may convey and even publicly advocate social tolerance of them, perhaps to cynically remain 'politically correct', but to be against by any degree still means you're against and regard that group, on some level, as less worthy of the full rights of your society. 

You cannot claim acceptance of gay people and their partnerships and not of gay marriage. If you do the time has come for the rest of us to out you as a hypocrite and certainly label you as no friend of Dorothy's. Even the laws of optics make it clear that no-one can have a foot either side of a rainbow.  



Scott Norton Taylor - Inner City - Ebook for Kindle, Epub Sony, Palm or online!

Reviews: From Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read May 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book was so intriguing I hardly put it down. Wonderfully written it does not linger on any 
one event nor does it speed through scenes making it a poor read. The characters were well 
thought out and the inner turmoils they all face are far from dull.

5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular April 5, 2013
By Jack
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
The book was simply amazing it had action romance and just enough drama to make me happy 
one of the best books I have ever read

From Barnes and Noble - Nook Books:

Posted December 1, 2012

 Great read.

A story filled with with love, hate, violence, peace and so much more. 538 pages of wondering what will happen 
next. A FULL story from start to finish. Thanks to the author for sharing a great work with the readers.

Posted July 8, 2012
 Couldn't put it down...
For this to have been a free book, it was wonderful. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn't 
put this down. I think this would make a great movie!

Posted April 20, 2012

 Amazing

Perfectly written with great detail it was thought provoking and asked the fundemental question of would you 
stick up for what you believed was right even if you would be killed for doing so.

Posted April 5, 2012

 This book is AWESOME! it keeps you wanting to read the entire ti

This book is AWESOME! it keeps you wanting to read the entire time. It tells of 2 worlds, and both are 
extremely unique. One of the best books I've ever read!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The best sitcoms on TV


The Best Sitcoms on TV


It’s hard to list anything in order of best to less, simply because everyone has different tastes. I’ve decided to list in groupings of the ‘Very Best’, ‘Best’, ‘Good’ and ‘Average’. The others take care of themselves by diving quickly in the ratings and not being renewed.

But how do you line up the acerbic ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ with the family friendly ‘Big Bang’. You can’t. ‘Californication’ will have its haters because of its subject and language and ‘Wilfred’ will have devoted fans, even though it’s only one joke. The same is true for the family friendly ‘Last Man Standing’ and many others with their own particular subject matter and slant on life.

So here we go, not just a grouping of categories, but an explanation of what you get, the good and the bad for each. Remembering this, as with everything, comes with the influence of my personal taste, although I hope I’ve been as fair and unbiased as possible.

The Very Best

30 Rock – 30 Rock is a hyper fictional setting that can easily be seen to resemble Tina Fey’s time as head writer on Saturday Night Live. Tina’s Character Liz Lemon runs ‘The Girlie Show’, a comedy skit show that isn’t above stooping to the lowest common denominator for laughs. Dealing with executives who only care about the bottom line and a crazy cast of maniacal egos, 30 Rock gets top spot not for its ability to be funny, but for its quest to be funny and also relevant to a social commentary of whatever is going on in the world at the time of production.

Modern Family – is the right show at the right time. Some ideas are just good – and this is one of those. Let’s find a group of people, all related in some way and within their group create diverse and growingly familiar family groupings. Jay the divorced successful patriarch is now married to the gorgeous younger wife, his gay son and partner, appropriately adopting a foreign child and Jay’s daughter who heads up the archetypal nuclear family of 2 parents and 3 kids. It’s relevant, funny and subtle in amongst more obvious humour and it’s those subtle moments that lift it to the very best.


The Big Bang – A Chuck Lorre creation and probably had its birth from the UK’s ‘The I.T. Guys’. Not to say Chuck lifted the idea because Big Bang is a slick vehicle with good plotlines and strong, well defined characters and ‘The I.T. Guys’ is a more surreal, exaggerated caricature styled show that wouldn’t work anywhere but England where the population of complete nutters is high and allows odd characters to thrive on TV. Big Bang is funny because it has found the one group of people it is still politically correct to laugh at – the socially inept. Not specific to any gender, race or other comically protected group – these oddballs, who verge on high functioning autistic are lovingly rendered and it’s because of that they’re so easy to like.

The formerly Very Best (Now a bit Tired)

The Office – Everyone knows the story, The Office is a Ricky Gervaise creation and comes from a transcribing of the UK show that has now extended around 150 episodes longer than the original UK series. It’s struggled since Steve Carrell left, mainly because it was a show built around its lead. Without him they have tried all sorts of new character to gather the threads and take it forward, Ed Helms, Catherine Taite and James Spader. But just like the socially inept boys from the Big Bang, Steve Carrell’s manager, Michael Scott, just like Gervaises David Brent, was and remains one of the great comic sit com characters and try as they might, the show has felt rudderless since his departure.

The Simpsons – Everyone knows the Simpsons is a masterpiece in terms of television history. It ranks alongside the Flinstones and will be remembered just the same. But after so many seasons it’s inevitable that it’s rarely got anything significant left to say.  

The Best

Parks and Recreation – The perfect example of a sleeper. From some of the same creative minds that guided the early seasons of The Office, the first season with the wonderful Amy Poehler, wasn’t very good. Why? It was almost identical to the office with a simple gender switch of the lead. But those creatively in charge saw this before the audience did and subtly repositioned so by the second and certainly the third season they had their own original vehicle that has gone from strength to strength as her character Leslie Knope, a loveable, but a-typical over achieving first child, addicted to rules and procedure, makes a run for a seat on a local council of the saddest town in the world.


Curb Your Enthusiasm – Curb is nothing like anything – possibly a nod to the great ‘Larry Sanders Show’ – this is ground breaking TV in that it uses a storylined plot and actors capable of improvising their own humour and brilliance to the outlined situations. But it’s Larry David’s alter ego, a man Larry has said in interviews he wishes he had the guts to be, who annoys, frustrates and aggravates every moment of life that he grinds through. Be prepared to cringe and shift many times at very relatable familiar situations and see how Larry makes them worse. The big plus is the content. Some of Curb’s subject matter is hard to believe could even be suggested by a sane mind for discussion, let alone dramatically created for broadcast. Only Larry could dream up a typo in a bereavement notice that declares to the world not that the passed love one was a dearly beloved Aunt, but a dearly beloved cunt.

Episodes – Matt LeBlanc throws off Joey once and for all and proves he's a good actor and a funny funny comic, poking fun at himself with the help of two of the team from the UK’s very funny Greenwing. If you haven’t had the pleasure - then see this one. It’s in the form of entourage and just as funny in a laid back sort of way.

Last Man Standing – Two decades after starring in a sitcom about being a grunting man in a house with little grunting men, to the aggravation of the men’s poor wife/mother, Tim Allan is the star of a sitcom about being a grunting man in a house of women where his partner and daughters aggravate him with all things estrogen fuelled. And it’s funny in a very family friendly way. Don’t expect too much outside the classic sitcom parameters, but give it time and even the most avid cynic will be won over by its quality writing. It’s also important to pay dues to Tim Allan. He may be a second tier movie actor in that he’s more of a foil than a lead, but he’s a quality comic performer and the fact he’s pivotal in his second successful sitcom is proof enough.



The Formerly Best (Now a bit Tired)

Two and A Half Men – It started as an in joke about Charlie Sheen. Then Charlie become a parody of himself and self-destructed and so did his show. With Aston Kutcher it is struggling on because it’s such a cash cow for Chuck Lorre, but like many a past champion, it has stayed around a few years too long.

  
South Park – Suffering from the same symptoms as the Simpsons, South Park still has its moments. But it’s hard to rely on shock value humour when they’ve been shocking us for so long. It still has some extraordinary moments flowing from the minds of the perennial eight year olds, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but you get the feeling ‘side’ projects like the Tony award winning, “Book of Mormon” are taking priority these days. Gone are the days of such brilliant comic moments as trying to get Tom and John to come out of the closet.

Good

How I met your Mother – The content is funny with a standout performance from powerhouse performer Neil Patrick Harris playing Barney Stimpson as the straightest man whore on TV, but most find the set up and narration tedious and why those kids listen to such long stories from Dad is anyone’s guess.


Cougar Town - The title is all you need to know about this one. It could have been Demi Moore in the lead, but it's Courtney Cox and she's still funny. The writing is fast and not at all forced. It's funny without pushing the Sex in the City creativity, but it's fun. Want to see what middle aged divorced women do when let off the leash? Watch this.

Californication – A lot of people will be put off by Hank, played by David Duchovney. He’s a loveable arsehole who is well redeemed by his ongoing love and commitment to his ex wife and daughter. A writer of novels and films and stunningly successful, if Hank can’t find a way to self destruct and turn success into failure, no one can.

Always Sunny In Philedelphia – I’ve never quite known what to make of this one. Sometimes it’s not to be missed and other times they miss altogether. It feels like the creators have said let’s see if we can write a sitcom with characters who have no redeeming features or sense or morals. And they’ve done a fair job. Danny DeVito is, as always, brilliant in a ‘ought to be committed’ way. In racing form guide terminology – not the worst.

Hot in Cleveland – this is a star vehicle for Betty White, ably supported by her three co-stars who have all had supporting roles in other shows of note. There are many funny lines, many stereotypes mined for all their comic potential and in the shadow of the long forgotten ‘Green Acres’ – it’s a study of what happens when trendy city folk head to the sticks and discover a simpler happier life.

  
Happy Endings – this is about six friends, close friends, living close lives in Chicago. They do not go for coffee at Central Perk. It’s slick, it’s funny, it taps all the modern demographics. Still being renewed into a fourth season and is likely to grow in popularity. Soft comedy, but quality.

New Girl – A very good first season and hopefully they’ll keep this going. I have to confess I really enjoy watching Damon Wyans Jr and was a little disturbed when he pulled out of this after the pilot to take a spot on Happy endings, but in the end they recast well and it didn’t make much difference. New Girl is the girl taken into a share house/apartment with three guys who have to readjust to living with a woman. A good scenario and well written and plotted. They do seem to be following a formula which is both good and bad – the formula being, whatever happens in the episode, the boys make some sort of sacrifice to support the ‘New Girl’ – cementing their new friendships by episodes end and giving a feel good quality that is a strong plus. But if they keep doing it for every episode they’ll be headed for trouble. Again using form guide vernacular – one to watch.

Awkward – This is a standard, but quality, MTV teenage sitcom about the nerdy girl Jenna played by Ashly Rickards. Her coming of age discovery is that character wins out over superficial qualities and attracts the sort of people of character who are more worthwhile as friends than the standard plastic in-crowd kids. Watch out for the ‘fat-bitch’, played by Marly Tarlov in a standout performance to both pity and hate, as she bullies all and sundry in an effort to feel better about herself. The only let down is that Jenna's coming of age journey is on track in every way but one, her inability to shake off her crush on the jock asshole, the uber popular Matty, while ignoring the far more suitable and charming Jake who obviously has a huge crush on Jenna. Wake up girl! But maybe that’s why I want to keep watching.

I Just Want my Pants Back – Sometimes out of nowhere comes a solid sitcom that grows on you and this is in that category. Filling the age group where 'Friends' began, this is a gritty modern serial sitcom following the trials of 20 somethings struggling to get a foothold in a world that now rewards hard work and the effort of gaining a good education with nametag menial work that degrades and kills the soul. Well on its way to move up into a higher category if it continues into a second season with the strength of the first.

Two Broke Girls – Can you say two and a half women? The half being a horse kept, implausibly in the yard of an apartment – huh? Max is a working class girl trying to make good with her cupcake business and Caroline is a Paris Hilton type whose father ponzied away the family fortune, thrusting her into unfamiliar territory, living a regular life. Throw in a plethora of single entendres and you have this one pretty well covered. Out of one hundred – of course – it’s a 69.


The Middle – Another standard family setup. Two Parents, three kids and and each of different characters. It does struggle without any real strength in scenarios from episode to episode outside of a very buddhist ethos, that life is struggle. Closest to Roseanne, in that the family is lower middle or even working class and struggling for every cent. Everybody Loves Raymond's Patricia Heaton is great as the mum and the janitor from scrubs, Neil Flynn rounds off a quality parental pairing, and the kids are all quirky as they need to be. The lazy shirtless son, the braces wearing nerdy goody goody daughter and the certifiably odd younger son makes it all feel a little formulaic. But these are the negatives that take away from good writing and performances. There is a little labored bitterness in this, an underlying resentment to the struggles children bring, but some will relate and find that very funny – and it is funny in a Malcolm in the Middle style, off centre family way.

Suburgatory – It takes until the very end of the pilot before you can see this may have a hope. Not that it doesn't have some mild amusement throughout the pilot, but it feels like the creators have thought more about the concept than the story or the characters. Tessa is a smart, cool girl from the city, at least in her mind. Her mother has done a runner and after her dad, George finds condoms in her room, he overreacts by moving away from the evil city and out to the suburbs. Tessa's too cool for everyone, sneering her way through the pilot before finally showing some heart and depth in the final few minutes. Along the way we get every suburban cliche possible, smashing us over the head with the idea that suburbanites are all clones of each other. Things like daughter and dad reading books entitled, The Emancipation of a minor for her and Adopting out a Child for him, while amusing, feels forced in what appears to be a teenage coming of age journey where miss uppity from the city will come to value what is on offer. If you like this genre I'd go for Awkward over this, but they're much of a muchness.

Up All Night – A TV talk show producer, Christina Applegate, and for the talk show - think Oprah but smaller, and her husband lawyer played by the ever reliable Will Arnett, are a young successful married couple who have a baby. Then life changes as they know it and the lawyer becomes a stay at home dad. Mya Rudolph, possibly history's most unheralded comedienne, plays the big egoed talk show host and rounds off the three main cast neatly. This is a slick, quality sitcom and would appeal most to those who loved Mad About You. If you've just had a baby or can remember the change it brought to your life - enjoy!

Community – Another surprise hit that comes from a new trend of people being forced to retrain themselves through adult education and go back to school. But this is the last school on the list surely. A great cast, great performances, quirky odd ball characters that keep everything lively and some very big names doing the team thing in this ensemble piece. Chevy Chase, Joel Mchale, Ken Jeong – short of listing the whole cast, this is very worth the watch and an added bonus for those who love film and TV are the many episodes that take a well known film or television show and pay homage.

Wilfred – There’s this man, going through some sort of breakdown, who thinks his dog can talk and smoke bongs. That’s the joke in this whimsical little sitcom that began life unexpectedly as an 8 minute film festival short film in Australia. Was picked up by a minor network and developed into a series and then developed again for American TV starring the original dog, Jason Gann and for the US, Elija Wood, proving he’s up for comedy. It’s funnier than the one joke, but only through clever development. There are more laugh out loud moments in this than laugh out loud episodes, but it’s still worth the effort, especially if you’re high.


Whitney – On the strength of some of the funniest comic lines delivered by its star on the promo this is still a little bit of a let down, but after more than a few episodes I have worked out why and I may be doing this one an injustice - because I'm a guy. That's right, this is a chick flick condensed into neat little 30 second episodes. As a guy I find Whitney the character annoying. She hangs around with two friends who are also annoying. One is in love and one wants to make love and this is the scope of the 'friends' input. The guys are three, the financial adviser who seems cultured and intelligent and the cop who abuses his position to carry on like a jock frat boy. Then there's Whitney's boyfriend who seems like the perfect guy delivering the perfect relationship until Whitney find a way to test and question that relationship to see if it will survive. It's well acted and there are some funny lines, but for me, it's one sided and not very real. The arguments are real, but not the reaction of the guy/boyfriend. In the real world, Whitney would have to learn to take the good with the good or eventually, in the real world, her boyfriend would be placing her in the too hard basket and moving on.   

Mike and Molly – Oh, fat people. How funny are they? Another Chuck Lorre vehicle, or should I say reinforced chasis, ba-doom-ching! This one has plenty of comic weight from a sitcom heavy. This will satisfy anyone with a large appetite for funny one liners, but if you need to buy two seats to take a flight, you may not find it full of large belly laughs. Get the idea? This is a big fat sitcom that belches laughs.

Workaholics – If Californication is for an adult audience then this is the same style for the student body or those new to the workforce and fresh out of school. Basically three dickheads do stuff to alleviate their boredom of being stuck in a shitty job. Along the way they hump anything not nailed down and down any drug they can find. It’s got good performances and is funny in a contemptible way, but don’t say the word role model around any of these boys.

Retired at 35 - You can't build a decent show on a premise that doesn't work. I couldn't stop asking myself why a successful person, at 35, would leave the rat race and move into his parents retirement villa to live with them. Now if mum or dad had been ill, perhaps slowly slipping into dementia, then that would have solved this and despite it not being badly written and certainly well cast with curmudgeony George Segal as dad, I'm not in a rush to watch more. 

What have I missed? Let me know.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Snow White and The Huntsman - review



There is always something disturbing when a book you love is turned into a film with considerable alteration to the original story. That's not to say that Snow White and the Huntsman isn't an entertaining film it is, but don't go into it expecting to see the plot line that most of us first heard as a bedtime story and then had cemented in our child hood memories by the animated Disney version. Perhaps the clue is in the title, a significant change right up front to warn us this is not the same story we have all come to know and love.


Hi Ho

This is an entertaining film. Described as an action adventure I would argue it better fits into the fantasy/horror genre as the evil queen obsessed with her own beauty and relentlessly pursuing it for no other reason than vanity, sucks the life out of young women in order to regain her youth in a Dorian Gray style quest to hold on to her looks - the milk bath sure to be the next beauty fad.




The one lesson of the original story holds true - that date rape is okay if you're really good looking and molesting a young woman while she is passed out unconscious is a chivalrous act that ends in happiness all round.




Kristen Stewart plays Snow White, an innocent and a relatively passive character virtually unaware of all the evil and conspiracies around her and aimed at her. The evil queen, Charlize Theron, is suitably menacing and the huntsman, Chris Helmsworth, is the sort of rugged blue collar worker that most women dream of in fiction, rough tough and, unlike the real world, extremely well spoken and thoughtful of a woman's feelings.




So that's it, is it? That's the change? They've taken the date rape Prince role and turned it into a huntsman? Not at all, the prince is still there, but he's not the one true love of Snow White. In this version of the tale he's the other guy - you know the one, he likes you and always hangs around hoping one day you'll get so drunk you'll throw him a bone. But under any other circumstances he's the guy you try to avoid leading on because unlike the hunky Huntsman who sits back and never makes a pass, Prince Wandering hands will be on you at the very first opportunity.




And what about the dwarfs? they're there too, but given the sort of cameo roles in remakes that are usually reserved for the name players from the original. It's worth the wait and brought an acknowledging titter through the cinema as the childhood favourites and the most memorable character from the original are given their well deserved nod. Hi-ho, hi-ho, we're minor players though!




If not for the original story this would have been a solid little fantasy piece that doesn't drag and is worth the effort, but if you doggedly hold the original story in your head as you try to enjoy it you may end up leaving this with serious reservations.


Out of five - Almost three.