Month: July 2015

It’s against the law to shop on a Sunday

Interesting read after walking around the ghost town that is Oslo

Edge of the Arctic

I peered down the shopping street that I live by this morning and found it completely empty. Typically packed with shoppers, Bogstadveien, one of Oslo’s biggest shopping streets, was a ghost town.

That’s because it’s Sunday which in Norway means that everything is closed. Everything. You can’t go to the mall or the bookstore, you can’t even do a proper grocery shop. We spend Saturday afternoons hoarding milk and fortifying our non-perishable food stores as if we’re preparing for the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

I may have dealt with this with a bit more grace had weekday shopping hours not been so equally astounding: shops close at 6pm except Thursday, which is Norway’s big shopping day with stores open until…. (drumroll please)… 7 o’clock.

Bogstadveien Sunday

Grocery stores are open until 10pm six days a week but there’s more to the day-to-day necessities than food – light bulbs, prescription medication, books, furniture…

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Film Etiquette- a Rant

I like to be in a cinema screen early. Especially when I haven’t selected my seat at the box office (which I hate with a passion by the way).

I am very particular where I sit when I go alone- a seat central to the screen with a hope and a prayer that the screen isn’t too busy.

So… I’m currently waiting for a delayed Mr Holmes to start. It’s now holding about 25 people in a 75 seat screen and I have someone who I don’t know sat right next to me.

It would be fine if it was busy, or if they’d just arrived. But these two ladies were the next people in the screen. They had 74 seats to pick from, yet despite a funny little Sheldon Cooper seat selection they plonk themselves right next to me. I was half expecting her to yell at me for being in her spot.

So I’m faced with the dilemma: should I stay or should I find another seat?! As her elbow inches towards mine- I’m considering my escape.

Is it wrong that I just want my personal space while watching a movie?

Slow West- 15 

  

I am not a fan of Westerns. There are very few that I have liked. It’s not the genre’s fault; they focus on a violent and negative time.

What I find surprising about Slow West is how full of hope it actually is. It’s artistic and clever script flows through the beautiful but decayed landscape.

It’s a simple plot that fairs well, albeit a little predictable. The film is not a chore to watch like some Westerns, but it’s not a film I would watch repeatedly.

Cast- 8
Cinematography- 9
Plot-7
Pace-7
Music-8
Enjoyability- 7

Mental Health- Ramblings of a scared and abandoned woman #mentalhealth #ramblings #Han

This is a post I wrote for a secret blog a few years ago. Because it was written just for me and not for an audience, it’s rather candid.giphy

I had an operation this week. One I’ve been waiting a year and a half to happen. That’s when I started the process for this operation. In reality I should have had it almost three years ago, in the actual dentist. While awake. They’d cancelled it the day before and claimed because the dentist was leaving, I would have to go through the whole process again. ‘Fuck that’ I believe my words were at the time. It was all going well until a rogue nacho caused a week long infection that had me stinking of clove and the cheek scaring that the Joker would be proud of.
Perhaps that awake tooth pulling would have been for the best. Rather than the mind fuckery, emotional bruising and quite simply a cruel and unusual time travel inducing lesson in who your friends are.
So. Many people were under the impression that I was fearful of going under the knife. While, that bit is certainly true of this particular branch of surgery (plaguing dreams of microscopic spiders crawling out of my mouth as they woke me sans teeth saw to that) this would be my fifth operation and I know how it goes. Oh so the same, but very different.
Tuesday evening, I text my best friend with instructions should anything go wrong:
Songs:
Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars
Nothing More by Alternative Routes

Readings:
I’d Like to be a Teabag by Peter Dixon
Puck’s final soliloquy from A Midsummer’s Nights Dream.

There was more. It was detailed, right down to the ‘go home and watch Jurassic Park together.’ Yes, I’m perfectly healthy and it was only my teeth. Have you seen Coma (1978)? Totally melodramatic and could have had a different reaction had I sent it to someone else. Did my best friend and twisted sister totally understand? She simply called it organised. That’s why I love her.
I wasn’t scared of dying. I don’t mean that in a ’cause for concern, this woman doesn’t value her life’ sort of way. Hell, I’ve never valued my life more than I do at the moment. I do not want to die. I did not want to die in that operating theatre. What I feared was that people didn’t know me enough to give me what I wanted should anything happen. I don’t open up. I chat shit and I talk and people probably would say I’m very open. Probably too open. That’s the tip of the iceberg. You start churning off things that have happened in my life and people will start to think I’m a liar or crazy. It’s no one’s fault but my own. It’s not the situation that causes the damage, it’s what you do with the situation.

The operation went fine. More than fine. I used the word ‘happy’ for the first time in at least six months and truly meant it. It was a synthetic high that I knew wouldn’t last. I emailed a few people. Streams of consciousness. Nothing deprecating or revealing; no declarations of true love or odes in comparison to Hiddleston, Smith or Strong. However, I was vulnerable. I went out on a limb and said ‘hey, I care that you know I’m okay.’ I might have been spouting my utter outrage that they gave me my rotten teeth in a jar or informing them I could see Minion butt cracks from my hospital view but I was reaching out.Stupidly.

Four days later, still a blue little tick. My email is sent, but not read. Along with a few others. Not many people knew I was having my operation, but a few I told failed miserably and in those few little gestures I’m back to being 15. Week 4 or 5 of my post surgery recovery and I’m watching my friends at the bus stop. They’re no more than 10 feet away from my house and they can’t be bothered to knock and see if I’m okay. The ‘get well’ card from school said it all; one person from my collective five friends signed everyone’s names. All these memories spilling out like hot lava, just because three people haven’t asked how things went?! What the FUCK is wrong with me? Why is it hurting so much?

Because the biggest fear of this whole operation is staring you in the face. The reason you are almost 30 yet clutching onto a battered teddy bear at a hospital for adults. Mother, mum, mummy, Marilyn, Lyn. Best friend, protector but not perfect. She never let me know what it was like to be alone. She hugged the pain away. She distracted me from the absence of friends. This woman isn’t here any more. My biggest fear was waking up from the operation, foggy and without memory. I was scared that I’d relive the loss all over again. How do you tell people that? Who do you tell that? The person you tell everything to; the person you’ve already burdened your last requests to? The new friends you trust, but feel like you’d just be giving one little bit of the jigsaw. A part that won’t help them help you. Or do you tell that person you want to tell? The one person your gut is telling you to tell. Only going onto day four post-op and you’ve not heard from him. You’re guts are full of shit Hunter. He wouldn’t understand and he certainly wouldn’t care.


This was about a man I would have done anything for. I loved. I don’t think is was actually in a romantic way, even though I did think he was the most beautiful, perfect thing in the world at the time.
I loved him in a way that made me like his company, want every happiness to come his way.
We’re 3 years later and this bloke is just a distant memory. I was used to help him progress professionally. All I wanted was a friend. Luckily I’ve recently discovered; friendship, true friendship, should never be that hard. It shouldn’t make you feel less than and it definitely shouldn’t make you think you would be better off dead.

I know it’s his loss. I’m frigging awesome (I will repeat that until I believe it, I promise) and friendship with me is easy. However, I still, every so often, miss that smile, that laugh. Hell, after what the replacement ginger did, I miss his mistreatment of me.

The key is how I move on. What do I do to ensure I don’t get trapped in a asymmetrical ‘relationship’ again?! That’s what the counselor is for, and over the next six months I’m going to work on my self worth.

Magic Mike XXL- 15

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So we won’t see this film in the Oscar running, but lets face it people are not watching it for the plot. However, I want to argue the criticism that this film is plot-less with beautiful dancing hunks of meat for viewers to drool over.

There’s character development and audience attachment that extends further than the size of the guys abs. There is an attempt to genuinely and sincerely explore loyalty and shelf life within a vain industry. There’s touching moments between all of the leads.

Of course, these are not my favourite parts. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. The film builds to an exciting showcase of talents that will satisfy most who attend on their own accord. Matt Bomer is a personal highlight, showing off his singing talent to wow the crowds.

Cast- 8 (Maconawho?)
Cinematography- 6
Plot-5
Pace-4
Music-6
Enjoyability- 9

Minions- U

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I have not seen Despicable Me. I don’t know why and I feel like I’ve missed out. Minions for me, is one of Dreamworks’ best and should put to rest any rumours that the production company are in trouble. Better plot than the Penguins of Madagasgar. Perhaps that it’s due to Kevin, Stuart and Bob being much more lovable. You really do route for them… and giggle at their failures.

A small slight on the film would be that the beginning of the film had been a little overplayed as the trailer for the last six months. However, once the action got going, it was a nice surprise to find that the trailers had not given away too much of the plot. Decent laughs for both adults and children.

In terms of star pulling power, I don’t think it was necessary. Sandra Bullock’s voice was barely recognisable and these little guys seem to have a fan base of their own. However, there’s a nice game of ‘spot the British actor’ waiting for anyone yet to have seen the film.

Cast- 6 (Wasn’t feeling the Bullock)
Cinematography- 9
Plot-8
Pace-8
Music-8
Enjoyability- 9

Entourage- 15

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It’s films like this that remind me that my humour comes from my brother. I like crude, rude and downright silly. I was the only woman in a room of about 10 others. I laughed loud and I laughed hard at those stupid jokes.
Nice simple plot means that each of the characters have enough time to develop and shine. I have yet to watch a single episode of the TV show, yet I did not feel lost. There were plenty of cameos to keep people from both side of the pond happy.
However, I was the only one in the screen to laugh. The jokes fell flat for everyone else.

Cast- 6

 Cinematography- 5

Plot- 5

Pace-5 

Music-4 

Enjoyability- 6

Jurassic World- 12A

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I’ve been told this is the best film of the four. I’ve also been told I would never, ever, be able to say that. It’s true. Jurassic Park is my film. It’s the start of my love of film and I will always be biased. That said, I will try my best.

I’m skipping the plot over view. That is not going to change your intention to see it.

The good

The Pratt. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this guy is my generation’s Harrison Ford. He’s the action hero we’ve been waiting for.
The park. Breathtaking and brilliant. Hints of nostalgia with touches of new technology.

The bad
Dr Wu. It’s a personal thing. In the previous film he had no more than 2 minutes of screen time. However, I’ve read the book and I’ve had 22 years building up my idea of this character. What I saw in Jurassic World was not my Dr Wu.
Claire. She’s not Ellie or Sarah. She’s a fish out of water. I know that’s meant to be the point and the actress didn’t grate on me as she normally would, but I still didn’t like her. And don’t get me started on those shoes. I also feel I was missing something about the relationship between her and Owen.
The opening. Again, more a personal choice. It’s a move away from the traditional openings, a stand alone exposition faded in from black.

The ugly.
The ending. While no film in the franchise is ever going to take the ‘worst ending’ award from number 3, I couldn’t help but having Liam Neeson lamenting ‘there’s always a bigger fish’ as the final action scene concludes.
The violence. What is happening to our movies? Many of our franchises that started out life rated as 18 have recently had their sequels downgraded to 12A. Jurassic World has upgraded it’s thirst for visual blood and body count, bringing it up to a 12A. While I enjoyed the violence personally, I don’t think it was necessary to create a visual treat for all.

Cast- 8
Cinematography- 8
Plot-8
Pace-9
Music-9
Enjoyability- 9

Home- U

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AKA- Sheldon Cooper is an Alien.
The plot is fairly simple enough; Outcast alien messes up, many times, before helping saving the day and showing the rest of his species that different isn’t always bad.
It’s enjoyable and harmless, but it’s still just a vehicle for Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons. While I myself, don’t mind 20 minute boughts of Sheldon, 90 minutes is just a little much.

Cast- 7
Cinematography- 8
Plot-7
Pace-7
Music-4
Enjoyability- 6

Terminator Genisys -12A

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He will always be back.

Just like Star Trek (2009), Paramount/Skydance productions have used time travel to give us a new spin on an original story. Post apocalyptic soldier Kyle Reese (played well by no stranger to franchises that should stay dead- Jai Courtney) is sent back to 1984 to save waitress Sarah Connor from the T1-800.

The mission has changed, soldier. Sarah is all too aware of her future thanks to one of many incarnations of Arnie. Here we see more of a T2: Judgement Day heroine, played by Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke.

The film follows the typical action formula that at times come at a sacrifice to the alarmingly convoluted plot. The dialogue and visuals are there to bring laughs too; reminding everyone watching, this franchise has forgotten its roots. It has has gone the exact same way as another beloved of mine; Die Hard. Both started with hard 18 ratings. They were tense, they were cool. Hell, these veteran action heroes deserve better than this, and so do we.

It’s worth a watch if you’ve already managed to get yourself through editions 3 and 4; it’s no less painful and has enough nostalgia to feel like time well(ish) spent. It wraps itself up nicely. A little too nicely, if you ask me. I don’t buy it and it’ll feel even cheaper when the sequel comes around.

Cast- 8
Cinematography- 7 (Budget went on Arnie)
Plot-5 (It’s like Doctor Who’s time-whimey slinky)
Pace-8 (nauseating)
Music-6 (nothing new and rather lacking for a Hans Zimmer)
Enjoyability- 9 (leave your brains at home)