Saturday, 26 December 2009

Film: District 'fooking' 9

Wow, District 9 was amazing! I think it's probably the best film I've seen all year. Set in Johannesburg, and staring unknowns, it is about a bunch of fairly benign aliens living in a slum, and being relocated due to humans not liking them very much. It is shot in the style of a documentary to a large extent, and reminded me very much of Starship Troupers, and a quite a bit of Terminator, but with more of a heart. It's a right mixture actually; of social commentary, action, sci-fi and the essential, great storytelling.
The film drags you in right from the start, with no dull build up. You get to see the aliens straight away, and you are expected to get up to speed with the facts of the situation in the first five minutes, which I liked. It was non-patronising and kept your interest right from the start (unlike, say paranormal Activitzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).
Whilst there were the obvious political issues of race and immigration floating around, they were present, but not 'rammed down your throat' as The Daily Mail would say, patronisingly.
I really liked the main guy in it, he was a great actor and played a brilliant role; multi-faceted character, unlikeable in the extreme at first (not least due to his accent) but extremely believable as his character went from annoying everyman to desperate fugitive. He really made you give a shit about his character, and it made me laugh every time he said 'fuck' as 'fook'- he sounded Scottish through and through. We even checked the end credits to see if he WAS Scottish. The South African accent is crazy.
The other excellent thing were the aliens; they looked a bit cheapy at first, but due to clever characterisation through the subtitles 'fuck off!' and various outfits, I really grew to love them. I like the fact the hero alien was called Christopher, and the kiddy alien is beyond cute. Christopher's bomber jacket was also totally chi-chi.
The main part of this film is total bang bang, explosion, robot/ alien action fighting, which sounds awful on paper, but was really exciting due to the script being really smart and interesting.
I thought the spaceship just hovering in the sky throughout was also a clever device, as it was like 'the elephant in the room' and you were just waiting for it to all kick off.
The set up for the sequel was so laboured it was almost beyond belief, but I'll forgive 'em cos I want to see that sequel!
If you don't watch this film, you're mad.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Top of the Pops Christmas special: There's a she-wolf in the closet

A Christmas special before I get drunk! My gift to you, mainly because nobody loves me and I'm spending Christmas alone in a bedsit (with the man I love!) Warning: I may break the profanity barrier with this one.
Stop telling me what's coming up! This is where Andi Peti went wrong with this show, no one in their right mind wants to know what's coming up, as they wouldn't watch another minute. Leave it mysterious!!!
I have never heard 95% of these songs. It's fun being out of touch with pop music! This has got a good beat (if only).
Alexandra Burke has nice hair.
Why is the bloke from One True Voice singing with Dizzeeeeeee Rascal? Is he keeping it real? Dizzee is a fucking sell out. This is truly music for munts.
The Saturdays. Well, by Friday life has killed me.
Muse have come dressed in the comedy style, something they've also been applying to their albums for a few years now. Plug in Baby, I miss you.
La Roux just have this one song, right? Her voice is so shrill! Weeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeee. Shut up.
Sugababes. I've got diabetes.
JLS. I like JLS, they seem like well-brought up young men and their dancing is amusing. Aston Merrygold has a very festive name. This is one the mums can enjoy.
Florence and the (rage against the) Machine. She looks like she smells of lavender. Is she trying to out-shrill La Roux? Her lyrics make Dizzee Rascal look poetic. She looks like an old goth who's just crawled out of a coffin. Go crawl back in. (I do like one of hers, but it aint this one).
Diversity aint a pop group! This is diluting the brand. I do fancy that one though. No not THAT one, you sick fucker.
Have Kasabian got Johnny Marr on guitar? I wouldn't put it past the old tart. This is abominable. Nice comedy wigs though. Just putting 'fire' in the title doesn't make you Kings of Leon you know, and even they can take their beards and fuck off. Fearne, I need your music recommendations like I need to be locked in a room with Peaches Geldof giving me her home-spun philosophy on Pink Floyd and crop circles.
Seems like going 'ooooh' is pretty much order of the day. Apart from Shakira who went Aaowoooo! And mentioned lycanthropy and coffee machines. Her lyrics are truly a joy. When she's the best thing on a show about music, be afraid.
Robbie Williams was reading his 'lyrics' off an autocue. Wow, this song is really bad, I didn't realise he'd got this bad. 'Hysterical, historical...' fuck off. You look like a haggard fucking old lizardy talentless cunt. Die.
And for your Christmas number one, I bring you a song that was an embarrassment to all involved when I was 13 years old and is now an internet embarrassment sixteen years later. Is there a radio edit? Oh they cut off the end. Fearne sounded bitter about it! LOL. Mysteriously we couldn't 'sing along' to most of it as we had been allowed for the rest of the show. Motherfuckers.
No little Joe Mceldry? You have denied the grans that with their Christmas lunch? You heartless bastards. Now go get drunk whilst I have a little cry.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wife Swap: The last episode

I'm not sad to see the back of Wife Swap; a tired old format, indeed, but no more so than say 'I'm a Celebrity...' which chugs on unabashed. I understand why they culled Wife Swap; they should have done it about five years ago. I'm still angry about Big Brother, though. That's not a format problem, but a producer problem.
So will Wife Swap go out with a bang or a whimper? Let's see.
Tori is a 'lady who lunches' (i.e. spends her husband's money). They have 5 houses, but no romance. She swapped with Sam, who has seven kids! Wow, that's a lot. They seemed poor but happy.
Sam started crying because Tori had a nicer kitchen than her. Tori started crying because Sam only had 2 grand coming into her house a month. Both the women reminded me of each other quite a lot, which doesn't make for the most explosive episode. All Wife Swap seems to do is confirm sexist roles, and that being a housewife is total drudgery. I know they seek out the 'extremes' but it's sad to think that so many lives are still defined in this way, and that people don't even question it.
The 'rich' husband said 'what my wife does in a day is a mystery to me.' How sad.
The one good thing about Wife Swap is, of course, there is always SOMETHING to learn from another family's way of doing things, some saving grace. The 'rich' wife sounded like a right snob saying she could learn nothing from the council estate mum. She could learn to spend some time with her husband, for a start. Plus she looked AS rough as the council estate mum, even with all that cash. 90 grand aint that much anyway between a couple plus a family. That's less per head than what I live on if you divide it by 4.
Tori made a twat of herself at the table meeting. She was really looking down her nose, which was unbecoming. The husband she got to swap with was a nice bloke; she got lucky if anything.
I don't blame Sam for walking out; Tori was just plain rude. If someone has to come in and tell you to spend time with the little people you've given birth to, you're the idiot, Tori, money or not.
And so ends Wife Swap. Which is fine, but can we have the brand new spangly fresh-idea programming now?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Live: Placebo at Manchester Central

My name is lightupvirginmary, and I am a Placebo addict. I have listened to nothing but Placebo for 6 months. My boyfriend and I watch Placebo play live at Rock AM Ring 2006 pretty much every weekend, combined with a bunch of our other favourite Placebo gigs, interspersed with our Placebo remix youtube disco. It is obsessive. My last FM has seen Placebo overtake The Killers, Patrick Wolf and Bloc Party. Even Morrissey has looked nervously at their onslaught. (Bright Eyes has a fairly reasonable lead, but with his latest output, even Conor would be wise to be worried).
So it didn't feel real that we were going to actually get to see them; although how I've not seen them beforehand, I do not know. I must have seen the Manic Street Preachers ten different times at festivals over the past 15 years, so why never Placebo, as I was always a fan? Because it was all building up to this moment, that's why!
I really didn't want to go see them at the O2, as I saw Coldplay there and it was like watching a gig in an aircraft hangar. So we decided to go up to the old Gmex in Manchester and make a weekend of it. Beforehand I was dreaming about Placebo pretty much constantly, panicking Molko was going to get killed in a plane crash or something. Or that I'd get killed and he'd come to my funeral and hook up with my boyfriend. Serious anxiety dreams!
We arrived about 6.30 and there was quite a sizeable queue. I expected everyone to be about 16 but there was a bit of a mix, and more men than I thought there'd be. We got a pretty good spot, to the right side of the barrier (Stefan side!) and did the usual no liquids policy so we could stand our ground all night. The support bands weren't that great; the name of the first one escapes me, but it was quite unwieldy and they were a bit bland. The second support was the Horrors; great if you're into Gonzo from the Muppets shuffling round impersonating Pete Doherty. I SWEAR I saw the singer yawn at one point! I saw the Horrors once before and they were shit then, and shit now, but with an 80s keyboard thrown in. Fuck off.
And then... the Battle for The Sun began! We saw the mics being set up and were a bit miffed because Brian's was right on the left hand side of the stage (we'd gone right for Stefan!) But I shouldn't complain because we were in the front row, and some of the footage of people's view at the O2 was so bad may as well have been on a different continent.
They opened with For What It's Worth, then did Ashtray Heart and Battle for the Sun. I think I was in shock for the first three songs, because I can't remember then very well. The lights were spectacular; when you're used to seeing Morrissey in small venues, this was a bit special; they'd actually spent a few quid. The big screen behind them was tilted at an angle and looked quite epic. The first old song they played was 'Soulmates' which I can't stand so I got my camera out at this point, but my photos were all pretty awful. There was a glut of dodgy songs in the middle; Follow the Cops Back Home (which is obviously a fan favourite, but I think the lyrics are lame) and Special Needs (enough said). But songs like Breathe Underwater and Julien off the new album were fun to hear. The definite highlight of the first part was Every Me, Every You- the guitar bit they do at the start and the end is just magical. And I can die happy now I've heard him go 'every meheeeeeee and every yeeeeeehooooow!' You couldn't wipe the smile off my face after that (although it did waver when he played Blind, which is the dullest song on Meds by a mile). He's doing a Moz and making us work for the good stuff, which is his right.
Was also thrilled to hear the actual song Meds. Was un-thrilled to hear Song to Say Goodbye (my oh my) as it's such a weak song, and when they went off after it, I just thought it was a bit lazy (goodbye, then off for the encore).
But they came back on with a vengeance. Bright Lights sounded lovely live. Special K was a singalong classic (as it should be) and The Bitter End was just fantastic. I was really scared that new violinist was going to screech all over it but she didn't. I still miss the 'suicide' bit at the end, but Brian obviously can't be arsed to sing that bit anymore.
Then they went off again and I thought that was it and turned to my boyfriend and went 'where's infra-red?' because it's his favourite song. And at that exact second the intro to it kicked in. Honestly, it was soooo good! It was really amazing. Then they finished with Taste in Men, which I think is a weird song to end with, but it did sound really decent. Stefan also came down into the crowd and was larking about which was a bit of excitement.
What else? I really like the end when they all came to the front of the stage and bowed, there was a nice feeling to it. Stefan was wearing a silver suit which was the best thing I've ever seen him wear (and we've watched a LOT of gigs, as I said). Brian looked cute with a little bob (my boyfriend said he looked haggard but he loves writing off every popstar we go to see).
When we got in we watched a 2009 gig from Paris and he gave them some of the same patter he gave us! Cheeky. And I will not rest until I hear Because I Want You live. Seriously, I need to hear it.
All in all, totally lived up to my expectations, and can't wait to see them again. I love Brian so much. I wouldn't at all be surprised if we went abroad to see them. How else are we going to hear Protege Moi?

The X Factor: The Final(s)

This blog is seriously tardy but I was away for the weekend (seeing Placebo! Blog to follow) and am just watching the X Factor now. Through serious willpower and switching off my phone I have avoided the result entirely! Go me. Although I almost got caught out first thing with a glimpse of The Wright Stuff but switched it off just in time!
I did catch Saturday's show late on Saturday night and was unsurprised to see Stacey well and truly jibbed. On first, and given Michael Buble, who's name I can barely spell, whilst Olly was given Robbie Williams, and 'my little popstar' got George Michael. Stacey was the fall girl, and she knew it, I think. The less said about Olly's version of Superstition the better. Plus his sixhead looks like it's going into battle with Ant McPartlin's.
So now I don't really care who wins as I don't like either. Olly wants to win so bad, the desperation is rolling off him. Send him back to the call centre. Little Joe shows little emotion either way, he's just beyond boring.
It pisses me off when they sing a song they've sung before in the final, it's so cheap. You're supposed to be in training to be a popstar! Simon said 'Olly's giving not 112% but 150%'. Well I always minus points for anything over 100, so in actual fact he's only giving 50%. It's just not good enough.
Twist and Shout is such a dreadful song. I just don't get it. Louis described Olly as 'bubbly'. So that's why his shirts are so tight.
What are these awful songs they are singing? I feel like I'm at a really shit musical. Last night wasn't much better either.
Aw Alexandra and JLS! Last year was better. Leona is good, too. We've had the dregs this year.
So who have they made the song suit so that person is bound to win? Let's find out.
Mountains! I can move, move, move any mountain! Strings. Choir. Fireworks! Are you crying yet? Olly is; so vote. (Oh, it was a day ago)
Ok I want Olly to win now. He did sing the end of that song well. Plus I'm sick of the Joe support.
Christ they are dragging this fucker out and I've fast forwarded half of it.
George Michael! Didn't say much to Dermy. Paul McCartney! I'd rather watch Heather Mills on Dancing on Ice. Unless he's going to do the Frog Chorus with Jedward I don't wanna know.
Oh Dermot get out from Macca's bum-hole. It's cringeworthy. He's just a sad old man in a wig.
I want to see the rampant home crowds after their pick has lost. Now that would be funny. Watch them cry!
I liked Joe's reaction when he won, he looked like he was going to pass out. Olly was a gracious loser, too.
Even so. If Jedward aren't richer/ more successful than Joe in 3 years time I'd be surprised. Bring on Celeb Big Brother!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Horizon: On Population Growth

David Attenborough! Tackling humans as well as the furry 'uns. Too many people on this planet! Yes, yes yes. Exterminate!
80 million people are born a year. Cross your legs, people. Think of the environment.
Apparently we need to DOUBLE the amount of food on the planet to sustain population growth. Eek. I work in child hunger; and I know that's not good news. The figures for malnourished children in the world are startling.
The amount of people on the planet has TRIPLED since David Attenborough was a child! That's quite shocking.
I agree, population control IS a contentious issue, because it is seen as meddling, and we have all heard that the draconian enforcing of that sort of rule leads to horror stories of babies in gutters. But god! There is a lot of us, taking up a lot of space.
Wow some of these figures are nuts. There's going to be an extra 2.4 BILLION people on the planet by 2050. In the next 40 years the earth needs to accommodate more people than live at the moment in the whole of Europe, Africa and North and South America! SHIT! Where are we going to put them? I only live in a bedsit.
I jest but those figures are SCARY. You think people would be panicking more about this. And of course, the families who will have most babies are poor people in the developing world.
Obviously part of the reason there are so many people alive is, of course, technological advances, and our brilliant sciences, so we survive illnesses that killed us so often in the past. Plus people are living longer, despite all the bad things we like doing.
So what are we going to run out of? Only 1% of water on the planet is suitable for human consumption and a billion people have a lack of access to water.
I normally avoid programmes about affects on climate because it just seems everyone is arguing about it and it's just over-saturation; but this programme was really interesting.
Wow, I've emailed that Olivier De Schutter guy at work who was talking about secret land deals in Africa. That's kind of cool. He chaired a big meeting we did.
So basically we're running out of food, water and oil (and animals, because we keep making them extinct).
So what's the solution? Looking after the planet better, technological advances, and the biggie, having less children.
I didn't know China's one child policy was still in place! Nuts! Apparently it's prevented 400 million people being born (and having siblings!)
The Indian vasectomy festivals sound like a riot where they gave them the snip for some cash. But then it went a step too far (I'll say!) In 1977 they introduced a thing where if you were guilty of commiting a crime as small as having no ticket for the train and they caught you, they sterilised you!!! What the FUCK!? They sterilised 8 MILLION people in 1977 in India on that basis. Jesus!
Obviously the more educated women are, the less children they have (only idiots have children). So teaching women to be independent and educated is obviously a better result that forcing them to get sterilised! This means contraception is important. Yes contraception. It's not difficult. It's pretty easy.
Personally, my contribution to Mother Nature will be not reproducing. Does it get me out of the recycling?

Monday, 7 December 2009

Rich Man, Poor Man: Ben Dover

Look at that title! Catchy! Where have all the good documentaries gone? Did the credit crunch eat them? Even the worst kind of reality TV that I loved so dearly seems to have shuffled off the TV schedules. So I'm reduced to watching this old rot. And on BBC2, too! Licence payers' money! This sounds like Channel 5 stuff.
This show follows 'britain's top porn star' Lindsay Honey (Ben Dover- ho ho ho) as he 'branches out' into regular acting. Hold on, doesn't Lindsay Honey sound like a porn star name anyway? Should have stuck with that.
I'm not sure I have much truck with a porn star who looks like Keith Harris without the duck and talks like Del Boy. I can't work out if he's wearing a toupee or just has the worst haircut this side of Boris Johnson. Sexy is not a word that springs to mind; I have no urge whatsoever to look up one of his films.
Here's Lindsay at the porno lifetime achievement awards! Let's snigger at porn title puns! He actually called porn 'showbiz.' Lols.
So he doesn't want to do Proust, but wouldn't mind being in a soap. At least he's aiming low. He does have morals though; he doesn't like torture porn or degradation!
It's funny to think of him pining to be 'respectable' whilst in his big old mansion which he bought from fucking. You always want what you haven't got; how many shelf stackers want to be in a porno, and how many porno actors want to be in Hollywood? It's just degrees of the food chain.
The part where he was trying to become an actor and going to lessons (i.e. the middle half an hour) was pretty boring. I think Five might have injected some comedy.
Surprise surprise, he didn't get offered any very good acting parts. An alcoholic and father christmas, neither of which he could be bothered to do. He seemed surprised that some actors do badly paid (or no paid) jobs just for the love of it and ruled out working for free (ie. working his way up) even though he could easily afford it.
So in the end he went back to porn. Sorry for ruining the ending. Bring back the freak docs, please.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The X Factor: Semi Final

Disclaimer: I'm a bit hungover so I think this is going to be a bit of a mean blog. Sorry contestants.
They are gonna give it 150%! Just watch them. Oh are we still bigging up Michael Jackson? Zzzz. Is he mentoring from beyong the grave via Derek Acorah? Him and his songs and his 'legacy' and his family can just go bury themselves, as far as I'm concerned. The ongoing hysteria is unedifying, let him rest, and let me not have to hear about him, please.
Hearing them going on about their 'dream' and not wanting to go back to the day job is just getting boring now. Olly looked and sounded awful; his sixhead looked enormous tonight. Going 'woo!' in a song is unforgivable, I don't care if it's MJ week.
I had to fast forwards Joe for reasons of taste and decency. It's just boring as fuck. But do you know what? I have faith that the British public will support an underdog over this bland little robot.
I thought Stacey seemed nervous. Her 'dancing' wasn't good and it affected her voice. Great; are we going to have an all (dull) boy final? Oh dear; Dannii pulled out the 'infected teeth' defence. This doesn't bode well.
I thought Danyl was the best of the lot vocally. *awaits barbed comment from Cheryl* Omg, she stood up. Perhaps she had a wedgie.
2nd song. Olly's song was awful; you can tell Simon chose it. His dancing is beyond rubbish. I think he could be vulnerable this week. I'd rather see him go than Stacey.
I know the song Joe sung that Simon said no one knew. Wish I didn't though.
The second song Stacey sang was dire, whatever they said. Again Danyl was the best, but the fireworks and everything smacked of desperation a bit. God I feel so grumpy about X Factor today. I apologise. Bring back Lloyd. (Not really)